Warner Bros.

The 99% Club: An Ode to the Almost-Perfect Movie

The 99% Club: You’ll find it, way past 98% on the Tomatometer, but just before 100%. Inside, a coterie of cinema’s practically-finest, movies promising an experience beyond most others – movies that are almost perfect. These are the ones to warm hearts, stir the soul, call forth eruptions of laughter, and rattle your bones. To anyone who approaches to see and hear their stories, they will enthrall the audience…save the stray naysayer or two, of course.

Its members are fleeting; membership comes with no lifetime guarantee. Any additional Rotten reviews could toss the movie from the 99% Club and into the gutter that is a 98% score, to associate with the likes of Wizard of Oz and The Godfather.

You’ll notice most in the 99% Club are from this century. Movies may or may not be getting better, but they are getting reviewed more. When a work generates nearly 400 critics’ appraisals, its Tomatometer score can better endure Rotten reviews and sustain its 99% score. Classic films, by dint of having fewer reviews in written existence, can have their scores torpedoed by a single Rotten remark.

The 99% Club: On the cusp of triple-digit Valhalla. Come join in their almost-perfection.

#59
#59
Adjusted Score: 104012%
Critics Consensus: Rich, insightful, and occasionally heartbreaking, 20 Feet From Stardom is an energetic tribute to the passion, talent, and hard work of backup singers.
Synopsis: Filmmaker Morgan Neville shines a long-overdue spotlight on the hit-making contributions of longtime backup singers like Darlene Love and Merry... [More]
Directed By: Morgan Neville

#58

56 Up (2012)
99%

#58
Adjusted Score: 100089%
Critics Consensus: Director Michael Apted continues to utilize cinema as a window into the lives of everyday people, and in the reflection of this documentary we can glimpse our own aging humanity.
Synopsis: Continuing a project he began in 1964, filmmaker Michael Apted revisits his original subjects and sees how their lives are... [More]
Directed By: Michael Apted, Paul Almond

#57

Darbareye Elly (2009)
99%

#57
Adjusted Score: 100138%
Critics Consensus: About Elly offers viewers performances as powerful as its thought-provoking ideas, and adds another strong entry to Asghar Farhadi's impressive filmography.
Synopsis: A young teacher disappears before being introduced to a potential suitor in northern Iran.... [More]
Directed By: Asghar Farhadi

#56

All About Eve (1950)
99%

#56
Adjusted Score: 109909%
Critics Consensus: Smart, sophisticated, and devastatingly funny, All About Eve is a Hollywood classic that only improves with age.
Synopsis: Backstage story revolving around aspiring actress Eve Harrington. Tattered and forlorn, Eve shows up in the dressing room of Broadway... [More]
Directed By: Joseph L. Mankiewicz

#55

Amazing Grace (2018)
99%

#55
Adjusted Score: 108279%
Critics Consensus: Brilliantly capturing a remarkable performer near the peak of her prodigious power, Amazing Grace is a thrilling must-watch documentary for Aretha Franklin fans.
Synopsis: Singer Aretha Franklin performs gospel songs at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles in 1972.... [More]
Starring: Aretha Franklin
Directed By: Alan Elliott

#54

Apollo 11 (2019)
99%

#54
Adjusted Score: 109212%
Critics Consensus: Edifying and inspiring in equal measure, Apollo 11 uses artfully repurposed archival footage to send audiences soaring back to a pivotal time in American history.
Synopsis: Never-before-seen footage and audio recordings take you straight into the heart of NASA's most celebrated mission as astronauts Neil Armstrong,... [More]
Directed By: Todd Douglas Miller

#53
#53
Adjusted Score: 108175%
Critics Consensus: Ash Is Purest White finds writer-director Zhangke Jia revisiting familiar themes while continuing to observe modern Chinese society with an urgent, empathetic eye.
Synopsis: In an industrial city in China, a young dancer named Qiao falls in love with a mobster named Bin. When... [More]
Directed By: Jia Zhangke

#52
#52
Adjusted Score: 106787%
Critics Consensus: A documentary-like depiction of a nation's real-life efforts to expel a colonizing force, The Battle of Algiers puts viewers on the front lines with gripping realism.
Synopsis: Paratrooper commander Colonel Mathieu (Jean Martin), a former French Resistance fighter during World War II, is sent to 1950s Algeria... [More]
Directed By: Gillo Pontecorvo

#51
#51
Adjusted Score: 100188%
Critics Consensus: Suffused with happiness and modest charm, Bill Cunningham New York offers a touching, gently humorous portrait of its subject without invading his jealously guarded privacy.
Synopsis: Bill Cunningham, one of the mainstays of the New York Times, has been a contributor to the renowned newspaper for... [More]
Directed By: Richard Press

#50

Cameraperson (2016)
99%

#50
Adjusted Score: 106400%
Critics Consensus: Fresh and inventive yet immediately accessible, Cameraperson distills its subject's life and career into an experience that should prove immediately absorbing even for those unfamiliar with her work.
Synopsis: Cinematographer Kirsten Johnson exposes her many years behind the camera through a memoir made up of decades of footage shot... [More]
Directed By: Kirsten Johnson

#49

Casablanca (1942)
99%

#49
Adjusted Score: 114647%
Critics Consensus: An undisputed masterpiece and perhaps Hollywood's quintessential statement on love and romance, Casablanca has only improved with age, boasting career-defining performances from Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.
Synopsis: Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), who owns a nightclub in Casablanca, discovers his old flame Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) is in town... [More]
Directed By: Michael Curtiz

#48

The Chambermaid (2018)
99%

#48
Adjusted Score: 101595%
Critics Consensus: The Chambermaid uses one woman's experiences to take audiences inside a life -- and a culture -- that's as bracingly unique as it is hauntingly relatable.
Synopsis: A young chambermaid working in one of the most luxurious hotels in Mexico City enrolls in the hotel's adult education... [More]
Directed By: Lila Avilés

#47

Chinatown (1974)
99%

#47
Adjusted Score: 105864%
Critics Consensus: As bruised and cynical as the decade that produced it, this noir classic benefits from Robert Towne's brilliant screenplay, director Roman Polanski's steady hand, and wonderful performances from Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway.
Synopsis: When Los Angeles private eye J.J. "Jake" Gittes (Jack Nicholson) is hired by Evelyn Mulwray to investigate her husband's activities,... [More]
Directed By: Roman Polanski

#46

Eighth Grade (2018)
99%

#46
Adjusted Score: 118496%
Critics Consensus: Eighth Grade takes a look at its titular time period that offers a rare and resounding ring of truth while heralding breakthroughs for writer-director Bo Burnham and captivating star Elsie Fisher.
Synopsis: Thirteen-year-old Kayla endures the tidal wave of contemporary suburban adolescence as she makes her way through the last week of... [More]
Directed By: Bo Burnham

