Compiling a list of the 125 films every man must see was no easy task – personal favourites were discarded, profanity was rampant and it became abundantly clear exactly why nobody likes to see a grown man cry.
But we did it – 125 masterful movies that everyone here at Fataldose could live with. The question is, can you?
1. Oldboy (2003)
Most infamous for its live octopus-eating scene, in which actor Choi Min-sik actually ate octopi on set (four were used; he said a prayer for each one), Oldboy’s depiction of the effects of solitude on the human psyche are gripping and inspiring in equal measure.
Quote: “Your gravest mistake wasn’t failing to find the answer. You can’t find the right answer if you ask the wrong questions.”
2. Inception (2010)
For many, Inception was the film that underlined Christopher Nolan’s status as one the hottest directors in the business, and for very good reason. A rare occasion where bleeding-edge special effects are matched by an equally impressive story and solid characters, Inception’s action/sci-fi dreamscapes will leave you open-mouthed and aching for more.
Quote: “They say we only use a fraction of our brain’s true potential. Now that’s when we’re awake. When we’re asleep, we can do almost anything.”
3. Citizen Kane (1941)
For many Citizen Kane remains the greatest movie ever made; for others an overrated bore fest lauded by those desperately seeking to appear cultured. Whatever your take on Orson Welles’ classic there’s no denying its impact, and few would criticise the magnificent performance by Welles himself as Kane, or those of his contemporaries.
Quote: “Old age. It’s the only disease, Mr. Thompson, that you don’t look forward to being cured of.”
4. The Terminator (1984)
The golden age of Arnie began with The Terminator, a classic ahead of its time that tapped into the raging desire for sci-fi robot action ignited by Bladerunner. Perfectly suiting the Austrian Oak’s penchant for doing his talking with his muscles, the quintessential monosyllabic cybernetic organism rapidly gained cult status and remains Schwarzenegger’s most iconic role to date.
Quote: “That son of a bitch took my pants.”
5. Rocky (1976)
The definitive take on man overcoming the odds, Rocky was more than just a boxing movie. Perfectly encompassing the sorts of clichés about heart, guts, blood sweat and tears that are typically screamed at high-school quarterbacks by desperate coaches, Rocky Balboa lived the dream AND got the girl in a classic blend of triumphing over adversity.
Quote: “You’re gonna eat lightnin’ and you’re gonna crap thunder!”
6. The Godfather (1972)
Much imitated but never bettered, The Godfather recently came second in an Empire magazine “best films of all time” list to Empire Strikes Back, but despite this trilogy’s own claims for a superior sequel, Coppola’s classic is a true masterpiece, showcasing career-defining performances from its leads that brilliantly deliver both the beauty and the fury of the Italian mafia to the big screen.
Quote: “I have to get back to work. It’s part of the wedding. No Sicilian can ever refuse a request on his daughter’s wedding day.”
7. Blade Runner (1982)
Ridley Scott’s quintessential sci-fi showed a darker side to an already A-list Harrison Ford, spawning an endless collection of special editions and alternate cuts. Scott’s “Final Cut” is probably the best place to start; the only one in which he had full artistic control, but the sheer scope for reimagining underlines the grand scale of whichever vision of a replicant-infested 2019 Los Angeles you choose to enjoy.
Quote: “Quite an experience to live in fear, isn’t it? That’s what it is to be a slave.”
8. Rudy (1993)
Warming up nicely for his role as a hobbit in Lord of the Rings, Sean Astin showed that being short needn’t stop you from fulfilling your dreams as he took the part of Daniel E. “Rudy” Ruettiger in this biopic about a boy whose dream it was to play college football, despite being half the size of his team mates.
Quote: “Who cares how much effort I put in, if it doesn’t produce any results.”
9. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
In a classic western that combines all of the most essential elements of a rip-roaring story of heroism and chivalry, Charles Bronson comes to the aid of a heroine whose family has been slaughtered by a deadly assassin. Death comes to those who hear the sweet silvery sound of the Harmonica.
Quote: “How can you trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders? The man can’t even trust his own pants.”
10. The Incredibles (2004)
The Incredibles was a grand celebration of everything Disney and Pixar had learned about creating entertaining animations that could be enjoyed in equal measure by child and adult. Frequently funny, often exciting and always entertaining, the story of super-powered family forced from the comfort of their quiet suburban life to fight crime is a rip-roaring success on every level.
Quote: “We’ve frozen all of Syndrome’s assets. If he even sneezes, we’ll be there with a hanky and a pair of handcuffs.”
11. Batman Begins (2005)
The saviour of Batman fans the world over, Christopher Nolan’s reimagining of The Dark Knight allowed us to cast the pun-ridden, nipple-suited, icon-destroying travesties of recent years firmly from memory. Batman was back, and despite the lack of a “major” villain in the first reboot it laid solid, origin-driven foundations for what was to become arguably the greatest “superhero” trilogy ever made.
Quote: “But a criminal is not complicated. What you really fear is inside yourself. You fear your own power. You fear your anger, the drive to do great or terrible things.”
12. Aliens (1986)
Conceiving a sequel for Ridley’s Scott’s tense but slow-burning sci-fi horror was no easy task, but when James Cameron took the helm he simply focused on what he does best – guns, essentially, lots and lots of guns. Though it split the fan-base somewhat, few could argue that it remains one of the most frantic and nail-bitingly tense action films ever made.
Quote: “We’d better get back, ’cause it’ll be dark soon, and they mostly come at night… mostly.”
13. The Great Escape (1963)
Perhaps Steve McQueen’s greatest hour, this stirring tale of daring do was based on the true story of a group of escape-minded POW’s imprisoned in a German camp during World War 2. A beautifully blended mix of comedy and adventure, plus that iconic soundtrack, make this one to put on the list.
Quote: “I haven’t seen Berlin yet, from the ground or from the air, and I plan on doing both before the war is over.”
14. Blazing Saddles (1974)
Gene Wilder brings his comic best to king-of-the-spoofs Mel Brooks’ parody of the classic western as an unlikely Sherrif is appointed to guard over a town where everyone seems to be called Johnson. Typically timeless, there are plenty of laughs to be had even with forty years under its belt.
Quote: “Badges? We don’t need no stinking badges.”
15. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
One of, if not the classic movie duo, Butch brings the brains and Sundance brings the can-do spirit to a crime biography that sees serial train/bank robbers flee to Bolivia to escape their pursuers. Newman and Redford are ideal foils but it was the writing, cinematography and music that won it four Oscars, having been nominated for three more.
