The 501 Best Damn Films Ever Made: Part Three (400-350)

Part 1Part 2 – Part 4 – Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8

Quick Note: We’re starting to get down to some of the best films ever made. Part three introduces the Coen’s, Wilder, Tarantino, Frankenheimer, Wes Anderson, Paul Thomas Anderson, Murnau, Kieslowski, Melville, Bong Joon-ho onto the list with innovative genre films. There’s a number of epic films, one from David Lean and another from John Ford – both directors making multiple appearances on the list already. Take note of the obscure films of part three because it’s filled with experiences I’d want to show to my younger college self. Enjoy!

400. Raising Arizona (1987)

Dir: Joel Coen (2)

DP: Barry Sonnfield (2)

Editor: Michael R. Miller (1)

Writer: Joel Coen (2), Ethan Coen (2)

Starring: Nicholas Cage (1), Holly Hunter (1), Trey Wilson (1), John Goodman (1)

Composer: Carter Burwell (2)

Country: USA (45)

Genre: Comedy (10), Crime (7)

The Coen’s rural crime-comedy, featuring one of Nic Cage’s career best performances, is one of the more devilishly fun films on the list. It’s not a high concept premise, but there’s plenty of complexities with these characters that get revealed slowly. The comedy comes off the character’s self-serious attitudes and plays off it perfectly. A hilarious written and acted film from the Coen bros.

399. Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Dir: Quentin Tarantino (1)

DP: Andrzej Sekula (1)

Editor: Sally Menke (1)

Writer: Quentin Tarantino (1), Roger Avary (1)

Starring: Tim Roth (1), Harvey Keitel (1), Michael Madsen (1), Steve Buscemi (1), Chris Penn (1)

Country: USA (46)

Genre: Crime (8)

Reservoir Dogs was that film that got me interested in exploring cinema. My older brother showed it to me at a young age and I instantly fell in love because it made me realize the value of the medium as more than just a sympathy or laugh machine. It was totally badass, twisted, and something my parents definitely wouldn’t let me watch. The appeal to characters this stone cold, dissociative, and destructive has been central to my taste ever since. A stylish Crime film with a top rate soundtrack.

398. Inherent Vice (2014)

Dir: Paul Thomas Anderson (1)

DP: Robert Elswit (1)

Editor: Leslie Jones (1)

Writer: Paul Thomas Anderson (1), Thomas Pynchon (1)

Starring: Joaquin Phoenix (1), Katherine Waterson (1), Josh Brolin (1), Owen Wilson (1)

Composer: Johnny Greenwood (1)

Country: USA (47)

Genre: Noir (7)

Pauly, welcome to the list! And let’s start with his most critically panned film, Inherent Vice, a neo-noir operating on acid. It’s ambitious, completely absurd, and visually stimulating with a dark secret that holds your attention. Joaquin deserves more love for this fervent private eye portrayal that comes with a surprising amount of nuance. It even features Owen Wilson who speaks every line with a whisper. Fantastically strange film from one of the masters himself.

397. Grand Prix (1966)

Dir: John Frankenheimer (2)

DP: Lionel Lindon (1)

Editor: Stu Linder (1), Frank Saltillo (1)

Writer: John Frankenheimer (1), Robert Alan Aurthur (1)

Starring: James Garner (1), Eve Maria Saint (1), Yves Montand (1), Toshiro Mifune (2), Jessica Walter (1)

Composer: Maurice Jarre (1)

Country: USA (48)

Genre: Sports (1), Drama (27)

Much to my chagrin, a sports film has cracked the 501 BUT not just any old sports film – the greatest racing film ever made, John Frankenheimer’s Grand Prix. Scored through the great Maurice Jarre’s towering overture, Frankenheimer’s racing dream is a melodramatic drama and a high intensity racing experience. The Lionel Lindon cinematography is absurdly good, making you ask the question constantly: “how did they shoot that?!?” And it has two of my favorite international stars in Toshiro Mifune and Yves Montand as set dressing. Allow yourself a vroom vroom in your life.

396. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)

Dir: F.W. Murnau (1)

DP: Charles Rosher (1), Karl Struss (1)

Editor: Harold D. Schuster (1)

Writer: Hermann Sudermann (1), 

Starring: George O’ Brien (1), Janet Gaynor (1), Margaret Livingston (1)

Composer: Hugo Riesenfeld (1), Willy Schmidt-gen (1), Erno Rapee (1)

Country: USA (49)

Genre: Drama (28), Silent (3)

Sunrise doesn’t rank high on my list of favorites, but don’t mistake that for me not appreciating the sheer technical and narrative achievement this film pioneered in the silent era. Charles Rosher and Karl Struss cinematography is utterly majestic and they found new ways to shoot scenes. What F.W. Murnau envisioned in his head comes to life splendidly, as this ranks as one of the most picturesque films on the list and a terribly sweet yet intimately dark drama between two estranged lovers.

395. Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

Dir: Wes Anderson (1)

DP: Tristan Oliver (1)

Editor: Stephen Perkins (1), Ralph Foster (1)

Writer: Roald Dahl (1), Wes Anderson (1), Noah Baumbach (1)

Starring: George Clooney (1), Meryl Streep (4), Jason Schwartzman (1), Bill Murray (1), Willem Dafoe (1), Owen Wilson (1)

Composer: Alexander Desplat (2)

Country: USA (50)

Genre: Comedy (11), Animation (7)

The one Wes Anderson film all audiences generally feel a connection to and don’t leave any snide remarks about the aesthetic choices. It’s him at his most charming and adolescent creating that dichotomies between the adult characters and the childlike plotting that we all love. The cast is spectacular and fit nicely into their characters. And for his first stop-motion film, the direction is flawless. The pacing of the dialogue and editing caters to the humor of the source material and the actual animation is so beautifully detailed. A great film literally anybody can enjoy.

394. Mr. Arkadin (1955)

Dir: Orson Welles (2)

DP: Jean Bourgoin (1)

Editor: Orson Welles (1)

Writer: Orson Welles (1)

Starring: Orson Welles (3), Michael Redgrave (1), Patricia Medina (1)

Composer: Paul Misraki (1)

Country: USA (51)

Genre: Mystery (7)

I have a fetish for Orson Welles clay noses and in Mr. Arkadin, he parades around a gigantic schlong of a nose that feels almost like the lead character himself. Otherwise, Mr. Arkadin is an under appreciated espionage mystery film with the deepest and darkest revelations to come. Welles playing a larger than life mogul in Arkadin makes the material sing and his direction keeps the mood peculiar. Overtly stylish with brash pacing – a Welles film if there ever was one.

393. The Searchers (1956)

Dir: John Ford (1)

DP: Winton C. Hoch (1)

Editor: Jack Murray (1)

Writer: Alan Le May (1), Frank S. Nugent (1)

Starring: John Wayne (1), Jeffrey Hunter (1), Vera Miles (1), Natalie Wood (1), Ward Bond (1)

Composer: Max Steiner (2)

Country: USA (52)

Genre: Western (4)

The Searchers is Ford’s most acclaimed film and one of the most beautifully shot films in the history of the medium. A violent western with a serious bite to the drama that most westerns of the era avoids. It’s John Wayne’s vitriol and slowly dying portrayal of the rugged cowboy that makes this stick out among Ford’s best work. Scenes of terrible sorrow and later followed with raging retribution.

392. Scott Pilgrim vs The World (2010)

Dir: Edgar Wright (2)

DP: Bill Pope (1)

Editor: Jonathon Amos (1), Paul Machliss (1)

Writer: Edgar Wright (1)

Starring: Michael Cer (1), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (1), Kiernan Culkin (1), Aubrey Plaza (1), Anna Kendrick (1), Jason Schwartzman (2)

Composer: Nigel Godrich (1)

Country: USA (53)

Genre: CBM (2) 

Edgar Wright is a brilliant filmmaker that has extreme control on all his movies that people still don’t appreciate enough. In Scott Pilgrim vs The World, we see thay control with his panel-like comic book aesthetic and deliberate pacing that lends itself to the more drastic humor in the script. The film works on basically every artistic level and despite it’s adolescent dreamlike narrative, it makes a much deeper impact passed the surface level interpretation. It’s also really god damn funny.

391. A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

Dir: Charles Crichton (1)

DP: Alan Hume (1)

Editor: John Jympson (1)

Writer: John Cleese (2), Charles Crichton (1)

Starring: Kevin Kline (2), Jamie Lee Curtis (1), John Cleese (2)

Composer: John Du Prez (1)

Country: United Kingdom (10)

Genre: Comedy (12)

I love this movie for its biting comedy, weird sexual overtones, cultural critique, and John Cleese’s writing. However, absolutely nothing else compares to Kevin Kline’s ravaged stupor of a performance. A genuine laugh riot that had me belly laughing every time he’s on the screen. His physical comedy as well as his moody and sarcastic delivery brings out the best in the script and even John Cleese can’t compete. Genuinely one of the greatest comedy performances of all-time from Kevin Kline.

390. Starship Troopers (1997)

Dir: Paul Verhoeven (1)

DP: Jost Vacano (1)

Editor: Mark Goldblatt (1)

Writer: Caroline Ross (1)

Starring: Casper Van Dien (1), Dina Meyer (1), Denise Richards (1), Neil Patrick Harris (1), Clancy Brown (1), Michael Ironside (1)

Composer: Basil Poledouris (52)

Country: USA (54)

Genre: Satire (3), Sci-fi (4)

Zany, bizarre, and even at points a little cringe, Starship Troopers is the preeminent science-fiction satire with scathing social commentary that morphs into a galactic battle for survival. The casting is the best bit of comedy in the film, actors so willfully unaware of how their persona plays right into the satirical writing. Paul Verhoeven made a name for himself with these slightly ridiculous but mainly badass and crazy sci-fi films that become a part of the cultural zeitgeist years later. Would you like to know more?

