The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films (50-1)

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Amelie

Amélie

Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain (original title)
2001 / France-Germany / 122m / Col / Romance, Comedy
Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus, Lorella Cravotta, Serge Merlin, Jamel Debbouze, Claire Maurier, Clotilde Mollet, Yolande Moreau, Flora Guiet
"Paris: city of light, city for lovers swept up by the air of romance. It’s the perfect setting for Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s wonderful Amélie, a film with a golden, glowing heart. This massive hit at the French box office is the very dictionary definition of ‘feel-good’ — its irresistible charms will dispel the heaviest clouds hanging over the head of the gloomiest misanthrope… Jeunet has created one of the most joyous films of recent years. With its gallery of affectionately drawn grotesques and eccentrics, Amélie is filled with sunshine." - Alan Morrison, Empire
Selected by Hind Mezaina, Richard Woolley, Jean-Marc Vallée, Jean Olle-Laprune, Jean-Christophe Berjon.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
49 49
Inland Empire

Inland Empire

2006 / USA-France-Poland / 180m / Col / Avant-garde-Experimental, Mystery
Laura Dern, Jeremy Irons, Harry Dean Stanton, Grace Zabriskie, Ian Abercrombie, Peter J. Lucas, Justin Theroux, Terryn Westbrook, Julia Ormond, Diane Ladd
"David Lynch believes that his new film makes sense. In fact, that it makes perfect sense. And not only is he not joking; he’s saying this about the most screwed-up, far-out film he’s made since Eraserhead. It’s a three-hour psychotropic odyssey that throws conventional narrative out of the window. Characters mutate and morph, time zones overlap, and wormholes connect worlds within worlds within worlds. But through it all Lynch maintains an astonishing sense of commitment that almost dares you to keep up… Inland Empire is a terrific, albeit labyrinthine, funhouse of a film, rich with the promise of mystery in all its dark, inviting doorway." - Damon Wise, Empire
Selected by Gillies MacKinnon, Stephen Thrower, Paula Arantzazu Ruiz, David Sterritt, Quim Casas.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Pasted Graphic

Million Dollar Baby

2004 / USA / 137m / Col / Sports Drama, Melodrama
Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank, Morgan Freeman, Jay Baruchel, Mike Colter, Lucia Rijker, Brian F. O'Byrne, Anthony Mackie, Margo Martindale, Riki Lindhome
"Clint Eastwood takes what appears to be a conventional boxing-melodrama plot about a crusty old trainer whose heart is melted by a spirited young fighter and turns it into a glowing, somber meditation on friendship, ambition and death. The picture's scale is small, and its pacing leisurely, which gives you a chance to savor three lovely performances: from Swank as the young boxer, Freeman as world-weary former contender and Eastwood as the trainer… Mr. Eastwood has achieved a level of mastery that leaves him with nothing to prove, and so, unafraid of sentiment and willing to risk cliché, he has made a graceful, lyrical, devastating masterpiece." - A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Selected by Luke Gibbons, Jeon Chanil, Jerome Bimbenet, Michael Althen, Katja Nicodemus.
47 48
The Turin Horse

The Turin Horse

A Torinói ló (original title)
2011 / Hungary-France-Germany-Switzerland-USA / 146m / BW / Drama, Slice of Life
Janos Derzsi, Erika Bok, Mihaly Kormos, Ricsi
"There are no direct answers, and the mastery of The Turin Horse is that its meaning or meanings are there for the taking. Tarr works in mesmerising harmony with his cinematographer Fred Kelemen (shooting in long shots and velvety blacks) and composer Mihály Vig (adopting a hypnotic dirge that rises and falls with a sense of import). Together, they lead us magnetically through the routines of this austere pair – taking out the horse, fetching water, eating just one boiled potato each for dinner… It feels like the creation story in reverse – a terrible, unavoidable walk into the dark." - Dave Calhoun, Time Out
Selected by Pere Portabella, Arturo Ripstein, Maria Ulfsak, Scott Foundas, Glenn Kenny.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
46 43
Colossal Youth

Colossal Youth

Juventude Em Marcha (original title)
2006 / Portugal-France-Switzerland / 155m / Col / Drama, Slice of Life
Ventura, Vanda Duarte, Beatriz Duarte, Gustavo Sumpta, Cila Cardoso, Isabel Cardoso, Alberto 'Lento' Barros, Antonio Semedo, Paulo Nunes, Jose Maria Pina
"Featuring the residents of a Lisbon slum, Pedro Costa's Colossal Youth is a mesmeric, visually stunning portrait of a deprived community that confirms its director as one of Europe's major talents. The intransigently austere Colossal Youth is the kind of film that must usually look for its exposure in those areas beyond the remit of commercial distribution, where cinema meets moving-image gallery work… Colossal Youth demands to be seen more than once: a first viewing just about lets you acclimatise to its mesmerically slow pacing, visual stillness and incantatory verbal rhythms." - Jonathan Romney, Sight & Sound
Selected by Julian Graffy, Roger Koza, Michel Lipkes, Bill Krohn, Dennis Lim.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Syndromes and a Century

Syndromes and a Century

Sang sattawat (original title)
2006 / Thailand-France-Austria-Netherlands / 105m / Col / Drama, Ensemble Film
Nantarat Sawaddikul, Jaruchai Iamaram, Nu Nimsomboon, Arkanae Cherkam, Sakda Kaewbuadee, Jenjira Pongpas, Sophon Pukanok, Manasanant Porndispong, Wanna Wattanajinda, Apirak Mittrpracha
"Syndromes and a Century is a poem on screen: a film of ideas and visual tropes that upends conventional narrative expectations, not out of a simple desire to disconcert but to break through the carapace of normality, to give us the knight's-move away from reality that the Russian formalists said was the prerogative of art. It's a movie to be compared with the work of Antonioni - or Sergei Parajanov… If you want a film as challenging and exhilarating as the most weird and wonderful exhibition at Tate Modern, if you are bored with all the usual boilerplate material coming out of Hollywood, or even if you're not, then this is a film for you. Try it." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Jonathan Romney, May Adadol Ingawanij, Diego Lerer, Andrew Bujalski, David Ansen.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

