80 – Gran Torino (2008, Clint Eastwood)
At 80 is the film that would’ve been Clint Eastwood’s perfect swansong if he had retired after it. Gran Torino tells the story of Walk Kowalski an elderly Korean War Veteran who lives alone after being practically abandoned by his family. Walt’s values are tested when his Hmong neighbor Thao, attempts to steal his prized 1972 Gran Torino to help pay off his debt to a local gang. The film follows their growing relationship in a film that finds Eastwood at perhaps his most progressive. Gran Torino is a touching movie that may not reach the heights of Eastwood’s golden years, but nonetheless it’s a story of kindness that is still as poignant today as it was back in 2008.
79 – Room (2015, Lenny Abrahamson)
My 79th best film of the century is Lenny Abrahamson’s adaptation of the Emma Donaghue novel, Room. The film tells the story of Joy and Jack, a mother and son who are held captive in a shed by mysterious kidnapper and one day attempt to escape and reclaim their freedom. The film takes a unique perspective as it predominantly follows Jack, Played by Jacob Tremblay, who was born within the shed and has never experienced the outside world. The film takes a complex and profound look at a traumatic situation as well as the trauma that lingers long after it’s over. Not only this, but Room features the greatest child actor performance of all time. Brie Larson gives a deservedly Oscar winning performance, however, in my opinion, Jacob Tremblay is the star of the film who deserved a lot more award recognition than he received.
78 – Mother! (2017, Darren Aaronofsky)
Coming in at number 78 is perhaps the most polarizing film on this list. Darren Aaronofsky divided everyone in 2917 with his religious and environmental allegory, Mother! The film follows a couple, played by Javier Bardem and Jennifer Lawrence, who live in a house in the country, when one day a man, played by Ed Harris, arrives at their door. He man welcomes him with open arms, however, the women is less than pleased. Many loved the film, however many were equally confused as to what Mother! was all about, whilst others found its meaning a little too narrow and easy to unpick. This film really stirred up quite a storm and I for one wrote a 2000 word analysis of it, just for shits and giggles. For this reason, Mother! is a work of art and my 78th best film of the 21st century.
77 – In Bruges (2008 Martin McDonnagh)
The 21st Century has seen Martin McDonnagh burst onto the stage and screen with such plays as A Very Very Dark Matter, which I had the privilege to see, and films such as; Seven Psychopaths, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri and my 77th pick, In Bruges. The film follows two hitmen who are called to Bruges for a mysterious mission. The two men, played by a surprisingly effective duo that is Brendon Gleeson and Colin Farrell, await further instructions whilst taking in the Belgium sights. McDonnagh debuts with a winning black comedy that works as a comedy, drama and action film. The film may have also debuted his weird hatred of dwarf people, but nonetheless In Bruges is a funny action comedy that deserves a place on this list.
76 – Pain & Glory (2019, Pedro Almodovar)
From Acclaimed Spanish filmmaker, Pedro Almodovar, comes his most overly personal film to date and my 76th best film on this list, Pain & Glory. The film tells the story of a film director, who in his older years, takes on a heroin addiction whilst reflecting upon on his life and the choices he’s made. The film follows two stories, one starring long time Almodovar collaborator, Antonio Banderas as the heroin addicted film director and another starring Penelope Cruz as a mother trying to make ends meet for her family. The film perfectly ties together these seemingly unrelated stories in one of the best, most understated endings to a film I’ve ever seen. Almodovar delivers potentially his best work, deriving a career best performance from a deservedly Oscar nominated Antonio Banderas. This film is decades I the making and the payoff is everything it deserves to be and more.
75 – Moonrise Kingdom (2012, Wes Anderson)
It was only a matter of time until Wes Anderson made an appearance on this list and his first of three is at number 75 on my list with his coming of age film Moonrise Kingdom. The film tells the story of Sam, a 12 year old orphan boy who falls in love with a girl called Suzy. Suzy and Sam run away together, prompting his camp councilors to form a search party to find them. This film feels the most Wes Anderson film of them all, and that’s saying something considering how infamous he is for his distinctive symmetrical style. The acting is great, the framing is immaculate, it’s awkwardly funny and it’s simply Wes Anderson at the top of his game. No director has quite had a glow up like Wes Anderson and Moonrise Kingdom marks the directors blossoming at number 75 on my list.
74 – Warrior (2011 Gavin O’Conner)
At 74 is the brother vs brother UFC movie, Warrior. The film stars Tom Hardy as ex-marine, Tommy Conlon who returns home to his alcoholic father so he may train him to cage fight again. Upon entering in a Cage fighting contest, Tommy discovers there is more at stake than the prize money, as he has the potential of going up against his older brother, ex-fighter turned teacher, Brendon Conlon, played by Joel Edgerton. Although the premise sounds very cliché, Gavin O’Conner balances heart pounding cage fights with a story that’s focused on its characters and their different motivates, making Warrior a fight movie with equal grit and heart. The very definition of tough love, Warrior packs a punch in more ways than one.
73 – Rocketman (2019, Dexter Fletcher)
From actor turned director Dexter Fletcher, comes the fantasy musical biopic of the most extravagant man in pop music, Elton John. Rocketman tells the origin story of the LGBT icon in a way fitting of the man himself. The film is simply everything that the polarizing Bohemian Rhapsody, should’ve been. Although his story may not be particularly unique, Fletcher’s direction for the film is truly inspired as he plays with reality to perfectly fit with the films larger than life subject. The film has simply changed the game for the biopic genre and is paving the way for future blockbuster movies to come.
Honourable Mention – Love And Mercy (2014, Bill Pohlad)
Telling the Story of the Beach Boy’s Brian Wilson, Love and Mercy is an equally amazing biopic that perfectly does justice to its legendary subject matter. Following two timelines, the film takes a surreal and unconventional approach to one of music’s most unorthodox genius’. The film just misses out to Rocketman as Rocketman goes that step further with its genres; however Love and Mercy is an outstanding work of art that is equally as worth your time.
72 – The Lego Batman Movie (2017, Chris McKay)
There have been a number of different adaptations of the Batman, however to everyone’s surprise, it is his Lego form that delved the deepest into the caped crusader. At number 72 is The Lego Movie spin off film, The Lego Batman Movie. A Meta comedy that doesn’t waste a second, The Lego Batman Movie has you cracking up as early as the opening logos. Perhaps the greatest spin off of all time, this film also manages to explore the character of Batman deeper than any of his live action adaptations. Of course it’s a family film, however the way it handles its key themes of loneliness and family is surprisingly poignant and profound for such a film. It’s laugh out loud funny and has a surprising amount of character depth and heart, what more do you need from a film?
71 – Personal Shopper (2016, Oliver Assayas)
Remember that film in which Twilight star, Kristen Stewart texts a ghost? Well it’s my 71st film on this list. Personal Shopper tells the story of Maureen, a personal shopper and medium who made a pact with her twin brother that they would communicate with each other in the afterlife. When her brother dies of a genetic heart abnormality, Maureen searches for a supernatural sign from her recently deceased twin. Never boring, this out their drama maintains your intrigue, whilst also demonstrating that Kristen Stewart’s credibility as an actress. A rather ambiguous film that perhaps benefits from multiple viewings, Personal Shopper isn’t the film you think it is and the result is a pleasant surprise.
And another 10 down, thank you again for reading, let me know your thoughts, check out these movies and I’ll see you with the next 10 coming real soon.