My 51 favourite films

by mattbarwick-50-114586 | created - 06 Apr 2012 | updated - 06 Jan 2014 | Public
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1. Ran (1985)

R | 162 min | Action, Drama

96 Metascore

In Medieval Japan, an elderly warlord retires, handing over his empire to his three sons. However, he vastly underestimates how the new-found power will corrupt them and cause them to turn on each other...and him.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao, Jinpachi Nezu, Daisuke Ryû

Votes: 92,196 | Gross: $3.52M

2. Spirited Away (2001)

PG | 125 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

96 Metascore

During her family's move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and spirits, and where humans are changed into beasts.

Directors: Hayao Miyazaki, Kirk Wise | Stars: Daveigh Chase, Suzanne Pleshette, Miyu Irino, Rumi Hiiragi

Votes: 505,367 | Gross: $10.06M

3. Children of Men (2006)

R | 109 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

84 Metascore

In 2027, in a chaotic world in which women have become somehow infertile, a former activist agrees to help transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary at sea.

Director: Alfonso Cuarón | Stars: Julianne Moore, Clive Owen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Caine

Votes: 402,958 | Gross: $35.55M

4. Psycho (1960)

R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

97 Metascore

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.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin

Votes: 493,040 | Gross: $32.00M

5. Ikiru (1952)

Not Rated | 143 min | Drama

A bureaucrat tries to find a meaning in his life after he discovers he has terminal cancer.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Takashi Shimura, Nobuo Kaneko, Shin'ichi Himori, Haruo Tanaka

Votes: 53,160 | Gross: $0.06M

6. The Blues Brothers (1980)

R | 133 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

60 Metascore

Jake Blues, just out from prison, puts together his old band to save the Catholic home where he and brother Elwood were raised.

Director: John Landis | Stars: John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Cab Calloway, John Candy

Votes: 158,030 | Gross: $57.23M

7. The Departed (2006)

R | 151 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

85 Metascore

An undercover cop and a mole in the police attempt to identify each other while infiltrating an Irish gang in South Boston.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg

Votes: 1,001,167 | Gross: $132.38M

8. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

PG | 124 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

82 Metascore

After the rebels are brutally overpowered by the Empire on the ice planet Hoth, Luke Skywalker begins Jedi training with Yoda, while his friends are pursued by Darth Vader.

Director: Irvin Kershner | Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams

Votes: 977,006 | Gross: $290.48M

9. Seven Samurai (1954)

Not Rated | 207 min | Adventure, Drama

98 Metascore

A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Tsushima, Yukiko Shimazaki

Votes: 263,620 | Gross: $0.27M

10. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

PG | 95 min | Comedy, War

96 Metascore

An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a War Room full of politicians and generals frantically tries to stop.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, Keenan Wynn

Votes: 390,559 | Gross: $0.28M

11. Rope (1948)

PG | 80 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Two young men strangle their "inferior" classmate, hide his body in their apartment, and invite his friends and family to a dinner party as a means to challenge the "perfection" of their crime.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: James Stewart, John Dall, Farley Granger, Dick Hogan

Votes: 107,975

12. Goodfellas (1990)

R | 146 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

89 Metascore

The story of Henry Hill and his life in the mob, covering his relationship with his wife Karen Hill and his mob partners Jimmy Conway and Tommy DeVito in the Italian-American crime syndicate.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco

Votes: 838,153 | Gross: $46.84M

13. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

G | 149 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi

82 Metascore

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.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester, Daniel Richter

Votes: 498,626 | Gross: $56.95M

There's nothing that really needs to be said here. If you haven't seen it, you need to. Now.

14. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)

PG | 117 min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy

Warrior/pacifist Princess Nausicaä desperately struggles to prevent two warring nations from destroying themselves and their dying planet.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki | Stars: Sumi Shimamoto, Mahito Tsujimura, Hisako Kyôda, Gorô Naya

Votes: 117,725

15. Casablanca (1942)

PG | 102 min | Drama, Romance, War

100 Metascore

A cynical nightclub owner protects an old flame and her husband from Nazis in Morocco.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains

Votes: 444,014 | Gross: $1.02M

16. Akira (1988)

R | 124 min | Animation, Action, Drama

A secret military project endangers Neo-Tokyo when it turns a biker gang member into a rampaging psychic psychopath that only two teenagers and a group of psychics can stop.

Director: Katsuhiro Ôtomo | Stars: Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama, Tesshô Genda

Votes: 125,614 | Gross: $0.55M

17. Persona (1966)

Not Rated | 83 min | Drama, Thriller

A nurse is put in charge of a mute actress and finds that their personas are melding together.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Margaretha Krook, Gunnar Björnstrand

Votes: 78,046

18. No Country for Old Men (2007)

R | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

91 Metascore

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.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen | Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson

Votes: 711,370 | Gross: $74.28M

19. Network (1976)

R | 121 min | Drama

88 Metascore

A television network cynically exploits a deranged former anchor's ravings and revelations about the news media for its own profit.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch, Robert Duvall

Votes: 122,308

The dialogue and acting in this film is the best I've ever seen.

20. Dial M for Murder (1954)

PG | 105 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller

An ex-tennis pro carries out a plot to murder his wife. When things go wrong, he improvises a brilliant plan B.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Ray Milland, Grace Kelly, Robert Cummings, John Williams

Votes: 129,368 | Gross: $0.01M

The script, the plot, the suspense. Need I say more?

21. Requiem for a Dream (2000)

R | 102 min | Drama

68 Metascore

The drug-induced utopias of four Coney Island people are shattered when their addictions run deep.

Director: Darren Aronofsky | Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Marlon Wayans

Votes: 657,656 | Gross: $3.64M

22. The Big Lebowski (1998)

R | 117 min | Comedy, Crime

69 Metascore

"The Dude" Lebowski, mistaken for a millionaire Lebowski, seeks restitution for his ruined rug and enlists his bowling buddies to help get it.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen | Stars: Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi

Votes: 618,402 | Gross: $17.50M

23. Harakiri (1962)

Not Rated | 133 min | Action, Drama, History

An elder ronin samurai arrives at a feudal lord's home and requests an honorable place to commit suicide. But when the ronin inquires about a younger samurai who arrived before him things take an unexpected turn.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Ishihama, Shima Iwashita, Tetsurô Tanba

Votes: 22,215

24. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

R | 136 min | Crime, Drama, Sci-Fi

78 Metascore

In the future, a sadistic gang leader is imprisoned and volunteers for a conduct-aversion experiment, but it doesn't go as planned.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates, Warren Clarke

Votes: 642,174

25. 12 Angry Men (1957)

Approved | 96 min | Crime, Drama

96 Metascore

A jury holdout attempts to prevent a miscarriage of justice by forcing his colleagues to reconsider the evidence.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Martin Balsam, John Fiedler

Votes: 539,088

26. The Seventh Seal (1957)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Fantasy

A man seeks answers about life, death, and the existence of God as he plays chess against the Grim Reaper during the Black Plague.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Max von Sydow, Gunnar Björnstrand, Bengt Ekerot, Nils Poppe

Votes: 132,176

27. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

PG | 216 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

100 Metascore

The story of T.E. Lawrence, the English officer who successfully united and led the diverse, often warring, Arab tribes during World War I in order to fight the Turks.

Director: David Lean | Stars: Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins

Votes: 224,696 | Gross: $44.82M

28. Good Will Hunting (1997)

R | 126 min | Drama

70 Metascore

Will Hunting, a janitor at M.I.T., has a gift for mathematics, but needs help from a psychologist to find direction in his life.

Director: Gus Van Sant | Stars: Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Stellan Skarsgård

Votes: 709,638 | Gross: $138.43M

Such incredibly believable lead characters. Such a touching story.

29. Burn After Reading (2008)

R | 96 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

63 Metascore

A disk containing mysterious information from a CIA agent ends up in the hands of two unscrupulous and daft gym employees who attempt to sell it.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen | Stars: Brad Pitt, Frances McDormand, George Clooney, John Malkovich

Votes: 272,112 | Gross: $60.36M

30. Full Metal Jacket (1987)

R | 116 min | Drama, War

76 Metascore

A pragmatic U.S. Marine observes the dehumanizing effects the Vietnam War has on his fellow recruits from their brutal boot camp training to the bloody street fighting in Hue.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Matthew Modine, R. Lee Ermey, Vincent D'Onofrio, Adam Baldwin

Votes: 564,447 | Gross: $46.36M

31. Jackie Brown (1997)

R | 154 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

64 Metascore

A middle-aged woman finds herself in the middle of a huge conflict that will either make her a profit or cost her life.

Director: Quentin Tarantino | Stars: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster, Bridget Fonda

Votes: 265,815 | Gross: $39.67M

32. North by Northwest (1959)

Not Rated | 136 min | Adventure, Mystery, Thriller

98 Metascore

A hapless New York advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Jessie Royce Landis

Votes: 252,870 | Gross: $13.28M

33. Hard Boiled (1992)

R | 128 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

A tough-as-nails cop teams up with an undercover agent to shut down a sinister mobster and his crew.

Director: John Woo | Stars: Yun-Fat Chow, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Teresa Mo, Philip Chan

Votes: 41,620

34. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)

PG | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

90 Metascore

Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a Wookiee and two droids to save the galaxy from the Empire's world-destroying battle-station while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the evil Darth Vader.

Director: George Lucas | Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness

Votes: 1,048,807 | Gross: $322.74M

While not as good as Empire, it sets the scene for Star Wars brilliantly. My favourite piece of music from all of film is in this one. The Binary Sunset scene is possibly the most beautiful and touching piece of cinema I've ever seen (and heard).

