The 501 Best Damn Films Ever Made: Part Two (450-401)

Part 1Part 3 – Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8

450. Redline (2009) 

Dir: Takeshi Koike (1)

Writer: Katsushito Ishii (1)

Starring: Takuya Kimura (1), Yu Aoi (1)

Composer: James Shimoji (1)

Country: Japan (9)

Genre: Animation (5), Sci-fi (2)

Redline is sheer adrenaline pumping out of the screen – an intergalactic F-Zero type racing structure with a wildly badass protagonist and a surprising amount of world building. It’s one of the few films on this list where I allowed myself to disregard the critical side of my brain and just enjoy the insanity of the experience. Koike goes all out to achieve his vision for this film and in the process goes to surreal places with a flashy visual style

449. The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933)

Dir: Fritz Lang (1)

DP: Fritz Arno Wagner (1)

Editor:  Lothar Wolff (1), Conrad von Molo (1)

Writer: Fritz Lang (1), Thea von Harbou (1), Norbert Jacques (1)

Starring: Rudolf Klein-Rogge (1), Oscar Beregi Sr. (1)

Composer: Walter Sieber (1)

Country: Germany (1)

Genre: Horror (6)

Fritz Lang kicked off our fascination with Dr. Mabuse, a maniacally twisted hypnotist, who is loosely connected to a series of crimes committed while he was in prison. The Testament of Dr. Mabuse is a strange type of horror, where the villain is completely emotionless and silent, but the excess of his crimes are loud and potent. A more methodical approach to horror with a cerebral villain that’s impossible to read.

448. Sophie’s Choice (1982) 

Dir: Alan J. Pakula (1)

DP: Nestor Almendros (1)

Editor: Evan A. Lottman (1)

Writer: Alan J. Pakula (1), William Styron (1)

Starring: Meryl Streep (3), Kevin Cline (1), Peter MacNicol (1)

Composer: Marvin Hamlisch (1)

Country: USA (22)

Genre: Romance (6)

Sophie’s Choice is reconciling with a tremendous amount of loss, all captured through Meryl Streep’s internalized grief that comes bursting out in a fit of emotion. Kevin Cline deserves credit for delivering an endearing performance of a broken man that works beautifully in tandem with Streep’s overwhelming performance. Above all else, it’s the magic of these performances that bring out the best in Pakula’s script.

447. Catch Me If You Can (2002)

Dir: Steven Spielberg (2)

DP: Janusz Kaminski (1)

Editor: Michael Kahn (2)

Writer: Jeff Nathanson (1)

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio (1), Tom Hanks (1), Christopher Walken (1), Martin Sheen (1), Amy Adams (1)

Composer: John Williams (2)

Country: USA (23)

Genre: Drama (10)

The most energetic film from Spielberg, guided along by John Williams astounding score, and Leonardo DiCaprio’s spry performance as a confused con man who’s morally conflicted. The pacing of Kahn’s editing is irresistibly good and the delivery of the dialogue matches Spielberg’s speed perfectly. It’s not as critical of it’s protagonist, and leaves room for a clean and peachy Spielberg ending, but does have a sharper tone to the story than one would initially think. 

446. Lincoln (2012)

Dir: Steven Spielberg (3)

DP: Janusz Kaminski (2)

Editor: Michael Kahn (3)

Writer: Tony Kushner (1), Doris Kearns Goodwin (1)

Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis (1), Sally Field (1), David Strathairn (1), Tommy Lee Jones (1), Michael Stuhlbarg (2)

Composer: John Williams (2)

Country: USA (24)

Genre: Historical Drama (3)

There was a world before Daniel Day-Lewis existed but his birth split the human timeline in half. Him playing Lincoln is one of the most transformative performances in film history, capturing his cadence, passion, complexities, and importance. However, it’s not all Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln is Spielberg’s best ensemble piece with amazing performances from Sally Fields, Tommy Lee Jones, and David Strathairn as historical figures from the Civil War.

446. The Wicker Man (1973)

Dir: Robin Hardy (1)

DP: Harry Waxman (1)

Editor: Eric Boyd-Perkins (1)

Writer: Anthony Shaffer (2), David Pinner (1)

Starring: Edward Woodward (1), Christopher Lee (1), Britt Ekland (1)

Composer: Paul Giovanni (1)

Country: United Kingdom (6)

Genre: Horror (7)

The Wicker Man has an amazing, simple premise and structure that has been replicated many times since the film’s release. A terrifying isolated island story surrounding the danger of long standing rituals and its hold on the seemingly well mannered community. Featuring one of the greatest endings ever, The Wicker Man is both a maddening experience but also a lot of fun (in a sort of twisted kind of way).

445. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

Dir: Guillermo del Toro (2)

DP: Guillermo Navarro (1)

Editor: Bernat Vilaplana (1)

Writer: Guillermo del Toro (2)

Starring: Ivana Buquero (1), Maribel Verdu (1), Doug Jones (2), Sergi Lopez (1)

Composer: Javier Navarrete (1)

Country: Mexico (1)

Genre: Fantasy (4)

Guillermo Del Toro’s wartime fairy tale of wild imagination, as a small girl escapes into a dream world to avoid her sadistic, murdering step-father. Guillermo’s magnum opus of awe-inspiring creatures with unbelievable character design and world building, it’s one of the most magic films ever released

444. Vagabond (1985)

Dir: Agnes Varda (1)

DP: Patrick Blossier (1)

Editor: Agnes Varda (1), Patricia Mazuy (1)

Writer: Agnes Varda (1)

Starring: Sandrine Bonnaire (1), Macha Meril (1), Stephanne Freiss (1)

Composer: Joanna Bruzdowicz (1)

Country: France (7)

Genre: Journey (2)

Agnes Varda’s dirty, degenerative journey film that trails the raggedy Sandrine Bonnaire through the backside of France is a study in structure and freedom. The mood is a deranged sense of apathy towards living or dying and the structure of the narrative shows no interest in anything that’s not directly in front of her. It’s undoubtedly a film with Varda’s signature style and free spirit that gets better over time.

443. Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)

Dir: Michael Curtiz (1)

DP: Sol Polito (2)

Editor: Owen Marks (3)

Writer: Ben Hecht (1), Warren Duff (1), John Wexley (1), Rowland Brown (1)

Starring: James Cagney (1), Pat O’Brien (1), Anne Sheridan (1), Humphrey Bogart (3)

Composer: Max Steiner (1)

Country: USA (25)

Genre: Noir (3)

James Cagney is at his best in Angels with Dirty Faces, delivering a staggeringly viscous portrayal that somehow manages to come from a place of empathy. Furthermore, the entire cast is excellent: Anne Sheridan and Bogart, for one, but the gang of street kids (Billy Halop, Leo Gorcey, Gabriel Del, etc), who played in another Bogart gangster film in identical roles in Dead End. The chemistry between the kids and Cagney is simply unmatched and give this film layers. Curtiz brought together many of the most sought after names in Hollywood to produce this one (Marks and Polito) and it shows.

442. I Was Born, But… (1932)

Dir: Yasujiro Ozu (2)

DP: Hideo Shigehara (1)

Editor: Hideo Shigehara (1)

Writer: Akira Fushimi (1), Geibei Ibushiya (1)

Starring: Tomio Aoki (1), Tatsuo Saito (1), Mitsuko Yoshikawa (1)

Composer: Donald Sosin (1)

Country: Japan (10)

Genre: Silent (2), Comedy (5)

Ozu’s silent films are among the best of that era and his gentle style of filmmaking generally meshes well with the visual driven type of storytelling. I Was Born, But… is a rougher portrayal of brothers growing up and Ozu testing their pride and ideas of strength. It essentially boils down to a narrative about son’s learning their father isn’t an all-powerful being that beats up other fathers and reconciling with that earth shattering fact. An endearing picture that examines a part of maturing that seems insignificant on the surface through humor, but is a significant part of discovering one’s humanity.

441. Malcolm X (1992)

Dir: Spike Lee (1)

DP: Ernest R. Dickerson (1)

Editor: Barry Alexander (1)

Writer: Spike Lee (1), Arnold Perl (1)

Starring: Denzel Washington (1), Angela Bissett (1), Albert Hall (1)

Composer: Terence Blanchard (1)

Country: USA (26)

Genre: Historical Drama (2)

Denzel Washington delivers a career best performance as Malcolm X. A powerful, potent, and complex portrayal that captures the legacy of his impact on the world and how it continues to spread in times of uncertainty. Dickerson’s work behind the camera to personify a man whose words are larger than life is captured in the cinematography and his presence is noted. A towering depiction of a controversial figure that speaks truth to power and Spike captures that with Denzel as his mouthpiece.

440. Hot Fuzz (2007)

Dir: Edgar Wright (1)

DP: Jess Hall (1)

Editor: Chris Dickens (1)

Writer: Edgar Wright (1), Simon Pegg (1)

Starring: Simon Pegg (1), Nick Frost (1), Jim Broadbent (1), Olivia Colman (2), Timothy Dalton (1)

Composer: David Arnold (1)

Country: UK (7)

Genre: Satire (1), Procedural (1)

Hot Fuzz is Edgar Wright at his most precise, controlling every piece of the frame to convey the insanity of this story. The hectic pacing fits so well with the mood of the story and performances. The timing of jokes is genuinely hilarious, Pegg and Nick Frost are perfect for each other, and the darker undertones of this film give it an edge that usually doesn’t exist in less consequential comedy films. One of the most clever pure comedies ever made and one I can’t turn off once it starts.

439. Death on the Nile (1978)

Dir: John Guillermin (1)

DP: Jack Cardiff (1)

Editor: Malcolm Cook (1)

Writer: Agatha Christie (1), Anthony Shaffer (1)

Starring: Peter Ustinov (1), Mia Farrow (1), Angela Lansbury (1), Bette Davis (2), Simon MacCorkrinda (1)

Composer: Nino Rota (1)

Country: UK (8)

Genre: Mystery (3)

One of the best Agatha Christie adaptations, it truly captures the spirit of Poirot and his juicy expedition across the Nile. Full of hilarious sight gags, underhanded dialogue, subversion, and intriguing mystery, it’s the best the mystery genre has to offer. Add on a ridiculously loaded cast with the great Peter Ustinov as Poirot and the result is a long lasting classic.

