Nida Faraz looks at some outstanding films
Remarkable Films – Movies that score well with both audiences and reviewers online should satisfy the majority of viewers. These flicks tend to have a few basic characteristics in common: a strong, coherent storyline; richly drawn — and well acted — characters; good cinematography and special effects; and a satisfying ending. They span cinema history from 1924 to 2019. Many feature famous performers of the past and present, as well as some of the film world’s most acclaimed directors — Charlie Chaplin, Frank Capra, Alfred Hitchcock, John Huston, Stanley Kubrick, and Francis Ford Coppola. All these movies are well worth re-discovering — especially for those with some extra time on their hands.
It Happened One Night (1934)
One of the greatest screwball comedies of the 1930s, “It Happened One Night” is one of only three movies ever to have won all five of the major Academy Awards (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay). Clark Gable plays a reporter who falls in love with spoiled heiress Claudette Colbert. Critics gave the Capra classic a 98% Freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and 93% of audiences liked the movie.
The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
The third entry of the spy series based on Robert Ludlum books continued to keep audiences at the edge of their seat. The movie is about a rogue CIA agent (Matt Damon) who searches for his past while avoiding assassins from the government agency he used to work for. The Critics Consensus on Rotten Tomatoes says “The Bourne Ultimatum” is “is an intelligent, finely tuned non-stop thrill ride.” Critics gave the movie a Freshness rating of 92%, and 91% of audiences liked it.
The Pianist (2002)
Based on the life of Polish-Jewish pianist and Holocaust survivor Władysław Szpilman, this saga follows the man’s experiences during the Nazi occupation. The film won three Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Adrien Brody and Best Director for Roman Polanski, himself a Holocaust survivor. Polanski did not attend the ceremony as he fled the U.S. in 1978 after pleading guilty to statutory rape.
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
A British colonel in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in Burma in 1943 is ordered to build a bridge to carry munitions. He refuses at first, but eventually agrees, and the project becomes an obsession. Time Magazine called it “a whale of a story,” and Variety described it as “a gripping drama, expertly put together and handled with skill in all departments.” The movie won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor (Guinness).
Die Hard (1988)
This film launched the successful action series starring Bruce Willis. In this first installment Willis, as a New York cop John McClane, tries to save the lives of his wife (Bonnie Bedelia) and other people taken hostage by terrorists in Los Angeles. The film catapulted Willis into the action film pantheon, and fans continue to quote his character’s defiant “Yippee-ki-yay” line.
La Dolce Vita (1960)
This Federico Fellini film follows a week in the life of a womanizing paparazzo living in Rome. The movie is famous for its scene of Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg gamboling in the Trevi Fountain. The movie, condemned by the Catholic Church at the time, was a hit with critics and audiences and was nominated for four Academy Awards. It won for Best Costume Design. For trivia fans, the term paparazzi is derived from a character’s name in the movie. The Weekender