When is the best not the best? I think the answer to this non-rhetorical question that maybe nobody would ever ask in the first place has to be, when one hasn’t the breadth of experience to really answer with any certainty or credibility. Best cheeseburger in my neighborhood? Well, I haven’t sampled them all. But I know which ones I believe measure up to my standards, which ones transcend simple food, thoughtless product to be inserted with the singular purpose of quashing that gnawing feeling in my belly and, if the creation of a great cheeseburger, one in which the ingredients are complimentary, which integrate to inform the entirety of the experience of each bite can be so loftily considered, which ones approach art.
And so it is with the movies. Despite the protestations of every haughty, angry, insistent film critic (or anyone else, for that matter) whose language abandons the pretense of having not submitted to their own oft-repeated preconceptions, whose manner belies claims that theirs too are just opinions and reveals the judgment delivered upon those who would disagree with their choices for the Best Films of the Year, these sorts of endeavors are (surprise!) hugely subjective. And I have come to understand, after 15 or so years of putting my own thoughts out there for the public to indulge or ignore, that no such claims of “best” anything can really hold much water, simply because to hold forth as if they could would mean I was placing some sort of authority upon myself than I have no business trafficking in. Most intelligent writers and movieheads I know thankfully refrain from indulging in this sort of nonsense. But some continue to bash our heads with proclamations and tirades aimed to end the conversation, not further it. (“X and Y are brilliant. Z is a piece of shit. That is all.”) Those are the ones that I have concluded I can do without.
The best any film critic can hope for at the end of the year is to try to express some measure of their own experiences with cinema, however far-ranging that experience might be. Of course, the ones who have a greater breadth of knowledge, who have seen more and can make connections between works and eras and sensibilities, are likely to be more interesting than the guy whose top-ten list is comprised entirely of all ten movies he saw in total for the year. These are the writers who can give you a rich snapshot of the film in question and something of their own story, however overtly or covertly, in the process. That’s why discovering Pauline Kael when I was a pup was such an important event in my intellectual and creative life, such as it was and is. She was a master of making writing about film both universal and sublimely personal, and I loved her for it, even if I often found myself at odds with her conclusions.
My own writing, I believe, lands somewhere squarely in the middle of those two poles of experience. One of the great lessons for me when I moved to Los Angeles from Oregon has been that, try as I might, it was impossible to see everything. And over 30 years later, with the accessibility granted by streaming and DVRs and labels like Criterion, Arrow, Warner Archives, Olive Films, TCM, Kino Lorber and an endless chain of other like-minded entities, there’s more available to see right now than there ever has been in my lifetime. And that’s an entirely separate conversation from the movies released in any given year. Therefore, you won’t catch me trying to proclaim the best of anything any longer, whether we’re talking cheeseburgers or classics of contemporary film. There’s not enough time, literally. That said, what follow are the movies I responded to in 2018, with a nod toward all there is left for me to see, an exercise which may add even a little more perspective for any reader who actually cares– “Well, if he thought so highly of X, maybe he should have seen Y, and it might have affected his thinking about both.” I have also, as become my tradition, included a list of movies made before 1980 that I saw for the first time in the calendar year past, which might also shed some light on what I was doing when I could have been making time for If Beale Street Could Talk or Hearts Beat Loud or Holmes and Watson. And of course, I was doing many other things besides watching movies in 2018, which might provide another sort of clue as to why I can’t be encyclopedically definitive when it comes to the best films of the year. Life will have its way, and as I approach 60 years on the planet I am more than ever okay with that idea.
As a friend on Facebook pointed out recently, Once Upon a Time in the West, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Rosemary’s Baby, Night of the Living Dead, The Producers, Planet of the Apes, If…, Greetings, they all turned 50 years old last year. Will we be talking about any of the movies on the following list 50 years from now? Stay tuned.
Here, then, are my favorites, in descending order.