438. If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)

Dir: Barry Jenkins (1)

DP: James Laxton (1)

Editor: Nat Sanders (1)

Writer: James Baldwin (1), Barry Jenkins (1)

Starring: Kiki Layne (1), Stephen James (1), Regina King (1), Colman Domingo (1), Teyonah Parris (1)

Composer: Nicholas Britell (1)

Country: USA (27)

Genre: Romance (7), Drama (11)

Soulful, tender, emotionally present, and filled with character complexity, Barry Jenkins captures the heart of James Baldwin’s message with his adaptation of the poetic romance novel. A truly beautiful film of connection and a sense of exhaustion over the state of Black people in America. An important film that has been far too overlooked.

437. Cool Hand Luke (1967)

Dir: Stuart Rosenberg (1)

DP: Conrad L. Hall (1)

Editor: Sam O’ Steen (1)

Writer: Donn Pearce (1), Frank Pierson (1)

Starring: Paul Newman (1), George Kennedy (1), Dennis Hopper (1), Harry Dean Stanton (1), Luke Askew (1)

Composer: Lalo Schifrin (1)

Country: USA (28)

Genre: Prison Drama (1)

Cool Hand Luke the epitome of the badass protagonist, who barely cares about being the star of a movie with his name on it. He’s calm and collected at all times (except when he’s not) and everyone just seems to gravitate around him at all times. A role Paul Newman was born to play, but it’s the ensemble of George Kennedy, Harry Dean Stanton and Dennis Hopper that give this film life.

436. Lilies of the Field (1967)

Dir: Ralph Nelson (1)

DP: Ernest Haller (1)

Editor: John W. McCafferty (1)

Writer: James Poe (1), William E. Barrett (1)

Starring: Sidney Poitier (1), Lilia Skala (1), Stanley Adams (1), Isa Crino (1)

Composer: Jerry Goldsmith (1)

Country: USA (29)

Genre: Comedy (6), Drama (12)

Sidney Poitor entertaining a number of Roman Catholic German immigrants and forming a genuine bond of friendship is the sort of luxury only films can afford. He’s charming, witty, compassionate, sometimes angry, and even tender with the nuns and his dynamic with the head of the church, Lilia Skala, feels lasting. The performances are wonderful, the story is sweet, and it’s guaranteed to slap a big smile on that face.

435. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)

Dir: Luis Buñuel (1)

DP: Edmond Richard (1)

Editor: Helene Plemiannikov (1)

Writer: Luis Buñuel (1), Jean-Claude Carriere (1)

Starring: Fernando Rey (1), Delphine Seyrig (1), Paul Frankeur (1), Bulle Ogier (1)

Country: France (8)

Genre: Satire (2)

The first Luis Buñuel on the list and certainly not the last – a filmmaker who I feel likes to frustrate his audience in peculiar ways and play against what they’ve been told about the Bourgeoisie or the people in power. He manages to make these people appear charming, but almost exclusively through many, many dream sequences. It brings up a larger point about the narrative – who is the dreamer?

434. Elephant (2003)

Dir: Gus Van Sant (2)

DP: Harris Savides (1)

Editor: Gus Van Sant (1)

Writer: Gus Van Sant (2)

Starring: Alex Frost (1), Eric Deulen (1), John Robinson (1)

Country: USA (30)

Genre: Drama (13)

It’s almost hard to comprehend the left turn Gus Van Sant made in his career with Elephant. It’s so far removed from his cerebral character pieces that it just doesn’t fit the mold, but Elephant is effectively one of his best films. Shot only a year after the Columbine tragedy, Elephant is the sheer horror of this experience and trying to reconcile with the senseless violence. It’s genuinely one of the most maddening and terrifying films on this list. Feeding people this experience through a screen can help contextualize the unforgivable, traumatizing effect it has on the students, teachers, and parents involved.

433. Doubt (2008)

Dir: John Patrick Shanley (1)

DP: Roger Deakins (1)

Editor: Dylan Tichenor (1)

Writer: John Patricm Shanley (1)

Starring: Phillip Seymour Hoffman (1), Meryl Streep (1), Amy Adams (1), Viola Davis (1)

Composer: Howard Shore (1)

Country: USA (31)

Genre: Drama (14)

Doubt is a powerful agent of mistrust and creates an atmosphere of incertitude that permeates every person it touches. John Patrick Shanley’s film exists in this space and the phenomenal cast of actors carry that doubt into each scene. An incredibly intrusive and thorough examination of the issue of silence among Catholic priests. The dueling nature of the lead characters are captured so fundamentally by two of the greatest actors of the era – Philip Seymour Hoffman and Meryl Streep

432. One Wonderful Sunday (1947)

Dir: Akira Kurosawa (2)

DP: Asakazu Nakai (1)

Editor: Akira Kurosawa (2)

Writer: Akira Kurosawa (2)

Starring: Isao Numasaki (1), Chieko Nakakita (1), Atsushi Watanabe (1)

Composer: Tadashi Hattori (1)

Country: Japan (11)

Genre: Drama (15), Romance (7)

Kurosawa’s Capraesque story of lasting love in the face of poverty and future uncertainty is one of his most underrated films. A film that’s structured as a leisurely Sunday stroll, but in reality, is an examination of romance when the luxury of having savings and future dreams of home ownership are dashed by economic inadequacy. It strips the main character’s of their pride, but even after they’ve come to the realization, the relationship only grows stronger. Two great performances and an honest bit of direction from Kurosawa showing his range as a filmmaker.

431. Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Dir: Ang Lee (2)

DP: Rodrigo Prieto (1)

Editor: Geraldine Peroni (1), Dylan Tichenor (2)

Writer: Diana Ossana (1), Annie Proulx (1), Larry McMurty (1)

Starring: Heath Ledger (2), Jake Gyllenhaal (1), Michelle Williams (1), Anne Hathaway (1)

Composer: Gustavo Santaolalla (1)

Country: USA (32)

Genre: Romance (8)

Ang Lee’s heartbreaking romance between two men is one of the defining films of the 2000s. Brokeback Mountain serves as the gorgeous backdrop to these two men discovering themselves, as the rest of the world seems to melt away in the vastness of the wilderness. Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal are sensational together, conveying that internalized struggle to push down those urges and succumb to society’s pressure to conform. A beautifully human film that says so much without saying it aloud.

430. Roman Holiday (1953)

Dir: William Wyler (1)

DP: Henri Alekan (1), Franz Planer (1)

Editor: Robert Swink (1)

Writer: Dalton Trumbo (1), Ian McLellan Hunter (1), John Dighton (1)

Starring: Gregory Peck (1), Audrey Hepburn (1), Eddie Albert (1)

Composer: Georges Auric (1)

Country: USA (33)

Genre: Romance (9), Comedy (7)

Roman Holiday is the famous Dalton Trumbo script he won an Oscar for under an alias, while being investigated during the era of McCarthyism. The film itself is a wonderful romance of an American reporter played by the great Gregory Peck and a ravishingly naive princess played by Audrey Hepburn, as she tires of being pent up in a castle and desires normalcy. The two are excellent together and add weight to a rather breezy Sunday stroll of a narrative. It’s a joy inducing experience that’s guaranteed to leave a smile.

429. Long Day’s Journey Into Night (2018)

Dir: Bi Gan (1)

DP: Jingsong Dong (1)

Editor: Qin Yanan (1)

Writer: Bi Gan (1)

Starring: Huang Jue (1), Tang Wei (1)

Composer: Lim Giong (1), Chih-Yuan Hsu (1)

Country: China (2)

Genre: Mystery (4), Drama (16)

Bi Gan’s visually morphing experience, that even incorporates an hour-long 3D take to end the film, is the medium pushing craftsmanship that I crave. It’s an innovative take and a memory piece that captures Bi Gan’s home Provence and not just the characters. We see this displayed in Jingson Dong’s neon painted color palette and atmospheric lighting and he’s established himself as one of the most exciting cinematographers working today. The Lim Giong soundtrack adds an extra layer to the unforgettable visual language of the film as well. A truly unforgettable experience that only movies can provide.

428. Audition (1999)

Dir: Takashi Miike (1)

DP: Hideo Yamamoto (1)

Editor: Yasushi Shimamura (1)

Writer: Ryu Murakami (1), Daisuke Tengan (1)

Starring: Ryo Ishibashi (1), Eihi Shiina (1), Jun Kamimura (1)

Composer: Koji Endo (1)

Country: Japan (12)

Genre: Horror (8)

Takashi Miike has a few screws loose in his head and we’re all the better for it. Audition, in particular, is Miike at his most unhinged and the brutality of the film’s ending never seems to leave one’s subconscious afterwards. Funny enough, many barely remember the narrative but will ALWAYS remember Eihi Shiina psychotic reveal and subsequent torture porn. A deeply twisted look at a man trying to get back into the dating world through unsavory means and coming across the exact wrong woman. 

427. Fantastic Planet (1973)

Dir: Rene Laloux (1)

DP: Boris Baromykin (1)

Editor: Helene Arnal (1)

Writer: Roland Topor (1), Rene Laloux (1), Stefan Wulff (1)

Starring: Jennifer Drake (1), Jeanine Forney (1), Jean Topart (1)

Composer: Alain Gorageur (1)

Country: France (9)

Genre: Animation (6), Fantasy (5)

Rene Laloux’s universe expanding journey through this Fantastic Planet is overflowing with imagination. The world building is unbelievably good and coupled with the unconventional art style, it becomes such a unique experience both narratively and visually. 

426. Day for Night (1973)

Dir: François Truffaut (1)

DP: Pierre William-Glenn (1)

Editor: Martine Barraque (1)

Writer: François Truffaut (1), Suzanne Schiffman (1), Jean-Louis Richard (1)

Starring: Jacqueline Bissett (1), Jean-Pierre Leaud (1), Valentina Cortese (1)

Composer: Georges Delerue (1)

Country: France (10)

Genre: Drama (17), Comedy (9)

Truffaut’s Oscar-winning comedy, Day for Night, is about the beautifully chaotic nature of attempting to shoot a film and the necessary collaboration that happens in the process. A medium-bending, pervasive look at his cast and crew that feel verifiably Truffaut, that captures his deep obsession with the craft. A film for people that love this industry and see it through rose tinted glasses.

