It feels like movies are getting longer and longer. And longer. You can't go to see a movie at the cinemas now without loosing your whole evening and some of the feeling in your bum.
Yes, sometimes an epic movie, or an ensemble with a massive cast, needs a bit of room to breathe, but not EVERYTHING has to be hours and hours long.
We refuse to believe that Michael Bay needed 149mins to tell the story in Transformers: The Last Knight. We enjoyed The Conjuring 2 very much, but it had no business being 134 minutes long.
Here are 9 truly great movies which refuse to take the trendy train down to Longsville and deliver quality cinema in less time than it takes to watch an episode of Sherlock. You are welcome.
1. Stand by Me
Run time: 89 mins
Rob Reiner's seminal coming-of-age story based on a short story by Stephen King is a heartbreaking character piece about four boys who take a trip to find a dead body.
The soundtrack is classic, the cast impeccable, the structure just perfect and it never outstays its welcome.
2. Toy Story
Run time: 81 mins
The length of the sequels crept up to 92 and 103 mins respectively, so it's easy to forget how speedy and short of filler the original was.
The beloved story of a jealous cowboy and a delusional spaceman, Toy Story explores complex themes, weaves in heaps of characters and nails a whole range of gags in a jiffy.
3. This is Spinal Tap
Run time: 82 mins
Classic comedy directed by Stand By Me man Rob Reiner, who clearly doesn't like to hang around with his movies.
It's the Daddy of all rock mockumentaries, hugely influential even now. They may have turn the amps up to 11 but fortunately not the run time.
4. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
Run time: 83 mins
The Greatest Horror Movie Ever Made (arguably) is modest in length, and thank god. The whole thing is such a terrific ordeal that we're not sure we could have take any more, with the last half-hour scored almost entirely by screaming.
The 2003 remake ran to 98 minutes, making it 15 minutes longer as well as 15 times worse.
Run time: 77 mins
Incredibly complex philosophical time-travel movie written, produced, directed by and starring Shane Carruth – yet made for a measly $7k.
Yet despite the super-short run time and super-slim budget it still manages to tack massive themes in a way that make your head spin.
Just as well its short, you might want to watch it a couple of times to get your head round it.
6. My Neighbour Totoro
Run time: 86 mins
Studio Ghibili's gorgeous fantasy of two little girls who meet fabulous forest spirits including the magical Totoro – who is not, contrary to one harrowing fan theory, the God of Death – when they move house to be close to their sick mother.
Includes a menagerie of magic creatures including a cat bus, but somehow keeps it's duration short. Harry Potter, take note.
Run time: 78 mins
A snappy film is entirely appropriate for this intense, disorientating, found-footage horror that's one of the best of the last 10 years. A news reporter following emergency works is drawn into a building where some sort of infection has beset its resident – and continues filming.
It's a taut shocker that takes place in real time and has one of the most WTF endings ever. All the better to leave you wanting more.
Run time: 87 mins
David Cronenberg's techno-surrealist body-horror sci-fi imagines a world of mind control via sadistic broadcasts from an illicit TV show called Videodrome – which actually turns out to be part of a political movement.
Packed with indelible imagery, a twisty-turny plot and Debbie Harry super-sexy and kind of pervy, it fills your mind with weirdness but doesn't hang about too long so you can think about them.
9. The Lion King
Run time: 88 mins
This classic Disney musical cartoon is based on Shakespeare's Hamlet, a play which definitely does NOT have brevity in its vocabulary. Fortunately, Roger Aller and Rob Minkoff's movie simplifies the story, a tale of a young lion who defeats his murderous uncle to reclaim his rightful throne over the Pride Lands.
And the runtime? Hakuna matata!
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