United 93

Paul Greengrass

Perhaps Greengrass’ most underrated work, United 93 is a painful watch not only because the outcome is known from the start but also because the fear and pain on screen is so palpable, it’s heartbreaking. Using his trademark shaky-cam and a band of unknowns to their best, Greengrass has made a movie we all must see, a haunting portrait of heroism without falling into the trap of sensationalising such a tragic event in human history.

The 400 Blows

François Truffaut

The original precursor to a new wave that was to sweep World Cinema, François Truffaut’s directorial debut The 400 Blows was a seminal work in filmmaking. Starring a young Jean-Pierre Léaud as a misunderstood adolescent, it ushered in a new genre of articulate filmmaking, more in sync with social issues and family dysfunctions. Awarded at the Cannes Film Festival in 1959, this film has lived on to inspire the now trending ‘coming-of-age’ genre in films with The Breakfast Club, An Education and in India, Udaan being famous examples.

The Dark Knight

Christopher Nolan

Nolan’s most famous work and perhaps rightly so The Dark Knight is unforgettable simply because it stays with you long after you have returned from your air-conditioned recliner seat to the comfort of your home. Complex and deeply disturbing, Nolan who had previously given engrossing cinema in the form of Memento and Insomnia along with his fellow screenwriters deserves all the credit for taking the superhero genre well beyond conventional boundaries. Not to forget, the late Heath Ledger’s terrifying and unforgettable performance as The Joker, which made up for all the inconsistencies in Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of the greatest villain in comicdom.

Midnight In Paris

Woody Allen

Undoubtedly, Woody Allen’s best work in the last decade Midnight In Paris is the rare kind of film with which one would associate the word magic. This Owen Wilson starrer works like a charm, slowly weaving a witty, whimsical and literary world while being an effervescent watch. Special mention must be made of the the city of Paris and more importantly, the director and his cinematographer. Paris has never looked so pretty and beckoning.

(500) Days Of Summer

Marc Webb

Coming from a career music-video director, (500) Days of Summer starring indie-star Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel is the truest and perhaps the most charming take on modern relationships and romance to come out of Hollywood in years. One rarely sees a romantic comedy from the perspective of the man and thankfully, this is one perspective that had me connect with it instantly. Sparkling chemistry between the leads, a brilliant music score and an often poetic yet charming look at love and heartache make it one of the better films in the last decade.

Those that almost made it

Se7en: David Fincher

Once Upon A Time in America: Sergio Leone

Inglourious Basterds: Quentin Tarantino

Moonrise Kingdom: Wes Anderson

Coriolanus: Ralph Fiennes

Jibin Mathew George is a student of law at Amity Law School, Delhi.