40) 500 Days of Summer (2009)
For years, romantic comedies came and came and came, and in the process, they got really bad, and never seemed to figure themselves out. We dare say that 500 Days of Summer is the greatest of them all. For once, a movie properly tapped into the ups, downs, and confusions of modern love. It’s bitter, it’s sweet, and it’s everything in between. And it has a hell of a soundtrack.
39) Inside Out (2015)
Inside Out is the most recent film on our list. It may seem premature to ascribe such greatness to a film so early in its lifespan, but we happen to think it’s just that great. And we think that time will share the same verdict. While many manipulative movies from our youth like Bambi and The Land Before Time tried to force us to grow up by traumatizing us (no resentment there, clearly), Inside Out explores change and adolescence in the best way possible – with humour and heart.
38) Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
If not for The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek would not be what it is. The original series was not hugely watched, and the first film was a bore. This time, they got it right. Really right! William Shatner has never been better (and certainly never will be again), and our heartstrings have never been deeper pierced than by Leonard Nimoy’s climactic proclamation: “I have been, and always will be, your friend. ” Anyone have a tissue?
37) Almost Famous (2000)
Every Cameron Crowe film is, in its own way, about romance and rock & roll, and his romance with rock & roll. So call Almost Famous his Sgt. Pepper of rock operas. It’s his greatest film, and that may be because it’s his most personal. And we’re still confused about how Kate Hudson didn’t win an Oscar for her role.
36) King Kong (1933)
At the time, the visual effects were unprecedented, which is probably enough to make some Millennials laugh. But there is still an instilled innocence to the whole thing. There’s so much money and so much saturation in “big cinema” nowadays, movie magic has almost become a dying concept. The original King Kong is a hoot, but it also makes us nostalgic for the days of the Hollywood dream factory, when our eyes were so awed, it almost made us laugh.
35) Predator (1987)
Yes, it’s true – Predator is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s greatest film. A little passed-over at the time of its release, the film has gotten its dues and grown in popularity over the years, and now stands today as one of the signature action movies of all time. As far as one-on-one battles go, we’ll take Arnie vs. Predator over UFC any day.
34) The Godfather Part II (1974)
As long as corruption and power remain society’s most destructive vices, the Godfather films will never NOT be relevant. The plotting is elliptical and the sweep is invigorating, making our second look at the Corleone family (almost) as intoxicating as the first.
33) Unforgiven (1992)
It’s like Clint Eastwood lived four decades of Western fun and ended it all by saying, “The old west was a terrible place.” At once harsh and eloquent, Unforgiven may be the 90s most profound statement about the nature of violence and revenge.
32) Notorious (1946)
The most famous Hitchcock movie that isn’t really a famous Hitchcock movie. It’s also one of his very best. Ingrid Bergman and Carey Grant have unmatched chemistry as a spy and a civilian who infiltrate the house of an escaped Nazi in Brazil. At once suspenseful and sensually romantic, Notorious influenced spy films forever, and barely anyone noticed.
31) A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Directed with assurance and filled with the cynicism, paranoia, visual flair (and lurid titillation) that characterised so much of Stanley Kurbrick’s work, this is not classic cinema for the glowingly deprived, it’s just classic.