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Notes: To be honest, I have to admit that I had actually never heard of the Harlem Cultural Festival that took place in 1969 but I’m not the only one. Indeed, while Woodstock became the most famous festival that ever took place, this festival was actually largely forgotten, at least, by the mainstream audience. What was even more surprising was that they actually did film everything but it took a staggering 50 years before someone finally released the damned thing. Apparently, back then, nobody cared about spreading this magnificent piece of Black power, love and creativity which was basically censored in spite of its actually very positive message. Concerning the festival itself, I have to admit that I didn’t know about half of the performers but it didn’t matter and they were all really good. The fact that appearing on this stage meant so much for them really transpired in their performances which were very often quite electrifying. Eventually, the only thing that prevented this movie from becoming really epic was the fact that they reduced 40 hours of footage to only 2 hours. I mean, the documentary about Woodstock was lasting 3 hours for a reason and I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have had the same impact if it would have been shorter. In this case, with an extra hour or even more, they could have fleshed out even more some of the performances or some portraits of the artists and people involved. Still, it wasn’t a deal-breaker and the damned thing was really awesome to behold.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 2021
Notes: To be honest, I have to admit that I was rather sceptical at first. Indeed, I have to admit that I had never heard of this musical of even of Alexander Hamilton himself before watching this flick. To make things worse, in general, I’m not a huge fan of musicals and the idea of watching 150 mins of non-stop singing with no straight dialogue whatsoever on a single stage didn’t sound really appealing to me. However, to my surprise, I really loved the damned thing. Indeed, right from the very first song, I was impressed by the lyrics and the singing skills of this crew and I was pretty much hooked. It did help that Lin-Manuel Miranda had some major hip-hop influence for his lyrics and it was rather surprising how well it worked within such an historical context. But the damned thing was not only seriously entertaining, it was educational and, within a little more than 2 hours, you get also some fascinating crash-course about a crucial period of the history of the United States. Eventually, this movie was also a great reminder that the USA as a country, in spite of its flaws and various mistakes, remains intriguing and, to go back to its foundations and focus on its most overlooked founding father was just so fascinating.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 2020
Notes: Basically, it was some kind of modern version of ‘Kramer vs. Kramer’ but while this fairly outdated movie only scratched the surface of this topic, this movie however went so deep, giving such a thoughtful and well balanced analysis on the subject. Above all, the biggest strength of this movie was to properly developed both sides of the equation displaying how devastating the whole process can be. I mean, it did make sense that Nicole wanted to get back to Los Angeles but it did make just as much sense that Charlie wanted to keep his whole family in New York. I did help as well that Scarlett Johansson gave here the best performance of her career so far (Adam Driver was also pretty amazing though). This movie also provides the best explanation on why most relationships are actually pretty much doomed to fail nowadays. Indeed, basically, the main reason why Nicole and Charlie eventually got a divorce was because they both wanted it all. Indeed, to make it work, one of them should have been able to sacrifice their own wish, Nicole could have stayed in New York or Charlie could have dropped his work and go to live in Los Angeles but neither of them wanted to let it go. But to have it all is just a massive pipe dream which crushes so many couple like the one displayed here. And, yet, this amazing movie shows how messy we are but also that our messy nature makes us, human beings, actually quite fascinating to behold.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 2019
Isle of Dogs (2018)
Notes: Since I really loved 'Fantastic Mr. Fox', of course, I was really eager to watch this new stop-motion animated feature from Wes Anderson. And, indeed, I wasn't disappointed and I just really loved the damned thing. First of all, it was such a well made animated feature and the amount of neat details displayed on each screen was just impressive. Furthermore, it was just a really fun adventure with some hilarious dialogue with the typical dry humor we are used to get with West Anderson. On top of that, there was also some room for some more sensitive moments but these scenes never clashed with the rest of the movie. The only critic I could find was that the 'human' characters could have been more developed and the dogs, who were all pretty awesome, were not much developed either because there were so many of them but it wasn't a big deal. Eventually, Wes Anderson displayed once again that he is easily one of the most interesting American directors at work nowadays and I will definitely watch his next director effort.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 2018
Notes: I have to admit it, it was a difficult movie to read as the whole thing was just so bizarre and chaotic and I can imagine that not everyone might be able to connect with this picture. But that was also the real beauty of it, the fact that you could give it pretty much any meaning you want. Indeed, someone might think that it is a story about motherhood, some others might say it is about how chaotic our society and way of life has become. As far as I was concerned, it felt like a fascinating and endless nightmare, the way everything seemed familiar and yet odd at the same time and the way the main character seemed to a be mere spectator with no control over the events happening in front of her. Their world kept shifting, unfolding and exploding with some continuous random small or big events which felt really reminiscent to a nightmare, at least, to me, and this process was quite spellbinding to behold.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 2017
