In no particular order, I'll be listing the movies you should see before you die. So if you haven't seen the movie's on my list, perhaps that's what you should be doing tonight! Here are my reviews/synopsis of each movie. If you have a movie you'd like to see on this list, please feel free to comment below. Here are the first 7 on my list...
No Country for Old Men (2007)
The Cohen Brothers again, need I say more? As we know, they’re fantastic storytellers and this adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s neo-Western novel is another one of their best. Whilst out hunting in rural Texas, Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) finds the remains of several drug runners after an exchange that has clearly gone violently wrong. Rather than report his discovery, Moss decides to keep the 2 million dollars present for himself which puts the merciless killer Anton Chigurh on his trail. Javier Bardem chillingly plays Chigurh in this stand out role, with graphic violence and tense action scenes, its 2 hours of a nail-biting cat and mouse chase.
Pans Labyrinth (2006)
This film is pure Guillermo Del Toro fantasy at its best. It’s dark, it’s beautiful and it’s strange. Set in Spain in 1944 during the end of the Spanish Civil War. A recently remarried woman, Carmen, moves with her daughter Ofelia into the house of her new husband, the cold authoritarian Captain Vidal. The film intertwines reality and fairy tale though this is no children’s movie. Ofelia finds a labyrinth and within it a Faun who informs her that she is the is the reincarnation of the Princess of the Underworld before giving her three tasks to complete before the full moon in order to achieve immortality. Prepare for gut wrenching terror as we meet the Pale Man and a heartbreaking finale.
Four Lions (2010)
"My plan is, right, to put a bomb on a crow"
Directed by my personal favorite satirist in British comedy history, Chris Morris, Four Lions is an edgy black comedy. This satire centers on a group of homegrown terrorist jihadi’s from Sheffield in South Yorkshire, a group of radicalized young British men who aspire to be suicide bombers. The group consists of Omar (Riz Ahmed), who is deeply critical of Western Society; his dim witted friend Waj (Kayvan Novak), naïve Faisal (Adeel Akhtar) and Barry, a bad-tempered white man who converted to Islam. Now this may be a little tough to digest with the terror climate of the world but stay with me. As is the fashion of British humor, we like to take that which is very serious and poke fun at it and that is what Four Lions does in a dark, humorous and slightly sad way.
One of David Fincher’s masterpieces, Zodiac is the ‘true life’ story telling of the Zodiac an infamous serial killer who terrorized the San Francisco Bay area in the 1970’s. (You may have heard of him in recent times as a recent poll revealed that 38% of Floridian voters believed that Ted Cruz might actually be the Zodiac killer…yes, really.) After opening on the 1969 killing of two teens, shot to death in a parking lot, the film centers on three men obsessed with unmasking the elusive killer; Chronicle star crime reported Paul Avery (Robert Downey Jr.), young political cartoonist Robert Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal) and local detective Dave Toschi (Mark Ruffalo). Powered by a trio of staggering performances, Zodiac is a slow burner, intense and grips you from beginning to end.
In Bruges (2008)
“Maybe that’s what hell is: the entire rest of eternity spent in fuckin’ Bruges.”
Coming back with another dark comedy on the list, In Bruges centers on Irish hit-men Ray (Colin Farrell) and Ken (Brendan Gleeson) who are sent to Bruges by their employer to cool off after a hit goes wrong. Ken loves the city, finding peace in his surroundings but Ray has nothing but contempt for the place and while attempting to find something to amuse him, he runs into pretty drug dealer Chloe (Clémence Poésy) and a drug abusing racist dwarf (Jordan Prentice). I don’t want to give away too much of the plot but this is a whip-smart comedy that never loses sight of its darkness, nor its humanity.
Spirited Away (2001)
From Hayao Miyazaki, Spirited Away is a beautifully crafted Japanese masterpiece that received unprecedented international distribution and as a result it could be argued, made Anime movies more accessible to the Western world. The protagonist is ten year old Chihiro, her parents having been turned into pigs she is forced to work in a bathhouse for a witch until she can find a way to turn them back into humans. Featuring a colorful cast of characters; gods, monsters, spirits and deities, Chihiro is forced to grow up very quickly whilst dealing with the trial and tribulations of the bath house and rescue those she loves all while we are treated to the stunning visuals Studio Ghibli are so famous for.
The Big Lebowski (1998)
Here is the second Cohen Brothers movie on my list and I can’t promise that there won’t be more (these guys are fantastic storytellers). Jeff Bridges plays Jeff ‘The Dude’ Lebowski, a laid back easy going slacker who happens to have the same last name as a millionaire who’s wife owes a lot of money to some dangerous people. Tasked with finding Lebowski’s missing wife, The Dude soon finds himself and his bowling buddies Walter and Donny (played by John Goodman and Steve Buscemi) thrown into LA’s seedy underworld. A complete flop at the Box Office at the time of its release, The Big Lebowski has since become a cult classic. Noted for its idiosyncratic characters, dream sequences and unconventional dialogue, it’s since been garnered to be of "cultural, historical, or aesthetic significance" by the National Film Registry.
Ok that’s part one, what are your favourite movies? Which ones do you think should make the list? Please comment below!