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|DDD's Favourite FilmsLists submitted by:
wantabodylikeme, ClashWho, Two Headed Boy, Dreww, Smallows, pnoom, Deany, Zach, Sherick, PBR Streetgang, pauldrach, pave, Sodacake, Vil, Adequate Gatsby, Fincher, George, Joe C, tudwell, Sanjuro, Rudy Rules, Lostio, That_guy, piper, Jess, Snoogans, Foggy Notion, Quixote, tyler, monga18, Avery Island, Forgotten Son, ahawk, led for your head, rockvirtuosoList Completion (second revision):
5/06/13List Completion (third revision):
16/9/14Breakdown by Decade:
2010s: 4Directors with 2+ films:
5 = Andrei Tarkovsky
4 = Stanley Kubrick, Quentin Tarantino, Akira Kurosawa, Paul Thomas Anderson
3 = Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, The Coen Brothers, Ridley Scott, Terrence Malick, Christopher Nolan, Ingmar Bergman
2 = David Fincher, Wong Kar-wai, Milos Forman, Sidney Lumet, David Lynch, Danny Boyle, Terry Gilliam100. 28 Days Later (2002; Danny Boyle) (98)“Like the best horror movies, the attacks by the savage infected mutations are sudden, often breaking a quiet moment of reflection and creating overwhelming tension and suspense as one never knows when the "infected" will attack again. The entire movie is riveting from beginning to end never letting go of your attention thanks to Boyle's brilliant pacing which makes sure you never know what will happen next.”99. American Beauty (1999; Sam Mendes) (97)“An acerbic, darkly comic critique of how social conventions can lead people into false, sterile and emotionally stunted lives, "American Beauty" is a real American original. Multilayered, bracingly resourceful and tweaked to push its many brash ideas to the edge and beyond, this independent-minded feature represents a stunning card of introduction for two cinematic freshmen, screenwriter Alan Ball and director Sam Mendes.”98. Fantasia (1940; Walt Disney Productions) (96)"Sixty-five years after its 1940 release, Walt Disney's self-styled exercise in “a new form of screen entertainment” remains a masterpiece of the art of animation. The concept and some of the episodes are tainted with kitsch, but there's no other animated film with its scope and ambition—it is, in Otis Ferguson's words, “one of the strange and beautiful things that have happened in the world.”97. Yi Yi: A One and a Two (2000; Edward Yang) (94)“One of the best films of the year, Edward Yang's Yi Yi combines a diagnosis of modern times with seemingly old-fashioned 'literary' storytelling - scene by scene it's slow, character-focused and dense with realistic detail, while the sprawling, coincidence-laden plot harks back to the nineteenth-century novel. The references to globalisation and the software industry are pointedly up-to-date, yet the themes are scarcely new: the shock of change, the failure of tradition, and the question of how to stay human in the midst of an impersonal, profit-driven society.”96. Persona (1966; Ingmar Bergman) (93)“Persona is perhaps Bergman's most enduring masterpiece precisely because of the work's complex, ambiguous and multi-level narrative; a key work of both psychodrama and meta-cinema…Two of major themes of this richly densely text concern the fragile, flexible nature of identity and role-playing as prescribed by society and then defined by individuals. Alma and Elisabeth cross identities after engaging in games of power and battles of control. Persona is notable for many achievements: the ‘film within a film’ devices, the eerie, erotic charge of the two women's agonized relationship, the super-imposition of images that suggest the protagonists' psychic dissolution and convergence.”95. Days of Heaven (1978; Terrence Malick) (92)“…but fans will also know that these motifs were put to their most sublimely sensuous and conveniently approachable use in ‘Days of Heaven’, his peach-hued masterwork from 1978. Richard Gere and Brooke Adams take time out from life to frolic in the swaying wheatfields of the Texas Panhandle, hawkishly overseen by Sam Shephard’s tragic Jay Gatsby figure who eventually lets his suspicions get the better of him. Theirs is a tale of almost biblical profundity: a furtive love allowed to bloom momentarily in this glowing, golden paradise before commerce, responsibility, law and violence put a heartbreaking end to their innocent bliss. Visually and thematically, it’s still one of the most beautiful films ever made.”94. Alien (1979; Ridley Scott) (82)“In only his second feature-length film, Scott created a tight, controlled vision of a dark and ominous future where being alone in the universe might not seem like such a bad thing after all. He uses his camera to create a claustrophic and gripping environment where the characters and the audience can feel a sense of dread, confusion and terror as a mysterious alien creature slowly rips its way through the confined interiors of the ship. He also generates a sense of awe and enthusiasm in early scenes adequately displaying how human nature, with all its curiosity, can find fascination in the most simple and unusual situations. It's a vision of the future that is gritty and frightening while intriguing at the same time.”93. The Matrix (1999; Andy & Lana Wachowski) (93)“The most striking aspect of The Matrix is obviously its visuals; highly influenced by the wire work of Asian cinema, the Wachowski Brothers cranked it up another level by creatively using computer software to pretty much perfect the action sequence. The mix of fetish wear, brilliantly designed cyber punk technology and suave actors makes for an audio visual cocktail that influenced virtually every action film that followed.” 92. City of God (2002; Fernando Meirelles) (90)“A powerful and haunting film that explores the myriad of stories that lie deep within the slums of Rio, City Of God shocks, enlightens and above all affects us by taking us into a world where drugs and organised crime are a way of life. Meirelles’s intense and extraordinary film marries the rhythms and flavours of Rio seamlessly with the human drama… The visceral music pumps its way through our veins for the entire 130 minutes, colouring the violence with the very brush that is Rio. And as the fates of Rocket and L’il Ze come together, they face each other with two very different weapons: a gun and a camera. The circle of life continues and we realize that we have only just had a small taste of life in The City of God. Uncompromising and totally unforgettable, this is an experience to savour.”91. Early Summer (1951; Yasujiro Ozu) (89)"Writer/director Yasujiro Ozu combines two of his favorite themes--the culture clashes in modern Japan and the emergence of the independent Japanese woman--in Early Summer (Bakushu). Setsuko Hara plays a young woman of the post-war era who is promised in an arranged marriage. But too much has happened in the world and in the girl's own life to allow her to agree to this union without protest. The characters in Early Summer are neither remote historical personages nor distant foreigners. They are types as easily recognizable in Japan as in any country, and this commonality enhances the universal appeal of this austere film.”90. Groundhog Day (1993; Harold Ramis) (52)"The most horrible thing about life is not knowing what's going to happen next. Or at least that's what we have thought up till now. But Groundhog Day, Harold Ramis's brilliantly imaginative, wildly funny new comedy starring Bill Murray, demonstrates that there is something even more horrible -- knowing exactly what's going to happen next."89. Satantango (1994; Bela Tarr) (88)“The marathon “Satan’s Tango” is a magnum opus to end all magna opera, a dark, funny, apocalyptic allegory of the Hungarian psyche that stimulates, irritates, soothes and startles with blinding strokes of genius in equal turn.”
