The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 TeasersiSteve Blog
The 100 Best Movies of the 21st Century?
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New Reply
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

The BBC got a whole bunch of film critics from all over to submit their Top Ten lists of the 21st Century and made up a Top 100 list. Here’s their overall Top Ten from the Top Ten lists, with links to what I’ve written about them.

10. No Country for Old Men (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2007)

9. A Separation (Asghar Farhadi, 2011)

8. Yi Yi: A One and a Two (Edward Yang, 2000) — Didn’t see it.

7. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011) — I missed the apparently very bad first 15 minutes, by which point the audience that had been there since the beginning was looking close to mutinous. But I liked the rest.

6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004)

5. Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)

4. Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001) — I don’t get Miyazaki.

3. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007) PT Anderson is likely the greatest artist to ever grow up in my neighborhood, but as wonderful as Daniel Day-Lewis is, this movie vaguely based on the life of sci-fi writer Larry Niven’s grandfather could have been better than Chinatown, it could have been the all-time great Southern California story, if Anderson had researched his topic more, as I explained in my review. It’s an odd situation in which the real life story is much more gaudy — Teapot Dome, the Greystone murder-suicide, and the beginning of Raymond Chandler’s career — than the movie version.

2. In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai, 2000) — I really liked In The Mood for Love’s over-the-top self-indulgent big budget sci-fi sequel 2046, which I reviewed here. The original is far more self-disciplined.

1. Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001)

I was impressed by all nine movies I’ve seen out of the top ten and I liked eight of those nine (Miyazaki’s animated Spirited Away was a little too Japanese for me). But I wouldn’t call many of them flawless: maybe Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and In the Mood for Love are close to perfect, but even No Country for Old Men is dragged down by Tommy Lee Jones mumbling too much.

I think I’ve figured out why the methodology of asking critics to submit their Top Ten of the Century list and then aggregating based on number of mentions on the Top Ten list leads to a lot of movies like David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive and Malick’s The Tree of Life that are part awesome, part dreck.

Tree of Life’s boyhood scenes of growing up in 1950s Waco with Brad Pitt as your dad are as good anything I’ve ever seen, but the dinosaur scenes, the visit to the afterlife, and the whispered questions for God are pretty dire.

Of the 177 critics who submitted top ten lists, 23 placed The Tree of Life in their top ten, which is a lot. On the other hand, some critics might have put The Tree of Life in their bottom ten, but the BBC’s methodology doesn’t record negative or mixed opinions, just ecstatic ones. And there is a lot to be ecstatic about in The Tree of Life, even if it’s not really all that good overall.

Actually, what this list looks like is a list of critics’ favorite movies to argue in favor of.

For example, Scorsese’s The Departed doesn’t make the top 100, while his The Wolf of Wall Street does.

The Departed isn’t really that interesting to argue over because it’s just very good all around and nobody can seriously disagree: the screenplay is tremendous, the endless list of big male stars are terrific. It made a lot of money, it won Best Picture and Scorsese’s first Best Director. The usual critic thing is to say that it’s not as original as Taxi Driver or Raging Bull, which is true, but doesn’t mean it’s not excellent.

In contrast, The Wolf of Wall Street has some obvious flaws: Why is it three hours long? But its evident imperfections mean that it’s fun for critics to mount a rousing defense of it. (Also, The Wolf benefits from having short clips on Youtube. Three hours is too much sociopathy to sit through, but some of its three minute scenes are great, like Jonah Hill explaining to Leonardo DiCaprio that his being married to his cousin is not like you think at all.)

Other tendencies I’ve noticed about the top 100 list:

The BBC’s critic’s list is long on movies by visually distinctive, serious-minded directors (especially ones helped out by great cinematographers, such as Christopher Doyle’s contribution to Wong Kar-wai’s #2 rated In the Mood for Love and Emmanuel Lubezki’s contributions to Terrence Malick’s #7 rated Tree of Life and Alfonso Cuaron’s #13 rated Children of Men).

They don’t go for actors’ movies like David O. Russell’s recent films that get excellent performances out of stars like Christian Bale, Amy Adams, and Jennifer Lawrence.

They don’t go for movie star movies like Iron Man or Pirates of the Caribbean. Part of what the movies exist for is to put stars like Robert Downey Jr. and Johnny Depp in their perfect roles like these do. But you could imagine Iran Man or Pirates of the Caribbean being really good with different directors as long as they had the same stars, and this list director-driven, not star-driven. You could argue that the directors deserve a lot of credit for the brilliant casting of their stars they did, but casting decisions tend to be kind of a black box that serious critics shy away from putting a lot of weight on, even though they are obviously hugely important.

Screenplay-driven movies like Alexander Payne’s (Sideways) or Noah Baumbach’s (T he Squid and the Whale) or Peter Morgan’s (e.g., The Queen) don’t do well on this list. A downright stupid screenplay like Children of Men has isn’t necessarily a fatal flaw — it’s #13 on the list — if you’ve got Lubezki doing amazing ten minute-long shots.

In general, this critics’ list is biased against movies that would also work well as plays.

They don’t like Oscar type movies, even though, say, The King’s Speech is actually quite good.

In general, there’s not much of a conventional left of center political slant to the critics’ choices the way there are to Weinstein-style Oscar movies. Liberal Message movies tend to be put together by producers. These critics, in contrast, are infatuated with strong directors, who tend to not be all that interested in Social Message stuff. Strong directors tend to be strong men who believe in hierarchy (as long as they are on top of the hierarchy).

Indeed, the top ten pictures are pretty reactionary.

(The auteur theory by its roots was pretty right wing. I knew a widow who had lived in Paris in the mid 1950s with her husband who was a US Navy officer on a Fulbright scholarship. They knew Truffaut and Godard, who were then young movie critics trying to get somebody to give them money to direct. They were making up the auteur theory based on watching Hollywood movies every night (she said Truffaut and Godard sat in the front row and chain-smoked). Back then Truffaut and Godard were anti-Communists because the Communist Party controlled a lot of the arts and culture stuff and the older generation like Sartre didn’t have room for young men on the make like themselves. So they loved capitalist American movies. Finally, General De Gaulle took power and hired Andre Malraux to find him some young artists to subsidize to make France cool again and that was the French New Wave.)

Comedies aren’t very welcome unless they are by Pixar. For example, Charlie Kaufman’s screenplays for Eternal Sunshine and Synechdoche, NY, make the top 100, but not his much funnier Adaptation.

Austere movies do better with the critics than entertaining movies. For example, the Coen Brothers get #11 for the anhedonic Inside Llewyn Davis while their immensely entertaining kitchen sink movie O Brother Where Art Thou? doesn’t make the top 100 list.

Spielberg’s near perfect souffle with a young DiCaprio, Catch Me If You Can, is missing too, while Spielberg’s Kubrickian A.I. makes the top 100 list. After all, what is there to argue about over Catch Me If You Can? Spielberg is extremely good at depicting the early 1960s? DiCaprio is a Movie Star? It’s fun to watch an actor play an impostor?

Blockbuster movies, except by Christopher Nolan, don’t get much love. For example, off the top of my head, I’d say the greatest movie of the century was the second installment in The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers. But everybody knows already that that’s really good.

These movies tend to be smart (Eternal Sunshine) but not too smart (Adaptation), perhaps because a brilliant script tends to get in the way of the director showing off his chops.

So, if you mentally put yourself in the shoes of critics, you can understand the motivations behind their various collective biases, which makes this kind of list more useful. Critics have reasons for their biases, and their reasons are actually pretty reasonable, but it’s best to understand where they are coming from.

 
Hide 374 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
  1. Oliver Stone should have some of his movies in the Top 10.

    -Wall Street
    -Born on the 4th of July
    -JFK

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    Oliver Stone should have some of his movies in the Top 10.

    -Wall Street
    -Born on the 4th of July
    -JFK
     
    The list is for movies from this century, not the 20th.
    , @Trelane
    I liked 1968's Planet of the Apes. Rather prescient film I thought.
    , @donut
    Not a one of them belongs in the top 100 even .
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  2. Manchurian Candidate.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  3. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Adaptation is a better movie than Eternal Sunshine… in every possible way.

    Coens’ The Man Who Wasn’t There is a lot better than Inside Llewyn Davis and A Serious Man but it was released in 2001 and critics have short memory (note how the list is dominated by the second decade).

    But hooray on Mulholland Drive taking #1! Well deserved.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  4. The most deplorable one [AKA "Fourth doorman of the apocalypse"] says:

    Actually, when it comes to Chinese movies I preferred this one:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Road_Home_(1999_film)

    The combination of techniques use by Sergio Leone, and the skill with which 章子怡 portrayed a young women approaching a relationship with a man was excellent from my perspective.

    In addition the skill of the translator in changing the 我的父亲母亲 to “The Road Home” was awesome.

    Of course, dilettantes may feel otherwise.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The most deplorable one
    Also, this one is good for a variety of reasons:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0338564/
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  5. A great movie should be entertaining, which is why Mulholland Drive sucked. I’m sure the directing and general craftsmanship were superb, but for those of us who can’t appreciate that and want a good plot it was terrible. The skipping around thing was done much better in Pulp Fiction, seven years earlier.

    Similarly, No Country for Old Men and There Will be Blood came out right around the same time. No Country was superb, while the slower Blood was merely decent. All of Jones, Brolin, and Bardem ably acted great characters. Harrelson was coming into his own as the cocky jackass he’s continued to play, indeed as which he’s been type cast. That schtick had its roots in Natural Born Killers, where it was such a contrast with nice Woody from Cheers. He’s played basically the same guy in No County, Natural Born Killers, and the more recent Seven Psychopaths and True Detective Season 1. The only difference is his degree of law abiding.

    Inglorious Basterds probably should have made the list, exclusively because of Christoph Waltz’s portrayal of Col. Hans Landa. He also made Django entertaining, albeit interminable.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Inglorious Basterds was the only Tarantino film on the top 100. It's definitely better than most of his other stuff in this century.
    , @Anonym
    Similarly, No Country for Old Men and There Will be Blood came out right around the same time. No Country was superb, while the slower Blood was merely decent. All of Jones, Brolin, and Bardem ably acted great characters. Harrelson was coming into his own as the cocky jackass he’s continued to play, indeed as which he’s been type cast. That schtick had its roots in Natural Born Killers, where it was such a contrast with nice Woody from Cheers. He’s played basically the same guy in No County, Natural Born Killers, and the more recent Seven Psychopaths and True Detective Season 1. The only difference is his degree of law abiding.

    You forgot "Out of the Furnace". I think.

    Completely agree on Mulholland Drive. A movie should have a plot rather than a non sequitor.
    , @Jenner Ickham Errican
    J.S. Leibo:

    A great movie should be entertaining, which is why Mulholland Drive sucked. I’m sure the directing and general craftsmanship were superb, but for those of us who can’t appreciate that and want a good plot it was terrible. The skipping around thing was done much better in Pulp Fiction, seven years earlier.
     
    Steve Sailer:

    movies like David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive (…) that are part awesome, part dreck
     
    EXCUSE ME. Mulholland Drive is 100% awesome. There isn’t a wasted frame (or subtle sound). Lynch does put in some (entertaining, surreal, menacing) farce that offsets rather heavy themes and scenes.

    From Steve’s comment in 28sherman: [Spoilers ahead!]

    I think the ending would have been even better if the ending hinted that the first part of the movie was really just a pseudo-autobiographical screenplay written by the crazy bad Naomi Watts character about her triumphant early days in Hollywood, in which her narcissism and her paranoia compete for control of the storyline.
     
    The mistake is assuming (or wanting!) a singular, superseding ‘true/real’ storyline.

    One of David Lynch’s great themes is parallel realities. Mulholland Drive isn’t a Tarantino flick like Pulp Fiction that has a simple linear plot shown out of sequence. Diane/Betty are parallel selves that exist at the same time. One identity may hew closer to ‘observable reality’, but in Lynch’s world, each has a real effect on the other, and each is equally true. That’s the spooky part.

    The weird ‘imagined’ early plot is no mere delusion: The goings-on and supernatural characters exist to some extent as an unseen influence bleeding into the real world. Some of these things exist only in Diane’s disturbed psyche, but some may exist independently and are attracted to her energy:

    “There is no band playing. And yet we hear a band.”

    In Lynch’s world, our individual thoughts and emotions conjure ‘music’ out of nothing. ‘Others’ may or may not hear it.

    Steve, you say Naomi Watts’ character (Diane) is crazy bad, and narcissistic and paranoid…

    One exquisite thing about Mulholland Drive’s perfect ending is the elegiac empathy Lynch shows to Diane/Betty in the montage of (imagined) starlet glory and true love, a particular soul’s highest hopes and dreams, echoing somewhere after having been dashed in a crashing arc overwatched by dark, knowing, otherworldly beings in the form of the Winkie’s creature (God?) and the baroque dame in the theater balcony.

    Diane has done terrible things (to possibly terrible people), having come to the inescapable, unbearable conclusion that sometimes you can’t always get what you want, nor what you desperately need. For those initial innocents who ‘awakened’ fully to life and utterly lost all, even going so far as to fall headlong into murderous, self-annihilating damnation, Lynch hints there may still be a chance to sleep and dream sweet dreams.

    “And yet we hear a band.”
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  6. @Broski
    A great movie should be entertaining, which is why Mulholland Drive sucked. I'm sure the directing and general craftsmanship were superb, but for those of us who can't appreciate that and want a good plot it was terrible. The skipping around thing was done much better in Pulp Fiction, seven years earlier.

    Similarly, No Country for Old Men and There Will be Blood came out right around the same time. No Country was superb, while the slower Blood was merely decent. All of Jones, Brolin, and Bardem ably acted great characters. Harrelson was coming into his own as the cocky jackass he's continued to play, indeed as which he's been type cast. That schtick had its roots in Natural Born Killers, where it was such a contrast with nice Woody from Cheers. He's played basically the same guy in No County, Natural Born Killers, and the more recent Seven Psychopaths and True Detective Season 1. The only difference is his degree of law abiding.

    Inglorious Basterds probably should have made the list, exclusively because of Christoph Waltz's portrayal of Col. Hans Landa. He also made Django entertaining, albeit interminable.

    Inglorious Basterds was the only Tarantino film on the top 100. It’s definitely better than most of his other stuff in this century.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux
    It's definitely better than Django and The Hateful Eight.


    Zodiac (David Fincher, 2007) was ranked 12th. I would have put it in the top ten. To my mind, it's Fincher's best film.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  7. Excellent choice for #1. That movie’s fun to piece together, like recalling a dream.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  8. Glad to see The Grand Budapest Hotel on the list at #21.

    JohnnyWalker123: This century, dude.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I find other Wes Anderson movies irritating, but Grand Budapest Hotel won me over almost whole-heartedly.
    , @MEH 0910

    JohnnyWalker123: This century, dude.
     
    There was a 2004 remake:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Manchurian_Candidate_(2004_film)
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  9. @JohnnyWalker123
    Oliver Stone should have some of his movies in the Top 10.

    -Wall Street
    -Born on the 4th of July
    -JFK

    Oliver Stone should have some of his movies in the Top 10.

    -Wall Street
    -Born on the 4th of July
    -JFK

    The list is for movies from this century, not the 20th.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  10. @PapayaSF
    Glad to see The Grand Budapest Hotel on the list at #21.

    JohnnyWalker123: This century, dude.

    I find other Wes Anderson movies irritating, but Grand Budapest Hotel won me over almost whole-heartedly.

    Read More
    • Replies: @PapayaSF
    Grand Budapest Hotel manages to have an almost supernatural level of charm without being annoyingly twee, and the art direction and set design are superb.
    , @Chrisnonymous
    I liked the one about the kid at Scout camp. A lot of it was very Norman Rockwell-esque in its imagery, and I didn't find anything objectionable in the plot or message. But my parents are with you; they hated it. I don't really understand what there was to hate/be irritated by...

    Steve, I'm glad you could clue us in to some good movies over the years. We're all going to need them when we're holed up in our abodes trying to avoid the American melt-down going on outside.
    , @Dave Pinsen
    The Royal Tennenbaums has some funny details (e.g., the 375th Street Y).
    , @Lot
    Anderson's The Squid and the Whale was very good, and from 2005, but did not make the list. There is some overlap with Royal Tennenbaums but less of the campy comedy.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  11. I loved “Yi Yi.”

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  12. @Steve Sailer
    Inglorious Basterds was the only Tarantino film on the top 100. It's definitely better than most of his other stuff in this century.

    It’s definitely better than Django and The Hateful Eight.

    Zodiac (David Fincher, 2007) was ranked 12th. I would have put it in the top ten. To my mind, it’s Fincher’s best film.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jefferson
    Two recent films I recommend you watch is War Dogs and Hell Or High Water.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  13. I can’t believe a Selena Gomez movie made the list of top 100 best films of the 21st Century.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Njguy73
    That's the point. The actors in these films are incidental. It's the visual impact that got them on the list. Selena Gomez could have been replaced by your teenage niece and it would have made no difference.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  14. @syonredux
    It's definitely better than Django and The Hateful Eight.


    Zodiac (David Fincher, 2007) was ranked 12th. I would have put it in the top ten. To my mind, it's Fincher's best film.

    Two recent films I recommend you watch is War Dogs and Hell Or High Water.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    My review of War Dogs will be up on Taki's on Wednesday.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  15. @Steve Sailer
    I find other Wes Anderson movies irritating, but Grand Budapest Hotel won me over almost whole-heartedly.

    Grand Budapest Hotel manages to have an almost supernatural level of charm without being annoyingly twee, and the art direction and set design are superb.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  16. The most deplorable one [AKA "Fourth doorman of the apocalypse"] says:
    @The most deplorable one
    Actually, when it comes to Chinese movies I preferred this one:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Road_Home_(1999_film)

    The combination of techniques use by Sergio Leone, and the skill with which 章子怡 portrayed a young women approaching a relationship with a man was excellent from my perspective.

    In addition the skill of the translator in changing the 我的父亲母亲 to "The Road Home" was awesome.

    Of course, dilettantes may feel otherwise.

    Also, this one is good for a variety of reasons:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0338564/

    Read More
    • Replies: @Half Canadian
    Infernal Affairs was such a good movie, I couldn't enjoy The Departed. I think it captured the stress and cynicism of police work much better.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  17. @JohnnyWalker123
    Oliver Stone should have some of his movies in the Top 10.

    -Wall Street
    -Born on the 4th of July
    -JFK

    I liked 1968′s Planet of the Apes. Rather prescient film I thought.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  18. @Steve Sailer
    I find other Wes Anderson movies irritating, but Grand Budapest Hotel won me over almost whole-heartedly.

    I liked the one about the kid at Scout camp. A lot of it was very Norman Rockwell-esque in its imagery, and I didn’t find anything objectionable in the plot or message. But my parents are with you; they hated it. I don’t really understand what there was to hate/be irritated by…

    Steve, I’m glad you could clue us in to some good movies over the years. We’re all going to need them when we’re holed up in our abodes trying to avoid the American melt-down going on outside.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  19. Steve how many of the films on that list have you seen?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I've seen 9 of the top 10, but not as many of the next 90.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  20. @Jefferson
    Steve how many of the films on that list have you seen?

    I’ve seen 9 of the top 10, but not as many of the next 90.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  21. @Jefferson
    Two recent films I recommend you watch is War Dogs and Hell Or High Water.

    My review of War Dogs will be up on Taki’s on Wednesday.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jefferson
    "My review of War Dogs will be up on Taki’s on Wednesday."

    War Dogs soundtrack has a lot of Baby Boomer songs, even though the film's timeline takes place in the 21st Century. Not too many Millennial songs. The classics never die. In the words of the late Rowdy Roddy Piper OLD SCHOOL IS COOL.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  22. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Weak list. BBC is a hard left organization now.

    There is a certain point on the political spectrum where art turns to sh*t. That point is the hard left.

    The Anglosphere has lurched left since Blair/Clinton, then the debacle in Iraq, then Barack Hussein.

    Left wing societies cannot produce great art because the left hates the truth. We are there now and this list is more confirmation.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Are any of the directors of the top ten films on the fashionable left?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  23. First couple commenters here don’t get that the list is restricted to 21st century films.

    I liked The Road (2009) a lot, but I’ve given up thinking about lists like this because they’re inherently subjective and pointless. Like arguing about whether fit female Olympic athletes are attractive or not, as was pointlessly argued at this site the other day. I think a number of the movies on this list sucked, but that’s just, you know, my opinion, man.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  24. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I think I’ve figured out why the methodology of asking critics to submit their Top Ten of the Century list and then aggregating based on number of mentions on the Top Ten list leads to a lot of movies like David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive and Malick’s The Tree of Life that are part awesome, part dreck.

    Right, though note that all these films are visually very strong and powerful, with very good cinematography. They all excel visually in evoking a certain time and place or mood. They may not be as entertaining or well written as other movies, but this visual aspect seems to be the common denominator. Perhaps film’s nature as a visual medium allows visual strength to overpower or overwhelm the audience, especially if the story and meaning of the film is left ambiguous and open to interpretation.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  25. Wow. Extrapolating, if 16 of those are in the century’s top 100 movies, it’s gonna be a shitty century.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  26. It’s too early in the century for a list like this to make any sense. By 2050 we will have a little perspective, and more of a catalog.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jefferson
    "It’s too early in the century for a list like this to make any sense. By 2050 we will have a little perspective, and more of a catalog."

    I agree. They should have limited this list to the top 100 best films of the 2000s (2000-2009).

    It makes no sense to include films from the 2010s when this decade is not even over yet.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  27. The top ten all happen to have been made in this century?

    Welles, Kurosawa, Huston, Kubrick, Spielberg, Zinneman – none of their movies made the list?

    A bunch of millenials made this list then?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    Oh - I didn't see the 21st century part. Okay, that explains it then.
    , @Sam Haysom
    Is this a satire boomer generation fogeyness? 21st century pay attention.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  28. I think “The Wrestler” is my favorite film from this century. Not on the list. Oh, well.

    Some of the top picks are strange. Like, “Boyhood”. All I remember from that is that the actress got fat–nothing against her, but that’s all I remember from the movie, it was so dull. And “There will be blood” had the worst plot device I’ve ever seen in a serious film: The son becomes deaf because of an oil gusher. Huh? I’m guessing that’s right after where Upton Sinclair’s novel left off.

    And “Mad Max: Road Fury” at #19. I turned it off before I got to 19 minutes. How did anyone watch the whole thing? Dreck.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The Wrestler is really good. One Aronofsky film made the list, the more visually stylized Requiem for a Dream. The Wrestler, in contrast, is carried by Mickey Rourke's performance (and Maria Tomei) and the script, so it's doesn't fit in with the strongly visual movies that are on the list. The Wrestler might be Aronofsky's best movie, it might be his least Aronofskyan-looking movie as well. This list is oriented toward movies where you could guess the director just by watching any clip.
    , @Jefferson
    "Some of the top picks are strange. Like, “Boyhood”. All I remember from that is that the actress got fat–nothing against her, but that’s all I remember from the movie, it was so dull."

    Boyhood is one of Steve's favorite films and you just pissed all over it. Don't be surprised if a lot of your future comments don't get approved, as he knows how to hold a grudge.
    , @guest
    My expectations for Mad Max were rock bottom, so I wasn't disappointed. It's in a style I usually can't stand, but once I got through twenty minutes or so I got used to it. There was one good character: the warrior kid. He kept my interest.

    I don't know why you call the kid going deaf a plot device. And it is possible to lose your hearing in an industrial accident.

    Boyhood was a waste of time. Hey, here's a novel idea: give your movie a plot. It keeps the audience interested, and connects different scenes together instead of there being one thing after another.

    Boyhood is one, long gimmick. And did I say long? What were they thinking? That it'd turn into an actual movie if they kept shooting? Was it supposed to be about a six year old, but they forgot to write a script, so they just kept going for twelve years hoping something would happen? Because that's what it felt like.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  29. @Anonymous
    Weak list. BBC is a hard left organization now.

    There is a certain point on the political spectrum where art turns to sh*t. That point is the hard left.

    The Anglosphere has lurched left since Blair/Clinton, then the debacle in Iraq, then Barack Hussein.

    Left wing societies cannot produce great art because the left hates the truth. We are there now and this list is more confirmation.

    Are any of the directors of the top ten films on the fashionable left?

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    Are any of the directors of the top ten films on the fashionable left?
     
    I always wonder if people on the Left understand that David Lynch is actually Conservative...
    , @Anonymous
    My point is that the entire society is on the left now. More accurate to say neo-left.

    But an individual director will have to make a herculean effort because that director is marinated in the culture as are all of the other contributors to the film. The marinating is pervasive.

    Apocalypto will stand out when the dust has settled for this era. The guy who made it was a complete renegade from our deeply sick polite society. Not a phony renegade like Tarantino or fill-in-the-blank.
    , @Anonymous
    Come to think of it, no.

    Malick and his movies are very Catholic mystic, Tree of Life most of all.

    Lynch is small c conservative, and you can see what he thinks of Hollywood in Mulholland Drive. So are the Coens, who have come out in support of Israel and explicitly against BDS, and they got in trouble for mocking the Oscars racial shakedown earlier this year. No Country is about "the dismal tide"...

    A Separation, Yi Yi, In the Mood for Love, and Spirited Away are all basically nationalistic. All four are about the countries they're set in and take a critical eye toward them while showing enormous love for their people, history, traditions, etc. You'll recall the interview in which A Separation's writer/director said he would never abandon his homeland. Miyazaki was criticized his affectionate and proud view of Jiro Horikoshi, the creator of the Zero, in The Wind Rises. Yi Yi (Taiwanese) and In the Mood for Love (Hong Kong) both have China as the looming threat. Yi Yi and Spirited Away both rue globalism.

    Linklater is a liberal but in a Texas hippie sort of way, and he's an unrepentant jock. He cast Alex Jones in a cameo in A Scanner Darkly.

    Paul Thomas Anderson does not seem like somebody who gives much thought to politics, a sort of default liberal.

    Gondry is probably closest to fashionable left. Kaufman, like Anderson, is so inside his own head I can't imagine him being political. His parents were Marxists if I'm remembering correctly.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  30. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Striking how “small” the stories on the list are. That’s because the big stories have already been done multiple times and the modern remakes cannot compete.

    Circa 1940-1980 the film industry was able to do superior remakes of early period movies.

    But now the industry as a whole has no ability to artistically outdo the classics of yesteryear.

    A most egregious recent example is Ben-Hur. There is a great wiki page on the 50′s version of Ben-Hur. It was one of many amazing gigantic undertakings that occurred because a certain society existed then that does not exist today.

    The BBC list is filled with smallball nihilism. Nothing great about it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    It's true that epics have not been fashionable for more than half a century now. The concept of the auteur dominates for critics:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auteur
    , @San Franciscan non-monk
    Oh no. The new True Grit was great. Don't go back and watch the original. It doesn't stand up to your memory.

    Practically all movies from your golden age sucked mightily.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  31. @onetwothree
    I think "The Wrestler" is my favorite film from this century. Not on the list. Oh, well.

    Some of the top picks are strange. Like, "Boyhood". All I remember from that is that the actress got fat--nothing against her, but that's all I remember from the movie, it was so dull. And "There will be blood" had the worst plot device I've ever seen in a serious film: The son becomes deaf because of an oil gusher. Huh? I'm guessing that's right after where Upton Sinclair's novel left off.

    And "Mad Max: Road Fury" at #19. I turned it off before I got to 19 minutes. How did anyone watch the whole thing? Dreck.

