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The Pumpkin Spice Panda

Because Nobody Asked For It: The Panda's Top 250 Movies of All Time - COMPLETE

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Hello friends, I'll go ahead and say this is going to be a long endeavor and likely won't be complete for a few months, however I was wanting to work on making a thread of better write-ups for all of my favorite movies, as well as update it for myself.  I figured I'd make it here so it can be shared with anybody interested in seeing them.  Just know I'll be taking it at my own pace, so you may only see a few additions or so a day (depending on the day), and maybe some with no additions.

 

I'll also say I've actually given my top 250 list once before 3 years ago, but it looks considerably different from the one I gave that year.

 

Here are some honorable mentions that just missed my list:

Dr. No

The Karate Kid

A River Runs Through It

The Fly

Tropic Thunder

Into the Wild

Toy Story

Bambi

Dead Poet's Society

Brazil

The Conversation

Slumdog Millionaire

The Caine Mutiny

The Great Race

American Beauty

Do the Right Thing

The Wild Bunch

How the West Was Won

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Who Framed Roger Rabbit

 

Edited by 2 Panda 2 Furious
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Number 250

The Great Escape (1963)

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"Colonel Von Luger, it is the sworn duty of all officers to try to escape. If they cannot escape, then it is their sworn duty to cause the enemy to use an inordinate number of troops to guard them, and their sworn duty to harass the enemy to the best of their ability."

 

My Grade: A

Most Valuable Player: Steve McQueen's lead performance

Box Office: N/A

Tomatometer: 93%

Notable Awards:  Nominated for the Best Editing Oscar

Synopsis: Allied prisoners of war plan for several hundred of their number to escape from a German camp during World War II.

Critic Opinion: "From Paul Brickhill’s true story of a remarkable mass breakout by Allied POWs during World War II, producer-director John Sturges has fashioned a motion picture that entertains, captivates, thrills and stirs.

 

The film is an account of the bold, meticulous plotting that led to the escape of 76 prisoners from a Nazi detention camp, and subsequent developments that resulted in the demise of 50, recapture of a dozen." - Variety Staff, 1962

Reasoning: Featuring a riveting score by Elmer Bernstein, The Great Escape proves there's excitement to be had in the oldies, and that some films are just thoroughly resistant to aging.  The Motorcycle Scene remains as an all-time classic, and despite the slow build up at the beginning, the film hits its stride about midways through and climaxes with a blast.  The Great Escape is an example of a movie that aims to entertain and hits that goal head on.

 

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Edited by The Panda
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Number 249 and 248

Kill Bill Vol 1 (2003) and Kill Bill Vol 2 (2004)

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"You're not a bad person. You're a terrific person. You're my favorite person, but every once in a while, you can be a real ----."

 

My Grade: A (For Both Volumes)

Most Valuable Player: Quentin Tarantino's Script

Box Office: 70.1m for Vol 1 (100.5m Adjusted), 66.2m for Vol 2 (92.2m Adjusted)

Tomatometer: 85% for Vol 1, 84% for Vol 2

Notable Awards: Vol 1 nominated for 1 Golden Globe, Vol 2 nominated for 2 Golden Globes

Synopsis: "The Bride wakens from a four-year coma. The child she carried in her womb is gone. Now she must wreak vengeance on the team of assassins who betrayed her - a team she was once part of." - Vol 1

 

"The Bride continues her quest of vengeance against her former boss and lover Bill, the reclusive bouncer Budd and the treacherous, one-eyed Elle."

Critic Opinion: "There's enough blood here to appease the Passion of the Christ crowd, plus a nifty catfight in a trailer, a virtuoso buried-alive scene and some Old Testament retribution (an eye for an eye). But Vol. 2 reduces the casualties and gentles down the mood. You get less kill, more Bill. The first was show, this is tell — anecdotes at 10 paces. Of course, this being a Tarantino film, the conversations are as long and lurid and finely choreographed as the martial-arts set pieces. (The auteur is a bit of a diva himself: he loves arias, visual and verbal.) So you get a lecture on the toxic properties of the black mamba snake and a disquisition on the psychological duality of Superman." - Corliss, Time Magazine

Reasoning: Bloody, vengeful and definitely Tarantino, Kill Bill is a relentless and thrilling the whole way through.  I grouped these two movies together because they really work together as one movie, a modern revenge epic of the sorts.  While it may not be Tarantino's best or most acclaimed work, the movies are some of his most fun.  There are plenty of iconic action sequence that have come out of these movies, including the famous buried alive scene.  These are some of the more rewatchable films to come out of Tarantino's filmography.  It's also a rare case of two films that seamlessly feel as if they're one.

Decade Count 60s: 1, 2000s: 2

 

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Edited by The Panda
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Number 247

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)

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"This ship, is England. So it's every hand to his rope or gun, quick's the word and sharp's the action. After all... surprise is on our side."

