Touch of Evil (1958)


A stark, perverse story of murder, kidnapping, and police corruption in a Mexican border town. (IMDb)
Brilliant cinematography and editing, from the opening 3 minute take (and many other mesmerizing tracking shots to follow) to the ingenious overlapping of scenes (a character in the background of one becomes the focus of the next) to the stark use of shadow and light. It’s got a solid noir plot, too, with a unique focus on the cops, not the crime, though here a white-washed lead role, a cringe-y damsel-in-distress, and some questionable performances from the supporting cast mar things a bit.
7.5/10 (Really Good)


Citizen Kane (1941)

Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance. (IMDb)
A lengthy newsreel inserted early on here fumbles the artful intrigue of the opening sequence and is eventually rendered unnecessary as the film basically repeats the same information from that point on–and the spoilers, along with the jumpy script (although the interview format is cool) make it hard to fully immerse yourself in the life of Kane, as interesting as it is. That said, this film is so impeccably and beautifully filmed–and well-acted to boot–that it’s still well worth the watch.
7.5/10 (Really Good)