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Peter Travers Lists 10 Best 3-D Films; 'Avatar,' 'Life of Pi,' 'Dial M for Murder,' Leaves Out Key Titles

Thompson on Hollywood By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood November 23, 2012 at 2:51PM

With Ang Lee's 3-D achievement "The Life of Pi" earning strong reviews, Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers has compiled a list of the 10 best (and three worst) 3-D movies. Lee's adaptation of the Yann Martel novel ranks as the third best 3-D film, with -- you guessed it! -- James Cameron's "Avatar" as the reigning champ.
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"The Life of Pi"
"The Life of Pi"

With Ang Lee's 3-D achievement "The Life of Pi" earning strong reviews, Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers has compiled a list of the 10 best (and three worst) 3-D movies. Lee's adaptation of the Yann Martel novel ranks as the third best 3-D film, with -- you guessed it! -- James Cameron's "Avatar" as the reigning champ. But a duo of 1954 titles also receive deserved recognition: "Creature from the Black Lagoon" and Hitchcock classic "Dial M for Murder."

Meanwhile, Travers describes "Glee: The 3-D Concert Movie" as "hell on 3-D earth," and cites "Thor" as the most salient example of poor 3-D retrofitting. Travers overlooks, however, two sublimely transformative 3-D contributions from German filmmakers Wim Wenders and Werner Herzog: "Pina" and "Cave of Forgotten Dreams."  And what about Michael Bay's totally competitive 3-D in "Transformers: Dark Side of Moon"? It doesn't have to be a good movie to deliver state-of-the-art 3-D.

What do you think are the best and worst 3-D films?

Travers' Ten Best 3-D Films:

1. "Avatar" (dir. James Cameron, 2009)

2. "Hugo" (dir. Martin Scorsese, 2011)

3. "The Life of Pi" (dir. Ang Lee, 2012)

4. "The Adventures of Tin-Tin" (dir. Steven Spielberg, 2011)

5. "Toy Story 3" (dir. Lee Unkrich, 2010)

6. "Frankenweenie" (dir. Tim Burton, 2012)

7. "Dial M for Murder" (dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1954)

8. "Titanic 3-D" (dir. James Cameron, 2012)

9. "Ghosts of the Abyss" (dir. James Cameron, 2003)

10. "Creature from the Black Lagoon" (dir. Jack Arnold, 1954)

Three Worst 3-D Films:

1. "Wrath of the Titans" (dir. Jonathan Liebesman, 2012)

2. "Thor" (dir. Kenneth Branagh, 2011)

3. "Glee: The 3-D Concert Movie" (dir. Kevin Tancharoen, 2011)

This article is related to: 3-D, 3D, Life of Pi, Hugo, Avatar, Avatar, PINA, Cave of Forgotten Dreams


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.