The time has finally arrived, after many many months of thinking, writing, and editing, here is a list of the top 100 favourite films that I have seen (in no particularly order)! While everyone’s favourite film vary radically I hope this list does share some of your own favourites, and provides some interesting film suggestions for viewing!
- M: Fritz Lange is a filmmaker that I greatly admire. His work is incredibly forward thinking for its time and he manages to bring out the best in his actors. Nowhere is this more prevalent then in his iconic film M. M is all about a loathsome and menacing child serial killer played by Peter Lorre who strikes a German city. These murders cause the police to raid and crackdown on the local criminals and their businesses angering them. The crooks then decide that they have to find and capture the murder for their own safety and survival. We soon find though that Lorre’s character is much more complex than initially led on leading the viewer to have mixed emotions about his fate. Ultimately this film works because it presents a situation where it is unclearly whether to root or condemn the criminal’s form of vigilante justice against the murderer, and whether it is right to feel at all for someone who is so heinous. What is especially suspenseful and well done are the scenes where the villains and their informants track down, and then attempt to capture the murderer. M is an incredible film especially those who like complex and suspenseful crime dramas, and is one of my favourite films of all time.
- The Black Cat: The Black Cat combines two of the greatest icons in horror history Bella Lugosi and Boris Karloff. In this film newly-weds on a train end up meeting Dr. Vitus Werdegast (Lugosi) a tormented doctor who was recently released from a wartime torture camp. When bad weather causes the taxi the couple and Werdegast are taking to crash they both end up at the strange modernist home of Hjalmar Poelzig (Karloff) a sinister Satanist. It soon is revealed that Poelzig betrayed Werdegast and then married his wife before having her murder and stuffed. The movie quickly becomes a cat and mouse game with the unlucky couple stuck in-between the deadly feud. This film has Karloff in one of his most wicked roles ever, and while Lugosi does an incredible job as a tormented man whose sanity is pushed to its limits. This film is a match made in hell, and is one of my favourite of the Universal horror movies. For fans of old horror movies this film is one that must be seen.
- Metropolis: The anime film Metropolis is an adaption of the Osamu Tezuka book of the same name. This film involves Shunsaku Ban a detective who is sent along with his nephew Kinichi to investigate the mad scientist Doctor Laughton. It turns out though that the anti-robot fascist leader Duke Red is secretly working with Laughton to create a robotic ruler for the city. Modeled after Red’s deceased daughter named Tifa Red wants to use her for his new Ziggurat building/weapon to rule over human kind, despite this angering Red’s adopted son the psychopathic militant leader Rock. This film borrows heavily from the original Tezuka comic though it also includes much more overt tones of social unrest like in the original Lange film. At the same time though this film manages to be a work of art that stands on its own as something important and noteworthy in its own plot and artistry. This movie is one of the greatest examples of balancing an adaption with new material in a way that stands alone while also paying tribute to its source material. I highly recommend this film to anime and science fiction fans.
- Princess Mononoke: Princess Mononoke is one of if not the greatest animated films of all time. Every element of this film from the complex plot about a situation with no real easy or right answer, to the breath taking and incredible score by Joe Hashishi, and to the gorgeous and detailed use of animation is polished to perfection. This story surrounds Ashikata a prince of an indigenous group who is cursed by an angry boar spirit with a mark that is slowly consuming him. Ashikata ends up in a conflict between Lady Eboshi a strip miner who is destroying the forest around her settlement but also is a feminist who cares for ex-prostitutes and lepers living in her town, and San a woman who was adopted by giant wolf spirits who want to destroy Eboshi and Iron town for the damage they have done to the forest and it’s inhabitants. This film doesn’t pull punches or simplify things creating a story with many complicated questions about balancing our relationship with nature. This is one of the best films I have ever seen, and one that I feel everyone should watch at least once in their lifetime.
- Totoro: Totoro is hands down the best children’s movie of all time, and is drastically different from Miyasaki’s other films. Totoro is a mostly quiet film about a father and his two young daughters that move to a small rural town to be closer to the daughter’s mother. Within that town the two daughters run into a number of natural and supernatural things including the large fuzzy spirit of the woods Totoro. Throughout the film the girls meet and are assisted by the kindly forest guardian as they adjust to their new life away from the city. This film works because it is so heart-warming without ever seeming sappy or cloying. Miyazaki’s attention to detail and childlike behavior makes both of the girls seem absolutely genuine, and presents a plot focused on the experiences and wonders found as a child. Fans of children’s films, anime, and/or films that are heartwarming really need to check this film out.
- The Bride of Frankenstein: The Bride of Frankenstein is a perfect example of how to do a sequel right. Despite the original being a classic James Whales was able to top himself in this film. In The Bride of Frankenstein the monster ends up surviving the fire of the last film and emerging only to get into all sorts of trouble. He then escapes to the woods where he befriends and learns to speak from a kind blind man. Meanwhile Frankenstein is approached by the mad Doctor Pretorius (played by Ernest Thesiger) who wants them to work together on creating a mate for the monster despite Frankensteins misgivings about the idea. This film is great because it gives so much more depth to the monster. The monster is both more violent and more sympathetic in this film, and is given more agency and screen time. Karloff does an incredible job making the creature complex. The films conflict between the amorality of Doctor Pretorius and Frankenstein who has learned his lesson also is exciting. This is one of the rare examples where the sequel does surpass the original to become a masterpiece in its own right.
- Horror of Dracula: There have been many adaptions of Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula of varying quality. Of all the adaptions I have seen though Horror of Dracula is by far my favourite. This is because Horror of Dracula is more concerned about telling a compelling story then it is about staying true to the original book (which I found overly long and tedious). Instead of a long drawn out film where the filmmakers try to at least reference every part the original such as in Bram Stoker’s (Copulas) Dracula or the Universal film it instead focuses on mystery, suspense, and action. The editing and pacing in this film is nearly perfect avoiding the many dragging elements found in the Universal adaption. Another set of elements that makes this film stand out are the performances from the films two leads Peter Cushing who plays the driven version vampire hunter Van Hellsing, and Christopher Lee as the monstrous and looming Count. Both Cushing and Lee give two of their finest performances in the film along with Michael Gough as Author Homewood a man who works with Van Hellsing to save his family. This is without a doubt one of the best horror films I have ever seen, and one that I feel all horror fans should see.
8. House: It’s extremely hard to know how to describe the Japanese film House. Explaining that it is a strange movie involving a haunted house while accurate doesn’t really do this film justice. House is accessible experimental film about a group of high school girls named after their traits going on vacation to a house to visit one of the girl’s aunt. Slowly the girls are killed off in bizarre ways as the film continues. This Japanese horror film is filled though with all sorts of weirdness, comedy, and mystery as well, and is unlike any film I have ever seen. I especially love the odd ending where all hell seems to literally break loose. For those looking for something completely different this is the film to see.
9. Haxan: Haxan is a classic silent horror documentary about the beliefs surrounding witchcraft, and the “modern,” actual causes of them. In terms of imagery there are few if any films that can compare to Haxan. While the ending and especially the opening are interesting pieces in their own right, the best parts of Haxan have to be the vignettes about beliefs surrounding witches. Despite being a very early film the combination of special effect and scenes of witchcraft are ones that have been burnt into my mind. Another aspect that stands out in this film is the Devil who is played by the film’s director, and is given a properly strange creepy appearance. Despite being nothing like modern films Haxan is incredible and something that horror fans really should see.
10. A Shot in the Dark: A Shot in the Dark is by far my favourite of the Pink Panther series. With this film the humour is ramped up from the first film considerably, but doesn’t go so far as to be entirely absurd like later films. This film once again stars Peter Sellers as inspector Jacques Clouseau who is sent on a case to discover a murderer at a wealthy mansion. While the case seems to obviously point to the beautiful Maria Gambrelli as the murderer the bumbling Clouseau is convinced that she is innocent, and continues to investigate causing his superior Commissioner Dreyfus considerable rage. Why this film works so much is the combination of Clouseau bumbling slapstick with the posh sophistication of the manors residents. One scene I especially love is when Clouseau is trying to play pool with the distinguished man of the house played by George Sanders. Sanders continues to be droll in this scene as Seller’s character constantly blunders around him while trying to investigate him. This film is comedy gold and definitely one of the all-time greats.
11. Spiderman into the Spider verse: Sony hit this animated film out of park. It would have been very easy to have created a Spiderman film that was alright but didn’t do anything new, but instead they created a film that I like even more then the Marvel live-action adaptions. Into the Spider verse stars Miles a bi-racial highschooler trying to find out where he fits in the world, and live up to his father’s high expectations. The boots he has to fill becomes so much bigger though when a spider bite gives him spider powers, and his world’s Spiderman is murdered by the crime lord Kingpin who is trying to open up a dimensional portal. Miles ends up not only having to learn how to be a hero, but is also tasked with saving the multiverse with the help of many other Spider people and creatures. This strikes a great balance between its fun and serious tone rarely relying on clichés, and instead is filled with a dynamic story and cast. As the film progresses you really end up feeling for just about all the major characters, even the misguided villain Kingpin. Along with my next entry I feel this feel this film provides some of the best experiences a superhero film can offer.
