The 100 Best Movies on Hulu

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The 100 Best Movies on Hulu

Hulu has been quietly expanding and updating its film catalog ever since its deal ended with Criterion. Now the best movies on Hulu include a variety of classic films, indie gems and recent blockbusters. There are movies here from our Best Anime Movies of All Time, Best Documentaries of All Time and Best Horror Movies of All Time. And the selection has changed dramatically over the last few months with the additions of new releases like I, Tonya, Colossal, BPM and Professor Marston and the Wonder Women.

You can also check out the best TV shows on Hulu, the best documentaries on Hulu, the best horror movies on Hulu and the best Hulu original series. Or, for extensive guides to the best movies on other platforms like Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime and The Best Movies in Theaters, or visit all our Paste Movie Guides.

Here are the 100 best movies on Hulu right now:

lemon.jpg 100. Lemon
Year: 2017
Director: Janicza Bravo
Lemon is a blistering, 80-minute indictment of and elegy for white man-child protagonists. You know this movie. You’ve seen myriad versions of it staged over, say, the last two decades of pop culture or so, from The 40-Year-Old Virgin to Knocked Up to the majority of Adam Sandler’s oeuvre. But you haven’t seen this movie as staged by Janicza Bravo, an outsider to the self-validating dynamics of the fraternity of white male screw-ups. She’s thus better equipped to provide fresh commentary on that fraternity than any random white male might be. Even better, she’s more talented, too. Her film is an exquisitely wrought portrait of white guy ineptitude disguised as superiority and acumen, though this assumes you equate “exquisite” with wallowing in abject human misery for an hour and a half. In her feature debut, Bravo demonstrates a raw skill behind the lens suggesting a higher ceiling than most of her peers, though her film is no less awkward than anything they’ve made, either. Lemon is a tragicomic ballad of chagrin and stunted masculinity, and yes, it is at times a literal shitshow, a comedy of bodily functions to complement its endless parade of embarrassments. But the sight of Bravo’s co-writer and leading man Brett Gelman fishing a cell phone out of a used toilet doesn’t at all undermine the sophistication and style of her filmmaking. —Andy Crump


2-days-in-paris.jpg 99. 2 Days In Paris
Year: 2007
Director: Julie Delpy
If Woody Allen’s neurotic Alvy and Keaton’s Annie Hall had borne children, it’s a good bet they would have turned out like Marion (Julie Delpy) and Jack (Adam Goldberg) in 2 Days in Paris, a quirky and amusing film directed and written by Delpy. After vacationing in Venice, the New York couple stops into Paris to visit Marion’s parents for two days. At first, Jack’s neuroses, ranging from hypochondria to paranoia, threaten to overwhelm the relationship. But we soon learn that Marion has a few psycho-disabilities of her own, often related to a history of past lovers who, to the annoyance of Jack, continue to pop around every Parisian corner. Delpy works through a profusion of emotions in the film—sexy, witty, bitter, jealous and sometimes disturbing. It is also arguably Goldberg’s best work. As a writer, Delpy proves that her shared Oscar nomination with Richard Linklater and Ethan Hawke for Before Sunset was well deserved.—Tim Basham


berberian sound studio poster (Custom).jpg 98. Berberian Sound Studio
Year: 2012
Director: Peter Strickland
Playing with reality and fantasy, the literal and the subconscious, Berberian Sound Studio will understandably be compared to the work of David Lynch. But even if it’s not as startlingly original as that director’s finest films, the movie does offer a quietly building sense of unease as we realize that something isn’t quite right about this recording studio. Maybe it’s the charlatans with whom Gilderoy has to work. Or maybe it’s something else, something inside this closed-off man that he’s never quite acknowledged before. Ultimately, Berberian Sound Studio may be yet another psychological character study about the ways in which life and art intersect. But when it’s this genuinely upsetting and confidently executed, who can resist one more trip through a house of mirrors? —Tim Grierson


