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.
#30 – Raging Bull
Why is it here:
Note: Remember that the first 80 are in no particular order.
This is a movie that’s hard to recommend to just anyone. If you see it at the wrong phase of your film romance it won’t register. Though it hasn’t been as immersed into pop culture like many of Scorsese’s movies, it still carries a lot of weight. But it’s not an easy watch. It’s not the black and white or even how the film doesn’t cater to typical narrative at times. It’s the package. Luckily, once you succumb you succumb for life. Deniro is unstoppable here but his surrounding cast is also insanely good and Joe Pesci simply does not get enough love for his work here. See it if you haven’t ASAP.
Moments to savor:
Seeing Pesci and Deniro begin a career of amazing chemistry. The fight scenes as only Scorsese can make them. Jake’s monologues. Cathy Moriarty lighting powderkegs.
Low-ish. But when you do it’s a delight.
I don’t believe in the notion that you’re either a Rocky guy or a Raging Bull guy. Back in the early days of the site that was used as a metric to determine an individual’s seriousness as a film fan, which is elitist bullshit. There’s room to love both without compromise.