12. Batman the movie (66): Many people now prefer a darker Batman. People often want Batman to be a brooding badass who is the smartest man in the room and one of the top heroes, despite being entirely human. Personally though I am tired of this interpretation and prefer the fun campy style Batman of the 1960’s. The plot of this movie like the show is simple and absurd, but is also charming. When a league of villains freeze the United Nation members it’s up to the caped crusader himself and the boy wonder to stop them and free the diplomats. This movie contains timeless scenes such as Batman trying to rid of a comical bomb, using Bat shark repellant, and leaving the building with Robin “inconspicuously.” This film also contains four of Batman’s best archenemies from the TV show including Cesar Romero as the Joker, Lee Merriweather as Cat woman, Frank Gorshin as the Riddler, and my favourite of the group Burgess Meredith as the Penguin. All these actors give a fantastic performances making this feel like an elongated episode of the TV series rather than a movie. In this case this is a great thing, and although the movie as a whole isn’t as good as some of the best episodes of the TV show all the actors are in great form, and it continues to be ton of fun!
13. The Mummy: Boris Karloff is incredible, and the film The Mummy demonstrates his amazing acting talent. The Mummy is one of the crowning achievements in Universal Monster history. It is a polished film with incredible makeup work (by legendary artist Jack Pierce), a story that is complex, and of course incredible acting by Boris Karloff. This is one of the first major films where Karloff is given speaking lines and his performance as a result is more commanding and hypnotic than ever. Karloff is in full form playing a tall mummy disguising himself as an Egyptian gentlemen. In actuality though he seeks to revive the mummy princess he loves, and kill anyone who gets in his way. This film is far more polished then its predecessor Dracula, and provides a better story and more engaging acting from Van Sloan and the young male lead. For fans of old monster movies and Universal’s movies this is a must watch.
14. The Revenge of Frankenstein: While I do love the first Hammer Frankenstein this is another example of the second Frankenstein film being even better. The Revenge of Frankenstein starts immediately after the first as Frankenstein cheats death. He murders a sleazy grave digger with a heart condition and then flees the city. What follows is Frankenstein’s continued research into brain transplanting while posing as a local physician caring for the poor. This film isn’t filled with the baggage of an origin story which allows it to go for a more shocking plot as Frankenstein’s wicked obsession with his work continues to grow as does his amorality. As a result this film is more shocking and interesting than ever, and Peter Cushing is given even more to do without the burden of trying to maintain a moral center. This is another of my all-time favorite hammer films, and continues to show off just how amazing an actor Peter Cushing was.
15. The Wicker man: There is no film quite like the Wicker Man. While it has had remakes and sequel, and inspired similar folk horror films the Wicker Man remains one of a kind. The Wicker Man is almost more of a drama about the clash of values then it is a horror film. The movie stars Police Sergeant Neil Howie a devout Christian sent to a remote Scottish Isle to find a missing girl. Things quickly escalate though as Neil finds himself being stone walled, and out of place within the religiously and culturally values on the Pagan Isle. Howie quickly becomes convinced that those on the island are up to no go, and seeks out to uncover what it going on. This is a slow burn film where the tension is heightened by Howie’s intolerance and outsider status, and the mysterious and outlandish nature of the Islanders including the head of the island Lord Summerisle played by Christopher Lee (who considered this his best role). This film is like no other and seems distinctly anti-commercial compared to many of the Hammer Horror films at the time making it a very eerie, and an interesting British horror and suspense masterpiece.
16. The Maltese Falcon: The Maltese Falcon is one of the, if not the best noire film of all time. While a lot of people rightfully praise the acting of Humphrey Boggart as hardboiled detective Sam Spade, this film is incredible because the entire cast is outstanding. I love Mary Astor as the femme fatale and having Peter Lorre as Joel Cairo is incredible, but my all-time favourite actor in this film is Sydney Greenstreet who always steals the show when he is on screen as Kasper Gutman. The entire film is like many incredible noire films a complex web of relationships, double crossings, and barely contained violence. Amazing stuff for any noire fan!
17. Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb: Dr. Strangelove is what happens when a legendary director gives a legendary comedian free reign. Peter Sellers is incredible in this Cold war comedy about a rouge general that gives out fake bombing orders during the cold war directed by Stanley Kubrick. Seller’s plays multiple roles in this film including a nebbish British officer, a Nazi doctor, and the president of the United States, and presents some of the most ironically funny lines of all time. Also included in this political satire are many other famous actors including George C. Scott, Slim Pickens, and James Earl Jones. When I first watched Dr. Strangelove I was going through a very difficult period in my life and had just finished my finals at college so I was feeling very crummy, thankfully though this film brought me out of my funk and brought me a ton of joy. Every time I watch this film I find something new and hilarious about it. Those who love social and political satire will also love this film.
18. Project A: Project A is my favourite Jackie Chan film of all time. It stars Chan as the Hong Kong navy officer Dragon who ends up being foiled repeatedly by pirates. After the latest embarrassment though Dragon ends up for a short time forced to be a policeman along with his crew. Eventually though he tires of the corruption within the police and quits to hunt down the gangsters and pirates that plague the city along with his shifty partner Fei played by Sammo Hung. What follows is a ton of slapstick and stunts inspired by Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd combined with martial arts action. Especially memorable in this film is the clock tower scene inspired by Harold Lloyd’s safety last involving Chan doing a jump from a large clock tower with only awnings to cushion his huge fall. This scene was so impressive and dangerous that it took a while for even Jackie to work up the courage to do it and they decided to shot it from multiple angles just to ensure that Chan only had to jump once. Chan’s team up with Samo Hung is incredible, and has both of the stars at the top of their comedic and martial arts game. This film is strong start to finish (and thankfully doesn’t end with giant vehicle smashing things) and is one of Chan’s all time best.
19. Adaptation: Adaption is incredibly meta-film about adaption. At the start of the film the nervous lead Charlie Kaufman played by Nicholas Cage has a nervous monologue about thoughts. This is happening though while being told by a film professor that a film writer should never start internal monologue which is hilarious contrast. In the film Kaufman is trying to adapt the Orchid Thief a book that he feels really shouldn’t be adapted. Nonetheless Kaufman wants to do the adaption right, and also get over his extreme writers block and anxiety. Meanwhile his brother Donald (also played by Cage) is finding easy success and is confident. Whether it is Kaufman’s own breakdowns or the breakdown of his script into something completely different this film is all about the absurdity of it all. It’s a hilarious look into the mind of this famous writer and the Hollywood writing process, and this film manages to capture all the ridiculousness and struggles that go with it.
20. The Masque of the Red Death: Loosely based on Poe’s famous story (which I also adore) this adaption has the greedy prince Prospero (played by Vincent Price) as a wicked Satanist. After murdering most of a village infected with the disease the Red Death Prospero captures an innocent girl from the village and sends her to his castle which is blocked off from the outside world suffering from the disease. Throughout the film Prospero slowly tries to corrupt the young woman and have her become a Satanist like himself. Eventually though even he cannot keep out the plague which descends on his castle in an incredible finale. The imagery in this film is incredible as is Prospero played by Vincent Price who is incredibly maniacal and greedy. The way this film takes from the original story while at the same time making it different enough to stand out makes this film one of Rodger Cormanns best film and one that I adore.
21. House on Haunted Hill: While this film definitely has its cheese this cheese is some of the charm of House on Haunted Hill. House on Haunted Hill stars five people invited to a party in a supposedly haunted house by the wife of an eccentric millionaire. As long as the guest stay the night each will be offered $10,000. The catch though is that both the Millionaire (played by Vincent Price) and his wife (played by Armelia Carol Ohmart) hate each other’s guts and want each other dead. Throughout the film strange things that may or may not be supernatural happen, and the guests try to figure out what is actually happening and how to survive the night. This film has incredible dialogue and is a lot of fun to watch because of its low key horror mystery feel. It’s also filled with great quips back and forth between Price and Ohmart’s characters. House on Haunted Hill is on this list because of how incredibly entertaining it is to watch, and is well worth watching for those looking for a spooky good time.
22. Millennium Actress: Millennium Actress is my favourite Satoshi Kon film. While Kon has done many incredible films I really love the heart, and way this film deals with memory and the past. Millennium Actress stars a pair of goofy interviewers one of which is a huge fan of the reclusive elderly actress Chiyoko Fujiwara. While interviewing her they end up entering into her story and life, and finding out how she became an actress and spent her life trying to find an artist who she hid as a child during World War II. The film goes through Japanese film history and trends, and follows Chiyoko up to the present day with the two interviewers tagging along for the ride. This film is fun, but more importantly it is really moving and discusses what it is like to dream and follow your dreams frankly. While not everything ends up working out for the characters by end they both come to have a new appreciation for each other, and the importance of Chiyoko life and story. This is an incredible film and one I would recommend even to those who do not often watch anime.
23. Suspiria: Dario Argento’s Susperia proves that gothic atmosphere is not just for black and white films. Suspiria stars a ballerina who comes to a dance school in Germany to learn from its stars. Things immediate become dark and are not what they seem though when she witnesses the brutal murder of a dancer in an iconic and gory scene. What follows is a suspenseful horror film that makes heavy use of atmosphere giving it a surreal and overwhelming quality. What makes this film stand out as well is the fantastic score by Prog-Rock group Goblin which helps set the un-nerving and terrifying mood of the film. This film is definite not for the faint of heart, but for those who like a horror films that has both breathtaking atmosphere, and extremely suspense and violence then this is film that you owe it to yourself to see.
