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Benjamin Cox's Hall Of Fame

Updated on July 10, 2018
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Benjamin is a full-time carer and former volunteer DJ at his local hospital radio station. He has been reviewing films for over ten years.

Every one of these films below is deserving of at least one of these guys...
Every one of these films below is deserving of at least one of these guys... | Source


It occurred to me recently that if you were in a hurry and couldn't decide what you wanted to watch, what's the best way of separating the wheat from the chaff? Of course, you could always scroll through my index which contains links to every article I've written but finding a truly great film is still a matter of pot luck. Therefore, I have gathered together all of the very best films I've been privileged to watch so that if you have access to an online streaming service or you obsessively purchase DVDs without watching them (you weirdo), you can enjoy them immediately. Hopefully, you will find something here to tickle your fancy from mighty superhero epics to touching documentaries to timeless monochrome classics. Enjoy!

2001: A Space Odyssey

  • Genre: mystery, sci-fi
  • Year Of Release: 1968
  • Main Cast: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester, Douglas Rain

Stanley Kubrick's masterful epic puts the science back into science fiction with an expertly crafted, brilliantly thrilling mystery covering themes of evolution, artificial intelligence and alien life. With pioneering effects, model work and cinematography, 2001: A Space Odyssey easily stands the test of time and is right up there as one of the best examples of the genre in history.


  • Genre: comedy
  • Year Of Release: 1980
  • Main Cast: Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Leslie Nielsen, Peter Graves, Lloyd Bridges

The spoof to end them all... Airplane! is an absolute triumph with endless jokes and gags crammed into a perfectly serviceable disaster movie and making movie history in the process. Reviving Nielsen's career as a comic genius, the film is not afraid of pushing buttons in its rabid quest for laughs but remains arguably the greatest film parody in history.


  • Genre: horror, sci-fi
  • Year Of Release: 1979
  • Main Cast: Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto, Harry Dean Stanton, Veronica Cartwright, John Hurt

Ridley Scott's hugely influential sci-fi horror is a masterpiece of tension, atmosphere and shock. The film demonstrates that traditional techniques and inventive film-making can produce a film that genuinely grips from the beginning and refuses to let go. Its power may have been diminished with increasingly weak sequels but the original remains a remarkably effective and bloody thriller with a cast to die for.


Avengers Assemble

  • Genre: action, sci-fi, superhero
  • Year Of Release: 2012
  • Main Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L Jackson

Marvel gathers together its most famous cinematic characters and throws them together into a noisy and exciting 'greatest hits' package. Full of action from the start, the film is a relentless roller-coaster of special effects, heart-stopping set pieces and Hiddleston's thoroughly English baddie. Escapism doesn't get much better than this - it easily trumps its own sequel Age Of Ultron and remains the studio's best film so far.


NEW ENTRY - Back To The Future

  • Genre: adventure, comedy, sci-fi
  • Year Of Release: 1985
  • Main Cast: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, Thomas F. Wilson

One of the most iconic films in my lifetime, Robert Zemeckis' incredible film is an astonishing blend of scientific principle, laughing at geeky parents and possibly the greatest movie car in history. Fox and Lloyd make an unlikely but highly enjoyable pair in a film that created serious buzz at the box office as well as two sequels and numerous merchandise. This film truly is timeless.

Batman Begins

  • Genre: action, drama, superhero
  • Year Of Release: 2005
  • Main Cast: Christian Bale, Liam Neeson, Michael Caine, Katie Holmes, Cillian Murphy, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman

Christian Nolan finally delivers the Batman movie fans have been waiting for, a thoroughly dark and intelligent film that examines every aspect of Bruce Wayne's traumatic transformation into the World's Greatest Detective. Bale excels as Wayne and also delivers in the action scenes against one of the most chilling enemies we've seen - the mind-bending Scarecrow. Followed up with The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises to complete the Dark Knight trilogy, a series that is much more mature than anything Marvel have released so far.

Black Hawk Down

  • Genre: action, drama, war
  • Year Of Release: 2002
  • Main Cast: Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Tom Sizemore, Eric Bana, Sam Shepard, Ewen Bremner, William Fichtner

Ridley Scott's harrowing war film is a brutal examination of the so-called Battle of Mogadishu in 1993 in which 19 US Servicemen lost their lives. At no point does the movie shy away from the violence surrounding these men and while it may seem a little patriotic in these post 9/11 days, it deliberately attempts to dispel the supposed glamour of war. Scott's direction, attention to detail and his ability to get first-class performances from his cast mean this is a film of real class although you may need a strong stomach for it. Don't expect a happy ending, either...