    The Wrestler is really good. One Aronofsky film made the list, the more visually stylized Requiem for a Dream. The Wrestler, in contrast, is carried by Mickey Rourke’s performance (and Maria Tomei) and the script, so it’s doesn’t fit in with the strongly visual movies that are on the list. The Wrestler might be Aronofsky’s best movie, it might be his least Aronofskyan-looking movie as well. This list is oriented toward movies where you could guess the director just by watching any clip.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  32. @Steve Sailer
    Are any of the directors of the top ten films on the fashionable left?

    Are any of the directors of the top ten films on the fashionable left?

    I always wonder if people on the Left understand that David Lynch is actually Conservative…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Kylie
    I love David Lynch precisely because so much in his films is just like my dreamscape and so much of his conservatism is like my own. Ditto his humor. And he has absolutely astonishing visual gifts. Unlike me.

    Watching a David Lynch movie is like going back to your childhood home. Everything is overwhelmingly familiar and slightly strange. You realize as you look around how imagination picks up where memory leaves off.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  33. The South African movie from the 80s “The Gods Must be Crazy 2″ . Sergio Leone’s spaghetti Western “Duck you Sucker”.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  34. @onetwothree
    I think "The Wrestler" is my favorite film from this century. Not on the list. Oh, well.

    Some of the top picks are strange. Like, "Boyhood". All I remember from that is that the actress got fat--nothing against her, but that's all I remember from the movie, it was so dull. And "There will be blood" had the worst plot device I've ever seen in a serious film: The son becomes deaf because of an oil gusher. Huh? I'm guessing that's right after where Upton Sinclair's novel left off.

    And "Mad Max: Road Fury" at #19. I turned it off before I got to 19 minutes. How did anyone watch the whole thing? Dreck.

    “Some of the top picks are strange. Like, “Boyhood”. All I remember from that is that the actress got fat–nothing against her, but that’s all I remember from the movie, it was so dull.”

    Boyhood is one of Steve’s favorite films and you just pissed all over it. Don’t be surprised if a lot of your future comments don’t get approved, as he knows how to hold a grudge.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  35. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Are any of the directors of the top ten films on the fashionable left?

    My point is that the entire society is on the left now. More accurate to say neo-left.

    But an individual director will have to make a herculean effort because that director is marinated in the culture as are all of the other contributors to the film. The marinating is pervasive.

    Apocalypto will stand out when the dust has settled for this era. The guy who made it was a complete renegade from our deeply sick polite society. Not a phony renegade like Tarantino or fill-in-the-blank.

    Read More
    • Agree: Travis
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  36. @Anonymous
    Striking how "small" the stories on the list are. That's because the big stories have already been done multiple times and the modern remakes cannot compete.

    Circa 1940-1980 the film industry was able to do superior remakes of early period movies.

    But now the industry as a whole has no ability to artistically outdo the classics of yesteryear.

    A most egregious recent example is Ben-Hur. There is a great wiki page on the 50's version of Ben-Hur. It was one of many amazing gigantic undertakings that occurred because a certain society existed then that does not exist today.

    The BBC list is filled with smallball nihilism. Nothing great about it.

    It’s true that epics have not been fashionable for more than half a century now. The concept of the auteur dominates for critics:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auteur

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    It’s true that epics have not been fashionable for more than half a century now. The concept of the auteur dominates for critics

    Q. What makes an epic an epic? Answer: The truth.

    Q. What sort of society would marginalize the epics? Answer: You know the answer.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  37. Inglorious Basterds reminded me of Jewish revenge porn. If you want to go down that route you might as well select Eastwood’s “Kelly’s Heroes” at least that’s fun and fit for the family.

    To be honest, murder and torture porn is a turn off to me.

    Miyazaki deserves a place at the very least for keeping old school animation and story telling alive and well. Spirited Away made Pixar offering look dead. The story didn’t treat the audience as a bunch of sugar addled imbeciles you had to scream at and include a meaningless action/dance-song routine every 8 minutes to hold their attention.

    Though I can see why it would baffle a American audience raised on the latter.

    I’d also include “Iron Giant” and “Over the Garden Wall” along with “Spirited Away” as animation done the way it’s supposed to. To tell a story the way they are meant to be told. Not butchered on some Procrustean bed then stuffed to the gills with excess GGI to please some director with ADD and a coke habit.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Kyle
    I have always found something grotesque about 3d cgi animation.
    The genius of toy story is it is about toys, so you don't have to see the nausiating, uncanny valley human cgi characters very often. But the rest of the Pixar films are grotesque.
    , @Dmitri Helios
    Where does the film directors and coke habit meme come from? I've seen it used in many contexts...Are there any real life examples of filmmakers with cocaine addiction we know of?
    , @Daniel H
    >>Inglorious Basterds reminded me of Jewish revenge porn.

    Regarding the Holocaust the Jews have a right to revenge porn. But I think that Downfall did a better job with the matter.
    , @anon
    "Iron Giant" was made in 1998.
    , @Mr. Anon
    "Inglorious Basterds reminded me of Jewish revenge porn."

    Eli Roth is the creator of the "Hostel" series of torture-porn movies. Roth and Tarantino are loathsome degenerates.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  38. @Steve Sailer
    My review of War Dogs will be up on Taki's on Wednesday.

    “My review of War Dogs will be up on Taki’s on Wednesday.”

    War Dogs soundtrack has a lot of Baby Boomer songs, even though the film’s timeline takes place in the 21st Century. Not too many Millennial songs. The classics never die. In the words of the late Rowdy Roddy Piper OLD SCHOOL IS COOL.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  39. @Former Darfur
    It's too early in the century for a list like this to make any sense. By 2050 we will have a little perspective, and more of a catalog.

    “It’s too early in the century for a list like this to make any sense. By 2050 we will have a little perspective, and more of a catalog.”

    I agree. They should have limited this list to the top 100 best films of the 2000s (2000-2009).

    It makes no sense to include films from the 2010s when this decade is not even over yet.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  40. Two Towers better than either of the other Tolkien movies? Please explain.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  41. Another minor flaw of The Wolf of Wall Street is it didn’t really go into the details of the crimes. There’s that scene where DiCaprio starts describing the IPO process and then says something like, “You don’t care about the details. The point is, it was all illegal”. But in the hands of a top screenwriter, the details can be interesting.

    I suspect the reason was that Stratton Oakmont wasn’t radically different from other over-the-counter shops of the time, just a bit worse. But that in itself could be a really interesting topic, if handled right.

    The Wolf of Wall Street’s way of handling it was to gloss over it; in Boiler Room (also clearly about Stratton), they exaggerated the crookedness into the brokerage selling shares of companies that didn’t even exist. In reality, the crookedness was just a matter of degree from what firms that didn’t get shut down by the government did.

    There was an NYT Mag story years ago about another example of this sort of grey area from the later part of the 1990s: a high school kid who made a small fortune buying junk stocks and talking them up online. When he got into trouble with the SEC, his lawyer pointed out that he was basically doing the same thing Wall Street brokerages did. In the end, the kid paid a fine but got to keep most of his bankroll, IIRC.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jefferson
    Many film critics have said The Wolf Of Wall Street is the white collar version of Goodfellas. If Henry Hill had the same high IQ as Jordan Belfort, he might have become a crony Ponzi scheme Wall Street capitalist instead of a gangster.

    Henry Hill thought he won the Lottery when he got a certain percentage of the 1978 Lufthansa heist. That percentage would have been chump change to Jordan Belfort who in his financial prime had a personal net worth well into the 9 figures. Jordan Belfort was wealthier than The Clintons.

    , @Lot

    just a matter of degree from what firms that didn’t get shut down by the government did.
     
    While there are surely degrees of sleaze on Wall Street, there is one very bright line. The basic illegal Wall Street scam is to accept money or shares for marketing and/or selling stock in OTC companies to small individual investors. That's just not something a reputable investment bank like Goldman or Morgan Stanley will ever do, even as they go out and violate a lot of other laws.
    , @Daniel H
    I know two dudes who worked for Stratton Oakmont. Guineas from Long Island. In way over their heads. One went to jail because of Stratton Oakmont. He was a hard worker. He worked for an associate of mine in sles between sentencing and reporting to the federal pen. Earned a lot of money. Worked his tail off to get money to his ex-wife and daughter before he had to go into the pen. From what they told me, Stratton Oakmont was as bad as was projected in the film.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  42. @Anonymous
    Striking how "small" the stories on the list are. That's because the big stories have already been done multiple times and the modern remakes cannot compete.

    Circa 1940-1980 the film industry was able to do superior remakes of early period movies.

    But now the industry as a whole has no ability to artistically outdo the classics of yesteryear.

    A most egregious recent example is Ben-Hur. There is a great wiki page on the 50's version of Ben-Hur. It was one of many amazing gigantic undertakings that occurred because a certain society existed then that does not exist today.

    The BBC list is filled with smallball nihilism. Nothing great about it.

    Oh no. The new True Grit was great. Don’t go back and watch the original. It doesn’t stand up to your memory.

    Practically all movies from your golden age sucked mightily.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Yep
    I'd have to agree. Newer films are better in every way except for the diversity propaganda. I've never really enjoyed many films made before the 70's.
    , @Anonymous
    Practically all movies from your golden age sucked mightily.

    Right. I specified 1940-1980.

    Your infantile comment is mildly interesting in that it encapsulates the ignorance of our modern era.

    ps I would never rank True Grit on a top list, dude.
    , @CAL
    All films are products of their time. Fifty years from now most people looking back at films that are considered great now are going to go, meh. They'll have your same attitude. And amusingly, they'll find films people thought were stupid to be great achievements.

    Oh, while I enjoyed the new True Grit, Bridges' incoherent mumbling throughout the film was a serious drawback.
    , @peterike

    Practically all movies from your golden age sucked mightily.

     

    Lol! I know, I know. Too many words in them.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  43. What about batman 2

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Christopher Nolan landed 3 movies on the top 100, Memento, Dark Knight, Inception.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  44. Nice to see Malick’s The New World and PTA’s The Master get some love. Always liked The Dark Knight Rises over The Dark Knight. Don’t like Aaron Ekhart or Maggie what’s her face. Lot of Nolan movies on the list.

    Steve have you ever seen Harmony Korine’s Gummo? I’d be interested to read your take on it if you have.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I don't believe I've ever seen a Korine movie.
    , @Blobby5
    Not since squabbling over Olive Oyl have I seen two accomplished men be in pursuit of such an unattractive woman as in this Batman movie.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  45. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Eventually a society becomes so far removed from greatness that they can no longer recognize greatness. They just start flailing and then congratulate themselves on the excellent flailing.

    I would say this particular list from the BBC is evidence –but the truth is that the entire modern BBC enterprise is evidence.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  46. @Kyle
    What about batman 2

    Christopher Nolan landed 3 movies on the top 100, Memento, Dark Knight, Inception.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  47. I hated Mullholland Drive when I saw it. It was in a small independent theater that used to have intermissions during the movies while they changed the reel. I remember being very disappointed with it at the intermission. I really am not one of those guys who gets turned on by the male fantasy of lesbianism, but I was so bored that I wondered, what if … and then it happened. Learning the story of the movie, it all made sense. David Lynch ran out of funding after making two episodes of his series and then thought, “Hey, I’m David Lynch, if I add half an hour of weirdness, people will think it’s a masterpiece.”

    Read More
    • Agree: Abe
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  48. @Yep
    Nice to see Malick's The New World and PTA's The Master get some love. Always liked The Dark Knight Rises over The Dark Knight. Don't like Aaron Ekhart or Maggie what's her face. Lot of Nolan movies on the list.

    Steve have you ever seen Harmony Korine's Gummo? I'd be interested to read your take on it if you have.

    I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a Korine movie.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Yep
    Gummo is off the charts weird. Makes David Lynch look like Frank Capra.
    , @Anonymous
    I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a Korine movie.

    If it made it onto this list, Springbreakers is worth watching in order to understand the art (or art critics?) of our times. It's nihilistic without any of the dark beauty that can make nihilism strangely alluring.

    May I suggest a few of the top 90 films from the ones I've seen? I don't think you've reviewed any of these.

    Excellent movies with Istevish themes, some are challenging viewings though:

    White Material
    A Prophet
    Dogville (Don't give up halfway through; it's tedious to watch because of the experimental way it's filmed, but worth it)
    Fish Tank
    Cache (A decent knowledge of French history is required to catch the colonial themes, otherwise it still works as an excellent psychological drama)
    The White Ribbon
    Leviathan

    Enjoyable and thought-provoking cinema:

    The Secret in Their Eyes
    The Return (Especially if you enjoyed the McConaughey vehicle Mud, as this was an obvious influence)
    The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
    Only Lovers Left Alive
    The Great Beauty (If you appreciate a wild visual and narrative imagination, otherwise it may exhaust you)
    Certified Copy (but avoid if you don't like talky movies)
    Talk to Her

    Massively overrated, do not watch:

    Blue is the Warmest Color

    Oh, and you ought to watch Yi Yi. You'd probably relate to the protagonist and his career challenges. Don't think it deserves a place in the top 10 though. What an odd list.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  49. @San Franciscan non-monk
    Oh no. The new True Grit was great. Don't go back and watch the original. It doesn't stand up to your memory.

    Practically all movies from your golden age sucked mightily.

    I’d have to agree. Newer films are better in every way except for the diversity propaganda. I’ve never really enjoyed many films made before the 70′s.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    1968's 2001: A Space Odyssey is still better than any science fiction movie since, but it's not for those with ADD.

    1956's The Ten Commandments is still great. Ridley Scott's version a couple of years ago was good too, but it's tough to top Yul Brenner and Charlton Heston.

    , @Alec Leamas
    There may be better effects and production values in an absolute sense but there seems to have been an absolute collapse of Middlebrow culture in film that typified earlier eras. Now most films seem to be divided into self-aware Lowbrow (blowing stuff up, car chase, T&A) and self-unaware Lowbrow masquerading as Highbrow (shock the squares, weirdness for its own sake, inside jokes).
    , @Lurker

    Newer films are better in every way except for the diversity propaganda.
     
    Which is so blatant I hardly stand to watch anymore. Ditto TV.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  50. @Steve Sailer
    I don't believe I've ever seen a Korine movie.

    Gummo is off the charts weird. Makes David Lynch look like Frank Capra.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  51. @Anonymous
    It's true that epics have not been fashionable for more than half a century now. The concept of the auteur dominates for critics:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auteur

    It’s true that epics have not been fashionable for more than half a century now. The concept of the auteur dominates for critics

    Q. What makes an epic an epic? Answer: The truth.

    Q. What sort of society would marginalize the epics? Answer: You know the answer.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Is Lord of the Rings an epic?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  52. @Anonymous
    It’s true that epics have not been fashionable for more than half a century now. The concept of the auteur dominates for critics

    Q. What makes an epic an epic? Answer: The truth.

    Q. What sort of society would marginalize the epics? Answer: You know the answer.

    Is Lord of the Rings an epic?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    The Lord of the Rings story has endured. And it contains some big truth. Yes it's an epic.

    Focusing on the top ten only BBC list: the list is noteworthy for almost zero pushback against the New World Order (which is the great issue of our age).

    LOTR is anti-NWO, obviously.

    I wonder how many of the old communist regimes banned Tolkien books. And I wonder when in the future the E.U. will ban his books.
    , @Desiderius

    Is Lord of the Rings an epic?
     
    The only one we have, just as Tolkien designed it.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  53. @Steve Sailer
    I find other Wes Anderson movies irritating, but Grand Budapest Hotel won me over almost whole-heartedly.

    The Royal Tennenbaums has some funny details (e.g., the 375th Street Y).

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  54. @San Franciscan non-monk
    Oh no. The new True Grit was great. Don't go back and watch the original. It doesn't stand up to your memory.

    Practically all movies from your golden age sucked mightily.

    Practically all movies from your golden age sucked mightily.

    Right. I specified 1940-1980.

    Your infantile comment is mildly interesting in that it encapsulates the ignorance of our modern era.

    ps I would never rank True Grit on a top list, dude.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  55. @Dave Pinsen
    Another minor flaw of The Wolf of Wall Street is it didn't really go into the details of the crimes. There's that scene where DiCaprio starts describing the IPO process and then says something like, "You don't care about the details. The point is, it was all illegal". But in the hands of a top screenwriter, the details can be interesting.

    I suspect the reason was that Stratton Oakmont wasn't radically different from other over-the-counter shops of the time, just a bit worse. But that in itself could be a really interesting topic, if handled right.

    The Wolf of Wall Street's way of handling it was to gloss over it; in Boiler Room (also clearly about Stratton), they exaggerated the crookedness into the brokerage selling shares of companies that didn't even exist. In reality, the crookedness was just a matter of degree from what firms that didn't get shut down by the government did.

    There was an NYT Mag story years ago about another example of this sort of grey area from the later part of the 1990s: a high school kid who made a small fortune buying junk stocks and talking them up online. When he got into trouble with the SEC, his lawyer pointed out that he was basically doing the same thing Wall Street brokerages did. In the end, the kid paid a fine but got to keep most of his bankroll, IIRC.

    Many film critics have said The Wolf Of Wall Street is the white collar version of Goodfellas. If Henry Hill had the same high IQ as Jordan Belfort, he might have become a crony Ponzi scheme Wall Street capitalist instead of a gangster.

    Henry Hill thought he won the Lottery when he got a certain percentage of the 1978 Lufthansa heist. That percentage would have been chump change to Jordan Belfort who in his financial prime had a personal net worth well into the 9 figures. Jordan Belfort was wealthier than The Clintons.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  56. For a moment set individual films and film lists aside.

    The astounding fact is that in just sixteen years, such a vast surfeit of movies – thousands – has been distributed that a Top 100 can have already been distilled from that vast output of reels of celluloid.

    How about a nerd data-crunch challenge:

    How many movies were made in the last century, compared against how many movies have been made thus far this century?

    Another wrinkle: How many films were made in the last sixteen years of the last century, versus how many have been made thus far this century?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  57. @Yep
    I'd have to agree. Newer films are better in every way except for the diversity propaganda. I've never really enjoyed many films made before the 70's.

    1968′s 2001: A Space Odyssey is still better than any science fiction movie since, but it’s not for those with ADD.

    1956′s The Ten Commandments is still great. Ridley Scott’s version a couple of years ago was good too, but it’s tough to top Yul Brenner and Charlton Heston.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux
    Personal favorite of the '50s-'60s cycle of costume epics: Anthony Mann's El Cid (1961).
    , @Jefferson
    1956′s The Ten Commandments is still great."

    Every Easter one of the theaters in my town show The Ten Commandments during that entire week and I always go watch it. To me it has become a tradition.

    The audience is always all White, even though I live in a city where Whites make up less than 50 percent of the population. Nonwhite Americans just don't appreciate the classics.

    I understand why Blacks would not want to see it because they are offended at White people being cast in a film about Ancient Egypt.

    But what are Asians and Amerindians/Mestizos beef with the film?

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  58. @rod1963
    Inglorious Basterds reminded me of Jewish revenge porn. If you want to go down that route you might as well select Eastwood's "Kelly's Heroes" at least that's fun and fit for the family.

    To be honest, murder and torture porn is a turn off to me.

    Miyazaki deserves a place at the very least for keeping old school animation and story telling alive and well. Spirited Away made Pixar offering look dead. The story didn't treat the audience as a bunch of sugar addled imbeciles you had to scream at and include a meaningless action/dance-song routine every 8 minutes to hold their attention.

    Though I can see why it would baffle a American audience raised on the latter.

    I'd also include "Iron Giant" and "Over the Garden Wall" along with "Spirited Away" as animation done the way it's supposed to. To tell a story the way they are meant to be told. Not butchered on some Procrustean bed then stuffed to the gills with excess GGI to please some director with ADD and a coke habit.

    I have always found something grotesque about 3d cgi animation.
    The genius of toy story is it is about toys, so you don’t have to see the nausiating, uncanny valley human cgi characters very often. But the rest of the Pixar films are grotesque.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  59. @Dave Pinsen
    1968's 2001: A Space Odyssey is still better than any science fiction movie since, but it's not for those with ADD.

    1956's The Ten Commandments is still great. Ridley Scott's version a couple of years ago was good too, but it's tough to top Yul Brenner and Charlton Heston.

    Personal favorite of the ’50s-’60s cycle of costume epics: Anthony Mann’s El Cid (1961).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Yeah, that was great too. Charlton Heston again.
    , @Anonymous Nephew
    Imagine Hollywood funding and distributing a film today with this plot opener (from the El Cid movie Wiki)

    "General Ibn Yusuf of the Almoravid dynasty has summoned all the Emirs of Al-Andalus to North Africa and chastises them for their complacency in dealing with the infidels and reveals his plan for Islamic world domination."
     
    In the latest incident of attempted Islamic world domination, 1 Brit killed and one critical at an Aussie backpacking hostel after a "Frenchman" gets Sudden Jihad Syndrome.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/08/24/frenchman-in-australia-kills-british-backpacker-and-injures-man/

    "In his update to the media with AFP Commander Sharon Cowden, Deputy Commissioner Gollschewski said: “We are not ruling out any motivations at this stage. We wish to reassure the community — we are not looking for anyone else. “It was a shocking attack by any standards — motivations unclear, investigation in its infancy.” The attacker had shouted about Allah "during the attack and when arrested by police", Deputy Commissioner Gollschewski confirmed."
     
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  60. @syonredux
    Personal favorite of the '50s-'60s cycle of costume epics: Anthony Mann's El Cid (1961).

    Yeah, that was great too. Charlton Heston again.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    Yeah, that was great too. Charlton Heston again.
     
    Heston had a timeless quality to him. You could put him in a film set in just about any era (Ancient Rome, the Middle Ages, the 19th century, the dystopian future) , and he would fit in.That's probably why he was Hollywood's go-to guy when it came to costume epics. Just look at the list of greats that he portrayed on screen: Mark Antony (twice), Moses, Michelangelo, Andrew Jackson (twice), El Cid, William Clark (of Lewis and Clark fame), Charles George Gordon, etc. Heston was pretty much Western Civilization incarnate.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  61. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Are any of the directors of the top ten films on the fashionable left?

    Come to think of it, no.

    Malick and his movies are very Catholic mystic, Tree of Life most of all.

    Lynch is small c conservative, and you can see what he thinks of Hollywood in Mulholland Drive. So are the Coens, who have come out in support of Israel and explicitly against BDS, and they got in trouble for mocking the Oscars racial shakedown earlier this year. No Country is about “the dismal tide”…

    A Separation, Yi Yi, In the Mood for Love, and Spirited Away are all basically nationalistic. All four are about the countries they’re set in and take a critical eye toward them while showing enormous love for their people, history, traditions, etc. You’ll recall the interview in which A Separation’s writer/director said he would never abandon his homeland. Miyazaki was criticized his affectionate and proud view of Jiro Horikoshi, the creator of the Zero, in The Wind Rises. Yi Yi (Taiwanese) and In the Mood for Love (Hong Kong) both have China as the looming threat. Yi Yi and Spirited Away both rue globalism.

    Linklater is a liberal but in a Texas hippie sort of way, and he’s an unrepentant jock. He cast Alex Jones in a cameo in A Scanner Darkly.

    Paul Thomas Anderson does not seem like somebody who gives much thought to politics, a sort of default liberal.

    Gondry is probably closest to fashionable left. Kaufman, like Anderson, is so inside his own head I can’t imagine him being political. His parents were Marxists if I’m remembering correctly.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Wong Kar-Wai -- I got a definite Nabokov anti-Communist exile vibe from him. His parents were upper class in Shanghai before Mao took over and they went into exile in Hong Kong, where they tried to preserve the old upscale culture. His sequel to "In the Mood for Love," "2046" refers to year Hong Kong loses its separate status and gets completely folded into China.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  62. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Is Lord of the Rings an epic?

    The Lord of the Rings story has endured. And it contains some big truth. Yes it’s an epic.

    Focusing on the top ten only BBC list: the list is noteworthy for almost zero pushback against the New World Order (which is the great issue of our age).

    LOTR is anti-NWO, obviously.

    I wonder how many of the old communist regimes banned Tolkien books. And I wonder when in the future the E.U. will ban his books.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The Japanese movie director on the top ten list is a Japanese nationalist -- see my review for some quotes from Miyazaki.

    The Iranian director on the the top ten told the Oscar audience in his acceptance speech that Americans shouldn't bomb Iran and Iranians should stay home in Iran and fix up their own country.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  63. @Dave Pinsen
    1968's 2001: A Space Odyssey is still better than any science fiction movie since, but it's not for those with ADD.

    1956's The Ten Commandments is still great. Ridley Scott's version a couple of years ago was good too, but it's tough to top Yul Brenner and Charlton Heston.

    1956′s The Ten Commandments is still great.”

    Every Easter one of the theaters in my town show The Ten Commandments during that entire week and I always go watch it. To me it has become a tradition.

    The audience is always all White, even though I live in a city where Whites make up less than 50 percent of the population. Nonwhite Americans just don’t appreciate the classics.

    I understand why Blacks would not want to see it because they are offended at White people being cast in a film about Ancient Egypt.

    But what are Asians and Amerindians/Mestizos beef with the film?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  64. My exchange about cold war nuke policy with Unz last week got me in the mood for some cold war nuke movies, so I recently watched Threads (1984) and By Dawn’s Early Light (1990).

    Threads first half is roughly a British remake of The Day After. The working class accents in the movie are a bit harder than other British movies, through not Trainspotting hard. The second half is a speculative post-nuke England showing a return to manual farming, long-term radiation poisoning, and ending about 12 years after the nuclear exchange.

    I would not suggest it generally, but if that plot sounds appealing I recommend watching.

    By Dawn’s Early Light, while technically 1990, is a combination Tom Clancy political thriller and 80′s USAF glorification. It is a great movie with great actors all around: Powers Boothe, Rebecca De Mornay, James Earl Jones, Martin Landau, Rip Torn.

    I also re-watched The Day After last year. The first time I saw it I was about 8 or 10 and it gave me nightmares like no other movie. I recommend it above the other two movies.

    It is interesting in that it probably has just about the most stark generational divide in viewership. When it was released in 1983, more than 100 million people watched it, and it remains the highest rated TV movie ever. I would have first seen it re-air on TV around 1989, and I am not sure how often it re-aired. But probably 60% of Americans over 45 have seen it and less than 5% 35 and under have.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Yep
    The Day After is good. Did you ever see the movie Miracle Mile or the tv show Jericho? Both are about nuclear attacks. Jericho is cheesy but has some decent moments.
    , @Jefferson
    "But probably 60% of Americans over 45 have seen it and less than 5% 35 and under have."

    That could also be said about the last episode of M.A.S.H which aired in 1983, the same year as The Day After came out.

    The percentage of Americans in 2016 who are over 45 who have seen the last episode of M.A.S.H must be higher than the percentage who didn't see it.
    , @Dave Pinsen
    The Day After was a huge phenomenon. I saw it when I was 12. It's really hard to grok the '80s without having seen it. IIRC, the network set up phone lines for viewers traumatized by it.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  65. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    There are too many to list … but another classic film that the modern film industry could never improve upon is Hud.

    The issue is political correctness i.e. the left.

    Modern Hollywood couldn’t even remake a simple yarn like Flight of the Phoenix without absolutely destroying it.

    At this point it is utterly pointless to attempt Romeo & Juliet. The society does not now hold the values necessary to interpret the work.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Clifford Brown
    Also a big fan of C.H.U.D.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  66. @syonredux
    Personal favorite of the '50s-'60s cycle of costume epics: Anthony Mann's El Cid (1961).

