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Added by johanlefourbe on 18 Nov 2015 01:17
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1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die (2016)

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2010's

People who added this item 846 Average listal rating (627 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8
The Revenant (2015)


Notes: Since I am a huge fan of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s work and since this movie was a huge critical success, I had some big expectations concerning this movie and it was definitely a high priority for me. Well, to be honest, even though I really enjoyed it, it didn’t really blow me away though. Basically, the first issue I had is that I heard so much about it before watching the damned thing, I already knew about the bear attack, about his son being killed, about the main character left behind and coming back for his revenge… Seriously, nothing happening in the first half was really surprising. Then, the 2nd issue I had is that I’m afraid I didn’t really care much about this story. I mean, sure, it was entertaining but it was not really original and it was certainly nothing really groundbreaking. Still, I really loved this movie above all because the whole thing just looked really amazing.
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Notes: To honest, I actually ended up with some mixed feelings about the whole thing. I mean, sure, it was a really fun blockbuster, no doubt about it, and it was much better than any of the prequels but it wasn’t really such a difficult goal to reach. Basically, what really bothered me with this movie is how it shamelessly copied the whole plot of 'A New Hope'. Obviously, they changed a few details which most of the time worked out fine but it almost felt more like a remake than something actually really new. Still, I have to admit it, they actually nailed it and it was especially awesome to see Harrison Ford playing one of his most iconic characters.
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People who added this item 139 Average listal rating (74 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.5
Son of Saul (2015)


Notes: I have to admit that I was 'glad' that I saw 'Shoah' not so long ago as it greatly helped me to understand what the hell was going on and to appreciate this impressive movie. To be honest, I'm not sure if you can get into this movie if your knowledge about the holocaust doesn't go beyond 'The Schindler's List' or what they teach you in school. Anyway, basically, with this movie, right from the beginning, you are immersed in some kind of chaotic and irrational mayhem, it's so relentless that the makers don't give you one single wide shot in order to breath, to take a few seconds to understand what just happened, to actually see and try to understand this whole situation. Instead, you stay close, very close, to some random man who also seems to act really irationally but, in such a doomed time and place, after spending your days helping to exterminate men, women and children just so you could survive another day, was it in anyway possible to keep your sanity and act like a sensible human-being? Coming back to their choice of never really show what was exactly going on, the effect was so more powerful, effective and horrifying, as a result, you will never forget something that you actually never really saw.
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People who added this item 413 Average listal rating (289 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.6


Notes: To be honest, I thought it was actually slightly disappointing. I mean, sure, Spielberg knows how to direct a movie so it was technically well made and visually appealing but I actually had a hard time to really care about this story. First of all, the first half, when Donovan was first fighting for Abel’s rights felt rather pointless and hypocritical. Indeed, I thought it was pointless because the movie was never about if Abel should have more rights or not, it was about exchanging him with an American spy. It felt also hypocritical because it is really easy to point fingers about how the American people used to be intolerant 50 years ago. Then, the 2nd half about the actual exchange was better but still not really amazing. In this case, the issue was that the outcome was already obvious from the start and even though they tried to convince the viewers that everything might go south at some point, I never felt any real danger at any point.
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People who added this item 475 Average listal rating (341 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.8
The Big Short (2015)


Notes: When I first heard about this movie, I actually had some mixed feelings. Indeed, it was dealing with a fascinating story and there was a stellar cast involved but Adam McKay in the directing chair? I mean, so far, the guy had only directed some raunchy comedies starring Will Ferrell. Eventually, it turned out to be a critical hit and many thought it might even win the Academy Award for the Best Picture but it eventually lost from ‘Spotlight’. So, with all this in mind, I was quite eager to check the damned thing but, after all, it turned out to be a decent watch but I can’t say I really blew me away. First of all, I’m glad I saw before ‘Inside Job’ and ‘Margin Call’ as it made it much easier for me to follow all these financial terms but, on the other hand, as a result, I had already saw 2 great movies about this subject and, in my opinion, this 3rd picture wasn’t really an improvement. Basically, the only thing they really did was adding a flashy directing style but even this was already done a few years back in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ and, of course, McKay is no Scorsese. Still, even though I think it is rather overrated, it was still dealing with a spellbinding story, it was also quite entertaining.
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People who added this item 552 Average listal rating (400 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8.1
Spotlight (2015)


Notes: Eventually, I thought it was a pretty good story, with some solid directing and a very strong cast (Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Stanley Tucci, Billy Crudup). The realistic approach worked fine as well and it was really neat that they didn’t add any sub-plots about the romantic or family lives of the involved reporters. And, yet, somehow, the whole thing didn’t really blow me away. I mean, I do have a weak spot for the genre and I really loved ‘All the President's Men’ which was obviously an inspiration for this movie but, in this case, even though it was an interesting story, it never really grabbed me. That’s the tricky thing with such thrillers, right from the beginning, you actually know how it will end so the makers have to manage to find some other way to entertain or grab the interest of the viewers. In this case, since they took such a realistic approach, nothing really surprising or spectacular happens ever during this movie. I still enjoyed the damned thing though.
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People who added this item 106 Average listal rating (68 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7
Tangerine (2015)


