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What is the greatest movie trilogy of all time?

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The Lord of the Rings

Jan 26, 2015
The Lord of the Rings
Where The Hobbit series is considered overlong in comparison to its source material, Peter Jackson’s initial visit to Middle Earth is the perfect visual accompaniment. The tale of a young hobbit tasked with a monumental amount of responsibility is placed inside a fully-realised universe of Jackson’s making. Standing in for the mythical land is the filmmaker’s home country, New Zealand, a topographical fantasy backdrop for the fellowship’s journey to Mordor. Its expansive cast, intricate plotting and commitment to detail saw it stamped with fan approval, who turned out in droves to soak in Frodo’s adventures finally brought to life on the big screen. Thematically it touches on all the important bases; love, friendship and sacrifice, all of which are amped up by some of the most deft uses of CGI since Jurassic Park. An exciting escape into another world, the Lord Of The Rings series is a true pioneering trilogy.

Films (Release Date): Fellowship Of The Ring (Dec, 18th, 2001), The Two Towers (Dec, 19th, 2002), Return Of The King (Dec, 17th, 2003) | Director(s): Peter Jackson | Writer(s): Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Stephen Sinclair | Genre: Fantasy

IMDB Scores: 8.8 / 8.8 / 8.9 | Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 91% / 96% / 95% | Total Budget: $281 million | Combined Box Office (Worldwide): $2.9 billion
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The Godfather

Jan 26, 2015
The Godfather
The first film in Francis Ford Coppola’s gangster trilogy re-defined the genre, with its senseless, unrelenting violence anchored to the story of a mafia family’s domination of New York. Where the second film explored the rise to power of his successor and the third suffered critical blows, taken as a whole the trilogy is a compelling glimpse into a harrowing world. Brought to the screen in a glorious fashion by brilliant cinematography and effective score, the trials and tribulations of the Corleone clan are treated with respect and awe. Thanks in large part to its strong core of central actors; Marlon Brando, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, the themes of loyalty, family and sacrifice are wrung of every bit of dramatic tension. There’s simply no other trio of films like it in the movie canon.

Films (Release Date): The Godfather (March, 15th, 1972), The Godfather Part II (December, 20th, 1974), The Godfather Part III (December, 25th, 1990) | Director(s): Francis Ford Coppola | Writer(s): Mario Puzo, Francis Ford Coppola, Robert Towne | Genre: Drama

IMDB Scores: 9.2 / 9.1 / 7.6 | Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 100% / 99% / 67% | Total Budget: $73 million | Combined Box Office (Worldwide): $439 million
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The Dark Knight

Jan 26, 2015
The Dark Knight
The descriptor in its title is a mere hint at the darkness in store for Christopher Nolan’s titular hero. Shrugging off the hyperreal excess of the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher Batman flicks, The Dark Knight series reinvents the caped crusader’s cinematic backstory into a hard-edged gritty trilogy. For many, the first entry Batman Begins stumbled due to the burden of re-telling Bruce Wayne’s origin tale. For The Dark Knight, consensus on its magnificence is nigh-on universal. A superb turn from the late Heath Ledger as The Joker, channels a dread previously unseen in comic book movies. There’s been plenty of attempts to faithfully bring this well-loved property to the big screen, but never has it been accomplished with such ingenuity.

Films (Release Date): Batman Begins (June, 15th, 2005), The Dark Knight (July, 18th, 2008), The Dark Knight Rises (July 20th, 2012) | Director(s): Christopher Nolan | Writer(s): Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan, David S. Goyer | Genre: Action

IMDB Scores: 8.3 / 9 / 8.6 | Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 85% / 94% / 88% | Total Budget: $585 million | Combined Box Office (Worldwide): $2.4 billion
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The Dollars Trilogy

Jan 26, 2015
The Dollars Trilogy
How do you reinvent a long-standing genre like the western? In the case of Italian filmmaker Sergio Leone, he took a great many risks in bringing his ‘Dollars’ trilogy to life. Based on a Japanese samurai movie, his American remake transformed the original into a force that equally rivalled its source material. The epic sprawl of the three flicks - in particular, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly - have been celebrated for their unique approach by creating a fresh take on the genre. With his trio of flicks headed up by a gun-totin’, cigar-chewin’ antihero, the spaghetti western was born. Most praise emanates from the story structure, cinematography and of course, its central performance. Casting Clint Eastwood as The Man With No Name was a masterstroke in invigorating that format, transforming him into a major star when he barely utters any dialogue whatsoever.

Films (Release Date): A Fistful Of Dollars, For A Few Dollars More, The Good, The Bad And The Ugly | Director(s): Sergio Leone | Writer(s): Sergio Leone, Victor Andres Catena, Jamie Comas Gil, Luciano Vincenzoni, Age & Scarpelli | Genre: Western

IMDB Scores: 8.1 / 8.3 / 8.9 | Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 98% / 94% / 97% | Total Budget: $2 million | Combined Box Office (Worldwide): $281 million
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The Three Colours Trilogy

Jan 26, 2015
The Three Colours Trilogy
Krzysztof Kieslowski’s trio of films delve into the small altercations we experience in our day-to-day lives via three separate stories that wowed audiences beyond the arthouse circuit. In each tale the humdrum natures of human existence is unwrapped through delicate storytelling that puts a magnifying glass to the connections between people. Gloriously shot and effortlessly acted by its leading triplet of actors; Juliette Binoche, Julie Delpy and Irene Jacob, the stories survive singular scrutiny but are better appreciated when approached as one document. The simplicity of Kieslowski’s message - that we all can affect change - that is tenderly brought to the fore by Binoche, Delpy and Jacob in their respective entries. Uncovering the extraordinary in the everyday through warmth, wit and realism there’s no other trilogy quite like it.

Films (Release Date): Three Colours: Blue, Three Colours: White, Three Colours: Red | Director(s): Krzysztof Kieslowski | Writer(s): Krzysztof Kieślowski, Krzysztof Piesiewicz | Genre: Drama

IMDB Scores: 8.0 / 7.7 / 8.1 | Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 100% / 90% / 100% | Total Budget: Below $1 million | Combined Box Office (Worldwide): $6.8 million
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Indiana Jones Original Trilogy

Jan 26, 2015
Indiana Jones Original Trilogy
The global scale of the Indiana Jones trilogy uses its array of exotic far-flung locales as the perfect canvas for the archaeologist’s adventures. During the day, Dr. Jones is your typical bespectacled professor, but in his off time he’s an intrepid explorer only too happy to risk life and limb in the pursuit of preserving a schema of valuable artefacts. It’s a cool riff on the superhero - albeit, Indy doesn’t wear a cape - that expands into a forgotten era of prestige over antiquity. In the wrong hands, the trilogy could have stagnated, but under Spielberg’s careful eye the movies burst with excitement, a boyish playfulness to Indy’s gallant missions as he encounters a slew of iconic baddies while wooing a string of damsels.

Films (Release Date): Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple Of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade | Director(s): Steven Spielberg | Writer(s): Lawrence Kasdan, William Huyck, Gloria Katz, Jeffrey Boam | Genre: Action

IMDB Scores: 8.6 / 7.6 / 8.3 | Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 95 % / 84% / 88% | Total Budget: $94 million | Combined Box Office (Worldwide): $1.1 billion
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The Bourne Series

Jan 26, 2015
The Bourne Series
Kickstarted in 2002 with Doug Liman’s first entry, The Bourne Identity, the series has revolved around Matt Damon’s amnesiac spy and his ongoing mission to discover who exactly he is. Arriving at a point in cinema where action and espionage were only catered to by James Bond - that old customary gent - Bourne took the baton and carried into the next century. Both Liman and his successor Paul Greengrass threw the long-suffering agent into a series of brilliantly-staged set pieces across an ever-changing landscape of exotic international locations. From his humble beginnings, it’s Matt Damon’s assured, confident performance that gifted this trilogy with its biggest asset. At the time of casting his involvement had its fair share of doubters, who were proven wrong by his solid performances throughout all three.

Films (Release Date): The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum | Director(s): Doug Liman, Paul Greengrass | Writer(s): Tony Gilroy, Scott Z. Burns, William Blake Herron, George Nolfi, Dan Gilroy | Genre: Action

IMDB Scores: 7.9 / 7.8 / 8.1 | Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 83% / 81% / 94% | Total Budget: $245 million | Combined Box Office (Worldwide): $945 million
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Star Wars Original Trilogy

Jan 26, 2015
Star Wars Original Trilogy
The original Star Wars trilogy reimagined the good vs. evil trope as an intergalactic space opera told through a science fiction lens. Since the release of A New Hope in 1977, its impact on an entire generation has continued to ripple out into popular culture; a feat that no-one, not even George Lucas, could have forecast. At its core it’s a classic tale of the rise of the underdog. Luke Skywalker, a humble farmboy, comes to learn that his greatest adversary Darth Vader, is actually his father. And that’s just the backbone. The entire trio of films enraptured audiences by retelling an age-old fable in a brand new universe bursting with playful detail. Exotic locations, advanced technology, and a whole new vocabulary to describe that world, latched onto the public’s imagination. Some devotees believe The Empire Strikes Back to be superior to the original, and a small clutch count the final chapter, Return Of The Jedi, as the greatest. If you approach them as one body of work, the Star Wars trilogy is undoubtedly a landmark piece of cinema history.

Films (Release Date): A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return Of The Jedi | Director(s): George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, Richard Marquand | Writer(s): George Lucas, Lawrence Kasdan, Leigh Brackett | Genre: Sci-Fi

IMDB Scores: 8.7 / 8.8 / 8.4 | Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 93% / 96% / 79% | Total Budget: $61.5 million | Combined Box Office (Worldwide): $1.8 billion
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Toy Story

Jan 26, 2015
Toy Story
Back in 1995, the first Toy Story wowed with its use of cutting-edge technology to bring the tale of a group of sentient playthings to life. Computer animation has never been the same since, yet it’s not the only component to make the story of Buzz, Woody and co. so captivating. It’s in the title; this is a story. And, unlike a lot of trilogies, which narrowly miss out on better ratings due to a weak link, the Toy Story saga maintains a level of consistency throughout. The characters, that madcap bunch, are drawn so intimately that they’re as real as any live-action counterpart. Their joys and woes form the trilogy’s emotional core, told through three brilliant storylines. As fresh and original today as when they were released, the Toy Story movies offer solid proof that animation exists as a powerful storytelling tool.

Films (Release Date): Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Toy Story 3 | Director(s): John Lasseter, Lee Unkrich | Writer(s): Joss Whedon, Andrew Stanton, Joel Cohen, Alec Sokolow, Rita Hsiao, Doug Chamberlin, Chris Webb, John Lasseter, Lee Unkrich | Genre: Comedy

IMDB Scores: 8.3 / 7.9 / 8.4 | Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 100% / 100% / 99% | Total Budget: $320 million | Combined Box Office (Worldwide): $1.9 billion
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Back to the Future

Jan 26, 2015
Back to the Future
For an ‘80s child, the Back To The Future trilogy is a time-traveling document in itself. Robert Zemeckis’ trio of films charting teenager Marty McFly’s time-traveling adventures transports audiences back to that decade’s vision of what the next century would bring. Self-tying Nikes, hoverboards and flying cars are but some of the exotic technological advances Marty and his trusty comrade Doc Brown encounter as they traverse the space-time continuum to prevent catastrophe from occurring. The best part is the people who Marty bumps into, the real characters who behave exactly the same across a span of some 100 years. It’s packed with magic realism, an adventurous spirit and that wishful possibility of turning a beat-up Delorean into a badass time machine.

Films (Release Date): Back To The Future, Back To The Future Part II, Back To The Future Part III | Director(s): Robert Zemeckis | Writer(s): Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale | Genre: Sci-Fi

IMDB Scores: 8.5 / 7.8 / 7.4 | Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 96% / 64% / 73% | Total Budget: $99 million | Combined Box Office (Worldwide): $965.5 million

GOAT Staff Score - Movie Trilogy

The candidates have been assigned a raw score across a range of criteria. The raw scores have been weighted to reflect the impact that each individual criterion has on the 'Final GOAT Score'. Only weighted scores are displayed in this table. -->TURN DEVICE SIDEWAYS TO VIEW ON MOBILE-->
 Direction (20%)Acting (20%)Writing (20%)Cinematography (10%)Music (10%)Critical Reaction (10%)Legacy (10%)Raw ScoreFinal GOAT Score
The Lord Of The Rings97101076958840
The Godfather10108558854820
The Dark Knight799944648730
The Dollars Trilogy666767341590
Three Colours887219136590
Indiana Jones Original 4426103534440
The Bourne Trilogy555821228430
Star Wars Original 1334951035420
Toy Story2141310425320
Back To The Future321382726320

GOAT Verdict:

Lord of the Rings is the Greatest Movie Trilogy of All Time
Taking the top spot as The Greatest Trilogy Of All Time is the ground-breaking Lord Of The Rings saga. This rip-roaring adventure through the highs and lows of Middle Earth, was all captured by Peter Jackson and his award-winning crew of effects wizards. Without their united vision for adapting Tolkien’s seminal series, the intricate world-building of the three films would not have been equally as impressive. Its success isn’t solely a result of its CGI, far from it, for this is a series that utilises technology to enhance what is already there – a captivating story. If it weren’t for Frodo and his band of merry travellers, and the various friends and foes they meet along the way, it wouldn’t matter how fantastic the world was – there’d be no-one for us to root for. Those strange and wonderful people come to life thanks to a range of stellar performances from the leading cast, who maintain this age-old story of good vs. evil across the three flicks. In many ways, a fantastical re-telling of many a hero’s journey, this trek to Mordor beats any of its closest competitors for its pain-staking attention to detail, phenomenal acting and plenty of dazzling action.

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What is the greatest post-apocalyptic film of all time?

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Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior

Jan 20, 2015 - youtube.com - 72
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior
Long before Mel Gibson became involved with historical and biblical epics, he was known for his tattered leather jacket, double-barrel shotgun, and souped-up Interceptor. The first Mad Max film established its eponymous road enforcement agent as a man who had lost everything, and its sequel raised the stakes higher, placing Max in the center of a war for petrol. Feral children, barely-functioning helicopters, and a thick coating of dust helped to sell Australia’s ruins as a new world entirely. The design of the wandering barbarian horde was practical but intimidating, and the driving combat sequences were filmed so proficiently that they still hold up to modern scrutiny. By living so deeply in its own concept, Mad Max 2 expected the audience to embrace the universe and live within it, rather than simply analyzing it. And unlike its end-of-the-world setting, Mad Max 2 never runs out of fuel.
Year of Release: 1981 | Production Studio: Kennedy Miller Productions | Runtime: 95 minutes | Director: George Miller | Lead Actors: Mel Gibson, Michael Preston, Vernon Wells, Bruce Spence
Budget: $4.5 million (AUD) | Box Office Earnings: $23.6 million | Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100% | IMDB Rating: 7.6
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Children of Men

Jan 20, 2015 - youtube.com - 81
Children of Men
In a world where humans are no longer capable of procreation, a pregnant woman is an inherent miracle. But with the approaching birth comes a barrage of bullets, hunters, and destroyed landscapes, and the only protector for the mother-to-be is Clive Owen. Children of Men is widely recognized as one of Alfonso Cuarón’s masterpiece films, making heavy use of long tracking shots and practical effects to bring muddy warzones to life. Its vision of a destroyed world does not rely on nuclear fallout or a worldwide blackout, but rather an intrinsic failing in human reproduction and life cycles. Children of Men is a surprisingly human depiction of a world on the brink of annihilation, and manages to satisfy the genre’s expectations of gritty survival without ignoring the broader philosophy of its story.

Year of Release: 2006 | Production Studio: Strike Entertainment, Hit and Run Productions | Runtime: 109 minutes | Director: Alfonso Cuarón | Lead Actors: Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, Michael Caine, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Charlie Hunnam

Budget: $76 million | Box Office Earnings: $69.9 million | Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93% | IMDB Rating: 7.9
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Snowpiercer

Jan 20, 2015 - youtube.com - 77
Snowpiercer
What do world-looping locomotives, axes coated in fish blood, and Ed Harris all have in common? The answer is Snowpiercer, a South Korean film released in 2013. The film received little attention in the United States, but it was one of the most inventive and immersive post-apocalyptic depictions in years. Set on an Earth which has frozen over due to climate alterations, Snowpiercer focuses on a generation-sustaining train which runs an eternal course around the globe, organizing itself to allow the privileged at the train’s front end, and the poorer masses at its tail. Snowpiercer features slick and brutal action scenes, filmed with all the flourish a cinema buff would expect from a South Korean veteran director, and a cast of memorable and determined characters. If you’ve ever wanted to see a revolt on a moving train, this is the film for you.

Year of Release: 2013 | Production Studio: Moho Films, Opus Pictures | Runtime: 126 minutes | Director: Bong Joon-ho | Lead Actors: Chris Evans, Song Kang-ho, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, John Hurt, Ed Harris

Budget: $39.2 million | Box Office Earnings: $86.7 million | Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95% | IMDB Rating: 7.0
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Planet of the Apes

Jan 20, 2015 - youtube.com - 81
Planet of the Apes
Many films desiring a post-apocalyptic society are quick to embrace visions of rubble and gas masks. Some of the best and most iconic examples of a fallen world, however, are born from a subversion of how we perceive Earth. Warlike apes, humans being hunted like prey, and societies build among mud cliffs may have existed in pulp fiction of previous decades, but their placement on a ruined Earth was far less anticipated. When Planet of the Apes was initially released, the “big reveal” of the mystery planet’s identity was shocking and profound. The audience felt as disoriented as the astronaut, forced to reconcile their own vision of Earth with the foreign and primitive surroundings of the ape world. Planet of the Apes is a vision of a “post” post-apocalyptic society, demonstrating that rebuilding is always possible, but never quite the same.
Year of Release: 1968 | Production Studio: APJAC Productions | Runtime: 112 minutes | Director: Franklin J. Schaffner | Lead Actors: Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Maurice Evans, Kim Hunter, James Whitmore
Budget: $5.8 million | Box Office Earnings: $32.6 million | Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89% | IMDB Rating: 8.0
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12 Monkeys

Jan 20, 2015 - youtube.com - 71
12 Monkeys
The post-apocalyptic world doesn’t necessarily have to be full of grime and rust. In fact, it can be a breeding ground for time travel, as evidenced by the Terry Gilliam film 12 Monkeys. Bruce Willis plays a convicted prisoner sent back in time to trace the origins of a virus, which just so happens to have eradicated above-ground life on Earth. In many ways, the film exists on the border of time-altering fiction and mega-virus fiction like The Andromeda Strain, but it embraces its setting of a destroyed world and runs with the idea. The film’s opening aesthetic presentation places emphasis on the decay of the subterranean prison, and juxtaposes this collapsed society with steampunk-esque industrial science and reconstructed judicial councils. 12 Monkeys is a fascinating trek through ruins, warzones, and the inexorable flow of causality.
Year of Release: 1995 | Production Studio: Atlas Entertainment, Classico | Runtime: 127 minutes | Director: Terry Gilliam | Lead Actors: Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, Brad Pitt, Christopher Plummer
Budget: $29.5 million | Box Office Earnings: $168.8 million | Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88% | IMDB Rating: 8.1
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The Road

Jan 20, 2015 - youtube.com - 69
The Road
When The Road was released in its original form as a Cormac McCarthy novel, it featured lean prose and a sense of crushing weight that bore down on the reader as much as the father-son team making their way toward the ocean. Viggo Mortensen’s role as the father in this adaptation was perfectly cast, and all of the doom, gloom, and horror of McCarthy’s novel came to life through the use of muted color selection and minimalist storytelling. Much like the novel, there are few moments of joy to be found along the coast-seeking journey, but the glimmers of hope are bright and redeeming. Turning a child’s first taste of canned soda into a genuine and heartfelt moment, and epitomizes the film’s ability to make the viewer think (and feel) like another wanderer among the wastes.
Year of Release: 2009 | Production Studio: 2929 Productions | Runtime: 111 minutes | Director: John Hillcoat | Lead Actors: Viggo Mortensen, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Robert Duvall, Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce
Budget: $25 million | Box Office Earnings: $27.6 million | Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75% | IMDB Rating: 7.3
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I Am Legend

Jan 20, 2015 - youtube.com - 69
I Am Legend
A man, a dog, and a mannequin are standing in a department store. It may sound like the start of a campy joke, but this is actually one of the most poignant and striking scenes and films in Will Smith’s decorated film career. I Am Legend is an adaptation of the Richard Matheson novella, and despite altering the original work’s creatures from vampires to zombies, the film manages to faithfully preserve Matheson’s themes of detachment and desperation. Plenty of other films set in a fallen society have featured dogs as a sidekick, but few have come close to the companionship between Dr. Neville and Sam. Fewer, still, have captured the loneliness and heartbreak of surviving in a world without other humans. With harrowing action sequences, profound shifts between despair and triumph, and a lead role that essentially carried the entire film, I Am Legend brought emotion back to the apocalypse.

Year of Release: 2007 | Production Studio: Village Roadshow Pictures, Weed Road Pictures, Overbrook Entertainment, Heyday Films, Original Films | Runtime: 100 minutes | Director: Francis Lawrence | Lead Actors: Will Smith, Alice Braga, Dash Mihok

Budget: $150 million | Box Office Earnings: $585.3 million | Rotten Tomatoes Score: 70% | IMDB Rating: 7.2
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A Boy and His Dog

Jan 20, 2015 - youtube.com - 88
A Boy and His Dog
If the lone dog and wanderer is a post-apocalyptic trope, then A Boy and His Dog is the most unexpected mutation possible. Centering around the titular “boy” and his dog, Blood, this adaptation of a Harlan Ellison creation revolves more around finding women and food than exploring the moral implications of life in a hellish Earth. Blood possesses an uncanny amount of intelligence and snarky comments, and often communicates with his owner through telepathic means. The world itself was consistent with the popular burnt wasteland setting, but the presence of gallows humor broke away from convention and turned A Boy and His Dog into a unique (and bizarre) take on the apocalypse. Even today, fresh interpretations of a black-humor apocalypse, such as the Fallout series, continue to honor and expand upon this film’s absurdity.

Year of Release: 1975 | Production Studio: LQ/JAF | Runtime: 91 minutes | Director: L.Q. Jones | Lead Actors: Don Johnson, Susanne Benton, Alvy Moore, Jason Robards

Budget: Unknown, but presumably very limited | Box Office Earnings: Unknown | Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75% | IMDB Rating: 6.6
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Zombieland

Jan 20, 2015 - youtube.com - 75
Zombieland
Zombies are a natural pairing for the apocalypse. Shambling, mindless hordes with an eye and stomach for every human in sight are often the filler content in a ravaged world, but some works take a fresh look at the conventional zombie, and make them into something far more intriguing. Zombieland injected a dose of humor into the genre’s zombie tropes, fixating on the “little things” that accompany survival: relationships, grocery shopping, and the hunt for Twinkies. The film had unexpectedly earnest content in places, such as dealing with the loss of loved ones, and made a genuine effort to portray the survivors’ everyday lives in the post-apocalyptic world. One of the most necessary components of long-term survival – and something which Zombieland wholeheartedly embraces – is some good laughter.

Year of Release: 2009 | Production Studio: Relativity Media | Runtime: 87 minutes | Director: Ruben Fleischer | Lead Actors: Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin

Budget: $23.6 million | Box Office Earnings: $102.3 million | Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90% | IMDB Rating: 7.7
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Waterworld

Jan 20, 2015 - youtube.com - 66
Waterworld
This may be a controversial contender, but Waterworld is not on this list for its (less than) exceptional filmmaking, (lack of a) coherent plot, or (underwhelming) acting. Waterworld’s universe was, however, truly worth experiencing and analyzing. The entirety of the film’s setting is, as the title implies, a place where water has claimed all available land. Floating cities dot the vast oceans, and the search for solid land is tantamount to the quest for the Holy Grail. The ragtag aesthetics of the raft-supported settlements, and the general design of the ships throughout the world, appear consistent and convincing for the role that they serve. Waterworld, as a finished product, may not be the masterpiece that it could have been, but it’s a memorable and unique spin on the genre’s idea of world building.

Year of Release: 1995 | Production Studio: Gordon Company, Davis Entertainment, Licht/Mueller Film Corporation | Runtime: 135 minutes | Director: Kevin Reynolds | Lead Actors: Kevin Costner, Dennis Hopper, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Tina Majorino, Michael Jeter

Budget: $172 million | Box Office Earnings: $264 million | Rotten Tomatoes Score: 42% | IMDB Rating: 6.0
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Escape from New York

Jan 20, 2015 - youtube.com - 82
Escape from New York
Kurt Russell may have strayed from his apocalyptic and dystopian roots, but one of his earliest films was a memorable entry in these genres. Escape from New York centered around Snake Plissken, who would later become an inspiration for Hideo Kojima’s Metal Gear Solid protagonist. With an eye patch, submachine gun, and a black tank top, Plissken tore his way through the city-turned-prison of Manhattan. The film’s bleak outlook and setting were, according to series lore, a result of an extreme natural disaster that only worsened a growing crime rate. The collapsed society of New York City provided a new but recognizable gauntlet, and the collection of outlandish thugs and paramilitary forces within the urban jungle only increased the thrills. Escape From New York can be called many things (campy among them), but boring is not one of them.

Year of Release: 1981 | Production Studio: Goldcrest Films | Runtime: 99 minutes | Director: John Carpenter | Lead Actors: Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Isaac Hayes, Tom Atkins

Budget: $6 million | Box Office Earnings: $25.2 million | Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83% | IMDB Rating: 7.2

GOAT Staff Score - Post-Apocalyptic Film

The candidates have been assigned a raw score across a range of criteria. The raw scores have been weighted to reflect the impact that each individual criterion has on the 'Final GOAT Score'. Only weighted scores are displayed in this table. -->TURN DEVICE SIDEWAYS TO VIEW ON MOBILE-->
 Post-Apocalyptic Theme (30%)Genre Innovation (20%)Acting (20%)Reception (15%)Icon Status (15%)Raw ScoreFinal GOAT Score
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior1147111043865
Children of Men86119842835
Snowpiercer971010137775
Planet of the Apes310581137675
12 Monkeys71146432660
The Road10185630645
I Am Legend2294926475
A Boy and His Dog6523723470
Zombieland1867224445
Waterworld5911319410
Escape from New York4332517345

GOAT Verdict:

The Road Warrior is the Greatest Post-Apocalyptic Film of All Time
Mad Max 2 had the visual approach, feel, and character archetypes that ultimately influenced the post-apocalyptic genre, specifically regarding the subgenre of “wasteland wanderers.” Gibson’s role leading was well acted and provided a cool, quiet demeanor to the enforcer. The vehicles were designed to operate and excel in their environment, and it showed in the furiously paced (and filmed) chase sequences. Everything from spiked bandit hair to the sand-scraped leather of Max’s jacket fleshed out the world and its character designs, making both the villains and outpost survivors feel believable in their own way. This was also a film before computer animation, and the practical effects in this film – as well as their perfect coordination with the action – highlights the value and beauty of physical stunt production. In many ways, the film also demonstrates the originality of its time. Long before the arrival of commonplace zombies, nuclear fallout, and mutant creatures, there was only a man and his dog on his roadway. Mad Max 2 is gritty, stylish, and the greatest post-apocalyptic film of all time.

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What is the greatest unsolved movie mystery of all time?

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The Shining

Jan 14, 2015
The Shining
Moments before the credits roll, the camera lazily zooms down a hallway until resting on a framed photograph on a wall of The Overlook Hotel. A scene of celebrating partygoers fills the screen, while the camera continues to hone in on a familiar face. Above the caption “Overlook Hotel, July 4th Ball, 1921” we now see Jack Nicholson’s caretaker-writer. But... how could he be in a picture taken in the 1920s, if his first time to the Overlook was in the 1980s? The true nature of the hotel’s influence - while explored considerably in Stephen King’s novel - is left up in the air by Stanley Kubrick, whose desire to create a blend of impossible realities makes for quite a slew of headscratching events across the movie.
Release: May 23rd, 1980 | Director: Stanley Kubrick | Writer: Stanley Kubrick, Diane Johnson | Genre: Horror | Lead Actors: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall
IMDB Score: 8.5 | Oscars (Nominations): 0 (0) | Type of Mystery: Plot, character
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Mulholland Drive

Jan 14, 2015
Mulholland Drive
A mobius strip of interconnected sub-plots, each tangled up in their own bizarre circumstances, Mulholland Drive is seemingly impossible to unravel. This is Lynch, so that matter is par for the course. Originally intended to serve as the pilot for a TV series, the filmmaker undertook reshoots to construct the film’s final reel - when everything cascades into a jumble. The biggest thinker emerges towards the end, when Betty and Rita return to their apartment after visiting Club Silencio. First a mysterious blue key appears in Rita’s purse that slots into the blue box initially discovered in her belongings. That’s mysterious enough in and of itself, until Rita slides it home and twists it in the lock. A thud is heard as the square drops to the floor, prompting Betty to return to the bedroom only to find Rita has disappeared. Where has she gone? What did the blue box signify?
Release: October 19th, 2001 | Director: David Lynch | Writer: David Lynch | Genre: Mystery | Lead Actors: Naomi Watts, Laura Elena Harring
IMDB Score: 8.0 | Oscars (Nominations): 0 (1) | Type of Mystery: Plot
3

Pulp Fiction

Jan 14, 2015
Pulp Fiction
The lynchpin for a whole series of interconnected stories in Quentin Tarantino’s sophomore feature is a simple, everyday object; Marsellus Wallace’s suitcase. As a plot device it figures into most of the segments, albeit in varying degrees of importance, with its value coming to light during the film’s final vignette. Open the case - with the 666 combination - and your face is bathed in an ethereal yellow light. What could be so important that Vincent and Jules are willing to face the two unhinged robbers to protect it? A lot of discussion on the topic has evoked a range of possibilities; some are convinced it’s Wallace’s soul, others opt for the likelihood that it’s just diamonds. Twenty years on, Tarantino and co-writer Roger Avary still haven’t offered a definitive explanation...
Release: September 23rd, 1994 | Director: Quentin Tarantino | Writer: Quentin Tarantino, Roger Avary | Genre: Drama-thriller | Lead Actors: John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis
IMDB Score: 8.9 | Oscars (Nominations): 1 - Best Original Screenplay (7) | Type of Mystery: Prop
4

Inception

Jan 14, 2015
Inception
Christopher Nolan’s warped reality headscratcher left audiences plagued by one unsolved query as they exited the theater; what was going on with that spinning top? Throughout the movie, much attention is called to each character’s totem; a personal item that allows the bearer comfort knowing that they are either in the real world or a dream world. Much is made of Cobb’s journey to reconcile his wife’s death while learning to be a father to his children, which is what makes the last shot of the film so maddening. As his totem - the spinning top - endlessly circles on a table top, the shot cuts to black leaving viewers without a clear resolution. Does it topple over, thereby suggesting he’s back in reality? Or does it continue to spin forever, meaning he’s still stuck in limbo?
Release: July 13th, 2010 | Director: Christopher Nolan | Writer: Christopher Nolan | Genre: Thriller | Lead Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon Levitt
IMDB Score: 8.8 | Oscars (Nominations): 4 - Best Achievement In Cinematography, Best Achievement in Sound Mixing, Best Achievement in Sound Editing, Best Achievement in Visual Effects (8) | Type of Mystery: Character
5

American Psycho

Jan 14, 2015
American Psycho
Patrick Bateman, the charming, vapid, narcissistic antihero of American Psycho isn’t just a perfectly coiffed yuppy. He’s also a serial killer, whose baser instincts urge him to senselessly murder those around him he identifies as threats to his status; or he just feels like offing. Whatever his motives may be, the biggest sting in Mary Harron’s fantastic take down of 80s hedonism comes at the film’s end when he admits to the killings only to have his confession rebuffed by his peers. No one takes him seriously. His contemporaries politely steer conversation away from the topic, as if it’s of minor significance. As he himself states in the closing outro, “this confession has meant nothing” which suggests he’s either the world’s deadliest killer, or the owner of a wild imagination...
Release: April 14th, 2000 | Director: Mary Harron | Writer: Mary Harron, Guinevere Turner | Genre: Thriller | Lead Actors: Christian Bale
IMDB Score: 7.6 | Oscars (Nominations): 0 (0) | Type of Mystery: Plot
6

Gremlins

Jan 14, 2015
Gremlins
Gremlins’ hero, a teenager called Billy, receives a gift from his father that no other kid in class would ever be able to top; a mogwai called Gizmo. The cute furball sings, giggles and happily chirps away like a cross between a cat and a guinea pig. The strict instructions he’s given along with Gizmo insist that if he wants to take care of the pet he must adhere to them. The first states that he never get the animal wet, the second that he never expose him to bright light and the third - and most troublesome - is that he never, ever feed him after midnight. What’s never addressed, but made fun of in the sequel, are the specifics of the final rule. What if Gizmo is in a different time zone, does that affect when he can eat? But the biggest problem is that really, every moment from midnight to 11.59pm the next night is technically ‘after midnight.’
Release: June 8th, 1984 | Director: Joe Dante | Writer: Chris Columbus | Genre: Horror-comedy | Lead Actors: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates
IMDB Score: 7.2 | Oscars (Nominations): 0 (0) | Type of Mystery: Mythology
7