Quote: “You just keep thinkin’, Butch. That’s what you’re good at.”
16. Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)
With a total of six Academy Awards under its belt, all of which were based around production, it’s clearly no exaggeration to say that the original Star Wars was one of the most groundbreaking films ever made. Introducing us to a franchise that would become one of the most iconic in all of cinema, the original is timeless to this day. And yes, that’s the one without all of that digital remastering.
Quote: “Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”
17. Ghostbusters (1984)
Ghosts are not traditionally a market that has been easy to sell to kids, but all of that changed when Ghostbusters’ beautifully balanced combination of comedy, wackiness and a handful of quite genuine scares hit the screens. Bill Murray and co. made it perfectly clear that you shouldn’t be afraid of “no ghosts”, creating an instant classic that was equally appealing to children and adults alike.
Quote: “We’ve been going about this all wrong. This Mr. Stay Puft’s okay! He’s a sailor, he’s in New York; we get this guy laid, we won’t have any trouble!”
18. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Thanks to its infamous ear-chopping scene, which for today’s horror-obsessed generation is about as shocking as a trip to the zoo, Quentin Tarantino’s name went household with this talky crime-thriller. Though it emerged that QT was (is?), how shall we say, often “inspired” by other films, this didn’t stop Reservoir Dogs from being the defining moment in launching his career.
Quote: “I don’t wanna kill anybody. But if I gotta get out that door, and you’re standing in my way, one way or the other, you’re gettin’ outta my way.”
19. Glory (1989)
An unusually sombre Matthew Broderick leads the charge but Denzel Washington’s performance as Private Trip stands out in this drama set during the US Civil War, which followed the first all-black volunteer company. It bagged him his first Oscar, for best actor in a supporting role.
Quote: “We fight for men and women whose poetry is not yet written but which will presently be as enviable and as renowned as any.”
20. The Big Lebowski (1998)
The Coen Brothers’ unique brand of comic flair was used to great effect in this comedy/crime caper, which follows “The Dude” Lebowski, a grimy down-and-out with a penchant for bowling who’s mistaken for a millionaire. Though it received a mixed reception on release, it’s now firmly embroiled in cult status.
Quote: “Walter, I love you, but sooner or later, you’re going to have to face the fact you’re a goddamn moron.”
21. American History X (1998)
Edward Norton’s turn as a former neo-nazi skinhead was one dramatic change of pace, and his performance as leader of a violent white supremacist gang was convincing enough to earn him an Oscar nomination. Fresh out of prison, Norton’s Derek goes to lengths to help prevent his brother Danny from making the mistakes that scarred his own past.
Quote: “I’m the most dangerous man in this prison. You know why? ‘Cause I control the underwear.”
22. Jaws (1975)
Spielberg’s strength was in creating dramatic films that have genuine impact and keep you gripped. Jaws had this in spades, and as the first of what was to become many classic blockbusters was one of few to be genuinely frightening. The “safe to go back in the water” tagline of the sequel was one that most audiences could genuinely relate to.
Quote: “I’m not going to waste my time arguing with a man who’s lining up to be a hot lunch.”
23. Hotel Rwanda (2004)
Hotel Rwanda tells the moving true story of Paul Rusesabagina, who showed extraordinary courage by housing over a thousand helpless refugees during a period in Rwanda’s history when over one million people were brutally murdered, atrocities that were shamefully ignored by much of the rest of the developed world.
Quote: “I think if people see this footage, they’ll say Oh, my God, that’s horrible. And then they’ll go on eating their dinners.”
24. The Green Mile (1999)
Stephen King’s track record of books that have been popularly translated to the big screen is best described as “so-so”, but The Green Mile is a standout, ‘largely’ due to a stellar casting and performance from the late Michael Clarke Duncan. Dramatic, heart-warming and genuinely moving, it was a rare case of capturing the essence of a King novel with subtle aplomb.
Quote: “I just can’t see God putting a gift like that in the hands of a man who would kill a child.”
25. Seven Samurai (1954)
Described as one of the greatest and most influential films ever made. Seven Samurai was one of the first to gather a band of heroes together to achieve a common goal, and was subsequently remade for the western audience as The Magnificent Seven. Several more of its plot devices have become commonplace, and it still regularly rates at or close to top of greatest and most influential film lists around the world.
Quote: “This is the nature of war. By protecting others, you save yourselves.”
26. Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
Based on a true story of a bank robbery gone awry, Pacino takes the reins in an entertaining caper that’s less about a violent heist and more about the desperation of a man who just wants to show he cares. He’s at his poignant and enthralling best as someone who doesn’t really know what he’s going to do next.
Quote: “He won’t listen to anybody. He’s been very crazy all summer. Since June he’s been trying to kill me.”
27. Braveheart (1995)
In a frustrating yet undeniable epic that leaves historical accuracy at the door, Gibson flexes with his maturing directoral muscles in Braveheart, a film not short of ambition that paints some grandiose battles onto a backdrop of friendship and forbidden romance as William Wallace leads the brave Scots against the nefarious English. *cough*
Quote: “The Almighty tells me he can get me out of this mess, but he’s pretty sure you’re fucked.”
28. Rear Window (1954)
Hitchcock shows just why he’s the master of building tension, and why he doesn’t need a lot of space to do it in. Wheelchair bound and bored, James Stewart is left with naught but his apartment window and a zoom lens for company, through which he witnesses what he believes to be an act of murder. Or is it?
Quote: “Intelligence. Nothing has caused the human race so much trouble as intelligence.”
29. Casino Royale (2006)
The introduction of a new Bond is always a big deal, but Casino Royale had the enviable task of dealing with this and attempting to effectively reboot the franchise. It succeeded, by all accounts, with Craig finding just the right blend of pomp and panache to establish a strong re-entry.
Quote: “Sometimes we pay so much attention to our enemies, we forget to watch our friends as well.”
30. Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
De Niro in his gangster pomp stars as “Noodles” Aaronson, in a take on the Italian mafia that’s more reflective than it is menacing. He and James Woods take stock of their lives as gangsters and look at what it has cost them, as well as what they have gained.
Quote: “There’s an exit back this way. Noodles, go through it. Keep walking. Don’t turn around. Please, Noodles, I’m begging you, please.”
