Mac's Recommended Movies

1. "Blade Runner"

Classic treatment of Philip K. Dick's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" Moody, visually compelling and animated by a haunting score by Vangelis. "Blade Runner" is one of the most imitated films in history; its visual impact has become a telling metaphor for our time, providing the ambience for more than a few science fiction novels.

2. "Twelve Monkeys"

The best time-travel movie ever made. Bruce Willis gives an excellent performance as a maladapted prisoner sent back to the late 20th century to chart the progression of a mysterious virus that has decimated the world's population. Co-stars Madeline Stowe and Brad Pitt.

3. "Until the End of the World"

Long, unusually compelling story by director Wim Wenders. Well-realized sets, thoughtful performances and futuristic themes that take on renewed life with repeated viewing. Complete with a stunning soundtrack, this is a masterpiece transcending genre.

4. "Naked Lunch"

Surrealistic take on the life of writer William Burroughs, whose exploits in Tangier spawned some of the 20th century's most unique literature.

5. "Brazil"

Director Terry Gilliam's surreal retelling of Orwell's "1984," peopled by oddball characters and driven by a bizarre sense of humor.

6. "Strange Days"

Surprisingly effective cyberpunk mystery that takes place in 1999. Well-paced with solid performances and art direction. A suspenseful and often dizzying ride. Ralph Fienes is memorable as a down-and-out electronic brain-stimulation dealer.

7. "Contact"

Epic examination of the social impact of radio contact with extraterrestrials. Reasonably heady themes and intelligent performances. Based on the novel by the late Carl Sagan.

8. "Eraserhead" (b/w)

"Weird" doesn't do justice to David Lynch's first film, an arty existential fable of sexual frustration, domesticity and suicide. "Eraserhead" is engagingly open to endless personal interpretation. "In Heaven, everything is fine."

9. "Kafka" (b/w, color)

A dark pseudo-biography of the famed Czech absurdist. Jeremy Irons is well-cast as an introspective writer pitted against a murderous bureaucracy.

10. "Powder"

James Dean meets "Edward Scissorhands" meets Uri Geller.

11. "Rebel Without A Cause"

A classic study of teen alienation. James Dean revolutionalized the concept of the cinematic hero with his rare, angst-ridden charm.

12. "East of Eden"

Another striking James Dean film.

13. "A Clockwork Orange"

Stanley Kubrick's film adaptation of Anthony Burgess' hilarious, thought-provoking novel.

14. "THX-1138"

George Lucas' first film about an underground dystopia. Bleak and fascinating, "THX" outshines the dumb, fx-bloated "Star Wars" saga.

15. "Blue" (subtitled)

Mesmerizing and beautiful French film about death and personal redemption. "Blue" is the first film in the acclaimed "Three Colors" trilogy and indisputably the best. Stars Juliette Binoche.

16. "Total Recall"

The most cerebral of Arnold Schwarzenegger's films, based on a short story by Philip K. Dick. Consistently mind-blowing and a lot of fun.

17. "Planet of the Apes"

"Planet of the Apes" is simultaneously comic and chilling. Charlton Heston is at his histrionic best.

18. "2001: A Space Odyssey"

Eerie and scientifically literate story of human evolution. Based on the remarkable Arthur C. Clarke novel.

19. "The Fly" (remake)

Jeff Goldblum is perfectly cast as an eccentric scientist who mistakenly fuses his genetic structure with that of a housefly. Like Kafka's "Metamorphosis" on LSD.

20. "Edward Scissorhands"

Brilliant Christmas fable starring Johnny Depp as a lonely android who confronts the nightmare of American suburbia. Graced by a magnificent soundtrack by Danny Elfman.

21. "La Jetee" (b/w, subtitled)

Striking short film composed of still photographs. The inspiration for Terry Gilliam's excellent "Twelve Monkeys."

22. "Tetsuo: The Iron Man" (b/w, subtitled)

Remarkable visuals make this otherwise stilted Japanese cult movie worth seeing. Grim and compellingly perverse.

23. "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (remake)

Donald Sutherland stars in this genuinely scary adaptation. Better than the original.

24. "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"

Steven Spielberg's UFO classic. Contains moments of terror, compassion and wonder.

25. "Mad Max"

A grim, futuristic revenge movie starring Mel Gibson in his first role. Frightening and atmospheric.

26. "Communion"

Christopher Walken is uniquely compelling as Whitley Strieber, the author whose 1987 bestseller convinced thousands that we are being visited by alien beings. "Communion" is an underrated drama with a refreshing emphasis on humanity rather than special effects.

27. "Dead Ringers"

Jeremy Irons plays a dual role in this stunning and disconcerting tale of sexual obsession and psychological deterioration. Absolutely fascinating; one of David Cronenberg's best.

