10 Best Films of All Time: Kieran Judge

8. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

What is there to write about 2001: A Space Odyssey that hasn’t already been published before?

A transcendental trip through millions of years, from the evolution of man to the furthest depths of Jupiter (changed from Saturn because they couldn’t get effects correct for the rings), it has gone on to touch and alter almost every aspect of cinema as we know it. Go and see the first few minutes of Barbie if you want more information.

Pushing the cinematic form to its extremes, playing with time, chronology, sound, meaning, symbolism, theme, and in some cases, audience patience, it is perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea. For many, it is simply two hours of images and sounds, simply two hours of time that they will never get back. Yet, if one allows it to wash over them, then goes back to probe deeper and deeper, they will discover that 2001 is rich with questioning our evolution, the wonder of the universe, our place as a species, and simply what it means to be human. It is cinematic transcendentalism.

The line, “Open the pod bay doors, Hal,” is literally what the iPod was named after, so there’s that as well.

7. Blade Runner (1982)

Blade Runner Review

As my personal favourite film of all time, this one was almost always going to be at least considered. Yet, with the multiple cuts, a love scene inserted purely to please the producers, and an awful lot of time simply floating through the buildings, I considered perhaps saying that, though it is my favourite film, it wasn’t ultimately perfect.

Like that was going to happen…

From the cinematography, the proto-cyberpunk aesthetics, the score, the direction, the acting, and the sheer emotional resonance it has at different times in one’s life, there’s nothing quite like it. It is simply a rumination on life and death, of accepting mortality, of embracing our fleeting existence in the harshest of circumstances. Complete with possibly the greatest monologue of all time from Roy Batty (played by the late, great, Rutger Hauer), Blade Runner becomes more than cinema, it becomes a part of one’s very being.

Recommended for you: Ridley Scott Films Ranked

6. John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982)

10 Best Moments from The Thing

A strange choice for the best films of all time, and yet one that I feel is completely justified.

A fairly low-budget horror movie with aliens and goo and gore and no women present might seem like it has no place being considered as one of the greatest ever made. Certainly anyone making the votes at the Academy would agree with you.

Yet there’s more tension, more anxiety, more atmosphere, than almost any other film created.

The special effects are some of the best ever put to screen, Carpenter’s direction the highlight of his distinguished career. Kurt Russell’s MacReady is one of the great heroes of western cinema. The Thing alien itself is one of the greatest monsters ever created. The ending is both heroic and ultimately haunting. Myths and mysteries and theories and questions still abound and arise to this day about who was a monster when and where and when they were attacked. It is enduring, a high point of multiple genres, and perfect cinematic craft.

Recommended for you: John Carpenter Movies Ranked

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