In other hands, this would be a mildly interesting thriller, but Pinter’s sharp characterisations and unspoken suggestions, along with Losey’s full, slavering embrace of the potentials of Tony’s grand Chelsea home, make this a more open, suggestive work, offering ideas to do with class, power and sexuality. But without wishing to cause offence to my esteemed colleagues, they’re dead wrong. This is his highest-placed film, which may have something to do with just how real and recognisable Winterbottom and writer Laurence Coriat’s vision of London is as he tells of one Bonfire Night weekend in the lives of three variously troubled sisters, played by Gina McKee, Shirley Henderson and Molly Parker. Nor, alas, is there a British film. But after a bungled break-in where he is abandoned by his band of cock-nosed droogs, he is packed off to a hospital to be ‘cured’. That it still stirs the blood and moistens the eye proves that few films manage to be as expansive and yet so intimate as this. "Greenfingers" is a twee little British comedy in which hardened prisoners become gifted gardeners, and are allowed to enter their prize flowers in the Hampton Court Garden Show. The negative reaction to – and 20-year banning of – his exposure of the threat of nuclear war in ‘The War Game’ (1965) led him into self-imposed, globe-trotting exile and obscurity. Certainly, at the time it marked a departure for Leigh into more mythical, less domestic territory, and in retrospect marked a new maturity in his filmmaking. When violence erupts, it’s swift and brutal, but the film’s main pleasure is its pragmatic handling of the central romance. ALD, Director Carol Reed Cast Ron Moody, Shani Wallis, Oliver ReedFor someone who couldn’t play a note of music, Lionel Bart sure knew how to pen a memorable ditty. That’s right kids, this sick puppy is saying that we can’t be disgusted as we’re all voyeurs at heart and deep down we’d like nothing more than the thrill of witnessing someone getting clobbered to death with a broom handle right in front of us. 30. As Edward Lionheart, Price plays a ham passed over for the award he most cherishes: Best Actor as voted by the Critics’ Circle. British (16) Husband Wife Relationship (16) Knife (16) Neo Noir (16) Prison (16) Torture (16) Based On Novel (15) Boyfriend Girlfriend Relationship (15) Gang (15) Nightclub (15) Pistol (15) Surprise Ending (15) Cult Film (14) Fight (14) Punched In The Face (14) Restaurant (14) Shot To Death (14) Telephone Call (14) Voice Over Narration (14) Brutality (13) Face Slap (13) Fistfight (13) The 20 Best British Films of The 2000s. The heaven in the film not only reflects the need of many to believe in an afterlife where justice might finally prevail; it is also made quite explicit that it’s a dreamworld, the construct of the poet-pilot’s brain, in traumatic shock after he unexpectedly survives the plunge from his flaming cockpit. But it also allowed Leigh to refine interests he had been exploring for years, such as the relationships between parents and kids, the love and antagonism of siblings and our awkward relationships to material wealth. As daft as they make them,’ says Gladys of her grandson as he swims fully clothed somewhere off the coast of Scotland, having put behind them Sussex, Devon, Cornwall, Wales and the various, illuminating personalities they meet on the road. Video game adventurer Lara Croft comes to life in a movie where she races against time and villains to recover powerful ancient artifacts. TH, Director Terry Gilliam Cast Jonathan Pryce, Robert De Niro, Katherine Helmond, Thank God for Universal Studios. Made on the cusp of the sound era (and a ‘talkie’ prologue exists as an extra on the BFI’s recent DVD), the film has a vibrant, jazz-age energy to it that takes its cue from the dance scenes on the floor of Valentine Wilmot’s (Jameson Thomas) Piccadilly Club – where Charles Laughton has an amusing cameo as a disgruntled diner. Set amid the icy old-world charm of Vienna, the fragmentary romantic drama builds into a hallucinatory thriller, as Harvey Keitel’s police detective – sans accent but with killer shoulder-length John the Baptist locks – begins to question Garfunkel over Russell’s abortive suicide attempt and forces us to reconsider all that’s gone before. A cold, impossibly grimy film, ‘Get Carter’ is a ‘Third Man’ for the three-day week generation that drags you through the sulphurous back rooms of hell. DC, Director Stanley KubrickCast Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates, Swap Beethoven for heroin, and Stanley Kubrick’s scandalous 1971 Moog-mare based on Anthony Burgess’s novel might work as a forerunner to ‘Trainspotting’. And yet, of all the films in the higher echelons of this list, it might be the most flawed and difficult. There’s the odd over-fruity line or performance, but a stunning final night-time chase sequence in a railway depot more than compensates. Social satire?) Because for those