THE WILD BUNCH (1969)

A violent, nihilistic revisionist Western that changed how violence was shown on-screen.

PRINCESS MONONOKE (1997)

A gorgeous animation classic that is firmly for adults, about the eternal struggle between humans and their environment.

CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON (2000)

Your reader poll winner is a high-flying martial arts extravaganza that I think was the first subtitled movie I (and lots of other people) saw in a theater.

THE GENERAL (1926)

In which Buster Keaton almost dies over and over in the name of comedy, and also drops an actual train off an actual bridge.

DIE HARD (1988)

Some people have called this the “perfect action movie,” and it launched the careers of Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman. But is it a Christmas movie?

BEN-HUR (1959)

The biggest hit of its day has a supreme technical achievement slung over a story that feels to me like middling Bible fanfic.

OUR 100th MOVIE: SEVEN SAMURAI (1954)

Akira Kurosawa invented many of the tropes of the modern action movie in this great Japanese epic.

THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971)

The car chase is justly famous, but these days its cops with a “shoot first ask questions later” attitude are extremely hard to root for.

GOLDENEYE (1995)

James Bond plows into the modern era by blowing up the Arecibo Telescope a quarter century early.