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100 Best Movies

October 9, 2016

The BBC web site recently published a list of the 100 best movies since 2000.  The movies on this list were chosen by critics, not by the viewing public.  Some of them were not box-office successes, even though they made the list.  As well, the movies were chosen from a British and European perspective.  Many popular American movies are notably absent from this list.  Many were recorded in other languages, and come with English subtitles.  The movie rated best of all on this list was Mulholland Drive, a movie that I haven’t seen.

I prefer movies with good stories and well-defined characters.  I don’t like the so-called action movies, with all that shooting, explosions, and car chases.  I don’t mind English subtitles, although I know people who will reject movies as soon as they find out they are in some other language.

I decided to watch some of the movies from this list, reasoning that the critics must have had good reasons for nominating them to the list.  I’d already seen about a third of the movies on this list.  I excluded these, and chose ones that were available on Netflix and also had good reviews on .  Ultimately, I only found six movies that I believed were worth watching.  Here’s what I thought of them:

  • Inside Llewyn Davis: I thought this was a good movie.  I still have an image of Llewyn Davis with a guitar case in one hand and an orange cat in the other.  Of course, I was a folkie in the 60s, so I’m predisposed to like this movie.  I did wonder at first why some of the songs were so bad, and why I used to like them.  Eventually, I realized that the bad performances were intentional.  The songs got better later in the movie.
  • The Master: I watched this movie twice, wondering what I missed the first time through.  There were two main characters.  Philip Seymour Hoffman played a charismatic cult leader, based on L. Ron Hubbard of Scientology fame.  Joaquin Phoenix played a hard-drinking loner.  Hard-drinking was an understatement.  Only Hoffman’s character had faith in Phoenix’ character.  The others saw him as a trouble-maker and a sham.  At the very end of the movie, we discovered that he was longing for his lost love, as Changing Partners played in the background.
  • Blue Is the Warmest Color: This movie was in French with English subtitles.  The main character was a high-school girl.  The other was older, in art school, and had blue hair.  It was a long movie, with a great deal of dialogue.  I thought it was a good movie, one that explored the relationship between the two young women.  Even though the world of women that young was foreign to me, I liked the movie.
  • Leviathan:  This one is in Russian with English subtitles.  It’s set in a small village north of Moscow.  I was amazed at the amount of vodka that people drank.  There was a picnic scene where several men took turns shooting at empty bottles.  They had to drink one glass of vodka if they hit the target and three glasses if they missed.  The movie was really about corruption in government, and one man’s losing fight against it.  I thought it was a good movie, although I also found it disturbing.
  • Inception: This movie was supposed to be about implanting false memories and false beliefs into world leaders, but it quickly turned into one of those action movies, complete with shooting, explosions, and car chases.  I didn’t like all of that violence.  For me, it also obscured the plot.  All in all, I found it to be confusing, with excessive violence.
  • Under the Skin: This was supposed to be a science fiction movie.  Indeed, it was about a beautiful woman who was only a skin with an alien creature inside.  There was lots of nudity, mostly male.  Men sank into a mysterious liquid where they died and dissolved.  This happened over and over again.  I found the whole thing tedious as well as confusing.  It seemed like a student project, not a professional movie.  I kept wondering if they recorded the whole thing with one camera.  I don’t know how this one made the list.


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