Total Recall

Friday, Feb. 22 2013, 09:10 AM

Watching the Academy Awards is a perfectly fine way to spend an evening, but let's face it: Half the fun of the Oscars is trying to predict who'll win, and the other half is bellyaching about who wasn't even nominated. It's in that spirit that we assembled this week's list -- looking back over the last few decades of Oscardom, plenty of worthy films have been honored, but just as many (if not more) have seen their contributions to cinema unfairly overlooked in favor of some rather questionable nominations. Obviously, this is meant to be a conversation starter rather than a complete list, but hey -- that's what the comments are for. Let's Total Recall!

Thursday, Feb. 07 2013, 02:37 PM

Over the course of a career spanning two decades and dozens of movies, Jude Law has become one of the most successful actors of his generation -- in fact, just a few years ago, he made the industry's "top 10 most bankable" list. This weekend, he has the honor of starring in Side Effects, Steven Soderbergh's (alleged) swan song as a director of feature films; to celebrate, we decided to take the opportunity to pay tribute to some of Mr. Law's biggest critical hits. Of course, given his propensity for smaller parts, we had to prune a few entries from the upper reaches of Law's Tomatometer; his roles in films like The Aviator, Hugo, and Lemony Snicket weren't quite substantial enough to make the grade. Still, we think you'll find plenty to love in this week's list. Without further ado... Jude Law's best movies!

Thursday, Jan. 31 2013, 04:26 PM

It may not be getting much critical love at the moment, but this weekend's Stand Up Guys has at least one thing going for it: An expertly seasoned cast that includes Alan Arkin, Christopher Walken, and Al Pacino. They've all made plenty of great films -- in fact, you can check out our countdown of Walken's best movies right here -- but seeing those names together made us realize that we've never dedicated a list to the mighty Pacino filmography, and we knew we had to take this chance to repent. Join us, if you will, for a stroll through a world where one of the greatest actors of his generation always lived up to his greatest potential, and movies like 88 Minutes and Jack and Jill never happened. It's time for Total Recall!

Thursday, Jan. 24 2013, 02:33 PM

With 11 directors, 15 writers, and a cast of dozens, this weekend's Movie 43 is the biggest picture of 2013 -- at least in terms of cast and crew. But all those people didn't get together to make any old film: Movie 43 is part of the rich Hollywood tradition of anthologies -- movies in which sometimes-disparate collections of filmmakers come together to create a larger statement. We decided to dedicate this week's list to those efforts, and while limiting our choices to movies with multiple directors forced us to make some painful cuts (sorry, Creepshow fans), we still ended up with a pretty broad overview of a genre that's probably never gotten enough love from mainstream audiences. It's time for Total Recall!

Thursday, Jan. 17 2013, 04:11 PM

Awards season is in full swing, and film fans everywhere are either debating their picks for who's about to win or arguing over those who've already won. That goes double for us at RT, and to celebrate our annual embrace of Oscar fever, we've decided to dedicate this week's list to the films getting ready to duke it out for this year's Best Picture Academy Award. With room for real-life stories, a little romance, a few songs, some hard-hitting drama, and even some action and/or comedy, this year's batch of nominees is certainly an eclectic bunch -- so let's take a look at them all, reminisce about how many we've seen, and then hit the comments section to weigh in on their odds of winning come February 24. It's time for Total Recall!

Thursday, Jan. 10 2013, 04:32 AM

Hey girl, Ryan Gosling has three movies scheduled for release this year -- and with the first, Gangster Squad, making its long-delayed arrival in theaters this weekend, we decided not to waste any time giving the impressively prolific (not to mention widely eclectic) leading man his due by taking a fond look back at his ever-growing filmography's critical highlights. And you know what that means, folks: It's time for Total Recall!

Thursday, Jan. 03 2013, 03:16 PM

January is traditionally known as a cinematic graveyard, so it's only appropriate that our local cineplexes are kicking off 2013 with something as death-obsessed as Texas Chainsaw 3D, the latest chapter in the seemingly never-ending saga of the cannibalistic lunatic Leatherface and his equally depraved family -- and the most recent in a growing list of slasher flicks to make use of Hollywood's on-again, off-again fascination with 3D technology. Of course, we couldn't help thinking of some previous entries in the genre, and you know what that means -- it's time to Total Recall, 3D horror style!

