The Talk Film Society Writers Select Their Personal Top 10 Films of All Time

The Talk Film Society Writers Select Their Personal Top 10 Films of All Time

Making a best-of list is hard. We really want to apologize for asking our readers and followers on Twitter to rank their Top 25 of all time for our #TFS100 list. To make up for that, we asked ourselves individually what 10 films we hold above all others and we wrote a few words about each one. Here are our Top 10 films of all time. 

1. Aliens (1986)

A flawless FX film. Ripley was special after film one, but this cemented her brilliance forever.

2. Do The Right Thing (1989)

One of the greatest American films ever put to celluloid. Painful and important but, most importantly, it is timeless.

3. Hard Boiled (1992)

Charismatic to its core, Hard Boiled is the action symphony all others want to come close to. Best action I have put into my eyes thus far.

4. La Haine (1995)

Black and white cinematography with a ton of film history driving it. Kids versus police never looked so great. Oh, it’s sad, too.

5. Streets of Fire (1984)

The greatest fable ever put on the big screen because it’s fueled by Rock 'n' Roll and exists in another dimension. Pure cinema. 

6. Raider of the Lost Ark (1981)

Look long and hard at my Twitter avatar. This film owns you from frame one. Inspired adventure that never loses steam.

7. Blade Runner (1982)

Beautiful. A perfect vision of a terrible future with many "cuts" to hate and debate about.

8. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

The structure of this film is perfection served slowly. Edited and shot with passion. 

9. Miller’s Crossing (1990)

Script alone is why it’s on my list. This film is a monster with actors nailing the Coens' meter. My favorite gangster picture and Coen brothers film.

10.  Return of the Jedi (1983)

I know Star Wars and Empire are better, but I saw Return of the Jedi first. It gave me a permanent sweet tooth for FX-driven cinema. Rancor (I know he’s not that big) was my gateway to Kaiju cinema too.


- Rockie Juarez

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)

On a technical level, the comic book adaptation has Edgar Wright playing with just about every filmmaking tool at his disposal at a purposive and fun level. Personally, I associate the film with growing up in my twenties and not knowing exactly how to deal with love. It may sound odd, but above all other films, this one is a part of me. 

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

I try and play this on my birthday each year. Few films capture aging and mortality as well as this. It also helps this is my favorite action adventure film set in space. I mean, if you're not at all moved by that ending, I don't know what to do with you. 

The Departed (2006)

Yes, there are other Scorsese films that are better, but for me The Departed has everything I love about Scorsese in a film that is immensely rewatchable, thrilling, and proof that Scorsese hasn't lost a bit of his edge in this late stage of his career. 

Batman Returns (1992)

Tim Burton's best movie. The best comic book movie. It's amazing how much is going on in this summer blockbuster. A tale about split personalities and a love story set against a horrific backdrop.  

Jaws (1975)

The movie that got me into movies. Spielberg made the best out of a nightmare shoot and gave us the best summer movie of all time. 

The Night of the Hunter (1955)

A children's bedtime story that pits good versus evil. The black and white cinematography is the best I've ever seen, featuring images on film that have been engraved in my mind forever. 

Persona (1966)

I have only seen this movie once, and I can safely say it's one of cinema's greatest achievements. Usually it takes me years to rank something as "one my favorites" but there's no denying the power of Ingmar Bergman's masterpiece.

Modern Times (1936)

Chaplin's final film as his cherished character The Tramp features him experimenting with the medium, a transition point as he went into his talkie era. The film is as touching and heartfelt as any other Tramp picture, but it proves to be the perfect finale to cinema's loveable vagabond. 

Die Hard (1988)

An action masterpiece. If you know me personally, you know how much I love this thing. I devoted more than a year trying to get this into the National Film Registry. It's not there yet, but one day, I know for sure it'll make its way alongside other American classic on that list.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)

Sergio Leone only directed a fistful (heh) of films, but each and everyone one showcased the director's iconic take on the Western. But, for me, no other is a electrifying as this. Also, I can make the case for "Ecstacy of Gold" being the best musical track in film history.

- Marcelo Pico

Titanic (1997)

James Cameron, noted hack writer, crafted a story that explores the universal ideas of young love, living in the moment and making your own story out of life — and then doubles down the stakes with the most lusciously crafted tale of survival and action committed to film ever. Fight me if you disagree.