Jurassic Park

Jan 14, 2015
Jurassic Park
In answering one of man’s most intriguing questions - what were dinosaurs really like? - Jurassic Park makes great effort to provide its own scientific reasoning. The point being that it’s science fiction, meaning that the possibility of cloning dinosaurs from millions of years ago is an unlikely achievement. Those details aside, there’s still one mystery that has stumped viewers since the film debuted back in 1993. At a key moment, one of the park’s programmers, Denis Nedry, sneaks off to deliver an aerosol can stuffed with dino embryos. The relentless rain storm foils his plan and he skids off road only to be confronted by Dilophosaurus, that proceeds to blind him and kill him. The canister rolls into the mud, and flows into a stream, and we never find out what happened to the budding life within.
Release: June 11th, 1993 | Director: Steven Spielberg | Writer: Michael Crichton, David Koepp | Genre: Action | Lead Actors: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum
IMDB Score: 8.0 | Oscars (Nominations): 3 - Best Sound, Best Sound Effects Editing, Best Visual Effects (3) | Type of Mystery: Plot
8

Lost in Translation

Jan 14, 2015
Lost in Translation
Their star-crossed romance coming to an end, Bill Murray’s ageing actor Bob prepares to part from Scarlett Johansson’s Charlotte. Leaning in for their final embrace, he whispers something in her ear that’s since been discussed in great detail. Why? Because it’s so low in the mix it’s inaudible to viewers. In the script, Sofia Coppola didn’t specify any particular dialogue to accompany the moment and so Murray improvised the whispered line he breezily utters. As the film is now twelve years old, it’s beginning to accumulate a cult classic status - and a large portion of that is a result of this scene. Perfectly capturing a snapshot moment between two people, their final parting will no doubt be the subject of further scrutiny as the years wear on.
Release: September 12th, 2003 | Director: Sofia Coppola | Writer: Sofia Coppola | Genre: Drama | Lead Actors: Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray
IMDB Score: 7.8 | Oscars (Nominations): 1 - Best Original Screenplay (4) | Type of Mystery: Dialogue
9

Cast Away

Jan 14, 2015
Cast Away
The story of Tom Hanks’ stranded Fed Ex worker, who crash lands on a deserted island is filled with many mysteries. Most of which revolved around Chuck Nolan’s behaviour, for example why did he throw Wilson away when that deflated ball was his only friend? While that may be an intriguing quibble to debate, the biggest mystery of the entire film is a two-pronged riddle. After he washes up on the beach and begins to acclimatise, Chuck fishes a few lone FedEx packages from the water, including one bearing a pair of angel wings that we see a woman handling at the beginning of the movie. Even in this extraordinary circumstance, Chuck plans on keeping the FedEx promise by getting the package to its intended recipient. The ‘keeping hope’ factor is undoubtedly why he holds onto it, but why not open it? It could have had a satellite phone in it.
Release: December 22nd, 2000 | Director: Robert Zemeckis | Writer: William Broyles Jr. | Genre: Drama | Lead Actors: Tom Hanks
IMDB Score: 7.7 | Oscars (Nominations): 0 (2) | Type of Mystery: Prop
10

Cloverfield

Jan 14, 2015
Cloverfield
From its hideous gaping jaws to its countless arachnid legs, the Cloverfield monster appears like a entity constructed as an homage to the sci-fi genre. Apart from its terrifying aesthetic, towering above the scattered New York crowds, there’s many other factors to consider when trying to figure out one, humdrum question: where did it come from? Whereas most monster capers isolate the creature’s beginnings, Cloverfield focuses on the small-scale human experience to its attack. This is why the film is such a unique slab of genre filmmaking; however, it would be satisfying to know where exactly it came from. All we know as revealed by director Matt Reeves, is that it’s a baby of its species that emerged from the ocean’s murky depths. How did it get there, who are its parents, and more importantly, where did it go at the end of the movie are all mysteries that remain unanswered.
Release: January 18th, 2008 | Director: Matt Reeves | Writer: Drew Goddard | Genre: Horror | Lead Actors: Mike Vogel, Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas
IMDB Score: 7.1 | Oscars (Nominations): 0 (0) | Type of Mystery: Character

GOAT Staff Score - Unsolved Movie Mystery

The candidates have been assigned a raw score across a range of criteria. The raw scores have been weighted to reflect the impact that each individual criterion has on the 'Final GOAT Score'. Only weighted scores are displayed in this table. -->TURN DEVICE SIDEWAYS TO VIEW ON MOBILE-->
 Intrigue (30%)Enjoyment Factor (20%)Storyline Contribution (20%)Critical Response (15%)Fan Reaction (15%)Raw ScoreFinal GOAT Score
The Shining108671041835
Mulholland Drive96710537755
Pulp Fiction8588736725
Inception7949635695
American Psycho67105331640
Gremlins4294827520
Jurassic Park21031925470
Lost In Translation5426219390
Cast Away3153113270
Cloverfield1312411200

GOAT Verdict:

The Shining is The Greatest Unsolved Movie Mystery of All Time
At the heart of The Shining lies a mystery tangled in the supernatural that director Stanley Kubrick never answers. Seasonal caretaker Jack Torrance and his family stay at The Overlook over the winter to tend the hotel and its grounds, until he becomes influenced by unseen evil forces and plots to murder his wife and child. In a spin on the haunted house trope, Jack becomes an agent of the hotel’s sinister presence as spectral figures from the establishment’s chequered past engage with him. At one point, his wife Wendy locks him in a larder only for the ghost of former caretaker Grady to come along and release him. But how can spooks possess the ability to have an effect on the real world? If that weren’t bizarre enough, the ending shot of a 1920s photograph featuring Jack proves the point Grady makes earlier; he was always the caretaker. It’s an impossible conundrum to try and decipher, and one that was never given a proper explanation by Kubrick.

0

Who is the greatest action movie hero of all time?

1

Model 101

Jan 07, 2015
Model 101

Nothing could be more perfect for an action film than a walking, talking, gun-toting machine. Model 101, better known as The Terminator, is one of the only non-human action heroes to become accepted into the folds of pop culture. In fact, he’s one of the only non-organic heroes, as well. Model 101 was initially sent back in time to kill John Connor, but in his best known role – as seen as The Terminator 2 – he serves as the reprogrammed protector of John and Sarah Connor, as well as one of the most stone-faced heroes to ever grace the genre. Model 101 survives numerous explosions, impalement by an advanced prototype, and being crushed multiple times, all while retaining his neutral expression and testosterone-fueled voice. In spite of his character being an emotionless machine, Model 101 is arguably the role that Arnold Schwarzenegger was born to play.

Most Recognizable Film Appearance: Terminator 2: Judgment Day | Played By: Arnold Schwarzenegger | Year of Release: 1991 | Director: James Cameron | Box Office Gross: $519.8 million

Defining Trait: Performing evasive maneuvers and shooting from a motorcycle without making facial expressions | Main Enemy: T-1000 Model | Most Memorable Action: Offering a final thumbs-up while descending into a pit of molten metal

2

Riddick

Jan 07, 2015
Riddick

Vin Diesel’s role in the action film genre has shifted numerous times throughout the years, with some of his most memorable roles found in The Fast and the Furious and xXx. Pitch Black, however, introduced Vin Diesel as an otherworldly warrior known as Riddick. Aside from being constantly hunted and possessing eyes that glowed in the dark, Riddick presented himself with a gravelly voice, a merciless combat style, and a fearless attitude that helped him to survive among convicts and subterranean creatures alike. In subsequent films, Riddick’s role was expanded and altered, but his core personality – defined by violence, speed, and survivability – changed remarkably little. Calling him a hero may be questionable, but in the eyes of the survivors that he helped to escape a doomed desert world, the title is well-earned.

Most Recognizable Film Appearance: Pitch Black | Played By: Vin Diesel | Year of Release: 2000 | Director: David Twohy | Box Office Gross: $53.1 million

Defining Trait: Luminous white eyes that grant nocturnal vision | Main Enemy: Winged, darkness-dwelling aliens | Most Memorable Action: Killing a fellow inmate using only a tea cup

3

John Rambo

Jan 07, 2015
John Rambo

Sylvester Stallone’s shirtless warrior, Rambo, is a perfect combination of 1980s action tropes. Characterized by his shirtless, muscular appearance and an omnipresent headband, Rambo is a compelling character because of his origins and the way in which he views combat. As the series’ first film title implies, Rambo’s motivation to fight back in First Blood comes from his wounding at the hands of a cruel police officer. His motives in the original film may not revolve around stopping a global threat or taking down a terrorist cell, but his methods rival that of any Navy SEAL operator, highlighting his skill with everything from a bow and arrow to a belt-fed machine gun. Rambo may be the ultimate example of a mindless, loud action film, but there’s a sense of beauty in its purity.

Most Recognizable Film Appearance: First Blood | Played By: Sylvester Stallone | Year of Release: 1982 | Director: Ted Kotcheff | Box Office Gross: $125.2 million

Defining Trait: Outshooting a marksman in a helicopter using his bow and arrow | Main Enemy: National Guard and State Police forces | Most Memorable Action: Cauterizing an open wound using gunpowder

4

Batman (Christian Bale version)

Jan 07, 2015
Batman (Christian Bale version)

Although Christian Bale’s Batman may be the target of jokes because of the character’s extreme voice, there’s no denying the intimidation factor and intensity in Christopher Nolan’s vision of the superhero. Marked by an impressively-designed suit of armor, a high-tech spin on Batman’s loadout and capabilities, and a brutal combat style that returned Batman to his nocturnal hunting origins, there are very few aspects of Christian Bale’s character that don’t belong in an action film. This incarnation of Batman is well-suited to a Gotham riddled by crime syndicates and violence, where an array of hand-to-hand combat techniques mesh with lightning-fast strikes from the darkness itself. Older generations of the Batman character may have played up his origins and commitment to justice, but Christian Bale’s Batman embodies the fearsome (and action-oriented) side of the caped crusader.

Most Recognizable Film Appearance: The Dark Knight | Played By: Christian Bale | Year of Release: 2008 | Director: Christopher Nolan | Box Office Gross: $1.05 billion

Defining Trait: Speaking in a raspy and hoarse voice | Main Enemy: The Joker | Most Memorable Action: Preventing Ra's al Ghul's runaway train from detonating within Gotham

5

John McClane

Jan 07, 2015
John McClane

When Die Hard was first released, it didn’t break many molds in regards to the action genre. Bruce Willis’s character, John McClane, was the standard detective with a martial problem and a cynical view of the world. But once the firing broke out in Nakatomi Plaza and McClane’s outer shirt came off, his true personality shined through. Full of wit, dry humor, and the shooting skills of a well-trained police officer, McClane represents the everyman with a dose of courage and world-weariness. In subsequent films, Willis played the role with an increasing dose of sardonic commentary, as well as a constant focus on McClane’s aging in relation to his back-breaking stunts. John McClane is not the action hero forged in the fires of special operations combat; he’s the action hero born from one extremely bad day in Nakatomi Plaza.

Most Recognizable Film Appearance: Die Hard | Played By: Bruce Willis | Year of Release: 1998 | Director: John McTiernan | Box Office Gross: $140.7 million

Defining Trait: Fighting through a terrorist-held building with a white tanktop and shoulder holster | Main Enemy: Hans Gruber's terrorist operatives | Most Memorable Action: Declaring he has new weapons by painting the message onto the corpse of a henchman

6

Jason Bourne

Jan 07, 2015
Jason Bourne

Finding a bank number tattooed on your neck is the start of a promising thriller, but this premise also sets off one of the most adrenaline-filled and clever action films in existence. The Bourne Identity was the beginning of Jason Bourne’s path to uncovering his origins and evading mysterious pursuers, but Bourne’s top-notch fighting abilities and masterful firearm usage immediately ramped up the thrills and cut out the monotony of the standard origin tale. Jason Bourne’s proficiency in self-defense, vehicular evasion, and international navigation are just a few of the things that propel him into the upper tier of action movie heroes. While most heroes rely on their muscles and a pair of sunglasses to define their character, Bourne profits from a life of avoiding attention, and using his low profile to seize his next opportunity.

Most Recognizable Film Appearance: The Bourne Identity | Played By: Matt Damon | Year of Release: 2002 | Director: Doug Liman | Box Office Gross: $214 million

Defining Trait: Able to turn anything from a pen to a leather-bound book into a melee weapon | Main Enemy: Operation Treadstone agents | Most Memorable Action: Disarming and incapacitating 2 members of the Zurich Police after being roused from sleep

7

Ellen Ripley

Jan 07, 2015
Ellen Ripley

With a cat on one shoulder and an alien-shredding pulse in her hands, Ellen Ripley became one of the most recognizable and unabashedly rugged women in the action genre. Her initial appearance in Ridley Scott’s Alien presented her as a capable and no-nonsense crew member onboard the Nostromo, and after a few pulse-pounding hours with the xenomorph specimen, she emerged as the lone survivor. Subsequent films added to the iconic value and survival prowess of Ripley, pitting her against everything from a human-alien hybrid to a queen alien (which she battled in a powered exo-suit, no less). Ripley’s hardened exterior and terse dialogue offers no apologies for her social skills, which carries a no-nonsense edge that could rival or surpass any contemporary action hero. She may not be the most intimidating action hero to grace the screen, but she’s certainly one of the toughest.

Most Recognizable Film Appearance: Alien | Played By: Sigourney Weaver | Year of Release: 1986 | Director: James Cameron | Box Office Gross: $180 million

Defining Trait: Ability to wield a pulse-rifle | Main Enemy: Xenomorphs | Most Memorable Action: Blasting a queen alien into outer space with the use of an airlock

8

James Bond (Sean Connery version)

Jan 07, 2015
James Bond (Sean Connery version)

The unrivaled master of suaveness and style under fire is Bond – James Bond. Starring in countless films and played by a staggering number of actors, this English spy has more than proven himself as a veteran of both espionage and action films. Sean Connery’s Bond, in particular, is the epitome of staying cool and collected while on duty. Whether in a skiing gun battle, the clutches of a mastermind’s laser contraption, or beside a “Bond girl” in a Shanghai pub, Bond serves as a paragon of the genre, and makes as much use of his martial arts prowess as his endless list of gadgets. Connery’s version of Bond is arguably the most charming and confident agent of the series, marked by the distinctive accent and smirk that spelled doom for any domination-seeking villain or his henchmen.

Most Recognizable Film Appearance: Dr. No | Played By: Sean Connery | Year of Release: 1962 | Director: Terence Young | Box Office Gross: $59.5 million

Defining Trait: Taking martinis shaken, not stirred | Main Enemy: Dr. Julius No, among other masterminds | Most Memorable Action: Escaping from a vertically-encroaching laser beam

9

Lee

Jan 07, 2015
Lee

Nobody who grew up in the age of Bruce Lee could ignore the tremendous talent and dedication of the martial arts legend. Responsible for bringing martial arts to the masses and capturing the fury of his craft on film, Bruce Lee’s skill set made him the ideal choice for a character based around martial arts perfection. Lee, the protagonist of Enter the Dragon, took on an illegal brothel operation with little more than his feet and his fists, and won. The result is a fast-moving, harder-hitting warrior with a body as sharp and toned as his combat maneuvers, as well as one of the best hand-to-hand action heroes of all time. In recent years, action films – particularly from Asia – have harkened back to Lee and his swift, unarmed method of fighting.

Most Recognizable Film Appearance: Enter the Dragon | Played By: Bruce Lee | Year of Release: 1973 | Director: Robert Clouse | Box Office Gross: $25 million

Defining Trait: Dispatching multiple opponents without any weapons (or a shirt) | Main Enemy: Mr. Han and his henchmen | Most Memorable Action: Defeating Mr. Han in a hall of dizzying mirrors

10

Katniss Everdeen

Jan 07, 2015
Katniss Everdeen

Young adult fiction is generally not cited as the birthplace of memorable action heroes, primarily because it has a tendency to gloss over some of the action genre’s hallmark violence. The Hunger Games is a rare exception in this regard, since it’s both comfortable and willing to portray the violence of its titular arena competition. Katniss Everdeen, the young underdog from an impoverished district of society, quickly rose to action hero fame with her skillful bow shots and resourcefulness on the battlefield. Despite competing with fellow competitors who could kill her without mercy, Katniss Everdeen’s policy in battle was one of magnanimity and, in some cases, mercy. Rather than succumbing to the kill-or-be-killed nature of the games, her focus remained on the true enemy: those who had orchestrated the competition. Considering Katniss’s unique blend of combat and compassion, it’s no wonder she’s a leader among action heroes.

Most Recognizable Film Appearance: The Hunger Games | Played By: Jennifer Lawrence | Year of Release: 2012 | Director: Gary Ross | Box Office Gross: $691.2 million

Defining Trait: Extreme marksmanship with a bow | Main Enemy: Fellow district-born competitors in the annual Hunger Games | Most Memorable Action: Using an arrow to detonate a ring of mines around an enemy encampment

11

Max Rockatansky

Jan 07, 2015
Max Rockatansky

Something about a supercharged police cruiser, a crop of loosely-shaven facial hair, and a fully loaded shotgun just feels right in an action movie. Max Rockatansky, better known as Mad Max, was the prevailing enforcer of law and order in a post-apocalyptic Australia. Mel Gibson’s character was a force to be reckoned with, policing the wasteland in a mix of death-defying car handling, visceral shootouts, and harsh but necessary judgment. In the original film’s sequel, The Road Warrior, Max took on a band of water-seeking barbarians, and managed to pack a shocking amount of explosions, one-liners, and stunt crashes into just 96 minutes. Mel Gibson’s legendary and gruff performance helped to solidify Mad Max as a wanderer, a warrior, and one of the genre’s greatest heroes.

Most Recognizable Film Appearance: Mad Max | Played By: Mel Gibson | Year of Release: 1979 | Director: George Miller | Box Office Gross: $99.7 million AUD

Defining Trait: Patrolling with a sawed-off shotgun and black leather uniform | Main Enemy: Nightrider's motorcycle gang | Most Memorable Action: Forcing an enemy gang leader's vehicle into an oncoming truck

12

Harry Callahan

Jan 07, 2015
Harry Callahan

Asking somebody if they feel lucky has never been – and will never be – as cool as Clint Eastwood’s rendition of the question. Harry Callahan, the leading character of the Dirty Harry series, is one of the most hard-boiled detectives ever put to film, and practically oozes with concentrated grit. The first film in the series, appropriately titled Dirty Harry, saw Callahan hunting the killer known as Scorpio. Nothing was off the proverbial table, including torture or a shoot-out chase through a crowded area, and Callahan’s drive to take down the killer couldn’t be dampened by bullet wounds or a leg full of shotgun pellets. Dirty Harry single-handedly popularized the revolver for a modern audience, and tossed “punk” back into the pop culture lexicon for decades to come.

Most Recognizable Film Appearance: Dirty Harry | Played By: Clint Eastwood | Year of Release: 1971 | Director: Don Siegel | Box Office Gross: $35.9 million

Defining Trait: Carrying a Smith & Wesson Model 29 revolver | Main Enemy: The serial killer Scorpio | Most Memorable Action: Tempting a suspect to find out how many rounds were left in his revolver


GOAT Staff Score - Action Movie Hero

The candidates have been assigned a raw score across a range of criteria. The raw scores have been weighted to reflect the impact that each individual criterion has on the 'Final GOAT Score'. Only weighted scores are displayed in this table. -->TURN DEVICE SIDEWAYS TO VIEW ON MOBILE-->
 Fighting Ability (30%)Charisma (20%)Weapon Handling (20%)Durability (15%)Pop Culture Legacy (15%)Raw ScoreFinal GOAT Score
Model 101125812946935
Riddick99115236775
John Rambo6112111141770
Batman106410737755
John McClane511104838750
Jason Bourne11397333720
Ellen Ripley8776634700
James Bond212531234625
Lee74181030580
Katniss Everdeen31069129560
Max Rockatansky4232516325
Harry Callahan1821416305

GOAT Verdict:

Model 101 is the Greatest Action Movie Hero of All Time
There’s little to be said about Model 101 that cannot be gleaned from simply looking at him. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s chiseled face and shades-concealed eyes provided the perfect humanoid appearance to The Terminator, allowing the audience to connect with the machine despite the menacing skeleton beneath. Model 101’s immortal one-liners, whether in the original (where he played the villain) or the subsequent sequels, were just one of the things that resonated strongly throughout the film. Model 101 represents the ultimate form of strength, durability, and detached coolness in the action movie genre, and his atypical personality – a slow and fumbling attempt to connect with humans – makes for one of the most enjoyable action heroes in years. Of course, Model 101 also has the added benefit of being a manifestation of redemption, since his reprogrammed mission objectives and eventual friendship with John Connor lead him to garner as much humanity as sympathy. Model 101 has it all: an ultra-strong metal frame, a mind built for shooting and destroying, a deadpan comedic delivery, and the honor of being the greatest action movie hero of all time.

0

What is the greatest film location of all time?

1

Mt. Doom - The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Jan 05, 2015
Mt. Doom - The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

The entire roster of phenomenal locations for the Lord Of The Rings saga could be included as its own entry. Peter Jackson’s sprawling trilogy saw the breathtaking landscapes of New Zealand stand in for Tolkien’s Middle-Earth; their rich, lush lands and jaw-dropping vistas providing the ideal setting for Frodo and his fellowship. The highlight of their journey is without a doubt the gigantic Mount Doom, located in the huge Tongariro National Park. Referred to by tour guides and locals by its proper name - Mount Ngauruhoe - the towering conical mountain consists mainly of ash which makes the six-hour jaunt to its top a hike only the most dedicated fans can manage. The park itself, which is recognisable as the land of Mordor, still provides some of the most beautiful views in the entire country.

Film: Lord of the Rings: The Return of The King | Movie Location: Mordor | Real Location: Tongariro National Park, New Zealand | First Appearance: When the Fellowship reach their final destination.

Release: December 17th, 2003 | Director: Peter Jackson | Genre: Fantasy | IMDB: 8.9 | RottenTomatoes Rating (Audience): 95 % (86%)

2

The Field - Field Of Dreams

Jan 05, 2015
The Field - Field Of Dreams

Kevin Costner’s struggling Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella risks his livelihood when he opts to construct a baseball field in his backyard. Shrugging off the advice of his wife Annie, and her nagging brother-in-law, he turfs over his cornfield at the advice of a mysterious voice telling him “If you build it, he will come.” Before long, the ghosts of baseball past pay him a visit to relive their glory days on the field.

Created specifically by the filmmakers on the grounds of a family farm in Dyersville, IA, the site of Kinsella’s revelations about his father come to life in the confines of the baseball diamond. It’s the centrepiece of the entire movie, its story and characters all interwoven by its very existence that’s about more than just the nation’s favourite pastime but the possibility of reconciling with loved ones.

Film: Field Of Dreams | Movie Location: The Kinsellas farm | Real Location: A farm in Dyersville, Iowa | First Appearance: When Ray completes construction on the field.

Release: January 1st, 1989 | Director: Phil Alden Robinson | Genre: Fantasy Drama | IMDB: 7.6 | RottenTomatoes Rating (Audience): 87% (87%)

3

The Firehouse - Ghostbusters

Jan 05, 2015
The Firehouse - Ghostbusters

Establishing their spook huntin’ business, the trio of Ghostbusters set about finding the perfect headquarters for their operation that suits their limited budget. An abandoned fire station in New York City fits the bill, offering their wacky personas an equally-bonkers homestead. The towering building is showcased during a large part of their ‘rise to fame’ montage, as the team jump out of bed and wrestle with the fireman’s pole (“You gotta try this!” yells Ray at one point) before piling into their car ECTO-1. Located in Tribeca, New York the ‘Hook & Ladder 8’ station is still a fully-functional fire house complete with firefighters. Still a mecca for fans of the movie, who trek to its location every year to catch a glimpse of the infamous HQ - now complete with a Ghostbusters logo painted on the sidewalk.

Film: Ghostbusters | Movie Location: Ghostbusters HQ | Real Location: Hook And Ladder 8 Firehouse, New York City | First Appearance: The Ghostbusters finally find a new place for their base of operations.

Release: June 1st, 1984 | Director: Ivan Reitman | Genre: Comedy | IMDB: 7.8 | RottenTomatoes Rating (Audience): 97% (88%)

4

The Fountain - La Dolce Vita

Jan 05, 2015
The Fountain - La Dolce Vita

Nicola Salvi’s beautiful 18th-century piece made its way onto the big screen in Roman Holiday, and even influenced the title of Three Coins In The Fountain. It was however in 1960, when Federico Fellini asked his voluptuous leading lady Anita Ekberg to step into the exhibit and bathe herself, that Salvi’s landmark became instantly recognisable to millions of moviegoers. Situated in Rome’s Trevi District, The Trevi Fountain has long since been a place where people have trekked in the hopes of reliving Ekberg’s moment. Alas, it’s forbidden to enter the fountain itself now, so throwing a few pennies in for good luck is the next best thing for the countless fans who visit the Baroque masterpiece year after year.

Film: La Dolce Vita | Movie Location: The fountain | Real Location: The Trevi Fountain | First Appearance: When Sylvia and Marcello party throughout Rome one evening.

Release: April 19th, 1961 | Director: Federico Fellini | Genre: Drama | IMDB: 8.1 | RottenTomatoes Rating (Audience): 96% (91%)

5

The Church - The Graduate

Jan 05, 2015
The Church - The Graduate

In his quest for true romance, Benjamin Braddock behaves how most of us have been instructed to since we were young; he raises his voice in a church, and during a wedding no less! Heading to the United Methodist Church where his paramour, Elaine, is about to become legally bound to another, he storms upstairs as the love of his life is on the cusp of saying “I do.” His fists slam against the glass as he cries her name over and over until she reciprocates and the reunited pair flee. The actual church is located in La Verne, California some thirty miles east of Los Angeles and still stands today - often receiving many visitors keen to replicate the legendary ending of the movie.

Film: The Graduate | Movie Location: The church where Elaine is getting married | Real Location: United Methodist Church, La Verne, California | First Appearance: When Benjamin tries to stop the nuptials.

Release: December 22nd, 1967 | Director: Mike Nichols | Genre: Drama | IMDB: 8.1 | RottenTomatoes Rating (Audience): 88% (90%)

6

Katz’s Deli - When Harry Met Sally

Jan 05, 2015
Katz’s Deli - When Harry Met Sally

The diner is a chunk of perfect Americana that remains a well-loved aspect of nostalgia and therefore served as the ideal backdrop for Meg Ryan’s passionate outburst in When Harry Met Sally. You know the one we’re talking about. The movie’s most memorable moment - a louder-than-bombs fake orgasm - happens in a regular diner. Katz’s Deli on Houston Street to be precise.

A New York staple that still attracts countless tourists to this day, many flock to sample the pastrami on rye, while the majority of movie fans are keen to sit in Sally’s chair below a sign of the immortal line “I’ll have what she’s having.” Perhaps a worthy addition to the list because of its classic, timeless status, Rob Reiner’s 1989 rom-com legend made the everyday surroundings of a low-key eatery into the place where massive life revelations occur.

Film: When Harry Met Sally | Movie Location: A diner the couple visit for lunch | Real Location: Katz's Deli, New York City | First Appearance: When Harry and Sally meet for lunch.

Release: July 21st, 1989 | Director: Rob Reiner | Genre: Comedy | IMDB: 7.6 | RottenTomatoes Rating (Audience): 88% (89%)

7

Manhattan - Manhattan

Jan 05, 2015
Manhattan - Manhattan

Woody Allen’s love affair with the Big Apple has seen his whimsical characters explore life and love throughout its five boroughs across the decades. But it’s his loyalty to the island of Manhattan that led to one of his most iconic shots ever captured. The success of the scene’s composition meant the crisp take of Allen and Diane Keaton sat on a bench became the central artwork motif for the film’s poster campaign. The simple idea, of two friends talking before sunrise, is made all the more spectacular by the lights of the Queensborough Bridge behind them. A pair of shadows cast against the ebbing morning light, the bridge looming in the background, it’s a romantic ideal perfectly brought to life by one of Manhattan’s most charming vistas.

Film: Manhattan | Movie Location: The scene of an evening date | Real Location: Queensborough Bridge, New York City | First Appearance: When the pair sit for a chat during an evening stroll.

Release: April 25th, 1979 | Director: Woody Allen | Genre: Comedy Drama | IMDB: 8.0 | RottenTomatoes Rating (Audience): 98% (92%)

8

The Steps - The Exorcist

Jan 05, 2015
The Steps - The Exorcist

A sinister scene at the climax of The Exorcist pauses on the steep staircase situated outside the homestead of possessed pre-teen, Regan McNeil. While the major events of the film itself - head-spinning and pea soup-spitting - take place within the confines of the home, it’s the set of stone stairs outside the abode which lays claim to the film’s scariest moments. The steps, which were a crucial component of several characters’ deaths, are situated outside the house at 3600 Prospect Street in Washington, D.C. Much like the rest of the film they’re found in the Georgetown district of the city, where the exteriors of the McNeil home were shot. An eerie mecca for film fans the world over, the site is still visited to this day by hordes of Exorcist nerds eager for a photo opportunity.

Film: The Exorcist | Movie Location: The steps outside the McNeil home | Real Location: Georgetown, Washington D.C. | First Appearance: During an establishing shot of the house.

Release: December 26th, 1973 | Director: William Friedkin | Genre: Horror | IMDB: 8.0 | RottenTomatoes Rating (Audience): 87% (87%)

9

Tiffany And Co. - Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Jan 05, 2015
Tiffany And Co. - Breakfast at Tiffany’s

The opening sequence of Breakfast at Tiffany’s follows a yellow New York taxi as it pulls up to the corner of 57th Street and drops off Holly Golightly outside the famed jewellers. Gazing through the window in her over-sized sunglasses, nibbling on a pastry and sipping a coffee, so begins one of the only scenes throughout the movie where we learn something of the mystery surrounding Holly. When later describing her regular visits to the store as a relaxing measure, she says “Well, when I get it, the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany’s. Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it. Nothing very bad could happen to you there.” Considering the store name is in the title of the movie, you’d expect it to make an appearance, and so the owners of the hallmark jewellers opened for the first Sunday in DECADES to let filmmakers inside.

Film: Breakfast at Tiffany's | Movie Location: Tiffany and Co. | Real Location: The real Tiffany and Co., New York City| First Appearance: The film's opening scene.

Release: October 5th, 1961 | Director: Blake Edwards | Genre: Drama | IMDB: 7.8 | RottenTomatoes Rating (Audience): 87% (91%)

10

The Museum Steps - Rocky

Jan 05, 2015
The Museum Steps - Rocky

The epic training montage in Rocky features one of the best locations in cinematic history. As the tortured, and pushed-to-the-limit Balboa finishes up his regimen the sequence culminates in his charge up and down the steps of the Philadelphia Museum Of Art. The building itself stands in the background; it’s the slats of stone he races up and down that are the real draw. Serving to literally represent his rise to the top, the inclusion of the museum into the movie was a stroke of genius that bound together story, theme and character. It’s no wonder the local government created a Rocky statue at the base of the steps to commemorate such a pivotal moment in movie lore.

Film: Rocky | Movie Location: A part of Rocky's training regime | Real Location: The steps outside the Philadelphia Museum Of Art | First Appearance: During Rocky's exercise montage.

Release: November 21st, 1976 | Director: John Avildsen | Genre: Drama | IMDB: 8.1 | RottenTomatoes Rating (Audience): 92% (68%)


GOAT Staff Score - Film Location

The candidates have been assigned a raw score across a range of criteria. The raw scores have been weighted to reflect the impact that each individual criterion has on the 'Final GOAT Score'. Only weighted scores are displayed in this table. -->TURN DEVICE SIDEWAYS TO VIEW ON MOBILE-->
 Aesthetics (30%)Role In Film (25%)Legacy (25%)Atmosphere (20%)Raw ScoreFinal GOAT Score
Lord Of The Rings10108937930
Field Of Dreams7951031760
Ghostbusters589729715
La Dolce Vita867526665
The Graduate373619460
When Harry Met Sally4210117440
Manhattan932216435
The Exorcist251816370
Breakfast At Tiffany's146415360
Rocky614314365

GOAT Verdict:

Mount Doom from Lord of the Rings is the Greatest Film Location of All Time
The task of bringing to life Tolkien’s magical world of Middle Earth could easily have been conjured up via a mix of CGI and green screen trickery. Being a Kiwi, there was no way director Peter Jackson would have given up the chance to showcase his majestic homeland on the big screen. The vast plains, scenic vistas and breathtaking mountainous landscapes breathed life into the intricate story of triumph, and the final showdown in the dark realm of Mordor could not have been possible without filming at Tongariro National Park. Itself a sprawling site, the location’s topography is instantly recognisable by its dominant peak of Mount Ngauruhoe. A towering monument, that translated to the big screen as Mount Doom – the location of Frodo’s final challenge – its majestic beauty provided the Lord Of The Rings saga with a truly memorable location.

0

What is the greatest movie one-liner of all time?

1

"I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse."