Notes: To be honest, this movie seemed to be one of these really obscure entries that they add every year just so the list might seem edgy but, usually, those movies are removed directly the year after. Furthermore, I had the feeling that this movie was somewhat surfing on the current hype around the transgender topic. Still, it was quite an intriguing feature nonetheless. Indeed, it was definitely a really raw and realistic look on the life of some transgender prostitutes working in Hollywood and you definitely get another view on the American dream. Furthermore, the two main characters, Alexandra and Sin-Dee Rella (yeah, seriously) were at first rather annoying but, slowly, I actually started to care for them and I came to the conclusion that even though life doesn’t seem to have much to offer for them, they still have some inner strength and even sometimes a wicked sense of humor. While watching this movie, I was also thinking that if a transgender man and woman is not well off and doesn’t have the full support of their family, do they really have another option than the prostitution sector? I mean, to change sex is a really expensive process and most employer would’t hire them for a regular job.
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People who added this item 257 Average listal rating (176 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.9


Notes: I thought that the opening scenes were really strong. Indeed, it is when you get to see where those guys started that the whole thing worked out the most and, at that point, I thought that, if they could keep up this level of intensity, it could turn out to be a really strong movie, much stronger than I expected. Unfortunately, as soon as they managed to release their first hit song, the whole thing turned out into a rather generic music biopic. I mean, sure, it was interesting enough but it wasn't really spellbinding anymore. Still, I really liked how they managed to show what those guys have managed to achieve without glamorising their lifestyle. Basically, that's what they did, no more no less. Furthermore, this band pretty much launched their own music genre, the gangsta rap, a genre which was quite subversive when they started and it is still going strong 30 years later but, nowadays, there is nothing subversive anymore about the damned thing, but that's what happens with all the music genres when they go mainstream. Anyway, even though it wasn't really a masterpiece, it was still a really solid music biopic.
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People who added this item 1263 Average listal rating (905 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.1


Notes: If you would ask around, most people would tell you that this was, by far, the best movie released in 2015. With this in mind, I had some high expectations but, to be honest, I had my doubts. Eventually, I finally watched the damned thing and I thought it was a fairly entertaining action flick but not much more than that, I'm afraid. I mean, basically, the whole thing is just a very long chase scene. Sure, it was well made and quite spectacular to behold but, seriously, the movie had nothing else to offer so I kinda of missed what was so amazing about it. Concerning the casting, I thought that Tom Hardy was a good choice and he did a good job but, in my opinion, he was actually upstaged by Charlize Theron who was just really intense throughout the whole thing. I don’t know, it was as if Max was more mellow than actually mad. But that's the problem with the whole chase thing, some would argue that it was just very cool to have some non-stop wall-to-wall action scenes but some character development would have been nice.
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People who added this item 78 Average listal rating (48 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.3


Notes: I haven't seen this one yet...
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People who added this item 1454 Average listal rating (982 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.1


Notes: Personally, I always had a hard time with Wes Anderson. I mean, I always admired his work and his movies have always been visually impressive but I was missing something in his stories and I usually didn’t connect with them very well. Anyway, at last, with this movie, he finally nailed it. Indeed, he finally managed to mix his whimsical visual style and his hilarious characters with a very entertaining plot. To be honest, I still think I prefer ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ but this movie is definitely not far behind.
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People who added this item 1000 Average listal rating (727 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.5
Whiplash (2014)



Notes: In my opinion, it is basically some kind of dark version of 'Fame' mixed with a nail-biting thriller. Still, even though J.K. Simmons was really amazing, giving the best performance of his career, they went really far with this character. I mean, the guy was just downright awful and, at some point, I started to have a hard time believing that someone would accept to be treated like that. But, basically, that's the whole point of this movie, is it all really worth it? For most of the duration of this movie, the answer would be resounding 'NO' and, then, they brought up this amazing ending with a music piece lasting almost 10 minutes with a solo drum of about 5 minutes. At that moment, you basically don't know anymore as the main character, also very played by Miles Teller, seemed to have reached another level of musical awesomeness, and then again, you start to think, maybe it was worth it after all. That's basically the tricky thing with Arts like music and cinema, even if you are a freaking genius, you still have to work with other people and many of these geniuses are famous to have treated their colleagues like garbage. That's maybe the problem in this case, you never really get to see exactly what makes Fletcher so amazing it makes it harder to swallow his awful behavior. And, yet, this ending made clear that both student and professor were chasing perfection but I guess we'll never know if they will ever be able to find it.
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Notes: Through the years, the Academy has made some poor choices but, lately, I have to admit that they finally got it right and this movie was definitely a worthy winner. Eventually, I still think that 'Boyhood' was in fact a better choice but this flick was really not far behind and I liked it a lot. To be honest, I thought that the actual play was in fact about Birdman so I was expecting something slightly different but that wasn't a big deal, in the contrary. What we got here was a very smart, very well directed movie with some really impressive performances. Indeed, it was filled with some very long takes and you can imagine that it must have been rather daunting for the actors involved. For Inarritu, it is the crowning of an already impressive and pretty much flawless career and I will definitely check his next movie starring this time Leonardo DiCaprio.
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People who added this item 956 Average listal rating (578 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.9
Boyhood (2014)


