Movies that should have one best picture


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  AlecMuzquiz96's Rating My Rating
1
25th Hour 2002,  R)
2
Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind 2004,  R)
3
Seven (Se7en) 1995,  R)
4
Pulp Fiction 1994,  R)
5
Gladiator 2000,  R)
6
The Royal Tenenbaums 2002,  R)
The Royal Tenenbaums
3 and a half Stars

Director Wes Anderson and his longtime writing partner and friend Owen Wilson follow up Bottle Rocket, and Rushmore with this offbeat comedy about a dysfunctional family reunion. The Royal Tenenbaums is very similar to Anderson's previous two movies. The only difference is that he does everything he had accomplished in his two other movies even better in this one. The Royal Tenenbaums is Wes Anderson best movie.

Royal Tenenbaum (Gene Hackman) was an extremely successful attorney who had three children with his wife Etheline (Anjelica Huston), she is an archaeologist. Each of the Tenenbaum kids was pretty much a genius: Chas (Ben Stiller) made a killing as a child investor. Richie (Luke Wilson) was a junior tennis champ and a three time U.S. Nationals winner. The adopted Margot (Gwyneth Paltrow) was a playwright who won a 50,000 dollar Braverman Grant in the ninth grade. When Royal abruptly left his family however, it was the beginning of two decades of betrayal and epic failure that would scar the Tenenbaums for the rest of there life's. Their past loathing are bitterly held against Royal when he suddenly reappears, claiming to have six weeks to live. He strongly desire's to reconnect with his now broken family. Typically Royal's story is a sham, but his presence and sincere desire for absolution soon have a very strong effect on the Tenenbaums, who are each dealing with thwarted desires and relationships. Among them are Richie's lifelong love for Margot, who's unhappily married to Raleigh St. Clair (Bill Murray). There is also Etheline's eccentric engagement to Henry Sherman (Danny Glover), he wishes to marry her. One other character is Eli Cash (Owen Wilson), he lived across the street from the Tenenbaum's and became like part of the family. Eli writes very successful western books that get very bad reviews.

This movie didn't look like much to me. I went in with very low expectations, I was surprised by how good it actually turned out to be. Like I said, this is an offbeat comedy. Anderson specializes in that type of movies. The movie is just brilliant, at the center of this movie we get a character study. The character study is well executed, and excellently thought out. Every single character is developed extremely well, and it's shown in a very clever way. The movie begins on a high note. It starts with an introduction of all of the characters, this was a major highlight of the movie. I also enjoy how the movie is divided into chapters. It gives everything a nice touch, they structure it kind of like a book. Alec Baldwin does the narration, they could not have picked a better actor for this job. Just like in other Anderson movies, there is a very large attention to detail, even though the main attention is being focused on the characters. The costume design and art direction is specific throughout. A good example is the house they all live in. The house could have been a character all on it's own, there are tons of pictures everywhere, and specific character identifying settings. Now for the cast.

Luke Wilson shines brilliantly here by giving one of his best performances. Luke Wilson plays a dark character, and he just plays him to perfection. Gwyneth Paltrow was good too, her character was very mysterious. I do believe this is Ben Stiller's finest preference as well. Stiller is a little out of his comfort zone, here he plays a more serious role rather than his comedic roles. The standout performance though is from Gene Hackman. Hackman is just simply fantastic. Anjelica Houston, Owen Wilson, Danny Glover, and Bill Murray also turn in some strong supporting performances as well. This movie has so many great actors, and they all pull there own weight. Everyone is great., I have one minor complaint though. I do wish we got a little more of Bill Murray.

