Favorite Films

These are some of my favorite films, representing nine decades of cinema. All synopses are courtesy of IMDb and Yahoo! Movies.


Modern Times (1936)

Director: Charles Chaplin
Screenwriter: Charles Chaplin
Producer: Charles Chaplin
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard

Synopsis: The Tramp struggles to live in modern industrial society with the help of a young homeless woman.

Gone with the Wind (1939)

Director: Victor Fleming
Screenwriter: Sidney Howard
Producer: David O. Selznick
Cast: Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, Olivia de Havilland, Hattie McDaniel, Leslie Howard

Synopsis: The epic tale of a woman’s life during one of the most tumultuous periods in America’s history. From her young, innocent days on a feudalistic plantation to the war-torn streets of Atlanta; from her first love, whom she has always desired, to three husbands; from the utmost luxury to absolute starvation and poverty; from her innocence to her understanding and comprehension of life.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

Director: Frank Capra
Screenwriter: Sidney Buchman
Producer: Frank Capra
Cast: James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Claude Rains, Edward Arnold, Harry Carey

Synopsis: Naive and idealistic Jefferson Smith, leader of the Boy Rangers, is appointed US senator on a lark by the spineless governor of his state. He is reunited with the state’s senior senator/presidential hopeful and childhood hero, Senator Joseph Paine. In Washington, however, Smith discovers many of the shortcomings of the political process as his earnest goal of a national boys’ camp leads to a conflict with the state political boss, Jim Taylor. Taylor first tries to corrupt Smith and then later attempts to destroy Smith through a scandal.


Gentleman’s Agreement (1947)

Director: Elia Kazan
Screenwriter: Moss Hart
Producer: Darryl F. Zanuck
Cast: Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire, John Garfield, Celeste Holm, Anne Revere, June Havoc, Albert Dekker, Jane Wyatt, Dean Stockwell

Synopsis: Phil Green is a magazine writer who decides to write a series of articles exposing anti-Semitism. After failing to achieve an in-depth grasp of the problem, he pretends to be Jewish in order to experience the hostility of bigots first-hand.

The Big Clock (1948)

Director: John Farrow
Screenwriter: Jonathan Latimer
Producer: Richard Maibaum
Cast: Ray Milland, Charles Laughton, Maureen O’Sullivan, George Macready, Rita Johnson, Elsa Lanchester

Synopsis: A career-oriented magazine editor finds himself on the run when he discovers his boss is framing him for murder.

Rope (1948)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Screenwriter: Hume Cronyn
Producers: Lord Sidney Lewis Bernstein, Alfred Hitchcock
Cast: James Stewart, John Dall, Farley Granger, Cedric Hardwicke, Constance Collier

Synopsis: Brandon and Philip are two young men who share a New York apartment. They consider themselves intellectually superior to their friend David Kentley, and as a consequence, decide to murder him. Together they strangle David with a rope, and placing the body in an old chest, they proceed to hold a small party. The guests include David’s father, his fiancée Janet, and their old schoolteacher Rupert, from whom they mistakenly took their ideas. As Brandon becomes increasingly more daring, Rupert begins to suspect.


Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

Directors: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly
Screenwriters: Betty Comden, Adolph Green
Producer: Arthur Freed
Cast: Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, Donald O’Connor, Jean Hagen, Cyd Charisse

Synopsis: In 1927, Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont are a famous on-screen romantic pair. Lina, however, mistakes the on-screen romance for real love. Don has worked hard to get where he is today with his former partner Cosmo. When Don and Lina’s latest film is transformed into a musical, Don has the perfect voice for the songs, but Lina—well, even with the best efforts of a diction coach, they still decide to dub over her voice. Kathy Selden, an aspiring actress, is brought in, and while she is working on the movie, Don falls in love with her. Will Kathy continue to “aspire” or will she get the break she deserves?

On the Waterfront (1954)

Director: Elia Kazan
Screenwriter: Budd Schulberg
Producer: Sam Spiegel
Cast: Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Rod Steiger, Eva Marie Saint, Lee J. Cobb

Synopsis: Terry Malloy dreams about being a prize-fighter while tending his pigeons and running errands at the docks for Johnny Friendly, the corrupt boss of the dockers union. Terry witnesses a murder by two of Johnny’s thugs and later meets the dead man’s sister and feels responsible for his death. She introduces him to Father Barry, who tries to force him to provide information for the courts that will smash the dock racketeers.

Rear Window (1954)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Screenwriter: John Michael Hayes
Producer: Alfred Hitchcock
Cast: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter, Raymond Burr

Synopsis: Professional photographer L.B. “Jeff” Jeffries breaks his leg while getting an action shot at an auto race. Confined to his New York apartment, he spends his time looking out of the rear window observing the neighbors. He begins to suspect that the man in the apartment opposite his may have murdered his wife. Jeff enlists the help of his society model girlfriend Lisa Fremont and his nurse Stella to investigate.

12 Angry Men (1957)

Director: Sidney Lumet
Screenwriter: Reginald Rose
Producers: Henry Fonda, Reginald Rose
Cast: Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Ed Begley, E.G. Marshall, Jack Warden, Martin Balsam, John Fiedler, Jack Klugman, Edward Binns, Joseph Sweeney, George Voskovec, Robert Webber

Synopsis: The defense and the prosecution have rested and the jury is filing into the jury room to decide if a young Spanish-American is guilty or innocent of murdering his father. What begins as an open-and-shut case of murder soon becomes a mini-drama of each of the juror’s prejudices and preconceptions about the trial, the accused, and each other.

Vertigo (1958)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Screenwriters: Alec Coppel, Samuel Taylor
Producer: Alfred Hitchcock
Cast: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes, Tom Helmore

Synopsis: John “Scottie” Ferguson is a retired San Francisco police detective who suffers from acrophobia, and Madeleine is the lady who leads him to high places. A wealthy shipbuilder who is an acquaintance from college days approaches Scottie and asks him to follow his beautiful wife, Madeleine. He fears she is going insane, maybe even contemplating suicide, because she believes she is possessed by a dead ancestor. Scottie is skeptical, but agrees after he sees the beautiful Madeleine.

