44. The Prestige (2006)
Films with twist endings seldom age well. Once the initial shock is out-of-the-way on the first viewing, you often come to realize just how badly duped and misled you’ve been by the filmmakers and it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. With “The Prestige” there is no such issue. Every time I watch this film I like it more and more. The ending is surprising but simple, and the more times you watch the film and compare the analogies of both Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale’s characters, the more the ending works. With this film Christopher Nolan proved that he was a filmmaker with a real vision, and just as good, if not better, at creating his own projects as he is the summer blockbusters.
43. Straw Dogs (1971)
It must have been a real shock for audiences in the 70’s to see Dustin Hoffman go from his character in “The Graduate” to his one here in “Straw Dogs”, but that’s what you get when you work with Sam Peckinpah. The unexpected. This is one of the toughest movies you’ll ever have to watch, but you do have to see it. It’s violent and horrific, but it’s an absolute thrill to see unfold. Easily one of the darkest movies ever made.
42. Mulholland Dr. (2001)
When you sit down to watch “Mulholland Dr.” make sure you have about six hours free time. Not only is the movie nearly three hours long, but as soon as it’s done, you’re gonna wanna watch it all over again. The reason? Because you’re not going to understand a single thing the first time you watch it. (Save for some incredibly awesome and intimate scenes between the two female leads.) But the second time, in typical David Lynch fashion, everything begins to fall into place. If nothing else, what other movie comes with linear notes written by the director, telling you the 6 things you need to pay attention to in order to understand the film? Mr. Lynch, you are a genius.
41. Se7en (1995)
Probably the best Serial Killer film ever made. Freeman and Pitt are fantastic, and Kevin Spacey turns in one of his best and most underrated performances of all time. I mean come on, how fantastic is it that Spacey even let Fincher take his name off of the posters and credits so that his performance could be all that more surprising. It’s dark, demented, disturbing, and completely impossible to take you eyes off of, no matter how many times you’ve seen it.
40. Pulp Fiction (1994)
The fact that “Pulp Fiction” never won the Academy Award for best picture (and that “Forrest Gump” did) might still be the most offensive thing the Academy has ever done. (And that’s a long list.) “Pulp Fiction” is about as close to perfect as any film can truly hope to get and it’s certainly the most energetic film ever made. There’s so much happening on-screen in this film that it’s almost impossible to sit still while you watch it. (Thank you Quentin Tarantino for helping further us, the ADD generation.) Brief side note: I first saw this film when I was about 9 years old. If you know me, I think that explains a lot about my personality.