Blade Runner

  • Genre: sci-fi, thriller
  • Year Of Release: 1982
  • Main Cast: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, Daryl Hannah

One of the greatest sci-fi movies ever made, Ridley Scott's timeless film is loaded with as many themes, great performances and moments as it is coupled with a fantastic soundtrack, imaginative direction from Scott and unforgettable sets and design. The best version to watch is either the 1992 Director's Cut or the 2005 Final Cut, which dispenses with the patronising voice-over and treats viewers to a truly iconic piece of cinema.


NEW ENTRY- Blade Runner 2049

  • Genre: sci-fi, thriller
  • Year Of Release: 2017
  • Main Cast: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Jared Leto

Despite having deep reservations about the very idea of a sequel to Blade Runner, director Denis Villeneuve has delivered a film that is every inch the perfect follow-up. Respectful of the original while taking things in a different and more epic direction, Blade Runner 2049 is a visually stunning spectacle that completely overpowers you but still gives you plenty to grapple with - from its questions about the nature of humanity and artificial intelligence to the narrative that twists one way and then another. Leave your fears at the door and enjoy a magnificent film that revives science fiction as a genre, much like the original.


Brief Encounter

  • Genre: drama, romance
  • Year Of Release: 1945
  • Main Cast: Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard, Everley Gregg

David Lean's timeless masterpiece showing the emotional turmoil of a couple madly in love but unable to be with each other. It may seem dated and quaint these days but Johnson's faultless performance opposite Howard's perfect gentleman underlines the tragedy unfolding before your eyes. This feels like a proper love story, full of joy and sorrow in equal measure, and is one of the best films ever to have come out of Britain. Anyone looking for a film about a doomed romance from a female's perspective won't find any film to top this.


  • Genre: drama, romance, war
  • Year Of Release: 1942
  • Main Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains

Still one of the all-time classics, this iconic picture remains an essential watch. Helmed by brilliant performances from Bogie and Bergman, the film's story of war-torn lovers reunited in the direst of circumstances is simply a timeless tale that's impossible not to empathise with. It's easy to think this is a film revered simply because generations of critics have - but there are reasons for such reverence. After all, name me someone who hasn't heard of it...


Casino Royale

  • Genres: action, spy, thriller
  • Year Of Release: 2006
  • Main Cast: Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Judi Dench, Jeffrey Wright

Daniel Craig stamps his mark on the James Bond role and proves the doubters wrong with this astonishing debut. Calm, controlled and much closer to the books than people might expect, this is a film which sees 007 dispense with forty-odd years of cinematic history and start afresh. This is dark, brutal, exciting and everything the Bond films had stopped being years ago. Bond really is back after the crushing disappointment of Die Another Day.

Celebration Day

  • Genres: documentary, music
  • Year Of Release: 2012
  • Main Cast: Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, Jason Bonham

Celebration Day is a concert film performed by Led Zeppelin at the O2 Arena in London back in 2007, albeit with John's son Jason on drums instead. It is a joyous occasion for fans of the band who thought it would never happen and a must-see for fan of heavy metal - they haven't missed a beat as they smash out hits like "Black Dog", "Kashmir" and the rarely-heard live "Stairway To Heaven". Head-banging heaven!


Citizen Kane

  • Genre: biography, drama, mystery
  • Year Of Release: 1941
  • Main Cast: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotton, Dorothy Comingore, Everett Sloane, Ray Collins, George Coulouris

Considering that the film was written and directed by a debutante, cast by mostly theatre veterans who had worked in radio and was beset upon on release by one of the most powerful men in American media, it's staggering how successful the film is. Astonishing in its technical competence and telling a vast and brilliant story, Citizen Kane is the film to end them all and continues to influence and inspire film-makers across the world. It really is as good as critics say.


  • Genre: action, crime, drama, thriller
  • Year Of Release: 2004
  • Main Cast: Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Mark Ruffalo

Michael Mann's ultra-streamlined project is a tense, gripping thriller with a simple premise, a small but excellent cast and levels of captivation rarely seen outside of a good novel. Cruise delivers a surprisingly good performance as a professional hitman who hires Foxx's unwitting taxi driver to ferry him around LA for a series of hits in one night. Thrillers just don't get much better than this although you have to wonder why Cruise isn't cast as the baddie more often.


