Top 50 Movies on Netflix: December 2019

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

And straight in at, er, only No 7 is the Irishman. This is clearly a very important film for Netflix but does it deliver? It doesn’t have the warmth of The Godfather, the cold brutality of Goodfellas or the screen impact of Casino. And, while it’s told through the eyes of The Irishman, it’s really a history of Jimmy Hoffa who was far from Irish. Should you watch it? Of course you should. Should you watch it in the cinema as Scorcese suggests? It’s very long and you might be grateful of the odd comfort break. (Talking of long, Malcom X is only 2 minutes shorter). For a bit of compare and contrast, we have included another De Niro/Pacino movie, another Scorcese movie and another Irish gangster movie this month. Let us know what you think.

50. (-) Righteous Kill – 2008

Directed by: Jon Avnet
Starring: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Carla Gugino
Running time: 1hr 41min

Sneaking in at last place in our list is a rather underrated movie which puts De Niro and Pacino opposite each other again. Were it not for the twist at the end, this would be a pedestrian cop partners movie. But it’s better than that. Well the acting is anyway. If you’re a fan of excessive use of overly dramatic music then this is a must.

49. (49) Open Season – 2006

Directed by: Roger Allers, Jill Culton
Starring: Ashton Kutcher, Martin Lawrence, Debra Messing
Running time: 1hr 26min

With shades of Shrek’s Donkey in the fast talking mule deer Elliot, Open Season is definitely one for the kids. The animation is good and the side characters bring plenty of humor. This is far from ground breaking stuff but that’s OK. There’s more than enough charm to the movie and the songs are easily remembered. Despite the theme, there’s no violence. Don’t try and analyze it, just sit back and enjoy.

48. (48) Men in Black II – 2002

Directed by: Barry Sonnenfeld
Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Rip Torn
Running time: 1hr 28min

We had to do it. Best watched back to back with the original, MIIB is a simple continuation of the infinitessimal story. The comedy is gentle and the special effects are fine. And as a retread, it works better than many. The conceit that aliens have been living on Earth for a while and not all of them are bad is a pleasant look at what is almost certainly a true story. Well it just is.

47. (47) 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.

46. (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.

45. (45) Along Came a Spider – 2001

Directed by: Lee Tamahori
Starring: Morgan Freeman, Michael Wincott, Monica Potter
Running time: 1hr 44min

From the enormously successful pen of James Patterson comes one of several screen portrayals of his detective Alex Cross. The clue (sorry) is in the word detective. Along Came a Spider is a crime thriller and a good one. There’s plenty of suspense in a very credible story line and the movie moves at a pace. Without trying to offer a spoiler, the twist at the end is most satisfying.

44. (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

43. (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. (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.

41. (41) 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 spin offs.

40. (39) The Lake House – 2006

Directed by: Alejandro Agresti
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, Christopher Plummer
Running time: 1hr 39min

There are three characters in The Lake House: Alex, Kate and The Lake House. This is a romance in the purest sense of the word but the need to understand the roots of that romance provides an extraordinarily strong story. Whatever you thing of Reeves and Bullock, this arguably both their strongest performances; perhaps because it’s a major departure from their usual sort of stuff. The movie is unusual for a romance because it benefits hugely from multiple viewings.

39. (38) 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.

38. (37) Stripes – 1981

Directed by: Ivan Reitman
Starring: Bill Murray, John Candy, Harold Ramis
Running time: 1hr 46min

Ghostbusters meets Full Metal Jacket meets Bilko meets Shakespeare. Yes, Shakespeare. The premise of joining the army for a bit of fun is, of course, ridiculous; but that’s what you need for comedy. Stripes moves from contrived situation to contrived situation seamlessly and the end result is the sort of easy comedy you’d expect from Reitman, Murray, Ramis et al. Unlike many army movies, there’s no great message here and it’s more the better for that. Hands up everyone who wants an urban assault vehicle.

37. (-) Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery – 1997

Directed by: Jay Roach
Starring: Mike Myers, Elizabeth Hurley, Michael York
Running time: 1hr 34min

Austin Powers is the James Bond we would all like to be. Irreverent, politically incorrect, out-dated and only marginally competent. The humor is nothing if not vulgar but Myers creates another pair of lovable characters against a workable story line. We await mini-me with eager anticipation.

