The Best Damn 501 Films Ever Made: Part Seven (199-150)

Part One Part TwoPart ThreePart FourPart FivePart SixPart SevenPart Eight

199. A Woman Under the Influence (1974)

Dir: John Cassavetes (2)

DP: Al Ruban (2), Mitch Breit (2)

Editor: David Armstrong (1), Shila Viseltear (1)

Writer: John Cassavetes (2)

Starring: Gena Rowlands (1), Peter Falk (2), Fred Draper (1), Lady Rowlands (1)

Composer: Bo Hardwood (2)

Country: USA (145)

Genre: Drama (102)

Excerpt from my review:

A Woman Under the Influence can be interpreted in many ways, and Cassavetes using a free-flowing, authentic structure allows for each individual perspective to pick something different from the narrative. Taking the title and forming complete thoughts – A Woman Under the Influence of what? Men? Domestic life? Mental health? I see instability. The married life of Mabel (Gena Rowlands) and Nick Longhetti (Peter Falk), two people bound together by their sheer insanity, and are barely hanging on like two pressure points pushing together. Any loosening of that tension and the bottom falls out. Mabel and Nick are in a perpetual state of madness and only the small things in life keep them alive.

198. Goodfellas (1990)

Dir: Martin Scorsese (6)

DP: Michael Ballhaus (4)

Editor: Thelma Schoonmaker (5), James Y. Kwei (1)

Writer: Martin Scorsese (3), Nicholas Pileggi (1)

Starring: Ray Liotta (1), Robert De Niro (4), Joe Pesci (3), Lorraine Brasco (1), Paul Sorvino (1)

Country: USA  (142)

Genre: Crime (21), Drama (103)

The energy of Goodfellas is on a cracked out level that simply can’t be reproduced. It’s Martin Scorsese and Thelma Schoonmaker at their most in tune with the rhythms, characters, and framing of the story. It’s an incredibly stylish film and the act of filmmaking stands out in the best way possible. Scorsese’s best film within the mob genre. Each scene seems to punch you in the face before getting underway. Scorsese for life.

197. Lone Wolf & Cub: Baby Cart at River Styx (1972)

Dir: Kenji Misumi (1)

DP: Chikashi Makiura (1)

Editor: Toshio Tanaguchi (1)

Writer: Kazuo Koike (2)

Starring: Tomisaburo Wakayama (1), Akihiro Tomikawa (1), Kayo Matsuto (1), Minoru Oki (1)

Composer: Hideaki Sakurai (1)

Country: Japan (42)

Genre: Samurai (4), Action (5)

The one and only Lone Wolf & Baby Cart entry on the list will stand for the entire series, as Baby Cart and the River Styx captures the essence of Ogami and Daigoro’s journey in the most magical way imaginable. Based on a long running manga series, Misumi’s adaptation has as much style as a manga panel and operates off the hard-boiled tone set by Tomisaburo Wakayama and little Akihiro Tomikawa as Daigoro. Each film in the series is a must-watch and bursting with chaotic energy. The best types of films with batshit crazy ideas funneled through amazing character’s and direction.

196. Dead Ringers (1988)

Dir: David Cronenberg (2)

DP: Peter Suschitzky (1)

Editor: Ronald Sanders (2)

Writer: David Cronenberg (2), Bari Wood (1), Jack Geasland (1)

Starring:Jeremy Irons (1), Genevieve Bujold (1), Heidi von Palleske (1), Barbara Gordon (1), Shirley Douglas (2)

Composer: Howard Shore (7)

Country: USA (143)

Genre: Horror (28)

David Cronenberg doesn’t appear on the 501 often, but his impact on my cinephile life has been great and his work on Dead Ringers is a career-best. Jeremy Irons gives an inspired performance as his grip on reality quickly loosens. Dead Ringers has all the best aspects of Cronenberg’s work, but easily his best script and characters. It’s completely disturbing in an intellectually curious way and had me deeply engaged.

195. The Deer Hunter (1978)

Dir: Michael Cimino (1)

DP: Vilmos Zsigmond (3)

Editor: Peter Zinner (2)

Writer: Deric Washburn (1), Michael Cimino (1)

Starring: Robert De Niro (5), Christopher Walken (2), John Cazale (3), John Savage (1), Meryl Streep (6)

Composer: Stanley Myers (1)

Country: United Kingdom (24) 

Genre: War (19), Drama (104)

The psychological toll of one life-or-death game of russian roulette is enough to drive a man to his outer limits and experiencing it through Michael’s (Robert De Niro) point of view is harrowing. The incredible intensity of the filmmaking and performances makes this one of the all-time explosive films. The ensemble cast, led by De Niro and Christopher Walken, is an all-time great cast – diving deeper into trauma and loss. The Deer Hunter is a statement on blue-collar working-class being drafted into a psychotic state of war and how that affects their lives in dangerous, self-destructive ways.

194. The Truman Show (1998)

Dir: Peter Weir (2)

DP: Peter Biziou (4)

Editor: Lee Smith (4)

Writer: Andrew Niccol (1)

Starring: Jim Carrey (2), Laura Linney (1), Noah Emmerich (1), Ed Harris (2), Holland Taylor (1)

Composer: Burkhard von Dallwitz (1)

Country: USA (143)

Genre: Drama (105), Comedy (40)

Peter Weir is a broad thinker who looks to mystify through his narratives. In The Truman Show, it places you at the center of the world’s attention at the behest of the main character played endearingly by Jim Carey. It touches you on a very relatable human level, while showing our propensity to accept the unacceptable if it brings happiness to enough people. The concept is utterly intriguing and leads to one of the best character arcs ever written. The direction from Weir is superb.

