Jeff's Favorite Movies

As of today, I've watched and rated 2,319 movies, assigning each a numerical rating 1 (a waste of life) and 10 (loved it). Of course, this rating took place over many many years and I can't claim that my ratings have been consistent over the long haul; I'm sure that my tastes have changed during this journey. But although I'd like to, I can't watch all 2,319 movies over again to try and be more consistent, so for what it's worth, here is the list of the 60-or-so movies I've rated 9 or 10, followed by the 300-or-so-next-best films I've rated as 8.

I generally favor movies that are heavy in the plot department; there are many movies which are highly regarded on the Internet Movie Database or by critics which I don't like at all. Breathless is one such example. To me, it felt like nothing happened, and I rated it a 4 (I've since re-rated it as 7, because I now better appreciate it's allure, but it's still not a favorite). Even the highly-regarded Citizen Kane falls into that category; I rated it a 7 since although it might have introduced lots of new film techniques and had many interesting perspectives, the plot itself was totally boring to me. I didn't ever really care what "Rosebud" meant, so the rest of the film's goodness was lost on me. So those are two movies that don't quite make it onto my list of favorite movies. If you strongly disagree with both of these non-recommendations, you might as well stop reading here because my tastes don't align with yours. But if you tentatively agree, keep reading.

To rate a movie highly (that is, rate it as if I'd really enjoy watching it again, which is what my rating of 8 means), it has to have at least one of the following: a great plot, gorgeous photography, be a musical, contain beautiful music such as the way Kubrick used music, be a great science-fiction movie, or include anything about Italy, or especially Rome, for which I'm a total slut. I'm not at all adverse to non-American films; many of my 300-or-so-next-best films are black-and-white subtitled films. So if you're still reading and these things also tickle your fancy, here are my favorite 300-or-so movies out of the 2,319 I've watched.

I welcome you to send me an email with any comments on my choices.

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My Favorite 60 or so Movies, listed alphabetically

  1. The Adventures of Robin Hood: This is a movie from my own Dad's childhood, almost 20 years before I was born. Wow, could they ever make a fun movie back then. When you think today's action movies are spectacular, sit down with this one and watch how they did it just as well back then. Plus, you get to enjoy a soundtrack by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, one of my favorite modern composers.
  2. Alien: Terrific sci-fi horror film. A distress signal brings a spacefaring crew to a planet where the horror begins. Be sure to watch this one, and at least the first sequel, Aliens.
  3. The Best Years of Our Lives: Three World War II veterans return home after the war with difficult adjustments to make. This movie touches a lot of people, including me, and shows a time capsule of an America long gone. Plus, geez, that musical score is just delicious.
  4. (subtitled) The Big Parade: In my opinion, this silent film is the best ever made demonstrating the horrors of World War I, especially after the innocence and idylism of the first two acts. Difficult to find, but if you come across it, don't miss it.
  5. The Birds: A classic Hitchcock horror flick. It'll leave a lasting impression on you that you'll contemplate whenever you see an electric power line where a flock of birds are perching. Yikes it maes me shiver just to think about it. Watch this movie!
  6. Blade Runner: The best science-fiction movie ever made. What a spectacular view of the future of Los Angeles, great accompanying sound track by Vangelis, and adaptation of a short story by one of the greatest sci-fi authors ever, Philip K. Dick. One of the last movies made with entirely in-camera effects, before CGI took over.
  7. Blade Runner 2049: The sequel.
  8. (subtitled) Das Boot: Settle down for the slow pace of this movie, with the pay-off that you'll gain an understanding about life in a submarine during wartime. A German U-Boat crew terrorizes British convoys and pays a heavy price for their actions.
  9. Brief Encounter: The story of an affair, proficiently told with beautiful photography, perfect pacing, great acting by two every-people, and accompanied by Rachmaninov's great Second Piano Concerto. Sit down and enjoy 90 minutes of well-told romantic indulgence.
  10. Charade: A young woman’s husband is killed by a small gang who believes he made off with all the loot from their robbery. They assume she has the loot and they now want their fair share, regardless of who gets hurt. Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, and other merely great actors in a who-dunnit with plenty of twists and turns.
  11. (subtitled) Cinema Paradiso: If you're reading this you probably love movies, as I most assuredly do, so you owe it to yourself to watch this love story to the movies. Plus, a thousand bonus points for being an Italian movie.
  12. A Clockwork Orange: Every Kubrick movie is great, but a few are even greater than the others. This one's about violent youth, and society's way to deal with them, with a typically-superb Kubrick soundtrack. (if you haven't already watched every single movie that Stanley Kurbrick directed, you should stop here and watch them all. Every Kubrick movie is exceptional. After you've watched them all, please continue)
  13. Crash: I like movies which weave seamingly-disparate stories into a unified theme, and this one does it superbly, with a compelling soundtrack that builds to the climax.
  14. Donnie Darko: Wierd wierd wierd sci-fi, watch it a few times.
  15. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: Another wierd sci-fi masterpiece. Can you erase someone from your past? Are you sure you want to?
  16. Fargo: Jeez I hate that I like this movie so much, but a lot of people do so I guess it's all right. Crime mystery, great likable cops, terrible aweful murderous criminals, the climactic scene has stuck with me for a long time now, makes me squirm in my chair as I write this. Maybe that's part of what makes a movie great?
  17. Fiddler on the Roof: This one's probably my favorite musical of all time. The songs are fantastic, Topol was born to play the part of Tevye, the other actors are also great, the photography is beautiful, and I can identify with Tevye's loss of control over his children. It's a lesson of humility many of us must learn.
