Maura McHugh

Blogger; graphic novelist


Voted in the critics’ poll

Voted for

Apocalypse Now


Francis Ford Coppola

Citizen Kane


Orson Welles

Miller's Crossing


Joel & Ethan Coen



Akira Kurosawa

Some Like It Hot


Billy Wilder

Straight Story, The


David Lynch

Sweet Smell of Success


Alexander Mackendrick

Three Colours: Blue


Krzysztof Kieslowski

Three Women


Robert Altman

Umberto D


Vittorio de Sica


Citizen Kane remains a classic because at its heart it is a mystery about a man that is never solved. Yet the pace never flags, and it is staged, shot and acted flawlessly. Umberto D is a simple, humble film about a crotchety man and his dog, but it’s emotionally devastating. Social realist filmmaking at its best. You need a good comedy in your life, and it doesn’t get much better than gender-bending romp Some Like it Hot, with its music and Shakespearian mistaken identities. Sweet Smell of Success gives us New York in all its crummy glory, with fantastic performances, glorious dialogue and morally ambiguous characters. “I love this dirty town.” Three Women is Altman’s most under-appreciated film. It’s a dreamy, challenging work about the fluidity of personality, in which he manages to out-Bergman Bergman. Apocalypse Now is a compelling, groundbreaking film about the journey into the heart of darkness and the insanity of war. Ran is an incredible transposing of the heartbreaking King Lear to feudal Japan: huge emotions, incredible acting, tremendous characters and staging, all shot by a master. Miller’s Crossing remains my favourite Coen Brothers film, a quintessential gangster movie with a flawed, dubious hero at its centre. Three Colours: Blue is Kieslowski’s touching portrayal of the journey through grief and mourning to forgiveness and new life. It’s incredibly shot and layered with harmonious music and colour. In The Straight Story a man travels to reunite with his brother, yet the journey is the important part. It is slowly, sensitively and sympathetically shot, with a griping central performance. I could add 20 more to that list, but I’d gladly watch just those ten movies for the rest of my life.

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