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Our favorite movie glasses of all time

Our favorite movie glasses of all time (photo)

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We would argue that it’s the spectacles and not the clothes that make the man or woman. Here are some of the best glasses in movies, from the ones sported so iconically by the Boy Who Lived in the “Harry Potter” movies to the alien-revealing shades in “They Live” to the damnable specs in “The Jerk.”

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The Matrix

Never mind that wearing sunglasses would seriously hinder your fighting skills, even in a virtual world — looking cool is top priority in the land of the Wachowskis. Neo, Trinity and Morpheus look great in their shaded specs as they leap, kick, punch, shoot guns and answer ringing telephones, but our favorite pair belongs to Agent Smith. The look of surprise/annoyance/slight concern on his face after Neo manages to break them in the original “Matrix” is classic: “I’m going to enjoy watching you die, Mr. Anderson.” Smash an Agent’s glasses and the fight gets personal.

“Harry Potter”

If Daniel Radcliffe wants a career post-“Harry Potter,” all he has to do is make sure to never, ever wear glasses again. Really, Radcliffe could star in a gritty war drama or an action comedy about bumbling bank robbers — as far from Hogwarts as he could possibly get — but if he’s wearing glasses, we’ll immediately think “Harry Potter,” and all is lost. To say that Harry’s specs are “iconic” is the understatement of the century — they’re as essential to his character as Indiana Jones’ hat or the Cigarette Smoking Man’s, uh, cigarette.

“Men in Black”

Again, wearing sunglasses would probably seriously hinder your investigative and/or fighting skills when you’re a secret government agent protecting the Earth from the scum of the universe, but as Will Smith’s Agent J says, “I make this look good.” Tommy Lee Jones as Agent K doesn’t look too shabby in them, either. Here’s hoping that next summer’s “Men in Black III” will be as cool as its two stars — and that Josh Brolin, as a young version of Agent K, can work the shades as well as his future self.

“They Live”

“Put on these glasses… or start eatin’ that trashcan.” Normal human beings would obey ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper without question, no matter how seemingly bizarre the order, but Keith David decides to pick a fight instead, just out of principle (or because director John Carpenter says so). One of the most epic two-man fight scenes ever put to film is over a pair of sunglasses that allow you to see the world as it really is — a consumerist dystopian wasteland run by ugly aliens. David eventually puts on the glasses, which means he’ll never know how tasty that trashcan might’ve been.

“Dream a Little Dream 2”

You didn’t think we’d forget the Coreys, did you? First of all, yes, there was a “Dream a Little Dream 2,” and it’s now available on Netflix Instant if you require proof. You don’t necessarily need to actually watch it… actually, on second thought, yes, you do — you need to watch the madcap antics of Haim and Feldman as they stumble across magic sunglasses that allow you to control the mind of whoever’s wearing a second pair. It’s all very trippy and stupid, and Feldman indulges in another impromptu dance routine, this time in someone’s kitchen. Whoa boy.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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