My movies watchedby bandathome | created - 11 Jun 2012 | updated - 14 Oct 2012 | Public
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1. Ben-Hur (1959)
G | 212 min | Adventure, Drama, History
When a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge.
Votes: 182,091 | Gross: $74.70M
This epic movie still looks and sounds terrific despite its age. The money that was spent on the production is evident on screen, justifying its reputation as a shining example of a time when Hollywood was battling the inroads of television. It's difficult to imagine anyone other than Charlton Heston playing the lead.
2. Salesman (1969)
G | 85 min | Documentary, Drama
Four relentless door-to-door salesmen deal with constant rejection, homesickness and inevitable burnout as they go across the country selling very expensive bibles to low-income Catholic families.
A fascinating insight into the life on the road of a group of Bible salesman. I found their lives, lived in cramped, cheap motel rooms almost claustrophobic.
3. Life After Tomorrow (2006)
PG-13 | 73 min | Documentary
Women who have played orphans in "Annie" are brought together in this documentary.
What happened to 'Annie' and the orphans when the curtain dropped for the last time. An unusual documentary.
4. Trespass (2011)
R | 91 min | Crime, Thriller
As they're held for ransom, a husband and wife's predicament grows more dire amid the discovery of betrayal and deception.
Votes: 37,232 | Gross: $0.02M
A high action thriller with an improbable story line which gets a bit exhausting after a while.
5. Take Me Home (2011)
PG-13 | 97 min | Comedy, Romance
Soon after Thom starts operating as an illegal taxi driver in New York City, Claire hires him to drive her to California after her estranged father suffers a heart attack.
Votes: 6,575 | Gross: $0.02M
A roadtrip movie which, while hardly original, turns out to be quietly charming due to the chemistry between the main characters.
6. Midnight in Paris (2011)
PG-13 | 94 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance
While on a trip to Paris with his fiancée's family, a nostalgic screenwriter finds himself mysteriously going back to the 1920s everyday at midnight.
Votes: 333,720 | Gross: $56.82M
Woody at his best. It's fascinating to watch Owen Wilson channelling him.
7. Win Win (2011)
R | 106 min | Comedy, Drama, Sport
A struggling lawyer and volunteer wrestling coach's chicanery comes back to haunt him when the teenage grandson of the client he has double-crossed comes into his life.
Votes: 50,383 | Gross: $10.18M
Any movie with Paul Giamatti is rarely less than satisfying and this is no exception.
8. The Robe (1953)
Unrated | 135 min | Drama, History
In the Roman province of Judea during the 1st century, Roman tribune Marcellus Gallio is ordered to crucify Jesus of Nazareth but is tormented by his guilty conscience afterwards.
Votes: 7,343 | Gross: $36.00M
I'd forgotten how'sword and sandal' cliched this milestone movie was. Seen nowadays, it is badly dated.
9. From Time to Time (2009)
PG | 92 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
A haunting ghost story spanning two worlds, two centuries apart. When 13 year old Tolly finds he can mysteriously travel between the two, he begins an adventure that unlocks family secrets laid buried for generations.
Julian Fellowes knows how to tell a story centred on the manners and mores of a period, and it shows in this ghost story with a few original twists.
10. New Year's Eve (2011)
PG-13 | 113 min | Comedy, Romance
The lives of several couples and singles in New York City intertwine over the course of New Year's Eve.
Votes: 72,409 | Gross: $54.54M
An okay movie, notable for its star cast. It's all been done before - and better.
11. Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)
PG-13 | 118 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A middle-aged husband's life changes dramatically when his wife asks him for a divorce. He seeks to rediscover his manhood with the help of a newfound friend, Jacob, learning to pick up girls at bars.
Votes: 410,839 | Gross: $84.35M
A funny romantic comedy. Worth the time.
12. Terri (2011)
R | 105 min | Comedy, Drama
The story of a large fifteen-year-old boy in a small town as he struggles to adjust to his difficult life.
Votes: 8,949 | Gross: $0.65M
The storyline is hardly new, but anything with John C. Reilly usually delivers and this is no exception.
13. Bullets Over Broadway (1994)
R | 98 min | Comedy, Crime
In New York in 1928, a struggling playwright is forced to cast a mobster's talentless girlfriend in his latest drama in order to get it produced.
Votes: 31,625 | Gross: $13.38M
Another highlight of Woody Allen's career. Funny from start to finish, with wonderful characters.
14. The Grey (2011)
R | 117 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
After their plane crashes in Alaska, six oil workers are led by a skilled huntsman to survival, but a pack of merciless wolves haunts their every step.
Votes: 217,310 | Gross: $51.58M
A high action thriller with plenty of gore set in a frozen wilderness. One to watch on a hot summer's day, perhaps.
R | 95 min | Documentary
A documentary on DIY producer/director Roger Corman and his alternative approach to making movies in Hollywood.