North by Northwest (1959)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Screenwriter: Ernest Lehman
Producers: Alfred Hitchcock, Herbert Coleman
Cast: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Martin Landau

Synopsis: New York advertising executive Roger Thornhill is kidnapped by a gang of spies led by Philip Vandamm, which believes Thornhill is CIA agent George Kaplan. Thornhill escapes, but must find Kaplan in order to clear himself of a murder it is believed he committed. Following Kaplan to Chicago as a fugitive from justice, Thornhill is helped by beautiful Eve Kendall. In Chicago, she delivers a message to Kaplan that almost costs Thornhill his life when he is chased across a cornfield by a crop-dusting plane.

Some Like It Hot (1959)

Director: Billy Wilder
Screenwriters: Billy Wilder, I.A.L. Diamond
Producer: Billy Wilder
Cast: Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Marilyn Monroe

Synopsis: Two struggling musicians witness the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and try to find a way out of the city before they are found and killed by the mob. The only job that will pay their way is an all-girl band, so the two dress up as women. In addition to hiding, each has his own problems. One falls for another band member, but can’t tell her his gender; the other has a rich suitor who will not take no for an answer.


The Apartment (1960)

Director: Billy Wilder
Screenwriters: Billy Wilder, I.A.L. Diamond
Producer: Billy Wilder
Cast: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray, Jack Kruschen

Synopsis: Insurance statistician C.C. “Bud” Baxter advances his career by making his Manhattan apartment available to executives in his company for their extramarital affairs. His boss, Jeff D. Sheldrake, finds out and promotes Bud in return for the exclusive use of the apartment for his own affair. When Sheldrake’s girlfriend turns out to be Fran Kubelik, a pretty elevator operator Bud likes, he is heartbroken, but accepts the arrangement.

Psycho (1960)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Screenwriter: Joseph Stefano
Producer: Alfred Hitchcock
Cast: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin

Synopsis: Phoenix office worker Marion Crane is fed up with the way life has treated her. She has to meet her lover Sam in lunch breaks and they cannot get married because Sam has to give most of his money away in alimony. One Friday, Marion is trusted to bank $40,000 by her employer. Seeing the opportunity to take the money and start a new life, Marion leaves town and heads towards Sam’s California store. Tired after the long drive and caught in a storm, she gets off the main highway and pulls into the Bates Motel. The Motel is managed by a quiet young man named Norman who seems to be dominated by his mother.

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

Director: Robert Mulligan
Screenwriter: Horton Foote
Producer: Alan J. Pakula
Cast: Gregory Peck, Mary Badham, Phillip Alford, Robert Duvall, John Megna, Frank Overton, Brock Peters

Synopsis: Based on Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book of 1960. Atticus Finch is a lawyer in a racially divided Alabama town in the 1930s. He agrees to defend a young black man who is accused of raping a white woman. Many of the townspeople try to get Atticus to pull out of the trial, but he decides to go ahead. How will the trial turn out and will it change any of the racial tension in the town?

The Birds (1963)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Screenwriter: Evan Hunter
Producer: Alfred Hitchcock
Cast: Tippi Hedren, Rod Taylor, Jessica Tandy, Suzanne Pleshette, Veronica Cartwright

Synopsis: Spoiled socialite and notorious practical joker Melanie Daniels is shopping in a San Francisco pet store when she meets Mitch Brenner. Mitch is looking to buy a pair of love birds for his young sister’s birthday. He recognizes Melanie, but pretends to mistake her for an assistant. She decides to get him back by buying the birds and driving up to the quiet coastal town of Bodega Bay, where Mitch spends his weekends with his sister and mother. Shortly after she arrives, Melanie is attacked by a gull, but this is just the start of a series of attacks by an increasing number of birds.

My Fair Lady (1964)

Director: George Cukor
Screenwriter: Alan Jay Lerner
Producer: Jack Warner
Cast: Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Stanley Holloway, Jeremy Brett

Synopsis: Henry Higgins is a professor of languages and a rather snobbish and arrogant man. A visiting colleague, Colonel Pickering, makes him a bet that he can’t take a “commoner” and turn her into someone who would not be completely out of place in the social circles of upper-class English society.

The Sound of Music (1965)

Director: Robert Wise
Screenwriter: Ernest Lehman
Producer: Robert Wise
Cast: Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker, Richard Haydn, Peggy Wood, Charmian Carr, Heather Menzies, Nicholas Hammond, Duane Chase, Angela Cartwright, Debbie Turner, Kym Karath, Daniel Truhitte

Synopsis: Maria is a failure as a nun. The Mother Superior sends her off in answer to a letter from a retired naval captain for a governess for his seven children. She goes to their house and finds that she is the latest in a long line of governesses run off by the children. She teaches the children to sing, and that becomes their bonding force, leading her to fall in love with their father and marrying him. As this is happening, Austria votes to be assumed by Germany on the eve of World War II.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)

Director: Mike Nichols
Screenwriter: Ernest Lehman
Producer: Ernest Lehman
Cast: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, George Segal, Sandy Dennis

Synopsis: George and Martha are a middle-aged married couple whose charged relationship is defined by vitriolic verbal battles, which underlies what seems like an emotional dependence upon each other. This verbal abuse is fueled by an excessive consumption of alcohol. George—being an associate history professor in a New Carthage university where Martha’s father is the president—adds an extra dimension to their relationship. Late one Sunday evening after a faculty mixer, Martha invites Nick and Honey, an ambitious young biology professor new to the university and his mousy wife, over for a nightcap. As the evening progresses, Nick and Honey, plied with more alcohol, get caught up in George’s and Martha’s games of needing to hurt each other and everyone around them. The ultimate abuse comes in the form of talk of George’s and Martha’s unseen 16-year-old son, whose birthday is tomorrow.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

Director: George Roy Hill
Screenwriter: William Goldman
Producer: John Foreman
Cast: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross, Cloris Leachman

Synopsis: Butch and Sundance are the two leaders of the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang. Butch is all ideas, Sundance is all action and skill. The west is becoming civilized, and when Butch and Sundance rob a train once too often, a special posse begins trailing them no matter where they run. Over rock, through towns, across rivers, the group is always just behind them. When they finally escape through sheer luck, Butch has another idea: “Let’s go to Bolivia.” Based on the exploits of the historical characters.


Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

Directors: Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones
Screenwriters: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin
Producers: Mark Forstater, Terry Jones, Michael White (VI)
Cast: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Michael Palin

Synopsis: This classic Monty Python comedy, directed by Python’s Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones, is a hilarious send-up of the grim circumstances of the Middle Ages as told through the story of King Arthur and framed by a modern-day murder investigation. When the mythical king of the Britons leads his knights on a quest for the Holy Grail, they face a wide array of horrors, including a persistent Black Knight, a three-headed giant, a cadre of shrubbery-challenged knights, the perilous Castle Anthrax, a killer rabbit, a house of virgins, and a handful of rude Frenchmen.

Apocalypse Now (1979)

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Screenwriters: John Milius, Francis Ford Coppola, Michael Herr
Producers: Francis Ford Coppola, Kim Aubry
Cast: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Dennis Hopper, Laurence Fishburne, Harrison Ford

Synopsis: Vietnam, 1969. Burnt-out Special Forces officer Captain Willard is sent into the jungle with top-secret orders to find and kill renegade Colonel Kurtz, who has set up his own army within the jungle. As Willard descends into the jungle, he is slowly overtaken by the jungle’s mesmerizing powers and battles the insanity that surrounds him. His boat crew succumbs to drugs and is slowly killed off one by one. As Willard continues his journey, he becomes more and more like the man he was sent to kill.


Airplane! (1980)

Directors: Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker
Screenwriters: Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker
Producers: Jon Davison, Howard W. Koch
Cast: Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Lloyd Bridges, Leslie Nielsen, Robert Stack, Peter Graves, Lorna Patterson, Stephen Stucker, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Synopsis: This is a spoof of the airport disaster movies. When the crew of an airplane is struck by some form of virus, the fate of the passengers depends on an ex-war pilot who is the only one able to land the plane safely. The passengers represent a selection of interesting, wacky characters who seem to take every word for its literal meaning.

Raging Bull (1980)

Director: Martin Scorsese
Screenwriters: Paul Schrader, Mardik Martin
Producers: Robert Chartoff, Irwin Winkler
Cast: Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Cathy Moriarty, Frank Vincent, Nicholas Colasanto

Synopsis: Based on the life and career of boxer Jake LaMotta, Raging Bull focuses on Jake’s rage and violence that makes him virtually unstoppable in the ring. The same anger also drives Jake to beat his wife and his brother Joey, and sends Jake down a self-destructive spiral of paranoia and rage.

Back to the Future (Complete Trilogy) (1985, 1989, 1990)

Directors: (I) Robert Zemeckis, Frank Marshall; (II, III) Robert Zemeckis, Max Kleven
Screenwriters: Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale
Producers: Bob Gale, Neil Canton
Cast: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, Jeffrey Weissman, Elisabeth Shue, Mary Steenburgen

Synopsis: (I) Marty McFly, a typical American teenager of the ’80s, is accidentally sent back to 1955 in a plutonium-powered DeLorean time machine invented by a slightly mad scientist, Dr. Emmett Brown. During his often hysterical, always amazing trip back in time, Marty must make certain his teenage parents-to-be meet and fall in love—so he can get back to the future.

(II) Marty McFly has only just got back from the past when he is once again picked up by Dr. Emmett Brown and sent through time to the future. Marty’s job in the future is to pose as his son to prevent him being thrown in prison. Unfortunately, things get worse when the future changes the present.

(III) Stranded in 1955, Marty McFly receives written word from his friend, Dr. Emmett Brown, as to where the DeLorean time machine can be found. However, an unfortunate discovery prompts Marty to go to his friend’s aid. Using the time machine, Marty travels to the old west where his friend has run afoul of a gang of thugs and has fallen in love with a local schoolteacher. Using the technology from the time, Marty and Emmett devise one last chance to send the two of them back to the future.

Spaceballs (1987)

Director: Mel Brooks
Screenwriters: Mel Brooks, Thomas Meehan, Ronny Graham
Producer: Mel Brooks
Cast: Mel Brooks, Rick Moranis, Bill Pullman, John Candy, Daphne Zuniga, George Wyner, Joan Rivers, Dick Van Patten

Synopsis: Planet Spaceball’s President Scroob sends Lord Dark Helmet to steal Planet Druidia’s abundant supply of air to replenish their own, and only Lone Starr can stop them.


The Lion King (1994)

Directors: Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff
Screenwriters: Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts, Linda Woolverton
Producer: Don Hahn
Cast: Matthew Broderick, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, James Earl Jones, Jeremy Irons, Moira Kelly, Niketa Calame, Nathan Lane, Ernie Sabella, Robert Guillaume, Rowan Atkinson, Whoopi Goldberg, Cheech Marin

Synopsis: Lion cub and future king Simba searches for his identity. His eagerness to please others and penchant for testing his boundaries sometimes gets him into trouble.

Toy Story 1-3 (1995, 1999, 2010)

Directors: (I, II) John Lasseter, (III) Lee Unkrich
Screenwriters: (I) John Lasseter, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton, Joe Ranft, Joss Whedon, Joel Cohen, Alec Sokolow; (II) John Lasseter, Pete Docter, Ash Brannon, Andrew Stanton, Rita Hsiao, Doug Chamberlin, Chris Webb; (III) John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich, Michael Arndt
Producers: (I) Bonnie Arnold, Ralph Guggenheim; (II) Karen Robert Jackson, Helene Plotkin; (III) Darla K. Anderson
Cast: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Don Rickles, Jim Varney, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Kelsey Grammer, Ned Beatty, Annie Potts, John Morris, Erik von Detten, Laurie Metcalf, Michael Keaton, Estelle Harris, Jodi Benson, Blake Clark, Javier Fernandez Pena, Timothy Dalton, Wayne Knight

Synopsis: (I) Toy Story is about the secret life of toys when people are not around. When Buzz Lightyear, a space ranger, takes Woody’s place as Andy’s favorite toy, Woody doesn’t like the situation and gets into a fight with Buzz. Buzz accidentally falls out the window and Woody is accused by all the other toys of killing him. Woody has to go out of the house to look for Buzz so they can both return to Andy’s room. But while on the outside, they get into all kinds of trouble while trying to get home.

(II) While Andy is away at summer camp, Woody has been toynapped by Al McWiggin, a greedy collector and proprietor of Al’s Toy Barn. In this all-out rescue mission, Buzz and his friends Mr. Potato Head, Slinky Dog, Rex, and Hamm spring into action to rescue Woody from winding up as a museum piece. They must find a way to save him before he gets sold in Japan forever and they’ll never see him again.

