Saturday, January 24, 2009

Top Ten

I came across a list which purports to rank the 100 greatest films. I've listed the top ten below. I have to admit, they're classics, awesome movies that have earned their places in history.

But what do you think? Did you notice that besides Gladiator, there isn't a movie here that was made this new millennium, despite all our advances in technology and computer imagery?

Even if you go further, to the top 20, you'll find movies like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Jaws, Apocalypse Now, and Psycho--all made in the '60s and '70s.

Why do you think that is?

I think it's partly because when cameras shot grainy tape and makeup couldn't hide as much as it can now, we as a society expected much more from our films than a lot of fancy explosions and lightshows.

Even so, there have been some amazing films in the last eight years. What have been your favourites and why?

Top Ten Greatest Films?


With Star Wars, and especially The Empire Strikes Back, George Lucas managed to create possibly the most revered and successful film series ever.


Coppola's epic, operatic, bullet-ridden saga. Murder, betrayal, ambition, and Brando at his scene-stealing best.


This irresistible prison drama promotes the unquenchable human spirit with an intelligence born from the brilliant mind of Stephen King.

4. PULP FICTION (1994)

Tarantino pushed his storytelling powers to their limits to make this film every bit as big as the widescreen 70s hits that inspired him.

5. SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959)

Wilder and Diamond's script crackles with ideas and gags, and the performances are uniformly assured, with Curtis's triple characterization in particular a revelation.

6. GLADIATOR (2000)

Ridley Scott revives the Roman epic with computer generated imagery and a mighty performance from Russell Crowe.


For a film that deals with missed opportunities and one man's dark night of the soul, it's all the more impressive that Capra's movie has garnered a feel-good reputation.

8. BLADE RUNNER (1982)

Remains the most influential sci-fi masterpiece of modern cinema, notably for its immaculate visualisations of retro-futuristic urban decay...and a hot young Harrison Ford.


A heart-rending and redemptive Holocaust story, that showed Spielberg could handle controversial, sophisticated stories with real sensitivity.

10. GOODFELLAS (1990)

"As far back as I can remember, I've always wanted to be a gangster," Henry Hill opens his true story of 30 years in the mob in Scorsese's epic.

And now I'm going to list my favourite contemporary films (ie. after 2000) here at the end so as not to influence the Top 10 list above:

1. Matrix, the Series (1999, 2003)
2. 300 (2006)
3. A Beautiful Mind (2001)
4. Lord of the Rings (2001, 2002, 2003)
5. Finding Nemo (2003)


Maria Zannini said...

Loved 300! One of my personal favorites.

And Gladiator. And LoTR.

I am a little surprised Star Wars got in there. I don't consider it a good film from a story teller's pov. But from a technical standpoint it was outstanding.

We hadn't seen special effects like that since Stanley Kubrick's, 2001, A Space Odyssey. The original Star Wars fx looks cheesy by today's standards, but in 1976 it was cutting edge. No one had ever seen such things done on film like that.

Maggie Robinson said...

I'm sorry, I've seen most of the top ten and don't feel they're worthy. But then I love all those screwball comedies of the thirties and forties, which didn't make it to the top. That's a bunch of dark stuff, and at this point in my life, I just want to laugh. (hmm, future blog topic! Thanks, Kris!)

Amy Ruttan said...

I guess my personal favorites would never make the list.

I can't even think of them, but basically they are obscure. I like feel good movies too much.

Kimber Chin said...

I am a big Godfather fan so I definitely agree with that one. One of the best business movies of all time!

Star Wars also rocks!

I'd also add The Fifth Element (Big Badda Boom). We have that movie in videocassette, laserdisk (remember those lp sized dvd's?), dvd, HDdvd, and now Blue Ray. Want to watch it in any format? I've got you covered!

J.K. Coi said...

I guess for greatest movies of all time, I'd pretty much agree with the list in terms of quality and staying power.

When it comes to great movies of the "new age", I could think of a bunch more than the ones I listed in the post, but they're mostly great because of the cinematography, graphics etc.

Oh, another one I liked was Chronicles of Riddick (but I'm not going to even pretend to say it's a "greatest of all").

J.K. Coi said...

Maggie, some of the movies on my favourite list are:

White Christmas
Signing in the Rain
Bringing up Baby

J.K. Coi said...

Kimber, I've never actually seen The Fifth Element...maybe I'll check it out.

Shelley Munro said...

I really liked the Shawshank Redemption. I think the trouble with these lists is that these movies have had time to become classics. Some of the movies we're seeing now will probably make the list in the years to come.

J.K. Coi said...

You're probably right, Shelley. I never thought about it like that. It's not that the newer movies aren't as good (some of them), but they need time to prove that they have a place on the list.

Leah Braemel said...

I've seen most of the top ten, didn't like a couple. You're right, the LOTR films - at least one of them - should have been up there. Although maybe they're waiting to see if the greatest stays? Look at Titanic which went from wining a ton of Oscars to being on people's 'worst film ever' list now.

Bobby Ozuna said...

You missed Braveheart...Kingdom of Heaven...King Arthur...and of course...Rocky II.
Rocky II (in my opinion) is one of the greatest stories of adversity and trial, not to mention a good fight story...

Come on now...a man who is 30, can't read, can't get a job, has no friends, has the world doubting him, loves a reclusive woman who truly loves him back, gives up boxing for love...just to have destiny pull him back into the ring to regain redemption on a life that had all but given on up him????

Great post!!!

Bobby Ozuna said...

When I get on Oprah (because I will get on Oprah one day)...I will raise my hands and say, Yo Adrian! I did it!!!

J.K. Coi said...

*shudder* I just can't do it...Trust me, I've tried. My husband loves Stallone.