The 1000 best films ever made.

I have noticed a lot of best of lists are only 250 pictures. That low of a number leaves out all sorts of great and important films. This list will be capped at 1000 films. New finds will then replace less worthy existing entries.

I've watched a good deal of the most acclaimed films of all time, and seen pictures from most all of the celebrated directors. For me, these are the very best.
It would be a much duller world if there were a calculable equation for the worth of a film. Don't let anyone tell you their opinion on art/entertainment is not subjective.

At the end of a brief note, is my rating with a decimal point to be more accurate. It helped me try to rank the films in order of importance to me.
I hope readers will enjoy browsing this list, and even find some films to add to their Watchlist.
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1.
The White Ribbon (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Strange events happen in a small village in the north of Germany during the years before World War I, which seem to be ritual punishment. Who is responsible? (144 mins.)
Director: Michael Haneke
“ One could say there is foreshadowing of fascist tendencies in the harsh culture of this small, rural, very religious German village portrayed in the film. There is a lot of sub-text to this film, and it is beautifully shot. This is a flawless film. Un chef d'oeuvre!

Palme D'Or, Cannes.

10.0 ” - un_samourai
 
2.
The Seventh Seal (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A man seeks answers about life, death, and the existence of God as he plays chess against the Grim Reaper during the Black Plague. (96 mins.)
Director: Ingmar Bergman
“ I don't think you can say you're well versed in the art-house classics until you've seen this film. Hell, while we're talking Bergman must sees, "Wild Strawberries" and "Persona" also are in that club.

Dealing with the time of the black death one would expect a very difficult, heavy watch, but that's not all there is to The Seventh Seal. It's not an all serious 'pain and gnashing of teeth' type film like "Cries and Whispers" is. There are some very droll characters that bring a certain balance to the heavy moments and themes. Stunningly photographed by Gunnar Fischer, it is beginning to end chock-a-block with symbolism and iconic images (and hence has been much parodied over the years).

Jury Special Prize, Cannes

10.0 ” - un_samourai
 
3.
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. (147 mins.)
Director: Francis Coppola
“ One of those films that's a real experience to behold. From the moment I saw it in the cinema, it's always been a favorite of mine. After seeing the documentary "Hearts of Darkness", and learning about what a tough time Coppola had making this film, it's a miracle that it came out so fantastic.

Having seen this film changed me in how broad my view of human behavior and the chaos of war was. The editing by Walter Murch is just incredible.

Palme D'Or, Cannes.

10.0 ” - un_samourai
 
4.
Wild Strawberries (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
After living a life marked by coldness, an aging professor is forced to confront the emptiness of his existence. (91 mins.)
Director: Ingmar Bergman
“ A smart, special film about reflecting on life while nearing it's end. I just love the dream sequences. Beautifully shot by Gunnar Fischer, it is an art house must.

Goldener Bär, Berlin film festival.

10.0 ” - un_samourai
 
5.
A Man Escaped (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A captured French Resistance fighter during WWII engineers a daunting escape from prison. (101 mins.)
Director: Robert Bresson
“ Wow, what a great film. An art house prison escape film that is a minimal masterwork!

I seem to be very split on Robert Bresson's films, but this one knocks it out of the park for me. Bresson's penchant for dour, unemotional dialogue delivery suits the circumstances of this scenario to a T. For me, that approach does not work in many of his other films.

Best Director, Cannes

10.0 ” - un_samourai
 
6.
Ivan's Childhood (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
In WW2, twelve year old Soviet orphan Ivan Bondarev works for the Soviet army as a scout behind the German lines and strikes a friendship with three sympathetic Soviet officers. (95 mins.)
“ You wait years to see a film this great. Wonderful tension, creativity, performances. The black and white photography is often very strikingly beautiful.

This film proves that Andrei Tarkovsky was a film genius right out of the gate. Even Ingmar Bergman took eight or nine films to really get cracking.

This is a great Tarkovsky film to start with, as it's not as minimal/demanding as his other films are.

Leone d'Oro, Venice film festival.

10.0 ” - un_samourai
 
7.
Pierrot le Fou (1965)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Pierrot escapes his boring society and travels from Paris to the Mediterranean Sea with Marianne, a girl chased by hit-men from Algeria. They lead an unorthodox life, always on the run. (110 mins.)
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
“ This rather loose, playful film is a really good example of Godard's fun, his literary and philosophical references, and his extraordinary originality. It is a film noir, that very much paints outside the lines. For me, this is the very best Godard film.

To add a qualifier, there are plenty of highly acclaimed J-L Godard films that I do not care for. For me, he probably has about 5 great films.

10.0 ” - un_samourai
 
8.
The Son (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A joinery instructor at a rehab center refuses to take a new teen as his apprentice, but then begins to follow the boy through the hallways and streets. (99 mins.)
“ The Dardenne's make a fantastic, stripped down cinéma vérité style film. They have a way of filming that makes one feel like an invisible camera is capturing a real situation as it unfolds. The edits are so natural, one does not even notice them.
You may feel you don't know quite what the story is at first, and that is by design, you are in the hands of master film makers, and in due time all will be clear.
This is of the most genuinely, realistic suspense films I've ever seen. To me, it is a perfect film.

Best Actor (Olivier Gourmet), Cannes film festival.

