It feels very much like the blockbuster films that we've been super excited to arrive in a format we can watch have tailed off somewhat. I don't know if it's because everything is just a Marvel sequel these days, or if it's just a slow time in the cinema (four to six months ago), but hopefully things will pick up soon. Even so, there were still some great classics that we enjoyed over the past fifty films.
Here's a roundup of 400 to 450, with a very brief snippet of my conclusions after each one.
401 - Girl Most Likely 4/5. "I’d expected your more traditional rom-com style story, but this was unusual and quirky, with fun dialogue and fascinating characters."
402 - The Call 3/5. "It was when Halle was told to go home and decided to take matters into her own hands that it sort of lost its way. After that it was pretty unbelievable, and whilst entertaining, it lost the edge that it had been carrying up to that point."
403 - In a World... 3/5. "It was awkward at every single stage, each scene containing yet more amazing awkwardness, embarrassing conversations and shameful situations. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, except there was no let up in the cringing!"
404 - Gravity 5/5. "Incredible. Clooney and Bullock were both spot on, the visuals were mind-blowing. We spent a good period of time just repeating to each other that they must have taken a rocket into space to film it, it looked so good."
405 - Thor: The Dark World 2/5. "Unfortunately, there didn’t seem to be enough story to go with it. Christopher Eccleston made a good bad guy, but it didn’t really feel like the world was in jeopardy, even in the big showdown."
406 - One Chance 2/5. "Ultimately, this wasn’t a good film. The accents were all over the place, the acting was spotty at best, and it just didn’t hold together very well at all."
407 - Paranoia 2/5. "It kept my attention, and it was entertaining enough, but only because I was having it explained to me along the way. I didn’t think it was particularly special."
408 - 10 Things I Hate About You 4/5. "The soundtrack is what really gets this film moving, some really great songs, a good story – adapted from Shakespeare – and a handful of good performances."
409 - The Bodyguard 4/5. "It’s always a worry when you rewatch something after a while that it won’t be as good, but thankfully this one stood up to the test. I think I like it because he’s so closed off and monosyllabic, and it’s like breaking through a brick wall."
410 - Stuck in Love 3/5. "We’ve been working through some less challenging movies due to sheer exhaustion, and this was absolutely what we needed – just a handful of people twisting and turning through tricky relationships."
Most watched directors
411 - Escape Plan 3/5. "It was surprisingly good, very watchable, stacked full of twists and turns and culminating in a good, exciting ending. I thought it got off to a slow start, and I was a bit disappointed that Arnie and Sylv didn’t get to have more crackling dialogue together."
412 - The Blind Side 5/5. "It’s such a great film. The story is pretty simple really – one family extend the hand of friendship and love to someone that really needs it. There’s none of the Hollywood drama, the characters and the journey were enough."
413 - The Hunger Games: Catching Fire 5/5. "There were some elements of the final few scenes that confused us, so I went back to the books to confirm some of the “facts”. It was reassuring to see how closely the film resembled the book, even with the exact same dialogue and actions in places. The book also has the same cliffhanger, so at least it is consistent."
414 - Saving Mr Banks 5/5. "I found the film to be hugely entertaining, and really quite emotional. It was the kindness I found incredible, the chauffeur being so cheerful despite a difficult life and a very tricksy passenger. With Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson it would have been hard for this film to go wrong, and thankfully it didn’t."
415 - Lee Daniels' The Butler 3/5. "I didn’t realise it was based on a true story until it started, and it was kinda hard to believe it was… because all the way through the film, it was like watching a different version of Forrest Gump. Which I’m reliably informed isn’t a true story."
416 - The Family 3/5. "It felt disjointed, like the movie was never quite sure what it was trying to be. It was fun, though, and the Goodfellas reference would probably have been brilliant if I had ever seen that film."
417 - Philomena 4/5. "The subject matter was tricky, and ultimately quite sad, but it’s handled in such a way to make you feel that there is hope for life after all. Plus, there was a lot of Guinness, so who can complain?"