Die Hard

  • Genres: action, crime, thriller
  • Year Of Release: 1988
  • Main Cast: Bruce Willis, Bonnie Bedelia, Alan Rickman, Reginald VelJohnson, Alexander Gudunov

Yippee-ki-yay! Yes, the classic action blockbuster still has plenty to offer from Bruce Willis's barn-storming portrayal of John McLane to Alan Rickman's super suave Hans Gruber. Arguably the greatest old-school shooter of all time, Die Hard remains the best in its series - the most recent ones are awful - by focusing on being a brutal, violent thriller with an unconventional hero caught up in the midst of a professional heist but who never quite loses his sense of humour. It might have been diluted after so many sequels but the original still supplies the goods.

Donnie Darko

  • Genre: drama, psychological, sci-fi
  • Year Of Release: 2001
  • Main Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Patrick Swayze, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Drew Barrymore, Noah Wyle

Richard Kelly's mind-warping film combines teenage angst, time-travel and a humanoid rabbit called Frank to astonishing effect. One of the best written films you will ever see, although don't be surprised if you require multiple viewings. My advice is to go with the director's cut or seek a director's commentary to help you make sense of this unforgettable film. It's the ultimate head-f*** film and will provide you and your mates with plenty to talk about for some time to come.



  • Genre: animated, family, musical
  • Year Of Release: 2013
  • Main Cast: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathon Groff, Josh Gad, Santino Fontana

Unquestionably Disney's best film for a generation and possibly one of their best ever, the film is about much more than that damned "Let It Go". It's a gorgeous piece of animation, a wonderfully traditional fairy-tale presented in sublime CG and enlivened by genuinely great vocal performances and the brilliantly funny Olaf the snowman. If you've not seen it already then you must not have kids yet but don't miss out - this will stay in your memory long after the end credits.



  • Genre: action, spy, thriller
  • Year Of Release: 1964
  • Main Cast: Sean Connery, Gert Fröbe, Honor Blackman, Shirley Eaton, Harold Sakata

Arguably the definitive Bond film, Goldfinger established the formula for Bond films for the next four decades and reinforced Connery's claim to be the best Bond actor. The film has it all - the girls, the cars, the gadgets, the baddies, the quips - whatever you're looking for in a Bond film, you'll find it here. Wonderful stuff.

Guardians Of The Galaxy

  • Genre: action, adventure, sci-fi
  • Year Of Release: 2014
  • Main Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel

Anyone who thought Marvel films were becoming formulaic might want to check this out - it's a surreal blend of sci-fi, pop culture references, oddball characters and genuinely funny dialogue. As far removed from the likes of Iron Man or even Avengers Assemble as you can imagine, this movie will surprise and delight in equal measures. Fantastic stuff!


NEW ENTRY - Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2

  • Genre: action, adventure, sci-fi
  • Year Of Release: 2017
  • Main Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel

Somehow managing to capture lightning in a bottle twice, this delightful sequel provides as much razzle-dazzle as the first while still retaining the humour, soundtrack and brilliantly irreverent performances from its lead cast. Epic in scale and ambition, the film might lack a little of the first film's surprise but this is as much fun as I've had in a theatre for years. Still very different from other MCU offerings and still hugely enjoyable.


  • Genre: action, sci-fi, thriller
  • Year Of Release: 2010
  • Main Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ken Watanabe, Marion Cotillard, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy

Christopher Nolan's mind-bending thriller sees an all-star cast engage in a twisting, labyrinthine plot to plant an idea into someone's subconscious via zero-gravity shootouts and stunning effects. CG has rarely been as imaginatively used as it has here which is further proof that Nolan is one of the best directors currently working. If you can forgive a slight whiff of pretentiousness then you'll enjoy a film crafted by total professionals at the peak of their powers..


Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade

  • Genre: action, adventure, war
  • Year Of Release: 1989
  • Main Cast: Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Denholm Elliot, Alison Doody, Julian Glover

The third part of the Indiana Jones series was probably the highlight as it introduced a typically brilliant Connery into the series' trademark blend of implausible action, mythical history and Ford's timeless whip-cracking hero. It is impossible not to fall for its charms as this is a great film for the whole family to enjoy without pandering to pleasing the younger viewers - there are still some scares in here as well. Shame about the wretched fourth film but there isn't much to choose between this and the first in the series.

