Counting down the Cinematique’s Top 10 Favourite Films

Well, here we are folks. Almost five months ago, I started the countdown for my Top 150 Favourite Films which I separated into several articles.

Popular films like Rocky, The Shawshank Redemption, The Lion King, The Godfather and Jaws have come and gone so we are FINALLY down to the Top 10.

Admittedly, I did delay posting this final piece done as I wanted it to coincide with the fact that is also the 1000th article that I have written on here. I want to thank my readers for taking the time to read my stuff. I’m still very passionate about film though my obsession with television has grown in recent years.

Here’s to the next 1000!

Take it away Joker!

 

10#. STAR WARS: EPISODE V – THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (1980)

DIRECTOR: Irvin Kershner

CAST: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, James Earl Jones, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Frank Oz, Alec Guinness

SYNOPSIS: After the Rebels are brutally overpowered by the Empire on the ice planet Hoth, Luke Skywalker (Hamill) begins Jedi training with Yoda (Oz). Meanwhile, Han Solo (Ford), Princess Leia (Fisher) and the rest of his friends are pursued across the galaxy by the sinister Darth Vader (Prowse / Jones).

MVP: Frank Oz as Yoda

BEST MOMENT?: The greatest revelation in film history is revealed in brutal fashion as a wounded Luke learns of his father’s true identity. “Noooooooooooooooooo!”

 

9#. INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM (1984)

DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg

CAST: Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Jonathan Le Quan, Amrish Puri, Roshan Seth, Philip Stone, Roy Chiao, David Yip

SYNOPSIS: After arriving in India, Indiana Jones (Ford) is asked by a desperate village to find a mystical stone. He agrees – and stumbles upon a secret cult plotting a terrible plan in the catacombs of an ancient palace.

MVP: Amrish Puri as Mola Ram

BEST MOMENT?: I can’t help but love Willie’s over-the-top hysterics when having to overcome thousands of insects in order to save Indy and Short Round. A shame that Kate Capshaw’s performance is still loathed by many fans to this day!

 

8#. TOY STORY 3 (2010)

DIRECTOR: Lee Unkrich

VOICE CAST: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Ned Beatty, Joan Cusack, Michael Keaton, Whoopi Goldberg, Bonnie Hunt, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Don Rickles, Estelle Harris, John Morris, Jodi Benson

SYNOPSIS: The toys are mistakenly delivered to a day-care center instead of the loft right before Andy (Morris) leaves for college. However they discover that the place is not exactly what they dreamed it was. It is left up to Woody (Hanks) to rescue his friends and plan a daring escape in order to return home before Andy is gone forever.

MVP: Ned Beatty as Lotso

BEST MOMENT?: The Incinerator sequence really does leave you on edge yet it’s not surprising to see how emotional audiences were about the fate of their favourite characters. Thank goodness for that claw!

 

7#. BEN-HUR (1957)

DIRECTOR: William Wyler

CAST: Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Haya Harareet, Stephen Boyd, Hugh Griffith, Martha Scott, Cathy O’Donnell, Frank Thring

SYNOPSIS: When Jewish prince Judah Ben-Hur (Heston) is betrayed and sent into slavery by his old Roman friend (Boyd), he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge.

MVP: Charlton Heston as Judah Ben-Hur

BEST MOMENT?: Even after sixty years, the exhilarating chariot race between Judah and Messala still holds up well today. It’s remarkable to think that none of the actors or stuntmen were killed making this particular sequence!

 

6#. DIE HARD (1988)

DIRECTOR: John McTiernan

CAST: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Alexander Godunov, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson, Paul Gleason, De’voreaux White, William Atherton

SYNOPSIS: New York officer John McClane (Willis) flies to Los Angeles to visit his estranged wife (Bedelia) at a Christmas party. But when twelve terrorists led by the sinister Hans Gruber (Rickman) take control of the building, John must use his wits to save his wife and the rest of the hostages.

MVP: Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber

BEST MOMENT?: As the McClanes reach safety, things get tense again by the sudden reemergence of Karl as he prepares to open fire. Step fourth Sergeant Al Powell and his well-deserved act of redemption!

 

5#. CINDERELLA MAN (2005)

DIRECTOR: Ron Howard

CAST: Russell Crowe, Renee Zellweger, Paul Giamatti, Craig Bierko, Paddy Considine, Bruce McGill

SYNOPSIS: In the Great Depression, former boxer James J. Braddock (Crowe) loses all his possessions and savings which threatens to tear his family apart. But when Jim’s coach and manager Joe Gould (Giamatti) offers to him a chance to return to boxing, he becomes the symbol of hope for the people of a ruined nation.