193. Cold War (2018)

Dir: Paweł Pawlikowski (1)

DP: Lukasz Zal (1)

Editor: Jaroslaw Kaminski (1)

Writer: Paweł Pawlikowski (1), Janusz Glowacki (1), Piotr Borkowski (1)

Starring: Joanna Kulig (1), Tomasz Kot (1), Borys Szyc (1), Cedric Kahn (1)

Composer: Marcin Masecki (1)

Country: Poland (2)

Genre: Romance (30), Music (3), War (19)

In terms of great romance told through time and borders, Cold War sits alone. A film so masterfully crafted at every turn, that it makes every inch of the production feel purposeful. The absolutely gorgeous compositions and stark black-and-white cinematography from Lukasz Zal makes for one of the most ravishing visual films ever made. Heartbreaking in a unique sense, subtle, cruel but beyond meaningful. A splendid film with incredible music and performances from Joanna Kulig and Tomasz Kot.

192. Blade Runner (1982)

Dir: Ridley Scott (2)

DP: Jordan Cronenweth (2)

Editor: Marsha Nakashima (1)

Writer: Philip K. Dick (1), Hampton Francher (1), David Webb Peoples (1)

Starring: Harrison Ford (3), Rutger Hauer (1), Sean Young (1), Edward James Olmos

Composer: Vangelis (1)

Country: USA (144)

Genre: Sci-fi (15)

The quintessential neo-noir sci-fi film. The world-building is sensational, but it’s the mystery behind Deckard and the replicants that have made this a timeless classic. From top to bottom, Ridley’s direction is outstanding, from adapting Philip K. Dick’s novel, to the all-time great Vangelis score, it all is done at the top of the craft.

191. The Matrix (1999)

Dir: Lily and Lana Wachowski (1)

DP: Bill Pope (2)

Editor: Zach Staenberg (1)

Writer: Lily and Lana Wachowski (1)

Starring: Keanu Reeves (3), Laurence Fishburne (1), Carrie-Anne Moss (2), Hugo Weaving (1), Joe Pantoliano (2)

Composer: Don Davis (1)

Country: Australia (3), USA (145)

Genre: Sci-fi (16)

Unflinching creativity and imagination in the world building of The Matrix universe. One of those experiences that opened my eyes to the possibilities of cinema and what can be achieved with a little ambition and the Wachowski sisters have plenty. It’s the signature film in Neo’s story, serving as one of the defining hero arcs of modern-day film and mythology.

190. Welcome, Or No Trespassing (1964)

Dir: Elem Klimov (1)

DP: Anatoliy Kuznetsov (1)

Editor: Aleksandra Kamagorova (1)

Writer: Semyon Lungin (1), Illya Nusinov (1)

Starring: Viktor Kosykh (1), Evgeniy Evstigneev (1), Aleksei Smirnov (1)

Composer: Mikhael Taruvediev (1), Igor Yakushenko (1)

Country: Russia (3)

Genre: Comedy (41)

Welcome, or No Trespassing essentially explores the rigors of summer camp and how we structure it purposefully to limit the freedoms and by extension their happiness, of all the children attending. The craft from Elem Klimov is immaculate, mixing in a variety of well timed visual gags and the satirical nature of the comedy through a number of perfectly casted class clown kids to play the lead of this biting and critical film. It’s a brilliant bit of comedy.

189. Strangers on a Train (1951)

Dir: Alfred Hitchcock (3)

DP: Robert Burks (3)

Editor: William H. Ziegler (1)

Writer: Ben Hecht (), Patricia Highsmith (1), Raymond Chandler (2), 

Starring: Farley Granger (1), Robert Walker (1), Ruth Roman (1), Patricia Hitchcock 

Composer: Dimitri Tiomkin (4)

Country: USA (146)

Genre: Crime (22), Thriller (32)

A blind stranger approaches you on a train and explains an elaborate plot to murder someone close to you – this is Robert Walker’s psychotic character Bruno Antony who is one of Hitchcock’s best villains in his filmography. Menacing and clever that feels like a freight train that can’t be stopped.

188. Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro (1979)

Dir: Hayao Miyazaki (4)

DP: Hirokata Takahashi (1) 

Editor: Masatoshi Tsurubuchi (1)

Writer: Hayao Miyazaki (4), Haruya Yamazaki (1), Kazuhiko Kato (1)

Starring: Yasuo Yamada (1), Eiko Masuyama (1), 

Composer: Yuji Ono (1)

Country: Japan (43)

Genre: Drama (106), Comedy (42)

Lupin is such an outlier in terms of the Miyazaki protagonist, with questionable moral reasoning, but a soft heart made of gold. This film is a blast in terms of the energy, and pacing of Lupin’s latest adventure. Set to the gorgeous Miyazaki animation, with above the clouds architecture and vibrant color pallets, it’s surely one of the most enjoyable films in his filmography. Perfect mix-up of stylistic vision and subject matter. Both are maximized by the other’s distinctions.

187. The Skin I Live In (2011)

Dir: Pedro Almodovar (1)

DP: Jose Luis Alcaine (1)

Editor: Jose Salcedo (1)

Writer: Pedro Almodovar (1), Thierry Jonquet (1)

Starring: Antonio Banderas (1), Elena Anaya (1), Marisa Paredes (1), Jan Cornet (1), Roberto Alamo (1)

Composer: Alberto Iglesias (1)

Country: Spain (1)

Genre: Horror (29), Thriller (33)

The perfect narrative for a Pedro Almodovar horror film and his sensuous sensibilities as a director. The craft is so precise and clean that it could only be done by Almodovar. Antonio Banderas gives the best performance of his career. Masterful work on a technical and storytelling level. Evocative to no end and shockingly disturbed. Clean to sociopathic levels. He tells the story through all the layers of the filmmaking.

186. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

Dir: Robert Aldrich (1)

DP: Ernest Haller (4)

Editor: Michael Luciano (1)

Writer: Lukas Heller (1), Henry Farrell (1)

Starring: Bette Davis (3), Joan Crawford (2), Victor Buono (1)

Composer: Frank De Vol (1)

Country: USA (147)

Genre: Horror (30), Drama (107)

Bitterness and resentment personified through Bette Davis and Joan Crawford masterful performances. Imprisoned in this claustrophobic set, shooting the entirety of the film inside the house builds the intensity to an unseen level of hatred. A lifelong resentment between two nearly forgotten Hollywood star sisters, that started from the beginning with Baby Jane’s (Bette Davis) childhood fame to Blanche Hudson’s (Joan Crawford) movie success that drives a sick sort of fiery competition causing the pampered Baby Jane to develop intense hate towards Blanche. Dastardly doesn’t begin to describe the terror of Bette Davis as Baby Jane Hudson.

185. Black River (1957)

Dir: Masaki Kobayashi (5)

DP: Yuharu Atsuta (3)

Editor: Yoshiyasu Hamamura (3)

Writer: Zenzo Matsuyama (2), Takeo Tomishima (1)

Starring: Fumio Watanabe (2), Ineko Arima (1), Tatsuya Nakadai (4), Assa Sano (1)

Composer: Chuji Kinoshita (3)

Country: Japan (44)

Genre: Noir (13) Crime (23), Drama (108)

The best Noir has to offer – an invasively dark, gritty, subversive, and morally absent misadventure trampling on renters rights. Tatsuya Nakadai is bitterly resentful as the streetwise gangster taking advantage of tenants and the poor. It’s a departure from Kobayashi’s usual tone, enhanced with a visceral visual style, and brought home with simply unnerving performances. One of the most underrated films on the entire list.

184. Umberto D. (1952)

Dir: Vittorio De Sica (2)

DP: G.R. Aldo (1)

Editor: Eraldo Da Roma (1)

Writer: Cesare Zavattini (2)

Starring: Carlo Battisti (1), Maria Pia Casilio (1)

Composer: Alessandro Cicognini (2)

Country: Italy (6)

Genre: Drama (109)

Umberto D. tore me to shreds. Peak Italian neorealism features an old man trying to live out the final years of his life in peace and quiet and finding a world that outwardly rejects him. A small, simple minded pensioner, played brilliantly by Carlo Battisti (Umberto D. Ferrari), just wants to carve out a small place for himself and his loyal pup but in an era of extreme poverty and increasing narcissism, he finds himself neglected and thrown aside by the world. Vittorio De Sica is the godfather of the neorealism movement, but no film he’s made has been as depressing and true to human nature as Umberto D.

183. Closely Watched Trains (1966)

Dir: Jiri Menzel (1)

DP: Jaromir Sofr (2)

Editor: Jirina Lukesova (1)

Writer: Jiri Menzel (1), Zdenek Oves (1)

Starring: Vaclav Neckar (1), Josef Somr (1), Vlastimil Brodsky (1), Vladimir Valenta (1)

Composer: Jiri Surst (1)

Country: Czechoslovakia (4)

Genre: Black Comedy (5)

A character driven experience where our primal feelings overtake our general responsibilities. A breezy life of laziness where any disturbance in that eaze is taken as an outcry for help and a desperate situation. The Trainee Milos Hrma (Valclav Neckar), a teenage boy burgeoning on manhood, forced into work because of his father who lives off his pension, doesn’t see past his own desires and shortcomings. It’s an exploration into the world of women on the grounds of sexual curiosity and immaturity. It’s a screenplay full of both masculine energy, embarrassment, and fulfillment through any means necessary.Jiři Menzel’s serious black comedy on what essentially boils down to a boy’s desire to get laid in the midst of war and transition in Czechoslovakia.

182. The Last Detail (1973)

Dir: Hal Ashby (3)

DP: Michael Chapman (2)

Editor: Robert C. Jones (1)

Writer: Robert Towne (1), Darryl Ponicsan (1)

Starring: Jack Nicholson (1), Otis Young (1), Randy Quaid (1), Clifton James (1), Carol Kane (1)

Composer: Johnny Mandel (2)

Country: USA (148)

Genre: Comedy (44), Drama (110)

A standard military detail turns into a lasting and endearing friendship along the way. A story about the harshness of military rule and how unflinching those rules are towards even the most minuscule of infractions and the loss in our humanity when we submit fully to the rules. Jack Nicholson is as good as ever, and Hal Ashby’s direction is a full discovery towards all of what life has to offer. It exudes joy and sadness on such a relatable level.

181. Simon of the Desert (1965)

Dir: Luis Buñuel (2)

DP: Gabriel Figueroa (1)

Editor: Carlos Savage (1)

Writer: Luis Buñuel (2), Julio Alejandro (1)

Starring: Claudio Brook (1), Silvia Pinal (1)

Composer: Raul Lavista (1)

Country: Mexico (1)

Genre: Avant-garde (4)

Luis Buñuel’s fantastical, pseudo-short film with the best ending imaginable. It subverts every possible expectation and is devilishly funny. Simon is a generational character, existing high above us mortals on his mighty pillar. Luis Buñuel’s vision is ethereal and modern. It tells such a broad story of faith and the complete lack of it embedded in humanity. A brilliantly deep film with an unflinching narrative and visual style. A gateway drug into surrealism.

