My Personal Favourites

by dsensNWN00 | created - 28 Aug 2012 | updated - 1 month ago | Public

"General fiction is pretty much about ways that people get into problems and screw their lives up. Science fiction is about everything else." - Marvin Minsky

"Stupidity... has a habit of getting its way." - The Day After

"Isn't there anybody who can deal with a housewife?" - The Right Stuff

"You know when you're born in Pittsburgh the thing you want to be when you grow up is a zombie" - Tom Savini

"James... earn this. Earn it." - Saving Private Ryan

"However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light." - Stanley Kubrick

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1. Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

R | 229 min | Crime, Drama

A former Prohibition-era Jewish gangster returns to the Lower East Side of Manhattan over thirty years later, where he once again must confront the ghosts and regrets of his old life.

Director: Sergio Leone | Stars: Robert De Niro, James Woods, Elizabeth McGovern, Treat Williams

Votes: 289,926 | Gross: $5.32M

  • Extended Director's Cut.

2. Stalker (1979)

Not Rated | 162 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

A guide leads two men through an area known as the Zone to find a room that grants wishes.

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky | Stars: Alisa Freyndlikh, Aleksandr Kaydanovskiy, Anatoliy Solonitsyn, Nikolay Grinko

Votes: 103,967 | Gross: $0.23M

3. Alien (1979)

R | 117 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

89 Metascore

After a space merchant vessel receives an unknown transmission as a distress call, one of the crew is attacked by a mysterious life form and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt, Veronica Cartwright

Votes: 741,883 | Gross: $78.90M

4. Testament (1983)

PG | 90 min | Drama

The life of a suburban American family is scarred after a nuclear attack.

Director: Lynne Littman | Stars: Jane Alexander, William Devane, Rossie Harris, Roxana Zal

Votes: 5,458 | Gross: $2.04M

  • nothing in the world could possibly prepare you for Lynne Littman's Testament.


To be watched with "The Day After".

5. WarGames (1983)

PG | 114 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller

77 Metascore

A young man finds a back door into a military central computer in which reality is confused with game-playing, possibly starting World War III.

Director: John Badham | Stars: Matthew Broderick, Ally Sheedy, John Wood, Dabney Coleman

Votes: 85,868 | Gross: $79.57M

Perfection.

  • To be watched with "The Day After".

6. Come and See (1985)

Not Rated | 142 min | Drama, War

After finding an old rifle, a young boy joins the Soviet resistance movement against ruthless German forces and experiences the horrors of World War II.

Director: Elem Klimov | Stars: Aleksey Kravchenko, Olga Mironova, Liubomiras Laucevicius, Vladas Bagdonas

Votes: 47,192

7. The Time Machine (1960)

G | 103 min | Adventure, Romance, Sci-Fi

67 Metascore

A man's vision for a utopian society is disillusioned when travelling forward into time reveals a dark and dangerous society.

Director: George Pal | Stars: Rod Taylor, Alan Young, Yvette Mimieux, Sebastian Cabot

Votes: 34,193

8. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

G | 149 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi

82 Metascore

After discovering a mysterious artifact buried beneath the Lunar surface, mankind sets off on a quest to find its origins with help from intelligent supercomputer H.A.L. 9000.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester, Daniel Richter

Votes: 565,052 | Gross: $56.95M

9. White Dog (1982)

PG | 90 min | Drama, Horror

A trainer attempts to retrain a vicious dog that's been raised to attack black people.

Director: Samuel Fuller | Stars: Kristy McNichol, Christa Lang, Vernon Weddle, Jameson Parker

Votes: 8,086

  • great acting performances (i): Burl Ives, Paul Winfield and just about everybody.

10. Aliens (1986)

R | 137 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

84 Metascore

Ellen Ripley is rescued by a deep salvage team after being in hypersleep for 57 years. The moon that the Nostromo visited has been colonized, but contact is lost. This time, colonial marines have impressive firepower, but will that be enough?

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn, Paul Reiser

Votes: 620,465 | Gross: $85.16M

* nothing has ever kicked -ss as thorough, deep and hard as Aliens did. Nothing will ever come CLOSE. They should have stopped making movies altogether.

* music by James Horner.