This is a Wes Anderson movie, so you know you are going to get an amazing soundtrack. The score mixes Classic Rock/Pop with Mark Mothersbaugh's quirky score. It just works really well. This movie is not your average silly comedy. The movie can be extremely funny at times, but it can also get very serious at times. The Royal Tenenbaums is a very intelligent black comedy that is artfully made.
7
No Country for Old Men 2007,  R)
8
Primal Fear 1996,  R)
9
L.A. Confidential 1997,  R)
L.A. Confidential
L.A. Confidential is as good as any crime movie can ever get. This movie explores the dark side of the Los Angeles police force and Southern California's criminal underbelly in the early 50s, when Hollywood was still seen as America's capital of glitter an glamor. Dudley Smith(James Cromwell) is the head of the LAPD, and he is very loyal to his fellow officers. He is also eager to turn a blind eye to violence and corruption within the department, as long if only the bad guys get hurt in the process.

Bud White (Russell Crowe) is a police detective who beats up men who beat up woman. He is a loose cannon. Ed Exley (Guy Pearce) is a by the book officer who wants to serve justice the right way. We see that he is a political animal, but he wants to be a deceive. People in the department don't think he has the stomach for violence. They also tell him to get rid of his glasses, he is told that deceives just don't wear glasses. Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) is one of those cops that prefer the spotlight to a hard working lifestyle. He is a high profile technical adviser to a hit TV show series, Badge of Honor, and has an agreement with the editor(Danny DeVito) of a magazine called Hush Hush. It's a sleazy magazine that publishes stories and pictures showing Jack arresting celebrities. All three of these detectives get drawn in into a tangled web of betrayal and violence. The are following a multiple murder that took place in a coffee shop. It is believed to be part of a great effort by Pierce Patchett (David Strathairn), who cuts whores to look like movie stars. Bud White then falls for one of Patchett's prostitutes, Lynn Bracken (Kim Basinger). She looks just like Veronica Lake.

The casting was excellent, and so was the acting. Russell Crowe just knocks it out of the park. He plays the tough guy that we all no and love. Guy Pearce is suburb. This is one of his best performances to date. Kevin Spacey is outstanding. He really deserves another Oscar nomination for this movie. Kim Basinger is brilliant, she hadn't been in a good movie in a while. It was good to see her come back stronger than ever here. Last but not least,James Cromwell. He gives another great performance.

All the characters were developed well and were really convincing. The script could not have been better. The script was given great care, so as a result they got a great smart movie. A lot of scripts a rushed, I really hate that. A script can really help make a movie. If you choose to rush a script, you are not likely to have a good result

Another major highlight of the movie was the atmosphere. The movie has a great feel and look to it. Everything is great here, I mean everything. This is a perfect example of how to make a good crime movie. I have nothing negative to say about this movie. This movie was one of the best of it's year, and is also one of the best crime movies ever made.
10
Revolutionary Road 2008,  R)
11
Almost Famous 2000,  R)
12
The Departed 2006,  R)
The Departed
"When you decide to be something, you can be it. That's what they don't tell you in the church. When I was your age they would say we can become cops, or criminals. Today, what I'm saying to you is this: when you're facing a loaded gun, what's the difference"? The Departed is a masterpiece. It is one of the best crime movies ever made. The story is inspired by "Internal Affairs", a very successful Hong Kong movie. This movie is about rats. Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a trainee policeman who has a very bad family history. Captain Queenan (Martin Sheen) and Sergeant Dignam(Mark Whalberg) send Billy to infiltrate Frank Costello's(Jack Nicholson) gang. Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) is a policeman who is rising fast through the department, but he is secretly working for Costello as a rat in the department. Each man must work hard to reveal his counterpart before his identity is exposed by the other man.

They have to be convincing though. A good undercover cop has to be prepared to brake the law. A good undercover gangster has to be able to arrest some of the bad guys. It would be really fishy if a cop seemed liked he wanted to protect the bad guys. Same goes for a gangster. Both Billy and Colin struggle with there identities. Each man undercover has only a few men on there side that no they are undercover. What if something happened to them. Billy and Colin also fall for the same girl, Madolyn (Vera Farmiga), the shrink who treats Billy and moves in with Colin.

