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Added by PerfectPortal on 13 Dec 2010 12:07
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People who added this item 4471 Average listal rating (3027 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.5
Alien (1979)
(Actually at #30, at a tie with Aliens.)
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People who added this item 3254 Average listal rating (2244 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.4
Aliens (1986)
Ridley Scott's Alien, about a group of people in an isolated spaceship being hunted by a creature that none of them understand, is an undisputed masterpiece of horror and science-fiction – as well as rich in visual poetry. James Cameron's sequel, about the one survivor from the original joining a team of marines on a mission to rescue colonists on the alien planet, is a fantastically intense action movie, also one of the best of its kind. Both have their own strengths, and even though I think I slightly prefer Aliens because of how much more inventive and exciting it is, I love them both.
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People who added this item 5900 Average listal rating (3768 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.3
The plot follows Alex, a psychotic and despicable teenager, as he undergoes an experimental new treatment that takes away his choice, transforming him into an upright citizen – only to find out the hard way that the "civilised" world also has violent tendencies. The movie creates a world where teenagers run rampant in gangs, and I especially like how the "droogs" have a whole distinctive slang vocabulary. But what really holds it together is Alex himself: he's a savage beast, but he's still intelligent and well-spoken. It's one of the most psychologically fascinating movies ever, confronting issues like choice, violence and human nature.
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People who added this item 2667 Average listal rating (1481 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.9
Ed Wood (1994)
It's a biopic of the B-movie king, Ed Wood, who's famous for making some of the so-called worst movies of all time. Anyone who wants to go into a creative medium, especially film, should definitely see this movie. It makes fun of Ed Wood just as much as it celebrates him. It mocks him by acknowledging what made his movies so terrible, but celebrates him by making him relentlessly passionate and driven in spite of it all. It playfully urges you to never give up on pursuing your passions and dreams, because, as the movie itself says, visions are worth fighting for.
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People who added this item 3393 Average listal rating (2164 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.7
An account of the legal disputes that went into the founding and ownership of Facebook. This movie does something truly remarkable, which is to take a story that centres on computers and actually make it exciting. :) One moment that sums it up is the hacking scene at the beginning: thanks to David Fincher's flawless direction, it actually gets you pumped up. The movie in general is about smart people (what a relief!) who are greedy not for money but simply to create the next big thing. Apart from the depiction of Mark Zuckerberg himself, I hear it's also pretty accurate to the true story.
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People who added this item 672 Average listal rating (371 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.7
A group of rabbits encounter countless dangers on their quest to find a new home. This is easily one of the darkest animated movies I've ever seen. Fiver's vision at the beginning, and a flashback later on, are the stuff that nightmares are made of. It shows quite a bit of gore, too! It should have been at least rated PG! But like all good dark kids' movies, it never feels gloomy. We always know in the back of our minds that it's building up to a happy ending, which makes the dark nature of the adventure all the more thrilling.
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People who added this item 5896 Average listal rating (3821 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.8
Inception (2010)
Dom Cobb, a career thief who specialises in invading people's minds through dream technology, is given a chance at redemption. This movie is conclusive proof that you can make a big-budget blockbuster without making it brainless! :) At its core, it's a very simple concept. But the plan that Cobb and his team devise, and the rules the movie sets up for the dream world, are so ingenious that it keeps you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. The first half is gradual build-up and exposition, then, once the characters put their plan into action… just, wow!
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People who added this item 4491 Average listal rating (2951 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.3
Up (2009)
An elderly man attempts to keep a promise to his late wife by tying thousands of balloons to his house and flying away to a faraway place they've always dreamed of. Anyone who tells you animated movies are just kids' stuff, you point them in the direction of this movie! :) The characters' affection and thirst for adventure strikes a perfect chord – as does the core idea: I think everyone dreams of flying. The dogs with literal voice boxes are an awesome idea, too. :) Overall, it's a spectacularly heartfelt drama and an immensely fun adventure. It's easily one of Pixar's finest works.
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People who added this item 1454 Average listal rating (991 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.2
The Descent (2005)
Six women get trapped underground in an uncharted cave system, and soon discover they're not alone. This was the movie that got me into horror films. It succeeds in so many ways, especially in its ideal setting, its low-budget, authentic look, and most importantly, genuinely likable characters. The really clever part is how the first half plays on your natural fears, making the cave an enemy in itself before the monsters even appear. When I came back out of the cinema after seeing this, I was not the same! :) It still holds the record for the scariest movie I've ever seen.
