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Top 101 Films Part 15

29. Airplane (1980)

David and Jerry Zucker invented the idea of full-out movie spoofs, and no film of theirs was more hilarious than “Airplane”. Thirty years later, it’s still as funny and zany as ever, including some of the most quotable punch lines in all of movie history. (“Have you ever seen a grown man naked before Jimmy?”) This film is comedy gold, and will probably always remain one of the funniest movies ever made. Simply put, “Airplane” is awesome.

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28. The Graduate (1967)

This is the movie that put both Dustin Hoffman and Mike Nichols on the map, and rightfully so. It’s funny and charming and it’s incorporation of a pop music soundtrack from Simon and Garfunkel was decades ahead of its time. Its story of a college student still not really knowing what he wants to do with his life is something that I think more of us than not can relate to, and no one else can really play the everyman like Dustin Hoffman. For a movie made in the late 60’s you’d be amazed to discover just how current it really is.

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27. This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

Hands down, “Spinal Tap” is the best movie made about music ever. It’s a hilarious mockumentary about the implosion of a heavy metal band, and all the people they bring down with them. It’s too bad Rob Reiner had to grow up and start making more “serious” films, because he’s never been as good since his early days here, and with “The Princess Bride”. Pop this film in immediately, and whatever volume your T.V. will go up to, crank it up to that… plus 1.

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26. Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

Up to this point I don’t think that I’ve included any films by Stanley Kubrick, and there’s a good reason for that… his films all deserve to be at the top of everybody’s list. Despite not being the most prolific film director of all time, Kubrick never made a bad picture, he just made varying degrees of awesome ones. “Dr. Strangelove” not only has the best title of any other film in the history of cinema, it is the textbook definition of what a satirical and dark comedy should be. It’s beautifully shot in black and white, and even while it has you rolling on the floor laughing, it still finds a way to make you think at the same time.

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25. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

Two great things always seem to come out of England, musicians and comedians. Monty Python might never have been as big as The Beatles, but they damn well should have been. Whatever The Beatles did for popular music, Monty Python did the same for comedy. They were a group that was always willing to push the boundaries of the socially acceptable and never let their self-respect get in the way of a good joke. Throughout their career they made one awesome T.V. series and a number of hilarious films. “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” is easily their crowning achievement. In Grade 11, my religion teacher had the balls to show us this film and somehow he and I were the only ones laughing, but we laughed our asses off. I know that doesn’t sound like the most impressive of endorsements, two people out of a roomful of twenty laughing, but you’ll just have to trust me. After all, most Catholic’s aren’t known for their spot on sense of humour.

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Let me get this straight… Craig Ferguson had a special Halloween themed episode on Friday night with a “Monster Smash” musical number, plus one of the funniest guys in the world, Jason Segel, and one of the hottest women in the world, Alison Brie. How did I not find this earlier? Enjoy.

Top 101 Films Part 14

34. Pierrot Le Fou (1965)

Jean-Luc Godard really outdid himself with this film. It might not quite reach the same heights as his breakthrough film “Breathless”, but it’s just as fun and even more of a pleasure for the eyes. The colour in this film is simply astounding, Godard doesn’t simply shoot a film, he paints it like the pretentious and talented “artist” he no doubt is, and “Pierrot Le Fou” more than any other of his films is his attempt at creating pop-art. He fully succeeded. This film pops off of the screen more than any other film I can think of. It just goes to show that you don’t really need 3-D to find yourself engrossed in a movie, you just need talent behind (and in front) of the camera.

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33. The Secret in Their Eyes (2009)

This film won the Academy Award for best foreign language picture last year, and I just found out about it a couple of months ago, which just goes to show how poorly films made outside the United States are distributed inside North America. It’s “Zodiac” but from a South American perspective, I really don’t know how else to describe it other than that it’s extremely tense and insanely good. Search it out.

