The Forums Top 100 Favourite Films 2008! (Full Version)

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clownfoot -> The Forums Top 100 Favourite Films 2008! (4/4/2008 12:20:17 AM)

Well, it's taken a little longer than I hoped, and is around about three months overdue, but the 2008 Top 100 list is finally here. Apologies for the slackness this year, but other general life things have managed to get in the way. Hell, I haven't even got time to post in the Hall of Fame thread to mug off all the clueless numpties referring to The Princess Bride as smug schmaltz!! [:D]

As always I'm indebeted to a number of people that have ably assisted with this years poll, without whom the validity of the poll would be lost. This year deniseA, Groovy Mule and Rinc have stepped into a rather large Sinatra and Flatulent Bob shaped gulf and have helped to score the poll. Not only do they chase up people who posted their votes incorrectly, but they also ensure that the poll isn't abused by yours truely; ensuring that Evil Dead 2 isn't bumped into the top ten nor that Gladiator is obliterated completely form the 100. You have them to thank, via a rather arduous task, that the poll remains fair and open. Many, many thanks guys, especially for your lasting patience.

Also, many thanks to Piles, whom has produced the corking pics that accomadate each film. Fuck knows how he does it, but I'm bloody impressed! Cheers bud, a super job that gives an added something to the reveal of the results.

And lastly, many thanks to the contributors whom have slaved away with the blurb writing. Without your endeavour, this would just be a basic list, no more, no less. A super job by all. And yes, there are some of last years blurbs in there as well, but if you wanted a full new list of blurbs we'd have been here until May!! (Any offers to do blurbs for the films currently missing one, please PM me).

Now without further ado, here is this year 100...

(Please refrain from posting until all 100 are listed. I will simply delete your posts if you post in the meantime. Thanks).

clownfoot -> RE: The Forums Top 100 Favourite Films 2008! (4/4/2008 12:21:54 AM)

100. Once Upon a Time in America (1984, Sergio Leone)  


Sergio Leone's final film is an epic in every aspect. It's not just a massive amount of time that elapses in terms of runtime (nearly 4 hours), the story itself is around sixty years long, spanning the entire life of Jewish gangster Noodles after he returns from exile thirty years on to investigate a mysterious invitation that has been sent to him. We first encounter Noodles at an opium den, a strange look of satisfied glee on his face. After un-named gangsters chase him out of town, he returns as an old man. The stark contrast between the young, relaxed, 'high' gangster and the old, fragile returning Noodles leads us to ask the question; what could have happened in this man's life to turn him into this shadow of his for her self? What follows is possibly one of the most imaginative, un-chronological narrative since Citizen Kane. And it works wonderfully. 

Leone's 229 minute version is the best four hours of film you'll ever see, and despite its massive runtime, not one shot is below exceptional. Every scene is shot with the same passion, attention-to-detail, and intensity as the last. It's hard to even get slightly impatient with the film, and each flash-back and era of Noodles' life could be cut into an excellent film in itself, and it's Leone's incredible direction that we have to thank for this. Shots like a young Noodles waving to his friends as the prison doors close, the boys rising up from the water as their boat bobs solemly on the surface, and every single extreme close-up (the stuff that Leone is known best for) is memorable. Without Leone at the helm and cinematographer Ennio Morricone, this wouldn't be half the film it was. And that's not even just an opinion, just watch the 139 minute version for proof. 

Sergio Leone's final picture was also unarguably his best, and deserves to be mentioned within the same breath as any other modern gangster epic.


99. Downfall (2004, Oliver Hirschbiegel)


War Movies, good as they are, tend to be a bit clichéd, don't they? Most are prone to hero worship, and focus on the indestructible main character who fights a war by himself. Others tend to deal with the psychological implications of warfare, wherein someone fights their own war within their head. There is a common denominator amongst all of these war movies. They're all American, or to a lesser extent, British. In mainland Europe, they do things differently – shown here amicably in Oliver Hischbiegel's Downfall (Der Untergang). Set against the last year of the Nazi Empire's reign of tyrannical power over Europe, the film focuses on how the people involved dealt with the famous fall of that superpower. It does a remarkable job of humanising a man who has become known as history's greatest monster – often depicted as a ranting, psychotic lunatic bent on mass destruction, the film shows him for what he really was – which, ok, there might have been elements of the former, but it also shows him as an astute politician, a savvy businessman and a caring family man. This is largely thanks to a stunning central performance from Bruno Ganz as Hitler. Ganz plays the dictator with real passion, and his intentions, like the films, are clear – no one is trying to paint Hitler as a sympathetic character, or as a victim. It simply tells it how it is, or was. The set up and execution of the film are quite simply flawless, and alongside showing the human aspect of warfare, it doesn't shy away from the horrifics either. No punches are pulled in showing the destruction of not only the nation, but of its people – the suicide count in the film is overwhelming at times. Most importantly, Hirschbiegel shows himself to be a more than accomplished director, who could certainly teach the heavyweights of Hollywood a thing or two. Quite simply, astounding.

April 1945 and Germany stands on the brink of defeat in the Second World War. The centre of this turmoil is a bunker in Berlin where Adolf Hitler, a shadow of his former self, is holed up screaming defiance whilst awaiting the inevitable downfall of the Third Reich. This is the story of Der Untergang ("Downfall”) based on the recollections of Hitler's personal secretary Traudl Junge as brought to the screen by Oliver Hirschbiegel. In translating this story, Hirschbiegel puts together a fascinating tale of a man losing his grip on power and facing the inevitable and in doing so, helped to exorcise Germany's own demons about the man that led his country on an idealistic war. At the centre of this powerful film is Bruno Ganz's memorising performance as Hitler. Looking old and tired, Ganz's performance is tremendous for the way his body language and most notably, his eyes betray what fire is left in his rhetoric. However, it would wrong to think of this film as a film sculpted out of one performance for whilst Ganz is clearly the centrepiece, he is supported ably by the rest of the cast and in fact, the most chillingly memorable scene does not even feature Hitler but is one showing the way in which Magda Goebbels, wife of spin-doctor Josef, copes with the impending defeat. A must-watch drama which makes for a fascinating account of how people in power cope with the despair of losing it and a historical account of the end of WW2 and one I am delighted to see in the Top 100.
Groovy Mule    

98. Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986, John Hughes)


"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

Name one other film that's so undeniably great it leaves you enviously uttering, "God, I wish I was as cool as Matthew Broderick." Anyone? Anyone?

Truancy elevated to an art form is a beautiful thing to behold.  School may be out in favour of the pursuit of happiness for ingenious skiver Ferris (a never-better Broderick), his best friend Cameron and sweetheart Sloane, but as you'd expect from writer/director Hughes, there are still life lessons aplenty to be had here.  Far from being typically overly-earnest, 80s teen-flick fare, this frenetic, playful, relentlessly sunny comedy offers up laughs for all, from broad slapstick to the unavoidably quotable witticisms of the lead.

The irrepressible Ferris (surely the missing link between The Fonz and Woody Allen?) possesses charisma, wisdom and wit beyond his years. Frequent fourth-wall-defying sermons and knowing looks render the viewer a willing co-conspirator, ensuring empathy for this improbably likeable hero: a smart-arse, over-privileged, middle-class white kid. Effortlessly charming his way through life, he leaves many a bewildered and frustrated adult in his wake, most notably Ed Rooney: school principal/would-be nemesis/bungling loser...

Skipping class is merely the beginning for Ferris, a means to an end. Absconding to a postcard-perfect Chicago, his day of scams serves one simple goal: to show downtrodden Cameron there's more to life than his multitude of neuroses. Sloane, the supremely elegant centre to Ferris' impulse-driven storm, may join the boys on this jaunt but the beating heart of this story undoubtedly lies in the Ferris-Cam partnership. Both realise such youthful thrills are soon to give way to the dreaded mediocrity of Growing Up, lending proceedings a bittersweet ache as they bid a fond, reluctant farewell to childish things. 

But that's away in the future, and it's summer right now.  How could they possibly be expected to handle school on a day like this?

Belly T Jones

97. E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial (1982, Steven Spielberg)


When you mention E.T to people, the first thing they tend to do is put their hand wistfully on their chest and say "Ooh I love E.T! It made me cry when I was a kid". You really don't need to justify that by saying "when I was a kid". E.T has themes with which everyone- young and old- can identify. 

Middle child Elliott (Henry Thomas giving one of the best performances ever seen by a child actor) is feeling alienated at school and at home, in addition to trying to understand his parent's separation. It can come as no surprise to see that Elliott is in fact just as lost as the titular alien. Big brother Michael struggling with puberty and cute-but-wise Gertie are equally well portayed. Dee Wallace, playing Elliott's mother, is perhaps even more wonderful as the parent too busy fussing and worrying about her kids to properly notice their predicament. Do you know of any other family adventure films with such carefully conceived and complex characters? This is exactly what makes E.T so wonderful. An ardent refusal to succumb to character cliches. Are there any goodies or baddies in this film? 

E.T's reputation for being a sentimental sob-fest is also entirely undeserved. Yes, E.T's "death" can move you to tears, but what about the moments of unparalelled joy? Such as his "ressurrection"? Or the sheer exhilaration of the bike chase and E.T's flight? Or the trouser-soiling scare of the astronauts' violation of Elliott's home? Or perhaps the most rousingly bittersweet ending in cinema history? 

Set-design, cinematography, special effects (before the bastardisation) are all superb. John Williams' music is so perfectly married to onscreen events, that one is tempted to call this his greatest ever accomplishment. But for me, the real star is Spielberg. Every single shot in this film is so lovingly made, that its no wonder the finished product is so affecting. As a director he is not only able to show you events through children's perspective, but actually put you in their shoes. I don't know exactly how he does it, and I don't really want to know. By the time that final shot comes around, you have witnessed one of the most entertaining, involving, moving, witty, thrilling and wonderful things ever put to film.      

96. Chinatown (1974, Roman Polanski)  


Before Jack learned to smirk, before Polanski got banned from the US for naughty rape, before Robert Towne got a bit dull, came Chinatown. This film has everything; a cracking script, perfect details on locations, characters, plot etc, intrigue, mystery, and Jack Nicholson. Central character Jake Gittes, a detective, has been hired on a seemingly run of the mill adultery case. Twists and turns galore lead Gittes to a mystery reaching up into the higher reaches of 30s L.A society.

So why should this film be in the Hall of Fame? Well firstly, let's look at the two words which can improve any film ever; Jack Nicholson. Let's face it, the man's a legend. Even before the trademark sunglasses and cheeky grin, he oozes so much charisma that the cleaning staff had to wipe down the screen at the premier of Something's Gotta Give (fact). This is one of his most engaging, complex characters he's played, in his very peak. Gittes has layers, is a complex individual, and Jack inhabits the character from the very start. Another performance of note is John Huston. Although I'm not too familiar with his work, as actor or director, he's one scary MF in this film. His presence is immense, grabbing for every inch of screen he can possibly possess, as the increasingly monstrous Noah Cross. And of course kudos to the legend that is Faye Dunaway, always hitting the mark, especially in this, probably her finest hour.

Robert Towne's script stings like a bee being made to watch Ed, with classic lines such as: 

"'Course I'm respectable. I'm old. Politicians, ugly buildings, and whores all get respectable if they last long enough"

This, his follow-up to The Last Detail, which I found highly dissapointing if you're interested, is his greatest work, and he snatched one of the few Oscars that The Godfather Part 2 didn't devour. This is a film for the ages, meant to be watched and rewatched. One of the greatest detective movies ever made, and one of those true classics where everything comes together. Hooray for Chinatown.

95. Children of Men (2006, Alfonso Cuarón) 


The year is 2027. The world has become infertile; hope as distant a memory of the sound of children being born. Why? Has this occurred? "I doesn't matter,” claims Theo (Clive Owen) and he's right. This isn't the story Alfonso Cuaron wants to tell. He tells a story of hope in a bleak future. And while many films present the future where everything has gone to hell in a hand cart, none portray as frighteningly well as Children of Men. The world of Children of Men works so well because we can believe it. It's a world not too distant from our own, as if the writers of the Daily Mail was in charge of our government. Suicide kits given out in rations, immigrants taken away and executed, bombs going off, TV's proudly displaying "Britain Soldering On” when it isn't the case – its a nightmare with only Michael Caine's Jasper being short relief from it all. But at the end of it, although the experience has been brutal, with characters being dispatched without mercy, the film is a surprisingly uplifting experience. Because if there's a flicker of hope in this hell, then surely there is in ours. Just remember: don't read the Daily Mail and look for the flying pig.
Film Brain  

94. The Searchers (1956, John Ford) 


I'm still 'searching' for this blurb! Wacka, wacka, wacka! Oh, suit yourselves you miserable lot...  

93. The Apartment (1960, Billy Wilder)


Blurb required!

92. Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983, Richard Marquand)


Forget the Ewoks. Forget Jedi Rocks. Forget the fact the first act is bit sluggish. These are minor hitches in a fitting conclusion to the Star Wars trilogy. One must remember that the film must be judged on how it resolves the series and on that count, Jedi more than succeeds. I've felt that part of the reason why Jedi is seen as being weak is due to the fact it comes after the mighty cliffhanger of Empire. Add 2 years of wait, and of course the film's not going to match those anticipations, no film can. But damn, does Jedi try so damn hard. It answers those important questions that lingered after said cliffhanger. The final confrontation between father and son is epic and filled with pathos. Not to mention the fact that Ian McDiarmid's Palpatine steals the show as well. And other characters are not short-changed either, with each receiving a fitting sendoff. Just for goodness sake,watch the original version.
Film Brain    

91. The Lion King (1994, Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff)


Can't be King of the jungle without a blurb! Anyone care to help?

90. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977, Steven Spielberg)


Close? A blurb is still a country funking mile off!!

89. Brazil (1985, Terry Gilliam)


Terry Gilliam is one of the best living directors around, and Brazil is his masterpiece. However, the reasons why I love this film can be the reasons why others may detest it. It is not exactly original plotwise, especially it's 1984 dystopian plot, but that doesn't mean it is not unique. Visually it's Gilliam's best work. The surreal duct-filled, blocky retro futuristic world that almost imprisons and limits the individual in it is very well done, a future which is almost unseen nowhere else (not even Blade Runner). And even better when contrasted with the fantasy dream sequences, where man's capabilities seem limitless, but are slowly being killed by the reality around him. The line between his dreams and reality is blurring, which will lead to the unforgettable finale. The mood is helped by the soundtrack by Micheal Kamen, who composed a score out of variations of the song "Aquarelle De Brazil (hence the name of the film), giving the film its unique melancholic mood. The plot is filled with interesting sub-plots, which just add meaning to this satire of our modern society. The story is filled with hilarious moments, and also dark, macabre, disturbing even tragic moments. What is amazing is how it all gels together masterfully, no scene seeming out of place, possibly because all these scenes are united by the surrealism on show. The main plot, is simple, it is the subtext behind them that makes it work so well. Brazil also features a great, colorful, characters, and some outstanding work by Jonathan Price and Micheal Palin, and performances by Robert De Niro, Bob Hoskins, and Ian Holm. At why is this film so great? Just like Dr. Strangelove and The Great Dictator, this is a film that shows how comedy can tackle serious issues.

88. The Departed (2006,
Martin Scorsese)  


Remakes are often treated with fear and suspicion, and rightly so. For every The Fly, we get a Psycho and Charade. But every so often, we are reminded why a remake can be a good thing after all. Infernal Affairs takes a flight to Boston, and brings some of Hollywood's most talented actors for the ride. Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg are just a few of the stars and each are perfectly cast, particluarly Wahlberg, whose foul-mouthed cop earned him a rightly deserved Oscar nomination. In many ways, the film serves as a closing chapter in Scorsese's crime saga, with everything from Goodfellas to Taxi Driver echoing through the film and perhaps it's appropriate that Scorsese's win came because of this film: a way of celebrating a body of work as a whole. The film is the work of a master director, particularly the last scenes, with expertly timed moments that will make an audience gasp with shock. And that is the sign of great direction: playing the audience along without them ever realising it.Film Brain

87. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975, Terry Gilliam & Terry Jones)


Sketch show comedians rarely transfer well to the big screen. Magicians wasn't great. For every Animal House SNL alumni produced 20 clunkers. Even the greatest flopped in That Riviera Touch. But the Monty Python team made 2 comedy classics that remain in many top 10 lists today.

After And Now For Something Completely Different flopped the Pythons made this last gasp attempt at film. Based more than a little loosely on the Grail romances, popular in the Middle Ages, it was filmed on a very small budget (hence coconuts not horses and the plain titles) to a very tight timescale (not helped by bad weather and breaking equipment) on a fairly calamitous shoot. The non-directing (sober) Pythons were worried about a concentration on visuals, not humour (and in Palin's case being stuck on his knees eating mud for days on end, and in Cleese's been left precariously on tall windy peaks). But somehow it all came together, necessity never being more obviously the mother of invention (thus the Swedish subtitles. And the mooses (?). And the llamas).

The film is very close to their TV roots – both visually (it look more like the show than the later Life of Brian) and it is not a million miles from a series of sketches with a reasonably coherent narrative built round (and, unusually for Python, women playing women). Hence we do get the Knights of the Round Table on their different quests (although I don't recall Lancelot slaughtering that particular wedding party), and the (remarkably stubborn) Black Knight. But we also get detailed discussions on varieties of swallow. And various flying cows. And stroppy Frenchmen. And, of course, a particularly homicidal bunny.

Full of quotable lines, memorable scenes (my favourite – "help! I'm being repressed!”) and still funnier than most films made since, it has also generated a hugely popular (and really not bad) musical and is a worthy entry into the Top 100 Films.

