Top movies 10/10

  1. torontodog1
  2. Toronto

These are just in the order that I rated them.
It's just a list of all the movies I scored 10/10.

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  torontodog1's Rating My Rating
Yojimbo 1961,  Unrated)
Brilliant acting by Mifune and veiled anti-capitalist themes make this a masterpiece of the action movie genre. There are so many tensions: corruption vs morality, greed vs self-sacrifice, samurai order vs gangster chaos, even the sword vs the gun. It's hardly a surprise when the streets are eventually filled with dead bodies.

The directing by Kurosawa is geared towards building up the tension that often explodes into violent action sequences. There are several dark humor moments, which help to portray the cynical attitude of the main character, but also remind the viewer that he is above all, a decent man. The action scenes themselves have been duplicated endlessly by action directors ever since - especially the iconic arterial blood spray.

I would recommend this classic for anyone, as it is one of the more accessible foreign films around, and has a remarkably modern anti-hero as it's catalyst. The new BluRay release is yet another excuse to watch this endlessly entertaining samurai masterpiece as soon as possible!
Sanjuro (Tsubaki Sanjûrô) 1962,  PG-13)
Ran 1985,  R)
Seven Samurai (Shichinin no Samurai) 1954,  Unrated)
Seven Samurai (Shichinin no Samurai)
If there was a movie that could score over 100% this would be it! I love it!
Rashômon (Rashomon) (In the Woods) 1951,  Unrated)
Persona 1966,  Unrated)
The Seventh Seal (Det Sjunde inseglet) 1957,  Unrated)
The Seventh Seal (Det Sjunde inseglet)
As every movie lover knows, this story about a knight playing chess against death is one of the giants of world cinema. The so-called dark and depressing film is actually much more hopeful and humorous than it's reputation would have you believe.

The knight himself is understandably obsessed with mortality, the nature of God and the meaning of life, since his opponent is probably the equivalent of a grandmaster. There are also many other themes concerning the actions of the people the Knight, Antonius Block, and his squire encounter along their journey home from the crusades. Not only is the Black Plague wiping out the population, but this has caused widespread religious fanaticism, moral decay, and various other forms of panic throughout the medieval society. In terms of historical significance, Bergman made this film as an examination of not only medieval society, but also the 1950s cold war paranoia caused by the Soviet discovery of nuclear weapons. Despite the gloomy themes, the main characters are generally warm, funny and caring of one another. While this could have evolved into an angry indictment of humanity, Bergman actually goes the opposite direction, as he suggests that even in this darkest of times there is still good in the world.

Technically speaking this film is perfect in every way. There are countless images that are iconic in the film world, and the acting is flawless all around.

As for recommending it, well let's face it, if you want to pretend to know anything at all about movies in general, this is one of a handful of films you must consider essential viewing, whether you want to or not.
Smultronstället (Wild Strawberries) 1957,  Unrated)
Sansho the Bailiff 1954,  Unrated)
Ugetsu monogatari 1954,  Unrated)
Ugetsu monogatari
After hearing that this film has a reputation in some circles as the best movie ever made, I had to hunt down a copy. Indeed, it was brilliant enough to even exceed my exaggerated expectations, and I can see why it is so well respected. Anybody who really loves the art of motion pictures must see this in their lifetime.
La Strada (The Road) 1954,  PG)
8 1/2 1963,  Unrated)
Bande à part (Band of Outsiders) 1964,  Unrated)
Le Mépris (Contempt) 2008,  PG)
Breathless (À bout de souffle) (By a Tether) 1961,  Unrated)
Encounters at the End of the World 2007,  G)
Casablanca 1943,  PG)
Citizen Kane 1941,  PG)
Dr. Strangelove Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb 1964,  PG)
High Noon 1952,  PG)
The Maltese Falcon 1941,  PG)
Raging Bull 1980,  R)
Taxi Driver 1976,  R)
Taxi Driver
Taxi driver is the opposite of Ben Hur! Scorsese was at his best with this film, and not yet concerned with chasing his elusive Oscar. The director had come from a documentary background, and in this film he stuck to his roots, allowing DeNiro the freedom to become his character as he filmed him with minimal interference. The result is a brilliant American film that mixes French New Wave shots with Wellesian angles and carefully structured sets with improvisational acting.

