Yesterday, we saw the list of films which demanded be included in my list, which is traditionally a Top 100, but which had to be expanded to fit all the films in worth mentioning. Today, we foray into the proper Top 100 (though again, pay only little attention to the order, as with any list of mine, the order could easily be shuffled). As always, enjoy!
#100 – The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Andrew Dominik, 2007)
There are many nominees for such an honor, but The Assassination of Jesse James very well may be my favorite visual film of all time. The cinematography by legend Roger Deakins is impeccable, his best work. It is a shame he has still never won an Oscar for his craft. This was also the film that showed me how capable Casey Affleck is, as he shines in his role as Robert Ford.
#99 – In the Loop (Armando Iannucci, 2009)
Like In Bruges earlier in this list, In the Loop follows the same vulgar vein of comedy, but instead of a violent backdrop for the jokes, In the Loop provides us a sharp political satire. Top to bottom the cast delivers, and laughs can be found at a pace of at least once a minute, probably more; probably every few seconds.
#98 – Wild Strawberries (Ingmar Bergman, 1957)
Wild Strawberries is a good example of a film that I have not seen in some time, but which left me with such a lasting impression of excellence that it demanded inclusion on my list. Bergman is a master of cinema whose films often conjure the darkest of contemplation. With Wild Strawberries, he explores the depths of our existence along side a beautiful performance by Victor Sjostrom.
#97 – Clue (Jonathan Lynn, 1985)
Based on a board game of all things, and one which featured prominently in my childhood, Clue is a raucous comedy led by a brilliant performance by Tim Curry. The ensemble is terrific, and the writing makes this take on a classic board game a classic itself.
#96 – (500) Days of Summer (Marc Webb, 2009)
We are all a product of our generation, and as this list continues, I happen to notice, as you might as well, a more modern flair, even as I attempt to make it balanced. (500) Days of Summer came out at a time in my life where it just made sense, and I connected with its musing on love and relationships and in particular loneliness. The “Expectations/Reality” scene (see above) is inspired work by the way.
#95 – The Interrupters (Steve James, 2011)
When I saw The Interrupters for the first time I was floored. Steve James has long been a well-respected documentarian after his remarkable Hoop Dreams, but what he does with The Interrupters is capture the volatile, yet tender relationship between violence in Chicago and those who look to “interrupt” it in order to better the lives of the children and young adults thrust into this environment.
#94 – Die Hard (John McTiernan, 1988)
With the recent passing of Alan Rickman, it is difficult to talk about Die Hard and not mention his brilliant villain Hans Gruber. But this is a great action movie otherwise, with a great premise, which is executed to near perfection. Really a blueprint for many action films that followed it.
#93 – Back to the Future (Robert Zemeckis, 1985)
To all my Filmspotting friends out there, this ranking goes out to you. Back to the Future is a timeless adventure of time travel which hits all the right beats. It is hard to imagine this film without the charm of Michael J. Fox in the lead. It would have likely not worked nearly the same, but all the credit in the world to Fox for his performance, and Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale for penning such a wild ride.
#92 – The Best Years of Our Lives (William Wyler, 1946)
The PTSD war film has been done a number of times, but The Best Years of Our Lives is perhaps the best of the bunch, as none deliver as poignant a message or treat its characters with as much humanity and sympathy as this film, which remarkably came out just on the heels of World War II. I can’t imagine the impact it had then.
#91 – Jurassic Park (Steven Spielberg, 1993)
The blockbuster film has been around a while, and usually makes a boatload of cash for whatever studio releases the film. Even this year, the legacy film from this franchise, Jurassic World took home what was, at the time, the best opening weekend at the box office ever. Star Wars: The Force Awakens has since eclipsed that, but Jurassic Park is pretty much the best blockbuster film of all time. It has thrills, laughs, fun characters, and an incredibly fun adventure. What’s not to like!?