    Imagine Hollywood funding and distributing a film today with this plot opener (from the El Cid movie Wiki)

    “General Ibn Yusuf of the Almoravid dynasty has summoned all the Emirs of Al-Andalus to North Africa and chastises them for their complacency in dealing with the infidels and reveals his plan for Islamic world domination.”

    In the latest incident of attempted Islamic world domination, 1 Brit killed and one critical at an Aussie backpacking hostel after a “Frenchman” gets Sudden Jihad Syndrome.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/08/24/frenchman-in-australia-kills-british-backpacker-and-injures-man/

    “In his update to the media with AFP Commander Sharon Cowden, Deputy Commissioner Gollschewski said: “We are not ruling out any motivations at this stage. We wish to reassure the community — we are not looking for anyone else. “It was a shocking attack by any standards — motivations unclear, investigation in its infancy.” The attacker had shouted about Allah “during the attack and when arrested by police”, Deputy Commissioner Gollschewski confirmed.”

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  67. I saw ‘Tree of Life’ at Brooklyn Academy of Music on the third night after it opened. Every single person, from the 17 year old high school cineastes to the 77 year old Brooklyn Heights attorneys, was saying the same thing: ‘What the f did I just watch?’ and also shaking their heads with an indeterminate smile on their face. I took that a as a good sign, but then again I almost bailed during the dinosaur weirdness.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Kyle
    I don't want to give myself away as a mouth breathing uneducated Trumper...
    But the tree of life just sounds gay, it sounds really gay
    , @Steve Sailer
    The dinosaur parts in The Tree of Life started out as a separate IMAX movie to show at museums about the history of the universe.

    I know somebody who knew the Malick brothers 50 years ago: a supertalented bunch of people who had lots of tragic things happen to them.

    The movie is an updating of The Book of Job as the director tries to make sense of all the terrible things that happened to the people he loves.

    That's why Malick wraps in the Imax stuff about the history of the universe. When Job is done complaining about his life, God asks Job: "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?"
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  68. @Steve Sailer
    I find other Wes Anderson movies irritating, but Grand Budapest Hotel won me over almost whole-heartedly.

    Anderson’s The Squid and the Whale was very good, and from 2005, but did not make the list. There is some overlap with Royal Tennenbaums but less of the campy comedy.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The Squid and the Whale -- Noah Baumbach

    That's a real good one. Jeff Daniels still hasn't gotten an Oscar nomination, much less his Oscar.

    Baumbach's recent comedy with Ben Stiller and Darth Vader Jr., "While We're Young," is good too.

    Those kind of Woody Allenesque / Billy Wilderesque movies don't do well on this particular Top 100 list. This list likes heroic directors with a distinctive visual style, not screenwriters who also direct because they are good at getting actors to perform well.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  69. @rod1963
    Inglorious Basterds reminded me of Jewish revenge porn. If you want to go down that route you might as well select Eastwood's "Kelly's Heroes" at least that's fun and fit for the family.

    To be honest, murder and torture porn is a turn off to me.

    Miyazaki deserves a place at the very least for keeping old school animation and story telling alive and well. Spirited Away made Pixar offering look dead. The story didn't treat the audience as a bunch of sugar addled imbeciles you had to scream at and include a meaningless action/dance-song routine every 8 minutes to hold their attention.

    Though I can see why it would baffle a American audience raised on the latter.

    I'd also include "Iron Giant" and "Over the Garden Wall" along with "Spirited Away" as animation done the way it's supposed to. To tell a story the way they are meant to be told. Not butchered on some Procrustean bed then stuffed to the gills with excess GGI to please some director with ADD and a coke habit.

    Where does the film directors and coke habit meme come from? I’ve seen it used in many contexts…Are there any real life examples of filmmakers with cocaine addiction we know of?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Oh yeah ...

    The Hollywood Snowstorm was roughly 1975-1985.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  70. Spring breakers is the worst thing that’s ever entered my senses. It’s a terrible movie, the director even says his goal is to upset the audience. It is high art at its most base. The stated goal of the director is for his movies to actually troll the sensibilities of the avant-garde critics. His movies are the pissing fountain sculpture. Something so grotesque and obvious of an assault rationality that the adherents to avant garde must swallow their pride, dig in their heels, and feign acceptance even more. Mumblecore, drugged out teenage twats in distractingly hot bikinis for two and a half hours. The film is heralded as powerful and transformative by insufferable feminists ar huffpost who havent actually suffered through it. The irony and the trolling of the journalists comes in the fact that the portrayal of the girls is actually extrelemy mysogynistic. The act of even casting four untalented actresses, having them mumble and cry uninteligble dialog all movie, only casting them for their hot young bodies clad in bikinis the entire movoe. That is mysogynistic. And the trolling director had the feminist creatons eating out of his hand. I wish I could repress it from my memory, I wish it wasn’t on this list only because I hope new people don’t discover it and enjoy it. It would upset me if someone else enjoyed it. That’s how much I hate it. But there is nothing I can do, I can’t fight it, the more I struggle against it the more powerful it becomes. In that aspect maybe it is brilliant. But it is an immoral brilliance. It has only spite and contempt for the audience, it’s goal is to cause the audience suffering.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    This is the only part of Spring Breakers anyone needs to watch:
    https://youtu.be/MX2Z8QVw3s4?list=RDMX2Z8QVw3s4
    , @Pericles
    Springbreakers was a bit like Lord of the Flies in bikinis.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  71. @Dave Pinsen
    Another minor flaw of The Wolf of Wall Street is it didn't really go into the details of the crimes. There's that scene where DiCaprio starts describing the IPO process and then says something like, "You don't care about the details. The point is, it was all illegal". But in the hands of a top screenwriter, the details can be interesting.

    I suspect the reason was that Stratton Oakmont wasn't radically different from other over-the-counter shops of the time, just a bit worse. But that in itself could be a really interesting topic, if handled right.

    The Wolf of Wall Street's way of handling it was to gloss over it; in Boiler Room (also clearly about Stratton), they exaggerated the crookedness into the brokerage selling shares of companies that didn't even exist. In reality, the crookedness was just a matter of degree from what firms that didn't get shut down by the government did.

    There was an NYT Mag story years ago about another example of this sort of grey area from the later part of the 1990s: a high school kid who made a small fortune buying junk stocks and talking them up online. When he got into trouble with the SEC, his lawyer pointed out that he was basically doing the same thing Wall Street brokerages did. In the end, the kid paid a fine but got to keep most of his bankroll, IIRC.

    just a matter of degree from what firms that didn’t get shut down by the government did.

    While there are surely degrees of sleaze on Wall Street, there is one very bright line. The basic illegal Wall Street scam is to accept money or shares for marketing and/or selling stock in OTC companies to small individual investors. That’s just not something a reputable investment bank like Goldman or Morgan Stanley will ever do, even as they go out and violate a lot of other laws.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    I'm not sure that's actually illegal if the compensation's disclosed. I still get occasional mailers doing that (granted, not by brokerages, but by separate promo companies).
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  72. @Dmitri Helios
    Where does the film directors and coke habit meme come from? I've seen it used in many contexts...Are there any real life examples of filmmakers with cocaine addiction we know of?

    Oh yeah …

    The Hollywood Snowstorm was roughly 1975-1985.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jefferson
    "Oh yeah …

    The Hollywood Snowstorm was roughly 1975-1985."

    What happened in 1986? Directors started going to rehab?
    , @Anonym
    The Hollywood Snowstorm was roughly 1975-1985.

    A good example. 1983.

    http://mentalfloss.com/article/62429/17-things-you-might-not-know-about-scarface
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  73. @Ghost of Bull Moose
    I saw 'Tree of Life' at Brooklyn Academy of Music on the third night after it opened. Every single person, from the 17 year old high school cineastes to the 77 year old Brooklyn Heights attorneys, was saying the same thing: 'What the f did I just watch?' and also shaking their heads with an indeterminate smile on their face. I took that a as a good sign, but then again I almost bailed during the dinosaur weirdness.

    I don’t want to give myself away as a mouth breathing uneducated Trumper…
    But the tree of life just sounds gay, it sounds really gay

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    No.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  74. @Anonymous
    The Lord of the Rings story has endured. And it contains some big truth. Yes it's an epic.

    Focusing on the top ten only BBC list: the list is noteworthy for almost zero pushback against the New World Order (which is the great issue of our age).

    LOTR is anti-NWO, obviously.

    I wonder how many of the old communist regimes banned Tolkien books. And I wonder when in the future the E.U. will ban his books.

    The Japanese movie director on the top ten list is a Japanese nationalist — see my review for some quotes from Miyazaki.

    The Iranian director on the the top ten told the Oscar audience in his acceptance speech that Americans shouldn’t bomb Iran and Iranians should stay home in Iran and fix up their own country.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  75. Mike Leigh

    Another Year

    Happy-Go-Lucky!

    Maren Ade

    Toni Erdmann

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  76. Mallick is a conservative, Lynch sort of is too, Linklater may be turning into one. The Coens?

    In general, movie directors aren’t SJWs. The job is one for relatively authoritarian personalities who command hierarchies with ease.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Esso

    In general, movie directors aren’t SJWs. The job is one for relatively authoritarian personalities who command hierarchies with ease.
     
    That is one of Edgar Reitz's themes in his semi-autobiographical series on the 60's epoch, Die zweite Heimat (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0105906/). He also has rather explicit portrayals and metaphors of women and their conflict between emancipation and family, and the rise of the welfare state.

    The series was filmed as a co-production with all the European public broadcasting services, as Reitz's previous Heimat-series was a big hit with no obvious transgressions.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  77. @Kyle
    I don't want to give myself away as a mouth breathing uneducated Trumper...
    But the tree of life just sounds gay, it sounds really gay

    No.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  78. @Lot
    My exchange about cold war nuke policy with Unz last week got me in the mood for some cold war nuke movies, so I recently watched Threads (1984) and By Dawn's Early Light (1990).

    Threads first half is roughly a British remake of The Day After. The working class accents in the movie are a bit harder than other British movies, through not Trainspotting hard. The second half is a speculative post-nuke England showing a return to manual farming, long-term radiation poisoning, and ending about 12 years after the nuclear exchange.

    I would not suggest it generally, but if that plot sounds appealing I recommend watching.

    By Dawn's Early Light, while technically 1990, is a combination Tom Clancy political thriller and 80's USAF glorification. It is a great movie with great actors all around: Powers Boothe, Rebecca De Mornay, James Earl Jones, Martin Landau, Rip Torn.

    I also re-watched The Day After last year. The first time I saw it I was about 8 or 10 and it gave me nightmares like no other movie. I recommend it above the other two movies.

    It is interesting in that it probably has just about the most stark generational divide in viewership. When it was released in 1983, more than 100 million people watched it, and it remains the highest rated TV movie ever. I would have first seen it re-air on TV around 1989, and I am not sure how often it re-aired. But probably 60% of Americans over 45 have seen it and less than 5% 35 and under have.

    The Day After is good. Did you ever see the movie Miracle Mile or the tv show Jericho? Both are about nuclear attacks. Jericho is cheesy but has some decent moments.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Lot
    Nope, two of them in two weeks will last me a while!
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  79. @Anonymous
    Come to think of it, no.

    Malick and his movies are very Catholic mystic, Tree of Life most of all.

    Lynch is small c conservative, and you can see what he thinks of Hollywood in Mulholland Drive. So are the Coens, who have come out in support of Israel and explicitly against BDS, and they got in trouble for mocking the Oscars racial shakedown earlier this year. No Country is about "the dismal tide"...

    A Separation, Yi Yi, In the Mood for Love, and Spirited Away are all basically nationalistic. All four are about the countries they're set in and take a critical eye toward them while showing enormous love for their people, history, traditions, etc. You'll recall the interview in which A Separation's writer/director said he would never abandon his homeland. Miyazaki was criticized his affectionate and proud view of Jiro Horikoshi, the creator of the Zero, in The Wind Rises. Yi Yi (Taiwanese) and In the Mood for Love (Hong Kong) both have China as the looming threat. Yi Yi and Spirited Away both rue globalism.

    Linklater is a liberal but in a Texas hippie sort of way, and he's an unrepentant jock. He cast Alex Jones in a cameo in A Scanner Darkly.

    Paul Thomas Anderson does not seem like somebody who gives much thought to politics, a sort of default liberal.

    Gondry is probably closest to fashionable left. Kaufman, like Anderson, is so inside his own head I can't imagine him being political. His parents were Marxists if I'm remembering correctly.

    Wong Kar-Wai — I got a definite Nabokov anti-Communist exile vibe from him. His parents were upper class in Shanghai before Mao took over and they went into exile in Hong Kong, where they tried to preserve the old upscale culture. His sequel to “In the Mood for Love,” “2046″ refers to year Hong Kong loses its separate status and gets completely folded into China.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  80. @Steve Sailer
    Oh yeah ...

    The Hollywood Snowstorm was roughly 1975-1985.

    “Oh yeah …

    The Hollywood Snowstorm was roughly 1975-1985.”

    What happened in 1986? Directors started going to rehab?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Michael Cimino's "Heaven's Gate" was a financial disaster around 1980. The money men and the insurance companies and the like started worrying about trusting megalomaniacal cokeheads with huge amounts of money.
    , @Njguy73

    What happened in 1986? Directors started going to rehab?
     
    Len Bias.
    , @Anon87
    Dennis Hopper did, and ended up in quite a few memorable roles after getting out.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  81. @Yep
    The Day After is good. Did you ever see the movie Miracle Mile or the tv show Jericho? Both are about nuclear attacks. Jericho is cheesy but has some decent moments.

    Nope, two of them in two weeks will last me a while!

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  82. @Jefferson
    "Oh yeah …

    The Hollywood Snowstorm was roughly 1975-1985."

    What happened in 1986? Directors started going to rehab?

    Michael Cimino’s “Heaven’s Gate” was a financial disaster around 1980. The money men and the insurance companies and the like started worrying about trusting megalomaniacal cokeheads with huge amounts of money.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  83. @Lot
    Anderson's The Squid and the Whale was very good, and from 2005, but did not make the list. There is some overlap with Royal Tennenbaums but less of the campy comedy.

    The Squid and the Whale — Noah Baumbach

    That’s a real good one. Jeff Daniels still hasn’t gotten an Oscar nomination, much less his Oscar.

    Baumbach’s recent comedy with Ben Stiller and Darth Vader Jr., “While We’re Young,” is good too.

    Those kind of Woody Allenesque / Billy Wilderesque movies don’t do well on this particular Top 100 list. This list likes heroic directors with a distinctive visual style, not screenwriters who also direct because they are good at getting actors to perform well.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  84. @Lot
    My exchange about cold war nuke policy with Unz last week got me in the mood for some cold war nuke movies, so I recently watched Threads (1984) and By Dawn's Early Light (1990).

    Threads first half is roughly a British remake of The Day After. The working class accents in the movie are a bit harder than other British movies, through not Trainspotting hard. The second half is a speculative post-nuke England showing a return to manual farming, long-term radiation poisoning, and ending about 12 years after the nuclear exchange.

    I would not suggest it generally, but if that plot sounds appealing I recommend watching.

    By Dawn's Early Light, while technically 1990, is a combination Tom Clancy political thriller and 80's USAF glorification. It is a great movie with great actors all around: Powers Boothe, Rebecca De Mornay, James Earl Jones, Martin Landau, Rip Torn.

    I also re-watched The Day After last year. The first time I saw it I was about 8 or 10 and it gave me nightmares like no other movie. I recommend it above the other two movies.

    It is interesting in that it probably has just about the most stark generational divide in viewership. When it was released in 1983, more than 100 million people watched it, and it remains the highest rated TV movie ever. I would have first seen it re-air on TV around 1989, and I am not sure how often it re-aired. But probably 60% of Americans over 45 have seen it and less than 5% 35 and under have.

    “But probably 60% of Americans over 45 have seen it and less than 5% 35 and under have.”

    That could also be said about the last episode of M.A.S.H which aired in 1983, the same year as The Day After came out.

    The percentage of Americans in 2016 who are over 45 who have seen the last episode of M.A.S.H must be higher than the percentage who didn’t see it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Stan Adams
    The ratings for shows like "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen" (the last M*A*S*H) and The Day After were inflated by the fact that, in 1983, most Americans were still stuck watching whatever they could pick up with a pair of rabbit ears*. But times were changing.

    In terms of total viewership (raw numbers of eyeballs), the Big Three networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) peaked in the late 1970s. By that time, almost every American household had at least one TV, and population growth meant that there were more folks watching.

    Then VCRs, cable, and Fox started eating into their audience.

    http://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/document.php?id=cqresrre1985122700

    The networks held 89 percent of the prime-time audience in the 1978–79 TV season; by 1983–84 their share had dropped to 75 percent, according to the latest statistics compiled by the Cable Television Advertising Bureau in New York.
     
    Since the early '80s, the only shows to make the all-time most-watched list have been sporting events (Super Bowls, mostly, but also odds and ends such as the night in Lillehammer where Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding skated at the same time).

    *Rabbit ears still work, if you have a digital antenna. The broadcast signal is uncompressed, yielding better picture quality than either cable or satellite.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  85. You see with this list the bias of critics toward slow-paced depressing movies about interpersonal relationships. I watched Catch Me If You Can for the first time a few months ago, and agree with Steve’s description, it is cheerful, funny, well acted, fast-paced, brightly lit, and very entertaining. There was no point that I was tempted to fast forward past excessive dialog. (I did a lot of such fast forwarding recently watching Reality Bites, whose decent reputation is undeserved.)

    I looked up some of the movies of the BBC list I never heard of. One is about an alien-woman who randomly kills various men in Scotland. Another, The White Ribbon, is a black and white movie set in small town 1912 Germany that looks massively dull and depressing.

    I’m not sure what the utility is in ranking foreign and English language movies together like this either. A German movie from 2005 that I really liked a lot that did not make the list was The Baader Meinhof Complex, an action-packed movie that traces the rise of some communist terrorists from swinging radical-chic late 60′s Germany, complete with nude beaches and communes, into the 70′s as they become a desperate, evil gang that is killed by police, jailed, and join up with a not-yet-Islamified PLO terrorists. And it all really happened.

    The sets depicting late 60′s and early 1970′s West Germany and the sexy German actresses provide plenty of eye candy too. If you tried to watch Mad Men because you liked the sets and costumes, but found it too boring and lacking in gun battles, explosions, jail breaks, and car chases, this is your movie.

    The Germans at least thought it was their best movie that year and submitted it for best foreign language film at the Oscars.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    (I did a lot of such fast forwarding recently watching Reality Bites, whose decent reputation is undeserved.)
     
    I re-watched that one recently. Found myself really despising Ethan Hawke's slacker/loser character , but kind of liking Ben Stiller's yuppie-bad guy character.
    , @TomSchmidt
    Thanks for the rec.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  86. @Ghost of Bull Moose
    I saw 'Tree of Life' at Brooklyn Academy of Music on the third night after it opened. Every single person, from the 17 year old high school cineastes to the 77 year old Brooklyn Heights attorneys, was saying the same thing: 'What the f did I just watch?' and also shaking their heads with an indeterminate smile on their face. I took that a as a good sign, but then again I almost bailed during the dinosaur weirdness.

    The dinosaur parts in The Tree of Life started out as a separate IMAX movie to show at museums about the history of the universe.

    I know somebody who knew the Malick brothers 50 years ago: a supertalented bunch of people who had lots of tragic things happen to them.

    The movie is an updating of The Book of Job as the director tries to make sense of all the terrible things that happened to the people he loves.

    That’s why Malick wraps in the Imax stuff about the history of the universe. When Job is done complaining about his life, God asks Job: “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ghost of Bull Moose
    Makes sense it was for an Imax picture. Did Lubezki do the dinosaur stuff?

    He makes beautiful pictures, even if the movies aren't always great.

    But he also did 'Burn After Reading,' which is the best movie about Washington people in the 21st century I've seen. Malkovich as 'Osborne Cox' drunkenly singing 'Old Nassau' with his Princeton buddies is a scream. Tilda Swinton's oddness doesn't always appeal to me, but she's also fantastic.

    "We were young and committed and there was nothing we could not do. We thought of the Agency less... Um... The principles of George Kennan, a personal hero of mine, like the fabled Murrow's Boys, at a time of... "

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  87. The top 100 can be considered racist by today’s extremely PC standards. Not many of the films on the list have a Negro as the top billing lead star. Don’t let Al Sharpton get a hold of this, as he will demand that at least 50 of the films have a Negro as the main star. Just add a bunch of Kevin James & Madea films to the list and the diversity quota can be met.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  88. I’m glad Steve cited Catch Me If You Can. Spielberg and DiCaprio’s best work, in my opinion, although it was low-key in release and marketing. Hanks and Walken were excellent as well. A very good secular-Christmas movie, good for the holidays when you want something a little less Christmasy.

    It was also subtly critical of women and celebratory of men. Women (his abandoning mother, the wife who sells him out to the FBI, the hooker played by Jennifer Garner) are the bad people and the men (his father, Tom Hanks’s FBI dude, his father-in-law played by Martin Sheen) are the rocks, the dudes who support him and encourage him and are emotional rocks.

    Although he obviously enjoys it at first, Leo’s lost and miserable and lonely when he’s sleeping with dozens of 60-s era blond stewardesses and starlets and only becomes happy and fulfilled when he’s taken into and becomes part of a male group—-the FBI.

    I’m surprised feminists didn’t get angrier at the movie for that, but maybe it’s lower profile and good subtlety kept the flak off it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel H
    >>>A very good secular-Christmas movie...

    That is insulting and offensive. I take offense, at least.
    , @Mr. Anon
    I agree that "Catch Me if You Can" was a good movie. I don't see how it could be viewed as a Christmas movie - Christmas just figures into a few scenes.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  89. Ridiculous list. No mention of The Fast And Furious Franchise, which by the way are terrific movies.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    I ranked those for you.
    https://twitter.com/dpinsen/status/765418409207226368
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  90. “No Country for Old Men” is warmed over “Bring me the Head of Alfredo Garcia”. Not in it’s league.

    Nothing from Paul Morrissey. You must see Flesh, Trash and Heat. Brilliant. And Joe Dallesandro is a superstar.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel H
    I just noticed that the article says 21st century, so disregard my critique of not honoring Paul Morrissey, but you should see his films anyway.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  91. @Dave Pinsen
    Another minor flaw of The Wolf of Wall Street is it didn't really go into the details of the crimes. There's that scene where DiCaprio starts describing the IPO process and then says something like, "You don't care about the details. The point is, it was all illegal". But in the hands of a top screenwriter, the details can be interesting.

    I suspect the reason was that Stratton Oakmont wasn't radically different from other over-the-counter shops of the time, just a bit worse. But that in itself could be a really interesting topic, if handled right.

    The Wolf of Wall Street's way of handling it was to gloss over it; in Boiler Room (also clearly about Stratton), they exaggerated the crookedness into the brokerage selling shares of companies that didn't even exist. In reality, the crookedness was just a matter of degree from what firms that didn't get shut down by the government did.

    There was an NYT Mag story years ago about another example of this sort of grey area from the later part of the 1990s: a high school kid who made a small fortune buying junk stocks and talking them up online. When he got into trouble with the SEC, his lawyer pointed out that he was basically doing the same thing Wall Street brokerages did. In the end, the kid paid a fine but got to keep most of his bankroll, IIRC.

    I know two dudes who worked for Stratton Oakmont. Guineas from Long Island. In way over their heads. One went to jail because of Stratton Oakmont. He was a hard worker. He worked for an associate of mine in sles between sentencing and reporting to the federal pen. Earned a lot of money. Worked his tail off to get money to his ex-wife and daughter before he had to go into the pen. From what they told me, Stratton Oakmont was as bad as was projected in the film.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  92. @rod1963
    Inglorious Basterds reminded me of Jewish revenge porn. If you want to go down that route you might as well select Eastwood's "Kelly's Heroes" at least that's fun and fit for the family.

    To be honest, murder and torture porn is a turn off to me.

    Miyazaki deserves a place at the very least for keeping old school animation and story telling alive and well. Spirited Away made Pixar offering look dead. The story didn't treat the audience as a bunch of sugar addled imbeciles you had to scream at and include a meaningless action/dance-song routine every 8 minutes to hold their attention.

    Though I can see why it would baffle a American audience raised on the latter.

    I'd also include "Iron Giant" and "Over the Garden Wall" along with "Spirited Away" as animation done the way it's supposed to. To tell a story the way they are meant to be told. Not butchered on some Procrustean bed then stuffed to the gills with excess GGI to please some director with ADD and a coke habit.

    >>Inglorious Basterds reminded me of Jewish revenge porn.

    Regarding the Holocaust the Jews have a right to revenge porn. But I think that Downfall did a better job with the matter.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Stan Adams
    Downfall is a great movie. Bruno Ganz is the true cinematic Hitler, now and forevermore. No English-speaking actor has ever come close to nailing the role.

    Anthony Hopkins' Hitler impersonation, for which he won an Emmy, was the worst performance of his career. Alec Guinness fared somewhat better, but was not believable in the role.

    I saw Downfall in the theater eleven years ago. (It had a limited U.S. run with English subtitles.) Since that time, I can count the movies I've seen in the theater on one hand.

    (I also saw Valkyrie in the theater - not because I was eager to see Tom Cruise, but because someone I knew wanted to see it. She was depressed that she wasn't able to spend the holidays with her family, so I took her on the day after Christmas. Nazis always go over great at Yuletide.)

    Today, Downfall might be best known for having spawned the "Hitler freaks out about [something]" parodies with fake English subtitles. There are hundreds if not thousands of them on YouTube.

    , @anon
    Are you suggesting that Jews are resentful and harbour ethnic grudges over three generations? Are you an anti-semite?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  93. @Lot
    My exchange about cold war nuke policy with Unz last week got me in the mood for some cold war nuke movies, so I recently watched Threads (1984) and By Dawn's Early Light (1990).

    Threads first half is roughly a British remake of The Day After. The working class accents in the movie are a bit harder than other British movies, through not Trainspotting hard. The second half is a speculative post-nuke England showing a return to manual farming, long-term radiation poisoning, and ending about 12 years after the nuclear exchange.

    I would not suggest it generally, but if that plot sounds appealing I recommend watching.

    By Dawn's Early Light, while technically 1990, is a combination Tom Clancy political thriller and 80's USAF glorification. It is a great movie with great actors all around: Powers Boothe, Rebecca De Mornay, James Earl Jones, Martin Landau, Rip Torn.

    I also re-watched The Day After last year. The first time I saw it I was about 8 or 10 and it gave me nightmares like no other movie. I recommend it above the other two movies.

    It is interesting in that it probably has just about the most stark generational divide in viewership. When it was released in 1983, more than 100 million people watched it, and it remains the highest rated TV movie ever. I would have first seen it re-air on TV around 1989, and I am not sure how often it re-aired. But probably 60% of Americans over 45 have seen it and less than 5% 35 and under have.

    The Day After was a huge phenomenon. I saw it when I was 12. It’s really hard to grok the ’80s without having seen it. IIRC, the network set up phone lines for viewers traumatized by it.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  94. @Daniel H
    "No Country for Old Men" is warmed over "Bring me the Head of Alfredo Garcia". Not in it's league.

    Nothing from Paul Morrissey. You must see Flesh, Trash and Heat. Brilliant. And Joe Dallesandro is a superstar.