 

My Grade: A

Most Valuable Player: Russell Boyd for the Cinematography

Box Office: 93.9m (134.1m Adjusted)

Tomatometer: 85%

Notable Awards: Won 2 Oscars, Nominated for 10

Synopsis: "During the Napoleonic Wars, a brash British captain pushes his ship and crew to their limits in pursuit of a formidable French war vessel around South America."

Critic Opinion: "Like The Lord of the Rings, Master and Commander rides into theaters on a wave of expectations based on the very popular novels it comes from. Fellow fans of the novels, you won't be disappointed. And for those of you who haven't discovered what are widely acclaimed as the best historical novels ever written, this great film is just a glorious hint of what you've been missing." - Moore, Orlando Sentinel

Reasoning: The better of the two great seafaring movies to come out in 2003, Master and Commander is a tense epic that gives you a glimpse into the crew helmed by Crowe's character Captain Aubrey.  The movie feels as if it were overlooked by a number of similar feeling movies to this that came out that year, and it deserves more attention than it gets.  The film is full of tense battle sequences, a rich script, and phenomenal cinematography.  Master and Commander is a journey worth taking.

Decade Count: 1960s: 1, 2000s: 3

 

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Number 246

Superman (1978)

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"All those things I can do. All those powers. And I couldn't even save him."

 

My Grade: A+

Most Valuable Player: John Williams for his iconic score

Box Office: 134.3m (496.1m Adjusted)

Tomatometer: 93%

Notable Awards: Nominated for 3 Oscars and Won 1 Special Oscar for Visual Effects

Synopsis: "An alien orphan is sent from his dying planet to Earth, where he grows up to become his adoptive home's first and greatest superhero."

Critic Opinion: "Given the publicity hoop-la, it is easy to overlook how effectively Richard Donner visualised this revamping of the Depression-born defender of the weak and righter of wrongs. Without really plumping for any particular interpretation of the myth (or any one visual style for that matter), Donner and his screenwriters Mario Puzo, Robert Benton and David Newman (plus Leslie Newman) flip through various genre possibilities, and allow that we might see Superman as either a Big Joke or the Son of God. By keeping the spectacular possibilities open, through the opening scenes of the destruction of Krypton, and the subsequent growth to manhood of the planet's only son on the plains of the Midwest, the film allows naiveté and knowingness to coexist. Only when it goes all out for cold Batmanesque villainy in the second half does it narrow its focus and lose its way." - Andrew, Time Out

Reasoning: I'll go ahead and say this is the first of four superhero movies to make my list (and two aren't really "superhero" movies), and so when it comes to your classic live action, superhero movie, this is the definitive one.  Greater than The Dark Knight, Iron Man, and Spider-Man, Superman flies high as an all-time classic when it comes to your men in tights.  Although it can be a little cheesy, and feel a bit dated, Christopher Reeves is still the definitive Superman, Williams delivers the definitive superhero score and the film laid the groundwork for a sprawling genre to follow it.

Decade Count: 1960s: 1, 1970s: 1, 2000s: 3

 

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Number 245

Groundhog Day (1993)

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"Well, what if there is no tomorrow? There wasn't one today."

 

My Grade: A

Most Valuable Player: The Screenplay written by Danny Rubin and Harold Ramis

Box Office: 70.9m (148.2m Adjusted)

Tomatometer: 96%

Notable Awards: Won 1 BAFTA for Best Screenplay

Synopsis: "A weatherman finds himself inexplicably living the same day over and over again."

Critic Opinion: "Together, they've come up with something unique a gentle comedy that treats a person's life as a science experiment but becomes increasingly touching as it goes along.  Its motto could be: Once again, with feeling.  A movie that continually replays a single day could quickly become tedious but, strangely enough, Groundhog Day never does." - Boyar, Orlando Sentinel

Reasoning: Groundhog Day stands as one of Bill Murray's best, if not his best, and it is filled with a sincere, dry hilarity from the beginning until the end.  The film is utterly creative in its writing, and the performances are blend of real and dry, which allows it to achieve a higher level than it would have had it tilted in either/or direction.  It's an intelligent film that leaves you rewatching it like Murray relives his days in the movie.

Decade Count: 1960s: 1, 1970s: 1, 1990s: 1, 2000s: 3

 

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kill bill vol. 2 i'm no fan of. though i think vol. 1 is one of his best films, go figure, but i get why they're paired so often. and so far i like all the other stuff. no real reason to bitch yet, which is a shame.

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11 minutes ago, CoolioD1 said:

kill bill vol. 2 i'm no fan of. though i think vol. 1 is one of his best films, go figure, but i get why they're paired so often. and so far i like all the other stuff. no real reason to bitch yet, which is a shame.

 

If his other list is anything to go by, Deadpool will probably show up so get your witticisms ready for that one.

