Best movie you've seen

LiamC

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#1
Just got back from reading this

http://us.imdb.com/top_250_films

and there are some good movies in there, but there also seems to be a lot of populast movies. Just because a film is popular doesn't mean it is good.

This got me thinking and I was wondering what movies other SF peeps liked. I was thinking of narrowing things down to what you liked and aslo thought was a "critically" good movie. One of my favs is Star Wars (Ep. IV), but I would never consider it to be good cinema.

I'll toss a few into the ring

Stigmata
Three Colours Blue (French - Juliet Binoche - yum!)
The Quiet American
Life is Beautiful (Italian)
Das Boot (Deutsch)
American History X
Smilla's Feeling For Snow

Movies I thought were great without being critically good
Star Wars (IV, V, VI)
Raiders of the Lost Ark
The Matrix
LOTR
Excalibur
Any "Die Hard" film
 

SteveC

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#4
Off the top of my head:

Braveheart
The Professional
October Sky
Hunt For Red October
The Godfather I & II
Apollo 13
 

LiamC

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#6
Howell,

good question without an easy answer. All the "good" movies I listed I thought were good, and a variety of film critics generally looked upon favourably as well. But it's a subjective thing. There isn't a right or wrong answer - and people who try to tell you that there is, is probably a snob anyway. :)

Mind you, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes is probably the worst movie of all time. Damn, hijacked my own thread!
 

honold

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#7
a few:

american psycho
the big lebowski
for a few dollars more
your friends and neighbors
long island expressway (l.i.e.)
rushmore
 

Mercutio

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#8
LiamC said:
Mind you, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes is probably the worst movie of all time. Damn, hijacked my own thread!
AotKT is on the rarified category of being "so bad it's good", the genre pioneered by Ed Wood. One of my personal favorites, "Vegas in Space" is in this category as well.

Besides, you can't have a worst movie of all time without Hugh Grant, Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock, Meg Ryan or Richard Gere. Gods forbid all five of them end up in one movie. I'm fairly certain there are physical laws that would be violated by those "actors" (note use of "quotes") appearing within 100 yards of each other.

So, here's a list of non-porn titles...

Last of the Mohicans (first movie I saw on a date, and the score is excellent)
Ghost World (I identify strongly with Seymour, for some reason)
West Side Story (without a doubt the best musical of all time)
Vegas in Space (transgendered comedy at its finest, made on a budget of about $37.50)
BladeRunner (best science fiction of all time)
Schindler's List
Bridge on the River Kwai
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
The Magnificent Seven
Annie Hall
Se7en (the fact that I watched this movie with no less than three co-eds clinging to my body in no way influences this rating. Oh wait. Yes it does.)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
The Collected works of Kevin Smith, except "Chasing Amy", which for some reason I find entirely too hard to watch. Yes, the Clerks cartoon, too.

The movie that very well may have ruined my life: "Better than Chocolate". I don't know whether it's a positive thing that a movie can have a life-changing impact on someone, or if I should simply hate it on the kind of deep emotional level that leads me to higher and high doses of medication, but I'll at least mention it.
 

Handruin

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#10
Letz see: (in no perticular order)

Shawshank Redemption
Apollo 13
The professional (AKA Leon)
Fight club
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Remember the Titans
Saving Private Ryan
Glory
Band of Brothers (series)
Full Metal Jacket
Amastad
Hunt for red October
Good will Hunting
Tron
 

Mercutio

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#11
That's OK, it wouldn't've made my list.

"The Opening of Misty Beethoven" would, though. Certainly a fun twist on Pygmalion.

You'd be surprised to know that late 70s porn actually had things like props, budgets, actors who memorized dialog and sometimes upwards of 20 minutes between sex scenes.

I started writing more but in the interest of the facts that probably no one else is interested and someone might get offended, I stopped.
 

time

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#12
Practically anything from Alfred Hitchcock, but particularly:

Psycho
Vertigo
Rear Window
North by Northwest

However, in terms of enjoyment, I have very catholic tastes and can't single out any one film.

Father Goose is probably Cary Grant's best film, a real showcase for one of the most charismatic actors to ever grace the screen.

Some of the old classics like The Lost Patrol, Beau Geste and Gunga Din are well worth seeing - it's an eye-opener to see how good films could be before Tinseltown took over.

I like the biting satire of The Blues Brothers: "What kind of music do you usually have here?" "Oh we got both kinds. We got Country, AND Western."

I can't get enough of the HAL sequences from 2001 - A Space Odyssey, and the space special effects always impress, even if much of the film is long-winded.

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp contains one of the most extraordinary performances I've ever seen, as Roger Livesy ages 40 years.

Sleuth is remarkable as a full length movie with just two actors, and Michael Caine shows that he really can be a great actor.