418 - Pretty Woman 5/5. "It was SO GOOD. I’m gutted that I haven’t seen this before, because it’s the kind of film I’d watch over and over and over. Amusing and witty people with interesting relationships, set to nostalgic music."
419 - The Help 5/5. "It took a while for the characters to really come to life, but about halfway through, it seemed to kick into gear. I thought Octavia as Minny was fantastic, and Bryce as Hilly portrayed the terrible attitude perfectly. Emma was also great, but the film was stolen by the maids more than anyone."
420 - Don Jon 2/5. "You could tell it was a labour of love for JGL, written and directed by him, and starring him too. It wasn’t the best film ever, but I did quite like the composition. The relationships were weird and overall the film followed that same path, but it came to a good ending, and it wasn’t the worst ninety minutes of my life."
Films by decade
421 - The Getaway 1/5. "As it turns out, this was a terrible film. The premise didn’t make any sense, the story was full of holes and really just there as a tenuous thread to string far too many car chase scenes together."
422 - The Secret Life of Walter Mitty 5/5. "From the start, it was amusing and heart-breaking at the same time, beautiful, vivid and filled with thought-provoking scenes. Every single shot appeared to be carefully crafted – that’s what made it look arty from an outside view – but it wasn’t done just for the sake of it. It all worked, and had a fab soundtrack on top."
423 - American Hustle 3/5. "It was an enjoyable two hours, there’s no doubt about that, but am I revealing myself as stupid to say I really couldn’t follow what was going on? I had a vague sense of them getting deeper and deeper into a con, with many different sides getting involved, but I couldn’t follow what the actual plan was and whether it was working or not."
424 - The House Bunny 3/5. "I didn’t really like the whole “makeover suddenly makes them popular” thing, but it was somewhat offset by the fact that it worked both ways. The moral in the end, of just be yourself, was worthwhile, I’m just not sure it went the right route of getting there."
425 - Patriot Games Unrated. " Half an hour in and I couldn’t stop from admitting I was bored. The scenes felt far too long and drawn out – I’m all for slow burn but the scenes within themselves have to be interesting to start with."
426 - The Beach 3/5. "They’ve got some beautiful locations, though, and some great actors… even if one of them is that guy off Casualty. It’s an odd film based on an odd book, it sticks pretty closely to the source material and does a good job. Mostly enjoyable if a bit disturbing in places."
427 - Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom 2/5. "I needed more of those basic facts, I needed them to connect the dots that they sailed over because, I guess, they assume everyone knows the story by now. It’s a failing on my part but the film just didn’t do anything for me."
428 - The Breakfast Club 3/5. "It was good, and I love the concept – just five kids spending the day together and getting to know each other. But it felt weird, the idea of a Saturday detention, one that lasts all day, and is mostly unsupervised like that."
429 - Walk the Line 3/5. "There were only two moments where I really felt touched by his plight – when he forgot his kid’s birthday, and when his dad was so awful to him at Thanksgiving. Otherwise, he didn’t seem too nice a guy. And the poor first wife came across as a right cow."
430 - See No Evil, Hear No Evil 3/5. "It’s an odd one. It takes a while to adjust to the humour of the 80s, particularly as it’s a difficult but genius concept I don’t think you would get away with today!"
Films by score
431 - Aliens 5/5. "It was actually a lot scarier than I was expecting, I don’t remember being quite so on edge during the first one. It’s a great film, the androids are creepy and the alien is terrifying. Plus, it turns out the kid is really cool."
432 - Fired Up 5/5. "It’s not ground-breaking, and it won’t win any awards, but it was a fab pick-me-up during a stressful day, full of snappy dialogue and a character journey that worked!"
433 - Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark 4/5. "I didn’t deal so well with the snakes, but I thought the rest of it was pretty entertaining. Harrison Ford turns out to be quite a good looking chap in his day, which was a surprise to me, and the story was a good adventure."
434 - All is Lost 5/5. "There’s a lot left unsaid, plenty of questions about this guy, what he’s doing out there, what his non-sea-life is like, but none of it really matters. It’s all about his fight for survival, and it’s almost like you’re right there with him."
