We’ve filtered through the cinematic dross of Netflix Instant (and there was a lot) and come up with a list of the 15 best films you can watch right now.
15. Eat Drink Man Woman
Director: Ang Lee
Ang Lee’s sumptuous Taiwanese film details the life and work of a talented but intensely difficult chef, a widower named Mr. Chu who has lost the use of his taste buds. The lonely Chu cooks elaborate feasts for his three lovelorn adult daughters, forcing his children to sit through brutally tense Sunday dinners at all costs.
14. The Hustler
Director: Robert Rossen
Paul Newman may not have won his first Academy Award until The Hustler‘s 1986 followup from Martin Scorsese, The Color of Money, but there’s nothing like the original Fast Eddie going up against reigning pool shark, Jackie Gleason’s Minnesota Fats.
13. Winter’s Bone
Director: Debra Granik
Watching Winter’s Bone is like entering into an entirely different world, vividly capturing the sights and sounds of the Ozark mountains in a way that’s stylized yet feels completely natural to the setting. But that’s all just beautiful wrapping around Jennifer Lawrence’s stunning performance as a 17-year-old raising her two younger siblings, supporting her mother, and trying to find the whereabouts of her deadbeat father before their house is taken away. Debra Granik takes this search plotline in dreadful new directions, and while Lawrence may end up battered by her community and nearly starved by an indifferent society, she never loses her dignity. Winter’s Bone is simultaneously the most depressing and uplifting film of the year, showing us the worst of humanity without ever giving in to it.
12. Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Director: Guy Ritchie
The debut film from Guy Ritchie, this super stylistic take on the gangster formula pays homage to the work of Quentin Tarantino. From the sardonic humor, to slapstick violence, to the twisty plot, you could call it the British Reservoir Dogs on crack. Its obtrusive soundtrack—a mix of classic rock, reggae and pop—brings it all together.
11. Dial M for Murder
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
The first of Hitchcock’s collaborations with Grace Kelly, this film follows a man who attempts to have his cheating wife murdered. Like Rope, the majority of the movie takes place in a single apartment, adding an air of claustrophobia to the thriller.
Though in hindsight the actual story proves pretty wacky, Fritz Lang’s last silent film—before his second masterpiece M—could be called the blueprint for all sci-fi films that followed it. Whether the groundbreaking special effects, the visual scope or the intricate set design, greats such as Ridley Scott, George Lucas and Stanley Kubrick have borrowed from it (Lucas modeled C-3PO directly after the Maria robot). Metropolis, heavily influenced by the books of H.G. Wells, also stands as the first dystopian film in history.
9. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Director: George Roy Hill
Paired with Robert Redford, Paul Newman tore into his part as the folk outlaw Butch Cassidy and created an instant touchstone of the genre. That Newman lent his star to a film with criminal heroes was a revolutionary act for an actor of his stature at the time, and for that it’ll likely remain his best-remembered role.
8. True Grit
Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
In remaking one of the better cowboy films of the 1960s, the Coens have also taken on the genre’s biggest star—John Wayne, who played the irascible marshal Rooster Cogburn in the original ‘69 adaptation of Charles Portis’ straightforward and engaging novel. Casting, however, has never been a Coen weakness, and Jeff Bridges wholly embraces and reinvents the role for which Wayne received an Oscar. There’s a simplicity about the performances in True Grit that jives well with the rich landscapes and the authentically recreated, urban settings of nineteenth century Arkansas and the Indian Territory. That, and the genuine attire of the times, allows the Coens to create a world where the actors can play real characters, not caricatures of reality. It’s a talent that keeps begging the question, “What’s next?”
Director: Roman Polanski
With one of the greatest opening scenes in cinema, Polanski’s look at 1930s Los Angeles provides yet another opportunity for Jack Nicholson to shine and for noir to captivate an audience with an iconic private eye (Nicholson’s J.J. Gittes) and femme fetale (Faye Dunaway).
6. The Big Lebowski
Directors: Joel and Ethan Coen
If you truly loved your kidnapped trophy wife, would you really ask a guy like Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski to deliver ransom money to her captors? Sure, he’s got plenty of time on his hands—enough to while away the days chasing down a stolen rug, at least—but he can hardly get himself dressed in the morning, chugs White Russians like it’s his job (incidentally, he doesn’t have a real one) and hangs around with a bunch of emotionally unstable bowling enthusiasts. Any mission you set him off on seems bound to fail. And yet that’s the great joy, and the great triumph, of the Coen Brothers’ The Big Lebowski and its consummate slacker-hero. The Dude is a knight in rumpled PJ pants, a bathrobe his chainmail, a Ford Torino his white horse. Strikes and gutters, ups and downs, he takes life in ambling, unshaven stride—and more than dashing good looks and unparalleled strengths, isn’t that something we should all aspire to?
5. The Gold Rush
Director: Charlie Chaplin
Alongside City Lights, The Gold Rush remains Charlie Chaplin’s pinnacle as a filmmaker and actor. He agreed, calling it a personal favorite amongst his immense body of work. With stunning set pieces and memorable scenes, including the famous roll dance and shoe-eating dinner, the film provides one of the earliest and profoundest examples of dramedy in cinema. In quintessential Chaplin fashion, it weaves together slapstick and melancholy, generating both laughs and cries for the lonely yet hilarious Little Tramp.
4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Director: Michel Gondry
Michel Gondry’s debut feature, Human Nature, was a whimsical dud, but his follow-up suggested a mature, disciplined director with his playful side intact. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind traffics in his signature sleights of hand, which serve two touching and tragic love stories: between red-haired Kate Winslet and a supremely sad Jim Carrey, and between headstrong Kirsten Dunst and a pining Mark Ruffalo. All of their performances—including Gondry’s—stay in your memory long after the credits have rolled.
3. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Director: Milos Forman
There’s a reason this film swept the Oscars with Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Screenplay. Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher anchor a dynamic cast in Forman’s New Hollywood masterpiece about a state mental hospital.
2. Chariots of Fire
Director: Hugh Hudson
Two British runners, Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell, find that the 1924 Olympics Games is a pressure cooker that will test more than their legs. This uplifting drama is one of the best sports films ever made, earning it the Oscar for Best Picture in 1981.
1. The Bicycle Thief (Ladri di biciclette)
Director: Vittorio De Sica
This tale of a father and son in poverty-stricken Italy is on of the most moving films I’ve ever seen. Part of the neo-realism movement, it was shot on the streets of Rome and was quickly recognized as a masterpiece by film critics around the world. There’s simply no better way to spend 89 minutes in front of screen.
What do you think about above list. Share with us in comments section.
Like this Article ? Share it with friends or submit to your favorite sites :