Film reviews (Old page)

What once started as a quest to watch all of IMDB’s Top 250 films ended when I decided there were just too many films outside of the list to watch too.

Some will be good. some will be amazing, some will be terrible. This is an effort to truly expand my horizons when it comes to film, and watch things I wouldn’t have even considered a couple of years ago. The films are chosen at (somewhat) random.

Pleas bear in mind, I am by no means a professional reviewer, these are just my thoughts on films, so there will probably be some points you disagree with, but that’s ok, and I started watching this list almost a year before I started jotting down this list, so I haven’t had the opportunity to make any notes for the first few films, so please keep that in mind.

Without further ado, please enjoy.


No.47 American Beauty (1999)


Director: Sam Mendes    Seen before? No

Note: It was kind of an accident when I watched this a couple of months ago, during the height of the Kevin Spacey allegations, and I’m not going to comment about it, except I tried not to let it alter my opinions on my film, because it’s a great film.

The story of an unhappy family man is relatable to a great deal many people, but it’s not a steady road for Lester Burnham to follow, and the story tells us how changing his life for the better can ruin others. At it’s heart it is a dark tale, of complicated and sometimes hurtful people, who are scared of Lester’s reanimation, because it’s not the normal thing to do. There is a sprinkling of humour within, and some fantastic cinematography, the colour red is used especially well, highlighting want and avarice very well. It’s an easy to watch film, entertaining and as relevant now as it was back in 1999. Except for the huge amount of VHS’s around, that will always be dated.



No.46 The Dark Knight Rises (2012)


Director: Christopher Nolan    Seen before? Yes

“You do not fear death. You think this makes you strong. It makes you weak”

Man, looking back on it, 2012 was the year I was most hyped for movies, ever. I was in a state of constantly watching trailers for The Avengers, Prometheus and Dark Knight Rises, and only one of those wasn’t disappointing.

Of course, it’s no bad film, but obviously the first thing to do is to compare it to the juggernaut of cinema itself, The Dark Knight. Retiring Ledger’s Joker out of respect and hiring Tom Hardy as another of Batman’s all-time villains was a smart move, and Hardy is, as always, amazing in the role.

But maybe it’s DKRs ambition that makes it fall a little flatter. There’s so much plot and ideals and new characters to shove in, alot of them aren’t correctly developed. Things like the whole part with Bruce in the sink-hole prison, while makes sense in a nonsensical world like in DC comics, does not make a great transition to Nolan’s gritty mostly-realistic cinematic world, and it’s place in the story disjoints it slightly. Of course, it’s all part of his arc, although half way through the last film of the trilogy seems a weird place for mostly symbolic obstacles.

Bane is one of my favourites from the ol’ rogues gallery, since his introduction in Knightfall and a few other iterations of him, although often underused. His genius in coalition with his immense strength are what make him such a compelling villain, these are the two strengths of Batman, so it’s important there’s a villain who entirely surpasses him in these respects that he can overcome. Bane is left more mysterious here, and his mask somehow helps him breathe rather than pump a super-addictive strength enhancing drug, but that doesn’t make much sense to me either, but the changes to his backstory bring the trilogy around full circle and tie things up pretty nicely.

But often when people think of this film, I think they are clouded by what came before. Everyone had their own idea of how this would surpass the Dark Knight, but didn’t have their individual ideas realised. It’s still a great Batman film, one of the best, although that’s not saying a huge amount, and I think it ended Nolan’s vision in a very just way.



No.45 WALL-E (2008)


Director: Andrew Stanton      Seen before? No

“This is called farming! You kids are gonna grow all kinds of plants! Vegetable plants, pizza plants..”

This seems like a weird film for Pixar. For starters, the first half has very minimal dialogue, instead relying on physical movements to convey emotion and background clues to relay to the viewer what has happened up until this point.

A gorgeous film, from the beginning expanse of trash mountains to the expanse of space down to the subtle emotions that the robot characters relay. I almost wish that they stuck to the first half of non-dialogue, which is shattered once they meet the fatty humans. Of course, it’s these parts that make up for some of the funniest and most profound set-pieces and maybe it would have been harder to market an almost-silent Pixar film, but ti would have been fascinating to see how Pixar handle such a feat.

But back to the film itself, it’s a visual spectacle with a deep, unifying message, and a fun film to watch.



No.44 Django Unchained (2012)


Director: Quentin Tarantino      Seen before? Yes

“Gentleman, you had my curiosity, now you have my attention”

An exciting, funny blood-bath of a film, Django is proof that Tarantino rarely ever misses a stride.

Featuring Jamie Foxx as the titular Django and his unconventional relationship with Dr King Schultz played by Christoph Waltz, who after exploding into the hearts of Western audiences from Tarantino’s last effort, Inglorious Basterds, once again steals the show.

Which is no small feat considering he’s sharing the screen with the likes of Foxx, Leo DiCaprio and Sam Jackson just to name a few, and even a couple of great little cameos which QT snuck in for good measure.

While it’s Schultz’s dynamic with Django that really sells this film, each member of the cast pulls their own weight, especially DiCaprio’s Monsieur Candie, who steals every scene he is in, and it’s a great change to see DiCaprio in an actually villainous role for once.

It’s bloody, funny and a deliriously fun ride.



No.43 The Prestige (2006)


Director: Christopher Nolan     Seen before? Yes

“You’re familiar with the phrase “man’s reach exceeds his grasp”? It’s a lie, man’s grasp exceeds his nerve”

Just after his jaunt into DC with Batman Begins, and in between setting the world on fire with the Dark Knight, Nolan’s The Prestige sets the path many of his subsequent films would follow-Namely a grounded real world with a dabble of sci-fi that you’ll need to watch a couple of times to get the full understanding of.

With Christian Bale vs Hugh Jackman as rival majicians, with Nolan’s favourite Micheal Cane and even David-Frickin’-Bowie as Nicola Tesla, it’s easy to forget just how good this film is, now that Nolan’s repertoire is so extensive (Dare I say, Prestigious?)

A film dependant on whether you side with Bale’s fiercely determined Borden or Jackman’s heart-broken Angier, it’s really up to the viewer to who they root for (I always go for Bale’s character, I can’t help it)

Intriguing, mystifying and thoroughly entertaining. If you love Nolan films, go into this without much knowledge if you can, and it will definitely surprise you.