Gallipoli is a stunning cinematic experience, with Jean Michel Jarre's "Oxygene" pumping away on the soundtrack.

On a contemporary front, I'm apparently unusual in liking Star Trek - First Contact, but I think it's easily the best of the Trekkie films.

Michael Crighton's The Andromeda Strain is ever-relevant, especially with SARS cutting loose.

And to continue the SF slant, Slaughterhouse Five made a big impression originally, and still seemed pretty good when I saw it a couple of years ago. Even the introduction to the book is fascinating.

Much of Woody Allen's stuff shows its age, but when first released, Annie Hall was a knockout - one of the very few films I've seen twice in a cinema. And Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex But Were Afraid To Ask was seriously funny in its time, particularly the Gene Wilder scene.

Trying to think of more comedy, I remembered an excellent Australian film, Malcolm.

Which reminds me of Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid.

Monty Python deserves a whole category to themselves: The Life of Brian and The Meaning Of Life. I adore the Crimson Permanent Assurance!

Elizabeth is a showcase for Cate Blanchett - a magnetic performance. No question she was robbed at the Oscars.

And finally, a film that I think is greatly underrated: Virtuosity. Russell Crowe makes a genuinely menacing super-villain across from Denzel Washington's cop. And it's probably churlish to suggest that it also highlights how much better an actor Crowe is, and how he too was robbed of an Oscar (for A Beautiful Mind). The guy's body of work is second to none in today's industry, and I don't see what his being a buffoon has to do with his acting ability.
 

time

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#13
Mercutio said:
Besides, you can't have a worst movie of all time without Hugh Grant, Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock, Meg Ryan or Richard Gere.
S-o-o-o-o-o true!

I haven't seen West Side Story, but I think it would be pretty hard to top Singin' In the Rain, even if for no other reason than Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor dance in it.

Bridge on the River Kwai reminds me of Lawrence of Arabia - overly long perhaps, but a masterpiece.

The Magnificent Seven was one of the few films that I thought gave Yul Brynner a chance to strut his stuff. I even liked him in Westworld.

But all this reminiscing has made me remember that there probably is a film that I hold in higher regard than just about anything else: Some Like It Hot. Definitely one of the best films ever made, both critically and popularly.
 

Buck

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#14
Let’s see, in no particular order:

Magnificent Seven
Zulu
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman & Burl Ives)
Star Wars
Empire Strikes Back
Star Trek II – The Wrath of Khan
Uncle Buck :)
Fletch
Fletch Lives
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Cahill – U.S. Marshall
Big Jake
Gold Finger
Dr. No
Blue Hawaii (Yes, with Elvis Presley)
. . . I’m sure there are more, I just can’t think of them at the moment.
 

Mercutio

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#15
Anyone ever seen "Brazil"?

I love the set direction in that movie, and of course one of the key plot points seems to be that technicians seem to be the only people in the world who have a clue what's going on... Terry Gilliam was going to do "Don Quixote", which is one of my favorite literary works, but unfortunately he had just about every bad thing possible happen on his set, and his shoot was cancelled.

Until recently, I would've added a movie called "The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love", which despite its title, is really a sweet coming-of-age movie (I mentioned this title on SR, when last we discussed this topic, and as I recall I got a couple of really negative emails. It's not that kind of movie, folks. In fact, it's really good story. Honest).

I watch Fantasia and Fantasia 2000 pretty regularly. "The Firebird" in DTS + DLP projector = a real treat. Lilo and Stich is great, too. The line "My friends need to be punished" kills me for some reason.

Documentaries: "Roger and Me" is a personal favorite. I'm sure Clocker would have a different perspective.

How could I have forgotten Altman's MASH? If you've never seen it, well, it's hysterical. Very different from the TV show.

I think "Real Genuis" holds up rather well. Certainly inspired the pranks I was involved at college to new levels (we never assembled a car in a dorm room, but we DID suck most of the air out of one...)

Young Frankenstein
 

Mercutio

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#16
time, the cinematography in West Side Story was groundbreaking for its time. It was filmed on New York streets, not sets, and the opening shots moved from a bird's eye view of New York to the streets of the Jets and the Sharks. Technically, that was thought to be impossible at the time.
West Side Story dealt with white-hispanic race relations years before Caesar Chavez reminded Americans that we mistreat all kinds of brown people.
And of course, you have Bernstein's score and Sondheim's lyrics, in which every single piece is memorable, heartfelt or genuinely funny. That was really a combination of the century.

I've seen enough Fred Astaire movies that I just have to wonder: On what planet is that funny looking little man a romantic lead?
 

e_dawg

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#17
This list is more of a personal favourites, not a critical list

12 Angry Men
Dances with Wolves
A Few Good Men
Sleepless in Seattle
You've Got Mail
Philadelphia
Pearl Harbour
Pulp Fiction
Shawshank Redemption
Saving Private Ryan
Gladiator
Green Mile
Gandhi
A Beautiful Mind
Catch Me if You Can

Hmm... that's a lot of Tom Hanks flicks!
 

CityK

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#20
Yes Brazil was good...been a long time though, so the memory is a little fuzzy. Agree about the score for Last of the Mohicans too (esp. the end chase scene up the mountain side)

- Unforgiven (closure to all the spaghetti westerns).
- Aliens (one of the best sci fi action flicks)
- Shawshank (went in to the theater with no expectations...hadn't even seen a commercial for it, but the gf at the time wanted to see it.)
- Its a wonderful life (my christmas wouldn't be complete without it...that and the Grinch)
- Platoon (most effective use of Samuel Barber's Adagio ever)
- The Ten Commandments (Cast of thousands and you get to hear Yule Brener say "so it is written, so it shall be done")
- Schinders List
- the english patient
- the cider house rules
- the last empereor
- resvior dogs & pulp fiction
- good fellows
- the god father i & ii

.... um I tired of thinking now.
 

Mercutio

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#21
honold, what's up with "The Big Lebowski"? Is it one of those movies you have to be stoned to enjoy, or did I just miss something? I only just saw it about 6 weeks ago, so I'm pretty sure I would've noticed any particular "quality" to that movie, but given that the single impression I have is that it didn't make an impression, I'd really like to know how it makes your list.
 

jtr1962

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#22
Here's my short list in no particular order:

2001:A Space Odyssey
The Andromeda Strain
Blade Runner(I agree with Mercutio-best science fiction film ever)
Silent Running
1984
Total Recall
The Hunt For Red October
Saving Private Ryan
Heaven and Earth
Predator
The Terminator
T2:Judgement Day
Casualties of War
Runaway Train
Dune
Koyaanisqatsi
Soylent Green
The Matrix
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
War of the Worlds
The Time Machine(I liked the original better than the remake)
Leaving Las Vegas
The Joy Luck Club
Mr. Sommersby
Benhur
The Ten Commandments
Planet of the Apes(the original one)
Alien(the scariest movie made in my opinion)
The Green Mile
The Legend of 1900
anything Star Wars but the first trilogy was the best
anything Star Trek
anything Godfather

I don't know or care which are critically acclaimed or not. It seems great movies are getting rarer and rarer these days. All most film makers know how to make lately are big budget action films with no plot, movies with mostly gratuitous sex scenes and no plot, sequels, or mostly poor remakes of older films. There's loads of great works of fiction just waiting to be turned into movies instead of either doing mindless garbage or remakes, but nobody wants to take a chance of losing money anymore. They're playing it safe and it shows.
 

e_dawg

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#24
At the risk of taking us off topic, let me ask each of you a question:

What is the one movie that we absolutely must see?

12 Angry Men has my vote. Made in the 50's and remade in the 90's quite well IMO. Filmed in a single room. No special effects. Just a simple but powerful script and entirely dialog driven.

Brian Rathjen said:
Heralded as one of the all-time great theatrical releases, "12 Angry Men" focuses on a jury's deliberations in a capital murder case. A 12-man jury is sent to begin deliberations in the first-degree murder trial of an 18-year-old Latino accused in the stabbing death of his father, where a guilty verdict means an automatic death sentence. The case appears to be open-and-shut: The defendant has a weak alibi; a knife he claimed to have lost is found at the murder scene; and several witnesses either heard screaming, saw the killing or the boy fleeing the scene. Eleven of the jurors immediately vote guilty; only Juror No. 8 (Mr. Davis, played by Henry Fonda) casts a not guilty vote. At first Mr. Davis' bases his vote moreso for the sake of discussion after all, the jurors must believe beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. As the deliberations unfold, the story quickly becomes a study of the jurors' complex personalities (which range from wise, bright and empathetic to arrogant, prejudiced and merciless), preconceptions, backgrounds and interactions. That provides the backdrop to Mr. Davis' attempts in convincing the other jurors that a "not guilty" verdict might be appropriate.
 

timwhit

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#25
I can't believe no on mentioned Trainspotting. A great movie in my opinion. I also like Requiem for a Dream. I read both books and considering that they were books first, the screenplays are very well done.

I have only seen the Godfather series once, but they are truly great, especially the 2nd one. Goodfellas is an awesome movie, maybe the best movie ever made about the mafia.
 

timwhit

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#26
For comedy I would have to say that Dumb and Dumber ranks pretty high on my list. As do most of the National Lampoons series. Christmas Vacation, Summer Vacation, European Vacation, Vegas Vacation. They're all good.
 

blakerwry

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#28
I enjoy a good Sci-Fi flick...


