The Quintessential Guide to Movies: Thoughts of a 13 Year Old Boy

Feb 6, 2003

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The Bottom Line I hope if you have not seen any of these films yet, you will go out and rent them and see their quality yourself.

14. Spirited Away (Japanese film by Miyazaki)The story of a little girl named Chihiro wandering into a bathhouse for spirits, and her quest to reunite with her parents brings laughter, tears, and amazement at the sheer quality of what I expected to be one of those cheesy action animes.
13. Stolen Summer (The final product of Project Greenlight, an HBO Special where Ben Affleck and others helped create an independent movie.) The search for spirituality in two little boys, one the son of a christian and the other of a rabbi is one of the most touching movies ever. The way the boys converse truly shows the innocence of childhood and the complexity of religion and the quest for righteousness in the eyes of a Christian/Jewish God.
12. Memento
This movie broke all the rules of conventional movie making. With certainly the best film editing to date, and an incredible plot base alongside, it stands as one of the best films ever made. Great job by Guy Pearce.
11. Blade Runner
What a stunner. This film had some of the most amazing ideas ever placed in a sci/fi movie (I believe second to 2001: A Space Odyssey) Harrison Ford is on the run trying to hunt down cyborgs - don't think this is a cheesy plotline - rent it and you will be blown away.
10. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
The best martial arts film of all time, not to mention one of the best international films ever made. It draws you into a reality/fantasy China and never lets you out. The wire effects a bit cheesy for some, but I thought it only added to the film.
9. Catch me if you can
It could just be me, but when I went to see this film, I thought the credits were as good as the movie itself. Leonardo DiCaprio does an incredible job portraying a check con-artist on the run from Tom Hanks. The view of a square in Quebec City at the end was beautiful to boot.
8. Take the money and run
I am definitely one of Woody Allen's biggest fans. This film is his second best. A mockumentary of bankrobbers, I could not stop laughing. One of his best early films before his recent lapse in comedic talent until his newest one, Hollywood Ending.
7. Sleeper
This movie cracks me up every time. Woody Allen is cryogenically frozen and wakes up in the future. With giant fruit, an orgasmatron (don't ask, just watch) and robot servants, this is one comedic ride.
6. Lord of the Rings Fellowship
The first film in the trilogy, I felt, has been the best so far. Peter Jackson brilliantly introduces the tale of Frodo in almost perfect adaptation from the book (with the exception of a few unnecessary characters) and with great acting from the entire cast, incredible scenery and cinematography (filmed in beautiful New Zealand)this stands as the best fantasy film of all time, probably the best book adaptation of all time (rivaling the Hours), and one of the best films of all time.
5. Good Will Hunting
Ben Affleck and Matt Damon's introduction to the film world. Their finest product in their careers, Good Will Hunting is a blend of all the well done aspects of films making so far. A tale of love, friendship, growing up, life. The main character is wonderfully acted by Matt Damon and assisted by Ben Affleck and Robin Williams. The best feel good movie of all time, and one of the best endings ever. The last line is incredibly thought out, and a great project by two sophomore screenwriters.
4. Matrix
Arguably the best action and sci/fi ever, viewers are introduced to Neo and the Matrix, a programmed world where everything that seems real is fake. The Wachowski brothers triumphantly create the special effects that will go down for generations as certainly some of the most revolutionary, if not the coolest ever. A great plot and acting to boot, watch for the sequels (Reloaded and Revolutions) coming out soon
3. Gladiator
Ridley Scott's best made film yet, it chronicles the tale of a gladiator in Roman times. Broken by war crimes and bruised by a life of constant war, Maximus's struggle to find right in a world that he is so wrong amazes all who watch it.
2. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Funniest movie - ever! The sheer hilarity of Monty Python's "intellectual" comedy amazes me even today. Even if you haven't been a fan of Monty Python before, give this one a chance. I guarantee you'll love it. Warning: That is not a guarantee.
1. Road to Perdition
Hands down the best film ever made. Sam Mendes, known for his direction of the Oscar winning film American Beauty, brings yet another masterpiece to the big screen. Tom Hanks plays a hitman, working for Paul Newman. After a day on the job, Hanks comes home to find that Paul Newman's son has murdered his wife and son. Hanks drives off with his other son, looking for revenge, and embarks on the adventure of a lifetime. With the best acting ever in their careers coming from Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, and Jude Law in this movie, I was drawn into the magnificence of this movie from beginning to end. Sam Mendes certainly has a knack for telling a wonderful tale, and acting from, in my opinion, the two best actors of all time (Tom Hanks and Paul Newman) bring this movie above all other films. A score tantamount to any of the other best movie themes of all time also contributes to this film's greatness. See it and you will definitely not regret it.

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