Best Modern Movies

  • Citizen Kane

    Citizen Kane (PG, 1941)

    Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Everett Sloane, Dorothy Comingore, Ray Collins
    Orson Welles first feature film -- which he directed, produced, and co-wrote, as well as playing the... read more title role -- proved to be his most important and influential work, a ground-breaking drama loosely based on the life of William Randolph Hearst which is frequently cited as the finest American film ever made. Aging newspaper magnate Charles Foster Kane (Orson Welles) dies in his sprawling Florida estate after uttering a single, enigmatic final word -- "Rosebud" -- and newsreel producer Rawlston (Phil Van Zandt) sends reporter Jerry Thompson (William Alland) out with the assignment of uncovering the meaning behind the great man's dying thought. As Thompson interviews Kane's friends, family, and associates, we learn the facts of Kane's eventful and ultimately tragic life: his abandonment by his parents (Agnes Moorehead and Harry Shannon) after he becomes the heir to a silver mine; his angry conflicts with his guardian, master financier Walter Parks Thatcher (George Coulouris); his impulsive decision that "it would be fun to run a newspaper" with the help of school chum Jedediah Leland (Joseph Cotten) and loyal assistant Mr. Bernstein (Everett Sloane); his rise from scandal sheet publisher to the owner of America's largest and most influential newspaper chain; his marriage to socially prominent Emily Norton (Ruth Warrick), whose uncle is the President of the United States; Kane's ambitious bid for public office, which is dashed along with his marriage when his opponent, corrupt political boss Jim Gettys (Ray Collins), reveals that Kane is having an affair with aspiring vocalist Susan Alexander (Dorothy Comingore); Kane's vain attempts to promote second wife Alexander as an opera star; and his final, self-imposed exile to a massive and never-completed pleasure palace called Xanadu. While Citizen Kane was a film full of distinguished debuts -- along with Welles, it was the first feature for Joseph Cotten, Everett Sloane, Ray Collins, Agnes Moorehead, and Ruth Warrick -- the only Academy Award it received was for Best Original Screenplay, for which Welles shared credit with veteran screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
    • rusbond
      rusbond: . For modern viewer it might not be.
      Reviewed 19 months days ago
    • her69eyes
      her69eyes: ilms in cinema history - not only an extreme innovator for it's time, but still rather unrivaled in modern film. While there's films I hold more dearly to my heart than this picture, it goes without s
      Reviewed 5 years days ago
    • quick0000
      quick0000: Without Welles and Kane, we wouldn't even have the modern movie, for better or worse. A fascinating movie on so many levels, always worth a viewing!
      Reviewed 4 years days ago
  • The Artist

    The Artist (PG-13, 2011)

    Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller
    Hollywood 1927. George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is a silent movie superstar. The advent of the talki... read morees will sound the death knell for his career and see him fall into oblivion. For young extra Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo), it seems the sky's the limit - major movie stardom awaits. The Artist tells the story of their interlinked destinies. -- (C) Weinstein
    • fb705387790
      fb705387790: . Bejo is great, if a little modern in her look to compare to the female stars of the silent era. But her chemistry with Dujardin
      Reviewed 14 months days ago
    • fb1145505878
      fb1145505878: . It was a really fun movie, but not revolutionary. It probably won the Oscar because the only modern aspect was the actors.
      Reviewed 14 months days ago
    • fb100001513380747
      fb100001513380747: . A wonderful piece of art in film that revives the first world of film. Both visuals and the modern performances to that era were well done (especially the dog's). It may not deserves its predi
      Reviewed 5 months days ago
  • Moulin Rouge!

    Moulin Rouge! (PG-13, 2001)

    Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor, John Leguizamo, Jim Broadbent, Richard Roxburgh
    The third film from pop-music-obsessed director Baz Luhrmann tweaks the conventions of the musical g... read moreenre by mixing a period romance with anachronistic dialogue and songs in the style of his previous Romeo+Juliet (1996). Ewan McGregor stars as Christian, who leaves behind his bourgeois father during the French belle époque of the late 1890s to seek his fortunes in the bohemian underworld of Montmartre, Paris. Christian meets the absinthe- and alcohol-addicted artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (John Leguizamo), who introduces him to a world of sex, drugs, music, theater, and the scandalous dance known as the cancan, all at the Moulin Rouge, a decadent dance hall, brothel, and theater that's the brainchild of Harold Zidler (Jim Broadbent). Christian also meets and falls into a tragically doomed romance with the courtesan Satine (Nicole Kidman), who becomes the star of the play he's writing, which parallels the couple's romance and utilizes rock music from a century later, including songs by Nirvana, Madonna, the Beatles, and Queen, among others. Loosely based on the opera Orpheus in the Underworld, Moulin Rouge was shown in competition at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi
    • fb512455478
      fb512455478: Great take on a modern musical, with awesome set pieces, frivolous costumes, colourful characters, spot on musical c
      Reviewed 13 months days ago
    • fb1039097071
      fb1039097071: A modern masterpiece. Fantastic casting of Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor; whoever thought they coul
      Reviewed 20 months days ago
    • fb1526363679
      fb1526363679: . Ewan McGregor is admittingly one of my favorite modern actors, I mean I love him in almost all his performances and he was one of the reasons The Is
      Reviewed 22 months days ago
  • American Beauty

