Best Movies of 2004


1) Sideways (Alexander Payne)

Sideways is -in a way- a perfect movie. In fact, the only perfect one of 2004. A melancholic tribute to love, relationships, friendships and wine. Its director Alexander Payne is the perfect filmmaker to tackle such subjects, each one of his first 4 feature has had to deal with men in the midst of a mid life crisis. In this movie Paul Giammati's Miles, a still single, wine loving schlub, goes on one last road trip with his soon to get married best friend -impeccably played by Thomas Hayden Church. You think you know where this is going but you don't. the truths you find in Sideways sting, so do the laughs. Alexander Payne has made his best movie yet.

2) Maria Full Of Grace (Joshua Marston)

Here comes a stunner from Columbia that will get you from very first frame. Joshua Marston -an American filmmaker- decided to make a small indie all in Spanish about a drug smuggling mule named Maria. Every relentlessly intense step you are with her as she bypasses through countless hazards in her journey to freedom. It helps that Marston cast Catalina Sandino Moreno as Maria, an actress of eloquent beauty that brings real depth to her role. It's the type of movie that doesn't get made anymore in Hollywood, a character study with ideas and enough tension to blow the roof off of the theatre.

3) Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry)

The colorfully eccentric world Michel Gondry has created in Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind is unlike any you've ever seen before. It is then not surprising that the source material comes from a screenplay written by Being John Malkovich scribe Charlie Kaufman. The end result is one of the best romantic comedies in ages, a film that is more truthful about love -but more specifically relationships- than any other movie you will likely see this decade. Kaufman believes that the bitterness of a break-up overshadows what is essentially the most important part of the process; the memories have been created. It helps that Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet give us the performances of their lives. A flawed but ambitious visionary treat.


4) Spider-Man 2 (Sam Raimi)

Now this is what I'm talking about. After the letdown that was the first Spider-Man movie in 2002, director Sam Raimi completely redeems himself by creating one of the best superhero movies ever made. A mind blowing mix of action, heart and character that had viewers on the edge of their seats. Raimi knows that to make a great superhero movie you need to care about the characters that are onscreen, well DUH why didn't anyone think of that sooner. The special effects are outstanding and the action sequences -including a thrilling train crash finale- make this a knockout through and through. Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst look more alive that in the original.

5. Million Dollar Baby (Clint Eastwood)

So Clint Eastwood, after last year's beaut Mystic River, keeps giving us thought provoking character studies. In this one Hilary Swank is an up and coming boxer that the Clint takes in his wings. No need to say more but be warned this looks like a Rocky-like tale from the outside but Eastwood is a changed man, he doesn't adhere to formula anymore and keeps springing surprises at us. Swank deserves another Oscar for this one ditto Morgan Freeman as Eastwood's right hand man. As for Clint, this might just be the best performance he has ever given in any movie.


6) Kill Bill:Volume Two (Quentin Tarantino)

So Quentin Tarantino decided to stop being a fanboy for at least a year and make the moviest movie he's done since Jackie Brown. No reason to complain there. The QT dialogue we've been so used to love is back and the story of the Bride is more layered than ever. You can now understand why the grindhouse influenced director decided to split both movies apart. They are two different beasts split into two different genres. QT still hasn't gotten back to the Pulp Fiction triumph he had back in 1994 and -to tell you the truth- I don't think he or many other filmmakers will ever reach those heights. I think he knows it and that's why he's treating us to movies such as this one. There's no reason to take Volume 1 or Volume 2 so seriously. Just sit back and enjoy the show.

7) Hotel Rwanda (Terry George)

The power of Hotel Rwanda comes in how intimate it makes its big moments appear. This isn't a showy film about one of the cruelest genocides every committed. This is the portrait of a country crumbling down in ethnic cleansing and a war that just doesn't seem to make much sense. What I gathered most from Director Terry George's powerful film was how such crimes could be committed without any international intervention. Most of the powerhouse states held back and let the mass murder go on. It was then left up to the small heroes the picture shows us to alert the ignorant international community. Don Cheadle is mesmerizing as a man putting everything on the line -including his life- to make the bloodshed stop.