2001 / New Zealand-USA / 178m / Col / Epic, Fantasy Adventure
Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, John Rhys-Davies, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom
"It's thrilling indeed to sit through a mega-budget blockbuster sword-and-sorcery picture that's the work of a genuine filmmaker—that has passion and urgency, that has characters who are (whatever their stature or alien protuberances) dramatically compelling, that is more than the sum of the scores (hundreds?) of millions that have been thrown at it. It's true that the first installment of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring, is basically a lot of people running away from special effects. But what volcanic special effects! What otherworldly settings through which to run! What magnificent music to run to! What illustrious actors doing the running!" - David Edelstein, Slate
Selected by S.F. Said, Helmut Fiebig, Douglas Pratt, Julia Jager, Patrick Laurent.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Memento

Memento

2000 / USA / 113m / Col / Mystery, Crime Thriller
Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, Mark Boone Jr., Stephen Tobolowsky, Harriet Sansom Harris, Callum Keith Rennie, Larry Holden, Russ Fega, Jorja Fox
"Nolan's Following was one of the most original British films of the '90s, and this follow-up makes no compromise… This taut, ingenious thriller displays real interest in how perception and memory shape action, identity and, of course, filmic storytelling. Moreover, a plot strand featuring Stephen Tobolowsky even touches the heart. There's grade A work from all concerned, especially Pearce, but in the end this is Nolan's film. And he delivers, with a vengeance." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Lisa Mullen, Frank Schnelle, Mike D'Angelo, Maitland McDonagh, Philip Kemp.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

4 luni, 3 saptamani si 2 zile (original title)
2007 / Romania-Netherlands-France-Germany / 113m / Col / Drama, Slice of Life
Anamaria Marinca, Laura Vasiliu, Vlad Ivanov, Alexandru Potocean, Ion Sapdaru, Teodor Corban, Tania Popa, Cerasela Iosifescu, Luminata Gheorghiu, Adi Carauleanu
"The story of two college girls negotiating the treacherous currents of a drab police state to secure an illegal abortion, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days is a movie one watches in a state of mounting dread. Romanian writer-director Cristian Mungiu's brilliantly discomfiting second feature is one long premonition of disaster. Set in 1987, 4 Months moves from the shabby clutter of an overcrowded college dorm, through the dimly lit streets of a provincial city, to a rundown Stalinoid deco hotel… For all its long behavioral takes, 4 Months is remarkably unshowy. The movie is as drained of color as the girls' faces. Daily life is a hellish adventure." - J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
Selected by Lukas Moodysson, Jeon Chanil, Ognjen Svilicic, James Franco, Stanley Rosen.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Requiem for a Dream

Requiem for a Dream

2000 / USA / 100m / Col / Addiction Drama, Psychological Drama
Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Marlon Wayans, Christopher McDonald, Louise Lasser, Keith David, Sean Gullette, Dylan Baker, Hubert Selby Jr.
"Aronofsky's second film is a relentlessly grim wallow in the depths of human misery, a film that doesn't so much ponder the void as plunge into it. It's also a gripping, uncomfortably intense tour de force that tops even [Pi] (1998) in terms of ambition and stylistic overload. A visual stylist of the highest order, Aronofsky is a student of the more-is-more school of filmmaking… For him, style and substance are hopelessly intertwined, and the film's rhythmic, hypnotic repetition provides a fitting visual equivalent to the rapturous, ritualized repetition of the junkies it depicts. But as brutal and raw as Requiem for a Dream is, it retains a shattering sense of humanity throughout." - Nathan Rabin, A.V. Club
Selected by Patricia Rozema, Simon Rumley, Pavel Bednarik, Sean Byrne, David Ondaatje
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Before Sunset

Before Sunset

2004 / USA / 80m / Col / Romance, Comedy Drama
Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Louise Lemoine Torres, Vernon Dobtcheff, Rodolphe Pauly, Mariane Plasteig, Diabolo, Albert Delpy, Marie Pillet, Denis Evrard
"Nine years after they parted, in Vienna, at the end of Before Sunrise, Jesse (Hawke) and Celine (Delpy) rediscover each other in Paris, and relive their brief encounter. This time, it is even briefer: the film unfolds, without skipping a minute, in the hour or so before Jess must catch a plane home to New York… The liberating sweetness of the earlier movie has mellowed into a saltier, sadder flavor, but Richard Linklater, one of our most literate and intelligent directors, has not talked himself out of the possibility of romance, and the movie's relaxed, discursive structure is dense with implied feeling and oblique drama." - A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Selected by Sukhdev Sandhu, Diane Negra, Quentin Tarantino, Andrew Bujalski, Andrew Sarris.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
39 36
The White Ribbon

The White Ribbon

Das Weisse Band - Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte (original title)
2009 / Germany-Austria-France-Italy / 144m / BW / Drama, Period Film
Christian Friedel, Ernst Jacobi, Leonie Benesch, Ulrich Tukur, Ursina Lardi, Fion Mutert, Michael Kranz, Burghart Klaubner, Steffi Kuhnert, Maria-Victoria Dragus
"The White Ribbon is a ghost story without a ghost, a whodunnit without a denouement, a historical parable without a lesson, and for two and a half hours, this unforgettably disturbing and mysterious film leads its viewers alongside an abyss of anxiety. It has chilling brilliance and icy exactitude, filmed in black and white with the lustre of liquid nitrogen, and its director, Michael Haneke, achieves a new refinement of mastery and audacity… This is a profoundly disquieting movie, superbly acted and directed. Its sinister riddle glitters more fiercely each time I watch it." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Mike Newell, Sabine Niewalda, Paul Whitington, Richard Corliss, Geoff Andrew.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
38 34
The Social Network

The Social Network

2010 / USA / 120m / Col / Drama, Biopic
Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake, Andrew Garfield, Brenda Song, Armie Hammer, Joseph Mazzello, Max Minghella, Josh Pence, Rashida Jones, John Getz
"The Social Network is about a young man who possessed an uncanny ability to look into a system of unlimited possibilities and sense a winning move. His name is Mark Zuckerberg, he created Facebook, he became a billionaire in his early 20s, and he reminds me of the chess prodigy Bobby Fischer. There may be a touch of Asperger's syndrome in both: They possess genius but are tone-deaf in social situations… David Fincher's film has the rare quality of being not only as smart as its brilliant hero, but in the same way. It is cocksure, impatient, cold, exciting and instinctively perceptive… It makes an untellable story clear and fascinating." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Selected by Marcelo Panozzo, Jane Lamacraft, Joseph Cedar, Leonard Maltin, Anthony Lane.
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Sideways