Votes: 1,939 | Gross: $0.01M
A fascinating insight into the world of Roger Corman and his canon. A highlight is Jack Nicholson's emotional and heartfelt tribute to the man who gave him his start in movies.
16. Los ojos de Julia (2010)
Not Rated | 118 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
The story of a woman who is slowly losing her sight whilst trying to investigate the mysterious death of her twin sister.
Typical Del Toro. An okay thriller but predictable.
17. Get Low (2009)
PG-13 | 103 min | Drama, Mystery
A movie spun out of equal parts folk tale, fable and real-life legend about the mysterious, 1930s Tennessee hermit who famously threw his own rollicking funeral party... while he was still alive.
Votes: 20,153 | Gross: $9.18M
A cast of great character actors and an off-beat story make this movie well worth watching.
18. What's Your Number? (2011)
R | 106 min | Comedy, Romance
A woman looks back at the past nineteen men she's had relationships with in her life and wonders if one of them might be her one true love.
Votes: 64,245 | Gross: $14.01M
A lively comedy. Good to pass the time.
19. Trust (I) (2010)
R | 106 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A teenage girl is targeted by an online sexual predator.
Votes: 37,205 | Gross: $0.12M
A good little thriller which will resonate with parents of modern teenagers.
20. Big River Man (2009)
100 min | Documentary
Martin Strel attempts to cover 3,375 miles of the Amazon River, the longest continuous swim in history.
This doco. can be exhausting to watch, but the main character is fascinatingly determined.
21. Mediterraneo (1991)
R | 96 min | Comedy, Drama, War
In WW2, an Italian Army unit of misfits occupies an isolated non-strategic Greek island for the duration of the war.
Votes: 11,662 | Gross: $4.53M
A delightful movie which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 1992 and has become a personal favourite. A sun-soaked sojourn set on an island in the Mediterranean - ideal for watching on a chilly winter's day.
22. The Debt (I) (2010)
R | 113 min | Drama, Thriller
In 1965, three Mossad agents cross into East Berlin to apprehend a notorious Nazi war criminal. Thirty years later, the secrets the agents share come back to haunt them.
Votes: 58,652 | Gross: $31.18M
A good thriller, spoilt for me only by the fact that the actors playing the characters in later life bear little resemblance to their younger counterparts.
23. Boy on a Dolphin (1957)
Not Rated | 111 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance
A woman finds a treasure and is torn between two men: one who wants to sell it and one who wants to gift it to Greece.
Good escapist fare from the 1950s, set in the Aegean Sea.
24. Machete Maidens Unleashed! (2010)
84 min | Documentary, History
A fast moving odyssey into the subterranean world of the rarely explored province of Filipino genre filmmaking.
A fun documentary recalling the exploitation filmmakers of the 1970s and 1980s who operated in the Far East and supplied many a US and Australian drive-in theatre. The low-budget films featured big bosoms, gratuitous violence and crazy stunts to detract from their highly implausible storylines.
25. Violent Saturday (1955)
Not Rated | 90 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
Three men case a small town very carefully, with plans to rob the bank on the upcoming Saturday, which turns violent and deadly.
A good little noir heist movie directed by Richard Fleischer. Interesting to see Ernest Borgnine almost unrecognisable in an early supporting role as a Quaker farmer.
26. La piel que habito (2011)
R | 120 min | Drama, Thriller
A brilliant plastic surgeon, haunted by past tragedies, creates a type of synthetic skin that withstands any kind of damage. His guinea pig: a mysterious and volatile woman who holds the key to his obsession.
Votes: 114,448 | Gross: $3.19M
Another gripping story from Pedro Almodovar. Graphic and confronting. He hasn't lost his touch.
27. Ragtime (1981)
PG | 155 min | Drama
A young black pianist becomes embroiled in the lives of an upper-class white family set among the racial tensions, infidelity, violence, and other nostalgic events in early 1900s New York City.
Votes: 7,201 | Gross: $21.02M
An enjoyable melodrama set in early 1900s small town America, based on E. L. Doctorow’s novel and directed by Milos Forman. While the promising sweep of the early part narrows down to a more predictable conclusion, much of the viewing enjoyment stems from watching well-known stalwarts from Hollywood’s heyday, starting with James Cagney in his final theatrical film. The likes of Donald O’Connor and Pat O’Brien, are among the bit players, the latter also making his final screen appearance. Norman Mailer also appears in a small but significant role. The film was nominated for 8 Academy Awards and the fact that it was unsuccessful in all categories doesn’t detract from its 155 minutes of solid entertainment.
28. The Iron Lady (2011)
PG-13 | 105 min | Biography, Drama
An elderly Margaret Thatcher talks to the imagined presence of her recently deceased husband as she struggles to come to terms with his death while scenes from her past life, from girlhood to British prime minister, intervene.
