18. Raging Bull (Martin Scorsese, 1980)
- King of Comedy
- Raging Bull
- After Hours
- Mean Streets
- Gangs of New York
- Taxi Driver
- Cape Fear
- The Departed
- The Color of Money
- Bringing Out The Dead
This is my candidate for the perfect film. Not my favorite mind you, but rather a film that is perfect in every facet. I don’t really know what you could criticize about it. I mean it’s beautifully shot with a great score, great performances, the best boxing sequences ever filmed, iconic images and lines, great screenplay, and it’s both engaging and well paced. Like honestly I don’t know what fault this movie has.
The only other films out of the top 20 that I would even consider being on the level of “Raging Bull” are “The Godfather” and maybe “Seven Samurai”. When I say on the level, I mean in terms of just being close to perfection, like I can’t think of a fault the film has. But with “The Godfather” I could argue that its attempts to negatively depict the underworld ostensibly fail, because the Corleone family is so compelling. As entertainment it succeeds wonderfully, but if one sees it as a morality play(which I kind of do), it fails(as gangster pictures always do). “The Seven Samurai” is wonderful in so many ways, but it demands a rewatching before I can assess it in the context of perfection.
The only piece of filmmaking that really resonates quite as strongly in terms of causing to me to think this is perfect is the first hour of “The Best Years of Our Lives“, which to me trumps even “Raging Bull” in terms of just being incredibly well done. But “Raging Bull” is the only film that I have seen that I would classify as perfect from start to finish.
On filmaffinity.com I gave the film 10/10 (My initial viewing from about 6 years ago left me with a hazy 8/10). I recommend the shit out of this film.