#45
#45
Adjusted Score: 100147%
Critics Consensus: Brutally honest and utterly compelling, Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me offers a riveting, vanity-free portrait of its legendary subject while offering a few essential truths about the human condition.
Synopsis: Plagued by medical issues and memory lapses, the Broadway icon contemplates retirement and mortality as she approaches her 87th birthday... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Chiemi Karasawa

#44

Faces Places (2017)
99%

#44
Adjusted Score: 108148%
Critics Consensus: Equal parts breezily charming and poignantly powerful, Faces Places is a unique cross-generational portrait of life in rural France from the great Agnès Varda.
Synopsis: Director Agnès Varda and photographer and muralist JR journey through rural France and form an unlikely friendship.... [More]
Starring: Agnès Varda, JR
Directed By: Agnès Varda, JR

#43

Finding Nemo (2003)
99%

#43
Adjusted Score: 108562%
Critics Consensus: Breathtakingly lovely and grounded by the stellar efforts of a well-chosen cast, Finding Nemo adds another beautifully crafted gem to Pixar's crown.
Synopsis: Marlin (Albert Brooks), a clown fish, is overly cautious with his son, Nemo (Alexander Gould), who has a foreshortened fin.... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Stanton

#42

For Sama (2019)
98%

#42
Adjusted Score: 104496%
Critics Consensus: As intimate as it is heartbreakingly resonant, For Sama powerfully distills the difficult choices faced by citizens of war-torn regions.
Synopsis: A young woman is followed through five years during the revolution in Aleppo, Syria - through love, marriage and motherhood.... [More]

#41

Gloria (2013)
99%

#41
Adjusted Score: 104059%
Critics Consensus: Marvelously directed by Sebastian Lelio and beautifully led by a powerful performance from Paulina Garcia, Gloria takes an honest, sweetly poignant look at a type of character that's all too often neglected in Hollywood.
Synopsis: An aging divorcee (Paulina García) embarks on an intense affair with a man (Sergio Hernández) she picked up at a... [More]
Directed By: Sebastián Lelio

#40

Goldfinger (1964)
99%

#40
Adjusted Score: 104437%
Critics Consensus: Goldfinger is where James Bond as we know him comes into focus - it features one of 007's most famous lines ("A martini. Shaken, not stirred.") and a wide range of gadgets that would become the series' trademark.
Synopsis: Special agent 007 (Sean Connery) comes face to face with one of the most notorious villains of all time, and... [More]
Directed By: Guy Hamilton

#39
#39
Adjusted Score: 105999%
Critics Consensus: Boasting dazzling animation, a script with surprising dramatic depth, and thrilling 3-D sequences, How to Train Your Dragon soars.
Synopsis: Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is a Norse teenager from the island of Berk, where fighting dragons is a way of life.... [More]

#38
#38
Adjusted Score: 113487%
Critics Consensus: I Am Not Your Negro offers an incendiary snapshot of James Baldwin's crucial observations on American race relations -- and a sobering reminder of how far we've yet to go.
Synopsis: In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, "Remember This House." The book... [More]
Directed By: Raoul Peck

#37

The Interrupters (2011)
99%

#37
Adjusted Score: 101377%
Critics Consensus: Impeccably crafted and edited, The Interrupters is a tough and honest documentary about street violence that truly has the power to inspire change.
Synopsis: Members of the activist group CeaseFire work to curb violence in their Chicago neighborhoods by intervening in street fights and... [More]
Directed By: Steve James

#36
#36
Adjusted Score: 100390%
Critics Consensus: The Invisible War is a vital and frank expose on sexual assault in the U.S. military, shot by master filmmaker Kirby Dick (This Film is Not Yet Rated).
Synopsis: A filmmaker explores the ever-increasing incidents of violent sexual assault within the U.S. military.... [More]
Directed By: Kirby Dick

#35
#35
Adjusted Score: 101473%
Critics Consensus: Beautiful, thoughtful, and engrossing, Jiro Dreams of Sushi should prove satisfying even for filmgoers who don't care for the cuisine.
Synopsis: Revered sushi chef Jiro Ono strives for perfection in his work, while his eldest son, Yoshikazu, has trouble living up... [More]
Starring: Jiro Ono
Directed By: David Gelb

#34
#34
Adjusted Score: 104894%
Critics Consensus: A galvanizing glimpse behind the scenes of a pivotal election, Knock Down the House should prove engrossing for viewers of all political persuasions.
Synopsis: A young bartender in the Bronx, a coal miner's daughter in West Virginia, a grieving mother in Nevada, and a... [More]
Directed By: Rachel Lears

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 110037%
Critics Consensus: Taut pacing, brilliantly dense writing and Oscar-worthy acting combine to produce a smart, popcorn-friendly thrill ride.
Synopsis: Three policemen, each with his own motives and obsessions, tackle the corruption surrounding an unsolved murder at a downtown Los... [More]
Directed By: Curtis Hanson

#32

Lady Bird (2017)
99%

#32
Adjusted Score: 128243%
Critics Consensus: Lady Bird delivers fresh insights about the turmoil of adolescence -- and reveals writer-director Greta Gerwig as a fully formed filmmaking talent.
Synopsis: A teenager (Saoirse Ronan) navigates a loving but turbulent relationship with her strong-willed mother (Laurie Metcalf) over the course of... [More]
Directed By: Greta Gerwig

#31

Le Havre (2011)
99%

#31
Adjusted Score: 101179%
Critics Consensus: Aki Kaurismäki's deadpan wit hits a graceful note with Le Havre, a comedy/drama that's sweet, sad, and uplifting in equal measure.
Synopsis: A shoeshiner tries to save a refugee.... [More]
Directed By: Aki Kaurismäki

#30

McQueen (2018)
99%

#30
Adjusted Score: 106095%
Critics Consensus: McQueen offers an intimate, well-sourced, and overall moving look at a young life and brilliant career that were tragically cut short.
Synopsis: Archival footage and interviews with friends and family offer insight into the extraordinary life and career of British fashion designer... [More]

#29

Miss Juneteenth (2020)
99%

#29
Adjusted Score: 108687%
Critics Consensus: Like a pageant winner walking across the stage, Miss Juneteenth follows a familiar path -- but does so with charm and grace.
Synopsis: A former beauty queen and single mom prepares her rebellious teenage daughter for the "Miss Juneteenth" pageant.... [More]

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: 101180%
Critics Consensus: Thrillingly unorthodox and emotionally searing without being didactic, The Missing Picture is a uniquely poignant documentary -- and so much more.
Synopsis: Filmmaker Rithy Panh re-creates atrocities of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge between 1975 and 1979.... [More]
Starring: Randal Douc
Directed By: Rithy Panh