Votes: 90,318 | Gross: $30.02M
A masterclass performance by Meryl Streep makes this biographical film about a not very likeable woman eminently watchable. Full marks to the make-up and period recreations. Jim Broadbent is also good value, as usual.
29. Caught Inside (2010)
R | 93 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
Surfing charters are meant to be a trip to Paradise. With six male surfers stuck on a boat, there's bound to be some friction. When two of the surf crew are replaced at the last minute with... See full summary »
Trapped with a mad-man on a boat in an isolated tropical paradise. It's all been done before, but Ben Oxenbould's performance as the menacingly unstable 'Bull' builds the tension nicely in this Australian thriller.
30. The Innkeepers (2011)
R | 101 min | Horror
During the final days at the Yankee Pedlar Inn, two employees determined to reveal the hotel's haunted past begin to experience disturbing events as old guests check in for a stay.
Votes: 29,440 | Gross: $0.08M
A basic storyline as old as they come, but a masterclass in giving the old cliches a fresh slant. Sara Paxton and Pat Healy are great in the roles of the last remaining employees of The Yankee Pedlar Inn, and the film's dramatic moments are carefully timed for maximum impact. A sense of humour throughout also helps create what is a stand-out genre piece.
31. Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)
R | 102 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Haunted by painful memories and increasing paranoia, a damaged woman struggles to re-assimilate with her family after fleeing an abusive cult.
Votes: 43,433 | Gross: $2.98M
A gripping thriller about a young woman's attempt to escape the influence of a dangerous cult. It held me right up to the inconclusive ending.
32. Papillon (1973)
R | 151 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
A man befriends a fellow criminal as the two of them begin serving their sentence on a dreadful prison island, which inspires the man to plot his escape.
Votes: 104,215 | Gross: $53.27M
An oldie but goodie which still resonates.
33. Bienvenue à Cannes (2007)
84 min | Documentary
My copy was titled 'Cannes: All Access', but it's the same doco. Filmmaker, author and critic Richard Schickel surveys the Cannes Film Festival's long history - going way back to 1939. The many recollections by stars and critics are interesting, especially regarding the way the festival's 'vibe' has changed over the years.
34. A Film Unfinished (2010)
Unrated | 88 min | Documentary, Drama, History
A film about an unfinished film which portrays the people behind and before the camera in the Warsaw Ghetto, exposing the extent of the cinematic manipulation forever changing the way we look at historic images.
Votes: 1,554 | Gross: $0.31M
Unedited footage taken in 1942 in the Warsaw Ghetto and intended to be used in a Nazi propaganda film denigrating the Jewish occupants has instead been assembled into a damning account of how the Nazi war machine manipulated the truth. The documentary is a fine example of careful research and painstaking reconstruction of wartime events.
35. 102 Minutes That Changed America (2008 TV Movie)
TV-14 | 102 min | Documentary, History
The morning of September 11, 2001 is shown through multiple video cameras in New York City, from the moment the first WTC tower is hit until after both towers collapse.
This documentary really puts the viewer in the middle of that day’s horrific events. The amateur footage and ‘live’ sound convey the disbelief and rising panic better than any carefully constructed film made long after the event.
36. The Eye of the Storm (2011)
Not Rated | 114 min | Drama
Elizabeth Hunter controls all in her life - society, her staff, her children; but the once great beauty will now determine her most defiant act as she chooses her time to die.
Votes: 1,364 | Gross: $0.08M
A masterful interpretation of Patrick White’s often complex writing, putting family relationships under the microscope through fine performances from a cast of top-line actors.
37. J. Edgar (2011)
R | 137 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
J. Edgar Hoover, powerful head of the F.B.I. for nearly 50 years, looks back on his professional and personal life.
Votes: 110,341 | Gross: $37.31M
An engrossing encapsulation of J. Edgar Hoover’s life and career into a little over two hours. Leonardo DiCaprio is excellent as Hoover and Eastwood and his team capture the mood and look of the times with careful attention to detail. Hoover comes across as a complex, driven man whose achievements were overshadowed by his human failings.
38. A Face in the Crowd (1957)
Not Rated | 126 min | Drama, Music
An Arkansas drifter becomes an overnight media sensation. As he becomes drunk with fame and power, will he ever be exposed as the fraud he has become?
The recent death of Andy Griffith served as inspiration to revisit this fine drama from director Elia Kazan and screenwriter Budd Schulberg. It is interesting, so many years down the track, to reflect on the filmmakers’ early insight into the potential of television to manipulate an audience’s views and attitudes.
39. Camel Spiders (2011 TV Movie)
R | 79 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
Dozen of large, man-eating camel spiders first attack soldiers in thr desert of Iraq, then invades the southwestern areas of the United States.