    I just noticed that the article says 21st century, so disregard my critique of not honoring Paul Morrissey, but you should see his films anyway.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  95. @Kyle
    Spring breakers is the worst thing that's ever entered my senses. It's a terrible movie, the director even says his goal is to upset the audience. It is high art at its most base. The stated goal of the director is for his movies to actually troll the sensibilities of the avant-garde critics. His movies are the pissing fountain sculpture. Something so grotesque and obvious of an assault rationality that the adherents to avant garde must swallow their pride, dig in their heels, and feign acceptance even more. Mumblecore, drugged out teenage twats in distractingly hot bikinis for two and a half hours. The film is heralded as powerful and transformative by insufferable feminists ar huffpost who havent actually suffered through it. The irony and the trolling of the journalists comes in the fact that the portrayal of the girls is actually extrelemy mysogynistic. The act of even casting four untalented actresses, having them mumble and cry uninteligble dialog all movie, only casting them for their hot young bodies clad in bikinis the entire movoe. That is mysogynistic. And the trolling director had the feminist creatons eating out of his hand. I wish I could repress it from my memory, I wish it wasn't on this list only because I hope new people don't discover it and enjoy it. It would upset me if someone else enjoyed it. That's how much I hate it. But there is nothing I can do, I can't fight it, the more I struggle against it the more powerful it becomes. In that aspect maybe it is brilliant. But it is an immoral brilliance. It has only spite and contempt for the audience, it's goal is to cause the audience suffering.

    This is the only part of Spring Breakers anyone needs to watch:

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  96. Although I acknowledge that ‘The Departed’ was indeed a very solid movie, I was glad to see it left off the list, simply because I think its source material, i.e. ‘Infernal Affairs’, which also didn’t make the list, is even better. It’s an hour shorter and at least twice as tense as ‘The Departed’.

    I’m also glad to see the shout-outs for ‘Catch Me If You Can’ on this thread. Mrs Calvinist and I watched it on a lark, not expecting much, and were delighted by it. It’s like ‘Back to the Future’ in that it’s so well-wrought and cohesive that you can’t imagine it having been done any other way, plus it’s just plain fun.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Clyde

    I’m also glad to see the shout-outs for ‘Catch Me If You Can’ on this thread. Mrs Calvinist and I watched it on a lark, not expecting much, and were delighted by it.
     
    The movie was solid plus I liked being transported back to the 1960s for a few hours by the automobiles, the fashions, the backgrounds. Run time is 2hr 21min. 1960's stewardesses..... right on!!
    , @LondonBob
    I thought Infernal Affairs was superior to The Departed too. The Departed tried too hard.

    There will be Blood was over hyped.

    These lists always ignore comedies and war films. I agree Black Hawk Down should be in there, The Hangover too.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  97. @Lot

    just a matter of degree from what firms that didn’t get shut down by the government did.
     
    While there are surely degrees of sleaze on Wall Street, there is one very bright line. The basic illegal Wall Street scam is to accept money or shares for marketing and/or selling stock in OTC companies to small individual investors. That's just not something a reputable investment bank like Goldman or Morgan Stanley will ever do, even as they go out and violate a lot of other laws.

    I’m not sure that’s actually illegal if the compensation’s disclosed. I still get occasional mailers doing that (granted, not by brokerages, but by separate promo companies).

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  98. @Paul Walker Most beautiful man ever...
    Ridiculous list. No mention of The Fast And Furious Franchise, which by the way are terrific movies.

    I ranked those for you.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    7) Was 2 Fast 2 Furious, which is sort of tied with Tokyo Drift as the worst. But, in a credit to the franchise, even those are kind of fun. There are really no duds in the series. But Fast Five was the best as it was bookended by two of the best action sequences in the series, and its plot was slightly less ridiculous than those of the last two movies.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  99. @Dave Pinsen
    I ranked those for you.
    https://twitter.com/dpinsen/status/765418409207226368

    7) Was 2 Fast 2 Furious, which is sort of tied with Tokyo Drift as the worst. But, in a credit to the franchise, even those are kind of fun. There are really no duds in the series. But Fast Five was the best as it was bookended by two of the best action sequences in the series, and its plot was slightly less ridiculous than those of the last two movies.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  100. @Broski
    A great movie should be entertaining, which is why Mulholland Drive sucked. I'm sure the directing and general craftsmanship were superb, but for those of us who can't appreciate that and want a good plot it was terrible. The skipping around thing was done much better in Pulp Fiction, seven years earlier.

    Similarly, No Country for Old Men and There Will be Blood came out right around the same time. No Country was superb, while the slower Blood was merely decent. All of Jones, Brolin, and Bardem ably acted great characters. Harrelson was coming into his own as the cocky jackass he's continued to play, indeed as which he's been type cast. That schtick had its roots in Natural Born Killers, where it was such a contrast with nice Woody from Cheers. He's played basically the same guy in No County, Natural Born Killers, and the more recent Seven Psychopaths and True Detective Season 1. The only difference is his degree of law abiding.

    Inglorious Basterds probably should have made the list, exclusively because of Christoph Waltz's portrayal of Col. Hans Landa. He also made Django entertaining, albeit interminable.

    Similarly, No Country for Old Men and There Will be Blood came out right around the same time. No Country was superb, while the slower Blood was merely decent. All of Jones, Brolin, and Bardem ably acted great characters. Harrelson was coming into his own as the cocky jackass he’s continued to play, indeed as which he’s been type cast. That schtick had its roots in Natural Born Killers, where it was such a contrast with nice Woody from Cheers. He’s played basically the same guy in No County, Natural Born Killers, and the more recent Seven Psychopaths and True Detective Season 1. The only difference is his degree of law abiding.

    You forgot “Out of the Furnace”. I think.

    Completely agree on Mulholland Drive. A movie should have a plot rather than a non sequitor.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    Completely agree on Mulholland Drive. A movie should have a plot rather than a non sequitor.
     
    Most films, sure. But Lynch is one of the very few directors who can create a film that has the genuine power of a dream or a nightmare.I have a friend who didn't like Inland Empire (too self-indulgent, he said), but even he admits that a lot of the film's imagery stayed with him.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  101. This list suffers for the exclusion of Tropa de Elite (Elite Squad). Now that is a classic rightist movie, no wonder it was left off the BBC list.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  102. @Yep
    Nice to see Malick's The New World and PTA's The Master get some love. Always liked The Dark Knight Rises over The Dark Knight. Don't like Aaron Ekhart or Maggie what's her face. Lot of Nolan movies on the list.

    Steve have you ever seen Harmony Korine's Gummo? I'd be interested to read your take on it if you have.

    Not since squabbling over Olive Oyl have I seen two accomplished men be in pursuit of such an unattractive woman as in this Batman movie.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  103. Do watch Yi Yi. It is a quiet meditative movie about a family imploding and reforming. It is slow and long. My Chinese is not good enough to comment on the translation but I’ve lived long enough to know that the progress of the story is exquisite.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  104. @PapayaSF
    Glad to see The Grand Budapest Hotel on the list at #21.

    JohnnyWalker123: This century, dude.

    JohnnyWalker123: This century, dude.

    There was a 2004 remake:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Manchurian_Candidate_(2004_film)

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    JohnnyWalker123: This century, dude.

    There was a 2004 remake:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Manchurian_Candidate_(2004_film)
     
    Not as good as the original.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  105. 6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004)

    I could’ve sworn that movie was released in the 90s.

    after I saw the wolf of wall street i said to my brother: “it didn’t feel like 3 hours, it was hilarious.”

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  106. @whorefinder
    I'm glad Steve cited Catch Me If You Can. Spielberg and DiCaprio's best work, in my opinion, although it was low-key in release and marketing. Hanks and Walken were excellent as well. A very good secular-Christmas movie, good for the holidays when you want something a little less Christmasy.

    It was also subtly critical of women and celebratory of men. Women (his abandoning mother, the wife who sells him out to the FBI, the hooker played by Jennifer Garner) are the bad people and the men (his father, Tom Hanks's FBI dude, his father-in-law played by Martin Sheen) are the rocks, the dudes who support him and encourage him and are emotional rocks.

    Although he obviously enjoys it at first, Leo's lost and miserable and lonely when he's sleeping with dozens of 60-s era blond stewardesses and starlets and only becomes happy and fulfilled when he's taken into and becomes part of a male group----the FBI.

    I'm surprised feminists didn't get angrier at the movie for that, but maybe it's lower profile and good subtlety kept the flak off it.

    >>>A very good secular-Christmas movie…

    That is insulting and offensive. I take offense, at least.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  107. The Brian-Wilson biographical “Love & Mercy” didn’t make the top 100-list – unfortunately.

    The scenes in which Linda Ledbetter (Elisabeth Banks) and Brian Wilson (John Cusack) slowly and very tenderly bond in this Cadillac-store are still very much alive in my mind – they’re great!

    The dialogue, the way the storemanager and Wilsons friends and relatives react – that’s one of the finest movie-scenes ever.

    Steve – you’ve said, that “Love& Mercy” was the best movie of last year – so it should have made the list, don’t you think so.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  108. #1 Apocalyto, by Mel Gibson.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  109. @Steve Sailer
    Oh yeah ...

    The Hollywood Snowstorm was roughly 1975-1985.

    The Hollywood Snowstorm was roughly 1975-1985.

    A good example. 1983.

    http://mentalfloss.com/article/62429/17-things-you-might-not-know-about-scarface

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  110. @Broski
    A great movie should be entertaining, which is why Mulholland Drive sucked. I'm sure the directing and general craftsmanship were superb, but for those of us who can't appreciate that and want a good plot it was terrible. The skipping around thing was done much better in Pulp Fiction, seven years earlier.

    Similarly, No Country for Old Men and There Will be Blood came out right around the same time. No Country was superb, while the slower Blood was merely decent. All of Jones, Brolin, and Bardem ably acted great characters. Harrelson was coming into his own as the cocky jackass he's continued to play, indeed as which he's been type cast. That schtick had its roots in Natural Born Killers, where it was such a contrast with nice Woody from Cheers. He's played basically the same guy in No County, Natural Born Killers, and the more recent Seven Psychopaths and True Detective Season 1. The only difference is his degree of law abiding.

    Inglorious Basterds probably should have made the list, exclusively because of Christoph Waltz's portrayal of Col. Hans Landa. He also made Django entertaining, albeit interminable.

    J.S. Leibo:

    A great movie should be entertaining, which is why Mulholland Drive sucked. I’m sure the directing and general craftsmanship were superb, but for those of us who can’t appreciate that and want a good plot it was terrible. The skipping around thing was done much better in Pulp Fiction, seven years earlier.

    Steve Sailer:

    movies like David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive (…) that are part awesome, part dreck

    EXCUSE ME. Mulholland Drive is 100% awesome. There isn’t a wasted frame (or subtle sound). Lynch does put in some (entertaining, surreal, menacing) farce that offsets rather heavy themes and scenes.

    From Steve’s comment in 28sherman: [Spoilers ahead!]

    I think the ending would have been even better if the ending hinted that the first part of the movie was really just a pseudo-autobiographical screenplay written by the crazy bad Naomi Watts character about her triumphant early days in Hollywood, in which her narcissism and her paranoia compete for control of the storyline.

    The mistake is assuming (or wanting!) a singular, superseding ‘true/real’ storyline.

    One of David Lynch’s great themes is parallel realities. Mulholland Drive isn’t a Tarantino flick like Pulp Fiction that has a simple linear plot shown out of sequence. Diane/Betty are parallel selves that exist at the same time. One identity may hew closer to ‘observable reality’, but in Lynch’s world, each has a real effect on the other, and each is equally true. That’s the spooky part.

    The weird ‘imagined’ early plot is no mere delusion: The goings-on and supernatural characters exist to some extent as an unseen influence bleeding into the real world. Some of these things exist only in Diane’s disturbed psyche, but some may exist independently and are attracted to her energy:

    “There is no band playing. And yet we hear a band.”

    In Lynch’s world, our individual thoughts and emotions conjure ‘music’ out of nothing. ‘Others’ may or may not hear it.

    Steve, you say Naomi Watts’ character (Diane) is crazy bad, and narcissistic and paranoid…

    One exquisite thing about Mulholland Drive’s perfect ending is the elegiac empathy Lynch shows to Diane/Betty in the montage of (imagined) starlet glory and true love, a particular soul’s highest hopes and dreams, echoing somewhere after having been dashed in a crashing arc overwatched by dark, knowing, otherworldly beings in the form of the Winkie’s creature (God?) and the baroque dame in the theater balcony.

    Diane has done terrible things (to possibly terrible people), having come to the inescapable, unbearable conclusion that sometimes you can’t always get what you want, nor what you desperately need. For those initial innocents who ‘awakened’ fully to life and utterly lost all, even going so far as to fall headlong into murderous, self-annihilating damnation, Lynch hints there may still be a chance to sleep and dream sweet dreams.

    “And yet we hear a band.”

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  111. all three christopher nolan batman movies were great. i almost put the whole trilogy in my top 10. inception could’ve been an all-time great, but they spent too much time with the dream within a dream stuff in the final third… and the final shot pissed me off.

    check out the “prequel,” to inception, following.

    no order top 10:
    the dark knight, the dark knight rises, memento (i really like christopher nolan), her, the wolf of wall street, no country for old men, ex machina, revanche, funny games, the secrect in their eyes (the best tracking shot i’ve ever seen)

    honorable mention: memento, requiem for a dream, mad max: fury road, black swan, a seperation, the social network, there will be blood, and the master.

    gravity and russian ark were the 2 best technical achievements. russian ark was done in one shot.

    pedro almondovar’s run from 2002 to 2011 was amazing: Talk to Her (2002), Bad Education (2004), Volver (2006), Broken Embraces (2009), and The Skin I Live In (2011)

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  112. @Kyle
    Spring breakers is the worst thing that's ever entered my senses. It's a terrible movie, the director even says his goal is to upset the audience. It is high art at its most base. The stated goal of the director is for his movies to actually troll the sensibilities of the avant-garde critics. His movies are the pissing fountain sculpture. Something so grotesque and obvious of an assault rationality that the adherents to avant garde must swallow their pride, dig in their heels, and feign acceptance even more. Mumblecore, drugged out teenage twats in distractingly hot bikinis for two and a half hours. The film is heralded as powerful and transformative by insufferable feminists ar huffpost who havent actually suffered through it. The irony and the trolling of the journalists comes in the fact that the portrayal of the girls is actually extrelemy mysogynistic. The act of even casting four untalented actresses, having them mumble and cry uninteligble dialog all movie, only casting them for their hot young bodies clad in bikinis the entire movoe. That is mysogynistic. And the trolling director had the feminist creatons eating out of his hand. I wish I could repress it from my memory, I wish it wasn't on this list only because I hope new people don't discover it and enjoy it. It would upset me if someone else enjoyed it. That's how much I hate it. But there is nothing I can do, I can't fight it, the more I struggle against it the more powerful it becomes. In that aspect maybe it is brilliant. But it is an immoral brilliance. It has only spite and contempt for the audience, it's goal is to cause the audience suffering.

    Springbreakers was a bit like Lord of the Flies in bikinis.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  113. A Separation (#9 on the list) is one of the very best movies I have seen in my life.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  114. I can offhand recall just two movies from the 2000s that I viewed with unalloyed pleasure: The Descendants and Damsels in Distress. Both of them recommended somewhere round here, even.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  115. @Jefferson
    I can't believe a Selena Gomez movie made the list of top 100 best films of the 21st Century.

    That’s the point. The actors in these films are incidental. It’s the visual impact that got them on the list. Selena Gomez could have been replaced by your teenage niece and it would have made no difference.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  116. @Jefferson
    "Oh yeah …

    The Hollywood Snowstorm was roughly 1975-1985."

    What happened in 1986? Directors started going to rehab?

    What happened in 1986? Directors started going to rehab?

    Len Bias.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  117. “Popular movies don’t get much love. For example, off the top of my head, I’d say the greatest movie of the century was the second installment in The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers. But everybody knows already that that’s really good.

    Steve’s idea of a good time is 3 hours of video game footage and actors making a single statement, then a reaction face while the camera zooms in on them.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Millennial Falcon
    Agreed.

    Two Towers had a lot of Gollum, which Jackson/Serkis knocked out of the park (even in the awful Hobbit trilogy), but, yeah, color me otherwise mystified on that pick.

    You hit on two of the big points already, but I think some of the greatest damage was done with Jackson's inept casting (similar to Lucas' disastrous casting choices for Anakin Skywalker in the prequels).

    Elijah Wood was dreadful as Frodo - effeminate, sickly and perpetually constipated - and it just about ruined that entire trilogy. Jackson just couldn't get enough of his ghostly face and eyes - spent half the movies zooming in on that same pained expression.

    Viggo Mortensen was pretty weak as Aragorn as well. Looked the part, but that soft/nasal voice and unassuming presence were massively wrong for a mountain man and emerging king of men. Contrast his performance with Russell Crowe in Gladiator or Eric Bana in Troy.

    I'm wondering if Peter Jackson as a fat, nerdy Kiwi disliked Australian he-men led him to go soft on his casting choices. His first choice for Aragorn was the foppish pretty boy Brit Stuart Townsend.

    Merry and Pippin were badly cast as well and badly directed to boot. Comparing their buffoonish mugging to the quality work of actual little people in Lucas' LOTR rip-off Willow makes me wonder why Jackson didn't just recruit from their talented ranks instead of digitally shrinking TV-grade mediocrities.

    Would have loved to see Ridley Scott work from Jackson's scripts to do LOTR. A much better eye for casting supporting characters and stars. Much defter hand with pseudo-Shakespearian dialogue and drama. And a sharper audiovisual craftsman.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  118. @Yep
    I'd have to agree. Newer films are better in every way except for the diversity propaganda. I've never really enjoyed many films made before the 70's.

    There may be better effects and production values in an absolute sense but there seems to have been an absolute collapse of Middlebrow culture in film that typified earlier eras. Now most films seem to be divided into self-aware Lowbrow (blowing stuff up, car chase, T&A) and self-unaware Lowbrow masquerading as Highbrow (shock the squares, weirdness for its own sake, inside jokes).

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  119. @San Franciscan non-monk
    Oh no. The new True Grit was great. Don't go back and watch the original. It doesn't stand up to your memory.

    Practically all movies from your golden age sucked mightily.

    All films are products of their time. Fifty years from now most people looking back at films that are considered great now are going to go, meh. They’ll have your same attitude. And amusingly, they’ll find films people thought were stupid to be great achievements.

    Oh, while I enjoyed the new True Grit, Bridges’ incoherent mumbling throughout the film was a serious drawback.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  120. Anyone who thinks 2000 was part of the 21st century loses all credibility with me.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    21 century will begin next year. 19 started in 1815 and 20 started in 1914.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  121. Where are all the great Indian movies? We’re importing millions of them, you’d think they’d make awesome movies. Oh, yeah. M Night Shamalayayayan made one good one.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonym
    You'd think Indians would be able to create some good con movies. It's their national passtime. Their 1 filmic gold medallist specializes in this area. But their bell curve yields some depressing results, much like the representative affirmatively actioned 25th hour.
    , @CAL
    They seem to show up more on TV shows at least if you go by some of the names listed in the credits.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  122. @rod1963
    Inglorious Basterds reminded me of Jewish revenge porn. If you want to go down that route you might as well select Eastwood's "Kelly's Heroes" at least that's fun and fit for the family.

    To be honest, murder and torture porn is a turn off to me.

    Miyazaki deserves a place at the very least for keeping old school animation and story telling alive and well. Spirited Away made Pixar offering look dead. The story didn't treat the audience as a bunch of sugar addled imbeciles you had to scream at and include a meaningless action/dance-song routine every 8 minutes to hold their attention.

    Though I can see why it would baffle a American audience raised on the latter.

    I'd also include "Iron Giant" and "Over the Garden Wall" along with "Spirited Away" as animation done the way it's supposed to. To tell a story the way they are meant to be told. Not butchered on some Procrustean bed then stuffed to the gills with excess GGI to please some director with ADD and a coke habit.

    “Iron Giant” was made in 1998.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  123. I think the big issue with these lists is that moviemaking is basically for kids or for adults who want to watch kids’ genres these days. Critics want to assert that film is still an adult medium, so they pick movies that not only seem sophisticated but would be specifically impenetrable or depressing to anyone younger than a certain age. No Country for Old Men isn’t even one of the Coen brothers’ five best films, but it’s their most nihilistic, so it gets the most praise.
    I can think of several movies since 2000 I left thinking, “that was a great movie”
    Memento/City of God/Kung Fu Shuffle/Gravity/How to Train Your Dragon/School of Rock /Ponyo,
    and other movies I love because I liked them to begin with and I’ve watched them a bunch of times with my kids (Fellowship of the Ring, a few of the Harry Potters, Jurassic World, etc.)
    But obviously I’m watching in a different frame of mind than a movie critic.

    Read More
    • Replies: @dsgntd_plyr
    city of god! i can't believe i forgot that movie. blew me away. a related film series is tropa de elite. it's city of god from the police's perspective.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  124. Frozen , Tangled and Zootopia were not included in the list . A very positive fact. Recent Disney animations were overrated in excess, and time is taking care of things down in his place .

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  125. How can there be a best of 21st Century anything? The century is only 15 years old.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  126. No Country for Old Men (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2007)…….. mindless violence with no plot. What a dumbass movie. It was hard to sit though the entire movie. I think half the attraction was how bizarre they had psycho-killer Javier Bardem looking and with his weird killing device.
    I’ll watch violent stuff that has a plot like Ray Donovan. Also the most recent Mad Max move was good.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  127. @The Last Real Calvinist
    Although I acknowledge that 'The Departed' was indeed a very solid movie, I was glad to see it left off the list, simply because I think its source material, i.e. 'Infernal Affairs', which also didn't make the list, is even better. It's an hour shorter and at least twice as tense as 'The Departed'.

    I'm also glad to see the shout-outs for 'Catch Me If You Can' on this thread. Mrs Calvinist and I watched it on a lark, not expecting much, and were delighted by it. It's like 'Back to the Future' in that it's so well-wrought and cohesive that you can't imagine it having been done any other way, plus it's just plain fun.

    I’m also glad to see the shout-outs for ‘Catch Me If You Can’ on this thread. Mrs Calvinist and I watched it on a lark, not expecting much, and were delighted by it.

    The movie was solid plus I liked being transported back to the 1960s for a few hours by the automobiles, the fashions, the backgrounds. Run time is 2hr 21min. 1960′s stewardesses….. right on!!

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  128. This list is terrible. NCFOM was garbage: pointless “slasher” type violence with thin to no plot and pretentious ending. Classic case of the emperor having no clothes. Mulholland is interesting for film nerds, but that’s about it. OTOH I liked Zodiac, Memento, and Crouching Tiger. Where’s Ex Machina, American Psycho, Downfall, etc.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  129. @Mr. Anon
    The top ten all happen to have been made in this century?

    Welles, Kurosawa, Huston, Kubrick, Spielberg, Zinneman - none of their movies made the list?

    A bunch of millenials made this list then?

    Oh – I didn’t see the 21st century part. Okay, that explains it then.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  130. @whorefinder
    I'm glad Steve cited Catch Me If You Can. Spielberg and DiCaprio's best work, in my opinion, although it was low-key in release and marketing. Hanks and Walken were excellent as well. A very good secular-Christmas movie, good for the holidays when you want something a little less Christmasy.

    It was also subtly critical of women and celebratory of men. Women (his abandoning mother, the wife who sells him out to the FBI, the hooker played by Jennifer Garner) are the bad people and the men (his father, Tom Hanks's FBI dude, his father-in-law played by Martin Sheen) are the rocks, the dudes who support him and encourage him and are emotional rocks.

    Although he obviously enjoys it at first, Leo's lost and miserable and lonely when he's sleeping with dozens of 60-s era blond stewardesses and starlets and only becomes happy and fulfilled when he's taken into and becomes part of a male group----the FBI.

    I'm surprised feminists didn't get angrier at the movie for that, but maybe it's lower profile and good subtlety kept the flak off it.

    I agree that “Catch Me if You Can” was a good movie. I don’t see how it could be viewed as a Christmas movie – Christmas just figures into a few scenes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @whorefinder
    The themes of the movie---lost parents, search for family, learning that you can't just take without giving back---are all very Christmasy, and those family-despairing moments are powerfully woven around Christmas (e.g. he finally finds catches up to long-lost mother at Christmas, seeing her and her new family through the window). He also calls every Christmas because he has no one else to talk to.

    It's a very secular and subtle Christmasy, but it's there nonetheless. Spielberg didn't need to put that in there to show Frank's longing and despair; he could have done it a lot of other ways. It was deliberate.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  131. What no “Sons of the Desert” starring Laurel and Hardy? Arguably THE best comedy of the last 100 years. It explored the effect of modernism and industrialization on gender mores decades before women took control and mandated equality in the humor industry.

    This 1933 film is so good you still have to pay to see it. Hopefully Hollywoood executives will leave it alone and not do a ghostbusters-style remake.

    OK I goofed, we are talking 21st century. Most of them suck. I still recommend Sons of the Desert :

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  132. I can barely think of ten movies I thought were much good in the last fifteen years, let alone especially good. A few that I though were pretty good to very good would be:

    Black Hawk Down

    The Count of Monte Cristo

    Master and Commander

    The Illusionist

    Valkyrie

    Limitless

    Zero Dark Thirty

    Unbroken

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  133. @rod1963
    Inglorious Basterds reminded me of Jewish revenge porn. If you want to go down that route you might as well select Eastwood's "Kelly's Heroes" at least that's fun and fit for the family.

    To be honest, murder and torture porn is a turn off to me.

    Miyazaki deserves a place at the very least for keeping old school animation and story telling alive and well. Spirited Away made Pixar offering look dead. The story didn't treat the audience as a bunch of sugar addled imbeciles you had to scream at and include a meaningless action/dance-song routine every 8 minutes to hold their attention.

    Though I can see why it would baffle a American audience raised on the latter.

    I'd also include "Iron Giant" and "Over the Garden Wall" along with "Spirited Away" as animation done the way it's supposed to. To tell a story the way they are meant to be told. Not butchered on some Procrustean bed then stuffed to the gills with excess GGI to please some director with ADD and a coke habit.

    “Inglorious Basterds reminded me of Jewish revenge porn.”

    Eli Roth is the creator of the “Hostel” series of torture-porn movies. Roth and Tarantino are loathsome degenerates.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  134. Drive is the best movie of the 21st century for me. It reminds me of Tarantino’s and Wong Kar-wai’s early movies. Adaptation is great, too.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  135. I saw Locke 2013 – with Tom Hardy on the telly the other night. I’d put that on my list and it’s original.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  136. @San Franciscan non-monk
    Oh no. The new True Grit was great. Don't go back and watch the original. It doesn't stand up to your memory.

    Practically all movies from your golden age sucked mightily.

    Practically all movies from your golden age sucked mightily.

    Lol! I know, I know. Too many words in them.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    Practically all movies from your golden age sucked mightily.

    Lol! I know, I know. Too many words in them.
     
    Sturgeon's Law: 90% of everything is crap.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  137. “Black Hawk Down” is not in the list? Pfffff. Useless list.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Millennial Falcon
    Have to agree here. Easily the best war movie of the 21st century. That 2nd act is as powerful, moving and terrifying as anything ever filmed. I think Ridley Scott does a great job working with character actors and brooding method types - whenever he's had a good script he's done great work (Alien, Gladiator, Matchstick Men). Completely helpless to redeem bad scripts though (Robin Hood).
    , @Dave Pinsen
    Black Hawk Down could be the most star-studded movie of the century.