35. The Godfather: Part II (1974)

R | 202 min | Crime, Drama

85 Metascore

The early life and career of Vito Corleone in 1920s New York City is portrayed, while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on the family crime syndicate.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton

Votes: 918,639 | Gross: $57.30M

36. Yojimbo (1961)

Not Rated | 110 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

A crafty ronin comes to a town divided by two criminal gangs and decides to play them against each other to free the town.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Eijirô Tôno, Tatsuya Nakadai, Yôko Tsukasa

Votes: 89,049

37. Léon: The Professional (1994)

R | 110 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

64 Metascore

Mathilda, a 12-year-old girl, is reluctantly taken in by Léon, a professional assassin, after her family is murdered. Léon and Mathilda form an unusual relationship, as she becomes his protégée and learns the assassin's trade.

Director: Luc Besson | Stars: Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman, Danny Aiello

Votes: 847,886 | Gross: $19.50M

38. Apocalypse Now (1979)

R | 147 min | Drama, War

94 Metascore

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.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Frederic Forrest

Votes: 512,172 | Gross: $83.47M

39. The Proposition (2005)

R | 104 min | Crime, Drama, Western

73 Metascore

A lawman apprehends a notorious outlaw and gives him nine days to kill his older brother, or else they'll execute his younger brother.

Director: John Hillcoat | Stars: Ray Winstone, Guy Pearce, Emily Watson, Richard Wilson

Votes: 45,728 | Gross: $1.90M

Beautiful looking and woefully written. A brightly dark story.

40. Paths of Glory (1957)

Not Rated | 88 min | Drama, War

After refusing to attack an enemy position, a general accuses the soldiers of cowardice and their commanding officer must defend them.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Kirk Douglas, Ralph Meeker, Adolphe Menjou, George Macready

Votes: 143,616

41. Fearless (2006)

PG-13 | 104 min | Action, Biography, Drama

70 Metascore

A biography of Chinese Martial Arts Master Huo Yuanjia, who is the founder and spiritual guru of the Jin Wu Sports Federation.

Director: Ronny Yu | Stars: Jet Li, Li Sun, Yong Dong, Yun Qu

Votes: 66,847 | Gross: $24.63M

One of the best stories I've ever engaged in, and Jet Li proves yet again how badass he can look on a big screen.

42. Oldeuboi (2003)

R | 120 min | Action, Drama, Mystery

74 Metascore

After being kidnapped and imprisoned for fifteen years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in five days.

Director: Chan-wook Park | Stars: Min-sik Choi, Ji-tae Yu, Hye-jeong Kang, Dae-han Ji

Votes: 422,596 | Gross: $0.71M

43. Alphaville (1965)

Not Rated | 99 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

A U.S. secret agent is sent to the distant space city of Alphaville where he must find a missing person and free the city from its tyrannical ruler.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard | Stars: Eddie Constantine, Anna Karina, Akim Tamiroff, Valérie Boisgel

Votes: 19,014 | Gross: $0.05M

44. The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

PG | 102 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

97 Metascore

When Prince John and the Norman Lords begin oppressing the Saxon masses in King Richard's absence, a Saxon lord fights back as the outlaw leader of a rebel guerrilla army.

Directors: Michael Curtiz, William Keighley | Stars: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone, Claude Rains

Votes: 41,949 | Gross: $3.98M

Another childhood classic. Great sense of adventure and heroism.

45. Platoon (1986)

R | 120 min | Drama, War

92 Metascore

A young soldier in Vietnam faces a moral crisis when confronted with the horrors of war and the duality of man.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Keith David

Votes: 331,540 | Gross: $138.53M

Incredibly moving story. Charlie Sheen shows he really is brilliant.

46. Mysterious Skin (2004)

Unrated | 105 min | Drama, Mystery

73 Metascore

A teenage hustler and a young man obsessed with alien abductions cross paths, together discovering a horrible, liberating truth.

Director: Gregg Araki | Stars: Brady Corbet, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Elisabeth Shue, Chase Ellison

Votes: 60,802 | Gross: $0.70M

One of the most impacting films I've ever seen. Brace yourself before watching this one.

47. The Fly (1986)

R | 96 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

79 Metascore

A brilliant but eccentric scientist begins to transform into a giant man/fly hybrid after one of his experiments goes horribly wrong.

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz, Joy Boushel

Votes: 135,039 | Gross: $40.46M

I somehow found myself so connected to the characters in The Fly. That make-up was brilliant, too. Terrific.

48. (1963)

Not Rated | 138 min | Drama

A harried movie director retreats into his memories and fantasies.

Director: Federico Fellini | Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Anouk Aimée, Claudia Cardinale, Sandra Milo

Votes: 93,445 | Gross: $0.05M

49. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Not Rated | 89 min | Animation, Drama, War

A young boy and his little sister struggle to survive in Japan during World War II.

Director: Isao Takahata | Stars: Tsutomu Tatsumi, Ayano Shiraishi, Akemi Yamaguchi, Yoshiko Shinohara

Votes: 174,287

Possibly the saddest film of all time. So beautifully carved into film, Takahata proves that he has a gift for storytelling and that Miyazaki is not the only one so gifted in the realm of Ghibli.