William Monahan's script is fantastic. Every line of dialog is written with great care. The acting is superb. DiCaprio, Damon, Nicholson, Sheen, Farmiga, and Baldwin are all great. This was a risky role for DiCaprio, but he pulls it off. The surprise performance though was from Mark Whalberg. He gives his best performance to date. He gives a real a real Oscar worthy performance here. This is also the first time Scorsese has made a movie with Jack Nicholson. I hope they team up again in the future. You really care about the characters, witch is always important for any kind of movie. The characters are developed well throughout the course of the movie. So you really find yourself wanted them to get out of this big awful mess alive.

The movie is filled with great tension as well. There is a scene where someone calls someone, he picks up the phone and none of them say anything. That scene has great tension. Nobody was even talking. That kind of scene would not be suspenseful in a lot of movies. The movie earned all that tension though. It earned it with every scene that was before it. The movie keeps that same tension throughout the entire movie.

The Departed is brutal and brainy, with speedy plot twists. There are deceptions layered on top of deceptions layered on top of deceptions. Another thing the movie had going for it was the music. Scorsese is also a master of music. His movies always have great soundtracks. Scorsese also places the music with great care, he will place a certain song that helps make that scenes work even better than it would have. This movie is up there with Martin Scorsese's GoodFellas. People often ask if it is his best? Martin Scorsese is one of the best directors working today, and has made many great masterpieces. You can't really say that this is his all time best, Scorsese has made to many great movies. Still, this is one of his best.
13
Taxi Driver 1976,  R)
14
Memento 2000,  R)
15
Apocalypse Now 1979,  R)
16
American Beauty 1999,  R)
17
Inception 2010,  PG-13)
18
Fight Club 1999,  R)
Fight Club
4 Stars

"This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time". Fight Club was adapted from a novel of the same name, it was by the author Chuck Palahniuk. Edward Norton is a very depressed man(he is a nameless character, and is refereed to in the credits as the "Narrator"), he works at a car company, he hates his work and feels no sense of reward from it, he attempts to drown all of his sorrows by putting together a perfect apartment. He is so desperate to relate to anyone that he starts visiting support groups for patients that have terminal cancer, he does this just to have someone to talk too. When he meets another imposter, Marla Singer, his insomnia comes back. One day on a business flight he meets, Tyler Durden, Tyler sells soap for a living. When he eventually gets back home, he finds out his apartment was destroyed in a blow up. Then he calls Tyler to ask if he could stay with him. Tyler says yes, but he has one condition. Tyler wants the narrator to hit him as hard as he can. The narrator does, and then he realizes that violence and aggression is a way to release all of his stress, forestation, even his insomnia.

After they attract a crowd in there latest fight, they set up an illegal fight club in the basement of a bar. There are eight rules to fight club.
1. You do not talk about fight club
2. You do NOT TALK about fight club
3. If someone yells STOP, goes limp, taps out, the fight is over.
4. Only two guys to a fight
5. Only one fight at a time
6. No Shirt or shoes
7. Fights will go on as long as they need to
If this is your first night at fight club, you have to fight. Things become a little more complicated however when both the narrator and Tyler get in one big twisted love triangle with Marla Singer, the girl the narrator had met while he was visiting the support groups.

The movie combines dark humor, violence, and many other themes, and still has time for that small love story. This is one of David Fincher's best movies. This is him at his best. The visual style of the movie is outstanding. Fincher shows us how to make a movie trough cinematography, dialog, and great editing. With a great atmosphere, this makes for one good looking movie. Another thing that is great is the amazing soundtrack. The score helps set a good mood for the movie. Like I said, the dialog is very good, there are many memorable lines, the script is very clever, and funny at times.

All the performances are spot on. Edward Norton delivers a great performance, I just love his narration, it's just great. Helena Bonham Carter does a good job as well. Even with those two great performances, Brad Pitt is the best. He is just really owns his role. He also plays an interesting character. The kind of character he played was a difficult one, it would have been very easy to mess it up. This is one of Pitt's best performances yet. Pitt's best movies in my opinion are the two he did with Fincher. That would be this one, Fight Club, and Se7en.