Notes: I already heard about this movie 6 or 8 years before its release and, of course, I was really intrigued but I didn’t expect it to be so amazing. I mean, sure, it is a very nice gimmick (shooting a movie over a period of 12 years starting with a boy at 6 years old until he reaches 18 years old) but a gimmick remains a gimmick unless you manage to do something great with it and Richard Linklater certainly did something quite amazing here. Indeed, a traditional movie would give you a nice story, a great story if you’re lucky, but here they gave us a genuine slice of life. Of course, you could argue that they could have shot a documentary and you would have ended up with the same results but I highly doubt it. Indeed, for almost 3 hours, you spend more than a decade with these characters and even though nothing hugely dramatic happens, the whole thing was just spellbinding to behold.
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People who added this item 199 Average listal rating (110 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.6
Leviathan (2014)


Notes: Since I was a little bit more familiar with Andrey Zvyagintsev's work, I was expecting something actually even bleaker. I mean, it was still hardly a picnic, you don't really get a positive image of Russia as it seems that all the governmental workers are either incompetent or corrupt and most of the adult population seems to be half of their life completely drunk. Still, it was quite bearable and Zvyagintsev managed again to give some gorgeous shots and I thought that the directing was really solid. The actors did a fine job as well but, in my opinion, the wife's character was too ambiguous and eventually, you never really get the opportunity to understand her motivation behind her actions.
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People who added this item 575 Average listal rating (347 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 6.3


Notes: Eventually, it turned out to be a really tough watch and I'm not surprised that it didn't get much love when it was released, even though some called it one of the best movies of the year. The point is that it was visually impressive, as usual with this director, Scarlett Johansson delivered a solid performance and it was certainly bold and original but I just had a really hard time to connect with it. I mean, the whole thing was just so silent, for the first time in my life, I was almost missing one of these obnoxious side-kicks that they always provide so that a solitary lead character still has someone to talk to. I mean, because of this approach, it was all really mysterious and usually spellbinding to watch but it was also almost impossible to connect with the main character and to care about what was going on. On top of that, it was just really repetitive: she gets in her van, rides around for hours, picks up some random guy and brings him home for diner. By the way, she would have scored much easily if she would have just walked down the streets but, maybe, there was also there some hidden agenda.
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People who added this item 306 Average listal rating (191 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.4
Ida (2013)


Notes: To be honest, even though it turned out to be a decent watch, I can't say it really blew away. First of all, it was a good thing that I saw not so long 'Shoah' which gave a really detailed explanation on what happened during and after WWII in Poland so I already had a fair idea about what the characters were dealing with. Furthemore, the cinematography was really nice as well in some gorgeous black-and-white. Eventually, I guess the story never really grabbed me. I mean, first of all, it is rather short movie (barely 80 mins) and the main character barely talked at all during the whole thing so you never get the opportunity to get to know her. In fact, I thought that the Aunt was actually more interesting. Finally, I wasn't really sure what to make of the twist at the end. Anyway, even though it didn't completely worked for me, I still think it is definitely worth a look.
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People who added this item 1358 Average listal rating (867 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.1


Notes: Even though I heard it would be a tough watch, it still ended up being a massively depressing movie to watch. Of course, the horror displayed was tremendous but, above all, I thought this movie had a terrible mirror effect. Indeed, even though I’m somewhat optimistic and believe that men are usually good, this movie reminds you that men can be evil, especially to one another. So, I felt pretty bad afterwards but movies are not always about entertainment, certainly not. Sometimes, it is there to remind you about the awful things that happened and/or are still happening and, therefore, this movie is incredibly valuable.
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People who added this item 487 Average listal rating (303 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.7


