Ranking the 50 Movies Project: #25-1

So here we are now, the grand conclusion of the 50 Movies Project. These are what I deemed to be the 25 best films from the project, and it became increasingly difficult to rank these in order. Most of these could be switched in-and-out at a moment’s notice, and all are certainly worth seeing.

I am looking forward to hearing your feedback on this list. What are your favorites? What would you rank differently?

Mulholland Drive [2001]
25) Mulholland Drive [2001]

Perhaps the biggest mind-bender on my list, this is a movie I will not soon be forgetting.

Hotel Rwanda [2004]
24) Hotel Rwanda [2004]

An unbelievably depressing drama about the very real Rwandan Genocide from 1994.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
23) Mr. Smith Goes to Washington [1939]

An entertaining political film that is still relevant today, some 70+ years later.

Once Upon a Time in the West [1968]
22) Once Upon a Time in the West [1968]

An epic in every sense of the word, also has Henry Fonda cast against type as a villain.

Cool Hand Luke [1967]
21) Cool Hand Luke [1967]

Proof that you don’t need guns and explosions to be a badass.

The Seventh Seal [1957]
20) The Seventh Seal [1957]

Probably the most philosophical film in the project, and one that digs deep into the touchy subject of religion.

The 400 Blows [1959]
19) The 400 Blows [1959]

A remarkable coming-of-age drama with one of the most memorable closing shots I have ever seen.

The Maltese Falcon [1941]
18) The Maltese Falcon [1941]

The grand-daddy of Film Noir remains one of the best.

Casablanca [1942]
17) Casablanca [1942]

Eminently quotable, and one of the greatest love stories of all time.

The Graduate [1967]
16) The Graduate [1967]

This should be mandatory viewing for every recent college graduate.

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb [1964]
15) Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb [1964]

Hilarious dark comedy that ranks as one of Kubrick’s best.

The Prestige [2006]
14) The Prestige [2006]

Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman in prime form as dueling magicians, with a plot twist I did not see coming.

The Godfather: Part II [1974]
13) The Godfather: Part II [1974]

I still prefer the original, but this was exceptionally well made with quite possibly Al Pacino’s greatest performance.

Vertigo [1958]
12) Vertigo [1958]

A twisted love story that only Hitchcock could create.

Schindler's List [1993]
11) Schindler’s List [1993]

Incredibly moving film, but one that is so disturbing that I don’t think I could watch it again.

Back to the Future [1985, Zemeckis]
10) Back to the Future [1985]

I was pleasantly surprised at how well this holds up today; is it even possible to dislike this movie?

Unforgiven [1992]
9) Unforgiven [1992]

Terrific western with a slow burn that culminates into an explosive conclusion.

Double Indemnity [1944]
8) Double Indemnity [1944]

Quintessential Film Noir with a legendary femme fatale (Barbara Stanwyck).

Psycho [1960] - shower scene
7) Psycho [1960]

One of the greatest thrillers of all time, and one that still maintains suspense even if the twist is known.

It's a Wonderful Life [1946]
6) It’s a Wonderful Life [1946]

The ultimate holiday movie.

The Night of the Hunter
5) The Night of the Hunter [1955]

A multi-genre classic that feels way ahead of its time.

City Lights
4) City Lights [1931]

Fantastic hybrid of comedy, drama and romance; it’s impossible to pick a favorite scene.

Grave of the Fireflies [1988]
3) Grave of the Fireflies [1988]

Easily the greatest animated feature I have ever seen, and one of the most powerful war films as well.

Sunset Boulevard
2) Sunset Boulevard [1950]

A biting satire with slices of dark humor, and one of the greatest characters in cinematic history: Norma Desmond.

L.A. Confidential [1997]
1) L.A. Confidential [1997]

This took everything I loved about classic Film Noir and updated it for modern times, bringing together an amazing cast with an intricately weaved plotline. Hollywood needs more movies like this.

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