“Allegorical yet historically precise, it is an anti-authoritarian satire and metaphysical treatise. In addition, it might well be the great film of entropy. A soundscape of weary accordion and resounding bells balances the sacred and profane spheres. Formally in dynamic tension between the claustrophobic intimacy of Tarr's early influence, Cassavetes, and the rigorously choreographed grace of Tarkovsky and Jancsó, this startling, apocalyptic work is sometimes over-extended, but it builds to a powerful, rhythmic climax of breakdown and withdrawal.”88. Dead Man (1995; Jim Jarmusch) (87)“A dark, bitter commentary on modern American life cloaked in the form of a surrealist western, Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man stars Johnny Depp as William Blake, a newly-orphaned accountant who leaves his home in Cleveland to accept a job in the frontier town of Machine…For a while the narrative plays out as a collection of anecdotes, a horseback road movie; then, as Blake draws nearer to death and makes it to Nobody's village, Jarmusch goes all the way into mysticism and absurdity…Physically beautiful, temperamentally reflective, "meaningless" scene for scene until you ponder it afterward, the film is itself a poem -- a meditation on death that shrugs at life but then moves beyond a shrug.”87. The Mirror (1975; Andrei Tarkovsky) (85)“This non-linear autobiographical film is considered by many Russian-speakers to be his best film and is his most personal meditation on time, history and the Russian countryside. In a series of episodes and images, he captures the mood and feeling of the period just before, during and after the war. Lyrical reminiscences of his mother and of his father's poetry figure large in the film, along with extraordinary images of nature. Combining black-and-white and color work, with some unusual documentary footage, this highly regarded movie is structured with the logic of a dream.”86. Brazil (1985; Terry Gilliam) (new)"Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet called it "retro-futurism," and that's as good a label as any to slap on Terry Gilliam's Brazil, a willfully absurdist dystopian fable about an impossible future that feels more like an antiquated past, a Romantic pretzel- twisting of Orwell and a nursery-rhyme-inflected sci-fi dream epic that appropriates equal parts Fritz Lang, Hellzapoppin', Orson Welles, and illustrator Brian Froud. It remains a stunning achievement, if nearly as exhausting and frustrating as the Tex Avery bureaucracy it roasts, but Gilliam's stylistic dysfunctionalities, art-directed out of junkyards, are what still percolate in the forebrain."85. Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004; Quentin Tarantino) (83)“Quentin Tarantino revels in the art and craft of cinema; so much so he has managed to mine all his favourite genres and make the style the substance…Kill Bill 2 is a Quentin Tarantino road movie, with each chapter bringing a new character or a fresh direction for us to follow. It’s a blast of an escapist movie – a fitting conclusion to Tarantino’s ultimate revenge movie, with a plot that never falls into the predictable, and keeping us breathless throughout.”84. The Wizard of Oz (1939; Victor Fleming) (74)“There’s an audience for ‘Oz’ wherever there’s a projection machine and a screen. L. Frank Baum’s story is an American fairy tale, a nursery saga of nearly 40 years. It’s a mixture of childish fantasy and adult satire and humor of a kind that never seems to grow old. Nothing comparable has come out of Hollywood in the past few years to approximate the lavish scale of this filmusical extravaganza, in the making of which the ingenuity and inventiveness of technical forces were employed without stint of effort or cost. Except for opening and closing stretches of prolog and epilog, which are visioned in a rich sepia, the greater portion of the film is in Technicolor. Some of the scenic passages are so beautiful in design and composition as to stir audiences by their sheer unfoldment.”83. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927; F.W. Murnau) (new)"The best foreign film ever made in the United States. German director F.W. Murnau was given a free hand by William Fox for his first Hollywood production; it's breathtaking to see the full range of American technology and American budgets in the service of a great artist's personal vision… The miracle of Murnau's mise-en-scene is to fill the simple plot and characters with complex, piercing emotions, all evoked visually through a dense style that embraces not only spectacular expressionism but a subtle and delicate naturalism. Released in 1927, the last year of silent film, it's a pinnacle of that lost art."82. Rashomon (1950; Akira Kurosawa) (re-entry)"A riveting psychological thriller that investigates the nature of truth and the meaning of justice, Rashomon is widely considered one of the greatest films ever made. Four people give different accounts of a man’s murder and the rape of his wife, which director Akira Kurosawa presents with striking imagery and an ingenious use of flashbacks. This eloquent masterwork and international sensation revolutionized film language and introduced Japanese cinema—and a commanding new star by the name of Toshiro Mifune—to the Western world."81. Schindler’s List (1993; Steven Spielberg) (81)“Perhaps the greatest argument for the sincerity and dedication Steven Spielberg put into Schindler's List is how radical a departure it was for the artist. Schindler's List is not the first film to showcase Spielberg's aesthetic mastery within the confines of more serious-minded narrative ambition, but where The Color Purple used too many tricks to tell its story and Empire of the Sun eased up on the director's visual skills for its cynical but affecting humanism, Schindler's List finds the balance. I would never presume to say the film captures even a fraction of the Holocaust; it is instead what Stanley Kubrick labeled it, not a film about six million who died but 1,000 who lived. It is worth telling the good stories with the bad; they deepen our understanding of mankind's darkest hour.”80. Gladiator (2000; Ridley Scott) (79)“Ridley Scott's modern classic may take a lot of cues from the likes of Spartacus and Ben Hur, but in many ways it surpasses them. The thrilling combat sequences are as good as any committed to celluloid, and as impressive the CGI recreation of ancient Rome is, it's the wonderful dialogue, characters and design that breathes life into it. Russell Crowe charismatically heads a magnificent cast, but it is Joaquin Phoenix's Commodus who is the show stopper, brilliantly portraying a spoilt child whose ambition combined with weakness of character and desire for a father's love twists him into a malicious tyrant. This is what brings the film to life, and this level of sophistication makes its contemporaries such as Alexander or Braveheart look like school pantomimes in comparison. Proof that the Hollywood system in the hands of true artists can produce something genuinely beautiful.”79. Boogie Nights (1997; Paul Thomas Anderson) (new)"Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights is an epic of the low road, a classic Hollywood story set in the shadows instead of the spotlights but containing the same ingredients: Fame, envy, greed, talent, sex, money. The movie follows a large, colorful and curiously touching cast of characters as they live through a crucial turning point in the adult film industry… Boogie Nights has the quality of many great films, in that it always seems alive."78. The Thin Red Line (1998; Terrence Malick) (64)“Even before the first battle, Malick crams two films into one. One film is a war story that subverts some war clichés without calling attention to itself, and the other is an existentialist search for spiritual truth. The two aspects of the film create a dichotomy that most directors could never reconcile, but--and I humbly beg you forgive the cliché--Terrence Malick is not most directors. This is easily one of the finest war movies ever made, one that adds an approach entirely its own and, though that perspective creates some disconnect, makes for thought-provoking moments to compliment the carnage.”77. Blue Velvet (1986; David Lynch) (78)“David Lynch crafted this hallucinogenic mystery-thriller that probes beneath the cheerful surface of suburban America to discover sadomasochistic violence, corruption, drug abuse, crime and perversion. Mulholland Dr. gets all the love, but this is truly David Lynch's best film. The standout here is Dennis Hopper in what may be his best performance to date. He's simultaneously hilarious and terrifying…Like Eraserhead, Blue Velvet stands as a towering cult film, seared in the memory for bizarro tableaux strange enthusiasms for blue velvet and Pabst