June 18, 2020 (Updated: December 30, 2021)

Watching the Top 100 Highest-Rated Movies: #91-100

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.

#100. The Searchers (1956)

John Wayne in The Searchers, Β© 1956 Warner Bros.

Directed by John Ford
Screenplay by Frank S. Nugent
Starring John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Vera Miles, Ward Bond, Natalie Wood

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

Our first movie on the list: The relative worst of the highest-rated movies of all time (wink). The Searchers is an epic Western by John Ford, where a middle-aged Civil War veteran (John Wayne) spends years looking for his abducted niece. According to Wikipedia, this movie was hugely influential, including Lawrence of Arabia (1962, also on The List) as well as movies like Star Wars.

Overall, we didn't like it very much, but John Wayne was one of my dad's favorite actors, so I enjoyed checking it out for that reason alone. And hey, keep in mind we've been brainwashed by the last two-plus decades of watching big budget Marvel movies, so we might need to detox a bit to appreciate these older films.

#99. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Β© 1982 Universal Studios

Directed by Steven Spielberg
Written by Melissa Mathison
Starring Dee Wallace, Henry Thomas, Peter Coyote, Robert MacNaughton, Drew Barrymore

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

Released in 1982, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial quickly surpassed Star Wars as the highest-grossing film of all time (which, as the ultimate flex from Spielberg, it held until he made Jurassic Park).

I think this was my first time seeing this movie. It was... ok? I have to assume that, at the time, some of the special effects had a lot more impact to make up for the story.

Oh and Henry Thomas, who played the young boy Elliot in this movie, basically hasn't starred in anything else until he recently started working with Mike Flanagan in his Netflix horror anthology series like The Haunting of Hill House (2018), The Haunting of Bly Manor (2020), and Midnight Mass (2020), all of which I enjoyed and were all kinds of good-spooky.

#98. Up (2009)

Up, Β© 2009 Disney/Pixar

Directed by Pete Docter
Screenplay by Bob Peterson, Pete Docter
Starring Ed Asner, Christopher Plummer, Jordan Nagai, Bob Peterson

Did we like it? Evan: 😭, Sarah: πŸ‘
Would we watch it again? Evan: 😭, Sarah: πŸ‘

An excellent and touching movie, but the first ten minutes are definitively the saddest I've ever felt while watching a movie. Seriously, 2009 was the first (and hopefully last) time I've wept uncontrollably in a movie theater. I don't think I can watch this one again - my heart will just explode.

#97. The Night of the Hunter (1955)

The Night of the Hunter, Β© 1955 United Artists

Directed by Charles Laughton
Screenplay by James Agee, Charles Laughton (uncredited)
Based on The Night of the Hunter by Davis Grubb
Starring Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish, Billy Chapin

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

It was, uh, weird, but I have to assume thrillers were a bit more novel back in the 1950s.

Also, my new life goal is to be as flourishly dramatic as Robert Mitchum.

#96. Badlands (1973)

Badlands, Β© 1973 Warner Bros.

Directed by Terrence Malick
Written by Terrence Malick
Starring Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek, Ramon Bieri, Warren Oates

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

Terrence Malick's directorial debut. We didn't like it very much, but it was interesting seeing some of Malick's themes persist across his later movies. I often find that I like looking at Terrence Malick's filmmaking style more than I like his stories.

#95. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

Per our Ground Rules, since this is part of a film series, we're delaying it until we get to the highest rated movie in the list (which is #59. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)).

#94. The Last Picture Show (1971)

The Last Picture Show, Β© 1971 Columbia Pictures

Directed by Peter Bogdanovich
Screenplay by Larry McMurtry, Peter Bogdanovich
Based on Β The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtry
Starring Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, Ellen Burstyn, Ben Johnson, Cloris Leachman, Cybill Shepherd

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

A coming of age story set in a shrinking town in rural Texas.

This is our second data point that movies from the 70s were really nostalgic about the 50s (cough, Badlands). This felt very much like something that Richard Linkletter would direct nowadays, but maybe it seems that way because it was set in Texas.

#93. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

2001: A Space Odyssey, Β© 1968 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Directed by Stanley Kubrick
Screenplay by Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke
Starring Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood

Did we like it? Evan: πŸ‘, Sarah: πŸ‘Ž
Would we watch it again? Evan: πŸ‘, Sarah: πŸ‘Ž

I've read the book twice and have seen the movie a few times. I prefer the explicitness (and simplicity, I suppose) of the book version, but the movie is super cool and it deserves credit for pretty much all of the great science fiction movies we've had since.

Also, space baby.

#92. Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

Shadow of a Doubt, Β© 1943 Universal Pictures

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Screenplay by
Thornton Wilder, Sally Benson, Alma Reville
Story by Gordon McDonell
Starring Teresa Wright, Joseph Cotten, Macdonald Carey, Patricia Collinge, Henry Travers

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

This was apparently Hitchcock's favorite. We thought it was great and is one of the best we've seen so far on the list. Thrillers have changed quite a bit since the 1940s...

#91. City of God (Portuguese: Cidade de Deus) (2002)

City of God, Β© 2002 Miramax Films

Directed by Fernando Meirelles, KΓ‘tia Lund
Written by BrΓ‘ulio Mantovani
Based on City of God by Paulo Lins
Starring Alexandre Rodrigues, Leandro Firmino da Hora, Jonathan Haagensen, Phellipe Haagensen, Douglas Silva, Daniel Zettel, Seu Jorge

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

This was a super tough movie to watch, but very good. A complex crime story based on true events in Brazil. It's hard to think about watching this one again because it was so grim.

Also, Seu Jorge (the guy who did the amazing Portuguese David Bowie covers in for The Life Aquatic, which is one of my my all-time favorite movies) played Knockout Ned in this movie, so that was cool.

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So, that completes our journey through the worst 10 of the 100 best movies of all time. We were discussing after we finished this batch, and I think we landed on The Last Picture Show and City of God being our top picks, and Shadow of a Doubt was up there for me as well.

If you liked this, you should check out the next post in the series where we watch movies #81-90.

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.