Sideways

2004 / USA / 123m / Col / Comedy Drama, Buddy Film
Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen, Sandra Oh, Marylouise Burke, Jessica Hecht, Missy Doty, M.C. Gainey, Alysia Reiner, Shake Tukhmanyan
"Raise your glasses to a vintage American comedy that gets damn near everything right… This baby has it all: inspired direction by Alexander Payne, who fuses bracing wit and emotional gravity into something funny, touching and vital; a nuanced script by Payne and Jim Taylor that serves as a model of screen adaptation by shaping dialogue into classic comic contours; and a quartet of actors who qualify as a cinematic dream team… Sideways is inarguably a special occasion. Doubters may hedge about calling it a classic and might insist on checking back in a few years to see how it has aged. Fair enough. But it's not too early to call it pure movie bliss." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Selected by Peter Farrelly, Jasper Sharp, Leonard Maltin, Owen Gleiberman, Pierre Rissient.
36 30
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

Loong Boonmee raleuk chat (original title)
2010 / Thailand-UK-France-Germany-Spain-Netherlands / 113m / Col / Avant-garde-Experimental, Fantasy Drama
Thanapat Saisaymar, Jenjira Pongpas, Sakda Kaewbuadee, Natthakam Aphaiwonk, Geerasak Kulhong, Kanokporn Tongaram, Matthieu Ly, Vien Pimdee
"It’s barely a film; more a floating world. To watch it is to feel many things – balmed, seduced, amused, mystified. It’s to feel that one is encountering a distinctive metaphysics far removed from that on display in most contemporary cinema. Weerasethakul has not only drawn on the themes, landscapes and mood-states he tapped in Blissfully Yours, Tropical Malady and Syndromes And A Century, films that extended the imaginative and emotional grammar of arthouse cinema over the last decade; he has refined them to create his most accessible and most enchanted film to date." - Sukhdev Sandhu, The Telegraph
Selected by Nigel Andrews, Jean-Michel Frodon, Udagawa Koyo, Matthew Connolly, J. Hoberman.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Melancholia

Melancholia

2011 / Denmark-Sweden-France-Germany / 136m / Col / Science Fiction, Psychological Sci-Fi
Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Alexander Skarsgard, Brady Corbet, Cameron Spurr, Charlotte Rampling, Jesper Christensen, John Hurt, Stellan Skarsgard, Udo Kier
"How does the world end? When it is in the hands of the cinematic master of human misery, dark Danish auteur Lars von Trier, as it is in Melancholia, it ends in extraordinary, horrific, searing, aching and unthinkable ways. It is his most hopeful film yet. Still firmly rooted in the filmmaker's esoteric, frustrating, provoking, demanding narrative style, the movie is also amazingly romantic — lush, ripe, rich, delicious. Its apocalyptic vision is encouraging in its hopelessness; its star, Kirsten Dunst, luminous in her anguish and devastation. Excessive in every way, and yet restrained. Everything and nothing that you'd expect a film called Melancholia to be." - Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times
Selected by Nigel Andrews, Stig Bjorkman, Wheeler Winston Dixon, J. Hoberman, Andrew O'Hehir.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
34 26
The Royal Tenenbaums

The Royal Tenenbaums

2001 / USA / 109m / Col / Comedy Drama, Comedy of Manners
Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Ben Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow, Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson, Danny Glover, Bill Murray, Seymour Cassel, Kumar Pallana
"Royal Tenenbaum (Hackman) and his wife, Etheline (AHuston), had three children—Chas, Margot, and Richie—and then they separated. Chas (Stiller) started buying real estate in his early teens and seemed to have an almost preternatural understanding of international finance. Margot (Paltrow) was a playwright and received a Braverman Grant of $50,000 in the ninth grade. Richie (Wilson) was a junior champion tennis player and won the U.S. Nationals three years in a row… The Royal Tenenbaums is a hilarious, touching, and brilliantly stylized study of melancholy and redemption from Wes Anderson." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Hind Mezaina, Jan Distelmeyer, Matthew Connolly, Cameron Crowe, Noel Murray.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
33 29
A Separation

A Separation

Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (original title)
2011 / Iran / 123m / Col / Drama, Ensemble Film
Peyman Moadi, Leila Hatami, Sareh Bayat, Shahab Hosseini, Sarina Farhadi, Merila Zare'i, Ali-Asghar Shahbazi, Babak Karimi, Kimia Hosseini, Shirin Yazdanbaksh
"This powerful, complex Iranian drama centres on a conflict that cuts across boundaries of gender and class… An unhappily married couple break up in this complex, painful, fascinating Iranian drama by writer-director Asghar Farhadi, with explosive results that expose a network of personal and social faultlines. A Separation is a portrait of a fractured relationship and an examination of theocracy, domestic rule and the politics of sex and class – and it reveals a terrible, pervasive sadness that seems to well up through the asphalt and the brickwork." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Matthias Lerf, Alby James, Pen-Ek Ratanaruang, Richard Corliss, Ty Burr.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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The Son

The Son

Le Fils (original title)
2002 / Belgium-France / 103m / Col / Drama, Social Problem Film
Olivier Gourmet, Morgan Marinne, Isabella Soupart, Nassim Hassaini, Kevin Leroy, Felicien Pitsaer, Remy Renaud, Annette Closset, Fabian Marnette, Pierre Nisse
"The emotional terrain The Son stakes out has been plowed over many times before. The death of a child commonly provides warrant either for sentimental psychobabble or for righteous violence. With their uncompromising, almost unbearable rigor and their ruthless refusal of melodrama, the Dardenne brothers mount an implicit critique of the therapeutic nostrums and the vigilante fantasies to which we have become accustomed… Nothing about The Son is easy, and it has the balked, minimalist force (as well as the working-class setting) of one of Raymond Carver's better stories. To call it a masterpiece would be to insult its modesty." - A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Selected by Eva af Geijerstam, Daniel Frampton, Marc Munden, Kent Jones, Laurence Kardish.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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A.I. Artificial Intelligence