(III) Woody, Buzz, and the whole gang are back. As their owner Andy prepares to depart for college, his loyal toys find themselves in daycare, where untamed tots with their sticky little fingers do not play nice. So, it’s all for one and one for all as they join Barbie’s counterpart Ken, a thespian hedgehog named Mr. Pricklepants and a pink, strawberry-scented teddy bear called Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear to plan their great escape.

Wag the Dog (1997)

Director: Barry Levinson
Screenwriters: Hilary Henkin, David Mamet
Producers: Robert De Niro, Barry Levinson, Jane Rosenthal
Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro, Anne Heche, Denis Leary, Willie Nelson, Kirsten Dunst, William H. Macy, Woody Harrelson

Synopsis: After being caught in a scandalous situation days before the election, the president does not seem to have much of a chance of being re-elected. One of his advisers contacts a top Hollywood producer in order to manufacture a war in Albania that the president can heroically end, all through mass media.

Shakespeare in Love (1998)

Director: John Madden
Screenwriters: Marc Norman, Tom Stoppard
Producers: Donna Gigliotti, Marc Norman, David Parfitt, Harvey Weinstein, Edward Zwick
Cast: Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Geoffrey Rush, Tom Wilkinson, Judi Dench, Ben Affleck

Synopsis: A young Shakespeare, out of ideas and short of cash, meets his ideal woman and is inspired to write one of his most famous plays.

Being John Malkovich (1999)

Director: Spike Jonze
Screenwriter: Charlie Kaufman
Producers: Sandy Stern, Michael Stipe, Steve Golin, Vincent Landay
Cast: John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener, John Malkovich

Synopsis: A puppeteer discovers a door in his office that allows him to enter the mind and life of John Malkovich for fifteen minutes. The puppeteer then tries to turn the portal into a small business.


Chocolat (2000)

Director: Lasse Hallström
Screenwriter: Robert Nelson Jacobs
Producers: Alan C. Blomquist, David Brown, Kit Golden, Leslie Holleran
Cast: Juliette Binoche, Alfred Molina, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp

Synopsis: When a single mother and her six-year-old daughter move to rural France and open a chocolate shop—with Sunday hours—across the street from the local church, they are met with some skepticism. But as soon as they coax the townspeople into enjoying their delicious products, they are warmly welcomed.

Frequency (2000)

Director: Gregory Hoblit
Screenwriter: Toby Emmerich
Producers: Bill Carraro, Toby Emmerich, Gregory Hoblit, Howard Koch, Howard “Hawk” Koch Jr.
Cast: Dennis Quaid, James Caviezel

Synopsis: A rare atmospheric phenomenon allows a New York City firefighter to communicate with his son thirty years in the future via short-wave radio. The son uses this opportunity to warn the father of his impending death in a warehouse fire and manages to save his life. However, what he does not realize is that changing history has triggered a new set of tragic events, including the murder of his mother. The two men must now work together, thirty years apart, to find the murderer before he strikes so that they can change history—again.

O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Screenwriters: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Producers: Tim Bevan, John Cameron, Ethan Coen, Eric Fellner
Cast: George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, John Goodman, Holly Hunter

Synopsis: Three 1920s convicts escape from jail, intent on getting to the loot stashed away by one of them. As this is at his house—soon to be flooded by a new dam—speed is of the essence. They find themselves fast-talking their way out of one jam after another, and along the way they not only have to be wary of riverside sirens, but they even get to make a pretty good country record.

Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Screenwriter: Ted Griffin
Producer: Jerry Weintraub
Cast: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Bernie Mac, Andy Garcia, Julia Roberts, Scott Caan, Casey Affleck, Elliott Gould, Carl Reiner, Shaobo Qin

Synopsis: A gangster by the name of Danny Ocean rounds up a gang of associates to stage heists of three major Las Vegas casinos (Bellagio, The Mirage, and the MGM Grand) simultaneously during a popular boxing event.

Y Tu Mamá También (2001)

Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Screenwriters: Alfonso Cuarón, Carlos Cuarón
Producer: Jorge Vergara
Cast: Diego Luna, Gael García Bernal, Ana López Mercado

Synopsis: Abandoned by their girlfriends for the summer, teenagers Tenoch and Julio meet the older Luisa at a wedding. Trying to be impressive, the friends tell Luisa they are headed on a road trip to a beautiful, secret beach called Boca del Cielo. Intrigued with their story and desperate to escape, Luisa asks if she can join them on their trip. Soon, the three head out of Mexico City, making their way toward the fictional destination. Along the way, seduction, argument, and the contrast of the trio against the harsh realities of the surrounding poverty ensue.

Adaptation. (2002)

Director: Spike Jonze
Screenwriters: Charlie Kaufman, Donald Kaufman
Producers: Jonathan Demme, Vincent Landay, Edward Saxon
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper

Synopsis: An account of screenwriter Charlie Kaufman’s attempt to adapt Susan Orlean’s non-fiction book The Orchid Thief, which is the story of John Laroche, a plant dealer who clones rare orchids, then sells them to collectors. We see the action of the book as we see Kaufman struggle to adapt it into a movie. This is presumably a somewhat-true story, as Charlie Kaufman is the real life screenwriter of Adaptation.

Bowling for Columbine (2002)

Director: Michael Moore
Screenwriter: Michael Moore
Producers: Charles Bishop, Charles Bishop (II), Jim Czarnecki, Michael Donovan, Kathleen Glynn, Michael Moore

Synopsis: The United States of America is notorious for its astronomical number of people killed by firearms for a developed nation without a civil war. With his signature sense of angry humor, activist filmmaker Michael Moore sets out to explore the roots of this bloodshed. In doing so, he learns that the conventional answers of easy availability of guns, violent national history, violent entertainment, and even poverty are inadequate to explain this violence when other cultures share those same factors without the equivalent carnage. In order to arrive at a possible explanation, Michael Moore takes on a deeper examination of America’s culture of fear, bigotry, and violence in a nation with widespread gun ownership. Furthermore, he seeks to investigate and confront the powerful elite political and corporate interests fanning this culture for their own unscrupulous gain.