willing to chip through the ice-shelf, there’s a raging emotional torrent waiting to sweep them away. There’s the exoticism of its unique Saharan locations; Maurice Jarre’s stirringly melodious string-laden score; and, above all, the undeniable quality of Freddie Young’s cinematography. His film is a celebration of heroism, a lament for lives lost and a stoical expression of the necessary wartime maxim that life must go on. The best films of 2001. TH, Director Ken Loach Cast David Bradley, Lynne Perrie, Freddie Fletcher, As the tide of the 1960s began to recede, taking with it all that class-obsessed ee-by-’eck pub-jazz new wave chest-beating that had threatened to drag British cinema into some kind of socialist-modernist-industrial nightmare, the real realists were revealed, sitting quietly and waiting for someone to notice. For ‘Fires Were Started’, he filmed firemen in London’s East End but devised characters for them and showed them during both the peace of day and the struggle of fighting a major fire in the docks at night. A transgressive explosion of colour, exoticism, modernity and impetuous sex, James Bond’s first mission sees the imperious Sean Connery saunter through an overripe cocktail of Caribbean intrigue abetted by Jack ‘Hawaii Five-O’ Lord as his shifty CIA opposite number Felix Leiter and Ursula Andress as racy cockler, Honey Ryder, all of whom are variously hot under the collar for the bionic hide of Dr Julius No – major player in the Spectre spy organisation we shall become all-too familiar with in further instalments. Has ‘Passport to Pimlico’ lost its political piquancy? Anna May Wong gives an empowering performance as the dancer Shosho and her first appearance, dancing on the sideboard in the club’s scullery, feels as luminous and provocative today as it surely must have in the late 1920s. The casting and performances, for a start, are brilliantly sharp. Last time he saw his daughter was at his wife's funeral. And if that isn’t enough, it also contains the single greatest dialogue exchange in this entire list, as the well-to-do Mrs Fraser asks Cockney urchin George, ‘Do you know what morale is?’ to which he replies, ‘Yeah, it’s summink what the wops ain’t got.’ DJ, Director Robert Hamer Cast Googie Withers, Edward Chapman, John McCallum, You’ll find Robert Hamer’s ‘Kind Hearts and Coronets’, also from Ealing Studios, higher up our list, but two years earlier he made this lesser-known gem which manages to pull off the trick of being both a credible snapshot of post-war East End life and an effective noir thriller as it unfolds over one Sunday in 1947. If Fellini saw life as a circus, then Davies sees life as a cinema. But that choice, augmented by the extraordinary and moving study in lonely isolation offered by Homolka as Verloc, helps provide the film with a stature and depth that not only impressed Hitchcock champions and Cahiers du Cinéma critics Eric Rohmer and Claude Chabrol in the 1950s, but ensures its place today as the third most favourite Hitchcock film in our poll. Actually, of course, it’s about a number of things: the improbable love affair between a British pilot forced to bale out of his plane and the American girl who takes his mayday call; the long-tricky ‘special relationship’ between Britain and the US, strained during the later years of World War Two when the Americans were ‘over here’; and it’s perhaps even to some degree about the likewise uneasy relations between the practitioners of Britain’s documentary-realist tradition and those of the rather more flamboyantly ‘arty’ strand of filmmaking as perpetrated by Powell & Pressburger. Tom Courtenay is unforgettable in the title role, and Julie Christie’s fleeting, flitting presence is as convincing a ‘star is born’ moment as British film has to offer. The increased availability of their work on DVD will have played a major role here, particularly in the rediscovery of the two new titles. And what’s more, it’s the only film in this list to open with the word ‘fuck!’ DA, Buy, rent or watch ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’, Director Alexander Mackendrick Cast Alec Guinness, Joan Greenwood, Cecil ParkerThe price of progress Of all the top-rank Ealing comedies, ‘The Man in the White Suit’ is the one which least deserves the tag, partly because it’s not meant to be funny, and partly because it diverges so much from the Ealing template: it’s not set in London, it doesn’t feature wisecracking criminals, plodding bobbies or apple-cheeked tykes, and it eschews good-natured patriotism in favour of a rather cold, even misanthropic view of class-obsessed workers and short-sighted bosses. The best London movies. The rest of the casting, too, is mostly spot on, none more so than Ron Moody’s iconically OTT performance as slimey child-gang leader, Fagin. The best films ever made, who exudes a gentle sensitivity ) film comedy Director Mike.! 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