Top 50 Movies Streaming on Hulu – September 2017

10. No Country For Old Men – 2007

Directed by: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin

Never has there been a more convincing villain. Anton Chigurh – played by Javier Bardem – does people in with an air canon. Perhaps the most inconvenient of weapons. The story is relatively simple; a pile of cash which everyone wants. But the depth of the story is the apparent bewilderment of the cop who’s trying to unravel the mess. One of TLJs finer perfromance.

9. On The Waterfront – 1954

Directed by: Elia Kazan
Starring: Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb

Marlon Brandon in his youth was up there with James Dean as a screen icon. While there’s a substantial cast, this is the story of one man and his epic struggle with morality. The issues of the day, especially those surrounding the unions, were extremely relevant at the time and On The Waterfront is an 8 Oscar American cinema great.

8. The Thing – 1982

Directed by: John Carpenter
Starring: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David

It’s rare for a sci-fi/horror movie to join the pantheon of cinema classics. The Thing is set in the frozen wastes of Antarctica which helps deliver the required surreality and remoteness to take the movie to a higher level. The special effects are enthralling. Have a look at your neighbours and ask yourself who’s real.

7. Reservoir Dogs – 1992

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen

The violence that is inevitable in a Tarrantino movie invites you compare Reservoir Dogs with Pulp Fiction. Don’t. They’re deeply and fundamentally different. Used here it is a vehicle to develop the characters. In Pulp Fiction it is used to advance the plot. And this is a character movie in which every actor is ideally suited to their part.

6. Amelie – 2001

Directed by: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Starring: Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus

Our only venture into foreign cinema is set in Paris. Amelie is inveterately shy and wants to expand herself by helping other people; along the way she finds love. The film is pitched as a comedy but is much more. The cinematography is some of the best you will ever see.

5. Raiders Of The Lost Ark – 1981

Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman

Archeology eh! Now there’s a dull subject. Except when the reward is priceless riches and power. Odd since Indiana Jones isn’t particularly interested in either. This a Spielberg adveture with plenty of comedy, action and one-liners which will come round time and time again. Get yourself a whip and a homburg why don’t you?

4. Apocalypse Now – 1979

Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola
Starring: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall

Inspired by Joseph Conrads Hearts of Darkness (although if you’ve read it you’ll wonder why) Apolalypse Now is the greatest indictment of the insanity of the Vietnam War. The photography and character portrayals are immense. Dennis Hooper returns to form and watch out for a young Harrison Ford. The Directors Cut, if you can get it, is even better.

3. The Silence Of The Lambs – 1991

Directed by: Jonathan Demme
Starring: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn

And the record goes to Anthony Hopkins. For the shortest time on screen to win an Oscar. Thomas Harris created Hannibal Lecter in his books but Hopkins brought him to life in this and the excellent sequel. Is madness evil? Is evil madness? In fact, Lecter is not actually the serial killer in this movie. That’s left to someone else.

2. Saving Private Ryan – 1998

Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore

It’s hard to believe that Saving Private Ryan is nearly twenty years old as it’s still on everyone’s lips as one of the best World War II movies ever. Anyone who was not actually involved and therefore already changed by the horrors and futility of war will be forever affected by this movie. Will the movie avert future wars? Probably not. Will it change the future of war? Hopefully it will.

1. The Good The Bad And The Ugly – 1966

Directed by: Sergio Leone
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef

It was necessary to coin the phrase Spaghetti Western to define the work of Sergio Leone. It was simply because Leone was Italian and the phrase, oddly but almost certainly, originated in Spain! His unique style was invariably shot on shoestring budgets and thence derives the strength. There is no extraneous “stuff” in here leaving nothing to detract from the action or the dialogue.

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