389. Incendies (2010)

Dir: Denis Villeneuve (1)

DP: Andre Trupin (1)

Editor: Monique Dartonne (1)

Writer: Denis Villeneuve (1), Wajdi Mouawad (1)

Starring: Lubna Azabal (1), Melissa Desormaeux (1), Maxim Gaudette (1)

Composer: Gregoire Hetzel (1), 

Country: Canada (1)

Genre: Drama (29)

Villeneuve’s Incendies can be categorized as many things, but at its core, it’s a family drama that reckons with the past in a way that’s emotionally devastating. A methodical approach to the source material, it captures the sheer amount of hurt in these characters with a dour journey of discovery and not being able to cope with what they find. An introspective and deliberate script with gorgeously lit cinematography and invigorating performances.

388. A Touch of Sin (2013)

Dir: Jia Zhangke (1)

DP: Nelson Yu Lik-wai (1)

Editor: Matthieu Laclau (1)

Writer: Jia Zhangke (1)

Starring: Jiang Wu (1), Zhao Tao (1), Baoqiang Wang (1), Zhang Jiayi (1)

Composer: Lim Giong (2)

Country: China (3)

Genre: Drama (30)

A dash of sin curated through Jia Zhangke’s provocative narrative style and his evocative visuals. A disturbing look at the anger underlying the Chinese people and how that extreme angst building under the surface starts to surface. Jiang Wu’s murderous intent is painted on his face, but it’s the tender nuance of Zhao Tao that makes this experience unforgettable. A fascinating look at contemporary China and it’s denigrating culture.

387. The Double Life of Veronica (1991)

Dir: Krzysztof Kieślowski (1)

DP: Sławomir Idziak (1)

Editor: Jacques Witta (1)

Writer: Krzysztof Kieślowski (1), Krzysztof Piesiewicz (1)

Starring: Irene Jacob (1)

Composer: Zbigniew Preisner (1)

Country: Polish (1)

Genre: Drama (31), Mystery (8)

Krzysztof Kieślowski’s genuinely a master of mood and tone but with an entirely unorthodox approach to storytelling. The Double Life of Veronica exists here, setting a dire mood of despair so subtlety and with overwhelming complexity. He implants an image of Veronica inside your mind and subconsciously feels the same need for closure as the main character. 

386. The Golem: How He Came into the World (1920)

Dir: Paul Wegner (1), Carl Boese (1)

DP: Karl Freund (1), Guido Seeber (1)

Editor: Paul Wegner (1)

Writer: Henrik Galern (1), Paul Wegner (1), Gustav Meyrink (1)

Starring: Paul Wegner (1), Albert Steinruck (1)

Composer: Hans Landsberger (1)

Country: Weimar Republic (1)

Genre: Horror (13), Silent (4)

The Golem is genuinely terrifying and the German Expressionist style accentuates the horror. A dastardly tale of oppression and the will of the people being channeled into the mighty, destructive Golem. The incredible world building is done through the set designs and spirited framing with densely packed shots of mobs or parties that are constantly interrupted by the menacing Golem. The visual effects make this world come to life and it’s glorious to watch.

385. Le Samouraï (1967)

Dir: Jean-Pierre Melville (1)

DP: Henri Decae (1)

Editor: Monique Bonnot (1), Yolando Maurette (1)

Writer: Jean-Pierre Melville (1), Georges Pellegrin (1), Joan Mcleod (1)

Starring: Alain Delon (1), Francois Perier (1), Nathalie Delon (1), Cathy Rosier (1)

Composer: François de Roubaix (1)

Country: France (12)

Genre: Thriller (10)

Alain Delon’s directness of his intentions and actions, coupled with his striking characteristics, make his lone Samurai character one of the most memorable in history. The sparse Melville style makes this an absorbing thriller with a poetic undertone to Delon’s motivations.

384. Badlands (1973)

Dir: Terrence Malick (1)

DP: Tak Fujimoto (2), Brian Probryn (1), Steve Larner (1)

Editor: Billy Weber (1), Robert Estrin (1)

Writer: Terrence Malick (1)

Starring: Martin Sheen (1), Sissy Spacek (1) 

Composer: George Aliceson Tipton (1)

Country: USA (55)

Genre: Coming-of-age (2)

Badlands still reverberates Malick vibrations with the delicate Tipton score guiding the beautiful cinematography, conflicted central characters, and his overwhelmingly ethos for his subjects but ultimately it’s one of his more traditional films. What makes it great are Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek whose acting feels wrapped up in the love story, uninvolved with the rest of humanity.

383. Train to Busan (2016)

Dir: Yeon Sang-ho (1)

DP: Lee Hyung-deok (1)

Editor: Yang Jin-mo (1)

Writer: Yeon Sang-ho (1), Park Joo-suk (1)

Starring: Gong Yoo (1),  Ma Dong-seok (1), Jung Yu-mi (1), Choi Woo-sik (1), Kim Soo-ahn (1)

Composer: Jang Young-gyu (1)

Country: South Korea (5)

Genre: Horror (14)

Yeon Sang-ho evoked extreme pathos in a zombie film, able to balance the hair thin thrillride while maintaining that emotional center. Simply put, it’s the greatest zombie film ever made – one with endearing characters and meaning behind their actions. It makes the ending one of the most tragic on the list. 

