Top 10s

Anthony Bourdain’s Top 10

Anthony Bourdain’s Top 10

American chef and art-film epicure Anthony Bourdain is chef at large at New York’s Brasserie les Halles; the author of ten books, including Kitchen Confidential and No Reservations; and the host of the Travel Channel’s Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. Photo courtesy of the Travel Channel.

  • This is a superb and uncompromising adaptation of George V. Higgins’s bleak masterpiece of low-level criminality—and possibly Robert Mitchum’s finest performance.

  • Eyes Without a Face

    2.
    Eyes Without a Face

    Georges Franju

    Georges Franju’s eerie, face-transplant melodrama has stuck in my memory since the first time I saw it as a freaked-out kid on late-night TV.

  • The Battle of Algiers

    3.
    The Battle of Algiers

    Gillo Pontecorvo

    The film that politicized me overnight. It’s riveting, multidimensional agitprop with a compelling documentary feel—still relevant and still the best of its kind.

  • Chungking Express

    4.
    Chungking Express

    Wong Kar-wai

    I could watch the work of Wong Kar-wai (and the brilliant cinematographer Christopher Doyle) all day long. I don’t have to understand what’s going on . . . I don’t care. Beautiful people, photographed beautifully. His films are the best, most romantic out there.

  • Kiss Me Deadly

    5.
    Kiss Me Deadly

    Robert Aldrich

    Easily the ugliest, greasiest, darkest, and most influential noir of its day. Love it.

  • Nagisa Oshima will probably be remembered best for his groundbreaking and beautiful hardcore film In the Realm of the Senses, but this is a wonderful one. Breathtakingly shot, with a fantastic, memorable score, and great performances by David Bowie, Tom Conti, and “Beat” Takeshi Kitano.

  • Withnail and I

    7.
    Withnail and I

    Bruce Robinson

    One of the funniest goddamn films ever made—with an amazing performance by the brilliant Richard E. Grant.

  • Army of Shadows

    8.
    Army of Shadows

    Jean-Pierre Melville

    A hard, unflinching look at what it was like to resist during wartime France. Personally, I prefer Bob le flambeur, but any Melville is good Melville. And this is very, very good.

  • House of Games

    9.
    House of Games

    David Mamet

    Mamet’s best film. Joe Mantegna’s best film. A suspense film about the big con. With a tight, delightfully convoluted script, great dialogue—and Ricky Jay!

  • Sullivan’s Travels

    10.
    Sullivan’s Travels

    Preston Sturges

    It’s simply one of the best films ever made—and it perfectly conveys everything you need to know about film. The scene of the convicts watching cartoons is a timeless, classic, and life-enriching moment.