LMNOP's One Film a Day 365 Project: 346/365: The Man Who Wasn't There
After art (and arguably music), my 2nd/3rd love is Film. There are many classic films that I still have not seen (modern films as well), so, as inspired by this type of project on Tumblr, I've vowed to watch one film I have not seen (or seen in its entirety) every day for a year. I'm using the forums as a marker so that I'll have a place to keep track of everything I've watched so far. Feel free to make suggestions (lesser-known/independent films are always welcomed).
I'll post a review, short or long, for each film in the blog after viewing. Here's to happy watching!
1. Harold and Maude (1971)
Though morbid and dark outright, Harold and Maude sports uplifting themes at its core and has the potential to help those in a similar position as its central character.
2. The BQE (2007)
The BQE is, at times, an intoxicating triptych style film about the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, intercut with scenes of expert hooping; an instrumental watch for fans of Sufjan Steven's music.
3. Spellbound (2002)
Spellbound is a detailed look into the lives of national spelling-bee contestants that does an excellent job at cross-examining children from different walks of life and upbringing, as well as the methods used to tune their skills, which makes it an intriguing and interesting watch.
4. Apocalypse Now (1979)
Filled with stark cinematography and arresting visuals, the numbing violence and early stages of war-induced hysteria in the first two thirds of Apocalypse Now pale in comparison to Marlon Brando's performance of total surrender to madness in the final act; his portrayal also serves as a cautionary statement to the ruthless and evil ramifications that war can bring forth in a person.
5. The Fifth Element (1997)
With its dedicated production design and pulpy atmosphere, The Fifth Element (though a bit of a Star Wars rip) does a good job of creating original, B-movie sci-fi (thanks to its outrageous and committed characters).
6. A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
Wonderful characters and a layered plotline do wonders for A Fish Called Wanda's hilarious script, and the slapstick performances are some of the best in film thus far.
7. Welcome to the Punch (2013)
Welcome to the Punch is police/manhunt/revenge story with plenty of visual flair and not enough substance; the script is lackluster, the plot is a bit convoluted, and, considering the talent involved, it doesn't live up to the films it's clearly trying to mimic, despite its moderately decent fight scenes.
8. Shadow of the Vampire (2000)
Shadow of the Vampire is an interesting 'alternate history biopic' of the process behind the filming of Nosferatu; it pays good homage to the original (and has its own flair of atmospheric creepiness), and Willem Dafoe's performance as Max Schreck is wonderfully hilarious and disturbing.
9. Best in Show (2000)
Best in Show is a wonderful mockumentery about dog-show competition; it takes a bit to get into the film's feel, but the brilliant characterization (and perfectly chosen cast) support its silly brand of humor.
10. Fantastic Planet (1973)
Fantastic Planet is a strange and wonderful pioneering animated feature; though its underlying themes are less than subtle, the stark and surrealist imagery is both bleak and hopeful, and it is a vastly original sci-fi vision.
11. Rango (2011)
With beautiful animation, and a wonderfully bizarre sensibility, Rango is a rare and enjoyably original yarn with pitch-perfect characterization.
12. Game of Death (1978)
Though mostly uninspired, Bruce Lee's physical determination and devotion to craft shine in his last staring film.
13. What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)
It does grab for the heartstrings unapologetically, but What's Eating Gilbert Grape is a delightful character piece featuring great performances from young stars that also serves as a statement against judging situations/people solely from an outside view.
14. Big Night (1996)
Big Night's delicious menu is the centerpiece for this drama about family and choices; although the story is bittersweet (and the characters do not always triumph in their endeavors), wonderful performances and subtle camerawork make this an extremely delightful experience.
15. El Orfanato (The Orphanage) (2007)
Though at times frightening, The Orphanage is a well spun ghost story that plays out as a murder mystery most of the time; its extremely well-done plot setup does wonders for the final act, which, instead of going for scares or gore, ties the story up with a first-heartbreaking-then-uplifting twist.
16. North by Northwest (1959)
With lightning fast, razor sharp dialogue, and a perfect performance on Cary Grant's part the thickly layered plot of North by Northwest slowly unfurls, escalating to a crescendo of great heights.
17. Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)
Kiki's Delivery Service is a wonderful allegory for the desperate flight toward trying to find one's stride in life, and it has some useful advice on how to rediscover inspiration and faith after a dark spell.
18. Trainspotting (1996)
With the help of some committed performances, Danny Boyle's manic portrayal of drug use is a clear reminder of the catastrophic effects in can have on a person's life, of how low it can bring an individual.
19. Braindead (Dead Alive)
Braindead is best viewed on an empty stomach; although some of the technical feats are utterly repulsive (and hilarious), Peter Jackson's devotion to this true masterpiece of escalating grossness makes it clear it's all in good, campy fun.
20. Oldboy (2003)
Oldboy has a definite strangeness about it, and a tone that makes it hard to watch, but its narrative is interesting to say the least, and Min-sik Choi's transformative performance from beginning to end is truly boggling.
21. Waiting for Guffman (1997)
Christopher Guest crafts a winner in Waiting for Guffman, a hilarious character study of amateur actors full of effective deadpan.
22. Vampire's Kiss (1989)
Nicolas Cage remains the only reason to see Vampire's Kiss, a strange, dull, and often campy time-sucking exercise in mediocrity (but Cage's performance is hilariously silly).
23. 12 Monkeys (1995)
With wonderful production value and off-the-wall performances, 12 Monkeys is a fantastic, circular time-travel yarn that plays out like a mystery.
24. Monkeybone (2001)
Henry Selick unfortunately drops the ball in Monkeybone, a fun visual-feast that is limp in both story and laughs.
25. Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)
Its study of street-art/artists is both engrossing and humorous, but what makes Exit Through The Gift Shop so memorable is its ability to show the depth and personality behind the artists, as well as the reasons why they do what they do.
26. Misery (1990)
The performances of Caan and Bates make Misery's electric source material even more unsettling, its building tension and escalating dread accentuated by its taut and thoughtful direction.
27. Porco Rosso (1992)
Miyazaki's wonderfully fluid animated feature Porco Rosso is a thoughtful look at a jaded fighter pilot and his (reluctant) quest to self-betterment that serves as an excellent metaphor for the positive/negative effect people can have on our lives and the importance of understanding how our experiences shape our personality.
28. Deliverance (1972)
Deliverance carries an intensity, both in plot and performances, from beginning to end, showcasing the characters' transformation from frivolous to survivalist, and its underlying message of the importance of being stewards of the earth is effectively portrayed.
29. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)
Rife with spectacular performances (and a gorgeous landscape backdrop), The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is a profound and deeply human portrait of a people-group many are never exposed to that never once stops to poke fun at its subjects.
30. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (2011)
Though it wears its self-awareness out before the final scenes, Tucker and Dale is a delightfully gory, mostly funny parody that has fun leads and, surprisingly, a refreshingly good-hearted central message.
31. Igby Goes Down (2002)
Igby Goes Down has a smug sense of insight (on account of its incredibly well-written script), but it never loses sight of its characters' humanity, effectively setting up a wonderfully layered plot with deft performances from a perfect cast.
32. My Dog Tulip
Singular in style and execution, My Dog Tuplip, with its bracingly abrupt yet unequivocally poetic dialogue, draws many parallels between the seemingly natural activities dogs engage in and the cruel way of the human world.
33. The Usual Suspects (1995)
The Usual Suspects is an intricately woven yarn of equal parts mystery, noir, and black comedy with excellent performances all around.
34. Take Shelter (2011)
With its perfectly nuanced direction, and an electrifying performance from Michael Shannon, Take Shelter builds to a series of plot crescendos that make it worth the journey.
35. Gremlins (1984)
Thought sporting some less-than-subtle themes, Gremlins is a technical feat of puppetry the likes of which isn't seen often anymore.
36. Amélie (2001)
Wonderfully original direction and quirky performances make Amélie a sweetly mysterious tale that is unavoidably charming.
37. Quartet (2013)
Though its story is nothing original, Dustin Hoffman guides the seasoned film and stage veterans with sensitive direction in Quartet, a story about aging talent that is equal parts melancholy and delightful.
38. On the Waterfront (1954)
On the Waterfront remains a benchmark in film thanks to Marlon Brando's excellent performance (both brooding and explosive) in this terrific yarn of mob brutality that doubles as a sharp allegory of the might people have within them to overthrow an oppressive power.
39. Schindler's List (1993)
Perhaps the most powerful of Spielberg's works, Schindler's List utilizes the starkness of black and white to drive home the timeless remembrance of, perhaps, the worst atrocity in human history: brutality and selflessness, pain and determination, darkness and hope, each unflinchingly portrayed and bolstered by a dedicated cast.
40. Slither (2006)
As a delightfully gory homage to b-movie horror, Slither walks the tightrope between scary and funny with ease.
41. City Island (2009)
City Island is an intricately concocted comedy showcasing how dysfunctional/ill-communicating relationships can create a multitude of problems; though the script is less than fantastic, its cast make up for it with a realistic portrayal of a family caught up in a twisted plot of half-truths and good intentions.
42. Sleeper (1973)
Woody Allen's futuristic comedy Sleeper is comprised mostly of slapstic and physical comedy, but there are a few very inspired lines that perpetuate this film.
43. The Parking Lot Movie (2010)
A seemingly boring niche subject transforms into a deep journey of self discovery and personal growth in The Parking Lot Movie, a doc that follows the lives of parking lot employees (most of whom are well educated), chronicling their frustrations, hopes, and pleasures (work or otherwise), as well as each individual's thoroughly entertaining and insightful musings on the importance/place of the job in their lives.
44. The Others (2001)
The Others is a (mostly) restrained ghost story with an effectively structured set-up that makes the ending all the more satisfying.
45. Trick 'r' Treat (2006)
Trick 'r Treat is a fantastic mix of thrills and benchmark horror tropes, effortlessly weaving its anthology tales to create a truly scary and incredibly well-crafted experience (both storywise and in art direction), with the perfect amount of dark comedy thrown in to lighten the twisted tales.
46. Side Effects (2013)
Side Effects is an incredibly well crafted caper that causes the viewer's perceptions of the characters to change over the course of the film, bearing testament to Steven Soderbergh's talent for creating the perfect tone and guiding the actors with utmost care to detail.
47. Black Snake Moan (2007)
Though the story is based in outrageous circumstances/plot-devices, Black Snake Moan is a highly-stylized look at complex relationships and damaged individuals looking for solace, the actors portrayals (although embellished with Blues mentality) remaining human underneath the bizarre structure of their characters' lives.
48. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
It's not as disciplined as it could have been, but The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, though bleak and macabre in its imagery, does carry a strong sense of individuality about it and even manages to put forth a few artistic frames.
49. The Thing (1982)
Slow burning suspense, incredible prosthetic effects, and a chilling soundtrack elevate The Thing to near-perfect B-movie stature, with plenty of terrifically quotable lines.
50. Hellraiser (1987)
Another brilliant feat of technical make-up, Hellraiser, though extremely unsettling and rife with gore and depravity, still manages to rise above gross-out horror with its interesting narrative and extremely well-done anatomical effects and, amidst the frights, still manages some inspired shots.