A.I. Artificial Intelligence

2001 / USA / 145m / Col / Science Fiction, Psychological Drama
Haley Joel Osment, Frances O'Connor, Sam Robards, Jude Law, Jake Thomas, Brendan Gleeson, William Hurt, Ken Leung, Theo Greenly, Ashley Scott
"A collaboration between the living Steven Spielberg and the late Stanley Kubrick seems appropriate to a project that reflects profoundly on the differences between life and non-life. Kubrick started this picture and came up with the idea that Spielberg should direct it, and after inheriting a 90-page treatment Kubrick had prepared..., Spielberg finished it in so much his own manner that it may be his most personal film, as well as his most thoughtful. It might make you cry; it's just as likely to give you the creeps—which is as it should be. This is a movie people will be arguing about for many years to come." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Tom Charity, Joseph McBride, Bauyrzhan Nogerbek, Ted Pigeon, Josh Larsen.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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The Hurt Locker

The Hurt Locker

2008 / USA / 130m / Col / War, Action Thriller
Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Guy Pearce, Ralph Fiennes, David Morse, Evangeline Lilly, Christian Camargo, Suhail Aldabbach, Christopher Sayegh
"The Hurt Locker, directed by Kathryn Bigelow from a script by Mark Boal, is the best non-documentary American feature made yet about the war in Iraq. This may sound like faint praise and also like a commercial death sentence, since movies about that war have not exactly galvanized audiences or risen to the level of art… And the public, perhaps sufficiently enervated and confused by reality, was not eager to see it recreated on screen. So let me put it another way, at the risk of a certain cognitive dissonance. If The Hurt Locker is not the best action movie of the summer, I’ll blow up my car." - A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Selected by Ruth Harley, Git Scheynius, Don Boyd, Richard Corliss, Andrew Sarris.
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No Country for Old Men

No Country for Old Men

2007 / USA / 122m / Col / Thriller, Crime
Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson, Kelly Macdonald, Garret Dillahunt, Tess Harper, Barry Corbin, Stephen Root, Rodger Boyce
"The bleak and unforgiving borderlands of Texas by the Rio Grande are the setting for this triumphant new movie by Joel and Ethan Coen… The Coens are back with a vengeance, showing their various imitators and detractors what great American film-making looks like, and they have supplied a corrective adjustment to the excesses of goofy-quirky comedy that damaged their recent work. The result is a dark, violent and deeply disquieting drama, leavened with brilliant noirish wisecracks, and boasting three leading male performances with all the spectacular virility of Texan steers. And all of it hard and sharp as a diamond." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Philip Berk, Milan Pavlovic, Mohamed Al-Daradji, Jim Emerson, Leonard Maltin.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Y tu mama tambien

Y tu mamá también

2001 / Mexico / 105m / Col / Coming-of-Age, Road Movie
Maribel Verdu, Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna, Marta Aura, Diana Bracho, Emilio Echeverria, Veronica Langer, Arturo Rios, Ana Lopez Mercado, Nathan Grinberg
"The director, Alfonso Cuarón, works with a quicksilver fluidity, and the movie is fast, funny, unafraid of sexuality and finally devastating. The film, which takes place in Mexico, follows two hormonally consumed teenage boys, Julio (Bernal) and Tenoch (Luna), whose infantile macho games seem more like baby steps when they meet Luisa (Verdú), a sad-eyed young woman who is married to Tenoch's older cousin. Tenoch and Julio come on to Luisa by promising her a tour of the wondrous beach called Heaven's Mouth. By the end, Julio and Tenoch are left with their eyes wide open. Those in the audience will have seen something unforgettable, too." - Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times
Selected by Christopher Fowler, David Ansen, Jean-Christophe Berjon, Barbara Schweizerhof, Andrew Bujalski.
27 45
Brokeback Mountain

Brokeback Mountain

2005 / USA-Canada / 134m / Col / Romantic Drama, Modern Western
Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Randy Quaid, Anne Hathaway, Michelle Williams, Graham Beckel, Roberta Maxwell, Anna Faris, Linda Cardellini, Peter McRobbie
"Brokeback Mountain is a gay Western with a shot to become much more than a niche movie… Modest in scale but with an epic feel, this 2¼ hour portrayal of star-crossed sheep tenders casts Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal as two ill-educated drifters… There's nothing fussy or attention-getting about Lee's direction or Rodrigo Prieto's photography, but the selection of shots and the rhythm of their cutting seem unerringly right. And while many of today's movies don't really end, the capper here is a kick in the gut. It's an old-style virtue for a film that's old-style in the best way: unassuming but people-oriented and aiming to endure." - Mike Clark, USA Today
Selected by Robert Cashill, Peter Machen, Jane Yu, David Stratton, A.O. Scott.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
26 21
A History of Violence

A History of Violence

2005 / USA-Germany / 96m / Col / Thriller, Crime
Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bello, William Hurt, Ashton Holmes, Stephen McHattie, Peter MacNeill, Ed Harris, Greg Bryk, Kyle Schmid, Heidi Hayes
"In A History of Violence a Midwestern family man (Mortensen) commits a deadly act of self-defense that triggers a series of ever more brutal persecutions and reprisals. It's the 62-year-old Cronenberg's most conventional film in years as well as his most brilliantly subversive: The movie bears the DNA of a classical western and a contemporary action thriller, but it interrogates its death wish fantasies even as it submits to them... Like so many of Cronenberg's great films, Violence is an exquisitely poised tightrope negotiation between reality and reverie, viscera and intellect, the comedy and the horror of existence." - Dennis Lim, The Village Voice
Selected by Robert Polito, Cameron Bailey, Neil Young, Leonard Maltin, Bong Joon-ho.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
25 24
Zodiac

Zodiac

2007 / USA / 158m / Col / Mystery, Police Detective Film
Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Edwards, Robert Downey Jr., Brian Cox, John Carroll Lynch, Richmond Arquette, Bob Stephenson, John Lacy, Chloe Sevigny
"David Fincher’s magnificently obsessive new film tracks the story of the serial killer who left dead bodies up and down California in the 1960s and possibly the ’70s, and that of the men who tried to stop him. Set when the Age of Aquarius disappeared into the black hole of the Manson family murders, the film is at once sprawling and tightly constructed, opaque and meticulously detailed. It’s part police procedural, part monster movie, a funereal entertainment that is an unexpected repudiation of Mr. Fincher’s most famous movie, the serial-killer fiction Seven, as well as a testament to this cinematic savant’s gifts." - Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
Selected by Bong Joon-ho, Vadim Rizov, Henry K. Miller, Aaron Aradillas, Joshua Rothkopf.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
24 19
Dogville

