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.
#18 – Gladiator
This is the top twenty. These are in order.
Why is it here:
I’m astounded this movie is this high on my list. Part of the point of this, a project I’ve spent the better part of 2014 preparing for, was to rewatch hundreds of movies and really put a time stamp on my years watching and covering movies. I’ve always loved this movie but I wasn’t sure I considered it an all-timer, especially considering how many great historical epics there have been over the years. The thing that sung to me in watching it again was how rich it is and how well defined the characters are. It’s a perfect vessel for Ridley Scott because it takes a special script to provide a bedrock for his imagination to really connect. There’s a reason why Blade Runner and Alien are classics and so many of his works aren’t. This is the full delivery on every level and it’s that rare old school movie married to the modern age, a nearly perfect flick.
Moments to savor:
Djimon’s action figures of his dead family. CGI Oliver Reed, what were they thinking? Crowe’s mucous on his dead family. Richard Harris being great. The grassy fields. The men who fight alongside Maximus. The arena. Connie. Hot.
If you must know, my goal was for this list to be my swan song and I’d planned to finish with #100 on December 31st and retire from the web for good. In doing the list and seeing some of the traffic come up and signs of life in ol’ CHUD that plan has changed and you’re stuck with me for a while longer.