To the kids of the 1970s and 1980s, George Lucas’ original Star Wars trilogy seemed like it came soaring, fully formed, out of that galaxy far, far away, and its intoxicating blend of classic mythology and souped-up, effects-fueled action has made it one of the most widely influential sagas to come out of Hollywood over the last 40 years — as evidenced by the deafening buzz that accompanies every new installment in the franchise. But of course Lucas, like every filmmaker, stood on the shoulders of giants to build his masterpiece, and with this feature, we look back on some of the most obvious strands of Star Wars‘ DNA.


The Hidden Fortress (1958) 97%

HiddenFortress

A princess and a scoundrel on a mission behind enemy lines, with a pair of squabbling nincompoops helping them along the way. Sound familiar? To anyone who’s seen Star Wars, Akira Kurosawa’s 1958 classic The Hidden Fortress will bear several distinct similarities, not the least of which is the way that — as George Lucas later pointed out — they’re both told from the point of view of “the two lowest characters.” Loose narrative similarities aside, there are other parallels between Star Wars and The Hidden Fortress, perhaps most notably Kurosawa’s deft way with kinetic action (there’s a horse chase whose swooping thrills aren’t altogether dissimilar from the Death Star battle) and their shared fondness for screen wipe transitions. It’s been argued that the similarities between The Hidden Fortress and Star Wars have been overstated over the years, but there’s no denying there are several good reasons why the Washington Post’s Rita Kempley called Fortress the “panoramic odyssey that inspired” Lucas’ saga.

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The Searchers (1956) 96%

TheSearchers

Director John Ford inspired a slew of filmmakers across multiple generations — including the aforementioned Akira Kurosawa — and his shadow looms large over the Skywalker family saga told across the first six Star Wars films, primarily during the chapters that take place on the desert planet of Tatooine. Its desolate landscape bears distinct echoes of Ford’s The Searchers, in which a homesteader embarks on a grueling quest for revenge after his family is taken by natives — just as Anakin does in the prequels upon discovering the kidnapping of his mother Shmi. Anakin’s return to Tatooine and slaughter of the Tusken Raiders who took Shmi is essentially a sped-up version of The Searchers, and our glimpses of Tatooine in A New Hope — particularly the unforgettable sight of young Luke returning to his family farm to find it in smoldering ruins — owe an obvious debt to Ford’s somber, sun-baked classic.

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The Dam Busters (1955) 100%

George Lucas drew on plenty of war movies for inspiration while crafting the climactic battle sequences for Star Wars, but while watching the Rebels’ first run on the Death Star, there’s one film that stands out in particular: 1955’s The Dam Busters, in which a squadron of Allied fighters sets out to blow up German dams by flying through a trench and dropping bombs at just the right time, angle, and velocity to send their payloads skipping across the water and into the wall. The story sets up an almost unbearably tense final act, from which Lucas borrowed liberally — not only visually (with the help of A New Hope cinematographer Gilbert Taylor, who managed The Dam Busters’ special effects) but fundamentally, lifting lines of dialogue like “Get set for your attack run” and “Look at the size of that thing.”

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Metropolis (1927) 97%

Metropolis

Metropolis serves as a fundamental building block for cinematic sci-fi in general, so it’s basically a matter of course that Fritz Lang’s classic magnum opus would exert some substantial influence on Star Wars — and on narrative grounds, that’s arguably very true, from Metropolis’ depiction of a fringe element desperately at odds against a ruling class to the inclusion of a main character with a mechanical hand. But Star Wars’ biggest debt to Metropolis might be the visual design of Maschinenmensch, the iconic female robot whose looks were obviously never far from artist Ralph McQuarrie’s mind while he was creating his concept art for C-3PO. Of course, at this point, George Lucas’ lovable jabbering droid is far better known to the mainstream audience than anything from Metropolis, but even if you’ve never seen it, take our word for it — Luke’s trusty golden-plated companion is a descendant of cinema’s first iconic robots.

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Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940) 88%

FlashGordon2

George Lucas was so enamored of the 1936 Flash Gordon film serial that he tried optioning the rights to a new adaptation from producer Dino de Laurentiis — and if those meetings had turned out differently, he might have put his own stamp on the venerable comic franchise instead of opting to set out on his own with Star Wars. It’s therefore unsurprising that Lucas’ trademark trilogy ended up bearing the distinct stamp of the Gordon films, utilizing familiar filmmaking touches like the opening title crawl and “soft wipe” scene transitions as well as narrative components, such as Chewbacca (an analog of Flash’s leonine pal Prince Thun) and our heroes’ infiltration of the Death Star in disguise. Given how well things turned out with Star Wars, he probably would have put together a killer Flash Gordon, but don’t feel too bad for Flash — he did, after all, get his own 1980 movie, along with something Luke Skywalker never had: Queen on the soundtrack.

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Triumph of the Will (1935) 87%

TriumphOfTheWill

The original Star Wars trilogy’s arc pits insurgent rebels — our heroes — against a plainly authoritarian regime, but the overall saga’s point of view regarding power and those who wield it isn’t anywhere near as absolute as the kids of 1977 might have guessed while watching X-wing fighters swoop into those Death Star trenches. In fact, as we saw in the prequel trilogy, the Empire was once the Galactic Republic, and only morphed into the police state of A New Hope and beyond through a matter of lawfully enacted degrees. The line between democracy and fascism isn’t always as airtight as we’d like to think — which is why it’s sort of fitting that the joyous denouement of the first episode, in which our protagonists are paraded through a room full of Rebel soldiers and given medals for their heroism, bears direct visual echoes of a scene from Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will, in which Hitler and his generals march before a huge army standing at attention.

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Best Western Movies of All Time

Welcome to Rotten Tomatoes’ list of the 100 best-reviewed Western movies of all time, sorted by Adjusted Tomatometer with at least 20 reviews for each selection. Additionally, we picked only classical period films, so you get outta here with that Best Picture-winning neo-Western nonsense! Now, it’s time to put on your best pa-avenging chaps, slide a bad hombre down the saloon bar top, and ride on to see how the West was Fresh!

#100
Adjusted Score: 72815%
Critics Consensus: A visually stunning film that may be too predictable and politically correct for adults, but should serve children well.
Synopsis: Follows the adventures of a wild and rambunctious mustang stallion as he journeys through the untamed American frontier. Encountering man... [More]
Directed By: Kelly Asbury, Lorna Cook

#99

The Salvation (2014)
72%

#99
Adjusted Score: 73631%
Critics Consensus: It's all but impossible to add anything new or fresh to the traditional Western, but -- thanks in no small part to Mads Mikkelson's performance -- The Salvation comes close.
Synopsis: After shooting the man who murdered his wife, a Danish settler (Mads Mikkelsen) incurs the wrath of the man's brother... [More]
Directed By: Kristian Levring

#98

Blackthorn (2011)
75%

#98
Adjusted Score: 76231%
Critics Consensus: Blackthorn invites comparisons to a classic Western -- and survives, thanks largely to a charismatic performance by a well-chosen Sam Shepard.
Synopsis: Leaving Bolivia and heading back to the U.S., the outlaw formerly known as Butch Cassidy (Sam Shepard) has a final... [More]
Directed By: Mateo Gil