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Number 244

Wall Street (1987)

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"Now you're not naive enough to think we're living in a democracy, are you buddy? It's the free market. And you're a part of it."

 

My Grade: A-

Most Valuable Player: Michael Douglass as Gordon Gekko

Box Office: 43.8m (94.2m Adjusted)

Tomatometer: 78%

Notable Awards: Won Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role

Synopsis: "A young and impatient stockbroker is willing to do anything to get to the top, including trading on illegal inside information taken through a ruthless and greedy corporate raider who takes the youth under his wing."

Critic Opinion: "What's intriguing about "Wall Street" - what may cause the most discussion in the weeks to come - is that the movie's real target isn't Wall Street criminals who break the law. Stone's target is the value system that places profits and wealth and the Deal above any other consideration. His film is an attack on an atmosphere of financial competitiveness so ferocious that ethics are simply irrelevant, and the laws are sort of like the referee in pro wrestling - part of the show." - Roger Ebert

Reasoning: This film has gotten a fair bit of criticism and polarity, but I'd have to respectfully disagree.  Wall Street is a timely movie, that still manages to resonate with the state of our country today, just like it did in 1987 through the 90s.  While Oliver Stone may have lost his way recently, Wall Street is an example of Stone in his prime, being politically poignant.  Wall Street features powerful performances, especially from Michael Douglass, and power in its screenplay.

Decade Count: 1960s: 1, 1970s: 1, 1980s: 1, 1990s: 1, 2000s: 3

 

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Number 243

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

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"Magic mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?"

 

My Grade: A+

Most Valuable Player: Walt Disney for getting it made

Box Office: 66.6m (670.1m)

Tomatometer: 98%

Notable Awards: Won an honorary Oscar, given to Walt Disney

Synopsis: "Snow White, pursued by a jealous queen, hides with the Dwarfs; the queen soon learns of this and prepares to feed her a poison apple."

Critic Opinion: "Disney gives credit to his directors, animators, musicians in a way that is heartening to see and a list as long as our arm; but while it is true that his pictures are built on the conference method, good ideas being kicked around until they suggest others, there is the fact that he apparently has known how to pick his men, train them and give them free rein to contribute their individual best. A film is a collective enterprise anyway and should be made that way; but in general there are too few men of talent at the top who have the leadership and patience, the exaltation of job over ego, to do it. Walt Disney is a pioneer in more things than his conception of and tireless experiment with the animated cartoon as a reflection of life. Now that the best picture of 1937 has been adjudicated, awarded, etc., the best and most important picture for 1938 is called Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." - Ferguson, The New Republic (January 26, 1938)

Reasoning: This is a movie that is truly a testament to Walt Disney for existing.  While on paper, it's not the most exciting of the studio's long history of movies, it certainly is one of (if not the) most important and quintessential of the films.  Without it, the entire Disney empire likely wouldn't exist today.  Now, that's not the only reason I am including it on my list, it also stands the test of time as heartwarming fairy-tale that works for the whole family.

Decade Count: 1930s: 1, 1960s: 1, 1970s: 1, 1980s: 1, 1990s: 1, 2000s: 3

 

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Number 242

Modern Times (1936)

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"Buck up - never say die. We'll get along."

 

My Grade: A

Most Valuable Player: Charlie Chaplin for Directing, Writing and Starring

Box Office: 163,577 Dom

Tomatometer: 100%

Notable Awards: #38 on IMDb's Top 250

Synopsis: "The Tramp struggles to live in modern industrial society with the help of a young homeless woman."

Critic Opinion: "I don't have much patience with colleagues who dismiss Charlie Chaplin by saying that Buster Keaton was better (whatever that means). To the best of my knowledge, with the arguable exception of Dickens, no one else in the history of art has shown us in greater detail what it means to be poor, and certainly no one else in the history of movies has played to a more diverse audience or evolved more ambitiously from one feature to the next. The opening sequence in Chaplin's second Depression masterpiece (1936), of the Tramp on the assembly line, is possibly his greatest slapstick encounter with the 20th century, and as Belgian filmmakers Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne have brilliantly observed, the famous shot of his being run through machinery equates him with a strip of film. Still, there's more hope here than in Chaplin's preceding City Lights, perhaps because this time the Tramp has Paulette Goddard, another plucky urchin, to keep him company." - Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

Reasoning: I know there are many on these forums who believe the history of film began with "Star Wars" and don't dare look back any farther, but they should really give some of these older films a try, some are actually pretty darn good.  Modern Times manages to continue to be funny today in its silent slapstick comedy that works as a social satire on factories back in the Gilded Age/Industrial era.  Chaplin is a genius from his time who you should really give a try.