Blue Ribbon, and crazed dialogue. At once appealing and repellent, Blue Velvet embodies cultural taboos and the attendant furtive guilt that only feeds bad behavior.”76. The Night of the Hunter (1955; Charles Laughton) (77)"The Night of the Hunter is truly a stand-alone masterwork. A horror movie with qualities of a Grimm fairy tale, it stars a sublimely sinister Robert Mitchum as a traveling preacher named Harry Powell, whose nefarious motives for marrying a fragile widow, played by Shelley Winters, are uncovered by her terrified young children. Graced by images of eerie beauty and a sneaky sense of humor, this ethereal, expressionistic American classic is cinema’s most eccentric rendering of the battle between good and evil. The war of wills between Mitchum and Gish is the heart of the film's final third, a masterful blend of horror and lyricism. Laughton's tight, disciplined direction is superb. The music by Walter Schumann and the cinematography of Stanley Cortez are every bit as brilliant as the contributions by Laughton and Agee.”75. Wild Strawberries (1957; Ingmar Bergman) (76)“It can be very embarrassing and difficult to think about your past. Things you did or didn't do. Things you said or didn't say. Or worse yet, things you can't even remember. I'm still young, so I have a difficult time fully connecting with Isak, but I can meet him halfway, I think. Even though I'm not exactly looking forward to it, I know and accept that one day I will die. When I get really close to dying, getting a chance to go back and revisit some of the moments in my life would be a very good bit of closure. Hopefully I can leave myself with some interesting moments to revisit; otherwise old Matt is gonna get bored quick.”-led for your head
"One of Bergman's warmest, and therefore finest films, this concerns an elderly academic - grouchy, introverted, dried up emotionally - who makes a journey to collect a university award, and en route relives his past by means of dreams, imagination, and encounters with others. It's an occasionally over-symbolic work, but it's filled with richly observed characters and a real feeling for the joys of nature and youth. And Sjöström gives an astonishingly moving performance as the aged professor."74. Se7en (1995; David Fincher) (73)“Serial killers and mismatched cops overcoming antagonism are seldom fresh, fruitful subjects for movies, but this exceptionally nasty thriller blends genres to grim and gripping effect…The film's world is so shadowy, decaying and intentionally dated that one often wonders whether anyone involved has heard of electricity; at the same time, however, Somerset and Mills' slow voyage from claustrophobic murk into blinding light makes for a vivid dramatic metaphor. Moreover, Fincher handles the violence with sensitivity, announcing its obscenity in spoken analyses and briefly glimpsed post mortem shots, but never showing the murderous acts themselves.”73. 12 Angry Men (1957; Sidney Lumet) (72)"This is a film where tension comes from personality conflict, dialogue and body language, not action; where the defendant has been glimpsed only in a single brief shot; where logic, emotion and prejudice struggle to control the field. It is a masterpiece of stylized realism--the style coming in the way the photography and editing comment on the bare bones of the content. Released in 1957, when Technicolor and lush production values were common, "12 Angry Men" was lean and mean.”72. In Bruges (2008; Martin McDonagh) (71)“In all of the film's success at being strangely depressing and monotone whilst somehow being funny and scary at the same time, it is easily the most original British gangster movie since Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. This is the rare piece of weird, smart and unpredictable filmmaking energy that brings more to the genre it belongs with than the average expectations…In Bruges is indiscreetly violent to fantastic dramatic effect, there's vast amounts of broad and memorable scenes of truly nail biting tension, and not once does the film give out a single hint at where any of it is going. It's somehow an "of the moment" film but concurrently grips you throughout it's seemingly short lasting duration.”71. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975; Terry Gilliam) (60)“There's something about feature films that brings out the best in the Pythons. The occasional indulgence of the TV series is replaced by a more focused approach which wrings every conceivable joke out of a given subject. While Holy Grail falls short of Life Of Brian's comic masterpiece status, it has more than enough killer lines, sight gags and inspired absurdity to qualify as a medieval-on-your-ass laff-riot.”70. Annie Hall (1977; Woody Allen) (55)“Many things mark Annie Hall's place in cinema history, but none of them are the reason you should see this movie. That would be the humour, poignancy and acute observation contained in each and every frame.”
"Annie Hall, a comedy about urban love and incompatibility that finally establishes Woody as one of our most audacious filmmakers, as well as the only American filmmaker who is able to work seriously in the comic mode without being the least bit ponderous."69. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991; James Cameron) (70)"James Cameron's Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a lustrous machine, all gleaming steel and burnished gunmetal, with state-of-the-art nuts and bolts. You relate to it the way you might relate to any overpowering machine, a little dispassionately but with a respect bordering on awe. It's a tank of a movie, big, powerful and hard to resist. But it's a tank with lightning treads and jaguar agility. The stunning special effects show something that's rare these days -- technical stunts that evoke a true sense of wonder; it's real jaw-to-the-floor stuff… No one in the movies today can match Cameron's talent for this kind of hyperbolic, big-screen action."68. Wings of Desire (1987; Wim Wenders) (69)“One of the seminal foreign imports of the 1980s, Germany's Wings of Desire is one of those rare motion pictures that manages to bring a true poetic sensibility to the medium of film. Wim Wenders creates a haunting mood piece whose rich atmosphere is channeled through every aspect of the production, from its direct and understated tagline to the stunning camerawork by Henri Alekan. Wenders invests this potentially risible material with such serenity and beauty that audiences will go along willingly with the fable.”67. Toy Story (1995; John Lasseter) (68)“To an entire generation of filmgoers, Toy Story just might represent the most significant leap in storytelling that they will ever see; for all of the Avatar’s blowing us away, it’s Toy Story’s invention, the perfection of its craft, and its massive, open heart which has garnered it universal appeal and the beginnings of a franchise with an unthinkably consistent quality...What could have been a mere tool to sell more toys becomes more of a love letter to the childlike fascination with the joy of play, and of being young. This meaning only enhances in the more mature, emotional sequels, yet the first outing is surely the most accessible as it aims merely to entertain with exhilarating set pieces, dazzling visuals and sheer charm, and there’s nothing wrong with that.”66. Oldboy (2003; Park Chan-wook) (84)“Park Chan-wook's Old Boy is a delirious, confronting ride, a movie full of visceral shocks and aesthetic pleasures: it has an explosive immediacy and a persistent afterlife, a lingering impact that is hard to shake. While it has scenes of considerable brutality, its violence is expressed in a range of ways: its shock value lies most of all in what it tells us about its characters and their emotions. Full of visual and auditory pleasures, it is a dense, carefully structured film, an enigma laid bare with merciless inevitability and moments of lyrical beauty. Some of its patterns and repetitions are apparent on a first encounter, but its intricacies need more than one viewing. It is, in the most disconcerting and disorienting of ways, an exhilarating movie.”65. The Departed (2006; Martin Scorsese) (65)“Martin Scorsese's The Departed is a curious case: in the director's repertoire of masterpieces, classics and just plain good movies, it ranks, narratively and structurally, as one of his weakest. Yet it is also one of his most vibrant and engaging, to the point that I find myself itching to revisit it more than any of his top-tier films, and I adore all of them.”64. Trainspotting (1996; Danny Boyle) (54)“Exuberant and pitiless, profane yet eloquent, flush with the ability to create laughter out of unspeakable situations, "Trainspotting" is a drop-dead look at a dead-end lifestyle that has all the strength of its considerable contradictions.”
