Empire Magazine's 500 Greatest Films of All Time (2008)

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1.
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 wedding. A horse’s head. A gun in a restaurant toilet. Sicily. Another wedding. A car bomb. A toll-booth. Orange peel. A baptism. A closed door. ” - colm-hearne365
 
2.
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.)
“ "Of the Spielbergs, Jaws and Schindler's List traditionally score more highly, but it appears this year's jaunt for the man in the hat has re-whetted appetites for the pre-gopher Indy. Quite right, too; no adventure movie is quite so efficiently entertaining as Steve 'n' George's B-inspired blockbuster." ” - colm-hearne365
 
3.
Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
After the rebels have been brutally overpowered by the Empire on their newly established base, Luke Skywalker takes advanced Jedi training with Master Yoda, while his friends are pursued by Darth Vader as part of his plan to capture Luke. (124 mins.)
Director: Irvin Kershner
“ "The modern movie cliche is that a sequel should be "darker". Blame The Empire Strikes Back, a crowdpleaser that dared to end with a devastating double-whamming ("I am you father"; "I love you"/"I know"). You don't forget it's also the funniest entry, basing its finest action sequences on a spaceship that keeps breaking down..." ” - colm-hearne365
 
4.
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.3/10 X  
Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency. (142 mins.)
Director: Frank Darabont
“ "A perennial readers' fave, Shawshank has clearly maintained its resounding emotional throb. It's a rare one, alright: a bloke's weepie. And also the movie that spawned a thousand Morgan Freeman voiceovers." ” - colm-hearne365
 
5.
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.)
“ "Ah, the big one. Jaws' influence still bites deep (consider that "Jaws on a..." pitch gag), its melding of populist shriek-baiting with finely nuanced, character-driven drama ensuring popularity with punter, filmmaker and critic alike." ” - colm-hearne365
 
6.
Goodfellas (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
Henry Hill and his friends work their way up through the mob hierarchy. (146 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
 
7.
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
“ A movie so lauded and debated it has a ‘making of’ story as well-known as the film itself. Brando and Coppola are surely cinema’s ultimate teaming. ” - colm-hearne365
 
8.
Singin' in the Rain (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A silent film production company and cast make a difficult transition to sound. (103 mins.)
“ Appropriately, the highest scoring Hollywood musical is a musical about Hollywood — an admirably self-mocking one at that. ” - colm-hearne365
 
9.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
The lives of two mob hit men, a boxer, a gangster's wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption. (154 mins.)
“ "Perfectly encapsulating the absolute-zero cool of the "Indiewood" scene. QT has yet to better its excessive appeal." ” - colm-hearne365
 
10.
Fight Club (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
An insomniac office worker, looking for a way to change his life, crosses paths with a devil-may-care soap maker, forming an underground fight club that evolves into something much, much more. (139 mins.)
Director: David Fincher
 
11.
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
 
12.
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
“ One of the fascinating quirks of the list is the higher placing for this darker-veined comedy than the bewigged flamboyance of so-called ‘funniest film of all time’ Some Like It Hot. To argue between them rather misses the point (both are excellent and must be seen) — what stands out is how The Apartment has grown in stature as one of the diminutive Hungarian émigré’s finest films. On the surface, it’s the straight downtrodden-boy-meets-indifferent-girl formula, but Wilder, who skipped Berlin as the Nazis took power, came possessed of a more savage view of the world’s workings. Jack Lemmon’s hypochondriac Baxter is a friendless corporate climber; the object of his affection, Shirley MacLaine, an unstable lift girl having an affair with the CEO. Their meandering path to romance twists between notions of prostitution (corporate and real) and even suicide. Meet-cute it is not. Yet, somehow, the film remains optimistic about their chances ” - colm-hearne365
 
13.
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
 
14.
Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
A mysterious stranger with a harmonica joins forces with a notorious desperado to protect a beautiful widow from a ruthless assassin working for the railroad. (175 mins.)
Director: Sergio Leone
 
15.
The Dark Knight (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.0/10 X  
When the menace known as the Joker wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham, the Dark Knight must come to terms with one of the greatest psychological tests of his ability to fight injustice. (152 mins.)
 
