The first foreign language film in Film Club’s short history proved to be a popular choice. Directed by Guillermo del Toro, Pan’s Labyrinth scored a solid 8.1/10 from our members, and has instantly landed in the top half of the table.
1. Casino Royale (2006): 9.3/10 (← →)
General consensus: James Bond’s 21st outing manages to reboot the franchise for a modern audience, while also keeping the things older fans are familiar with. Casino Royale is a spectacular film full of action and intrigue, and manages that rare thing of being a blockbuster with brains as well as brawn.
2. Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope: 8.8/10 (← →)
General consensus: Star Wars is a film that still stands up strongly even today, 37 years after its initial release. Despite some clunky dialogue and some stiff acting, the essence of the film and the fantastic characters carry the film and still entertain fans of all ages. Along with an iconic score by John Williams that takes this space opera to another level, the film’s influence is still being felt today.
3. The Departed: 8.6/10 (← →)
General consensus: The Departed is a modern crime classic that forgoes the glitz and glamour of Scorsese’s earlier gangster offerings, for a more real and unrelenting look at the life of those who make a living from crime and those who attempt to stop it. However, The Departed is not necessarily a film for everyone, and the level of violence and bad language along with a running time of nearly two and a half hours can be off-putting for some.
4. The Great Escape: 8.6/10 (← →)
General consensus: The Great Escape remains a classic of its time and still proves enjoyable today. Whether you have seen it once, ten times, or a hundred The Great Escape proves that they just don’t make them like this any more.
5. Pan’s Labyrinth: 8.1/10 (New Entry)
General consensus: Pan’s Labyrinth is everything you would expect from the mind of Guillermo del Toro. Magical, suspenseful and featuring all the beauty and interesting facets from one of the most imaginative directors out there. Supported by a strong cast and an engaging story, Pan’s Labyrinth is a brilliant fairytale and one of modern cinemas most endearing efforts.
6. Batman (1989): 7.6/10 (↓)
General consensus: Batman is perhaps not the classic it once was, suffering over time from dated effects and the ever popular Dark Knight trilogy. However, it still remains a pulpy ride, that has some great moments and two defining performances from Keaton and Nicholson that carry the film. While also being iconic in helping pave the way for the films we are all clamouring for at the cinema today.
7. Heat: 7.6/10 (↓)
General consensus: Heat drew more heat than I, and several Film Club members anticipated. Thought of by many as a crime classic for its patient build-up and frenetic gun fights, is also disliked for the same reasons. To many, Heat is a classic showcase of a director and a cast performing at their best, while others struggled with a long running time and an ending that left something to be desired. Interesting.
8. Taken: 7.4/10 (↓)
General consensus: A cult classic to some, and a passable nights entertainment to others. Taken remains a solid action film, with a great central performance from Liam Neeson, and with reasonable expectations Taken is a fine way to kill an hour and a half.
9. The Rose: 5.8/10 (↓)
General consensus: Fascinating, yet hard to watch. Compelling but repetitive. The overall score may be a little disingenuous towards The Rose, as it was a decent film, yet the frustrations of the character and her explosive nature were a gripe too many for some Film Club members. Perhaps the nature of The Rose is why it creates such debate, the film and the character are interesting enough, but do they compel enough to make you really care?
10. Oldboy (2013): 4.8/10 (↓)
General consensus: If ever you want to spark a debate among film fans then ask them their thoughts on a remake of a beloved classic. Oldboy 2013 seems to split people between those who have seen the original, and dislike the remake, and those who have viewed the remake without any prior knowledge of the 2003 original and can get a little more enjoyment out of it.