“A brutal, often times funny, other times terrifying portrayal of drug addiction in Edinburgh. Not for the faint of heart, but well worth viewing as a realistic and entertaining reminder of the horrors of drug abuse.”63. The Truman Show (1998; Peter Weir) (63)“A funny, tender, and thought-provoking film, The Truman Show is all the more noteworthy for its remarkably prescient vision of runaway celebrity culture and a nation with an insatiable thirst for the private details of ordinary lives.”“The Truman Show is a thrilling, heartfelt and philosophical adventure that should be seen by everyone. It is not only a film about ideas, it is most importantly a film about heart and freedom of an individual.”62. Amélie (2001; Jean-Pierre Jeunet) (86)“It is a rare thing to have an illuminating experience whilst watching a film, but that is exactly what is encountered with Amelie. This film is quirky and eccentric with its surrealistic sensibilities and loony characters, but never comes off as pretentious; funny and cheeky, but never resorting to immature stabs at humour. All of this is anchored by a touching lead performance from Audrey Tautou, the extremely cute, petite French actress a superb casting choice, who was more than able to bring forth her characters' complexities, eccentricities, and above all, loving warmth.”61. Aguirre: the Wrath of God (1972; Werner Herzog) (62)“Werner Herzog is on his wavelength, reaching for the Promethean and making everybody share the agony and ecstasy -- his masterpiece is a visualization of a medieval priest’s diary, the galvanic corpse of a Michael Curtiz swashbuckler, and a documentary about bewildered actors and crew members reacting to unruly vegetation, sludgy raging rivers, an errant butterfly… An essential hallucination, subsequently mined by Coppola, Weir and Malick but unsurpassed in its vision of the withering yet liberating madness beneath our armor.”60. Inception (2010; Christopher Nolan) (50)"The movies often seem to come from the recycling bin these days: Sequels, remakes, franchises. Inception does a difficult thing. It is wholly original, cut from new cloth, and yet structured with action movie basics so it feels like it makes more sense than (quite possibly) it does… Christopher Nolan reinvented Batman. This time he isn't reinventing anything. Yet few directors will attempt to recycle Inception. I think when Nolan left the labyrinth, he threw away the map."59. GoodFellas (1990; Martin Scorsese) (61)“If the Godfather films used organized crime as a personification of the corruption of the American society and dream, Martin Scorsese's GoodFellas never rises out of the surface level, not because it is shallow but because it gets itself in too deep. Who can stop to think of the poetry of illegality and how it represents the truth ethos of American law and organization when you're too busy looking over your shoulder for the guy who's gonna whack you? Michael Corleone would sympathize, but only in his twilight: "Just when I think I'm out, they pull me right back in," he once said. The gangsters of GoodFellas do not even have the luxury of dreaming of escape.”58. Solaris (1972; Andrei Tarkovsky) (59)“As in all great science fiction, Andrei Tarkovsky's epic adaptation of Stanislaw Lem's classic novel is as much a plunge into the depths of inner human space as a voyage to the stars... Haunting, provocative, beautifully shot and infused with an irresistible, tender sadness, this is sci-fi, and indeed cinema, at its most powerful and mysterious.”57. The Lion King (1994; Roger Allers & Rob Minkoff) (57)“Emotionally stirring, richly drawn, and beautifully animated, The Lion King stands tall within Disney's pantheon of classic family films. Borrowing elements from Hamlet, classical mythology, and African folk tales, The Lion King tells its mythic coming-of-age tale with a combination of spectacular visuals and lively music, featuring light, rhythmic songs by Elton John and Tim Rice, and a score by Hans Zimmer.”56. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966; Sergio Leone) (67)“Without belaboring any points, Leone's existential Western ruminates on man's inhumanity to man. At one point, Blondie sizes up the war: "I've never seen so many men wasted so badly." And an unpleasant family reunion between Tuco and his brother, a priest, considers the merit of two responses to poverty: is being a thief or a priest a saner response to the world into which they were born? With every man for himself but fatefully tangled up with the others, it's easy to pity Tuco, hiss the hard and dastardly Angel Eyes, and root for the self-amused centeredness of the "good" Blondie, though the men are driven by the same instinct of self-preservation. The sublime film music, now-iconic situations, and sure visual style add up to a pitch-perfect genre pic that ongoingly influences generations of hip filmmakers.”55. Koyaanisqatsi (1982; Godfrey Reggio) (80)“Famous and influential at least as much for Ron Fricke's hypnotic cinematography as its ecology-minded message, Koyaanisqatsi has earned something of a cult following, for whom it's a mind-expanding experience. Produced by Francis Ford Coppola in 1983, Koyaanisqatsi has no actors or characters in any conventional sense. No dialogue or narration. No plot. Yet here's a film that speaks with severe beauty in a language that is pure cinema. Godfrey Reggio, who has said that his intent was to show our society overwhelmed by spectacle, distancing us from what we should instead be connecting with. From the lyrical majesty of ancient cave paintings and Monument Valley to mountain ranges and desertscapes that seem utterly unearthly, then to hyper-accelerated city lights and human traffic pulsing and blurring through the mazes of Manhattan and L.A., Reggio's exquisite visual-musical choreography reveals the subjugation of the primal by the techno-modern, all with elegant ferocity.”54. Punch-Drunk Love (2002; Paul Thomas Anderson) (58)“Odd, touching, and unique, Punch-Drunk Love is also delightfully funny, utilizing Adam Sandler's comic persona to explore the life of a lonely guy who finds love. This is a surprisingly tender film wrapped in a terrifying black dramedy and a triumph from America's most promising young director.”53. Nostalghia (1983; Andrei Tarkovsky) (56)“Away from his homeland Russia, Tarkovsky delivered this phenomenal masterpiece, wonderfully directed and photographed, presenting a beautiful journey into nostalgia, faith, frustration and man's longing to find his own path. Tarkovsky's films remain so important today because of their ineffable spirituality, which has all but vanished in today's technological world marked by information, science, and an increasing detachment from nature.”52. Toy Story 3 (2010; Lee Unkrich) (49)"Toy Story 3 is as sweet, as touching, as humane a movie as you are likely to see this summer, and yet it is all about doodads stamped and molded out of plastic and polyester. Therein lies its genius, and its uncanny authenticity. A tale that captured the romance and pathos of the consumer economy, the sorrows and pleasures that dwell at the heart of our materialist way of life, could only be told from the standpoint of the commodities themselves, those accretions of synthetic substance and alienated labor we somehow endow with souls."51. Fargo (1996; Joel Coen) (43)"The Coens are at their clever best with this snowbound film noir, a crazily mundane crime story set in their native Midwest. Purportedly based on real events, it brings them as close as they may ever come - not very - to everyday life and ordinary people. Perversely, the frozen north even brings out some uncharacteristic warmth in these coolly cerebral filmmakers, although anyone seeking the milk of human kindness would be well advised to look elsewhere. The Coens' outlook remains as jaundiced as it was in Blood Simple, the razor-sharp 1984 debut feature that the much more stylish and entertaining Fargo brings to mind."50. Inglourious Basterds (2009; Quentin Tarantino) (47)"Inglourious Basterds is a modern-day classic, whatever that means. Is a classic film one that adheres to a certain criteria? Or is a classic film one that defies any predictable criteria? Well, Tarantino’s Basterds does both; it’s a tribute to cinema and a commentary on cinema. It is inspired by the greats, whilst also being great on its own unique terms. It features performances, sequences and fleeting shots that deserve to enter the pantheon of classic movie moments… Cartoon caricatures like Pitt’s Aldo Raine and Myers’ English commander are spliced into reality; we are made aware of the fact that we are watching movie characters in a real situation. But this doesn’t destroy the reality of the film, because the reality of the film is that it is a film. Inglourious Basterds not only knows that it is a fictional movie, but also that it is being watched by an audience, and herein lays its greatest achievement.”49. Ikiru (1952; Akira Kurosawa) (53)“A well crafted film with a heartfelt story that is poignant, deep, this masterpiece of a film laments life's biggest truths about our own measly, mortal existence. I haven't seen a modern movie quite like it. Ikiru is a brilliant film because of the ingenious cinematography, one would certainly agree to such; that it concerns us, because the problems faced are very real and speaks of truth, however sad(or liberating) as one may see fit. Ultimately, it works because it succeeds in doling out quintessential truths about our humanity, of our very lives.”48. Mulholland Dr. (2001; David Lynch) (39)"Fashioned from the ruins of a two-hour TV pilot rejected by ABC in 1999, Lynch's erotic thriller careens from one violent non sequitur to another. The movie boldly teeters on the brink of self-parody, reveling in its own excess and resisting narrative logic. This voluptuous phantasmagoria is certainly Lynch's strongest movie since Blue Velvet and maybe Eraserhead. The very things that failed him in the bad-boy rockabilly debacle of Lost Highway—the atmosphere of free-floating menace, pointless transmigration of souls, provocatively dropped plot stitches, gimcrack alternate universes—are here brilliantly rehabilitated."47. The Prestige (2006; Christopher Nolan) (48)“The Prestige is about the romance of the inexplicable. It's out to arouse in us the very human desire to believe in what we cannot see, hear or comprehend…It's a very cool piece of filmmaking - as it has to be, given the intellectual sleight-of-hand that lies at its heart. Yet it succeeds as both great entertainment and an absorbing rumination on the dangers of playing God.”46. Nashville (1975; Robert Altman) (46)“One of the 1970s most complexly constructed films, Nashville tackles the music industry and American politics in satirical, innovative ways by the use of large ensemble, overlapping dialogue, imporov acting, and songs written and sung by the actors.”