31. Serpico (1973)
Based on a true story of corruption in the US police force, Pacino’s Serpico takes a straight-laced, no-bribes approach to enforcing the law that doesn’t go down well with his less scrupulous colleagues, but he sticks to his guns despite being placed in ever more dangerous situations by those who would view him as a threat.
Quote: “Frank, let’s face it, who can trust a cop that won’t take money?”
32. American Beauty (1999)
A story for all the mid-lifers who wished they could revisit their youth or take a day off from the mundane of the 9-to-5 family life, American Beauty follows an excellent Kevin Spacey’s “crisis” in gripping detail, as a man who cuts the chain from the ball to have a crack at really living for one last time.
Quote: “I feel like I’ve been in a coma for the past twenty years. And I’m just now waking up.”
33. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
A common choice for “favourite film of all time”, The Shawshank Redemption still holds the #1 spot on IMDB and though many may disagree it’s not difficult to see why. The ultimate bromance crime/drama is Stephen King’s most successful transition, was nominated for seven Oscars and still holds a place in the heart of millions 20 years after release.
Quote: “I was in the path of the tornado… I just didn’t expect the storm would last as long as it has.”
34. The King’s Speech (2010)
Being born around the time when being part of the British monarchy was largely an exercise in PR meant that King George VI’s dreaded stammer would not go down well, especially with a people who had become used to being inspired by the likes of Churchill. With the help of a speech therapist, he thankfully improves his eloquence to a level fit for a King.
Quote: “If we were equals, I wouldn’t be here. I’d be at home with my wife, and no one would give a damn.”
35. Gandhi (1982)
Directed by Sir Richard Attenborough, this biography of one of the most famous “pacifists” who ever lived follows his battles against the oppression of Indians in South Africa before returning home as a national hero. A tour-de-force that’s expertly energised by a masterful performance from Ben Kingsley in the lead role.
Quote: “An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”
36. Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
Perhaps the most successful of the modern “brat pack” assemblies, the Oceans franchise did an enviable job of collating some of Hollywood’s hottest A-listers into a coherent tale of crime, drama and revenge, with an essential sprinkling of comedy that rightfully spawned two sequels. Though the original remains the best, each has its own charm.
Quote: “I’m not sure what four nines does, but the ace, I think, is pretty high.”
37. North by Northwest (1959)
Another Hitchcock entry that makes the list for its successful attempt to address the spy-thriller genre is a case of mistaken identity, as innocent man Cary Grant is pursued across the country by foreign assailants. Typically twisty, typically mysterious, it’ll keep you guessing until the end. Typical Hitchcock.
Quote: “In the world of advertising, there’s no such thing as a lie. There’s only expedient exaggeration.”
38. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
While we could have picked any of the three for this list, the last in the trilogy gets the nod because it’s joint top as the film with the most Academy Awards ever (alongside Ben Hur and Titanic) with an astonishing 11, and that’s something worth noting. The conclusion of the hobbit’s journey may not be everyone’s choice, but rounds off Peter Jackson’s epic trilogy (more than) adequately.
Quote: “That still only counts as one.”
39. Pulp Fiction (1994)
Where Reservoir Dogs gained Tarantino notoriety, Pulp Fiction confirmed his status as one of hottest directors in Hollywood. Creative use of a series of interwoven stories told out of sequence, headed by a host of A-listers (some of whom owe this new-found status to the subsequent resurrection of their careers) helped Pulp Fiction to achieve almost instant cult status.
Quote: “So what does it feel like to kill a man with your bare hands? It’s a topic I’m very interested in.”
40. Good Will Hunting (1997)
Matt Damon’s first major role launched him into the arms of Hollywood with a poignant tale of a troubled but talented young man with a gift for mathematics, which won him a co-Oscar for writing (alongside Ben Affleck), a nomination for Best Actor, and a big thank you from co-star Robin Williams, who collected the Academy Award for best supporting role.
Quote: “You’re legally allowed to drink now, so we figured the best thing for you was a car.”
41. Raging Bull (1980)
Riding on Rocky fever, Robert De Niro ditched the feel-good and cranked up the grit in Scorcese’s biography of Jake LaMotta, who had a tendency to be as destructive outside the ring as he was in it. A powerful tale of an angry man that bagged De Niro an Oscar.
Quote: “I get ya’s both in the ring, I’ll give ya both a fuckin’ beatin’, ya both can fuck each other.”
42. The Matrix (1999)
Another watershed moment in action cinema came courtesy of the Wachowski brothers, whose dystopian sci-fi vision garnered instant success thanks to a tightly woven story and spectacular use of special effects; techniques that are now so synonymous they’re almost impossible to use without parody. The less said about Zion, though, the better.
Quote: “Throughout human history, we have been dependent on machines to survive. Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony.”
43. Rambo (First Blood) (1982)
First Blood is a tale of a reluctant Vet who gets into a bit of a disagreement with a local Sherriff, not quite the bullet-and-blood-fest that Stallone’s walking war-machine became famous for. The first and best in the series builds from slower beginnings, as a weary man is forced to illustrate exactly why these small town cops are picking on the wrong guy.
Quote: “You know, wearing that flag on that jacket, looking the way you do, you’re asking for trouble around here, friend.”
44. Goldfinger (1964)
High enough on most people’s 007 lists to be considered the best Bond film, Goldfinger expertly showcased all of the now-established stereotypes – flash cars, beautiful women (with saucy monikers), cool gadgets, evil henchmen, underground lairs, one-liners – you name it, Goldfinger had it, and as only the third Bond film, set a high standard for what was to follow.
Quote: “Auric Goldfinger. Sounds like a French nail varnish.”
45. Heat (1995)
De Niro or Pacino? It was a fairly common question during two of the world’s most iconic A-listers’ exploits in the 70s and 80s; exploits that garnered a seemingly endless string of award nominations. The matchup we’d all been waiting for arrived when the duo went mano-a-mano in Michael Mann’s uber-violent Heat, as a cop and a criminal that have a little too much in common.
Quote: “He knew the risks, he didn’t have to be there. It rains… you get wet.”
46. The Shining (1980)
A popular choice for “best horror film”, The Shining stars Jack Nicholson and his eyebrows at their creepiest in another successful Stephen King adaption. Charged with caretaking an increasingly eerie-looking hotel with his loved ones in tow, Jack’s descent into madness and subsequent threat to his family is genuinely disturbing as it builds to its “chilling” climax.
Quote: “Danny isn’t here, Mrs. Torrance.”