    Excellent and disturbing overall, but it glossed over the difficulty of putting together the international relief column. That took some doing from an American officer in the book.

    Incidentally, in the book, the movie the Rangers are watching at their base is Michael Mann's Last of the Mohicans; in the movie, it's Steve Martin's The Jerk.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  138. Talk to Her deservedly ranked in the Top 40. It’s overlooked. Catch it if you haven’t yet.

    The Lives of Others is my #1.

    All movies by Oliver Stone, Tarantino, and especially – ugh- Brian DePalma’s earlier films are overrated to at least some degree. With Bonfire, it finally occurred to people that he’s clueless. None of his dreck from this century made the list, which says something good about the list.

    I have spoken.

    Read More
    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
    Your number 1 was my number 1 of the last 10 years. Until I saw Brooklyn. Magnificent. Catch it if you can.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  139. Of the Top Ten, I found “No Country For Old Men” no better than average. The acting is good and the cinematography outstanding, but I dislike movies (or books) that require you to suspend your understanding of how the world really functions in order to make the story line work. A long shootout in the middle of the night (with shotguns!) in a Texas border town attracts no attention? The murderer of a deputy in west Texas escapes to El Paso and is pursued by only one broken down old sheriff (Tommy Lee Jones) rather than half the El Paso police force? Really? The entire plot seems forced and contrived.

    “There Will Be Blood” has many good points, including superb acting by Daniel Day-Lewis, but I thought “Chinatown” was better.

    I never saw the other eight.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Elmer T. Jones
    “No Country For Old Men” did not work for me. Probably because I lived in that region. Same reason I can't stand dusty westerns. For example Clint Eastwood getting tormented by a Jew portraying a Mexican who forces him to march through an waterless desert.

    Back in the day they realized country folks do not want to watch Ma&Pa Kettle type movies because they went to the movie-house to escape their dreary lives not revel in it. The headline title was "Hicks Nix Sticks Flicks".
    , @I, Libertine
    True about No Country's plot. But that's the fault of the source material, the Cormac McCarthy novel. The movie was just a faithful adaptation. So faithful that when I saw the movie, I was amazed at how well it re-created what was in my mind's eye as I was reading the book. But I enjoyed both so much that I failed to notice that the plot had a bit too much Oh Come Now to it.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  140. @Lot
    You see with this list the bias of critics toward slow-paced depressing movies about interpersonal relationships. I watched Catch Me If You Can for the first time a few months ago, and agree with Steve's description, it is cheerful, funny, well acted, fast-paced, brightly lit, and very entertaining. There was no point that I was tempted to fast forward past excessive dialog. (I did a lot of such fast forwarding recently watching Reality Bites, whose decent reputation is undeserved.)

    I looked up some of the movies of the BBC list I never heard of. One is about an alien-woman who randomly kills various men in Scotland. Another, The White Ribbon, is a black and white movie set in small town 1912 Germany that looks massively dull and depressing.

    I'm not sure what the utility is in ranking foreign and English language movies together like this either. A German movie from 2005 that I really liked a lot that did not make the list was The Baader Meinhof Complex, an action-packed movie that traces the rise of some communist terrorists from swinging radical-chic late 60's Germany, complete with nude beaches and communes, into the 70's as they become a desperate, evil gang that is killed by police, jailed, and join up with a not-yet-Islamified PLO terrorists. And it all really happened.

    The sets depicting late 60's and early 1970's West Germany and the sexy German actresses provide plenty of eye candy too. If you tried to watch Mad Men because you liked the sets and costumes, but found it too boring and lacking in gun battles, explosions, jail breaks, and car chases, this is your movie.

    The Germans at least thought it was their best movie that year and submitted it for best foreign language film at the Oscars.

    (I did a lot of such fast forwarding recently watching Reality Bites, whose decent reputation is undeserved.)

    I re-watched that one recently. Found myself really despising Ethan Hawke’s slacker/loser character , but kind of liking Ben Stiller’s yuppie-bad guy character.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  141. two of my favorites from this century didn’t make the list

    - Blow
    - Moneyball

    Alas, the single worst movie I’ve ever seen, Wall-E, made the cut. I hated that flick on every level.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  142. @MEH 0910

    JohnnyWalker123: This century, dude.
     
    There was a 2004 remake:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Manchurian_Candidate_(2004_film)

    JohnnyWalker123: This century, dude.

    There was a 2004 remake:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Manchurian_Candidate_(2004_film)

    Not as good as the original.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  143. @Anonym
    Similarly, No Country for Old Men and There Will be Blood came out right around the same time. No Country was superb, while the slower Blood was merely decent. All of Jones, Brolin, and Bardem ably acted great characters. Harrelson was coming into his own as the cocky jackass he’s continued to play, indeed as which he’s been type cast. That schtick had its roots in Natural Born Killers, where it was such a contrast with nice Woody from Cheers. He’s played basically the same guy in No County, Natural Born Killers, and the more recent Seven Psychopaths and True Detective Season 1. The only difference is his degree of law abiding.

    You forgot "Out of the Furnace". I think.

    Completely agree on Mulholland Drive. A movie should have a plot rather than a non sequitor.

    Completely agree on Mulholland Drive. A movie should have a plot rather than a non sequitor.

    Most films, sure. But Lynch is one of the very few directors who can create a film that has the genuine power of a dream or a nightmare.I have a friend who didn’t like Inland Empire (too self-indulgent, he said), but even he admits that a lot of the film’s imagery stayed with him.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonym
    I agree that the imagery stays with a person. (So does porn, and B movies
    .. we know we've watched them.) But to me a movie like Inception will always be greater because the plot can resolve with enough watching. (And visually it is very interesting). Maybe it can go 1 of 2 ways, with two camps arguing their case, but they don't feel ripped off by the film.

    For powers of nightmares I like Vanilla Sky, and Jacob's ladder, to name a few. And why not Devil's Advocate. For the power of dreams, I like Aeon Flux (1991). The writers thought hard enough to make the plots work.

    I agree that Lynch is talented but I don’t think Mulholland drive belongs in the top 10 of movies created in the last 16 years, let alone #1 - gtfo. Even a shaggy dog story has resolution.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  144. @Dave Pinsen
    Yeah, that was great too. Charlton Heston again.

    Yeah, that was great too. Charlton Heston again.

    Heston had a timeless quality to him. You could put him in a film set in just about any era (Ancient Rome, the Middle Ages, the 19th century, the dystopian future) , and he would fit in.That’s probably why he was Hollywood’s go-to guy when it came to costume epics. Just look at the list of greats that he portrayed on screen: Mark Antony (twice), Moses, Michelangelo, Andrew Jackson (twice), El Cid, William Clark (of Lewis and Clark fame), Charles George Gordon, etc. Heston was pretty much Western Civilization incarnate.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  145. @Mr. Anon
    The top ten all happen to have been made in this century?

    Welles, Kurosawa, Huston, Kubrick, Spielberg, Zinneman - none of their movies made the list?

    A bunch of millenials made this list then?

    Is this a satire boomer generation fogeyness? 21st century pay attention.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  146. There Will Be Blood is massively handicapped by lack of knowledge of the oil business, especially back in the early days, and the cartoon villain. Bad movie.
    Gladiator has to be better than some of this stuff, doesn’t it?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  147. @peterike

    Practically all movies from your golden age sucked mightily.

     

    Lol! I know, I know. Too many words in them.

    Practically all movies from your golden age sucked mightily.

    Lol! I know, I know. Too many words in them.

    Sturgeon’s Law: 90% of everything is crap.

    Read More
    • Replies: @pyrrhus
    I would say that Sturgeon's Law is amply confirmed by this list, of which maybe 10% could be considered of any interest.....
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  148. Now that I look at the whole list, it seems to be comfortably quasi-spiritual leftist drivel for the most part…

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  149. @syonredux

    Practically all movies from your golden age sucked mightily.

    Lol! I know, I know. Too many words in them.
     
    Sturgeon's Law: 90% of everything is crap.

    I would say that Sturgeon’s Law is amply confirmed by this list, of which maybe 10% could be considered of any interest…..

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    At the end of 1899, the editor of London’s Daily Telegraph, with the assistance of learned consultants, selected the “100 Best Novels in the World” from all the novels written in any language. In all, 61 authors were represented in the list of 100 best novels. Only 27 of them—fewer than half—qualified as significant figures in Human Accomplishment’s inventory of Western literature. Seventeen of the61—28 percent—were not mentioned even once by any of the 20 sources used to compile that inventory; not even by the most encyclopedic ones. And yet each of those 17 who are now ignored had written one of the supposedly 100 best novels of all time as judged in 1899. Sic transit gloria mundi.

     

    Charles Murray, Human Accomplishment
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  150. Thee isn’t one good film of the 21st century, let alone a hundred.

    Example of a good movie, for reference purposes: “Oliver Twist” (1948, directed by David Lean)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Michelle
    "Great Expectations", "Whistle Down the Wind", "I know Where I'm Going". Etc..
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  151. @syonredux

    Are any of the directors of the top ten films on the fashionable left?
     
    I always wonder if people on the Left understand that David Lynch is actually Conservative...

    I love David Lynch precisely because so much in his films is just like my dreamscape and so much of his conservatism is like my own. Ditto his humor. And he has absolutely astonishing visual gifts. Unlike me.

    Watching a David Lynch movie is like going back to your childhood home. Everything is overwhelmingly familiar and slightly strange. You realize as you look around how imagination picks up where memory leaves off.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    David Lynch was hilarious on Louie:

    http://youtu.be/gwUmXT3RJCM
    , @Clyde
    Home
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suRDUFpsHus
    , @Cryptogenic

     I love David Lynch precisely because so much in his films is just like my dreamscape and so much of his conservatism is like my own. Ditto his humor. And he has absolutely astonishing visual gifts. Unlike me.

    Watching a David Lynch movie is like going back to your childhood home. Everything is overwhelmingly familiar and slightly strange. You realize as you look around how imagination picks up where memory leaves off.
     His absurdist humor is close to perfection. The weather reports he used to do on his website are hilarious: http://youtu.be/RD27a2iZFHE

    Fact: I have a "Twin Peaks Sheriff Deptartment" mug and many pounds of David Lynch's signature cup coffee in my cabinet.
    , @Pericles
    While watching it, I was thinking how much better Megan's Body would have been with David Lynch at the helm. (Blue Velvet intensity please.)
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  152. @The Last Real Calvinist
    Although I acknowledge that 'The Departed' was indeed a very solid movie, I was glad to see it left off the list, simply because I think its source material, i.e. 'Infernal Affairs', which also didn't make the list, is even better. It's an hour shorter and at least twice as tense as 'The Departed'.

    I'm also glad to see the shout-outs for 'Catch Me If You Can' on this thread. Mrs Calvinist and I watched it on a lark, not expecting much, and were delighted by it. It's like 'Back to the Future' in that it's so well-wrought and cohesive that you can't imagine it having been done any other way, plus it's just plain fun.

    I thought Infernal Affairs was superior to The Departed too. The Departed tried too hard.

    There will be Blood was over hyped.

    These lists always ignore comedies and war films. I agree Black Hawk Down should be in there, The Hangover too.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The Hangover has a large number of huge laughs -- like when the valet drives up with the police car they checked. Todd Phillips is good at engineering movies to produce a number of huge laughs. Not that many people can do it.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  153. @Spotted Toad
    I think the big issue with these lists is that moviemaking is basically for kids or for adults who want to watch kids' genres these days. Critics want to assert that film is still an adult medium, so they pick movies that not only seem sophisticated but would be specifically impenetrable or depressing to anyone younger than a certain age. No Country for Old Men isn't even one of the Coen brothers' five best films, but it's their most nihilistic, so it gets the most praise.
    I can think of several movies since 2000 I left thinking, "that was a great movie"
    Memento/City of God/Kung Fu Shuffle/Gravity/How to Train Your Dragon/School of Rock /Ponyo,
    and other movies I love because I liked them to begin with and I've watched them a bunch of times with my kids (Fellowship of the Ring, a few of the Harry Potters, Jurassic World, etc.)
    But obviously I'm watching in a different frame of mind than a movie critic.

    city of god! i can’t believe i forgot that movie. blew me away. a related film series is tropa de elite. it’s city of god from the police’s perspective.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  154. @pyrrhus
    I would say that Sturgeon's Law is amply confirmed by this list, of which maybe 10% could be considered of any interest.....

    At the end of 1899, the editor of London’s Daily Telegraph, with the assistance of learned consultants, selected the “100 Best Novels in the World” from all the novels written in any language. In all, 61 authors were represented in the list of 100 best novels. Only 27 of them—fewer than half—qualified as significant figures in Human Accomplishment’s inventory of Western literature. Seventeen of the61—28 percent—were not mentioned even once by any of the 20 sources used to compile that inventory; not even by the most encyclopedic ones. And yet each of those 17 who are now ignored had written one of the supposedly 100 best novels of all time as judged in 1899. Sic transit gloria mundi.

    Charles Murray, Human Accomplishment

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The Chicago Art Institute has the names of the most famous artists of all time as of about 1892 carved on its walls in letters two feet high. About one-third of those names were pretty obscure to me just a century later.
    , @James Kabala
    The list and commentary on it:

    http://www.rosecityreader.com/2009/09/list-of-th-day-daily-telegraphs-1899.html

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/4719492/The-problem-of-predicting-what-will-last.html

    Since Murray wrote, Wikipedia has come into existence, and I wonder if any of the 61 authors are so obscure today as to not even have Wikipedia entries. Henry Cockton and E. Lynn Linton, both singled out by the modern Telegraph author as especially obscure, both have entries, although Cockton's is barely above a stub.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Cockton

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eliza_Lynn_Linton

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  155. Well let’s be honest here. Anything Cage would inevitably float to the top of a “best of” list.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  156. @Daniel H
    >>Inglorious Basterds reminded me of Jewish revenge porn.

    Regarding the Holocaust the Jews have a right to revenge porn. But I think that Downfall did a better job with the matter.

    Downfall is a great movie. Bruno Ganz is the true cinematic Hitler, now and forevermore. No English-speaking actor has ever come close to nailing the role.

    Anthony Hopkins’ Hitler impersonation, for which he won an Emmy, was the worst performance of his career. Alec Guinness fared somewhat better, but was not believable in the role.

    I saw Downfall in the theater eleven years ago. (It had a limited U.S. run with English subtitles.) Since that time, I can count the movies I’ve seen in the theater on one hand.

    (I also saw Valkyrie in the theater – not because I was eager to see Tom Cruise, but because someone I knew wanted to see it. She was depressed that she wasn’t able to spend the holidays with her family, so I took her on the day after Christmas. Nazis always go over great at Yuletide.)

    Today, Downfall might be best known for having spawned the “Hitler freaks out about [something]” parodies with fake English subtitles. There are hundreds if not thousands of them on YouTube.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Downfall was much better than Valkyrie, which was still pretty good. The 1944 Germany of Valkyrie didn't look like it had been bombed much.
    , @dsgntd_plyr
    there's a hitler comedy called look who's back, which is one of the funniest movies i've ever seen. it's about hitler being transported to 2011 germany, and how he's a new and improved hitler that's going to "make germany great again." yes, he says that line in the movie.

    now that i think about it, i'm putting this on my top 10 list. the movie is available on netflix. trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtW1Lq5c04E
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  157. @Black Death
    Of the Top Ten, I found "No Country For Old Men" no better than average. The acting is good and the cinematography outstanding, but I dislike movies (or books) that require you to suspend your understanding of how the world really functions in order to make the story line work. A long shootout in the middle of the night (with shotguns!) in a Texas border town attracts no attention? The murderer of a deputy in west Texas escapes to El Paso and is pursued by only one broken down old sheriff (Tommy Lee Jones) rather than half the El Paso police force? Really? The entire plot seems forced and contrived.

    "There Will Be Blood" has many good points, including superb acting by Daniel Day-Lewis, but I thought "Chinatown" was better.

    I never saw the other eight.

    “No Country For Old Men” did not work for me. Probably because I lived in that region. Same reason I can’t stand dusty westerns. For example Clint Eastwood getting tormented by a Jew portraying a Mexican who forces him to march through an waterless desert.

    Back in the day they realized country folks do not want to watch Ma&Pa Kettle type movies because they went to the movie-house to escape their dreary lives not revel in it. The headline title was “Hicks Nix Sticks Flicks”.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    For example Clint Eastwood getting tormented by a Jew portraying a Mexican who forces him to march through an waterless desert.
     
    What do you expect? It was a movie directed by an Italian and filmed in Spain.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  158. @Mr. Anon
    I agree that "Catch Me if You Can" was a good movie. I don't see how it could be viewed as a Christmas movie - Christmas just figures into a few scenes.

    The themes of the movie—lost parents, search for family, learning that you can’t just take without giving back—are all very Christmasy, and those family-despairing moments are powerfully woven around Christmas (e.g. he finally finds catches up to long-lost mother at Christmas, seeing her and her new family through the window). He also calls every Christmas because he has no one else to talk to.

    It’s a very secular and subtle Christmasy, but it’s there nonetheless. Spielberg didn’t need to put that in there to show Frank’s longing and despair; he could have done it a lot of other ways. It was deliberate.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  159. Best movie not on the list: The Fall, 2006 fantasy by Tarsem Singh. Also consistently under-rated: nearly anything by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (City of Lost Children, Amelie, Young and Prodigious T. S. Spivet). Gentle, visually-rich fantasies with a humane outlook, stressing the importance of kindness and loyalty – that’s what I look for. “Lives of Others” and “Ida” are the best of the recent foreign flicks. And it’s so good to not see “300″ on the list.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  160. Mullholland Drive? Tree of Fucking Life? Really? Really?? I mean I like topless lesbian scenes and dinosaurs as much as the next guy, but why is no movie on this list, you know, actually watchable?

    From IMDB, here is the actually good top ten list:

    1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994) 9.2
    2. The Godfather (1972) 9.2
    3. The Godfather: Part II (1974) 9.0
    4. The Dark Knight (2008) 8.9
    5. Schindler’s List (1993) 8.9
    6. 12 Angry Men (1957) 8.9
    7. Pulp Fiction (1994) 8.9
    8. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) 8.9
    9. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) 8.9
    10. Fight Club (1999)

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  161. @Black Death
    Of the Top Ten, I found "No Country For Old Men" no better than average. The acting is good and the cinematography outstanding, but I dislike movies (or books) that require you to suspend your understanding of how the world really functions in order to make the story line work. A long shootout in the middle of the night (with shotguns!) in a Texas border town attracts no attention? The murderer of a deputy in west Texas escapes to El Paso and is pursued by only one broken down old sheriff (Tommy Lee Jones) rather than half the El Paso police force? Really? The entire plot seems forced and contrived.

    "There Will Be Blood" has many good points, including superb acting by Daniel Day-Lewis, but I thought "Chinatown" was better.

    I never saw the other eight.

    True about No Country‘s plot. But that’s the fault of the source material, the Cormac McCarthy novel. The movie was just a faithful adaptation. So faithful that when I saw the movie, I was amazed at how well it re-created what was in my mind’s eye as I was reading the book. But I enjoyed both so much that I failed to notice that the plot had a bit too much Oh Come Now to it.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  162. @Kylie
    I love David Lynch precisely because so much in his films is just like my dreamscape and so much of his conservatism is like my own. Ditto his humor. And he has absolutely astonishing visual gifts. Unlike me.

    Watching a David Lynch movie is like going back to your childhood home. Everything is overwhelmingly familiar and slightly strange. You realize as you look around how imagination picks up where memory leaves off.

    David Lynch was hilarious on Louie:

    http://youtu.be/gwUmXT3RJCM

    Read More
    • LOL: Kylie
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  163. I was pleased to see “A History of Violence” made the list, at #59. I can watch that movie over & over again, which is something I find increasingly rare, as I get older.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Millennial Falcon
    That felt like a Charles Bronson retread with new splatter effects. Sort of like that John Wick movie that Keanu Reeves did recently. Legitimately curious to hear a fan explain its appeal.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  164. I guess The Passion didn’t make the cut?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  165. @Daniel H
    >>Inglorious Basterds reminded me of Jewish revenge porn.

    Regarding the Holocaust the Jews have a right to revenge porn. But I think that Downfall did a better job with the matter.

    Are you suggesting that Jews are resentful and harbour ethnic grudges over three generations? Are you an anti-semite?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  166. I thought In America was a powerful movie.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  167. @syonredux

    Completely agree on Mulholland Drive. A movie should have a plot rather than a non sequitor.
     
    Most films, sure. But Lynch is one of the very few directors who can create a film that has the genuine power of a dream or a nightmare.I have a friend who didn't like Inland Empire (too self-indulgent, he said), but even he admits that a lot of the film's imagery stayed with him.

    I agree that the imagery stays with a person. (So does porn, and B movies
    .. we know we’ve watched them.) But to me a movie like Inception will always be greater because the plot can resolve with enough watching. (And visually it is very interesting). Maybe it can go 1 of 2 ways, with two camps arguing their case, but they don’t feel ripped off by the film.

    For powers of nightmares I like Vanilla Sky, and Jacob’s ladder, to name a few. And why not Devil’s Advocate. For the power of dreams, I like Aeon Flux (1991). The writers thought hard enough to make the plots work.

    I agree that Lynch is talented but I don’t think Mulholland drive belongs in the top 10 of movies created in the last 16 years, let alone #1 – gtfo. Even a shaggy dog story has resolution.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    I agree that the imagery stays with a person. (So does porn, and B movies
    .. we know we’ve watched them.) But to me a movie like Inception will always be greater because the plot can resolve with enough watching. (And visually it is very interesting). Maybe it can go 1 of 2 ways, with two camps arguing their case, but they don’t feel ripped off by the film.
     
    That's actually one of the problems that I have with INCEPTION. Mind you, I really like it, but it seems too straightforwardly allegorical for my tastes: the plot as an allegory for the art of film,Cobb as the director, Ariadne as the screenwriter (and actually naming her Ariadne was a bit too on the nose), the businessman/mark as the audience, etc.

    The images and symbols in Lynch's work evade that kind of easy, this-for-that categorization. Sure, when his mojo isn't working (cf WILD AT HEART) you simply get slush. But when Lynch is on the money (BLUE VELVET, MULHOLLAND DRIVE), his pictures carry a powerful wallop.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  168. @Anon
    Where are all the great Indian movies? We're importing millions of them, you'd think they'd make awesome movies. Oh, yeah. M Night Shamalayayayan made one good one.

    You’d think Indians would be able to create some good con movies. It’s their national passtime. Their 1 filmic gold medallist specializes in this area. But their bell curve yields some depressing results, much like the representative affirmatively actioned 25th hour.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  169. @Steve Sailer
    The dinosaur parts in The Tree of Life started out as a separate IMAX movie to show at museums about the history of the universe.

    I know somebody who knew the Malick brothers 50 years ago: a supertalented bunch of people who had lots of tragic things happen to them.

    The movie is an updating of The Book of Job as the director tries to make sense of all the terrible things that happened to the people he loves.

    That's why Malick wraps in the Imax stuff about the history of the universe. When Job is done complaining about his life, God asks Job: "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?"

    Makes sense it was for an Imax picture. Did Lubezki do the dinosaur stuff?

    He makes beautiful pictures, even if the movies aren’t always great.

    But he also did ‘Burn After Reading,’ which is the best movie about Washington people in the 21st century I’ve seen. Malkovich as ‘Osborne Cox’ drunkenly singing ‘Old Nassau’ with his Princeton buddies is a scream. Tilda Swinton’s oddness doesn’t always appeal to me, but she’s also fantastic.

    “We were young and committed and there was nothing we could not do. We thought of the Agency less… Um… The principles of George Kennan, a personal hero of mine, like the fabled Murrow’s Boys, at a time of… “

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46h7oP9eiBk
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  170. Considering the psychological impact created by the Sergio Leone’s 1960′s Clint Eastwood trilogy on young adolescents (as I was at the time), I would have to rate these movies as having life changing influence.

    The American, Western “horse drama” was changed completely by Leone, potentially reflecting the social climate of the time. From the genial and gregarious characters portrayed by actors like John Wayne, or Randolph Scott, Leone paints his portrait of a brooding, misanthropist range-rider whose unsettled travels are punctuated with laconic speech and accentuated with high action always involving violent outcomes. The “bounty-hunter” is his protagonist, a man like an executioner dealing in the refuse of humanity.

    In Leone’s Wild West there are no men of good will and no men of high intellect, there are simply sharps and gunslingers each attempting to scheme their way to wealth and power on the backs or bodies of others. In Leone’s movies, violence is never the last resort, it is always the first choice.

    I see parallels in the transition of our American society from the fifties through the sixties and onward exemplified by the social trends in Western movies. As that fabulous banner splashed across the screen during the introduction in one of his Spaghetti westerns, “In a time when life has no value, death has its price.” Nothing could fit our times more accurately!

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux
    Leone was too Italian to understand an Anglo genre like the Western.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  171. @Kylie
    I love David Lynch precisely because so much in his films is just like my dreamscape and so much of his conservatism is like my own. Ditto his humor. And he has absolutely astonishing visual gifts. Unlike me.

    Watching a David Lynch movie is like going back to your childhood home. Everything is overwhelmingly familiar and slightly strange. You realize as you look around how imagination picks up where memory leaves off.

    Home

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux
    A truly great scene.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  172. @peterike
    "Black Hawk Down" is not in the list? Pfffff. Useless list.

    Have to agree here. Easily the best war movie of the 21st century. That 2nd act is as powerful, moving and terrifying as anything ever filmed. I think Ridley Scott does a great job working with character actors and brooding method types – whenever he’s had a good script he’s done great work (Alien, Gladiator, Matchstick Men). Completely helpless to redeem bad scripts though (Robin Hood).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonym
    There are some good contenders for best war movie of the 21st century. I like Letters from Iwo Jima a lot. Tropa de Elite, while not technically war I suppose, has some great tactical scenes.

    Proof of Life has one of the most realistic combat scenes depicted on film. They have a guy with a SAW actually set up an overwatch position. It plays out like a tactical shooter like Insurgency, which itself is a high on realism. Overall some good race realism, it's on Yggdrasil's list. Not the greatest overall movie but I like it a lot.

    Blackhawk Down is awesome though.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  173. @Kevin O'Keeffe
    I was pleased to see "A History of Violence" made the list, at #59. I can watch that movie over & over again, which is something I find increasingly rare, as I get older.

    That felt like a Charles Bronson retread with new splatter effects. Sort of like that John Wick movie that Keanu Reeves did recently. Legitimately curious to hear a fan explain its appeal.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Kevin O'Keeffe

    That felt like a Charles Bronson retread with new splatter effects. Sort of like that John Wick movie that Keanu Reeves did recently. Legitimately curious to hear a fan explain its appeal.
     
    I never saw the "John Wick" film, but "A History of Violence" is basically just a re-telling of one of the formative tales of our culture (bad men appear to menace the protagonist, who responds with heroic violence in order to preserve hearth & home). I guess you either think its effective, or you don't. I thought it was hugely effective, but I suppose its largely a matter of personal taste.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  174. @Steve Sailer
    Mallick is a conservative, Lynch sort of is too, Linklater may be turning into one. The Coens?

    In general, movie directors aren't SJWs. The job is one for relatively authoritarian personalities who command hierarchies with ease.

