Category Archives: Other Lists

The 15 Best Episodes of FORENSIC FILES

I’ve never seen BREAKING BAD, MAD MEN or GAME OF THRONES but I have seen all 400+ episodes of FORENSIC FILES. My contribution to “quarantine culture” is this carefully curated list of my 15 favorite episodes. I hope this comes in handy for anyone looking for something to binge watch:

forensic

15. WATER LOGGED (Season 14, Episode 11)
An Ohio woman takes her teenage daughters on vacation to Florida but they never return home. This is, for my money, the most horrific of all FF episodes and the only one that I can’t bear to rewatch. The details of how these women were murdered are burned into my brain, however, and it therefore deserves a place on this list. Also fascinating is the way the police end up capturing the killer: by posting a suspect’s handwriting on a billboard.

14. INVISIBLE INTRUDER (Season 4, Episode 1)
The Darlie Routier case is famous – she was found guilty of stabbing her 5 and 6-year-old sons to death with a butcher knife and staging the crime scene to look like it was the work of an intruder. Some people still believe Darlie is innocent but the forensics suggest otherwise. What really makes this case interesting to contemplate though is simply trying to fathom her motive.

13. A VOICE FROM BEYOND (Season 5, Episode 4)
This classic episode – about the discovery of a mummified corpse (with a fetus inside of it) stuffed in a barrel in the crawl space of a New York home – is one of the most satisfying from an actual scientific point-of-view. The solution to the mystery points to a tragic 30-year-old love triangle and stretches all the way to El Savador.

12. FAMILY TIES (Season 13, Episode 5)
A college student who is deep in debt kills his father with an ax for some inheritance money. This episode is compelling as a portrait of a young, upper-class psychopath but what really makes it memorable are the disturbing details of how, before dying, the father regained consciousness and, apparently unaware of his mortal wounds, went outside to fetch a newspaper.

11. SIGN OF THE ZODIAC (Season 8, Episode 25)
The New York Zodiac killer, not the San Francisco one! Heriberto Seda terrorized NYC for six years in the ‘90s, killing, at random, three people and wounding five others – all the while mailing taunting letters to the New York Post. The most chilling aspect of this case is how Seda’s claims that his victims would all belong to different astrological signs turned out to be both true and impossible to explain.

10. A BITTER PILL TO SWALLOW (Season 7, Episode 18)
A pregnant woman suspects that her fiancé, a handsome young doctor, has been poisoning her in order to induce a miscarriage. So she decides to take the law into her own hands by making a secret video recording of him fixing her a drink. Much like BAD BLOOD (see #1 on this list), this episode excels by giving viewers a feisty heroine to root for.

9. SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED (Season 10, Episode 25)
Three young men in Alaska go for a joyride and intentionally shoot and kill a random passenger in another car. One of the men turns state witness and testifies against his buddies in exchange for immunity but this leads to even more tragic consequences. This crazy episode unfolds like an overly plot twist-filled novel.

8. STRANGER IN THE NIGHT (Season 13, Episode 11)
An elderly woman is stabbed to death with a screwdriver in her Delaware home. Suspicion falls on her son who tells the police an unbelievable story about meeting and getting into a fight with the killer, a total stranger to him, earlier that same night. A darkly ironic episode that must be seen to be believed.

7. THE LIST MURDERS (Season 1, Episode 12)
John List was a devoutly religious accountant who murdered his mother, wife and three children then lived under a new identity for 18 years before being caught. That he was apprehended due to the work of a forensic artist who sculpted an accurate clay bust of his aged appearance is one of the most satisfying conclusions to any FF episode.

6. BAD MEDICINE (Season 9, Episode 8)
The enormously entertaining “Bad Medicine” tells the story of Anthony Pignataro, a bad plastic surgeon (and inventor of the “snap-on toupee!”) who accidentally kills a patient during breast-augmentation surgery. After doing six months in prison for negligent homicide, Pignataro, like some pathetic anti-hero in a Coen brothers’ movie, concocts an outrageous plan to exonerate himself and get his medical license back.

5. TRANSACTION FAILED (Season 12, Episode 6)
FORENSIC FILES frequently deals with the collision between good and bad people but the contrast in this episode is so extreme that it lifts the episode into the realm of the philosophical: Dianey Tilly was a teacher and founder of a school for troubled youth who was nicknamed “the miracle worker.” She meets her death at the hands of a 15-year-old girl (exactly the kind of person Tilly had dedicated her life to helping) and her monster of a father. The story’s heartbreaking conclusion should serve as a kind of Rorschach test for the beliefs of each individual viewer.

4. DEATH PLAY (Season 6, Episode 5)
No one could script anything this rich: a 16-year-old girl poisons her father and would have gotten away with it scot-free except that, a year later, while listening to her best friend recite Claudius’ lines from Shakespeare’s HAMLET, she is provoked into making a spontaneous confession. This episode features witty, salient commentary by Texas Monthly editor Skip Hollandsworth (who would go on to co-write Richard Linklater’s BERNIE).

3. THE WILSON MURDER (Season 1, Episode 8)
The first true FF masterpiece involves a pair of twin sisters in Alabama who are charged with the murder of one of their husbands. Testifying at both trials is an elementary school janitor / bargain-basement hitman whose testimony seems to be unreliable. Fans of “whodunits” will love this for the colorful, eccentric characters and the way it’s impossible to know for sure what really happened.

2. LAST WILL (Season 8, Episode 7)
A lot of the best FF episodes succeed in being either sad or scary. The heart-wrenching “Last Will,” by virtue of having the highest combined average of both of these qualities, is in many ways the ultimate episode of the show. It’s about a teenaged girl who is kidnapped in broad daylight and the sadistic abductor who allows her to write a will that he then mails to her parents after killing her.

1. BAD BLOOD (Season 6, Episode 18)
This Canadian-set episode is endlessly rewatchable: a doctor who drugged and raped one of his patients in the hospital where he works gets away with it initially by inserting a tube of someone else’s blood into his own arm(!), thus allowing him to pass a series of DNA tests. His accuser, a woman identified only as “Candy” (who proves to be a fantastic interview subject), doggedly pursues her claim for years, going so far as to hire a private detective to obtain the doc’s DNA through surreptitious means. Candy is my hero.


My Student Tomato-Meter: 2019 Edition

soup bath

The Fall semester just began, which means it’s that time of year when I post my updated “student tomato-meter” showing the aggregated results of the ratings — on a scale from one-to-10 — that my students have given to every movie I’ve shown in my film studies classes dating back to the Spring 2009 semester. I’ve now taught 124 classes and shown a total of 504 unique movies. Below is a list of all the films I’ve screened to date, presented in chronological order by release date, along with the average ratings given by my students. My goal as a teacher is to show at least one movie by every great director who ever lived. Please scan the list below and feel free tell me in the comments section who you think I might be missing.