Inside Out

  • Genre: animated, comedy, fantasy
  • Year Of Release: 2015
  • Main Cast: Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling

Pixar once again rules the over-crowded CG animation market with this imaginative, ingenious and innovative family film. Set within the confines of an eleven-year-old girl's mind, the film explores aspects of our personality and childhood in a way that even the youngest viewer will understand. Pixar are extremely adept at producing family entertainment for the whole family and this is one of their best efforts so far.


It's A Wonderful Life

  • Genre: Christmas, drama, fantasy
  • Year Of Release: 1946
  • Main Cast: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Henry Travers

Without question, the greatest festive film of all time - Frank Capra's powerful fable continues to enthral and entertain viewers today with its heady blend of Christmas spirit, redemption and sugary excess. No character has ever struck a chord with me as much as George Bailey does and if the ending doesn't have you in tears then you are clearly the Grinch. Genuinely moving and perfect for Christmas.


  • Genre: action, drama, thriller
  • Year Of Release: 1975
  • Main Cast: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary

The film that meant shark conservationists would have a really hard time getting people to donate, Jaws became the archetype for shark movies overnight and cemented Spielberg's place as the foremost film director of his age. Gripping, bloody and utterly enthralling, the film remains a terrific thriller despite the aging effects and continues to make people very nervous about going into the water...

Life Itself

  • Genre: biography, documentary
  • Year Of Release: 2014
  • Main Cast: Roger Ebert, Chaz Ebert, Martin Scorsese, Steve James, Gene Siskel (archive)

Steve James' emotional documentary about America's greatest ever film critic who changed the face of film criticism on TV along with Gene Siskel before losing his speech and lower jaw (and ultimately, his life) to throat cancer. Made in the last days of Ebert's life, James brilliantly juxtaposes the shots of a dying man with stories of his wild, alcoholic days working on the Chicago Sun-Times and becoming one of the most influential people in Hollywood, almost by accident. Riveting stuff and a genuine tearjerker.

Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels

  • Genre: comedy, crime
  • Year Of Release: 1998
  • Main Cast: Jason Statham, Nick Moran, Dexter Fletcher, Jason Flemyng

Guy Ritchie's debut remains his best film to date, a dizzying blend of Cockney criminals and comic brilliance. It's proved extremely influential and even Ritchie himself has struggled to escape its shackles but the film offers viewers enough violence and comic quips to be a properly adult comedy drama. It also marked the debut of Jason Statham, who shines in a quality ensemble cast.



  • Genre: drama, sci-fi, silent
  • Year Of Release: 1927
  • Main Cast: Gustav Fröhlich, Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Rudolfe Klein-Rogge

Fritz Lang's incredible masterpiece continues to amaze even today with its dazzling visuals, Expressionist atmosphere and wonderful story-telling. Arguably one of the most influential films of all time, you can see ideas here recycled in films like Blade Runner and Star Wars and despite its age, it continues to be one of the most powerful and evocative films ever made.


Ocean's Eleven

  • Genre: comedy, crime
  • Year Of Release: 2001
  • Main Cast: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Andy Garcia, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon

A stylish and effortlessly cool remake of the Rat Pack classic, Steven Soderbergh delivers a thoroughly entertaining heist flick set amid the glowing neon lights of Las Vegas. It's much better and more fun (and more smug) than it has any right to be - on the face of it, it's not much more than Hollywood's great and good enjoying themselves in the sunshine but it has a collection of classy performances from the cast and an ingenious plan at the heart of the film.


  • Genre: biography, comedy, drama
  • Year Of Release: 2013
  • Main Cast: Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Barbara Jefford, Mare Winningham

The incredible true story of one woman's quest to find her son, Philomena is enlivened by two brilliant performances from Dench and Coogan. The film has a deft comic touch to events which are pretty abhorrent in the main but these two fine actors bring the film a whole new dimension to proceedings. But it also has plenty of other surprises as well and is well worth watching, especially for older viewers long neglected by movie studios.


Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl

  • Genre: action, adventure, family, fantasy
  • Year Of Release: 2003
  • Main Cast: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush, Keira Knightly

Disney's astonishing pirate-revival came from nowhere and blew everybody else out of the water. Led by Depp's peerless eccentric Captain Jack Sparrow and Rush's pantomime baddie Barbossa, the film is a riotous mix of fun, adventure, thrills, scares and mind-blowing production values. And all of it set in the beautifully sunny surroundings of the Caribbean itself - this is much better and more fun than burying treasure, that's for certain.