    In general, movie directors aren’t SJWs. The job is one for relatively authoritarian personalities who command hierarchies with ease.

    That is one of Edgar Reitz’s themes in his semi-autobiographical series on the 60′s epoch, Die zweite Heimat (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0105906/). He also has rather explicit portrayals and metaphors of women and their conflict between emancipation and family, and the rise of the welfare state.

    The series was filmed as a co-production with all the European public broadcasting services, as Reitz’s previous Heimat-series was a big hit with no obvious transgressions.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  175. @Lot
    You see with this list the bias of critics toward slow-paced depressing movies about interpersonal relationships. I watched Catch Me If You Can for the first time a few months ago, and agree with Steve's description, it is cheerful, funny, well acted, fast-paced, brightly lit, and very entertaining. There was no point that I was tempted to fast forward past excessive dialog. (I did a lot of such fast forwarding recently watching Reality Bites, whose decent reputation is undeserved.)

    I looked up some of the movies of the BBC list I never heard of. One is about an alien-woman who randomly kills various men in Scotland. Another, The White Ribbon, is a black and white movie set in small town 1912 Germany that looks massively dull and depressing.

    I'm not sure what the utility is in ranking foreign and English language movies together like this either. A German movie from 2005 that I really liked a lot that did not make the list was The Baader Meinhof Complex, an action-packed movie that traces the rise of some communist terrorists from swinging radical-chic late 60's Germany, complete with nude beaches and communes, into the 70's as they become a desperate, evil gang that is killed by police, jailed, and join up with a not-yet-Islamified PLO terrorists. And it all really happened.

    The sets depicting late 60's and early 1970's West Germany and the sexy German actresses provide plenty of eye candy too. If you tried to watch Mad Men because you liked the sets and costumes, but found it too boring and lacking in gun battles, explosions, jail breaks, and car chases, this is your movie.

    The Germans at least thought it was their best movie that year and submitted it for best foreign language film at the Oscars.

    Thanks for the rec.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  176. Sorry about the prior posting adding comments about a pre-twenty-first century category of movies. My bad; most of the time I don’t even realize that a century has passed (I sure don’t feel any different!)

    In our house, the only movies we enjoy watching were created earlier than the nineteen-fifties and if we watch anything on television it is the Turner Classic Movie channel where the viewer can find some evidence of plot, dialogue, character development, and some real acting; not the modern steroid pumped stooge engaged in killing, beating people up, and destroying things either as an act of revenge or as the representative of some authority that the hero identifies with — the two main plot lines for the vast urban primitive culture that dotes on vicarious hate and anger to keep them on edge and in temper.

    The movies and television has become the medium of our age, and the message is that violence works, reflective in urban rioting and the racial antagonism that we see everywhere. Turn the damn TV off, avoid the movies and their sordid social engineering, and even turn off the damn computer as I’m going to do right now! Cheers.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  177. @Anonym
    I agree that the imagery stays with a person. (So does porn, and B movies
    .. we know we've watched them.) But to me a movie like Inception will always be greater because the plot can resolve with enough watching. (And visually it is very interesting). Maybe it can go 1 of 2 ways, with two camps arguing their case, but they don't feel ripped off by the film.

    For powers of nightmares I like Vanilla Sky, and Jacob's ladder, to name a few. And why not Devil's Advocate. For the power of dreams, I like Aeon Flux (1991). The writers thought hard enough to make the plots work.

    I agree that Lynch is talented but I don’t think Mulholland drive belongs in the top 10 of movies created in the last 16 years, let alone #1 - gtfo. Even a shaggy dog story has resolution.

    I agree that the imagery stays with a person. (So does porn, and B movies
    .. we know we’ve watched them.) But to me a movie like Inception will always be greater because the plot can resolve with enough watching. (And visually it is very interesting). Maybe it can go 1 of 2 ways, with two camps arguing their case, but they don’t feel ripped off by the film.

    That’s actually one of the problems that I have with INCEPTION. Mind you, I really like it, but it seems too straightforwardly allegorical for my tastes: the plot as an allegory for the art of film,Cobb as the director, Ariadne as the screenwriter (and actually naming her Ariadne was a bit too on the nose), the businessman/mark as the audience, etc.

    The images and symbols in Lynch’s work evade that kind of easy, this-for-that categorization. Sure, when his mojo isn’t working (cf WILD AT HEART) you simply get slush. But when Lynch is on the money (BLUE VELVET, MULHOLLAND DRIVE), his pictures carry a powerful wallop.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonym
    I didn't even notice the film allegory, but it has a good mapping, and makes the film even better for me. So Cobb's ex-wife showing up... is that the director trying to make the work too much his own, straying from the screenplay?

    The fact that Inception stands so much on its own is amazing. In the allegory, inception is the art of propaganda. I suppose PC is the idea that has taken root from film and is repeatedly leading us (heck, even Jews) to suicidal impulse. "This world is not real." Don't believe your lying eyes folks.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  178. @LondonBob
    I thought Infernal Affairs was superior to The Departed too. The Departed tried too hard.

    There will be Blood was over hyped.

    These lists always ignore comedies and war films. I agree Black Hawk Down should be in there, The Hangover too.

    The Hangover has a large number of huge laughs — like when the valet drives up with the police car they checked. Todd Phillips is good at engineering movies to produce a number of huge laughs. Not that many people can do it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    The Hangover has a large number of huge laughs — like when the valet drives up with the police car they checked. Todd Phillips is good at engineering movies to produce a number of huge laughs. Not that many people can do it.
     
    I think that THE HANGOVER suffers from the fact that the increasingly ineffective sequels have retroactively dimmed its lustre a tad.
    , @The Millennial Falcon
    The problem with going for huge laughs is when you miss, you tend to punch your audience in the face. Phillips' comedies alternate between funny and massively, unforgivably tasteless and obnoxious.

    He reminds me a little of Tom Shadyac.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  179. @I, Libertine
    Talk to Her deservedly ranked in the Top 40. It's overlooked. Catch it if you haven't yet.

    The Lives of Others is my #1.

    All movies by Oliver Stone, Tarantino, and especially - ugh- Brian DePalma's earlier films are overrated to at least some degree. With Bonfire, it finally occurred to people that he's clueless. None of his dreck from this century made the list, which says something good about the list.

    I have spoken.

    Your number 1 was my number 1 of the last 10 years. Until I saw Brooklyn. Magnificent. Catch it if you can.

    Read More
    • Replies: @I, Libertine
    I'm New York Irish but I haven't seen it yet. I keep forgetting. Your recommendation is putting it a the top of my list. Is's gotta be on Netflix or pay-per-view by now.
    , @Ken
    I walked out; wanted to smack that chick so bad. Then they make the old lady look like a bad person for reminding the chick she's married.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  180. @Clyde
    Home
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suRDUFpsHus

    A truly great scene.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Clyde
    This scene is a tribute to Peak American industrial greatness when guys knew how to make it happen.. This is how you supported families.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  181. @Steve Sailer
    The Hangover has a large number of huge laughs -- like when the valet drives up with the police car they checked. Todd Phillips is good at engineering movies to produce a number of huge laughs. Not that many people can do it.

    The Hangover has a large number of huge laughs — like when the valet drives up with the police car they checked. Todd Phillips is good at engineering movies to produce a number of huge laughs. Not that many people can do it.

    I think that THE HANGOVER suffers from the fact that the increasingly ineffective sequels have retroactively dimmed its lustre a tad.

    Read More
    • Replies: @I, Libertine
    It's my strongly held belief that the idea that Rocky was a great movie was one of those mass delusions that sweeps our culture like a fever and gradually subsides. By about III or IV, we began to get the ideas that the whole franchise reeked. We saw IV and realized both that it was bad, and it was pretty much of the same quality as One. If One was so great, how come we never sat through it again. But we watch The Godfather over and over like mental patients.

    The Hangover had genuine yucks, and lots of them. I haven't seen the sequels. Maybe if I do, I'll like the first one less.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  182. @Globy
    Considering the psychological impact created by the Sergio Leone's 1960's Clint Eastwood trilogy on young adolescents (as I was at the time), I would have to rate these movies as having life changing influence.

    The American, Western "horse drama" was changed completely by Leone, potentially reflecting the social climate of the time. From the genial and gregarious characters portrayed by actors like John Wayne, or Randolph Scott, Leone paints his portrait of a brooding, misanthropist range-rider whose unsettled travels are punctuated with laconic speech and accentuated with high action always involving violent outcomes. The "bounty-hunter" is his protagonist, a man like an executioner dealing in the refuse of humanity.

    In Leone's Wild West there are no men of good will and no men of high intellect, there are simply sharps and gunslingers each attempting to scheme their way to wealth and power on the backs or bodies of others. In Leone's movies, violence is never the last resort, it is always the first choice.

    I see parallels in the transition of our American society from the fifties through the sixties and onward exemplified by the social trends in Western movies. As that fabulous banner splashed across the screen during the introduction in one of his Spaghetti westerns, "In a time when life has no value, death has its price." Nothing could fit our times more accurately!

    Leone was too Italian to understand an Anglo genre like the Western.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  183. @Ghost of Bull Moose
    Makes sense it was for an Imax picture. Did Lubezki do the dinosaur stuff?

    He makes beautiful pictures, even if the movies aren't always great.

    But he also did 'Burn After Reading,' which is the best movie about Washington people in the 21st century I've seen. Malkovich as 'Osborne Cox' drunkenly singing 'Old Nassau' with his Princeton buddies is a scream. Tilda Swinton's oddness doesn't always appeal to me, but she's also fantastic.

    "We were young and committed and there was nothing we could not do. We thought of the Agency less... Um... The principles of George Kennan, a personal hero of mine, like the fabled Murrow's Boys, at a time of... "

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  184. @Elmer T. Jones
    “No Country For Old Men” did not work for me. Probably because I lived in that region. Same reason I can't stand dusty westerns. For example Clint Eastwood getting tormented by a Jew portraying a Mexican who forces him to march through an waterless desert.

    Back in the day they realized country folks do not want to watch Ma&Pa Kettle type movies because they went to the movie-house to escape their dreary lives not revel in it. The headline title was "Hicks Nix Sticks Flicks".

    For example Clint Eastwood getting tormented by a Jew portraying a Mexican who forces him to march through an waterless desert.

    What do you expect? It was a movie directed by an Italian and filmed in Spain.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  185. @Kylie
    I love David Lynch precisely because so much in his films is just like my dreamscape and so much of his conservatism is like my own. Ditto his humor. And he has absolutely astonishing visual gifts. Unlike me.

    Watching a David Lynch movie is like going back to your childhood home. Everything is overwhelmingly familiar and slightly strange. You realize as you look around how imagination picks up where memory leaves off.

    I love David Lynch precisely because so much in his films is just like my dreamscape and so much of his conservatism is like my own. Ditto his humor. And he has absolutely astonishing visual gifts. Unlike me.

    Watching a David Lynch movie is like going back to your childhood home. Everything is overwhelmingly familiar and slightly strange. You realize as you look around how imagination picks up where memory leaves off.

    His absurdist humor is close to perfection. The weather reports he used to do on his website are hilarious: http://youtu.be/RD27a2iZFHE

    Fact: I have a “Twin Peaks Sheriff Deptartment” mug and many pounds of David Lynch’s signature cup coffee in my cabinet.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux
    An anecdote that explains a lot of Lynch's view of the world:

    The film's tone was also shaped by Lynch's time living in a troubled neighborhood in Philadelphia. Lynch and his family spent five years living in an atmosphere of "violence, hate and filth".[10] The area was rife with crime, inspiring the bleak urban backdrop of Eraserhead. Describing this period of his life, Lynch said, "I saw so many things in Philadelphia I couldn't believe ... I saw a grown woman grab her breasts and speak like a baby, complaining her nipples hurt. This kind of thing will set you back".[5] Film critic Greg Olson, in his book David Lynch: Beautiful Dark, posits that this time contrasted starkly with the director's childhood in the Pacific Northwest, giving the director a "bipolar, Heaven-and-Hell vision of America" which has subsequently shaped his films
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eraserhead#Pre-production
    , @Lurker
    I've still got a "Damn fine coffee" mug somewhere.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  186. @syonredux

    At the end of 1899, the editor of London’s Daily Telegraph, with the assistance of learned consultants, selected the “100 Best Novels in the World” from all the novels written in any language. In all, 61 authors were represented in the list of 100 best novels. Only 27 of them—fewer than half—qualified as significant figures in Human Accomplishment’s inventory of Western literature. Seventeen of the61—28 percent—were not mentioned even once by any of the 20 sources used to compile that inventory; not even by the most encyclopedic ones. And yet each of those 17 who are now ignored had written one of the supposedly 100 best novels of all time as judged in 1899. Sic transit gloria mundi.

     

    Charles Murray, Human Accomplishment

    The Chicago Art Institute has the names of the most famous artists of all time as of about 1892 carved on its walls in letters two feet high. About one-third of those names were pretty obscure to me just a century later.

    Read More
    • Replies: @guest
    There was a deliberate plot on the part of modernism to erase the recent past in painting. I don't know how many names you saw were from the 19th century, but see what I said in my post above regarding non-neurotic 20th century novelists and multiply it by a million for non-impressionist or abstract-y 19th century artists. Between David and Monet the gatekeepers only recognize the ones who prefigured modernism in some way, like Turner. Plus the pre-Raphaelites, because they were weird and modernists hate Raphael.

    The plot was surprisingly successful. I had until recently almost no familiarity with Romanticism (besides the Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog) and none of L'art Pompier or Academic painting. At least by name. I had seen their reprints sold to the public in poster stores, for instance, where you'd never find modernism. Some of our forgetting is deliberately induced, like in Men in Black, is what I'm saying, instead of it being a sic transit gloria thing.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  187. @syonredux

    I agree that the imagery stays with a person. (So does porn, and B movies
    .. we know we’ve watched them.) But to me a movie like Inception will always be greater because the plot can resolve with enough watching. (And visually it is very interesting). Maybe it can go 1 of 2 ways, with two camps arguing their case, but they don’t feel ripped off by the film.
     
    That's actually one of the problems that I have with INCEPTION. Mind you, I really like it, but it seems too straightforwardly allegorical for my tastes: the plot as an allegory for the art of film,Cobb as the director, Ariadne as the screenwriter (and actually naming her Ariadne was a bit too on the nose), the businessman/mark as the audience, etc.

    The images and symbols in Lynch's work evade that kind of easy, this-for-that categorization. Sure, when his mojo isn't working (cf WILD AT HEART) you simply get slush. But when Lynch is on the money (BLUE VELVET, MULHOLLAND DRIVE), his pictures carry a powerful wallop.

    I didn’t even notice the film allegory, but it has a good mapping, and makes the film even better for me. So Cobb’s ex-wife showing up… is that the director trying to make the work too much his own, straying from the screenplay?

    The fact that Inception stands so much on its own is amazing. In the allegory, inception is the art of propaganda. I suppose PC is the idea that has taken root from film and is repeatedly leading us (heck, even Jews) to suicidal impulse. “This world is not real.” Don’t believe your lying eyes folks.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    I didn’t even notice the film allegory, but it has a good mapping, and makes the film even better for me. So Cobb’s ex-wife showing up… is that the director trying to make the work too much his own, straying from the screenplay?
     
    Yeah. That's the auteur theory of film in action. Even when someone else writes the script, Cobb still finds a way to insert his own obsessions.

    It's a nice touch, though, that this is not depicted in a positive light, as Mal (Again with the too on-the-nose names....) is a negative force in the film.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  188. You’re right about critics picking things they like to argue about. They also like things they get to explain to us poor rubes. That’s the motivation behind all of literary criticism, I think, besides the usual sex-race-class stuff. It pissed me off beyond words when I started discovering 20th century novelists no had told me about–I’m talking people who got Pulitzer Prizes and the Hollywood treatment–just because they wrote in a straightforward manner about relatively normal people. For instance, James Gould Cozzens, John P. Marquand, John O’hara, and so on. I had to bump into them by accident.

    There’s also greatness fatigue. People get sick of saying over and over how great Lord of the Rings is. They want to move onto something else just because it’s something else. Call it a special case of neophilia. This I notice especially with music critics, though I hardly ever read them. When I was growing up Sgt. Pepper had a reputation for being the great Beatles album. Then, when I was old enough to buy albums on my own, suddenly they were always talking about Revolver. Why? Near as I can tell, because it wasn’t Sgt. Pepper and didn’t have hits. Same goes for the Rolling Stones and Exile on Main Street.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Peter Akuleyev

    When I was growing up Sgt. Pepper had a reputation for being the great Beatles album. Then, when I was old enough to buy albums on my own, suddenly they were always talking about Revolver. Why?
     
    Easy. Because Sgt. Pepper's was a creative dead-end. That was about as good as psychedelic concept rock with orchestral accompaniment was ever going to get. Even the Beatle's realized it, and quickly went in another direction with the White Album. Unless you are working and composing with a classical trained unsung genius like George Martin, chances are your band has no chance of creating a Sgt. Pepper type album. With the passage of time it became increasingly obvious to critics that Sgt. Pepper's was not the creative breakthrough everyone believed when it blew people's minds in 1967, and it's legacy was mostly awful and pretentious imitiations. I would agree that Revolver is not as strong as an album, but there is no arguing which album has had more influence over the past 50 years. The influences of pretty much every white guitar based "indie" or pop band come straight from Revolver - from 70s critical faves like Big Star to 80s bands like The Knack , The Jam, R.E.M. even Husker Du, through countless 90s bands (Sloan, Rembrandts, Blur, Oasis, etc. etc.).
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  189. @The Millennial Falcon
    Have to agree here. Easily the best war movie of the 21st century. That 2nd act is as powerful, moving and terrifying as anything ever filmed. I think Ridley Scott does a great job working with character actors and brooding method types - whenever he's had a good script he's done great work (Alien, Gladiator, Matchstick Men). Completely helpless to redeem bad scripts though (Robin Hood).

    There are some good contenders for best war movie of the 21st century. I like Letters from Iwo Jima a lot. Tropa de Elite, while not technically war I suppose, has some great tactical scenes.

    Proof of Life has one of the most realistic combat scenes depicted on film. They have a guy with a SAW actually set up an overwatch position. It plays out like a tactical shooter like Insurgency, which itself is a high on realism. Overall some good race realism, it’s on Yggdrasil’s list. Not the greatest overall movie but I like it a lot.

    Blackhawk Down is awesome though.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Mel Gibson's We Were Soldiers was a well done war movie too.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  190. @Anonym
    I didn't even notice the film allegory, but it has a good mapping, and makes the film even better for me. So Cobb's ex-wife showing up... is that the director trying to make the work too much his own, straying from the screenplay?

    The fact that Inception stands so much on its own is amazing. In the allegory, inception is the art of propaganda. I suppose PC is the idea that has taken root from film and is repeatedly leading us (heck, even Jews) to suicidal impulse. "This world is not real." Don't believe your lying eyes folks.

    I didn’t even notice the film allegory, but it has a good mapping, and makes the film even better for me. So Cobb’s ex-wife showing up… is that the director trying to make the work too much his own, straying from the screenplay?

    Yeah. That’s the auteur theory of film in action. Even when someone else writes the script, Cobb still finds a way to insert his own obsessions.

    It’s a nice touch, though, that this is not depicted in a positive light, as Mal (Again with the too on-the-nose names….) is a negative force in the film.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonym
    It's kind of odd but perhaps fitting that Nolan both wrote and directed the work, because it's the antithesis of the self-indulgent work of the director who believes his own hype. Wes Anderson could not make such a film. In fact, maybe he could be the subject.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  191. @Cryptogenic

     I love David Lynch precisely because so much in his films is just like my dreamscape and so much of his conservatism is like my own. Ditto his humor. And he has absolutely astonishing visual gifts. Unlike me.

    Watching a David Lynch movie is like going back to your childhood home. Everything is overwhelmingly familiar and slightly strange. You realize as you look around how imagination picks up where memory leaves off.
     His absurdist humor is close to perfection. The weather reports he used to do on his website are hilarious: http://youtu.be/RD27a2iZFHE

    Fact: I have a "Twin Peaks Sheriff Deptartment" mug and many pounds of David Lynch's signature cup coffee in my cabinet.

    An anecdote that explains a lot of Lynch’s view of the world:

    The film’s tone was also shaped by Lynch’s time living in a troubled neighborhood in Philadelphia. Lynch and his family spent five years living in an atmosphere of “violence, hate and filth”.[10] The area was rife with crime, inspiring the bleak urban backdrop of Eraserhead. Describing this period of his life, Lynch said, “I saw so many things in Philadelphia I couldn’t believe … I saw a grown woman grab her breasts and speak like a baby, complaining her nipples hurt. This kind of thing will set you back”.[5] Film critic Greg Olson, in his book David Lynch: Beautiful Dark, posits that this time contrasted starkly with the director’s childhood in the Pacific Northwest, giving the director a “bipolar, Heaven-and-Hell vision of America” which has subsequently shaped his films

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eraserhead#Pre-production

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    David Lynch is a 9/11 Truther:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQ0pOIZpFlc
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  192. @Steve Sailer
    The Chicago Art Institute has the names of the most famous artists of all time as of about 1892 carved on its walls in letters two feet high. About one-third of those names were pretty obscure to me just a century later.

    There was a deliberate plot on the part of modernism to erase the recent past in painting. I don’t know how many names you saw were from the 19th century, but see what I said in my post above regarding non-neurotic 20th century novelists and multiply it by a million for non-impressionist or abstract-y 19th century artists. Between David and Monet the gatekeepers only recognize the ones who prefigured modernism in some way, like Turner. Plus the pre-Raphaelites, because they were weird and modernists hate Raphael.

    The plot was surprisingly successful. I had until recently almost no familiarity with Romanticism (besides the Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog) and none of L’art Pompier or Academic painting. At least by name. I had seen their reprints sold to the public in poster stores, for instance, where you’d never find modernism. Some of our forgetting is deliberately induced, like in Men in Black, is what I’m saying, instead of it being a sic transit gloria thing.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist

    There was a deliberate plot on the part of modernism to erase the recent past in painting.

    ...

    The plot was surprisingly successful. I had until recently almost no familiarity with Romanticism (besides the Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog) and none of L’art Pompier or Academic painting. At least by name. I had seen their reprints sold to the public in poster stores, for instance, where you’d never find modernism. Some of our forgetting is deliberately induced, like in Men in Black, is what I’m saying, instead of it being a sic transit gloria thing.
     
    Interesting and perceptive comment; thanks.

    I just rewatched Men in Black, since Daughter C had not yet seen it (I found it still funny in parts, but not as side-splitting as I remembered it; sic transit gloria indeed).

    Anyway, your theme of popular views of the past being manipulated resonates, especially that word 'gatekeepers'. It's increasingly clear as the Internet age wears on that the massive, overwhelming flows of information and images and ideas to which we all have access have not really reduced the power of our gatekeepers -- if anything, it's increased them.

    It's interesting from this perspective to contemplate 'Top 100 XXXXs' lists like this one as tools of contemporary cultural gatekeeping . . . .
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  193. I haven’t seen much of Joss Whedon’s work, but I enjoyed his version of Much Ado About Nothing. Kenneth Branagh’s version is superior because Branagh is Benedick and Emma Thompson is Beatrice, and which actors today can compete with that? But the black-and-white digital cinematography in the Whedon is as lush in its own way as the color in the Branagh. And Nathan Fillion is the only actor I’ve seen as Dogberry who made me laugh.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    That was good. And I think Whedon banged it out in a couple of weeks at his house.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  194. Biggest omissions I haven’t seen anyone mention yet (though dovetailing the general observation that movie critics are humorless snobs):

    1. Napoleon Dynamite – the Hess duo have been on a downward spiral ever since, but that movie (with the exception of a few on-the-nose characterizations) remains a minor masterpiece. The blend of earnest postmodern kitsch with minimalism was completely fresh and unique when it came out. Even if you disliked it, I think you have to recognize its place as one of the first truly Millennial comedies and one of the most influential.

    2. Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Edgar Wright’s direction is so distinctive – energetic and fun without being as hyperactive and obnoxious as Guy Ritchie. And he collaborates well. The first two entrants in the Cornetto Trilogy are endlessly rewatchable, inventive, playful and charming, which is saying something for the amount of blood and guts they spill.

    3. A Mighty Wind. Not as good as Spinal Tap, but the best mockumentary to come out in the 21st century (I also like Incident at Loch Ness with Werner Herzog).

    4. Life Aquatic. Wes Anderson’s at his best when he’s featuring Bill Murray: he’s the only guy who can pull off the gruff, melancholy realism needed to anchor the nostalgic fantasy. Otherwise Anderson depends too heavily on adult content to ground his pretty daydreams, and it comes off sickly-sweet decadent with a nasty after-taste of sexual deviant creepy. Owen Wilson does a great job as the true believer as well.

    5. Superbad. Uneven (the cop/McLuvin subplot goes off the rails midway through the 2nd act), but it’s the most rewatchable and complete of the Apatow/Rogen collaborations that have dominated comedy to start the century. The Franco stoner character in Pineapple Express might be the best single character to come out of that partnership but Superbad’s the best movie

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Yeah, those are modest but pretty original films that have had a lot of influence. I suspect the methodology of having critics submit their top 10 lists works against these kind of movies because they don't seem like the serious, heroic auteur stuff that makes the top 10.

    And yet they really are pretty auteur movies: Napoleon Dynamite, for example, is the most Mormon movie ever. I didn't get it at all when I saw it in a screening where most of the audience was the director's friends and friends-of-friends from BYU. But all the beautiful Amy Adams-like Mormon starlets in the audience laughed their heads off.

    These kind of movies would probably do better if critics submitted top 100 lists.

    , @Anonym
    Hot Fuzz is a very self-hating, anti-white movie. Traitor is finally getting his comeuppance now.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/07/18/simon-pegg-on-madman-donald-trump-and-brexit-i-feel-a-little-bit-ashamed.html
    , @MC
    Re: Napoleon Dynamite

    "Nacho Libre" was extremely funny, and probably would have seemed more original if it hadn't been preceeded by "Napoleon Dynamite." It was very similar stylistically and the characters were familiar (like you were visiting the home village of Pedro from ND). But yeah, the Hesses haven't made a good movie since.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  195. @JohnnyWalker123
    Oliver Stone should have some of his movies in the Top 10.

    -Wall Street
    -Born on the 4th of July
    -JFK

    Not a one of them belongs in the top 100 even .

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  196. @Yep
    I'd have to agree. Newer films are better in every way except for the diversity propaganda. I've never really enjoyed many films made before the 70's.

    Newer films are better in every way except for the diversity propaganda.

    Which is so blatant I hardly stand to watch anymore. Ditto TV.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  197. @syonredux
    An anecdote that explains a lot of Lynch's view of the world:

    The film's tone was also shaped by Lynch's time living in a troubled neighborhood in Philadelphia. Lynch and his family spent five years living in an atmosphere of "violence, hate and filth".[10] The area was rife with crime, inspiring the bleak urban backdrop of Eraserhead. Describing this period of his life, Lynch said, "I saw so many things in Philadelphia I couldn't believe ... I saw a grown woman grab her breasts and speak like a baby, complaining her nipples hurt. This kind of thing will set you back".[5] Film critic Greg Olson, in his book David Lynch: Beautiful Dark, posits that this time contrasted starkly with the director's childhood in the Pacific Northwest, giving the director a "bipolar, Heaven-and-Hell vision of America" which has subsequently shaped his films
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eraserhead#Pre-production

    David Lynch is a 9/11 Truther:

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  198. @Steve Sailer
    The Hangover has a large number of huge laughs -- like when the valet drives up with the police car they checked. Todd Phillips is good at engineering movies to produce a number of huge laughs. Not that many people can do it.