24. How the Grinch Stole Christmas: This is one of my all-time favourite Christmas movies. Despite their being a lot of versions of the Grinch story, and a lot Christmas films and specials the original adaption of the Grinch still stands as one of the best. This film combined the Seuss story with the animation of Chuck Jones, the narration of Boris Karloff, and the music of Albert Hague. This incredible combination makes this adaption even overshadowed the original book. How the Grinch Stole Christmas is the story of the green furry menace the Grinch who hates the Who people and Christmas. Because of this he decides that he will steal all aspects of Christmas from the Who’s to extract his revenge on them and the holiday. This film is so great that it has become an anti-consumerist holiday classic. The Grinch deserves its status as an animated holiday staple I think far more than many of the other animated holiday specials. This is because it presents a sincere and heartwarming message while still being fun, and not coming off as preachy or fake. Like the Opera Don Giovanni it’s a lot of fun to see the Grinch being so wicked while an amazing song describing his wickedness is being sung around his action. This continues to be one of my two favourite holiday films and one that even outside of the Christmas holiday I’d be excited to see.
25. Vertigo: Vertigo is in an incredible film. While Hitchcock was a terrible person and his attention to detail could drive his actors crazy his work on this film really paid off and stands out. This is one of the most meticulously crafted and scored films of all time. The film involves a wealthy tycoon who hires a retired detective with a fear of heights played Jimmy Stewart to investigate the strange behavior of his wife who he claims is possessed. As this mystery continues on we get to see Stewart’s character unravel and his obsession for the wife develop. One reason this film is so perfect is that the scoring and musical themes by Bernard Hermann are some of his best. Hermann puts in the same level of detail that Hitchcock did in his scoring that not only enhances the film, but becomes an integral part of it. For those who are fans of well-made films, amazing film scores, and mysteries this is a must watch.
26. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is the pinnacle of German expressionist cinema. While there are many incredible expressionistic films this one is the most effective with the style. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari involves a carnival hypnotists and a somnambulist who he uses to commit murder. Things however turn out to not be all of what they seem. What really is mind blowing other than the excellent ending is the disturbing dream like quality of the sets. Buildings are often build in a strange crooked way with oddly shaped surroundings that would be highly out of place in a realistic setting. The whole film feels like some sort of strange dream that is enhanced by the old silent nature of the film. This is one of my favourite silent horror films of all time, and one that I think even those who are not a fan of traditional horror can really appreciate and enjoy.
27. Duck Soup: The Marx Brothers at their best always seem know what to do and say next to get a laugh. Duck Soup is one of the funniest films I have ever seen with its joke a minute dialogue always seeming to land. Groucho in this film becomes the leader of the mythical country of Freedonia while the other brothers try to take over his country. Mostly though the plot is an excuse for some of the brothers most snarky dialogue, best word play, and for hilarious slapstick. This is one of the wittiest films I have ever seen and a great film for fans of hilarious comedy.
28. The Wrong Trousers: Have you seen this chicken? If you get this reference then chances are you have seem The Wrong Trousers, my favourite of the Wallace and Grommet films. The Wrong Trousers involves the goofy British inventor Wallace and his silent genius companion dog Grommet. Things get bad though when a criminal penguin starts to take over Grommet’s life, and befriend the oblivious Wallace. This film manages to be both thrilling and hilarious, and includes one of the weirdest and best train chases of all time on a miniature train set. The jewel heist is also great as the penguin’s plots to take control of the electronic trousers and attach them to the sleeping Wallace, while disguising himself as a chicken by using a red rubber glove. This film is without a doubt my favourite Claymation film of all time, and is one that I could watch again and again.
29. Yojimbo: I love Yojimbo! This film combines the amazing writing and directing that Kurasawa was known for with the incredible acting of Torshiro Mifune. In this film a skilled ronin enters a town that contains two warring gang factions. Rather than choose one faction to help however he decides to play both sides, and have both groups come to him for help. This plot is held up by Mifune’s incredible personality making the ronin both a dirty scoundrel while at the same time still having a conscious. This film is one that is just about perfect for what it is, and is so good that it inspired the Eastwood/Leone film a Fistful of Dollars. This original though will always be my personal favourite version of this story, and is my favourite Kurasawa and Mifune film.
30. Rashomon: Rashomon is perhaps Kurasawa most famous film for good reason. The film involves the murder of a samurai who was travelling with his wife after they are ambushed by a famous bandit. In this film no one seems to be telling the whole truth though. Throughout the film we get perspectives from the bandit, the wife, the ghost of the samurai, and a local wood cutter who all share very different stories that are framed through the conversations of travelers in an old temple on a rainy day. The filmmaking for this film is superb and includes a complex thought provoking plot, and incredible acting especially from Torshiro Mifune who plays the bandit. This film questions the notion of a single and defined truth, and is gripping from start to finish making it a masterpiece of Japanese cinema.
31. Giants and Toys: Giants and Toys has one of the most brilliantly strange premises for a film. It is all about Japanese caramel companies competing with each other to see which can top the market. The film’s stars the company World Candy as they try to use Kyoko an “average girl,” as the model to compete with their rivals. Things quickly spiral out of control though as their model becomes corrupted by stardom and one-sided love, and the company advertising head’s sanity begins to decline. Despite being set in Japan this film really could apply to the United States, as well as people and companies around the world that are transformed into monsters all in the pursuit of money and fame. This film illustrates perfectly the dangers of putting your work above your health, and how greed can consume companies and those within them. Despite being set in Japan in the 50’s I find that this film is more relevant than ever with the current climate of corporations in the United States such as Amazon and Walmart.
32. Master of the Flying Guillotine: Objectively this isn’t really a great movie, but I love it anyways. While the action is great in this film the plot is silly and the movie is not at all well shot. None the less I really find this Kung Fu feature very charming. This film stars a one armed Chinese boxer who must help his clan overcome a blind master who uses a throw-able guillotine to chop people heads off, and an odd Street Fighter like tournament filled with weird racially insensitive super warriors. This film is great because it is so weird, it involves some of strangest fights ever including an outstanding final showdown in a coffin shop. For those who love odd Kung Fu movies this is the perfect film to see.
33. They Were Eleven: They Were Eleven is an interesting anime film because it isn’t by directors that have been gotten a lot of acclaim (in fact one of the directors for this film is mainly known for Hentai). This doesn’t mean though that this classic should be overlooked as it is an incredible adaption of a Moto Hagio’s original manga. This movie stars Lane Tadatos a human psychic who ends up passing an elite space academy exam, and meeting up with ten other aliens on board an old spaceship. A problem quickly arises however when it is revealed that a sinister eleventh person has made their way aboard, and that the abandoned ship holds secrets. This whole film is about trying to work together as the crew must succeed or fail as a team, and trying to survive the dangers created by the mysterious and traitorous eleventh crew person. This film includes many complex interesting themes such as working with various alien cultures, themes of pacifism, what drives mob mentality, gender identity, and how to best work within a diverse unit. This film is an underappreciated gem that I feel everyone who loves anime films or science fiction should view.
34. Fantastic Mr. Fox: Fantastic Mr. Fox is an odd yet satisfying adaption of the classic Roald Dahl book by director Wes Anderson. Anderson does an amazing job fitting in celebrity voices into film, creating amazing looking stop motion animation, and adapting his sense of style into this film without losing the contents of the book. He present his signature dry humor in this tale of a fox who decides to pull off a big heist on three nasty farmer who all want him and his family dead. I especially love George Clooney as Mr. Fox and consider it the best role by Clooney I have seen (which is saying a lot since Clooney is brilliant). This film is delightful and remains one of the best examples of the power that stop motion animation film can have.
35. Muppet Christmas Carol: The first and best of the post Jim Henson Muppets films, the Muppet Christmas Carol is a holiday classic. Oddly enough I enjoy this version of the Christmas Carol the best out of all them I have seen despite its many liberties. This is because it brings together two amazing things the Muppets, and Michael Caine as Scrooge. This version does a great job of striking a balance between the original story, and the Muppets silliness and songs. What is also amazing about it is that it does have some genuinely touching and tragic moments such as Scrooges visions of his girlfriend breaking up with him or the scene where it is predicted Tiny Tim will die. Despite Henson’s passing the puppet work lead by his son, Frank Oz, and Henson’s friends is outstanding, especially for the huge puppets created for the film. I have been watching this film since childhood each Christmas, and look forward to seeing it each year.
36. Tut: The Boy King: I was a weird kid (and I’m still weird now) and growing up this was one of my all-time favourite documentaries. While other kids would check out cartoons at the local video store I was obsessed with this documentary, and would usually pick it up as my video. Looking back it’s not hard for me to see why I loved this movie. At the time I really loved Egypt and Egyptology, and this is one of the best documentaries despite its age for that type of information. Tut: The Boy King was narrated and directed by the amazing Orson Welles who has a voice like no other. It offers a great look at King Tut, and the artifacts found in his tomb as Well’s highlights their features with outstanding dialogue. For those looking for a fun guided tour through the objects found in King Tut’s tomb this documentary will not disappoint.
37. 3:10 to Yuma: The 3:10 to Yuma is one of the best remakes of a Western of all time. It brilliantly plays Russell Crowe against type as a manipulating outlaw who gets captured by a poor and disabled rancher played Christian Bale. In order to earn the bounty and save his farm Bale has to take the outlaw to a prison train. The film follows Bale’s character and a posse that is trying to get Crowe to the train without him escaping or having Crowe’s blood thirsty gang murder them all. This film is great because it not only provides a lot of suspense and tension, but also because you get to learn about the characters. Even though he is a dangerous murder Crowe’s character even develops into someone to care about. For those who like suspenseful Westerns with brilliant casting decisions this is the film to watch.