FIRST REFORMED (Paul Schrader)
Writer-director Paul Schrader has made a career out of writing (Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ) and directing (Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters, Patty Hearst, Cat People) challenging movies. But with First Reformed I think he’s finally made one which could be accurately described as exquisite, and without betraying any of the rage and paranoia and unsettled psychological terrain that has earmarked both his finest and most flawed work. That word “exquisite” should in no way imply preciousness, as if anyone describing Schrader’s work could ever make room for that adjective. First Reformed is a tormented consideration of faith (and the lack thereof), the difficult possibility of transcendence, and the seemingly even more difficult act of holding ostensibly opposed impulses of hope and despair in balance without completely losing one’s shit. Which, of course, makes it an almost perfect movie for our particular moment. It speaks to the faithful in terms of what even the faithless see directly in front of them. Ethan Hawke’s tortured pastor counsels the husband of a parishioner who is despondent over the dire implications of climate change, and the transference of that burden of responsibility from counseled to counsellor addresses one of the pastor’s central spiritual crises, a profound insecurity over whether God can forgive us for what we’ve done. Schrader has breathed life into a brilliantly sustained act of tension between the spiritual and the corporeal (and the influence of each on the other), building toward an act of desperate release, of a man trying to make a mark on the world, on his own soul. It seems like the fulfillment of a career’s-worth of concerns which, in movies like American Gigolo and Hardcore, have often felt chilly and academic rather than truly embodied, given flesh. Hawke’s pastor, exiled within his own doubt and overseeing a historically significant house of worship made into a sparsely attended tourist trap under the stewardship of a corporate-style megachurch, truly is God’s lonely man. Over all of Schrader’s most personal work, including Taxi Driver, with which this movie shares more than a few stylistic devices derived from transcendental filmmakers like Robert Bresson, as well as its suffocating sense of isolation, this film seems Schrader’s most piercing, the one that hurts the most, the one that offers the possibility of mortification and the bearable weight of an earthly yoke in equal measure as penance for divine deliverance.
THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS (Joel and Ethan Coen)
A pitiless and awe-inspiring consideration of the myths embodied in our shared story-told history of the western, and perhaps the funniest, loveliest, most empathetic epic about the inevitability of death anyone’s ever attempted. Decorum and a respect for the surprises which lie within this six-tale omnibus, which ranges from the morbidly hilarious to the devastatingly somber to the startlingly elegiac, will keep anyone worth listening to as they wax enthusiastic about this film from giving away too much. But even when one can predict the trajectory of elements within its anthological structure (most apparently in the final chapter), there’s no diminishment in the story’s power because of the abundance of moments that can make you gasp out loud in the telling. You may also find yourself gasping throughout, as I did, in recognition of the audacity of the Coen Brothers, who in making their own way through the trials, beauties, and sundry absurdities of our western legends, reassert here their stature at the top tier of living American filmmakers. And a tip of the cap to Netflix, who gave this movie a theatrical release (however brief) concurrent with its availability streaming, making their contribution to great modern westerns, after last year’s stunning Godless from writer-director Scott Frank, an admirable two for two.
SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE (Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman)
When I was a kid, maybe 9 or 10, I was reading an issue of The Amazing Spider-Man with my usual zeal, and at one point in the action I felt like I just had to share it with someone. Since no one in my immediate family was much on comics (or movies, or monsters, or…), I decided my mom, who also happened to be nearest in the house, might be my most sympathetic victim. I brought the comic to her and opened it up to a particularly impressive section—a moment in a one-on-one fistfight between Spidey and the villain of the month (Kingpin? Green Gobln? Shocker?? I can’t say for sure). The action was divided into four panels, two tall, thin rectangles per page, so you could look at the whole spectacular conception just by laying it open, sitting back and, yes, marveling at the scope of the thing, the dynamism, the movie-ism of it all. She was unimpressed. But the folks who made Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse get it. My guess is that they’ve been “getting it” ever since they were as old as I was when I tried to share my own enthusiasm for what comics, and particular this comic and its hero, were capable of expressing. Their magnificent, eye-popping, multi-planed epic restores the “amazing” into the Amazing Spider-Man; it’s the first superhero movie of the Marvel era that varies from the tried-and-true template, that colors outside the lines—hell, that explodes the lines into various forms of grace and divisions of space and storytelling energy. There’s just no way of taking it all in in one sitting. It’s also the first superhero movie to successfully understand and relate how reading a really invigorating comic book story happens in the imagination of the reader. At the same time, it absolutely feels and moves and sounds like nothing else of this or any other year, providing an irrefutable lesson in how to make a visually innovative, naturally inclusive and genuinely multicultural movie (in all aspects of that familiar term) without trolling for recognition for having done so. And as Spider-Pig, one of the many wildly entertaining denizens of the Spider-verse might put it, yeah, it’s a cartoon. You got a problem with cartoons?