Talk to Her (2002)

Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Screenwriter: Pedro Almodóvar
Producer: Agustin Almodóvar
Cast: Javier Cámara, Darío Grandinetti, Leonor Watling, Rosario Flores

Synopsis: After a chance encounter at a theatre, two men, Benigno and Marco, meet at a private clinic where Benigno works. Lydia, Marco’s girlfriend and a bullfighter by profession, has been gored and is in a coma. It so happens that Benigno is looking after another woman in a coma, Alicia, a young ballet student. The lives of the four characters will flow in all directions—past, present, and future—dragging all of them towards an unsuspected destiny.

21 Grams (2003)

Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Screenwriter: Guillermo Arriaga
Producers: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Robert Salerno
Cast: Sean Penn, Naomi Watts, Benicio Del Toro, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Melissa Leo

Synopsis: College professor Paul Rivers and his wife Mary find their union precariously balanced between life and death. He is mortally ill and awaiting a heart transplant while she hopes to become pregnant with his child through artificial insemination. Cristina Peck, having matured since her reckless past, is a beloved older sister to Claudia, a good wife to Michael and loving mother to two little girls. Her family radiates hope and joy. Much further down the socioeconomic scale, ex-con Jack Jordan and his wife Marianne struggle to provide for their two children while Jack reaffirms his commitment to religion. A tragic accident that claims several lives places these couples in each other’s orbit. In the aftermath, Paul confronts his own mortality, Cristina takes action to come to terms with her present and, perhaps, her future, and Jack’s faith is put to the test. If spiritual equilibrium is to be regained by any one of them, it could come at great cost to the others. Yet the will to live and the instinct to reach out to another person for support remains ever present among them all.

Big Fish (2003)

Director: Tim Burton
Screenwriter: John August
Producers: Bruce Cohen, Dan Jinks, Richard D. Zanuck
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange, Alison Lohman, Helena Bonham Carter, Steve Buscemi, Danny DeVito

Synopsis: The story revolves around a dying father and his son, who is trying to learn more about his dad by piecing together the stories he has gathered over the years. The son winds up re-creating his father’s elusive life in a series of legends and myths inspired by the few facts he knows. Through these tales, the son begins to understand his father’s great feats and his great failings.

Dogville (2003)

Director: Lars von Trier
Screenwriter: Lars von Trier
Producers: Tomas Eskilsson, Turid Oversveen, Liisa Penttila, Vibeke Windelov
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Paul Bettany, Lauren Bacall, Harriet Andersson, James Caan, Patricia Clarkson, Jeremy Davies, Chloë Sevigny

Synopsis: The beautiful fugitive, Grace, arrives in the isolated township of Dogville on the run from a team of gangsters. With some encouragement from Tom, the self-appointed town spokesman, the little community agrees to hide her, and in return, Grace agrees to work for them. However, when a search sets in, the people of Dogville demand a better deal in exchange for the risk of harboring poor Grace, and she learns the hard way that in this town, goodness is relative. But Grace has a secret, and it is a dangerous one. Dogville may regret it ever began to bare its teeth.

Finding Nemo (2003)

Directors: Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich
Screenwriters: Andrew Stanton, Bob Peterson, David Reynolds
Producer: Graham Walters
Cast: Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, Willem Dafoe, Brad Garrett, Allison Janney, Geoffrey Rush

Synopsis: Marlin (a clown fish) is a widower who only has his son Nemo left of his family after a predator attack. Years later, on Nemo’s first day of school, he’s captured by a scuba diver and taken to live in a dentist office’s fish tank. Marlin and his new absent-minded friend Dory set off across the ocean to find Nemo, while Nemo and his tankmates scheme on how to get out of the tank before he becomes the dentist’s niece’s new pet.

Matchstick Men (2003)

Director: Ridley Scott
Screenwriters: Nicholas Griffin, Ted Griffin
Producers: Sean Bailey, Ted Griffin (III), Jack Rapke, Ridley Scott, Steve Starkey
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell, Alison Lohman

Synopsis: Phobia-addled con artist Roy and his protégé Frank are on the verge of pulling off a lucrative swindle, when the unexpected arrival of Roy’s teenage daughter Angela disrupts his carefully ordered life and jeopardizes his high-risk scam.

Crash (2004)

Director: Paul Haggis
Screenwriters: Paul Haggis, Robert Moresco
Producers: Don Cheadle, Paul Haggis, Mark R. Harris, Robert Moresco, Cathy Schulman, Bob Yari
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Jennifer Esposito, William Fichtner, Brendan Fraser, Terrence Dashon Howard, Ludacris, Thandie Newton, Ryan Phillippe, Larenz Tate

Synopsis: Several stories interweave during two days in Los Angeles involving a collection of inter-related characters: a black police detective with a drugged-out mother and a thieving younger brother, two car thieves who are constantly theorizing on society and race, the distracted district attorney and his irritated and pampered wife, a racist veteran cop (caring for a sick father at home) who disgusts his more idealistic younger partner, a successful black Hollywood director and his wife who must deal with a racist cop, a Persian-immigrant father who buys a gun to protect his shop, a Hispanic locksmith and his young daughter who is afraid of bullets, and more.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Director: Michel Gondry
Screenwriter: Charlie Kaufman
Producers: Anthony Bregman, Steve Golin
Cast: Jim Carey, Kate Winslet, Mark Ruffalo, Elijah Wood, Kirsten Dunst, Tom Wilkinson

Synopsis: Joel is stunned to discover that his girlfriend Clementine has had her memories of their tumultuous relationship erased. Out of desperation, he contracts the inventor of the process, Dr. Howard Mierzwiak, to have Clementine removed from his own memory. But as Joel’s memories progressively disappear, he begins to rediscover their earlier passion. From deep within the recesses of his brain, Joel attempts to escape the procedure. As Dr. Mierzwiak and his crew chase him through the maze of his memories, it’s clear that Joel just can’t get her out of his head.

