My 50 Favorite Movies

Honorable mentions: Chinatown, Persona, Barry Lyndon, Annie Hall, The Royal Tenenbaums.
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To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his children against prejudice. (129 mins.)
Director: Robert Mulligan
“ Without a doubt, this is my favorite movie in the world. It's a timeless story of family, injustice, and morality. Though not necessarily the most well-made film ever, it's hard not to fall in love with this adaptation of Harper Lee's inferior book. Gregory Peck gives one of the finest performances an actor ever gave in this. ” - alexart-1
Mulholland Dr. (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
After a car wreck on the winding Mulholland Drive renders a woman amnesiac, she and a perky Hollywood-hopeful search for clues and answers across Los Angeles in a twisting venture beyond dreams and reality. (147 mins.)
Director: David Lynch
“ With Mulholland Dr., David Lynch created a cinematic puzzle. There's always one piece missing no matter which way you attempt to interpret it, and that's the beauty behind it. It's a wonder that Naomi Watts didn't even get nominated for an Oscar for this. It's an even greater wonder that this film got almost no recognition at the Oscars all together. This is simply one of the most artful, creepy, and downright strange films ever made. ” - alexart-1
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
“ This, however, is the most well-made film ever. Kubrick's visual symphony is at once ambiguous and also masterful. The "Dawn of Man" sequence is truly spectacular, the famous jump cut being its low point, and even that is amazing filmmaking. The balletic sequence that follows of the two ships attaching is equally awesome. And who could forget Douglas Trumbull's effects for this? The Star Child ending is mind-blowing. ” - alexart-1
Amélie (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
Amélie is an innocent and naive girl in Paris with her own sense of justice. She decides to help those around her and, along the way, discovers love. (122 mins.)
“ If you're ever feel down, Amélie is the movie to watch. This movie is definitely the most happy and light movie I've ever seen, so much so that certain scenes make me cry for their sheer beauty. Jeunet's direction adds another gorgeous dimension to the title character, beautifully played Audrey Tautou, that you just fall in love with. Not only do you want the best for Amélie, you feel horrible for her when she's not happy. A beautiful movie, a beautiful concept, a beautiful character. ” - alexart-1
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.)
“ Hitchock's riveting and twisty thriller about duplicity is his masterpiece. Unlike his other films, Vertigo is highly symbolic and beautifully shot. Vertigo marks the only time that Hitchcock used color to give the film its meaning. It's probably also his most memorable film for that reason. The reverse tracking shot, created specially for this film, is still just as dizzying as it was more than 50 years ago. And while the stars and script aren't Hitchcock's finest, the visuals alone are worth the ride. ” - alexart-1
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
The Bride wakens from a four-year coma. The child she carried in her womb is gone. Now she must wreak vengeance on the team of assassins who betrayed her - a team she was once part of. (111 mins.)
“ Tarantino's two-part ode to Asian martial arts movies started with this bloodbath. Arguably the better of the two, Vol. 1 is an adrenaline rush from start to finish, and a well-made one at that, too. Uma Thurman is a powerhouse in these two no matter what she does, whether it's killing 88 highly trained assassins at once or simply trying to wiggle her big toe. This is probably the best action movie ever made. ” - alexart-1
Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The Bride continues her quest of vengeance against her former boss and lover Bill, the reclusive bouncer Budd and the treacherous, one-eyed Elle. (137 mins.)
“ Vol. 2 toned down Vol. 1's slick action and began to exercise restraint with Tarantino's bizarre characters and excellent, extended stretches of dialogue. A lot of sharp style from the first film is lost to get more personal for this one, but it doesn't matter when the conclusion is this satisfying. Sally Menke's editing still shines in greatest way possible in this one. Together, the two films are a masterpiece. ” - alexart-1
Moulin Rouge! (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A poet falls for a beautiful courtesan whom a jealous duke covets. (127 mins.)
