Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I Completed the Entire 1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die List…Again

Hopefully you read that title in your head with Bill Murray’s delivery of “It’s Groundhog Day…again”.  If not, go back and try it now.  I’ll wait.

(dum dum de dum do dum do DUMMM do du-)

Oh hey, you’re back.  It’s better with that delivery, isn’t it?

Anyway, I’ve now seen the 49 films that the 2013 edition added to the 1,001 Movies list.  I had already seen 21 of them, which meant I had 28 to track down.  And since I had completed the entire list in July of this year, I just had to knock off these 28 new additions and I would once more be done with it.

Don’t worry; I’m not going to rehash everything I wrote back in July.  If you missed that post, though, you can read it here.

Instead, I am going to rank the 49 films that got added, and then over the coming days and weeks I’m going to review many of the ones I would recommend.  Some I have already reviewed since I either included them in other movie categories, or they were Oscar-nominated films.  Every year I do as many of the Oscar nominees as I would recommend between the time the nominations are announced and the time the awards are handed out. 

Overall, I think the editors did a better than average job picking good films, among the ones they selected.  (Meaning there are better ones they didn’t pick, but the majority of the ones they did were ones I ended up liking.)  There were only seven films that I disliked to one extent or another.

I don’t post reviews here for films I would not recommend, but as I was making my way through the ones I hadn’t seen yet I left some comments on Letterboxd for them.  For films with less than three stars the title will link to my Letterboxd comments.  For those with three stars or more, the title will link to my review.  As I post more reviews here, I will come back and update these links.

Five stars (A must see - my highest recommendation)

Four and a half stars (I loved it - very highly recommended)

Four stars (I liked it a lot - highly recommended)

Three and a half stars (I liked it - there’s a good chance you might)

Three stars (I liked it - recommended if it sounds interesting to you)

Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer (2003)
Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010)
Dead Ringers (1988)
The Devils (1971)
The Eagle (1925)
Fireworks (Hana-bi) (1997)
The Goddess (1934)
The Lady Vanishes (1938)
Local Hero (1983)
Moolaade (2004)
Mrs. Miniver (1942)
Oklahoma! (1955)
Osama (2003)
Summer with Monika (1953)

Two and a half stars (It was okay - not quite good enough to recommend)

Bowling for Columbine (2002)
RoboCop (1987)
The Towering Inferno (1974)
Wall Street (1987)

Two stars (I didn’t like it)

One and a half stars (It’s a pretty bad movie)

One star (It’s horrible - I hated it)

Well, that’s what I thought of these movies.  As they say in weight loss commercials, though, “Your results may vary.”  For instance, Steve of 1001plus liked The Consequences of Love more than me and I liked Django Unchained more than him.  (Click on the titles in the prior sentence to read his reviews of those two films.) 

What do you think of my ratings here?  Agree?  Disagree?  In either case, please let me know why.


  1. Congrats on the accomplishment!
    Didn't know you loved the Toy Story films so much. What rating did you give the first Toy Story?
    I have Dead Ringers (1988) and The Devils (1971) on my horror list for October, we'll see if I feel differently.
    Agree with rating for Amour, it was a "like" rather than a "love" for me. The last 30 minutes are powerful and memorable, yet the first 90 minutes for me were very slow and borderline boring. The film didn’t need to be over two hours in my opinion. I really wanted to love the characters, but I never really did. I felt there was an emotional distance, even though we are together with the old couple in their apartment for so long.
    Disagree about Wall Street (1987), that's a minor classic for me, and maybe my favorite M Douglas performance.
    Thanks for the reviews!

    1. Thanks for the feedback. I gave the first Toy Story four stars. I felt Toy Story 2 was even better and considered it the best film Pixar had done...until they released Toy Story 3, which was my number 1 film of 2010. I agree on Amour. I think I mentioned in my review that it could have used a little bit of trimming.

      I figured either Wall Street or RoboCop, both of which I felt were just okay, would be the mainstream ones I might get the most disagreement on. Neither grabbed me for whatever reason.

      I haven't really thought about what my favorite Michael Douglas performance might be, but Falling Down comes to mind.

  2. Chip, you are a mad crazy completist and I love it. So cool that you tracked all of these added titles down. I'm actually surprised that some of those movies ended up in that book, but as you said, better than average.

    So when the 2014 edition comes out you'll go right back to work again? When do these books usual hit stands?

    1. Thanks.

      "So when the 2014 edition comes out you'll go right back to work again? When do these books usual hit stands?"