I Heart Huckabees (2004)

Director: David O. Russell
Screenwriters: David O. Russell, Jeff Baena
Producers: Gregory Goodman, Scott Rudin, David O. Russell
Cast: Jason Schwartzman, Jude Law, Dustin Hoffman, Lily Tomlin, Naomi Watts, Mark Wahlberg, Isabelle Huppert

Synopsis: This ensemble comedy is about a married couple, the Jaffes, who work as detectives, helping people solve existential crises in their lives. For those not familiar with the philosophy-based term of “existential crisis,” some examples of such a crisis would be a “mid-life crisis,” a “what am I doing with my life?” sort of hang up, “my life has been a mistake,” “my whole life is a joke,” etc. Their first client in this movie is Albert Markovski, who is experiencing angst because of his position at Huckabees, a popular chain of retail stores. Investigating his workplace, the Jaffes take on one of Albert’s coworkers, Brad Stand, as a client as well, which leads them to investigate his girlfriend, Dawn Campbell, who is the spokesmodel in the Huckabees TV commercials. Meanwhile, Albert teams up with an existential firefighter and a French radical out of frustration with the idea that the Jaffes are helping the very man who seems to be part of Albert’s existential crisis.

Match Point (2005)

Director: Woody Allen
Screenwriter: Woody Allen
Producers: Stephen Tenenbaum, Gareth Wiley
Cast: Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Scarlett Johansson, Emily Mortimer, Matthew Goode

Synopsis: Chris Wilton is a former tennis pro, looking to find work as an instructor. He meets Tom Hewett, a well-off pretty boy. Tom’s sister Chloe falls in love with Chris, but Chris has his eyes on Tom’s fiancée, the luscious Nola. Both Chris and Nola know it’s wrong, but what could be more right than love? Chris tries to juggle both women, but at some point, he must choose between them.

Rent (2005)

Director: Chris Columbus
Screenwriter: Steve Chbosky
Producers: Michael Barnathan, Chris Columbus, Robert De Niro, Mark Radcliffe, Jane Rosenthal
Cast: Rosario Dawson, Adam Pascal, Anthony Rapp, Jesse L. Martin, Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Idina Menzel, Tracie Thoms, Taye Diggs

Synopsis: This film adaptation of Jonathan Larson’s Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning rock opera tells the story of one year in the life of a group of bohemians struggling in modern-day East Village New York. The story centers around Mark and Roger, two roommates. While a former tragedy has made Roger numb to life, Mark tries to capture it through his attempts to make a film. In the year that follows, the group deals with love, loss, AIDS, and modern-day life in one truly powerful story.

The Squid and the Whale (2005)

Director: Noah Baumbach
Screenwriter: Noah Baumbach
Producers: Wes Anderson, Charlie Corwin, Clara Markowicz, Peter Newman
Cast: Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney, Jesse Eisenberg, Owen Kline, William Baldwin, Anna Paquin

Synopsis: The patriarch of an eccentric Brooklyn family claims to once have been a great novelist, but he has settled into a teaching job. When his wife discovers a writing talent of her own, jealousy divides the family, leaving two teenage sons to forge new relationships with their parents. The wife begins dating her younger son’s tennis coach. Meanwhile, the husband has an affair with the student his older son is pursuing.

Black Snake Moan (2006)

Director: Craig Brewer
Screenwriter: Craig Brewer
Producers: Ron Schmidt, John Singleton, Stephanie Allain
Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Christina Ricci, Justin Timberlake, S. Epatha Merkerson, John Cothran Jr.

Synopsis: There was a time when Lazarus played the blues; a time he got Bojo’s Juke Joint shakin’ back in the day. Now he lives them. Bitter and broken from a cheating wife and a shattered marriage, Lazarus’s soul is lost in spent dreams and betrayal’s contempt—until Rae. Half naked and beaten unconscious, Rae is left for dead on the side of the road when Lazarus discovers her. The God-fearing, middle-aged black man quickly learns that the young white woman he’s nursing back to health is none other than the town tramp from the small Tennessee town where they live. Worse, she has a peculiar anxiety disorder. He realizes when the fever hits that Rae’s affliction has more to do with love lost than any found. Abused as a child and abandoned by her mother, Rae is used by just about every man in the phone book. She tethers her only hope to Ronnie, but escape to a better life is short-lived when Ronnie ships off for boot camp. Desperation kicks in as a drug-induced Rae reverts to surviving the only way she knows how: by giving any man what he wants—until Lazarus. Refusing to know her in the biblical sense, Lazarus decides to cure Rae of her wicked ways and vent some unresolved male vengeance of his own. He chains her to his radiator, justifying his unorthodox methods with quoted scripture. Preacher R.L. intervenes, but it is Lazarus and Rae who redeem themselves. Unleashing Rae emotionally, Lazarus unchains his heart, finding love again in Angela. By saving Rae, he frees himself.

The Fall (2006)

Director: Tarsem Singh
Screenwriters: Dan Gilroy, Nico Soultanakis, Tarsem Singh
Producer: Tarsem Singh
Cast: Lee Pace, Catinca Untaru, Justine Waddell

Synopsis: In a hospital on the outskirts of 1920s Los Angeles, an injured stuntman begins to tell a fellow patient, a little girl with a broken arm, a fantastical story about five mythical heroes. Thanks to his fractured state of mind and her vivid imagination, the line between fiction and reality starts to blur as the tale advances.

An Inconvenient Truth (2006)

Director: Davis Guggenheim
Producers: Jeff Skoll, Davis Guggenheim, Diane Weyermann
Cast: Al Gore

Synopsis: Director Davis Guggenheim eloquently weaves the science of global warming with Mr. Gore’s personal history and lifelong commitment to reversing the effects of global climate change. A longtime advocate for the environment, Gore presents a wide array of facts and information in a thoughtful and compelling way. “Al Gore strips his presentations of politics, laying out the facts for the audience to draw their own conclusions in a charming, funny, and engaging style, and by the end, has everyone on the edge of their seats, gripped by his haunting message,” said Guggenheim. An Inconvenient Truth is not a story of despair, but rather a rallying cry to protect the one earth we all share. “It is now clear that we face a deepening global climate crisis that requires us to act boldly, quickly, and wisely,” said Gore.

Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

Director: Guillermo del Toro
Screenwriter: Guillermo del Toro
Producers: Javier Mateos Morillo, Luis Maria Reyes, Belen Atienza
Cast: Ivana Baquero, Sergi López, Maribel Verdú, Doug Jones

Synopsis: Set in 1940s Spain against the postwar repression of Franco’s Spain, this is a fairy tale that centers on Ofelia, a lonely and dreamy child living with her mother and adoptive father, who is a military officer tasked with ridding the area of rebels. In her loneliness, Ofelia creates a world filled with fantastical creatures and secret destinies. With fascism at its height, Ofelia must come to terms with her world through a fable of her own creation.