No.42 Gladiator (2000)


Director: Ridley Scott    Seen before? Yes

“What we do in life echoes in eternity”

In what are probably the most iconic roles for both Russel Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix, and probably Ridley Scott’s best effort since Alien.

Based off of the book of the same name, it tells the story of Spniard, Maximus Decimus Meridius and his fall from Roman General to beloved Gladiator.

Wonderfully realised and known for bringing a resurgence in interest to the ol’ sword-and-sandals genre that had died down by the time this came out. It’s brutal, visceral and thoughtful.

Of course, the main reason to watch this is Phoenix’s Commodos, possibly one of his greatest roles ever.He is mesmerising, played with subtle tones of menace that is completely captivating.



No.41 Back to the Future (1985)


Director: Robert Zemeckis            Seen before? Heck yeah

“The way I see it, if you’re gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?”

Oh hell yeah. I love this film so god damn much, it’s always a pleasure to re-watch it.

Practically a perfectly written film. The dialogue is dynamic and everything fits together so perfectly. It’s funny, iconic, and the ending scene is relentlessly intense, and although we are in the future that was depicted in the second part of this trilogy, it still holds up fantastically.



No.40 The Departed (2006)


Director: Martin Scorsese        Seen before? Yes

 “I don’t want to be a product of my environment. I want my environment to be a product of me”

Hooray, another Scorsese film for me to gush about!

Telling a complex and tense tale of two moles, one working for the Irish mob and one an undercover cop, The Departed stars a massive ensemble cast, from Leo DiCaprio to Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Martin Sheen, Vera Farmiga, Mark Wahlberg to Ray Winstone, and somehow loads more.

Extremely well written with a breakneck pace, The Departed is one of Scorsese’s finer works, a detailed and thoroughly entertaining cat-and-mouse that will have you on the edge of your seat.

If you haven’t seen this yet, first of all do that, second of all, try not to read about this film. Go into it spoiler free and it may just blow your mind a little.



No.39 Terminator 2-Judgement Day (1991)


Director: James Cameron            Seen before? Sort of

“The future’s not set. There’s no fate but what we make for ourselves”

It’s a weird world we live in, where there are now more bad Terminator films than there are good ones.

Praised for improving on the original in almost every way and for it’s innovation in VFX (which still hold up today,) and of course Robert Patrick’s terrifying performance as the T-1000, which in my opinion is what sells this film. The character is cool and genuinely menacing, played with a cold subtlety that still chills.

My major gripe with this film is Eddie Furlong as John Connor. Fuck, he’s so annoying, whiny and high pitched, and the scene where he is teaching Arnie 90’s lingo makes me want to rip out my fucking ear drums. Of course, he does have his moments, and a genuine relationship flourishes between him and Arnie, and it’s a treat to watch.



No.38 The Intouchables (2011)


Director:  Olivier Nakache & Éric Toledano    Seen before? No

 “My true disability is not having to be in a wheel chair. It’s having to be without her”

Boy oh boy, did I put off watching this for ages. I just couldn’t get excited for it, despite it being on the list. A buddy comedy between a young hooligan-type called Driss played by the great Omar Sy and a Quadriplegic named Phillipe played by François Cluzet.

Man, I was a fucking idiot for not watching this sooner.

From the first few dark minutes, punctuated by a sudden burst of September by Earth, Wind & Fire to the gloriously happy ending, The Intouchables (Also known as Untouchable or Les Untouchables) is a beautifully written and acted comedy-drama that brought a huge amount of warmth to my cold, dead heart.

Seriously, I can’t think of a more heart-warming film that I’ve seen in recent years, it just filled me with happiness. And that is all down to the chemistry between Driss and Phillipe, which the two leads absolutely nail. You might think of a wheelchair-bound, immobile art collector as a strange role for such a respected actor like Cluzet, but he does a fantastic job. He is likeable, funny and bounces amazingly off of Omar Sy, who is thankfully, starting to get plenty of recognition in English speaking films like Jurassic World and X Men, and I hope lightning will strike twice with him.

Their dynamic is beautifully realised and a real pleasure to watch, how Phillipe will chuckle away at Driss’s inappropriate jokes in front of a slew of stuffy upper-class French snobs who look on in horror.

It’s funny, snappy and beautiful, and based off of a true story to boot. I loved it, and I look forward to future viewings when I’m feeling a little down, I know this will cheer me right up.



No.37 The Green Mile (1999)

Director: Frank Darabont        Seen before? Yes!

“We each owe a death – there are no exceptions – but, oh God, sometimes the Green Mile seems so long”

When it comes to Stephen King adaptions, leave it to Frank Darabont. With The Shawshank Redemption and the divisive The Mist under his belt, that statement seems obvious to me. The Green Mile, his second adaption, is what cemented that fact to me.

I somehow always forget how much I love this goddamn film. It’s ensemble cast are fantastic, obviously the focus there being on Hanks and the late great Micheal Clarke Duncan.

For a film about inmates on the death row and a man falsely accused of rape and murder due to his ethnicity (Of course, this is based in Louisiana in the 30’s) and sent to die, it punctuates it’s emotional moments with levity and humour that are a welcome breath of fresh air.

Of course, there is still alot of darkness here, and while the pseudo-fantasy twist might put some people off, it’s a heavily emotional film that will tear at your heart and tear-ducts.

It’s a film that appears to be often forgotten about when we remember good Stephen King films, despite their rarity, and deserves more love, lest we can remember the incredible Micheal Clark Duncan in his greatest ever role.



No.36  Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Drector: George Lucas  Seen before? Yes

“The Ark. If it is there, at Tanis, then it is something that man was not meant to disturb. Death has always surrounded it. It is not of this earth”

Considered by many as the cornerstone of their childhood, where their sense of adventure and wonder was born. For me, this was never part of my childhood, and I never really cared for the franchise, my first foray into it was as a teenager, and since then I shudder to remember that I saw Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in the cinema.

Re-visiting it, I don’t think my opinion of “Yeah okay” has changed. It’s a fun movie with many iconic moments, Ford is typically great and gruff and the supporting cast all have their moments.

If you’re someone who likes iconic adventure movies, you’ve already seen this and probably already love it, so you don’t need to listen to me.