  18. Fight Club: This movie is just so wacked out, so fresh and original, and so much fun to watch over and over, that I've gotta believe that once you watch it it'll become one of your favorites, too.
  19. Forrest Gump: One of the few best movies of all time. We just weave through Forrest's life, the mundane, the improbabilities, the impossibilities, and all the while we admire the plain and simple value of being good.
  20. The Godfather: The life of a New York mafia boss and his sons.
  21. (subtitled) The Great Beauty: You've made it to my absolute favorite movie of all time (so far). It's a love story to Rome, with gorgeous cinematography, an incredible soundtrack, and all-to-brief visits to many of the incredibly beautiful places I love in Rome. I wish I could meet Stefano, who has the keys to all the best places in Rome. And if none of this was enough, this movie has the best, most peaceful closing credits in any movie from any era. This is modern Italian cinema at its very best. Plus, a thousand bonus points just for being an Italian movie. If I've convinced one reader to watch this movie, then I'm happy, because this movie deserves to be watched over and over again.
  22. The Green Mile: A faithful adaptation of a Stephen King book about the inmates and guards on death row. One of the inmates has a special power which the guards discover.
  23. (subtitled) The Hidden Fortress: Peasants, general, princess and lots of gold travel across borders, similar plot to Star Wars (R2D2 and C3P0 help Solo and Skywalker get Princess Leah to safety). Superb comedy, superb direction, love the scene where the generals fight with spears.
  24. Hunt for Red October: A great submarine thriller filled with suspense.
  25. Inception: Top-notch sci-fi with great visuals, and plenty of mind-bending to make it worth several viewings.
  26. Interstellar: Superb sci-fi thriller depicting the search for a new home for humanity after we've finished ruining the Earth due to the poor decisions made during the Trump administration. (I hope I'm wrong about this, but truly fear that the election of this moron is the tipping point)
  27. It Happened One Night: An early romantic comedy from the 1930's that holds up pretty well 80 years later.
  28. It's A Wonderful Life: One of the two best all-time Christmas movies, along with White Christmas (see below). This one beautifully tells the story of a desperate man being shown what the world would have been like without him. Brings tears to my eyes every time I watch it.
  29. The King and I: I just love the songs in this musical. The story is cliche, the acting might not be the best, but wow I do love the music.
  30. King Kong: Great sci-fi, the way it used to be made.
  31. King Kong: A pretty darned good modern remake of the original King Kong.
  32. Koyaanisqatsi: A 90-minute-long music video of time lapse fast motion and extreme slow motion photography with themes of nature, man, and the conflict between them. Accomanied by a Philip Glass score. Highly recommended.
  33. (subtitled) La Dolce Vita: Just a great glimpse of 1960's Rome, the story of a stale reporter attempting to enjoy 'the sweet life', but not really enjoying anything at all. Great Italian music, plus, a thousand bonus points just for being an Italian movie.
  34. Memento: Wow, I've finally found a guy with a worse memory than mine. Q: What happens if you can't remember a thing, and you tell the story backward? A: You get a great movie!
  35. (subtitled) Metropolis: Silent sci-fi film which wrote the book on science fiction in the movies. Watch this film and consider how many of its scenes have been copied over and over again, even still in modern sci-fi movies.
  36. 1917: Two men from the trenches of WWI France are given the assignment of warning troops some distance away to not attack the Germans tomorrow morning since it’s a trap. Amazingly shot in a few no-cut segments which were cleverly blended together to make a movie that looks like it has no cuts at all. The director’s commentary is excellent, explaining a lot about how the movie was made. The cinematographer’s commentary is superb, though, explaining the shots, cameras used, lighting, etc.
  37. North by Northwest: Wow, Hitchcock sure knew how to create a thriller! This one will keep you enthralled from start to finish. If you've never seen it, you're in for a treat!
  38. Once Upon a Time in the West: A spaghetti western with gorgeous photography, beautiful music and soundtrack, and a good-enough story line to keep it interesting. Clear your mind and enjoy the craftsmanship on this this often-slow-paced film.
  39. The Pianist: A terrific holocaust movie that will leave you a changed person. Beware that this will be depressing and disturbing, but it's a film you won't forget.
  40. (subtitled) The Piano Teacher: A young student falls in love with his much older sadistic and masochistic piano teacher.
  41. The Prestige: Watch carefully to this rivalry between two magicians.
  42. (subtitled) Raise the Red Lantern: Wicked treachery between the four wives and servants of a Chinese prince, with the real star of the show being the superb photography, especially of the gorgeous palace.
  43. (subtitled) Rashomon: Conflicting testimony of crimes of rape, murder and robbery are told by the three participants in these actions. Then they are recalled during a pounding rainstorm by three people taking refuge under the Rashomon Gate in 12th-century Kyoto, Japan. They seek to figure out the truth, but are frustrated in this effort. Perhaps each testimony is the truth that each witness would have been proud of? This 1950 Japanese movie, directed by Akira Kurosawa and featuring Toshiro Mifune and Takashi Shimura is a true classic, along with The Seven Samurai. So influential worldwide that the term 'the Rashomon Effect' has come to mean what occurs when an event is given contradictory interpretations by the individuals involved.
  44. Roman Holiday: This one's just the ultimate feel-good romantic comedy for me. I love the scenery, I think I've been everywhere except the police station and inside Joe's apartment, and wow, Audrey Hepburn's first movie! Gregory Peck and her enjoy a romantic weekend in my favorite city.