#27

Moolaadé (2004)
99%

#27
Adjusted Score: 100059%
Critics Consensus: A vibrant, powerful, and poignant glimpse into the struggles of women in modern Africa.
Synopsis: For fear of enduring genital mutilation, a group of girls flee their own "purification" ceremony and take refuge with Collé... [More]
Directed By: Ousmane Sembene

#26
#26
Adjusted Score: 107754%
Critics Consensus: My Life as a Zucchini's silly title and adorable characters belie a sober story whose colorful visuals delight the senses even as it braves dark emotional depths.
Synopsis: A police officer (Nick Offerman) and some new friends help an orphan adjust to life at a foster home.... [More]
Directed By: Claude Barras

#25
Adjusted Score: 114594%
Critics Consensus: Powerfully acted and directed, Never Rarely Sometimes Always reaffirms writer-director Eliza Hittman as a filmmaker of uncommon sensitivity and grace.
Synopsis: Faced with an unintended pregnancy and a lack of local support, Autumn and her cousin, Skylar, travel across state lines... [More]
Directed By: Eliza Hittman

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 107871%
Critics Consensus: Gripping, suspenseful, and visually iconic, this late-period Hitchcock classic laid the groundwork for countless action thrillers to follow.
Synopsis: This classic suspense film finds New York City ad executive Roger O. Thornhill (Cary Grant) pursued by ruthless spy Phillip... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#23

On the Record (2020)
99%

#23
Adjusted Score: 102419%
Critics Consensus: On the Record uses harrowing first-person accounts to powerfully and persuasively confront the entrenched sexism of an industry and its culture.
Synopsis: Filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering examine the sexual assault allegations against hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons.... [More]
Directed By: Kirby Dick, Amy Ziering

#22
#22
Adjusted Score: 110640%
Critics Consensus: With his electrifying performance in Elia Kazan's thought-provoking, expertly constructed melodrama, Marlon Brando redefined the possibilities of acting for film and helped permanently alter the cinematic landscape.
Synopsis: Dockworker Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando) had been an up-and-coming boxer until powerful local mob boss Johnny Friendly (Lee J. Cobb)... [More]
Directed By: Elia Kazan

#21

Paddington 2 (2017)
99%

#21
Adjusted Score: 113870%
Critics Consensus: Paddington 2 honors its star's rich legacy with a sweet-natured sequel whose adorable visuals are matched by a story perfectly balanced between heartwarming family fare and purely enjoyable all-ages adventure.
Synopsis: Settled in with the Brown family, Paddington the bear is a popular member of the community who spreads joy and... [More]
Directed By: Paul King

#20
Adjusted Score: 99788%
Critics Consensus: Andy Goldsworthy and his art are beautifully captured in this engaging documentary.
Synopsis: Andy Goldsworthy's art is supposed to fall apart. He creates large-scale outdoor sculptures and artworks out of natural materials like... [More]
Starring: Andy Goldsworthy
Directed By: Thomas Riedelsheimer

#19

Saint Frances (2019)
99%

#19
Adjusted Score: 105568%
Critics Consensus: Saint Frances approaches an array of weighty issues with empathy, humor, and grace -- and marks star and writer Kelly O'Sullivan as a tremendous talent to watch.
Synopsis: After an abortion, a deadbeat nanny finds friendship with the 6-year-old she's hired to watch.... [More]
Directed By: Alex Thompson

#18

Selma (2014)
99%

#18
Adjusted Score: 111031%
Critics Consensus: Fueled by a gripping performance from David Oyelowo, Selma draws inspiration and dramatic power from the life and death of Martin Luther King, Jr. -- but doesn't ignore how far we remain from the ideals his work embodied.
Synopsis: Although the Civil Rights Act of 1964 legally desegregated the South, discrimination was still rampant in certain areas, making it... [More]
Directed By: Ava DuVernay

#17

A Separation (2011)
99%

#17
Adjusted Score: 106429%
Critics Consensus: Morally complex, suspenseful, and consistently involving, A Separation captures the messiness of a dissolving relationship with keen insight and searing intensity.
Synopsis: When Nader (Payman Maadi), a bank employee, refuses to leave Tehran, his wife, Simin (Leila Hatami) sues for divorce in... [More]
Directed By: Asghar Farhadi

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 105621%
Critics Consensus: Warm, funny, and brilliantly animated, Shaun the Sheep is yet another stop-motion jewel in Aardman's family-friendly crown.
Synopsis: All is well at Mossy Bottom Farm, except for the fact that the animals will do anything to get out... [More]

#15

Shoplifters (2018)
99%

#15
Adjusted Score: 112585%
Critics Consensus: Understated yet ultimately deeply affecting, Shoplifters adds another powerful chapter to director Hirokazu Koreeda's richly humanistic filmography.
Synopsis: On the margins of Tokyo, a dysfunctional band of outsiders is united by fierce loyalty and a penchant for petty... [More]
Directed By: Kore-Eda Hirokazu

#14

Song of the Sea (2014)
99%

#14
Adjusted Score: 101348%
Critics Consensus: Song of the Sea boasts narrative depth commensurate with its visual beauty, adding up to an animated saga overflowing with family-friendly riches.
Synopsis: An Irish youth (David Rawle) discovers that his mute sister is a selkie who must find her voice and free... [More]
Directed By: Tomm Moore

#13

Starred Up (2013)
99%

#13
Adjusted Score: 103245%
Critics Consensus: Smart, hard-hitting, and queasily realistic, Starred Up is an instant classic of U.K. prison cinema.
Synopsis: An explosive teenager runs into his equally violent father after being switched to an adult prison from a facility for... [More]
Directed By: David Mackenzie

#12

Sunset Blvd. (1950)
98%

#12
Adjusted Score: 109718%
Critics Consensus: Arguably the greatest movie about Hollywood, Billy Wilder's masterpiece Sunset Boulevard is a tremendously entertaining combination of noir, black comedy, and character study.
Synopsis: An aging silent film queen refuses to accept that her stardom has ended. She hires a young screenwriter to help... [More]
Directed By: Billy Wilder

#11

The Tale (2018)
99%

#11
Adjusted Score: 102141%
Critics Consensus: The Tale handles its extraordinarily challenging subject matter with sensitivity, grace, and the power of some standout performances led by a remarkable Laura Dern.
Synopsis: Jennifer has it all, with a loving boyfriend and a great career as a journalist and professor. But when her... [More]
Directed By: Jennifer Fox

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 108022%
Critics Consensus: An impressive technical achievement with a walloping emotional impact, They Shall Not Grow Old pays brilliant cinematic tribute to the sacrifice of a generation.
Synopsis: Using state-of-the-art technology and materials from the BBC and Imperial War Museum, filmmaker Peter Jackson allows the story of World... [More]
Starring: Peter Jackson
Directed By: Peter Jackson