MVP: Paul Giamatti as Joe Gould

BEST MOMENT?: In an act of desperation, Jimmy turns up to the gathering place of fighting promoters where he begs for money to pay his utility bills. This leads to an act of kindness led by his loyal coach Joe which is echoed by most of the men in the room.

 

4#. BACK TO THE FUTURE (1985)

DIRECTOR: Robert Zemeckis

CAST: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, Thomas F. Wilson, Claudia Wells

SYNOPSIS: High school student Marty McFly (Fox) is accidentally sent thirty years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the maverick scientist Doc Brown (Lloyd). During his trip, he must make certain his teenage parents-to-be (Thompson and Glover) meet and fall in love – so he can get back to the future.

MVP: Christopher Lloyd as Dr. Emmett Brown

BEST MOMENT?: Forget Rocky, the best knockout move in film history is delivered by George McFly as he finally gains the courage to punch Biff in order to save Lorraine from harm. A tense scene but one that deservedly ends in triumph.

 

3#. PLANES, TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES (1987)

DIRECTOR: John Hughes

CAST: Steve Martin, John Candy, Lalia Robins, Michael McKean, Dylan Baker, Kevin Bacon

SYNOPSIS: Businessman Neil Page (Martin) finds himself embarking on a torturous journey from New York to Chicago for Thanksgiving with an obnoxious slob of a shower curtain ring salesman (Candy) as his only companion.

MVP: John Candy as Del Griffith

BEST MOMENT?: A hysterical selection sees Neal and Del wake up in an uncompromising position with Emmylou Harris’s “Back in Baby’s Arms” playing in the background. Que that famous pillow line….

 

2#. THE DARK KNIGHT (2008)

DIRECTOR: Christopher Nolan

CAST: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman, Eric Roberts, Cillian Murphy, William Fichtner

SYNOPSIS: When the menace known as the Joker (Ledger) wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham, Batman (Bale) must accept one of the greatest psychological and physical tests of his ability to fight injustice.

MVP: Heath Ledger as the Joker

BEST MOMENT?: The truck chase sequence has so much to savour over the course of ten eventful minutes as Batman tries to prevent the convoy from being attacked by the Joker and his goons. Watching that batpod flip on the big-screen remains one of my favourite moments in a packed cinema!

 

1#. THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING (2003)

DIRECTOR: Peter Jackson

CAST: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Liv Tyler, Orlando Bloom, John Rhys-Davies, Dominic Monaghan, Billy Boyd, Andy Serkis, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Ian Holm, Bernard Hill, Karl Urban, Miranda Otto, David Wenham, Sean Bean, John Noble, Christopher Lee (extended version), Brad Dourif (extended version)

SYNOPSIS: Aragorn (Mortensen) is revealed as the heir to the ancient kings as he, Gandalf (McKellen) and the other members of the broken fellowship struggle to save Gondor from Sauron’s forces. Meanwhile, Frodo (Wood) and Sam (Astin) take the ring closer to the heart of Mordor, the dark lord’s realm.

MVP: Sean Astin as Samwise Gamgee

BEST MOMENT?: Where the heck do I begin here? There must have been at least ten choices to pick from including all the action at Miras Tirith. However it’s the emotional scenes that still get me particularly Aragorn’s “You bow to no one.” line to Frodo and his companions. So many chills….

 

THE CINEMATIQUE’S THOUGHTS

  • A while ago, Return of the Jedi was my favourite Star Wars film though I’ve come to appreciate Empire Strikes Back more hence its inclusion.
  • Temple of Doom is a controversial choice for my no.1 Indy flick but I just find it more entertaining and darker than Raiders or Last Crusade.
  • Whilst I did enjoy Toy Story 4 this summer, I still think 3 is superior and worthy of its place on the Top 10. Plus it is also the highest ranked animated film on the list!
  • Ben-Hur is just a glorious epic that sadly isn’t as appreciated as other mammoth productions like Gone with the Wind or Lawrence of Arabia.
  • Action films don’t come any better than Die Hard! Yippee Ki-Yay motherf……
  • Though I appreciate Rocky, I believe Cinderella Man is far superior in terms of its story and fight scenes. A travesty that the film never got more awards love!
  • Who doesn’t love Back to the Future? An easy pick for my Top 10.
  • Planes, Trains is so simple yet it’s just a splendid film worthy of making the Top 3. You know it’s a gooden when you watch it three times in one day as me and my family did in Florida years ago!
  • My first viewing of The Dark Knight at the Manchester Printworks still remains my favourite cinematic experience. A film that always puts a smile on my face!
  • Return of the King is the reason why I became a cinematic fanatic in the first place. Simply put: one film to rule them all!

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