  45. (subtitled) Run Lola Run: Lola run through Berlin to help her criminal boyfriend, and you gotta love it. Rinse & Repeat. All with fast-paced nearly non-stop action. My favorite non-war-related German movie.
  46. Schindler's List: The very best holocaust movie ever made. You will never forget this one.
  47. (subtitled) A Separation: Superb story of a married Iranian couple in which the wife decides to separate, setting off a chain of events that might destroy her husband. Prepare for intense drama from start to finish.
  48. Se7en: Detectives chase a serial killer who picks his victims according to the seven deadly sins. Terrific thriller. Shocker of an ending.
  49. (subtitled) The Seven Samurai: This is another superb Japanese film directed by Akira Kurosawa and featuring Toshiro Mifune and Takashi Shimura, as is Rashomon. In this one, seven unemployed samurai soldiers are hired in 1587 by a small peasant farming village to defend the village from impending attack by bandits. It took me a few viewings (and listening to the DVD commentary tracks) to understand the Japanese culture and history in this movie, but once I did so the movie advanced from a really fun action movie into a masterpiece. It's been imitated many times, but never bettered.
  50. The Shawshank Redemption: This is one of the very best movies of all time. Based on a Stephen King short story, a man is wrongly convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. The characters he meets and friends he makes there will pull at your heartstrings. Perhaps it's all a bit contrived and unrealistic, but it's a terrific way to spend 2 hours or your life. Or 4, or 6, or...
  51. The Shining: The ultimate horror movie, based on a book by the master of horror, Stephen King.
  52. A Simple Plan: Three guys happen upon a stash of lost cash and decide on a simple plan to keep it for themselves. Things unravel and become less and less simple as time goes on.
  53. Star Wars IV: A New Hope: This, the first movie released in the Star Wars series, will always be the best Star Wars film of all time. Period. It was such a shock to see when it came out; we'd never seen anything like this before. Later we learned that much of this was put together in a computer, and that CGI just continued to improve and get more complex and overwhelming with each new movie; that trend continues today. For the story and the characters and the action in this Star Wars series, this original movie has stood the test of time quite nicely. They even tried copying the story, essentially word for word, in 2015's The Force Awakens, but BB8 is no R2D2, and there wasn't even a Wookie. Watch the original again.
  54. (subtitled) Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans: This silent film tells the story of a farmer and his girlfriend who plan to murder the farmer's wife. Be careful what you wish for! This is a great example of a well-done silent film: the musical soundtrack is perfect, and the story is so well told visually that very few intertitles are needed.
  55. Titanic: Spectacular disaster film meets love story meets standing on the bow of a ship and flying through the air. What could be better? If you're the person who hasn't seen this yet, you should watch it.
  56. To Kill a Mockingbird: A father teaches tolerance to his children by example. If only this lesson had been learned back in 1962 instead of still not yet...
  57. Twelve Angry Men: No color, no special effects, almost completely one setting, but superb acting and great storytelling combine to show how a great movie was made back in the day.
  58. 2001: A Space Odyssey: Stanley Kubrick brought us the ultimate sci-fi movie, filled with spectacular pre-CGI graphics accompanied by a beautiful soundtrack of classical music. This movie above all others gives me a sense of what it might be like to travel through space: breakneck speed in a slow motion reality of what it's really like to fly through the aether. Sit down in your recliner for this one, slow down your heartrate, turn up the volume, and let the beautiful images and sound wash over you as you figure out the storyline.
  59. (subtitled) The Umbrellas of Cherbourg: A musical (actually an OPERA, since all words in this movie are sung, none spoken) about idyllic young love interrupted by separation due to war, and the long-term impact of that separation on it’s young lovers.
  60. Wait Until Dark: This thriller about a blind lady (Audrey Hepburn) and a band of thugs builds ever so slowly into one of the best horror climaxes of all time.
  61. West Side Story: Everybody knows the musical about the Jets against the Sharks, right? Romeo and Juliet in 1960's New York. Great music by Leonard Bernstein, great dancing, great singing.
  62. White Christmas: One of the two greatest Christmas movies of all time, with "It's a Wonderful Life". But the advantage has to go to White Christmas, since it's an upbeat musical. And wow, what a great set of songs (and dances) are in this movie. Two army buddies team up to give their old General a great Christmas, and to find romance and snow in the meantime.
  63. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?: Wow, if there was an opposite of White Christmas, it's this one. A bitter married couple tear each other apart during a night of drinking. Be prepared to be depressed and to hate the characters, but Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton do a heck of a job of acting in this one.
  64. (subtitled) The Young Girls of Rochefort: Superb lighter-than-air pastel-colored musical about 3 couples searching for love in care-free Rochefort, France, during the construction and the weekend of a carnival. Lots of singing and dancing, humor, likable characters, a forward-moving plot, and some really enjoyable music.

In case you agree with my list of favorite movies, here are my 300-or-so-next-best films that you might also enjoy, again listed alphabetically
(The best 34 in this bunch are in bold font)

  1. Ace in the Hole
  2. Advise and Consent
  3. (subtitled) After the Wedding: The owner of a poor orphanage in India tries to obtain funding from a wealthy man in Denmark, and after the wedding of that man's son, everything changes bit by bit.