425. A Place in the Sun (1951)

Dir: George Stevens (1)

DP: William C. Menor (1)

Editor: William Hornbeck (1)

Writer: Harry Brown (1), Michael Wilson (1), Theodore Dreiser (1)

Starring: Montgomery Clift (2), Elizabeth Taylor (1), Shelley Winters (1)

Composer: Franz Waxman (1)

Country: USA (34)

Genre: Romance (10), Drama (17)

Adapted from the great novel “An American Tragedy,” George Stevens lets the central dynamic carry the drama by submerging the film in a dark atmosphere. Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor are excellent as the penultimate American love story, but it’s Shelley Winters, who paints a much more abrupt, realistic portrayal of love with her performance. The film captures the full scope of the American experience, from the poor workers class to the heiress of a large production company and Montgomery Clift at the center.

424. The Turin Horse (2011)

Dir: Bela Tarr (1)

DP: Fred Kelemam (1)

Editor: Agnes Harintzky (1)

Writer: Bela Tarr (1), Laszlo Krasznahorkai (1)

Starring: Janos Derzsi (1), Erika Bok (1)

Composer: Mihaly Vig (1)

Country: Hungary (1)

Genre: Drama (18)

One of the bleakest films in existence, Bela Tarr’s The Turin Horse is done in all long takes to immerse you in the suffering. And it’s thirty takes, to be more specific, and each one burying this father-daughter into deeper despair. It’s not a film for the faint of heart, but is extraordinarily beautiful in depiction of their agony. A self-contained film with wide reaching implications that feels much larger than just the two characters fighting for survival. A unique visual experience that tells this story solely through images.

423. The Big Heat (1953)

Dir: Fritz Lang (1)

DP: Charles Lang (1)

Editor: Charles Nelson (1)

Writer: William P. McGivern (1), Sydney Boehm (1)

Starring: Glenn Ford (1), Gloria Grahame (1), Jocelyn Brando (1)

Composer: Henry Vars (1)

Country: USA (35)

Genre: Noir (4)

Glenn Ford was always the perfect cast for these morally conflicted noir detective roles and his performance in The Big Heat is one of his best. A corrupt and dubious affair that backs each character into a corner, forcing them to deal head on with the darkness looming overhead. Fritz Lang achieves an overwhelming sense of darkness after the narrative begins with such hopeful undertones that seem to drive the characters. It’s essentially just a horrible nightmare that Glenn Ford’s character fails to wake up from

422. In Cold Blood (1967)

Dir: Richard Brooks (1)

DP: Conrad L. Hall (2)

Editor: Peter Zinner (1)

Writer: Richard Brooks (1)

Starring: Robert Blake (1), Scott Wilson (1), John Forsythe (1), Paul Stewart (1)

Composer: Quincy Jones (1)

Country: USA (36)

Genre: Crime (6), Drama (19)

Adapted from Truman Capote’s masterpiece, Richard Brooks is able to capture the heaping complexity of the novel and the brooding nature of these characters with a calculated approach. A detailed procedural, rich in case details that examines these characters thoroughly through an objective scope. The black-and-white cinematography plays with high contrast and paints an unclear picture for the audience to decipher.

421. Bunny Lake is Missing (1965)

Dir: Otto Preminger (1)

DP: Denys N. Coop (1)

Editor: Peter Thorton (1]

Writer: John Mortimer (1), Penelope Mortimer (1), Marryam Modell (1)

Starring: Keir Dullea (1), Carol Lynley (1), Laurence Olivier (1)

Composer: Paul Glass (1)

Country: USA (37)

Genre: Mystery (5)

Starting with the Saul Bass title sequence and Paul Glass’s gentle flute score, Bunny Lake is Missing is a stylish mystery film that plays against genre conventions and continually subverts your expectations. The writing is a lot of fun, but it’s Premingers loose hand on these characters in his direction that makes every scene feel unexpected. It never once felt as if I had a firm grasp on where the narrative was goqing as Preminger goes out of his way to conceal the truth. It’s not the most thematically deep film on the list, but makes you question reality as Preminger intended.

420. Last Year at Marienbad (1961)

Dir: Alain Resnais (1)

DP: Sacha Vierny (1)

Editor: Jasmine Chesney (1)

Writer: Alaine Robbe-Grillet (1)

Starring: Delphine Seyrig (2), Giorgio Albertazzi (1), Sacha Pitoeff (1)

Composer: Francis Seyrig (1)

Country: France (11)

Genre: Avant-garde (1)

Alain Resnais love triangle caught between memory and myth, where the filmmaking accentuates the unreliable nature of the narrative and the incredible production design places you deep in the psyche of not only the characters but the beyond haunting Marienbad. A surrealist painting of high-class vanity taking a vacation from themselves.

