A Life In Movies

I did this quite a while ago but then it was just a post. After seeing this on so many blogs I think this is good enough to be made a permanent page of. So here we go. 

This is an Interesting Idea. I read on one of the blogs that few months ago, Fandango Groovers asked their viewers to list best film for each year they have been alive. This will be more interesting post to write than read. So I will ask you to do the same if you are reading this. Hopefully, I will keep on adding subsequent years to it as we move on.

And off course, they are my choices. It is possible that some other films might be better than the ones I am listing here. But these films, maybe, connected somewhere. Enjoy!!

2011: Incendies: I might be cheating a little bit since this is technically listed as 2010 release being nominated for Foreign Movie Oscar. But, since it never was released in theater until 2011, I will still go ahead and count it as 2011 movie. Incendies is going to linger in my mind for a long, long time because watching it was a feeling like someone hitting you hard in a gut. This movie has become an epitome of Shock for me. I was awestruck, dumbfounded. Other noteworthy mentions: Hugo, Midnight In Paris, The Descendants.

2010: Inception, Hands Down. There were few really good movies in 2010 like The Social Network, True Grit, Blue Valentine, How To Train Your Dragon but no film is any where near Inception. It is only 10/10 movie in my list. I usually go crazy when I talk about this. Even almost after a year, I can go on discussing about where Sato and Cobb are still in their dream or in Reality for like hours at stretch. Just an amazing film yet again by Christopher Nolan.

2009: Inglourious Basterds. Again I can name handful of really good films like Up In The Air, An Education and I haven't seen A Serious Man yet but looks like everyone is impressed by it. But I doubt if that will be better then Inglourious. Typical Tarantino Film - violent, unrestrained and thoroughlly entertaining. Inglorious probably is his best work since Pulp Fiction. One most notable thing in this is length of scenes. Longer the scene, the better it becomes and there are so many examples. Very first scene of film, Scene in the bar with Diane Kruger, Scene where Hans Landa meets Shosanna- they are all simply amazing.

2008: The Dark Knight. Christopher Nolan just touches different heights with his each venture. I never thought it was possible to make a better action film than The Dark Knight. Film keeps an amazing pace throughout even though it clocks well over 2 hours. It has some of the most memorable lines and off course Joker, one of the best villains of all time. Some other notable mentions of the year: Turns out it is one of my favorite years. A lot of gems in 2007 e.g. Waltz with Bashir, In Bruges, Frost/Nixon, Wall-E, Mary and Max and Rachel Getting Married.

2007: No Country For Old Man. Coen Brothers went little off their usual track of dark comedies but then made maybe even better film than what they are known for. What strikes me the most in this film is philosophy of this film and amazingly strong characters and yes, excellent cinematography. This film also gave one of the fiercest villains ever. Anton Chigurh asking that shop owner 'what is the most you have lost in Coin toss?' still kinda freaks me out. Notable Mentions: Juno, Zodiac, Gone Baby Gone and Michael Clayton.

2006: The Departed. It has an amazing male cast ensemble and great direction. I have rarely seen a movie which has likes of Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, Alec Baldwin and Michael Sheen and they all do exceptionally well in it. Greatness of Scorsese lies in using this star-studded cast and giving each character a significant role to play. Few others worth mentioning are The Lives of Others, Letters From Iwo Jima, The Devil Wears Prada, Once and V For Vendetta.

2005: Munich. It is a powerful and thoughtful drama about the human costs of International Terrorism. This film has some of the best Storytelling I have seen. Every frame has a Speilberg stamped on it. Just like any other Spielberg film, his camera tells you a lot more than characters do. As it is based on an historical event, You will enjoy it even more if you are interested in politics. Also see Walk The Line, Good Night and Good Luck  and Match Point.

2004: Finding Neverland. I am not really worried about the historical accuracy of this movie because I have cried every single time I saw this movie and still I have seen it multiple times. This warm, heartfelt drama has a a charm of its own. Johney depp is an amazingly versatile actor but for some reasons, I never imagined Johney Depp in role of Peter Pan's creator. However, he portrays it with equal finesse as of Captain Jack Sparrow. Also, Worth watching: Shaun of the Dead, The Motorcycle Diaries, Hotel Rwanda.

2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King: Probably the weakest year in the decade. There are very few films adapted from the novels which are as good as original novels. LOTR Trilogy is an excellent example of this. Peter Jackson did splendid job of bringing JRR Tolkien's universe almost exactly it is described in the book. Almost every aspect of the story, their costumes, their behavior, their looks is true to the original book. Runner Up - Lost In Translation.

2002: City Of God: Tells us Partially true history of birth of Gang Wars in the slums of Rio de Janirio. One of the most realistic films I have seen in recent times. Its shocking, its disturbing but its compelling at the same time. All the violence, drugs, poverty makes it a hard film to watch but its even harder to look away from it. All the violence is particularly stunning because of the ages of the characters portrayed by Kids who actually are of same age as that of the characters. Also, Worth watching: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Catch Me if You Can, Minority Reports.

