Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Director:Alejandro González Iñárritu
Starring: Michael Keaton,Edward Norton,Emma Stone,Naomi Watts,Zach Galifianakis,Amy Ryan.
Birdman is an expertly shot,brilliantly written and wonderfully enacted drama film, which won four Academy Awards-Best Picture,Best Director,Best Original Screenplay and Best Cinematography.
The film follows yesteryear Hollywood star Riggan Thomson(Michael Keaton), famous for his portrayal of the superhero Birdman, as he attempts to mount a comeback by directing and acting in a Broadway play.The entire film appears as if filmed in a single shot, a nearly impossible feat in the field of Cinematography.The cast went through several weeks of meticulous rehearsals, and during shooting takes were cut for the slightest mistakes.Emma Stone and Edward Norton were both nominated for an Oscar in the Supporting Acting categories.The film also features beautiful visual effects and a percussion-based background score, and is one of the finest achievements in the field of filmmaking.
Full Metal Jacket(1987)
Starring: Matthew Modine,Vincent D’Onofrio,R.Lee Ermey.
Full Metal Jacket is a film which depicts the experiences of two US Marines(Matthew Modine,Vincent D’Onofrio) during the Vietnam War.The first half follows their gruelling training along with other recruits under Gunnery Sergeant Hartman(R.Lee Ermey), who rules over the training recruits with an iron hand in order to prepare them for combat.
The second half focusses on their experience as soldiers in Vietnam,at the start of the Tet Offensive.The film explores the travails of those who fought in Vietnam, and lays bare the pointlessness of the widely criticized war. The film was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay at the Academy Awards.
Director: Martin Scorsese
Starring:Ray Liotta,Joe Pesci,Robert de Niro,Lorraine Bracco.
Goodfellas is a gangster film based on the life of the Mafia mobster Henry Hill. Ray Liotta portrays Hill and also narrates the story, opening with the now-famous lines which define the essence of the film-“As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster.To me that was better than being president of the United States. To be a gangster was to own the world.”
Goodfellas is Martin Scorsese at his finest, and was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture,Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay.Joe Pesci won the award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of the aggressive and reckless robber Tommy DeVito.Eminent critic Roger Ebert wrote, “No finer film has ever been made about organized crime – not even The Godfather.”
A Few Good Men(1992)
Starring: Tom Cruise,Demi Moore,Jack Nicholson.
A Few Good Men is a courtroom drama film which revolves around two United States Marines accused of killing a fellow Marine, and the subsequent trial where they are defended by the young and upcoming lawyer and Navy Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee(Tom Cruise) and his associates.
What seems an open-and-shut case at first turns into a point of contention between the government and the defendants after the accused plead not guilty,and their lives are placed in the hands of the inexperienced but resourceful and intelligent Kaffee.Tom Cruise delivers a powerful performance as Daniel Kaffee, and Jack Nicholson delivers yet another great performance as Colonel Nathan Jessup, for which he received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.The film was also nominated for Best Picture,Best Film Editing and Best Sound Mixing at the Academy Awards.
Starring:Nicolas Cage,Sean Connery,Ed Harris.
The Rock is a fantastic action film,directed by Michael Bay way before he brought the widely criticized Transformers series to the big screen.
A group of rogue Marines,led by combat veteran and war hero Brigadier General Frank Hummel(Ed Harris),set up base on the notorious Alcatraz Island and threaten to launch rockets armed with the deadly VX gas into San Francisco,unless they are paid $100 million by the US government.A team of Navy SEALS,including of chemical weapons expert Dr.Stanley Goodspeed(Nicolas Cage)and John Mason(Sean Connery), a former inmate of the Alcatraz prison, are tasked with neutralising the threat and retaking the island.The entire team is massacred by the Marines,save Goodspeed and Mason, who are tasked with neutralising the threat themselves.
The film has everything that makes up a good action movie:thrills,slick action sequences,and breathtaking pace,along with wonderful performances from the cast.
The Usual Suspects(1995)
Starring:Stephen Baldwin,Gabriel Byrne,Benicio del Toro,Kevin Spacey.
The Usual Suspects is a neo-noir crime thriller film which follows the police investigating a massacre and fire on a ship docked at the Port of Los Angeles.
The plot revolves around Verbal Kint(Kevin Spacey),a small-time criminal being interrogated by the police, who tells them the story of the events leading up to the massacre, and claims that a mysterious and dangerous mob boss known as Keyser Soze was behind the attack.
An unimaginable twist at the end of the film will make you want to watch it all over again,and is regarded as one of the most definitive plot twists in cinematic history.The storyline is layered with deceit,violence and twists, and was nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards.Kevin Spacey won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Harvey Keitel,Steve Buscemi,Michael Madsen,Tim Roth, Quentin Tarantino.
Reservoir Dogs is a neo-noir crime thriller film the depicts the events preceding and following a failed diamond heist.The film features the hallmarks of Quentin Tarantino’s unique brand of filmmaking-a non-linear storyline,realism,violence ,profanity,black humour and pop culture references.The film also features a soundtrack comprising of 70’s songs faded from public memory, carefully selected and played during pivotal scenes so as to enhance the viewing experience.
The film is considered as one of the greatest independent films of all time, and announced Tarantino to the world.It is regarded as a cult classic due to its ferocious narrative, memorable dialogues and unforgettable characters.