Les Vampires (Feuillade, France, 1915-16) – 7
Sherlock Holmes (Berthelet, USA, 1915) – 4.3
Broken Blossoms (Griffith, USA, 1919) – 5.9
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Wiene, Germany, 1920) – 6.9
Within Our Gates (Micheaux, USA, 1920) – 6.7
The Golem (Wegener/Boese, Germany, 1920) – 6
The Phantom Carriage (Sjostrom, Sweden, 1921) – 7.4
Nosferatu (Murnau, Germany, 1922) – 6.8
Safety Last! (Newmeyer/Taylor, 1923) – 8.4
Our Hospitality (Keaton, USA, 1923) – 8.2
Greed (Von Stroheim, USA, 1923) – 6.9
Coeur Fidele (Epstein, France, 1923) – 5.2
Sherlock Jr. (Keaton, USA, 1924) – 8
The Hands of Orlac (Wiene, Germany, 1924) – 6.2
Waxworks (Leni, Germany, 1924) – 5.1
The Freshman (Newmeyer/Taylor, USA, 1925) – 8.3
Seven Chances (Keaton, USA, 1925) – 8.2
The Gold Rush (Chaplin, USA, 1925) – 8.1
The Navigator (Keaton, USA, 1925) – 8.1
The Last Laugh (Murnau, Germany, 1925) – 6.6
Battleship Potemkin (Eisenstein, Soviet Union, 1925) – 5.1
The General (Keaton, USA, 1926) – 8.3
Faust (Murnau, Germany, 1926) – 6.9
Secrets of a Soul (Pabst, Germany, 1926) – 6.6
Sunrise (Murnau, USA, 1927) – 7
Metropolis (Lang, Germany, 1927) – 6.6
Hindle Wakes (Elvey, UK, 1927) – 6.6
The End of St. Petersburg (Pudovkin, Soviet Union, 1927) – 5
The Fall of the Romanov Dynasty (Shub, Soviet Union, 1927) – 4
The Docks of New York (Von Sternberg, USA, 1928) – 8.4
Speedy (Wilde, USA, 1928) – 7.5
The Crowd (Vidor, USA, 1928) – 7.4
The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer, France, 1928) – 7
Lonesome (Fejos, USA, 1928) – 6.7
A Cottage on Dartmoor (Asquith, UK, 1929) – 8.3
Lucky Star (Borzage, USA, 1929) – 8.1
Asphalt (May, Germany, 1929) – 6.8
Man with the Movie Camera (Vertov, Soviet Union, 1929) – 6.2
City Girl (Murnau, USA, 1930) – 6.7
L’age D’or (Bunuel, France, 1930) – 6.6
People on Sunday (Siodmak/Ulmer, Germany, 1930) – 5.2
Earth (Dovzhenko, Soviet Union, 1930) – 3.6
City Lights (Chaplin, USA, 1931) – 8.5
M (Lang, Germany, 1931) – 8
Madchen in Uniform (Sagan/Froelich, Germany, 1931) – 7.1
Freaks (Browning, USA, 1932) – 7.2
Vampyr (Dreyer, Denmark/Germany, 1932) – 6.9
The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (Lang, Germany, 1933) – 7.6
Duck Soup (McCarey, USA, 1933) – 6.8
It Happened One Night (Capra, USA, 1934) – 8.5
The Goddess (Wu, China, 1934) – 7.6
L’atalante (Vigo, France, 1934) – 6.8
Top Hat (Sandrich, USA, 1935) – 8.6
My Man Godfrey (La Cava, USA, 1936) – 8.5
Modern Times (Chaplin, USA, 1936) – 8
Redes (Muriel/Zinneman, Mexico, 1936) – 6.9
The Awful Truth (McCarey, USA, 1937) – 8.3
Grand Illusion (Renoir, France, 1937) – 7
Bringing Up Baby (Hawks, USA, 1938) – 8.2
The Lady Vanishes (Hitchcock, UK, 1938) – 8.1
Holiday (Cukor, USA, 1938) – 7.9
Alexander Nevsky (Eisenstein, Soviet Union, 1938) – 5
Midnight (Liesen, USA, 1939) – 8.7
The Roaring Twenties (Walsh, USA, 1939) – 8.2
Only Angels Have Wings (Hawks, USA, 1939) – 8.2
Stagecoach (Ford, USA, 1939) – 7.7
The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum (Mizoguchi, Japan, 1939) – 7.4
The Rules of the Game (Renoir, France, 1939) – 7
His Girl Friday (Hawks, USA, 1940) – 8.3
The Grapes of Wrath (Ford, USA, 1940) – 7.9
The Shop Around the Corner (Lubitsch, USA, 1940) – 7.4
The Lady Eve (Sturges, USA, 1941) – 8.2
Citizen Kane (Welles, USA, 1941) – 8
How Green Was My Valley (Ford, USA, 1941) – 7.8
The Strawberry Blonde (Walsh, USA, 1941) – 7.6
The Maltese Falcon (Huston, USA, 1941) – 6.9
Casablanca (Curtiz, USA, 1942) – 8.4
The Palm Beach Story (Sturges, USA, 1942) – 7.5
Aniki Bobo (De Oliveira, Portugal, 1942) – 7.2
Cat People (Tourneur, USA, 1942) – 6
The More the Merrier (Stevens, USA, 1943) – 8.3
I Walked with a Zombie (Tourneur, USA, 1943) – 6
Ossessione (Visconti, Italy, 1943) – 5.2
Meet Me in St. Louis (Minnelli, 1944) – 8.2
Double Indemnity (Wilder, USA, 1944) – 8.1
The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (Sturges, USA, 1944) – 8
To Have and Have Not (Hawks, USA, 1944) – 7.5
Murder My Sweet (Dmytryk, USA, 1944) – 7
Brief Encounter (Lean, UK, 1945) – 7.8
Detour (Ulmer, USA, 1945) – 7.3
Rome, Open City (Rossellini, Italy, 1945) – 7.2
Notorious (Hitchcock, USA, 1946) – 8.5
The Best Years of Our Lives (Wyler, USA, 1946) – 8.4
My Darling Clementine (Ford, USA, 1946) – 7.5
The Big Sleep (Hawks, USA, 1946) – 6
Dead Reckoning (Cromwell, USA, 1947) – 8.2
Body and Soul (Rossen, USA, 1947) – 7.6
Out of the Past (Tourneur, USA, 1947) – 7.6
The Lady from Shanghai (Welles, USA, 1947) – 7.5
Pursued (Walsh, USA, 1947) – 7.1
Black Narcissus (Powell/Pressburger, UK, 1947) – 7.1
La Perla (Fernandez, Mexico, 1947) – 6.5
Letter from an Unknown Woman (Ophuls, USA, 1948) – 8.8
Rope (Hitchcock, USA, 1948) – 8.7
The Red Shoes (Powell/Pressburger, UK, 1948) – 8.3
Bicycle Thieves (de Sica, Italy 1948) – 7.9
Call Northside 777 (Hathaway, USA, 1948) – 7.5
Germany Year Zero (Rossellini, Italy/Germany, 1948) – 7.5
Fort Apache (Ford, USA, 1948) – 7.5
Spring in a Small Town (Fei, China, 1948) – 6.7
A Letter to Three Wives (Mankiewicz, USA, 1949) – 8.4
White Heat (Walsh, USA, 1949) – 8.3
The Third Man (Reed, UK, 1949) – 8
Jour de Fete (Tati, France, 1949) – 7.8
On the Town (Donen/Kelly, USA, 1949) – 7.4
Late Spring (Ozu, Japan, 1949) – 7.2
Sunset Boulevard (Wilder, USA, 1950) – 8.8
Los Olvidados (Bunuel, Mexico, 1950) – 7.6
Devil’s Doorway (Mann, USA, 1950) – 7.3
Union Station (Mate, USA, 1950) – 7.3
Stromboli (Rossellini, Italy, 1950) – 6.3
The African Queen (Huston, USA, 1951) – 8.3
An American in Paris (Minnelli, USA, 1951) – 8.2
On Dangerous Ground (Ray, USA, 1951) – 7.5
Singin’ in the Rain (Donen/Kelly, USA, 1952) – 9
Umberto D. (De Sica, Italy, 1952) – 6.8
The Big Heat (Lang, USA, 1953) – 8.5
Pickup on South Street (Fuller, USA, 1953) – 8.2
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Hawks, USA, 1953) – 8.2
Mr. Hulot’s Holiday (Tati, France, 1953) – 8.1
The Band Wagon (Minnelli, USA, 1953) – 7.9
Strangers on a Train (Hitchcock, USA, 1953) – 7.8
The Hitch-Hiker (Lupino, USA, 1953) – 7.7
City That Never Sleeps (Auer, USA, 1953) – 7.3
The Naked Spur (Mann, USA, 1953) – 7
Tokyo Story (Ozu, Japan, 1953) – 6.7
Ugetsu (Mizoguchi, Japan, 1953) – 6.7
Rear Window (Hitchcock, USA, 1954) – 8.8
Seven Samurai (Kurosawa, Japan, 1954) – 8.3
French Cancan (Renoir, France, 1954) – 8.2
Sansho the Bailiff (Mizoguchi, Japan, 1954) – 7
The Night of the Hunter (Laughton, 1955) – 9.1
All That Heaven Allows (Sirk, USA, 1955) – 8
Artists and Models (Tashlin, USA, 1955) – 7.8
Kiss Me Deadly (Aldrich, USA, 1955) – 7.2
Pather Panchali (Ray, India, 1955) – 6.4
A Man Escaped (Bresson, France, 1956) – 8.1
The Searchers (John Ford, USA, 1956) – 7.4
Bigger Than Life (N. Ray, USA, 1956) – 6.8
Aparajito (Ray, India, 1956) – 6.6
An Affair to Remember (McCarey, USA, 1957) – 8
Vertigo (Hitchcock, USA, 1958) – 8.8
Some Came Running (Minnelli, USA, 1958) – 7.9
Mon Oncle (Tati, France, 1958) – 7.9
Big Deal on Madonna Street (Monicelli, Italy, 1958) – 7.7
Touch of Evil (Welles, USA, 1958) – 7.5
Cairo Station (Chahine, Egypt, 1958) – 7
Ashes and Diamonds (Wajda, Poland, 1958) – 7
Throne of Blood (Kurosawa, Japan, 1958) – 5.9
Some Like It Hot (Wilder, USA, 1959) – 9
Anatomy of a Murder (Preminger, USA, 1959) – 8.9
North By Northwest (Hitchcock, USA, 1959) – 8.7
The 400 Blows (Truffaut, France, 1959) – 8.3
Rio Bravo (Hawks, USA, 1959) – 8
Pickpocket (Bresson, France, 1959) – 7.3
Hiroshima Mon Amour (Resnais, France, 1959) – 6.8
Psycho (Hitchcock, USA, 1960) – 8.7
When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (Naruse, Japan, 1960) – 8.1
Les Bonnes Femmes (Chabrol, France, 1960) – 8
Eyes Without a Face (Franju, France, 1960) – 7.7
Breathless (Godard, France, 1960) – 7.7
Accatone (Pasolini, Italy, 1960) – 7.6
L’avventura (Antonioni, Italy, 1960) – 7.4
Shoot the Piano Player (Truffaut, France, 1960) – 7.1
The Housemaid (Kim, S. Korea, 1960) – 7
Viridiana (Bunuel, Spain, 1961) – 7.4
Chronicle of a Summer (Rouch/Morin, France, 1961) – 6.9
Last Year at Marienbad (Resnais, France, 1961) – 6.8
The Ladies Man (Lewis, USA, 1962) – 8.3
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (Ford, USA, 1962) – 8.3
Cleo from 5 to 7 (Varda, France, 1962) – 7.4
Vivre sa Vie (Godard, France, 1962) – 7.2
Le Doulos (Melville, France, 1962) – 7.1
Jules and Jim (Truffaut, France 1962) – 5.5
Shock Corridor (Fuller, USA, 1963) – 8.4
The Nutty Professor (Lewis, USA, 1963) – 8.4
The Executioner (Berlanga, Spain, 1963) – 8.1
Contempt (Godard, France, 1963) – 7.7
Black Sabbath (Bava, Italy, 1963) – 7.1
Le Joli Mai (Marker, France, 1963) – 6.8
8 1/2 (Fellini, Italy, 1963) – 6.5
Onibaba (Shindo, Japan, 1964) – 8
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Demy, France, 1964) – 7.7
Band of Outsiders (Godard, France, 1964) – 7.4
Dry Sumer (Erksan, Turkey, 1964) – 7.4
Pierrot le Fou (Godard, France, 1965) – 8.3
Repulsion (Polanski, UK, 1965) – 7.4
Mickey One (Penn, USA, 1965) – 6.9
Alphaville (Godard, France, 1965) – 6
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Leone, Italy, 1966) – 8.8
Black Girl (Sembene, Senegal, 1967) – 7.8
Daisies (Chytilova, Czechoslovakia, 1966) – 7.2
Point Blank (Boorman, USA, 1966) – 7
The Pornographers (Imamura, Japan, 1966) – 6.9
Persona (Bergman, Sweden, 1966) – 6.4
The Graduate (Nichols, USA, 1967) – 8.8
The Young Girls of Rochefort (Demy, France, 1967) – 8.6
Play Time (Tati, France, 1967) – 8.2
The Firemen’s Ball (Forman, Czechoslovakia, 1967) – 8
Le Samourai (Melville, France, 1967) – 7.9
Branded to Kill (Suzuki, Japan, 1967) – 7.8
Bonnie and Clyde (Penn, USA, 1967) – 7.5
Don’t Look Back (Pennebaker, USA, 1967) – 7.4
La Collectionneuse (Rohmer, France, 1967) – 7
David Holzman’s Diary (McBride, USA, 1967) – 6.9
Dragon Inn (Hu, Taiwan, 1967) – 6.5
Rosemary’s Baby (Polanski, USA, 1968) – 8.3
Night of the Living Dead (Romero, USA, 1958) – 7.8
High School (Wiseman, USA, 1968) – 7.7
2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, USA, 1968) – 7.6
Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach (Straub/Huillet, Germany, 1968) – 5.3
The Wild Bunch (Peckinpah, USA, 1969) – 8.1
The Unfaithful Wife (Chabrol, France, 1969) – 7.9
My Night at Maud’s (Rohmer, France, 1969) – 7.8
Inquiring Nuns (Quinn, USA, 1969) – 7.1
Medium Cool (Wexler, USA, 1969) – 7
Antonio das Mortes (Rocha, Brazil, 1969) – 5.2
The Red Circle (Melville, France, 1970) – 8.4
Le Boucher (Chabrol, France, 1970) – 7.5
La Rupture (Chabrol, France, 1970) – 7
Wanda (Loden, USA, 1970) – 6
The Emigrants (Troell, Sweden, 1971) – 8.8
A New Leaf (May, USA, 1971) – 8.2
Two-Lane Blacktop (Hellman, USA, 1971) – 7.7
McCabe and Mrs. Miller (Altman, USA, 1971) – 6.9
Minnie and Moskowitz (Cassavetes, USA, 1971) – 5.2
The Godfather (Coppola, USA, 1972) – 9.4
The New Land (Troell, Sweden, 1972) – 8.8
Love in the Afternoon (Rohmer, France, 1972) – 7.8
Solaris (Tarkovsky, Russia, 1972) – 6.9
The Men Who Made the Movies: Howard Hawks (Shickel, USA, 1973)
American Graffiti (Lucas, USA, 1973) – 8.8
The Exorcist (Friedkin, USA, 1973) – 8.1
The Long Goodbye (Altman, USA, 1973) – 8
The Sting (Hill, USA, 1973) – 7.9
Badlands (Malick, 1973) – 7.6
The Mother and the Whore (Eustache, France, 1973) – 7.4
The Spirit of the Beehive (Erice, 1973) – 7.4
Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (Fassbinder, Germany, 1973) – 7.2
Touki Bouki (Mambety, Senegal, 1973) – 6.8
Blazing Saddles (Brooks, USA, 1974) – 8.4
Chinatown (Polanski, USA, 1974) – 8.2
Black Christmas (Clark, Canada, 1974) – 8.2
Young Frankenstein (Brooks, USA, 1974) – 7.6
Celine and Julie Go Boating (Rivette, France, 1974) – 6.8
The Irony of Fate: Or Enjoy Your Bath! (Ryazanov, Russia, 1975) – 8.5
Cooley High (Schultz, USA, 1975) – 8
Night Moves (Penn, USA, 1975) – 7.4
Grey Gardens (Maysles/Maysles, USA, 1975) – 4.2
Insiang (Brocka, Philippines, 1976) – 8.7
Taxi Driver (Scorsese, USA, 1976) – 8.2
In the Realm of the Senses (Oshima, Japan, 1976) – 6.9
Mikey and Nicky (May, USA, 1976) – 6.4
Annie Hall (Allen, USA, 1977) – 6.6
House (Obayashi, Japan, 1977) – 6.4
One Way Boogie Woogie (Benning, USA, 1977) – 5
A Wedding (Altman, USA, 1978) – 8.4
Halloween (Carpenter, USA, 1978) – 8.3
The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (Lau, Hong Kong, 1978) – 8.3
Dawn of the Dead (Romero, USA, 1978) – 7.8
Days of Heaven (Malick, USA, 1978) – 7.3
Killer of Sheep (Burnett, USA, 1979) – 7.8
The Blues Brothers (Landis, USA, 1980) – 8.9
Raging Bull (Scorsese, USA, 1980) – 8.3
The Shining (Kubrick, USA, 1980) – 8.2
Melvin and Howard (Demme, USA, 1980) – 7
Popeye (Altman, USA, 1980) – 5.2
Thief (Mann, USA, 1981) – 8.5
An American Werewolf in London (Landis, USA/UK, 1981) – 8.3
Body Heat (Kasdan, USA, 1981) – 8
Possession (Zulawski, France/Germany, 1981) – 7.9
The Road Warrior (Miller, Australia, 1981) – 7.5
Trances (El Maanouni, Morocco, 1981) – 6.2
The Thing (Carpenter, USA, 1982) – 8
Blade Runner (Scott, USA, 1982) – 7.6
The Slumber Party Massacre (Jones, USA, 1982) – 6.8
Rock in Reykjavik (Fridriksson, Iceland, 1982) – 6.3
A Nos Amours (Pialat, France, 1983) – 8.5
Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (Oshima, Japan, 1983) – 8
Sans Soleil (Marker, France, 1983) – 6.2
Stranger Than Paradise (Jarmusch, USA, 1984) – 6.2
Vagabond (Varda, France, 1985) – 7.4
After Hours (Scorsese, USA, 1985) – 6.7
The Fly (Cronenberg, Canada/USA, 1986) – 8
Bad Blood (Carax, France, 1986) – 7.1
The Green Ray (Rohmer, France, 1986) – 6.1
The Dead (Huston, USA/UK, 1987) – 7.8
The Thin Blue Line (Morris, USA, 1988) – 7.7
A Short Film About Love (Kieslowski, Poland, 1988) – 7.7
Time of the Gypsies (Kusturica, Yugoslavia, 1988) – 7
A Short Film About Killing (Kieslowski, Poland, 1988) – 6.9
Drugstore Cowboy (Van Sant, USA, 1989) – 8.2
Do the Right Thing (Lee, USA, 1989) – 7.6
Goodfellas (Scorsese, USA, 1990) – 9
King of New York (Ferrara, USA, 1990) – 8.9
House Party (Hudlin, USA, 1990) – 6.7
Defending Your Life (Brooks, USA, 1991) – 8.5
To Sleep with Anger (Burnett, USA, 1991) – 8.4
The Lovers on the Bridge (Carax, France, 1991) – 8
Close-Up (Kiarostami, Iran, 1991) – 7.6
Slacker (Linklater, USA, 1991) – 7
Basic Instinct (Verhoeven, USA, 1992) – 9
Unforgiven (Eastwood, USA, 1992) – 8.6
Deep Cover (Duke, USA, 1992) – 8.3
The Player (Altman, USA, 1992) – 8.2
Candyman (Rose, USA, 1992) – 7.3
The Long Day Closes (Davies, UK, 1992) – 4.7
The Fugitive (Davis, USA 1993) – 9
The Piano (Campion, New Zealand, 1993) – 8.4
Dazed and Confused (Linklater, USA, 1993) – 8.4
Groundhog Day (Ramis, USA, 1993) – 8.4
Sonatine (Kitano, Japan, 1993) – 8.3
Menace II Society (Hughes/Hughes, USA, 1993) – 8.3
Matinee (Dante, USA, 1993) – 8.2
Naked (Leigh, UK, 1993) – 6.3
The Bride With White Hair (Yu, Hong Kong, 1993) – 5.1
Hoop Dreams (James, USA, 1994) – 8.1
Chungking Express (Wong, Hong Kong, 1994) – 8
The Last Seduction (Dahl, USA, 1994) – 7.2
Wild Reeds (Techine, France, 1994) – 7.1
Ed Wood (Burton, USA, 1994) – 6.8
Devil in a Blue Dress (Franklin, USA, 1995) – 8.5
The Bridges of Madison County (Eastwood, USA, 1995) – 8.2
Dead Man (Jarmsuch, USA, 1995) – 8.1
The Typewriter, the Rifle and the Movie Camera (Simon, USA, 1996)
Irma Vep (Assayas, France, 1996) – 7.2
A Moment of Innocence (Makhmalbaf, Iran, 1996) – 5.8
Jackie Brown (Tarantino, USA, 1997) – 9.2
L.A. Confidential (Hanson, USA, 1997) – 8.8
Cure (Kurosawa, Japan, 1997) – 8.2
Lost Highway (Lynch, USA, 1997) – 8
Happy Together (Wong, Hong Kong, 1997) – 7
Taste of Cherry (Kiarostami, Iran, 1997) – 7.2
The Mirror (Panahi, Iran, 1997) – 5.1
The Big Lebowski (Coen/Coen, USA, 1998) – 8.7
The Last Days of Disco (Stillman, USA, 1998) – 8.4
Shattered Image (Ruiz, USA, 1998) – 6.9
The Bird People in China (Miike, Japan, 1998) – 6.6
The Hole (Tsai, Taiwan, 1998) – 5.8
Dead or Alive (Miike, Japan, 1999)
Office Space (Judge, USA, 1999) – 8.4
Peppermint Candy (Lee, S. Korea, 1999) – 8.2
Ravenous (Bird, UK/USA, 1999) – 8
Nowhere to Hide (Lee, S. Korea, 1999) – 7.6
Audition (Miike, Japan, 1999) – 7.5
Beau Travail (Denis, France/Djibouti, 1999) – 7.2
JSA: Joint Security Area (Park, S. Korea, 2000) – 8.6
High Fidelity (Frears, USA, 2000) – 8.5
Yi Yi (Yang, Taiwan, 2000) – 8.4
La Captive (Akerman, France, 2000) – 8
Dancer in the Dark (Von Trier, Denmark/Sweden, 2000) – 7.8
The Day I Became a Woman (Meshkini, Iran, 2000) – 7.6
In the Mood for Love (Wong, Hong Kong, 2000) – 7.4
Needing You (To/Wai, Hong Kong, 2000) – 7.1
Sexy Beast (Glazer, UK, 2000) – 6.9
Italian for Beginners (Scherfig, Denmark, 2000) – 6.4
The Gleaners and I (Varda, France, 2000) – 5.4
Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (Gowariker, India, 2000) – 9
The Devil’s Backbone (Del Toro, Spain/Mexico, 2001) – 8.6
Failan (Song, S. Korea, 2001) – 8.2
Mulholland Dr. (Lynch, USA, 2001) – 7.9
Avalon (Oshii, Japan/Poland, 2001) – 7.9
Fat Girl (Breillat, France, 2001) – 7
What Time Is It There? (Tsai, Taiwan, 2001) – 6.6
The Tracker (De Heer, Australia, 2002) – 7.9
Infernal Affairs (Lau/Mak, Hong Kong, 2002) – 7.8
Bollywood/Hollywood (Mehta, Canada/India, 2002) – 7.6
Far From Heaven (Haynes, USA, 2002) – 7.6
Distant (Ceylan, Turkey, 2002) – 5
Memories of Murder (Bong, S. Korea, 2003) – 8.8
Oldboy (Park, S. Korea, 2003) – 8.6
A Tale of Two Sisters (Kim, S. Korea, 2003) – 7.8
Save the Green Planet (Jang, S. Korea, 2003) – 6.9
Before Sunset (Linklater, USA/France, 2004) – 8.9
3-Iron (Kim, S. Korea, 2004) – 8.8
Moolade (Sembene, Senegal, 2004) – 8.1
The Island of Black Mor (Laguionie, France, 2004) – 8.1
The Holy Girl (Martel, Argentina, 2004) – 6.9
Dumplings (Chan, Hong Kong, 2004) – 6.4
Ten Skies (Benning, USA, 2004) – 4.1
A History of Violence (Cronenberg, Canada/USA, 2005) – 8.5
Grizzly Man (Herzog, USA, 2005) – 8.1
The Proposition (Hillcoat, Australia, 2005) – 8.1
The Ice Harvest (Raimis, USA, 2005) – 7.8
Three Times (Hou, Taiwan, 2005) – 7.5
Pan’s Labyrinth (Del Toro, Spain, 2006) – 9.3
The Host (Bong, S. Korea, 2006) – 8.9
Once (Carney, UK, 2006) – 8.8
Shaun of the Dead (Wright, UK, 2006) – 8.5
Black Book (Verhoeven, Holland, 2006) – 8.4
Offside (Panahi, Iran, 2006) – 8.3
A Scanner Darkly (Linklater, USA, 2006) – 8
Woman on the Beach (Hong, S. Korea, 2006) – 7.1
12:08 East of Bucharest (Poromboiu, Romania, 2006) – 6.6
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Dominik, USA, 2007) 9.6
Zodiac (Fincher, USA, 2007) – 9.1
Eastern Promises (Cronenberg, Canada/UK, 2007) – 8.7
My Winnipeg (Maddin, Canada, 2007) – 6.3
Let the Right One In (Alfredson, Sweden, 2008) – 8.7
35 Shots of Rum (Denis, France, 2008) – 7.8
Me and Orson Welles (Linklater, USA, 2008) – 7.6
Happy-Go-Lucky (Leigh, UK, 2008) – 7.2
The Headless Woman (Martel, Argentina, 2008) – 6.1
The Hurt Locker (Bigelow, USA, 2008) – 9.4
3 Idiots (Hirani, India, 2009) – 8.5
The House of the Devil (West, USA, 2009) – 8.1
Change Nothing (Costa, Portugal/France, 2009) – 6
Shutter Island (Scorsese, USA, 2010) – 9.5
The Social Network (Fincher, USA, 2010) – 8.5
Certified Copy (Kiarostami, Italy/France, 2010) – 8.5
Another Year (Leigh, UK, 2010) – 8.1
The Ghost Writer (Polanski, Germany/France, 2010) – 8.02
The Hunter (Pitts, Iran, 2010) – 6.75
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Weerasethakul, Thailand, 2010) – 6.6
Audrey the Trainwreck (Ross, USA, 2010) – 6.4
Bernie (Linklater, USA, 2011) – 8.9
The Skin I Live In (Amodovar, Spain, 2011) – 8.6
Drive (Refn, USA, 2011) – 8.1
Life Without Principle (To, Hong Kong, 2011) – 7.9
Midnight in Paris (Allen, USA/France, 2011) – 7.7
Le Havre (Kaurismaki, France/Finland, 2011) – 7.6
Mildred Pierce (Haynes, USA, 2011) – 7.5
This Is Not a Film (Panahi, Iran, 2011) – 7.1
Sleeping Sickness (Kohler, Germany, 2011) – 6.6
Twenty Cigarettes (Benning, USA, 2011) – 4.6
Zero Dark Thirty (Bigelow, USA, 2012) – 8.9
Frances Ha (Baumbach, USA, 2012) – 8.7
Silver Linings Playbook (Russell, USA, 2012) – 8.4
Holy Motors (Carax, France, 2012) – 8.3
Spring Breakers (Korine, USA, 2012) – 8.3
Dormant Beauty (Bellocchio, Italy, 2012) – 8.1
Barbara (Petzold, Germany, 2012) – 8
Empire Builder (Swanberg, USA, 2012) – 7.7
The Master (Anderson, USA, 2012) – 7.6
Cosmopolis (Cronenberg, Canada/Germany, 2012) – 7
The Unspeakable Act (Sallit, USA, 2012) – 6.9
A Fuckload of Scotch Tape (Grant, USA, 2012) – 6.8
Neighboring Sounds (Mendonca, Brazil, 2012) – 6.4
Tabu (Gomes, Portugal, 2012) – 6
Shoals (Bass, USA, 2012) – 5.7
Snowpiercer (Bong, S. Korea, 2013) – 9.4
Stoker (Park, USA, 2013) – 8.9
Nymphomaniac (Von Trier, Denmark/Germany, 2013) – 8.5
About Time (Curtis, UK, 2013) – 8.5
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (Takahata, Japan, 2013) – 8.2
The Grandmaster (Wong, Hong Kong/China, 2013) – 8.2
Top of the Lake (Campion/Davis, New Zealand, 2013) – 8.1
Upstream Color (Carruth, USA, 2013) – 8.1
Before Midnight (Linklater, USA, 2013) – 8
A Touch of Sin (Jia, China, 2013) – 7.9
The Wind Rises (Miyazaki, Japan, 2013) – 7.8
Jimmy P. (Desplechin, France/USA, 2013) – 7.7
Under the Skin (Glazer, UK, 2013) – 7.3
Black Box (Cone, USA, 2013) – 7.2
Gloria (Lelio, Chile, 2013) – 7.2
Contracted (England, USA, 2013) – 7
Only Lovers Left Alive (Jarmusch, USA, 2013) – 6.3
Double Play: James Benning and Richard Linklater (Klinger, USA, 2013) – 6.1
Stranger By the Lake (Guiraudie, France, 2013) – 5.7
The Girls on Liberty Street (Rangel, USA, 2013) – 5.5
Boyhood (Linklater, USA, 2014) – 9.4
The Grand Budapest Hotel (Anderson, USA, 2014) – 8.9
Actress (Greene, USA, 2014) – 8.3
Inherent Vice (Anderson, USA, 2014) – 8.3
Li’l Quinquin (Dumont, France, 2014) – 7.9
The Babadook (Kent, Australia, 2014) – 7.7
Goodbye to Language (Godard, France, 2014) – 7.6
Heaven Knows What (Safdie/Safdie, USA, 2014) – 7.5
Buzzard (Potrykus, USA, 2014) – 6.7
Wild Canaries (Levine, USA, 2014) – 6.3
Cool Apocalypse (Smith, USA, 2015)
Brooklyn (Crowley, UK, 2015) – 8.3
Thao’s Library (Van Meter, 2015) – 8.2
Mustang (Erguven, Turkey, 2015) – 8.2
Right Now, Wrong Then (Hong, S. Korea, 2015) – 8.1
Timbuktu (Sissako, Mauritania/Mali, 2015) – 7.6
Bloomin Mud Shuffle (Ross, USA, 2015) – 7.5
Tangerine (Baker, USA, 2015) – 7.5
Malaria (Shahbazi, Iran, 2016) – 8.8
The Wailing (Na, S. Korea, 2016) – 8.5
Donald Cried (Avedisian, USA, 2016) – 8.5
The Lost City of Z (Gray, USA/UK, 2016) – 7.9
Toni Erdmann (Ade, Germany, 2016) – 7.6
Aquarius (Mendonca, Brazil, 2016) – 6.6
Porto (Klinger, USA/Portugal, 2016) – 6.1
Mercury in Retrograde (Smith, USA, 2017)
Good Time (Safdie/Safdie, USA, 2017) – 8.8
Faces Places (Varda/JR, 2017) – 8.6
Signature Move (Reeder, USA, 2017) – 7.6
The Other Side of Hope (Kaurismaki, Finland, 2017) – 6.9
Rendezvous in Chicago (Smith, USA, 2018)
Burning (Lee, S. Korea, 2018) – 8
Madeline’s Madeline (Decker, USA, 2018) – 7.6
Future Language: The Dimensions of Von LMO (Felker, USA, 2018) – 7