“When Altman pulls his camera slowly back in the last couple of minutes, encompassing more and more in his field of vision, "Nashville" soars. It becomes a poem about America, almost perfectly capturing the longing, the sadness mixed with giddiness that was 1970s America. The irresponsibility, the fixation on music and entertainment, the persistence, and 100 other things. "Nashville" captures the feel of the 70s so well that it's almost mystical. A major work of art that I would enjoy watching again and again.”45. Memento (2000; Christopher Nolan) (45)"Memento," the fiercely imaginative, reverse-chronological story of a man with a mission but no short-term memory, is a stunning modern film noir that plays havoc with the senses.
"A provocatively structured and thrillingly executed film noir, an intricate, inventive use of cinema's possibilities that pushes what can be done on screen in an unusual direction."44. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001; Wes Anderson) (38)"Royal Tenenbaum (Hackman) and his wife, Etheline (AHuston), had three children—Chas, Margot, and Richie—and then they separated. Chas (Stiller) started buying real estate in his early teens and seemed to have an almost preternatural understanding of international finance. Margot (Paltrow) was a playwright and received a Braverman Grant of $50,000 in the ninth grade. Richie (Wilson) was a junior champion tennis player and won the U.S. Nationals three years in a row… The Royal Tenenbaums is a hilarious, touching, and brilliantly stylized study of melancholy and redemption from Wes Anderson."43. Children of Men (2006; Alfonso Cuaron) (44)"Made with palpable energy, intensity and excitement, it compellingly creates a world gone mad that is uncomfortably close to the one we live in. It is a Blade Runner for the 21st century."
“Children of Men works on every level: as a violent chase thriller, a fantastical cautionary tale, and a sophisticated human drama about societies struggling to live. This taut and thought-provoking tale may not have the showy special effects normally found in movies of this genre, but you won't care one bit after the story kicks in, about a dystopic future where women can no longer conceive and hope lies within one woman who holds the key to humanity's survival. It will have you riveted.”42. Vertigo (1958; Alfred Hitchcock) (66)“Vertigo is greater than even the sum of Bernard Herrmann's versatile, indispensable score, its evocative use of San Francisco locations, and Stewart's earnest, anguished performance as the increasingly unhinged John "Scottie" Ferguson. Perverse, poetic, steeped in emotional desolation and destructive obsession, it delivers a fearlessly dolorous view of longing and betrayal in the guise of an acrophobia thriller, making through its classical ambitions and enduring fascinations a splendid case for Hitchcock as a grand experimental artist who labored in commercial genre cinema.”41. Chinatown (1974; Roman Polanski) (42)“…At the start of this I called Chinatown "the best of the neo-noirs," but I have a hard time thinking of it as such. Neo-noir generally works as a broad homage to classic noir; the best certainly work as their own films, but consider Sin City, Blade Runner and the entire filmography of the Coen brothers. All of them draw clear influences--and most downright reference, movies like The Third Man and Double Indemnity. Chinatown, however, works completely as its own film, and I believe it belongs on the list of the classics.”40. American Psycho (2000; Mary Harron) (41)“Harron asked what’s more unnerving — the exaggerated violence some imagine or the vacuous reality some want to be real, psychosis as much in the construct as the character. Fashion and music change, but not the debasing aspects of image-forming. What’s deemed sexy often is unattainable. “Psycho’s” playfully perverse climactic confession — a David Lynchian nightmare where even the buildings swallow Bateman up — made that painfully, bleakly clear.”39. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003; Quentin Tarantino) (40)"Brutally bloody and thrillingly callous from first to last, Kill Bill covers its action in a kind of delirium-glaze. Its storyline rolls out in a simulacrum universe, a place which looks and sounds like planet Earth in the early 21st century, but isn't. It's a martial- arts movie universe where the normal laws of economics, police work, physiology and gravity do not apply: a world composed of a brilliantly allusive tissue of spaghetti western and Asian martial-arts genres, on which the director's own, instantly identifiable presence is mounted as a superstructure… Kill Bill just leaves you feeling excited: pointlessly, wildly excited. How many films can do that?"38. The Apartment (1960; Billy Wilder) (37) "The Apartment, is one of Billy Wilder's funniest, most uncompromisingly bleak comedies, his second collaboration with Jack Lemmon, who plays a variation on that recurrent Wilder character, the weak guy who becomes a pimp or a gigolo to advance his career… Alexander Trauner's sets are unforgettable and Shirley MacLaine is deeply moving as the exploited lift attendant Lemmon comes to care for. She has a great final line, nearly as good as the unforgettable payoff in the preceding Wilder movie, Some Like it Hot."37. Amadeus (1984; Milos Forman) (36)"Amadeus is constructed in wonderfully well-written and acted scenes -- scenes so carefully constructed, unfolding with such delight, that they play as perfect compositions of words. Most of them will be unfamiliar to those who have seen Peter Shaffer's brooding play, on which this film is based; Shaffer and Forman have brought light, life, and laughter to the material, and it plays with grace and ease."36. The Seventh Seal (1957; Ingmar Bergman) (51)“Ingmar Bergman's dark masterpiece effortlessly sees off the revisionists and the satirists; it is a radical work of art that reaches back to scripture, to Cervantes and to Shakespeare to create a new dramatic idiom of its own…The movie fiercely addresses itself to the agony of belief, the need to believe in a God who remains silent, mysterious, absent. It is a work of art that grabs the audience by the lapels, believers and unbelievers alike, and demands not answers, exactly, but an acknowledgement that this is the most important question, the only question: why does anything exist at all? Even after half a century, The Seventh Seal is an untarnished gold-standard of artistic and moral seriousness.”35. A Clockwork Orange (1971; Stanley Kubrick) (35)"It seems to me that by describing horror with such elegance and beauty, Kubrick has created a very disorienting but human comedy, not warm and lovable, but a terrible sum- up of where the world is at... Because it refuses to use the emotions conventionally, demanding instead that we keep a constant, intellectual grip on things, it's a most unusual--and disorienting--movie experience."
