Vincent Cassel, Hubert Kounde, Said Taghmaoui, Karim Belkhadra, Edouard Montoute, Francois Levantal, Solo Dicko, Marc Duret, Vincent Lindon, Karin Viard
"Mathieu Kassovitz took the film world by storm with La haine, a gritty, unsettling, and visually explosive look at the racial and cultural volatility in modern-day France, specifically the low-income banlieue districts on Paris’s outskirts. Aimlessly passing their days in the concrete environs of their dead-end suburbia, Vinz (Cassel), Hubert (Koundé), and Saïd (Taghmaoui)—a Jew, an African, and an Arab—give human faces to France’s immigrant populations… A work of tough beauty, La haine is a landmark of contemporary French cinema and a gripping reflection of its country’s ongoing identity crisis." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Gareth Evans, Rupert Wyatt, Ginette Vincendeau, Najwa Najjar, James Nolen.
Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Loomis, P.J. Soles, Charles Cyphers, Kyle Richards, Brian Andrews, John Michael Graham, Nancy Stephens, Arthur Malet
"It's more clear than ever that John Carpenter's Halloween is a remarkable film that towers over the endless clones that followed it. In fact—and this doesn't really detract from Scream's cleverness—watching Halloween again makes it apparent just how saddled with poor self-parody so many of its slasher follow-ups were… Carpenter's story of childhood killer Michael Myers' return to the town in which he has become a symbol of all that is dark relies more on suspense and suggestion than cheap shocks and gore, which in itself makes it a better film than its successors… Ignore the Prom Nights and the Friday The Thirteenths; Halloween cuts deepest." - Keith Phipps, A.V. Club
Selected by Edgar Wright, John Singleton, Dane Cook, Benjamin Spacek, Jim Hemphill.
Takeshi Kitano, Kayoko Kishimoto, Ren Osugi, Susumu Terajima, Tetsu Watanabe, Hakuryu, Yasuei Yakushiji, Taro Itsumi, Kenichi Yajima, Makoto Ashikawa
"Kitano's Venice prize-winner mixes tenderness, violence and droll humour… It's exceptionally assured, imaginative and idiosyncratic: the violence is sudden, brutal and almost all in the editing; the working of Kitano's own delightful paintings into the story is astonishingly resonant; the mise-en-scène as sharp and inventive as in Sonatine… Fans of Melville, Keaton, Hawks and Peckinpah should be especially impressed, but anyone with a modicum of patience, an open mind and a little love in their heart will probably recognise it as a masterpiece." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Gareth Evans, Alexei Popogrebsky, Nashen Moodley, Jia Zhangke, Thomas Allenbach.
Hannah and Her Sisters
Woody Allen, Michael Caine, Mia Farrow, Carrie Fisher, Barbara Hershey, Lloyd Nolan, Maureen O'Sullivan, Daniel Stern, Max von Sydow, Dianne Wiest
"From 1986, when Woody Allen's strike rate was more consistent, this triple Oscar-winner is one of his best. Mia Farrow plays the title role, an acclaimed actress with a seemingly idyllic family life. But husband Michael Caine has the hots for youngest sister Barbara Hershey, while middle sister Dianne Wiest is a recovering drug addict pin-balling from one ill-advised career choice to another. Allen is Hannah’s ex-husband, as neurotic and nebbish as ever. Around these characters the film weaves a rich Chekhovian mix, full of wry insights into the fragility of human emotions." - Philip Kemp, Total Film
Selected by Wes Anderson, Briony Hanson, Aaron Katz, Alejandro Agresti, Guy Lodge.
Leslie Cheung, Tony Leung, Chen Chang, Gregory Dayton
"Loose, buoyant and bracingly original, Happy Together is the story of a gay couple who are miserable together and incapable of doing much about it. On vacation in Argentina, Lai and Ho, played by Chinese superstars Tony Leung and Leslie Cheung, are at the literal (and emotional) edge of their world… Rather than being enslaved by the forms and formulas of the Hollywood movies he grew up on, Wong has twisted, eviscerated and redefined film technique. His film is a splash of cold, fresh water on the face of a tired, over-fed beast." - Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle
Selected by Gregg Araki, Edgardo Cozarinsky, Eva af Geijerstam, Jane Yu, Marcelo Alderete.
Tatsuya Nakadai, Rentaro Mikuni, Shima Iwashita, Akira Ishihama, Shichisaburo Amatsu, Yoshio Aoki, Jo Azumi, Hisashi Igawa, Yoshio Inaba, Akiji Kobayashi
"Following the collapse of his clan, an unemployed samurai (Nakadai) arrives at the manor of Lord Iyi, begging to be allowed to commit ritual suicide on the property. Iyi’s clansmen, believing the desperate ronin is merely angling for a new position, try to force his hand and get him to eviscerate himself—but they have underestimated his beliefs and his personal brand of honor. Winner of the Cannes Film Festival’s Special Jury Prize, Harakiri, directed by Masaki Kobayashi is a fierce evocation of individual agency in the face of a corrupt and hypocritical system." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Philip Kemp, Frances Morgan, Mikhail Iampolski, Robbie Collin, Mike D'Angelo.
A Hard Day's Night
John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Wilfrid Brambell, Norman Rossington, Victor Spinetti, John Junkin, Deryck Guyler, Anna Quayle
"Richard Lester's innovations in A Hard Day's Night have become familiar; because the style, the subject and the stars are so suited to one another, the movie hasn't become dated. It's filled with the exhilaration of four musicians who were having fun and creating at the top of their form and knew it… The film is so tightly cut, there's hardly a down moment, but even with so many riches, it's easy to pick the best scene: The concert footage as the Beatles sing "She Loves You.'' This is one of the most sustained orgasmic sequences in the movies." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Selected by Chris Columbus, Allan Arkush, Esther Leslie, Norm Wilner, Hal Hartley.
Harlan County, U.S.A.
Basil Collins, Carl Horn, Lawrence Jones, Arnold Miller, Florence Reece, Lois Scott, William Simon, Richard Trumka, Billy G. Williams, Nimrod Workman
"Barbara Kopple’s Academy Award–winning Harlan County USA unflinchingly documents a grueling coal miners’ strike in a small Kentucky town. With unprecedented access, Kopple and her crew captured the miners’ sometimes violent struggles with strikebreakers, local police, and company thugs. Featuring a haunting soundtrack—with legendary country and bluegrass artists Hazel Dickens, Merle Travis, Sarah Gunning, and Florence Reece—the film is a heartbreaking record of the thirteen-month struggle between a community fighting to survive and a corporation dedicated to the bottom line." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Sophie Mayer, Bart Weiss, Tetê Moraes, Nick Davis, R.J. Cutler.
Harold and Maude
Ruth Gordon, Bud Cort, Vivian Pickles, Cyril Cusack, Charles Tyner, Ellen Geer, Eric Christmas, G. Wood, Judy Engles, Shari Summers
"With the idiosyncratic American fable Harold and Maude, countercultural director Hal Ashby fashioned what would become the cult classic of its era. Working from a script by Colin Higgins, Ashby tells the story of the emotional and romantic bond between a death-obsessed young man (Cort) from a wealthy family and a devil-may-care, bohemian octogenarian (Gordon). Equal parts gallows humor and romantic innocence, Harold and Maude dissolves the line between darkness and light along with the ones that separate people by class, gender, and age, and it features indelible performances and a remarkable soundtrack by Cat Stevens." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Rupert Wyatt, Sean Baker, George Clooney, Cyrus Frisch, Niki Caro.
The Hart of London
"Jack Chambers's 80-minute The Hart of London is a sprawling, ambitious film that combines newsreel footage of disasters, urban and nature imagery, and footage evoking the cycles of life and death. It is one of those rare films that succeeds precisely because of its sprawl; raw and open-ended almost to the point of anticipating the postmodern rejection of "master narratives," it cannot be reduced to a simple summary, and changes on you from one viewing to the next." - Fred Camper
Selected by Félix García de Villegas Rey, Marcos Ortega, Mark Webber, Philip S. Solomon, Brian Frye.
John Wayne, Elsa Martinelli, Hardy Kruger, Gerard Blain, Red Buttons, Michele Girardon, Bruce Cabot, Valentin de Vargas, Eduard Franz, Eric Rungren
"Marked by the relaxed pace and tone of Hawks' later work, this could easily be seen as Only Angels Have Wings transferred from the Andes to the African bush. There's little plot but plenty of typically Hawksian situations as it follows the travails of a group of safari hunters (preservationists, not killers) working a game reserve… Light, sunny, and effortlessly switching between action and comedy, it also fascinates through its superb footage of the actual capture of the wildlife, in which the danger and the excitement of the chase are beautifully, precisely evoked. All in all, one of those rare films that genuinely constitutes a late masterpiece." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Koichi Yamada, Filipe Furtado, Flavia de la Fuente, Jorge García, Nuria Vidal.
The Hawks and the Sparrows
Toto, Ninetto Davoli, Femi Benussi, Umberto Bevilacqua, Renato Capogna, Alfredo Leggi, Renato Montalbano, Flaminia Siciliano, Lena Lin Solaro, Giovanni Tarallo
"One of the handful of films that found Pier Paolo Pasolini sustaining a merrier mode of cultural assault, Hawks and Sparrows features Italy’s popular comic actor Totò and Pasolini regular Ninetto Davoli in a picaresque fable that lampoons politics, religion, and the legacy of neorealism... Featuring a score by the legendary Ennio Morricone, Pasolini’s anarchic comedy remains a time-capsule of the giddy tensions torqued by the dawn of the late Sixties." - The Masters of Cinema Series
Selected by Abel Ferrara, Antonio Rodrigues, Lola Hinojosa, Yvonne Rainer, Carlos Diegues.
Maren Pedersen, Clara Pontoppidan, Tora Teje, Elith Pio, Oscar Stribolt, John Andersen, Benjamin Christensen, Poul Reumert, Karen Winther, Kate Fabian
"A weird and rather wonderful brew of fiction, documentary and animation based on 15th and 16th century witchcraft trials, Christensen's film has a remarkable visual flair that takes in Bosch, Breughel and Goya (no wonder it was a particular favourite of the Surrealists). The director himself plays Satan, seducing a woman while she is in bed with her husband; another episode follows an accused witch through the tortures of the Inquisition. The film is now most commonly seen in a sound version, running 76 minutes, made in 1967 with a commentary by William Burroughs; a later restoration with tinted sequences is far preferable." - David Thompson, Time Out
Selected by Jon Wengström, Li Yang, Emma Gray Munthe, Mónica Delgado, José Sarmiento Hinojosa.
The Headless Woman
Maria Onetto, Claudia Cantero, Cesar Bordon, Daniel Genoud, Guillermo Arengo, Ines Efron, Alicia Muxo, Pia Uribelarrea, Maria Vaner, Andrea Verdon
"Disturbing and deeply mysterious, this tale of ghosts and guilt is nothing short of a masterpiece... This is not an easy film to watch, or to understand, but the potency with which it resonates in the imagination is remarkable. Lucrecia Martel's other films, The Swamp (2001) and The Holy Girl (2004) have both had something of this spacey, floating style, but never before has it been applied to something so painful, so relevant, and never before has she delivered such a psychologically real portrait: demonstrating in both style and content what happens when we go into denial." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Lizzie Francke, Violet Lucca, Marc Munden, Simon Ward, Maria Delgado.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Val Kilmer, Jon Voight, Tom Sizemore, Amy Brenneman, Wes Studi, Dennis Haysbert, Mykelti Williamson, Diane Venora
"Heat occupies an exalted position among the countless contemporary crime films. Stunningly made and incisively acted by a large and terrific cast, Michael Mann's ambitious study of the relativity of good and evil stands apart from other films of its type by virtue of its extraordinarily rich characterizations and its thoughtful, deeply melancholy take on modern life… Rarely in the crime genre have so many characters been so deeply drawn, and only occasionally has there been this kind of grand, even philosophical view of lawless behavior that so effectively serves to paint a bigger picture of society at large. Overall impact is not only exciting but powerfully sad." - Todd McCarthy, Variety
Selected by Mia Hansen-Løve, Neil Marshall, Gorazd Trušnovec, Peter Körte, Paul W.S. Anderson.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Walken, John Hurt, Sam Waterston, Brad Dourif, Isabelle Huppert, Joseph Cotten, Jeff Bridges, Geoffrey Lewis, Ronnie Hawkins
"A breathtaking depiction of the promise and perils of America’s western expansion, Heaven’s Gate, directed by Michael Cimino, is among Hollywood’s most ambitious and unorthodox epics. Kris Kristofferson brings his weathered sensuality to the role of a Harvard graduate who relocates to Wyoming as a federal marshal; there, he learns of a government-sanctioned plot by cattle barons to kill the area’s European settlers for their land. The resulting battle is based on the bloody real-life Johnson County War of 1892… Heaven’s Gate is a savage and ravishingly shot take on western movie lore." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Tetsuya Nakashima, Mark Romanek, Roberto Manassero, Kim Young-Jin, Antonio Campos.
Marita Breuer, Gertrud Bredel, Willi Burger, Michael Lesch, Rudiger Weigang, Karin Kienzler, Johannes Lobewein, Kurt Wagner, Marliese Assmann, Eva Maria Schneider
"Edgar Reitz's 15-hour film is an attempt to restore a sense of continuity to 20th-century German history by presenting 63 years, from 1919 to 1982, in the life of Schabbach, a small village… Reitz avoids the ceremonial events—births, deaths, marriages—that usually punctuate this sort of family chronicle, concentrating instead on the textures of daily existence and the shifting relationships among the characters. Though not without its longueurs and marked by a rising nostalgia for the “good old days” as opposed to the debased present, Reitz's project stands as a monumental act of imagination, teeming with evocative incident and Proustian detail." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by David Hare, Robert Fischer, Philip Haas, John Pym, Mike Figgis.
Ole Olsen, Chic Johnson, Martha Raye, Robert Paige, Jane Frazee, Lewis Howard, Clarence Kolb, Mischa Auer, Elisha Cook Jr., Hugh Herbert
"A genuinely bizarre oddity, this madcap comedy is fascinating not only for its many very funny moments, but also for the way it includes, amid the material taken directly from the original stage revue, various purely cinematic gags which are surprisingly modern in tone and significance… Although lacking the satirical edge of the Marx Brothers, Hellzapoppin' frequently outstrips the works of Groucho and Co in terms of speed, imagination and sheer craziness." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Jonathan Romney, Joe Dante, Thomas Beard, David Robson, Raymond Durgnat.
Laurence Olivier, Renee Asherson, Robert Newton, Leslie Banks, Esmond Knight, George Robey, Leo Genn, Felix Aylmer, Max Adrian, Ralph Truman
"Bringing an actor-manager's chutzpah to a movie he starred in, produced, directed and virtually created with his bare hands, Laurence Olivier created a bold, clear reading of Shakespeare's play and an exhilarating piece of wartime propaganda. He begins with a realistic account of a performance at the Globe, complete with jeers from the groundlings, and then leads you step-by-step into Henry's real, or hyperreal world." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Nicolas Barbano, David Roland, John Francis Lane, Claude Baigneres, Albert Johnson.
High and Low
Toshiro Mifune, Kyoko Kagawa, Tatsuya Mihashi, Tatsuya Nakadai, Isao Kimura, Kenjiro Ishiyama, Takeshi Kato, Takashi Shimura, Jun Tazaki, Yutaka Sada
"Toshiro Mifune is unforgettable as Kingo Gondo, a wealthy industrialist whose family becomes the target of a cold-blooded kidnapper in High and Low, the highly influential domestic drama and police procedural from director Akira Kurosawa. Adapting Ed McBain’s detective novel King’s Ransom, Kurosawa moves effortlessly from compelling race-against-time thriller to exacting social commentary, creating a diabolical treatise on contemporary Japanese society." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Thom Andersen, Anne Thompson, Celina Murga, Haden Guest, James Mottram.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Lloyd Bridges, Thomas Mitchell, Katy Jurado, Otto Kruger, Lon Chaney Jr., Harry Morgan, Ian MacDonald, Eve McVeagh
"The term "psychological Western" has become something of a cliche. If you had to label Fred Zinnemann's masterpiece, it should be called a neo-realist Western on account of the understated performances and Floyd Crosby's stark imagery. Written as a rejoinder to that pro-witchhunt parable, On The Waterfront, this treatise on fidelity to principle is told in real time to add to the suspense and boasts a performance of rare grit and dignity by the finest lawman of them all, Gary Cooper." - David Parkinson, Empire
Selected by Pablo Giorgelli, George A. Romero, Carlos Manga, Morgan Freeman, Markku Pölönen.