This movie certainly raises many issues concerning our contemporary world, like a search for your true identity in a world where everything is just a copy of a copy. One of the main messages in the movie is that the things you own end up owning you. The most important message is the one I mentioned in the beginning of my review. "This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time". One day you will wake up and you will be almost thirty. You start to think what have you really done with your life. This was a very controversial movie in 1999, and the 90s for that matter, and it still is. When you see this, you are really going to love it, and can't wait to see it again, or you are going to just hate it. There is no in the middle about it. After seeing this though, you actually look at the world differently. Even if it's only a little. This movie has many messages, and it's a far deeper movie than guys just fighting each other. I am going to stop this review now, because I have already broken the first two rules about fight club, DO NOT TALK ABOUT FIGHT CLUB.
19
Gone Baby Gone 2007,  R)
Gone Baby Gone
3 and a half Stars

There have been crime movies that have taken place in a few different cities, but Boston seems to be the main one where everything just has a lot more depth to it. Everything seems a lot deeper, from the characters, to the atmosphere. Gone Baby Gone is based from one of Dennis Lehane novels. One of his novels has already made the big screen. That would be Mystic River. Clint Eastwood directed Mystic River, and he set the bar extremely high in his suburb adaptation of Lehane's compelling story. Which director takes on Gone Baby Gone, that would be Ben Affleck in his directional debut. His acting can not even be compared to Clint Eastwood, but now he tries to see how good he can be behind the camera. He does not disappoint. As you may have already guessed, this movie is set in Boston.

Gone Baby Gone is about two local private eyes and lovers, Patrick Kenzie (Casey Affleck) and Angie Genarro (Michelle Monaghan) who are hired by the aunt and uncle (Amy Madigan and Titus Welliver) of missing neighborhood girl, Amanda McCready. Although the Boston police, and missing children unit leader Jack Doyle (Morgan Freeman) and his two detectives Remy Bressant (Ed Harris) and Nick Poole (John Ashton) are looking for Amanda with great effort, Amanda's family has went and hired Patrick and Angie to help track down leads from some of the locals that will not speak to the cops at all. During Patrick's and Angie's they soon discover many layers of secrecy and corruption. This includes Amanda's drug addicted mother Helene (Amy Ryan), who seems to no more about this crime than she is telling the police. The deeper Patrick digs into this entire investigation, he finds himself at the point where it is extremely difficult to distinguish right from wrong. That is enough of the plot.

Now for the direction. Ben Affleck would have gotten so much hate if this movie had failed, I mean he even cast his little brother in the lead role. Well luckily, this movie succeeds on so many levels. You can tell that Affleck has his own understanding of his hometown. Affleck shot on location, and even cast local people with no acting experience for some of the smaller roles. Affleck just really knows the neighborhood, he captures everything about it. The acting is great from everyone. 2007 was a break out year for Casey Affleck, he had the assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and then he did this one. Little Affleck gives a great performance, he subtly captures his characters conflicted felling. Morgan Freeman and Ed Harris both deliver very solid performances as well, the standout performance though was from Amy Ryan, who played the drug addicted mother. She gives a strong emotional and complicated performance. She nails everything here. Even the accent, witch is not an easy task. Michelle Monaghan was the weakest out of the cast. She was good, but there was nothing that special about her performance.

This movie is so much deeper than, here is the good guy, and here is this bad guy. Now the good guy has to get the bad guy. There are secrets I cannot reveal about this movie, but I give props to the screenplay. It is has great dialog for one, and it also conceals these secrets so well, and when they are finally shown, everything comes into place. Some of the clues are literally right in front of you when they happen, but there is know indication that they are even there. The characters don't look up and give it away. There is no close ups of the character that just tell us that was a clue, I really liked how they handled that. This movie is deep, it focuses on the characters choices and what kind of impact that decision has made. It also shows how the characters feel after making that decision, that was handled very well.

