Jul 14, 2010

Five Star Cinema

On his blog yesterday, Joe Posnanski listed his Top 100 films of all-time. I was impressed.  Not with the quality of the films he selected, and I would share his views on many of them.  No...I was impressed with simply being able to sit down and come up with a Top 100 list of films.  There are so many to choose from, and the mind sometimes forgets the odd classic here and there.  And I love movies in general, so paring it down to just 100 (or 50 or 20 or, gasp, 10!) would seem to be an impossible task for me.

Then I remembered something.  I'm an obsessive rater.  I'm constantly rating and re-rating films on sites like IMDB.  The rule is: if I look something up on IMDB, I rate it.  That's it.  Easy peasy.  Aha...but there are a lot of films that I've seen that I've never looked up for one reason or another.  And I'm certainly not going to go spend a week doing that now.

Then I remembered something else.  I already have.  Not on IMDB, but on Netflix.  You see, when we first got a Netflix account I spent a weekend going through their database rating everything that I've seen.  Why?  Because they have an internal logic function that reviews what you have rated and comes up with new suggestions all the time.  I have no idea how some of them come up based on what I've seen, but there it is.   The rating system is pretty simple:
  • 1 star = Hated it
  • 2 stars = Didn't like it
  • 3 stars = Liked it
  • 4 stars = Really liked it
  • 5 stars = Loved it

So I went to my Netflix account and simply looked at all my rated titles.  3,771 of them, if you must know.  And I picked the ones that I had rated with 5 stars.  Now, this doesn't mean that I think all of these films are the works of artistic genius.  It's just how I felt in that particular millisecond that I was rating them.  Take the first film on my list...The 13th Warrior.  It's pure cheese and I'm not sure Antonio Banderas is convincing as an Arab nobleman at all, but I love it.  I love anything that plays with mythology and old tales.  So it gets 5 stars in my book.  For the record, I gave it 8 out of 10 stars on IMDB using their rating system. 

I only included theatrical releases here.  No made-for-TV films or television shows. No documentaries either, as I had a bunch of them rated with 5 stars too.   And it made for a nice tidy list of 218 films.  Are they all masterpieces?  No way.  Some of them are not even close.  And I have to believe that there are a bunch that I'm missing.  Especially some of the older titles.  I don't know if Netflix just isn't carrying them or I skipped over them for some reason.  Either way, I'm not going back and re-doing this.  No way.

So feel free to review this huge list and let me know what you think.  Do any of them stand out one way or the other?  Any you have questions about?  Any of these you are dying to see?  Any of these choices that disgust you?  Was this a huge waste of time?  Speak up!