8) Collateral (Michael Mann)

Bless Michael Mann for being, yes, Michael Mann. The director of The Insider, Manhunter, Ali and Heat has always been one to delve into the deepest, darker thoughts of the male psyche. In Collateral, his 8th film as director, he gives us the story of a hitman -indelibly played by Tom Cruise- and the Cabbie -Jamie Foxx- he meets one night to bring him to numerous different destinations. Along the way we learn more about these two fascinating characters as their journey leads them to an underground Los Angeles at night filled with violence and corruption that cannot be shaken. The journey is half the battle as Mann springs surprises that no one can see coming. He has crafted yet another male-dominated world that will haunt your dreams.

9) The Incredibles (Brad Bird)

It is just not that surprising to see yet another great Pixar movie in my list. Hiring The Simpsons scribe and creator of 1999's brilliant The Iron Giant Brad Bird was a stroke of genius. Bird creates a world that we have never seen before, where a family of superheroes must battle its deepest enemy; family dynamics. Yikes, talk about originality. Bird is a true original, the colors used in every frame are remarkable beautiful and the characters he has created oddly humane. If you're expecting a superhero movie for kids, think again. This is adult stuff laced with wit, laughter and breathless action.

10) The Manchurian Candidate (Jonathan Demme)
10) Fahrenheit 9/11 (Michael Moore)

Two politically charged films that couldn't be more further apart from each other. Demme's film is a remake of the 1960's classic and he does that film proud by hiring Hollywood pros such as Meryl Streep and Denzel Washington. It's his best movie since 1991's The Silence Of The Lambs. Michael Moore's hotly anticipated Bush bashing documentary seeks to give us "truthful" facts but never seems to back them up. No worries. Moore's knack for entertaining us is not gone. In his past movies we knew he was full of it yet we also understood what was at stake. Whether it'd be gun control, monopolized economies or a half-wit president - there is always much on the line in his films.

11. The Dreamers, Bernardo Bertolluci

12. The Motorcycle Diaries, Walter Salles

13. Super Size Me, Morgan Spurlock

14. The Passion Of The Christ, Mel Gibson

15. The Ladykillers, Joel Coen

16. The Bourne Supremacy, Paul Greengrass

16. Dodgeball, Rawson Marshall Thurber

17. The Door In The Floor, Tod Williams

18. I'm Not Scared, Gabriele Salvatores

19. The Punisher, Jonathan Hensleigh

20. Since Otar Left, Julie Bertuccelli

Best Movies of 2005

1) A History Of Violence (David Cronenberg)

David Cronenberg, bless him, is a director that has never resorted to formula in his over 3 decade career. In this one-of-a-kind Gangster picture, the Canadian filmmaker crafts his best movie since 1986's The Fly - a mind bending journey into the violence that exists in all of us. This sexy, erotic, aggressive picture is typical Cronenberg with a flawed hero in Viggo Mortensen's mysterious family drifter. The violence is grotesque, the sex kinky and the narrative unlike any you've ever seen.

2) Cache/Hidden (Michael Haneke)

This is my kind of movie - one that asks more questions than actually answers them yet provokes enough mystery and intrigue to get you talking about it for months on end. Haneke is a master manipulator and an artist that refuses to resort to any kind of formulaic narrative. His movies are unafraid to show you images that shock. In this french import he decides to give us a deeply penetrating look at an abundance of themes that have obsessed him over the years; roots, familial trees, the immigrant experience and culture clash.

3) Old Boy (Chan-Wook Park)

This Korean import is a whodunnit with a stinging climax. Revenge is the word of the day and director Park -just like the first two films on my list- decides to shock as well as artfully intrigue us. A man tries to find the perpetrator that locked him up in prison for more than 15 years. There's much more to it than just that but only a fool would want to reveal the dark secrets that lie deep underneath Park's Korean Masterpiece. One for the ages and bound to get an American remake.

