Reservoir Dogs (1992)
The Film: Quentin Tarantino’s classic debut about sharp-suited, Madonna-debating heisters coming unstuck after a raid.
If Backwards: A group of strangers, known only by coloured code names, come to in a deserted warehouse with a disfigured cop and a suitcase full of diamonds.
After kind-hearted Mr Blonde stitches the cop’s ear back on, the men realise that the only way to get back to normal life is to return it to the bank.
This done, they go for one last cup of coffee where they realise they’re all massive movie and music geeks, kickstarting a lifelong friendship.
The Film: James Cameron’s box-office behemoth about rogue Space Marine Sully (Sam Worthington), who goes native with hippy-dippy aliens, the Na’vi.
If Backwards: Na’vi Sully, a bit of an iconoclast, is so bored of his stay-at-home lifestyle that he decides to create a new race, the humans, who will travel across the stars taking precious minerals to different planets.
The Na’vi aren’t sure, but when the humans erect a giant tree for them to hug, they’re happy enough.
Sully then breaks up with his missus and undergoes a transformation to become human. However, irony of ironies, it doesn’t work properly and he ends up a paraplegic.
Apocalypse Now (1979)
The film: Francis Ford Coppola's Vietnam trip about Captain Willard (Martin Sheen), sent down river to kill rogue Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando).
If Backwards: Bored of looking after a native tribe, Willard brings Kurtz back from the dead to take charge.
Kurtz gives him a message to take back to the world - "the horror, the horror" - but Willard is unable to connect with the people he meets because they're having a great time, groping Playboy bunnies, taking acid and surfing.
Eventually, a stressed out Willard locks himself in a Saigon hotel room and flips out.
The Lord of the Rings (2001-3)
The Films: Peter Jackson’s epic fantasy trilogy about a war on Middle Earth.
If Backwards: The God Sauron, aided by his worker orcs, bring life to Middle Earth, creating humans, elves, dwarves and hobbits.
But Frodo Baggins doesn’t care about such miracles. He’s found a ring in a volcano, and makes local guide Gollum take him all the way back home, just so he can curry favour with his uncle by giving it to him an 111th birthday present.
Iron Man (2008)
The Film: Jon Favreau's light-hearted superhero flick about power-suited playboy Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr).
If Backwards: After defeating the villainous Stane, Stark gets bored of being a superhero and gradually dismantles his suit.
After going to the desert to destroy the prototype, he's taken prisoner by Afghan terrorists, an experience that makes him convinced that the future lies in making weapons to blow the shit out of America's enemies.
The film ends with the triumphant launch of Stark's latest missile.
Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
The Film: Danny Boyle's crowd-pleaser about Mumbai street kid Jamal (Dev Patel), whose life experiences give him the answers to win Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
If Backwards: In a bizarre Jeopardy -style game show, millionaire Jamal gambles his money against middle-aged Prem (Anil Kapoor) by blurting out random words and phrases. But Prem guesses the questions that go with Jamal's answers and wins all of the boy's money.
Ironically, wherever the kid goes, he sees reminders of his loss, but by them it's too late, and he's reduced to rooting around in poo for pennies.
The Film: Martin Scorsese's Mafia saga about the rise and fall of foot soldier Henry Hill (Ray Liotta).
If Backwards: Surburban nobody Henry testifies to protect a bunch of mobsters, an experience that so traumatises him he goes off the rails on coke and ends up in prison.
But the gangsters are grateful for his help and teach him the Mafia lifestyle behind bars. Trusting him with more experience that he deserves, Henry increasingly rubbish at gangster stuff and they stop talking to him altogether.
The Film: Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s sweet fable about elfin do-gooder Amelie (Audrey Tautou).
If Backwards: When Amelie breaks up with Nino (Mathieu Kassovitz), it sets her off on a mission to make life miserable for as many people as possible.