16.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Humanity finds a mysterious, obviously artificial object buried beneath the Lunar surface and, with the intelligent computer H.A.L. 9000, sets off on a quest. (149 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
“ Brilliant, befuddling: a sci-why movie as intelligent as it is pristine. Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick conjure an endlessly debatable epic. An effects landmark, too: no HAL, no Star Wars. ” - colm-hearne365
 
17.
Taxi Driver (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A mentally unstable Vietnam War veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process. (113 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
 
18.
Casablanca (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
In Casablanca in December 1941, a cynical American expatriate encounters a former lover, with unforeseen complications. (102 mins.)
Director: Michael Curtiz
“ Bogey and Bergman’s wartime dalliance somehow emerged as one of Hollywood’s most loved and misquoted movies — aided considerably by Claude Rains’ wonderfully cynical humour. ” - colm-hearne365
 
19.
The Godfather: Part II (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.0/10 X  
The early life and career of Vito Corleone in 1920s New York is portrayed while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on the family crime syndicate. (202 mins.)
“ Even cash-ins were high quality during the ’70s. Coppola reluctantly returned, yet delivered a damning picture in which Pacino’s mobster gains the world but loses his soul. ” - colm-hearne365
 
20.
Blade Runner (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A blade runner must pursue and try to terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space and have returned to Earth to find their creator. (117 mins.)
Director: Ridley Scott
“ Drenched in neon and endless rain, Scott’s striking private-eye picture endures due to the script’s struggle with what makes us human. Can we stop arguing whether Deckard is a replicant now? ” - colm-hearne365
 
21.
The Third Man (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, Harry Lime. (104 mins.)
Director: Carol Reed
 
22.
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
“ "It's a surprise to see the saga-starter that arguably birthed modern blockbusters outside the Top 10. Eclipsed by Empire, then - though we shouldn't forget how Lucas bravely battled naysayers to create a galaxy far, far away." ” - colm-hearne365
 
23.
Back to the Future (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
Marty McFly, a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent 30 years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the maverick scientist Doc Brown. (116 mins.)
Director: Robert Zemeckis
“ "Unlike the poodle-perm or your dad, this '80s classic has aged remarkably well. Weird science and teenage dreams combine in a wish-fulfillment sci-fi lent heart by the fantastic Michael J. Fox." ” - colm-hearne365
 
24.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
A meek Hobbit from the Shire and eight companions set out on a journey to destroy the powerful One Ring and save Middle Earth from the Dark Lord Sauron. (178 mins.)
Director: Peter Jackson
“ "The fear was tangible at the premiere for Fellowship, as Ring-readers worried if Jackson was up to it. A dashing, hugely skillful adaptation." ” - colm-hearne365
 
25.
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
“ "The West is brutal, war is hell and Clint Eastwood is an icon. Laconic and perhaps plain irritated by clashes with his wild, genius director, the TV star came of age as The Man With No Name." ” - colm-hearne365
 
26.
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a war room full of politicians and generals frantically try to stop. (95 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
“ Intended as a serious exploration of the Cold War, but the super-powers’ MAD policy (Mutually Assured Destruction) was so absurd, it had to be a comedy. ” - colm-hearne365
 
27.
Some Like It Hot (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
When two male musicians witness a mob hit, they flee the state in an all-female band disguised as women, but further complications set in. (120 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
“ "Tony Curtis in a dress? Is this an original gross-out comedy? Hardly, though the Curtis/John Lemmon drag-act has its share of goofball gags. Only number 27? Well, nobody's perfect." ” - colm-hearne365
 
28.
Citizen Kane (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance. (119 mins.)
Director: Orson Welles
 
29.
Die Hard (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
John McClane, officer of the NYPD, tries to save his wife Holly Gennaro and several others that were taken hostage by German terrorist Hans Gruber during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles. (131 mins.)
Director: John McTiernan
“ "It is yippee-kay-yay or yippy-kay-yay or yipy-ki-aye. The argument rages on and on. *beep* ” - colm-hearne365
 
30.
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
“ "Where Ridley Scott was all about show-building tension, James Cameron creates a whirlwind of pure panic and violence. Probably the most exciting film ever made." ” - colm-hearne365
 