Metropolis (1927)

Fritz Lang didn’t simply lay the foundation for science fiction in Metropolis — the genre was conjured in his art work, fully formed to stand between the questions and traditions of our past and how they will shape our future.

Do The Right Thing (1989)

For a film to remain artistically relevant over 30 years is a feat. For Do The Right Thing to remain socially relevant, an in-our-face reminder of the shortcoming of social progress, is astonishing.

The Apartment (1960)

The Apartment bridges two eras, the studio system era that allows for a meticulously crafted world and the post-studio system era of personal and auteur filmmaking. Billy Wilder is able to take these two movements and craft a sweet and bitter tale.

Pulp Fiction (1994)

Pulp Fiction launched a thousand imitators who felt the secret was simply a disjointed storyline, a lot of fast paced dialogue and an over the hill star. But the secret to QT’s power wasn’t the parts, but how he uses them to pull emotion and warmth from the most detestable criminal's you’d ever want to emulate.

The General (1926)

An enthralling adventure, a virtuous hero, death defying stunts, hilarious comedic timing — and then doing it all again on the ride back. The General isn’t signature Buster Keaton, it’s his distilled determination.

The Searchers (1956)

Nominally a straightforward Western, the subtle subversiveness of racism, PTSD and prideful determination are skillfully juxtaposed by John Ford at his cinematic height.

Modern Times (1936)

The way Paulette Goddard looks when she’s describing their future has ruined me for all other women forever.

The Red Shoes (1948)

There are many movies about the pursuit of perfection and how it drives people insane — none look as lushly beautiful or blur the lines between the reality and the fantasy as The Red Shoes does...

Barton Fink (1991)

...I mean, Barton Fink comes pretty close, I guess.

- Nick Isaac

Look, they’re my favorites. MY favorites. They’re not “the best”, they are just films I love. Sue me. The top three are always my top three, they might just shift positions.

Deep Red (1975)

Yeah, so what if Argento plots don’t make sense, I don’t care. This movie rocks the cock.

Le Samourai (1967)

No one does cool like Melville and Delon. If you don’t want to have sex with Delon, what is even wrong with you?

Miller’s Crossing (1990)

The best Coen brothers film, and most of you don’t want to admit it. I get it. I’ll do it for you.

400 Blows (1959)

Like Blue Velvet, this film was life changing for me upon first viewing.

Phantom of the Paradise (1974)

Beef: "Man, you better get yourself a castrato for this, 'cause it's a little out of my range."
Swan: "Something bothering you, Beef?"
Beef: "Swan, this was scored for a chick. I'm not doing it in drag."
Swan: "You can sing it better than any bitch."
Beef: "You don't know how right you are, Goliath."

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970)

Any screenplay (written by Roger Ebert, no less) containing the words “’Ere this night does wane, you will drink the black sperm of my vengeance!” is aces in my book.

The Last American Virgin (1982)

What starts out as a typical '80s teen movie punches you in the face at the end. One of the best soundtracks ever. Ever.

Boogie Nights (1997)

PTA’s entire oeuvre (look it up, kids) is golden, but this one is my favorite by a lot. Every moment is perfect.

Some Kind of Wonderful (1987)

I relate to this movie so hard. I was Watts in high school. I will never tire of rewatching this one.

Velvet Goldmine (1998)

Great music, Christian Bale, and Ewan McGregor? Are you kidding me? Get in my eyeballs every time.

Honorable mentions: Punisher: War Zone, To Sir, with Love, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and about a dozen others. This shit is HARD.

- Sarah Jane

1. Ikiru (1952)

Kurosawa's delicate view of humanity is at its most touching in Ikiru, telling a story of a frail man nearing the end of his life. The impact isn't limited to human suffering because Kurosawa also presents something so much more thoughtful, and we are left with a question about what we do with our own lives.

2. A Brighter Summer Day (1991)

Edward Yang's sprawling four-hour epic is one that doesn't waste a single second of its time, meditating upon the search for identity in a story about the free-spiritedness of youth in rebellion. 

3. Nashville (1975)

Altman's finest film shows America as it was and still is; with so many ambitions coming out back and forth, the nation is a mess. And it's the most beautiful sort of mess, because we know what America wants to think, "It Don't Worry Me."