Jan 02, 2015 - youtube.com - 82
"I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse."

In a film series focused around an overtly violent lifestyle, it was refreshing and eloquent to see a veiled threat. Vito Corleone, the head of a massive and nearly omnipotent crime family, fulfilled his promise of getting his relative an acting role in the most sadistic and brutal way possible, and it all began with this delicately-phrased line. In spite of the many ethical codes that accompanied the Corleone family and its violence, the use of decapitations on horses was evidently not prohibited, and its appearance in the ensuing scenes retroactively empowered Vito’s line. The line was a beautiful and shocking way to demonstrate how much power came with the family title, and managed to make a point without crossing into blatant shock value. And although it may just be a coincidence, modern day Hollywood directors own far fewer racehorses.

Film: The Godfather | Release: 1972 | Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Box Office Gross: $245 to $286 million

Actor & Character: Marlon Brando as Vito Corleone | Context: Euphemistically describing Vito's plan to coerce a studio head into cooperation.

2

"I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti."

Jan 02, 2015 - youtube.com - 76
"I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti."

Thanks to the free advertising in Silence of the Lambs, fava beans have reentered dining rooms around the world, and Chianti is poured with a mandatory recreation of Anthony Hopkins’s infamous line. Delivered during Clarice Starling’s visit to the cell of Hannibal Lecter, this line put a chill into every member of the audience, and left an impression of Anthony Hopkins’s terrifying stare in the minds of all future viewers. Although Hopkins played a sociopathic cannibal with more skill than most actors could summon, his defining moment came with this line, where he completely sold his character and struck fear into the hearts of census takers everywhere. Something about Hannibal Lecter’s judicious reveals of courtesy and viciousness made him a figure of cinematic legend, and Anthony Hopkins’s line made him a cinematic nightmare.

Film: Silence of the Lambs | Release: 1991 | Director: Jonathan Demme | Box Office Gross: $272.7 million

Actor & Character: Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter | Context: Describing the fate of a census taker who probed too far into the cannibalistic Dr. Lecter's private life.

3

"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."

Jan 02, 2015 - youtube.com - 79
"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."

This line has nested comfortably in the top tier of film quotes since its inception, and its praise is far from undeserved. After the lengthy and absorbing experience of Gone with the Wind, in which Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler tempted the audience with a satisfying romance that never truly solidified, the need for an emotionally powerful and resolving scene was greater than ever. When Rhett finally gathers the courage to push away Scarlett, whose concerns immediately fall to her own wellbeing and how she will maintain her status, he proceeded to offer his own rebuttal to her protests. The line was callous and harsh, but it felt entirely earned, considering the toying nature of their relationship and the need for clarity. Rhett’s statement was more than just a shove back against Scarlett’s pleas; it was a much-needed moment of agency and character determination.

Film: Gone with the Wind | Release: 1939 | Director: Victor Fleming | Box Office Gross: $390 million

Actor & Character: Clark Gable as Rhett Butler | Context: Dismissing the concerns of Rhett's unrequited love, Scarlett O'Hara.

4

"What we've got here is failure to communicate."

Jan 02, 2015 - youtube.com - 95
"What we've got here is failure to communicate."

Communication may be the cornerstone of any good relationship, but this line – delivered by an oppressive chain-gang warden in Cool Hand Luke – challenges that notion. The eponymous Luke, an up-and-coming rebel within the prison system, found his perfect opponent in the order-worshipping Captain. After failing to obey orders while on a chain-gang march, Luke was subjected to a beating, and subsequently informed of the root of his disagreements with authority figures. The shaky, almost unassuming nature of the line’s delivery only heightened its absurdity, and succeeded in fostering both disdain and admiration for The Captain. As the film progressed and the contest for the prisoners’ respect grew between Luke and The Captain, one thing became abundantly clear: on a practical as well as ideological, the conflict was always about the failure to communicate.

Film: Cool Hand Luke | Release: 1967 | Director: Stuart Rosenberg | Box Office Gross: $16.2 million

Actor & Character: Strother Martin as The Captain | Context: Understating the conflict between Luke, a rebellious prisoner, and The Captain, a cruel warden in charge of a chain-gang.

5

"Go ahead, make my day."

Jan 02, 2015 - youtube.com - 76
"Go ahead, make my day."

There was never much dispute about Clint Eastwood’s tough-as-nails acting abilities, particularly in his desperado roles, but the character of Harry Callahan redefined what it meant to be “hardcore.” Sudden Impact was the fourth in a series of films featuring the detective, and one of the earliest scenes in the film – an attempted hold-up in a diner – highlighted Callahan’s ability to remain steady and lethal under pressure. After Callahan’s nigh-equally amusing reference to his three-man combat team (“Smith, Wesson, and I”), he dispatched a group of gunmen, leaving only one would-be thief alive. When the last gunman took a hostage, Callahan was quick to inform him of the punishment for harming an innocent bystander, and how much enjoyment he would receive from firing a revolver bullet in return. With no other options, and Callahan’s iron-hot stare burning into his eyes, the gunman released the hostage and allowed himself to be arrested by waiting officers. Clint Eastwood’s delivery was cold, calm, and even a bit sadistic – but it certainly achieved its goals.

Film: Sudden Impact | Release: 1983 | Director: Clint Eastwood | Box Office Gross: $67.6 million

Actor & Character: Clint Eastwood as Harry Callahan | Context: Daring an armed gunman to harm a hostage, thereby justifying Callahan's retribution with his characteristic revolver.

6

“I love the smell of Napalm in the morning.”

Jan 02, 2015 - youtube.com - 91
“I love the smell of Napalm in the morning.”

Francis Ford Coppola’s renowned novel-to-film adaptations took him from American mafia dealings to the jungles of Vietnam, and he presented all of his settings and characters with amazing depth. This adherence to artistic vision and cinematic excellence was especially true in Apocalypse Now, where the bizarre nature of war was on full display, and was deeply explored in the minds of the film’s soldiers. When Lieutenant Colonel Kilgore reached the beachheads that he had recently bombed (to the tune of a Wagner operatic melody, no less), his first observation pertained to the aroma of warfare. The Lieutenant Colonel delivered the line while wandering among the smoldering, flame-spouting ruins of the beach and its nearby village, and the satisfaction on his face only served to further define Kilgore’s twisted character.

Film: Apocalypse Now | Release: 1979 | Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Box Office Gross: $150 million

Actor & Character: Robert Duvall as Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore | Context: Praising the "aroma" of a beachhead covered in burning napalm.

7

“I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass… And I’m all out of bubblegum.”

Jan 02, 2015 - youtube.com - 85
“I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass… And I’m all out of bubblegum.”

John Carpenter wasn’t exactly known for his prowess in directing drama films, but They Live was proof that memorable lines can come from any genre. Centered around an intangible takeover of the Earth by skeletal-looking aliens (which can only be spotted by the drifter Nada’s new pair of sunglasses), the plot is a satiric and over-the-top romp through 1980s America and its media fascination. When Nada, played by Roddy Piper, enters a bank with a shotgun in hand, the ridiculousness reaches a boiling point. Surrounded by stunned-looking customers and clerks alike, Nada delivers his infamous line, spots the disguised aliens in the crowd, and opens fire with a hail of shotgun pellets. The sheer insanity of the scene – including its comically evil alien makeup – undercuts the shooting’s violence, and perfectly encapsulates They Live’s fascination with the divide between reality and warped media depictions.

Film: They Live | Release: 1988 | Director: John Carpenter | Box Office Gross: $13 million

Actor & Character: Roddy Piper as Nada | Context: Entering a crowded bank to dispatch aliens, which have cleverly hidden among the human population.

8

"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."

Jan 02, 2015 - youtube.com - 72
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."

Dorothy Gale’s first experience of Oz and its strange surroundings needed no dialogue, since the world’s presentation was strong enough to enchant the viewer and set the stage for the story with ease. One of the first lines spoken by Dorothy (played by Judy Garland), however, managed to capture the innocence and charm of her character with only a few words. It was uttered with Toto close at hand, and a stare full of the mysticism and foreignness of Oz. The line was memorable because it made no particular effort to stand out in the viewer’s mind. Despite its matter-of-fact nature, it was an endearing way to introduce the scene and establish a tone for the world of Oz, as well as scoring some extra points for the use of an adorable dog.

Film: The Wizard of Oz | Release: 1939 | Director: Victor Fleming | Box Office Gross: $3 million

Actor & Character: Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale | Context: Expressing Dorothy's confusion after her transportation to the land of Oz.

9

“This is Sparta!”

Jan 02, 2015 - youtube.com - 80
“This is Sparta!”

It was truly the kick heard ‘round the world. With one furious proclamation to a Persian messenger and his assistants, Gerard Butler became one of the most quoted men in movie history. Part of the line’s power came from the film’s pre-release trailers, which paired the messenger’s slow-motion descent into a bottomless pit with the thumping electronic music of Nine Inch Nails, but another aspect of its memorable presentation was the lead-up to Butler’s line. An exchange with increasing tension provided the perfect backdrop for Leonidas’s explosion of anger, and Zack Snyder’s hyper-stylized vision of Spartan combat made the scene feel dreamlike but engaging. Although Gerard Butler put in the necessary work to look like a Spartan warrior, it was his dedication to the passion (and rage) of King Leonidas that sold the scene as a whole.

Film: 300 | Release: 2007 | Director: Zack Snyder | Box Office Gross: $456 million

Actor & Character: Gerard Butler as King Leonidas | Context: Sending a message to the Persian emperor, Xerxes, in the form of an executed messenger.

10

“Say hello to my little friend!”

Jan 02, 2015 - youtube.com - 73
“Say hello to my little friend!”

In the years prior to Scarface, Al Pacino may not have been considered the top choice for playing a Cuban-American drug lord, but it’s hard to imagine anybody else in the role nowadays. His performance as Tony Montana was memorable and thoroughly enjoyable, and part of the brilliance relied upon Pacino’s ability to sink into Montana’s lifestyle of violence and decadence in a believable manner. With a smearing of cocaine on his face and a machine gun in hand, Pacino delivered one of the greatest opening lines to a fight scene in action movie history, and initiated the battle with his “friend” – a rifle-mounted grenade launcher. The line was overcharged with Pacino’s raw anger, and the chaos and high production values of the ensuing explosion were enough to elevate the line’s quoting potential for years to come.

Film: Scarface | Release: 1983 | Director: Brian de Palma | Box Office Gross: $65.9 million

Actor & Character: Al Pacino as Tony Montana | Context: Preparing to fire a rifle-mounted grenade into a group of enemy gunmen.

11

"You're gonna need a bigger boat."

Jan 02, 2015 - youtube.com - 87
"You're gonna need a bigger boat."

For viewers of Jaws in its first theatrical run, the terror of imagining an unstoppable shark in the ocean was enough to drive swimmers out of the water for years to come. Over the years, more “intense” films have made Jaws seem less terrifying in retrospect, but many of its scenes and moments of slow-burning tension still hold up under scrutiny. One of these moments is the delivery of Roy Scheider’s ad-libbed line, which replaced a far more generic recommendation of escape. The certainty and terror in Scheider’s voice was what ultimately made the line work, and in spite of the film’s age, something about the statement continues to resonate with modern audiences. People may have been forced out of the ocean because of Jaws’s underwater scenes, but a fair amount of fishermen were probably dissuaded by this moment in particular.

Film: Jaws | Release: 1975 | Director: Steven Spielberg | Box Office Gross: $470.6 million

Actor & Character: Roy Scheider as Martin Brody | Context: Advising the fishing crew to adopt a larger vessel, considering the size of the great white shark circling them.

12

“I know Kung-Fu.”

Jan 02, 2015 - youtube.com - 71
“I know Kung-Fu.”

A film series like The Matrix was praised and criticized for its exploration of deep – and often heavy – thematic content. Themes such as the nature of reality, the convergence of technology and everyday life, and the disintegration of identity were all present and alive in The Matrix, but they were also joined by grin-inducing one-liners. After Neo (as played by Keanu Reeves) was given access to files with martial arts training, he woke up with a very distinct thought, which would later be explored in a fight scene with Morpheus. The line was enough to offset some of the bleak and unsettling content of the surrounding scenes, and the unexpected nature of his new skill set helped to show off exactly what an active neural uplink (and Neo) could accomplish.

Film: The Matrix | Release: 1999 | Director: The Wachowski Brothers | Box Office Gross: $463.5 million

Actor & Character: Keanu Reeves as Neo | Context: Explaining Neo's newfound martial arts abilities, which were uploaded directly into his mind.


GOAT Staff Score - Movie One-Liner

The candidates have been assigned a raw score across a range of criteria. The raw scores have been weighted to reflect the impact that each individual criterion has on the 'Final GOAT Score'. Only weighted scores are displayed in this table. -->TURN DEVICE SIDEWAYS TO VIEW ON MOBILE-->
 Acting Delivery (30%)Characterization Value (25%)Legacy (25%)Quotability (10%)Shock Value (10%)Raw ScoreFinal GOAT Score
"Make him an offer..."1291186461000
"I ate his liver..."1111871249995
"Frankly...I don't give a damn."931261040805
"…Failure to communicate."10793332760
“Smell of napalm...”86651136700
“Go ahead, make my day.”510410837680
“...chew bubblegum...kick ass…”11239934585
"...not in Kansas anymore."72104124560
“This is Sparta!”48211732550
“Say hello to my little friend!”35512530510
"…Gonna need a bigger boat."6472221495
"I know Kung-Fu."211149160

GOAT Verdict:

Greatest Movie One-Liner of All Time
Electing this quote as the champion was something that couldn’t be refused. Marlon Brando, a veteran of the acting world, pulled out all the stops in his performance as Vito Corleone. The Godfather is largely considered to be Brando’s magnum opus, as well as Francis Ford Coppola’s. The characters in these films were handled with style and class, and part of their intimidation came from their reluctance to openly discuss violence or bloodshed. Deeds were committed in shadows, and talks were punctuated by sips of wine or bites of spaghetti. Vito Corleone’s line was delivered with a velvety-smooth tone, but the intentions – and subsequent actions – behind his assurance are anything but smooth. By merely mentioning that the offer can’t be refused, the audience was already on edge, waiting to see what method of coercion would be used to shoehorn Johnny Fontane into his next role. Vito’s approach to business and brutality was glossy and shrouded in mystery, but it apparently always succeeded, since he holds the honor of delivering the greatest one-liner of all time.

0

What is the greatest natural disaster film of all time?

1

Sunshine

Dec 29, 2014
Sunshine

In recent years, science has taken as much interest in outer space as film production companies. This film featured a team of scientists sent to restart the sun using a stellar bomb, and while the physics behind the story are far from bulletproof, they were presented in a manner that seemed consistent enough to be enjoyable. The film was already ripe with tension due to Earth’s inevitable failure, but it was heightened by subplots about religious extremism, betrayal, and the nature of consciousness. Sunshine’s all-star cast also enabled the film to reach new heights due to its accomplished acting and fantastic inter-character chemistry, which helped to sell the concept of a multinational coalition of physicists, engineers, and researchers. Sunshine has as much pseudo-science jargon as any other natural disaster film, but its realism hides the cracks.

Release: 2007 | Director: Danny Boyle | Writer: Alex Garland | Production Company: Moving Picture Company, DNA Films, UK Film Council, Ingenious Film Partners

Leading Actors: Rose Byrne, Cliff Curtis, Chris Evans, Troy Garity, Cillian Murphy | Budget: $40 million | Box Office Gross: $32 million | RottenTomatoes Score: 75%

2

The Impossible

Dec 29, 2014
The Impossible

Compared to some of the more high-octane thrillers and apocalypse-courting films on the list, The Impossible is a shockingly human story which relies on the true definition of “disaster.” Revolving around the Bennett family and their experience with a tsunami in Thailand, the film focuses its attention on the desperate search for missing children rather than thousand-ton bombs or ground-fracturing lava fissures. The film was critically acclaimed due to its powerhouse performances from Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts, and managed to place the viewer into one of the most chaotic and frightening episodes in recent history. Considering the story’s origins in the real-life experiences of a tsunami survivor, it’s hard not to feel connected to the characters’ struggles, and embrace the grittiness that director Juan Antonio Bayona instilled in every scene.

Release: 2012 | Director: Juan Antonio Bayona | Writer: Sergio G. Sánchez | Production Company: Apaches Entertainment, Telecinco Cinema

Leading Actors: Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor | Budget: $45 million | Box Office Gross: $180.2 million | RottenTomatoes Score: 81%

3

2012

Dec 29, 2014
2012

Few films are as direct about their subject as Roland Emmerich’s 2009 blockbuster, which capitalized on the hysteria surrounding 2012 and its Mayan apocalypse. John Cusack was the leading presence behind the film, and his efforts to save his family and evade the planet’s destruction served as the driving (and personal) force behind a film of epic proportions. The film emphasized its offbeat and often tongue-in-cheek moments, but didn’t hold back in flaunting its budget. There were state-shattering volcanic eruptions, set pieces involving massive “Ark” boats, and more sequences involving the narrow escape of a city than any action film to date. 2012 didn’t take itself nearly as seriously as its namesake end-of-the-world prophecy, and succeeded in bringing a stunning array of visuals and tsunami-torn Los Angeles streets to the screen.

Release: 2009 | Director: Roland Emmerich | Writer: Harald Kloser, Roland Emmerich | Production Company: Columbia Pictures

Leading Actors: John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Thandie Newton, Danny Glover, Woody Harrelson | Budget: $200 million | Box Office Gross: $769.7 million | RottenTomatoes Score: 39%

4

The Perfect Storm

Dec 29, 2014
The Perfect Storm

The sea has long been considered an inhospitable and outright cruel environment by sailors, and The Perfect Storm expertly illustrated this concept with the plight of a doomed swordfish-catching vessel. Grounded in the real story of the Andrea Gail, the film called upon nonfiction accounts of the crew’s struggle for survival and the grief of the victims’ families. For the story’s film adaptation, a massive amount of well-rendered CGI transformed the experience into an immersive and terrifying experience. The film’s all-star cast, including George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg, lent familiar faces to the story, and provided solid performances to heighten the film’s rollercoaster of emotions. While the film was not as well-received as other films in the genre, it managed to immortalize the crew of the Andrea Gail, and told a touching and inspirational story in the process.

Release: 1997 | Director: Wolfgang Petersen | Writer: William D. Wittliff, Bo Goldman | Production Company: Warner Bros., Baltimore Spring Creek Productions, Radiant Productions

Leading Actors: George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Diane Lane, John C. Reilly, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, William Fichtner, Bob Gunton, Karen Allen | Budget: $120 million | Box Office Gross: $328.7 million | RottenTomatoes Score: 47%

5

Deep Impact

Dec 29, 2014
Deep Impact

When Hollywood makes a film about meteors striking the Earth, they’re always sure to pad the cast list with some of the best names in cinema. Deep Impact featured an ensemble cast and took a wide view of the planet’s impending doom, which was set to arrive in the form of a seven-mile-wide comet. The film marked one of Elijah Wood’s defining films in his transition to more “adult” Hollywood blockbusters, and managed to outsell Armageddon, which dealt with the same planet-destroying terror. The film also dealt with significantly darker themes than its Michael Bay counterpart, since it actually portrayed the repercussions of breaking a comet into several fragments and allowing them to strike the Earth. Despite the deaths of millions of people and untold carnage, the citizens of Deep Impact’s Earth were still ready to rebuild, carry on, and embrace the human element behind disaster films.

Release: 1998 | Director: Mimi Leder | Writer: Bruce Joel Rubin, Michael Tolkin | Production Company: DreamWorks Pictures, The Manhattan Project, Zanuck/Brown Productions

Leading Actors: Robert Duvall, Téa Leoni, Elijah Wood, Vanessa Redgrave, Maximilian Schell, Leelee Sobieski, Morgan Freeman | Budget: $80 million | Box Office Gross: $349.4 million | RottenTomatoes Score: 47%

6

Armageddon

Dec 29, 2014
Armageddon

Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck may have no business strapping in as astronauts and attempting to save the world, but Michael Bay was determined to prove the opposite with his 1998 disaster film. Pitted against the nigh-identical Deep Impact, Armageddon had a largely playful tone and relied on the relationships between its characters to keep the plot afloat. Although it may have been laughable to send a team of oil rig drillers into space for the purpose of dispatching an approaching asteroid, Michael Bay managed to frame the mission’s circumstances so that it seemed entertaining, if not bizarre. The star-studded cast ensured sizable box office results, and the Bay’s emphasis on (literally) explosive visuals gave the asteroid-killing crusade an impressive and polished presentation. Armageddon is a far cry from being flawless or cinematically stirring, but it’s a memorable entry in the hall of disaster film legends.

Release: 1998 | Director: Michael Bay | Writer: Jonathan Hensleigh, J. J. Abrams | Production Company: Touchstone Pictures, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Valhalla Motion Pictures

Leading Actors: Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, Liv Tyler, Ben Affleck, Will Patton, Keith David, Michael Clarke Duncan, Steve Buscemi | Budget: $140 million | Box Office Gross: $553.7 million | RottenTomatoes Score: 39%

7

The Poseidon Adventure

Dec 29, 2014
The Poseidon Adventure

Long before its 2006 theatrical remake, The Poseidon Adventure was the definitive film involving disastrous ocean liner voyages. Gene Hackman was the leading force behind the film, portraying a reverend with questions of faith and existence, and also served as the head of a band of survivors onboard the ship. While other natural disaster films show a wide range of perspectives and continents to reveal the extent of global damage, The Poseidon Adventure confined its action and thrills to the inside of a single vessel, which heightened the tension significantly. It featured gravity-defying rolls as a result of the ocean’s waves, flooded corridors with amplified drowning risks, and explosions to further complicate the situation. This was the ultimate film about man against nature, and was content to let its drama carry the storyline without resorting to conspiracies or violence between competing survivors.

Release: 1972 | Director: Ronald Neame | Writer: Stirling Silliphant, Wendell Mayes | Production Company: Kent Productions, Ltd.

Leading Actors: Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Red Buttons, Carol Lynley, Shelley Winters, Roddy McDowall, Stella Stevens, Jack Albertson, Pamela Sue Martin, Arthur O'Connell, Eric Shea, Leslie Nielsen | Budget: $4.7 million | Box Office Gross: $93.3 million | RottenTomatoes Score: 79%

8

Twister

Dec 29, 2014
Twister

In the cinema world, a movie based purely on loud, dumb, and visually impressive stunts is not always considered to be a failure. The epitome of this concept is Twister, a 1996 film revolving around a team of storm chasers and an unnaturally large tornado. For much of the film, the characters attempt to chase down and disable this roaming beast, only to find that their programmed algorithms are helpless in the face of its extreme power. Many audience members probably groaned at the pseudo-science being performed onscreen, particularly regarding the idea of stopping a tornado using an improbable research device, but there were enough entertaining set pieces and CGI thrills to fill its 113-minute runtime. Twister’s acting and science may have left something to be desired, but its unabashed delight in tornado destruction is still admirable.

Release: 1996 | Director: Jan de Bont | Writer: Michael Crichton, Anne-Marie Martin, Joss Whedon | Production Company: Warner Bros. Pictures, Universal Pictures, Amblin Entertainment

Leading Actors: Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton, Jami Gertz, Cary Elwes | Budget: $92 million | Box Office Gross: $494.4 million | RottenTomatoes Score: 58%

9

The Day After Tomorrow

Dec 29, 2014
The Day After Tomorrow

After hits like Independence Day, Roland Emmerich seemed to turn to a more serious (and socially aware) tone for his ensuing releases. This film, which starred Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal, took the idea of global warming and fluctuating climates to an extreme, and pitted man against one of the fiercest snowstorms in cinematic history. Emmerich marketed the film with jarring images of a frozen-over Statue of Liberty, and relied on the technically impressive CGI to propel its storyline along. Much like Deep Impact, a somewhat optimistic ending was tempered by the realization that the Earth had no miracle cure or deus ex machina scheme to repeal the planet’s massive covering of ice. Rather than allowing humanity to turn back the clocks, The Day After Tomorrow expected its world to live with its choices and carve out a new life amongst the devastation.

Release: 2004 | Director: Roland Emmerich | Writer: Roland Emmerich, Jeffrey Nachmanoff | Production Company: Centropolis Entertainment, Lionsgate, The Mark Gordon Company

Leading Actors: Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ian Holm, Emmy Rossum, Sela Ward | Budget: $125 million | Box Office Gross: $544.2 million | RottenTomatoes Score: 45%

10

The Towering Inferno

Dec 29, 2014
The Towering Inferno

Many disaster films portray a random event emerging from tremendous bad luck, but there is a subgenre of natural disaster which relies upon humans as the catalyst. The Towering Inferno’s main fixation, which is also referenced in its title, is a 138-story building which catches fire due to shoddy electrical work and human overreaching. The film had a high degree of technical merit as well as cinematographic value, and managed to realistically portray the burning of a skyscraper. Much like its natural disaster film kin, of course, the film relies on an unexpected and implausibly successful plan to reverse the damage. The film was fairly well received critically and managed to succeed at the box office as well, making it one of the more successful entries in the genre.

Release: 1974 | Director: John Guillermin | Writer: Stirling Silliphant | Production Company: 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros. Pictures, Irwin Allen Productions, United Films

Leading Actors: Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, William Holden, Faye Dunaway, Fred Astaire, Susan Blakely, Richard Chamberlain, Jennifer Jones, O. J. Simpson, Robert Vaughn, Robert Wagner | Budget: $14.2 million | Box Office Gross: $139.7 million | RottenTomatoes Score: 77%

11

Dante's Peak

Dec 29, 2014
Dante's Peak

While Pierce Brosnan may have had several close calls as a decorated secret agent, one of his most challenging foes came in the form of a Washington volcano. Dante’s Peak featured Brosnan as Dr. Dalton, a volcanologist, but placed the actor in a surprisingly passive role. Rather than trying to disarm the volcano through a Hollywood-style plot full of technobabble, Dr. Dalton and the town’s mayor, played by Linda Hamilton, were forced to escape from the impending lava using any means necessary. The film itself was far from a shoe-in for major awards, but it entered pop culture as one of the surprisingly few volcano films with a big budget. In addition, its lava effects and newspaper-shred ash were well done, and showcased the technical merit of the film’s design teams. Despite some contrivances in the plot and acting, Dante’s Peak is a staple of the natural disaster genre.

Release: 1997 | Director: Roger Donaldson | Writer: Leslie Bohem | Production Company: Pacific Western Productions

Leading Actors: Pierce Brosnan, Linda Hamilton, Charles Hallahan, Elizabeth Hoffman, Jamie Renée Smith | Budget: $116 million | Box Office Gross: $178.1 million | RottenTomatoes Score: 27%


GOAT Staff Score - Natural Disaster Film

The candidates have been assigned a raw score across a range of criteria. The raw scores have been weighted to reflect the impact that each individual criterion has on the 'Final GOAT Score'. Only weighted scores are displayed in this table. -->TURN DEVICE SIDEWAYS TO VIEW ON MOBILE-->
 Scale of Disaster (30%)Visual Effects (20%)Acting (20%)Intensity (15%)Fan Reception (15%)Raw ScoreFinal GOAT Score
Sunshine1181010847960
The Impossible6911111148910
201291129334710
The Perfect Storm11088633600
Deep Impact8462525545
Armageddon 10516224540
The Poseidon Adventure22971030535
Twister4771726520
The Day After Tomorrow7634424510
The Towering Inferno3145922400
Dante’s Peak 5353117370

GOAT Verdict:

Sunshine is the Greatest Natural Disaster Film of All Time
The approaching death of the Earth isn’t something to be dealt with passively, according to the crew in Sunshine. While other films have shown international efforts to save the planet, they almost always take place on the Earth itself, and rarely venture out toward the sun. For Sunshine’s ragtag band of scientists, the personal element was invaluable to the plot, and the tension between crew members was as dangerous as the solar flares and lack of oxygen. The film’s sheer scope was enough to make it a memorable experience, but it was heightened by unique situations and deadly situations which other disaster films never broached. Zealots onboard the craft challenged the mission’s very concept of salvation and importance in the universe, and these themes were more than simply a conflict between characters. They were a true attempt to delve into deep and introspective questions about creation, destruction, and religion, and it gave the plot an added layer of meaning and intrigue. Sunshine may not have been the blockbuster earning champion that its production studios expected, but it was the greatest natural disaster film of all time.

0

What is the greatest Christmas-Adjacent movie of all time?

1

Gremlins

Dec 24, 2014
Gremlins

This Christmas classic is all about the Holiday cheer and fear simultaneously. It’s also one of the only family horror movies in existence, allowing seasoned horror buffs to induct their children to the screams without bringing forth too many nightmares – or causing irreparable trauma and damage. This film is all about the Holidays in that Gizmo, the original mogwai monster bought from a Chinese antique shop who spawns the rest, is given from father to son as a Christmas present. All is cute and fuzzy until some of the basic rules of mogwai maintenance is broken, and Gizmo spawns a frenzied gaggle of evil gremlins who try and take over the town. The film starts off on Christmas, and the metaphor of sweet Gizmo turning into a bunch of evil parasites could be about the commercialism associated with Christmas - or I’m reading too much into it, and it’s actually just about cute monsters.

Release: 1984 | Running Time: 106 minutes | Director: Michael Finnell | Notable Actors: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Hoyt Axton, Polly Holliday, Frances Lee McCain, Frank Welker, Howie Mandel | Genre: Horror Comedy

Themes: Be careful what you wish for, and take sage advice literally. | Seasonal Elements: The film starts on Christmas, as Gizmo, the initial gremlin, is given as a Christmas gift, and there are Holiday decorations throughout the movie.

2

Edward Scissorhands

Dec 24, 2014
Edward Scissorhands

This Tim Burton classic starts off as a Christmas story, told one snowy night to a little girl. The mythical fantasy focuses on a suburban family in Florida adopting a creepy-looking man, played by Johnny Depp, who was created in a lab with scissors for hands. As the family grows fond of Edward Scissorhands, the daughter, Kim, grows more than fond and starts to develop a crush. All is well until her jealous boyfriend starts messing with Edward and trying to frame him for crimes, and things go spiraling out of control, leading to Edward being chased back up into his castle and Kim faking his death. The story ends on Christmas, and then the frame story ends with an explanation of why it snows in Florida now – because Edward is chiseling away at his ice sculptures on the top of the hill in his castle. This feel-good family film is great for Christmas, as it’s appropriate and serves as a reminder of all that is good about love and acceptance, without beating you over the head with Holiday cheer.

Release: 1990 | Running Time: 105 minutes | Director: Tim Burton | Notable Actors: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest, Anthony Michael Hall, Kathy Baker, Vincent Price, Alan Arkin | Genre: Romantic Dark Fantasy

Themes: love, acceptance, magic | Seasonal Elements: The whole story is framed as a child's bedtime story to explain while it snows, and the climax of the body story happens at Christmas time.

3

Brazil

Dec 24, 2014
Brazil

This bizarre, surrealist masterpiece by Terry Gilliam is probably one of the strangest Holiday films ever made. Sam, a bored government drone, decides to make life more interesting one day by learning more about a woman who mysteriously appears in his dreams, even though he is thwarted at every turn. The plot sounds normal enough, but the imagery, scenery and bizzaro-world big-brother style universe is extremely odd, and the style, typical of Gilliam, is off-the-wall and cartoonish. This counts as a Holiday film because the whole thing takes place between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. The end of the movie is absolutely mind-boggling, but also visually stunning.For the most part, this works as a family film, but it might be better as pretty background imagery for larger gatherings, as the plot is a bit hard to follow.

Release: 1985 | Running Time: 143 minutes | Director: Terry Gilliam | Notable Actors: Jonathan Price, Robert De Niro, Katherine Helmond, Ian Holm, Bob Hoskins, Michael Palin, Kim Greist | Genre: Surreal Science Fiction, Satire

Themes: Threats of conformity and uniformity | Seasonal Elements: The film takes place around Christmas time, on Christmas Eve and day.

4

Lethal Weapon

Dec 24, 2014
Lethal Weapon

Everybody knows Lethal Weapon, or at least a more recent parody version of the film’s plot – two cops with very different police styles and home lives are forced to be partners, and through that unlikely partnership, are able to catch a criminal. But what people forget is, this is actually a Christmas film. The movie takes place during The Season, with decorations and trappings all around despite the blood and gore, and climaxes on Christmas day, when the formerly suicidal Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) goes to the home of partner Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) to celebrate the Holidays. He has realized that life is worth living despite the tragedy that had befallen his wife, and has a renewed sense of goodness in the world. There are some rougher scenes in this film as far as violence and crime go, but it can be a fun watch for the older Christmas day crowd.

Release: 1987 | Running Time: 110 minutes | Director: Richard Donner | Notable Actors: Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Gary Busey, Mitchell Ryan, Tom Atkins, Traci Wolfe, Darlene Love | Genre: Action

Themes: Good prevailing over evil | Seasonal Elements: The film ends happily on Christmas day.

