hours of my life I'd quite like back, please

highly-rated moovies I've regretted paying good money for.
View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
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
“ takes everything special about indie movies and makes it trite. ” - maddox-richard
 
2.
Garden State (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A quietly troubled young man returns home for his mother's funeral after being estranged from his family for a decade. (102 mins.)
Director: Zach Braff
“ takes everything trite about indie movies and makes it even triter. ” - maddox-richard
 
3.
Black Swan (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A committed dancer wins the lead role in a production of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" only to find herself struggling to maintain her sanity. (108 mins.)
“ wow, that sex scene is hilariously bad. steals a fair bit from Lynch but strains for seriousness. As trite as Lynch on autopilot ('wild at heart') and not half as fun. ” - maddox-richard
 
4.
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 and eight companions set out on a journey to destroy the One Ring and the Dark Lord Sauron. (178 mins.)
Director: Peter Jackson
“ wish I'd skipped this completely, skimmed the second one and then come to the finale fresh as a daisy. Maybe I can have my memory wiped and do that, like in a Michel Gondry film. ” - maddox-richard
 
5.
Ratatouille (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A rat who can cook makes an unusual alliance with a young kitchen worker at a famous restaurant. (111 mins.)
“ Loved Monsters Inc, Toy Story 1 & 2 and Wall-E. Not this. Nor Toy Story 3. Weird and creepy. I don't get it. ” - maddox-richard
 
6.
Cars (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A hot-shot race-car named Lightning McQueen gets waylaid in Radiator Springs, where he finds the true meaning of friendship and family. (117 mins.)
“ product placement yes, story-telling not so much. ” - maddox-richard
 
7.
Natural Born Killers (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Two victims of traumatized childhoods become lovers and psychopathic serial murderers irresponsibly glorified by the mass media. (118 mins.)
Director: Oliver Stone
“ emperor's new clothes scenario. ” - maddox-richard
 
8.
Forrest Gump (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
Forrest Gump, while not intelligent, has accidentally been present at many historic moments, but his true love, Jenny Curran, eludes him. (142 mins.)
Director: Robert Zemeckis
“ probably the greatest film of all time in some parallel universe where Tom Hanks wins Oscars... Wait a minute... ” - maddox-richard
 
9.
Closer (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
The relationships of two couples become complicated and deceitful when the man from one couple meets the woman of the other. (104 mins.)
Director: Mike Nichols
“ like watching a play with Natalie Portman in it. ” - maddox-richard
 
10.
Dogville (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A woman on the run from the mob is reluctantly accepted in a small Colorado town. In exchange, she agrees to work for them. As a search visits town, she finds out that their support has a price. Yet her dangerous secret is never far away... (178 mins.)
Director: Lars Von Trier
“ like watching a play with Natalie Kidman in it. ” - maddox-richard
 
11.
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.)
“ straining for seriousness ” - maddox-richard
 
12.
Babel (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Tragedy strikes a married couple on vacation in the Moroccan desert, touching off an interlocking story involving four different families. (143 mins.)
“ straining for seriousness, this is the kind of movie actors love because they get to be all actorly and serious ” - maddox-richard
 
13.
21 Grams (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A freak accident brings together a critically ill mathematician, a grieving mother, and a born-again ex-con. (124 mins.)
“ hmmm. there's a tv series somewhere doing this so much better. ” - maddox-richard
 
14.
Traffic (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A conservative judge is appointed by the President to spearhead America's escalating war against drugs, only to discover that his teenage daughter is a crack addict. Two DEA agents protect an informant. A jailed drug baron's wife attempts to carry on the family business. (147 mins.)
“ there's more than one tv series doing this much better ” - maddox-richard
 
15.
Sideways (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Two men reaching middle age with not much to show but disappointment embark on a week-long road trip through California's wine country, just as one is about to take a trip down the aisle. (126 mins.)
Director: Alexander Payne
“ whine, whine, whine ” - maddox-richard
 
16.
Breaking the Waves (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Oilman Jan is paralyzed in an accident. His wife, who prayed for his return, feels guilty; even more, when Jan urges her to have sex with another. (159 mins.)
Director: Lars Von Trier
“ uplifting little number this... ” - maddox-richard
 
17.
Philadelphia (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
When a man with AIDS is fired by his law firm because of his condition, he hires a homophobic small time lawyer as the only willing advocate for a wrongful dismissal suit. (125 mins.)
Director: Jonathan Demme
“ couldn't make a film much duller really. but they cast Tom just to be sure. ” - maddox-richard
 