No.35 City Lights (1931)


Director: Charlie Chapman     Seen before? No

“A sober dawn awakens a different man”

I can’t say I’ve ever been one for silent films, I much prefer witty dialogue and a snappy delivery to text-overlays with ironic subtlety or scene explanations.

However Chapman’s performance as the Tramp exudes his genius in the form of slapstick visual humour. The Tramp bumbles his way through life, and developing a romance with a blind flower-girl that serves as his primary motivation throughout the feature.

Special shout out to the iconic boxing match scene where Chapman’s Tramp artfully dodges and dances past his opponent and the unpredictable nature of the drunk business man which present themselves as some of the films highlights.


Nonetheless, some of the gags are still predictable or fall flat by today’s standards, and the omni-present jaunty music as your only audio-companion can grate after a while. Watch if you love cinema and it’s history, but for me, not quite my cup-o’-tea.


No.34 Psycho (1960)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock      Seen before? No

“We all go a little mad sometimes. Haven’t you?”


A landmark in cinematic history, for it’s bold take on horror, and of course holding the prestigious honour of showing the first toilet flushing in a film.

Everyone knows this film of course, the iconic moments and the creeping terror of Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates, one of the more iconic villainous roles in cinematic history, and one he would repeat three more times, until his death in 1992.

Hitchcock’s decision to film in black and white in an age where cinema was slowly trying to outgrow the trend drains his world of colour, and fills it with a quiet dread. That couple with the tense and haunting soundtrack is surely what lures the watcher into a feeling of unnerving tension.

Of course, the film is not scary, and I doubt it ever was. It may have shocked cinema goers back in 1961 with it’s depiction of metal illness, sexuality and dare I say, the dreaded toilet flushing (I mean how dare he show us that) but the famous scene now is so saturated, despite it’s iconic status, it inspires nothing, not even awe at the mastery of the editing.

The characters are still entertaining though, and the cinematography still looks great and the aforementioned editing is smartly used. Watch it so you can say you have, because you probably already know everything about it.



No.33 Casablanca (1942)

casablanca21 (1)

Director: Michael Curtiz        Seen before? No

 “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship”


Is there any more of a classic romance movie than Casablanca?

The on-screen chemistry of Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman and Curtiz and his crew’s vision is some of what has made it so special to so many people, and given it it’s iconic status.

And now, 75 years on, how does it hold up?

Well, as a romance film, it’s passable. But nowadays you won’t watch it for that, it’s worth watching for an assurance in it’s place in film history.

The dialogue is great, punchy and witty, with Bogart’s Rick Blaine acting as the epitome of cool, and Ingrid Bergman of course being a delight to watch. The camera work is artful and deliberate, filled with little details to keep the eye busy.

If you love cinema and it’s history, Casablanca  definitely warrants a watch, it’s a classic film for a reason. Luckily it’s entertaining too, even for someone so ambivalent to romance films such as myself.



No.32 Interstellar (2014)


Director: Christopher Nolan           Seen before? No

“We used to look up at the sky and wonder at our place in the stars, now we just look down and worry about our place in the dirt”


Fresh off the track from Inception and his Batman trilogy, Nolan delves once more into his sort-of-Sci-Fi trail that many of his past films have followed.

Interstellar tells the story of a team trying to find some scientists who tried to find a new Earth because-surprise-we fucked this one up.

I’ve never been much of a Mcconaughey fan, but as the leading man here he nails it. He’s quick witted and funny and watching him deal with some of the more emotional punches towards the end is heart-wrenching.

A film that has certainly divided many Nolan fans expecting another Mind-Fuck like Inception, who quickly realised that in terms of Mind-Fuck, this blows Inception out of the contest.

What begins as an interesting, fairly standard jaunt into space, with an interesting consideration into the physics of inter-galactic travel that are not often touched upon in Sci-Fi films that favour bombastic action, Interstellar then takes a more experimental trip into abstract theory. This might have confused some people, both in the terminology and the change in message, but I however loved it, and it reminded me of 2001: A Space Odyssey, which again, was never for everyone.

If you like your Sci-Fi with a hint of realism smashed with a hint of lateral thought and a sprinkling of emotional gutpunches, you’ll love this. It’s a pretty typical Nolan film, and just as good as his other efforts.



No.31 American History X (1998)


Director: Tony Kaye         Seen before? No

“If you come near Danny again, I will feed you your fucking heart, Cameron”


With Ed Norton at the helm as ex-Nazi Derek Vinyard, American History X tells a complicated story not only of race and intolerance, but of family, change and a person’s fate.

Wonderfully emotional and deeply disturbing all at once, it tells a convincing story of a family poisoned by xenophobic ideals. It’s disturbing, because as recent events have foretold, the Neo-Nazi movement is still strong, throughout the world. The path the Vinyard brother’s find themselves down are the same paths thousands of others have already.

Derek’s characterisation is played to perfection by Norton, who embodies terrifying anger and a well earned sense of understanding by the viewer. His devotion to his brother and his determination to get him away from the moronic ideals is heartbreaking.

Just as relevant now as it ever was, and that’s the real tragedy of this film.



No.30 Once upon a time in the West (1968)


Director: Sergio Leone            Seen before? No

“When you hear a strange sound, drop to the ground”


Notable for two things; One of only a few instances in which Henry Fonda, often thoguht of as one of the nicest men in cinema, to play a villain, and for that fuckin’ opening.

Leone, the master, is back at crafting tension within a western. The aforementioned opening is a fantastic example of his mastery. It lasts for minutes, a pesky fly, a water drip, and finally the introduction of Charles Bronson, and the explosive finish.

That and Fonda’s performance as Frank are what I immediately remember about this film. However, there isn’t much else.  A finally crafted film, but like some of Leone’s other works, you need to focus to keep your attention. Unfortunately, I could not throughout the almost 3 hour run-time.

While many rate this as one of the greatest Westerns of all time, It could not hold my attention to the end, and what it did, I struggle to remember a few months ago. No, I am not a proper reviewer (You may have guessed that already)



No.29 Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Director: Steven Spielberg                Seen before? Yes

“You can tell her that when you found me, I was with the only brothers I had left. And that there was no way I was deserting them. I think she’d understand that”


One of my favourite Spielberg films, SPR is visceral, haunting and emotional, and of course paved the way for the seminal Band of Brothers.