Manchester by the Sea (2016)
Notes: Well, even though it was maybe not completely flawless, it wasn't far from it and I can't remember the last time I saw a movie combining so perfectly drama and comedy. Seriously, this movie was so funny, it was very often much more hilarious than most of your average comedy. And yet, it was dealing with a really tragic story but, somehow, this mix worked miraculously well. I think that, even though the acting was quite impressive, I enjoyed most of all the writing. Indeed, the two main characters (an uncle and his nephew) were just so fascinating, with so many layers, and their dialogues were just pure gold. The ending was also very effective without forcing these characters into a more traditional happy-ending. More than 15 years ago, I was lucky enough to see 'You Can Count on Me' when it was released, it was just great to see Kenneth Lonergan making such an impressive come-back and the guy displayed once again that he has a gift to show the complex relationships within a family.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 2016
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.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 2015
Notes: I already heard about this movie 6 or 8 years ago 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.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 2014
12 Years a Slave (2013)
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.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 2013
Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Notes: I know, many of you will probably be surprised that this movie gets my top spot but this movie hit me so bad, I was a wreck at the end and I even shed a few tears. First of all, it reminded me about how I met my wife and why we ended up together in the first place. Secondly, after 20 years of mindless garbage, the great Robert De Niro was finally showing up in a good movie giving a great performance like in the good old days. Finally, it was a terrific movie with some real characters, with some real issues dealing with their emotions and making me laugh and cry. I just loved this flick, enough said.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 2012
The Tree of Life (2011)
Note : Many people won't get this movie and will loathe it. It is definitely the least accessible movie directed by Mallick and I'm not sure I did get half of it but it doesn't matter. I touched me very deeply and many times, I thought I was watching myself when the father was messing up his familly or when the older boy was getting messed up. If you're looking for some deep and meaningfull movie, you should definitely have a look to this one.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 2011
Note : I had very high expectations. And surprisingly, the movie totally succeeded in meeting those high expectations. This movie is the proof that a movie can be a huge blockbuster and entertaining and thoughtful at the same time. A great achievement.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 2010
Note : After seeing Avatar, I realized that 3D movies could be great and not a complete swindle. The story is maybe not original but still pretty entertaining and the visuals are 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...
For more info : Top 10 best movies 2009
Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
Note : I really loved this movie. It is one of the best combination of drama, realism and entertainment. A great achievement. I always found that Danny Boyle was a very good director and once again, he proves it here. I'm really glad he finally received all the recognition he deserved.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 2008
Into the Wild (2007)
Note : I always liked the movies directed by Sean Penn but this one is his best by far. A fascinating and thoughtfull story, great directing, great acting. I really loved it.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 2007
The Prestige (2006)
Note : This movie was almost perfect. The story, the acting and the direction was so great, during the whole movie, my heart was boucing and I had a terrible headache. Unfortunately, the end was a little bit disappointing. I won't say why because I don't want spoil yo it. A part from that, it is a fascinating movie.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 2006
The New World (2006)
Note : Terrence Malick has directed only 4 movies in almost 40 years. This movie is his least appreciated one.
It is actually my favorite (I still have to see "Days of heaven" though). To me, it is the movie with the best poetic feeling ever. It is like watching a poem but not with words but with images and sound. Incredible.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 2005
Note : If you think Jim Carrey is a bad actor, just watch this movie (and The Truman Show). Kate Winslet gives also a great perfomance. The direction and the story are amazing too. One of the best movie ever made.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 2004
Note : I usually don't like twist but the one developped in this movie didn't bother me. The reason why is that the story, the directing, the acting,... are just so compelling. A great schocking movie. A true classic.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 2003
Catch Me If You Can (2002)
Note : The true story on which the movie is based is really amazing. It is my favorite Spielberg film. It is funny and sad at the same time. A great entertaining movie.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 2002
Spirited Away (2001)
Note : I really love this movie. The visuals are great and the story is just fascinating. A great achievement !