The Best Films of the Year So Far

All of these films first screened theatrically in Chicago in the first half of 2019. I’ve linked to my original reviews where applicable and offer new thoughts on my favorite film of the year (which I haven’t written about elsewhere). Enjoy.

20. Hail Satan? (Lane, USA)
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“With unfettered access to the leaders of the group’s various nationwide chapters, including charismatic church founder Lucien Greaves, director Penny Lane crafts a deceptively simple work of political commentary that ultimately sympathizes with the Satanists as a group of merry pranksters who see their movement as a counterbalance to the repressiveness of other organized religions.” My review at Time Out Chicago here.

19. The Last Black Man in San Francisco (Talbot, USA)
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18. Infinite Football (Porumboiu, Romania)
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17. Her Smell (Perry, USA)
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16. 3 Faces (Panahi, Iran)
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15. The Nightingale (Kent, Australia)
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14. Asako I & II (Hamaguchi, Japan)
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13. Saint Frances (Thompson, USA)
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“This female-centric character study, which is shot through with compassion, insight and originality, speaks to our cultural moment in a way that other recent American movies do not.” My review for Time Out Chicago here.

12. The Wild Pear Tree (Ceylan, Turkey)
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10. (tie) Hotel By the River/Grass (Hong, S. Korea)gangbyun_hotel

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9. Hale County This Morning, This Evening (Ross, USA)Hale-County-This-Morning-This-Evening-1600x900-c-default

8. Pasolini (Ferrara, Italy/USA) – Screens at the Siskel Center from 6/21-6/27.
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7. Black Mother (Allah, USA/Jamaica)
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“As in the films of Pedro Costa, (Khalik) Allah gives a voice to the voiceless while solidifying his own unique cinematic language.” My review at Time Out Chicago here.

6. CoinCoin and the Extra-Humans (Dumont, France)
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5. The Souvenir (Hogg, UK)
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4. Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Bi, China)
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3. High Life (Denis, France/Germany)
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2. The Image Book (Godard, France/Switzerland)
the-image-book-1600x900-c-defaultIn spite of what some of his detractors think, Godard still believes in the elemental power of cinema, which is why the mesmerizing IMAGE BOOK is a more accessible work than even many of its champions would have you believe.” My review at Cine-File Chicago here.

1. Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story (Scorsese, USA)
rollingthunderMartin Scorsese revisits one of Bob Dylan’s most celebrated tours, 1975’s Rolling Thunder Revue, repurposing footage from the Bard of Minnesota’s own wild, self-directed 1978 film Renaldo & Clara and turning it into a fantasia about, in poet Anne Waldman’s words, “America’s search for redemption” (most evident in the scenes involving Rubin “Hurricane” Carter and the Tuscarora Indian Reservation). An overwhelming sensorial and emotional experience and, for my money, Scorsese’s best film of the 21st century. Also, no offense, but if you felt “duped” by the (hilarious) fictional elements in this, you are an idiot.


31 Days of Horror!

My wife Jillian and I recently completed a “31 days of horror” challenge in which we watched 31 scary movies in 31 days. We each picked roughly half of the films on the list and tried to focus on watching stuff we’d never seen before. Below are brief, informal reviews of the films that I originally posted on Facebook. They are ranked from favorite to least favorite and I affixed a letter grade to each. I hope this list comes in handy to anyone hoping to do a 31-days-of-horror challenge next year!

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1. NIGHT OF THE DEMON (Jacques Tourneur, UK, 1957): A+
Jacques Tourneur (CAT PEOPLE, OUT OF THE PAST) was a master of cinema and this late entry in his filmography is one of his best. Dana Andrews is a skeptical American professor who travels to England to attend a parapsychology conference and ends up investigating a Satanic cult led by an Aleister Crowley-like figure. Chock-full of remarkable noir-ish visuals and almost unbearably suspenseful set pieces from beginning to end. A masterpiece.

2. SUSPIRIA (Dario Argento, Italy, 1978): A
The most famous of all Italian horror films centers on an American girl arriving at a ballet school in Germany and discovering that it’s run by a coven of witches! There are startling images galore (maggots, a room full of razor wire, attacks by a rabid dog and a bat, etc.) but it’s the bold, stylized color and lighting schemes that truly give this beautiful and surreal film the illogical, uncanny feeling of a nightmare. I’d never seen it before and I’m glad my first time was with the new 4K restoration. Recommended by David Hanley.

3. THE BODY SNATCHER (Val Lewton/Robert Wise, USA, 1945): A
This is what I’m talking about! Boris Karloff is a carriage driver in 18th-century Scotland who provides cadavers — by any means necessary — to a medical school in exchange for cash. The interesting thing is that Karloff’s character, a very charismatic murderer, isn’t the villain. The stick-in-the-mud doctor running the school (who has a “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy about where the bodies come from) is. Great script and performances and stylish cinematography. The scene between Karloff and Bela Lugosi (reuniting 11 years after Edgar Ulmer’s masterpiece THE BLACK CAT) is an all-timer. So much fun.

4. THE ENTITY (Sidney Furie, USA, 1982): A
This was straight-up the scariest movie of the 31 that Jill and I watched. It’s about a single mother of three who is repeatedly sexually assaulted by an invisible presence in her own home. The attack sequences, accompanied by what sounds like an industrial version of the PSYCHO shower theme, are horrifying. Director Sidney Furie gets a lot of mileage from showing the incursion of evil into a totally banal suburban California setting, and Barbara Hershey’s lead performance is incredible.

5. WITCHFINDER GENERAL (Michael Reeves, UK/USA, 1968): A
Wow, this was an intense and disturbing film! It features what was reportedly one of Vincent Price’s favorite roles and it’s easy to see why: Matthew Hopkins, a real-life self-appointed “witchfinder” who traveled 17th-century England torturing and killing “witches” for money, was the most evil character he ever played. Every one of Price’s line readings is amazing — the unique softness of his voice providing ironic counterpoint to the utter vileness of Hopkins’ deeds. Although not entirely historically accurate, this film nonetheless gets to the heart of the hypocrisy of witch hunts better than any film I’ve seen (aside from Dreyer’s DAY OF WRATH).

6. NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (George Romero, USA, 1968): A
I hadn’t watched this in over 20 years so it was a real pleasure to see it again in MoMA’s beautiful new restoration (which George Romero oversaw shortly before his death). Very few popular subgenres descend so definitively from a single movie the way the “zombie film” does from this one. Such a lively piece of filmmaking and such a powerful allegory for American unrest during the Vietnam War and Civil Rights era. The occasionally stilted acting by a cast of unknowns only enhances both the realism and the horror.

7. THE WICKER MAN (Robin Hardy, UK, 1975): A-
A police inspector travels to a remote Scottish Isle in search of a missing girl but the inhabitants are less than forthcoming and nothing is what it seems! I had never seen this much beloved British “folk horror” film before – nor, thankfully, knew any details of the plot – but immediately got what all the fuss was about. Christopher Lee FTW. Recommended by Natalya Oshurkova.

8. THE UNINVITED (Lewis Allen, USA, 1944): A-
Great, atmospheric ghost story set in the UK but made in Hollywood by the non-auteurist-approved director Lewis Allen. Beautiful black-and-white cinematography and impressive ghost effects (even if the film isn’t actively “scary” by today’s standards). Ray Milland and Gail Russell are very appealing as the central couple. I was amazed to learn that the famous standard “Stella by Starlight” was written for this film (Russell’s character is named Stella).

9. RITUALS (Peter Carter, Canada, 1977): A-
A good reason to do a 31-days-of-horror-challenge is to try and seek out underrated or overlooked gems that you’ve never even heard of before. This Canadian “survivalist horror” movie served that function better than any other title on the list. A group of five friends (all of whom are doctors) go on a fishing trip together and find themselves menaced by an unknown assailant. This is a brutal but very well made film featuring a good script, great performances (especially Hal Holbrook as the lead) and taut direction. Obviously influenced by DELIVERANCE, which it’s just as good as and twice as scary as.

10. THE FOG (John Carpenter, USA, 1980): A-
Perhaps John Carpenter’s most underrated movie, this has to do with ghosts from a leper colony seeking vengeance on the citizens of a coastal California town whose founders deliberately caused their demise a century before. Beautifully shot and edited, the whole thing feels like a feature film version of the kind of campfire ghost story being told by John Houseman in the irresistible prologue. This was the second and final screenwriting collaboration between Carpenter and Debra Hill (not counting the obligatory HALLOWEEN II, which Carpenter didn’t direct) and it’s obvious in hindsight that she brought a welcome female energy to his work that can’t be found in his subsequent movies.

11. ISLE OF THE DEAD (Val Lewton/Mark Robson, USA, 1945): A-
Another Lewton/Karloff joint that I hadn’t seen before. A group of people quarantined on a Greek Island after an outbreak of the plague in 1912 break off into two camps: those who believe in science vs. those who believe in superstition! This has atmosphere to spare and the live-burial climax is terrifying.

12. A CERTAIN KIND OF DEATH (Grover Babcock/Blue Hadaegh, USA, 2003): A-
This is a different kind of horror movie: a documentary about what happens to people (and their possessions) when they die with no known next of kin. With cool objectivity, the filmmakers follow several Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office employees going about their daily routines. While the movie isn’t remotely sensationalistic (even if shots of corpses in various stages of decomposition will make this difficult viewing for some), it becomes incredibly haunting precisely because of its matter-of-factness. Recommended by Rob Christopher.

13. IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS (John Carpenter, USA, 1995): B+
Jill picked this, which we’d seen before but it’d been a while. John Carpenter’s last great film. Sam Neill is terrific as an insurance investigator who loses his mind while looking for a missing horror novelist. The final scene shows Neill’s character entering a movie theater and watching a film titled IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS starring himself and directed by “John Carpenter.” After plunging down this meta-horror rabbit hole there was really nothing else left for JC to do.

14. ANGUISH (Bigas Luna, Spain, 1987): B+
Wow. I’d never even heard of this crazy Spanish-American co-production until Patrick Friel recommended it (and Adrian Martin backed him up). It starts off as a straightforward horror movie about an eye surgeon with mommy issues then unexpectedly transforms into a self-reflexive exercise about horror movies. I greatly enjoyed the Hitchcock homages (to PSYCHO, SPELLBOUND and THE BIRDS in particular) and Michael Lerner’s performance is great though I’m not sure the conceit sustains its cleverness for the entire run time.

15. DREAMS OF A LIFE (Carol Morley, UK, 2012): B+
Inspired by our unconventional pick of A CERTAIN KIND OF DEATH, Jill searched for other “scary documentaries” to round out our list and came up with this one and DEAR ZACHARY (see below). This is about a 38-year-old woman who died of unknown causes while wrapping Christmas presents in her London apartment but whose body wasn’t discovered until over two years later. By including interviews with those who knew the woman as well as reenactments of her life (one such sequence owes a debt to CLEO FROM 5 TO 7), this asks a lot of questions about how a relatively well-off young person in an urban environment can end up totally forgotten by society. Scary (in an existential sense) and heartbreaking.

16. ALICE SWEET ALICE (Alfred Sole, USA, 1976): B+
When a little girl (Brooke Shields in her film debut) is murdered on the day of her first communion, her troubled older sister seems to be the culprit. But is she? As a film, this may not have much to “say” but the murder sequences (perpetrated by a spectacularly creepy masked figure in a yellow raincoat) are scary and potent even by today’s standards. Recommended by Max O’Connell.

17. THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH (Roger Corman, USA, 1964): B
Although I’ve seen many films produced by Roger Corman (including two elsewhere on this list), this adaptation of one of Edgar Allen Poe’s most famous stories is the first Corman-directed film I’ve ever seen. It’s a fun movie with two things to recommend it: Nicolas Roeg’s beautiful color cinematography and the way that Vincent Price seems to relish delivering every line of dialogue.

18. THE BLOOD ON SATAN’S CLAW (Piers Haggard, UK, 1970): B
A farmer in 17th-century England digs up a demon corpse while plowing his field. The grisly discovery has the consequence of turning the village children into a Satan-worshiping coven. Worth seeing for the impressive period detail and some genuinely frightening moments but the script leaves something to be desired – especially the way the local judge abruptly emerges as the hero in the final act.

19. TALES FROM THE HOOD (Rusty Cundieff, USA, 1995): B
Clever anthology in the TALES FROM THE CRYPT/CREEPSHOW mode but the filmmakers here use the horror genre to explicitly comment on racial and social ills. An unhinged Clarence Williams III is fantastic as the narrator in the framing segments. “Welcome to hell, motherfuckers!”

20. THE DEVIL RIDES OUT (Terence Fisher, UK, 1968): B
As a big fan of Terence Fisher’s earliest Hammer horror films (e.g., THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN and DRACULA), I was hoping this tale of an astronomical society fronting for a satan-worshipping cult — supposedly the movie that brought the studio into the modern era — would be a deathless masterpiece. It’s not — it’s a little too hokey and lightweight for that (especially in comparison to something like ROSEMARY’S BABY, which came out the same year) but it has its moments and Christopher Lee, as a good guy, is magnificent as always.

21. DEF BY TEMPTATION (James Bond III, USA, 1990): B
A nice surprise! Horror/comedy about a female vampire stalking male “players” in the bars of Brooklyn. The first film to use vampirism as a metaphor for AIDS? Beautifully photographed on a shoestring by Spike Lee’s then-regular DP Ernest Dickerson. Kadeem Hardison is charismatic AF and should’ve become a big star. Crazy that writer/director/actor James Bond III never directed or acted again after this. Recommended by Janina Bradley.

22. BODY MELT (Philip Brophy, Australia, 1991): B-
Jillian picked this outrageous Australian body horror/black comedy, which has something to do with a vitamin pill causing deadly side effects in test subjects. I didn’t fully grasp what was going on on a plot level but it was visually inventive and funny enough to the point where I also didn’t really care.

23. GALAXY OF TERROR (B.D. Clark, USA, 1981): B-
Roger Corman-produced ALIEN knockoff but with more sex and violence. Entertaining trash from beginning to end with a good cast that includes Robert “Freddie Krueger” Englund and Grace “Sarah Palmer” Zabriskie. Recommended by Patrick Friel and Bowls MacLean.

24. THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE (John Hough, UK, 1973): B-
This Richard Matheson-scripted yarn about paranormal investigators venturing into the “Mt. Everest of haunted houses” is a decently entertaining PG-rated affair. Roddy McDowell gives a very committed and sweaty performance. Recommended by Alan Hoffman.

25. TALES FROM THE HOOD 2
(Rusty Cundieff/Darin Scott, USA, 2018): B-
Same concept as the original – and nearly as good – but updated for 2018 (which means, of course, it comments on Trumpism). Well worth seeing but this gets docked half a letter grade for the didactic Emmett Till segment.

26. HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP (Barbara Peeters, USA, 1980): C+
Imagine CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON but with gore and nudity. Relentlessly silly but compulsively watchable. The climax with sea-monsters running amok at a carnival is a riot. Apparently Andy Warhol’s favorite movie. Recommended by Aaron Leventman.