31.
Gone with the Wind (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
American film classic in which a manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods. (238 mins.)
Director: Victor Fleming
 
32.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Two Western bank/train robbers flee to Bolivia when the law gets too close. (110 mins.)
Director: George Roy Hill
“ The cuddliest downbeat Western succeeds on canny miscasting. Newman and Robert are dead wrong as ageing outlaws, but perfect as 1969 defiant youth ” - colm-hearne365
 
33.
Alien (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
After a space merchant vessel perceives an unknown transmission as distress call, their landing on the source moon finds one of the crew attacked by a mysterious life-form, and soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun. (117 mins.)
Director: Ridley Scott
“ "A sci-fi slasher film. A B idea, made great by Scott's grimly industrial space programme,H.R. Giger's obscenely biomechanical monster and Sigourney Weaver's sweaty feminism." ” - colm-hearne365
 
34.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
Gandalf and Aragorn lead the World of Men against Sauron's army to draw his gaze from Frodo and Sam as they approach Mount Doom with the One Ring. (201 mins.)
Director: Peter Jackson
“ "Yes, it has too many endings, but it fully pays off everything anyone could have wanted of a final act." ” - colm-hearne365
 
35.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A cyborg, identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor, must now protect her teenage son, John Connor, from a more advanced cyborg. (137 mins.)
Director: James Cameron
“ "If Terminator was suspense, T2 is spectacle - Arnie's killer cyborg becoming the best-ever combination surrogate dad and bodyguard, while CGI comes of age in his morphing metal nemesis." ” - colm-hearne365
 
36.
Andrei Rublev (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
The life, times and afflictions of the fifteenth-century Russian iconographer. (205 mins.)
“ This Soviet-era Russian epic, which made Andrei Tarkovsky’s international reputation, dramatises episodes in the life and times of a medieval monk with a gift for painting icons. Uniquely among artist biopics, there are no scenes of the hero at the easel and we don’t see his work — in radiant colour after three hours of black-and-white — until the very end of the film. Indeed, Rublev (Anatoli Solonitsyn) tends to fade into the bearded, weatherbeaten crowd (for much of the running time he’s under a vow of silence) as various holy fools command attention. If Tarkovsky’s intense argument about God, talent and the human condition is as chilly as the steppes, the pre-CGI widescreen spectacle, depicting crowds of people and animals, is often breathtaking: the screen fills with Kurosawa-like action as Tartars sack a cathedral or a mad waif bosses a more experienced crew as they forge a church bell. ” - colm-hearne365
 
37.
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
“ Kubrick’s dystopia of bowler-hatted glam yobbos is as scarily relevant in an era of ASBOs and no-go council estates as in the time it was made. ” - colm-hearne365
 
38.
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
“ Mann directs one of the best shoot-outs in the history of cinema and guides an outstanding supporting cast (remember when Val Kilmer was this good?) through an intricate crime plot. But the showstopper is simply two major screen actors — Al Pacino, Robert De Niro — facing off over a coffee. ” - colm-hearne365
 
39.
The Matrix (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers. (136 mins.)
“ "Mind-wipe the sequels from your brain, and recall the most significant science-fiction blockbuster of the turn of the millennium - even Keanu Reeves was cool, and the Wachowski brothers pioneered bullet-time." ” - colm-hearne365
 
40.
Vertigo (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A San Francisco detective suffering from acrophobia investigates the strange activities of an old friend's wife, all the while becoming dangerously obsessed with her. (128 mins.)
“ A mystery which takes such a sidetrack that the unmasking of the villain is an irrelevance. Beautiful Kim Novak is mysteriously haunted, while neurotic 'tec James Stewart turns worryingly obsessive. ” - colm-hearne365
 
41.
The 400 Blows (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Moving story of a young boy who, left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime. (99 mins.)
“ Jean-Pierre Leaud is Truffaut stand-in Antoine Doinel, here an unhappy child taking refuge in the freedom of the cinema and the bleakness of petty crime. Thematically grim, but joyous moviemaking ” - colm-hearne365
 