LEAVE NO TRACE (Debra Granik)
A story of the familial ties between father and daughter that is a wrenching and rich as its title is intransient and prone to evaporation. A PTSD-afflicted war veteran (Ben Foster) has taken himself and his daughter Tom (newcomer Thomasin Harcourt Mackenzie) off the grid, making for them a quiet, if illegal, existence living off the land in a forested park within Portland, Oregon city limits. Once they’re reined in by social service agents and given a taste of being reintegrated back into society, the father bristles, but the daughter realizes that, though she wants nothing more than to be with her dad, a modest life among modest people carries its own allures. What’s genuinely marvelous about Granik’s approach, especially with Mackenzie, is the way director and actress make clear the dawning difference between parent and child without pressing home the metaphoric significance. Mackenzie’s Tom eases into a world of new experiences with a child’s natural curiosity—sea horses she reads about in books, flag dancers at a local church, 4-H kids raising rabbits, learning about the temperament and tendencies of hive bees—while her dad remains at a measured distance, his mind never far away from the clarion call of an isolated existence to which he longs to return. By the time Tom declares to Will that “the same thing that’s wrong with you isn’t wrong with me,” the movie has fulfilled its unhurried journey toward sublimity, with myriad opportunities for its audience to appreciate the nuanced, rarified air of a soul discovering itself, asserting independence, breathing in the world.
A rousing piece of propaganda built precisely for these fearful times. Moore’s work primarily addresses those who already accept his premise that the country is in a very, very bad place right now, and not just due to the slimy activities of the man who lost the popular vote yet was still elected president. His purpose it is not so much to confirm their (our) beliefs as to shake them (us) into action, because what’s at stake in Fahrenheit 11/9 is an understanding that Trump is not the end game, he’s merely a symptom. Yet what’s perhaps most understandable about the way Fahrenheit 11/9 was perceived by the public, the choir as well as the unbelievers, before they ever saw the film can be found in the apocalyptic tone of its advertising, especially the TV ads showing the image of a newly-elected Trump projected onto the side of the Empire State Building, with Moore’s voiceover intoning ominously, “Ladies and gentlemen, the last president of the United States.” Moore has publicly, and certainly within the framework of this film, largely rejected hope as a fallback position in favor of insistence on activism, but that ad line crosses over into pessimism, and the director apparently recognized as much, because it’s nowhere to be heard in the film itself, pessimism and refusal to rest easy in hope being two quite different stances. Instead, Moore loads the film’s second half with cautious optimism as embodied the likes of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashia Tlaib and Michael Hepburn, as well as citizens like Flint mother LeeAnn Walters, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, who heads up the medical effort to address dangerous levels of lead in Flint children as a result of the water crisis, and whistle-blower April Cook-Hawkins, who refused to fudge reports of hazardous lead levels to make them appear to be within an “acceptable” range. If these people embody the incensed willingness to resist the nation’s tilting-toward-Fascism which Moore so effectively argues, then his giving over the film’s final section to the ignited activism of the survivors of the Parkland high school massacre, and their collective eloquence to power, marks the foundation of Moore’s true hope. That hope and the film’s urgency demand and audience.
WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? (Morgan Neville)
It’s possible that society, especially American society, might have continued to undervalue the contribution of Fred Rogers to civil discourse and the general well-being. But Morgan Neville’s fascinating, unexpectedly (and overwhelmingly) emotional documentary is the best of all possible insurances against the man’s ever evaporating from our collective neighborhood. Prior experience with the PBS program which, from 1968 to 2001 provided an oasis for children from the crass relentlessness of most Saturday-morning kid-oriented fare, isn’t required to appreciate this rich overview of Fred Rogers’ achievements as the overseer of a singular corner of television influence. But one’s own memories of spending time in the Neighborhood is likely to make the tears come faster and with more force. And those unfamiliar with Rogers’ work as anything but a Saturday Night Live joke may find themselves surprised by the level to which this articulate advocate for the spirit of childhood (Rogers was an ordained minister whose specific religious views never overtly became part of the program’s content) used his genteel pulpit to help children of the ‘60s and ‘70s deal with some harsh realities, like racism, childhood disease and even political assassination. Neville’s great achievement, apart from crafting a wonderful, surely enduring film, is to secure Rogers’ reputation as not only a children’s champion in guiding young ones through the process of discovering the world, but one for showing those kids who became adults a way of living in it once their own discoveries had been made.