27. HOCUS POCUS (Kenny Ortega, 1993): C+
Jillian picked this. Kind of cute in an early ’90s/Disney kind of way, and Bette Midler is a hoot (especially when she sings Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ immortal “I Put a Spell on You,” but this lacks the subversive edge that it sorely needs, an edge that someone like, say, Joe Dante would’ve brought to to it.

28. JUST BEFORE DAWN (Jeff Lieberman, USA, 1981): C
This has a good reputation among slasher aficionados and I can appreciate that it’s the kind of thing that’s well done for what it is — but “what it is” (a film about young people going camping and being murdered one-by-one by a large backwoods dude with a machete) will never really be my thing.

29. DEAR ZACHARY: A LETTER TO A SON ABOUT HIS FATHER (Kurt Kuenne, USA, 2008): C
A filmmaker makes a sort of “video diary” about his murdered friend for the dead man’s infant son. This is one of the earliest entries in a still ongoing documentary trend (see THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS) in which admittedly incredible true stories are put across in a thriller-like manner with an emphasis on unexpected developments and bombshell revelations. I was annoyed by the overly-fast cutting and treacly score.

30. SOCIETY (Brian Yuzna, USA, 1989): C-
This cheesy low-budget 1980s body-horror actually has a great climactic party sequence full of impressive and outrageous “practical effects.” But…it’s kind of a dull journey getting there.

31. FREDDY VS. JASON (Ronnie Yu, USA, 2003): D
Jill picked this. It’s very bad, of course, but it does contain certain stylistic hallmarks (e.g., red-and-blue lighting, copious fog) of director Ronnie Yu, who once upon a time made great movies in Hong Kong (e.g., THE BRIDE WITH WHITE HAIR).


My Student Tomato-meter: 2018 Edition

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The Fall semester is about to began, which means it’s that time of year when I post my updated “student tomato-meter” showing the aggregated results of the ratings — on a scale from one-to-10 — that my students have given to every movie I’ve shown in my film studies classes dating back to the Spring 2009 semester. I’ve now taught 110 classes and shown a total of 479 unique movies. Below is a list of all the films I’ve screened to date, presented in chronological order by release date, along with the average ratings given by my students. Below that I’ve also included a list of the top 10 highest-rated films. My goal as a teacher is to show at least one movie by every great director who ever lived. Please scan the list below and feel free tell me in the comments section who you think I might be missing.

Les Vampires (Feuillade, France, 1915-1916) –  7.0
Sherlock Holmes (Berthelet, USA, 1915) – 4.3
Broken Blossosms (Griffith, USA, 1919) – 5.9
Within Our Gates (Micheaux, USA, 1920) – 6.9
The Golem (Wegener/Bose, Germany, 1920) – 6.0
The Phantom Carriage (Sjostrom, Sweden, 1921) – 7.4
Nosferatu (Murnau, Germany, 1922) – 6.7
Safety Last! (Newmeyer/Taylor, USA, 1923) – 8.4
Our Hospitality (Keaton, USA, 1923) – 8.4
Greed (Von Stroheim, USA, 1923
Coeur Fidele (Epstein, France, 1923)
Sherlock Jr. (Keaton, USA, 1924)
The Hands of Orlac (Wiene, Germany, 1924) – 6.2
Waxworks (Leni, Germany, 1924) – 5.1
The Freshman (Newmeyer/Taylor, 1925) – 8.3
Seven Chances (Keaton, USA, 1925) – 8.2
The Gold Rush (Chaplin, USA, 1925) – 8.1
The Navigator (Keaton, USA, 1925) – 8.1
The Last Laugh (Murnau, Germany, 1925) – 6.6
Battleship Potemkin (Eisenstein, Russia, 1925) – 5.1
The General (Keaton, USA, 1926) – 8.4
Faust (Murnau, Germany, 1926) – 6.9
Secrets of a Soul (Pabst, Germany, 1926) – 6.6
Sunrise (Murnau, USA, 1927) – 6.9
Metropolis (Lang, Germany, 1927) – 6.6
Hindle Wakes (Elvey, UK, 1927) – 6.6
The End of St. Petersburg (Pudovkin, Soviet Union, 1927) – 5.0
The Fall of the Romanov Dynasty (Shub, Soviet Union, 1927) – 4.0
The Docks of New York (Von Sternberg, USA, 1928) – 8.4
Speedy (Wilde, USA, 1928) – 7.5
The Crowd (Vidor, USA, 1928) – 7.4
The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer, France, 1928) – 6.9
Lonesome (Fejos, USA, 1928) – 6.7
A Cottage on Dartmoor (Asquith, UK, 1929) – 8.3
Lucky Star (Borzage, USA, 1929) – 8.1
Asphalt (May, Germany, 1929) – 6.8
Man with the Movie Camera (Vertov, Soviet Union, 1929) – 6.2
City Girl (Murnau, USA, 1930) – 6.7
L’age D’or (Bunuel, France, 1930) – 6.6
Earth (Dovzhenko, Soviet Union, 1930) – 3.6
People on Sunday (Siodmak/Ulmer, Germany, 1930) – 5.2
City Lights (Chaplin, USA, 1931) – 8.4
M (Lang, Germany, USA, 1931) – 8.1
Madchen in Uniform (Sagan/Froelich, Germany, 1931) – 7.1
Freaks (Browning, USA, 1932) – 7.1
Vampyr (Dreyer, Denmark/Germany, 1932) – 6.9
The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (Lang, Germany, 1933)
Duck Soup (McCarey, USA, 1933) – 6.8
It Happened One Night (Capra, USA, 1934) – 8.5
The Goddess (Wu, China, 1934) – 7.6
L’atalante (Vigo, France, 1934) – 6.8
Top Hat (Sandrich, USA, 1935) – 8.6
My Man Godfrey (La Cava, USA, 1936) – 8.5
Modern Times (Chaplin, USA, 1936) – 8.0
Redes (Muriel/Zinneman, Mexico, 1936) – 6.9
The Awful Truth (McCarey, USA, 1937) – 8.4
Grand Illusion (Renoir, France, 1937) – 7.0
Bringing Up Baby (Hawks, USA, 1938) – 8.2
Holiday (Cukor, USA, 1938) – 7.9
Alexander Nevsky (Eisenstein, Soviet Union, 1938) – 5.0
The Lady Vanishes (Hitchcock, UK, 1938) – 8.1
Midnight (Leisen, USA, 1939) – 8.7
Only Angels Have Wings (Hawks, USA, 1939) – 8.2
The Roaring Twenties (Walsh, USA, 1939) – 8.2
Stagecoach (Ford, USA, 1939) – 7.7
The Rules of the Game (Renoir, France, 1939) – 7.0
His Girl Friday (Hawks, USA, 1940) – 7.9
The Grapes of Wrath (Ford, USA, 1940) – 7.9
The Shop Around the Corner (Lubitsch, USA, 1940) – 7.4
The Lady Eve (Sturges, USA, 1941) – 8.2
Citizen Kane (Welles, USA, 1941) – 8.1
How Green Was My Valley (Ford, USA, 1941) – 7.8
The Strawberry Blonde (Walsh, USA, 1941) – 7.6
The Maltese Falcon (Huston, USA, 1941) – 6.9
Casablanca (Curtiz, USA, 1942) – 8.4
The Palm Beach Story (Sturges, USA, 1942) – 7.5
Aniki Bobo (De Oliveira, Portugal, 1942) – 7.2
Cat People (Tourneur, USA< 1942) – 6.0
The More the Merrier (Stevens, USA, 1942) – 8.2
I Walked with a Zombie (Tourneur, USA, 1943) – 6.0
Ossessione (Visconti, Italy, 1943) – 5.2
Meet Me in St. Louis (Minnelli, USA, 1944) – 8.2k
Double Indemnity (Wilder, USA, 1944) – 8.1
The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (Sturges, 1944) – 8.0
To Have and Have Not (Hawks, USA, 1944) – 7.5
Murder My Sweet (Dmytryk, USA, 1944) – 7.0
Brief Encounter (Lean, UK, 1945) – 7.9
Detour (Ulmer, USA, 1945) – 7.4
Rome, Open City (Rossellini, Italy, 1945) – 7.2
Notorious (Hitchcock, USA, 1946) – 8.5
The Best Years of Our Lives (Wyler, USA, 1946) – 8.4
My Darling Clementine (Ford, USA, 1946) – 7.5
The Big Sleep (Hawks, USA, 1946) – 6.0
Dead Reckoning (Cromwell, USA, 1947) – 8.2
Out of the Past (Tourneur, USA, 1947) – 7.6
The Lady from Shanghai (Welles, USA, 1947) – 7.5
Body and Soul (Rossen, USA, 1947) – 7.6
Pursued (Walsh, USA, 1947) – 7.1
Black Narcissus (Powell/Pressburger, UK, 1947) – 7.1
La Perla (Fernandez, Mexico, 1947) – 6.5
Letter from an Unknown Woman (Ophuls, USA, 1948) – 8.8
Rope (Hitchcock, USA, 1948) – 8.7
The Red Shoes (Powell/Pressburger, USA, 1948) – 8.3
Bicycle Thieves (De Sica, Italy, 1948) – 7.9
Call Northside 777 (Hathaway, USA, 1948) – 7.7
Germany Year Zero (Rossellini, Italy/Germany, 1948) -7.5
Fort Apache (Ford, USA, 1948) – 7.5
Spring in a Small Town (Fei, China, 1948) – 6.7
A Letter to Three Wives (Mankiewicz, USA, 1949) – 8.4
White Heat (Walsh, USA, 1950) – 8.3
The Third Man (Reed, UK, 1949) – 8.0
Jour de Fete (Tati, France, 1949) – 7.8
Late Spring (Ozu, Japan, 1949) – 7.0
Sunset Boulevard (Wilder, USA, 1950) – 8.8
Los Olvidados (Bunuel, Mexico, 1950) – 7.6
Devil’s Doorway (Mann, USA, 1950) – 7.3
Union Station (Mate, USA, 1950) – 7.3
The African Queen (Huston, USA, 1951) – 8.3
On Dangerous Ground (Ray, USA, 1951) – 7.5
Singin’ in the Rain (Donen/Kelly, USA, 1952) – 9.0
Umberto D. (De Sica, Italy, 1952) – 6.8
The Big Heat (Lang, USA, 1953) – 8.5
Pickup on South Street (Fuller, USA 1953) – 8.2
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Hawks, USA, 1953) – 8.2
Mr. Hulot’s Holiday (Tati, France, 1953) – 8.1
The Band Wagon (Minnelli, USA, 1953) – 7.9
Strangers on a Train (Hitchcock, USA, 1953) – 7.8
The Hitch-Hiker (Lupino, USA, 1953) – 7.7
City That Never Sleeps (Auer, USA, 1953) – 7.4
The Naked Spur (Mann, USA, 1953) – 7.0
Tokyo Story (Ozu, Japan, 1953) – 6.7
Ugetsu (Mizoguchi, Japan, 1953) – 6.7
Rear Window (Hitchcock, USA, 1954) – 8.9
Seven Samurai (Kurosawa, Japan, 1954) – 8.3
French Cancan (Renoir, France, 1954) – 8.2
Sansho the Bailiff (Mizoguchi, Japan, 1954) – 7.0
The Night of the Hunter (Laughton, USA, 1955) – 9.1
All That Heaven Allows (Sirk, USA, 1955) – 8.0
Artists and Models (Tashlin, USA, 1955) – 7.8
Kiss Me Deadly (Aldrich, USA, 1955) – 7.2
Pather Panchali (Ray, India, 1955) – 6.4
A Man Escaped (Bresson, France, 1956) – 8.1
The Searchers (Ford, USA, 1956) – 7.4
Bigger Than Life (Ray, USA, 1956) – 6.8
Aparajito (Ray, India, 1956) – 6.6
An Affair to Remember (McCarey, USA< 1957) – 8.0
Vertigo (Hitchcock, USA, 1958) – 8.8
Some Came Running (Minnelli, USA, 1958) – 7.9
Touch of Evil (Welles, USA, 1958) – 7.6
Big Deal on Madonna Street (Monicelli, Italy, 1958) – 7.7
Cairo Station (Chahine, Egypt, 1958) – 7.0
Ashes and Diamonds (Wajda, Poland, 1958) – 7.0
Throne of Blood (Kurosawa, Japan, 1958) – 5.9
Some Like It Hot (Wilder, USA, 1959) – 9.0
Anatomy of a Murder (Preminger, USA, 1959) – 8.9
The 400 Blows (Truffaut, France, 1959) – 8.6
North By Northwest (Hitchcock, USA, 1959) – 8.7
Rio Bravo (Hawks, USA, 1959) – 8.0
Pickpocket (Bresson, France, 1959) – 7.3
Hiroshima Mon Amour (Resnais, France, 1959) – 6.8
Psycho (Hitchcock, USA, 1960) – 8.7
When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (Naruse, Japan, 1960) – 8.1
Les Bonnes Femmes (Chabrol, France, 1960) – 8.0
Breathless (Godard, France, 1960) – 7.7
Eyes Without a Face (Franju, France, 1960) – 7.7
Accatone (Pasolini, Italy, 1960) – 7.6
L’avventura (Antonioni, Italy, 1960) – 7.4
The Housemaid (Kim, S. Korea, 1960) – 7.1
Chronicle of a Summer (Rouch/Morin, France, 1961) – 6.9
Last Year at Marienbad (Resnais, France, 1961) – 6.8
Viridiana (Bunuel, Spain, 1961) – 7.4
The Ladies Man (Lewis, USA, 1962) – 8.3
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (Ford, USA, 1962) – 8.3
Cleo from 5 to 7 (Varda, France, 1962) – 7.5
Vivre sa Vie (Godard, France 1962) – 7.2
Le Doulos (Melville, France, 1962) – 7.1
Jules and Jim (Truffaut, France, 1962) – 5.5
Le Joli Mai (Marker, France, 1963) – 6.8
Shock Corridor (Fuller, USA, 1963) – 8.4
The Nutty Professor (Lewis, USA, 1963) – 8.4
The Executioner (Berlanga, Spain, 1963) – 8.1
Contempt (Godard, France/Italy, 1963) – 8.0
Black Sabbath (Bava, Italy, 1963) – 7.1
8 1/2 (Fellini, Italy, 1963) – 6.5
Onibaba (Shindo, Japan, 1964) – 8.0
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Demy, France, 1964) – 7.4
Band of Outsiders (Godard, France, 1964) – 7.4
Dry Summer (Erksan, Turkey, 1964) – 7.4
Pierrot le Fou (Godard, France, 1965) – 8.3
Repulsion (Polanski, UK, 1965) – 7.4
Mickey One (Penn, USA, 1965) – 6.7
Alphaville (Godard, USA, 1965) – 6.0
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Leone, Italy, 1966) – 8.8
Daisies (Chytilova, Czechoslovakia, 1966) – 7.2
Point Blank (Boorman, USA, 1966) – 7.0
The Pornographers (Imamura, Japan, 1966) – 6.9
Persona (Bergman, Sweden, 1966) – 6.4
Black Girl (Sembene, Senegal, 1967) – 8.7
The Graduate (Nichols, USA, 1967) – 8.8
The Young Girls of Rochefort (Demy, France, 1967) – 8.6
Play Time (Tati, France, 1967) – 8.2
The Firemen’s Ball (Forman, Cezchoslovakia, 1967) – 8.0
Le Samourai (Melville, France, 1967) – 7.9
Branded to Kill (Suzuki, Japan, 1967) – 7.8
Bonnie and Clyde (Penn, USA, 1967) – 7.5
Don’t Look Back (Pennebaker, USA, 1967) – 7.4
David Holzman’s Diary (McBride, USA, 1967) – 6.9
Dragon Inn (Hu, Taiwan, 1967) – 6.5
La Collectionneuse (Rohmer, France, 1967) – 7.1
Rosemary’s Baby (Polanski, USA, 1968) – 8.3
High School (Wiseman, USA, 1968) – 7.7
2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, USA, 1968) – 7.6
Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach (Straub/Huillet, Germany, 1968) – 5.3
The Wild Bunch (Peckinpah, USA, 1969) – 8.1
My Night at Maud’s (Rohmer, France, 1969) – 7.8
Medium Cool (Wexler, USA, 1968) – 7.2
The Unfaithful Wife (Chabrol, France, 1969) – 7.9
Inquiring Nuns (Quinn, USA, 1969) – 7.2
Antonio das Mortes (Rocha, Brazil, 1969) – 5.2
The Red Circle (Melville, France, 1970) – 8.4
Le Boucher (Chabrol, France, 1970) – 7.5
Wanda (Loden, USA, 1970) – 5.8
The Emigrants (Troell, Sweden, 1971) – 8.8
A New Leaf (May, USA, 1971) – 8.2
Two-Lane Blacktop (Hellman, USA, 1971) – 7.7
McCabe and Mrs. Miller (Altman, USA, 1971) – 6.9
Minnie and Moskowitz (Cassavetes, USA, 1971) – 5.2
The New Land (Troell, Sweden, 1972) – 8.8
Love in the Afternoon (Rohmer, France, 1972) – 7.8
Solaris (Tarkovsky, Russia, 1972) – 6.9
The Godfather (Coppola, USA, 1972) – 9.4
The Exorcist (Friedkin, USA, 1973) – 8.1
The Long Goodbye (Altman, USA, 1973) – 7.9
The Sting (Hill, USA, 1973) – 7.9
Badlands (Malick, USA, 1973) – 7.6
The Mother and the Whore (Eustache, France, 1973) – 7.4
The Spirit of the Beehive (Erice, Spain, 1973) – 7.4
Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (Fassbinder, Germany, 1973) – 7.2
Touki Bouki (Mambety, Senegal, 1973) – 6.8
Blazing Saddles (Brooks, USA, 1974) – 8.4
Chinatown (Polanski, USA, 1974) – 8.4
Black Christmas (Clark, Canada, 1974) – 8.2
Young Frankenstein (Brooks, USA, 1974) – 7.6
Celine and Julie Go Boating (Rivette, France, 1974) – 6.8
The Irony of Fate: Or Enjoy Your Bath! (Ryazanov, Russia, 1975) – 8.5
Cooley High (Schultz, USA, 1975) – 8.1
Night Moves (Penn, USA, 1975) – 7.4
Grey Gardens (Maysles/Maysles, USA, 1975) – 4.2
Taxi Driver (Scorsese, USA, 1976) – 8.2
In the Realm of the Senses (Oshima, Japan, 1976) – 6.9
Mikey and Nicky (May, USA, 1976) – 6.4
Insiang (Brocka, Philippines, 1976) – 8.7
Annie Hall (Allen, USA, 1977) – 6.6
House (Obayashi, Japan, 1977) – 6.4
One Way Boogie Woogie (Benning, USA, 1977) – 5.1
A Wedding (Altman, USA, 1978) – 8.4
Halloween (Carpenter, USA, 1978) – 8.3
The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (Lau, Hong Kong, 1978) – 8.3
Dawn of the Dead (Romero, USA, 1978) – 7.8
Days of Heaven (Malick, USA, 1978) – 7.3
Killer of Sheep (Burnett, USA, 1979) – 7.8
The Blues Brothers (Landis, USA, 1980) – 9.3
Raging Bull (Scorsese, USA, 1980) – 8.3
The Shining (Kubrick, USA, 1980) – 8.2
Melvin and Howard (Demme, USA, 1980) – 7.0
Popeye (Altman, USA, 1980) – 5.2
Thief (Mann, USA, 1981) – 8.5
An American Werewolf in London (Landis, USA/UK, 1981) – 8.3
Possession (Zulawski, France/Germany/Poland, 1981) – 7.9
The Road Warrior (Miller, Australia, 1981) – 7.5
Trances (El Manouni, Morocco, 1981) – 6.2
Body Heat (Kasdan, USA, 1981) – 8.0
The Thing (Carpenter, USA, 1982) – 8.3
Blade Runner (Scott, USA, 1982) – 7.6
The Slumber Party Massacre (Jones, USA, 1982) – 6.8
Rock in Reykjavik (Fridriksson, Iceland, 1982) – 6.3
A Nos Amours (Pialat, France, 1983) – 8.5
Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (Oshima, Japan/UK, 1983) – 8.0
Sans Soleil (Marker, France, 1983) – 6.2
Stranger Than Paradise (Jarmusch, USA, 1984) – 6.2
Vagabond (Varda, France, 1985) – 7.4
After Hours (Scorsese, USA, 1985) – 6.7
The Fly (Cronenberg, Canada/USA, 1986) – 8.0
Mauvais Sang (Carax, France, 1986) – 7.1
The Green Ray (Rohmer, France, 1986) – 6.1
The Dead (Huston, USA/UK, 1987) – 7.8
The Thin Blue Line (Morris, USA, 1988) – 7.7
A Short Film About Love (Kieslowski, Poland, 1988) – 7.7
Time of the Gypsies (Kusturica, Yugoslavia, 1988) – 7.0
A Short Film About Killing (Kieslowski, Poland, 1988) – 6.9
Drugstore Cowboy (Van Sant, USA, 1989) – 8.2
Do the Right Thing (Lee, USA, 1989) – 7.6
Goodfellas (Scorsese, USA, 1990) – 9.0
King of New York (Ferrara, USA, 1990) – 8.9
House Party (Hudlin, USA, 1990) – 6.7
Defending Your Life (Brooks, USA, 1991) – 8.5
To Sleep with Anger (Burnett, USA, 1991) – 8.4
The Lovers on the Bridge (Carax, France, 1991) – 8.0
Close-Up (Kiarostami, Iran, 1991) – 7.6
Slacker (Linklater, USA, 1991) – 7.0
Basic Instinct (Verhoeven, USA, 1992) – 9.0
Unforgiven (Eastwood, USA, 1992) – 8.6
Deep Cover (Duke, USA, 1992) – 8.3
The Player (Altman, USA, 1992) – 8.2
The Long Day Closes (Davies, UK, 1992) – 4.7
Candyman (Rose, USA, 1992) – 7.9
The Piano (Campion, New Zealand, 1993) – 8.4
Groundhog Day (Ramis, USA, 1993) – 8.4
Sonatine (Kitano, Japan, 1993) – 8.3
Matinee (Dante, USA, 1993) – 8.2
Dazed and Confused (Linklater, USA, 1993) – 8.4
Menace II Society (Hughes/Hughes, USA, 1993) – 8.3
Naked (Leigh, UK, 1993) – 6.3
The Bride with White Hair (Yu, Hong Kong, 1993) – 5.1
Hoop Dreams (James, USA, 1994) – 8.0
Chungking Express (Wong, Hong Kong, 1994) – 8.0
The Last Seduction (Dahl, USA, 1994) – 7.2
Wild Reeds (Techine, France, 1994) – 7.1
Ed Wood (Burton, USA, 1994) – 6.8
Devil in a Blue Dress (Franklin, USA, 1995) – 8.5
The Bridges of Madison County (Eastwood, USA, 1995) – 8.2
Dead Man (Jarmusch, USA, 1995) – 8.1
Irma Vep (Assayas, France, 1996) – 7.2
A Moment of Innocence (Makhmalbaf, Iran, 1996) – 5.8
Jackie Brown (Tarantino, USA, 1997) – 9.2
L.A. Confidential (Hanson, USA, 1997) – 8.8
Cure (Kurosawa, Japan, 1997) – 8.2
Taste of Cherry (Kiarostami, Iran, 1997) – 7.2
The Mirror (Panahi, Iran, 1997) – 5.1
The Big Lebowski (Coen/Coen, USA, 1998) – 9.0
The Last Days of Disco (Stillman, USA, 1998) – 8.4
The Bird People in China (Miike, Japan, 1998) – 6.6
Shattered Image (Ruiz, USA, 1998) – 6.9
The Hole (Tsai, Taiwan, 1998) – 5.8
Office Space (Judge, USA, 1999) – 8.4
Peppermint Candy (Lee, S. Korea, 1999) – 8.2
Ravenous (Bird, UK/USA, 1999) – 8.0
Nowhere to Hide (Lee, S. Korea, 1999) – 7.6
Audition (Miike, Japan, 1999) – 7.5
Beau Travail (Denis, France, 1999) – 7.2
JSA: Joint Security Area (Park, S. Korea, 2000) – 8.7
High Fidelity (Frears, USA, 2000) – 8.5
Yi Yi (Yang, Taiwan, 2000) – 8.4
Dancer in the Dark (Von Trier, Denmark/Sweden, 2000) – 7.8
La Captive (Akerman, France, 2000) – 8.0
The Day I Became a Woman (Meshkini, Iran, 2000) – 7.6
In the Mood for Love (Wong, Hong Kong, 2000) – 7.4
Needing You (To/Wai, Hong Kong, 2000) – 7.1
Sexy Beast (Glazer, UK, 2000) – 6.9
Italian for Beginners (Scherfig, Denmark, 2000) – 6.4
Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (Gowariker, India, 2000) – 9.3
The Devil’s Backbone (Del Toro, Spain/Mexico, 2001) – 8.6
Mulholland Drive (Lynch, USA, 2001) – 8.1
Failan (Song, S. Korea, 2001) – 8.2
Avalon (Oshii, Japan/Poland, 2001) – 7.8
What Time Is It There? (Tsai, Taiwan, 2001) – 6.6
Fat Girl (Breillat, France, 2001) – 7.0
The Tracker (De Heer, Australia, 2002) – 7.9
Infernal Affairs (Lau/Mak, Hong Kong, 2002) – 7.8
Far From Heaven (Haynes, USA, 2002) – 7.8
Bollywood/Hollywood (Mehta, Canda/India, 2002) – 7.6
Distant (Ceylan, Turkey, 2002) – 5.0
Memories of Murder (Bong, S. Korea, 2003) – 8.9
Oldboy (Park, S. Korea, 2003) – 8.9
A Tale of Two Sisters (Kim, S. Korea, 2003) – 7.8
Save the Green Planet (Jang, S. Korea, 2003) – 6.9
Before Sunset (Linklater, USA, 2004) – 8.9
3-Iron (Kim, S. Korea, 2003) – 8.8
Moolade (Sembene, Senegal, 2004) – 8.2
The Island of Black Mor (Laguionie, France, 2004) – 8.1
The Holy Girl (Martel, Argentina, 2004) – 6.9
Dumplings (Chan, Hong Kong, 2004) – 6.4
Ten Skies (Benning, USA, 2004) – 4.1
A History of Violence (Cronenberg, Canada/USA, 2005) – 8.3
Grizzly Man (Herzog, USA, 2005) – 8.1
The Proposition (Hillcoat, Australia, 2005) – 8.1
Three Times (Hou, Taiwan, 2005) – 7.5
The Ice Harvest (Ramis, USA, 2005) – 7.8
Pan’s Labyrinth (Del Toro, Spain, 2006) – 9.3
The Host (Bong, S. Korea, 2006) – 8.9
Once (Carney, UK, 2006) – 8.8
Shaun of the Dead (Wright, UK, 2006) – 8.5
Black Book (Verhoeven, Holland, 2006) – 8.4
Offside (Panahi, Iran, 2006) – 8.2
A Scanner Darkly (Linklater, USA, 2006) – 8.0
Woman on the Beach (Hong, S. Korea, 2006) – 7.1
12:08 East of Bucharest (Poromboiu, Romania, 2006) – 5.7
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Dominik, USA, 2007) – 9.6
Zodiac (Fincher, USA, 2007) – 9.1
Eastern Promises (Cronenberg, Canada/UK, 2007) – 8.7
My Winnipeg (Maddin, Canada, 2007) – 6.3
Let the Right One In (Alfredson, Sweden, 2008) – 8.7
Happy-Go-Lucky (Leigh, UK, 2008) – 7.2
Me and Orson Welles (Linklater, USA, 2008) – 7.9
The Headless Woman (Martel, Argentina, 2008) – 6.1
The Hurt Locker (Bigelow, USA, 2008) – 9.4
The House of the Devil (West, USA, 2009) – 8.1
Change Nothing (Costa, France/Portugal, 2009) – 6.0
3 Idiots (Hirani, India, 2009) – 8.5
Shutter Island (Scorsese, USA, 2010) – 9.5
The Social Network (Fincher, USA, 2010) – 8.5
Certified Copy (Kiarostami, Italy/France, 2010) – 8.5
Another Year (Leigh, UK, 2010) – 8.1
The Ghost Writer (Polanski, Germany/France, 2010) – 8.0
The Hunter (Pitts, Iran, 2010) – 6.8
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Weerasethakul, Thailand, 2010) – 6.6
Audrey the Trainwreck (Ross, USA, 2010) – 6.4
Bernie (Linklater, USA, 2011) – 8.9
The Skin I Live In (Almodovar, Spain, 2011) – 8.6
Drive (Refn, USA, 2011) – 8.1
Life Without Principle (To, Hong Kong, 2011) – 7.9
Midnight in Paris (Allen, USA/France, 2011) – 7.7
Le Havre (Kaurismaki, France/Finland, 2011) – 7.6
Mildred Pierce (Haynes, USA, 2011) – 7.5
This Is Not a Film (Panahi, Iran, 2011) – 7.1
Sleeping Sickness (Kohler, Germany, 2011) – 6.6
Zero Dark Thirty (Bigelow, USA, 2012) – 8.9
Frances Ha (Baumbach, USA, 2012) – 8.7
Silver Linings Playbook (Russell, USA, 2012) – 8.4
Holy Motors (Carax, France, 2012) – 8.3
Spring Breakers (Korine, USA, 2012) – 8.3
Dormant Beauty (Bellocchio, Italy, 2012) – 8.1
Barbara (Petzold, Germany, 2012) – 8.0
Empire Builder (Swanberg, USA, 2012) – 7.7
The Master (Anderson, USA, 2012) – 7.6
Cosmopolis (Cronenberg, Canada/Germany, 2012) – 7.0
The Unspeakable Act (Sallit, USA, 2012) – 6.9
A Fuckload of Scotch Tape (Grant, USA, 2012) – 6.8
Shoals (Bass, USA, 2012) – 5.7
Neighboring Sounds (Mendonca, Brazil, 2012) – 6.4
Snowpiercer (Bong, S. Korea, 2013) – 9.4
Stoker (Park, USA, 2013) – 8.9
Nymphomaniac (Von Trier, Denmark/Germany, 2013) – 8.5
The Grandmaster (Wong, Hong Kong/China, 2013) – 8.2
Top of the Lake (Campion/Davis, New Zealand, 2013) – 8.1
Upstream Color (Carruth, USA, 2013) – 8.1
Before Midnight (Linklater, USA, 2013) – 8.0
A Touch of Sin (Jia, China, 2013) – 7.9
The Wind Rises (Miyazaki, Japan, 2013) – 7.8
Jimmy P. (Desplechin, France/USA, 2013) – 7.7
Contracted (England, USA, 2013) – 7.0
Under the Skin (Glazer, UK, 2013) – 7.3
Black Box (Cone, USA, 2013) – 7.2
Gloria (Lelio, Chile, 2013) – 7.2
Double Play: James Benning and Richard Linklater (Klinger, USA, 2013) – 6.1
Only Lovers Left Alive (Jarmusch, USA, 2013) – 6.3
The Girls on Liberty Street (Rangel, USA, 2013) – 5.5
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (Takahata, Japan, 2013) – 8.2
Stranger By the Lake (Guiraudie, France, 2013) – 5.7
About Time (Curtis, UK, 2013) – 8.6
Boyhood (Linklater, USA, 2014) – 9.4
The Grand Budapest Hotel (Anderson, USA, 2014) – 8.9
Actress (Greene, USA, 2014) – 8.3
Inherent Vice (Anderson, USA, 2014) – 8.3
The Babadook (Kent, Australia, 2014) – 8.1
Li’l Quinquin (Dumont, France, 2014) – 7.9
Goodbye to Language (Godard, France, 2014) – 7.6
Buzzard (Potrykus, USA, 2014) – 6.7
Right Now, Wrong Then (Hong, S. Korea, 2015) – 8.1
Thao’s Library (Van Meter, USA, 2015) – 8.2
Timbuktu (Sissako, Mauritania/Mali, 2015) – 7.6
Bloomin Mud Shuffle (Ross, USA, 2015) – 7.5
Brooklyn (Crowley, UK, 2015) – 8.3
Tangerine (Baker, USA, 2015) – 7.5
Toni Erdmann (Ade, Germany, 2016) – 7.9
Malaria (Shahbazi, Iran, 2016) – 8.8
Donald Cried (Avedisian, USA, 2016) – 8.5
The Wailing (Na, S. Korea, 2016) – 8.5
Porto (Klinger, USA/Portugal, 2016) – 6.1
The Lost City of Z (Gray, USA/UK, 2016) – 7.9
Signature Move (Reeder, USA, 2017) – 7.6
Good Time (Safdie/Safdie, USA, 2017) – 8.8
The Other Side of Hope (Kaurismaki, Finland, 2017) – 6.9