38. Dreams of a Rarebit Fiend: This is the earliest film on this list and one of the film’s most people reading this list have probably never even heard of. This film adaption is based upon an old Winsor McKay comic strip where a man eats too much Welsh rarebit (a delicious cheese sauce deriving from the UK), and then begins to have strange dreams. It’s amazing that this film even still exists as it was created in 1906 and is one of the most impressive films of its time. Despite being dated it’s effects and comedy still hold up to this day, and provided me with a lot of entertainment every time I watch it. Despite being less than 8 minutes long and despite its age it is still a remarkable classic.
39. Charlie Brown Specials: While many of the Charlie Brown Specials are amazing, some are downright forgettable or even terrible (such as the Mayflower, second Christmas special, Arbor day, etc…) Despite some less than stellar specials however, I love to watch the holiday specials that are true classics again and again. The best of these specials are not only funny, but also carry a special feeling of “authenticity,” about them. While these films aren’t necessarily realistic the feelings they are trying to convey feel genuine. Even though I have been watching them for years I always find myself wanting to come back to them again each year. For me part of the tradition and why I love them so much is that they continue to be such a major part of my life and the seasons that represent. For some people these specials might not have the same impact, but personally I find them very important.
40. 7th + Golden Voyage of Sinbad: The Sinbad films were a huge part of my childhood. Whenever I was sick I would often watch these two films (Eye of the Tiger wasn’t very good so I usually avoided it). Both are amazing because they featured the work of Ray Harryhausen the stop motion genius who was responsible for some of the greatest movie effects of all time. These films combined his use of all sort of stop motion monsters with high seas adventure. Both Bernard Herrmann and Miklós Rózsa are at their best in these films as well providing incredible scores. While the acting can be cheesy in both films, for me it only adds to the charm and nostalgia they provide. For those who love simple and exciting action films these are a must watch.
41. A Muppet Family Christmas: This is the second Muppets film on the list and again hits the Christmas spirit out of the park. A Muppet Family Christmas while in some ways more conventional then Muppet Christmas Carol is just as good if not better. When Fozzie Bear tries to surprise his mother for the holidays along with his friends he finds that she already rented her house out to the curmudgeonly man Doc who wants a peaceful holiday and that she was planning on a trip to Florida. Of course Doc doesn’t get a quiet holiday as the Muppets, and soon the Sesame Street gang end up joining him and being anything but quiet. This is a crossover that works because it feels organic and fits into the specials plot seamlessly. The Muppets, Sesame Street, and the cameos from Muppet Babies and Fraggle Rock all fit together in the plot and make it more fun. This special took place when all of these shows were at their A game, and remains one of the most fun and hilarious Christmas specials of all time.
42. Stand by Me: A lot of films really try to capture what it was like to be a kid in the 50’s. Many of these films though are overly sentimental, and present an idealized look into the past. Stand by Me is a major exception to this rule however. The characters in this film feel real and relatable, and a situation they face aren’t sugar coated. Stand by Me involves a group boys who find out about a dead body in the woods, and decide to take a journey to find it. This a coming of age film that feels very real while also being hilarious. Each character of the cast has a distinct personality with flaws, troubles, and good aspects as well, and a good reason for why they are who they are. Their dialogue with one another feels like a dialogue that kids growing up would really have. Stand by Me makes everything feel genuine in a way most films aren’t able to do.
43. Nosferatu: The earliest existing adaption of Dracula I have seen, Nosferatu probably is the most frightening of the Dracula films. The Dracula in this film isn’t suave like Lugosi, nor even a towering monster like Lee. Nosferatu instead relies on the Count’s inhuman appearance and menacing shadows to create a creeping otherworldly monster designed to instill terrify. There is no sexiness to be found in this film by the count who goes on to terrify and commit mass murder within London along with his crazed Renfield like assistant. Some of the scenes such as the Count vertically raising from his coffin and his menacing shadow creeping up a darkened stair case have become burned in my mind and are truly the work of genius.
44. This is Spinal Tap: This is Spinal Tap is my favourite mockumentary of all time. Focusing on a self-important rock band This is Spinal Tap pokes fun at many of the common clichés of rock excess during the 1970’s and 80’s. This film has more memorable scenes, lines, and jokes then I thought was possible in this format. Spinal Tap always makes me bust a gut laughing at all the absurd things taken so seriously and presented in a documentary format. I have never seen a fake documentary that is as clever or funny as this one, and it easily earns a spot among the best comedies I have ever seen.
45. Throne of Blood: Akira Kurosawa is known for his adaptions of Shakespearian plays placed in ancient Japan, and Throne of Blood is perhaps the best of these adaptions. Staring the amazing Toshiro Mifune, Throne of Blood tells the story of how Mifune’s Macbeth like character rises to power, and how his arrogance later leads to his downfall. Mifune is amazing! The energy and expression behind his acting is like no other actor I have ever seen. While there are a number of outstanding actors within this film, it is Mifune who steals the show especially with his death scene. I first saw this film during a Kurosawa film festival, and it has always stuck with me since as one of my personal favourite films.
46. METROPOLIS: The second of the Metropolis’s on this list Fritz Lange’s original Metropolis is a master piece of plot and design. Metropolis mixes German expressionism with Science fiction to present one of the best depictions of a dystopia to date. Metropolis tells the tale of social stratification, to the point where the working class have become part of a totalitarian machine. The film is all about finding the balance between divides, and not forgetting the humanity of those of the lower class. In many ways this film and its themes were far ahead of their times, and drew a lot of indifference from many during its initial release. Despite this Metropolis later was rightly proclaimed as the masterpiece it is, and as one of the most important and visually striking Science Fiction films of all time.
47. Labyrinth: Labyrinth is an incredible girl’s coming to age film combined with David Bowie and the Muppets. While this mix is weird it works perfectly together making Labyrinth one of my all-time favourite children’s films. Labyrinth stars Sarah a girl played by a young Jennifer Connelly’s who accidently wishes away her brother sending him to David Bowie’s Goblin King. She is then forced to traverse his sinister Labyrinth where she ends up meeting the lovable grump Hoggle, a huge gentle monster named Ludo, and the dog knight Sir Didymus and his dog steed Ambrosius. Each of these figures help her on her quest to go through the strange maze and find King’s castle in the center. Not only is the puppeteering amazing and the world super creative, but inclusion of David Bowie performing the soundtrack and also as the sexy villainous Goblin King is incredible. Bowie is absolutely perfect as the tempting foil for Sarah, and elevates this film to one I love seeing again and again.
48. Fantasia: I don’t have the same warm feelings toward Disney that most people seem to have. I tend to find their films markedly inferior to Ghibli films or many of the more ambitious independent animated films. Fantasia though is an interesting case where I actually feel Disney has created something both unique and ground breaking. Fantasia is a film where the animation and small segmented stories are added to enhance the orchestra music around them. Unlike most Disney films that are to an extent straightforward and budgeted, Fantasia is a collection where Disney went all out to create something incredible. The animation and storytelling employed in this film is incredible, and tells everything from stories of dancing hippo’s and crocodiles to sequences reflecting ultimate good and evil. The music and imagery is so well put together that while listening to the pieces used in Fantasia I can’t help but to associate the music with this movie. Fantasia is one of a kind, and without question my favourite Disney film of all time.
49. Vampire’s Kiss: The most recent addition to this list, it’s hard to describe what exactly makes Vampire Kiss so amazing other than Nicholas Cage’s acting which carries the film. This film is all about an uptight jerk played by Cage who helps run a publishing company division and frequently treats people (especially women) like objects. The film chronicles his shocking descent into madness as he becomes convinced that he is being transformed into a vampire, and is being attacked by a woman he once knew. While the film is supposed to be a dark comedy, I actual found it more of a tragedy. Cage brings his A game to this role which makes it work creating a both hatred for his character and his cruelty, while at the same time making you feel sorry for how pathetic and unhinged he is. This film is definitely odd, but by letting Cage be un-caged and allowed to develop his character the results ended up being brilliant.
50. Mysterious Island: Mysterious Island is amazing because it encapsulates some of the best stop motion work by Ray Harryhausen. The film involves three union soldiers and a confederate soldier who end up landing on a strange island with gigantic animal monsters. On the island they help rescue “English,” women who are shipwrecked, and then meet the famous scientist Captain Nemo and his Nautilus super sub. This film is great primarily because of the incredible creature effects Harryhausen creates for the film. This includes a giant crab, flightless bird, and an octopus who all make very exciting challenges for the castaways. This is paired with the incredible music of Bernard Herrmann which brings these creatures to life in one of his most exciting scores. This film was a huge part of my childhood and one that I still love.
- The Big Boss: The Big Boss is one of the films that set the stage for Bruce Lee to become a star. After moving to join his family Lee’s character tries vowing to not cause trouble or fights. He quickly though is driven by the corruption of the ice company he and his family works at, his own sense of justice, and later revenge to take up fighting once more to ensure righteousness for his family and the working class. For a film about a character trying to be non-violent Bruce Lee’s character sure kicks a lot of ass. This film doesn’t hold back in the extreme action with Lee’s character at the end going on an amazing Kung Fu rampage against the wealthy gang leader. What really makes this my favourite of Lee’s films though is the bombastic funk score which heightens all the incredible action. This film kicks ass (literally)!
