Here’s my list of 10 films I think you should take your time out to see right away this month.

NOTE: These are some, but not all of my favourite films. I’ll be putting my list of favourites up at some point.

1. American Beauty (1999) Director: Sam Mendes.
Starring: Kevin Spacey, Anette Benning, Thora Birch, Mena Suvari, Chris Cooper, Wes Bentley and Alison Janney.

I watched this film recently (meaning in the past four months) and I was absolutely captivated by it. I can see no fault in this film, everything about it was done perfectly. Kevin Spacey portrays his character Lester Burnham brilliantly, showing the character’s frustration in his life, work-related, family-related and sexually. The symbolism in this film reccurs throughout, which shows that the story has a lot of meaning behind it, and I thought it was great how well it fitted in to the story without ruining it or making it too dragging or slow. A must-see. Sam Mendes at his very best.
Rating: 5 Stars

2. A Clockwork Orange (1971) Director: Stanley Kubrick
Starring: Malcolm MacDowell, David Prowse, Patrick MaGee, Michael Bates and Warren Clarke.

Usually, I find novel adaptions to be rather, well, awful. But this classic take on this dysotopian novel by Anthony Burgess is utter brilliance. Malcolm MacDowell’s portrayal of the antagonist main character Alex DeLarge, was spot on! Although this film caused a lot of contraversy back in the 1970s, I find it to be very enjoyable and very memorable. It’s disturbing, and weird and that’s what I love about it. Science-fiction is my favourite genre and this film could yet be one of my favourite science-fiction films of all time. You can’t go wrong with the music or the outrageous costumes either. Because the film is so charming, and so British, even the gratuitous rape and ultra-violence scenes are portrayed in such a way that it’s rather humerous rather than being contraversial and unsightly. A classic.
Rating: 5 stars

3. Manhunter (1986) Director: Michael Mann
Starring: William Petersen, Tom Noonan, Stephen Lang, Joan Allen, Brian Cox and Dennis Farina.

Another fabulous novel adaption. This film was the starting point for the future Hannibal Lecter films, and possibly one of the best. William Petersen (most well-known for playing Gil Grissom in CSI), plays the character of Will Graham, who is on the search for catching a murderer of two families, named the Tooth Fairy by the tabloids. He consults the help from an unlikely source, Doctor Hannibal Lecktor (played by Brian Cox) and it’s a race against time before the Tooth Fairy kills his next victims. I was first introduced to this film by my parents, and I’m really glad they did, because I loved it. When I saw that a remake had been made (Red Dragon), I proceeded to watch that too, although I was rather disappointed with the outcome. The soundtack is one of the best I’ve heard with such tracks as “Inna Gadda Da Vida” by Iron Butterfly and “Coelocanth” by Shriekback. Personally, even though Anthony Hopkins did a brilliant job of being Hannibal Lecter in the other three films, I thought Brian Cox’s performance was very well-done. Every scene I saw him in I could feel his menace and he could make my hair stand on end. All in all, a crime-thriller at it’s utmost best.
Rating: 4.5 stars

4. The Shawshank Redemption (1994) Director: Frank Darabont
Starring: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, William Sadler, Clancy Brown, Gil Bellows, Mark Rolston and James Whitmore.

A novella adaption this time, by one of my all-time favourite authors: Stephen King. I love this film. It’s such an amazing story, and it appeals to me in so many ways. The main protagonists are so likeable and easy to connect with and I could watch it again and again, and I’d never get tired of it. The setting of the film is so realistic that it makes you feel that you are in Shawshank Prison with them, and it just blows my mind. It was such a shame that Forrest Gump and the Shawshank Redemption came out on the same year, because this film deserved some of the Oscars that Forrest Gump won. I even think that this film is better than Forrest Gump. This film is a must-see, and if you dislike it, I’ll honestly think that you have no taste in films. At all. One of the best films of the 1990s.
Rating: 5 stars

5. The Incredibles (2004) Director: Brad Bird
Starring: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Jason Lee, Samuel L. Jackson, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger and Elizabeth Pena.