For more info : Top 10 best movies 2001
Note : I think this movie is really amazing. At the end, you are so confused. I'm sure a lot of people are annoyed by this but I love this feeling. Even you have more information than the main character, Leonard, at the end, it is still a big blur. How long has been he on the run ? 1 year ? 2 years ? longer ? How many John D. has he killed ? Was his wife killd or did he made it up ? Some many questions that remain even if you watch the movies 20 times. I just think it is fascinating.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 2000
Fight Club (1999)
Note : This movie has everything. Great acting, great direction, great story. It entertains you but also makes you think at the same time. A great achievement.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 1999
The Celebration (1998)
Note : The first Dogme movie was just great. No special effects, no big stars just a simple and pure movie. It was also the first time I felt nauseous after watching a movie. Not because it was bad but because it was so heavy and emotional. A great movie.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 1998
Funny Games (1997)
Note : I'm usually not a fan of psychopath/serial killer movies. I mean they are most of the time entertaining but they are almost never great, in my point of view. This one is the exception. It is so thoughtful and complex. An amazing picture.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 1997
Note : Ok, the pic above is a little bit weird... but this movie is actually really unique. A gorgeous documentary about insects with no comments, just some beautiful classic music. I guess it is pretty much forgotten now but it's a shame because it is a true masterpiece.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 1996
Dead Man (1995)
Note : It is my favorite Johnny Depp movie. It is so poetic. The acting and direction are great. A really mesmerizing picture.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 1995
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Note : Quentin Tarantino managed to make an Artsy flick without making it dreary and, for once, you could watch something which was smartly built up and also having a great time watching it. What else should I add ? The music was great (one of the best selling soundtracks ever), the dialogues were hilarious, the cast was awesome (with a major come-back for John Travolta) and the whole thing was just so damned entertaining to watch. To be honest, I sometimes struggled with Tarantino’s most recent work but this movie is still an impressive masterpiece and a must-see for any decent movie lover.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 1994
A Perfect World (1993)
Note : After winning hist first best picture Oscar movie "Unforgiven", Clint Eastwood has directed this one. I saw it it the movie theater when it came out. I was 13 or 14 years old and it was the first time I almost cried (I never cried watching a movie. I know, I'm so tough!). I found it was so emotional and it was a great experience. It is not Eastwood best known movie but I think it is actually his best one.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 1993
Bad Lieutenant (1992)
Note : Back then, Harvey Keitel and Abel Ferrara were probably at the best of their career. A great and a very bleak picture. Not for everyone, definitely but one of my favorite movies.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 1992
Note : It is a very original movie. Great visual, directing, acting. It is a great cult classic.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 1991
Note : I really love The Godafther part 1 and 2 but this one is even better. A great movie and the best gangster/crime movie ever made.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 1990
Note : By now, I have seen it so many times but it has never lost its charms and it is easily my favorite Indiana Jones movie. Basically, it is, in my opinion, the ultimate adventure film. The first masterstroke was to cast Sean Connery as Professor Henry Jones. Indeed, there was this great chemistry between Harrison Ford and Sean Connery and they made the whole thing completely spelbinding to watch.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 1989
Dead Ringers (1988)
Note : This movie is really creepy and it has one of the best perfomance ever. Jeremy Irons portrays 2 different twins so well that if even though they are identical, you can easily identify them. The story is fascinating as well. It is definitely worth a look, especially if you are interested in David Cronenberg's work.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 1988
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Note : Honestly, I had some rather mixed feelings about this one. First of all, I have to make myself clear : it is a really awesome movie but I don't think it is flawless. Indeed, the directing is absolutely amazing and the acting is completely off the charts. However, the combining of the 2 parts (the training and the actual war) didn't work for me. Especially for the second part, I thought it was rather underwhelming, especially after the emotional rollercoaster provided by the boot camp. Still, it remains an awesome flick.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 1987