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People who added this item 2862 Average listal rating (1909 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.9
Hot Fuzz (2007)
A London police officer is reassigned to the country, where he encounters a series of what he alone is convinced are murders. This has to be my all-time favourite straight-up comedy. Every time I see it, there's always like a dozen jokes that I missed! It's obviously spoofing police movies – both detective stories and the action-fests – but there are also tons of little jokes that you miss the first time around, and even the second time around. The punchy camera work and editing adds even more to the comedic effect. So thank you, Edgar Wright, for the all-time funniest movie I've ever seen! :)
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Indiana Jones must rescue his father and prevent the Nazis from getting their hands on his notes on the location of the Holy Grail. With the Indiana Jones series, it's definitely a toss-up between Raiders and Crusade, but my favourite's Crusade. What I like best is the father/son relationship: Indy and his father make an amazing comedic double-act. Also, whereas Raiders is just nonstop entertainment, this one features an equally clever treasure hunt story while also developing the characters further. Add some of the best action scenes ever filmed and an utterly nail-biting climax, and you have a truly wonderful sequel.
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People who added this item 2554 Average listal rating (1716 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 8.5
Rear Window (1954)
My favourite Alfred Hitchcock movie by a clear mile. It's about Jefferies, a photographer recovering from a broken leg, who passes his time spying on his neighbours through his rear window, and begins to suspect that one of them has committed murder. I think everyone knows what's so clever about it: the whole film takes place in the one location, which puts us right alongside Jefferies, trying to solve the mystery without ever leaving his apartment. I also really like how every neighbour has their own story going on. All in all, it's nothing less than the work of a master.
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People who added this item 2189 Average listal rating (1367 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.9
I haven't read the novel – not yet at least – but this film very much impressed me. It's about a thirteen-year-old boy, outcast and bullied at school, as he finds a friend in the girl next door, who turns out to be a vampire. I always said that this was Twilight done right! :) It's about two lost souls who find salvation in each other. The relationship they share isn't about sex: it's about friendship and support. The film is also astonishingly well directed, especially in terms of atmosphere. It's equal parts heartfelt drama and truly unsettling horror, and it all blends together perfectly.
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People who added this item 8177 Average listal rating (5217 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 8.9
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Probably Quentin Tarantino's most popular movie – certainly my personal favourite. The plot is kind of hard to explain, seeing as it's really a couple of intertwining plotlines, all focusing on violence and redemption. But of course, the main attraction of this movie is that Tarantino dialogue. The conversations are some of the most fascinating ever written. But what the countless Tarantino imitators forget is the context of the dialogue: it works here because they're, for example, hitmen saying these things to kill time before doing a job. That's what makes us latch onto these characters: it makes them seem more human.
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People who added this item 2767 Average listal rating (1795 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 8.1
Rocky (1976)
It's the ultimate Cinderella story, about a small-time boxer who gets a chance to fight the heavyweight champion. But while the story is very basic, what makes it so captivating is how much you relate to Rocky, the underdog who wants to live a big dream. Of course, the most iconic image is the training montage where he runs up the Art Museum steps to the song Gonna Fly Now. The music by Bill Conti is a major driving force, and may be the main reason the ending actually does get me a little teary-eyed. It's just an all-around feel-good film.
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This is easily the best of all the Star Wars movies, and it's the one that I immediately think of when I think of Star Wars. It involves Luke getting to the nitty-gritty of his Jedi training, while his friends are chased by the Empire. Everyone says this is the best-acted and most emotionally strong of the Star Wars series, and they're right. :) In particular, what makes the climax so potent is that Luke has abandoned his training early and may be vulnerable to temptation by the dark side. To top it all off, the action and special effects are absolutely first-rate.
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People who added this item 4023 Average listal rating (2431 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.3
Hands down, best Stanley Kubrick film. I don't think I'm breaking news to anybody when I say that a lot of it is told through visuals and music; there's no dialogue at all in either the first or last half-hour. There's no concrete explanation of what you're seeing; you're left to interpret it for yourself. So you'll either love it or hate it for that. Obviously you know which side I'm on! :) From beginning to end, every scene is memorable. There's not really a plot per se, but all the individual sections are connected by a common theme: the evolution of mankind.
