Gwnewch y pethau bychain

100 Modern Classic Movies (As listed by Entertainment Weekly, who are on crack)

Entertainment Weekly put this together as a list of the 100 best films of the last 25 years. As expected, what was included and what wasn’t both strike me as somewhat questionable. Still, I love movies, so I’ll go through the exercise. You’re supposed to bold the ones you’ve seen, underline the ones you’ve started but didn’t finish. I’ll put an asterisk next to the ones I own. (taken from epi_lj.)

1. Pulp Fiction (1994) [Nope, never saw it. Been told this is a great failing on my part.]
2. The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-03)* [Peter Jackson’s adaptation of Professor Tolkien’s opus is flawed, but probably as good as could ever be hoped for.]
3. Titanic (1997) [I watched this on cable only for no other reason than to see Kate Winslet naked. I was surprised to find the movie quite enjoyable.]
4. Blue Velvet (1986) [Like most David Lynch films, it was interesting, but I’m not sure it was enjoyable.]
5. Toy Story (1995)* [Fabulous. Yes, a phenomenal technical achievement, but more importantly a film with tremendous heart and quality performances from the actors.]
6. Saving Private Ryan (1998) [I’m told I should see this.]
7. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) [It’s not my favourite Woody Allen film, but it was quite watchable.]
8. The Silence of the Lambs (1991) [Extremely well done. So well done I’m not sure I can ever see it again.]
9. Die Hard (1988) [Meh. Never really got into these films, though Alan Rickman was, as often the case, the best thing in it.]
10. Moulin Rouge (2001) [Another film I really should get around to.]
11. This Is Spinal Tap (1984)* [I adore this film. I adore the entire genre it spawned. I generally find that if you’re the sort of person who likes Chirstopher Guest movies, you love this film, and if you aren’t, you may well not.]
12. The Matrix (1999) [Saw it on cable in a fit of boredom. Was terribly impressed by it, despite Keanu Reeves, The Incredible Non-Acting Man. Never bothered with the sequels, as the story is nicely finished in one, and thus doesn’t need any.]
13. GoodFellas (1990) [Saw it on cable. It amused me, but it wasn’t even the best mafia/gangster film of the period.]
14. Crumb (1995) [I’ve never been a fan of Crumb’s art, though his life sounds fascinating.]
15. Edward Scissorhands (1990) [Ah, Johnny Depp. Your failures are often at least interesting, and your successes, such as this one, are sublime.]
16. Boogie Nights (1997)
17. Jerry Maguire (1996)
18. Do the Right Thing (1989)
19. Casino Royale (2006)* [I bought this on DVD, but haven’t had a chance to sit and watch it yet.]
20. The Lion King (1994) [The last of four films in the great Disney revival that began with The Little Mermaid. It started downhill after this, but what an amazing pinnacle.]
21. Schindler’s List (1993) [Deeply affecting and effective movie. Spielberg’s finest moment as a director.]
22. Rushmore (1998)
23. Memento (2001)
24. A Room With a View (1986) [I actually think I did see this, but since I can’t remember anything about it, I listed it as unseen.]
25. Shrek (2001)* [I love the Shrek movies. I love the way they skewer the Disney tropes, and the chemistry between the three leads.]
26. Hoop Dreams (1994)
27. Aliens (1986) [This was a satisfying enough action flick, but it can’t hold a candle to the horrific creepiness of the first film.]
28. Wings of Desire (1988) [Heard this is good. Need to see it someday]
29. The Bourne Supremacy (2004) [I went to see The Bourne Ultimatum having not seen either of the previous two. Enjoyed it enough that I plan on picking them up on DVD, but I haven’t yet.]
30. When Harry Met Sally… (1989) [I’m a sucker for romantic comedies. I admit it…]
31. Brokeback Mountain (2005)* [Have this on DVD, and really want to see it, but we haven’t made time for it yet.]
32. Fight Club (1999) [Highly recommended to me, but I’ve never gotten around to it.]
33. The Breakfast Club (1985) [I love this film. I loved it when it was new, and I still love it. There are some things about it that annoy me, but I find it hard to get annoyed with them *while* I’m watching it.]
34. Fargo (1996)* [Delightful. I love the Cohen brothers.]
35. The Incredibles (2004)* [Blew me away. I love everything about this movie. I think it’s the best thing Pixar has ever done.]
36. Spider-Man 2 (2004)* [Believe it or not, I own it on DVD but haven’t yet watched it. I was terribly amused at EW’s caption for this film, though, where they said it had “more thrilling action sequences than Doc Ock has mechanical arms.” and I thought to myself “Really? More than….four? Way to set the bar high, guys.]
