Top 50 Movies on Netflix: July 2019

Welcome to the latest What’s on Netflix top 50 movies currently streaming on Netflix for July 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.

Some older movies, some top comedy, plenty of Oscar winning performances and movies that have arrived on Netflix for the first time this month. Let us know what you think.


50. (46) 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.


49. (-) The Pink Panther – 2006

Directed by: Shawn Levy
Starring: Steve Martin, Kevin Kline, Jean Reno
Running time: 1hr 33min

Inspector Clouseau was the creation of the comedic genius Peter Sellers. The original was released in 1963 and, arguably, didn’t really need a remake. Having said that, Steve Martin is great comedy actor and makes the movie work. If you are a fan of slapstick (the original was nothing if not great British slapstick) The Pink Panther will work for you. And you can watch it with the kids which is always nice.


48. (45) 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.


47. (44) 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


46. (43) 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?


45. (42) 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.


44. (41) 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.


43. (-) Swordfish – 2001

Directed by: Dominic Sena
Starring: John Travolta, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry
Running time: 1hr 39min

If for no other reason, the opening sequences of Swordfish make this a hugely watchable movie. Having said that, a couple of other points come out quite nicely later in the movie. The cast is stacked with both American and British stars which is a fairly transparent attempt to make the movie popular on both sides of the Atlantic. Frankly, they needn’t have bothered. The movie has got sufficient going on to make it work. Deep and meaningful it ain’t but the special effects more than makeup for that.


42. (40) 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.


41. (39) 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.


40. (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.


39. (36) 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.


38. (35) 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.


37. (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.


36. (33) 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.


35. (32) Network – 1976

Directed by: Sidney Lumet
Starring: Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch
Running time: 2hr 1min

Network was one of the early looks at the workings of TV news and the way it was driven by greed. It is a very dark black comedy and an extraordinarily prescient vision of the future. Network won 3 acting Oscars and the Oscar for best screenplay. It’s sad that Holden didn’t get an award for one of his finest screen roles. Should we have this classic higher in our list? Maybe; but so much quality material has been released in the 40+ years since it was made, it’s a really tough call.


34. (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.


33. (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.


32. (29) 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.


31. (28) 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.


30. (27) Beasts of No Nation – 2015

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

beasts-of-no-nation

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.


29. (26) 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.


28. (-) The Hangover – 2009

Directed by: Todd Phillips
Starring: Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper, Justin Bartha
Running time: 1hr 40min

If it isn’t already there, The Hangover is surely destined for cult status. The premise is simple but the end result is hilarious as the protagonists discover what they did the previous night on a stag party. Most of the incidents will make grown men squirm and it’s great when a movie doesn’t lose all it’s best comedy to the trailers. Look out for II and III.


27. (-) Philadelphia – 1993

Directed by: Jonathan Demme
Starring: Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Roberta Maxwell
Running time: 2hr 5min

Back when AIDS was headline news, it was only a matter of time before an important movie examined the stigma that the disease carried. Philadelphia earned Tom Hanks the first of his two back to back Oscars (Forrest Gump was next) and is as relevant today as it was when it was made.


26. (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.


25. (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.


24. (23) 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.


23. (22) 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.


22. (21) 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.


21. (20) 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.


20. (19) Platoon – 1986

Directed by: Oliver Stone
Starring: Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe
Running time: 2hr

Oliver Stone has never been backward about coming forward with his opinions about the Vietnam War. This time he won the best Director Oscar. Platoon is one of the more realistic portrayals of the hopeless campaign and goes deep into the morality (or lack of it) of the atrocities. There is a much of a battle among the American soldiers as there is between the Americans and the North Vietnamese and this has a huge effect on the naive young soldier who has chosen to go to war. This is a much watch if you want to understand many aspects of the conflict.


19. (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.


18. (17) Hot Fuzz – 2007

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

hot-fuzz

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.


17. (16) 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?


16. (15) 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.


15. (14) 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.


14. (13) 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.


13. (12) 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.


12. (11) 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.


11. (10) 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.


10. (9) 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.


9. (8) 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.


8. (7) 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?


7. (-) Rain Man – 1988

Directed by: Barry Levinson
Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Valeria Golino
Running time: 2hr 13min

It is sometimes difficult to understand how an actor can win the Best Actor Oscar and his co-star misses out on the best supporting actor award. Rain Man is a classic example of this. Tom Cruise, who puts in an excellent performance, wasn’t even nominated. Rain Man is an emotional and yet amusing movie that will register as a classic over time.


6. (-) Taxi Driver – 1976

Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Starring: Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd
Running time: 1hr 54min

Both Jodie Foster – 14 at the time – and Robert De Niro were nominated for their performances in the hugely powerful Taxi Driver. This is a timeless and, frankly, important movie which has a view of society that has changed little in over 40 years. The “You talking to me?” scene has become one of the most quoted scenes over the years and the final scene will leave a lasting impression on you.


5. (5) The Dark Knight – 2008

Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart
Running time: 2h 32min

Much has been written about the heights Heath Ledger might have scaled but for his untimely demise. The Dark Knight was his last screen appearance and spawned the discussion. This is a grim revisit of the caracature 1989 verion of Batman and the Joker and much closer to the Batman and Joker with their inherent angst and blackness that was originally intended. Ledger was awarded a posthumous Oscar.


4. (4) 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. (3) 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.

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