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People who added this item 2090 Average listal rating (1291 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.6
An angel is sent to convince an indebted man not to commit suicide, and he does so by showing him what the world would be like if he was never born. While it's obviously become a Christmas classic, this is still a wonderful movie at any time of year. The first two thirds of the movie is spent setting up the character of George Bailey and what drives him to contemplate suicide. But of course, he ultimately realises what a wonderful life he really has, with so many good things worth living for. And that's what makes the ending so powerful.
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People who added this item 5069 Average listal rating (3337 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.4
WALL·E (2008)
Some more Pixar for you! :) Set in the future, when Earth has been consumed by litter and abandoned, a lonely cleaning robot named WALL-E finds a new purpose in life when he comes across another robot, EVE. The first half is mostly told visually, talking little but saying volumes – pretty rare for a kids' movie. Some people don't like the second half as much, but I'm one of those people who just adore the whole thing. I love how the movie sets up a very believable world run by technology, but it never loses sight of the robot love story at its heart.
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People who added this item 7153 Average listal rating (4709 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.5
Marty McFly travels back to 1955 in a time machine invented by his friend Doc Brown, and accidentally prevents his parents from falling in love, thus threatening to prevent his own birth. This is one of the definitive time travel movies, and it's right up my alley! :) Every character is irresistible, every little component is memorable, and the script does a brilliant job balancing tons of details while maintaining an ingenious sequence of events, every one of which has a purpose. It all leads to one of the most suspenseful and exciting climaxes in cinema history. In short, it's simply fantastic.
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People who added this item 5041 Average listal rating (3405 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.5
A Terminator is sent back in time to kill the young John Connor, the future saviour of mankind, while another Terminator is sent back to protect him. This is one of those rare sequels that really tops the original on every front. It's much more action-packed than its predecessor, as well as rich in themes and questions about what's morally permissible to avoid genocide. What really makes it a truly superb action movie is that it puts its story first; the action is all the more exciting because it actually has a purpose. Any way you look at it, it's a masterpiece.
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People who added this item 5937 Average listal rating (3702 ratings) 8.7 IMDB Rating 9.2
The Godfather (1972)
The aging patriarch of the Corleone family is ready to hand his leadership down to his youngest son, Michael. This is one of those movies that's kind of hard for me to explain why I love it so. Of course it's recognised as one of the greatest movies ever made, and I too instantly fell in love with it the first time I saw it, but why? I think it's mainly because the characters appeal to you in that they're a family, and a very close one at that. That's what keeps the story so riveting from beginning to end.
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People who added this item 2526 Average listal rating (1548 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.8
Mary Poppins (1964)
Mary Poppins, a magical nanny, brings joy to the very strict Banks household. This, to me, is the perfect family film. It has all the charm and wonder that a great kids' movie should, and watching it again as an adult, I find the character development is excellent too. Even George Banks, the strict father, isn't beyond hope; I especially love when the focus shifts to him at the end. Top it all off with some utterly irresistible music and songs, and you have something that anyone can enjoy. Walt Disney himself said this was his company's finest achievement. I agree! :)
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People who added this item 6735 Average listal rating (4424 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 8
After superheroes have been outlawed by the government, a family of supers teams up to face their toughest enemy yet. This is perhaps the ultimate animated action movie. It has a great story bursting with clever ideas, characters who are actually intelligent and resourceful, not to mention action scenes that genuinely get your heart pounding, which is rare for an animated film. It even takes the time to poke fun at some superhero movie conventions. It's a movie that leaves me amazed at how clever it is. It just has hit after hit after hit. Only one Pixar movie left now! :)
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People who added this item 7382 Average listal rating (4835 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8.3
Toy Story (1995)
Anyone who lives on Planet Earth has got to love this movie! :) Everyone knows the story: Woody feels threatened when Buzz Lightyear arrives and threatens to replace him as Andy's favourite toy. This was Pixar's first feature film, and it revolutionised animation. And, like all good kids' movies, it's actually intelligent, with plenty of wit and charm to satisfy all ages. It perfectly represents how toys might really act if they did come to life. This movie was a huge part of my childhood, and still remains my favourite Pixar film. Along with Mary Poppins, I'd highly recommend it to every single family.
