11 Amazing Movies That Are On Everyone’s Best-Of List

1. Grease

I’ve had many a wet dream about the fantasy of playing Rizzo in Grease. Maybe it’s her quintessential “bad girl has a heart” song, “There are worse Things I could do,” or that she’s queen bee of the Pink Ladies (“We’re gonna ruuule the schoool”), or maybe it’s Stockard Channing’s killer legs. There’s something about this 1950s star-crossed lovers tale. The John Travolta cool, the Frenchy “pink” and the frigid girl from Down Under that has stood the test of time, and like Marylin Monroe or Elvis, demands that the world never forgets.

  • “Men are rats, listen to me, they’re fleas on rats, worse than that, they’re amoebas on fleas on rats… The only man a girl can depend on is her daddy.”
  • “I’m not very hungry; just gimme a double Polar Burger wit’ everything and a cherry soda wit’ chocolate ice cream.”

2. Pulp Fiction

The coolest film ever made; Tarantino’s masterpiece, Travolta’s renaissance and arguably Uma Thurman’s purpose on this planet.

  • “And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you.”
  • “Any of you fuckin pricks MOVE an’ I’ll execute every mother fuckin’ last one of you!”
  • “That’s when you know you’ve found somebody special. When you can just shut the fuck up for a minute and comfortably enjoy the silence.”
  • “Who’s motorcycle is this?” “It’s a chopper, baby.” “Who’s chopper is this?” “It’s Zed’s.” “Who’s Zed?” “Zed’s dead, baby. Zed’s dead.”

3. The Little Mermaid

The feminist in me says I should know better. A helpless little mermaid who is so desperate to win the (mortal) prince’s affections that she gives up her voice to have legs like him? Shoddy premise, I know. But I LOVE this animation. The buoyancy of all of the undersea characters (Sebastian is my personal favorite) and the music! I also totally dig Ariel’s red hair.

  • “Ariel, listen to me. The human word, it’s a mess; live under the sea is better than anything they got up there.”
  • “I’ve got gadgets and gizmos aplenty, I’ve got whozits and whatzits galore. You want thingamabobs? I got twenty. But who cares? No big deal. I want more.”

4. Secrets and Lies

My dad took me to the theatre to see this film when I was a young teenager. And when I left the theatre, I had decided that I wanted to be an actress “just like Brenda Blethyn.” Blethyn’s performance is breathtaking, and Mike Leigh’s unique improvisational technique finds it’s divinity in Secrets and Lies.

  • “You gotta laugh, ain’t ya sweetheart? Else you’d cry.”

5. My Best Friend’s Wedding

I’m not joking when I say: EVERY TIME I WATCH THIS BLOODY MOVIE I CRY. I don’t know know what it is. Something about Julia Roberts; her vulnerability, humour and perfect charm. And George, her wonderful gay friend who saves the day! I’ve found myself in drunken heated arguments at parties over this flick with people who apparently can’t relate to such green-eyed envy. Yes, we all want to think we’re more evolved that the envious and selfish Julianne (Roberts), but in fact, her character just holds a mirror up to us all. Umm.. that’s why it made $287 million! It’s a bloody good film, and I won’t hear a bad word about it!

  • “This is my one chance at happiness. I have to be ruthless!”
  • “Michael’s chasing Kimmy?” “Yes!” “You’re chasing Michael?” “YES!” “Who’s chasing you??
  • “There wont be marraige… maybe there wont be sex… but, by God, there’ll be dancing…!”

6. The Master

For me, this film was a cinematic revelation. Joaquin Pheonix and the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman seemed to elevate one another to higher dimensions in this Shakespearean-like character drama. Pheonix’s metamorphous’ and Seymour Hoffman’s powerful portrayal of an enigmatic cult leader, were two of the more powerful performances of my lifetime. Director Paul Thomas Anderson’s choice to have Lancaser (Hoffman) passionately sing the song of his heart to Freddie (Pheonix) in the final act, will forever enthrone this film as a cinematic masterpiece (excuse the pun).

7. Some Like it Hot

Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe make a deliciously unorthodox love triangle in this 1959 cult comedy! Broke and jobless, two male musicians dress up as women to join a travelling women’s band. Low and behold, the sexiest girl alive just happens to be the singer and ukulele player at the centre of the band. Too bad the lads are also wearing dresses…!

  • “Do you use the bow or do you just strum it?” “Most of the time I just slap it!”
  • “I used to sell kissed to the milk fund”
  • “I am Osgood Fielding the third”, “I’m Cinderella the second.”
  • “I don’t care how rich he is, as long as he has a yacht, his own private railroad car, and his own toothpaste.”

8. Borat

I have never and may never again laugh as much as I did the day I first time I saw Borat in the theatre. “In Kazakstan we have problem too: economic, social and Jew.” Enough said.

  • “You telling me the man who try to put a rubber fist in my anus was a homosexual?”
  • [Referring in thought to woman speaking in a feminist group] “I could not concentrate on what this old man was saying.”
  • “She is my sister. She is number-four prostitute in whole of Kazakhstan.”
  • “Even though my anus was broken, I knew the rest of our journey would be great success.”

9. Dancer in the Dark

This Lars Von Trier gut wrenching epic was a game changer in the realm of filmmaking. To depict Selma’s roar and bleak reality, Von Trier utilised a hyper-real, hand-held digital camera. While, when Selma escapes to the perfection of the fantasy musicals that play out in her imagination, Von trier adopted film. Bjork’s heartbreakingly delicate and honest performance, along with her sensational musical composition are some of the more impressive artistic contributions from the late 20th century.

  • “In a musical, nothing dreadful ever happens.”
  • “Why did you have him? You knew he would have the same disease as you.” “I just wanted to hold a little baby.”
  • “I don’t want a boyfriend. If I did want a boyfriend, it would be you, John.”

10. Dirty Pretty Things

This film delves deep into the underground world of illegal immigrants in London. I knew I had to include an Audrey Tatou film; this is the one. While both Okwe (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Senay (Tatou) navigate their way to survival, an unspoken and unrealised love blossoms between them…

  • “Because we are the people you do not see. We are the ones who drive your cabs. We clean your rooms. And suck your cocks.”

11. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrel

The Brits do this stuff so well! This crime comedy thriller set a new standard of ‘cool’ to the heist genre in the late 90’s. I particularly loved the weed growing “public school” boys.

  • “When you dance with the devil, you wait for the song to stop.”
  • “A minute ago this was the safest job in the world. Now it’s turning into a bad day in Bosnia.”
  • “If you hold back anything, I’ll kill ya. If you bend the truth or I think you’re bending the truth, I’ll kill ya. If you forget anything, I’ll kill ya. In fact, you’re gonna have to work very hard to stay alive, Nick.” TC mark

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  • http://presmaxson.wordpress.com Pres Maxson

    Some like it hot for sure.

  • http://adamlaredo.wordpress.com adamlaredo

    A bold title to your post, but I could do a top 20 or top 100, and the only one that might crack that list is Pulp Fiction, which I regard as Tarantino’s third best. Little Mermaid? … Really?

  • http://invisiblemikey.wordpress.com Invisible Mikey

    I can’t personally imagine “Grease” being in the same list as the rest of these. Movie adaptations of stage musicals are often bad, because they try to go a different direction from what worked in the theater. The film of Grease cleans up the stage version considerably to make it more family-friendly, and to me it loses the charm and heat of the original. I’m not going to even go into the dreadful performances, especially by the two leads.

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