4) Munich (Steven Spielberg)

Whenever Steven Spielberg tackles Jewish themes, a personal film always must always come to fruition. in 1993 it was his beloved Schindler's List, in 2005 it is Munich - the story of the terrorist attack on Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics and the ensuing retaliation on the ones responsible by Israeli Intelligence. Just like Old Boy this is about revenge but the revenge here is more real and comes with more realistic consequences. Do you need to commit evil to revenge evil? Spielberg is at war with himself with the answer and so are we.

5) The Squid And The Whale (Noah Baumbach)

Here comes what is clearly a breakthrough film for writer/director Noah Baumbauch. Every once in a while comes a film that deals with family neuroticism in such a way that it makes you cringe yet entertained at the same time. The Squid And The Whale doesn't deal with easy themes; divorce, puberty, kids, hippie-dom - yet it treats them in such an expertly devised way you'd think these people actually existed, therein lies the miracle of Baumbach's film; its laughs come with stinging truthfulness.

6) Downfall (Olivier Hirschbiegel)

The final days of Hitler. It's as simple as that. How a once mighty man, filled with grand ambitions and egotistical evil fell flat as he neared certain defeat. Director Hirschbiegel brings us into Hitler's bunker and it's as if you are actually there waiting for the man to have a downfall. the details are incredible and the fact that this was a German movie, made with German actors only brings more authenticity to the film. This will most likely be a film that will get shown in history classes for years to come.

7) The 40 Year Old Virgin (Judd Apatow)

A 40 year old man -funnily played by Steve Carrell- still collects toys, rides a bike to work, has a job at a Best Buy-style store, oh, and has not had sex yet. We have not seen post-40 adult virginity tackled in movies before, which is why director Apatow's film is so damn fresh. The screenplay is filled with witty insights and one line zingers that are as quotable as any other movie this year. However, the real brilliance of the films lies in how it never mocks its subject matter and instead embraces this geeky man and all his neurotic tendencies. You truly want him to get laid.

8) Capote (Bennett Miller)

This moving film lives and breathes on the powerful shoulders of Phillip Seymour Hoffman's stunning performance in the title role. Hoffman captures all of the unique physical characteristics that made Capote such a familiar public figure in his lifetime and invests them with a humanity that is almost unbearably poignant. Beautifully told, masterfully performed, harrowing, amusing, cruel, moving. Benneth Miller's film is a sensational achievement.

9) Cinderella Man (Ron Howard)

The movie-movie of the year. This boxing saga starring Russell Crowe and directed by all American boy Ron Howard is a rousing, sentimental triumph for both star and director. In tackling the true life tale of Washed up boxer James J Braddock, Howard and Crowe play with our emotions and rattle us with the down and out life this man really had in depression era USA. A Rocky-like fairy tale that actually happened and one more great example of why Boxing is the most cinematic sport to film.

10) Me, You & Everyone We Know (Miranda July)

This one-of-a-kind miracle movie by first time indie director Miranda July is the most original treat I saw all year. A lonely shoe salesman and a performance artist fail to connect in a unique take on contemporary life. Not for everybody but something I appreciated quite a bit for the artistry at work and the way it told its quirky multiple stories in such fresh, inventive ways.

11) War Of The Worlds (Steven Spielberg)
12) King Kong (Peter Jackson)

Two Hollywood blockbusters that gave us jolts of relentless action in a year lacking of those traits. Leave it to Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson to school the rest of the industry in just how to mix ambition in mainstream filmmaking. Ironically they both have botched endings yet the highs outweigh the lows. In Spielberg's remake of War Of The Worlds, the action is so well directed that I was at times left breathless by its intensity - ditto for Peter Jackson mega epic, a 187 minute remake of the 1933 classic, in which the majestic sweep of the story completely enthralled my sense in every which way.