10.0 ” - un_samourai
 
9.
Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An ophthalmologist's mistress threatens to reveal their affair to his wife while a married documentary filmmaker is infatuated with another woman. (104 mins.)
Director: Woody Allen
“ Prime Woody. Dostoevsky-like, with a bit of comedy as well. Wow!

10.0 ” - un_samourai
 
10.
My Night at Maud's (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
The rigid principles of a devout Catholic man are challenged during a one-night stay with Maud, a divorced woman with an outsize personality. (110 mins.)
Director: Éric Rohmer
“ The best cerebral, verbal relationship picture ever. It's a great Rohmer to watch first, to see if he's up your alley. There probably is no better film at revealing the gaps between what we think, what we say, and what we do.

Prix Méliès, French Syndicate of Cinema Critics

10.0 ” - un_samourai
 
11.
Red Beard (1965)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
In 19th century Japan, a rough tempered yet charitable town doctor trains a young intern. (185 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
“ Akira Kurosawa's best drama by a country mile. It is a very moral and moving film but Kurosawa doesn't over extend the moralizing like he did in so many of his other dramas (Ikiru, Ran, Kagemusha, Madadayo, etc.). This is a perfect film.

10.0 ” - un_samourai
 
12.
Le Corbeau (1943)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
French village doctor becomes target of poison-pen letters sent to village leaders, accusing him of affairs and practicing abortion. (92 mins.)
“ Better than 'Les Diaboliques' and a little better than the excellent 'Wages of Fear' in my opinion. A truly great thriller!
Clouzot managed to make this gem of a film under Nazi occupation.

10.0 ” - un_samourai
 
13.
Winter Sleep (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Aydin, a former actor, runs a small hotel in central Anatolia with his young wife Nihal with whom he... (196 mins.)
“ A dialogue heavy three hours and 15 minutes film will not be for everyone. I thought it was another excellent film from Ceylan, in fact his best yet. For me, this is a film for the ages, comparable to any masterwork I've ever seen. The medium just does not get any better.

The location is stunning. The interiors look like old masters works. I'd compare the film to Bergman's "Autumn Sonata" for having in depth dialogues about contentious issues in long standing relationships.

It's such a deep film, I could go on and on. See it twice if you can. There is so much to drink in, and a lot of subtext.

Palme D'Or, Cannes

10.0 ” - un_samourai
 
14.
Beau Travail (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
This film focuses on an ex-Foreign Legion officer as he recalls his once glorious life, leading troops in Africa. (92 mins.)
Director: Claire Denis
“ A minimal, arty, French version of 'Billy Budd' set in Africa. This is Claire Denis' best film. On first viewing, I thought it was excellent. I loved it even more the second time I saw it. It's got a tone-poem hypnotic quality, but retains a concrete story at the same time. That's quite a rare feat.

I own the New Yorker DVD, but I'd love for there to be a Blu-ray issued of this film, so I can see the visuals in their full splendor.

César, Meilleure photographie.

10.0 ” - un_samourai
 
15.
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A surreal, virtually plotless series of dreams centered around six middle-class people and their consistently interrupted attempts to have a meal together. (102 mins.)
Director: Luis Bunuel
“ It's a surreal, absurdist look at the sins of six upper class people who can't seem to get all the way through a meal.

Prix Méliès, French Syndicate of Cinema Critics

10.0 ” - un_samourai
 
16.
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
“ An incredible, moral film. An essential for sure. Every human should see this film.
There were so many films from the 50's that IMO, moralized with too heavy a hand (Sweet Smell of Success, A Face in the Crowd etc.), but not this one. It's a perfect, compact, morality play.

Goldener Bär, Berlin film festival.

10.0 ” - un_samourai
 
17.
Le Deuxieme Souffle (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Gustave Minda, better known as Gu, a dangerous gangster, escapes from jail. He goes to Paris to join Manouche and other friends... (150 mins.)
“ Not at all a second rate J.P. Melville film, but possibly his best. This is (neo-)noir heaven.

10.0 ” - un_samourai
 
18.
The Leopard (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
The Prince of Salina, a noble aristocrat of impeccable integrity, tries to preserve his family and class amid the tumultuous social upheavals of 1860's Sicily. (186 mins.)
“ The one Visconti film that really floats my boat. It's a great epic film that could be easily recommended for the beauty and magnificence of the ballroom scene alone. It is easily one of the best sequences in all of filmdom.

Claudia Cardinale and Alain Delon are just about the most beautiful couple ever seen on film. It is a very long film, so one may want to watch it over two sittings.

Palme D'Or winner.

10.0 ” - un_samourai
 
19.
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.)
“ It's more an experience than just a film. When watching this for the first time, you just don't now where Q.T. will take you next. I just watched this again, probably for the 8th time, and it knocked me out yet again.

It has enough content for two great films. The dialogue is marvelous, and so is the music selection. The non-chronological structure also works beautifully for this film.

This is one of two truly great Tarantino films (Reservoir Dogs being the other (The Hateful Eight figures late in this list)). For me, almost all of his subsequent films have not measured up to his first two pictures.

Palme D'Or, Cannes.
New York Film Critics Circle Award, Best Director

10.0 ” - un_samourai
 
20.
Marketa Lazarová (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A minor Czech clan falls afoul of the King in medieval times, against the backdrop of Christianity replacing Paganism. (162 mins.)
“ This is widely considered to be the best Czechoslovakian film ever made. I'd up that to one of the best films ever made. Incredibly well shot, it's simply a magnificent film in every way. What a shame so few people in North America know Vlacil's work.
It is a long film, so one could watch it in two sittings, since it is divided into two parts. That being said, I think you'll want to chow down on all of this big meal (2hr, 45 min.) once you're in it's grip.

