220. Tristana (1970) Dir. Luis Bunuel, 105 mins.
After the death of her mother, Tristana goes to live with her guardian Don Lope, who seduces her. She runs away from Lope with a young artist named Horacio. Unable to commit to Horacio and in need of health care due to her growing cancer, Tristana returns to Don Lope. Watch
219. Rosemary’s Baby (1968) Dir. Roman Polanski, 136 mins.
The film chronicles the story of a pregnant woman who suspects that an evil cult wants to take her baby for use in their rituals. Watch
218. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) Dir. Ang Lee, 120 mins.
In the early 19th century, martial arts master Li Mu Bai is about to retire and enter a life of meditation, though he quietly longs to avenge the death of his master, who was killed by Jade Fox. Watch
217. Raise the Red Lantern (1991) Dir. Yimou Zhang, 125 mins.
Set in the 1920s, the film tells the story of a young woman who becomes one of the concubines of a wealthy man during the Warlord Era. Watch
216. Umberto D. (1952) Dir. Vittorio De Sica, 89 mins.
The film follows Umberto Domenico Ferrari (Carlo Battisti), a poor elderly man in Rome who is desperately trying to keep his rented room. His landlady (Lina Gennari) is evicting him, and his only true friends, the housemaid (Maria-Pia Casilio) and his dog Flike (called ‘Flag’ in some subtitled versions of the film) are of no help. Remarkably most of the actors, including Battisti, were non-professional. Watch
215. The Life of Oharu (1952) Dir. Kenji Mizoguchi, 148 mins.
The Life of Oharu is a fictional black and white historical film starring Kinuyo Tanaka as Oharu, a one-time concubine of a daimyō (and mother of a later daimyō) who struggles to escape the stigma of having been forced into prostitution by her father. Watch
214. Amelie (2001) Dir. Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 122 mins.
It tells the story of a shy waitress (Audrey Tautou), who decides to change the lives of those around her for the better, while struggling with her own isolation. Buy
213. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) Dir. Peter Jackson, 2001.
One of the most critically and commercially successful films of all time, the conclusion of Peter Jackson’s Tolkien trilogy sees the Dark Lord Sauron launching the final stages of his conquest of Middle-earth. While it’s epic fantasy with huge battles some of the action is undermined by the supernatural elements and many of the characters lost amongst the massive effects. Jackson also struggles to come up with one fitting ending and yet the film with its colossal scale, surprising detail and emotive soundtrack, remains a visually stunning and powerfully compelling triumph of large scale entertainment and a satisfying ending to a landmark achievement in studio film making. More…
212. The Forgotten Ones (1950) Dir. Luis Bunuel, 85 mins.
The story concerns a gang of juvenile delinquents, whose sole redeeming quality is their apparent devotion to one another. Watch
211. Blow-Up (1966) Dir. Michelangelo Antonioni, 111 mins.
Blowup is a British-Italian mystery thriller about a fashion photographer, played by David Hemmings, who believes he has unwittingly captured a murder on film. Watch
210. The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) Dir. Orson Welles, 88 mins.
Welles adapted Booth Tarkington’s Pulitzer Prize–winning 1918 novel, about the declining fortunes of a proud Midwestern family and the social changes brought by the automobile age.
209. L.A. Confidential (1997) Dir. Curtis Hanson, 138 mins.
The film tells the story of a group of LAPD officers in 1953, and the intersection of police corruption and Hollywood celebrity.
208. The Matrix (1999) Dir. The Wachowskis, 136 mins.
It depicts a dystopian future in which human life as perceived by most people is actually a simulated reality called “the Matrix”, created by sentient machines to subdue the human population, while their bodies’ heat and electrical activity are used as an energy source. Computer programmer Neo (Keanu Reeves) learns this truth and is drawn into a rebellion against the machines, which involves other people who have been freed from the “dream world.”
207. Saving Private Ryan (1998) Dir. Steven Spielberg, 170 mins.
It follows United States Army Rangers Captain John H. Miller (Tom Hanks) and his squad as they search for a paratrooper, Private First Class James Francis Ryan (Matt Damon), who is the last-surviving brother of four servicemen.
206. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) Dir. James Cameron, 137 mins.
Terminator 2 follows Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and her ten-year-old son John (Edward Furlong) as they are pursued by a new, more advanced Terminator, the liquid metal, shapeshifting T-1000 (Robert Patrick), sent back in time to kill John and prevent him from becoming the leader of the human resistance. A second, less advanced Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is also sent back in time to protect John. James Cameron delivers with state of the art effects and an exciting narrative.
205. A Prophet (2009) Dir. Jacques Audiard, 155 mins.
The film stars Tahar Rahim in the title role as an imprisoned petty criminal of Algerian origins who rises in the inmate hierarchy, becoming an assassin and drug trafficker as he initiates himself into the Corsican and then Muslim subcultures.
204. Memento (2000) Dir. Christopher Nolan, 113 mins.
The film stars Guy Pearce as Leonard Shelby, a man with anterograde amnesia which renders his brain unable to store new memories.
203. The Tree of Life (2011) Dir. Terrence Malick, 138 mins.
The first American film to win the Palme d’Or since 2004, Malick’s ambitious experimental epic chronicles the origins and meaning of life by way of a middle-aged man (Sean Penn) and his childhood memories of his family living in 1950s Texas, particularly his often difficult relationship with his father (Brad Pitt). The family drama is interspersed with imagery of the origins of the known universe and the inception of life on Earth. The film polarised critics with some considering such a philosophical work to be incomprehensible and pretentious, particularly the depiction of evolution, but when the film focuses on the drama of small town domestic life, Malick finds an emotional core, which is helped along by some fine performances and beautiful cinematography. More…
202. Eraserhead (1977) Dir. David Lynch, 89 mins.
It tells the story of Henry Spencer (Jack Nance), who is left to care for his grossly deformed child in a desolate industrial landscape. Throughout the film, Spencer experiences dreams or hallucinations, featuring his child and the Lady in the Radiator.
201. Boyhood (2014) Dir. Richard Linklater, 163 mins.
Filmed from 2002 to 2013, Boyhood depicts the childhood and adolescence of Mason Evans Jr. (Coltrane) from ages six to eighteen as he grows up in Texas with divorced parents (Arquette and Hawke).