13. Lord Of War, Andrew Niccol

14. Batman Begins, Christopher Nolan

15. Broken Flowers, Jim Jarmusch

16. Red Eye, Wes Craven

17. Hustle And Flow, Craig Brewer

18. The Devil's Rejects, Rob Zombie

19. Grizzly Man, Werner Herzog

20. Good Night And Good Luck, George Clooney

21. Junebug, Phil Morrison

22. North Country, Niki Caro

23. The Ice Harvest, Harold Ramis

Best Movies of 2006

1) Children Of Men (Alfonso Cuarron) 

It took a while before Alfonso Cuarron's science fiction masterpiece finally hit the top spot. It started off at #5 and slowly creeped up as the years went by. An absolute virtuosic feat of filmmaking with some of the most remarkable shots you will ever see in any movie. In its telling of the last pregnant woman on earth, Cuarron has crafted a timeless movie that resonates deep in your thoughts. The cinematography is incredible and the narrative is a pure lesson of the craft.

2) The Departed (Martin Scorsese)

Martin Scorsese doesn't necesarilly tell a story as much as pour heart and soul to it. There's no way a person can come away unaffected from any of his movies. In The Departed Scorsese tackled familiar territory -the Gangster genre, yet reinvented himself by way of form and style. This is unlike any of the other Scorsese Gangster pictures in that it lets go of the New York  Italian Mob and decides to the tackle Boston Irish brood. Scorsese injects an intensity that he only he can inject in a film and there isn't a moment in the film's 140 minute + running time.

3) Borat (Larry Charles)

Sacha Baron Cohen made a real name for himself in 2006. I was already a fan of his brilliant but retired Da Ali G Show but it was a real kick to see him bring back his loveably racist Kazakhstani man Borat Sagdiyev. The real kicker of the film is that its brilliance doesn't just lie in its Guerilla style doc filmmaking but that the laughs comes with satirical sting. Cohen's Borat brings out the worst of America, a homophobic, racist culturally divided nation that hides beneath its hate. Has any other film done so much to expose that before?

(4) Little Miss Sunshine (Valerie Farris/Jonathan Dayton)

Here's the little comedy that could. Straight out of Sundance in fact. An incredibly reliable cast that brings laughs at you every which way. Little Miss Sunshine is the crowd pleaser that 2006 needed - a raucous showcase for Steve Carell and -especially- Alan Arkin's talents. An almost too relevant satirical look at the little miss beauty pageant scene that only makes you recall how outrageous Honey Boo Boo really is. A family Drama that -for once in movies- actually IS about family. A scathing look at addiction through humor, with Alan Arkin's junkie Grandpa using in a very matter of fact way. pure dark, unadultered fun.

5) United 93 (Paul Greengrass)

Paul Greengrass shoots with a handheld camera to make you feel like you were really there with the passengres and crew of the ill fated September 11th United 93 plane. A heroic story of unimaginable horror with an edge of your seat finale that only reinforces the importance of why that plane had to go down. Greengrass gives his film a documentary style look that goes well the subject matter. It also helps that he casted no name actors to give the film even more realism. When it came out people asked if it was soon. It clearly wasn't.
6) Pan's Labyrinth (Guillermo Del Toro)

Del Toro finally makes a film worthy of his immense talent. This is no Blade 2 or Hell Boy, instead it's a cinematic triumph with enough stunning images to pop your eyes wide open. If there ever was a modern day Wizard Of Oz, this is it - with a schizophernic little dorothy, scarily created monsters and brilliant open ended finale that made us all talk about it when the lights came back on. In his short Hollywood career Del Toro has always had a knack for visuals but never had the story to back it up - here he did.
7) Babel (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu)

Director Inarritu makes deep, depressing movies about the human condition. One can look at his first 2 films Amores Perros and 21 Grams as brilliant examples. I'll be the first one to admit that his shtick might be getting tiresome but if he has one more left in him it might be this one. A maddening, mosaical film that shows the connectivity we have with one another in this small planet. It veers towards melodramam at times and frustrates yet its brilliance lies in how much we care of the outcome and how the filmmaking is just so damn good. muchos gracias.

