Collin Souter's 10-Best Lists: 1984-2012 (and counting)

By Collin Souter
Posted 04/22/02 00:27:16

Critics live for The List. I’m sure these will probably anger and annoy some people, but hopefully they will also turn readers on to movies they may have missed. This is all in good fun, but it’s also a great way to measure a critic’s taste against your own. Whom can you trust? Here's a good way to find out. (NOTE: Runners-up are not in any particular order)

I started at 1984, a sentimental reminder list more than anything else.

2.Stop Making Sense
3.Streets of Fire
4.This Is Spinal Tap
5.Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension
9.The Karate Kid

All Of Me, Beverly Hills Cop, Breakin 1 & 2, Broadway Danny Rose, Choose Me, Electric Dreams, Footloose, Hard To Hold, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Irreconcilable Differences, The Killing Fields, The Last Starfighter, The Muppets Take Manhattan, The Natural, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Paris Texas, Purple Rain, Romancing the Stone, Sixteen Candles, Splash, Stranger Than Paradise, The Terminator, Streetwise, Top Secret!
(A sentimental reminder list more than anything else)

2.After Hours
3.Back To The Future
5.Purple Rose Of Cairo
9.Lost In America
10.Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome
Runners-up: Blood Simple, The Color Purple, D.A.R.Y.L., Explorers, Heaven Help Us, Ladyhawke, Mask, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, Prizzi’s Honor, Real Genius, Return of the Living Dead, The Sure Thing

1.Blue Velvet
2.Something Wild
3.Hannah and Her Sisters
4.Peggy Sue Got Married
6.Stand By Me
8.The Fly
9.True Stories
10.River's Edge
Runners-up: Absolute Beginners, About Last Night…, Big Trouble In Little China, The Hitcher, Home of the Brave: A Film By Laurie Anderson, Little Shop of Horrors, Lucas, Mona Lisa, Mosquito Coast, Ruthless People, Sid & Nancy

1.Broadcast News
2.Empire of the Sun
3.Near Dark
4.The Last Emperor
5.Hope and Glory
6.Full Metal Jacket
7.Raising Arizona
8.Swimming To Cambodia
9. Princess Bride
10.Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn

(Without a doubt, the best 80’s year. Every one of these deserves to be # 1. Just a damn good year!)

Runners up: Barfly, Chuck Berry Hail! Hail! Rock and Roll, Moonstruck, The Hidden, House of Games, Housekeeping, Innerspace, Lethal Weapon, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Radio Days, RoboCop, River's Edge, Shy People, The Stepfather, The Untouchables, Witches of Eastwick

1.5 Corners
2.The Decalogue
3.The Last Temptation Of Christ
4.Midnight Run
5.Die Hard
6.Dead Ringers
7.Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
8.Dangerous Liaisons
9.The Thin Blue Line
10.The Land Before Time

Runners up: Akira, The Beast, Beetlejuice, Big, Bull Durham, D.O.A., A Fish Called Wanda, Funny Farm, Hairspray, Imagine: John Lennon, Lady In White, RainMan, Running On Empty, Things Change

1.Do The Right Thing
2.Crimes and Misdemeanors
3.Field of Dreams
4.Say Anything…
5.Born on the Fourth of July, lies and videotape
7.Roger & me
9.Henry V
10.Miracle Mile
Runners up: The Abyss, Always, Back to the Future Part 2, The Bear, The ‘burbs, Cousins, Drugstore Cowboy, Glory, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Kiki’s Delivery Service, The Mighty Quinn, My Left Foot, Parenthood, Parents, Sea Of Love, War of the Roses

1.Joe Versus The Volcano*
3.Jacob’s Ladder
4.Die Hard 2: Die Harder
5.Men Don’t Leave
6.Gremlins 2: The New Batch
7.Edward Scissorhands
8.White Hunter, Black heart
9.Reversal of Fortune
10.Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams
Runners-up: Awakenings, Darkman, Dick Tracy, Flatliners, The Freshman, The Grifters, Miami Blues, Misery, Pump Up The Volume
*--I know it may not be “the BEST” film of this year, but I do know that it’s “my FAVORITE.” Sometimes the heart wins over the brain.