Having just watched this film for the second time, it made me think of this having the grandness and drama of an opera, but for cinefiles (who don't like opera).

10.0 ” - un_samourai
 
21.
Belle de Jour (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A frigid young housewife decides to spend her midweek afternoons as a prostitute. (100 mins.)
Director: Luis Bunuel
“ Another wonderful Bunuel film. There's simply something special about this film that transcends the material. Maybe it's Bunuel's surreal tendencies, or simply that he was a master filmmaker at the peak of his powers.

It deals with a masochist, who doesn't allow herself to ask her husband for what she really wants, so she tries to achieve it through a more curcuitous route.

Prix Méliès, French Syndicate of Cinema Critics

10.0 ” - un_samourai
 
22.
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
“ Just what is it to be human?
The best tech-noir. The set-decoration, design, and special effects are notable, as is the gorgeous Vangelis score.

I look forward to seeing Villneuve's sequel. The trailer looks very promising, and he is an ace director.


10.0 ” - un_samourai
 
23.
The Lady Eve (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A trio of classy card sharps targets the socially awkward heir to brewery millions for his money, until one of them falls in love with him. (94 mins.)
Director: Preston Sturges
“ One of Preston Sturges' best films, if not the best. What a charming romantic comedy! The writing, characters, and comedy are sharp as a razor. Stanwyck's character is extremely modern for the 40's. Love it!

10.0 ” - un_samourai
 
24.
Army of Shadows (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
An account of underground resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied France. (145 mins.)
“ One of, if not the best J.P. Melville films. Such a great, unsentimental look at La Resistance and their myriad challenges. It is certainly one of the best films of the 60's (the best decade film has ever had).

New York Film Critics Circle Award, Best Foreign Language Film

10.0 ” - un_samourai
 
25.
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A bitter, aging couple, with the help of alcohol, use a young couple to fuel anguish and emotional pain towards each other. (131 mins.)
Director: Mike Nichols
“ Mike Nichols' first film contains some of the best verbal jousting on film.
An older couple host a young couple in their home after a party, and proceed to drag the young couple through the detritus strewn swamp of their long damaged relationship.

This is simply a must see film.

10.0 ” - un_samourai
 
26.
Stardust Memories (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
While attending a retrospective of his work, a filmmaker recalls his life and his loves: the inspirations for his films. (89 mins.)
Director: Woody Allen
“ Under-seen Allen gem that flopped when it came out. I was in heaven watching it when I discovered it. A must for Woody fans (that many may not have seen).

It does have a Fellini influence, and Sullivan's Travels came to mind as well, but it is also pure Woody.

10.0 ” - un_samourai
 
27.
Badlands (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
An impressionable teenage girl from a dead-end town and her older greaser boyfriend embark on a killing spree in the South Dakota badlands. (94 mins.)
Director: Terrence Malick
“ My favorite of the Terrence Malick films. It's such a sophisticated take on a 'young lovers on the run from the law' type of film. It is based on real events.
It's also a kick to see Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek so young. What a first film!

10.0 ” - un_samourai
 
28.
Stalker (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A guide leads two men through an area known as the Zone to find a room that grants wishes. (162 mins.)
“ Only for those with patience, who want films to be deep and sublime.

There are some very striking images, and a conclusion that is as great as any in filmdom. The one weak moment for me is the Stalker's wife's monologue near the beginning of the film. The rest is absolutely top notch.

Prize of the Ecumenical Jury, Cannes

9.9 ” - un_samourai
 
29.
Last Year at Marienbad (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
In a strange and isolated chateau, a man becomes acquainted with a woman and insists that they have met before. (94 mins.)
Director: Alain Resnais
“ For the 'Art House' crowd. It's a very creative film. A puzzle with no concrete solution. It plays with time in a way that some may not find easy to follow. I love this film, and prize it's creativity/originality.

It has a sort of hypnotic effect on me. I feel I'm floating through the same state of limbo the characters are in.

Leone d'Oro, Venice film festival.
Prix Méliès, French Syndicate of Cinema Critics

9.9 ” - un_samourai
 
30.
Cria Cuervos (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Three orphaned sisters under the custody of their stern aunt and their handicapped grandmother will have to acclimatise to the new conditions of their shared life, overcome life's constant impediments, and in the process, grow up. (105 mins.)
Director: Carlos Saura
“ One could say this film takes the Franco regime, and distills it's mores into a single family's story.
Like 'The White Ribbon' or 'Forbidden Games', it would take an essay to encapsulate this films merits, subtleties, and subtext. It's a truly great film, Saura's masterpiece.

Grand Prix, Cannes

9.9 ” - un_samourai
 
31.
Red Desert (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
In an industrial area, Giuliana, an unstable woman, attempts to cope with life by starting an affair with a co-worker at the plant her husband manages. (117 mins.)
“ My favorite Antonioni. For art-house fans only. The visuals are exquisite, the emotions, complex.

Leone d'Oro, Venice film festival.

9.9 ” - un_samourai
 
32.
Solaris (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A psychologist is sent to a station orbiting a distant planet in order to discover what has caused the crew to go insane. (167 mins.)
“ There is a slow, deliberate pace to his films, but Tarkovsky was one of, if not THE deepest filmmaker.

