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.
#92 – Oldboy
Why is it here:
This is a great movie made greater by the fact that Chan-wook-Park and his “Vengeance” series hadn’t yet blossomed in the collective consciousness. Brutal, interesting, and shocking. A great central performance, amazing direction, and truly original storytelling really made for a delicious combination that led to the movie having a great balance of infamy and crossover appeal. Such a winner.
Moments to savor:
The hallway scene of course. The big twist. The yummy cephlapod. The years in the room. Min-Sik going from unknown to one of the great actors overnight [to Americans]. Seeing the underbelly of Seoul.
Minimal, except to introduce new people to it. It’s a great movie to watch friends watch, though it has been a little dampened by spoilers out there and Spike Lee’s mostly unfortunate remake.
“A brilliant masterpiece” says Aint it Cool on the poster. That’s their common blurb, and it’s awful. It almost feels like an oxymoron. When we did Movie Insider I remember a blurb they had for a movie and it was “A brilliant masterpiece, scary and great”. It made me want to assassinate my face. I don’t mean to talk ill of a fellow old timer, it’s just that I wish my tagline of “Holy fuck!” would have been used.