1.The Fisher King
2.Barton Fink
3.Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse
4.Defending Your Life
5.The Commitments
6.Silence of the Lambs
8.L.A. Story
9.Closet Land
10.Thelma & Louise
Runners up: Beauty and the Beast, City Slickers, Dead Again, Dogfight, The Double Life of Veronique, Grand Canyon, Hangin With The Homeboys, Highway 61, JFK, Little Man Tate, The Man in the Moon, Naked Lunch, Night on Earth, Point Break, Raise the Red Lantern, Terminator 2: Judgment Day

1.The Player
2.Glengarry Glen Ross
3.The Crying Game
4.Reservoir Dogs
5.Prelude To A Kiss
6.Bob Roberts
7.Lorenzo’s Oil
8.One False Move
9.Bitter Moon
Runners Up: Death Becomes Her, Flirting, Husbands and Wives, A League of Their Own, Meet the Parents, Scent of a Woman, Unforgiven, South Central, Visions of Light

2.Schindler's List
3.Searching For Bobby Fischer
4.Groundhog Day
6.In the Name of the Father
7.Dazed and Confused
8.The Piano
9.Short Cuts
10.King of the Hill
Runners up: Backbeat, The Bride With White Hair, Dave, Dead Alive, The Fugitive, Joy Luck Club, Much Ado About Nothing, Tim Burton’s A Nightmare Before Christmas, A Perfect World, Shadowlands, True Romance, Untamed Heart, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?

1.3 Colors Trilogy: Blue, White, Red
2.Heavenly Creatures
3.Pulp Fiction
4.The Shawshank Redemption
5.Ed Wood
6.Forrest Gump
7.The Lion King
8.Chungking Express
9.The Ref
10.The Hudsucker Proxy
Runners up: Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, Bullets Over Broadway, Clerks, The Crow, Dumb and Dumber, Fresh, Immortal Beloved, Leon: The Professional, Little Buddha, Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, Natural Born Killers, Once Were Warriors, Safe Passage, Swimming With Sharks

1.A Little Princess
2.Unstrung Heroes
4.12 Monkeys
5.Toy Story
7.Before Sunrise
8.Home For the Holidays
9.The American President
10.The City of Lost Children
Runners up: American Job, The Basketball Diaries, Braveheart, Cold Comfort Farm, Crumb, Dead Man Walking, Get Shorty, Heat, Last of the Dogmen, Living In Oblivion, Strange Days, Waterworld

2.Beautiful Girls
3.Welcome to the Dollhouse
4.Secrets and Lies
5.Jerry Maguire
6.Citizen Ruth
10.Big Night
Runners up: Bound, Cannibal: The Musical, Dead Man, Everyone Says I Love You, Flirting With Disaster, Fly Away Home, Freeway, Ghost in the Shell, Hamlet, Hard Eight, Mother, The People vs. Larry Flynt, Schizopolis, Scream, Sling Blade

1.The Ice Storm
2.Boogie Nights
5.The Sweet Hereafter
6.4 Little Girls
7.Wag the Dog
8.Grosse Pointe Blank
9.Children of Heaven
10.Scream 2
Runners up: Amistad, Chasing Amy, Crash, Deconstructing Harry, Donnie Brasco, Face/Off, The Game, Good Will Hunting, Kundun, L.A. Confidential, The Last Supper, 187, Eve's Bayou, Titanic, Ulee’s Gold

1.The Truman Show
3.Babe: Pig In the City
4.Life Is Beautiful
6.A Simple Plan
7.Living Out Loud
8.The Butcher Boy
9.A Bug’s Life
10.The Thin Red Line
Runners up: Antz, The Big Lebowski, Bulworth, A Civil Action, Elizabeth, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Gods and Monsters, Happiness, Mulan, The Opposite of Sex, Out of Sight, Saving Private Ryan, Shakespeare In Love, Smoke Signals, What Dreams May Come, Zero Effect

