Somewhat hypocritically, I have attached links to the IMDB record for
each film. Just trying to be helpful...
1 - Betty Blue (French
title 37,2 le Matin) - A tragic love story, funny and involving, with excellent
performances, stylish direction, and a great soundtrack.
2 - Apartment Zero - A tense homoerotic film noir set in Argentina that nobody really bothered to watch. An undiscovered classic.
3 - The Third Man - Joseph Cotton and Orson Welles in a tale of the bad side of post-war Vienna, a tense tale of friendship gone bad done to perfection.
3.14 - Pi - Surreal math drama kekeps it tense with the baldest psychological terror this side of Eraserhead.
4 - Top Secret! - Elvis impersonator helps the French resistance liberate Nazi East Germany in the '80s. Absurd, ironic comedy, the best ever.
5 - Roadkill - "A Rock and Roll Movie About a Girl Who Learns How To Drive." Guerilla film-making creates the best Canadian road movie ever.
6 - Cube - Six unsympathetic protagonists locked in a death-dealing cube. Why are they there? Endless irony.
7 - Ring - Japanese horror about a cursed video tape. One of the best psychological horrors ever. Watch it at home.
8 - Casablanca - Lots of classics don't make this list, but a list without Casablanca fails to get the point. See it again.
9 - the Usual Suspects - Heist-gone-wrong movie so involving and complex, you can't just watch it once.
10 - Life is Beautiful - A holocaust movie like none other.
11 - Lawrence of Arabia - The classic film that just goes on and on and on... The desert has never been made this enticing.
12 - 12 Angry Men - Twelve men, all with intense characters and compelling histories, on a jury to decide the life and death of one unfortunate kid.
13 - Down By Law - Three losers interact in jail, then break out. The dialogue is tops. Watch all of Jim Jarmush's other films as well, particularly Night On Earth.
14 - Vertigo - A stylish mystery of love and death and mistaken identity by the master, Alfred Hitchcock.
15 - L.A. Confidential - Tense cop drama in '50s L.A. dealing with tense, complex characters involved in heavy intrigues. Wow!
16 - the Matrix - A head scratcher, but since everybody's already seen it...
17 - M - German director Fritz Lang's first talking picture shows a lynch mob corner a child-murderer like a rat. Nothing since has come close.
18 - THX-1138 - George Lucas' not-so-famous movie, starring Robert Duvall and Donald Pleasance trapped in a white underground surreality they can't escape.
19 - Fight Club - David Fincher, finally lightening up and living up to his expectations by making a black comedy about suicidal men who plot destruction.
20 - Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Trousers - Claymation done right for the first time in years, Gromit is the best mute genius of a dog since Brain.
21 - the Wizard of Oz - The film that everybody has seen and sung to is still beyond reproach.
22 - the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly - epic tale of bad men searching for gold who come across the sad waste of the American Civil War...
23 - Sunset Blvd. - Perhaps one of the best narrated tales ever, a black comedy showing the slight rise and fall of a faceless Hollywood hack.
24 - All About Eve - Bette Davis is fantastic, and so is everybody else in this tense comedy about the quest for fame in Hollywood.
25 - Apocalypse Now - Epic film showing what we expect of war - insanity! And try to also see Apocalypse Pooh! if you can.
26 - Monty Python and the Holy Grail - If you haven't seen it, you should know that this movie is very funny and - contary to popular belief - rather quotable.
27 - the Manchurian Candidate - Intense cold war oedipal drama about brain washed army freaks. Out of this world. Frank Sinatra at his most penetrating.
28 - Reservoir Dogs - Tense, tense, tense, tense. Great dialogue, fantastic situations, it might actually really happen to a group of thieves one day.
29 - Alien - The perfect idea, the best setting, the firat and only time it was really done right.
30 - Fargo - A compelling story about truly horrible people, the movie that shouldn't have been great but was. Watch the other Coen brothers films too.
31 - Leon - The tale of the sympathetic child-man unstoppable assassin and his little friend, stellar performances by all and just the right heavy directorial touch.
32 - the Straight Story - A great film about an old man on the road, containing just the right balance of tender sentiment and life angst.
33 - Mononoke Hime - maybe not Miyazaki Hayao's best film (try to see them all), but one of the best marriages of story, image, and animation out there.
