Todd McCarthy on Nichols' Top 5 Films

THR's chief critic chooses his favorites of the director's movies

1. Angels in America (2003): Nichols' distinct talents for stage and screen merge perfectly in one of the most acclaimed stage-to-screen adaptations ever and one of the two or three best things Nichols has ever done. Jeffrey Wright and Al Pacino are out of this world in it.

2. Carnal Knowledge (1971): With a terrific Jules Feiffer script (originally written as a play) and a bold visual style, this bracing study of men's attitudes toward women probably is the director's most probing, self-revelatory film.

3. The Graduate (1967): Still funny and sharp-edged after all these years, this is one of the great zeitgeist films of the '60s or any other era -- caricatured, perhaps, but with truth and insight to support it. Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft are simply sensational.

4. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966): Richard Burton remains the standout in Nichols' vibrant and vital adaptation of one of the seminal American plays, with Haskell Wexler's mobile, unflattering black-and-white cinematography still a marvel.

5. Working Girl (1988): This key female-empowerment comedy is sheer enjoyment, plain and simple, with Nichols displaying his great skill with actors by making everyone in the variously talented cast look equally good.