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Here's my current top 20. I haven't watched a lot of movies though, so I'm sure I'm leaving a ton out that I simply haven't seen. I've been trying to catch up with Netflix.
2) Godfather II
3) Shawshank Redemption
4) Good Will Hunting
5) O'Brother Where Art Thou?
7) Slumdog Millionaire
9) A Beautiful Mind
10) The Mission
11) L.A. Confidential
12) Mr. Holland's Opus
15) Groundhog Day
16) The Last of the Mohicans
19) When Harry Met Sally
I mean, if you think 40 year old virgin is one of the best comedies ever, you have issues.
I actually watched last night, and it probably shouldn't be on this list. Not ahead of the three movies I have right below it. Observe and Report was better. Office Space was better. I actually forgot about them. I'm actually going to edit that, and remove it. It doesn't belong.
L.A. Confidential added to the list and The 40 Year Old Virgin removed. I made slight changes to the list as well, but nothing big.
God dammit BB continue on with the list or I will stop your unborn children from having a future.
I don't have the entire list completed. I have the general layout, but I have to finish writing it all. I'll post the next 10 in about two minutes. There's a lot of movies from this decade on the next 10. I think all but one or two are from the previous five years. You wont like it anyway.
Originally posted by Scott Wright
I honestly believe Reggie Bush has turned into exactly the type of player I envisioned.
Originally posted by PossibleCabbage
I would like it if there were more successful black Quarterbacks in the NFL...
Originally posted by bearsfan_51
iamcandian lives in a cabin in the Yukon Territory and writes letters to railroad barons about the price of hard tack.
Originally posted by GatorsBullsFan
I could possibly see Matthew Stafford Dropping out of the 1st round
Originally posted by GoRavens
Tahj Boyd has the best fundamentals of any QB in this class, I think his game translates great to the NFL.
Who hasn't seen Forrest Gump? Who doesn't love Forrest Gump? Tom Hanks gives the best performance of his career, and plays one of the most memorable characters ever committed to film. This really isn't much more than one of the most entertaining movies I've ever seen that always keeps me coming back to it and always keeps me laughing. It's a feel good classic with some of the most quotable lines in any movie on this list. Gary Sinise is also great as LT. DANN!!!!!! A rare movie that captures an audience by the masses with a humble and naive character and then lifts us up.
49. L.A. Confidential, 1997. (Curtis Hanson)
I don't know how I left this off the list the first time around. L.A. Confidential is one of the best looking films I've ever seen and the way the use the 1950s set pieces is simply extraordinary. With names like Kevin Spacey and Guy Pearce and Russell Crowe, you would think one of the give the best performance of the film, but I think the best performance comes from James Cromwell. He is a disgusting, slimly little corrupt prick. He's the man that sets the other three leads into motion as they discover the levels of corruption within the police force. The use of 1950s Hollywood invading the lives of LA police officers is both amusing and startling. Kim Basinger is quite possibly the perfect bombshell. The big ending is as good as it gets. Great movie that gradually sucks you in.
48. The Conversation, 1974. (Francis Ford Coppola)
This should be the first crowd pleaser for the wannabe snobby movie buffs... a movie made before I was born. It is however rarely seen on "real best movie lists," but here it is, on mine. Francis Ford Coppola's, The Conversation is one of my favorite character studies of a man I saw so much of myself in. Gene Hackman plays Harry Caul, a private investigator that is invested completely in his work and has little emotional investment to anyone. He's a man incapable of putting his trust into another person's hands, and when he does he's always hurt. We see that with his partner, various women who he has no attachment to, so how is he going to open to someone he actually does care about? Opening up and let his true feeling be known to a woman who he cares about is simply an impossibility. He likes her, he just can't tell her. This is an extremely subtle and subdued performance that only a truly great actor could pull off. Harry promises himself he wont get involved in the mystery behind the eavesdropping, but when he finds out that a murder could be in the works, he can't help himself. He is then left in shambles, and stricken with extreme paranoia resulting in the dismantling and destruction of everything around him. Coppola uses incredible sounds that sends chills down my spine as Hackman has a mental and emotional breakdown. A truly remarkable film from one films legendary directors. This is the first appearance for Francis Ford Coppola on my list, but it wont be his last.