the-hero-210.jpg 97. The Hero
Year: 2017
Director: Brett Haley
One of the pleasures of Brett Haley’s previous film I’ll See You in My Dreams was its elevation of Sam Elliott to romantic leading-man status. The relish with which Elliott (a veteran who has mostly been typecast as cowboys and authority figures throughout his career) tackled this rare dreamboat role was sparklingly palpable throughout, and his performance exuded seemingly effortless charisma and gravitas in equal measure. It was enough to make us all wonder why it had taken so long for anyone, in Hollywood or outside of it, to see his potential in movie romances. In his follow-up, The Hero, Haley gives Elliott a showcase all his own, and he comes through with a performance that is similarly dazzling in its easy authority and emotional breadth. This shouldn’t be a surprise, really, especially because of the way Haley has drawn on the actor’s own life in conceiving of Lee Hayden, the character Elliott plays here. First introduced in a soundstage repeating the same voiceover line for a beef commercial, one immediately senses that Lee is, to some degree at least, meant to be reflective of Elliott himself, especially once we get to know the character more. Lee is an actor who is still being celebrated for the iconic Western roles in his past—in particular, his performance in the motion picture that gives Haley’s film its name—even as he enters his twilight years and finds parts harder to come by. The Hero is Haley’s second film in a row to focus on the physical and emotional struggles of elderly protagonists, and it confirms that he has a knack for doing so with empathy, sensitivity and affection. If anything, he could be accused of having a bit too much affection. Most questionable is the May-December romance he introduces, as Lee develops a romantic affection for the much younger Charlotte (Laura Prepon), the friend of his neighbor/former co-star/weed dealer Jeremy (Nick Offerman). Though Haley treats this potentially dicey plot development sensitively (with Lee himself commenting at one point about how “weird” the relationship is), his best efforts don’t quite banish the sense that the film is essentially a male fantasy, with a self-pitying mess of a central figure at its heart. Still, if The Hero works at all, it’s because Elliott brings a measure of emotional truth to even the most sentimental of plot developments, and because Haley exudes such warm patience for his lead actor’s rhythms and cadences. Perhaps the real hero here is Haley himself, who deserves plaudits for giving veteran actors like Elliott opportunities to address their age and mortality with grace and beauty. —Kenji Fujishima


quick-and-dead.jpg 96. The Quick and the Dead
Year: 1995
Director: Sam Raimi 
Sam Raimi’s sincere neo-Western is notable for several reasons: Joss Whedon’s contributions to the script (along with, reportedly, John Sayles); the American film debut of Russell Crowe; the final screen appearance of Woody Strode (Spartacus, his close friend John Ford’s Westerns The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, 7 Women and Two Rode Together); a gender-bending narrative that sends Sharon Stone’s monotone gunfighter, “The Lady,” on a righteous quest into the town of Redemption (natch) to avenge her father’s death via quick-draw contest. Gene Hackman relishes his turn as the tyrannical mayor, not so subtly named Herod, responsible for said killing, as does a pre-Titanic Leonardo DiCaprio as cocked-brow smartass “The Kid.” Not the least of note here is Dante Spinotti’s characteristically vivid cinematography. —Amanda Schurr


friday-13th.jpg 95. Friday the 13th
Year: 1980
Director: Sean S. Cunningham
The Friday the 13th film that started them all. Years after two summer camp counselors are offed while they’re getting it on, a new group with similar extracurricular activities arrives at Camp Crystal Lake. Hack, slice. A pre-Footloose Kevin Bacon (one of the series’ many casting gems) gets lucky and then immediately gets an arrowhead through the back of the throat. Bummer. It’s a competent and formative slasher flick, though it barely resembles the series it spawned, in ways both positive and negative. Its impact, however, can’t be argued, and it’s the film most singularly responsible for properly kicking off the slasher boom of the ’80s. Jason makes only a brief, but extremely memorable appearance. And the ending reveal is among the most shocking in horror history. —Jeffrey Bloomer


