“And in the dream I knew that he was goin on ahead and that he was fixin to make a fire somewhere out there in all that dark and all that cold and I knew that whenever I got there he would be there. And then I woke up.” (final lines)

My Top 10

  1. No Country for Old Men
  2. Atonement
  3. There Will Be Blood
  4. Away from Her
  5. Gone Baby Gone
  6. Charlie Wilson’s War
  7. A Mighty Heart
  8. Persepolis
  9. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
  10. 3:10 to Yuma

note:  An excellent Top 5 but not nearly as strong Top 10.  It’s worth noting that thanks mostly to Harry Potter and the MCU this is the last year until 2020 where none of my Top 10 are franchise films. (more…)

Screen Shot 2021-04-17 at 2.08.00 PM

This is the 8th part and the introduction can be found here.  All 50 films in this section earn a 90 which is a lower range **** film. (more…)

My Top 10

  1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
  2. Mystic River
  3. City of God
  4. American Splendor
  5. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
  6. Nowhere in Africa
  7. Whale Rider
  8. Big Fish
  9. Bubba Ho-Tep
  10. Matchstick Men

note:  A strong Top 5 but the second 5 is fairly weak.  But it does still have several (weaker) films on my complete list down at the bottom, minus the #13 (Cold Mountain) and #16 (The Secret Lives of Dentists) which are reviewed because of awards. (more…)

This is the next batch of 50 in my countdown of the Top 1000 films through 2011 (the first century of film).  Down through Last Year at Marienbad, they all earn an 87, which is the highest ***.5, or just short of being a great film.  From #829 on to the end of this list they all earn an 88 which is the lowest rating which earns **** (and thus gets called a great film).  You should probably look at the introduction first.  Your best bet for finding previous groups of 50 is to click here.


This is the next batch of 50 films counting down my Top 1000 Films of All-Time.  The films down through Footlight Parade all earn an 86 while the rest of them earn an 87, which is high ***.5.  I recommend reading the introduction first.  For the previous installments, click on the Top 1000 among the tags at the top of the post.


This didn’t come straight from the book but neither did anything else in the film.

My Top 10

  1. Ed Wood
  2. The Shawshank Redemption
  3. Quiz Show
  4. Nobody’s Fool
  5. Grave of the Fireflies
  6. The Madness of King George
  7. Little Women
  8. Death and the Maiden
  9. Vanya on 42nd Street
  10. To Live

note:  There will be more to say about this in the Awards post which comes next. (more…)

“Now the narrow neck of sand where Shaw was buried with his men is washed by Atlantic storms. St. Gaudens’s monument to Shaw and his men marks a place where the Colonel and his regiment passed by on their way to war.” (p 147)

My Top 10

  1. Glory
  2. Field of Dreams
  3. Born on the Fourth of July
  4. Henry V
  5. My Left Foot
  6. The Little Mermaid
  7. Enemies, a Love Story
  8. Drugstore Cowboy
  9. Batman
  10. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

note:  A fantastic Top 5 and Top 10 which is pretty much the case for any category in this year.  There’s also some irony to note here in that this is the Adapted Screenplay post but I used to own the novelization of two of these films (although it should be pretty obvious which two).


Batman Returns

  • Year:  1992
  • Director:  Tim Burton
  • Series Rank:  #6
  • Year Rank:  #38
  • Oscar Nominations:  Visual Effects, Makeup
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  Actress, Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Makeup
  • Batman Villains:  Danny DeVito (The Penguin), Christopher Walken (Max Shrek)
  • Love Interest:  Michelle Pfeiffer (Catwoman)
  • Batman Allies:  Michael Gough (Alfred), Pat Hingle (Commissioner Gordon), Michael Murphy (The Mayor)

