PHIL BACHARACHS PICKS
1. Moonrise Kingdom
Director Wes Anderson was born to make this film, a work that
beautifully captures the world of adolescent obsession. From its
exuberant sense of nostalgia to its Kodachrome visual look, this tale of
prepubescent love circa 1965 feels mythical and timeless.
2. Silver Linings Playbook
Bipolar depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, gambling and sex
addiction: They might not sound like the makings of comedy, but leave it
to writer-director David O. Russell to fashion a comic masterpiece from
the psychological scars of the walking wounded.
3. Django Unchained Quentin Tarantino does for slavery what he did for the Holocaust in Inglourious Basterds,
which is to say he cooks up an irresistibly violent and mordantly funny
revenge-fantasy with generous dollops of B-movie ecstasy. I keep
waiting for the inevitable disappointment from Tarantino, but it hasn't
4. Zero Dark Thirty A movie about the
hunt for Osama bin Laden easily could have gone wrong, but director
Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal craft a docudrama of rawness,
urgency and moral ambivalence. Slated to open in Oklahoma City on Jan.
11, it also boasts the year's most intense scene in its depiction of the
successful 2011 raid on bin Laden's Pakistani compound.
5. The Dark Knight Rises
Christopher Nolan concluded his Batman trilogy in style with this
big, sprawling and ambitious epic. It's a testament to the greatness of
the series that Rises is my least favorite of the three, but still
better than almost anything else in the realm of popcorn flicks.
6. Life of Pi
Perhaps even more so than Avatar, this film version of Yann Martel's
best seller showcases the immersion of stereoscopic technology. But
director Ang Lee offers much more than visual artistry (impressive as
that is) in this tale of a boy, a tiger and a boat.
7. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Writer-director Stephen Chbosky's film version of his beloved
young-adult novel is hardly seamless, but it lands emotional punches
that appropriately reflect the angst of being a teenager with all its
concomitant joys and terrors.
8. Amour The winner of the
prestigious Palme d'Or at Cannes, Amour is a searing portrait of an
older couple facing the end of life. Obviously no feel-good movie, its undeniably powerful and almost bracing in its rejection of
sentimentality. Its scheduled to hit OKC on Feb. 15.
9. Searching for Sugar Man
The less you know about this wonderful documentary by Malik
Bendjelloul, the better. If you've seen it, which details the
truth-is-stranger-than-fiction story of an obscure Detroit
singer-songwriter named Rodriguez, you know what I mean. If you haven't,
check it out the next time an opportunity arises.
10. Killer Joe
This William Friedkin-directed adaptation of an early work by
Oklahoma-born playwright Tracy Letts is trailer-trash noir, a deeply
twisted yarn filled with lowlife crooks, a naive nymphet and a memorably
depraved turn by Matthew McConaughey as the titular hit man.
ROD LOTTS PICKS
1. Moonrise Kingdom With the train wreck of 2007s The Darjeeling Limited,
I was afraid Wes Andersons best work was behind him. Instead, he
bounced back with a funny, touching and pitch-perfect portrayal of young
love. The naturalism of its two neophyte leads is a large part of the
2. Sound of My Voice
If theres a theme running through most of my list, its films that
challenge the audience, as if issuing dares, starting with this
no-frills thriller about an enigmatic California cult leader. That you
feel uneasy watching its story unfold means its working.
Before America remakes and tones down this highly caustic comedy, see
this Danish effort about a man taking his girlfriends nephew on a very
adult trip. Its wrong on so many levels, which is why its hilarious
discomfort humor at its best ... and at its most unexpectedly
4. Zero Dark Thirty And I thought Kathryn Bigelows The Hurt Locker
was intense! Her follow-up, depicting the hunt for Osama bin Laden,
boasts the years finest performance in Jessica Chastains CIA agent.
Despite knowing how it would end, the Seal Team 6s climactic raid is so
suspenseful, my neck and shoulders ached for hours.
5. Kill List
From Britain comes this uncompromising killer thriller about a hit
man under immense familial and financial pressure. His attempts at
bettering life lead to an ending that will eff you up for days. Crime
films rarely have the power to disturb so effectively.
6. Skyfall For James Bonds 50th anniversary, Oscar-minted director Sam Mendes applied the brooding Dark Knight
formula to the franchise and delivered arguably one of 007s best
adventures. It also may be the smartest. Quantum of Solace, you are
7. Tim & Eric's Billion Dollar Movie
Absurdity is taken to extremes in this not-for-everyone chunk of
crazy. Emanating with ribald non sequiturs, its vibe will be off-putting
to 99 percent of moviegoers, which I fully understand and appreciate.
But, hey, John C. Reilly plays a guy named Taquito. Taquito!
8. The Raid: Redemption
Its not stated in the credits, but this Indonesian actioner is made
with pure adrenaline. Some of it even seeps through the screen; youd be
wise to mainline it.
9. Django Unchained After writing the wrongs against World War II-era Jews with Inglourious Basterds,
Quentin Tarantino does the same for Civil War-era African-Americans.
The result is a pop catharsis, provided you can get past its extreme
violence, in light of recent events in Connecticut.
10. Haywire The great Steven Soderbergh movie this year wasnt Magic Mike;
it was this completely misunderstood exercise in turning a
much-maligned genre or two into stripped-down art. What audiences found
boring, I found sublime.
Hey! Read This:
Argo film review
Bernie film review
The Dark Knight Rises film review
Django Unchained film review
Haywire Blu-ray review
Headhunters film review
The Innkeepers Blu-ray review
Killer Joe film review
Kill List Blu-ray review
Klown Blu-ray review
Looper film review
Magic Mike Blu-ray review
Moonrise Kingdom film review
The Perks of Being a Wallflower film review
The Raid: Redemption Blu-ray review
Searching for Sugar Man film review
Sleepwalk with Me film review
Sound of My Voice film review
Sound of Noise DVD review
Tim & Eric's Billion Dollar Movie Blu-ray review
Your Sisters Sister film review