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100 thoughts on “Top 10 Best Character Arcs in Film

  1. Villains have character arcs. They have origin stories. You could have collapsed a couple of your categories to make room for them.

  2. At the risk of having my degree taken away, I would say the modern redemption arc is typified by Tony Stark. His entire character arc, over many films and many extreme situations, is the obsessive need to redeem himself in some way, to make right what he did wrong. He was all that was wrong with American society — profiting from war, finding ways to disengage himself from the consequences of his family's choices — and in a way he was exactly what American society needed to see as it grappled with questions of torture and drone strikes and the scars of atrocity. He redeemed himself and then some, continuing to be so self-sacrificial that it almost became pathological, and he showed how guilt can torment man until his dying moments. It wasn't just that he tried to sacrifice himself for his past wrongs, he tried to torture himself for them — the self-flagellation of T.E. Lawrence ramped up to 100. It was a beautiful and sad and complex arc in the midst of fun, blockbuster film.

  3. I have never seen Casablanca all the way through. I try to stay away from movies that have what I would see as an unhappy ending. This is the first time I ever heard it explained in a way that makes me understand why he tells her to go, and why she does. Wow. Thanks.

  4. This is literally the 5th or 6th of these movies I've watched of yours that you used Citizen Kane… would it be too much to ask for a list where you get a little more creative and dont include it?

  5. a woman: Kriemhild in Fritz Lang's 1924 two part Die Nibelungen (written by his wife) – the first part was said to be Hitler's favourite movie, showing him the betrayal of noble Germany (literally back-stabbed), but he obviously did not accept the warning of the second part with Kriemhild going from meek and naive to a volcanic force of vengence – operatic, epic – unflinchingly sustained on her descent as our sympathy is dragged into horror.

  6. N.B. PREMISES AHEAD OF A SPOILING NATURE FOR THE FILMS DANCER IN THE DARK AND DOGVILLE FROM LARS VON TRIER!!!

    "Dancer in the Dark" for naively hanging on to dreams, seeing them disintegrate anyway and even turn themselves against the protagonist and ultimately the demise and death of the dreamer. (also: it's a feel-bad musical! And as far as I know and have encountered it is one-of-a-kind in that genre!)

    or

    "Dogville" for the loss of faith in simple humanity and the consequential sudden turn towards misantrophy and tyranny.

  7. Other great character arcs
    Tony Montana
    Frank Slade
    Charlie Babbitt
    Kevin Lomax
    One of my personal favorites
    William Munny

  8. Character in the face of death; hasn't anyone at Cineflix seen "The Barbarian Invasions" (Les Invasions Barbares)? Do you hate French Canadian films or just Canadian films in general? Don't forget "Black Robe". Really! Though I've seen mention of Atom Egoyan here and there on your channel our Quebecois talent should not be ignored.

  9. I love Pulp Fiction and Samuel Jackson's role in it and Tarantino's direction, but Jules doesn't arc. His change is abrupt, in the miraculous miss scene, and in the rest of his scenes, he just discovers his new character.

  10. How did I get here when searching "Sixth Sense character growth"? I love the character arc of Cole in that movie, but this video makes no mention of that movie.

  11. I know tons of critics—and you folks too—just adore “the Before trilogy”, but I couldn’t even get through the first one. Sorry.

  12. Little bit of wisdom for ya… people aren't inherently good… or inherently bad… we're both and the expression of good and bad depends on a lot of factors…

  13. Wow. One woman at #2. Dude, I'm not trying to preach the power of vagina above performance, but there are so many actresses that deserve better than one bearer at #2.

  14. Kikuchio always had the hero mantra, even though he didn't know what it really was. When he discovered the reality, it was his heroism that pushed him through. Not really a character arc when you think about it. I would choose Samwise Gamgee in this spot. Review his monologue towards the end of the Two Towers about the songs that matter.

  15. There was me, that is Alex and my three droogs, that is Pete, Georgie and Dim, Dim being really dim. And we sat in the Korova Milkbar, trying to make up our rassoodocks what to to with the evening.

  16. The biggest arc in Clockwork Orange is the audience. In the beginning you are cringing a bit at his level of violence and outlook on humanity, by the end you are cheering that he can rape and kill again. Excellent manipulation of the audiences morality.

  17. I think the Wrestler fits more in #5. His character COULD grow and change but he doesn't think he could, and that's the tragic beautiful part of the Ram's story. "A one trick pony in the fields so happy and free" his destiny as he sees it, and maybe as it truly is, is to be stuck in a bad place which at least has one beautiful purpose of entertaining the world.

  18. Samuel Jackson gets some extremely unearned accolades. He is not nearly as talented as ppl have tried to convince the rest of us. Yes, I get it, he's black, therefore he is amazing. No, he isn't. Not even close.

  19. I love Character arcs.:-):-O:-O:-D Moral arcs are my favorites.:-):-D:-D :-D:-( A Tandem Arc??:-O:-O Dang.I never saw Wild Strawberries.:-(:-( Wow!!Citezen Kane is wonderful.:-(:-(:-):-O

  20. But in the clockwork orange book little Alex does grow up and decide to settle down…..The movie finishes about 3 pages earlier than the book.

  21. I'll cheat on this one to say that an absolute tour de force of acting was Bryan Cranston's Walter White. The very point of it is the character arc. The ensemble cast is amongst the best ever as well. And the arcs of Skyler and Jesse Pinkman are fascinating additions to this.

  22. Can’t understand how Predestination didn’t make the list. Every major character in the movie was the exact same person. Also, Braveheart and Ben Hur.

  23. By far my favorite “reluctant hero” is the underrated performance by Tom Cruise and Rain Man. He goes from a total asshole who only wants to use his brother to gain wealth, to someone who really cares about him. And he does it with such new ones and subtlety that you don’t even find a moment where it changes. But Dustin Hoffman‘s one trick pony took the Oscar. Go figure.

  24. What about the curmudgeon who breaks down and learns to love? That’s my favorite character arc of all, and it’s not even on the list. Jack Nicholson in “as good as it gets”, Anthony Quinn in La Strada.

  25. The most powerful arc, for any character I ever saw, was Floya Gaishun's journey through Come and See. This is speaking from a pure emotional perspective and viewing the film as a teenager. However, I agree that the choices you presented are all excellent choices.

  26. At first, these lists seemed impressive. But each time they add Citizen Cane…. maybe you guys need to watch more movies. But then you give me Woman Under the Influence. I might forgive you because I love John Cassavetes.

  27. The first time I watched A Clockwork Orange was when I borrowed my brothers blu ray copy of it, and when I finished watching it, I hit the wrong button and it played the film again, so I watched it again. I didn’t realize at the time how perfect that was.

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