The cast is terrific at maintaining natural performances that grounds this film in the True New York, not the traditional Hollywood New York with dance numbers and horse carriages. The images the audience sees support this realism by showing the dirty, dangerous side of the city, rather than glamorous tourist attractions. Later, when Travis Bickle complains to a political candidate riding in his cab about all the scum on the streets, we know exactly what he is referring to, because by then we have long been dragged down into his world.

Is Bickle a traumatized war vet, or a born psychopath? Does he hate people in general, or does he have no concept of how to connect to others? Many other questions arise from this examination of the character, and thus Scorsese prods us all to reflect on society itself, and our own place in it. Do we all have a little Travis Bickle in us? Since this film came out, we have certainly seen our share of ordinary people reenact Bickle's final shoot out with the gangsters, except the targets are family and coworkers.

This is a remarkable essay on violent behavior and a milestone in the American movement away from the Hollywood studio machine towards the modern Hollywood of Spielberg, Tarantino and Cameron. With all those different ways to approach Taxi Driver, I would recommend it for any person who really loves movies, because above everything else that's exactly what Scorsese is as well.
Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road) 1955,  Unrated)
Aparajito 1956,  Unrated)
Apur Sansar (The World of Apu) 1960,  Unrated)
2001: A Space Odyssey 1968,  G)
A Clockwork Orange 1971,  R)
Full Metal Jacket 1987,  R)
M 1931,  Unrated)
Band of Brothers (MINI-SERIES) 2001,  Unrated)
Raiders of the Lost Ark 1981,  PG)
Jaws 1975,  PG)
No Country for Old Men 2007,  R)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day 1991,  R)
The Running Man 1987,  R)
The Terminator 1984,  R)
Apocalypse Now 1979,  R)
Edward Scissorhands 1990,  PG-13)
Blade Runner 1982,  R)
Aliens 1986,  R)
Ghostbusters 1984,  PG)
National Lampoon's Vacation 1983,  R)
Caddyshack 1980,  R)
Pulp Fiction 1994,  R)
True Romance 1993,  R)
Andrei Rublev 1973,  Unrated)
Slumdog Millionaire 2008,  R)
Trainspotting 1996,  R)
Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back 1980,  PG)
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope 1977,  PG)
Once Upon a Time in the West 1968,  PG-13)
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly 1966,  R)
L.A. Confidential 1997,  R)
There Will Be Blood 2007,  R)
The Untouchables 1987,  R)
Carrie 1976,  R)
Le Cercle Rouge 1970,  R)
L'Armée des ombres (Army in the Shadows) 1969,  Unrated)
Ascenseur pour l'échafaud (Elevator to the Gallows) (Lift to the Scaffold) (Frantic) 1958,  Unrated)
The 400 Blows (Les Quatre cents coups) 1959,  Unrated)
The Sixth Sense 1999,  PG-13)
Die Hard 1988,  R)
Fast Times At Ridgemont High 1982,  R)
Das Boot (The Boat) 1981,  R)
Berlin Alexanderplatz 1983,  Unrated)
Children of Men 2006,  R)
Fires of the Plain (Nobi) 1959,  Unrated)
Fires of the Plain (Nobi)
An absolutely dismal view of humanity descending into a state of desperation. Inevitably, humans become mere beasts when faced with starvation and certain death, which is graphically demonstrated by this film. If you can handle the horrors of war, this movie will show you the worst of them.
It Happened One Night 1934,  Unrated)
The Princess Bride 1987,  PG)
Battleship Potemkin 1925,  Unrated)
Battleship Potemkin
The propaganda jibber-jabber has little meaning to a modern viewer. However the techniques that made this film famous are interesting enough to justify sitting through it, despite the plot. Let's face it, you have to give the Mona Lisa 100% rating even if it's just a portrait of some unknown chick.