  • Genre: horror, mystery, thriller
  • Year Of Release: 1960
  • Main Cast: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin

Possibly the most famous Hitchcock film in history also turns out to be one of his very best. Low budget, tightly scripted and memorably scored, the film is a lesson to all in how to take an audience on a journey into the mind of a disturbed individual and pushes the boundaries (well, by early Sixties standards) in terms of violence, sexuality and deviant behaviour. Perkins' performance as Norman Bates is chilling and the picture remains one of cinema's most effective and simplistic horror films.


Pulp Fiction

  • Genre: crime, drama
  • Year Of Release: 1994
  • Main Cast: John Travolta, Samuel L Jackson, Uma Thurman, Tim Roth, Bruce Willis, Ving Rhames

Often imitated but never bettered, Tarantino's magnum opus remains one of indie cinema's greatest films and easily one of the most influential films of my lifetime. Littered with faultless performances and accompanied by a soundtrack for the ages, Pulp Fiction is simply as good as movies get. Funny, absorbing and endlessly quotable, it's an unforgettable journey of a film-maker having the time of his life.


Raiders Of The Lost Ark

  • Genre: action, adventure, thriller
  • Year Of Release: 1981
  • Main Cast: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, John Rhys-Davies, Ronald Lacey

Ford's first outing as Dr Jones is a spectacular ride through ancient Biblical history as well as the years leading up to World War 2 as adventurer Indiana Jones battles Nazis and former colleagues for the Ark of the Covenant. It would set the series apart from the competition with its amazing stunt-work, charismatic leading man and exotic locations as well as establishing the formula for the rest of the series. Great fun and well worth its five Oscars.


  • Genre: horror, mystery, thriller
  • Year Of Release: 1998
  • Main Cast: Nanako Matsushima, Hiroyuki Sanada, Rikiya Ōtaka, Rie Inō

The film that introduced most Western audiences to Asian cinema, Ring is an expertly crafted piece of subtle horror that creeps into your subconscious and scares the living bejeezus out of you. Unlike many Western horror films, it's about what you can't see instead of what you can and is not some cinematic ghost-train ride. Spawned a pointless American remake but why bother - stick with the original and you won't be disappointed.

Shaun Of The Dead

  • Genre: comedy, horror
  • Year Of Release: 2004
  • Main Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Kate Ashfield, Bill Nighy, Penelope Wilton

The so-claimed "rom-zom-com" may have been endlessly imitated but never bettered. A genuine blend of brilliant comedy and chilling horror, the film introduced Pegg to a wider audience and launched the career of his co-star Nick Frost and director Edgar Wright. It might be a blatant homage to the earlier works of George A. Romero but as zombie films go, this is an absolute essential watch.


Singin' In The Rain

  • Genre: comedy, musical, romance
  • Year Of Release: 1952
  • Main Cast: Gene Kelly, Donald O'Conner, Debbie Reynolds, Jean Hagen

The film that practically defines the musical genre, Singin' In The Rain is one of the most joyful experiences you could hope for. Loaded with catchy songs and incredible dance routines, the film also manages to be genuinely funny in places while the intelligent story details the difficulties faced by silent movie stars as the development of sound pictures threatened their once-cosy existence. First-class from top to bottom.


  • Genre: action, spy, thriller
  • Year Of Release: 2012
  • Main Cast: Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Ben Wishshaw

Craig strikes gold again as 007, fulfilling the role in a way we've not seen since Connery and almost making it his own. Combined with Sam Mendes' confident direction, Bardem's unforgettable villain and Dench finally becoming more than just a bit part character, Skyfall is the most accomplished Bond film we've seen in a long time. It even finally gets around to re-introducing Q to the franchise...

Sound City

  • Genre: documentary, music
  • Year Of Release: 2013
  • Main Cast: Dave Grohl, Mick Fleetwood, Tom Petty, Josh Homme, Stevie Nicks, Paul McCartney, Trent Reznor, Lars Ulrich

Foo Fighter's frontman Dave Grohl goes behind the camera to examine the previously untold story of a small, run-down music studio in LA that just happened to be where some of the greatest rock albums ever made were recorded. In addition to talking to some of rock's biggest artists, he also arranges the recording of new music to celebrate the studio - does this sound like a rock documentary you want to miss? Turn it up to eleven and enjoy an old-fashioned rock out!



