10th: Shutter Island
As Martin Scorsese’s impeccably assembled thriller Shutter Island opens, we see a boat appearing out of thick fog. On board are two U.S. Marshals fittingly attired in a trench-coat and fedora – frazzled WWII veteran Teddy Daniels (a resilient performance by Leonardo DiCaprio, delving into the psychological depths of his character) and his affable new partner Chuck Aule (a wonderfully understated Mark Ruffalo) heading towards Shutter Island, a storm-battered, rugged fortress occupied by Ashecliffe hospital, a high-security federal asylum for the criminally insane, where they have been summoned to investigate the disappearance of an delusional, infanticidal inmate Rachel Saldano. Daniels immerses himself into the investigation with unhealthy abandon.
But he has quite a few demons of his own rattling around in his head as his dogged determination is undermined by crippling migraines, disconcerting memories of his recently dead wife Dolores (played with a detached coolness by Michelle Williams) and haunting visions of the horrific scenes he witnessed during wartime.
The asylum staff and the patients are equally edgy and disturbing – almost comically sinister, so are the twin leaders of the clinical staff: the courteous but steely Dr. Cawley (Ben Kingsley) and the ironic, provocative German, Dr Naehring (Max von Sydow).
The paranoid marshal’s fractured psyche soon begins to unravel a web of lies and conspiracy as the storm rages outside, and a succession of curious encounters suggest the sanatorium is being used for noxious experiments by the federal government in furtherance of the cold war, and he has been drawn there as an intended victim. But as Teddy’s nightmares become indistinguishable from reality, we get a brilliantly constructed psychological thriller that threatens to upend our protagonist’s grasp on veracity.
What starts as a locked-room crackerjack mystery soon transforms into a trippy, psychological freak-out as doubts are cast over our protagonists sanity, with enough red herrings and unexpected twists to keep the mind engaged – eager for the next surprise.
Based on a tightly plotted, willfully schlocky pulp thriller that novelist Dennis Lehane penned, Scorsese injects the movie with an air of ambiguity, forcing you to pay attention. As you are wrapped up in the wonderful characters, disturbing pathos, and taut pacing, Scorsese has fun indulging his cinematic sleight of hand. It is a luridly enjoyable ride!
9th: Being John Malkovich
Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman never seem to shy away from going weird but amazing. Charlie Kaufman and Spike Jonze are the two people that can take a weird and strange story and make it amazingly well made and as a viewer you somehow correct to it with no reason to it. I don’t think I ever came across a bad movie from this genius of directing and writing and Being John Malkovich is another great film from them, they never disappoint me.
Self Aware Movie
The one thing that I loved about this movie is how self aware it is. It knows it’s weird with some of the scenes that will kind of question yourself for watching it but not in a horrible way more like “I’m I weirdo for understanding this and also enjoying it?“, something like. The film has a sense of humor to itself and knows it’ ridiculous but it goes along with it and man is it funny.
The director from Spike Jonze, once again dose an amazing job directing this movie. He mixes the humor, weird scenes and the fantasy element to it which perfectly came together so well and smoothly. Spike Jonze is fantastic director and in this he really dose shine with his talent of presenting story telling.
The writing in this movie is probably hands down the best writing I’ve seen in a while. The way they pulled off this crazy story line and make it comedy gold is truly genius and worth bringing up because it’s not a easy thing to do as it seems impossible for some writers out there and Kaufman makes it look easy.
The acting from everyone was excellent. John Cusack, Catherine Keener and Cameron Diaz all three did brilliant in their roles. John Malkovich pretty much playing himself in this movie did a funny performance as himself has he get’s taken over by pretty much everyone. I would pay good money to see John Malkovich been given the script for the first time to this movie while he knows nothing about it yet and him reading it and seeing his face has it probably went into WTF mode, but he said yes anywhere because the movie is about him and he give a outstanding performance.
8th: Requiem for a Dream
To start this off, we have two things to say about “Requiem for a Dream”. Firstly, this is the most disturbing film we have ever seen. Secondly, it is one of the best ever made movies.
The film is shot beautifully utilizing very unique shots including the split screen shot which allows you to see multiple perspectives of what is happening at the same time whether in the same room or across the country. Another technique is the usage of drug use montages such as the very famous montage of preparing and taking heroin. Never before has a film’s style and angle made you think so hard about what is trying to be portrayed.
Requiem for a Dream is extremely intense and very hard to watch. It is horribly depressing and really takes the energy out in a very powerful way. It makes you rethink your ideas about drug use and the struggles of many people that use them. The film seems very realistic and the characters are acted to perfection. How these actors haven’t gone on to do more contemporary movies is beyond me.
For those that find grotesque movies such as this hard to stomach, we think that the movie is similar to “A Clockwork Orange”. It is very disturbing and upsetting to watch, but it is something so powerful that everyone should experience it. We are generally hesitant to call any piece of art “life-changing”, but “Requiem for a Dream” could easily change the way one views the society around them. This is a masterpiece of film and should be experienced by all.
7th: The Usual Suspect
“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist,” This line shows the curiosity laid in the entire plot that showcases the most brilliantly narrated story, crime thriller is such a wonderful genre to make its viewer convincing with whatever that is being carried on screen and finally showing the actual pre planned truth by unveiling the mystery of the entire plot where false dominate to be the truth and only at the end that actual truth becomes the real one. Confusing? Yeah, though this genre seems to have bit perplexity, it still is a very good one.
1995’s ”The Usual Suspect” is the story of an only survival from the huge ship fire break who is being interrogated and the entire movie moves on with his narration. The way the movie has been designed is so neatly, that it never suppresses the actual “wow-ness” that has to be felt in the climax, jaw dropping turns and thrills that make this flick the best of its kind.
The beauty of this movie is that it has won in maintaining the curiosity that any crime thriller must have. More than performances, the plot itself evokes the interest and plays as an actual superstar of this film. The screenplay and the exact catchy dialogues make this work a noticeable and memorable one.
What sets The Usual Suspects apart from the crowd is the striking intensity of the performances, the show-off brilliance of the dialog and the diabolical complexity of the plot directed to perfection by the then relatively new Bryan Singer. Singer’s sensationally assured direction exerts a riptide pull. He along with screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie, have plenty of surprises up their collective sleeve, breathing new life into the heist-noir genre.
Also, he gives us the character of Keyser Soze – a faceless yet discernible movie element – so enthralling and sinister; it will crop up in pop culture references for years. The Usual Suspects is acted to sweet perfection with an absolutely riveting centerpiece performance by Kevin Spacey
The Usual Suspects is an entertaining mystery with plenty of nerve and vigor. A must watch!