36. (36) 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.

35. (-) Kill The Irishman – 2011

Directed by: Jonathan Hensleigh
Starring: Ray Stevenson, Christopher Walken, Vincent D’Onofrio
Running time: 1hr 46min

We have another tough Irish thug working for the mob. This time it’s a true story set in Cleveland. Clearly the Irish were important to crime in America over the years. This Irishman was also involved with the unions. This is a a gritty movie which tell it’s story well. In under two hours. Ho hum. The incorporation of newsreel footage from the time is particularly well handled.

34. (35) 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.

33. (34) 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.

32. (33) 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.

31. (32) Grease – 1978

Directed by: Randal Kleiser
Starring: John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing
Running time: 1h 50min

Grease is the ultimate feel good movie. Everyone knows the songs, most of which are perfect ear-worms. Like Hopelessly Devoted. Ha ha. Hate us yet? The movie was adapted from a hugely successful Broadway musical and unusually well adapted. This is a movie you watch 100 times and never tire of it. If you’ve never seen it, we don’t want to spoil anything but Olivia Newton John was actually sewn into those trousers.

30. (31) 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.

29. (30) The Cincinnati Kid – 1965

Directed by: Norman Jewison
Starring: Steve McQueen, Ann-Margret, Edward G. Robinson
Running time: 1h 42min

The Cincinnati is a moody piece set against a marathon game of poker. This is the seedy side of New Orleans at the time and that adds a depth of atmosphere that the subject matter might not otherwise provide. While gambling has been a recurring theme in movies, few have used it to drive a story along. Ann-Margret is a wonderful sultry siren and Tuesday Weld delivers the other love interest. Together with an extraordinary performance from Edward G Robinson, these are roles to conjure with.

28. (29) The Bucket List – 2007

Directed by: Rob Reiner
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman, Sean Hayes
Running time: 1hr 37min

When two of our greatest actors set out to do a feel good movie, the end result can only be great. Alright, this was never going to be Oscar winning material, comedies rarely are, but it ticks an awful lot of boxes. There’s a great script perfectly delivered, real comedy and some moments of true pathos. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the odd million lying around to be able to set off on a journey like this. Without the cancer of course.

27. (28) My Sister’s Keeper – 2009

Directed by: Nick Cassavetes
Starring: Cameron Diaz, Abigail Breslin, Alec Baldwin
Running time: 1hr 49min

For a movie that addresses many emotional issues, My Sister’s Keeper is neither overly melodramatic nor unduly predictable. It is, however, both sensitive and objective. The relationships in the movie that are amplified and complicated by the leukemia of the child are well handled and grow through the story. You are constantly asked to question what your attitudes would be in each persons situation and this makes the movie very rewarding.

26. (27) 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.

25. (26) The King – 2019

Directed by: David Michôd
Starring: Timothée Chalamet, Gábor Czap, Tom Fisher
Running time: 2h 20min

There’s some odd stuff going on here. Timothée Chalamet, the undoubted star of the movie, the main character and a candidate for Best Actor, is way down the credits. You could be forgiven for thinking that The King has been lifted straight from a Shakespeare play. It’s authentic to the point where some of the 15th century dialogue is hard to follow. But don’t let this put you off. This is money well invested by Netflix. Find the biggest screen you can to watch it.

24. (-) Gangs of New York – 2002

Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Daniel Day-Lewis
Running time: 2hr 47min

There was a Gangs of New York made in 1939. Given the length of the intervening period, this is hardly a remake. Nominated fro 10 Oscars, it lost out in every category, mainly to Chicago and the Pianist. Perhaps people were in a musical mood at the time. Daniel Day-Lewis is superb as a soft-spoken, rather effeminate but brutal man who steals the show. It warrants being higher in our list.

23. (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.

