It can be pretty tough to nail down a history of extravagant and revolutionizing cinema to a meager list of five. Nonetheless, it can be done and it will be done.
Despite the industry constantly changing, I wanted to throw back to some sick movies from the past years as a way to truly commemorate the wonderful community we have that connects directors with the audiences.
Without further ado, here is my condensed list of five iconic movies that YOU need to watch ASAP/pronto/grab-the-cat-and-roll-the-reel:
5. Leon: The Professional
Heck yeah. Luc Besson's earlier works, like this one and also La Femme Nikita (which is extremely similar in concept but with an older female protagonist) are his top A game. Unlike his later movies, *cough* Lucy *cough*.
This movie is outstanding for a number of reasons: the excellent cult status that young Natalie Portman has earned herself, in collaboration with Jean Reno (who was from a number of successful French movies, like the comedy Tais-Toi, which I absolutely recommend!) has formed the most adored duo in screen history. On top of that, the costuming is superb, with the teddy, pot plant, and long shot guns.
Moreover, Gary freaking Oldman, who we may know from the Dark Knight Trilogy, or Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, is absolute insanity in this film. His iconic hallway scene is one of the many climaxes in this movie.
RIGHT BEFORE HE MASSACRES THE WHOLE FAMILY OH MY DEAR LORD
On top of that, look at all the revolutionary scenes and moments that this movie has created (a.k.a. Natalie Portman's door scene). It has given the audience more hope in child actors, and it perfectly combines action with plot, and it does enough to just tip the surface of forbidden romance.
It might be a common theme for Luc Besson to portray some controversial love. I remember seeing something similar in his doppelgänger film.
4. Kingsman (2014)
The sequel has finally been announced! This movie is just fun. It gives me Mission Impossible vibes, except with a more invigorating, younger and wittier protagonist.
Initially, recommended by my brother (who is inherently a movie junkie), I did not have high expectations upon hearing its name. It sounded so bare and unnoticeable — until you watch the trailer. A mixture of edgy and fast-paced cinematography is enough to reel one in.
Pretty much the trailer sums up the pacing of the whole movie, so you won't be disappointed (with a good amount of twists, and oh man, that church scene).
Praise for the movie through one review:
Which means, the movie's almost a no-brainer, but nonetheless, super fun to bear witness and absorb in all its wonderful glory of acting, cinematography, and a solid storyline (also at one point, there are lots of dogs!).
3. The Imitation Game (2014)
A big contrast to No. 4, is The Imitation Game, directed by Morten Tyldum. It's a deeply emotional story, so if you're in the mood for that genre then this should be dominating your list.
The movie really sets you off pondering over humanity, love and sacrifice. Not going to life, I cried several times. The film is truly well crafted and well timed, and it produces nothing less than something beautiful.
Since the movie was based on a true story, It has received mixed reviews, mainly due to the discrepancies of the portrayal of Alan Turing (which some critics were offended by). However, I think the differences only enrich the story, because we are encouraged to really think about the injustices of the world back in the early 20th century that still exist now: discrimination in homosexuality, gender etc.
Moreover, the acting is absolutely splendid. Benedict Cumberbatch really seals the deal in this role, and Keira Knightly is just admirable in her's. It's the perfect amalgamation for a cozy and emotional night.
So if you're ready to be moved and learn some history. This is it.
2. Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2009, 2011)
Yes. There are two versions out there. We have the original Swedish version with Michael Nyqvist and Noomi Rapace, and the American version with Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara.
I have seen both versions, and hands down, you should watch the original Swedish adaptation. No doubt, Craig's acting was impeccable. However, I think Noomi Rapace, who played Salander in the Swedish version, faultlessly captured the character.
Considering that I've read the trilogy (as well as the fourth new installment), I acknowledge there will undoubtedly be differences in how the main characters can be portrayed. But with Salander (the female antihero) you cannot diverge much from that, and kudos to Rapace for doing it justice.
The movie is intense, there are several scenes which are overtly graphic (sexual abuse), and it's just incredibly raw and disturbing to be reminded of that aspect of humanity. Nonetheless, the movie perfectly encapsulates a psychological thriller, with a good amount of female kick-assery.
1. Memento (2000)
Christopher Nolan has truly earned his reputation for engaging, enigmatic and unique stories, with later successes such as Inception, blowing the box offices, and blowing our minds.
Memento, one of his earlier movies, is no exception. It features Guy Pearce (who I actually saw in Melbourne, once) who suffers from amnesia and tattoos new clues on himself so he can find his wife's killer.
It's a thrilling exploration of somebody who can't form new memories, and the audience mimics the protagonist's increasing frustration as the movie progresses.
I think it's important to see this film because it's a glimpse into not only the earlier works of Nolan, but also his subsequent themes of pain and dying/dead wives (I'm not kidding, almost every single one of his films has a dead wife or love interest.
So, that's all I got for ya nasties!
Do you agree with this list? Which films would you recommend we see before we die?