42.
Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A distant poor relative of the Duke of D'Ascoyne plots to inherit the title by murdering the eight other heirs who stand ahead of him in the line of succession. (106 mins.)
Director: Robert Hamer
“ Ealing at its most entertainingly contradictory — a film of style, charm and Victorian literary elegance about (frankly) a social-climbing serial killer. An exemplar of British good taste built on corpses, snobbery and sex. ” - colm-hearne365
 
43.
The Big Lebowski (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
"The Dude" Lebowski, mistaken for a millionaire Lebowski, seeks restitution for his ruined rug and enlists his bowling buddies to help get it. (117 mins.)
Director: Joel Coen
“ The Coens' colourful take on Raymond Chandler's LA noir is the shaggiest of shaggy dog stories, and evidently Joel and Ethan's most enduring by a long shot. Jeff Bridges' White Russian-downing 'Dude' is an iconic hero ” - colm-hearne365
 
44.
Schindler's List (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
In German-occupied Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazi Germans. (195 mins.)
“ Spielberg's Oscar breakthrough strives hard for its masterpiece status, with masterful work from Liam Neeson and extraordinarily complex villainy from Ralph Fiennes. If it had subtitles, you'd swear it were a Polanski or Andrzej Wajda film. ” - colm-hearne365
 
45.
Psycho (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A Phoenix secretary embezzles $40,000 from her employer's client, goes on the run, and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother. (109 mins.)
“ ""We all go a little mad sometimes." Hitchcock claimed this was a comedy - it does make cruel fun of everything Americans were supposed to be taken seriously in 1960: psychology, cleanliness, money and mothers." ” - colm-hearne365
 
46.
On the Waterfront (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
An ex-prize fighter turned longshoreman struggles to stand up to his corrupt union bosses. (108 mins.)
Director: Elia Kazan
“ Brando's Terry Malloy maybe a landmark in screen acting, but Elia Kazan's still stunning hymn to individualism set new levels of realism, finding enough gritty atmosphere and street poetry to power 1,000 episodes of The Wire. ” - colm-hearne365
 
47.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A troubled child summons the courage to help a friendly alien escape Earth and return to his home world. (115 mins.)
“ "Spielberg turns his parents' divorce into a magical slice of sci-fi as autobiography. Subtle kid performance (especially Henry Thomas) make a great animatronic creation even more affecting." ” - colm-hearne365
 
48.
This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/11 X  
Spinal Tap, one of England's loudest bands, is chronicled by film director Marty DeBergi on what proves to be a fateful tour. (82 mins.)
Director: Rob Reiner
“ "This - if you will - rockumentary founded a new mode of American screen comedy, and added more quotable soundbites to the culture than 20 seasons of The Simpsons." ” - colm-hearne365
 
49.
Evil Dead II (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The lone survivor of an onslaught of flesh-possessing spirits holes up in a cabin with a group of strangers while the demons continue their attack. (84 mins.)
Director: Sam Raimi
“ How did this happen? How did a low-budget schlocker that made bugger-all when it opened in 1987 finally get its own Empire cover? Here are just ten reasons why Evil Dead 2 is the 49th greatest film of all time� 1. Sam Raimi: young, brilliant and bursting at the seams with ideas for virtuoso camera moves and demented montages. 2. Star Bruce Campbell's Ash: half-Stooge, half-Rambo. 3. The chainsaw/shotgun combo... "Groovy." 4. There's a gleeful disregard for convention throughout: the breakneck first five minutes remake the original movie. 5. High gore factor: walls spurt blood, eyeballs land in mouths. 6. The bit where Ash's hair turns grey. Genius. 7. It's hugely influential (ask Edgar Wright and Louis Leterrier). 8. It's goofily hilarious - the possessed demon hand is a hoot. 9. Its ending is perverse and Planet Of The Apes-perfect. 10. Oh, and it has a laughing moose head. Every movie should have a laughing moose head ” - colm-hearne365
 
50.
Seven Samurai (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves. (207 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
“ Kurosawa borrowed from Japanese history and John Ford Westerns to create this epic, amazingly influential picture. A long, complex build-up pays off with one of the movies' greatest battle scenes ” - colm-hearne365
 
51.
(1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A harried movie director retreats into his memories and fantasies. (138 mins.)
“ A film about a director who can't make a film, this mixes childhood flashbacks, doomed relationships between Marcello Mastroianni and gorgeous women, and Fellini's love of circus-style bizarros. ” - colm-hearne365
 