Stranger Than Fiction (2006)

Director: Marc Forster
Screenwriter: Zach Helm
Producer: Lindsay Doran
Cast: Will Ferrell, Emma Thompson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman, Queen Latifah

Synopsis: One morning, a seemingly average and generally solitary IRS agent named Harold Crick begins to hear a female voice narrating his every action, thought, and feeling in alarmingly precise detail. Harold’s carefully controlled life is turned upside down by this narration only he can hear, and when the voice declares that Harold Crick is facing imminent death, he realizes he must find out who is writing his story and persuade her to change the ending. The voice in Harold’s head turns out to be the once celebrated, but now nearly forgotten, novelist Karen “Kay” Eiffel, who is struggling to find an ending for what might be her best book. Her only remaining challenge is to figure out a way to kill her main character, but little does she know that Harold Crick is alive and well and inexplicably aware of her words and her plans for him.

Across the Universe (2007)

Director: Julie Taymor
Screenwriters: Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais, Julie Taymor
Producers: Matt Gross, Suzanne Todd, Jennifer Todd
Cast: Evan Rachel Wood, Jim Sturgess, Joe Anderson, Dana Fuchs, Martin Luther, T.V. Carpio

Synopsis: A dock worker, Jude, travels to America in the 1960s to find his estranged father. There, he falls in love with sheltered American teenager Lucy. When her brother Max is drafted to fight in the Vietnam War, they become involved in peace activism. The film title and main characters are named after various songs by The Beatles.

Meet the Robinsons (2007)

Director: Stephen J. Anderson
Screenwriters: Michelle Bochner, Stephen J. Anderson
Producers: John Lasseter, Clark Spencer, William Joyce
Cast: Angela Bassett, Daniel Hansen, Jordan Fry, Stephen J. Anderson, Wesley Singerman, Matthew Josten, Laurie Metcalf

Synopsis: When Lewis meets a mysterious boy from the future named Wilbur Robinson, the two travel forward in time where Lewis discovers the amazing secret of the Robinson family. Lewis is a brilliant 12-year-old with a surprising number of clever inventions to his credit. His latest and most ambitious project is the Memory Scanner, which he hopes will retrieve early memories of his mother and maybe even reveal why she put him up for adoption. But before he can get his answer, his invention is stolen by the dastardly Bowler Hat Guy and his diabolical hat—and constant companion—Doris. Lewis has all but given up hope in his future when Wilbur whisks our bewildered hero away in a time machine and the two travel forward in time to spend a day with Wilbur’s eccentric family. In a world filled with flying cars and floating cities, they hunt down Bowler Hat Guy, save the future, and uncover the amazing secret of Lewis’s future family.

Doubt (2008)

Director: John Patrick Shanley
Screenwriter: John Patrick Shanley
Producers: Mark Roybal, Scott Rudin
Cast: Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Viola Davis

Synopsis: It’s 1964, St. Nicholas in the Bronx. A charismatic priest, Father Flynn, is trying to upend the school’s strict customs, which have long been fiercely guarded by Sister Aloysius Beauvier, the iron-gloved principal who believes in the power of fear and discipline. The winds of political change are sweeping through the community, and indeed, the school has just accepted its first black student, Donald Miller. But when Sister James, a hopeful innocent, shares with Sister Aloysius her guilt-inducing suspicion that Father Flynn is paying too much personal attention to Donald, Sister Aloysius sets off on a personal crusade to unearth the truth and to expunge Flynn from the school. Now, without a shard of proof besides her moral certainty, Sister Aloysius locks into a battle of wills with Father Flynn that threatens to tear apart the community with irrevocable consequence.

WALL-E (2008)

Director: Andrew Stanton
Screenwriters: Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, Jim Reardon
Producer: Jim Morris
Cast: Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin, Fred Willard, John Ratzenberger, Kathy Najimy, Sigourney Weaver

Synopsis: After hundreds of lonely years of doing what he was built for, WALL-E (short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class) discovers a new purpose in life (besides collecting knick-knacks) when he meets a sleek search robot named Eve. Eve comes to realize that WALL-E has inadvertently stumbled upon the key to the planet’s future and races back to space to report her findings to the humans (who have been eagerly awaiting word that it is safe to return home). Meanwhile, WALL-E chases Eve across the galaxy.

(500) Days of Summer (2009)

Director: Marc Webb
Screenwriters: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber
Producers: Mason Novick, Jessica Tuchinsky, Mark Waters, Steven J. Wolfe
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel, Geoffrey Arend, Chloe Moretz, Matthew Gray Gubler, Clark Gregg

Synopsis: Tom believes, even in this cynical, modern world, in the notion of a transforming, cosmically destined, lightning-strikes-once kind of love. Summer doesn’t. Not at all. But that doesn’t stop Tom from going after her, again and again, like a modern Don Quixote, with all his might and courage. Suddenly, Tom is in love, not just with a lovely, witty, intelligent woman, but with the very idea of Summer, the very idea of a love that still has the power to shock the heart and stop the world. The fuse is lit on Day 1 when Tom, a would-be architect turned sappy greeting card writer, encounters Summer, his boss’s breezy, beautiful new secretary, fresh off the plane from Michigan. Though seemingly out of his league, Tom soon discovers he shares plenty in common with Summer. By Day 31, things are moving ahead, albeit “casually.” By Day 32, Tom is irreparably smitten, living in a giddy, fantastical world of Summer on his mind. By Day 185, things are in serious limbo, but not without hope. And as the story winds backwards and forwards through Tom and Summer’s on-again, off-again, sometimes blissful, often tumultuous dalliance, all adds up to a kaleidoscopic portrait of why and how we still struggle so laughably, cringingly hard to make sense of love and to hopefully make it real.


Blue Valentine (2010)

Director: Derek Cianfrance
Screenwriters: Derek Cianfrance, Cami Delavigne, Joey Curtis
Producers: Lynette Howell, Alex Orlovsky, Jamie Patricof
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, Faith Wladyka, John Doman, Mike Vogel, Ben Shenkman

Synopsis: The film centers on a contemporary married couple, charting its evolution over a span of years by cross-cutting between time periods.

