Top 50 Movies on Netflix: May 2019

Welcome to the latest What’s on Netflix top 50 movies currently streaming on Netflix for May 2019. Our selection covers a mix of the best comedy, action, romantic, sci-fi and animated movies currently streaming on Netflix. We update this list every month with the new movies that have been added to Netflix.

We have 11 new or return entries in our list this month. Please check out The Dark Crystal to remind yourselves of the work of the late great Jim Henson and Above Us Only Sky to remind yourself of the work of the late great John Lennon. And then set aside a day to watch the Matrix trilogy back to back. Let us know what you think.

50. (-) The Final Destination – 2009

Directed by: David R. Ellis
Starring: Nick Zano, Krista Allen, Andrew Fiscella
Running time: 1h 22min

There have been quite a lot of Final Destinations. The formula is simple: someone has a vision of the future deaths of a series of people and then it starts to happen. While the formula is simple, the stories tend to be better. The interaction between the characters is relatively complex and the end result is satisfying. This is actually a 3d version and, on the big screen, the technology was well exploited. If ever death was cool, it’s cool in this movie.

49. (50) Stuart Little – 1999

Directed by: Rob Minkoff
Starring: Michael J. Fox, Geena Davis, Hugh Laurie
Running time: 1h 24min

Stuart Little is a mouse. But he’s Little because that was the name of the family that adopted him. With us so far? The baddie is a cat called Snowbell. Cute eh. This is a movie for the kids and it oozes sentimentality. But the script is intelligent and sensible and Stuart Little was nominated for an Oscar. Give it a chance.

48. (49) Sand Castle – 2017

Directed by: Fernando Coimbra
Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Logan Marshall-Green, Henry Cavill
Running time: 1h 53min

It is arguable that not enough time has yet passed for the movie industry to look at events in the middle east with any great authority. Sand Castle is a Netflix movie (Netflix are primarily TV producers) and the script could well have started out as a TV show. There are good lines and some pleasantly funny bits. This is a good movie dealing with a difficult subject matter. Perhaps it could have been better? You decide.

47. (48) Transcendence – 2014

Directed by: Wally Pfister
Starring: Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Morgan Freeman
Running time: 1hr 59min

It’s curious how often Johnny Depp has appeared in our list over time. He certainly has talent and works with great directors and writers. We might have answered our own question. Transcendence is a movie that will challenge you belief system on a number of levels. The idea that man can create perfect intelligence has been explored often in movies. Usually it looks at the results; Transcendence goes further.

46. (47) The Water Horse – 2007

Directed by: Jay Russell
Starring: Emily Watson, David Morrissey, Alex Etel
Running time: 1hr 52min

Have you been missing the Loch Ness Monster? We have. Thankfully, it’s been brought to life. This is a family movie with an endearing story and fine CGI. Set before WWII, the period attitudes add to the romance of the movie and add a depth that might be missed by the kids but will be appreciated by an older audience.

45. (46) Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – 2005

Directed by: Garth Jennings
Starring: Martin Freeman, Yasiin Bey, Sam Rockwell
Running time: 1hrs 49min

Far from one of the greatest movies ever made but from one of the best books ever written, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy has to sneak into our list. The movie came after hit radio and TV series, a five-part trilogy of novels and a BAFTA-winning computer game as if the opportunity for total absorption was not already sufficient. While this is essentially a British movie, the planet has been destroyed so that doesn’t count.

44. (45) Mona Lisa Smile – 2003

Directed by: Mike Newell
Starring: Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles
Running time: 1h 57min

The idea of a progressive and adventurous teacher is hackneyed in the movies. That Julia Roberts should give it a go is little surprise. The good news is that the performances, without exception, are excellent. The characters draw us in and it’s easy to empathize. Roberts puts in a considerably better delivery than her Erin Brockovich for which she won her Oscar

43. (44) Julie & Julia – 2009

Directed by: Nora Ephron
Starring: Amy Adams, Meryl Streep, Chris Messina
Running time: 1h 58min

Meryl Streep hasn’t featured in out Top 50 for a while now and the outstanding work of Nora Ephron (lets not forget You’ve Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally…) is well represented here. This is actually a true story from the memoirs of Julia Child and Julie Powell who were remote in real life but joined but that most important of ingredients, butter. Why not learn to bake as well?

