FREAKS (1932)

Is it a horror movie or “one of the most compassionate movies ever made?” Or somehow both? A career-destroying flop that has gradually become director Tod Browning’s most acclaimed film.

THE AFRICAN QUEEN (1951)

I still think this enjoyable adventure story holds up, though the story of its shooting in the Congo (including possible accidental cannibalism) is now at least as famous as the movie itself.

MANHATTAN (1979)

HOW WAS THIS EVER OK, BABY BOOMERS? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? But the cinematography is pretty and there are a lot of great one-liners.

AMADEUS (1984)

A story about a normal human who is confronted with genius and it slowly drives him insane. I think I might like this movie so much because of my own psychological problems, but I definitely like it a lot.

GOJIRA (1954)

With “Godzilla vs. Kong” trying to lure viewers back to theaters, we re-visit the giant lizard monster’s first on-screen appearance.

ROMA CITTÁ APERTA (1945)

Perhaps the definitive “neorealist” film, shot in the rubble of Occupied Rome just after the Nazis had left.

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (1973)

A very early-70s rock opera about the Crucifixion, complete with tanks, machine guns, and a dancing King Herod. Happy Easter.

THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991)

Describing the plot of this movie, where one serial killer helps a trainee FBI agent catch another, does not do justice to how spectacularly well made and acted it is.

INTOLERANCE (1916)

Maybe the first big blockbuster, somehow still leaving viewers flabbergasted a century later. Also one long missive about “cancel culture,,” basically.

YANKEE DOODLE DANDY (1942)

This “jukebox musical” of patriotic Broadway hits showcases James Cagney’s powerhouse performance, but that’s basically the only part of the movie that works for me.