5) Saw (2004)- Even though it spawned less than average sequels, the first Saw was one of the most original horror films I had seen in years. It accomplished something that I never thought was possible: create a killer that the viewer actually, well, agrees with. John Kramer was a nice average Joe who just wanted to help people and all he got in return was an inoperable frontal lobe tumor. As Jigsaw, he spread a message that is one you can actually be sympathetic with. "Those who do not appreciate life, do not deserve life". Although it is a bit extreme, it makes a whole lot of sense doesn't it? Not like Freddy Kreuger or Jason Voorhees, who are formally dead people coming back for revenge. That doesn't make any sense. What I really liked about Saw was that although there were numerous deaths, the movie focused more on the mystery than it did the killing. The sequels lost sight of this and became all about the gruesome aspects of the plot.
4) Young Frankenstein (1974)- This is how spoof comedy is done! I see movies nowadays like Disaster Movie and Epic Movie and it makes me ashamed to be an American. Only because it sickens me to think movies like that could be made and actually make money! It doesn't paint a nice picture of the American people. Those movies call themselves spoofs but I just call them disgraceful. Mel Brooks was and will always will be the king of the spoof comedy, and Young Frankenstein is his crown jewel. Gene Wilder and Marty Feldman are priceless and although I've seen the movie about 20 times, they still crack me up.
3) The Shining (1980)- Hands down the best horror movie of all time, period, end of story, no ifs ands or buts about it. Stanley Kubrick's mastering of the tracking shot gave the film the eerie sense of creeping evil around every corner, and it scares the living daylights out of me. Jack Nicholson's diabolically insane Jack Torrance is the epitome of horror. Even though Shelley Duvall over-acted her role a disgusting amount, Nicholson countered it by being perfect. Kubrick captured the essence of what truly horrifies people and executed it flawlessly. Watching people get killed is not what is scary, but rather the sense that someone is about to be killed. There is only one on screen murder in The Shining, and it is quick and done rather tastefully.
2) Memento (2000)- Story-telling at it's finest. Christopher and Jonathan Nolan's tale of a man with short term memory loss searching for his wife's killer is intriguing and perfectly executed. The unique style in which the story is told has never been paralleled, making it a true masterpiece. After 10+ viewings, Memento remains potent and effective
1) A Clockwork Orange (1971)- I don't know if you figured it out yet, but I am what you would call a "Stanley Kubrick fan". There is no argument in my mind that A Clockwork Orange is among the greatest films of all time. The first time I watched it, I was shocked. I was shocked that the content of the film was able to be released in 1971. This was pretty intense by today's standards. After some research I discovered that A Clockwork Orange was originally rated X, incited riots, and caused Kubrick and his family to receive numerous death threats. I guess it wasn't as accepted as I thought. Small fact: 1972 was the first year Jack Nicholson presented the Best Picture Oscar. Although he was a rather small name at the time, no highly regarded actor would present the award on the off chance A Clockwork Orange won. They did not want to be associated with the film. So, Nicholson was asked and he accepted. If you ask me, there were two atrocities that took place at the 1972 Academy Awards. 1- Malcolm McDowell was not even NOMINATED for the Best Actor Oscar. That has to be the most egregious snub in Oscar history. 2- The French Connection beat A Clockwork Orange for Best Picture. I've seen The French Connection. It was unbearable. And it wasn't because I didn't want to like it because I didn't want it to be better than Clockwork. I truly found it impossible to watch. After reading the novel A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, I only grew to love the movie even more. In the translation to film, Kubrick only lost the meaning of the film in that he left out Chapter 21. Other than that, it was a perfect translation and an absolute masterpiece. I've introduced multiple people to A Clockwork Orange and they are all glad I did.
That concludes my list. I hope you find something that we have in common. Following is a list of runners up that just missed out on being in the Top 25.
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)- Johnny's charisma and the adult fairy tale plot are extremely entertaining to watch, but Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley make parts of the movie (and both sequels) unwatchable.
In Bruges (2008)- Excellent film with excellent performances by Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson and an excellent script with an excellent resolution. Just, excellent. The only thing keeping this out of my 25 is that I've only seen it once, so I don't know if it has lasting power.
V For Vendetta (2005)- The character V is down right cool and his cause is one to believe in. My only qualm with the film is its length and its lasting power. After a few viewings I wasn't as in love with it. I still think its enjoyable and I watch it when it's on, but I wouldn't call it a favorite.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)- My relationship with this film is really strange. The first time I saw it in theaters I was like, "wow, that was amazing". I loved everything about it. I loved Burton's style, Depp's performance, the music, and hell I even liked Helena Bonham Carter (I do not care for Helena Bonham Carter). The second time I watched the film, I discovered I did not like it nearly as much as the first. I was close to even saying I didn't like it. Then I watched it a third time, and it was amazing again. I watched it again recently, and it was just OK. So I guess depending on my mood, this movie could make the list, but it is far too volatile to be placed on the list permanently.