Freelance writer / Empire contributing editor
|The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
|This Is Spinal Tap A Rockumentary by Martin Di Bergi
|My Neighbour Totoro
|Raiders of the Lost Ark
|Planet of the Apes
|Franklin J. Schaffner
|The Dark Knight
As hilarious as it is visionary. Somehow its dark satire on the brutality of bureaucracy never stops feeling relevant.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
For me, this is peak Leone: the moment where the films still felt fun and punky, but he'd honed his epic, operatic style. Few things in cinema beat the sheer magnificence of the Ecstasy of Gold sequence, and that final, three-way duel. Oh, and Tuco (Eli Wallach) is my favourite character in film history.
A beautifully plotted, beautifully shot, beautifully hilarious gangster pastiche, featuring the best-ever use of the song Danny Boy in popular culture.
This Is Spinal Tap A Rockumentary by Martin Di Bergi
Arguably the most rewatchable comedy ever made. As its jokes are rooted in impeccable character study and creation, they never stop making you laugh. One of the earliest mockumentaries (I'm pretty sure), but it's never yet been beaten.
My Neighbour Totoro
A film with no conflict, no villain, no violence. Instead, it is a constant delight, a celebration of childhood imagination and outdoor play, whose every frame is a work of art. This should be every child's first film.
Raiders of the Lost Ark
A taut, witty, thrilling and innovative action-adventure film that proved the perfect cocktail of director, producer and star.
A truly astonishing documentary, and the perfect blend of documentarian and subject matter. It is fascinating, funny, terrifying, tragic and breathtakingly beautiful all at once.
Planet of the Apes
A weird and wonderful sci-fi concoction which presented a novel and chilling view of humanity's future, while also revealing a lot about the troubled society from which it emerged. It also has, hands down, the best ending in cinematic history.
A sequel with no equal that took a great concept and flawlessly remixed it for a different genre (the war movie).
The Dark Knight
The movie that changed the game for superhero cinema, taking the story of a man dressed as a bat fighting a clown, and turning it into an epic crime thriller as weighty and as impactful as you'd expect from Michael Mann.