Solaris gets richer and richer on repeat viewings. A wonderful, artistic film that never fails to fascinate me. Having seen all Tarkovsky's films, I'd add that I love the way he visually captures foliage, and nature in general in his films.

Would you rather live with a happy illusion, or the sad truth? What a profound question. It's one humankind deals with on a daily basis.

Grand Prix, Cannes.

9.9 ” - un_samourai
 
33.
The Cranes Are Flying (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Veronica plans a rendezvous with her lover, Boris, at the bank of river, only for him to be drafted into World War II shortly thereafter. (95 mins.)
“ One of the best WWII films, and certainly under-seen in North America.

Palme D'Or, Cannes.

9.9 ” - un_samourai
 
34.
(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.)
“ Fellini opened his head completely with this film, delving into his subconscious, hence it will always have a slight elusive quality to me.

Yes it's about a writer/director who has completed seven and a half films, and has writers block for his 8 1/2 film. He tries to fake his way along, mainly to keep his crew employed. When the film features flights of fancy, and dreams, that is where there are no easy concrete interpretations. Repeat viewings are recommended. Fascinating film!

New York Film Critics Circle Award, Best Foreign Language Film

9.9 ” - un_samourai
 
35.
Classe Tous Risques (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Abel Davis is a criminal, hunted in Italy. The police are closing in, so he and his pal Raymond arrange to flee back to France with Abel's wife... (110 mins.)
Director: Claude Sautet
“ Claude Saute's first film from scratch (He'd finished Bonjour Sourire! after a firing of the original director) is one of the best crime films ever. Not to be missed.

9.9 ” - un_samourai
 
36.
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.)
“ It's a brilliant film that is both a character study of a type of narcissism, and a documenting of the early American oil rush. Old time religion also rears it's head.
Great dissonant score by Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood, DDL is terrific, as usual, and it's a beautifully shot film as well. I think watching the trailer does give you a proper indication of what you'll get with the film.

9.9 ” - un_samourai
 
37.
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
“ What a pleasure it is to watch this film, and hear the zither score that adds so much. One of my most often watched DVD's, I can't recommend it high enough.

Grand Prix, Cannes.

9.9 ” - un_samourai
 
38.
Wings of Desire (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
An angel tires of overseeing human activity and wishes to become human when he falls in love with a mortal. (128 mins.)
Director: Wim Wenders
“ Visual poetry. A magnificent film.

The sequel film "Faraway, So Close" is not good.

9.9 ” - un_samourai
 
39.
The Elephant Man (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man who is mistreated while scraping a living as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous facade, there is revealed a person of intelligence and sensitivity. (124 mins.)
Director: David Lynch
“ All of ones problems seem small after seeing this film.

Mel Brooks produced this film, but kept his name out of the credits, just in case it lent an air of comedy expectation to the film. They were worried that the prosthesis that turned John Hurt into the Elephant Man might look silly, rather than convincing. They needn't have worried. It is utterly convincing. David Lynch's second feature film is excellent.

9.9 ” - un_samourai
 
40.
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
“ Prime Woody. A film from tip to tail that only he could have made. This is the "auteur" theory in action. Any five minutes of this film would be easily identified as Woody's work (and certainly one of his best).


New York Film Critics Circle Award, Best Film, Best Director

9.9 ” - un_samourai
 
41.
The Assassin (2015)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A female assassin receives a dangerous mission to kill a political leader in eighth-century China. (105 mins.)
Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
“ I wondered how arty minimalist HHH would do a martial arts film. The answer is 85% art, 15% action.

This is a film to see twice. HHH doesn't clearly spell out who's who for you, that's just his way of constructing a film (he is a minimalist). I was guessing who characters were referring to a number of times during the film. As the end of the film approaches, things become fairly clear.

Why the sky-high rating?

You will see incredible beauty throughout the film. You will experience total cinema mastery. The very highest level of film making is on display throughout in the shooting, the editing, the score, and the acting.

There is also the understated, straightforward, (but excellent) fight scenes. I love that they do not drag on and on like in so many martial arts films. The costuming is very notable as well, utterly gorgeous stuff.

Best Director, Cannes

9.9 ” - un_samourai
 
42.
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.)
“ Not many gems like this around that are perfect pop entertainment.

9.9 ” - un_samourai
 
43.
Yi Yi (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Each member of a middle class Taipei family seeks to reconcile past and present relationships within their daily lives. (173 mins.)
Director: Edward Yang
“ It's very long, but I wouldn't cut a frame. One of the great humanist pictures, with little sprinkles of comedy now and then.

Think about how few films manage to cover a normal adult's career in a realistic, but not boring way...Yang pulls it off beautifully.

Best Director, Cannes
New York Film Critics Circle Award, Best Foreign Language Film

9.9 ” - un_samourai
 
44.
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
“ An indelible film. Maybe the best love story ever. Hollywood slickness at it's very best.

9.9 ” - un_samourai
 
45.
The Producers (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Producers Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom make money by producing a sure-fire flop. (88 mins.)
Director: Mel Brooks
“ Probably my favorite comedy. I can't believe how many people have not seen, or even heard this film. For me, this is one of the funniest films of all time.

Note: there is a newer remake with Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane. I have not seen it. It can't be as good as the original. There is simply no room for improvement.

