80. The Night of the Hunter (1955) - Directed by Charles LaughtonIt's a hard world for little things.
Decade Rank: 13
TSPDT rank: 44
AMF 2012 rank: 30 (down 50)
Live in Phoenix: 126/145
The closest example I can think of as the cinematic equivalent of a fairytale. One of the greatest films told from the perspective of children, the incredible degree of innocence and genuine horror depicted in this film is reflective of this narrative approach. The film perfectly fuses sensibilities of silent cinema to create a work of truly “pure cinema”: the light, as represented by mise-en-scene inspired by Griffith and embodied by no less than Lillian Gish, while the darkness is symbolized by the style of German expressionism, replete with jarring angles and deep shadows, and represented by the great Robert Mitchum, the soul of film noir, as a man who may as well be a monster in human clothing. A damn shame that Laughton never directed another film, especially when you consider how incredible this movie is, and how much he clearly appreciated the cinema’s origins. – JimmyJazz
79. The Elephant Man (1980) - Directed by David LynchI am a human being! I am a man!
Decade Rank: 14
TSPDT rank: 539
AMF 2012 rank: new
David Lynch’s most accessible film, though that isn’t to say it isn’t strange. Lynch has always been fascinated by people with various disabilities, though he has largely avoided exploitation and instead focuses on the humanity in his subjects. Though not in his usual surrealistic style, The Elephant Man is an important entry in the David Lynch canon because it is a thorough examination of the values he uses when creating his characters. John Merrick is an incredibly sympathetic protagonist, which makes the scenes of his torment all the more terrible. It is a stark reminder of how every stray look adds up, and it hits especially hard because it questions the audience’s true intention; would we have been one of the careless onlookers? Do we still have difficulty accepting him as fully human? Yet David Lynch finds beauty as well, spending so much of the narrative exploring Merrick’s relationship with those who can see him for the man he is. – BleuPanda
78. The 400 Blows (1959) - Directed by Francois TruffautSometimes I'd tell them the truth and they still wouldn't believe me, so I prefer to lie.
Decade Rank: 12
TSPDT rank: 24
AMF 2012 rank: new
One of the two films to kick start the New Wave movement, The 400 Blows feels almost tame when compared to the works of Godard. Where Breathless was a bizarre meeting point between an American crime film and experimental cinema, The 400 Blows is a down to earth look at the life of an unfortunate boy. Antoine Doinel simply can’t find a place where he is accepted, and his solution is to keep running away. The 400 Blows is one of the most riveting films about childhood, and it never quite eases off, to the point it appears Antoine must have ended up on the wrong side of a divine presence. In true New Wave fashion, there are some unforgettable shots, from a lonely take of Antoine talking to a psychologist to a sequence shot from the center of a Rotor ride. Perhaps the most infamous is the closing shot, as Antoine finally arrives at the beach and gives a vacant look toward the camera, the film ending with a freeze frame on this shot. The dream has been reached, but was it worth what was lost along the way? – BleuPanda
77. WALL-E (2008) - Directed by Andrew StantonComputer, define dancing.
Decade Rank: 7
TSPDT rank: 597
AMF 2012 rank: 101 (up 24)
Live in Phoenix: 110/145
Just WALL-E and EVE are more interesting than whole casts of many 'normal' feature films. - Gillingham
Everything a good movie should be. It conveys visual storytelling and is able to bring emotion into every scene. While I can understand some people being lost by the preachy and talky second half, it still works for me because at its heart, WALL-E is a simple love story and a visual one that never loses that visual element. Therefore, WALL-E is nothing short of my favorite movie of all time! - whuntva
Vegetable plants, pizza plants. - Pixar has had such a wonderful run. This will be remembered as one of their masterpieces. Brilliant Pixar animation, one of their finest attempts. With a sweet love story and lots of great moments, one of my favourite family films. - MaschineMan
My favorite Pixar film until last year's Inside Out. An incredible feat in visual storytelling - the vast majority of the film is dialogue free, and the protagonist is functionally mute. It's gorgeous, the first Pixar film in their recent era of truly breathtaking visuals. Some have argued the story as a Christ narrative, with Wall-E as the redeeming force for all of mankind, after their sloth destroyed their planet and reduced them to blob-like creatures. Pixar presents mankind as baby-fat, infantile, cute, whereas the same material in many directors's hands could (rightfully) be deeply horrifying. Pixar has spoiled the children of this generation with too many marvelous films. - acroamor
76. To Be or Not to Be (1942) - Directed by Ernst LubitschWhat he did to Shakespeare we are doing now to Poland.
Decade Rank: 9
TSPDT rank: 107
AMF 2012 rank: 25 (down 51)
Live in Phoenix: 130/145
Ernst Lubitsch was one of the greatest directors of comedy the cinema has ever produced, and while his films often skirted with risqué subject matter (mostly in terms of sexuality in the Hollywood system), this film is without a doubt his most daring. A black war comedy as excellent in both its themes and execution as Duck Soup, The Great Dictator, or Dr. Strangelove, Lubitsch manages to fuse his signature “touch” with a considerably more ambitious topic. One thing I will just remark about right now: It seems our film lovers are especially fond of black war comedies, what with the Marx Brothers, Lubitsch, and Kubrick films all making the Top 100. Which raises the question: what is it about war that makes for great comedy cinema? - JimmyJazz