A creature feature which never attempts anything original but delivers a fun ride. Nonetheless, I found myself comparing it with the good old Universal sci-fi flicks of the 1950s and wondering why I wasn't revisiting one of those instead.
40. Irreversible (2002)
Not Rated | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
Events over the course of one traumatic night in Paris unfold in reverse-chronological order as the beautiful Alex is brutally raped and beaten by a stranger in the underpass.
Votes: 96,895 | Gross: $0.75M
I waited a long time to steel myself for this film, aware of its notoriously graphic sex and violence (not least the protracted rape scene). Then, having waited so long, I found the whole thing pretentious, gratuitously confronting and, ultimately, tedious.
41. Anonymous (I) (2011)
PG-13 | 130 min | Drama, Thriller
The theory that it was in fact Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford, who penned Shakespeare's plays. Set against the backdrop of the succession of Queen Elizabeth I and the Essex rebellion against her.
Votes: 36,460 | Gross: $4.46M
A very enjoyable take on the vexing question of whether William Shakespeare wrote the plays attributed to him. The script is credible and the cast, notably Rhys Ifans, superb. The period settings are beautifully rendered, and there are sufficient light-hearted touches to prevent the whole thing taking itself too seriously.
42. Marty (1955)
Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Romance
A middle-aged butcher and a school teacher who have given up on the idea of love meet at a dance and fall for each other.
A reminder that Ernest Borgnine couldn’t only play tough, aggressive types. Here he plays a lonely Bronx butcher longing for steady female companionship. When he finds a lonely woman with whom he has instant rapport, his self-centred family and friends threaten to disrupt his new-found relationship. It’s a warm-hearted performance by Borgnine, backed by a good script and supporting cast. This quiet, unassuming little film was a surprise winner of both the Oscar for Best Picture and the Golden Palm at Cannes.
43. Pressure Cooker (2008)
Unrated | 99 min | Documentary
Infamously blunt, Wilma Stephenson runs a "boot camp" teaching Culinary Arts at Frankford High, disciplining her students into capable chefs and responsible students. But behind her tough ... See full summary »
I expected a lot more from this doco. What was intended as a heart-warming story of under-privileged black students studying for a culinary arts scholarship fell down on several fronts, not least the often indistinct sound and lack of a clear storyline. The absence of the latter meant that the film tended to meander at times, losing momentum and impact as a result. The teacher’s presence wasn’t sufficiently strong to bind the elements together as the filmmakers obviously expected. A disappointment.
44. [Rec] 2 (2009)
R | 85 min | Horror, Thriller
In order to ascertain the current situation inside, a supposed medical officer and a GEO team step into the quarantined and ill-fated apartment building.
Votes: 60,192 | Gross: $0.03M
As exciting as the original, even if the plot is starting to become rlmost aepetitive. I liked the idea of picking up only minutes after where the first film ended. A few new touches in the storyline help keep this sequel moving along, and the makers have cleverly left open the possibility of yet a third film in the series.
45. Blow Out (1981)
R | 107 min | Mystery, Thriller
A movie sound recordist accidentally records the evidence that proves that a car accident was actually murder and consequently finds himself in danger.
Votes: 32,510 | Gross: $13.75M
Brian De Palma’s 1981 movie in the style of Antonioni’s 1960s ‘Blowup’. A good thriller with humorous takes on the world of movie-making. Seen in retrospect, however, it is difficult to see why Pauline Kael through it so groundbreaking, although it (or her support) did help to establish De Palma as an interesting new director.
46. Young Adult (2011)
R | 94 min | Comedy, Drama
Soon after her divorce, a fiction writer returns to her home in small-town Minnesota, looking to rekindle a romance with her ex-boyfriend, who is now happily married and has a newborn daughter.
Votes: 68,811 | Gross: $16.31M
Charlize Theron is excellent as Mavis, a woman in her mid-thirties who returns to small-town America hoping to win back her old sweetheart but fails to realize that the world has since moved on since she was prom queen. Patton Oswalt adds interest as the crippled Matt who offers Mavis wise counsel. Another bitter-sweet comedy from writer Diablo Cody.
47. Any Questions for Ben? (2012)
114 min | Comedy, Romance
Ben (Josh Lawson) is a twenty-something up and coming marketing guru who is invited to his old school to speak at a careers event, which is also attended by Alex (Rachael Taylor), an old ... See full summary »
An enjoyable new Australian film from Rob Sitch and company at Working Dog Films. Ben (Josh Lawson) likes to think of himself as an achiever but he begins to doubt himself when he comes up against some real personal achievers at a school reunion. Rachael Taylor is believable as the ‘real achiever’ with whom Ben has a developing relationship. The film is unlikely to enjoy the cult status of ‘The Castle’, but it moves along well.
48. Shame (2011)
NC-17 | 101 min | Drama
A man's carefully cultivated private life is disrupted when his sister arrives for an indefinite stay.