47. 21 Grams, 2003. (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu)
I watched this today and realized once again just how damn great 21 Grams is. It is a near masterpiece. It just misses being a masterpiece because there's one scene that doesn't ring true and crosses over from drama to overly melodramatic. Other than that, it is a technical achievement in editing and story telling. Inarritu's film is depressing, but incredibly well acted and well told. One of my favorite endings to any movie on this list, Inarritu kills the sound and let's the action unfold, and then startles with a shot. It's a gripping film with a tense and suspenseful ending. The narrative is so strong because we get bits and pieces as to how the movie ends, but we desperately and eagerly want know how these pieces come together. Del Toro and Penn are two of my favorite actors and these are two of their better performances. Watts is gut-wrenchingly phenomenal.
46. Mulholland Dr. 2001. (David Lynch)
Mulholland Dr. is Lynch's masterpiece. An incredible film that I still, after at least half a dozen viewings, don't fully understand, and, probably, never will. I kind of like it that way though. This is one of those films that is submerged in dreams and expectations and then contrasted with the dark grim reality of life. This is Naomi Watts second film on my list already, but this is the best performance of her career. She is incredible as a starry-eyed, wannabe actress heading to Los Angelas. Then she turns and plays a person so filled with jealousy, contempt and anger that she is driven to dramatic events and a very dark ending. Mulholland Dr. is a gradually dark, brooding film filled with mystery and intrigue all the way up until the end. Every time I watch it, its like the first time. Just a great movie anchored by one of the very best female acting performances I've ever seen. A haunting mind ****.
45. No Country for Old Men, 2007. (Joel and Ethan Coen)
No Country for Old Men is the first of many films from the incredible year of 2007 that will be on my list, and the first Coen brothers film. If I was talking about pure craftsmanship, this would probably be a lot higher as it's a technical masterpiece with some incredible cinematography and editing. Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin are all terrific as the three lead actors. Jones is pitch-perfect as the veteran Sheriff with a moral complexity to his character that I love to analyze, and also one that I have come to greatly appreciate. Javier Bardem gives one of the best supporting performances of the 00s and will probably never be better. Brolin is excellent as well, but he gives a very understated performance. A great chase film that is expertly made in creating tension and suspense. I also love the ending.
44. The Big Lebowski, 1998. (Joel Coen)
The second Coen brother's film on my list, The Big Lebowski is probably my favorite, although its like splitting hairs with No Country for Old Men. Jeff Bridges captivated me and, ever since I first saw it, hooked me onto White Russians. One of the most memorable characters ever created, "The Dude" is about as perfectly casted and perfectly played as acting gets. John Goodman is great as the overly intense war veteran. Steve Buscemi supports as the sidekick friend that wont shut the **** up. The arch rival Jesus Quintana, played perfectly by the always great, John Turturro, is incredibly hilarious. And just so you all know, "Nobody ***** with the Jesus." This is a true masterpiece.
43. There Will Be Blood, 2007. (Paul Thomas Anderson)
Paul Thomas Anderson is one of my favorite directors and after Scorsese, I think he's probably the second best director out I've ever seen. There Will Be Blood is every bit the masterpiece that it has been made out to be. It's one of the best character studies on my list and who better than Daniel Day-Lewis to play the bigger-than-life, oil tycoon of the early 1920s? Lewis gives a powerhouse performance, and one of the very best of the decade. I'm not sure it is even better than his performance in Gangs of New York. Both are enormous feats that encapsulate some of the most towering figures ever captured on screen. It's one reason why he's the greatest. Anderson uses a haunting score, some beautiful wide-angle lens work, great cinematography and the slow brooding pace its main character deserves. The big gusher scene is one of the best ten minute stretches of film I have ever seen. An utterly fascinating character consumed in blood, greed and oil. I've already seen it over seven times and it only gets better and better with each viewing.
42. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 2004. (Michel Gondry)
One of the few romance films that will be on this list, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind takes a love story and tells it backwards, from the breakup and then realizing and looking back on the memories created. Jim Carrey is both funny and dramatically effective as he gives one of the best performances of his career. Winslet is her usual self as she seems incapable of anything less than a great performance. Incredibly original and fresh, one of the most innovative films on my list. Charlie Kaufman's refreshing script is, even to my own surprise, the only film of his on my top 50 list. Gondry does wonders with the camera and creates a world we can only envision in our wildest dreams.