419. The Hero (1966)

Dir: Satyajit Ray (1)

DP: Subrata Mitra (1)

Editor: Dulal Dutta (1)

Writer: Satyajit Ray (1)

Starring: Uttam Kumar (1), Sharmila Tagore (1), Bireswar Sen (1)

Composer: Satyajit Ray (1)

Country: India (1)

Genre: Drama (20)

The Hero is the great writer, director, poet, composer, and basically any other artistic outlet that man can obtain in a lifetime, Satyajit Ray, dealing with the fallout of fame and fortune. A world that doesn’t see him as a person but as a figure and this film explores the less familiar side of celebrity life and the potential pitfalls. It’s a personal examination of the lifestyle and Uttman Kumar plays a version of Ray, while Tagore’s character is the audience probing into his lifestyle. Add in Dulal Dutta’s persuasive editing and we get the full-scope of a man in only 90 minutes. Excellent character study.

418. I Vitelloni (1953)

Dir: Federico Fellini (1)

DP: Otello Martelli (1), Carlo Carlini (1), Lusciano Trasatti (1)

Editor: Rolando Benedetti (1)

Writer: Federico Fellini (1), Tullio Pinelli (1), Ennio Flaiano (1)

Starring: Franco Interlenghi (1), Alberto Sordi (1), Franco Fabrizi (1)

Composer: Nino Rota (2)

Country: Italy (1)

Genre: Comedy (6), Coming-of-age (1)

A Vitellonismo is a glorious lifestyle, one where wasting time is the main objective and finding beautiful women to seduce is just a part of the job. I Vitelloni is Fellini tapping into his former self as a Vitellonismo and a piece of him that he finds nostalgia for and that plays out on the screen with his lively compositions and eccentric characters. On the surface, it’s a simple minded life but still comes with it’s fair share of complexities that rock these men to their core. An experience that feels true to Fellini and a joy to watch.

417. Klute (1971)

Dir: Alan J. Pakula (2)

DP: Gordon Willis (1)

Editor: Carl Lerner (1)

Writer: Andy Lewis, David P. Lewis (1), David E. Lewis (1)

Starring: Jane Fonda (2), Donald Sutherland (1), Charles Cioffi (2), Roy Scheider (2)

Composer: Michael Small (1)

Country: USA (38)

Genre: Mystery (6), Thriller (9)

Only a number of films on this list will need to start off with the score, but Michael Small’s main Klute theme is responsible for the penetratingly dark atmosphere that follows Jane Fonda and is a work of genius. A eerie, hazy mixture of mood and texture from the music that paints this seedy section of New York with jazz, pop, electronic sounds that immerse us into the world. Fonda is sensational, as the unconventional thriller protagonist able to hold your attention from start to finish in absolute terror.

416. Blood Simple (1984)

Dir: Joel Coen (1)

DP: Barry Sonnfield (1)

Editor: Joel Coen (1), Ethan Coen (1)

Writer: Joel Coen (1), Ethan Coen (1)

Starring: Frances McDormand (1), John Getz (1), Dan Hedaya (1), M Emmet Walsh (1)

Composer: Carter Burwell (1)

Country: USA (39)

Genre: Noir (6)

Incredible to think this is the Coen’s foray into filmmaking and a much different film than the rest of their filmography. A towering genre film with an extreme sense of dread. Stylish, brooding, and maliciously dark in the cinematography and Carter Burwell score. Frances McDormand shows off a different side to her acting as a femme fetale, but it’s the unconventional noir antagonist John Getz that’s responsible for overbearing pressure of Blood Simple.

415. Ugetsu (1953)

Dir: Kenji Mizoguchi (1)

DP: Kazuo Miyagawa (2)

Editor: Mitsuzo Miyata (1)

Writer: Yoshikata Yoda (1)

Starring: Machiko Kyo (2), Mitsuko Mito (1), Kinuyo Tanaka (1), Masayuki Mori (1)

Composer: Fumio Hayasaki (1), Ichiro Saito (1), Tamekichi Mochizuki (1)

Country: Japan (13)

Genre: Jidaigeki (2)

Kazuo Miyagawa is a legend in the industry for a reason and it’s because of haunting pieces of art like Ugetsu. His mist layer cinematography is unforgettable and it might be his best work. A cold, self-destructive ghost story set during the brutal Azuchi–Momoyama period in Japan, captures the unease among the people as well as the repercussions for benefitting off human suffrage. The narrative blends itself between the real world and the spirit world making the story feel ethereal. It’s an unreal work of art.

414. The Bridges of Madison County (1995)

Dir: Clint Eastwood (1)

DP: Jack Green (1)

Editor: Joel Cox (1) 

Writer: Richard LaGravenese (1), Robert James Waller (1)

Starring: Meryl Streep (2), Clint Eastwood (1) 

Composer: Clint Eastwood (1), Lennie Niehaus (1)

Country: USA (40)

Genre: Romance (11)

Unexplored romance is a subgenre that contains some of the most evocative films ever made and Clint Eastwood, throwing aside his tendencies as a filmmaker, created something so profoundly beautiful and heartbreaking with Bridges of Madison County. The two performances are subtle, but there’s so much to what’s not being said between them that speaks volumes to the audience. Meryl Streep is ravishing as the stowaway housewife with unfulfilled urges, holding onto her sense of purpose as a mother, but yearning for her one weekend of wild, passionate romance. The chemistry between Eastwood and Streep makes this lovely and complex story feel everlasting.