Votes: 161,223 | Gross: $4.00M
The life of a man addicted to sex begins to unravel when his brittle, unstable sister arrives unannounced for a visit. Michael Fassbender gives a bravura performance in this compelling drama about a man’s descent into New York’s dark underbelly.
49. L'autre monde (2010)
Not Rated | 105 min | Drama, Thriller
An innocent young man becomes enamored with a mysterious girl. He is lured into "Black Hole" - a dark, obscure video game world of avatars with deadly serious intentions in the real world.
A French thriller in which an innocent young man is lured into playing a video game involving avatars without realizing the implications for his personal life. The denouement may have some viewers reaching for the rewind button to review developments in the plot, but the overall result is a highly original film noir.
50. ... A Father... A Son... Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2005 TV Movie)
Not Rated | 95 min | Documentary
This intimate portrait of the relationship between Kirk Douglas and his son, Michael, conveys both the affection and the simmering tension between the two, as Kirk periodically raises old issues that continue to fester. Despite his advanced years and lingering effects of a stroke, there are hints at why the patriarch could be an unpleasant handful in his younger years. That said, however, there are points to admire in his long life and career, not least his defiance of the Hollywood Blacklist in hiring Dalton Trumbo as screenwriter on ‘Spartacus’.
51. One for the Money (2012)
PG-13 | 91 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
Unemployed and newly-divorced Stephanie Plum lands a job at her cousin's bail-bond business, where her first assignment puts her on the trail of a wanted local cop from her romantic past.
Votes: 36,590 | Gross: $26.41M
A painting-by-the-numbers movie which promises little and delivers just that.
52. Hanyo (2010)
Not Rated | 106 min | Drama, Thriller
A man's affair with his family's housemaid leads to dark consequences.
Votes: 7,619 | Gross: $0.15M
A film which promises more than it delivers, mainly due to an obscure beginning and ending. The middle holds attention, however.
53. Flesh and Bone (1993)
R | 126 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance
Around thirty years after Arlis witnessed his father murdering a family, he runs into Kay, who happens to be the family's baby, who was spared. Kay and Arlis suspect nothing about each ... See full summary »
Votes: 4,321 | Gross: $9.49M
A stylish mystery yarn. The twists are easy to see coming, but the acting makes up for it.
54. A Few Best Men (2011)
Not Rated | 97 min | Comedy, Romance
A groom and his three best men travel to the Australian outback for a wedding.
The following this movie achieved at the time of its cinema release suggests that it’s one for the committed. While I got a few laughs, I was pleased that I didn’t spend money on it at the box office.
55. The Whistleblower (2010)
R | 112 min | Action, Biography, Crime
A drama based on the experiences of Kathryn Bolkovac, a Nebraska cop who served as a peacekeeper in post-war Bosnia and outed the U.N. for covering up a sex scandal.
Votes: 27,560 | Gross: $1.12M
A real edge-of-the-seat thriller, reputedly based on true incidents. The settings in post-war Bosnia are well-rendered.
56. Love Ranch (2010)
R | 117 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama
A drama centered around a married couple who opened the first legal brothel in Nevada.
Votes: 2,580 | Gross: $0.13M
A good film based on true events. The performances of the principles, Helen Mirren and Joe Pesci, add to the film’s credibility.
57. Jesus Camp (2006)
PG-13 | 87 min | Documentary
A documentary on kids who attend a summer camp hoping to become the next Billy Graham.
Votes: 24,345 | Gross: $0.90M
A sad, frightening documentary in which young children are shown being subjected to mind control, all in the name of fundamentalist religion. The perpetrators have a lot to answer for, and I grieve for the youngsters whose childhoods are being so distorted.
58. Stevie (2002)
R | 140 min | Documentary
In 1995 Director Steve James (Hoop Dreams) returned to rural Southern Illinois to reconnect with Stevie Fielding, a troubled young boy he had been an 'Advocate Big Brother' to ten years earlier.
Votes: 2,260 | Gross: $0.10M
A lengthy documentary about the troubled life’s journey of a young man and his self-appointed ‘big brother’. I was torn between wondering how far the film-maker was coming in and out of subject’s life to suit his own filmic purposes, sympathy towards Stevie and his sad life, and frustration that he would not accept the help being offered. The various protagonists make a fascinating mix.
59. Geomeun jip (2007)
104 min | Action, Horror, Thriller
Jun-oh, an insurance claims agent, faces off with a client who he suspects of committing murders with the intention of collecting insurance premiums.
A South Korean horror film which builds and holds tension right to the final fifteen minutes or so, where I thought the film-makers rather resorted to cliché. The rest of the film, however, is well worth the ride.
60. Ah! La libido (2009)
83 min | Comedy, Romance
Four women, all journalists for the French daily "Libération", decide to have, over the course of a week-end, an experience with a male prostitute.