51. Crazy Heart (2009)
Jeff Bridges puts forth a believable portrayal of a boozed-out has-been trying to restart his musical career in Crazy Heart, a decent character study that pays homage to the effect strong life-bonds can have as well as how the power of music can draw people together.
52. The Mist (2007)
The Mist is a decent tale of class struggle in a confined space, escalating in a believable way, and with most of the cast being against type for the genre, it plays out rather convincingly.
53. Warm Bodies (2013)
With its surprisingly original take on a genre that has grown old and repetitive in the zombie-saturated generation, Warm Bodies, though admittedly schmaltzy in parts, balances the mainstream appeal with some inspired observations on change and individuality.
54. Taxi Driver (1976)
Taxi Driver is one of Martin Scorsese's most intense character studies, fully taking advantage of its subject matter by using the city backdrop as a way to convey the story, telling its story of anti-social behavior and misguided sense of duty to dizzying effect.
55. The Birds (1963)
Thought its ending is a bit anticlimactic, The Birds is nonetheless one of the greatest studies in slow building suspense, escalation, and dread, pitting ordinary people against a terrible threat they once considered harmless.
56. Iron Man 3 (2013)
Though it does seem to be trying very hard, Iron Man 3 is, largely, a forced affair (its script grasping for wit at every turn, its fight scenes trying to top other superhero efforts), yet it cannot carve enough of a name for itself to be among the best of the Marvel films.
57. Super Size Me (2003)
Super Size Me is an involving look at how fast-food has shaped our culture, our diet, and our waistlines, warning off its dangers through a first-hand account of its detrimental effects.
58. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Though the first half establishes the characters and premise, it is the unsettling second half that has cemented itself in horror lore, offering some incredibly believable amateur acting and an ending that won't let you sleep for a week.
59. Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006)
Behind the Mask is an interesting and inventive take on the slasher movie, its mock-doc format, though clearly on a shoe-string budget, does a great job at both scares and laughs, explaining the facets of the genre with unsettling and hilarious results.
60. Beginners (2011)
A bittersweet story of second chances and fresh starts, Beginners is beautifully realized, and with its fantastic sense of direction, this film (about a gay man coming out in old age and his son trying to deal with the repercussions (as well as his own loneliness)) is touching and deep without dipping into melodrama.
61. Barton Fink (1991)
The Coen Brothers, although known for many masterpieces, shine in Barton Fink, a beautifully-shot, off-kilter tale of writer's block and deception that excels on the shoulders of its talented cast (as well as an incredibly smart script full of twists).
62. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
Woody Allen uses his signature humanistic tone to guide this sometimes sad, other times humorous take on inter-family relationships, offering a drastic take that is both introspective and entertaining, tackling subjects of love, commitment, faith, and failure with plenty of wit.
63. Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)
I wanted to treat myself to a movie in which I could turn my brain off and enjoy a bit of fantasy/action/comedy, and, from the title/trailer, I knew exactly what I was in for. Going in with extremely low expectations (based on critic reviews), I was actually pleasantly surprised by how much this one didn't completely blow. Though the dialogue is run-of-the-mill and the story-line nothing new, the production design is quite impressive, and I wouldn't mind seeing these/this characters/world in a sequel.
64. I Love You Phillip Morris (2009)
Unabashed in its gay sentimentality, I Love You Phillip Morris is a cleverly acted comedy about one of the most infamous con-men in American history; Jim Carrey does an excellent job at portraying all aspects of Steve Russell's life of crime, and the sheer magnitude of the events is boggling and (darkly) hilarious.
65. Sideways (2004)
I've always been drawn to characters who are down on themselves, people who think they have no place or should give up because everything they know is crumbling. They remind me of...me, or at least the me that existed not but a year ago. In that respect, Sideways does an excellent job of melding complex characters, difficult choices, a wonderfully poetic script, and equal measures of darkness and comedy (fermented together until their peak), crafting a story that is both profound and humanistic, painful and hilarious, illustrating that a down-and-out-life often holds a second chance.
66. American Splendor (2003)
A wonderfully original narrative, chronicling one of comics' (underrated) unsung heroes, American Splendor is an excellent relay of Harvey Pekar's life, portrayed in both realistic and exaggerated fashion, offering insight into the everyday events that make life a struggle (and worth living) and the ways there are to cope.
67. The Descent (2005)
A spectacularly directed (if at times unnecessary gory) take on survival horror; underneath the guise of tight-spaces and creatures in the dark lay themes of perseverance, revenge, and the drive it takes for some to continue on in the bleakest of circumstances.
68. Milk (2008)
A tender and uplifting biopic of Harvey Milk's efforts in bringing the gay movement out of the closet; great performances and solid production value elevate the inspiring true story, and the film serves as a testament that, when resolute in volition, anyone can change the world.
69. Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
A worthy sequel to the franchise-revitalizing film; Abrams explores benchmarks of the Star Trek universe, introducing species and characters that will likely be in a third installment (if it is ever produced). It WAS more of what we encountered in the Abrams' first...but in the best way possible.
70. Beauty is Embarrassing (2012)
The singlemost surprising delight of a film I've experienced in ages; Beauty is Embarrassing chronicles the life of Emmy Award winning artist Wayne White (Pee Wee's Playhouse), and the amount of tenacity and drive he has (as well as the wonderfully original life he's made for himself) are truly inspiring to young, insecure artists like myself. I will be watching this regularly for inspiration.
71. Celeste and Jesse Forever (2012)
This dramedy about a failing relationship (mostly) dodges the tropes of its genre by offering an original plot full of genuine comedy and pain; Rashida Jones shows her acting chops and puts forth a convincing performance of going through the self-destruction and reform of a breakup and the triumph of coming out a stronger person on the other side.