It also contains many messages, mainly dealing with the difference between right in wrong. It seems like everyone already knows that message. Still the movie handles every accept of that with great care. As you can probably tell, this is a dark movie, and the thing that always help set that dark mood, or any mood for that matter is the score. This movie has a pretty good one overall. Gone Baby Gone is engaging, chilling, and suspenseful. The suspense will keep you guessing and keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time. The movie is well executed. Aside from Mystic River this is the best movie that deals with children in these horrible situations. As Remy says:"Kids forgive, they don't judge, they turn the other cheek, and what do they get for it".
20
Rushmore 1998,  R)
21
Vanilla Sky 2001,  R)
22
The Big Lebowski 1998,  R)
23
Saving Private Ryan 1998,  R)
24
3:10 to Yuma 2007,  R)
25
Blade Runner 1982,  R)
26
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World 2003,  PG-13)
27
Moon 2009,  R)
Moon
This movie just sneaks up on you, it's suspenseful, creative, exciting, intelligent, and keeps you constantly guessing. Everything needed for a good sci-fi movie, or a good movie for that matter. An outstanding Sam Rockwell plays Sam Bell an astronaut nearing the end of a 3-year contract on the moon, he is mining energy from lunar rocks. He is also close to having a breakdown. He is very lonely and wants to get back to his wife and daughter. The only thing he can talk to is the one and only GERTY, a robot voiced by Kevin Spacey.

Then suddenly there's a big accident. Next thing he knows he wakes up back in the lunar station and GERTY is telling him he was in an accident. Suddenly there is another astronaut, that looks just like him. Is he really alone, or is h just going crazy? I went into this movie not knowing a whole lot about the plot. I think that was the best thing to do, so that is all I will say about the plot. If I say any more it will reveal to much, just know that it is a very interesting and mind bending plot.

This movie works on many levels. Duncan Jones( son of David Bowie), who directed this does a great job. He is mainly working with just Nathan Parker's great script and actor Sam Rockwell. This is his debut movie, and I expect great things from this guy in the future. People won't just refer to him as David Bowie son, but as an accomplished directer.

When you are watching Moon it will remind you about another movie. Moon has a lot in common with 2001: A Space Odyssey, that's not a bad thing. That was one of the best sci-fi movies in movie history. This is one of the best sci-fi movies made in a long time. I really enjoyed this movie. Another time somebody proves you don't need a huge budget to make a really great movie. This one is running on only a low budget of 5 million dollars. Moon is the type of movie that you will need two or three days to think about, witch is not a bad thing at all. Now this movie is pretty much one of those one man shows, Sam Rockwell is really the only character in the movie, he is alone on the moon. Well he is with the robot GERTY, I thought Kevin Spacey did a good job as the voice.

One more thing is that how was Sam Rockwell not nominated for an academy award for his performance here is beyond me. Rockwell performance was Oscar worthy, it was one of the best performances of the year. Rockwell has been in many good movies, but he had never really had the chance to been a good leading guy. Well he was here, and he showed us that he can really act. Moon was one of the best movies of 2009, and remains in my opinion as one of the better sci-fi movie in the last decade.
28
Annie Hall 1977,  PG)
29
Groundhog Day 1993,  PG)
30
Kingdom of Heaven 2005,  R)
31
GoodFellas 1990,  R)
GoodFellas
4 Stars

When Martin Scorsese decided to make GoodFellas, he had already made two masterpieces before it. That would be Raging Bull and Taxi Driver. Those two movies alone gave Scorsese a place in movie history forever. Skill such as Scorsese's cannot be displayed in only two movies though, no matter how great they are. Even when I thought he had hit his peak with Jake La Motta, he wowed me with this character based gangster movie that completely trumped over all other gangster movies. Scorsese does it again.