9.9 ” - un_samourai
 
46.
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 tries to stop. (95 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
“ Probably the easiest 'classic' to recommend because it's so much fun. George C. Scott is wonderful as General "Buck" Turgidson. Sterling Hayden as Col. Ripper is amazing, and hilarious. Peter Sellers playing three different characters is a big part of this film's charm as well.

New York Film Critics Circle Award, Best Director

9.9 ” - un_samourai
 
47.
Cleo from 5 to 7 (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Cleo, a singer and hypochondriac, becomes increasingly worried that she might have cancer while awaiting test results from her doctor. (90 mins.)
Director: Agnès Varda
“ Yet another key 'nouvelle vague' film that is just a wonderful watch. It's style is very indicative of the non precious, playful, and innovative ways of so much of la nouvelle vague.

There certainly is the fact of Cleo waiting on medical test results and bracing for the worst that adds the depth to this film, but there is also often a breezy charm to this film (and the music of Michael LeGrand certainly contributes greatly to both feelings).

I just watched this film for the second time, and loved it even more than the first time.

Prix Méliès, French Syndicate of Cinema Critics

9.9 ” - un_samourai
 
48.
Together (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
It is the 70s and a group of very different individuals live together as a community. One of the members sister... (106 mins.)
Director: Lukas Moodysson
“ Fabulous film by Moodysson. A look at a hippie communal house in the 70's, and a couple with two kids going through a separation. It's a total quality, non pandering, heartwarming film.

9.9 ” - un_samourai
 
49.
The Fire Within (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Alain Leroy is having a course of treatment in a private hospital because of his problem with alcohol... (108 mins.)
Director: Louis Malle
“ The (bougeoise) threshold of true, modern adulthood is coupled with existential angst in this terrific film. This is Louis Malle at his best, and if you've seen lead actor Maurice Ronet in "Plein Soleil" (aka Purple Noon), you won't believe it's the same actor. He's profoundly different in this film.

9.9 ” - un_samourai
 
50.
Sullivan's Travels (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A director of escapist films goes on the road as a hobo to learn about life, which gives him a rude awakening. (90 mins.)
Director: Preston Sturges
“ Preston Sturges takes his comedic touch into some more serious material to great effect. The blend of comedy, and pith is second to none. A must.

Note: The Criterion disc has a documentary on it from "American Masters" on Sturges' career that is wonderful. It explains well why he, of such great talent, is sadly not a household name these days.

9.9 ” - un_samourai
 
51.
Fanny and Alexander (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Two young Swedish children experience the many comedies and tragedies of their family, the Ekdahls. (188 mins.)
Director: Ingmar Bergman
“ Another Bergman master class. He retired from feature film making after this film. He still wrote screenplays, novels, and directed teleplays (such as the great "Saraband").

Like "8 1/2", Fanny and Alexander has inexplicable events that may be in Alexander's mind, or may be there to set an impressionist tone to the film. There is a theater influence that runs through this film, as Bergman was probably more involved in theater production through his life than he was in film making.

New York Film Critics Circle Award, Best Foreign Language Film, Best Director

9.9 ” - un_samourai
 
52.
Hearts and Minds (1974 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
An examination of the conflicting attitudes of the opponents of the Vietnam War. (112 mins.)
Director: Peter Davis
“ Simply a must see documentary on the Vietnam war. Maybe the best documentary ever.

A sad irony is the people who seek out and watch a film like this, are not the ones who really need to hear it's message, and vice versa.

9.9 ” - un_samourai
 
53.
Rosetta (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Young and impulsive Rosetta lives with her alcoholic mother and, moved by despair, she will do anything to maintain a job. (95 mins.)
“ A fantastic, very real feeling film by the Dardennes. Rosetta is a complex character that rings very true. The style of execution makes the film feel as if we are constantly trying to keep up with Rosetta as she desperately tries to find her way through a very challenging life.

I'd say it's a must see for those who love films that don't spoon feed the audience, and are not averse to seeing someone deal with a tough life circumstance. It's powerful stuff.

It was until recently, not out on home video in North America, being one of the only Palme D'Or winners to remain unreleased for more than a decade! When I talk film with people, 95% of them have never heard of the Dardenne brothers. Their tough, uncompromising films seem to be too gritty for most North American viewers.

Palme D'Or, Cannes.

9.9 ” - un_samourai
 
54.
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
“ This shot up 100 places on my list after watching it on Blu-ray recently. What a great film. This film was a big influence on Wes Anderson's great film Rushmore.

New York Film Critics Circle Award, Best Director

9.9 ” - un_samourai
 
55.
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
“ One of the finest psych-horror films ever (along with Polanski's "Repulsion"), and it's better than the book (that doesn't happen often).

9.9 ” - un_samourai
 
56.
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.)
“ A must. One of the essentials. See it on Blu-ray if you can. It looks wonderful.
It's great that Hitch was able, out of his 53 films, to make so many that we continue to cherish.
He must have at least 6 that are incredible, another 6 that are quite excellent, and a dozen others that are a very fun watch over and over again.

9.9 ” - un_samourai
 
57.
Woman in the Dunes (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
An entomologist on vacation is trapped by local villagers into living with a woman whose life task is shoveling sand for them. (123 mins.)
“ Surpasses even it's weighty reputation. It knocked me out. Don't let anyone tell you about the plot. The less known the better.