382. Withnail & I (1987)

Dir: Bruce Robinson (1)

DP: Peter Hannan (1)

Editor: Alan Strachan (1)

Writer: Bruce Robinson (1)

Starring: Richard E. Grant (1), Paul McGann (1), Richard Griffiths (1)

Composer: Rick Rentworth (1)

Country: United Kingdom (11)

Genre: Comedy (13)

Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann in a stupidly funny film about their misaligned friendship and the idea that the two are a terrible influence on each other. Essentially, it’s two grown adults lolli gagging around London with their homosexual uncle, played brilliantly by Richard Griffiths, not lagging far behind. A grim yet endearing story of out of work actors with no sense of direction or ware withal. The Bruce Robinson script is good, but he mainly lets these actors sink into their characters and fully express themselves.

381. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)

Dir: Emeric Pressburger (1), Michael Powell (1)

DP: Georges Perinal (1)

Editor: John Seabourne (1)

Writer: Emeric Pressburger (1), Michael Powell (1)

Starring: Roger Livesey (1), Adolph Wohlbruck (1), Deborah Kerr (1), Roland Culver (1)

Composer: Allan Gray (1)

Country: United Kingdom (12)

Genre: Romance (13), War (6)

One of finest war films out of England – The Life and Death of Col Blimp is born out of a sense of pride, duty, love, and friendship. Roger Livesey as Col Blimp, is the premier English chap and a man with a deeper appreciation of life. An immaculate figure of compassion and strength that Pressburger and Powell express as grand as possible with the lifelong journey, captured in sight and sound.

380. Army of Shadows (1969)

Dir: Jean-Pierre Melville (2)

DP: Pierre Lhomme (1)

Editor: Francois Bonnot (2)

Writer: Jean-Pierre Melville (2), Joseph Kessel (1) 

Starring: Lino Ventura (1), Paul Meurisse (1), Jean-Pierre Cassel (2), Simon Signoret (1)

Composer: Eric Demarsan (1)

Country: France (13)

Genre: War (7)

Army of Shadows paints a much bleaker picture of the French resistance, as an ongoing struggle with no end in sight, constantly fighting from a disadvantageous state. Melville’s direction is immaculate, conveying the underground fight and increasing anxiety of their situation. It’s an atmosphere of distrust and direness that permeates the muted, dreaded colors of Lhomme’s cinematography and the constant state of fear. A slow-burn war film that’s an unconventional look at guerilla warfare against the might of the Nazi’s.

379. Spartacus (1960)

Dir: Stanley Kubrick (1)

DP: Russell Metty (1)

Editor: Robert Lawrence (1), Irving Lerner (1)

Writer: Dalton Trumbo (2), Peter Ustinov (1), Howard Fast (1)

Starring: Kirk Douglas (2), Laurence Olivier (2), Charles Laughton (1), Jean Simmons (1), Peter Ustinov (2)

Composer: Alex North (1)

Country: USA (56)

Genre: War (8)

Spartacus has a muddied history with the dispute between Kubrick and the film’s star and producer, Kirk Douglas, but the end result is a more tender portrayal of a complicated existence of Spartacus. The battle scenes are done masterfully and Kubrick established his grandiose filmmaking with legendary composer, Alex North, setting the stage for the violence and softer romance side. The cast is great, Trumbo’s writing goes deeper into character for a war film, and Kubrick’s direction makes this a very memorable experience.

378. The Thin Red Line (1998)

Dir: Terrence Malick (2)

DP: John Toll (1)

Editor: Leslie Jones (2), Billy Weber (1), Saar Klein (1)

Writer: Terence Malick (2), James Jones (1)

Starring: Sean Penn (1), Adrien Brody (2), Jim Caviezel (2), Ben Chaplin (1)

Composer: Hans Zimmer (2)

Country: USA (57)

Genre: War (9)

The second Terrence Malick joint on the list, an ethereal war film that conveys the full struggle of a unit rather than the individual heroism and connects them together through almost religious imagery and a shared bond through humanity. It’s not too heavy handed in the approach and has a sense of otherworldly beauty to the cinematography juxtaposed next to the viscous battle scenes that are the highlight of the film. 

377. Real Life (1979)

Dir: Albert Brooks (1)

DP: Eric Saarinen (1)

Editor: David Finfer (1)

Writer: Albert Brooks (1), Harry Shearer (1)

Starring: Albert Brooks (1), Charles Grodin (1), Frances Lee McCain (1)

Composer: Mort Lindsey (1)

Country: USA (58)

Genre: Comedy (14), Mockumentary (1)

Albert Brooks best film is Real Life, and the hilarious concept of the documentary filmmaker crumbling as his subjects watch in awe of his vanity is almost too good. The ambitious undertaking of documenting an everyday nuclear family, expecting the profound to take place and not accepting the reality of boredom. Seeing Albert Brooks come unglued by the end in his brilliant portrayal as a beyond controlling director attempting to direct every second of their lives.