28 weeks later poster (Custom).jpg 94. 28 Weeks Later
Year: 2007
Director: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
28 Weeks Later is an often interesting, often scary, often powerful and often frustrating film for zombie/horror genre geeks. As a sequel to 2002’s supremely influential 28 Days Later, it’s a partial success. It does a wonderful job of transplanting that film’s nihilistic, hopeless streak of terror and what one person is willing to do to survive—especially in the masterful opening scene, where Robert Carlyle’s character abandons his wife while fleeing from zombies in a soul-crushing chase across the fields of England as tears of guilt stream down his face. On the other hand, the film’s true main characters, his children, aren’t nearly as interesting—nor is the collection of military suits who have locked down England in the post-Rage virus cleanup. The film also violates one of the unwritten rules of zombie cinema, which is, “There shouldn’t be a ‘main zombie.’” In this case, when Robert Carlyle’s Don becomes infected and escapes, it hurts the story’s ability to be legitimately suspenseful, as we know the kids aren’t in any real danger during any of their encounters with the infected, because zombie Don is still unaccounted for. If the audience knows that the script will require this one infected person to be present for a conclusion, then it robs all the other infected of being perceived as legitimate threats. Still, despite all that, 28 Weeks Later is well-shot and full of shocking, gritty action sequences. It’s not without its flaws, but certain scenes such as the opener are so powerful that we’re willing to forgive a lot. —Jim Vorel


prince-avalanche.jpg 93. Prince Avalanche
Year: 2013
Director: David Gordon Green 
Prince Avalanche finds David Gordon Greene perfecting the balance between his work in easy comedy and Terrence Malick-inspired dreamscape territory. The film, based on an Icelandic movie from 2011 called Either Way, is at times funnier than some of his straight-up comedies. It’s also a thoroughly enjoyable relationship movie about two men, one young, one old(ish), that is utterly devoid of sap—not an easy task when clichés are so easy to lean upon. The story takes place sometime after a severe wildfire has claimed a wide swath of forest near Austin, Texas, in the mid-1980s. Lance (Emile Hirsch) and Alvin (Paul Rudd) are spending the summer working as a two-man road crew in the burned-out state park, painting yellow lines on roads, planting posts, and camping out in the woods each night. Lance is barely present; he’s an airhead whose attitude defines “working for the weekend,” as he single-mindedly longs for a chance to go back into town and hook up with girls. A chunky, longhaired Emile Hirsch channels Jack Black in the role, smartly playing dumb the whole way through. Alvin, on the other hand, is a pretentious pseudo-intellectual who fancies himself something of a modern-day Thoreau. Once again, Rudd plays the straight man hilariously, as the two fight over whether Alvin’s German-language lesson tapes or Lance’s ’80s hair metal cassettes should be the soundtrack to their tedious and rather Zen-like work. Lance and Alvin talk and talk and get drunk and clash and make up, and the film never gets boring in the meantime. Their final, drunken dust-up is hilarious and berserk, offering a release of tension for characters and audience alike. —Jonah Flicker


allied.jpg 92. Allied
Year: 2016
Director: Robert Zemecki
Opening your World War II movie in Casablanca is like opening your horror movie with the exorcism of a vulgar little youngling—you better be bringing something new to this situation or be certain you’re executing at a level that can hang with your esteemed predecessors. Allied, Robert Zemeckis’s retro wartime mystery, does both: Spycraft, organized around an opening mission for Canadian spy Max (Brad Pitt) and displaced French Resistance fighter Marianne (Marion Cotillard) to knock off the German ambassador at a party, allows romance to bleed into the events with an elegance even James Bond films could never dream of attaining. Max and Marianne pose as husband and wife, playing Casablancan society as well as the local Nazi regime while perfecting their plot. The movie juggles their burgeoning relationship and their professional duties nimbly, building both to a head (including a spectacularly set sex scene, which you’re definitely not getting in Casablanca) the day of the assassination. While most modern World War II movies traffic in the brutal horrors of war, Allied focuses on an intelligence officer’s regret and betrayal without pulling any emotional punches: The look in a Casablancan friend’s eyes is just as memorable as the bloodshed in Saving Private Ryan. Inevitably, the spies deliver on their planned execution, shatter a roomful of lives and begin to build their own together. Where Allied does feel heavy is in its style, which—while much appreciated compared to a surfeit of boring, static two-shots—loses its even-handedness when every scene seems to come zooming through a window, from a mirror, or split with a windshield. The aforementioned love scene, already set in an unbelievable sandstorm, spins the camera around and around the couple with no fewer than seven cuts. Building the foundation of their love with this spectacle, as well as binding them together through a baby (literally) born under fire as a hospital crumbles in an air raid, is undeniably over-the-top in an otherwise refreshingly brainy film. Everything comes together so perfectly, however, that it’s hard to fault the filmmakers for wanting to showboat a little. —Jacob Oller