Notes: Eventually, I have to admit it, it was a rather tough watch. What was actually about?!? Difficult to say… Middle-life crisis maybe? It is pretty obvious that Paolo Sorrentino tried to make a modern version of ‘La Dolce Vita’ but I’m not sure if his movie will be remembered in 50 years. I mean, right from the beginning, you have nothing really to hang to, no plot whatsoever, just some random scenes following one after the other. I don’t necessarily need a plot but, then I need then some really fascinating characters. There again, I didn’t care much for the characters, except for the lead, Jep Gambardella. Indeed, this guy was pretty cool, really smart but not a snob. Still, I liked the damned thing though. Indeed, it was visually quite exquisite with no static shots, constantly moving, and there was a great combination with the music.
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People who added this item 812 Average listal rating (466 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.8


Notes: I was quite blown away by the whole thing and, in my opinion, it was one of the most beautiful and intense love stories I have ever seen. Rightfully, Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos were heralded for their performances and they were both just mesmerizing to behold. Seriously, I saw the movie yesterday and I still can’t stop thinking about their relationship which was so raw and realistic. This is basically the kind of relationship we all dream to have once in our lifetime. To be honest, I have to admit that no everything did work though. Of course, there is the matter of those very explicit sex scenes. Indeed, on one hand, it felt really voyeuristic and it seemed to be a very masculine point of view on lesbian love. You might wonder if those scenes really added something valuable to the story but, on the other hand, you might argue that they matched the intensity of their feelings for each other.
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People who added this item 1690 Average listal rating (1140 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.8
Gravity (2013)


Notes: After seven long years, Alfonso Cuaron finally came up with a new directing effort and, boy, it was definitely worth the wait. Indeed, what a spectacle! Basically, from a visual point of view, it was quite mind-blowing. Nowadays, almost all the blockbusters are released in 3D but it is actually a worthless gimmick used just to make you purchase an even more expensive ticket. Not here though. With ‘Avatar’, it must be the only movie which properly used the 3D and it looked really terrific. Concerning the actors, I was rather surprised that they picked up Sandra Bullock but she did a great job, providing easily the best performance of her career. George Clooney didn’t have much screen time but he gave a solid performance as well. So, it was a thrilling story in outer space, 10 times more impressive and interesting than ‘Apollo 13’ and it fell not far from greatness.
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People who added this item 1615 Average listal rating (1060 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.9
Life Of Pi (2012)


Notes: I wasn't sure about this flick but after hearing so many good things, I seriously wanted to check it out. And I wasn't disappointed. It was a really fascinating story, a gorgeous movie to look at and I'm really glad I'm managed to watch it in the theater and in 3D. Pretty much like the late Roger Ebert, I really dread this new 3D hype but Ang Lee used it very well and it definitely enhanced the whole experience. Once again, a movie rather low in my priorities turned out to be one of the best I have seen so far.
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People who added this item 119 Average listal rating (78 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.6
Wadjda (2012)


Notes: Eventually, it was a really interesting feature. Indeed, it is always pretty neat to discover a new land and a new culture. Still, while watching the damned thing, I couldn't help thinking that, even though it was directed by a Saudi women, it still felt that it was giving a Western point of view on this strict Muslim culture. Basically, it gave a very bleak and sad view on the Saudi life, especially for the women and, even though it is probably true, it would have been nice to see something slightly more balanced. For example, towards the end, you get to see the main character reciting the Koran which seemed at first rather pointless and redundant but, eventually, it turned to be actually quite gorgeous and I think it would have worked better to show also such intriguing and positive aspects about this culture.
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People who added this item 1149 Average listal rating (605 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.4
Lincoln (2012)


Notes: I must admit that it was almost as good as 'Schindler's list'. Indeed, I thought it was a fascinating historical picture but not only was it fascinating from a historical point of view, it was also a spellbinding policitical intrigue. Of course, as usual, Daniel Day-Lewis was just amazing and the only thing that stood in his way to win the Academy Award was the fact that he had already won two of those. So, it was a very good flick, one of Spielberg's best, but still, there were a few things that bothered me. Above all, I thought that the characterization was rather simplistic. Indeed, you had the good guys, the bad guys, some inactive helpless black folks standing on the side line and on top of that, Lincoln who was some kind of half-god but I'm sure the whole thing was a little bit more complicated back then. Still, even though it is not a perfect feature, it is still a very good movie, the best made by Spielberg since 'Munich'.
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People who added this item 1531 Average listal rating (1036 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7


Notes: I thought it was not bad but nothing really mind-blowing. Basically, it is a slasher flick which plays with the rules of the genre and goes pretty far with those rules. Unfortunately, even though the makers obviously try to make you believe that the whole thing is really smart, I was not really convinced. Personally, I even thought it was actually rather pretentious. I will try to discuss this without spoiling the whole thing… Let’s say that from the start, there is obviously something fishy going on, they didn’t make it a secret, that’s for sure. So, you wait during the whole duration for some kind of explanation and what you get at the end was just really preposterous and not really satisfying. I mean, the number of plot holes were just mind-bobbling. Still, I cannot dismiss this feature. Indeed, at least, they tried something different, there were some pretty neat things visually speaking and I was fairly entertained from the beginning until the end.
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People who added this item 1458 Average listal rating (880 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.9
The Artist (2011)