The 10 Highest-Rated Films:
10. Jackie Brown (Tarantino, USA, 1997) – 9.2
9. Pan’s Labyrinth (Del Toro, Spain/Mexico, 2006) – 9.3
8. The Blues Brothers (Landis, USA, 1980) – 9.3
7. Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (Gowariker, India, 2000) – 9.3
6. Boyhood (Linklater, USA, 2014) – 9.4
5. The Hurt Locker (Bigelow, USA, 2008) – 9.4
4. The Godfather (Coppola, USA, 1972) – 9.4
3. Snowpiercer (Bong, S. Korea, 2013) – 9.4
2. Shutter Island (Scorsese, USA, 2010) – 9.5
1. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Dominik, USA, 2007) – 9.6

 

 

 

 


My Student Tomato-Meter: 2017 Edition

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The Fall semester is about to began, which means it’s that time of year when I post my updated “student tomato-meter” showing the aggregated results of the ratings — on a scale from one-to-10 — that my students have given to every movie I’ve shown in my film studies classes dating back to the Spring 2009 semester. I’ve now taught 96 classes and shown a total of 447 unique movies. Below is a list of all the films I’ve screened to date, presented in chronological order by release date, along with the average ratings given by my students. Below that I’ve also included a list of the top 10 highest-rated films. My goal as a teacher is to show at least one movie by every great director who ever lived. Please scan the list below and feel free tell me in the comments section who you think I might be missing.