      They come out around October 1st of each year. This year the book was supposed to come out on that date, but Amazon starting shipping it September 9th. I got it, documented the changes (see my recent Definitive List post for everything that was not just added, but re-added, changed, and removed), and then started tracking down about 8 films that were not available from Netflix.

      Yes, when the 2014 edition comes out I will definitely be looking to see what got added and then watching the ones I have not yet seen. It should be much more manageable, though. It's not like the TSPDT list which undergoes large annual changes. In any given year there are around a dozen films added (and a dozen removed). And a majority of those films added are for the most recent year and received awards or nominations of some kind so I often have already seen many of them. For instance, last year 14 films got added - all but one from the most recent year - and I had already seen 11 of the 14. This year was different because it was the 10th edition. For the first time they went through the entire list and re-did it, which resulted in almost 50 new films being added. In prior years they only changed some films in the most recent years since that meant fewer pages they had to redo in the book (which is presented essentially in chronological order.)

      "I'm actually surprised that some of those movies ended up in that book, but as you said, better than average."

      One concept I had to get used to as I worked my way through the list was that it was not the 1,001 BEST movies, but the 1,001 movies that had something about them that makes them important or interesting in some way. Perhaps it was a film made behind the Iron Curtain at great risk to the director. That makes it important, but unfortunately doesn't necessarily make it good. Most anything labelled "experimental" in the list didn't do much for me at all. Andy Warhol's film Vinyl is a particularly egregious example of one I thought had all the production values, acting quality, and plotline of teenagers horsing around in their rooms and posting it to Youtube. If the name of the person behind it was not "Warhol" I highly doubt it would have made the list.

  3. Congrats Chip. I can't imagine Robocop getting such a low score but I haven't seen it in a while.

    1. Thanks.

      I never saw RoboCop until many years after it came out. All I had been hearing about it over the years was how cool and how funny it was. When I finally saw it I was underwhelmed. I didn't dislike it, but it didn't do much of anything for me. If I had seen it when I was younger, and when there was little hype, who knows?

  4. This is an awesome way to rate movies! I also rate movies on a scale of 1-5 but I might borrow your explanation for each rating :D

    I probably put Skyfall a bit higher than 3.5 stars, but that's fair too as it depends on how much one enjoys a Bond film. Glad to see Toy Story 2 & 3 getting full stars, I honestly can't pick which one I like best, both are stellar!

    1. Thanks.

      I think Skyfall is definiitely the best of the Daniel Craig Bond films. It's just some residual dislike for what they have done with the Bond character in all three of these films (making him more of a brawler than a thinker) that kept it from being higher for me.

      I actually deviated from how I rate movies on this site in order to create "midway" points for the number of movies in the post. While the ratings in the post are how I think of the films in my head, I simplify my ratings for my individual movie posts by only using 3, 4, or 5 stars. I don't give intermediate ratings, nor do I review films I would not recommend to others. Sometimes I have referred to a film as "a high 3 stars" or "a high 4 stars" in the text of a post, but I have stuck with the simple ratings at the end. This is also why I sometimes give a "7" or a "9" to a film for the Blog Club when I gave it 3 or 4 stars in my review.

  5. Wait, so you've seen all 1001 movies? If so, I tip my hat to you sir! I've been trying to complete that list for ages!

    1. Thank you very much. If you have been prevented from completing it because some of the films are unavailable, you should visit the 1,001 Movies wiki that I help maintain. It includes a page that helps people locate the hard to find film. I've got a link to it at the upper right of this site.

      I just completed the 1,103 films (at the time) in July. I wrote about it back then. If you did not follow the link to that from this post, you may be interested in some of the topics I covered in it.

  6. Also, I'd give Wake in Fright 5 Stars. The cinematography, performances, realistic portrayal of outback Australia, and brutal suspense had me captivated the whole way through. The only drawback for me was the kangaroo scenes, but that happened and still happens in Australia today, so I respect them for revealing the disgusting practice to the world. It's a film that's easy to hate though, and even harder to love.

    1. My biggest problem with Wake in Fright is I kept waiting for something interesting to happen (perhaps a turn to the supernatural), but all I kept getting was a guy doing a bunch of stupid things to hurt himself. (Who loses all their money playing head or tails?) And yes, the kangaroo scenes dropped it from 2 stars to 1.5 stars for me.

      Now, if you'd like to read a review from someone who liked it a lot more than I did, and who is only a couple of months from finishing not only seeing, but also reviewing, the entire 1,001 Movies list, then you can find that here:

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