#97
#97
Adjusted Score: 82946%
Critics Consensus: The Magnificent Seven never really lives up to the superlative in its title -- or the classics from which it draws inspiration -- but remains a moderately diverting action thriller on its own merits.
Synopsis: Looking to mine for gold, greedy industrialist Bartholomew Bogue seizes control of the Old West town of Rose Creek. With... [More]
Directed By: Antoine Fuqua

#96

Dead Man (1995)
71%

#96
Adjusted Score: 74038%
Critics Consensus: While decidedly not for all tastes, Dead Man marks an alluring change of pace for writer-director Jim Jarmusch that demonstrates an assured command of challenging material.
Synopsis: Circumstances transform a mild-mannered accountant (Johnny Depp) into a notorious Old West gunslinger.... [More]
Directed By: Jim Jarmusch

#95
#95
Adjusted Score: 76024%
Critics Consensus: With a vibrant pastel color scheme and stylized action sequences, Tears of the Black Tiger is a bizarre, yet thoroughly entertaining Thai western.
Synopsis: A handsome bandit (Chartchai Ngamsan) falls in love with a wealthy woman (Stella Malucchi) while a policeman pursues the man's... [More]
Directed By: Wisit Sasanatieng

#94
#94
Adjusted Score: 75686%
Critics Consensus: It might be a bit too eager to tug the heartstrings, but The Horse Whisperer is typically graceful, well-crafted Redford -- on both sides of the camera.
Synopsis: When teenage Grace (Scarlett Johansson) is traumatized by a riding accident that badly injures her horse, her mother Annie (Kristin... [More]
Directed By: Robert Redford

#93

The Keeping Room (2014)
74%

#93
Adjusted Score: 78718%
Critics Consensus: Aided by its spare setting and committed performances, The Keeping Room is just fascinatingly off-kilter enough to overcome its frustrating stumbles.
Synopsis: During the waning days of the Civil War, two Southern sisters (Brit Marling, Hailee Steinfeld) and a slave (Muna Otaru)... [More]
Directed By: Daniel Barber

#92
#92
Adjusted Score: 79589%
Critics Consensus: In a Valley of Violence offers a smartly conceived homage to classic Westerns that transcends pastiche with absurdist humor and a terrific cast.
Synopsis: A mysterious drifter (Ethan Hawke) and his dog journey toward Mexico through the barren desert of the Old West. Hoping... [More]
Directed By: Ti West

#91

Silverado (1985)
76%

#91
Adjusted Score: 78314%
Critics Consensus: Boasting rich detail and well-told story, Silverado is a rare example of an '80s Hollywood Western done right.
Synopsis: Rambling man Emmett (Scott Glenn) assembles a group of misfit cowboys (Kevin Costner), (Kevin Kline, Danny Glover). After helping a... [More]
Directed By: Lawrence Kasdan

#90
#90
Adjusted Score: 81356%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A merciless cowboy sets out on a dangerous journey across the frontier, determined to do whatever it takes to avenge... [More]
Directed By: Jared Moshé

#89

Duel in the Sun (1946)
78%

#89
Adjusted Score: 80005%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Tragedy seems to follow Pearl Chavez (Jennifer Jones) everywhere she goes. After a domestic dispute results in the death of... [More]
Directed By: King Vidor

#88

Red Hill (2010)
79%

#88
Adjusted Score: 80929%
Critics Consensus: Though its attempts to rework genre conventions may fall flat with some, Red Hill is a beautifully shot, tightly paced thriller that marks a strong debut for director Patrick Hughes.
Synopsis: A rookie cop (Ryan Kwanten) must contend with an escaped murderer (Tom E. Lewis) who has come to town seeking... [More]
Directed By: Patrick Hughes

#87

Hostiles (2017)
71%

#87
Adjusted Score: 83455%
Critics Consensus: Hostiles benefits from stunning visuals and a solid central performance from Christian Bale, both of which help elevate its uneven story.
Synopsis: In 1892, legendary Army Capt. Joseph Blocker reluctantly agrees to escort a dying Cheyenne war chief and his family back... [More]
Directed By: Scott Cooper

#86

Appaloosa (2008)
76%

#86
Adjusted Score: 82353%
Critics Consensus: A traditional genre western, Appaloosa sets itself apart with smart psychology, an intriguing love triangle, and good chemistry between the leads.
Synopsis: Virgil Cole (Ed Harris) and his longtime friend and partner Everett Hitch (Viggo Mortensen) travel the 1880s Southwest, bringing justice... [More]
Directed By: Ed Harris

#85
Adjusted Score: 82891%
Critics Consensus: On the strength of its two lead performances Assassination is an expertly crafted period piece, and an insightful look at one of the enduring figures of American lore.
Synopsis: Infamous and unpredictable, Jesse James (Brad Pitt), nicknamed the fastest gun in the west, plans his next big heist while... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Dominik

#84
Adjusted Score: 82912%
Critics Consensus: Back to the Future Part III draws the trilogy to a satisfying close with a simpler, sweeter round of time-travel antics.
Synopsis: In this final chapter, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) obtains a 70-year-old message from the time-traveling Dr. Emmett Brown (Christopher... [More]
Directed By: Robert Zemeckis

#83

Tombstone (1993)
74%

#83
Adjusted Score: 76458%
Critics Consensus: If you're seeking a stylish modern western with a solid story and a well-chosen ensemble cast, Tombstone is your huckleberry.
Synopsis: Wyatt Earp (Kurt Russell) and his brothers, Morgan (Bill Paxton) and Virgil (Sam Elliott), have left their gunslinger ways behind... [More]
Directed By: George P. Cosmatos

#82

The Wind (2018)
81%

#82
Adjusted Score: 84595%
Critics Consensus: Imperfect yet intriguing, The Wind offers horror fans an admirably ambitious story further distinguished by its fresh perspective and effective scares.
Synopsis: Lizzy is a tough, resourceful frontierswoman settling a remote stretch of land on the 19th-century American frontier. Isolated from civilization... [More]
Directed By: Emma Tammi

#81
Adjusted Score: 82802%
Critics Consensus: Whilst never taking itself too seriously, this riotous and rollicking Sergio Leone-inspired Korean Western is serious fun.
Synopsis: In 1930s Manchuria, an encounter on a train triggers an epic crusade for a treasure map, prompting a marathon chase... [More]
Directed By: Kim Jee-woon

#80

Shanghai Noon (2000)
79%

#80
Adjusted Score: 83982%
Critics Consensus: Although the plot is really nothing to brag about, Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson work well together. The cinematography looks great, and Jackie delivers a hilarious performance. This is an old-fashioned crowd-pleaser.
Synopsis: Bumbling Chon Wang (Jackie Chan) works as an Imperial guard in the Forbidden City of China. When Princess Pei Pei... [More]
Directed By: Tom Dey

#79

Open Range (2003)
79%

#79
Adjusted Score: 85225%
Critics Consensus: Greatly benefiting from the tremendous chemistry between Kevin Costner and Robert Duvall, Open Range is a sturdy modern Western with classic roots.
Synopsis: Boss Spearman (Robert Duvall) and his cowhands Charley (Kevin Costner) and Mose (Abraham Benrubi) are driving cattle across a large... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Costner