Sherlock Holmes (Berthelet, USA, 1915) – 4.3
Les Vampires (Feuillade, France, 1915-1916) – 7.0
Broken Blossoms (Griffith, USA, 1919) – 5.9
Within Our Gates (Micheaux, USA, 1920) – 7.0
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Wiene, USA, 1920) – 6.9
The Golem (Wegener, Germany, 1920) – 6.0
The Phantom Carriage (Sjostrom, Sweden, 1921) – 7.3
Nosferatu (Murnau, Germany, 1922) – 6.7
Safety Last! (Newmeyer/Taylor, USA, 1923) – 8.4
Our Hospitality (Keaton, USA, 1923) – 8.4
Greed (Von Stroheim, USA, 1923) – 6.9
Coeur Fidele (Epstein, France, 1924) – 5.2
Sherlock Jr. (Keaton, USA, 1924) – 8.0
The Hands of Orlac (Wiene, Germany, 1924) – 6.2
Waxworks (Leni, Germany, 1924) – 5.1
The Freshman (Newmeyer/Taylor, 1925) – 8.3
Seven Chances (Keaton, USA, 1925) – 8.2
The Gold Rush (Chaplin, USA, 1925) – 8.1
The Navigator (Keaton, USA, 1925) – 8.1
The Last Laugh (Murnau, Germany, 1925) – 6.6
Battleship Potemkin (Eisenstein, USA, 1925) – 5.1
The General (Keaton, USA, 1926) – 8.4
Faust (Murnau, Germany, 1926) – 6.9
Secrets of a Soul (Pabst, Germany, 1926) – 6.6
Sunrise (Murnau, USA, 1927) – 6.9
Metropolis (Lang, Germany, 1927) – 6.6
Hindle Wakes (Elvey, UK, 1927) – 6.6
The End of St. Petersburg (Pudovkin, Soviet Union, 1927) – 5.0
The Fall of the Romanov Dynasty (Shub, Soviet Union, 1927) – 4.0
The Docks of New York (Von Sternberg, USA, 1928) – 8.4
Speedy (Wilde, USA, 1928) – 7.5
The Crowd (Vidor, USA, 1928) – 7.4
The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer, France, 1928) – 6.9
Lonesome (Fejos, USA, 1928) – 6.7
A Cottage on Dartmoor (Asquith, UK, 1929) – 8.3
Lucky Star (Borzage, USA, 1929) – 8.1
Asphalt (May, Germany, 1929) – 6.8
Man with the Movie Camera (Vertov, Soviet Union, 1929) – 6.2
City Girl (Murnau, USA, 1930) – 6.7
City Lights (Chaplin, USA, 1931) – 8.5
M (Lang, Germany, 1931) – 8.1
Madchen in Uniform (Sagan/Froelich, Germany, 1931) – 7.1
Freaks (Browning, USA, 1931) – 7.1
Vampyr (Dreyer, Germany, 1932) – 7.1
The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (Lang, Germany, 1933) – 7.6
Duck Soup (McCarey, USA, 1933) – 6.8
It Happened One Night (Capra, 1934) – 8.5
The Goddess (Wu, China, 1934) – 7.6
L’atalante (Vigo, France, 1934) – 6.8
Top Hat (Sandrich, USA, 1935) – 8.6
My Man Godfrey (La Cava, USA, 1936) – 8.5
Modern Times (Chaplin, USA, 1936) – 8.0
Redes (Muriel/Zinneman, Mexico, 1936) – 6.9
The Awful Truth (McCarey, USA, 1937) – 8.5
Grand Illusion (Renoir, France, 1937) – 7.0
Bringing Up Baby (Hawks, USA, 1938) – 8.2
Holiday (Cukor, USA, 1938) – 7.9
Alexander Nevsky (Eisenstein, Soviet Union, 1938) – 5.0
Midnight (Liesen, USA, 1939) – 8.7
Only Angels Have Wings (Hawks, USA, 1939) – 8.2
The Roaring Twenties (Walsh, USA, 1939) – 8.2
Stagecoach (Ford, USA, 1939) – 7.7
The Rules of the Game (Renoir, France, 1939) – 7.1
His Girl Friday (Hawks, USA, 1940) – 8.3
The Grapes of Wrath (Ford, USA, 1940) – 7.9
The Shop Around the Corner (Lubitsch, USA, 1940) – 7.4
The Lady Eve (Sturges, USA, 1941) – 8.2
Citizen Kane (Welles, USA, 1941) – 8.2
How Green Was My Valley (Ford, USA, 1941) – 7.8
The Strawberry Blonde (Walsh, USA, 1941) – 7.6
The Maltese Falcon (Hawks, USA, 1941) – 6.9
Casablanca (Curtiz, USA, 1942) – 8.4
The Palm Beach Story (Sturges, USA, 1941) – 7.5
Aniki Bobo (De Oliveira, Portugal, 1942) – 7.2
Cat People (Tourneur, USA, 1942) – 6.0
The More the Merrier (Stevens, USA, 1943) – 8.2
I Walked with a Zombie (Tourneur, USA, 1943) – 6.0
Ossessione (Visconti, Italy, 1943) – 5.2
Double Indemnity (Wilder, USA, 1944) – 8.1
The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (Sturges, USA, 1944) – 8.0
To Have and Have Not (Hawks, USA, 1944) – 7.5
Murder My Sweet (Dmytryk, USA, 1944) – 7.0
Brief Encounter (Lean, UK, 1945) – 8.0
Detour (Ulmer, USA, 1945) – 7.4
Rome, Open City (Rossellini, Italy, 1945) – 7.2
Notorious (Hitchcock, USA, 1946) – 8.5
The Best Years of Our Lives (Wyler, USA, 1946) – 8.4
My Darling Clementine (Ford, USA, 1946) – 7.5
The Big Sleep (Hawks, USA, 1946) – 6.0
Dead Reckoning (Cromwell, USA, 1947) – 8.2
Out of the Past (Tourneur, USA, 1947) – 7.7
The Lady from Shanghai (Welles, USA, 1947) – 7.7
Body and Soul (Rossen, USA, 1947) – 8.6
Pursued (Walsh, USA, 1947) – 7.1
Black Narcissus (Powell/Pressburger, UK, 1947) – 7.1
La Perla (Fernandez, Mexico, 1947) – 6.5
Letter from an Unknown Woman (Ophuls, USA, 1948) – 8.8
Rope (Hitchcock, USA, 1948) – 8.7
The Red Shoes (Powell/Pressburger, UK, 1948) – 8.3
Bicycle Thieves (De Sica, Italy, 1948) – 8.0
Call Northside 777 (Hathaway, USA, 1948) – 7.7
Germany Year Zero (Rossellini, Italy/Germany, 1948) – 7.5
Fort Apache (Ford, USA, 1948) – 7.5
Spring in a Small Town (Fei, China, 1948) – 6.7
A Letter to Three Wives (Mankiewicz, USA, 1949) – 8.4
White Heat (Walsh, USA, 1949) – 8.3
The Third Man (Reed, UK, 1949) – 8.0
Jour de Fete (Tati, France, 1949) – 7.8
Sunset Boulevard (Wilder, USA, 1950) – 8.8
Los Olvidados (Bunuel, Mexico, 1950) – 7.5
Devil’s Doorway (Mann, USA, 1950) – 7.3
Union Station (Mate, USA, 1950) – 7.3
The African Queen (Huston, USA, 1951) – 8.3
On Dangerous Ground (Ray, USA, 1951) – 7.5
Singin’ in the Rain (Donen/Kelly, USA, 1952) – 9.0
Umberto D. (De Sica, Italy, 1952) – 6.8
The Big Heat (Lang, USA, 1953) – 8.5
Pickup on South Street (Fuller, USA, 1953) – 8.2
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Hawks, USA, 1953) – 8.2
Mr. Hulot’s Holiday (Tati, France, 1953) – 8.1
The Band Wagon (Minnelli, USA, 1953) – 7.9
Strangers on a Train (Hitchcock, USA, 1953) – 7.8
The Hitch-Hiker (Lupino, USA, 1953) – 7.7
City That Never Sleeps (Auer, USA, 1953) – 7.5
The Naked Spur (Mann, USA, 1953) – 7.0
Tokyo Story (Ozu, Japan, 1953) – 6.7
Ugetsu (Mizoguchi, Japan, 1953) – 6.7
Rear Window (Hitchcock, USA, 1954) – 8.9
Seven Samurai (Kurosawa, Japan, 1954) – 8.3
French Cancan (Renoir, France, 1954) – 8.2
Sansho the Bailiff (Mizoguchi, Japan, 1954) – 7.0
The Night of the Hunter (Laughton, USA, 1955) – 9.1
All That Heaven Allows (Sirk, USA, 1955) – 8.0
Artists and Models (Tashlin, USA, 1955) – 7.8
Kiss Me Deadly (Aldrich, USA, 1955) – 7.2
Pather Panchali (Ray, India, 1955) – 6.4
A Man Escaped (Bresson, France, 1956) – 8.1
The Searchers (Ford, USA, 1956) – 7.4
Bigger Than Life (Ray, USA, 1956) – 6.8
Aparajito (Ray, India, 1956) – 6.6
An Affair to Remember (McCarey, USA, 1957) – 8.0
Vertigo (Hitchcock, USA, 1958) – 8.8
Some Came Running (Minnelli, USA, 1958) – 7.9
Touch of Evil (Welles, USA, 1958) – 7.6
Big Deal on Madonna Street (Monicelli, Italy, 1958) – 7.5
Cairo Station (Chahine, Egypt, 1958) – 7.0
Ashes and Diamonds (Wajda, Poland, 1958) – 7.0
Throne of Blood (Kurosawa, Japan, 1958) – 5.9
Some Like It Hot (Wilder, USA, 1959) – 9.1
Anatomy of a Murder (Preminger, USA, 1959) – 8.9
The 400 Blows (Truffaut, USA, 1959) – 8.8
North By Northwest (Hitchcock, USA, 1959) – 8.6
Rio Bravo (Hawks, USA, 1959) – 8.6
Pickpocket (Bresson, France, 1959) – 7.3
Hiroshima, Mon Amour (Resnais, France, 1959) – 6.8
Psycho (Hitchcock, USA, 1960) – 8.7
When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (Naruse, Japan, 1960) – 8.1
Les Bonnes Femmes (Chabrol, France, 1960) – 8.0
Breathless (Godard, France, 1960) – 7.9
Eyes Without a Face (Franju, France, 1960) – 7.7
Accatone (Pasolini, Italy, 1960) – 7.6
L’aventura (Antonioni, Italy, 1960) – 7.4
The Housemaid (Kim, S. Korea, 1960) – 7.1
Chronicle of a Summer (Rouch/Morin, France, 1960) – 6.9
Last Year at Marienbad (Resnais, France, 1961) – 6.8
Viridiana (Bunuel, Spain, 1961) – 5.8
The Ladies Man (Lewis, USA, 1962) – 8.3
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (Ford, USA, 1962) – 8.3
Cleo from 5 to 7 (Varda, France, 1962) – 7.4
Vivre sa Vie (Godard, France, 1962) – 7.2
Le Doulos (Melville, France, 1962) – 7.1
Jules and Jim (Truffaut, France, 1962) – 5.5
Shock Corridor (Fuller, USA, 1963) – 8.4
The Nutty Professor (Lewis, USA, 1963) – 8.4
The Executioner (Berlanga, Spain, 1963) – 8.1
Contempt (Godard, France, 1963) – 8.0
Black Sabbath (Bava, Italy, 1963) – 7.1
8 1/2 (Fellini, Italy, 1963) – 6.5
Onibaba (Shindo, Japan, 1964) – 8.0
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Demy, France, 1964) – 7.8
Band of Outsiders (Godard, France, 1964) – 7.4
Dry Summer (Erksan, Turkey, 1964) – 7.4
Pierrot le Fou (Godard, France, 1965) – 8.3
Repulsion (Polanski, UK, 1965) – 7.4
Mickey One (Penn, USA, 1965) – 7.1
Alphaville (Godard, France, 1965) – 6.0
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Leone, Italy, 1966) – 8.8
Daisies (Chytilova, Czechoslovakia, 1966) – 7.2
Point Blank (Boorman, USA, 1966) – 7.0
The Pornographers (Imamura, Japan, 1966) – 6.9
Persona (Bergman, Sweden, 1966) – 6.4
The Graduate (Nichols, USA, 1967) – 8.8
The Young Girls of Rochefort (Demy, France, 1967) – 8.6
Play Time (Tati, France, 1967) – 8.2
The Firemen’s Ball (Forman, Czechoslovakia, 1967) – 8.0
Le Samourai (Melville, France, 1967) – 8.0
Branded to Kill (Suzuki, Japan, 1967) – 7.8
Don’t Look Back (Pennebaker, USA, 1967) – 7.4
David Holzman’s Diary (McBride, USA, 1967) – 6.7
Dragon Inn (Hu, Taiwan, 1967) – 6.5
Rosemary’s Baby (Polanski, USA, 1968) – 8.3
High School (Wiseman, USA, 1968) – 7.7
2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, USA, 1968) – 7.6
Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach (Straub/Huillet, Germany, 1968) – 5.3
The Wild Bunch (Peckinpah, USA, 1969) – 8.1
My Night at Maud’s (Rohmer, France, 1969) – 7.8
Medium Cool (Wexler, USA, 1969) – 7.2
Inquiring Nuns (Quinn, USA, 1969) – 7.2
Antonio das Mortes (Rocha, Brazil, 1969) – 5.2
The Red Circle (Melville, France, 1970) – 8.4
Le Boucher (Chabrol, France, 1970) – 7.5
The Emigrants (Troell, Sweden, 1971) – 8.8
A New Leaf (May, USA, 1971) – 8.2
Two-Lane Blacktop (Hellman, USA, 1971) – 7.7
McCabe and Mrs. Miller (Altman, USA, 1971) – 6.9
Minnie and Moskowitz (Cassavetes, USA, 1971) – 5.2
The New Land (Troell, Sweden, 1972) – 8.8
Love in the Afternoon (Rohmer, France, 1972) – 8.3
Solaris (Tarkovsky, Russia, 1972) – 6.3
The Exorcist (Friedkin, USA, 1973) – 8.1
The Long Goodbye (Altman, USA, 1973) – 7.9
The Sting (Hill, USA, 1973) – 7.9
Badlands (Malick, USA, 1973) – 7.6
The Mother and the Whore (Eustache, France, 1973) – 7.4
The Spirit of the Beehive (Erice, Spain, 1973) – 7.4
Touki Bouki (Mambety, Senegal, 1973) – 6.8
Blazing Saddles (Brooks, USA, 1974) – 8.4
Chinatown (Polanski, USA, 1974) – 8.2
Black Christmas (Clark, Canada, 1974) – 8.2
Young Frankenstein (Brooks, USA, 1974) – 7.6
Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (Fassbinder, Germany, 1974) – 7.2
Celine and Julie Go Boating (Rivette, France, 1974) – 6.8
The Irony of Fate: Or Enjoy Your Bath (Ryazanov, Russia, 1975) – 8.5
Cooley High (Schultz, USA, 1975) – 8.3
Night Moves (Penn, USA, 1975) – 8.1
Grey Gardens (Maysles/Maysles, USA, 1975) – 4.2
Taxi Driver (Scorsese, USA, 1976) – 7.8
In the Realm of the Senses (Oshima, Japan, 1976) – 6.9
Mikey and Nicky (May, USA, 1976) – 6.4
Annie Hall (Allen, USA, 1977) – 6.6
House (Obayashi, Japan, 1977) – 6.4
One Way Boogie Woogie (Benning, USA, 1977) – 5.1
A Wedding (Altman, USA, 1978) – 8.4
Halloween (Carpenter, USA, 1978) – 8.3
The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (Lau, Hong Kong, 1978) – 8.3
Dawn of the Dead (Romero, USA, 1978) – 7.8
Days of Heaven (Malick, USA, 1978) – 7.8
Killer of Sheep (Burnett, USA, 1979) – 7.8
The Blues Brothers (Landis, USA, 1980) – 9.4
Raging Bull (Scorsese, USA, 1980) – 8.3
The Shining (Kubrick, USA, 1980) – 8.2
Melvin and Howard (Demme, USA, 1980) – 7.0
Popeye (Altman, USA, 1980) – 5.2
Thief (Mann, USA, 1981) – 8.5
An American Werewolf in London (Landis, USA, 1981) – 8.3
Possession (Zulawski, France/Germany, 1981) – 7.9
The Road Warrior (Miller, Australia, 1981) – 7.4
Trances (El Maanouni, Morocco, 1981) – 6.2
The Thing (Carpenter, USA, 1982) – 8.3
Blade Runner (Scott, USA, 1982) – 7.6
The Slumber Party Massacre (Jones, USA, 1982) – 6.8
Rock in Reykjavik (Fridriksson, Iceland, 1982) – 6.3
A Nos Amours (Pialat, France, 1983) – 8.5
Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (Oshima, Japan, 1983) – 8.0
Sans Soleil (Marker, France, 1983) – 6.2
Stranger Than Paradise (Jarmusch, USA, 1984) – 8.0
Vagabond (Varda, France, 1985) – 7.4
After Hours (Scorsese, USA, 1985) – 6.7
The Fly (Cronenberg, USA/Canda, 1986) – 8.0
Bad Blood (Carax, France, 1986) – 7.1
The Green Ray (Rohmer, France, 1986) – 6.1
The Dead (Huston, USA/UK, 1987) – 7.8
The Thin Blue Line (Morris, USA, 1988) – 7.9
A Short Film About Love (Kieslowski, Poland, 1988) – 7.9
Time of the Gypsies (Kusturica, Yugoslavia, 1988) – 7.0
A Short Film About Killing (Kieslowski, Poland, 1988) – 6.9
Drugstore Cowboy (Van Sant, USA, 1989) – 8.2
Do the Right Thing (Lee, USA, 1989) – 7.6
Goodfellas (Scorsese, USA, 1990) – 9.0
King of New York (Ferrara, USA, 1990) – 8.9
House Party (Hudlin, USA, 1990) – 6.7
Defending Your Life (Brooks, USA, 1991) – 8.5
To Sleep with Anger (Burnett, USA, 1991) – 8.5
The Lovers on the Bridge (Carax, France, 1991) – 8.0
Close-Up (Kiarostami, Iran, 1991) – 7.6
Slacker (Linklater, USA, 1991) – 7.0
Basic Instinct (Verhoeven, USA, 1992) – 9.0
Unforgiven (Eastwood, USA, 1992) – 8.6
Deep Cover (Duke, USA, 1992) – 8.5
The Player (Altman, USA, 1992) – 8.2
The Long Day Closes (Davies, UK, 1992) – 4.7
The Piano (Campion, New Zealand, 1993) – 8.4
Groundhog Day (Raimis, USA, 1993) – 8.4
Sonatine (Kitano, Japan, 1993) – 8.3
Matinee (Dante, USA, 1993) – 8.2
Dazed and Confused (Linklater, USA, 1993) – 8.2
Menace II Society (Hughes/Hughes, USA, 1993) – 8.0
Naked (Leigh, UK, 1993) – 6.3
The Bride with White Hair (Yu, Hong Kong, 1993) – 5.1
Hoop Dreams (James, USA, 1994) – 8.0
Chungking Express (Wong, Hong Kong, 1994) – 8.0
The Last Seduction (Dahl, USA, 1994) – 7.1
Wild Reeds (Techine, France, 1994) – 7.1
Ed Wood (Burton, USA, 1994) – 6.8
Devil in a Blue Dress (Franklin, USA, 1995 – 8.5
The Bridges of Madison County (Eastwood, USA, 1995) – 8.2
Dead Man (Jarmusch, USA, 1995) – 8.1
Irma Vep (Assayas, France, 1996) – 7.2
A Moment of Innocence (Makhmalbaf, Iran, 1996) – 5.8
Jackie Brown (Tarantino, USA, 1997) – 9.2
L.A. Confidential (Hanson, USA, 1997) – 8.8
Cure (Kurosawa, Japan, 1997) – 8.2
Taste of Cherry (Kiarostami, Iran, 1997) – 7.2
The Mirror (Panahi, Iran, 1997) – 5.1
The Big Lebowski (Coen/Coen, 1998) – 8.8
The Last Days of Disco (Stillman, USA, 1998) – 8.4
The Bird People in China (Miike, Japan/China, 1998) – 6.6
Office Space (Judge, USA, 1999) – 8.5
Peppermint Candy (Lee, S. Korea, 1999) – 8.2
Ravenous (Bird, UK/USA, 1999) – 8.0
Nowhere to Hide (Lee, S. Korea, 1999) – 7.6
Audition (Miike, Japan, 1999) – 7.5
Beau Travail (Denis, France, 1999) – 7.0
JSA: Joint Security Area (Park S. Korea, 2000) – 8.6
High Fidelity (Frears, USA, 2000) – 8.5
Yi Yi (Yang, Taiwan, 2000) – 8.4
Dancer in the Dark (Von Trier, Sweden/Denmark, 2000) – 8.1
La Captive (Akerman, France, 2000) – 8.0
The Day I Became a Woman (Meskini, Iran, 2000) – 7.6
In the Mood for Love (Wong, Hong Kong, 2000) – 7.4
Needing You (To/Wai, Hong Kong, 2000) – 7.1
Sexy Beast (Glazer, UK, 2000) – 6.9
Italian for Beginners (Scherfig, Denmark, 2000) – 6.4
Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (Gowariker, 2001) – 9.3
The Devil’s Backbone (Del Toro, Spain/Mexico, 2001) – 8.6
Mulholland Drive (Lynch, USA, 2001) – 8.1
Failan (Song, S. Korea, 2001) – 8.1
Avalon (Oshii, Japan/Poland, 2001) – 7.8
What Time Is It There? (Tsai, Taiwan, 2001) – 6.6
Fat Girl (Breillat, France, 2001) – 6.5
The Tracker (De Heer, Australia, 2002) – 7.9
Infernal Affairs (Lau/Mak, Hong Kong, 2002) – 7.8
Far From Heaven (Haynes, USA, 2002) – 7.6
Bollywood/Hollywood (Mehta, Canada, 2002) – 7.6
Distant (Ceylan, Turkey, 2002) – 5.0
Memories of Murder (Bong, S. Korea, 2003) – 8.8
Oldboy (Park, S. Korea, 2003) – 8.6
A Tale of Two Sisters (Kim, S. Korea, 2003) – 7.8
Save the Green Planet (Jang, S. Korea, 2003) – 6.9
Before Sunset (Linklater, USA, 2004) – 9.0
3-Iron (Kim, S. Korea, 2004) – 8.8
Moolade (Sembene, Senegal, 2004) – 8.2
The Island of Black Mor (Laguionie, France, 2004) – 8.1
The Holy Girl (Martel, Argentina, 2004) – 6.9
Dumplings (Chan, Hong Kong, 2004) – 6.4
A History of Violence (Cronenberg, Canada/USA, 2005) – 8.3
Grizzly Man (Herzog, USA, 2005) – 8.1
The Proposition (Hillcoat, Australia, 2005) – 8.1
Three Times (Hou, Taiwan, 2005) – 7.5
Pan’s Labyrinth (Del Toro, Spain, 2006) – 9.3
The Host (Bong, S. Korea, 2006) – 8.9
Once (Carney, UK, 2006) – 8.8
Shaun of the Dead (Wright, UK, 2006) – 8.5
Black Book (Verhoeven, Holland, 2006) – 8.4
Offside (Panahi, Iran, 2006) – 8.2
A Scanner Darkly (Linklater, USA, 2006) – 8.0
Woman on the Beach (Hong, S. Korea, 2006) – 7.1
12:08 East of Bucharest (Poromboiu, Romania, 2006) – 5.7
The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford (Dominik, USA, 2007) – 9.6
Zodiac (Fincher, USA, 2007) – 9.1
Eastern Promises (Cronenberg, Canada/UK, 2007) – 8.7
My Winnipeg (Maddin, Canada, 2007) – 6.3
Let the Right One In (Alfredson, Sweden, 2008) – 8.7
Me and Orson Welles (Linklater, USA, 2008) – 7.9
The Headless Woman (Martel, Argentina, 2008) – 6.1
The Hurt Locker (Bigelow, USA, 2008) – 9.4
The House of the Devil (West, USA, 2009) – 8.1
Change Nothing (Costa, France/Portugal, 2009) – 6.0
Shutter Island (Scorsese, USA, 2010) – 9.5
The Social Network (Fincher, USA, 2010) – 8.5
Certified Copy (Kiarostami, Italy/France, 2010) – 8.5
Another Year (Leigh, UK, 2010) – 8.1
The Ghost Writer (Polanski, Germany/France, 2010) – 8.0
The Hunter (Pitts, Iran, 2010) – 6.8
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Weerasethakul, Thailand, 2010) – 6.6
Audrey the Trainwreck (Ross, USA, 2010) – 6.4
Bernie (Linklater, USA, 2011) – 8.9
The Skin I Live In (Almodovar, Spain, 2011) – 8.6
Drive (Refn, USA, 2011) – 8.1
Life Without Principle (To, Hong Kong, 2011) – 7.9
Midnight in Paris (Allen, USA/France, 2011) – 7.7
Le Havre (Kaurismaki, France/Finland, 2011) – 7.6
Mildred Pierce (Haynes, USA, 2011) – 7.5
This Is Not a Film (Panahi, Iran, 2011) – 7.1
Sleeping Sickness (Kohler, Germany, 2011) – 6.6
Zero Dark Thirty (Bigelow, USA, 2012) – 8.9
Frances Ha (Baumbach, USA, 2012) – 8.7
Silver Linings Playbook (Russell, USA, 2012) – 8.4
Holy Motors (Carax, France, 2012) – 8.3
Spring Breakers (Korine, USA, 2012) – 8.3
Dormant Beauty (Bellochio, Italy, 2012) – 8.1
Barbara (Petzold, Germany, 2012) – 8.0
Empire Builder (Swanberg, USA, 2012) – 7.7
The Master (Anderson, USA, 2012) – 7.6
Cosmopolis (Cronenberg, Canada/Germany, 2012) – 7.0
The Unspeakable Act (Sallit, USA, 2012) – 6.9
A F**load of Scotch Tape (Grant, USA, 2012) – 6.8
Shoals (Bass, USA, 2012) – 5.7
Snowpiercer (Bong, S. Korea, 2013) – 9.4
Stoker (Park, USA, 2013) – 8.9
Nymphomaniac (Von Trier, Denmark/Germany, 2013) – 8.5
The Grandmaster (Wong, Hong Kong/China, 2013) – 8.2
Top of the Lake (Campion/Davis, New Zealand, 2013) – 8.1
Upstream Color (Carruth, USA, 2013) – 8.1
Before Midnight (Linklater, USA, 2013) – 8.0
A Touch of Sin (Jia, China, 2013) – 7.9
The Wind Rises (Miyazaki, Japan, 2013) – 7.8
Jimmy P. (Desplechin, France/USA, 2013) – 7.7
Contracted (England, USA, 2013) – 7.6
Under the Skin (Glazer, UK, 2013) – 7.3
Black Box (Cone, USA, 2013) – 7.2
Gloria (Lelio, Chile, 2013) – 7.2
Double Play: James Benning and Richard Linklater (Klinger, USA, 2013) – 6.8
Only Lovers Left Alive (Jarmusch, USA, 2013) – 6.3
The Girls on Liberty Street (Rangel, USA, 2013) – 5.5
Boyhood (Linklater, USA, 2014) – 9.5
The Grand Budapest Hotel (Anderson, USA, 2014) – 8.9
Actress (Greene, USA, 2014) – 8.3
Inherent Vice (Anderson, USA, 2014) – 8.3
The Babadook (Kent, Australia, 2014) – 8.1
Li’l Quinquin (Dumont, France, 2014) – 7.9
Goodbye to Language (Godard, Switzerland/France, 2014) – 7.6
Buzzard (Potrykus, USA, 2014) – 6.7
Right Now, Wrong Then (Hong, S. Korea, 2015) – 8.5
Thao’s Library (Van Meter, USA, 2015) – 8.5
Timbuktu (Sissako, Mauritania/Mali, 2015) – 7.6
Bloomin Mud Shuffle (Ross, USA, 2015) – 7.5
Toni Erdmann (Ade, Germany, 2016) – 9.0
Malaria (Shahbazi, Iran, 2016) – 8.8
Donald Cried (Avedisian, USA, 2016) – 8.5