  • Genre: action, thriller
  • Year Of Release: 1994
  • Main Cast: Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, Dennis Hopper, Jeff Daniels

Endlessly parodied and spoofed it may be but the fact remains that this is as good as the action genre got in the 1990's before Reeves struck again in The Matrix. The movie's premise may be as crazy as the eye-swivelling Hopper is as the baddie but Speed uses every trick in the book to maximum effect, never taking its foot off the pedal for a second and turning what might have been a silly B-movie into an absolute classic. Stay clear of the sequel, though...

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope

  • Genre: action, adventure, sci-fi
  • Year Of Release: 1977
  • Main Cast: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, David Prowse

Nobody expected George Lucas' space opera to become the cultural phenomenon that it is. But watching the very first film in the series, you fully understand why it did - for the first time, we were witness to a living, breathing universe beyond our imagination filled with exotic aliens, genuinely scary villains and a hero slowly becoming aware of his own destiny. Add in a spaceship far cooler than anything seen in "Star Trek" and the coolest weapon of all time in the shape of the light-sabre and it's impossible to resist these Force of nature (pun intended).


Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

  • Genre: action, adventure, sci-fi
  • Year Of Release: 1980
  • Main Cast: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness, David Prowse, Frank Oz, Billy Dee Williams

Expanding on the universe created in A New Hope, this film manages to compress the story to the characters and allows them the space to do more than battle each other. Improving the visual effects (the unforgettable opening battle on Hoth remains one of my favourite sequences in the entire saga) and throwing the most widely discussed plot twist in history towards the end, the film is more bleak than before but still essential viewing and miles better than anything in the prequel trilogy.

NEW ENTRY - Strange Days

  • Genre: action, crime, sci-fi, thriller
  • Year Of Release: 1995
  • Main Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Angela Bassett, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore

Kathryn Bigelow's inventive look at the end of the 20th century manage the difficult task of being both an imaginative story, a technically brilliant production with ground-breaking first-person perspective cinematography and a wonderfully performed piece with Bassett stealing the limelight as a bold, fearless African-American heroine opposite Fiennes' shady, immoral good guy. Dated in places but this remains one of the best sci-fi films as well as an under-rated well-kept secret. Loved it.


Terminator 2: Judgment Day

  • Genre: action, sci-fi
  • Year Of Release: 1991
  • Main Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong, Linda Hamilton, Robert Patrick

The film that cemented Schwarzenegger's place on the A-list, Terminator 2 improves on the original in almost every way - it's more exciting, visually spectacular, innovative and bloody scary while still providing an adrenaline-soaked thrill-ride from start to finish. A shame that the series would go downhill from here but revel in the early Nineties' catchphrases and enjoy a truly brilliant and pioneering movie.

The Bourne Identity

  • Genre: action, mystery, spy, thriller
  • Year Of Release: 2002
  • Main Cast: Matt Damon, Franka Potente, Chris Cooper, Brian Cox, Clive Owen, Julia Stiles

Adapted from Robert Ludlum's novel, the amnesiac-spy thriller is brought bang up to date and brought to life by a calm, controlled Damon in the lead. Doug Liman's film feels both fresh and modern while retaining a strong Cold War element that was prevalent in the novel. A novel, it's worth pointing out, I wouldn't have read if it wasn't for this movie - an indication of just how good it is. It's also nice to have a modern spy film that avoids the usual bucket of Bond cliches too.

The Crow

  • Genre: action, fantasy
  • Year Of Release: 1994
  • Main Cast: Brandon Lee, Ernie Hudson, Michael Wincott

Possibly one of the greatest action films based on a comic strip, Alex Proyas' dark revenge fantasy is one of the best looking action films in living memory. But the film is rightly remembered for Lee's blistering performance as Eric Draven, a rock star resurrected to fulfil a violent revenge on his killers. Sadly forever linked with the accident that killed him, The Crow is a sublime and atmospheric film that is far greater than it has any right to be.