#78

El topo (1971)
80%

#78
Adjusted Score: 83304%
Critics Consensus: By turns intoxicating and confounding, El Topo contains the creative multitudes that made writer-director Alejandro Jodorowsky such a singular talent.
Synopsis: A black-clad gunfighter (Alejandro Jodorowsky) embarks on a symbolic quest in an Old West version of Sodom and Gomorrah.... [More]
Directed By: Alejandro Jodorowsky

#77

The Long Riders (1980)
81%

#77
Adjusted Score: 82889%
Critics Consensus: With its pared down storytelling, The Long Riders delivers with an evocative atmosphere and artful brutality.
Synopsis: During a bank robbery by the legendary James-Younger Gang, Ed Miller (Dennis Quaid) impulsively kills a man, much to the... [More]
Directed By: Walter Hill

#76
Adjusted Score: 91243%
Critics Consensus: Its unusual approach won't be for all viewers, but True History of the Kelly Gang takes a distinctively postmodern look at Australia's past.
Synopsis: An exploration of Australian bushranger Ned Kelly and his gang as they attempt to evade authorities during the 1870s.... [More]
Directed By: Justin Kurzel

#75

Hud (1963)
83%

#75
Adjusted Score: 85548%
Critics Consensus: A Western that swaps out the Hollywood glamor for shades of moral gray, Hud is a sobering showcase for a sterling ensemble of actors at the top of their respective games.
Synopsis: Hard-drinking, arrogant, womanizing Hud Bannon (Paul Newman) lives a self-centered, indolent life supported by his hard-working and morally upstanding father,... [More]
Directed By: Martin Ritt

#74

The Homesman (2014)
80%

#74
Adjusted Score: 85984%
Critics Consensus: A squarely traditional yet somewhat progressive Western, The Homesman adds another absorbing entry to Tommy Lee Jones' directorial résumé.
Synopsis: A frontier farm woman (Hilary Swank) saves the life of a claim-jumper (Tommy Lee Jones) and persuades him to help... [More]
Directed By: Tommy Lee Jones

#73
Adjusted Score: 86328%
Critics Consensus: Sam Peckinpah tips his hat in mournful salute to the bygone West in this somber showdown, pitting a James Coburn against Kris Kristofferson in a meditative game of cat and mouse.
Synopsis: Sheriff Pat Garrett (James Coburn) is ordered by Governor Wallace (Jason Robards) to go after the outlaw Billy the Kid... [More]
Directed By: Sam Peckinpah

#72
#72
Adjusted Score: 88107%
Critics Consensus: The Hateful Eight offers another well-aimed round from Quentin Tarantino's signature blend of action, humor, and over-the-top violence -- all while demonstrating an even stronger grip on his filmmaking craft.
Synopsis: While racing toward the town of Red Rock in post-Civil War Wyoming, bounty hunter John "The Hangman" Ruth (Kurt Russell)... [More]
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

#71
#71
Adjusted Score: 87424%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Setting off on a journey to the west in the 1830s, the Prescott family run into a man named Linus... [More]

#70
#70
Adjusted Score: 87608%
Critics Consensus: Dances with Wolves suffers from a simplistic view of the culture it attempts to honor, but the end result remains a stirring western whose noble intentions are often matched by its epic grandeur.
Synopsis: A Civil War soldier develops a relationship with a band of Lakota Indians. Attracted by the simplicity of their lifestyle,... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Costner

#69

Meek's Cutoff (2010)
86%

#69
Adjusted Score: 90600%
Critics Consensus: Moving at a contemplative speed unseen in most westerns, Meek's Cutoff is an effective, intense journey of terror and survival in the untamed frontier.
Synopsis: During the 1840s, six settlers and their guide are caught in a dangerous situation: They are lost, food and water... [More]
Directed By: Kelly Reichardt

#68
Adjusted Score: 89659%
Critics Consensus: Tommy Lee Jones' directorial debut is both a potent western and a powerful morality tale.
Synopsis: When brash Texas border officer Mike Norton (Barry Pepper) wrongfully kills and buries the friend and ranch hand of Pete... [More]
Directed By: Tommy Lee Jones

#67

The Proposition (2005)
85%

#67
Adjusted Score: 90145%
Critics Consensus: Brutal, unflinching, and violent, but thought-provoking and with excellent performances, this Australian western is the one of the best examples of the genre to come along in recent times.
Synopsis: In 1880s Australia, a lawman (Ray Winstone) offers renegade Charlie Burns (Guy Pearce) a difficult choice. In order to save... [More]
Directed By: John Hillcoat

#66

City Slickers (1991)
91%

#66
Adjusted Score: 92853%
Critics Consensus: With a supremely talented cast and just enough midlife drama to add weight to its wildly silly overtones, City Slickers uses universal themes to earn big laughs.
Synopsis: Every year, three friends take a vacation away from their wives. This year, henpecked Phil (Daniel Stern), newly married Ed... [More]
Directed By: Ron Underwood

#65

Never Grow Old (2019)
90%

#65
Adjusted Score: 90378%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A once-peaceful frontier town becomes a den of vice after vicious outlaw Dutch Albert and his gang arrive and begin... [More]
Directed By: Ivan Kavanagh

#64

Westworld (1973)
85%

#64
Adjusted Score: 88554%
Critics Consensus: Yul Brynner gives a memorable performance as a robotic cowboy in this amusing sci-fi/western hybrid.
Synopsis: Westworld is a futuristic theme park where paying guests can pretend to be gunslingers in an artificial Wild West populated... [More]
Directed By: Michael Crichton

#63

The Shootist (1976)
87%

#63
Adjusted Score: 87577%
Critics Consensus: Simple in story while sophisticated in texture, The Shootist is a fittingly elegiac swan song for one of Hollywood's most iconic stars.
Synopsis: J.B. Books (John Wayne, in his final film role) is an aging gunfighter diagnosed with cancer who comes to Nevada... [More]
Directed By: Don Siegel

#62

Near Dark (1987)
81%

#62
Adjusted Score: 85530%
Critics Consensus: Near Dark is at once a creepy vampire film, a thrilling western, and a poignant family tale, with humor and scares in abundance.
Synopsis: Cowboy Caleb Colton (Adrian Pasdar) meets gorgeous Mae (Jenny Wright) at a bar, and the two have an immediate attraction.... [More]
Directed By: Kathryn Bigelow

#61
#61
Adjusted Score: 88643%
Critics Consensus: McCabe & Mrs. Miller offers revisionist Western fans a landmark early addition to the genre while marking an early apogee for director Robert Altman.
Synopsis: Charismatic gambler John McCabe (Warren Beatty) arrives in a mining community and decides to open a brothel. The local residents... [More]
Directed By: Robert Altman

#60

Mystery Road (2013)
92%

#60
Adjusted Score: 91691%
Critics Consensus: Mystery Road evokes classic Westerns while using its Australian outback setting to delve into a surprisingly layered -- and powerfully impactful -- array of social issues.
Synopsis: An aboriginal detective returns to the Outback to investigate the murder of a teenage girl.... [More]
Directed By: Ivan Sen

#59
#59
Adjusted Score: 92428%
Critics Consensus: The Magnificent Seven transplants Seven Samurai into the Old West with a terrific cast of Hollywood stars -- and without losing any of the story's thematic richness.
Synopsis: A Mexican village is at the mercy of Calvera, the leader of a band of outlaws. The townspeople, too afraid... [More]
Directed By: John Sturges