- Porco Rosso: While Miyazaki is a very well-known director this film is one of his least known films which is a real shame. Porco Rosso stars Marco “Porco,” Rosso a pilot whose head was turned into pig during World War I. Porco has grown to resent war, and now acts as a bounty hunter paid to protect ships from a goofy gang of sky pirates with his old red plane. After being pushed too far though the pirates hire the arrogant American daredevil/movie star Curtis to stop him. Eventually Porco ends up getting help from his engineer’s granddaughter and protégée Fio who helps him face off against the womanizing Curtis. This film has a lot of elements Miyazaki love including: planes, action, strong women, sky pirates, quiet moments, anti-war messages, and comedy. The art, music, and animation in this film are also especially breath taking and even small details are captured. For example I love how the sea is portrayed in the film as it sparkles especially when flown over. While I love many of Miyazaki’s film this one is without a doubt a hidden gem, and one of my personal favourites.
- Jason and the Argonauts: Ray Harryhausen is the single reason why this film is amazing. That isn’t to say that the music isn’t fantastic or that the actors and script aren’t good, but it is Harryhausen’s creations that really steal the show in this epic. Jason and the Argonauts features Jason the son of a betrayed king who goes on a quest to get the legendary Golden Fleece. The film involves Jason getting a crew of heroes to join him on his quest, meanwhile the gods decided to play a game to determine his fate. Throughout the film Jason must face numerous perils including giant statues brought to life, monsters, skeleton warriors, and a traitor aboard his ship in his quest for the fleece. It is the stop motion animation and creativity of these menaces that makes this film so amazing though. Without a doubt this film has some Harryhausen’s finest work, and is a lot of fun to watch (especially the giant statue scene).
- Zatoichi (2003): I love the Zatoichi series and love Takashi Beat Kitano so this film felt like a no brainer for the list. Drawing from the classic Zatoichi films this film present Zatoichi coming to a town overrun by yakuza, and deciding to liberate it. Meanwhile two Geisha also come to the town to get revenge on the gang boss who murdered their family when they were young. The conflict quickly boils over into a blood bath, and later Zatoichi is forced to face a skilled and honorable Ronin who is working for the gangs because of his need for medicine for his ill wife. Not only does this film recapture the feel of classic films of the Zatoichi series, but it also includes artistic music and violence. This film tries to bring together all the classic samurai themes of revenge, amazing swordplay, good people driven to join evil out of desperation, and the defending of the innocent from oppressive gangs. While the dance sequence in the end feels out of place and somewhat silly, the film as a whole is really good.
- Destroy all Monsters: This film is on the list because it’s a lot of fun! While it isn’t the best of the Godzilla films, it is the film that I enjoy seeing the most. Destroy all Monsters yet again focuses on an alien race that mind controls the monsters into causing mass destruction. This film includes and focuses on all of Toho’s monsters up until that point, and creates an incredible crossover as these monster all destroy major cities before later battling the evil King Ghidorah. This film is so much fun and includes every classic element you would expect from an early Godzilla film. While this film didn’t end up being the final Godzilla film as Toho initially expected they still threw everything and the kitchen sink into this film resulting in one of the best and most fun Godzilla films of all time that easily overshadows their next big all monster film Godzilla Final Wars.
- Akira: One of the most unusual of the famous anime films Akira is one of the best examples of adapting an epic into a film. Akira takes place in post-apocalyptic dystopia where delinquency and gangs roam the street. One such gang led by the brash Kaneda ends up in trouble after a fight with the clown gang results in Kaneda’s friend Tetsuo crashing his bike into a strange child. Tetsuo is then captured by the military for a secret experiment on developing psychics. As Tetsuo power increases though so does the danger he causes. Meanwhile Kaneda ends up accidently becoming involved in an anti-military rebel group determined to find and save his friend. This is a strange movie especially in the ending where Tetsuo’s power begin to break the bounds of his physical form. Luckily its oddity is given appeal thanks to a compelling story, and one of the most unique scores of all time. The movies creator Otomo was also responsible for the original manga for the series, and it shows despite the major changes and cuts made to the story to adapt it into a single film. Despite being strange and having a very unusual ending I would still highly recommend this movie for its originality and polish.
- Last Man on Earth: Vincent Price is an incredible actor, and no where do I think this is better illustrated than in the Last Man on Earth. Based loosely upon the novel I am Legend, Price plays a scientist in a world consumed by a virus that has killed and mutated most of the population into zombie like vampires. His character spends most of the film completely alone as he tries to find survivors and survive the angry vampires which he slays during the day. Price’s doctor is a tragic man whose family was some of the first contract the illness and to perish leaving him alone in the world as seemingly the last human. Price carries most of this film through his compelling acting and monologues, and shows just how incredible his acting skills are. There aren’t many actors that can carry a film like this, but in this film Vincent Price proves that he is one of them. This alone is an enough reason to see this film!
- Perfect Blue: Anime director Satoshi Kon’s began his career with a bang with the film Perfect Blue. This film is a disturbing tale of a Japanese pop idol turned actress, and her world and the world around her descending into madness and obsession. While this is an extremely well animated film it is the terrifying disorientation and lack of answers that makes the film so effective. Every bit of this film is filled with an unease as characters sanity begins to unravel, and it becomes more and more unclear what it actually going on. The story also just keeps getting more and more disturbing, and even its ending is not very reassuring. I’m not scared by many films, but this one is definitely an exception to that. This is one of the best written horror films of all time, and perfect for fans of more adult anime and frightening movies.
- Triplets of Bellville: Triplets of Bellville is a brilliantly bizarre French animated film that is well worth watching despite its relative obscurity. The story is a mostly wordless story about a Grandmother and her lazy old dog working with three eccentric old Dancehall performers to find her kidnapped Grandson. Things get stranger though when they discover a plot by organized crime and have to face the French mafia (complete with large exaggerated shouldered henchmen) in order to save the grandson. Another amazing element of the film besides the incredible animation is the musical score. Jazz and early French dance music is used throughout this film which fits in perfectly with the setting and plays a key role in it. Without a doubt this is a film that is must watch for animation and French film fans, and one worth going out of the way to view.
- Theatre of Blood: I love the movies of Vincent Price, and this one despite or perhaps because of its campiness is one I adore. After a Shakespearian actor played by Price narrowly avoids dying during a suicide attempt he vows vengeance against the critics that he felt slighted him. What follows is Price killing each critic using elements based upon Shakespeare’s plays. It’s simple, ridiculous, and most importantly a lot of fun. Watching Price being given permission to go wild is amazing. Price steals every scene with his dramatic acting, and clearly is a talented Shakespearian actor himself which makes his over the top performance that much more fun. Definitely a great watch if you love Price and can tolerate a bit of gore (I myself am not a huge gore fan but I still love this film).
- Ghost in the shell: Ghost in the Shell is a quintessential cyber punk movie. The story involves a government cybercrimes unit investigating someone who seems to be hacking into peoples mind, and then controlling them by creating false memories. What stands out about this film is that it is smartly designed on all levels. The plot has all sorts of amazing twists and turns, the characters face existential questions, the animation is incredible and still turns my head more than 20 years after it was released, and the music fits perfectly together. Top that off with two great dubs, and some incredible concepts about technology and our relationship with it and you have one of the all-time best anime films. This film is so good in fact that for years many movies and shows have struggled and failed to meet the high standard of this film including even its own direct film sequel.
- Steamboat Bill, Jr: Buster Keaton is an amazing filmmaker. Not only did he act and do all of his own stunts, but he also had a major hand in directing and writing some of the funniest film sequences of all time. His film Steamboat Bill, Jr follows the son of a salty and gruff steamboat captain who falls in love with his rich rival’s daughter. What ensues is a hilarious fish out of water story where his son played by Keaton both tries to live up to his father’s expectations, while also trying to woo his father rival’s daughter despite his ample awkwardness and their parents feud. This film is filled with comedy, slapstick, pratfalls, and incredible stunts. Keaton brings his A game to this film frequently risking his life for a laugh. This film so funny and visual in fact that it is hard to describe without giving away too much (so go out and watch it if you haven’t yet).Without a doubt this is one of the two best Keaton films and must watch.
- War of the Worlds: While the remake of War of the Worlds does have some great moments and designs, without a doubt I have to give this nod to the original film. The original War of the Worlds is a classic science fiction film that is cemented into my head as one of the most important of the alien invasion movies of the 1950’s. The film is all about hostile alien invaders who quickly over power humanity and attack the globe. Not only does the film include the invasion of the earth, but it also stars a scientist and librarian who try to survive the strange alien attack. Besides the famous twist ending this film is also largely exciting because of how they designed the aliens and their ships. Instead of using saucers or humanoid aliens the aliens and their ships in this film are oblong and have long eye like stalks. My personal favorite part of this film though is the sound effects especially from the alien ships which are some of the best designed ever. I love these effects so much that they alone are reason enough for me to want to watch the film again!
- Kubo and the Two Strings: While I love the films of Laika animation, Kubo and the Two Strings stands out to me as one of the studios all-time best. Kubo is a story all about telling stories, with a young boy taking care of his deteriorating mother while telling stories in a local Japanese village during the day to earn money. Eventually Kubo is placed on a quest to find his father’s armor and sword with the help of a serious talking monkey and a goofy beetle samurai. While on this quest he also has face his grandfather the moon king, and his creepy aunts. This film is full of action, comedy, and most importantly presents a complex world and characters that are tied into the themes of remembrance and storytelling. The stop motion animation in this film is amazing and breathtaking. With stop motion the filmmakers do things that hardly seem possible from the very small and intricate, to the enormous and ornate.
