Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

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A cyborg, identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor, must now protect her teenage son, John Connor, from a more advanced and powerful cyborg. (IMDb)
It’s a great action movie–the set pieces are thrilling, the slippery villain excellent, the SFX hold up well, and stoic Terminator and badass Sarah make a great one-two punch of heroes (Furlong’s turn is mediocre)–but its mix of searing dystopian sci-fi and raw human emotion (see Sarah’s fantastic narrations: “Of all the would-be fathers who came and went over the years…this machine was the only one who measured up. In an insane world, it was the sanest choice”) make it a great movie, period.
8/10 (Great)

 

American History X (1998)

A former neo-nazi skinhead tries to prevent his younger brother from going down the same wrong path that he did. (IMDb)
Whether it’s in his slow-motion close-ups, long-winded rants, or intense emotional breakdowns, Norton is a definite standout here. Derek’s development is compelling-made more so by the film’s excellent use of greyscale and a non-linear story dynamic-and while his brother’s transformation is more sudden and unbelievable, he remains interesting as well. Spellbinding lengthy scenes unflinchingly deal with ugly and tragic racism through this fascinating family framework in this engrossing film.
8.5/10 (Amazing)