Notes: Following all the hype surrounding this feature which eventually won the best picture academy award (a historical event for a French movie), I obviously had to watch it. Eventually, even though I liked it, I can't say I was blown away by the whole thing. In the contrary to many viewers, I have seen my share of old silent movies and even though I'm a huge fan of silent comedies, especially the ones starring Charlie Chaplin, I always had a hard time enjoying silent dramas and this one was not an exception. I mean, the story was entertaining enough but it wasn't anything I haven't seen before. Still, it remains an original and inspiring experiment. The directing was really exquisite and really gave a good feeling about this time period and the performances were really good, especially by Jean Dujardin who was just amazing and deservedly received an Academy award for his tremendous work.
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People who added this item 658 Average listal rating (404 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.4
A Separation (2011)


Note : This movie was quite compelling to watch and it was quite a masterstroke from the director that even though I, and many viewers I guess, have very little knowledge of the Iranian culture and, still, I could really identify with most of the characters and I was able to understand most of the struggles they were facing. And that’s the other amazing thing about this flick is that you don’t only identify with the main character, you are able to understand all the other characters involved in the story and their motivations which was something quite unique and remarkable.
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People who added this item 3332 Average listal rating (2137 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.7


Note : It is rather funny that when the rumors came out that David Fincher was making a movie about Facebook, many people started to trash him (just check the boards on IMDB). Indeed, an average director would have made an average flick with this material. But Fincher succeeded in making one of the best movies of the year. It is quite an achievement. I mean, I don't even care about Facebook at all, I understand that many people really love it but I really don't care about this website whatsoever. I remember it perfectly, I went to see this my wife in the theater and, after just 5 minutes, just after the break-up between Jesse Eisenberg and Rooney Mara, I was already hooked. I seriously don't care if Mark Zuckerberg is actually a completely different person in real life, the Mark Zuckerberg they showed in this movie was just fascinating and easily one of the best characters I have ever seen in any movie. Basically, the guy is a genius but he doesn't look like most of your typical lead heroic characters, physically and mentally. Furthermore, he is a disaster in the way he interacts with other people and this whole combination was just spellbinding to behold.
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People who added this item 5774 Average listal rating (3760 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.8
Inception (2010)


Note : I remember exactly the first time I watched this flick. It was basically the proof that a movie could be a huge blockbuster, entertaining and thoughtful at the same time. It's a real pity that it has lost some of its reputation following the years after its release. Indeed, the nolanites are so fanatic, they really believe that this movie is the best one ever made which is kind of infuriating when you consider the wealth of movies made during more than 100 years of film history. I mean, I think it is a great movie but it is far from being the best movie ever made. So, with all these arguments going on, it is actually rather difficult to objectively judge this flick nowadays. Anyway, in spite of what the lovers and haters have to say, I still think it is a great movie. Indeed, it was visually impressive, there was a great cast, the whole thing was damned entertaining and I just loved the concept behind it. The haters should keep in mind that it is and remains a blockbuster with its creative limitations. As a result, it is supposed to be enjoyed by a broad audience so you can't really expect too much artsy and philosophical shenanigans. On the other hand, I think that the lovers are mostly young viewers who are between 15-22 years old and if I would have watched it at that age, I would probably think that it was indeed the greatest thing ever made.
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People who added this item 4344 Average listal rating (2700 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8
Black Swan (2010)


Note : I really loved it and even watched it twice in the movie theater which is something I haven't done for many years. Basically, Aronofosky shows once again his versatility and after making an amazing movie about the wrestling world, he has now made an amazing movie about the ballet world. It was just very impressive. The directing was thus very good and Natalie Portman gave the best performance of her career and she definitely deserved her Academy Award. Eventually, in my opinion, it is a fascinating picture which shares my views about Art, in the sense that Art goes with excess, violence, sex, pushing the boundaries and it can be highly destructive. My only complains would be that I think that 'The Swan Lake', the actual ballet, is actually rather dull and also, since it is only 90 minutes, none of the second characters were very well developped and I wish I had the chance to get to know them a little bit more.
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People who added this item 64 Average listal rating (31 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.6


Notes: I haven't seen this one yet...
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2000's

People who added this item 5120 Average listal rating (3405 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.8
Avatar (2009)