8) Apocalypto (Mel Gibson)

When watching Apocalypto, you can clearly tell it is the work of a mad man. All the better for it. What I look for in movies is a person's vision and if that person has clear issues then it isn't my problem and it, at times such as this one, makes the movie pleasantly cinematic. The director is Mel Gibson and given all his problems with the law, the racist comments he's splurred out and his psycho horror religious previous film The Passion Of The Christ - it kind of made it all the more fun to watch. Which is not to say Gibson is not a brilliant filmmaker. He actually really is. His shot selection and handling of the camera is incredible and his love for historical stories -here it's the mayans- undeniably there.
9) Blood Diamond (Edward Zwick)

Some may have this movie but I dug it very much. This is an important piece of filmmaking about an important subject; the blood diamond trade in Sierra Leone. &&& If you still think Leonardo Dicpario is not that good of an actor, watch this film, he's just so good and so is Dijimon Hounsou who justifiably got an Oscar Nomination for his intensely emotional performance. This is probably the movie-movie of 2006. I don't know many people that didn't like this picture, critic proof but audience ready.

10) The Illusionist (Neil Burger)
10) The Prestige (Chriistopher Nolan)

A great year for movies about Magicians. It's interesting how so many people that I know mix both of these up but in a way they are so different. Different because of their filmmakers. The Prestige is directed by Christopher Nolan and he's just a very different kind of Hollywood director. The ending he uses in The Prestige is head scratching and you really do have to think hard to figure it out, whereas The Illusionist's director Neil Burger is more conventional in his storytelling but nevertheless just as effective as Nolan wth his subject matter. I Couldn't choose one or the other so I decided to make it a tie for 10th place.

12. Inside Man, Spike Lee

13. Casino Royale, Martin Campbell

14. Little Children, Todd Field

15. The Descent, Nei Marshall

16. Cars, John Lasseter

17. Block Party, Michel Gondry

18. The Queen, Stephen Frears

19. V For Vendetta, James McTeigue

20. Crank, Mark Nevldine & Brian Taylor

Gangster Squad + The greatest of Gangster movies

(R) ★★½

Gangster Squad which is directed by Ruben Fleischer -of Zombieland fame!- is a typical gangster film that doesn't break much ground. Its colorfully elegant images recall Curtis Hanson's far superior L.A Confidential which also dealt with L.A cops. The cast is uni formally good starting with Sean Penn as Gangster impressario Mickey Cohen and Josh Brolin as the LAPD cop that wants to put him down. It's all flourishng, flamboyant stuff with the typical genre cliches that we have seen before yet I was hooked, especially in its last 30 minutes where things tighten up and the violence gets upped a notch. This isn't a film that we'll be talking about years from now and it has enough flaws to warrant cautious expectations before you go see it but if you're a fan of the genre as I am then it's worth watching at a cheapie film house or on DVD. Not much praise eh? Well it isn't Landmark stuff, what can I say.

You want Landmark stuff? Fleischer's film got me thinking on past gangster pictures. I dig the genre, in fact I eat it up. It's classic cinema and has its roots deeply inserted since Howard Hawks' first Scarface hit the screens in 1932. Along with film noir, the Gnagtser film might just be the most cinematic genre in movie history. But what makes a great gangster picture? In my humble opinion, A mix of style, story and directorial flair. Being List-Making maniac that I usually am - based on a mix of major ADD and OCD- I decided to make a list of my 15 favourite Gangster pictures of the past 4 decades of film. The following 15 are all great, masterful examples of what happens when you do it right with the most cinematic genre imaginable. They all range from different decades and all don't resemble one another, which is why they are just so damn good. Pardonne-moi if I didn't leave any comments below the titles.

1) The Godfather Part 2 (Coppola)
2) The Godfather (Coppola)
3) Goodfellas (Scorsese)
4) Pulp Fiction (Tarantino)
5) Casino (Scorsese)
6) Mean Streets (Scorsese)
7) The Departed (Scorsese)
8) A History Of Violence (Cronenberg)
9) Donnie Brasco (Newell)
10) Reservoir Dogs (Tarantino)
11) Gangs Of New York (Scorsese)
12) Carlito's Way (DePalma)
13) City Of God (Mereilles)
14) Miller's Crossing (Coen)
15) The Limey (Soderbergh)
16) Road To Perdition (Mendes)

