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The Top Ten Films You Must Watch – Yep, THESE Are the Ones!


Paola_Bassanese_itcher_contributorFrom New Zealand’s The Piano to Spain’s Talk to Her and France with Amelie, there’s a little bit of what you fancy and a little bit of what you fancy does you good. ~ Paola Bassanese

Shall we go around the world in top ten films you must watch?

Or shall we over-hype the usual American blockbusters?

Just like any recipe, if you take a little pinch of this, a little sprinkle of that, a dash of the other and mix it all together you get… 10 films that you must see.

1. `The Piano´ (Jane Campion, 1993)

Directed by Jane Campion and starring Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, Sam Neill and Anna Paquin, The Piano is set in New Zealand.

Holly Hunter plays a mute woman who is sent from Scotland to New Zealand with her daughter to get married to a local man.

Playing the piano is her only way of expressing herself.

Her piano is her world and her voice

Her piano is her world and her voice.

A delicate and tormented film which depicts a disability like mutism in a sympathetic way.

2. `The Breakfast Club´ (John Hughes, 1985)

I watched it recently – I somehow have missed it when it was first released.

John Hughes directed this film about teenage angst packaged in the claustrophobic confines of school detention.

Personalities slowly unravel, the dynamics of who is going to take the leadership become fluid and boundaries start to blur.

The dynamics of who is going to take the leadership become fluid and boundaries start to blur

This is not your average teenage movie – it’s such a shame that Molly Ringwald was not offered good roles after she peaked in the mid Eighties.

The film also stars Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy and Paul Gleason.

Judd Nelson and Emilio Estevez (Martin Sheen‘s son), in particular, enjoyed a better film career than their co-stars.

The theme song Don’t You Forget about Me by the Simple Minds is worth mentioning – an instrumental version is played at the start of the movie.

3. `When Harry Met Sally´ (Rob Reiner, 1989)

Directed by Rob Reiner and starring Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan and Carrie Fisher, When Harry Met Sally is the go-to movie to explore the dynamics of friendships between men and women – when does the sexual tension finally culminate in a relationship?

Harry and Sally remain friends over the years and even when they are in relationships with other people, the “what if” question still remains.

The go-to movie to explore the dynamics of friendships between men and women

The interviews of long-term couples interspersed throughout the film add a touch of freshness to the plot.

Here’s more of the top ten movies everyone must see…

4. `Talk to Her´ (Pedro Almodóvar, 2002)

Pedro Almodóvar‘s Talk to Her (Hable con Ella) is a gem of a movie.

It is heart-breaking, deep and soulful and looks at the intertwined lives of people who have experienced trauma.

The main theme is caring for someone and developing an obsession for them.

Intertwined lives of people who have experienced traumaV

My favourite moment from the film is when Caetano Veloso sings Cucurrucucu Paloma

5. `Amelie´ (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001)

Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and starring the wonderful Audrey Tautou, this is a love story set in Paris with a magic, surreal twist.

In fact, this film could have been shot in the 1930s with its quirky flights of fantasy.

If you’re looking for more films like ‘Amélie’, you’ll find them right here.

6. `The Man Who Knew Too Much´ (Alfred Hitchcock, 1956)

You might argue that I could have chosen Psycho to symbolise Hitchcock’s body of work, but I believe this movie needs a second chance.

Doris Day plays a credible dramatic role and her character is pivotal to solving a murder mystery.

Credible dramatic role and her character is pivotal to solving a murder mystery

Stereotypes about American tourists abound but are not treated with disdain or British superiority.

You get to see inside London’s Royal Albert Hall before the infamous “mushrooms” (the snappily-named fibreglass acoustic diffusing discs on the ceiling) had been installed in 1969 – it’s a great piece of London nostalgia.

7. `Raiders of the Lost Ark´ (Steven Spielberg, 1981)

A bit of adventure is good fun – and a treasure hunt is even more fun! Directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Harrison Ford, this is pure entertainment.

There’s plenty of gasps and thrills to keep viewers of all ages amused.

As a side note it is worth noting that Steven Spielberg himself did not win an Oscar as Best Director – the movie was nominated for 9 Oscars and won 5 for technical merit (more on Spielberg and Oscar nominations in Most Oscar Nominations but No Wins).

8. `Raise the Red Lantern´ (Yimou Zhang, 1991)

Let’s take a trip to China now –  Yimou Zhang‘s film on concubines in the 1920s and their jealous competitiveness is elegant and gritty at the same time.

The rivalry for the master’s attention is rife with violence, emotional blackmail and torture.

9. `The Matrix´ (Andy Wachowski, 1999)

Futuristic and yet realistic take on the world today: written and directed by Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski, The Matrix explores digital, virtual realities that are difficult to distinguish from our sensory world.

This movie has proved to be very prophetic

If you think about how much our day-to-day life has become digital through social media and online gaming, this movie has proved to be very prophetic.

10. `The Social Network´ (David Fincher, 2010)

Talking about social media, we cannot ignore a film like The Social Network, the story behind Facebook.

Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield  and Justin Timberlake, directed by David Fincher, the film narrates the legal battle for copyright for the original concept and how friendships get destroyed by capitalism.

Sound good? Make sure to also have a look at these other movies similar to ‘The Social Network’.


These are My Ten Movies Everyone Must See –  What are Your Picks?

If you were to choose your top 10 film right now, which ones would you choose?

Let me know below!


I am Paola Bassanese, and I love twitter – I think in slogans! I am a contributing author at itcher mag covering mainly quirky movies that I like and that I hope you′ll like too. [n-e-x-t] I have written a few books including The Foraging Home Cook, and also write about health and lifestyle for the Huffington Post. I consider myself to be a Londoner even though I was born in Italy. I love 80s music and foreign language films, but I also enjoy going to the opera and ballet.
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