Jury Special Prize, Cannes

9.9 ” - un_samourai
 
58.
Talk to Her (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Two men share an odd friendship while they care for two women who are both in deep comas. (112 mins.)
“ IMO, a masterpiece, and maybe the best Almodovar film. I feel he became a true master film-maker with this film, and he subsequently kept up the high quality for 5 films in a row.

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
59.
Out of the Past (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames. (97 mins.)
“ Probably the very best film noir of the classic cycle (1940-1960).

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
60.
The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Fascinated by gorgeous Mrs. Bannister, seaman Michael O'Hara joins a bizarre yachting cruise, and ends up mired in a complex murder plot. (87 mins.)
“ One of the best film noirs. I feel this film doesn't get the respect it deserves and am completely puzzled as to why. There are so many merits to this film. The house of mirrors scene alone! IMO, this film is very high in Welles' filmography.

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
61.
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
“ An essential of the American canon, and a prime example of the period from 1968 to 1976 when studios were making lots of gritty, non-formulaic pictures (a.k.a. New Hollywood).

Palme D'Or, Cannes

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
62.
Persona (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A nurse is put in charge of a mute actress and finds that their personas are melding together. (85 mins.)
Director: Ingmar Bergman
“ Prime 60's Bergman. It's more experimental in style than usual for Bergman, and he knocks it out of the park. The imagery is unbelievably beautiful/artistic.

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
63.
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A group of men set out in search of a dead body in the Anatolian steppes. (157 mins.)
“ It's gorgeous to look at, has a lot of police procedure, and chit-chat banality to it (reminding me of the very interesting film "Police, Adjective").

In this film the banalities do three very important things. They help you get to know the main characters, add to the realism of the picture, and they set a contrasting base line for the truly sublime moments of the film (that come up several times).

It's a low information film, hence I only recommend it for the art-house film lovers.

Grand Prix, Cannes

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
64.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley is forced from semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet Agent within MI6. (122 mins.)
Director: Tomas Alfredson
“ Best smart spy film ever. Just look at the cast! Don't expect any James Bond hijinks though. This is very real seeming, and perfectly executed. The era is captured, with style, and to a T.

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
65.
Jules and Jim (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Decades of a love triangle concerning two friends and an impulsive woman. (105 mins.)
“ A nouvelle vague must. The best Truffaut film by a fair clip, IMO. An amicable love triangle for the ages.

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
66.
Dial M for Murder (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
An ex-tennis pro carries out a plot to murder his wife. When things go wrong, he improvises a brilliant plan B. (105 mins.)
“ One of my all time most frequently watched films. Is there a more polite and charming villain than Ray Milland in this film?

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
67.
Shame (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
In the midst of a civil war, former violinists Jan and Eva Rosenberg, who have a tempestuous marriage, run a farm on a rural island. In spite of their best efforts to escape their homeland, the war impinges on every aspect of their lives. (103 mins.)
Director: Ingmar Bergman
“ Bergman does a war film told from the view of an ordinary couple caught in the middle of a conflict. It is a brilliant film, and certainly under known.

Here is one instance of it being justly praised: When Woody Allen was asked recently which films he's watched the most, He said Shame, The Seventh Seal, and Bicycle Thieves.

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
68.
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
“ It is decipherable, but even if it wasn't, what a film! It is certainly up with Lynch's best films, if not his best. It is a must see. We are lucky to have David Lynch, and his unique creepy, dark, viewpoint.

New York Film Critics Circle Award, Best Film

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
69.
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
“ A perfect neo-noir with a very powerful gut-punch of an ending added by Polanski to Robert Towne's script.

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
70.
All the President's Men (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
"The Washington Post" reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncover the details of the Watergate scandal that leads to President Richard Nixon's resignation. (138 mins.)
Director: Alan J. Pakula
“ This classic political thriller tells the story of Nixon's Watergate crime and coverup. It is one of the smartest U.S. film ever.


New York Film Critics Circle Award, Best Film, Best Director

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
71.
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
“ It's a wonder this is such a mainstream classic considering the arty start and end. I'd think a lot of people would be put off by that fact. Must be the HAL 9000 that keeps folks coming back for more.

I remember Woody Allen doing an appreciation for this film. He said it took multiple viewings for him to get the fuss his friends were making about this film, but once he did, he considered Kubrick to be on a much higher plain than himself.

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
72.
No Country for Old Men (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong and more than two million dollars in cash near the Rio Grande. (122 mins.)
“ One of the very best Coen brothers films. They took a very pat scenario (finding the loot from a drug deal gone bad) and turned it into something profound. I haven't read the book. I'm sure it's some rich source material.

I remember one review saying that Javier Bardem's character could be seen as death incarnate. I thought that was a great observation.


New York Film Critics Circle Award, Best Film, Best Director

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
73.
Sicario (2015)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
An idealistic FBI agent is enlisted by a government task force to aid in the escalating war against drugs at the border area between the U.S. and Mexico. (121 mins.)
“ This is a tough, grim film, beautiful photographed by Roger Deakins.
The score by Jóhann Jóhannsson is fantastic, full of dark foreboding ambient creep that completely serves the feeling of this film.

Blunt, Brolin and especially del Toro, are all excellent in their roles. The suspense achieved by the wonderful Denis Villeneuve may be the best captured on film. This is a perfect thriller, wrapped in the reality of the WAR ON DRUGS.

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
74.
Ugetsu (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A tale of ambition, family, love, and war set in the midst of the Japanese Civil Wars of the sixteenth century. (96 mins.)
Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
“ A masterfully done film that blends reality and fantasy better than almost any other film.

