100 Best Movies of All Time

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Source: Courtesy of New Line Cinema

80. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
> Genre: Adventure, drama, fantasy
> Directed by: Peter Jackson
> Starring: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen

In an age where computer-generated characters and scenes are commonplace, this film serves up one of the most captivating CGI creatures to date, Gollum. It does it again with Treebeard, a walking, talking tree that manages to keep the audience enchanted and glued to the screen.

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

79. Inception (2010)
> Genre: Action, adventure, sci-fi
> Directed by: Christopher Nolan
> Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page

Writers are often told “write about what you know.” Christopher Nolan, who wrote, directed, and produced the film, actually relied on his own dream experiences rather than research as he worked on this passion project, which was spread over several years.

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

78. L.A. Confidential (1997)
> Genre: Crime, drama, mystery
> Directed by: Curtis Hanson
> Starring: Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce

This was a film that almost didn’t make it to the big screen. Executive producer David Wolper found the novel an interesting vehicle as a television miniseries first and then it subsequently went into development as a weekly series for and by HBO. Eventually it was made as a feature film and has since gone on to be one of the most acclaimed movies of the 1990s.

Source: Courtesy of Warner Brothers/Seven Arts

77. Cool Hand Luke (1967)
> Genre: Crime, drama
> Directed by: Stuart Rosenberg
> Starring: Paul Newman, George Kennedy, Strother Martin

Perhaps director Stuart Rosenberg was applying the Lee Strasberg method school of acting when he banned the actors’ wives from the set during filming. Rosenberg wanted to give his actors some sense of what it was like to be stuck on a prison chain gang. The result? Box office success and critical acclaim.

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

76. Rebecca (1940)
> Genre: Drama, mystery, romance
> Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
> Starring: Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders

A near flawless film was actually wrought with a great deal of infighting. Producer David O’Selznick was able to lure Alfred Hitchcock to Hollywood to direct. But the two fought over the script and how to shoot scenes. Still, it’s considered to be one of the great psychological thrillers

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

75. All the President’s Men (1976)
> Genre: Biography, drama, history
> Directed by: Alan J. Pakula
> Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Jack Warden

Journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward were approached by Robert Redford who had expressed interest in purchasing the film rights to their investigation of political misdeeds. And Woodward credits Redford with inspiring them to move the focus away from the break-in at the Watergate Hotel to the duo’s actual investigations and reporting on this important moment in American politics.

Source: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

74. Aliens (1986)
> Genre: Action, adventure, sci-fi
> Directed by: James Cameron
> Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn

This is a movie that excels in the craft of filmmaking. “Aliens” is an intense thriller. Even respected movie critics have said they walked out of the theaters with feelings of unease and anxiety. That is the true power of a good movie.

Source: Courtesy of First National Pictures

73. The Kid (1921)
> Genre: Comedy, drama, family
> Directed by: Charles Chaplin
> Starring: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Jackie Coogan

They say that the brain’s response to trauma can actually make the creative mind more agile. That’s the case with Charlie Chaplin’s “The Kid.” Suffering the loss from the untimely death of his newborn son, the creative juices started flowing for the movie legend. It’s considered one of Chaplin’s great masterpieces.

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures Corporation

72. His Girl Friday (1940)
> Genre: Comedy, drama, romance
> Directed by: Howard Hawks
> Starring: Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy

“His Girl Friday” resulted from a happy accident. Director Howard Hawks loved the play “The Front Page” and wanted to prove it had some of the best modern dialogue around. Lacking two male actors for a reading, he gave lines of the male ace reporter’s role to his secretary. The rest is history.

Source: Courtesy of The Criterion Collection

71. Notorious (1946)
> Genre: Drama, film-noir, romance
> Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
> Starring: Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains

Known as one of Alfred Hitchcock’s finest American films, “Notorious” is noted for its use of a MacGuffin, an object that serves to trigger the plot of a movie or a book. Here, the plot device is a sample of uranium hidden in wine bottles. The film was timely as the atom bomb had been dropped on Japan a few months before shooting began.