Best Supporting Actor

[9.0] Bette Davis revived her sagging career and writer/director Joseph L. Mankiewicz continued an Oscar streak with All About Eve. Davis stars as Margo Channing, an aging broadway star who takes a sympathetic, aspiring ingenue under her wing. Anne Baxter plays the ingenue and title character, Eve Harrigton. Over the course of the film, Eve ingratiates herself to Margo’s friends and acquaintances, who include a …

[9.0] Seven months after the rape and murder of her daughter, a grieving mother challenges her local police department to find the culprit when she advertises on three incendiary billboards. Frances McDormand (Fargo) headlines Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which is being advertised as a comedy featuring fowl-mouthed McDormand chewing the scenery and ripping characters new assholes. And to be fair, that’s definitely part of this movie. …

[8.5] Without the burden of exposition, Christopher Nolan molds his Batman sequel into a compelling crime drama that probes deep into the frightening psyches of Bob Kane’s characters. No Batman movie, or comic book movie for that matter, has ever been so character-driven or intricately plotted. It’s complex, emotional, disturbing, and almost a masterpiece. I still have reservations about Christian Bale as Batman, but the …

[8.0] A family tragedy reunites three men who share a traumatic childhood experience in Mystic River. Sean Penn and Tim Robbins took home richly-deserved Oscars for their performances in this Oscar-nominated best picture from the ever-reliable Clint Eastwood. Mystic River is a gripping, well-paced mystery that employs misdirection and plot twists better than any other film in recent memory. Eastwood is at his directorial best …

[6.0] Judi Dench and Jim Broadbent star in this true but tragic love story about lovers of 40 years who are torn apart by Alzheimer’s Disease. Dench is portraying novelist Iris Murdoch, a lover of language who begins losing her ability to communicate, becoming more and more lost in her own inner world. Broadbent plays her devoted husband, desperately trying to understand her and keep …

[7.0] Ron Howard (Splash, A Beautiful Mind) directs this sweet story about a group of nursing home residents who discover a ‘fountain of youth’ in a nearby pool. Turns out, though, that the pool’s power is extra-terrestrial. Soon the old folks become friends with aliens and an interesting proposition is made: Would you like to leave Earth and live forever on an alien planet? Wilford …

[7.5] Close-knit friends from a mining community share a harrowing experience during their tour of duty in Vietnam. Michael Cimino’s three-hour long film focuses primarily on the aftermath of the ordeal, now one of the most famous scenes in movie history, a deadly game of Russian roulette forced upon prisoners at a POW camp. Robert DeNiro plays the most level-headed friend, who tries to help …

[7.0] An unusual sequel of sorts, The Godfather Part II spends equal time in the past and the present, exploring the early life of Vito Corleone (with Robert DeNiro taking over the mantle from Marlon Brando) while also following the continuing story of Vito’s son Michael (Al Pacino reprises his role). Thematically and emotionally, the movie plays like a long and redundant epilogue to the first …

[7.0] Elia Kazan (East of Eden) made the jump from Broadway plays to feature films with this adaptation of the book by Betty Smith. The story centers around a young girl named Francie growing up in Brooklyn in the early 1900’s. Her father is a dreamer who has trouble providing for the family, while his mother works her fingers to the bone to compensate. The girl …

[4.0] A man named Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn) steps in to replace a drunken Santa in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and does such a good job that Macy’s then hires him to play Santa in their stores during the holiday season. But when they find out he claims to be the actual one-and-only St. Nick, they try to have him institutionalized. Miracle on 34th Street resolves in …

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