5

The Hunt

Dec 24, 2014
The Hunt

This interesting Danish film stars Mads Mikkelsen, now of Hannibal TV show fame, as Lucas, a quiet man who lives in a small Danish community and has recently divorced from his wife. Things are rough for Lucas as he tries to maintain a relationship with his teenage son despite his relationship change, but they start looking up when he begins to date a teacher from the local kindergarten where he volunteers. However, his relationship is soon tarnished beyond repair when he is wrongly accused of molesting one of the children in the class. This is an odd film, because it’s not an exploitation style movie where you watch all these bad things happen to a good person, nor is it a happy-go-lucky, feel-good movie. It is more about touching on the raw nerves and emotions of the viewer and highlighting the problems with small-town mindsets and mob mentality. The Christmasy part has to do with the season when then film takes place and the climactic events that happen on Christmas Eve.

Release: 2012 | Running Time: 115 minutes | Director: Thomas Vinterberg | Notable Actors: Mads Mikkelsen, Alexandra Rapaport, Thomas Bo Larsen, Annika Wedderkopp | Genre: Drama

Themes: anti-mob mentality, human nature | Seasonal Elements: The film takes place around Christmas time, and is shot on Christmas.

6

Die Hard

Dec 24, 2014
Die Hard

Everyone knows this as the greatest action Christmas movie ever. Bruce Willis does not disappoint as a policeman who finds himself in the right place at the right time, and is able to save his estranged wife’s office building from a terrorist attack singlehandedly. This movie starts off like any Christmas rom-com, with Willis’s character wanting to make amends with his sweetheart around the Holidays, and he does a lot better than saving Christmas or getting a great gift, as he is able to save her life and the lives of most of her coworkers. Of course it is sappy, unnecessary violent, and completely unbelievable, but that is what makes this story so much fun to watch, and it can be added to the repertoire as a yearly classic. Check this out as a good old cheesy action movie suitable for an older Holiday crowd.

Release: 1988 | Running Time: 132 minutes | Director: John McTiernan | Notable Actors: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Alexander Godunov, Bonnie Bedlia | Genre: Action

Themes: One man with enough passion can overcome an impossible situation, love conquers all, be prepared to be badass in any situation | Seasonal Elements: The movie takes place on Christmas Eve, and the corporation is attacked during a Christmas party.

7

Rambo: First Blood

Dec 24, 2014
Rambo: First Blood

This movie isn’t too Christmasy, but it all takes place around the Holidays in a small town in Washington State, and the decorations in the background, along with the beautiful scenery, really set the tone for the film. The story isn’t really a story – it’s just the main character, Rambo, going totally nuts on a whole town of small-minded cops and trying to kill them all, only to be arrested by the military police at the end. This spawned the entire successful Ranbo franchise, which has been known to have Holiday connotations. It’s a classic action movie with some added Christmas cheer.

Release: 1982 | Running Time: 93 minutes | Director: Ted Kotcheff | Notable Actors: Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna, Brian Dennehy | Genre: Action, Psychological Thriller

Themes: Don't push an unstable person, be kind to those who served out country, don't be judgmental, as you might be judging a homicidal war vet | Seasonal Elements: The movie is filmed in the winter and there are Christmas decorations everywhere in the background during the film, as well as a lovely winter landscape.

8

Batman Returns

Dec 24, 2014
Batman Returns

This Tim Burton Batman film is one of the more successful from the franchise, and focuses on Batman fighting arch-villains Catwoman and The Penguin. The fact that the film takes place during the Holidays is appropriate, since The Penguin lives in an icy lair under the city. Throughout the whole movie, there are epic shots of Batman standing proudly and grimly, with festive Holiday decorations flashing and glittering in the background. This film is a ton of fun and although the Holidays are only alluded to throughout and not the central focus, it’s still a great movie for that time of year.

Release: 1992 | Running Time: 126 minutes | Director: Tim Burton | Notable Actors: Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle, Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken | Genre: Superhero Film

Themes: Good prevailing over evil | Seasonal Elements: Takes place at Christmas time.

9

American Psycho

Dec 24, 2014
American Psycho

This movie, adapted from the Bret Easton Ellis novel, follows Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) as he goes from successful business tycoon to out-of-control serial killer. The whole thing takes places at Christmas times, and one of the scenes of Bateman’s classic freak-outs is at a Christmas party. Some of the memorable kills also take place against a snowy landscape. While there’s not a ton of Christmas magic dripping off the screen, there is enough connotation in there to justify watching this every year. This odd film is sad, funny, and outrageous, and will bring on plenty of Holiday screams to become your new family tradition.

Release: 2000 | Running Time: 102 minutes | Director: Mary Harron | Notable Actors: Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Jared Leto, Josh Lucas, Chloe Sevigny, Samantha Mathis, Matt Ross, Bill Sage, Cara Seymour, Justin Theroux, Guinevere Turner Reese Witherspoon | Genre: Psychological Thriller

Themes: True evil hides, corruption of the business world | Seasonal Elements: Set around Christmas time; one of the major events is a Christmas party

10

12 Monkeys

Dec 24, 2014
12 Monkeys

This sci-fi classic, also by Terry Gilliam, is about a dystopian future where a virus has been released that freezes the earth and kills most of the human race. James Cole (Bruce Willis) is a man living underground in one of the surviving colonies, and he is sent back in time to try and stop the virus from spreading in the first place. His search takes him after a group called the 12 Monkeys, a terrorist organization who is rumored to have caused the attack, only to learn that there is actually something much more sinister going on. This science fiction story happens around Christmas time, featuring parties, festivities, and decorations, and carries the message of faith in humanity at all costs, despite our flaws.

Release: 1995 | Running Time: 127 minutes | Director: Terry Gilliam | Notable Actors: Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, Brad Pitt, Christopher Plummer | Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian Fiction

Themes: Human empathy, animal rights, the human condition | Seasonal Elements: Set around Christmas time, released in theaters right after Christmas.


GOAT Staff Score - Christmas-Adjacent Movie

The candidates have been assigned a raw score across a range of criteria. The raw scores have been weighted to reflect the impact that each individual criterion has on the 'Final GOAT Score'. Only weighted scores are displayed in this table. -->TURN DEVICE SIDEWAYS TO VIEW ON MOBILE-->
 Holiday Cheer (20%)Christmas Themes (20%)Strength as a Film (20%)Story (15%)Holiday Imagery (15%)Family Appropriateness (10%)Raw ScoreGOAT Score
Gremlins10869101053865
Edward Scissorhands851089949805
Brazil67778843705
Lethal Weapon 569104741680
The Hunt910326535610
Die Hard79217329510
Rambo: First Blood33845225435
Batman Returns44133621330
American Psycho21562117290
12 Monkeys12451417270

GOAT Verdict:

Gremlins is the Greatest Christmas-Adjacent Movie of All Time
Our pick for the absolute best Non-Holiday Holiday movie is Gremlins. As far as a film that is great for the family, packs a wallop story-wise, and doesn’t wear you out with sappy Holiday cheer, while still keeping the Eggnog flag flying, this one takes the cake. The creepy yet adorable little pests are good for a scare and a thrill as well as a laugh, and the setting will make your Holidays feel more festive. The story of the Gremlins is a great tale of caution for keeping the Christmas giving modest and under control, lest you end up with a gremlin infestation. The film is also classic, and has been extremely influential in multiple genres, both realistic and fantastical.While many of the movies on this list are great stories with subtle Holiday undertones, Gremlins is undoubtedly the Greatest Of All Time.

2

What is the greatest car chase scene of all time?

1

Bullitt

Dec 20, 2014 - youtube.com - 117
Bullitt

If the words ‘film car chase’ don’t conjure up the name Bullitt, then you’re missing out on one of cinema’s arguably coolest high-speed pursuits. Often referred to now as a yardstick against which all other car chases are measured, David Yates transforms Detective Frank Bullitt’s race around San Francisco into a realistic romp. Throwing Steve McQueen into the hot seat as he gears up his Mustang GT 390, the seven minutes whizz by like a drive-by tour of the iconic California city. Unlike modern cinematic chases there’s a gritty reality aided by spinning hubcaps, the shrieks of burning tyres, and plenty of collateral damage that’s in plain view. In some part, this genuine sense of the thrill is down to the flawless driving of noted stunt driver, Carey Loftlin, who stands in for McQueen during the riskier sections. What’s the finest part of the entire affair is the self-assured nature of Bullitt. Throughout the whole chase he still oozes charm and sophisticated cool, that makes audiences firmly believe it really is him hurtling down those lofty San Franciscan hills.

Release Date: October 17th, 1968 | Director: Peter Yates | Domestic Box Office: $42 million

Sequence Length: 7:00 | Location: San Francisco

Featured Cars: Mustang GT 390, 1968 Dodge Charger | Noted Actors: Steve McQueen | Youtube Views: 207, 317

2

Vanishing Point

Dec 20, 2014 - youtube.com - 94
Vanishing Point

Dressed up as a ‘70s ode to counter-culture living, Richard C. Sarafian’s driving flick was remade in 1997 but make no mistake, it’s the original that dishes up the coolest driving sequences. In fact, this entire movie is one giant car chase prompted by former motorcycle driver Kowalski’s bruised ego. After a wager at a truck stop, he embarks on a 24-hour cross-country jaunt that would be impossible for a regular joe. Kowalski isn’t your typical petrolhead, however, and that’s all down to a brilliant decision by director Sarafian. Since considered to be some of the finest stunt driving ever captured on film, the spectacular driving sequences were crafted and realised by legendary stunt driver Carey Loftin. Never has the vicarious thrill of watching a true artiste been so electrifying, as Loftin steers the Dodge Challenger brazenly through cityscapes, country roads, and into the path of the law. It’s the one scene in particular that lends Sarafian’s quest across the desert a huge edge - when the cops catch up to our antihero he’ll stop at nothing to outrun them.

Release Date: March 13th, 1971 | Director: Richard C. Sarafian | Domestic Box Office: $12 million

Sequence Length: 4:50| Location: American Southwest

Featured Cars: Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger, Jaguar E-Type | Noted Actors: Barry Newman | Youtube Views: 61, 036

3

The Matrix Reloaded

Dec 20, 2014 - youtube.com - 74
The Matrix Reloaded

The sequel to one of the most successful sci-fi sleeper hits of all time had to take things up a notch. It wouldn’t suffice for a highly-anticipated big budget blockbuster to scrimp on the action. And so, Warner Bros. upped the financing for the second trip to The Matrix. The scope of The Matrix Reloaded’s most bonkers scene as Trinity and Morpheus rescue The Keymaker and plot their escape, was so ambitious the shoot had to be carried out at a decommissioned naval airbase. On a freeway designed by The Wachowskis themselves. The siblings’ commitment to creating the exact environment to lens the utterly crazy car chase saw them carve out $40 million of the film’s budget solely for the 17-minute sequence. There’s so much action packed in, it’s hard to process the insanity of effects, slick car skills, and impressive CGI amidst all the chaos. From Agents pummelling the cars, to an impromptu sword fight on a truck, the busyness of this chase is unrivalled anywhere else on this list.

Release Date: May 15th, 2003 | Director: The Wachowskis | Domestic Box Office: $281 million

Sequence Length: 17:00 | Location: Naval Air Station, Alameda, California

Featured Cars: Cadillac CTS, Cadillac Escalade EXT | Noted Actors: Carrie Anne Moss, Lawrence Fishburne, Neil and Adrian Rayment | Youtube Views: 976, 980

4

Death Proof

Dec 20, 2014 - youtube.com - 83
Death Proof

For some, Death Proof is considered one of Tarantino’s less impressive efforts. One thing’s for certain, it doesn’t prescribe to his normal mode of filmmaking. A shift from his typical dialogue-driven storytelling, it peels back the preconceptions and stands as a truly thrilling car chase picture. It’s also the only entry on this list to include not one, but two groups of women behind the wheel. Leading the pack for the second half, where the film’s climactic final chase occurs is stuntwoman Zoe, who enjoys sprawling herself across the hood of speeding cars in a game called “Half Mast.” At first it’s a blast, until crazed psychopath Stuntman Mike leers into view, slamming the girls’ Dodge Challenger to shake Zoe loose from the hood over and over. A real-life stuntwoman, Zoe’s game-turned-nightmare is a dazzling display of dangerous bravura, that injects what could have been a run of the mill pursuit into a heart-pounding assault on the senses. When the girls finally get one up on the evil Mike, after all that, you can’t half blame them.

Release Date: April 6th, 2007 | Director: Quentin Tarantino | Domestic Box Office: $25 million

Sequence Length: 12:00 | Location: Texas

Featured Cars: 1970 Dodge Challenger, 1969 Dodge Charger | Noted Actors: Kurt Russell, Zoe Bell, Rosario Dawson, Tracie Thorns | Youtube Views: 193, 523

5

The Driver

Dec 20, 2014 - youtube.com - 93
The Driver

Walter Hill’s raw driving approach in The Driver, placed Ryan O’Neal behind the wheel for a stream of chases all captured by the director’s sharp kinetic style. One of the most influential driving movies to emerge from the ‘70s haul of car pics, it left its mark on cinema in Nicolas Winding Refn’s 2011 homage Drive, and was directly sampled in the video game series, Driver. O’ Neal’s smooth criminal operates as a professional car thief who moonlights as a getaway driver. So it comes as no surprise that his livelihood offers him the upper hand when veering away from the threat of capture. In one of the film’s standout scenes, The Driver whips out some of his street skills to track down a couple of plainclothes officers. The rush of the driving is heightened by the placement of cameras on the front and rear bumpers, offering audiences an immersive experience from such a vantage point. With the only audio accompaniment the sound of screeching tires and the tug of a gear change, it’s a cool entry into the pantheon of movie car chases.

Release Date: July 10th, 1978 | Director: Walter Hill | Domestic Box Office: $2.2 million

Sequence Length: 12:38 | Location: Los Angeles

Featured Cars: 1976 Pontiac Trans Am, 1977 Chevrolet Sidestep | Noted Actors: Ryan O'Neal | Youtube Views: 45, 333

6

The French Connection

Dec 20, 2014 - youtube.com - 88
The French Connection

Before he tackled the supernatural realm of The Exorcist, William Friedkin commandeered this tale of cops vs. robbers through the streets of 70s New York City. Ushering leading man Gene Hackman into the public sphere via his depiction of grizzled cop Detective Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle, the story traces his battle to bring down a ring of heroin smugglers. His phenomenal performance went on to secure him the Oscar for Best Actor, and it’s believed by many to be the result of the film’s stand-out car chase scene. Behind the wheel of a Pontiac Le Mans, Doyle relentlessly pursues a killer who just happens to be in an elevated train hurtling around New York. What’s easily become one of the most famous vehicular pursuits in cinema is perhaps so memorable because it in fact only includes one car. The downright dangerous lengths Doyle goes to in order to catch his man is testament to Friedkin’s storytelling power; hinting at the cop’s unyielding grit for justice.

Release Date: October 9th, 1971 | Director: William Friedkin | Domestic Box Office: $51 million

Sequence Length: 5:30 | Location: New York City

Featured Cars: Pontiac Le Mans | Noted Actors: Gene Hackman | Youtube Views: 76, 369

7

Ronin

Dec 20, 2014 - youtube.com - 76
Ronin

Legendary helmer John Frankenheimer’s brilliant trio of car chases in his 1998 flick Ronin outshines his own sterling work from 1966 racing actioner, Grand Prix. Utilising a series of Formula One drivers to serve as stunt drivers for the scenes, their confident skills showcase the director’s eye for an exciting pursuit. A handful of popular European muscle cars, such as the Audi S8, Mercedes Benz 6.9, and BMW M5 storm around the slim Parisian streets inflicting damage and strife wherever they turn. The fast-paced sequences journey up the French Riviera as the film’s mercenaries pursue one another across a flood of beautiful landscapes. With a main core of characters who are seemingly unvexed by their own scrapes with death, the high point emerges as they roar in the wrong direction down a busy motorway. It’s the sense of speed Frankenheimer imparts that’s phenomenal here; these aren’t the flashiest chases but they’re the most impressive.

Release Date: September 25th, 1998 | Director: John Frankenheimer | Domestic Box Office: $41 million

Sequence Length: 7:45 | Location: Paris

Featured Cars: Audi S8, Mercedes Benz 6.9, BMW M5 | Noted Actors: Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, Natascha McElhone | Youtube Views: 767,558

8

Gone in 60 Seconds

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Gone in 60 Seconds

Cast away any thoughts of the sub-par Nicolas Cage remake and instead recall the brilliance of the 1974 original. An ambitious feature, director and star H B Halicki’s high-octane romp possesses one of the most daring sequences committed to celluloid. In a bold and now unheard-of approach, the story culminates in one of the longest ever car chases clocking in at 35 minutes. Sharing the screen with a yellow Ford Mustang, Halicki travels far and wide to avoid capture by the authorities on his tail. The pursuit snakes across multiple cities in one long uninterrupted scene of total vehicular carnage that’s as exciting to watch as it no doubt was to film. A total of 93 cars were decimated by the end of the shoot, one of which was the result of Halicki’s own boisterous driving causing him to crash into a telegraph pole. Filming may have been halted for a time, but the momentum doesn’t suffer, continually ploughing on into new urban areas with the occasional slow-down breather. It’s a staggering accomplishment, purely in terms of stamina, that will go down as one of the biggest car scenes ever pulled off successfully.

Release Date: July 28th, 1974 | Director: H.B. Halicki | Domestic Box Office: $40 million

Sequence Length: 35:00 | Location: Long Beach, California

Featured Cars: Ford Mustang | Noted Actors: H.B. Halicki | Youtube Views: 161, 082

9

The Bourne Identity

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The Bourne Identity

Doug Liman’s first entry in the hugely-successful Bourne series warmed up audiences to amnesiac assassin Jason Bourne, whose mission is to uncover his true identity. Bouncing across Europe, desperate to evade capture, the close call comes in Paris when authorities have him cornered. While the two sequels boasted bigger budgets, Liman executed the series’ most concise and thrilling chase sequence in the crowded Parisian streets. Bourne utters the words “Buckle up” to his companion Marie; Paul Oakenfold’s Ready Steady Go amps up, and the classic red Mini Cooper charges through the narrow back alleys, public crossings and seemingly-impossible thoroughfares dotted across the historical capital. Indulging in the car’s micro size, Bourne navigates it to great effect - fooling his pursuers whose boxier police vehicles are no match for the tiny Mini. Straying onto sidewalks and cutting corners through effective gear-shifting, he might not know who he is - but he’s one helluva driver. Coming to an abrupt end when a police bicyclist is sent sprawling across the hood of a Peugeot 405, Bourne zooms off in his damaged Mini. Which was the only one of five used in the shoot to make it through.

Release Date: June 14th, 2002 | Director: Doug Liman | Domestic Box Office: $121 million

Sequence Length 3:30 | Location: Paris

Featured Cars: Mini Cooper, Peugeot 405 | Noted Actors: Matt Damon, Franke Potenke | Youtube Views: 277, 777

10

To Live and Die in L.A.

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To Live and Die in L.A.

William Friedkin’s stab at another car chase, this time in 1985 cop thriller To Live And Die In L.A., might not top the sheer breathlessness of The French Connection - but it’s a close call. With car enthusiast William Petersen as a Secret Service Agent, the risky copper takes to the highway in a beat up Chevy Impala to track down his shifting target. With a director such as Friedkin, whose creative eye leant the chase a unique edge, there’s a number of simple tricks at play that amp up this incredibly tense sequence. Popping in and out of tight clinches, the Impala takes a real hammering right up until the pivotal moment. Petersen’s agent roars down a speeding highway in the wrong direction, darting in and out of traffic, for a heart-pounding viewing experience. This was achieved via a basic reversal technique in the editing suite, meaning that while none of the actors were in danger, the audience still watches through the prison bars of their fingers.

Release Date: November 1st, 1985 | Director: William Friedkin | Domestic Box Office: $17 million

Sequence Length: 5:00 | Location: Los Angeles

Featured Cars: Chevrolet Impala | Noted Actors: William Petersen | Youtube Views: 83, 039


GOAT Staff Score - Car Chase Scene

The candidates have been assigned a raw score across a range of criteria. The raw scores have been weighted to reflect the impact that each individual criterion has on the 'Final GOAT Score'. Only weighted scores are displayed in this table. -->TURN DEVICE SIDEWAYS TO VIEW ON MOBILE-->
 Driving (30%)Visual Style (25%)Originality (20%)Cars (15%)Critical Reception (10%)Raw ScoreFinal GOAT Score
Bullitt9866938810
Vanishing Point106710134730
Matrix Reloaded41095230665
Death Proof1958528605
The Driver2749830590
The French Connection751031035580
Ronin6422620450
Gone In Sixty Seconds8187327420
The Bourne Identity5231718325
To Live And Die In L.A.3314415325

GOAT Verdict:

Bullitt features the Greatest Car Chase Scene of All Time
Sweeping up in the weightiest categories, it may come as no surprise that the Greatest Film Car Chase Of All Time is Steve McQueen’s dash around San Francisco in Bullitt. David Yates’ film as a whole is a captivating detective actioner, thronging with solid performances from all of the cast, but it’s McQueen as the titular hero Frank Bullitt who steals the pic. The heroics and gutsy cool he displays throughout are never more winning than when he’s behind the wheel. The moment in question is an awe-inspiring sequence, made all the more exhilarating by stunt driver Carey Loftlin’s slamming driving skills. With a daredevil coursing through the veins of the city, any risque car tricks you’ve ever dreamed of doing suddenly seem possible. One of which is simply putting the pedal to the metal, as the rumble around SF’s urban jungle picks up the pace and never lets go. Wheel trims fly, hubcaps pop off and the unmistakable sound of shredding rubber dominates the sensory landscape. Sure, there might be slicker, neater car chases nowadays, with far more ambition that’s easily satisfied with CGI. But if you want a gritty, realistic, and utterly breathtaking chase, accept no substitute.

0

What is the greatest cult classic of all time?

1

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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Monty Python and the Holy Grail

A cult classic film doesn’t always end up ignored and discarded by the general population. Monty Python and the Holy Grail, produced by the legendary Monty Python comedy group (best known for their televised sketches), is a project that transcended its status as a niche comedy film and found mainstream success with in American and European markets. Driven by memorable moments such as the Holy Hand Grenade and the limbless knight duel, the film’s claim to fame is its highly quotable nature and adherence to offbeat but witty humor. Watching the film will not further your understanding of feudal politics, but it might teach you a thing or two about the velocity of unladen swallows, and will certainly compel you to make clapping coconut noises during your packhorse imitations.

Release: 1975 | Director: Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones | Writer: Monty Python | Production Company: Python (Monty) Pictures | Lead Actors: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin

Budget: $400,000 | Box Office: $5.00 mm | Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97% | IMDB Rating: 8.4

2

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

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The Rocky Horror Picture Show

In some cases, cult classics are immortalized because of their inherent oddness. The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a production that revels in its own weirdness and glam aesthetics, decking out actors such as Tim Curry in fishnets, lipstick, and black leather. It serves as a faithful adaptation of its 1973 musical predecessor, and embraces its own sense of campiness so passionately that its status as a cult film was inevitable. The film is still frequently played at small theater gatherings, especially around Halloween, when legions of adoring (and in-costume) fans descend on cinemas nationwide to dance to the Time Warp and participate in their favorite audience call-back quotes. Although its initial run was a relatively quiet affair, the Rocky Horror Picture Show of today is more alive and enduring than ever.

Release: 1975 | Director: Jim Sharman | Writer: Jim Sharman, Richard O'Brien | Production Company: 20th Century Fox | Lead Actors: Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick

Budget: $1.4 million | Box Office: $139.8 million | Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78% | IMDB Rating: 7.4

3

Ghostbusters

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Ghostbusters

This was the film that turned crossing the streams into a capital offense, and made marshmallows seem like a viable host for poltergeists. Like several other films of its time, Ghostbusters garnered attention with a competent blending of genres – horror, comedy, and adventure, in this case – framed against a tightly-woven script. The film was well-received at its premier, and its fanfare has only increased with time. Featuring a likeable, star-studded cast, outlandish battles against the paranormal forces of this world and beyond, and memorable outfits that make at least one appearance at every film, sci-fi, or comic book convention, Ghostbusters is ingrained in media history and the minds of film fanatics everywhere. No matter how old the franchise gets, there will always be ectoplasm-loving fans ready to take on the unknown (and topple a few Stay Puft titans in the process).

Release: 1984 | Director: Ivan Reitman | Writer: Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis | Production Company: Black Rhino, Delphi Productions | Lead Actors: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, Rick Moranis

Budget: $30 million | Box Office: $295.2 million | Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97% | IMDB Rating: 7.8

4

Army of Darkness

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Army of Darkness

Because of Bruce Campbell, a double-barrel Remington shotgun is most associated with the shout, “This is my boomstick!” Army of Darkness plays with the tropes of reverse time travel and undead uprisings, and with the help of Bruce Campbell’s reprised Ash Williams role, manages to create an offbeat and memorable action flick. It was the third entry in the Evil Dead series, but arguably the most memorable, with iconic shots of Bruce Campbell manning medieval battlements and shooting off the skeleton hordes with both shotgun barrels blazing. The mixture of gallows humor, over-the-top action, and obvious campiness is what allowed Army of Darkness to succeed in its initial box office run (or, at the least, to make back its budget and then some). In recent years, however, the film has only accumulated more fans, attention, and DVD sales.

Release: 1992 | Director: Sam Raimi | Writer: Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi | Production Company: Dino de Laurentiis Company, Renaissance Pictures, Universal Pictures | Lead Actors: Bruce Campbell, Embeth Davidtz, Marcus Gilbert

Budget: $13 million (estimated) | Box Office: $11.5 million | Rotten Tomatoes Score: 70% | IMDB Rating: 7.6

5

The Breakfast Club

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The Breakfast Club

Something about the 1980s facilitated the production of iconic and polished teen films, and John Hughes truly basked in this mysterious aura. Hughes produced films such as Sixteen Candles, which also starred The Breakfast Club’s own Molly Ringwald, and proved himself as a master of the genre. The Breakfast Club is debatably the best teen film of the era, if only for its snappy character exchanges and flawless renditions of high school archetypes. Despite its limited set pieces (which are, for the most part, contained within a high school library), the film manages to touch on everything from domestic abuse to clique expectations, and casts no judgment on its eclectic detention cast. The Breakfast Club lives on as a classic for teenagers and adults alike, and can still be found in weekend movie marathons or internet quotes with ease.

Release: 1985 | Director: John Hughes | Writer: John Hughes | Production Company: A&M Films, Channel Productions | Lead Actors: Emilio Estevez, Paul Gleason, Anthony Michael Hall, John Kapelos, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy

Budget: $1 million | Box Office: $51.5 million | Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91% | IMDB Rating: 7.9

6

The Nightmare Before Christmas

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The Nightmare Before Christmas

It’s safe to say that a film has achieved some success and attention if Marilyn Manson produces an adaptation of its main theme music. The Nightmare Before Christmas, which carries heavyweight brand involvement from both Disney and Tim Burton, rose to prominence as a well-crafted and whimsical exploration of the stop-motion craft. With Danny Elfman’s musical touch and Burton’s eye for uncanny, the film created its own mood, immersive universe, and subculture dedicated to patchwork skin-sewing and impossibly thin tuxedo cuts. Jack Skellington is as much an icon of animated cinema as Mickey Mouse, in the eyes of millions of Nightmare fans, and lives on in countless merchandise items and franchises (including Disney’s Kingdom Hearts series). It’s almost impossible to miss this classic – or its costumed fans – whenever Halloween rolls around.

Release: 1993 | Director: Henry Selick | Writer: Caroline Thompson, Michael McDowell | Production Company: Touchstone Pictures, Skellington Productions | Lead Actors: Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara, William Hickey

Budget: $18 million | Box Office: $81.7 million | Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94% | IMDB Rating: 8.1

7

The Room

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The Room

If some cult classics are so bad that they’re good, then The Room is potentially the best of the best. Written, produced, directed by (and starring) Tommy Wiseau, The Room is ostensibly a drama revolving around the tragic breakdown of a marriage. In presentation, however, The Room is one of the most poorly-acted and cringe-worthy films in years, and its painful lack of awareness regarding its own failure has made it an accidental masterpiece for its “fans.” With lines that alternate between chicken imitations, rooftop football-tossing, and marital abuse accusations, The Room’s catastrophic acting and writing are also its greatest strengths. Contemporary screenings of the film include audience members reciting the entirety of the film, or simply calling out the most memorable and painful lines in the script. The Room may not be objectively “good,” but it’s a champion among cult films.

Release: 2003 | Director: Tommy Wiseau | Writer: Tommy Wiseau | Production Company: Self-Produced | Lead Actors: Tommy Wiseau, Juliette Danielle, Greg Sestero, Philip Haldiman, Greg Sestero, Philip Haldiman

Budget: $6 million | Box Office: $1,800.50 | Rotten Tomatoes Score: 33% | IMDB Rating: 3.5

8

2001: A Space Odyssey

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2001: A Space Odyssey

Long before Mission to Mars, Gravity, or even Star Wars, Stanley Kubrick was the pioneer of space films. His adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey was a bold and dramatic undertaking, and its depiction of the vast unknown was (and continues to be) one of the most stirring portrayals of interstellar travel in cinema. Aside from commercial and critical success, however, 2001 also created a dedicated collection of fans that worshiped HAL, the ship’s nearly omnipotent AI, and were willing to spend hours dissecting the story’s mind-boggling presentation of evolution, interspecies contact, and cosmic infants floating through tunnels of color and light. Nearly 50 years after 2001: A Space Odyssey was released, hardcore fans and first-time viewers continue to marvel at the film’s visuals and realism, and with good reason.

Release: 1968 | Director: Stanley Kubrick | Writer: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke | Production Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer | Lead Actors: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood

Budget: $10.5 to $12 million | Box Office: $190 million | Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95% | IMDB Rating: 8.3

9

The Goonies

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The Goonies

Goonies never die, and evidently, neither does the franchise’s legacy. Driven by a cast of young actors that would later become accomplished veterans in Hollywood, The Goonies is a film that capitalizes on its sense of adventure, teenage rebellion, and pushing back against monotony. Its sets were imaginative and expansive, even with their inherently subterranean design, and the search for lost pirate treasure was among the more appealing plotlines from 1980s adventure films. Although the film was not Oscar-material in a critical sense, it quickly gathered a strong fan community and ended up on everything from major television networks to internet memes. But the film had a lasting impact in multiple areas. Slang such as “the truffle shuffle,” thanks to Cory Feldman, is now part of the American English lexicon, for better or worse.

Release: 1985 | Director: Richard Donner | Writer: Chris Columbus | Production Company: Amblin Entertainment | Lead Actors: Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman, Kerri Green

Budget: $19 million | Box Office: $61.3 million | Rotten Tomatoes Score: 67% | IMDB Rating: 7.8

10

Eraserhead

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Eraserhead

There’s no intrinsic expectation of surrealism in cult films, but Eraserhead epitomizes the concept and comes close to the level of brain implosion found in films such as Pi and Primer. Eraserhead has a deceptively simple concept, focusing on a man with eccentric hair in an apartment building. From there, however, the plot only becomes more disturbing, and more otherworldly. David Lynch shot the film in black-and-white, and it only makes the dark blood – which flows freely from a chicken served for dinner – that much more disturbing. The protagonist reveals hardly anything about himself, and after watching the film, you feel a sense of unease, if only from glimpsing the close-up shots of a lizard infant. Eraserhead is one of Lynch’s strangest films, but its admiration and following in cult circles only seems to thrive on that honor.

Release: 1977 | Director: David Lynch | Writer: David Lynch | Production Company: American Film Institute | Lead Actors: Jack Nance, Charlotte Stewart, Jeanne Bates

Budget: $20,000 (estimated) | Box Office: $7.0 million | Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91% | IMDB Rating: 7.4

11

The Warriors

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The Warriors

The Warriors is a classic example of a comic book visual approach being (correctly) applied in film. Centered around vest-wearing gang members known as The Warriors, the film takes the viewer throughout New York City in a single night of debauchery and violence. The various gangs in the film are styled differently and carry their own unique identities, from the baseball-bat-wielding Furies to the all-female Lizzies. Fans of the film are never shy to shout common phrases from their favorite characters, including the always popular, “Come out and play!” comment. The Warriors is not an attempt at individuality through bizarreness, but a focused and enjoyable romp through the streets and all their grit. If The Warriors video game – which just came out a few years ago – is any indication, this film has a long and fruitful life ahead of it as a cult gem.

Release: 1979 | Director: Walter Hill | Writer: David Shaber, Walter Hill | Production Company: Paramount Pictures | Lead Actors: Michael Beck, James Remar, Dorsey Wright, Brian Tyler, David Harris

Budget: $4.0 million | Box Office: $22.4 million | Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94% | IMDB Rating: 7.7

12

The Dark Crystal

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The Dark Crystal

Jim Henson’s project, The Dark Crystal, is among the more controversial cult films (at least, in origin). The original cut of this darker-than-usual Henson film was cited as being too difficult to follow, and the production company insisted on adding voiceovers to help guide the viewer. Cuts of the original film are now available, and this is the copy that most purists tend to watch for recreational viewing. The Dark Crystal is significantly darker and more disturbing than some of its similarly-themed counterparts for young audiences, but it makes no apologies for its content, and takes full advantage of well-developed lore and world design. Jim Henson may not have gotten his way with the theatrical release of this masterpiece, but thanks to hordes of cult fans, The Dark Crystal is frequently seen and enjoyed as intended.