#58

The Revenant (2015)
78%

#58
Adjusted Score: 102668%
Critics Consensus: As starkly beautiful as it is harshly uncompromising, The Revenant uses Leonardo DiCaprio's committed performance as fuel for an absorbing drama that offers punishing challenges -- and rich rewards.
Synopsis: While exploring the uncharted wilderness in 1823, frontiersman Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) sustains life-threatening injuries from a brutal bear attack.... [More]
Directed By:

#57
#57
Adjusted Score: 92981%
Critics Consensus: Duck, You Sucker is a saucy helping of spaghetti western, with James Coburn and Rod Steiger's chemistry igniting the screen and Sergio Leone's bravura style on full display.
Synopsis: At the beginning of the Mexican Revolution in 1913, greedy bandit Juan Miranda (Rod Steiger) and idealist John H. Mallory... [More]
Directed By: Sergio Leone

#56

Bone Tomahawk (2015)
91%

#56
Adjusted Score: 93392%
Critics Consensus: Bone Tomahawk's peculiar genre blend won't be for everyone, but its gripping performances and a slow-burning story should satisfy those in search of something different.
Synopsis: In the Old West, a sheriff (Kurt Russell), his deputy (Richard Jenkins), a gunslinger (Matthew Fox),and a cowboy (Patrick Wilson)... [More]
Directed By: S. Craig Zahler

#55
#55
Adjusted Score: 93706%
Critics Consensus: Recreating the essence of his iconic Man With No Name in a post-Civil War Western, director Clint Eastwood delivered the first of his great revisionist works of the genre.
Synopsis: Josey Wales (Clint Eastwood) watches helplessly as his wife and child are murdered, by Union men led by Capt. Terrill... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

#54
#54
Adjusted Score: 92715%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this classic Western, wanderers Gil Carter (Henry Fonda) and Art Croft (Henry Morgan) ride into a small Nevada town... [More]
Directed By: William Wellman

#53

Pale Rider (1985)
93%

#53
Adjusted Score: 93631%
Critics Consensus: Nearly a decade after The Outlaw Josey Wales, Clint Eastwood returns as a director to the genre that made his name with this elegant, spiritual Western that riffs on the classic Shane.
Synopsis: When property owner Coy LaHood (Richard Dysart) starts using a band of hooligans to terrorize a group of small-town gold... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

#52

True Grit (1969)
89%

#52
Adjusted Score: 95981%
Critics Consensus: True Grit rides along on the strength of a lived-in late-period John Wayne performance, adding its own entertaining spin to the oft-adapted source material.
Synopsis: After hired hand Tom Chaney (Jeff Corey) murders the father of 14-year-old Mattie Ross (Kim Darby), she seeks vengeance and... [More]
Directed By: Henry Hathaway

#51

El Mariachi (1992)
91%

#51
Adjusted Score: 96265%
Critics Consensus: Made on a shoestring budget, El Mariachi's story is not new. However, the movie has so much energy that it's thoroughly enjoyable.
Synopsis: El Mariachi (Carlos Gallardo) is a traveling guitar player with the modest desire to play music for a living. Looking... [More]
Directed By: Robert Rodriguez

#50

Cat Ballou (1965)
89%

#50
Adjusted Score: 92381%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When hired gun Tim Strawn (Lee Marvin) kills her rancher father, Cat Ballou (Jane Fonda) becomes an outlaw set on... [More]
Directed By: Elliot Silverstein

#49

Rango (2011)
88%

#49
Adjusted Score: 95564%
Critics Consensus: Rango is a smart, giddily creative burst of beautifully animated entertainment, and Johnny Depp gives a colorful vocal performance as a household pet in an unfamiliar world.
Synopsis: A chameleon (Johnny Depp) who has lived as a sheltered family pet finds himself in the grip of an identity... [More]
Directed By: Gore Verbinski

#48
#48
Adjusted Score: 93959%
Critics Consensus: With Clint Eastwood in the lead, Ennio Morricone on the score, and Sergio Leone's stylish direction, For a Few Dollars More earns its recognition as a genre classic.
Synopsis: In the Wild West, a murderous outlaw known as El Indio (Gian Maria Volonte) and his gang are terrorizing and... [More]
Directed By: Sergio Leone

#47

Blazing Saddles (1974)
88%

#47
Adjusted Score: 93998%
Critics Consensus: Daring, provocative, and laugh-out-loud funny, Blazing Saddles is a gleefully vulgar spoof of Westerns that marks a high point in Mel Brooks' storied career.
Synopsis: In this satirical take on Westerns, crafty railroad worker Bart (Cleavon Little) becomes the first black sheriff of Rock Ridge,... [More]
Directed By: Mel Brooks

#46
#46
Adjusted Score: 98364%
Critics Consensus: The Sisters Brothers rides familiar genre trails in occasionally unexpected ways - a satisfying journey further elevated by its well-matched leading men.
Synopsis: It's 1851, and Charlie and Eli Sisters are both brothers and assassins, boys grown to men in a savage and... [More]
Directed By: Jacques Audiard

#45

Lone Star (1996)
94%

#45
Adjusted Score: 95436%
Critics Consensus: Smart and absorbing, Lone Star represents a career high point for writer-director John Sayles -- and '90s independent cinema in general.
Synopsis: In the Texas border town of Frontera, Sheriff Sam Deeds (Chris Cooper) digs up the past when he finds an... [More]
Directed By: John Sayles

#44
Adjusted Score: 94836%
Critics Consensus: With its iconic pairing of Paul Newman and Robert Redford, jaunty screenplay and Burt Bacharach score, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid has gone down as among the defining moments in late-'60s American cinema.
Synopsis: The true story of fast-draws and wild rides, battles with posses, train and bank robberies, a torrid love affair and... [More]
Directed By: George Roy Hill

#43

3:10 to Yuma (2007)
89%

#43
Adjusted Score: 97742%
Critics Consensus: This remake of a classic Western improves on the original, thanks to fiery performances from Russell Crowe and Christian Bale as well as sharp direction from James Mangold.
Synopsis: Outlaw Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) terrorizes 1800s Arizona, especially the Southern Railroad, until he is finally captured. Wade must be... [More]
Directed By: James Mangold

#42

Slow West (2015)
92%

#42
Adjusted Score: 96052%
Critics Consensus: Slow West serves as an impressive calling card for first-time writer-director John M. Maclean -- and offers an inventive treat for fans of the Western.
Synopsis: A bounty hunter (Michael Fassbender) keeps his true motive a secret from the naive Scottish teenager (Kodi Smit-McPhee) he's offered... [More]
Directed By: John Maclean

#41

Bisbee '17 (2018)
93%

#41
Adjusted Score: 95855%
Critics Consensus: Bisbee '17 offers one town's reckoning with its own history as a compelling argument that the mistakes of the past are truly corrected only when they're faced head on.
Synopsis: Locals stage re-creations of the town's controversial past.... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Robert Greene

#40

Jeremiah Johnson (1972)
95%

#40
Adjusted Score: 96483%
Critics Consensus: Jeremiah Johnson's deliberate pace demands an investment from the viewer, but it's rewarded with a thoughtful drama anchored by a starring performance from Robert Redford.
Synopsis: A Mexican-American War veteran, Jeremiah Johnson (Robert Redford), heads to the mountains to live in isolation. Woefully unequipped for the... [More]
Directed By: Sydney Pollack