180. The Human Condition Trilogy Part II: Road to Eternity (1959)

Dir: Masaki Kobayashi (4)

DP: Yoshi Miyajima (2)

Editor: Keiichi Uroaka (1)

Writer: Masaki Kobayashi (1), Zenzo Matsuyama (1), Jumpei Gomikawa (1)

Starring: Tatsuya Nakadai (3), Michiyo Aratama (2), Konjo Katsura (1) Jun Tatara (1)

Composer: Chuji Kinoshita (2)

Country: Japan (45)

Genre: War (20)

The first mention of the great saga of the Human Condition. A stand-alone film broken up into three parts, all conveying similar themes but differentiated through the visual style and mental state of the harrowing lead performance from the legendary Japanese actor Tatsuya Nakadai. In the second installment of this epic trilogy, it’s an internal struggle and one of a man trapped in a sickening cycle, unable to isolate his ideals and forced into the doldrums of humanity. A viscous anti-war film more focused on the inhumanity of soldier life. Road to Eternity captures the devastation of war better than any other film in the trilogy.

179. Antichrist (2009)

Dir: Lars von Trier (1)

DP: Anthony Dod Mantle (1)

Editor: Anders Refn (1), Asa Mossberg (1)

Writer: Lars von Trier (1)

Starring: Willem Dafoe (6), Charlotte Gainsbourg (1)

Composer: Kristian Eidnes Andersen (1)

Country: Denmark (2)

Genre: Horror (31), Drama (111)

Lars von Trier venturing into the emotion of grief, crafts a damning portrayal of parenthood and the isolation of nature. The setting of the forest seeps into the despair of two parents completely broken and how their attempts to save their marriage end in chaos. Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg have great chemistry wrapped into the intense grief, firing off resentment and going deeper into their pain in destructive ways. Antichrist serves as one of the most disturbing films on the entire list 

178. Fallen Angels (1995)

Dir: Wong Kar-wai (1)

DP: Christopher Doyle (1)

Editor: William Chang (1), Wong Ming-lang (1)

Writer: Wong Kar-wai (1)

Starring: Leon Li (1), Charlie Yeung (1), Takeshi Kaneshiro (1)

Composer: Roel A. Garcia (1), Frankie Chan Fan-Kei (1)

Country: China (5)

Genre: Action (6), Romance (31), Drama (112)

Fallen Angels isn’t a narrative feature or interested in anything remotely conventional. Its sexual intercourse on a screen, bathed in the neon mood of Hong Kong’s nightlife and filled with potent emotions that come with obscurely painted characters. The entire film sits on the fringes of what’s an acceptable narrative, telling vignettes, and sort of just moving to the beat of each character. The range of the filmmaking is what makes this unique – jumping from destructive, banging shoot outs to a quiet scene in a Macdonald’s. Then a dazzling music video dipped in bright red accompanying a proactively shot Femme Fatale. It’s an exhilarating audio-visual experience.

177. The Eel (1997)

Dir: Shohei Imamura (1)

DP: Shigeru Komatsubara (1)

Editor: Hajime Okayasu (1)

Writer: Shohei Imamura (1), Daisuke Tengan (1), Motofumi Tomikawa (1), Akira Yoshimura (1)

Starring: Koji Yakusho (2), Misa Shimizu (1), Akira Emoto (1), Fujio Tokita (1)

Composer: Shinichiro Ikebe (2)

Country: Japan (46)

Genre: Drama (113)

The Eel’s high concept premise is beyond fascinating – a powerful story about forgiveness in the face of grave sin and whether or not these characters are worthy or deserve love again. In Shohei Imamura’s exploration of extreme guilt, passion, timidity, and ultimately forgiveness, the Palme d’Or winner emphasizes the uncomfortability of it all. He shows this mainly through blocking and composition, but we also recognize it in the performance. The characters are physically distant, but even the dialogue feels shallow, trying to avoid the real conversation at all cost. It’s subtle on the surface, but bursting with passion underneath. 

176. A Separation (2011)

Dir: Asghar Farhadi (2)

DP: Mahmoud Kalari (1)

Editor: Hayedeh Safiyari (2)

Writer: Asghar Farhadi (2)

Starring: Leila Hatami (1), Peyman Maadi (1), Shahan Hosseini (2), Sare Bayat (1)

Composer: Sattar Oraki (2)

Country: Iran (3)

Genre: Drama (114)

A Separation features easily one of the best screenplays on this entire list. A towering achievement showing the destructive tendencies of divorce and the spiraling that comes out of huge life changes of this magnitude. The last scene left me breathless and the final shot is achingly beautiful.

175. Adaptation (2002)

Dir: Spike Jonze (2)

DP: Lance Accord (2)

Editor: Eric Zumbrennen (2)

Writer: Charlie Kaufman (2)

Starring: Nicholas Cage (2), Meryl Streep (7), Chris Cooper (1), Tilda Swinton (2)

Composer: Carter Burwell (8)

Country: USA (149) 

Genre: Drama (115), Comedy (45)

Charlie Kaufman can write layers on top of layers in a screenplay better than anyone in history, and Adaptation is all layers. Two Nic Cages playing Kaufman himself, where he writes a story with the intent of nothing happening, no falling resolution of tension to the narrative or climax. It’s brilliant meta-writing that I find almost intoxicating. Nic Cage is on another level here, and while the whole cast is phenomenal, Cage turns this into something special playing two roles. Ultimately endearing but an incredibly confusing dive into the psyche of Kaufman.