Director: Baz Luhrmann
“ Baz Luhrmann's hyped up MTV-style musical is a visual and auditory wonder. Luhrmann's style is like no other on earth--it's a hallucinogenic mess that somehow ended up being great. The revisionist versions of great pop songs ("Smells Like Teen Spirit" is vamped up even more for a can-can sequence) are amazing in their own right. I can't say enough about the film and its leads. And while its editing is nearly nauseating, this is my favorite movie musical. ” - alexart-1
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. (121 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
“ Billy Wilder's best movie is also the best comedy ever made. The ending punchline is, without a doubt, one of the greatest endings ever. While controversial at the time, Some Like It Hot has only become better over the years, somehow even edgier now than it was before. I normally can't stand Marilyn Monroe, but here, she's gorgeous gem, as she plays beautifully off Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. Outrageously smart and never boring, Some Like It Hot is what all comedies should aspire to be. ” - alexart-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
“ Sam Mendes' American Beauty has been named the worst Best Picture winner ever by Entertainment Weekly, but I have to disagree. I think it's one of the best. Kevin Spacey gives the performance of a career as Lester Burnham, a man who is going through a mid-life crisis. His bittersweet and darkly funny approach to his problems is entertaining and devastating at once. Alan Ball's script is smart, working many different storylines into one harsh and beautiful climax. Annette Bening as Lester's wife is so good. ” - alexart-1
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, while attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process. (113 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
“ Martin Scorcese's tale of insanity is less an sad story of a lonely cabbie than it is an intense portrait of a man who thinks he's a hero. There's so many unforgettable, haunting elements to this film. Who could forget Bernard Herrman's score? Robert de Niro's performance? That showdown in the brothel? An impressive cast heads a horrifying tale that remains shocking, even today. ” - alexart-1
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
“ It may not be the best film ever, but Citizen Kane is the closest a movie will ever come to being perfect. Everything about it is amazing. Of all the things in this movie that work, however, the cinematography is the best. Gregg Tolland's work was ahead of its time. And then again, wasn't the whole movie well ahead of its time? The plot structure, among many other things, paved the way for other great movies to come. ” - alexart-1
Se7en (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his motives. (127 mins.)
Director: David Fincher
“ David Fincher is my favorite director, and Se7en, along with Fight Club, is one of his best works. Fincher works best with subjects that are disgusting and dark. Se7en exemplifies both of these. It's almost no surprise that it turned out as well as it did. Were it not for the lushly drab cinematography and purposefully wooden performances of the leads, Se7en wouldn't have been the same movie. And thank God it turned out this way. ” - alexart-1
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.)
“ Spoofed constantly in any culturally relevant TV show, Pulp Fiction is better than you'd think, if you didn't know better. The cast is impossibly strong, with one of the best screenplays ever from Tarantino. And what fun would things be with out a little Tarantino oddity? The legacy this film left behind is worth its place here alone. ” - alexart-1
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
“ Like I said, Fincher is my favorite director. He really is the only man who could possibly make the movie of a Palahniuk book that is better than its source material. This movie has become a pop culture icon for its brashness and style. How could it possibly have been scorned by critics at the time that it came out? ” - alexart-1
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
“ Oliver Stone has been here and there with his films. Natural Born Killers is a polarizing (so polarizing that even Tarantino abandoned it?). I fall with the group of people who love it. Stone's vivacious style is vicious and angry, yet still artful. Movie and TV show references are abound, and never distastefully. Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis make for a very believable trailer-trash psycho-bitch couple. Poppy and brutal, Natural Born Killers never fails to shock. ” - alexart-1
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 psychopath 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 second-best work is just vile at times, at others viciously beautiful. Malcolm McDowell's performance anchors the movie in something that we can relate to, but Kubrick's cold style makes the movie a great experience. The film is loaded with unforgettable scenes ("Singin' in the Rain" isn't ever the same after seeing this) that broke the rules upon its release for its treatment of sexual and physical violence. Not only is it a social time capsule, but it's also a visually stimulating film. ” - alexart-1
Breathless (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy. (90 mins.)
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
“ Jean Luc-Godard's first film was the movie that started it all. The French New Wave began with this film, along with a lot of other film-related things. Where would the film world be without Godard's happy accident that is the jump cut? The two main star-crossed lovers are a motif that have been used again and again, but it's this film that did it the best. Movies weren't ever the same after this one. ” - alexart-1
Double Indemnity (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
An insurance representative lets himself be talked into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses an insurance investigator's suspicions. (107 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
“ Double Indemnity is the best noir film out there. Billy Wilder's script is so sharp that it could kill, if it were a weapon. Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray deliver Wilder's slick, bitchy dialogue with so much prowess that this ended up defining a genre. ” - alexart-1
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.)
“ On the other hand, Psycho, starkly shot in B&W, is Hitchcock's wildest film. The shower scene, which has been parodied to no end, still packs a punch. Even if you know what happens at the end, Anthony Perkins is still REALLY creepy in that final scene. Often enough, less is more, and Psycho was the film that proved that. ” - alexart-1
    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.)