  4. Airplane!: A slapstick comedy about the happenings on an airplane flight
  5. Aliens: A sequel that's as good as the original!
  6. All Quiet on the Western Front: World War I disillusionment.
  7. All the President's Men: The Watergate scandal
  8. (subtitled) Alphaville: A mix of sci-fi, film-noir, comedy, and over-the-top music
  9. Amadeus: Mozart's life story
  10. American Beauty: Disturbing drama of suburban America
  11. American History X
  12. (subtitled) Amores perros: A Spanish film similar to Crash. Three interwoven stories: a young man who wants to make enough money from dogfighting to steal his brother's wife away, a model who gets in a car accident and falls apart from her husband, and a hired murderer who wants to avoid his last assignment.
  13. Angels & Demons: A thriller at the Vatican
  14. Annie Hall
  15. The Apartment
  16. (subtitled) Apocalypto: I enjoyed the heart-pounding action from minute one through minute 139. There's very little dialog, so the subtitles are pretty easy to keep up with.
  17. Arlington Road: A spy thriller
  18. Arsenic and Old Lace
  19. (subtitled) Ashes and Diamonds
  20. Atonement: The 5-minute steadicam scene of the British retreat from the Germans at Dunkirk is spectacular, but the entire movie is a beautiful masterpiece. Maybe that's why it won an Oscar and was nominated for 6 others?
  21. Avatar: The first great non-gratuitous 3D movie. A fun plot, good morals, bad guys who are easy to hate, and pleasing graphics to boot. Watch it in 3D if you can.
  22. Awakenings
  23. Back to the Future: The classic comedy/sci-fi in which Michael J Fox travels through time in the DeLorean Time Machine that Christopher Lloyd built.
  24. Baraka: Second installment of the art-film trilogy of Chronos and Baraka and Samsara (below), successors to Koyaanisqatsi (one of my top-60). Baraka and Samsara are very similar; Baraka has perhaps more incredibly beautiful scenes; Samsara has perhaps more of a message and is technically better.
  25. (subtitled) The Battle of Algiers: The story of Algerian resistance fighters during their 1950s fight for independence from the French government.
  26. (subtitled) A Beautiful Mind
  27. Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
  28. Being John Malkovich: A puppeteer discovers a portal into John Malkovich’s mind in this very funny and clever movie.
  29. Ben-Hur
  30. (subtitled) The Bicycle Thieves: Great story of the desperation of a man struggling against society in post- WW II Rome.
  31. Big Fish
  32. (subtitled) Black Book
  33. Black Hawk Down: Intense modern war movie about a helicopter shot down during fighting in Somalia.
  34. The Box: Married couple receives the Box with a button inside. Push it and someone dies, you get a million dollars, and by the way your life will become hell.
  35. Breach: An aide in the Pentagon is charged with exposing his boss as a spy.
  36. Breakfast at Tiffany's: Audrey Hepburn falls in love with George Peppard in the New York of 1960.
  37. Bridge of Spies: Spies in cold-war Berlin.
  38. The Bridges of Madison County: All right, maybe it's a glorified soap opera, but it sure did leave a silky milk chocolate taste in my throat.
  39. The Bridge on the River Kwai: Epic tale of rebellion and sabotage by prisoners of war charged with building a bridge for the enemy.
  40. Brigadoon
  41. Bronco Billy: Clint Eastwood leads his ragtag circus ensemble from town to town and crisis to crisis.
  42. The Bucket List: Dying guys Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman decide to see stuff on their bucket lists before death.
  43. The Butterfly Effect
  44. (subtitled) The Captain (Der Hauptmann): In the last days of WW II, a German soldier who is deserting finds an abandoned Captain's uniform. He puts it on to save himself from pursuit, other solders see him and follow him as a leader, and we watch as he commits a series of atrocities as more and more people follow him and no one steps forward strongly enough to stop him.
  45. (subtitled) Carmen: Bizet's opera Carmen features great music and a story involving a soldier who falls into unrequited love.
  46. Carnage
  47. Casablanca
  48. Cinderella Man
  49. (subtitled) Cleo from 5 to 7: Two hours in the life of a gorgeous woman singer in Paris who is awaiting the results of a biopsy, fearful of a cancer diagnosis.
  50. Cloud Atlas
  51. Colossus: The Forbin Project: Those damned computers! Give them superior intelligence and ultimate power -- what could go wrong?
  52. The Conjuring: A modern haunted house / exorcist-like movie.
  53. Conspiracy Theory: Seemingly-crazy and paranoid cab driver Mel Gibson thinks everything around him is evidence of a conspiracy, and he loves Julia Roberts.
  54. Contact: The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence finally detects a signal; one with a difficult message to decode that leads to the journey of a lifetime
  55. Countdown to Zero: A sensible and sobering documentary urging the reduction in nuclear weapons.
  56. (subtitled) Cranes are Flying
  57. Crimson Tide
  58. Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  59. Dancer in the Dark: Wow, I watched this for the first time in December of 2016, and it's the most unique musical I've ever seen (and I've seen a lot of them). I recommend this one very highly if you want a unique instance of the genre, along with some superb music and dancing.
  60. Dark City
  61. The Dark Knight
  62. The Day the Earth Stood Still: One of the great sci-fi films of all time. A space traveller has important news for Earth, but a hostile greeting from humans makes it difficult to deliver.
  63. Deadfall
  64. Deceived
  65. The Devil All the Time: A young boy is surrounded by evil through his entire life with disasterous results.
  66. (subtitled) Les Diaboliques
  67. The Disappearance of Alice Creed
  68. (subtitled) Divorce Italian Style
  69. Dodsworth
  70. Dog Day Afternoon: A suspenseful bank robbery goes bad and becomes a media circus
  71. Dogville: This one offers a fresh way of storytelling, and is worthy of a watch if only to enjoy great art expressed through creative filmmaking. If you have the attention span for this one, there is a nice pay-off.
