The best movies for 50 years 1960 to 2010 - some surprises for personal choice

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1.
The Apartment (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A man tries to rise in his company by letting its executives use his apartment for trysts, but complications and a romance of his own ensue. (125 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
“ A wonderful movie about becoming a mensch. Jack Lemmon gives his best performance, a Shirley MacLaine is wonderful. ” - smith-d-c
 
2.
The Guns of Navarone (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A British team is sent to cross occupied Greek territory and destroy the massive German gun emplacement that commands a key sea channel. (158 mins.)
Director: J. Lee Thompson
“ A very exciting movie with great dialogue and a terrific international cast. ” - smith-d-c
 
3.
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
The story of T.E. Lawrence, the English officer who successfully united and led the diverse, often warring, Arab tribes during World War I in order to fight the Turks. (216 mins.)
Director: David Lean
“ The best intimate epic ever made. Peter O'Toole is unforgettable, Jarre's score is glorious, and the cinematography is spectacular. ” - smith-d-c
 
4.
Hud (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Honest and hard-working Texas rancher Homer Bannon has a conflict with his unscrupulous, selfish, arrogant and egotistical son Hud, who sank into alcoholism after accidentally killing his brother in a car crash. (112 mins.)
Director: Martin Ritt
“ Paul Newman is wonderful and the story of the family is gripping. A great modern western. ” - smith-d-c
 
5.
Goldfinger (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Investigating a gold magnate's smuggling, James Bond uncovers a plot to contaminate the Fort Knox gold reserve. (110 mins.)
Director: Guy Hamilton
“ The best Bond movie! Sean Connery at his most charming, great villains, wonderful dialogue, and one memorable scene after another. ” - smith-d-c
 
6.
Doctor Zhivago (1965)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The life of a Russian physician and poet who, although married to another, falls in love with a political activist's wife and experiences hardship during the First World War and then the October Revolution. (197 mins.)
Director: David Lean
“ A beautiful love story but it's the images of Russia and the seasons that you will remember. ” - smith-d-c
 
7.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
A bounty hunting scam joins two men in an uneasy alliance against a third in a race to find a fortune in gold buried in a remote cemetery. (161 mins.)
Director: Sergio Leone
“ I believe this is Eli Wallach's film and he dominates the screen. Leone's style is mesmorizing throughout and Morricone's music is wonderful. ” - smith-d-c
 
8.
The Graduate (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A disillusioned college graduate finds himself torn between his older lover and her daughter. (106 mins.)
Director: Mike Nichols
“ Dustin Hoffman rightfully became a star. This is a terrific film about growing up, funny and sad. ” - smith-d-c
 
9.
The Producers (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Producers Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom make money by producing a sure-fire flop. (88 mins.)
Director: Mel Brooks
“ The funniest movie of all time!! A great story of friendship, the theater, and the best Mel Brooks script ever written. Zero and Gene are phenomenal! ” - smith-d-c
 
10.
Midnight Cowboy (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A naive hustler travels from Texas to New York to seek personal fortune but, in the process, finds himself a new friend. (113 mins.)
“ A grim view of NY, but Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman make a terrific pair. ” - smith-d-c
 
11.
Patton (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The World War II phase of the career of the controversial American general, George S. Patton. (172 mins.)
“ George C. Scott is unbelievable! A great script by Coppola and incredible characterization. ” - smith-d-c
 
12.
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
In future Britain, Alex DeLarge, a charismatic and psycopath delinquent, who likes to practice crimes and ultra-violence with his gang, is jailed and volunteers for an experimental aversion therapy developed by the government in an effort to solve society's crime problem - but not all goes according to plan. (136 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
“ Once of age, this became the most stunning film I ever saw. The style, music, and message of freewill were so powerful. ” - smith-d-c
 
13.
The Godfather (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.2/10 X  
The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son. (175 mins.)
“ A perfect film. Superb direction and the best Al Pacino movie ever. ” - smith-d-c
 
14.
American Graffiti (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A couple of high school grads spend one final night cruising the strip with their buddies before they go off to college. (110 mins.)
Director: George Lucas
“ This is still the only George Lucas film which is flawless. A great cast of future stars, great music, hilarious, and dramatic. ” - smith-d-c
 
15.
Chinatown (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A private detective hired to expose an adulterer finds himself caught up in a web of deceit, corruption and murder. (130 mins.)
Director: Roman Polanski
“ Jack Nicholson gives his best performance. Grim but fantastic in dialogue and style. John Huston is also one of the best villains. ” - smith-d-c
 
16.
Jaws (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A giant great white shark arrives on the shores of a New England beach resort and wreaks havoc with bloody attacks on swimmers, until a local sheriff teams up with a marine biologist and an old seafarer to hunt the monster down. (124 mins.)
“ Speilberg plays with our minds and our fears. Three great performances and one the scariest films ever. ” - smith-d-c
 
