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Child-Like Wonder at E.T.

Death, Childhood, and Reeses Pieces
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Blade Runner’s Vision of Hell

A hellish vision of mortality. [Read more...]

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Ben-Hur Discovers the Epic Epicness of Grace

A colossal epic about the journey of faith. [Read more...]

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The Godfather’s Justice

“For justice, we must go to Don Corleone.” [Read more...]

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A Vertiginous Horror

A creepy psychodrama about heights and blondes. [Read more...]

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No Savior for the Raging Bull

Scorsese’s bleak early masterpiece. [Read more...]

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Easy Ride, Awful Film

I tried to find merit in Easy Rider. Really, I did. I found none. [Read more...]

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City Lights: Seeing Past the Surface

Is Chaplin’s classic as good as they say? [Read more...]

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To See or Not to See: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

The classic comedy that destroyed American culture. [Read more...]

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Snow White Showing Her Age

Does the Disney classic still hold up today? [Read more...]

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Christ on Kane: On the Meaning of Rosebud

Is Citizen Kane the greatest movie ever made? [Read more...]

Double Indemnity: Bleak Justice in Classic Noir

Review of Double Indemnity, Directed by Billy Wilder Billy Wilder was more than the Steven Spielberg of his era. While Spielberg is one of the most prominent, acclaimed, and decorated directors of all time, Wilder is that and a writer as well. He wrote the screenplays for most of his best movies, including The Apartment (1961), [Read More...]

The General: A Train Full of Laughs

Review of The General, Directed by Buster Keaton In our effort to blog our way through the American Film Institute’s Top 100 Films, I picked out one of the few movies on the list I had not only not seen, but never even heard of:  The General (1927).  For some reason I expected a somber [Read More...]

Here’s Looking at You, Casablanca!

Review of Casablanca, Directed by Michael Curtiz It’s December of 1941 in sunny, depressing Casablanca, where refugees flock in an attempt to flee the ravages of Nazi-infested Europe. They flock to Vichy-controlled Casablanca, and there they stay—unless Captain Louis Renault (Claude Rains) cares to bestow upon them the coveted exit visas that will allow them [Read More...]

The Raiders of the Lost Ark Discover That “Our God is a Consuming Fire”

Review of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Directed by Steven Spielberg When I was growing up, I read a lot of The Hardy Boys and The Sugar Creek Gang series, adventure stories in which boys solve mysteries, chase bad guys, rescue strangers, discover mysterious caves, explore abandoned mansions, recover exotic artifacts from far off lands, [Read More...]

May the Force Be With You

Review of Star Wars, Directed by George Lucas  If you ask a cinephile what his favorite decade was, chances are he will pick the 1970s.  That decade was full of movies that movie lovers love to love–really dark, gritty, tragic, violent movies like A Clockwork Orange (1971), Mean Streets (1793), Taxi Driver (1976), The Godfather, [Read More...]

The African Queen’s Happy Ending

Review of The African Queen, Directed by John Huston Not all movies are deep and profound, but I do expect “classics” to have something to say. Movies become “classics” because they are more than mere entertainment; they are supposed to speak to something higher or deeper; to hide nuggets of wisdom; to hold lessons about [Read More...]

Lord of the Rings: A Timeless Trilogy

Review of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Directed by Peter Jackson By PAUL D. MILLER It is hard to remember how firmly entrenched the conventional wisdom was that The Lord of the Rings was unfilmable. A disastrous animated attempt in 1978, stuffed full of 70’s cheese, covered just half the story. The film only [Read More...]

Gonna Fly Now; Or, the American (Non)Gospel

Review of Rocky, Directed by John D. Avildsen By ALEXIS NEAL I feel a little silly describing the plot of Rocky (1976). Still, I know there may be a few young whippersnappers out there who never sat around on Saturday afternoons watching old action movies on TNT and who thus don’t know who this Sylvester [Read More...]

Mad as Hell

Review of Network, Directed by Sidney Lumet Reviewed by PAUL D. MILLER Before Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh, before Keith Olbermann and Chris Mathews; there was Howard Beale. With astonishing prescience, Network (1976)—the story of an angry-man newscaster—prefigured almost all the tropes about media celebrities four years before CNN, twelve years before Limbaugh, twenty years [Read More...]

That’ll Be the Day

Review of The Searchers, Directed by John Ford By PAUL D. MILLER The Searchers (1956) is a John Wayne western made in the 1950s, which might immediately suggest to you a certain kind of movie:  an all-American hero fighting outlaws and Indians with a six-shooter, a pack of one-liners, and a grinning swagger.  Wayne did [Read More...]


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