72. Hunger (2008)
Michael Fassbender's undeniably dedicated performance brings the story of the 1981 Irish Hunger Strike to vivid light, showcasing the adverse repercussions of strict democracy and police brutality, challenging viewers to question the regime of tight-fisted government and to determine where the blurred dividing line between defiance and conviction lies.
73. Election (1999)
A uproarious comedy of errors set inside the short period of a high-school election; wonderful narration structure supported by a perfect cast guide the incredibly tight and cringingly-hilarious story, illustrating the negative side of the domino effect and the consequences of ill-will.
74. Jackie Brown (1997)
With its harsh language and outrageously plotted story, Jackie Brown is an ambitious yarn of double-crosses and mistakes, exuding Tarantino's signature sensibility in every frame.
75. The Savages (2007)
Though at times brash with its difficult and sensitive subject matter, The Savages allows its brazen tone to work in its favor, tackling topics of acceptance, family dysfunction, unfortunate circumstances, and death with acid humor and realistic humanism.
76. My Left Foot (1989)
Inspiring tale of a cerebral-palsy-stricken artist who, after years of struggle and obstacles, and with the help of his mentors and family, learns to thrive, and it features absolute brilliant acting from Daniel Day-Lewis; it would not have been a success without him.
77. Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
Extremely clever musical that pokes fun at a plethora of topics including b-movie-horror, romance, and consumerism; the director's cut is an unexpected treat, throwing away the 'happy-ending' many know and love in lieu of a much more sinister finale.
78. Team America: World Police (2004)
I'd seen the first half a few years after it had come out and opted to leave the rest of it unwatched (since brash, gross-out humor isn't really my thing). Nevertheless, it beckoned me back (on account of work-employee-requotes), and, although it is still unabashedly juvenile, it, like South Park before it, does a decent job of (offensively) parodying the issues. My, is it offensive. Matt Damon.
79. The Return of The Living Dead (1985)
A campy zombie b-movie with plenty of strange 80's punk flair and goofy-but-solid-for-its-time effects, and it's apocalyptic end fits its incredibly nonsensical plot.
80. Ed Wood (1994)
An obviously affectionate biopic that illuminates the strange and (un)inspiring life of Edward D. Wood Jr.; Tim Burton's style and obsession with the macabre bolsters the story, and Martin Landau is every bit deserving of his Academy Award.
81. Me and You and Everyone We Know (2004)
Though at surface level an incredibly strange (and sometimes unsettling) series of events, Me and You and Everyone We Know is a sometimes opulent, other times fleeting look at the heartbreaking and undeniably human grasp for connection everyone faces; it also provides a thoughtful look into the unique struggle shared by every person in striving to determine individual identity.
82. Shame (2011)
Steve McQueen's heavy character study explores a lifestyle and side of addiction that many never see or understand; Michael Fassbender's performance, both nuanced and engulfing, illustrates the hollowness that comes with any addiction, as well as the emotional and physical spirals it creates.
83. Mean Girls (2004)
Thanks to an excellent script from Tina Fey, and devoted performances from those involved, Mean Girls rises (slightly) above its genre by offering pathos and life-lessons along with its plastic coating.
84. Man of Steel (2013)
It is incredibly hard not to become hyped about a film when there are so many great names attached (Nolan co-writing/producing, Zimmer scoring, etc). I fell victim to the hype because I really wanted this one to be amazing (and the trailers made it seem like it was going to be). It wasn't terrible by any means. I appreciate Snyder trying to create a fresh look for the mythology (as well as an interesting take on the back-story), but the best of the script was in the trailers, and the acting felt (for the most part) forced. I did enjoy the effects, but their splendor was brought down by the sense of lacking in everything else. Michael Shannon made a good villain, and Antje Traue a worthy Zod side-kick, but at times I almost wanted the baddies to win instead of Supes. I'll still watch the sequel, but I was pretty let down.
85. Capote (2005)
Spectacularly directed biopic covering the events and process leading up to Truman Capote's true-crime novel In Cold Blood; super performance from Philip Seymour Hoffman in the title role and incredibly humanistic portrayal of authors and murderers alike.
86. Cloud Atlas (2012)
A riveting, multi-layered, intellectually challenging sci-fi epic with questions and propositions about reality and morality that match its scope and vision; the use of prosthetics and makeup is very enjoyable to behold (as well as the different roles that are beneath them), and this is another adaptation that makes me want to read the book.
87. High Fidelity (2000)
High Fidelity is a funny-and-semi-realistic look at motivation, personal taste, relationship tropes, and redemption; John Cusack imbues his role with slacker wit and pathos.
88. Scarface (1983)
Encapsulating the neon-bathed, macho-saturation of the 80's, Brian De Palma crafts a memorable crime thriller in Scarface, an over-the-top, memorably flamboyant study of the negative effects a rise-to-power can bring forth in an individual while also giving us some of the most quoted lines in all of film history.
89. Paper Heart (2009)
A genuinely affectionate moc-doc that explores the different facets of love by showcasing the struggles and triumphs of couples all across America, tying subplots together with hand-crafted vignettes and typically humorous dialogue.
90. Pitch Perfect
Though its narrative structure is nothing new, Pitch Perfect still has enough fun musical numbers to keep the viewer engaged AND some decent comedic performances to boot (especially that of Rebel Wilson).
91. Thumbsucker (2005)
Though perhaps not as disciplined as it should be, Thumbsucker is still a decently crafted study of escalating habits, realistic relationships, and accepting oneself as a unique individual, supported by occasional surrealistic flourishes and heartfelt contemplation.
