Here is an in-depth list of my all-time favourite films.
1. The Dark Knight – Perfection. The Dark Knight is a perfect film on and completely epic on every level. The storytelling, action sequences, acting, writing, directing and soundtrack are perfect. What this film does so well and better than most superhero movies is that it makes the audience forget that this whole film is about a man dressed up as a bat chasing another man dressed as a clown. The Dark Knight is a powerful, hard hitting crime thriller that tops any superhero film hands down. And is there anything else that needs to be said about Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker that hasn’t already been said? What a monumental, outstanding and towering piece of work. His performance is probably the best piece of acting I have ever seen. The Dark Knight is one of the best films ever made and will not be topped in the superhero genre. This also includes Batman Begins and The Dark Knight Rises.
2. Goodfellas – A classic. Anyone that says different is a liar. Arguably Martin Scorsese’s best film, telling the story of real-life gangster Henry Hill’s three decades in the mafia. Played perfectly by Ray Liotta, and can you get any better supporting actors in a gangster film than Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci? Both are again perfect as you would expect. Goodfellas has one of the most iconic scenes of movie history, Joe Pesci’s ‘How am I funny?’ rant, which is funny and scary at the same time, which really is a microcosm of not just Joe Pesci’s entire performance, but a microcosm of Goodfellas as a whole. Not only does Goodfellas, glamorise the look of being a gangster, including the wealth, the women and the drugs and violence. But it also shows the inevitable down sides to the gangster lifestyle. Although this takes the number 2 spot on my list, Goodfellas is a film I could watch over and over again without getting bored. Fun fact: there are some familiar faces from The Sopranos in this film.
3. Drive – Beautiful, this film is beautiful and unlike anything I have ever seen before. If anyone is unfamiliar with Drive, it is the story of a quiet loner who works as a mechanic and part time Hollywood stunt driver during the day, but at night, he is the best for hire getaway driver for LA’s criminals. It is not a long film, but it is a slow burner at the beginning. Throughout the film, there are numerous shocking and brutal moments that violently inject some adrenaline into the film. The supporting cast, which includes, Carey Mulligan, Oscar Issac, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks, Christina Hendricks and Ron Perlman all do a fantastic job, but I cannot stress enough how mesmerising Ryan Gosling is in this film. Even with minimal dialogue from him, this only adds to the physical and emotional side of his performance. His main performance is very much like the entire film itself, minimal but very effective. And the soundtrack is one of the best I have ever heard. I am not even ashamed to admit that Drive has brought me to tears in the past.
4. Straight Outta Compton – A fantastic and brutal look into one of the most ground-breaking rap groups of all time. The emotional depth spread throughout this film is incredible. I think the most important thing when making this film and getting it so right that it does justice for the real members of NWA is making sure the casting is spot on and that the on-screen NWA have the right chemistry with each other. This is very much succeeded in Straight Outta Compton, it just feels so real that its almost like watching a documentary. I could watch this film every day and wouldn’t get bored.
5. Inception – One of the smartest and most thrilling films I’ve ever seen. Completely original and mind blowing, with a spectacular cast and director, Inception really breaks ground in the crime thriller genre. Its crazy to think that Christoper Nolan was able to come up with such a complex yet brilliant film during the time when he was in the middle of doing The Dark Knight Trilogy. Inception is a perfect Saturday night thriller film.
6. The Social Network – This is a very smart and powerful film that documents the rise of Facebook and the legal issue it brought to its owners. Perfectly acted, written and directed. Everyone knows what this film is mainly about, but it definitely gives a fresh and somewhat eye-opening insight into the background goings on of how Facebook came so popular. It may be about the rise of one of the most powerful companies ever, but beneath the surface, this film is about the ups and downs of the relationships between all the real-life characters involved in making Facebook what it is today.
7. Get Out – One of the most recent additions into my top 10 list, Get Out deserves every plaudit and award it has won. A film that is frighteningly creepy and funny in parts is a winning formula. Executed perfectly in all aspects, despite being a creepy horror film, it’s extremely entertaining and engaging. I’m really glad this film got made because I think it is such an important time for a film like this to be out. But even though it is a film with some real-life aspects and themes in it, it never really loses that movie feel, if you know what I mean. Its just very entertaining and works well as an unconventional horror with some really hilarious moments.
8. Warrior – This is just a great movie through and through. My favourite actor of all time is Tom Hardy, and although this may not be my favourite role of his, he plays the part of Tommy Conlan with such passion and intent. Warrior has every element in it that makes a film great. Even though it centres around Mixed Martial Arts, which I have never really been interested in, it still makes for an entertaining watch. What this film does well is give the audience a real dilemma and make them end up rooting for both of the main characters, even though one isn’t totally likeable. The rest of the story is great as well, I recommend anyone of any age to watch this and not enjoy it.
9. The Fighter – A very dramatic and superbly acted look into the life of real-life boxing brothers Dicky and Micky Ward, played perfectly by Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg. Not many movies have as much of an emotional impact as this. Even though I have not watched this for a while, there are still some scenes in this movie that have still stuck with me.
10. The Lord of the Rings (Trilogy) – Arguably one of the best movie trilogies of all time, The Lord of the Rings trilogy has stood the test of time to be granted classic status. It would have been easy to just overload these movies with all the material available in Tolkien’s books, but Peter Jackson and his team covered it perfectly. One of my earliest memories is being with my friends at primary school and just being completely obsessed with these films in the early 2000’s. My favourite out of these 3 films is probably Fellowship, but Two Towers and Return of the King are still just incredible.
#11 – #30
12. Django Unchained
13. The Drop
14. Gone Girl
15. The Place Beyond the Pines
17. Ill Manors
19. District 9
20. 10 Things I Hate About You
22. The Wolf of Wall Street
24. Hacksaw Ridge
25. The Silence of The Lambs
26. Donnie Darko
27. Public Enemies
28. 8 Mile
30. Pineapple Express