For the reviews on popular films, Click Here.
For the reviews on independent films, Click Here.
Or, you can get to these sections by clicking on drop-down menus on the top right under the label ‘Film’.
Below are the 10 movies that have received a grade of A+ from me over the years. I limited the range to relatively recent movies. The order in which they are posted does not matter.
In the Mood for Love
A masterpiece by one of the greatest film makers Wong Kar-Wai. This movie dissolves the meaning of the word ‘ineffable’. A man and a woman in love, but something’s holding them back. The story, acting, music, costume, and all other attributes are in the perfect mood to create an inimitable movie.
Should I be embarrassed for picking this movie as my top 10? Two robots as protagonists, yet one of the most humane and beautiful films of all time. The most hopeful post-apocalyptic movie as well. What does it mean to love someone, or something? What does it mean to care for something, or someone? As long as there is love…
They say we human beings lose 21 grams when we die. Is 21gram the weight of our soul? To live means to suffer. To suffer means to connect with each other. To find solace in each other. The movie that made all three main actors (Sean Penn, Naomi Watts, and Benecio Del Toro) my favorite actors. Such a beautiful and heartrending movie.
I loved Aronofsky since “Requiem for a Dream,” but I think this movie is better. It can have many different interpretation, but to me, it was a serious meditation on art. What does it mean to bring perfection to an art? Is it even possible? Here, Natalie Portman gives her best performance. Dark, disturbing, and unforgettable.
Children of Men
I don’t think I remember more thrilling movie viewing experience than watching this movie. Probably due to Cuaron’s genius narrative technique, his impossibly long one-take scenes, and the humanity. For 17 years, no woman were able to conceive, and one day, one who could was found. An everyman, then, becomes a hero to save humanity. Afonso Cuaron, the director of “Y Tu Mama Tambien” and “Gravity”, unquestionably a genius.
A Single Men
Based on the novel by Christopher Isherwood, directed by the renowned designer Tom Ford, this is a meditative movie at its best. The movie spans just one day, from the grief-stricken life of a middle-aged gay professor. However, on that particular day, he has a plan to end his life, and everything that is and was gets special treatment. Superb performance by Colin Firth and Julianne Moore.
Before Christopher Nolan became famous for his big-budget movies like “Batman Trilogy” and “Inception”, he directed this insanely imaginative, disturbing, and eye-opening movie called “Memento”. How much can we rely on what we remember? Is the world out there processed through us by what we remember from the past? What if you can’t make new memories? What is living all about? Love, Revenge, Memory, …. and Self.
A phrase ‘fairytale for adults’ might have been made to describe this very movie. Realism and Fantasy blend seamlessly to depict the world from the eyes of an innocent child. Amid the civil war, the child has only her imaginations to help her survive. And yes, she transcends. So beautiful and sad.
The only Korean movie to receive A+ from me in my 32 years of many Korean movie experience. There are so much pain and ugliness in this world, but as long as we can experience even flitting moments of beauty, like reading poetry, isn’t living worthwhile? A old-lady suffering from an Alzheimer’s disease learns a terrible truth about her grandson. Vulnerable, yet she still stands up to the world, and the moments of beauty she witnesses…
Y Tu Mama Tambien
Another movie on my top 10 list by Cuaron, a coming-of-age story that’s so raw and infernal that it will burn your sensation. Although the movie is funny and erotic as hell, you become sad when the credits are rolling. What is life? What does life entail? What has passed and what’s ahead?