#9

Things to Come (2016)
99%

#9
Adjusted Score: 109619%
Critics Consensus: A union to cherish between a writer-director and star working at peak power, Things to Come offers quietly profound observations on life, love, and the irrevocable passage of time.
Synopsis: A passionate middle-aged philosophy professor (Isabelle Huppert) rethinks her already much-examined life after an unforeseen divorce.... [More]
Directed By: Mia Hansen-Løve

#8

The Third Man (1949)
99%

#8
Adjusted Score: 112107%
Critics Consensus: This atmospheric thriller is one of the undisputed masterpieces of cinema, and boasts iconic performances from Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles.
Synopsis: Set in postwar Vienna, Austria, "The Third Man" stars Joseph Cotten as Holly Martins, a writer of pulp Westerns, who... [More]
Directed By: Carol Reed

#7

Tower (2016)
99%

#7
Adjusted Score: 105852%
Critics Consensus: Tower probes into a painful chapter of American history with sensitivity and grace -- and revisits its events from a valuable new perspective.
Synopsis: On Aug. 1, 1966, a sniper rode the elevator to the top floor of the University of Texas Tower and... [More]
Directed By: Keith Maitland

#6

Truman (2015)
99%

#6
Adjusted Score: 102496%
Critics Consensus: Well-written, well-acted, and patiently crafted, Truman takes an affecting look at a long friendship separated by distance but undimmed by time.
Synopsis: Terminally ill actor Julián wants to spend his final days tying up loose ends. When childhood friend Tomás pays him... [More]
Directed By: Cesc Gay

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 99654%
Critics Consensus: Samurai epic as a touching drama.
Synopsis: In 1860s Japan, samurai Seibei (Hiroyuki Sanada) lives in a rural village with his mother and daughters, where he is... [More]
Directed By: Yôji Yamada

#4
Adjusted Score: 104221%
Critics Consensus: Jacques Demy elevates the basic drama of everyday life into a soaring opera full of bittersweet passion and playful charm, featuring a timeless performance from Catherine Deneuve.
Synopsis: Geneviève (Catherine Deneuve), a beautiful young Frenchwoman who works at a small-town boutique selling umbrellas, falls for dashing mechanic Guy... [More]
Directed By: Jacques Demy

#3

Under the Shadow (2016)
99%

#3
Adjusted Score: 104300%
Critics Consensus: Under the Shadow deftly blends seemingly disparate genres to deliver an effective chiller with timely themes and thought-provoking social subtext.
Synopsis: After Shideh's building is hit by a missile during the Iran-Iraq War, a superstitious neighbor suggests that the missile was... [More]
Directed By: Babak Anvari

#2

Wadjda (2012)
99%

#2
Adjusted Score: 103730%
Critics Consensus: Transgressive in the best possible way, Wadjda presents a startlingly assured new voice from a corner of the globe where cinema has been all but silenced.
Synopsis: A rebellious Saudi girl (Waad Mohammed) enters a Koran recitation competition at her school and hopes to win enough money... [More]
Directed By: Haifaa Al-Mansour

#1

The Wailing (2016)
99%

#1
Adjusted Score: 102586%
Critics Consensus: The Wailing delivers an atmospheric, cleverly constructed mystery whose supernatural thrills more than justify its imposing length.
Synopsis: Suspicion leads to hysteria when rural villagers link a series of brutal murders to the arrival of a mysterious stranger... [More]
Directed By: Na Hong-jin

Atonement

(Photo by Universal)

Alfred Hitchcock Movies Ranked by Tomatometer

Watching the movies Alfred Hitchcock made over his five-decade career is not only a thrilling way to spend your free time, but doubles as a legitimate lesson in the history and development of cinema. As director, Hitchcock withstood every significant upheaval of the industry and, in fact, seemed to flourish with each transition. He started in the 1920s during the silent era (The Lodger), transitioned to sound when many of his peers and actors could not (The 39 Steps), and came to America at the height of Hollywood’s Golden Age (Best Picture-winning Rebecca). And yet Hitch was only just getting started. When color became the movie standard, he ascended to the Master of Suspense mantle that will become his enduring legacy. 1948’s Rope was his first color film, and what followed seemed an endless beloved parade of wrong men, guilty women, and nefarious murderous plots: Strangers on a Train, Rear Window, Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho, The Birds, and on and on. Even as movies hardened in the ’70s after the collapse of the Hays Code, Hitchcock gleefully followed suit, concluding his career with sordid, cynical takes on his formula in Frenzy and Family Plot. Now, it’s time to dial F for Fresh as we look back with Alfred Hitchcock movies ranked by Tomatometer!

#51
#51
Adjusted Score: 13160%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A working-class Irish family experiences tragedy as they await a large inheritance. Based on Sean O'Casey's play.... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#50

The Skin Game (1931)
38%

#50
Adjusted Score: 37179%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An English aristocrat's wife (Helen Haye) blackmails a progressive (Edmund Gwenn) over a land deal.... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#49
#49
Adjusted Score: 50137%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Johann Strauss is inspired to compose a waltz after watching bakers toss rolls and mix batter.... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#48

Jamaica Inn (1939)
57%

#48
Adjusted Score: 58386%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After the death of her mother, young Mary (Maureen O'Hara) travels to the Cornish coast seeking her Aunt Patience (Marie... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#47

Under Capricorn (1949)
63%

#47
Adjusted Score: 63811%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A lady (Ingrid Bergman) marries an upstart (Joseph Cotten) and turns alcoholic in 1830s Australia.... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#46

Champagne (1928)
63%

#46
Adjusted Score: 62230%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A millionaire (Gordon Harker) pretends bankruptcy to teach his daughter (Betty Balfour) responsibility.... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#45

Number Seventeen (1932)
73%

#45
Adjusted Score: 72845%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In an empty London house, a hobo named Ben (Leon M. Lion) looks for shelter yet instead finds a corpse.... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#44

Easy Virtue (1928)
67%

#44
Adjusted Score: 66384%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An alcoholic's (Franklin Dyall) ex-wife (Isabel Jeans) falls in love with a younger man (Robin Irvine).... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#43
#43
Adjusted Score: 68064%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When David Smith (Robert Montgomery) concedes to his wife, Ann (Carole Lombard), that he's not quite satisfied with their marriage,... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#42

Torn Curtain (1966)
67%

#42
Adjusted Score: 66341%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: American physicist Michael Armstrong (Paul Newman) shocks his friends and family by defecting to East Germany to work with the... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#41

Rich and Strange (1932)
73%

#41
Adjusted Score: 72622%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Accountant Fred Hill (Henry Kendall) and his wife, Emily (Joan Barry), lead lives of tedious regimentation -- until a kindly... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#40

Topaz (1969)
69%

#40
Adjusted Score: 71644%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When a Soviet official defects to the United States, he brings with him claims that Russia is using Cuba as... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#39
#39
Adjusted Score: 77121%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Attorney Anthony Keane (Gregory Peck) agrees to represent Londonite Mrs. Paradine (Alida Valli), who has been fingered in her husband's... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#38

