Bruce Isaacs

Associate Professor in Film Studies, University of Sydney

Voted for

The Godfather1972Francis Ford Coppola
Apocalypse Now1979Francis Ford Coppola
Raiders of the Lost Ark1981Steven Spielberg
There Will Be Blood2007Paul Thomas Anderson
In the Mood for Love2000Wong Kar Wai
Once upon a Time in the West1968Sergio Leone
Taxi Driver1976Martin Scorsese
North by Northwest1959Alfred Hitchcock
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood2019Quentin Tarantino
Brokeback Mountain2005Ang Lee


The Godfather

1972 USA

Epic and grandiose, yet stunningly complex in terms of localised identities and cultural expression. The best of genre and arthouse aesthetics.

Apocalypse Now

1979 USA

A scathing indictment of the war, and the perfect melding of an intimate cinema with a grandiose surrealist spectacle.

Raiders of the Lost Ark

1981 USA

The best adventure film.

There Will Be Blood

2007 USA

The most ambitious American film of the 21st century, and a worthy successor to the grand narratives of the forging of a modern American identity.

In the Mood for Love

2000 Hong Kong, France

A stunning philosophical meditation of time, loss, and love.

Once upon a Time in the West

1968 Italy, USA

Leone's perfection of the meta-western, and the fullest expression of the Leone style.

Taxi Driver

1976 USA

A groundbreaking achievement of political cinema and neo-realist American style.

North by Northwest

1959 USA

The perfection of the form, and Hitchcock's sharpest, most sophisticated entertainment.

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

2019 USA, United Kingdom, People's Republic of China

Tarantino's complex philosophical and aesthetic approach to American and global cinema reaches its most mature expression in this film, which is fittingly an exploration of the greatest decade of American cinema.

Brokeback Mountain

2005 USA, Canada

An astonishingly subtle adaptation that captures the nuances of Proulx's story.