“ Federico Fellini's best film is 8 1/2, an autobiographical (although heavily stylized) account of his life. The movie's art comes in its ability to shift in and out of consciences, and in Fellini's use of style to show this. It's not an easy film to "understand," but it's a very rewarding experience when its mystery is unlocked. ” - alexart-1
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
“ Here's looking at this great film, kid. You know why Casablanca is a classic. The forbidden and muddled relationship of Rick and Ilsa is timeless. The script, which won an Oscar upon its release, remains sharp. Michael Curtiz's direction has become a major inspiration for future romantic dramas. What makes this movie work is not the deliciously bad accent put on by Ingrid Bergman or the fun set pieces, but rather the chemistry between Bergman and Humphrey Bogart. As time goes by, nothing about this film will ever lose its impact. ” - alexart-1
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
“ Ah, the Asian revenge movie. Park Chan-wook's intense mystery centering around an unjustly imprisoned man is so engrossing, it's scary. There's many, many memorable scenes in this--some bizarre (the live octopus dinner), others that kick-ass (the hallway fight)--but what gets remembered the most is the last-minute twist at the very end. And that's what's great about Oldboy: you never know where it's going, and you almost never want to. ” - alexart-1
Brief Encounter (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Meeting a stranger in a railway station, a woman is tempted to cheat on her husband. (86 mins.)
Director: David Lean
“ Running just short of an hour and a half, Brief Encounter leaves a greater mark on the viewer than many films could in twice its length. Lean's film about love at first sight is sad, beautifully shot, and all too real. It feels so deeply personal that it could've happened at one point. When the main characters are forced to part at the end, the viewer's heart breaks along with them. You can't say that for many romantic dramas these days. ” - alexart-1
Memento (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A man juggles searching for his wife's murderer and keeping his short-term memory loss from being an obstacle. (113 mins.)
“ A movie that works backwards hadn't been done before Memento. Well, it had; there was Following, but that was really just Nolan's study for Memento. Memento is just a fascinating mystery. Every time you think you know what's going on, you realize you don't have a clue. Even in the end, it's unclear exactly what happened. The editing and writing in this are impossibly good, with Guy Pearce in his best role in his career thus far. ” - alexart-1
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 emerges from his mysterious past, he wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham, the Dark Knight must accept one of the greatest psychological and physical tests of his ability to fight injustice. (152 mins.)
“ Leave it to Nolan to create a superhero movie that bridged the line between art and blockbuster. Batman Begins was a very good movie, but this one succeeded where the predecessor did not, making it the near perfect action movie. All of the action sequences are carefully choreographed, and for once, we actually care a lot about a superhero. We really do see that Batman is more than just his two identities. This dark, epic, and thrilling film is one of the best movies ever if nothing else than for Heath Ledger's final impressive performance. ” - alexart-1
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with her new friends to see the Wizard who can help her return home in Kansas and help her friends as well. (102 mins.)
Director: Victor Fleming
“ There's no film like The Wizard of Oz. Try as filmmakers might, nobody is every going to do a fantasy quite like this. Even today, when we're more used to seeing films done in color, the tornado's transition from the B&W of Kansas to the color of Oz is jolting. And the film looks great too. A classic. ” - alexart-1
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 a distress call, its landing on the source moon finds one of the crew attacked by a mysterious life-form, and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun. (117 mins.)
Director: Ridley Scott
“ Another example of "less is more" is Ridley Scott's fine horror film Alien. Many people prefer Aliens to Alien, however I like this better for Scott's tense atmosphere. The film is truly creepy, almost unbearably so at times. There's also a great character that the audience can get behind: we really do hope that Ripley makes it out safely in the end (and Jonesy too!). This is all not to mention the awesome but repulsive special effects. ” - alexart-1
Gone with the Wind (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods. (238 mins.)
Director: Victor Fleming
“ Victor Fleming's sweeping tale of lovers during the Civil War is still amazing nearly 80 years later as it was upon its initial release. Sidney Howard's screenplay is filled to the brim with smart, memorable lines. Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable are perfect in their roles. The costume design and art direction are beautiful. As God is my witness, this movie will never lose its reputation! ” - alexart-1
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.)
“ Steven Spielberg really couldn't have done more in this case: Schindler's List is one of his best. Since the Holocaust, there have been hundreds of films made about the subject, however none so moving as this one. The music alone could make a person cry in the end, but it's really Liam Neeson's stellar performance that really pushes it over the edge. And there's also the way that Spielberg chose to go about doing all this by shooting it in B&W and only showing the little girl in the red coat in color. When her fate is revealed, it's horrible to watch. And so is the rest of this amazing film. ” - alexart-1
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.)