17.
Rocky (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Rocky Balboa, a small-time boxer, gets a supremely rare chance to fight heavy-weight champion Apollo Creed in a bout in which he strives to go the distance for his self-respect. (120 mins.)
“ America could feel proud again. A timeless film about believing in yourself. ” - smith-d-c
 
18.
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a wookiee and two droids to save the galaxy from the Empire's world-destroying battle-station, while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the evil Darth Vader. (121 mins.)
Director: George Lucas
“ This is more than a film, it's an experience! Never before have more worlds been created that brings out the child in us. ” - smith-d-c
 
19.
Superman (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
An alien orphan is sent from his dying planet to Earth, where he grows up to become his adoptive home's first and greatest superhero. (143 mins.)
Director: Richard Donner
“ From John Williams march, to Gene Hackman's brilliance, to the best Lois Lane on film, this movie is great. ” - smith-d-c
 
20.
Apocalypse Now (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
During the Vietnam War, Captain Willard is sent on a dangerous mission into Cambodia to assassinate a renegade colonel who has set himself up as a god among a local tribe. (153 mins.)
Director: Francis Coppola
“ Surreal images and cinematography dominate. Coppola creates a memorable Vietnam experience. ” - smith-d-c
 
21.
Raging Bull (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
An emotionally self-destructive boxer's journey through life, as the violence and temper that leads him to the top in the ring destroys his life outside it. (129 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
“ robert de niro is amazing! The movie is hard to watch but a brilliant portrayal of suspicion and jealousy. ” - smith-d-c
 
22.
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
Archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis. (115 mins.)
“ my all time favorite movie! This movie is fun! Harrison Ford and the cast are superb! The best action movie ever with the impossible to top climax. ” ” - smith-d-c
 
23.
Tootsie (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Michael Dorsey, an unsuccessful actor, disguises himself as a woman in order to get a role on a trashy hospital soap. (116 mins.)
Director: Sydney Pollack
“ A perfect comedy. Dustin Hoffman is terrific and the supporting cast is wonderful. ” ” - smith-d-c
 
24.
WarGames (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A young man finds a back door into a military central computer in which reality is confused with game-playing, possibly starting World War III. (114 mins.)
Director: John Badham
“ so far ahead of its time. Matthew Broderick is superb ” - smith-d-c
 
25.
Amadeus (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
The incredible story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, told by his peer and secret rival Antonio Salieri - now confined to an insane asylum. (160 mins.)
Director: Milos Forman
“ the man, the music, the madness, the awesome movie! ” - smith-d-c
 
26.
Witness (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A young Amish boy is sole witness to a murder; policeman John Book goes into hiding in Amish country to protect him until the trial. (112 mins.)
Director: Peter Weir
“ Philadelphia and rural PA with a great Harrison Ford and pacifist message. ” ” - smith-d-c
 
27.
Aliens (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
The moon from Alien has been colonized, but contact is lost. This time, the rescue team has impressive firepower, but will it be enough? (137 mins.)
Director: James Cameron
“ I didn't even breathe the last hour. What an exciting movie! ” - smith-d-c
 
28.
Radio Days (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A nostalgic look at radio's golden age focusing on one ordinary family and the various performers in the medium. (88 mins.)
Director: Woody Allen
“ Hilarious, poinient, nostalgic, and warm. Woody at his best with writing. ” - smith-d-c
 
29.
Cinema Paradiso (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A filmmaker recalls his childhood, when he fell in love with the movies at his village's theater and formed a deep friendship with the theater's projectionist. (155 mins.)
“ the love of movies and Italy. Philippe Noiret is wonderful as the old projectionist. If you love movies, no other film gives you that passion. ” - smith-d-c
 
30.
Henry V (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
In the midst of the Hundred Years' War, the young King Henry V of England embarks on the conquest of France in 1415. (137 mins.)
Director: Kenneth Branagh
“ stirring, powerful, and Kenneth Branaugh bringing Shakespeare to full life. ” - smith-d-c
 
31.
Miller's Crossing (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Tom Regan, an advisor to a Prohibition-era crime boss, tries to keep the peace between warring mobs but gets caught in divided loyalties. (115 mins.)
Director: Joel Coen
“ a powerful gangster movie with a great Gabriel Byrne performance and memorable climax. ” - smith-d-c
 
32.
JFK (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A New Orleans DA discovers there's more to the Kennedy assassination than the official story. (189 mins.)
Director: Oliver Stone
“ It's not history, but it is well done! Great acting, direction, writing, editing, and photography. ” - smith-d-c
 
33.
Unforgiven (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Retired Old West gunslinger William Munny reluctantly takes on one last job, with the help of his old partner and a young man. (131 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
“ Clint is still great, but it's the dialogue and Gene Hackman who make the movie memorable. ” - smith-d-c
 
34.
In the Line of Fire (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Secret Service agent Frank Horrigan couldn't save Kennedy, but he's determined not to let a clever assassin take out this president. (128 mins.)
“ Clint and John Malkovich are superb. Highly suspenseful and well written. ” - smith-d-c
 
