So, considering the fact that I have finally decided to write the 100 Greatest Movies of All Time… Which is coming soon… I decided to revisit one of my favorite posts of all time: My Favorite Movies of All Time. Here is the thing, opinions change, ideas change, and ultimately my tastes have changed. Some movies have become more prevelent in my mind. Some… Some have fallen off the board altogether. When I originally created my Top 25 list… I completely snubbed a few of my favorite movies due to good ole fashion forgetfulness. As such, movies like Die Hard and Reservoir Dogs have made and rectified the list. So with that said, please enjoy my Top 25 FAVORITE MOVIES OF ALL TIME!
Shaun of the Dead
The Lion King
Strangers on a Train
The Dark Knight
La Finestra di Fronte
Howl’s Moving Castle
The Guardians of the Galaxy
This is one of the two new movies that have forced their way onto the list. Spotlight is a movie that I saw on Netflix and since then I have watched it around 40-60 times. I can’t remember. I lost count. No matter how many times I watch it, no matter how many times I study it, it NEVER gets old for me!
Spotlight is that perfect blend of music, acting, and direction to bring to light one of the most troubling times in modern history. The Catholic Priest Child Abuse Scandals remain one of the biggest black marks on the Catholic church’s history and this movie spotlights the crew that cracked the whole story wide open back in 2002. It is truly a masterclass of cinema. Not only is it technically brilliant, it is entertaining as well. That is a true rarity in the film world.
24 Mad Max: Fury Road
This is the second new addition to the list that did not get a snub and my god… It is so goddamn wonderful. Mad Max: Fury Road is just a masterclass of filmmaking. The practical effects are spectacular, the script is perfect, and the story that it tells is just breathtaking. This movie is a movie that forced itself onto the Academy Awards nomination for best film even with the Academy’s phobia of movies that fall into these genres.
Unlike movies like Avatar which people have soured on over the years, Mad Max: Fury Road is going to be the tentpole of 2010’s filmmaking. It will go down in history as the most beloved and amazing piece of cinema to be released of the decade and it instantly became one of my favorite movies.
23 Hot Fuzz
This is easily the best film in the famous Blood and Ice Cream trilogy and one of the most underrated films of all time. I debated some time on whether or not to put Hot Fuzz or Shaun of the Dead on the list. The decision between two came down to which movie I wanted to spotlight more and, while Shaun of the Dead is one of the greatest zombies movies ever made, Hot Fuzz is easily one of the greatest movies to ever be made.
Hot Fuzz should be presented in college film classes around the world on how to properly write a script and create genuine comedy. The screenplay to Hot Fuzz is simply flawless and one of the best examples of a perfect comedy that I have ever seen. I could watch Hot Fuzz over and over again and never get bored, it is that amazing!
I remember when I was a child watching random movies on cable television. It would be the typical cable TV stuff. I cannot even tell you how many times I saw Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol and Lake Placid when it comes to movies on Comedy Central and Sci Fi. One movie that popped up on cable television was this one.
I remember catching it halfway through and becoming enamored after Stan Bush’s Kumite: A Fight to Survive and the awesome montage fighting sequence. I later rented the movie from Movie Stars in town and saw it in its entirety. Ever since then I have absolutely adored Bloodsport, bought the DVD, and watch it whenever I need a good movie to watch. It also inspired me to check out more from Cannon Films and fall in love with the cheesy B Movie Awesome of that company so there is that.
21 Nuovo Cinema Paradiso
When I was taking my Italian classes in college, we would always watch a movie once a quarter in the class as a sort of immersion into Italian culture and to understand the language. Besides the fact of being bummed that we never watched Cannibal Holocaust or Salo: 120 Days of Sodom but we did watch some classics of Italian cinema which included La Vita è Bella, Johnny Stecchino, and one of my all time favorite movies Nuovo Cinema Paradiso.
The coming of age story of Salvatore growing up to learn how to run the projection booth from the stern but kind hearted Alfredo is one of the best examples of Italian Dramas. It is a heartwarming tale and one that always brings a tear to my eye.