The Dark Knight

  • Genre: action, crime, drama, superhero
  • Year Of Release: 2008
  • Main Cast: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman

Even without the late Ledger's performance as the Joker, this follow-up to the equally brilliant Batman Begins offers the darkest, fullest analysis of Bruce Wayne's tortured mind as he battles not just the Joker but Eckhart's superb Two-Face. As much about the characters as it is about the action, this is one of the finest superhero films ever made and continues to be the benchmark today.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

  • Genre: crime, drama, mystery, thriller
  • Year Of Release: 2009
  • Main Cast: Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Lena Endre, Sven-Bertil Taube, Peter Haber

A masterclass in thriller writing gets a deserving big-screen adaptation and it is one of the most brutal and gripping films you're likely to see. Rapace's stunning performance as tortured hacker Lisbeth Salander elevates the film to new heights and together with the equally good Nyqvist, they bring Stieg Larsson's dark mystery to life. In fact, it's so good that you wonder why David Fincher thought he could do better...


The Gold Rush

  • Genre: comedy, romance, silent
  • Year Of Release: 1925 / 1942
  • Main Cast: Charlie Chaplin, Mack Swain, Georgia Hale, Tom Murray

One of the defining moments in Chaplin's career, The Gold Rush is an ambitious but accomplished comedy which sees Chaplin's Little Tramp thrown into a battle of wits with an outlaw, fall head over heels for a dancing girl and team up with a deranged prospector up in the mountains of Alaska. Wonderfully shot, genuinely funny and remarkably entertaining, the film's 1942 version adds a rerecorded soundtrack and narration by Chaplin himself although the film is a little shorter than the original 1925 release.

The Hangover

  • Genre: comedy
  • Year Of Release: 2009
  • Main Cast: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, Ken Jeong

Forget the lamentable sequels, this wildly outrageous tale about the most disastrous stag night in Vegas history is simply wonderful. Brilliantly written and superbly performed by the extremely game cast, it may be crude and rude but for once, it's also very funny. Galifianakis and Cooper stand out but watch out for Mike Tyson's exceptional cameo. The sequels might be as entertaining as losing all your chips but the first film is still very funny indeed.

The Incredibles

  • Genre: action, animation, family, superhero
  • Year Of Release: 2004
  • Main Cast: Craig T Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L Jackson, Jason Lee, Sarah Vowell, Spencer Fox

Pixar's family of superheroes deliver an astonishingly enjoyable adventure full of excitement, danger and laughs. The film is brilliantly evocative of the 1950's era of comic books and is accompanied by one of the most stirring soundtracks I've ever heard. It's a whole lot of fun with characters you identify with, a story that offers more than simple good vs evil and performances that feel utterly genuine. One of Pixar's very best, without doubt.


The Lion King

  • Genre: animation, drama, family, musical
  • Year Of Release: 1994
  • Main Cast: Matthew Broderick, Jeremy Irons, James Earl Jones, Nathan Lane, Whoopi Goldberg

A sublime demonstration of just how good Disney can be when they are prepared to take risks. Combining a cast list to die for, amazing songs that don't sound out of place in the pop charts, an emotive story and beautiful animation, The Lion King invites us into a different world and culture and enjoy a film that has rightfully been embraced by pop culture fanatics.


The Lord Of The Rings trilogy

  • Genre: action, adventure, fantasy
  • Year Of Release: 2001, 2002 & 2003
  • Main Cast: Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Viggo Mortensen, Liv Tyler, Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, Sean Bean, Orlando Bloom, Hugo Weaving, John Rhys-Davies

Peter Jackson finally delivers on the promise of the books with a breath-taking trilogy of films that redefined the fantasy genre after years of stagnation and proved that such films could be box office gold. Each film, supremely crafted and performed by this incredible ensemble, offers a dazzling glimpse into one of the most epic adventures ever conceived and remains head-and-shoulders above other films of this nature, including Jackson's follow-up trilogy based on The Hobbit.


The Matrix

  • Genre: action, sci-fi
  • Year Of Release: 1999
  • Main Cast: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Joe Pantoliano

Arguably the first 21st Century action movie, The Matrix has proved not just to be a pioneer in terms of digital effects but also hugely influential to film-makers around the world. Spawning two sequels and a host of other spin-offs from video games to animated short films, this is the film that cemented Reeves' place on the A list and made trench-coats cool again. Endlessly imitated but rarely bettered, this is simply one film that has to be seen to be believed and continues to be a trend-setter today. Just don't expect much from the rest of the series...