Notes: I remember it, many years before this movie was even released , there was a huge hype surrounding it. Eventually, it became the biggest box-office success ever. Nowadays, pretty much like ‘Titanic’ , the views concerning this flick are pretty extreme and basically, many love it but also many people really hate it with a vengeance. The story was maybe not original but was still pretty entertaining and the visuals were just mind-blowing. Coming out of the movie theater, I had probably the same feeling when people just saw Star Wars back in 1977. Just blown away... By now, I have seen it a couple of times on Blu-Ray, I still think it is really good. Ok, it may not be as mind-blowing as the first time, in theater, with the 3D and all, but it remains a gorgeous flick and a milestone in motion picture history. Coming back on the story, many believe it is just a rehash of ‘Pocahontas’ and even though it is partly true, I still think there is an extra dimension to it. Indeed, the main character finally walks again and suddenly becomes another being and on a psychological and a metaphysical level, it was quite intriguing. Unfortunately, Cameron is no Kubrick and this aspect of the plot was poorly developed and James Cameron preferred to focus on the whole ‘Pocahontas’ intrigue.
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People who added this item 3008 Average listal rating (2036 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 8
District 9 (2009)


Notes: I thought it was a very interesting and entertaining movie. I especially enjoyed the 1st half which was just great. Then, the 2nd half was little too much action-oriented for my taste but still it was a very good and original picture. The other day I watched it again with Nick, my step-son, who really loved it and it still holds up pretty good. One of the best thing about this flick was also the main character, Wikus Van De Merwe. I mean, the guy is a total moron and I thought it was really refreshing, in contrast with all the stereopycal heroes you get in your usual commercial productions. It's too bad Wikus wasn't so interesting in the second half when, suddenly, he got himself a conscience. At the end of the day, I think it is slightly overrated but it is still a fine SF feature. Above all, it's too bad that all the following movies directed by Neill Blomkamp have been rather disappointing.
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People who added this item 2169 Average listal rating (1361 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8


Notes: After such movies like 'Twilight', 'Underworld', 'Blade', '30 days of night' or 'Daybreakers', we finally get, out of nowhere, an original and striking vampire movie. I know, Sweden is not exactly 'nowhere', but you have to agree that it was rather unexpected. It is definitely one of a kind and I'm not sure you can describe it as an 'horror' movie since it really pushes the boundaries of this genre. Indeed, they seamlessly mingle the vampire loneliness with some teenage anxiety and the end result was rather amazing. Another thing I enjoyed is that, not like in 'Twilight' for example, they didn't add some mindless action scenes. There is indeed some blood sucking but most of it is off screen but it is obviously not the point here. I guess it is acquired taste since it is rather slow and there is no action scenes but it didn't bother me at all, in the contrary.
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People who added this item 7254 Average listal rating (4808 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 9


Notes: What can I say that hasn't already been said about this movie ? It's just the best super-hero movie out there. Period. It is is rather funny to think that before it was released, 'Spider-Man 2' used to be considered the best in this genre. I mean, Sam Raimi's opus was a decent and entertaining blockbuster, that's for sure, but compared to how Nolan revolutionized the genre with this 2nd Batman installment, it wasn't that amazing. Nolan's sequel was also the proof that you could make a commercial movie, make a lot of bucks and still making a damn entertaining and not completely brainless picture at the same time. Never before a super-hero feature had been so epic with such a great cast, such awesome action scenes and such a memorable bad guy thanks to an exceptional performance by the late Heath Ledger.
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People who added this item 3865 Average listal rating (2505 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 8


Notes: Apparently, at first, nobody was interested by this project and there was even some rumors that it might end up being released directly on DVD. Eventually, it managed to get released and the critical and public response was really enthusiast and, coming from nowhere, it was even heralded at the Oscars. Personally, even though I'm a huge cynical, I actually really loved this movie. In my opinion, it is one of the best combinations of drama, realism and entertainment I have ever seen and I think it is a great achievement. I always found that Danny Boyle was a very good director and once again, he didn't disappoint me and I'm really glad he finally received all the recognition he deserved. Personally, I don't really agree with the people criticizing its happy ending, at least, it didn't bother me. The point is that the whole thing is actually some kind of fairy tale (which explains the musical scene at the end) but it is set into a realistic harsh and grim world and I thought that this mix was amazing and to throw 'Who wants to be a millionaire' on top of that was just masterful.
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People who added this item 2114 Average listal rating (1363 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.6


Notes: Even though the more recent 'American Sniper' was a huge box-office success and, therefore, so far, the most popular movie about the war in Irak, in my opinion, this movie is actually the best one probably the best movie about this subject. Indeed, back then it was completely ignored by the audience but it was rightfully heralded by the critics and end up winning the Best Picture Academy award. Above all, I believe that the story was just really fascinating and I was on the edge of my seat during most of the duration. The directing was also very good and all the actors involved (especially Jeremy Renner in a star making performance) were pretty impressive here.
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People who added this item 2630 Average listal rating (1595 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.1


