From least favorite to favorite
9. The Beach – Most people seem to disdain this movie..for good reason. It is slow and dull.
8. Trance – Boyle’s visual flair remains intact but he is telling a variation of a story that has been done to death.
8. 127 Hours – If you like James Franco, this is higher on your list. I’m not a huge fan but the film is well-executed.
7. Millions – This story is targeted for a younger audience than most of the director’s work, but it is still entertaining and doesn’t feel compromised.
6. A Life Less Ordinary – A sometimes-forgotten entry in Boyle’s canon that is better than some say and worse than others. At the very least, it has a loose, fun feel.
5. Shallow Grave – Boyle’s debut is an understated, simple story about greed and what it does to people. Relatively few people have seen it, though they should.
4. 28 Days Later – A low-budget zombie movie anchored by Cillian Murphy that really struck a chord with people.
3. Slumdog Millionaire – Here is where a lot of holdouts really had to take notice of Boyle’s talents.
2. Sunshine – Maybe there are a lot of people who don’t like this movie: it does feel derivative of a number of other well-known sci-fi flicks. That said, the combination of stories, setting, cast, director and conflicts added up to something really special for me.
1. Trainspotting – Boyle struck gold with this second feature-length. It is an imaginative look at addiction and Boehmian-poverty from a distinctly Scottish perspective. Impossible-to-forget images abound in this ambitious yet simple tale. This launched Ewan McGregor’s career into the stratosphere.
One of the best directors out there today, period.
Sunshine is one of my favorite science fiction films from the last decade or so. Once again, it’s not particularly original, but something about it came together really well for me.
Slumdog Millionaire was the award-winning film that finally got Boyle some respect with those who were previously immune to his charms. It offers a look at a part of the world that we rarely give attention to.
28 Days Later
28 Days Later shows that you can make a good zombie movie without completely breaking the bank. It’s never about the undead anyway. It’s always about how people react, positively and negatively when faced with adversity.