20 Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Back whenever I was in high school I had to take a civics class. It was in all honesty one of my favorite classes while I was in high school and when I was taking it our teacher showed us Mr. Smith Goes to Washington for a week, mainly as a way to give us a break after testing and what not, but also because the film truly was inspirational and informative.
I was enamored with the story of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. The story of a small town guy with a big heart and hardly any experience in the political world taking on the political machine and winning is one of the most heart warming and inspirational stories ever told. There is a reason that this movie is an instant classic and is one that I am always willing to give a watch.
19 Phantom of the Paradise
Brian de Palma’s Phantom of the Paradise was one of the first reviews I ever wrote and remains to this day one of my all time favorite movies. The 1970’s retelling of the classic Phantom of the Opera play is an amazing piece of 1970’s excess mixed in with some supernatural flair.
The story is nothing but absolute pure insanity that remains true to the source material of the original play. It is a wild ride and one of those hidden gems that I feel that everyone needs a chance to see if for nothing else then to see how bat shit insane the 70’s could get.
18 Rear Window
Time for one of the classics to make it onto the list? Yep… Definitely time for that. Rear Window is easily my favorite Alfred Hitchcock movie and one I can watch again and again. If Hitchcock’s film making were to ever be classified as its own genre I do believe I would call it Hitchcock Suspense.
A movie like Rear Window couldn’t exist today. People would demand action, look at Disturbia for proof positive of that. It builds on a sort of quiet suspense and does so perfectly. It is an older movie that I could watch again and again.
This was the first movie that I ever watched in theaters and it is still one of my all time favorites! I do not need to say much about Aladdin. It is a classic Disney movie! Robin Williams is wonderful as the genie, I love Aladdin, I love the story of a young man going from rags to riches back to rags and back to riches. I love Jasmine who is still one of my favorite Disney Princesses, and above all it just holds that amazing level of nostalgia for me.
16 Top Gun
You will find that a good chunk of movies on this list can be attributed to one person in my life, my mother. My mom and I share a lot of similar interests in movies and I grew up with watching some of her and my families favorites as a child. One such movie is one that I watched when I was three years old and has stuck with me ever since is Top Gun! My grandfather sold electronic merchandise and had a laser disk… One of the ten people on this planet to own a laserdisk player more than likely… But either way, he had Top Gun on laser disk and I would always watch it when I went over. I even remember having to flip the gigantic dinner plate sized disk in order to watch the whole thing. My how far we have come.
I love Top Gun and it is one of those movies that I can watch countless times (and have) and never once get tired of it. The soundtrack is amazing, the story is great, and above all else it is just an amazing fun watch. This one easily makes it onto my list as one of my favorites and is one of the best movies of the 1980’s.
Mel Brooks one of the best damn comedians of all time. He is one of the few people who have been able to handle the subject of racism with such skill and such grace that it walks the line between comedy and distaste with absolute precision. While Blazing Saddles made a case for being on this list, Spaceballs has the nostalgia connection for me since I saw Blazing Saddles when I was much older. As such, Spaceballs is the one to top the list.
Spaceballs may be one of his most tame movies but it is also my favorite Mel Brooks movie. It is a wonderful parody of movies like Alien, Star Wars, Star Trek, and so forth. Rick Moranis is a gem and the parody of all things that I love was something that I myself enjoyed so much.
14 Silver Lining’s Playbook
I have, am, and will continue to praise even to this day. Silver Lining’s Playbook is the first movie/video game that I gave a perfect score to and I still stand by that score to this day. It is one of the best romantic comedies I have seen and a movie that I find new and amazing ways to relate to when it comes to family and romance.
Even as some of the more critical aspects of the movie rise to the surface I only find that it endears me more to the movie even more. This movie has risen through the ranks and found its way into my heart and it isn’t going anywhere any time soon.
13 Big Trouble in Little China
Playing off the influence that my mother had on me, I find myself with a second movie from the 80’s and from one of my favorites directors of all time John Carpenter. Big Trouble in Little China is the definition of 80’s cheese and features some of the best damn non stop fun in the history of filmmaking.