18.
Barton Fink (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A renowned New York playwright is enticed to California to write for the movies and discovers the hellish truth of Hollywood. (116 mins.)
Director: Joel Coen
“ everything overwrought and painful about the coens in one movie. Ok, so Blood Simple, Millers Crossing and Raising Arizona are indulgent too - but they seem to have saved up all their most humourless indulgences for this one. Try Woody's Bullets Over Broadway screenplay for a light approach to some of the same themes. ” - maddox-richard
 
19.
The Last Emperor (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The story of the final Emperor of China. (163 mins.)
“ films shown with intervals... discuss. ” - maddox-richard
 
20.
The Departed (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
An undercover cop and a mole in the police attempt to identify each other while infiltrating an Irish gang in South Boston. (151 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
“ should have had an interval. And this filches rather than 'quotes from' (that frozen hand comes from a great Gary Oldman flick). ” - maddox-richard
 
21.
There Will Be Blood (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A story of family, religion, hatred, oil and madness, focusing on a turn-of-the-century prospector in the early days of the business. (158 mins.)
“ there will be yawning. And seat shuffling. ” - maddox-richard
 
22.
Il Postino: The Postman (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Simple Italian postman learns to love poetry while delivering mail to a famous poet; he uses this to woo local beauty Beatrice. (108 mins.)
Director: Michael Radford
“ trite. ” - maddox-richard
 
23.
All or Nothing (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Penny's love for her partner, taxi-driver Phil, has run dry. He is a gentle, philosophical guy, and she works on the checkout at a supermarket... (128 mins.)
Director: Mike Leigh
“ Nothing please, Mike. Thanks all the same. ” - maddox-richard
 
24.
King Kong (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
In 1933 New York, an overly ambitious movie producer coerces his cast and hired ship crew to travel to the mysterious Skull Island, where they encounter Kong, a giant ape who is immediately smitten with leading lady Ann Darrow. (187 mins.)
Director: Peter Jackson
“ Mighty Joe Young. Now that's a movie. 2 movies actually... both fabulous. ” - maddox-richard
 
25.
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
“ should have had 2 intervals. Maybe it did, now I think about it. ” - maddox-richard
 
26.
Amores Perros (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A horrific car accident connects three stories, each involving characters dealing with loss, regret, and life's harsh realities, all in the name of love. (154 mins.)
“ The fabulous first third does not excuse the tritest of the trite middle bit. The model's dog stuck under the floorboards bit. Awful. 'Straining for seriousness' not at all redeemed by the final third. ” - maddox-richard
 
27.
(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.)
“ 1 and a 1/2 maybe? Loved I Vitelloni and Nights of Cabiria mind you. ” - maddox-richard
 
28.
Ran (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Set in Japan in the 16th century (or so), an elderly warlord retires, handing over his empire to his three sons. However, he vastly underestimates how the new-found power will corrupt them, or cause them to turn on each other...and him... (162 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
“ Shakespearian shenanigans don't have to be so long-winded. Welles knew that. Even Branagh knew that. ” - maddox-richard
 
29.
Arizona Dream (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
An Innuit hunter races his sled home with a fresh-caught halibut. This fish pervades the entire film... (142 mins.)
Director: Emir Kusturica
“ the vincent gallo North By North West bit is one of the funniest things I've ever seen on the big screen. Unfortunately that still leaves a fair bit of tedium either side... ” - maddox-richard
 
30.
The Doors (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
The story of the famous and influential 1960s rock band and its lead singer and composer, Jim Morrison, from his days as a UCLA film student in Los Angeles, to his untimely death in Paris, France at age 27 in 1971. (140 mins.)
Director: Oliver Stone
“ Very very funny or painfully dull? Sometimes I just can't put my finger on it. ” - maddox-richard
 
31.
Antz (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A rather neurotic ant tries to break from his totalitarian society while trying to win the affection of the princess he loves. (83 mins.)
“ Not for kids and adults are better served by an actual Woody Allen film. 'A Bug's Life' much more fun - taking the classic mistaken identity 'Three Amigos'/'Galaxy Quest'-type gag into cartoonland. ” - maddox-richard
 
32.
The Man Who Wasn't There (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A laconic, chain-smoking barber blackmails his wife's boss and lover for money to invest in dry cleaning, but his plan goes terribly wrong. (116 mins.)
Director: Joel Coen
“ I don't get it. ” - maddox-richard
 
33.
The English Patient (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
At the close of WWII, a young nurse tends to a badly-burned plane crash victim. His past is shown in flashbacks, revealing an involvement in a fateful love affair. (162 mins.)
“ Interminable. Looks like an ad not a film. And the best bit, candlelit art scene, is filched from Leos Carax's Les Amants Du Pont Neuf. ” - maddox-richard
 