Release: 1982 | Director: Jim Henson, Frank Oz | Writer: David Odell | Production Company: ITC Entertainment Henson Associates | Lead Actors: Stephen Garlick, Lisa Maxwell, Billie Whitelaw

Budget: $15 million | Box Office: $40.5 million | Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71% | IMDB Rating: 7.2


GOAT Staff Score - Cult Classic

The candidates have been assigned a raw score across a range of criteria. The raw scores have been weighted to reflect the impact that each individual criterion has on the 'Final GOAT Score'. Only weighted scores are displayed in this table. -->TURN DEVICE SIDEWAYS TO VIEW ON MOBILE-->
 Fan Following (30%)Quotable Lines (20%)Acting (20%)Critical Reception (15%)Strangeness (15%)Raw ScoreFinal GOAT Score
Monty Python and the Holy Grail11129109511035
The Rocky Horror Picture Show1251151043905
Ghostbusters8101012444880
Army of Darkness71173735720
The Breakfast Club68127134700
The Nightmare Before Christmas9458834690
The Room109111132680
2001: A Space Odyssey36611632585
The Goonies5782224510
Eraserhead11461224400
The Warriors2339320340
The Dark Crystal4224517335

GOAT Verdict:

Monty Python and the Holy Grail is the Greatest Cult Classic of All Time
Monty Python and the Holy Grail is good enough to crack the top ten list for any comedy film, but its true merit lies in the realm of cult classic films. The humor in this film is top-notch, but it’s the complexity and off-the-wall nature of the skits that highlight the power behind Monty Python’s writing and delivery. All around the world, there are audiences for this film, and the rise of online media has only increased the demand for Monty Python’s medieval epic. References to flesh wounds, killer rabbits, debates over repression, and Sir Lancelot’s shortcomings are prevalent and more alive than ever, and the persistence of these jokes – as well as adoration for the film itself – speak to the quality of both the filmmaking and the actors. Monty Python’s unique twist on British humor has an appeal that transcends the age of both the viewers and the film itself, and this excellence is what keeps loyal fans watching, quoting, and laughing. It may not have a lord, or an anarcho-syndicalist commune, but Monty Python and the Holy Grail is the greatest cult classic film of all time.

0

What is the greatest date movie of all time?

1

The Wedding Singer

Dec 12, 2014
The Wedding Singer

Frank Coraci struck gold when casting Adam Sandler in the lead role as The Wedding Singer, Robbie Hart. One of the comedian’s best performances is largely due to his sizzling chemistry with co-star Drew Barrymore as happy-go-lucky waitress, Julia. The story unfolds as the recently-jilted Robbie befriends the soon-to-be-wed Julia, and the pair try to ignore the romance blossoming between them. Now coming up on its 20-year anniversary, the film manages to avoid the pitfalls of the modern romantic comedy with a zippy script and a stunning supporting cast. It’s a bona fide feel-good flick, that weighs on the importance of good friendship as a solid foundation for an amorous relationship. Throw in the plentiful gags that still stand up today, and it serves as a truly classic date movie. Love and laughter take centre stage, because really, that’s what’s gonna land you that second date.

Release: February 13th, 1998 | Director: Frank Coraci | Genre: Romantic Comedy | Lead Actors: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore

IMDB Rating: 6.8 | Metacritic: 59 | Rotten Tomatoes (Audience): 67% (80%) | Memorable Scene: When Robbie serenades Julia with a self-penned love song.

2

Before Sunrise

Dec 12, 2014
Before Sunrise

The first in Richard Linklater’s “Before” trilogy bowed back in 1995, with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy cast as two twenty-somethings who meet while backpacking through Vienna and opt to spend the night together. As they wander the beautiful city, the pair succumb to the romantic appeal of being strangers in a strange land. Their instant chemistry drives their continued adventures into the night, as they trade stories, investigating their souls throughout those first heady moments of falling inextricably in love. It’s not only a romantic drama about people finding each other, but a romance for people with a desire within to never stop questioning, never stop searching, and never stop traveling to fulfil the needs of the human spirit. Hawke and Delpy collaborated with Linklater before the shoot, with the script serving as a jumping off point for improvisation - a choice which makes their iconic love story seem all the more likely for them. Or indeed, for us.

Release: January 27th, 1995 | Director: January 27th, 1995 | Genre: Romantic Drama | Lead Actors: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy

IMDB Rating: 8.1 | Metacritic: 77 | Rotten Tomatoes (Audience): 100% (93%) | Memorable Scene: The pair share their first kiss; and Celine mocks Jesse.

3

Ghost

Dec 12, 2014
Ghost

If there’s one entry on this list that hankers to the mushy romantic in us all, it’s got to be Jerry Zucker’s 1990 supernatural tearjerker, Ghost. The story of hopelessly devoted couple, banker Sam Wheat (Patrick Swayze) and his girlfriend Molly (Demi Moore), goes off the rails when Sam is murdered in cold blood. With unfinished business to do - finding his killer - his spirit stumbles across Oda Mae Brown, a medium whom he proceeds to harangue into helping him. For all the flack Ghost gets for amping up the melodrama, it succeeds where most fantasy romances fail - by combining parts of multiple genres. It’s at times a compelling thriller, a laugh-out-loud comedy, but above all it’s a bleeding-hearts love story. Swayze and Moore’s coupling provides the eye candy and wish fulfilment, but it’s Whoopi Goldberg as the zany medium who steals the show making sure the laughs temper the tears.

Release: July 13th, 1990 | Director: Jerry Zucker | Genre: Romantic Thriller | Lead Actors: Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg

IMDB Rating: 7.0 | Metacritic: 52 | Rotten Tomatoes (Audience): 74 %(80%) | Memorable Scene: Sam and Molly turn pottery into a messy form of foreplay.

4

Moonstruck

Dec 12, 2014
Moonstruck

Italian-Americans in cinema aren’t always wiseguys. As the leading characters in Norman Jewison’s 1980s comedy prove, they’re sometimes regular folk just looking for love. In a twist of fate, recently-widowed New Yorker Loretta (Cher) finds herself falling for her new fiance’s brother, Ronny (Nicolas Cage.) Sidestepping the obvious rom-com formula, Moonstruck plays up the Italian stereotype without reducing any of the main characters to empty caricatures. The struggle for Loretta is brilliantly explored; should she suppress the feelings for her lover’s brother, or take a risk? Of course, her parents (Olympia Dukakis and Vincent Gardenia in perfectly cast roles) offer their advice, but ultimately the love story wanders down its own path regardless. The palpable tension between the pair of would-be paramours - due to electrifying performances from Cher and Cage - is made all the more romantic by the old-school Italian soundtrack, that cements this as a simply meraviglioso date movie.

Release: December 18th, 1987 | Director: Norman Jewison | Genre: Romantic Comedy | Lead Actors: Cher, Nicolas Cage, Olympia Dukakis

IMDB Rating: 7.1 | Metacritic: 83 | Rotten Tomatoes (Audience): 92 % (81%) | Memorable Scene: Loretta visits Ronny at the bakery he works at and tears him a new one.

5

When Harry Met Sally

Dec 12, 2014
When Harry Met Sally

Mention When Harry Met Sally to anyone and the first thing their mind will inevitably shoot to is the now-infamous scene wherein Meg Ryan’s Sally fakes a very loud orgasm in a deli. It’s an iconic moment in cinema, that’s so memorable it points to the fact that this modern era of rom-coms has seemingly forgotten how to break the mould. The trendsetters have to start somewhere, and Rob Reiner’s 1989 romantic comedy hybridised Woody Allen’s neuroses with traditional love story tropes to create a fresh look at modern relationships. In the role of Harry, Billy Crystal argues that men and women cannot be friends when he meets Meg Ryan’s Sally, who believes its possible. Their conversations unravel and along the way the pair begin an affair, that causes them each to re-evaluate their stance. Both funny and refreshing, it’s largely thanks to Nora Ephron’s peppy script that it has emerged as a modern comedy classic.

Release: July 14th, 1989 | Director: Rob Reiner | Genre: Romantic Comedy | Lead Actors: Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal

IMDB Rating: 7.6 | Metacritic: 76 | Rotten Tomatoes (Audience): 88% (89%) | Memorable Scene: Sally's over-the-top fakegasm in a New York deli.

6

Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind

Dec 12, 2014
Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind

Charlie Kaufman’s sci-fi script places Joel (Jim Carrey) and Clementine (Kate Winslet) into quite the predicament, when after their relationship dissolves Clem opts to have her memories of their courtship erased. It’s only when Joel undergoes the same procedure - which deletes his memories in reverse - that he realises he wishes to save their relationship despite the way things ended. Michel Gondry’s brightly-coloured inner world serves as the terrain in which the pair, real Joel and memory Clem, venture in order to ensure he can still remember her after the fact. It’s a brilliant commentary on how we view the success or failure of a romantic endeavour, honing in on how a promising beginning can transform into a regrettable ending. A dose of fantasy mixed with the impossibility of re-starting a failed romance lends Eternal Sunshine an edge missing from most date movies; the chance to turn it all around.

Release: March 19th, 2004 | Director: Michel Gondry | Genre: Sci-fi Romance | Lead Actors: Kate Winslet, Jim Carrey

IMDB Rating: 8.4 | Metacritic: 89 | Rotten Tomatoes (Audience): 93% (94%) | Memorable Scene: Joel dives into his past as a young boy, while Clem ends up in the role of his mother.

7

Say Anything

Dec 12, 2014
Say Anything

In Say Anything, John Cusack’s Lloyd Dobler chooses a method of romantic wooing that’s now planted firmly in the realm of popular culture. Raising his boombox high above his head, Peter Gabriel’s In Your Eyes blaring from its tinny speakers, his struggling teen proves his love for the upper class Diane Court through the lyrics of a pop song. Director Cameron Crowe’s coming-of-age tale surrounds itself with music as the two star-crossed teens attempt to navigate the social trappings that threaten their relationship. It’s a story as old as time that benefits from two sparkling central performances. The chemistry between Cusack and Skye is so palpable that there’s no doubt this pair belong together, in spite of the huge obstacles they face. An optimistic, feel-good slice of teenage life; the throes of adolescence have never been so beautifully realised.

Release: April 14th, 1989 | Director: Cameron Crowe | Genre: Romantic Drama | Lead Actors: John Cusack, Ione Skye

IMDB Rating: 7.5 | Metacritic: 86 | Rotten Tomatoes (Audience): 98% (85%) | Memorable Scene: Lloyd attempts to win over Diane by blasting Peter Gabriel beneath her window.

8

Mr. and Mrs. Smith

Dec 12, 2014
Mr. and Mrs. Smith

Before they became a global tabloid sensation, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie first sent sparks flying in Doug Liman’s funtime romp, Mr. and Mrs. Smith. As a seemingly-normal pair of marrieds, their life consists of routine suburban activities. That is, until their true identities they each keep hidden from the other are unearthed. Their secret personas reveal that they’re both assassins; who have been assigned a new hit - kill the other Smith. Perhaps the sole entry on this list that’s a straight-up actioner, the mix of thrills and humour between the couple are charged with a kinetic chemistry that’s lacking in other romantic offerings. The very definition of an unconventional date movie, it might have more choreographed fight scenes than a romantic comedy, but it’ll get pulses racing. And that’s what you want at the end of a date, right?

Release: June 7th, 2005 | Director: Doug Liman | Genre: Action | Lead Actors: Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt

IMDB Rating: 6.5 | Metacritic: 55 | Rotten Tomatoes (Audience): 59% (58%) | Memorable Scene: With their identities exposed, the pair engage in a hilarious slapstick-y fight scene.

9

Pitch Perfect

Dec 12, 2014
Pitch Perfect

A musical first and foremost, Pitch Perfect emerged two years ago and has since risen in the ranks for film buffs, becoming a true cult comedy. In the movie, Anna Kendrick stars as Beca, a college student whose dreams of being a professional DJ are put on hold when she joins the university’s acapella group, the Barden Bellas. Their journey to win the national finals is dotted along the way with a series of amusing hijinks and several sing-offs, all of which pack in humour from a variety of angles. Slapstick, wit, self-deprecation, visual gags amp up the chuckles, as the motley crew of women overcome various hurdles to make the final. Wrapped around the jokes is a sweet story of Beca’s transformation, which is expertly handled as she realises the second the Bellas rise victorious that she just might be in love with her best friend. Invite that long-time crush over and who knows what might happen...

Release: September 28th, 2012 | Director: Jason Moore | Genre: Musical Comedy | Lead Actors: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson

IMDB Rating: 7.3 | Metacritic: 66 | Rotten Tomatoes (Audience): 81% (83%) | Memorable Scene: The finals, when the Bellas revamped mashup brings the house down.

10

Stranger Than Fiction

Dec 12, 2014
Stranger Than Fiction

Quirky and sweet, Stranger Than Fiction tells the meta-tale of Harold Crick (Will Ferrell). A rigid IRS worker, his daily activities are narrated via voiceover as its made apparent his life offers him little in the way of surprise. That is, until it’s revealed he’s actually a character in a novel that’s being written by Emma Thompson’s manic author, who happens to be the person supplying the voiceover. As his work sees him cross paths with Maggie Gyllenhaal’s kooky baker, he begins to realise just how much of a stick in the mud he’s been. From Thompson’s realisation that she’s quite fond of her creation, to Harold’s realisation he might be falling in love, there’s many layers at work in a stand-out piece of comedy drama that’s unlike anything you or your date will have seen.

Release: November 10th, 2006 | Director: Marc Forster | Genre: Fantasy Comedy Drama | Lead Actors: Will Ferrell, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Emma Thompson

IMDB Rating: 7.7 | Metacritic: 67 | Rotten Tomatoes (Audience): 72 %(85%) | Memorable Scene: In a witty romantic gesture, Harold brings baker Ana a bouquet of flours.


GOAT Staff Score - Date Movie

The candidates have been assigned a raw score across a range of criteria. The raw scores have been weighted to reflect the impact that each individual criterion has on the 'Final GOAT Score'. Only weighted scores are displayed in this table. -->TURN DEVICE SIDEWAYS TO VIEW ON MOBILE-->
 Romance (30%)Fun Factor (20%)Amorous Atmosphere (20%)Cultural Impact (15%)Critical Acclaim (15%)Raw ScoreFinal GOAT Score
The Wedding Singer8988639790
Before Sunrise931031035725
Ghost10199130650
Moonstruck6676732635
When Harry Met Sally74610532635
Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind4745828535
Say Anything5257928530
Mr. And Mrs. Smith2824218350
Pitch Perfect11012418340
Stranger Than Fiction3531315310

GOAT Verdict:

The Wedding Singer is the Greatest Date Movie of All Time
The pairing of Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore in this 1998 rom-com was such a successful feat, that the duo went on to star together in several subsequent films – but never did they recreate the bubbling chemistry that makes The Wedding Singer officially The Greatest Date Movie Of All Time. Looking back on Frank Coraci’s wedding-fever gem it still stands as a hilarious expose of the chaos surrounding a couple’s upcoming nuptials. Lodged in between the blossoming romance of Sandler’s career-best performance as jilted singer-for-hire Robbie Hart and Barrymore’s sweet waitress Julia, scene after scene of daft situational comedy spring forward. The rituals of pre-wedding organisation are addressed in a brilliant montage, largely thanks to supporting cast members Allen Covert, Christine Taylor and Alexis Arquette. A couple of cameos from Jon Lovitz and Steve Buscemi spike the chuckles with a dark streak; their cheeky turns thankfully prevent The Wedding Singer from heading into full-blown sentimentality. While there are moments of overstated romantic gestures, Robbie and Julia are so likeable you can’t help but smile as the wedding singer finally gets to serenade the girl of his dreams.

0

What is the greatest movie dinner scene of all time?

1

Goodfellas

Dec 09, 2014 - youtube.com - 150
Goodfellas

The Italian-American wiseguys in Martin Scorsese’s 1990 gangster biopic spend most of their time working up an appetite. After all, dealing with snitches can be hard work as Henry Hill, Jimmy Conway and Tommy DeVito discover when they pick up blabbermouth Billy Batts to dispose of him. Instead of stopping by a diner for greasy takeout, the trio head over to Tommy’s mother’s where the kind dear cooks them up a treat. A well-known fact by many fans, the Italian mama is played by Scorsese’s own mother, Catherine, who frets over the men like they’re hungry school boys home for their supper. As the camera swings around the table, giant helpings of a staple Italian dish, spaghetti and meatballs, are devoured by the mobsters. Watching these tough guys break bread and take a moment to enjoy a home cooked meal is as equally important to the story as witnessing them break someone’s kneecaps. The scene proved to be so popular that Scorsese even published his mother’s recipe for the meal.

Release: September 19th, 1990 | Director: Martin Scorsese | Genre: Drama | Scene Length: 3:20 | Starring: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci

Occasion: Impromptu dinner | Food Served: Pasta and meatballs | Notable Incident: The three wiseguys have the body of Billy Batts in their trunk

2

American Beauty

Dec 09, 2014 - youtube.com - 127
American Beauty

Lester Burnham is in the throes of a midlife crisis. He hates his job, his body, and his relationships with his wife and daughter. In order to regain control over his life, he takes charge and begins setting things into motion to kickstart his stalled happiness. So what better time to inform his nearest and dearest than over the family’s evening meal? What’s so spot-on about this scene is that director Sam Mendes essentially mirrors an earlier dinner in the movie, in which Lester’s scorned spouse, Carolyn, and his indifferent daughter Janie both berate him. Except for this meal, Lester turns the tables on the pair. “Janie,” he says to his offspring, “today I quit my job. And then I told my boss to go f@&k himself, and then I blackmailed him for almost sixty thousand dollars. Pass the asparagus.” The back-and-forth between Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening (as his wife) makes this not only one of the best dinner scenes, but one of the film’s stand-out moments. Her response to his unemployment turns into a high-pitched rant, over which no-one hears him calmly ask repeatedly for the asparagus. In a gesture to match his new lease on life, Lester slams his plate into the wall. It’s hilarious, poignant and something we’d all quite like to do at times.

Release: September 8th, 1999 | Director: Sam Mendes | Genre: Drama | Scene Length: 2:30 | Starring: Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch

Occasion: Evening dinner | Food Served: Asparagus | Notable Incident: Lester flings his plate at the wall

3

Scent of a Woman

Dec 09, 2014 - youtube.com - 127
Scent of a Woman

Al Pacino’s commanding presence as retired Army Lieutenant Frank Slade in Martin Brest’s 1992 drama is what makes this movie one to remember. His booming voice and seize-the-day soliloquys to impressionable college kid Charlie have spawned some of cinema’s most memorable scenes, one of which takes place over a Thanksgiving meal. The pair decide to pay Frank’s brother a surprise visit over the holiday and so begins an emotionally-charged meal. As Frank’s signature style of brutal honesty becomes too much for his sibling Willie, his brother sets about tearing into the former military man. It’s a tense moment as Willie explains to the group how it was his brother’s own bravado that caused his blindness. The barbs come thick and fast until Frank snaps, and pushes his brother against the wall in a lethal neck hold. The impact of Willie’s opinion overwhelms Frank, who bows out quietly in a sombre moment of self-realisation.

Release: December 23rd, 1992 | Director: Martin Brest | Genre: Drama | Scene Length: 6:00 | Starring: Al Pacino, Chris O'Donnell

Occasion: Thanksgiving | Food Served: Turkey with trimmings | Notable Incident: Frank gets his brother in a choke hold

4

Big Night

Dec 09, 2014 - youtube.com - 106
Big Night

Two Italian brothers relocate from Abruzzo to New Jersey to fulfil a life-long dream of opening their own restaurant. As the local community’s interest in Paradise begins to dwindle, the brothers are gifted a reprieve: singer Louis Prima will be stopping by for a meal, sending them into a flurry of activity as they cook up an extensive menu of homespun favourites.

While dinner scenes are commonly used as set dressing or a location to spice up a dialogue-heavy moment, in Big Night, the lavish sequence is all about the food. Knives chop at garlic and herbs. Onions sizzle in well-worn pans. The two bickering brothers spin around the kitchen, consulting handwritten recipes while the camera gazes longingly at the sumptuous spread the siblings bring to life. When the meal is ready the guests seat themselves at a long dining table, choreographed with the same care as is shown the actual cooking. Mouths sup at soup while faces melt with ecstasy at the flavour. The entire scene stretches across the film’s final act, culminating in the glorious Timpano - a pasta pie - that’s a mouthwatering sight to behold.

Release: September 26th, 1996 | Director: Campbell Scott, Stanley Tucci | Genre: Drama | Scene Length: 12:00 | Starring: Stanley Tucci, Tony Shalhoub, Ian Holm, Isabella Rossellini, Minnie Driver

Occasion: Dinner for Louis Prima | Food Served: Caprese salad, chicken pastina soup, tricolor risotto, timpano, tiramisu | Notable Incident: The brothers end up in a fistfight

5

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Dec 09, 2014 - youtube.com - 124
Close Encounters of the Third Kind

In Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, Spielberg explores the possibilities of one of the biggest questions man has ever posed; are we alone in the universe? It’s a big topic and one which the revered filmmaker approaches through the experience of Richard Dreyfus’ everyman, Roy Neary. After he witnesses a UFO fly overhead while driving home, he becomes obsessed with the flying saucers - even going so far as to draw out his visions of a strange mountain shape. Spielberg uses Neary’s behaviour at the table to mirror his emotional response to the sighting. His ‘close encounter’ with the spacecraft causes Neary to retreat into a daze, as he sits down for dinner with his family one evening. He piles his plate high with mashed potatoes, and begins to carve them into the mountainous shape from his dreams. As his wife and kids look on in horror at his almost catatonic behaviour, he breaks down into tears, unable to grasp the enormity of his experience.

Release: November 16th, 1977 | Director: Steven Spielberg | Genre: Sci-fi | Scene Length: 2:40 | Starring: Richard Dreyfus, Teri Garr

Occasion: Evening dinner | Food Served: Mashed potatoes | Notable Incident: Roy carves his potatoes into one of his visions

6

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Dec 09, 2014 - youtube.com - 93
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

In Frank Oz’s 1989 comedy Michael Caine and Steve Martin star as two international con men whose veritable talents are put to the test when they attempt to fleece a series of gullible wealthy women along the Riviera. The film’s stand-out scene revolves around a dinner, during which Caine tries to put the moves on a wealthy mark. The beautiful china, ambient lighting and haute cuisine are the perfect mood-setters... that Steve Martin masquerading as Caine’s “special” brother Ruprecht completely decimates. Donning an eye patch and squatting on a child’s stool, he scoops up a plate of apple sauce with a corked fork (“for his protection.”) He’s approached by a waiter who asks in a calm voice “Would you like me to take your trident, sir?” before gently taking Ruprecht’s cardboard weapon from his grasp. The look of horror on the mark’s face is utterly timeless when Ruprecht asks his “brother” if he may go to the bathroom, and proceeds to go. Right there, at the table. “Thank you,” he sighs smugly to top off one of the most awkwardly hilarious dinner scenes of all time.

Release: December 14th, 1988 | Director: Frank Oz | Genre: Comedy | Scene Length: 2:00 | Starring: Michael Caine, Steve Martin

Occasion: Evening dinner | Food Served: Soup, applesauce | Notable Incident: Ruprecht soils himself

7

Beeetlejuice

Dec 09, 2014 - youtube.com - 100
Beeetlejuice

Recently-deceased newlyweds Adam and Barbara Maitland will do anything it takes to remove the Deetz family from their home. For a couple of ghosts it’s a tricky task, so they enlist the help of undead guru, Beetlejuice. Learning his skills and honing them to perfection, the undead duo decide to ransack an important business dinner held by family matriarch, Delia Deetz (Catherine O’Hara.) Orchestrating a fiendish plan to ruin the Deetzes’ reputation they manipulate the entire dinner party. Delia is the first to rise from her chair, as she leads the congregation in a lip sync and dance to Harry Belafonte’s The Banana Boat Song. One by one everyone joins in for what’s got to be one of the most surreal dinner parties captured on film from the brilliant mind of Tim Burton.

Release: March 30th, 1988 | Director: Tim Burton | Genre: Horror comedy | Scene Length: 2:00 | Starring: Catherine O'Hara, Winona Ryder, Jeffrey Jones, Glenn Shadix, Michael Keaton

Occasion: Business dinner | Food Served: Shrimp | Notable Incident: The entire party mimes to Harry Belafonte's The Banana Boat Song

8

The Gold Rush

Dec 09, 2014 - youtube.com - 100
The Gold Rush

This Charlie Chaplin classic is the one film the late comedian hoped to be remembered for. In his famous role as the Little Tramp - here credited as The Lone Prospector - he journeys across the Alaskan wilderness in hopes of unearthing a wealth of hidden gold. Stumbling into a blizzard he finds refuge in a cabin and along with its resident, Jim, the pair struggle for sustenance as the threat of starvation looms. With an empty larder, the Tramp uses his initiative and cooks up one of his old boots for supper. After arranging it on his plate he plies it with the boiled water like gravy as if it were the epitome of haute cuisine. In one of cinema’s most iconic scenes he carves it up with great care and divvies it up between two plates. Separating the nails from his well-shod footwear like bones from a bird, he tucks in heartily. All the while his cabin mate begrudgingly yacks away at the leather.

Release: June 26th, 1925 | Director: Charlie Chaplin | Genre: Comedy | Scene Length: 3:00 | Starring: Charlie Chaplin, Mack Swain

Occasion: Dinner | Food Served: A boiled boot | Notable Incident: The Tramp tries to eat one of his boots

9

Lady and the Tramp

Dec 09, 2014 - youtube.com - 104
Lady and the Tramp

How could any list about famous film dinners be complete without a nod to this classic scene from 1955’s Lady And The Tramp? Determined to show his lady love a rollickin’ good time, the mutt with a heart of gold shows his street smarts in this sweet first date between two lonely canines. As proof that he knows all the best spots, the pair wander down an alley behind a noted Italian restaurant for a discarded plate of spaghetti and meatballs. For us humans the idea of plucking a pasta dish from the trash isn’t the most appealing, but for these two pups it’s heaven sent. Rendered in glorious Technicolor, giant meatballs drenched in marinara sauce have never looked so appetising. The high point of this meal comes when the pair each tackle the end of a spaghetti strand, gobbling it up until they meet in the middle. Highly difficult to achieve between two people, Lady and the Tramp manage it with finesse and find love at their end of their noodle. Aw.

Release: June 22nd, 1955 | Director: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske | Genre: Animated Comedy | Scene Length: 5:00 | Starring: Lady, Tramp

Occasion: Date | Food Served: Spaghetti | Notable Incident: The two dogs each take the end of a noodle and meet for a kiss in the middle

10

Meet the Parents

Dec 09, 2014 - youtube.com - 134
Meet the Parents

The pressure of meeting one’s future in-laws can be immense. Making a good first impression is vital, so not making a complete buffoon of yourself is the top priority. Sadly, for Ben Stiller’s try-hard Greg Focker the dinner table conversation gets away from him in one of modern comedy’s best ever sit-down meals. Granted, his prospective father-in-law, Jack -played straight-faced by a hilarious Robert De Niro - doesn’t make it any easier. His poem recital for his dead mother adds an air of unease to proceedings, before Greg begins to really make matters worse. If his mime for milking a cat isn’t cringeworthy enough, he goes on to try and rectify the situation by opening a bottle of champagne. Bad move. The cork shoots from the neck of the bottle, hitting a precious urn and blasting it to smithereens - leaving Jack’s mother’s ashes strewn across the floor. In a final insult to injury, Jack’s beloved cat Mr. Jinx appears and pees all over what’s left of his dear mother. It’s a truly embarrassing moment that stands as one of cinema’s most memorable meals.

Release: October 6th, 2000 | Director: Jay Roach | Genre: Comedy | Scene Length: 3:30 | Starring: Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller

Occasion: Meet the family dinner | Food Served: Ham, green beans, potatoes | Notable Incident: Greg uncorks a bottle which smashes an urn full of ashes


GOAT Staff Score - Movie Dinner Scene

The candidates have been assigned a raw score across a range of criteria. The raw scores have been weighted to reflect the impact that each individual criterion has on the 'Final GOAT Score'. Only weighted scores are displayed in this table. -->TURN DEVICE SIDEWAYS TO VIEW ON MOBILE-->
 Acting (30%)Cuisine (20%)Atmosphere (20%)Critical Acclaim (15%)Legacy (15%)Raw ScoreFinal GOAT Score
Goodfellas99881044880
American Beauty1041010943865
Scent Of A Woman8796232680
Big Night61067332650
Close Encounters Of The Third Kind7279833645
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels4844525495
Beetlejuice3352619370
The Gold Rush5125417345
Lady And The Tramp1613718320
Meet The Parents2531112250

GOAT Verdict:

Goodfellas Dinner is the Greatest Movie Dinner Scene of All Time
Heaped plates of spaghetti. Billows of laughter. Three gangsters. A scene that’s equally as famous as the movie in which its from, the late-night gathering around Tommy’s mother’s table in Goodfellas is undoubtedly the Greatest Film Dinner Scene Of All Time. Director Scorsese spins a new angle on the genre by allowing us chance to see his mobsters during a moment of downtime, as the three leads return to a warm family homestead for a proper home cooked meal. With a guy in the trunk. After a long hard day’s slog, there’s nothing more satisfying than a helping of mom’s culinary delights. Watching Liotta, De Niro and Pesci exchange banter, while scooping the final drippings of marinara with crusty bread, is enough to make you drop what you’re doing and get a mean ragu on the go. The way Scorsese hints at the perfect union of food and family speaks to everyone; these guys might be gangsters, who think nothing of offing someone because they gave ‘em a funny look, but when it comes to dinner they’re just like us.

0

What is the greatest film remake of all time?

1

The Thing

Dec 04, 2014
The Thing

John Carpenter’s The Thing mashes sci-fi and horror into a bloody pulp that’s both brainy and terrifying, in this chilly tale of an extraterrestrial parasite that assimilates and replicates any host it comes into contact with. From one of horror’s most celebrated tension-builders, it’s a shape-shifter movie that explores the theme of identity while delivering a slew of memorable set-pieces chock full of gory scares. Based on John W. Campbell’s novella Who Goes There?, that story was first adapted for the screen in Howard Hawks’ 1951 flick The Thing From Another World. While that earlier effort is anchored in the sci-fi genre, Carpenter’s suspenseful take on the story dwells in the horror elements. The isolated Antarctic environment lends itself brilliantly to the intended claustrophobic atmosphere. It’s easily one of the scariest sci-fi horror hybrids to grace the screen, largely thanks to its celebrated special effects crew who manifested the ugliness of the creature in all its repulsive glory.

Title (Re-Make/Original): The Thing / The Thing from Another World | Release: 1982 / 1951 | Director: John Carpenter / Christian Nyby

Re-Make Budget: $15 mm | Re-Make Gross: $19 mm | IMDB Rating: 8.2 / 7.0

2

The Departed

Dec 04, 2014
The Departed

After years of loyalty to his niche genre - the New York gangster flick - Scorsese’s jaunt into Boston’s Irish mobster community finally rewarded him with well-deserved Oscar recognition. The twisting story of cops, criminals and the tangled webs they all weave enlisted some of Hollywood’s finest acting talent; Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Vera Farmiga and Alec Baldwin all deliver outstanding performances for this compelling yarn. What many folks don’t realise is that its origins are rooted in Hong Kong, where the story was first told by Andrew Lau and Alan Mak in their high-paced thriller, Infernal Affairs. It’s simply put one of the finest modern crime films created, that’s a cut above the hordes of ensemble crime pics released over the last decade.

Title (Re-Make/Original): The Departed / Infernal Affairs | Release: 2006 / 2002 | Director: Martin Scorsese / Andrew Lau1

Re-Make Budget: $90.0 mm | Re-Make Gross: $132.0 mm | IMDB Rating: 8.5 / 8.1

3

Scarface

Dec 04, 2014
Scarface

The gangster motif came into its own during the 70s, when a spawn of gun-totin’ wiseguys dominated theatres and ushered in a new wave of badassery. One such entry into that canon is Brian De Palma’s remake of Scarface. Along with screenwriter Oliver Stone, De Palma switched up the location from Howard Hawks’ 1932 original, changing the Italian mobster cliques for the cocaine-fuelled hedonism of the Cuban gangs holed up in Florida. Al Pacino is at his career-best as Tony Montana, a kingpin who lauds his swagger over the Miami drug scene. It’s a role that’s equally as impressive as his work on The Godfather series for Coppola, and is chiefly responsible for the success of this balls-to-the-wall remake. In what’s undoubtedly the flick’s most influential element, Montana’s iconic catchphrase “Say hello to my little friend” became the icing on top of this legendary movie.