174. Foreign Correspondent (1940)

Dir: Alfred Hitchcock (4)

DP: Rudolph Maté (2)

Editor: Dorothy Spencer (2)

Writer: Charles Bennett (1), Ben Hecht (4), Richard Maibaum (1), James Hilton (1), Joan Harrison (1)

Starring: Joel McCrea (2), Larraine Day (1), Herbert Marshall (2), George Sanders (1)

Composer: Alfred Newman (1)

Country: USA (150)

Genre: Mystery (21), Thriller (34)

Foreign Correspondent is Alfred Hitchcock’s most daring and grand project throughout his entire filmography. It’s the same suspense-building, wonderfully shot and acted Hitchcock film, but with a larger focus on the world-building aspect. Foreign Correspondent feels larger than life and the story’s impact is massive, not only directly on the character but the world itself. The setup and execution of this narrative are perfectly handled by Hitchcock.

173. Amour (2012)

Dir: Michael Haneke (4)

DP: Darius Khondji (3)

Editor: Nadine Muse (1), Monika Willi (1)

Writer: Michael Haneke (4)

Starring: Jean-Louis Trintignant (2), Emmanuelle Riva (3), Isabelle Huppert (3), 

Country: France

Genre: Romance (32), Drama (116) 

In closing, Haneke never fails to put something totally unique on the screen. It’s an utterly shocking and simple piece of art that has such heart to it despite the unruly nature of the situation. It’s truly one of the great films on the subject of old age and our responsibilities towards our loved one and ourselves at the point of our lives. But more importantly, it’s a view into true love and the willingness to help our loved ones well past the point of no return. This is what makes the ending so impactful aside from its shock value. Absolutely one of Haneke’s best films.

172. Certified Copy (2010)

Dir: Abbas Kiarostami (2)

DP: Luca Bigazzi (1)

Editor: Bahman Kiarostami (2)

Writer: Abbas Kiarostami (2), Caroline Eliacheff (1)

Starring: Juliette Binoche (4), William Shimell (1), Jean-claude Carrier (1)

Country: Iran (4)

Genre: Romance (33), Drama (117)

Abbas Kiarostami is a brilliant screenwriter and the Certified Copy script is an actual magic trick. The writing can change drastically at any moment, and for something seemingly normal, its peculiarities are so unbelievably engaging to the point of mental exhaustion. Kiarostami is a virtuoso and he gives one of the all-time great actresses Juliet Binoche her best role. It’s a film I ponder deeply to this day.

171. The Wages of Fear (1953)

Dir: Henri-Georges Clouzot (1)

DP: Armand Thirad (2)

Editor: Madeleine Gug (1), Etiennette Muse (1), Henri Rust (1)

Writer: Henri-George Clouzot (1), Jerome Geronimo (1), Georges Arnaud (1)

Starring: Yves Montand (3), Charles Vanel (1), Peter van Eyck (2)

Composer: Georges Auric (2)

Country: France (26)

Genre: Drama (118), Thriller (35)

Pure unadulterated adrenaline. Tension filled filmmaking where every second feels life-or-death. Simple in execution but so incredibly effective. Yves Montand and Charles Vanel are perfectly casted. Film has a clear vision and accomplishes it with incredible accuracy and precision. Henri-Georges Clouzot achieves complete immersion.

170. On the Silver Globe (1988)

Dir: Andrej Zulawski (1)

DP: Andrzej Jarosewicz (1)

Editor: Krzysztof Osiecki (1)

Writer: Andrzej Żuławski (1), Jerry Żuławski (1)

Starring: Andrzej Seweryn (1), Jerry Trela (1), Waldemar Kownacki (1)

Composer: Andrzej Korzyński (1)

Country: Poland (3)

Genre: Fantasy (17), Sci-fi (17)

On The Silver Globe is an alternative to the theory of evolution or the origin of humanity. A film with a problem past where the film was never actually finished, but the ideas are still presented in clear and concise terms. Impossible to find nowadays, but a great film by the brilliant Polish director Zulawski. A visual and philosophical feast.

169. Repulsion (1965)

Dir: Roman Polanski (1)

DP: Gilbert Taylor (2)

Editor: Alastair McIntyre (1)

Writer: Gerard Brach (1), Roman Polanski (1)

Starring: Catherine Deneuve (1), Ian Hendry (1), John Fraser (1)

Composer: Chico Hamilton (1)

Country: United Kingdom (25)

Genre: Thriller (36), Horror (32)

A thriller, horror masterpiece. Catherine Deneuve delivers the most strung out performance I’ve ever seen. The sound mixing is damn near perfect and the feeling of repulsion. The anguish of the situation crawls across the walls with the interior zoom-ins and close-up that achieve claustrophobia better than any film of the kind. Deneuve alone creates swirling chaos with her blank stare and disconnected character.

168. Barefoot Gen (1983)

Dir: Mori Masaki (1)

DP: Kinichi Ishikawa (1)

Editor: Harutoshi Ogata (1)

Writer: Keiji Nakazawa (1)

Starring: Issei Miyazaki (1), Masaki Kouda (1), Seiko Nakano

Composer: Kantaro Haneda (1)

Country: Japan (47) 

Genre: War (21), Animation (10)

Barefoot Gen is the atomic bombs’ human cost as more than just a means to an end for ending the fighting. The devastating effects of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on the Japanese people and the hell that was left for them in the wake of this atrocity is told in a beautifully animated remembrance of the innocent victims and doesn’t shy away from their harrowing experience. Director Mori Masaki establishes a tone of dread. Still, it gets buried quickly in lovable and colorful lighthearted scenes between Gen (Issei Miyazaki) and his family members, and these moments only make what’s to come that much more impactful.

