10. Battle Royale (2000)
There’s still nothing else quite like this. I don’t think anything will ever match it. A film that manages to disturb yet entertain, to be thought provoking yet hilariously melodramatic at the same time. When my friends and I watched this for the first time, we knew we were about to see something shocking / bloody / gory, but we didn’t realise it was going to be this much fun.
9. Scream (1996)
The movie that got me into horror movies. Scream was a clever, witty, retrospective look at the slasher movies from the past twenty years, but for me, this was my doorway into the genre. Having been blown away by the brilliance of Scream as an early teen, I had to go back and revisit all those movies it was referencing (Psycho, Halloween, Carrie, Friday the 13th, Prom Night, Elm Street, etc.) and the rest is history.
8. Singin’ In The Rain (1951)
What’s not to love? This movie never gets boring, I watch it at least once a year and it always leaves me with a huge grin on my face. As a piece of filmmaking craft, it’s completely flawless, and it’s still laugh-out-loud funny. If it wasn’t for the slightly tedious ‘broadway melody’ section, this might’ve been even higher on my list…
7. Fargo (1996)
The quintessential Coen Brothers movie. Strange, quirky, violent, dark and hilariously funny with some of the most memorable scenes and memorable characters in the history of cinema. Marge is the greatest movie character of all time. Enough said.
6. Mulholland Dr (2001)
Only David Lynch could take his failed TV series pilot, stick an extra 45 minutes on the end and turn it into a filmic masterpiece. Mulholland Drive is a strange, dark, moody, noirish jigsaw puzzle of a movie. Every time I re-watch this movie I discover more and more.
5. The Shining (1980)
Stanley Kubrick pretty much nailed every genre he tried his hand at, and with The Shining he managed to make the most infamous, talked about, analysed, ambiguous, terrifying horror movie of all time. Not only is the film beautiful looking, perfectly crafted and with brilliant performances, it also has so much going on beneath the surface that entire films have been made about people’s interpretations of the movie (Room 237). The all time horror masterpiece.
4. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
1991. The year the Academy got it right. It won multiple Oscars and for good reason, this is a stunning, breathtaking movie. It lacks the etherial beauty of movies like The Shining or Mulholland Drive, instead this is a dark, gritty, scuzzy look into the world of the American psychopath. Even though Anthony Hopkins made Hannibal Lector a household name with this movie, for me Jodie Foster is the real star here, with a breathtaking performance as Agent Clarice Starling.
3. The Night of the Hunter (1955)
Just thinking about this movie gives me chills. It’s hard to describe in words exactly why I love this film so much…it’s not perfect by any means, but it oozes such a strange, terrifying, beautiful, woozy atmosphere. Like a strange, beautiful nightmare. The Night of the Hunter is something that could only exist in this medium, take ONE element away, be it the visuals, the sound, the music, the actors, and it wouldn’t work. It’s a perfect piece of cinema.
2. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
As a War movie, it’s brutal and unflinching; as a fantasy, it’s beautifully imaginative and exquisite; as a coming of age drama, it’s moving, heartwarming and tragic. This film blends so many genres, so many forms, so many conventions and does it in such a beautifully simple, organic and entertaining way. Pans Labryinth is an absolute modern day masterpiece; a perfect film from start to finish which leaves me feeling rung out and breathless every time.
1. Back To The Future (1985)
Everyone has THAT movie – the movie they saw as a kid, watched on repeat, knew every single line of dialogue – this is mine. As a child it was my personal favourite movie, I thought it was funny, exciting, clever, cool, I wanted to hang out with Doc Brown and I wanted to be Marty McFly. As I got older I realised it was still funny, exciting, clever and cool, but also so much more. Sure, it’s partly for nostalgic reasons that it’s my favourite movie, but I do also think this is a completely flawless and perfect film.