35.
Forrest Gump (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
While not intelligent, Forrest Gump has accidentally been present at many historic moments, but his true love, Jenny Curran, eludes him. (142 mins.)
Director: Robert Zemeckis
“ The defining American movie that features the best Tom Hanks performance ever. ” - smith-d-c
 
36.
Heat (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A group of professional bank robbers start to feel the heat from police when they unknowingly leave a clue at their latest heist. (170 mins.)
Director: Michael Mann
“ a fantastic action bank heist movie about the characters and their relationships. A top notch cast and memorable dialogue. ” ” - smith-d-c
 
37.
Lone Star (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
When the skeleton of his murdered predecessor is found, Sheriff Sam Deeds unearths many other long-buried secrets in his Texas border town. (135 mins.)
Director: John Sayles
“ a forgotten gem with Chris Cooper. A great examination of the modern west. ” - smith-d-c
 
38.
Good Will Hunting (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Will Hunting, a janitor at M.I.T., has a gift for mathematics, but needs help from a psychologist to find direction in his life. (126 mins.)
Director: Gus Van Sant
“ Matt Damon and Robin Williams are superb and both he and Ben deserved the oscar for their brilliant screenplay. ” - smith-d-c
 
39.
Life Is Beautiful (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
When an open-minded Jewish librarian and his son become victims of the Holocaust, he uses a perfect mixture of will, humor and imagination to protect his son from the dangers around their camp. (116 mins.)
Director: Roberto Benigni
“ It came out in 1998 in the US. Roberto Begnini shows us a clown and true love for family. ” ” - smith-d-c
 
40.
Topsy-Turvy (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
After Gilbert and Sullivan's latest play is critically panned, the frustrated team threatens to disband until it is inspired to write the masterpiece "The Mikado". (154 mins.)
Director: Mike Leigh
“ A great backstage drama that accurately depicts life in Victorian England. Funny, well-acted, and great music throughout. ” - smith-d-c
 
41.
Gladiator (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
When a Roman general is betrayed and his family murdered by an emperor's corrupt son, he comes to Rome as a gladiator to seek revenge. (155 mins.)
Director: Ridley Scott
“ A great story (not history), well acted by Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix. Wonderful score and exciting. ” ” - smith-d-c
 
42.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. (152 mins.)
Director: Chris Columbus
“ Magical, transportive, with wonderful characters both young and old. ” - smith-d-c
 
43.
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
While Frodo and Sam edge closer to Mordor with the help of the shifty Gollum, the divided fellowship makes a stand against Sauron's new ally, Saruman, and his hordes of Isengard. (179 mins.)
Director: Peter Jackson
“ A visual feast of battles and characters. The first film that I understood LOTR's appeal. Gollum is wonderfully realized, funny and tragic. ” - smith-d-c
 
44.
A Mighty Wind (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Mockumentary captures the reunion of 1960s folk trio the Folksmen as they prepare for a show at The Town Hall to memorialize a recently deceased concert promoter. (91 mins.)
“ A smart funny comedy about folk music. Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara shine on stage and off. Fred Willard is hysterical ” - smith-d-c
 
45.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
When their relationship turns sour, a couple undergoes a procedure to have each other erased from their memories. But it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with. (108 mins.)
Director: Michel Gondry
“ a beautiful love story, Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet are at their best. ” - smith-d-c
 
46.
Walk the Line (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A chronicle of country music legend Johnny Cash's life, from his early days on an Arkansas cotton farm to his rise to fame with Sun Records in Memphis, where he recorded alongside Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins. (136 mins.)
Director: James Mangold
“ Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon have great chemistry. The movie should have one the oscar over both Crash and Brokeback Mountain. ” - smith-d-c
 
47.
Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
The story of the battle of Iwo Jima between the United States and Imperial Japan during World War II, as told from the perspective of the Japanese who fought it. (141 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
“ Clint shows us the Japanese side of WWII. Brilliantly directed and fascinating. ” - smith-d-c
 
48.
No Country for Old Men (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong and more than two million dollars in cash near the Rio Grande. (122 mins.)
“ A great film noir western! Javier Bardem is wonderfully terrifying. A great script and direction. ” - smith-d-c
 
49.
Gran Torino (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Disgruntled Korean War veteran Walt Kowalski sets out to reform his neighbor, a Hmong teenager who tried to steal Kowalski's prized possession: a 1972 Gran Torino. (116 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
“ Clint still has it! If this is his last acting, he went out with style and grace. ” - smith-d-c
 
50.
Up in the Air (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Ryan Bingham enjoys living out of a suitcase for his job traveling around the country firing people, but finds that lifestyle threatened by the presence of a potential love interest and a new hire. (109 mins.)
Director: Jason Reitman
“ The best airplane travel movie I've seen. A great examination of the recession and George Clooney gives his best performance. ” - smith-d-c