41. Jarhead, 2005. (Sam Mendes)
Mendes' Jarhead is what I consider his masterpiece and the best war film of the last ten years. Most recognizable for his film, American Beatuy, which just barely missed my top 50, I strongly believe Jarhead to be his crowning achievement. I usually can't stand Jake Gyllenhaal in pretty much anything he does, but here he gives a phenomenally intense performance that goes to depths I never thought he was capable of. This is not full of action, and since it was a war of bombing for 72 hours, there wasn't going to be much action anyways, but Mendes perfectly handles a great script that shows the wait and built in fear of war. Similar to the first half of Full Metal Jacket, Jarhead shows that the preparation of war can be just as damaging to the psyche as war itself. Jarhead is an overlooked masterpiece.
40. Pulp Fiction, 1994. (Quentin Tarantino)
Pulp Fiction is consider Tarantino's masterpiece, although I'm not sure it's a perfect film. I think he's incapable of making a perfect film, because this could have been it. I felt he came relatively close with one-upping himself this past year with Inglorious Basterds, but time and more viewings will tell how I feel about that film. Pulp Fiction is vintage Tarantino. Wrapped in provocative and seemingly endless dialogue, Pulp Fiction is a fascinating film of fascinating characters. I do think this is a flawed film mostly because Bruce Willis overstays his welcome. John Travolta, however, is incredible and Samuel L. Jackson is a bad ************. Uma Thurman plays Marcellus Wallace's (Ving Rhames) wife, Mia, and her only importance to film is to be entertained by Vincent Vega (John Travolta) on a date that's not quite a date. Travolta, for me, is the real stand out. When he's on screen, his scenes, whether Jackson is next to him or not, are full of energy and pulp. He does a lot of listening, some dancing, a lot of banter and offers up a ton of comedic moments. His best scenes are with Uma Thurman when they go to Jackrabbit Slims. This little date, where they talk about nothing of any importance as far plot is concerned, is funny, engrossing and entertaining. I don't know why it never gets old, but it doesn't. The acting between the two is simply outstanding and both were worthy of their Oscar nominations for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress respectively. This section of the film is the strongest of the three, along with "The Bonnie Situation." The writing and acting is superb in both, and pretty much flawless. This date leads to an overdose as Mia takes a line of Vincent's heroine while he's in the bathroom making plans to jerkoff later in the night. The direction here is much in the mold of a graphic Hitchcock film. To add to the suspense the owner of the house counts to three (Something that happens quite a bit in the film). As he slowly counts to three we see all the nervously waiting faces in the entire room (Something Leone would be proud of if it had dragged on ten minutes longer). We get a close-up shot on the needle that's cocked back and ready to strike. We get a close-up on the red dot where the needle needs to hit. It slowly builds the scene and the suspense. Tarantino handles this scene and all the others with a ton of precision and even more confidence. His direction was vastly improved from his previous film, Reservoir Dogs. This is a classic.
39. Fight Club, 1999. (David Fincher)
One of my favorite directors, David Fincher creates a world so dark and so unique that his style matches the tone of Fight Club to utter perfection. This, to me, is Fincher's masterpiece. A lot of people might have differing opinions on what's Fincher's best, but a very underrated work of his, and a film that just barely missed the cut, is Zodiac. Se7en is similar and has more of a cult following, and for good reason, it is a fantastic film, but Zodiac is a near masterpiece itself. The style and look of his films are darkly engrossing. Here, Brad Pitt is as good as ever, which is a big upgrade over his miscast performance in Se7en, one reason why I don't like it as much as most do. Who is Tyler Durden? Brad Pitt is. Can you imagine any other actor pulling this performance off anywhere close to what Pitt does? I cannot. Its like trying to imagine Leonardo DiCaprio playing Patrick Batemen in American Psycho. I can't imagine just how much a failure that film would have been without Chrisitian Bale. Like Bale, Pitt was born to play this role. Fincher handles the ideas of Chuck Palahniuk's original source material to pure perfection. There's one scene that sums up the film better than any other. As the narrator is half asleep, Tyler Durden is talking about his vision of a perfect world... "In the world I see - you are stalking elk through the damp canyon forests around the ruins of Rockefeller Center. You'll wear leather clothes that will last you the rest of your life. You'll climb the wrist-thick kudzu vines that wrap the Sears Tower. And when you look down, you'll see tiny figures pounding corn, laying strips of venison on the empty car pool lane of some abandoned superhighway."