A French comedy that promises to be a fun ride but delivers little. Each woman in a group of female journalists agrees to seek the services of a male prostitute and then compare notes with the others. The film seems to lose its way mid-way and it all becomes pointless. A big disappointment.
American Experience (1988– )
Roads to Memphis
TV-PG | 80 min | Documentary, Biography, History
This film tells the story of an assassin, James Earl Ray, his target, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the seething, turbulent forces in American society that led these two men to their ... See full summary »
An excellent documentary depicting the intertwined lives of Martin Luther King and his assassin James Earl Ray. It is also a sobering reminder of the tinder box that was the USA during the 1960s.
62. Ordo (2004)
115 min | Drama
Ordo Tupikos, a french sailor with greek origins, discover that his first wife, Estelle, with whom he had remained married a few months only 16 years earlier, is now a famous movie star ... See full summary »
A good mystery movie about an ordinary man who sets out to discover whether a woman to whom he had been married years earlier is really the now-famous and influential movie star he reads about in magazines. A film that keeps the viewer guessing until the satisfying denouement.
63. The Hollywood Complex (2011)
90 min | Documentary, Biography, Comedy
We follow several kids with families with a dream of their offspring becoming a TV- or movie star, who for three months live in an apartment complex, where the management host a variety of events and trains them towards such a career.
A rather sad documentary which focuses on a few of the thousands of children and their families who flock to Hollywood each year in search of stardom. What made the film more telling for me was the fact that none of the children seemed to have any exceptional talent, making their quest – and their parents’ extraordinary sacrifices - all the more futile.
64. Stellungswechsel (2007)
97 min | Comedy
Five cute guys who set up an Escort Service for women and find out how hard it is to sell yourself.
Aka 'Special Escort' A comedy about a disparate and rather unlikely group of men who, for various reasons, decide to offer themselves as male escorts to lonely women. Of course, their expectations are never quite realized, and the situations they get themselves into deliver quite a few laughs while never over-stepping the bounds of good taste.
65. Off the Menu: The Last Days of Chasen's (1997)
90 min | Documentary, History
In 1995, Chasen's closed its doors after 60 years of serving chili to movie stars and visiting dignitaries, Presidents and the Pope. During its two final weeks, Chasen regulars (actors and ... See full summary »
A nostalgic reminiscence of the final days of the iconic Chasens Restaurant in Hollywood, which hosted the biggest names in the business for over 50 years. The fact that the site is now occupied by a shopping mall says a lot about the way Hollywood has allowed its heritage to disappear.
66. A Lonely Place to Die (2011)
R | 99 min | Adventure, Crime, Thriller
A group of mountaineers in the Scottish Highlands discover a kidnapped girl and are pursued by her captors.
‘Edge-of-your-seat’ thriller is a much over-worked description, but this one really delivers. If you can forgive the film’s occasional stretches of credibility – and, indeed, the whole plot is implausible - you’ll enjoy a tension-packed ride with excellent use of Scottish Highland locations.
67. Strictly Background (2007)
84 min | Documentary
A documentary spotlighting movie extras - the indispensable background actors in films.
A delightful documentary. Half the fun is seeing the excited pleasure the actors get from identifying themselves on screen, even if the glimpse is often so fleeting as to be lost on the uninitiated. The film also provides a sobering insight into the life of actors who scramble for any jobs on offer just to pay their rent.
Unrated | 85 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime
A rare behind-the-curtain look at the Earth Liberation Front, the radical environmental group that the FBI calls America's 'number one domestic terrorist threat.'
Votes: 2,834 | Gross: $0.06M
A film which challenges the viewer to ponder approaches to environmentalism and conservation, extremist acts in their name , and the divide between well-intentioned moderates and the legal processes which often frustrate their efforts. A true case history which raises many issues, not least the meaning of ‘terrorism’ in the USA today.
69. We Were Here (I) (2011)
Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary, Biography, History
A deep and reflective look at the arrival and impact of AIDS in San Francisco and how individuals rose to the occasion during the first years of this unimaginable crisis.
A moving recollection of the impact of AIDS on the San Francisco community, told by people who lived through it. One can’t help but be caught up in the moment.
70. Into the Shadows (2009)
88 min | Documentary
Explores behind the big screen to meet the filmmakers, distributors and exhibitors who bring Australian films to us, the audience.
An excellent primer on the history of the Australian film industry, how it has been hijacked and distorted by foreign interests, and how local film-makers and exhibitors have fought back. The presentation of facts and figures may be too ‘power point’ in parts for some viewers’ liking, but the sum of the parts is admirable.
71. Confessions of a Superhero (2007)
R | 92 min | Documentary
Chronicles the lives of four mortal men and women who work as characters on the sidewalks of Hollywood Boulevard.