- Citizen Kane: I know it’s a cliché to put Citizen Kane on a top films list, but it would be wrong of me not talk about just how great a film it is and how much I enjoy it. Its use of shadows and unusual angles, its incredible score, visual representations of emotion, and fragmented means of storytelling are incredible. All of these elements come together as a reporter tries to solve a mystery, and summarize the life of a bitter businessman Charles Foster Kane after his passing. Welles does an amazing job creating, and playing Kane a deeply flawed and complex newspaper mogul. Throughout the film we get to look at Kane’s successes and ultimate failure. The film then finishes by presenting one of the greatest and most famous twist endings of all time. While many people praise this film I do think it really does live up most of the praise as an incredible film and cinematic landmark.
- 12 Angry Men: This film is about as far removed from most people’s concept of a good film as possible. Most of the film consist of twelve very different men in a room mostly talking. There is almost no other sets or action in the film. What makes this film ultimately work is the suspense both on the court case they are judging as they examine the evidence, and their internal conflict over what the verdict of the case should be and with each other. Henry Fonda spends the film trying to get his peers to carry out what he feels is justice based on the evidence they were provided and look at it deeply before convicting a black boy of murder. Lee Cobb though wants to convict the boy based on the evidence he has heard and feels that the case is clear cut. A battle of will begins as slowly Fonda’s character convinces the others that there isn’t enough solid evidence to convict the boy. While this film might be overly optimistic about the United States justice system it is very well acted and is an amazing character piece that works so well that it overcomes my skepticism. Despite being about a single room full of men this film is still well worth seeing.
- Moonrise Kingdom: While I wish I had a chance to see more of Wes Anderson’s films the ones I have seen have been fantastic, and this film is one of his best. Anderson does an amazing job writing dry humour and shaping his entire films aesthetic including its world and colour pallet to match. Anderson also knows how to get the best out of celebrities with the roles shaping the stars acting, rather than having the stars reputation define their roles. Anderson’s uses his signature dry sense with a story of two eccentric children running away from camp, and the dysfunctional population on the island including: a family consisting of bicker couple played Bill Murray and Frances McDormand, Edward Norton as a neurotic scout leader, and a lonely socially awkward park ranger played by Bruce Willis. Anderson has a clear vision in this film and works hard to ensure that this film captures that vision of a strange and isolated island filled with even stranger people who are forced to come together in order to survive and function. If you love Wes Anderson and his unique brand of humour as much as I do then you’ll love this film.
- A Fistful of Dollars: Clint Eastwood is one of the best known Western actors ever, and A Fistful of Dollars may be the best example of his acting. One reason this film is so amazing is that rip offs of Kurosawa’s Yojimbo. Eastwood’s performance though makes this film more than some Westernized rehash. In this movie Eastwood’s “Man with no Name,” character heads to a town where two gangs are at war. The mysterious man then decides to play both sides of the conflict with his amazing gun slinging. Unlike in Yojimbo Eastwood’s character is less of a clever morally compromised man that makes the right choice in the end, and is more of a blood thirsty badass who will do what he has to survive. He has a coolness to him, and like in Yojimbo even at his lowest point he finds a way to fight back after he is eventually betrayed. What also allows this film to stand out besides the snappy dialogue and Eastwood’s performance is an incredible score by Ennio Morricone. Morricone provides a soundtrack for this movie that is one of the best and most suspenseful ever presented in a Western. This film shows that with the right actors, script, and score even a remake can stand up on its own as outstanding.
- The Public Enemy: Public enemy works because of the incredible performance by Jimmy Cagney. This film is all about how his character grows up to be an angry and brash young man with a violent temper. His ultimate undoing is directly linked to his own brash greed and cruelty as he continues to go down the dark path of a gangster. Cagney’s acting elevated this film from what could have been a simple morality play with his larger than life performance. Every scene Cagney is in has him repeatedly and stubbornly refusing to change his ways or surrender any ground in his amorality. One especially great scene is one where Cagney shoves a grapefruit into the face of his girlfriend, which encapsulates his whole character in the process. The film all comes together in a shocking but fitting conclusion, but it is the journey there that really cements just how important and great an actor Cagney is.
- The Producers: While Mel Brooke’s films often can be hit or miss for me, this film is definitely my favourite of his works. Right off the bat it is hard for me not to admire a film starring Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder as a couple of scoundrels. The two realize they can make lots of money off of a major Broadway flop and not have to pay investors so they both go out of their way to find the worst play writers and actors they can in order guarantee a failure. Eventually they choose to try to put on a terrible Hilter based Nazi play in hopes of offending the audience into hating it. This film works so well because it mocks the Nazi’s and Fascism. Like many Brookes movies it takes topics that would be normally Taboo and turns them into a farce. The Nazi’s in this film are turned into buffoons even more so then in the Great Dictator, and the play turns out to be one big joke. I think one of the reasons this does work so well is that Brookes is Jewish and knows how to transform the serious topics like this effectively. On top of it all having these two incredible leads as absurd crooks likewise makes them caricatures and represent meta-commentary on the process of directing a production itself. Those who like clever comedy who watch this film will often be rolling on the floor with laughter.
- King Kong: King Kong is a film that has always divided me. Before I heap praise on the film I feel like I have to address elephant in the room in the form of blatant racism. While some might excuse the film because of the time period in which it was made I don’t think there can nor should be an excuse for not only the racist depiction of the black Islanders, but also of the stereotypes added into the Chinese cook character. These aspects are unforgivable and should not be swept aside. Other than these major issues though King Kong is certainly an incredible film and still deserves a ton of praise. Most of King Kong is larger than life with a story of an overly ambitious director who decides to bring his cast including the innocent Ann and the tough talking hero Jack to a mysterious Island. There they find Kong a huge ape who falls for Ann and carries her off. The group from the ship then have to rescue her from Kong, and survive all the other monsters on the Island (created by legendary stop motion creator Willis O’Brian). Kong is eventually subdued and brought back to New York, which of course turns out to be a mistake. King Kong has so many things going for it including amazing special effects, a monster that balances monstrousness with unusual affection, a man whose ambition gets the best of him, and one of the greatest scores of all time by famous composer Max Steiner. Between the battles with dinosaurs, and the iconic conflict with the planes on top of the Empire state building King Kong broke so much ground and helped define for future filmmakers what a film could do and be. Despite its racism this film is still an incredible feat and one I can’t help but mostly admire.
- Iron Monkey: The Iron Monkey is what happens when you combine Zorro with a great Kung Fu plot. The famous director Yuen Woo-ping directs a film where a couple who work as doctors secretly are helping to fight the corrupt town government, and deliver money to the poor under the name the Iron Monkey. Meanwhile another doctor and martial artist comes to town, and though he is eventually cleared from being the Monkey he is forced to hunt down the two heroes. He later though ends up joining the couple after they help treat his son, and then ends up fighting against a corrupt new govern and his monks. This film has some of the most fun and exciting Kung Fu of a newer film with lots of action and comedy thrown in. I especially love the pole scene towards the end which features some incredible fighting and creativity. This film also manages to tell a great story, and doesn’t feel like a bunch of fight scenes strung together with only a loose semblance of a plot. It’s fun and exciting from top to bottom, and is one of the best of the Kung Fu films I have seen.
- The Wind in the Willows: In the field of stop motion you usually hear a lot about major films from Aardman, Lika, Ray Harryhausen, or movies directed by Wes Anderson, but there are many other incredible films that also use stop motion. One of my personal favorite of these and my favorite adaption of the Wind in the Willows is the Mark Hall and Chris Taylor’s stop motion film. This movie captures both the scenic and poetic elements of the original story, and the wildness of Mr. Toad. Some scenes have the woodland creatures taking beautiful and peaceful lazy boat rides or wandering through the snow, while including the fast paced zaniness of Mr. Toad whose vehicle addiction is constantly getting him and the others into trouble. The score likewise is fantastic blowing away the Disney adaption in every way. This film takes what could have easily been irritating and/or poor ideas such as songs or tonal contrasts, and instead elevates them with a lot of care. I grew up watching and loving this film, and I still love how much it reminds me of my childhood travelling through the woods and relaxing near a stream.
- Bangkok dangerous: Many people mistakenly believe that Nicholas Cage has no range, and always is playing frantic or overtop roles in his films. These people either clearly have not seen Bangkok Dangerous or have been unfairly dismissive of it. Cage’s acting in Bangkok Dangerous is one of the best and most nuisance performances I have ever seen him do. In this film Cage plays a callous hitman who is sent to Thailand on a job. Throughout the movie Cage’s character slowly grows as person, though he still remains mostly a cold and closed individual. At times this film can be hard to watch as Cage is so good at portraying a vicious hitman that it becomes scary. Despite a less then likable protagonist though this film is without a doubt dramatic and effecting. Cage’s character despite his lack emotional still ends up having feelings and dreams beyond killing that he can never seem to reach. Don’t be fooled by the negative ratings online this film has garnered; this film has both action, and also great moments of quiet reflection and suspense.
- Mystics in Bali: Mystics in Bali is one of the strangest horror films I have ever seen. The plot revolves around Cathy an American researcher who is researching rituals and magic’s, and with the help of her local guide and boyfriend finds a witch to teach her dark magic. Things then get weird though as she becomes a Penanggalan, a Southeast Asian vampire consisting of a floating head and entrails that eats unborn children and causes trouble. While this films dubbing is terrible and some people might find its effects cheesy, I actually feel that the films strange concept and unique effects are still incredible to witness. The duel at the end of the film between the Shaman and the witch is especially amazing with all sorts of lighting effects and transformations. I have yet to see a film like Mystics in Bali which was created originally for foreigners, but utilized Balinese culture and folklore, and was not afraid to show all sorts of amazing effects. This film is well worth going out of your way to see, and holds a special place in my heart as one of the most unusual yet enjoyable films I have seen.
