|A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (1972)
Directed by Stanley Kubrick and is a satirical science fiction film adaptation of the 1962 novel A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess, about Alex DeLarge (Malcolm McDowell), a charismatic, psychopathic delinquent whose pleasures may include classical music (especially Beethoven), theiving, rape and ultra-violence. He is the leader of a small gang of thugs (Pete, Georgie, and Dim), whom he calls his droogs - from the Russian term for, 'friend'. Alex narrates most of the film in ' Russian Nadsat'.
This cinematic adaptation was co-written and produced by director Kubrick, it's a tame affair that acts as a social commentary about psychiatry, youth gangs, and other contemporary social, political,subjects in a dystopian, future Britain. The controversial cult masterpiece was withdrawn (not banned) by Kubrick himself in Britain following copycats and media reactions, it remained so until after his death and was finally re-released in the UK in 2000
Scorsese's masterpiece crime drama.
Based on the non-fiction book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi, who also co-wrote the screenplay for the film with Scorsese. The film follows the rise and fall of three gangsters, spanning three decades.
Goodfellas performed well at the box office, grossing $46.8 million domestically, well above its $25 million budget; it received mostly positive reviews from critics. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards but only won one for Pesci in the Best Actor in a Supporting Role.
The film is a cult classic deserving of it's reputation, very well shot, slick photography and a superb supporting soundtrack of Soul, Rock and Jazz. The large ensemble cast will be recognisable from other mob based film and television, notably the Sopranos.
|ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOOS NEST (1975)
An adaptation of the 1962 novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey. The movie was the first to win all five major Academy Awards.
Cuckoo's Nest is frequently called one of the greatest films in the history of American cinema and that it is.
A fresh viewing of this film regardless of whether you've seen it before, never fails to blow you away, any geekish list you may have created in your head becomes all muddled up as Jack Nicholson's greatest performance to date carries one of the most spectacular and thought provoking movies ever made.
In 1993, this film was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in their National Film Registry.
The film was shown in Swedish cinemas between 1975 and 1987 — twelve years, which is still a record.
British film from director Ken Loach and producer Tony Garnett. The film is based on the novel A Kestrel for a Knave written by the Barnsley born author Barry Hines in 1968.
The film is ranked seventh in the British Film Institute's Top Ten (British) Films.
The film focuses on Billy Casper, who has little hope in life beyond becoming a coal miner and is bullied both at home, by his physically and verbally abusive brother, Jud, as well as at school. Both the film and the book provide an authentic portrait of life in the mining areas of Yorkshire of the time.
Kes is genuine, it's gritty, funny, poignant, tells a story of a time and place people would rather forget, yet strangely look back upon fondly.
This film shows school as we knew it, school as it was, it's spot on, and let's not forget the best PE lesson ever captured in the history of cinema. Kes is Kes, it's shown in schools, it's heart-breakingly great.
|NUTS IN MAY (1976)
Written and directed by Mike Leigh, originally broadcast as part of the BBC's Play for Today series. It is the comical story of a nature-loving and rather self-righteous couple's exhausting battle to enjoy what they perceive to be the idyllic camping holiday. Misunderstandings, awkward clashes of values and, inevitably, explosive conflicts are the uncomfortable scenarios that occur when more open-minded and fun-loving guests pitch their tents nearby.
|THE LONELINESS OF THE LONG DISTANCE RUNNER (1962)
tells the story of a rebellious youth (Tom Courtenay), sentenced to a boy's reformatory for robbing a bakery, who rises through the ranks of the institution through his prowess as a long distance runner. During his solitary runs, reveries of his life and times before his incarceration lead him to re-evaluate his privileged status as the Governor's prize runner
|WILD AT HEART (1990)
Directed by David Lynch, a crazy road movie Nicholas Cage and Laura Dern lead an ensemble cast, and includes bizarre, almost supernatural events and off-kilter violence with sometimes overtly heavy allusions to The Wizard of Oz and strong references to Elvis Presley. Based on the Barry Gifford Pulp novel, released to mixed reviews, this is a classic Lynch movie, worth watching for Willem Defoe's Bobby Peru alone.
1996 American neo-noir film produced, directed and written by brothers Joel and Ethan Coen. The film is about a car salesman who hires two men to kidnap his wife for $80,000. Small-town police chief Marge Gunderson investigates the crime, which sets off a chain of murders.
The film stars Frances McDormand, William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare and Harve Presnell.
Fargo earned seven Academy Award nominations, winning twofor Best Original Screenplay for the Coens and Best Actress in a Leading Role for McDormand. The film also won the British BAFTA Award and the Award for Best Director for Joel Coen at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival.
|A ROOM FOR ROMEO BRASS (1999)
Directed by Shane Meadows, and co-written by frequent Meadows collaborator Paul Fraser.
The film stars Andrew Shim as Romeo Brass, Ben Marshall as Gavin Woolley and Paddy Considine as Morell. It marked the screen debut of Considine, who went on to star in Meadows' 2004 film, Dead Man's Shoes.
It was nominated in three categories at the 1999 British Independent Film Awards.
|CITY OF GOD (2002)
Brazilian crime drama film directed by Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund, released in its home country in 2002 and worldwide in 2003. It was adapted by Bráulio Mantovani from the 1997 novel of the same name written by Paulo Lins which was based on a true story. It depicts the growth of organized crime in this Rio de Janeiro suburb, between the end of the '60s and the beginning of the '80s, with the closure of the film depicting the war between the drug dealer Li'l Zé and criminal Knockout Ned.
|LA HAINE (1995)
French black-and-white film directed by Mathieu Kassovitz, released in 1995. It is released under its French title in the English-speaking world, although its American VHS release was entitled Hate. It is about three teenage friends and their struggle to live in the banlieues of Paris. The title derives from a line spoken by one of them, Hubert:
"La haine attire la haine!", "hatred breeds hatred."
|RAINING STONES (1993)
Directed by Ken Loach and starring Bruce Jones, Julie Brown, Ricky Tomlinson, Tom Hickey and Gemma Phoenix. It tells the story of a man who cannot afford to buy his daughter a First Communion dress, and makes disastrous choices in trying to raise the money.
