What is an intelligent movie? It is the one that marks new parameters in the history of movie making. The idea is new and sends a message so intense that certainly moves you or the idea is such that it opens new gateways to scientists that they have not thought of before. When you step out of cinema you feel different now, that is intelligent.
10. Contact (1997)
Dr. Ellie Arroway, after years of searching, finds conclusive radio proof of intelligent aliens, who send plans for a mysterious machine. Contact is an exceptional example of a movie that deserves to exist. From the spectactular beginning shot that shows us just how small we are in a world that once thought the universe was made for, and around, mankind; to its realistic conclusion that any X-Phile would expect to happen: this movie appeals to our humanity, intelligence and sense of adventure. One of the greatest realisations that the movie will guide you to is that what we search for in outer space is actually in our own backyards. We are cut off from each other and sci-fi tries to quell our loneliness with ideas that we’ll meet E.T. and wont feel so lonely in our existence. But were aren’t alone, we have each other. Carl Sagan was a great man. He promoted science in the way it should be, portraying the profound mysteriousness of our universe with humility, and without dogma. In his book, the Demon-Haunted World, he quoted Einstein: “All our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike — and yet it is the most precious thing we have”. Contact conveys this simple message in a subtle yet immensely powerful way. The performances are some of the most compelling.
9. The Sixth Sense (1999)
A boy who communicates with spirits that don’t know they’re dead seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist. When I first saw The Sixth Sense, I didn’t know what to expect. I guess I was looking forward to a good scary horror flick. I was very surprised. I found that the purpose for this movie was far greater than just trying to scare the audience. I found this movie was showing not only the emotions of fear, but also faith, commitment, sadness of loss, and love. The end was so surprising, I had to see it again. The second time I watched it, I did it from a totally different perspective (this is a very rare quality for any movie), and I enjoyed it just as much, or maybe even more. I also, as many viewers have, tried to detect fallacies in the story. I couldn’t find one. In addition, for those that appreciate great soundtracks, the music only helps to heighten the experience of the movie. I believe that a great movie is one that helps the viewer perceive life and the world differently. The Sixth Sense is one of those extraordinary movies that does that to me. This movie reflects on some difficult subjects that will make the viewer walk away asking eternal questions. Questions about death, about letting go, about eternal love and commitment, about the love between parent and child, and between husband and wife. Maybe I read too much into this very wonderful film, but I believe it will be difficult to find a movie that has touched on these subjects so poignantly and so well for years to come.
8. Memento (2000)
Memento chronicles two separate stories of Leonard, an ex-insurance investigator who can no longer build new memories, as he attempts to find the murderer of his wife, which is the last thing he remembers. One story line moves forward in time while the other tells the story backwards revealing more each time. Memento is one of those pictures that will have you sitting in the theater after the lights come up so you can talk to everyone else about what they thought of the movie. This is a highly intelligent and original brain teaser that will have you guessing from beginning to end, and even afterwards. The story and the direction are the best I’ve seen so far this year, and it deserves all the kudos it gets. Plainly put, the film tells the story of Leonard Shelby: a man who lost his short term memory in an assault where his wife was raped and murdered; now he’s looking for the killer, despite his handicap. Simple as that. You don’t need to know anymore.
The film is constructed and told in such a way that you are constantly put into the shoes of Leonard Shelby, beautifully played by Guy Pierce. Carrie-Ann Moss gives an equally mysterious and complex performance. This film is well-made all the way around–from the direction, to the editing, and especially the unique story that is rarely found in Hollywood these days.
7. One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest (1975)
Upon arrival at a mental institution, a brash rebel rallies the patients together to take on the oppressive Nurse Ratched, a woman more a dictator than a nurse. First thing’s first, while I watched this movie, I found myself stunned. This movie so entertained the viewer, as it did fascinate, and inform. A chilling, disturbing, and revealing look into the mental institutions as seen through the eyes of a con. When the movie first came out, some people were shocked because when you watch the movie, you can’t help it feeling more attached to the patients than to the doctors and nurses. This movie shows that cinema can make a difference. It can help to open people’s eyes. If there is a movie that should be seen by everyone, this sure is the one.
6. Forrest Gump (1994)
Forrest Gump, while not intelligent, has accidentally been present at many historic moments, but his true love, Jenny, eludes him. This awesome movie is about an innocent man who represents how the world should be: he’s loyal, humble, honest, he would never cheat or lie. He does everything with good heart and reaches success at the most important tasks of life. Only in America he could live such an interesting life: meet Elvis Presley, President Kennedy, John Lennon… He goes to Vietnam’s war and he does everything following his heart. He becomes an American hero. This film is a great modern fable, a fable in the dictionary is defined as a brief fictitious story that teaches a moral. There are many morals defined in this film but foremost is integrity and a simple goodness.