167. Viridiana (1961)

Dir: Luis Bunuel (3)

DP: Jose F. Aguayo (1)

Editor: Luis Buñuel (1), Pedro del Ray (1)

Writer: Luis Buñuel (3), Julio Alejandro (2), Benito Perez Galdos (1)

Starring: Silvia Pinal (1), Francisco Rabal (1), Fernando Rey (3), Jose Calvo (1)

Composer: Gustavo Pittaluga (1)

Country: Spain (2)

Genre: Avant-garde (5), Drama (119)

Luis Buñuel’s provocation knows no bounds and Viridiana might be his crowning jewel. In a film that treats religion as a sanctimonious exercise in vanity and yet is a highly spiritual experience in another way, Buñuel provokes strong emotion out of each viewer. He powers this incitement through profound imagery and pressing the moral chord of dedicated religious servants. The temptation brought through Buñuel’s direction is extremely bold and traumatizing. It makes a mockery out of life through shame and dark comedy. A powerful joke of a film.

166. Pulse (2001)

Dir: Kiyoshi Kurosawa (2)

DP: Junichiro Hayashi (1)

Editor: Jun’ichi Kikuchi (1)

Writer: Kiyoshi Kurosawa (2)

Starring: Haruhiko Kato (1), Kumiko Aso (2), Koyuki (1), Kurume Arisaka (1), Masatoshi Matsuo (1), Shinji Takeda (3)

Composer: Takefumi Haketa (1)

Country: Japan (48) 

Genre: Horror (33)

Kiyoshi Kurosawa is a horror master and Pulse is his terribly unsettling ghost story about the isolation of the modern world and trying to escape the loneliness of technology. The craft on display is some of the most unnerving works in the horror genre of all-time. It has moments of piercing terror that are unlike anything you’ll ever see.

165. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992)

Dir: David Lynch (3)

DP: Ronald Victor Garcia (1)

Editor: Mark Sweeney (3)

Writer: David Lynch (3), Mark Frost (1) Francis Bouygues (1), Gregg Fienberg (1)

Starring: Sheryl Lee (1), Ray Wise (1), Kyle MacLachlan (1), Madchen Amick (1), Kiefer Sutherland (1), David Bowie (3)

Composer: Angelo Badalamenti (3)

Country: USA (151) 

Genre: Drama (120), Mystery (22), Avant-garde (6)

Twin Peaks is the greatest television show ever made and the one standalone film focusing on the Sarah Palmer murder is Lynch firing on all cylinders. A great addition to the Twin Peaks universe, and the one time we get to see Sheryl Lee become the Sarah Palmer character who defines the show. She’s fantastically nuanced as the much talked about Sarah Palmer. It’s just as weird as anything in the show with even sharper storytelling and a distinct edge to the filmmaking from Lynch.

164. Funny Games (2007)

Dir: Michael Haneke (3)

DP: Darius Khondji (2)

Editor: Monika Will (2)

Writer: Michael Haneke (3)

Starring: Naoki Watts (2), Tim Roth (2), Michael Pitt (1), Brady Corbet (1)

Country: Austria (1), Germany (7)

Genre: Horror (34), Thriller (37), Satire (6)

The American remake of Michael Haneke’s 1997 film, Michael Pitt and Brady Corbet brings a snide white American attitude to a masochistic take on sadistic murder and the entertainment value in said murder. It’s grotesque in the most artistic way possible. Strangely funny and going to alarm plenty of people. I couldn’t get enough of it. It presents a danger, unlike anything I’ve ever seen. One of Haneke’s most original films.

163. Full Metal Jacket (1987)

Dir: Stanley Kubrick (4)

DP: Douglas Milsome (1)

Editor: Martin Hunter (1)

Writer: Stanley Kubrick (3), Gustav Hasford (1), Michael Herr (1)

Starring: Matthew Modine (1), Vincent D’Onofrio (1), R. Lee Ermy (1), Adam Baldwin (1)

Composer: Vivian Kubrick (1)

Country: United Kingdom (26), USA (152)

Genre: War (22)

The best film on the subject of Bootcamp and the inhumane treatment of soldiers. We see this through the incredibly troubled performance from Vincent D’onofrio as Pvt Pyle being constantly berated by R. Lee Ermey and the pitch-perfect ending to both their arcs. Both performances are overwhelmingly impactful. Yes, the second half of the film doesn’t live up to the first half, but that first is among the all-time greats.

162. A Face in the Crowd (1957)

Dir: Elia Kazan (3)

DP: Gayne Rescher (1), Harry Stradling Sr (2)

Editor: Gene Milford (1)

Writer: Budd Schulberg (2)

Starring: Andy Griffith (1), Patricia Neal (1), Anthony Franciosa (1), Walter Matthau (3), Lee Remrick (1)

Composer: Tom Glazer (1)

Country: USA (153)

Genre: Drama (121)

161. Call Me By Your Name (2017)

Dir: Luca Guadagnino (1)

DP: Sayombhu Mukdeeprom (2)

Editor: Walter Fasano (1)

Writer: Luca Guadagnino (1), James Lee Ivory (1)

Starring: Timothy Chalamet (1), Armie Hamer (1), Michael Stuhlbarg (3), Amira Casar (1)

Composer: Sufjan Stevens (1)

Country: France (27), Italy (7)

Genre: Romance (34), Drama (122)

Spending a warm Italian summer in Luca Guadagnino’s romance Call Me By Your Name is a luxury. A film that envelopes you and the love shared through Timothy Chalamet and Armie Hammer’s relationship as it melts into the luscious Italian landscape and the experience takes you. The fact that their homosexuality is secondary to the sheer passion for one another and the devastation that follows shows a real understanding of love. The Stuhlbarg monologue at the end serves as a heartfelt and meaningful representation of true, unapologetic love.