Arguably Ken Loach's finest film, absolutely spot on, an amazing role for Bruce Jones later to be more familair for his work on Coronation Street.
|RITA, SUE AND BOB TOO (1986)
Directed by Alan Clarke, a gritty and very northern film set during Thatcher's grim Britain, follows two West Yorkshire schoolgirls Rita and Sue who have a sexual fling with a married man, Bob. It is adapted by Andrea Dunbar from her 1982 stage play of the same name. Its portrayal of 'ordinary' people's lives made it a cult film soon after its cinematic release. A superb film which has stood the test of time, controversial, hilarous and utterly convincing, there are some fantastic standout performaces from a great cast, not least from the late Wille Ross as Sue's drunken father. .
|TRADING PLACES (1983)
Academy Award-nominated 1983 comedy film starring Eddie Murphy, Dan Aykroyd and Jamie Lee Curtis. It was directed by John Landis.
Louis Winthorpe III is a successful Philadelphia commodity broker with mansion, manservant and girlfriend to match. Billy Ray Valentine is a hustling beggar. Winthorpe's employers, the elderly Duke brothers, make a bet which switches the pair. Thinking Billy Ray will prosper and Winthorpe will turn to a live of crime.
|BUFFALO 66 (1998)
Vincent Gallo's semi-autobiographical full-length motion picture debut. The retro look, do it yourself sensibility and the comic mixture of irony and sentimentality, as well as the casting and music, have caused the film to be strongly identifiable with late-1990s hipster culture.
Gallo and Christina Ricci star in the lead roles with a fine supporting cast. Gallo also composed and performed much of the music for the film.
|THE DEERHUNTER (1978)
In Clairton, a small working-class domicile in Western Pennsylvania during the late 1960s, Russian-American steel workers Michael (Robert De Niro), Steven (John Savage), and Nick (Christopher Walken), are preparing for two rites of passage: marriage and military servic in the Vietnam war. Whilst dealingwith controversial issues such as drug abuse, suicide, infidelity and mental illness. The infamous Russian Roulette scene is difficult, yet compelling viewing
The film won five Academy Awards.
London, 1965. Like many other youths, Jimmy hates the philistine life, especially his parents and his job in a company's mailing division. Only when he's together with his friends, a 'Mod' clique, cruises London on his motor-scooter and hears music such as that of 'The Who' and 'The High Numbers', he feels free and accepted. However, it's a flight into an illusionary world.
Phil Daniels plays working-class Jimmy, the drug-induced Mod, who hates his job and is misunderstood by his parents. But by night, he comes alive, with the all-nighters, his pills and his scooter-riding friends. Always on a high, life can't get any better. Then there's the Brighton scooter run, where both Mods and Rockers converge, ending in the battle of the cults on Brighton Beach
|RESERVOIR DOGS (1992)
Quentin Tarantino's debut film. It portrays what happens before and after a botched jewel heist. Reservoir Dogs stars an ensemble cast with Harvey Keitel, Steve Buscemi, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, incorporating many themes that have become Tarantino's hallmarks: violent crime, pop culture references, dialogue, profuse profanity, and a nonlinear storyline.
The film has become a cult classic.It was named "Greatest Independent Film of all Time" by Empire.
Directed by Oliver Stone and starring Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, John C McGinlay, Keith David, and Kevin Dillon.
The story is drawn from Stone's experiences as a U.S. infantryman in Vietnam and was written by him upon his return as a counter to the vision of the war portrayed in John Wayne's The Green Berets. The film won the Academy Award for Best Picture of 1986.
|THE BIG LEBOWSKI (1998)
American comedy film written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. Jeff Bridges stars as Jeffrey Lebowski, an unemployed Los Angeles slacker and avid bowler, who refers to himself as "the Dude".
After being mistaken for a multimillionaire who has the same name, Lebowski is commissioned to deliver a million-dollar ransom in order to secure the release of the millionaire's kidnapped trophy wife. The plan goes awry, and the Dude's friend Walter Sobchak (John Goodman) further complicates the ordeal.
|TRUE ROMANCE (1993)
Romantic crime film directed by Tony Scott and written by Quentin Tarantino. Starring Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette with an ensemble cast; It is billed as a "love story", albeit an unconventional one, as the plot revolves around drugs and violence. Clarence Worley and Alabama Whitman attempt to start a new life for themselves using cocaine stolen from Alabama's former pimp and find themselves on the run from the Mafia.
|THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971)
Hollywood crime film directed by William Friedkin. The film was adapted and fictionalized by Ernest Tidyman from the non-fiction book by Robin Moore. It tells the story of two New York City policemen who are trying to intercept a heroin shipment coming in from France. It is based on the actual, infamous "French Connection" trafficking scheme. It stars Gene Hackman (as pork pie hat-wearing New York City police detective Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle), Fernando Rey (as the villain French heroin smuggler Alain Charnier) and Roy Scheider (as Jimmy's partner Buddy "Cloudy" Russo).
|TO LIVE AND DIE IN LA (1985)
Directed by William Friedkin and based on the novel written by former Secret Service agent Gerald Petievich, who co-wrote the screenplay with Friedkin. The film features William L. Petersen, Willem Dafoe, John Turturro, John Pankow, among others. Wang Chung composed and performed the original music soundtrack. The film tells the story of the lengths to which two Secret Service agents go to arrest a counterfeiter.
