Friday, May 24, 2024

Golden Oscar October Moment: 4 Films With Near Perfect Scores


Remember this weekend when you’re complaining that there’s nothing to see in the movie theaters. This weekend two movies with near-perfect scores join two others that are just as good. “All Is Lost” and “12 Years a Slave” are ranked on Rotten Tomatoes at 95% and 96%. That’s only slightly better than “Gravity” (97%) and “Captain Phillips” (94%). Not too far away is “Rush” (88%). Those are four, if not five, Oscar nominees for Best Picture right there. And it’s only mid-October.

What’s happening this weekend is rarer than a lunar eclipse. Of them all, of course, “12 Years a Slave” will prove to have the most interesting journey. I’ve seen it twice (this happens) and all I can say is, everybody has to see it at least once. Today’s very positive New York Times review was good, but it didn’t really capture some of the absolutely heart-stopping moments in Steve McQueen’s movie.

You really have to read the book (it costs 99 cents to download it from amazon) to understand the magnitude of what Solomon Northrup went through– and that it was published seven years before the Civil War– to get the idea of the horror of ignorance in this country.
That said, Robert Redford’s performance in “All is Lost” is a triumph. And what’s interesting is that all four of these films is built around a very American kind of hero that never gives up but never in a cartoonish way. The studios got it right for a change.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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