1. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) • Directed by Mike Nichols • Written by Ernest Lehman • Starring Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Sandy Dennis, and George Segal
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    Everything I could ever want in a film. The acting, the writing, the directing are all executed incredibly. The conflict piles up on itself incessantly until it falls to the floor in a huge mess in the most beautiful way. For me, this movie is a non-stop thrill ride full of deliciously melodramatic malevolence.
  2. The Illusionist (2010) • Directed and Written by Sylvain Chomet
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    For some unknown reason this movie touched me on a personal level. The mystery of its emotional effects make each revisit to the film a more enlightening experience. It could be the sheer beauty of its animation, the moody atmosphere, or the beautifully melancholic score. Either way, I have Sylvain Chomet to thank for this gem.
  3. Rachel Getting Married (2008) • Directed by Jonathan Demme • Written by Jenny Lumet • Starring Anne Hathaway, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Bill Irwin
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    Another movie that hits all the right notes for me as a viewer. Snappy, realistic dialogue full of brutally honest characters, the style Jonathan Demme chose works wonders for the film's atmosphere and his actors never fail to make a scene feel completely immersible. All-time great performances from Hathaway and DeWitt.
  4. Mulholland Dr (2001) • Directed and Written by David Lynch • Starrinf Naomi Watts, Laura Elana Harding, and Justin Theroux
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    This movie is so frustratingly good. Upon first viewing I was just baffled by how cheesy and nonsensical it was. Then it hit the third act, and I realized I had witnessed a masterpiece. Wonderfully ethereal direction and truly riveting work from Watts. With just enough questions answered and just enough ambiguity, I left satisfied.
  5. Junebug (2005) • Directed by Phil Morrison • Written by Angus McLachlan • Starring Embeth Davidtz, Alessandro Nivola, Amy Adams, and Celia Weston
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    If this film had a beating heart, it would be Amy Adams. She'll make you laugh and break your heart. But more than that, this film has a great understanding of small-town polite passive-aggressiveness, and unspoken familial conflict. Everyone masterfully fleshes out their character through subtle nuance, and Davidtz is extraordinary.
  6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) • Directed by Michel Gondry • Written by Charlie Kauffman, Michel Gondry, and Pierre Bismuth • Starring Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, and Tom Wilkinson
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    Stunning, inventive visuals and a script that never ceases to challenge your mind as a viewer. It's a magical film with a great understanding of love and loss. It offers a world that few filmmakers dare to dream of. Carrey, Winslet, and Dunst give bare-boned, soulful performances.
  7. Princess Mononoke (1998) • Directed and Written by Hayao Miyazaki • Starring Billy Crudup, Claire Danes, and Minnie Driver
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    Breathtaking. That is the easiest way to describe the incredible artistry that was put into this film, because the imagination it must have taken to conceive this world full of real-life parallels concerning war, environmental issues, and political superpowers is unfathomable. At its core, it's a fantastical epic; a rarity.
  8. Before Sunset (2004) • Directed by Richard Linklater • Written by Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke, and Julie Delpy • Starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy
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    n the four to five total scenes this film has, Before Sunset manages to wrap-up a powerfully authentic slice of life that covered themes of longing, change, love, and so many more little conversations that still managed to engage my attention through quippy, romantic dialogue and Hawke and Delpy's iconic chemistry.
  9. Lost in Translation (2003) • Directed and Written by Sofia Coppola • Starring Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Giovanni Ribisi, and Anna Farris
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    What I love about this film is its quietness; it's relaxing and comforting and romantic even. It uses dialogue sparingly, and when the beautifully-realized characters do speak, it has this incredibly moving honesty to it. Murray and Johansson (at only the age of 17!!!) are wonderful. Aesthetically splendid and soulful.
  10. Weekend (2011) • Directed and Written by Andrew Haigh • Starring Tom Cullen and Chris New
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    My favorite straight-up (or gay-up?) romance of all-time. The chemistry between Cullen and New is something to behold. New is especially underrated, what he can say through body language and vocal nuances is astounding. With its achingly genuine love story, there's also an expertly executed peek into the world of gay culture and romance.