This past weekend I helped my good friend Johnny Luu move from Brighton back to Cardiff. On the long car journey back to Wales, he told me of a little project he and some of his Brighton posse were doing, the simple matter of trying to work up the definitive top 10 movies of all time. This is, of course, impossible, as opinions vary, and more films are being made all of the time. John’s criteria for a Top Tenner seems to simply be ‘any film that if someone said to you “would you watch that right now?” you’d say yes’. Which to me at least seems like a pretty fair criteria. So… with that in mind, here’s my “Top Ten Films Of All Time, Absolutely Definitive, No Take-Backsies, At Least Until Next Week” list. Move me all you want, there’ll be some dreck in here, but fuck it. Write your own list if you disagree. 🙂
10: L.A. CONFIDENTIAL – Super stylish period detective, wound around a brilliantly complex twisty-turny plot that keeps you guessing. Every character is pretty much a right bastard, and watching them out-bastard each other is terrific good fun.
9: ROBOCOP – The fantastic satire on 80’s corporate America is close to the bone, usually because it shot it with a Baretta. The fact that it’s disguised under a wave of ultra-violence and dead-pan black comedy makes it all the richer. I’d buy that for a dollar!
8: GROUNDHOG DAY – Destined to be a beloved classic akin to ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ for years to come. Murray’s ultimate comedy vehicle, it nails comedy and pathos in equal measure every time.
7: SPEED – Okay, okay, look, I KNOW it’s tripe. But it’s ACTION PACKED tripe, and massively entertaining! I love this film. I don’t care what anyone says.
6: PULP FICTION – Dialogue and perfomances that crackle off the screen, with characters and story so outlandish yet cool you have to root for the bad guy… even if they’re ALL bad guys.
5: THE DARK KNIGHT – The greatest comic book hero film ever made, a storming story, great effects, and bravura performances for pretty much everyone involved, especially Aaron Eckhart and Heath Ledger. Dock it a point for two for Bale’s stupid Batman voice though.
4: GHOSTBUSTERS – one of the funniest, most quotable films ever, Ghostbusters is nigh-on perfect. From the script, to the acting, to the design, to the effects… it’s totally iconic. Love it!
3: ALIENS – A very different type of sequel to it’s predecessor, it’s balls to wall action with marines, a heroic chick, guns, flamethrowers, acid bleeding aliens, and thouroughly quotable dialogue. Game over, man. Game over!
2: TERMINATOR 2 – Man, this was tough, it was this or the first one. Both are just utterly fantastic tech-noir action thrillers, but I went with T2 purely because I think the T-1000 is such a wicked villain, and it felt like a real ‘raise the stakes’ affair after the amazing first film.
1: BACK TO THE FUTURE – Pretty much perfect in every way. A fantastic story with wonderfully well-drawn characters, superbly acted, a solid mix of drama, action and comedy, with punch-the-air moments of triumph.
Hmm. Reading this back I’m already disagreeing with at least 25% of this list. Damn you Johnny Luu! *shakes fist*