Dog Day Afternoon – 8/10.

Al Pacino stars in this bank robbery/kidnapping drama from legendary director Sidney Lumet (12 Angry Men, Network).


Lumet perfectly captures the tension and stress of being in a hostage situation (I imagine) and this tension is palpable throughout.
All the many many plaudits this film has received are well deserved and Dog Day Afternoon still feels fresh and captivating forty years on. A more vulnerable and human Al Pac on show as well and Dog Day Afternoon is all the better for it. Vital viewing.


IMDB TOP 250 #220

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb – 8/10.

A general loses his mind and sets into motion a chain of events that could potentially start a nuclear war whilst a group of politicians and military try and stop such an event in the war room.


One of those films that is so well known and loved that even if you have never seen it you will find yourself knowing many of the lines anyway. I found George C. Scott as Buck and Peter Sellers as Mandrake to be the most hilarious of the all the characters but take your pick. They are all uniquely brilliant in their own way. Another Kubrick classic.

IMDB TOP 250 #50

In the Name of the Father – 9.5/10

The true story of the Guildford Four who were wrongly accused of an IRA bombing after being forced to confess.


In the Name of the Father was nominated for seven Oscars but failed to win any of them with strong competition from Schindlers List and Philadelphia. Personally I think this is better than both of them.
An absolutely astounding performance from Daniel Day Lewis is the highlight, but Pete Postlethwaite runs him close (scandalously beaten to an Oscar for best supporting actor by Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive). Every second of this modern day classic is gripping and charged with emotion. Day Lewis has to be seen to be believed, the direction is perfect. Only an average soundtrack stopped this from being a ten.
IMDB TOP 250 – #185

The Seventh Seal – 8.5/10

Arty prequel of sorts to Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey…
The Seventh Seal is very bleak but thought provoking tale of a knight playing a game of chess with Death for his life, set against the backdrop of the plague sweeping through Sweden.
Ok so The Seventh Seal was made in 1957, is in black and white and their speaking Swedish so don’t be expecting a popcorn flick but it is in IMDB’s top 250 (#129) for a reason. The acting is spellbinding and the philosophical debate raging between the Grim Reaper and Max Von Sydow’s mysterious knight Antonius Block is powerful and leaves a lasting impression. The script is masterful and brings to mind both classic gothic literature and high end theatre.
They really don’t make em’ like this any more.

IMDB TOP 250 #129