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32. Adaptation (2002)

I bet you think that a movie about flowers could never be very interesting right? Well in the hands of anyone less talented than Charlie Kaufman and Spike Jonze you’d probably be right, but with “Adaptation” they created a film wholly unique and absolutely mesmerizing. Never has a film about the creation of a film been more funny, dramatic, or entertaining. Cage gives his best performance ever.

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31. Zodiac (2007)

The most epic serial-killer film of all time. A lot people get thrown off by its length and pacing but I think both of those things are its strong suit. “Zodiac” firmly places you inside the investigation for one of the most nefarious serial killers of all time. You have to see this movie.

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30. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

“Night of the Living Dead” re-invented the horror film in the late 1960’s. It is because of this film that horror films are the way they are today (i.e. realistic and capable of scaring us). George Romero did us all a great favour in the creation of this film, and had he left it at that, he would have been remembered still regardless. But he didn’t, and his next entry into the franchise would turn out to be even better.

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Top 101 Films Part 13

39. Jurassic Park (1993)

The first time I ever found myself completely immersed in a movie was during “Jurassic Park”. I was about 8 years old when this movie came out, which is pretty much the perfect age to view this film. In my experience, there’s never been an 8-year-old boy who didn’t absolutely love dinosaurs, and to see them come alive in such a mind-blowing fashion was one of the high-lights of my childhood. As I’ve grown older I’ve also grown somewhat colder to the product that Spielberg turns out. There’s no doubt that the man has more talent than almost any other director in the world, living or dead, but he’s someone who appeals to the child in all of us, and I’m not too sure how much of my childhood is really left inside of me. (Though his more adult fare, such as “Munich” is still awesome.) My childhood may have left me, but this film never will.

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38. Funny Games (1997/2007)

“Funny Games” is one of the most innovative, funny, and terrifying films ever made. It’s equal parts “Straw Dogs” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, but somehow it remains completely and wholly original. Truly, there is no other movie in the world like “Funny Games” except, of course, The American remake of the original German film, both of which are directed by Michael Haneke. I’m not suggesting either version of the film is better than the other simply because they are the exact same movie, shot for shot, only with different actors. Watch either version of this film immediately, and then be prepared to talk about it for a long, long time after.

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37. Repulsion (1965)

The best French New Wave film that is technically neither French nor New Wave. Still, it’s probably the scariest movie that Roman Polanski has ever directed (which is quite something considering he’s the man who gave us “Rosemary’s Baby”) and certainly the most innovative. Whether he’s stealing tricks from Hitchcock or Cocteau, Polanski has a cinematic language all his own and creates some of the most tense films you will ever see. “Repulsion” is one of his best.

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36. Army of Darkness (1992)

Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell’s third entry into “The Evil Dead” franchise. I’m not going to say much else here, because Lord knows I’ll be talking about both other films at some point soon, but “Army of Darkness” is the funniest entry in the series and perfectly recaptures the magic of serial-adventure films. Now give me some sugar baby.

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35. Sunset Blvd. (1950)

Billy Wilder’s greatest film, bar none. It’s tense, dramatic, tragic, and absolutely hilarious. There isn’t a single scene that doesn’t work perfectly in this movie and is one of the very few films that actually deserve the adjective of “classic”.

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Top 101 Films Part 12

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Top 101 Films Part 11

49. Harvey (1950)

One of the most ingenuous films ever made. It’s so simple that you can’t help but love it and get caught up in all of its saccharine glory. It’s the cinematic equivalent of cotton candy, except for the part where cotton candy tastes like shit. This actually tastes good.

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48. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)

If “Harvey” is the cinematic equivalent to cotton candy, then “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” is like drinking a shot of straight scotch. It’s rough, strong, and can leave you with a bitching headache if you think about it too hard, but all the same, it goes down pretty damn smooth. This was Mike Nichols debut movie as a film director and it’s quite clear that all of the massive talents he fine tuned in the theatre, he brought with him to his new career in the movies. The acting is flawless, and to this day, “Virginia Woolf” is still one of the only movies to have its ENTIRE cast nominated for Academy Awards. (True, that’s only 4 people, but still.) If you like “small” movies, and vindictive party games, it doesn’t get any better than this.

