What kind of crazy title is that? A good question. It’s that time of year again. The time to stress over which movies will and will not make the cut when it comes to making the definitive list of movies you really like. But I’ve done it three times before! It’s getting a little boring, right? WRONG! In addition to whatever new movies might end up on the list I’ve devised a clever (stupid) way to present them to you, my adoring public. Instead of giving you them all in one or two or three goes and counting down from 100 to 1 as you would expect, I’ll be giving you the list in groups of ten, based on which digit is in what we in called the “ones spot” in kindergarten. This means that today you’ll get numbers 100, 90, 80, 70, 60, 50, 40, 30, 20, and 10.
Why present them this way, you might ask. First, I’ll refer you to the previous paragraph where I said I was bored. But it’s also a bit of a commentary on the arbitrary nature of this whole excercise. Why not, that’s the real answer. And it’s more suspenseful. Or whatever. Here goes nothing.
100. Kingdom of Heaven (2005)
Directed by Ridley Scott. Starring Orlando Bloom and Brendan Gleeson
It is a kingdom of conscience, or nothing
Good enough in the Director’s Cut to make this list, this mostly forgotten epic is both big and small. It also contains one of the only good Edward Norton performances in an uncredited role as King Baldwin IV.
90. I’m Not There (2007)
Directed by Todd Haynes. Starring Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
Yes, it’s chaos, clocks, and watermelons – you know, it’s – it’s everything.
Perhaps a gimmick to show all the “sides” of Bob Dylan as different characters, but it’s done with a crazy electricity that elevates it above criticism towards transcendence.
80. To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)
Directed by Robert Mulligan. Starring Gregory Peck and Mary Badham
There’s a lot of ugly things in this world, son. I wish I could keep ’em all away from you. That’s never possible.
One of the best adaptations of one of the best books of all time. Gregory Peck is Atticus Finch and the man every boy wants to grow up to be.
70. The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
Directed by Ernst Lubitsch. Starring Margaret Sullavan and James Stewart
There might be a lot we don’t know about each other. You know, people seldom go through the trouble of scratching the surface of things to find the inner truth.
Sullavan and Stewart are one of the great screen couples of all time and this wonderful Christmastime romance plays to their strengths. Later remade as You’ve Got Mail, AOL ain’t got nothing on good old fashioned mail boxes.
60. The Mortal Storm (1940)
Directed by Frank Borzage. Starring Margaret Sullavan and James Stewart
I’ve never prized safety, Erich, either for myself or my children. I prized courage.
Famously the movie that made Hitler stop Hollywood films from being shown in Germany, this coincidentally placed film has all the heightened romance and beautiful photography that you expect from a Borzage movie.
50. The Incredibles (2004)
Directed by Brad Bird. Starring Craig T. Nelson and Holly Hunter
We’re dead! We’re dead! We survived but we’re dead!
Simultaneously one of the better super hero films and one of the best kid’s movies ever. The style is astounding and the score gives everything that 60’s spy sheen.
40. Where the Wild Things Are (2009)
Directed by Spike Jonze. Starring Max Records and James Gandolfini
Well, look: thsi used to be all rock, and now it’s sand, and then, one day, it’s going to be dust, and then the whole island will be dust and then… well I don’t even know what comes after dust.
A movie about childhood that is more for those remembering it than those experiencing it. Sometimes you make friends and sometimes they hurt you and sometimes you hurt them.
30. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
Directed by John Ford. Starring John Wayne and James Stewart
I know those Law books mean a lot to you, but not out here. Out here a man settles his own problems.
Perhaps the beginning of the revisionist western. But what a swan song! The film starts with John Wayne as the presiding force in town but ends with bookish James Stewart the only one left alive.
20. Toy Story 3 (2010)
Directed by Lee Unkrich. Starring Tom Hanks and Tim Allen
Now, you gotta promise to take good care of these guys. They mean a lot to me.
The end, for now, of the franchise that grew up with me. Though I was out of college by the time Andy was just leaving for it I still empathized completely with his situation. The good news is that there’s always another generation waiting to play with your old toys.
10. The Searchers (1956)
Directed by John Ford. Starring John Wayne and Jeffrey Hunter
From now on, you stay out of this. All of ya. I don’t want you with me. I don’t need ya for what I got to do.
Ok, maybe this is the beginning of the revisionist western. Anyways. It’s about a man whose ways are outdated and must leave the community in order to make it stronger. Sounds like John Ford to me.