The Essentials


Strange Days The Essentials

‘Strange Days’ Reminds Us That Every Year Is the Worst


Kathryn Bigelow’s ‘Strange Days’ is a rough, but essential watch for genre hounds.

Rare Exports Essentials

‘Rare Exports’ Is the Dong-Filled Amblin Film for Your Whole Family


‘Rare Exports’ is the Finnish import that reveals the dark side of the beloved holiday, making it an essential watch for Xmas movie fanatics.

The Ref Essentials

‘The Ref’ is a Wonderful Christmas Kidnapping


When ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ and ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ are not enough to get you through the holidays, ‘The Ref’ answers the call.

Babes In Toyland Essentials

‘Babes in Toyland’ Is a Holiday Nightmare Factory for the Whole Family


1934’s ‘Babes in Toyland’ isn’t really a Christmas movie, but don’t tell the network programmers. However, it is an essential movie experience.

Breaking Away Essentials

‘Breaking Away’ Is As Close to Perfection as a Film Can Be


‘Breaking Away’ is one of the greatest sports movies of all time, but more importantly, it’s an incredible exploration of humanity through character.

Unbreakable Essentials

‘Unbreakable’ Is An Essential M. Night Shyamalan Experience


‘Unbreakable’ is a soft-spoken, but an essential masterpiece. M. Night Shyamalan splashes his passion for another medium upon the big screen.


Alexander Payne’s ‘Election’ is as Comic as it is Tragic


Three O'clock High Essentials

‘Three O’Clock High’ Blends Anxiety and Daydream with Perfection


‘Three O’Clock High’ is more than High School ‘High Noon.’ The film is an essential watch, blending teenage anxiety with genuine catharsis.

Thirst Essentials

Park Chan-wook’s ‘Thirst’ Finds Horror in the Inhuman Condition


Park Chan-wook’s ‘Thirst’ remains an essential watch for vampire lovers. The film is a slow burn tragedy that reaches into realms American films usually dread.