20 Most Essential Jonathan Demme Movies

From serial-killer thrillers to 'Stop Making Sense,' mob comedies to a feature-length monologue – the Demme films you need to see ASAP

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'Rachel Getting Married' (2008)

"I am Shiva the Destroyer, and your harbinger of doom for this evening." The mother of all dysfunctional wedding dramas, Demme’s late-period high-water mark gave Anne Hathaway a role actresses dream of and parents have nightmares about. A family's pitch-black sheep has gotten back from her latest rehab stint, just in time for the nuptials of her sister (Rosemarie DeWitt). She then sets about methodically, spitefully trying to ruin the event in brutally uncomfortable fashion ... because why just be self-destructive when you can be all-out destructive? Pain, rage, hard-earned healing – anyone else might have turned this into a cringe-comedy with a moral and left it at that. Demme injects a generous sense of heart and soul into the affair. It makes all the difference. CB

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