28. "Metropolis" (b/w, silent)

Seminal dystopian science fiction film by Fritz Lang, featuring the first use of an android in movie history. Compelling sets and cityscapes that echo the congested sprawl of Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner."

29. "The Quiet Earth"

A weirdly beautiful film about a bizarre experiment that empties the Earth's population. A man who believes he is the sole survivor seeks out companionship amidst the desolation.

30. "The Man Who Fell to Earth"

David Bowie stars as an alien castaway in this adaptation of the Walter Tevis novel of the same name. A curious emphasis on eroticism detracts from this film's existential theme, but solid acting and moody visuals make "The Man Who Fell to Earth" worth seeing. Bowie is perfectly cast in the title role.

31. "The Arrival"

An intelligent science fiction thriller that puts the "invasion from space" cliche to good use.

32. "Falling Down"

Dark comedy starring Michael Douglas as a neurotic defense contractor who takes out his frustration on modern society.

33. "Pulp Fiction"

Quentin Tarantino's best movie, loaded with subtle humor and uproarious dialogue. Samuel L. Jackson is especially memorable as a morally preoccupied hitman. Christopher Walken makes a brief but hilarious appearance.

34. "Miracle Mile"

A worthy and overlooked film about an impending nuclear holocaust.

35. "The Hidden"

Another effective space invasion movie. Not spectacular, but thoroughly entertaining and suspenseful.

36. "The Birds"

Eerie Hitchcock film about birds that declare war on mankind.

37. "Drugstore Cowboy"

Matt Dillon is exceptional as a drug addict on the run from normality and the law. "Drugstore Cowboy" launched a veritable sub-genre of "junky" movies. William Burroughs' cameo role is unforgettable.

38. "Crumb"

Intimate portrait of underground cartoonist/pop culture icon Robert Crumb. Funny, tragic and completely absorbing. You don't have to appreciate Crumb's artistic legacy to appreciate this film's uniqueness and depth.

39. "Jacob's Ladder"

Tim Robbins stars as a Vietnam veteran who begins to question his sanity after a series of horrific hallucinations. Beautifully directed, with genuinely gripping performances. If Philip K. Dick, H.P. Lovecraft and Whitley Strieber collaborated on a film, the result might look quite a bit like "Jacob's Ladder."

40. "Gattacca"

Stylish cautionary story of a society ruled by a genetically perfected elite.

41. "Altered States"

Engrossing psychodrama starring William Hurt.

42. "Smilla's Sense of Snow"

A sleek and unusual suspense thriller starring Julia Armonde as a geologist trying to solve a suspected murder.

43. "Blue Velvet"

David Lynch's hysterical 1986 psychodrama. A must.

44. "King of New York"

Christopher Walken stars as Frank White, an ambitious gangster released from prison and determined to wrest control of New York City from the hands of both fellow racketeers and a corrupt police force.

45. "Liquid Sky"

A strangely arresting film about a miniature flying saucer that preys upon the early '80s New Wave scene. "Liquid Sky" features a disconcerting dual role that leads to one of the most campy and intriguing sex scenes in movie history.

46. "Mimic"

Stylish, creepy story of short-lived insects who have evolved to imitate humans. Suffers from a few "monster movie" cliches, but succeeds in amazing visual effects and attention to detail.

47. "The Matrix"

Keanu Reeves redeems himself from the lackluster "Johnny Mnemonic" in this kinetic, ultraviolent virtual reality thriller.

48. "Dark City"

Stylish movie about a city of perpetual night, where corpse-like aliens tinker with human identity as part of a splendidly dystopian sociological experiment. Great visuals and a thoughtful premise.

49. "American Beauty"

A uniquely told and bitterly hilarious document of life and love in suburbia. Excellent performances.

50. "A.I."

Steven Spielberg's flawed but fascinating telling of Stanley Kubrick's future history (based on a story by Brian Aldiss).

51. "Crash"

David Cronenberg successfully adapts J.G. Ballard's cult classic novel.

52. "Minority Report"

Steven Spielberg's taut, thought-provoking adaptation of Philip K. Dick's short-story.

53. "Signs"

Scary, engaging--and very atypical--alien invasion fable by M. Night Shyamalan ("The Sixth Sense").

54. "Solaris" (remake)

A stylish and captivating cosmological love story featuring beautiful cinematography and a captivating narrative structure.

55. "Die Hard"

The best Christmas movie ever.

56. "Donnie Darko"

One of the most poignantly weird, distressingly surreal movies of all time. A sort of "American Beauty" mated with David Lynch's "Lost Highway." Heartbreaking, hilarious and unforgettable.

57. "Shakes the Clown"

One of the funniest and most original comedies I've ever seen. Bizarre humor.

58. "28 Days Later"

A beautifully rendered apocalyptic nightmare of a film.

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