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Riz Ahmed tells us his ten favourite films

Dave Calhoun
Written by
Dave Calhoun

We’ve been asking actors we love to share their favourite films with us – movies they adore as filmgoers. Today it's the turn of British thesp Riz Ahmed, who’s currently shooting the shrouded-in-mystery sci-fi spinoff ‘Stars Wars Anthology: Rogue One’. You might know Riz from ‘Ill Manors’, ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ or ‘Four Lions’. More recently, he gave a remarkably twitchy Jake Gyllenhaal’s sidekick in the amazing ‘Nightcrawler’.

Here are Riz’s top ten movies, presented in no particular order. He also provides a few thoughts on why the films are so great.

1. The Thin Red Line (1998)

‘This was my first properly spiritual experience watching a film.’

2. La Haine (1995)

‘This French film bristles with authenticity and realism yet offers such a honed and composed vision. It’s probably my favourite film ever. Dangerous, hilarious, bold, game-changing.’

3. Goodfellas (1990)

‘Is this the coolest film of all time?’

4.  When We Were Kings (1996)

5. The Square (2013)

‘It’s “The Battle of Algiers” for our times. Important, visceral, epic.’

6. A Separation (2011)

7. The Goonies (1985)

‘The actor Peyman Moaadi in this is masterful, as is director Asghar Farhadi's own daughter, Sarina Farhadi. I frequently tried to recreate this with friends and cousins.’

8. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

‘This was a defining film for me: the mythology, the CGI, Arnie as a robot and the brilliant (although since underused) Edward Furlong… I'll always love this.’

9. Hidden (2005)

‘Michael Haneke’s film is impossible to define in terms of genre. It draws you in and will never leave you.’

10. The Godfather: Part II (1974)

‘I’ve picked this for the taut, simmering intensity of Al Pacino and the warm, swaggering charisma of Robert De Niro – along with Robert Duvall's masterfully understated performance. I mean, it's "The Godfather", what can I say?’

You can explore the 100 best movies ever made – as picked by leading actors including Riz Ahmed – here

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