Focus Features’ newest film, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, opened within the U.S. on July fifteenth, 2022, to rave critiques from critics. Led by Lesley Manville within the title function, this charming story of an growing old widow happening an journey to the world’s most romantic metropolis is certain to be a favourite for a lot of viewers, particularly followers of interval comedies.
Focus Features isn’t any stranger to such success, although, and their resume is stuffed to the brim with acclaimed movies going all the way in which again to their debut in 2002. Going by way of all their narrative movies (documentaries aren’t included on this record) reads like a catalog of the highest-rated motion pictures of the twenty first century, with a lot of them going properly above 90% approval on Rotten Tomatoes.
10 Raw (2017) – 93%
French horror can usually go to graphic, gory extremes, and Raw doesn’t disappoint in that regard, being a disturbing take a look at cannibalism that greater than lives as much as its title. While competition screenings had some viewers fainting in shock, the film turned a crucial darling, with Mark Kermode even calling it 2017’s greatest.
Raw tells the story of Justine, a lifelong vegetarian who positive factors a style for human flesh after consuming meat for the primary time. Not solely does the movie have nice gore results, however it’s additionally very clever, with first-time Julia Ducournau crafting an enticing coming-of-age story with surprisingly relatable themes.
9 Milk (2003) – 93%
As a extremely necessary determine in American LGBTQ+ historical past, it was maybe inevitable that San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk would get his personal biopic, however Gus Van Sant’s Milk rises above the usual fare. Anchored by Sean Penn’s Oscar-winning efficiency, the movie is based on the true story of the LGBTQ+ icon and serves as each an excellent character examine and an examination of ’70s tradition wars.
Following Milk’s life from his transfer to San Francisco to his tragic assassination, the film portrays Milk as a completely realized character and a person of nice braveness and conviction, with out glossing over his very human flaws. It additionally handles its subject material with care, with each character portrayed realistically, even after they’re on the flawed facet of historical past.
8 Moonrise Kingdom (2003) – 93%
Wes Anderson is without doubt one of the most celebrated auteurs working at present, so it is smart that his film launched by Focus Features is extensively cited as one in all his greatest. Moonrise Kingdom is a coming-of-age movie in a approach solely Anderson may make it, combining adolescent themes along with his signature visible fashion.
As with a lot of Anderson’s movies, one of many highlights is seeing what number of of his ordinary stars he can pack on display screen, and Moonrise Kingdom does not disappoint. With hilarious turns by regulars like Frances McDormand, Jason Schwartzman, and Tilda Swinton, it is no marvel many Anderson followers have come to like the movie.
7 Pariah (2011) – 95%
A small indie movie even by Focus requirements, Pariah is the story of Alike, a Black teenage lady coming to phrases together with her lesbian identification. While Pariah did not set the field workplace on hearth, it was beloved by critics and served as a superb debut for LGBTQ+ director Dee Rees, who went on to obtain additional crucial approval for her work on Bessie and Mudbound.
What makes the film so necessary is the way it explores each race and sexuality and the struggles that may typically include embracing these identities. Seeing Alike endure emotional and bodily abuse from her mom is a tough expertise, however an all too widespread one which deserves consideration from filmmakers and audiences alike.
6 The Mustang (2019) – 95%
Focus Features has lengthy been an organization keen to take an opportunity on first-time administrators, and The Mustang presents a compelling purpose why. The debut function of French director Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre, the film earned very robust critiques, with critics particularly singling out stars Matthias Schoenaerts and Bruce Dern for reward.
A quiet drama a few convict positioned in a rehabilitation program for coaching wild horses, The Mustang will not be flashy, however it’s an efficient story of friendship and redemption that does not pull any punches. Roman is a sympathetic protagonist who has nonetheless dedicated horrible deeds, however the film does not condemn him for it, as a substitute letting him turn out to be a greater individual in a practical approach.
5 The Pianist (2002) – 95%
Holocaust movies are sometimes favorites of the Academy, however for a movie like The Pianist, all these Oscars are well-deserved. Based on the true story of Władysław Szpilman, a Polish-Jewish pianist who survived the Nazi occupation of Warsaw, the movie was a crucial and business success that made Adrien Brody a star.
Like all one of the best movies following the survivors of real-life tragedies, The Pianist is an inspiring story of survival whereas by no means sugarcoating the horrors that the victims of Nazi oppression needed to face. While director Roman Polanski will all the time be a controversial determine, his filmmaking prowess, in addition to his personal experiences surviving the Holocaust, have been put to good use on this extremely private story.
4 Lost In Translation (2003) – 95%
A romantic dramedy that breaks with most of the style’s most treasured conventions, Lost in Translation established Sofia Coppola as a novel voice with a future outdoors her father’s shadow. It additionally served as a breakout for Scarlett Johansson and a showcase for Bill Murray’s appreciable dramatic expertise.
Along with The Pianist, Lost in Translation was one in all Focus Features’ early success tales that established them as a power to be reckoned with. It’s additionally a uncommon drama movies that actually leaves room for a sequel, ending on a cliffhanger that leaves a number of potential for Bob and Charlotte to reunite years later.
3 BlacKkKlansman (2018) – 96%
A black comedy with a well timed message, BlacKkKlansman is predicated on the true story of Ron Stallworth, a Black police officer who efficiently infiltrated Colorado Springs Ku Klux Klan. It received Spike Lee his first aggressive Oscar (for Adapted Screenplay) and was an enormous hit with critics, who praised it as one of many director’s greatest movies in a very long time.
As one would count on from a movie by Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman is much from delicate, however its story is a crucial one which packs a dramatic punch in addition to some darkish laughs. It’s stuffed with stellar performances, particularly from John David Washington and Adam Driver, and likewise shines a light-weight on an oft-forgotten part of Black history.
2 Kubo And The Two Strings (2016) – 97%
Focus Features’ partnership with Laika was fairly a fruitful one, producing a string of spectacular animated movies, however Kubo and the Two Strings is extensively thought-about the strongest of all of them. A fantasy journey with a heavy Japanese affect, the film’s attractive animation earned it Oscar nominations for each Best Animated Feature and Best Visual Effects.
Kubo and the Two Strings could have been a field workplace disappointment, however it’s important viewing for followers of animation and fantasy alike. The story of a boy on a quest to cease his power-hungry members of the family is enjoyable and interesting, and Laika’s signature stop-motion work retains getting higher with every movie.
1 Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020) – 99%
Many motion pictures obtained misplaced within the shuffle in the course of the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, however Never Rarely Sometimes Always is without doubt one of the extra underserved victims. An unsung gem in a tough yr for the movie business, the film was a giant success on the competition circuit and earned near-unanimous acclaim from critics.
Not solely does the movie function robust performances from younger actors Sidney Flanigan (in her movie debut) and Talia Ryder, the movie’s take a look at abortion deserves extra consideration, particularly in gentle of latest occasions. It’s not a straightforward watch, however Never Rarely Sometimes Always is a hard-hitting however delicate take a look at a tough difficulty, in addition to an satisfying buddy movie.
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