Friday, 4 January 2019

101 Great Films




I used to teach Film Studies. It was good fun, and about as easy as it sounds.

Because of this, people sometimes ask me what films that they should have watched. They think I have a Proper List in my head, and that I can tell them the Right Answer. And then they can watch the Right Films.

Or maybe they're just asking for recommendations. They're bored of the usual stuff, and think that I might know lots of cool, offbeat, esoteric stuff, that will stimulate their intellects and hearts.

When they do this I nod wisely, purse my lips, and then stare into the distance, trying to communicate the majesty of cinema.

What I'm really doing is thinking, "What films are there? I can't think of any. Except Star Wars. Better not say Star Wars."

Anyway. I've decided to create a list of my top 100 films. Which was stupid for a number of reasons. Firstly, there's too many great films. Getting it down to 100 is ridiculous, and I've definitely forgotten something crucial. And I've had to miss off some great stuff, that makes me sad.



 
Yes, I'm sorry "The Guest". I love you, but there wasn't room.
Please don't kill me with guns.



Also, what does 'top' mean? Is this a 'Sight and Sound' style list of films we should all know, if we want to be proper film buffs? Does Citizen Kane need to be in there? (It's not.) Should it be representative of all the various genres, and include significant films that moved the art form on? (It isn't, it doesn't.)

In the end I've gone for 'Things I like.' Which seems about right. Though it does mean that my top 100 probably isn't that different from Empire's top 100. And may indeed seem very mainstream.

Thing is, my taste in film is pretty simple, I think. I like to be engaged by the medium. I want images and sounds that excite some emotion. I've never been one for subtle, quiet movies. I know some people get a lot from films with ladies staring sadly out of windows, in silence, for ten minutes at a time. But I like stuff to happen, and ideally I'd like that stuff to be an exploding helicopter.

So here's my provisional list of the 100 films I like best. Except it'll probably change as soon as I put it down. And it's 101 because screw you it's my blog and 100 is too hard.



 

 


A
 

  
Aliens
 
American Beauty
 
American History X
 
American Psycho
 
An American Werewolf in London
 
Apocalypse Now

 
 
B

 
Back to the Future
 
Blade Runner
 
Blade Runner 2049
 
The Blues Brothers
 
Brazil


 
C

 
Casablanca
 
Casino Royale (2006)
 
Children of Men
 
Clerks


 
 

 
D

 
The Dark Knight
 
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
 
Dead Man’s Shoes
 
Die Hard
 
Drive


 
E
 

Edward Scissorhands
 
Election
 
Enchanted
 
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind


 
F
 

Face Off
 
Falling Down

Fargo
 
A Few Good Men
 
Fight Club
 
The Firm
 
Flash Gordon
 
Four Lions

 
 

 
G
 

The Girl With All the Gifts

Goodfellas
 
The Graduate
 
Gremlins
 
Grosse Pointe Blank
 
Groundhog day


 
H
 

Halloween (1978)

Heat
 
Hot Fuzz
 
The Hudsucker Proxy


 
I
 

Inception
 
In The Loop
 
It Follows
 
It’s A Wonderful Life


 
 
 
 
J
 
 
John Wick

 
 
L
 
 

L.A. Story
 
Leon
 
Little Miss Sunshine
 
The Long Good Friday
 
Lost in Translation
 
The Lost Boys

 

M
 

Magnolia
 
The Matrix
 
Mean Girls
 
Memento
 
Midnight Run
 
The Muppets

 

 
N
 
 
A Nightmare on Elm Street
 
Night of the Living Dead


 
 
 
 
O
 
 
Once
 
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
 
Out of Sight


 
P
 

Peter’s Friends
 
Pleasantville

Pride
 
The Princess Bride
 
Psycho
 
Pulp Fiction


 
Q
 
 
A Quiet Place


 
 
 
R
 
 
The Raid
 
Raiders of the Lost Ark
 
Reservoir Dogs
 
Robocop
 
The Royal Tenenbaums
 
 


 
S
 
 
Scarface
 
Seven
 
Shaun of the Dead
 
Shawshank Redemption
 
Sideways
 
Silence of the Lambs
 
The Sixth Sense
 
Stand By Me

Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country
 
Star Wars: A New Hope
 
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back



 
T
 

Terminator
 
Terminator 2
 
This is England
 
Total Recall
 
Trainspotting
 
True Romance
 
Twelve Monkeys
 
Twenty Eight Days Later


 
U
 
 
The Untouchables
 
The Usual Suspects

 
W
 
 
What We Do In The Shadows
 
When Harry Met Sally

Withnail and I
 
Whiplash



 

 





 

 

 



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