Notes: In 2007, two contenders rose above the rest, this movie and 'No Country for old men'. Eventually, 'No Country for old men' got slightly more credit but, personally, I preferred this amazing flick. In my opinion, 'No Country...' was a fine picture but this flick went way deeper and was more fascinating in my opinion. Anyway, Paul Thomas Anderson showed us again that he is one of the most inspired directors at work right now. Working with one of the best actors ever, Daniel Day-Lewis, they created a great masterpiece together. Day-Lewis provided one hell of a one-man show being in almost every single scene for almost 3 hours long (however, the young Paul Dano shouldn't be forgotten as he gave an impressive performance as well). Furthermore, The story was really mesmerizing, probably the best one tackled by Paul-Thomas Anderson so far.
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People who added this item 1919 Average listal rating (1247 ratings) 5.7 IMDB Rating 6.3


Notes: First of all, I must admit I always had a weak spot for those found-footage features but it is still no guarantee for success though. I also thought it was quite hilarious that they started out with a fake message pretending that the movie was real. Come on… Ever since ‘The Blair Witch Project’, they still hold on to that trick?! But, it didn’t bother me and, as a matter of fact, I thought it was a pretty good flick. By now, I had some time to think about it and, in my opinion, the movie is solely based on anticipation. Indeed, every night, the concerned couple set the camera at the same spot and then, you wait, you anticipate what might happen or not. And there is absolutely no music cue, no visual cue, anything to give you some hint about what will happen if anything happen at all. Still, the acting was decent but nothing really amazing and maybe some better actors would have developed the psychological turmoil in which the characters were going through.
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People who added this item 1510 Average listal rating (911 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.5


Notes: Eventually, it was one of those cases that I had such high expectations that it became almost impossible for the concerned picture to fulfill those expectations. For example, Carice van Houten, a big star in the Netherlands and currently the best actress out there, said it was even the best movie that came out during the last 10 years so it was supposed to be really good. Eventually, to be honest, I did like it, I thought it was very good but, unfortunately, I never thought it was really amazing. Basically, the story was quite interesting and it was definitely very well done but the main issue was that I didn't care much about any characters, neither the secret police agent or the intellectual couple. As a result, even though I admired the work done, I had a rather hard time to connect with the whole thing.
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People who added this item 4678 Average listal rating (2977 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.2


Notes: Eventually, I had 2 issues with this movie. First, it was very overhyped when I watched it the first time so my expectations were too high. Second, I was expecting a fantasy picture and the fantasy is only half of the movie, the other half being a war drama. Basically, I didn't get what I expected. In spite of all this, I really liked it as there was some very good directing and a fascinating story. Some years later, I watched it again to make up my mind for good and, honestly, the second time around, it gave me about the same feeling. I mean, the directing was indeed very good, the special effects were quite awesome, the story was intriguing and entertaining enough but, honestly, I never really felt swept away by this fantasy world. In my opinion it is a very well made and interesting dark fairy tale but it is not much more than that. Sometimes, you connect with a movie and sometimes, you don’t. Apparently, this movie was not really my thing but it doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it.
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People who added this item 4243 Average listal rating (2601 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.7


Notes: I remember it very well, when this movie came out, there was a huge buzz about it and after its release, it kept on going for a while. Indeed, back then, there was a huge controversy because many people thought this flick was a shoe-in for the Best picture academy award but, eventually, the winner was 'Crash'. It was a big blow for Ang Lee who never deserved more to win the big prize and recently, he was snubbed again with 'Life of Pi'. Coming back to our main feature, personally, I think this movie was more deserving than 'Crash' but it doesn't really matter anyway. Indeed, I think it is quite a unique picture and nothing similar had been done before. As usual with Ang Lee, the directing was really solid and the performances provided by Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Legder were really great. For Ledger, it seemed to be the beginning of an amazing career which was abruptly stopped a few years later and for Gyllenhaal, it was quite a breakthrough and he has become one of the most dependable actors of his generation.
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People who added this item 262 Average listal rating (149 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.3
Tsotsi (2005)


Notes: I remember it very well, back in 2006, this movie managed to win the Academy Award for the Best Foreign Language Film of the Year and, like many others, I was really surprised. Indeed, back then, it was expected that ‘Paradise Now’ (which was indeed pretty amazing) would win but it was eventually snubbed. So, with this in mind, I was quite eager to check the damned thing and I had some really high expectations. Well, eventually, even I thought it was a decent watch, I can’t say I was really blown away by the whole thing and I really failed to see what was supposedly so amazing about the movie. I don’t know, the cast and directing were pretty good, I'll give you that, but the story was not really fascinating, or at least, it never really grabbed me. Concerning the director Gavin Hood, this movie opened for him the doors of Hollywood and he went directing such big projects like ‘Rendition’, ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ and ‘Ender's Game’.
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People who added this item 1579 Average listal rating (976 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.3
Downfall (2004)