Hiroshima mon amour
Emmanuelle Riva, Eiji Okada, Bernard Fresson, Stella Dassas, Pierre Barbaud
"A cornerstone film of the French New Wave, Alain Resnais’ first feature is one of the most influential films of all time. A French actress (Riva) and a Japanese architect (Okada) engage in a brief, intense affair in postwar Hiroshima, their consuming fascination impelling them to exorcise their own scarred memories of love and suffering. Utilizing an innovative flashback structure and an Academy Award-nominated® screenplay by novelist Marguerite Duras, Resnais delicately weaves past and present, personal pain and public anguish, in this moody masterwork." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by David Thomson, Chris Darke, Raymond Bellour, Patrick Keiller, Roy Andersson.
His Girl Friday
Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy, Gene Lockhart, Helen Mack, Porter Hall, Roscoe Karns, John Qualen, Ernest Truex, Billy Gilbert
"Perhaps the funniest, certainly the fastest talkie comedy ever made, this inspired adaptation of Hecht and MacArthur's The Front Page adds an extra dimension of exploitation by turning Hildy Johnson into Walter Burns' ex-wife… Charles Lederer's frantic script needs to be heard at least a dozen times for all the gags to be caught; Russell's Hildy more than equals Burns (Grant) in cunning and speed; and Hawks transcends the piece's stage origins effortlessly, framing with brilliance, conducting numerous conversations simultaneously, and even allowing the film's political and emotional thrust to remain upfront alongside the laughs. Quite simply a masterpiece." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by David Thomson, Quentin Tarantino, Geoff Andrew, John Powers, Demetrios Matheou.
Histoire(s) du cinéma
Jean-Luc Godard, Alain Cuny, Juliette Binoche, Serge Daney, Julie Delpy
"Well over a decade in the making, this eight-part, 264-minute video is Jean-Luc Godard's magnum opus, but it's never been widely seen… Daunting, provocative, and very beautiful, this meditative essay looks at the history of the 20th century through cinema and vice versa, mainly through a rich assortment of clips (sometimes superimposing more than one), sound tracks (sometimes paired with visuals from other films), poetic commentary (with plenty of metaphors), and captions. For better and for worse, it's comparable to James Joyce's Finnegans Wake in both its difficulty and its playfulness." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Adriano Aprà, Carlos F. Heredero, Berenice Reynaud, Chris Darke, Jonathan Rosenbaum.
Top 25 of the 2000s (2000-2009)
1. In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai, 2000)
2. Mulholland Dr. (David Lynch, 2001)
3. Yi yi (Edward Yang, 2000)
4. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)
5. Caché (Michael Haneke, 2005)
6. Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001)
7. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004)
8. Tropical Malady (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2004)
9. City of God (Fernando Meirelles, 2002)
10. Russian Ark (Aleksandr Sokurov, 2002)
11. Werckmeister Harmonies (Béla Tarr, 2000)
12. Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks (Wang Bing, 2003)
13. Dogville (Lars von Trier, 2003)
14. Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee, 2005)
15. WALL-E (Andrew Stanton, 2008)
16. The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke, 2009)
17. Talk to Her (Pedro Almodóvar, 2002)
18. The Gleaners & I (Agnès Varda, 2000)
19. Punch-Drunk Love (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2002)
20. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee, 2000)
21. The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Cristi Puiu, 2005)
22. Platform (Jia Zhangke, 2000)
23. Elephant (Gus Van Sant, 2003)
23. Oldboy (Park Chan-wook, 2003)
25. The Lives of Others (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, 2006)
Please note that this top 25 is based on different criteria to TSPDT’s list of the The 21st Century’s Most Acclaimed Films (primarily, no end-of-year lists are included).
A History of Violence
Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bello, William Hurt, Ashton Holmes, Stephen McHattie, Peter MacNeill, Ed Harris, Greg Bryk, Kyle Schmid, Heidi Hayes
"Why is A History of Violence so great? Freely adapted from John Wagner and Vince Locke's graphic novel (and apparently a work for hire), Cronenberg's movie manages to have its cake and eat it—impersonating an action flick in its staccato mayhem while questioning these violent attractions every step of the way… Tense and atmospheric, A History of Violence is a hyper-real version of an early-'50s B-movie nightmare—albeit one where the narrative delicately blurs dream and reality, the performances slyly merge acting with role-playing, the location feels like a set, and blood always splatters from lovingly contrived prosthetic injuries." - J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
Selected by Cameron Bailey, Robert Polito, Raul Lizarzaburu, Neil Young, Kiyoshi Kurosawa.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
Hitler: A Film from Germany
Andre Heller, Harry Baer, Heinz Schubert, Peter Kern, Hellmut Lange, Rainer von Artenfels, Martin Sperr, Peter Moland, Johannes Buzalski, Alfred Edel
"The third and longest part of Syberberg's extraordinary trilogy on German culture, history and nationalism (the two earlier films were Ludwig and Karl May), best described as a high camp, heavy-duty analysis of both history and historical analysis itself… Visually lyrical, the style is eclectic to the point of hysteria; and the tone oscillates between the operatic (Wagner figures large) and the colloquial (Hitler in conversation with his projectionist) without ever quite coming unstuck. Humour mixes with mythology and analysis in the attempt to reunite art, history and ideology. It's a quite remarkable film, with a sense of metaphor equal to its intellectual courage." - Chris Auty, Time Out
Selected by Alan Pauls, Ken Hollings, Quentin Turnour, Susan Sontag, Ian Christie.
Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, Lew Ayres, Doris Nolan, Edward Everett Horton, Henry Kolker, Binnie Barnes, Henry Daniell, Jean Dixon, Charles Trowbridge
"Marvellous 'sophisticated comedy' about a prototype dropout (Grant in one of his best performances) who takes a rich upper class family by storm: arriving engaged to the conventionally snobbish younger daughter (Nolan), stirring up latent doubts and resentments through his carefree disregard for material proprieties and properties, he ends up by showing the yearningly dissatisfied elder sister (Hepburn) the way to a declaration of independence… Often underrated by comparison with The Philadelphia Story (both are based on plays by Philip Barry), but even better because its glitteringly polished surface is undermined by veins of real feeling, it is one of Cukor's best films." - Tom Milne, Time Out
Selected by Grégory Valens, Andy Medhurst, Stephanie Zacharek, Jim Emerson, Gustavo Beck.
The Holy Mountain
Alejandro Jodorowsky, Horacio Salinas, Zamira Saunders, Juan Ferrara, Adriana Page, Burt Kleiner, Valerie Jodorowsky, Nicky Nichols, Richard Rutowski, Luis Lomeli
"Jodorowsky finally earned his reputation as '70s cinema's mystic of mayhem with the big-budget 1973 folly The Holy Mountain, a scabrous satire of organized religion that follows a Christ figure, his disciples, and their bloody quest for the home of the gods… Witty, disgusting, eye-popping, and incomprehensible, The Holy Mountain is every bit as pop-philosophical as Jodorowsky's earlier work, but it also contains original visual ideas nearly every 30 seconds… It's all in service of a typically Jodorowskian call to action, urging us to abandon fantasy and embrace reality. But when fantasies are as sumptuous as The Holy Mountain, who'd ever want to leave?" - Noel Murray, A.V. Club
Selected by Jonathan Caouette, Anton Bitel, Jean-Stephane Sauvaire, Joko Anwar, Simon Rumley.
William Gates, Arthur Agee, Emma Gates, Curtis Gates, Sheila Agee, Arthur 'Bo' Agee, Earl Smith, Gene Pingatore, Dennis Doyle, Isiah Thomas
"The dream of inner-city black kids to make it in the NBA has become such a familiar motif in movies that it's almost a cliche. But Hoop Dreams is a documentary that breathes new life into the subject by showing the everyday reality of that dream. Hoop Dreams is a massive work that traces five years in the lives of two young men, William Gates and Arthur Agee, possible NBA prospects, who start off as 14-year-olds playing basketball in a school yard. Though the movie clocks in at just under three hours, it is -- aside from an occasional slow spot -- fascinating and exciting." - Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
Selected by Ally Derks, Tim Grierson, Calum Marsh, Gabriel Shanks, Spike Lee.
Kang-ho Song, Byeon Hie-bong, Hae-il Park, Doona Bae, Ah-sung Ko, Dal-su Oh, Jae-eung Lee, Dong-ho Lee, Je-moon Yoon, Pil-Sung Yim
"A horror thriller, a political satire, a dysfunctional family comedy, and a touching melodrama, Bong Joon-ho's The Host is also one helluva monster movie. It's the recombinant offspring of all those science-fiction pictures of the 1950s and '60s in which exposure to atomic radiation (often referred to as both 'atomic' and 'radiation') or hazardous chemicals (sometimes also radioactive) results in something very large and inhospitable… Like its magnificent beast, The Host is wild, crazy, messy, preposterous -- and all the better for it." - Jim Emerson, Roger Ebert.com
Selected by Thierry Méranger, Marcelo Panozzo, Marcelo Alderete, Quintín, Steven Boone.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
Klaus Barbie, Claude Lanzmann, Jeanne Moreau, Marcel Ophüls
"Marcel Ophuls’s fascinating portrait of the Nazi “Butcher of Lyons,” who later went onto work for the U.S. Counterintelligence Corps and pursue a career as a drug and information trafficker in Bolivia, is a worthy successor to Ophuls’s earlier The Sorrow and the Pity. While the format is basically talking-heads interviews with acquaintances and victims of Barbie (as well as other specialists), arranged in order to give a lucid chronological account of his career, Ophuls manages to treat his subject with a great deal of intelligence and irony… This isn’t a work of art in the sense that Shoah is, but it is investigative journalism at its best, solid and penetrating. " - Jonathan Rosenbaum
Selected by Nick James, Radu Jude, Heather Hendershot, James Toback, Pier Marton.
The Hour of the Furnaces
Maria de la Paz, Fernando E. Solanas, Edgardo Suarez
"This brilliant documentary launched the Third Cinema movement and put Latin American cinema on the international map. It combines new and old film footage to explain the history of Argentina and the wave of revolutionary fervor that swept many countries in Latin America. From the Spanish invaders to modern military concerns financed by foreign powers, this feature examines racism, social upheaval, native massacres and the precarious political situations that could change in the wake of revolutionary rebellion." - Dav Pavlides, All Movie
Selected by Patricio Guzmán, Thom Andersen, Peter Rist, Elizabeth Wood, Helen Dewitt.
Hour of the Wolf
Max von Sydow, Liv Ullmann, Erland Josephson, Gertrud Fridh, Georg Rydeberg, Naima Wifstrand, Ulf Johansson, Gudrun Brost, Bertil Anderberg, Ingrid Thulin
"A brilliant Gothic fantasy about an artist who has disappeared, leaving only a diary; and through that diary we move into flashback to observe a classic case history of the Bergman hero haunted by darkness, demons and the creatures of his imagination until he is destroyed by them. The tentacular growth of this obsession is handled with typical virtuosity in a dazzling flow of surrealism, expressionism and full-blooded Gothic horror… In its exploration of the nature of creativity, haunted by the problem of whether the artist possesses or is possessed by his demons, Hour of the Wolf serves as a remarkable companion-piece to Persona." - Tom Milne, Time Out
Selected by Abel Ferrara, Joseph Cedar, Nigel Andrews, Anocha Suwichakornpong, David Lynch.
The House is Black
Forugh Farrokhzad, Ebrahim Golestan, Hossein Mansouri
"Forugh Farrokhzad's black-and-white documentary about a leper colony in northern Iran is the most powerful Iranian film I've seen. Farrokhzad (1935-67) is widely regarded as the greatest Persian poet of the 20th century; her only film seamlessly adapts the techniques of poetry to its framing, editing, sound, and narration. At once lyrical and extremely matter-of-fact, devoid of sentimentality or voyeurism yet profoundly humanist, the film offers a view of everyday life in the colony—people eating, various medical treatments, children at school and at play—that's spiritual, unflinching, and beautiful in ways that have no apparent Western counterparts." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Mark Cousins, John Gianvito, Dana Linssen, Kevin B. Lee, Laura Waddington.
How Green Was My Valley
Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O'Hara, Roddy McDowall, Donald Crisp, Anna Lee, John Loder, Barry Fitzgerald, Patric Knowles, Sara Allgood, Morton Lowry
"John Ford's 1942 Oscar winner is an immensely moving study of stresses, changes, and heroism in a Welsh coal-mining family as it passes from the blissful 19th century to the grim 20th. As in all the best Fordian cinema, though everything changes and most things die or disappear, what remains in memory and in spirit triumphs—and what on the surface is a tender and sad film becomes instead joyous and robust. Expert performances from Donald Crisp, Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O'Hara, and a host of brilliant character actors enhance a magnificent movie experience." - Don Druker, Chicago Reader
Selected by Kristin Thompson, Tag Gallagher, Peter Bogdanovich, Andy Rector, Hideo Nakata.
Emmanuel Schotte, Severine Caneele, Philippe Tullier, Ghislain Ghesquere, Ginette Allegre, Daniel Leroux, Arnaud Brejon de la Lavergee, Daniel Petillon, Robert Bunzi, Dominique Pruvost
"If it's possible for a film to convey a physical sensation of the world that is more intense than everyday life, Bruno Dumont's flawed masterpiece, Humanité, does a disquietingly good job. The raw sensory effect this transfixing movie produces might almost be described as psychedelic. Surrendering to its vision feels a little like being exposed to the sun after losing a layer of skin. In its relentlessly biological mind, what we think of as civilization is portrayed as a fragile membrane that barely prevents us from acting on our most brutal instincts." - Stephen Holden, The New York Times
Selected by Antonio Campos, Duane Hopkins, Amat Escalante, Barry Adamson, Stephen Cone.
Michael Fassbender, Stuart Graham, Helena Bereen, Larry Cowan, Liam Cunningham, Dennis McCambridge, Liam McMahon, Laine Megaw, Brian Milligan, Rory Mullen
"History has lent a new perspective to the story of IRA man Bobby Sands and his 1981 hunger strike in Northern Ireland's Maze prison for political status, recreated here in Hunger, Steve McQueen's explicit, but icily brilliant and superbly acted film. It is a lacerating portrait of an agonised period of British and Irish history… Hunger shows that McQueen is a real film-maker and his background in art has meant a fierce concentration on image, an unflinching attention to what things looked like, moment by moment. There is an avoidance of affect and a repudiation of the traditional liberal-lenient gestures of dialogue, dramatic consensus and narrative resolution. This is a powerful, provocative piece of work." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Clio Barnard, Akin Omotoso, Noam M. Elcott, Zachary Wigon, Steven Boone.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
Ben Gazzara, Peter Falk, John Cassavetes, Jenny Runacre, Jenny Lee Wright, Noelle Kao, Leola Harlow, Meta Shaw, John Kullers, Delores Delmar
"The term "midlife crisis" became a familiar phrase in the seventies-and in seventies cinema-but when John Cassavetes released Husbands, the term was just being born and the concept just starting to make its way into the movies. Subtitled "A Comedy About Life, Death and Freedom," Husbands follows three middle-aged men (Gazzara, Falk and Cassavetes), long time friends and family men, in the wake of the sudden, premature death of the man who completed their fun-loving group… Husbands is undeniably a personal, provocative and uncompromising vision and a daring journey into the psyche of American men." - Sean Axmaker, TCM
Selected by Yorgos Lanthimos, Ulrich Seidl, Richard Brody, Götz Spielmann, Andrey Zvyagintsev.
