I’ve always found that I have to understand what other people think are good movies to know how to ‘read’ their reviews. Just because someone says one movie is a must see, you have to know what else they put into that category so you know if you really have to see what they are recommending. So here is some of my favorite movies, I really can’t put them in order other than the first is my all time favorite, but the others are up there, just no great enough to dethrone the top. I’ve also included the link to the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) so you can read up, Trailer links to YouTube of the preview of the movie!

Without further ado! My picks

Léon: The Professional (1994)
Written & Directed by Luc Besson

Oh to be a hitman, Leon is one of the best. Watching this movie over and over again, it never looses it’s bite. Jean Reno vs. Gary Oldman (one of my favorite actors) mix in Natalie Portman and you couldn’t have a better cast. There are two versions of the film out there, I’ve watched both, but I prefer the US cut, the International cut dives more into the relationship with Mathilda but I guess I’ve watched the US too much that I find it overkill in the International.

[IMDb (http://www NULL.imdb NULL.com/title/tt0110413/)][Trailer (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=DcsirofJrlM&feature=player_detailpage#t=6s)]

Memento (2000)
Directed by Christopher Nolan
Written by Jonathan Nolan (short story “Memento Mori”) & Christopher Nolan (screenplay)

My first introduction to Christopher Nolan, truth be told if I had all the time in the day, I’d add all of his movies to this list as this years Inception is fantastic, but Insomnia, The Prestige and both of his Batman reboots are awesome too. Now I’m pretty sure my love of this movie comes from the fractured timeline where essentially you’re put into Leonard’s shoes with his ‘condition’ but the acting, story and direction really pull everything together.

[IMDb (http://www NULL.imdb NULL.com/title/tt0209144/)][Trailer (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=Rq9eM4ZXRgs)]

Lost Highway (1997)
Directed by David Lynch
Written by David Lynch & Barry Gifford

I’m not sure where to start on this one, I can’t really tell you what it’s about, but it’s one crazy wild, some great scenes, soundtrack and some really messed up dialog and ideas are presented here. Every time I watch it I see something I didn’t see before, but I still can’t explain what happens, and I love that about it.

[IMDb (http://www NULL.imdb NULL.com/title/tt0116922/)][Trailer (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=1nKjO9QCSic)]

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Directed by Frank Darabont
Written by Stephen King (novella) Frank Darabont (screenplay)

A heart warming story, and I think you’ll find that this movie is on a lot of different peoples top movie list, as it’s the highest rated movie on the Internet Movie Database, over the Godfather, and other classics. I actually just caught this on TV again a couple of nights ago. Because it’s set in the past, it’s really easy to watch over and over again because it doesn’t look odd or out of date. It’s one of those movies you can’t take your eyes off of, you catch it on TV and you’re stuck until it’s over.

[IMDb (http://www NULL.imdb NULL.com/title/tt0111161/)][Trailer (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=ZYSt1FjGOVA)]

Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)
Directed by Banksy

I didn’t list a writer on this because it’s a documentary, but there’s been some debate on if Banksy is pulling a fast one on everyone. It’s a great ride through the world of street art. Banksy’s work is absolutely amazing and well thought out, watching behind the scenes on how he creates it is awesome. As seen through the eyes of Mister Brainwash.

[IMDb (http://www NULL.imdb NULL.com/title/tt1587707/)][Trailer (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=4Jvr7rdovl4)]

Heat (1995)
Written & Directed by Michael Mann

Pacino, DeNiro, Michael Mann… how does this not sound awesome! What a work of art, action, drama, and quality acting backed up with impressive dialog and direction. Really close to the top of my all time list of favorite movies, just below Leon.

[IMDb (http://www NULL.imdb NULL.com/title/tt0113277/)][Trailer (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=0xbBLJ1WGwQ)]

The Transporter (2002)
Directed by Louis Leterrier & Corey Yuen
Written by Luc Besson & Robert Mark Kamen

It’s not directed by Luc Besson, but he did pen this Jason Statham action flick. Worthy of being on this list from the no-nonsense action star’s deadpan introduction as a wheel man, and then he shows off his driving skills which back up his bad ass attitude. The first chase scene is worth the price of admission alone.

[IMDb (http://www NULL.imdb NULL.com/title/tt0293662/)][Trailer (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=0poXFSvX0_4)]

The Usual Suspects (1994)
Directed by Bryan Singer
Written by Christopher McQuarrie

Who is Keyser Soze? Well the answer is one surprising ride as they round up some of the usual suspects, the characters are very well crafted and Kevin Spacey as Verbal is fully justified with the Oscar that he won for that performance.

[IMDb (http://www NULL.imdb NULL.com/title/tt0114814/)][Trailer (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=9MjV4EwR7Mg)]

The Crow (1994)
Directed by Alex Proyas
Written by James O’Barr (comic), David J. Schow (screenplay) & John Shirley (screenplay)

The sequels were not that great, but the original is fantastic. It’s sad thinking about Brandon Lee not being able to complete the film, and my interest in film making and the technology in film that first drew me to this film because even though there were not many scenes filmed with Brandon Lee, you wouldn’t know it form the final product.

[IMDb (http://www NULL.imdb NULL.com/title/tt0109506/)][Trailer (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=6UCqYrHFzdI)]

Run Lola Run (1998)
Written & Directed by Tom Tykwer

Such a crazy fast paced film, a great ride, I find myself on the edge of my seat every time I watch this movie. It’s great to essentally watch the same clips over and over again, minor changes, inching you towards the end of the film. Uncommon ways to tell a story seem to really get me.

[IMDb (http://www NULL.imdb NULL.com/title/tt0130827/)][Trailer (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=LbYk77LjDtQ)]

Pi (1998)
Directed by Darren Aronofsky
Written by Darren Aronofsky, Sean Gullette & Eric Watson

This was my first introduction to art house films. I watched this with my late father in Houston at an art house, having not known anything about the movie going into it. It was an awesome flick, a great thriller. Had I not had that experience, I would have never hit up a local art house showing of Memento.

[IMDb (http://www NULL.imdb NULL.com/title/tt0138704/)][Trailer (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=oQ1sZSCz47w)]

Irreversible (2002)
Written & Directed by Gaspar Noé

This was a tough one to put on the list, I only watched it more recently in a film class, it was so disturbing I think the teacher got a lot of heat for showing it. It’s graphic, and very intense, much like some of the others, it’s a fractured timeline movie. It’s essentially played backwards, all the scenes are played in reverse order, so you don’t know why you’re watching what you’re watching until the end. It sad, graphic and the 9 minute rape scene is virtually unwatchable, but it’s an amazing film

[IMDb (http://www NULL.imdb NULL.com/title/tt0290673/)][Trailer (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=dB2SgdDkOz0)]

The Matrix (1999)
Written & Directed by Andy Wachowski & Lana Wachowski

The sequels were a wordy abstract let down, but the original still sets a great standard in action flix that every film afterwards has copied or built on. This was also my first DVD, and I watched ever second of the extra features, hours of them, just a mind bending movie.

[IMDb (http://www NULL.imdb NULL.com/title/tt0133093/)][Trailer (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=GtqU57sR0B8)]

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