Dogville

2003 / Denmark-Sweden-France-UK-Germany-Finland-Italy-Netherlands-Norway / 177m / Col / Drama, Avant-garde-Experimental
Nicole Kidman, Harriet Andersson, Lauren Bacall, Jean-Marc Barr, Paul Bettany, Blair Brown, James Caan, Ben Gazzara, Philip Baker Hall, Udo Kier
"Shot on a soundstage in Copenhagen with no sets, just chalk marks to indicate the houses in a Rocky Mountain town during the Depression, the film sounds like the circle of hell reserved for gluttons for pretentious punishment… But one fact is unassailable: Von Trier is a genuine talent. Despite the stagy set, his camera moves with a fluid elegance no computer could match… For all the plot detours and dead spots, this is strong, stinging filmmaking. Von Trier, light years from the formula doggerel at the multiplex, delivers something rare these days: a film of ideas." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Selected by Zsolt Gyenge, Stephen Thrower, Sonia Genaitay, Jian Yi, Mark Glaser.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
23 20
Far from Heaven

Far from Heaven

2002 / USA-France / 107m / Col / Melodrama, Marriage Drama
Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid, Dennis Haysbert, Patricia Clarkson, Viola Davis, James Rebhorn, Michael Gaston, Ryan Ward, Lindsay Andretta, Celia Weston
"Todd Haynes has both updated the now-classic Douglas Sirk melodramas of the 1950's and paid ardent, intelligent homage to their lush, subversive spirit. Julianne Moore plays Cathy Whitaker, a Hartford housewife whose leafy domestic idyll is shattered by her husband's homosexuality and her own illicit friendship with a black landscaper (Haysbert). The cast, which also includes Dennis Quaid as Cathy's unhappy husband and Patricia Clarkson as her poisonously compassionate best friend, is uniformly superb. The movie transcends irony or caricature, and reminds us how humane and how artful melodrama can be." - A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Selected by Briony Hanson, Alan Jones, Hans-Dieter Delkus, Quim Casas, Owen Gleiberman.
22 38
Lost in Translation

Lost in Translation

2003 / USA-Japan / 102m / Col / Comedy Drama, Comedy of Manners
Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Giovanni Ribisi, Akiko Takeshita, Kazuyoshi Minamimagoe, Kazuko Shibata, Take, Catherine Lambert, Anna Faris, Fumihiro Hayashi
"A delicate, beautifully observed study of impossible romance… Inspired by a number of trips that Coppola took to Japan in the '90s, Lost in Translation stars Bill Murray as Bob Harris, a middle-aged movie star who goes to Tokyo to earn a quick $2 million on a whiskey commercial… There he meets Charlotte (Johansson), the bored wife of a self- absorbed photographer (Ribisi), and finds a kindred soul and fellow insomniac… Coppola has a wonderful, precise sense of dramatic rhythms. The easy, smooth contours that she gives to Lost have the power to envelop and enchant us, to stir up thoughts and reflections that work in tandem with the film ." - Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle
Selected by Richard Curtis, Jan Schulz-Ojala, Wolfgang Hobel, Karlheinz Oplustil, Tobias Kniebe.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
21 23
City of God

City of God

Cidade de Deus (original title)
2002 / Brazil-Germany-France / 129m / Col / Urban Drama, Crime Drama
Matheus Nachtergaele, Seu Jorge, Alexandre Rodrigues, Leandro Firmino da Hora, Phellipe Haagensen, Douglas Silva, Jonathan Haagensen, Jefechander Suplino, Alice Braga, Roberta Rodriguez Silvia
"This electrifying picture is part tender coming-of-age film and part gang-warfare epic from the Brazilian slum, or favela, told from the viewpoint of the children who manage to be both its underclass and its criminal overlords. It's a movie with all the dials cranked up to 11, an overwhelming, intoxicating assault on the senses, and a thriller so tense that you might have the red seat plush in front of you - or even some unfortunate's hair - gripped in both fists... Meirelles's storytelling rushes forward at a full, breathless tilt, swerving, accelerating, doubling back on itself, amplifying the roles and experiences of incidental characters… It is a compelling piece of work." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Steven Markovitz, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Ahmed Atef, Oren Peli, Tony Scott.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
20 25
The Gleaners & I

The Gleaners & I

Les Glaneurs et la glaneuse (original title)
2000 / France / 82m / Col / Culture & Society, Documentary
Bodan Litnanski, Peter Rnic, Agnès Varda, Francois Wertheimer
"The French title of this delightful, encouraging documentary underlines how Agnès Varda identifies with her subjects - social marginals who 'glean' a living, from the earth (caravan dwellers) or from refuse (the teacher of Malian and Senegalese immigrants whom she befriends at a Paris street market). The veteran film-maker is newly inspired and energised by the freedom her DV camera brings. The film is marked by youthful freshness, and the integrity and sympathy of both the images and the commentary, as Varda hurtles us to Arras, Beaune or Paris in search of the new generation of foragers." - Wally Hammond, Time Out
Selected by Sukhdev Sandhu, Sophie Mayer, Charles Musser, Elise Nakhnikian, Pier Marton.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
19 33
Dancer in the Dark

Dancer in the Dark

2000 / Denmark-France-Sweden-Italy-Germany-Norway-Netherlands-Iceland-Finland-UK-USA / 140m / Col / Musical Drama, Melodrama
Bjork, Catherine Deneuve, David Morse, Peter Stormare, Joel Grey, Vincent Paterson, Cara Seymour, Jean-Marc Barr, Vladica Kostic, Udo Kier
"Dogma 95 godfather Lars Von Trier's attempts to reinvent filmmaking continue with Dancer in the Dark… A bare-bones description doesn't quite capture Dancer in the Dark's richness… Von Trier traffics in a quality more compelling than simple irony and never relies solely on the contrast between the glitzy fantasies of Hollywood and the stark realities of working-class life. Each musical sequence arises naturally out of the rhythms and materials of its surroundings (a factory, a bridge, a house) and reflects an attempt by Björk to understand rather than escape her surroundings, to bring them in line with her own boundlessly generous and forgiving view of humanity." - Keith Phipps, A.V. Club
Selected by Oliver Schmitz, Isamu Hirabayashi, Cyrus Frisch, Angela Glaser, John Waters.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
18 18
WALL-E