2.American Movie
3.Eyes Wide Shut
4.The Straight Story
5.Toy Story 2
6.Fight Club
7.Being John Malkovich
8.American Beauty
10.The Iron Giant
Runners up: Angela’s Ashes, The Blair Witch Project, Anywhere But Here, Boys Don’t Cry, The Insider, Three Kings, The Limey, Man on the Moon, Meeting People Is Easy, Princess Mononoke, The Red Violin, Run Lola Run, South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut, Tarzan, Titus

1.Almost Famous
2.George Washington
3.Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
4.You Can Count On Me
5.Chicaken Run
7.Billy Elliot
8.Erin Brokovich
9.Dancer In the Dark
10. High Fidelity
Runners up: Jesus' Son, State and Main, Cast Away, Requiem For A Dream, Waking The Dead, Wonder Boys, Shanghai Noon, Love and Basketball, Quills, My Dog Skip, Fantasia 2000

1.The Royal Tenenbaums
2.Donnie Darko
3.Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
4.Vanilla Sky
6.The Others
9.Ghost World
10.The Road Home
Runners up: A Beautiful Mind, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, The Circle, In the Bedroom, Innocence, Monsters, Inc, Shrek, Spy Kids, Monster’s Ball, Joy Ride, Waking Life, No Man’s Land, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

1.25th Hour
2.Bloody Sunday
3.About Schmidt
4.Fast Runner (Atanarjuat)
5.Last Orders
6.Punch-Drunk Love
7.Y Tu Mama Tambien
8.About A Boy
9.Minority Report
10.Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Runners Up: I am Trying To Break Your Heart, Lilo & Stitch, Spirited Away, Bowling For Columbine, Adaptation, Rabbit-Proof Fence, Chicago, Talk To Her, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, The Count of Monte Cristo, Monsoon Wedding, Panic Room, Frailty, Changing Lanes, Insomnia, Late Marriage, The Rookie, Lovely and Amazing, Tuck Everlasting, Possession, One-Hour Photo, The Good Girl, Moonlight Mile, Real Women Have Curves, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Far From Heaven, El Bola, Personal Velocity, Promises

1.Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
2.All the Real Girls...
4.Finding Nemo
6.City of God
7.Lost In Translation
8.Whale RIder
9.American Splendor
10.Love, Actually...
Runners Up:Mystic River, Big Fish, To Be and To Have, In America, Bubba Ho-Tep, Pieces of April, 21 Grams, Kill Bill, Vol. 1, Spellbound, Hulk, Winged Migration, Lost in La Mancha, Spider, The Good Thief, Raising Victor Vargas, Blue Car, Down With Love, Bend It Like Beckham, Man on the Train, Capturing the Friedmans, 28 Days Later, Dopamine, Dirty Pretty Things, The Magdalene Sisters, Dummy, Cabin Fever, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, Balseros, Monster, The Cooler, Together, The Triplets of Belleville, The Barbarian Invasions, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World: Loony Tunes: Back In Action

1.Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
2.Friday Night Lights
3.The Aviator
7.Shaun of the Dead
9.Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
10.Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
Runners Up:The Incredibles, Million Dollar Baby, Spider-Man 2, Harry potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Garden State, Touching the Void, The House of Flying Daggers, Before Sunset, A Very Long Engagement, Festival Express, Control Room, Dawn of the Dead, The Door in the Floor, Fahrenheit 9/11, Intermission, Bon Voyage, The Ladykillers, Maria Full of Grace, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring, The Notebook, The Passion of the Christ, Bright Young Things, Saved!, Shrek 2, Super Size Me, The Terminal, This Old Cub, Hero, The Dreamers, Intimate Strangers, Osama, Going Upriver: The Story of John Kerry, Team America: World Police, The Polar Express, DiG!, Vera Drake, Kinsey, The Assassination of Richard Nixon, Closer, The Sea Inside, Bukowski: Born Into This, Guerilla: The Taking of Patti Hearst, In Good Company, Born Into Brothels, I’m Not Scared

