40. American Beauty
This is truly a film not like any other. I mean, what genre is it? I don’t know. It’s not romance, it’s way to creepy and dark for that, it’s not a thriller, the only word I can use is a “psychological” film. It’s about a man who’s attracted to his daughter’s friend and that inspires him to live his life, but everything around eventually falls apart. Really a must-see, you’ll never see anything else like it.
39. North by Northwest
Another Hitchcock thriller, this time about a man mistaken for a spy. It’s not just any 60’s spy film though, there are twists and turns that really surprise and shock you. There’s a brilliant plot and cast, especially the main characters mother, my favourite character. Her scene in the lift is hilarious. Watch and find out what I mean.
38. Citizen Kane
The Citizen Kane of all movies is of course, Citizen Kane. Regarded by many as the greatest film of all time, I can’t really fault it. Not because I’m scared of getting attacked by fans, but because it is actually that good. Well, maybe not the best film ever, but definitely up there. It’s the best film I’ve seen from its time and for years after, and while I don’t worship it, I would definitely say it’s one of the best and most influencial
37. Toy Story 3
The first Toy Story was brilliant, the second was great, but this one really gives us everything it’s got. The toys we’ve grown up with are given away when Andy goes to university. But the nursery they end up in turns out to be a terrible place, and they lose Woody, then things go terribly wrong until the most emotional animated scene ever. If you’ve seen it, you know what I mean, if you haven’t then you won’t believe how moving it is until you do.
36. American History X
A Neo-Nazi, played by Edward Norton, comes out of prison a changed man. Unfortunately his brother is heading down the dark past that put Norton in jail to begin with. The film follows the story of both brothers in the present and in flashback, and it was really an eye opener. I didn’t really understand how such people could still exist even now, but this film really explains the culture and shows the terrible effects it has on families and the community.
35. Apocalypse Now
One of the most brilliant war films of all time. It’s just great to watch and asks many questions, until it reaches my major problem with it. SPOILER WARNING. At the end of the film Martin Sheen meets the crazed Marlon Brando and his cult, but I really can’t understand what it is about Brando that all these people are enthralled by. I work with people with mental problems and I can see lots of their behaviour in his character which really means I can’t see why anyone would think he was wise and not just ill. Maybe it’s just me, but it’s never really sat right.
34. Dr Strangelove or How I Learnt to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
One of the few Stanley Kubrick films I don’t have a problem with. Normally something in the way he directs bugs me, but I really enjoy this film. It’s truly hilarious, but in a really dark way. Every joke works, and by the end you’re both thinking about the implications and still laughing. It’s the perfect example of an intelligent comedy.
I saw this film recently, but I’d wanting to see it for ages. It’s the story of a hitman who adopts a little girl after her family are murdered. That sounds awful, but it’s done really well. All the parts are played really well, subtle Leon, surprising good child actress Natalie Portman isn’t completely annoying, and Gary Oldman... well he’s just fucking insane. It’s brilliant. It’s like a feel bonding tale crossed with a tragedy crossed with an action movie crossed with an art film, and I love it.
32. Sunset Boulevard
There were a lot of films about aging stars back in the 50s, but this is by far the best. It’s classic film noir, with the dark visuals and twisting plot and it really is just a descent into madness. You don’t know whether to feel pity or be repulsed and the things that happen to the main male character, well no-one deserved that. It’s grand and impressive but filled with anger and bitterness, just like the characters.
This is Christopher Nolan at his best. This is a very complex film, but it’s totally worth it. It’s about a man who can’t form short term memories. His memory only lasts about 10,20 minutes. So we see each section of his memory, but we see it in reverse order. Things at the end which he doesn’t understand are revealed to us in the flashbacks and the revelations are truly shocking, and utterly brilliant. Definitely one to watch if you’re wanting to used your head.
30. Forrest Gump
I must be one of the few people not to have seen Forrest Gump years ago. I only saw it a few months ago after people said how shocking it was I’d never seen it. And I can see why it’s a brilliant film now I’ve watched it, but I can’t really see what makes it a much watch over the other films in this list. My only idea is that it’s because of how easy it is to watch. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing to it like a dumb action film, it’s just you can sit down, turn it on and the time passes without you even realizing it. At the end you feel happy and relaxed and I can’t really explain why, but it’s a great experience.
29. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
And now we come to our first LOTR film. I used to love LOTR when I was younger, not as much as Star Wars but almost. I think everyone knows what LOTR is, even if you haven’t seen it, so there’s not really much to explain. The reason I think this one gets voted less well than the others is that it’s the middle one. In my opinion they’re all of equal quality, but this one doesn’t really begin or end any stories, so it’s a great watch, but much as there are a number of huge battles, there isn’t the sense of conclusion as you get with ROTK and there’s not the sense of anticipation as you get with FOTR. But it’s still a great film, don’t get me wrong.
28. It’s a Wonderful Life
This is one of my top ten films ever. Really. I love it. I love Jimmy Stewart, I love Clarence, I love the supporting cast and this tragedy of the man’s life and I love the darkness of the world without him. And most of all I love the ending. If you’ve seen it you know why, and if you’ve not, I cried at it, and I don’t cry at anything, so that should give you the impression of the impact it has, it’s just so happy. Look it up now. But watch the B&W version, that just feels better than the computer added colours which seem unnatural.
It’s a good mystery, great main characters, interesting mode of murder and sinister atmosphere. And now, SPOILER WARNING. At the end of the film it turns out that the murderer has planned a whole situation and before allowing himself to get caught he went to one of the detective’s houses and cut off their wife’s head and put it in a box. This is supposed to be shocking and all that, but I just can’t take it seriously. Like come on, head in a box? He’s not a supervillian off a particularly dark cartoon. It really ruins the movie, because for me it just takes one step over the line of suspending my disbelief and makes the film just seem silly. At least to me. Obviously you can decide yourself.
Everyone knows the shower scene. But I wonder how many people have actually seen the rest of the film. Because it’s an intriguing mystery and a dark slashed film, with a mad, but brilliant twist at the end. It’s the most perfect slashed film, and very entertaining. But the last scene, with the Doctor is just... awful. I don’t understand why it’s there. But still, great film.