Earl's 218 Five Star Films
  • The 13th Warrior (1999)
  • 300 (2007) 
  • Absence of Malice (1981) 
  • After Hours (1985) 
  • Alien (1979) 
  • Aliens (1986) 
  • Almost Famous (2000) 
  • Amadeus (1984) 
  • American Graffiti (1973) 
  • Armageddon (1998) 
  • Arthur (1981) 
  • As Good As It Gets (1997) 
  • Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) 
  • At Close Range (1986) 
  • Badlands (1973) 
  • Batman Begins (2005) 
  • Best in Show (2000)
  • The Big Lebowski (1998) 
  • The Big Sleep (1946) 
  • Big Trouble in Little China (1986) 
  • The Birdcage (1996) 
  • Black Hawk Down (2001) 
  • Black Snake Moan (2007) 
  • Blade Runner (1982) 
  • Blazing Saddles (1974) 
  • Blue in the Face (1995) 
  • The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) 
  • Braveheart (1995) 
  • Bride of Frankenstein (1935) 
  • Broadcast News (1987) 
  • Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001) Le Pacte des Loups 
  • Bull Durham (1988) 
  • Burn After Reading (2008) 
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) 
  • The Cable Guy (1996) 
  • Casino Royale (2006) 
  • Charlie Wilson's War (2007) 
  • A Christmas Story (2005) 
  • Cinderella Man (2005) 
  • A Clockwork Orange (1971) 
  • Cloverfield (2007) 
  • Cool Hand Luke (1967) 
  • Crimson Tide (1995) 
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) Wu Hu Zang Long 
  • The Crow (1994) 
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) 
  • Dances With Wolves (1990)
  • The Dark Knight Returns (2008) 
  • A Day at the Races (1937) 
  • Dazed and Confused (1993) 
  • Dead Snow (2009) Død Snø 
  • The Dead Zone (1993) 
  • Death at a Funeral (2007) 
  • The Deep (1977) 
  • The Departed (2006) 
  • Desperado (1995) 
  • The Devil's Rejects (2005) 
  • Die Hard (1988) 
  • Diggers (2006) 
  • Diggstown (1992) 
  • Dr. Strangelove (1964) 
  • Eight Men Out (1988) 
  • F/X (1986) 
  • Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) 
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) 
  • A Few Good Men (1992) 
  • Field of Dreams (1989) 
  • Fight Club (1999) 
  • A Fish Called Wanda (1988) 
  • The Fog (1980) 
  • Foul Play (1978) 
  • Frankenstein (1931) 
  • The French Connection (1971) 
  • Frontiers (2007) Frontière(s) 
  • Full Metal Jacket (2007) 
  • Get Shorty (1995) 
  • Ghostbusters (1984) 
  • Ginger Snaps (2000) 
  • Good Morning, Vietman (1987) 
  • Good Night, and Good Luck (2005) 
  • Grosse Pointe Blank (1997) 
  • Groundhog Day (1993) 
  • Halloween (1978) 
  • Hard Boiled (1992) Lat sau san taam 
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) 
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) 
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) 
  • Heat (1995) 
  • Heist (2001) 
  • Hero (2002) Ying Xiong 
  • Hidden Fortress (1958) Kakushi-toride no san-akunin 
  • High Fidelity (2000) 
  • A History of Violence (2005) 
  • Home for the Holidays (1995) 
  • House of Flying Daggers (2004) Shi mian mai fu 
  • The Hunt for Red October (1990) 
  • The Hurt Locker (2008) 
  • The Hustler (1961) 
  • In Bruges (2008) 
  • In the Line of Fire (1993) 
  • In the Valley of Elah (2006) 
  • The In-Laws (1979) 
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) 
  • Inside Man (2006) 
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) 
  • Iron Man (2008) 
  • It Happened One Night (1934) 
  • It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) 
  • It's a Wonderful Life (1946) 
  • Jaws (1975) 
  • Jerry Maguire (1996) 
  • Kill Bill: Volume I (2003) 
  • Kill Bill: Volume II (2004) 
  • A League of Their Own (1992) 
  • Let the Right One In (2008) Låt den rätte komma in 
  • Lethal Weapon (1987) 
  • The Lookout (2007) 
  • Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (2001) 
  • Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003) 
  • Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) 
  • Léon, The Professional (1994)
  • Mad Max (1979) 
  • A Man for All Seasons (1966) 
  • Meatballs (1979) 
  • Michael Clayton (2007) 
  • Midnight Cowboy (1969) 
  • Midnight Run (1988) 
  • The Mist (2007) 
  • Monkey Business (1931) 
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) 
  • Moonstruck (1987) 
  • Murder By Death (1976) 
  • The Natural (1984) 
  • A Night at the Opera (1935) 
  • Nighthawks (1981) 
  • Nil by Mouth (1997) 
  • No Country for Old Men (2007) 
  • Nosferatu (1929) Nosferatu, Eine Symphonie des Grauens 
  • Notting Hill (1999) 
  • O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) 
  • Office Space (1999) 
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) 
  • Ordinary People (1980) 
  • Parenthood (1985) 
  • Payback (1999) 
  • The Philadelphia Story (1940) 
  • Pitch Black (2000) 
  • Platoon (1986) 
  • The Prestige (2006) 
  • Primary Colors (1998) 
  • The Princess Bride (1987) 
  • The Producers (1968) 
  • Psycho (1960) 
  • Pulp Fiction (1994) 
  • Quarantine (2008) 
  • The Quiet Man (1952) 
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) 
  • Rain Man (1988) 
  • Ratatouille (2007) 
  • Remember the Titans (2000) 
  • Reservoir Dogs (1992) 
  • The Road Warrior (1981) 
  • Rocky (1976) 
  • Romper Stomper (1992) 
  • Ronin (1998) 
  • Rounders (1998) 
  • The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) 
  • Runaway Train (1985) 
  • Say Anything (1989) 
  • The Searchers (1956) 
  • Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993) 
  • Serenity (2005) 
  • Seven Samurai (1954) Shichinin no samurai 
  • Sexy Beast (2001) 
  • Shaun of the Dead (2004) 
  • The Shawshank Redemption (1994) 
  • The Shining (1980) 
  • Shortbus (2006) 
  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991) 
  • Silverado (1985) 
  • Sin City (2006) 
  • Sixteen Candles (1984) 
  • Snatch (2000) 
  • Sneakers (1992) 
  • Sorcerer (1977) 
  • Spider-Man 2 (2004) 
  • Stand by Me (1986) 
  • Star Wars: A New Hope (1977) 
  • Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) 
  • The Sting (1973) 
  • Stripes (1981) 
  • Sukiyaki Western Django (2007) 
  • Superbad (2007) 
  • The Terminator (1984) 
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) 
  • The Thing (1982) 
  • This is Spinal Tap (1984) 
  • Three Days of the Condor (1975) 
  • Trainspotting (1996) 
  • Trick 'r Treat (2008) 
  • True Grit (1969) 
  • Unbreakable (2000) 
  • Unforgiven (1992) 
  • The Usual Suspects (1995) 
  • V for Vendetta (2005) 
  • The Warriors (1979) 
  • When Harry Met Sally (1989) 
  • White Heat (1949) 
  • The Wicker Man (1973) 
  • Witness (1985) 
  • The Wizard of Oz (1939) 
  • The World According to Garp (1982) 
  • The Wrestler (2008) 
  • Wyatt Earp (1994) 
  • X2: X-Men United (2003) 
  • Yojimbo (1961) Yojimbo 
  • Young Frankenstein (1974)
Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. 1975 was an AWESOME year for films!


