By Stephanie Zacharek
By Simon Abrams
By Michelle Orange
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Nick Schager
By Amy Nicholson
By The Invisible Woman
By I Used to Be Darker
BEST TEN OF 1995
1. The Usual Suspects. Bryan Singer's dark, twisting crime thriller restores the old glory of film noir, then presses on into uncharted territory with Kevin Spacey, Stephen Baldwin, Kevin Pollak, Gabriel Byrne and Chazz Palminteri in tow. Best advice: See it twice. And look out for the dreaded Keyser Soze.
2. Leaving Las Vegas. Nicolas Cage and Elisabeth Shue look like Oscar contenders for their work in Mike Figgis's bleak tragicomedy about a burned-out writer drinking himself to death--with no regrets--in the neon wilderness of the Strip.
3. Crumb. For sheer fright and creepiness, few horror flicks can match Terry Zwigoff's probing, prying documentary about underground-comics pioneer R. Crumb and his bizarre family.
5. Exotica. Canadian Atom Egoyan's challenging meditation on love, loss and reinvention is set, startlingly enough, in a postmodern Toronto strip club.
6. Get Shorty. The Travolta renewal continues in a sharp, witty take on Elmore Leonard's comic novel about crooks, Hollywood and the lure of celebrity. Is Gene Hackman any good as a third-rate director? Guess.
7. Kids. Photog Larry Clark scares complacent parents with an unblinking--if sometimes gratuitous--look at nihilistic teenagers in New York.
8. Carrington. Emma Thompson and the amazing Jonathan Pryce hook up in Christopher Hampton's moving study of the odd romance between English painter Dora Carrington and the homosexual biographer/ essayist Lytton Strachey.
WORST TEN OF 1995 1. The Scarlet Letter. For all this bomb's fidelity to Nathaniel Hawthorne, that big red "A" stitched to Demi Moore's breast may as well mean she's playing for the California Angels.
4. Oleanna. David Mamet's staged argument about men and women and teachers and students seemingly has no end. And no point.
5. Waterworld. For $200 million, Universal got Pacific storms, logistical nightmares and a web-toed, brain-locked Kevin Costner.
7. Batman Forever. God, let's hope not. For poor Val Kilmer's sake.
8. Destiny Turns on the Radio. Ten-cent mysticism, hip posing and sophomoric dialogue at a fleabag motel in Vegas.
10. Judge Dredd. Sly Stallone goes sub-Rambo, and that's waaaaaay down there.
Join My Voice Nation for free stuff, film info & more!