At the behest of Alex J Cavanaugh (check out his excellent blog) I somewhat reluctantly decided to take part in this Blogfest. This list is by no means definitive as I'm bound to have forgotten a few and there were so many more I'd like to mention that I'll talk about them later. So, here goes, in alphabetical order these are 12 movies that have entertained and moved me in such a way that they live long in the memory and improve with every viewing.
Be sure to check out Alex's own choices as well as Dezmond's at Hollywood Spy and Nebular's at Cinemarvellous.
Amores Perros - Mexican film which follows three separate lives as they become connected following a devastating car crash.
Violent and unpredictable this stunning tale of love, betrayal and cruelty reveals further complexity with repeated viewing. Brought Gael Garcia Bernal and Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu to the attention of Hollywood.
Apocalypto - Mel Gibson's Mayan chase movie grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go. Amazing settings and authentic language add to the experience.
Brotherhood Of The Wolf - If cinema is art then this is a masterpiece. In the year 1764 a Beast has slain 123 women and children in the French town of Gevaudan. To prevent a Peasant revolt The King sends two men to investigate. Enter Fronsac and Mani (Samuel Le Bihan and Mark Dacascos) who set out to reveal the truth no matter what the cost. This has it all, fantastic story, excellent acting, wonderful action and great characters. Visually and emotionally stunning. I urge you to see it.
Made - Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau before they (sort of) sold out to Hollywood. Following the cult success of Swingers the guys re-unite in this crime comedy caper about two wannabee gangsters sent on a mission to New York. It's the quick fire humour that makes this one stand out. Vaughn's portrayal of the constantly talking Ricky has to be seen to be believed and alongside Favreau's straight laced Bobby it works like a dream. Watch it and be amazed at the rapid fire comedy in the office scene with Peter Falk and the scene on board the plane. I catch more gags with every viewing and each time is funnier than the last.
Mine - Heart wrenching documentary following Hurricaine Katrina survivors as they struggle to be re-united with their beloved Dogs. Full of joy and despair, this is achingly moving stuff and deserves to be seen. It even helped change American Law regarding evacuation of animals.
Sling Blade - A powerhouse performance from Billy Bob Thornton as he portrays a mentally challenged man trying to adjust to life outside an institution after being incarcerated for 20 years for murder.
This is the best acting performance I have ever seen, I was amazed at the showing here from Thornton as his character faces new troubles that challenge his ability to cope.
The Bear - Jean-Jacques Annaud's mesmerising story of an oprhan bear cub's struggle for survival.
Fantastic footage here and the tale is told from the perspective of The Bear.
Unique and touching, it's a film that provides plenty of food for thought.
The Crow - The ultimate story of love and revenge as Brandon Lee's Eric Draven returns from the dead to seek out the killers of himself and his Bride - to - be.
Visually arresting and mega violent even the unfortunate accidental death of it's star couldn't stop this one being a box office hit. The film is in fact all the more poignant because of it.
The Jacket - Adrien Brody excells and Keira Knightley proves she can act in this mind bending thriller.
Elements of time travel and mental illness combine to provide a tense claustrophobic film in which Brody investigates his own death.
The Karate Kid - Everyone's favourite karate movie has stood the test of time and remains just as uplifting as it ever was.
Who wouldn't want Mr Miyagi to teach them how to best the bullies?
The Shawshank Redemption - Emotionally charged prison movie that finds us rooting for Tim Robbins even if he might be guilty.
Terrific performances all round and a captivating story with wonderful characters make this a must - see.
There you have it, 12 all time greats. I couldn't include so many films that it has made me consider doing a regular Ric Recommends post featuring some of the near misses. All movies listed are highly recommended and would score Ric's Ratings of above 90 %