Title (Re-Make/Original): Scarface / Scarface | Release: 1983 / 1932 | Director: Brian De Palma / Howard Hawks

Re-Make Budget: $25.0 mm | Re-Make Gross: $66.0 mm | IMDB Rating: 8.3 / 7.8

4

The Magnificent Seven

Dec 04, 2014
The Magnificent Seven

Akira Kurosawa’s vast body of work appealed to many American film directors, as his films went on to inspire some of cinema’s best U.S. remakes. One such filmmaker was John Sturges, who adapted Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai into his crowning Western, The Magnificent Seven. His approach to remaking an already seminal film was simple; take the central idea and relocate it to an environment American audiences could identify with. Casting Yul Byrner, Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter and Horst Buchholz as the seven titular gunslingers who vow to protect a Mexican village was a masterstroke. Their ‘spurs and sharp shooter’ version of the Rat Pack along with some of the most impressive gun fights in celluloid history made a lasting impression on audiences. Its cultural impact similarly affected this current generation of directors as another remake is now in development with Denzel Washington in contention for a starring role.

Title (Re-Make/Original): The Magnificent Seven / Seven Samurai | Release: 1960 / 1956 | Director: John Sturges / Akira Kurosawa

Re-Make Budget: $2.0 mm | Re-Make Gross: $4.9 mm | IMDB Rating: 7.8 / 8.7

5

The Fly

Dec 04, 2014
The Fly

David Cronenberg’s sci-fi body-horror The Fly challenged social issues of the 80s through its Academy Award-winning makeup and gross-out special effects. A vastly superior update of Kurt Neumann’s 1958 original, which itself is also based on the short story by George Langelaan, it starred Jeff Goldblum as inventor Seth Brundle. A classic “mad scientist”, Brundle begins to mutate into a housefly after a drunken attempt at using his teleportation device goes horribly wrong. Cronenberg ventures into revolting areas of Seth’s degeneration all while maintaining a romance sub-plot involving Geena Davis’ intrepid reporter. The fifties attempt still stands as a solid piece of genre clout, yet there’s no doubt that the 1986 version brings to light the terrifying process of change that all humans endure, in a far more visceral manner. After all, how many times does cinema ask its leading men to vomit onto their food?

Title (Re-Make/Original): The Fly / The Fly | Release: 1986 / 1958 | Director: David Cronenberg / Kurt Neumann

Re-Make Budget: $15.0 mm | Re-Make Gross: $40.0 mm | IMDB Rating: 7.5 / 7.0

6

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Dec 04, 2014
Invasion of the Body Snatchers

A chilling imagining of a world wherein the familiar presence of one’s self is replaced by an emotionless copy, the 1978 remake of Don Siegel’s original 1956 version is a far darker contemplation of the same subject matter. While they’re both based on the novel by Jack Finney, Philip Kaufman’s seventies effort scoops up the story from a small town and plants it in the bustling city of San Francisco. Donald Sutherland heads up proceedings, with stellar supporting turns from Brooke Adams and Jeff Goldblum. The story simmers under the same basic outline - an alien race visit Earth and replace every human with an emotionless simulacra - except this version of events is far more terrifying. In a mass of goop, the recently invaded emerge from cocoons, perfect replicas of the human they’ve killed. That is, except for the bone-chilling cries they emit every time they see an actual human. It’s a genius piece of sci-fi that one-ups the original by adhering to a thoroughly bleak ending.

Title (Re-Make/Original): Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (same) | Release: 1978 / 1956 | Director: Philip Kaufman / Don Siegel

Re-Make Budget: $3.5mm | Re-Make Gross: $25.0 mm | IMDB Rating: 7.4 / 8.0

7

Ocean's Eleven

Dec 04, 2014
Ocean's Eleven

Steven Soderbergh’s all-star cast transformed a standard heist story into a dazzling romp that scored massive critical acclaim before it spawned two sequels. Who could blame him for wanting to unite George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts and Andy Garcia on screen? It’s perhaps this very question that spawned the 1960 original, also titled Ocean’s 11. Whereas Soderbergh’s take is a who’s who of hot Hollywood names, Lewis Milestone’s original brought the Rat Pack together onscreen. Since dubbed by many critics as a disappointment, it’s by no means a terrible flick. The elements are in place, but it lacks the buzz of the 2001 remake. Set off by a cast with undeniable chemistry, there’s no dull moments. It seems like Soderbergh just happened to be there with a camera when a bunch of buddies were planning a heist, which makes Ocean’s Eleven one of the few remakes to outdo the original.

Title (Re-Make/Original): Ocean’s Eleven / Ocean’s 11 | Release: 2001 / 1960 | Director: Steven Soderbergh / Lewis Milestone

Re-Make Budget: $85.0 mm | Re-Make Gross: $183.0 mm | IMDB Rating: 7.8 /6.6

8

A Fistful of Dollars

Dec 04, 2014
A Fistful of Dollars

Out of the countless hundreds of spaghetti westerns to emerge from Italy, A Fistful Of Dollars is one of the most iconic. Introducing audiences to Clint Eastwood’s Man With No Name, it kickstarted Italian filmmaker Sergio Leone’s much-revered Dollars trilogy. While Leone denied his film was a remake - there’s plenty of evidence in the finished product to dispute it. Borrowing the precise style Akira Kurosawa used to anchor his films, it’s been deemed by many as an unofficial and unlicensed remake of the Japanese director’s Yojimbo. Thematically, the parallels are similar, but Leone harmonises Asian and Italian operatic visuals to craft his own sub-genre. You can stand it up against the rest of its contemporaries, but there’s simply no other western like it.

Title (Re-Make/Original): A Fistful Of Dollars / Yojimbo | Release: 1967 / 1961 | Director: Sergio Leone / Akira Kurosawa

Re-Make Budget: $100.0 mm | Re-Make Gross: $146.0 mm | IMDB Rating: 8.1 / 8.4

9

Some Like It Hot

Dec 04, 2014
Some Like It Hot

Billy Wilder’s screwball comedy is often found at the top of many ‘best film ever’ lists, having stood the test of time since its release in 1959. Roping in Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon as the central leading trio elevated this remake from mere imitation to a far better realised version than its predecessors. Many fans of this classic picture are unaware that it’s actually a remake of two earlier works. Before Wilder unveiled his masterpiece - a story of two shady musicians who disguise themselves as women to evade a team of gangsters - it had hit screens in 1935 as French film Fanfare d’Amour, which was itself remade by German helmer Kurt Hoffman in his 1951 rendition, Fanfaren Der Liebe. The bubbling chemistry between Monroe, Curtis and Lemmon along with the gangster backstory make this not only one of the best remakes of all time, but simply put, one of the best movies ever made.

Title (Re-Make/Original): Some Like It Hot / Fanfare D'Amour | Release: 1959 / 1935 | Director: Billy Wilder / Richard Pottier

Re-Make Budget: $2.8 mm | Re-Make Gross: $40.0 mm | IMDB Rating: 7.3 / 7.3

10

True Lies

Dec 04, 2014
True Lies

At the time of production, James Cameron’s ambitious action comedy was the most expensive movie ever made. Securing a $100 million dollar budget for a blockbuster hardly seems out of the ordinary nowadays, but for a remake of a French comedy? It’s a little known fact that Cameron’s showy spy caper is actually adapted from Claude Zidi’s 1991 film, La Totale! Bringing in Arnold Schwarzenegger to handle the lead role signalled the swift change from lightweight French affair to balls-out Hollywood blockbuster fare. As secret spy Harry Tasker, Schwarzennegger and on-screen wife Jamie Lee Curtis riff off each other in one of the most gratuitous actioners ever crafted. From explosions, crazy set pieces, and utterly bonkers plot turns it’s Cameron at his most fun. It’s an exceptional remake that jazzes up the original with a hefty dose of gung-ho Americana.

Title (Re-Make/Original): True Lies / La Totale! | Release: 1994/1991 | Director: James Cameron / Claude Zidi

Re-Make Budget: $100.0 mm | Re-Make Gross: $146.0 mm | IMDB Rating: 7.2 /6.2


GOAT Staff Score - Film Remake

The candidates have been assigned a raw score across a range of criteria. The raw scores have been weighted to reflect the impact that each individual criterion has on the 'Final GOAT Score'. Only weighted scores are displayed in this table. -->TURN DEVICE SIDEWAYS TO VIEW ON MOBILE-->
 Acting (30%)Direction (30%)Writing (20%)Critical Acclaim (10%)Homage(10%)Raw ScoreFinal GOAT Score
The Thing981081045890
The Departed109810239850
Scarface51039532650
The Magnificent Seven7566731610
The Fly4694932610
Invasion Of The Body Snatchers8453828570
Ocean’s Eleven3375624430
A Fistful Of Dollars1727421390
Some Like It Hot6142114320
True Lies221139180

GOAT Verdict:

The Thing is the Greatest Film Remake of All Time
Narrowly beating out The Departed, John Carpenter’s The Thing nabs the top slot as the Greatest Remake Of All Time. Deemed a box office flop upon release, it went on to become a cult favourite that still stands up to scrutiny some 32 years later. For his Antarctic tale about a group of scientists at the mercy of a shape-shifting invader, Carpenter drew audiences into their paranoid mindsets as a way of getting under the skin. An updated take on the 1951 pic, The Thing From Another World, it betters that sci-fi classic by taking more risks in every arena.

But, where can its success as a remake, and as a successful genre film be pinpointed? The bulk of its effectiveness lies in its setting and effects; it’s hard to imagine anything worse than the isolation Kurt Russell’s MacReady and co. face up in the wintry climes surrounding their research outpost. Until the giant alien beastie makes its way to their camp, that is.

As it works its way through the group, the film’s special effects maestros showcase their skills in a manner that’s rarely seen in cinema today. It’s their work, the creation of many different versions of the alien captured mid-way through its mutation, that quickens pulses and sends shivers down spines. The very fact that this hideous monster never reveals its true face, hiding inside the disguise of man, is just downright sinister. Outclassing the original in every sense, the spot-on reactionary acting, sharp direction and superb special effects make The Thing absolutely the greatest film remake of all time.

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What is the greatest film fan theory of all time?

1

Inception - Is Cobb still dreaming?

Dec 01, 2014
Inception - Is Cobb still dreaming?

Christopher Nolan’s 2010 mind-melder twisted up the minds of its audience while telling a melodramatic tale of grief and loss. Leading the story is Leonardo DiCaprio’s Cobb, a recent widower who infiltrates people’s dreams to plant ideas. His risky line of work sees him and his associates descend through a series of Matryoshka-esque levels of dream states, which can become problematic when trying to maintain a grip on reality. In order to keep a clear head, each person in the dream must keep a totem - an item which lets them know where they are. Someone else’s unconscious or the real world.

The debate-inducing final scene sees Cobb’s totem, a spinning top, on a table. If it spins endlessly then he’s in a dream, and if it stops, he’s in the real world. The infuriating part comes when Nolan cuts to black before we know for sure, prompting fans to settle the matter themselves. The biggest theory put forth - that unites all logic explained in the film - is that the spinning top was his dead wife’s totem, not his. In fact, he never once states that it’s his because it’s actually his wedding ring. Every time he is in the dream, he’s wearing it. Each time we see him outside of the dream, he’s without it. Going on that rationale alone, the climatic final scene occurs in the real world. It’s a solid theory with plenty of evidence to support it, even if it does detract from Nolan’s open-ending.

Release: 2010 | Creator: Christopher Nolan | Budget: $160 million | Theory Basis: Prop

IMDB Rating: 8.83 | RottenTomatoes Score (Audience): 86 % (91%) | Metascore: 74 | Google Results (“film title fan theory”): 466,000

2

Pulp Fiction - What’s In The Suitcase?

Dec 01, 2014
Pulp Fiction - What’s In The Suitcase?

One of the oldest fan theories to sprout up concerning a cult favourite was borne from the central mystery surrounding Pulp Fiction; just what exactly is in Marcellus Wallace’s suitcase? From the early era of the internet, this suggestion did the rounds via e-mail chains and quickly gathered steam. Through careful review of the film, many fans believe the suitcase holds something truly unique to Marcellus. From the beginning, when Jules and Vincent kill three men to retrieve it, right through to the diner shoot-out when Jules refuses to part with it, we know that the mystery item holds great value. So much so, that many believe the gold-light emitted from the case is actually the mobster’s soul. During a scene between Wallace and Butch, the camera zooms in close on Marcellus’ neck - showing a thin band aid. According to many, this is proof because certain lore suggests the removal occurs at the base of the head. Oh, and the matter of the 666 combination hints that he sold his soul to the devil. This corroborates Jules’ earlier claims that God came down to stop the bullets from killing them - the divine trying to help them against satan. While co-writer Roger Avary has dismissed the idea stating it was simply diamonds, Tarantino himself took an alternate route saying that it’s up to the fans to decide what’s inside.

Release: 1994 | Creator: Quentin Tarantino | Budget: $8.5 million | Theory Basis: Prop

IMDB Rating: 9.0 | RottenTomatoes Score (Audience): 94% (96%) | Metascore: 94 | Google Results (“film title fan theory”): 394,000

3

The Thing - Childs is the Thing

Dec 01, 2014
The Thing - Childs is the Thing

The end of John Carpenter’s sci-fi horror leaves itself widely open to interpretation. Its ambiguous ending poses one vital question to the audience; who, if anyone, is The Thing? After the main bulk of scientists have perished at the hands of an ancient alien that perfectly mimics its host before killing them, there remain only two survivors. MacReady and Childs, who huddle together in the cold to wait and “see what happens.” Carpenter has gone on the record repeatedly refusing to clear up the long-standing debate, but that hasn’t stopped fans from trying to settle the matter for themselves. The most prevalent theory implies that Childs is in fact the murderous invader. The main clue is his breath. It’s barely visible onscreen whereas MacReady’s is. Second, many believe the bottle of liquor Childs chugs from is actually a Molotov cocktail made by MacReady as a test. As MacReady’s laugh fades - suggesting The Thing did not detect the gasoline in the drink - Carpenter drops the biggest hint of all. Ennio Morricone’s ominous theme for the beast lurches into the sound mix.

Release: 1982 | Creator: John Carpenter | Budget: $15 million | Theory Basis: Character

IMDB Rating: 8.2 | RottenTomatoes Score (Audience): 80% (92%) | Metascore: 75 | Google Results (“film title fan theory”): 149,000,000

4

Skyfall (Bond Franchise) - James Bond is a code name

Dec 01, 2014
Skyfall (Bond Franchise) - James Bond is a code name

Since 1962, the character of James Bond has been played by six different actors starting with the 32-year old Sean Connery in Dr. No. The span of time from then until Skyfall’s release is a whopping 50 years, which poses the question; how is it that Bond remains as studly as ever while all the supporting characters around him continue to age? A straightforward theory supposes that James Bond is merely a codename passed from agent to agent. When one Bond retires or is killed, the name and codenumber - 007 - are passed on to their successor. This further explains why the familiar faces who appear alongside the MI6 agent, namely Judi Dench’s M and Desmond Llewelyn’s Q, continue to age normally and never make reference to the fact that Bond is an entirely different person. Lending the series an edge of authenticity, it seemingly confirms why the personalities of all the Bonds throughout the years have been so different.

Release: 1962 | Creator: Sam Mendes | Budget: $200 million | Theory Basis: Character

IMDB Rating: 7.8 | RottenTomatoes Score (Audience): 92% (86%) | Metascore: 81 | Google Results (“film title fan theory”): 239,000

5

Blade Runner – Deckard is a Replicant

Dec 01, 2014
Blade Runner – Deckard is a Replicant

Perhaps the very first theory to circulate amongst fans of Ridley Scott’s sci-fi noir, involved the humanity of LAPD enforcer, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford.) A cop tasked with tracking down a handful of rogue Replicants (androids implanted with human memories), the question which continued to surround the film’s outcome was pretty straightforward; is Deckard a Replicant? After two decades of discussion, Scott ‘fessed up, admitting that yes he absolutely is. Visual evidence captured in a neat screen grab during Deckard’s talk with fellow droid Rachel proves the unmistakable ‘red eyes’ only Replicants possess.

However, this didn’t quell speculation about retired Bladerunner, Detective Gaff. After suffering an unknown physical ailment - hence his cane - Gaff was sidelined from his former role, and throughout the film feels resentment towards Deckard for getting his old job. His ill feeling is believed by many to be because Deckard was created and implanted with Gaff’s memories after the detective became injured. Throughout the film, Gaff’s origami creations he gives to Deckard are eerily reminiscent of Deckard’s dreams (the unicorn in particular) because, well, they are actually Gaff’s old memories. Carrying on the hunt for the Replicants, Deckard eventually nabs their leader Roy Batty, after which Gaff tells him “You’ve done a man’s job.” The highest possible compliment anyone could pay a Replicant. This theory holds true when revisiting the movie, and it’s almost as if Scott had these little clues dotted throughout the film to deliberately reveal the truth.

Release: 1982 | Creator: Ridley Scott | Budget: $28 million | Theory Basis: Character

IMDB Rating: 8.2 | RottenTomatoes Score (Audience): 91% (91%) | Metascore: 88 | Google Results (“film title fan theory”): 318,000

6

The Shining - Moon Landing

Dec 01, 2014
The Shining - Moon Landing

The amount of theories surrounding Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining are so plentiful that an entire documentary, Room 237, was dedicated to their full investigation. Among those is one prevailing idea that fans have debated for years - Kubrick’s involvement in the Apollo moon landings. As a filmmaker whose work is laboriously scrutinised due to his own attention to detail, the notion that he was behind the ‘faked’ footage of Americans landing on the moon is equally as intricate. According to theorist Jay Weidner, The Shining is packed with hidden admissions that all point to Kubrick’s role as the director of NASA’s legendary film. Apparently NASA were so desperate to beat the Russians to space, they enlisted the director to shoot a staged version so the US appeared more advanced than they were.

Symbolism Weidner uses to support his theory are found throughout the movie. The most obvious is Danny’s infamous Apollo 11 sweater. Then there’s the change of Room 217 (in the book) to Room 237 in the film which references the 237,000 miles from the Earth to the moon. That page Jack is furiously tapping away at in his typewriter is also a part of the conspiracy. “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” is a reference to A11 and Kubrick’s stress over having to keep it a secret. The carpet patterns (designed to resemble Apollo 11’s launching pads) and Danny’s vision of the two murdered twins (the ‘Gemini’ missions came before Apollo) also factor in to what’s a most intriguing - if far-fetched - theory indeed.

Release: 1980 | Creator: Stanley Kubrick | Budget: $19 million | Theory Basis: Thematic

IMDB Rating: 8.5 | RottenTomatoes Score (Audience): 92% (93%) | Metascore: 61 | Google Results (“film title fan theory”): 3,120,000

7

Game Of Thrones - Jon Snow’s Heritage

Dec 01, 2014
Game Of Thrones - Jon Snow’s Heritage

The sprawling network of characters in George RR Martin’s fantasy world is so extensive it’s easy for the author, and the creators of the HBO show, to mislead audiences. Perhaps one of the most often debated facts involves the bastard son of Ned Stark, Jon Snow. The story as it stands casts Stark as an upstanding gent who once strayed with another woman, resulting in his illegitimate child. But what if the truth about Jon’s real parents has yet to come to light? This theory posits that when Ned’s sister Lyanna was abducted by Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, the crazed monarch had sex with her, resulting in a son whose birth killed Lyanna. There’s no doubt that if his true heritage came to light he would be slain. Remember Lyanna was also the love of Robert Baratheon’s life, so his mission to avenge the death of his paramour would have seen him murder the innocent child. Hence, the honourable Ned shatters his upstanding reputation to protect his nephew. Fans have clung to this alternate history so much so that even Sean Bean - who played Ned - has hinted very, very strongly towards its accuracy.

Release: 2010 | Creator: David Benioff | Budget: $6 million (per episode) | Theory Basis: Character

IMDB Rating: 9.5 | RottenTomatoes Score (Audience): 96% (97%) | Metascore: 80 | Google Results (“film title fan theory”): 1,670,000

8

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off - Cam’s Imagination

Dec 01, 2014
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off - Cam’s Imagination

Ferris Bueller, the optimistic, happy-go-lucky hero of John Hughes’ 80s teen comedy, is according to one theory, not even real. The story proper follows the titular prankster as he convinces his anxiety-ridden best friend Cameron to ditch school for the day to join Ferris and his girlfriend Simone for a romp around Chicago. Art galleries, parades, swanky restaurants - nothing is off the menu for the trio. If this long-standing theory is to be believed, both Ferris and Simone are in fact figments of Cameron’s imagination. In order for the solemn teen to face up to his bullying father, he invents Ferris - a la Fight Club - as a representation of everything he longs for. A loving family, a beautiful girlfriend, and the unabashed freeness of spirit are all things Ferris possesses. By conjuring up a pretend best friend Cameron is able to evaluate his life in a ‘what if?’ scenario. It’s one of the least far-fetched ideas in the study that seemingly makes the movie even better than before.

Release: 1986 | Creator: John Hughes | Budget: $5.8 million | Theory Basis: Character

IMDB Rating: 7.9 | RottenTomatoes Score (Audience): 80% (92%) | Metascore: 60 | Google Results (“film title fan theory”): 55,600

9

The Dark Knight - The Joker is a war veteran

Dec 01, 2014
The Dark Knight - The Joker is a war veteran

Christopher Nolan’s ambitious second entry into the Batman canon brought a new strain of tyranny to Bruce Wayne’s Gotham in the shape of his clownish adversary. His methods for total wanton destruction mark The Joker as a distinctly unique villain. Not content with typical goals of a comic book baddie - money, fame, sex - his patterns of mayhem hint toward a far more self-destructive streak, that could in fact be the result of post traumatic stress disorder. In the close examination of his tactics, comments and behaviour a group of keen fans believe that The Joker is in fact a veteran struggling to cope with life post-war - hinted at by his repeated phrase “You wanna know how I got these scars?” If that’s not enough, when he confronts Harvey Dent in the hospital and tells him “A truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics because it’s all part of the plan”, die-hards have assumed this refers to a specific incident. One in which he was the only remaining survivor. Albeit with a facial disfigurement to remind him of the terrible tragedy.

Release: 2009 | Creator: Christopher Nolan | Budget: $185 million | Theory Basis: Character

IMDB Rating: 9.0 | RottenTomatoes Score (Audience): 94% (94%) | Metascore: 82 | Google Results (“film title fan theory”): 1,210,000

10

Batman Forever / Batman & Robin – “In-Universe”

Dec 01, 2014
Batman Forever / Batman & Robin – “In-Universe”

After Tim Burton’s darkly comic Batman features, Batman and Batman Returns, the next two entries into the caped crusader franchise were a major disappointment. Gawdy and silly, Joel Schumacher left the noir charm of Burton’s world behind and crafted a brightly-lit bubblegum universe for Batman’s adventures to continue in Batman Forever and Batman And Robin. Aside from the change in director, could the real shift in tone be because Schumacher’s two films are actually “in-universe”? This theory stems from the end of Returns, when Bruce Wayne believes Catwoman to be dead he sinks into despair and essentially sells himself out. Literally. Fans have posited that as Wayne is seen as a buffoon at the end of his tether, he gives up his life rights and has his story brought to life on the big screen. If we believe this, then the campy nature of Schumacher’s installments is intentional, as they exist within Burton’s original Batman universe as a joke on Wayne. This would explain the hyper-real colour palette, the big star power dominating the pics, and why Batman’s suit had to have rubber nipples. There has to be one coherent theory to at least explain that travesty.

Release: 1995, 1997 | Creator: Joel Schumacher | Budget: $225 million (combined) | Theory Basis: Intertextual

IMDB Rating: 5.4/3.6 | RottenTomatoes Score (Audience): 41% (33%) / 11% (16%) | Metascore: 51 / 28 | Google Results (“film title fan theory”): 16,900,000


GOAT Staff Score - Film Fan Theory

The candidates have been assigned a raw score across a range of criteria. The raw scores have been weighted to reflect the impact that each individual criterion has on the 'Final GOAT Score'. Only weighted scores are displayed in this table. -->TURN DEVICE SIDEWAYS TO VIEW ON MOBILE-->
 Originality (30%)Mind Boggle Factor (30%)Credibility (20%)Critical Response (10%)Popularity (10%)Raw ScoreFinal GOAT Score
Inception91097439860
Pulp Fiction108561039800
The Thing5775832630
Skyfall74810231610
Blade Runner26108935610
The Shining4919124510
Game Of Thrones3563634450
Ferris Bueller's Day Off6342722440
The Dark Knight8234320430
Batman (the awful ones)1121510160

GOAT Verdict:

Inception - Is Cobb Dreaming? is the Greatest Film Fan Theory of All Time
Without a doubt, the title of Greatest Fan Theory Of All Time goes to the Cobb Totem Theory from Inception. Any attempts to unravel the varying levels of reality Cobb and his cohorts venture into are troublesome at best, as the twisting turns taken by the plot make it practically impossible to determine the truth of the end scene. By analysing the presence of Cobb’s wedding ring, fans have been able to pinpoint the crux of the argument; is Cobb still in the dream? Playing into the complex world Christopher Nolan created, the idea relies on the film’s pre-existing logic to make its case. If the spinning top was indeed his totem, then why does his wedding ring disappear and re-appear so frequently as he travels from dream to reality? Add onto that the fact that he never once refers to his own keepsake, only his wife’s, and this theory sheds nigh-on indisputable proof that by the end of the cerebral adventure, Cobb is at long last with his children. In the real world.

What is the greatest book-to-movie adaptation of all time?

1

2001: A Space Odyssey

Nov 25, 2014
2001: A Space Odyssey

This book was originally a collaborative project worked on by both author Arthur C. Clark and director Stanley Kubrick, and it was always envisioned as a visual and aural presentation. However, Clark worked more on the final product, and Kubrick ended up not getting his name on the book jacket, but making it into a feature film instead. What is so fantastic about this pairing is that the book and the movie are such great compliments but also offer such different experiences. Clark is a scientist and a very realistic writer, and the book is full of evidence and explanations to back up what the monolith is, how the human technology works in this artificial “future,” and what the motivations are. The film has very little dialogue and leaves most of that up to imagination or interpretation; however, the visuals and music are so good that key scenes, like the shutting down of Hal’s memory or the apes finding the monolith, have been both parodied and revered throughout pop culture. The downside to this pairing is that some claim that all the esoteric imagery in the movie is hard to actually decipher if you haven’t read the book, and others who loved the film’s visuals are disappointed that Clark is not really a poetic or aesthetic writer; he strongly favors “hard” scientific writing to flowery imagery.

Book Release: 1962 | Film Release: 1971 | Author (book): Arthur C. Clark | Director (film): Stanley Kubrick | Stars (film): Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood

Genre: Science Fiction | Book Acclaim: Overall positive acclaim | Film Acclaim: Considered one of Kubrick's crowning achievements due to the strong score and visual elements | Major Differences: The movie has less scientific explanation and is more focused on imagery, and the book is heavy on scientific explanation like most of Clark's work.

2

A Clockwork Orange

Nov 25, 2014
A Clockwork Orange

This is another example of Kubrick doing an excellent job with a classic science fiction story. Anthony Burgess wrote A Clockwork Orange in 1962 about the rise in gang violence in England and was inspired by an incident when his wife was assaulted. The book started as a non-fiction behaviorist essay, and he turned it into a full novel quickly in order to make some needed cash. The result was his most highly acclaimed work, a story about a young man who commits atrocious and violent acts and is unable to be reformed by society. In 1971, Kubrick got the rights and turned the story into a movie. The resulting film is an odd mixture of violence and visually stunning scenes that paint a surreal image of a dystopian future where gangs run wild and people are vain and petty. Although the film achieved great success, Burgess regrets the movie being made, because he fears it makes it easier for viewers to misinterpret the message as glorifying violence. This film does a great job of bringing an awesome story to life, but loses some credibility since the author does not approve.

Book Release: 1962 | Film Release: 1971 | Author (book): Anthony Burgess | Director (film): Stanley Kubrick | Stars (film): Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Adrienne Corri, Miriam Karlin

Genre: Dystopian Crime, Science Fiction | Book Acclaim: Was hailed as controversial and banned | Film Acclaim: Widely hailed as a success | Major Differences: Burgess meant the book to warn against violence and gang activity, but the film seems to glorify it. In the film, Alex, the anti-hero, loves classical music, an element added to justify the classical score.

3

Gone With the Wind

Nov 25, 2014
Gone With the Wind

Margaret Mitchell’s classic novel Gone With the Wind, written in 1936, stunned readers with its poetic language and awesome story. The book is groundbreaking in that it is a coming of age war story about a woman, not a man, but was criticized for its positive portrayal of slavery and use of black stereotypes. However, many critics see it more as a morality tale that shows the folly of slavery and the plush southern lifestyle, rather than some racist glorification. The book was turned into a movie starring Vivien Leigh and Clark Gabel in 1936, with Victor Fleming as the director. The film was criticized by some as being “bloated” and overdramatic because of its length and content, but this is honestly one of the best cases of a movie staying almost entirely true to the book. The film is also filled with famous lines and scenes that defined modern cinema, such as Scarlett and Ret kissing with the burning city in the background, and Scarlett’s sassy lines of dialogue. The film has also been criticized by feminists for mixing romance and rape – there is a scene where Ret forces himself on an angry Scarlet, and the next morning she wakes up happy and fulfilled. Despite the mixed response to the subject matter, this remains one of the greatest books and movies of all time, and a great example of a strong book-to-movie adaptation.

Book Release: 1936 | Film Release: 1939 | Author (book): Margaret Mitchell | Director (film): Victor Fleming | Stars (film): Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Leslie Howard, Olivia de Havilland

Genre: Romance, Historical Fiction | Book Acclaim: Received the Pulitzer Prize for her work | Film Acclaim: positive reviews overall, although some called it "bloated" due to length and drama; criticized for glorifying slavery | Major Differences: Scarlett holds up the turnip and claims she will never go hungry again, Scarlet and Ret kissing while fleeing the burning city.

4

The Wizard of Oz

Nov 25, 2014
The Wizard of Oz

Beloved children’s book The Wizard of Oz, written in 1900 by L. Frank Baum, was an instant classic that captivated adults and kids alike with its surreal world and loveable characters. The book sold like crazy, was made into a musical, and then adapted from the musical into a feature film in 1939 by Victor Fleming. The film starred Judy Garland singing and acting as Dorothy, and had audiences completely enthralled. Since this was one of the first color films, audiences were totally blown away when the landscape changes from dull Kansas black and white to technicolor bliss in the land of Oz. The one downside here is that the book is too long to all fit in the film, and some really good scenes and characters were left out.

Book Release: 1900 | Film Release: 1939 | Author (book): L. Frank Baum | Director (film): Victor Fleming | Stars (film): Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley, Billie Burke, Margaret Hamilton, Charley Grapewin, Clara Blandick, Pat Walshe

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure | Book Acclaim: The first two editions sold out immediately | Film Acclaim: One of the most beloved films in history | Major Differences: The book has more characters and scenarios, and the movie is more focused on Dorothy learning the value of home than just her adventure and journey to get home.

5

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Nov 25, 2014
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

This novel by Ken Kesey focuses on behaviorism and what happens when a free spirit is introduced to the controlled environment of a mental institution. The story itself, written in 1962, is very compelling and counterculture, and the movie version, from 1975, also packs a heavy punch. The film was directed by Milos Forman, and features Jack Nicholson in the lead role. This is a great film to watch if you want a good story and some anti-establishment sentiment, and the movie certainly does the book justice.

Book Release: 1962 | Film Release: 1975 | Author (book): Ken Kesey | Director (film): Milos Forman | Stars (film): Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, William Redfield

Genre: Behaviorism novel, American novel | Book Acclaim: Best known of Kesey's work | Film Acclaim: Considered an all-time classic film | Major Differences: Less focus on the behavior of all characters and how they interact, and more on the main character being the heroic figure.

6

Carrie

Nov 25, 2014
Carrie

Stephen King’s most controversial work, Carrie is told mostly through expostulatory newspaper clippings and letters that detail the horrible events that occurred in Maine when an unstable, telekinetic girl committed mass murder. Many of King’s books have been made into movies, from the absolutely corny and made for TV to timeless masterpieces. This particular film, directed by Brian De Palma, was an instant hit. The use of gorgeous actress Sissy Spacek as Carrrie worked out perfectly, due to her stunning yet creepy looks. The movie also features John Travolta, great music, tons of visuallygreat scenes, and plenty of blood and blood-curdling horror. The only downside of this translation is that the book and the movie are pretty dissimilar, due to the expository way the book is written.

Book Release: 1974 | Film Release: 1976 | Author (book): Stephen King | Director (film): Brian de Palma | Stars (film): Sissy Spacek, John Travolta, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving, William Katt

Genre: Horror | Book Acclaim: Highly acclaimed | Film Acclaim: Considered one of the best films of the year | Major Differences: the book is mostly told through experts from newspapers and letters, as though it were a true story; More focus in the film on just following Carrie's story instead of the aftermath.

7

Fight Club

Nov 25, 2014
Fight Club

This Chuck Palahniuk book was originally adapted from a short story, and was controversial even before being made into a major motion pictures. Many critics believed it to be too dark and nihilistic, embracing the ideas of insanity, violence, and anarchy. However Palahniuk always intended the story to be satirical and not taken completely seriously. The film was directed by David Fincher, and it stars Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. Pitt is not real, but a figment of Norton’s demented, sleep deprived perception that causes him to start illegal fighting groups and generally commit mayhem and spread destruction. While many loved the film for the score and visual aspects as well as the acting and understood it was meant to be dark humor, others found it offensive and disturbing. This is a great example of a book being made into a solid movie, but some found the whole idea too much to stomach.