42. (43) 9 – 2009

Directed by: Shane Acker
Starring: Elijah Wood, Jennifer Connelly, Crispin Glover
Running time: 1h 19min

It would be easy to dismiss 9 as animation for animations sake. That would be wrong. While the concept is pretty surreal and the story rather indifferent, the delivery is very good. The bad guys are pleasantly bad and the good guys pleasantly endearing. This one draws you in and holds you. Against the backdrop of some exceptional artwork and great animation, this is probably not one for the kids. And therein lies the message. An animated movie for grown-ups has got be something special.

41. (42) Tears of the Sun – 2003

Directed by: Antoine Fuqua
Starring: Bruce Willis, Cole Hauser, Monica Bellucci
Running time: 2h 1min

Tears of the Sun is a vehicle for Bruce Willis to do what he does best. The tough action-man expressionless hero delivering a deep morality story. There is nothing sanitized here. The movie is brutal and there’s plenty of action. The premise that “grunts” might have minds of their own and a healthy disregard for the Geneva convention is really rather refreshing.

40. (41) Layer Cake – 2004

Directed by: Matthew Vaughn
Starring: Daniel Craig, Sienna Miller, Michael Gambon
Running time: 1h 45min

Layer Cake is another of the powerful British gangster movies. The world has changed and the rules are that there are no rules. Retiring from a business that won’t let you retire is the problem. There’s a strange type of humour to this movie but it doesn’t set out looking for laughs. Its just story telling again a dark background done well.

39. (40) Goosebumps – 2015

Directed by: Rob Letterman
Starring: Jack Black, Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush
Running time: 1h 43min

Off Netflix and almost immediately back again, Goosebumps is a family friendly monsters movie with some nice special effects and quality performances from a largely unknown supporting cast. Jack Black in the lead role is his usual competent self. Based loosely on the series of Shivers children’s books (Black’s character is rather shamelessly called Shivers) which were, in turn, a “rip off” of the earlier series of Goosebumps books. This is the end of a procession of, er, recycled material that actually works.

38. (-) Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me – 1999

Directed by: Jay Roach
Starring: Mike Myers, Heather Graham, Michael York
Running time: 1h 35min

As the ultimate spoof caricature, Austin Powers has grown over time into a true cult hero. The theme is delightfully politically incorrect and Austin Powers clearly doesn’t care. Why should he? It’s a spoof. But the movie belongs to Dr Evil and Mini Me. But the plot is unimportant and secondary to Mike Myers top notch performance. This is second of the Austin Powers and better than the first. Step smartly aside James Bond.

37. (-) Angels and Demons – 2009

Directed by: Ron Howard
Starring: Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor, Ayelet Zurer
Running time: 2h 18min

Dan Brown raised a minor storm with his first book, The Da Vinci Code, which drew attention to his other novels. Angels and Demons was an earlier book came came to the screen first. The central (and recurring) character is Robert Langon portrayed by Tom Hanks. The conceit of this and other stories taken from Dan Brown books is that there are hidden forces at work that can be uncovered by interpreting their secret codes. And we all enjoy solving a good puzzle.

36. (38) Hercules – 1997

Directed by: Ron Clements, John Musker
Starring: Tate Donovan, Susan Egan, James Woods
Running time: 1h 33min

Hercules is a true story. Really. It’s just very, very old. For a Disney movie, Hercules is quite exceptional in the depth of the wit and humor in the dialogue. James Woods as Hades is magnificent and the other voice overs work equally well. There has been plenty of urban myth over the years about subliminal “adult” material buried in the movie and you can follow that debate yourselves. Suffice it to say that you don’t need kids around for a viewing of Hercules. This stands on it’s own two feet as a movie for grown-ups.

35. (37) Wet Hot American Summer – 2001

Directed by: David Wain
Starring: Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Michael Showalter
Running time: 1h 37min

Wet Hot American Summer crams a summers worth of unfinished business into 24 hours in a romcom that really does help you with a suspension of reality. We’re talking Talking Vegetable Can suspension of reality. This is a parody spoof of many many summer camp movies from the 70s and 80s and mirrors some of the finer moments. And look out for the Netflix Original spinoffs.