Mrs. Hall said...

i saw clockwork orange whilst need deep in some lsd with a guy who worshipped the film. he loved it so much he had it in his car incase anyone wanted to watch it.

i found the acting a bit predictable. but then again, was a bit altered at the time. Haven't seen it since. Wonder what it would be like seeing it now? hmm.


i think i am developing an conscience about the images now.


thanks a bunch EARL!


Verdant Earl said...

Holly - A Clockwork Orange on LSD, eh? I'd say it was mind-altering enough. And sorry about being your conscience. I felt bad about it afterward.

limpy99 said...

What, no love for the Nicholas Cage "Wicker Man"? What about the bees? Won't someone think of the bees?

And The 13th Warrior is awesome. "They have been...gnawed upon."

Slyde said...

i read the list until i got to GET SHORTY, and then i remembered that you have no fucking clue what you are talking about....

Verdant Earl said...

Limpy - I thought the cast that played the Vikings were awesome. Especially Dennis Storhøi as Herger the Joyous.

Slyde - You know, people who claim to love movies who hate Get Shorty make no sense at all to me. The whole fucking film is about people who love movies! Get Shorty is a perfect film. Travolta is a nob, but Chili Palmer is his best character. Yeah, even better than Vincent Vega.

Heff said...

I could probably sit down and list my favorite 100 female nude scenes in movies, but that's about it.

Suzi Q said...

I was totally expecting a post about that baseball guy that died of a heart attack yesterday from you today...

Verdant Earl said...

Heff - Maybe you should do that...and email it to me, ya know? ;)

Suzi - Ah, no one here really cares about Steinbrenner. I'm a big Yankee fan and I'm kinda indifferent about his passing.

Slyde said...

p.s. i've seen 165 of them in their entirety

Verdant Earl said...

Slyde - I'd be interested in knowing which ones you haven't seen. I'm gonna guess some of the older and/or foreign ones.

white rabbit said...

I'm impressed at Mrs Hall's stamina. I was only stoned when I saw A Clockwork Orange and I was completely freaked at the end by the bit where Malcolm McDowall has his eyes being held open by some contrivance as he cops his aversion therapy as regards violence...

Lots of good stuff in the lsit but...


Hunt for Red October???


Verdant Earl said...

