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My Favourite Criterion Titles

by MiloBOK

Created 11/20/17

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30 films plus 5 honourable mentions. One per director.

  • The film that started my obsession with the French New Wave Cinema. I love this movie. It contains two of my favourite scenes in cinematic history (the dance sequence and the Louvre run), and is so stylish and cool. I love Tarantino, but Band of Outsiders will forever be cooler.

  • Silent comedy doesn't get much better than Charlie Chaplin and this movie is an essential introduction to his work. The ending is absolutely terrific too, one of the best endings in the history of cinema...

  • ... Apart from maybe this one. This film gets more relevant with every rewatch. Kubrick's masterpiece is a fascinating film with an excellent performance from Peter Sellers, and a resounding triumph for everyone involved.

  • The quintessential black and white serial killer movie from the master that is Fritz Lang. Peter Lorre puts in one of my favourite performances ever and the courtroom scene at the end is an all-timer. One of my top five of all time.

  • Linklater is the master of the "hangout" movie and this is one of my favourite films of all-time. I love everything about it. The soundtrack, the coming of age story, the fact that you can rewatch it so many times and never get bored... it's just perfect.

  • The most intense one-location thriller ever made. Terrific performances.

  • Robin Williams' greatest performance? Quite possibly. An oddball movie that mashes Arthurian Legend with New York City and Jeff Bridges' radio presenter fallen from grace with great results, The Fisher King is for those who like Gilliam's humour but will be divisive amongst other audiences. I loved it from start to finish.

  • For me, the Coen Brothers' best work, but I'm biased as I love folk music and this movie feels like right up my street. Oscar Isaac is one of the best acting talents of the decade and this is probably my favourite movie of the decade and one of the all-time greats. Every shot is perfect, and the journey is an incredible one. I've only seen this once but it's something I need to remedy as soon as possible.

  • Sadly the only Tarkovsky movie that I've seen but at the same time one of the best movies ever made. At around three hours long it does feel a bit slow but trust me, it's worth every second. So good.

  • My favourite police procedural movie ever made and the best work from Akira Kurosawa that I've seen. Incredibly tense, incredibly engrossing and a really good adaption of Ed McBain's work.

  • That Tangerine Dream soundtrack is one of the greatest movie scores ever. Thief is the best Michael Mann movie that I've seen so far (for some reason, I haven't seen Heat yet), and is stylish, very cool and boasts several awesome scenes. Mann's movie is captivating and incredibly brilliant from start to finish, and a must watch for fans of movies like Drive and Nightcrawler.

  • Godard and Truffaut are up there for me as the best French New Wave directors and you can't go wrong with The 400 Blows as an introduction to Truffaut's work. An absolutely incredible film.

  • My first (and so far only) Fellini movie. A self-portrait of dreams and reality that plays out really well. This movie feels completely magical and incredibly engrossing and is required viewing for anyone who wishes to study cinema.

  • It's Bergman, what more needs to be said? The Seventh Seal is my favourite work from the legendary director and it really is essential viewing. The director is a fantastic filmmaker and everything about this movie just works, really well. Haunting and incredibly atmospheric.

  • One of the greatest war movies ever made. Malick's The Thin Red Line may be long and gruelling to watch but it's worth every second. Great performances, stunning cinematography and direction make this the director's best work in the collection.

  • Another brilliant thriller with a great performance from Robert Mitchum. Incredibly chilling.

  • One of the best movies of the century so far and perfectly rewatchable. Naomi Scott's performance is brilliant and the film plays out really well. Lynch is the master of the macabre and this film is arguably his crowning achievement.

  • This movie contains one of the best scenes of the decade in one of the best movies of the decade. Gerta Gerwig's scene where she runs through the streets as David Bowie's Modern Love plays in the background is pure brilliant as Baumbach's French New Wave homage is the best film the director has done yet and is absolutely essential.

  • The quintessential fantasy/horror mashup from the master that is Guillermo Del Toro. I really need to rewatch this masterpiece of a film soon, its gorgeous cinematography and creature design is fantastic.

  • Suzuki is underrated and this is a very cool movie that is probably his best that I've seen. Stylish and incredibly well-done, this movie is a film that action/spy movie fans should watch as soon as possible.

  • A great crime movie from Elio Petri about a Chief of Detectives who commits murder to see if he can get away with it. Chilling and incredibly well-directed, the performances in this film are great and this is a must for fans who love smart, well-done thrillers with complex and dynamic lead characters.

  • Not quite my favourite Howard Hawks movie, Rio Bravo gets that honour, but it is one of his best works. The dialogue is exceptional and the dynamic between Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell is exceptional as both put in brilliant performances. This is an absolute must watch for lovers of classic cinema.

  • My favourite Hitchcock movie in the collection that I've seen so far, Foreign Correspondent is an underrated Hitchcock movie that ranks up there with his best for me, and feels very similiar to the likes of North by Northwest and The 39 Steps. It feels like a war propaganda movie but that doesn't stop any less of its power to thrill and captivate audiences.

  • Jacques Demy's musical is excellent, and has one of the best uses of colours that I've ever seen in a movie. One of the best musicals ever made.

  • I wasn't too keen on Viridiana which probably requires a rewatch soon but I really, really loved this one. What happens when the guests at an upper class dinner party find themselves unable to leave? The Exterminating Angel happens. A film where the mystery remains unanswered may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it hit all the right notes for me.

  • Mubi recently had a Fassbinder marathon month which allowed me to watch a lot more of his titles than normal. Sadly I didn't get to watch them all but from what I did see, Ali: Fear Eats the Soul is the pick of the bunch. Brilliant from start to finish and incredibly emotional.

  • A film that's required viewing for its coverage of one of the most important events in human history. It's also one of the best documentaries ever, with a haunting soundtrack that really fits the tone of the film.

  • An incredibly powerful romance that really makes the most out of its excellent cast. Lea Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos are fantastic in this movie that is incredibly powerful, emotional and engaging to watch. Essential.

  • Wes Anderson's best work. Charming, funny, quirky and witty, you know the drill, it's Wes Anderson. But there's something about Rushmore that just works, and if you haven't seen it already, you really need to.

  • The ultimate monster movie. Need I say more?

  • The first of the honourable mentions is a classic spy film adapted from a great spy novel. Martin Ritt's movie is underrated by US audiences and it moves a bit slow at times, but it's incredibly well done and has a great ending.

  • Filmed with mostly unknown actors Black Orpheus makes its mark with an incredibly good adaption of the greek legend of Orpheus and Eurydice. The soundtrack is great and the direction from Camus is brilliant, the film looks really well made and stands out as an underseen and underappreciated masterwork in the collection.

  • Jules Dassin's incredible heist movie is a must-see. I loved every second of it.

  • Kristen Stewart is the most underrated actress of the current generation and it's a crying shame Personal Shopper isn't being talked about in regards to awards season. Assayas is a great director and I really hope this isn't his last collaboration with Stewart.

  • The ultimate cult movie. Alex Cox brings his A-game to the table and delivers an intense, weird experience that needs to be seen to be believed.

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