86. Halloween (1978, John Carpenter)


I hope I'm not going to be waiting till Halloween for this blurb!!

85. Paris, Texas (1984, Wim Wenders)


Blurb needed!

84. Rocky (1976, John G. Avildsen)  


Once upon a time, there was a time when Stallone was truly considered the next Brando, the next De Niro. Today, such a claim may sound ludicrous, but it wasn't at the time of Rocky's first release, where the trailers proudly promoted this fact. Because, before John Rambo, before a series of clunkers nearly torched his career several times, there as Rocky Balboa. The original is the best, and mostly because Rocky was a normal person, an underdog, rather than a superhero fighting a Soviet steroid-machine whilst wearing the American flag like a cape. Although the sequels themselves are fun, they (for the most part) miss the point by looking at the fights rather than the characters. Really, Rocky fights two battles: one in the ring with Apollo, and the one for his heart for Adrian (AAADDDDRRIIIIIIAAAAANNN!!!!). The film places its main attention on Adrian and Rocky's romance, the actual fight being a MacGuffin albeit a great one. And that is why we cheer Rocky on: we want him to win in both battles. The ending is suitably bittersweet, with Rocky winning on an emotional level, which is why the film is so adored by audiences and myself.
Film Brain    

83. Lost in Translation (2003, Sophia Coppola)


The fact that this bittersweet tale of two lost souls looking for meaning to their lives in the bustling metropolis of Tokyo emerged in the midst of a time when formula and hype prevailed is, oddly, the least of its achievements. Only the second feature from director Sophia Coppola, the real achievement which makes this sweet, sad, romantic,  funny and witty, is the fact that it can balance all these elements in its heartbreaking story. Following two lost souls in a Tokyo hotel, Bob (Bill Murray) is an aging movie star resigned to filming whiskey commercials with a tux and sardonic smile ("For relaxing times, make it Santori Time”), doing something he hates for the money, and hating himself for it. Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) is a young wife following her photographer husband to assignments in Japan, but left behind in her hotel room, where she encounters her own loneliness and emotional crises. Calling a friend, she confesses in tears that she visited an ancient shrine and "I didn't feel anything” and "I don't know who I married”. 

By a chance encounter, these two people meet at the bar of their hotel, and begin to find just a little something when they strike up a conversation. Bob, in his 50's, and Charlotte, in her early-20's, present the chance for the formulaic unconventional romance, but instead find in each other the chance to escape their own lives, with Bob suggesting the chance for a jailbreak that Charlotte can't refuse. From there they take in karaoke bars, where Bob serenades a purple-wigged Charlotte, parties which descend into a BB gun shootout, and the arcades where Bob surveys the Japanese teens with both puzzlement and a wry smile. Together they make the alien city just a little less alien, always reconvening at the hotel bar.

Not just a film of searching for a place in the world for Bob and Charlotte, though, what makes it great is how it balances this aspect with laugh-out-loud comedy. Bill Murray, in his best performance to date, never overplays these. Instead, with a world-weariness befitting his character, scenarios like struggling through a Japanese talk show with its zany host, enduring an agonising attempt at a Roger Moore impersonation filming his commercial, or passing the time with a patient at the hospital whilst waiting for Charlotte are filled with warmth and understated humour. Any attempt at pigeon-holing this film as a matter of the head and not the heart is quickly dispelled by Bob simply getting stuck on the gym equipment. 

Not leaving the dramatic crises to Bob and Charlotte, the film itself thrusts its characters into turbulences and dramas, making them discover something that they could have lost. Something beyond Bob's wife, constantly calling with carpet samples from seemingly farther away than the already-thousands of miles. Something beyond Charlotte's husband, star struck that a B-movie actress knows his name. It's here where the film keeps its heart, and lets the couple discover just what they were looking for all along. As they part for the last time, Bob whispers something to Charlotte, something we are not allowed to hear – an imparting of wisdom from a worldly-wise to one trying to find her feet? A final goodbye? A promise? Whatever it is – it's between them. As it had been they whole time.
Larry of Arabia

82. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968, Sergio Leone)


Blurb being prepared by richCie. Should be with us shortly!

81. American Beauty (1999, Sam Mendes)


Sam Mendes Oscar-winning debut achieves tragic subtlety and brilliant black comedy in a drama that could've been pretentious and overly sarcastic. With big help from cinematographer Conrad L. Hall American Beauty shows insight, sadness and invigoration through some excellent visuals, particularly the 'floating bag' shots (on Dv) and the opening introductory and ending shots of Lester (Kevin Spacey) and his family. Kudos also to Kevin Spacey, low-key and understated, as 40 something ad man Lester Burnham, rebelling against a mid-life crisis and his family's interminable disdain for him. "I feel like I've been in a coma for about 20 years and am only now starting to wake up", he muses. Lesters re-awakening, propelled by his attraction to his teenage daughters best friend, sees him do things he would've been too cautious about before; like quitting his job, smoking pot, working out and engaging in a couple of verbal stand-offs with his status-seeking wife "Its just a couch!" Its certainly not a one-man show, Annette Bening is funny and sensitive as Lesters false and angry wife Carolyn, and Thora Birch does well to convey frustration, confusion and hope as Lesters Daughter. The film also reaches out to make supporting characters as relevant and magnetic as the leads; Lesters young next door neighbour Ricky Fitz is in some ways the centre of the movie, dark and vulnerable but able to progress beyond the social structure which has imprisoned Lester for so long. Add Thomas Newmans dreamy, unforgettable score and wherever you live you've got a powerful, bewildering movie which is either one of the last masterpieces of the 90's or one of the first of the millennium.

80. The Princess Bride (1987, Rob Reiner)


"There's a shortage of perfect breasts in this world. T'would be a pity to damage yours.”

I figured the mention of breasts would be enough to get most people's attention, so keep reading. Princess Buttercup (Robin Wright Penn) has the finest breasts in all of Florin, so perfect in fact that her farm boy Westley (Cary Elwes) is utterly devoted to her but has no money to marry her so goes off to seek his fortune. Word returns to our heroine that Westley's ship was attacked by the Dread Pirate Roberts (who never takes prisoners) and our lovelorn Buttercup vows that she will never love again. Five years after Westley's death, Buttercup finds herself engaged to Prince Humperdinck, albeit very reluctantly. So far it's your basic love story, but The Princess Bride is so much more than that.

What happens then is nothing short of an adventure. Buttercup is kidnapped the day before her wedding by a strange trio (Wallace Shawn, Mandy Patinkin and Andre the Giant) only for them to be followed by a mysterious man in black wearing a mask. Rob Reiner's 1987 classic isn't your basic, average, everyday, run-of-the-mill, ho-hum fairy tale. We have heroes, giants, evil princes, counts with six fingers on their left hand, shrieking eels, impressive clergymen, albino torturers, pirates (gotta love a pirate, right?) swordmasters, rodents of unusual size, fire swamps, miracles and genius Sicilians. Who ever said true love was easy?

What The Princess Bride is, is perfect Sunday afternoon viewing. It's the perfect family film. It's one you can sit and enjoy with your mum and dad, it's one that the kids will love. It has everything; amazingly choreographed sword scenes that Errol Flynn would be proud to have been part of, (in fact Bob Anderson choreographed the clifftop sword-fight scene which echoes many classic adventure films of the golden years of cinema), a wonderful, touching relationship between grandfather (Peter Falk) and grandson (Fred Savage), death, resurrection, and some of the best comedy dialogue ever to have graced the screen. Cameos by Carol Kane, Peter Cook, Mel Smith and Billy Crystal only cement The Princess Bride as one of best films to come out of the 1980s.

So why does it deserve a place in the Hall of Fame? Well, anyone who has seen this film immediately falls in love with it. It's inconceivable not to! The AFI granted The Princess Bride a spot in the 100 top love films ever, but make no mistake, this isn't a "kissing story”, it's true love and if films can teach us anything, then this one teaches us that true love never dies. Why should it be here? Because unless you have six fingers on your left hand then you have a soul and if you have a soul then you will know that "as you wish” means so much more than it would seem and The Princess Bride doesn't just deserve a place in the Hall of Fame. It deserves its own wing.

clownfoot -> RE: The Forums Top 100 Favourite Films 2008! (4/4/2008 12:45:36 AM)

79. Grosse Pointe Blank (1997, George Armitage)


The best films out there are the ones that don't quit break the box office or excite the public straight away, they fritter away until you spot them on DVD or FIVE and then suddenly there's a national treasure. George Armitage's fantastically dark comedy Grosse Pointe Blank is one of those movies. Opening with a respectable sum but hardly making a dent till some years after despite a warm place in many hearts, this offbeat and darkly funny comedy blends action and romance with wit and classic 80's music to great effect. John Cusack is terrifically deadpan as the lead turning in maybe his coolest and finest performance, with sterling support from Minnie Driver and his own sister Joan Cusack, as well as a career-best turn from Dan Aykroyd as the villain of the piece. With a superb soundtrack that subtly makes some of the best sequences stand out more (Live and Let Die, 99 Red Balloons, and Mirror in the Bathroom to name a few), as well as great twist on the genre of 'Hitman making a change in his life'. There are many great action comedies that blend laughs with action so seamlessly, but GPB remains one of the best, because rather than having outrageous belly laughs it settles for dark chuckles, zingy one liners as well as clever musical moments. Whereas films like Southland Tales are definitely either loved or hated for obvious reason, there is no reason why anyone can deny the brilliance of Grosse Pointe Blank, if not they've drawn up a blank for sure.
DJ Rob C: Mark II!    

78. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927,
F.W. Murnau) 


Does this film feature chainsaws and flying eyeballs? If someone writes a blurb, I may become a little more enlightened.

77. The Third Man (1949, Carol Reed)


Sir Carol Reed's undeniable masterpiece comes in the form of 1949's The Third Man. His brilliant noir boast a three-pronged attack of genius; excellent acting, a superb script, and most of all a perfect display of masterful direction. At the centre of the crime thriller is the story of Orson Welles' Harry Lime, who invites his friend Holly Martins (Joseph Cotton) to come to Austria and work for him. However, when Martins arrives, Lime is already dead. What follows is a story of betrayal and intrigue, centring around the mystery of who The Third Man actually is.

Although Cotton puts in a performance that rivals his masterful turn in Citizen Kane, portraying Martins with a sense of bemusement and humanity, full acting honours here go to Welles himself. In his brief fifteen minutes on screen, Orson runs away with the entire picture. From his impish grin during the reveal to Holly to his humourus delivery in the legendary cuckoo clock scene, Welles has all of the best lines and delivers all of the best moments.

But what the Third Man does best is the memorable set pieces that it delivers. The most iconic is Lime's reveal, which rivals that of the Phantom in Chaney's 1925 masterpiece, but perhaps the best is the final scene. As Holly awaits Anna (Valli, in her first acting role), she simply walks towards and then past him, in a scene that takes 2 painful minutes to pass. It was given a clear homage in 2006's The Departed (but much shorter, perhaps today's audience's have a shorter attention span), but it wasn't bettered. It's heartbreaking. 

76. Titanic (1997, James Cameron)


Has any film suffered more of a backlash than Titanic? Seemingly universally loved upon release, it now seems to be commonplace for it to be slated as a curio of the 90s where we all went daft for a bit. Rewatching it, however, shows that this isn't just a "good” film - it's a masterpiece; cinema in it's best form.

If you think about it, it's no wonder Titanic had such a wide appeal, since it caters for everyone. The genuinely touching romance between Rose and Jack brought in the teenage girls time and time again [and not just because they fancied Leo], the period drama setting appealed to the older audience, while the superlative sinking sequence is good enough to thrill even the most jaded action movie fan. DiCaprio and Winslet make for a wonderful central couple who we can't help caring for, with sterling support from the likes of Kathy Bates, Bernard Hill and the underrated Victor Garber, the score [with or without Celine] is memorable and emotional without being mawkish, while the effects still remain magnificent over a decade on - the power of the final hour hasn't diminshed one iota.

More than anything else, though, this is Cameron's triumph. Expertly crafting memorable characters and scenes while juggling a $200m budget, he created a three-hour romantic epic without a single redundant scene, which simultaneously tugs at the heartstrings while keeping you on the edge of the seat throughout. Some may sneer at the overblown emotion of it all, but isn't that what cinema is all about? Taking you to places far removed from everyday reality? Away from the hype, Titanic stands up not just as Cameron's career high-point, but as one of the greatest films ever made.

75. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, Stanley Kubrick)


Arthur C Clarke once said that "if you understood 2001: A Space Odyssey the first time you watched it, you didn't understand it.” This statement was later opposed by Stanley Kubrick himself, but that remains as one of the most poignant – and truthful – of statements surrounding Kubrick's alleged masterpiece. It's very hard to pin-point, on your first watch, what the hell has just happened and – most importantly – whether or not it was brilliant. Of course, as you watch again and pick up more and more, you realise that it most definitely is brilliant.

You can surround the "story” with many different theories, none of which have been agreed with or condemned by the director. Is it about resources? Food? Religion? Faith? Who knows, but you can't argue with the theme of humanity that's at the core of the picture.

Everything – whether we're talking about apes, machines or babies – is grounded in the human psyche. The first of the four segments – the legendary men in ape suits segment – is really just several vignettes centred around the theme of humanity. The apes, which are after all just under-developed people, showcase lust, violent tendencies, defensiveness, segregation, and most intriguingly curiosity. What follows for the next two hours will be disputed forever… what was the deal with HAL and why did he screw up? Why could that man see himself as a pensioner? And what the hell was that giant baby? No matter what your theories are, there's no denying the intrigue, fascination, brilliance and pure genius that 2001 exudes in bucket-loads.

74. City Lights (1931, Charles Chaplin)


City Lights is a timeless tale of love between two lonely souls in the big, uncaring city. The Tramp falls in love with a blind flower girl and determines to get the money to fund an operation for her eyes. Along the way Chaplin saves a suicidal millionaire and befriends him (but only when the fat cat is completely drunk!), benefiting from his money, social stature and car (leading to one of the funniest one liners ever: "Am I driving?”). The Tramp's first encounter with the Blind Girl is visual storytelling at its most brilliant. In just one scene Chaplin has the two characters meet; the Girl believe his is a wealthy man; he discover she is blind and begins his affection for her - all with the most simple (but inventive) use of actions. The story is entirely set-up and with a healthy dose of comedy and tenderness to boot. City Lights has many great comedy set-pieces, including the greatest boxing scene ever filmed, which cannot fail to elicit belly laughs from the audience.  I will highlight just one. Although Chaplin opposed the use of talking in City Lights he did use sound effects and this following scene in particular showcases comic genius using sound on par with Chaplin's visual gags. Having accidentally swallowed a whistle at a high society party, Charlie gets the hiccups and every time he hiccups he emotes a whistle. After constantly interrupting a would be singer Charlie moves outside where he unwittingly heralds a cab and attracts the attention of canine company. This scene is two minutes of comic perfection! A final note on the famous ending: Perfect. The Blind Girl's face as she realises: Perfect. The Tramp's overwhelming joy: Perfect.  It seems like the suitable end for this film.

73. Ikiru (1952, Akira Kurosawa)


To attempt to sum up Ikiru in so few words is to do it a disservice. But whatever.

Directed by Akira Kurosawa, Ikiru is, as you'd expect, a masterpiece. Meticulously constructed, with a well-judged central performance, Ikiru somehow manages to be more than the already considerable sum of it's parts.

At a glance, Ikiru is completely at odds with the Kurosawa canon, it's not an adaptation, an epic, or even a detective story. Instead, it is a simple and moving story of the last months in the life of a doomed man, Watanabbe, public official, who decides to give a meaning to his life by transcending the obstructive and stiff methodology of obtuse government bureaucracy to get a public children's park built. Kurosawa interjects the tale with frequent humour, life and, most importantly, heart. Alas, Ikiru's genius does not rest squarely with Kurosawa. Shimura gives his character a transparently good heart and such great pain that every second of Watanabe's plight and struggle tugs at your heart, but the film manages to avoid wallowing in a gulf of sentimentality. But Ikiru's true strength lies not with it's ability to make you sympathise, for you do not pity Watanabbe, instead, you envy for his beautiful human dignity in the end, and for a film to have such power is beyond pure accomplishment.
Manchurian Candidate

72. North By Northwest (1959, Alfred Hitchcock) 


Why is North by Northwest the quintessential Hitchcock film? Because it's the film with every single one of his trademarks in it. Consider-ordinary guy forced into extraordinary circumstances after he witnesses a murder early on, government as a secretive agency with some good people in it, hero wryly quipping at inappropriate points, the blonde bombshell, TWO MacGuffins and at least one image (The crop-duster) that everybody knows about, even if they have no idea who Hitchcock is.

But this is also Hitch's most accessible flick-one that doesn't quite feel as dated as others (Try watching Psycho and there are some bits that take you right out of the action-which doesn't happen in North by Northwest). Hence, this is one hell of a grandiose My First Hitchcock Film.  
It also shows The Master's light touch and dry sense of humour better than any of Hitchcock's canon. Example-Roger O. Thornhill is in an elevator with his mother and two evil goons. Many other films would take this seriously and cause suspense throughout the entire sequence. But Hitch has the mother says "You're not really trying to kill my son, are you?” Genius.

It's things like that that make every scene an utter classic. Yes, every scene. From the drunken drive home to the auction, every scene has a line of dialogue, great piece of acting or something that makes it stand above most great scenes in any other film. Even if the bit everyone remembers is the bit with the crop duster…
Rebel scum    

71. Some Like it Hot (1959, Bill Wilder)


Billy Wilder's Some Like It Hot is one of those few films that's genuinely flawless. Brilliant direction, sharp script and wonderful performances from the whole cast result in a film that is a pure joy to watch: a real feel-good movie. Everyone remembers THAT last line, expertly delivered by Joe E Brown's Osgood, but there is so much more to enjoy. 

Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis star as Jerry and Joe, two struggling musicians who have to escape Chicago after witnessing the 1929 St Valentine's Day Massacre. To do this, they are forced to don dresses and pose as 'Daphne' and 'Josephine' to join an all-female band heading for Florida by train. This is where the gorgeous Marilyn Monroe appears as Sugar Kane. Despite her many off-camera problems (famously needing 83 takes for one line), Monroe comes across great on screen, in what is probably her finest performance.

Lemmon and Curtis are excellent as women (the latter looking more the part), as they struggle with maintaining their disguises while both falling for Sugar. Daphne finds himself fending off (at first) the advances of rich admirer Osgood, while Curtis hilariously adopts another alter-ego as a Cary Grant inspired millionaire in order to woo Sugar. The madcap ending is inspired as the mob and the police descend on Florida and the heroes try to elude both. All in all, a wonderfully played comedy/farce that puts a smile on your face from start to finish.

70. Dr Strangelove (1962, Stanley Kubrick)


In 1964, with the threat of nuclear war looming over the entire world, Stanley Kubrick spun the whole issue on its head by creating the greatest ever comment on Cold War insanity, but also one of the funniest films ever made. Taking Peter George's novel, "Two Hours Till Doom," a deadly serious tale of an unauthorized attack on the Soviet Union, Kubrick originally intended to play the story straight, but changed to full-on black comedy. And you can thank your precious bodily fluids he did, for this is one of the darkest, most merciless comedies ever made.

The film runs in three concurrent strands, with the magnificent Peter Sellers playing three of the finest portrayals of military insanity. The first strand is set in a U.S military base, with crazed General Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden) believing that the Communists are invading, and so orders a wing of B-52 bombers to bombard the Soviets and spark nuclear war. Only a British officer (Sellers) has any chance of stopping him...

The second is on board one of the bombers, piloted by a hilarious Texan called Major T.J Kong (also look out for a young James Earl Jones) and in the third the U.S President (Sellers) is desperately trying to solve the problem. The film revolves around these three scenes, with each action in one directly involving the other two. There are more memorable scenes than you can imagine, including the appearance of the title character (Sellers, again), a mad ex-Nazi scientist; the President's phone call to the Soviet leader, probably the funniest monologue of movie history; and of course the tragi-comic, unforgettable ending. It is breathtaking to watch and despite the excellence of the acting, it is indeed Kubrick's genius that makes this film tick.
R.J. MacReady    

"Stanley's Sick Joke” read the newspaper's just days after Kubrick's Doctor Strangelove was released. Such an uproar was made of the fact that the masterful director was poking fun at such a serious subject that they forgot to realise that the joke, although make a little sick and poorly timed, it was a very funny one.

The USA have accidentally launched enough nuclear bombs to destroy Russia towards the country, but little do they know that their bombs will trigger the Soviet Union's doomsday device, which will destroy the entire planet. Sellers' Dr Strangelove says it best, when he comments "a Doomsday Device is pointless if you keep a secret!”, because the Russian ambassador informs that this measure was set up as a deterrent for nuclear attacks on the USSR. The hunt is on for the three letter recall code, possessed only by Sterling Hayden's general who launched the attack, and as he continues to rant against the commies for their "fluoridation of the water supply” and "theft of his essential fluids”, hope begins to get slimmer and slimmer.

Steven Spielberg comments that "there's problems with the performances, there's problems with the writing, but the direction is perfect.” Well, Spielberg may be one of the best directors in commercial Hollywood, but he is wrong. Because the direction, the performances and the writing are all perfect. This will be hard to beat as the epitome of satires. 

69. Forrest Gump (1994, 1985, Robert Zemeckis)


How the hell did this wanky film make the list? If you have something more positive to say, why not write a blurb, now!

68. Schindler's List (1993, Steven Spielberg)


When Steven Spielberg announced his decision to film a black and white adaptation of real-life holocaust drama Schindler's Ark it should be remembered that most people in the industry were expecting a disaster. After all, Spielberg was best known for his mainstream blockbusters and perennially optimistic attitude. Liam Neeson was a low-profile actor who had starred in an ever-increasing list of duds. Ralph Fiennes was a complete unknown. Ben Kingsley was the only recognisable name on the project and his popularity had been on the wane since Gandhi. Black and white was a convention of the art houses not the multiplexes. People often accuse Schindler's List of being obvious Oscar bait but they forget how much was going against the film and how little was expected of it.

The movie itself is wonderfully shot using mainly handheld cameras to give it a more documentary appearance. It marked the beginning of Spielberg's productive collaboration with cinematographer Janusz Kaminski and Schindler's List remains arguably their most beautiful film. The acting is simply flawless, which is all the more remarkable given that the majority of the cast were unknown. The three lead men give career best performances, a testament to their own talent as actors and Spielberg's talent as a director of actors. Screenwriting, editing, sound and music are all out of the top drawer, leading to one of the best-made films of the 1990's.

Where others would have been bogged down by intellectual navel-gazing it is Spielberg's ability to emotionally connect the audience with the story and the characters that makes Schindler's List so special. This may not go down too well with the intellectual navel-gazers of this world but not even they can deny the artistic and cultural importance of this powerful film.

67. Citizen Kane (1941, Orson Welles)  


It is generally considered amongst film-buffs that Kane is the greatest film ever made, a technical wonder and the film most worthy of study. But to watch Kane today is not to be confronted by an antique, a dusty old film that would serve better being kept under a microscope under examination by  students, but to witness a young genius throwing all his cards into one pile and coming up trumps; a breathless, essential work of a maverick that wows today as much as it must have done 60 years ago.

Apparently no man's life can be summed up in one word, but Welles does not try, rather offering a fascinating study of myriad perspectives on semi-fictional media baron Charles Foster Kane's life, hoping to find some sense of the man by the end. The story of Kane is timeless, tales of power gained and power lost through egotism, regret and failure can be found anywhere but what makes Kane so special a film is Welles refusal to take any one view of his life as definitive and in the ingenious way the viewer must piece together the snippets of Kane we observe from various viewpoints to put together a jigsaw with pieces that don't look like they fit. Alternatively we Kane as a mischievous young rebel, then his most flawed side, steeped in bitterness and self-loathing, and from his wife, a tender man who was consumed by the need for people to love him so much so that he drove everyone away. In these ways, Welles not only makes Kane sympathetic but one of the most complex and haunted characters put on film.

Technically the film is astounding, but in a way that reflects and enhances the narrative. There have rarely been such vivid evocations of loneliness and power gone mad as the baroque palace of Xanadu or of childhood warmth amongst snow and sleds in the flashback scenes. Through its narrative, Welles achieved the miracle of 'filling a two pint glass with three pints of water', by flicking back and forth through time, making connections and summing up whole stretches of time in one pithy comment or scene. I haven't even had much space to talk about Welles towering performance in which he utterly convinces as young genius and as crumpled old man, applauding alone or tearing up his room in a desperate whirlpool of self-loathing, let alone Gregg Toland's extraordinary expressionist deep-photography that earned him a co-author credit and which dramatises the inside of Kane's head, fading into shadow at the edges.

Kane may be an obvious choice to pick, but if you can still be amused and pulled in by the warmth and wit of the script, if you can still marvel at its daring to be something different and at its technical brilliance, if you can still be moved by Welles' sublime portrait of power, loss and death and still gasp as 'rosebud' is revealed only to raise a smile at the slyness of his execution, then I hope you will find Kane deserving of every accolade that has been throw at its feet and add a new one into the bargain as well.

66. Predator (1988, John McTiernan)


Blurb being prepared by Daniel Kelly. Will be here soonish!

65. The Terminator (1984, James Cameron)


If we could go back in time to 1984 and tell them that a low-budget flick from the director of Piranha 2 starring the guy from Conan The Barbarian would revolutionise the science fiction genre, we'd probably be categorised as loons. Yet that's precisely what happened - and with The Terminator a cinema icon was born, the career of one of the most successful directors of recent times was launched and one of filmdom's most enduring catchphrases came into being. Not bad work, all told.

At heart, Terminator's story is fairly simple - killer cyborg is sent back in time to assassinate the mother of the future leader of a war against machines - but it contains enough possibilities to make you think. For starters, the whole John Connor-Kyle Reese-Sarah Connor triangle is pretty icky when you ponder it. Beyond that, the film gets you thinking about how much effect our actions have on the future to come, or whether our actions would change if we knew what the future was going to hold.

Or you can forget that stuff and simply enjoy the superlative thrills on offer. Some of the early segments are filled with as much suspense as any decent slasher movie, while the later action scenes may not be as flashy as their counterparts in T2, but are no less effective - Arnie's emotionless massacre of a police precinct is as thrilling as anything in the sequel. Crucially, Linda Hamilton makes a heroine who we can root for - an initially terrified woman who finds the resolve within herself to take on a seemingly indestructible foe. And as that foe, Schwarzenegger, so often the hero, reminds us that as a relentless killer, he can be pretty damn effective. As he vowed, he was indeed back, but he was never this good again. tommyjarvis

64. Psycho (1960, Alfred Hitchcock) 


Psycho is, arguably, Hitchcock's best-known film and certainly one of his most profitable. This 'granddaddy of slasher films' was hugely influential on a genre that by and large forgot the lessons he taught – the power of suspense and scenes that can terrify as much while showing little explicit violence.

Hitchcock ascribed 1/3rd of the film's success to Bernard Herrmann's amazing score. An adventurous composer, he had already experimented on previous Hitchcock films but it was the discordant attack on the strings during the shower scene for which he will always be remembered. This and the signature in Jaws, which is clearly influenced by Herrmann, remain 2 of the most memorable pieces of music in cinema.

Screenwriter Stefano of Robert Bloch's book easily met the novels aspirations of considering the impact of the serial killer, rather than just the specifics of killer Ed Gein's case with the key change making Bates, as played by Anthony Perkins, a sympathetic character – a career-making role he never managed to shake off.

Hitchcock extended his audience manipulation to a promotion campaign that would make JJ Abrahms proud. The extended trailer took the viewers round the hotel finishing in the shower. A very big deal was made out of the request not to reveal the ending. People were banned from entering the cinema after the film started and stories of people leaving the auditorium terrified were legion.

The film itself is simply one of the best horrors ever made. Hitchcock skilfully teases moments out to the proverbial breaking point. Whether the decision to use black and white was taken on cost grounds or to try and minimise the gore (and help with the censor), it was the right one. And it made little difference - the iconic shower scene (which took nearly a week to produce 45sec of footage with a highly skilled piece of editing) is so powerful contemporary viewers swore they saw the red blood (in a B&W film).

63. Mulholland Drive (2001, David Lynch)


Blurb being prepared by Deviation.

62. Serenity (2005, Joss Whedon)


"I am a leaf on the wind, watch how I sore”

It is a brave man who resurrects a doomed TV show into a blockbuster movie but that is exactly what Joss Whedon attempted by taking Firefly and turning into Serenity. And whilst Serenity did not prove to be the commercial success it had hoped to be it is undoubtedly one of the finest Sci-Fi films of recent years. For me immediate comparisons to Star Wars (which was just completing it's revival at the same time) were made, whereas the Star Wars prequels were plagued by wooden acting and poor scripts; and ultimately effects driven, Serenity was an all-round well-crafted movie. Featuring some terrific performances (Nathan Fillion for one), fantastic, and often hilarious, scripting and a far more engaging plot Serenity was quite an accomplishment. The visuals, as they should be for any Sci-Fi film, were absolutely tremendous; from the almost blinding environments of Miranda, to the absolutely breathtakingly tense space battle, Serenity is a feast for the eyes. Whilst this film is primarily out to entertain, it still manages to be surprisingly deep with an engaging look at the sins of a utilitarian empire. Whilst you will find yourselves respecting the ethics of the Alliance you cannot help but root for the heroes of Serenity. And while you're at why not support the fight for a continued resurrection of this (surely) excellent franchise? This is a fresh, original and more adult Sci-Fi film than you are likely to find elsewhere and as such it will remain a brilliant, accomplished and magnificent film. Seek it out.

61. Toy Story (1995, John Lasseter)


For me Toy Story is the ultimate Disney film for so many different reasons. For starters it was fresh and innovative. At the time of its release, Disney films were at risk of becoming stale but in working with Pixar, Toy Story was brought Disney breath of fresh air. Although this style of animation is now the norm, at the time, this was incredible, and offered movie-goers a whole new type of Disney movie. Toy Story is quite simply a movie that I defy anyone not to love. It's enough of a cartoon for the kids to love it, but the characters are so brilliant and the jokes genuinely funny that grown-ups will love it too. "More powerful than all the Power Rangers combined, "Toy Story" flies higher than anything starring Aladdin or Batman and is at least as far-out as "E.T." In fact, to find a movie worthy of comparison you have to reach all the way back to 1939, when the world went gaga over Oz.” Every single thing about this is glorious, from its perfect main characters to its loveable smaller ones. Mr Potato Head and Slink along with Bo Peep and Andy combined make this a movie you'll never forget. The bad-guy is genuinely terrifying and the ending iconic. "There's a giddy, absurd charm to the story, in which the strange setting only enhances the comfortable familiarity of the narrative and characters.” Basically Toy Story is  a movie I can relate to, I can laugh to, I can be annoyed at, I can take my little cousin to see and most importantly it's a movie I can't watch without a great big smile. Surely that's the aim of a Disney animation?  Surely Toy Story fulfils this more than any other?

60. Raging Bull (1980, Martin Scorsese)


Definition of irony: The producers of Raging Bull are the same boys who produced Rocky four years earlier. If anyone of you are unfamiliar with Scorsese's classic, this may be the time to shake your heads and yell "huh?" at the screen. For anyone who has actually seen this masterpiece (and it should[/] be all of you), the joke is apparent from the get-go. Raging Bull is a movie that dares to portray an anti-Rocky, a trophy-hungry fighter who actually wins the champion belt, only to pawn it years later when his pockets (and life) reaches rock bottom. It is a testament to Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro (and anyone else involved, for that matter) that a depiction of such a despicable man can be so interesting, so good, so enthralling. I could go on forever. I could watch Raging Bull forever. You should too. 

clownfoot -> RE: The Forums Top 100 Favourite Films 2008! (4/4/2008 1:03:45 AM)

59. City Of God (2002, Fernando Meirelles)  


Upon it's release, critics fell over themselves to compare City of God with other movies "The Brazilian GoodFellas\Resevoir Dogs!" screamed every poster on the tube. But, whilst Fernando Merielle's movie deserves the comparison, it is in itself an entirely different beast.
  What makes City of God special is not so much it's flashy camera technique - although that helps - it's the way the characters are handled which puts them well beyond the cliché's they might otherwise have fallen into. Rocket isn't trying to escape the life Bruce Springsteen style; he's just getting on with things. In one of the movie's best scenes, he sets out with the intent of committing crime only to end up liking the people he planned to rob and so not following through. Ze, on the other hand, could have been very easy to portray as a bog-standard crime monster. However, at crucial moments the film gives him flashes of humanity, not least in his friendship with Benny (Phellipe Haagensen) , the "coolest hood in the City of God". When Ze discovers Benny is leaving, you can see the last moments of humanity die in his eyes. It's an extremely powerful moment.

The film is one of those with several "best bit" contenders, from the opening "chicken chase" sequence (brilliant because of the way the film suddenly moves from comic chase to tense potential bloodbath), to the scene where Ze punishes The Runts (a gang of children) by taking the smallest one and asking him to decide whether he would like to be shot in the hand or the foot, to the scene on the beach which perfectly contrasts the beach's beauty with the run down look of the favelas. But for me the best scene has to be Benny's farewell party, in which a bungled assassination on Ze's life is played out entirely illuminated by strobe lighting. It's also the strongest moment for Ze's character. He tries to get a girl to dance, and when she turns him down he violently attacks her boyfriend - it's the only way he knows of getting what he wants.
Filmed in a real favela for added impact, Merielle's film will hold up for years to come. It's a story of a little discussed part of the world, with outstanding performances from it's unknown cast (many of whom were picked for real from the City of God) and is a tense and extremely compelling story. Essential viewing.

Bulletproof Monk    

58. Ghostbusters (1984, Ivan Reitman)


It may be over 20 years old, but the humour and warmth in Ghostbusters make it a classic film that is still winning fans to this day. From the days when blockbusters were well written, it was the brainchild of Dan Ackroyd (Ray), who wrote the screenplay along with Harold Ramis (Egon).

From page to screen in just under a year for a then-staggering $30 million, it's a combination of amazing special effects (for an early 80's film), great laughs, a punchy script, and quality casting. After Alien, Sigourney Weaver wanted to make a comedy, and ended up as the sexy client whose apartment is the gateway to the end of the world (naturally). Can you imagine anyone as Dr Peter Venkman apart from Bill Murray? The role was originally written for John Belushi, who died before the film started shooting. Murray's acerbic one-liners are a highlight of the film, as anyone who has ever uttered the words "Back off man, I'm a scientist" will testify.

Most of the special effects hold up surprisingly well. There are a few exceptions, but the first full shot of the Stay-Puft marshmallow man still thrills to this day. And - that ultimate tribute to family film success - the film was re-enacted in playgrounds around the world for a sizeable chunk of the 80s.  I've lost count of how many times I've seen this film - well into treble figures, I would imagine - but Ghostbusters is one of those films you can grow up with, and watch over and over again. Actually, I think I'll go and put it on now.