“ No matter how many times it's made fun of, Jaws will always be masterful. The opening sequence is the best example of well-built tension in film. In fact, the first hour, in which we only get fleeting glimpses of the film's antagonist, is extremely taut as a whole. When we finally do see the shark, it's still really thrilling and still just as tense. The mechanical shark looks all too real. What Spielberg did here, with his restraint and style, is something almost any other director couldn't accomplish. ” - alexart-1
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A pragmatic U.S. Marine observes the dehumanizing effects the Vietnam War has on his fellow recruits from their brutal boot camp training to the bloody street fighting in Hue. (116 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
“ Stanley Kubrick's most intense journey is Full Metal Jacket. It's an extremely disturbing movie to watch, but one that I dare you rip your eyes away from. Beautifully shot, it's one long miserable trip through desolation and terror. It may feel like two movies sandwiched together (the latter being the lesser of the two), but it's undoubtedly well-written and poignant. ” - alexart-1
The Descent (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A caving expedition goes horribly wrong, as the explorers become trapped and ultimately pursued by a strange breed of predators. (99 mins.)
Director: Neil Marshall
“ The Descent is bar none the most terrifying film I've ever seen. I've returned to it several times (all during the day, of course!) and it still scares the crap out of me. Why is that? Because it prays on two innate fears: that of tight spaces and that of the dark. Both are constantly featured in this film. The result is better than warranted for a film that relies so heavily on jump scares. But the film delivers in its own unique way with an ending that's both dark and daring. ” - alexart-1
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.)
“ For any film lover, this movie is a must-see. We've all been in little Toto's shoes. We've all been that kid who just wanted to talk about movies. Or if it wasn't movies, it was something else. But still, Tornatore's extremely personal tale of a life devoted to film is something everyone can relate to. By the end, there's guaranteed to be a lot of tears running. ” - alexart-1
Heathers (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
In order to get out of the snobby clique that is destroying her good-girl reputation, an intelligent teen teams up with a dark sociopath in a plot to kill the cool kids. (103 mins.)
Director: Michael Lehmann
“ Heathers is one of the most underrated movies ever made. It's unfortunately been forgotten as a cult classic, but for me, it's one of my favorite comedies. The writing in this is so sharp and so mean-spirited that it almost hurts watching it. What's even scarier is that it became an accidental precursor to some of the events involving teenagers in the 90's. Regardless of its legacy, Heathers' wry wit is still hilarious and very much potent. ” - alexart-1
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.)
“ Fellini's other great film about film is La Dolce Vita. The movie is artistic, groundbreaking for its sincerity, and compelling. Fellini managed to lift up the glossy veil that tabloids place over Hollywood (in this case, Cinecitta) and show us what celebrity is really like. A fine movie from one of film's greatest masters. ” - alexart-1
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
“ Arguably better than The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars is the films that started the revival of sci-fi. Lucas' first big feature is great. It's a nonstop ride that comes at you fast. Basically, it's a classic tale of good versus evil turned on its head and put in space. The brilliance of it: starting in the middle and seeing what unfolds after, then seeing what unfolded before. ” - alexart-1
The Tree of Life (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
The story of a family in Waco, Texas in 1956. The eldest son witnesses the loss of innocence and struggles with his parents' conflicting teachings. (139 mins.)
Director: Terrence Malick
“ The Tree of Life is about as pretentious as film gets, and yet it's hard to fault this one. This movie is outrageously beautiful, making it bar none the most gorgeous film ever made. Malick's symphonic meditation on innocence, religion, and childhood is an experience to behold. This is the most ambitious film since 2001: A Space Odyssey, flinging the viewer between the beginning of time and the end of our days constantly. I've never been more moved by a film. An absolute work of art. ” - alexart-1
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
“ Another great film from Billy Wilder, Sunset Blvd. is a noir rendition of that typical Hollywood story about the rise and tragic fall of a celebrity. Gloria Swanson is ghastly and horribly real as a silent movie star that has descended into her own fantasy world in which she's still a big deal. The ending, corny as it may be, is still disturbing. "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up." ” - alexart-1
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
“ The ultimate and perfect ending to the Lord of the Rings trilogy is The Return of the King. It keeps a lot of what was great from the first two (the cinematography, the special effects, the direction, the editing, etc.), except this final movie improves on the direction and writing even more. It's truly a nonstop thrill ride start to finish. The battle scenes are exhilarating, and even when the movie slows down a lot in the final half hour, it's still emotional and glorious. Jackson's masterpiece. ” - alexart-1
In the Mood for Love (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Two neighbors, a woman and a man, form a strong bond after both suspect extramarital activities of their spouses. However, they agree to keep their bond platonic so as not to commit similar wrongs. (98 mins.)