4. Magnolia (1999)

Paul Thomas Anderson at his most indulgent, a sprawling three-hour mosiac about searching for happiness. At a young age, Magnolia broadened my own eye for cinema. Also, Aimee Mann is the first musician I actively followed after getting into films.

5. Persona (1966)

In only around 80 minutes, Ingmar Bergman created one of the most meditative pieces of cinema ever crafted, I'm still afraid to touch it because I don’t know if I fully can grasp what it means.

6. Don't Look Now (1973)

From the many horror films I've seen, this is the one that scares me most. It scares me because of the uncertainty of events that shroud us, just as it also tells of a tragic downward spiral into madness after grief.

7. The 400 Blows (1959)

Another film to which I owe a lot to for expanding my horizons with foreign cinema, but also one that remains an experience that's most unforgettable. In Antoine Doinel, I didn't see a young Jean-Pierre Léaud playing an angsty boy, what I saw was a truly misunderstood human being, suffering at the hands of authority.

8. The Graduate (1967)

Yet another coming-of-age tale about authority and its effect on another generation, but perhaps a funnier way of looking at it. 

9. Tokyo Story (1953)

Yasujiro Ozu has always made films from the heart, capturing the beauty of life by placing the viewers up close with people he knew so dearly. And in that sense, Tokyo Story isn't a film from the heart, it is that heart itself.

10. Only Angels Have Wings (1939)

If there was ever any American filmmaker I loved most from the classical era period of Hollywood, Howard Hawks is always the first that comes to mind. And knowing the many genres he can work with, comedy, drama, action, romance – Only Angels Have Wings is the perfect blend of everything; and it's all I would ever want from a film in general.

- Jaime Rebanal

Vertigo (1958)

Alfred Hitchcock’s swirling, loopy masterpiece is the film that seems to open up to me even more every time I see it. I love the music, the acting, the costumes, the direction, and the writing.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)

The sun-kissed glamor of Barcelona complements the star power and themes of doubt, lust, romance, and art quite well in this Woody Allen comedy.

The Red Shoes (1948)

Professional obsession and romantic love are pit against each other in this dreamy, trippy ballet drama. The central ballet is surreal and nightmarish, with sharp editing to make it appreciably jarring.

Belle de Jour (1967)

Catherine Deneuve stars as the bored housewife who moonlights (or rather sunlights) as a hooker during the day. Juggling between being absurd and menacing, the film is a satirical delight.

Pride & Prejudice (2005)

Keira Knightley makes for an endearingly prideful Lizzie Bennett’s in Joe Wright’s debut film. With a roving camera and sweeping score, this comedy of manners feels timeless.

Devdas (2002)

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s elegant melodrama was a groundbreaking film with its dizzying camerawork and lavish design. The performances, the music, and the choreography serve the themes of classism and hypocrisy to make an enduring film.

Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Ang Lee is an incredibly diverse filmmaker and his take on Jane Austen is gorgeous to behold. His light directorial touch and eye for specific human interactions bring the film to modern times.

West Side Story (1961)

This movie musical is really special, bringing together theatricality and a cinematic flair to create a heartstopping and heartbreaking story about love, oppression, and senseless violence.

Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Roman Polanski’s horror classic isn’t just a scarefest, but an indictment of patriarchy that foreshadows second-wave feminism. The film features astounding performances from Mia Farrow and her supporting cast.

Volver (2006)

Pedro Almodóvar is a master of melodrama, and he is one of the few directors who truly understands the complexity of the genre. Penelope Cruz delivers the performance of her career.

- Manish Mathur

10. Citizen Kane (1941)

It’s tempting to turn down anything so roundly and objectively considered “the best”, but Kane really is that good. The foundations of modern cinema are here, in an intricately-told tale that still feels effortless, engaging, and relevant to this day.

9. American Psycho (2000)

Harron and Turner transform the squicky sensationalism of Bret Easton Ellis’s novel into a pitch-perfect satire of the hollow heart within the faceless machine of white male capitalism.

8. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Fury Road is, simply, the most structurally-perfect action film I’ve ever seen, like a Swiss watch of visionary world-building, designed to remind us what it means to be human in a cruel world.

7. Jurassic Park (1993)

With the giant pop culture footprint left by Jurassic Park, it’s easy to forget that it’s not just a rousing adventure tale, it’s also a story about well-rounded characters facing their inability to control their world and their relationships.

