August 21, 2020 (Updated: December 28, 2021)

Watching the Top 100 Highest-Rated Movies: #81-90

This post is part of an ongoing series where my wife and I watch the top 100 highest-rated movies of all time. You can learn more about the challenge itself, and you can see all of the movies we've watched under the tag #top-100-highest-rated-movies. You can also check out the previous post in the series where we watched movies #91-100.

#90. Blade Runner (1982)

Blade Runner, Β© 1982 Warner Bros.

Directed by Ridley Scott
Screenplay by Hampton Fancher, David Peoples
Based on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
Starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos

Did we like it? Evan: πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈπŸ‘, Sarah: πŸ‘Ž
Would we watch it again? πŸ‘Ž

We watched the theatrical cut tonight partly because we watched the Final Cut a few years ago before Blade Runner 2049 came out, and because I figured the theatrical cut was what put it on the list of highest rated movies of all time in the first place (see also: Ground Rules), and, uh, because I kinda impulsively rented it before I remembered that there were multiple editions.

Honestly, I've never really loved this movie. I appreciate what it added to the tapestry of science fiction movies, but it's a bit too plodding and aesthetically dark for me. That being said, Roy's monologue about memories disappearing like tears in rain... still πŸ’―.

#89. The Conversation (1974)

The Conversation, Β© 1974 Paramount Pictures

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
Written by Francis Ford Coppola
Starring Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Allen Garfield, Cindy Williams, Frederic Forrest

Did we like it? πŸ‘Ž
Would we watch it again? πŸ‘Ž

Ah, a movie about the importance of emphasis.

We didn't really understand why this one was on The List - neither of us enjoyed it and it's not near as good as the other Coppola films we've watched. Onto the next one!

#88. King Kong (1933)

King Kong, Β© 1933 RKO Radio Pictures

Directed by Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack
Screenplay by, James Creelman, Ruth Rose
Starring Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Bruce Cabot

Did we like it? Evan: πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈπŸ‘, Sarah: πŸ‘Ž
Would we watch it again? Evan: πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈπŸ‘Ž, Sarah: πŸ‘Ž

Despite being pretty janky by today's standards, there are some really cool special effects in this movie. I preferred the more emotional and innocent way they approached King Kong in the 2005 Peter Jackson version though.

#87. L.A. Confidential (1997)

L.A. Confidential, Β©1997 Warner Bros.

Directed by Curtis Hanson
Screenplay by Brian Helgeland, Curtis Hanson
Based on L.A. Confidential by James Ellroy
Starring Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, James Cromwell, David Strathairn, Kim Basinger, Danny DeVito

Did we like it? πŸ‘πŸ‘
Would we watch it again? πŸ‘

This was fantastic and was one of the first movies so far that we felt absolutely deserved to be on the list. It had some great twists and turns, and my kind of gratifying ending.

#86. On the Waterfront (1954)

On the Waterfront, Β© 1954 Columbia Pictures

Directed by Elia Kazan
Written by Budd Schulberg
Starring Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger, Pat Henning, Eva Marie Saint

Did we like it? πŸ‘Ž
Would we watch it again? πŸ‘Ž

We didn't record any thoughts on this one, aside from the fact that we didn't like it much. But I did like this quote:

"You want to know what's wrong with our waterfront? It's the love of a lousy buck. It's making love of a buck - the cushy job - more important than the love of man!"
-Father Barry, On the Waterfront

#85. Stagecoach (1939)

Stagecoach, Β© 1939 United Artists

Directed by John Ford
Screenplay by Dudley Nichols
Based on The Stage to Lordsburg by Ernest Haycox
Starring Claire Trevor, John Wayne, Andy Devine, John Carradine, Thomas Mitchell, Louise Platt, George Bancroft, Donald Meek, Berton Churchill, Tim Holt

Did we like it? πŸ‘Ž
Would we watch it again? πŸ‘Ž

John Wayne in his first lead role. We didn't love this one either, but I have a little extra appreciation for it because John Wayne was one of my dad's favorite actors.

#84. A Hard Day’s Night (1964)

A Hard Day's Night, Β© 1964 United Artists

Directed by Richard Lester
Screenplay by Alun Owen
Starring The Beatles, Wilfrid Brambell

Did we like it? πŸ‘Ž
Would we watch it again? πŸ‘Ž

The height of Beatlemania, starring the The Beatles. We're not huge Beatles fans, but I suppose if you are, this would be a straight banger for you. Although I found the running gag about Paul McCartney's grandfather to be pretty funny.

#83. Stop Making Sense (1984)

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Stop Making Sense, Β© 1984 Cinecom Pictures

Directed by Jonathan Demme
Written by Talking Heads, Jonathan Demme
Starring Talking Heads

Did we like it? πŸ‘ŽπŸ‘Ž
Would we watch it again? πŸ‘ŽπŸ‘Ž

It was... a Talking Heads concert. I don't have much of a frame of reference for concert movies, and I'm not a big Talking Heads fan, but it's hard for me to understand why this was on The List. This was one of the first times (so far) that we were so uninterested in a movie on this list that it felt like time was crawling by.

But it's directed by Jonathan Demme, the guy who did #66: The Silence of the Lambs (1991)? I'm so confused. And at one point, David Byrne came out wearing the giant suit, so that was pretty cool I guess.

I posted my thoughts about Stop Making Sense on Facebook after we watched it, and I will pass along some of the feedback I received from my more enthusiastic Talking Heads friends:

It is a classic. My understanding is it really set the bar for how to film a concert, along with the talking heads themselves being artistic geniuses.
The Talking Heads were WAY ahead of their time and that's why people have a love/hate relationship with them.

So if you're a Talking Heads fan, do I have a movie for you.

#82. Anatomy of a Murder (1959)

Anatomy of a Murder, Β© 1959 Columbia Pictures

Directed by Otto Preminger
Screenplay by Wendell Mayes
Based on Anatomy of a Murder by Robert Traver
Starring Β James Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara, Arthur O'Connell, Eve Arden, Kathryn Grant, George C. Scott

Did we like it? πŸ‘πŸ‘
Would we watch it again? πŸ‘

"I'm just a humble country lawyer..."
-Paul Biegler, Anatomy of a Murder

I loved that quote and this character's whole vibe. I kept thinking that there was some homage to Foghorn Leghorn in here somewhere, but it turns out my brain's wires were crossed and I was thinking of the Hyper-Chicken from Futurama ("I'm just a simple hyper-chicken from a backwoods asteroid..."), which was an homage to Jimmy Stewart's character in Anatomy of a Murder and yet another reason why watching these classic films has made me understand so many more of Futurama's jokes and references.

Overall: Anatomy of a Murder was fantastic and we would happily watch again.

#81. Finding Nemo (2003)

Finding Nemo, Β© 2003 Buena Vista Pictures

Directed by Andrew Stanton
Screenplay by Andrew Stanton, Bob Peterson, David Reynolds
Starring Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, Willem Dafoe

Did we like it? πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈπŸ‘
Would we watch it again? πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈπŸ‘Ž

It's a good movie and is apparently one of the best-selling movies of all time, but I've probably seen it too many times. As with most Pixar movies, it stabs a knife into my heart several times and I prefer not to subjugate myself to that kind of pain in entertainment.

Oh and a line I'll likely never forget: "P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney."

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If you liked this, you should check out the next post in the series where we watch movies #71-80.

Want to see more posts about our challenge to watch the top 100 highest-rated movies of all time? Check out the tag #top-100-highest-rated-movies, and you should also sign up for my newsletter (it's free!) to get automatically notified when I make new posts in the series.