#39

Nighthawk (2019)
93%

#39
Adjusted Score: 103398%
Critics Consensus: Formally thrilling and narratively daring, Bacurau draws on modern Brazilian sociopolitical concerns to deliver a hard-hitting, genre-blurring drama.
Synopsis: ... [More]

#38
Adjusted Score: 97289%
Critics Consensus: Featuring a trio of classic leading men and a rich story captured by a director at the peak of his craft, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is one of the finest Westerns ever filmed.
Synopsis: Questions arise when Senator Stoddard (James Stewart) attends the funeral of a local man named Tom Doniphon (John Wayne) in... [More]
Directed By: John Ford

#37

Django Unchained (2012)
86%

#37
Adjusted Score: 98844%
Critics Consensus: Bold, bloody, and stylistically daring, Django Unchained is another incendiary masterpiece from Quentin Tarantino.
Synopsis: Two years before the Civil War, Django (Jamie Foxx), a slave, finds himself accompanying an unorthodox German bounty hunter named... [More]
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

#36
#36
Adjusted Score: 94216%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The last job of Calvary Captain Nathan Brittles (John Wayne) before retirement is to soothe relations with the Cheyenne and... [More]
Directed By: John Ford

#35

Johnny Guitar (1954)
94%

#35
Adjusted Score: 97724%
Critics Consensus: Johnny Guitar confidently strides through genre conventions, emerging with a brilliant statement that transcends its period setting -- and left an indelible mark.
Synopsis: On the outskirts of town, the hard-nosed Vienna (Joan Crawford) owns a saloon frequented by the undesirables of the region,... [More]
Directed By: Nicholas Ray

#34
#34
Adjusted Score: 95220%
Critics Consensus: Clint Eastwood's sophomore outing as director sees him back in the saddle as a mysterious stranger, as the result is one of his most memorable Westerns.
Synopsis: In this Western, a drifter with no name (Clint Eastwood) wanders into a small town, where his gun-slinging abilities are... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

#33

Wind River (2017)
87%

#33
Adjusted Score: 105864%
Critics Consensus: Wind River lures viewers into a character-driven mystery with smart writing, a strong cast, and a skillfully rendered setting that delivers the bitter chill promised by its title.
Synopsis: Cory Lambert is a wildlife officer who finds the body of an 18-year-old woman on an American Indian reservation in... [More]
Directed By: Taylor Sheridan

#32

Sweetgrass (2009)
97%

#32
Adjusted Score: 97720%
Critics Consensus: At once tender and unsentimental, Sweetgrass gracefully captures the beauty and hardships of a dying way of life.
Synopsis: This spare documentary follows a group of shepherds as they guide hundreds of sheep through endless miles of Montana wilderness.... [More]
Starring:

#31
#31
Adjusted Score: 97841%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The small town of Bottleneck is under the control of Kent (Brian Donlevy), a power-hungry boss who gets control over... [More]
Directed By: George Marshall

#30

Little Big Man (1970)
96%

#30
Adjusted Score: 98134%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When a curious oral historian (William Hickey) turns up to hear the life story of 121-year-old Jack Crabb (Dustin Hoffman),... [More]
Directed By: Arthur Penn

#29

Sweet Country (2017)
96%

#29
Adjusted Score: 99975%
Critics Consensus: Sweet Country makes brilliant use of the Australian outback as the setting for a hard-hitting story that satisfies as a character study as well as a sociopolitical statement.
Synopsis: An Aboriginal man goes on the run after he kills a white man in self-defense.... [More]
Directed By: Warwick Thornton

#28

3:10 to Yuma (1957)
96%

#28
Adjusted Score: 98805%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Dan Evans (Van Heflin), a drought-plagued Arizona rancher, volunteers to take captured stagecoach robber and murderer Ben Wade (Glenn Ford)... [More]
Directed By: Delmer Daves

#27

The Misfits (1961)
97%

#27
Adjusted Score: 98553%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: While filing for a divorce, beautiful ex-stripper Roslyn Taber (Marilyn Monroe) ends up meeting aging cowboy-turned-gambler Gay Langland (Clark Gable)... [More]
Directed By: John Huston

#26

The Wild Bunch (1969)
90%

#26
Adjusted Score: 98142%
Critics Consensus: The Wild Bunch is Sam Peckinpah's shocking, violent ballad to an old world and a dying genre.
Synopsis: In this gritty Western classic, aging outlaw Pike Bishop (William Holden) prepares to retire after one final robbery. Joined by... [More]
Directed By: Sam Peckinpah

#25
Adjusted Score: 103035%
Critics Consensus: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs avoids anthology pitfalls with a consistent collection tied together by the Coen brothers' signature blend of dark drama and black humor.
Synopsis: An anthology of six short films that take place in 19th-century post-Civil War era during the settling of the Old... [More]
Directed By: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 98958%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When John J. Macreedy (Spencer Tracy), a one-armed war veteran, arrives in the small desert town of Black Rock, he's... [More]
Directed By: John Sturges

#23

Giant (1956)
91%

#23
Adjusted Score: 95309%
Critics Consensus: Giant earns its imposing name with a towering narrative supported by striking cinematography, big ideas, and powerful work from a trio of legendary Hollywood leads.
Synopsis: Wealthy Texas rancher Bick Benedict (Rock Hudson) shakes things up at home when he returns from a trip to the... [More]
Directed By: George Stevens

#22

Major Dundee (1965)
97%

#22
Adjusted Score: 101633%
Critics Consensus: Major Dundee is a Western-type with big war scenes, shot with bombast typical of Sam Peckinpah.
Synopsis: During the end of the Civil War, Major Dundee guards Confederate prisoners, Union deserters and ordinary hard-bitten criminals in a... [More]
Directed By: Sam Peckinpah

#21

The Shooting (1967)
100%

#21
Adjusted Score: 101199%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In the American West, Willet Gashade (Warren Oates), a former bounty hunter, and Coley Boyard (Will Hutchins), his dimwitted partner,... [More]
Directed By: Monte Hellman

#20

Shane (1953)
97%

#20
Adjusted Score: 100585%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Enigmatic gunslinger Shane (Alan Ladd) rides into a small Wyoming town with hopes of quietly settling down as a farmhand.... [More]
Directed By: George Stevens

#19
Adjusted Score: 103432%
Critics Consensus: A landmark Sergio Leone spaghetti western masterpiece featuring a classic Morricone score.
Synopsis: There's a single piece of land around Flagstone with water on it, and rail baron Morton (Gabriele Ferzetti) aims to... [More]
Directed By: Sergio Leone

#18

El Dorado (1967)
100%

#18
Adjusted Score: 101529%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Heartless tycoon Bart Jason (Edward Asner) hires a group of thugs to force the MacDonald family out of El Dorado... [More]
Directed By: Howard Hawks

#17

Old Yeller (1957)
100%

#17
Adjusted Score: 101875%
Critics Consensus: Old Yeller is an exemplary coming of age tale, packing an emotional wallop through smart pacing and a keen understanding of the elemental bonding between humanity and their furry best friends.
Synopsis: While Jim Coates (Fess Parker) is off on a cattle drive, his wife, Katie (Dorothy McGuire), and sons, Travis (Tommy... [More]
Directed By: Robert Stevenson

