(Sergio Leone, Italy/Spain/West Germany, 1964): "There's money to be made in a place like this." So speaks the stranger (Clint Eastwood) of the desert shithole he's just ridden into on the back of a mule. The town, pretty much two rows of bleached buildings facing a...

(Gillo Pontecorvo, Italy/Algeria, 1966): There was no shortage of anti-colonialist revolutionary theory in circulation during the 1960s, but I doubt any of it -- save maybe Frantz Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth -- had the viscerally inciting impact of Gillo Pontecorvo's still-incendiary The Battle of Algiers. Scrutinized with equal --...

(Giulio Petroni, Italy, 1966): Before it was named as such, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was lurking in the Hollywood western in all those movies about remorseful gunslingers and Civil War vets struggling to stay peaceful in the face of mounting provocation, but in the Italian...

(Quentin Tarantino, USA, 2015): More ornery than a cornered rattler and crazier than a snakebit dog, Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight runs with such furious, runaway locomotive force against everything sensible you want to love it just for being so brazenly batshit. I mean, a...

(Terrence Malick, U.S.A., 1978): The journey taken by Terrence Malick's movies from the badlands below to the wonder above is a unique one in American movies. Malick is certainly the only determined transcendentalist to have ever worked with studio support, marquee stars and an avid if...