This movie is a rarity - it's a 'modern classic'. By modern classic I mean that almost immediately after being made, it had gained the gravitas that the average classic takes years to develop. This is mainly for two reasons - the master class of acting on show by Daniel Day-Lewis (with support from Paul Dano) and the potency of the plot.
The movie centres around Daniel Plainview (Day-Lewis), a mineral prospector turned "oil man". He begins drilling in a small town called Little Boston - a town where nothing grows but the piousness of it's residents. Eli Sunday (Dano) is the Yin to Plainview's Yang and they clash in a hugely dramatic way. The movie is loosely based on the novel 'Oil!' by Upson Sinclair.
The hugely attractive prospect of this movie is the fact that it centres around mankind's two strongest addictions - God and Oil. Sunday and Plainview are microcosms of these addictions respectively and their constant one-upmanship makes for some thrilling confrontations. The following clip is a prime example of this, watch as they say more with their eyes than with their mouths.
With this sort of calibre of acting it's no surprise that there are such powerful performances. Daniel Day-Lewis puts in his best performance since 'My Left Foot' (he received an oscar for both). Dano is a rising star that, after many low budget indie movies, came into the public eye with his wonderful role in 'Little Miss Sunshine'. Day-Lewis is already one of the greatest actors of all time (and I don't say that lightly) and Dano holds limitless potential.
In conclusion, this is one that everybody should have in their collection. It would be easy to just focus on the acting but everything is pitch-perfect - the cinematography is great, Johnny Greenwood's soundtrack is oscar worthy and the screenplay is wonderfully audacious (there isn't any dialogue in the film for the first 20 minutes, which requires a lot of confidence.) Give it a watch and you'll be hooked right up to the legendary "milkshake" finale.