TLR: Inspired by the true story of Billy Hayes, an Aerican college student sentenced to 30 years in a Turkish rison for drug smuggling, “Midnight Express” is a disturbing, yet unforgettable film.
29. "Zero Dark Thirty"
TLR: Every year it seems a new American War Drama is released, however, seldom few can match the patient, realistic approach employed by Kathryn Bigelow in this masterpiece. A film with such intense themes could have easily been over-dramatized.
28. "Sex, Lies, and Videotape"
TLR: An invigorating, totally bizarre story that somehow feels totally realistic. It would be difficult to compare this movie to anything else, perhaps as a result of James Spader’s unflinching performance as Graham.
TLR: “Spotlight” is well filmed, well directed, and well acted. However, it is the importance of its topic, and the delicacy of the entire crew’s approach, that make this film truly great.
26. "Children of Men"
TLR: With all-around great performances and skillful direction from Alfonso Cuaron, “Children of Men” is a superior dystopian film that never loses its white-knuckle suspense, or relevancy.
TLR: Akira Kurosawa made many great films, but "Ikiru" this is perhaps his most emotionally stirring work. Anchored by the great Takashi Shimura, this film is a beautiful tribute the importance of approaching one's job with professionalism and care, no matter how old you are.
24. "True Grit" (2010)
TLR: The Coen Brothers’ rendition of the 1962 film, “True Grit”, improves upon its predecessor in every single conceivable aspect. Jeff Bridges and Hailee Steinfeld are the stars, but Matt Damon’s understated role as LaBoeuf acts as the glue for this stark western.
23. "Rear Window"
TLR: This thriller from Alfred Hitchcock holds up without a hiccup even in modern times.
22. "Early Summer"
TLR: “Early Summer” represents many of Yasujiro Ozu’s strongest assets as a filmmaker. And, along with “Late Spring”, features one of Setsuko Hara’s most graceful performances.
21. "The Pianist"
TLR: This film takes a horrific true story, and portrays it with respect and simplicity. Adrien Brody is perfect in the lead role.