A wide, startlingly vivid view of a Mafia dynasty, in which organized crime becomes an obscene nightmare image of American free enterprise. The movie is a popular melodrama with its roots in the gangster films of the 30s, but it expresses a new tragic realism, and it's altogether extraordinary.
Boorman doesn't bother with episodes that don't stir him; there’s no dull connective tissue. The film is like Flaubert’s more exotic fantasies—one lush, enraptured scene after another.
We dwell in a present-tense culture that somehow, significantly, decided to employ the telling expression "You're history" as a choice reprobation or insult, and thus elected to speak forgotten volumes about itself.
The Elephant Man is a very pleasurable surprise. Though I had seen Eraserhead, which is the only other feature directed by David Lynch, and had thought him a true original, I wasn't prepared for the strength he would bring out of understatement.
Bergman is not a playful dreamer, as we already know from nightmarish films like The Silence, which seems to take place in a trance. He apparently thinks in images and links them together to make a film.
The movie works because it has the Mary Shelley story to lean on: we know that the monster will be created and will get loose. And Brooks makes a leap up as a director because, although the comedy doesn’t build, he carries the story through.
Throughout the three hours and twenty minutes of Part II, there are so many moments of epiphany — mysterious, reverberant images, such as the small Vito singing in his cell — that one scarcely has the emotional resources to deal with the experience of this film.
La Grande Illusion is a perceptive study of human needs and the subtle barriers of class among a group of prisoners and their captors during World War I.
by Pauline Kael In Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands, the towers and spires of a medieval castle rise high in the air right out of the end of a bare, flat suburban street. The houses and cars in the suburbs are in a comically limited palette of pastels; the dark castle [...]