413. The Thick-Walled Room (1956)

Dir: Masaki Kobayashi (2)

DP: Hiroshi Kusuda (1)

Editor: Shizuo Oosawa (1)

Writer: Kobo Abē (1)

Starring: Ko Mishima (1), Torahiko Hamada (1), Keiko Kishi (1)

Composer: Chuji Kinoshita (1)

Country: Japan (14)

Genre: Prison/Political Drama (2)

The complex politics and human center of Masaki Kobayashi’s prison drama make this such a difficult experience to partake in. He makes the audience feel the full brunt of the injustice and helplessness these Prisoners feel. Adapted from a prisoner’s memoirs, it’s a grounded portrayal of the hardships and mental deterioration trying to survive in a place that values no one.

412. Murder, My Sweet (1944)

Dir: Edward Dmytryk (1)

DP: Harry J. Wild (1)

Editor: Jospeh Noriega (1)

Writer: Raymond Chandler (1), John Paxton (1)

Starring: Dick Powell (1), Claire Trevor (1), Anne Shirley (1)

Composer: Roy Webb (2)

Country: USA (41)

Genre: Noir (5)

Murder, My Sweet is arguably the best Raymond Chandler adaptation, but not because of how the words translate to the screen but because Dmytryk’s evocative visual style. The Joseph Noriega editing is relentless, using montage editing to subconsciously incorporate meaning into all the madness happening on screen, and it conveys the dark undertones in a visual sense. A staggeringly visceral noir that undoubtedly is a fire starter within the genre.

411. Late Spring (1949)

Dir: Yasujiro Ozu (3)

DP: Yuharu Atsuta (1)

Editor: Yoshiyasu Hamamura (1)

Writer: Yasujiro Ozu (3), Kogo Noda (2), Kazuo Hirotsu (1)

Starring: Chishu Ryu (2), Setsuko Hara (1), Yameji Tsukioka (1), Haruko Sugimura (2)

Composer: Senji Ito (1)

Country: Japan (15)

Genre: Drama (21)

Setsuko Hara is in many Ozu films, but she’s never been better than in Late Spring. A overwhelmingly empathetic story of society’s obsession to rush their children into a structure as Hara explores her character’s desire for individualism. The dynamic between Hara and another Ozu mainstay Chishu Ryu, as her father, delivers a deeply understanding performance that balances Hara’s perspective and the world pushing her towards a conventional life. The ending to this film will always have an extraordinary impact.

410. Save the Green Planet (2003)

Dir: Jang Joon-hwan (1)

DP: Hong Kyung-pyo (1)

Editor: Park Gok-ji (1)

Writer: Jang Joon-hwan (1)

Starring: Shin Ha-kyun (2), Baek Yoon-sik (1), Hwang Jeong-min (1)

Composer: Lee Dong-jun (1)

Country: South Korea (3)

Genre: Sci-fi (2), Dark Comedy (3)

Save the Green Planet is undoubtedly one of the weirdest films on the list. A film that constantly subverts expectations with Jang Joon-hwan’s writing and directing that wants to surprise you with each new insane plot point. The eccentricities of the characters with the tin-foil hat alien conspiracy makes the tone feel toony, but the element of grotesque violence plays off that idea in hilarious ways. One of the best endings on the entire list, too, despite a microbudget spent on the visual effects.

409. The Thin Blue Line (1988)

Dir: Errol Morris (1)

DP: Stefan Czapsky (1), Robert Chappell (1)

Editor: Paul Barnes (1)

Writer: Errol Morris (1)

Composer: Phillip Glass (1)

Country: USA (42)

Genre: Documentary (3)

Errol Morris is the preeminent American documentary filmmaker and The Thin Blue Line is the reason why. A film that essentially freed a man — showing the profound impact cinema could have on the world. Edited perfectly from Paul Barnes, it takes a calculated approach to the facts of the case and lays them out clearly for the audience.

408. Where is my Friend’s House? (1987)

Dir: Abbas Kiarostami (1)

DP: Farhad Saba (1)

Editor: Abbas Kiarostami (1)

Writer: Abbas Kiarostami (1)

Starring: Babek Ahmed Poor (1), Ahmed Ahmed Poor (1)

Composer: Amine Allah Hessine (1)

Country: Iran (1)

Genre: Drama (22), Journey (2)

Abbas Kiarostami is the most introspective writer-director in history as he’s able to convey the full scope of the human experience through simple verbal storytelling and finding empathy for others. Where is my Friend’s House? his journey and return narrative that discovers people from all generations, classes, and lifestyles through Babek Ahmed Poor naive eyes, taking in their personalities and perspectives. It’s a film that genuinely listens to the subjects and another brilliant entry from Kiarostami.