47. All the President’s Men (1976)
The Watergate scandal is intriguingly dissected from a journalist’s standpoint in a movie based on the memoirs of the real-life protagonists, as reporters Woodward and Bernstein discover a conspiracy that starts with a minor break-in and ends at the White House, a saga that eventually leads to President Nixon’s resignation.
Quote: “Listen… I’m tired of your chickenshit games! I don’t want hints… I need to know what you know.”
48. Dirty Harry (1971)
The king of the anti-heroes, Clint Eastwood inhabits the role as “Dirty” Harry Callahan in one of his most memorable parts. As a tough-as-nails cop tasked with tracking down a manic known only as Scorpio in 1970s San Francisco, Dirty Harry underlined Eastwood’s status as one of the hottest actors around.
Quote: “Now you know why they call me Dirty Harry: every dirty job that comes along.”
49. Gladiator (2000)
Russell Crowe’s growing status arguably peaked with Gladiator, Ridley Scott’s answer to an audience that was baying for the next great big-screen recreation of barbaric roman ritual. It delivered in spades, with superbly choreographed set-pieces accompanying a satisfyingly robust tale of honour, devastation and revenge that still stands as one of the most impressive of its kind.
Quote: “He will bring them death, and they will love him for it.”
50. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Movie villains don’t come much creepier or more psychotic than Anthony Hopkins in his debut as Hannibal Lecter. Hopkins steals the show despite not featuring for large parts of the film, which fortunately does more than enough to justify its place as one of the most disturbing and memorable crime thrillers of all time.
Quote: “Well, Clarice – have the lambs stopped screaming?”
51. Iron Man (2008)
A resurgent Robert Downey Jr. crow-barred himself back into fandom with his near-perfect portrayal of Tony Stark, a megalomaniacal uber-rich playboy with a disregard for social graces. Not too much of a stretch perhaps. Iron Man kicked off a new wave of superhero movies and was a staple part in the success of The Avengers, reassuring Hollywood that this is a genre that can be milked for some time to come.
Quote: “I’m sorry. This is the fun-vee. The hum-drum-vee is back there.”
52. The Godfather, Part II (1974)
The Godfather seemed like an impossible act to follow, but the sequel rose to the challenge and for many actually trumps the original. After missing out on the role of Michael Corleone to Pacino in the first film, De Niro is recruited as young Vito Corleone in the sequel, which bagged him an Oscar for best supporting actor and a firm handshake (or perhaps a mafia-style kiss of death) from Pacino, who had to settle for nominations in both.
Quote: “I don’t feel I have to wipe everybody out, Tom. Just my enemies.”
53. Trainspotting (1996)
Introducing the world to the colourful nuances of Scottish night life (and Scottish toilets), Trainspotting’s bleak but sharply-constructed tale of addiction and excess showcased Ewan McGregor at his worst (best), leaving the rest of us clamouring around for our own versions of what to “choose”.
Quote: “Personality, I mean that’s what counts, right? That’s what keeps a relationship going through the years. Like heroin, I mean heroin’s got a great fucking personality.”
54. The Thin Blue Line (1988)
Being convicted of a crime you didn’t commit may be the stuff of Hollywood hero lore, but when it happens for real you’re far from guaranteed a ride into the sunset with the girl. The Thin Blue Line documents the story of the wrongly convicted Randall Adams, who spent 12 years in prison and was sent to death row due to the quite shocking failure of the justice system to adequately assess his case.
Quote: “The reason they were talking to the police at all was that there had been a three-day running knife fight in their apartment.”
55. L.A. Confidential (1997)
An enviable array of acting talent led by an Oscar-winning Kim Basinger ensures that this rollercoaster ensemble piece remains gripping from start to finish, as good cops and bad cops fight for their own brand of justice against a backdrop of a seedy 1950s Los Angeles.
Quote: “I admire you as a policeman – particularly your adherence to violence as a necessary adjunct to the job.”
56. Three Kings (1999)
Clooney and Wahlberg team up for the first time in this subtle blend of action and comedy set in the aftermath of the Persian Gulf War, as the fight for hidden Kuwaiti gold becomes as important as the fight their own survival, and that of the refugees that desperately need their help.
Quote: “Kaboom! Y’all see that cow’s head shoot up? It’s like a cartoon! It’s fuckin’ crazy!”
57. Training Day (2001)
Denzel Washington won an Oscar for best actor with Training Day by ensuring that nobody dare give it to anyone else, such was his domineering performance as narcotics officer-cum-fascist-cum-psycho Detective Alonso, whose “first day on the job” training for rookie Ethan Hawke is, how shall we say, a little on the extreme side.
Quote: “You know I’m surgical with this bitch, Jake. How do you want it, dog? Closed casket? Remember that fool in the wheelchair? How do you think he got there?”
58. The Dark Knight (2008)
Heath Ledger steals the show as The Joker in a sequel to a revitalised Batman that proved Nolan had the mojo to deliver the film Batman fans deserved (it was also the one they needed). Ledger’s Oscar, sadly awarded posthumously, was truly worthy, and his performance is the main reason many consider this the best of the three.
Quote: “All you care about is money. This city deserves a better class of criminal. And I’m gonna give it to them!”
59. Apocalypse Now (1979)
Francis Ford Copolla’s somewhat arty Vietnam epic is as dark and brooding as they come, with Marlon Brando’s renegade and presumed-insane special forces officer Colonel Kurtz targeted for “retirement” by the US Army. Notorious for on-set problems that ranged from Brando’s apathy and Sheen’s health to severe weather that destroyed costly sets, it was to emerge as one of the most culturally and historically significant war films to date.
Quote: “We train young men to drop fire on people, but their commanders won’t allow them to write “fuck” on their airplanes because it’s obscene!”
60. Die Hard (1988)
The fact that Die Hard is known as the film that single-handedly established Bruce Willis as an action hero goes some way towards telling you just how good it is. Gripping from start to finish, it avoids almost all of the action movie stereotypes and creates a whole new list of its own, with Willis as the lone man with a “vested” interest in saving a building full of hostages from a terrorist attack.
Quote: “Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho.”
61. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
The opening sequence to Saving Private Ryan was worth the price of admission alone, and was a real sea-change for a typically family-friendly Spielberg. Gruesomely recreating the charge of Normandy beach during the Second World War, thankfully the rest of the film delivers, as the veteran director creates a war epic to stand up there with the very best.
Quote: “I wouldn’t venture out there fellas. This sniper’s got talent.”