38. Blow, 2001. (Ted Demme)
Blow is simply one of my favorite movies ever made. With that said, this shows just how much Johnny Depp truly frustrates me. I hate that he's constantly taking makeup soaked performances for looney toon characters. Blow and Donnie Brasco are what frustrates me, because he's just so damn good here, we just never see enough of these great dramatic performances he's capable of. Even though his Boston accent is pretty wishy-washy here, to put it nicely, he gives a truly heartbreaking performance. Admittedly, Blow is a bit cliched and formulaic, but its effective every step of the way. It's as much a story of a man attempting to provide and love his daughter as it as a man that rises in the drug trafficking industry. The final moments of the film are incredibly tender and emotionally provoking. A movie that went from a cool gangster film to an emotionally powerful story of a man attempting to change his life for his daughter. This is a true masterpiece.
37. Running Scared, 2006. (Wayne Kramer)
Wayne Kramer is already one of my favorite directors despite his limited work load. With The Cooler and Running Scared, Kramer shows the ability to evoke pure excitement through action or great dialogue. He also got a pretty good performance from Paul Walker, which has never been done before, so that is feat in its own right. The camera work is incredible and gives a very delirious feeling. The lighting, shot design, blocking, shot set-ups, and editing are simply phenomenal. All these touches give the film a tone, texture and mood that makes it all its own. This is not a film that is based upon realism, but surrealism and imagination. Kramer does a phenomenal job in capturing the the tone and attitude of his characters and how we perceive them. Lester "the Pimp" is a cartoon. He's the exact model of how we perceive stereotypical pimps. He talks black, he dresses in a flamboyant manner, he beats women, he's open to any kind of violence and he's completely ruthless. Oleg comes across a homeless man, who looks exactly like the homeless man behind the store in Mulholland Dr. The two pedophiles are seen through opaque glass looking like something straight out of Nosferatu. Kramer has no intention in making these characters real, set in a real city or actual time. The city is so dark and filled with so much evil, that it's unworldly. The majority of these supporting characters are different kinds of evil, and you basically have one family trapped inside a Hellish underworld where they simply don't belong. It's a great fairy tale. I also think Elizabeth Mitchell gives an astonishing performance.
36. Predator, 1987. (John McTiernan)
This is classic B-Moive entertainment and one of my all-time favorite science fiction films. Predator is a pretty astonishing film with some incredible makeup and costume design that holds even to todays standards. Arnold Schwarzenegger is as good here as ever. This isn't the iconic role that made him who he is in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, but this is another great performance from a great action star. Predator takes us into the jungle of Guatemala and impresses upon us one of the greatest creatures ever imagined. The look of the actual Predator is impeccable, and the war between man and alien that ensues is chock-full of great action and hand-to-hand combat against mankind's most impressive human being. The finale and final thirty minutes of the film are utter perfection with some great cinematography. Even awful sequels can't ruin this classic. A great musical score matches a slew great and interesting characters. GET TO THE CHOPPER!!!!
35. Jaws, 1975. (Steven Spielberg)
Spielberg's first film on my list is arguably his best. Jaws is an incredible achievement that plays on the fears of audiences with little more than open water and one of the most recognizable musical scores in the history of cinema. Spielberg does a fantastic job of keeping the shark a secret and showing as little of the shark as actually possible. This holds our attention, because true fear is marked by the unknown and what lies beneath the surface. Robert Shaw gives a career defining performance. He has a highly memorable speech and one of the best movie deaths I've ever seen. Spielberg's direction is nearly flawless, which creates one of the most thrilling films ever made. It is called the first blockbuster. Well, I don't know or care about any of that. It's a masterpiece and incredibly enjoyable.
34. Rocky, 1976. (John Avildsen)
What makes Rocky so great? It is the ultimate story of opportunity and heart, how they meet and the magic that can be created when an underdog is given a chance. Rocky symbolizes everything America is about. No matter who you are, how high or low you are on the totem pole, you can achieve anything. Sylvester Stallone is phenomenal and gives the best acting performance of his career... without question. There is not another actor you could imagine as the Italian Stallion, and since he wrote it, no one knew the character better than Stallone himself. This a triumphant film with an incredible score, phenomenal story and a heart at the center that never stops beating. The greatest thing about this movie, Rocky loses. Instead of going overboard, and what many might call pure fantasy or into Hollywood land, Rocky firmly stays on the ground in realism. This is one of the most inspiring films on this list and one of my favorites. It also has some excellent sequels with great villains... like Drago.
