250 Films Down... 250 To Go!

I can hardly believe it but I have reached the halfway point of my 500 Days Of Film Challenge!


I have now watched and reviewed 250 films - and enjoyed every one (well, every one apart from a few notable exceptions).


I am often asked how I created my 500 film list.


I created this list by looking back over the past five (or so) years and noting down the best critically received film of each week.


I then added a few films from further back that I either couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen or that I hadn’t seen for ages.  


Before long I had a list of over 300 films. I figured that, once I started my film challenge, I could add new film releases to my list and get to my 500 total with ease.


I have to admit that, at the start, my film challenge seemed… well, pretty challenging. Why on earth was I doing this? And why had I told everyone that I was doing this? 


However, I soon found my groove and, since then, this challenge has been a complete pleasure. I don’t know what I would do now if I didn’t have a film to look forward to every evening. 


Thanks to my list, I now feel confident that every film I watch will be interesting and worth my time (again with a few notable exceptions). I may not love every movie but I will usually appreciate something about each film.  

My 500 Days Of Film Challenge has certainly enriched my life. For example, I have created this website to host all of my reviews. In addition, I now have a weekly film news, reviews and events newsletter (click here if you would like to subscribe!).   


I have also created a cinema club as a result of this challenge and now get together with a group of lovely film fans for regular cinema events. 


And that is not all… I am now thinking of creating a community cinema. This project is still in its infancy but it is so exciting!


When I started, I thought that I should mark my halfway point by listing the top 20 films of my challenge so far. Easier said than done. I found it hard enough to narrow the list down to 50 movies! 


However, I have pushed on and forced myself to be ruthless. And so, here we have the Top 20 Films of my 500 Days Of Film Challenge so far:


  1. Pan’s Labyrinth - A stunning and disturbing fairy tale set in post-war Spain.  
  2. Broadcast News - A whip smart 1980s newsroom comedy that still feels so relevant today.
  3. The Descent - A group of girls go caving where horror awaits.
  4. Inside Out - Pixar at its very best - looking at the emotions of an eleven year old girl.
  5. The Princess Bride - Possibly the best family movie ever - this film has it all. 
  6. Before Sunrise - Jesse and Celine spend a night together in Vienna and an epic love is born.
  7. Whiplash - How far should you go in pursuit of greatness? More boxing movie than musical. 
  8. Inception - Christopher Nolan's dream within a dream masterpiece challenges and entertains.
  9. Let The Right One In - A tale of childhood friendship. One friend just happens to be a vampire.
  10. Senna - A gripping documentary about the life and death of F1 driver, Ayrton Senna.
  11. Room - A remarkable film with a disturbing and yet ultimately uplifting story.
  12. 45 Years - A wonderful film about a couple whose lives are rocked by the return of a lost love.
  13. A Separation - A thrilling film about love and truth.
  14. Restrepo - A brilliant documentary following a US platoon in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley.
  15. The Hurt Locker - Kathryn Bigelow's intense story of a US bomb disposal expert in Iraq.  
  16. My Neighbour Totoro - Studio Ghibli's gorgeous animated tale.
  17. Star Wars: The Force Awakens - An exciting new chapter was promised, and delivered. 
  18. Gravity - Groundbreaking cinematography and an engaging tale of space survival.
  19. The Raid - If action is what you are after, look no further.
  20. Pride - A funny and moving true story about discrimination and solidarity.

What do you think of my list?


Remember I selected these films from the 250 movies that I have seen so far as part of my challenge. This is why there are many notable absences - many of these will (I hope) be filled by the time I reach the end.


Have you seen any of these films? What is your favourite?


Do you think I am mad to include one of these movies?


Do feel free to leave me a comment in the box below. 

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Jane Douglas-Jones
Jane Douglas-Jones

E: jane@500daysoffilm.com


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