34. (34) The Aviator – 2004

Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale
Running time: 2hr 50min

Many have heard of Howard Hughes but not everyone is aware of what a complete OCD weirdo he was. The Aviator goes a long way towards correcting that. Nominated for 11 Oscars and winner of 5, it plumbs the depths of Hughes mind with enormous sensitivity. Hughes inherited his fathers tool company (and therewith substantial wealth) at a young age. This allowed him to indulge his passion for aviation. The great story comes from the Outlaw where he engaged his aircraft designers in the creation of a new concept in bras for Jane Russell.

33. (32) Billy Elliot – 2000

Directed by: Stephen Daldry
Starring: Jamie Bell, Julie Walters, Jean Heywood
Running time: 1hr 50min

Set against a background of the UK miners strikes in the 1980s, Billy Elliot is a true feel good movie. As stereotypes break down, the young Billy’s passion for dance takes over in a difficult family situation. The characterisation in this movie is perfect, especially as it’s loosely based on a true story. The inspiration for the story was actually an opera singer. That doesn’t matter. This movie works on every level.

32. (31) About a Boy – 2002

Directed by: Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz
Starring: Hugh Grant, Nicholas Hoult, Toni Collette
Running time: 1hr 41min

Unusually for a top British light-hearted comedy, About a Boy does not come from the pen of Richard Curtis; rather it is an adaptation of a Nick Hornby novel. Also, Chris and Paul Weitz move seamlessly between the quintessentially US comedy of American Pie to a quintessentially British setting. In reality, the Boy is the “Peter Pan” grown up rather than the child actor. This is a nice family movie.

31. (30) Hairspray – 2007

Directed by: John Waters
Starring: Sonny Bono, Ruth Brown, Divine
Running time: 1hr 32min

Hairspray, over the years, has taken on cult status. It is set in an awkward time of US history when discrimination was rife in every level of society – and, frankly, with the full support of the law. Nevertheless, this is a delightful parody on TV of the time. The dance sequences are far from contrived and the comedy is genuinely funny. Because the movie is parodying a period in time, it has stood the test of time well.

30. (29) Pretty in Pink – 1986

Directed by: Howard Deutch
Starring: Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer, Harry Dean Stanton
Running time: 1hr 37min

In the 1980s there was a flurry of coming of age movies; it was the flavor of the time. And several of them starred Molly Ringwald. Since then, she has largely worked on TV. Of the genre, Pretty in Pink is definitely one of the better movies. It has depth, credible characters and a strong story line all supported by a fine sound track. Many of the teenage issues of the time persist today. Well worth a watch.

29. (28) Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street – 2007

Directed by: Tim Burton
Starring: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman
Running time: 1h 56min

Burton has worked often with Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter (he was in a rather strange marriage with Bonham Carter – they lived in separate houses) and the end result has always been strong. This was written originally as a Broadway musical and that in itself is odd; the idea of setting the exploits of a murderous barber to music requires quite a leap of imagination. The humor is understated British but the blood-letting is delivered in a perfectly pleasant way. Alan Rickman is, er, Alan Rickman.

28. (26) Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back – 2001

Directed by: Kevin Smith
Starring: Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Ben Affleck
Running time: 1h 44min

Jay and Silent Bob have appeared in several movies involving Kevin Smith. If you haven’t seen it, Dogma is probably the best. Through their multiple appearances, the two protagonists have developed a considerable back story including the idea that his first word as a child was the F bomb. These are fine comedy creations and we hope to see them appear again in the future.

27. (25) Beasts of No Nation – 2015

Directed by: Cary Fukunaga
Starring: Abraham Attah, Emmanuel Affadzi, Ricky Adelayitor
Running time: 2h 17min


Beasts of No Nation was the movie that Netflix had in its inventory to change cinema forever. While it didn’t quite cause the revolution they were hoping for, it did leave Netflixers with one of the best movies of 2015. Thought-provoking and moving, the movie starred Idris Elba and followed the civil conflict in Africa.