160. Get Out (2017)

Dir: Jordan Peele (1)

DP: Toby Oliver (1)

Editor: Gregory Plotkin (1)

Writer: Jordan Peele (1)

Starring: Daniel Kaluuya (1), Allison Williams (1), Bradley Whitford (1), Catherine Keener (2), Lakeith Stanfield (1), Lil Rey Howery (1)

Composer: Michael Abels (1)

Country: USA (154)

Genre: Horror (35)

Get Out is the film of our time presenting the issue of race in such a unique view that changes the perspective completely. It exposes the crossing of a white culture essentially stealing black culture. Incredibly well made and written and simply one of the most clever films of the decade. It was so smart that it created its own sub-genre of horror.

159. The Wailing (2016)

Dir: Na Hong-jin (1)

DP: Hong Kyung-pyo (3)

Editor: Kim Sun-min (2)

Writer: Na Hong-jin (1)

Starring: Kwak Do-won (1), Hwang Jung-min (1), Chun Woo-hee (1), Jun Kunimura (1)

Composer: Dalpalan (1), Jang Yeong-Gyu (2)

Country: South Korea (12)

Genre: Horror (36)

The Wailing shook me to my core. A brutal and haunting experience that is deeply disturbing to a degree that extends into the depths of hell. It’s a full-on nightmare of an experience. The vision behind it all is entirely unsettling in the same vein as Possession, the highest praise I can give to a horror film. However, it’s sheer visionary terror from Na Hong-jin. The best South Korean horror.

158. The Young Master (1980)

Dir: Jackie Chan (2)

DP: Chen Ching-chu (1)

Editor: Peter Cheung (2)

Writers: Jackie Chan (2), Edward Tang (1), Lau Tin-chi (10, Tang Lu (1)

Starring: Jackie Chan (2), Yuen Biao (1), Fung Fung (1), Shih Kien (1)

Composer: Frankie Chan (1)

Country: Hong Kong (6)

Genre: Martial Arts (4)

The Young Master is the best Jackie Chan film. It combines all the great elements of Jackie’s patented style in both his acrobat performance and physical humor. Each scene becomes a cleverly written and choreographed set piece that uses basically any household appliance as a weapon. Jackie is incredible in this film and puts an exclamation point on the experience with the best final fight, by a long shot, in his entire filmography.

157. Brazil (1985)

Dir: Terry Gilliam (2)

DP: Roger Pratt (1) 

Editor: Julian Doyle (2)

Writer:  Terry Gilliam (3), Tom Stoppard (1), Charles McKeown (1)

Starring: Jonathon Pryce (4), Robert De Niro (6), Katherine Helmond (1), Ian Holm (4), Bob Hoskins (1), Michael Palin (3)

Composer: Michael Kamen (1), Ary Barroso (1)

Country: United Kingdom (27)

Genre: Sci-fi (18), Comedy (46) 

Terry Gilliam is a true madman in every sense of the term and Brazil is his looney swan song. A world of endless wires hiding in the walls, stretched out faces, and lowly bureaucrats being swallowed up by the system. Jonathon Pryce was the perfect actor for this film and he goes absolutely batshit. And to think, it all started with a bug in the system…

156. Vivre Sa Vie (1962)

Dir: Jean-Luc Godard (3)

DP: Raoul Coutard (4)

Editor: Agnes Guillemot (2), Jean-Luc Godard (1)

Writer: Jean-Luc Godard (3), Marcel Sacotte (1)

Starring: Anna Karina (2), Sady Rebbot (1), Andre S. Lebarthe (2)

Composer: Michel Legrand (2)

Country: France (28)

Genre: Drama (123)

Vivre Sa Vie is undoubtedly the pinnacle of Godard’s filmography – the deeply tragic image of a young Parisian played by the arresting Anna Karina (Nana), falling into a life of unmitigated poverty and isolation. Godard’s most explosive narrative, driven by his lead’s detachment, and yet it captures the intimate nature of her profession and personality. The opening scene – a conversation between two unknown subjects, back towards the camera medium shots, with no read of expression, and it’s incredibly personal. It feels similar to infringing on someone’s privacy, and the film’s perspective takes this to a whole new level. It’s detached from a plot perspective but incredibly unique from a character one (a staple of Godard’s filmography), and the lackadaisical pacing allows us to explore this woman thoroughly and absolutely. Her wants, desires, annoyances, dreams, and habits are presented in a way that isn’t judgemental but understanding. It’s voyeurism in a sense but told in a stylized way to not glorify or tear down.

155. Do The Right Thing (1989)

Dir: Spike Lee (2)

DP: Ernest R. Dickerson (2)

Editor: Barry Alexander Brown (2)

Writer: Spike Lee (2)

Starring: Danny Aiello (1), Ossie Davis (2), Ruby Dee (1), Richard Edson

Composer: Bill Lee (1)

Country: USA

Genre: Drama (124)

Do The Right Thing is is a powerhouse of meaning of a Spike Lee joint and encapsulates all the social anxiety on one Brooklyn street corner. Powerful doesn’t begin to describe Lee’s opus on senseless anger and the idea that violence begets violence. Lee gets the full scope of understanding through all the many perspectives. It’s a masterwork and a film only Spike Lee could’ve made. New York to its core.