Note : In my opinion, it is pure and simply the best movie about the Vietnam war. It might even be my favorite war movie. I mean, there are some other pretty good movies about the Vietnam war, like ‘Full Metal Jacket’ for example, but this flick is just way better than the rest in my opinion.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 1986
Note : It wasn't a great movie, it turned out to be one of the best movies I have ever seen, no less than that. It is such a poweful and an important movie, I believe it should be a compulsory watch in school for all the teenagers. I mean, I have seen many movies dealing with WWII but even the great classics like 'Schindler's List' or 'The Pianist' don't come near the brutality displayed in this shattering documentary. Indeed, we have all heard about the holocaust but, with this movie, the total horror comes so close, following testimonies of the victims, the perpetrators and people who just happened to be around at the time. What happened at the time was so awful, it has been ever seen a trauma for the whole world but above all for Europa. 30 years later, all the people involved have now passed away making this movie even more valuable.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 1985
Paris, Texas (1984)
Note : Back then, this movie won the Golden Palm at the Cannes film festival but nowadays it is a little bit forgotten and it's actually a real shame. Indeed, it has one of the best soundtrack ever and the story, the directing, the acting, everything is just plain amazing, it's just a really mesmerizing picture to watch. In my opinion, it is also a really poectic picture with a hypnotising slow tempo which could bother impatient viewers but it did work for me, absolutely. To conclude, it is easily my favorite movie directed by Wim Wenders , it is plain and simply a great movie and it is definitely worth a look.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 1984
Note : Eventually, I had to watch this movie a second time (with a gap of 14 years if I’m not mistaken) to really appreciate it. Basically, it is pretty much the story of a loser from Cuba who tries to make it big in America but ends up still a loser. To start with , the makers were pretty prestigious as it was actually directed by Brian De Palma and Oliver Stone wrote the screenplay. Indeed, many tend to forget it, but before launching his own directing career, Stone did write this massive classic. In the same genre, it is definitely really different than 'The Godfather' or 'Goodfellas' but I thought it was really awesome.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 1983
Blade Runner (1982)
Note : It is definitely my favorite Science Fiction flick and one of my favorite movies of all time. I have seen all the movies directed by Ridley Scott and it is easily his best one. Indeed, the look and the mood were great, the story was just plain fascinating and the cast was awesome. When it was released, it is hard to believe but it was actually a flop. You could blame the marketing but I'd rather believe that it was just way ahead of its time and nowadays it has reached a huge cult status which is totally deserved in my opinon.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 1982
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Notes: Since I'm a huge fan of Indiana Jones, of course, I just love this flick. Even though it is not my favorite one in this franchise (that would be the 3rd installment), it is still quite awesome. Indeed, when I was a kid, I saw it so many times with my father but after so many years later, I keep watching it from time to time and it is still so damned entertaining. Basically, with this movie, Steven Spielberg set up the golden rules for this mighty franchise and he introduced to us one of the greatest most iconic characters in motion picture history. Indeed, even though Harrison Ford was not even their first choice, he completely nailed this part and managed to create a character who was even more awesome than Han Solo which was quite an achievement. By the way, the big difference with this movie and 'Star Wars' is that, when I watch again nowadays this other classic, I find it slightly childish while it is not the case at all with this great flick. Anyway, not only it is technically pretty much flawless, it is also just such a fun movie and it is completely entertaining from the very first minute until the very last seconds.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 1981
Raging Bull (1980)
Note : Basically, it is just a really spellbinding story and easily the best sport movie ever made. I mean, even though 'Ordinary People' was a very good flick, absolutely, this masterpiece was just from another level and should have won the best picture academy award back in those days. In my opinion, if there is a time when Scoresese should have won the big prize, it was at that moment and not with 'The Departed' which was the only way the Academy could possibly apologize to this great master.