92. Evil Dead (2013)
Though it does become a bit repetitive (and slightly boring) toward the end, this new-hash Evil Dead makes up for the lack of hair-brained hilarity of the classics with cringingly abrupt gore, a creepy atmosphere, solid production value, and sharp direction that pays obvious-yet-affectionate homage to the originals.
93. This Is The End (2013)
It does a relatively good job at parodying the 'end-of-the-world' tropes in apocalyptic films, and even has a few good laughs, but This Is The End is, ultimately, too undisciplined to effectively support the efforts of its talented cast, falling short in the script department and not utilizing the strength of the actors to fill its bloated run-time wisely.
94. Goon (2011)
Sean William Scott is, yet again, given a role that exudes blunt simpleness, but he uses the opportunity to throw in a surprising amount of heart, playing a believable 'good-guy-who-just-wants-to-do-good-by-his-friends', and the direction, while getting down to the nitty-gritty of hockey behavior, does a decent job of portraying the Canadian backdrop (and its country-pride) as well.
95. Puss In Boots (2011)
Though it doesn't offer much more than a fast-paced romp of Spanish-flavored chase scenes, Puss In Boots makes the most of it by offering stunning animation and colorful characters in an interesting take on fairy-tale happenings.
96. The Croods (2013)
Though slapstick is a huge part of The Croods (and it falls back on this device often), it's all in good fun (and fits with the 'time-period'), using bumbling-gags, lightweight humor, and gorgeously original animation to teach lessons of commitment, acceptance, humility, and the importance of the family element.
97. Get Low (2010)
Fantastic period piece about a lonely hermit self-chastising himself for the only act he's been both ashamed and proud of; the fantastically subtle performances from both Robert Duvall and Bill Murray hold wit and humor while still remaining genuinely human.
98. Cronos (1993)
A masterwork from Guillermo del Toro, Cronos expertly subverts many of the eternal-life tropes of horror to deliver a strongly performed character piece that uses vampiric elements as an allegory against greed and the love of personal gain.
99. Mimic (1997)
The elaborate production design and signature direction from del Toro is prevalent, but, sadly, the same cannot be said of Mimic's limp script and overblown acting.
100. The Omen (1976)
Although not possessing quite the level of finesse as other horror classics, The Omen is still an incredibly unsettling look at events leading to the End of Days, exemplified by decent storytelling and committed acting.
101. The Devil's Backbone (2000)
A wonderfully original ghost-story with lush and interesting sub-plots, The Devil's Backbone is wrought with tragic characters, inventive imagery, and expert craftsmanship that double as a cautionary statement for the nature of unfulfilled, overwhelming rapacity and its consequences.
102. Pacific Rim (2013)
Though its script is, at times, a bit lackluster, the phenomenal effects, incredible production design, and fun story boost Pacific Rim beyond its premise to deliver a wild and breathtaking journey full of complex characters and futuristic thrills.
103. The Fly (1986)
David Cronenberg crafts an intelligent, updated version of the classic tale that showcases Jeff Goldblum's range and some truly unnerving creature effects.
104. The Secret World of Arrietty (2012)
A surprisingly grown-up vision of the classic story, The Secret World of Arrietty's themes are fun without becoming silly, realistic without being cynical, and emotional without delving into melodrama.
105. Only God Forgives (2013)
Nicolas Winding Refn crafts an incredibly strange film that awes with its visceral, sometimes inexplicable imagery (and that, admittedly, may have some deeper meanings that what's on the surface), but, sadly, the lack of relatable, grounded characters stunts Only God Forgives in ever transcending from anything other than a gorgeously bleak style-exercise.
106. Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
Held on the shoulders of Kurt Russell's unabashedly macho performance, Big Trouble in Little China pays homage to over-the-top b-movies of the past while providing special effects and a killer soundtrack that still hold up to this day.
107. Parenthood (1989)
Filled with believable characters and realistic life-situations, Parenthood remains one of the touchstone films about family, its every frame filled with wit, pathos, and hilarity, thanks to grounded performances by its players.
108. Pretty in Pink (1986)
Another benchmark 80's-teen-dramedy, Pretty in Pink cleverly showcases the bewilderment and triumphs of teen life, features a wonderful style-aesthetic and soundtrack, and provides a well-rounded view of personal growth, even though its conclusion is bittersweet.
107. Dazed and Confused (1993)
A true-to-life look at high-school in the the 70's, Dazed and Confused is both hilarious and poignant, following the lives of everyday school-kids, delving into their lives and using the events and relationships that tie them together to reveal the motivations behind the actions and choices we all must make.
108. Blue Valentine (2010)
Though its study of a self-destructing marriage is dishearteningly difficult to behold, Blue Valentine is nonetheless riveting, its highs and lows incredibly captivating thanks to human portrayals from both Gosling and Williams.
109. Rosemary's Baby (1968)
With a surprising mix of temperate drama and shocking plot development, Rosemary's Baby remains amongst the most unsettling spiritual-horror films to date.
110. Oblivion (2013)
It's not original or profound, and it could certainly benefit from quite a bit more depth in the script department, but Oblivion is a stylish and emotionally satisfying sci-fi with just enough visual panache to keep viewers invested.
111. Requiem for a Dream (2000)
A slow burning crescendo into drug-induced mania, Requiem for a Dream is a shockingly-visceral, cautionary allegory for the destructive effects of substance abuse and the emotional weight that comes with it.
112. The Conjuring (2013)
Though its plot is well worn, The Conjuring benefits from James Waan's steady hand and visual aesthetic and is bolstered by well-rounded performances from its cast.
