10 Best Films of All Time: Martha Lane

5. Get Out (2017)

Get Out Review

Horror films scare me. I once wrote a story about going to watch a horror film and even that gave me a nightmare. I know this means there are a wealth of incredible films that I am never going to see but I’ve made my peace with this, and so should you. At least Jordan Peele’s Get Out is not one of them. It has just the number of jump scares that I can cope with (ten), and the horror comes from the concept rather than gore or extended terror.

Get Out is a biting piece of social commentary with a formidable cast. The premise is bone-chillingly scary and the rising tension once Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) arrives at Rose’s (Allison Williams) family home is palpable. The clink of metal on porcelain will have you quaking in your boots long after watching.

Recommended for you: Jordan Peele Movies Ranked

4. Talk to Her (2002)

I love Pedro Almodóvar. His portrayal of women, his sharp concentration on the domestic sphere, his love of meta fiction and the recurring actors he uses. I even love the less than revered I’m So Excited! (2013).

I have chosen Hable con ella to feature in my 10 Best Films of All Time because it was the first Almodóvar I ever watched (I rented it from the small foreign film section in my local library for £1.50 or similar!). It is weird and tragic and so expertly told.

Two men bond over the women they love who lay silent in a coma ward. Their past lives slowly unfolding as they spend more and more time together. The sense that things aren’t all that they seem is a slow build, and I think Talk to Her is the perfect slow reveal of a baddie.

Recommended for you: Where to Start with Pedro Almodóvar

3. In the Heat of the Night (1967)

I was tempted to simply write Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger as the only explanation for why this film deserves to be in every top 10 ever compiled. But I won’t do that.

In the Heat of the Night is a whodunnit drenched in the swampy heat of 1960s Mississippi. The racial tensions of the time add a simmering undertone, louder than the buzzing flies, louder even than the perpetual gum chewing of Police Chief Gillespie (Steiger).

Virgil Tibbs (Poitier) is a black police officer from the North who finds himself in a town where the confederate flag hangs freely and where assumptions about him are made as involuntarily as breathing. As Virgil cracks the case, he also cracks the icy exterior of Gillespie. Obviously one white police chief respecting a black detective isn’t going to fix the wider problem, but what the film does achieve is to frame those issues front and centre – Virgil’s short sharp slap of a white plantation owner should go down as one of the greatest moments of cinematic history.

Pages: 1 2 3 4


Leave a Comment