Thursday, August 25, 2016

30-21 of my 100 favorite movies of all time!

We are so close!


Here we are! Part 8 of 10 of a series on my 100 favorite movies of all time! This has been a lot of time and research but I'm so excited to finally start publishing them.

Here's a couple things to keep in mind.

1. This is a FAVORITES list, not a BEST list. I'm hardly qualified to make a best of list. So there will be movies on the list that are admittedly sloppy, but I love them. As well, there are masterpieces out there that I have seen and just really didn't like. So you wont see Citizen Cain or Raging Bull here.

2. I am 24 years old who has obviously not seen all the movies, and, like everyone else, am inclined to like movies more from my generation. So while there are a few older movies on here, I'm attempting to abandon pretension and go with what resonates with me the most.




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30. Tropic Thunder (2008)
(R)

Director: Ben Stiller
Starring: Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr., Jack Black, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Nick Nolte, Bill Hader, Matthew McConaughey and Tom Cruise

Nominated for 1 Oscar; Including: Best Supporting Actor: Robert Downey Jr.





While Zoolander may be Ben Stiller's Magnum Opus as an actor/director, Tropic Thunder is definitely his most ambitious and brilliant comedy yet. This is a movie made by movie buffs for movie buffs. This movie rips apart the motion picture industry, especially all those Oscar-baity Vietnam movies (2 of which are on my top 100) With Ben Stiller playing a Bruce Willis / Sylvester Stallone type hollywood action star trying to be taken seriously, Jack Black in a Kevin James/ Chris Farley type and Robert Downey Jr. poking fun at every method actor in history, especially Daniel Day-Lewis. No movie has ever made me laugh harder upon my first viewing, no movie consistently makes me laugh harder. Tropic Thunder is by far my favorite comedy.

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29. Les Miserables  (2012)
(PG-13)

Director: Toby Hooper
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter


Winner of 3 Oscars; Including: Best Supporting Actress Anne Hathaway





Transitioning from my favorite comedy to my favorite musical, we have Les Miserables. This is one of those movies that, for some reason, seems to have split audience member. To me, Toby Hooper's raw and intimate style serves this musical epic well. Yes, Les Mis is crowded with outstanding performances (Yeah, I even liked Russell Crowe here. #hatersgonnahate) including career bests from Jackman and Hathaway, yes it has outstanding musical numbers and a beautiful vision; but those reasons alone are not why Les Mis has such a high spot on my list. Les Miserables is the best allegory for the gospel I've ever seen. The scene where the priest not only pardons Jean Valjean of his transgressions, but blesses him in response to it? That is crazy, unmerited, beautiful, scandalous grace.


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28. Rosemary's Baby  (1968)
(R)

Director: Roman Polanski
Starring: Mia Farrow, John Cssevetes and Ruth Gordon

Winner of 1 Oscar, Best Supporting Actress: Ruth Gordon


Horror movies are, to me, the most consistently interesting genre of movie out there. They get a lot of flack because they are really easy to do poorly and tend to be constant re-hashes of tired formulas. But when they are done well, they have the potential to speak powerful allegory and stay with you forever. Roman Polanski woke people up with Rosemary's Baby; his atmospheric, slow burn meditation on madness and spirituality. The movie is horrific and mysterious without violence or jump scares. Genre love aside, Polanski has crafted one of the most accomplished pieces of film making in history.


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27. High Noon (1952)
(PG)

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Starring: Gary Cooper, Bue Brides, Grace Kelly

Winner of 4 Oscars, Including Best Lead Actor: Gary Cooper.






As I've said many times on this list, I love a movie with solid allegory. High Noon is probably the quintessential allegory movie. A western disguised as a metaphor for the rise of McCarthy-ism and a call for Hollywood to take a stand against the vicious assault McCarthy raised against freedom of speech. Though, even without the allegory, High Noon is brilliant film making on it's own merit. Featuring what is probably Gary Cooper's best performance and top notch directing, High Noon is an achievement in the western genre. It's a western for people who don't like westerns, which is probably why it's my favorite western.