Director: Kar Wai Wong
“ Wong Kar-Wai's gorgeous film about repression is a wonder. Its plot moves like molasses, and the images literally do as well, but it's an outrageously beautiful film. Wong works without a script again, making Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung's life tough, yet they still pull it off. The transcendental ending set at the Angkor Wat is worth watching on its own. What's also great is Wong's use of music as cues for emotions. A truly spectacular experience. ” - alexart-1
Rashomon (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A heinous crime and its aftermath are recalled from differing points of view. (88 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
“ Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon is, in short, a film about the malleability of truth. Told from several perspectives, the film seems trivial in many ways, but its legacy is important. Kurosawa's style is paramount and what saves this movie from being a total mess. ” - alexart-1
City of God (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
Two boys growing up in a violent neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro take different paths: one becomes a photographer, the other a drug dealer. (130 mins.)
“ City of God is a complex grouping of stories cleverly nested within each other. Fernando Mereilles' direction, though a bit too much inspired by that of Tarantino, is glorious. The way he uses his actors, the screenplay, and music to tell every angle of one story is impressive. Gangster movies are usually to the point, but this one is not. Mereilles gives the film a visual verve that many its genre lack. ” - alexart-1
Requiem for a Dream (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
The drug-induced utopias of four Coney Island people are shattered when their addictions run deep. (102 mins.)
“ Darren Aronofsky's films are always intense to the point where it's uncomfortable. Even The Fountain got pretty heavy at the end. The best film that he's made yet is Requiem for a Dream, though Black Swan isn't far behind. His style, marked by fast montages of drug use and shocking visual motifs, is masterful. The film wants you to cry. It wants to change your life. And it does. ” - alexart-1
All About Eve (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
An ingenue insinuates herself into the company of an established but aging stage actress and her circle of theater friends. (138 mins.)
“ Bette Davis' most chilling performance isn't actually in her later horror films where she plays an evil sister or a deluded victim, rather it's in Mankiewicz's All About Eve. It's a classic story about showbiz glitz and competition, one that feels layered with depth and oddly compelling. It's not something we haven't seen before, but it works oh so well here. ” - alexart-1
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
“ Network, Sidney Lumet's best film, is a stark raving mad snapshot of the politics of the media in the 70's. Peter Finch and Faye Dunaway top a cast that really pushes the movie into places most other films are afraid to go through the intensity of their performances. Not many scripts have come along that are better than this one. ” - alexart-1
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
“ Raging Bull is film that immerses its audience so deeply in its main character's mind that it's hard not to be rocked by Scorcese's intentionally bland, oddly gorgeous B&W photography. Robert de Niro gives a tour-de-force performance in his best role ever. If nothing else, the slow-motion boxing sequences set to Mascagni's "Cavalleria Rusticana" are worth its place on this list. ” - alexart-1
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.)
“ Spielberg played around with aliens a lot in his movies, but Close Encounters is a very different experience from his other movies. Tense but funny, entertaining yet parabolic, Close Encounters is that rare time where aliens are nice. What the film is not is something where humans run around screaming from space invaders. What the film is, is a meaningful, sweet picture about xenophobia. The most unique sci-fi experience out there. ” - alexart-1
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
“ Kubrick's only comic venture is yet another masterpiece. But like all his others, it's a journey through the consciences of his characters. Serious or not, Kubrick always had a way with putting us into the mindset of the film. We feel like we're there, and it's damn hard to be there too. As a comedy, the film is hilarious. As a drama, it's taut as hell. Dr. Strangelove works in every way. ” - alexart-1
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
“ Milos Forman's magnum opus is clearly Amadeus. Clocking in at 160 minutes, not a single bit of the film is boring. Tom Hulce delivers one of the strongest performances ever filmed, while F. Murray Abraham plays off him brilliantly. The art direction and costume design are just as immersive as the performances, direction, and writing. Amadeus is the ultimate film about art and creation, a damn gorgeous and thrilling story that is simply brilliant. ” - alexart-1