It's not the work itself, it's the groundbreaking influence it had on it's artform!
12 Angry Men (Twelve Angry Men) 1957,  PG)
The Wages of Fear 1953,  Unrated)
North by Northwest 1959,  Unrated)
Il conformista (The Conformist) 1970,  R)
Rear Window 1954,  PG)
The Third Man 1949,  Unrated)
Notorious 1946,  Unrated)
The 39 Steps 1935,  PG)
Road to Perdition 2002,  R)
Road to Perdition
Both my favorite Sam Mendes and Tom Hanks movie. This is a slow, thoughtful epic about killers. It reminds me of a "gangster movie" companion to Eastwood's "Unforgiven".
Professione: reporter (The Passenger) 1975,  PG-13)
Easy Rider 1969,  R)
Easy Rider
Even though this could be considered a poor road movie or a hippie propaganda flick, it did have a lot of influence on the American films of the 70s, which was probably their most creative decade. Like Battleship Potemkin, this movie's influence is far greater than it's relevance. Where Potemkin introduced the world to montage, Easy Rider introduced it to cool.
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans 1927,  Unrated)
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
This is perhaps the most advanced silent film ever made. The effects that were used here were overshadowed when sound was introduced shortly after, and the mobility of the ever improving silent cameras demonstrated in Sunrise, quickly disappeared with the introduction of gigantic sound cameras.

This is a rare example of the silent era at it's absolute peek!
Monty Python and the Holy Grail 1975,  PG)
Planes, Trains and Automobiles 1987,  R)
Shogun Assassin 1980,  R)
Shogun Assassin
"If you choose the toy, you will join your mother in death!"
Just in case the reference in Kill Bill part 2 didn't clue you in: This is a badass movie!
La Battaglia di Algeri (The Battle of Algiers) 1967,  Unrated)
Amores Perros 2001,  R)
The Warriors 1979,  R)
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior 1981,  R)
Enter the Dragon 1973,  R)
The Lion in Winter 1968,  PG)
Jing wu ying xiong (Fist of Legend) 2008,  R)
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2001,  PG-13)
Hotaru no haka (Grave of the Fireflies) 1988,  Unrated)
The Wizard of Oz 1939,  PG)
The Night of the Hunter 1955,  PG)
The Wild Bunch 1969,  R)
Cat Ballou 1965,  G)
Touch of Evil 1958,  PG-13)
Hero 2004,  PG-13)
Die Ehe der Maria Braun (The Marriage of Maria Braun) 1979,  R)
Unforgiven 1992,  R)
The Silence of the Lambs 1991,  R)
Goldfinger 1964,  PG)
Wings of Desire 1987,  PG-13)
Au Hasard Balthazar 1966,  Unrated)
Hiroshima Mon Amour (Hiroshima, My Love) 1959,  Unrated)
Hiroshima Mon Amour (Hiroshima, My Love)
If you take this as just a simple love affair between a foreign tourist and a local, this is already a decent movie, but with Resnais you know there are several other layers beneath the surface. Gradually the two lovers become a metaphor for humanity itself, especially in the context of the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima, which is the indirect subject of the film.

Resnais has an unique style that can throw a viewer into utter confusion, with his cryptic dialog, or his famous leaps through time and space. But these devices are not just silly stunts. Once you catch on, the reward is yet another layer to the film.

This masterpiece is an example of film as a true art form - in fact the DVD booklet begins with Eric Rohmer's quote that labels this film as perhaps being "The first modern film of sound cinema". Every shot is spectacular, every performance is perfect and even the score is terrific. Like The Rules of the Game or Citizen Kane, the story is simple enough, but merely serves as a frame for the brilliant technique and deeper themes contained within.
Psycho 1960,  R)
La Haine (Hate) 1996,  R)
La Haine (Hate)
Deep within the ghettos around the world there lies an emotional bond among the people that are seemingly trapped there. Hate, or La Haine in french. But why the hate? That's what this movie is about.

Instead of staging massive riots and violent brawls, we are taken on a revealing one day journey through the projects and into the real world, by three ghetto residents who represent somewhat different attitudes within their world.

