Donnie Darko (2001)


A troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a large bunny rabbit that manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after narrowly escaping a bizarre accident. (IMDb)
Carried by snappy dialogue and a memorable soundtrack is this mesmerizing mix of poignant teenage drama (the one-take high school montage is fantastic) and strange pyscho-horror (wait, the rabbit is real?), with undertones of eerie sci-fi, with Gyllenhaal excelling as a brilliant but tortured youth with a penchant for rebellion that comes to the forefront in his trance-like late-night escapades. The meaning of it all isn’t totally clear, but the film still manages to resonate and feel cohesive.
8.5/10 (Amazing)

The Graduate (1967)


A disillusioned college graduate finds himself torn between his older lover and her daughter. (IMDb)
A few uncomfortably stiff scenes (the initial seduction comes out of nowhere, and lacks authentic sensuality) and some puzzlingly unfounded plot points (see Benjamin’s sudden love for Elaine–saved only by the uncertain ending) are mostly overshadowed by the film’s unique blend of dry, awkward comedy (see the hotel lobby scenes), sexual drama, and melancholy coming-of-age fare, and its daringly creative cinematography (see the brilliant diving/hotel room montage and the classroom time lapse).
7.5/10 (Really Good)