She terrorises Nino, breaks up a colleague’s relationship, kidnaps a blind man and steals a man’s treasured box of childhood memories. What a bitch.
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
The Film: Stanley Kubrick's controversial drama about a dystopian future where wild kid Alex (Malcolm McDowell) is 'cured' of violence using the Ludovico brainwashing technique.
If Backwards: After a stay in hospital, mild-mannered Alex finds that he's a perennial doormat, verbally and physically abused by everyone he meets.
Deciding that enough's enough, he signs up for an experimental programme that helps him to 'man up' by beaming dark images into his head. Alex learns fast, and emerges a cocky,nasty malchick who loves the ultra-violence viddy well.
Toy Story (1995)
The Film: John Lasseter's CGI animated marvel for kids-of-all-ages, about the rivalry between toys Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen).
If Backwards: After their owner Andy moves house, Woody and Buzz scout the neighbourhood but get trapped in the house of vicious neighbour Sid.
The experience sours their friendship; although they make it back to Andy, the rift is complete and Buzz (now so traumatised he thinks he's an actual Space Ranger) leaves the house.
The Film: Ridley Scott’s sci-fi shocker about a killer E.T. loose on the spaceship Nostromo.
If Backwards: Lone astronaut Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) arrives on the Nostromo to stop it blowing up…but a friendly alien has flown into space to help.
Using the alien’s expert tracking abilities, Ripley locates the missing crew so they can enjoy dinner together. However, the malnourished alien, now no bigger than a baby, is dying.
Crewmember Kane (John Hurt) agrees to keep the alien in his stomach until they can return it to his home, and the Nostromo makes an unscheduled pit-stop to drop the alien off.
No Country For Old Men (2007)
The Film: The Coens' spare, brutal neo-Western thriller, about cold-hearted killer Anton Chigurh's (Javier Bardem) hunt for Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin), who's nicked a load of cash.
If Backwards: Chigurh arrives in town and drops off the bag of money in a hotel room. Later, Llewelyn awakes and realises that Anton has given him the money.
Llewelyn doesn't want the money, so goes after Anton to give it back. After several misunderstandings, Llewelyn loses the trail and eventually just dumps the money in the desert.
12 Angry Men (1957)
The film: Sidney Lumet's morality tale about a lone juror (Henry Fonda) fighting to save an innocent boy from the death penalty.
If Backwards: About to acquit the accused, Juror #3 (Lee J. Cobb) has a meltdown and changes his vote to guilty.
He gradually persuades everybody in the room, one by one, of the boy's guilt, until staunch liberal Juror #8 (Fonda) is the only one left. The film ends on a cliffhanger with #8 still undecided.
The Hangover (2009)
The Film: Todd Phillips' raucous comedy about a stag do that descends into bleary-eyed anarchy.
If Backwards: Doug (Justin Bartha) is getting married, but his mates don't think his wife is suitable so they kidnap him, drive to Vegas and dump him on a roof while he gets over her.
Meanwhile, without Doug the lads get into a heap of trouble: they steal money from a camp gangster but lose it on the blackjack tables, kidnap Mike Tyson's tiger and steal a baby from Heather Graham.
Clearly, they need Doug, so they rescue him from the roof and get drunk enough to resolve all of the problems they caused during the day.
The Sound of Music (1965)
The Film: Robert Wise's jolly musical about an Austrian governess who helps her employer and his kids escape the Nazis.
If Backwards: The Von Trapp family arrive in Austria to put on a show for the Nazis. Afterwards, however, the Nazis leave Austria and cracks appear in the relationship between George (Christopher Plummer) and Maria (Julie Andrews).
They divorce, and although Maria stays on to look after the kids, things aren't the same now the Nazis aren't around to tell her what to do. So she becomes a nun.