57. Saving Private Ryan (1999,
Steven Spielberg)

If ever a case was required to be made in favour of the need for cinemas, you could do a lot worse than build it around Saving Private Ryan. Regardless of how big or expensive your home display is, it will never be able to replicate the shell-shocking power Saving Private Ryan has on the big screen. A truly visceral experience, the film engulfs the viewer into the war experience with unrivalled verisimilitude. The grainy, faded picture feels like a document of the past. Spielberg's camera glides along the battlefield with the spontaneity of a documentarian. The sound is a cacophony of bullets whizzing past, mortars exploding in the distance, wounded and dying soldiers screaming for dear life. Going far beyond a "War is Hell” lesson, Spielberg weaves a finely observed look at the psychology of ordinary men in war. Tom Hanks and Jeremy Davies  deliver rich, multi-faceted performances of long lasting power, while John Williams' beautiful lament and celebration, Hymn to the Fallen, may well be the best thing he's ever done.


56. Fargo (1996, Joel and Ethan Coen)


"The heck do ya mean?”  A highlight of the mid-90s indie movement, The Coens do what many films try and fail on a regular basis – create a crime thriller that's just as good at being a comedy. From William H Macy's Jerry Lundegaard to Steve Buscemi's bungling Carl Showather, practically every character is a ridiculous caricature – and Fargo works far better than it really should. Similar in tone to the brothers' Texas-set Blood Simple, Fargo juggles scenes of genuine darkness (Gaer's brutal cop killing) with pitch black, laugh-out-loud moments (two words – wood chipper). Even the title's a joke –less than five minutes is spent in the town of Fargo, North Dakota. The standout performance is, of course, Frances McDormand's Marge Gunderson, the local chief of police. Very pregnant and very determined to get her man, Marge is the key character of the film, and well deserving of her Oscar. All in all, Fargo is not only one of the Coens' best films, it's also one of the best of the last fifteen years. Yah, you betcha.

55. Apocalypse Now (1979, Francis Ford Coppola)


"The horror…The horror...”   Loosely adapted from Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, and heavily influenced (by the director's admission) by Werner Herzog's classic Aguirre: Wrath of God, Apocalypse Now nonetheless creates an instantly iconic film that is, for me, the quintessential 'Nam flick.   From the dream-like opening scene in Willard's room, to Kurtz's horrific murder, Apocalypse Now is not an easy watch. It isn't a film that gives easy answers, or wraps up neatly at the end. What it is, though, is an epic and powerful journey into darkness, insanity and Wagner. Sure, Brando's overweight and under rehearsed, but this film is the highlight of Martin Sheen's career (apart from Hot Shots! Part Deux, of course), and I can't speak about Apocalypse Now without mentioning Robert Duvall's crazed, delusional Colonel Kilgore.   But despite these (and other great performances from Dennis Hopper, Laurence Fishburne, etc.), Apocalypse Now is Francis Ford Coppola's vision, arguably more so than The Godfather. Much has been made of its hellish shoot - but after the heart attacks, the monsoons, and pretty much anything else that could go wrong, Coppola emerged with a modern American classic, up there with Taxi Driver and Jaws as the best films of the mid '70s.


54. Ran (1985, Akira Kurosawa)


Seven Samurai, Kagemusha, Throne of Blood, and now Ran. With each film I wonder where Kurosawa's weaknesses as a director lay. As it is, his exquisite sensibilities are present and correct here in this adaptation of Shakespeare's finest play, King Lear. The tale of greed and obsession fits 16th century Japan as perfectly as it did the timeless age in which King Lear was set (it was not a contemporaneously set play). Tranposing the three daughters for the more appropriate three sons not only gives a very different dynamic, but also sets up in Lady Kaede the finest female role since Throne of Blood's Lady Asaji Washizu. The tale is familiar: an elderly ruler divides his land between his three sons with the intention of travelling between them and living out his days in this way. Greed, megalomania, and self-centred ambition prevent this ideal from coming to pass, and events quickly descend into a world in which Lord Hidetora visibly turns to madness for consolation.

The music, like many aspects of this film, is for the large part pointedly subtle. It gently stresses a point, rather than cueing one's emotions clumsily. It is haunting and affecting, and becomes part of the film itself with the introduction of Tsurumaru, the blind, flute-playing brother of Sué. The mellifluous flute seems to drive right into Hidetora's skull, further sending him into the inevitable madness that will overcome him. Where the music's subtlety works wonders is where its sparseness allows the viewer (or rather, the listener) to hear every other sound more clearly. The sound of galloping hooves is a comforting sound for me for some reason - here it is used to great effect as dozens of horses tear past the camera between castles, or to join battle. Where neither music nor sound effect is utilised, we can more readily attend the dialogue itself. Which is a strange thing to say, considering we are reading the dialogue. Nevertheless, I need to hear it being said so as to ascertain inflection and emotion - frequently with foreign language pictures I recall hearing the words spoken in English, despite reading subtitles! The wonderful character of Kyoami - Shakespeare's ever-sharp fool, the one character allowed to speak the truth to the king - has some of the finest lines in the film (as his counterpart does in the play). "Man is born crying. When he has cried enough, he dies." Or, when Hidetora says, "I am lost." Kyoami replies, "Such is the human condition". Music, effect, and the spoken (and thus written) word mix to wonderful effect.


53. Double Indemnity (1944, Billy Wilder)


Based on a James M Cain novel, which was, in turn, based on a real-life case. Wilder co-wrote the script with Raymond Chandler, a famously difficult relationship. Professionally part of it was over the voice of the narrator –akin to Chandler's novels or Neff, in flashback, a similar construction to that used in Sunset Boulevard. Afterwards Chandler referred the collaboration as a masterclass (albeit a life-shortening one). 

Wilder gets superb performances out of good actors in parts that initially seemed difficult to cast. MacMurray was very much cast against type (something Wilder would later play on again with The Apartment). Robinson already varied his roles but even his stats based investigator worrying away at the case clearly plays on some of his gangster parts. Stanwyck was used to playing strong women but was apparently unnerved about playing a cold-blooded killer – "are you a mouse or an actress”. And here she creates the archetypal femme fatale.

As would be expected in a noir with writers of this quality the script is tight and the dialogue rapid-fire. The rat-a-tat tennis matches between Mac Murray and Stanwyck start off the relationship "There's a speed limit in this state, Mr. Neff. Forty-five miles an hour. -How fast was I going, officer? etc. Stanwyck first appearance wearing only a towel is a lead in for some slick wordplay on lack of coverage. A lovely metaphor on the linked conspirators riding the trolley car to the cemetery. The original ending was ditched for one that plays on the cigarette-lighting motif that runs through the film as Keyes finally reciprocates for his fallen comrade.

Nowadays viewers will see the strong influence of this film on the slightly dated Body Heat and Dahl's undiminished classic The Last Seduction (during which Bridget uses the name Mrs Neff).

Steve Martin fans will, of course, recognise that large parts of the film were mined for "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid”.


52. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991, James Cameron)  


Terminator 2 is the pinnacle of action cinema. Fact.

Following on from it's precursor the story sees would-be saviour John Connor stalked by the one of the most menacing screen bad guys of all time, the T-1000. And in a marvellous story twist a certain Mr. Schwarzenegger returns, but this time as Connor's protector and not only this he is usurped from his dominant position that he so often frequents and he is now more vulnerable than ever.

The aforementioned re-focus from bad to good is just another facet of why T2 entertains so much; married with the increase in scope from the original Cameron delivers not just a film of epic proportions but a true epic. The set pieces are peerless and ultimately flawless. Ranging from the unbridled tension created in the Mental Hospital as the T-1000 gets ever closer to his target. Contrasted with the glorious demise of the Datadyne building and the jaw-dropping finale.

The film also sees a somewhat unprecedented move in terms of the genre as the character of Sarah Connor is transformed into an immensely strong, self-made female, both physically and mentally. She alone seems to grasp the concept of what will befall the World if her son dies and struggles with this for most of the film. The explosions, the car chases, the invincible adversary and the inevitable final confrontation between hero and villain are all staples of action cinema and are perfected by Cameron in Terminator 2. And if that wasn't enough there are also a few tears to be shed at the end as well.
JJ Holiday

51. Amelie (2000, Jean-Pierre Jeunet)


Amelie is that rarest and most wonderful things, a romantic comedy that is not only heart-warmingly beautiful but also incredibly funny, whilst remaining clever and unpatronising toward its audience. Audrey Tautou plays the titular character, a girl who is completely lost in life until completely by accident (with a plot-point cleverly integrating the idea of flashbulb memory and subverting it entirely) she discovers that she can find fulfillment by making others happy. Not in any ordinary way, but in beautiful over-elaborate strategies that ensure that the person receiving the happiness can not be aware of her. But what of her happiness? Amelie's quest for happiness is what the film is all about. Jean Pierre-Jeunet has said that he felt like he had been building up to Amelie all his life, and so it's rather fitting that the film should be his masterpiece. Visually it's not only beautiful, shot in luminous greens and reds, but incredibly inventive, with novel special effects to highlight character traits and flaws. There is also an incredible depth to the script, as the fairly large supporting cast all have fully formed and fleshed out characters, all brilliantly memorable, with their own likes and dislikes, they may not have a great deal to do with plot, but they fill out a very real-unreal Paris, that is somewhere that every time you put the DVD on you feel teleported too. For me Amelie is not only one of the most special films of the 21st century, but indeed of all time. A wonderfully whimsical story, might not be to everybody's taste, but indeed those who get sucked into Amelie's world are never likely to want to leave


50. The Good,The Bad and the Ugly (1966, Sergio Leone)


Sequels, prequels, whatever, they are usually always inferior to the original. Trilogies are usually even worse but somehow TGTBATG defies all this and is actually the most exciting, dramatic and entertaining film out of the three. The themes of greed, violence and moral ambiguity that Sergio used in the two previous films are at there most complex and developed in the last entry; even Ennio Morricone completes the score and arguably creates the most iconic piece of film music ever. Despite the running time and slow pacing, the film never gets boring nor does it drag due to Leone's perfect direction. He manages to fill the film with tension, with the final confrontation being the three leads being the most obvious but also the scenes of the civil war and when Tuco is dragging Blondie through the desert managing to be equally compelling. However what makes the film stand out from Leone's other films is the use of the civil war as a backdrop, against the simple story of the gold. This was a time when America was just forming out of confrontation and hadn't get developed an identity or a functional society, with many people having to resort to extreme measures just to stay alive. America was fighting itself and the distinction of good and bad is very blurred.

Dave B

49. Miller's Crossing (1990, Joel and Ethan Coen)


"I'm praying to you! Look in your heart!”

The Coen Brothers strike gold once again. They've explored the themes of crime, redemption and family numerous times throughout their illustrious career, but never has it been done so brilliantly than in this definitive classic. Although it's set during the tumultuous era of prohibition America, the setting is pushed to the background, whilst the performances, the twisting, turning relationships and the brutal action take centre stage. Gabriel Bryne gives a stunning performance as the anti-hero Tom Reagan and Albert Finney shines as the mob boss Leo. A special mention deserves to go to John Turturro, excelling once again as Bernie Bernbaum. His scene in miller's crossing (the place the film's named after) with Gabriel Byrne is almost painful to watch for the sheer desperation of his character. The performances are as ever, aided with the brilliant script that the Coen Brothers have produced yet again!

Whilst this still retains much of familiar Coen Brothers charm; sly humour, ridiculous names and a tendency towards strong violence, it does manage to retain a freshness that some of their other work is lacking in. it's a new and rich setting for the Coen brothers and this allows them to provide a much more varied background to their film than normal; the changing allegiances of O'Toole and the Mayor, and the Siege of the Sons of Erin are just some examples. The plot twists and turns as the gang war becomes more heated and more complex. The viewer is left with the sense of mystery, almost confusion as to the characters true motives. That it all comes together in a sublime conclusion is testament to the skill that this film is created with.


48. Evil Dead 2 (1987, Sam Raimi)


85 minutes. That's all it takes to watch one of the most perfect films ever devised. 85 minutes. In a blink of an eye you've witnessed a film that turns the rules of the horror genre on it's head, is way more post-modern than anything Wes Craven's created and, most importantly, has left you enthralled and highly entertained. With Sam Raimi swinging camera's enigmatically into Bruce Campbell's face and spraying shitload's of blood over everyone's favourite idiotic hero, there's much to be admired. Flying eyeballs, headless-chainsaw wielding corpses, blunt shovel decapitation, an unseen force crashing through doors (in a visually awesome chase sequence), three stooges slapstick, hose-pipe bloodbaths, worksheds, boomsticks, a decapitated head with a nasty bite and the greatest scene of self mutilation ever filmed all add up to unbelievable audience satisfaction. Campbell's now iconic tooling up for the final confrontation with a soul-sucking deadite and the fantastic way that he continually has his arse kicked by the evil spirits, is not only "groovy” it has also entered the halls of movie lore, so important they are to Evil Dead 2's success. And it all ends with one final kick in the balls to our hero, much to our delighted pleasure. 85 minutes of your time isn't much to ask for, plus you get two films for the price of one seeing as Evil Dead 2 is one of the few films that has adjudged the balance between horror and comedy so perfectly. And if you didn't hear me before – this film features a flying fucking eyeball! No excuses, go and watch it again, before you finish reading the rest of the poll…  the power of the chin compels you!

47. 12 Angry Men (1957, Sidney Lumet)


A simple film with a simple premise and yet regularly praised as one of the few "perfect" films ever produced, Twelve Angry Men is rightfully included in this list.

Set almost solely in the Jurors room in an American courthouse the power of the film lies in the performances of the Jurors, the escalating sense of tension and the constant shifting of the viewer's opinions and sympathies. Not a film for those of a short attention span, the director allows the situation and performances to pull the film forward rather than engaging in tricks and flashbacks to paint the various scenarios, engaging the viewer with the characters in a way that has not been repeated since. In short a masterpiece, and as others have said before, a film every juror should be made to watch before considering a verdict. A film of unparralled weight, wit and importance
Mike TV

46. Donnie Darko (2001, Richard Kelly)  


I know after writing this blurb I will forever recieve harsh language by clownfoot, jonson and Sinatra and other weirdos(just kidding), but this is a wonderful film, that fully deserves it's praise, and it is possibly the reason why I love cinema. I saw it when nobody knew about, Empire didn't give it a five star review since it wasn't released in the UK, and I was in for a surprise. Donnie Drako was a coming-to-age film, set in the 80's, a month before the end of the world. It was a psychodrama, an unconventional science-fiction, a teen movie, a comedy, a tragedy, it was many things, and it all fit together. It was a dark interesting, moving film that shares the surrealness of a David Lynch film. The film is bound not be understood, like 2001, it shouldn't, it's a riddle of a film, and that is what makes it great. Donnie Darko is pure cinema, unpredictable, entertaining, and most importanlty original, like Brazil, 2001 and Blade Runner, this is a unique film and there will never be anything like it ever again. The mood, is excellent, when it's funny, it's hilarious, when it's sad, it's moving. And no matter how odd the film, it all fits together, from it's strange intro, to it's haunting, poignant ending. Like a Lynch film, music is very important, and the film has a great soundtrack by Micheal Andrews that fits the film perfectly on any occasion. It also provided us with new talents, the Gyllenhal siblings(both excellent here, Jake obviously standing out), and director Richard Kelly, who hopefully will have a comeback with The Box. The special effects are brilliant too, and always competent. This is great indie filmaking, on the likes of Aronofsky's Pi. It's not for everyone, some will love it, others wonder why would someone like this "shit"(Deviation becomes fuelled with rage), but to those who like it, this is a very special film. Don't bother with Director's Cut though.


45. Rear Window (1954, Alfred Hitchcock)


In the 1940s Hitchcock made two films that were experiments in limitation, Lifeboat and RopeRear Window is the result of these films. The first two films (though excellent) had a sense that at times the technique was getting in the why of the story's natural course. Not so with his masterpiece. Rear Window is the perfect marriage of story and technique. It is the famous story of a man and his broken leg, his long-lensed camera and his window into a dark world of bickering and family quarrels, mysterious trips at night, knives and saws and rope - and murder! From the opening shot in which Hitchcock shows us everything we need to know about our hero and his situation Rear Window is a masterpiece of economic storytelling, colouring in the characters beautifully, cranking the tension up to ten while keeping us entertainment with a wonderfully witty and darkly comic script. The cast chip in as well; James Stewart is more sardonic than his usual self and the perfect actor to carry this story. Grace Kelly has never been more radiant and has one of the all time great cinema introductions. Thelma Ritter spits comic acid and a dose of common sense at rapid rates. And Raymond Burr is the perfect embodiment of doubt and menace. But perhaps the greatest asset to Rear Window's longevity is the minute universe Hitchcock creates with meticulous detail and draws us into. LB Jefferies' back courtyard is full of stories running concurrently with the main plot and each with a beginning, middle and end. Because of intense care like this Rear Window
offers something new every time you watch it.

44. Stand By Me (1986, Rob Reiner)


Never work with children or animals. And for the most part, this could be true. For every Jodie Foster and Christian Bale there's a Maculkin and that annoying little twat from The Phantom Menace. But Stand by me tells a story of 4 young boys from Oregon (Will Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman and Jerry O'Connell) who embark on an adventure to find the body of a missing teenager.

Hotly pursued by Keifer Sutherlands posse of scary quiffs, the boys dodge trains and dogs, sit round a campfire and listen to Gordie's lardass stories, discuss what food they would have for the rest of their lives if they were allowed only one, and get bitten on the bollocks by leaches. Which will scar, I bet.