#16

Fort Apache (1948)
100%

#16
Adjusted Score: 102014%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When arrogant and stubborn Civil War hero Lieutenant Colonel Owen Thursday (Henry Fonda) arrives in Arizona with his daughter, Philadelphia... [More]
Directed By: John Ford

#15

The Rider (2017)
97%

#15
Adjusted Score: 108142%
Critics Consensus: The Rider's hard-hitting drama is only made more effective through writer-director Chloé Zhao's use of untrained actors to tell the movie's fact-based tale.
Synopsis: After a riding accident leaves him unable to compete on the rodeo circuit, a young cowboy searches for a new... [More]
Directed By: Chloé Zhao

#14
#14
Adjusted Score: 102497%
Critics Consensus: With Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo as his template, Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollars helped define a new era for the Western and usher in its most iconic star, Clint Eastwood.
Synopsis: The Man With No Name (Clint Eastwood) enters the Mexican village of San Miguel in the midst of a power... [More]
Directed By: Sergio Leone

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 105787%
Critics Consensus: Bolstered by powerful lead performances from Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, and Tommy Lee Jones, No Country for Old Men finds the Coen brothers spinning cinematic gold out of Cormac McCarthy's grim, darkly funny novel.
Synopsis: While out hunting, Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) finds the grisly aftermath of a drug deal. Though he knows better, he... [More]
Directed By: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

#12

Winchester '73 (1950)
100%

#12
Adjusted Score: 102113%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Lin McAdam (James Stewart) pursues notorious outlaw Henry "Dutch" Brown (Millard Mitchell) into Dodge City, Kansas. There, in an effort... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Mann

#11

Red River (1948)
100%

#11
Adjusted Score: 103323%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Headstrong Thomas Dunson (John Wayne) starts a thriving Texas cattle ranch with the help of his faithful trail hand, Groot... [More]
Directed By: Howard Hawks

#10

The Searchers (1956)
96%

#10
Adjusted Score: 100770%
Critics Consensus: The Searchers is an epic John Wayne Western that introduces dark ambivalence to the genre that remains fashionable today.
Synopsis: In this revered Western, Ethan Edwards (John Wayne) returns home to Texas after the Civil War. When members of his... [More]
Directed By: John Ford

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 103050%
Critics Consensus: Canny and coolly confident, My Darling Clementine is a definitive dramatization of the Wyatt Earp legend that shoots from the hip and hits its target in breezy style.
Synopsis: In the middle of a long cattle drive, Wyatt Earp (Henry Fonda) and his brothers stop off for a night... [More]
Directed By: John Ford

#8

Unforgiven (1992)
96%

#8
Adjusted Score: 105273%
Critics Consensus: As both director and star, Clint Eastwood strips away decades of Hollywood varnish applied to the Wild West, and emerges with a series of harshly eloquent statements about the nature of violence.
Synopsis: When prostitute Delilah Fitzgerald (Anna Thomson) is disfigured by a pair of cowboys in Big Whiskey, Wyoming, her fellow brothel... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

#7

True Grit (2010)
95%

#7
Adjusted Score: 105673%
Critics Consensus: Girded by strong performances from Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, and newcomer Hailee Steinfeld, and lifted by some of the Coens' most finely tuned, unaffected work, True Grit is a worthy companion to the Charles Portis book.
Synopsis: After an outlaw named Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin) murders her father, feisty 14-year-old farm girl Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) hires... [More]
Directed By: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 114020%
Critics Consensus: Hell or High Water offers a solidly crafted, well-acted Western heist thriller that eschews mindless gunplay in favor of confident pacing and full-bodied characters.
Synopsis: Toby is a divorced father who's trying to make a better life for his son. His brother Tanner is an... [More]
Directed By: David Mackenzie

#5

Rio Bravo (1959)
98%

#5
Adjusted Score: 100678%
Critics Consensus: Rio Bravo finds director Howard Hawks -- and his stellar ensemble cast -- working at peak performance, and the end result is a towering classic of the Western genre.
Synopsis: When gunslinger Joe Burdette (Claude Akins) kills a man in a saloon, Sheriff John T. Chance (John Wayne) arrests him... [More]
Directed By: Howard Hawks

#4

Stagecoach (1939)
100%

#4
Adjusted Score: 104114%
Critics Consensus: Typifying the best that the Western genre has to offer, Stagecoach is a rip-roaring adventure given dramatic heft by John Ford's dynamic direction and John Wayne's mesmerizing star turn.
Synopsis: John Ford's landmark Western revolves around an assorted group of colorful passengers aboard the Overland stagecoach bound for Lordsburg, New... [More]
Directed By: John Ford

#3

High Noon (1952)
95%

#3
Adjusted Score: 103624%
Critics Consensus: A classic of the Western genre that broke with many of the traditions at the time, High Noon endures -- in no small part thanks to Gary Cooper's defiant, Oscar-winning performance.
Synopsis: Former marshal Will Kane (Gary Cooper) is preparing to leave the small town of Hadleyville, New Mexico, with his new... [More]
Directed By: Fred Zinnemann

#2
Adjusted Score: 106463%
Critics Consensus: Remade but never duplicated, this darkly humorous morality tale represents John Huston at his finest.
Synopsis: In this classic adventure film, two rough-and-tumble wanderers, Dobbs (Humphrey Bogart) and Curtin (Tim Holt), meet up with a veteran... [More]
Directed By: John Huston

#1
Adjusted Score: 104467%
Critics Consensus: Arguably the greatest of the spaghetti westerns, this epic features a compelling story, memorable performances, breathtaking landscapes, and a haunting score.
Synopsis: In the Southwest during the Civil War, a mysterious stranger, Joe (Clint Eastwood), and a Mexican outlaw, Tuco (Eli Wallach),... [More]
Directed By: Sergio Leone

Photo by Carlos Alvarez / Stringer / Getty Images

As Non-Stop demonstrates, director Jaume Collet-Serra has a knack for tense thrillers in extreme locations. His latest, The Shallows, stars Blake Lively as a woman seeking refuge from a shark by clinging to a buoy. Here, he shares his Five Favorite Films, placing particular emphasis on the importance of a John Wayne classic and a Bruce Willis action-fest in the development of his career.


The Searchers (1956) 96%

This might be the first movie that I saw. I remember watching it when I was five or six — I shouldn’t even have been watching it — and I saw it in a theater. I grew up in a small town and they had one of those small town theaters, and they put Westerns and whatnot onscreen. It’s one of those movies that made me think it would be very cool to work in movies. I don’t know if I understood the concept of being a director, but I understood the concept of someone making movies, and this movie did it for me. Other people say Star Wars or Indiana Jones. For me it was this one. That’s why I have an emotional reaction to it.

Rosemary's Baby (1968) 96%

It’s the perfect genre movie. It’s brilliant I every aspect. It deals with some very complex subjects and is done masterfully. Even the dream sequences were so advanced at the time, the way [director Roman Polanski] made it surreal like a dream has to be, but very economic. I love every aspect and I watch it over and over again.