With a fantastic cast of T Hanks, Matt Damon and so, so many others each in great roles (If you haven’t seen this film in a while, some of these might surprise you) Spielberg and co craft a compelling and believable squad, with distinct personalities and skills.

This is the first time I have watched this film in over a decade, and I think as a teenager I was more focused on the action scenes, so I was a little unprepared for the emotional punch I received while re-watching this. The backstories are superbly conveyed by  each cast member, they are all likeable, even the ones who are dicks, and each squad member lost is felt by the viewer.

And of course, the action set-pieces are incredible to watch. The sound design nails the terrifying effect of charging onto a beach or sneaking through a rain soaked village and the visual effects are horrifyingly realistic.

One of the greatest war films I have ever seen, blending the human nature of individual squad mates with the brutality of the fighting and melding in something darkly beautiful.



No.28 Spirited Away (2001)

spirit away no face

Director: Hayao Miyazaki          Seen before? Yes

“Once you do something, you never forget. Even if you can’t remember”


For alot of people, when Studio Ghibli is mentioned, the first film they will think of is a Hayao Miyazaki film. Of course, he did direct a hell of a lot of them. Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle, and of course, Spirited Away will be the ones you hear the most.

And there’s a reason for that, the films and worlds constructed and beautifully detailed and realised, and the animation is smooth like animated butter. Somehow Ghibli films always have the tastiest looking animated food, and when seen in motion will have you angrily jamming a fork into your TV screen.

A film that will delight everybody, children, teenagers, parents, whether you’re listening in the standard Japanese VO (as you should) or the passable English dub.

While the story might be filled with a butt-tonne of weirdness and nonsense, the tale is entertaining enough to coexist with the beautiful visuals, and it all flows together wonderfully.



No.27 Léon the Professional (1994)


Director: Luc Besson             Seen before? Yes

“It’s when you start to become really afraid of death that you learn to appreciate life. Do you like life, sweetheart?”


For me, definitely seems to be one of those films that hasn’t been seen by a huge amount of people, but those who have, fucking love it.

Hosting probably the best roles for not only Jean Reno, but maybe Gary Oldman and Natalie Portman too.

The story of a strange relationship between an orphaned twelve year old and an Italian assassin, both Reno and Portman show enough chemistry between them to craft a believable and heartwarming dynamic between them.

But Oldman steals the show here I feel. He’s electric, menacing and utterly entertaining in every scene.

While it deals with some interesting themes, it never lets those drag it down. Moments of awkwardness or action are punctuated by plenty of levity and humour. A must watch for any Oldman/Reno/Portman fans or just fans of action films in general.



No.26 Life is Beautiful (1997)


Director: Roberto Benigni             Seen before? No

“Nothing is more necessary than the unnecessary”


Originally thought of as quite the controversial film, Life is Beautiful tells the tale of ridiculously optimistic shop owner Guido, played by Italian comedian and director of this film, Roberto Benigni.

A comical and uplifting tale during one of the greatest tragedies in modern history, the backdrop is that of WWII Italy. The controversy comes from Benigni, who is not Jewish, portraying a man and his family forced into a concentration camp due to their Jewish beliefs, and for many who missed the point of the film, it may be easy to see that the upbeat character and tone diminish the horror of this backdrop.

Of course, anyone with half a brain who paid attention to the film can see that it does not diminish it at all. Sure it’s not as visceral as The Pianist or Schindler’s List, but it’s not a story of the horrors in a concentration camp, but rather the coping methods for a father in son to survive this in any possible way they can.

There are some dark moments towards the end, of course, and they are in stark contrast to the light frivolity that came before it, and are all the more powerful because of it.

Of course not everyone was so dumb, it’s often cited as one the most influential European films of the past twenty years, and nabbed Benigni a number of academy awards for his efforts, and well deserved for a different spin on a tragedy we’ve all seen in cinema told the same way so many times.



No.25 The Usual Suspects (1995)


Director: Bryan Singer            Seen before? Yes

“Keaton always said, “I don’t believe in God, but I’m afraid of him.” Well I believe in God, and the only thing that scares me is Keyser Soze.”


One film in a line of any defined for it’s amazing plot twist, TUS is a crime film with an ensemble of Kevin Spacey, Benecio Del Toro, Gabriel Byrne and a whole fuck tonne more.

A perfectly written and masterfully executed crime/mystery film that is gloriously entertaining, using it’s fantastic cast as a conduit.

It’s witty, mysterious and obviously, completey fucking surprising.

If you’re one of the rare few who haven’t had the ending spoilt for you, you’re in a wonderful position. Go check this out as fast as you can, don’t tell anyone you haven’t seen it yet because they will spoil it for you. Thank me later.



No.24 It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)


Director: Frank Capra               Seen before? No

“Youth is wasted on the young.”


A sort of re-imagining of the Christmas Carol I guess, IAWL is the story of George, a lovely selfless family man with a bad string of luck from doing the right thing who is pushed to the brink of suicide, and brought back by an angel. Of course you already knew that, probably from a Simpsons parody.

IAWL is a heartwarming and life affirming tale that brings a smile to everyone watching.

The acting is top notch and the message is hopeful and warming, plus it’s a film you can enjoy at any time of the year, doesn’t have to be Christmas.



No.23 Silence of the Lambs (1991)


Director: Jonathan Demme             Seen before? Nope

“We begin by coveting what we see every day. Don’t you feel eyes moving over your body, Clarice? And don’t your eyes seek out the things you want?”


Often considered a horror-thriller, and if that is the case, Silence of the Lambs is the only horror to have ever won a Best Picture Academy Award. Of course, looking at it through those pesky millennial-tinted specs, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that. Sure it has horror elements, particularly the end confrontation and maybe a scene with Anthony Hopkins or two, but no it’s not scary.

Except for the fact that the two serial killers portrayed both come across as normal for a fair amount of their minimal screen time, only from prolonged exposure to them do we really find out how dark and twisted they are, else-wise we’d never know. That’s a scary thought, right?

And yes, returning to my above statement, Hopkins is only on screen is on for around fifteen minutes or so (I guess, I didn’t time it-but for a brief amount of time anyway) and yet this is the most revered role of his prestigious career, and the reason he is such a legend to many.

I had seen parts of this film before, and of course constant parodies of it, but this is my first divulgence into the Hannibal franchise at all, and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

I liked the camera work, the close-ups with unwavering and direct eye contact, juxtaposed with the focus being on Jodi Foster’s Clarice. When the camera looks into the eyes of whoever Clarice is talking to, it hints at their desire for her, and is even directly addressed by Hannibal Lecter.