5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
A couple undergo a procedure to erase each other from their memories when their relationship turns sour, but it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with. Eternal touched a certain part of you, your heart that most shows never did. or rather could never did. it shows the fragility of a relationship. people want to erase bad memories of a failed relationship yet at the same time, cant bear to part with the good ones! how so can that be done? how can you erase bad memories and saved good ones only? Carrey and Winslet did a perfect job acting as Joel and Clementine respectively. Arguably one of their career best so far. its a pleasant surprise to see the man behind “The Mask” playing such a quiet and introvert role. Kate, on the other hand, brought Clementine to new heights as the bubbly and brutally honest lass who you love and hate. Eternal is a definite marvel, a feat in itself. its rich and flamboyant yet fragile. it brings the audience to such a personal level it hurts. especially when both cant seem to escape from the erasure.
4. The Matrix (1999)
Thomas A. Anderson is a man living two lives. By day he is an average computer programmer and by night a malevolent hacker known as Neo. Neo has always questioned his reality but the truth is far beyond his imagination. Neo finds himself targeted by the police when he is contacted by Morpheus, a legendary computer hacker branded a terrorist by the government. Morpheus awakens Neo to the real world, a ravaged wasteland where most of humanity have been captured by a race of machines which live off of their body heat and imprison their minds within an artificial reality known as the Matrix. As a rebel against the machines, Neo must return to the Matrix and confront the agents, super powerful computer programs devoted to snuffing out Neo and the entire human rebellion. The Wachowski brothers really did excel themselves with this movie. It’s a brilliant movie on a number of different levels – the directing is excellent, the camera work is great, the visuals are stunning, the kung-fu is A+, acting is executed with style and conviction, and the plot is truly inspired. It’s really hard to use enough superlatives on this movie! You walk into this film not knowing what the Matrix is. You take your seat and watch the trailers. The green Warner Brothers (green? you ask) trademark comes up, and without warning you are thrust into the Wachowski brothers grand vision. 2 hours of excitement later, you stumble out of the cinema, knowing what the Matrix is.
3. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Mankind finds a mysterious, obviously artificial, artifact buried on the moon and, with the intelligent computer HAL, sets off on a quest. “2001? is a story of evolution. Sometime in the distant past, someone or something nudged evolution by placing a monolith on Earth (presumably elsewhere throughout the universe as well). Evolution then enabled humankind to reach the moon’s surface, where yet another monolith is found, one that signals the monolith placers that humankind has evolved that far. Now a race begins between computers (HAL) and human (Bowman) to reach the monolith placers. The winner will achieve the next step in evolution, whatever that may be. Like a Circle around the human condition, 2001 starts at the beginning, skips the middle, and proceeds to the ending, right back where we started. Noting the weakness of words compared to image(s), Kubrick wisely dispenses with dialogue, preferring the power and essence of the scenery, and allowing the intelligence of the audience to do the deciphering. Or not, depending on the audience. A monolith in cinematic history, 2001 is a high water mark of direction, execution, and achievement. If one considers the ambition of the film (a film about everything), and the measure of success the film achieved to that end, a very sound argument for this being the greatest of all films can be made.
2. Inception (2010)
In a world where technology exists to enter the human mind through dream invasion, a highly skilled thief is given a final chance at redemption which involves executing his toughest job to date: Inception. Inception is a well-made movie, filmed in about 6 locations all over the world. The directing was outstanding, there were only about two moments, maybe three seconds in total, where i noticed that visual effects were being used (of course defying gravity is pretty difficult). The plot was very pleasingly intricate, with a twist-and-turn, keep-you-on-the-edge-of-your-seat type feel. It’s great to see a movie with a thick and emotional plot and not just grenade-throwing action heroes who achieve greatness in the end. Inception also has a very well-composed score, which to me was the finishing touch to a perfect movie. If you’re thinking about seeing Inception, definitely go! Even though i was fortunate enough to see a free show, it is worth every penny you pay. Truly unique, like nothing i’ve ever seen before. Christopher Nolan certainly covered new ground with this film and wasn’t afraid to leave us hanging with a spectacular ending.
1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency. This movie is not your ordinary Hollywood flick. It has a great and deep message. This movie has a foundation and just kept on being built on from their and that foundation is hope. One of the finest films made in recent years. It’s a poignant story about hope. Hope gets me. That’s what makes a film like this more than a movie. It tells a lesson about life. Those are the films people talk about 50 or even 100 years from you. It’s also a story for freedom. Freedom from isolation, from rule, from bigotry and hate. This is one of few movies that are truly timeless. And it’s entertaining and moving, no matter how many times you view it.