An intimate insight into the lives of some of the superheroes who strut their stuff outside Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. The principal ‘stars’ of the documentary are the people inside the Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Incredible Hulk costumes. Each reveals their often touching personal story, leaving the viewer to ponder where dressing up and escaping into a fantasy world begin and end. The sequence in which ‘Batman’ undergoes one of his regular sessions at his psychiatrist’s offices in costume is both bizarre and disturbing.
72. Carnage (2011)
R | 80 min | Comedy, Drama
Two pairs of parents hold a cordial meeting after their sons are involved in a fight, though as their time together progresses, increasingly childish behavior throws the discussion into chaos.
Votes: 105,082 | Gross: $2.55M
An engaging comedy featuring a first-class cast. The one-set story belies the story’s stage origins, but Roman Polanski’s direction keeps things moving at such a pace that this adds to, rather than detracts from, the protagonists’ verbal warfare, at least until the end, where I would have preferred something a little more conclusive. What might have worked on stage with a falling curtain over a closing line didn’t work for me on film with an abrupt fade-out and closing credits.
73. Joyful Noise (2012)
PG-13 | 118 min | Comedy, Drama, Music
G.G. Sparrow faces off with her choir's newly appointed director, Vi Rose Hill, over the group's direction as they head into a national competition.
Votes: 7,142 | Gross: $30.92M
A disappointment. The storyline is weak and predictable and the usually strong Dolly Parton seems out of place and showing her age. Even Queen Latifah seems to be wasting her talents. There’s little joy here to write home about.
74. Jaws (1975)
PG | 124 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller
A local sheriff, a marine biologist and an old seafarer team up to hunt down a great white shark wrecking havoc in a beach resort.
Votes: 464,833 | Gross: $260.00M
It still holds up as a classic after all this time. I thoroughly enjoyed re-visiting it.
75. Brother's Keeper (1992)
R | 104 min | Documentary, Crime, Mystery
This documentary by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky details the murder trial of Delbert Ward. Delbert's of a family of 4 brothers (the other 3 being Roscoe, Lyman and William - Bill, for ... See full summary »
Votes: 3,287 | Gross: $1.31M
I became thoroughly involved in this real-life murder trial. As with their other documentaries, the filmmakers touch on allegations and propositions without trying to convince the audience one way or the other. The effect is to compound the mystery and leave some doubt hanging over the trial outcome. A fascinating film peopled with unforgettable characters.
76. In the Shadow of the Stars (1991)
Not Rated | 93 min | Documentary
Winner of the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, this film is a hilarious and affectionate look at the path to stardom inside the competitive world of opera.
A reminder that many a big stage show – opera in this case – depends on the performances of various background characters for full effect. I enjoyed this Academy Award-winning insight into the talents and personal histories of some such performers who occupy the grand opera stage.
77. Drive (I) (2011)
R | 100 min | Crime, Drama
A mysterious Hollywood stuntman and mechanic moonlights as a getaway driver and finds himself in trouble when he helps out his neighbor.
Votes: 483,176 | Gross: $35.06M
An often violent but nonetheless engrossing thriller which again demonstrates Ryan Gosling’s versatility.
78. A Good Old Fashioned Orgy (2011)
R | 95 min | Comedy, Romance
A group of 30-year-olds who have been friends since high school attempt to throw an end-of-summer orgy.
Votes: 19,067 | Gross: $0.15M
Something after the style of ‘The Hangover’, although perhaps not quite as gross. As might be expected, it promises more than it delivers in the orgy department, but it’s a fun ride nonetheless.
79. Wish You Were Here (I) (2012)
R | 89 min | Drama, Mystery
Four friends lose themselves in a carefree South-East Asian holiday. Only three come back. Dave and Alice return home to their young family desperate for answers about Jeremy's mysterious ... See full summary »
Votes: 4,670 | Gross: $0.05M
An Australian-made mystery thriller with a typically good performance by Joel Edgerton.
80. The Brandon Teena Story (1998)
89 min | Documentary, Biography
Documentary about a multiple murder in rural Nebraska in 1993.
Votes: 872 | Gross: $0.04M
The documentary filmmakers have made an honest and balanced effort to tell the story of Brandon Teena, who inspired the Academy Award-winning film ‘Boys Don’t Cry’. Unfortunately, they didn’t have much original, contemporary material to work with, meaning the doco consists mainly of ‘talking heads’. Given that the events will already be familiar to many, the dearth of material means this film presentation promises more than it delivers.
81. Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? (1978)
PG | 112 min | Comedy, Mystery, Crime
Mystery abounds when it is discovered that, one by one, the greatest Chefs in Europe are being killed. The intriguing part of the murders is that each chef is killed in the same manner that... See full summary »
It was great to catch up again with this 1970s fun-filled mystery movie directed by Ted Kotcheff, not least because of Robert Morley’s bravura performance as the acerbic gourmet. The film may look slightly dated, but it gains fresh topicality from the current obsession with culinary culture.
