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The Panda

BOT's Top 100 Movies of All Time - Hindsight is 2020 Edition

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A bit of a guilty pleasure maybe, but a movie that always moves me, no matter how many times I watch it, and one I would have voted for had I done a top 100 instead of a top 30, is The Last Samurai. Another one that has a similar effect is The Last of the Mohicans.

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5 hours ago, The Stingray said:

Jurassic Park is good and all but it's not even top 10 Spielberg.

I think I agree with you







Private Ryan

Close Encounters


Jurassic park


Ok. Number 9


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3 hours ago, Plain Old Tele said:

 You forgot the best movie of 1988? :( 


Mississippi Burning for the win. 

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Some more of the just misses






"A film that pretty much predicted the rise of the cable news outlets, it's actually rather scary how spot on it was. The script is razor sharp, the performance don't strike one false note. It's as good as films get and I love Rocky but this should have been your best picture winner of 1976." - @DAR






"A masterpiece, probably my favorite movie of all time with one unforgettable scene after another."  - @rb02


"This is in my top 10.Maximus! Maximus! Maximus!" - @Ozymandias


"This movie is boring as fuck" - @Ethan Hunt


"Well, I agree with pretty much everything that's been said in this thread so far." - @CoolioD1






"I'm a big fan of the second season of the show, so I decided to finally check out Fargo, one of the Coen Brothers most famous films. It was definitely worth seeing. It's underwhelming at points, until you realize just what you saw happen in a mere hour and a half. It's packed with plot, humor, and perfect performances. McDormand, Buscemi, Stormare, and Macy - all incredible. I need to see more Coen Brothers films, but in this, the direction is pitch perfect and the script is fun with a lot of great moments. Roger Deakins always delivers a beautiful film, although this is pretty unassuming with the exception of a few establishing shots, but it works. Carter Burwel's score is also pretty lovely, quiet at appropriate moments. Fargo is a very pleasant film that's hard to put into one genre, which is always a surefire way to make it memorable. Really enjoyable."  - @Blankments






"I would have said the same thing after my first viewing. If there's a clear example of a film that truly benefits from repeated viewings, it's Chinatown. I don't think I had realized the full brilliance of the script until I watched it for the third time.


it's really just a magnificent piece of filmmaking.


Watched it for about the 19th time. Damn, that ending. It's like you spend two hours standing on the tracks, unable to move, but still hopeful and having a good time - not having seen it in three years, I was actually a bit surprised at the number of funny moments in this movie - and in the end this train just inevitably comes and hits you at full speed. Completely devastating. It's been just shy of 5 years since I've seen Chinatown for the first time and in those 5 years I haven't seen a better film, although a few came close. " - @Jake Gittes









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I blame myself for Network. That was my fault for dropping it. It didn’t make it last time, And I kind of wasn’t feeling so hot about it.

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2 hours ago, Plain Old Tele said:

In the classic words of Jack Walsh: “I’ve got two words for you: shut the fuck up.”






In the classic words of Rupert Anderson.... Make no mistake about it Tele, if you don't like Mississippi Burning I'll cut your fucking head clear off not give a shit how it shows in the report sheet. 😝

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Maybe the coolest surprise of the list was how high this movie skyrocketed up.






"Hate: it was with this hand that Cain iced his brother. Love: these five fingers, they go straight to the soul of man."


About the Movie




"This film looks at life in the Bedford-Stuyvesant district of Brooklyn on a hot summer Sunday. As he does everyday, Sal Fragione opens the pizza parlor he's owned for 25 years. The neighborhood has changed considerably in the time he's been there and is now composed primarily of African-Americans and Hispanics. His son Pino hates it there and would like nothing better than to relocate the eatery to their own neighborhood. For Sal however, the restaurant represents something that is part of his life and sees it as a part of the community. What begins as a simple complaint by one of his customers, Buggin Out - who wonders why he has only pictures of famous Italian-Americans on the wall when most of his customers are black - eventually disintegrates into violence as frustration seemingly brings out the worst in everyone."


Its Legacy


"For a black film and media student at the University of Cape Town, Spike Lee’s “Do The Right Thing” (1989) was a revelation. I watched it on a DVD one afternoon with my friend Frank in one of the damp tutorial rooms in the Arts Block on Upper Campus, only a few steps away from where Cecil John Rhodes’ statue stood.  Our film history curriculum at that point had been mostly European and American cinema. While still American, this was something completely different. It had been nearly 20 years since the film’s inception and it took place on a completely different continent, and yet it was so relatable.  More than just that, it was a visceral film experience, a wake-up call, but also an affirmation. Watching it in 2016 it’s eerie (and tragic) how relevant its central theme of racial tension and structural violence still is, both in America and South Africa.


