I have often wondered, what are my favourite films of all time. I managed to get 55 of them. I would like to share this list with you.
Here’s the earlier lists:
Let’s move on.
30. PER QUALCHE DOLLARO IN PIÚ – FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE (1965)
Director: Sergio Leone
Writers: Luciano Vincenzoni, Sergio Leone
Basically a sequel to A Fistful Of Dollars, For A Few Dollars More follows Clint Eastwood’s character, a bounty hunter named Monco who has to join forces with a rival bounty hunter Col. Douglas Mortimer in order to hunt down a criminal leader El Indio. But it becomes clear that the two bounty hunters have totally different reasons for the apprehension of El Indio. And ‘The Indian’ just might be a tougher foe the two have ever met, so if the two bounty hunters can’t learn to trust each other and play as a team they might end up being paid in lead instead of gold. The scene where Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef, who plays Mortimer, have their pissing contest with guns is one of the most joyous moment in film history. Their rivalry and eventual camaraderie is the pinnacle of male machismo and it’s a good example of a way to make male bonding more than silly muscle flexing. Clint and Lee are ridiculously charismatic and Gian Maria Volonté, who plays El Indigo, gives a performance that’s surprisingly layered for such a straightforward villain. You feel the guy’s tragedy although you never actually get to see what caused it. Ennio Morricone’s score is legendary and the Carillon theme (the jingle that plays from the pocket watch) is hauntingly sad and melancholic, and that final stand-off where they use the watch as a countdown is a stroke of genius. The story has a tragic undertone which underlines the grandiose nature of the film. For A Few Dollars More stands for a truly brilliant piece of filmmaking.
What I Love About It: The unflinching stunt work. The Music. Eastwood, Van Cleef & Volonté. Sergio Leone’s legendary ‘fuck you’-attitude of moviemaking.
Best Quote: “Indio! Listen to me. This is Colonel Mortimer. Douglas Mortimer. Does the name mean anything to you!”
29. THE THIN RED LINE (1998)
Director: Terence Malick
Writer: Terence Malick
James Jones wrote two novels ‘The Thin Red Line’ and ‘From Here To Eternity’ which a perfectionist madman of a director Terence Malick adapted for a cinematic experience after being absent from movie making for 20 years. The result is an all-star cast in a jarring war movie, which smacked my action-oriented 18-year old ass around in 1998. When I first saw it I kinda hated it for wasting such a great cast for a movie where most of the dialogue is (at the time) meaningless pondering and unfocused inner monologue. In the following years I had a change of heart, and it actually gets better every single time I rewatch it. The film tells a story centered on the Battle of Guadalcanal and the American soldiers put through a grinder when they are ordered to secure a hill in the middle of the island. This is especially taxing for Pvt. Witt (Jim Caviezel), who enjoyed his shore leave a bit more the military intended. His attitude bothers his friend 1st Sergeant Welsh (Sean Penn) who sees Witt as wasted potential on the service. but that’s just one of the stories Malick desires to tell. Like there’s a story about the very humane Sgt. Staros (Elias Koteas), who disobeys direct orders from his superiors in order to protect his men. Or there’s the story about bittered Lt. Col. Tall (Nick Nolte), who’s been denied promotion although he feels like he deserves to be in the General’s seat. Director Malick opts to show the horrors and beauty of war as equals and makes the experience feel appropriately brooding. It’s as we see war as something that just happens, no matter if it’s right or wrong, but rather that it’s in the nature of the human kind. The shots of the flora and the fauna in the heat of the battle are stunning. They have no saying in the matters of war, but they cope where humans falter. Oh hell, It’s a beautifully shot and edited war flick with a stellar cast. Enjoy, or fall back in line!
What I Love About It: John Toll’s cinematography, the cast, Hans Zimmer’s underappreciated score.
Best Quote: A lot of good ones in the movie, but I’ll go with this: “We’re living in a world that’s blowing itself to hell as fast as everybody can arrange it.”