I cannot count how many times I have watched this movie and still find new and fun ways to fall in love with it. The mere fact that Kurt Russell is the unique blend of 80’s action hero whose character is completely unaware that Wang played by Dennis Dun is the true star of the series is nothing short of absolute brilliance. Anyone who loves watching fun movies will enjoy Big Trouble in Little China.
12 The Warriors
Warriors! Come out to play! Man this movie is absolutely amazing. It is a nonstop action thrill ride from beginning to end. The story of 9 intrepid urban warriors having to fight their way through every gang in New York City to get to their home on Coney Island is some amazing stuff.
It is somewhat controversial as it painted the gangs of New York to be cool bad asses who wear a bunch of bright and shiny outfits that make them look like cartoon characters instead of actual gangsters, but that should never deter anyone from seeing what is by all accounts a great movie about 9 people trying to survive the worst night of their lives.
11 Indiana Jones & Raiders of the Lost Ark
The adventure that started it all. Indiana Jones has influenced so much in today’s society especially the video game industry. It is one of the best film franchises of all time and Raiders of the Lost Ark remains the best of the three movies. I remember my parents showing me these movies as a child and they were always favorites of mine.
What is not to like? Action, adventure, Nazis with their faces melting off, it is just nothing but non stop fun around the world.
10 Reservoir Dogs
This is one of those movies that alluded my first creation of this list and I am kicking myself to this day for forgetting it. Reservoir Dogs is, in my opinion, the best movie of Quentin Tarantion and that includes Pulp Fiction which is not a popular opinion. Reservoir Dogs is that perfect blend of coolness, Tarantino gore, classic usage of music, and a stellar cast of characters that brings the film to life. It truly is an experience just to watch it one time and, at this point, I have probably watched it over 50-100 times. It is Quentin Tarantino at his absolute best!
09 The Blues Brothers
Joliet Jake and Elwood Blues… The BLUES BROTHERS! Man John Belushi and Dan Akroyd were one hell of a pairing. They were an amazing duo and surprisingly one hell of a singing group. The Blues Brothers marks one of the rare successes in the line of horrible movies based off of Saturday Night Live sketches. What started out as a sketch on SNL turned into a career maker for the likes of Akroyd and to a lesser extent Belushi (due to his death) in the rhythm and blues genre.
The movie has catchy music, excellent humor, and one of the most epic car chases of all time! It also made me want to buy a beat up old police cruiser just so I can have a Bluesmobile of my own.
08 Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Kahn
When it came to the age old debate, I was always more of a Star Wars kind of guy than Star Trek (More on that later). I just never got invested in the voyages of the Enterprise and her crew. Maybe it was the Star Trek formula, who knows? All I know is I’ll choose Luke, Leia, and Han over Kirk, Spock, and McCoy any day. Also when your favorite Star Trek in the series is Deep Space 9 often considered to be the wicked step child of the bunch… Kind of goes to show that you aren’t exactly apart of the fandom… Except for this one.
Star Trek 2: Wrath of Kahn is one of those rare examples of a perfect movie. The writing, the story, the foreshadowing, the message, and just about all points in between makes this one easily the best piece in the entirety of the Star Trek collection from the first episode on to the remakes. It has given us moments of cinematic joy and remains a favorite among any movie lover, Star Trek fan or otherwise.
07 Die Hard
And here is another one of the snubs from my first list. It was a snub I felt so bad about that I went back and revised it YEARS after making the list only for my own knowledge. Die Hard is still, to this day, the greatest action movie ever made. It is one of the few examples of a perfect movie. The script is perfect, the cast is perfect, the direction is perfect, and the action is perfect. NOTHING is wasted in this movie as it blends to make a stellar masterpiece.
Die Hard is one of those movies that I came across later in life when I was in my teens or early 20’s. To this day it is one of the cinematic mistakes that I wish I could rectify by seeing it way earlier in life.