34 - Glory - A Civil War film about a black battalion that makes you want to join in.
35 - Full Metal Jacket - Kubrick's Vietnam film is chock full of memorable scenes, particularly the opening. The sound-bite film.
36 - Rebecca - Hitchcock doing old film noir about the ghost of the dead wife.
37 - the Shining - A great Kubrick film of a great story with a great actor and an even better mountain-top setting.
38 - Manhattan - Woody Allen is a fine director with good ideas. Watch either the touching Manhattan or the hilarous, innovative Annie Hall.
39 - Ben-Hur - If you only watch one gladiator movie, watch this one.
40 - Gone with the Wind - The movie that gives romance novels a good name.
41 - Metropolis - A vision of the world as it never turned out, beautiful magic nonetheless and a joy to watch.
42 - Cool Hand Luke - A fine, fine film about a guy called Luke who can really eat eggs. Paul Newman in his finest form.
43 - the Wild Bunch - I haven't seen this film yet, but I just know it should be on my list between Cool Hand Luke and the Sweet Hereafter.
44 - the Sweet Hereafter - Compelling characters, great acting and directing, perfect story, bitter irony. See this and all of Atom Egoyan's other films.
45 - Once Upon A Time In America - Epic tale of gangster America, sweepingly beautiful, James Woods and DeNiro at their best, and Sergio Leone's last film.
56 - Forrest Gump - I don't care what anybody says, I like this capsule of recent American history and I like Forrest Gump himself. Gump way better than Garp.
47 - Witness for the Prosecution - Court drama with Marlene Dietrich that still has the power to keep everyone guessing.
48 - the Fugitive - Harrison Ford finally puts in a good performance again in this justified remake of the tense '60s TV show.
49 - Raise High The Red Lantern - Intoxicatingly beautiful, this tale of a lowly fourth wife is an imperialistic metaphor for modern China.
50 - Trainspotting - Brisk pacing and an excellent style marry a novel perfectly with the medium of images.
51 - As Good As It Gets - Jack Nicholson puts in a performance that is as good as it gets about the guy we love to hate.
52 - Twelve Monkeys - Great set design, fine performances by all three leads, building dread, deep thoughts. Expands on "la Jetee" very nicely.
53 - Fucking Åmål - How did this get here?
54 - X-Men - Perhaps the best comic book adaptation yet, and a pretty good character development exercise too.
55 - Bonnie and Clyde - Faye Dunaway. Wow.
56 - Miller's Crossing - A gangster movie about a mob killer trying to figure it out. Similar films on this list, but I just love it when they do it right.
57 - Roman Holiday - Audrey Hepburn is gorgeous, Gregory Peck is a prince, therefore everybody should love this film.
58 - King Kong - The original 1933 Kong has everything anybody would need in it, a surprise considering how old it is. Still a rival tofilms like Jurassic Park.
59 - Swingers - Crackling dialogue and surreal/funny situations give this film a life of its own.
60 - Dog Day Afternoon - Al Pacino in one of his best movies, a tense/wacky heist-gone-wrong film (there are so many, but...) that will never die!
61 - Being There - Chance the Butler is so subtle he may be one of the best movie characters of all time.
62 - the Birds - Hitchcock's film about the enemy around us is actually quite surreal, but we love it for the great characters.
63 - A Charlie Brown Christmas - groovy tunes, surreality, and Snoopy.
64 - A Fish Called Wanda - A heist-gone-wrong film full of hilarious situations and great characters. A very funny film.
65 - the Phantom of Liberty - Luis Bunuel created this omnibus of visual gags and short film. When watching, keep in mind that truth is still stranger than fiction.
66 - Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia - Sam Peckinpah tour-de-force of a hitman's mission to stay alive in a deadly world.
67 - Twin Peaks - We have over 20 hours of this stylish/surreal murder drama/black comedy to enjoy, and it is all good.
68 - the Hunger - The vampire film that everybody wrote off, Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie do way better than Anne Rice.
69 - Midnight Express - Another underrated film, Robert DeNiro and Charles Grodin both near their career best.
70 - Carlito's Way - And yet another underrated film, this bad-guy-tryingi-to-do-good gets it all right, even if it is directed by Brian DePalma.
71 - Bitter Moon - Thank you, Roman Polanski, for this dismal tale of true love and it's direst consequences.