Also a well written film, the ending confrontation genuinely took me by surprise, I’m glad I finally got round to watching it.



No.22 SE7EN (1995)


Director: David Fincher      Seen before? Yes

“I’m setting the example. What I’ve done is going to be puzzled over and studied and followed…forever.”


Shitting hell, the nineties were a good time for David Fincher. Ignoring Alien 3 obviously, but I think everyone does that already.

But, straight off the heels of that, DF was given a chance to shine with Se7en, the film that got him noticed. Because it’s a fucking good film.

Starring Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt in the main roles with a slew of great supporting actors in a dark, oppressing setting known only as “The City”, it of course follows them hunting down a serial killer seemingly obsessed with the seven deadly sins, killing in  ritualistic and often brutal methods.

A grim movie, but with compelling characters, although by modern standards, it could be easy to compare these to general detective stereotypes. Freeman plays the “one-week-from-retirement-and-sick-of-your-shit” detective cliche in contrast to Pitt’s “Young-and-reckless-but-idealistic-cos-he-don’t-know-shit-yet” detective.

Throw in a tantalising mystery and some genuine surprising twists for first time viewers, and even a couple of scares (If you’ve seen it you know what i’m talking about, we all got spooked don’t lie) and you’ve got yourself an excellent detective movie, although time will tell whether or not it will stay as timeless as the genre develops, but I can say with complete assurance that as of 22 years later, it’s still as fresh as ever here.



No.21 City of God (Cidade de Deus) (2002)


Director: Fernando Meirelles                  Seen before? Yaaaaaaas

“It was like a message from God: “Honesty doesn’t pay, sucker.””


Seriously, one of my favourite films of all time. No lie.

As a lover of stylistic crime films, I cannot honestly think of a single fault with this film.

The characters, the acting, the cinematography, the bangin’ soundtrack…it’s perfect to me.

Yes, of course as a Brazilian movie, it’s entirely in subtitles, so I can see why that might put some people off, but they are idiots. The film is stylish, sexy, funny and bloody, but with a deep commentary of life, love, addiction and violence. But most of all, it’s deliriously entertaining, I can watch it multiple times and never get bored.

If the above criteria are things you look for in a film, then go watch it. Just thinking about makes me want to watch it again. I can’t think of anything this film does wrong or even less than amazing.



No.20 Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)


Director: George Lucas            Seen before? Yes

“The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.”


I mean.

It’s fucking Star Wars, what do you want me to say?




No.19 Seven Samurai (1954)


Director: Akira Kurosawa        Seen before? No

“This is the nature of war: By protecting others, you save yourselves. If you only think of yourself, you’ll only destroy yourself.”


As an angsty teenager, I came to spend alot of time reading Manga and watching Anime, and developing a love for all things Japanese, their art, their music and their history most of all. But rarely their cinema.

I love all things samurai, however when it comes to old films, I find I usually lack the patience for some of them, they often hold a slower, methodical pace, and at 207 minutes, well it’s quite a journey.

With that in mind, I did not make it all the way through this film. Of course, many say that defeats the purpose of watching it, missing the character arc’s and the final confrontation that has been built up for the entirety of the film. Sadly with such an imposing run-time, I’m loathe to return to this.

That being said, what I did watch I loved. The distinctive, interesting cast and some impressive cinematography, but it just couldn’t hold my attention for two hours, let alone three, which is kind of the point of a film, in my own opinion.

That’s why I cannot rate this film as so many others can. One day I’ll finish it and no doubt I will love it, but until then, It just couldn’t keep me entertained.



No.18 The Matrix (1999)


Director: The Wachowski’s             Seen before: Yes

“Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You’re a plague and we are the cure.”


Ah the late nineties/early two thousands. Where the idea of “cyber-anything” made people think about neon pixelated screens and trench-coats with sunglasses. Wait, that sounds exactly the aesthetic of The Matrix right?

The Matrix was a movie that revolutionised sci-fi, and alot of people’s perspectives. As a youngling, I was equally affected. I had never seen anything so cool.

Of course, the term cool changes alot as you age, and no longer are bulky leather outfits and sunglasses my definition of ‘cool’ Show me a modern reboot where they have plaid shirts, ripped jeans and beards and I will re-allocate the term, but for now it will be saved for lumberjacks and hipsters alike I guess.

Outdated style and technology aside, The Matrix still holds up. It’s an important film for many reasons.

Besides, we can always just put our fingers in our ears, close our eyes and pretend the sequels never happened.



No.17 Goodfellas (1990)


Director: Martin Scorsese              Seen before:Yes

“I know there are women, like my best friends, who would have gotten out of there the minute their boyfriend gave them a gun to hide. But I didn’t. I got to admit the truth. It turned me on.”


Probably my favourite film ever. That’s it. Review over TEN OUTTA TEN.

Although watching it once more for this list, it’s interesting to think why.

Gangster films have always been my favourite, but again, why is it that? Part of me think it’s the delusion of grandeur we get when we watch it. The best gangster films, I.e this one, allow us to connect with the characters on a deep and personal level.

And that’s what happens here, with Ray Liotta’s character, Henry Hill. We watch him from since he was a child dreaming of being a ‘wise-guy’ and we can empathise with that, because Scorsese shows us exactly why Henry wants this, and suddenly we do too. We want the fashion, the cars the lifestyle and the danger and we get to live that through Henry.

But for as much as Scorsese does glorify this lifestyle, he sure does show us the consequences too. Prison, ostracization and, obviously, murder, are fates for numerous characters here and even the main cast.

The film runs for almost two and a half hours, which may be too long for some, but I never get bored, not for a second. And once I’ve finished watching, I just want to watch it again. It’s a rare film that can make someone want to do that.


10/10 (I wasn’t joking)

No.16 One flew over the Cuckoo’s nest (1975)


Director: Miloš Forman           Seen before? No

“Which one of you nuts has got any guts?”


I imagine it was pretty novel seeing Jack Nicholson committed to a mental institute in 1975. If it happened about ten or twenty years later, I don’t think anyone would have blinked an eye. Dude’s nuts.

Comprising of the J-man himself, and a slew of surprising faces, such as Brad Dourif, Christopher Lloyd and Danny-Fucking-DeVito.

