And now the top 25 films from last year’s project:
And here are my top 25 films from the project. Every single one of these comes highly recommended!
25) Gone with the Wind 
24) Sullivan’s Travels 
23) The Warriors 
22) The Last Waltz 
21) Nashville 
20) The Wages of Fear 
19) The Battle of Algiers 
18) Rosemary’s Baby 
17) The Texas Chain Saw Massacre 
16) His Girl Friday 
15) Stagecoach 
14) Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans 
13) Rififi 
12) Rebecca 
11) Three Colors: Blue 
10) To Be or Not to Be 
9) Ali: Fear Eats the Soul 
8) The Secret in Their Eyes 
7) Y Tu Mamá También 
6) Belle de Jour 
5) My Neighbor Totoro 
4) Ikiru 
3) Sweet Smell of Success 
2) Do the Right Thing 
1) The Passion of Joan of Arc 
That’s a wrap! Are you surprised by any of the rankings? What’s your favorite film from this list?
Last year’s 50 Movies Project was another rousing success! Aside from a select few, I really enjoyed every film on the list. It was difficult trying to rank these, but I’m satisfied with how this turned out. Here’s the first batch of films:
50) Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom 
49) The Rocky Horror Picture Show 
48) Mr. Hulot’s Holiday 
47) Solaris 
46) Withnail & I 
45) Two-Lane Blacktop 
44) Rebel Without a Cause 
43) All the President’s Men 
42) Three Colors: Red 
41) Amores Perros 
40) Grand Illusion 
39) Hard Boiled 
38) Three Colors: White 
37) The Bridge on the River Kwai 
36) Amadeus 
35) Life is Beautiful 
34) Moon 
33) Au Revoir Les Enfants 
32) Dawn of the Dead 
31) A Beautiful Mind 
30) The Best Years of Our Lives 
29) Barry Lyndon 
28) Carrie 
27) Midnight Cowboy 
26) Leaving Las Vegas 
Check back in tomorrow for numbers 25-1!
This is it, folks. The end result of a year’s worth of movie watching. The 25 films listed below are all fantastic in their own ways, and I would happily give each of them my full endorsement. In my initial reviews, I only gave out one “ten” rating. After further reflection, at least the top four films would all receive this elusive rating from me. Let’s get to it:
25) Blow Out 
It’s easy to see why Quentin Tarantino considers this a favorite of his. Can’t get over that ending.
24) The Wild Bunch 
Quite possibly the most violent Western I have seen, and it culminates with a bloodbath for the ages.
23) Rocky 
A number of progressively worse sequels cannot damage the brilliance of one of film’s greatest underdog stories.
22) Into the Wild 
A tremendously beautiful film that stirred up emotions in me that I just wasn’t prepared for.
21) O Brother, Where Art Thou? 
I’m not a bluegrass guy, but I couldn’t stop listening to this film’s soundtrack for days afterward. Now one of my favorites from the Coen brothers.
20) Casino Royale 
My first Bond film. After watching another half dozen or so, this one is still light years above the others.
19) Coffy 
This film may very well be the most fun out of all of these — I could watch Pam Grier kick ass all day.
18) Blue Velvet 
Quintessential David Lynch film that contains the deliriously psychopathic role Dennis Hopper was born to play. Just one unforgettable scene after another.
17) For a Few Dollars More 
Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef teaming up to take down a ruthless fugitive? Hell yeah.
16) Paths of Glory 
Kubrick’s early anti-war film is still incredibly powerful.
15) To Kill a Mockingbird 
Worth seeing just for Gregory Peck’s big courtroom speech. What a performance.
14) Singin’ in the Rain 
Yeah, I’m still surprised at how much I enjoyed this. Just a great all-around film with some insane dance numbers.
13) Modern Times 
Charlie Chaplin is as entertaining as always, but I couldn’t help falling in love with Paulette Goddard. What a combination those two made.
12) M 
Fritz Lang’s film delivers some pretty heavy subject matter for the time period, and Peter Lorre’s disturbingly effective performance lingers for days.
11) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade 
I don’t know if I prefer this or Raiders of the Lost Ark, but both are incredible adventures.
10) A Fistful of Dollars 
Could be called “bite-size” Leone, but the result is a quick, highly entertaining effort.
