As of 2015, my favourite movies of all time.
These movies make me happier than any others.
They have the directing, writing, and acting I love most.
All GIFs made by me. Please link here if you use ’em.
Click a movie’s title to reach its IMDB page.
1. “Swingers” (1996)
[…] “Swingers” is so successful, both comically and dramatically: it is true not only to the surreal L.A. scene, but also to the people who inhabit it. They’re like young adults everywhere, only with better dialogue, snazzier lingo, and cooler shirts.
A dead-on comic snapshot that will resonate with anyone who’s ever experienced the terrifying and exhilarating world of young, single adulthood.
– Matthew Dobertman (Allmovie.com)
2. “Queen Christina” (1933)
Probably Garbo’s best film, with a haunting performance by the radiant star […]
Love scenes […] are truly memorable, as is the famous final shot. Don’t miss this one.
– Leonard Maltin, film historian and critic
I agree with everything Mr. Maltin wrote in his review of “Queen Christina”, except I’d replace the word “probably” with “definitely”.
3. “Midnight Run” (1988)
Graciously filmed by Martin Brest and imaginatively performed by Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin, the tired concept yields a steady stream of little discoveries and surprising insights that add up to some uncommonly rich comedy.
He doesn’t locate the comedy in the assumed stupidity and vulgarity of his characters, but in the way their surface crudeness masks an inner intelligence and nobility of spirit.
It is impossible to describe the fine, fleeting shadings that De Niro brings to a blunt, obscenity-laden line.
Those rapid, microscopic inflections of joy and despair, pride and anguish, are a large part of the reason that movies exist. These inflections are too small for the stage and too delicate for television.
Brest`s talent lies in his ability to elicit those moments and to find the precise framing and editing necessary to give them maximum impact.
It isn`t a flashy style of direction, but its inconspicuous grace is in the best tradition of American filmmaking: It is the skill of Howard Hawks and Leo McCarey.
The amazing supporting cast […] and perhaps a dozen other bit players […] are allowed to register vivid identities in the briefest of appearances.
This is a comedy of character, in which the humor sneaks up in a surprising response or a reaction that reveals a new, unsuspected level of personality.
Just as the De Niro character is brought against his will to discover his own nobility, so does Brest risk his film in pursuit of the finer thing.
“Midnight Run“ glows.
– Dave Kehr, film critic (Chicago Tribune)
4. “The Whole Town’s Talking” (1935)
Of all John Ford’s films, The Whole Town’s Talking is the most dynamic, brilliant, and funny…dazzling and surpassingly virtuosic…
Edward Robinson’s performance in the double role of Jones and Mannion is not just a brilliant tour de force […] it is one of the summits of film acting […]
The film’s density is achieved by the greatest amount of action in the least amount of time…
The situations jostle each other in a bewildering rhythm, in a species of chaos which mixes logic and illogic, truth and improbableness and, as Alexandre Arnoux said,”The peak of the natural at the very heart of artifice.”
Rapid, alert, wonderfully cut and mounted, supercharged, taut like a spring, it is a work of total perfection in its genre.
It is a minor genre, to be sure, merely a dexterous and witty game. And yet it is a game of a virtuoso who transforms drama into comedy, and juggling the resemblance of two characters, masterfully renews a stock situation treated hundreds of times on stage and screen.
Is it not possible that genius, in a creator, also consists in gathering together all the common places, all the clichés, all the things most used up and worn out everywhere else, in mixing them all together, and producing from them something absolutely new, original, and personal?
– Jean Mitry, film critic and historian
(From book “John Ford: The Man and His Films”)
5. “The Dark Corner” (1946)
When a talented director and a resourceful company of players meet up with a solid story […] then movie-going becomes a particular pleasure.
A tough-fibered, exciting entertainment […]
The trio of authors credited with “The Dark Corner” have not dealt all their cards above board. Their trump is a trick doublecross, but they have worked in that surprise with cunning and logic, so that the scattered story elements all fall together like so many pieces in a well-ordered jigsaw puzzle.
Director Henry Hathaway has drawn superior performances […] And he happily eschewed murky photography for mood effect, using instead a muted and highly evocative musical score.
Fine craftsmanship is very evident throughout “The Dark Corner”, [a] sizzling piece of melodrama.
Bosley Crowther, film critic (The New York Times)
6. “Notorious” (1946)
[“Notorious” is] the right people in the right place in the right roles in front of the camera and behind the camera doing peak work.
It’s everything. It’s a romance, it’s a thriller, it’s a film noir. It’s truly one of the most twisted love stories in the history of Hollywood.
– Stephen Rebello, Author
7. “Before Sunrise” (1995)
[…] Perfect depiction […] at once concrete and intangible, of two people beginning to realize they are falling in love.
[…] The feeling is of sadness and happiness inextricably intermingled […] regret for the separation, but a deep satisfaction in the degree of mutual understanding and intimacy two human beings have achieved in a few hours […]
– Robin Wood, film critic and historian
( From book “Sexual Politics and Narrative Film: Hollywood and Beyond (Film and Culture)” )
8. “Star Trek: First Contact” (1996)
For a kid raised on “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, First Contact was a three-course meal of candy, candy, candy.
[…] Secretly, possibly the purest expression of core Star Trek themes of all the films in the franchise.
Hammered home throughout the film is the optimistic notion of self-improvement for its own sake. Picard and the Enterprise crew represent a future where humanity works together and with others not for material gain, but to better itself.
And the film’s optimistic ending posits a deep willingness to understand differences and cooperate in the pursuit of common goals. […]
It’s a textbook example of how to treat theme in a motion picture.
– Andrew Todd, Writer/Filmmaker (Birth.Movies.Death.)
9. “Lucas” (1986)
There are a half-dozen scenes done so well that they could make short films of their own.
“Lucas” was written and directed by David Seltzer, who obviously has put his heart into the film. He also has used an enormous amount of sensitivity.
In a world where Hollywood has cheapened the teenage years into predictable vulgarity, he has remembered how urgent, how innocent, and how idealistic those years can be.
He has put values into this movie. It is about teenagers who are learning how to be good to each other, to care, and not simply to be filled with egotism, lust and selfishness, which is all most Hollywood movies think teenagers can experience.
“Lucas” is one of the year’s best films, and although its three stars are all teenagers, I doubt if anyone of any age will give more sensitive and effective performances this year.
– Roger Ebert, film critic (Chicago Sun-Times)
10. “Halloween” (1978)
The trio of teenage girls in “Halloween” are victims truly worth caring about.
They speak more intelligent dialogue and are more attractively contemporary than the hundreds of blithering idiots in all the Universal, Columbia, and Paramount Youth films this year.
Yet “Halloween” is a movie of almost unrelieved chills and of violence, conjuring up that unique mix of subliminal threat and contrapuntal physicality employed by Hitchcock.
[Director] Carpenter’s free, eclectic use of the subjective shot is enough to drive purists crazy: he uses it, though, as the basic resource of an unabashedly devious visual labyrinth in which every blank space, curve, and corner poses a threat.
– Tom Allen, film critic (The Village Voice)