Oscar Nominees disappoint


The Master is the best movie I have seen this year. There, I've said it. No need for a Top Ten list, no need for a full fledged explanation why but it's just that damn good. Just like last year's best film -The Tree Of Life- Paul Thomas Anderson's masterful film provokes, angers and ultimately reinvigorates your love of the cinema. With that said, did The Master get a Best Picture nomination this morning? Of course not. It's too daring and ambitious a movie to get that kind of love. Instead we got safe fare nominated instead, which is not to say that the nominated films are all bad. Steven Spielberg's Lincoln was a master class in acting -focusing on dialogue more than bombast, Ang Lee's Life Of Pi is the most visually sumptuous movie of the year even when it sometimes trips on its own ambitions and Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained is pure Tarantino, a feast for the eyes and ears with a story that doesn't give a fuck for the too timid. Kudos must also go to Amour, Zero Dark Thirty and Beasts Of The Southern Wild - all critically loved. As for the rest .. here's my take on the undeserving.

Les Miserables (PG-13) ★★

Tom Hooper's Les Miserables comes at you like an Oscar-ready gift wrapped present. That's a bad thing. Focusing on Victor Hugo's famous play, the film is 95% musical and 5% dialogue. Ok, I could deal with that. Then again, if you're not a musical junkie, welcome to movie hell. I won't go into detail with the already known story but suffice to say there isn't much comic relief in this miserably depressing tale of French revolution grief and perverse turmoil. The one true catch is Anne Hathaway, who not only deserves her Oscar Nomination but deserves to win. She's that good ! Too bad she only has 20 minutes of screen time, because whenever she shows up on screen the movie goes on a high it cannot sustain otherwise. Nevertheless, the film has its moments. Hugh Jackman is his usual strong self and Russell plays mean-ass bad guy Jean Valjean with ferocious power. Everything else falters in the film's overtly long 158 minute running time. Amanda Siegfried is not well cast ditto director Hooper whom I'm just not a real big fan of. Alas Oscar got suckered into nominating this one.

Argo (R) ★★

Then there's Argo. Directed by Ben Affleck, who kinda -almost- proved in his last movie The Town that he could turn out to be a good director. Many think that has already happened. I don't. His direction stinks of basic directing 101 - there is no personality or unique style to his work. Argo is based on the Iran/U.S hostage crisis in the 80's and does have solid performances in it. Alan Arkin for one -nominated this morning- a solid character actor, does good work here ditto John Goodman as a Hollywood makeup artist working for the CIA. Affleck is the CIA agent that concocts an outrageous plan to get American consulate escapees out of Iran by masquerading them as Canadians and making them play pretend that they are part of a Hollywood film crew shooting a B-Movie Science Fiction film. Preposterous but based on a true story. Affleck is miscast as the CIA agent showing no sign of emotion in his face, if he would have cast a different actor in his role maybe this could have all worked out but it doesn't. People will forget about Argo 10 years from now.

Silver Linings Playbook (R) ★★★

Here's one I kinda liked. David O Russell has made solid and ambitious films in his career. Silver Linings Playbook represents a sort of departure for the director, this is romantic comedy territory but with a slight little edge. Jennifer Lawrence is fantastic and deserves the Best Actress nomination she got, ditto Robert Deniro who does the best work of his last 20 years of -mostly- dreadful performances. Goes to show, if he's willing to push himself he still has the potential to knock us out. So far so good, right? Here's the thing. This is playful stuff, dealing with themes such as Depression, OCD, ADD, regret, yearning and football. Russell is the right man for the script but there isn't anything here that we haven't seen before. The performances are fantastic but the script is not really an original. This is not supposed to be anAwards contender but Harvey Weinstein -the marketing genius himself- has pulled enough strings with this one to make it seem as if it's a more important movie than it actually is. I'm not gonna lie, I'll give it another chance soon and see if I missed something the first time around but as far as I'm concerned the Best Picture nomination this film got is underserving.