There are a lot of things in this film that make you shake your head and start to question it.  I’m not talking about obvious supernatural things like how does someone end up like the Penguin or how does Catwoman keep surviving things that should kill her.  I am talking about basic things like why Bruce Wayne would start calling Oswald Copplepot a crime boss when we’ve seen hardly any evidence of that or why the batarang would suddenly dip several feet so the dog could conveniently catch it or why Batman would have exactly what he would need on the Batmobile for every occasion, including a radar that apparently spots penguins.  There is even a paperboy hawking papers like it’s 1932 instead of 1992.  Yes, you could argue that these things fall under the heading of “suspension of disbelief” but if my disbelief isn’t being suspended then either the things are too ridiculous (somewhat) or the film isn’t good enough to be holding my attention and my disbelief is wandering (somewhat as well). (more…)


  • Year:  1989
  • Director:  Tim Burton
  • Series Rank:  #4
  • Year Rank:  #14
  • Oscar Nominations:  Art Direction
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  Cinematography, Sound, Art Direction, Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Makeup
  • Batman Villains:  Jack Nicholson (The Joker), Jack Palance (Boss Grissom), Tracey Walter (Bob the Goon)
  • Love Interest:  Kim Basinger  (Vicki Vale)
  • Batman Allies:  Michael Gough (Alfred), Pat Hingle (Commissioner Gordon), Billy Dee Williams (Harvey Dent)

Oh, you comic fans today, you have it so good.  Every few months brings a new comic book movie and the vast majority of them are very good.  Even when a crappy movie comes along (like any attempt at Fantastic Four), wait a few months and something really good will come along.  You don’t know what it was like in 1989, with three Superman films released over the last decade, two of which were simply terrible.  But, on the other hand, you can’t imagine what kind of hype there was leading up to the release of Batman.  Just look at the picture down below.  That’s what my bedroom looked like in the days following the release of the film (some of the things were up before the release, including the posters, but two of the things on the wall are the L.A. Times and Orange County Register reviews of the film which only came out on opening day – and just to complete my “old guy rant” even though I’m only 43, that meant on Friday morning, not at midnight or 7 on Thursday evening).  I was so into the film that I had a poster of Kim Basinger on my wall, an actress I have never cared much for and who is a blonde of all things.  My best friend Jay and I were so excited about the film that we were at the theater an hour and a half before it started (which lead to Jay breaking four chairs in the theater, but, hey, things happen).  And it just happened to come out at the same time that I got seriously into movies (and started to bike to theaters on my own), so I saw it several times in the theater and then got it for my birthday because it was the first film to go to video really quickly. (more…)

Oh, Josh, that dog was the least of your concerns.

You can read more about this year in film here.  The Best Picture race is discussed here, with reviews of all the nominees.  First there are the categories, followed by all the films with their nominations, then the Globes, where I split the major awards by Drama and Comedy, followed by a few lists at the very end.  If there’s a film you expected to see and didn’t, check the very bottom – it might be eligible in a different year.  Films in red won the Oscar in that category (or Globe, in the Globes section).  Films in blue were nominated.  Films (or directors) in olive are links to earlier posts that I don’t want to have show up in blue and be mistaken for a nominee.  Films with an asterisk (*) were Consensus nominees (a scale I put together based on the various awards) while those with a double asterisk (**) were the Consensus winners.

I’m listing the top 20 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. No Country for Old Men  **
  2. Atonement  *
  3. Across the Universe
  4. There Will Be Blood  *
  5. Ratatouille
  6. Eastern Promises
  7. Michael Clayton  *
  8. Gone Baby Gone
  9. Juno  *
  10. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
  11. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
  12. 3:10 to Yuma
  13. Away from Her
  14. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  15. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
  16. Lust, Caution
  17. I’m Not There
  18. Persepolis
  19. Charlie Wilson’s War
  20. Once

Analysis:  Those are all **** films.  There are also a few more (24 in total), but they will be listed down below in the Drama and Comedy sections.  Both the 24 **** films and the total of 46 **** / ***.5 films are the second most ever, behind only 2005. (more…)