Husbands and Wives
Woody Allen, Blythe Danner, Judy Davis, Mia Farrow, Juliette Lewis, Liam Neeson, Sydney Pollack, Lysette Anthony, Cristi Conaway, Ron Rifkin
"Allen’s lost masterpiece, along with Crimes and Misdemeanors three years earlier, remains one of his most personal and incisive works to date. Though it’s as disciplined and pragmatic as its wellspring (Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes From a Marriage), this neurotic but frighteningly universal masterpiece is still one of Allen’s least explicitly Bergmanesque ventures. Throughout the film, Allen catalogs the insecurity and fear that rocks one marriage when another breaks apart… Allen understands the emotionally fragile and confusing period after a breakup: the jealousy of an ex-lover finding love with another too soon; the desire to return to an ex-lover when a new lover disappoints; and, most fascinating, the comfort men and women find in a loveless but comfortable state of constancy. - Ed Gonzalez, Chicago Reader
Selected by Andris Feldmanis, Miwa Nishikawa, Chus Gutiérrez, David Wain, Michael Dalton.
Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, George C. Scott, Piper Laurie, Myron McCormick, Murray Hamilton, Michael Constantine, Stefan Gierasch, Jake LaMotta, Gordon B. Clarke
"Newman is Fast Eddie, doing his best to convince the world that he can take on Minnesota Fats (Gleason) at pool and walk away with the world title. As always with Walter Tevis (the author of the original book), it takes defeat, and a longish dark night of the soul with Laurie, a drunken, lame waif of a woman, before he can summon the self-respect to return to battle. Rossen allows much space to the essentially concentrated, enclosed scenes of the film, and so it rests solidly on its performances. A wonderful hymn to the last true era when men of substance played pool with a vengeance." - Chris Peachment, Time Out
Selected by Jeff Nichols, Michael Apted, Sek Kei, Borja Cobeaga, Mamoru Oshii.
I Am Cuba
Sergio Corrieri, Salvador Wood, Jose Gallardo, Raul Garcia, Luz Maria Collazo, Jean Bouise, Alberto Morgan, Celia Rodriguez, Fausto Mirabal, Roberto Garcia York
"This Soviet-Cuban hymn from 1964 to the Castro revolution has more than its fair share of agitprop naivety - but for its sheer dazzling technique, and the glorious beauty of its monochrome cinematography, it deserves impregnable classic status… To the accompaniment of narration co-scripted by Yevgeny Yevtushenko, the story is achieved in a series of superbly choreographed single-take sequences, with a drama-doc vérité effect… I Am Cuba combines the high-minded severity of Russian cinema with the exuberance of Vigo or Fellini, and even anticipates the conspiracy-fear of Oliver Stone." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Dina Iordanova, Ronald Bergan, Mike Leigh, Gillies MacKinnon, Peter Bradshaw.
I Know Where I'm Going!
Wendy Hiller, Roger Livesey, Finlay Currie, Pamela Brown, Nancy Price, John Laurie, Norman Shelley, Catherine Lacey, George Carney, Walter Hudd
"The film isn't as deep or ambitious as some of the Powell-Pressburger films that followed, but it's still a delightful love story, blessed with attractive leads, lovely locations, and witty dialogue. Easily the equal of any contemporaneous Hollywood romance, Where I'm Going features an underlying motif of eschewing materialism for more sublime pleasures—driven home by Livesey's classic line, "They're not poor, they just haven't any money." - Noel Murray, A.V. Club
Selected by Molly Haskell, Nick James, Anne Thompson, Charles Whitehouse, Christian Keathley.
I Walked with a Zombie
Frances Dee, Tom Conway, James Ellison, Edith Barrett, Christine Gordon, Sir Lancelot, Darby Jones, James Bell, Theresa Harris, Jeni Le Gon
"I Walked With a Zombie is a master class in sight, sound, and suggestion from beginning to end. Jane Eyre's gothic romance is transplanted to the West Indies, where Betsey Connell (Dee) confronts the power of voodoo. In the film's most famous sequence, Betsey takes an extended trip through a sugar cane field and encounters the zombie Carrefour (Jones). Tourneur's images cast an unnerving spell, suggesting that the emotionally frustrated living may be the real zombies." - Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
Selected by John Flaus, Patrice Rollet, Quim Casas, Michael Henry Wilson, Robin Wood.
I Was Born, But…
Tatsuo Saito, Mitsuko Yoshikawa, Hideo Sugawara, Tomio Aoki, Takeshi Sakamoto, Seiichi Kato, Shoichi Kojufita, Seiji Nishimura, Teruyo Hayami, Chishu Ryu
"One of Ozu’s most popular films, I Was Born, But… is a blithe portrait of the financial and psychological toils of one family, as told from the rascally point of view of a couple of stubborn little boys. For two brothers, the daily struggles of bullies and mean teachers is nothing next to the mortification they feel when they realize their good-natured father’s low-rung social status. Reworked decades later as Ozu’s Technicolor comedy Good Morning, it’s a poignant evocation of the tumult of childhood, as well as a showcase for Ozu’s expertly timed comedy editing." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Jonathan Rosenbaum, Peter Rist, Abé Mark Nornes, Arthur Mas, Jan Lumholdt.
The Ice Storm
Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver, Joan Allen, Jamey Sheridan, Christina Ricci, Elijah Wood, Henry Czerny, Adam Hann-Byrd, David Krumholtz, Tobey Maguire
"Suburban Connecticut, 1973. While Richard Nixon’s “I am not a crook” speech drones from the TV, the Hood and Carver families try to navigate a Thanksgiving break simmering with unspoken resentment, sexual tension, and cultural confusion. With clarity, subtlety, and a dose of wicked humor, Academy Award–winning director Ang Lee renders Rick Moody’s acclaimed novel of upper-middle-class American malaise as a trenchant, tragic cinematic portrait of lost souls. Featuring a tremendous cast of established actors (Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Sigourney Weaver) and rising stars (Tobey Maguire, Christina Ricci, Elijah Wood, Katie Holmes) The Ice Storm is among the finest films of the 1990s." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Saul Metzstein, Craig Johnson, Alberto Rodríguez, Vicente Amorim, Dayyan Eng.
Bodil Jorgensen, Jens Albinus, Anne Louise Hassing, Troels Lyby, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Louise Mieritz, Henrik Prip, Luis Mesonero, Knud Romer Jorgensen, Trine Michelsen
"Often looking rather like a filmed acting workshop, von Trier's first movie made according to the back-to-basics 'Dogma 95' manifesto centres on the emotional and social dynamics of a group of people who, for various reasons, go around pretending to be mentally and/or physically handicapped… Emotionally and intellectually, the movie never quite delivers on its promise, and the frequent views of the boom, the shadow of the camera crew and so forth are irritating distractions (manifesto or not, this is not 'pure' cinema), but it is consistently intriguing, involving, and finally quite unlike anything else." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Ruben Östlund, Sean Baker, Mani Haghighi, Anton Dolin, Miroslaw Przylipiak.
Top 25 of the 2010s (2010-2017)
1. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011)
2. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010)
3. The Turin Horse (Béla Tarr, 2011)
4. Melancholia (Lars von Trier, 2011)
5. A Separation (Asghar Farhadi, 2011)
6. Nostalgia for the Light (Patricio Guzmán, 2010)
7. Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012)
8. The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, 2012)
9. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2011)
10. The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)
11. Le Havre (Aki Kaurismäki, 2011)
12. Holy Motors (Leos Carax, 2012)
13. Mysteries of Lisbon (Raúl Ruiz, 2010)
14. Tabu (Miguel Gomes, 2012)
15. Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)
16. Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010)
17. Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich, 2010)
18. The Arbor (Clio Barnard, 2010)
19. Margaret (Kenneth Lonergan, 2011)
20. Hugo (Martin Scorsese, 2011)
21. The Great Beauty (Paolo Sorrentino, 2013)
22. This is Not a Film (Jafar Panahi & Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, 2011)
23. Film socialisme (Jean-Luc Godard, 2010)
24. Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky, 2010)
25. Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer, 2013)
Films ranked 7-25 are not in the current 1,000 Greatest Films listing. Please note that this top 25 is based on different criteria to TSPDT’s list of the The 21st Century’s Most Acclaimed Films (primarily, no end-of-year lists are included).
Malcolm McDowell, David Wood, Richard Warwick, Christine Noonan, Robert Swann, Rupert Webster, Hugh Thomas, Peter Jeffrey, Mona Washbourne, Arthur Lowe
"Lindsay Anderson’s If…. is a daringly anarchic vision of British society, set in a boarding school in late-sixties England. Before Kubrick made his mischief iconic in A Clockwork Orange, Malcolm McDowell made a hell of an impression as the insouciant Mick Travis, who, along with his school chums, trumps authority at every turn, finally emerging as a violent savior in the vicious games of one-upmanship played by both students and masters. Mixing color and black and white as audaciously as it mixes fantasy and reality, If…. remains one of cinema’s most unforgettable rebel yells." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Richard Linklater, Charles Gant, Fung Ka Ming, Chris Shepherd, Maria Kuvshinova.
Takashi Shimura, Nobuo Kaneko, Kyoko Seki, Shin'ichi Himori, Haruo Tanaka, Minoru Chiaki, Miki Odagiri, Kamatari Fujiwara, Makoto Kobori, Kumeko Urabe
"Considered by some to be Akira Kurosawa’s greatest achievement, Ikiru presents the director at his most compassionate—affirming life through an exploration of a man’s death. Takashi Shimura portrays Kanji Watanabe, an aging bureaucrat with stomach cancer forced to strip the veneer off his existence and find meaning in his final days. Told in two parts, Ikiru offers Watanabe’s quest in the present, and then through a series of flashbacks. The result is a multifaceted look at a life through a prism of perspectives, resulting in a full portrait of a man who lacked understanding from others in life." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Ann Hui, Amy Taubin, Michael Caton-Jones, Gerald Peary, Nick Roddick.
Imitation of Life
Lana Turner, John Gavin, Sandra Dee, Dan O'Herlihy, Susan Kohner, Juanita Moore, Robert Alda, Mahalia Jackson, Karen Dicker, Terry Burnham
"Sirk's last movie in Hollywood is a coldly brilliant weepie, a rags-to-riches tale of two intertwined families, in which the materialist optimism is continually counterpointed by an emphasis upon racist tension and the degeneration of family bonds. Despite the happy ending, what one remembers from the film is the steadily increasing hopelessness, given its most glorious visual expression in the scene of the maid's extravagant funeral… Forget those who decry the '50s Hollywood melodrama; it is through the conventions of that hyper-emotional genre that Sirk is able to make such a devastatingly embittered and pessimistic movie." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Laura Mulvey, Paul Julian Smith, David Sterritt, Carol Morley, Catherine Gautier.
In a Lonely Place
Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frank Lovejoy, Carl Benton Reid, Robert Warwick, Jeff Donnell, Martha Stewart, Art Smith, Morris Ankrum, William Ching
"The genre trappings of this noir masterpiece—which details the short-lived relationship between live-wire screenwriter Dixon Steele (Bogart) and his goldilocked muse Laurel Gray (Grahame)—don’t matter a whit. There’s a murder and a mystery, but whodunit? is just the punch line to the gut. Director Nicholas Ray is more interested in examining the ways in which people poison themselves and each other, and it’s not a pretty picture." - Keith Uhlich, Time Out New York
Selected by Mike Hodges, Scott Foundas, Stig Bjorkman, Tom Charity, Manu Yáñez-Murillo.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
In a Year with 13 Moons
Volker Spengler, Ingrid Caven, Gottfried John, Elisabeth Trissenaar, Eva Mattes, Gunther Kaufmann, Lilo Pempeit, Isolde Barth, Karl Scheydt, Walter Bockmayer
"Another story about the crazy things people do for love, In A Year With 13 Moons details the lonely street life of a Frankfurt drifter who had a sex-change operation in Casablanca years earlier… Structurally radical and emotionally operatic, the film links several bravura set pieces, including a monologue on self-mutilation set on the killing floor of a slaughterhouse, a long take of a nun recalling Spengler's harrowing childhood at an orphanage… At once melodramatic and coolly distant, wrenching and clinical, Fassbinder's character study never telegraphs the "right" way to respond to it, which leaves viewers with plenty to sort out afterwards." - Scott Tobias, A.V. Club
Selected by Stanley Kwan, Laurence Kardish, Cristina Nord, Ed Gonzalez, Emily Wardill.
In Praise of Love
Bruno Putzulu, Cecile Camp, Claude Baignieres, Jean Davy, Francoise Verny, Audrey Klebaner, Jeremie Lippman, Remo Forlani, Mark Hunter, Philippe Loyrette
"Dense, full of obscure references and anchored to a plot without much narrative, In Praise of Love is a film that has unusual expectations from its audience -- and that's a welcome relief. Godard, one of the greatest names in the history of cinema, has made a movie that channels his feelings about Hollywood, American commercialism, the difficulties of making a movie (one of the characters is a filmmaker), the stages of love, Paris and history. Strictly on a visual level, In Praise of Love is a masterwork. The first half, which follows a director as he tries to cast a film, was shot in fine-grain black-and-white 35mm film. The movie's second half, which is a flashback to an earlier time, was shot in saturated color digital video… In Praise of Love shows that Godard is alive and well -- a filmmaker who continues to probe issues and stories that deserve our attention." - Jonathan Curiel, San Francisco Chronicle
Selected by Paul Buck, Ann Hui, Helena Ylänen, Cesar Zamberlan, Dennis Grunes.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
In the Mood for Love
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
"Hong Kong, 1962: Chow Mo-wan (Leung) and Su Li-zhen (Cheung) move into neighboring apartments on the same day. Their encounters are formal and polite—until a discovery about their spouses creates an intimate bond between them. At once delicately mannered and visually extravagant, Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love is a masterful evocation of romantic longing and fleeting moments. With its aching musical soundtrack and exquisitely abstract cinematography by Christopher Doyle and Mark Lee Ping-bin, this film has been a major stylistic influence on the past decade of cinema, and is a milestone in Wong’s redoubtable career." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Ava DuVernay, Nick James, B. Ruby Rich, Carlos F. Heredero, Michael Glawogger.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
In the Realm of the Senses
Tatsuya Fuji, Eiko Matsuda, Aoi Nakajima, Yasuko Matsui, Meika Seri, Kanae Kobayashi, Taiji Tonoyama, Kyoji Kokonoe, Naomi Shiraishi, Hiroko Fuji
"Still censored in its own country, In the Realm of the Senses, by Japanese director Nagisa Oshima, remains one of the most controversial films of all time. A graphic portrayal of insatiable sexual desire, Oshima’s film, set in 1936 and based on a true incident, depicts a man and a woman (Tatsuya Fuji and Eiko Matsuda) consumed by a transcendent, destructive love while living in an era of ever escalating imperialism and governmental control. Less a work of pornography than of politics, In the Realm of the Senses is a brave, taboo-breaking milestone." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Luca Guadagnino, Anchalee Chaiworaporn, Goran Gocic, Katsue Tomiyama, Milcho Manchevski.