BLACKKKLANSMAN (Spike Lee)
One does not come to Spike Lee for subtleties. One comes for the expression of indignation, outrage and, yes, the sort of movie experience which couldn’t be further removed from the ones green-lit in executive suites where Hollywood money is doled out, where influence and control are mandated and maintained. The enduring director, once an upstart and now approaching grandmaster status among American filmmakers, thankfully wasn’t discouraged by the level of indifference which greeted the wild high’s and howls of pain of 2016’s Chi-raq, nor has he been much interested in resting on whatever few official laurels he’s received in his 30-plus-year career. If he were, there’d be no BlackKKKlansman, and we’d be the poorer for it. Lee channels a lifetime’s worth of fury into his latest movie, chronicling the tale (based on actual events) of a black detective in the early ‘70s and his infiltration into the Ku Klux Klan by way of a partnership with a white detective, who provides the face which can defuse suspicion and credibly match the black detective’s phone-only persona. Furious, yes, but the director also taps into his movie’s potential for comedy, however cringe-inducing or otherwise wrenching. The result is a blunt, multifaceted movie that manifests its internal conflicts stylistically, juggling the articulation of black rage and disbelief with the racist poison of white supremacy in dramatic and comic terms that manage a startling degree of balance between the warring impulses of caricature and dimensionally fulfilled political commentary, while simultaneously feeling very much of a piece with the pleasures of some of the ‘70s blaxploitation classics he name-checks along the way. By the time Lee leaps 40-some years into the future, the audience is ready to follow the connections which confirm that BlackKKKlansman isn’t just a bell-bottom-and-Afro period piece made to appease the audience’s self-congratulatory impulses. Like Chi-raq, it’s a dispatch from the front lines, and you leave the theater shaken.
BLACK PANTHER (Ryan Coogler)
Upon walking out of seeing Black Panther on its opening weekend, my daughter proclaimed it “the sexiest movie ever made,” a comment that is itself perhaps one of the more unlikely assessments of a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie ever made. Which doesn’t cast doubt upon the veracity of the claim in the slightest. (See Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan and Danai Gurira if you insist on not believing either me or my daughter.) But it’s also the movie, along with the first two Captain America sagas, that best encapsulates the pleasures of the superhero genre when all the metaphorical pistons are firing, the template-respecting counterpart to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse that shows just what can be done by staying within but amplifying and enriching the formula. And any “formula” that can posit a hero and a villain as two poles of an intellectual divide within black experience, the Martin Luther King and Malcolm X of the MCU as it were, while never taking its eyes off its obligation to entertain its massive audience in the manner expected, well, that formula bodes well for richness yet untapped, particularly if the talented writer-director Coogler remains involved. Wakanda forever? Why not?
SCOTTY AND THE SECRET HISTORY OF HOLLYWOOD (Matt Tyrnauer)
If one of the qualities of a very good documentary can be said to be its ability to turn the viewer’s head around on a topic he or she felt reasonably assured in before, then for a certain nostalgically entrenched audience Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood may qualify as one of the greatest documentaries ever made. I don’t think it ranks quite that high, but I will say that ever since seeing it, and since dipping liberally into the book on which it was based– written by self-crafted Hollywood legend Scotty Bowers, for 50-plus years an unparalleled procurer of sexual encounters to the stars, and often a participant in those encounters himself– I have not been able to watch Turner Classic Movies with quite the same air of an era’s and an industry’s presumed “innocence” as once I was able. Bowers, still going strong at age 95, proves to be as amiable a host down some of Hollywood’s tawdrier paths as one could ever hope for, yet what’s disarming is the guilelessness with which he approaches both his own exploits and the secrets of the stars he for so long played a part in keeping under wraps, stars whose reputations he believes are safe in death. His sunny, jocular disposition isn’t at odds with what we see and hear, it informs it. And the revelations about the secret lives of the stars carry a surprising degree of credibility—Scotty tells a titillating story, and we visit with plenty of people who happily corroborate everything he tells us, about them, about your favorite Hollywood personality (and no one’s favorite is likely to go untouched here), and of course himself. Gasp-inducing, funny, sweet and sorrowful, Scotty Bowers’ secrets speak to the sublimation of personality and appetites in old, closet-bound Hollywood, which ends up extending our sympathies not only to our host but to all those movie stars who seemed to have it all but still had to operate at a subterranean level when it came to their deepest, and sometimes most frivolous desires.
