Rogue One

Poster for the movie "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story"

At first, I was going to give this one a pass. And then, I started to hear good things about it. Great thing about it, even. So, I grew curious, and went… Wow, what a treat. This will be my second favourite Star Wars movie, I am sure. Take note, George Lucas. This is how you make a prequel. Oh, and those last few frames were just the perfect ending.

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The Thin Red Line

Poster for the movie "The Thin Red Line"

With a grand total of 5 films since 1973, you could say that Terrence Malick is not a prolific director. However, he definitely has a cult following and a unique style. Not to be mistaken for a war movie, this is much more than that. An ode to a Paradise lost, the folly of Man vs the beauty of Nature, love it or hate it (but how could you?), it will not leave you indifferent. Oh, and did I mention the insane cast?

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The Hurt Locker

Poster for the movie ""

One of last year’s very pleasant surprises and a well deserved oscar for Kathryn Bigelow. Although to be fair the last few years best picture has been more or less on the mark since the triple fiasco of 2001 (Gladiator?), 2002 (A beautiful mind??), and 2003 (Chicago???). But I digress. Jeremy Renner is superb, both tense and human at the same time, the editing is phenomenal and will grip you and won’t let go. This is not your average war movie.

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The Deer Hunter

Poster for the movie "The Deer Hunter"

I confess, I am not a huge fan of Apocalypse now. To me, The deer hunter is a much better movie about the Vietnam war, even if it only features about 10 minutes of the fighting itself… With masterful performances from Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Savage and Meryl Streep, Michael Cimino directs his masterpiece. It is well worth sitting through those sometimes uncomfortable three hours if you haven’t had the courage yet to do so.

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A Very Long Engagement

Poster for the movie "A Very Long Engagement"

How do you film the horror of the First World War trenches and still somehow make a work of art with such glorious photography? Only if you are Jean-Pierre Jeunet (who also directed Amélie) can you solve those contradictions and make a beautiful movie full of larger then life characters. A highly recommended movie based on a novel by Sébastien Japrisot (PS: my favourite book from him is la dame dans l’auto avec des lunettes et un fusil)

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Pan’s Labyrinth

Poster for the movie ""

An extraordinary and magical tale from director Guillermo del Toro set against the Spanish civil war backdrop, this is a complex story of innocence and evil, of growing up and the blurred lines between fantasy and reality. I have yet to meet someone who hasn’t come out of this movie profoundly touched. Don’t let the title and synopsis fool you, this is very much an adult movie.

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Underground

Poster for the movie "Underground"

I saw it after walking the red carpet on my first visit to the Cannes Film Festival, so maybe it has a special place in my heart, but it is an outstanding original work of genius, full of energy, bigger-than-life characters, and music.

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