Lists are great. They inspire discussion, create arguments, and tend to spiral off into fun new lists. When you do a list about the “BEST” of anything it goes from being fun to becoming a hotbed for arguments. There’s no such thing as a definitive list but I’ve decided to pull from my rather extensive life of film watching and put it to good use.
This is not the “film critic’s top 100” list. There’s no guarantee Citizen Kane or The Bicycle Thief will be in the top echelon or even on the list. This is the 100 movies I would put my name on as my top 100. If I died tomorrow this would represent the 100 films I find most vital, special, or ones that bonded to whatever it is that makes me me. I’m not including documentaries, though that might make for a nice supplemental list.
The first 80 will be in no particular order. The last 20 will be in very particular order. One a day, you have my word.
#94 – Inglourious Basterds
Why is it here:
Just about everything Quentin Tarantino [aside from Death Proof] does deserves at least a consideration for a list like this, but this is the biggest step in his entire filmography. Where he flirted with being too in love with his words here he matures to balance his great dialogue and unforgettable cinematic moments with a weight and restraint that brings his skills into laser focus. The added value of actors who make his words sing (Waltz, Laurent, Fassbender, and Pitt in particular) and the always engrossing WWII setting make this his crowning achievement. There’s a little taste of all his earlier work here but when it’s all said and done this film stands the tallest.
Moments to savor:
What happens to Nazi’s in movie theaters. The milk scene. The scene in the bar. Brad Pitt in a Tarantino movie. Anything with Christoph Waltz. Hitler losing his shit. The movie theater as a rat trap. Til Schweiger going from a uninteresting actor to a winner.
Extremely high. It’s fun, crazy, and with just enough action and memorable dialogue to reap the benefits of the prototypical action flick though it’s so much more.
Adam Sandler was supposed to play the part eventually given to Eli Roth. The movie would have been even better had that transpired. Roth’s the weakest link in the cast, something that’ll cause arguments due to how cool and iconic the Bear Jew is in the film. That’s all because of writing and direction. Sandler would have brought something and enhanced Tarantino’s already fantastic words. I can’t stand Adam Sandler and I fully admit he’d have made the movie even better. That’s saying something.