Nurse Rached is just as despicable as I imagined her to be when people described this film to me, but played with wonderful malice by Louise Fletcher.

An interesting look into the lines that define us between sanity and not, with plenty of upbeat moments to keep you entertained with Nicholson’s antics.

What kinda ruined it for me was how depressing the ending was for me. Yes, I get that it’s all part of the events that lead to the climax of Nicholson’s character arc, but it still got me feeling pretty down after wards. Certainly effecting though.



No.15 Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)


Director: Peter Jackson    Seen it before? YEEEEEAH BOIII

“There’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for.”


Without a question, my favourite film in my favourite franchise.

To me, it is the perfect example for the ultimate sequel. Back in 2002 when cinema was cheaper, I think I saw this collectively six times. When the trailer for the dvd was released, I was beyond pumped, and since then I’ve lost count of amount of times I saw it. Then they released the extended version and I was never heard from again.

I will be writing a more in depth analysis of my relationship with Lotr, but for now I’ll just say that I will never be able to love another human the same way as I love that film.

And if you think that’s sad, then I’ll assume you just don’t understand.



No.14 Inception (2010)


Director: Christopher Nolan          Seen before? Yes

“You’re waiting for a train. A train that’ll take you far away. You know where you hope this train will take you. But you can’t know for sure. Yet it doesn’t matter.”


Taking a phenomenal ensemble cast and some of the best use of both practical and special effects, Inception was, in every way imaginable, a sleeper hit.

Now it still holds on to that legendary status, and continues to leave people scratching their heads to this day.

I love this film, the characters and especially the visuals. They still blow me away even today.

However, at around 2 and a half hours, it does feel like a slog to get through. It’s certainly not the longest film on this list, but due to it’s multiple layers of intricacies, it definitely feels like a long movie.

I love the ambiguous ending as much as everyone, but I always find myself losing interest by the time of the third act or so, more to do with fatigue than anything. Nolan has a pretty spotless record as far as I’m concerned, and this is one of his best films.



No.13 Forrest Gump (1994)


Director: Robert Zemeckis         Seen before? Yes

“Do you ever dream, Forrest, about who you’re gonna be?”


I always forget that this film is based off of a book by Winston Groom, and I always forget to pick up a copy. Forrest Gump is a film that is constantly parodied, mimicked and repeated, still to this day, well over twenty years later. And there’s a reason for that.

As a child and in my ambivalent teens, I was well aware of what Forrest Gump was and that it had affected millions of viewers, but I guess I never stopped to think about why it had.

Watching it again, now, I do realise, and writing this, I’m filled with a sudden urge to watch it again, because fuck is it just an entertaining watch.

Tom Hanks is probably the greatest actor alive right now. I mean he won his second academy award for best leading man, only a year after the first one for Philadelphia, for Christ sake.

And the other’s are no slouches here either. Gary Sinese’s snarky but empathetic L.t Dan is one of the best performances of his career in my opinion, and while we all kind of hate Jenny a little bit, Robin Wright still plays the heck out of her.

It’s these performances which craft the beautifully realised story and gives it some realism, because without performances like that, it could easily be considered pretty silly, and it all works in tandem with Zemeckis’ auteur style of directing.

This is film I have not watched enough of in my life. It makes me happy, angry, sad and hopeful. And hungry for chocolate.



No.12 Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)


Director: Irvin Kershner       Seen before? Helllll ye

“Do or do not. There is no try.”


Everyone’s favourite film from everyone’s favourite space opera series-The Empire Strikes Back was a juggernaut of a sequel that demolished the first film for everyone seeing it the first time.

Replacing the themes of hope and adventure for something more darker, TESB shows us how to a sequel right.

Taking the beloved universe and characters and giving them believable struggles and numerous obstacles to overcome, and obviously that ending, there’s no surprise this film is beloved by so many.

As a kid seeing it for the first time, I was fucking blown away by the opening battle of Hoth. The sense of urgency, of hopelessness, the sense of dread in seeing the ATAT’s for the first time. TESB works because it doesn’t allow our heroes to be powerhouses, especially after the one victory against the Empire, but instead shows us why the Imperials are so feared, through numerous, painful examples. It shows us why they fight.

Of course you’ll be lucky to find an original version, nowadays they are part of some re-release from Lucas. While some of the changes to TESB are inoffensive, some are kinda weird. Did Luke really need to scream after he jumped off the platform in Bespin? Doesn’t that kind of  contradict the reason he jumped in the first place? As in, he would rather die than join Vader, instead the scream makes it seem like he was just fleeing, right?

Of course I’m not here to complain about the re-releases, the picture has never looked better, and as kids that’s all we grew up with.

The point is, The Empire Strikes Back is pretty fucking rad, and now Lucas has lost the rights, hopefully no-one will try and fuck it up anymore.



No.11 Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (2001)


Director: Peter Jackson   Seen before? Yes

“I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.”


Will be writing a proper page on this soon.

LOTR is probably my favourite film series of all time, and it started with this bad boy. My dad took me to see this when I was nine or so, I had never really heard of it before. I think he changed my life that day.

I had never really known fantasy like this, and it changed my opinion on what fantasy could be. Great characters, a fully realised world and a certain darkness to it that simultaneously terrified me and intrigued me.

So sixteen years later, has my opinion changed? Hell to the fuck no. My love for these films has only grown if anything.

These films are so embedded into my memories and personality as a whole, I almost feel whole while watching them. Is that a stupid thing to say? I think it’s true though.



No.10 Fight Club (1999)


Director: David Fincher          Seen before? Yes

 “I found freedom. Losing all hope was freedom.”


I’ve always got the feeling that Chuck Palahniuk need some help or something. All of the stories I’ve read from him strike me as an absent thought he has once had about people in general, and he then turned that into a book. And then of course, he has that tendency to jump off the deep end a little bit. (Please don’t click that link unless you have a strong stomach, it’s a pretty disturbing short story.)

Fight Club is a tour de force of entertainment. It grabs you by the balls or your female equivalent and does not relent. It’s raucous, thought provoking and deliriously entertaining. In what are probably my favourite roles by both Brad Pitt and Ed Norton, with a whole shit tonne of other well known faces sprinkled in for good measure, they absolutely hit it out of the park in this.