In Vanda's Room
Lena Duarte, Vanda Duarte, Zita Duarte, Pedro Lanban, Antonio Moreno, Paulo Nunes, Fernando Paixao
"For the extraordinarily beautiful second film in his Fontainhas trilogy, Pedro Costa jettisoned his earlier films’ larger crews to burrow even deeper into the Lisbon ghetto and the lives of its desperate inhabitants. With the intimate feel of a documentary and the texture of a Vermeer painting, In Vanda’s Room takes an unflinching, fragmentary look at a handful of self-destructive, marginalized people, but is centered around the heroin-addicted Vanda Duarte… This was Costa’s first use of digital video, and the evocative images he created remain some of the medium’s most astonishing." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Wang Bing, Michelangelo Frammartino, Manuel Asín, Eulàlia Iglesias Huix, Javier Packer-Comyn.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
The Incredible Shrinking Man
Grant Williams, Randy Stuart, April Kent, Paul Langton, William Schallert, Billy Curtis, Raymond Bailey, Frank Scannell, Helene Marshall, Diana Darrin
"Not merely the best of Arnold's classic sci-fi movies of the '50s, but one of the finest films ever made in that genre. It's a simple enough story: after being contaminated by what may or may not be nuclear waste, Williams finds himself slowly but steadily shedding the pounds and inches until he reaches truly minuscule proportions. But it is what Richard Matheson's script does with this basic material that makes the film so gripping and intelligent… And finally, to the strains of Joseph Gershenson's impressive score, we arrive at the film's philosophical core: a moving, strangely pantheist assertion of what it really means to be alive. A pulp masterpiece." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Horacio Bernades, Juan Antonio Bayona, Xavier Pérez, Chico Fireman, Gabriel Carneiro.
Delphine Seyrig, Michel Lonsdale, Mathieu Carriere, Claude Mann, Vernon Dobtcheff, Didier Flamand, Claude Juan, Satasinh Manila, Nicole Hiss, Monique Simonet
"India Song is radical in both form and content. Like Alain Resnais's L'année dernière à Marienbad, Duras's film offers an ambiguity of narrative—a type of enigma which paradoxically calls for a reading and yet makes any reading tentative. The film asks, who is Anne-Marie Stretter, the protagonist? What is her relation to men? To India? Or to a beggar woman whose destiny somehow parallels her own? In answering these questions or, more precisely, in eluding any definitive answer, the film expresses some important feminist perspectives while making innovations in film narrative." - Rodney Farnsworth, Film Reference
Selected by Drake Stutesman, Henk Camping, Lourdes Monterrubio, Maja Bogojevic, Paul Buck.
India: Matri Bhumi
"My favorite Roberto Rossellini film is perhaps the hardest one to see… A sublime symbiosis of fable and nonfiction, India Matri Bhumi simply and poetically interrelates humans and animals, city and village, and society and nature over four separate stories. This visionary work is especially striking in the way its objective and subjective narrators merge into one another, reflecting not only the idea of reincarnation, but also the greater unity to which all of them belong." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Fred Camper, Arthur Mas, Girish Shambu, Hisham Bizri, Un-Seong Yoo.
The Indian Tomb
Debra Paget, Paul Hubschmid, Walther Reyer, Claus Holm, Sabine Bethmann, Valery Inkijinoff, Rene Deltgen, Jochen Brockmann, Jochen Blume, Luciana Paluzzi
"One of the cinema’s most marvellous oddities, Der Tiger von Eschnapur and Das Indische Grabmal are films so luridly intense you think you may just be dreaming them… Both the exotic world they conjure up – part grand, dazzling sun-soaked Indian locations (palaces, forts, temples, lakes), part astonishing studio fantasy of glittering costumes and interiors, vast underground temples and labyrinthine cave-systems; and Lang’s lush colour evocation of extravagant ceremony and fermenting passions and cruelty – with the aid of jodhpurs, scimitars, crocodiles, lepers, tigers (of course) and, most memorably of all, some astonishingly erotic dancing by Hollywood star Debra Paget as Seetha the temple dancer." - Philip Horne, The Telegraph
Selected by Dominik Graf, Pierre Rissient, Michel Mourlet, Enrique Bolado, Jesús Cortés.
Laura Dern, Jeremy Irons, Harry Dean Stanton, Grace Zabriskie, Ian Abercrombie, Peter J. Lucas, Justin Theroux, Terryn Westbrook, Julia Ormond, Diane Ladd
"David Lynch's first digital video is his best and most experimental feature since Eraserhead. Shot piecemeal over at least a year and without a script, this 179-minute meditation builds on Lynch's Mulholland Drive as a sinister and critical portrait of Hollywood. But it resists any narrative paraphrase, with several overlapping premises rather than a single consecutive plot… The visual qualities include impressionistic soft-focus colors, expressionistic lighting, and disquietingly huge close-ups." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Gillies MacKinnon, Cristina Álvarez López, Ángel Quintana Morraja, Luis Miranda, Martha P. Nochimson.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
Deborah Kerr, Martin Stephens, Pamela Franklin, Michael Redgrave, Peter Wyngarde, Megs Jenkins, Clytie Jessop, Isla Cameron, Eric Woodburn
"is it the finest, smartest, most visually savvy horror film ever made by a big studio? Deborah Kerr is the sexually straitjacketed governess subject to either the ghastly duplicity of her dead-eyed charges (Martin Stephens and Pamela Franklin) or the threatening ghosts of the estate's previous servants—or both—and it might be the most unforgettable performance by a British actress in its decade. Clayton's filmmaking, mustering frisson by both candle and blazing daylight, could serve as an object lesson in its genre. Only Robert Wise's The Haunting, out two years later, came close to its edge-of-sight menace, repressed gothic angst, and all-suggestion creep-outs." - Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice
Selected by Joe Cornish, Clio Barnard, Juan Antonio Bayona, Ben Hopkins, Christopher Fowler.
Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh, Robert Harron, Constance Talmadge, Miriam Cooper, Alfred Paget, Elmo Lincoln, Walter Long, Bessie Love, Seena Owen
"Made in 1916 and still ahead of the times, D.W. Griffith's magnificent epic intercuts four stories set in four different periods—an experiment with cinematic time and space that even the avant-garde has only recently begun to absorb. Griffith conceived the film as four rivers that “seem to flow together in one common flood of humanity.” One of the great breakthroughs—the Ulysses of the cinema—and a powerful, moving experience in its own right." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Dave Kehr, Richard Koszarski, Armond White, Roy Andersson, Tom Gunning.
Michel Subor, Gregoire Colin, Yekaterina Golubeva, Bambou, Florence Loiret, Lolita Chammah, Alex Descas, Dong-ho Kim, Se-tak Chang, Hong-suk Park
"Claire Denis's magnificent enigma of a film, The Intruder, explores the troubled soul of Louis Trebor (Subor), a brooding loner with a heart condition who lives with two large white dogs in a forest near the French-Swiss border… Ms. Denis, a fearless aesthetic adventurer who lived in Africa until she was 14, has always been fascinated by stories and images of cultural imposition, exile, alienation and the contemplation of the Other… Working with her brilliant cinematographer Agnès Godard, she spills onto the screen images of man and nature with an attunement to light, shadow, color, texture and mood that approaches the surreal." - Stephen Holden, The New York Times
Selected by Tim Wong, Dana Linssen, Daniel Frampton, Michael Omasta, Dominik Graf.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Kevin McCarthy, Dana Wynter, Larry Gates, King Donovan, Carolyn Jones, Virginia Christine, Jean Willes, Ralph Dumke, Tom Fadden, Kenneth Patterson
"Shot in just 19 days, Siegel's economical adaptation of a Jack Finney story (script by Daniel Mainwaring of Out of the Past fame) is one of the most resonant sci-fi movies, and one of the simplest. It has been interpreted as an allegory against McCarthyism, though it could equally stand as anti-Communist. (In his book A Siegel Film, the director has nothing to say on the matter.) It's still a chilling picture, gaining over Phil Kaufman's smart remake by virtue of its intimate small town setting, and it has one of the greatest endings ever filmed." - Tom Charity, Time Out
Selected by David Pirie, Brian W. Fairbanks, John A. Russo, Dinko Tucakovic, Jacques Audiard.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
It Happened One Night
Claudette Colbert, Clark Gable, Walter Connolly, Roscoe Karns, Alan Hale, Ward Bond, Henry Wadsworth, Claire McDowell, Arthur Hoyt, Blanche Frederici
"Every line of dialogue is calculated bliss, the chemistry between the leads is magnificent, and the backdrop of Depression-era America allows for a prescient and amusing subplot about how well-heeled urbanites are compelled to misbehave when they have no money in their designer pockets. It’s probably more historically important than it is a masterpiece (the last 20 minutes take the missed connections and misunderstandings an inch too far), but it’s still very easy to fall in love with.." - David Jenkins, Time Out
Selected by Susanne Bier, Kevin Thomas, Chris Knight, Graham Shirley, Juan Antonio García Borrero.
It's a Gift
W.C. Fields, Kathleen Howard, Jean Rouverol, Julian Madison, Tommy Bupp, Baby LeRoy, Tammany Young, Morgan Wallace, Charles Sellon, Josephine Whittell
"W.C. Fields is a small-town grocer who inherits a fortune, buys an orange grove in California, and piles his wife and kids into their ramshackle car for a journey west. The plot isn't much more than a clothesline on which director Norman Z. McLeod hangs an assortment of the star's tried-and-true vaudeville routines, but they're solid gold… McLeod's middling reputation doesn't quite square with his track record of classic comedies—the Marx Brothers’ Monkey Business and Horse Feathers, Bob Hope's Road to Rio and The Paleface, Cary Grant's Topper, Danny Kaye's The Secret Life of Walter Mitty—and this 1934 feature ranks among Fields's best." - J.R. Jones, Chicago Reader
Selected by Paul Feig, Ian Penman, Vic Pratt, Gerald Peary, Daniel Talbot.
It's a Wonderful Life
James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell, Henry Travers, Beulah Bondi, Gloria Grahame, H.B. Warner, Ward Bond, Frank Faylen
"James Stewart is a vision of decency as the selfless guy George Bailey who finds himself deeply loved in the smalltown community he'd once dreamed of leaving: a redemptive discovery that follows his suicidal despair one snowy Christmas night. Every time I watch it, I am surprised afresh by how late in the story Clarence the angel appears, on his mission to show George how bad the world would have looked without him. The film is gripping enough simply with the telling of George's lifestory. A genuine American classic." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Paul Feig, Paul Greengrass, Richard Curtis, Destin Daniel Cretton, Mark Kermode.
Ivan the Terrible, Part 1
Nikolai Cherkasov, Lyudmila Tselikovskaya, Serafima Birman, Mikhail Nazvanov, Mikhail Zharov, Amvrosi Buchma, Mikhail Kuznetsov, Pavel Kadochnikov, Andrei Abrikosov, Aleksandr Mgebrov
"Part I takes up the history of Ivan when he is about to take on the trappings of the Byzantine Emperors and the title of Czar (Caesar) instead of the title of his predecessors—Grand Prince of Moscow. The first scene shows his second coronation—that as Czar. This scene also sets the style of the trilogy… Further, the first scene acts as a sort of overture introducing the three main themes of the trilogy: the personal life of Ivan; domestic problems within Russia and foreign problems of war and trade. The interweaving of these themes into a complex tapestry makes Part I one of the supreme masterpieces of cinematic art." - Rodney Farnsworth, Film Reference
Selected by Paul Verhoeven, Joan Mellen, Kristin Thompson, Ian Christie, Hal Hartley.
Top 25 European Films
1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
2. The Rules of the Game (Jean Renoir, 1939)
3. 8½ (Federico Fellini, 1963)
4. Bicycle Thieves (Vittorio De Sica, 1948)
5. Battleship Potemkin (Sergei Eisenstein, 1925)
6. The Passion of Joan of Arc (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1928)
7. Breathless (Jean-Luc Godard, 1960)
8. L'Atalante (Jean Vigo, 1934)
9. Persona (Ingmar Bergman, 1966)
10. The Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929)
11. The 400 Blows (François Truffaut, 1959)
12. Andrei Rublev (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1966)
13. The Mirror (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1975)
14. La Dolce vita (Federico Fellini, 1960)
15. Lawrence of Arabia (David Lean, 1962)
16. Ordet (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1955)
17. Au hasard Balthazar (Robert Bresson, 1966)
18. L'Avventura (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960)
19. Contempt (Jean-Luc Godard, 1963)
20. La Grande illusion (Jean Renoir, 1937)
21. The Third Man (Carol Reed, 1949)
22. Playtime (Jacques Tati, 1967)
23. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Stanley Kubrick, 1964)
24. Barry Lyndon (Stanley Kubrick, 1975)
25. M (Fritz Lang, 1931)
Ivan the Terrible, Part 2
Nikolai Cherkasov, Serafima Birman, Mikhail Nazvanov, Pavel Kadochnikov, Mikhail Zharov, Amvrosi Buchma, Vsevolod Pudovkin, Mikhail Kuznetsov, Aleksandr Mgebrov, Andrei Abrikosov
"The follow-up to famed Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein's epic of the first Russian tsar, Ivan the Terrible, Part II continues the saga of Ivan's efforts to consolidate power and unite the divided, feuding Russian empire… Some criticized Ivan as more a Hamlet-style, doubt-plagued hero than a realistic historical figure, but questions of realism or accuracy aside, many agreed that Ivan II was nevertheless a moving and highly ambitious addition to the Eisenstein legend. With his death at 50 of a heart attack, one of the cinema's greatest innovators was gone, leaving behind this and other profound documents of his cinematic genius." - Felicia Feaster, TCM
Selected by Michael Wood, Alexander Zeldovich, Paul Verhoeven, Andrzej Kolodynski, Ian Christie.
Nikolai Burlyayev, Irina Tarkovskaya, Valentin Zubkov, Yevgeni Zharikov, Stepan Krylov, Nikolai Grinko, Dmitri Milyutenko, Valentina Malyavina, Irma Raush, Andrei Konchalovsky
"Anyone familiar with the dense, monumental later works of slow-cinema pioneer Andrei Tarkovsky might find his 1962 debut surprisingly straightforward (not to mention brief, at a mere 92 minutes). The plot is relatively direct, following battle-scarred orphan Ivan and the men who use him – benevolently, but worryingly – to spy on the German forces huddled just across the swamp. But Ivan’s Childhood could only be a Tarkovsky film. No other director is simultaneously so precise and so otherworldly, so uncompromisingly bleak and so awake to the possibilities of joy… Tarkovsky would go on to make grander, weightier, more iconic films, but it’s tough to argue he ever made a better one." - Tom Huddleston, Time Out
Selected by Pablo Larraín, Abderrahmane Sissako, Agnès Devictor, Gary Crowdus, Ann Turner.
Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Carl Gottlieb, Jeffrey Kramer, Susan Backlinie, Jonathan Filley, Ted Grossman
"Jaws is a lively, chaotic swirl of contradictions, prodigious talent, and formal mastery. It's a thriller that played a role in the entire restructuring of Hollywood's methods of selling its films to the public. Jaws was the sure-to-be calamity that became one of the most beloved and quoted films of all time... The surprise is how good it was and still is. The film is a strange mixture of the über-controlled and the wild and wooly. Imagine if portions of Psycho were spliced into one of Hal Ashby's early films and you'd be closer to the film's tone than you might think." - Chuck Bowen, Slant Magazine
Selected by James Mangold, Ben Stiller, M. Night Shyamalan, Bobby Farrelly, Jeff Nichols.
Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
Delphine Seyrig, Jan Decorte, Henri Storck, Chantal Akerman, Jacques Doniol-Valcroze, Yves Bical
"A singular work in film history, Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles meticulously details, with a sense of impending doom, the daily routine of a middle-aged widow—whose chores include making the beds, cooking dinner for her son, and turning the occasional trick. In its enormous spareness, Akerman’s film seems simple, but it encompasses an entire world. Whether seen as an exacting character study or one of cinema’s most hypnotic and complete depictions of space and time, Jeanne Dielman is an astonishing, compelling movie experiment, one that has been analyzed and argued over for decades." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Amy Taubin, Berenice Reynaud, Dennis Lim, Lalitha Gopalan, Laura Mulvey.
