1987 • 103 minutes • 1.66:1 • United States
Spine: #23 Edition: DVD
A grown-up superhero fantasy come to vivid, bloody life, Paul Verhoeven’s special effects-laden cult phenomenon features a resurrected hero (Peter Weller) in a new, supercharged cyborg body, struggling to reclaim his memory and avenge his own death.
1996 • 136 minutes • 2.35:1 • United States
Spine: #108 Edition: DVD
A highly decorated, retired U.S. Marine general (Ed Harris) seizes a stockpile of chemical weapons and takes over Alcatraz, with eighty-one tourists as hostages on the San Francisco Bay isle, in Michael Bay’s fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat thriller, also starring Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage.
1950 • 93 minutes • 1.33:1 • France
Spine: #443 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus
Soldiers, chambermaids, poets, prostitutes, aristocrats—all are on equal footing in Max Ophuls’s multicharacter merry-go-round of love and infidelity.
1986 • 117 minutes • 1.66:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #775 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Merchant Ivory Productions, led by director James Ivory and producer Ismail Merchant, became a household name with A Room with a View, the first of their extraordinary adaptations of E. M. Forster novels.
1979 • 134 minutes • 1.85:1 • United States
Spine: #757 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
Bette Midler exploded onto the screen with her take-no-prisoners performance in this quintessential film about fame and addiction from director Mark Rydell.
1968 • 136 minutes • 1.85:1 • United States
Spine: #630 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
In the decades of occult cinema that Polanski’s ungodly masterpiece has spawned, it has never been outdone for sheer psychological terror.
The Belgian filmmaking team of brothers Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne turned heads with Rosetta, an intense vérité drama that closely follows a poor young woman struggling to hold on to a job to support herself and her alcoholic mother.
2001 • 110 minutes • 2.35:1 • United States
Spine: #157 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
Wes Anderson’s hilarious, touching, and brilliantly stylized study of melancholy and redemption centers around a dysfunctional family of geniuses.
1939 • 106 minutes • 1.33:1 • France
Spine: #216 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Considered one of the greatest films ever made, The Rules of the Game (La règle du jeu), by Jean Renoir, is a scathing critique of corrupt French society cloaked in a comedy of manners.
1972 • 154 minutes • 1.77:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #132 Edition: DVD
Peter O’Toole gives a tour-de-force performance as Jack, a man “cured” of believing he’s God—only to become Jack the Ripper incarnate. Based on Peter Barnes’s irreverent play, this darkly comic indictment of Britain’s class system peers behind the closed doors of English aristocracy.
1998 • 93 minutes • 2.35:1 • United States
Spine: #65 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
Tenth grader Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman) is Rushmore Academy’s most extracurricular student, and its least scholarly, in Wes Anderson’s dazzling sophomore effort—equal parts coming-of-age story, French New Wave homage, and screwball comedy.
1995 • 119 minutes • 1.85:1 • United States
Spine: #739 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
This revelatory drama was named the best film of the 1990s in a Village Voice poll of more than fifty critics.
The comic genius of silent star Harold Lloyd is eternal. Chaplin is the sweet innocent, Keaton the stoic outsider, but Lloyd—the modern guy striving for success—is us. And with its torrent of perfectly executed gags and astonishing stunts, Safety Last! is the perfect introduction to him.
While laboring to sell a gold-embossed version of the Good Book, Paul Brennan and his colleagues target the beleaguered masses—then face the demands of quotas and the frustrations of life on the road. A landmark American documentary.
Pier Paolo Pasolini
1976 • 116 minutes • 1.85:1 • Italy
Spine: #17 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
Pier Paolo Pasolini’s notorious transposition of the Marquis de Sade’s eighteenth-century opus of torture and degradation to Fascist Italy in 1944 remains one of the most passionately debated films of all time,
1961 • 125 minutes • 1.85:1 • Italy
Spine: #228 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus
The true story of the death of Italy’s most wanted criminal and celebrated hero, Francesco Rosi’s groundbreaking political film is a startling exposé of Sicily and the tangled relations between its citizens, the Mafia, and government officials.
1967 • 105 minutes • 1.85:1 • France
Spine: #306 Editions: DVD, iTunes
In a career-defining performance, Alain Delon plays a contract killer with samurai instincts. A razor-sharp cocktail of 1940s American gangster cinema and 1960s French pop culture, maverick director Jean-Pierre Melville’s masterpiece Le Samouraï defines cool.
1967 • 121 minutes • 2.35:1 • Japan
Spine: #310 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus
Toshiro Mifune stars as an aging swordsman in director Masaki Kobayashi’s Samurai Rebellion, the gripping story of a peaceful man who finally decides to take a stand against injustice.
1965 • 100 minutes • 2.35:1 • Japan
Spine: #312 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus
Years of warfare end in a Japan unified under the Tokugawa shogunate, and samurai spy Sasuke Sarutobi, tired of conflict, longs for peace. When a high-ranking spy named Tatewaki Koriyama defects from the shogun to a rival clan, however, the world of swordsmen is thrown into turmoil.
Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
The Samurai Trilogy, directed by Hiroshi Inagaki and starring the inimitable Toshiro Mifune, was one of Japan’s most successful exports of the 1950s, a rousing, emotionally gripping tale of combat and self-discovery.
1962 • 96 minutes • 2.35:1 • Japan
Spine: #53 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus, iTunes
In Kurosawa’s sly companion piece to Yojimbo, jaded samurai Sanjuro helps an idealistic group of young warriors weed out their clan’s evil influences, and in the process turns their image of a “proper” samurai on its ear.
1954 • 124 minutes • 1.33:1 • Japan
Spine: #386 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Under Kenji Mizoguchi’s dazzling direction, this classic Japanese story became one of cinema’s greatest masterpieces, a monumental, empathetic expression of human resilience in the face of evil.
1953 • 92 minutes • 1.33:1 • Sweden
Spine: #412 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus
The story of the charged relationship between a turn-of-the-century traveling circus owner and his performer girlfriend, Ingmar Bergman’s film features dreamlike detours and twisted psychosexual power plays that presage the director’s Smiles of a Summer Night and The Seventh Seal.
1981 • 103 minutes • 1.78:1 • Canada
Spine: #712 Editions: Dual Format Blu-ray/DVD, DVD, iTunes
A trademark Cronenberg combination of the visceral and the cerebral, this phenomenally gruesome and provocative film about the expanses and limits of the human mind was the Canadian director’s breakout hit in the United States.
Josef von Sternberg
1934 • 104 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #109 Edition: DVD
Filmmaker-svengali Josef von Sternberg escalates his obsession with screen legend Marlene Dietrich in this lavish depiction of sex and deceit in the eighteenth-century Russian court, a self-proclaimed “relentless excursion into style.”