  72. Don't Breathe: An intense suspenseful thriller / horror movie set in an abandoned neighborhood of Detroit.
  73. (subtitled) Downfall (Der Untergang): Powerful story of Hitler's last days in the bunker, and the surrender of Germany.
  74. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb: Satire about an insane General who orders a squadron of bombers to drop their nuclear weapons on the Soviet Union, and how the politicians, military, and diplomats in the War Room try to either intensify or stop the attack.
  75. Dunkirk
  76. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
  77. Edge of Tomorrow
  78. The 11th hour: A documentary about global warming.
  79. Ender's Game: Children are taught to be battle-ready through game-playing in order to defeat the alien Formics.
  80. The Exorcist: That kid's got the devil in her.
  81. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close: A search for closure after 9/11.
  82. Eye in the Sky: How to deal with civilians during wartime?
  83. Eyes Wide Shut: Kubrick's last film, a married couple plays with fire when they reveal temptation and jealousy.
  84. Fail-Safe: 1960's tale of military’s control of nuclear weapons going wrong. A real thriller.
  85. Falling Down: Michael Douglas, a successful engineer, suddenly snaps.
  86. Femme Fatale: Erotic thriller
  87. (subtitled) Fermat's Room
  88. (subtitled) A Film Unfinished
  89. Finding Vivian Maier: A woman's lifelong street photography is discovered after her death.
  90. Firewall
  91. (subtitled) Floating Weeds: Well-made movie about the leader of a troupe of travelling actors who returns to the city where his illegitimate son and one-time-girlfriend live. The troupe returns there occasionally, where he sees his son, masquerading as an uncle. The son is now grown and falls in love with a girl in the troup. This is Ozu’s remake of his own 1934 silent film ‘A Story of Floating Weeds’ (Floating Weeds means Drifters). This version of the film features superb photographic compositions in every scene, with splashes of color (especially red) in most compositions, especially in the lower-right corner.
  92. The Fly: Superb sci-fi horror movie with great character development, great acting, a love triangle, and a super-intense last half hour. A scientist has developed a teleportation machine that works great for inanimate objects. He must make adjustments to let it work on living flesh.
  93. Forbidden Planet
  94. Forks Over Knives: Meat, Dairy and Heart Disease
  95. Foul Play
  96. Full Metal Jacket: Kubrick's tribute to the harshness of boot camp, the horror of combat, and the effect they can have on their pawns.
  97. Galaxy Quest: Very funny spoof of Star Trek, with a good story line and a nice strong message.
  98. The Game
  99. Gattaca
  100. (subtitled) The General: Very funny silent film, with lots of action, lots of outright humor, and tons of subtle humor in Buster Keaton's acting
  101. Get Out: Daughter entices black boyfriends, then brings them home to meet Mom & Dad, whose job it is to supply new bodies for aging relatives.
  102. Ghost World: Interesting story about a punk rocker and an older lonely dork.
  103. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  104. Gladiator
  105. Gone Girl
  106. The Good Earth
  107. The Good Liar: Swindler old man romances an old rich woman to fool her into giving him her money. Things turn more serious than he’d hoped for.
  108. Good Will Hunting
  109. Grand Canyon: A study in friendships, especially an unlikely one that lasts.
  110. Gravity: An accident on the space station threatens the lives of the astronauts
  111. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
  112. Harvey
  113. (subtitled) Headhunters
  114. (subtitled) High and Low: An employee’s son is kidnapped, and the rich executive boss has to decide whether to pay to have the son recovered. Then the 2nd half of the film deals with the attempt by the police to find the kidnapper and bring him to justice.
  115. His Girl Friday
  116. The History of the World, Part 1
  117. A History of Violence: A small-town family man is visited by people claiming to be from his criminal past
  118. Hotel Rwanda: Compelling story about genocide in Rwanda
  119. The Hurt Locker
  120. I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang: Returning vet looking for a career falls in with bad friends and participates (at gunpoint) in a $5 robbery. He's sentenced to a chain gang, and we follow his life as he tries to rehabilitate himself.
  121. I, Robot
  122. (subtitled) Ikiru: A worker in the bureaucracy of the post- WW II Tokyo city hall with terminal cancer decides to make a contribution to society that will outlast him.
  123. In Bruges: Can murder in a picturesque city be high comedy? Yup.
  124. In Cold Blood: Two drifters murder a rural family because they think that family has a stash of cash in their home, then the police try to catch them.
  125. In the Heat of the Night: A talented black homicide policeman passes through a southern town during the 1960s and is arrested for a murder. He clears himself with the good-old-boy sheriff and goes on to lead the murder investigation, proving the worth of a black man to this town of bigots.
  126. An Inconvenient Truth: The facts of climate change, and what we don't want to do to repair it.
  127. (subtitled) Infernal Affairs: This is the original version of 'The Departed", and is a much tighter film than the remake, being more cinematic, with a great succinct plot. A gangster infiltrates the police and a policeman infiltrates the gang. Each team wants to find and eliminate the traitor.
  128. Inside Man: Can the bank robber walk right out the front door of the bank and get away with it all?
  129. Into the Wild
  130. It: The kids of Derry face Pennywise during summer vacation
  131. (subtitled) La Jetee: The precursor to Twelve Monkeys
  132. Joker: The back-story of the Joker’s life before he became Batman’s arch-enemy.
  133. (subtitled) Kapo: Superb story of a Jewish girl who, with the help of a kind man, outsmarts the Nazis to survive WW II in a work camp.