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26. Let Me In (2010)
(R)

Director: Matt Reeves
Starring: Kodi Smith-McPhee, Chloe Grace Moretz and Richard Jenkins






For reasons I can't quite identify, I can never watch this movie too much. Maybe it's Matt Reeves vision and eye for detail and atmosphere. Maybe it's the two mesmerizing performances by its child stars. Maybe's the haunting story. Either way, this is one of my absolute favorite movies. I have a hard time calling this a horror movie, although it undoubtedly is, because at the heart of it is two isolated kids finding life in each other while stick in a world they find cold and dead. Yes, there are absolute scares and disturbing content; but Richard Jenkins character serves as an excellent tool that anchors this movie in a contemplative essay on the difference between love and obsession, a distinction that if not made, leads to tragedy.

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25. The Lion King (1994)
(G)

Directors: Rob Minkoff and Roger Allers
Starring: Matthew Borderick, Johnathan Taylor Thomas, Jeremy Irons, Nathan Lane and James Earle Jones


Winner of 2 Oscars




Out of all 100 movies on my list, this one has been one of my favorites the longest. This is my all time favorite Shakespeare adaption. This counts right? Don't care. #sorrynotsorry. Not only that, but it's the best Disney animation studios has released. It's hilarious, it's heart breaking, it's romantic and full of adventure. As far as cartoons go, this is an undisputed classic.  What millennial doesn't love the Lion King? Don't answer that,

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24. Apocalypse Now (1979)
(R)

Director: Francis Ford Copola
Starring: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Dennis Hopper, Laurence Fishburn, Dennis Hopper and Robert DuVall

Winner of 2 Oscars.




Yes it was brilliantly parodied in Tropic Thunder, but that doesn't mean Apocalypse Now has lost it's sting over time. Famously the least fun the legendary director has ever had making a movie, this is  the most important movie he ever made. He gave voice to countless, permanently, physically and psychologically damaged vets. Every scene, moment, shot is filmed with intention and craft. Every performance serves the plot and it's painful and relevant message: War tears apart a mans soul, and for some, causes a dark and dreary descent into madness. This is no overrated masterpiece, though undoubtedly my dad will disagree. This is monumental, unparalleled work.

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23. The Shining (1980)
(R)

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall and Scatman Cruthers



The is my 13th (14th depending on how liberal you are with titles) horror movie on my list. I hope that's a clear enough message to the horror move haters out there. Stanley Kubrick is an extremely hit and miss director for me (sorry, Ethan). But when he hits, he hits it so far out of the park you'll never find the ball. Is it true to Stephen Kings source material? No. Not at all. But is it true art? You as true of art are you're ever going to find! Kubrick is famous for being one of the most anal directors in history, a trait that serves well for the horror genre. Nicholson is unforgettable in what is possibly his most iconic role. The Shining is one of those movies that helps to define the word "masterpiece."


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2212 Years A Slave (2013)
(R)

Director: Steve McQueen
Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong'o, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, Paul Dano and Brad Pitt

Winner of 3 Oscars; Including: Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress: Nyongo






Every few decades a movie comes along that awakens a generation to the reality of the sins of the past. The 80's had Born on The Fourth of July, the 90's had Schindlers List, and my generation of adults had 12 Years a Slave. This is the most unflinching and honest portrait of slavery I've ever seen put on the screen. It is violent, despairing, honest and revealing. Director Steve McQueen holds nothing back, exposing the horrors of the day with conviction and style. Yet, miraculously, this movie never lets go of hope and heart. Every performance is mesmerizing; but it's Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong'o who manage to fit three of the greatest performances I've ever seen in this work. 12 Years A Slave is not an easy movie to watch by any means, but it may be the most important movie I've ever seen, and needs to be seen by all. For me, America's greatest sin (slavery) was only head knowledge until I saw this movie. There's blood on our hands. People are still feeling the lashing effects of slavery today. 12 Years A Slave aims to open our eyes, let it.



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21. The Departed (2006)
(R)

Director: Martin Scorsese
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Whalberg, Vera Farmiga, Alec Baldwin and Martin Sheen

Won 4 Oscars; Including Best Picture and Director



We have arrived to my favorite Scorsese picture! I know that's a fairly controversial choice, seeing as most favor Goodfellas, Taxi Driver or Raging Bull (psychos). But The Departed is the movie that not only made me fall in love with Scorsese and DiCaprio, but also the crime genre of motion pictures. This is a very complicated, crowded and in your face movie-yet in the masterful hands of Marty (who won his only Oscar to date for this movie) it never feels too much. I've seen this movie at least twenty times, and I pick up on new things every time. The Departed, to me, is as good as modern crime films is ever going to get; not to mention it features one of the greatest casts ever assembled all doing what they do best.

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