Saboteur (1942)
86%

#38
Adjusted Score: 87759%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Factory worker Barry Kane (Robert Cummings) is wrongfully accused of setting a deadly fire at an airplane plant in an... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#37

Downhill (1927)
83%

#37
Adjusted Score: 39098%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A young man falls into the European underworld from boarding-school rugby stardom.... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#36

I Confess (1953)
83%

#36
Adjusted Score: 85696%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Father Logan (Montgomery Clift) is a Catholic priest, but he finds his faith put to the test when he is... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#35

Marnie (1964)
83%

#35
Adjusted Score: 85313%
Critics Consensus: A coolly constructed mystery revolving around a character who's inscrutable to a fault, Marnie finds Hitchcock luring audiences deeper into the dark.
Synopsis: Mark Rutland (Sean Connery) is a customer of one Mr. Strutt, whose business was robbed by his secretary, the mysterious... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#34

Spellbound (1945)
85%

#34
Adjusted Score: 89251%
Critics Consensus: Spellbound's exploration of the subconscious could have benefitted from more analysis, but Alfred Hitchcock's psychedelic flourishes elevate this heady thriller along with Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck's star power.
Synopsis: When Dr. Anthony Edwardes (Gregory Peck) arrives at a Vermont mental hospital to replace the outgoing hospital director, Dr. Constance... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#33

Blackmail (1929)
87%

#33
Adjusted Score: 88807%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: During a date, Alice White (Anny Ondra) has a fight with her boyfriend, Scotland Yard Officer Frank Webber (John Longden),... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#32

Secret Agent (1936)
86%

#32
Adjusted Score: 88924%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: British intelligence fakes the death of Edgar Brodie (John Gielgud) to send him on a mission in Switzerland, where as... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#31
#31
Adjusted Score: 90503%
Critics Consensus: Remaking his own 1934 film, Hitchcock imbues The Man Who Knew Too Much with picturesque locales and international intrigue, and is helped by a brilliantly befuddled performance from James Stewart.
Synopsis: Dr. Ben McKenna (James Stewart) is on vacation with his wife (Doris Day) and son in Morocco when a chance... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#30

Murder! (1930)
89%

#30
Adjusted Score: 89926%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Actress Edna Druce is found dead, and fellow thespian Diana Baring (Norah Baring) can't explanation why she's holding the murder... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#29
#29
Adjusted Score: 93631%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: On a family vacation in Switzerland, Bob (Leslie Banks) and his wife, Jill (Edna Best), become friendly with a man... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: 90239%
Critics Consensus: Dial M for Murder may be slightly off-peak Hitchcock, but by any other standard, it's a sophisticated, chillingly sinister thriller -- and one that boasts an unforgettable performance from Grace Kelly to boot.
Synopsis: Ex-tennis pro Tony Wendice (Ray Milland) wants to have his wealthy wife, Margot (Grace Kelly), murdered so he can get... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#27
#27
Adjusted Score: 90625%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A widowed British farmer (Jameson Thomas) enlists his housekeeper's (Lilian Hall-Davis) help to find a wife.... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#26

Stage Fright (1950)
90%

#26
Adjusted Score: 91428%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The police think actor Jonathan Cooper (Richard Todd) is a murderer, and now they're on his tail. He asserts that... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#25
#25
Adjusted Score: 88584%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When a local man's corpse appears on a nearby hillside, no one is quite sure what happened to him. Many... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#24

Frenzy (1972)
90%

#24
Adjusted Score: 94225%
Critics Consensus: Marking Alfred Hitchcock's return to England and first foray into viscerally explicit carnage, Frenzy finds the master of horror regaining his grip on the audience's pulse -- and making their blood run cold.
Synopsis: London is held in the grip of a serial killer whose modus operandi is to murder his victims by strangling... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#23

The Manxman (1929)
92%

#23
Adjusted Score: 91986%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A woman faces a crisis of conscience when her father insists that she marry a lawyer instead of her true... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#22

Lifeboat (1944)
93%

#22
Adjusted Score: 95400%
Critics Consensus: Hitchcock proves he can wring suspense from the most confined of settings aboard a raft teeming with vivid personalities in this maritime thriller.
Synopsis: In this tense Alfred Hitchcock thriller, based on a John Steinbeck novella, American and British civilians who have survived the... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#21

The Wrong Man (1956)
92%

#21
Adjusted Score: 94001%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Musician Manny Balestrero (Henry Fonda) needs money to pay for his wife Rose's (Vera Miles) dental procedure. When he tries... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#20

Family Plot (1976)
92%

#20
Adjusted Score: 94038%
Critics Consensus: The Master of Suspense's swan song finds him aiming for pulpy thrills and hitting the target, delivering a twisty crime story with pleasurable bite.
Synopsis: Blanche (Barbara Harris), a less than reputable psychic, and her equally shady boyfriend, George (Bruce Dern), are hired by an... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#19

Rope (1948)
94%

#19
Adjusted Score: 100176%
Critics Consensus: As formally audacious as it is narratively brilliant, Rope connects a powerful ensemble in service of a darkly satisfying crime thriller from a master of the genre.
Synopsis: Just before hosting a dinner party, Philip Morgan (Farley Granger) and Brandon Shaw (John Dall) strangle a mutual friend to... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#18

Vertigo (1958)
94%

#18
Adjusted Score: 104482%
Critics Consensus: An unpredictable scary thriller that doubles as a mournful meditation on love, loss, and human comfort.
Synopsis: Hitchcock's romantic story of obsession, manipulation and fear. A detective is forced to retire after his fear of heights causes... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#17
#17
Adjusted Score: 99378%
Critics Consensus: Alfred Hitchcock's Foreign Correspondent features a winning combination of international intrigue, comic relief, and some of the legendary director's most memorable set pieces.
Synopsis: Crime reporter John Jones (Joel McCrea) is turning in nothing but dull copy. His editor, unhappy with his work, hopes... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#16

The Birds (1963)
95%

#16
Adjusted Score: 99741%
Critics Consensus: Proving once again that build-up is the key to suspense, Alfred Hitchcock successfully turned birds into some of the most terrifying villains in horror history.
Synopsis: Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) meets Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor) in a San Francisco pet store and decides to follow him... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#15

The Lodger (1927)
96%

#15
Adjusted Score: 97679%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When a landlady (Marie Ault) and her husband (Arthur Chesney) take in a new lodger (Ivor Novello), they're overjoyed: He's... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#14

The 39 Steps (1935)
96%

#14
Adjusted Score: 105041%
Critics Consensus: Packed with twists and turns, this essential early Alfred Hitchcock feature hints at the dazzling heights he'd reach later in his career.
Synopsis: While on vacation in London, Canadian Richard Hannay (Robert Donat) becomes embroiled in an international spy ring related to the... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#13