Die Hard (1988) 94%

I have to mention this as one of my favorites. I’ve been lucky enough to work with [producer] Joel Silver. It rewrote the rules on the modern thriller. It set the stage for the expectation that every question needs to be answered, and it has to be big, fun, and emotional, and a movie that can do everything. I try to do Die Hard in every movie that I do, by fulfilling that promise of delivering from the first frame. Obviously many more movies have done that — like Hitchcock — but as a movie that potentially could have gone many ways, it became a masterpiece. Before this movie, you could potentially believe that the bad guys are just bad guys; they don’t have motivation or are dumb. This guy had smart plans and dialogue, and set the bar high. Other movies have met it, but this was one of the first ones and I was blown away when I saw it. As much as I’ve liked other movies, at that time, Die Hard has had more of an influence on my work than the other ones of the time.

The Conversation (1974) 96%

This is such a complete technical movie about such a simple idea done so beautifully. It’s a thriller with very few elements and it’s a deconstruction and pure poetry. The sum of the parts is more than each of the parts individually and it’s so simple, yet the pieces together blows your mind. It also places a big emphasis on shooting because every shot means something, not one shot is wasted. I strive to do that. I think it’s very important that every shot has to have a meaning.

The 400 Blows (1959) 98%

This is what film is about. It’s pure art. It’s the movie that expresses why movies are important. We can have fun, we can have movies that touch us, movies that are an experience, and then we have 400 Blows. And then you understand why film will transcend every other art. I could never make a movie like that. It’s the ultimate expression of artistry.


The Shallows is now playing in wide release.

Chances are that when audiences think “tough Cockney geezer” they picture Ray Winstone, the veteran British actor whose enduring gallery of rogues has practically given him trademark on the type. From his early roles as young punks and ne’er do-wells in movies like Quadrophenia, Scum and Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains through his unforgettable performances in Nil by Mouth and Sexy Beast, Winstone cornered the market in British hard men — and directors like Martin Scorsese (The Departed) and Steven Spielberg (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) took note.

Winstone has just wrapped filming Darren Aronofsky’s Noah opposite Russell Crowe, and this week he’s in theaters as the lead in British hit The Sweeney — an adaptation of the iconic 1970s police show on which, coincidentally, the star landed one of his earliest roles. We had a chance to chat with Winstone recently about his all-time favorite films.

Raging Bull (Martin Scorsese, 1980; 98% Tomatometer)



Well, not necessarily in this order. You’ve got Raging Bull, for the reason that it’s a masterpiece of movie-making. I love it because, when you cut the boxing out, it’s about people. It’s beautifully shot. The slow-motion stuff, the music, the characters, the acting, the direction. It’s classic to me because I’ve been a boxer, and it emotionally touches me. The heart just got to me. I was sitting there with my mate watching that, and he’s a boxer and a champion boxer, and we were both crying at the end of the movie — [laughs] which sounds ridiculous, but it got to us, you know?

Once Upon a Time in America (Sergio Leone, 1984; 87% Tomatometer)



Another movie is Once Upon a Time In America, which is a bit of genius film-making, I think. That’s a film I can watch all night long. And I think it is four hours long, or something like that. It’s just a wonderful film to watch.

Zulu (Cy Endfield, 1964; 93% Tomatometer)



Then you could cut away from films like that and say a film like Zulu, with Stanley Baker and Michael Caine. It’s just a film that, no matter where you pick it up — like the first two — you have to keep watching. I think I watch that film three times a year.

The Vikings (Richard Fleishcer, 1958; 71% Tomatometer)



Another film would be The Vikings, with Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis — with a Bronx accent, I guess, as a viking. But it’s a stirring film, you know, and one of the great films of the time.

The Searchers (John Ford, 1956; 100% Tomatometer)



I could go on and on. Like The Searchers, with John Wayne. It’s a wonderful film. Brilliantly shot, you know. And Wayne’s playing a bigot in it. A man who’s got a hatred about him, but by the end of it he changes. It’s such a great performance, hero playing a man like that. But you know, I got a million films; I could probably give you another five or 10 that would be totally different. You know a film that changed my mind about everything? I was in New York years ago, walking along on my own, and I saw a film called The Tin Drum. I went in and it started and I thought, “F–k, it’s a German film,” and they’ve got these subtitles and I thought, “I can’t be bothered with this.” But I sat there, and within 10 minutes I forgot about reading it and I just sat there watching this film. What a film. And it kind of changed my mind about film-making.


The Sweeney opens theatrically in select locations this week.


Between his stand-up comedy, astute writing on pop culture and wonderfully odd performances in movie and TV roles, Patton Oswalt is a something of a modern media renaissance man. He’s voiced a rat for Pixar, terrorized a football franchise in the excellent Big Fan, and earned well-deserved praise for his part in last year’s Young Adult; and this week, Oswalt appears in director Lorene Scafaria’s Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, in a small but funny role as an enthusiastic party-goer who’s succumbed to his most wanton desires as the apocalypse approaches. In the spirit of impending doom we chatted with Oswalt earlier this week, and asked him to pick five films he’d want to watch if the world was about to end.

The Searchers (John Ford, 1956; 98% Tomatometer)



Right off the top of my head, it’d be John Ford’s The Searchers

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (George Miller, 1981; 100% Tomatometer)



The Road Warrior

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1943; 95% Tomatometer)



The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (Joseph Sargent, 1974; 100% Tomatometer)



The Taking of Pelham One Two Three — the original…

After Life (Hirokazu Koreeda, 1998; 83% Tomatometer)


…and then a Japanese film called After Life.

I mean, they’re just movies that I watch when I’m feeling kind of blue and just wanna take more emotional leave of my brain — so it would just be all about creating a head space where I’m really happy, and enjoying myself. And being really happy that people can put together movies that good. It’s all the same thing. It’s the idea that mankind can get together and make something that good — I know how hard it is, how collaborative it is to make a movie, so the idea that all those movies exist is what makes me happy.


Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is in theaters this week.

Bill Pullman

Few will forget Bill Pullman‘s rousing speech as the US president in Independence Day, but it’s only one of a long string of vast and diverse roles that have seen him cast as romantic lead, action hero, comedy star and dark villain. In more than twenty years of screen acting he’s defined himself as a hard-working, engaging talent.

His latest film, Surveillance, opens in UK cinemas this week. Directed by Jennifer Lynch, it casts Pullman as one of a pair of FBI agents (with Julia Ormond) tracking down the culprit of a grisly collection of seemingly unpremeditated murders. With a fine ensemble cast it’s an original crime thriller; only Lynch’s second film since her 1993 debut Boxing Helena. It will open in the US on 26th June.

Of his five favourite films, Pullman says his choices depend on mood and context. “I always feel like there are a lot of different types of favourites,” he tells RT. “there are some that I look to for interesting things, some that I look to for acting things, others that I watch again and again. I don’t know if this is in any sort of order!”

Lawrence of Arabia

Lawrence of Arabia

“This is always the first choice when people say they have a new television set or home cinema system and they want to watch a great visual movie. I always choose this because I feel it has an incredible presence.”

Click on a thumbnail below.

Lawrence of Arabia
Lawrence of Arabia

The Searchers
The Searchers

Zabriskie Point
Zabriskie Point

America, America
America, America

Scenes from a Marriage
Scenes from a Marriage


Bill Pullman

The Searchers

The Searchers

“I like The Searchers for the same reason. I like to see those performances again and just the way that without special effects or tweaked shots or CGI or whatever you get this expansive feeling of being in the outdoors.”


