Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Let's Do It Again: My 100 Favorite Films of All Time #50 - #41

Alright, time to continue with this list. I haven't been writing as much lately, but that is not indicative of any lackluster enthusiasm for film or television. On the contrary I have been watching more content then ever, already crossing 110 films seen that were released in 2017 and we are only now hitting the prime meat and potatoes of late in the year, Oscar season material. I have also watched more television shows then I ever thought was possible thanks to streaming content and the ability to take it on the go. No, the reason for less writing can be boiled down to one reason: I no longer force myself to do it. I used to say, now I HAVE to write something about every film I would watch, and often times what I just witnessed does little to inspire putting words down, so now I wait for the times I WANT to write something. To be clear though, even if I don't write something that isn't an indication that I didn't care for the film. My favorite film of the year thus far is Dunkirk, and I am still yet to put a single word down on it months after seeing it. I'm thinking that will happen when I put out my best of list early next year. The new It is a tremendous horror film, currently in my top 5 of the year, yet no review from me. Didn't feel like putting my thoughts down, instead they remain in my head, bouncing around everytime I think of Pennywise.

I am thinking about writing about Blade Runner before a review of Blade Runner 2049 later this week though, so keep an eye out for that.

Anyways, on to the list, into the top 50 films of all time.

50. Lawrence of Arabia

The first time I ever saw this beautiful, bold, sprawling epic of a film was during the last time I was posting my top 100 films a few years ago, and I was so taken aback by Lawrence of Arabia I had to bend my own meaningless rules by adding it into the top 10, essentially making it a 101 favorite films list. The overwhelming immediate love affair reaction has clearly cooled a bit as this is no longer sitting in the top 10, but it is still one of the great cinematic achievements ever and worthy of a top 50 spot. 

49. La La Land

It's entirely possible you see something like Lawrence of Arabia ranked 50th and then a film like La La Land ranked right ahead of it and roll your eyes at my list. I get it. I also don't care. I am well aware of the typical backlash that occurs when a film becomes an Oscar favorite, and La La Land was certainly subjected to that social media hate followed by rejoicing when Moonlight took home Best Picture (which I was just fine with because Moonlight is a terrific film). I absolutely fucking love La La Land and to be honest, the only reason it isn't ranked even higher is because it needs to withstand a bit more of the test of time before I can elevate it to the level occupied by movies I have seen 20 or more times. Even I am curious where I will rank La La Land the next time I put one of this lists together down the road.

48. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

What an absolute shame this magnificent, cold slice of brilliant filmmaking will never get a true sequel, and before you say it, yes I am aware the entire trilogy was filmed internationally and exists for me to watch, I have seen them. They aren't Fincher. 

47. Cinema Paradiso

This is a film that simply hearing the title makes my entire body feel warm, in a good way. Cinema Paradiso is a beautiful, moving treasure of a picture, a love letter to both cinema and the way we nostalgically reflect upon our childhoods and the people and things that shape who we are.

46. Good Will Hunting

1997 was one hell of a year for cinema. Titanic, As Good As It Gets, L.A. Confidential, Jackie Brown, Boogie Nights, Contact, Starship Troopers and Con Air (okay, I threw in that last one for shits and giggles, the rest are actually great). My favorite film released that year, however, is Good Will Hunting, featuring an emotionally arresting performance by the late great Robin Williams and an Oscar winning script that is pitch perfect.

45. Before Sunrise

In the past, literally every month I may have answered differently when asked which of the Before series by Richard Linklater is the best film of the trilogy. I have now settled on a pretty permanent answer that Before Sunrise, the first of the bunch, is my favorite, but honestly I'm not sure why. Maybe I appreciate the optimism behind a young, flourishing love with that hint of sorrow behind every moment because of the unknown. That feeling of absolute magic while not knowing, will they ever see each other again? All three are excellent movies for different reasons, filmed 9 years apart so the audience aged right there along with the characters and when we reconnect with them reconnecting, we are different people as well, yet oddly the older I get the more I find them at their youngest to be the most compelling.

44. Cloud Atlas

This is a love it or hate it polarizing film, and I think you know where I stand considering it lands on this list. I read the novel the film is based on prior to seeing it and I thought it would be impossible to adapt it into a cohesive, interesting picture, and yet I continue to marvel at the work done by the Wachowski sisters and Tom Tykwer both writing and directing this masterful epic. I hope over time Cloud Atlas finds its audience and is appreciated. It deserves to be seen.

43. Memories of Murder

Chances are you probably haven't seen Memories of Murder, and it isn't the easiest film to track down, although these days I'm sure you can rent it on Amazon or something. Do that. Do that as soon as you can. A bone chilling South Korean film from filmmaker Boon Joon-ho based on the true story of the first ever serial killer in the country, murders that took place between 1986 and 1991. Such a tremendous work all the way until an extremely memorable final shot.

42. Prisoners

Director Denis Villeneuve might be a household name soon thanks to Blade Runner 2049 likely blowing up the box office, but I implore absolutely everyone to go back and watch all of his films, from his devastating true story school shooting film Polytechnique to last year's Best Picture nominee Arrival (disclaimer: I have never seen his debut feature length film Maelstrom from 2000, hence why I am starting the Villeneuve clock after that). Everything he has done has been incredible, but Prisoners is my favorite of them all, a super dark and painful look at child abduction and the lengths a father will go to to find his daughter. 


41. 12 Angry Men

Closing out this list of ten is the classic masterpiece 12 Angry Men, a film that utilizes a single setting and brilliant acting to carry it the whole way through. Directed by the great Sidney Lumet, this look at 12 jurors sweating through a hot summer day inside a room deliberating a murder case is a perfect example of just how much can be done with a terrific concept and script and the perfect performances to bring it all to life.


  1. Yay! I love it every time I see a new section of your top 100 being updated. All of these are great films and I can't wait to see how the next 40 go.

    1. Appreciate that Cody, added another one just now!

      I apologize for not getting back to comments on here quickly, I have been distracted easily lately. Going to try to do better.