Sam Clements

Head of Marketing & Membership, Picturehouse Cinemas | Host of the 90 Minutes Or Less Film Fest Podcast

Voted for

Bringing Up Baby1938Howard Hawks
2001: A Space Odyssey1968Stanley Kubrick
In the Mood for Love2000Wong Kar Wai
Terminator 2 Judgment Day1991James Cameron
Stand by Me1986Rob Reiner
Grave of the Fireflies1988Isao Takahata
It's a Wonderful Life1947Frank Capra
Singin' in the Rain1951Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen
The Holiday2006Nancy Meyers
The Wrong Trousers1993Nick Park


Bringing Up Baby

1938 USA

Probably the finest example of the Hollywood screwball comedy. Over 80 years old and still as sharp as a tack, an incredibly funny picture with genuine heart.

2001: A Space Odyssey

1968 USA, United Kingdom

As the tagline states, it’s “the ultimate trip”.

In the Mood for Love

2000 Hong Kong, France

The greatest achievement, of one of contemporary cinema’s greatest filmmakers.

One of the reasons I fell in love with this film was the music! Both Michael Galasso and Shigeru Umebayashi’s original score, and Wong Kar Wai’s signature needle drops, such as period specific artists like Nat King Cole. I can’t help but hum the soundtrack long after the credits roll.

Terminator 2 Judgment Day

1991 USA

The pinnacle of 80s/90s action cinema, wrapped in a smart science fiction casing. I watched this film when I was far too young, and weirdly before seeing the original Terminator film. It’s stuck with me throughout my life and rarely has Hollywood come close to topping the spectacle of James Cameron’s iconic sequel.

Stand by Me

1986 USA

The quintessential coming-of-age picture and joyously under 90 minutes long.

Grave of the Fireflies

1988 Japan

A groundbreaking animation in so many ways, but it’s Takahata’s trademark attention to detail that makes me rewatch on a regular basis, despite it being one of the saddest stories ever committed to celluloid. Hey, who doesn’t love a good cry at the pictures?

It's a Wonderful Life

1947 USA

Yes, it’s a Christmas film - which sometimes excludes titles from a more meaningful critical conversation - but there’s a reason this marvellous film is watched over and over, year in year out, by audiences old and new. A faultless achievement of cinema, and such a thrill that it’s been entertaining and inspiring audiences for three quarters of a century now.

Singin' in the Rain

1951 USA

Cinephiles often love films about filmmaking, and this is has the bonus of being a spectacular musical as well. What a glorious feeling!

The Holiday

2006 USA

The remarkable thing about The Holiday is the speed it established itself as a contemporary Christmas classic. Taking cues from classic studio era romantic comedies, Meyers creates a modern-day festive spectacle that will make you laugh, and make you cry. One of the easiest and most comforting rewatches in cinema history, I’d happily screen it on a loop throughout December.

The Wrong Trousers

1993 United Kingdom

At just 29 minutes long, it creates more excitement and adventure in that tight runtime than most films could ever dream of. The sheer ambition of this short is why lead characters Wallace & Gromit have become household names across the globe, and gave Bristols’ Aardman Animations the worldwide profile they deserve. Cracking stuff.

Further remarks

One of the most challenging exercises I’ve had the privilege to take part in as a film fan. Long may it continue!