Helene Chatelain, Davos Hanich, Jacques Ledoux, Jean Negroni, Andre Heinrich, Jacques Branchu, Pierre Joffroy, Etienne Becker, Ligia Branice, William Klein
"Marker's most definitive foray onto the terrain of narrative fiction film and one of cinema’s most elegant and remarkable meditations on its own nature as a medium, despite (or rather because of) its being composed almost entirely of still photographs… It is certainly not the only film to be composed out of still images, but its triumph is to harness them, using the classic grammar of the narrative fiction film, to the ultimate spare, stripped-down storyline (a mere twenty-seven minutes in length): a postapocalyptic science-fiction tale of tragic heroism and lost love, which turns on the fatal attraction of images and the price paid for that desire." - Catherine Lupton, The Criterion Collection
Selected by Tarsem Singh, Raymond Bellour, James Marsh, Chris Darke, Patrick Keiller.
Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Sissy Spacek, Tommy Lee Jones, Laurie Metcalf, Michael Rooker, Jay O. Sanders, Sally Kirkland, Edward Asner, Jack Lemmon
"The first order of business concerning JFK, Oliver Stone's movie about the Kennedy assassination, is entertainment. As such, Stone creates a riveting marriage of fact and fiction, hypothesis and empirical proof in the edge-of-the-seat spirit of a conspiracy thriller… Despite its three hours, JFK is almost always absorbing to watch. It's not journalism. It's not history. It is not legal evidence. Much of it is ludicrous. It's a piece of art or entertainment. Stone, who has acknowledged his fusing of the known and the invented, has exercised his full prerogative to use poetic license. He should feel more than mere craftsman's satisfaction at the result." - Desson Howe, The Washington Post
Selected by Alejandro Amenábar, Kevin Smith, Gary Crowdus, Sean Stone, Klaus Lemke.
Johnny Got His Gun
Timothy Bottoms, Kathy Fields, Marsha Hunt, Jason Robards, Donald Sutherland, Diane Varsi, Milton Barnes, Don "Red" Barry, Craig Bovia, Peter Brocco
"Trumbo lays on every emotional effect and then some to get across his tale of a World War I casualty left limbless, faceless, deaf, dumb and blind, confined to a semi-existence in a hospital back room… Trumbo adapted his own novel, incredibly based on fact, some thirty years after he wrote it, and he tells the seemingly unfilmable story through a sustained interior monologue and a series of flashbacks to Johnny's childhood, his failure of a shoe-salesman father, his job in the local bakery, his first-and-last night with his girl before leaving for the front, and through a series of fantasy sequences (the most effective involving Donald Sutherland as Christ). The film is often sentimental, sometimes brilliant as well as horrifying, and it is intriguing to speculate on what Buñuel, whom Trumbo originally wanted to direct, would have made of it." - Verina Glaessner, Time Out
Selected by Jan Göransson, Michael Moore, Javier Angulo, José Eduardo Belmonte, Christophe Goffette.
Joan Crawford, Sterling Hayden, Mercedes McCambridge, Scott Brady, Ward Bond, John Carradine, Ernest Borgnine, Ben Cooper, Royal Dano, Frank Ferguson
"Taking a story about two gutsy, gun-totin' matriarchs squabbling over the men they love and the ownership of a gambling saloon, Ray plays havoc with Western conventions… Love and hate, prostitution and frustration, domination and humiliation are woven into a hypnotic Freudian web of shifting relationships, illuminated by the director's precise, symbolic use of colour, and strung together with an unerring sense of pace. The whole thing is weird, hysterical, and quite unlike anything else in the history of the cowboy film." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Shinji Aoyama, Albert Serra, Massimo Causo, Dávid Klág, Christine Molloy.
Le Jour se lève
Jean Gabin, Arletty, Jules Berry, Mady Berry, Rene Genin, Arthur Devere, Rene Bergeron, Bernard Blier, Jacqueline Laurent, Gabrielle Fontan
"Possibly the best of the Carné-Prévert films, certainly their collaboration at its most classically pure, with Gabin a dead man from the outset as his honest foundry worker, hounded into jealousy and murder by a cynical seducer, holes up with a gun in an attic surrounded by police, remembering in flashback how it all started while he waits for the end. Fritz Lang might have given ineluctable fate a sharper edge (less poetry, more doom), but he couldn't have bettered the performances from Gabin, Berry, Arletty, and (as the subject of Gabin's romantic agony) Laurent." - Tom Milne, Time Out
Selected by Alejandro Agresti, Heinz Emigholz, Firat Yücel, Noel King, Claude Lelouch.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
Jules et Jim
Jeanne Moreau, Oskar Werner, Henri Serre, Marie Dubois, Vanna Urbino, Sabine Haudepin, Boris Bassiak, Kate Noelle, Anny Nelsen, Christiane Wagner
"A rocking chair has a rhythm of its own; so does Jules and Jim. More than 40 years old, François Truffaut's whirling dervish remains an ageless beauty. The film appears to us as like a specter, with a sensibility about cinematic language and sexual relations rarely seen today. A better title for this benchmark of the French New Wave might have been Breathless—an apt descriptor for the film's lyrical visual flair and whirlpool of emotions. Too bad it was already taken." - Ed Gonzalez, The Village Voice
Selected by Jan Troell, Mike Leigh, Armond White, Alon Garbuz, Alexander Zeldovich.
Juliet of the Spirits
Giulietta Masina, Mario Pisu, Sandra Milo, Valentina Cortese, Valeska Gert, Jose-Luis de Villalonga, Friedrich von Ledebur, Caterina Boratto, Lou Gilbert, Sylva Koscina
"Federico Fellini's phantasmagoric Juliet of the Spirits was the Italian master's first color film. Fellini went deliriously and brilliantly bananas with the color to create a rollicking through-the-looking-glass series of tableaus evoking a woman's troubled psyche. These sequences are a zany, surreal jumble of Freudian, Jungian and pagan symbolism segued into a 145-minute head trip. Although the head being explored is a woman's and the movie has been described as the female counterpart of Fellini's 8 1/2, the fantasies being enacted are still Fellini's sexual obsessions but embellished with feminine frills." - Stephen Holden, The New York Times
Selected by Wes Craven, Mark L. Lester, Chris Berry, Danny Elfman, Hilary Brougher.
Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Richard Attenborough, Jeff Goldblum, Bob Peck, Martin Ferrero, B.D. Wong, Joseph Mazzello, Ariana Richards, Samuel L. Jackson
"Jurassic Park is a true movie milestone, presenting awe- and fear-inspiring sights never before seen on the screen. The more spectacular of these involve the fierce, lifelike dinosaurs that stalk through the film with astounding ease… Jurassic Park keeps its viewers on edge while leaving much of its real violence to the imagination. When it's dinosaur feeding time, Mr. Spielberg avoids obvious gore; he gets a greater frisson out of showing farm animals that are left near the hungry beasts and suddenly disappear. To give the velociraptors a suitable introduction, he opens the film with a character whose upper body remains visible while the rest of him is being attacked off camera, a la Jaws. Jurassic Park mixes such horrific touches with sentimental strokes, suspenseful action scenes and occasional droll notes." - Janet Maslin, The New York Times
Selected by Adam Wingard, Jackie Chan, Karsten Meinich, Ning Hao, Alex Ross Perry.
Kaagaz Ke Phool
Waheeda Rehman, Guru Dutt, Naaz, Johnny Walker, Mahesh Kaul, Veena, Minoo Mumtaz, Nilofar, Ruby Mayer, Sheelavaz
"The semi-autobiographical Kaagaz Ke Phool, India's first movie in CinemaScope, traces the dissolution of a film director—Dutt plays the doomed hero—whose public deserts him as commercialism replaces creativity, and ends with him drinking himself to death. Dutt's loving depiction of filmmaking takes us behind the scenes with visually stunning chiaroscuro imagery of the huge, dusty sound stages where the director lives and dies. In retrospect, it now seems as if in this movie, Dutt was rehearsing his own demise." - Elliott Stein, The Village Voice
Selected by Mark Cousins, Eric Le Roy, Noel Vera, Yomota Inuhiko, June Givanni.
Tatsuya Nakadai, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Kenichi Hagiwara, Jinpachi Nezu, Shuji Otaki, Daisuke Ryu, Masayuki Yui, Kaori Momoi, Mitsuko Baisho, Hideo Murota
"When a warlord dies, a peasant thief is called upon to impersonate him, and then finds himself haunted by the warlord’s spirit as well as his own ambitions. In his late, color masterpiece Kagemusha, Akira Kurosawa returns to the samurai film and to a primary theme of his career—the play between illusion and reality. Sumptuously reconstructing the splendor of feudal Japan and the pageantry of war, Kurosawa creates a historical epic that is also a meditation on the nature of power." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Carlos Saura, David Robinson, Evans Chan, Josué Méndez, Oliver Schmitz.
David Bradley, Lynne Perrie, Freddie Fletcher, Colin Welland, Brian Glover, Bob Bowes, Bernard Atha, Laurence Bould, Joey Kaye, Robert Naylor
"Ken Loach’s Kes, is cinema’s quintessential portrait of working-class Northern England. Billy (an astonishingly naturalistic David Bradley) is a fifteen-year-old miner’s son whose close bond with a wild kestrel provides him with a spiritual escape from his dead-end life. Kes brought to the big screen the sociopolitical engagement Loach had established in his work for the BBC, and pushed the British “angry young man” film of the sixties into a new realm of authenticity, using real locations and nonprofessional actors. Loach’s poignant coming-of-age drama remains the now legendary director’s most beloved and influential film." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Michel Gondry, Michael Apted, Paul Greengrass, Ray Lawrence, Sam Mendes.
Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Jackie Coogan, Baby Hathaway, Carl Miller, Granville Redmond, May White, Tom Wilson, Henry Bergman, Lita Grey
"A picture with a smile and perhaps a tear' says the opening title of Chaplin's first feature. There's no perhaps about it, what with Charlie struggling to nurture a cast-off illegitimate child in the face of unfeeling cops, doctors and orphanage workers. As always, Chaplin's opulent Victorian sentimentality is made palatable both by the amazing grace of his pantomimic skills and the balancing presence of harsh reality: the drama and the intertwining gags are played out amongst garbage, flophouses, a slum world depicted with Stroheim-like detail." - Geoff Brown, Time Out
Selected by David Robinson, Abderrahmane Sissako, Wang Xiaoshuai, Victor Erice, Casper Tybjerg.
Kill Bill Vol. 1
Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox, Michael Madsen, Daryl Hannah, David Carradine, Sonny Chiba, Chiaki Kuriyama, Chia Hui Liu, Michael Parks
"Kill Bill, Volume 1 shows Quentin Tarantino so effortlessly and brilliantly in command of his technique that he reminds me of a virtuoso violinist racing through Flight of the Bumble Bee -- or maybe an accordion prodigy setting a speed record for Lady of Spain. I mean that as a sincere compliment. The movie is not about anything at all except the skill and humor of its making. It's kind of brilliant. His story is a distillation of the universe of martial arts movies, elevated to a trancelike mastery of the material… The movie is all storytelling and no story. The motivations have no psychological depth or resonance, but are simply plot markers. The characters consist of their characteristics. Lurking beneath everything, as it did with Pulp Fiction, is the suggestion of a parallel universe in which all of this makes sense in the same way that a superhero's origin story makes sense." - Roger Ebert, RogerEbert.com
Selected by Emilio Bustamante, Xavier Pérez, Rafael Carvalho, Tom Tykwer, Gerard Alonso Cassadó.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
Killer of Sheep
Henry G. Sanders, Kaycee Moore, Charles Bracy, Angela Burnett, Eugene Cherry, Jack Drummond
"Connoisseurs of 1970s independent cinema will relish every moment of this brilliant low-budget feature from Charles Burnett. After many career frustrations, Burnett went on to make To Sleep With Anger in 1990, but this is surely his great film, a masterpiece of unforced, vernacular movie-making. With its gloriously free-wheeling cinematography, pungent improvised dialogue, distinctive ambient sound and dramatic scenes that appear to have been serendipitously discovered by Burnett's camera, this is a hidden gem that sparkles in the light." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Ava DuVernay, Ray Carney, Sukhdev Sandhu, Andy Rector, Andrew Šprah.
Chow Yun-Fat, Danny Lee, Sally Yeh, Kenneth Tsang, Chu Kong, Lam Chung, Shing Fui-On, Ye Rongzu, Yi Fanwei, Huang Guangliang
"The most dementedly elegiac thriller you've ever seen, distilling a lifetime's enthusiasm for American and French film noir, with little Chinese about it apart from the soundtrack and the looks of the three beautiful leads. It started out as a homage to Martin Scorsese and Jean-Pierre Melville, but the limitless arsenal of guns and rocket-launchers appears somehow to have got in the way… There are half-a-dozen mega-massacres along the way, plus extraordinary spasms of sentimentality, romance and soul searching. The tone is hysterical from start to finish, but Woo's lush visual stylings and taste for baroque detail give the whole thing an improbably serene air of abstraction." - Tony Rayns, Time Out
Selected by Amanda Duthie, Anjelika Artyukh, Jia Zhangke, Raymond Lee, Giancarlo Semeraro.
Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards, Jay C. Flippen, Marie Windsor, Elisha Cook Jr., Ted De Corsia, Timothy Carey, Joseph Sawyer, Jay Adler
"Stanley Kubrick’s account of an ambitious racetrack robbery is one of Hollywood’s tautest, twistiest noirs. Aided by a radically time-shuffling narrative, razor-sharp dialogue from pulp novelist Jim Thompson, and a phenomenal cast of character actors, including Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Timothy Carey, Elisha Cook Jr., and Marie Windsor, The Killing is both a jaunty thriller and a cold-blooded punch to the gut. And with its precise tracking shots and gratifying sense of irony, it’s Kubrick to the core." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Mike Hodges, Roger Michell, Evgeny Gusyatinskiy, Brett Ratner, Iciar Bollain.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
The Killing of a Chinese Bookie
Ben Gazzara, Timothy Carey, Seymour Cassel, Azizi Johari, Meade Roberts, Alice Fredlund, Virginia Carrington, Soto Joe Hugh, Robert Phillips, Morgan Woodward
"John Cassavetes engages film noir in his own inimitable style with The Killing of a Chinese Bookie. Ben Gazzara brilliantly portrays gentlemen’s club owner Cosmo Vitelli, a man dedicated to pretenses of composure and self-possession. When he runs afoul of a group of gangsters, Cosmo is forced to commit a horrible crime in a last-ditch effort to save his beloved club and his way of life. Suspenseful, mesmerizing, and idiosyncratic, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie is a thought-provoking examination of desperation and masculine identity." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Edgardo Cozarinsky, Lenny Abrahamson, Lisandro Alonso, Jørgen Leth, Lukas Moodysson.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
Kind Hearts and Coronets
Dennis Price, Alec Guinness, Joan Greenwood, Valerie Hobson, Audrey Fildes, Miles Malleson, Clive Morton, Hugh Griffith, John Penrose, Cecil Ramage
"Director Robert Hamer’s fiendishly funny Kind Hearts and Coronets stands as one of Ealing Studios’ greatest triumphs, and one of the most wickedly black comedies ever made. Dennis Price is sublime as an embittered young commoner determined to avenge his mother’s unjust disinheritance by ascending to her family’s dukedom. Unfortunately, eight relatives, all played by the incomparable Alec Guinness, must be eliminated before he can do so." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Peter Bradshaw, Laurence Kardish, Pen-Ek Ratanaruang, Philip French, Terence Davies.