1. King Kong
2. Junebug
3. A History of Violence
4. The 40-year-Old Virgin
5. The New World
6. Murderball
7. Oldboy
8. Batman Begins
9. Hustle and Flow
10. Millions
Runners Up: Up For Grabs, Sin City, Twist of Faith, Walk the Line, Lord of War, Capote, The Ice Harvest, Howl's Moving Castle, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Me and You and Everyone We Know, Keane, Downfall, The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, Turtles Can Fly, The Interpreter, Kung Fu Hustle, Crash, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, George A. Romero’s Land of the Dead, War of the Worlds, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, March of the Penguins, Broken Flowers, The Aristocrats, Grizzly Man, The Brothers Grimm, Wallace & Gromit—Curse of the Were Rabbit, Good Night and Good Luck, The Weather Man, Jarhead, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Match Point, Proof, Assisted Living, Brokeback Mountain, Rize, Munich, Mrs. Henderson Presents, The Talent Given Us, Pride & Prejudice

1. Children of Men
2. United 93
3. Jesus Camp
4. Monster House
5. The Fountain
6. 49 Up
7. Pan's Labyrinth
8. Happy Feet
9. Borat: Cultural Leranings of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
10. Neil Young: Heart of Gold
Runners Up:The Departed, Letters From Iwo Jima, Flags of Our Fathers, Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man, Little Miss Sunshine, The Science of Sleep, The Queen, The Great Yokai War, Shut Up and Sing, Inside Man, Flannel Pajamas, Friends With Money, V For Vendetta, Dave Chappelle’s Block Party, American Dreamz, Brick, L’Enfant, Hard Candy, Akeelah and the Bee, Art School Confidential, An Inconvenient Truth, The Lake House, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Lady Vengeance, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, The Ant Bully, The Descent, Crank, Idiocracy, Looking For Comedy in the Muslim World, A Scanner Darkly, The Puffy Chair, Deliver Us From Evil, Marie Antoinette, Edmond, The Devil and Daniel Johnston, Casino Royale, The Proposition, Harsh Times, The Road to Guantanimo, Who Killed the Electric Car?, Babel, Notes On A Scandal, Apocalypto, The Heart of the Game, Charlotte’s Web, Rocky Balboa, Volver, The Death of Mr. Lazarescu

1.The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford
3.There Will Be Blood
4.Black Snake Moan
5.The Mist
6.The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
7.The Bourne Ultimatum
8.The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters
9.4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days
Runners Up:Knocked Up, Away From Her, Mr. Brooks, The Year of the Dog, Hot Fuzz, No Country For Old Men, The Hoax, Black Book, The Astronaut Farmer, In The Shadow of the Moon, Breach, The Host, The Namesake, Grindhouse, Waitress, Paris, je’taime, A Mighty Heart, Sicko, Ratatouille, Rescue Dawn, Joshua, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Hairspray, The Simpsons Movie, Hot Rod, The Lookout, 3:10 to Yuma, Them, The Hunting Party, 2 Days In Paris, In The Valley of Elah, Things We Lost in the Fire, Gone Baby Gone, Lars and the Real Girl, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, Beowulf, Crazy Love, No End In Sight, The Savages, Charlie Wilson’s War, The Orphanage, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Romance and Cigarettes, Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, War/Dance

2.Let the Right One In
3.Snow Angels
4.The Wrestler
5.Rachel Getting Married
6.In Bruges
7.Slumdog Millionaire
9.The Pineapple Express
10.Dear Zachary: A Letter To A Son About His Father
Runners-Up:Tropic Thunder, American Teen, Frozen River, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Revolutionary Road, Man On Wire, Happy-Go-Lucky, U23D, Twisted: A Balloonamentary, Stuck, Cloverfield, Be Kind, Rewind, Shine A Light, Redbelt, The Visitor, Kung Fu Panda, The Promotion, War, Inc., All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, Indestructible, Transiberian, Tell No One, Ghost Town, Changeling, Appalooza, Synecdoche, New York, Role Models, Bolt, Up the Yangtze, Encounters at the End of the World, Chicago 10, Milk, Flow, The Reader, BIGGER, STRONGER, FASTER, Surfwise