28. GRAVITY (2013)
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Writer: Alfonso & Jonas Cuarón
Just when I thought movies couldn’t offer me anything truly new and innovative, Alfonso Cuarón delivers a film that just completely blew me away. Gravity is a space movie like no other, deeply realistic, but also a breathtaking spectacle. Somebody called this as only a thriller, and I’d like to punch that person in the face, because this movie is SO much more than an average suspense flick. Don’t get me wrong, the movie had me gripping my seat and hold my breath almost constantly but it also made me thrilled to have this incredible experience with an extraordinary character played by our lead actress Sandra Bullock. And Sandra…oh Sandy…welcome back to the big boys’ films, we’ve missed you. When debris from a destroyed satellite wreaks havoc on a NASA space shuttle, their only two survivors (Bullock and George Clooney, likeable as hell) must try to find a way to get back home, on Earth. And that’s all I want to tell about the movie, because this movie has to be SEEN for yourself. Glorious. Magnificent. Awe-inspiring. A game-changer. No hyperbole is inaccurate. It is that good. I should (I REALLY should) rank this higher on my list, but I’ve seen Gravity only once and that wouldn’t be fair to the other films on this list, because I’ve spent more time with the other films. But I can totally see this on my top ten, if I’d ever update this list. This made me optimistic about the future of cinema. Bring it on!
What I Love About It: The brilliant use of 3D. The spectacular effects work. Alfonso Cuarón’s superb direcrtion. Sandra Bullock’s best performance she’s done. She is spectacular.
Best Quote: “It’s time to stop driving. It’s time to go home.”
27. ROUNDERS (1998)
Director: John Dahl
Wirters: David Levien, Brian Koppelman
Mike McDermott (Matt Damon) is a reformed gambler who has a caring girlfriend and he studies law at a university. But he gets pulled back into the world of high stakes poker when Mike’s best friend Worm (Edward Norton) is released from prison. Worm enjoys Mike’s expertise and uses him to con unsuspecting gamblers. But when Worm loses big time to a Russian Mafioso Teddy KGB (John Malkovich), that’s when their friendship is truly measured. Will Mike step up and take part on match of poker where Mike’s life is at stake? This movie is favourite sport (well sort of) movie of mine. This movie is so damn suave and cool, and the script is as lean as can be. Matt Damon is really really good as Mike, and his character is more likeable than his role as a math genius with issues in Good Will Hunting. Norton is also good as the smarmy asshole who recklessly involves Mike in his shenanigans, but John Malkovich steals the show as Teddy KGB, a talented but conceited Mafioso card shark. Their final showdown is a thing of legends. Awesome, cool and smart, this one’s got it all.
What I love About It: Teddy KGB and the all of the poker sequences.
Best Quote: ”If you can’t spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, then you ARE the sucker.”
26. CALAMARI UNION (1985)
Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Writer: Aki Kaurismäki
The film opens at a bar in Kallio (it’s a Kaurismäki film, after all), where fifteen Franks and one Pekka desire a better life and they decide to escape Kallio and head to Eira, where life will be better. They each choose different paths and their destinies take them to adventures where not everyone survives. The destination is irrelevant, it’s the journey that makes the difference. All 16 actors are incredibly cool and the machismo is tangible. The film is very episodic and it doesn’t follow the traditional conventions of cinema, but it makes the film unpredictable and therefore more enjoyable. Definitely not for everyone, this movie is an unforgettable piece of world cinema and worth checking out, preferably in smoky theater with some wine with you. That’s okay, because I read that Kaurismäki was either under the influence himself or had hangovers when he shot this film. Now that’s gangsta.
What I Love About It: That unrepeatable mood the film has. The Franks. And Pekka.
Best Quote: ”Thank you Frank. I have organized us transport to the extreme centre of the city. After that it’s every man for himself.”