CROOKLYN (1994)

Spike Lee’s semiautobiographical depiction of his own childhood feels “true,” but really rubs me the wrong way.

1776 (1972)

Before Hamilton took Broadway by storm, there was another musical about the Founding Fathers, one that I love too much to be objective about.

CONTACT (1997)

An underrated sleeper of a science fiction classic, about things most movies have no interest in.

LE MÉPRIS (1963)

One of the stereotypical European Art Films from Jean-Luc Godard, but if I’m honest its not the cinematography many viewers are going to remember.

DANCES WITH WOLVES (1990)

Probably the best known movie about Native Americans, directed by and starring a very laconic white guy who I’m not sure can actually act. But I think it mostly works?

SANSHO THE BAILIFF (1954)

A classic Japanese film where every frame looks like a classical painting. From a plot perspective, the weepiest of weepies.

DOCTOR ZHIVAGO (1965)

An epic of Russian history that’s more interested in its central love dodecahedron than it is in Russian history, a fact that leaves me wondering what the point of it all is.

PLATOON (1986)

A very violent, dark Vietnam movie written and directed by an actual Vietnam veteran, so I would say it’s high quality but your mileage may vary.