52.
The Shining (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil and spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future. (146 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
“ "Stephen King is largely ignored, as Jack Nicholson descends into a visceral hell of his own making, and, with astonishing visual power, Kubrick redefines the horror as he did with sci-fi and 2001." ” - colm-hearne365
 
53.
Donnie Darko (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a man in a large rabbit suit who manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after he narrowly escapes a bizarre accident. (113 mins.)
Director: Richard Kelly
“ "An '80s-nostalgia high school movie with Lynchian atmospherics and time-travel twist. A film to constantly revisit because it makes you think and feel while you try to figure out the nutty narrative." ” - colm-hearne365
 
54.
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
“ "The tricky middle one, this carries forward the story briskly towards the rousing battle of Helm's Deep, and brings on the mo-capped Andy Serkis Gollum, a major advance in Cg characters (bye-bye Jar Jar)." ” - colm-hearne365
 
55.
La Dolce Vita (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A series of stories following a week in the life of a philandering paparazzo journalist living in Rome. (174 mins.)
“ Marcello Mastroianni looks better in sunglasses than anyone else ever and Anita Ekberg wades in a fountain in a spectacular evening dress, embodying the decadence Fellini so enjoys condemning. ” - colm-hearne365
 
56.
Casino Royale (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Armed with a licence to kill, Secret Agent James Bond sets out on his first mission as 007 and must defeat a weapons dealer in a high stakes game of poker at Casino Royale, but things are not what they seem. (144 mins.)
Director: Martin Campbell
“ The ballsiest make-over any saga has ever undergone, this goes back to Bond’s beginnings, finding previously skimped Ian Fleming elements, and fits the hero into a modern, post-Jason Bourne world. ” - colm-hearne365
 
57.
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
 
58.
His Girl Friday (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A newspaper editor uses every trick in the book to keep his ace reporter ex-wife from remarrying. (92 mins.)
Director: Howard Hawks
 
59.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
After an encounter with U.F.O.s, a line worker feels undeniably drawn to an isolated area in the wilderness where something spectacular is about to happen. (137 mins.)
 
60.
Come and See (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
After finding an old rifle, a young boy joins the Soviet resistance movement against ruthless German forces and experiences the horrors of World War II. (142 mins.)
Director: E. Klimov
“ Under-seen but riding high on critics’ and filmmakers’ lists, this is the Russian Apocalypse Now, a dizzying, terrifying portrayal of brutality and genocide during the Nazis’ scorched-earth campaign through Belorussia. ” - colm-hearne365
 
61.
The Usual Suspects (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
A sole survivor tells of the twisty events leading up to a horrific gun battle on a boat, which began when five criminals met at a seemingly random police lineup. (106 mins.)
Director: Bryan Singer
“ Elegantly unspooling Christopher McQuarrie’s labyrinthine script, it’s a none-more-deft deconstruction of storytelling that somehow retains emotion ” - colm-hearne365
 
62.
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
“ "Captured an age of simultaneously emerging and demolished ideals, as Dustin Hoffman's lovelorn outsider discovers the discontent and sexual simmer in suburbia." ” - colm-hearne365
 
63.
Sunset Blvd. (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A screenwriter is hired to rework a faded silent film star's script only to find himself developing a dangerous relationship. (110 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
 
64.
Oldboy (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
After being kidnapped and imprisoned for fifteen years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in five days. (120 mins.)
Director: Chan-wook Park
“ Popular with readers, critics and the most unlikely of filmmakers — Cameron Crowe loves it — this ferocious thriller explores the appeal and futility of revenge. And how to eat a live octopus. ” - colm-hearne365
 
65.
Harold and Maude (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Young, rich, and obsessed with death, Harold finds himself changed forever when he meets lively septuagenarian Maude at a funeral. (91 mins.)
Director: Hal Ashby
“ Wonderful to see this bizarre, bittersweet love story in the top ton, with Ruth Gordon and Bud Cort soulmates separated by a mere, um, 60 years. The most unlikely romance you’ll ever see. ” - colm-hearne365
 