26. (24) Saving Mr. Banks – 2013

Directed by: John Lee Hancock
Starring: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Annie Rose Buckley
Running time: 2h 5min

When Walt Disney agreed to bring Mary Poppins to the big screen in 1964 (55 years ago, can you believe it?), his relationship with the author of the book – P.L. Travers – was nothing if not strained. She felt she knew more about the movies than Disney! The Mr Banks of the title is the father of the family and saving him references the fact that the 5 Oscar winning movie was very nearly never made. This true story is, arguably, better than the underlying story.

25. (-) The Dark Crystal – 1982

Directed by: Jim Henson, Frank Oz
Starring: Jim Henson, Kathryn Mullen, Frank Oz
Running time: 1h 33min

Jim Henson was the genius creator of the Muppets and Sesame Street. The Dark Crystal is set in an imaginary world a long time ago (sound familiar?) and, while a strong movie in it’s won right, has enjoyed added credibility after the Success of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. At the highest level, it’s a story of Good versus Evil but there is plenty of depth beyond that. Since puppets don’t age – unlike real actors – this movie has stood the test of time and will continue to do so.

24. (-) Gosford Park – 2001

Directed by: Robert Altman
Starring: Maggie Smith, Ryan Phillippe, Michael Gambon
Running time: 2h 11min

Gosford Park is classic British period drama, a portrayal of the master servant relationship and a murder mystery. The cast list is a Who’s Who of top British actors and they develop the dynamics of a pre-war country house perfectly. Julian Fellowes won a well deserved Oscar for the screenplay and Robert Altman won the Golden Globe for his direction. This is a very distinguished movie.

23. (23) Apollo 13 – 1995

Directed by: Ron Howard
Starring: Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon
Running time: 2h 20min

There really is nothing like a true story. The Apollo 13 mission had the world on the edge of their seats and the movie does the same. The acting is, appropriately, rather low key from a cast that is often associated with more action. And therein lies the suspense. This is a cliff hanger from beginning to end and a very welcome addition to our list.

22. (-) War Horse – 2011

Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, David Thewlis
Running time: 2h 26min

World War II has been brought to the movies many, many times. World War I far less so. Spielberg is no stranger to historical movies and delivers once again. Having said that, War Horse is a good rather than great movie. Looking at the horrors of war through the role of the horse is a fascinating spin and the story is helped by an able cast. We get a taste of the great things to come from Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hiddlestone. And John Williams delivers another of his huge music scores.

21. (-) John & Yoko: Above Us Only Sky – 2018

Directed by: Michael Epstein
Starring: Yoko Ono, Julian Lennon, David Bailey
Running time: 1h 30min

We haven’t had a documentary in our list for a while and John & Yoko: Above Us Only Sky is a welcome inclusion. This is the story of the making of the seminal album Imagine and it includes a wealth of previously unseen footage and interviews. Imagine was the only piece of solo work that matched the heights of the Beatles after their break-up. Yoko Ono’s influence of Lennons creative genius was clearly as strong as Paul McCartneys in the earlier years.

20. (22) The Hateful Eight – 2015

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh
Running time: 3h 7min

The Hateful Eight takes over 3 hours to earn its Oscar and that was for the music. As Tarantino movies go, there’s plenty of gore and violence but the dialogue really isn’t up to his usual standard. Also, the story is virtually non-existent; its just people killing other people. The movie was much hyped before its release and the script was leaked adding to the hype. If you’re a Tarantino fan, give it a go. If you’re a western fan, don’t expect a lot of glorious scenery.

19. (-) Hoosiers – 1986

Directed by: David Anspaugh
Starring: Gene Hackman, Barbara Hershey, Dennis Hopper
Running time: 1h 54min

Based on a true story, Hoosiers is a sport movie. Stay with us here. You don’t need to have any interest in Basketball to enjoy this movie. Gene Hackman and Dennis Hopper come together perfectly to tell a story of forgiveness and second chances. And, as gritty characters, the movie is not overly sentimental. The passion of all the people involved in the story comes through strongly and the end result – winning the state finals – is top feel good stuff.

