Latest charts

  29 Jan 2015 
Great American film noirs
genres

Great American film noirs

It’s “the weirdest great movie ever made”, in critic Dave Kehr’s words. The one in which Orson Welles plays a sailor with an overcooked Irish accent, and that ends with a shootout in a hall of mirrors. Now rereleased in a digital restoration, The Lady from Shanghai was made when Welles was Hollywood’s fallen golden boy. It looked like he’d never again be trusted with the creative freedoms he was granted for Citizen Kane (1941) and The Magnificent Ambersons (1942); instead, he briefly turned his hand to a new kind of shadowy thriller that would become known as film noir. First up was The Stranger (1946), and then this delirious oddity in which seaman Michael O’Hara (Welles) becomes a pawn in a convoluted murder plot after meeting the beautiful Elsa (Rita Hayworth) in New York and taking work on her wealthy husband’s yacht on a cruise to San Francisco via the Panama Canal. It’s part sailor’s shaggy dog story, part a recriminatory enquiry into the alluring Hayworth. Elsa is one of film noir’s great fatal women, but she was then also Welles’ estranged wife, so the perversity coursing through this particular tale of duplicity and desire runs ocean deep. To celebrate the film’s return to cinemas, where Welles’s extraordinary flair for sound and imagery are best enjoyed, we return to the golden age of American film noir to line up its finest achievements. The style of film noir would cross the water to Britain and France and elsewhere in the world, just as it would return in the 1970s and 80s and the present day. But, at the very start, film noir meant a particular cycle of cynical American thrillers beginning around 1941 and continuing until about 1959. For two decades, acerbic dialogue, grids of shadow, twisty plots and twisted characters reigned supreme – the results remain a cinematic gold mine, but the following are 10 of the very best.

View full chart
  29 Jan 2015 
Top Hong Kong Movies Of All Time
genres

Top Hong Kong Movies Of All Time

Independent filmmakers have often taken the development of Hong Kong as their subject. Wong Kar-wai came to international prominence with Chungking Express (1994) and Fallen Angels (1995), which romanticised the city’s Kowloon district, while the identity crisis that resulted from the handover at midnight on 30 June 1997 inspired Fruit Chan’s trilogy of Made in Hong Kong (1997), The Longest Summer (1998) and Little Cheung (1999). Wayne Wang presented a foreign perspective on the transition with Chinese Box (1997) in which a terminally ill British journalist spends his final months observing during the last gasps of colonial rule. More recently, social commentary has been provided by the incisive Pang Ho-cheung, who has tackled dating culture in Love in a Puff (2010), the dark side of the property boom in Dream Home (2010), and the state of the family unit in Aberdeen (2014). With an increasing number of productions targeting the lucrative mainland market and more censorship restrictions coming into play as a result, the cinematic identity of Hong Kong is once again in a state of flux. Here are 10 titles that show Hong Kong’s versatility as a setting across a range of auteur perspectives and popular genres. Due to a multi-faceted culture that stems from its unique fusion of east and west, the city-state of Hong Kong has been the setting for a wide range of films that have not merely reflected cinematic trends, but often instigated them. Martial arts, horror, crime thrillers, exploitation, romantic dramas, slapstick comedies, and other genres have been energised by being shot on location in the city’s bustling streets, with an unprecedented number of productions filmed during the local industry boom of the early-1980s to mid-1990s. Hong Kong has been the stage for ‘heroic bloodshed’ classics like A Better Tomorrow (1986), City on Fire (1987) and The Killer (1989) – blistering action movies that often find old-fashioned loyalty squaring off against opportunistic greed. Such taut Johnnie To thrillers as PTU (2003) and Mad Detective (2007) make creative use of the city’s geography to serve minimalist suspense narratives, while the lighter side of local culture has been tapped by such scatological comedies as The God of Cookery (1996) and Golden Chicken (2002). The city’s romantic potential is best represented by the heartbreaking drama Comrades: Almost a Love Story (1996), which concerns two star-crossed mainlanders who try to avoid falling for one another in case a serious relationship limits their prospects of economic prosperity.

View full chart
  21 Jan 2015 
Top Western movies
genres

Top Western movies

The Western genre had its peak season in the 1950s and 1960s, but viewers have not lost their appetite for hardened gunslingers and fast-paced shoot-'em-ups. There were many contenders for this very American genre — even though some of the finest were shot by an Italian, Sergio Leone, master of the Spaghetti Western. Then there’s the classic Western, the singing cowboy Western, the comedy Western and the revisionist Western. In the end, we settled on those films featuring complex characters faced with morally difficult situations we believe are microcosms for all of life, from Gary Cooper’s small-town sheriff to Clint Eastwood’s bumbling hired gun.

View full chart
  21 Jan 2015 
Top Superhero Movies
genres

Top Superhero Movies

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a superhero movie... and they've taken over Hollywood with their superpowers and Spandex costumes. Superheroes began in classic American comic books in the 1930s, though their predecessors date back to earlier crime fighters and even mythological superhuman characters, like Zeus and Thor. In the Golden Age of comic books, superheroes frequented the pages of DC Comics, including Superman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern. In the 1960s, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, and Iron Man showed up in the pages of Marvel Comics. More modern superhero stories like Kick-Ass and Watchmen still delight audiences. Superhero movie serials once played before big features at movie houses. Today, Hollywood turns out giant summer blockbusters that routinely break records and bring in big business for studio execs, costumers, and special effects crews alike. Everyone has a favorite superhero film. What’s yours?

View full chart
  21 Jan 2015 
Top War Movies
genres

Top War Movies

The kind of movies you enjoy usually says a lot about your personality. Even though it's common to enjoy lighter fare like Jerry Maguire or The Wedding Singer , most guys can't do without a regular dose of war movies. It's all about machismo, testosterone, and things blowing up. Because there are so many war movies to choose from, I must narrow the scope. To compile this list, I considered movies that deal with 20th century armed conflicts. Also, war must not only be part of the subject matter; the movie must feature the actual depiction of battles, with lots of mayhem and explosions. Sorry Casablanca fans... Without further ado, here are some of the best war movies ever made.

View full chart
  20 Jan 2015 
Offensive Comedies
genres

Offensive Comedies

Some people like gentle comedies designed to provoke fuzzy feelings on life-affirming themes. This list contains nothing of the sort. Nope, this article is dedicated to movies that put the most vile, disturbing and controversial themes or images on the screen to provoke laughter through shock. There’s a certain visceral reaction that comes out of taboo-busting comedy that simply can’t be replicated any other way. That material will cause sensitive viewers to leave the theater in disgust while making sick puppies like myself explode in uncontrollable bursts of laughter (let’s call it the oh-no-they-didn’t effect). We’ve compiled a list of the 10 finest offensive comedies ever committed to film. Some of these movies are offensive because they satirize sensitive issues, while others simply throw disturbing images at the audience in hopes of defensive chuckles. The passage of time tends to lessen the impact of this brand of humor, so some of the clips from the classics might not cause the same gut-punch response of revulsion. However, show any of these movies at a chipper religious gathering, and you’ll find that outrage can still be elicited. Let’s revel in some nasty comedy, shall we?

View full chart
  20 Jan 2015 
Best Zombie Movies
genres

Best Zombie Movies

There are already hundreds of zombies to choose from out there, and the success of flicks like 2004's Shaun of the Dead ensures that there will be plenty more coming. Given that they all have similar titles and near-identical plots (zombies rise from dead, humans must put them back), how does a guy separate the wheat from the chaff and pick a rental for the night? Well, here's a list of the Top 10 zombie movies of all time to get you started. To be considered as a candidate for the list, a movie had to meet two criteria: 1- First, it had to fit the definition of a zombie movie. The simple presence of a couple of zombies wasn't enough; the film had to be structured around a central conflict that pitted the living against the living dead. 2- Secondly, the movie had to be, well, a good movie. And not good in any artistic sense — we're talking pure entertainment value. So underlying themes and social commentary weren't really a concern, whereas nudity and volume of gore were. You'll note that a "best zombie kill scene" is indicated for each entry on the list — given the quantity of zombie deaths in a typical movie, the director is usually forced to devise new, creative means of zombie slaughter in order to sustain the audience's attention. Some of these scenes were so repulsive as to guarantee a movie its slot in the Top 10, so it's only fitting to pay some kind of homage to the innovation of their creators. But that's enough criteria... on to the list!

View full chart
  15 Jan 2015 
The Sexiest Movies Ever Made
genres

The Sexiest Movies Ever Made

For those of you who like it hot, here are movies selected by the boner meter of ours. So put your kids away from the telly, it's show time ;)

View full chart
  15 Jan 2015 
Best Action Movies of 2014
genres

Best Action Movies of 2014

A decent action movie is something really beautiful. That’s just so sweet to watch a lone warrior (or a group) overcoming incredible odds in the face of 'evil', all while everything blows up in their wake. These are the films that blew the budget on explosives, riddled their heroes with bullets and thrilled audiences worldwide. We’ve picked for you the best blockbusters of 2014. Some of them will probably become best action movies of all times or a decade, something real solid, so check it out!

View full chart
  14 Jan 2015 
Top Gangster Films Of All Time
genres

Top Gangster Films Of All Time

They say that behind every great man is a great woman, mistress, and probably a gang of mobsters too. Remember that America was built on dreams, courage, passion, sweat, tears, blood, and a little bit of illegal activity. And all that also happens to be the necessary ingredients of a good gangster. That's why gangster films top America's favorite all-time movie genres. In a way, they represent the struggle between the authorities and families of organized crime, which helped define what the American Capitalist culture is today. Whether you're rooting for Tony Montana (Al Pacino) in Scarface or Tom Powers (James Cagney) in The Public Enemy we all want the same thing — for them to eliminate all their rivals and get away with the loot and the girl. Why? Because that's the American Way, that's why. That said, here is my list of America's best gangster movies of all time:

View full chart