06 2001: A Space Odyssey
The movie that is often considered to be the greatest science fiction movie of all time and the movie that launched Stanley Kubrick’s career. While Sparatcus and Dr. Strangelove brought Kubrick to the dance, it was 2001: A Space Odyssey that sealed his fate as one of the most accomplished directors of all time. The science and the story are still relevant to today’s more technologically advanced society and the story is down right chilling and dripping with symbolism.
2001: A Space Odyssey is one of the movies that I find hard to watch multiple times over or just whenever I’m bored and have nothing to do. But it is a movie that is always welcome on my screen for what it is and what it represents, progression and the birth of Science Fiction cinema.
05 Jurassic Park
OH! Right in the childhood. I grew up with Jurassic Park. I watched Jurassic Park when it was in theaters and owned the VHS the second that it came out. It spawned my childhood love for dinosaurs and today can still bring that childhood wonder mixed with the feelings of dread from being hunted by ravenous dinosaurs looking to turn our heroes into a delicious feast.
Jurassic Park has yet to recapture that true wonder that the original brought and with Jurassic World being released this summer I do worry if it will remain that way or if it can bring back that nostalgia I felt as a child. At either rate as it stands, Jurassic Park is one of those movies that is fun for the entire family and I recommend that any parent show their kids this movie as soon as possible.
04 The Star Wars Trilogy
I know, I’m cheating a little here putting three movies in the number 4 spot. But I really couldn’t choose any of the original three Star Wars movies over the other, so I just decided to put the entire trilogy here. Once again we find the influence of my mom when it comes to my taste in movies. My mother and my grandfather had the original three Star Wars movies in the sweet black box of the early 90’s. We watched all of the special releases in theaters and I had countless toys growing up all being brought back to Star Wars.
I couldn’t tell you how many times I have seen the original Star Wars trilogy. The number to me is almost unfathomable. I have seen them so many times I can almost read the script to you. The later years of the prequels (and you know how I feel about those) as well as the continued beating the series got has soured me on the franchise some… But I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t excited about Episode 7 coming out this December.
03 The Thing
Oh god yes, John Carpenter’s The Thing! I have it on DVD, I have it on Blu Ray, I have watched it countless times including several times with the commentary from John Carpenter and Kurt Russell. Oh it is so amazing! The Thing is the poster child for camera work as well as the use of lighting and practical effects in a horror movie. It is an intelligent blend of paranoia and terror that always keeps me on the edge of my seat even after the six hundredth play.
I feel comfortable in saying that John Carpenter’s The Thing is one of the greatest horror movies ever made and is easily my favorite horror film of all time.
This comedy is so amazing. I could go on for days about how intelligent of a comedy Clue has to offer. The slapstick high laughs comedy based on the board game is so witty and so dry that it is like being in the middle of the desert with Groucho Marx. Unlike other board game adaptations (like Battleship Jesus Christ) Clue was a game ripe for a narrative and it was done unbelievably well. Tim Curry steals the show as Wadsworth the Butler.
I have never once gotten tired of this movie and as I watch it I find new and subtle jokes around every turn. Clue is my type of humor personified subtle, dry, unbelievably witty, and don’t even get me started on that ending! All these reasons and more are why Clue is my favorite comedy.
I have alluded to it in the past but now let’s make it concrete. James Cameron’s Aliens is without a doubt my favorite movie of all time. I remember when I first watched Aliens was at my great grandmothers house. I don’t remember much, but what I did remember was the cool uniforms and Bishop being split in half. Ever since then I have watched, re-watched, and watched 100 over just to watch the perfect blend of suspense, horror, thrills, comedy, and action.
Sigourney Weaver is the definition of badass and Ellen Ripley one of my favorite characters of all time, and one of my heroes for being the one person who is willing to take action no matter what the cost. Alien3, Alien Resurrection, and Aliens: Colonial Marines may have been a thing, but that will never stop me from enjoying Space Marines taking on Xenomorphs and Ripley telling an alien queen the size of a truck to ‘get away from her you bitch!’
Thank you for reading! Please like and subscribe for more. Come back for Crit or Miss, Tanner at the Movies, and soon my Top 100 Greatest Movies of All Time!