River Phoenix steals the film in a performance that would cement his foundations as a true star in the making. The final scene being a real tearjerker in the context of the movie and in ironic reality. It's hard not to watch this movie without it hitting a chord. As The Writer (wonderfully narrated by Richard Dreyfus) says at the end of the film, do we really ever have friends as good as the ones when we were twelve?

The final line is typed on the screen. And then he flicks his monitor off. And you shout at the telly…”fucking save it!!”

43. It's a Wonderful Life (1946, Frank Capra)


1946 was cinema's greatest year giving us such enduring, beloved classics as:  The Best Years of Our Lives, A Matter of Life and Death, My Darling Clementine, La Belle et la bête, Notorious and The Big Sleep.  And It's a Wonderful Life is the best of the lot.

It's a Wonderful Life was Frank Capra and James Stewart's first film after World War II (Stewart was gone from the screen for five years – far too long!). The war had a clear affect on them and they poured all their experience and feeling into the film. The war affected Stewart especially and he infused the hurt and despair of wartime experience with his trademark nice guy persona to deliver his finest, most personal performance. No one does sincere optimism like Jimmy Stewart. He embodies everything that is good about man and when his dreams are dashed it hurts. And when we are plunged into the depths of despair with him it really hurts. And when he gets his just rewards they are the greatest moments of catharsis in all of cinema. These final minutes are justifiably the scenes for which the films will forever be remembered. But if not for that careful set-up, the beautiful characterisation of people we care deeply about these scenes wouldn't have worked half so magically. The supporting cast is terrific the way only the Hollywood studio system could deliver; Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell, Ward Bond, H.B. Warner, Henry Travers and Gloria Grahame. When you have talent like that working in supporting and small roles you've got something special on your hands. As a drama It's a Wonderful Life is as affecting as any other. As a comedy it delivers smart, sly jokes.  As a romance it is enchanting. As a film noir it is bleak, dark and expressionistic. As an affirmation of life, love and humanity it is the most transcendent and spiritual film cinema has seen since Frank Borzage's WWI masterpiece Seventh HeavenIt's a Wonderful Life is the perfect culmination of all that is great about cinema.


42. Life of Brian (1979, Terry Jones)


Monty Python's Life of Brian
(once jokingly referred to as Jesus Christ's Lust for Glory) follows the life of…well, a bloke called Brian, who was born in a manger around the same time as Jesus Christ and ends up being mistaken for the Messiah. Cue some of the funniest moments in cinema history. I can't think of any other way to heap praise on this film that hasn't been said a million times before, so I'll just say to those who haven't seen the film: "He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy!”; "Who you calling big nose?”; "I think it was 'Blessed are the cheese makers'”; "If you say Jehovah one more time!”; "What have the Romans ever done for us?”; "Fuck off! We're the People's Front of Judea!”; "Crucifixion?”; "Biggus Dickus”; "Welease Wodewick”. And how could anyone fail to love a film that ends with a group of crucified men singing 'always look on the bright side of life'? Best comedy film ever.
Tobias Funke    

41. Memento (2000, Christopher Nolan)


Most gimmick movies don't work after you've worked out where the director put all the clues as it feels like an exercise designed to trick the audience rather than a proper film. However Memento avoids this trap very cleverly as the main focus of the film is on the emotional storyline and this is what makes watching the film again and again such a joy to watch. As the ending proves this isn't about Leonard trying to find the murderer of his dead wife but trying to give his life meaning. As Leonard cannot build up relationships, have a career or do anything new with his life he has to find focus and setting himself an impossible task is the perfect way of achieving this. Of course this is very complex stuff and without the right actor the whole thing would fall apart. Thankfully Guy Pierce delivers not only his greatest performance, but possibly the greatest performance of the twenty first century so far. His range is extraordinary, going from humour to pathetic ness to terrifying with ease and allowing the audience to feel sympathy for him even if you know the twist. Structurally the film is sublime as well. Splitting the film in two and having them meet at the middle is very confusing on a first viewing but the more you watch it the more rewarding it gets. Director/screenwriter Christopher Nolan never spoon feds the audience but instead allows them to piece the film together and having half of it in black and white and the other half in colour means it manages to avoid becoming incomprehensible. This is a true masterpiece of modern cinema and one of the defining films of the twenty first century.

Dave B

40. Trainspotting (1996, Danny Boyle)


Choose Life? Who would choose the life, that this rag-tag buch of junkies, losers and deadbeats inhabit in Danny Boyles seminal 1996 film Trainspotting. A film that literally put British cinema back on the map (more so than Four Weddings, Full Monty et al) it benefitted from the whole "Cool Brittania" thing that was happening at the time, catching on the coat-tails of a Britain that was going through change and suffering an identity crisis, but this was in no way the reason it was so succesful. Having a wonderful source novel helps, and although Boyle left out a lot of good parts of the book, he manages to make Trainspotting one of the best book-film adaptations of recent times. Having a cast of unkowns burn up the screen every time they are on it also helps. From Ewan McGregor's tragic, yet hopeful Renton to Ewan Bremner's tragic and hopeless Spud, each character brings something to the table, be it black comedy or chilling menace (Robert Carlyle as Begbie, surely one of the most frightening portrayals in cinema history) they are each totally at home in the grim surroundings and horrible lives they inhabit, doing so with a grim inevitability. And  what about the soundtrack?  Featuring some of the bands of the mid-nineties era (Blur, Primal Scream) and some classic artists of the past (Lou Reed, Iggy Pop) it was crucial to the feel of the film and despite these artists straddling the time setting of the film, which was mid-80's, they feel totally at home. Let's not forget Underworld's Born Slippy either, a number one hit into the bargain, and one of the most iconic posters in motion picture history, sadly missing Kevin McKidd, but thankfully featuring the gorgeous Kelly Macdonald, it all adds up to one of the most important films, not only of the nineties, but of British filmmaking overall. A triumph and a launchpad for a lot of careers we can all feel thankful and priveliged to have been a part of the phenomana. Choose life? Maybe not. Choose Trainspotting? Definately.

clownfoot -> RE: The Forums Top 100 Favourite Films 2008! (4/4/2008 1:24:04 AM)

39. Vertigo (1958, Alfred Hitchcock)    


Blurb needed!

38. The Shining (1980, Stanley Kubrick)


Based rather loosely on Stephen King's best-selling novel, The Shining is the tale of Jack Torrance (Nicholson), a writer hired as care-taker of the empty Overlook Hotel one winter, little realising that the haunted hotel will send him mad enough to turn on his own wife and son in a homicidal rage. Commonly acknowledged as a horror classic, the main strength of Kubrick's film is its sense of foreboding atmosphere. As the family experiences the isolation of being alone amidst the impressive Colorado landscape, the audience feels it too, a sensation which quickly leads to claustrophobia within the walls of The Overlook.

Some of the imagery is disturbing to the extreme, making for uncomfortable viewing. The tone of the film itself is very cold, despite the prevalence of warm hues in many of the shots. The photography and editing is extremely memorable, adding to the viewer's discomfort immeasurably, and the neat, minimalist script lends the film a sparse feel. No dialogue or scene is surplus to requirement, and the classic horror-movie score is manipulated to maximum effect.

The performances are all impressive, particularly the irrepressible Jack Nicholson, who clearly relishes embodying such madness. His character is never really explored, leading to criticism from some (particularly fans of King's novel), yet there is clearly method here: we glimpse malevolence behind Torrance's manic grin from the very beginning, unsettling the audience and building the palpable tension. This is where Nicholson excels. Shelley Duvall, as his wife Wendy, may irritate some but acquits herself well, and with Danny Lloyd's performance, of son Danny, we have the rarest of things: an impressive child actor who doesn't irritate.
Overall, the film is a chilling study of cabin-fever and inherent evil which will linger in the memory for long, particularly the closing shot.

37. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975, Milos Forman)


Jack Nicholson, Brad Dourif and Louise Fletcher at the tops of their games. Basketball, fishing and naked lady cards. Danny Devito and Christopher Lloyd being crazy. Now what else could you possibly ask for? This is one of, if not my very favourite film of all time; it ticks every box for me. Nicholson summons such incredible energy and spirit in his performance as the free-spirited McMurphy. It's a simply astounding performance, and he brings such a smile to my face as he bounces off the walls and creates a happier environment for everyone. Nurse Ratchet is also an incredibly well-developed character. On one hand she's the evil dictator of the ward, keeping the inmates on a leash so tight they can barely breathe. On the other hand, she wishes them no ill, and wants them to make a recovery, she just goes about it the wrong way.

The best thing about this film, apart from the performances, is that it has so much heart for a group of people which could so easily be ignored. They're social outcasts, each with their own individual problems. They move at a snail's pace because they have nowhere to go, and nothing to do. Soothing music is played at medication time, but this is unnecessary; they've already been tranquilised and neutered by their surroundings. So when McMurphy comes in, his particular views on life could not be more oppositional to the situation of the inmates. And that's what the film's about; a struggle for freedom, and man's ability to change his situation in life, no matter how small. If they won't let you watch the baseball, fuck 'em; make your own game up.


36. Reservoir Dogs (1991, Quentin Tarantino)  


It may rip off the whole last 15 minutes of City on Fire but its still a quality movie. Anyone want to take up the blurbing honours?

35. Shaun of the Dead (2005, Edgar Wright)


"Can I buy any of you c**ts a drink?”   Shaun Of The Dead sees Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost take the format they perfected on their superlative TV series, Spaced, and gives it a big-screen makeover. The result is the most inspired and side-splitting Brit comedy since Withnail And I.   Shaun's biggest strength lies in its characters and its performances, Wright's whiplash directing style directing a backseat to the film's main duo - Pegg's deadpan everyman and Frost's scene-stealing waster best mate (not forgetting great turns from Dylan Moran, Bill Nighy, and Kate Ashfield amongst others.)  In the style of Romero's classic zombie trilogy, Edgar and Simon's script creates characters that you really care about, as well as plenty of quotable lines ("Fuck-a-doodle-doo!”).   Plenty of nods to classic films reward repeat viewing, and the on-the-surface gimmicky "rom-zom-com” setup gives the film an unexpected emotional anchor. Often dismissed as another "spoof”, Shaun Of The Dead is much more – inventive, witty, loveable – and most of all, funny. Others have tried to copy its formula (most notably in Wright's own Hot Fuzz), but none have matched Shaun for sheer brilliance.   Plus, it's got the genius that is Peter Serafinowicz as a naked zombie. If that's not enough to make you see it, I don't know what is.


34. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004, Michel Gondry)


There is no denying the magic of a film that keeps you guessing the whole way through, leading you on and making you think, and then right in the final act everything becomes clear, and you suddenly realise that everything so far has been a work of genius leading up to this point. It takes a scriptwriter of significant talent to pull this off, and Charlie Kaufman does this with so much finesse he doesn't just pull it off, he makes you believe by the end of the film that Joel and Clementine are living, real people, and that you can actually get your memory selectively removed. It is without doubt one of the greatest scripts of this century so far, filled with light humour and philosophically challenging questions.
With such a good script it could be easy to abandon fluid direction and good performances, but Eternal Sunshine isn't short of these qualities either. Michel Gondry creates a strangely beautiful world, with empty beaches and deserted lakes that have frozen over. The sense of isolation and loss emphasises the rather reclusive nature of its lead character, a career-best turn from Jim Carrey, and also suggests how much the curiously coifed Clementine means to him. They are alone together. Everything about Eternal Sunshine works, from the subplots, which at first seem extraneous but eventually tie in beautifully, to the fresh and original concept that carries the film. While ultimately the minds of characters may not be spotless, this film certainly is.

33. L.A. Confidential (1997, Curtis Hanson)


LA Confidential is a riveting thriller ostensibly about a multiple murder in the Nite Owl café. It is based on a labyrinthine novel by James Ellory and to really appreciate how astonishing the adaptation job Brian Helgeland and Curtis Hanson did then read the book – to come out with a taut well-paced film that encapsulates the book so well is a tremendous achievement and well-merited its Writing Oscar. That Titanic stole Best Film remains a travesty. 
Much of the veracity in the film comes from the interweaving of real-life characters and incidents into the narrative. The attempt to take over imprisoned LA crime Boss Mickey Cohen's drug business is central. There really was a scandal surrounding the LA police brutally attacking Mexican prisoners over Xmas in the 50s. Even Lana Turner and her gangster beau Johnny Stompanato make her appearance (confused for one of the stable of starlet lookalike hookers).
Location also plays a role. Hanson recreates a beautiful and sunny 50s LA (somewhat reminiscent of Chinatown) undercut by corruption, drug dealing and the seedy fallout from Hollywood, including the scandal magazine of the title. Much of the filming was done on locations throughout LA, virtually unchanged in style over the last half century.
The film is topped with star-making performances from Crowe and Pearce (it is significant that even the very limited Basinger comes out smelling of roses):  James Cromwell is a standout central to 2 of the key scenes featuring the deliberately created MacGuffin of Rollo Tomasi.  Complex, satisfying – violent and funny. From start to finish you are completely absorbed in this, one of the best thrillers of the past 50 years.


32. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002, Peter Jackson)


Following The Fellowhip of The Ring was always going to be a tough order and approaching it's 2002 Christmas release date there where those who feared The Two Towers would be incapable of hitting the heights that film stormed. However on it's appointed date of arrival the film stunned everyone by blending the same fantastic story telling and direction with the flawless performances and direction of one Peter Jackson.
The Two Towers is a more epic film in scope and those who love big battle scenes will probably prefer it to the picture it followed, but those like me who adored the Fellowhip will still find the wonderfully rendered world and beautifully essayed characters that made that picture such a joy. In this film Ian McKellen is back in storming form, Elijah Wood provides a more mature performance as Frodo and Viggo Mortensen probably shot to success with his second excellent rendition of Aragorn on the big screen. It also provides the wonderful villain that is Christopher Lee's Saruman to stretch his arms and show what he can do, something the rest of this fantastic trilogy doesn't do quite so well.

The film even manages to make Orlando Bloom look "not utterly useless" which is in itself a triumph and in my opinion as good a reason to win an Oscar as any. The film blends action, good characters, masterful direction and some good scares into one magical mix and grips even the biggest Tolkien hater from the start. They can say what they want.....but we all know they actually loved it.

David Kelly

31. Heat (1995, Michael Mann)

A middle of the road film making number 31! You lot need to get out and watch Evil Dead 2! Anyone want to write a piece on this in no way whatsoever near Mann's best work called The Last of the Mohicans?

30. Leon (1994, Luc Besson)


Since he was eighteen and lost his first love to the wrath of her jealous father, Leon (Jean Reno) hasn't known anything but his job, killing for money. No friends, no women, no enjoyment, these are the premises of his daily routine. His life is suddenly turned upside down when he decides to protect his 14 year old neighbor Matilda (Natalie Portman) from corrupt DEA officer Norman Stanfield (Gary Oldman) who savagely slaughtered all of her family over missing drugs. All his efforts to get rid of her prove uneffective and slowly he begins to let her deeper into his life, teaching her the ways of his profession in exchange for basic school education. But the shadow of her past and her thirst for revenge for the life of her little brother is looming over them…

The movie naturally has everything you could ask of a modern classic, the score, Eric Serras best work, meets the highest standards an always finds the right tone, Bessons direction is beautiful, the performances by the lead trio are flawless. Especially young Miss Portman gave the performance of a lifetime and quite possibly the best performance of a child actor. In this movie she doesn't play, she just is! There is however one amazing feat that puts the whole thing way over the top, it's the way that every aspect fits into its place organically. I have never seen another movie that was Action, Thriller, Romance, Gangster, Drama and a little Comedy and where nothing had the slightest hint of being artificially added or grafted on top and while few other movies can claim they have a little bit of everything, Leon has a lot of it and then some.


29. Batman Begins (2005, Christopher Nolan)


I sat at my keyboard for about 25 minutes, trying to find a way into this blurb, to seize on what exactly makes Batman Begins my favourite film, to find that hook that burrows deep into your mind and embeds itself in your psyche. You know, that one specific that makes you sit up and take notice, that makes you forget everything and go with the moment. I'm searching for that one intangible, and you know, I couldn't find it.

I couldn't find it because there are too many to catch all at once. Batman Begins doesn't have just one hook, every moment is one, every event, even the smallest, is an assault on the senses. The film delivers on so many levels, for so many audiences. For the uninitiated, it's a cracking action flick, where the narrative arc and attention to details reward patience with a great payoff. For the Batman movie fan, it's an improvement on all of the plus points of the Burton epics, as well as being an exorcism of the eye gougingly evil Schumacher debacles. For the hardcore Bat-fan, it's a vindication of the character, an origin story that actually takes the time to detail the birth of a legend bit by logical bit, an intimate construction of a character that grows elementally from nascent potential to leap triumphantly from the final scene into Batman lore.

Of course, it's not perfect, the villainous plot doesn't have the same organic feel as the rest of the film, the final fate of the Scarecrow is a little anti-climatic and Katie Holmes' much derided, wafer thin character leaves a gaping hole in the focussed delivery of the otherwise impeccable cast. But these flaws serve only to accentuate what is great about this film. And that is what its legacy will ultimately be. It's a tale of against the odds redemption, the resurrection of the character in one fell swoop from the ignominy of the camp, day-glo Caped Crusader to brutal, intense, unmistakably human yet deceptively theatrical Dark Knight.


28. Casablanca (1942, Michael Curtiz)


Bogey, where's the love?

