Cinema: Best of the Decade: Cinema

Raging Bull (1980). Realism so intense it transcends and transforms the ugly banalities of boxer Jake La Motta's life. The talents of Robert De Niro and director Martin Scorsese turn the film into a crazy-angry vision of the American Lower Depths.

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982). All of Steven Spielberg's gifts -- his narrative gusto and suburban wit, his technical finesse and an emotional directness that buoys the heart -- blend sublimely in this fable of intergalactic friendship. One of the greats.

The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985). The middle film in Woody Allen's splendid trilogy about American celebrity dreaming. It shares...