  134. Kind Hearts and Coronets: Great comedy about a man who’s aristocratic family has snubbed his mother and himself, so he decides to murder them all. Then he is accused of murdering is first love’s husband and while on death row, where he writes his memoirs, including the story of all the murders he really performed.
  135. The Killing: A superb early-Kubrick movie about a heist at a racetrack, what can go right, and what can go wrong.
  136. (subtitled) The King of Kings: Cecil B DeMilles' legendary silent film about Jesus Christ's oppression, death and resurrection.
  137. Kramer vs. Kramer
  138. La La Land: Music and aspiring performers in today's Los Angeles
  139. (subtitled) Last Year at Marienbad: A real brain-twister. Sit back, enjoy the photography, the sounds, the mirrors, the talking, the circles that don't quite return to their starting point, sit forward, hear the sights, fuggetabout figuring it out, ovals. This one's a blast!
  140. The Life of David Gale
  141. Life of Pi
  142. Little Children: Sarah & Brad and their small children, and their spouses and friends, and the town pervert and an ex-town-cop intersect and build to a crashing climax.
  143. (subtitled) The Lives of Others: The East German habit of spying on each other
  144. Lolita: A middle-aged man goes to all lengths to win the heart and the body of a teen-aged girl who is the daughter of a woman who takes him in as a boarder for the summer.
  145. Looper
  146. The Lost Room
  147. (subtitled) Love Me If You Dare: Childhood friends taunt each other through life. The final 15 minutes will leave you reeling.
  148. (subtitled) M
  149. Magnolia
  150. The Maltese Falcon
  151. Man on a Ledge
  152. The Man Who Wasn't There: Superb black-and-white film-noir about barber who bumbles his way into setting off a chain of events which has tragic consequences for everyone involved. Great cast, great acting, great photography. Didn't like the ending, but still, its a great movie.
  153. Man With a Movie Camera: This 1929 silent film is shot by a man wandering around Moscow for a day, contrasting man and machine as he goes. He frequently appears in the film. If you enjoy Koyaanisqatsi, I think you'll enjoy this film, made 53 years earlier but foreshadowing the themes and techniques used in that movie.
  154. Manhattan: A Woody Allen romantic comedy about friends in New York and a midlife crisis.
  155. Marnie: Hitchcock thriller about a man who gets involved with a disturbed woman
  156. Marriage Story: Couple (director and actress in New York plays) with a young child, decides to get divorced. Wife and child move to LA for her to act in a TV show, and the divorce turns ugly.
  157. The Martian: an astronaut stranded on Mars tries to survive.
  158. The Matrix
  159. Men in Black
  160. Minority Report
  161. Mission: Impossible - Fallout
  162. (subtitled) Modern Times: Silent Charlie Chaplin comedy
  163. Moulin Rouge!
  164. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington: The nice-guy (Jimmy Stewart) finishes first for once.
  165. The Music Man: In the early 20th century, Harold Hill poses as a professor of music to con the townspeople of an Iowa town into spending their money to buy musical instruments, uniforms, and music for their children to form a marching band.
  166. My First Mister
  167. My Man Godfrey
  168. My Voyage to Italy: An exposition, by Martin Scorsese, to the Italian films which influenced him and which he loves.
  169. The Next Three Days
  170. Nightcrawler
  171. Ninotchka
  172. No Country for Old Men: Horror chase thriller about a man who discovers a drug transaction gone bad and tries to steal the money he finds on the scene.
  173. Nocturnal Animals
  174. The Notebook: An old man reads his demented wife the notebook that detailed their love.
  175. (subtitled) Le Notti Bianche: Romantic story of a love triangle, with superb filming and compositions, beautiful sound track, and some unforgettable scenes, set in a small neighborhood of Venice.
  176. (subtitled) Nuit et brouillard (Night and Fog): Half-hour sobering holocaust documentary about the Nazi death camps, told by narration over high impact photos and videos of the actual camps
  177. Olive Kitteridge: a great character study that grabbed my interest at the start and held on through the 4 one-hour episodes.
  178. On Golden Pond: Grumpy old grandpa is mellowed out by a month-long visit from his 13-year-old step-grandson.
  179. On the Waterfront: Good story about bad boy Marlin Brando rebelling against the crooked shipping bosses. He gets the babe, too.
  180. (subtitled) Open Your Eyes
  181. Ordinary People
  182. The Painted Veil
  183. (subtitled) Pan's Labyrinth (Laberinto del Fauno)
  184. Paranormal Activity
  185. Particle Fever
  186. (subtitled) The Passion of the Christ
  187. (subtitled) The Past: A man returns from Tehran to Paris at his wife's request for divorce finalization, and walks into a complicated family situation from events of the past year or so.
  188. (subtitled) Pather Panchali: The story of an impoverished family in India at a time of great crisis.
  189. Paths of Glory: Kubrick explores the divide between leaders and workers, in the context of WWI trench warfare. After soldiers take extraordinary losses during a battle and therefore retreat, the general raises charges of cowardice and their commander must defend them in a court martial which might result in executions.
  190. (subtitled) Persona: Gorgeous abstract film something like Last Year At Marienbad in that there is no way to make complete sense of the movie, you can attempt several theories but none of them work correctly to explain the entire film. The closest, for me, is that an insane woman actress, who didn’t want children and wished her newborn son would die, goes crazy, and splits into two personalities who argue the facts of her life to try and reconcile her insanity. Roger Ebert, on the other hand, argues for a literal interpretation: the actress Elizabeth suddenly stops talking in the middle of a play, is committed to a psychiatric hospital, and nursed and cared for by the chatty Alma at a summer house on the water, where the two women somehow merge. Regardless of interpretation, this movie contains many many gorgeous photographic compositions and is an interesting romp through unreality. Plus, we get to watch two beautiful women for 90 minutes.
