2010’s

[9] William Friedkin (The Exorcist, The French Connection) directs this darkly comic trailer trash ensemble piece about a family that conspires to hire a killer to whack their matriarch and collect her life insurance. Matthew McConaughey delivers a tense, frightening, carefully measured performance as the title character. He deserves an Oscar nomination if the Academy has the balls to recognize such sinister fare. Gina Gershon, …

[9] Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor star in this harrowing true story about a vacationing family torn violently apart by the 2004 tsunami that ravaged Thailand. The natural disaster is recreated in the opening act, seen through the eyes of Watts’ character as she desperately tries to grab hold of her eldest son as the tidal wave sweeps them both inland. She’s thrashed, cut, and …

[8] SPOILER REVIEW: Natalie Portman is incredible in Black Swan, the story of a ballerina who must tap into her ‘dark side’ to play the Swan Queen in a New York City performance of Swan Lake. Portman’s performance is a variation on Ingrid Bergman’s in Gaslight, another psychological thriller where you’re never quite sure if things are really happening or if our protagonist is going …

[8] Dreams are a notoriously difficult thing on which to base a movie. In dreams there are no rules, no parameters — and in movies about dreams, writers and filmmakers are often all too eager to take advantage of our suspension of disbelief — because in dreams, hey? Who the hell’s to say what could or could not happen, especially if the contrivance pushes the …

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