34.
Fried Green Tomatoes (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A housewife who is unhappy with her life befriends an old lady in a nursing home and is enthralled by the tales she tells of people she used to know. (130 mins.)
Director: Jon Avnet
“ yikes ” - maddox-richard
 
35.
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
“ It thinks it might be the best thing since Chinatown, but flunks it big time when the big reveal is less of a surprise than your average episode of Poirot. See also, Bourne Identity, Minority Report... why are the baddies so easy to spot? ” - maddox-richard
 
36.
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 begin when five criminals meet at a seemingly random police lineup. (106 mins.)
Director: Bryan Singer
“ self-satisfied twisty teaser. Like 7even, it just can't get enough of how clever it thinks it is. Unlike 7even there is no Morgan Freeman so we don't give a jot about anyone involved or how flash its explosions are. ” - maddox-richard
 
37.
Wonderland (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
There's little wonder in the working-class lives of Bill, Eileen, and their three grown daughters. They're lonely Londoners... (108 mins.)
“ Some woman annoyed by neighbour's barking dog. 90 mins worth. A bit like the middle bit of Amores Perros, but set on a London council estate. ” - maddox-richard
 
38.
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 thrilling 'life on the edge' film for accountants. The sacred cow of Boys Own Adventure movies. A Disney Tom Hanks movie but thankfully without Tom Hanks. Great acting and a couple of good scenes but no truth. ” - maddox-richard
 
39.
The Kite Runner (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
After spending years in California, Amir returns to his homeland in Afghanistan to help his old friend Hassan, whose son is in trouble. (128 mins.)
Director: Marc Forster
“ Trades description business - this is not some sweet rites of passage, this is a horror movie about the child sex trade: It's the Midnight Express of kite-flying movies. And then it all gets a bit 'Boys Own Adventure' right at the end in a rather miraculous escape from the baddies. Really? ” - maddox-richard
 
40.
Million Dollar Baby (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A determined woman works with a hardened boxing trainer to become a professional. (132 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
“ A good movie but trades description again... a sort of Hansel & Gretel-inspired trap: They coax you in with Morgan Freeman (I can watch him in anything) and they promise you a boxing movie yarn, and then they cosh you over the head with their preachy pro-euthanasia finale. Clint may have a point but why so dishonest? Where's my Rocky? ” - maddox-richard
 
41.
Inception (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
A thief, who steals corporate secrets through use of dream-sharing technology, is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of a CEO. (148 mins.)
“ Does that 'Usual Suspects' trick of allowing people who don't watch movies very often to feel really clever just for keeping up with the twists and turns. Not a bad thing - we all like to feel clever once in a while. And the best bit is stolen from a Fred Astaire movie ('Royal Wedding', check out the ceiling dance on youtube). ” - maddox-richard
 
42.
The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
In late 1950s New York, Tom Ripley, a young underachiever, is sent to Italy to retrieve Dickie Greenleaf, a rich and spoiled millionaire playboy. But when the errand fails, Ripley takes extreme measures. (139 mins.)
“ See Plein Soleil first, then this. ” - maddox-richard
 
43.
The Constant Gardener (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A widower is determined to get to the bottom of a potentially explosive secret involving his wife's murder, big business, and corporate corruption. (129 mins.)
“ The thriller element is thrill-less and the colonial romance stuff pat Mills & Boon. Would rather have a 'based on fact' documentary-style expose giving us some facts about the dark side of the pharma industry in Africa. Now that would be interesting. ” - maddox-richard
 
44.
The Road (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
In a dangerous post-apocalyptic world, an ailing father defends his son as they slowly travel to the sea. (111 mins.)
Director: John Hillcoat
“ one man and his shopping trolley ” - maddox-richard
 
45.
I've Loved You So Long (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A woman struggles to interact with her family and find her place in society after spending fifteen years in prison. (117 mins.)
“ long. ” - maddox-richard
 
46.
A Very Long Engagement (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Tells the story of a young woman's relentless search for her fiancé, who has disappeared from the trenches of the Somme during World War One. (133 mins.)
“ very long. ” - maddox-richard
 
47.
Anything for Her (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
With no legal means left to him, a high school teacher devises a daring plan to rescue his wrongfully imprisoned wife from jail. (96 mins.)
Director: Fred Cavayé
 
48.
The Secret in Their Eyes (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A retired legal counselor writes a novel hoping to find closure for one of his past unresolved homicide cases and for his unreciprocated love with his superior - both of which still haunt him decades later. (129 mins.)