9) The Sting 
The best caper film I have seen — is there a better duo than Paul Newman and Robert Redford?
8) Metropolis 
An unbelievable cinematic feat that was well ahead of its time.
7) On the Waterfront 
This is a contender, alright. Fantastic work from all involved, especially Marlon Brando’s Terry Malloy.
6) Vanishing Point 
The movie that made me want to hit the open road and not look back.
5) Notorious 
I didn’t know what to expect out of this Hitchcock classic, but it has quickly become one of my favorites from the auteur.
4) Lawrence of Arabia 
This historical epic is still a technical marvel today, and it is absolutely stellar on the big screen.
3) Touch of Evil 
I was hooked from the opening scene, one of the best I can remember. This may have very well eclipsed Citizen Kane as my favorite Orson Welles film.
2) The Last Picture Show 
As a former resident of a small town myself, I could infinitely relate to this film. I can’t think of another that better encapsulates the experience of growing up in a rural town like this.
1) The Lives of Others 
In a project full of great selections, this is the one that blew me away the most. This is a film that requires the utmost attention, but if you provide this, the rewards just keep coming. There aren’t many performances that are better than what Ulrich Mühe delivers here, and it’s incredibly tragic that this was his last film. I will be recommending this anytime I get the chance.
So there you have it. The 2012 edition of the 50 Movies Project is now complete. What do you think of the rankings? What should be bumped up or pushed down? Have you seen The Lives of Others? Let’s hear your thoughts!
As part of my 50 Movies Project wrap-up, I have decided to go through and rank all 50 movies from top to bottom. These rankings are mostly based on my enjoyment of the films and not meant to be a representation of what is “better” than the others. It was very challenging to rank these, and ultimately it probably was an utterly pointless exercise, but I love ranking/rating movies. Here are numbers 50-26:
50) Crash 
The only film I truly did not like in the project, and it’s a Best Picture winner, no less.
49) 8 ½ 
Exceptional style, but the stream-of-consciousness narrative did not appeal to me.
48) Last Tango in Paris 
Controversial with a fantastic performance from Marlon Brando, but not much substance overall.
47) Akira 
Slick looking anime that was difficult to keep up with.
46) Army of Darkness 
Good, campy fun, but a cut below Evil Dead 1&2.
45) Dark City 
Intriguing neo-noir setting and sci-fi plot kept me entertained despite some questionable acting.
44) Annie Hall 
Pretty groundbreaking for its time, but doesn’t hold up as well today. Some terrific lines though.
43) Tokyo Story 
A sad tale set in post-war Japan that demands attention (and patience).
42) Zodiac 
David Fincher’s exhaustive piece is true to the period and boasts a stellar cast.
41) Million Dollar Baby 
Strong boxing film that takes on a more depressing agenda in its final act.
40) Night of the Living Dead 
The godfather of all zombie films is still startling today.
39) The Thin Red Line 
Beautifully-shot film that offers an entirely different war perspective than its peers.
38) Airplane! 
The classic one-liners still bring the laughs, and who doesn’t love Dr. Rumack?
37) Wild Strawberries 
A unique look at one man’s life, and a film that seems to reward multiple viewings.
36) The Big Sleep 
Bogart and Bacall are in splendid form in this Hawks/Chandler Film Noir.
35) Dancer in the Dark 
Bleak and disturbing, but one hell of a unique musical.
34) The Exorcist 
Not just a great horror movie, but a great film, period.
33) Rome, Open City 
My first Italian neorealist film; a surprising twist halfway through shocked the hell out of me.
32) The Hustler 
The movie that made me stand up and say “Paul Newman was the fucking man!”
31) Jaws 
The ultimate summer blockbuster.
30) Blade Runner 
One of the coolest environments I have seen in a movie.
29) The Magnificent Seven 
An American adaptation of a Japanese film that is a classic in its own right.
28) The Bicycle Thief 
An incredibly simplistic story, but a powerful one with an ending I will never forget.
27) The Asphalt Jungle 
Tough Film Noir with an epic heist scene.
26) Breathless 
My first French New Wave film and first Godard; still feels fresh today.
Keep an eye out tomorrow for numbers 25-1!