Ian's Movie Reviews
Short Reviews of Movies, Board Games, and Other Stuff

AFI Recap: #11 – #20

11. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) – I know people are probably sick of this movie as its on TV every single Christmas, but I don’t care.  I still love it.  It’s not the movie’s fault that its overplayed, and the movie itself is wonderful (just as the title indicates).  It is heartfelt and dramatic, light-spirited yet compelling.  One of the great classic films.


12. Sunset Boulevard (1950) – Sunset Boulevard is praised by film critics everywhere, though I would hesitate to include it among cinema’s greats. It lacks a certain energy and the narration is redundant, but it is a great tragedy and has some excellent performances.  See my full review herestarstarstarstarnostar

13. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) – Before David Lean made Lawrence of Arabia, he filmed another visual masterpiece and epic tale in Bridge on the River Kwai.  Its not quite as good as its Arabian counterpart, but it is still top-notch storytelling with a raw yet glamorous visual style which is incomparable. starstarstarstarstar

14. Some Like it Hot (1959) – Along with being #14 on AFI’s greatest movies list, AFI also honoured it as the #1 comedy on its greatest comedy list a year later.  Do I agree that its America’s greatest comedy?  No I don’t, but that’s not to say its not a hilarious film well worthy of its strong reputation.  Jack Lemmon is particularly fun to watch.  See my full review herestarstarstarstarnostar

15. Star Wars (1977) – Well, this is a no-brainer for anyone who reads this blog.  Of course I think Star Wars deserves a place on this list.  It is my favourite movie of all time.  It has everything you need for a fun time at the movies; a great story which is easy to follow, fantastic characters, underlying themes, rousing action both on foot and in space.  I love Star Wars and I always will.  starstarstarstarstar

16. All About Eve (1950) – 1950 saw two films about aging actresses in the twilight of their careers, and both those films are only a few spots away from each other on this list.  All About Eve is much more light-hearted and fun than Sunset, however, and for that reason I would probably prefer Eve.  That’s not to say it doesn’t have its problems. See my full review here.


17. The African Queen (1951) – To be honest, I just watched this movie for the first time this past week.  Part of that has to do with the fact that it only became available on DVD this year.  I never realized what I was missing out on.  A brilliant movie full of adventure and great dialogue with some really thrilling moments accented by some really funny moments.  The scenery is great and Bogart and Hepburn are brilliant together.  starstarstarstarstar

18. Psycho (1960) – Psycho is the quintessential horror/slasher film.  It is often considered Hithccock’s masterpiece.  I wouldn’t agree, since there are other Hitchcock films I prefer, but that’s not to say that this movie isn’t great.  It has an unconventional storyline and some really tense and suspenseful moments from the master.  starstarstarstarhalfstar

19. Chinatown (1974) – I must have missed something when I watched Chinatown, but I just don’t get it.  I don’t really understand the appeal.  Yes, its a good mystery and interesting to follow, but ultimately that’s all it is, at least in my view.  Maybe I need to watch it again?


20. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) – Now this one I get.  Cuckoo’s Nest is a great movie with a wonderful lead character in McMurphy and a great villain in Nurse Rachett, who’s really frightening because she’s so realistic.  This film hits a lot of different notes’ comedic, heart-warming, dramatic, suspenseful, and hits them all with just the right pitch.  This is one to see.  starstarstarstarhalfstar

My favourite of the ten: Star Wars

4 Responses to “AFI Recap: #11 – #20”

  1. I felt the same way after first seeing Chinatown, a second look really clears things up.

    Psycho is a must-see and like a gateway drug to all that is Hitchcock. If you love to yell at characters in movies, Psycho is perfect. And The Birds.

    Sunset Boulevard is amazing, I still have nightmares about Norma Desmond and monkey funerals.

    Some Like it Hot always leaves me in stitches. Just wondering, what would you say is America’s greatest comedy?

  2. Yeah, I love The Birds.

    As for the comedy question, that’s a hard one to pinpoint. I think I would have to go with Dr. Strangelove or possibly Bringing up Baby.

  3. great one, i do love the Star Wars film.

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