33. Hustle & Flow, 2005. (Craig Brewer)
This movie is so high on my list because I found it to be truly inspirational. This was a movie that I had put off for years, but one day I decided to rent it and give it a shot. Terrence Howard then blew me away with an incredible performance. Hustle & Flow probably isn't for everyone and it does have its flaws, but that doesn't really hold back the kind of impact the film had on me. Basically, this is a film that shows what a man can do that has a passion, some innovation and a little bit of hard work. The message of the film is one of redemption and hope: Even if you're a pimp, hooker, etc, you can change your life around simply by having faith and a dream and working hard. DJay does what he has to do, until he can do what he wants to do. I love this movie.
32. Talk to Me, 2007. (Kasi Lemmons)
At #32 is the criminally underrated masterpiece, Talk to Me. Don Cheadle gives the performance of his career, and, unfortunately, no one's seen it. Now, I have seen multiple movies that dramatize the death of a historical leader, a president, whatever, and we've seen it done a million times, but there is a scene in Talk to Me that makes everything before it look incompetent in attempting what Talk to Me pulls off flawlessly. When Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated, Petey Green goes on the air and talks. The words, the power behind them and, most of all, the performance of Don Cheadle is as great as acting gets. It's one of the most powerful moments in any film I've sen. Chiwetel Ejiofor, who is capable of pure greatness, is also quite impressive as well, but Don Cheadle is so powerful, he nearly blows anyone next to him off the screen. Tarji P. Henson is also great and full of life that lights up the film every time she's on it. This is one of my favorite biopics ever made. Talk to Me will make you laugh in one scene and then cry in the next. It's one of the best films of the decade and the third film on my list from the year 2007.
31. The Sixth Sense, 1999. (M. Night Shyamalan)
M. Night Shyamalan hit a high point in the late 90s and early 00s with The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. Both are his very best films, but The Sixth Sense is undoubtedly his best. This is the ultimate twist movie. It shocks and amazes with such a forceful blindside that I never saw it coming, and still can't get over how I didn't catch it. From what I've heard, I wasn't the only one. A simple story about a kid that sees dead people, the film handles the plot with such care and ambition, as well as balls since it blows the twist midway through the film. Donnie Wahlberg was unrecognizable and simply incredible. Haley Joel Osment is what makes this film so perfect. One of the best performances from a child actor ever given and, without it, this isn't half the movie it attempts to be. And big kudos to Shyamalan for getting a good performance from Bruce Willis as well. I have seen many of his films and he's usually pretty bad, even in Pulp Ficition. Shyamalan got an even better performance from Willis the following year in the aforementioned Unbreakable. My favorite scene is when Haley Joel Osment tells his mother, played incredibly well by Toni Collette, about all his secrets while they sit in traffic because of a deadly accident ahead. A touching a emotionally powerful scene ensues. This is without question a masterpiece.
30. Mystic River, 2003. (Clint Eastwood)
Mystic River is a masterpiece for Clint Eastwood that was an incredible adaptation of a Dennis Lehan novel. The film stars Sean Penn as Jimmy Markum. Penn, who has so many great performances in his career, might give his best here. This is a truly remarkable performance that allows him to dig deep into very emotional scenes and play a ruthless thug in others. He's capable of killing a best friend in one scene and showing the tender moments of a man that loves his daughter the next. Tim Robbins is often times praised for his work here, and he won an Academy Award for it, but I don't think he was anything overtly special. Then I again I hate Tim Robbins, so since I didn't hate him here, that was good enough for me. Mystic River is a depressing film, but one that is so forceful and powerful that it is hard to ignore. Eastwood creates characters we grow to believe in, care for and maybe even hate. I love the ending and thought it was perfectly edited. Laura Linney has an incredible monologue at the end of the film. I'm not sure how many actresses could pull that scene off the way she does.
29. Doubt, 2008. (John Patrick Shanley)
Doubt is one of my favorite movies about priests and nuns, actually it's the only movie I like about priests and nuns. Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Meryl Streep give two of the three best acting performances of 2008 (Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight give the performance of the year, and maybe even the decade, but that film will not be on my list). Doubt is a film completely and totally about the acting for me. There are great scenes and intense battles of words, and it was simply a joy to watch two of screens biggest titans go back and forth on the silver screen. Doubt has one of the most powerful endings I've ever seen and Streep simply goes to another stratosphere with her acting ability. Streep takes a character that has spent her entire life devoting it to God, then brakes down and questions everything she's ever believed in as she says, "I have such doubts." It's such an incredible film with powerful performances. It never once makes an accusation or explicitly tells you that the priest committed right or wrong, but we judge accordingly...