376. Dreams (1990)

Dir: Akira Kurosawa (3)

DP: Takao Saito (1), Shoji Ueda (1)

Editor: Tome Minami (1)

Writer: Akira Kurosawa (3), Ishiro Honda (1)

Starring: Akira Terao (1), Mitsuko Baisho (1), Toshie Negishi (1)

Composer: Shinchiro Ikebe (1)

Country: Japan (17)

Genre: Fantasy (6)

Dreams works as an experimental piece of cinema from Kurosawa. Switching up the structure into vignettes, filling the frame with dreamlike elements from the cinematography to the editing, and presents a fascinating new way to connect people to the whole of humanity through our own bizarre dreams. A beautiful, unprecedented film that shows Kurosawa’s creative spirit never faded even into the later stages of his life.

375. The Host (2006)

Dir: Bong Joon-ho (1)

DP: Kim Hyung-koo (1)

Editor: Kim Sun-min (1)

Writer: Bong Joon-ho (1), Baek Chul-hyun (1), Ha Jun-won (1)

Starring: Song Kang-ho (3), Byun Hee-bong (1), Park Hae-il (1), Bae Doo-na (1), Go Ah-sung (1)

Composer: Lee Byung-woo (1)

Country: South Korea (6)

Genre: Horror (15), Sci-fi (5)

Bong Joon-ho making a monster genre film is the exact type of experience you didn’t realize you needed in your life. In classic Bong fashion, it works as a bizarre family drama, a political drama, and a tense horror experience with an agile river monster. It runs the full gamut of emotions in a genre not known for a wide range of emotions.

374. Mildred Pierce (1945)

Dir: Michael Curtiz (2)

DP: Ernest Haller (2)

Editor: David Weistbart (1)

Writer: James M. Cain (2), Ronald MacDougal (1)

Starring: Joan Crawford (1), Jack Carson (1), Zachary Scott (1), Eve Arden (1), Ann Blyth (1)

Composer: Max Steiner (3)

Country: USA (58)

Genre: Noir (9)

The only female centric noir film on the list, and Joan Crawford might deliver the best performances of any of the hard boiled detectives types featured here. James M. Cain’s novel is ripe with juicy character dilemmas 

373.  An Enemy of the People (1989)

Dir: Satyajit Ray (2)

DP: Barun Raha (1) 

Editor: Dulal Dutta (2)

Writer: Satyajit Ray (2), Henrik Ibsen (1)

Starring: Soumitra Chatterjee (1), Dhritiman Chatterjee (1), Dipanker Dey (1)

Composer: Satyajit Ray (2)

Country: India (2)

Genre: Drama (32)

Speaking truth against resistance can oftentimes be a dangerous, almost destructive force in one’s life, and Satyajit Ray reconciles with a brave man’s quest to warn the public of potential danger in An Enemy of the People. Adapted from a stage play, the staging is very noticeable but it’s all about the intensity of the dialogue and the wonderful performances. Soumitra Chatterjee isn’t as good as his role as Apu, but it comes damn close. A nuanced performance that doesn’t desire to give in but feels pressed in by the public from every angle. 

372. Amarcord (1973)

Dir: Federico Fellini (2)

DP: Giuseppe Rotunno (1)

Editor: Ruggero Mastroianni (1)

Writer: Federico Fellini (2), Tonino Guerra (1)

Starring: Bruno Zanino (1), Armando Brancia (1), Puppella Maggio (2)

Composer: Nino Rota (3)

Country: Italy (2)

Genre: Drama (33)

Amarcord is an endearing memory piece from Fellini – a beautiful story about a place in time, framed through his boyish memories. Shot with an emphasis on the perspective where characters feel larger than life in the eyes of an adolescent. Filled with a wide variety of people captured in the vibrancy of Amarcord. A pure Fellini film that only he could have made and it’s a wonderful time.

371. Stray Dog (1949)

Dir: Akira Kurosawa (4)

DP: Asakazu Nakai (2)

Editor: Yoshi Sugihara (1)

Writer: Akira Kurosawa (4), Ryuzo Kikushima (1)

Starring: Toshiro Mifune (3), Takashi Shimura (1), Keiko Awaji (1), Eiko Miyoshi (1), Noriko Sengoku (1)

Composer: Fumio Hayasaki (2)

Country: Japan (18)

Genre: Noir (10)

Another Kurosawa with ravishing performances from Shimura and Mifune that explore post-war Japan in discerning ways. An inexperienced detective story where a lost gun from Mifune is implicated in a local crime spree and the moral undertaking that looms over his fragile persona. Mifune as the reckless detective and Shimura as the experienced one is perfect casting and make this experience so lasting past the genre tones.

370. Ace in the Hole (1951)

Dir: Billy Wilder (1)

DP: Charles Lang (1)

Editor: Arthur P. Schmidt (1)

Writer: Billy Wilder (1), Walter Newman (1), Lesser Samuels (1)

Starring: Kirk Douglas (3), Jan Sterling (1), Robert Arthur (1), Porter Hall (1)

Composer: Hugo Friedhofer (1)

Country: USA (59)

Genre: Drama (34)

The art of sensationalism and mass panic is captured in Wilder’s hilarious portrayal of a journalist with no moral center. The waste of ambition on a man trying to work one over on a small New Mexico town and the world buying into the madness. One of the best performances from Kirk Douglas and Wilder gets the best out of him. An unsympathetic character that you actively cheer against but are fixated on his unscrupulous rise to the top of his profession.