66.
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A gentle man, with scissors for hands, is brought into a new community after living in isolation. (105 mins.)
Director: Tim Burton
“ "After he busted blocks with Batman, Burton broke hearts with perhaps his most personal picture. The romance of razor-fingered recluse is given irresistible internal strength by a breakout performance from Johnny Depp." ” - colm-hearne365
 
67.
Tokyo Story (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
An old couple visit their children and grandchildren in the city; but the children have little time for them. (136 mins.)
Director: Yasujirô Ozu
“ Much more soulful and engaging than its arthouse rep suggests. A tender, tragic and transcendent picture of old age ignored. Watch it with someone you love ” - colm-hearne365
 
68.
Annie Hall (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Neurotic New York comedian Alvy Singer falls in love with the ditzy Annie Hall. (93 mins.)
Director: Woody Allen
“ A thriller named Anhedonia transformed into a rom-com where the antagonist is the lead’s own neurosis. More daring than Allen is usually given credit for. Its other alternative title? It Had To Be Jew. ” - colm-hearne365
 
69.
Three Colors: Red (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A model discovers her neighbor is keen on invading people's privacy. (99 mins.)
“ Interlocking lives and loves, the nature of chance, the unlikelihood of happiness... Kieslowski retired — in his early 50s — after this final entry in his Colours trilogy; perhaps he knew he’d never equal it. ” - colm-hearne365
 
70.
Stand by Me (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
After the death of a friend, a writer recounts a boyhood journey to find the body of a missing boy. (89 mins.)
Director: Rob Reiner
“ A coming-of-age classic crucial to the making of many of us, with one-time multi-genre master Reiner coaxing a wonderful performance from River Phoenix, and Stephen King providing the truthful source material. ” - colm-hearne365
 
71.
The Night of the Hunter (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A religious fanatic marries a gullible widow whose young children are reluctant to tell him where their real daddy hid $10,000 he'd stolen in a robbery. (92 mins.)
“ The sole behind-the-camera gig of character actor Laughton, a psycho-thriller shrouded in spectral majesty, with a mesmerising act of evil from another underrated actor, Robert Mitchum. “Chilll... dren?” ” - colm-hearne365
 
72.
12 Angry Men (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
A jury holdout attempts to prevent a miscarriage of justice by forcing his colleagues to reconsider the evidence. (96 mins.)
Director: Sidney Lumet
“ Where it all started for one of America’s most enduring directors, tapping his TV roots for a claustrophobic courtroom thriller with Henry Fonda standing up for the best of America. ” - colm-hearne365
 
73.
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
“ "Charlie Kaufman's warmest script probably accounts for his highest chart position. Add Gondry's skewed visuals, an affecting Jim Carrey and an adorable Kate Winslet, and this is Quirk Gold." ” - colm-hearne365
 
74.
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Fred Dobbs and Bob Curtin, two Americans searching for work in Mexico, convince an old prospector to help them mine for gold in the Sierra Madre Mountains. (126 mins.)
Director: John Huston
 
75.
Stairway to Heaven (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A British wartime aviator who cheats death must argue for his life before a celestial court. (104 mins.)
“ David Niven is wonderful as a young pilot who avoids death due to a celestial bureaucratic cock-up, while Powell and Pressburger’s vision of heaven is still cinema’s greatest. ” - colm-hearne365
 
76.
Manhattan (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The life of a divorced television writer dating a teenage girl is further complicated when he falls in love with his best friend's mistress. (96 mins.)
Director: Woody Allen
 
77.
Spartacus (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
The slave Spartacus leads a violent revolt against the decadent Roman Republic. (197 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
“ Kirk Douglas’ failure to win the title role in William Wyler’s Ben-Hur spurred him on to make his own Roman epic. His influence in hiring Kubrick was rewarded with a rousing, action-packed and iconic sword ’n’ sandaller, now the unmatched emperor of the genre ” - colm-hearne365
 
78.
Rosemary's Baby (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A young couple move into an apartment, only to be surrounded by peculiar neighbors and occurrences. When the wife becomes mysteriously pregnant, paranoia over the safety of her unborn child begins to control her life. (137 mins.)
Director: Roman Polanski
 