Book Release: 1996 | Film Release: 1999 | Author (book): Chuck Palahniuk | Director (film): David Fincher | Stars (film): Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Helena Bonham Carter

Genre: Satirical fiction | Book Acclaim: at first was published as a short story and rejected as disturbing, but the novel received acclaim | Film Acclaim: 50/50 - some thought it was brilliant, others disrupting; the debate surrounding its portrayal of violence was similar to the one that followed A Clockwork Orange | Major Differences: very similar - just slightly more graphic than the book

8

The Lord of The Rings Series

Nov 25, 2014
The Lord of The Rings Series

This series was first written by J.R.R. Tolkien, initially directly after his time serving in WWII, but not published until 1971. The books were a huge success, and Tolkien finally saw his dream come to life. The fantastical world of Middle Earth featuring Hobbits, Elves, and Dwarves, was a reality that millions read and loved. Tolkien died soon after, and although he knew his work was influential, he had no idea just how huge it was. In 2001, Peter Jackson turned the series into a film trilogy, which is now the greatest grossing film series of all time. The movies were hailed for their awesome special effects and use of language from the books. However, some diehard readers did criticize the films for leaving out important plot elements from the story, and for focusing so much on the epic battles in order to appeal to today’s viewers.

Book Release: 1954-1955 | Film Release: 2001-2003 | Author (book): J.R.R. Tolkein | Director (film): Peter Jackson | Stars (film): Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Vigo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Hugo Weaving

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure | Book Acclaim: One of the best selling and highest grossing series of all time | Film Acclaim: Highest grossing film series in history, highly critically accalimed | Major Differences: some things are skipped, less description and scenery and more violence and brutality

9

Jurassic Park

Nov 25, 2014
Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park is one of the best examples of a book turned into a wildly successful movie. Michael Crichton writes novels that are usually based on history or science, in an expository fashion, as though the events in the stories really happened. Jurassic Park is a book from 1990 that serves as a cautionary tale against what can happen when genetic engineering gets out of control. The 1993 Steven Spielberg film is more of an action adventure story about dinosaurs getting loose at an amusement park, but it is still a hell of a lot of fun to watch, and very satisfying. The major criticism of this adaptation is that the movie does not convey the dark implications of the book. For example, in the movie, John Hammond is a loveable genius who creates dinosaurs to amuse his grandchildren and friends, while in the book he is an evil, selfish mastermind who gets eaten by dinosaurs in the end.

Book Release: 1990 | Film Release: 1993 | Author (book): Michael Crichton | Director (film): Steven Spielberg | Stars (film): Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Samuel L. Jackson, Wayne Knight

Genre: Science Fiction | Book Acclaim: Bestseller and highly regarded before the film was released | Film Acclaim: Very high critical and audience acclaim | Major Differences: many story differences; the book is much darker; for example, Hammond is a very unlikable character who gets eaten by dinosaurs in the book, but a loveable and silly character in the movie

10

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Nov 25, 2014
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

This work of classic gonzo journalism by Hunter S. Thompson tells the story of one man’s trip to Vegas to cover a sporting event that turns into an all-out drug bender, but it is so much more than that. The 1971 novel is really a story about the loss of innocence from the 1960s, and the changing tide of the country. The 1998 movie adaptation with Johnny Depp does a great job of conveying this, although it does focus more on the drug bender aspect than the deeper meaning. Some enjoyed the film, while other found it completely unwatchable and too cartoonish due to Terry Gilliam’s odd directing style. However, as a die-hard Thompson devotee, this gets my stamp of approval.

Book Release: 1971 | Film Release: 1998 | Author (book): Hunter S. Thompson | Director (film): Terry Gilliam | Stars (film): Johnny Depp, Benicio del Toro

Genre: Autobiography, American prose | Book Acclaim: Most famous of Thompson's work, a cult classic | Film Acclaim: mixed almost 50/50 - some find it unwatchable or say it doesn’t live up to the book, while others say it succeeds the same way the book did and laud Depp's performance | Major Differences: only one "flashback scene" filmed as opposed to the many in the book, some scenes left out of movie


GOAT Staff Score - Book-to-Movie Adaptation

The candidates have been assigned a raw score across a range of criteria. The raw scores have been weighted to reflect the impact that each individual criterion has on the 'Final GOAT Score'. Only weighted scores are displayed in this table. -->TURN DEVICE SIDEWAYS TO VIEW ON MOBILE-->
 True to Original Story (25%)Reader's Reception to Films (25%)Critical Acclaim (25%)Strong Visual Imagery (15%)Staying Power (10%)Raw ScoreFinal GOAT Score
2001: A Space Odyssey108510841805
A Clockwork Orange9639734655
Gone With the Wind5947934645
The Wizard of Oz25981034620
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest7473627555
Carrie3766527540
Fight Club81011424530
The Lord of the Rings Series42104222480
Jurassic Park1382317360
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas6125115310

GOAT Verdict:

2001: a space odyssey is The Greatest Book-to-Movie Adaptation of All Time
The official GOAT pickfor Greatest Book-to-Movie Adaptation Of All Time is 2001: A Space Odyssey, adapted from Arthur C. Clark’s book to a movie by Stanley Kubrick. Since Kubrick actually worked with Clark on the book and came up with some of the ideas, the translation of the work into film was bound to be a success. The visuals in this movie and the overall ideas behind it were so monumental that it is still revered as a masterpiece today. However, no book-to-movie adaptation is perfect. Those who love Clark’s technical style and devotion to science found the film a bit too artsy, while fans of Kubrick’s work couldn’t all get into the dry and technical style of Clark’s writing.

0

What is the greatest film plot twist of all time?

1

The Sixth Sense

Nov 21, 2014
The Sixth Sense

M. Night Shyamalan’s cinematic debut reintroduced the art of the twist to polarising effect. A large majority of audiences and critics alike were astounded by the film’s closing reveal, while others lambasted the filmmaker’s deft misdirection. A chilling supernatural thriller, the relationship between little Cole Sear - the ghost whisperer - and Dr. Malcolm Crowe takes centre stage, following the pair’s crusades to assist the dead with their unfinished business. The ‘twist’ is specifically announced by Cole midway through the movie, in a confessional to Malcolm when he utters the infamous line “I see dead people”, but is never applied to the dead man by his side. When the truth is unveiled - that Malcolm died from the fatal gunshot at the beginning - the audience and Dr. Crowe simultaneously experience the same realisation; you see what you want to see. As Crowe watches his wife exhale through chattering teeth (a sign of a nearby supernatural entity), the reality hits him: he is one of those dead people. This sombre moment prompts a hasty review of every scene in which Crowe appears, leading to the shocking fact that we’ve never seen him engage with anyone other than young Cole. It’s a tremendous feat of smoke and mirrors that Shyamalan has never bettered.

Release: 1999 | Director: M. Night Shyamalan | Screenwriter: M. Night Shyamalan | Budget: $40 million | Box Office Gross: $673 million

IMDB Rating: 8.2 | Rotten Tomatoes Rating (Audience): 85% (89%) | Google Results “film title twist”: 651,000

2

The Usual Suspects

Nov 21, 2014
The Usual Suspects

Kevin Spacey’s smooth swaggering walk is perhaps one of the finest “gotcha!” twist moments in film history. It was a moment that blew moviegoers away back in 1995. The intricate plot of The Usual Suspects, is explained in flashbacks by disabled criminal Verbal Kint in the cosy office of a flustered Customs Agent. An entertaining and compelling story in itself is recanted by the seemingly innocuous Kint, who refers to an enigmatic figure behind the entire botched heist - Keyser Soze. With little reason to hold him, they let him go, only to moments later realise that from start-to-finish the entire “plot” had been cooked up by Kint, who pieced together a web of lies and deceit based on items in the Agent’s office. This moment, interspersed with the tracking shot of Kint’s getaway walk gradually losing his supposed limp, reveals the true identity of that very kingpin. Verbal Kint IS Keyser Soze. Nobody saw that one coming.

Release: 1995 | Director: Bryan Singer | Screenwriter: Christopher McQuarrie | Budget: $6 million | Box Office Gross: $34 million

IMDB Rating: 8.7 | Rotten Tomatoes Rating (Audience): 88% (96%) | Google Results “film title twist”: 1,210,000

3

Fight Club

Nov 21, 2014
Fight Club

Similarly to The Sixth Sense, upon repeat viewing Fight Club’s cunning twist can be easily detected early on in the movie. The “split personality” motif may have been exhausted throughout fiction but for David Fincher’s adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk’s nihilist, neo-noir novel the story’s central conceit hinges on this completely unexpected final reveal. The tale of millennial angst is led by Edward Norton’s unnamed Narrator, a young modern male who’s victim to the alluring grasp of capitalism. That is, until he meets the charismatic Tyler Durden, his antithesis, who introduces him to a world of self-betterment via an underground fighting ring. Events come to a head as the Narrator poses the question to Tyler “Why do people think that I am you?” - followed by a sequence of shots from earlier in the movie that splinter through his mind. Except Tyler is strangely absent and replaced by our leading man, because Durden is simply a fractured part of the Narrator’s personality. They’re the same person. While in retrospect, the clues and hints sprinkled throughout are all too obvious, from the scene when the Narrator confronts his boss and beats himself up to the fact that Tyler and Marla never speak are just two. But it’s this one line repeated like a mantra that should rightly alert audiences to the truth that’ll make you facepalm: I know this, because Tyler knows this.

Release: 1999 | Director: David Fincher | Screenwriter: Jim Uhls | Budget: $63 million | Box Office Gross: $100 million

IMDB Rating: 8.9 | Rotten Tomatoes Rating (Audience): 80% (96%) | Google Results “film title twist”: 7, 920,000

4

Memento

Nov 21, 2014
Memento

Memento unspools in reverse order, a tactic that takes a while to adjust to, before becoming a compelling vehicle to take us through Leonard Shelby’s quest to find his wife’s killer. A sufferer of short term memory loss, he cannot create new memories so inks his body with tattooed clues and carries a battered Polaroid camera to document new acquaintances. Enlisting the help of Teddy, he sets about tracking down the murderer at large. Then a sub-plot involving a man named Sammy Jankis, who also suffered the same affliction, arouses suspicion and turns out to in fact be Leonard’s story.
He was the one who accidentally killed his wife. He’s already tracked down many innocent men and subsequently killed them as well, yet in his muddlesome mind he forgets, and pins the blame elsewhere so he constantly has a goal in sight.
Major points are awarded to Christopher Nolan, for this Mobius strip of confusing narrative threads to tell the tale of a grieving man’s inability to deal with death. It’s one thing to stumble upon a unique method for storytelling - it’s an incredible achievement to combine character arc, plot development and a killer twist all within the confines of the film’s amnesia device.

Release: 2000 | Director: Christopher Nolan | Screenwriter: Christopher Nolan | Budget: $5 million | Box Office Gross: $39 million

IMDB Rating: 8.5 | Rotten Tomatoes Rating (Audience): 92% (94%) | Google Results “film title twist”: 438, 000

5

Primal Fear

Nov 21, 2014
Primal Fear

A cursory glance over the synopsis for Primal Fear suggests a typical courtroom drama, but don’t be dissuaded. This is most definitely not a shouting match between opposing lawyers striving for the truth. Unfolding like a by-the-numbers thriller, Richard Gere’s defense attorney Martin Vail is confronted by a wholly different type of evil than he’s used to representing. For his latest case he is assigned sweet, stuttering altar boy Aaron Stampler who’s behind bars for murdering the local archbishop. So far, nothing out of the ordinary. That is until Aaron’s mental complexities reveal he has a multiple personality disorder. Switching from his main Aaron persona to his dark and dangerous ‘alter’ Roy, Vail still manages to successfully defend his client and wangle a not guilty verdict from the jury on an “insanity” defense. In the final wallop when Edward Norton’s astonishing skills come into play, it transpires that Aaron isn’t the main personality. Roy is. And furthermore, Roy isn’t actually schizophrenic; the bumbling Aaron was merely a guise he created so he could get away with cold-blooded murder.

Release: 1996 | Director: Gregory Hoblit | Screenwriter: Steve Shagan, Anne Biderman | Budget: $30 million | Box Office Gross: $102 million

IMDB Rating: 7.7 | Rotten Tomatoes Rating (Audience): 74% (89%) | Google Results “film title twist”: 140,000

6

Atonement

Nov 21, 2014
Atonement

An English period drama doesn’t seem the likeliest environment for a curve in its final stretch, but Atonement manages to sling a meta-twist into proceedings right at the film’s denouement. The seemingly straightforward story is told by youngster Briony Tallis (Saoirse Ronan) who drives a wedge between her sister Cecilia (Keira Knightley) and her lover Robbie Turner (James McAvoy) when she accuses him of raping her sibling. He’s carted off to prison and winds up enlisting in the army. Still, the lovebirds finally reunite before he is shipped off to France, and a teenage Briony makes amends for her wrongdoing. The sting comes when it is revealed that actually the pair both perished in the war, and never did meet again. Their second chance was conjured up from the mind of Briony, who, lest we forget, is narrating the entire movie. As twists go, it deserves its own category. Similarly to Fight Club, this World War II tale possesses an unreliable narrator who’s responsible for the deflated feeling of woe by the time the truth is finally set free.

Release: 2007 | Director: Joe Wright | Screenwriter: Christopher Hampton | Budget: $30 million | Box Office Gross: $129 million

IMDB Rating: 7.8 | Rotten Tomatoes Rating (Audience): 83% (80%) | Google Results “film title twist”: 374,000

7

The Others

Nov 21, 2014
The Others

A secluded isle in Jersey is the location for this supernatural ghost story that is a sorely underrated scary-as-hell horror. From the eerie towering rooms, and fog-filled grounds of the mansion Grace Stewart inhabits with her children, the tone is damn sinister before any spooky shenanigans take place. With her husband away at war, Grace’s attempts to shelter her sunlight-sensitive children from the paranormal entity playing tricks on them spurs on a number of creepy sequences that culminate in the final, genius twist. It turns out for poor Grace that it is she and her children who are ghosts, and the ‘spooks’ goading them are in fact the house’s new residents. That’s not the worst part. The final sting in the tale reveals why the three died after the family patriarch left for battle; Grace couldn’t cope with his absence so smothered her two children then shot herself.

Release: 2000 | Director: Alejandro Amenabar | Screenwriter: Alejandro Amenabar | Budget: $17 million | Box Office Gross: $210 million

IMDB Rating: 7.6 | Rotten Tomatoes Rating (Audience): 83% (77%) | Google Results “film title twist”: 153,000,000

8

The Skin I Live In

Nov 21, 2014
The Skin I Live In

Spanish director Pedro Almodovar leads his legions of fans into the bizarre world of famed plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Ledgard (Antonio Banderas) and delivers an incredulous twist that’s the true definition of jaw-dropping. At first a typical Almodovarian soap opera, we see Ledgard’s work on artificial skin demonstrated via a series of experiments carried out on a young woman he keeps captive in his house named Vera. Through a tangled web of plot lines, the truth comes to light; Vera was once a young man named Vicente, who Robert mistakenly believed to have raped his daughter Norma. Instead of reporting him to the police, he captures him and spends six years (up until the beginning of the movie) subjecting him to gender reassignment surgery. And who does Vincente/Vera resemble? Robert’s dead wife, Gal. How Almodovar manages to execute the varying plot threads, and there are many unmentioned here, is astonishing. Much like Ledgard’s perfect skin creation - that twist is a finely-tuned work of art.

Release: 2011 | Director: Pedro Almodovar | Screenwriter: Pedro Almodovar | Budget: $13.5 million | Box Office Gross: $31 million

IMDB Rating: 7.6 | Rotten Tomatoes Rating (Audience): 81% (84%) | Google Results “film title twist”: 31,400,000

9

Shutter Island

Nov 21, 2014
Shutter Island

What’s most impressive about Martin Scorsese’s gothic asylum thriller Shutter Island is the fact that it’s a heart-pounding whodunnit that’s wrapped inside an even bigger mystery. Just when you think you’ve cracked the riddle, the last layer is revealed that exposes a fantastic ploy by the asylum’s doctors. The couple of US Marshals who lead the story, Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) head to Ashcliffe Hospital to locate missing patient, Rachel Solando. Later, we discover that Daniels is in fact a patient at the asylum, incarcerated for murdering his wife after she drowned their three children. His “investigation” was a detailed role-playing game initiated by his doctors - one of whom was his partner “Chuck” - in an attempt to rehabilitate him. It’s an unexpected turn that warrants a repeat viewing.

Release: 2009 | Director: Martin Scorsese | Screenwriter: Laeta Kalogridis | Budget: $80 million | Box Office Gross: $295 million

IMDB Rating: 8.1 | Rotten Tomatoes Rating (Audience): 69% (76%) | Google Results “film title twist”: 244,000

10

High Tension (Switchblade Romance)

Nov 21, 2014
High Tension (Switchblade Romance)

The French New Wave of horror was spurred on in part by Alexandre Aja’s High Tension (known as Switchblade Romance in the UK), a gory, bloodlust pic that shatters nerves mid-way through with its totally unprecedented plot swerve. Beginning as most worthy horrors do with a seemingly normal scenario, it opens on school friends Marie and Alex en route to the latter’s family countryside home for a weekend of study. That evening a crazed homicidal maniac attacks the isolated abode and murders Alex’s family, and Marie takes it upon herself to hunt him down. Except, it turns out, the unkempt killer is actually Marie. In a bizarre turn of events it’s revealed that she was the one responsible, picking off Alex’s loved ones so she might finally have a shot at the girl of her dreams. While at times nonsensical, and under scrutiny particular sequences do push the boundaries of the plausible, it still makes for a cracking plot turn.

Release: 2003 | Director: Alexandre Aja | Screenwriter: Alexandre Aja, Gregory Levasseur | Budget: $2.8 million | Box Office Gross: $6 million

IMDB Rating: 6.9 | Rotten Tomatoes Rating (Audience): 41% (67%) | Google Results “film title twist”: 2,530,000


GOAT Staff Score - Film Plot Twist

The candidates have been assigned a raw score across a range of criteria. The raw scores have been weighted to reflect the impact that each individual criterion has on the 'Final GOAT Score'. Only weighted scores are displayed in this table. -->TURN DEVICE SIDEWAYS TO VIEW ON MOBILE-->
 Shock Factor (25%)Creativity (25%)Believabilty (15%)Acting (15%)Critical Response (10%)Fan Response (10%)Raw ScoreFinal Goat Score
The Sixth Sense910877849850
The Usual Suspects10761081051845
Fight Club89589948800
Memento784310739650
Primal Fear431094636560
Atonement36956433535
The Others54765330500
The Skin I Live In65143524430
Shutter Island22222212200
High Tension (Switchblade Romance)1131118130

GOAT Verdict:

The Sixth Sense is The Greatest Film Plot Twist of  All Time
Winning the title of Greatest Film Twist Of All Time by a narrow margin, The Sixth Sense’s gob-smacking ending is cinema at its very best. M. Night Shyamalan’s debut rocked audiences back in 1999 with its slow-burning creepiness and jump scares. Despite the fact everyone you’ll ever meet claims to have “guessed the twist” before the fact, don’t be fooled; no-one saw it coming. Its brilliant execution is a true testament to the keen art of misdirection, with the first-time filmmaker using many simple tricks to draw attention away from Dr. Crowe’s ghostly fate. In retrospect, upon repeat viewing, the truth that Malcolm is just another soul in limbo seems so obvious. Yet cinemagoers the world over just didn’t put two-and-two together when the tearful little Cole told his psychologist he saw dead people. And that’s why those who say they knew all along are just covering their butts. Everyone was duped.

0

What is the greatest heist scene of all time?

1

The Dark Knight

Nov 18, 2014 - youtube.com - 83
The Dark Knight

Robbing banks has been a generally accepted pastime of supervillains since the dawn of comic book publication, but almost every attempt was either foiled or glossed over with cartoon violence. When Christopher Nolan’s Batman series portrayed the Joker’s crack at heist operations, however, all bets were off. Even from the first shots, the robbery shows a level of tactical coordination and efficiency that most conventional heist films lack. The thugs manage to wear clown masks that somehow come off as plausible, and the Joker himself is shuffled into the ranks of the thieves, demonstrating his cunning and ruthlessness in a single sweep as he pits the team against one another. This scene has everything that a well-done heist needs – action, suspense, some gunplay, and a getaway that won’t be leaving the record books anytime soon.

Release: 2008 | Director: Christopher Nolan | Budget: $185 mm | Key Actors: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94% | IMDB Score: 9.0 | Box Office Gross: $1 B

2

Heat

Nov 18, 2014 - youtube.com - 71
Heat

With a few money bags and high-powered assault rifles, Heat may have defined the bank robbery genre for decades to come. Michael Mann’s high-octane hit found a strong focal point in its armed robbery scene, which pulls no punches as it heads from the bank’s interior to the crowded city streets, all the while trailing the “heroes” of the attempt. A full team of robbers, spanning from Val Kilmer to Robert DeNiro, keep the camera constantly moving and panning between operatives, further amplifying the sense of chaos that accompanies the heist. In the urban escape portion, the echoes of gunfire – which were captured using blank rounds and not altered using dubbing – fill the streets with bold, deafening cracks, and grant Heat a sense of unparalleled realism. This guns-blazing approach to bank robberies would later influence the video game series Payday, and live on in the minds of action film fanatics everywhere.

Release: 1995 | Director: Michael Mann | Budget: $60 mm | Key Actors: Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Tom Sizemore, Jon Voight, Val Kilmer

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86% | IMDB Score: 8.3 | Box Office Gross: $187.4 mm

3

The Town

Nov 18, 2014 - youtube.com - 74
The Town

For a film that deals with a string of robberies, it helps to be specific. While the earlier heists are generally pulled off without a hitch (and with the help of some very strange masks), the ensuing operations of the Boston-based gang are met with less success, but more entertainment. The armored truck robbery in The Town is memorable for a variety of reasons, but it generally owes its pulse-pounding atmosphere and sense of frenetic energy to the heist’s catastrophic failure. Ben Affleck’s surprisingly masterful directing lent a sense of desperation to the van chase, folding the architecture of Charlestown, Massachusetts into a narrow and dizzying labyrinth that seemed equally dangerous for both the criminals and law enforcement. Bleak colors, stylish violence, and the scramble for survival make The Town one of the most unique and nail-biting heist sequences ever filmed.

Release: 2010 | Director: Ben Affleck | Budget: $37 mm | Key Actors: Ben Affleck, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94% | IMDB Score: 7.6 | Box Office Gross: $154 mm

4

The Dark Knight Rises

Nov 18, 2014 - youtube.com - 84
The Dark Knight Rises

Christopher Nolan has never tried to hide his obsession with dramatic action sequences, and with the several million dollars he was given for The Dark Knight Rises, this is especially evident. Bane, the terrifying mass of brains and brawn played by Tom Hardy, takes on a stock exchange with the same bold and violent energy that defined him in the film’s midair opening sequence. Nolan makes careful use of his oversized set, banks of spark-producing assemblies, and low camera angles to create a gripping and surprisingly intimate moment of terror. Tracking shots linger on the width of Bane’s back, while synthesized vocal elements give the villain an otherworldly and even robotic aspect. Nolan used Bane as a fulcrum for the entire heist scene, balancing the dread of the moment around Tom Hardy’s monologues and brutality with his own trademark style.

Release: 2012 | Director: Christopher Nolan | Budget: $230 mm | Key Actors: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88% | IMDB Score: 8.6 | Box Office Gross: $1 B

5

The Place Beyond the Pines

Nov 18, 2014 - youtube.com - 73
The Place Beyond the Pines

Most bank robberies are carried out with a full team at the mastermind’s back, but The Place Beyond the Pines cuts out the excess and strips the heist down to its core: a motorcycle-riding gunman with a penchant for screaming and climbing onto countertops. Ryan Gosling’s character is the opposite of his role in Drive, fixated on aggression and demonstrating a fundamental lack of control at every turn. Everything about this scene exudes anger and instability, including its minimalist soundtrack and muted color palette. The tracking shots lead into shaky, sweeping views of the bank lobby, and at times, the camera gives the impression of struggling to even keep up with the gunman. Not every heist goes to plan, but The Place Beyond the Pines is proof that even successful heists can put a knot in your stomach.

Release: 2012 | Director: Derek Cianfrance | Budget: $15 mm | Key Actors: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Ray Liotta

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80% | IMDB Score: 7.4 | Box Office Gross: $35.5 mm

6

Reservoir Dogs

Nov 18, 2014 - youtube.com - 79
Reservoir Dogs

There’s always an unmistakable sense of style and strangeness to a Tarantino film, and Reservoir Dogs is no exception. While the film may not put a spotlight on the actual moment of the robbery, Mr. Pink’s gun-toting, suit-sprinting, car-dodging escape from the jewelry shop is one of the most bizarre getaway scenes in cinematic history, and succeeds in capturing the frantic energy of a heist. Or, in this case, a heist gone wrong. The scene makes use of several tracking shots with minimal stabilization, as well as borderline slapstick close-ups of the officers in pursuit. The absence of a musical score only highlights the staccato rhythm of shoes on pavement, and the distant drone of police sirens. Mr. Pink’s mad dash to acquire his escape vehicle – and the over-the-shoulder, handheld filming technique while inside the car – cements this Reservoir Dogs scene in heist history.

Release: 1992 | Director: Quentin Tarantino | Budget: $1.2 mm | Key Actors: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi, Lawrence Tierney, Michael Madsen

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92% | IMDB Score: 8.4 | Box Office Gross: $4 mm

7

Inside Man

Nov 18, 2014 - youtube.com - 71
Inside Man

In the world of heist planning, there are two distinct schools of thought: the Trojan horse approach, or the shoot-into-the-ceiling approach. Inside Man mixes and matches with these tactics, but leans heavily on the former concept, entering the building under the auspices of a cleaning crew with janitorial garb. When the levy breaks and Clive Owen begins to bark commands, however, the latter school of thought comes down like a sledgehammer. Inside Man portrays a remarkably clean and surgical approach to the seizure of a bank, and Clive Owen’s reliance upon tricks such as false accents and smoke canisters only reinforces his role as a true professional. Another fantastic element in Inside Man’s heist presentation is Clive Owen’s confrontation with a patrolling officer, which begins with a revolver being aimed through a crack in the bank’s doors. When it comes to loud and fast heists done properly, Inside Man is a prime contender.

Release: 2006 | Director: Spike Lee | Budget: $45 mm | Key Actors: Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster, Willem Dafoe

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86% | IMDB Score: 7.7 | Box Office Gross: $184.3 mm

8

Public Enemies

Nov 18, 2014 - youtube.com - 68
Public Enemies

It’s impossible to discuss heist films without taking a step back to examine old-school robberies. Public Enemies puts the spotlight on the notorious gangster, John Dillinger, and his exploits in the field of bank robberies. Johnny Depp wears the long coat and fedora as well as anybody from Dillinger’s heyday, and the overt, Thompson-wielding seizure of the bank – done in defiance of both alarms and approaching policemen – remains true to Dillinger’s character. No detail was spared in recreating the lives of these gangsters and their assaults, and this is especially evident in the film’s first bank robbery. Depp gives the gangster an air of style and unique (albeit warped) philosophy, assuring the hostages that his band is not after their money, but the money of the bank. The period costuming and brisk pace of the getaway shootout give Public Enemies a rightful leg up in the competition.

Release: 2009 | Director: Michael Mann | Budget: $100 mm | Key Actors: Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 69% | IMDB Score: 7.0 | Box Office Gross: $214.1 mm

9

Drive

Nov 18, 2014 - youtube.com - 65
Drive

As the nameless driver (played by Ryan Gosling) tells the two balaclava-wearing thieves before the heist, “I give you a five minute window. Anything happens in that five minutes and I'm yours.” Five minutes, in edited film time, is all Ryan Gosling needs to prove that a good heist scene doesn’t require rappelling ropes or explosives. In fact, it doesn’t even require footage of the actual heist. The driver’s true talent is his cold and calculated strategy for getaways, which requires an unassuming speed, a police radio scanner, and a handy supply of toothpicks. In one of the slowest getaway scenes in cinematic history, Ryan Gosling ferries the criminals by blending into the nocturnal L.A. traffic, and defines his character without ever saying more than two words. Drive feeds

on the tension and understated danger of its crime world, fueled by a 1980s-esque electronic soundtrack and a silver Chevy Impala.

Release: 2011 | Director: Nicolas Winding Refn | Budget: $15 mm | Key Actors: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Christina Hendricks, Ron Perlman

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93% | IMDB Score: 7.8 | Box Office Gross: $76.1 mm

10

Dog Day Afternoon

Nov 18, 2014 - youtube.com - 69
Dog Day Afternoon

Not all heist scenes need to be a maelstrom of violence and automatic gunfire, as evidenced by Al Pacino’s quieter heist film, Dog Day Afternoon (which happens to be based on a true story). With the intention of stealing money for his wife’s gender reassignment surgery, Pacino and his partners only get as far as drawing their guns before the heist begins to go downhill. One partner rapidly backs out, and bouts of diabetic complications or asthma force the robbers to begin releasing their hostages in a steady stream. The scene’s snappy dialogue, lack of background music, and awkward exchanges are what gives Dog Day Afternoon its quirky tone and gallows humor. In just one scene, the film managed to spell out its central predicament and mood, while also molding the framework for one of Hollywood’s most infamous heist-gone-wrong tales.

Release: 1975 | Director: Sidney Lumet | Budget: $1.8 mm | Key Actors: Al Pacino, John Cazale, Charles Durnin

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97% | IMDB Score: 8.1 | Box Office Gross: $50 mm


GOAT Staff Score - Heist Scene

The candidates have been assigned a raw score across a range of criteria. The raw scores have been weighted to reflect the impact that each individual criterion has on the 'Final GOAT Score'. Only weighted scores are displayed in this table. -->TURN DEVICE SIDEWAYS TO VIEW ON MOBILE-->
 Intensity (30%)Cinematography (25%)Acting (20%)Sound (15%)Special Effects (10%)Raw ScoreFinal GOAT Score
The Dark Knight991091047930
Heat108710944880
The Town8647833655
The Dark Knight Rises41066733650
The Place Beyond the Pines6652524510
Reservoir Dogs7523219440
Inside Man3295423435
Public Enemies5134619355
Drive2418318330
Dog Day Afternoon1381114290

GOAT Verdict:

The Dark Knight Bank Robbery Scene is the Greatest Heist Scene of All Time

When Christopher Nolan set out to craft a sequel to Batman Begins, expectations were already high. What nobody anticipated, however, was just how flawless The Dark Knight would be. The opening sequence in the film, which manages to skirt around Heath Ledger’s Joker long enough to let a sense of mystique and instability take root, succeeds in portraying a heist that’s almost too good to be from a comic book film. Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard gave the scene an impeccable score, with its music swelling but never rising to the point of distraction or overstating the tension. The action is fast-moving, fluid, and takes the viewer to every level and stage of the heist, never pausing for too long or defusing the scene’s energy. The true payoff in this scene is the Joker’s reveal and climactic shootout with the bank manager, followed by a truly memorable and brazen escape into Gotham’s traffic in a yellow school bus. The Joker’s heist has it all – menacing gunplay, a highly technical infiltration scheme, and an unforgettable introduction by one of cinema’s most recent “classic” villains. When it comes to the greatest heist scene of all time, The Dark Knight steals the crown.

0

What is the greatest television credits sequence of all time?

1

Game of Thrones

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Game of Thrones

Quite possibly the one sequence to spawn more imitations, spoofs and remakes than any other on our list is the Emmy award-winning opening to Game Of Thrones. Implementing a small-scale version of George RR Martin’s endlessly rich world, the camera adopts a bird’s eye view to showcase what’s in store for the viewer. It sweeps across the vast sun-dappled topography this Middle Age-esque fantasy inhabits, every majestic turn and pause accented by Ramin Djawadi’s beautiful score that’s impossible to stop humming. Perhaps the reason die-hard Thrones fans never miss the segment, is because it is riddled with clues pertaining to the next hour’s entertainment. The determination and breadth of challenge taken on by the team at Elastic, who crafted the journey through the seven kingdoms, meant every single episode’s titles varied. As the series of cogs and pulleys cause cities, towns and castles to rise and fall, who knows where the next stop on the map will be as the story focus shifts from one episode to the next.

Running Years: 2011-? | Credits Designer: Angus Wall | Soundtrack: Ramin Djawadi "Main Title" | Sequence Length: 1:40

Genre: Fantasy | Style: Table-top modeling, animation | Awards: Won - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title Design (2011) | Youtube Views: 12,344,670

2

Dexter

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Dexter

The sloppy push of a knife as it skewers a soggy fried egg. A dull razor scraping against a bristled cheek. Pink bacon slathers as it’s devoured by a hungry mouth. The stark visual montage of Dexter is chiefly why it remains memorable to audiences - but it’s the attention to crisp, clear sound design that amps up the morning routine of the Miami serial killer. Tight close-ups of Dexter preparing for the day evoke sickening sensations, as even the most pedestrian of activities - like pulling a sweater over his head - draws comparisons to the macabre nature of his ‘dark passenger.’ It’s a very cleverly composed sequence, with every step taunting the viewer even more due to the carnival-theme musical score. A jittery, happy-go-lucky ditty that only creates anxiety and fear. The colour palette of these credits might be bright, bold and striking - but the heart of the piece beats as black as night.