18. (-) Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – 1998

Directed by: Terry Gilliam
Starring: Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro, Tobey Maguire
Running time: 1h 58min

Frankly, when you put Johnny Depp and Benizio Del Toro together and then feed them drugs, you can expect the unexpected. Well not really feed them drugs; they just acted as if they were. The performances are excellent and, unusually for a movie, true to the book. Not everyone gets it. In the good old days, both Depp and Del Toro engaged in character acting rather than stereotyping and this is as good an example of both of their work as you’ll get.

17. (21) Hot Fuzz – 2007

Directed by: Edgar Wright
Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman
Running time: 2h 1min


The second movie in the Cornetto trilogy is by far my favorite and thankfully, streaming on Netflix. With Nick Frost and Simon Pegg back in action, this time, instead of fighting zombies they’re patrolling a quaint and quiet town in the countryside. But not all is as it seems. Yes, Simon Peggs runs into a fence. Watch it.

16. (20) Black Hawk Down – 2001

Directed by: Ridley Scott
Starring: Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Tom Sizemore
Running time: 2h 24min

Collecting two Oscars, Black Hawk Down is the true story of a disastrous American operation in Somalia. This is brutal realism (slightly unusual for Ridley Scott) with no undercurrents. No love story, no contrived dialogue, no happy ending. War is gruesome and the movie pulls no punches. This is not one for the faint-hearted. And ask yourself, what were the Americans doing in Somalia in the first place?

15. (19) Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon – 2000

Directed by: Ang Lee
Starring: Yun-Fat Chow, Michelle Yeoh, Ziyi Zhang
Running time: 2h

Shunned in China and warmly received in the west, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is as much a romantic adventure as a kung fu spectacular. The movie actually panders to west tastes. Director Ang Lee described the film to star Michelle Yeoh as Sense and Sensibility with martial arts. Lee had, of course, directed Sense and Sensibility in 1995.

14. (18) The King’s Speech – 2010

Directed by: Tom Hooper
Starring: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter
Running time: 1h 58min

When the British knock out a great movie, they don’t hang around. The King’s Speech collected 4 Oscars from it’s 12 nominations. There is an enduring respect if not love for the British royal family around the world and there seems to be and enduring appetite for stories about them. Reference, of course, the Netflix Original drama The Crown. Events surrounding the abdication are well know but this is a nice look at what was going on from a completely different angle.

13. (17) Kill Bill</h4
Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Daryl Hannah and many more
Running times: 1h 51min, 2h 17min

We’ve bundled the two Kill Bill movies together because they’re basically one movie and should be watched in one sitting. Apart from the combined length, it remains a mystery why they were released separately. This is Tarantino trademark violence and gore. The scenes in Japan are especially powerful and the use of animation is a really clever stuff.

12. (16) American Gangster – 2007

Directed by: Ridley Scott
Starring: Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Running time: 2h 37min

We have yet another Ridley Scott! And why not? He’s a genius. Based on a true story, American Gangster is a realistic view of drug trafficking and no-one in the unfortunate chain of the world of drugs is spared. It might have done better than it’s two Oscar nominations as the violence is rationed and therefore far more powerful than a full action movie.

11. (14) The Theory of Everything – 2014

Directed by: James Marsh
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Tom Prior
Running time: 2hr 3min

The number of biopic movies that have won the best actor Oscar in the last 30 years is disproportionate. Stephen Hawking was an extraordinary man and Eddie Redmayne, an extraordinary actor delivers an extraordinary performance in the story of his life. There’s no great hidden depth or message here; just a story of a life well lived. Inspirational? Definitely. Moving? Very. Will you end up understanding black holes? Almost certainly not.

10. (13) No Country for Old Men – 2007

Directed by: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin
Running time: 2hr 2min

The Coen brothers at the top of their game bring us a multi-Oscar winning masterpiece.  Javier Bardem who plays the worst of baddies is the first Spanish actor to win an Oscar, and it’s obvious why he won from his first scene. The movie has no music, and that adds to the tension. Cast your mind back to Jaws and what the music did for that movie, and you’ll start to realise just how well this movie is made to maintain it’s tension without a soundtrack. Here’s a throwaway: did you know that a movie which starts with a voice over should always end with a voice over.