The 10 Highest-Rated Films:
10. The Night of the Hunter (Laughton, USA, 1955) – 9.1
9. Jackie Brown (Tarantino, USA, 1997) – 9.2
8. Pan’s Labyrinth (Del Toro, Spain/Mexico, 2006) – 9.3
7. Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (Gowariker, India, 2000) – 9.3
6. The Blues Brothers (Landis, USA, 1980) – 9.4
5. The Hurt Locker (Bigelow, USA, 2008) – 9.4
4. Snowpiercer (Bong, S. Korea, 2013) – 9.4
3. Shutter Island (Scorsese, USA, 2010) – 9.5
2. Boyhood (Linklater, USA, 2014) – 9.5
1. The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford (Dominik, USA, 2007) – 9.6

 

 

 

 

 


My Student Tomato-Meter: 2016 Edition

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The Fall semester just began, which means it’s that time of year when I post my updated “student tomato-meter” showing the aggregated results of the ratings — on a scale from one-to-10 — that my students have given to every movie I’ve shown in my film studies classes dating back to the Spring 2009 semester. I’ve now taught 84 classes and shown a total of 394 unique movies. Below is a list of all the films I’ve screened to date, presented in chronological order by release date, along with the average ratings given by my students. Below that I’ve also included a list of the top 10 highest-rated films. My goal as a teacher is to show at least one movie by every great director who ever lived. Please scan the list below and feel free tell me in the comments section who you think I might be missing!