154. Joint Security Area (2000)

Dir: Park Chan-wook (3)

DP: Kim Sung-bok (1)

Editor: Kim Sang-bum (4)

Writer: Park Chan-wook (3), Jeong Seong-san (1), Kim Hyun-suk (1), Lee Moo-young (1), Park Sang-yeon (1)

Starring: Song Kang-ho (5), Lee Byung-hun (2), Lee Young-ae (1), Kim Tae-woo (1), Shin Ha-kyun (3)

Composer: Bang Jun-seok (1), Cho Young-wook (4)

Country: South Korea (13)

Genre: War (23), Thriller (38)

Park Chan-wook is a fascinating director with such a provocative style of storytelling and much like his later films, Joint Security Area pushes the boundaries (literally and figuratively in this case) to their limits. JSA is a study on how alike we all are when broken down to are most essential elements. Framed through a murder investigation, this is a deep dive into the hypocrisy of peace, the bond we all share, and how our environment forms us into people. From the outset, it’s explosive situation that almost provokes war from North and South Korea. Park treats the consequences as dire from the first scene and as we understand the main characters that tight grip is loosened gently before being strangled to death by fear and tension. Park’s direction is superb and sets the stage for one of the *greatest* scenes of all time near the end of the film.

153. La Strada (1954)

Dir: Federico Fellini (4)

DP: Otello Martelli (3), Carlo Carlini (2)

Editor: Leo Catozzo (2)

Writers: Federico Fellini (4), Tullio Pinelli (2), Ennio Flaiano (3), Carlo Ponti (1)

Starring: Giulietta Masina (1), Anthony Quinn (1), Richard Basehart (1)

Composer: Nino Rota (6)

Country: Italy (8)

Genre: Drama (125)

Federico Fellini’s La Strada features maybe my favorite character of all-time. The artichoke looking, rhythm producing, submissive wife who comforts the lonely in the world and serves a real specific purpose or so it seems. Gelsomina (Giulietta Masina) was a magnificent casting job, where her unique looking face is very much a character, how she looks and presents herself to the world is absolutely endearing and full of sadness. A person yearning out for something more and being relegated to the circus, but finds love in unexpected places.

152. Kes (1969)

Dir: Ken Loach (1)

DP: Chris Menges (2)

Editor: Roy Watts (1)

Writer: Ken Loach (1), Tony Garnett (1), Barry Hines (1)

Starring: David Bradley (1), Freddie Fletcher (1), Lynne Perrie (1), Colin Welland (1)

Country: United Kingdom (28) 

Genre: Coming-of-age (5) , Drama (126)

Kes is the beautiful tragedy of life. The unfortunate luck of being born into a broken family, and the non-stop stress of living in a community that barely recognizes one’s existence. The pain of adolescence with no one paying attention, and the sheer power of how the tiniest gestures can greatly impact one’s life.

151. Martyrs (2008)

Dir: Pascal Laugier (1)

DP: Bruno Philip (1), Stephane Martin (1), Nathalie Moliavko-Vis (1)

Editor: Śebastian Prangere (1)

Writer: Pascal Laugier (1)

Starring: Mylene Jampanoi (1), Morjana Alaoui (1), Patricia Tuslane (1), Robert Toupin (1), Xavier Dolan (1)

Composer: Alex Cortes (1), William Cortes (1)

Country: France (30)

Genre: Horror (37), Thriller (39)

Despicable, unrelenting punishment in the pursuit of something far greater than mere existence on Earth, Martyrs is a beyond disturbing exploration into the science of dying and the afterlife itself with the most horrifying narrative imaginable. It takes the concept of pain and the one’s limit for survival and stretches it to extreme lengths. The tone of depravity in Pascal Laugier’s torturous horror is felt in the writing and the cruel violence of his direction, with this being arguably one of the most brutal and graphic films ever made and that’s not hyperbole. The final act’s brutality will indefinitely scar you, as the sheer viscera of pain is unbearable and it never stops. 

150. The Sword of Doom (1966)

Dir: Kihachi Okamoto (1)

DP: Hiroshi Murai (2)

Editor: Yoshitami Kuroiwa (1)

Writer: Shinobu Hashimoto (1)

Starring: Tatsuya Nakadai (4), Yūzō Kayama (3), Michiyo Aratama (3), Toshiro Mifune (6)

Composer: Masaru Sato (4)

Country: Japan (49)

Genre: Samurai (5)

The Sword of Doom is a descent, a merciless and senseless descent into the killings of an unstoppable madman played by Tatsuya Nakadai (Ryunosuke). One of Japan’s greatest leading men, once again delivering a masterful performance in a role of intense depravity and incredible skill with a sword. In terms of sheer entertainment value, this film delivers on the pure terror and blind-eye violence promised by the title. The amount of people Ryunosuke slashes down is impressive, hundreds of underlings die to his sword. The threat of danger to anyone in his proximity looms over the film and fighting scenes are filled with hundreds of bodies all falling to one supreme being.

149. The Cloud-Capped Star (1960)

Dir: Ritwik Ghatak (1)

DP: Dinen Gupta (1)

Editor: Ramesh Joshi (1)

Writer: Ritwik Ghatak (1), Shaktipada Rajguru (1)

Starring: Supriya Choudhury (1), Anil Chatterjee (1), Gyanesh Mukherjee (1), Bijon Bhattacharya (1)

Composer: Jyotirinda Moitra (1)

Country: India (5)

Genre: Drama (127)

The Cloud-Capped Star communicates so much with so little, conveying the whole of East Pakistan and the sickness boiling underneath the surface as well as the limitless potential of its people. A heartbreakingly real story of a beautifully compassionate young woman, Nita (Supriya Choudhury), decidedly tied down by the world and driven to madness by a family that expects the world of her without offering anything in return. A selfish, incredibly maddening experience that shows an utter disregard for the institution of the family. Ritwik Ghatak’s empathetic critique of familial expectation, a polemic exacerbated tone towards the denigrating attitude of these people that desperately rely on Nita. Her arc is a grave tragedy, tearing down every defense imaginable, shattering the image of this bright, promising woman broken by an India that devalues women.