WALL-E

2008 / USA / 98m / Col / Sci-Fi Adventure, Animation
Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin, Fred Willard, MacInTalk, John Ratzenberger, Kathy Najimy, Sigourney Weaver, Kim Kopf, Lori Alan
"Many will attempt to describe WALL-E with a one-liner. It’s R2-D2 in love. 2001: A Space Odyssey starring The Little Tramp. An Inconvenient Truth meets Idiocracy on its way to Toy Story. But none of these do justice to a film that’s both breathtakingly majestic and heartbreakingly intimate—and, for a good long while, absolutely bereft of dialogue save the squeals, beeps, and chirps of a sweet, lonely robot who, aside from his cockroach pet, is the closest thing to the last living being on earth." - Robert Wilonsky, The Village Voice
Selected by Richard Corliss, Wendy Ide, Wally Hammond, Andrew Osmond, A.O. Scott.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
17 17
Platform

Platform

Zhantai (original title)
2000 / China=-France-Hong Kong / 154m / Col / Comedy Drama, Ensemble Film
Hong Wei Wang, Tao Zhao, Jing Dong Liang, Tian Yi Yang, Bo Wang
"To gauge the suffocating allure of Platform, imagine if the protagonist from Bresson's A Man Escaped never made it out of his Gestapo hell. Jia's epic film is a laconic portrait of a remote Chinese city in arrested development, where love is impacted and lost highways lead to destinations unknown… Some critics have complained about the film's lack of narrative vigor, forgetting that Jia's point is that there's very little for these people to live out. These are lives trapped in amber, trying to create a more complex narrative. Via startling long shots and temporal displacements, Jia truly evokes a community grasping hopelessly for something, anything to lift them up." - Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
Selected by Dennis Lim, Gavin Smith, Kaushik Bhaumik, Diego Brodersen, Bert Rebhandl.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
16 16
The Death of Mr. Lazarescu

The Death of Mr. Lazarescu

Moartea domnului Lazarescu (original title)
2005 / Romania / 154m / Col / Drama, Medical Drama
Ioan Fiscuteanu, Luminata Gheorghiu, Gabriel Spahiu, Doru Ana, Dana Dogaru, Serban Pavlu, Florin Zamfirescu, Clara Voda, Adrian Titieni, Mihai Bratila
"The grinding ordeal endured by the ailing title character of The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, a thorny masterpiece by Cristi Puiu, concludes well after 3 a.m. in a Bucharest hospital as he lies dying, unattended on a gurney… The two-and-a-half hour film views this late-night descent of the allegorically named Dante Remus Lazarescu through circles of medical hell observed with eyes that are dispassionate but far from cold. A sustained triumph of ensemble acting, the film seems so absolutely real it absorbs you into its world the same way a documentary like Frederick Wiseman's 1970 Hospital seeps into your consciousness." - Stephen Holden, The New York Times
Selected by Alexey Medvedev, Maria Kuvshinova, Ludmila Cvikova, Dan Sallitt, Mike Leigh.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
15 13
Blissfully Yours

Blissfully Yours

Sud sanaeha (original title)
2002 / Thailand-France / 125m / Col / Avant-garde-Experimental, Drama
Kanokporn Tongaram, Min Oo, Jenjira Jansuda, Sa-gnad Chaiyapan, Kanitpat Premkij, Jaruwan Techasatiern
"In Blissfully Yours, a delicate, ethereal dream of a film from the young Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul, one of the more original and promising new voices to hit the international cinema scene in recent years, two Thai women and a male Burmese companion voyage into the wild, away from civilization and its discontents. There, in a forest as thick with mystery as a painting by Henri Rousseau, Mr. Weerasethakul lets loose beauty with a vengeance… For the three travelers, the trip into the forest will be no simple day in the country; it is something more urgent and necessary." - Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
Selected by Corneliu Porumboiu, Samuel Wigley, Jed Rapfogel, Amir Naderi, Pascale Ferran.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
14 15
Punch-Drunk Love

Punch-Drunk Love

2002 / USA / 95m / Col / Comedy Drama, Anarchic Comedy
Adam Sandler, Emily Watson, Luis Guzman, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Lisa Spector, Julie Hermelin, Karen Hermelin, Hazel Mailloux, Nicole Gelbard
"What do you call Punch-Drunk Love? It's not a musical, because no one sings or dances. But it has the surreal delirium—and the MGM Technicolor hues, airy compositions, and stylized décor—of the great movie musicals… At its heart the story is boy-meets-girl simple, but the movie is so full of lurches and discordances and flabbergasting non sequiturs that at times it's like an avant-garde dance-theater piece with injections of Saturday Night Live. I imagine that many will find it arch, and, on a narrative level, as bumptiously withholding as its protagonist. I found it exquisite." - David Edelstein, Slate
Selected by Miranda July, Constantin Popescu, Neil Young, Lee Unkrich, Sean Byrne.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
13 14
Talk to Her

Talk to Her

Hable con ella (original title)
2002 / Spain / 112m / Col / Melodrama, Romantic Drama
Javier Camara, Dario Grandinetti, Leonor Watling, Rosario Flores, Mariola Fuentes, Geraldine Chaplin, Pina Bausch, Malou Airaudo, Roberto Alvarez, Elena Anaya
"Like all great doomed affairs, Talk to Her is full of lovely, sweet suffering. And when it's over, the realization of how much the movie means to you really sinks in; you can't get it out of your heart. Pedro Almodóvar has created a tragic comedy about need, its liberating and shackling powers. Movies haven't been so rapturous about characters plummeting to an awful end at least since the last Almodóvar film, All About My Mother (1999). But he doesn't mine the comic strip soap opera mystique so extravagantly here; everything falls into place with an almost surreal delicacy." - Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times
Selected by Paul Julian Smith, Youngmee Hwang, Rob White, Jean-Christophe Berjon, Tony Dayoub.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
12 11
Tropical Malady