GAME NIGHT (John Frances Daley, Jonathan Goldstein)
As high concept a comedy as they come—a group of very competitive friends who participate in a weekly game night together find themselves entangled in a kidnapping-smuggling-murder situation which they initially believe is part of an elaborate role-playing extension of their usual easygoing, harmless suburban fun. It’s easy to imagine how in any other hands this could have been just a crass, cookie-cutter Hollywood comedy where style and timing are mere afterthoughts, if they’re thought of at all. But in Game Night every joke, every perfectly timed side glance, is rooted in character, and the movie uses its considerable stylistic confidence to amplify its ideas, which only makes the laughs richer, and harder on your aching sides. A great cast headed by Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams and others who may be less familiar, like Billy Magnussen, Kylie Bunbury, Lamorne Harris, is ultimately topped by Jesse Plemons, next-level committed and hilarious as the preternaturally even-keeled but obviously disturbed, freshly divorced next-door neighbor, who keeps angling, in his ominous way, for an invitation to game night and ends up taking things into his own hands. It’s a brilliant comic performance within a movie which qualifies, along with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse, as the year’s biggest surprise.
Eleven others I thought quite highly of (again, in descending order):
THE FAVOURITE, THOROUGHBREDS (a great Women Behaving Badly one-two punch if there ever was one), JOHN McENROE—IN THE REALM OF PERFECTION, SEARCHING, ANNIHILATION, BURNING, OF FATHERS AND SONS, BLOCKERS , HEREDITARY, RAMPAGE and LOVE, SIMON.
I Liked These A Lot More Than Y’all Did:
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, VENOM, RAMPAGE, I FEEL PRETTY, HOTEL ARTEMIS, DON’T WORRY—HE WON’T GET FAR ON FOOT
Y’all Liked These A Lot More Than I Did:
ROMA, INCREDIBLES 2, CRAZY RICH ASIANS, THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS, ANT-MAN AND THE WASP, WIDOWS, THE HAPPY PRINCE, AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, READY PLAYER ONE, ASSASSINATION NATION, MADELINE’S MADELINE
Director(s): Joel and Ethan Coen, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Male Performance (Lead): Ethan Hawke, First Reformed
Female Performance (Lead): Olivia Colman, The Favourite
Female Performance (Supporting): Elizabeth Debicki, Widows
Male Performance (Supporting): Jesse Plemons, Game Night
Screenplay: Paul Schrader, First Reformed
Cinematography: Bruno Delbonnel, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Editing: Robert Fisher, Jr., Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse
The Year’s Most Welcome Revival:
Movie I Most Regret Missing in 2018
Silliest but Seemingly Inevitable Development of the Year
The self-righteous reduction in stature of National Lampoon’s Animal House from beloved comedy to cultural crime.
The Bottom of My Barrel (from bad to worst)
MADELINE’S MADELINE (Josephine Decker)
Is it possible to strangle an entire movie?
THE MEG (Jon Turtletaub)
Winner, Most Egregious Failure to Fulfill the Promise of a Nifty Trailer
LOVING PABLO (Fernando León de Aranoa) As long excuses for averting one’s eyes from bad behavior and taking no responsibility for it go, this is the one of the longest.
DEATH OF A NATION (Dinesh D’Souza)
With the thoughts you’d be thinkin’/You could be another Lincoln/If you only had a brain
A WRINKLE IN TIME (Ava DuVernay)
The titanically condescending intro which accompanied this disaster theatrically, in which Ava DuVernay set the table for proper consumption of her grand achievement by making sure you understood just how much work went into making it and how it should most properly approached, that alone might qualify A Wrinkle in Time for worst of the year status. But then there’s the practically somnolent, garishly-CGI’d movie itself, as thorough a flattening of beloved source material as I have ever witnessed. It’s enough to make one wonder if Madeleine L’Engle’s novel is, after all these years and now two woeful attempts, essentially unadaptable, its simplicity essentially too modest for the ambitions of filmmakers so bent on inflating every aspect of a tale into a grandiose primer on empowerment that they forget, in their self-important reveries, to wake up a make an actual movie.