6. Fargo (1996)

As someone born and raised in the North Dakota/Minnesota region, the Coens’ Midwestern Noir masterpiece resonates with me personally, not only in its flawless encapsulation of the isolated landscape, but in its exploration of how low a man’s stoic pride can sink him.

5. The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

In one of the earliest instances of a studio picture feeling truly subversive, James Whale seized the creative clout afforded him by the success of Frankenstein to craft a twisted, campy romp that makes better use of the iconic trappings of the Universal Monster classics than any other.

4. The Shining (1980)

An infinitely fascinating puzzle box of a film, The Shining works not just because it refuses to give us definitive answers, but because its horror is that of the dark heart of America.

3. Jaws (1975)

The movie that first made me love movies, its primal tension captivated me as a child and its depiction of a man desperate to do the right thing compels me as an adult.

2. Mulholland Drive (2001)

The appeal of David Lynch’s work is that his stories are puzzles not of ideas, but of emotions. There is maybe no better example of this strength than Mulholland Drive, with its desperate dream-logic escape from heartbreak and its reverence for the power of illusion.

1. Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990)

If a Top Ten list is meant to reflect the personal impact each movie has had on our lives, Gremlins 2 will reign supreme on my own ranking forever. Equal parts celebration and skewering of film itself, its frame-breaking sense of anarchic fun blew my young mind and fueled my creative drive.

- Andrew Ihla

1. Chasing Amy (1997)

One of the only movies I've ever seen that understands sex as a spectrum. Smith's most grown-up work is one that I watched nearly every week in my teenage years and contains three of my favorite performances in all of film.

2. Apocalypse Now Redux (1979/2001)

The most haunting war movie ever made.

3. Do the Right Thing (1989)

One of Spike Lee's most successful visions. More necessary today than ever before.

4. Halloween (1978)

A perfect horror film. Among the best scores ever composed.

5. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

The rare childhood favorite that plays better today than it did then.

6. Pulp Fiction (1994)

Tarantino is a treasure, and his breakout international hit is still a breath of fresh air.

7. An American Werewolf In London (1981)

The horror-comedy usually leans more heavily towards jokes than scares, but this classic manages to do both perfectly.

8. The Place Beyond the Pines (2012)

A deeply moving epic about the relationship between fathers and sons. I saw this the weekend it opened and as soon as it ended I applied and got a job at that theatre because I knew I needed to be around movies.

9. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992)

This is a very recent development, but David Lynch is my favorite director. Fire Walk With Me is my favorite of his I've seen so far; an ugly, mean, trance-inducing work that thrills, speaking as a big fan of the show.

10. Drag Me To Hell (2009)

Sam Raimi's return to form is one of the most exciting experiences I've ever had in a theatre. At 14 it scared the hell out of me and left me a horror fan for life.

- Marcus Irving

1. Alien (1979)

Possibly Ridley Scott’s best effort behind the camera and the reason he’s my favorite filmmaker, almost 40 years after its initial release, Alien is still effective. Dripping with a constant sense of dread and a production design that most other pictures would kill for, it’s long been my favorite film.

2. The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)

A beautiful look at our shared love of cinema and how it can be used as a form of escape. Woody Allen’s 1985 classic quickly became a favorite of mine a few years back. Featuring a great Mia Farrow performance, this NJ-based fairy tale is one for the ages that every lover of film should have on their radar.

3. Blade Runner: The Final Cut (1982/2007)

I had absolutely loved Blade Runner ever since I saw the Director’s Cut when I was in middle school, but it finally took Ridley Scott’s Final Cut to make it an all-timer for me. For a film whose aesthetic has been copied, even unknowingly, for decades, it’s insane how impactful this neo-noir continues to be.

4. All That Jazz (1979)

Without a doubt Bob Fosse’s best and most personal film, 1979’s All That Jazz is another picture that became a personal favorite shortly after seeing it. The editing here is next level and way ahead of its time, but that’s not the only reason it’s one of my favorites — the autobiographical nature and powerhouse performances are my real takeaways.

5. A Single Man (2009)

Tom Ford’s debut feature, a story of finding your way after a devastating loss, speaks to me on a personal level, and is one of the better debuts in cinematic history. Colin Firth knocks it out of the park, playing a middle-aged homosexual professor, with such a clarity that it’s impossible to ignore.

