Best Non-IMDB Top 250 Movies

A year or so ago I decided to watch as many Top 250 movies that I possibly could. I was near 70 at the time but am now probably closer to 200. I don’t really care about what is left, IMDB sucks for making Top 250 lists.

I don’t mean to sound like a snotty hipster, but damn if I haven’t seen most of all the classics. Hitchcock, Neo-Realism, Cohen Brothers, New Wave, Kurosawa, Wes Anderson, all three James Dean movies. I’m running out of titles quick!

So, what are your favorite, hopefully obscure, non-Top 250 IMDB films? Favorite other kind of films? Modern foreign films? Anything?


Easily one of the best comedies of all time. Clue is a brilliant movie that was simply written off as a “board-game movie”.

Doctor Zhivago

Better than any other David Lean picture. Really.

Galaxy Quest

Again, a movie that is written off as a comedy. It’s brilliant! Making people laugh is harder than making people cry.

Some off the top of my head:

The Grand Illusion: snapshot of how World War I ended the old European class structure and laid the groundwork for the rest of the century.

Brazil: wonderful “harrowing vision of the future” that is even more harrowing nowadays than when it was when it came out in the mid '80s.

Manhunter: The 2nd best movie featuring Hannibal Lector. Bryan Cox…one of those actors who is always good. It helps if you like the “Miami Vice” style.

Better off Dead…: ah! Can’t believe this isn’t in the top 250 somewhere. I want my two dollars!

I like Galaxy Quest a lot. More and more, I never get tired of seeing it. However, I come in these threads to say “The Zero Effect.” Hands down one of the best movies ever.

I’m sorry - but I can’t give much credence to a list that ranks “Se7en” higher than “To Kill a Mockingbird.” And Grindhouse at number 89? Above lord knows how many classics?

I have to thing this list is skewed by current popularity, and had nothing to do with artistic merit.

The National Film Registry, Library of Congress.

All films nominated to the Sight & Sound Top Ten poll, 2002.

Nah-I’d rather go with Murder By Death. Anybody who has a Pythonesque sense of humor should check it out.

I’ve got a real soft spot for L.A. Story, Steve Martin’s comedy about looking for love and meaning in Los Angeles. There are subtle jokes everywhere, and the main character is aided in his quest by a highway conditions sign that is a reincarnated set of bagpipes. Seriously.

Some unlikely to be in the top 250 that are pretty good:

Panic in Year Zero – low-budget post-apocalyptic SF. Ray Milland is the father of a family on a car trip who luck out in being out of town when the Ruskies nuke LA. They try to survive the social disruption that follows. It feels very Heinleinesque to me.

Creator – Low-Budget SF but top-notch talent (Peter O’Toole, Vincent Spano, Mariel Hemingway, David Ogden Steirs) with a witty screenplay by Jeremy Level, who adapted his own book. Peter O’Toole plays a Nobel Laureate who’s cloning his dead wife. Avoids every single cliche about cloning ever done, and comes off believable.

The Adventures of Mark Twain – Will Vinton’s “Claymation” (He invented and copyrighted the term) uses a brighter pallette of colors than AArdman animation, and they do a top-notch job on these tales and bio of Twain (voiced by James Whitmore). Vinton studios declined to an undeserved fate after producing some excellent animation, of which this is the best long feature.