To Live and Die in LA features arguably the best car chase in any film, ever.
|GROSSE POINT BLANK (1997)
American comedy movie, directed by George Armitage, and starring John Cusack and Minnie Driver.
In 2000, readers of Total Film magazine voted Grosse Pointe Blank the 21st greatest comedy film of all time.
Martin Blank is a freelance hitman who starts to develop a conscience, which causes him to muff a couple of routine assignments. On the advice of his secretary and his psychiatrist, he attends his 10th year High School reunion.
The film's soundtrack features mainly independent music hits from the 1980s.
|THE JERK (1979)
American rags-to-riches-to-rags comedy film of belated self-discovery. This was Steve Martin's first starring role in a feature film. The film also features Bernadette Peters, M. Emmet Walsh and Jackie Mason.
In 2000, readers of Total Film magazine voted The Jerk the 48th greatest comedy film of all time. This film is #20 on Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies.
|THE GRADUATE (1967)
Directed by Mike Nichols, based on the 1963 novel by Charles Webb, who wrote it shortly after graduating from Williams College.The film tells the story of Ben Braddock (played by Dustin Hoffman), a recent university graduate with no well-defined aim in life, who is seduced by an older woman, Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft), and then falls in love with her daughter Elaine (Katharine Ross)
It ranked as the ninth greatest film of all time on AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies.
Cult film written and directed by Harmony Korine. The film stars Nick Sutton and Jacob Reynolds. Set in Xenia, Ohio, a real small town that was hit by a tornado in 1974. The film, however, was not actually shot in Xenia. The film depicts Xenia as the home of various oddball and sometimes disturbing backwater characters. The loose narrative follows several main characters, interrupted by vignettes depicting the other denizens of the town.
|DAWN OF THE DEAD (1978)
Directed by George A. Romero, the second film made in Romero's Living Dead series, Dawn of the Dead contains no characters or settings from its predecessor, and shows in larger scale the apocalyptic effects a zombie epidemic would have on society. In the film, a plague of unknown origin has caused the reanimation of the dead, who prey on human flesh. Several survivors of the outbreak barricade themselves inside a suburban shopping mall.
|STAND BY ME (1986)
Directed by Rob Reiner, The title comes from a song with the same title by Ben E. King (which plays during the closing credits), while the story itself is based on the novella The Body by Stephen King. Coming of ageadventure-drama, four young boys set off on a quest to find the body of Ray Brower - hit by a train in a bid for stardom in their small local town,but in the mean time each of the boys learn more about themselves in a tale of bonding and self discovery.
|THE SHINING (1980)
Supernatural thriller film directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on Stephen King's novel of the same name. Though not initially successful, the film has had status as a cult film for years. Now being frequently ranked as one of the best horror films in history and its iconic imagery deeply embedded throughout popular culture, The film stars Jack Nicholson as tormented writer Jack Torrance, Shelley Duvall as his wife, Wendy, and Danny Lloyd as their son, Danny.
|THE GOOD THE BAD THE UGLY (1966)
Italian epic spaghetti western film directed by Sergio Leone, starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach in the title roles.
To this day, Leone's effort to reinvigorate the timeworn Western is widely acknowledged.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly has been described as European cinema's best representative of the Western genre film, and Quentin Tarantino has called it "the best-directed film of all time.
|THE GODFATHER (1972)
American 1972 crime thriller film film based on the 1969 novel of the same name by Mario Puzo and directed by Francis Ford Coppola from a screenplay by Puzo, With a stellar cast including Marlon Brando, Al Pacino and James Caan.
The story spans ten years from 1945 to 1955 and chronicles the fictional Italian-American Corleone crime family. The Godfather received Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay.
|THE GODFATHER II (1973)
The film is both a sequel and a prequel to The Godfather, chronicling the story of the Corleone family following the events of the first film while also depicting the rise to power of the young Vito Corleone. The film stars Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, John Cazale, and Robert DeNiro..
The Godfather Part II was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won six, including Best Picture, and Best Supporting Actor for Robert De Niro in the role of the young Vito Corleone.
|GET CARTER (1971)
Michael Caine stars as Jack Carter, a London based mobster who sets out to avenge the death of his brother in a series of unrelenting and brutal killings played out against the grim background of derelict urban housing in the North Eastern English city of Newcastle upon Tyne.
The film was based on Ted Lewis' 1969 novel Jack's Return Home. Ranked 16th on the BFI Top 100 British films of the 20th century, Get Carter is the quintessential British Gangster film, not to be confused with the ridiculous Sly Stallone re-make from 2000, which by all intents and purposes ought to be ignored.
|THE LIFE AQUATIC (2004)
Wes Anderson's fourth feature length film, The offbeat comedy stars Bill Murray as Steve Zissou, an eccentric oceanographer.
In this ensemble cast, Steve Zissou sets out to exact revenge on the "jaguar shark" that ate his partner Esteban. Murray's character is both a parody of and homage to Jacques-Yves Cousteau, to whom the film is dedicated
Very stylishly shot film, with a soundtrack featuring Seu Jorge performing David Bowie songs in Portuguese on the acoustic guitar..
|WITHNAIL AND I (1986)
Written and directed by Bruce Robinson, it is based on his life in London in the late 1960s.
The main plot follows two struggling unemployed young actors, Withnail (Richard E. Grant) and “I” (Paul McGann) who live in a squalid flat in London in 1969 while waiting for their careers to take off. Needing a holiday, they obtain the key to the country cottage belonging to Withnail’s flamboyantly gay uncle Monty and drive there. The holiday is less ‘recuperative’ than they expected, and tests their friendship.
|THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (1980)
Space opera film directed by Irvin Kershner. The screenplay, based on a story by George Lucas, was written by Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan. It was the second film released in the Star Wars saga, being followed by Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, and the fifth in terms of internal chronology.