Thursday, Dec. 27 2012, 10:32 AM

Since making his debut with Reservoir Dogs 20 years ago, Quentin Tarantino has enjoyed one of the fastest-rising -- and consistently critically lauded -- careers of any director in modern Hollywood. He's back this weekend with the Jamie Foxx-led revenge fantasy Western Django Unchained, and the reviews are typically solid -- which means now is the perfect time to dedicate a feature to taking a fond look back at his earlier efforts. So cover the kids' ears and keep an eye on Marvin in the back seat, because this week, we're serving up Total Recall Tarantino style!

Wednesday, Dec. 19 2012, 04:20 PM

I grew up in a household that owned four Christmas albums -- Bing Crosby, Andy Williams, Dean Martin, and the Boston Pops. And that was it. So part of what I enjoy about Christmas as an adult is the discovery of the vast thicket of vintage holiday music out there, from Pearl Bailey and Lena Horne to the Ray Conniff Singers and the Three Sons. Same deal with movies; I came of age in the 1970s, the golden era of It's a Wonderful Life being in the public domain and airing all day, every day, throughout the month of December. As I got older (and wrote the book Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas), I was delighted to find that I had as many new buried treasures among Christmas films as I've had with music.

Thursday, Dec. 06 2012, 01:17 PM

The rest of the heavy hitters Hollywood has planned for us in 2012 are being stored away until later in December, but Gerard Butler can't wait -- he's back in theaters this weekend with his latest rom-com, Playing for Keeps. Although its Tomatometer fate can probably be guessed by the fact that it isn't being screened for critics, don't feel too badly for Butler -- his filmography has plenty of critical highlights to fall back on, and this week's list offers proof. From period drama to family-friendly fantasy and bone-crunching action, he's stayed plenty busy over the last 15 years and change -- and now it's time to pay tribute, Total Recall style!

Tuesday, Nov. 20 2012, 07:54 PM

Over the course of his Academy Award-winning career, Ang Lee has crossed over from Taiwanese box office successes to American arthouse classics and Hollywood blockbusters, proving his hand with family drama, comedy, period pieces, epic martial arts action, romance, and even superheroes along the way. But up 'til now, he's never tried making a 3D adventure about a shipwrecked boy and his CGI tiger -- so in honor of this weekend's Certified Fresh Life of Pi, we decided to take a look back at Lee's wildly eclectic filmography, and came up with a list that has something for pretty much everyone. You know what that means: It's time for Total Recall!

Thursday, Nov. 15 2012, 09:21 AM

For the last couple of years, Kristen Stewart has been The Twilight Saga's Bella Swan -- and the middle of one of the most hotly contested love triangles in recent pop culture history. The debate between Team Jacob and Team Edward reaches its senses-shattering conclusion this week, with the release of Breaking Dawn Part 2, but no matter which side you're on, there's no denying that Stewart's film career has always been about more than vampires and werewolves. Over the last decade, she's assembled a crowded, surprisingly eclectic filmography, and Breaking Dawn Part 2 is only one part of a busy year that also includes her turn in On the Road, debuting December 21; we decided to join in the fun by celebrating her work with this week's Total Recall. Without further ado, here are Kristen Stewart's best-reviewed movies!

Thursday, Nov. 08 2012, 03:21 PM

There aren't many actors who have the depth and sensitivity to carry indie fare and enough charisma to lead a blockbuster franchise, but with one foot in the art house and the other firmly planted at the multiplex, Daniel Craig is one star who can have his Layer Cake and eat it too. With his third Bond outing, Skyfall arriving in theaters this weekend, we decided now would be the perfect time to take a fresh look at some of his critical highlights. However, our list doesn't count a handful of brief appearances and cameo roles that are also worth checking out.