dancing-in-jaffa.jpg 91. Dancing in Jaffa
Year: 2014
Director: Hilla Medalia
It would be impossible for a single documentary to capture and explain all that has occurred in conflict areas in the Middle East. However, award-winning Dancing in Jaffa director Hilla Medalia goes in through the side door, using children’s ballroom dancing classes in Israel as a lens through which to understand the complex political, religious, and racial issues that still prevail. Following renowned ballroom dancer Pierre Dulaine, Dancing in Jaffa falls into many narratives categories, as a film about the healing power of art, the resilience of the young, and one amazing teacher who transforms a community. That it is a true story, makes it all the more incredible. Pierre Dulaine returns to his hometown of Jaffa, Israel, for the first time in decades to accomplish the impossible. In an area still rife with conflict, hatred and protests, he wants to bring Palestinian and Jewish children together for a ballroom dance competition. Even those of us who believe that art can change a young person’s life will be astounded at the visible effects of Dulaine’s work. But the film also paints an honest portrait of the long journey, and there are many troubling moments. War and violence is a fairly common subject in the schools, and the division between the Israeli-Palestinians and the Jews is very real. Children learn from their parents and from school administrators to distrust the “other” side. It is Dulaine who comes in and tries to create trust through dance, but this is beyond difficult, and he is not always successful. And just as the children are discussing war in the classroom—and appear to be of a world and time so outside of our own—one of them cracks a Justin Bieber joke, and it becomes clear that this is a contemporary story. And so the message of Dancing in Jaffa is twofold—at this very moment we should know that there are people fighting a war; and at this very moment we should also know that there are others dancing for peace. —Shannon M. Houston


bronson.jpg 90. Bronson
Year: 2009
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Michael Peterson was an extremely unruly individual. Since his days in elementary school he took to throwing viscous punches at whomever got within arm’s reach. As an adult, a bald, mustachioed, incorrigible brute, he became known as the most dangerous prisoner in Britain’s corrections system, a man who’d take a bloody mile and three teeth if you gave him an inch of freedom, a man who adopts as his fight name “Charles Bronson.” I’m not sure such a man is worthy of this gorgeous treatment. The film is lit beautifully and moves through sets that are dingy and theatrical like the booths of a carnival side show. Bronson himself looks like someone who’d be in one of Ricky Jay’s journals of anomalies, except that his only claim to fame is throwing mean punches willy nilly. He’s shut up like an animal, but as he’ll tell you himself he’s never killed a soul. He’s taken hostages. He’s made some nasty threats. But the final scenes of a man locked away in a cage barely bigger than he is raise questions about matching punishment to the crime. Part of what makes the film so fascinating is director Nicolas Winding Refn’s excellent sense of order. He knows when to loll about, when to coil the film quietly like a spring, and Tom Hardy playing the bare-knuckle Bronson gives an awe-inspiring, apoplectic performance as rage personified, pacing as if he can barely wait for Refn’s cue to bare his teeth and kick forth. —Robert Davis


crystal-fairy.jpg 89. Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus
Year: 2013
Director: Sebastián Silva
If Michael Cera was typecast as the poster boy for Type B romantic heroes—awkward but sweet, soft but humble, geeky but loveable—his turn in Sebastián Silva’s Crystal Fairy marked his arrival as an unlikeable Type A anti-hero. In one of the actor’s two Chile-based collaborations with Silva (the other is Magic Magic), Cera’s Jaime is an ugly American, obsessed with mind-altering drugs and oblivious to his own self-centeredness. Stoned at a local party, he invites fellow American Crystal Fairy (Gaby Hoffman)—a hippie, hairy, sometimes off-putting and often-naked free spirit—on his quest for a rare mescaline-producing cactus on a camping trip with friends. The sparse plot nonetheless provides opportunities for a little self-reflection and some original, dark humor, making the druggy affair a worthwhile trip. —Josh Jackson