82. The People vs. George Lucas (2010)
Not Rated | 93 min | Documentary, Comedy
An examination of the widespread fan disenchantment with George Lucas.
A fun documentary in which fans confront George Lucas (in absentia) with claims that he has over-exploited their favourite movies. Geeks they may be, but there’s more than a grain of truth in their claims.
83. The Boys in the Band (1970)
R | 118 min | Drama
Tempers fray and true selves are revealed when a heterosexual is accidentally invited to a homosexual party.
Votes: 3,249 | Gross: $0.00M
The seminal (no pun intended) film of Mart Crowley’s hit play. The film may be dated now, but it stands as a valuable presentation of the original cast and recollection of the play’s time and place.
84. Making the Boys (2011)
Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary, Biography, Romance
On the eve of the 40th anniversary of the Gay Rights Movement, the film explores the drama, struggle and enduring legacy of the first-ever gay play and subsequent Hollywood movie to ... See full summary »
Votes: 428 | Gross: $0.03M
A feature-length documentary about how Mart Crowley’s play “The Boys in the Band” became such a hit, both on stage and film. It helps to put the play in its historical context and reminds audiences of how far the gay movement has advanced since.
85. We Bought a Zoo (2011)
PG | 124 min | Comedy, Drama, Family
Set in Southern California, a father moves his young family to the countryside to renovate and re-open a struggling zoo.
Votes: 120,358 | Gross: $75.62M
No great classic and perhaps the stars are wasted on the material, but they seem to have enjoyed the experience and the result stands as a pleasant family movie.
86. L'affaire Farewell (2009)
Not Rated | 113 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller
The French intelligence service alerts the U.S. about a Soviet spy operation during the height of the Cold War, which sets off an unfortunate chain of events.
A good thriller set during the Cold War of the early 1980s and based on actual events when a disaffected KGB operative passed highly classified material to the West, setting the scene for the downfall of Soviet Russia. A reminder that truth can often seem as unbelievable as fiction.
87. Wanderlust (2012)
R | 98 min | Comedy, Romance
Rattled by sudden unemployment, a Manhattan couple surveys alternative living options, ultimately deciding to experiment with living on a rural commune where free love rules.
Votes: 65,972 | Gross: $17.23M
A way-out comedy with a fine ensemble cast which sets out to demonstrate that supposedly idyllic lifestyles aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be. Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd were well-suited to their roles. Perhaps not to everyone’s liking, but I enjoyed it.
88. Orson Welles: The One-Man Band (1995)
88 min | Documentary
Orson Welles' archives of unfinished/never released movies and the last years of his life from the perspective of Oja Kodar (life and artistic partner Of Orson Welles in his last years). ... See full summary »
In some respects a rather sad reminder of Welles’ inability to follow his ideas and projects through to finality. What remains is a collection of bits and pieces – in some respects almost indulgences – left to moulder away in forgotten personal archives. The disjointed, often faded or damaged footage stands as a monument to an undoubtedly great talent which was ultimately wasted.
89. Accomplices (2009)
93 min | Crime, Romance
Both detectives on a sickening murder case struggle with being alone and childless in their 40s. As they investigate the young man found beaten and strangled to death, platonic friends ... See full summary »
A confronting French mystery drama which juxtaposes the present-day investigation into the body of a teenager found floating in a river with past events leading up to the crime. I thought there were some questions of logic in the way the story unfolded, but found it nonetheless engrossing, due in large part to the performances of the four principal protagonists.
90. Man on a Ledge (2012)
PG-13 | 102 min | Action, Adventure, Crime
As a police psychologist works to talk down an ex-con who is threatening to jump from a Manhattan hotel rooftop, the biggest diamond heist ever committed is in motion.
Votes: 132,126 | Gross: $18.62M
A rather silly and far-fetched heist movie. Like so many such films, the plot got increasingly convoluted and incredible before culminating in the routine shoot-out at the end. Sam Worthington needs to take care not to waste his career on such fare.
91. The Night My Number Came Up (1955)
Not Rated | 94 min | Mystery, Thriller
On a routine flight from Hong-Kong to Japan, a British military transport aircraft's fate may or may not depend on a prophetic nightmare.
A good old British thriller, with a cast of old stalwarts. Still enjoyable and gripping despite its age.
92. Days of Heaven (1978)
PG | 94 min | Drama, Romance
A hot-tempered farm laborer convinces the woman he loves to marry their rich but dying boss so that they can have a claim to his fortune.
It’s not just the stars and story that make Terence Malick’s film well worth watching, but also Nestor Almendros’s (and Haskell Wexler’s) superb cinematography. The beautiful, evocative images just keep coming one after the other.