Bill Pullman

Zabriskie Point

Zabriskie Point

“When I was in college, first year, I saw it and I really hadn’t been exposed to a lot of European filmmakers. It’s such a ‘film’ film. It wasn’t required viewing, it was just a film playing on campus and I hadn’t been interested in film before then. Nowadays people are deciding to get into film at age five when they’re sitting, watching the Oscars. I really didn’t come out of that culture — I was pretty much a John Wayne fan and that was it. Zabriskie Point was a time when I was in a lot of change and flux and these incredible visuals hit me like they had rearranged the organs in my body. The ending and the free-floating debris and everything is an image that burned itself in my consciousness.”


Bill Pullman

America, America

America, America

“It’s a little bit of a Slumdog movie in a way of somebody coming from incredibly unlikely beginnings and climbing through a lot of incredibly hard challenges to get somewhere. As an actor you’re continually riding the waves of whether you’re in or out, getting work or not getting work, and Kazan was really a guy who was condemned into not working and looking to go deep into someplace and just live inside his art.”


Bill Pullman

Scenes from a Marriage

Scenes from a Marriage

“This is one I’ve watched a couple of different times in a couple of different forms. I’ve watched the film version and I’ve also seen the mini-series. I think when I first saw that it changed my idea of acting. I go back to it sometimes just to put myself back in that place where my discoveries about what was possible on a film and the level of immersion between people — this incredible dance that they do — really formed.”

Click on a thumbnail below.

Lawrence of Arabia
Lawrence of Arabia

The Searchers
The Searchers

Zabriskie Point
Zabriskie Point

America, America
America, America

Scenes from a Marriage
Scenes from a Marriage


Surveillance opens in UK cinemas this week. It will open in the US on 26th June.

Ten years ago the AFI gave us a list of the Top 100 American Films Ever Made — and when that was done they churned out 15 other lists every few years. And then last night they updated the Top 100 … I guess because they ran out of lists.

Frankly I think all of these lists are a little silly, but they do spark a lot of movie discussion and therefore I’m all for ’em. Seems a bit unnecessary to update a list that’s barely ten years old, but hey, you do what you have to do to get the viewers interested. I’ll post the new list below, but if you’d like to compare it to the original Top 100, you can check our source below.

And definitely feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and outrage regarding the big list. There’s a lot of movies out there, so please do toss your lists out, too. (The one below came from a list of 1,500 filmmakers, writers, actors, critics, and "others.")

At the very least, this list should give you a good idea of how to fill up your Netflix queue.

1. "Citizen Kane," 1941.
2. "The Godfather," 1972.
3. "Casablanca," 1942.
4. "Raging Bull," 1980.
5. "Singin’ in the Rain," 1952.
6. "Gone With the Wind," 1939.
7. "Lawrence of Arabia," 1962.
8. "Schindler’s List," 1993.
9. "Vertigo," 1958.
10. "The Wizard of Oz," 1939.

11. "City Lights," 1931.
12. "The Searchers," 1956.
13. "Star Wars," 1977.
14. "Psycho," 1960.
15. "2001: A Space Odyssey," 1968.
16. "Sunset Blvd.", 1950.
17. "The Graduate," 1967.
18. "The General," 1927.
19. "On the Waterfront," 1954.
20. "It’s a Wonderful Life," 1946.

21. "Chinatown," 1974.
22. "Some Like It Hot," 1959.
23. "The Grapes of Wrath," 1940.
24. "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial," 1982.
25. "To Kill a Mockingbird," 1962.
26. "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," 1939.
27. "High Noon," 1952.
28. "All About Eve," 1950.
29. "Double Indemnity," 1944.
30. "Apocalypse Now," 1979.

31. "The Maltese Falcon," 1941.
32. "The Godfather Part II," 1974.
33. "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest," 1975.
34. "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," 1937.
35. "Annie Hall," 1977.
36. "The Bridge on the River Kwai," 1957.
37. "The Best Years of Our Lives," 1946.
38. "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre," 1948.
39. "Dr. Strangelove," 1964.
40. "The Sound of Music," 1965.

41. "King Kong," 1933.
42. "Bonnie and Clyde," 1967.
43. "Midnight Cowboy," 1969.
44. "The Philadelphia Story," 1940.
45. "Shane," 1953.
46. "It Happened One Night," 1934.
47. "A Streetcar Named Desire," 1951.
48. "Rear Window," 1954.
49. "Intolerance," 1916.
50. "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," 2001.

51. "West Side Story," 1961.
52. "Taxi Driver," 1976.
53. "The Deer Hunter," 1978.
54. "M*A*S*H," 1970.
55. "North by Northwest," 1959.
56. "Jaws," 1975.
57. "Rocky," 1976.
58. "The Gold Rush," 1925.
59. "Nashville," 1975.
60. "Duck Soup," 1933.

61. "Sullivan’s Travels," 1941.
62. "American Graffiti," 1973.
63. "Cabaret," 1972.
64. "Network," 1976.
65. "The African Queen," 1951.
66. "Raiders of the Lost Ark," 1981.
67. "Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?", 1966.
68. "Unforgiven," 1992.
69. "Tootsie," 1982.
70. "A Clockwork Orange," 1971.

71. "Saving Private Ryan," 1998.
72. "The Shawshank Redemption," 1994.
73. "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," 1969.
74. "The Silence of the Lambs," 1991.
75. "In the Heat of the Night," 1967.
76. "Forrest Gump," 1994.
77. "All the President’s Men," 1976.
78. "Modern Times," 1936.
79. "The Wild Bunch," 1969.
80. "The Apartment, 1960.

81. "Spartacus," 1960.
82. "Sunrise," 1927.
83. "Titanic," 1997.
84. "Easy Rider," 1969.
85. "A Night at the Opera," 1935.
86. "Platoon," 1986.
87. "12 Angry Men," 1957.
88. "Bringing Up Baby," 1938.
89. "The Sixth Sense," 1999.
90. "Swing Time," 1936.

91. "Sophie’s Choice," 1982.
92. "Goodfellas," 1990.
93. "The French Connection," 1971.
94. "Pulp Fiction," 1994.
95. "The Last Picture Show," 1971.
96. "Do the Right Thing," 1989.
97. "Blade Runner," 1982.
98. "Yankee Doodle Dandy," 1942.
99. "Toy Story," 1995.
100. "Ben-Hur," 1959.

Grr. I’m annoyed that neither of my all-time favorites (those would be "Alien" and "Young Frankenstein") made the list. Oh well.

Be honest: How many of ’em have you seen?

Source: SeattlePI.com

Oh yeah, didn’t you hear? They’re making a sequel to "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe." It’s called "Prince Caspian," and (fortunately enough) the producers just found themselves a guy to play the role.

The winner of the "Caspian" lottery is a 25-year-old British actor called Ben Barnes, who can also be seen in upcoming movies like "Stardust" and "Bigga Than Ben." AICN broke the news, and they also share a rather juicy little story about Mr. Barnes. Apparently he’s been scoring rave reviews from his stage performance of "The History Boys," but was forced to bail on his contract in order to take the "Prince Caspian" gig. Could be all gossip, of course, but it makes for a fun little side-note.

ComingSoon.net has a little more semi-news to impart: Director Andrew Adamson and producer Mark Johnson are "in discussions" with someone to play the part of King Miraz. Head over there to find your way to an interview at The New Zealand Herald. (Yeah, all the big movies are made down in New Zealand these days.)

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