28. In Bruges, 2008. (Martin McDonagh)
Martin McDonagh writes a David Mamet like script with some incredible dialogue. Ralph Fiennes, who is pretty much great in everything he touches, kicks the living **** out of this movie. He's just so ******* funny. In Bruges is a true masterpiece that contains some wonderful acting, a great script, incredible cinematography and a beautiful score. The film does an incredible job balancing humor and sorrow. The humor is dark, but extremely effective, mostly coming from Ray (Farrell). At some points in the film, I was laughing so hard I missed the next lines. It truly is laugh-out-loud funny. Farrell is perfect with his childish delivery, batting eyebrows and high pitched squeaking sounds. Farrell does an excellent job as Ray, and makes you feel for his characters pains immensely as he agonizes over the little boy's death during his stay in Bruges with fellow assassin, Ken. Both of these actors work exceptionally well off one another and both give heart felt performances as the writing and acting pull you into the emotional and moral grounds of these evil characters. Did that make sense? Kind of absurd to hear "evil" and "moral" attached to the same person? That's what In Bruges goes for. Life's principals are baffling in the film and the actions taken throughout the film questions if these men have hearts as their logic is twisted and incomprehensible. Ethics would never come into play with hit men in most films, but these men have boundaries and their word means something to them. The imagery is astounding at the end of the film and the decisions and actions of the characters are just as incredible to watch unfold.
27. Good Will Hunting, 1997. (Gus Van Sant)
Matt Damon gives, maybe, his career best performance in a movie he won an Academy Award for (writing, not acting, although he may deserve a Best Actor statute as well). Damon is Hollywood's biggest star right now and he turns out great movie after great movie. This film shows Damon's true greatness where he takes a very complex character with a conflicted history and really fleshes out his unwillingness to commit to anything. He simply has no guidance and never has. He knows everything there is to know because he reads books in minutes and retains it all. Watching Robin Williams confront Will and drop some life knowledge on him, is what movie making is all about. Robin Williams is fantastic and gives the performance of his career. Ben Affleck is even hilarious in a few scenes and shows that he does have a knack for more comedic roles. Good Will Hunting is one of my favorite movies and the performances and rich characters is what makes it unlike any other.
26. Inside Man, 2006. (Spike Lee)
Inside Man is simply the best heist movie I've ever seen. It literally makes every kind of movie of this genre look like a complete failure. The majority of the credit goes to the screenwriter, Russell Gewirtz. Gewritz also wrote, the exceedingly far less effective, Righteous Kill, but that suffered from horrible casting as much as anything. Spike Lee's execution is also impeccable. There is just so much confidence with this film. They stick Clive Owen right in front of the camera and he tells you the ending. He literally, tells you everything you need to know in the first thirty seconds. The film then carries on and goes about it's business. Where did the money go? Where the **** is Clive Owen? How did he get out? The movie simply blindsides you with sheer brilliance and incredible execution. It's the ultimate chess game and Denzel Washington is so far behind the 8 ball, as well as us, the audience, that we never even realize that he, along with us, have no chance of figuring this one out. This is a masterpiece and a really masterful script. I simply love this film. I honestly don't know how a heist can ever top it. Spike Lee has a masterpiece, and I usually don't like his work. Not that it's bad, but he does seem to be a bit overrated.
25. Moon, 2009. (Duncan Jones)
One of the best films from 2009. Moon instantly became one of my favorite movies upon my very first viewing. It was so good, the second it was over, I put it back in and watched it again. Sam Rockwell is amazing and gives the best performance of his career. If you haven't seen it don't read any of the following... spoiler's ahead... Rockwell is sensational and the script is simply incredible. Duncan Jones finds a way to make you feel for a clone that I never thought was possible, but that's why I don't write movies. When Sam is talking to his daughter from the moon and she is back home all grown up... it's simply a pivotal scene in the film. When he realizes that he is a clone and the real Sam is already back home, it's one of the most powerful moments of any film on my list. The humanity brought to this character is simply astonishing. This is Sam Rockwell's movie and he gives one of the very best performances of the decade. He evokes so much humanity from a clone that even I was surprised how floored I was from the realization that this man is facing. He has to accept that everything he has ever known, everything that he has ever believed in, was a lie. All the memories and experiences he has, they never existed, not for him. His daughter? It's not actually his. And to know he has a shelf life of three years? Moon is an incredibly powerful film and an instant classic for me that tackles so many subjects, and does so with great effectiveness. I still cannot fathom Rockwell not getting any kind of recognition for this performance. It is an amazing performance.