369. Doctor Zhivago (1965)

Dir: David Lean (2)

DP: Freddie Young (1)

Editor: Norman Savage (1)

Writer: Robert Bolt (1), Boris Pasternak (1)

Starring: Omar Sharif (1), Julie Christie (2), Geraldine Chaplin (1), Alec Guinness (1), Tom Courtenay (1)

Composer: Maurice Jarre (1)

Country: United Kingdom (13)

Genre: War (10), Romance (14)

The finest epic filmmaker arguably of all-time, David Lean, making a grandiose love story that supersedes time. Brought up in the Russian revolutionary era, this fiery romance between Julie Christie and Omar Sharif, told in the bleak Russian winters, is a timeless classic of love and loss. The Freddie Young wide-shot cinematography is gorgeous beyond belief and gives the film it’s monumental feeling that not only concerns the two lovers, but the whole of Russia.

368. Shaolin vs Lama (1983)

Dir: Lee Tso-Nam (1)

DP: Yan-Chien Chuang (1)

Editor: Kuo-Chung Chou (1)

Writer: Cheung San-Yee (1)

Starring: Alexander Lo Rei (1), Chen Shan (1)

Country: Taiwan (1)

Genre: Martial Arts (2)

Unsarcastically in love with Yan-Chien Chuang’s martial arts masterpiece, Shaolin vs Lama. Pure epic filmmaking as each battle seems to grow bigger and more important until the momentous final battle begins between the aforementioned Lama and the Shaolin. Amazing fight choreography and excellent characters, you’ll laugh, cry, clutch, and squeeze as the film heads towards its fiery conclusion. 

367. The Irishman (2019)

Dir: Martin Scorsese (1)

DP: Rodrigo Prieto (2)

Editor: Thelma Schoonmaker (1)

Writer: Steve Zalian (1)

Starring: Robert De Niro (2), Al Pacino (2), Joe Pesci (1), Stephen Graham (1), Ray Romano (1), Harvey Keitel (2)

Composer: Robbie Robertson (1)

Country: USA (60)

Genre: Drama (35), Crime (8)

The last word on the mobster subgenre starts and ends with Scorsese’s twilight of his life film, The Irishman. Starring three of the greatest actors ever and Scorsese mainstays – De Niro, Pacino, Pesci – it’s a masterclass in character, drama, pacing, and structure, conveying the full-scope of these historical figures and their time spent on this earth. The two-faced approach from Scorsese is marvelous and keeps you engaged in this marathon sprint of an epic, brought together beautifully by the legendary editor Thelma Schoonmaker late into her career.

366. Black Orpheus (1959)

Dir: Marcel Camus (1)

DP: Jean Bourgoin (2)

Editor: Andree Feix (1)

Writer: Jacques Viot (1)

Starring: Breno Mello (1), Marpessa Dawn (1), Lourdes de Oliveira (1), Lea Garcia (1)

Composer: Antonio Carlos Jobim (1)

Country: Brazil (2)

Genre: Drama (36), Romance (15)

Marcel Camus’s lively and affectionate love story, based on the Greek legend of Orpheus and Eurydice, is a deeply passionate tragedy at its core. The story aside, the direction is reminiscent of Fellini, filling up frames with smiling, uninvolved people jamming to the glorious music of Antonio Carlos Jobim and his bossa nova score. It’s a film made with a bright shining spirit and genuine compassion for the people It’s portraying. A great representation of the people of Brazil.

365. 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days (2007)

Dir: Cristian Mungiu (1)

DP: Oleg Mutu (1)

Editor: Dana Benescu (1)

Writer: Cristian Mungiu (1)

Starring: Anamaria Marinca (1), Laura Vasiliu (1), Vlad Ivanov (1)

Country: Romanian (1)

Genre: Drama (37)

The intensity of Christian Mungiu’s abortion drama can be cut with a knife. A slow form realization and horrifying procedural look at two unsuspecting women having to commit a crime to get an abortion. It’s a wake up call for this uninitiated by Romanian’s abortion laws that hits like a truck with the incredible immersion of the filmmaking. The feeling in the room is palpable, culminating in one of the most powerful scenes on the entire list in the hotel room.

364. Lolita (1962)

Dir: Stanley Kubrick (2)

DP: Oswald Morris (1)

Editor: Anthony Harvey (1)

Writer: Vladimir Nabokov (1)

Starring: James Mason (1), Shelley Winters (2), Sue Lyon (1), Peter Sellers (1)

Composer: Nelson Riddle (1), Bob Harris (1)

Country: USA (61)

Genre: Drama (38)

Lolita is famous for being one of, if not the most controversial novels ever written. So of course, Stanley Kubrick had to get his hands on the rights. He ended up creating a truly deranged look at family and a twisted character study of a confused man played eloquently by James Mason. The concept of harboring illicit affairs that don’t align with anybody’s sense of morality, goes down the inevitable dark road that could only end in tragedy, and is one fraught with overwhelming complexities. Shelley Winters, in a smaller but incredibly impactful role, is phenomenal here as Lolita’s mother. 