    The problem with going for huge laughs is when you miss, you tend to punch your audience in the face. Phillips’ comedies alternate between funny and massively, unforgivably tasteless and obnoxious.

    He reminds me a little of Tom Shadyac.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  199. @syonredux

    I didn’t even notice the film allegory, but it has a good mapping, and makes the film even better for me. So Cobb’s ex-wife showing up… is that the director trying to make the work too much his own, straying from the screenplay?
     
    Yeah. That's the auteur theory of film in action. Even when someone else writes the script, Cobb still finds a way to insert his own obsessions.

    It's a nice touch, though, that this is not depicted in a positive light, as Mal (Again with the too on-the-nose names....) is a negative force in the film.

    It’s kind of odd but perhaps fitting that Nolan both wrote and directed the work, because it’s the antithesis of the self-indulgent work of the director who believes his own hype. Wes Anderson could not make such a film. In fact, maybe he could be the subject.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  200. @The Millennial Falcon
    Biggest omissions I haven't seen anyone mention yet (though dovetailing the general observation that movie critics are humorless snobs):

    1. Napoleon Dynamite - the Hess duo have been on a downward spiral ever since, but that movie (with the exception of a few on-the-nose characterizations) remains a minor masterpiece. The blend of earnest postmodern kitsch with minimalism was completely fresh and unique when it came out. Even if you disliked it, I think you have to recognize its place as one of the first truly Millennial comedies and one of the most influential.

    2. Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Edgar Wright's direction is so distinctive - energetic and fun without being as hyperactive and obnoxious as Guy Ritchie. And he collaborates well. The first two entrants in the Cornetto Trilogy are endlessly rewatchable, inventive, playful and charming, which is saying something for the amount of blood and guts they spill.

    3. A Mighty Wind. Not as good as Spinal Tap, but the best mockumentary to come out in the 21st century (I also like Incident at Loch Ness with Werner Herzog).

    4. Life Aquatic. Wes Anderson's at his best when he's featuring Bill Murray: he's the only guy who can pull off the gruff, melancholy realism needed to anchor the nostalgic fantasy. Otherwise Anderson depends too heavily on adult content to ground his pretty daydreams, and it comes off sickly-sweet decadent with a nasty after-taste of sexual deviant creepy. Owen Wilson does a great job as the true believer as well.

    5. Superbad. Uneven (the cop/McLuvin subplot goes off the rails midway through the 2nd act), but it's the most rewatchable and complete of the Apatow/Rogen collaborations that have dominated comedy to start the century. The Franco stoner character in Pineapple Express might be the best single character to come out of that partnership but Superbad's the best movie

    Yeah, those are modest but pretty original films that have had a lot of influence. I suspect the methodology of having critics submit their top 10 lists works against these kind of movies because they don’t seem like the serious, heroic auteur stuff that makes the top 10.

    And yet they really are pretty auteur movies: Napoleon Dynamite, for example, is the most Mormon movie ever. I didn’t get it at all when I saw it in a screening where most of the audience was the director’s friends and friends-of-friends from BYU. But all the beautiful Amy Adams-like Mormon starlets in the audience laughed their heads off.

    These kind of movies would probably do better if critics submitted top 100 lists.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Millennial Falcon
    It's not just Mormons but Western (i.e. Western US) whites removed from the culture center of LA. Rang very true to me growing up in non-Mormon but culturally similar areas like Salem, Amity and Grants Pass in Oregon.

    The wide open spaces. The thrift stores full of outdated junk trickling in from cooler places. The still exotic appeal of non-whites (Pedro and Kip's girlfriend, Napoleon's mixtape).

    Mike White and Alexander Payne have done some decent, if less original, comedic work with same type of population.
    , @James Kabala
    I appreciate that whereas most people embellish stories with the passage of time, Steve actually tones his down instead. Over the years this story has gone from "I think Amy Adams was there" to "maybe Amy Adams was there" to "people like Amy Adams were there." Next time Adams might not be mentioned at all. :)
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  201. @Cryptogenic

     I love David Lynch precisely because so much in his films is just like my dreamscape and so much of his conservatism is like my own. Ditto his humor. And he has absolutely astonishing visual gifts. Unlike me.

    Watching a David Lynch movie is like going back to your childhood home. Everything is overwhelmingly familiar and slightly strange. You realize as you look around how imagination picks up where memory leaves off.
     His absurdist humor is close to perfection. The weather reports he used to do on his website are hilarious: http://youtu.be/RD27a2iZFHE

    Fact: I have a "Twin Peaks Sheriff Deptartment" mug and many pounds of David Lynch's signature cup coffee in my cabinet.

    I’ve still got a “Damn fine coffee” mug somewhere.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  202. @The Millennial Falcon
    Biggest omissions I haven't seen anyone mention yet (though dovetailing the general observation that movie critics are humorless snobs):

    1. Napoleon Dynamite - the Hess duo have been on a downward spiral ever since, but that movie (with the exception of a few on-the-nose characterizations) remains a minor masterpiece. The blend of earnest postmodern kitsch with minimalism was completely fresh and unique when it came out. Even if you disliked it, I think you have to recognize its place as one of the first truly Millennial comedies and one of the most influential.

    2. Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Edgar Wright's direction is so distinctive - energetic and fun without being as hyperactive and obnoxious as Guy Ritchie. And he collaborates well. The first two entrants in the Cornetto Trilogy are endlessly rewatchable, inventive, playful and charming, which is saying something for the amount of blood and guts they spill.

    3. A Mighty Wind. Not as good as Spinal Tap, but the best mockumentary to come out in the 21st century (I also like Incident at Loch Ness with Werner Herzog).

    4. Life Aquatic. Wes Anderson's at his best when he's featuring Bill Murray: he's the only guy who can pull off the gruff, melancholy realism needed to anchor the nostalgic fantasy. Otherwise Anderson depends too heavily on adult content to ground his pretty daydreams, and it comes off sickly-sweet decadent with a nasty after-taste of sexual deviant creepy. Owen Wilson does a great job as the true believer as well.

    5. Superbad. Uneven (the cop/McLuvin subplot goes off the rails midway through the 2nd act), but it's the most rewatchable and complete of the Apatow/Rogen collaborations that have dominated comedy to start the century. The Franco stoner character in Pineapple Express might be the best single character to come out of that partnership but Superbad's the best movie

    Hot Fuzz is a very self-hating, anti-white movie. Traitor is finally getting his comeuppance now.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/07/18/simon-pegg-on-madman-donald-trump-and-brexit-i-feel-a-little-bit-ashamed.html

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  203. @The Millennial Falcon
    Biggest omissions I haven't seen anyone mention yet (though dovetailing the general observation that movie critics are humorless snobs):

    1. Napoleon Dynamite - the Hess duo have been on a downward spiral ever since, but that movie (with the exception of a few on-the-nose characterizations) remains a minor masterpiece. The blend of earnest postmodern kitsch with minimalism was completely fresh and unique when it came out. Even if you disliked it, I think you have to recognize its place as one of the first truly Millennial comedies and one of the most influential.

    2. Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Edgar Wright's direction is so distinctive - energetic and fun without being as hyperactive and obnoxious as Guy Ritchie. And he collaborates well. The first two entrants in the Cornetto Trilogy are endlessly rewatchable, inventive, playful and charming, which is saying something for the amount of blood and guts they spill.

    3. A Mighty Wind. Not as good as Spinal Tap, but the best mockumentary to come out in the 21st century (I also like Incident at Loch Ness with Werner Herzog).

    4. Life Aquatic. Wes Anderson's at his best when he's featuring Bill Murray: he's the only guy who can pull off the gruff, melancholy realism needed to anchor the nostalgic fantasy. Otherwise Anderson depends too heavily on adult content to ground his pretty daydreams, and it comes off sickly-sweet decadent with a nasty after-taste of sexual deviant creepy. Owen Wilson does a great job as the true believer as well.

    5. Superbad. Uneven (the cop/McLuvin subplot goes off the rails midway through the 2nd act), but it's the most rewatchable and complete of the Apatow/Rogen collaborations that have dominated comedy to start the century. The Franco stoner character in Pineapple Express might be the best single character to come out of that partnership but Superbad's the best movie

    Re: Napoleon Dynamite

    “Nacho Libre” was extremely funny, and probably would have seemed more original if it hadn’t been preceeded by “Napoleon Dynamite.” It was very similar stylistically and the characters were familiar (like you were visiting the home village of Pedro from ND). But yeah, the Hesses haven’t made a good movie since.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  204. @peterike
    "Black Hawk Down" is not in the list? Pfffff. Useless list.

    Black Hawk Down could be the most star-studded movie of the century.

    Excellent and disturbing overall, but it glossed over the difficulty of putting together the international relief column. That took some doing from an American officer in the book.

    Incidentally, in the book, the movie the Rangers are watching at their base is Michael Mann’s Last of the Mohicans; in the movie, it’s Steve Martin’s The Jerk.

    Read More
    • Replies: @guest
    Black Hawk Down is an unforgivably ugly movie, in the way it looks and the way it's edited. It also has a cold, empty heart. There's very little moral drama, and really it's all about a physical problem to be overcome. I did like the part where the vehicles took off and they had to make it back on foot. That could've been one of the great action scenes of all time in the right hands, but the movie didn't dwell on it correctly, in my opinion.
    , @The Millennial Falcon
    Last of the Mohicans would have been so much better. That scene where the British column is ambushed by Magua's Mohawks is fantastic and a terrifying parallel for the kind of nightmare awaiting those guys.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  205. @Jefferson
    "Oh yeah …

    The Hollywood Snowstorm was roughly 1975-1985."

    What happened in 1986? Directors started going to rehab?

    Dennis Hopper did, and ended up in quite a few memorable roles after getting out.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  206. @Stan Adams
    Downfall is a great movie. Bruno Ganz is the true cinematic Hitler, now and forevermore. No English-speaking actor has ever come close to nailing the role.

    Anthony Hopkins' Hitler impersonation, for which he won an Emmy, was the worst performance of his career. Alec Guinness fared somewhat better, but was not believable in the role.

    I saw Downfall in the theater eleven years ago. (It had a limited U.S. run with English subtitles.) Since that time, I can count the movies I've seen in the theater on one hand.

    (I also saw Valkyrie in the theater - not because I was eager to see Tom Cruise, but because someone I knew wanted to see it. She was depressed that she wasn't able to spend the holidays with her family, so I took her on the day after Christmas. Nazis always go over great at Yuletide.)

    Today, Downfall might be best known for having spawned the "Hitler freaks out about [something]" parodies with fake English subtitles. There are hundreds if not thousands of them on YouTube.

    Downfall was much better than Valkyrie, which was still pretty good. The 1944 Germany of Valkyrie didn’t look like it had been bombed much.

    Read More
    • Replies: @guest
    I was disappointed by Valkyrie, mostly because I had written a paper in school about Stauffenberg long ago and think it a great story. The movie was like a mediocre heist film. Also, I sensed a distinctly gay vibe off of it, which I can't exactly explain.
    , @The Millennial Falcon
    But the suspense was incredible. Tom Cruise' action-suspense resume is incredible. Nobody does quiet supreme intensity better.

    Mission Impossible (the first one), War of the Worlds, Valkyrie - I don't particularly like Cruise, but I've never rooted for characters so hard.
    , @Stan Adams
    They're not in the same league at all.

    Valkyrie's budget ($75 million) was roughly five times that of Downfall's. And yet the latter movie did a far more masterful job of recreating the look and feel of war-ravaged Berlin. Go figure.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  207. ‘Apocalypto,’ obviously, but ‘Get the Gringo’ is also lot of fun.

    Another silly-but-fun movie with a Mexican angle is Oliver Stone’s ‘Savages.’

    ‘No Country’ gets in on that, too. Peckinpah loved Mexico, so does Duvall, John Ford, Wayne,

    The ‘Machete’ nonsense was disappointing, not because of the anti-gringo stuff but just because it was so obvious and lame. I think there’s a lot of good material there. Also Latinos love going to the movies.

    Inarritu is okay, I guess. ‘Birdman’ was nice to look at, but the frenetic camera was enough without the incessant jazz drum solo. The drums ruined that picture for me. I’d rather learn something from him about our Inevitable Demographic Overlords.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    When Benicio Del Toro shows up at the scene of the ambush with an iced coffee from Starbucks, that was great.
    , @syonredux

    ‘No Country’ gets in on that, too. Peckinpah loved Mexico, so does Duvall, John Ford, Wayne,
     
    There's something rather disturbing in the perverse allure that Mexico holds for certain kinds of Anglo men....
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  208. Geez, I thought Yi Yi was one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. Or am I thinking of What Time Is It There? Now I feel like I should rewatch Yi Yi … but it was really long and slow.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  209. @Dave Pinsen
    Black Hawk Down could be the most star-studded movie of the century.

    Excellent and disturbing overall, but it glossed over the difficulty of putting together the international relief column. That took some doing from an American officer in the book.

    Incidentally, in the book, the movie the Rangers are watching at their base is Michael Mann's Last of the Mohicans; in the movie, it's Steve Martin's The Jerk.

    Black Hawk Down is an unforgivably ugly movie, in the way it looks and the way it’s edited. It also has a cold, empty heart. There’s very little moral drama, and really it’s all about a physical problem to be overcome. I did like the part where the vehicles took off and they had to make it back on foot. That could’ve been one of the great action scenes of all time in the right hands, but the movie didn’t dwell on it correctly, in my opinion.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  210. @Dave Pinsen
    Downfall was much better than Valkyrie, which was still pretty good. The 1944 Germany of Valkyrie didn't look like it had been bombed much.

    I was disappointed by Valkyrie, mostly because I had written a paper in school about Stauffenberg long ago and think it a great story. The movie was like a mediocre heist film. Also, I sensed a distinctly gay vibe off of it, which I can’t exactly explain.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    Also, I sensed a distinctly gay vibe off of it, which I can’t exactly explain.
     
    Yeah. I don't know if it was intentional or not (Singer, the film's director is Gay), but there's a strange Gay quality to the film.

    Of course, the Third Reich did have a Gay sensibility, so maybe Singer was just picking up on that.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  211. @Anonym
    There are some good contenders for best war movie of the 21st century. I like Letters from Iwo Jima a lot. Tropa de Elite, while not technically war I suppose, has some great tactical scenes.

    Proof of Life has one of the most realistic combat scenes depicted on film. They have a guy with a SAW actually set up an overwatch position. It plays out like a tactical shooter like Insurgency, which itself is a high on realism. Overall some good race realism, it's on Yggdrasil's list. Not the greatest overall movie but I like it a lot.

    Blackhawk Down is awesome though.

    Mel Gibson’s We Were Soldiers was a well done war movie too.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Brutusale
    I especially like the final 5 minutes of the film, which nicely summed up the entire Vietnam experience for both sides.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  212. I would cast a vote for Interstellar.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  213. @Pete in TX
    I haven't seen much of Joss Whedon's work, but I enjoyed his version of Much Ado About Nothing. Kenneth Branagh's version is superior because Branagh is Benedick and Emma Thompson is Beatrice, and which actors today can compete with that? But the black-and-white digital cinematography in the Whedon is as lush in its own way as the color in the Branagh. And Nathan Fillion is the only actor I've seen as Dogberry who made me laugh.

    That was good. And I think Whedon banged it out in a couple of weeks at his house.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  214. And as far as foreign films go this one is also better than 50 on that list :
    Umm Kulthum (1996)

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  215. @Gross Terry
    "Popular movies don’t get much love. For example, off the top of my head, I’d say the greatest movie of the century was the second installment in The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers. But everybody knows already that that’s really good.
    "

    Steve's idea of a good time is 3 hours of video game footage and actors making a single statement, then a reaction face while the camera zooms in on them.

    Agreed.

    Two Towers had a lot of Gollum, which Jackson/Serkis knocked out of the park (even in the awful Hobbit trilogy), but, yeah, color me otherwise mystified on that pick.

    You hit on two of the big points already, but I think some of the greatest damage was done with Jackson’s inept casting (similar to Lucas’ disastrous casting choices for Anakin Skywalker in the prequels).

    Elijah Wood was dreadful as Frodo – effeminate, sickly and perpetually constipated – and it just about ruined that entire trilogy. Jackson just couldn’t get enough of his ghostly face and eyes – spent half the movies zooming in on that same pained expression.

    Viggo Mortensen was pretty weak as Aragorn as well. Looked the part, but that soft/nasal voice and unassuming presence were massively wrong for a mountain man and emerging king of men. Contrast his performance with Russell Crowe in Gladiator or Eric Bana in Troy.

    I’m wondering if Peter Jackson as a fat, nerdy Kiwi disliked Australian he-men led him to go soft on his casting choices. His first choice for Aragorn was the foppish pretty boy Brit Stuart Townsend.

    Merry and Pippin were badly cast as well and badly directed to boot. Comparing their buffoonish mugging to the quality work of actual little people in Lucas’ LOTR rip-off Willow makes me wonder why Jackson didn’t just recruit from their talented ranks instead of digitally shrinking TV-grade mediocrities.

    Would have loved to see Ridley Scott work from Jackson’s scripts to do LOTR. A much better eye for casting supporting characters and stars. Much defter hand with pseudo-Shakespearian dialogue and drama. And a sharper audiovisual craftsman.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    "Would have loved to see Ridley Scott work from Jackson’s scripts to do LOTR. A much better eye for casting supporting characters and stars. Much defter hand with pseudo-Shakespearian dialogue and drama. And a sharper audiovisual craftsman."

    I would have liked someone else to have written the script too. The tone of it was all wrong. I don't think Jackson brings much of anything to a movie. Scott would have been my first choice to direct it as well. And, as you point out, it was mostly miscast - especially the Hobbits.
    , @Abe

    Jackson’s inept casting... Elijah Wood was dreadful as Frodo... Viggo Mortensen was pretty weak as Aragorn as well... Merry and Pippin were badly cast as well and badly directed to boot.
     
    Yep, but had some very good choices as well- Kate Blanchett, Ian McKellen, Sean Bean, and Venus Williams in that balls-out fight scene at the end of the first film. Christopher Lee and, to my astonishment, Liv Tyler were pretty good as well.

    The core executive team for the trilogy was Peter Jackson, his "wife" Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens, the contours of whose "familial" relationship with the other two I don't wish to dwell on. Maybe it was simply the two ladies in this triumvirate getting their way and picking a few "hunks" to round out the cast.

    The whole LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy is superb, though, and I like it better if I don't have the text of the novels still fresh in my head to compare against. The attempted "comedic" moments are all very leaden (perhaps they should have brought in the Coen Brothers to polish the jokes, like they did in the original TOY STORY) and some of the casting choices are less than ideal, but on the other hand getting a perfect Frodo or Aragorn who has all the complexities of the books might have been too much a distraction from what is foremost a rousing adventure movie.

    It's interesting that most of the directors on the list are senior ones who did their best work in the prior century. It's to be expected that THE DEPARTED pales next to GOODFELLAS and RAGING BULL; what's surprising is that there are not more new Scorceses doing their best work right now.
    , @Anonym
    My god, you guys have high expectations. You think movies get to 8.7-8.9 on imdb by accident? Casting all white people in the white people roles? The books were great, but there is an awful lot a director can screw up, let alone ascending the pinnacle of cinematic history. Jackson did a great job.
    , @Brutusale
    As with all SF/fantasy films, the fanboys are already coming to see it. You need something for the ladies.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  216. @Ghost of Bull Moose
    'Apocalypto,' obviously, but 'Get the Gringo' is also lot of fun.

    Another silly-but-fun movie with a Mexican angle is Oliver Stone's 'Savages.'

    'No Country' gets in on that, too. Peckinpah loved Mexico, so does Duvall, John Ford, Wayne,

    The 'Machete' nonsense was disappointing, not because of the anti-gringo stuff but just because it was so obvious and lame. I think there's a lot of good material there. Also Latinos love going to the movies.

    Inarritu is okay, I guess. 'Birdman' was nice to look at, but the frenetic camera was enough without the incessant jazz drum solo. The drums ruined that picture for me. I'd rather learn something from him about our Inevitable Demographic Overlords.

    When Benicio Del Toro shows up at the scene of the ambush with an iced coffee from Starbucks, that was great.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  217. @Dave Pinsen
    Downfall was much better than Valkyrie, which was still pretty good. The 1944 Germany of Valkyrie didn't look like it had been bombed much.

    But the suspense was incredible. Tom Cruise’ action-suspense resume is incredible. Nobody does quiet supreme intensity better.

    Mission Impossible (the first one), War of the Worlds, Valkyrie – I don’t particularly like Cruise, but I’ve never rooted for characters so hard.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    All of Cruise's Mission Impossible movies are pretty good.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  218. @Dave Pinsen
    Black Hawk Down could be the most star-studded movie of the century.

    Excellent and disturbing overall, but it glossed over the difficulty of putting together the international relief column. That took some doing from an American officer in the book.

    Incidentally, in the book, the movie the Rangers are watching at their base is Michael Mann's Last of the Mohicans; in the movie, it's Steve Martin's The Jerk.

    Last of the Mohicans would have been so much better. That scene where the British column is ambushed by Magua’s Mohawks is fantastic and a terrifying parallel for the kind of nightmare awaiting those guys.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Yeah, that's a great scene. Particularly how it starts out with suicidal tomahawk charges by single Indians just to unnerve the Brits & Colonials. I'm guessing Black Hawk Down couldn't get permission to use it.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  219. @Ghost of Bull Moose
    'Apocalypto,' obviously, but 'Get the Gringo' is also lot of fun.

    Another silly-but-fun movie with a Mexican angle is Oliver Stone's 'Savages.'

    'No Country' gets in on that, too. Peckinpah loved Mexico, so does Duvall, John Ford, Wayne,

    The 'Machete' nonsense was disappointing, not because of the anti-gringo stuff but just because it was so obvious and lame. I think there's a lot of good material there. Also Latinos love going to the movies.

    Inarritu is okay, I guess. 'Birdman' was nice to look at, but the frenetic camera was enough without the incessant jazz drum solo. The drums ruined that picture for me. I'd rather learn something from him about our Inevitable Demographic Overlords.

    ‘No Country’ gets in on that, too. Peckinpah loved Mexico, so does Duvall, John Ford, Wayne,

    There’s something rather disturbing in the perverse allure that Mexico holds for certain kinds of Anglo men….

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ghost of Bull Moose
    Yes, there is something there. Wayne married two Mexicans I believe. Brando and the Governator & their housekeepers, etc.

    Probably similar to the white ruling class relationship with the mestizo populace down Mexico way. We'll probably see more of that, now that we have a huge % of their population here, soon to become duel citizens ( an under-appreciated aspect of amnesty that's important.)

    I mean, Mexico is our neighbor, so they're interesting in that sense. Sort of the hapless neighbor with a broken septic tank and crates of soda bottles on the porch who lent your snowblower to his cousin but is generally cheerful. Canada is the neighbor in the nice looking house with whom you go 20 years without having a conversation longer than 5 minutes.

    There's a great bit of dialogue, from the Wild Bunch:

    Angel: Mexico Lindo.
    Lyle: I don't see nothin' so 'lindo' about it.
    Tector: Just looks like more Texas far as I'm concerned.
    Angel: Aw, you don't have no eyes!

    I guess now it'd be reversed: 'California? Just looks like more Mexico.'

    Mexico is a mess, but it could be worse. At least they aren't Merkel youth.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  220. @The most deplorable one
    Also, this one is good for a variety of reasons:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0338564/

    Infernal Affairs was such a good movie, I couldn’t enjoy The Departed. I think it captured the stress and cynicism of police work much better.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I don't think the two movies are really all that much related except for an opportunistic contract.

    The Departed is a fictionalized version of the Whitey Bulger Boston gangster story. It doesn't have much of anything to do with Hong Kong. It's extremely Boston Irish. It's the movie William Monahan of Boston was born to write. But negotiations with the journalist to buy his book rights broke down. (I believe that book finally got to the screen with Johnny Depp as Whitey.)

    So the producers bought the rights to remake a Hong Kong movie with a similar plot as protection against being sued for using the Bulger story.

    I could be wrong about this, though ...

    , @Kylie
    I enjoyed Infernal Affairs and The Departed in very different ways. They really didn't have much in common.

    Have you seen The Unjust? It's excellent, even better than Infernal Affairs and much better than The Departed.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  221. @syonredux

    At the end of 1899, the editor of London’s Daily Telegraph, with the assistance of learned consultants, selected the “100 Best Novels in the World” from all the novels written in any language. In all, 61 authors were represented in the list of 100 best novels. Only 27 of them—fewer than half—qualified as significant figures in Human Accomplishment’s inventory of Western literature. Seventeen of the61—28 percent—were not mentioned even once by any of the 20 sources used to compile that inventory; not even by the most encyclopedic ones. And yet each of those 17 who are now ignored had written one of the supposedly 100 best novels of all time as judged in 1899. Sic transit gloria mundi.

     

    Charles Murray, Human Accomplishment

    The list and commentary on it:

    http://www.rosecityreader.com/2009/09/list-of-th-day-daily-telegraphs-1899.html

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/4719492/The-problem-of-predicting-what-will-last.html

    Since Murray wrote, Wikipedia has come into existence, and I wonder if any of the 61 authors are so obscure today as to not even have Wikipedia entries. Henry Cockton and E. Lynn Linton, both singled out by the modern Telegraph author as especially obscure, both have entries, although Cockton’s is barely above a stub.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Cockton

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eliza_Lynn_Linton

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  222. @Anon
    Where are all the great Indian movies? We're importing millions of them, you'd think they'd make awesome movies. Oh, yeah. M Night Shamalayayayan made one good one.

    They seem to show up more on TV shows at least if you go by some of the names listed in the credits.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  223. @Half Canadian
    Infernal Affairs was such a good movie, I couldn't enjoy The Departed. I think it captured the stress and cynicism of police work much better.

    I don’t think the two movies are really all that much related except for an opportunistic contract.

    The Departed is a fictionalized version of the Whitey Bulger Boston gangster story. It doesn’t have much of anything to do with Hong Kong. It’s extremely Boston Irish. It’s the movie William Monahan of Boston was born to write. But negotiations with the journalist to buy his book rights broke down. (I believe that book finally got to the screen with Johnny Depp as Whitey.)

    So the producers bought the rights to remake a Hong Kong movie with a similar plot as protection against being sued for using the Bulger story.

    I could be wrong about this, though …

    Read More
    • Replies: @guest
    I wish we could see Johnny Depp play Whitey in The Departed, and not because I'm itching for a Gilbert Grape reunion. Because Nicholson was playing the role of the Joker, which was inappropriate. Also because Depp's Whitey movie was boring and dark, literally. I had a hard time seeing what happened.

    The Whitey part was the weak link in The Departed. There wasn't enough buildup to the revelation that he was an FBI informant. When I figured it out my reaction was, , "Oh, okay. That happened." But you could make a whole movie out of that one, little plot point alone! (They did. It was called "Black Sunday," and it wasn't that good.)

    Leo's death was abrupt, too. My theater audience reacted like it ought to get up and leave in protest, but was kept in their seats by propriety. Not me, but I'm used to filmmakers screwing with me (or "subverting expectations," or whatever).

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  224. @Steve Sailer
    Is Lord of the Rings an epic?

    Is Lord of the Rings an epic?