- Lord of the Rings trilogy: While the Hobbit Trilogy is a mess in almost every sense of the word, it’s important to remember just how much better the Lord of the Ring’s films are. The Lord of the Rings films adapted a series in a way that most people initial felt couldn’t be done. This series was created with years of work put into it including its planning, scripting, modelling, and the production of special effects. Also unlike the Hobbit this film series was seen as a boom locally. It helped to promote New Zealand’s beautiful landscape, and its outstanding local actors and stunt people. Not only was the production incredible, but the end product that brought together by many new comers and unusual casting choices was also outstanding. Every acting choice seemed to be perfect for the role, and Jackson’s use of cinematic techniques and an amazing score by Howard Shore brought Middle Earth to life in these films. These were movies that Jackson worked tirelessly for and his work really paid off. For those who are fantasy fans and love classic high fantasy these films are an incredible achievements, and it is definitely worth investing in the special edition for each of these films which include extended footage and incredible production diaries.
- The Life of Brian: While I do love Monty Python and the Holy Grail, my personal favorite Monty Python film is The Life of Brian. This film is all about the nebbish Brian who is mistaken for the savior instead of Jesus, and as he goes through many of the events in Jesus’s life awkwardly and continuously denying that he is a prophet. This film has one hilarious moment after another, including parodies of anti-Roman Jewish insurgent groups, religious cults, Roman leadership, historical entertainment, the weirdest and funniest crucifixion scene of all time, and even a random alien encounter for good measure. This film like many Monty Python films is constantly absurdly strange, and its constant use of historical jokes is enough to get me rolling with laugher. Even if you are very religiously Christian (and maybe especially if you are) this film can be incredibly funny because of how historically accurate it tries to be and how much of history it weaves into the narrative. The Life of Brian is well worth checking out for those who enjoy historical and religious forms of humor.
- Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas: Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas is a sincere holiday classic that really has grown on me. Though it isn’t a fast paced joke a minute type film like the Muppets, Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas definitely has Henson’s signature feel and substitutes some of the humor with a powerful sincerity. The film is a retelling of the gift of the Magi where Emmet and his mother decide to give away each other’s livelihoods in order to try secretly win a local country talent show. This movie pits the two against the world as they both struggle to survive in a difficult small town but the river, but also their desire to get money at the talent show to selflessly give each other gifts. While this movie is far less funny then the usual Muppet based films it still has its laughs, and instead focuses more on the sharing of love and a love for music. This movie is an underrated classic, and really should be seen by every Henson and puppet fan.
- Birdman: It is said that art often mirrors life, but in Birdman art seems to parody life instead. Birdman is a film where actor Riggan Thompson (played by Michael Keaton) is famous for his super hero series Birdman, but now wishes to change his image and be seen as a “serious,” actor by putting on a production that adapts a Raymond Carter story. With the help of his shady lawyer he ends up hiring a volatile and self-absorbed method actor Mike Shiner (Edward Norton) to assist him in his work. Things of course don’t go right at all, and his play goes wildly out of control causing him to start to crack mentally and emotionally. Choosing Keaton an actual ex-superhero star whose career is overshadowed by his role and who wants to move on was a brilliant choice for this movie. His performance also really helps to elevate the performances of his costars, especially Edward Norton who is hilarious as the unpredicted Shiner who ultimately helps to drive Riggan and the production over the edge. The brand of bleak black comedy this film uses is definitely not for everyone (in fact upon first watching this movie and leaving the theater an older couple openly expressed their disdain for the film), but personally I finds its comedy both insightful and hilarious, and it’s casting perfect.
- Invasion of the Body Snatchers: Whether it is the classic 1956 or the amazing 1978 remake both versions Invasion of the Body Snatchers of are must see productions. Both involve pods appearing and creating replicas of people that awaken after their human counterparts have fallen asleep. In each film the hero comes to realize that people around him are being replaced by duplicates, and he decides to rally against the pod people. Kevin McCarthy in the first adaption does a great job of presenting a panicked man desperately trying to win a losing battle, while Donald Sutherland’s performance has a lot of heart and sells the twist ending. Both films present a complex allegory about the dehumanizing of people while also being genuinely terrifying, and building up an incredible amount of suspense. If I were to choose a favorite from the two it would probably be the earlier film, but both have too much merit to not include. For those who love Science Fiction, and creative and smart invasion narratives like War of the Worlds or The Thing these films about as close to perfect choice for viewing as you can have.
- From Dusk Till Dawn: From Dusk Till Dawn is a very strange, yet enjoyable experience. This film starts off as a serious crime film where two criminal brothers played by George Clooney and Quinten Tarintino kidnap an ex-preacher and his family, and then threaten them if they do not help them get to a meet up point in Mexico. After this part though they stop at a bar where they are unwelcome and the film suddenly takes a drastic tonal turn and becoming splatter vampire exploitation film. Many people have a lot of trouble dealing this radical change in tone, but personally I think it is brilliant. Both sections are well shot and well-acted, especially by Clooney who is a fantastic actor and sells his characters slick and deadly personality. Both the suspense of the serious moments of the film especially with Tartino’s character being an unstable loose cannon and the border crossing, and then action packed sleezy balls to the wall nature of the film are great. If you come into this film with an open mind and can enjoy the tonal shifts then you’ll have a great time.
- Eyes without a Face: Eyes without a Face is on this list because it is genuinely the most frightening film I have ever seen. After his daughter is injured in a car crash the plastic surgeon Génessier decides to fix his daughters face by luring others to his mansion, and then trying to graft their faces onto his daughter. What makes this film so scary is that it is so grounded within realism. Génessier isn’t some mad scientist and there are no monsters (other than the human one) instead the film focuses on a doctor who is driven by his grief and love for his daughter to commit acts of cruelty. What is also frightening about this film is that where most films would cover or cut away, this film continues to painfully linger. This is especially true during a surgery scene which is shown in graphic detail, and forced me to stop the film and run to the bathroom at least twice in panic before I was able to make it through the scene. I have never seen a film more frightening in my life, and if you are looking for a shockingly terrifying and realistic horror film this is the film to see.
- The Raven: While there have been a number of amazing films entitled The Raven, the one that I enjoy by far the best is the 1935 film starring Karloff and Lugosi. In this film Lugosi plays a genius retired surgeon Richard Vollin who is obsessed with Poe. After saving a judges daughter her family is initially grateful to Vollin, but eventually her father becomes resentful of the doctor as his obsession with his engaged daughter grows. Enraged by the spurning of his advances Vollin purposefully botches the surgery of the criminal Edmond Bateman (played by Karloff) in order to rope him into plans for revenge against the Judge and the daughters fiancé. This film is one of the rare films where Lugosi got a chance to overshadow Karloff and he does so brilliantly. His Poe obsessed doctor makes a great turn from sympathetic to maniacally obsessive with some of Lugosi’s best acting going into this role. The score and special effects are also excellent, and it would be on the same level or even better than the Black Cat if it weren’t for the fact that Karloff while excellent is given a more minor role in this film. If you are fan of classic horror though you can’t go wrong with this film which is one of Lugosi and Universal’s best.
- Day for Night: François Truffaut’s film Day for Night is a hilarious jab at the film industry which satirizes the making of films. Truffaut constantly shows off his knowledge about the making of films, and uses it to satirize the process. This film involves the making of a corny blockbuster with the troublesome antics of the actors and actresses constantly leading to problems on set for the director (played by Truffaut) who desperately tries to limp his way through the film. This film includes aging actors and actresses unable to remember their lines, a star who is man-child that feels the world revolves around him, and actresses coming to the film set already near break downs. Everything that could go wrong does in this fictional production too including the onset of one sided romances, break ups, and constant filming problems. This is one of my all-time favourite Truffaut and French New-Wave films, and a great introduction the film making process and Truffuat’s New-Wave aesthetic.
- Interstella 5555: The 5Tory of the 5Ecret 5Tar 5Ystem: This movie has a very strange title, but the actually film is even stranger. Interstella 5555: The 5Tory of the 5Ecret 5Tar 5Ystem is a film based around the Daft Punk Album Discovery, and is in effect a feature length music video with a plot created with the help of legendary manga creator Leji Matsumoto. This film involves a band of aliens who are captured and brainwashed, and then have to escape their captor. It’s a fun, beautiful, and dream like story told without dialogue and minimal sound effects while still conveying a complex and interesting story. While this isn’t as much of a space opera as Matsumoto’s usual works, it more than makes up for this with the way it blends in the music of Daft Punk into a coherent and interesting story. Somehow despite being dialogue free, and from two very different cultural forces this films comes together in a way that just works. For those who are fans of Daft Punk and/or classic anime this is a must see.
- The Sandlot: I’m not sure what it is about the Sandlot, but I really think that it is a great 50’s nostalgia style film. Instead of being a typical underdog beating the odds type of film The Sandlot focuses on a bunch of misfits and their silly exploits. While Baseball is important to the film, it is primarily a means to an end with the film really being about misfit kids growing up and finding a place in the world. The world in this film feels genuine enough for a nostalgia film painting what it is like to be different during period where being different was often looked down upon. While this film isn’t as emotionally charged as a film like Stand by Me it still is a lot of fun and a very charming film I loved to watch when I was young, and that is still well worth checking out.
- The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec: The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec is one of the best and most underrated Indian Jones like films. Based very loosely on the Jacques Tardi comic of the same name The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec stars a female adventurer who is she trying to revive a mummy in order to save her sister, while also getting to the bottom of the mystery involving a pterosaur wreaking havoc in Paris. It’s incredible how well this film adapts its source material into an exciting French adventure film on par with Hollywood. Not only does this film include a badass female lead, but it also has her having a direct goal other than a get the treasure before the bad guys do plot. I rate this as one of my personal favourites among adventure films, and one definitely to checkout if you love the Indiana Jones series.
- A Nightmare on Elm Street: I oddly enough like most of the Nightmare on Elm Street series. While it does get old, goofy, and stupid towards the end of the original series run Robert Englund was clearly born to play Freddy Krueger. If I were chose a best of the series while I love New Nightmare, Dream Warriors, and The Dream Master I would still have to go with the original film which is much scarier than any of the sequels. The original Nightmare on Elm Street has an amazing blend of suspense, gory effects, and a terrifying surreal nightmare feel as it follows teens who are killed off one by one. Wes Craven really went all out for this Slasher film creating an interesting villain who is monstrous, but more cleverly designed then a straight out burly killer like Jason or Michael Mires. Freddy also stands out because of his personality, his one liners, and his creative and brutal style of murdering people in their dreams. For those who are horror fans this 80’s film is one you need to check out, especially if you like Slasher films.
- The Wolf Man: While Lon Cheney Jr. was often been miscast in many of the later Universal films in this film without a doubt he is perfect for the role of the distraught Larry Talbot. After returning home to his estranged father (played by Claude Rains) Larry is bitten by a werewolf (played by Bella Lugosi) and told by a Romani fortune teller that he is doomed to transform each night. Throughout the film Cheney plays a tortured soul who just wants to make everything right, but is doom to a tragic fate. While Cheney is not a very versatile actor this is the sort of role Cheney played best, and is complimented by a strong script and incredible original score. For those looking for a great early humanoid werewolf or classic Universal film this is the film to see.
- Sherlock, Jr.: Another incredible and hilarious film by the master of silent slapstick Buster Keaton the film Sherlock, Jr is a comedy classic. The film starts with Keaton as a projectionist and amateur detective being framed for a crime he didn’t commit by his rival. He then falls asleep and dreams he is the world famous detective Sherlock Jr. Keaton once again does some incredible stunts at a time where stunt work was much less safety conscious, and as a result more extreme. This film is also one of Keaton’s funniest with his good natured, adventurous, and befuddled character being portrayed perfectly. One of my all-time favourite scenes of the film that illustrates this is when Keaton is being chased by the criminals while seated on the front of a motorcycle, and then the driver falls off without Keaton noticing. Also the train scene which ends with him pulling down on a train water cooling station soaking himself and passersby’s is incredible to witness even though it did cause him a major lifetime injury. These stunts really paid off making this one of the funniest of Keaton’s films which is saying a lot.
- Memento: By far the Nolan brother’s best film (even topping The Dark Knight), Memento is a thought provoking neo-noir film that explores disability and perspective. The film begins in reverse with Leonard Shelby a man who cannot remember new memories past five minutes hunting the killer of his wife and shooting someone at the start of the film. Throughout the film he must use notes and his tattoos to try to track down the killer with the help of the undercover cop Teddy. This film is filled with many twists and turns, and makes great use of the main character’s memory issues to weave a complex narrative of revenge. This film shows off the directing and writing that makes a great film, and feels so much more invested in then the commercial films Nolan would often do later. This is a must watch for those who love crime drama’s.
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit: It’s impossible to overstate what an accomplishment Who Framed Rodger Rabbit is. Somehow this film was able to get together the characters of many of the biggest animation studios including Disney and Warner brothers, something that has never happened before or since this film. This strange noire film is all about Rodger Rabbit a cartoon rabbit who is accused of murdering a wealthy businessman, and has to be helped by the Toon hating noire detective Eddie Valient played by Bob Hoskins. Not only is this film an amazing accomplishment though, but it has a great, fun, and fast paced plot. This film is definitely worth checking out for anyone who grew up with classic cartoons and looking for a great noire spoof.
- Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow: Snake in Eagle’s Shadow is on this list because it always puts a smile on my face. Not only does Jackie Chan finally get a chance to stand out with his comedic style in this film as an abused servant, but it also contains one of the best performances of Yuen Siu Tien as his old hermit mentor. Snake in Eagle’s Shadow has a classic Kung Fu story where the snake style Kung Fu users have been hunted to near extinction by the eagle style leaving only a single hermit who is being hunted. When the hermit secretly takes refuge with Jackie Chan’s bullied servant character he helps to teach Chan’s character to stand up for himself using snake Kung Fu. This film has all the classic excitement of an early Chinese martial arts film with plenty of fighting, comedy, and a classic revenge based storyline. I always love watching the training montages with its cheesy but exciting use of synthesizer piece Magic Fly which strangely works well for this film. For those who love Chan, and want to see how his style and career took off this is the film to watch.
- Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship & Videotape: This film is a great look at the topic of censorship within the UK. I was fortunate enough to meet one of the major contributors to this film Martin Barker on a trip with my father to the UK, and my time spent talking to him about this film had a huge impact on me. Video Nasties talks a lot about the relationship (or lack thereof) with violence in media to violent acts, and poses the question about the justification for film censorship in the UK. It does an excellent job of highlighting both sides of the argument, and uses variety of sources to pose these arguments. Personally I am strongly against censorship, and tend to agree with Barker’s stance on the issue. I did appreciate, however knowing where the other side was coming from even though I often disagreed with it. This film highlights to me not only the struggles with censorship in the UK, but also the concept of censorship internationally and within other mediums such as video games. This is a thoughtful and well-made documentary with very interesting
subject matter that is well worth viewing even for those who are not fans of horror.
- Hugo: Despite being known for more adult works Martin Scorsese proves with this film that he knows how to create amazing children’s films as well. Hugo stars an orphan living in a train station trying to survive, and fix an automaton he and his father used to work on. He eventually meets up with the granddaughter of the famous early filmmaker Georges-Jean Méliès, and they both slowly unravel the history of her grandfather and his accomplishments. This film does what good children’s films do best, presenting a plot that doesn’t talk down or sugar coat things while still feeling heartwarming and sincere. While Hugo is most impressive on the big screen its meta-story and interesting recreation of classic filmmaking is incredible in any format. For those looking for a smart children film where 3d is used to enhance the film this is a film that should be checked out.
- Lady Snowblood: Lady Snowblood is as its title suggests a very blood revenge film. After criminals destroy her family, Snowblood’s mother swears vengeance and trains her daughter in the art of killing. What follows is a blood bath of violent murder, and revenge as a mournful song is sung by the lead actress. It’s really clear after seeing this film how much the first Kill Bill borrowed from this film (including its theme). For those who enjoy bloody revenge films or action packed samurai films this will not disappoint.
- Lone Wolf and Cub series: The Lone Wolf and Cub film series is one of the few film series that can measure up to its comic’s brilliant source material. Like Lady Snow Blood Lone Wolf and Cub is all about violence and revenge. After his wife is murdered and his family name is disgraced through the trickery of the Yagyu clan the Shogun’s ex-executioner Ogami Ittō swears vengeance. He then carves a bloody trail of vengeance killing all those who would stand in his way (which turns out to be a lot of people) while also caring for his young son. Lone Wolf and Cub is a violent action packed film that still manages to have some strong emotional elements as well. This film is perfect for those who love action, lots of violence, and want to see the samurai equivalent to a Spaghetti Western.
- Othello (1981 BBC): There are many outstanding recorded versions of the play Othello, but my personal favourite has always been the Bob Hoskins and Anthony Hopkins production. Othello is a Shakespearian play that encompasses a number of complex themes including revenge, doubt, greed, and racism in a truly tragic way. The plot of the play centers around the Moorish king Othello who is being manipulated and convinced by his conniving adviser Iago that his wife is cheating on him. This adaption is incredibly well acted, especially by Hoskin’s who makes an incredibly wicked Iago. Hopkins, Hoskins, and the rest of the cast do an outstanding job representing the various elements found in the play and the tragedy that ensues. For Shakespeare fans this adaption is one of the best I have seen put to screen.
- High Noon: High Noon stars Gary Cooper in one of the finest Westerns around. After a gang leader who was arrested by Cooper with the help of the town is released from prison he ends up on the first train back into town. He along with his gang have sworn vengeance against the sheriff and town who put him in the slammer, and intent to make up for lost time. When Cooper’s character ends up foregoing his retirement as sheriff in order to help protect the town and do his moral duty though he finds himself alone. This movie is amazing because the buildup of tension as Cooper’s character desperately searches for help only to be turned away repeatedly. He is turned away even by his own wife who is wavering on whether to stand with him and go against her moral values, or run away and leave him even though he probably will be killed. Dimitri Tiomkin’s outstanding score helps grow the tension of this movie perfectly, and the opening theme is absolutely perfect. For fans of Old Westerns this is a must watch.
- Night Is Short, Walk On Girl: Odd, charming, hilarious, and heart-warming all are good ways to describe this film. Actually describing the films plot is difficult though other than to say it involves a teenage boy’s crush and existential crisis among many other things. The Night is Short, Walk on Girl features lots of drinking, odd dancing, obsessive romance, misfits, spicy food eating contests, drinking contests, rogue plays, metaphorical struggles, a disease consuming a town, and much much more. This weird movie constantly seems to be shifting, and puts on an incredible show with its almost rubbery animation and plot that stretches all around. What is certain though is that this is a great movie and well worth seeing.