11. Europa Report (2013)

PG-13 | 90 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

68 Metascore

An international crew of astronauts undertakes a privately funded mission to search for life on Jupiter's fourth largest moon.

Director: Sebastián Cordero | Stars: Sharlto Copley, Michael Nyqvist, Christian Camargo, Embeth Davidtz

Votes: 64,524 | Gross: $0.13M

"Compared to the breadth of knowledge yet to be known... what does your life actually matter?" (Europa Report)

12. Vertigo (1958)

PG | 128 min | Mystery, Romance, Thriller

100 Metascore

A former police detective juggles wrestling with his personal demons and becoming obsessed with a hauntingly beautiful woman.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes, Tom Helmore

Votes: 335,334 | Gross: $3.20M

13. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)

R | 178 min | Western

90 Metascore

A bounty hunting scam joins two men in an uneasy alliance against a third in a race to find a fortune in gold buried in a remote cemetery.

Director: Sergio Leone | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef, Aldo Giuffrè

Votes: 648,148 | Gross: $6.10M

14. The Claim (2000)

R | 120 min | Drama, Romance, Western

62 Metascore

A prospector who sold his wife and infant daughter in exchange for a mining claim, tries desperately to win them back as he helps to build the Pacific Railroad with a group of pioneer friends.

Director: Michael Winterbottom | Stars: Wes Bentley, Peter Mullan, Ron Anderson, Marty Antonini

Votes: 5,816 | Gross: $0.67M

* music by Michael Nyman.

15. The Remains of the Day (1993)

PG | 134 min | Drama, Romance

84 Metascore

A butler who sacrificed body and soul to service in the years leading up to World War II realizes too late how misguided his loyalty was to his lordly employer.

Director: James Ivory | Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson, John Haycraft, Christopher Reeve

Votes: 60,542 | Gross: $22.95M

  • and the whole James Ivory.
great acting performances (i): Anthony Hopkins.

16. No Country for Old Men (2007)

R | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

91 Metascore

Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong and more than two million dollars in cash near the Rio Grande.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen | Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson

Votes: 795,946 | Gross: $74.28M

  • endlessly fascinating. Hint: everything happens at least twice (often the same time to the same persons and/or locations). Everything is related to everything else. Every dialog line and every WORD resembles another (though they're continously contradicting themselves). Note, that they don't encounter ONCE over the course of the movie, but still adapt each others methods. The space-time continuum, causality/logic is f-cked up beyond belief, quantum mechanics, chaos theory, relativity as well as the old AND new testament and Zoroastrianism are featured heavily. Endlessly quotable. Also warrants its own psychosis.

17. Inland Empire (2006)

R | 180 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

72 Metascore

As an actress begins to adopt the persona of her character in a film, her world becomes nightmarish and surreal.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Karolina Gruszka, Krzysztof Majchrzak, Grace Zabriskie, Laura Dern

Votes: 50,835 | Gross: $0.75M

  • and most other Lynch movies.

18. La Femme Nikita (1990)

R | 117 min | Action, Thriller

56 Metascore

Convicted felon Nikita, instead of going to jail, is given a new identity and trained, stylishly, as a top secret spy/assassin.

Director: Luc Besson | Stars: Anne Parillaud, Marc Duret, Patrick Fontana, Alain Lathière

Votes: 64,542 | Gross: $5.02M

  • if that's not the best movie ever made, it's darn close.
Perfection.

19. Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

PG-13 | 93 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

86 Metascore

Faced with both her hot-tempered father's fading health and melting ice-caps that flood her ramshackle bayou community and unleash ancient aurochs, six-year-old Hushpuppy must learn the ways of courage and love.

Director: Benh Zeitlin | Stars: Quvenzhané Wallis, Dwight Henry, Levy Easterly, Lowell Landes

Votes: 78,572 | Gross: $12.80M

20. Once Were Warriors (1994)

R | 102 min | Crime, Drama

77 Metascore

A family descended from Maori warriors is bedeviled by a violent father and the societal problems of being treated as outcasts.

Director: Lee Tamahori | Stars: Rena Owen, Temuera Morrison, Mamaengaroa Kerr-Bell, Julian Arahanga

Votes: 30,100 | Gross: $2.20M

  • great acting performances (ii): Rena Owen, Temuera Morrison.