27. Jurassic Park (1993, Steven Spielberg) 


Schindler's List, Jaws, Saving Private Ryan......when it comes to Steven Spielberg you really are entering into the work of a genius. It was Spielberg who brought Indiana Jones to the screen, it was he again who imagined The War Of The Worlds with such energy and passion and of course created what is known today as the Holiday blockbuster. These are obviously all astonishing achievements and ones that will have him marked in the hall of fame for all time but his greatest triumph has to be his sensational adaptation of Michael Crichton's best selling novel Jurassic Park.

With Jurassic Park Spielberg brought everything that sets him apart from other directors, great action, sympathetic characters, real family values and of course unbelievable special effects. For the film he brought together a splendid cast including Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, Laura Dern, the late Bob Peck and one of the greatest actors of all time Richard Attenborough. Each actor morphs perfectly into their said character and allows the audience to become totally immersed in the story. However even these great talents are usurped by the Dinosaurs, Jurassic Park was the dawn of visual effects as we know them and even today they hold up beautifully. The Dinosaurs not only looked great but Spielberg gave them real character, the mighty Brachiosaurus, the menacing T-Rex and the pure evil that is the Velociraptors. Each Dinosaur evokes within you a different emotion yet each triggers a feeling of pure awe and excitement, something today's CGI creations often seem to lack.

The action in Jurassic Park is pure popcorn heaven, and several scenes are far scarier than any Hostel or Saw. It's amazing to see how frightening Spielberg can make his films even with a PG rating, the likes of Eli Roth's can have all the 18's and NC-17's they like; never do they generate as much tension as Spielberg when he's in top form. In the end Film is about being able to escape into uncharted territory and become part of the adventure. Thanks to the masterful direction, sensational effects and lets not forget sterling performances, Jurassic Park allows you to do this with ease. A true cinema classic.
Daniel Kelly

26. Taxi Driver (1976,
Martin Scorsese)


Blurb being prepared by Deviation!

25. Pan's Labyrinth (2006, Guillermo del Torro)


Blurb being prepared by Deviation

24. The Big Lebowski (1998, Joel and Ethan Coen)


Whilst Fargo deservedly won the Coen Brothers the Oscar plaudits they deserve, The Big Lebowski is not only their real masterpiece, it's also the funniest fucking film ever made. Whilst the screenplay has more in common with a Raymond Chandler-esque detective tale – with a soiled rug and an insidious kidnap plot holding the string of events together – it's not until you delve much deeper that the full blown comedy will cause your spleen to rupture. 

How this is possible is debatable. Some would say a story which goes nowhere, is full of red herrings and wild goose chases, leaving little actually resolved by the end, allows for the host of zany characters on show to simply breathe life into proceedings. Jeff Bridges is perfect as the eternal slacker, bumbling from one fiasco to the next in his own personal rug replacing odyssey, bettered only by John Goodman's slightly unhinged Vietnam veteran and Jesus, a rather extravagant bowling messiah. Indeed, Jesus' introduction is possibly one of the finest ever filmed. But it's the impressive number of different style of gags throughout that elevates Lebowski above most contemporaries. It has a wonderful dry wit ('obviously you're not a golfer'), some fantastic slap-stick, great dialogue ('Fuck me! Say what you want about the tenants of national socialism at least its an ethos'), excellent recurring jokes (witness the slow destruction of The Dude's car), too many laugh out loud moments to mention (the reactionary chief of police's mug throwing, a dead man's ashes blowing into The Dude's beard) and a sequence of visual genius involving a curious Dude, a pencil and a tracing etch that is just as memorable, if not better, than Airplane's drinking problem gag.

Trust me, The Big Lebowski is fucking brilliant. Nihilists, carpet pisser's, paedo bowling messiahs, pacifists, ex-Vietnam vets, quasi-Europeon artists and The Dude. It's got everything you want in a comedy and much, much more! Hell, we never even find out if the  and Walter get to the bowling final – the hall-markings of a truly a great movie.



23. Gladiator (2000, Ridley Scott)


Very simply Gladiator is a proper film - We have a betrayed hero, a detestable enemy, a beautiful woman, an amazing setting and rousing performances from all involved, this is the sort of thing that cinema was invented for. The injustice of the film has the viewer hurting with Maximus, when he sees an opportunity to get revenge on the enemy it stirs excitement in the stomach of the viewer and in the final confrontation the viewer swings every punch and feels every sword stroke with Maximus.

It's a very simple story it's just that it is told with such attention to every cinematic detail that it stands high above other historical epics of its type. It looks beautiful, an ageless film that brings the Romans to life so effectively a makes you want to know more about these people who on one hand created such fantastic architecture and on the other lusted for blood as slaves fought to the death. The film captures such a diversity of life at the time. Finally we come to the central performance, all the players are great in this but Russell Crowe makes Maximus and thus makes the film. An intelligent, loving and loyal man reduced to fighting in arenas for entertainment. We see the full range of human emotion through this character who makes his fights in the arenas as important to the future of his people as his fights on the battlefield.


22. Seven Samurai (1954, Akira Kurosawa)


As far as pure cinema goes, nothing beats Seven Samurai. As a cinematic experience goes, nothing beats Seven Samurai. As far as action movies go, nothing beats Seven Samurai.

Made in 1952 and 3 by Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, the film was something of a labour of love. The tale of a bandit-ravaged village who go to the big city to find someone to protect them, and come back with Seven Samurai, the film is about as multi-layered as they come. Exploring the futility of war through the eyes of the warriors, the class divide through the eyes of a Samurai and the ignorant fear of the peoples, the film is bursting to the seams with grand ideas, but yet it never feels bogged down.

It may last 3 ½ hours, but Kurosawa's intense visual style, and the fast-moving script, make the whole film fly by at an incredible pace. It's got everything you could ever want from a film- romance, comedy, action and grand ideas, all wrapped up in one package, only bolstered by the epic and incredible images seen through the eye of a true film visionary.

Not only that, but the script is delivered excellently by the cast. Takashi Shimura, one of the most underrated actors of all time, excels as the wise leader of the Samurai. But it's Toshiro Mifune who takes the honours, in a performance of wild energy and passion that would put Brando to shame. As he stalks across the screen, with the impact of a wolf, and the coiled danger of a cobra, he creates a character so memorable and powerful as to be permanently imprinted in your memory. He's my favourite actor of all time, and here, he's gives his finest performance of all time- a tour de force of energy and intensity, unequalled since.

Not only that, but the film has had it's mark on almost every action film since. Kurosawa's eye for visceral action is incredible. His contrast between silent, long shots and fast-paced, short shots has been imitated by hundreds of directors since, but no one has approached the intense impact of Kurosawa's eye for beauty, his eye for the perfectly portrayed shot.

Seven Samurai is, without a singular doubt, the most beautiful action film of all time. It could even be the most beautiful films of all times. With a melancholic undercurrent, and thoughts outside the station of the action-adventure film, the film has pretty much influenced every director now working, whether they know it or not. No film is more beautiful, no film is no more intelligent, and no film is more exciting, entertaining, effective, affecting or inspiring.

This is pure cinema. This is CINEMA.


21. The Usual Suspects (1996, Bryan Singer)


Anybody want to try and reveal the identity of Keyser Sose with an otherwise enlightening blurb?

clownfoot -> RE: The Forums Top 100 Favourite Films 2008! (4/4/2008 1:43:41 AM)

20. Star Wars: A New Hope (1977, George Lucas) 


A long time ago in a decade that's now seems far, far away, a movie came along that would change the face of movies forever. It was STAR WARS. Plain and simple, not a New Hope but just plain old STAR WARS. What can one say what hasn't be said already? We should all at least know the story, (unless you've been living in a galaxy far far away that is)

I suppose you have to be a 70's child like me to get that warm feeling about star wars. Remember having to Q 2 hours or so to get in, and once you entered the cinema you felt as though you had walked into a new universe.  And once you had came out, even at 7 which I was you knew you had just seen something life changing.

Every thing about the movie is just magical. From the opening scroll , to that gob smacking first scene, to the first appearance of Darth Vader, to C3P0 & R2d2 to Luke and the two suns, to the cool sounding Light sabers, to Chewie, to the Death star, to the Millennium Falcon. The list just goes on and on and on. Star Wars is not just a movie it's EPIC! NUFF SAID.


19. The Godfather Part II (1974, Francis Ford Coppola)


Hmm, looks like this blurbs been whacked!

18. The Thing (1982, John Carpenter)


I've always considered John Carpenter's The Thing to be one of the few perfect films ever made. It sits comfortably at the top of my list of favourite films because it is simply a masterpiece in terror. The basic premise is genius; twelve men completely isolated from the outside world whilst a shape shifting monster makes its way through them, thus making trust a very hard thing to come by.

Everything about the film just reeks of class; the characterisation of all the characters in such a short period of time, the haunting sets, the artic setting, and of course Rob Bottin's masterful special effects. Each scene in which the creature is forced to show itself is absolutely horrific and completely different to the one that went before it, who wasn't thinking the same thing as Palmer as the recently decapitated head grew legs and tried to make a getaway? You really have gotta be f kidding, absolutely insane.  

Carpenter really portrays the sense of paranoia, making the audience completely in the dark about who is the thing until the absolutely tension filled blood test scene, which in my opinion is one of the best scenes in horror, nay, cinema history. Just a perfect scene, perhaps even surpassed by the final scene which, without spoiling, ends the film on a suitably uneasy and ambiguous note. Without doubt Carpenter's finest film, one that can truly be described as a nightmare. And I didn't even mention Ennio Morricane's masterful score, absolutely spot on.

17. Se7en (1995, David Fincher)  


If there is a cinema equivalent of menace (the dark, brooding variety), Se7en is it.  Right from the edgy, brilliantly unsettling opening credits, this is a film where the pall of evil is always visible. But darkness isn't the only place in which Se7en succeeds.  The yin and yang leads of Pitt and Freeman provide a curious window into this gritty world, while Spacey is entirely believable as the calm and coldly methodical killer. Fincher is the real star of the show though, contrasting sickening crime scenes with occasional moments of serene beauty, as well as blanketing the film with an almost palpable sense of claustrophobia.  An atmosphere that is, if anything, only thickened when Se7en finally breaks out of the darkness in its closing scenes. It is here, in the hard light of day, that Se7en becomes more than just brilliant.  It becomes a classic.  And like any great movie twist, these final moments will have you scratching your head, then your jaw agape, until finally, when the credits roll, you're left thinking: "Wow, now that's clever.”

16. Die Hard (1988, John McTiernan)


Twelve bad guys. A few dozen hostages. Nakatomi Plaza. And a fly-in-the-ointment cop hiding in the air vents. That's all it takes to create arguably the best action movie ever made. Of course, that's doing a disservice to Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, John McTiernan and co., all of whom were at the top of their game here. At a time when action cinema was dominated by the likes of Arnie and Sly, John McClane came as a welcome change - an Everyman in way over his head, who feels plenty of pain [broken glass + bare feet = ouch!] but still comes through, replete with badass fighting skills and witty foul-mouthed one-liners ["No f sh, lady, do I sound like I'm ordering a pizza?!”]. Crucially he's matched by Rickman's Hans Gruber, a sophisticated, ruthless baddie who we almost want to win, he's that cool. McTiernan, meanwhile, following up Predator, keeps the action consistently exhilarating despite it all being within one building, unlike the sequels which were spread out over increasingly wide areas to notably lesser effect.

As well as all this, though, what makes Die Hard stand out from its imitators and sequels are the less obvious things. Even minor support characters get memorable dialogue ["He could be a f bartender for all we know!”], the use of Ode to Joy is inspired and the villains' scheme is ingenious when you think about it. Plus, here, McClane doesn't take on an F-16 with a lorry or kill a helicopter with a car. And he's allowed to swear. Yippee-ki-yay mothers, indeed.


15. Alien (1979, Ridley Scott)


"In space, no-one can hear you scream.” - actually, they can, if they're in the same room, but not being true doesn't stop that being on of the best poster taglines in movie history. It's fortunate that the film it's attached to is also a masterpiece of the horror genre, then, otherwise some advertising genius would have wasted the best work of their lives.

Unlike most science fiction, Alien does away with the standard character archetypes. These aren't space heroes, they're ordinary people who just want to get paid, get home and get some decent food once in a while. They certainly don't want to seek out new life and new civilisations, and they aren't too pleased when it starts to kill them all.

Some people say the sequel is better. They are wrong. It's not about male rape either.

Mikey C    

14. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003, Peter Jackson)


How do you sum up the conclusion to the most epic of epic trilogies in a short paragraph? The important thing is not to gush too much, but I should make this clear from the start. I LOVE Lord of the Rings, particularly ROTK. When you go into this film, you already know the set up (as it's been two years since you saw Fellowship, bought the DVD, watched all the special features, learned the intricate back stories, etc). It would have been quite easy to fuck up the saga, but overall, they just work. The main reason for this is Peter Jackson, a man who, when he talks about the project, talks with genuine affection, and is extremely humble to be allowed the opportunity to make these movies. What sets this movie apart from the other two is the sheer scale it operates on, and yet the human (well, you know what I mean) aspect is still very much remembered. It's here that the characters' arcs come full circle, and we learn their fates. And, as a LOTR fanboy and general film fan, I can safely say (and without bias) the execution could not have been more perfect. The way this film is shot makes sure you are right there with the characters, doing what they do, seeing what they see and most importantly, feeling what they feel. The entire film is a rollercoaster of emotions and after 3 ½ hours (or 4 hours, depending on what cut you're watching) you feel like you've done the journey from Shire to Mordor yourself. But this is not a bad thing, far from it. This is experience cinema at its very finest. Return of the King is the ultimate Movie To See Before You Die. Just make sure you've seen the other two first.


13. The Matrix (1999, Andy & Larry Wachowski)


So, "what is the Matrix?” asks one of the finest teaser trailers ever devised, as a leather clad Keanu Reeves back-flips away from a speeding train. After finding out for ourselves, the teaser merely announced the arrival of the sleeper hit to end all sleeper hits. The brothers Wachowski had audiences tumbling down the rabbit hole for what transpired into a mesmerising concoction of intelligent science-fiction, high octane kung-fu and action scenes that are, quite literally, out of this world.

With a wonderful premise that has you questioning from the start – who are these "agents?” how the hell did Trinity (Carrie Anne-Moss) do that? – and a reveal that maintains a carefully balanced intrigue, Neo's (Reeves) transcendence from hacker nerd to full blown superhero is utterly compelling. Brilliantly fleshed out characters, a clever script and tantalising dialogue on the workings of the Matrix delight until the pivotal moment where the film just lets go. A magnificent dojo fight provides a taster of what is to come, but little prepares for the final forty minutes of the most adrenaline pumping action you're ever likely to see. One amazing set piece after another, from the beautifully composed lobby shoot-out to a wall-punching subway fight, all climaxing in an exquisitely paced race against time… woah!

The perfect combination of style (bullet-time) and substance (the Oracle's thoughtful meanderings), nothing has matched The Matrix in its technical capacity, artistry or originality since. And Keanu's great as well, so perhaps for once there really is no spoon…

12. Jaws (1975,
Steven Spielberg)


Der-dum. Der-dum. Der-dum.

Well how else were you supposed to start? Just 1 der-dum is all that's enough to recognise we're talking about Jaws. The soundtrack alone, from the simple 2 note tension, to the rousing orchestra during the chase scenes, is probably the most iconic John Williams has ever written. Epitomising the mid 70's with its opening scene of people chilling on the beach with beer, weed, music and good banter, the mood is changed from the minute young Chrissie decided to take a swim. You know it's coming, but no matter how many times you see it, it never gets any less brutal. Arguably the first "summer blockbuster” Jaws has put a fear of the water into almost everyone that has watched it. How many other films have had as much influence on our fears as this? Did Titanic give us a fear of cruises? Did Jurassic Park put us off messing with DNA? Did Lord of the Rings give us a fear of tacky gold jewellery? Did Back to the Future stop us using time-travel?

The 3 main characters are Chief Brody (Roy Scheider), the New York rozzer who's relocated to Amity Island even though he hates water. A bit silly really.  Then there's Quint (Robert Shaw), the black board scraping old sea dog with better burns than Jules Winfield. He also boils shark's teeth in his soup. Well, it doesn't say it's his soup, but you wouldn't be surprised.  And finally Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss), the shark expert with the fancy equipment and slippy sneakers. And then there's Bruce -the plastic shark. You'd probably laugh if that came out the sea at you. But that's the best thing about the film. It shouldn't be scary, but it just is. Granted, the truly terrifying bits are when you don't see the shark, but still, that big flapping mouth is Jaws. The problems Spielberg had during the filming of Bruce's scenes only compound what a fantastic achievement Jaws was in filmmaking terms. Everyone has their favourite Jaws quote (even the office workers amongst you have probably heard their boss utter "we need a bigger boat” in a David Brent styley) and one of the best acted and goose pimple-inducing speeches in history as we look deep into Quint's eyes and hear the story of the USS Indianapolis.  We're there in the water with him. June the 29th, 1945. Genius.

If this movie were to be rated, it would get 99%. Why not 100% I hear you ask? To answer that…

…not enough tit!

11. Back to the Future (1985, Robert Zemeckis)


What can I say? It's my favourite film and there are no others quite like it, but I gotta start somewhere so here I go. The best films are the ones with original spins and original ideas (films like The Matrix, and Ghostbusters), films that take old ideas and give them fresh spins or films that take you completely by surprise. Back to the Future is one of those films, it has a great and original premise and take on time travel and then runs with it, with some very seedy subtexts for a family film which are then glossed over without damaging the movie. It also has every single ingredient you could wish for in a great film, firstly the premise as previously mentioned, and then you have the pitch perfect cast… Michael J Fox makes a cracking debut as the dozy yet cool teenager who's slightly different but you can't help but wonder why he's picked on when he's so cool, he perfectly embodies the unlikely hero mould and is the sort of character everyone wants to be. Chris Lloyd is also brilliant as the archetypal mad scientist who everyone fears is crazy but is actually alright, rounding off the cast are Lea Thompson and Crispin Glover, never better as Marty's parents, Thomas F Wilson (who needs to make more films) as the classic bully through the ages who's always bullied the McFlys, plus James Tolkan as the nasty headmaster. The soundtrack is perfect 80's stuff by Huey Lewis, the SFX are simple and haven't aged plus the pacing is brilliant. There's so much that could be said about this film but it's simple enough: if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.