Wabbit - I used to hate Arthur, but it's Gia's favorite comedy and watching it with her has won me over. Now I love it! And I will not defend my love of Hunt for Red October except to say this: Sean Connery as a Russian (sorry...Lithuanian) U-Boat commander with a Scottish accent = big fucking win! I watch it every time it's on.

sybil law said...

Did you know they're redoing Arthur with Russell Brand as Arthur?! WTF?!
Other than that, I like your list, except I don't see The Godfather's 1 and 2 on there. Those would definitely be on my list.

Verdant Earl said...

Sybil - That's funny. After I prepared the list I scanned it to see if there was anything obvious missing. And immediately I thought of The Godfather and The Godfather Part II. Then I went to Netflix and saw that I rated each with 4 out of 5 stars, and for me...that's about right. I know how great they are, but I've never LOVED them like most folks do.

Kat said...

I've seen a lot of the movies you listed there (but i didn't count em like slyde).The ones that lept out at me first were 300 and Oh Brother Where Art Though. 2 utterly fantastic films all around.

Candy's daily Dandy said...

Impressive...I'm embarassed to admit I've only seen a few listed here.

Paticus said...

Nice list, Verdant Dude.
After Hours, Murder By Death and The Warriors! KICKASS!
I think I agree on about 80%. And of the ones we disagree, only a few would we have to argue about.
I think I might have to steal this in some form. :)

Kevin Spencer said...

Wow such an awesome list. Well, apart from the whole Get Shorty thing. I couldn't even get through that.

Verdant Earl said...

Kat - Slyde is a bit anal. In and out of the bedroom...hoooo! O Brother is just fantastic, isn't it?

Candy - Only a few, eh? That's okay. Now you have a list to work from! :)

Paticus - Steal away. Those three you mentioned are three that I've watched many, many, many times. Esp After Hours. My favorite Scorcese film.

Verdant Earl said...

Kevin - Another hater? What the hell?!? Get Shorty rule!

RW said...

I recognize some of these!

marty mankins said...

So many of your 218 are 4 stars on my rating of these movies. 5 stars for me is a lot shorter list, but there's still a few from your list that I deem as incredible.

Kat said...

I rarely watch movies more than once, but Oh brother is one of the exceptions.
Oh and i just noticed A Christmas Story. Also one of my exceptions. I've always wanted to buy one of the leg lamps and put it up at Christmas. Oh and much of the movie was filmed in St. Catherines, Ontario which is close to here. The hubby went to school there. Makes it all the more interesting to watch.

Kat said...

BTW this post makes me want to blog on my other page again. I think I may start with a list of all the movies I've watched more than once. Like your list it wouldn't necessarily mean they were the best, just ones worth seeing again for various reasons...do i dare?

RW said...

I did my top 100 films of all time once. Have to dig up that series again. Treasure of the Sierra Madre made it as greatest movie ever made in my grading system. I'll have to find that.

Verdant Earl said...

RW - Cool. I dig that movie too. Hmmm...didn't make this list. Lemme see...yeah, I only gave it 4 stars. Like I said, my ratings were how I felt about the film in that millisecond.

badgerdaddy said...

After Hours is my favourite Scorsese film too.

There are some odd, odd choices on there. Sneakers?? And dpon't get me started on 13th Warrior, comfortably one of the worst-edited movies I have ever seen. Hated every second of it, and I only watched a few thousand of them.

Nice surprises on there though - Diggstown is a real peach of a film. It's called Midnight Sting over here, and I think it went straight to video. And Amadeus... Just beautiful.

Get Shorty? Amusing in a back-slapping way but horribly over-rated.

Verdant Earl said...

badg - I love Sneakers. Great cast and interesting in low-tech early 90's kinda way. We'll just have to agree to disagree on The 13th Warrior. I know it's not a great film, but I love it. Diggstown/Midnight Sting is awesome! One of the best con movies out there. Get Shorty rules, so politely eff off on that one. ;)

Avitable said...

This is a great idea - your taste in movies really does parallel mine quite a bit. I also like the idea of rating something on IMDB every time I look it up. I'm going to start that.

Verdant Earl said...

Avitable - It finally paid off when it came time to do a Top Movie post. Rating flicks on NetFlix was a bit easier than IMDB, but 10 stars offers more nuance than 5.

Bruce Johnson said...

I would agree with about half of these....the other half I would rate as simply mediocre.