Tara Brady

Film Critic

Voted for

The Searchers1956John Ford
The Ascent1976Larissa Shepitko
Au hasard Balthazar1966Robert Bresson
All about Eve1950Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Barry Lyndon1975Stanley Kubrick
Andrei Rublev1966Andrei Tarkovsky
All That Heaven Allows1955Douglas Sirk
Yojimbo1961Akira Kurosawa
His Girl Friday1939Howard Hawks
La Belle et la Bête1946Jean Cocteau


The Searchers

1956 USA

It's no accident that Ford's masterpiece has inspired countless retellings, including Scorsese's Taxi Driver. It's the grandest mythical cinema space.

The Ascent

1976 USSR

Soviet-era allegories and fables are endlessly fascinating and varied, from the swooning, romantic agitprop of The Forty-First to the spectacular, swashbuckling Scarlet Sails. The Ascent's account of sacrifice during the Great Patriotic War is a dark parable that can be meaningfully perused from any number of ideological perspectives. An invaluable counterpoint to the singular Western protagonist, the film presents heroism as a collective experience and selfish individualism as eternal damnation.

Au hasard Balthazar

1966 France, Sweden

The patron saint of cinema finds, in a little donkey, a religious icon worthy of his attentions. Among Bresson's films, The Devil, Probably may look and feel like more like religious iconography, but it's Balthazar that communicates the sensation of moving through the Stations of the Cross.

All about Eve

1950 USA

Mankiewicz's script is as ruthlessly efficient as Anne Baxter's scheming ingénue and more than seven decades after the film premiered, Bette Davis's performance is still cause to "fasten your seatbelt".

Barry Lyndon

1975 USA, United Kingdom

An imperfect rogue in a perfect space. Cinema is seldom as exquisite as when viewed by cinematographer John Alcott through Carl Zeiss's Planar 50mm lens.

Andrei Rublev

1966 USSR

A superficially episodic structure masks the most carefully calibrated dialectic in film history.

All That Heaven Allows

1955 USA

The most bitingly subversive of Sirk's sneakily inflammatory melodramas.


1961 Japan

Forget the Johns - Wayne and Travolta - Toshiro Mifune's Yojimbo has the most imposing strut in movie history.

His Girl Friday

1939 USA

Quotable. Fast. Funny. Fast. Thrilling. Fast. Grant and Russell. Perfect.

La Belle et la Bête

1946 France

Cocteau the poet at his most poetic. "Il était une fois..."