Ranking the 50 Movies Project 2013: #25-1

And here are my top 25 films from the project. Every single one of these comes highly recommended!

Gone with the Wind [1939]
25) Gone with the Wind [1939]

Sullivan's Travels [1941]
24) Sullivan’s Travels [1941]

The Warriors [1979]
23) The Warriors [1979]

The Last Waltz [1978]
22) The Last Waltz [1978]

Nashville [1975]
21) Nashville [1975]

The Wages of Fear [1953]
20) The Wages of Fear [1953]

The Battle of Algiers [1966]
19) The Battle of Algiers [1966]

Rosemary's Baby [1968]
18) Rosemary’s Baby [1968]

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre [1974]
17) The Texas Chain Saw Massacre [1974]

His Girl Friday [1940]
16) His Girl Friday [1940]

Stagecoach [1939]
15) Stagecoach [1939]

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans [1927]
14) Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans [1927]

Rififi [1955]
13) Rififi [1955]

Rebecca [1940]
12) Rebecca [1940]

Three Colors: Blue
11) Three Colors: Blue [1993]

To Be or Not to Be [1942]
10) To Be or Not to Be [1942]

Ali: Fear Eats the Soul [1974]
9) Ali: Fear Eats the Soul [1974]

The Secret in Their Eyes [2009]
8) The Secret in Their Eyes [2009]

Y tu mamá también [2002]
7) Y Tu Mamá También [2001]

Belle de Jour [1967]
6) Belle de Jour [1967]

My Neighbor Totoro [1988]
5) My Neighbor Totoro [1988]

Ikiru [1952]
4) Ikiru [1952]

Sweet Smell of Success [1957]
3) Sweet Smell of Success [1957]

Do the Right Thing [1989]
2) Do the Right Thing [1989]

The Passion of Joan of Arc [1928]
1) The Passion of Joan of Arc [1928]

That’s a wrap! Are you surprised by any of the rankings? What’s your favorite film from this list?

Ranking the 50 Movies Project 2013: #50-26

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:

Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom [1975]
50) Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom [1975]

The Rocky Horror Picture Show [1975]
49) The Rocky Horror Picture Show [1975]

Mr. Hulot's Holiday [1953]
48) Mr. Hulot’s Holiday [1954]

Solaris [1972]
47) Solaris [1972]

Withnail & I
46) Withnail & I [1987]

Two-Lane Blacktop [1971]
45) Two-Lane Blacktop [1971]

Rebel Without a Cause [1955]
44) Rebel Without a Cause [1955]

All the President's Men [1976]
43) All the President’s Men [1976]

Three Colors: Red [1994]
42) Three Colors: Red [1994]

Amores Perros [2000]
41) Amores Perros [2000]

Grand Illusion [1937]
40) Grand Illusion [1937]

Hard Boiled [1992]
39) Hard Boiled [1992]

Three Colors: White [1994]
38) Three Colors: White [1994]

The Bridge on the River Kwai [1957]
37) The Bridge on the River Kwai [1957]

Amadeus [1984]
36) Amadeus [1984]

Life is Beautiful [1997]
35) Life is Beautiful [1997]

Moon [2009]
34) Moon [2009]

Au Revoir Les Enfants [1987]
33) Au Revoir Les Enfants [1988]

Dawn of the Dead [1978]
32) Dawn of the Dead [1978]

A Beautiful Mind [2001]
31) A Beautiful Mind [2001]

The Best Years of Our Lives [1946]
30) The Best Years of Our Lives [1946]

Barry Lyndon [1975]
29) Barry Lyndon [1975]

Carrie [1976]
28) Carrie [1976]

Midnight Cowboy [1969]
27) Midnight Cowboy [1969]

Leaving Las Vegas
26) Leaving Las Vegas [1995]

Check back in tomorrow for numbers 25-1!

Ranking the 50 Movies Project, Round Two: #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:

Blow Out [1981]
25) Blow Out [1981]

It’s easy to see why Quentin Tarantino considers this a favorite of his. Can’t get over that ending.

The Wild Bunch [1969]
24) The Wild Bunch [1969]

Quite possibly the most violent Western I have seen, and it culminates with a bloodbath for the ages.

23) Rocky [1976]

A number of progressively worse sequels cannot damage the brilliance of one of film’s greatest underdog stories.

Into the Wild [2007]
22) Into the Wild [2007]

A tremendously beautiful film that stirred up emotions in me that I just wasn’t prepared for.

O Brother, Where Art Thou? [2000]
21) O Brother, Where Art Thou? [2000]

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.

Casino Royale [2006]
20) Casino Royale [2006]

My first Bond film. After watching another half dozen or so, this one is still light years above the others.

Coffy [1973]
19) Coffy [1973]

This film may very well be the most fun out of all of these — I could watch Pam Grier kick ass all day.

Blue Velvet [1986]
18) Blue Velvet [1986]

Quintessential David Lynch film that contains the deliriously psychopathic role Dennis Hopper was born to play. Just one unforgettable scene after another.

For a Few Dollars More [1965]
17) For a Few Dollars More [1967]

Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef teaming up to take down a ruthless fugitive? Hell yeah.

Paths of Glory [1957]
16) Paths of Glory [1957]

Kubrick’s early anti-war film is still incredibly powerful.

