Citizen Kane ★★★★★

Some feel objected to stick this film (along with "The Godfather") on any of their favorite movies lists. From my perspective, the movie just damn well earns its reputation (which has, recently, been overthrown by Hitchcock's "Vertigo"). Orson Welles' commentary on celebrity, class, and American hedonism is truly a film of its age, but ahead of its time. Influential in narrative design, and influential in terms of the visual and aural nature of the medium. It doesn't hurt that the tragedy of the title character is emotionally draining, and fully-realized without any aching of pretension. Welles' direction is masterful and inventive, and his performance supplies enough pathos of mystery and understanding. The now iconic final moment finishes up the story in such a literate way, it stings. "Citizen Kane" is rare in that it not only lives up to its praised reputation, but also somehow surprises with attributes beyond that.