Mark Kermode’s Top 10 Films

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Outspoken and controversial English film critic Mark Kermode compiled his top 10 films list for Sight and Sound in 2002. Unsurprisingly, “The Exorcist” fanatic lists the William Friedkin, head-spinning-vomit-projecting-child-possession movie as his favourite film of all time. He says, ‘The only thing I’m certain about is that “The Exorcist” is both my own favourite film and the definitive Best Film Ever Made.’

Kermode has written an extensive book about “The Exorcist” which can be bought from HERE

Read more of Mark Kermode’s thoughts on “The Exorcist” in his article for BBC Online here.

Mark Kermode’s work can currently be found in Sight and Sound magazine and The Observer newspaper. He is also a film and culture critic for the BBC, and the chief film critic of BBC Radio Five Live. You can read his blog here.

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Mark Kermode’s Top 10 Films

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1. The Exorcist (Friedkin)
2. Brazil (Gilliam)
3. Citizen Kane (Welles)
4. The Devils (K. Russell)
5. Don’t Look Now (Roeg)
6. Eyes Without a Face (Franju)
7. It’s a Wonderful Life (Capra)
8. Love and Death (Allen)
9. Mary Poppins (Stevenson)
10. The Seventh Seal (Bergman)

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About the Author
Editor of Top 10 Films, Dan Stephens is usually found pondering his next list. An unhealthy love of 1980s Hollywood sees most of his top 10s involving a time-travelling DeLorean and an adventurous archaeologist going by the name Indiana.

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  1. Avatar
    Matt Horne Reply

    Mark has spoken about a scary film , not sure about title something like laughing tree probably got that wrong can you help with the correct title?

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    Dan Reply

    My guess would be that he was referring to Poltergeist.

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    Chris Reply

    I think it was The Singing Ringing Tree.

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    Oli Powers Reply

    I am surprised by the list. I wouldn’t rate any of these films in the top 50, perhaps excepting Citizen Kane.What is so good about the Exorcist? A good story well filmed but with very limited scope for emotional depth, cinematic beauty or astonishing performance. I would not have missed it if it was never made.

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    Dan Reply

    @Oli: I’ve always seen Mark Kermode as a man defiant in his own interpretation and appreciation of film (at times, at the detriment to his audience). I think this list reflects that. It’s eclectic, it goes against the grain, it features a few films others might not consider ‘great’, but it’s unique to him and says more about the critic than it does about the films themselves.

    But I can appreciate his love of The Exorcist. I think it’s a wonderfully powerful film and doesn’t get the credit it deserves in some circles. I applaud his “fan-boy” but highly articulate evaluation of Friedkin’s masterpiece. Like you, I feel the film is brilliantly photographed and designed but I also find it to be deeply emotionally affecting (a priest battling with his own belief system; a mother unable to help her daughter; a young girl fighting an unstoppable, unfathomable evil), while the performances of Linda Blair, Ellen Burstyn and Jason Miller are all exceptional.

    Additionally, I haven’t seen many cinematic images as beautifully haunting as the moment Max Von Sydow turns up to the house in the taxi and sees the light pouring down from the window.

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    K-Do Reply

    Well said Dan, I couldn’t have put it better myself and I agree wholeheartedly.

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    mark Reply

    I thought both Sorcerer and The French Connection were better Freidkin films than The Exorcist.

    A Gilliam fan, but preferred 12 Monkeys and Fear and Loathing in LV to Brazil.

    It’s arguable that Touch of Evil was as good (albeit not as influencial) as Citizen Kane.

    Don’t think I could bring myself to put any Ken Russell film in my top 10 list.

    Eureka – with its references to Kane – was much richer than Don’t Look Now.

    For some perverse reason, my favourite Bergman movies are Dreams and The Serpent’s Egg, the latter taking quite a few viewings to get into.

    As for the others, I don’t think I’ve seen any Franju; I can’t stand musicals (with the exception of Cannibal – the Musical); Capra doesn’t do it for me (admittedly I haven’t put enough time into his work)and my appreciation for Woody Allen died in the arse when he dumped poor Mia for her adopted daughter – kinda judgemental I know, and it is a shame as he truly deserves to go down in the history books as one of the great all time film directors.

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    Ahmed Reply

    I really applaud Mark Kermode’s uniqueness about his choices for the greatest films ever made, because other than Citizen Kane and It’s a Wonderful Life those films aren’t considered as the greatest by most critics. However, to my way of thinking The Exorcist is really the greatest film ever made.

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