Indeed, the most important list of any filmmaker. They are presented in no particular order, with trailer links in the titles and with equal amounts of love!
Trying to describe this film to someone who hasn't seen it is a nightmare, or perhaps a hacked dream. I'll try anyways. Imagine if James Bond discovered he'd want to be a film director, had an existential crisis, falling asleep and dreaming of the heist from Reservoir Dogs with copies of The Matrix and The Fountain under his pillow. Convoluted explanation for something that is normally simple? That's the idea!
When I finally got around to seeing if Ben Affleck was truly an Oscar-worthy director, I watched Argo and thought it was well done. Then I watched this, and I was blown away. The character arcs, the acting (good god, Jeremy Renner), the editing and pacing were all just wonders to behold. Even though Argo got the Oscar, this is Ben Affleck's masterpiece in my own opinion (Still have my finger's crossed for his upcoming Batman film however).
I know that Star Wars often gets cited as the having the best soundtrack in the history of film, but I believe The Lion King deserves that title. An unlikely musical combination of Tim Rice, Elton John and Hans Zimmer creates a score that seamlessly shifts from upbeat to terrifying. I also feel we need to stop giving animated Disney films credit for having a good cast since it is so common in their films. In the end, this film is a musical narrative about growing up and accepting responsibility for how the world is and how it treats us.
A Pixar animated film (in my opinion, its best). A perfect voice cast. A minimalistic yet detailed art style. A love story told in one 8 minute sequence that is better than most full films. A moving message about life and living. I'm not ashamed to admit that this is a film that can consistently make me cry.
The first "Anime" film that I ever watched outside of Pokemon. I expected a space opera with giant robots fighting giant robots in the void of the universe, and I certainly got that. What I did not expect was a series of philosophical questions on regarding what makes people humans and how humans are different yet similar to one another. A perfect balance of popcorn action and deep thoughtful themes.
Another well-drawn animated film about growing up.. What sets this one apart? Well there's the unmatched atmosphere of the Americana setting, a wonderful balance of drama and humor and a title character that is up there with Wall-E and R2D2 as being simultaneously synthetic but clearly human.
An excellently choreographed martial arts action film. It understands that in some cases the plot should be simple and take a back seat to the action. In this case, what could've been a simple raid-gone-wrong film turns into a violent rollercoaster of a film that is essential viewing for anyone who wants to work in action films.
A lot of what I said about The Raid applies here as well. But what earns it a spot on this list alongside it is the actual film process behind it. Director John Woo used this film to pioneer staple features of many modern action films including slow-motion, long-shot action scenes and morally-conflicted characters. It has in one way or another influenced most action films (most noticeably The Matrix) since its release in the 90's.
Most people regard this as the best superhero film of all time. I would respectfully disagree, because what makes this film such a spectacle to behold has little to do with the fact that it includes superhero characters. Naturally it includes Batman and The Joker as the primary plot drivers of the story, but once the plot is going, you'll see it is not a "superhero movie." In reality, it is a crime epic that explores morality at nearly all angles while sprinkling in some political commentary and gritty action for good measure.
My personal favorite comedy film is also one that seems to be overlooked by critics and time. It's another film that keeps the plot and characters simple but intriguing enough to drive the audience forward to the next comedy set piece. There's a wealth of motives, charm, a satisfying payoff and an ensemble comedy cast.
This is a film that I never thought I would enjoy. I had enjoyed David Fincher's previous work but simply had no interest in the Facebook origin story since it was all over the media at the time. I had to see it for class back when I was a baby freshman at university. Now, it's my favorite of Fincher's work. The music, pacing, character development and shot composition was inspiring to me at the time and now, as a film student, still does.
Similar to The Dark Knight, what makes Deadpool stand out from other superhero films is its emphasis on niche meta humor. I say niche because there's a lot of humor only superhero fans would understand, but there's also extreme violence and some of the crudest language I've ever heard for everybody else. Is it worth a watch? If you like those things, then yes. PersonallyI laughed a lot in this film, hence its placement on this list.
One of the greatest debates in science fiction: is Alien or Aliens the better film? I personally am going with the later since it was the first R-rated film I'd seen. Not only did it blow my mind for that reason, but it is also an excellent example of what Hollywood has lost its touch at over the years. Succinct exposition and world-building? Distinct and memorable characters? A female action lead done right? A sequel that doesn't rely on seeing the previous film? All strengths of this film bundled with a benchmark musical score and a terrifying foe in the horde of Xenomorphs.
My first and favorite of Tarantino's films. That's really all I have to say about it.