21. Johnny Got His Gun (1971)

R | 111 min | Drama, War

71 Metascore

In this tragic, dark, anti-war satire, a patriotic young American in WW1 is rendered blind, deaf, limbless, and mute by a horrific artillery shell attack. Trapped in what's left of his body, he desperately looks for a way to end his life.

Director: Dalton Trumbo | Stars: Timothy Bottoms, Kathy Fields, Marsha Hunt, Jason Robards

Votes: 14,641

  • perfect first date movie. Donald Sutherland plays Jesus Christ. What's there not to like.

22. The Deer Hunter (1978)

R | 183 min | Drama, War

86 Metascore

An in-depth examination of the ways in which the U.S. Vietnam War impacts and disrupts the lives of people in a small industrial town in Pennsylvania.

Director: Michael Cimino | Stars: Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Cazale, John Savage

Votes: 293,737 | Gross: $48.98M

23. Leaving Las Vegas (1995)

R | 111 min | Drama, Romance

82 Metascore

Ben Sanderson, a Hollywood screenwriter who lost everything because of his alcoholism, arrives in Las Vegas to drink himself to death. There, he meets and forms an uneasy friendship and non-interference pact with prostitute Sera..

Director: Mike Figgis | Stars: Nicolas Cage, Elisabeth Shue, Julian Sands, Richard Lewis

Votes: 109,423 | Gross: $31.97M

24. The Parallax View (1974)

R | 102 min | Drama, Thriller

65 Metascore

An ambitious reporter gets in way-over-his-head trouble while investigating a senator's assassination which leads to a vast conspiracy involving a multinational corporation behind every event in the world's headlines.

Director: Alan J. Pakula | Stars: Warren Beatty, Paula Prentiss, William Daniels, Walter McGinn

Votes: 13,881

  • the 70s conspiracy thriller to end all 70s conspiracy thrillers (brainwash included).

25. American Me (1992)

R | 125 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

66 Metascore

A Mexican-American Mafia kingpin is released from prison, falls in love for the first time, and grows introspective about his gangster lifestyle.

Director: Edward James Olmos | Stars: Edward James Olmos, William Forsythe, Sal Lopez, Vira Montes

Votes: 7,489 | Gross: $13.09M

26. Mâdadayo (1993)

134 min | Drama

76 Metascore

Following World War II, a retired professor approaching his autumn years finds his quality of life drastically reduced in war-torn Tokyo. Denying despair, he pursues writing and celebrates his birthday with his adoring students.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Tatsuo Matsumura, Hisashi Igawa, George Tokoro, Masayuki Yui

Votes: 4,604 | Gross: $0.05M

27. Dead Ringers (1988)

R | 116 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

86 Metascore

Twin gynecologists take full advantage of the fact that nobody can tell them apart, until their relationship begins to deteriorate over a woman.

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: Jeremy Irons, Geneviève Bujold, Heidi von Palleske, Barbara Gordon

Votes: 37,901 | Gross: $9.13M

  • and most other Cronenberg movies.

28. The Thin Red Line (1998)

R | 170 min | Drama, War

78 Metascore

Adaptation of James Jones' autobiographical 1962 novel, focusing on the conflict at Guadalcanal during the second World War.

Director: Terrence Malick | Stars: Jim Caviezel, Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, Kirk Acevedo

Votes: 164,542 | Gross: $36.40M

29. The Right Stuff (1983)

PG | 193 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

91 Metascore

The story of the original Mercury 7 astronauts and their macho, seat-of-the-pants approach to the space program.

Director: Philip Kaufman | Stars: Sam Shepard, Scott Glenn, Ed Harris, Dennis Quaid

Votes: 53,651 | Gross: $21.50M

30. Lost Highway (1997)

R | 134 min | Mystery, Thriller

52 Metascore

After a bizarre encounter at a party, a jazz saxophonist is framed for the murder of his wife and sent to prison, where he inexplicably morphs into a young mechanic and begins leading a new life.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette, John Roselius, Louis Eppolito

Votes: 122,690 | Gross: $3.80M

31. Convoy (1978)

PG | 110 min | Action, Drama

47 Metascore

Truckers form a mile long "convoy" in support of a trucker's vendetta with an abusive sheriff...Based on the country song of same title by C.W. McCall.

