145. Rashomon (A+)
Akira Kurosawa's first big international success, which introduced a whole new style of storytelling. It holds up exceptionally well. The 50s style of Japanese acting featured in Kurosawa's films can take a bit of getting used to, but once you do the calibre of the work is easy to appreciate. Machiko Kyo is the real star of this one, aided by the fact that her character changes the most pronouncedly between the tellings. It's also an interesting movie to watch from the perspective of a law student.
146. Three Kings (A)
This is, in my estimation, the best film made about the Gulf War, but I can only think of three (this, Courage Under Fire
, and Jarhead
), so perhaps that's not that big a distinction. That said, still a terrific movie -- a more dramatic Kelly's Heroes
for the 1990s (or maybe a grittier precursor to George Clooney's Ocean's 11
). Much like David O. Russell's later The Fighter
(and Silver Linings Playbook
, if the reviews are to believed), it takes a pretty standard story arc ("guys engaged in immoral/self-interested conduct suddenly get a crash course in empathy and become real heroes"), but delivers it in a fresh, engaging way. It also functions as an interesting time capsule, given what happened later.
Home Video: 82 (+2)