363. Monos (2019)

Dir: Alejandro Landes (1)

DP: Jasper Wolf (1)

Editor: Santiago Otheguy (1), Yorgos Mavropsaridis (2), Ted Guard (1)

Writer: Alexis dos Santos (1), Alejandro Landes (1)

Starring: Moises Arias (1), Julianne Nichols (1), Sofia Buenaventur (1)

Composer: Mica Levi (1)

Country: Colombia (1)

Genre: War (11), Thriller (11)

The combination of Jasper Wolf’s cinematography and Mica Levi’s synthesizer score is the highest form of visual-audio ecstasy imaginable. One of the most visually stunning films ever made, Monos is an incredible journey of guerrilla warfare amongst young adults left on a remote mountain. 

362. Black Narcissus (1947)

Dir: Emeric Pressburger (2), Michael Powell (2)

DP: Jack Cardiff (2)

Editor: Reginald Mills (1)

Writer: Emeric Pressburger (2), Michael Powell (2), Rumer Godden (1)

Starring: Deborah Kerr (2), David Farrar (1), Flora Robson (1)  Kathleen Byron (1)  Jean Simmons (2)

Composer: Brian Easdale (1)

Country: United Kingdom (14)

Genre: Drama (39)

Conniving and violently jealous nuns descend on the ill intentions of man, becoming beasts by nature, set to the backdrop of isolation in the Himalayas. Jack Cardiff’s studio cinematography is remarkable and captures the drama and intensity of the acting with a wide variety of unique shots – with the help of the incredible paintings. Add in Deborah Kerr’s devilishly obscure performance, that Cardiff accentuates the madness with technicolor and specific lighting, makes this an all-timer.

361. The Apartment (1960)

Dir: Billy Wilder (2)

DP: Joseph LaShelle (1)

Editor: Daniel Mandell (1)

Writer: Billy Wilder (2), I.A.L Diamond (1)

Starring: Jack Lemmon (2), Shirley MacLaine (1), Fred MacMurray (1)

Composer: Adolph Deutsch (1)

Country: USA (62)

Genre: Comedy (15), Romance (16)

One of the most widely acclaimed films on the list that’s beloved by audiences across all time periods. Personally, it’s not my favorite Wilder, but I can’t deny the incisive writing on office romance and the backwards ethics of it all. Jack Lemmon is phenomenal as the man with the single apartment in the city, who developed wonderful chemistry with Shirley MacLaine. The endearing element of the romance makes the jokes land even harder and Lemmon is such a sympathetic character.

360. Dersu Uzala (1975)

Dir: Akira Kurosawa (5)

DP: Asakazu Nakai (3) Fyodor Dobronravov (1), Yuri Gantman (1)

Editor: Valentina Stepnova (1)

Writer: Akira Kurosawa (5), Vladimir Arsenyev (1), Yuri Nagibin (1)

Starring: Maksim Munzuk (1), Yuriy Solomin (1), Mikhail Bychkov (1)

Composer: Isaak Shvarts (1)

Country: Soviet Union (1)

Genre: Journey (3)

A striking journey through the Russian wilderness and an everlasting bond of friendship developed over the experience. Yuriy Solomin and Maksim Munzuk develop such a believable friendship translated through made up forms of communication and a similar sense of humor. Akira Kurosawa won an Oscar for this film and it’s one of his most moving films – in both image and narrative.

359. Dunkirk (2017)

Dir: Christopher Nolan (2)

DP: Hoyte van Hoytema (1)

Editor: Lee Smith (2)

Writer: Christopher Nolan (2)

Starring: Fionn Whitehead (1), Mark Rylance (1), Barry Keoghan (1), Tom Hardy (1), Cillian Murphy (1), Harry Styles (1), Kenneth Branagh (1)

Composer: Hans Zimmer (2)

Country: United Kingdom (15)

Genre: War (12)

In typical Christopher Nolan fashion, he took a look at a genre in an unorthodox way through structure, character, chronology, and sound design. His most deliberate film that translates as a memory with fragments rather than full sequences. The Hoyte Van Hoytema cinematography on 70mm was an experience I won’t ever forget.

358. The Candidate (1972)

Dir: Michael Ritchie (1)

DP: Victor J. Kemper (1)

Editor: Richard A. Harris (1), Robert Estrin (2)

Writer: Jeremy Larner (1)

Starring: Robert Redford (1), Peter Boyle (1), Melvyn Douglas (1)

Composer: John Rubinstein (1)

Country: USA (63)

Genre: Political Drama (5)

Only a handful of films understand the stupidity of politics and government like The Candidate. The astounding rise of a dense but handsome lawyer, played perfectly by Robert Redford, that gets bullied into running. He throws away his ethics, his positions, and his basic freedoms with no direction or purpose. A case of failing upward captures in Larner’s script.

357. The White Ribbon (2009)

Dir: Michael Haneke (1)

DP: Christian Berger (1)

Editor: Monika Willi (1)

Writer: Michael Haneke (1)

Starring: Christiam Friedel (1), Ernst Jacobi (1), Blaught Klaubner (1)

Country: Germany (2)

Genre: Mystery (9), Drama (40)

Michael Haneke has made many films that could be described as dark and brooding, but The White Ribbon manages to precede them with something completely unbecoming. Shot in enveloping black-and-white, this methodically crafted depiction of a torn German society is a harrowing summation of evil and the idea of it being embedded in human nature. The Monika Willi editing accentuates this with sharp pacing, allowing the images to linger in disturbing ways. The view is traumatic but it expresses valuable lessons on hatred.

