Dan Jolin

Freelance writer / Empire contributing editor

Voted for

Brazil1985Terry Gilliam
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly1966Sergio Leone
Miller's Crossing1990Joel Coen
This Is Spinal Tap A Rockumentary by Martin Di Bergi1983Rob Reiner
My Neighbour Totoro1988Hayao Miyazaki
Raiders of the Lost Ark1981Steven Spielberg
Grizzly Man2005Werner Herzog
Planet of the Apes1967Franklin J. Schaffner
Aliens1986James Cameron
The Dark Knight2008Christopher Nolan



1985 USA, United Kingdom

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

1966 Italy

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.

Miller's Crossing

1990 USA

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

1983 USA

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

1988 Japan

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

1981 USA

A taut, witty, thrilling and innovative action-adventure film that proved the perfect cocktail of director, producer and star.

Grizzly Man

2005 USA

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

1967 USA

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.


1986 USA, United Kingdom

A sequel with no equal that took a great concept and flawlessly remixed it for a different genre (the war movie).

The Dark Knight

2008 USA, United Kingdom

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.