79.
The Thin Red Line (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Terrence Malick's adaptation of James Jones' autobiographical 1962 novel, focusing on the conflict at Guadalcanal during the second World War. (170 mins.)
Director: Terrence Malick
“ Malick’s stunning return to filmmaking after a 20-year absence is beautiful, thoughtful and admirably uncommercial. And Hans Zimmer’s haunting theme has been used for a dozen trailers since — including, incongruously, that for Pearl Harbor. ” - colm-hearne365
 
80.
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
From the Boer War through World War II, a soldier rises through the ranks in the British military. (163 mins.)
“ Slated on its original release for being decidedly unpatriotic, Powell and Pressburger’s satire has now been rightfully re-assessed as a classic which couldn’t be more British if it tried. ” - colm-hearne365
 
81.
Batman Begins (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
After training with his mentor, Batman begins his fight to free crime-ridden Gotham City from the corruption that Scarecrow and the League of Shadows have cast upon it. (140 mins.)
“ "Nolan's Year One rebirth of the caped crusader is a grown-up comic-book movie that placed the Dark Knight himself, rather than his gaudy foes, where he belonged...back in the spotlight." ” - colm-hearne365
 
82.
The Great Escape (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Allied prisoners of war plan for several hundred of their number to escape from a German camp during World War II. (172 mins.)
Director: John Sturges
“ An all-star cast, a true-life tale and one of the most memorable theme tunes of all time, Sturges’ beloved entertainment somehow combines Boy’s Own thrills with the harsh bite of wartime truths. Dig it. ” - colm-hearne365
 
83.
Brazil (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A bureaucrat in a retro-future world tries to correct an administrative error and himself becomes an enemy of the state. (132 mins.)
Director: Terry Gilliam
 
84.
L.A. Confidential (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
As corruption grows in 1950s LA, three policemen - one strait-laced, one brutal, and one sleazy - investigate a series of murders with their own brand of justice. (138 mins.)
Director: Curtis Hanson
“ "James Ellroy - equally known as "the demon dog of crime action" and author of L.A. Confidential - once admitted that if he'd had his way, the movie of the third entry in his darkly magnificent LA Quartet (or the second entry in his Dudley Smith Trio, if you prefer) would have been shot in black-and-white and been four hours long. Which, as intriguing as that sounds, only goes to show that sometimes it's a good thing creators maintain a (dis)respectful distance from adaptations of their output. After all, Curtis Hanson and Brian Helgeland's well-oiled retool of Ellroy's devilishly manifold tale of police corruption in '40s Hollywood should be held up as the very pinnacle of novel-to-script revisualisation:a robust reworking with an eye on the beats that give every good mainstream drama its pulse, while sensitively embracing the original's bitter core." ” - colm-hearne365
 
85.
Blue Velvet (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The discovery of a severed human ear found in a field leads a young man on an investigation related to a beautiful, mysterious nightclub singer and a group of psychopathic criminals who have kidnapped her child. (120 mins.)
Director: David Lynch
“ Never have Lynch’s beautiful and bizarre visions been more unsettling than here, as he unearths the dirt that lies beneath a seemingly genteel American suburbia. At a stretch it’s a form of neo-noir. Then again, this is Lynch, and definitions never stick. ” - colm-hearne365
 
86.
Carrie (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Carrie White, a shy, friendless teenage girl who is sheltered by her domineering, religious mother, unleashes her telekinetic powers after being humiliated by her classmates at her senior prom. (98 mins.)
Director: Brian De Palma
 
87.
The King of Comedy (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Aspiring comic Rupert Pupkin attempts to achieve success in show business by stalking his idol, a late night talk-show host who craves his own privacy. (109 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
“ De Niro’s Rupert Pupkin is the self-deluded ying to Travis Bickle’s sociopathic yang. Scorsese’s satirical and deeply discomfiting black comedy deserves its place in this list for its dangerously desperate protagonist alone. ” - colm-hearne365
 
88.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A high school wise guy is determined to have a day off from school, despite what the principal thinks of that. (103 mins.)
Director: John Hughes
“ "The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, waistoids, dweebies and dickheads all adore him, and so do we. John Hughes' righteous dude is unquestionably too cool for school." ” - colm-hearne365
 