  191. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of Black Pearl
  192. The Place Beyond the Pines: Relationship between a cop and a robber transfers 15 years later into a relationship between their children
  193. A Place in the Sun
  194. Planet of the Apes
  195. Platoon
  196. (subtitled) Il Postino: The Postman gets an education about poetry, love and friendship.
  197. The Prince and the Pauper
  198. Prisoners
  199. Project Nim
  200. (subtitled) Purple Noon: The original French version of "The Talented Mr Ripley", interesting to see the differences in interpretation of the story. I like both, but probably the American version better.
  201. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  202. The Railway Man
  203. A Raisin in the Sun
  204. The Reader: Young man in Germany is seduced by a 30-year-old woman who turns out to have been a Nazi guard, who is subsequently tried. The movie probes the guilt felt by the after-WWII generation in Germany due to their love for parents, teachers and clergy who they later learned might have done terrible things during the war.
  205. Rear Window: Jimmy Stewart witnesses a murder but has a difficult time proving it
  206. Red River
  207. Red Sparrow: The masochist in me loves the training of this Russian agent.
  208. Reign Over Me
  209. Rendition
  210. Requiem for a Dream
  211. Reservoir Dogs: A jewel theft goes very wrong and the gang members suspect one of them tipped off the cops, in this very brutal film that features great storytelling technique.
  212. (subtitled) The Return: The absent father of two boys returns after 12 years to take them on a fishing trip which exposes his poor fathering skills and abusive personality, and which ends in tragedy and mystery in this contemporary Russian masterpiece.
  213. The Revenant
  214. (subtitled) Rififi: The perfect heist.
  215. The Right Stuff: The heroic story of the 7 original astronauts for NASA
  216. Rocky
  217. The Russians are Coming, the Russians are Coming: A New-England town easily convinces themselves that the Russian sailors who ran aground are actually a deadly invasion force in this excellent comedy
  218. Russian Ark: A single-scene steadicam walk through The Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, Russia
  219. (subtitled) Le Samourai: A hitman evades capture despite the police suspecting his alabis are faked
  220. Samsara: Beautiful third installment of the art-film trilogy of Chronos and Baraka (above) and Samsara, successors to Koyaanisqatsi (one of my top-60). Baraka and Samsara are very similar; Baraka has perhaps more incredibly beautiful scenes; Samsara has perhaps more of a message and is technically better.
  221. Saving Private Ryan: Heroism and sacrifice set over a week of time beginning with the D-Day invasion at Omaha Beach, then searching for a soldier named Private Ryan in order to send him home, and finally helping his platoon defend a strategic bridge from the Germans.
  222. Seance on a Wet Afternoon
  223. The Searchers: Macho John Wayne hunts down the Comanches that captured his niece through Monument Valley
  224. (subtitled) The Secret in their Eyes
  225. Seems Like Old Times
  226. Seven Pounds: Will Smith's character donates his organs to seven deserving people
  227. (subtitled) The Seventh Seal: Crusaders return home, but death is never far behind. The knight valiantly tries to figure things out.
  228. Shadow of a Doubt
  229. The Shape of Water: A cleaning lady at a top-secret government facility falls in love with the sea monster being studied.
  230. (subtitled) Shoah: 9-hour documentary about the Holocaust, told through interviews with witnesses, survivors and perpetrators.
  231. Shop Around the Corner: Jimmy Stewart is a clerk in store in Budapest, and falls in love with a pen pal he writes to, who he learns is a fellow clerk in the store. Lots of good comedy in this feel-good Christmas movie.
  232. Shutter Island
  233. (subtitled) The Silence: Crime thriller about the killing of 2 teenage girls, 23 years apart, in which the wrong man is blamed in the end
  234. The Sixth Sense
  235. (subtitled) Sleep Tight
  236. (subtitled) The Soft Skin: Married middle-aged author meets single young stewardess and they have an affair. They spend more and more time together and this takes a toll on his marriage and also their relationship.
  237. Some Like It Hot
  238. Something the Lord Made
  239. Sophie's Choice
  240. The Sound of Music
  241. Source Code
  242. Spartacus: Kubrick tells the story of Spartacus, a slave of Rome who becomes a gladiator trainee, then escapes the training camp and leads an army of freed gladiators and other slaves in a revolt against a decaying Roman Republic in the 1st century BC.
  243. A Special Day
  244. Speed
  245. Splendor in the Grass
  246. Spring: A young man, down on his luck, visits Italy and has an intense love affair, but then it seems like she changes...
  247. Stagecoach
  248. Stalag 17
  249. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn
  250. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
  251. Star Trek: Superb reboot with tons of action and great humor. Vulcan destroyed by Romulans, Kirk prevents them from destroying Earth too.
  252. Star Trek Beyond
  253. Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back
  254. Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi
  255. Stonehearst Asylum
  256. Strangers on a Train: a Hitchcock thriller – can you be coerced into a murder?
  257. (subtitled) Stray Dog: Excellent Kurosawa detective thriller with a superb view into life in postwar Japan.
  258. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
  259. Synecdoche, New York: Psychotic director of plays has many unusual illnesses and directs a play to end all plays with a cast of thousands in a huge warehouse, rehearsing for several decades while working out the script.