Goodfellas revolves around Henry Hill(Ray Liotta), he is a gangster through and through. Henry Hill is living in the major part of organized crime, Henry is given live on a silver platter. That is at least what he is thinking. We follow Henry's life as he and his two partners in crime Tommy(Joe Pesci) and Jimmy(Robert De Niro) deal with murder, woman, drugs, prison, and the dark side of life on the streets. The direction is Scorsese through and through. Anyone who has seen one of his movies will know that he is one of the best directors working today. He has great flair for camerawork and capturing everything he wants is unparallelled. He uses all manners of camera movements to a stunning effect. This creates each feeling without anyone saying anything on screen. The felling you get of being part of the action and being among all of these shady characters is no accident. Scorsese's use of first person camera on beautiful Steadicam puts you in the exact same room as what's onscreen and gives you an up close example of Henry's life.

The Greatness of the acting here makes it sometimes undetectable. It's far more than just getting the accent done perfect, it's getting inside the characters skin, and becoming someone else as a whole. All of the lead actors deliver. What else could you expect from great actors Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro? Liotta plays Henry Hill to complete perfection. Everything from his hand gestures to his mannerisms to the way he talks around certain people is just spot on. The sometimes skittish, and sometimes violent and ever on the lookout character is perfectly portrayed by Liotta. Pesci is amazing as the frenetic, unpredictable and arrogant Tommy. He is merciless as he is pitiful, overall he is just a very funny guy. Robert De Niro is great as Jimmy too even though he is not the main focus of the movie as the other two characters. He is still very convincing in anything he does through the course of the movie, no matter how much screen time he has. He is just great in all of his scenes. Lorraine Bracco is simply fantastic as Karen Hill. She plays Henry's half wannabe killer, and half lover. She doesn't even seem to be acting most of the time, her acting is surprisingly believable. I was really surprised at how good she was.

Scorsese's choices his music extremely well. They help decorate some of the intense violence we see with the sounds of Sinatra. He is also good at knowing witch scenes to place the music in, and witch scenes to not place any in. Now for the script. It is completely flawless. The use of voice over, witch can sometimes be overused, is great here. It grants us an understanding to a world that we know very little about. It can often feel like a throwaway device, especially when the movie abandons the voice over about half way through the movie. But in the hands of Scorsese, it would be impossible to even think what the movie would have been like without it. Apart from all of the voice over, the rest of the script is just as good. It has just the perfect amount of quotable lines without seeming to engineered. It's like a kind of state of heightened realism witch is to much fun to be about the mob, but yet it is darkened with a subtext of danger witch is always hanging over the movie until the end credits.

But all of these elements are just pointless without the amazing message that shines through. It's that certain feeling of mistrust witch just radiates from each of the men which are supposedly Henry's "family". They show the mob to be what they really are. This is were GoodFellas differs from The Godfather. The Godfather elevates these crimes to a sort of godlike status in an elevated reality. Where GoodFellas takes this world back to reality. All of these men are one big group of Italians, Sicilians, Irish and Americans populating a big organization whose one and only purpose is to rip others off, live outside the law, flout the rules and consider no one but themselves. These are not the celebrities or heroes we were lead to believe they were. They are all scumbags. They are fearful of those in power, selfish and loyal to their needs and theirs alone. And even after they have got all of their ties with all of their friends and burnt ever bridge they ever crossed. Still, all they can think about is the fact that there food didn't meet their standers, even though that someone they had once called friend is in a very bad situation all because of them. This is the message that defines GoodFellas. GoodFellas is the best gangster movie(and one of the best movies ever for that matter), it is right up there with The Godfather.
32
The Purple Rose of Cairo 1985,  PG)
33
The Dark Knight 2008,  PG-13)
34
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest 1975,  R)
35
Adaptation 2002,  R)
36
Raging Bull 1980,  R)
37
Michael Clayton 2007,  R)
38
Fargo 1996,  R)
39
Alien 1979,  R)
40
Children of Men 2006,  R)
41
The Bourne Supremacy 2004,  PG-13)
42
Manhattan 1979,  R)
43
The Perks of Being a Wallflower 2012,  PG-13)
44
The Shawshank Redemption 1994,  R)
45
Drive 2011,  R)
46
Sideways 2004,  R)
47
Terminator 2: Judgment Day 1991,  R)
48
Kick-Ass 2010,  R)
49
500 Days of Summer 2009,  PG-13)
500 Days of Summer
3 and a half stars