    American Beauty (R, 1999)

    Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch, Wes Bentley, Mena Suvari
    Noted theater director Sam Mendes, who was responsible for the acclaimed 1998 revival of Cabaret and... read more Nicole Kidman's turn in The Blue Room, made his motion picture debut with this film about the dark side of an American family, and about the nature and price of beauty in a culture obsessed with outward appearances. Kevin Spacey plays Lester Burnham, a man in his mid-40s going through an intense midlife crisis; he's grown cynical and is convinced that he has no reason to go on. Lester's relationship with his wife Carolyn (Annette Bening) is not a warm one; while on the surface Carolyn strives to present the image that she's in full control of her life, inside she feels empty and desperate. Their teenage daughter Jane (Thora Birch) is constantly depressed, lacking in self-esteem, and convinced that she's unattractive. Her problems aren't helped by her best friend Angela (Mena Suvari), an aspiring model who is quite beautiful and believes that that alone makes her a worthwhile person. Jane isn't the only one who has noticed that Angela is attractive: Lester has fallen into uncontrollable lust for her, and she becomes part of his drastic plan to change his body and change his life. Meanwhile, next door, Colonel Fitts (Chris Cooper) has spent a lifetime in the Marine Corps and can understand and tolerate no other way of life, which makes life difficult for his son Ricky (Wes Bentley), an aspiring filmmaker and part-time drug dealer who is obsessed with beauty, wherever and whatever it may be. American Beauty was also the screen debut for screenwriter Alan Ball. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
    • fb1329544908
      fb1329544908:"ohh.....k........" moments here and there but I bypassed them with no problem. Shows a more modern, stereotypical American family which has a lot of "issues" of there own that extend into thei
      Reviewed 2 years days ago
    • fb692340378
      fb692340378: . Like what it asks about our modern view of "beauty" and what is acceptable behavior. Spacey is great in this one.
      Reviewed 22 months days ago
    • fiftyninesound1
      fiftyninesound1: . The ending is painful, but the film is a modern masterpiece.
      Reviewed 2 years days ago
  • A Knight's Tale

    A Knight's Tale (PG-13, 2001)

    Heath Ledger, Mark Addy, Rufus Sewell, Paul Bettany, Shannyn Sossamon
    This crowd-pleasing medieval adventure tale is very loosely inspired by Geoffrey Chaucer's The Cante... read morerbury Tales and mixes the anachronistic elements of modern-day rock music and colloquialisms with a period setting and characters. Heath Ledger stars as William Thatcher, a low-born 14th century squire who, in a fit of inspired spontaneity, replaces his deceased employer as the competitor at a jousting competition. Jousting is a pastime only permitted to knights, who are of noble birth, but Thatcher wins and decides to continue his new pursuits. With the help of his two fellow squire friends Wat and Roland (Alan Tudyk and Mark Addy) and none other than the gambling-addicted Geoffrey Chaucer (Paul Bettany), Thatcher has soon adopted a false identity and is winning one joust after another on his way to a championship in London. His victories inspire the affection of a female fan, Jocelyn (Shannyn Sossamon), and the ire of a competitor, Count Adehmar (Rufus Sewell), but Thatcher's ruse is threatened with exposure. A Knight's Tale is the sophomore directorial effort of acclaimed screenwriter Brian Helgeland, who won an Oscar for his work on L.A. Confidential (1997) and debuted behind the camera with the troubled production of Payback (1999). ~ Karl Williams, Rovi
    • fb614682813
      fb614682813: . A modern classic.
      Reviewed 12 months days ago
    • fb1417126923
      fb1417126923: . The juxtaposition of modern and olde world works surprisingly well.
      Reviewed 10 months days ago
    • csorensen01
      csorensen01: . Where a modern soundtrack worked for Moulin Rouge, it failed here and just seemed silly.
      Reviewed 12 months days ago