  260. Taking of Pelham 1 2 3
  261. The Talented Mr. Ripley: Tom Ripley is hired by Dickie Greenleaf's father to convince Dickie Greenleaf to come back home from Rome to New York. Things in Italy get complicated.
  262. Taxi Driver: A socially-inept taxi driver deteriorates into a psychopath in his attempt to woo a campaign worker and save a child prostitute, but somehow gets away with it all after being proclaimed a hero in the newspapers.
  263. 10 Cloverfield Lane: A woman is held in a basement without her consent, for her own good (?), and then escapes into a totally different genre of a movie.
  264. Terminator 2: Judgment Day
  265. They Shall Not Grow Old: Stunning documentary made from authentic restored WWI footage with real WWI soldier voice-overs. Trench warfare, the terrible daily life of British soldiers in the war, kids put into an impossible situation, sympathy toward the enemy who also wanted nothing to do with this, the inability of civilians to understand what happened, the list of things this movie is "about" is silly to try to enumerate since there’s just so much in this movie that there is no substitute for watching the movie.
  266. 3:10 to Yuma: (2007)
  267. 3:10 to Yuma: (1957)
  268. (subtitled) Timecrimes
  269. (subtitled) Tristan und Isolde: If you'd like to try out opera, but have always been afraid, then this opera by Wagner, or 1984's Carmen by Bizet would be a great way to dip your toes into the water. Tristan und Isolde if your a bleeding Romantic like me, Carmen if you're not. This particular version of Tristan und Isolde is in great sound, unlike other DVDs of great performances you might find.
  270. True Grit: Feisty girl hires federal marshal to hunt down the man who killed her father.
  271. The Truman Show
  272. Twelve Monkeys: an edge-of-your-seat sci-fi thriller, based upon and greatly expanding La Jetee
  273. 12 years a slave: A free black man is sold into slavery.
  274. 25th Hour
  275. (subtitled) Umberto D
  276. Unknown: Liam Neeson thriller, set in Berlin, with Bruno Ganz and Sebastian Koch. A scientist and his wife travel to Berlin so he can make a presentation at a conference. He is separated from his wife and another man takes his place; his wife disavows knowing the scientist; and then we learn there’s a lot more at stake here than a scientific presentation.
  277. The Usual Suspects
  278. V for Vendetta
  279. Valkyrie
  280. (subtitled) A Very Long Engagement
  281. Water for Elephants
  282. What Dreams May Come
  283. (subtitled) The White Sheik: An early Fellini comedy, in which a newlywed wife leaves her husband for an hour to meet a movie star she admires, until it turns into much more than an hour.
  284. (subtitled) Wild Tales: An excellent Argentinian movie made of 6 unrelated short stories about people under extreme stress.
  285. Witness for the Prosecution: Beautifully made crime/courtroom mystery with great acting and a few real twists at the end
  286. The Wizard of Oz
  287. (subtitled) Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

And finally, a few TV series which I've especially enjoyed, again in alphabetical order

  1. 24
  2. Alias
  3. All in the Family
  4. The Andy Griffiths Show
  5. The Americans: Spy thriller series about a husband-and-wife team of Russian spies implanted into a Washington DC neighborhood.
  6. Black Mirror: a modern Twilight Zone
  7. Bloodline: Watch the first and second season, third season is terrible
  8. Breaking Bad: The best TV drama series ever, watch it start to end, it's the best series that's ever been on TV, IMHO.
  9. Chernobyl: 5-hour HBO documentary about the Chernobyl disaster, how it unfolded, the first responders, the attempt to prevent the disaster from becoming catastrophic, and the trial that uncovered exactly why the disaster happened.
  10. The Crown
  11. (subtitled) Deutschland 83
  12. The Dick Van Dyke Show
  13. Downton Abbey: I can't believe I was suckered into this soap opera, but darn if I don't love every character and wish they were still on my TV set
  14. ER
  15. The Expanse: Season 1 had a great story line and superb effects; shows great promise for a long-term great sci-fi show if they continue
  16. The Fall: Ice Queen policewoman solves the cases of the Belfast Strangler, a serial killer in Belfast who tortures and strangles women, and has been doing so for 15 years.
  17. Fargo
  18. The Good Wife
  19. The Handmaiden's Tale
  20. Green Acres
  21. Homeland: Especially the first 3 or 4 seasons, subsequent seasons are not as intense
  22. House of Cards
  23. I, Claudius: 1000 bonus points for being about the Roman Empire
  24. I Love Lucy
  25. Lost
  26. Lost In Space
  27. M*A*S*H
  28. Man in the High Castle
  29. The Mary Tyler Moore Show
  30. One Strange Rock
  31. Ozark: Another great show along the line of Breaking Bad. Accountant gets involved in money laundering, then has to scramble and get deeper and deeper into drug business trouble to launder enough to save his family.
  32. The Practice
  33. Saturday Night Live: The first several years; after that it faded, IMHO
  34. Schitt's Creek: Very funny comedy series about a wealthy family of eccentric people who lose all their money and have to regroup by moving to the armpit town of Schitt’s Creek, their only remaining asset, which they once bought as a joke. Though the series initially earns your allegiance by virtue of it's comedy, it will make you love and root for its unusual characters, and perhaps teach you a bit of tolerance along the way.
  35. The Sopranos
  36. Star Trek: The Original Series: the best sci-fi ever
  37. Star Trek: The Next Generation: the other absolute best sci-fi ever, or do I have these reversed
  38. Twin Peaks
  39. Vikings
  40. The West Wing

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