435 - Charlie's Angels 3/5. "It’s really not a very good film. Terrible story, the worst special effects, and not a particularly good script either, but somehow it works. You just get to know and love the characters, the three girls and Bosley, and they do interact well with each other. By the end, you are rooting for them to win the day."
436 - Meet Joe Black 4/5. "Although it’s a lengthy film, Meet Joe Black didn’t really feel all that long. I did start to lose the plot a bit towards the end, though. I found the emotional stuff to be with the family side rather than the potential relationship between Joe and Susan. I did shed a few tears though, so it must have worked its magic."
437 - Cuban Fury 5/5. "A stellar cast and a none-too-challenging concept, with several laughs along the way, and pantomime heroes and villains to cheer and boo respectively. I thought Nick Frost did a really good job with holding the film, when he’s more used to being part of a double act."
438 - Non-stop 4/5. " I actually thought it was really good. There was a moment midway through where I realised it wasn’t going to be Oscar material, and film snobs would hate it, but then I put that out of my mind and got into it. At its core, there’s a really fun murder mystery style whodunit to be worked out."
439 - Her 2/5. "I thought this film had everything it needed to have to be great – excellent cast, great acting, moody shots, brilliant arty feeling to it, and yet it just didn’t deliver. There was something missing."
440 - Delivery Man 4/5. "The storyline was far-fetched but held down really well by the cast of characters – the long-suffering family, the pregnant girlfriend, and the fantastic worn-down lawyer. They held it together and that allowed the laughs to be bigger and the growth of the character even better."
441 - The LEGO Movie 5/5. "Ooh, such a lot of fun. It was eerily reminiscent of the Pirates vs Scientists film, in that it was non stop from beginning to end. Totally exhausting but absolutely brilliant."
442 - That Awkward Moment 3/5. "The stories were good, although as a girl not always that easy to relate to. The conversations were fun, and the acting mostly good. I thought it tried a bit too hard to do the “natural dialogue” thing, and it ended up feeling a bit uncomfortable at times."
443 - Edward Scissorhands 4/5. "It’s a great film, fun in the right places, and emotional too. Johnny Depp is brilliant, as he most often is, with vulnerability sewn right into a character that is otherwise a deadly weapon. The only problem is the big flaw in the premise."
444 - Last Vegas 5/5. "This was touted, in some circles, as a version of The Hangover but for older folks. Yes, there are four guys going to Las Vegas for a bachelor party, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. There’s an actual story at the heart of this one, with a friendship on the rocks, and some really engaging personalities on display."
445 - Happy Christmas 4/5. "The general idea, a crazy sister needs taming whilst sister-in-law needs loosening up, came across well, and the ending scene was good, but it just felt to me like that wasn’t the end. Neither seemed to have the redemption you would expect."
446 - The Monuments Men 3/5. "It made the sombre scenes feel a little out of place, particularly that awful bit with the record playing and the melancholy mood. It was all fun and light-hearted, and sparkling uniforms until that point, and again afterwards."
447 - A Long Way Down 3/5. "Jess really steals the show, with Imogen Poots in demanding form, but all four of them do a great job. Unfortunately, there seemed to be far too much story to cram into the short amount of time, and you sometimes got left behind a bit."
448 - Captain America: The Winter Soldier 3/5. "I thought the story lacked a lot of punch and interest, the whole Nazi thing just felt laboured although Bucky’s reappearance added some tension to the last few scenes. Scarlet Johansson was perhaps the best bit about it, being just as awesome as the titular hero without a shield to hide behind."
449 - The Taking of Pelham 123 3/5. "It was a good film, strong story, reasonably interesting characters and good direction. I did think it lacked something – emotion or real hardcore empathy with either the good guy or the bad guy, and it was predictable in places. Other times it was less so."
450 - The Love Punch 5/5. "The pair of them squabbling with each other was good, even if the inevitable conclusion was obvious from the start. Timothy Spall as the sidekick friend was very amusing, and them all being in France just added to the joy. Not groundbreaking but really brilliant, and definitely one we could watch over again."