"It's Kubrick's most prescient work, more astute and unsparing than any of his other films in putting the bleakest parts of human behavior under the microscope and laughing in disgust. It was made right after his other high watermark, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and as he returns to Earth from his mind-blowing brush with the cosmic, it's a sort of sequel about our planet rotting away from the inside."34. Network (1976; Sidney Lumet) (30)"Two decades later, this iconic American New Wave renegade text is even more startling than it once was—was Hollywood ever this cerebral, this caustic, this ethically apocalyptic? That 90 percent of Network's satire has become fulfilled prophecy by now doesn't take the shine off of its broadsword. Reality-show whoredom, death TV, New Globalistic anti-humanism, audience as robotic consumer—it's all here and all still hamburger in the teeth of this movie, written with hissing rage and in huge, thoughtful paragraphs by Paddy Chayefsky and directed with a vivid sense of '70s genuineness by Sidney Lumet."33. The Shawshank Redemption (1994; Frank Darabont) (29)"Darabont's adaptation of a Stephen King novella is a throwback to the kind of serious, literate drama Hollywood used to make… Against this weighs the pleasure of discovering a first-time director with evident respect for the intelligence of his audience, brave enough to let character details accumulate without recourse to the fast-forward button. Darabont plays the long game and wins: this is an engrossing, superbly acted yarn, while the Shawshank itself is a truly formidable mausoleum."32. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975; Milos Forman) (28)"A rare screen adaptation of a beloved novel that maintains the emotional and dramatic power of the original while establishing its own distinctive approach to the story, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is an underdog masterpiece. "It was a classic story: the story of an individual fighting the system," is how producer Michael Douglas explained his attraction to Ken Kesey's novel about a strong-willed rebel fighting a domineering head nurse in a mental hospital… One of the great stories of defiance in the face of unchecked power, and one of the most powerful character dramas of its time."31. WALL*E (2008; Andrew Stanton) (32)"Many will attempt to describe WALL-E with a one-liner. It’s R2-D2 in love. 2001: A Space Odyssey starring The Little Tramp. An Inconvenient Truth meets Idiocracy on its way to Toy Story. But none of these do justice to a film that’s both breathtakingly majestic and heartbreakingly intimate—and, for a good long while, absolutely bereft of dialogue save the squeals, beeps, and chirps of a sweet, lonely robot who, aside from his cockroach pet, is the closest thing to the last living being on earth."30. Spirited Away (2001; Hayao Miyazaki) (22)"It's a masterpiece, pure and simple -- certainly the finest thing that the distinctive Japanese style of animation, called anime, has produced -- and a film that can stand with the Disney classics of the 30's and 40's in the range of its imagination and the quality of its execution."
“Initially seems like a Through the Looking-Glass fantasy, but rapidly picks up a resonance, weight and complexity that make it all but Shakespearean.”29. Drive (2011; Nicholas Winding Refn) (33)“..Drive vibrates with a mood of foreboding and impending doom. The ticking bomb tension is brilliantly punctuated by bursts of gentle beauty and tenderness juxtaposed against interludes of horrifically graphic violence that materialize as suddenly as a heart attack. With its hyper-stylized blend of violence, music, and striking imagery, Drive represents a fully realized vision of arthouse action.”28. No Country For Old Men (2007; Joel & Ethan Coen)(23)"The bleak and unforgiving borderlands of Texas by the Rio Grande are the setting for this triumphant new movie by Joel and Ethan Coen… The Coens are back with a vengeance, showing their various imitators and detractors what great American film-making looks like, and they have supplied a corrective adjustment to the excesses of goofy-quirky comedy that damaged their recent work. The result is a dark, violent and deeply disquieting drama, leavened with brilliant noirish wisecracks, and boasting three leading male performances with all the spectacular virility of Texan steers. And all of it hard and sharp as a diamond."27. The Godfather Pt. 2 (1974; Francis Ford Coppola) (27)“If The Godfather served as a haunting eulogy for the American nuclear family, its sequel charted the death of the American Dream, ironically through those who unquestionably achieved it. Irony and cynicism pervades its narrative and its aesthetic, the golden hues of its tinting a comment not only on our sepia-toned nostalgia but America and its amber waves of grain. The Godfather Part II is a portrait of a tragic hero who is neither tragic (in that he is not deserving of a sliver of pity) nor heroic; though the film bifurcates and splits focus with another character from another time period, it is ultimately about the fall of Michael Corleone.”26. In the Mood For Love (2000; Wong Kar-wai) (26)"Set in the sad yet deeply romanticized world of Hong Kong in the early to mid-'60s, Wong's ravishingly beautiful In the Mood For Love may be classified as a period piece, but only in the technical sense. In detailing the intimate friendship and love between two unhappily married lonelyhearts, Wong collects vivid moments out of time as they might play out in a person's memory many years later… In the Mood For Love captures the inherent alienation of city life, but in the process, he intensifies the romantic longing between the two characters… In the Mood For Love casts a dreamy and melancholic spell that remains unbroken long after the closing credits have rolled."25. L.A. Confidential (1997; Curtis Hanson) (34)“What you get with L.A. Confidential is a classic noir with all the modern trappings (though one could argue that by this point, the film itself is a classic as well). Supported by one of the best and most reverential screenplays, the amazing cast delivers a noir film that is both classic and contemporary at the same time. This is a movie that both deconstructs what it means to be a noir film and is a film noir itself in the best ways possible.”24. Andrei Rublev (1966; Andrei Tarkovsky) (25)“Despite the immense length, this is easily the most accessible of the three Tarkovsky films I've seen, and also the most rewarding. Like any genuinely rewarding spiritual film, the focus is not on religious faith but faith itself. Andrei Rublev is as much a medieval coming-of-age tale as it is an argument for goodness in the face of great evil…the bell-raising sequence is one of the all-time great moments of cinema, a technical triumph that conveys both skill and emotion deftly. I'm merely saying that Tarkovsky never gave up and, like Rublev, he left behind some of the greatest pieces of art of this or any other period. If the term "masterpiece" cannot be applied to this film, I know not what it could possibly describe.”23. The Shining (1980; Stanley Kubrick) (20)“Alive with portent and symbolism, every frame of the film brims with Kubrick's genius for implying psychological purpose in setting: the hotel's tight, sinister labyrinth of corridors; its cold, sterile bathrooms; the lavish, illusionary ballroom. This was horror of the mind transposed to place (or, indeed, vice versa). The clarity of the photography and the weird perspectives constantly alluding to Torrance's twisted state of mind…Ostensibly a haunted house story, it manages to traverse a complex world of incipient madness, spectral murder and supernatural visions ...and also makes you jump.”22. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946; Frank Capra) (24)"Capra's Dickensian masterpiece... James Stewart is a vision of decency as the selfless guy George Bailey who finds himself deeply loved in the smalltown community he'd once dreamed of leaving: a redemptive discovery that follows his suicidal despair one snowy Christmas night. Every time I watch it, I am surprised afresh by how late in the story Clarence the angel appears, on his mission to show George how bad the world would have looked without him. The film is gripping enough simply with the telling of George's lifestory. A genuine American classic."21. Ran (1985; Akira Kurosawa) (21)“An adaptation of Shakespeare's King Lear, Ran is a culmination of everything the director ever put to celluloid: it's a study of a broken old man trying to do something right with his life before he passes (Ikiru), a Shakespearean adaptation (Throne of Blood, The Bad Sleep We. It's also a showcase of his state of mind at the time.”
"A stunning achievement in epic cinema. Working on a large scale seems to bring out the best in Kurosawa's essentially formal talents; Kagemusha seems only a rough draft for the effects he achieves here through a massive deployment of movement and color."20. Citizen Kane (1941; Orson Welles) (31)"Far and away the most surprising and cinematically exciting motion picture to have been seen here in many a moon. As a matter of fact, it comes close to being the most sensational film ever made in Hollywood."
"Its imagery (not forgetting the oppressive ceilings) as Welles delightedly explores his mastery of a new vocabulary, still amazes and delights, from the opening shot of the forbidding gates of Xanadu to the last glimpse of the vanishing Rosebud (tarnished, maybe, but still a potent symbol). A film that gets better with each renewed acquaintance."19. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980; Irvin Kerschner) (18)“The Empire Strikes Back is the best of three Star Wars films, and the most thought-provoking. After the space opera cheerfulness of the original film, this one plunges into darkness and even despair, and surrenders more completely to the underlying mystery of the story. It is because of the emotions stirred in Empire that the entire series takes on a mythic quality that resonates back to the first and ahead to the third. This is the heart."18. Magnolia (1999; Paul Thomas Anderson) (17)“Writer/director P.T. Anderson proves not only that he is no one-hit wonder ("Boogie Nights") with his latest screen effort, but that he is a master of pithy dialogue and dynamic juxtaposition of character. In his third feature, the director brilliantly sets apart ten characters who support and oppose each other in revealing set-pieces, confirming the film's loosely optimistic leitmotif that "strange things happen all the time…Just as something so reliably surprising as the weather can modify people’s behavior, "Magnolia" encompasses an inter-connective human bond that accepts reality’s blind spots. Purity of intention, as the story suggests, is a happy accident that can hit everyone."17. The Tree of Life (2011; Terrence Malick) (13)“Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life may be the closest the cinema has to its own Mass in B minor: it's gargantuan, encompassing, messy and bold. It's also exquisitely beautiful and personal on a level seemingly impossible for something that feels so vast. The Missa comprises movements under four distinct sections, and The Tree of Life incorporates the themes and styles of the director's four previous features into a film that feels infinite and minute, unwieldy yet perversely whole.”