i-am-divine.jpg 88. I Am Divine
Year: 2014
Director: Jeffrey Schwarz
Jeffrey Schwarz’s I Am Divine covers the life of Divine (born Harris Glenn Milstead) from his early childhood in conservative Baltimore through his rise to fame as the “most beautiful woman in the world.” As I watched the documentary unfold, all my opinions and preconceived notions about Divine slowly vanished. What Schwarz uncovers in his movie—or at least, what he illuminates—is how kind, quiet and generous Milstead was, despite his outrageous alter ego. Through a series of interviews with former collaborators, friends and family, Schwarz helps paint a picture of an extraordinary boy who lived so far outside what was considered “normal,” he had no choice but to blaze his own trail. The story of Divine is intertwined with the story of the Dreamlanders—Divine’s adopted family. This was a group of people who, like Divine, joined forces to create a safe space to express who they were without fear of judgement from the rest of the world. I Am Divine leaves one with was a sense that all things are possible. After all, John Waters and Divine—without experience, without contacts, without money—accomplished what Hollywood continually fails to do. They created iconic, timeless movies that are as powerful now as they were in the 1970s. —Leland Montgomery


23. the host (Custom).jpg 87. The Host
Year: 2006
Director: Bong Joon-ho
Before he was breaking out internationally with tight action films such as Snowpiercer, this South Korean monster movie was Bong Joon-ho’s big work and calling card. Astoundingly successful at the box office in his home country, it straddles several genre lines between sci-fi, family drama and horror, but there’s plenty of scary stuff with the monster menacing little kids in particular. Props to the designers on one of the more unique movie monsters of the last few decades—the creature in this film looks sort of like a giant tadpole with teeth and legs, which is way more awesome than it sounds. The real heart of the film is a superb performance by Song Kang-ho (also in Snowpiercer) as a seemingly slow-witted father trying to hold his family together during the disaster. That’s a pretty common role to be playing in a horror film, but the performances and family dynamic in general truly are the key factor that help elevate The Host far above most of its ilk. It’s not a coincidence that it became one of the most successful Korean films of all time. – Jim Vorel


League_of_their_own_poster.jpg 86. A League of Their Own
Year: 1992
Director: Penny Marshall
Although a film about women’s baseball during WWII, the real star of the feature is not one of the girls; it’s Tom Hanks. His portrayal of a fallen baseball great trying to regain respect (and kick the bottle) is one of the actor’s finer moments. Who can ever get tired of that famous quip, “There’s no crying in baseball!” a staple that baseball commentators throw out like it’s their fastball? It’s still a great line mulled over to this day. That’s when you know a movie has weight. Geena Davis and Lori Petty’s sibling relationship is swell, too. —Joe Shearer


client-9.jpg 85. Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer
Year: 2010
Director: Alex Gibney
The prolific Alex Gibney released four major documentary features in 2010, but Client 9 was his tightest, his most personal and his best. Gibney has great sympathy for Eliot Spitzer—the former New York Governor who resigned amid a prostitution scandal in 2008—and great anger at the powers that brought him down, but his impatience at the weakness Spitzer exhibited in making that fall possible is evident. As with most of Gibney’s films, expect a sharp intellect, crisp photography, brilliant use of music and a strong viewpoint. —Michael Dunaway


lilo-stitch.jpg 84. Lilo & Stitch
Year: 2016
Directors: Dean DeBois, Chris Sanders
Writer/directors Dean DeBois and Chris Sanders wrote Mulan and wrote/directed How to Train Your Dragon, and that same humor and originality is at play in Lilo & Stitch a story about a little girl who wants a dog and an alien who fulfills her wish and then some. The adorable prankster from outer space is at the heart of this story of accepting differences, and crash-landed his place in the Disney roster of iconic animated heroes. Funny, heartwarming and imaginative with an Elvis soundtrack to boot. —Josh Jackson