I think one could compare Mizoguchi to Max Ophuls for the extraordinary level of craft both men possessed. Both achieve a rhythm, a flow to their films that few match.

I wasn't crazy about 'Sansho the Baliff', but you will find "The Story of the Last Crysanthemum" later in this list.

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
75.
Notorious (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A woman is asked to spy on a group of Nazi friends in South America. How far will she have to go to ingratiate herself with them? (101 mins.)
“ It might be my favorite Hitchcock film. There are so many great ones. This is essential viewing, and a complete pleasure to watch again and again.

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
76.
Repulsion (1965)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A sex-repulsed woman who disapproves of her sister's boyfriend sinks into depression and has horrific visions of rape and violence. (105 mins.)
Director: Roman Polanski
“ One of the best psych-horrors ever. I don't ever hear it talked about. What a shame. Maybe it's the fact that Polanski has so many other successful pictures that got much more exposure than Repulsion. Perhaps people think they've seen it, but are mixing it up with films of a similar name like Compulsion, or Suspicion?

I also wondered as I watched it if Cronenberg and Lynch were influenced by this picture. At times I feel it presages elements of both directors.


9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
77.
The New World (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
The story of the English exploration of Virginia, and of the changing world and loves of Pocahontas. (135 mins.)
Director: Terrence Malick
“ No one does a bliss state like Malick does. I loved this film, especially the second half. I moved me emotionally like few films ever have. The lead actress is phenomenal in the Pocahontas/Rebecca role.

I'm surprised that this film has such a low rating on IMDb, but I do remember talking to several people who didn't like this film when it came out. Malick's reflective, poetic style just isn't for everyone.

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
78.
About Elly (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
The mysterious disappearance of a kindergarten teacher during a picnic in the north of Iran is followed by a series of misadventures for her fellow travelers. (119 mins.)
Director: Asghar Farhadi
“ Some films are gripping almost from the start. "Darbaraye Elly" seems like a pretty normal picture in the first 20 minutes. Stay with it. The early set up pays HUGE dividends.

This is an amazing film.

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
79.
Amour (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested. (127 mins.)
Director: Michael Haneke
“ Another excellent Haneke film. Not for the impatient viewer, but those of us who like spare films will be amply rewarded. I can't remember who said this but "There is no such thing as love, only acts of love". That could be the long title of this film.

Palme D'Or winner.
Prix Méliès, French Syndicate of Cinema Critics
New York Film Critics Circle Award, Best Foreign Language Film
César du meilleur film

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
80.
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
“ Such style, and darkness. One of my most oft watched films, I just love every second of it.

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
81.
Le Samouraï (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
After Professional hitman Jef Costello is seen by witnesses his efforts to provide himself an alibi drive him further into a corner. (105 mins.)
“ Melville's coolest film. It's a very zen, very quiet, hit-man film.

If you don't like to have to think about why a character does what he does (I refer to the ending of this picture), this film is not for you.
If you love elegant, stylish, understated crime films, this is about the best one ever made.
There has never been a more handsome and cool male actor than Alain Delon in this film.

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
82.
2046 (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
The women who enter a science fiction author's life, over the course of a few years, after the author loses the woman he considers his one true love. (129 mins.)
Director: Kar Wai Wong
“ A very sexy, beautiful film. A loose followup to "In The Mood For Love".

New York Film Critics Circle Award, Best Foreign Language Film

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
83.
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.)
“ Probably the most personal, stylized, and most fetishistic Hitchcock film. It is now widely considered the best film ever made, but flopped when it came out.

Hitchcock actually withdrew the film from circulation. It was unavailable for decades. He was probably hurt that his most personal film was spurned by his adoring public. The film grew in the mind of many of those who'd seen it, as time passed and there was no possible way of re-seeing "Vertigo".

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
84.
Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Bonnie Parker, a bored waitress falls in love with an ex-con named Clyde Barrow and together they start a violent crime spree through the country, robbing cars and banks. (111 mins.)
Director: Arthur Penn
“ Prime American new wave. A must see.

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
85.
Lola (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A bored young man meets with his former girlfriend, now a cabaret dancer and single mother, and soon finds himself falling back in love with her. (90 mins.)
Director: Jacques Demy
“ Do you want to be charmed like you've never been charmed before? This is the film. I love the Michel Legrand music as well. That song that Anouk Aimée sings at her work..."Cest moi...Lola", it's just killer. Hell, every minute of Anouk Aimée for that matter.

Keep in mind the film budget was small for this early nouvelle vague picture, so all the sound was done in post-production. If you love this picture like I do, check out Agnes Varda's "Cléo from 5 to 7". They occupy the same mental space for me as two of the most glorious, lighter nouvelle vague films, both with superb Michel Legrand songs featuring the same quality and charm as those in the (rightly) hugely celebrated J.L. Godard film "Pierrot Le Fou".

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
86.
Gomorrah (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
An inside look at Italy's modern crime families. (137 mins.)
Director: Matteo Garrone
“ A very, very realistic crime film. It almost could be a documentary. It is quite violent, and feels like watching real events. I think it is top notch, and simply couldn't have enjoyed it more.

When I watched this again for the second time after a gap of 2-3 years, I remembered virtually every scene, more so than any film I'd ever seen. It's that memorable.

Grand Prix winner, Cannes.