"Malick's mad and magnificent film descends slowly, like some sort of prototypical spaceship: it's a cosmic-interior epic of vainglorious proportions, a rebuke to realism, a disavowal of irony and comedy, a meditation on memory, and a gasp of horror and awe at the mysterious inevitability of loving, and losing those we love… This is visionary cinema on an unashamedly huge scale: cinema that's thinking big. Malick makes an awful lot of other film-makers look timid and negligible by comparison."16. Chungking Express (1994; Wong Kar-wai) (14)"The whiplash, double-pronged Chungking Express is one of the defining works of nineties cinema and the film that made Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar-wai an instant icon. Two heartsick Hong Kong cops (Kaneshiro and Leung), both jilted by ex-lovers, cross paths at the Midnight Express take-out restaurant stand, where the ethereal pixie waitress Faye (Faye Wong) works. Anything goes in Wong’s gloriously shot and utterly unexpected charmer, which cemented the sex appeal of its gorgeous stars and forever turned canned pineapple and the Mamas and the Papas’ “California Dreamin’” into tokens of romantic longing."
"Wong Kar-wai's movie tells two loosely interlinked stories, both about lovelorn cops who get involved with women who are wrong for them... This is what Godard movies were once like: fast, hand-held, funny and very, very catchy. The year's zingiest visit to Heartbreak Hotel."15. Fight Club (1999; David Fincher) (12)“Rarely has a film been so keyed into its time -- in ways that, commercially, will be both advantageous and damaging -- as "Fight Club." On one hand, the feature is the perfect reflection of the millennium malaise that pits pervasive nihilism against an urgent need for something to grasp onto; on the other, it caps off a period in which the media and Washington have never been so assiduous in pointing the finger at Hollywood over the impact of screen violence on society and on youth in particular. But despite certain hostility from some sectors, especially in the U.S., this bold, inventive, sustained adrenaline rush of a movie about a guru who advocates brutality and mayhem should excite and exhilarate young audiences everywhere in significant numbers.”14. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964; Stanley Kubrick) (16)"Dr. Strangelove is, first and foremost, absolutely unflinching... Kubrick's precise use of camera angles, his uncanny sense of lighting, his punctuation with close-ups and occasionally with zoom shots, all galvanize the picture into macabre yet witty reality."
“Dr. Strangelove applies to nuclear war, but its vicious examination of the nature of war itself gives it a timeless quality that survived the fall of the Soviet Union. It reduces war to the exploits of men whose inferiority complexes drive them to kill. Even when a nuke sets off the Russian doomsday machine and it spells the end of mankind, Turgidson and the Russian ambassador still bicker, and the ambassador sneaks off to take secret photos of the War Room. Why on Earth would he do this? Does he not understand that the notion of politics no longer has any meaning? It's just his job; who knows if Americans will agree to a peace settlement as a band of specially-chosen survivors flee to mine shafts, or vice-versa. Even at the end of civilization, man will look for any excuse to kill someone else.”13. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004; Michael Gondry) (19)“Eternal Sunshine is one of those films I have trouble writing about, not only because I want everyone to experience it for themselves but because I worry that I'd only get lost in my platitudes. So perfect is every element -- the editing, the direction, the off-the-wall yet piercing script, the acting -- and so expertly and originally are they arranged that it stands on its own island. It boasts career-best performances from Carrey and Winslet, and at the very least all the other actors put in excellent work. Kaufman's script might lack the ambition of his later opus Synecdoche, New York and the wit of Adaptation, but he injects such a knowing sadness and hope into the film that he finally proves true the saying so many dismiss as pithy: 'twas better to have loved and lost than never loved at all.”12. The Rules of the Game (1939; Jean Renoir) (15)"Renoir's brilliant social comedy is epitomized by the phrase 'everyone has their reasons'… The film effects audacious slides from melodrama into farce, from realism into fantasy, and from comedy into tragedy. Romantic intrigues, social rivalries, and human foibles are all observed with an unblinking eye that nevertheless refuses to judge… Embracing every level of French society, from the aristocratic hosts to a poacher turned servant, the film presents a hilarious yet melancholic picture of a nation riven by petty class distinctions."“This film’s about being someone who experiences life with great passion and sensitivity, with wonderful and horrible insight into others, and therefore both a deeper love and a deeper hurt, a sensitivity which will always necessarily leave you on the outside. Renoir knew more about what it took to truly love others than any other film maker, but at the end even Octave has to walk away from the dense macabre of the manor house. Not sure if I am willing to do the same, but this film captures the passionate reasons why I sometimes want to just run away and become a hermit—while also really not wanting to— more fully than any other work of art.”-Dreww11. Stalker (1979; Andrei Tarkovsky) (11)“If I were to take all of my pragmatic trappings and worldly attachments out into the backyard and shoot them dead, undergo some kind of fucking ego death and start over, the spiritual warrior Drew that would emerge would have his contradictions and perils perfectly mapped out by the landscape of this film. Hard to explain my attraction to this film beyond that other than to repeat clichés about how Tarkovsky’s style is an impossible balance between the tactile and the ethereal, with this film being the ultimate example of that. Words like transcendence are thrown around too much, but this is the film that really deserves it. It’s almost impossible to comprehend that this is just celluloid and not an actual portal into another, truer world.”-Dreww
“A self-loathing hipster, guilt ridden scienstician and paranoid gypsy skulk around throwing a nut or bolt or whatever into a lush overgrown urban ruin declaring their cryptic ethics to no one in particular while they retrieve it. The cameraman wanders away from them whenever possible. 5 stars.”10. Blade Runner (1982; Ridley Scott) (10)“The secret of Blade Runner is that Scott's fantastically baroque, future-shock imagery, all dark decay and techno-clutter, effectively becomes the story. As the layers of mood and detail settle in, the very process by which we watch the film — scanning those shimmering, claustrophobic frames for signs of life — turns into a running metaphor for what Blade Runner is about: a world in which humanity has been snuffed by ''progress.'' This is perhaps the only science-fiction film that can be called transcendental.”
"The most remarkably and densely imagined and visualized SF film since 2001: A Space Odyssey, a hauntingly erotic meditation on the difference between the human and the nonhuman.”9. The Big Lebowski (1998; Joel Coen) (5)"Maybe it's the way the Coen brothers tie everything together with bowling that makes this Los Angeles-based tale of burnouts, gun buffs, doobies, tumbleweeds, art, nihilism, porn, pissed-on rugs, severed toes, Saddam Hussein, attack marmots, Teutonic technopop and Bob Dylan - not to mention extortion, kidnapping and death - such a hilarious pop-culture hash. The Big Lebowski is the best movie ever set mostly in a bowling alley."
