Best Score

[9.0] Brad Davis (Querelle, Chariots of Fire) stars in this true story about an American named Billy Hayes who was sent to a dehumanizing Turkish prison for trying to smuggle hash over the border. Originally sentenced to four years, Hayes learned just 53 days before his parole that the Turkish government upped his term to a minimum of 30 years. While his girlfriend and family …

[7.5] Bette Davis stars as Charlotte Vale, a nervous young woman whose emotionally abusive mother (Gladys Cooper) causes her to submit herself to a sanitarium. Under the care of her doctor (Claude Rains), Charlotte begins to gain the confidence to stand up for herself and appreciate her self worth. On an ocean-liner cruise she meets a man named Jerry (Casablanca‘s Paul Henreid) and falls in …

[7.0] Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine star in this romantic comedy from Billy Wilder. Lemmon’s a police officer and MacLaine is the prostitute he falls in love with. After he loses his job, she takes him in and provides for him. In an effort to get her to retire, he impersonates a wealthy British man who negotiates a lucrative, monogamous relationship with her. But the …

[5.0] Gwyneth Paltrow stars as the title character in this adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma. Emma Woodhouse takes it upon herself to be a matchmaker for all her friends and neighbors. While her interference tends to do more harm than good, Emma fails to notice that her own opportunity for courtship may be just under her nose. Director Douglas McGrath (Nicholas Nickleby) abides by Miramax …

[5.5] In 18th century Italy, an orphan boy comes of age with the help of nuns and a kindly mentor, falls in love, gets embroiled in the slave trade, and fights for his inheritance in this adaptation of Hervey Allen’s sprawling novel. Anthony Adverse looks and sounds great, with immense sets, period costumes, and a rich score by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. Some of the supporting …

[6.5] Jennifer Jones and William Holden star as a widowed Eurasian doctor and a married American news correspondent who fall in love despite cultural differences and wartime separations during China’s communist revolution. Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing is one of the quintessential ’50s romance movies. It’s about strangers falling in love in an exotic land, aided as these lovers often are by sandy beaches and …

[6.0] Somewhere in Africa, there’s a secret society hidden away by fancy technology. They have, like, a really super-strong metal there that the rest of the world wants, but the secret African people know the rest of the world will just destroy itself if it ever gets their metal, so they don’t share it. But then one of their metal weapons is found in a …

[7.0] Guillermo del Toro serves up a¬†fantasy love story set in the 1960s in which a mute janitor at a top-secret research facility falls in love with… well, a fish man. Sally Hawkins plays the janitor and Doug Jones (a Del Toro regular) plays the fish. Hawkins is endearing and Jones is always reliable, but the supporting players outshine them here. Richard Jenkins is great …

[8.0] You know how people often say such-and-such actor “lights up the screen?” Well, that phrase was made for Audrey Hepburn, because that’s what she does in Blake Edwards’ adaptation of Truman Capote’s novella, Breakfast at Tiffany’s. As Holly Golightly, she plays a woman trying to reinvent herself by marrying rich. George Peppard plays an up-and-coming writer who can’t help but fall in love with …

[8.0] A movie about corporate betrayal and litigation is normally not my idea of a good time, but The Social Network turns out to be a well-made, voyeuristic look back at the birth of a now-ubiquitous product that many users can’t live without. In fact, you wouldn’t be reading this review without it. Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing) is a shoe-in come Oscar time …

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