Tropical Malady

Sud pralad (original title)
2004 / France-Thailand-Germany-Italy-Switzerland / 118m / Col / Avant-garde-Experimental, Adventure Drama
Banlop Lomnoi, Sakda Kaewbuadee, Sirivech Jareonchon, Huai Dessom, Udom Promma, Saritpong Boonyadiwon
"There is a sort of film - a rare sort - that has you leaving the cinema in a light-headed daze, pointing back at the exit and asking the person you're with: "What just happened in there?" Such a one is this beautiful and strange Thai movie from director Apichatpong Weerasethakul… Just thinking about it now makes me want to burst out laughing at its sheer audacity, its eccentricity, its unashamed aspiration to poetry and its nimble evasion of anything so commonplace as an explanation... It may turn out to be a masterpiece or simply a cult classic or just barking mad. Either way, it's sumptuous and scary, and a brilliant adventure in structure and style." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Lisandro Alonso, Lalitha Gopalan, Ben Walters, Cristina Nord, Dudley Andrew.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
11 10
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

2004 / USA / 108m / Col / Comedy Drama, Romantic Fantasy
Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Elijah Wood, Mark Ruffalo, Jane Adams, David Cross, Tom Wilkinson, Deirdre O'Connell, Debbon Ayer
"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a title that evaporates from your consciousness almost before it's apprehended—and that's partially the point of this deft, witty, and vastly enjoyable movie, directed by French music-video ace Michel Gondry from Charlie Kaufman's screenplay. It's a head trip… Filled with the writer's trademark neurotic characters, grungy atmospherics, and downbeat emphasis on domestic discord, it's a baroque and intermittently brilliant brain twister so convoluted that it inevitably deposits the viewer in an alternate universe." - J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
Selected by Stephen Thrower, Roberta Ciabarra, Linda Ruth Williams, Drake Doremus, Richard Curtis.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
10 12
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Wo hu cang long (original title)
2000 / Taiwan-Hong Kong-USA-China / 120m / Col / Martial Arts, Romantic Adventure
Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi, Chen Chang, Sihung Lung, Pei-pei Cheng, Fazeng Li, Xian Gao, Yan Hai, Deming Wang
"The director convened stars of three movie eras — pioneer kung-femme Cheng Pei-pei from the 1960s, Chow Yun-fat and Michelle Yeoh from Hong Kong’s glorious ’80s and bright new lights Zhang Ziyi and Chang Chen — and set them to battling over a magical sword. When the actors aren’t flying across roofs and balancing on treetops, in fight scenes choreographed by the great Yuen Wo-ping, they are navigating the murkier regions of personal responsibility and unspoken love. Crouching Tiger is a movie of gravity and buoyancy, of high art and higher spirits. It’s contemplative, and it kicks ass." - Richard Corliss, TIME
Selected by Carrie Rickey, Nandini Ramnath, Jeon Chanil, Brian Hu, Mark Glaser.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
9 8
Cache

Caché

Hidden (English title)
2005 / France-Austria-Germany-Italy-USA / 117m / Col / Drama, Psychological Thriller
Daniel Auteuil, Juliette Binoche, Maurice Benichou, Annie Girardot, Bernard Lecoq, Walid Afkir, Lester Makedonsky, Daniel Duval, Nathalie Richard, Denis Podalydes
"Cache casts a spell that grips you and won't let go. The film works as a provocation, on a personal and a political level. Daniel Auteuil is powerfully good as Georges, the host of a literary TV talk show in Paris, with Anne (a coolly imperious Juliette Binoche), just the right chic wife, and Pierott (Makedonsky), just the right preteen son, to go with their tres cher home. Crashing into their serenity comes a surveillance tape of their home, followed by drawings of violent images. Who's watching them? And what for?… By the final riveting and static images, fear and guilt have become almost palpable. You won't be able to look away." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Selected by Peter Bradshaw, Agnieszka Holland, Zsolt Gyenge, Wilfried Reichart, Dave Calhoun.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
8 9
Russian Ark

Russian Ark

Russkiy kovcheg (original title)
2002 / Russia-Germany-Japan-Canada-Finland-Denmark / 96m / Col / Avant-garde-Experimental, Essay Film
Sergei Dontsov, Mariya Kuznetsova, Leonid Mozgovoy, David Giorgobiani, Aleksandr Chaban, Maxim Sergeyev, Anna Aleksakhina, Natalia Nikulenko, Vladimir Baranov, Boris Smolkin
"As Alexander Sokurov's Russian Ark begins, its 21st century narrator, through whose eyes we see, wakes to find himself swept into the Hermitage amid a gaggle of 18th century ball guests. Russian Ark unfolds seamlessly from there as a single tracking shot, encompassing a dozen major scenes with hundreds of actors involved. Merely as a technical, logistical feat, Russian Ark marks a cinematic milestone… But the viewer nearly loses sight of Sokurov's technical mastery as the film turns a stroll through Russia's greatest museum into a meditation on time, history and the nature of cinema." - Kenneth Baker, San Francisco Chronicle
Selected by Stuart Klawans, Ronald Bergan, Pere Portabella, Mark Cousins, Gilbert Adair.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
7 7
There Will Be Blood

There Will Be Blood

2007 / USA / 158m / Col / Drama, Period Film
Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Kevin J. O'Connor, Ciaran Hinds, Dillon Freasier, Sydney McAllister, David Willis, David Warshofsky, Colton Woodward, Colleen Foy
"Anderson's epic, no less than his career, is both fearfully grandiose and wonderfully eccentric. A strange and enthralling evocation of frontier capitalism and manifest destiny set at the dawn of the 20th century, There Will Be Blood recounts the tale of a ferociously successful wildcat oil driller with the allegorical handle Daniel Plainview (Day-Lewis). The telling is leisurely and full of process: From the deliberately dark and fragmented prologue to the wildly excessive denouement, this movie continually defamiliarizes what might sound like a Giant-style potboiler… This is truly a work of symphonic aspirations and masterful execution." - J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
Selected by Agnieszka Holland, Manohla Dargis, Sam Mendes, Leonard Keigel, Leonard Maltin.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
6 6
The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life