62. Bullitt (1968)
Steve McQueen switches the Triumph motorcycle for the iconic Ford Mustang in Bullitt, an action thriller following a high profile cop tasked with guarding a mobster who’s about to give evidence against the organisation. It is best known for one of the most influential car chases in movie history, paying fitting tribute to McQueen’s love for racing.
Quote: “Come on, now. Don’t be naive, Lieutenant. We both know how careers are made. Integrity is something you sell the public.”
63. Swingers (1996)
For years men had been subjected to chick-flicks that painted a painful picture of dream guys and dream romances without riposte. And then came Swingers – a guy-movie that depicts our behaviour in a way that any red-blooded man can relate to, at least on some level. This “been there” buddy comedy is the closest we’ll ever get to break up therapy via film.
Quote: “All I do is stare at their mouths and wrinkle my nose, and I turn out to be a sweetheart.”
64. Memento (2000)
Memento received immediate acclaim for its nonlinear narrative that used two different sequences of scenes – one set chronologically, and the other in reverse order. Guy Pearce’s perennial amnesiac is tasked with finding the man behind the rape and murder of his wife, resulting in a complex yet fascinating tale of revenge.
Quote: “We all need mirrors to remind ourselves who we are. I’m no different.”
65. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Fresh off the Millenium Falcon, Harrison Ford portrayed two of films’ most iconic movie heroes at the same time by swapping his blaster for a whip in the first of Spielberg’s classics. Destined for permanent residence on the Christmas TV roster, this is action, adventure and family entertainment at its very finest.
Quote: “You want to talk to God? Let’s go see him together, I’ve got nothing better to do.”
66. Rounders (1998)
Emerging from the new-found furore surrounding high-stakes poker came a film that would inspire any and all to take to the green felt and try their hand at a game that’s more skill than chance. Damon and Norton play off each other brilliantly as card sharps with and without a conscience, respectively, who attempt to grind and gamble their way to fame and fortune.
Quote: “If you can’t spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, then you ARE the sucker.”
67. Jurrasic Park (1993)
One of those moments where the ever-advancing world of special effects got a shot in the arm, audiences were gobsmacked by Spielberg’s dinosaur jaunt, which brought the not-so-extinct-after-all behemoths roaring and snarling back into the public eye. Wrapped up with a vaguely feasible narrative and sprinkled with typical tried and tested family formula, it’s an adventure not to be missed.
Quote: “Anybody hear that? It’s a, um… It’s an impact tremor, that’s what it is… I’m fairly alarmed here.”
68. Platoon (1986)
Platoon’s typically bleak take on Vietnam is almost a character study of how the trials of war can affect people in different ways, and thankfully each of the lead performances, from the rookie Sheen and merciful Defoe to the slimey McGinley and remorseless Berenger play a part in painting an unforgiving picture of human frailty through desperate struggle.
Quote: “Somebody once wrote, ‘Hell is the impossibility of reason.’ That’s what this place feels like. Hell.”
69. Falling Down (1993)
Stuck in a traffic jam on a sweltering hot day? Fed up with the inevitability of the daily grind? Irritated by the fact that a Big Mac looks nothing like the photo? Then Falling Down is for you; a fascinating journey towards one (admittedly rather psychotic) man’s point of no return.
Quote: “Listen fellows, I’ve had a really rare morning…”
70. Airplane (1980)
Comedies really aren’t made like this anymore, partly because these sorts of gags can never again be told so masterfully, and in such quick succession. Airplane, along with the Police Squad series and Naked Gun, showcased Leslie Neilson and deadpan comedy at its very finest, almost single-handedly justifying the phrase “pant-wettingly funny”.
Quote: “Striker, listen, and you listen close: flying a plane is no different than riding a bicycle, just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes.”
71. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Real life ex-Gunnery Sergeant R. Lee Ermey, recruited as an advisor, was so good he was drafted into the actual role of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman and runs the show in the first half of a bleak and unforgiving two-parter that begins with drill camp and ends with a hauntingly realistic journey into war-torn Vietnam.
Quote: “You’d better flush out your head, new guy. This isn’t about freedom; this is a slaughter. If I’m gonna get my balls blown off for a word, my word is “poontang”.”
72. A Bronx Tale (1993)
De Niro chose an area he knows well for his critically acclaimed directorial debut, as he struggles to keep his young son away from the influences of local mobsters led by Sonny, who becomes competition for his sibling’s affections. A well crafted blend of laughter, anger and emotion marks an impressive first outing behind the camera.
Quote: “I wanna shoot someone y’ know and this feels like just the gun to do it with.”
73. Fight Club (1999)
“You do not talk about Fight Club” is more than just a cheap opportunity to use a classic line; this is sensible advice for anyone who hasn’t seen the film. Suffice to say Pitt and Norton’s underground fighting/stress-relief epic had most audiences aghast at a conclusion that it managed to pull off remarkably successfully.
Quote: “It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.”
74. Dawn of the Dead (1978)
How do you better Romero’s classic zombie original, the one that started it all? Skip straight to addressing the question every zombie fan asks: “what would I do in a zombie apocalypse?” Raiding a stocked mall for food, guns, gadgets and anything else you can get your hands on should be high on this list, as should a healthy dose of undead brain-splattering. All delivered in spades.
Quote: “One-stop shopping: everything you need, right at your fingertips.”
75. Slap Shot (1977)
The less subtle aspects of Ice Hockey are the focus for this comedy starring Paul Newman as the aging player-coach of Charleston Chiefs, a minor league hockey team that decides make up for its lack of talent by brawling their way to victory, much to the delight of their fans.
Quote: “Jesus, what did the old man trade for these assholes, a used puck bag?”
76. The French Connection (1971)
The first R-rated film to win an academy award for best picture sees Gene Hackman tearing it up in New York as detective Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle on the trail of a heroin shipment originating from France. A true classic that secured a total of five Academy Awards and inclusion in the American Film Institute’s list of the greatest American films.
Quote: “You wanna play “hide the salami” with his old lady?”
77. 12 Angry Men (1957)
Notable for its almost exclusive use of one set, 12 Angry Men tells the story of a jury of 11, who in an apparent open and shut case involving the murder trial of an 18-year old Spanish boy, are challenged by the one man who believes in his innocence.
Quote: “Baltimore? That’s like being hit in the head with a crowbar once a day.”