9. (12) The Boy in the Striped Pajamas – 2008

Directed by: Mark Herman
Starring: Asa Butterfield, David Thewlis, Rupert Friend
Running time: 1h 34min

A deeply moving movie about the friendship between two young boys through the wire of a holocaust concentration camp, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is an examination of the devastating effect of war on two innocents. The holocaust is one of the indictments of the Germans during this desperate period of their history – “We were only following orders” – but that it should have been imposed on young children who knew nothing of the concept is beyond comprehension.

8. (10) Monty Python and the Holy Grail – 1975

Directed by: Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones
Starring: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle & many more
Running time: 1h 31min

Monty Python and the Holy Grail has been described as one of the funniest movies ever made. Anyone familiar with the Pythons irreverent and surrealistic view of the world can only agree. This is loosely a romp through the history of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Since the story is largely myth and legend, the Pythons have a free rein to shred it. And they do.

7. (-) Scarface – 1983

Directed by: Brian De Palma
Starring: Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer
Running time: 2h 50min

Say hello to my little review. See what we did there? Oft quoted but rarely seen, Scarface is the movie for which Al Pacino is most remembered. A brutal look at the drug world in Miami that sees Tony Montana rise to the top and then become the target, Scarface is uncomfortably violent. The screenplay is completely reliant on the f***bomb. Bizarrely, we are sympathetic to the evil Scarface. This is definitely a classic.

6. (9) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark – 1981

Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman
Running time: 1h 55min

Archaeology eh! Now there’s a dull subject. Except when the reward is priceless riches and power. Odd since Indiana Jones isn’t particularly interested in either. This a Spielberg adventure with plenty of comedy, action and one-liners which will come round time and time again. Get yourself a whip and a homburg why don’t you?

5. (-) The Matrix -1999

Directed by: The Wachowski Brothers
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss
Running time: 2h 16min

The Matrix trilogy is back on Netflix. While we’ve listed the first movie in the series here, the trilogy tells a story from beginning to end. Although the Trilogy is classified as Sci Fi, it’s a lot more; the concept of alternative realities is truly thought provoking and the philosophical examination of good and bad within those realities is as good as it gets. The special effects are excellent and the soundtrack is powerful. The Matrix won the Oscars but Reloaded and Revolutions are equally important. Watch the trilogy in one sitting if you possibly can.

4. (5) A Clockwork Orange – 1971

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick
Starring: Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates
Running time: 2h 16min

Stanley Kubrick was never entirely happy with the story of violence adapted from Anthony Burgess’ novel which is a shame because it’s a very powerful movie. As a vision of the future it’s entirely nihilistic and the sinister Alex, played beautifully by Malcolm McDowell, offers an extraordinary incongruity with his passion for Beethoven.

3. (4) Good Will Hunting – 1997

Directed by: Gus Van Sant
Starring: Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck
Running time: 2hr 6min

By the time he made Good Will Hunting, Robin Williams was firmly established as a highly competent serious actor. The story line is not complicated but the characterisations are and the professor student relationship is perfectly delivered. In April this year, The Empire Top 100 list had Good Will Hunting at no 97. For unknown reasons, the movie wasn’t universally well received but, we think, should have been higher in the list.

2. (2) Pulp Fiction – 1994

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson
Running time: 2h 34min

Pulp Fiction moves seamlessly between 4 simultaneous story lines with plenty of trademark Tarantino violence and humour. The big unanswered question is what is in the briefcase? There have been many speculations over the years but no definitive answers. Our favourite explanation is that it’s Marcellus’ soul and the band-aid on his neck is where it was taken out. But the way it shines, it could just be gold. The performances in Pulp Fiction are as good as it gets, Tarantino’s choice of music is superb, and the screenplay is a masterpiece. This movie works on every level.

1. (1) Schindlers List – 1993

Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley
Running time: 3h 15min

Another classic from the great Steven Spielberg, Schindlers List is the true story of the efforts of a conscientious German businessman to help Jews avoid the Nazi concentration camps. Oskar Schindler was not a particularly likeable person which makes this story even more remarkable. This is a long movie at over 3 hours but the 7 Oscars it won explain why it’s a must watch. Let’s hope it’s lessons have been learned for all time.