89.
Magnolia (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An epic mosaic of interrelated characters in search of love, forgiveness, and meaning in the San Fernando Valley. (188 mins.)
“ An ensemble piece about the bonds that bring a disparate group of Los Angelinos together, it’s no coincidence that Anderson’s instant classic is loved by so many. ” - colm-hearne365
 
90.
When Harry Met Sally... (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Harry and Sally have known each other for years, and are very good friends, but they fear sex would ruin the friendship. (96 mins.)
Director: Rob Reiner
“ Reiner’s rom-com is sweet-natured and old-fashioned, yet with a deliciously dirty streak and game performances from Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan. ” - colm-hearne365
 
91.
Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
After rescuing Han Solo from the palace of Jabba the Hutt, the rebels attempt to destroy the second Death Star, while Luke struggles to make Vader return from the dark side of the Force. (131 mins.)
“ "The weakest of the original trilogy, Marquand's send-off still does more than enough to earn is place in movie history. The triple-stranded climax is masterful." ” - colm-hearne365
 
92.
Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A former Prohibition-era Jewish gangster returns to the Lower East Side of Manhattan over thirty years later, where he once again must confront the ghosts and regrets of his old life. (229 mins.)
Director: Sergio Leone
“ It took Leone years to realise this chronicle of the lives of Jewish ghetto youths, and he couldn’t quite let it go in the editing suite. Still, it’s a majestic drama that repays endless viewings. ” - colm-hearne365
 
93.
The Spirit of the Beehive (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
In 1940, after watching and being traumatized by the movie Frankenstein, a sensitive seven year-old girl living in a small Spanish village drifts into her own fantasy world. (97 mins.)
Director: Víctor Erice
“ A story of a young Spanish girl, the aftermath of the civil war, Frankenstein’s Monster and a father’s obsession with bees, this is a triumph of dreamlike style. And one of Guillermo del Toro’s faves. ” - colm-hearne365
 
94.
The Wild Bunch (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An aging group of outlaws look for one last big score as the "traditional" American West is disappearing around them. (135 mins.)
Director: Sam Peckinpah
“ Peckinpah’s lament for the dying West plays on his favourite theme — men out of step with their time — and embroiders it with the most memorable bloodshed imaginable. John Woo owes his career to this. ” - colm-hearne365
 
95.
Yojimbo (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A crafty ronin comes to a town divided by two criminal gangs and decides to play them against each other to free the town. (110 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
“ The finest example of Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune’s astonishing partnership, the title role giving the latter his most likably rugged rogue incarnation ” - colm-hearne365
 
96.
American Beauty (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A sexually frustrated suburban father has a mid-life crisis after becoming infatuated with his daughter's best friend. (122 mins.)
Director: Sam Mendes
“ An intricate, brilliantly acted dissection of dysfunctional family life, wunderkind Mendes’ first movie was well-rewarded with a hatful of Oscars. ” - colm-hearne365
 
97.
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
After a simple jewelry heist goes terribly wrong, the surviving criminals begin to suspect that one of them is a police informant. (99 mins.)
“ Tarantino mixed noir staples with spasms of ultraviolence and a whirr of meta-dialogue where everything was game, from Madonna to The Great Escape, to create the pop-cultural movie event of the '90s. ” - colm-hearne365
 
98.
North by Northwest (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A hapless New York advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive. (136 mins.)
“ A droll and debonair Cary Grant slaloms between spy rings, suspicious blondes, mother issues and a psychopathic cropduster. ” - colm-hearne365
 
99.
Toy Story (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A cowboy doll is profoundly threatened and jealous when a new spaceman figure supplants him as top toy in a boy's room. (81 mins.)
Director: John Lasseter
“ "A landmark in animation as beautiful and significant as Snow White. The point wasn't just art-by-computer, but a storytelling of wit and humanity that translated to seemingly everyone alive." ” - colm-hearne365
 
100.
Network (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A television network cynically exploits a deranged former anchor's ravings and revelations about the news media for its own profit. (121 mins.)
Director: Sidney Lumet
“ Lumet’s satire of television’s morals has grown more chillingly relevant with age. Peter Finch’s on-air breakdown, screaming at the cameras, entices the audience rather than repels them. ” - colm-hearne365