113. The Wolverine (2013)
The Wolverine is a surprisingly engaging tale in the X-Men universe, highlighting Logan's personal struggle with immortality and the emptiness it brings, providing audiences with another committed performance from Hugh Jackman, as well as a lushly beautiful Japanese backdrop.
114. Starter for 10 (2006)
At times a cringingly awkward vision of early college life, at others a satisfying look at personal growth, Starter for 10 finds James McAvoy in top form, creating a stumbling-but-determined youth in search of the truer things in life.
115. Delicatessen (1991)
Though its subject matter is dark, Delicatessen never loses its sense of fun or wit, providing a truly original post-apocalyptic world and a delightful cast of oddball characters that accentuate the experience.
116. Tootsie (1982)
Dustin Hoffman shines in Tootsie, a glowing portrait of a man willing to do anything to make a name for himself, as well as a powerful testament to the unfair treatment of women in the workplace and the slow-but-necessary changes toward equal rights for all.
117. Sling Blade (1996)
Though its pace insures the end result is no surprise, Sling Blade is still a stark character-piece showcasing the strong (though sometimes misguided) good in everyone, exemplified by a totally committed performance from Billy Bob Thorton.
118. The City of Lost Children (1995)
The City of Lost Children demonstrates Jean-Pierre Jeunet's and Marc Caro's affinity for sublimely aligning tone with art-direction, effortlessly guiding the film's players in the dark-though-abundantly layered fantasy world.
119. Broadcast News (1987)
Broadcast News details the inner-workings behind the scenes of the television world, and with a sharp script full of characters that are neither noble nor abominable, it creates a realistic-yet-witty picture of what life on the edge of breaking-news is like.
120. Steamboy (2004)
Steamboy sports animated imagery that is both competently made and visually striking, but its limp story and clunky pacing make it less than spectacular.
121. Theatre of Blood (1973)
Vincent Price gives and grandiosely campy performance as a delusional stage actor who deems it appropriate to murder the critics who spurned his career, and the result is a delightfully macabre journey featuring terrible puns, Shakespeare, and plenty of dark humor.
122. Friday the 13th Part II (1981)
Yet another cashed in sequel to ensure the continuation of a franchise, Friday the 13th Part II doesn't yet have the guts to flesh out the classic look of its villain, nor does it offer anything beyond meaningless horror movie violence.
123. Bridesmaids (2011)
Though crude and juvenile, Bridesmaids has a disciple that many comedies lack, working with its by-the-book story to create a realistic (if overblown) view of friendships and the events that test them.
124. Falling Down (1993)
Michael Douglas gives a firey performance of a misguided and disgruntled man who goes of a spree of self-imposed justice after his company makes him redundant.
125. The Raid: Redemption (2012)
Meticulously orchestrated choreography and well written characters help The Raid: Redemption rise above its brutal violence and bleak story.
126. There's Something About Mary (1998)
Though undoubtedly juvenile, There's Something About Mary finds the Farelly Brothers in top form, showcasing their knack at blending raunch and heart to humorous effect.
127. Elysium (2013)
Neil Blomkamp's Elysium captures the grand scope and dizzying effects of District 9 but fails to back up its grandiose visuals with worthy ideals or conviction.
128. Easy Rider (1969)
Easy Rider effectively encapsulates the biker culture of the X Generation, its free-spirited ideas syncing together with a truth seeking narrative.
129. Smashed (2012)
The realistic portrayal of alcoholism and marital problems crafts a sturdy foundation for Smashed, allowing the players to inhabit their roles with sorrow and conviction.
130. Insidious (2010)
Though it dissolves into a madcap monster chase in the final act, Insidious is nevertheless an interesting enough variation of the haunted house/possession genre.
131. Dead Silence (2006)
James Wan's affinity for dolls shines forth in Dead Silence, it's overwrought acting and story mixing with its lavish production values to create creepy but satisfying b-movie horror.
132. The World's End (2013)
Although not as madcap or inviting as the first two Cornetto installments, The World's End balances its more meaningful tone with genuine emotion, clever foreshadowing, and inspired hilarity.
133. Saw II (2005)
With the absence of James Wan, Saw II, though remaining as unsettling as the first installment, doesn't build enough of a back-story for its characters, resulting in a lot of meaningless torture, both for the cast and the audience.
134. Into The Abyss (2011)
Into The Abyss chronicles the unsettling true-crime story of mislead youths and their misguided lust for control and power while simultaneously revealing the hearts of those employed by the justice system, creating a homogenized view of both sides of the law and how complete surrender to either side can have disastrous results.
135. Planet of the Apes (1968)
An essential piece of sci-fi cinema, Planet of the Apes mixes a brilliant score, absorbing performances, and thought-provoking ideas, culminating in a conclusion so shocking that at has been endlessly referenced and mimicked but never duplicated.
136. Blue Velvet (1986)
As challenging as it is intriguing, Blue Velvet's story takes familiar, well-worn mystery elements and makes them aesthetically demanding, containing characters that are both detestable and relatable.
137. The Wicker Man (1973)
Immediately a psychological classic, The Wicker Man takes its time in exploring the contrast of straight-collar religion and pagan practices, slowly building on its creepy premise to deliver a truly shocking final act.
138. Chinatown (1974)
A masterwork of noir storytelling and committed acting, Chinatown succeeds at both emulating the feel of the period and carving its own place as a tightly written, suspense filled mystery.
139. Saw III (2006)
The exploits of Jigsaw continue in Saw III, a limp sequel that does little to challenge the audience other than to test the strength of their stomach.
140. The Kings of Summer (2013)
In a sea of coming-of-age films, The Kings of Summer sets itself apart by pushing beyond the tropes of the genre to create a story filled with believable chemistry, sharp direction, an abundance of laughs, and a genuine heart at its center.