The film is set three years after the destruction of the Death Star. Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia Organa, and the rest of the Rebel Alliance are being pursued by Darth Vader and the elite forces of the Galactic Empire.
|Here we have our hand picked top 100 films, in truth it could have easily been, a hundred and fifty or two hundred even, with a few notable omissions and a few surprise additions perhaps, it's one difficult task to pick especially as the mood changes and you discover new and old classics.
Well this is ours, with the classics and cult and more than a handful of our fave indie films too.
You might have to highlight your mouse over one or two of these as we've tried to keep it stylish looking. T&D
|That's All Folks...|
|THE WICKER MAN (1973)
Harrowing cult British film, filmed in Scotland, combining thriller, existential horror and musical genres, directed by Robin Hardy and written by Anthony Shaffer. The film stars Edward Woodward, Sir Christopher Lee, Diane Cilento, Ingrid Pitt and Britt Ekland. The Wicker Man is generally very highly regarded by critics and film enthusiasts. The climax of this film makes for difficult viewing, a true horror.
Ignore the US Nicolas Cage remake.
|BACK TO THE FUTURE (1985)
Directed by Robert Zemeckis, Back to the Future is a clever film, hopping from a family film to a modern day time travel fable, done well. Set in both 1985 and 1955 Back to the Future tells the story of Marty Mcfly trying to repair history and bring his parents together in love.
This film was huge at the time, and remains a cult classic, films of this ilk produced today don't really make the grade, it's certainly not a kid's film.
|THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION (1994)
Based on Stephen King's novel, 'Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption'. The film stars Tim Robbins as Andy Dufresne and Morgan Freeman as Ellis 'Red' Redding.
Shawshank is now ranked highly in many 'Greatest movie lists', hailed by critics and film goers, but was beaten hand's down at the 1994 Academy Awards by Forrest Gump.
The ultimate prison breakout / buddy movie.
|THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991)
Directed by Jonathan Demme, starring
Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, Ted Levine and Brooke Smith. It is based on the novel of the same name by Thomas Harris, his second to feature Dr. Hannibal Lecter, brilliant psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer.
Silence of the Lambs was a huge hit winning five Oscars, including Best Actress, Actor and Film.
Just ignore some of the shite it has since spawned.
|THIS IS SPINAL TAP (1984)
Mock rockumentary directed by Rob Reiner and starring members of the fictional British heavy-metal band Spinal Tap. The film satirizes the wild behavior of a rock band on tour in the US promoting their new album 'Smell the Glove', filmed by Director Mart DiBergi played by Reiner himself. Michael McKean and Harry Shearer, and Christopher Guest still tour in character as Spinal Tap. The Comic Strips 'Bad News' from the same era which actually preceded Tap makes very similar and hilarious viewing .
|WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE (1995)
Coming of age dark comedy from Director Todd Solondz, less familar to his other controversial works Storytelling (2001) and Happiness (1998)
Dollhouse tells the tale of the unpopular
Dawn 'Wienerdog' Weiner, a seventh grade middle class New Jersey girl, where she is bullied in school and deals with crushes and rejection along with family problems such as having inattentive parents, sibling rivalry, and the kidnapping of her sister.
|RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981)
The ultimate action-adventure movie and head and shoulders above it's following three sequals.
Directed by Steven Spielberg, Harrison Ford stars as Indiana Jones a full time archaeologist and part time treasure hunter.
Jones takes on the nazis in a fictional sub-plot preceding World War Two, in the search for the Ark of the Covenant, whilst attempt to make their army invincible, they find it with genuinely scary face melting consequences.
|THE LIFE OF BRIAN (1979)
Written, directed and largely performed by the Monty Python comedy team in multiple roles.
Life of Brian tells the story of Brian Cohen (Graham Chapman), a young Jewish man who is born a few doors down from Jesus Christ and subsequently mistaken for the Messiah.
The film is regarded as one of the funniest ever made, yet remains controversial with it's satirical and blasphemous slant on the New Testament.
The film was banned in Aberystwyth for 30 years.
|THE PUBLIC ENEMY (1931)
Starring James Cagney and directed by William A. Wellman. The movie relates the story of a young man's rise in the criminal underworld in prohibition-era urban America.
Cagney was forever labelled with the 'tough guy' image, despite winning an oscar for the decidedly pleasant Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), he was never really able to shake it off.
Tony Soprano can be seen enjoying the film in an episode of the cult televison show.
|AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON (1981)
Directed by John Landis and starring David Naughton, Griffin Dunne and Jenny Auguttter.
The movie won the 1981 Saturn Award for Best Horror Film and an Academy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Makeup which gives the film a real edge over the crap and overused CGI in modern day movies.
Financers believed that Landis' script was too frightening to be a comedy and too funny to be a horror film.
|THE LAVENDER HILL MOB (1951)
Directed by Charles Chrichton and scribed by T.E.B Clarke, from West London's famous Ealing Studios way back in '51. British cinema were doing twists and turns in our movies before Tarantino was even conceived.The always reliable Alec Guinness plays Mr Holland aka 'Dutch' a timid, paranoid but very reliable bank clerk. Be-friending a new lodger at his residence - Mr Pendlebury (Stanley Holloway), together they hatch the perfect plan to steal gold bullion and mould it in the shape of Eiffel Tower souvenirs in order to smuggle them away from Britain and the black market.Such a simple but clever and successful plan cannot possibly
go wrong can it?
|THE PIANIST (2002)
Directed by Roman Polanski adapted from Wladyslaw Szpilman's autobiography, this multi award winning film charts the collapse of one man's world during the outbreak of the Second World War and the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939.
