Michael Phillips

film critic

Voted for

The Band Wagon1953Vincente Minnelli
The Passion of Joan of Arc1927Carl Th. Dreyer
Sherlock Jr.1924Buster Keaton
Duck Amuck1951Chuck Jones
Tokyo Story1953Yasujirō Ozu
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans1927F.W. Murnau
Citizen Kane1941Orson Welles
Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles1975Chantal Akerman
Madame de...1953Max Ophuls
The Godfather Part II1974Francis Ford Coppola


The Band Wagon

1953 USA

The greatest musical stylist and the movies' most delirious colorist at his peak.

The Passion of Joan of Arc

1927 France

A dream and a nightmare of spiritual ecstasy. Dreyer and his design collaborators create an amalgam of the 14th and 20th centuries, and somehow reach into the future with every stroke. Maria Falconetti's performance: incomparable, unbeatable, anguished and enough to make an atheist think things over.

Sherlock Jr.

1924 USA

Forty-five minutes from heaven. The silent screen's modernist genius and kinetic wonder in his truest inquiry into what the camera could do for him, and for us.

Duck Amuck

1951 USA

A duck wrestles with his maker. "Brother! What a way to run a railroad."

Tokyo Story

1953 Japan

Inspired by Leo McCarey's heartbreaking "Make Way for Tomorrow," Ozu's post-WWII family drama remains what it has been, always: a film with a piercing gaze, directly into the camera of the soul. Emotionally, everything everywhere all at once.

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

1927 USA

A unique and artistic picture, according to the inaugural company picnic known as the Academy Awards, and a reminder that artists with freedom and fire once (and do, still, occasionally) had the keys to the ever-threatened kingdom.

Citizen Kane

1941 USA

Same as it ever was.

Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles

1975 Belgium, France

Pure high-wire poetry, in very tight spaces.

Madame de...

1953 France, Italy

The waltz sublime, and cinema's most dazzling flow of imagery, with the chill of death in every transition.

The Godfather Part II

1974 USA

A pretty good sequel.