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Drama

[7] Christopher Walken plays an alien abductee coming to grips with his experience in Communion. Walken’s character goes through denial, then embarrassment, then fear, and finally an odd sort of acceptance over the course of the film. The supernatural elements play out in bizarre, theatrical, but compelling ways — but most of the film centers on Walken’s emotional state and the conflict it causes with …

[7] George C. Scott stars as a pious midwestern father who searches Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco looking for his missing daughter after a private detective (Peter Boyle) reveals she’s been working in the porn industry. With the help of a young prostitute (Season Hubley), Scott zeroes in on the men who may have kidnapped his daughter — or did she go willingly? …

[4] Writer/director Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) takes a stab at cinema’s most over-exposed superhero, casting Twilight‘s Robert Pattinson in the title role. Pattinson, totally fuckable in the cowl, plays detective with Commissioner Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) to determine the identity of a serial killer named ‘The Riddler’ (Paul Dano) who is offing political figures in an attempt to get Batman’s …

[5] William Holden’s breakout performance was in this drama about a New York violinist who gets drawn into the boxing ring much to his father’s dismay. His fighting takes him all the way to Madison Square Garden under the guidance of a shady mobster, where bitterness about his life choices leads to a tragic outcome. Golden Boy features adequate performances from Holden and love interest …

[5] Leslie Howard, Bette Davis, and Humphrey Bogart star in this overly-talky stage play adaptation about disparate characters whose lives intersect when a notorious criminal on the lam (Bogart) takes them all hostage at a gas station diner in the middle of the desert. Director Archie Mayo conjures terrific ambience with the dust-blown stage set, especially during the climactic shoot-out when the only light source …

[6] Innovative producer/directors Ernest B. Schoedsack and Merian C. Cooper (King Kong, Dr Cyclops) tackle a religious parable that ends in the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius with The Last Days of Pompeii. Preston Foster stars as a poor blacksmith hardened by misfortune who turns to the Gladiatorial arena, slavery, and other shady deeds to acquire vast wealth. His life intersects with those of Jesus Christ …

[5] Character actor Frank Morgan (The Wizard of Oz) gets a leading role in this warped melodrama from director James Whale (The Old Dark House). Morgan plays an attorney defending a friend who murdered his wife after catching her in the arms of another man. When Morgan discovers his own wife (Hot Saturday‘s Nancy Carroll) is also having an affair, he plans to follow in …

[5] Director Fran├žois Ozon (8 Women, Swimming Pool) adapts a French young adult novel (Aiden Chambers’ Dance on My Grave) about a sixteen-year-old boy who falls in love with a slightly older boy who rescues him when his sailboat capsizes off the shores of Normandy in summer, 1985. Summer of 85 begins by warning us that the older boy will be dead by tale’s end, …

[7] The same year she won an Oscar for My Cousin Vinny, Marisa Tomei also made an immeasurable contribution to this romantic drama about a Minneapolis waitress who falls in love with a shy, quiet bus boy (Christian Slater) who rescues her from an assault. The two are an odd couple, but seem to make sense together. Unfortunately, the specter of tragedy hangs over them, …

[8] Katie Holmes and Patricia Clarkson lead an ensemble cast in this quaint but compelling drama/comedy about a ‘black sheep’ daughter (Holmes) who tries like Hell to host Thanksgiving dinner for her visiting family. Neither Holmes nor her estranged family really want to share the holiday together, except that the mother (Clarkson) is terminally ill — and this could very well be their last holiday …

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