1.Where the Wild Things Are
2.Mary & Max
3.Anvil! The Story of Anvil
4.The Hurt Locker
6.Away We Go
7.Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
8.The Invention of Lying
Runners-up: Passing Strange, (500) Days of Summer, Taken, Watchmen, I Love You, Man, Observe and Report, The Cove, The Girlfriend Experience, Moon, Two Lovers, Food, Inc., California Dreamin’, Paper Heart, Taste, Ponyo, Inglourious Basterds, District 9, Five Minutes of Heaven, My One and Only, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, Zombieland, World’s Greatest Dad, Black Dynamite, The Box, Burma, VJ, The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, How We Get By, Summer Hours, In the Loop, The Messenger, That Evening Sun, The White Ribbon, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, The Men Who Stare At Goats, Brothers, The Road, Me and Orson Wells, Tyson, Up In the Air, A Single Man

1.The Social Network
3.Blue Valentine
4.Toy Story 3
5.The Good, The Bad, The Weird
6.Another Year
7.127 Hours
9.The Tillman Story
10.Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Part 1
Runners-up: Winter's Bone, Shutter Island, Ghost Writer, Best Worst Movie, Greenburg, Waking Sleeping Beauty, The Square, Splice, Solitary Man, Cyrus, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, Ramona and Beezus, The Other Guys, Going the Distance, Inside Job, The Last Exorcism, Jack Goes Boating, The Town,
Buried, Catfish, Never Let Me Go, Let Me In, Waiting For “Superman”, A Film Unfinished, Restrepo, Black Swan, Night Catches Us, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, Client-9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, True Grit, The Fighter, The King’s Speech, Barney’s Version, How Do You Know, Mother, Rabbit Hole, Stone, All Good Things, The Way Back, Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

1.The Tree of Life
5.Take Shelter
6.Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Part 2
7.Into the Abyss: A Tale of Death, A Tale of Life
9.Rise of the Planet of the Apes
10.Hell and Back Again
Runners-up: The Muppets, The Descendants, The Artist, Incendies, The Interrupters, A Separation, Crazy Stupid Love, Happy Feet Two, Moneyball, Our Idiot Brother, No Strings Attached, Cedar Rapids, Insidious, Source Code, In A Better World, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Buck, A Better Life, Beats, Rhymes and Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest, Winnie The Pooh, Fright Night, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, Higher Ground, The Other F Word, Pariah, Melancholia, Pearl Jam: Twenty, Mission: Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol, Life In a Day

1.The Perks of Being A Wallflower
3.Beasts of the Southern Wild
4.Take This Waltz
5.Zero Dark Thirty
6.The Invisible War
7.The Avengers
9.Room 237
10.The Impossible
Runners-up: ruby Sparks, The Grey, Argo, Flight, The Master, Compliance, Silver Linings Playbook, Chronicle, Killer Joe, Ted, Lincoln, Seeking A Friend For the End of the World, Samsara, Skyfall, Pirates: Band of Misfits, Cabin In the Woods, Seven Psychopaths, Frankenweenie, Looper, Django Unchained, Secret World of Arietty, The Hunger Games, Kid With A Bike, Marley, Moonrise Kingdom, Your Sister's Sister, Safety Not Guaranteed, Unraveled, The Sessions, Cloud Atlas, The Citadel, Life of Pi, West of Memphis, Amour, How To Survive A Plague, Holy Motors


1.3 Colors Trilogy: Blue, White, Red
3.The Ice Strom
4.Heavenly Creatures
7.The Fisher King
9.The Truman Show
10.A Little Princess

1.Lord of the Rings Trilogy
3.All the Real Girls...
4.Children of Men
5.25th Hour
6.The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford
8.Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
9.Where the Wild Things Are
10.Let the Right One In

2.Jesus Camp
3.49 Up
4.Anvil! The Story of Anvil
5.To Be and To Have
7.The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters
8. Dear Zachary: A Letter To A Son About His Father
9.The Cove
10.Neil Young: Heart of Gold

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