Monday, March 17, 2014

The Masterpieces Volume I: 1915-2008

I have earned a reputation of being a particularly tough film reviewer.  Truth be told, I'm proud of this reputation.  It means that for ME to like something, it HAS to be good (or at least I hope it does).  I am hard to please, but when I am pleased, I am wildly enthusiastic.

As I stated earlier I have reviewed (more or less) 540 films.  Out of those, 116 in total as of today have won an A from me.  Out of those, 75 are for films that were released before 2009, when I opened Rick's Café.

The oldest film is 99 years old.  The newest film on this list is from 2008.  We have comedies, dramas, romances, horror, documentaries, war films, action, anime, science-fiction, foreign-language: a wide variety from all genres.   In my efforts to get a better reading from my readers (all twelve of you) and to present films that perhaps might have been missed, I embark on this new venture.

The following is a catalog of all the films made before 2009 that I think will rank among the greatest films ever made.  I don't think I will get much argument against the grade they won from me, but if you do disagree, drop me a line.

I am only submitting films that I have formally reviewed, so if there is a 'great film' that is missing, it isn't that I don't think it is good or even that I haven't seen it.  It just means I haven't formally reviewed it.   


Akira (1988)
Aliens (1986)
Amadeus (1984)
Ben-Hur (1959)

Capote (2005)
Casablanca (1943)
City Lights (1931)
Finding Nemo (2003)
Food, Inc. (2008)
Going My Way (1944)
Goldfinger (1964)
Goodfellas (1990)
Grand Hotel (1932)
Hamlet (1948)
Holiday Inn (1942)
King Kong (1933)
Metropolis (1927)
Mrs. Miniver (1942)
Notorious (1946)
Peter Pan (1924)
Peter Pan (2003)
The Queen (2006)
Rashomon (1950)
Rebecca (1940)
Safety Last! (1923)
Sleuth (1972)
Spider-Man (2002)
Vertigo (1958)
Wings (1928)
Next time, I will have the remaining 41 films, those that I believe will be ranked as some of the greatest films ever made and which were released between 2009 and 2014 as of today. 
Too high?  If you think I went overboard in a particular ranking, let me know.  If a film's ranking is questions, I will rewatch it for a Second Look to see if I can either regrade it or stand by my original decision.  Who knows: perhaps my views will change...


  1. Well, of the movies on your list, there are not any that I can think of that you greatly overrated. Spider-Man, Ben-Hur, Aliens, Terminator, Goldfinger, Casablanca, Vertigo, Some Like it Hot, and several others are all among my favorites.

    I almost want to say that 2003 Peter Pan movie is majorly overrated, but I am extreme personal biased against since my little brother made me watch so many times when we were kids that I wanted to throw the movie out the window. Since I have not seen it in years, I cannot say whether or not it is as bad as I remembered.

    As of now, I cannot think of any movie for you to review again.


    1. Bless your brother for making you watch Peter Pan over and over! I do understand how repeated viewing would drive you crazy. I still can't watch The Aristocats because I had to play it for a class I substituted OVER AND OVER that I found the whole thing traumatizing.

      Still, when I saw the 2003 version again for my Peter Pan retrospective, I was surprised at how enchanted I was by it all. I thought the visuals were beautiful, the music excellent (especially coming from a composer I generally dislike), the story richer and deeper than in other versions, and the performances so good.

      I especially liked Jason Isaacs as Captain Hook/Mr. Darling, the shifts he made in characters so sharp I couldn't fully believe it was the same person. If you do ever get the nerve to watch it again, try to put aside your memories of the experience and watch the film for itself.


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Thank you.