As if to prove my point about my film consumption shortcomings, these are the movies I’m actually interested in that I have yet to catch up to from 2018, in no particular order (and you will, of course, inform me of any I should see that I may have left out):
PADDINGTON 2, THE 15:17 TO PARIS, DOUBLE LOVER, EARLY MAN, RED SPARROW, FOXTROT, ISLE OF DOGS, CHAPPAQUIDDICK, LEAN ON PETE, YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE, TULLY, RBG, FILMWORKER, HEARTS BEAT LOUD, THE FIRST PURGE, SORRY TO BOTHER YOU, EIGHTH GRADE, THE EQUALIZER 2, BLINDSPOTTING, PUZZLE, JULIET, NAKED, SUPPORT THE GIRLS, I AM NOT A WITCH, A SIMPLE FAVOR, LIZZIE, MANDY, THE SISTERS BROTHERS, TEA WITH THE DAMES, THE OLD MAN AND THE GUN, A STAR IS BORN, THE HATE U GIVE, BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE, FIRST MAN, CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?, WILDLIFE, SUSPIRIA, BOY ERASED, THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB, OVERLORD, AT ETERNITY’S GATE, GREEN BOOK, CREED II, RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET, SHOPLIFTERS, BEN IS BACK, THE MULE, CAPERNAUM, THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT, IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK, MARY POPPINS RETURNS, AQUAMAN, BUMBLEBEE, BIRD BOX, COLD WAR, HOLMES AND WATSON, VICE, DESTROYER, STAN AND OLLIE
And finally, with a nod to my recliner, my DVR, and the upcoming 10th annual Turner Classic Movies Film Festival, here’s a long list of films made before 1980 that I saw for the first time in 2018:
ANGEL FACE (1953)
BLESSED EVENT (1932)
THE BOWERY BOYS MEET THE MONSTERS (1954)
BOXCAR BERTHA (1972)
CAUSE FOR ALARM! (1951)
CLEOPATRA JONES (1973)
COLT .45 (1950)
THE CURSE OF QUON GWON (1916)
DAUGHTER OF THE DRAGON (1931)
DEAD MEN WALK (1943)
DIAMONDS OF THE NIGHT (1964)
DIE, MONSTER, DIE! (1965)
FINISHING SCHOOL (1934)
THE FROZEN DEAD (1966)
THE GHOST SHIP (1943)
THE GORILLA (1939)
THE HAUNTED CASTLE (1921)
HAVING A WILD WEEKEND (1965)
HAVING WONDERFUL CRIME (1945)
I MARRIED A WITCH (1942)
I SHOT JESSE JAMES (1949)
THE ICEMAN COMETH (1973)
INTRUDER IN THE DUST (1940)
INVISIBLE STRIPES (1939)
ISLAND OF DOOMED MEN (1940)
KILL THE UMPIRE (1950)
LA CHIENNE (1931)
LADIES’ DAY (1943)
LE BONHEUR (1965)
LEO THE LAST (1970)
THE LOST CONTINENT (1968)
MACON COUNTY LINE (1974)
MARRIAGE ITALIAN STYLE (1964)
MEXICAN SPITFIRE (1940)
MEXICAN SPITFIRE SEES A GHOST (1942)
MIKEY AND NICKY (1976)
THE MOONSHINE WAR (1970)
THE MUMMY’S SHROUD (1967)
MURDER IN THE CLOUDS (1934)
MYSTERY STREET (1950)
THE NAKED PREY (1966)
THE NEW CENTURIONS (1972)
THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN (1970)
OUT OF THE FOG (1941)
PANIC IN YEAR ZERO (1962)
THE PETRIFIED FOREST (1936)
PILLOW TALK (1959)
PREHISTORIC WOMEN (1967)
A RAISIN IN THE SUN (1961)
RECORD OF A TENEMENT GENTLEMAN (1947)
RETURN OF THE BAD MEN (1948)
THE RETURN OF FRANK JAMES (1940)
THE SEA WOLF (1941)
SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE (full version) (1973)
STRAIGHT TIME (1978)
THE STRANGER (1946)
THERE GOES MY HEART (1938)
THEY ALL COME OUT (1939)
TOKAIDO YOTSUYA KAIDAN (The Ghost of Yotsuya) (1959)
TRAIL STREET (1947)
TROUBLE MAN (1972)
TWO ON A GUILLOTINE (1965)
THE UNSUSPECTED (1947)
WAGON MASTER (1950)
WATERMELON MAN (1970)
WHEN YOU READ THIS LETTER (1953)
YIELD TO THE NIGHT (1956)
ZABRISKIE POINT (1970)
That’s it. Here’s to more good movies in the coming year. And as for the next 12 months, I can only leave you with this thought: