Personal favorites

by DarkoPaligoric | created - 30 Apr 2013 | updated - 8 months ago | Public

These are mine personal favourites... They are listed in no particular order. With this list i try to balance movies that i really love with movies i consider to be great. So movies on the top of the list are movies that got me on every level, movies that i don't just love to watch but movies that i consider to be 'flawless'... As you move down you will find movies that i like for one reason or the other but don't really think they are as good... I recommend them all to you, of course, they're all great films...

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1. Psycho (1960)

R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

97 Metascore

A Phoenix secretary embezzles forty thousand dollars 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: 531,230 | Gross: $32.00M

This is a film that I love more for it's craft than for it's writing, even though it's great. Not as complex or philosophical like A Clockwork Orange but a film that I can watch over and over again just for it's craft. Hitchcock has been playing with cinematic tools all through the 40s and 50s, and this is at his best. Around that time it all got together and he really perfected his craft, he was like a conductor directing an orchestra. Also, what was mindblowing to me at first is having a classic main Hitchcock heroine and then killing her off one third into the movie, and now we're focused on the Bates hotel. Bunuel and later Linklater took this to extreme but but I liked the idea of it. Every aspect of filmmaking was perfect here.

2. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

PG-13 | 165 min | Western

80 Metascore

A mysterious stranger with a harmonica joins forces with a notorious desperado to protect a beautiful widow from a ruthless assassin working for the railroad.

Director: Sergio Leone | Stars: Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, Claudia Cardinale, Jason Robards

Votes: 268,343 | Gross: $5.32M

3. Light Sleeper (1992)

R | 103 min | Crime, Drama

70 Metascore

A drug dealer reconsiders his profession when his boss plans to go straight and an old flame reappears.

Director: Paul Schrader | Stars: Willem Dafoe, Susan Sarandon, Dana Delany, David Clennon

Votes: 4,711 | Gross: $1.05M

4. Blue Velvet (1986)

R | 120 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

76 Metascore

The discovery of a severed human ear found in a field leads a young man on an investigation related to a beautiful, mysterious nightclub singer and a group of psychopathic criminals who have kidnapped her child.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Isabella Rossellini, Kyle MacLachlan, Dennis Hopper, Laura Dern

Votes: 161,365 | Gross: $8.55M

5. Taxi Driver (1976)

R | 114 min | Crime, Drama

94 Metascore

A mentally unstable veteran works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York City, where the perceived decadence and sleaze fuels his urge for violent action by attempting to liberate a presidential campaign worker and an underage prostitute.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Albert Brooks

Votes: 629,865 | Gross: $28.26M

6. Funny Games (2007)

R | 111 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

44 Metascore

Two psychopathic young men take a family hostage in their cabin.

Director: Michael Haneke | Stars: Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Michael Pitt, Brady Corbet

Votes: 82,772 | Gross: $1.29M

A flawless movie... As the story was unwrapping i was so determined to find in it just one flaw but Haneke thought of everything and eventually addresses and answers everything but still makes you think about possible meanings behind all of this... One of which is commentary on how media treats violence. All the movies i saw made by Haneke, are technically great like this one; but in a lot of cases i find them boring (still steady cam shot for the most part, no music at all, really slow pacing...), and more like an exercise in realism and perfection (like a slice of life which i don't like... to me movies are like myth or an allegory, to me it's an illusion of reality and if people are fooled good they have no problem but when it's bad they question the laws of physics... and when it's real life it's just a bore) but this one is an exception. It has great cinematography, great pacing and i was so invested that i didn't notice that there was no soundtrack (other than what's playing in the scene itself, case point record player or a radio...)

7. The Conversation (1974)

PG | 113 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

85 Metascore

A paranoid, secretive surveillance expert has a crisis of conscience when he suspects that a couple, on whom he is spying, will be murdered.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Allen Garfield, Frederic Forrest

Votes: 86,906 | Gross: $4.42M

8. Europa (1991)

R | 112 min | Drama, Thriller

Just after W.W.II, an American takes a railway job in Germany, but finds his position politically sensitive with various people trying to use him.

Director: Lars von Trier | Stars: Barbara Sukowa, Jean-Marc Barr, Udo Kier, Ernst-Hugo Järegård

Votes: 18,205 | Gross: $1.01M

9. They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969)

M/PG | 129 min | Drama

72 Metascore

The lives of a disparate group of contestants intertwine in an inhumanely grueling dance marathon.

Director: Sydney Pollack | Stars: Jane Fonda, Michael Sarrazin, Susannah York, Gig Young

Votes: 14,547

10. The Tenant (1976)

R | 126 min | Drama, Thriller

A bureaucrat rents a Paris apartment where he finds himself drawn into a rabbit hole of dangerous paranoia.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Roman Polanski, Isabelle Adjani, Melvyn Douglas, Jo Van Fleet

Votes: 33,874 | Gross: $1.92M

11. The Big Lebowski (1998)

R | 117 min | Comedy, Crime

71 Metascore

Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski, mistaken for a millionaire of the same name, 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: 657,541 | Gross: $17.50M

It's just, like, my opinion man!

12. The Americanization of Emily (1964)

Approved | 115 min | Comedy, Drama, War

An American naval officer's talent for living the good life in wartime is challenged when he falls in love and is sent on a dangerous mission.

Director: Arthur Hiller | Stars: James Garner, Julie Andrews, Melvyn Douglas, James Coburn

Votes: 4,354

13. Lifeboat (1944)

Not Rated | 97 min | Drama, War

78 Metascore

Several survivors of a torpedoed merchant ship in World War II find themselves in the same lifeboat with one of the U-boat men who sunk it.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Tallulah Bankhead, John Hodiak, Walter Slezak, William Bendix

Votes: 24,144

14. Blow Out (1981)

R | 108 min | Mystery, Thriller

85 Metascore

A movie sound recordist accidentally records the evidence that proves that a car accident was actually murder and consequently finds himself in danger.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: John Travolta, Nancy Allen, John Lithgow, Dennis Franz

Votes: 36,902 | Gross: $13.75M

15. Breaking the Waves (1996)

R | 159 min | Drama

76 Metascore

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.

Director: Lars von Trier | Stars: Emily Watson, Stellan Skarsgård, Katrin Cartlidge, Jean-Marc Barr

Votes: 56,775 | Gross: $4.04M

Just a great emotional ride, a movie that was bald enough to compromise everything that makes a movie what it is just to get a good performance. All the fancy equipment, all the rules of directing, all the continuity rules, all the rules of directing/shooting/editing/acting in one motion picture... this movie threw all of that out of the window. Thus making a movie that is appealing to both the hart and the mind.

16. Rosemary's Baby (1968)

R | 137 min | Drama, Horror

96 Metascore

A young couple moves in to an apartment only to be surrounded by peculiar neighbors and occurrences. When the wife becomes mysteriously pregnant, paranoia over the safety of her unborn child begins to control her life.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon, Sidney Blackmer

Votes: 168,426

17. The Driver (1978)

R | 91 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

56 Metascore

A getaway driver becomes the latest assignment for a tenacious detective.

Director: Walter Hill | Stars: Ryan O'Neal, Bruce Dern, Isabelle Adjani, Ronee Blakley

Votes: 12,315 | Gross: $4.91M

18. Shoot the Piano Player (1960)

Not Rated | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

Charlie Kohler is a piano player in a bar. The waitress Lena is in love with him. One of Charlie's brother, Chico, a crook, takes refuge in the bar because he is chased by two gangsters, ... See full summary »

Director: François Truffaut | Stars: Charles Aznavour, Marie Dubois, Nicole Berger, Michèle Mercier

Votes: 15,376

19. The 39 Steps (1935)

Not Rated | 86 min | Mystery, Thriller

A man in London tries to help a counter-espionage Agent. But when the Agent is killed, and the man stands accused, he must go on the run to save himself and stop a spy ring which is trying to steal top secret information.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll, Lucie Mannheim, Godfrey Tearle

Votes: 46,456

This one, also like Rope, is kind of a guilty pleasure of mine. Not that it's bad, but it's not as good... But I'm not making "The Greatest Movies EVER" list, these are my personal fav's... All the critique aside, i love this Hitchcock movie like no other... Lighting in this picture is better than everything he made in USA in his later years. Story is a simple and interesting thriller but that's not the point, glue that really holds this picture together is acting. I LOVED the chemistry between Madeleine Carroll and Robert Donat, their great acting chops broth some really good comical elements into this picture, also their facial expressions are priceless. it doesn't have melodramatic/manipulative music though out the film, but instead it for the good part relied on emotions present within a scene to get a response from you (unlike Vertigo which wouldn't have been half as nerve wrecking if you were to take the music out). But overall, anyone who knows Hitchcock's work and loves it, will find his signatures all over it since it has all the major Hitchcock themes...

20. Fight Club (1999)

R | 139 min | Drama

66 Metascore

An insomniac office worker and a devil-may-care soapmaker form an underground fight club that evolves into something much, much more.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Meat Loaf, Zach Grenier

Votes: 1,660,002 | Gross: $37.03M

Usually when it comes to the movies with 'mindblowing twists', I can enjoy them but only on first viewing ("Ah, see what you did there... Great, good for you." ) but they usually decline on second or third viewing (like The Sixth sense for example, was able to appreciate it the first time but it doesn't work on the same level for me now). This movie is an exception, i can't say care for the twist so much now, it's getting to that point that i like now... With all the philosophical references (Plato mostly, Nihilism movement... ), subliminal images, and just overall great execution or it all. Probably David Fincher's best work to date, i don't think that he will ever out do this one.

21. Vivre Sa Vie (1962)

Not Rated | 85 min | Drama

Twelve episodic tales in the life of a Parisian woman and her slow descent into prostitution.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard | Stars: Anna Karina, Sady Rebbot, André S. Labarthe, Guylaine Schlumberger

Votes: 23,319

Very inspiring, thought provoking, original, ground breaking peace of cinema that deserves more praise than it gets. I was never 100% on board with Godard and his films, even his early ones alienate me (and let's face it, breathless is great and innovative but when i hear people saying it's their favorite of all time, I automatically think they're either trying to impress some people or are total pretentious douches). This thing where he's always taking you out of the experience to remind you it's a movie can really be frustrating. But not with this one, it's charming as hell and i could watch it almost any time. And also, I don't care how cute the dance from Band of Outsiders is, Nana's dance is the best, i love it!

22. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

G | 149 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi

82 Metascore

After discovering a mysterious artifact buried beneath the lunar surface, mankind sets off on a quest to find its origins with help from intelligent supercomputer HAL 9000.

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

Votes: 536,336 | Gross: $56.95M

23. Vertigo (1958)

PG | 128 min | Mystery, Romance, Thriller

100 Metascore

A former police detective juggles wrestling with his personal demons and becoming obsessed with a hauntingly beautiful woman.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes, Tom Helmore

Votes: 316,738 | Gross: $3.20M

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

PG | 95 min | Comedy

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: 411,137 | Gross: $0.28M

25. Dancer in the Dark (2000)

R | 140 min | Crime, Drama, Musical

61 Metascore

An east European girl goes to America with her young son, expecting it to be like a Hollywood film.

Director: Lars von Trier | Stars: Björk, Catherine Deneuve, David Morse, Peter Stormare

Votes: 92,989 | Gross: $4.18M

First of all, some of the best reincorporation i saw on a film (Sin City probably has the best...). And even though there were few bits and moments that weren't really that thought out and were just convenient, it ended up being one hell of a ride. It doesn't really spell out what morally right or wrong and lets you decide for your self, it may appear like Trier made all the Americans plain bad, but i never saw it that way and have never hated them. They're just as miserable and it's just survival of the fittest. I love this picture.

26. There Will Be Blood (2007)

R | 158 min | Drama

93 Metascore

A story of family, religion, hatred, oil and madness, focusing on a turn-of-the-century prospector in the early days of the business.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Ciarán Hinds, Martin Stringer

Votes: 459,592 | Gross: $40.22M

27. Antichrist (2009)

Not Rated | 108 min | Drama, Horror

49 Metascore

A grieving couple retreat to their cabin in the woods, hoping to repair their broken hearts and troubled marriage, but nature takes its course and things go from bad to worse.