24. Lars and the Real Girl, 2007. (Craig Gillespie)
This is a rare film where we see a group of people do good, even though their method may be questioned, in order to help someone struggling with an illness. This isn't a film that's laugh out loud funny, a few occasional ones here and there, but I found myself smiling throughout. The final act had me choked up. It created a much stronger reaction than I had anticipated. Paul Schneider was exceptional and had me laughing. Gosling had me laughing and nearly brought to tears all at the same time. The film does a great job of questioning normality and the treatment of the mentally ill. This is more like a fable and some might question the reality of it and knock it for being unrealistic, but if they do, then they're missing the entire point. Lars and the Real Girl is a modern masterpiece that has a message with a different look on a hot button topic. The endings predictable, yes, but without the ending the film isn't complete and the message is different. Lars and the Real Girl slowly and gradually morphs into a story of love and acceptance. There's more to it than just a simple sex doll toted around town by a lonely guy looking for attention. The film has a heart, and that heartbeat is pulsated through the screen by the incredible performance from one of the most talented young actors in the business, Ryan Gosling. I honestly don't know if another actor could have pulled this off.
23. 3:10 to Yuma, 2007. (James Mangold)
Christian Bale is great in this film and this may very well be his greatest acting achievement to date (American Psycho, The Machinist, The Prestige). Well, Chrisitan Balle can never touch his performance in American Psycho, but this is a great performance that gets a bit overlooked in a career of great performances. Russell Crowe is also phenomenal and this is one of his better performances as well (A Beautiful Mind, Gladiator). I don't know if I would like him as the bad guy, but he fits this role perfectly and really embodies this character. 3:10 to Yuma is not simply about the gun battles or the wild west. It's about the characters and the journey they go on. These characters are so deep and so rich. As we become involved with them we are left rooting for them. You hope the film doesn't reach it's seemingly inevitable ending. The final lines of the film are said by Dan Evans' (Bale) son and Charlie Prince (Ben Foster - who is very good and has a character that is a bit more complex than most might think. He has a very odd appreciation for Ben Wade that crosses over normal friendship boundaries). Both are said to Dan Evans. We can get a sense of joy during these final moments because we know everything that happened up until that point went exactly as planed by Evans, and we get a sense of triumph in an odd way. The actions during the final minutes with nothing but the sound of the slow, chugging engine of the train, like a slow heartbeat, in the background is as emotionally captivating as it gets. This is a great film regardless of genre. It's also the best pure Western I've ever seen.
22. Borat, 2006. (Larry Charles)
Borat is one of the most incredible films I've ever seen. It's originality is second to none and, really, all the credit goes to Sacha Baron Cohen. Firstly, let me just get the obvious out of the way, he gives one of the best comedic performances ever give. He creates one of the funniest son of a bitches I've ever seen, and to sum it up as easily as I can, he's a ******* genius. This is one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. The way he puts real people in odd situations is simply unparalleled. He proved it with Bruno, that this kind of movie simply cannot be remade, and Bruno was pretty funny, but only sporadically. This is one of the most innovative films on my list and true comedic masterpiece. Great success. I really don't need to explain myself with this choice. You either love it or you hate it.
21. Million Dollar Baby, 2004. (Clint Eastwood)
Million Dollar Baby is Clint Eastwood's greatest achievement. Although I don't consider it the best film of the 2004, I had no problem when I seen it win the Academy Award for Best Picture. This is one of the most emotionally powerful films ever made. The last act of the film is simply heartbreaking and Hillary Swank turns the corner and gets into Oscar mode. Now, this is not a perfect film by any means, and the depiction of stereotypical southern trash is a bit too far over-the-top for my liking, but even that, along with the incredible coincidence that she would break her neck in the manner that she does never once holds this film back from the greatness that it achieves. It is an incredibly powerful film with an final thirty minutes so powerful, that I simply can't help but consider this a masterpiece and a 20 caliber film. Incredibly powerful film