James Rodrigues

Film Critic

Voted for

Magnolia1999Paul Thomas Anderson
Halloween1978John Carpenter
Airplane!1980Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker
Moonlight2016Barry Jenkins
Near Dark1987Kathryn Bigelow
Pan's Labyrinth2006Guillermo del Toro
Children of Men2006Alfonso Cuarón
Mad Max: Fury Road2015George Miller
Lilo & Stitch2002Chris Sanders, Dean DeBlois
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre1974Tobe Hooper



1999 USA

A three-hour journey between interconnected stories that left me eager for more time spent with these characters. A story about how parental actions impact upon their children, the various ways people yearn for love, a question about what can be forgiven, wrapped within this absorbing masterpiece.


1978 USA

John Carpenter phenomenally scores and directs this taut horror flick, as the masked embodiment of pure evil carves his way through the social circle of teenager Laurie Strode.


1980 USA

A rapid-fire array of surreal gags and deadpan delivery that hit with such precision, making for comedy gold whether it's your first or 51st viewing.


2016 USA

A touching drama covering three time periods, as stunning performers bring alive Chiron from childhood to adulthood as he longs for connection and grapples with his mother's addiction. Themes of identity and self-acceptance are delivered in gorgeously understated ways that linger long after.

Near Dark

1987 USA

Before moving onto socially relevant dramas, Kathryn Bigelow made her mark on the vampire sub-genre with this western infusion that's equally entrancing and exciting. Between Bill Paxton's livewire performance and Joshua John Miller's bitter man trapped in a boy's body, there's no shortage of exceptional additions to these creatures of the night.

Pan's Labyrinth

2006 Spain, Mexico, USA

A dark fable that crosses an unforgettable fairytale with the horrors of war, as del Toro once more showcases how man can be the greatest monster of all (although the Pale Man is a very close contender in the film's standout sequence).

Children of Men

2006 USA, United Kingdom, Japan

The farther we get from this film's release, the more relevant it seems in the political climate. An unforgiving look at a bleak future, with barriers put up against oncoming hope; and a masterclass in how to deliver tension and emotion through tracking shots.

Mad Max: Fury Road

2015 USA, Australia

A masterstroke in minimalist storytelling, as practical effects, a pulse-pounding score and energetic editing heighten the exciting action which drives the story. A film that begs viewers to witness it repeatedly, and for good reason: it rules.

Lilo & Stitch

2002 USA

What happens when a blue alien, genetically engineered to be destructive, lands on a Hawaiian island? He opens himself up to Elvis, finds himself a loving family, and learns he can be whoever he wishes to be instead of the abomination others call him. One of the funniest and most tear-inducing films films Disney has ever made.

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

1974 USA

A masterclass in how editing and scoring can heighten and improve a film, from simple beginning to unforgiving ending. A tense and grimy ride that will leave you desperate for a shower afterwards.

Further remarks

If I had an 11th choice, it would be Christopher Nolan's 2006 film The Prestige.