Sherlock Holmes (Berthelet, USA, 1915) – 4.1
Les Vampires (Feuillade, France, 1915-1916) – 7.0
Broken Blossoms (Griffith, USA, 1919) – 5.9
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Wiene, Germany, 1920) – 6.8
The Golem (Wegener/Boese, Germany, 1920) – 6
The Phantom Carriage (Sjostrom, Sweden, 1921) – 7.3
Nosferatu (Murnau, Germany, 1922) – 6.5
Our Hospitality (Keaton, USA, 1923) – 8.4
Coeur Fidele (Epstein, France, 1923) – 5.2
Greed (Von Stroheim, USA, 1923) – 6.9
Sherlock Jr. (Keaton, USA, 1924) – 8.0
The Hands of Orlac (Wiene, Germany, 1924) – 6.2
Waxworks (Leni, Germany, 1924) – 5.1
The Freshman (Newmeyer/Taylor, USA, 1925) – 8.3
Seven Chances (Keaton, USA, 1925) – 8.2
The Navigator (Keaton, USA, 1925) – 8.1
The Gold Rush (Chaplin, USA, 1925) – 8.0
The Last Laugh (Murnau, Germany, 1925) – 6.5
Battleship Potemkin (Eisenstein, Soviet Union, 1925) – 5.1
The General (Keaton, USA, 1926) – 8.4
Secrets of a Soul (Pabst, Germany, 1926) – 6.6
Faust (Murnau, Germany, 1926) – 6.9
Sunrise (Murnau, USA, 1927) – 6.9
Metropolis (Lang, Germany, 1927) – 6.6
Hindle Wakes (Elvey, UK, 1927) – 6.6
The End of St. Petersburg (Pudovkin, Soviet Union, 1927) – 5.0
The Fall of the Romanov Dynasty (Shub, Soviet Union, 1927) – 4.0
The Docks of New York (Von Sternberg, USA, 1928) – 8.4
The Crowd (Vidor, USA, 1928) – 7.4
The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer, France, 1928) – 7.2
Lonesome (Fejos, USA, 1928) – 6.7
A Cottage on Dartmoor (Asquith, UK, 1929) – 8.3
Lucky Star (Borzage, USA, 1929) – 8.1
Asphalt (May, Germany, 1929) – 6.8
Man with the Movie Camera (Vertov, Soviet Union, 1929) – 6.2
City Girl (Murnau, USA, 1930) – 6.7
L’age D’or (Bunuel, France, 1930) – 6.6
Earth (Dovzhenko, Soviet Union, 1930) – 3.6
City Lights (Chaplin, USA, 1931) – 8.5
M (Lang, Germany, 1931) – 8.1
Madchen in Uniform (Sagan/Froelich, Germany, 1931) – 7.1
Freaks (Browning, USA, 1932) – 7.1
Vampyr (Dreyer, Denmark/Germany, 1932) – 6.9
The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (Lang, Germany, 1933) – 7.6
Duck Soup (McCarey, USA, 1933) – 6.8
It Happened One Night (Capra, USA, 1934) – 8.5
L’atalante (Vigo, France, 1934) – 7.0
Top Hat (Sandrich, USA, 1935) – 8.6
My Man Godfrey (La Cava, USA, 1936) – 8.5
Modern Times (Chaplin, USA, 1936) – 8.0
Redes (Muriel/Zinneman, Mexico, 1936) – 6.9
The Awful Truth (McCarey, USA, 1937) – 8.5
Grand Illusion (Renoir, France, 1937) – 7.0
Bringing Up Baby (Hawks, USA, 1938) – 8.3
Alexander Nevsky (Eisenstein, Soviet Union, 1938) – 5.0
Midnight (Liesen, USA, 1939) – 8.7
Only Angels Have Wings (Hawks, USA, 1939) – 8.2
The Roaring Twenties (Walsh, USA, 1939) – 8.2
Stagecoach (Ford, USA, 1939) – 7.7
The Rules of the Game (Renoir, France, 1939) – 7.1
The Grapes of Wrath (Ford, USA, 1940) – 7.9
The Shop Around the Corner (Lubitsch, USA, 1940) – 7.4
The Lady Eve (Sturges, USA, 1941) – 8.2
Citizen Kane (Welles, USA, 1941) – 8.2
How Green Was My Valley (Ford, USA, 1941) – 7.8
The Strawberry Blonde (Walsh, USA, 1941) – 7.6
The Maltese Falcon (Huston, USA, 1941) – 6.9
Casablanca (Curtiz, USA, 1942) – 8.3
The Palm Beach Story (Sturges, USA, 1942) – 7.5
Aniki Bobo (De Oliveira, Portugal, 1942) – 7.2
Cat People (Tourneur, USA, 1942) – 5.6
The More the Merrier (Stevens, USA, 1943) – 8.2
I Walked with a Zombie (Tourneur, USA, 1943) – 6
Ossessione (Visconti, Italy, 1943) – 5.2
Double Indemnity (Wilder, USA, 1944) – 8.1
The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (Sturges, USA, 1944) – 8.0
To Have and Have Not (Hawks, USA, 1944) – 7.5
Brief Encounter (Lean, UK, 1945) – 8.0
Detour (Ulmer, USA, 1945) – 7.3
Rome, Open City (Rossellini, Italy, 1945) – 7.2
Notorious (Hitchcock, USA, 1946) – 8.5
The Best Years of Our Lives (Wyler, USA, 1946) – 8.4
My Darling Clementine (Ford, USA, 1946) – 7.5
The Big Sleep (Hawks, USA, 1946) – 6.0
Dead Reckoning (Cromwell, USA, 1947) – 8.2
The Lady from Shanghai (Welles, USA, 1947) – 7.9
Out of the Past (Tourneur, USA, 1947) – 7.7
Body and Soul (Rossen, USA, 1947) – 7.6
Pursued (Walsh, USA, 1947) – 7.1
Letter from an Unknown Woman (Ophuls, USA, 1948) – 8.8
Rope (Hitchcock, USA, 1948) – 8.7
The Red Shoes (Powell/Pressburger, UK, 1948) – 8.3
Bicycle Thieves (de Sica, Italy 1948) – 8.0
Call Northside 777 (Hathaway, USA, 1948) – 7.7
Germany Year Zero (Rossellini, Italy/Germany, 1948) – 7.6
Fort Apache (Ford, USA, 1948) – 7.5
Spring in a Small Town (Fei, China, 1948) – 6.7
Jour de Fete (Tati, France, 1949) – 8.7
A Letter to Three Wives (Mankiewicz, USA, 1949) – 8.4
White Heat (Walsh, USA, 1949) – 8.3
The Third Man (Reed, UK, 1949) – 8.0
Sunset Boulevard (Wilder, USA, 1950) – 8.8
Los Olvidados (Bunuel, Mexico, 1950) – 7.5
Devil’s Doorway (Mann, USA, 1950) – 7.3
Union Station (Mate, USA, 1950) – 7.3
The African Queen (Huston, USA, 1951) – 8.3
Singin’ in the Rain (Donen/Kelly, USA, 1952) – 9.0
Umberto D. (De Sica, Italy, 1952) – 6.8
The Big Heat (Lang, USA, 1953) – 8.5
Pickup on South Street (Fuller, USA, 1953) – 8.2
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Hawks, USA, 1953) – 8.2
Mr. Hulot’s Holiday (Tati, France, 1953) – 8.1
The Band Wagon (Minnelli, USA, 1953) – 7.9
Strangers on a Train (Hitchcock, USA, 1953) – 7.8
The Hitch-Hiker (Lupino, USA, 1953) – 7.7
City That Never Sleeps (Auer, USA, 1953) – 7.5
The Naked Spur (Mann, USA, 1953) – 7.0
Tokyo Story (Ozu, Japan, 1953) – 6.7
Ugetsu (Mizoguchi, Japan, 1953) – 6.7
Rear Window (Hitchcock, USA, 1954) – 8.9
Seven Samurai (Kurosawa, Japan, 1954) – 8.3
French Cancan (Renoir, France, 1954) – 8.2
Sansho the Bailiff (Mizoguchi, Japan, 1954) – 7.0
All That Heaven Allows (Sirk, USA, 1955) – 8.0
Artists and Models (Tashlin, USA, 1955) – 7.8
Kiss Me Deadly (Aldrich, USA, 1955) – 7.2
The Night of the Hunter (Laughton, 1955) – 9.1
Pather Panchali (Ray, India, 1955) – 6.4
A Man Escaped (Bresson, France, 1956) – 8.2
The Searchers (John Ford, USA, 1956) – 7.4
Bigger Than Life (N. Ray, USA, 1956) – 6.8
Aparajito (Ray, India, 1956) – 6.6
An Affair to Remember (McCarey, USA, 1957) – 8.1
Vertigo (Hitchcock, USA, 1958) – 8.8
Some Came Running (Minnelli, USA, 1958) – 7.9
Touch of Evil (Welles, USA, 1958) – 7.6
Big Deal on Madonna Street (Monicelli, Italy, 1958) – 7.5
Cairo Station (Chahine, Egypt, 1958) – 7.0
Throne of Blood (Kurosawa, Japan, 1958) – 5.9
Some Like It Hot (Wilder, USA, 1959) – 9.2
Anatomy of a Murder (Preminger, USA, 1959) – 8.9
The 400 Blows (Truffaut, France, 1959) – 8.8
North By Northwest (Hitchcock, USA, 1959) – 8.6
Rio Bravo (Hawks, USA, 1959) – 8.0
Pickpocket (Bresson, France, 1959) – 7.3
Hiroshima Mon Amour (Resnais, France, 1959) – 6.8
Psycho (Hitchcock, USA, 1960) – 8.7
Eyes Without a Face (Franju, France, 1960) – 8.4
When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (Naruse, Japan, 1960) – 8.1
Les Bonnes Femmes (Chabrol, France, 1960) – 8.0
Breathless (Godard, France, 1960) – 7.8
Accatone (Pasolini, Italy, 1960) – 7.6
L’avventura (Antonioni, Italy, 1960) – 7.4
The Housemaid (Kim, S. Korea, 1960) – 7.1
Last Year at Marienbad (Resnais, France, 1961) – 6.8
Viridiana (Bunuel, Spain, 1961) – 5.8
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (Ford, USA, 1962) – 8.3
Cleo from 5 to 7 (Varda, France, 1962) – 7.4
Vivre sa Vie (Godard, France, 1962) – 7.2
Le Doulos (Melville, France, 1962) – 7.1
Jules and Jim (Truffaut, France 1962) – 5.5
Contempt (Godard, France, 1963) – 8.5
Shock Corridor (Fuller, USA, 1963) – 8.4
The Nutty Professor (Lewis, USA, 1963) – 8.4
Black Sabbath (Bava, Italy, 1963) – 7.1
8 1/2 (Fellini, Italy, 1963) – 6.5
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Demy, France, 1964) – 8.2
Onibaba (Shindo, Japan, 1964) – 8.0
Band of Outsiders (Godard, France, 1964) – 7.4
Dry Summer (Erksan, Turkey, 1964) – 7.4
Pierrot le Fou (Godard, France, 1965) – 8.3
Alphaville (Godard, France, 1965) – 6.0
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Leone, Italy, 1966) – 8.8
Daisies (Chytilova, Czechoslovakia, 1966) – 7.2
Point Blank (Boorman, USA, 1966) – 7.0
The Pornographers (Imamura, Japan, 1966) – 6.9
Persona (Bergman, Sweden, 1966) – 6.4
The Graduate (Nichols, USA, 1967) – 8.8
The Young Girls of Rochefort (Demy, France, 1967) – 8.6
Play Time (Tati, France, 1967) – 8.2
Le Samourai (Melville, France, 1967) – 8.0
Bonnie and Clyde (Penn, USA, 1967) – 7.5
Don’t Look Back (Pennebaker, USA, 1967) – 7.4
David Holzman’s Diary (McBride, USA, 1967) – 6.9
Dragon Inn (Hu, Taiwan, 1967) – 6.5
Rosemary’s Baby (Polanski, USA, 1968) – 8.3
High School (Wiseman, USA, 1968) – 7.7
2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, USA, 1968) – 7.6
Inquiring Nuns (Quinn, USA, 1968) – 6.9
The Wild Bunch (Peckinpah, USA, 1969) – 8.1
My Night at Maud’s (Rohmer, France, 1969) – 7.8
Medium Cool (Wexler, USA, 1969) – 7.2
The Red Circle (Melville, France, 1970) – 9.1
Le Boucher (Chabrol, France, 1970) – 7.5
A New Leaf (May, USA, 1971) – 8.0
Two-Lane Blacktop (Hellman, USA, 1971) – 7.7
The Emigrants (Troell, Sweden, 1971) – 8.8
McCabe and Mrs. Miller (Altman, USA, 1971) – 6.9
Minnie and Moskowitz (Cassavetes, USA, 1971) – 5.2
Love in the Afternoon (Rohmer, France, 1972) – 8.6
The New Land (Troell, France, 1972) – 8.8
Solaris (Tarkovsky, Russia, 1972) – 6.9
The Exorcist (Friedkin, USA, 1973) – 8.1
The Long Goodbye (Altman, USA, 1973) – 7.9
Badlands (Malick, USA, 1973) – 7.6
The Mother and the Whore (Eustache, France, 1973) – 7.4
The Spirit of the Beehive (Erice, Spain, 1973) – 7.4
Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (Fassbinder, Germany, 1973) – 7.2
Touki Bouki (Mambety, Senegal, 1973) – 6.9
Blazing Saddles (Brooks, USA, 1974) – 8.4
Chinatown (Polanski, USA, 1974) – 8.2
Black Christmas (Clark, Canada, 1974) – 8.2
Young Frankenstein (Brooks, USA, 1974) – 7.6
Celine and Julie Go Boating (Rivette, France, 1974) – 6.8
The Irony of Fate: Or Enjoy Your Bath! (Ryazanov, Russia, 1975) – 8.5
Cooley High (Schultz, USA, 1975) – 8.3
Night Moves (Penn, USA, 1975) – 8.1
Grey Gardens (Maysles/Maysles, USA, 1975) – 4.2
Taxi Driver (Scorsese, USA, 1976) – 8.6
Mikey and Nicky (May, USA, 1976) – 6.4
Annie Hall (Allen, USA, 1977) – 6.6
House (Obayashi, Japan, 1977) – 6.4
One Way Boogie Woogie (Benning, USA, 1977) – 5.1
Halloween (Carpenter, USA, 1978) – 8.3
The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (Lau, Hong Kong, 1978) – 8.3
Days of Heaven (Malick, USA, 1978) – 7.4
Killer of Sheep (Burnett, USA, 1979) – 7.8
Raging Bull (Scorsese, USA, 1980) – 8.3
The Shining (Kubrick, USA, 1980) – 8.2
Popeye (Altman, USA, 1980) – 5.2
An American Werewolf in London (Landis, USA/UK, 1981) – 7.9
The Road Warrior (Miller, Australia, 1981) – 7.4
Trances (El Maanouni, Morocco, 1981) – 6.2
The Thing (Carpenter, USA, 1982) – 8.3
Blade Runner (Scott, USA, 1982) – 7.6
The Slumber Party Massacre (Jones, USA, 1982) – 6.8
Rock in Reykjavik (Fridriksson, Iceland, 1982) – 6.3
A Nos Amours (Pialat, France, 1983) – 8.5
Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (Oshima, Japan, 1983) – 8.0
Sans Soleil (Marker, France, 1983) – 6.2
Stranger Than Paradise (Jarmusch, USA, 1984) – 6.2
Vagabond (Varda, France, 1985) – 7.6
After Hours (Scorsese, USA, 1985) – 6.7
The Fly (Cronenberg, Canada/USA, 1986) – 8.0
Bad Blood (Carax, France, 1986) – 7.1
The Green Ray (Rohmer, France, 1986) – 6.1
The Dead (Huston, USA/UK, 1987) – 7.8
A Short Film About Love (Kieslowski, Poland, 1988) – 8.4
The Thin Blue Line (Morris, USA, 1988) – 7.9
Time of the Gypsies (Kusturica, Yugoslavia, 1988) – 7.0
A Short Film About Killing (Kieslowski, Poland, 1988) – 6.9
Drugstore Cowboy (Van Sant, USA, 1989) – 8.2
Do the Right Thing (Lee, USA, 1989) – 7.6
Goodfellas (Scorsese, USA, 1990) – 9.0
King of New York (Ferrara, USA, 1990) – 8.9
House Party (Hudlin, USA, 1990) – 6.7
The Lovers on the Bridge (Carax, France, 1991) – 8.0
Defending Your Life (Brooks, USA, 1991) – 8.5
Close-Up (Kiarostami, Iran, 1991) – 7.6
Slacker (Linklater, USA, 1991) – 7.0
Basic Instinct (Verhoeven, USA, 1992) – 9.0
Unforgiven (Eastwood, USA, 1992) – 8.6
Deep Cover (Duke, USA, 1992) – 8.5
The Player (Altman, USA, 1992) – 8.2
The Piano (Campion, New Zealand, 1993) – 8.4
Groundhog Day (Ramis, USA, 1993) – 8.4
Sonatine (Kitano, Japan, 1993) – 8.3
Matinee (Dante, USA, 1993) – 8.2
Dazed and Confused (Linklater, USA, 1993) – 8.2
Menace II Society (Hughes/Hughes, USA, 1993) – 8.0
Naked (Leigh, UK, 1993) – 6.3
The Bride With White Hair (Yu, Hong Kong, 1993) – 5.1
Chungking Express (Wong, Hong Kong, 1994) – 8.0
Hoop Dreams (James, USA, 1994) – 7.4
The Last Seduction (Dahl, USA, 1994) – 7.2
Ed Wood (Burton, USA, 1994) – 6.8
Devil in a Blue Dress (Franklin, USA, 1995) – 8.5
The Bridges of Madison County (Eastwood, USA, 1995) – 8.2
Dead Man (Jarmsuch, USA, 1995) – 8.1
Irma Vep (Assayas, France, 1996) – 7.2
A Moment of Innocence (Makhmalbaf, Iran, 1996) – 5.8
Jackie Brown (Tarantino, USA, 1997) – 9.2
L.A. Confidential (Hanson, USA, 1997) – 8.8
Cure (Kurosawa, Japan, 1997) – 8.2
Taste of Cherry (Kiarostami, Iran, 1997) – 7.2
The Mirror (Panahi, Iran, 1997) – 5.1
The Big Lebowski (Coen/Coen, USA, 1998) – 8.8
The Bird People in China (Miike, Japan, 1998) – 6.6
Office Space (Judge, USA, 1999) – 8.4
Peppermint Candy (Lee, S. Korea, 1999) – 8.2
Ravenous (Bird, UK/USA, 1999) – 8.0
Nowhere to Hide (Lee, S. Korea, 1999) – 7.6
Audition (Miike, Japan, 1999) – 7.5
Beau Travail (Denis, France/Djibouti, 1999) – 5.4
JSA: Joint Security Area (Park, S. Korea, 2000) – 8.6
Yi Yi (Yang, Taiwan, 2000) – 8.4
Dancer in the Dark (Von Trier, Denmark/Sweden, 2000) – 8.0
Failan (Song, S. Korea, 2000) – 8.0
La Captive (Akerman, France, 2000) – 8.0
The Day I Became a Woman (Meshkini, Iran, 2000) – 7.6
In the Mood for Love (Wong, Hong Kong, 2000) – 7.4
Needing You (To/Wai, Hong Kong, 2000) – 7.1
Sexy Beast (Glazer, UK, 2000) – 6.9
Italian for Beginners (Scherfig, Denmark, 2000) – 6.4
Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (Gowariker, India, 2000) – 9.3
The Devil’s Backbone (Del Toro, Spain/Mexico, 2001) – 8.6
Mulholland Dr. (Lynch, USA, 2001) – 8.1
Avalon (Oshii, Japan/Poland, 2001) – 7.8
What Time Is It There? (Tsai, Taiwan, 2001) – 6.6
The Tracker (De Heer, Australia, 2002) – 7.9
Infernal Affairs (Lau/Mak, Hong Kong, 2002) – 7.8
Bollywood/Hollywood (Mehta, Canada/India, 2002) – 7.6
Far From Heaven (Haynes, USA, 2002) – 7.5
Memories of Murder (Bong, S. Korea, 2003) – 8.8
Oldboy (Park, S. Korea, 2003) – 8.6
A Tale of Two Sisters (Kim, S. Korea, 2003) – 7.8
Save the Green Planet (Jang, S. Korea, 2003) – 6.9
Before Sunset (Linklater, USA/France, 2004) – 9.0
3-Iron (Kim, S. Korea, 2004) – 8.8
Moolade (Sembene, Senegal, 2004) – 8.2
The Island of Black Mor (Laguionie, France, 2004) – 8.1
The Holy Girl (Martel, Argentina, 2004) – 6.9
Dumplings (Chan, Hong Kong, 2004) – 6.4
A History of Violence (Cronenberg, Canada/USA, 2005) – 8.3
Grizzly Man (Herzog, USA, 2005) – 8.1
The Proposition (Hillcoat, Australia, 2005) – 8.1
Three Times (Hou, Taiwan, 2005) – 7.5
Pan’s Labyrinth (Del Toro, Spain, 2006) – 9.3
The Host (Bong, S. Korea, 2006) – 8.9
Once (Carney, UK, 2006) – 8.8
Shaun of the Dead (Wright, UK, 2006) – 8.5
Black Book (Verhoeven, Denmark, 2006) – 8.4
Offside (Panahi, Iran, 2006) – 8.1
A Scanner Darkly (Linklater, USA, 2006) – 8.0
Woman on the Beach (Hong, S. Korea, 2006) – 7.1
Zodiac (Fincher, USA, 2007) – 9.1
My Winnipeg (Maddin, Canada, 2007) – 6.3
Let the Right One In (Alfredson, Sweden, 2008) – 8.7
Me and Orson Welles (Linklater, USA, 2008) – 7.9
The Headless Woman (Martel, Argentina, 2008) – 6.1
The House of the Devil (West, USA, 2009) – 8.1
Shutter Island (Scorsese, USA, 2010) – 9.5
The Social Network (Fincher, USA, 2010) – 8.5
Certified Copy (Kiarostami, Italy/France, 2010) – 8.5
The Ghost Writer (Polanski, Germany/France, 2010) – 8.0
The Hunter (Pitts, Iran, 2010) – 6.8
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Weerasethakul, Thailand, 2010) 6.6
Another Year (Leigh, UK, 2010) – 8.1
Le Havre (Kaurismaki, France/Finland, 2011) – 7.6
Bernie (Linklater, USA, 2011) – 8.9
The Skin I Live In (Amodovar, Spain, 2011) – 8.6
Drive (Refn, USA, 2011) – 8.1
Life Without Principle (To, Hong Kong, 2011) – 7.9
Sleeping Sickness (Kohler, Germany, 2011) – 6.6
This Is Not a Film (Panahi, Iran, 2011) – 7.1
Midnight in Paris (Allen, USA/France, 2011) – 7.7
Zero Dark Thirty (Bigelow, USA, 2012) – 8.9
Frances Ha (Baumbach, USA, 2012) – 8.7
Holy Motors (Carax, France, 2012) – 8.4
Silver Linings Playbook (Russell, USA, 2012) – 8.4
Spring Breakers (Korine, USA, 2012) – 8.3
Empire Builder (Swanberg, USA, 2012) – 7.7
The Master (Anderson, USA, 2012) – 7.6
Cosmopolis (Cronenberg, Canada/Germany, 2012) – 7.0
The Unspeakable Act (Sallit, USA, 2012) – 6.9
Shoals (Bass, USA, 2012) – 5.7
Dormant Beauty (Bellocchio, Italy, 2012) – 8.1
Barbara (Petzold, Germany, 2012) – 8.0
Nymphomaniac (Von Trier, Denmark/Germany, 2013) – 8.5
The Grandmaster (Wong, Hong Kong/China, 2013) – 8.2
Upstream Color (Carruth, USA, 2013) – 8.1
A Touch of Sin (Jia, China, 2013) – 7.9
Before Midnight (Linklater, USA, 2013) – 8.0
The Wind Rises (Miyazaki, Japan, 2013) – 7.8
Jimmy P. (Desplechin, France/USA, 2013) – 7.7
Under the Skin (Glazer, UK, 2013) – 7.3
Black Box (Cone, USA, 2013) – 7.2
Gloria (Lelio, Chile, 2013) – 7.2
Double Play: James Benning and Richard Linklater (Klinger, USA, 2013) 6.8
Only Lovers Left Alive (Jarmusch, USA, 2013) – 6.3
The Girls on Liberty Street (Rangel, USA, 2013) – 5.5
Snowpiercer (Bong, S. Korea, 2013) – 9.4
Stoker (Park, USA, 2013) – 8.9
Top of the Lake (Campion/Davis, 2013) – 8.1
Boyhood (Linklater, USA, 2014) – 9.5
The Grand Budapest Hotel (Anderson, USA, 2014) – 8.9
Actress (Greene, USA, 2014) – 8.3
Inherent Vice (Anderson, USA, 2014) – 8.3
The Babadook (Kent, Australia, 2014) – 8.1
Li’l Quinquin (Dumont, France, 2014) – 7.9
Goodbye to Language (Godard, France, 2014) – 7.6
Malaria (Shahbazi, Iran, 2016) – 8.8

The 10 Highest Rated Films:

1. Boyhood (Linklater, USA, 2014) – 9.5
2. Shutter Island (Scorsese, USA, 2010) – 9.5
3. Snowpiercer (Bong, S. Korea, 2013) – 9.4
4. Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (Gowariker, India, 2000) – 9.3
5. Pan’s Labyrinth (Del Toro, Spain/Mexico, 2006) – 9.2
6. Jackie Brown (Tarantino, USA, 1997) – 9.2
7. Some Like It Hot (Wilder, USA, 1959) – 9.2
8. The Night of the Hunter (Laughton, USA, 1955) – 9.1
9. Zodiac (Fincher, USA, 2007) – 9.1
10. The Red Circle (Melville, France, 1970) – 9.1


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