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47. Zoolander (2001)

When eulogizing his fellow roommates/male models, Derek Zoolander says: “It’s not their fault that they died in a freak gasoline fight accident.” I don’t think you could sum up the humor of this film any better. It’s absurd, stupid, disgusting, and absolutely hilarious, meaning there’s something here for everybody to laugh at. It’s easily one of the best comedies of the past couple decades. Now bring us that sequel already Ben.

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46. High Fidelity (2000)


“High Fidelity” is probably the best movie about music and relationships ever made. I understand that that is highly specific, but even individually in both categories, “High Fidelity” ranks highly up there. (No pun, seriously.) John Cusack plays the role he does best, the everyman, but this is easily his best interpretation of the role. The music is simply fantastic, the jokes are funny, and any movie that mentions “The Evil Dead II” is a winner in my book.

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45. The Untouchables (1988)

Forget “The Godfather”, “The Untouchables” is the best gangster movie of all time. It might not have the literary depth of Coppola’s classics, but what it lacks in that department it more than makes up for in thrills and entertainment value. The entire film is one awesome scene after another, punctuated with awesome action scenes directed by Brian De Palma and snappy dialogue written by David Mamet. It’s a gangster film fused with western sensibilities and envisioned as pop art.

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Top 101 Films Part 10

54. The Wild Bunch (1969)

There’s never really been another director quite like Sam Peckinpah. He was the precursor to men like John Woo and Michael Bay, but what those two lack in subtlety (especially in Bay’s case) Peckinpah more than made up for in spades. He could direct a thriller, action, or western film like nobody else, but in-between those intense set pieces, during the down time, is where he would work his magic. Despite suffering horribly from alcoholism (or perhaps, because of) Peckinpah was able to find those moments for his characters where their true humanity shone through and brought this to the audience’s attention. He knew what it was like to be an insufferable man who just wants to do good. And by the time he died, he left behind him a catalogue of films that proves he did just that.

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53. High Noon (1952)

“The Wild Bunch” and “High Noon” are polar opposites. One is cerebral, drawn out and extremely violent. The other is tight, thrilling, and incredibly well acted. It’s hard to say just which one is the better picture, but both are two of the greatest westerns ever made. “High Noon” is one of the most thrilling experiences that you will ever have watching movie, which is saying a lot for a film that is basically about a Sheriff going around his town and trying to see if people will stand with him when the baddies roll in. It’s an excellent study of humanity. Who has it, and who doesn’t.

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52. Psycho (1960)

I might not be including a lot of famous movies by a lot of famous directors on this list, but it’d be pretty hard for me to warrant the exclusion of a film by Alfred Hitchcock. Equally as hard for me was to pick just one picture of his to put on this list as a representative of the whole, because that’s what I’m doing here. So many of Hitchcock’s great films are equally as good one another that to pick just one as the best is virtually impossible. I’ve chosen to go with “Psycho” because I think it represents everything that Hitchcock did so well; horror, comedy, and pulling one over on the audience. But you could just as easily swipe this film out for others like “Rear Window”, “North by Northwest”, “Vertigo”, or “Shadow of a Doubt”. In other words, if you’ve never seen a Hitchcock movie, see one now.

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51. Ed Wood (1994)

It’s pretty hard to find somebody who lived a more ironic life than Ed Wood. He wanted more than anything to be known for his skill in filmmaking, and instead he is remembered (and loved) for his absolute lack of skill in that department. Tim Burton is a fantastic director, and nobody works better with him than Johnny Depp. Working together the two have made many memorable films (“Sleepy Hollow” almost made this list) but none so much as “Ed Wood”. It’s laugh out loud funny and also extremely heart breaking. Plus, it’s filmed beautifully in black and white.

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50. The Princess Bride (1987)

The best children’s film ever made. Also one of the funniest films ever made. It’s the only fairy tale I can think of that is 100% cinematic, and it has more quotable dialogue than even ‘The Godfather”.

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