DJ Rob C: Mark II!

10. Blade Runner (1982, Ridley Scott)


There are some films that set out to thrill us with action scenes, chase sequences, tense interchanges, gun fights, and large explosions. There are other films whose aim is to provoke not the adrenaline rush, but serious and considered thought. We are invited, by these films, to consider the events on screen and how they inform our own lives and how our experiences inform our viewing of that film. Occasionally, there are some films that do both of these things and transcend categorisation in that age-old 'art vs entertainment' debate that so often rages across this forum. Blade Runner is such a film. As wildly inventive as it is darkly brilliant, this is the finest science-fiction film ever put to print. It asks us what it is to be human; what factors make up our humanity – what makes us real? That it asks these philosophical questions against a backdrop of such beauty is a staggering achievement, and places Blade Runner rightly at the forefront of science-fiction cinema. People no longer talk of a 'noir style sci-fi look', but of a 'Blade Runner style look'. This is cinema at its finest, and deserving of this high ranking in this top 100.

9. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981,
Steven Spielberg)


The bar setpiece. "Bad dates.” Indy coming out of shadows in an epic reveal. "I hate snakes!” Indy clinging to the Mercedes-Benz logo for dear life. Only but a few of the memorable moments in one of the greatest films ever made. Spielberg and Lucas' loving homage to the serials of the past delivers excitement, humour, action and even horror, showcasing both men at the peak of their powers. One scene shows Spielberg at his most playful: Toht pulls out a device, and the audience is fooled into thinking it is a one of terror, only to reveal it is a coathanger, managing nervous laughter from the played audience. Spielberg doesn't play any aspects when it comes to the horror aspects: when the Ark is opened, the build-up results in a payoff that everyone remembers. Harrison Ford has never been better, equalling if not even surpassing his role as Han Solo, and Karen Allen, as the feisty Marion, hits her career peak. This is one of my favourite films of all time.

Film Brain

8. Pulp Fiction (1994, Quentin Tarantino)


A movie so hip to like, that you almost want to hate it. Until of course you actually see Travolta and Jackson discussing the merits of mayonnaise on burgers in Europe. Yes, yes, Pulp Fiction might be every young person's favourite film, but there is a reason for it; it's a stone cold classic. After reinvigorating indie cinema with Reservoir Dogs, QT's next project has the distinct smell of something that doesn't work on paper. A has been as a lead? Oh yes. Confusing time narrative? Check. Several obscure movies no sane person as heard of? Double Check. Here though, (unlike arguably in Dogs) QT takes his influences and makes something that is undeniably his own, and is as woven into pop culture more than any other film of the last 15 years. His gamble with Travolta pays off admirably and it rescues his career as he puts 10 years of Look Who's Talking well behind him. There are not many films that can claim to have changed cinema, but Pulp Fiction sits proudly among them.

7. Aliens (1986, James Cameron)


In 1979 Ridley Scott created a classic of the horror genre – the claustrophobic Alien. Seven years later James Cameron decided not to give us a generic horror sequel but a lightning-paced action thriller.

Paying respectful homage to Giger's groundbreaking artwork, Stan Winston takes thing much further providing us with the entire hive up to, and including, the queen. The Oscar winning team's organic habitat fully camouflages its inhabitants, only seen as they break away from the walls to attack, and the external visuals clearly show the influence of another of Scott's works, Blade Runner.

The fully conceived environment is one of the things that make Aliens different. I love that Cameron remembers the social/working class ideology from the original – in place of Brett and Parker's bitching for their share we have a believable working colonial outpost and Ripley herself spends time on the docks (experience key to her initial integration with the group and to the final maternal showdown).

But technology isn't enough to save them. In the actual fighting the fetishised military hardware lauded by Hudson and fondled by Drake and Vasquez has its butt kicked by the biological weapons Weyland-Yutani drool over. Only the more solid mechanics are of use – the reassuringly solid APC and the loading equipment that adds to the realist feel, coloured a familiar Caterpillar yellow.

Oscar nominated for the role, Weaver's physically imposing Ripley retains the credibility from the original – resourceful, intelligent, a leader – in a nuanced performance that enhances the central mother-daughter relationship. The film also benefits from excellent supporting performances from Lance Henricksen's ambivalent turn as Bishop, as impressed by the Alien as his predecessor Bishop, and the marines whose interplay gives us a convincing military unit led believably by Al Matthews (an actual former marine sergeant).

Hugely influential in film and video games (Doom and Halo being obvious examples) the film leaves us wondering who the real threat is. An alien race evolved into efficient killing machines who still try to protect their young – or the corporate ethos so willing to fuck others over "for a goddamn percentage!” And, seriously, never get between a mother and her child!

Aliens is an adrenaline-fuelled Sci-Fi actioner par excellence. It is the best film of its kind; the only sequel made that almost matches a classic original, and stars the greatest female action character, Ellen Ripley.


6. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001, Peter Jackson)


The Fellowship of the Ring has been praised for various reasons, from the stunning special effects to the faithful adaptation of the books complex themes and storylines. However its not the grand and impressive battle scenes that make the film such a joy to watch but how the larger scenes are offset with the smaller, more intimate moments. The start of the film, set in Hobbiton, perfectly eases you in to the epic story, setting up the main plot but also the entire world of the film. Everything from the small houses, the camera tricks to make Gandalf taller than everyone else, the slight moments of humour and the relationships between the characters are not only entertaining but feel perfectly real. It's as if this world has been around forever and this is vital in making what could have potentially been a very po-faced and ridiculous story into something that's emotional and utterly compelling. This also makes it a better film than its two sequels as you see the peaceful times offset with the beginnings of the war and it makes for more compelling drama.   It's also one of those rare films where every aspect comes together. Everything from the casting, the sets, the special effects, the stunning locations, the narrative, the direction and the dialogue just fits perfectly. The dialogue doesn't feel silly because the actors delivering it say it with conviction and authenticity (there is the odd exception but lets not go there) and the film feels like a epic, blockbuster event because the money has been spent to create such a rich world and not on A-list stars. This is a story so famous and iconic that it doesn't need massively famous actors to fill the screen in order to make it have mass appeal. Character actors such as Ian Holm and Ian McKellen are perfect in their roles and Viggo Mortensen is a charismatic and compelling leading actor, showing the characters inner conflict with the subtlest of facial expressions; sadly something rarely seen in the big holiday event movies.
Dave B     

5. Fight Club (1999, David Fincher)          




Well I'm sorry but am gonna talk about fight club.

'Fight Club' is a movie of a rare caliber, one that makes its points unrestrainedly; its characters dominate the screen with vivacious personalities. It has a dream-like quality to it, but it is excruciatingly real. A reality that gets uglier and more twisted until its stunning ending. Love it or hate it, it's a movie you will not soon forget.

Edward Norton's character, who narrates throughout the film, is a depressed fellow with a dead-beat job, an insomniac who finds his only pleasures in attending support groups for the terminally ill. His life takes an unexpected turn when he meets Marla, a woman who finds herself in similar straits.

Enter Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt): A young, clever and energetic guy, an activist who rants against the evils of our consumer-driven society. Their obvious differences notwithstanding, our narrator and Tyler strike up a strange friendship.

Things remain on the relatively down-low, until out of the clear blue, Tyler tells his pal 'hit me!' After they begin brawling randomly to release their natural pent-up aggression, the idea catches on, and they formally found 'Fight Club', a club that lets men be men without the artificial influences of consumerism, or the superficial effects of conformist society.

But as 'Fight Club' gains popularity and begins to spread throughout the country, problems begin creeping up, both within Fight Club and in the personal lives of our narrator and his on-and-off girlfriend Marla.

I think many critics were too creped out by the dark and violent aspects of this movie, to give it its deserved due for its thought-provoking and intelligent script. Not to mention, its phenomenal acting, which aside from the great performance we expect out of Ed Norton who seems to thrive in these kind-of 'dark' roles, Brad Pitt establishes himself as a truly good actor (not just a 'pretty boy') and is just so ideal for the character of Tyler Durden

It is almost impossible to tell why Fight Club is so good, when you have watched it, you do not sit their and try to figure out why you loved this classic, just keep in mind that you have watched and you have enjoyed almost to the bitter end. This movie only won the Oscar for best sound, when this should have won Best Picture, director (Fincher), Actor (Norton), Supporting Actor (Pitt), Supporting Actress (Carter) and adapted screenplay. If you have not watched this classic, then don't you dare even continue your existence until you have seen this classic.


4. The Godfather (1972, Francis Ford Coppola) 


A quick glance over the IMDB's "Referenced In” page for The Godfather reveals a staggering list of nods, tributes and lampoons numbering well over two hundred. It's a testament that The Godfather isn't merely just an excellent movie – it's a cultural figurehead. One so immense that even people who haven't seen the movie recognise references to it.

A complex morality tale about both the importance of family and the force of changing times, Coppola's film fills the screen with more memorable scenes and quotable dialogue than most pictures could only dream of. It could have taken the easy route and portrayed the Mafia as cold, ruthless criminals – it in fact does the opposite. We attend the weddings of these people. We sit down and dine with them. Where so many mobster movies paint their characters as unscrupulous and one-dimensional, The Godfather succeeds in not only making us empathise with its – we actually like them. As the power of the Corleone family shifts from aging Don Vito to returning war hero Michael, the corruption seeping in is almost heartbreaking.

Released in 1972 to rapturous applause, The Godfather went on to scoop ten Oscar nominations. It originally scored eleven, but its Best Score selection was revoked for re-using pieces of music. Nearly thirty-five years on, it remains a firm favourite. It's not just a movie, it's cinema in its purest, most visceral form. Those who disagree should meet me at the tollbooth at 7.30pm. I'll bring oranges…


3. Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980, Irvin Kershner)


If you had to name just one film where you could guarantee everyone leaving the cinema would feel they'd had their money's worth, then it would surely have to be The Empire Strikes Back. 

This film is the deepest, darkest and greatest of the original Star Wars trilogy and hailed by most as one of the greatest sequels ever produced by Hollywood.  The feel good factor of the original film (where good eventually conquers evil) is now wiped away by this much darker tale that sees the heroes of the piece constantly on the back foot. Whether it's a narrow escape from a secret encampment on the Ice Plant Hoth, or dodging the Imperial fleet through meteor fields, our heroes are desperate to escape the clutches of one of the greatest cinematic villains – Darth Vadar, who seem hell bent on capturing the rebels and in particular Luke Skywalker? 

Along the way we're introduced to Yoda, the last remaining Jedi Master found in solitude on the swamp planet of Dagobah and where Luke undertakes a crash course of Jedi training in readiness of a premature duel with Vadar himself. Elsewhere Han Solo's romantic relationship with Princess Leia deepens as they, and Chewbacca and C-3PO, try to escape from the Imperial fleet aboard Han's Millennium Falcon, a rusty bucket of bolts that's in bad disrepair. The script is rich and witty and Irvin Kershner's direction gives a very mature feel to the story.

The unforgettable and surprisingly dark climax (which takes place on the art deco-styled cloud city) leaves you begging for the next instalment in what must surely be the best cliffhanger ever put to celluloid. A masterpiece of Sci-Fi cinema!


2. Goodfellas (1990, Martin Scorsese)


Goodfellas seems like a long film. At 145 minutes, it was well above average at the time of its release. Now, not so much. But in comparison to recent film, it's amazing how much happens in it. It's a much referenced, much parodied film; what's amazing is that it's as engrossing as it is iconic. From the shocking opening, voiced with Henry's remembered dreaming of a glamorous life, it's an enthralling view of the effect that mafia work, ethics, and privilege have on people. It's an incredible story… Scorsese and Pileggi even left out some meaty parts of the original biography to make it the mean, sleek creature that it is. And, as with the book, it's fascinating to see what the job is like: the nervous scheming before airport raids, cruel intimidation of debtors, drug smuggling, and calculated murder. In parts, it's brutal and horrific, soft and sweet, warm and nostalgic, dirty and sexy, light and funny, paranoid, tragic. Henry may be perfectly suited for his job, but his doubts are palpable and by the end, they are all-encompassing. The 1980 montage is one day of frustration and terror near the end as he tries to keep it all glued together, and it's one of the most awesome sequences in modern cinematic history. But the film wouldn't work if we didn't see the glamorous upside: the long closets stuffed with a rainbow of fineries, opulent Christmases, high-stakes poker games, gourmet food in prison, the table beside the stage, the twenties for everyone we meet, and everything for free. We hear Henry's disdain early on for people who "took the subway to work every day and worried about their bills,” and it's exactly that sentiment that gave Henry Hill a spectacular arc.

1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994, Frank Darabont)


"Put your trust in the Lord. Your ass belongs to me. Welcome to Shawshank."

While the performance of The Shawshank Redemption at the box office may not have been exactly impressive, it's development into a classic almost perfectly mirrors the developments in the film itself. This is a slow-burn film; a film about characters; beautifully written characters who draw you into their world and their lives, from James Whitmore's heavily institutionalised Brooks to Morgan Freeman's 'fixer' and narrator, Red. With an incredibly strong supporting cast (my personal favourite – William Sadler) and a rich succession of plots, it's the kind of film that keeps you coming back again and again.
Nothing left but all the time in the world to think about it."
Frank Darabont's adaptaion of Stephen King's short story is widely regarded as one of the best adaptations of his work and his direction and the team he gathered to work with him make this a well-deserved endorsement. Everything about this film is understated, from the pacing to Thomas Newman's quiet, string-filled score, to Roger Deakins' cinematography; a subtle mix of blues and greys, shadows and light. It might be set in a maximum security prison, but these gentlemen fill the screen with space and opportunity - Andy Dufresne's hope.  At the centre of all of this is Tim Robbins' beautifully pitched performance as Andy. Described by Red as having "a quiet way about him", Robbins exudes that kind of composure and confidence. With the briefest of smiles he can convey a man momentarily content with his lot, in particular during the opera and rooftop scenes. Andy and the others become people that we care about and his growing friendship with Red becomes something for us to believe in, something to give us that most important of things – hope.


clownfoot -> RE: The Forums Top 100 Favourite Films 2008! (4/4/2008 1:44:34 AM)

And here's the list in full for the lazy bastards...

1. (4) The Shawshank Redemption (1994, Frank Darabont)
2. (5) Goodfellas (1990, Martin Scorsese)

3. (2) Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980, Irvin Kershner)

4. (1) The Godfather (1972, Francis Ford Coppola)

5. (8) Fight Club (1999, David Fincher)

6. (3) Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring (2001, Peter Jackson)
7. (10) Aliens (1986, James Cameron)

8. (7) Pulp Fiction (1994, Quentin Tarantino)

9. (9) Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981, Steven Spielberg)

10. (19) Blade Runner (1982, Ridley Scott)

11. (6) Back to the Future (1985, Robert Zemeckis)
12. (11) Jaws (1975, Steven Spielberg)

13. (12) The Matrix (1999, Andy & Larry Wachowski)

14. (14) Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2001, Peter Jackson)

15. (15) Alien (1979, Ridley Scott)

16. (34) Die Hard (1988, John McTiernan)

17. (21) Se7en (1995, David Fincher)
18. (18) The Thing (1982, John Carpenter)

19. (13) The Godfather Part II (1974, Francis Ford Coppola)

20. (27) Star Wars: A New Hope (1977, George Lucas)

21. (28) The Usual Suspects (1996, Bryan Singer)

22. (32) Seven Samurai (1954, Akira Kurosawa)

23. (46) Gladiator (2000, Ridley Scott)

24. (20) The Big Lebowski (1998, Joel and Ethan Coen)

25. (NE) Pan's Labyrinth (2006, Guillermo del Torro)

26. (17) Taxi Driver (1976, Martin Scorsese)

27. (22) Jurassic Park (1993, Steven Spielberg)

28. (23) Casablanca (1942, Michael Curtiz)

29. (59) Batman Begins (2005, Christopher Nolan)

30. (29) Leon (1994, Luc Besson)

31. (45) Heat (1995, Michael Mann)

32. (33) The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002, Peter Jackson)

33. (37) L.A Confidential (1997, Curtis Hanson)

34. (26) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004, Michael Gondry)
35. (50) Shaun of the Dead (2005, Edgar Wright)

36. (31) Reservoir Dogs (1991, Quentin Tarantino)

37. (25) One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest (1975, Milos Forman)

38. (55) The Shining (1980, Stanley Kubrick)

39. (57) Vertigo (1958, Alfred Hitchcock)

40. (44) Trainspotting (1996, Danny Boyle)

41. (40) Memento (2000, Christopher Nolan)

42. (69) Life of Brian (1979, Terry Jones)
43. (48) It's A Wonderful Life (1946, Frank Capra)

44. (66) Stand By Me (1986, Rob Reiner)

45. (54) Rear Window (1954, Alfred Hitchcock)

46. (42) Donnie Darko (2001, Richard Kelly)

47. (41) 12 Angry Men (1957, Sidney Lumet)

48. (24) Evil Dead 2 (1987, Sam Raimi)

49. (89) Miller's Crossing (1990, Joel and Ethan Coen)

