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.
#58 – LA Confidential
Why is it here:
This is not a good movie or even a great one. It’s a masterpiece. From Curtis Hanson, a director many of us dismissed based on his early resume. Color us surprised as he, Brian Helgeland, and James Ellroy’s source text bonded in a way that led to pure, blissful pulpy noir. Great work from everyone in the cast, including career best work from Kim Basinger. Unforgettable moments to spare and more than a few truly iconic moments. Russell Crowe is a force of nature here, perfectly contrasting with Guy Pearce’s restrained cool and Kevin Spacey’s aloof charm. James Cromwell kills in it! It’s just an astounding bit of work, and a great counterbalance to Chinatown. Two of the best crime stories ever told about the City of Angels.
Moments to savor:
Rollo Tamasi. Meeks under the deck. Simon Baker makes a bad choice. The Night Owl Murder. Crowe and Pearce butting heads before working together to great effect.
Massively high. Once a year at least.
James Ellroy’s new book takes the story of James Cromwell’s nutty chief further!