“Like all Coen films, this one is as meaningless as it is potentially profound, but above all, Coen films are always tightly scripted, brilliantly performed, thoughtful dialogues on classic film genres with a tart sense of humor. In The Dude, the Coens offer an upbeat philosophical approach to cruel fate: roll with the punches and "abide". For what is the alternative?”8. Seven Samurai (1954; Akira Kurosawa) (9)"One of the most thrilling movie epics of all time, The Seven Samurai tells the story of a sixteenth-century village whose desperate inhabitants hire the eponymous warriors to protect them from invading bandits. This three-hour ride from Akira Kurosawa—featuring legendary actors Toshiro Mifune and Takashi Shimura—seamlessly weaves philosophy and entertainment, delicate human emotions and relentless action, into a rich, evocative, and unforgettable tale of courage and hope."
"Breathtaking, fastmoving, and overflowing with a delightfully self-mocking sense of humor, Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai is one of the most popular and influential Japanese films ever made.... This rip-snorting action-adventure epic about a sixteenth-century farm community led by a band of samurai warriors defending itself against a marauding army, sparked not only an American remake, The Magnificent Seven (1960), but went on to influence a score of other westerns, particularly those of Sam Peckinpah and Sergio Leone."7. The Godfather Pt. 1 (1972; Francis Ford Coppola) (7)"Taking a best-selling novel of more drive than genius, about a subject of something less than common experience (the Mafia), involving an isolated portion of one very particular ethnic group (first-generation and second-generation Italian-Americans), Francis Ford Coppola has made one of the most brutal and moving chronicles of American life ever designed within the limits of popular entertainment."
“One of Hollywood's greatest critical and commercial successes, The Godfather gets everything right; not only did the movie transcend expectations, it established new benchmarks for American cinema.”6. Apocalypse Now (1979; Francis Ford Coppola) (4)"Apocalypse Now is more clearly than ever one of the key films of the century. Most films are lucky to contain a single great sequence. Apocalypse Now strings together one after another, with the river journey as the connecting link...Apocalypse Now is more than the greatest Vietnam film ever made, more than the best war film period; it is a document of a part of man that no amount of conditioning and evolution will ever fully eradicate, and it's a beast that can emerge with only a strong push.”
"In contrast to Coppola’s earlier The Godfather Part II and The Conversation, Apocalypse Now isn’t a conspicuously ‘smart’ film: literary references aside, there are no intellectual pretensions here. Instead, as befits both its tortuous hand-to-mouth genesis and the devastating conflict it reflects, this is a film of pure sensation, dazzling audiences with light and noise, laying bare the stark horror – and unimaginable thrill – of combat. And therein lies the true heart of darkness: if war is hell and heaven intertwined, where does morality fit in? And, in the final apocalyptic analysis, will any of it matter?"5. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003; Peter Jackson) (8)“In my life, I've spent an embarrassing amount of time exploring Tolkien's Middle Earth Universe. I'll go toe to toe with you on Middle Earth trivia. I'm not scared. Obviously, this isn't the first epic film to be made, but in my totally unbiased opinion, this is easily the best one. It manages to capture the vastness of Middle Earth but it is grounded in characters that may not always be well written or faithfully adapted, but are still characters that I have come to love. Every year I try to gather some friends and watch all three extended edition films back to back to back in one sitting. There is never a set date for it, but it is always something that I look forward to. It becomes an experience for me. I easily get lost in the stories and just go with it. Whenever I find the world to be too much to handle and I need to escape to a familiar yet foreign place, The Lord of the Rings films are my destination of choice.”-led for your head4. There Will Be Blood (2007; Paul Thomas Anderson) (6)"Anderson's epic, no less than his career, is both fearfully grandiose and wonderfully eccentric. A strange and enthralling evocation of frontier capitalism and manifest destiny set at the dawn of the 20th century, There Will Be Blood recounts the tale of a ferociously successful wildcat oil driller with the allegorical handle Daniel Plainview (Day-Lewis). The telling is leisurely and full of process: From the deliberately dark and fragmented prologue to the wildly excessive denouement, this movie continually defamiliarizes what might sound like a Giant-style potboiler… This is truly a work of symphonic aspirations and masterful execution."
“Daniel Plainview is surely one of the most magnetic characters in any recent story. The film mirrors him, building up his hatred piece by piece. It's fascinating how he constructs a narrative about himself as an oil man and a family man, violently rejecting anything that gets in the way of that image. This surface hides a pathological need for complete control—his true hatred is reserved for those he can't control, or who try to manipulate or control him. Fittingly, in his ultimate act of revenge on Eli, which finally settles a long-standing score between them, he loses control of himself. This scene is set to celebratory music that is transformed into a cruel, delirious irony. It's also interesting that both of the dominant characters—Plainview and Eli—are entirely unlikeable. What primarily sets them apart is, again, that Plainview is magnetic.” -pnoom3. Taxi Driver (1976; Martin Scorsese) (3)“The movie I’ve watched the most and loved over the years for the most constantly shifting reasons. It’s so emblazoned in my psyche that I really can’t imagine what life would be like without it. There’s just something about how Michael Chapman’s burnt out cinematography captures the demonic dance of the neon city lights. How Bernard Herman’s score mixes high class glamour with gritty street-level militarization. How De Niro’s performance balances perfectly observed urban white boy alienation with alluringly/repulsively antisocial impusles. How the editing is both pathologically hypnotic and terrifyingly confrontational. There’s something wicked, contradictory, and unhealthy about this movie, but then there’s something wicked, contradictory, and unhealthy about post-industrial American society. I don’t know exactly what that sick thing is, but whatever it is, it’s certainly buried within this film somewhere. As far as I'm concerned everyone involved never came even remotely close to matching this achievement ever again, and that's saying something.”-Dreww
"Martin Scorsese's searing portrait of loneliness and violence on the mean streets of New York, is an American original. De Niro's Travis Bickle, the insomniac taxi driver of the title, is an angry, alienated Vietnam veteran who takes a job driving a taxi on the night shift… It remains one of the quintessential films of 1970s American cinema, a brooding blast of modern gothic cinema that boils over in madness and self destruction. Scorsese's uncompromising vision and vivid direction and a fierce, fearless performance by De Niro have inspired countless young filmmakers and actors in the decades since its release."2. Pulp Fiction (1994; Quentin Tarantino) (2)"A triumphant, cleverly disorienting journey through a demimonde that springs entirely from Mr. Tarantino's ripe imagination, a landscape of danger, shock, hilarity, and vibrant local color. Nothing is predictable or familiar within this irresistably bizarre world. You don't merely enter a theater to see Pulp Fiction; you go down a rabbit hole."
"Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction is a film both monumental and immediately accessible, a 2 1/2-hour picture whose energy never flags. It's the movie equivalent of that rare sort of novel where you find yourself checking to see how many pages are left and hoping there are more, not fewer. The tone is darkly comic in the face of almost operatic violence, though only the most squeamish of viewers will be put off. With Tarantino we get violence as part of an impish vision of life in which anything can happen -- and does… Pulp Fiction is a picture that will stand up to repeat viewings."1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968; Stanley Kubrick) (1)"The genius is not in how much Stanley Kubrick does in 2001: A Space Odyssey, but in how little. This is the work of an artist so sublimely confident that he doesn't include a single shot simply to keep our attention. He reduces each scene to its essence, and leaves it on screen long enough for us to contemplate it, to inhabit it in our imaginations. Alone among science-fiction movies, 2001 is not concerned with thrilling us, but with inspiring our awe."
“Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey is one of the greatest films of all time and it is the director’s most profound and confounding exploration of humanity’s relationship to technology, violence, sexuality and social structures. Kubrick’s philosophical inquiries about the nature of humanity are explored to various degrees throughout all his films but in 2001: A Space Odyssey he explored his preoccupations most substantially by examining the place that humans occupy in the universe, asking some extremely weighty questions about the way humanity has evolved and suggesting what the next stage of our evolution will be like.”
Last edited by Quinnsy Lohan on Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:56 am, edited 38 times in total.