A lot of people hate Roman Polanski for his crimes and refuse to see his work, yet you cannot put aside the fact that he is a true artist with a camera. Rosemary’s Baby, The Pianist, Tess, and many other films are incredible films, but his name carries with it a harsh stigma. Repulsion is one of his earlier films, and one of his creepiest. It is part of his loose “Apartment Trilogy” which also includes Rosemary’s Baby and The Tenant. It follows Catherine Deneuve as she spends some time alone in her sisters apartments and the ghosts from her past come back. For an early work of his, it is quite exceptional. There are some purely skin-crawling moments in the film that will leave you a bit shaken.
#10, 11, and 12 Fellowship of the Ring, Two Towers, Return of the King
The Lord of the Rings is such an immense achievement. At a time before splitting movies into multiple parts, especially book adaptations, it is impressive that the movies got away with just one movie per book (as opposed to the three for The Hobbit). The greatest part of this is that each movie successfully adapts the book into a superb film while also appeasing fans. A lot of films could have taken note from the trilogy in the crafting of their adaptations, but sadly they have not.
Everyone has their favorite film. Some prefer the innocent and more lightly-toned Fellowship, others prefer the “coming storm” tone of Two Towers, and some prefer the monumental and emotional Return of the King. I am and will always be for Return of the King. It is one of the very few movies to make me cry–every single goddamn time. The Lord of the Rings will always outweigh The Hobbits because its cast is better, the characters are more relatable, and it feels epic and grand in scope. There are some funny moments, but they are meant the be funny. They are seldom cheesy, always powerful, tonally consistent, and masterpieces in their own rights. If you haven’t seen LOTR’s yet, then something clearly needs to change.
#13. Marketa Lazarova
This is one of the most strikingly beautiful black and white movies I have ever seen. Marketa Lazarova was voted as the best Czech film of all time. Released in the 60s its visual style is very reminiscent of Tarkovsky in its reliance on natural images. It follows a clan in medieval times that causes some controversy and makes enemies of the king. It is long, beautiful, and powerful. It is pretty surreal at times, with an exceptional amount of religious symbolism and dark moments of violence and death. But, it is a rewarding experience if you put the time in.
#15.Guardians of the Galaxy
One of the best films of the summer, I ranked it #2 in the top 10 list I made, and you can find the review here. Guardians is just fun and entertaining. Pratt is the only person imaginable to play Star-lord, the supporting cast is great, and the visuals are out of this world (literally). It is a cosmic adventure that at times has more heart and realistic feelings than most other Marvel movies, and the best part of it is that it was such an underdog story because nobody had heard of it. Yet, in the end, it has become one of the best, if not the best, Marvel films ever.
#17. Inglorious Basterds
Tarantino’s “war” film is also one of his very best. The movie follows a group of Nazi hunters who are all Jewish, and they attempt to kill and scalp as many as they can. Of course, anyone who saw the trailers would assume that was the only plot, and that Brad Pitt was in it most of the time, and there would be a lot of funny English dialogue. When the movie came out most people were shocked to find it mostly in subtitles, large chunks sans Brad Pitt, and a whole plot about a French girl’s attempted revenge on the Nazis for the death of her family. Christoph Waltz and Pitt make this movie. Waltz, who had been essentially unknown up until this point, burst onto the screen in a career-defining performance that netted him multiple awards which were deservedly won. It is a hilarious, bloody, and smart film that requires patience for big payoffs.
#18.When Harry Met Sally
One of the quintessential rom-coms, and a partial inspiration for this years What If, When Harry Met Sally has endured 25 years and is still one of the best romantic comedies of all time. Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan are such a great pair, with Crystal’s improv and hilarious timing and Ryan’s awkward mannerisms, and they both make you love and hate each of them all the same. It is also one of the more “real” romantic comedies, offering up a bit of a more realistic and probably situation rather than some other well-known flicks.