Star Wars saga (1977-2005)
The Films: In the correct story order, George Lucas' sci-fi adventure is the story of the fall and redemption of Anakin Skywalker, aka Darth Vader
If Backwards: An elderly man on a respirator puts on a black mask, saves the life of the Emperor Palpatine and crushes a rebellion led by his son, who admits defeat and becomes a farmer on Tatooine.
Years later, hearing of a cure for his injuries, Vader takes a cleansing soak in volcanic lava and is restored to health. However, by going away, he's left Palpatine unguarded and gradually the Empire dissolves.
Vader changes his name to Anakin Skywalker in an attempt at anonymity, but an excess of midchlorians - not to mention the fact he's a petulant brat - give the game away. So he, too, hides away on Tatooine, disguised as a small boy.
Requiem For a Dream (2000)
The Film: Darren Aronofsky's dark cautionary tale about the perils of addiction, as four connected people's live go out of control under the influence.
If Backwards: A nymphomaniac. An amputee. A felon. A crazy old woman in an asylum.
In this heartwarming counter-cultural buddy-movie, these lost souls meet in a Coney Island apartment block and gradually sort themselves out by watching telly and taking recreational drugs.
The General (1926)
The Film: Buster Keaton’s classic silent comedy about a Confederate train driver in the giving chase to the Yankees who have stolen his engine and his sweetheart.
If Backwards: Buster tries to give his beloved train to the enemy, and sends his girlfriend as a sweetener.
But the Yankees clearly don't want it as they follow him back and leave both train and girl waiting by his house. She dumps him, so he leaves the army.
The Hurt Locker (2009)
The Film: Kathryn Bigelow's Iraq war action thriller about the nailbiting adventures of gung-ho bomb disposal expert William James (Jeremy Renner).
If Backwards: Back in Iraq after a spell at home in America, James is freaked out when an implosion magically creates a man in front of his eyes. He rushes over and sees an explosive device strapped to the man's chest, which he deduces to be responsible.
Much to his colleague's bewilderment, James spends the rest of the film trying to rig up explosives to replicate the effect, until he's sacked. Ironically, his replacement (Guy Pearce) arrives by the same magical process.
PS I Love You (2007)
The Film: Richard LaGravenese's Oirish weepie about a widow (Hilary Swank) who fulfils the demands of letters left by dead hubby Gerard Butler.
If Backwards: This creepy tale begins with Holly leading a happy life in Ireland, until she starts getting letters from a stalker who knows about her present circumstances.
In an effort to distance herself, she moves to America but keeps getting letters, each of which predicts her current life. Unbeknownst to Holly, the letters are using reverse psychology to push Holly into meeting Gerry, the stalker.
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (1966)
The Film: Sergio Leone's classic Western about three gunslingers of varying morality traversing a warzone in search of buried gold.
If Backwards: Three men, failing to divide the money, agree to bury it before getting as far away from the loot as possible.
In fact, they're so desperate to put some distance between themselves and the gold that they build a bridge, cross the desert and even save a dying man who they tell to have the money.
North By Northwest (1959)
The Film: Alfred Hitchcock's spy yarn about advertising executive Roger O Thornhill (Cary Grant), who goes on a cross-country adventure after mistaking for a spy.
If Backwards: Superspy George Kaplan and his assistant Eve Kendall (Eva Marie Saint) climb Mount Rushmore to confront suave villain Phillip Vandamm (James Mason), but are forced to flee.
Kaplan is pursued across the country (although he occasionally gives chase himself, for example by running after a suspicious crop dusting plane) but eventually realises that Vandamm will never give up.
Kaplan sends Eve on her way, meets up with Vandamm and they agree to pretend that Kaplan is Rogert Thornhill if he stops being a spy.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
The Film: David Fincher's unusual romantic drama about a man born an old man who 'ages' backwards.
If Backwards: Well, Ben's life is normal. It's everyone else who is strange.
This is the story of a man who can't make friends, fall in love or do anything useful because everybody he meets quickly becomes a sullen teenager, then a precious brat, then a bawling infant.