37. Pretty Woman (1990) [More romantic comedy. Y’know, when Julia Roberts first broke out, I saw pictures of her and couldn’t figure out what everyone saw in her. Then I saw her in motion. And I understood.]
38. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) [I’m told this was marvelous. I should see it some day]
39. The Sixth Sense (1999) [I missed this when it first came out, and by now, my curiosity in actually watching it is more to see how it’s pulled off, since I know the twist at the end.]
40. Speed (1994) [I generally avoid movies starring Keanu Reeves, the Incredible Non-Acting Man. (Yes, I do always refer to him with his full title.)]
41. Dazed and Confused (1993) [It was OK, but I didn’t really grab me.]
42. Clueless (1995)
43. Gladiator (2000)
44. The Player (1992) [Directed by Robert Altman, starring Tim Robbins. I’m not sure I could have disliked this film if I tried.]
45. Rain Man (1988) [Dustin Hoffman is astounding. I remember seeing this and “The Colour of Money” pretty close together, and thinking that Paul Newman just showed how bad an actor Tom Cruise was in comparison, while Dustin Hoffman actually made Cruise look *better* than he was.]
46. Children of Men (2006)
47. Men in Black (1997) * [I loved this movie. Will Smith is another person I’ll see just about anything in.]
48. Scarface (1983) [Pancino is fantastic, but I still found this movie dreary overall.]
49. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
50. The Piano (1993)
51. There Will Be Blood (2007)
52. The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad (1988) [Zucker/Abrams/Zucker movies are an acquired taste. If you don’t like their absurdist sense of humour, you won’t like this. I do, and this is one of their better efforts.]
53. The Truman Show (1998) [It was ok, but it wasn’t all that.]
54. Fatal Attraction (1987) [I never did see this one. It didn’t really sound like the sort of thing I’d like.]
55. Risky Business (1983) [ I first saw this when i was 13 and 14, and probably was mostly interested in it for the sex. Watching it again as an adult, I find its really a fairly boring film.]
56. The Lives of Others (2006)
57. There’s Something About Mary (1998)
58. Ghostbusters (1984)* [I love this film, from top to bottom. And it’s so quotable]
59. L.A. Confidential (1997)
60. Scream (1996)
61. Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
62. sex, lies and videotape (1989)
63. Big (1988)* [Tom Hanks completely sells the 13 year old in a 30 year old’s body. (Sometimes, I feel that way myself.)]
64. No Country For Old Men (2007)
65. Dirty Dancing (1987) [It was ok. But it didn’t set my world on fire.]
66. Natural Born Killers (1994) [I have not seen it, nor shall I. I have zero interest in this film.]
67. Donnie Brasco (1997)
68. Witness (1985) [Saw it on cable. It was well acted, but otherwise unmemorable.]
69. All About My Mother (1999)
70. Broadcast News (1987)
71. Unforgiven (1992)
72. Thelma & Louise (1991)
73. Office Space (1999) [I only saw this recently, and I howled with laughter. Need to buy the DVD.]
74. Drugstore Cowboy (1989)
75. Out of Africa (1985)
76. The Departed (2006)
77. Sid and Nancy (1986) [Didn’t really care for the people, which made it hard to care about the horrible things happening to them. You only care about Romeo and Juliet because you LIKE them…]
78. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) [Never was a big Schwarzenegger fan.]
79. Waiting for Guffman (1996) [Christopher Guest again. I love Christopher Guest]
80. Michael Clayton (2007)
81. Moonstruck (1987) [*shrug*]
82. Lost in Translation (2003)
83. Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987) [I’ve seen bits of this, but never sat and watched it all the way through.]
84. Sideways (2004)
85. The 40 Year-Old Virgin (2005)
86. Y Tu Mamá También (2002)
87. Swingers (1996)
88. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)* [I actually liked this first film, because of all the things it was sending up: James Bond, Beatles movies, etc. The sequels are entirely regrettable.]
89. Breaking the Waves (1996)
90. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
91. Back to the Future (1985) * [Love this film, and the entire trilogy to be honest.]
92. Menace II Society (1993)
93. Ed Wood (1994) [Another interesting failure from Johnny Depp. Pity, because this film had a great deal of potential.]
94. Full Metal Jacket (1987) [I should watch this again. When I first saw it, I wasn’t predisposed to like it.]
95. In the Mood for Love (2001)
96. Far From Heaven (2002)
97. Glory (1989)
98. The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
99. The Blair Witch Project (1999) [Never was interested to see it, honestly.]
100. South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut (1999) [I watched the first season of South Park. There were some funny bits, but honestly….why is it *still* on the air?]