This harrowing and brutal films shows the true horrors largely through one man's eyes as he encounters the mass genocide of Jewish population unravel before him, as their rights are taken away from them as they are forced into a squalid Warsaw ghetto at the hands of the sadistic Schutzstaffel.
|DO THE RIGHT THING (1989)
Produced, written and Directed by Spike Lee who also stars amongst the great ensemble cast including Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, John Turturro, Rosie Perez, Frank Vincent, and Samuel L Jackson in this box office success from the back end of the eighties which was nominated for two Oscars.
During the hottest day of the year, tensions in the Brooklyn neighbourhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant are quickly rising, with such a diverse mix of people, blacks, whites, Hispanic and Korean, this film tells it like it is in an unflinching way as racial tension in the inner city comes to a head. Public Enemy's Fight the Power hit single of the same year provides the soundtrack via Radio Raheem's (Bill Nunn) boom box in this clever slice-of-life social commentary which will certainly never date.
|COME AND SEE (1985)
Directed by Elem Klimov, is a 1985 Soviet war movie and deeply psychological horror drama set during the Nazi German occupation of the Belarussian SSR, in 1943. Aleksei Kravchenko and Olga Mironova star as the protagonists Florya and Glasha. The film title derives from The Apocalypse of John, Chapter 6. With such a tough subject at hand this film obviously pulls no punches. This is a true horror film, it's scary because it happened.
Directed by Alan Clarke, this cinematic version was released after the BBC refused to screen the original 1977 television 'Play for Today version deemed to brutal for a televison audience and deemed 'unrealistic' by the powers that be.
Scum launched the careers of several young British actors including Phil Daniels, Ray Burdis and Mick Ford, and of course, most notably Ray Winstone in the lead role as Carlin the young ruffian entering the brutal world of borstal, he we see Carlin's journey as he rises to the top taking on the system head on.
Scum was a controversial film upon it's release and has dated very well, exposing the old fashioned institutions and all their flaws in Britain of that time.
I first saw this when I was at school, it hit me harder than Pongo Banks ever could, it's brutal, it's ruthless it's stood the test of time, and is something we can be proud of.
|APOCALYPSE NOW (1979)
Based on Joseph Conrad's novella Heart of Darkness, Apocalypse now is the haunting vision of Director Francis Ford Coppola. Award winning in multiple categories, a true epic, set during the vietnam conflict revolves around two US Army special operations officers, Captain Willard (Martin Sheen) is sent into the jungle to assassinate the other, the rogue and presumably insane Colonel Kurtz played by Marlon Brando. Napalm, Valkryies, surfing, the Doors and Dennis Hopper this film has it all and was as epic to produce behind the scenes as the final cut, Sheen had a heart attack, Brando had a hissy fit, the sets were destroyed by torrential rain.
|MIDNIGHT RUN (1988)
Following suit with what could certainly be deemed another buddy movie, Midnight Run is an excellent tale, cheesy and ever so slightly dated, and one you could argue wouldn't be as great without Bobby DeNiro, but it's the cleverly teamed chemistry of he and Charles Grodin which really makes this tick. Jack Walsh (DeNiro) is an ex-cop bounty hunter who's task it to take Jonathon Mardukas (Grodin) a sensitive accounted who's wanted by the mob, Jack has to deliver him from New York to LA, on time and alive. Sounds like a piece of cake, but it's anything but, as it turns into a real cross country chase, with the FBI and the mob hot on their tale, two unlikely cohorts actually become friends.,
|PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES (1987)
From the late, great John Hughes, Planes, trains tells the story of uptight ad exec Neal Page (Steve Martin) trying to get home for Thanksgiving, he crosses paths with the bumbling and buffoonish, albeit kind hearted shower curtain ring salesman Del Griffith (John Candy), a simple journey home becomes the most farcical of farcery, not helped as these opposites clash with hilarious consequences, but they eventually get home in one piece..
This is essentially a buddy movie, and a real seasonal favourite, very quotable and memorable too, I'd go so far as to say it's even a bit of a tear jerker at the end, maybe that's because the superb John Candy left this planet far too soon..
|THE GOONIES (1984)
There's not a single person of our generation who hasn't seen, or doesn't like the Goonies, it's a kid's film, but it isn't really, I'll still love this when I'm fifty and no doubt so will my children. The Goonies has it all, the camaraderie of young pals, the mobsters, the sense of adventure, treasure, Pirates, Corey Feldman and Sloth.
We all wanted to be Goonies when we were kids, it's magical, it shouldn't really work, but by jove! it does.
The Goonies helped launch the careers of several young actors, some went on to huge things, others didn't, but they will all be fondly remembered for what is essentially a family film. This is one of those (almost) unique films I can watch from start to finish at any given time, even now, right now. So, no funny looks, The Goonies is in there, no arguments.
|BOOGIE NIGHTS (1997)
Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. Set in Southern California in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the screenplay focuses on a young nightclub dishwasher who becomes the popular star of pornographic films and finds himself slowly descending into a nightmare of drug abuse when his fame draws him into a crowd of users and abusers Mark Wahlberg gives a career defining performance as Dirk Diggler, clearly based on John 'Wadd' Holmes.I've told friends this is as good as Goodfellas, albeit with a seventies bongo slant, they laugh, I doubt myself, then watch it again, and realise I'm right, it's epic, the cast is superb, the shots are silky and yeah, a bit 'Scorsese', doesn't matter though, it's fucking faultless.
|MEAN STREETS (1973)
One of Martin Scorsese's earlier films, set in the cool backdrop of 70's New York City. A glimpse of what was to come with a long standing associtation of mob films.. Charlie (Keitel) a small-time member of the wiseguy community who collects protection money. His friends Tony and Michael are part of the community, but his other friend Johnny Boy is unreliable and therefore must be shunned.