Top 25 African Films
1. Touki Bouki (Djibril Diop Mambéty, 1973)
2. Yeelen (Souleymane Cissé, 1987)
3. Xala (Ousmane Sembene, 1974)
4. Black Girl (Ousmane Sembene, 1966)
5. Ceddo (Ousmane Sembene, 1976)
6. Cairo Station (Youssef Chahine, 1958)
7. Hyènes (Djibril Diop Mambéty, 1992)
8. Moolaadé (Ousmane Sembene, 2004)
9. The Night of Counting the Years (Chadi Abdel Salam, 1969)
10. Bamako (Abderrahmane Sissako, 2006)
11. Borom sarret (Ousmane Sembene, 1969)
12. Yaaba (Idrissa Ouedraogo, 1989)
13. Daratt (Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, 2006)
14. Teza (Haile Gerima, 2008)
15. Harvest: 3,000 Years (Haile Gerima, 1975)
16. Emitaï (Ousmane Sembene, 1971)
17. Sambizanga (Sarah Maldoror, 1972)
18. The Earth (Youssef Chahine, 1969)
19. Tilai (Idrissa Ouedraogo, 1990)
20. Le Retour d'un aventurier (Moustapha Alassane, 1966)
21. The Little Girl Who Sold the Sun (Djibril Diop Mambéty, 1999)
22. Viva Didou! (Mohamed Zinet, 1971)
23. Timbuktu (Abderrahmane Sissako, 2014)
24. Muna Moto (Jean-Pierre Dikongue-Pipa, 1975)
25. Mapantsula (Oliver Schmitz, 1988)
Films ranked 7-25 are not in the current 1,000 Greatest Films listing.
Fay Wray, Bruce Cabot, Robert Armstrong, Frank Reicher, Noble Johnson, James Flavin, Sam Hardy, Steve Clemente, Victor Wong, Paul Porcasi
"If this glorious pile of horror-fantasy hokum has lost none of its power to move, excite and sadden, it is in no small measure due to the remarkable technical achievements of Willis O'Brien's animation work, and the superbly matched score of Max Steiner… The throbbing heart of the film lies in the creation of the semi-human simian himself, an immortal tribute to the Hollywood dream factory's ability to fashion a symbol that can express all the contradictory erotic, ecstatic, destructive, pathetic and cathartic buried impulses of 'civilised' man." - Wally Hammond, Time Out
Selected by Peter Jackson, Gaspar Noé, Anne Billson, Andrew Osmond, Antonia Quirke.
The King of Comedy
Robert De Niro, Jerry Lewis, Diahnne Abbott, Sandra Bernhard, Ed Herlihy, Lou Brown, Whitey Ryan, Doc Lawless, Marta Heflin, Katherine Wallach
"The salutary tale of an aspiring comedian (De Niro) who kidnaps his idol, Jerry Langford (Lewis, playing close to type), in order to ensure a TV spot, The King of Comedy has more to say about the parlous state of modern celebrity culture than any other movie I can call to mind… Perfectly pitched between satire and horror, The King of Comedy finds both its director and star working at the peak of their powers – the dramatic punch of the piece being strengthened by understatement, by the fact that neither director nor star are grandstanding… The King of Comedy is quite breathtakingly brilliant." - Mark Kermode, The Guardian
Selected by Francis Ford Coppola, Lizzie Francke, Bryan Singer, Ant Timpson, Jan Lumholdt.
Kings of the Road
Rudiger Vogler, Hanns Zischler, Lisa Kreuzer, Rudolf Schundler, Marquard Bohm, Dieter Traier, Franziska Stommer, Patric Kreuzer, Wim Wenders, Peter Kaiser
"There's not much moralising or philosophy behind Kings of the Road, and none of the portentous complications with which Wenders has afflicted us of late (Million Dollar Hotel, for instance). Instead he achieves a palpable sense of time, place and atmosphere, and of how everybody is affected by their tiny spot in history. What could have been a dull work, considering its almost three-hour length and lack of drama, looks as good today as it ever did. Robby Müller, one of the world's most eloquent cinematographers, contributes mightily to this. There is an almost hypnotic quality to the film - Europe's most telling example of the American road movie." - Derek Malcolm, The Guardian
Selected by David Stratton, Nick Roddick, Barbara Scharres, Benjamin Safdie, Henk Camping.
Kiss Me Deadly
Ralph Meeker, Albert Dekker, Maxine Cooper, Paul Stewart, Gaby Rodgers, Cloris Leachman, Jack Lambert, Wesley Addy, Nick Dennis, Marian Carr
"In this atomic adaptation of Mickey Spillane’s novel, directed by Robert Aldrich, the good manners of the 1950s are blown to smithereens. Ralph Meeker stars as snarling private dick Mike Hammer, whose decision one dark, lonely night to pick up a hitchhiking woman sends him down some terrifying byways. Brazen and bleak, Kiss Me Deadly is a film noir masterwork as well as an essential piece of cold war paranoia, and it features as nervy an ending as has ever been seen in American cinema." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Mike Hodges, Thom Andersen, José Luis Cienfuegos, Park Chan-wook, Mika Taanila.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
Knife in the Water
Leon Niemczyk, Jolanta Umecka, Zygmunt Malanowicz
"Roman Polanski’s first feature is a brilliant psychological thriller that many critics still consider among his greatest work. The story is simple, yet the implications of its characters’ emotions and actions are profound. When a young hitchhiker joins a couple on a weekend yacht trip, psychological warfare breaks out as the two men compete for the woman’s attention. A storm forces the small crew below deck, and tension builds to a violent climax. With stinging dialogue and a mercilessly probing camera, Polanski creates a disturbing study of fear, humiliation, sexuality, and aggression." – The Criterion Collection
Selected by Andris Feldmanis, M.T. Vasudevan Nair, Tina Bastajian, Alfredo de Villa, Mrinal Sen.
"An unconventional work in every way, Godfrey Reggio’s Koyaanisqatsi was nevertheless a sensation when it was released in 1983. This first work of The Qatsi Trilogy wordlessly surveys the rapidly changing environments of the Northern Hemisphere, in an astonishing collage created by the director, cinematographer Ron Fricke, and composer Philip Glass. It shuttles viewers from one jaw-dropping vision to the next, moving from images of untouched nature to others depicting human beings’ increasing dependence on technology Koyaanisqatsi’s heterodox methods (including hypnotic time-lapse photography) make it a look at our world from a truly unique angle." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Andrey Zvyagintsev, Gary Tarn, Laurie Anderson, Michael Dudok de Wit, Anton Bitel.
Rentaro Mikuni, Michiyo Aratama, Misako Watanabe, Tatsuya Nakadai, Keiko Kishi, Katsuo Nakamura, Tetsuro Tanba, Kanemon Nakamura, Osamu Takizawa, Ranko Akagi
"One of the most meticulously crafted supernatural fantasy films ever made, Masaki Kobayashi’s Kwaidan is also one of the most unusual. While such classic black and white chillers as The Uninvited, The Innocents and The Haunting teasingly speculate on the existence of ghosts, this lavish widescreen and color production deals with the spirit world head-on, as something completely and frighteningly real… Shot almost entirely in enormous studio sets, with a completely post-synched and carefully controlled soundtrack, Kwaidan is about as far from moviemaking 'realism' as it’s possible to go." - David Ehrenstein, The Criterion Collection
Selected by Paul Tickell, Virginie Sélavy, David Schoonover, Ann Lloyd, Jaroslav Broz.
Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, James Cromwell, Kim Basinger, Danny De Vito, David Strathairn, Ron Rifkin, Matt McCoy, Paul Guilfoyle
"Against all odds, L.A. Confidential succeeds brilliantly, right down to Jerry Goldsmith's score, which evokes his haunting theme from Chinatown without being haunted by it… Blazing with action, humor and eroticism, the film is long at 2:16, but it's consistently riveting. The screenplay distills James Ellroy's 1990 novel without losing its crackle and density. Though the film is rich in atmosphere — cinematographer Dante Spinotti lights Ruth Myers' costumes and Jeannine Oppewall's production design to optimum effect — the emphasis is on character and on quality acting." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Selected by Peter Howell, Julian Fellowes, Karlheinz Oplustil, Kristian Lin, Matt Singer.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
The Ladies Man
Jerry Lewis, Helen Traubel, Kathleen Freeman, Pat Stanley, George Raft, Hope Holiday, Jack Kruschen, Doodles Weaver, Harry James, Marty Ingels
"Jerry Lewis' second film as director is one of his greatest, with its star almost overwhelmed by his one major set, the split-level interior of a Hollywood boarding hotel for aspiring actresses, where one Herbert Heebert, practising misogynist, has been taken on in all innocence as a houseboy. Lewis' camera performs some virtuoso movement around the rooms (Jean-Luc Godard and Julien Temple were to borrow this device), and the ultra-loose plotline allows for some hilarious sequences, and even a touch of surrealism in one entirely white interior. Highlights include Lewis breaking up a television show and dancing a tango with George Raft." - David Thompson, Time Out
Selected by Bruce LaBruce, Marcelo Panozzo, Matías Piñeiro, Mehrnaz Saeedvafa, Violeta Kovacsics.
The Lady Eve
Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Charles Coburn, Eugene Pallette, William Demarest, Eric Blore, Melville Cooper, Martha O'Driscoll, Janet Beecher, Robert Greig
"A conniving father and daughter meet up with the heir to a brewery fortune—a wealthy but naïve snake enthusiast—and attempt to bamboozle him at a cruise ship card table. Their plan is quickly abandoned when the daughter falls in love with their prey. But when the heir gets wise to her gold-digging ways, she must plot to re-conquer his heart. One of Sturges’s most clever and beloved romantic comedies, The Lady Eve balances broad slapstick and sophisticated sexiness with perfect grace." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Peter Bogdanovich, Gregg Araki, Paul Schrader, Richard Corliss, Stephanie Zacharek.
The Lady from Shanghai
Orson Welles, Rita Hayworth, Everett Sloane, Glenn Anders, Ted De Corsia, Erskine Sanford, Gus Schilling, Carl Frank, Lou Merrill, Evelyn Ellis
"Don't attempt to follow the plot because Welles simply doesn't care enough to make the narrative seamless. Indeed, the principal pleasure of The Lady from Shanghai is its tongue-in-cheek approach to story-telling… One intriguing reading of the movie is that it's a commentary on Welles' marriage to Hayworth - the impossibility of the 'boy genius' maintaining a relationship with a mature woman - and the scene in the hall of mirrors, where the temptress' face is endlessly reflected back at him, stands as a brilliant expressionist metaphor for sexual unease and its accompanying loss of identity. Complex, courageous, and utterly compelling." - Martyn Auty, Time Out
Selected by Greg Mottola, Koichi Yamada, Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, Akira Tochigi, Mark Sinker.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
The Lady Vanishes
Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave, Paul Lukas, Dame May Whitty, Cecil Parker, Linden Travers, Naunton Wayne, Basil Radford, Mary Clare, Googie Withers
"In Alfred Hitchcock’s most quick-witted and devilish comic thriller, the beautiful Margaret Lockwood, traveling across Europe by train, meets a charming spinster (Whitty), who then seems to disappear into thin air. The younger woman turns investigator and finds herself drawn into a complex web of mystery and high adventure. Also starring Michael Redgrave, The Lady Vanishes remains one of the great filmmaker’s purest delights." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Charles Barr, J.M. Tyree, Robin Wood, Manuel Antin, Philip French.
Alec Guinness, Cecil Parker, Herbert Lom, Peter Sellers, Danny Green, Katie Johnson, Jack Warner, Frankie Howerd, Philip Stainton, Fred Griffiths
"Subversive, hilarious and more English than Elgar, though written by the American expatriate William Rose, this is one of director Alexander Mackendrick's masterpieces and a major jewel in the Ealing Studios canon… Alec Guinness is the mad professor whose gang of crooks rent a rickety house owned by a sweet old lady, passing themselves off as a string quintet while planning a robbery in which their landlady will play a vital role… Mackendrick's handling of his material and performers is delectable, and he brilliantly uses the King's Cross locations, a perennially cinematic part of London… The Ladykillers continues triumphantly as a great screen comedy." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Mel Brooks, Jeremy Deller, Patrick Keiller, José Luis Cienfuegos, Terence Davies.
Lancelot du Lac
Luc Simon, Laura Duke Condominas, Humbert Balsan, Vladimir Antolek-Oresek, Patrick Bernhard, Arthur De Montalembert, Charles Balsan, Christian Schlumberger, Joseph-Patrick Le Quidre, Jean-Paul Leperlier
"This is the Arthurian legend stripped bare, spotlighting the characters' cruelty, pride, and the aching need for human affection. Bresson's shooting style has always been bare, and he manipulates his small inventory of images and sounds with masterful ease. The tournament provides a virtuoso example: the cameras mostly stick with the horses' feet or the jousters' weapons, and refuse to show us the whole spectacle… It's stunningly beautiful, mesmerising, exhausting, uplifting, amazing - all the things you could possibly expect from a masterpiece." - Geoff Brown, Time Out
Selected by Manuel Gutiérrez Aragon, Michael Haneke, Amit Dutta, Andrew Lampert, William E. Jones.
Land Without Bread
"Buñuel had long displayed a love/hate relationship with his native Spain, and his bitterness rarely flowed with greater force than in Las Hurdes. While the Spanish valley of Las Hurdes Bajas is green and beautiful, the mountainous region of Las Hurdes Altas is mired in economic and cultural poverty. As captured on film by Buñuel, Las Hurdes Altas is a land of flinty soil where few if any crops will grow… While it was Buñuel's sole documentary, Las Hurdes is thematically consistent with his other films; its fascination with insects, unblinking look at human cruelty, subtle but clear disgust with the Catholic Church, and moments of jet-black humor mark it as the work of Spain's greatest surrealist filmmaker." - Mark Deming, Allmovie
Selected by Álvaro Arroba, Antonio Delgado, Bill Nichols, Lola Hinojosa, Nico Baumbach.
Landscape in the Mist
Tania Palaiologou, Aliki Georgouli, Dimitris Kaberidis, Vassilis Kolovos, Ilias Logothetis, Gerasimos Skiadaressis, Stratos Tzortzoglou, Michalis Zeke
"Theo Angelopoulos's 1988 underseen, underworshipped epiphany nevertheless redefined the art film, hijacking the Antonioni/Tarkovsky long-take syntax and winnowing away its metaphysics, emerging with a heart-stopping odyssey of wintery orphanhood and breathless images. A young sister and brother launch out into the industrial Greek hinterlands to find a rumored father that doesn't exist, and the passage of their journey is, for us, an ordeal by sympathy, monolithic visions, adult monstrosity, and effortless metaphoric torque… Angelopoulos never married his ambitious pyramid-making to human experience this perfectly before or after." - Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice
Selected by Ann Hui, Mamoru Hosoda, Stanley Kwan, Hirokazu Koreeda, Richard Eyre.
The Last Detail
Jack Nicholson, Otis Young, Randy Quaid, Clifton James, Michael Moriarty, Carol Kane, Luana Anders, Nancy Allen, Kathleen Miller, Gerry Salsberg
"This Oscar-nominated drama has genuine combustible power as it follows the fortunes of two tough naval petty officers (Nicholson and Young) and the pathetic young criminal (Quaid) that they have to escort to jail. Towne's script consists almost entirely of profanities and justifiably so, considering the characters aren't exactly choirboys. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes poignant, this thoroughly engrossing movie contains one of Nicholson's most memorable roles, which is saying something considering the consistent brilliance of his performances in the early 1970s." - Tom Hutchinson, Radio Times
Selected by Nobuhiro Yamashita, Judd Apatow, Wes Anderson, Spike Lee, Max Winkler.
The Last Emperor
John Lone, Joan Chen, Peter O'Toole, Ying Ruocheng, Victor Wong, Dennis Dun, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Maggie Han, Ric Young, Vivian Wu
“The power and scope of the film was, and remains, undeniable—the life of Emperor Pu Yi, who took the throne at age three, in 1908, before witnessing decades of cultural and political upheaval, within and without the walls of the Forbidden City. Recreating Ching dynasty China with astonishing detail and unparalleled craftsmanship by cinematographer Vittorio Storaro and production designer Ferdinando Scarfiotti, The Last Emperor is also an intimate character study of one man reconciling personal responsibility and political legacy." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Yojiro Takita, Ik-June Yang, Ringo Lam, Steven Seagal, Samuel Fuller.