joshy.jpg 83. Joshy
Year: 2016
Director: Jeff Baena
In the movies, when a bunch of bros meet up at a vacation house for some R&R, it usually results in a weekend blast of bacchanalia or somebody getting killed. Or both. Thankfully, Joshy isn’t like most movies. Yes, it has the trappings of a buddy hangout film, but it’s far more mature than the genre it leans on, and more entertaining, too. With five main characters, a host of cameos and a precipitous balance between comedy and darkness, Joshy gets a lot done, and does it very well. Writer-director Jeff Baena doesn’t have us thinking about partying at first. The title character (Silicon Valley’s Thomas Middleditch) arrives home to his fiancée, unaware that by night’s end their relationship will meet its harsh, abrupt end. Months later, with the deposit to their Ojai bachelor party house in the balance, Joshy invites his pals to get together anyway. Only three show up, and they’re a study in contrasts: Ari (Adam Pally) is a stoner who’s married with a new baby, Adam (Alex Ross Perry) is a hesitant nerd, and Eric (Nick Kroll) is an overconfident, overly outspoken partier. Sure, there’s drinking and drugs and silliness in Joshy, but they’re rarely the focal point of the action. They’re a natural part of the environment, which makes sense once you’re in your thirties and dealing with the realities of life. For as much as I enjoy a good Seth Rogen pukefest, it doesn’t have to be the cinematic blueprint of what it means to hang with the guys. —Norm Schrager


melancholia.jpg 82. Melancholia
Year: 2011
Director: Lars von Trier 
If you want a really, really disturbingly beautiful apocalypse, you can’t go wrong with Lars von Trier. Melancholia is the second of a trilogy of films in which the director dives into the nature of depression. It revolves around two sisters, Justine (Kirsten Dunst) and Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg)—after a staccato series of prologue images set to Wagner (if you’ve ever experienced severe depression you’ll recognize the choppy, distanced, “underwater” quality of this first section), we open on Justine’s wedding reception. There is something seriously wrong with these people. Or is there? It seems like Justine’s boss is actually harassing her for ad copy in the middle of her own wedding toast. It seems like her father is a raging narcissist and her mother is “honest” in a way that makes you want to never take a phone call from her, ever. Everything seems off. And that’s before anyone realizes a runaway planet called Melancholia might be on a collision course with Earth. —Amy Glynn


john dies at the end poster (Custom).jpeg 81. John Dies at the End
Year: 2012
Director: Don Coscarelli
Your ability to withstand the absurdity of John Dies at the End will depend almost entirely on if you’re able to tolerate nonlinear storylines and characters who, woven together, tax the lengths of the imagination. An oftimes crude and farcical combination of horror, drug culture, and philosophical sci-fi, it’s a film you won’t entirely grasp until you’ve seen it for yourself. Central is a drug known as “soy sauce,” which causes the user to see outside the concept of linear time, existing at all times at once, similar to the alien beings from Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five. Also appearing: phantom limbs, an alien consciousness known as “Shitload,” a heroic dog, Paul Giamatti and an evil, interdimensional supercomputer. No drugs necessary—John Dies at the End will make you feel like you’ve already ransacked your medicine cabinet. —Jim Vorel


Sweeney.jpeg 80. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Year: 2007
Director: Tim Burton 
Whoever said murder couldn’t be wonderfully melodic? Although the Tony-winning Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street was right up Tim Burton’s alley, his 2007 film took his macabre look at a homicidal English barber and made it fun. Here’s another Burton flick that relies on the tested chemistry of Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, but we also see great performances from Alan Rickman as the corrupt Judge Turpin and Sasha Baron Cohen as a rival barber. The film sees Burton’s on-screen gruesomeness at an all-time high, but it’s all balanced out by some infectious musical numbers. —Tyler Kane


