Best Film Editing

[8] Oliver Stone’s Platoon was one of the first major motion pictures to deal with the Vietnam war. Charlie Sheen stars as an infantry volunteer who finds himself in a moral quandry, torn between two sergeants of differing philosophies. Tom Berenger and Willem Dafoe give solid, Oscar-nominated performances as the two sergeants, but it’s the director’s voice that comes through most strikingly in Platoon. As …

[8] Harrison Ford must hide among the Amish after he discovers corruption within his police department. Witness was an opportunity for Ford to show his acting chops, and it remains one of his best performances. This was the first American film made by Australian director Peter Weir (Picnic at Hanging Rock, Fearless). Weir is probably my favorite director. He balances poetic license with elegant restraint …

[7] Kathryn Bigelow (Strange Days, Near Dark) won the Oscar for directing this suspense thriller about three soldiers who disarm bombs in Iraq. The movie also won Best Picture, maybe just because nothing better came out during the year (except the REAL best picture, District 9, but I digress). It’s far from groundbreaking and surprisingly predictable — but it’s a brisk, entertaining flick that hits …

[8] 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 …

[7] Christopher Nolan serves up a wartime survival flick about Allied soldiers stranded on the beaches of Dunkirk, France, while the German army surrounds them. The water was so shallow, warships couldn’t pick up the troops, so loading the hundreds of thousands of soldiers was simply impossible. But the battle later became known as ‘The Miracle of Dunkirk,’ as hundreds of civilian boats came to the military’s …

[8] 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] Sidney Poitier plays a black Northern detective who reluctantly aides a white Southern sheriff (Rod Steiger) in solving a murder case. The mystery itself is a bit thin, but it’s bolstered by good performances from the leads and a commendable handling of volatile subject matter. (Though the film takes place in Mississippi, the film’s crew decided to shoot no further south than Tennessee for …

[6] Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara star in the second adaptation of the Stieg Larsson novel about a journalist and a computer hacker who work to solve the mystery of a missing woman. Is there perhaps something wrong with the fact that The Social Network is more exciting than The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? People looking at computer monitors and holding board meetings shouldn’t be …

[8] George Miller has stopped making talking pig and dancing penguin movies (Babe, Happy Feet) long enough to give us another installment in his seminal apocalyptic Mad Max series. The result is probably one of the greatest non-stop action movies ever made. Tom Hardy takes the reigns from Mel Gibson as the title character, but gets to sink his teeth into the role quite a …

[4] Around the World in 80 Days is a three-hour-long, episodic adventure that’s high on spectacle and low on story or character. I wager it played better to a 1950s audience interested in seeing a cliche-ridden “It’s a Small World”-like pastiche of world cultures. I wish leading actor David Niven had more to do in his role — it could have really helped the film …

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