Top 50 - 46 through 50

46. Dogma (Smith, 1999)

I must have watched this film over a dozen time. It's not only Kevin Smith's funniest film, but it's also a satire and critique of religions that manages to be full of belief. You can tell Kevin Smith is not an atheist, but just that he questions some of the interpretations along the way. There are too many good moments to mention here: the buddy Christ, Loki expounding on how Alice through the looking glass made him lose his belief in God, Alan Rickman as the Metatron in every scene he's in...Over the years the not-too-great filmmaking has started being more obvious to me, but the script and the performances are still awesome.

47. Lost In Translation (Coppola, 2003)

I went on about Scarlett Johansson's performance here, but there is, of course, more to this film. The mood music. The tentative atmosphere. Bill Murray at his most funny and poignant. And, of course, that last whisper in her ear. There's a lot to be said in criticism of this movie, but the truth is, it made me feel like few movies can: entranced.

48. Jackie Brown (Tarantino, 1997)

Tarantino's most underrated and underseen movie shows that despite all evidence to the contary, he does, in fact, have a mature side, or at least a potential for maturity. Oh, this is clearly a Tarantino picture: a shot from a trunk, violence, long dialogue laced with references and so on. But unlike the other pictures - and maybe because this is an adaptation- this isn't about impressing anyone, and his tendency for toying with conventional narrative is almost absent. Not only that, but the wonderful conversation between Robert Forster and Pam Grier about getting old seemed to indicate Tarantino might, one day, grow up. Ten years later it seems more and more unlikely, but I still have hope that he might move on beyond great style exercises.

49. Dirty Pretty Things (Frears, 2002)

An oddity, perhaps, this little under-the-radar thriller. Why did this beat out so many classics? I'm not quite sure, myself. Maybe it's simply because if I get just one more person to watch this, it'll have been worth putting this on my list. If you think Sergi Lopez was scary and evil in Pan's Labyrinth, wait until you see him here, and the other actors are also great: Chiwetel Ejiofor is deservedly an up-and-coming star now, and Audrey Tautou shows she is more than Amelie. The film also manages to sneakily address the immigrant problem without being a pamphlet: the plight of illegals in London is a strong undercurrent, but it doesn't get in the way of the suspense and the surrealism. I could have put a classic in its place, but while this might not be a perfect film, it deserves to get more notice than it has.

50. La Jetee (Marker, 1962)

The only short on this list, but definitely not a trifle. Marker's film might sound difficult and hard to approach: almost all stills with narration, it can't even be called a movie. The story he tells is incredibly compelling though, and you understand why Gilliam was inspired to make 12 Monkeys from this. Unlike 12 monkeys, you will find no empty action here, and no crazy Brad Pitt: just a meditation on the nature and unreliability of memory.

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