"The biggest fight of his life"

JCVD (2008)
Directed by Mabrouk El Mechri, rated R, 97 minutes

JCVD is an original and surprisingly touching action film about Jean-Claude Van Damme who, while in a custody battle with his wife and dealing with tax problems, is caught up in a bank robbery. Van Damme, in probably his best performance, brings all the pain of reality into his role as himself, culminating in one brutal and impressive monologue. The action scenes are uniquely done and technically spectacular, but the focus of the film is more on the characters. JCVD does have a few too many cliches and some odd humor, but overall it's a memorable and exciting film that brought Van Damme back from the dead. You'll like it if: You like crime films, self-referential films, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Inside Man, The Limey or Universal Soldier.

"If you never do anything, you never become anyone."

An Education (2009)
Directed by Lone Scherfig, rated PG-13, 100 minutes

An Education is a charming and subtle romantic drama, set in the 60's, about a young schoolgirl who meets and befriends a fetching, but much older playboy. Carey Mulligan, in a career-making performance, draws you into her character, which allows you to root for her even after some poor decisions, and Peter Sarsgaard has a perfect balance of charm and sleaze. All of the characters are believable and in their own, sometimes sad way, likable, and the writing is wonderful and often funny. An Education is a beautiful film, that covers all the sublime, happy feelings and miserably sad moments of growing up. You'll like it if: You like coming-of-age stories, young female protagonists, Peter Sarsgaard, The Graduate, High Fidelity or American Beauty.

"Never F&@K with the people that serve you food!"

Waiting... (2005)
Directed by Rob McKittrick, rated R, 94 minutes

Waiting... is a surprisingly clever and very fun comedy about the bored and disgruntled employees of a Shenaniganz restaurant. The film has a terrific ensemble cast, including Anna Faris, Ryan Reynolds, Justin Long and Luis Guzman, and each of the characters' stories are effortlessly woven together. The dialogue is consistently hilarious, and there are plenty of memorable gags and quotes. Waiting... gives, apparently, quite an accurate look into the world of the food service industry, with all the odd people, weird moments and depressing hours. You'll like it if: You like workplace comedies, raunchy comedies, Justin Long, Clerks, Office Spaces or Dazed and Confused.

"Innocence is a dangerous friend"

Lawn Dogs (1997)
Directed by John Duigan, rated R, 101 minutes

Lawn Dogs is a moving and fairy tale-esque drama about young girl living in a walled off, upper class community, who wants to be friends with the down and out landscaper for the community. Mischa Barton, only 11 years old at the time, is magical in the lead, easily capturing your attention, and Sam Rockwell is impressive as always. The dialogue can be a little unsubtle at times, but the characters are compelling and the visuals are at times dazzling. However, the best part of the Lawn Dogs is the authentic, odd and beautiful friendship that develops between the main characters. You'll like it if: You like coming-of-age films, family dramas, 90's cinema, American Beauty, Little Children or Little Miss Sunshine.

"Nobody likes to eat human flesh."

The Naked Emperor's Army Marches On (1987)
Directed by Kazuo Hara, not rated, 122 minutes

The Naked Emperor's Army Marches On is an unbelievable and insane Japanese documentary following Okuzaki Kenzo, a WWII veteran, who fiercely works to find out why some Japanese soldiers were killed by their fellow soldiers at the end of the war. Kenzo seems borderline insane, as he brags about shooting a BB at the Emperor (which led to years in prison), and even uses violence on the people he interviews to get answers. But beyond the incredibly intriguing Kenzo, his investigation reveals some shocking and sad truths about the desperate situation for the Japanese at the end of WWII. This film blurs the lines of how far a documentary should go, especially in the jaw-dropping and immensely disturbing ending. You'll like it if: You like documentaries, bizarre protagonists, films about the Japanese in WWII, Fires on the Plain or Extreme Private Eros: Love Song 1974.

"Are You Ready For The Truth?"

Unbreakable (2000)
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan, rated PG-13, 106 minutes

Unbreakable is a moody and engaging thriller about man who, after unbelievably surviving a horrible accident, meets a mysterious stranger with shocking information about him. Bruce Willis offers one of his most subtle and conflicted performances, and Samuel L. Jackson is always fun to watch. The film effectively builds an unsettling atmosphere, and the story has plenty of twists and turns, but doesn't rely on a twist ending to be entertaining. Unbreakable gives an original, unpredictable and memorable take on a familiar genre, that builds to a shocking and lasting ending. You'll like it if: You like psychological thrillers, supernatural films, Bruce Willis, The Sixth Sense, eXistenZ or The Butterfly Effect.

"Who would've thought we'd have a black son before we met a Democrat?"

The Blind Side (2009)
Directed by John Lee Hancock, rated PG-13, 129 minutes

The Blind Side is an inspiring but saccharine drama, based on a true story, about a young, homeless football player, who is taken in by caring upper-class family. Sandra Bullock does her best with some lame dialogue, but the supporting cast ranges from weak to annoying. The film has a hard time mixing comedy with drama, making nearly every dramatic moment feel like a TV movie, and the third act lacks any believable or interesting conflict, which explains why the story fizzles out. All of the best moments in The Blind Side come from the inspiring true story, it's just a shame the film couldn't live up it. You'll like it if: You like inspiring films, family dramas, Sandra Bullock, Remember the Titans, Forrest Gump or Dead Poets Society.

"Why would the most popular girl in school wear a mask?"

Sugar & Spice (2001)
Directed by Francince McDougall, rated PG-13, 81 minutes

Sugar & Spice is a clever and surprisingly dark cult comedy about a popular cheerleader who, after becoming pregnant, plans a heist with her best friends to support her forthcoming baby. Most of the main parts are filled by talented, upcoming young actresses, who bring a lot of humor to their characters. The plot is a little fly-by-night and the characters at times feel like caricatures, but the dialogue is frequently ridiculously clever and there are plenty of great one-liners. Sugar & Spice is a really just a fun movie, that gets a lot of laughs from its intriguing premise. You'll like it if: You like teen comedies, female protagonists, satirical comedies, Heathers, Mean Girls or Clueless.

"I've spent my entire life trying to make people happy..."

Secrets & Lies (1996)
Directed by Mike Leigh, rated R, 136 minutes

Secrets & Lies is a subtle and dark drama about a young black woman who traces her birth mother and finds herself in the middle of a dysfunctional and emotional family. Director Mike Leigh let's actors act, and each one brings a believability and quiet unhappiness to their character, especially the distraught Brenda Blethyn. The dialogue is impressive all around bringing humor into some very tense moments, and authentically addressing family problems. Secrets & Lies deals with a lot of serious issues and vivid human emotions, but does it in an unforced and beautiful way. You'll like it if: You like family dramas, improvised dialogue, Mike Leigh's films, You Can Count on Me, Little Children or The Ice Storm.

"Will somebody "get her" tonite?"

Unfaithfully Yours (1948)
Directed by Preston Sturges, not rated, 105 minutes

Unfaithfully Yours is a zany and surprising black comedy about a successful conductor who suspects his wife of cheating on him, and fantasizes during a concert about what to do with his wife. Rex Harrison is captivating in the lead, capturing all the insanity and frustration of his character. Preston Sturges's dialogue is always fun and clever, but the writing is all around exciting and laugh out loud funny. Unfaithfully Yours was ahead of its times with its non-linear storyline and pitch black comedy, but still has that classic screwball feel with snappy dialogue and slapstick comedy. You'll like it if: You like black comedies, screwball comedies, Preston Sturges's films, The Palm Beach Story, Arsenic and Old Lace or Raising Arizona.