De Niro won the National Society of Film Critics award for Best Supporting Actor for his role.
Watching Mean Streets it's evident that many filmakers have taken inspiration or even ripped off this great film.
|LE SAMOURAI (1967)
As cool as they come French/Italian hitman film from Jean-Pierre Melville. Starring Alain Delon as the ice cool hitman Jef Costello who works to a strict Samurai code. A film that has inspired many including Walter Hill, Jim Jarmusch, John Woo with it's technical style and also an influence on the burgeoning Mod movement at the time. One of the cool classics of world cinema.
|BUTCH CASSIDY & THE SUNDANCE KID (1969)
Directed by George Roy Hill, a charming American Western tale of friendship and camaraderie between the two buddy leads as turn-of-the-century Western outlaws and their gang. Loosely based on fact, the film puts Hollywood icons Newman and Redford alongside eachother as outlaws fleeing South to avoid the law, in a critics favourite which won the Academy award for best Writer William Goldman. A real timeless favourite that gets cooler with age and is almost in it's own genre.
|THE EXORCIST (1973)
Chilling, disturbing American horror film directed by William Friedkin, adapted from the 1971 novel of the same name by William Peter Blatty and based on the true exorcism case of Robbie Mannheim (pseudonym) in the 40's, dealing with the demonic possession of a young girl and her mother’s desperate attempts to win back her daughter through an exorcism conducted by two priests.
Directed by Lindsay Anderson. Famous for its depiction of a savage insurrection at a public school, the film is associated with the 1960s counterculture movement because it was filmed by a long-standing counter-culture director at the time of the student uprisings in Paris in May 1968. It includes controversial statements, It features surrealist sequences throughout the film. Upon release in the UK, it received an X certificate.
|THE TAKING OF PELHAM ONE TWO THREE (1974)
Not to be mistaken with the crass and unneccessary remake, this 1974 drama is a great thorwback to old school grimey New York.
The ulitmate heist movie, there's no happy ending.
Clearly an inspiration for future Hollywood movie makers, the crooks even adopted colourful monikers. The film made such a mark, New York Transit stopped any subway trains leaving Pelham at 1:23.
|RAGING BULL (1980)
An astonishing performance by Robert De Niro as prizefighter Jake La Motta which he deservedly won best actor for, his methodical approach to gettng into character is now legendary as he beefed up and piled on the pounds
. A stunning film throughout, from the script to the superb soundtrack. The boxing scenes maybe short but still pack a punch with their graphic brutal nature and artistically shot.
|COOL HAND LUKE (1967)
Paul Newman stars in the title role as Luke, a prisoner in a Georgia Road prison camp who refuses to submit to the system. His inability to conform drives the plot of the movie, in the same vein as characters such as Winston Smith from Nineteen Eighty-Four, Randle McMurphy from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Number Six from the British television series The Prisoner.
Written, directed, photographed, and edited by Gaspar Noé. It stars Monica Bellucci and Vincent Cassel. Several critics declared it one of the most disturbing and controversial films of 2002. With two very notable graphic scenes you won't forget in a hurry. Like Noe's recent work Enter The Void it's a unique and unforgettable piece.
The film employs non-linear narrative. The whirry soundtrack was composed byThomas Bangalter, who is best known as half of the band Daft Punk.
American psychological thriller film written and directed by Christopher Nolan. based on an idea from his brother Jonathan.
Aussie Guy Pearce as Leonard Shelby, a man with anterograde amnesia which renders his brain unable to store new memories in a film with more twists and turns than the Shining's maze. A great, clever paranoid indie thriller.
Good cop film directed by Sidney Lumet. It is based on the true story of New York City policeman Frank Serpico, who went undercover to expose the corruption of his fellow officers, after being pushed to the brink at first by their distrust and later by the threats and intimidation they went against him . A really iconic and stylish film which Pacino excells in the lead, a favourite of Dirk Diggler and Tony Manero, yep, it's that cool.
Directed by maverick German film maker Werner Herzog and written in just four days specifically for lead Bruno S. This crazy and hilarious, yet depressing journey was shot from Berlin to Wisconsin, and in North Carolina. Most of the lead roles are played by non-actors.
This is noted for being the last film Joy Division singer Ian Curtis watched, in fact he hung himself directly after watching it.
|STIR CRAZY (1980)
Directed by Sidney Poitier, this is one of the ulitmate buddy movies, starring Richard Prtyor and Gene Wilder at their peak, this is an hilarious take on the Prison genre.
Two old friends aim to leave New York behind them and set off for the American dream in Hollywood only to be framed for a bank robbery and given 125 years in Prison.
Their next aim is to try and get out whether it's the right way or by escape.
|SIN CITY (2005)
Directed by Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez
Clever film adaptation of Frank Millers' graphic comics Feauturing an all star cast that includes Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke and the late Brittany Murphy. Set in Basin City and telling the story of three different people all caught up in violence and corruption. Notable for its unique visual look which saw largely B&W mixed with the splash of colour where relevent.
|THE TERMINATOR (1984)
Directed by James Cameron
A small film that maybe shouldn't have really worked but didand suprised many at the box office and then went on to become a multi-million dollar franchise. A cyborg and a human resistance fighter are sent from the future to the 80s. One a terminator - a cyborg assassin to kill her, the other Kyle Reese to protect her and save her as yet unborn son who unbeknown to her is the saviour of mankind.
|FIVE EASY PIECES (1970)
Directed by Bob Rafelson, a classic American drama which tells the story of a surly oil rig worker (Nicholson), Bobby Dupea, whose blue-collar existence shadows his privileged upbringing as a child prodigy classical pianist. When word reaches that his father is dying, he goes home on a road trip to see him, reluctantly bringing along his pregnant girlfriend, Rayette, a dimwitted waitress with predictable consequences. A slick and stylish gem.
