100 Greatest Movies All-Time Pt. 4: 25 - 15

And here we go. Now we're in the top 25, and I'm going to be running them down with full descriptions for why they are ranked where they are. I have to admit that I had really big plans today to do this and then another couple comic book posts including introducing a new feature, but I got rediculously drunk last night and spent the day recuperating on my couch. Tomorrow I will be making several posts, so look for those then. Hit the jump for the films.

25.) The Departed

I'm going to start this by making a statement that I'm sure most people will agree with, which is that Martin Scorsese is an absolute genius and while this is not his best film, it is probably one of my favorite of his. The acting in the movie across the board is terrific, with the exception of Jack Nicholson in certain scenes where he goes a little too over-the-top. Jack aside, the rest of the cast are incredible, with Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin and of course Mark Wahlberg all put in some of the best performances of their careers. That's not even mentioning how awesome Leo DiCaprio, Matt Damen, and Vera Farmiga are in this film, because they are. The first converstion between DiCaprio and Damen over the phone is absolutely brilliant and their chase through the streets is truly nail-biting. And the ending at the funeral which is a direct homage to the ending of the Third Man, one of the greatest endings to a movie ever.

24.) Rocky

Hands down one of the best sports movies of all-time, even considering how much I love Any Given Sunday, because I do. But what really makes this movie is not the actual boxing, because if it was then I would have gone with Rocky II or IV since those have better fights. This however is all about the humanity of Rocky, of the story of a guy who worked hard but never got a big break, and when he finally does he proves to himself and everybody else that he is a somebody. That's why this movie is so good, because of those scenes with Adrienne which are almost heart-breaking where you see just how good of a person Rocky truly is. And of course, there's Apollo Creed one of the most wholly interesting and complex characters in any sports movie, as he goes through arguably an even better character arc than Rocky does in the course of the first four films, as Rocky earns his respect and eventually Apollo's friendship. I would easily put Apollo ahead of Rocky in a list of best characters from films, simply because of the amazing work by Carl Weathers.

23.) Die Hard

Easily the best action movie of all-time, and for that reason alone it deserves a spot on the list and it definitely deserves to be this high if not higher. Bruce Willis is simply awesome as John McClain, with that air about him that he could get beaten to a bloody pulp and still be able to save the day. Plus, that's not to discount Alan Rickman's work as Hans, the villain, because damn Rickman plays an awesome bad guy.

22.) Gladiator

The fights in this film are incredible, and the performance by Joaquin Phoenix as Commodus, while not historically accurate, is chillingly brutal and creepy. Russel Crowe is actually really great in this film, probably the only movie outside of Virtuosity that I really like him in. Plus, Djimon Honsou and the rest of the cast put in incredible performances. My biggest complaint about the movie is how slowly the film moves around the middle of the film, plus how much time is wasted on the creepy dream sequences of him in the Ellysian Fields. We get it Ridley Scott. We get it.
"You knew Marcus Aurelios?!"
"I did not say I knew him, I said he touched me on the shoulder!"
21.) Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

The original. The movie that changed the course of film history and made Sci-Fi a legitimate genre. I think that this movie is behind only Citizen Kane in terms of importance to film history. Not to mention the fact that this movie is incredibly enjoyable all the way through, with some of the most memorable lines from all of cinema. Also, some of the most homaged moments in film come from this movie.

20.) Fargo

Amazing performances, a heart-breaking story, and a top-notch script by the Coen brothers. The fact that this movie did not win the Academy Award is a real shame, especially considering how the English Patient has not held up over the years and has been forgotten while this film only get better over time. William H. Macy, Francis McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare, and the whole cast are very good throughout the whole film. Just an amazing movie.
19.) Pulp Fiction

I really don't have to explain this one, so instead I'm going to talk about how bizarre it must be for Peter Greene, the guy who plays Zed. I mean, this is a guy who has been in lots of different movies, usually shows up and plays an excellent scumbag no matter what movie he pops up in as a character actor. Yet everytime I see him in a movie I only see him as Zed, even in the Mask where he's the bad guy I still refer to him as Zed. I just point this out because I would think it would really weird and aweful to be known and recognized solely as the guy who rapes Ving Rhames in the basement with the gimp. It must be incredibly weird for him. This does not mean that the next time I see him in a movie I'm going to say "Peter Greene's in this movie". Nope. I'm still going to say "Oh look, Zed's in this movie".

18.) Raiders of the Lost Ark

So I'm sure everybody knows this story, but since my only explanation for this film is that it's awesome and that I love it. Anyway, so they had this huge sword fight blocked out with Harrison Ford and the guy with the scimatar in the crowded marketplace, it was incredibly involved because the guy with the scimatar was this excellent stuntman and it was his big scene. So, the day they are filming the huge fight Harrison is incredibly sick and convinces Spielberg and Lucas to scrap the fight and instead have him just shoot the guy right away. That's what they did, and the most iconic moment of the character Indiana Jones was created simply because Ford was sick. That to me is incredible.
17.) The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

If you look at these films as seperate films, which I do since they were released at seperate times after all, then this is easily the best of the LOTR films. It is not overly depressing yet the stakes are incredibly high and the fights are terrific, although the best fight of the films is Helm's Deep in the Two Towers hands down. What is also amazing is that this and the original Star Wars films are the only trilogies where every film made my list of the top 100 films. I just think that is interesting.
16.) Fight Club

This is just an absolutely brilliantly written and made film all the way through. Brad Pitt makes his career in this movie, as his performace of Tyler Durden is unforgettable. But for me, I think that the defining characteristic for why this movie is so high on my list is because of the philosophy that is within the film.
"The things you own, own you."
"It's only after we've lost everything, are we free to do anything." "
You have to consider the possibility that God does not like you. He never wanted you. In all probability, he hates you. This is not the worst thing that can happen."
"Reject the basic assumptions of civilization, especially the importance of material possessions."
Amazing. Simply amazing.

Well that's it for today. Tomorrow look for (among other things) the next ten movies, from 15 up to number 5.

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