The Jewish thug, who vows to avenge the violence that he and his neighborhood suffer at the hands of the police. The rational black man, who has the most tools to make something of himself, if he could only rise above the oppression of the lower class. And finally the naive Arab, who appears to be the most resigned to his fate of poverty, of the three youths.

There are scenes that are so well shot and staged that you will remember the images forever. The authenticity of shooting on location ("We didn't even have to break any windows, the projects already looked that way.", claims Kassovitz in the audio commentary), and the use of real residents as extras, makes the film's message shine through the screen. The acting is perfect. The soundtrack consists of ambient music from the surroundings to immerse the viewer in the environment.

If there was ever an essay on the problems of the ghetto, that matches even Boyz N the Hood or Do the Right Thing, this film is it!
The Hurt Locker 2009,  R)
The Hurt Locker
Very good depiction of the Iraq war. This film doesn't seem to have much of a pro or anti war slant, which makes it more authentic. The bomb squad obviously has a suspenseful job and it makes for a good story. The acting and directing were great. This is easily the best Iraq war movie so far.
Stairway to Heaven (A Matter of Life and Death) (Stairway to Heaven) 1946,  PG)
Canterbury Tale 1944,  Unrated)
Oldboy 2005,  R)
Double Indemnity 1944,  Unrated)
Boyz n the Hood 1991,  R)
When We Were Kings 1996,  PG)
The Heart of the World 2001,  PG)
Le Samouraï (The Godson) 1967,  PG)
Le Samouraï (The Godson)
I have been anticipating seeing this movie for years, and thanks to an online 50% off sale, I was finally able to view my brand new blind-buy copy. Of course, being a huge fan of Melville's many other great films, I knew there was no risk in this purchase. Le Samourai turns out to be Melville's most personal production, almost a stripped down demonstration of his signature style without any distractions, similar to Hitchcock's minimalist suspense essay, Rear Window.

Yet even with it's own generous helping of suspense, Le Samourai is much more a character study, in the context of a gangster crime movie. The character is the mysterious hitman who is pursued by an entire police force, dangerous women and various other thugs throughout Paris. The hitman's own life is almost abstract and timeless in Melville's vision, as if he were visiting from another film, either a 1930's Hollywood noir, or perhaps a 1950's samurai epic.

The direction is so methodical and detailed that there is nothing left to the imagination except the thoughts and feelings of the title character. In convincing Delon to play the hitman, Melville succeeded in hiring the actor that he had written the role for, and it shows. The legendary "coolness" of Delon's performance has been imitated by John Woo, Guy Ritchie, Tarantino, and every other filmmaker who has ventured into the crime genre. The rest of the cast plays off the star's performance effectively.

I would recommend this film to anyone who is interested in seeing a deconstruction of the "Gangster Movie" with amazing direction and cinematography.
The Spirit of the Beehive (El Espíritu de la colmena) 2006,  Unrated)
Airplane! 1980,  PG)
The Spy Who Loved Me 1977,  PG)
Hoop Dreams 1994,  PG-13)
To Kill A Mockingbird 1962,  Unrated)
Nikita (La Femme Nikita) 1990,  R)
Run Lola Run (Lola rennt) 1999,  R)
Avatar 2009,  PG-13)
It's not that the movie isn't corny or flawed. There are certainly some pretty one dimensional characters, some moments of silly dialogue, and a lot of predictable plot. However, these small problems are overwhelmed by the absolute perfection of the special effects, and the thrilling action sequences.

Cameron was born to make this film and it's obvious on the screen that he didn't spare a dime. Any five minute segment from Avatar contains so many amazingly convincing shots that other directors must be in awe of the high tech tools Cameron has at his disposal. When the end credits role, you have the feeling that anything that can be imagined in a filmmaker's mind, is now technically possible to put on film. Well, if they have a half billion dollars in their pocket, that is.