141. Monster's Ball (2001)
Monster's Ball is an intimate portrait of damaged souls crossing paths, reminding all who view it that, despite ruthless barriers set up by petty ignorance, the innate need for human acceptance and connection is more powerful than senseless hatred.
142. The Producers (1968)
Featuring madcap performances from both Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder, The Producers is a comedy gem that is as sharp a satire on show business as it is a hilarious showcase of Mel Brooks' talent.
143. Boy (2010)
Though it is irreverent at times, and suffers from less than consistent pacing, Boy is an incredibly humorous look at the way that relationships shape us as human beings.
144. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
With a razor-sharp script, and the extremely lovable chemistry between Paul Newman and Robert Redford, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is enjoyable through and through.
145. Sullivan's Travels (1941)
Though its execution and ideals show their age, Sullivan's Travels is, nonetheless, a well written examination of the measure of man, delving deep in and effort to try to understand the structure of the American Dream.
146. When Harry Met Sally... (1989)
147. Valhalla Rising (2009)
148. American History X (1998)
149. Dark City (1998)
150. Severance (2006)
151. Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead (2010)
152. Jeepers Creepers (2001)
153. Kick-Ass 2 (2013)
154. Kinky Boots (2006)
155. Repo Man (1984)
156. Dr. Strangelove Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
157. Being John Malcovich (1999)
158. Castle in the Sky (1989)
159. A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III (2012)
160. A Cat in Paris (2010)
161. Monster (2004)
162. Get Carter (1971)
163. Winnie the Pooh (2011)
164. The Station Agent (2003)
165. The Dead Zone (1983)
166. Village of the Damned (1960)
167. The Brood (1979)
168. The Woman in Black (2012)
169. Child's Play (1988)
170. Child's Play 2 (1990)
171. We Are What We Are (2013)
172. Child's Play 3 (1991)
173. The Adventures of Baron Munchhausen (1989)
174. Fright Night (1985)
175. Fright Night (2011)
176. Interview With a Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994)
177. The Wedding Singer (1998)
178. Stories We Tell (2013)
179. Halloween (2007)
180. Frailty (2002)
181. In Bruges (2008)
182. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
183. Arachnophobia (1990)
184. Candyman (1992)
185. The To Do List (2013)
186. A Single Man (2009)
187. Michael Clayton (2007)
188. A Night at the Roxbury (1998)
189. The Loved Ones (2009)
190. Final Destination 3 (2006)
191. Final Destination 5 (2011)
192. [Crystal Fairy] (2013)
193. [Hungry for Change] (2012)
194. [The Exorcist III] (1990)
195. [Session 9] (2001)
196. [Let's Scare Jessica to Death] (1971)
197. [Day of the Dead] (1985)
198. [Anvil! The Story of Anvil] (2007)
199. [The Parole Officer] (2001)
200. [sex, lies, and videotape] (1989)
201. [House of 1000 Corpses] (2002)
202. [The Kid] (1921)
203. [Defending Your Life] (2001)
204. [The Naked Gun - From the Files of Police Squad!] (1988)
205. [The Devil's Rejects] (2005)
206. [Sexy Beast] (2001)
207. [Moonstruck] (1987)
208. [Good Will Hunting] (1997)
209. [Robot & Frank] (2012)
210. [Hannibal] (2001)
211. [Red Dragon] (2002)
212. [Aliens] (1986)
213. [Sightseers] (2012)
214. [National Lampoon's Animal House] (1978)
215. [The Woodsman] (2004)
216. [Mean Creek] (2003)
217. [Cube] (1997)
218. [The Fog] (1980)
219. [Suspiria] (1977)
220. [Elephant] (2003)
221. [Spider] (2002)
222. [The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters] (2007)
223. [Horrible Bosses] (2011)
224. [The Ref] (1994)
225. [Welcome to the Dollhouse] (1995)
226. [Crank] (2006)
227. [The Departed] (2006)
228. [Compliance] (2012)
229. [Perfect Blue] (1999)
230. [Living in Oblivion] (1995)
231. [Clerks] (1994)
232. [The Virgin Suicides] (1999)
233. [Clerks II] (2006)
234. [Bride of Chucky] (1998)
235. [Seed of Chucky] (2004)
236. [Curse of Chucky] (2013)
237. [The Number 23] (2007)
238. [This Film is Not Yet Rated] (2005)
239. [Insidious Chapter 2] (2013)
240. The Midnight Meat Train (2008)
241. Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)
242. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
243. The Crash Reel (2013)
244. Don Jon (2013)
245. Synecdoche, New York (2008)
246. Riddick (2013)
247. Being There (1979)
248. Pi (1998)
249. Everything Must Go (2010)
250. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)
251. Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)
252. The Children (2008)
253. Top Secret! (1984)
254. True Lies (1994)
255. Predator (1987)
256. You're Next (2013)
257. Hatchet (2006)
258. Stitches (2012)
259. Black Sheep (2006)
260. Feast (2005)
261. Final Destination 2 (2003)
262. Jennifer's Body (2009)
263. Source Code (2011)
264. Jacob's Ladder (1990)
265. Triangle (2009)
266. May (2002)
267. Swamp Thing (1982)
268. Doghouse (2009)
269. A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
270. A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985)
271. A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 3: Dream Warriors (1987)
272. A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 4: The Dream Master (1988)
273. A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 5: The Dream Child (1989)
274. Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)
275. Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994)
276. John Dies at the End (2012)
277. Ginger Snaps (2000)
278. Prince of Darkness (1987)
279. Bob Roberts (1992)
280. With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story (2010)
281. The Ten (2007)