78. Scarface (1983)
“Going Montana on someone’s ass” really should be a phrase that’s more widely used. Coke or no coke, few men would begrudge themselves for fantasising for at least a second about grabbing the world by the balls and exacting the kind of chaotic, mindless revenge demonstrated by an at-his-peak Pacino in this uber-violent tale of how power (and drugs) corrupt.
Quote: “Go ahead! I take your fucking bullets! You think you kill me with bullets?”
79. Taxi Driver (1976)
Back at you, Pacino. Robert De Niro is at his most fearsome as Travis Bickle, an ex US Marine who struggles to adapt to life in crime and prostitution-ridden New York. The climactic shoot-out was considered so graphic, director Scorcese had colours de-saturated to tone it down, and then-13 co-star Jodie Foster was put through a psychological exam to ensure she would not be emotionally scarred by the role.
Quote: “I think someone should just take this city and just… just flush it down the fuckin’ toilet.”
80. Fargo (1996)
Too popular to be labelled “cult”, Fargo’s influence lives on today, recently inspiring a TV series that maintains the murderous, black comedic roots that helped gain the Coen Brothers an, erm, cult following. Loosely based on a true story, in that it was based on events that happened elsewhere but were collaborated to build the narrative, you’ll never look at a wood chipper the same way again.
Quote: “Just keep it still back there, lady, or we’re going to have to, you know, shoot you.”
81. Patton (1970)
One of the most famous generals that ever lived, George Smith Patton led the Seven United States Army in the Second World War, a successful but controversy-laden campaign that was turned into a documentary 25 years after his death, turning him into somewhat of an American folk hero.
Quote: “Fixed fortifications are monuments to the stupidity of man. If mountain ranges and oceans can be overcome, then anything built by man can be overcome.”
82. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
Whatever your thoughts on Johnny Depp’s quirky, jerky pirate, there can be no denying the popularity of the franchise, which included the first film to gross over $1 billion worldwide and is the seventh highest-grossing film series of all time (Harry Potter being the first). This is the one where it all began, and though the sequels were arguably a little obvious in bleeding the franchise, it remains an amusing and entertaining voyage.
Quote: “If you were waiting for the opportune moment, that was it.”
83. Ben-Hur (1959)
“Epic” is underselling a film that had the largest budget and largest sets ever produced at the time, helping it to become the second highest grossing film ever after Gone with the Wind. Its 11 Academy Awards is a record that stands today. The 212-minute masterpiece, including the infamous chariot race, has to be seen in proper context to be believed.
Quote: “Now listen to me, all of you. You are all condemned men. We keep you alive to serve this ship. So row well, and live.”
84. The Deer Hunter (1978)
The Deer Hunter summarised the savagery of POW camps during the Vietnam War in one infamous scene, where De Niro, Walken and comrades take part in a form of mental torture that introduced Russian Roulette to the world. Five Oscars and a dramatic and engaging theme examining the impact of war on the lives of the people at home ensure that this isn’t the only highlight.
Quote: “You wanna play games? All right, I’ll play your fucking games.”
85. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
The Terminator was no easy act to follow, but followed it was thanks to the help of some groundbreaking special effects and production that helped it win four Oscars. The surprisingly well handled twist of turning Arnie into a good guy (along with the comedic appeal that came from giving him more lines) meant the sequel more than held its own.
Quote: “The more contact I have with humans, the more I learn.”
86. The Third Man (1949)
Considered one of the best examples of film noir, this British classic is a master-class in atmospheric cinematography, with a chart-topping score and bags of character, as a pulp fiction novelist is followed through post-war Vienna tasked with investigating the death of his ex-school friend.
Quote: “A person doesn’t change just because you find out more.”
87. Traffic (2000)
Traffic is a powerful and thought-provoking story into the effect of drugs not only on the users, but on their families and those they encounter. Shown seamlessly through four interwoven stories that each tells its own tale, director Steven Soderberg builds to a dramatic climax that will stay with you long after the film ends.
Quote: “If there is a war on drugs, then many of our family members are the enemy. And I don’t know how you wage war on your own family.”
88. 28 Days Later (2002)
Zombie films had hit a bit of a lull before the inspired 28 Days Later emerged from the brain of British director Danny Boyle, who built gently with a hauntingly absorbing take on a deserted London before ramping things up to a terrifying degree by introducing zombies who sprinted, slobbered and jerked their way into your nightmares.
Quote: “With endless love, we left you sleeping. Now we’re sleeping with you. Don’t wake up.”
89. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
British prisoners arriving at a Japanese prison camp in western Burma are enlisted to help in the construction of a railway bridge over the river Kwai. Convinced by their Colonel to view their work as a symbol of British morale, their leader’s real motives are ultimately called into question.
Quote: “You are defeated but you have no shame. You are stubborn but you have no pride. You endure but you have no courage.”
90. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
The Good (Eastwood’s cocksure bounty hunter), the Bad (Van Cleef’s ruthless mercenary) and the Ugly (Wallach’s comical fast-talking bandit) compete in the best of the ‘Dollars’ Trilogy to find buried confederate gold in this definitive spaghetti western, with more hangings, gunfights and Wild West stereotypes than you can shake a stick at.
Quote: “You see, in this world there’s two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig.”
91. Schindler’s List (1993)
Based on the true story of Oskar Schindler, who saved over a thousand Jews from certain death at a Nazi concentration camp, Spielberg’s epic collected an impressive seven Oscars, with a further five nominations, and is frequently regarded as one of the greatest films ever made.
Quote: “This list… is an absolute good. The list is life. All around its margins lies the gulf.”
92. Zulu (1963)
Based on the battle of Rourke’s Drift, where 150 British soldiers battled to defend their encampment against a seemingly endless force of Zulu warriors, most of the characters in the film were based on actual participants. Together with spectacular landscapes an epic was created that showed both the effectiveness of tactical warfare against the odds and the impact of the resultant slaughter.
Quote: “A prayer’s as good as bayonet on a day like this.”
93. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The Dark Knight trilogy is complete with Nolan’s successful finale, and a “proper” handling of one of Batman’s most dangerous adversaries, barring perhaps the hokey voice. The Dark Knight Rises showed Batman at his best and worst, inspired by one of the most popular storylines in the mythology, and left things nicely tied up for us to hope, and pray, that the next iteration pays it justice.
Quote: “Calm down, Doctor! Now’s not the time for fear. That comes later.”