Anyone can enjoy this movie as the spectacle that it is!
La Grande illusion (Grand Illusion) 2012,  Unrated)
The Graduate 1967,  PG)
Ladri di Biciclette (The Bicycle Thief) (Bicycle Thieves) 1949,  Unrated)
The Rules of the Game 1950,  Unrated)
The Crowd 1928,  Unrated)
The Crowd
Absolutely amazing. This was made just as the art of silent movies had been perfected and just before the movie industry reboot caused by the sound era. Many films have portrayed the tragedy of the "everyman" in modern America, but none have done it better than "The Crowd".
Ace in the Hole (The Big Carnival) 1951,  Unrated)
Sabrina 1954,  G)
Some Like It Hot 1959,  Unrated)
Bull Durham 1988,  R)
Apu Trilogy 1954,  Unrated)
Le Notti di Cabiria (Nights of Cabiria) 1957,  Unrated)
Our Hospitality 1923,  Unrated)
Killer of Sheep: The Charles Burnett Collection 2007,  Unrated)
A Prophet (Un prophete) 2010,  R)
The Leopard 1963,  PG)
Marketa Lazarová 1967,  Unrated)
Machete 2010,  R)
Black Narcissus 1947,  Unrated)
Red Desert 1964,  Unrated)
A Canterbury Tale 1949,  NC-17)
Metropolis 1927,  PG-13)
Berlin Alexanderplatz 1980,  Unrated)
The Marriage of Maria Braun (Die Ehe der Maria Braun) 1979,  R)
Angst Essen Seele auf (Ali: Fear Eats the Soul) 1974,  Unrated)
Lat sau san taam (Hard-Boiled) 1992,  R)
Lat sau san taam (Hard-Boiled)
The mother of all Hong Kong action movies! The coolness of Chow Yun Fat as Tequila, the gunfights in slow motion, the babies tossed around like footballs, the bystanders used as human shields, the motorcycles! What more could anyone want? Well how about a gang of mobsters shooting up a hospital full of defenseless patients, you ask? Check.

I've read the Criterion Collection essay that suggests John Woo's film is a metaphor for Hong Kong's anxiety about being taken over by China during the 90s, but let's face it, there is no need to over think this film. Just sit back and watch the bullets fly!
Led Zeppelin DVD 2003,  Unrated)
Inception 2010,  PG-13)
Fanny & Alexander 1982,  R)
Black Swan 2010,  R)
Black Swan
In a world where celebrity is always a few clicks away, be it Justin Bieber's fame or Lindsy Lohan's infamy, we usually ignore the fact that these famous faces on our televisions are actually real humans. They may be geniuses, they may be heroes, they may be ordinary, they may even be villains, but they still have the weakness of being people with actual emotions and stress and baggage just like the rest of us have. This is what the Black Swan presents to us, a very flawed woman who is just about to join the highest ranks of celebrity in her own field, and the resulting impact that this event has on her life.

Aronofsky methodically tells the story from gifted ballerina Nina's own point of view. We not only see her dedication and self doubt, but also her ever increasing paranoia and panic. The stress induced delusions in Nina's mind are occasions for Aronofsky to show off his favorite surrealism techniques, and these scenes stand among the likes of Hitchcock and Cronenberg in their intensity and horror. Not to be forgotten, Aronofsky's ballet sequences are also equally impressive, especially when surrealism leaks into those scenes as well.

Of course the most impressive element of the film is the acting. Natalie Portman not only has to portray a seriously disturbed genius, emotionally, but must also succeed in controlling her body language and dancing convincingly as a ballet phenom. On all counts she is flawless. Mila Kunis is convincing as the mysterious villainess? Barbara Hershey and Winona Ryder are both disturbing as the mother and the "forced-retiring" star dancer, respectively. The ALWAYS awesome Vincent Cassel is perfect as the ballet director.

If anyone has a problem with this film it will be because of the over-the-top visuals, performances and suspense. None of this should be viewed as a flaw, because it is consistent with the story being seen through Mina's skewed perspective, much like the Shutter Island mystery was distorted by being told from Teddy Daniels' perspective. Unlike Shutter Island this film isn't a red herring filled mystery, but rather a raw thriller that is unbearably tense, exceedingly sexy and borderline gruesome.

See it if you dare!
Heathers 1988,  R)
J'Accuse! (I Accuse) 1919,  R)
Strike (Stachka) 1925,  Unrated)

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  1. rthornhill
    rthornhill posted 3 years ago

    great list........