Inglourious Basterds

Quentin Tarantino

The ‘q’ in ‘quirky’ probably stands for Quentin Tarantino. This man has a diehard fan following around the globe, not surprising if you watch his movies. His films do not adhere to any known rule or pattern. That’s exactly what is so refreshingly cool about it. You never know what’s going to happen next (can’t leave out Pulp Fiction or Reservoir Dogs here). Regarding this particular movie, this is Tarantino’s own unique take on World War II. Special mention should go to Christoph Waltz who plays a Nazi commander with such style and verve. He lights up the whole movie with his delightful antics.

The Prestige

Christopher Nolan

Christopher Nolan’s best work to date remains this fantastic thriller released in 2006 which is also perhaps his most underrated film. It involves the escalating rivalry between two magicians played with panache by Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman, and has a mind-blowing climax that is sure to leave the viewer riveted. Like all of Nolan’s films, this too has an intensely edgy feel right from the first scene that draws us in.

The Departed

Martin Scorcese

Martin Scorcese’s work about the Boston police force and a brutal Mafia leader played by Jack Nicholson is an engaging cat-and-mouse story about two moles, Matt Damon and Leonardo di Caprio on opposite sides of the law and their epic struggle to remain undercover. This film finally got Scorcese his much-deserved Oscar for Direction in 2006. The star of the show is however Mark Wahlberg who plays a foul-mouthed deputy in the force (Oscar for Best Supporting Actor). The underlying tension in the story gets the viewer totally hooked on.

Fight Club

David Fincher

There is only one rule that applies to the film — you don’t talk about the Fight Club. Instead you just watch it. The climax twist alone deserves a standing ovation. A cult film if there ever was one, every single line in it is quote-worthy. When you are done watching it, you’ll be stunned by the sheer genius of it.

The Hurt Locker

Kathryn Bigelow

That this film beat a heavyweight like Avatar to win the Oscar for Best Film is itself proof of its substance. An edge-of-the-seat thriller about a bomb technician played with passion by Jeremy Runner the film does not involve too many loud crass war scenes and gets you hooked onto it just by its superbly crafted sequences. The final piece where Renner reveals the reason behind his eccentric methods is sure to stay with you for long. A fitting tribute to armed forces around the world.

Those that almost made it

The Social Network: David Fincher

The Man From Earth: Richard Schenkman

Crash: Paul Haggis

Memento: Christopher Nolan

Munich: Steven Spielberg

Pulp Fiction: Quentin Tarantino

To Kill A Mockingbird: Robert Mulligan

Maniratnam is a final-year medical student based in Madurai. He loves watching films with dark, intense and gripping storylines.

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