Starring Michael Fassbender, Liam Cunningham, & Stuart Graham
Intense, detail-oriented rendition of the IRA hunger strike, with Fassbender starving himself down to nothing as protester Bobby Sands. Director Steve McQueen proves himself to be a hugely talented filmmaker. Too bad "Shame" left me cold.
Favorite Character- Father Dominic
37. 25th Hour, Directed by Spike Lee
Starring Edward Norton, Rosario Dawson, & Philip Seymour Hoffman
Likable drug dealer Monty (Norton) must face the choices he has made on his last day out in the open before an impending prison sentence. Post-9/11 New York is the setting for this urban drama, which follows Norton's last day as he contends with friends, family, and separation from his girlfriend Naturelle, who he suspects may have tipped off the police. Great Norton, great monologue, great movie.
Favorite Character- Monty
38. An Education, Directed by Lone Scherfig
Starring Carey Mulligan, Peter Saarsgard, & Alfred Molina
Carey Mulligan charms and delights as Jenny, a precocious schoolgirl who falls hard for an older man and must learn some difficult lessons. The story is bright and engaging and Alfred Molina, who plays Jenny's bigoted father, is one of my favorite actors, so for me it's an all-around win.
Favorite Character- Jenny
39. Hugo, Directed by Martin Scorsese
Starring Asa Butterfield, Chloe Grace Moretz, & Ben Kingsley
This movie might be too thoughtful and slow-paced for some kids. For others, it offers a good story, original premise, and a rapturous CGI recreation of 19th Century Paris. It also co-stars Chloe Grace Moretz, one of the best child actors of modern times, and although I'm not a big fan of Asa Butterfield, he does okay too. A good pick for film buffs.
Favorite Character- Isabelle
40. Monsieur Hire, Directed by Patrice Leconte
Starring Michel Blanc, Sandrine Bonnaire, & André Wilms
You expect this French thriller to go one way, and then it goes in another direction completely. Friendless, portly voyeur Monsieur Hire (Blanc) is suspected of murdering a young woman, and has what seems to be one past sex offense on his record. He spends his time with prostitutes or spying on Alice (Bonnaire), who, as it turns out, likes the attention. But who's manipulating whom? Is either really who they seem to be? One for thriller enthusiasts and Francophiles.
Favorite Character- Monsieur
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