Inception (2010)

Director: Christopher Nolan
Screenwriter: Christopher Nolan
Producers: Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, Marion Cotillard, Pete Postlethwaite, Michael Caine, Lukas Haas

Synopsis: Dom Cobb is a skilled thief—the absolute best in the dangerous art of extraction—stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state, when the mind is at its most vulnerable. Cobb’s rare ability has made him a coveted player in this treacherous new world of corporate espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved. Now, Cobb is being offered a chance at redemption. One last job could give him his life back, but only if he can accomplish the impossible: inception. Instead of the perfect heist, Cobb and his team of specialists have to pull off the reverse. Their task is not to steal an idea, but to plant one. If they succeed, it could be the perfect crime. But no amount of careful planning or expertise can prepare the team for the dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move—an enemy that only Cobb could have seen coming.

Waiting for “Superman” (2010)

Director: Davis Guggenheim
Screenwriters: Davis Guggenheim, Billy Kimball
Producers: Michael Birtel, Lesley Chilcott
Cast: Geoffrey Canada, Michelle Rhee, Bill Strickland, Randi Weingarten

Synopsis: Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim reminds us that education “statistics” have names: Anthony, Francisco, Bianca, Daisy, and Emily, whose stories make up the engrossing foundation of Waiting for “Superman”. As he follows a handful of promising kids through a system that inhibits—rather than encourages—academic growth, Guggenheim undertakes an exhaustive review of public education, surveying “drop-out factories” and “academic sinkholes,” methodically dissecting the system and its seemingly intractable problems.

Another Earth (2011)

Director: Mike Cahill
Screenwriters: Brit Marling, Mike Cahill
Producers: Mike Cahill, Hunter Gray, Brit Marling, Nicholas Shumaker
Cast: Brit Marling, William Mapother

Synopsis: Rhoda Williams, a bright young woman accepted into MIT’s astrophysics program, aspires to explore the cosmos. A brilliant composer, John Burroughs, has just reached the pinnacle of his profession and is about to have a second child with his loving wife. On the eve of the discovery of a duplicate Earth, tragedy strikes and the lives of these strangers become irrevocably intertwined. Estranged from the world and the selves they once knew, the two outsiders begin an unlikely love affair and reawaken to life. But when one is presented with the chance of a lifetime opportunity to travel to the other Earth and embrace an alternative reality, which new life will they choose?

Killer Joe (2012)

Director: William Friedkin
Screenwriter: Tracy Letts
Producers: Nicolas Chartier, Scott Einbinder
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple, Thomas Haden Church, Gina Gershon

Synopsis: When a debt puts a young man’s life in danger, he turns to putting a hit out on his evil mother in order to collect the insurance.

Gravity (2013)

Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Screenwriters: Alfonso Cuarón, Jonás Cuarón
Producers: Alfonso Cuarón, David Heyman
Cast: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris

Synopsis: A medical engineer and an astronaut work together to survive after a catastrophe destroys their shuttle and leaves them adrift in orbit.

Her (2013)

Director: Spike Jonze
Screenwriter: Spike Jonze
Producers: Megan Ellison, Spike Jonze, Vincent Landay
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Pratt, Rooney Mara

Synopsis: A lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with his newly purchased operating system that’s designed to meet his every need.

The Place Beyond the Pines (2013)

Director: Derek Cianfrance
Screenwriters: Derek Cianfrance, Ben Coccio, Darius Marder
Producers: Lynette Howell, Sidney Kimmel, Alex Orlovsky, Jamie Patricof
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Ray Liotta, Rose Byrne, Emory Cohen, Dane DeHaan

Synopsis: A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective.

Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)

Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Screenwriters: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo
Producers: Alejandro González Iñárritu, John Lesher, Arnon Milchan, James W. Skotchdopole
Cast: Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts

Synopsis: Illustrated upon the progress of his latest Broadway play, a former popular actor’s struggle to cope with his current life as a wasted actor is shown.

Citizenfour (2014)

Director: Laura Poitras
Producers: Mathilde Bonnefoy, Laura Poitras, Dirk Wilutzky
Cast: Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill

Synopsis: A documentarian and a reporter travel to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with Edward Snowden.

I Origins (2014)

Director: Mike Cahill
Screenwriter: Mike Cahill
Producers: Mike Cahill, Hunter Gray, Alex Orlovsky
Cast: Michael Pitt, Brit Marling, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Steven Yeun

Synopsis: A molecular biologist and his laboratory partner uncover evidence that may fundamentally change society as we know it.

Interstellar (2014)

Director: Christopher Nolan
Screenwriters: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan
Producers: Christopher Nolan, Lynda Obst, Emma Thomas
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Mackenzie Foy, Michael Caine, Matt Damon, John Lithgow, Ellen Burstyn, Wes Bentley

Synopsis: A team of explorers travels through a wormhole in an attempt to ensure humanity’s survival.

Inside Out (2015)

Directors: Pete Docter, Ronnie Del Carmen
Screenwriters: Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley
Producer: Jonas Rivera
Cast: Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Richard Kind, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Kaitlyn Dias, Diane Lane, Kyle MacLachlan, Paula Poundstone, Bobby Moynihan

Synopsis: After young Riley is uprooted from her Midwest life and moved to San Francisco, her emotions—Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust, and Sadness—conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house, and school.

Get, Out (2017)

Get Out.jpg

Director: Jordan Peele
Screenwriter: Jordan Peele
Producers: Jason Blum, Edward H. Hamm Jr., Sean McKittrick, Jordan Peele
Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Catherine Keener, Bradley Whitford, Caleb Landry Jones, Lakeith Stanfield, LilRel Howery

Synopsis: It’s time for a young African-American to meet with his white girlfriend’s parents for a weekend in their secluded estate in the woods, but before long, the friendly and polite ambience will give way to a nightmare.

4 thoughts on “Favorite Films”

  1. I saw you had Wag the Dog on the list–great film. Have you seen Glengarry Glen Ross? It’s by David Mamet, writer of Wag the Dog. It’s a really great movie with a great cast–Alan Arkin, Kevin Spacey, and Jack Lemmon. The character of Gil on the Simpsons is based on Lemmon’s performance.


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a film blog by Daniel Quitério

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