burden.jpg 79. Burden
Year: 2017
Directors: Timothy Marrinan, Richard Dewey
In Los Angeles—the city where he lived much of his life until his death in 2015 at the age of 69—Chris Burden is closely identified with Urban Light, a majestic collection of light poles displayed outside the Los Angeles County Museum of Art that’s quickly becoming one of the metropolis’s most photographed locations. Many who visit Urban Light for selfies, engagement photos or a place to wow out-of-town guests have little idea that, just a few decades ago, Burden was among modern art’s most combative practitioners, eliciting visceral responses from violent avant-garde projects which featured, say, having a friend shoot him in the arm at close range. How Burden went from provocateur to beloved cultural institution is one of the compelling threads in a documentary that goes beyond greatest-hits regurgitation, seeking an emotional through-line for a remarkable life. Burden doesn’t reach the heights of definitive artist portraits like Crumb, but it’s frequently inquisitive and nuanced, showing us where the man faltered even when the work captivated. Making their feature-length debut, directors Timothy Marrinan and Richard Dewey do a superb job of suggesting what drove Burden to craft such combative works without trying to psychoanalyze the man. Marrinan and Dewey spent some time interviewing Burden in his later years as he lived in happy seclusion in the hills just north of Los Angeles. Without trying to explain why, the movie presents us with a Burden who softened with age—the indecipherable half-smile still evident, though. His recent installations, including 2008’s Urban Light, don’t provoke, but they’re equally engrossing, Burden as per norm encouraging the observer to feel connected to what he sees. That the same man could have made such different pieces is a riddle Burden has the good sense not to entangle. Better, as always, to let the work speak for itself. —Tim Grierson


green-mile.jpg 78. The Green Mile
Year: 1999
Directors: Frank Darabont
When it comes to loyally capturing King’s Dickensian humanist dramas, you can’t go wrong with Frank Darabont. “Another Stephen King adaptation that’s set in a prison?”, a lot of Shawshank Redemption fans asked upon hearing about Darabont’s follow up. I remember the hype and the skepticism around the film were running neck-and-neck in the cultural zeitgeist up until the release of The Green Mile. Many fans were excited about Darabont returning to what he obviously did best, while an almost equal number were afraid that a repeat of similar material would yield diminished returns. The Green Mile wasn’t the masterpiece many hoped it would be, but it’s a rock-solid epic drama with a heartfelt supernatural center. The magical elements, centered on a child-like death row inmate (Michael Clarke Duncan in a star-making performance, RIP) who has the ability to heal others with a simple messianic touch, are of course what set the two films apart on the surface. The Green Mile’s tonal approach is also a bit darker as it leads to more morally complex third act, with an ending that frustrated some viewers because of this, but impressed yours truly. —Oktay Ege Kozak


radiant-city.jpg 77. In the Radiant City
Year: 2016
Directors: Rachel Lambert
n In the Radiant City, director Rachel Lambert and producer Jeff Nichols put Michael Abbott Jr.’s character Andrew before our gaze, create a sense of mystery around his past and his purpose for returning home, and then just let Abbott go to work. It’s a risky move, but their faith in Abbott is well-founded: his face is—seemingly against his will—a deep reservoir of emotion, capable of conveying how he’s pulled from all sides by the impossible situations his character faces. He reminds me of a young Matthew McConaughey, with a bit of John Hawkes thrown in. It’s always impressive when an actor can play the lead in a movie where nothing much happens in the plot, and turn in a performance you can’t look away from. Director Rachel Lambert has obviously learned well from her producer, the director Jeff Nichols, as she builds the film’s tension around untold mysteries and intense performances. —Michael Dunaway


project-nim.jpg 76. Project Nim
Year: 2011
Director: James Marsh
In Man on Wire, director James Marsh recounted French tightrope walker Philippe Petit’s exploits, most notably his unauthorized 1974 walk between the Twin Towers that held most of the city of New York breathless for an entire morning. In Project Nim, a team of researchers (only one year earlier, in 1973) sets out to accomplish an even more audacious and thrilling goal—to teach a chimpanzee human sign language and initiate meaningful dialogue. Technically the film is flawless. But the really compelling angle for the film is the very idea of inter-species communication.—Michael Dunaway

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