|KILL BILL Vol. 1&2 (2003)
Directed by Quentin Tarantino
Non-conventional director Tarantino returned after a brief abscene with this remarkable two-parter about a womans revenge. Paying homage to a host of films including Japanese chanbara, Hong Kong Martial Arts, exploitation films and even Spaghetti Westerns all blended together prefectly to creat this fresh and unique tale of "The Bride" (Uma Thurman) hellbent on revenge.
|EMPIRE OF THE SUN (1987)
Directed by Steven Spielberg, Empire of the Sun is an American coming of age war film based on J. G. Ballard's semi-autobiographical novel of the same name. Seen through the eyes of a slightly obnoxious young British boy (Christian Bale) living in wealth in Shanghai with his parents during the outbreak of the Chinese and Japanese conflict in the Second World War, he loses his parents and goes on a journey alone from his comfortable surroundings to a Prisoner of War camp.
|NIL BY MOUTH (1997)
Directed by Gary Oldman, more famous in front of the camera than behind it, nil By mouth is a stunning debut. Based around a family of characters living in South East London's slums. It stars Ray Winstone as Raymond, the 'orrible, yet compelling abusive husband of Val (Kathy Burke). The film was very well received, winning several awards, with a great support cast including Jamie Forman and Charlie Creed Miles in a central role, grittier than a big bag of dirty gravel.
Directed by Mike Leigh, Meantime was an original play for Today on Birtish telly, getting the best out of a spiffing young cast including Tim Roth, Gary Oldman in his acting debut and Phil Daniels.
Meantime is a poignant urban tale of Thatcher's decimation of Britain in the early 80's, class struggles, unemployment and a day to day sense of waste, funny, bleak, typically Mike Leigh, a timeless and relevant capsule of a working class struggle to survive in old London.
Directed by Steven Spielberg, ET was an absolute hit after it's release, a massive movie which still retains that old magic touch now to grown up viewers, something I just doubt would happen today. The tale of a good alien accidentally left on earth who befriends a young boy. spiritually autobiographical, Speilberg based a lot of this on a young vivid imagination. If this doesn't make you feel like a kid again, then nothing will.
|DEAD MANS SHOES (2004)
Directed by Uttoxeter's answer to Martin Scorsese Shane Meadows. Dead Man's Shoes was a back to basics return to form. Starring Burton-Upon-Trent's answer to De Niro - Paddy Considine, it tells the tale of vengance in the sleepy Derbyshire town of Matlock, with an undercurrent of small time crooks and dealers who tormented returning wounded squaddie Richard's simpleton brother into death. Great low budget drama we loved so much we made a t-shirt.
Directed by both Donald Cammell and Nicolas Roeg, Performace is a psychadelic head fuck of a film set at the end of the swinging sixties in what was then the grubby Notting Hill.
An acting debut from Mick Jagger and a suave turn from James Fox in the lead, a film that fucked him up so much he apparently ran off to be a missionary.
Producers wanted another 'Hard Day's Night' they got much better, an experimental, clever and unique vision which has inspired so many others.
|PULP FICTION (1994)
Directed by Quentin Tarantino
A crime film from Tarantino that is not just back to front but sideways too in it's layout.
Telling the intersecting storylines of LA mobsters, small time criminals and fringe players all connected by a briefcase with mysterio cntents. Also notable for rekindling an ailing career for John Travolta and firing Samuel L Jackson into the big time instead of undeserved small time roles, great film with a very good ensemble cast.
|THE KILLING FIELDS (1984)
Directed by Roland Joffé a British drama film about the brutal Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, which is seen throught the experiences of three journalists trying to give their own truthful accounts of the human tragedy madness of the civil war in Cambodia. A Multi award winning touching and hard hitting drama of friendship and hope against a backdrop of brutality and the absurdity of mass genocide. Something you will not forget.
Directed by Martin Scorsese and often likeded as an unofficial Goodfellas mark two, it's not hard to see why, with a very familar looking cast as the former with De Niro, Pesci and Frank Vincent. Ignoring Goodfellas if you can, this is equally as slick and stylish with a great cast and score it's another superb story of greed, power, deception, mobsters, murder and money. Despite the similarities, it can still stand up as a superb yet brutal account of a Vegas they wouldn't want you to see.
Directed by Todd Solondz, who followed up his excellent Welcome To The Dollhouse with this film about three sisters and their relationships and families. Tackling some highly controversial subjects along the way and yet being awfully humerous it certainly is a black comedy in every sense.
Everyone is on form here too with the ensemble winning an award.
|DON'T LOOK NOW (1973)
Directed by Nicolas Roeg , occult thriller Don't Look Now stars Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland as a married couple whose lives become complicated after the accidental death of their daughter. Whislt abroad they learn of a clairvoyant who claims their daughter is trying to contact them to warn them of danger.
Notable for it's innovative editing technique and recurring themes. Don't Look Now also crosses genres from thriller to psychological drama. Above all a tail of grief, widely acknowledged today as a modern classic.
|BROKEN FLOWERS (2005)
Directed by Jim Jarmusch, this tells the story of Don Johnston (Bill Murray), a former Don Juan having made a small fortune in the computer industry, wants to live in quiet retirement.
He is content to lounge around watching old movies and listening to classical music.
Until a mysterious pink letter arrives informing him his has a son, he sets off on a road trip to find his former lovers and track down the mystery son.
|THE THIN RED LINE (1998)
Directed by Terrence Malick who returned from a 20 year sabbatical from his previous film Days Of Heaven to deliver this massive masterpiece based on the 1962 novel about the conflict at Guadalcanal during WW2. Featuring a very large ensemble cast and even more cameos, most of which ened up on the cutting room floor, such as Mickey Rourke and Gary Oldman as the first cut ran over 5 hours.