To Kill a Mockingbird [1962]
15) To Kill a Mockingbird [1962]

Worth seeing just for Gregory Peck’s big courtroom speech. What a performance.

Singin' in the Rain [1952]
14) Singin’ in the Rain [1952]

Yeah, I’m still surprised at how much I enjoyed this. Just a great all-around film with some insane dance numbers.

Modern Times [1936]
13) Modern Times [1936]

Charlie Chaplin is as entertaining as always, but I couldn’t help falling in love with Paulette Goddard. What a combination those two made.

M [1931]
12) M [1931]

Fritz Lang’s film delivers some pretty heavy subject matter for the time period, and Peter Lorre’s disturbingly effective performance lingers for days.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
11) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade [1989]

I don’t know if I prefer this or Raiders of the Lost Ark, but both are incredible adventures.

A Fistful of Dollars [1964]
10) A Fistful of Dollars [1964]

Could be called “bite-size” Leone, but the result is a quick, highly entertaining effort.

The Sting [1973]
9) The Sting [1973]

The best caper film I have seen — is there a better duo than Paul Newman and Robert Redford?

Metropolis [1927]
8) Metropolis [1927]

An unbelievable cinematic feat that was well ahead of its time.

On the Waterfront [1954]
7) On the Waterfront [1954]

This is a contender, alright. Fantastic work from all involved, especially Marlon Brando’s Terry Malloy.

Vanishing Point [1971]
6) Vanishing Point [1971]

The movie that made me want to hit the open road and not look back.

Notorious [1946]
5) Notorious [1946]

I didn’t know what to expect out of this Hitchcock classic, but it has quickly become one of my favorites from the auteur.

Lawrence of Arabia [1962]
4) Lawrence of Arabia [1962]

This historical epic is still a technical marvel today, and it is absolutely stellar on the big screen.

Touch of Evil [1958]
3) Touch of Evil [1958]

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.

The Last Picture Show [1971]
2) The Last Picture Show [1971]

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.

The Lives of Others [2006]
1) The Lives of Others [2006]

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!

Ranking the 50 Movies Project: #50-26

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:

Crash [2004]

50) Crash [2005]
The only film I truly did not like in the project, and it’s a Best Picture winner, no less.

8 1/2 [1963]

49) 8 ½ [1963]

Exceptional style, but the stream-of-consciousness narrative did not appeal to me.

Last Tango in Paris [1972]
48) Last Tango in Paris [1972]

Controversial with a fantastic performance from Marlon Brando, but not much substance overall.

Akira [1988]
47) Akira [1988]

Slick looking anime that was difficult to keep up with.

Army of Darkness [1992]
46) Army of Darkness [1992]

Good, campy fun, but a cut below Evil Dead 1&2.

Dark City [1998]
45) Dark City [1998]

Intriguing neo-noir setting and sci-fi plot kept me entertained despite some questionable acting.

Annie Hall [1977]
44) Annie Hall [1977]

Pretty groundbreaking for its time, but doesn’t hold up as well today. Some terrific lines though.

Tokyo Story [1953]
43) Tokyo Story [1953]

A sad tale set in post-war Japan that demands attention (and patience).

Zodiac [2007]
42) Zodiac [2007]

David Fincher’s exhaustive piece is true to the period and boasts a stellar cast.

Million Dollar Baby [2004]

41) Million Dollar Baby [2004]

Strong boxing film that takes on a more depressing agenda in its final act.

Night of the Living Dead [1968]
40) Night of the Living Dead [1968]

The godfather of all zombie films is still startling today.

The Thin Red Line [1998]
39) The Thin Red Line [1998]

Beautifully-shot film that offers an entirely different war perspective than its peers.

Airplane! [1980]
38) Airplane! [1980]

The classic one-liners still bring the laughs, and who doesn’t love Dr. Rumack?

Wild Strawberries [1957]
37) Wild Strawberries [1957]

A unique look at one man’s life, and a film that seems to reward multiple viewings.

The Big Sleep [1946]
36) The Big Sleep [1946]

Bogart and Bacall are in splendid form in this Hawks/Chandler Film Noir.

Dancer in the Dark [2000]
35) Dancer in the Dark [2000]

Bleak and disturbing, but one hell of a unique musical.

The Exorcist [1973]
34) The Exorcist [1973]

Not just a great horror movie, but a great film, period.

Rome, Open City [1945]
33) Rome, Open City [1945]

My first Italian neorealist film; a surprising twist halfway through shocked the hell out of me.

The Hustler [1961, Rossen]
32) The Hustler [1961]

The movie that made me stand up and say “Paul Newman was the fucking man!”

Jaws [1975]
31) Jaws [1975]

The ultimate summer blockbuster.

Blade Runner
30) Blade Runner [1982]

One of the coolest environments I have seen in a movie.

The Magnificent Seven [1960]
29) The Magnificent Seven [1960]

An American adaptation of a Japanese film that is a classic in its own right.

The Bicycle Thief [1948]
28) The Bicycle Thief [1948]

An incredibly simplistic story, but a powerful one with an ending I will never forget.

The Asphalt Jungle [1950]
27) The Asphalt Jungle [1950]

Tough Film Noir with an epic heist scene.

Breathless [1960, Godard] 26) Breathless [1960]

My first French New Wave film and first Godard; still feels fresh today.

Keep an eye out tomorrow for numbers 25-1!