To Catch a Thief (1955)
94%

#13
Adjusted Score: 99213%
Critics Consensus: It may occasionally be guilty of coasting on pure charm, but To Catch a Thief has it in spades -- as well as a pair of perfectly matched stars in Cary Grant and Grace Kelly.
Synopsis: Notorious cat burglar John Robie (Cary Grant) has long since retired to tend vineyards on the French Riviera. When a... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#12

Psycho (1960)
96%

#12
Adjusted Score: 107953%
Critics Consensus: Infamous for its shower scene, but immortal for its contribution to the horror genre. Because Psycho was filmed with tact, grace, and art, Hitchcock didn't just create modern horror, he validated it.
Synopsis: Phoenix secretary Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), on the lam after stealing $40,000 from her employer in order to run away... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#11

Suspicion (1941)
97%

#11
Adjusted Score: 99814%
Critics Consensus: Not even notorious studio meddling can diminish the craft and tantalizing suspense of Suspicion, a sly showcase for Joan Fontaine's nervy prowess and Alfred Hitchcock's flair for disquiet.
Synopsis: Charming scoundrel Johnnie Aysgarth (Cary Grant) woos wealthy but plain Lina McLaidlaw (Joan Fontaine), who runs away with him despite... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 105382%
Critics Consensus: One of Alfred Hitchcock's last British films, this glamorous thriller provides an early glimpse of the director at his most stylishly entertaining.
Synopsis: On a train headed for England a group of travelers is delayed by an avalanche. Holed up in a hotel... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#9

Notorious (1946)
96%

#9
Adjusted Score: 100271%
Critics Consensus: Sublime direction from Hitchcock, and terrific central performances from Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant make this a bona-fide classic worthy of a re-visit.
Synopsis: In order to help bring Nazis to justice, U.S. government agent T.R. Devlin (Cary Grant) recruits Alicia Huberman (Ingrid Bergman),... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 105284%
Critics Consensus: A provocative premise and inventive set design lights the way for Hitchcock diabolically entertaining masterpiece.
Synopsis: In Alfred Hitchcock's adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's thriller, tennis star Guy Haines (Farley Granger) is enraged by his trampy wife's... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#7

Rear Window (1954)
98%

#7
Adjusted Score: 111548%
Critics Consensus: Hitchcock exerted full potential of suspense in this masterpiece.
Synopsis: A newspaper photographer with a broken leg passes time recuperating by observing his neighbors through his window. He sees what... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 107871%
Critics Consensus: Gripping, suspenseful, and visually iconic, this late-period Hitchcock classic laid the groundwork for countless action thrillers to follow.
Synopsis: This classic suspense film finds New York City ad executive Roger O. Thornhill (Cary Grant) pursued by ruthless spy Phillip... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#5

The Ring (1927)
90%

#5
Adjusted Score: 90071%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Jack (Carl Brisson) is a carnival-employed boxer; patrons pay cash to take him on in the ring, and he earns... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#4

Sabotage (1936)
92%

#4
Adjusted Score: 92715%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A ring of saboteurs is causing havoc in London with a series of explosive terrorist attacks. Karl Verloc (Oscar Homolka)... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#3

Young and Innocent (1937)
100%

#3
Adjusted Score: 84915%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When normal guy Robert Tisdall (Derrick de Marney) discovers the body of actress Christine Clay (Pamela Carme) washed up on... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#2

Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
100%

#2
Adjusted Score: 107274%
Critics Consensus: Alfred Hitchcock's earliest classic -- and his own personal favorite -- deals its flesh-crawling thrills as deftly as its finely shaded characters.
Synopsis: Uncle Charlie (Joseph Cotten) visits his relatives in Santa Rosa. He is a very charming man, but his niece slowly... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#1

Rebecca (1940)
100%

#1
Adjusted Score: 111165%
Critics Consensus: Hitchcock's first American film (and his only Best Picture winner), Rebecca is a masterpiece of haunting atmosphere, Gothic thrills, and gripping suspense.
Synopsis: Story of a young woman who marries a fascinating widower only to find out that she must live in the... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

Doug Liman

(Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)

Doug Liman first burst onto the Hollywood radar by directing two all-time indie comedy cult classics in Swingers and Go, before graduating to blockbuster fare with two very different spy movies, The Bourne Identity and Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Now, Liman’s headed back to the high-stakes world of espionage and anti-heroes for American Made, which follows the crazy real-life story of Barry Seal, a former commercial pilot who was recruited to run guns for the CIA, and ended up running drugs for Pablo Escobar and the Medellin Cartel on the side.

The movie, which lands in theaters September 29th, also happens to be a reunion for the director and star Tom Cruise, who collaborated on the beloved sci-fi/action movie Edge of Tomorrow back in 2014. Liman recently took a break from promoting American Made in London to speak with RT about a few of his favorite films, how this movie is the “anti-Top Gun,” and the downright terrifying way Cruise once woke him up from a nap during filming.


Bringing Up Baby (1938) 94%

I love Bringing Up Baby. Anything that Katharine Hepburn’s in. I’m committed to the Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn era of filmmaking. The African Queen is influencing me on Chaos Walking, which I’m shooting right now.

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967) 72%

That makes me sound like a film snob of some sort, because I’m just talking about black-and-white movies. I love those movies, but Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner is just brilliant.

North by Northwest (1959) 97%

North by Northwest was a big influence for The Bourne Identity. I’m really drawn to adventure, and characters being plucked from normal life and sent on extraordinary adventures. When Tom and I had the opportunity to go deep into the rain forest to shoot scenes in a really remote location [for American Made], I was promised 360-degree vistas with nothing manmade in sight for a hundred miles. Well, Tom and I are both going to jump at the chance to go on that kind of adventure. So I’m interested in stories where characters are sent out and get to have an adventure, the kind of adventure I dream of having.

Superman: The Movie (1978) 94%

I got invited to the Superman premiere, and I was like, “I want to make a movie like that.” I was so enamored by the spectacle of it.

Take the Money and Run (1969) 91%

The reality is, the movies that were most impactful to me growing up, when I decided I wanted to make movies, I was going to see Woody Allen double features with my brother, back when they had double features. Younger audiences today, they don’t even know what that word means. But they would show two Woody Allen movies back to back. Bananas. Take the Money and Run, that era of Woody Allen.

Why Take the Money and Run over, say, later Allen movies like Annie Hall or Manhattan?

Maybe because his character is so flawed. You know, you can probably see traces of that in Barry Seal [in American Made]. I’ve never made a movie with a hero, really. Your classic Hollywood hero. My protagonists are always deeply flawed.


Rick Mele for Rotten Tomatoes: You touched on something I wanted to ask you, but why do you think you’re drawn to these kinds of protagonists as a director? Whether they’re anti-heroes like Barry Seal or just reluctant heroes like Tom Cruise in Edge of Tomorrow?