For more info : Top 10 best movies 1980
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Note : You can say whatever you want about Francis Ford Coppola but the guy completely ruled the 70’s. I mean, he already managed to deliver 2 of the best movies ever made but, apparently, it wasn’t enough and he ended up the decade with yet another masterpiece. Eventually, what I find really difficult with this movie, is to judge it as it is without thinking about how messed up the production was. Indeed, the behind-scenes details have become pretty much as fasmous as the movie itself but we shouldn’t forget that this flick was on its own quite brilliant already. Through the years, the Vietnam war has been a big source of inspiration for the American directors and, in this genre, it must be one of the best (I still prefer ‘Platoon’ though). To be honest, it is not the easiest film to digest but, after multiple re-watches, there are still many things to get from it. Eventually, for Coppola, who spent 16 gruling months shooting this flick, spending pretty much all his money, losing about 45 kilos while filming, even threatening suicide several times during the making of the film, it seems that the film permanently burned him creatively and he never managed to make again something so amazing during the next 35 years.
Note : When I was a kid, I used to watch it all the time. Even today, I believe it is one of the best animated movie ever. The animation is pretty good but above all, the story is just so damned entertaining and there are really funny moments. Definitely worth a look, especially if you are interested in animated features.
Annie Hall (1977)
Note : Nowadays, I have some kind of love-hate relationship with Woody Allen but, when I started to discover his movies, I was a huge fan of his work. Looking back at this movie, I’m not surprised that I used to love his movies. Indeed, at the beginning of this career, the guy was so much sharper, especially in this movie which is usually considered as his Magnum Opus and rightly so . First of all, Allen has always been famous for his writing skills (as a result, he has been nominated 16 times for the Academy Awards for the Best Writing and won this prize 3 times) and the dialogues and characters in this movie were just so interesting and entertaining. Above all, the whole thing was just downright hilarious and much more funny than most of the comedies I have seen which were made afterwards.
Taxi Driver (1976)
Note : In my opinion, it is definitely the first masterpiece produced by Martin Scorsese and Robert de Niro. I mean, 3 years ago, they already made 'Mean Streets' together and it was a real breakthrough for both of them but it is with this movie that they started to change cinema as an Art and they will keep doing it, at least twice again with 'Raging Bull' and 'Goodfelleas'. Even if nowadays De Niro has lost his edge, he will still be remembered forever for this unforgettable piece of art. He gave one of the best perfomances of his prestigious career and, plain and simply, one of the best performances ever given on a motion picture. For Scorsese, its status changed forever from promising young director to bonafide master.
Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
Note : It is easily one of the best movies starring Al Pacino and he gives here one of his best performances. The fact that it is a true story doesn't really interest me but it was just an amazing story and it kept me mesmerized until the end. Sidney Lumet has made so great and not so great movies but this flick belongs to his best flicks. It is just a great classic and definitely a must see for any movie lover.
The Godfather: Part II (1974)
Note : It is a great flick, probably as good as the first one. The masterstroke was to continue the story with most of the same characters but it still stands on its own though. To do so, Coppola chose a different structure which was quite spellbinding. Indeed, not only you follow Michael Corleone in his rise (or fall, it depends how you see it) as the new godfather but you follow also Vito Corleone going from Sicily to New York with literally nothing and slowly climbing his way up in the mob hierarchy. To make things even more amazing, to portray a young Vito Corleone, Coppola picked up a then still unknown Robert de Niro so he had two acting giants at the top of their games to play 2 generations of Corleones.
The Big Feast (1973)
Note : I can remember this movie as if I watched it yesterday. Indeed, it had a huge impact on me and it became instantly one of my all-time favorites. Basically, I had never seen such a black comedy before and I thought it was just really intriguing. It’s like the concept (4 friends get together to eat until they die), of course, it was quite disturbing and, yet, I thought it was completely fascinating. Indeed, death is and always has been a taboo and, here, you have a movie about 4 guys who decide to end it all, not really because they are depressed of fed up with the world but, simply because they can and, instead of having a random death like everyone, they will die on their own terms, having a major blast in the process. By now, I have seen more than 5000 movies and I have never seen another movie dealing with this subject in this way and, therefore, I believe it is truly original and I’m amazed it doesn’t get more acclaim.
The Godfather (1972) (2001)
Note : Even though some people believe this movie doesn't deserve so much praise, you can't possibly deny his huge impact on motion picture history. Basically, it is one of those flicks that you could/should watch every 10 years. Basically, the story was just spellbinding, the cast was great and Coppola was absolutely on top of his game (this guy basically ruled the 70's anyway). To conclude, it is a great masterpiece and it is a must-see for any decent movie lover.
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