Thursday, Nov. 01 2012, 01:51 PM

Hollywood can't get enough of that state-of-the-art 3D CGI, but this weekend, Disney issues a proud tribute to our 8-bit past with the classic arcade throwback Wreck-It Ralph. If you're anything like us, Ralph's Q*Bert and King Koopa cameos will trigger long-buried arcade flashbacks, but even if you've never lost a quarter (or hours of your life) to a game, you've probably seen at least a few of the movies on our latest list. Yes, this week, we're paying tribute to movies whose plots hinge on video games, and you know what that means -- limber up your thumbs, because it's time for Total Recall!

Thursday, Oct. 25 2012, 01:35 PM

Co-starring in a short-lived sitcom about cross-dressing friends generally isn't the most direct path to superstardom, but there's an exception to prove every rule -- only one, though; sorry, Peter Scolari -- and after racking up over $3 billion in domestic ticket receipts, winning a mantel full of awards (including back-to-back Best Actor Oscars), and starring in some of the best-reviewed films of the last 25 years, Tom Hanks has demonstrated that he's pretty darned exceptional. With his latest project, the Wachowski-engineered spectacle Cloud Atlas, arriving in theaters this weekend, we decided now was the perfect time to take another look at an impressive body of work by twirling the dials on the Tomatometer, making a list of Hanks' best-reviewed films, and playing Total Recall!

Thursday, Oct. 18 2012, 07:25 AM

Most American filmgoers didn't know who he was prior to The Professional in 1994, but Jean Reno was already a CÚsar-nominated titan of French cinema at that point -- and his filmography has only broadened in the nearly 20 years since, with comedies, dramas, and big-budget action pictures being added to the list along the way. With Reno making an appearance in this weekend's Alex Cross, we decided now would be the perfect time to take a look back at some of his brightest critical highlights, and you know what that means: It's time for Total Recall!

Thursday, Oct. 11 2012, 04:00 AM

From junior soap star to Oscar-winning film actor, Saturday Night Live mainstay, and music video legend, Christopher Walken has carved out one of the most cheerfully inimitable career paths in Hollywood since making his screen debut nearly 60 years ago. This weekend, the amazingly prolific actor -- who's acted in nearly 30 films over the last 10 years alone -- pops up in Seven Psychopaths, so we decided to take the opportunity to take a fond look back at some of his most critically beloved performances. Break out your cowbells, it's time for Total Recall!

Thursday, Oct. 04 2012, 04:37 PM

For 25 years and counting, Tim Burton has been one of the most successful directors in Hollywood -- and he's done it his way, presenting filmgoers with an ever-growing list of films that celebrate the strange and macabre, from comedies (Beetlejuice) to dramas (Big Fish) to thrillers (Sleepy Hollow), with a few stops for big-budget blockbuster fare along the way (Batman, Planet of the Apes). Heck, Burton's even proven his mettle as a director of animated fare (Corpse Bride) and served as a producer on at least one movie he didn't direct, but you probably thought he did (The Nightmare Before Christmas). This week, Burton brings his unique style to bear -- in 3-D, no less! -- on a feature-length, stop-motion animated expansion of his early short film Frankenweenie, and to celebrate, we decided to take a look back at his 10 best-reviewed films. Let's Total Recall, shall we?

Thursday, Sep. 27 2012, 02:51 PM

He's been a television star, recording artist, wine cooler pitchman, and Idaho real estate tycoon, but Bruce Willis is best known for his films -- and his latest, this weekend's Looper, looks to be one of the most critically renowned of the year. Not too shabby for a guy who's been cranking out movies for 25 years -- and whose filmography includes some of the most beloved hits of the last quarter century. In honor of this latest achievement, we decided now would be the perfect time to take another fond look back at some of Mr. Willis' brightest critical highlights, and you know what that means... yippee-ki-yay, it's time for Total Recall!

Thursday, Sep. 20 2012, 03:56 AM

He's done some pretty terrific work as a director -- in fact, we devoted a previous Total Recall to it -- but for our money, there's nothing quite like seeing Clint Eastwood squint and growl in front of the camera, so when we saw that he'd be starring opposite Amy Adams and Justin Timberlake in this weekend's Trouble with the Curve, we knew what we needed to do. If you like your guns big, your action mean, and your protagonists strong and silent, this list is for you. Do you feel like Total Recall? Well, do ya, punk?


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