Director: Lars von Trier | Stars: Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Storm Acheche Sahlstrøm

Votes: 105,768 | Gross: $0.40M

A flawless film, acting is top notch, computer animation is well blended with the set/locations, really well stylized, really disturbing, really puzzling (still puzzle's me, to this day)... It would be kind of sick to say that i love this (coming from a guy who said he loves A Clockwork Orange) film but i kind of do in my own sick way... :P One thing that that makes film as a medium superior and inferior at the same time is that it can appear as if it's depiction of real life, and that is not the case... People don't like when thing happen to them that they can't rationalize in some way, and that's the thing with film, a lot of the times people forget to just enjoy the peace itself and they try to rationalize it... This movie is like Rorschach cards, it tells you more about your psyche than about the filmmaker himself. Nobody wonders what was on Beethoven's mind when he wrote 5th symphony, you could speculate but can't you just enjoy the peace itself and if the images come to you; embrace them.

28. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

R | 108 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi

89 Metascore

When their relationship turns sour, a couple undergoes a medical procedure to have each other erased from their memories.

Director: Michel Gondry | Stars: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Tom Wilkinson, Gerry Robert Byrne

Votes: 817,258 | Gross: $34.40M

29. Dogville (2003)

R | 178 min | Crime, Drama

60 Metascore

A woman on the run from the mob is reluctantly accepted in a small Colorado town. In exchange, she agrees to work for them. As a search visits the town, she finds out that their support has a price. Yet her dangerous secret is never far away.

Director: Lars von Trier | Stars: Nicole Kidman, Paul Bettany, Lauren Bacall, Harriet Andersson

Votes: 125,521 | Gross: $1.53M

30. Amour (2012)

PG-13 | 127 min | Drama, Romance

94 Metascore

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.

Director: Michael Haneke | Stars: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva, Isabelle Huppert, Alexandre Tharaud

Votes: 84,453 | Gross: $6.74M

Heart breaking, depressing, scary... I can go on and on... I have complained about pacing in Haneke's films a lot, but in this one it really works because of the payoff. I wouldn't be as terrifying and just fall flat, this way i was not just blown away with it's ending but was invested through out. I'm glad that even the Academy recognized it for what masterpiece it is, i don't remember when was the last time a movie like this had a best picture nomination and a nomination for best director (we all knew it wasn't gonna win but it was nice of them.)

31. The Matrix (1999)

R | 136 min | Action, Sci-Fi

73 Metascore

A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers.

Directors: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski | Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving

Votes: 1,490,294 | Gross: $171.48M

On the surface it's an interesting and smart thriller sci fi movie, but underneath there's a lot more. From Bible references to classic cyber punk-isms to post modern philosophy references to 19th century... all the way back to Plato's cave. This movie series explores it all. I lost quality in the sequels but this one stands as one of the best sci fi movies to date. Everyone who dismisses so is just clueless, period!

32. Rear Window (1954)

PG | 112 min | Mystery, Thriller

100 Metascore

A wheelchair-bound photographer spies on his neighbors from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter

Votes: 394,497 | Gross: $36.76M

33. Stalker (1979)

Not Rated | 162 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

A guide leads two men through an area known as the Zone to find a room that grants wishes.

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky | Stars: Alisa Freyndlikh, Aleksandr Kaydanovskiy, Anatoliy Solonitsyn, Nikolay Grinko

Votes: 96,648 | Gross: $0.23M

34. Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

R | 104 min | Drama, Music

93 Metascore

A week in the life of a young singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen | Stars: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund

Votes: 122,809 | Gross: $13.24M

35. Basic Instinct (1992)

R | 127 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

41 Metascore

A violent police detective investigates a brutal murder, in which a manipulative and seductive novelist could be involved.

Director: Paul Verhoeven | Stars: Michael Douglas, Sharon Stone, George Dzundza, Jeanne Tripplehorn

Votes: 155,700 | Gross: $117.73M

36. Last Year at Marienbad (1961)

Not Rated | 94 min | Drama, Mystery

In a strange and isolated chateau, a man becomes acquainted with a woman and insists that they have met before.