    The only one we have, just as Tolkien designed it.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  225. Top ten list of movies from this thread:

    Letters from Iwo Jima
    Apocalypto
    Black Hawk Down
    The Hangover
    Brooklyn
    Burn After Reading
    Hell Or High Water
    The Dark Knight Rises
    Catch Me If You Can
    The Two Towers

    Not bad taste.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  226. @Dave Pinsen
    Downfall was much better than Valkyrie, which was still pretty good. The 1944 Germany of Valkyrie didn't look like it had been bombed much.

    They’re not in the same league at all.

    Valkyrie‘s budget ($75 million) was roughly five times that of Downfall‘s. And yet the latter movie did a far more masterful job of recreating the look and feel of war-ravaged Berlin. Go figure.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  227. @Steve Sailer
    Yeah, those are modest but pretty original films that have had a lot of influence. I suspect the methodology of having critics submit their top 10 lists works against these kind of movies because they don't seem like the serious, heroic auteur stuff that makes the top 10.

    And yet they really are pretty auteur movies: Napoleon Dynamite, for example, is the most Mormon movie ever. I didn't get it at all when I saw it in a screening where most of the audience was the director's friends and friends-of-friends from BYU. But all the beautiful Amy Adams-like Mormon starlets in the audience laughed their heads off.

    These kind of movies would probably do better if critics submitted top 100 lists.

    It’s not just Mormons but Western (i.e. Western US) whites removed from the culture center of LA. Rang very true to me growing up in non-Mormon but culturally similar areas like Salem, Amity and Grants Pass in Oregon.

    The wide open spaces. The thrift stores full of outdated junk trickling in from cooler places. The still exotic appeal of non-whites (Pedro and Kip’s girlfriend, Napoleon’s mixtape).

    Mike White and Alexander Payne have done some decent, if less original, comedic work with same type of population.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  228. The Door in the Floor (2004). Great performances by Jeff Bridges and Kim Basinger. Rarely hear it mentioned in cinephile circles.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    The Door in the Floor (2004). This mad me think of In the Bedroom (2001).
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  229. I always thought “No Country for Old Men” was a bit better then ” There Will Be Blood” although they were far and away the two best films that year. One is a great film with a great cast, despite Tommy Lee Jones’ mumbling, the other is a near great film with one of the greatest acting performances ever, although Blood is probably a more quotable film ( I drink your milkshake, etc…).

    Regarding the LOTR trilogy, I still think the first film seems not only the most cohesive but also the most watchable of the three, although they are all excellent, even if the third film goes on too long. I’m surprised that Memento was only 25th on the list ( I think a decade ago it would have easily made the top ten ) but I think that may be backlash against Nolan’s commercial success, and I was also surprised that Zodiac didn’t crack the top ten, that was as good a drama start to finish as any movie I have seen since 2000.

    Read More
    • Replies: @LondonBob
    Insomnia I would include, also Apocalypto.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  230. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    I don't believe I've ever seen a Korine movie.

    I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a Korine movie.

    If it made it onto this list, Springbreakers is worth watching in order to understand the art (or art critics?) of our times. It’s nihilistic without any of the dark beauty that can make nihilism strangely alluring.

    May I suggest a few of the top 90 films from the ones I’ve seen? I don’t think you’ve reviewed any of these.

    Excellent movies with Istevish themes, some are challenging viewings though:

    White Material
    A Prophet
    Dogville (Don’t give up halfway through; it’s tedious to watch because of the experimental way it’s filmed, but worth it)
    Fish Tank
    Cache (A decent knowledge of French history is required to catch the colonial themes, otherwise it still works as an excellent psychological drama)
    The White Ribbon
    Leviathan

    Enjoyable and thought-provoking cinema:

    The Secret in Their Eyes
    The Return (Especially if you enjoyed the McConaughey vehicle Mud, as this was an obvious influence)
    The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
    Only Lovers Left Alive
    The Great Beauty (If you appreciate a wild visual and narrative imagination, otherwise it may exhaust you)
    Certified Copy (but avoid if you don’t like talky movies)
    Talk to Her

    Massively overrated, do not watch:

    Blue is the Warmest Color

    Oh, and you ought to watch Yi Yi. You’d probably relate to the protagonist and his career challenges. Don’t think it deserves a place in the top 10 though. What an odd list.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  231. @Steve Sailer
    Yeah, those are modest but pretty original films that have had a lot of influence. I suspect the methodology of having critics submit their top 10 lists works against these kind of movies because they don't seem like the serious, heroic auteur stuff that makes the top 10.

    And yet they really are pretty auteur movies: Napoleon Dynamite, for example, is the most Mormon movie ever. I didn't get it at all when I saw it in a screening where most of the audience was the director's friends and friends-of-friends from BYU. But all the beautiful Amy Adams-like Mormon starlets in the audience laughed their heads off.

    These kind of movies would probably do better if critics submitted top 100 lists.

    I appreciate that whereas most people embellish stories with the passage of time, Steve actually tones his down instead. Over the years this story has gone from “I think Amy Adams was there” to “maybe Amy Adams was there” to “people like Amy Adams were there.” Next time Adams might not be mentioned at all. :)

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  232. @guest
    I was disappointed by Valkyrie, mostly because I had written a paper in school about Stauffenberg long ago and think it a great story. The movie was like a mediocre heist film. Also, I sensed a distinctly gay vibe off of it, which I can't exactly explain.

    Also, I sensed a distinctly gay vibe off of it, which I can’t exactly explain.

    Yeah. I don’t know if it was intentional or not (Singer, the film’s director is Gay), but there’s a strange Gay quality to the film.

    Of course, the Third Reich did have a Gay sensibility, so maybe Singer was just picking up on that.

    Read More
    • Agree: Kylie
    • Replies: @guest
    I read a book once called "The Pink Swastika," so I know what you mean. However, Valkyrie wasn't about Nazis persay. It was about the Prussian officer class that turned on the Nazis (turned on, not "turned on"). Stauffenberg was a devout Catholic, I think.
    , @Mr. Anon
    "Yeah. I don’t know if it was intentional or not (Singer, the film’s director is Gay), but there’s a strange Gay quality to the film.

    Of course, the Third Reich did have a Gay sensibility, so maybe Singer was just picking up on that."

    I didn't think the movie had an especially gay vibe, nor indeed did the nazis (SA aside). I remember critics at the time saying it did, but I did't see it. Of course, Bryan Singer is gay, and that might have influenced the movie some. Stauffenberg himself was, as a young man, a member of the Georgekreis, which has been rumored to be somewhat gay.

    What I found more interesting was how sympathetic the story was to Germans, generally. I interperted the movie to be an attempt by Singer and Cruise (both enthusiastic scientologists) to raise scientology in the estimation of Germans. The German government has dealt relatively harshly with L. Ron's little cult in the past.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  233. @syonredux

    ‘No Country’ gets in on that, too. Peckinpah loved Mexico, so does Duvall, John Ford, Wayne,
     
    There's something rather disturbing in the perverse allure that Mexico holds for certain kinds of Anglo men....

    Yes, there is something there. Wayne married two Mexicans I believe. Brando and the Governator & their housekeepers, etc.

    Probably similar to the white ruling class relationship with the mestizo populace down Mexico way. We’ll probably see more of that, now that we have a huge % of their population here, soon to become duel citizens ( an under-appreciated aspect of amnesty that’s important.)

    I mean, Mexico is our neighbor, so they’re interesting in that sense. Sort of the hapless neighbor with a broken septic tank and crates of soda bottles on the porch who lent your snowblower to his cousin but is generally cheerful. Canada is the neighbor in the nice looking house with whom you go 20 years without having a conversation longer than 5 minutes.

    There’s a great bit of dialogue, from the Wild Bunch:

    Angel: Mexico Lindo.
    Lyle: I don’t see nothin’ so ‘lindo’ about it.
    Tector: Just looks like more Texas far as I’m concerned.
    Angel: Aw, you don’t have no eyes!

    I guess now it’d be reversed: ‘California? Just looks like more Mexico.’

    Mexico is a mess, but it could be worse. At least they aren’t Merkel youth.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  234. @Half Canadian
    Infernal Affairs was such a good movie, I couldn't enjoy The Departed. I think it captured the stress and cynicism of police work much better.

    I enjoyed Infernal Affairs and The Departed in very different ways. They really didn’t have much in common.

    Have you seen The Unjust? It’s excellent, even better than Infernal Affairs and much better than The Departed.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  235. @TomSchmidt
    Your number 1 was my number 1 of the last 10 years. Until I saw Brooklyn. Magnificent. Catch it if you can.

    I’m New York Irish but I haven’t seen it yet. I keep forgetting. Your recommendation is putting it a the top of my list. Is’s gotta be on Netflix or pay-per-view by now.

    Read More
    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
    Get the DVD from the library. Nice tales of the making of it, and interviews with the author.

    This movie shows the number one reason the rest of us keep you can't-control-yourselves-around-a-potato people around. It's like the whole thing kissed the Blarney Stone, and it's as engaging, funny, sad, beautiful, and true as an Irishman friend. It's not a comedy, but I haven't laughed as much at a film in years.

    If there's to be any hope for Western Civilization, Irish storytelling will be a major part of it.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  236. @The Millennial Falcon
    Last of the Mohicans would have been so much better. That scene where the British column is ambushed by Magua's Mohawks is fantastic and a terrifying parallel for the kind of nightmare awaiting those guys.

    Yeah, that’s a great scene. Particularly how it starts out with suicidal tomahawk charges by single Indians just to unnerve the Brits & Colonials. I’m guessing Black Hawk Down couldn’t get permission to use it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Clyde
    JBoy Michael Mann's best movie/ Superior in all ways/
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  237. @The Millennial Falcon
    But the suspense was incredible. Tom Cruise' action-suspense resume is incredible. Nobody does quiet supreme intensity better.

    Mission Impossible (the first one), War of the Worlds, Valkyrie - I don't particularly like Cruise, but I've never rooted for characters so hard.

    All of Cruise’s Mission Impossible movies are pretty good.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hacienda
    I'd pay to see "Mission Impossible: The Bourne Reckoning" with Robert Redford as Treadwell boss setting up Cruise against Damon.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  238. @syonredux
    A truly great scene.

    This scene is a tribute to Peak American industrial greatness when guys knew how to make it happen.. This is how you supported families.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  239. The Departed seemed like a slightly above average detective movie. Not getting the love at all.

    List is missing Inception, The Incredibles, Sideways. Probably several others, but I am drinking. And tired.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Abe

    List is missing Inception, The Incredibles, Sideways. Probably several others, but I am drinking. And tired.
     
    Thank you for mentioning SIDEWAYS. If somehow you could take the best parts of ELECTION, ABOUT SCHMIDT, and SIDEWAYS, and combine them into a diegetically/thematically coherent story about life in 21st century America, it would probably be the best picture so far of the 21st Century.

    And what about AMERICAN HUSTLE? Easily top 5, and you have the pleasure of watching the 2 best actors of the post-Boomer generation working together. Bradley Cooper is a very good actor, but Christian Bale is the best actor now living. He can do everything Daniel Day-Lewis can, he can become totally invisible in a role like Gary Oldman can, and on top of all that- HE'S BATMAN!
    , @Desiderius

    The Incredibles, Sideways
     
    Agreed. Likewise Crazy Heart.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  240. @Dave Pinsen
    Yeah, that's a great scene. Particularly how it starts out with suicidal tomahawk charges by single Indians just to unnerve the Brits & Colonials. I'm guessing Black Hawk Down couldn't get permission to use it.

    JBoy Michael Mann’s best movie/ Superior in all ways/

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    My favorite Mann movie is Heat.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  241. @syonredux

    The Hangover has a large number of huge laughs — like when the valet drives up with the police car they checked. Todd Phillips is good at engineering movies to produce a number of huge laughs. Not that many people can do it.
     
    I think that THE HANGOVER suffers from the fact that the increasingly ineffective sequels have retroactively dimmed its lustre a tad.

    It’s my strongly held belief that the idea that Rocky was a great movie was one of those mass delusions that sweeps our culture like a fever and gradually subsides. By about III or IV, we began to get the ideas that the whole franchise reeked. We saw IV and realized both that it was bad, and it was pretty much of the same quality as One. If One was so great, how come we never sat through it again. But we watch The Godfather over and over like mental patients.

    The Hangover had genuine yucks, and lots of them. I haven’t seen the sequels. Maybe if I do, I’ll like the first one less.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I saw the 7th Rocky movie last fall and the elderly Stallone lit up the screen in each scene he was in.
    , @guest
    "We" did sit through Rocky more than once if we includes me and people I know. Sequel degradation never made me appreciate it less.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  242. A few that haven’t been mentioned, I don’t think (not nec. “10 Best Evar!”, but still really good):

    -Joe (whatever you think of Nic Cage, he can be terrific when he wants to be)

    -A Very Long Engagement (lesser-known Jeunet film; give it a watch)

    -Life During Wartime (one of the least Solondz-y Todd Solondz films)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    "A Very Long Engagement" -- Finally turned me into a Jodie Foster fan. She shows up in a supporting role, all in French.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  243. @syonredux

    Also, I sensed a distinctly gay vibe off of it, which I can’t exactly explain.
     
    Yeah. I don't know if it was intentional or not (Singer, the film's director is Gay), but there's a strange Gay quality to the film.

    Of course, the Third Reich did have a Gay sensibility, so maybe Singer was just picking up on that.

    I read a book once called “The Pink Swastika,” so I know what you mean. However, Valkyrie wasn’t about Nazis persay. It was about the Prussian officer class that turned on the Nazis (turned on, not “turned on”). Stauffenberg was a devout Catholic, I think.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  244. @Steve Sailer
    I don't think the two movies are really all that much related except for an opportunistic contract.

    The Departed is a fictionalized version of the Whitey Bulger Boston gangster story. It doesn't have much of anything to do with Hong Kong. It's extremely Boston Irish. It's the movie William Monahan of Boston was born to write. But negotiations with the journalist to buy his book rights broke down. (I believe that book finally got to the screen with Johnny Depp as Whitey.)

    So the producers bought the rights to remake a Hong Kong movie with a similar plot as protection against being sued for using the Bulger story.

    I could be wrong about this, though ...

    I wish we could see Johnny Depp play Whitey in The Departed, and not because I’m itching for a Gilbert Grape reunion. Because Nicholson was playing the role of the Joker, which was inappropriate. Also because Depp’s Whitey movie was boring and dark, literally. I had a hard time seeing what happened.

    The Whitey part was the weak link in The Departed. There wasn’t enough buildup to the revelation that he was an FBI informant. When I figured it out my reaction was, , “Oh, okay. That happened.” But you could make a whole movie out of that one, little plot point alone! (They did. It was called “Black Sunday,” and it wasn’t that good.)

    Leo’s death was abrupt, too. My theater audience reacted like it ought to get up and leave in protest, but was kept in their seats by propriety. Not me, but I’m used to filmmakers screwing with me (or “subverting expectations,” or whatever).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Leo’s death was abrupt, too.

    But that's when I started wondering, "Boy I'd sure like to see somebody take vengeance on that rat fink Damon character. Hey, isn't there another Major Movie Star in this movie, one who was knocking it out of the park in the perfect role for him during the few minutes they've let him have on screen? Why have they been keeping him on the bench? Oh ..."

    A pretty satisfying plot twist.

    , @Broski
    Mark Wahlberg made the Departed great. He had about 10 lines that were quotable. Plus his character's wrap up at the end was gratifying. Also great was Matt Damon. He'd always seemed like a nerd before, even in the Bourne movies despite his magic karate and other skills, but in the Departed he was a serious tough guy. Alec Baldwin was good, DiCaprio was quite good, and Nicholson was decent enough not to detract too much.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  245. @Dave Pinsen
    All of Cruise's Mission Impossible movies are pretty good.

    I’d pay to see “Mission Impossible: The Bourne Reckoning” with Robert Redford as Treadwell boss setting up Cruise against Damon.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  246. @I, Libertine
    I'm New York Irish but I haven't seen it yet. I keep forgetting. Your recommendation is putting it a the top of my list. Is's gotta be on Netflix or pay-per-view by now.

    Get the DVD from the library. Nice tales of the making of it, and interviews with the author.

    This movie shows the number one reason the rest of us keep you can’t-control-yourselves-around-a-potato people around. It’s like the whole thing kissed the Blarney Stone, and it’s as engaging, funny, sad, beautiful, and true as an Irishman friend. It’s not a comedy, but I haven’t laughed as much at a film in years.

    If there’s to be any hope for Western Civilization, Irish storytelling will be a major part of it.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  247. Abe says: • Website
    @surfer
    The Departed seemed like a slightly above average detective movie. Not getting the love at all.

    List is missing Inception, The Incredibles, Sideways. Probably several others, but I am drinking. And tired.

    List is missing Inception, The Incredibles, Sideways. Probably several others, but I am drinking. And tired.

    Thank you for mentioning SIDEWAYS. If somehow you could take the best parts of ELECTION, ABOUT SCHMIDT, and SIDEWAYS, and combine them into a diegetically/thematically coherent story about life in 21st century America, it would probably be the best picture so far of the 21st Century.

    And what about AMERICAN HUSTLE? Easily top 5, and you have the pleasure of watching the 2 best actors of the post-Boomer generation working together. Bradley Cooper is a very good actor, but Christian Bale is the best actor now living. He can do everything Daniel Day-Lewis can, he can become totally invisible in a role like Gary Oldman can, and on top of all that- HE’S BATMAN!

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  248. @guest
    I wish we could see Johnny Depp play Whitey in The Departed, and not because I'm itching for a Gilbert Grape reunion. Because Nicholson was playing the role of the Joker, which was inappropriate. Also because Depp's Whitey movie was boring and dark, literally. I had a hard time seeing what happened.

    The Whitey part was the weak link in The Departed. There wasn't enough buildup to the revelation that he was an FBI informant. When I figured it out my reaction was, , "Oh, okay. That happened." But you could make a whole movie out of that one, little plot point alone! (They did. It was called "Black Sunday," and it wasn't that good.)

    Leo's death was abrupt, too. My theater audience reacted like it ought to get up and leave in protest, but was kept in their seats by propriety. Not me, but I'm used to filmmakers screwing with me (or "subverting expectations," or whatever).

    Leo’s death was abrupt, too.

    But that’s when I started wondering, “Boy I’d sure like to see somebody take vengeance on that rat fink Damon character. Hey, isn’t there another Major Movie Star in this movie, one who was knocking it out of the park in the perfect role for him during the few minutes they’ve let him have on screen? Why have they been keeping him on the bench? Oh …”

    A pretty satisfying plot twist.

    Read More
    • Replies: @guest
    I agree about Marky-Mark. It is his most perfect role. Problem is, I had about the same progression of thoughts as you. But you're not supposed to figure it out, as that ruins the surprise. The disappearance of Walberg's character was as abrupt as Leo's death. Sheen dies, then he's just gone. You're not supposed to think about it, because there's so much else going on. But I noticed. I kept asking myself where he was.

    That makes the twist a bit cheap, because they had to unnaturally lift a character out of the story and make you forget him in order to pull it off. But it was satisfying to see Damon die.
    , @Desiderius

    A pretty satisfying plot twist.
     
    It more or less made the movie for me. Leo's death was like a punch to the gut.

    I'm a sucker for Wahlberg (Mark, not Donnie) though.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  249. I liked The Lives of Others. Not just the conservative message, but the details, the plot, the Kastner like emotions.

    Liked Mud a lot except for MM (too much a movie star). Everything else, bit partners, plot, kids, Reese, villians, river, was awesome

    C0ncur on Hangover.

    Sounds strange, but I quite enjoyed Whip It. Seemed to be about flyover country folks with no money but without clueless Holleywood BS.

    Read More
    • Replies: @guest
    I had an eerie experience watching The Lives of Others, because years earlier I had an idea for the same basic story. Not that I ever wrote it down. Mine took place in the future instead of East Germany, and was science fictiony. Like I said, only the very, very basic idea. But there it was, playing out on the screen in front of me. Way, way better than I could've written it.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  250. @TomSchmidt
    Your number 1 was my number 1 of the last 10 years. Until I saw Brooklyn. Magnificent. Catch it if you can.

    I walked out; wanted to smack that chick so bad. Then they make the old lady look like a bad person for reminding the chick she’s married.

    Read More
    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
    Spend enough time around the alt-right and you learn female perfidy doesn't seem annoying, just what they do. Taking the red pill is a journey through DABDA. The movie won't work for anyone not past the B.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  251. @Bob Smith of Suburbia
    A few that haven't been mentioned, I don't think (not nec. "10 Best Evar!", but still really good):


    -Joe (whatever you think of Nic Cage, he can be terrific when he wants to be)

    -A Very Long Engagement (lesser-known Jeunet film; give it a watch)

    -Life During Wartime (one of the least Solondz-y Todd Solondz films)

    “A Very Long Engagement” — Finally turned me into a Jodie Foster fan. She shows up in a supporting role, all in French.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  252. @I, Libertine
    It's my strongly held belief that the idea that Rocky was a great movie was one of those mass delusions that sweeps our culture like a fever and gradually subsides. By about III or IV, we began to get the ideas that the whole franchise reeked. We saw IV and realized both that it was bad, and it was pretty much of the same quality as One. If One was so great, how come we never sat through it again. But we watch The Godfather over and over like mental patients.

    The Hangover had genuine yucks, and lots of them. I haven't seen the sequels. Maybe if I do, I'll like the first one less.

    I saw the 7th Rocky movie last fall and the elderly Stallone lit up the screen in each scene he was in.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  253. What is the matter with these critics that they can’t find any crowd-pleasing spectacles to honor? I guarantee that if you asked them to name the best movies of the 70s you’d find Star Wars, Jaws, and Rocky in there. Where are this century’s equivalents? There is spectacle in Tree of Life, Eternal Sunshine, and Blood, but that’s artsy-fartsy spectacle. Otherwise, they give us cartoons. Which for no reason are allowed to please crowds and get critical respect. I want live-action butts in the seats cinema!

    Do they not feel the way I do when I watch a Christopher Nolan movie, for instance? Not that any one of his definitely belongs on the list, but just as an example. They’re so visceral, so immediate. He (along with the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, and probably others I can’t think of) cursed us with a now ever-present “Bwaaa!” soundtrack, but I don’t care. His movies give me “feelz” like nothing on that list. Except for Day-Lewis in Blood, and briefly in the cat-and-mouse action in No Country.

    It doesn’t have to be a Nolan movie. Just a movie like that. The Two Towers is a perfect example. Did you ever in your life feel so much as when Aragon tossed the dwarf over the gap? (Or was that just me?) I’ve only seen smatterings of Tree of Life, so I’ll use The Thin Red Line for comparison. The Thin Red Line made me feel like crap the first time I saw it, like every Terrence Malick movie. It grew on me over time, because I discovered it has an actual story (or stories) and I let it carry me along as particularly interesting video art. But it will never move me like Star Wars.

    Movies are getting dumber, and critics don’t want to be caught enjoying a dumb movie (unless it’s written by an albino, lesbian AIDS survivor, or something). But Star Wars is dumb. Most of the dialogue is virtually unspeakable. No one would quote it if it weren’t Star Wars. “I’ve got a bad feeling about this” would be mocked in any other movie. The most famous Star Wars lines–”May the force be with you” (at least as said by Obi Wan), “Luke, I am your father,” etc.–aren’t really in the movies. We had to make them up. Nevertheless, it’s great movie, unquestionably.

    My argument would be better served if I could think of what great popcorn flicks from this century should be on the list. But I can’t think of them.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    "Iron Man"
    , @Kylie
    The Prestige.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  254. @guest
    What is the matter with these critics that they can't find any crowd-pleasing spectacles to honor? I guarantee that if you asked them to name the best movies of the 70s you'd find Star Wars, Jaws, and Rocky in there. Where are this century's equivalents? There is spectacle in Tree of Life, Eternal Sunshine, and Blood, but that's artsy-fartsy spectacle. Otherwise, they give us cartoons. Which for no reason are allowed to please crowds and get critical respect. I want live-action butts in the seats cinema!

    Do they not feel the way I do when I watch a Christopher Nolan movie, for instance? Not that any one of his definitely belongs on the list, but just as an example. They're so visceral, so immediate. He (along with the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, and probably others I can't think of) cursed us with a now ever-present "Bwaaa!" soundtrack, but I don't care. His movies give me "feelz" like nothing on that list. Except for Day-Lewis in Blood, and briefly in the cat-and-mouse action in No Country.

    It doesn't have to be a Nolan movie. Just a movie like that. The Two Towers is a perfect example. Did you ever in your life feel so much as when Aragon tossed the dwarf over the gap? (Or was that just me?) I've only seen smatterings of Tree of Life, so I'll use The Thin Red Line for comparison. The Thin Red Line made me feel like crap the first time I saw it, like every Terrence Malick movie. It grew on me over time, because I discovered it has an actual story (or stories) and I let it carry me along as particularly interesting video art. But it will never move me like Star Wars.

    Movies are getting dumber, and critics don't want to be caught enjoying a dumb movie (unless it's written by an albino, lesbian AIDS survivor, or something). But Star Wars is dumb. Most of the dialogue is virtually unspeakable. No one would quote it if it weren't Star Wars. "I've got a bad feeling about this" would be mocked in any other movie. The most famous Star Wars lines--"May the force be with you" (at least as said by Obi Wan), "Luke, I am your father," etc.--aren't really in the movies. We had to make them up. Nevertheless, it's great movie, unquestionably.

    My argument would be better served if I could think of what great popcorn flicks from this century should be on the list. But I can't think of them.

    “Iron Man”

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    “Iron Man”
     
    There's something incredibly enthralling about Robert Downey JR building that suit of armor. The sheer joy of making something, I suppose.
    , @guest
    I was shocked by how much I liked Iron Man, and that despite its lack of a good villain and how it gets bogged down in the desert in the first act. It was Downey, Jr.'s tour de force performance that made the movie. The press conference scene where he's eating the hamburger really had me going.
    , @syonredux
    Thinking of those scenes showing Tony Stark building his armor, maybe Favreau would be a good pick to direct an adaptation of Have Space Suit—Will Travel ?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  255. @AndrewR
    Anyone who thinks 2000 was part of the 21st century loses all credibility with me.

    21 century will begin next year. 19 started in 1815 and 20 started in 1914.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Desiderius

    21 century will begin next year. 19 started in 1815 and 20 started in 1914.
     
    Astute observation, though we won't know for sure until we have some time for retroperspective.
    , @Broski
    Perhaps. It does seem like a new era is dawning, more so than the 9/11 War on Terror deal.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  256. @Steve Sailer
    Leo’s death was abrupt, too.

    But that's when I started wondering, "Boy I'd sure like to see somebody take vengeance on that rat fink Damon character. Hey, isn't there another Major Movie Star in this movie, one who was knocking it out of the park in the perfect role for him during the few minutes they've let him have on screen? Why have they been keeping him on the bench? Oh ..."

    A pretty satisfying plot twist.

    I agree about Marky-Mark. It is his most perfect role. Problem is, I had about the same progression of thoughts as you. But you’re not supposed to figure it out, as that ruins the surprise. The disappearance of Walberg’s character was as abrupt as Leo’s death. Sheen dies, then he’s just gone. You’re not supposed to think about it, because there’s so much else going on. But I noticed. I kept asking myself where he was.

    That makes the twist a bit cheap, because they had to unnaturally lift a character out of the story and make you forget him in order to pull it off. But it was satisfying to see Damon die.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Wish fulfillment is fun.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments