A free way to build your virtual collection, make lists, and share them. It’s your new home on Criterion.com.
Learn More »
After spending three years and untold dollars building my Criterion collection to what it is today, I have selected the ten that I love the most. Although I have enjoyed very disk I've viewed one way or another, these are the ones that made the biggest impact, left the best impression, and have made me return most often.
This is one of absolute favorite movies period. It is a genuine shame that Luaghton only made this one picture, but it is a masterpiece above others. There is no other movie quite like it. A nightmare, a parody, and a fantasy all rolled into one, it has a way of wrapping you up, uncomfortable though it may be. Equally inspiring and chilling, it's the sort of movie I've seen countless times and just can't get over it.
Possibly my favorite of Fellini's films, this is also one of the pioneering movies that inspired me to want to be a film-maker. The blending of reality and fiction is mind-boggling and entrancing, and I again am able to watch it over and over without sacrificing any of its power. It still leaves me glued to the screen every time.
Partly because I adore the novel so much, but mostly because it is a craftily beautiful work, this Dickens adaptation always seems to spring to mind when I talk about the greatest movies, even if other movies may technically surpass it. I can never again picture the famous characters, especially Miss Havisham, without first picturing this film.
Usually when someone like me confesses their love for a movie like this, they are ridiculed for having boring taste. Those who mock have clearly not actually seen the movie. Though it has become synonymous with "pretentious art movie," it is far from it: a moving and thought-provoking movie that questions God and man with equal relish, while at the same time being thrilling and even funny.
Tati was a comedy genius with almost no competition, and this was his finest movie. It was at least the biggest. Taking part almost entirely without plot or real purpose, the movie allows its mostly silent characters to live in and react to a wide range of insane events that become increasingly manic.
Godard is a sort of hero of mine, and I never seem to tire of his movies even when they become frustrating. This is one of his least confusing works, and that also makes it one of his most endearing. Even though I often enjoy his wacky surrealism, this movie has a character and a situation you can latch onto. Anna Karina has a very sad presence that really makes you feel for her.
This is one of those movies I enjoy so much that I keep trying to make my friends love it too, but to no avail. I'm sure we all would like to shoot our professors, but that isn't really the point here, and I think the movie must go places many people don't care to visit. The flip-flopping between black and white and color is also apparently very alarming. I think it's keeping us on our toes.
Wes Anderson is one subject all of my friends and I can agree on. I've never known any other independent director to take on such an enormous and varied fan base in such a short while. Guys I know who wouldn't watch Herzog if you paid them, love Rushmore, and that allows me to love it more openly. It doesn't hurt that Jason Schartzman is impossibly likeable.
Endlessly inventive, imaginitive, and unique, Gilliam created a nightmare world that somehow manages to be very funny. He then created a nightmare world to escape from the nightmare, and it is all horribly entertaining. This is possibly the least loved movie on this list because of how weird everyone thinks it is, the very reason I find it so wonderful.
W. C. Fields was one of the funniest of all the people who ever graced the Hollywood screen, and also one of the ugliest. How he managed to make endless drunkenness, child-hating, and animal cruelty charming elements of his personality I have no idea. That's probably why he was a genius.