407. Creepy (2016)

Dir: Kiyoshi Kurosawa (1)

DP: Akiko Ashizawa (1)

Editor: Koichi Takahashi (1)

Writer: Kiyoshi Kurosawa (1), Chihiro Ikaeda (1), Yutaka Maekawa (1)

Starring: Hidetoshi Nishijima (1)  Yuko Takeuchi (1), Teruyuki Kagawa (1), Haruna Kawaguchi (1)

Country: Japan (16)

Genre: Horror (9)

Kiyoshi Kurosawa films conjure up a sense of dread so visceral that only exists in a pool of the unnatural. This feeling is unique to Kiyoshi – a stark-raving mad visual director that communicates all his meaning through the atmosphere – piercing dark atmospherics that suffocates the space around the characters. Creepy is another example of his pension for unnerving cinema, as Teruyuki Kagawa’s terrifying stalker is a vastly underrated antagonist that generates constant terror.

406. McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971)

Dir: Robert Altman (2)

DP: Vilmos Zsigmond (2)

Editor: Lou Lombardo (1)

Writer: Robert Altman (1), Brian McKay (1), Edmond Naughton (1)

Starring: Warren Beatty (1), Julie Christie (1), Rene Auberjonuis (1)

Composer: Leonard Cohen (1)

Country: USA (43)

Genre: Drama (23), Western (3)

Overtly stylish anti-western from Altman – starring the great Warren Beaty as the puffy coat gambler, doomed to his own vices and eccentricities. Julie Christie is brilliant as the streetwise prostitute that takes advantage of Beatty’s stupidity. The American tragedy that says that even a man who builds himself up by his own means can still die alone to the wheel of money and power.

405. Like Father, Like Son (2013)

Dir: Hirokazu Kore-eda (1)

DP: Mikia Takimoto (1)

Editor: Hirokazu Kore-eda (1)

Writer: Hirokazu Kore-eda (1)

Starring: Masaharu Fukuyama (1), Machiko Ono (1), Yoko Maki (1), Lily Franky (1), Keito Ninomiya (1)

Composer: Takeshi Matsubara (1), Junichi Matsumoto (1)

Country: Japan (17)

Genre: Drama (24)

The master of the family drama delivers with a perspective altering idea of the parent-son relationships. The nightmare scenario of taking home someone else’s child from the hospital and the awful idea of trading children to strangers regardless of being a blood relative. One of the most emotionally complex scripts ever written and the ensemble carries the extreme angst of the situation.

404. Under the Sun of Satan (1987)

Dir: Maurice Pialat (1)

DP: Willy Kurant (1)

Editor: Yann Dedet (2)

Writer: Georges Bernanos (1), Sylvie Pialat (1)

Starring: Gérard Depardieu (1), Sandrine Bonnaire (2), Maurice Pialat (1)

Composer: Henri Duttileux (1)

Country: France (12)

Genre: Drama (25)

A sophisticated look at temptation and desire under the guise of unforgivable sin. Gérard Depardieu and Sandrine Bonnaire are intoxicatingly sinful as two vulnerable characters going through a life-altering experience. Maurice Pialat paints a bleak picture of these characters and keeps the audiences in that space that feels ethereal.

403. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Dir: Jonathan Demme (1)

DP: Tak Fujimoto (1)

Editor: Craig McKay (1)

Writer: Thomas Harris (1), Ted Tally (1)

Starring: Anthony Hopkins (1), Jodie Foster (1), Scott Glenn (1), Ted Levine (1)

Composer: Howard Shore (2)

Country: USA (44)

Genre: Horror (10)

Featuring two of the finest horror acting performances ever comes an unconventional character study that familiarizes us with a monster rather than distance us to hold that tension. Anthony Hopkins is almost too good for words as the delectable vile Hannibal Lectern, but it’s the relationship with Foster’s character that makes this such a lasting experience.

402. I Saw The Devil (2010)

Dir: Kim Jee-woon (2)

DP: Lee Mo-gae (1), Kwon Yoo-jin (1)

Editor: Nam Na-young (1), Kim Mi-young (1)

Writer: Kim Jee-woon (2), Park Hoon-jung (1)

Starring: Lee Byung-hun (1), Choi Min-sik (2), Jeon Kuk-hwan (1)

Composer: Mowg (1)

Country: South Korea (4)

Genre: Horror (11)

Choi Min-sik is known for his brutality in the 2003 classic Oldboy, but in Kim Jee-woon’s unrelenting horror film – Choi Min-sik reaches an entirely different level of disturbing with his troubled serial killer. One of the most violent films on the whole list, this South Korean horror continually doubles down on its psychotic characters and the end result is a beautifully fucked up experience

401. Shame (1968)

Dir: Ingmar Bergman (1)

DP: Sven Nykvist (1)

Editor: Ulla Ryghe (1)

Writer: Ingmar Bergman (1)

Starring: Liv Ullman (1), Max von Sydow (1), Sigge Furst (1), Gunnar Bjornstad (1)

Country: Sweden (1)

Genre: Drama (26), War (5)

The first Bergman on the list comes in the form of Shame, a war torn film about an isolated couple, played brilliantly by Liv Ullman and Max von Sydow, that slowly unravel at the seams. The tone is desperate and Ullman and Sydow carry that exhaustion on their faces. A film about escaping the world, only for the world to come and find you.