My second favourite PIXAR film (after Toy Story) which basically, kicks ass. Basically, it’s set in a world, where some people have superhero abilties, and they are called “Supers”. After an incident that occured while trying to save the city, the “Supers” were forced to hide their identities, and take up normal lives and hide their powers. It surrounds one family who end up having to save the world by using their superpowers against a powerful supervillian named Syndrome. I remember seeing this film when it first came out, and I was mega-excited, and I throroughly enjoyed it, and I still do today. It’s one of the small amount of animated films that appeal to me, and I’m sure it appeals to anyone of any age, everywhere in the world, because, seriously, who doesn’t want to live in a world where there’s actually superheroes? On an unrelated note, I had the game for my PS2 as well, and I loved playing it. It was hard though, never got the chance to complete it.
Rating: 4.5 stars

6. The Thing (1982) Director: John Carpenter
Starring: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David, Charles Hallahan, Donald Moffat and Richard Dysart.

This a very recent addition to my list, and I must say I was a little freaked out by this film. The idea that an alien-life form that assimilates other organisms and imitate them is quite a freaky concept. I throroughly enjoyed it, and even though the special effects looked terrible at times, they were still very advanced for that time, and I was very impressed. John Carpenter has impressed me with a lot of his films, notably “Escape From New York” which also starred Kurt Russell as the main character, and he impressed me again with “The Thing”. I thought it was a very unique idea, and it had a great storyline and everything was explained thankfully which helped me get an understanding of what actually happened, instead of mindless gore and violence. Science-fiction and horror: what a combination.
Rating: 4 stars

7. Donnie Darko (2001) Director: Richard Kelly
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Drew Barrymore, Patrick Swayze, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Noah Wyle, James Duval and Mary McDonnell.

A cult-favourite of mine. It’s one of the hardest films to follow, but once you understand it’s brilliant. It involves the title character, Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal), a troubled teenager, who is trying to find the meaning and the significance of his disturbing “End of the World” related visions. It’s filmed over a course of 28 days, the last day being the “end of the world”, and during the visions, Donnie is met by this giant, blue rabbit named “Frank”. In my opinion, it is best if you watch the Director’s Cut of the film, because it ties up a lot of loose ends that you end up not understanding from the theatrical version. Possibly Jake Gyllenhaal’s best performance in his career, alongside the sort of recent war film “Jarhead”.
Rating: 4.5 stars

8. Fight Club (1999) Director:  David Fincher
Starring: Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, Helena Bonham Carter, Meatloaf and Jared Leto.

I was pretty late in seeing this film to be honest, which I regret, because it’s became one of my all-time favourite movies. The story surrounds an un-named protagonist (played by Edward Norton), who is really unhappy with his white-collar job in American society. He then forms a “fight club” with his new friend, a soap salesman named Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), and becomes part of an unlikely relationship with a woman named Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter). The film is a little hard to follow which, in my opinion, makes it a lot better, and once you begin to understand it just opens a new door of possiblities for you. Edward Norton does a brilliant performance as the narrator, and Brad Pitt just makes his part his own, and he’s just great. An ace film with an unsuspecting twist, that can never get boring no matter how many times you watch it.
Rating: 5 stars

9. Se7en (1995) Director: David Fincher
Starring: Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, R. Lee Ermey, John C. Mcginley and Kevin Spacey.

Another brilliant film by David Fincher, which I absolutely love to the point of overwatching it. The film centres around a serial killer who kills people over a course of 7 days in ways surrounding the Seven Deadly Sins. Perfect crime-thriller, right? Right you are. Watch this film now.
Rating: 5 stars

10. From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) Director: Robert Rodriguez
Starring: George Clooney, Quentin Tarrantino, Harvey Kietel, Juliette Lewis, Cheech Marin and Salma Hayek.

Just watch it, you won’t regret it.
Rating: 4.5 stars