Despite its explosive dénouement, one of the main strengths of the film is the complexity of its characters and the representations of blackness on screen. Lee moved beyond stereotypes of African Americans in cinema and created characters reflected in the everyday. In “Do The Right Thing”, black people are not presented in the traditional binary of subservient and smiling, or violent and dangerous, but rather are able to exist as more rounded expressions of themselves.  While Buggin’ Out is concerned with black nationalist politics and representation, he also bugs out when a white gentrifier on the block accidentally scuffs his brand new US$100 Jordan sneakers. Even though this infliction is frivolous, it leads to a cathartic (prophetic?) outburst: “Man motherfuck gentrification!”


In his book, “BFI Modern Classics: Do The Right Thing”, Ed Guerrero points out that it is Sal who destroys Raheem’s boombox with a bat: “A line is crossed here, from words to physical action.” When that violence escalates and turns fatal, the victim doesn’t need to be an angel for us to have tears in our eyes. He was real, we knew him.  “Do The Right Thing” was partly inspired by the 1986 Howard Beach incident in which a black man, Michael Griffiths, was killed while escaping an angry white mob with baseball bats after exiting the New Park pizzeria. The mob had earlier tried to chase him and his friends out of their neighbourhood for being black. Unsurprisingly, this was only one of the stories that Lee drew from to write “Do The Right Thing”. This story is sadly familiar nearly 30 years later.



In 2016, amidst the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and a never-ending list of unarmed African Americans being killed by police, the film is even more relevant. In 2015, young black men were nine times more likely to be killed at the hands of police than other Americans, and 2016 looks to be on par. In a South Africa where the police killed 34 miners in Marikana for striking for a better life, and where the politics of representation and ownership are still unresolved, the tragic trajectory of “Do The Right Thing” will send chills down your spine.  When the film was released, journalists feared it would spark race riots and hate crimes. There were even warnings issued to white people to avoid seeing the film. Instead, it caused a nation to reflect, and affirmed the black experience around the world. Despite critical and fan acclaim, the film was mostly snubbed by the Academy Awards in 1990, receiving two nominations for Best Writing and Best Supporting Actor (Danny Aiello).


Tellingly, Best Picture went to “Driving Miss Daisy”, which Ed Guerrero calls


"he paternalist problem picture with its long-suffering black servant … The contrasts between Morgan Freeman’s rendering of an elderly, humble and enduring Negro servant in “Driving Miss Daisy” and Spike Lee’s portrayal of the feckless, urban youth Mookie could not have been greater in the 1989 Oscar year."


Watching it all these years later, perhaps what’s most impressive is how fresh the film still feels, even down to the classic hip-hop and “Afro-centric” clothes and haircuts (there are many Buggin’ Outs walking the streets of my home city of Johannesburg as we speak).  “Do The Right Thing” was a challenge to Hollywood’s cultural hegemony. Lee fought to get the story told on his terms, exchanging larger financial support for his artistic vision.  Most importantly, the film doesn’t offer neat answers, but rather important questions, which haven’t lost any of their urgency today. As a filmmaker, one can only hope to create work with such long-lasting affect."

- Dylan Valley, Lecturer of Film & Media Studies at the University of Witwatersrand


From the Filmmaker





Why It's the Greatest


Critic Opinion


"Despite 30 years having passed since the film’s explosion onto the national stage (complete with panic from some white critics that it would cause riots in the streets), there’s no denying the staying power of Do the Right Thing. Just as it was in 1989, Spike Lee’s fourth feature is painfully relevant to the current cultural moment; filled with discussions of gentrification, police brutality, the denial of Black people’s right to protest, the fact that so many of our heroes are made invisible.  It opens with a burst of energy, Rosie Perez making an incredible first impression as she furiously dances and boxes to the sound of Public Enemy’s anthem ‘Fight The Power’, a song that appears throughout the film. The cry of ‘wake up!’ almost directly carries over from Lawrence Fishburne in the final moments of Lee’s previous film, School Daze, to Samuel L Jackson’s fast-talking radio jockey Mr Señor Lovedaddy, acting as the voice of reason for the neighbourhood from his secluded studio.


Every character, no matter how minor they may seem, exudes so much personality. There’s Buggin’ Out (Giancarlo Esposito), kicking up a lot of passionate fuss at the drop of a hat, Radio Raheem (Bill Nunn) with his boombox blasting ‘Fight The Power’ on repeat, the stern but loving Mother Sister (Ruby Dee), the kindly, functioning alcoholic Da Mayor (Ossie Davis).  Lee’s oft-maligned scattershot style of storytelling works to perfection here, creating irreplaceable parts of a neighbourhood collage that feels truly alive, with all the messiness that entails. It’s part of why the moments of anger feel so visceral. This is enhanced by some astonishing filmmaking craft, from the elegant camerawork, to the swooning, jazzy score from Spike’s father Bill Lee, to Ruth E Carter’s vibrant costume design.