Tom Cruise and "Jack Reacher"

(PG-13) ★★★½

 It doesn't take long for you to realize that Tom Cruise hasn't lost his touch in Christopher McQuarrie's thrilling Jack Reacher. The film is based on a popular series of books that feature a tall, muscular looking titular hero - Cruise is not tall and not as muscular as the book describes him to be. That was a problem for many fans. Cruise proves them wrong by infusing a real sense of professionalism into his acting. He IS Jack Reacher and makes us all to aware of how good an actor he can be. McQuarrie -in his second feature after 2000's underrated The Way Of The Gun- has made an action picture that we badly needed in 2012.

His film has a real 1970's feel to it along the lines of Billy Jack or Walking Tall mixed with Dirty Harry or numerous westerns with strong, silent types. See, Reacher is a former military investigator with a mind that is always a step or two ahead of everyone else. He looks at the obvious evidence and immediately notes a list of doubts where none previously existed. A seemingly random sniper attack is a bold way to begin a movie given recent real-life events, but the opening sequence is executed with methodical precision and daring so that we can quickly believe in Reacher's conspiracy theories.

In the blink of an eye, Reacher has appeared out of nowhere (his usual address) and is in the middle of the investigation being conducted by the lawyer of the wrongly accused James Barr (Joseph Sikora). The defense lawyer is played by Rosamund Pike, whose character is the daughter of the District Attorney (Richard Jenkins). The police detective is played by David Oyelowo and it's easy to tell something isn't completely right with city hall. Reacher roams the beautiful city of Pittsburgh asking questions and piecing together the puzzle left behind by creepy villain The Zec (Werner Herzog) and his henchman Charlie (Jai Courtney).

We get three Reacher fistfights, a "Bullit" type car chase in a beautiful 1970 Chevelle, and some military sharp-shooting from the depths of a quarry. What we don't get is the Hollywood tradition of a Cruise sprint. Not once do we see his trademark all-out dash to or from something. What we get instead is a subdued actor comfortable with his role and ready to entertain at any cost. The 50 year old actor is in astonishingly good shape and continues in the tradition of doing his own stunts. Which got me going into another one of my OCD list making madnesses. Nothing bad. Just a good way to prove how incredible of a career this hollywood star has had.

3 best Tom Cruise performances

(1) Frank TJ Mackey in Magnolia
(2) Ron Kovic in Born On The Fourth Of July
(3) Les Grossman in Tropic Thunder

10 best Tom Cruise movies

(1) Magnolia
(2) Rain Man
(3) Minority Report
(4) Eyes Wide Shut
(5) Collateral
(6) Risky Business
(7) A Few Good Men
(8) War Of The Worlds
(9) Born On The Fourth Of July
(10) Mission Impossible
(10) Vanilla Sky

1. The Master, Paul Thomas Anderson

2. Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow

3. Killer Joe, William Friedkin

4. Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson

5. Prometheus, Ridley Scott

6. This Is Not A Film, Jafar Panhai

7. Rust And Bone, Jacques Audiard

7. Le Gamin Au Velo, Luc and Pierre Dardenne

8. The Dark Knight Rises, Christopher Nolan

9. Looper, Rian Johnson

10. Once Upon A Time In Anatolia, Nuri Bilge Ceylan

11. Compliance, Craig Zobel

12. Brave, Mark Andrews

13. 21 Jump Street, Phil Lord

14. The Sessions, Ben Lewin

15. Seven Psychopaths, Martin Mcdonaugh

16. Skyfall, Sam Mendes

17. Jack Reacher, Christopher McQuarrie

18. In Darkness, Agnieska Holland

19. Haywire, Steven Soderbergh

20. Lincoln, Steven Spielberg

21. Premium Rush, David Koepp

22. Life Of Pi, Ang Lee

23. Miss Bala, Gerardo Naranjo

24. Les Intouchables, Olivier Nakache

25. Cabin In The Woods, Drew Goddard

26. The Woman In Black, James Watkins

27. Bernie, Richard Linklater

28. Get The Gringo, Adrian Grunberg

29. Killing Them Softly, Andrew Dominik

30. Chronicle, Josh Trank