This movie is an anomaly. (500) Days of Summer is coming at a time when we are all tired of romantic comedy's that are promising to be something new and exciting. This movie was marketed as a romantic comedy which was new and exciting. But that's really the only way to describe this little gem of a movie. Sure it's not without a flaws, but it's difficult to find a romantic comedy(or a movie for that matter) with such a beautiful sense of melancholy, flashes of laugh out loud comedy and a emotional ride from highs to lows which actually effect the viewer.
Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is our not quite typical lead. Tom is working at his dead end job as a greeting card writer and half aspiring to be an architect, his routine life is one day interrupted by Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel). Tom is immediately enraptured by Summer's stunning looks and intriguing demeanor and decides that he must have her. This is where the movie takes a little detour from the schmaltzy beaten track of your average romantic comedy. Everything is just a little bit off the normal axis. With endings being presented at the beginning of the story, beginnings taking place at the end and everything else just a little bit out of whack.

This narrative style is one of the movies strongest points. Instead of ridiculous running to airport scenes or appearing in the pouring rain outside the girl's front door, we are told from the very beginning that "This is a story of boy meets girl, but you should know upfront, this is not a love story." So with the big climax taken out of the equation, the entire movie turns into a story about what happens in between the meeting and the weepy finish. But wait, there aren't any of those either! Tom and Summer meet boringly at work and the big weepy finish simply isn't here. Now you start to get the sense of just how big a risk director Marc Webb and writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Webber took. Each different scene is prefaced by a number. This representing the days since Tom meeting Summer. Thus the brackets around (500). This is a very tricky narrative style to keep up throughout an entire movie. They manage it extremely well. Just. Often the movie can feel as if they may be on the very edge of using the technique as a stunt, but they never quite slip into that territory. Instead the movie is as light and fresh as new love itself, though never afraid to plunge you from joy straight into sadness.

Another pitfall which many romantic comedy's fall victim to is an awful script. Filled with schmaltz and stilted dialogue. They can easily lapse into a slew of cliches, each one less romantic and less comedic than the last, and very rarely actually achieve either of their abbreviated genres. This movie however, is filled with plenty of each. There are moments which will having you rolling around on the floor laughing and moments which are nothing short of true romance. None of the lines feel that therey were forced, each one flows very natural from each character. This gives the movie a more realistic feel which is also missing from the main selection of romantic comedy's that come out now a days. It feels as if the characters have been plucked from reality and put onscreen, not the other way around. That just makes the experience of the movie all that much more meaningful.

But it's the acting which is the movies real achievement. Particularly from the two leads. Jospeh Gordon-Levitt is an absolute revelation here. He is never to over the top in the sadder scenes which would compromise the feeling of reality, and he plays the humorous moments with the expertise of a seasoned professional. In fact the entire movie rests on his performance. If he had failed, so would the movie. In such a strange style as this, it would be easy for his performance to be lost in the melee of different days of Summer, but to the writers and directors credit as much as his own, his performance is fantastically memorable and is one of the reasons that you'll come back for repeat viewings over and over again. Summer is played perfectly by Zooey Deschanel. She is playing a woman who lives in the moment. Zooey is fantastic, she plays Summer with fantastic restraint and none of the over-the top melodrama that usually accompanies such performances. She makes it difficult for the viewer to figure out whether she's the devil or just misunderstood, or whether it's Tom's fault that she keeps slipping away. The two leads were perfectly cast.

The movie is about two things really: this being the innovative style and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. These two aspects of the film work together brilliantly to create a melancholy piece with fantastic humor and bittersweet romance which can leave you perplexed, upset, happy and sad all at the same time. The ending may make some not like the movie as much. Still, if you can look past that you've got a truly fantastic movie which will stand and benefit from repeat viewings.
50
Atonement 2007,  R)

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