What an odd list. Several movies that I might have put on their were missing, and several I really don’t think belong were there. But that’s always the case in lists like this. But….No The Princess Bride? No The Untouchables? No Pirates of the Caribbean?. Just to name three off the top of my head.

EW’s editors are weird, man.


Kaamelott: The Perfect Fifth


Movie Night!


  1. Hmmmm, Something About Mary is an interesting inclusion. I saw it a couple of times and my main comment is that it kept flipping back and forth from an over the top comedy to a straight romantic comedy. I wanted it to make up it’s mind what it was exactly.

    No Syriana or American Beauty or Little Miss Sunshine or Transamerica. We’re also missing The Queen and Capote and Flawless. And where are the documentaries?

    I am happy to see Memento, which was a really amazing film.

  2. I think I’ve seen 16 of those. I also have to wonder about the judgment of anybody capable of putting an Austin Powers movie into a “best” list.. even the first one. But so it goes.

    • To be fair to EW, they don’t really class this as a “best of” list in the magazine…more of a list of works that are memorable either for quality or influence. They also point out that they tried to limit superstar writers/directors/actors/etc to a couple of works, lest the list become dominated by a few people.

      Still, lists like this are quite often as interesting for the discussion they provoke as any actual content on the list itself. Which is why I bothered to post it.

  3. 10. Moulin Rouge (2001) [Another film I really should get around to.]

    Yes, you should 🙂

    I absolutely agree on The Lion King.

  4. Moulin Rouge was a giant shiny hollow candy.

    I want to ask you about Fight Club once you’ve seen it. That movie, and then subsequently reading the book, explained some things about contemporary American men to me I had not previously understood.

  5. Huh, I’ve seen a lot more of these than I’d’ve expected… 69 out of 100. But then, I used to watch more movies than I do nowadays.

    About six years ago I got out of the habit of frequent movie-watching, for no particular reason. The number of movies I saw per year dropped from about 25 to about 7. So it’s not so surprising that, of the 31 movies on the list that I haven’t seen, 15 of them came out in those last six years, and for almost all of the rest I remember intending to see them but somehow never getting around to it.

  6. They seem to be rather contemporary.
    What about Ben Hur for example? Casablanca? Metropolis? North-by-northwest?

    Btw, Memento is really cool!

    • Well, the premise of the list was that it only considered works that were 25 years old or less. So nothing before 1983. Hence “The *new* classics”.

      I’ve heard Momento is really cool, and I want to see it, if only to see how they actually pull it off.

  7. Random comments:

    6. Saving Private Ryan (1998) [I’m told I should see this.]

    I won’t be seeing this. I was taking a french translation class when it came out and translated about 9 movie reviews of it. Trust me, there’s nothing like that to make you completely not want to see a movie. *Any* movie.

    10. Moulin Rouge (2001) [Another film I really should get around to.]

    I just saw this. It was good, though very sad.

    12. The Matrix (1999)

    This exists to make it easy to explain the parable of the Cave to students. *grin*

    31. Brokeback Mountain (2005)* [Have this on DVD, and really want to see it, but we haven’t made time for it yet.]

    Parts of this were lit like early Clint Eastwood movies. If you haven’t seen them, well, that’s the point -- you can’t see large sections of them. I figured out they must be having sex, but that was mostly due to the reviews I’d read and the noises they made. I have to admit that it ended and my reaction was kind of “That was it?”

    33. The Breakfast Club (1985)

    Love this movie.

    37. Pretty Woman (1990)

    And this one.

    39. The Sixth Sense (1999) [I missed this when it first came out, and by now, my curiosity in actually watching it is more to see how it’s pulled off, since I know the twist at the end.]

    I found one part of this really, really disturbing, but the movie was well done. (And the part that bothered me probably has more to do with my psychology than anything else.)

    58. Ghostbusters (1984)* [I love this film, from top to bottom. And it’s so quotable]

    God, I haven’t seen that in forever.

    65. Dirty Dancing (1987) [It was ok. But it didn’t set my world on fire.]

    I like that movie. But I’m such a dancer -- I’m a sucker for almost all dance movies. *grin*

    66. Natural Born Killers (1994) [I have not seen it, nor shall I. I have zero interest in this film.]

    I remember an episode of “I’m Sorry I haven’t a Clue” in which the panelists had to provide titles of films that would have been complete and utter failures. My very favorite was “Natural Born Grocers.”

    71. Unforgiven (1992)

    That was pretty awesome. Granted, I’ll watch almost anything with Clint Eastwood in it (or directed by him) but this one was special. I don’t watch it as often as some of the others because it’s fairly gritty. But it was powerful.

    81. Moonstruck (1987) [*shrug*]

    I like that one. But I realize that hot guys who like opera are an acquired taste…*grin*

    82. Lost in Translation (2003)

    I found this movie incredibly dull. Watching people be bored just isn’t very interesting to me.

    91. Back to the Future (1985) * [Love this film, and the entire trilogy to be honest.]

    Yes! Michael J. Fox is so adorable in them -- they make me kind of nostalgic for the innocence of the 80’s in some ways.

  8. a bit late…..

    BTW -- many happy returns of the day 🙂
    May it kick off a fabulously joyous year as well!

  9. See? I knew I should’ve called you last night when I saw it on the calendar. Anyway, I haven’t *quite* missed it today.


    I’ll have you know it was a day of joy -- I did something that pushed my comfort boundaries in a good way -- two, actually -- and made contact with someone I’ve been missing for years but felt too guilty to contact because I still didn’t have a CD.

  10. Happy Birthday!

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