2001: A Beautiful Mind: Real Life story of mathematician Steve Nash loosing his sanity and rising back to win Nobel, based on novel by Sylvia Naser. One of Ron Howard's most well-known works, definitely my favorite with some of the memorable performances from Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly. Also watch: Amelie, Monsters Inc., The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

2000: Memeto. Christopher Nolan made very good impact in his breakthrough movie. Most notable is the way of storytelling – starting at the end and then coming towards start. You know how this is going to end in very first scene but it doesn't kill suspense for you, it builds on it. Other movies that deserve to be mentioned: Chocolat, Traffic.

1999: The Matrix. It took me long time to understand this movie and then like it. However, over the years I have learnt to appreciate it, especially after watching next two parts(For the record, Second one was OK but I hate last one). Greatness of this movie lies in that amazing concept of artificial reality created by your own mind. Other movies that deserve to be mentioned: The Green Mile and The Sixth Sense.

1998: Saving Private Ryan. I think this is the best war movie made ever, afilm of great Vision and scope. It also has some of the most memorable moments. Opening war scene at Omaha Beach - I usually find myself stopping at this point to catch my breath and then Tom Hanks speech after he lets POV go - Golden moments. It is quite an experience that you live with while watching a film. Notable Mentions: Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, American History X and Life Is Beautiful.

1997: One of my Favorite years. There are so many movies made this year that I love. As Good As It Gets, Good Will Hunting, My Best Friends Wedding - List goes on and on. However, best movie of the year to me was The Sweet Hereafter. It is an extremely honest and painful Canadian movie which I have talked about earlier here. Special Mention: Children of Heaven.

1996: Jerry Maguire, for the lack of better option. For some reason, I am not a big fan of many of supposed great movies made this year such as The English Patient, Fargo. They are not bad movies rather they are good just not good enough to make in my favorite movies. maybe, I am missing some good ones...

1995: The Usual Suspects. Nothing is as it seems in the multilayer-ed, velvety movie. In the end, when Kevin Spacey breaks his limp and starts walking normally was one of worst moments of my cinematic experience. I just could not believe it. IF there are points for an ending, Usual Suspects will get 100/100 for unusual, unsuspecting ending. Notable Mention: Se7en

1994: Pulp Fiction. Outrageously violent and time-twisting but extremely influential film And we have many equally influential films in the same year e.g. The Shawshank Redemption and Forrest Gump or should I just say a typical Tarantino Film? But believe me, even Tarantino will find it very difficult to better this. And Samuel Jackson reciting Ezekiel 25:17. HEAVEN!!

1993: Schindler's List: This movie is a rare combination of being an uplifting as well as disturbing. One of the best works of Spielberg's career as well as any holocaust movies made. Spielberg handles this controversial, sophisticated story with real sensibility. Others worth mentioning: Philadelphia, Groundhog Day, The Big Lebowski.

1992: A Few Good Men. There are very few examples of monologues better than Jack Nicholson's testament at the very end of the movie which leaves you flabbergasted. Jack Nicholson has a very small part to play, but even during that time he leaves you in awe. Others worth mentioning: My Cousin Vinny, Scent of a Woman.

1991: The Silence of the Lambs. One of the only 3 films to win all the big Oscars, Best Film, Actor, Actress, Director and Screenplay and I wouldn't doubt it especially Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter. Other Notable mentions: JFK, Terminator 2: Judgement Day

Now, this is going to be a real test. For some reasons, there aren't many personal favorite movies during 80's. Give me 70's and I am much more comfortable. I am still going to try my best.

1990: Goodfellas. One of the legendary films Scorsese made during his equally legendary career. Its legendary status was elevated by Academy's snub over Dances with Wolves (REALLY??) However Goodfellas is a kind of film which will appear on almost any Best of XXXX List I will make. Runner-Up: Pretty Woman.

1989: I am taking a little bit of liberty here. I originally picked Crimes and Misdemeanors here. But since then I have seen many more movies and I have a clear favorite here and since I have a chance here I am going to change my pick to Steven Soderbergh's Masterful Debut Sex, Lies and Videotapes. However, it still remains Just one of the years I hate 80's for.

1988: Grave of the Fireflies. One more tearjerker. But it is an extremely touching story, specially the character of Satsuko. As adorable as little girl from Monsters. Inc(2001). This film leaves its impression on you long after you have seen it. Other Notable Mentions: Cinema Paradiso, and Rain Man.

1987: The Last Emperor even though it is little too lengthy. and Just like 1989, there are few good movies as well like Wall Street and The Princess Bride

and Finally 1986: PlatoonThis is closest a war movie can be Anti-War. Oliver Stone directorial debut venture is brutal but realistic account of a soldier's experience in Vietnam War. Stone himself served in Vietnam and film is pretty much based on his experiences itself. Runner Up: Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Hannah and Her Sisters, Aliens.

So How does it Look? Believe me, I had a lot of fun making this list. You should try it too. And if you haven't seen any movie in this post, I highly recommend you to watch it.

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