Top 25 Asian Films
1. Tokyo Story (Yasujiro Ozu, 1953)
2. Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1954)
3. Rashomon (Akira Kurosawa, 1950)
4. In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai, 2000)
5. Ugetsu monogatari (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1953)
6. Pather Panchali (Satyajit Ray, 1955)
7. Late Spring (Yasujiro Ozu, 1949)
8. Close-Up (Abbas Kiarostami, 1990)
9. Sansho the Bailiff (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1954)
10. Ikiru (Akira Kurosawa, 1952)
11. A Brighter Summer Day (Edward Yang, 1991)
12. Yi yi (Edward Yang, 2000)
13. Spring in a Small Town (Fei Mu, 1948)
14. Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001)
15. Chungking Express (Wong Kar-wai, 1994)
16. A City of Sadness (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 1989)
17. The Life of Oharu (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1952)
18. Tropical Malady (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2004)
19. Floating Clouds (Mikio Naruse, 1955)
20. The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1939)
21. My Neighbour Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki, 1988)
22. Throne of Blood (Akira Kurosawa, 1957)
23. An Autumn Afternoon (Yasujiro Ozu, 1962)
24. The Music Room (Satyajit Ray, 1958)
25. The World of Apu (Satyajit Ray, 1959)
The Last Laugh
Emil Jannings, Maly Delschaft, Max Hiller, Emilie Kurz, Hans Unterkircher, Olaf Storm, Hermann Vallentin, Georg John, Emmy Wyda, Harald Madsen
"The 1924 film in which F.W. Murnau freed his camera from its stationary tripod and took it on a flight of imagination and expression that changed the way movies were made. Cameras had tracked and panned before, but never to such a deliberate and spectacular degree. Emil Jannings is the hotel doorman whose life is ruined when he is shunted to semiretirement as a lavatory attendant and his beautiful uniform is taken away from him. The film was a great international success and secured a Hollywood contract for its German director." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Laurence Kardish, Richard Brody, Andreas Dresen, Annette Kuhn, Barry Salt.
The Last Picture Show
Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd, Ben Johnson, Cloris Leachman, Ellen Burstyn, Eileen Brennan, Clu Gulager, Sam Bottoms, Randy Quaid
"The Last Picture Show is one of the key films of the American cinema renaissance of the seventies. Set during the early fifties, in the loneliest Texas nowheresville to ever dust up a movie screen, this aching portrait of a dying West, adapted from Larry McMurtry’s novel, focuses on the daily shuffles of three futureless teens… Featuring evocative black-and-white imagery and profoundly felt performances, this hushed depiction of crumbling American values remains the pivotal film in the career of the invaluable director and film historian Peter Bogdanovich." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Lukas Moodysson, P.J. Hogan, Valeska Grisebach, Sofia Coppola, Roberto Manassero.
Last Tango in Paris
Marlon Brando, Maria Schneider, Maria Michi, Catherine Allegret, Marie-Helene Breillat, Catherine Breillat, Jean-Pierre Leaud, Darling Legitimus, Catherine Sola, Mauro Marchetti
"The Francis Bacon paintings that haunt the opening credits are the first hint that life might be both tortuous and beautiful in Bertolucci’s unforgettable portrait of grief and anonymous sex in 1970s Paris. The city looks to have been built uniquely for the occasion as Brando gives his best performance in years as Paul, an American mourning his wife’s suicide… Vittorio Storaro’s photography – all yellows and browns – takes its cue from Brando’s camel coat, and the film’s volatile emotional register springs from that staggering opening shot of Brando howling under a railway bridge as Schneider ambles past, carefree and beautiful. It’s Brando’s film: his monologues devastate." - Dave Calhoun, Time Out
Selected by Zhang Yuan, Aditya Assarat, Keith Griffiths, Gus Van Sant, Rob Nilsson.
The Last Temptation of Christ
Willem Dafoe, Harvey Keitel, Paul Greco, Barbara Hershey, Harry Dean Stanton, David Bowie, Steven Shill, Verna Bloom, Roberts Blossom, Barry Miller
"The Last Temptation of Christ, by Martin Scorsese, is a towering achievement. Though it initially engendered enormous controversy, the film can now be viewed as the remarkable, profoundly personal work of faith that it is. This fifteen-year labor of love, an adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis’s landmark novel that imagines an alternate fate for Jesus Christ, features outstanding performances by Willem Dafoe, Barbara Hershey, Harvey Keitel, Harry Dean Stanton, and David Bowie; bold cinematography by the great Michael Ballhaus; and a transcendent score by Peter Gabriel." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Kevin Smith, Norm Wilner, Rob Humanick, Pam Cook, Jane Bartlett.
Last Year at Marienbad
Delphine Seyrig, Giorgio Albertazzi, Sacha Pitoeff, Francoise Bertin, Luce Garcia-Ville, Helena Kornel, Francois Spira, Karin Toche-Mittler, Pierre Barbaud, Wilhelm von Deek
"Not just a defining work of the French New Wave but one of the great, lasting mysteries of modern art, Alain Resnais’ epochal Last Year at Marienbad has been puzzling appreciative viewers for decades. Written by radical master of the New Novel Alain Robbe-Grillet, this surreal fever dream, or nightmare, gorgeously fuses the past with the present in telling its ambiguous tale of a man and a woman who may or may not have met a year ago… Unforgettable in both its confounding details and haunting scope, Resnais’ investigation into the nature of memory is disturbing, romantic, and maybe even a ghost story." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Esteve Riambau, Patrick Tam, Ronald Bergan, Marc Forster, Kent Jones.
Chishu Ryu, Setsuko Hara, Yumeji Tsukioka, Hohi Aoki, Masao Mishima, Kuniko Miyake, Haruko Sugimura, Yoshiko Tsubouchi, Jun Usami, Yoko Katsuragi
"Yasujiro Ozu's 1949 film inaugurated his majestic late period: it's here that he decisively renounces melodrama (and, indeed, most surface action of any kind) and lets his camera settle into the still, long-take contemplation of his gently drawn characters. Setsuko Hara, in the first of many performances for Ozu, plays a young woman who has renounced marriage to stay with her elderly father (Chishu Ryu)… The sense of loss and regret is beautifully balanced with the optimism of a new life beginning: for Ozu the family unit is not only a network of personal relationships but also the crisis point in the tragedy of time." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Isao Takahata, Jia Zhangke, Adriano Aprà, Alexander Horwath, Berenice Reynaud.
Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price, Judith Anderson, Dorothy Adams, James Flavin, Clyde Fillmore, Ralph Dunn, Grant Mitchell
"It's basically a B-feature whodunnit posing the question: who murdered the beautiful New York advertising executive Laura Hunt? But the film is raised to classic status by the witty script, David Raksin's score, Joseph LaShelle's subtle monochrome photography, and the way Preminger is more concerned with exploring the perversity of its generally dislikable characters (including the homicide detective) than in creating suspense. Preminger made darker, more characteristically noir films than this, but his only movie that's as good, or perhaps better, is Anatomy of a Murder." - Philip French, The Observer
Selected by David Meeker, Senem Aytaç, Dan Georgakas, John Baldessari, Raquel Abad.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
Lawrence of Arabia
Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins, Jose Ferrer, Omar Sharif, Anthony Quayle, Claude Rains, Arthur Kennedy, Donald Wolfit
"Like virtually all Hollywood films, it takes plenty of poetic license oversimplifying the Middle East campaigns of World War I… As a shining example of a vanished breed of epic filmmaking, though, it can't be beat. The scene most admirers remember best a near-dead Lawrence reemerging from the desert after risking his life to rescue a fallen comrade is so long and minimal that no director in the age of Spielberg & Co. would dream of attempting it… In short, they don't make 'em like this one anymore. Viewing it is like taking a time machine to a movie age that was more naive than our own in some ways, more sophisticated and ambitious in others." - David Sterritt, The Christian Science Monitor
Selected by Armond White, Christopher Frayling, Jeff Nichols, Kevin Jackson, Lawrence Kasdan.
Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman, Danny Aiello, Peter Appel, Michael Badalucco, Ellen Greene, Elizabeth Regen, Carl J. Matusovich, Randolph Scott
"There are a lot of films you first see as a kid that still loom large for you years later, but upon a re-watch disappoint. Luc Besson’s Leon is not one of them. Uniquely and willfully schizophrenic, it feels either like an eccentric French drama masquerading as a violent action movie or vice versa… Natalie Portman gives an amazingly deft performance aged just 12, and Jean Reno gets the combination of ruthless adult pragmatism and vulnerable immaturity just right in the lead role, but it is Oldman who delivers an unforgettable performance, which most fans’ minds will immediately jump to when the film is brought up…. Leon: The Professional’s influence can be felt in a number of action films that have followed it, but none have replicated its atmosphere of terror and play, melodrama and mundanity quite so well." - Christopher Hooton, The Independent
Selected by Lee Daniels, Jordan Vogt-Roberts, Feng Xiaoning, Ching Siu-Tung, Eugenio Vidal.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon, Claudia Cardinale, Rina Morelli, Paolo Stoppa, Serge Reggiani, Romolo Valli, Leslie French, Ivo Garrani, Terence Hill
"Luchino Visconti’s The Leopard is an epic on the grandest possible scale. The film recreates, with nostalgia, drama, and opulence, the tumultuous years of Italy’s Risorgimento—when the aristocracy lost its grip and the middle classes rose and formed a unified, democratic Italy. Burt Lancaster stars as the aging prince watching his culture and fortune wane in the face of a new generation, represented by his upstart nephew (Delon) and his beautiful fiancée (Cardinale). Awarded the Palme d’Or at the 1963 Cannes Film Festival, The Leopard translates Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s novel, and the history it recounts, into a truly cinematic masterpiece. " - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Ginette Vincendeau, Esteve Riambau, Judith Williamson, Kevin MacDonald, Krzysztof Zanussi.
Letter from an Unknown Woman
Joan Fontaine, Louis Jourdan, Mady Christians, Marcel Journet, Art Smith, John Good, Leo B. Pessin, Carol Yorke, Howard Freeman, Erskine Sanford
"Arguably the greatest of all screen romantic melodramas, and a supreme example of the skills of exiled European craftsmen working in Hollywood who were able to recreate turn of the 20th Century Vienna on a studio sound stage, Letter from an Unknown Woman is one of my ten best films of all time… Ophuls had difficulties kick-starting a Hollywood career, and Letter from an Unknown Woman, made in 1948, was the second of only four Hollywood films he made, all of them great. It was adapted from a novella by Stefan Zweig and the superb camerawork is the work of Franz Planer." - David Stratton, ABC
Selected by Edgardo Cozarinsky, Gerald Peary, Guy Maddin, José Luis Guerín, Patrick Tam.
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
Roger Livesey, Anton Walbrook, Deborah Kerr, Roland Culver, James McKechnie, John Laurie, Ursula Jeans, David Hutcheson, Albert Lieven, Arthur Wontner
"The passions and pitfalls of a lifetime in the military are dramatized in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s magnificent epic, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp. The film follows the exploits of pristine British soldier Clive Candy (Livesey) as he battles to maintain his honor and proud gentlemanly conduct through romance, three wars, and a changing world. Vibrant and controversial, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp is at once a romantic portrait of a career soldier and a pointed investigation into the nature of aging, friendship, and obsolescence." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Clare Stewart, Geoffrey Macnab, Kevin MacDonald, Errol Morris, Andrew Tracy.
The Life of Oharu
Kinuyo Tanaka, Tsukie Matsuura, Ichiro Sugai, Toshiro Mifune, Toshiaki Konoe, Kiyoko Tsuji, Hisako Yamane, Jukichi Uno, Eitaro Shindo, Masao Shimizu
"This chronicle of the decline of a woman, from service in the imperial court of 17th-century Japan through exile, concubinage and numerous stages of prostitution, should further enhance Mizoguchi's reputation as the cinema's greatest ever director of women, and one of the most meticulous craftsmen of the period film… It's also an extremely elegant movie whichever way you look at it: tiny details of movement by the actors, beautiful compositions and photography throughout, single fluid takes often serving to state a whole scene." - Rod McShane, Time Out
Selected by Bernard Eisenschitz, David Denby, Joan Mellen, Paolo Mereghetti, Enno Patalas.
Charles Chaplin, Claire Bloom, Sydney Chaplin, Andre Eglevsky, Melissa Hayden, Nigel Bruce, Buster Keaton, Norman Lloyd, Charles Chaplin Jr., Wheeler Dryden
"Chaplin's final film before his exile in Europe is far and away his most personal: he recreates the London of his boyhood (a world of abject poverty, alcoholism, seedy tenement dwellings, pubs and music halls), and contemplates with supreme narcissism the onset of old age and the decline of his comic instinct. It's also Chaplin's least funny film: tears outweigh titters by several kilos… It's over-long, shapeless, overblown, and... a masterpiece. Few cinema artists have delved into their own lives and emotions with such ruthlessness and with such moving results." - Geoff Brown, Time Out
Selected by José Luis Guerín, Báron György, Jos Oliver, Gilbert Adair, Shu Kei.
Olga Breno, Tatiana Rey, Raul Schnoor, Brutus Pedreira, Carmen (1) Santos, Mario Peixoto, Edgar Brasil, Iolanda Bernardes.
"The only film by novelist Mario Peixoto looks like a summation of 1920s silent avant garde techniques that Peixoto absorbed while in Europe, but launches into new dimensions of synthesis that carries the viewer aloft on the feverish velocity of its inspiration. Peixoto practically exhausts the lexicon of silent cinematography with every shot conceivable from the era, but arranges them in a cascading visual pattern of sharp angles, deceptively vast vistas and sumptuous close-ups of worldly surfaces. I can’t think of another film that savors its shots as much as this one, taking each one in long enough that even mundane images ooze with sinister energies." - Kevin B. Lee, Shooting Down Pictures
Selected by Neville de Almeida, Álvaro Arroba, Cesar Zamberlan, Eduardo Nunes, Mário Carneiro.
Listen to Britain
Chesney Allen, Leonard Brockington, Bud Flanagan, Myra Hess
"Humphrey Jennings' films covered the whole of the Second World War in Britain. His quiet, emotive style produced some of the most memorable film images of the War… Listen To Britain's title might suggest a strong sound element… But it is the images, particularly the studies of people, that are the real star. The gaunt, tired faces in this most desperate part of the war seem only slightly aware that Jennings' camera is there... The editing in Listen To Britain is trademark Jennings: simple comparisons between scenes from everyday life and the manic, unreal struggle of the war effort." - Ewan Davidson, BFI Screen Online
Selected by Charles Drazin, Charles Musser, Annette Kuhn, David Meeker, Ed Halter.
The Lives of Others
Martina Gedeck, Ulrich Muhe, Sebastian Koch, Ulrich Tukur, Thomas Thieme, Hans-Uwe Bauer, Volkmar Kleinert, Matthias Brenner, Charly Hubner, Herbert Knaup
"In his feature debut as director and screenwriter, von Donnersmarck burrows into the erotic, engrossing and thoroughly nasty business of spying. The place is East Berlin, in 1984, the Wall is still up, glasnost is far off and the Stasi (secret police) don't believe in privacy… The director weaves a complex political thriller that touches an emotional chord. All the performances are top-tier — Sebastian Koch is a star in the making — but it's Ulrich Muhe who leaves the deepest impression… von Donnersmarck has crafted the best kind of movie: one you can't get out of your head." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Selected by Lizelle Bisschoff, Minky Schlesinger, Tibor Bíró, Colin Trevorrow, Josh Radnor.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
Burt Lancaster, Peter Riegert, Denis Lawson, Fulton Mackay, Peter Capaldi, Rikki Fulton, Jenny Seagrove, Jennifer Black, Christopher Rozycki, John Gordon Sinclair
"Local Hero, which concerns the frustrations of a Texas oilman's attempts to buy up an idyllic Scottish village, ranks as a lyrical anti-urban comedy in the great tradition of films like I Know Where I'm Going and Whisky Galore!; and its essential triumph is to prove that comedy can still contain a gentle, almost mystical, aspect without necessarily being old-fashioned. The film achieves this best in its superb sense of location and the haunting contrast between Texas and Scotland." - David Pirie, Time Out
Selected by Cameron Crowe, Jane Lamacraft, Niki Caro, Edward Zwick, Kevin Murphy.