Almost everyone in the film is just as capable of hatred as they are kindness, perhaps the most memorable instance prior to the final act being a montage of characters spitting cruel, racist insults about each other straight down the camera. Watching Do the Right Thing today, it is striking how Radio Raheem’s death recalls the loss of so many black lives at the hands of police, not least Eric Garner.  It’s a painful and poignant moment, especially in light of the recent news that the officer responsible for Garner’s murder will not be charged; institutions once again prioritised over people’s lives. Lee’s film remains a bold expression of love and frustration and care and anger that is so vivid and expressive it feels like it exists in the here and now."

- Kambole Campbell, Little White Lies


User Opinion


"Brilliant, morally complex, and fascinating movie. Can't believe it took me this long to see it. Truly important and great movie." - @Cmasterclay


"Could be the best script ever, how much stake and tension are achieved without anyone being a villain/forced motivation at any point, is quite something." - @Barnack


The Panda's Haiku


Go, fight the power


Fuck that gentrification


Tear every brick down






Placement on Prior Lists


2012 - Unranked, 2013 - 88, 2014 - 94, 2016 - Unranked, 2018 - 79


Director Count


Alfred Hitchock - 4, Stanley Kubrick - 4, Steven Spielberg - 4,  Richard Linklater - 3, Hayao Miyazaki - 3, The Russo Brothers - 3, Lee Unkrich - 3, Brad Bird - 2, James Cameron - 2, Francis Ford Coppola - 2, Alfonso Cuaron - 2,  David Fincher - 2, Akira Kurosawa - 2, John Lasseter - 2,   David Lean - 2, Sergio Leone - 2, John McTiernan - 2, Christopher Nolan - 2, Martin Scorsese - 2, Andrew Stanton - 2, Quentin Tarantino - 2, Roger Allers - 1, John G. Avildsen - 1, Ash Brannon - 1, Mel Brooks - 1, Frank Capra - 1, John Carpenter - 1, Damien Chazelle - 1, Ron Clements - 1, Michael Curtiz - 1, Frank Darabont - 1, Jonathan Demme - 1, Pete Docter - 1, Stanley Donen - 1, Clint Eastwood - 1, Victor Fleming - 1, Terry Gilliam - 1, Michel Gondry - 1, Peter Jackson - 1, Rian Johnson - 1, Terry Jones - 1, Bong Joon-Ho - 1, Gene Kelly - 1, Spike Lee - 1, David Lynch - 1, Katia Lund - 1, Michael Mann - 1, Fernando Meirelles - 1, Rob Minkoff - 1, Adrian Molina - 1, John Musker - 1, Bob Persichetti - 1, Jan Pinkava - 1, Sam Raimi - 1, Peter Ramsey - 1, Rodney Rotham - 1,  Ridley Scott - 1, Guillermo del Toro - 1, Gary Trousdale - 1, Orson Welles - 1, Peter Weir - 1, Billy Wilder - 1, Lana and Lilly Wachowski - 1, Kirk Wise - 1, Kar-Wai Wong - 1, Robert Zemeckis - 1


Franchise Count


Pixar - 9, Cameron - 2, Marvel Cinematic Universe - 3, Studio Ghibli - 3, Toy Story - 3, WDAS - 3, Alien - 2, Before Trilogy - 2, Nolan - 2, Scorsese -2, Spider-Man - 2,   Die Hard - 1, The Godfather - 1, Hannibal - 1, Incredibles - 1, Indiana Jones - 1, Jurassic Park - 1, The Lord of the Rings - 1, The Matrix - 1, Monty Python - 1, Oz - 1, Predator - 1, Rocky - 1, Star Wars - 1, Terminator - 1


Decade Count


1930s - 1, 1940s - 3, 1950s - 6, 1960s - 7, 1970s - 8, 1980s - 11, 1990s - 17, 2000s - 16, 2010s - 15




Edited by The Panda
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Do The Right Thing is one of those movies that I really came around to on rewatch. The first time I saw it, I couldn't believe it was as good as I had been told, and I was reluctant to even consider it significantly great, but I rewatched it a couple years ago finally, and accepted it as the absolute masterpiece it is. Just about everything in it is 10+ and more. If anything it might be a bit too low.

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3 minutes ago, Borobudur said:

Don't you all think we have way too many Pixar film on the list that make many deserved film left out of competition?

every film had a fair chance. This isn't meant to be a perfect list it's just a refection of what the people here like and well... they love em some pixar

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I like that I had Do The Right Thing at 15 and it came in a 15. 


For all the talk about the Coen Brothers  How did Fargo miss?  Ooooomg


frances mcdormand fargo GIF

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