22. (23) American Psycho – 2000

Directed by: Mary Harron
Starring: Christian Bale, Justin Theroux, Josh Lucas
Running time: 1hr 41min

If black comedic, satiric and classy social commentary is your thing, then look no further than American Psycho. Christian Bale delivers a soaring indictment of the world where nothing but material values matter. As he descends into complete depravity, his obvious screams for help go completely ignored. An undoubted problem in modern society. That the movie is approaching it’s 20th anniversary doesn’t matter. It remains entirely relevant today.

21. (21) 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.

20. (20) Lolita – 1962

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick
Starring: James Mason, Shelley Winters, Sue Lyon
Running time: 2h 33min

Remade in 1997, the original Lolita deals with some very difficult material. Lolita is only 14 and that, in the modern day and age is very wrong when it comes to relationships with considerably older men. This is the last movie Kubrick made in the hands of a producer (he was self produced from here on up) and yet it has the Kubrick stamp all over it. The emotions it induces are entirely your own. A no point does he deliver them through the actors. And their performances are superb.

19. (-) Malcolm X – 1992

Directed by: Spike Lee
Starring: Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett, Delroy Lindo
Running time: ‘3hr 22min

Malcom X is another mammoth at nearly 3 and a half hours. Born Malcolm Little, he changed his name to Malcom X when he converted to Islam in prison (he eventually became disillusioned with Islam) where he was serving time for theft. He was a powerful activist for black rights and his story is important. Denzel Wsahington was worthy of his Oscar nomination.

18. (19) 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.

17. (17) 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. (16) 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.

15. (15) 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.

14. (14) 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.

13. (13) 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.

12. (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.

11. (11) 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.

10. (10) 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.

9. (9) Trainspotting – 1996

Directed by: Danny Boyle
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller
Running time: 1hr 33min

The cast alone should be tempting enough to warrant a watch of this movie but in case it doesn’t let’s fill you in. Starring Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller and a lot of other hot British actors at the time, the 1996 movie takes you into the heart of the drug trade in Edinburgh. The movie is directed by Danny Boyle which probably explains why we can’t stop watching this movie two decades later.

8. (8) 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. (-) The Irishman – 2019

Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Starring: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci
Running time: 3hr 29min

Is the Irishman a movie or 4 mini movies? The debate will rage. The acting, as you would expect from the pantheon of stars is immaculate, the story based in truth is unquestionable, the atmosphere excellent. And yet there some intangible things that niggle. Did the Irishman need to be so long? The story could certainly have been delivered in a couple of hours. Are the killings trivialised? If not trivialised, certainly very off-hand. Is it about the Irishman or Jimmy Hoffa? You decide.

6. (6) 3 Idiots – 2009

Directed by: Rajkumar Hirani
Starring: Aamir Khan, Madhavan, Mona Singh
Running time: 2hr 50min

We haven’t featured a movie from the sub-continent for a long while; shame on us. With the word idiot in the title, you can be sure that 3 Idiots is a comedy. This movie is at #83 in the IMDB top 250 which speaks volumes. A romp through a voyage of rediscovery, this is loosely Bollywood because of the songs but it’s a lot more. The nearly 3 hour running time will seem like a few minutes and the hidden depths and poignant moments do nothing but entertain.

5. (5) 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?

4. (4) American History X – 1998

Directed by: Tony Kaye
Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly D’Angelo’Starring:
Running time: 1h 59min

Edward Norton delivers a giant of a performance that shreds completely any idea that racism is justifiable. It isn’t. Despite his efforts to shed his ugly past and to try and stop his younger brother from becoming embroiled in neo-nazi, activity, he keeps getting dragged back. Much of the movie is shocking, quite rightly, and will leave you truly stunned. We can only hope that the message is not just never forgotten but that it is acted on and has a positive effect.

3. (3) The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions – 1999

Directed by: Lana and Lilly Wachowski (as The Wachowski Brothers)
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss
Running time: 6h 43min in total

The Matrix trilogy is a trilogy in the truest sense. The story is seamless through the three episodes. And while there were 4 years between the first and the second, the second and third were released pretty much back to back. The concept is nothing if not complicated. It takes a while to work out which is the reality; inside or outside the Matrix. As a philosophical, metaphysical perhaps, debate on the nature of reality, there probably isn’t a better.

2. (2) 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.

1. (1) 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.