Oozing with style that will make you forget that this was filmed over twenty years ago now, and fill you with the urge to go beat the shit out of one of your friends or create your own Durden, this is a film that has not, and probably will not ever, age a day.



No.9 The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966)


Director: Sergio Leone        Seen before: Yes

“You see, in this world there’s two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig.”


I’ve seen the film a few times now, but weirdly none of the other films in the Dollars trilogy, staring Clint and of course filmed by Leone.

TGTBTU is a lesson in tension. Considered a little slow by some, it’s not about the action of course. It’s about internal and inter-personal conflict, even if it is set in the backdrop of an actual conflict.

Featuring some of the greatest character introductions in cinematic history, each of the titular trio play the characters flawlessly. Eastwood is effortlessly cool as always. Lee Van Cliffe’s rendition of Angel Eyes is ruthless and cunning. Eli Wallach’s portrayal of Tuco is that of a humorous scoundrel that spouts some of the best insults to be put into a western.

The real star, like in any Sergio Leone film, is obviously the camera. It paints a dry and unwelcome atmosphere that will leave you licking your lips and concentrating with reckless anticipation. The juxtaposition of long and close up shots melds together and creates a portrait of tension that erupts in a final, sudden climax that will ensure Leone is a name in cinema that will never be forgotten.



No.8 Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003)


Director: Peter Jackson      Seen before? YES

“End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path… One that we all must take.”


I will keep this as brief as I can, because I intend to write a more in-depth analysis of the LOTR series soon enough.

Simply put, Lord of the Rings is my favourite series of all time. To me, it is my childhood, personified and petrified still for all of eternity. It is my sense of whimsy, wonderment, fear, humour and excitement. It feels like  part of me.

The conclusion stands at the longest of the three films, with the unanimous argument that the film ends about five or six more times. Weirdly, the ending is probably the one part of the entire trilogy that remains faithful to the book series.

Okay, it is an undertaking, but every second of the film is captivating and beautiful in it’s own way. PJ is just trying to tell a story the world needs to hear, and you’re gonna complain because you were stuck in the cinema for an extra twenty minutes? I don’t care if you need the toilet, this is a great fucking film, pay attention!



No.7 Pulp Fiction (1994)

pulp fiction

Director: Quentin Tarantino   Seen before? Yes

“The night of the fight, you may feel a slight sting. That’s pride fucking with you. Fuck pride. Pride only hurts, it never helps.”


Is there anyone on this planet who hasn’t seen this film? If you are one of those people, I’m not sure I want to be associated with you. In fact why waste your time here? Go watch it.

Reservoir Dogs may have introduced QT to the world, but it was Pulp Fiction that got his name in every mouth of every person.

It’s just a film you can watch a hundred times, and it doesn’t get boring. The characters are fantastic, the cast plays the hell out of them, hell it even re-ignited John Travolta’s career (For a while anyway).

The dialogue is some of the snappiest that was ever penned down for cinema. The characters don’t just ramble about the motions of the film, they talk. A novel idea, first introduced stylistically in Reservoir Dogs, but here it was perfected.

Tarantino’s films are amazing because he loves film more than anyone. He pours his sense of style, ethics and music taste into each film and tells the world “This is me“, and what results from that is a masterpiece in style and design.



No. 6 Schindler’s List (1993)


Director: Steven Spielberg  Seen before? Nein

“I could have got more out. I could have got more. I don’t know. If I’d just… I could have got more.”


An emotional masterclass directed by your homeboy Spielberg. Reportedly an emotional experience for not only himself, but most of the crew as well, famously stating that during some harrowing scenes of the film, they could not bring themselves to actually watch.

With a hefty 3 hour 15 minute run-time, there’s no doubt that watching Schindler’s List is a bit of a trek already, include the fact that it will probably rip your heart out and toss it about in front of you.

So why is it so loved? First of all, the beautiful aesthetics. The famous black and white picture, with only a splash of colour for emphasis, works well to portray the light and darkness working against each other, and settling in that pesky grey area where most men’s hearts reside.

But the real reason you’ll watch this, is the captivating performances. While arguably miscast as the titular German Oskar Schindler, the Northern Irish powerhouse that is Liam Neeson turns out one of the greatest performances of his career. Smart, suave, charming and deeply relateable, Liam portrays the selfless acts and cunning plots effortlessly, and the rest of the cast are no slouches; Ben Kingsley is one of the greatest actors of his generation when given the right material, and this is surely some of it.

But of course, to me the real stand out will always be Ralph Fiennes in his breakout role as the Nazi Commandant, Amon Goeth. His terror is beautifully captivating and appropriately sinister, perfecting that menacing stare that has defined his acting style and of course, his career, for two decades after wards.

While not exactly a film you’ll switch on to relax or to be entertained by, no, this is an important lesson about an important time in Human history. Luckily, despite the heavy subject matter and general sense of despair that emanates from the three hour run-time, Schindler’s List is an entertaining and captivating film about the horrors of our own past.



No.5 12 Angry Men (1957)

12 agnry men 7

Director: Sidney Lumet  Seen before? No

“Ever since you walked into this room, you’ve been acting like a self-appointed public avenger. You want to see this boy die because you, personally, want it, not because of the facts! You’re a sadist!”


Jury service is no fun. Of course when I was forced to attend, I spent most of my day sitting around reading. Our actual deliberations took longer than the run-time of this film, as far as I can recall.

Of course, having watched this first, I did kind of hope there would be a similar situation, but the fact is I wasn’t in a room with Henry Fonda.

12 Angry Men takes twelve men, each of different temperaments, personalities and backgrounds and forces them into a room with each other. I’m not talking about just the characters. This was director Sidney Lumet’s intention all along. And it works. Although there are only two characters named, each of the ‘Men’ is portrayed in a varied and different way, and even six or seven months after watching it for the first time, I can still distinctly remember each of the jurors with clarity.

At just over an hour and a half, it’s a bit of an emotional roller-coaster, as you can probably imagine. Tensions erupt, and it is beautifully portrayed particularly by Mr Fonda and of course Juror No.3- Lee J Cobb unleashes possibly the greatest performance of his career in an explosion of emotion. Special shout out to Juror No2, portrayed by the guy who played Piglet in Winnie The Pooh.