Nominated for 7 Oscars the film wasn't a huge success in America but was worldwide. a film which will leave you more than impressed, and possibly with an achy bottom too.
|NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (2007)
Directed by Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
The Coen's adapt Cormac McCarthy's novel of the same name and bring us a cat and mouse western crime thriller that scooped plenty of awards and also gave us one of the most recent terrifying bad guys in Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem on great from), with his bizarre choice of weaponry and even weirder-yet-somehow cool bellend shaped barnet.
|THE KILLING (1956)
Directed by Stanley Kubrick
Superb film noir from a young Kubrick, starring Sterling Hayden as a veteran criminal who decides to plan that one last heist before settling down for good. He assembles a team to pull off a successful racetrack heist but it's the aftermath that goes awry.
As clever, cool and cunning as anything ever released since, don't let the date be a distraction, many have learned a lot from this.
|MONA LISA (1986)
Directed by Neil Jordan.
George (Hoskins), recently released from prison, is given a good joby job as the driver for a high-class hooker (Tyson) by his former boss, Mortwell (Caine). As George and Simone find out more about each other, they form a friendship despite possibly conflicting incentives.
A great tale of an old seedy London with a stellar British cast, Hoskins' great role is often overlooked by his role in The Long Good Friday.
|RAISING ARIZONA (1987)
Directed by Joel Coen
One of the earlier Coen bros. films and one of the most hilarious they've done, a crazy film about a childless couple - one an ex-con and the other an ex-cop who decided to steal one of the local rich businessman's new quintupelets. Chaos ensues, naturally.
|THE SUPERGRASS (1985)
The Comic Strip was born out of the alternative comedy scen in the 80s, whilst most of their made for TV films were hit and miss The Supergrass was their finest hour. Bad News was better than Spinal Tap aswell.
Cream teas and murder by the seaside, a familiar all star cast (of the small screen) go to Devon in chase of a drugs cartel that's born out of the imagination of moron Dennis Carter (Ade Edmondson) or is it not just his imagination?
|MAN BITES DOG (1992)
Blacker than black comedy mockumentary about a film crew following seemingly charming serial killer Ben as he carries out his viscious deeds, as the film progresses the more the documentary crew become assailants to the crimes. A film that caused a right fuss upon it's release, filmed in black and white and made for peanuts by a few student filmmakers.
|THE WANDERERS (1979)
Directed by Philip Kaufman set against the urban jungle of 1963 New York's gangland subculture, this coming of age teenage movie is set around the Italian gang the Wanderers. Slight comedy, slight High School angst and every bit entertaining with its classic 1950's Rock n' Roll soundtrack. Not to be confused with the more gritty gang drama the Warriors, more charm less fight Also not to be confused with Grease or any other ponce musical.
|BAD LIEUTENANT (2009)
Directed by Werner Herzog
Who'd have thunk that a re-imagining of Abel Ferrara's sleazy original with a tour de force from Harvey Kietel could be bettered? Well this 'companion' of sorts is a belter! Nicolas Cage tends to pick some rather ropey roles these days but every so often he makes the right decision and shows he's a very decent actor.
All on form here in this crazy drama, one of the best films in the last few years.
|THE TIN DRUM (1979)
WW2 set comedy drama based on the novel of the same name by Gunter Grass. Oskar is a strange fruit, deliberatley injuring himself as he reaches his third year as he doesn't want to grow any older, his disdain for the world around him shows through with his ability to break glass with his screams and to upset the applecart with the continuous banging of his drum. If all else fails he can try and resolve it with some fizzy sherbert!
|THE PASSENGER (1975)
Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni, this tremendous tale of escapism sees a frustrated war correspondent, unable to find the war he's been asked to cover, taking the risky path of stealing the identity of a recently deceased and very similar looking man he shared a hotel with. With a treck across Europe from London to Seville - it's an amazing adventure with some of the most remarkable and slick camera work in cinema at the time.
|THE STRAIGHT STORY (1999)
Directed by David Lynch, quite literally playing it straight too, well, as straight as an old man driving across the American heartland on a sit on lawn mower. Based on a true story, this is a real heart warming tale.
But what made this film even more so striking was a superb performance from lead Richard Farnsworth, a formerly Hollywood stuntman who received a Best Actor nomination for this role, made whilst suffering with terminal cancer, not wanting to live in pain - he tragically shot himself dead just a year later.
Yes, Vacation, it's our list and we're having it. Directed by Harold Ramis and starring Chevy Chase when he was at his peak.
If the hairs on the back of your neck don't jump up and start dancing when you hear Mr Lyndsay Buckingham's Holiday Road at the opening titles, then frankly, you are a miserable bastard, it's cheesy, but it's cool, it reminds us of growing up and that funny feeling you get in your pants when you first see Christy Brinkley in her red Ferrari
|PANS LABYRINTH (2006)
Guilermo Del Toro has created this excellent gothic fairytale for grown ups, set agains the post-war era of Franco's Spain. Told through the eyes of Ophelia, a young girl who's moved to a military outpost commanded by her ruthless new stepfather. Powerless and lonely in a place of great danger, she confronts monsters of both the other world and the existing human world. Here she meets Pan, a fantastical creature who challenges her with three tasks which he claims will reveal her true identity.
|THE AMERICAN FRIEND (1977)
Directed by Wim Wenders - a loose adaptation of sorts of Patricia Highsmith's novel Ripley's Game. Also adding in a huge nod to the Noir era of cinema and mixing it up with a homage of his love of American Indie cinema and you've got a cracker on your hands, especially so given the brilliant performance from Bruno Ganz as a terminally ill picture framer who's tricked into becoming an assasin by Tom Ripley, played by Dennis Hopper who's on usual great form too.
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