Best De Palma Movies Ranked

Best De Palma Movies Ranked

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Goonies85
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Best De Palma Movies Ranked

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Postby Goonies85 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:10 pm

Hi All,

Already did this sort of thing with two of my favorite directors (John Carpenter and George Romero), so figured I'd try it with Brian De Palma. Now, keep in mind, De Palma is still a little bit more hit and miss for me, and I'm only going to rank the movies of his that I have actually seen (so you'll notice I neglect stuff like Mission to Mars and Murder la Mod and Greetings)...He's a very skilled filmmaker, especially visually, and I am creating this list after recently sitting through the recent documentary that was made about him, simply entitled "De Palma"...Here are my rankings...

1. Blow Out - Best De Palma Movie. Travolta, Lithgow, Allen. All great. Wonderful editing and sound design. And one of the most brutal and touching endings ever.

2. Dressed to Kill - Love all of the tracking shots in this movie, and love Michael Caine's performance. Very risqué for its time...

3. Scarface - Yes, Pacino overacts a bit, but it's a helluva performance. The movie is just awash in decadence and it is a beautiful thing to watch...So many memorable scenes and sequences...And that Giorgio Moroder score is perfect for this '80s classic...Way over-the-top, but in the best of ways...

4. Obsession - Picked up the Arrow release a while back and couldn't believe how good this was, and how it hasn't gotten much greater acclaim. Written by Paul Schrader, this is a seriously twisted movie, with an ending that will leave you speechless...

5. Body Double - I remember hating, hating, hating this movie the first time I saw it. At that point, I was pretty young and didn't really understand that it was clearly a parody (of sorts) of certain Hitchcock films...It's melodramatic...almost as if Douglas Sirk did a violent suspense movie...The acting isn't the greatest, but that's not the point...I think this is an expertly packaged movie...And that house that features in the movie is surreal (and actually existed)...Melanie Griffith is great...And I love how they use the song "Relax" in a key sequence...

6. Carrie - Great Stephen King adaptation. Love the use of split-screen by De Palma, and the acting is great (I always love seeing PJ Soles in '70s/'80s movies...she was a gem)...Many memorable scenes, especially the prom sequence...Just a great movie all around that feels very voyeuristic at times...

7. Carlito's Way - I only rate this slightly above Femme Fatale. I feel that Pacino gives a terrible performance in this, and I feel his love interest gives an equally bad performance. The thing that elevates this movie (for me) is Sean Penn's insanely good performance, and several of the sequences in the movies. Particularly, the prison breakout scene and the end scene where Carlito is trying to avoid the gangsters that are after him...De Palma's use of the camera is undeniably great...So while I wish the acting was better (Pacino's accent is excruciatingly bad), it's still well worth watching...

8. Femme Fatale - One of the best movie openings ever, set at the Cannes Film Festival. The score is perfectly melded to the camerawork...I'll never forget watching the sequence for the first time, involving a jewel heist, of sorts...The plot gets a little convoluted at times, but you can't deny that De Palma has a great eye when it comes to the camera...

9. Snake Eyes - Famous for it's opening shot, which seems to last forever. Cage is awesome in this, and the setting is perfect (a boxing match in Atlanta, I believe)...Constant tracking shots...Great supporting cast...The ending is a bit of a let down, but aside from that the movie is great...This is the type of movie you can put on in the background while you make dinner or something...

10. Mission: Impossible - While the ending will forever bug the hell outta me (a helicopter in a train tunnel??? WTF were they thinking?), this was a fairly good movie. The breaking in to the CIA sequence will remain classic, and I love the opening scene as well, as it really set the mood...And it kind of said, you have no idea what's going to happen, what with what happen's to Emilo's character...Also really liked Ving Rhames and Reno...

11. Casualties of War - Didn't think Michael J. Fox was right for this role, and still don't. Also thought Sean Penn was a little bit over-the-top. John C. Reilly was good in one of his first roles. Most memorable part of this movie is the scenes in the tunnels...Those were compelling...I simply felt this movie tried to be a little too moralistic...(that said, I agree with what it was saying, but it seemed like De Palma was beating you over the head with the point of the movie)...

12. Sisters - Got the Criterion DVD and still watch it from time to time. Good suspense movie, but nothing great, in my mind. The use of split-screen is fantastic, and the acting is great (Margot Kidder rules)...The ending is kind of funny, in a morbid way...

13. Phantom of the Paradise - Got the Shout Blu-Ray release. Surprisingly, I liked this. I didn't love it, but I liked it. Was very surprised De Palma made a movie like this. That said, I generally hate musicals, so it's not like I could really love this movie...It's a better musical than most, and I'd take this over crap like Moulin Rouge or Chicago any day, but it's still just an okay movie...

14. Passion - Recently released...Interesting plot...Great lead acting by the two lead actresses...Just not that memorable, in the long run...

15. The Fury - Not sure about the acclaim this movie gets in some quarters...I've never understood it. One of my least favorite De Palma movies...Only good part is when Cassavetes' character bites it...That was definitely shocking...And great effects work...The plot for this one is just boring as hell...

Anyway, I know there're others I haven't ranked, including stuff like Redacted (which I've always been meaning to check out), but let me know if you have any feedback...Would be interesting to hear some input from others...

Thanks,

E
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"He asks forgiveness for his hubris. He tells God that he has gained his selfhood at great cost to other people. He tells God that he loves danger now, and it thrills him much more than it frightens him."
- James Ellroy

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