50. (47) The Good,The Bad and the Ugly (1966, Sergio Leone)

51. (38) Amelie (2000, Jean-Pierre Jeunet)

52. (79) Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991, James Cameron)

53. (77) Double Indemnity (1944, Billy Wilder)

54. (NE) Ran (1985, Akira Kurosawa)

55. (16) Apocalypse Now (1979, Francis Ford Coppola)
56. (82) Fargo (1996, Joel and Ethan Coen)

57. (62) Saving Private Ryan (1999, Steven Spielberg)    

58. (35) Ghostbusters (1984, Ivan Reitman)

59. (30) City Of God (2002, Fernando Meirelles)

60. (43) Raging Bull (1980, Martin Scorsese)

61. (76) Toy Story (1995, John Lasseter)

62. (51) Serenity (2005, Joss Whedon)

63. (52) Mulholland Drive (2001, David Lynch)

64. (RE) Psycho (1960, Alfred Hitchcock)
65. (64) The Terminator (1984, James Cameron)
66. (RE) Predator (1988, John McTiernan)

67. (58) Citizen Kane (1941, Orson Welles)
68. (73) Schindler's List (1993, Steven Spielberg)

69. (NE) Forrest Gump (1994, 1985, Robert Zemeckis)

70. (68) Dr Strangelove (1962, Stanley Kubrick)

71. (78) Some Like it Hot (1959, Bill Wilder)

72. (97) North by Northwest (1959, Alfred Hitchcock)   

73. (NE) Ikiru (1952, Akira Kurosawa)

74. (NE) City Lights (1931, Charles Chaplin)

75. (65) 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, Stanley Kubrick)

76. (NE) Titanic (1997, James Cameron)

77. (RE) The Third Man (1949, Carol Reed)

78. (NE) Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927, F.W. Murnau)

79. (61) Grosse Pointe Blank (1997, George Armitage)

80. (93) The Princess Bride (1987, Rob Reiner)

81. (49) American Beauty (1999, Sam Mendes)

82. (67) Once Upon a Time in the West (1968, Sergio Leone)

83. (39) Lost in Translation (2003, Sophia Coppola)

84. (NE) Rocky (1976, John G. Avildsen)

85. (100) Paris, Texas (1984, Wim Wenders)

86. (RE) Halloween (1978, John Carpenter)

87. (75) Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975, Terry Gilliam & Terry Jones)
88. (NE) The Departed (2006, Martin Scorsese)

89. (53) Brazil (1985, Terry Gilliam)
90. (RE) Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977, Steven Spielberg)  

91. (RE) The Lion King (1994, Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff)
92. (87) Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983, Richard Marquand)
93. (NE) The Apartment (1960, Billy Wilder)

94. (NE) The Searchers (1956, John Ford)

95. (NE) Children of Men (2006, Alfonso Cuarón)
96. (83) Chinatown (1974, Roman Polanski)
97. (RE) E.T: The Extra Terrestrial (1982, Steven Spielberg)

98. (86) Ferris Buller's Day Off (1986, John Hughes)

99. (NE) Downfall (2004, Oliver Hirschbiegel)

100. (NE) Once Upon a Time in America (1984, Sergio Leone)

And the films that featured in last years poll that have been knocked out of this years 100 are Oldboy (this years placement – 166), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (157), Dawn of the Dead (101 – just missed out), Groundhog Day (111), Lawrence of Arabia (132), Annie Hall (112), Unforgiven (104), Spirited Away (128), The Truman Show (116), Edward Scissorhands (158), Kill Bill Volume 1 (102), The Nightmare Before Christmas (161), Full Metal Jacket (145), Spiderman 2 (107), Clerks (149), Almost Famous (108), Airplane! (151), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (235), The Wild Bunch (311), Blue Velvet (156), A Clockwork Orange (105).

clownfoot -> RE: The Forums Top 100 Favourite Films 2008! (4/4/2008 2:04:43 AM)


And that is officially that! Not just for this years poll but for me running the poll in the future. Time, age and responsibility have caught up with me, as shown by the delay in this years revealing of the 100, meaning I'm not going to be running the poll again at the end of this year. So if any of you youngsters want to carry the torch forwards for the future, then you're more than welcome.

For now, though, lets hunt down and run through those members of the board who voted for Gladiator, Forrest Gump, Titanic and Heat! Let the discussion commence...

TRM -> RE: The Forums Top 100 Favourite Films 2008! (4/4/2008 2:12:15 AM)

Well since no-one has posted yet, ill be the first to say thank you to Clownfoot for completing this task and a very good job of it you have made as well. Its nice to see Shawshank at the top which im sure will annoy some of the forum members... although its really dissapointed to see films like Heat, the big lebowski, predator and E.T. in this list but i wont complain too much as i think overall it is a really good list.

Edit: I just looked at what just missed out and how can Lawrence of Arabia and A clockwork orange not be top 100 material! Also no love for Kieslowski from the forum! I think its time for a recount of the votes [:D]

Piles -> RE: The Forums Top 100 Favourite Films 2008! (4/4/2008 2:24:08 AM)

Really nice list. Glad to see a lot of my favourites in there, and what's with all the Heat hating? I can never understand why that film isn't loved. Good to see some love for Once Upon A Time In America, I'm so happy that that just scraped into the final cut! Also nice to see 2001, Dr Strangelove, the Usual Suspects (which I sent a blurb to you for, Clowny, allthough I won't hold it against you seen as you've done such an amazing job with the list [;)]) and The Third Man, all of which are absolute masterpieces.

It's a shame you won't be doing the list again next year, Clowny, it really is. You're efficient, hard-working and these lists - no matter if there a month or so late - are always well put together and fun to read. I would throw my hat into the ring to run it next year, but it wouldn't feel right with me only being around for a few months.

Nevertheless, thanks to everyone who helped. I'll have a proper read of the blurbs in the morning. It's far too late to start doing that!

TRM -> RE: The Forums Top 100 Favourite Films 2008! (4/4/2008 2:34:45 AM)



Really nice list. Glad to see a lot of my favourites in there, and what's with all the Heat hating? I can never understand why that film isn't loved. Good to see some love for Once Upon A Time In America, I'm so happy that that just scraped into the final cut! Also nice to see 2001, Dr Strangelove, the Usual Suspects (which I sent a blurb to you for, Clowny, allthough I won't hold it against you seen as you've done such an amazing job with the list [;)]) and The Third Man, all of which are absolute masterpieces.

It's a shame you won't be doing the list again next year, Clowny, it really is. You're efficient, hard-working and these lists - no matter if there a month or so late - are always well put together and fun to read. I would throw my hat into the ring to run it next year, but it wouldn't feel right with me only being around for a few months.

Nevertheless, thanks to everyone who helped. I'll have a proper read of the blurbs in the morning. It's far too late to start doing that!

Well the reason i dislike Heat is that the first time i watched it i fell asleep half way through. This is pretty rare for me but i put it down to general tiredness that night. so a few months later i tried to watch it again and fell asleep at about the same point. So i tried again the next evening and the same thing happened. The day after that i continued on from the point where i fell asleep and thought that overall it was just a very mediocre film with some stars who were past their prime. I mean it took me 3 days just to watch it once! I have considered giving it another try but i really cant bring myself to do it.

And unless my eyes deceive me Manchurian Candidate is going to be pretty pissed off when he gets around to viewing the list [8D]

ilovebeerme -> RE: The Forums Top 100 Favourite Films 2008! (4/4/2008 3:06:05 AM)

Well done on the list.  Lot's of hard work went into that.

....However!  No Arena!?!  No Robot Jox?!?  No China O'Brian 2?!?  What's the world coming to [:o]

frankie -> RE: The Forums Top 100 Favourite Films 2008! (4/4/2008 3:40:57 AM)


ORIGINAL: clownfoot


And that is officially that! Not just for this years poll but for me running the poll in the future.

Good! Now maybe whoever replaces you might be able to organise the list so that Brief Encounter makes it for once.

Clowny,  in all honesty, you've been a star. i couldn't have done it. And the pictures are brilliant this year.
Pretty good list but quite a lack of Brit films. no Ken Loach or Mike Leigh?

Oh, and ilovebeerme. Happy Birthday for yesterday.[sm=happy34.gif]

ilovebeerme -> RE: The Forums Top 100 Favourite Films 2008! (4/4/2008 4:35:11 AM)

Cheers Frankie [:D]

Film Brain -> RE: The Forums Top 100 Favourite Films 2008! (4/4/2008 7:54:02 AM)

Very good list. Just two notes:
1) How come The Terminator uses two images of Terminator 3?
2) You might want to touch up my blurbs since the odd letter in a word has been dropped due to my speedy type last night.

jonson -> RE: The Forums Top 100 Favourite Films 2008! (4/4/2008 8:21:15 AM)

Clowny  [sm=worship.gif][sm=worship.gif] Top work, top man.
Superb stuff. Just about worth the wait [;)]

Good work to all else involved as well. Good blurbs, good organisation and the pictures have added something a bit special.
Large-hands-slapping-backs-all round.
Not sure how Jaws manages to slip down another place this year, especially to be replaced by yawnathon Bladerunner.
I was hoping The Thing would take a majestic rise but it's levelled off (not enough people have seen it obviously) and I'm glad Stand By Me has rocketed 20-odd paces.
Donnie Darko slips 2 places. Hopefully next year it'll be off the radar all together.
And the less said about Evil Dead 2 the better. [:@] All that work Clowny for such a dismal final showing.

I watched Shawshank again a few weeks ago so can't really complain about it being number 1. It is a fabulous movie and is easily the better movie out of the Top 5.
The inevitable Lord of the Rings tumble starts, Back to the Oversized Trainers also slips out the Top 10, Pans Labyrinth smashes into the Top 25 (I suspect slipping back out again next year)
Fabulous list people, better than the last few years anyway.
Much to discuss, much to discuss...........

deniseA -> RE: The Forums Top 100 Favourite Films 2008! (4/4/2008 9:53:59 AM)


ORIGINAL: jonson

I'm glad Stand By Me has rocketed 20-odd paces.

Yeah I'm pleased to see that rise up the Top 100 too, a firm favourite of mine.  Also good to see Double Indemnity making a huge surge too.  There of course the usual niggles, perhaps, for some, the top 20 all in colour and English, although Seven Samurai  almost broke in, so maybe there's a bit of hope for the future, if indeed  there is to be another poll after Clownie's retirement.

Talking of Seven Samurai it was also good to see two of Kurosawa's other films making the list, Ran and Ikiru.  Also delighted a third Billy Wilder film joins the top 100, and Downfall making the list.

Other niggles, well for me, Glory not making it, in terms of points it wasn't that far off actually and it might make an entrance in the future.  Another dissapointment is Heat rising back up the poll.

I guess the major surprise is not one, but two silent films making the list, I think there will be some very happy campers.

By the way nice work with the pictures, Piles.  Really adds to it. 

Groovy Mule -> RE: The Forums Top 100 Favourite Films 2008! (4/4/2008 10:34:33 AM)

Well done and many thanks to Clownie for all his hard work not just this year but every year that he has run the poll - another great job.  Despite the fact that DeniseA, Rinc and I helped out on the scoring, most of the work still falls on Clownie.  Also, having helped out this year, I know how much work it takes just to be a helper.  Also, the pictures look awesome so well done Piles - nice one.

As for the poll, despite knowing the results before they were published I still got quite excited scrolling down the list - how sad am I.  Am mightily pleased to see Downfall scrape into the list and Raiders of the Lost Ark make the Top 10.  However, I am not sure I will ever understand the love for Lord of the Rings, Stand By Me and Leon.  I do think it is a good list with a decent mix of films and could be the first time a silent film has made the list.  What I like about the poll is seeing what new films make the list and it will be interesting to see whether those films are a one-off or whether they will become staples of the Top 100 like Batman Begins and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. 

Also I will do you a blurb for Lost In Translation at some point over the weekend.

Piles -> RE: The Forums Top 100 Favourite Films 2008! (4/4/2008 11:32:16 AM)


ORIGINAL: Film Brain

1) How come The Terminator uses two images of Terminator 3?

That would be down to me not actually having seen them, and an image google search for 'The Terminator (1984)' brought those pictures up. I was none the wiser. Apologies.

Dave B -> RE: The Forums Top 100 Favourite Films 2008! (4/4/2008 11:57:25 AM)

Suprised to see Goodfellas ahead of The Godfather, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.

Very glad to see Ran, The Searchers, The Apartment, Children of Men, Pan's Labyrinth, Rocky and Close Encounters make the list as well.

Slightly disappointed that Shaun of the Dead and Batman Begins have lept up the list as while they are great films, I don't think either of them are top 100 material.

jonson -> RE: The Forums Top 100 Favourite Films 2008! (4/4/2008 11:58:30 AM)




ORIGINAL: Film Brain

1) How come The Terminator uses two images of Terminator 3?

That would be down to me not actually having seen them, and an image google search for 'The Terminator (1984)' brought those pictures up. I was none the wiser. Apologies.

Don't apologise to the pedantic sod. [:D]
Howvere, I saw 2 spelling mistakes and was going to report it to the Mods. If its not put right it'll spoil my weekend.

Piles -> RE: The Forums Top 100 Favourite Films 2008! (4/4/2008 12:00:20 PM)


ORIGINAL: jonson




ORIGINAL: Film Brain

1) How come The Terminator uses two images of Terminator 3?

That would be down to me not actually having seen them, and an image google search for 'The Terminator (1984)' brought those pictures up. I was none the wiser. Apologies.

Don't apologise to the pedantic sod. [:D]
Howvere, I saw 2 spelling mistakes and was going to report it to the Mods. If its not put right it'll spoil my weekend.

Could you not detect my deadpan sarcasm? [;)]

Marvel_79 -> RE: The Forums Top 100 Favourite Films 2008! (4/4/2008 12:29:50 PM)

Well done Clowny and the team, the pictures are an especially nice touch!

Good to see Shawshank at the top of the list, it's currently top in my list of films I've seen this year (over in Top 10's and Lists) which I'll be using as my entry into this ext year, if someone picks up the mantle

Also great to see Rocky make the list - Is that a first?

Biggus -> RE: The Forums Top 100 Favourite Films 2008! (4/4/2008 12:30:06 PM)

Excellent stuff Clowny! Love the pics! I did have a review for Heat on my profile but it seems to have vanished. If you want it, let me know as I think I have a copy elsewhere. Quite a few surprises there.

Initial reactions:
  • Serenity better than The Terminator? And Predator? And Dr Strangelove? And Rocky? And ET?  [sm=33.gif]
  • Nice to see Blade Runner moving toward the top spot. [sm=happy34.gif]
  • Glad to see Pan's Labyrinth making an entry. [sm=happy34.gif]
  • Sad to see Taxi Driver drop down. [sm=34.gif]
  • Terminator 2 is just too damn high. [sm=33.gif]
  • And I still don't get the love for Shawshank! [sm=38.gif]

PB~! -> RE: The Forums Top 100 Favourite Films 2008! (4/4/2008 1:56:37 PM)

I don't get how raiders of the lost ark can be so high, yet the last crusade doesn't get a look in.  Dissapointing.

Thanks to clowny for an excellent job well done, and to Piles for the pictures, even the Terminator one.[8D]  This has been a great read.  Really good to see Fight Club so high, but dissapointing to see BTTF fall.  I was very surprised to see no Bourne or No Country For Old men, since i remember seeing them in a few lists.  Also, E.T. must be higher.

deniseA -> RE: The Forums Top 100 Favourite Films 2008! (4/4/2008 2:32:52 PM)

The three Bourne films I think  had a very split vote and as such didn't make that much of an impression.  I think Ultimatum fared the best but was someway off making the list.  Maybe a case of there being very little to choose between the three films.

No Country For Old Men did do quite well, but perhaps hasn't been widely seen whilst the poll was running, it could well do better next time, as more see it.

ScottiE -> RE: The Forums Top 100 Favourite Films 2008! (4/4/2008 3:23:50 PM)

Good work Cloney. 
is the any chance of knowing how close  WHERE EAGLES DARE came as Im rather disppointed the epic war movie did not make the grade again.,

Im also a little suprised that such movies as ran and city lights manged to get into the top 100. not saying there are not worthy just a little suprised that so many peaole have voted for them.. and while Im on a rant, where the hell is BACK TO THE FUTURE 2. is so much more fun than the first, even though thats a great movie.

Groovy Mule -> RE: The Forums Top 100 Favourite Films 2008! (4/4/2008 3:49:51 PM)



Good work Cloney. 
is the any chance of knowing how close  WHERE EAGLES DARE came as Im rather disppointed the epic war movie did not make the grade again.,

Im also a little suprised that such movies as ran and city lights manged to get into the top 100. not saying there are not worthy just a little suprised that so many peaole have voted for them.. and while Im on a rant, where the hell is BACK TO THE FUTURE 2. is so much more fun than the first, even though thats a great movie.

Clownie will correct me if I am wrong but both Where Eagles Dare and BTTF2 were close to making the list:  BTTF2 was #109 and Where Eagles Dare #120.

deniseA -> RE: The Forums Top 100 Favourite Films 2008! (4/4/2008 4:00:20 PM)


ORIGINAL: Groovy Mule

Clownie will correct me if I am wrong but both Where Eagles Dare and BTTF2 were close to making the list:  BTTF2 was #109 and Where Eagles Dare #120.

Yeah, I was just about to post that it was around that number.  Where Eagles Dare was around 30 points off, whilst BTTF II was around 10 points away.

Manchurian candidate -> RE: The Forums Top 100 Favourite Films 2008! (4/4/2008 4:19:35 PM)


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