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The 10 Best Films of 2015

By any standard, 2015 produced a bumper crop of quality films. While Hollywood’s obsession with franchises continued unabated and observers decried the continued homogenization of movie culture, the filmmakers themselves found ways to upend the popular perception. Personal voices found a way to wiggle into summer blockbusters, while smaller films found their share of razzle dazzle to turn our heads. …

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Today in Movie History: December 25

Cat People (1942) Surprisingly enough, Christmas Day has become a big day to go to the movies. The date itself has served as a convenient launching pad for potential Oscar contenders, and there were some good ones among the pretenders: To Kill a Mockingbird was released in 1962 and My Fair Lady in 1964. More recently, the musical version of Les Miserables opened in 2012, …

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Today in Movie History: December 22

As usual, there’s an eclectic mixture of titles that saw release today, starting with a classic Universal monster picture. Carl Freund’s The Mummy opened in today 1932, featuring Boris Karloff in his second brilliant role for Universal. Today also saw the release of The Mummy’s Curse in 1944: the third sequel of the remake of the original, featuring Lon Chaney, Jr. in …

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Today in Movie History: December 18

Mumble, mumble… something, something…  highest grossing movie of all time that somehow turned into a pop culture afterthought… Avatar… freaking Avatar opened today six years ago in 2009. A far less well-known (and as underrated as Avatar is overrated) movie shares the same release date: Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon. Long viewed as a runt in the master’s litter, it remains something of a forgotten …

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Today in Movie History: December 17

12 years ago today, Peter Jackson’s Return of the King arrived in theaters: eventually winning 11 Oscars, cementing our current franchise-heavy cinematic culture and finally validating fantasy movies as an undeniable art form. It’s actually an auspicious date for fantasy movies: Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal came out on the same day in 1982, moving the celebrated puppeteer beyond the …

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Today in Movie History: December 11

“You can’t handle the truth!” Okay, maybe you can. Rob Reiner’s rip-roaring military courtroom drama A Few Good Men hit theaters today in 1992. The same day, the Muppets delivered their version of A Christmas Carol, with Michael Caine playing Scrooge. Besides the film itself (which is good holiday fun), it marked the first movie appearance of Kermit the Frog since his creator Jim …

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Today in Movie History: December 10

“Nothing is written…” In your drop-the-mike moment for this week, Lawrence of Arabia was released in theaters in 1962. That should leave it all alone on the podium for today, but we’ll squeeze in room for one more: Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s Sleuth, released this day in 1972. With a pair like that, we really shouldn’t squeeze in any more… Okay, …