Top 25 Australasian Films
1. The Piano (Jane Campion, 1993)
2. Mad Max 2 (George Miller, 1981)
3. Picnic at Hanging Rock (Peter Weir, 1975)
4. Walkabout (Nicolas Roeg, 1971)
5. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Peter Jackson, 2001)
6. Moulin Rouge! (Baz Luhrmann, 2001)
7. An Angel at My Table (Jane Campion, 1990)
8. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Peter Jackson, 2003)
9. Mad Max (George Miller, 1979)
10. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Peter Jackson, 2002)
11. Babe (Chris Noonan, 1995)
12. Wake in Fright (Ted Kotcheff, 1971)
13. Heavenly Creatures (Peter Jackson, 1994)
14. Gallipoli (Peter Weir, 1981)
15. Sweetie (Jane Campion, 1989)
16. The Year of Living Dangerously (Peter Weir, 1982)
17. Braindead (Peter Jackson, 1992)
18. My Brilliant Career (Gillian Armstrong, 1979)
19. The Last Wave (Peter Weir, 1977)
20. Rabbit-Proof Fence (Phillip Noyce, 2002)
21. Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)
22. Strictly Ballroom (Baz Luhrmann, 1992)
23. The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (Fred Schepisi, 1978)
24. Bad Taste (Peter Jackson, 1987)
25. Samson and Delilah (Warwick Thornton, 2009)
Films ranked 9-25 are not in the current 1,000 Greatest Films listing.
Anouk Aimee, Marc Michel, Jacques Harden, Elina Labourdette, Alan Scott, Margo Lion, Annie Duperoux, Catherine Lutz, Corinne Marchand, Yvette Anziani
"Soft and evanescent, lyrical but bittersweet, Jacques Demy's first film is like a dream that one enters -- and then recalls for years afterward with absolute pleasure. Filmed in 1961, Lola is an ode to yearning and enchantment -- a valentine to France, to beautiful women, to the foolish but delicious notions of romance that we receive from Hollywood. Anouk Aimee is heavenly as Lola, a dance-hall girl in the port city of Nantes (Demy's hometown). Part phantom and part voluptuary, Lola is the kind of woman who wants "always to be alluring," who wiggles when she walks, who's fond of a drink, who likes to primp and smoke and speak in a breathy voice." - Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle
Selected by Armond White, David Stratton, Jonathan Romney, Isabelle Stever, John Flaus.
Martine Carol, Peter Ustinov, Anton Walbrook, Ivan Desny, Will Quadflieg, Oskar Werner, Lisa Delamare, Paulette Dubost, Henri Guisol, Helena Manson
"Lola Montès is a visually ravishing, narratively daring dramatization of the life of the notorious courtesan and showgirl, played by Martine Carol. With his customary cinematographic flourish and, for the first time, vibrant color, Max Ophuls charts the course of Montès’s scandalous past through the invocations of the bombastic ringmaster (Ustinov) of the American circus where she has ended up performing. Ophuls’s final film, Lola Montès is at once a magnificent romantic melodrama, a meditation on the lurid fascination with celebrity, and a one-of-a-kind movie spectacle." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Dominik Graf, David Ehrenstein, Kevin Thomas, Andrea Dittgen, Gertrud Koch.
James Mason, Sue Lyon, Shelley Winters, Peter Sellers, Marianne Stone, Diana Decker, Jerry Stovin, Gary Cockrell, Suzanne Gibbs, Roberta Shore
"Of all of Stanley Kubrick's films, Lolita typically gets the lowest marks. While in many respects that's a fair assessment, it sells short the accomplishment of making a workable film of Vladimir Nabokov's novel within the restrictions of the early '60s, or any era, really… A daring experiment, and in many respects a successful one, Kubrick's film is ultimately unable to maintain the uncomfortable intensity of its early domestic scenes, but still has much more going for it than its reputation as an interesting failure would suggest." - Keith Phipps, All Movie
Selected by Abel Ferrara, Sofia Coppola, Grégory Valens, David Lynch, James Toback.
Chris Cooper, Matthew McConaughey, Elizabeth Pena, Kris Kristofferson, Joe Morton, Stephen Mendillo, Clifton James, Miriam Colon, Frances McDormand, Ron Canada
"Lone Star is a great American movie, one of the few to seriously try to regard with open eyes the way we live now. Set in a town that until very recently was rigidly segregated, it shows how Chicanos, blacks, whites and Indians shared a common history, and how they knew one another and dealt with one another in ways that were off the official map. This film is a wonder -- the best work yet by one of our most original and independent filmmakers -- and after it is over, and you begin to think about it, its meanings begin to flower." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Selected by Domino Renee Perez, Guy Westwell, Matthias Lerf, Martin McLoone, Norm Schrager.
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
Tom Courtenay, James Bolam, Avis Bunnage, Michael Redgrave, Alec McCowen, Joe Robinson, Topsy Jane, Julia Foster, James Fox, John Thaw
"As with its French equivalents, much of the British New Wave looks horribly dated in a modern context: all that light jazz, casual romantic disaffection and overeager jump-cutting doesn’t really wash with contemporary audiences. But what’s beyond criticism is the commitment to emotional veracity which fuelled films like The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner… The film is anchored in Tom Courtenay’s remarkable, remorseless performance as the eponymous runner Colin, torn between selfishness and sacrifice, class loyalty and commercial gain, impossible victory and inevitable surrender." - Tom Huddleston, Time Out
Selected by Chus Gutiérrez, Krzysztof Kieslowski, David Roland, Paolo D'Agostini, Jerry Schatzberg.
The Long Day Closes
Marjorie Yates, Leigh McCormack, Anthony Watson, Nicholas Lamont, Aysee Owens, Tina Malone, Jimmy Wilde, Robin Polley, Peter Ivatts, Joy Blakeman
"Davies' final autobiographical film rings wholly true, due to the richness and the rightness of the allusions he makes through sets, costumes, dialogue, music, radio and cinema itself. Such is Davies' artistry that he shapes his material into a poignant vision of a paradise lost… The stately camera movements; the tableaux-like compositions; the evocative use of music and movie dialogue; the dreamy dissolves and lighting - all make this a movie which takes place in its young protagonist's mind. Beautifully poetic, never contrived or precious, the film dazzles with its stylistic confidence, emotional honesty, terrific wit and all-round audacity." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Bill Horrigan, Michal Oleszczyk, Robin Baker, Stephen Cone, Jaime N. Christley.
The Long Goodbye
Elliott Gould, Nina Van Pallandt, Sterling Hayden, Mark Rydell, Henry Gibson, David Arkin, Jim Bouton, Warren Berlinger, Jo Ann Brody, Arnold Schwarzenegger
"Robert Altman's 1973 neo-noir was a minor hit upon its initial release, but it's never made it into the pantheon with Nashville and McCabe & Mrs. Miller, despite being (at least) their equal. Elliot Gould is brilliantly cast against type as Philip Marlowe, a sleepy caricature of Chandler's hard-boiled private eye… Altman uses the detective genre as a tool to investigate itself, which in this case means peeling back the layers of artifice from a Los Angeles where even security guards do Barbara Stanwyck impressions… The result is a reinvention of the genre that has rarely been matched (Miller's Crossing is neck-and-neck) and never been surpassed." - Sam Adams, Philadelphia City Paper
Selected by Yorgos Lanthimos, Guy Maddin, Nick Roddick, Andrew Lampert, Andrew Pulver.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, John Rhys-Davies, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom
"It's a wonderful movie. Watching it, one can't help but get the impression that everyone involved was steeped in Tolkien's work, loved the book, treasured it and took care not to break a cherished thing in it. Director Peter Jackson has created a film refreshingly free of ego, giving this technically advanced picture an old-fashioned rhythm and gravity… In spite of its stunning special effects and beautiful art direction, the film draws its power mainly from the essence, humanity and skill of its lead actors. Ian McKellen as Gandalf the wizard, Ian Holm as Bilbo Baggins, Elijah Wood as Frodo hit their roles head on, with conviction and purity of heart." - Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
Selected by S.F. Said, Paddy Considine, Bryan Cogman, Jeffrey Overstreet, Mark R. Leeper.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, John Rhys-Davies, Bernard Hill, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan
"After the galloping intelligence displayed in the first two parts of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, your fear may be that the director, Peter Jackson, would become cautious and unimaginative with the last episode, The Return of the King… But Mr. Jackson crushes any such fear. His King is a meticulous and prodigious vision made by a director who was not hamstrung by heavy use of computer special-effects imagery. A sequence in which a number of signal fires are lighted on a stretch of mountain ranges simultaneously is a towering moment; it has the majesty that every studio's opening logo shot sprains itself striving to achieve." - Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times
Selected by Jon Favreau, Luke Gorham, John H. Foote, Jonathan Lack, Roque Baños.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette, Balthazar Getty, Robert Loggia, Robert Blake, Gary Busey, Richard Pryor, Natasha Gregson Wagner, Michael Massee, Lucy Butler
"Bill Pullman stars as a jazz saxophonist whose fiery solos grant him a passion and eloquence he seems incapable of anywhere else… The Lynch themes of voyeurism, obsession, unsettling sexuality, and the modern echoes of film noir flow without a filter. Lost Highway is a disquieting, disorienting film that doesn't just improve with repeat viewings, it practically requires them. Typical of Lynch, it commands attention while stirring the impossible desire to look away." - Keith Phipps, A.V. Club
Selected by Amanda Duthie, Edward Lawrenson, Frances Morgan, Khalil Joreige, Mauro Andrizzi.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
Lost in Translation
Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Giovanni Ribisi, Akiko Takeshita, Kazuyoshi Minamimagoe, Kazuko Shibata, Take, Catherine Lambert, Anna Faris, Fumihiro Hayashi
"In her impressive second feature, Sofia Coppola—who wrote as well as directed—gives Murray room to stretch and is rewarded with some remarkably melancholy clowning… Lost in Translation is as bittersweet a brief encounter as any in American movies since Richard Linklater's equally romantic Before Sunrise. But Lost in Translation is the more poignant reverie. Coppola evokes the emotional intensity of a one-night stand far from home—but what she really gets is the magic of movies." - J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
Selected by Zach Braff, Richard Curtis, Amanda Aouad, Murat Özer, David Wain.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
Joseph Boudreaux, Lionel Le Blanc, E. Bienvenu, Frank Hardy, C.P. Guedry, Oscar J. Yarborough
"Flaherty's last work, like his first, Nanook of the North, was the product of one of those fluke occasions when a sponsor (in this case, the Standard Oil Company) offers money with no strings attached. With no disciplining 'purpose', Flaherty's totally intuitive method was tested to its limits - and his editor Helen van Dongen has recorded the extraordinary convolutions of plot and readings that his material underwent en route to its ravishing conclusion. As an account of oil exploration, Flaherty's narrative may seem slightly naive; but his vision of a child's myth-world, and the oilmen's intrusion and acceptance into it, is perhaps his greatest achievement." - David Curtis, Time Out
Selected by José Manuel Costa, Patrick Russell, Michael Sicinski, Gilles Jacob, Raymond Depardon.
Love and Death
Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Olga Georges-Picot, Harold Gould, Jessica Harper, Alfred Lutter, James Tolkan, Georges Adet, Frank Adu, Edmond Ardisson
"Before Woody Allen made Annie Hall, the first in a long series of romantic comedies and/or personal dramas about neurotic New Yorkers (and, to a large degree, himself), he made a series of wildly funny absurdist comedies, of which Love and Death was probably the best. Dominated by knowing parodies of Russian literature with a dollop of Ingmar Bergman on the side, Love and Death is that rare satire that wears its smarts on its sleeve while still going for the belly laugh. While you have to be quite well-read to catch every literary reference, the movie still works if you don't get them." - Mark Deming, Allmovie
Selected by Sarah Polley, Mark Kermode, Adam Carolla, Jasmila Zbanic, Gilles Jacob.
Love Me Tonight
Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Charlie Ruggles, Charles Butterworth, Myrna Loy, C. Aubrey Smith, Elizabeth Patterson, Robert Greig, Ethel Griffies, Blanche Frederici
"A superb musical, outstripping the possible influences of René Clair and Lubitsch, to whose work this has been compared…The film is a stylish masterwork of technical innovations, and a delirious result of Mamoulian's desire to incorporate movement, dancing, acting, music, singing, décor and lighting into a cogent cinematic whole. The songs develop the action and characters, the dialogue is witty and rhythmic, and the entire film, with its fine score by Rodgers and Hart, is a charming, tongue-in-cheek fantasy that never descends into syrupy whimsy." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Laura Mulvey, Catherine A. Surowiec, David Meeker, Lars-Olav Beier, Peter Todd.
Gena Rowlands, John Cassavetes, Diahnne Abbott, Seymour Cassel, Margaret Abbott, Jakob Shaw, Risa Blewitt, Doe Avedon, Tom Badal, Frank Beetson
"A movie that gets better with each viewing… Love Streams is at once a culmination of the director's obsessions and his most atypical film. It's a movie that gives up its mysteries slowly—flirting with theatricality, inserting dream sequences, concluding on a brazenly surreal enigma… The enormously moving interplay between Cassavetes and Rowlands gets at the heart of the performative spectacle unique to his films: an interaction beyond words and gestures… More explicitly metaphysical than the other great Cassavetes films, it nonetheless shares their view of love as a way of life and a form of madness." - Dennis Lim, The Village Voice
Selected by Dennis Lim, Shinji Aoyama, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Manu Yáñez-Murillo, Alan Pauls.
Loves of a Blonde
Hana Brejchova, Vladimir Pucholt, Vladimir Mensik, Antonin Blazejovsky, Milada Jezkova, Josef Sebanek, Ivan Kheil, Jiri Hruby, Marie Salacova, Jana Novakova
"With sixteen women to each man, the odds are against Andula in her desperate search for love—that is, until a rakish piano player visits her small factory town and temporarily eases her longings. A tender and humorous look at Andula’s journey, from the first pangs of romance to its inevitable disappointments, Loves of a Blonde immediately became a classic of the Czech New Wave and earned Milos Forman the first of his Academy Award nominations." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by David Stratton, Ken Loach, Jamie Thraves, Martin Kanuch, Pawel Pawlikowski.
Helmut Berger, Romy Schneider, Trevor Howard, Silvana Mangano, Gert Frobe, Helmut Griem, Umberto Orsini, Alexander Allerson, Manfred Furst, Mark Burns
"Visconti’s Ludwig is a challenging film not intended for impatient people with short attention spans. Even with all of its flaws, the film offers a fascinating study of an unusual historical figure who’s main strength was in his ability to avoid the world in grand fashion. Visconti’s obsessive attention to detail and melodramatic operatic flair works well for the story of Ludwig. This may not be Visconti’s best film but regardless, it is a serious and complex work that deserves to be appreciated, slow at times but fascinating nonetheless." - Pablo Vargas, The Spinning Image
Selected by Olivier Assayas, Brad Deane, Olivier Pere, Bruce Beresford, Wong Shuk-han.
The Lusty Men
Susan Hayward, Robert Mitchum, Arthur Kennedy, Arthur Hunnicutt, Glenn Strange, Lane Chandler, Frank Faylen, Walter Coy, Carol Nugent, Maria Hart
"A masterpiece by Nicholas Ray—perhaps the most melancholy and reflective of his films. This modern-dress western centers on Ray's perennial themes of disaffection and self-destruction: Arthur Kennedy is a young rodeo rider, eager for quick fame and easy money; Robert Mitchum is his older friend, a veteran who's been there and knows better. Working with the great cinematographer Lee Garmes, Ray creates an unstable atmosphere of dust and despair—trailer camps and broken-down ranches—that expresses the contradictory impulses of his characters: a lust for freedom balanced by a quest for security." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Chris Fujiwara, V.F. Perkins, Haden Guest, Luc Sante, Nick Pinkerton.