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The Essentials

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    The Essentials: The 5 Best Nicole Kidman Performances

    Few actresses seem to make as diverse an array of choices as Nicole Kidman. The actress has spent the last decade or two as one of the few actresses who can truly call themselves A-list, but swings between incredibly bold, interesting choices with world-class filmmakers, and nearly irredeemable crap...

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    The Essentials: 5 Great Films By Nicholas Ray

    While adored by the French and the Cahiers Du Cinema coterie that went on to become the rebellious French New Wave -- which spawned the oft-quoted Jean-Luc Godard phrase "cinema is Nicholas Ray" -- the American filmmaker never really received his due outside of the one film of his that most moviego...

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    The Essentials: The 5 Best Johnny Depp Performances

    Despite the relative disappointment of "Dark Shadows" (and the film's closing on $200 million worldwide, which is nothing to be sniffed at), Johnny Depp is still one of the biggest stars in the world, something sure to only be further cemented by next year's "The Lone Ranger." And the actor must hav...

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    The Films Of Ridley Scott: A Retrospective

    Ridley Scott is, in some circles anyhow, a god. Practically treated as royalty with laudatory genuflection from certain film enthusiasts — generally genre fetishists — he has turned in two unimpeachable cinema touchstones, "Blade Runner" and "Alien," plus a few other arguable modern semi-classics in...

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    The Essentials: 5 Great Howard Hawks Films

    We love a chamelonic director here at The Playlist, and Howard Hawks was one of the first, and one of the best. Across a 55-year career that spanned silents and talkies, black-and-white and color, Hawks tackled virtually every genre under the sun, often turning out films that still stand as among th...

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    The 10 Best Dennis Hopper Performances

    It's almost two years since the passing of one of cinema's true wild men, Dennis Hopper. The actor, writer and director was a maverick titan of cinema, a man who starred in some of the most pictures of American cinema, from "Rebel Without A Cause" to "Blue Velvet," while also writing and directing a...

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    The Essentials: Tim Burton's 5 Best Films

    Tomorrow sees "Dark Shadows" will hit theaters, the latest gothic entertainment from director Tim Burton and his muse Johnny Depp. And, as per our review, and many others, it's sadly an another disappointment, another wonderful-looking, empty picture that seems to have been derived from the filmmake...

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    The Films Of Richard Linklater: A Retrospective

    Given that he's one of the more diverse and prolific filmmakers out there, it's been a disappointingly long four years without a new movie from Richard Linklater ("Me And Orson Welles" premiered at TIFF in 2008). Fortunately, the Austin, Texas-based filmmaker is back with "Bernie," a dark comedy whi...

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    The Essentials: The Films Of Don Siegel

    In the credits to his masterpiece "Unforgiven," Clint Eastwood included a dedication: "for Don Siegel and Sergio Leone." Leone was a no-brainer, one of the great filmmakers, but Siegel was less beloved of cinephiles: a cosmopolitan Chicago native who studied at Jesus College, Cambridge, he started d...

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    The Essentials: The Films Of John Milius

    All those who complain about the liberal domination of Hollywood have never come across John Milius. A film school pal of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, Milius had tried to join the Marine Corp, but was turned away due to his asthma. Instead, he channeled his frustrations into both a life-long o...

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