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People who added this item 7410 Average listal rating (4884 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 9
Batman struggles to contain the chaos unleashed by the Joker – portrayed here as a just plain psychopathic, anarchistic criminal mastermind. This sequel to Batman Begins ups the ante to indescribable heights because the villain is not out to destroy the hero, but to corrupt him. The script does a fantastic job at tackling the themes of ethics, anarchy and personal responsibilities, and really stacking up high stakes on the characters' decisions. It's one of the most intense and exciting superhero movies ever made. It's the kind of movie where, at the end, you sit there watching the credits roll, thinking, "Wow!"
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People who added this item 4403 Average listal rating (2779 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 8.6
Spirited Away (2001)
This movie is so good it actually goes beyond belief! :) It's basically about a young girl who ends up in another world run by spirits, and has to work in a bath-house in order to survive. I think of this as sort of a demented retelling of Alice in Wonderland – a beautiful world with an ever-present sense of mortal danger. It's amazing how this world is filled with tons of creative visuals, but it's never so overwhelming that it's distracting. The music is just frigging fantastic, and the whole movie just leaves me speechless. It's definitely one of Studio Ghibli's biggest trademarks for a reason.
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People who added this item 7743 Average listal rating (5007 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 8.1
Jurassic Park (1993)
A small group of people are given a tour of a theme park built around cloned dinosaurs, but that night all hell breaks loose. I think the main reason I love this movie so much is that it combines two of my favourite topics: dinosaurs and technology. :) The special effects, of course, were jaw-dropping at the time, and are still impressive even today. I absolutely worshipped this movie as a kid, and now, as an adult, I love it more each time I watch it. I love the effects, I love the characters, but most of all, I love the story.
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People who added this item 343 Average listal rating (222 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 8.2
The Snowman (1982)
This film alone is why I decided to include animated shorts on this list! :) It was originally only feature-length films, but I just love The Snowman too much to possibly exclude it. It's about a boy who makes a snowman, which comes to life and takes him on a magical adventure. It's basically an animated silent film, told entirely through visuals and music, and I think that's why it works so well. The music itself is absolutely beautiful, and adds all the more punch to the visuals. I always end up bawling like a baby watching The Snowman! It's just pure screen magic.
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People who added this item 1582 Average listal rating (1076 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.3
Sunshine (2007)
This movie is just phenomenal! Perfect writing, perfect pacing, perfect acting, perfect directing, perfect effects, perfect music – it's all just… well, perfect! The premise is that a team of scientists are sent to reignite the dying Sun and save mankind, so the idea of saving the world in a scientific way makes it easily the most epic movie I've ever seen. And watching the problems keep piling on, threatening to destroy the mission and doom humanity, is absolutely nail-biting. Every time I finish watching this movie, I'm completely awestruck and hardly able to stand. I consider it the ultimate sci-fi thriller.
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People who added this item 2221 Average listal rating (1364 ratings) 8.7 IMDB Rating 8.9
12 Angry Men (1957)
Yes, 12 Angry Men is my all-time favourite movie. Why? One reason mainly: the dialogue! The lines are just perfect! Every single line gives me chills, especially when put in context of what the characters are trying to achieve. It's about a jury trying to determine the guilt or innocence of a boy accused of murdering his father. The clever part is that we never know the truth for sure; all that matters is what these twelve jurors decide. Director Sidney Lumet uses various cinematic techniques to create a marvellous increasing sense of claustrophobia, but the movie's main driving force, again, is the dialogue. This is a movie I could watch a million times and never be tired of it! I love it so much that one of my dreams is to direct my own stage adaptation of it. It's gripping, it's expertly minimalistic, it's extremely quotable… it's my all-time favourite movie.
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I'm sure the first thing all my fellow film buffs will be wondering about me is what my favourite movies are. Well, I really count every movie I rate five stars (and that includes 4½ stars, or 9/10) as a favourite, but only the top thirty are the ones that I consider truly special. Maybe someday I'll do a list of every movie I rate 10/10 – in other words, every runner-up – but for now, let's just focus on the best of the best. I would never be so arrogant as to say these are the thirty best movies ever made; they're just my personal favourites.
So these are the movies that mean the most to me, the ones that stand head and shoulders above the crowd. I present to you, my top thirty favourite movies.

Runners-up: If I were to extend the list just a tad bit further, the top ten out of all the runners-up would be, in alphabetical order:
Amadeus (1984)
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Citizen Kane (1941)
Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
Jaws (1975)
The Jungle Book (1967)
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
North by Northwest (1959)
Wallace & Gromit in The Wrong Trousers (1993)

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