10th: The Machinist

Machinist Trevor Reznik (Christian Bale) hasn’t slept for a year. His body is wasting away. Prostitute Stevie (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is the person closest to him. He has no friends. He puts up post-it notes as reminders. He spends time at an airport diner where single mom waitress Maria works the graveyard shift. He is haunted by menacing new worker Ivan or maybe he’s not even real. His carelessness cause Miller (Michael Ironside) to lose an arm at work. Then a game of hangman appears on post-its on his fridge.

Dark moody feel

Two things stand out in this movie. The bleak neverworld existence and Christian Bale’s emaciated body are both shocking. The dark moody feel exists even in the bright daylight. The colors are washed out and there is a grinding darkness about the movie. Director Brad Anderson is unrelenting although I don’t think the reveal is perfect.

Neo Noir movie, MachinistThe paranoia is so disjointed that a lot of it feels random. The reveal would work much better if the movie is sets up with more logic and orderly storytelling. The best twist endings are ones that everybody thinks they could guess at but nobody actually does. There are simply no clues to the final reveal. Christian Bale’s body is horrific and shocking. I’m not going to reward this obsessive weight loss but it is insane.

Mind messing movie

This neo-noir film is absolutely gripping. It messes with your mind, in ways you couldn’t predict. Just when you think you know what’s going on, it pulls the rug from underneath you. It’s seriously worth watching, besides the incredible performance by Christian Bale. I really think he’s a modern-day Brando. He physically changes himself into every role he’s in, but none more strikingly than this. Here, he is famously, unhealthily skinny.

9th: Se7en

Se7en’s concept is inherently interesting: a serial killer who bases his murders off of the seven deadly sins is notable enough (and certainly opens the door for social commentary), while the characters of Somerset and Mills are both clashing and easy to relate within their respective passion and persnickety meticulousness.

There was no doubt that following the two detectives hunt down John Does was going to be a treat. But what Fincher does so beautifully here is surpass the intrigue caused by the film’s writing with pacing that escalates the film’s events from noteworthy on a base level to thrilling.

Trail of breadcrumbs

Se7en castIt would have been so predictable and placid to simply follow each of the seven murders like a trail of breadcrumbs, allowing the final murder scene to be the murderer’s reveal and the film’s final confrontation, but instead we’re introduced to John Doe as a character about halfway through the film.

While Spacey himself doesn’t get screen-time until he turns himself in the third act, Doe is characterized through his ruthless pragmatism in immediately shooting at the detectives when they discover his apartment , which is later contrasted by his decision to spare Mills’ life: Doe was hell-bent on carrying through with his plan, and the senseless killing of an officer would only cloud the message his murders were supposed to send. Not to mention the fact that Mills was destined to be his Wrath.

Se7en is one of the best told murder mysteries out there, and worth a watch to fans of Fincher and detective thrillers alike.

8th: Pulp Fiction

Quentin Tarantino has taken a spot as one of the best and most influential directors of all time. Two years after his success with his debut film Reservoir Dogs, he took his director skills up to next level in this 1994 black comedy Pulp Fiction. This film boasts a strong ensemble cast of actors including Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer, Harvey Keital, Uma Thurman, Ving Rhames, Christopher Walken, Maria De Medeiros, and Eric Stoltz.

Told in a nonlinear prospective, the plot follows the separate lives of their characters and how their lives untold in events that leads to their fate. The movie mixes elements of violence, humor, and satire, creating one of the most memorable and quotable movies of all time.

Mesmerizing performances

Pulp Fiction movie sceneJohn Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson play two mobsters, who acquire a briefcase containing a secret item, and are assigned to protect it for their boss Marcellus Wallace (played by Ving Rhames) while facing troubles along the way. Travolta and Jackson put on some mesmerizing performances and showed incredible chemistry between each other. These two were probably the best characters of the whole film.

Bruce Willis plays a professional boxer, who is caught up in a kidnapping plot while obtaining a watch from his father. Uma Thurman plays the wife of Marcellus Wallace, who is invited on a date with John Travolta’s character, only to face a serious dilemma involving heroin. This part includes one of the most shocking scenes where John Travolta makes an unprofessional attempt to save her condition.

Then there is Tim Roth and Amanda Plummer, who play a Bonnie and Clyde-like couple, who rob a local restaurant with unexpected circumstances. Director Quentin Tarantino also has memorable cameo in one scene with John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson.

Memorable aspects

The most memorable aspects of this film is not only clever dialogue and Tarantino’s unique style of cinematography, but also how amazingly well the characters are written. Quentin Tarantino did a great job at giving each character proper construction.

This film is packed with a number of characters, but does well on making sure you remember each and every one of them. While the plot is a bit scattered-shot, the film manages to be entertaining in every way. Pulp Fiction is not only Quentin Tarantino’s best film, but also one of the greatest films in the history of cinema.

7th: Chinatown

Chinatown is a classic movie that is still talked of today as one of the very best. To be fair there is no doubting that this is superbly acted and the same goes for the writing and directing which all together makes this a fine film in cinema history. It also stays a mystery and never gives up the ending easily and leaves you not only guessing but also thinking about all the intricate details going on.

Now “Chinatown“ doesn’t have the most exciting story, or maybe the premise doesn’t seem exciting but the movie itself is good when it comes to the depth involved.

neo noir movie, chinatownThe story is so well researched and so well put together, you don’t need big thrills and gunshots everywhere to be made to enjoy this piece. I think one big thing about the plot is its level of detail as mentioned as it is just overly detailed and really makes the plot thicker if anything.

Top job

Jack Nicholson portrays J.J. Gittes with a certain ease in his demeanor and a kind of worked out character that seems planned and as if Nicholson put a lot of work in before taking the role. Cast such as Faye Dunaway do a top job too here and she seems calm and yet her character is very complex and hard to figure out what’s going on with her, the certain chemistry if you will between Nicholson and Dunaway could be analyzed over and over and you can really see Gittes does not understand her fully.

 The neo-noir style is in abundance, but it is safe in its pickings of where to put it, it isn’t overused in any case and when the biggest examples of neo-noir are seen, they work very well. I felt the score that is in line with the neo-noir style is a fine one and the late Jerry Goldsmith does a magnificent job in making quite bland and ordinary scenes seem yet again, exciting and also gives a lovely air of mystery even in the music.


Overall I felt it to be firmly a brilliant movie and one that should stay with the viewer no matter what they felt about it. I do feel this is overrated and without shooting me here me out, I can see why people love this and it definitely isn’t a mystery why, it is just I didn’t find this exciting enough to be flawless, but is still a wonderful and glorious movie that even with just what I say, is still near the very top.

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