Doug Liman: I don’t know. But when I was in Columbia making American Made, we’re really back at the scene of the crime, and we’re flying airplanes, so we’re meeting other pilots, because we had to hire local pilots to work with us. And, basically, all the pilots we hired had a history of trafficking in narcotics. They all knew Barry Seal. And one of them told us how much he loved Barry. And we said, “How did you meet?” He said, “Oh, Barry stole an airplane from me.”

He came down to take a look at it, and said, “Do you mind if I take it up for a test flight?” And then never came back. And this guy loves Barry! And I love Barry for it. I don’t know why when I hear that about Barry, I like him even more. For stealing another drug smuggler’s airplane. But if that airplane belonged to the Catholic Church, I might also love him. It’s not just who he stole it from. It’s that he saw an opportunity and he just couldn’t help himself but take it.

RT: Sure. It’s just so audacious, you can’t help but laugh.

Liman: I guess because he’s audacious, yeah. That’s why I’m so drawn to him. I’m not drawn to sneaky characters. I’m drawn to the characters who wear their flaws proudly.

RT: When you’re telling a true story like this, how much research do you have to do before you head into production?

Liman: A movie like this, there’s a lot of research that goes into it. It’s a true story, so we want to honor that. But we’re not making the movie because it’s a true story, we’re making the movie because it’s a great story and has great characters in it. But I’ve often found sticking to the truth makes for better movies, at least when I make them. I come up with better scenes when I’m hemmed in by the reality of the situation. Limiting the CIA’s power in Bourne Identity – what they really could do at the time versus, you know, other movies that came up with magical command centers, where the CIA has eyes in the sky that can see everything in real time, and not deal with the reality that a spy satellite that’s low enough to see people on the ground isn’t geo-stationary, but is travelling across the land at a very high rate of speed. And it can be over a site for maybe 30 seconds. I’m interested in those limitations. I think they make the scenes more exciting.

So, making a movie like American Made, I’m interested in the reality of the story, because in my career up to date, the reality of the situation has always made my scenes more entertaining and more dramatic. And here I can always go back to the well, so any time I felt like the screenwriter was taking a shortcut, I’d say, “Well, let’s look at how it really happened.” And inevitably, I’d find a more exciting scene.

RT: Tom Cruise has a well-earned reputation for doing his own stunts. I’m guessing that’s really him flying these planes?

Liman: Oh yeah. He does all his own flying in the movie. I have to say – when we were flying to this remote airstrip, it’s Tom flying the airplane, there’s a safety pilot in the plane, and I’m in the back. I took a pillow from the hotel and I’m lying down on the floor. Because the airplane doesn’t have any seats in the back. In the movie, he’s using it to shuttle cocaine and guns, so all the seats are out of the airplane.

So I’m lying on the floor and eventually I fall asleep. Because it’s a two-and-a-half hour flight across nothing — it’s just trees. And I wake up, I’m in the air slamming into ceiling, because Tom saw I’d fallen asleep in the back and thought it would be funny to wake me up by putting the airplane into a parabolic arc and slamming me into the ceiling.

RT: How much of a difference do you think it makes that audiences can see that’s actually him flying, and you’re not hiding anything or fudging anything in those scenes?

Liman: I think it makes a difference that it’s a real airplane. We’re doing car chases with airplanes, and it’s not CG. I think that makes a difference to the audience. To me, as a filmmaker, it’s a huge advantage to be able to shoot scenes with your actor flying the airplane, and not have to think about stunt-doubling it. We’re able to do a way bigger movie than our budget otherwise would’ve allowed for, because we didn’t need to spend money on the kinds of visual effects you’d have to spend money on to do what we did.

And also, we were inspired by Smokey and the Bandit. We were inspired by these very lo-fi movies. And you can’t help when you’re making a movie with Tom Cruise to think about the brand of Tom Cruise, and Tom Cruise and airplanes… the comparison to Top Gun is inevitable. And I wanted to be like, “OK, this is the anti-Top Gun. The airplanes are s—-ier, and his character is s—-ier.” But you can do way more for the money if your movie star’s actually doing the stunts for real.

RT: This character seems sort of tailor-made for someone like Tom Cruise. What do you think made him a good choice to play a guy like Barry?

Liman: What I love about working with Tom – and it was the same thing with Matt [Damon] – when you have these characters that are a little darker, you get to embrace the dark side, and yet still have people root for them. I didn’t have to sugarcoat Jason Bourne’s past, and I didn’t have to sugarcoat Barry Seal’s many flaws. You can’t help but think about the Tom Cruise brand if you work with him. And with Edge of Tomorrow, I was like, I want to make a movie where if you love Tom Cruise, great. He’s going to play a role that’s different than anything he’s done; he’s going to play an unabashed coward. But he’s going to be awesome at it. And if you hate Tom Cruise, you’re going to get to watch him die a hundred times.

But I just love how fearless he is. It’s way easier to be fearless about the stunts than it is to be fearless about trying new kinds of characters. And the fact that he allowed me to explore a version of “Tom Cruise” on the silver screen that is completely different than what his mainstream movie persona is, first of all, it’s just really fun. We shared a house while we were making the film, along with the screenwriter, and the common expression heard around the house, besides “It’s your turn to do the dishes” – literally, because we didn’t have a housekeeper, because of security concerns – was “Wouldn’t it be fun if…? Wouldn’t it be exciting if…? Wouldn’t it be funny if…?” We would just explore what we could do with the story, and with his character, and with the love story.


American Made opens everywhere this Friday, September 29.

Greg Kinnear

How do you describe the career of a guy who started as the host of Talk Soup on E! and within five years was Oscar nominated for a role opposite Jack Nicholson? Greg Kinnear certainly hasn’t taken the usual career path. He may have starred opposite Tom Hanks in You’ve Got Mail, but he was also conjoined with Matt Damon, played a sex addict and a meat inspector, guest starred on Friends and voiced a character in the Beavis and Butthead movie. Not to mention leading the SAG-winning ensemble in one of the best indie comedies of recent years in Little Miss Sunshine.

Now he’s on screen as the inventor Bob Kearns in Flash of Genius, and he was happy to be playing a real-life character no one’s ever heard of. “Well, it’s not like everybody comes in with a preconceived idea of who Bob Kearns is,” he says. “So it was kind of loose as to how I could portray him. You know, nobody’s ever going to stand up in the theatre and say, ‘Hey, that’s not what I remember the intermittent windshield wiper guy to be like!’ It’s not like with Clinton or Nixon or some sort of galvanising figure that everyone’s familiar with. At the same time, as an actor I felt absolutely obligated to try to, as best I could, make him real.”