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
87.
The Celebration (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
At Helge's 60th birthday party, some unpleasant family truths are revealed. (105 mins.)
“ Rough hewn family drama in the Dogme '95 style. What a film!

New York Film Critics Circle Award, Best Foreign Language Film

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
88.
Revanche (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Ex-con Alex plans to flee to the South with his girl after a robbery. But something terrible happens and revenge seems inevitable. (121 mins.)
Director: Götz Spielmann
“ A wonderful, quiet, art-house revenge film that transcends the genre.

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
89.
Fists in the Pocket (1965)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A young man takes drastic measures to rid his dysfunctional family of its various afflictions. (105 mins.)
“ Subversive, and singular. Love it. See it if you like films like "A Clockwork Orange", and "Festen".

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
90.
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
“ Not the easiest watch (it's very emotionally heavy), but dead-good. The rough shooting style, and very grainy look add a lot to the presentation.

Grand Prix winner, Cannes
New York Film Critics Circle Award, Best Director

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
91.
Meshes of the Afternoon (1943 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A woman returning home falls asleep and has vivid dreams that may or may not be happening in reality. Through repetitive images and complete mismatching of the objective view of time and space, her dark inner desires play out on-screen. (14 mins.)
“ Watch this with the wonderful score by Seaming (It's on youtube). It fits perfectly.

It has a stellar reputation, and this avant-garde short film blew me away. It sure feels more modern than 1943.

It is a million time better than Bunuel/Dali's "Un Chien Andalou", and I could see it influencing David Lynch as well (the blue key in Mulholland Dr. for instance).

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
92.
Le Havre (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
When an African boy arrives by cargo ship in the port city of Le Havre, an aging shoe shiner takes pity on the child and welcomes him into his home. (93 mins.)
Director: Aki Kaurismäki
“ What great style this film has. I could watch this film twice a year for the rest of my life. It has an homage to the great french pictures of the past such as "Port of Shadows" and other poetic realism films. My only criticism was, IMO, a somewhat over-baked ending , but in the interview with the director in the booklet, Karismaki points out that he absolutely wanted to push things past "normal" with the end. Keep that in mind, and you'll love it.
And how cool is that Little Bob song?

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
93.
À nos amours (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Suzanne is sixteen and is having sex with many boys, just for fun, but did not manage to really love one of them... (95 mins.)
Director: Maurice Pialat
“ Hard to sum up how much this film offers to it's subject matter. Maurice Pialat is under-appreciated in my books. He was a post-new wave master, and was called the french John Cassavetes. Try Pialat if you like the Dardenne's films.

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
94.
Smiles of a Summer Night (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
In Sweden at the turn of the century, members of the upper class and their servants find themselves in a romantic tangle that they try to work out amidst jealousy and heartbreak. (108 mins.)
Director: Ingmar Bergman
“ An excellent Bergman film to start with. Don't let the cover fool you (Criterion usually does a great job, but they chose the wrong image to promote this film), it's a very sexy and charming battle of the sexes type film, with some Bergman depth around the edges.

Best Poetic Humor, Cannes

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
95.
The Limey (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
An extremely volatile and dangerous Englishman goes to Los Angeles to find the man he considers responsible for his daughter's death. (89 mins.)
“ This made me love Terrence Stamp. It's an art house revenge film that's heavily influenced by John Boorman's 1967 film 'Point Blank'. Some may find it a bit confusing that flash-forwards are used as well as flash-backs. Me, I just love every aspect of this film.

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
96.
Syndromes and a Century (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Story about director Apichatpong Weerasethakul's parents who were both doctors, and director's memories about growing up in the hospital environment. (105 mins.)
“ Well, I was more and more impressed with this film as it progressed. It's quite an enigmatic film in the second half, and in this film's case, that couldn't be a better thing.

Being the third Weerasethakul film I've seen, I'm so taken with his uniqueness. He is a must see, but certainly won't be everyone's cup of tea.
See it if you prize originality and think you'd like the 'tone poem' feel Weerasethakul gives you in the second half of his films.

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
97.
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.)
“ An excellent first Fellini film to see. By the end I have such an incredibly complex suite of emotions, it is beyond description what I am feeling. That is a very rare feat that only "Red Desert", and the series "Mad Men" have equaled.

Palme D'Or, Cannes.

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
98.
Caché (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A married couple is terrorized by a series of surveillance videotapes left on their front porch. (117 mins.)
Director: Michael Haneke
“ The new master of suspense for the art-house crowd. There is a once banalized, now shocking historical event interwoven into the story of this film. It gives tremendous depth, and social relevance to this excellent suspense film.

When you add up his last three films (Cache, The White Ribbon, and Amour), Haneke is quite possibly the director making the very best films these days. Ceylan & Farhadi are also right near the top for me these days.

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
99.
Le Doulos (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Burglar Maurice Faugel has just finished his sentence. He murders Gilbert Vanovre, a receiver, and steals the loot of a break-in... (108 mins.)
“ Another great Melville crime film. You'll want to watch it twice.

9.8 ” - un_samourai
 
100.
Every Man for Himself (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
An examination of sexual relationships, in which three protagonists interact in different combinations. (87 mins.)
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
“ Warning, very frank sexual language and content.

Of all the Godard films I've seen (15 or so), I'm very split on him. This film, for me, is Godard at his best. His approach is edgy, and very original, questioning everything with his cynical eye.

9.8 ” - un_samourai