20. Full Metal Jacket
This is one of those films that really deserves an analyzation. Every frame, camera angle, or any word of dialogue all have a deeper meaning than what they really are. This was Kubrick’s second to last movie and is one of his best. It offers great acting by Matthew Modine, Vincent D’Onofrio, Adam Baldwin, and my favorite, R. Lee Ermey as the legendary Sgt. Hartman. Hartman is so iconic, he has been used as the drill sergeant stereotype for the last 25 years. He was even used in a Geico commercial! But, the acting and Sgt. Hartman aren’t the only great things about the film. The sniper scene at the end is so horrific, especially when you find out who it is. It’s f*cking scary! Anyway, this film is very deep and disturbing, but a classic, none the less.
19. The Departed
This was the first gangster film by Scorsese in 11 years, but it wasn’t his usual take. It looked at both ends of the spectrum and told it like it is–nobody’s the good guy. Also, may I recognize this film for having one of the best DiCaprio performances ever. It’s comes at 3rd behind The Aviator and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?. But, my favorite guy is Mark Wahlberg. I know I’ve said this several times, so I won’t cover the same topics but Wahlberg is not only funny, but changes in the film. He changes from a smartass jerk to a legit, serious cop. More than just the funny guy. Jack nicholson and Matt damon are cool, too. But, the Scorsese-ness is the highlight. The brutal violence and awesome soundtrack is also a big part. Anyway, if you haven’t already, watch this movie or Jack Nicholson will break your arm after it’s already been broken.
18. The Matrix
The Matrix is a perfect example of special effects not dominating plot. I mean, it really is a thought-provoking plot about our universe being a computer program. It’s really interesting if you think about it. I hate Keanu Reeves as much as the next guy, but I would be lying if I said he didn’t look badass in the lobby scene. The other actors that were awesome were Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith and Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus. Both were really cool and portrayed their side well. Morpheus was your typical wiseman and Agent Smith was your typical Terminator. Now, the best part, the special effects! I love the effects. These were 90’s computer effects, so they looked super real, as did Terminator 2 and Jurassic Park. Seriously, this was released 13 years ago, and the special effects are way better than any Transformers or Spiderman movie. So, yeah. This movie’s awesome. No disputing. It just is.
17. Reservoir Dogs
I’ve decided I like this better than Inglourious Basterds because this has a better plot, characters, writing, and acting. The best part of it for me is the tension between all the criminals until it builds to a Mexican standoff. The acting is also phenomenal by Tim Roth, Harvey Keitel, Steve Buscemi, and Michael Madsen as Mr. Blonde. Mr. Blonde is a psycho who acts cool, but, when nobody’s around, he goes crazy and cuts a guy’s ear off. But, you don’t see it. You have your imagination. You also don’t ever see the heist. It’s really well done. Anyway, the violence can get pretty brutal, but overall it’s a well done heist movie.
16. Shawshank Redemption
This was a great film from a great year in film, 1994. Ed Wood, Forrest Gump, Pulp Fiction, Quiz Show, Clerks, True Lies, and this movie were all released in 1994. But, this is one of the greatest movies of all year and of all time. It’s rated the best movie ever by IMDB. So, I love it, too. The best part is the gritty and hopeful way it’s told. It’s really dark, but it has an overall good feeling. The acting is also great by Tim Robbins, Bob Gunton, James Whitmore, and MORGAN F*CKING FREEMAN!!! You thought he had awesome voice over in March of the Penguins, this totally kills that with the awesome voice over in this! Morgan Freeman Narration=Like a Boss.
15. The Wild Bunch
This is on of the most epic westerns of all time. It explores the dark, dirty, and violent side of the west with a lot of high class elegance. Seriously, this movie includes classic actors like William Holden and Ernest Borgnine. But, everybody knows the best part of the movie is the shootouts. Especially, the last shootout. They are so epic! The last one is my second favorite shootout (my favorite will be revealed later in the post). But, the plot and characters are also very interesting, too. I have to say, this really is Peckinpah’s masterpiece.
14. The Big Lebowski
Ghostbusters may be one of the most quotable movies of all time, this IS the most quotable movie of all time. So many good lines, there’s too many to count! I think my favorite is, “Nobody f*cks with the Jesus.” That one makes me roll on the floor laughing. Also, the car beating scene. Jeff Bridges and John Goodman are the perfect duo/combo. John Turturro and Julianne Moore are also great supporting characters. I also love how all this complicated stuff evolves somebody pees on the Dude’s rug. It’s well done and written. The Dude abides!
13. Hard Boiled
This is the movie with my FAVORITE shootout. The hospital shootout is awesome! It literally lasts for more than an hour! That’s hardcore. Also, Chow-Yun Fat is great as Tequila Yen. He captures the dramatic and funny side of being a cop at the same time. But, besides the shootouts, the best part is the sub-plot with the mole. He has to choose a side. It kinda reminds me of the Departed in the sense that he’s a mole who has to choose a side, the good or bad. It adds more drama and is the main force that turns this into more than just a mindless action flick. This is a foreign film, but it’s not weird like Fellini, it’s pretty Americanized. So, for those close-minded film fans, this is pretty good for you. Just sayin.’
12. Once Upon a Time in the West
This moved from the 40’s, to the runners up for the top 10. Pretty impressive. How did this happen? Well, I realized, that this is a sophisticated western with more than shooting. It deals with regular, domestic life. But, the beautiful cinematography to the graceful Ennio Morricone music. It’s fantastic. Henry Fonda is great as the villain, Frank. It’s hard to believe an innocent actor like Henry Fonda can play such a sadist. But the badass in the movie is Charles Bronson. When you hear that harmonica, you know you’re in for some good action. Claudia Cardinale is hot, and Jason Robards is funny, so it adds up to be a pretty awesome flick.
This is a comedy, mystery, drama, thriller, and independent film at the same time! The Coens wrote a brilliant film with brilliant characters that would later be played by brilliant actors. This is Fargo. I’m still not sure why this didn’t win Best Picture. I love Frances McDormand, William H. Macy and Steve Buscemi. Also, the psycho criminal is scary. The over the top violence adds to the hilarity in this movie. The wood chipper made me laugh. Not because of the blood, but the amount of blood. So, don’t worry. I’m not a psychotic freak.
Next up is the top 10!