Later this year he’ll be sees in Paul Greengrass‘ new film Green Zone, about the hunt for WMDs in Baghdad after the American invasion. “Paul is a remarkable director,” he says. “He just has an immediacy on the set. He doesn’t come in with a prearranged agenda of how things are going to go, and he’s always chasing something that’s not easily found. It’s his own journey as a filmmaker, but I think everybody feels like you want to give him everything you’ve got, because the thing that he’s searching for always translates to the screen, always creates these pictures that feel very vibrant. He has a way of making even smallest moments really big and lifelike on screen. It was wonderful.”

When asked about his five favourite films, he looks to the ceiling and comments that he’s going through his mental Rolodex…


Greg Kinnear

Something Wild

Something Wild

“Great performances from a great ensemble of actors. Jonathan Demme did such a great job of making that look so real, creating an atmosphere that felt very immediate. It’s a funny film, but it’s scary as hell in parts. And it’s a completely unpredictable movie, I think. There’s no expectation, as you go into that film, what to expect or where it’s going.”

Click on a thumbnail below.

Something Wild
Something Wild

The Godfather
The Godfather

Chinatown
Chinatown

North by Northwest
North by Northwest

Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
Willy Wonka


Greg Kinnear

The Godfather

The Godfather

“For obvious reasons. It’s just painted on a giant canvas – it’s larger than life. There’s a reason it’s a classic, and I don’t know what else to say about it that hasn’t already been said. It’s just one of the greats. There’s not a character in it that I don’t like, and there’s not a performance in it that’s flawed. It’s incredible.”

Click on a thumbnail below.

Something Wild
Something Wild

The Godfather
The Godfather

Chinatown
Chinatown

North by Northwest
North by Northwest

Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
Willy Wonka


Greg Kinnear

Chinatown

Chinatown

“I had a chance to work with Jack Nicholson, which was a real thrill. You can scoop out a lot of performances from Jack, and consider them as possible films you could add to this list, but that was a great performance. Roman Polanski‘s direction is incredible too. It’s a movie where, the first time you see it, it’s kind of shocking because you don’t know where it’s going and how big the story actually is that’s being told.”


Greg Kinnear

North by Northwest

North by Northwest

“I like the classics! I like a pretty eclectic mix actually. But if you want a great old movie, this is it. It’s in colour but it always feels like a black and white movie to me. It feels like a film with great history in it, and it’s got great style.”

Click on a thumbnail below.

Something Wild
Something Wild

The Godfather
The Godfather

Chinatown
Chinatown

North by Northwest
North by Northwest

Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
Willy Wonka


Greg Kinnear

Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory

Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory

“It’s one of the great endings to a movie ever when Willy asks Charlie what happened to the little boy who got everything he ever wanted. “You don’t know? He lived happily ever after!” And then the glass elevator breaks through the glass roof. It’s incredible. I worked briefly on a television show with Mel Stuart, the director, and heard all sorts of fantastic stories about that remarkable film. And of course I knew all the songs – I still do. I have a 5-year-old, but I haven’t shown it to her yet. It’s kind of scary – that guy who shows up with the little shopping carriage and makes that little speech about how nobody who goes in ever comes out. And the Oompa Loompas. And that boat ride – woo, acid trip!”

Click on a thumbnail below.

Something Wild
Something Wild

The Godfather
The Godfather

Chinatown
Chinatown

North by Northwest
North by Northwest

Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
Willy Wonka


Flash of Genius opens in UK cinemas this week. It is on DVD in the US and in cinemas in Australia.

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

IGN Movies has been doing some snooping on behalf of all you Trekkies (and Trekkers) out there, and they know which three major stars are in talks to play the young Starfleet officers in "Star Trek XI"!

IGN’s super scooper Stax has received confirmation from studio sources that the key actors currently in talks to play Kirk, Spock, and McCoy in the J.J. Abrams-helmed pic are…drumroll please…Matt Damon, Adrien Brody, and Gary Sinise, respectively. According to the report, the three actors are "the closest to being cast, with Damon’s talks said to be further along than the rest."


Damon as Kirk, Brody as Spock, Sinise as McCoy…can you imagine it?

Damon has long been rumored to play the young Kirk, although the plot of "Star Trek XI" and even the very idea of it being a prequel are as-yet-unconfirmed speculations. Many believe the film will definitely pick up with familiar "Star Trek" characters during a pre-Enterprise, Starfleet academy time period. Director J.J. Abrams is being notoriously tight-lipped about plot details, but did reveal last month that a first draft of the script (by "Transformers" scribes Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman) was complete.

But that’s not all! IGN also reports that a few other key characters may be filled out by familiar faces, including "Lost"’s Daniel Dae Kim (as Sulu) and "The Last King of Scotland"’s James McAvoy (employing his native Scottish accent in the role of — who else? — Scotty).

While a release date has yet to be announced, it is believed that "Star Trek XI" will hit theaters in 2008.

Source: IGN Movies

Looks like Ashton Kutcher‘s using his own production shingle to set up some mildly interesting projects. The next one will be a romantic comedy about a florist, but after that is a project that was inspired by watching "Run Lola Run" and "North By Northwest." We shall see.

From Variety: "Twentieth Century Fox has landed "The Engineer," a pitch to be developed as a star vehicle for Ashton Kutcher. Mike Finch will write and Jason Goldberg, Kutcher’s partner in Katalyst Prods., will produce.

Script by Finch, who most recently wrote "Adrenaline" for Intermedia, covers 24 frantic hours in the life of an American engineer in Tokyo after he’s labeled a terrorist.

Led by just-promoted veep Autumn Wilner-Herd, Katalyst developed the pitch with Finch over the past 10 months, using thrillers like "North by Northwest" and "Run Lola Run" as inspiration."

Veteran screenwriter / producer Ernest Lehman passed away on July 2nd after a lengthy illness. Mr. Lehman was nominated for a half-dozen Oscars over the course of his illustrious career, but the only one he ever brought home was a 2001 Honorary Oscar "in appreciation of a body of varied and enduring work."

Probably best known for his screenplays "North By Northwest," "Sabrina," "The Sound of Music," and "West Side Story," Mr. Lehman’s 30-year career also yielded films like "Hello, Dolly!," "Sweet Smell of Success," "Black Sunday," and "Portnoy’s Complaint" (a film which marked his only trip to the director’s chair.)

Writer’s Guild President Daniel Petrie Jr. said of Ernest Lehman: "A creative giant among writers and within the industry, Ernest possessed one of the most distinctive voices of the last half-century."

Mr. Lehman is survived by three sons and two grandchildren. He was 89 years old.

Eva Marie Saint will play Clark Kent’s adoptive mother in Bryan Singer’s "Superman Returns," according to the Hollywood Reporter. Saint is best known for her work with Cary Grant in Alfred Hitchcock’s "North By Northwest," but she has been busy lately as well. She stars in Wayne Wang’s "Because of Winn-Dixie," and Wim Wenders’ "Don’t Come Knocking," both of which will be released this year.

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