John Carpenter's: The Thing (the kurt russel version)
2001 a space odyssey
Them
Forbidden plannet
War of the Worlds
The original Time machine
Fahrenheit 451 (The George Orwell book was better)
oh, and who can forget The Incredible Shrinking Man

Twilight Zone: The Movie (I especially liked the airplane scene with John Lithgow)


(it's been a long time since I've seen serveral of these)


I never "got" close encoutners of the third kind.. perhaps I was too young.
 

Piyono

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#29
Must I?
Oh, well, here goes... a few favorites in no particular order:

Harold & Maude
Rushmore
Princess Bride
Casablanca
Singing in the Rain
Army of Darkness
Billy Eliot

others, too.


Piyono
 

slo crostic

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#30
Just a quick one for now, I'll come back later when I've had time to think.
Gattaca would have to win "best concept for a movie" and also come in close to the top for acting and character dialogue.
 

Jake the Dog

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#31
in vague order of preference:

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Shawshank Redemption
Saving Private Ryan
12 Angry Men
Gattaca
Pulp Fiction
Magnolia
Seven
Trainspotting
Brazil
Two Hands
Arsenic and Old Lace
Young Frankenstein
The Usual Suspects
BladeRunner
Schindler's List
and pretty much anything Terry Gilliam

least favourite movie: When Harry got mail in Seattle
 

Howell

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#34
The Two Faces of Eve
The Royal Tannenbaums
The Sixth Sense
The Jerk

Movies I was supposed to like but never did even after multiple viewings:
Raising Arizona
 

time

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#35
blakerwry said:
Fahrenheit 451 (The George Orwell book was better)
WTF? I expect nothing less than a full apology to Ray Bradbury over this slur. :x (Fahrenheit 451 is my favourite prophecy novel).

oh, and who can forget The Incredible Shrinking Man
Yeah, I still have vivid memories from seeing that as a kid. Everything else that followed in that line seems a little pale.

I never "got" Close Encounters either, if it's any consolation.

I like all of your selection except that even though I like Kurt Russell, I think I preferred the original "Thing". From Piyono's offerings, I like Billy Elliot and Casablanca (and really, just about anything with Bogart in it). I also like Jake's suggestions, but Two Hands reminds me to add Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Actually, having seen both a couple of times, I think I prefer Two Hands - that portrayal of bank robbers is just fantastic.

That's two or three votes already for Young Frankenstein, and I'd like to add mine. But then, when I first saw Sherlock Holmes Smarter Brother many years ago, I thought it was hysterical. Apparently, it's crap. :oops:

As we're including Trainspotting, how about another Robert Carlysle film: The Full Monty ?

My daughter was a big fan of Gattaca, but I haven't seen it yet. :(
 

Howell

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#36
I suppose I really should make a list and post it once, but I kind of like the free association approach better.

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
 

honold

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#37
Mercutio said:
honold, what's up with "The Big Lebowski"? Is it one of those movies you have to be stoned to enjoy, or did I just miss something? I only just saw it about 6 weeks ago, so I'm pretty sure I would've noticed any particular "quality" to that movie, but given that the single impression I have is that it didn't make an impression, I'd really like to know how it makes your list.
http://us.imdb.com/Title?0118715
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/TheBigLebowski-1081204/

apparently i'm not in the minority :)

it's not a have-to-be-stoned thing, it's a have-to-appreciate-subtlety thing. everybody loved fargo (another coen bros movie), but unfortunately most of them seemed to love it simply for the accents. their skill is their subtlety, and that's where i find all the value in their movies.
 

honold

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#39
timwhit said:
I can't believe no on mentioned Trainspotting. A great movie in my opinion. I also like Requiem for a Dream. I read both books and considering that they were books first, the screenplays are very well done.
i took requiem to be a piece of directorial masturbation. the same could be said for the royal tenenbaums, but at least wes anderson did it faultlessly :)

i never saw the value in trainspotting. it was not popcorn-entertaining (think ocean's eleven), and none of the drug culture stuff was remotely insightful to me.
 

honold

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#40
timwhit said:
For comedy I would have to say that Dumb and Dumber ranks pretty high on my list. As do most of the National Lampoons series. Christmas Vacation, Summer Vacation, European Vacation, Vegas Vacation. They're all good.
vegas? nownow...

anybody know 'holiday road' was written/performed by lindsey buckingham (MALE from fleetwood mac)?

i've seen summer vacation too many times to even be able to judge it. the only line that does it for me as far as i can remember is 'the moose outside should have told you' because my dad and i still use it when people get surprised about something.

european would probably entertain me the most right now because i ran christmas into the ground when i was younger with my siblings. i don't even think vegas was worthy of the name :(
 
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