In an age where more and more films were enjoying colour pallets, riding on the coat tails of Technicolor, it was a curious decision to make this film in monochrome, one that would be repeated a year later by Psycho. It builds the atmosphere extremely well, casting dark shadows and bright contrasts when appropriate, and keeping most of the jurors in the grey area, along with their morality.

Not a particularly exciting film, but a masterclass in ensemble acting. Every single character has the opportunity to interact with every other, and develop in a staggering and interesting way.



No.4 The Dark Knight (2008)


Director: Christopher Nolan   Seen before? Only a hundred times or so.

“This city deserves a better class of criminal. And I’m gonna give it to them.”


Jesus, as i’m writing this, it’s dawning on me that next year (2018) this film will be a decade old. That’s insane to me.

In many ways, this film is what made me love DC comics, being a Marvel fan long before that. DC now has some of my favourite stories and are my go to publisher, and it was this film that ignited that fire.

Not only an amazing comic book film, but just an amazing film, and not many other comic books can boast about that kind of credibility. And obviously, that’s all due to the performances, which we all know and love.

So how does it hold up, nine years and a hundred views later?

Timelessly amazing. As last performances go, Heath Ledger has been immortalised by this incarnation of The Joker. Dark, funny, terrifying and captivating, it’s his performance combined with Nolan’s vision that creates this perfect harmony.

Of course there’s still a few scenes that irritate me. The scene where he somehow replicates a broken bullet, and makes a copy of a fingerprint on that bullet. Bearing in mind, bullets are held in casings, so a finger print surely wouldn’t be on the bullet? And it’s a hypothesis, bearing in mind it’s a replica? And the Joker was counting on him doing this, to lead him to that apartment???

It boggles my mind.

But that aside, it’s still an amazing film, with one of the greatest performances of one of the greatest villains, performed to perfection by an actor who I just help wandering what amazing roles and feats he would be doing now, were he not taken too soon.




No.3 The Godfather Part Two (1974)

godfather 2 alt

Director: Francis Ford Coppola      Seen before? No

“If anything in this life is certain, if history has taught us anything, it is that you can kill anyone.”


The continuation of the rise of Micheal Corleone, The Godfather P2 is notable not only for it’s endlessly quotable dialogue, but also the introduction of Robert DeNiro as a young Vito Corleone, of course replicating the performance of Marlon Brando in the first film.

It took me three viewings to finally love The Godfather, so after only seeing P2 once, you can probably see why I do not hold it in the same regard. I watched it the day after watching the first film for this list, and did not connect with it in the way I was hoping.

Now well used to the pace set by the first film, I did not find the film as memorable. Of course comapring it with a film with such iconic scenes as the first is always tricky.

Sadly, I felt the pace was somehow slower (at least it felt that way to me) and I thought the flashback scenes with Bobby DeNiro were criminally (Oh I hope that isn’t a pun) underused. There are only a few instances, and contain one or two scenes which are some of the best in the film. I was hoping for this to be greatly expanded upon, and hopefully show some more parallels between Micheal and Vito, but this didn’t seem to be the case.

I am unaware whether or not this film is thought of as superior to the first, but it was just shy of greatness for me. Maybe repeat viewings will remedy that, and if I have another three hours free, I’ll think about giving it another try.



No.2 The Godfather (1972)


Director: Francis Ford Coppola            Seen before? Sort of.

“I don’t like violence, Tom. I’m a businessman; blood is a big expense.”


I’ve tried to watch The Godfather twice before. Once when my dad bought me the box set for Christmas, once on a long flight, both times I drifted in and out of interest, not really remembering any of it, except what I’ve seen parodied before a hundred times. But third times the charm right?

Right. After starting this list, I sat down, and for three hours devoted my attention fully to this film, no reading or writing on the side like usual, just focusing on this film. And I loved it.

Gangster/crime films have always been my favourite, but to categorise this with the likes of films such as Goodfellas (Probably my favourite film of all time) would be disingenuous. They share similar themes and run-times sure, but that film oozes style at a bombastic pace that sucker punches anyone not prepared for it. The Godfather is more methodical, substance over style that pay off for everyone. As stated above, it’s a film that demands your entire attention. Drift away for even a minute and you’ll be lost from the flow.

It’s a film to be studied, but anyone who proudly calls themselves a Cinephile. It’s a master class in tension and character development. Micheal Corleone might be one of the more tragic antiheroes we witness through the whole trilogy of films, and this is where his story begins.

The turning point is my favourite scene from the entire film, and I would probably go so far to say as one of my favourite single scenes from any film ever. To avoid spoilers, it’s the restaurant scene, with the police captain and a drug baron called Sollozzo. The tension, Al Pacino’s panicked, frantic eye movements, the creeping, ear splitting sound of a nearby train and the final eruption. It’s a testament to the power the right director and the right actor can have when working in tandem. And of course, Pacino almost missed out on the role.

It’s a film everyone who loves film for the art it represents should watch. If you have a spare 3 hours of course.



No.1 The Shawshank Redemption (1994)


Director: Frank Darabont           Seen before? No

“Geology is the study of pressure and time. That’s all it takes really… pressure… and time… That, and a big goddamn poster”


The Shawshank Redemption is at the top of most lists, I find, many of my friends and colleagues state it as their favourite film of all time, or at least int he top ten. Finally going into this film for the first time, no doubt I was filled with some scepticism. I thought to myself, “It’s just a prison film, how can it be that good?”

I am delighted to say my scepticism was quickly and resoundingly dissipated.

The Shawshank Redemption is a study of human nature in many different facets. Imprisonment, isolation, desperation, innocence, dependability and subjugation are all expertly interwoven into the script. It is a muse on perspective and the oft alluded grey area where most men’s morality still lies. But most importantly, it’s a story about hope. Hope that lasts for decades and keeps Andy Dufresne (Tim Robins) alive. It’s a story that even made me tear up by the end because I wanted Andy and Red (Morgan Freeman) to be free and happy, I was so invested in these characters and their struggles they were no longer actors and characters but people I desperately willed to be happy.

There’s not a single fault I can think of for this film. It blew me away. Every single character is played to perfection, and each is well developed and either completely lovable or of course, hate-able. The cinematography and imagery is stunning, the score is beautiful, and the message is strong and poignant. You’ll cry, you’ll laugh and you’ll cheer.

It’s a film everyone should watch, even if you’ve seen it before. Do it again, remind yourself of how good it is.