72 - Rosemary's Baby - Thank you, Roman Polanski, for this dismal tale of motherhood and it's direst consequences.
73 - Xiu Xiu - the Sent Down Girl - Joan Chen directorial debut about the most beautiful teenage girl in '60s Cultural Revolution China, lost in the wilds.
74 - Mildred Pierce - Joan Crawford career best performance in a compelling tale of rich people who cannot be happy.
75 - Pee Wee's Big Adventure - One of the funniest movies around, and Tim Burton's only good movie. Bring Pee Wee back!
76 - Kalifornia - Edgy, tense thriller done right about four people on the road, one of them a serial killer. Brad Pitt puts in a fine, fine performance.
77 - Buffalo 66 - Another performance that is as good as it gets about the guy we love to hate, this time done stylishly with Christina Ricci, Angelica Huston.
78 - the Beguiled - An evil, manipulative Clint Eastwood Civil War drama in a convent, psychologically fascinating.
79 - A Perfect World - Another Clint Eastwood film, this time with Kevin Costner on the run and bonding with a kid. Costner's career best.
80 - Wittgenstein - Vague scenes from the life of my favorite philosopher. I love this movie as other people hate it.
81 - Irma Vep - Beautiful, stylistic black and white film starring Maggie Cheung in France making a movie. Best use of a Sonic Youth song for cathartic ending.
82 - Bound - Lesbians rip off the mob and create a dramatic situation. Sexy, smart, stylish, compelling.
83 - Breaking the Waves - Beautiful cinematography in rural Ireland and tense, edgy acting make this dramatic film a great metaphor for the miracles of Christ.
84 - Canadian Bacon - Great comedy about the natural animosity that Canadians and Americans have for each other.
85 - Innocent Blood - Vampire comedy/action-drama with the fabulous Anne Parrigou and the inspired madness of Robert Loggia and Don Rickles.
86 - the Big Lebowski - Comedy so subtle you might not notice how hilarous and ironic it is, and just think it's stupid.
87 - Map of the Human Heart - Sweeping, epic tale of Inuit boy who does good in World War 2, culminating with wild sex on a huge balloon.
88 - the Blue Angel - Early German morality play with Marlene Dietrich gets mood and drama and wicked manipulation down just right in black and white.
89 - A Woman Under the Influence - Peter Falk as a concerned husband fearing wife Gena Rowland's insanity, plodding and uncertain yet full of genius.
90 - Jacob's Ladder - Tense, scary, surreal mystery drama about a Vietnam war vet who is either losing his mind or his soul.
91 - Let's Get Lost - Black and white documentary on the final days in the life of Chet Baker, beautiful and breezy.
92 - What Happened to Baby Jane - Scary psycho-drama about two strange sisters. Surely we all know someone just like the adult Baby Jane?
93 - Vampire's Kiss - A film entirely centered on Nicolas Cage's most manic performance as a yuppie who believes he is (or is he?) a vampire.
94 - the Lost Highway - Surreal back and forth between Bill Pullman and Balthasar Getty is the strangest film David Lynch has done since Eraserhead.
95 - Shallow Grave - A tense film about murder between friends where money is also involved. Actually, tense doesn't even begin to describe it...
96 - the Shawshank Redemption - Tim Robbins is usually good, here he is great as the nerd who does good in prison. What a bustout!
97 - Kikujiro no Natsu - Takeshi helps a kid by taking him on the road to find his mother. Touching and funny.
98 - Deep River - Love and existential doubt in India. Mifune Toshiro's last performance. Based on the fantastic novel by Endo Shosaku.
99 - Speaking Parts - Video used effectively in film, as grieving sister mourns her dead brother on several levels. Also sexy, surreal, cold as steel, sharp as a knife.
100 - Jesus of Montreal - one of the best Canadian movies ever made, and a metaphor of a modern life of Christ, double (see also #83). Should actually be #1.
101 - Wild at Heart - Wild indeed; disturbing too and with one memorable image after another.
These pictueres also belong on this list, but I can't really figure out where to fit them in. :
- a stylish Japanese film about foreigners living in an Interzone who get
involved in pop music and other conspiracies. Fantastic.
Any John Waters film. They're all good, although I have a soft spot for Crybaby and Pecker. Maybe John directs male heart-throbs well.
Made it this far - good for you. Now what?
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