When one decade isn’t enough

Posted by · 4:24 pm · December 4th, 2009

Apocalypse NowAmid the plethora of “best of the 2000s” lists doing the rounds, the London Film Critics’ Circle has decided to go one (or two, rather) better.

Since the end of this decade coincides with the organization’s 30th anniversary, they’ve rather oddly elected five standout films of the last three decades.

Take note that it’s not a comprehensive “best films” study. The five titles have been selected from the list of previous top-category winners at their own annual awards ceremony. (“The Wrestler” was their choice this year.)

Anyway, they made the most of their time span, going all the way back to 1979 for their #1 choice: Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now.” I find it hard to argue with that, personally. Anyway, for all you list junkies out there, their top five is after the cut.

1. “Apocalypse Now”
2. “Schindler’s List”
3. “The Lives of Others”
4. “Unforgiven”
5. “Brokeback Mountain”

My fellow Brits sure do love “The Lives of Others,” I must say.

→ 17 Comments Tags: , , , | Filed in: Daily

17 responses so far

  • 1 12-04-2009 at 4:41 pm

    JAB said...

    that is a solid list

  • 2 12-04-2009 at 4:46 pm

    Chris said...

    Seriously, “The Lives of Others” is a great film, and I’m happy the Brits get so excited about it. It was actually the very first film I had a conversation about with a local when I moved here in 2007 and he absolutely loved it.

  • 3 12-04-2009 at 5:01 pm

    Anonymous said...

    OMG, I feel like Apocolypse Now is becoming the new Citizen Kane – the “best film ever” that no one actually understands. And it’s not that I don’t get what’s going on in that film like I’m sure a lot of film snobs would say…it’s just that I don’t think there is anything TO get because it’s all existential bullshit concocted by a director who never actually experienced Vietnam himself.

  • 4 12-04-2009 at 5:15 pm

    AmericanRequiem said...

    sure isnt easy to pick 5 movies for 30 years, these wouldnt be mine, but their hard to argue with

  • 5 12-04-2009 at 5:29 pm

    Morgan said...

    “The Lives of Others” – I just saw this recently and I will love this movie forever. Now my 2nd fave movie of all time.

  • 6 12-04-2009 at 5:32 pm

    Simone said...

    I am proud to say that I have seen all five of these outstanding films and I think that this is a well-rounded and respectful list. ‘The Lives of Others’ did stick with me for a while after seeing it. Just a brilliant film!

  • 7 12-04-2009 at 5:57 pm

    Andrew R. said...

    The Lives of Others is almost great in my eyes, but those last ten minutes are far too on the nose in my opinion and therefore hurt the whole film. Still, it stuck with me, and has one sequence that will stay with me forever.

  • 8 12-04-2009 at 6:10 pm

    Morgan said...

    That’s really the only criticism you ever see of the movie, the last 10-15 minutes, but I think that’s because the telescoping of the extra years into just a few scenes, seems a little disconcerting. But this movie is all about so many relationships and I thought the final scenes between the playwright and the minister, and also the playwright’s final tribute to his dead mentor (it was not just a tribute acted and very justified. Didn’t hurt the film at all.

  • 9 12-04-2009 at 6:11 pm

    Morgan said...

    sorry, some of my reply got cut out-

    I meant to say, “the playwright’s final tribute to his dead mentor (it was not just a tribute to his mysterious benefactor) was well acted and very justified.”

  • 10 12-04-2009 at 6:15 pm

    j said...

    Schindler and Brokeback indeed deserve to be on an all-time best list. I hate Apocalypse Now. I had to watch it, Redux, and the documentary about it; and read Hearts of Darkness & a fictionalized version of the movie production (I forgot the title.). I did not like any of them.

  • 11 12-04-2009 at 7:16 pm

    Mr. Milich said...

    Second poll this decade that’s picked Apocalypse Now after Sight & Sound picked it a few years back as best of the past 25 — after there were some complaints that its 2002 all-time poll neglected more recent films.

    And I don’t disagree for a moment. Which is odd, since I never agree with polls.

  • 12 12-04-2009 at 8:04 pm

    Chris138 said...

    I must say, considering all the movies that have come out in the past 30 years, that is a solid list. I still haven’t seen The Lives of Others, but the other four are terrific.

  • 13 12-04-2009 at 8:57 pm

    EFT3 said...

    Fantastic List!!

    But, although The Lives of Others is a great film, it could easily be replaced by either Amadeus or There Will Be Blood, in my opinion. Although I suspect that P.T. Anderson’s masterpiece may not have settled for quite long enough yet, though it will undoubtedly be included on it’s fair share of lists in the years to come.

  • 14 12-05-2009 at 6:07 am

    Edward L. said...

    I can’t understand why Brokeback Mountain is held in such high regard. And (cards on the table) I say this as a gay man and a lover of Westerns! The short story, yes – but the film was a big snooze for me, I’m afraid. I’ve seen it twice and it wasn’t any better the second time. Sorry – I know it’s a beloved film for many.

    But I really like Unforgiven. Even if the climax can be said to have its cake and eat it, what comes before it (and in the coda) is so magnificent, it bears up.

    And it’s nice to see The Lives of Others get this attention. I can see why people feel the last 10-15 mins. are too rushed, but for me, it’s all worth it for the final scene.

  • 15 12-05-2009 at 12:19 pm

    Silencio said...

    Yep, Edward. The final scene is what seals it.

  • 16 12-05-2009 at 1:49 pm

    Maxim said...

    I knew Brokeback’s been overrated but this is taking things to an entirely new level.

  • 17 12-06-2009 at 11:51 am

    Mike_M said...

    I thought The Lives of Others was great, but not as high regard as others…

    And Edward L. I agree 100% with your take on Brokeback, complete snooze fest, I just felt like nothing happened, but I (as you) seem to be in minority on that film)