11 September 2008

My Favorite Great Films

This list is a work in progress, but since I asked my students to make a similar one last night in class, it seemed only fair that I post my own. I made this a while ago after a conversation with my friend Bill about Favorite vs. Greatest movies. I tried to do a few things with this list. One, to list my favorite movies, ranked in loose echelons of "greatness"--I'm not sure how to describe what I tried to do, really. Maybe that's a work in progress, too. Anyway, I need to give more thought to the last category on the list--movies that I recognize as "great" but don't particularly like.

Tier One (classics by something approaching critical consensus)

The A List
The Godfather
The Godfather, part II
Citizen Kane
Apocalypse Now (and Redux)
The Birds
Casablanca
Do the Right Thing
Goodfellas
M
North by Northwest
Psycho
Pulp Fiction
Ran
Rear Window
Rashomon
Chinatown
Vertigo
Sunrise


The B List
The Best Years of Our Lives
Sunset Blvd.
The Lady Vanishes
On the Waterfront
Streetcar Named Desire
The Seven Samurai
Shadow of a Doubt
Singin’ in the Rain
The Wizard of Oz
Taxi Driver
Raging Bull


Tier Two (generally acknowledged to be at least “good” movies)

Dial M for Murder
The Silence of the Lambs
The Night of the Hunter
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Schindler’s List
The Shawshank Redemption
The Sixth Sense
Some Like It Hot
All About Eve
Annie Hall
Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Strangers on a Train
Notorious
Rebecca
Touch of Evil
Fantasia
The Exorcist
The Shining
Jungle Fever
School Daze
Jaws
Nashville
For a Few Dollars More
Rosemary’s Baby
The Thin Red Line
High Noon
It’s a Wonderful Life
Lifeboat
Raging Bull


Tier Three (newer movies that need to stand the test of time, or older movies that I feel are underappreciated)

American Beauty
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
There Will Be Blood
No Country for Old Men
Princess Mononoke
Kiss of the Spider Woman
Jesus of Montreal
L.A. Confidential
Mulholland Dr.
Crimes and Misdemeanors
Magnolia
Rushmore
The Matrix
Roger & Me
Bladerunner
Dog Day Afternoon
Fight Club
Saving Private Ryan
JFK
Run Lola Run
Malcolm X
Network
Pi
The Vanishing (Spoorloos)
Unforgiven


Tier Four (movies that I really enjoy but will [and probably should] never be considered “great” movies)

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Brazil
Raising Arizona
Amelie
The Die Hard trilogy
Terminator & Terminator 2
The Fifth Element
Scream
Kill Bill, vols. 1 & 2
Jackie Brown
Jean de Florette & Manon of the Spring
Memento
The Mission
Moulin Rouge!
The Dark Knight
Titus
The Muppet Movie
Monsters, Inc.
Platoon
The Player
The Princess Bride
Shakespeare in Love
True Romance
Twelve Monkeys
The Usual Suspects
Wonder Boys


Last, But Not Least—these are movies that I can’t say I enjoy, but I can appreciate why others call them “great”

No comments: