Saturday, December 18, 2010

My Top 50 Movies Of All Time

   I watched Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World with my best friend last night. Mel lives in another state so we synced our DVD and Blu-Ray players as best we could and talked over the phone while we watched. It is a new found favorite of hers and she was very excited for me to see it so I could give her my reaction. After seeing it I remarked that I liked it so much it may have made my top 20 movies list. Once I began to think about it I realized that I had never worked out what those were beyond 5 or 10. I decided to jot out a list and try to put it in order. After a quick scribble I had 33 movies just off the top of my head. After thinking a bit more and sleeping on it I arrived at 52 titles that deserved a mention. I organized these as best I could into my order of preference and cut the last two. This list is of course my personal opinion and is more about how these movies make me feel than how well they are filmed. I put in dates since Hollywood is so keen on remakes and reusing titles to avoid any confusion. I lumped together series in some instances because in my mind they deserve to stand as a set. I will not bore you with clips of all 50 movies. I'll just put up a short clip and blurb of my top 10 then list the rest for you. So here we go in reverse order to build suspense.

50. Moulin Rogue (2001)
49. All Of Me (1984)
48. Silent Hill (2006)
47. Titanic (1997)
46. Monty Python's : Meaning of Life (1983)
45. Something's Gotta Give (2003)
44. The Pit and the Pendulum (1991)
43. Embrace of the Vampire (1995)
42. Monty Python's : The Life of Brian (1979)
41. As Good As It Gets (1997)
40. Interview With The Vampire (1994)
39. Rain Man (1988)
38. Pay It Forward (2000)
37. The Shining (1980)
36. 12 Monkeys (1995)
35. Alice In Wonderland (1951)
34. One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
33. Phantom of the Opera (2004)
32. Blade (1998)
31. Groundhog Day (1993)
30. From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
29. Planes, Trains And Automobiles (1987)
28. Beetlejuice (1988)
27. Wall-E (2008)
26. Ocean's Eleven (Series) (2001)
25. Young Frankenstein (1974)
24. Four Rooms (1995)
23. Oliver! (1968)
22. Brewster's Millions (1985)
21. Monkey Business (1931)
20. Rat Race (2001)
19. Scott Pilgrim Vs The World (2010)
18. South Park Bigger Longer & Uncut (1999)
17. Office Space (1999)
16. The Matrix (Series) (1999)
15. The Princess Bride (1987)
14. Ghostbusters (Series) (1984)
13. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
12. Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
11. The Court Jester (1955)

And now the top ten...

   I put off watching these movies until the first three had all come out on DVD. After watching the first one I was hooked and had to watch the others to get my fix. I kick myself for waiting so long to watch them but I am happy I finally did.

10. Pirates of the Caribbean (Series) (2003)

   When I was 10 years old I was in the family station wagon with my parents. We had just had dinner and stopped at the mall to wander around as my dad liked to do. When we got to the movie theater Dad decided he wanted to see a movie. There was a large cardboard standup ad that caught my eye. Apparantly it caught my father's as well because that's the movie we ended up seeing. I knew nothing about this film before hand and had no idea that I was about to watch a movie that would be such an iconic piece of cinema history. The sequels have all (yes I include the last one in this) been high quality and in there own way as good as the first.

9. Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost Ark (Series) (1981)

   I was a Batman fan growing up. I loved the campy 70s TV series and various cartoons. But I had not read the comic books before I saw this epic piece of cinema. I had no idea how dark and wonderful Batman could be. Once the first of these movies hit video I got a copy for Christmas from my girlfriend at the time. I watched it so much I broke the tape. I am not as big a fan of the newer Dark Knight Batman movies and do not include them in this listing. Keaton by the way was the Best Batman since Adam West IMO including all that have worn the cowl up through this posting.

8. Batman (Including Batman Returns, Batman Forever, & Batman & Robin) (1989)

   When I was in high school I discovered this movie. I instantly fell in love with not only the movie but this pairs music as well as their comedic genius. Before high school I hadn't been allowed to watch SNL so I had never really seen them before. My best friend Brian and I both loved them and worked on a lip sync routine of one of their songs for our high school talent show. We never performed it in public but we did go together for Halloween in 1991 at the University of Memphis campus dressed as our heroes.

7. The Blues Brothers (1980)

   While I was still living as a room mate with my first ex her and her new boyfriend rented a movie one night. They asked if I'd like to watch it with them. I of course didn't really want to spend time with them but said I would watch a little but would probably head to the bar before too long. I sat and watched this story unfold on the screen before me. I found myself riveted and drawn in to the point that I was unaware of anything else around me except for the movie on the screen. Few movies have that kind of power but when you find one that does it becomes a part of you.

6. Forest Gump (1994)

    My family and I were in Memphis visiting family in the summer of 1985. My mom and aunt had some things they wanted to do that my Dad didn't want to be a part of for some reason so he decided to leave the womenfolk behind and take me out to lunch and a movie. These times with just my and my Dad were few and far between growing up but I always enjoyed them. It made me feel like he was actually happy to have me around. Something he normally not only didn't show but seemed to present the opposite opinion. Once again he took me to a movie I hadn't heard anything about up until that point and once again I felt as though my life had been changed some how. I saw all of these films in the theater for the first time though the first was the only one I saw with my father.

5. Back to the Future (Series) (1985)

   I was six years old. It was the summer after my first year of school. My dad loaded mom and me up in the car after diner and headed to the drive inn in Frasier, Tennessee. The mosquitoes were horrible but this film still captured my young imagination. It was light years ahead of its time. I have seen this motion picture at least a hundred times not including the sequels. I had every action figure they made up through Return of the Jedi. As well as a vast collection of other Star Wars toys. I was even a member of the Star Wars fan club and looked forward to my monthly copy of the newsletter "Bantha Tracks". It was my world as a child.

4. Star Wars (Episodes 4,5,&6) (1977)

   I had never read the books when this movie was released but I had heard references to it my whole life. As a child growing up I had seen the animated movie The Hobbit many times. I heard that this movie was coming out and looked forward to seeing it. I had a buddy at Cingular where I worked at the time that was also a bit of a geek and very much wanted to see it. So I invited him to come along with Kelley and I to see it. Kelley and I were married shortly before the first of these movies hit the theaters and sadly our relationship was over before the third movie was released. I missed about the first five minutes because I was being a devoted husband. I got the snacks for us so she could get our seat and not miss any of the movie. We saw this feature in IMAX so it was even more breathtaking than usual. Once again I was drawn in and taken away to a place between realities as the story unfolded on the screen before me. I waited eagerly each year for the next release.

3. Lord of the Rings (Series) (2001)

   The summer of 1995 I was hanging out with a bunch of my gamer friends. They wanted to go see this movie I had never heard of. Its funny how so many movies in my top 10 snuck up on me like that. Anyway I was always up for anything and said sure. We sat in the theater together watching this masterpiece. We screamed and yelled at the screen in delight during the battle scenes. Only after it was all over did I realize how long this movie had been. Once again I was transported while watching this piece of cinematic history. It held its place as my favorite movie of all time from the day I first saw it until this year. Even now watching the trailer I find myself sitting and staring transfixed and a bit choked up until it ends. This movie will always hold a very special place in my heart!

"In the Year of our Lord 1314, patriots of Scotland - starving and outnumbered - charged the fields of Bannockburn. They fought like warrior poets; they fought like Scotsmen, and won their freedom"

2. Braveheart (1995)

   OK so here we are at the end of the list. My number one favorite movie of all time. I never thought any movie could ever dethrone Braveheart and claim this honor but this year I saw a film that did exactly that. I had heard of this movies ground breaking special effects and wanted to see it based on that alone. However as I watched this film it touched my soul. My pagan beliefs were echoed in the story of these people. It moved me to tears and I felt like I was somehow a kindred spirit of these Navi.

1. Avatar (2009)

    I do not expect you to agree with these choices. I do however hope that you find something on this list that inspires you to watch a movie you haven't seen or maybe even heard of before. I want to share my love of these films with you and that is why I took the time to write out this lengthy post. I hope you enjoyed sharing my love of cinema and I hope you have an awesome day!


  1. Watching the movie together while in different places... reminds me of When Harry Met Sally (they were watching Casablanca while talking on the phone).

    I LOVED your list!!! I own 8 of the top 10 (don't own Blues Brothers or Braveheart). I haven't seen Braveheart yet, but since you watched Shawshank, I should watch this one.

    Forrest Gump is the only movie on this list that I have in my top 11 favorties, although there are tons of movies on this list that I love love LOVE!!!

  2. We've watched many movies together that way although Netflix instant watch through xbox makes that MUCH easier. We used to go to the movies together quite a bit when I still lived in Memphis so its a nice way to spend time with an old friend.