6. The Insider (1999)

The films of Michael Mann populate most of my personal canon, but 1999’s The Insider towers above all else in my estimation, as it was my first exposure to the filmmaker. One of the best journalism films out there, Mann turns the 60 Minutes newsroom into a veritable shootout, his dialogue hitting just as hard as the bullets in Heat.

7. Eyes Wide Shut (1979)

Stanley Kubrick’s final film doubles as both an intense thriller and as a devastating look at the game of marriage. Featuring career-best work from real life couple (at the time) Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, this dreamlike mystery is my favorite film from one of my favorite filmmakers.

8. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

Fun story, when I was a kid I actively avoided Close Encounters of the Third Kind because, not having an easy way to look it up, I was certain that I needed to see both The First Kind and The Second Kind to really enjoy it. Obviously I was way off base, seeing as how those two films don’t exist, but I was in for a huge treat when I finally saw this Steven Spielberg masterpiece. Featuring Richard Dreyfuss at the height of his powers, this tale (one of the rare times Spielberg directed one of his own screenplays) of a man obsessed with alien life, is also one of Spielberg’s best.

9. Halloween (1978)

John Carpenter’s 1978 classic has stuck with me over the years as my favorite in the slasher genre, still being as effective no matter what has come after it. The simplicity of the story is what sells it for me —  a group of high school girls are hunted by a masked killer on the spookiest night of the year. It’s this basic conceit that opened it up to numerous copycats but nothing will ever top it for me.

10. Cloud Atlas (2012)

A sprawling epic that crosses both time and space, this effort by the Wachowski’s also is their most personal film. Adapted from an “impossible to film” novel, Cloud Atlas is everything a movie can and should be — featuring a cast that acts almost as a theatre troupe with actors taking on multiple roles and tackling themes which are at once universal and intimate. It’s a once in a lifetime experience for a big budget movie and one that unfortunately won't be attempted again for a long while.

 - Matt Curione 

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1 (2010)

Deathly Hallows — Part 1 is, for me, the emotional goodbye to the world of Harry Potter, a franchise that has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. While there are technically more competent films in the series, and the eighth puts a satisfying end cap on the series, I personally love Part 1 more due to the character work done in it. Plus, the dance scene set to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds is the best moment in the entire series, hands down.

2. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2003)

The Fellowship of the Ring came out when I was seven years old, and from the first trailer I was smitten. I was so obsessed with the idea of this film alone that I read the book in order to convince my parents to let me see it. I spent weekend after weekend watching the entire series on DVD, but I always loved the group dynamic and straightforward nature of the quest in Fellowship. The other next two films turn into war films primarily, but Fellowship is more focused on the fantasy and world-building aspects, which I have always enjoyed more.

3. Casino Royale (2006)

I’ve been a fairly large Bond fan my whole life, but Casino Royale was the first one that I managed to see entirely from start to finish, as I had seen all the other films in chunks on TV, out of context. I love every second of Craig’s Bond debut; a tight, slim, pacey spy thriller that successfully brings the franchise into a serious post-Bourne world. Casino Royale perfectly grounds Bond in a realistic world, one without space lasers, exploding pens, or secret volcano bases, and the film is a perfect execution of that idea.

4. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

The Grand Budapest Hotel is one of two films that rocketed onto this list after a single viewing. Every single time I watch this film, I find myself marveling at everything on screen. The modelwork, costuming, colors, cinematography, aspect ratios; everything about this film is a joy to behold. This is pure cinematic comfort food for me, and I go back to it every time I need a pick me up.

5. The Babadook (2014)

This is the film that really got me interested in horror as a genre. The Babadook works both as a simple monster/possession movie and as a depression allegory, which is what grabbed my attention in the first place. I love this film to pieces for being immensely scary the first time through, and more and more interesting upon each subsequent viewing (I’m up to about 8 now).

6. The Great Escape (1963)

The Great Escape is one of the first movies my dad showed me outside of Disney films. This film boasts a massive and incredible ensemble cast, portraying compelling and likable prisoners of war and appropriately dislikable Nazis. My dad’s a pretty big WWII film fan, and showed me everything from Midway to Hogan’s Heroes, but nothing struck me in the same way that The Great Escape did, and still does, solely because the characters are so endearing.

