The Third Man
This is Welles and Cotton at their best. The scene on the Riesenrad Ferris wheel is menacing and genius. Carol Reed’s vision for the darkness of this film that illuminates the thinly veiled chaos of postwar Europe is beautiful. I can watch this film over and over.
Not everyone’s favorite Altman, and maybe not even mine, but I’ve always found it to be a celebration of life. I am alone in this interpretation.
12 Angry Men
Henry Fonda and Lee J. Cobb. Enough said.
I love Peckinpah, and this was a unique take for him on the whole male psyche trip. Math wins.
Five Easy Pieces
This film really put the farce of the cultured and the idea of existentialism on the map for me as an American. Nicholson is really at his best here.
Being able to watch Sterling Hayden for this long is spectacular. Kubrick learning is awesome as well.
I love this movie primarily because I like New York in it. Oh, and devil worship. Love devil worship. Oh, and Cassavetes acting is always amazing.
Brian De Palma
The Big Chill
I loved this movie when I was a kid. It made boomers cool. That didn’t really last.
Bret Easton Ellis’s Top 10
Bret Easton Ellis sent us his ten favorite Criterion films in alphabetical order, with the caveat that his list “could have been different last week and it might be different next week.”