356. The Servant (1963)

Dir: Joseph Losey (1)

DP: Douglas Slocombe (1)

Editor: Reginald Mills (2)

Writer: Harold Pinter (1)

Starring: Dirk Bogarde (1), James Fox (1), Sarah Miles (1), Wendy Craig (1)

Composer: John Dankworth (1)

Country: United Kingdom (16)

Genre: Drama (41)

Harold Pinter wrote many of his scripts looking at his subjects from a sideways angle. Meaning he always took an unorthodox approach to the character study, interested in exploring the more surreal elements of a particular class or type of person, rather than examine the stereotypes. The Servant is the master-servant dynamic brought to extreme ends. An unsettling story of denigration, painting James Fox as a weak and neurotic heiress type, while Dirk Bogarde’s the clever and mischievous swindler with no income. The tension is palpable in the house and Losey lets the actors discover their characters.

355. The Holy Mountain (1973)

Dir: Alejandro Jodorowsky (1)

DP: Rafael Corkidi (1)

Editor: Federico Landeros (1)

Writer: Alejandro Jodorowsky (1)

Starring: Alejandro Jodorowsky (1), Horacio Salinas (1), Zumira Saunders (1), Juan Ferrera (1)

Composer: Alejandro Jodorowsky (1)

Country: Mexico (2)

Genre: Avant-garde (2)

The acid dipped exterior of The Holy Mountain is an ethereal experience. Fully engaging with Jodorowsky avant-garde world building will reveal many deeper parallels to religion and the experience of the mountain through the literal perspective of the audience. The fourth wall of cinema is broken in many ways by Jodorowsky and his vision of this cosmic journey is truly special. 

354. The Killing (1956)

Dir: Stanley Kubrick (3)

DP: Lucien Ballard (1)

Editor: Betty Steinberg (1)

Writer: Stanley Kubrick (2), Lionel White (1)

Starring: Sterling Hayden (1), Coleen Gray (1), Vince Edwards (1), Marie Windsor (1), Timothy Carey (1)

Composer: Gerald Fried (1)

Country: USA (64)

Genre: Noir (11)

Stanley Kubrick starts this film on a timer from the first frame and finishes up promptly by the time the bell rings. Perfectly paced to convey the dire circumstance and the immense pressure on these characters. In short succession, Kubrick allows these character’s personalities to flourish and delivers on both a plot and character level. A tightly compacted noir that never overstay its welcome and has unglamorous style. Marie Windsor is magic as the femme fetale.

353. Room (2015)

Dir: Lenny Abrahamson (1)

DP: Danny Cohen (1)

Editor: Nathan Nugent (1)

Writer: Emma Donoghue (1)

Starring: Brie Larson (1), Jacob Tremblay (1), Joan Allen (1), William H. Macy (1)

Composer: Stephen Rennicks (1)

Country: USA (65)

Genre: Drama (42), Thriller (12)

The perspective of Room is so incredibly immersive, allowing us to step in the shoes of Jacob Tremblay and Brie Larson’s disturbing lives. The first act captures the extreme sense of dread and stress that Tremblay doesn’t understand he’s experiencing. The surreal aspects of his character make it a story filled with discovery and that’s expressed in the cinematography and writing.

351. Airplane (1980)

Dir: Jerry Zucker (1), Jim Abrahams (1), David Zucker (1)

DP: Joseph F. Biroc (1)

Editor: Patrick Kennedy (1]

Writer: Zucker (1), Jim Abrahams (1), David Zucker (1), Arthur Hailey (1)

Starring: Leslie Nielsen (1), Robert Hays (1), Julie Haggerty (1), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1)

Composer: Elmer Bernstein (1)

Country: USA (66)

Genre: Comedy (16)

If you love Leslie Nielsen, this is the film. Of all his spoof comedy performances, he’s never been better than in Airplane! He’s the tonesetter for the rest of the humor and his timing couldn’t be better. However, it’s not just Nielsen – the entire cast is great from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to the blow up auto-pilot. I grew up watching this belly laughing every time and despite knowing every joke by heart, it still kills me today

350. Three Colors: Blue

Dir: Krzysztof Kieślowski (2)

DP: Sławomir Idziak (2)

Editor: Jacques Witta (2)

Writer: Krzysztof Kieślowski (2), Sławomir Idziak (1), Agnieszka Holland (1), Krzysztof Piesiewicz (2)

Starring: Juliette Binoche (1), Benoit Regent (1), Florence Pernell (1)

Composer: Zbigniew Preisner (2)

Country: Poland (2)

Genre: Drama (43)

The intensity of emotions are captured in subtle strokes of Binoche’s performance and Kieslowski’s direction. It’s not loud bursting notes of trauma but tiny and understated internalized pain that makes this an overwhelming experience. The craft is immaculate making Binoche’s perspective become realized on screen.  A great first entry into Kieslowski’s famous red, white, and blue trilogy.