Bend It Like Beckham (2002): A Fresh Twist on the Standard GameIn the sharp-witted, energetic comedy Bend It Like Beckham, British-Punjabi director Gurinder Chardha unexpectedly scores a winning goal by addressing themes like feminism and discrimination without devolving into finger-waving or point-making.
Scorsese Finds a New Voice in Silence (2016)I must say, I was starting to worry about whether Martin Scorsese had sold his soul to the Hollywood media elite after a couple of decades of producing such shameless Disney-fied fluff as The Aviator and Hugo or bloated, pedestrian epics like The Departed and Gangs of New York. But with Silence, a visually haunting historical drama about several Jesuit priests' struggles between faith and temptation in the face of religious persecution in 17th-century Japan, the veteran director has atoned for his past sins.
Saw (2004) Has a Sharper Blade Than MostMovies about sadistic psychopaths seem to outnumber the number of hairs on a mad scientist's head. But the diabolically addicting Saw shows that, as the old saying goes, there's always room for one more.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984): Sorry, Freddy—I Slept Just Fine After This One"It's a new and improved slasher flick! Now with dreams!" The way some people laud the jejune gorefest A Nightmare on Elm Street, they might as well be admen enthusing about the new features on their company's latest stove model.
The Shining (1980): Palatable Kubrick, but Not the Director's Brightest LightWere The Shining not helmed by one of the most critically acclaimed directors of the past 100 years, people would probably remember it as a creditable B-horror-movie effort. Steven Spielberg or Sam Raimi would be proud to be responsible for such gorgeously filmed nonsense. But Stanley Kubrick—the genre-defining director of such classics as 2001, Barry Lyndon, and Dr. Strangelove—should not have been.

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