94. Network (1976)
A riveting tale of the sleaze that surrounds an American television network is not in fact a documentary, but a drama based around fired USB anchor Howard Beale, who takes revenge on the network in a rather unexpected way. Praised for its almost prophetic vision of things to come, Network didn’t escape a fair helping of criticism as well.
Quote: “Good morning, Mr. Beale. They tell me you’re a madman.”
95. Sin City (2005)
An emerging series of comic-book based movies that weren’t entirely awful created a resurgent demand for comic-lore on the big screen, and to show that this business isn’t entirely driven by colourful do-gooders with fantastical powers, Frank Miller was recruited to bring the darker side of the illustrated word to the screen. Sin City’s gritty, violent, star-studded neo-noir ticked these boxes and more, leaving us aching for a sequel.
Quote: “I love hitmen. No matter what you do to them, you don’t feel bad.”
96. Psycho (1960)
Many horror fans will tell you that what’s missing from modern attempts to scare is a grittiness and rawness achieved from the pre-digital generation that just can’t be recreated today. They may as well be referring to Psycho, a film that encompasses more in a few words and an evil stare than a dozen sequences of dismembered limbs put together.
Quote: “I think I must have one of those faces you can’t help believing.”
97. Forrest Gump (1994)
Tom Hanks won hearts and minds with his portrayal of a simple, altruistic man who wanted nothing more than to help those he loved. Often funny, frequently moving and beautifully woven, if you remain unaffected by its parodies there’s a gem of a Sunday movie waiting to be watched again.
Quote: “When I got tired, I slept. When I got hungry, I ate. When I had to go, you know, I went.”
98. City of God (2002)
A powerful tale of how life can lead people down very different paths, City of God follows two boys living in Brazil in the 1960s, one of which grows up to become a drug dealer, the other a photographer, who tries earnestly to prevent his friend from spreading a trail of destruction across the City.
Quote: “You need more than guts to be a good gangster. You need ideas.”
99. Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Recently rated by Empire magazine readers as the best movie of all time, Lucas’ sequel was darker, grittier and showed a more menacing side to the battle against the evil Empire, cementing the mythology’s place in the annals of sci-fi movie history even before the trilogy was complete. Due partly, of course, to one of the greatest “twists” ever seen in cinema.
Quote: “Your weapons, you will not need them.”
100. Goodfellas (1990)
A stellar performance from De Niro and able backup from Liotta were both good reasons for the success of Scorsese’s seminal gangster flick, but neither of them held a card to Joe Pesci’s Tommy DeVito. As a cold-hearted psychopath that would make Hannibal Lecter blush, Pesci dramatised some of the most memorable and chilling mafia moments in cinema.
Quote: “Jimmy was the kind of guy that rooted for bad guys in the movies.”
101. Legends of the Fall (1994)
An epic drama starring Anthony Hopkins as the doting father doing his damndest to raise three sons with very different ambitions, Legends of the Fall follows the fates of each and the impact their choices have on themselves and each other.
Quote: “Some people hear their own inner voices with great clearness and they live by what they hear. Such people become crazy, or they become legends.”
102. Sling Blade (1996)
Marking the full debut of Billy Bob Thornton the director, who won an Oscar for best screenplay, Sling Blade launched him into stardom as Karl Childers, who after being released from a psychiatric hospital following the murder of his mother at the age of 12 seeks to relive his lost youth through friendship with a young boy.
Quote: “To call the police, you push 911 then just tell ‘em to bring an ambulance, or a ‘hearst’ if you’re gonna kill me.”
103. Se7en (1995)
The timing of David Fincher’s crime-thriller Seven was pretty much perfect, arriving during a period where people hadn’t been truly shocked by a mainstream film for a while, and encompassing enough originality to ensure that it will never be repeated bar parody or rip-off. It also (briefly) introduced one of the most quietly appreciated movie villains around, with an ending that leaves jaws on the floor.
Quote: “Wanting people to listen, you can’t just tap them on the shoulder anymore. You have to hit them with a sledgehammer, and then you’ll notice you’ve got their strict attention.”
104. The Untouchables (1987)
A film that most men should grudgingly admit they shed a tear to, The Untouchables is best remembered not for Kevin Costner’s Elliot Ness or De Niro’s Capone, but from the support provided by a gruff Sean Connery and a fresh-faced Andy Garcia, who alongside the detestable Frank Nitti, brought emotion and genuine involvement to this classic 1920s prohibition crime caper.
Quote: “You just fulfilled the first rule of law enforcement: make sure when your shift is over you go home alive. Here endeth the lesson.”
105. A Beautiful Mind (2001)
Based on the biography of mathematics prodigy and Nobel prize winning John Forbes Nash, who became a professor at Cambridge University, A Beautiful Mind tells the tale of his struggle with paranoid schizophrenia and emergence from therapy to attempt to balance his genius alongside a normal life.
Quote: “Classes will dull your mind, destroy the potential for authentic creativity.”
106. The Departed (2006)
DiCaprio and Damon headline an all-star cast in Martin Scorcese’s multi Oscar-winning crime thriller. Actually a remake of the 2002 Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs, this is a showcase for how well Hollywood revisionism can actually work, thanks in no small part to stirring performances from each of the heavyweights in the line-up.
Quote: “One of us had to die. With me, it tends to be the other guy.”
107. Requiem for a Dream (2000)
“Harrowing” is an apt-enough description for this artful and melancholy insight into the lives of four drug-addled Coney Island residents who dream of greatness but must fight a constant battle to avoid succumbing to their addictions. A powerful tale of aspiration and ultimate decline that paints a shocking and eye-opening picture of the lives of addicts and those close to them.
Quote: “That’s the trouble with ya New York dope fiends. Ya got a rotten attitude.”
108. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
Just the second film to win all five major Academy Awards, Jack Nicholson stars in one of his most memorable roles as patient McMurphy. Sent to a ward for the mentally unstable after pleading insanity to avoid labour duties in prison, McMurphy rallies the inmates to rise up against the insidious Nurse Ratched.
Quote: “Get out of my way son, you’re usin’ my oxygen.”
109. The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)
Who knows exactly how much influence Che Guevara’s 1952 road trip, during which he penned the written memoirs that were to be transformed into this 2004 biopic, had on his subsequent revolutionary ideals, but it certainly played a significant part. This fascinating insight recounts the expedition across South America to show a man slowly transformed by what he experiences.
Quote: “You gotta fight for every breath and tell death to go to hell.”
110. Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989)
Sex, Lies and Videotape discusses and analyses the impact of sex and relationships on people’s lives, with a top-of-his-game James Spader on a slow-burning but intriguing voyage into human nature. Its success played a large part in revolutionising the independent film movement in the early 1990s, as well as launching the career of director Steven Soderbergh.
Quote: “I remember reading somewhere that men learn to love the person that they’re attracted to, and that women become more and more attracted to the person that they love.”
111. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
Spielberg’s seminal UFO flick is still a much-watch for anyone interested in what may or may not be “out there”. If you haven’t seen it, it’s well worth picking up the Director’s Cut in favour of the original, since Spielberg was forced to make quite a few undesired edits to fit a rushed release schedule.
Quote: “I guess you’ve noticed something a little strange with Dad. It’s okay, though. I’m still Dad.”
112. Shaun of the Dead (2004)
After somewhat of a hiatus, zombies came back in a big way at the turn of the century and have gone from strength to strength ever since. We have films like the British-made Shaun of the Dead to thank for this; a comedic take on the genre that’s about as close to how people would really act in a zombie apocalypse as you’d expect to find (especially after a few beers).
Quote: “Just look at the face: it’s vacant, with a hint of sadness. Like a drunk who’s lost a bet.”
113. Gran Torino (2008)
Clint Eastwood proved his acting and directing chops yet again with this “Dirty Harry in a condo” drama, expertly self-parodying the sour-faced bitterness he does so well to produce genuine laughs, while telling a tale that has real meaning. It all culminates in a moving tale of loneliness, self-realisation and redemption.
Quote: “I’ll blow a hole in your face then go inside and sleep like a baby.”
114. The Usual Suspects (1995)
Kevin Spacey swung two home runs in 1995 by starring in another crime-thriller classic, this time as an unfortunate conman thrust into a line-up of crooks that plan revenge against a police force that left them wrongly accused. Another twisty-turner, the audience is left scratching its collective head until the final moments…
Quote: “How do you shoot the devil in the back? What if you miss?”
115. Children of Men (2006)
An original take on the post-apocalyptic landscape surmises a world in which women have become infertile and the human race is edging towards enforced extinction, centring on the unexpected discovery of a lone pregnant woman who attempts to survive amidst warring factions and nationalistic sects.
Quote: “As the sound of the playgrounds faded, the despair set in. Very odd, what happens in a world without children’s voices.”
116. Unforgiven (1992)
Just when you thought it was safe to strap on a stetson, Clint Eastwood returns in his most iconic guise as a retired old-west gunslinger who reluctantly takes one last job. Needless to say he’s lost none of his swagger, and as the reluctant hero still has enough in the locker to teach those young whipper-snappers a thing or two about pistols at dawn.
Quote: “I’ve killed women and children. I’ve killed everything that walks or crawls at one time or another. And I’m here to kill you, Little Bill, for what you done to Ned.”
117. Bicycle Thieves (1948)
An unemployed and desperate man in post World War 2 Italy gets a job he desperately needs, but loses the one thing he needs to complete it – his bike. Bicycle Thieves follows the man, together with his son, in a search for the thief. A powerful piece of Italian cinema that poignantly depicts the struggles of a desperate father.
Quote:“Why should I kill myself worrying when I’ll end up just as dead?”
118. Leon (1994)
A somewhat unexpected success, Leon introduced Jean Reno (and Natalie Portman) to British and American audiences in the form of a disturbed but kind-hearted assassin who reluctantly befriends a young girl. With equal measures of violence, poignancy, and a dastardly slick performance from Gary Oldman as the corrupt cop on the case, Leon stole hearts and minds amidst its curious undertones.
Quote: “I don’t give a shit about sleeping, Leon. I want love, or death. That’s it.”
119. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
The DiCaprio-Scorsese love-in goes from strength to strength in this black comedy about a New York stockbroker who wilfully engages in security fraud and corruption on Wall Street in the 1990s. Not short of controversy (amongst other things, it holds the record for the most uses of the word “fuck” in a non-documentary); it was well nominated but fell short of a major prize.
Quote: “Let me tell you something. There’s no nobility in poverty. I’ve been a poor man, and I’ve been a rich man. And I choose rich every fucking time.”
120. Risky Business (1983)
One of Tom Cruise’s earliest outings made full use of his grinny persona in a Ferris Bueller-style romp that inspired millions of teenagers to long for the day their parents would go away, and millions of parents to beef up the security on their liquor cabinets and luxury cars.
Quote: “Say ‘what the fuck.’… If you can’t say it, you can’t do it.”
121. Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983)
Lucas rounds off his uber-trilogy with a happier tone, and a healthy dose of criticism from those who knew not what was to come. Return of the Jedi didn’t strike a chord with all of its growing audience of die-hard fans, but remained generally respected for repeating much of the formula that made its predecessors so successful.
Quote: “I’m rather embarrassed, General Solo, but it appears that you are to be the main course at a banquet in my honor.”
122. Vertigo (1958)
Forced into retirement after developing a fear of heights and dizziness, John “Scottie” Ferguson is hired by an acquaintance to follow his wife, on whom he develops a dangerous obsession. Though it received mixed reviews on first release, Vertigo is now looked back on fondly as one of Hitchcock’s finest pieces of work.
Quote: “You shouldn’t keep souvenirs of a killing. You shouldn’t have been that sentimental.”
123. Snatch (2000)
Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels re-introduced the hard line of second-rate English backwater crime to the world, and hit even harder with the follow-up, thanks in part to a barely intelligible Brad Pitt’s One-Punch Mikey. Snatch pulls none of the aforementioned punches and clarifies for the world exactly what it means to be a “proper nasty bastard”.
Quote: “In the quiet words of the Virgin Mary… come again?”
124. Blood Diamond (2006)
DiCaprio shows his range as Archer, a tortured man who wilfully braves an African war zone rife with insurgent forces driven by greed and ambition in a search for the renowned blood diamonds, riches to kill for that were typically used to profit warlords during the Sierra Leone Civil War.
Quote: “In America, it’s bling bling. But out here it’s bling bang.”
125. Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)
The essential accompaniment to Clint Eastwood’s Flags of our Fathers (he directed both) tells the story of the battle of Iwo Jima from the perspective of the Japanese, and though each was successful and highly regarded, this did better in the box office and is the more revered of the two. Powerful, personal and deeply moving.
Quote: “We can die here, or we can continue fighting. Which would better serve the emperor?”