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.
#84 – The Untouchables
Why is it here:
This is a crackerjack movie from David Mamet’s fantastic script to Brian DePalma’s amazing direction to the ensemble cast’s ideal chemistry. Everything about it is phenomenal. Kevin Costner’s wholesomeness balances so well against Sean Connery’s street weariness, Andy Garcia’s intensity, and Charles Martin Smith’s nebbishness. As Al Capone Robert DeNiro chews scenery and swings bats like a champ and Bill Drago as Frank Nitti is chilling and perfect. Then there’s Ennio Morricone’s music. And the premise. And the plethora of great scene after the next. This is how mainstream films should be, a bunch of rogues normally above this kind of stuff doing it well without being cynical about it and reminding us why we go to the movies.
Moments to savor:
The opening title music to the shadowy text. “He died like a pig…” “Lets go do some good.” The dead man interrogation. The Battleship Potemkin homage. Guisseppe Petri. The heartbreaking elevator scene. The Racine address scene. So many great parts to this.
1987. We were hyped as balls to see this having lived on a diet of crime flicks throughout our youth. We knew so much about it already, having gotten the goddamn souvenir magazine (remember those days?). We were supremely hyped and yet the film still blew us away. And still does.