Notes: I thought it was really amazing and I would go even further by saying that it is probably the last great war movie in my opinion. Yeah, it is that good. I remember, after watching it, I discussed it with my wife and she argued that the makers could have never known how the whole thing exactly happened. Personally, I think it is totally irrelevant though but it still seemed pretty convincing in my opinion. Basically, it is a fascinating study giving us the magnitude of the sheer madness of those guys. 70 years later, it remains difficult to comprehend that literally millions of people believed this guy and his ideology. That's also the other great thing about this flick, the impressive performance given by Bruno Ganz. Indeed, up to that point, the general perception I had of Adolf Hilter was one of a barking man during his distressing speeches. Here, Ganz managed to give him another dimension. I mean, the madness, the megalomania, it is all there but, and that's the most controversial aspect of this movie, they gave him some more human features because, after all, he was also a human being with actual feelings (I know it is hard to believe and/or accept...). Bruno Ganz was brilliant and he must be one of the most underrated actors ever.

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People who added this item 66 Average listal rating (30 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.7
Moolaadé (2004)


Notes: I haven't seen this one yet...
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People who added this item 239 Average listal rating (132 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.6


Notes: I haven't seen this one yet...
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People who added this item 376 Average listal rating (206 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8
Head-On (2004)


Notes: It must be one of the most destructive and fascinating love stories I have ever seen in a movie. The two leads were completely awesome and delivered some tremendous performances, they managed to create some truly alive and 3 dimensional characters. When the movie was released, there was actually a big fuss in Germany because Sibel Kekilli was previously in some porn movies but you really wonder how it has anything to do with her performance in this movie which was just brilliant. Birol Ünel was just as good and I would love to see more movies starring any of them. Furthermore, the directing by Fatih Akin was very impressive as well and the story was seriously spellbinding. Even though it deals with minorities living in Germany, they didn't spend their time developing some tedious stereotypes and instead you got some fascinating and pretty messed up characters trying to go through their lives struggling with the various cultures they live in and trying to find their own identity in the process.
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People who added this item 100 Average listal rating (53 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.4
Osama (2003)


Notes: I haven't seen this one yet...
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People who added this item 1745 Average listal rating (1081 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.7


Notes: I remember it very well, when this movie was released, it was quite a critical success so I was really eager to check it out and I had some pretty big expecations. Eventually, to be honest, even though I did enjoy it and thought it was indeed pretty good, I was expecting a little bit more from this flick. I mean, sure, the clash between the Eastern and Western world was very interesting and this movie allows the viewer to think about it thoroughly but also in a funny a way but, at the end, I couldn’t help thinking that the whole thing was indeed quite clever but not much more than that. Surprisingly, even though he reached worldwide acclaim with this movie, the director Wolfgang Becker didn’t do much afterwards.
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People who added this item 2997 Average listal rating (1883 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.4
Oldboy (2003)


Notes: Not so long ago, I have finally seen the other movies in Chan-wook Park’s ‘Revenge Trilogy’ and, to be honest, I was slightly disappointed by ‘Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance’ and even more by ‘Lady Vengeance’. Indeed, I was expecting a lot from these flicks because I was so blown away by ‘Oldboy’ which was the 2nd installment in this trilogy. I remember it very well, when it was released, it was critically heralded, especially at the Cannes Film Festival and after hearing so many good things about it, I was really eager to check it out. Eventually, I thought it was quite amazing and definitely one of the best thrillers I have ever seen. Personally, I usually don't like twists but the one developed in this movie didn't bother me at all. The reason why was that the story, the directing, the acting, everything was just spot on and fascinating to behold. From that point, Chan-Wook Park had quite a successful international career but, I have to admit it, I still have to watch the other movies he made outside his ‘Revenge Trilogy’.
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Many years ago, I actually discovered this website thanks to the awesome list 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die but, unfortunately, this list is not up to date anymore so I have decided to create my own version. I will try to add every day a new movie and, of course, I will keep it up to date.


(Last edition)


Furthermore, if you're like me and you don't feel like browsing through the whole list, you can now use this index :

- 1001 Movies ... (2010's)
- 1001 Movies ... (2000's)
- 1001 Movies ... (1990's)
- 1001 Movies ... (1980's)
- 1001 Movies ... (1970's)
- 1001 Movies ... (1960's)
- 1001 Movies ... (1950's)
- 1001 Movies ... (1940's)
- 1001 Movies ... (1930's)
- 1001 Movies ... (1920's)
- 1001 Movies ... (1910's)
- 1001 Movies ... (1900's)

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Comments

Posted: 1 year, 5 months ago at Nov 23 9:04
https://letterboxd.com/gubarenko/list/1001-movies-you-must-see-before-you-die-2015
Edit: 1 year, 5 months ago
Posted: 2 months, 1 week ago at Feb 15 19:48
Genuinely great list, very interesting reading, I see you lived in England (in your memento review), how long were you here for?
Posted: 2 months, 1 week ago at Feb 15 20:18
I spent my 3rd year in college in Cambridge.

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