It's not a bad list, although inevitably it's not the one I would have come up with. Maybe it's a little skewed towards pretentious arthouse fare. My own approach to arty films is this: I'm willing to accept some of them are doing very clever things, which I don't have the patience or background knowledge to fully grasp. Others are absolute tosh. It's not always possible to get a consensus on where the boundary lies.
A few thoughts on the list:
- No way is Mulholland Drive the best film of the 21st century. I've never really gotten the cult of David Lynch; I'll grant this one deserves to be in the top 100, maybe the top 25, but first place? I think not.
- Much the same goes for In The Mood For Love, in second place. I thought it was a lovely, melancholy piece of cinema, but it really shouldn't be that high up.
- A horrible, glaring omission is the Infernal Affairs trilogy, which can best be described as a Hong Kong equivalent of The Godfather. The first one was remade by Martin Scorsese as multi-Oscar-winning The Departed, but I have always preferred the original.
- I also think The Martian and the Lord of the Rings trilogy should be somewhere in this list.
- A History of Violence? Really? If you're going to pick a Cronenberg film from the 21st century, Spider, Eastern Promises, and Maps to the Stars are much better.
- On a more positive note, it's good to see Spirited Away, Children of Men, and Mad Max: Fury Road place highly. All are wonderful and perhaps underrated films.
- I've seen Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives and found it fascinating, although I'm not sure I understood it. The director, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, has three films in the top 100 and I really must try and see the other two.
- Timbuktu and Fish Tank are little-known gems which I was very glad to catch in the cinema.
- Pan's Labyrinth (Guillermo Del Toro, 2006)
- No Country For Old Men (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2007)
- 12 Years A Slave (Steve McQueen, 2013)
- Inside Out (Pete Docter, 2015)
- The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008)
- There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)
- The Martian (Ridley Scott, 2015)
- The Imitation Game (Morten Tyldum, 2014)
- Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Peter Jackson, 2003)
- Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001)
- Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)
- The Lives of Others (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, 2006)
- Up (Pete Docter and Bob Peterson, 2009)
- Shaun of the Dead (Edgar Wright, 2004)
- Only Lovers Left Alive (Jim Jarmusch, 2013)
- The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)
- House of Flying Daggers (Yimou Zhang, 2004)
- Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)
- Infernal Affairs (Andrew Lau and Alan Mak, 2002)
- Lincoln (Steven Spielberg, 2012)
- District 9 (Neill Blomkamp, 2009)
- Winter's Bone (Debra Granik, 2010)
- Gladiator (Ridley Scott, 2000)
- Guardians of the Galaxy (James Gunn, 2014)
- Donnie Darko (Richard Kelly, 2001)
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