Director: Sam Peckinpah | Stars: Kris Kristofferson, Ali MacGraw, Ernest Borgnine, Burt Young

Votes: 14,159 | Gross: $45.00M

Arizona (noon)...

32. Runaway Train (1985)

R | 111 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

67 Metascore

Two escaped convicts and a female railway worker find themselves trapped on a train with no brakes and nobody driving.

Director: Andrey Konchalovskiy | Stars: Jon Voight, Eric Roberts, Rebecca De Mornay, Kyle T. Heffner

Votes: 25,131 | Gross: $7.94M

33. The Sweet Hereafter (1997)

R | 112 min | Drama

91 Metascore

A bus crash in a small town brings a lawyer to the town to defend the families, but he discovers that everything is not what it seems.

Director: Atom Egoyan | Stars: Ian Holm, Sarah Polley, Caerthan Banks, Tom McCamus

Votes: 30,650 | Gross: $3.25M

  • great acting performances (iii): Ian Holm.

34. Love (I) (2011)

Not Rated | 84 min | Drama, Music, Sci-Fi

A man spends years alone on a space station orbiting Earth after losing communication with Houston/Earth. Time is spent on maintenance, exercise, watching old messages and reading a journal by a soldier in the American civil war 1864.

Director: William Eubank | Stars: Gunner Wright, Corey Richardson, Bradley Horne, Nancy Stelle

Votes: 8,371

35. Lust, Caution (2007)

NC-17 | 157 min | Drama, History, Romance

61 Metascore

During World War II era, a young woman, Wang Jiazhi, gets swept up in a dangerous game of emotional intrigue with a powerful political figure, Mr. Yee.

Director: Ang Lee | Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Wei Tang, Joan Chen, Leehom Wang

Votes: 35,461 | Gross: $4.60M

  • the whole Ang Lee comes recommended.

36. Heaven & Earth (1993)

R | 140 min | Action, Biography, Drama

During the Vietnam War, a Vietnamese woman struggles hustling on the streets, where she comes face to face with those involved in the conflict around her.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Hiep Thi Le, Tommy Lee Jones, Haing S. Ngor, Bussaro Sanruck

Votes: 12,672 | Gross: $5.86M

* You will feel emotionally exhausted.

37. Paris, Texas (1984)

R | 145 min | Drama

78 Metascore

Travis Henderson, an aimless drifter who has been missing for four years, wanders out of the desert and must reconnect with society, himself, his life, and his family.

Director: Wim Wenders | Stars: Harry Dean Stanton, Nastassja Kinski, Dean Stockwell, Aurore Clément

Votes: 79,567 | Gross: $2.18M

38. The Great Dictator (1940)

Passed | 125 min | Comedy, Drama, War

Dictator Adenoid Hynkel tries to expand his empire while a poor Jewish barber tries to avoid persecution from Hynkel's regime.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Jack Oakie, Reginald Gardiner

Votes: 188,952

39. Barry Lyndon (1975)

PG | 185 min | Adventure, Drama, History

89 Metascore

An Irish rogue wins the heart of a rich widow and assumes her dead husband's aristocratic position in 18th-century England.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Ryan O'Neal, Marisa Berenson, Patrick Magee, Hardy Krüger

Votes: 138,279

  • and most other Kubrick movies.

40. Map of the Human Heart (1992)

R | 109 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

71 Metascore

Fantastic improbabilities, happenstance and the undying bridge of love are part of this romantic fantasy about an Inuit who crosses years, oceans and the ravages of WWII to find his ... See full summary »

Director: Vincent Ward | Stars: Jason Scott Lee, Anne Parillaud, Patrick Bergin, Robert Joamie

Votes: 2,969 | Gross: $2.81M

41. Starting Out in the Evening (2007)

PG-13 | 111 min | Drama, Romance

78 Metascore

An ambitious graduate student convinces a writer that her thesis can resurrect his career.

Director: Andrew Wagner | Stars: Frank Langella, Lauren Ambrose, Patti Perkins, Lili Taylor

Votes: 3,062 | Gross: $0.90M

  • great acting performances (ii): Frank Langella. See also: Robot & Frank (2012) and for... uh everything since the 80s. If not 70s.


* first masterpieces of the 21th century (i).