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1981 (2009 Feb 27)

The problem with being 13 years old and wanting to go to the movies every weekend was that transportation was an issue. With the nearest theater not within bicycling distance (my preferred means of traveling to most nearby destinations), that meant ...

1982 (2009 Mar 09)

The thing I remember most forcefully about 1982 isn't the Falklands Islands conflict, the crash of Air Florida Flight 90 into the Potomac, the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II, or the death of Brezhnev. It was the arrival in theaters of ...

1983 (2009 Mar 29)

For me, 1983 was an "off" year as far as movies were concerned. The reason? No new Star Trek films. In fact, when I think of that year, the first thing that comes to mind is the snowstorm of February 11, which dumped nearly two feet on Southern ...

1984 (2009 May 03)

Hardly a day passed in 1984 without someone mentioning George Orwell's novel. For me, the year was less about whether we were inching nearer to a society monitored by Big Brother than of the freedoms afforded by turning 17. Beginning September 25, ...

1985 (2009 May 20)

On a global scale, not a lot happened in 1985; this allowed trivia to dominate the news cycle. Ronald Reagan officially began his second term but no one really noticed. It had long been assumed that the Great Communicator would be in office for ...

1986 (2009 Jun 09)

My memories of 1986 are not much about movies, although it can't be said that I avoided multiplexes during the course of the year. Rather, when I gaze back through the mists of time, other things dominate my thoughts about the year when I ...

1987 (2009 Jul 03)

If I was going to choose a year in which I became more than a casual movie-goer, it would be 1987. My total that year, when combining theatrical and home video titles, came in around 100 - far more than in any previous year. In the past, my bread-...

1988 (2009 Jul 20)

1988 was a strange year for me - one in which I felt dissociated from the world at large. In the pre-Internet era, it was necessary to seek out news by turning on the television, listening to the radio, or reading the newspaper. For the most part, ...

1989 (2009 Aug 12)

If 1988 was lacking in earthshaking current events, 1989 more than made up for it. The first major international news story began percolating in late April; at that time, most of the news outlets either ignored it or relegated it to a back-page item...

2004 Top 10 - #1 (2004 Dec 30)

#1: Maria Full of Grace : For those who are regular vistors to this site, the selection of Maria Full of Grace as #1 will not come as a surprise. It is, after all, the only 2004 theatrical release to which I assigned four stars. That's not an ...

2004 Top 10 - #2 (2004 Dec 29)

#2: Spring Summer Fall Winter...and Spring : Sublime, stunning, and emotionally powerful, Spring Summer Fall Winter...and Spring spent a number of months at the top of my "favorites" list for 2004 (until it was supplanted by my end-of-the-year #1). ...

2004 Top 10 - #3 and The Hall of Shame (2004 Dec 28)

#3: Before Sunset : For an early summer Valentine to all of us romantic movie-goers, Richard Linklater not only formulated a worthy sequel to his early-'90s love story, Before Sunrise, but he crafted 2004's best English-language motion picture. ...

2004 Top 10 - #4 (2004 Dec 27)

#4: Moolaadé : For me, one of the great disappointments of 2004 was the anemic performance of this compelling feature at the art-house box office. If one of the purposes of movies is to take us to places we have never previously visited, most ...

2004 Top 10 - #5 (2004 Dec 26)

#5: Sea Inside, The : The most mature and emotionally wrenching film to-date from Spanish director Alejandro Amenabar (Open Your Eyes, The Others), The Sea Inside represents a cathartic and satisfying experience. Based on a true story, this film ...

2004 Top 10 - #6 (2004 Dec 25)

#6: Million Dollar Baby : One could make a strong argument that this is the best movie Clint Eastwood has ever been involved in, either in front of or behind the camera. Although Million Dollar Baby will be classified as a "sports movie" by many, ...

2004 Top 10 - #7 (2004 Dec 24)

#7: Closer : Closer is an anti-romance film. At first, it appears to be about longing and love, but it quickly becomes apparent that the forging and breaking of relationships in this movie are conduits for gaining power and causing pain. Sex is more...

2004 Top 10 - #8 (2004 Dec 23)

#8: Sideways : Sideways represents the most mature film to-date from director Alexander Payne, whose impressive resume already includes Election and About Schmidt. By turns poignant and hilarious, Sideways follows the misadventures of two mismatched...