|2001: A Space Odyssey
|Mad Max: Fury Road
|Master and Commander The Far Side of the World
|La Vie d'Adèle Chapitres 1 et 2
|Children of Men
A film that is a hilarious, dynamic, witty paean to cinema itself. It is as fresh today as when it was made almost a hundred years ago.
Not a work of cinema so much as cinema itself. Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman exude charisma in a sharp witty drama which showed the studio system at its absolute best. Michael Curtiz is hugely underrated as a director because his visual language became the language of all Hollywood.
Malick takes a tawdry tale of true crime and turns it into a beguiling romance of toxic innocence. Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek are glorious.
2001: A Space Odyssey
A space opera of the most ambitious kind, Kubrick weds his stunning imagery to a beautiful soundtrack and creates something that can only be cinema.
Mad Max: Fury Road
Taking its plot from The General, Miller's film works as an all too convincing post-apocalyptic future, as well as the purest adrenalin thrill ride. It bursts with wit and invention and makes watching a film into a physical experience.
Master and Commander The Far Side of the World
Brilliantly authentic adaptation of Patrick O'Brien's tales of 19th century naval adventure, Master and Commander boasts career best performances by Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany and an exciting adventure story.
La Vie d'Adèle Chapitres 1 et 2
An immersive love story that also serves as an engrossing coming of age tale. Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux are phenomenal.
Just about perfect. The performances, the build up, the two-part film, the generic switching, the shot choice, the John Williams music: even the rubber shark I've learned to love. And all created from a really ho-hum novel.
Children of Men
An uncannily prescient dystopic thriller set in a Great Britain of 2027. Cuarón uses every technique in the book to build tension and create scene after scene of stunning originality. Julianne Moore, Clive Owen and Michael Caine are all superb.
Simply the most important film yet made.
The absences of filmmakers I love and admire (Coens, Tarkovsky, Kurosawa, Welles), entire genders (women), entire nationalities (Italian), entire genres (westerns, gangster films) is deeply embarrassing and painful. Tomorrow I'm sure I could easily pick an entirely different ten with the exact same level of certainty. But alas this will have to do.