The Maltese Falcon

  • Genre: crime, mystery
  • Year Of Release: 1941
  • Main Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet

One of the defining moments in film-noir history, The Maltese Falcon remains as captivating and enthralling as it always has. Featuring a fabulous cast with Bogart as the film's centre and a brilliant mystery by Dashiell Hammett, the film is one long wade through every noir cliché in the book - because it wrote the damn thing! Very enjoyable and hugely entertaining.


To Kill A Mockingbird

  • Genre: crime, drama
  • Year Of Release: 1962
  • Main Cast: Gregory Peck, Mary Badham, Phillip Alford, Brock Peters

Not just the greatest courtroom-drama but one of the heart-breaking and poignant films dealing with the evils of prejudice and the loss of childhood innocence. Peck's colossal performance is the greatest of his long career and is brilliantly supported by his child co-stars and director Robert Mulligan's skill in recapturing the feel of the Deep South in the 1930's. Much like the book, it's also tragically still relevant today...


Toy Story

  • Genre: comedy, family, fantasy
  • Year Of Release: 1995
  • Main Cast: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, Jim Varney, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger

The birth of the computer animated feature is still one of the best examples of the genre. Brilliantly written and performed, it easily appeals to both children and adults and has already become a staple family favourite. Bright, entertaining, funny and soundtracked with Randy Newman's timeless score. What's not to like?

Toy Story 2

  • Genre: comedy, family, fantasy
  • Year Of Release: 1999
  • Main Cast: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Kelsey Grammer, Don Rickles, Jim Varney, Wallace Shawn

The toys are back in town with a riotous sequel full of fun for everybody to enjoy. It's not as deep as its stablemates but Toy Story 2 focuses on being a terrific adventure across town to rescue Woody from a villainous collector. It has fantastic additions to the cast, a genuinely moving soundtrack and feels more upbeat than before. A spectacular follow-up that was overshadowed by the triumphant third movie.


NEW ENTRY - Toy Story 3

  • Genre: action, comedy, drama, family
  • Year Of Release: 2010
  • Main Cast: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Ned Beatty, Michael Keaton

Wisely growing up in the same way that fans of the original films have, this third film in the series is more grown up and specifically aimed at an older audience. Retaining the kiddie-friendly humour, the film offers an intelligent and emotive look at the loss of childhood innocence in the face of a cruel world and features some of the darkest and genuinely upsetting scenes ever seen in an animated film. Grab some tissues and enjoy an incredibly powerful film.


  • Genre: animation, family, sci-fi
  • Year Of Release: 2008
  • Main Cast: Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin, Fred Willard, Sigourney Weaver

Beautiful, epic, stunning, original, bold... This film really sets the bar for CG animation to a completely new level. WALL-E is as brilliant as it is different, telling the tale of a humble robot left behind to clean up the world learning that there is more to life than crushing garbage. Pixar's greatest work so far with animation, story, soundtrack and direction all pitch perfect - this is an exceptional film for the whole family.


Who Framed Roger Rabbit

  • Genre: animation, comedy, crime, fantasy
  • Year Of Release: 1988
  • Main Cast: Bob Hoskins, Christopher Lloyd, Joanna Cassidy, Kathleen Turner, Charles Fleischer

Arguably the perfect blend of family-friendly humour, animation and crime mystery, Who Framed Roger Rabbit is simply timeless. Great fun for kids and adults alike and it never gets old on repeated viewings - indeed, you catch new sight gags every time you watch it. A truly wonderful film, one which we rarely see the likes of these days.

© 2015 Benjamin Cox

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    • asifahsankhan profile image


      18 months ago

      Thanks for the reply. : )

      Well, I think you should check out the Godfather Part II when you get some time off. It's an amazing sequel. And it's way way darker than the first one.

      Overall, your dedication towards movies is extraordinary.

      Looking forward to read more of your writings... cheers!

    • Benjamin Cox profile imageAUTHOR

      Benjamin Cox 

      18 months ago from Hampshire, UK

      Truthfully, I've only ever seen the first film but when I get around to writing the article (I have one enormous back-log, you see!), it will probably appear here as well.

    • asifahsankhan profile image


      18 months ago

      No Godfather Trilogy? Couldn't find it on your index list as well. No big deal though, just saying... I guess you'll eventually add it in the future.....probably saving it for later...

      PS: Overall, the whole thing is fantastic!

    • profile image

      Pat Mills 

      2 years ago from East Chicago, Indiana

      Quite a roll call of good films. Had I not posted to Epinions for so many years, I could provide a big list of films that would get my highest rating. Thanks for sharing.


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