2011 / USA / 139m / Col / Drama, Family Drama
Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Hunter McCracken, Laramie Eppler, Tye Sheridan, Fiona Shaw, Jessica Fuselier, Nicolas Gonda, Will Wallace
"Malick's mad and magnificent film descends slowly, like some sort of prototypical spaceship: it's a cosmic-interior epic of vainglorious proportions, a rebuke to realism, a disavowal of irony and comedy, a meditation on memory, and a gasp of horror and awe at the mysterious inevitability of loving, and losing those we love… This film is not for everyone, and I will admit I am agnostic about the final sequence, which suggests a closure and a redemption nothing else in the film has prepared us for. But this is visionary cinema on an unashamedly huge scale: cinema that's thinking big. Malick makes an awful lot of other film-makers look timid and negligible by comparison." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Olivier Assayas, David Denby, Roger Ebert, Aaron Aradillas, Joshua Leonard.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
5 5
Werckmeister Harmonies

Werckmeister Harmonies

Werckmeister harmóniák (original title)
2000 / Hungary-Germany-France-Switzerland-Italy / 145m / BW / Horror, Psychological Drama
Lars Rudolph, Peter Fitz, Hanna Schygulla, Janos Derzsi, Djoko Rossich, Tamas Wichmann, Ferenc Killai, Mihaly Kormos, Putyi Horvath, Eva Almassy Albert
"Béla Tarr's Werckmeister Harmonies is a totally sustained immersion in the magisterially bleak, voluptuously monochromatic, undeniably beautiful universe of muddy villages and cell-like rooms that the Hungarian filmmaker has created in collaboration with reclusive novelist László Krasznahorkai… Like Sátántangó, Werckmeister Harmonies is a work of bravura filmmaking—mainly a series of extremely long, largely mobile takes, edited without the normal pattern of shot-countershot. Tarr's camera style has its equivalent in Krasznahorkai's lengthy, convoluted sentences, although the results are quite different. Werckmeister is largely taciturn and anything but literary." - J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
Selected by Carlos Reygadas, Peter Hames, Kata Anna Varo, Roger Ebert, David Sterritt.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
4 4
Spirited Away

Spirited Away

Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (original title)
2001 / Japan / 124m / Col / Fantasy Adventure, Animation
Rumi Hiragi, Miyu Irino, Mari Natsuki, Takashi Naito, Yasuko Sawaguchi, Tatsuya Gashuin, Ryunosuke Kamiki, Yumi Tamai, Yo Oizumi, Bunta Sugawara
"Spirited Away has emerged as one of Miyazaki's finest works to date, striking a delicate balance between the joyful simplicity of one half of his oeuvre (as exemplified by My Neighbour Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service...), and the sprawling spectacle of the other half (i.e. Nausicaä, Castle in the Sky, and Princess Mononoke). It's a best-of-both worlds creation, in other words, an almost free-form fantasy piece which feels at once sweepingly large and touchingly intimate… Spirited Away is an animation film of the highest technical calibre. A visual triumph, both in set and character design, providing a delightful cast of spirits, spectres, talking animals, and imaginative hybrids." - Tom Mes, Midnight Eye
Selected by Nigel Andrews, Philippa Hawker, Jeff Masino, Alexandre Tylski, Hans-Dieter Delkus.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
3 3
Yi Yi

Yi yi

A One and a Two (English title)
2000 / Taiwan-Japan / 173m / Col / Ensemble Film, Family Drama
Nien-Jen Wu, Elaine Jin, Issei Ogata, Kelly Lee, Jonathan Chang, Hsi-Sheng Chen, Su-Yun Ko, Michael Tao, Shu-shen Hsiao, Adrian Lin
"The extraordinary, internationally embraced Yi Yi, directed by the late Taiwanese master Edward Yang, follows a middle-class family in Taipei over the course of one year, beginning with a wedding and ending with a funeral. Whether chronicling middle-age father NJ’s tentative flirtations with an old flame or precocious young son Yang-Yang’s attempts at capturing reality with his beloved camera, the filmmaker deftly imbues every gorgeous frame with a compassionate clarity. Warm, sprawling, and dazzling, this intimate epic is one of the undisputed masterworks of the new century." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Aditya Assarat, Cameron Bailey, Kong Rithdee, Glenn Heath Jr., Chris Berry.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
2 2
Mulholland Dr.

Mulholland Dr.

Mulholland Drive (alternative spelling)
2001 / France-USA / 147m / Col / Mystery, Psychological Thriller
Justin Theroux, Naomi Watts, Laura Elena Harring, Ann Miller, Dan Hedaya, Mark Pellegrino, Brent Briscoe, Robert Forster, Katharine Towne, Lee Grant
"Fashioned from the ruins of a two-hour TV pilot rejected by ABC in 1999, Lynch's erotic thriller careens from one violent non sequitur to another. The movie boldly teeters on the brink of self-parody, reveling in its own excess and resisting narrative logic. This voluptuous phantasmagoria is certainly Lynch's strongest movie since Blue Velvet and maybe Eraserhead. The very things that failed him in the bad-boy rockabilly debacle of Lost Highway—the atmosphere of free-floating menace, pointless transmigration of souls, provocatively dropped plot stitches, gimcrack alternate universes—are here brilliantly rehabilitated." - J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
Selected by Guy Maddin, Kim Newman, Stephane Delorme, R. Kurt Osenlund, Steven Boone.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
1 1
In the Mood for Love

In the Mood for Love

Fa yeung nin wa (original title)
2000 / Hong Kong-France / 97m / Col / Melodrama, Romantic Drama
Maggie Cheung, Tony Leung, Rebecca Pan, Lui Chun, Ping Lam Siu, Chin Chi-Ang, Chan Man-Lui, Koo Kam-Wah, Ysu Hsien, Chow Po-Chun
"Set in the sad yet deeply romanticized world of Hong Kong in the early to mid-'60s, Wong's ravishingly beautiful In the Mood For Love may be classified as a period piece, but only in the technical sense. In detailing the intimate friendship and love between two unhappily married lonelyhearts, Wong collects vivid moments out of time as they might play out in a person's memory many years later… In the Mood For Love captures the inherent alienation of city life, but in the process, he intensifies the romantic longing between the two characters… In the Mood For Love casts a dreamy and melancholic spell that remains unbroken long after the closing credits have rolled." - Scott Tobias, A.V. Club
Selected by Stig Bjorkman, Paul Julian Smith, B. Ruby Rich, Mira Nair, Ernest R. Dickerson.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films