Director: Alain Resnais | Stars: Delphine Seyrig, Giorgio Albertazzi, Sacha Pitoëff, Françoise Bertin

Votes: 17,729 | Gross: $0.14M

37. The Ghost Writer (2010)

PG-13 | 128 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

77 Metascore

A ghost writer, hired to complete the memoirs of a former British Prime Minister, uncovers secrets that put his own life in jeopardy.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, Olivia Williams, Jon Bernthal

Votes: 147,755 | Gross: $15.54M

38. The Third Man (1949)

Not Rated | 93 min | Film-Noir, Mystery, Thriller

97 Metascore

Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, Harry Lime.

Director: Carol Reed | Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Trevor Howard

Votes: 142,361 | Gross: $0.45M

39. Strangler vs. Strangler (1984)

93 min | Comedy, Crime, Horror

When it comes to crime, Belgrade is same as any other modern metropolis, except for having its own serial killers. That blank is filled when a flower salesman begins strangling women. A ... See full summary »

Director: Slobodan Sijan | Stars: Tasko Nacic, Nikola Simic, Srdjan Saper, Rahela Ferari

Votes: 2,555

40. Land of Truth, Love & Freedom (2000)

72 min | Drama, War

In 1999, during the NATO bombing in Serbia, a young television editor (Boris Milivojevic) in an underground shelter - turned mental institution is having a psychiatric exploration through which he reflects his story...

Director: Milutin Petrovic | Stars: Djordje Andjelic, Dalibor Andonov, Predrag Bambic, Lana Budimlic

Votes: 137

41. Balada o svirepom... (1971)

86 min | Drama, War

Deeply hurt by his wife's infidelity, a man leaves her and his son to live high up alone in the mountains of Montenegro. Many years later, the war breaks out and the two enemy factions must... See full summary »

Director: Radivoje 'Lola' Djukic | Stars: Ljuba Tadic, Rade Markovic, Dragomir Bojanic-Gidra, Jagoda Kaloper

Votes: 113

42. Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Romance

A French actress filming an anti-war film in Hiroshima has an affair with a married Japanese architect as they share their differing perspectives on war.

Director: Alain Resnais | Stars: Emmanuelle Riva, Eiji Okada, Stella Dassas, Pierre Barbaud

Votes: 24,572 | Gross: $0.09M

43. It Happened One Night (1934)

Not Rated | 105 min | Comedy, Romance

87 Metascore

A spoiled heiress running away from her family is helped by a man who is actually a reporter in need of a story.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Walter Connolly, Roscoe Karns

Votes: 84,113 | Gross: $4.36M

44. The Element of Crime (1984)

Not Rated | 104 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A cop in a dystopian Europe investigates a serial killings suspect using controversial methods written by his now disgraced former mentor.

Director: Lars von Trier | Stars: Michael Elphick, Esmond Knight, Me Me Lai, Jerold Wells

Votes: 8,454

45. Medium Cool (1969)

R | 111 min | Drama

87 Metascore

A TV news reporter finds himself becoming personally involved in the violence that erupts around the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

Director: Haskell Wexler | Stars: Robert Forster, Verna Bloom, Peter Bonerz, Marianna Hill

Votes: 3,294

46. Diabolique (1955)

Not Rated | 117 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

The wife and mistress of a loathed school principal hatch a plan to murder him while having the perfect alibi. They carry out the plan...but then his body disappears.

Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot | Stars: Simone Signoret, Véra Clouzot, Paul Meurisse, Charles Vanel

Votes: 56,083

47. Rio Bravo (1959)

Not Rated | 141 min | Action, Drama, Western

A small-town sheriff in the American West enlists the help of a cripple, a drunk, and a young gunfighter in his efforts to hold in jail the brother of the local bad guy.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson, Angie Dickinson

Votes: 50,515 | Gross: $12.54M

48. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

R | 111 min | Action, Biography, Crime

81 Metascore

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, stealing cars and robbing banks.

Director: Arthur Penn | Stars: Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Michael J. Pollard, Gene Hackman

Votes: 93,296