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My Take On the Best of the Best Movies Ever, Part Three

View Chris Kavan's Profile

By Chris Kavan - 03/27/13 at 01:45 PM CT

Okay - this is the third week in my Best Picture breakdown and I'm getting into the good stuff now. I'm going to go from #30 to #21 this week and these are when some of the real winners start to shine. While previous entries I have been a bit lukewarm to ambivalent about - now I'm getting into the real meat of list - and it's only going to get better from here. But I'll let the list speak for itself:

30) THE DEER HUNTER

 photo DeerHunter_zps2853cdf4.jpg

I do consider The Deer Hunter to be amongst the better war films out there - because it doesn't focus on the war, but rather the people going to war and the effect it has on them. It tests the binds of friendship and the cruelty of war. However, it takes patience. For a war movie, there is a lot of reflection and meditation - and, frankly, it can be a bit tough to get through. This is a great movie, but not necessarily one I want to sit through over and over again.

29) ARGO

 photo Argo02_zps554befa1.jpg

The newest entry into the Best Picture club, I thought Argo was the best choice for the year (out of all the ones I have currently seen). However, it is rather early to say how it will fare in say, 10 years from now. I have so say out of many other contemporary winners, I appreciate it a lot more than most. Does it stretch the truth? Absolutely - but the movie wouldn't have worked as well without that tension. To all the naysayers, I have just one thing to say: "Argof*$% Yourself."

28) THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING

 photo ReturnoftheKing_zps8c76aeef.jpg

You can really say that this award is for Peter Jackson's entire LOTR trilogy. Because, as far as I'm concerned, Two Towers is still the best film in the series. However, Return of the King does a great job of wrapping things up... even if Jackson tacks on a few too many "endings" here. As far as fantasy is concerned, this movie is still the king, aside from another trilogy I happen to love (it rhymes with "car stores"). Epic in every way imaginable, this is one of the most entertaining Best Picture winners.

27) THE SOUND OF MUSIC

 photo SoundofMusic_zps9e66675a.jpg

I'll be the first to admit that on a personal level The Sound of Music is not one of my favorite musicals. However, I'm not beyond knowing how incredibly popular and, yes, important this film is - there's a reason the sing-a-long version of this film remains so popular. The songs are catchy and you can actually sing to them. Julie Andrews is pretty much the perfect choice for the role and even if the film is a bit schmaltzy for my tastes - it's indelible imprint on musicals (and film) cannot be overlooked.

26) GONE WITH THE WIND

 photo GoneWiththeWind_zps4da98871.jpg

Much like The Sound of Music - I hold no personal love for Gone with the Wind but more of a respect for the film. As far as epics are concerned - this has to be one of the main movies you have to watch. Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh are simply iconic in their respective roles and I can see why so many list this as one of the most important films of all time. Yet for everything that's attributed to this film, I just don't get that worked up over it. It's epic, but that also includes it running time and I'm just not as enamored of this as so many other critics seem to be.

25) NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN

 photo NoCountryforOldMen_zps6efa5e92.jpg

Although this was the same year we also had There Will Be Blood - I think the Oscar went to the right film. I still think Javier Bardem's Anton Chigurh is one of the most chilling villains on film simply because of how straight-up yet impulsive he happens to be. Plus that captive bolt pistol makes a case for the best hit weapon of all time. It also cast Josh Brolin in a new light as well and the rest of the cast - Tommy Lee Jones, Kelly Macdonald and Woody Harrelson amongst them - worked just as well. A dark film - unforgiving even - but makes an impact that isn't soon forgotten.

24) UNFORGIVEN

 photo Unforgiven_zps66e1b09e.jpg

Good westerns are often hard to find - especially contemporary westerns. Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven makes a good case that a western done right can have just as much impact as a traditional drama. Plus, this was the jumping off point for Eastwood's award-winning period in his career. Even if his efforts of late have been uneven at best - Unforgiven shows the man can act and direct and I still consider this one of his best films to date.

23) THE DEPARTED

 photo TheDeparted_zps062a1429.jpg

Although this is not Martin Scorsese's best film - and the fact it took this long for him to win is a crime in an of itself - The Departed works because the story is just as strong as the cast. Two moles working on opposite ends (an undercover cop in the mafia and a mole inserted in the police force) get deeply ingrained and it's all about which one's cover is going to crumble first. It's thrilling and engrossing and for any fan of crime, drama or Scorsese it needs to be seen.

22) SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE

 photo SlumdogMillionaire_zps64fc1ab3.jpg

A lot of people might take offense at how high this movie is on my list - especially seeing as how I've said overly-sentimental claptrap (Forrest Gump, Rain Man) doesn't always work. The fact is, that this is one of those uplifting films that I inherently like on a personal level. And it still amazes me that Danny Boyle went from infected human monstrosities to this heartfelt drama. This is a film that just makes me feel good and if a film can affect me that much, I can look past its flaws and have no problem placing it this high on my list.

21) TITANIC

 photo Titanic_zpsab760372.jpg

Even though this film is responsible for that terrible Celine Dion song that will forever make me gag - there is also a reason that this was the highest-grossing film in the world for over a decade. It has action for guys, romance for women and a story based in reality (plus James Cameron is a true Titanic buff). The casting couldn't have been any better and for all the complaints made about this movie you cannot deny the fact it is entertaining and leaves an impact. Haters can hate - but this is a good film.

We're nearing the top now with the best yet to come. As always, if you have opinions, supporting or dissenting, they are always welcome.

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View Daniel Corleone's Profile

Daniel Corleone

Wrote on 04/02/13 at 12:44 PM CT

Some overrated Best Picture Awardees on the list in my view. Highly agree with Return of the King and Unforgiven, both just epics and flawless from beginning to end. May have to rewatch The Departed and No Country (which I felt robbed There Will Be Blood).

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