EW's critic has a painful yet elating survivor's tale, a documentary on modern China, and the tale of one resourceful girl on her honor roll. Plus: The five worst she saw in the past 12 months.
10. 127 Hours
Anyone signing up for this adrenaline-charged, almost painfully beautiful-looking movie knows the terrible thing that will happen before the time frame in the title is up: Just as he did in real life, Aron Ralston, a fit young outdoorsman played with fearless engagement by James Franco, will eventually succeed in cutting off his own arm to free himself from otherwise certain death, alone and pinned by a boulder in a Utah canyon. The wonder of Danny Boyle’s tingling adaptation is how it dramatizes action from the inside out, finding dream-tinged imagery for the mysterious interior emotional process by which a person chooses to do something.
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Image Credit: Chuck Zlotnick