Decade Count: 1930s: 2, 1960s: 1, 1970s: 1, 1980s: 1, 1990s: 1, 2000s: 3

 

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help me out with this; why do some As out rank some A+s? is the grade really necessary? the fact that it's here kinda give away that you really dig it.

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Number 241

District 9 (2009)

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"Get your fokkin' tentacle out of my face!"

 

My Grade: A

Most Valuable Player: Neill Blomkamp for his direction and screenplay

Box Office: 115.6m (134m Adjusted)

Tomatometer: 90%

Notable Awards: Nominated for 4 Oscars, including Best Picture

Synopsis: "An extraterrestrial race forced to live in slum-like conditions on Earth suddenly finds a kindred spirit in a government agent who is exposed to their biotechnology."

Critic Opinion: "“District 9” cost thirty million dollars, or roughly a fifth of the marketing budget for “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.” The double blessing of this thrift is, first, the lived-in scruffiness of the background, with prawns rooting through hillocks of trash or chomping on tins of cat food (their snack of choice), and, second, the low-rent, high-energy presence of the actors—not stars, for whom we would be programmed to root, but ordinary sorts whose fortunes we cannot predict, and for whom our sympathies continually shift and sway. Who would have thought that Wikus could go from bureaucrat to tramp and then to “the most valuable human artifact on earth,” all in a single day? Or that he would wind up knocking politely at a prawn’s door? Or, best of all, that the prawn himself would be known as Christopher Johnson, the idea being that regular names will make the aliens feel at home? (So much more welcoming than 9 or 7.) You don’t feel bamboozled, fooled, or patronized by “District 9,” as you did by most of the summer blockbusters. You feel winded, and shaken, and shamed." - Lane, The New Yorker

Reasoning: There were a number of great sci-fi movies to come out of 2009, and District 9 stands out as one of (if not the) best of them.  For good reason, Blomkamp became the next hot up and coming director, it's a shame he hasn't been able to follow through on a scale with what he delivered in District 9.  The movie plays your emotions, and it delivers a powerful sci-fi allegory.  This is an example on how to make a solid, contemporary sci-fi flick.

Decade Count: 1930s: 2, 1960s: 1, 1970s: 1, 1980s: 1, 1990s: 1, 2000s: 4

 

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Edited by The Panda
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16 minutes ago, CoolioD1 said:

help me out with this; why do some As out rank some A+s? is the grade really necessary? the fact that it's here kinda give away that you really dig it.

 

That was just the grade I gave the movie when I saw it, it usually works better when the list isn't my all-time favorites (as I've been using this general format for my lists).  I guess you could say that I don't have any flaws with my A+ movies, but that doesn't necessarily mean I ended up liking it more than an A or A- movie.

 

I'd agree, it is fairly pointless for this list though because I believe 99% or so of the films I gave either an A or A+.

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Number 240

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

o_brother_where_art_thou_ver1.jpg

 

"Damn! We're in a tight spot!"

 

My Grade: A

Most Valuable Player: Joel and Ethan Coen (also Homer) for the Screenplay

Box Office: 45.5m (69.6m Adjusted)

Tomatometer: 77%

Notable Awards: Nominated for 2 Oscars

Synopsis: "In the deep south during the 1930s, three escaped convicts search for hidden treasure while a relentless lawman pursues them."

Critic Opinion: "The title alludes to Preston Sturges and evokes the engagingly anarchic, almost throwaway tone and setting of the Coens' shaggy Deep South Depression-era semi-musical road-comedy. The story, however, as announced with gleeful idiocy (but honesty!) in the opening credits, is loosely 'Based on Homer's Odyssey'. Clooney is perfectly cast as Everett Ulysses McGill, a somewhat vainglorious Mississippi charmer who breaks from a chain gang, dragging two none-too-bright buddies (Turturro and Nelson) in his wake, purportedly to retrieve his booty, but actually to try to tempt his less than faithful Penelope (Hunter) away from her new suitor. En route, there are adventures with latter-day lotus eaters, sirens, a Bible-bashing Polyphemus (Goodman), a Robert Johnson-like bluesman, a public enemy, corrupt politicians and the Klan, accompanied by a wealth of terrific blues, bluegrass and gospel music. Great dialogue, superb 'Scope camerawork from Roger Deakins, and a genuinely wondrous deus ex machina are among the delights." - Andrew, Time Out

Reasoning: A southern, folkish, Depression-Era comedic take on Homer's epic "The Odyssey", what's not to love?  There's some great banter throughout the movie, and the film never takes itself too seriously, despite being a miniaturish epic.  The soundtrack is one for the ages, and the Coen Brothers prove that they're capable directors able to consistently deliver great times at the cinema.  Also, not to forget Deakins, who really brings the whole film together with how he shoots the film.  O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a real delight of a movie.

Decade Count: 1930s: 2, 1960s: 1, 1970s: 1, 1980s: 1, 1990s: 1, 2000s: 5

 

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