Kiss Me Deadly
One of many great films noirs in the collection. There are a few things that make this movie unique, including a MacGuffin that introduces an unexpected element of science fiction into a hard-boiled detective story, and Ralph Meeker's great portrayal of private eye Mike Hammer (best name ever). Even by film noir antihero standards, the guy is a monster. —Dominic Aitchison
The Night of the Hunter
I absolutely love this film. Robert Mitchum is incredible as a serial killer roving about in the guise of a preacher. It's the only film Charles Laughton directed, which, on the evidence of this film, is a real shame, as he seemed to have a real flair for it. There are a lot of great performances, and you can't help but wonder if Laughton’s vast experience as an actor helped him get the best out of his cast. —DA
I can only thank the irresponsible video store worker who rented this film out to my little cousin and me when we were about thirteen (it was issued an 18 certificate in the UK). The uncut, brutal attack on Murphy and his unfolding semiconscious robot revenge stick with you for life. The ultraviolence is almost funny in parts, because Verhoeven manages these over-the-top scenes so expertly. And if you haven’t tried to down a whole can of Coke and burp “twenty seconds to comply!” then you haven’t been to my high school, pal. —BB
Throne of Blood
Deciding which Akira Kurosawa film to choose for this list was extremely difficult, as he made so many tremendous films. Rashomon, Seven Samurai, and Yojimbo are all amazing, but I love this version of Macbeth. During the final scene, Kurosawa had trained archers fire real arrows at Toshiro Mifune. Brilliant. —MB
The first film I can remember ever seeing. Apparently, my parents took me to the cinema two days in a row because I stood on the chair crying, trying to sing “Bright Eyes”—to their amusement. Aside from that, it’s a great, sad story of progress, destruction, and rebuilding, with some hallucinatory visions and tremendous voice acting. Very affecting and rewatchable. —BB
Christa Lang-Fuller’s Top 10
Author and actor Christa Lang-Fuller married director Samuel Fuller in 1967. In 1981, they founded Chrisam Films, which Lang-Fuller has continued to run since her husband’s death, in 1997. She coedited Fuller’s autobiography, A Third Face, for Ra…
Haskell Wexler’s Top 10
For Haskell Wexler, the director of Medium Cool, and the Oscar-winning cinematographer of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Bound for Glory, writing about his ten favorite Criterion films became a trip down memory lane.
Richard Ayoade’s Top 10
The British comedian, actor, writer, and director Richard Ayoade is best known for his starring role on the UK television series The IT Crowd and his successful directorial debut Submarine, which was released in the U.S. in 2011.