Running Years: 2006-2013 | Credits Designer: Eric Anderson | Soundtrack: Rolfe Kent "Dexter Main Title" | Sequence Length: 1:56

Genre: Drama | Style: Live-action | Awards: Won - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title Design (2007), Nominated - Primtime Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music (2007), Won - BMI Cable | Youtube Views: 4,062,828

3

The X-Files

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The X-Files

Dare you quest into the realm of lurking terror that awaits every man? From the opening strains of Mark Snow’s theme, an eerie whistle of a tune now synonymous with the show, the matter of whether or not the truth is out there has never seemed more ambiguous. The 40-second title sequence encourages audiences to question the impossible through a simplistic bricolage of live-action footage and static imagery. A lurking shadowy figure hovers in a hallway, a screaming man’s face is distorted by an unknown force, grainy hand-held footage depicts a flying saucer hovering in the sky amidst flashes of barely-visible monstrous shapes. Partly to establish tone, and introduce us to the premise, it ultimately makes you wonder; if that elusive truth is “out there” - who would want to come face-to-face with its inextricable horror?

Running Years: 1993-2002 | Credits Designer: James Castle, Carol Johnsen, Bruce Bryant | Soundtrack: Mark Snow "Materia Primoris" | Sequence Length: 0:42

Genre: Sci-fi | Style: Still photography, live-action | Awards: Won - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Graphic Design and Title Sequences (1994), Nominated - Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Individual | Youtube Views: 768, 467

4

True Detective

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True Detective

A simmering struggle between images of light and dark, the seedy gothic underbelly of the Deep South is exposed to astonishing effect during the opening moments of True Detective. The implied ‘truth’ behind the show’s two leads is introduced via a montage of juxtaposed stills, depicting the industrial wastelands of Louisiana. Serving as a reflection of the characters’ complex personal issues, the sequence focuses on the fragmented nature of humanity and how people are defined by their environments. Double-exposure photography chillingly fuses together images to form new, terrifying icons of horror. Head shots of its two stars, Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, devolve from what you’d expect from HBO. Signalling their strife in uniquely unsettling methods, there’s no finer example of a mood-setting TV opener than this.

Running Years: 2014-? | Credits Designer: Raoul Marks | Soundtrack: The Handsome Family "Far From Any Road" | Sequence Length: 1:37

Genre: Drama | Style: Still photography, live-action | Awards: Won - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title Design (2014) | Youtube Views: 1,025,284

5

American Horror Story

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American Horror Story

An anthology horror show that’s in a league of its own, American Horror Story’s opening credits are arguably the greatest in terms of atmospherics. The work of design house Prologue, chief designer Kyle Cooper cut his teeth on David Fincher’s Seven and has matured further into the darkest recesses of human nature. The disturbing imagery - broken dolls, fetuses floating in jars, corpses trapped beneath plastic wrap - roll out like a scene from a fractured mind unable to untangle this jumble of horrors. For each subsequent season the specific footage has been tweaked to include clues to the season’s narrative arc, but all remain twinned to one constantly pulsating terror - the soundtrack. A bloodcurdling disjointed jam, perfectly timed to the changing onscreen icons, there’s no chance you’ll doze off before the real fright begins.

Running Years: 2011-? | Credits Designer: Kyle Cooper | Soundtrack: Cesar Davila-Irizarry "American Horror Story" | Sequence Length: Still photography, live-action

Genre: Horror | Style: Still photography, live-action | Awards: Nominated - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title Design (2011, 2012), Won - BMI Cable Award For Music Composition (2012), Won - OFTA Television Awards for Best New Theme Song In A Series, Best New Titles Sequence (2012, 2013) | Youtube Views: 274,579

6

The United States of Tara

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The United States of Tara

Sometimes, a simple stream of head shots with captioned names serves a TV show that might not harbour the most unique premise. A wholly brilliant dramedy from the sprawling creative mind of Diablo Cody? It had to have the perfect title sequence. Part exposition device, part creative jamboree, the stop motion cut-out figures that introduce us to the world of split-personality Tara paint her three “alters” to utter perfection. Each pop-up lures us into a triptych of seemingly different worlds, each inhabited by their respective alter. Springing up out of nowhere, the seamless blend between the trio of larger-than-life personas hosted inside the regular mom are brought to life by award-winning designer Jamie Caliri. The most telling element - the cherry on top of the sundae - is Tim DeLaughter’s catchy theme song, a riff on Tara’s mission to take control of her fate.

Running Years: 2009-2011 | Credits Designer: Jamie Caliri | Soundtrack: Tim DeLaughter "Learn To Love The Ride" | Sequence Length: 1:05

Genre: Comedy drama | Style: Stop-motion animation | Awards: Won - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title Design (2009) | Youtube Views: 811,232

7

The Simpsons

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The Simpsons

Fox’s premier family comedy is renowned for the attention to detail creator Matt Groening and co. cram into every single title sequence. As puffy cumulus clouds part to reveal the title breathlessly worded out in song - BAM! - the fast-paced race home for The Simpsons through the town of Springfield begins to Danny Elfman’s legendary orchestral theme. Now in its second update since the series began in 1989, the creators kept two of its defining gags in tact. When the camera peers in on Bart’s detention, his chalkboard punishment changes from week to week; ranging from amusing childish quips to cutting social commentary. However, ask anyone about The Simpsons title as the unanimous verdict on their brilliance will be in the mere mention of the couch. Moments before the episode starts proper, the family scramble into the living room to retire on the sofa - and each week are confronted by a new challenge preventing them from doing so. It’s really an impressive addition to the show - which has seen guest directors Guillermo Del Toro and graffiti artist Banksy brought on to helm sequences - proving that this is one classic comedy that’s still got what it takes.

Running Years: 1989-? | Credits Designer: Matt Groening | Soundtrack: Danny Elfman "The Simpsons Theme" | Sequence Length: 1:30

Genre: Comedy | Style: Animation | Awards: Nominated - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title Theme Music (1990), Won - BMI TV Music Award (1996, 1998, 2003), Won - National Music Awards UK Favourite TV Theme (2002) | Youtube Views: 15 million+

8

The Sopranos

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The Sopranos

The gangster genre of 70s, 80s and 90s cinema brought the intimate lifestyles of wiseguys into the public consciousness. HBO took that notion a step further with The Sopranos. Delivering a black comedy drama via mob patriarch, Tony Soprano, the show capitalised on his continued struggle between his familial obligations and his life as the leader of David Chase, the show’s creator, forged a simple opening sequence that introduces us to Tony’s daily route from New York City back to his New Jersey homestead. It’s an engaging minute that sheds light on a routine activity that even mobsters undertake on a day-to-day basis. To top it off, Alabama 3’s sultry song accompaniment further showcases the inner turmoil of the show’s loveable antihero.

Running Years: 1999-2007 | Credits Designer: David Chase | Soundtrack: Alabama 3 "Woke Up This Morning" | Sequence Length: 1:37

Genre: Drama | Style: Live-action | Awards: None | Youtube Views: 160,431

9

Mad Men

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Mad Men

The shortest entry on this list by far, Mad Men’s simple graphical sequence begins with the cut-out figure of a man entering his office. It harks back to the pioneering work of film credit designer Saul Bass, which is a clever touch as his finest achievements in this particular artform were at their best during the 50s and 60s - the very era Mad Men depicts. To the tune of RJD2’s string theme - again a nod to theme composer Bernard Hermann - the shady man plummets from the great height of a skyscraper. His descent is glorified as his tumbling body whizzes past gigantic advertisements. Moments before he splatters to his death, he is scooped up by an impossibly large woman’s foot. Thematically it addresses the show’s dark streak running throughout each season; everything might look peachy keen but even the suave Don Draper can fall from grace.

Running Years: 2007- | Credits Designer: Mark Gardner | Soundtrack: RJD2 “A Beautiful Mine” | Sequence Length: 0:36

Genre: Drama | Style: Animation | Awards: Won - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title Design (2008) | Youtube Views: 1,497,964

10

The Outer Limits

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The Outer Limits

There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. As a series of waves oscillate across the screen, the monotone “control voice” narrated by Vic Perrin immediately confronts viewers with the possibility that they are subject to a shady government experiment. While this spooky anthology series draws inevitable comparisons to The Twilight Zone, its opening credits evoke a far more sinister work at play. Much like the hysteria derived from Orson Welles’ War Of The Worlds radio broadcast, the clever wraparound credits serve as a quasi-cautionary warning. At the time of release, breaking the fourth wall was not a common occurrence, making this one of the most chilling opening titles ever seen on the small screen.

Running Years: 1963-1965 | Credits Designer: Project Unlimited, Inc. | Soundtrack: Dominic Frontiere "Outer Limits Theme" | Sequence Length: 1:08

Genre: Sci-fi | Style: Animation | Awards: None | Youtube Views: 41,580


GOAT Staff Score - TV Credits Sequence

The candidates have been assigned a raw score across a range of criteria. The raw scores have been weighted to reflect the impact that each individual criterion has on the 'Final GOAT Score'. Only weighted scores are displayed in this table. -->TURN DEVICE SIDEWAYS TO VIEW ON MOBILE-->
 Originality (25%)Visual Style (20%)Soundtrack (20%)Atmosphere (15%)Critical Reception (10%)Influence (10%)Raw ScoreFinal GOAT Score
United States Of Tara85625127510
The Outer Limits11261819265
The X-Files269981044665
American Horror Story743109740625
The Sopranos33734626420
True Detective47886538630
Dexter910547439695
Game Of Thrones10910710248855
The Simpsons62452928455
Mad Men58113321380

GOAT Verdict:

Games of Thrones The Greatest Television Credits Sequence of All Time
One of the most popular TV shows currently on the air, Game Of Thrones’ also lays claim to possessing the Greatest TV Credit Sequence Of All Time. Ranking far higher than every other entry on the shortlist by a landslide, it snags the title with ease. For such an intricately-woven storyline that continues to tangle itself with each passing season, the only way to present such a masterclass in television is via its breathtaking introduction. The sprawling map of the seven kingdoms rendered in painstaking 3D models demonstrates the vast universe the show’s beloved characters inhabit to stunning effect. A web of machinations – cogs, pulleys, levers – all sync together to orchestrate the rise and fall of empires; a truly informative introduction that incites genuine excitement for the episode to come. It’s no surprise that it won the Emmy for Outstanding Main Title – but it’s still a shock that Ramin Djawadi’s achingly-beautiful score went unnoticed.

0

What is the greatest film credits sequence of all time?

1

Goldfinger

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Goldfinger

Long considered one of the finest title sequences ever created, Goldfinger’s dynamic opening credits are the brainchild of Robert Brownjohn. The dynamic combination of a unique visual approach and a showstopping tune elevate the short introduction to Mr. Bond’s 3rd adventure from mere necessity to cinematic masterpiece. Honing in on the key themes - action, mystery and romance - Brownjohn projects scenes from the movie onto the body of actress Margaret Nolan, as Shirley Bassey belts out the now-classic theme song. There are few entries on the list that achieve so much in such a limited time frame. Establishing the tone, setting the scene, entertaining the audience, Goldfinger pioneered a new wave of title design, a fact that has not gone unnoticed by scholars. In 2012, MOMA dedicated a focus installation entirely to the three minute segment which examined the ingenuity Brownjohn brought to the art of titles.

Release: 1964 | Director: Guy Hamilton | Credits Designer: Robert Brownjohn | Budget: $3 mm

Genre: Action | Style: Live-action | Soundtrack: Shirley Bassey “Goldfinger” | Sequence Length: 2:50

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Fight Club

Bursting out of the gate to the briefest twang of a string instrument, Fight Club’s opening titles are a perfect harbinger for what’s to come. The first shot in the dizzying 110-second sequence commences at the narrator’s fear centre, as the Digital Domain effects team proceed to showcase their then-state of the art techniques for mapping out the human brain. While the audience white-knuckle their way through the frenetic journey, slaloming around firing synapses and neurons, the block-rockin’ beats of The Dust Brothers’ drum n’ bass accompaniment hammers home the impending sense of mayhem that’s about to unfold. While you might not realise it at the time, the seed of identity, and what truly makes us individual, has already been planted by the time the camera retracts along the oily ridge of a Smith and Wesson.

Release: 1999 | Director: David Fincher | Credits Designer: Kevin Tod Haug, P. Scott Makela | Budget: $63 mm

Genre: Neo-Noir | Sequence Style: CGI | Soundtrack: The Dust Brothers “Stealing Fat” | Sequence Length: 1:48

3

The Shining

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The Shining

If there’s one thing Stanley Kubrick will always be remembered for, it’s his insistence on long, uninterrupted takes. From the very first moment of The Shining, his approach pays off instantly, with an elongated bird’s eye view of a beautiful scenic vista. A snow-capped mountain range, a burst of evergreen trees, a shimmering body of water, a long winding road... and a yellow VW Bug snaking its way through the terrain. The automobile, the vehicle containing our soon-to-be-suffering family, is reduced to a dot in the frame, an obvious nod to the desolation and dread that awaits the Torrances at the Overlook Hotel. On that basis alone, it takes home the gold for greatest atmospheric title sequence. But twinned with Carlos and Elkind’s drudging score, a reimagining of a 13th Century Gregorian chant, which plays on the terror of the isolated human experience you can’t help but sense that there is evil afoot. Does The Shining possess the creepiest opening sequence? There’s absolutely no
doubt about it.

Release: 1980 | Director: Stanley Kubrick | Credits Designer: Stanley Kubrick | Budget: $19 mm

Genre: Horror | Style: Live-action | Soundtrack: Wendy Carlos & Rachel Elkind “Dies Irae” | Sequence Length: 3:00

4

Se7en

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Se7en

For the titles of David Fincher’s serial killer thriller, designer Kyle Cooper’s credits owe a debt to the opening credits from To Kill A Mockingbird. Borrowing the idea of detailing a killer’s specific rituals, Cooper consulted Fincher and wound up using the exact props featured in the film to outline John Doe’s methodical behaviours. The soundtrack, a remixed version of NIN’s Closer, is a fitting accompaniment, turning the haphazard grainy shots of diaries and fingerprints into a staccato jam. Unnerving, frantic and edgy, it’s a must see sequence that shone a light on the relevance and duty of a film’s very first impression. If it weren’t for this jarring, unsettling sequence, we’d never have seen the equally horrific titles they went on to influence in TV’s anthology scarefest, American Horror Story.

Release: 1995 | Director: David Fincher | Credits Designer: Kyle Cooper | Budget: $33 mm

Genre: Thriller | Style: CGI | Soundtrack: Nine Inch Nails “Closer” | Sequence Length: 2:08

5

Lord of War

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Lord of War

Nicolas Cage’s gun-running actioner explores the world of global arms dealers. So for its rather fitting opening credits, we’re offered a look into the origins of ammunition. In the clever self-contained segment, the camera hitches a ride on the back of a bullet from its moment of conception to its final expulsion from the barrel of a rifle. Proving that the obligatory 120 seconds dedicated to listing a film’s cast and crew can double as an exposition-rich environment, the bullet we follow travels across the globe. From factory to shipping container to a gun-totin’ gang, the first-person narrative - the person being the bullet -borrows a lot of its clout to its similarity to a video game shoot-em-up style. This impactful beginning is topped off with Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth”, an eerily cheerful ditty that establishes a sombre tone for the entire movie.

Release: 2005 | Director: Andrew Niccol | Credits Designer: Yann Blondel | Budget: $42 mm

Genre: Action | Style: CGI / Live-action| Soundtrack: Buffalo Springfield “For What It’s Worth” | Sequence Length: 3:30

6

Reservoir Dogs

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Reservoir Dogs

For his debut feature, Quentin Tarantino made an effortlessly cool impression. The story of a botched heist converted cinemagoers to his unique style that emanates from three simple elements; dialogue, music and plot. In the twenty-five years since he surfaced as a cinematic trendsetter, his skill for matching soundtrack to scene has gone unrivalled. So, it’s no surprise that for his first outing he keenly displayed a knack for setting the tone for his entire career. The bare bones sequence begins after the opening scene, as the leading cast exit a cafe in slo-mo to the tune of George Baker’s Little Green Bag. A shockingly simple idea, it has since gone on to influence countless filmmakers as a way to establish the dynamics of a central group of characters. Often mimicked, but never bettered, Tarantino’s first credits sequence is one of the suavest ever committed to celluloid.

Release: 1991 | Director: Quentin Tarantino | Credits Designer: Quentin Tarantino | Budget: $1.2 mm

Genre: Crime Action | Style: Live-action | Soundtrack: Selection “Little Green Bag” | Sequence Length: 2:00

7

It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

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It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

One of Saul Bass’s longest-ever sequences, clocking in at just over four minutes, his titles for It’s A Mad Mad Mad World reflect the frenzy of the film perfectly. The child-like drawing of a globe serves as the centrepiece for a whole host of visual gags, which all burst forth amidst a flurry of bold typeface credits. Taking a lighthearted approach, Bass emulates the film’s subject matter in tone only. A bright colour scheme matches Ernest Gold’s frivolous musical theme, the two elements riffing off each other to form a cohesive short that stands up as a solitary piece of animation. The cluttered, haphazard pace hones in on what it is that indeed makes this a “mad, mad, mad, mad” world, taking the title and implementing an almost-literal take on what that might mean.

Release: 1963 | Director: Stanley Kramer | Credits Designer: Saul Bass | Budget: $9.4 mm

Genre: Comedy | Style: Cut-out animation | Soundtrack: Ernest Gold “overture” | Sequence Length: 4:13

8

The Magnificent Ambersons

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The Magnificent Ambersons

Orson Welles’ melodrama set a precedent for the iconic filmmaker, whose latter works marked him as a suspenseful auteur with an eye for the sinister. What marks the closing credits of his sophomore effort as unique, is Welles’ attempt to connect the audience with the people who made his vision possible via spoken credits which had only been incorporated once previously. As the final shot fades, his baritone voice recites the names of his cast and crew; for each credit a shot of their face or the technical equipment used flashes onscreen. The last mention is of course for Welles himself, which is uttered with a pride that we seldom hear filmmakers proffer. It’s a technique that the director received a lot of flack for subsequently, but served as the ultimate homage to his radio beginnings.

Release: 1942 | Director: Orson Welles | Credits Designer: Orson Welles | Budget: $1.1 mm

Genre: Melodrama | Style: Live-Action | Soundtrack: Bernard Hermann “End Title” | Sequence Length 1:25

9

North by Northwest

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North by Northwest

Legendary graphic designer Saul Bass had already established himself as the go-to man for punchy credits sequences by the time Hitchcock enlisted him to create the opening for North By Northwest. From the first shot, his minimalist style is unmistakable, and twinned with an urging score by Bernard Hermann it became a trendsetter in the industry. It opens as a series of lines shoot across the screen in Bass’ signature cut-out animation method, before they merge together to form a skyscraper. Names and titles appear in a block typeface; their erratic movements across the screen one of the first times kinetic typography had been used so extensively in a credits sequence. The cumulative effect of Bass’s visual choices and Hermann’s brash theme, clue the audience into the many crossroads Cary Grant’s unsuspecting Roger Thornhill will have to face.

Release: 1959 | Director: Alferd Hitchcock| Credits Designer: Saul Bass | Budget: $4.3 mm

Genre: Thriller | Style: Cut-out animation | Soundtrack: Bernard Hermann “Main Title” | Sequence Length: 2:15

10

Catch Me If You Can

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Catch Me If You Can

A clear homage to the graphic designers of the 50s and 60s, the trendy titles for Steven Spielberg’s adaptation by Kuntzel & Deygas were heavily influenced by Saul Bass’s earlier credit sequences. Keeping in the jaunty spirit of the film itself, the brilliant segment hops and jumps from one scene to the next in a mini-narrative all of its own. The cut-out figure of the central character, Leonardo DiCaprio’s charming swindler, leaps from one environment to another while being pursued by a lofty law enforcer. As he makes his way through the colourful universe, a number of professionals come to his aide. Sleek lines, bold colour palettes and smooth typefaces shoot in and out of every shot with a grace and ease that’s made all the more cool by John Williams’ jazzy 60s-influenced score.

Release: 2002 | Director: Steven Spielberg | Credits Designer: Kuntzel & Deygas | Budget: $52 mm

Genre: Drama | Style: Cut-out animation | Soundtrack: John Williams “Catch Me If You Can” | Sequence Length: 2:30

11

The Charge of the Light Brigade

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The Charge of the Light Brigade

This British Crimean War movie fuses a handful of animated sequences into its liveaction story, the first of which is brought spectacularly to life by Richard Williams depiction of the noted countries involved in the conflict. Like most of the entries on this list, Williams successfully sets the tone and imports a great deal of background information into the short opening credits segment. Each nation is represented via an animal counterpart; a gorilla, a turkey, and a sleeping lion interact across a simple line drawing of the world. Of course, its impact would be nothing without the imposing main title from composer John Addison, a lurching string accompaniment offering every creature a voice. Together with the “Victorian Punch” style of animation - its influence stemming from the cartoons of that era - it’s a truly haunting beginning.

Release: 1968 | Director: Tony Richards | Credits Designer: Richard Williams | Budget: $6.5 mm

Genre: Action | Style: Animation | Soundtrack: John Addison “Main Title” | Sequence Length: 2:50

12

Vertigo

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Vertigo

Saul Bass’s sparse handiwork shines through on another Hitchcockian caper. From the spinning titles that emerge from a close-up of Kim Novak’s face, to the blossoming melodrama of Bernard Hermann’s score, its unnerving tone sets the scene for the suspenseful feature. One of the first examples of computer art wizardry, John Witney’s spirographic images flow in psychedelic swirls, drawing us into a puzzling sequence that perfectly captures the director’s chosen mode of delivery: suspense. Since its release the piece has been critically lauded for its own brilliance outside of Hitchcock’s glorious classic, even being deemed by some to have raised the bar for graphic design. In this modern age of CGI-reliance, revisiting one of the finest examples of an arguably forgotten art form makes one long for the days when credits were just as integral as the movie itself.

Release: 1958 | Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Credits Designer: Saul Bass | Budget: $2.4 mm

Genre: Thriller | Style: CGI, Live-action | Soundtrack: Bernard Hermann “Prelude” | Sequence Length: 3:20


GOAT Staff Score - Film Credits Sequence

The candidates have been assigned a raw score across a range of criteria. The raw scores have been weighted to reflect the impact that each individual criterion has on the 'Final GOAT Score'. -->TURN DEVICE SIDEWAYS TO VIEW ON MOBILE-->
 Originality (25%)Visual Style (20%)Soundtrack (20%)Atmosphere (15%)Critical Reception (10%) Influence (10%)Raw Score Final GOAT Score
Goldfinger12121191211671125
Fight Club81110106752900
The Shining3912124444755
Seven588119546750
Lord of War910663236685
Reservoir Dogs439771242635
Mad, Mad World1143181037610
The Magnif. Amber.106552129575
North by Northwest 257211936520
Catch Me If You Can17485328445
Charge of the Light72241824405
Vertigo611310627395

GOAT Verdict:

Goldfinger is the Greatest Film Credits Sequence of All Time
Sweeping top marks in the heaviest weighted categories, without a shadow of a doubt, Goldfinger takes home the title of Greatest Movie Credit Sequence Of All Time. There’s simply no greater appreciation for the fading art of title design; the sequence embraces every aspect of the Bond brand into a fully-rounded piece of cinema by itself. Richard Brownjohn’s painstaking preparations, including an entire separate film shoot to capture the exquisitely-lit Margaret Nolan, are nothing short of breathtaking. Factor in Shirley Bassey’s titular theme, a brassy, punchy number that shines a light on every single moment Brownjohn borrows from the film, and it leaves no room for even its closest competitors. In an age where the reliance on CGI is ever-increasing, Goldfinger’s titles stand as a reminder that technology doesn’t always create the greatest impact. After all, how many movie title sequences have been granted their own installation at one of the world’s most revered art establishments?

0

What is the greatest horror movie scene of all time?

1

The Exorcist - Head Spin

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The Exorcist - Head Spin

This scene struck fear into the hearts of anyone who saw it back in the 70s, and it has been just as effective in terrifying audiences ever since. The Exorcist was one of the first horror films to be awarded a substantial production budget, and the producer's parlayed this rare blessing into a healthy box office success. The ample war chest afforded Friedkin the freedom to use special effects that, while they may seem trite today, were downright bloodcurdling at the time of the film’s debut. We now know the vomit was pea soup and the head spinning is simple makeup and cinematography, but there is still something so compelling about this scene, because of the horror implied by the frightened priests, and the evil completely taking over this young and innocent girl. By the time we reach this climactic scene, the viewer is rooting for the priests to get rid of the demon, yet still stuck in the grip of terror that it invokes.The storytelling keeps the horror alive, and this moment has undoubtedly stood the test of time.

Release Date: Dec. 26th, 1973 | Director: William Friedkin | Subgenre: supernatural horror – original | Major Actors: Linda Blair, Max Von Sydow, Jason Miller

Budget: $12.00 mm | Domestic Box Office Gross: $193.00 mm | Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 87%

2

Alien - Chestburster

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Alien - Chestburster

Sci-fi horror really hits a nerve because of the possibility that lies behind the stories – the scientific community is in near agreement that malevolent spirits can’t pick people up and throw them across the room, but evil aliens from deep space? That possibility is bone-chillingly real. Adding to that fear, the famous exploding chest scene in alien is some of the most authentic acting you'll see in film . . . . the actors weren’t told what was going to happen, and the pop-out wasn’t written into the script. Not to mention the grimy latex effects of the alien itself, and the fact that this is one of the initial effective uses of the jump scare. The Chestburster scene in Alien surely stands among the greatest moments in the entire horror genre.

Release Date: May 5th, 1979 | Director: Ridley Scott | Subgenre: sci-fi horror - original | Major Actors: John Hurt, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto, Tom Skeritt, Harry Dean Stanton, Sigourney Weaver

Budget: $11.00 mm | Domestic Box Office Gross: $79.00 mm | Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 94%

3

The Blair Witch Project - Ending

Oct 28, 2014 - youtube.com - 227
The Blair Witch Project - Ending

The found footage landscape has become flooded in recent years with knock-offs and reboots left and right, but once upon a time, The Blair Witch Project was a pioneer in its field. Widely hailed as the scariest found footage flick of all time, the film works because we'd never seen anything like it before, but also because the story and acting are superb. This last scene, where the group is lured into the basement and end up meeting a fate unknown, is extremely unnerving, and raw. The director creates a haunting maze of spooky sights and sounds that make you want to escape the place as much as the characters themselves. Perhaps the most haunting quality of all is this scene's lack of a pay-off; you expect the witch to be revealed in a shock at the very end – but it never does.

Release Date: July 30th, 1999 | Director: Daniel Myric | Subgenre: found footage - original | Major Actors: Heather Donahue, Michael C. Williams, Joshua Leonard

Budget: $25,000 | Domestic Box Office Gross: $140.54 mm | Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 55%

4

The Shining – Bathtub

Oct 28, 2014 - youtube.com - 287
The Shining – Bathtub

This is hands-down one of the most horrifying moments in cinema history. Things are getting weirder and weirder for Jack as he spirals further into madness, and the moment he realizes he's necking a rotting corpse instead of a beautiful ghost takes the film over the edge from bizarre to total nightmare territory. The combination of Danny’s shocked face, Jack backing up in horror, and of course the nastiest hug-seeking corpse we've ever seen in film creates a moment that will be lauded as sheer horror genius for generations. The Shining would prove to be one of Kubrick’s finest moments in cinema, and that image of the old lady in the tub will have you checking behind the shower curtain for far longer than you'd like to admit.

Release Date: May 23rd, 1980 | Director: Stanley Kubrick | Subgenre: psychological horror - based on book | Major Actors: Billie Gibson, Jack Nicholson, Dany Lloyd

Budget: $19.00 mm | Domestic Box Office Gross: $44.00 mm | Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 93%

5

Misery – Hobbling

Oct 28, 2014 - youtube.com - 209
Misery – Hobbling

This is an unusual horror film – there are only two characters throughout most of it, and what makes it so scary is not any special effects or horrible demons, but the depths of depravity to which Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates) will sink to protect her un-willing captor, the famous author Paul Sheldon (James Caan). This scene takes the cake when it comes to the cringe factor; the sight and sound of the metal on bone as Wilkes maims her prisoner is sadly unforgettable. It's all the more disturbing when viewed through the lens of the initially good-natured and lovable Kathy Bates character. Perhaps she channeled that Annie Wilkes character with her staple roles on American Horror Story, where we get another taste of her dark side. This one definitely still stands up today as an overall terrifying film, and the stellar acting performances of the two main characters will ensure it goes down as one of the greatest horror films of all time.

Release Date: Nov. 30th, 1990 | Director: Rob Reiner | Subgenre: psychological thriller - based on book | Major Actors: Cathy Bates, James Caan

Budget: $20.00 mm | Domestic Box Office Gross: $61.28 mm | Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 89%

6

Prometheus – C-Section

Oct 28, 2014 - youtube.com - 294
Prometheus – C-Section

This reboot of the Alien series might not be as terrific in story as the original epic, but my initial comment about sci-fi horror still holds true: this is so bloodcurdling because it could be real one day. The parasitic invasiveness of this species makes your skin crawl from the very beginning, and once it gets inside protagonist Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace), she knows she has to get it out at any cost. I am sure most females will agree – nothing terrifies like a forced scientific C-section, shown in graphic detail. The cold, technological brutality combined with the gore and body imagery make this an unforgettable scene you wish you could forget.

Release Date: June 8th, 2012 | Director: Ridley Scott | Subgenre: sci-fi horror - reboot | Major Actors: Noomi Rapace

Budget: $403.40 mm | Box Office Gross: $126.48 mm | Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 69%

7

Night of the Living Dead – First Zombie Attack

Oct 28, 2014 - youtube.com - 214
Night of the Living Dead – First Zombie Attack

This classic scene may seem a little dated now – “They’re coming to get you, Barbara!” But this scene is huge, as this was one of the first zombie attacks in a major motion picture. What is par for the course now, even in TV shows like The Walking Dead, was cutting edge at the time that this film was released. What is so terrifying about this scene is that it doesn’t have any of the staple things that make zombies get under our skin today - a totally rotted body, or a whole heard coming after the protagonists. Instead, it’s insidious – the old man gets closer and closer, seeming more and more uncanny, until he finally attacks. The scene really highlights what is truly horrifying about zombies – how closely they resemble us.

Release Date: Oct. 1st, 1968 | Director: George Romero | Subgenre: zombie horror - original | Major Actors: Judith, O'Dea, Russell Streiner, Bill Heinzman

Budget: $114,000 | Domestic Box Office Gross: $5.84 mm | Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 88%

8

Friday the 13th – Ending

Oct 28, 2014 - youtube.com - 233
Friday the 13th – Ending

Nowadays, if something doesn’t jump out to scare you at the end of a horror film, that’s almost more of a surprise. But believe it or not, there was a time when this now-cliché technique was still unexpected. The original Friday the 13th was groundbreaking in so many ways, pioneering both the slasher genre and the idea of the never-ending horror franchise. And this little gem at the end of the first movie is another critical contribution to the history of horror film. Just as you think Alice is going to wake up in the canoe and all will be well, a grotesque and gory Jason child jumps out of the lake to attack. Not only does the scene have elite jump-scare value, it cemented the theme of "It's never really over" within the Friday the 13th franchise for all time.

Release Date: May 9th, 1980 | Director: Sean S. Cunningham | Subgenre: slasher - original | Major Actors: Ari Lehman, Adrienne King

Budget: $550,000 | Domestic Box Office Gross: $39.75 mm | Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 61%

9

The Ring- Television

Oct 28, 2014 - youtube.com - 245
The Ring- Television

The turn of the century is a questionable era for film, but one of the great exceptions to this rule is the American version of The Ring. The specter of Samara Morgan in the infamous "watch this tape and you will die in 7 days" video will have your hairs standing on end from the moment you lay eyes on her. The genius of the film was the way that we are slowly offered small bites of insight into the story of this creepy girl. And everything comes to a climax in this scene, the last in the film, when our hero Noah pops in the infamous tape and Samara starts to emerge from the screen. While this is undoubtedly creepy to watch without any context, part of what gives this scene so much power is that up until this point, Samara was an entity, an idea, someone to be pitied despite how scary she is. Now the viewer knows she is evil and knows she has the power to kill, and she is coming through the TV and right towards you! Watch this scene late at night and you'll never look at your television the same way again.

Release Date: Oct. 18th, 2002 | Director: Gore Verbinski | Subgenre: psychological horror/techno horror - remake | Major Actors: Naomi Watts, Daveigh Chase, Martin Henderson, David Dorfman

Budget: $48.00 mm | Box Office Gross: $129.13 mm | Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 48%