282. Wet Hot American Summer (2001)
283. K-PAX (2001)
284. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)
285. Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
286. Kill List (2011)
287. Blade (1998)
288. Blade II (2002)
289. Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)
290. Her (2013)
291. Chasing Amy (1997)
292. Lake Mungo (2008)
293. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)
294. Re-Animator (1985)
295. In the Name of the Father (1993)
296. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (2013)
297. Near Dark (1987)
298. Wolf (1994)
299. Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed (2004)
300. Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning (2004)
301. Beowulf (2007)
302. Friday the 13th (2009)
303. Bad Taste (1987)
304. Meet the Feebles (1989)
305. Magic (1978)
306. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
307. Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
308. American Hustle (2013)
309. Gravity (2013)
310. Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (2013)
311. From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
312. A Horrible Way to Die (2010)
313. Dead End (2003)
314. Indie Game: The Movie (2012)
315. World War Z (2013)
316. Thor: The Dark World (2013)
317. The Elephant Man (1980)
318. 12 Years a Slave (2013)
319. Body Bags (1993)
320. Creepshow (1982)
321. Creepshow 2 (1987)
322. Tales from the Crypt (1972)
323. Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)
324. Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990)
325. Oldboy (2013)
326. The ABCs of Death (2013)
327. First Blood (1982)
328. Pumping Iron (1977)
329. Brazil (1985)
330. Hard Eight (1996)
331. The Woods (2006)
332. Sleuth (1972)
333. Asylum (1972)
334. Husk (2011)
335. Philomena (2013)
336. Captain Phillips (2013)
337. Nebraska (2013)
338. Willard (2003)
339. Dave Chappelle's Block Party (2005)
340. Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight (1995)
341. Halloween II (1981)
342. Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
343. The Last Stand (2013)
344. Moneyball (2011)
345. Stake Land (2010)
346. The Man Who Wasn't There (2001)
On the roster:
- (finish) The Great Dictator
- The Seventh Seal
- Gone With the Wind
- Seven Samurai
- The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
- Rear Window
- A Streetcar Named Desire
- Singin' in the Rain
- Some Like It Hot
- (finish) The Godfather
- The Godfather Part II
- Barry Lyndon
- Dracula (1931)
- Breakfast at Tiffany's
- The Sting
- 12 Angry Men
- Bonnie and Clyde
- Sunset Boulevard
- His Girl Friday
- (finish) Jaws
- (finish) Raging Bull
- The Graduate
- Do the Right Thing
- 8 1/2
- (finish) Goodfellas
- Malcolm X
- Mean Streets
- Velvet Goldmine
- Marie Antoinette
- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
- Moulin Rouge!
- The Fearless Vampire Killers, or Pardon Me, But Your Teeth Are in My Neck
- Sixteen Candles
- My Dinner with André
- They Live
- Snakes on a Plane
- The Warriors
- (finish) Troll 2
- (finish) The Crow
- Day Watch
- Monsters University
- (finish) Akira
- Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
- Arthur Christmas
- Tokyo Godfathers
- Chico & Rita
- (finish) THX 1138
- Solaris (1976)
- Another Earth
- Close Encounters of the Third Kind
- Great World of Sound
- A Shot in the Dark
- (finish) Bowfinger
- (finish) Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex but Were Afraid to Ask
- Withnail and I
- Everyone Says I Love You
- Bull Durham
- Crazy, Stupid Love
- Thoroughly Modern Millie
- Time Bandits
- The Witches
- Trees Lounge
- The Fall
- Frances Ha
- George Washington
- The Place Beyond The Pines
- The Believer
- A Very Long Engagement
- Liberal Arts
- (finish) Cold Souls
- Half Nelson
- Inland Empire
- Owning Mahowny
- Sunshine Cleaning
- (finish) Like Crazy
- Enter the Void
- (finish) Antichrist
- Our Children
- Coffee and Cigarettes
- Almost Famous
- (finish) In the Loop
- (finish) Prince Avalanche
- The Music of Chance
- Upstream Color
- Vanya on 42nd Street
- Shotgun Stories
- Husbands and Wives
- Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy
- Before Sunrise
- Before Sunset
- Before Midnight
- (finish) Kramer vs. Kramer
- Miller's Crossing
- Beasts of the Southern Wild
- Broadway Danny Rose
- Killing Them Softly
- The Laramie Project
- Grand Canyon
- The Slaughter Rule
- (finish) Midnight in Paris
- Slaughterhouse Five
- (finish) Rain Man
- Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
- Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
- The Postman Always Rings Twice
- King of the Hill
- (finish) The Cider House Rules
- Vicky Cristina Barcelona
- The Kids Are All Right
- Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
- 13 Conversations About One Thing
- Crimes and Misdemeanors
- Once Upon a Time in the West
- The Deer Hunter
- Love and Death
- Boys Don't Cry
- House of Sand and Fog
- Play It Again, Sam
- Zero Dark Thirty
- Get the Gringo
- The Life and Death of Peter Sellers
- Dead Man Walking
- The Wackness
- Sound of My Voice
- (finish) Breakfast on Pluto
- Margin Call
- Mother and Child
- The Emerald Forest
- The Innkeepers
- Gwoemul (The Host)
- (finish) Eraserhead
- (finish) I Saw the Devil
- What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
- (finish) Eyes Without a Face
- (finish) Night of the Living Dead
- The Fall of the House of Usher
- Invasion of the Body Snatchers
- Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979)
- Waste Land
- Jiro Dreams of Sushi
- Man on Wire
- Food Inc.
- Cave of Forgotten Dreams
- Grizzly Man
- Waltz with Bashir
- The Kid with a Bike
- Chicken With Plums
- Das Boot
- (finish) The Science of Sleep
- Les Enfants Du Paradis (Children of Paradise)