7. Jurassic Park (1993)

In case it isn’t obvious at this point, most of this list is comprised of films that were important to my childhood. I adore Jurassic Park for two simple reasons: the characters are likable and the dinosaurs are awesome to watch.

8. Time Bandits (1981)

This was my sick day movie as a kid, thanks to my dad again. I was familiar with Gilliam’s sensibilities from his Monty Python animations, but didn’t connect the dots as a child, and was therefore baffled that something as strange as Time Bandits was allowed to exist outside of animation. The film oozes with childlike wonder, and the whole thing feels like something a group of children would come up with playing together outside. Whenever I feel like my imagination is stagnating at all, I pop on Time Bandits for a quick jumpstart.

9. Gone Girl (2014)

As David Fincher is my favorite director currently working, I’d be remiss not to include at least one of his films on this list. Honestly, any Fincher could fit on this list, but I think Gone Girl is the perfection of his detail obsessed style of filmmaking. Every action in the film flows smoothly from one to the other, and the big twist halfway through can be predicted if the viewer knows where to look. No part of this film is even remotely out of place, and I love how precise every aspect of every frame is.

10. Logan (2017)

Logan is the biggest surprise on this list for me. The film reduced me to a weeping mess in the theater by the end, and struck a chord with me that I was never expecting. Jackman’s Wolverine has been a constant presence in my cinematic life, and this goodbye to the character felt entirely earned. I love every frame of this film, and fully expect it to climb higher up my list on further viewings.

- Harrison Brockwell

1. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)

Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger are capable of making movies that are about as close to perfect as I can imagine. Defying categorization is a trademark of a quality, here, The Archer’s commit to an epic of love, friendship and war but convey so much more in the process. Poignant and whimsical, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp is a highpoint of the medium

2. Alien (1979)

Ridley Scott transcends genre and stylistic conventions in what is a hallmark in cinema; to evoke a cliche, they don’t make them like this anymore. Even Ridley Scott isn’t capable of surpassing the Alien series when revisiting his creation, but it always stands as a fixture of great movie making.

3. Carlos (2010)

From the most exciting filmmaker working in film today, Olivier Assayas’ highly ambitious epic deves deep into the world of terrorist cells, revolutionary factions, hijackings, bombings, assassinations, forged passports, communiques and arms trafficking. Assayas looks at the mechanics of the international underworld that was thriving in the Cold War era as a cultural boiling pot anchored by a magnetic performance by Edgar Ramirez.

4. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

From the opening credits, Polanski’s chiller is already an unnerving picture, but there’s no way to prepare for the dizzying array of satanic imagery paranoia and darkly comic currents flowing throughout Rosemary’s Baby. Decades later, the film is still a pillar in horror cinema and is one of the most substantial thrillers ever made.

5. Citizen Kane (1941)

If you ever have doubts about the greatness of Citizen Kane, simply revisit it and all trepidations will be dashed. It’s not a coincidence, everything on screen and Welles’s visionary direction will never fade.

6. McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)

Ever the revisionist, Altman’s West made way for a new kind of filmmaking; the scruffy, hazy and elegiac classic is one of the most atmospheric of American films, with a haunting and unforgettable score from Leonard Cohen.

7. Seven Samurai (1954)

Kurosawa is as specific and diverse as a genre; but Seven Samurai always comes in first for scope, technical prowess, acting and sweeping visual grandeur.

8. Grand Illusion (1937)

Renoir’s contribution to shaping cinema is paramount, and Grand Illusion is one of his finest works. A monumentally human and emotionally powerful tale of war and nationality.

9. Goodfellas (1990)

Quite possibly the most watchable film ever made, Scorsese can pace a film like no other and Goodfellas is the fastest 150 minutes commited to film. It’s an explosive grab bag of everything crime cinema has to offer and it’s a generous helping to boot.

10. Fanny & Alexander (1982)

Bergman’s semi autobiographical tale of the Ekdahl family is a heart rendering fable that captures that perplexing nature of childhood, family and the nature of fate. Fanny & Alexander is a towering achievement, summarizing the directors difficult psychology in a beautiful and genuinely terrifying cathartic vehicle. If you haven’t seen Fanny & Alexander, stop what you’re doing and start with the four-part miniseries version!

- Alex Miller

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