To a movie buff or someone who makes a site about movies, it’s essential to make Top Ten Lists. Some of my favorites to make were Top Ten Movie Directors and Top Ten Movie Villains. Top Ten lists are a very fun way to perfectly establish your opinion, but it is often a very difficult task. The most important and most difficult Top Ten List to make is a list of your favorite films.
A Top Ten List of your favorite films has to be honest and completely encapsulate your take on films. I for one couldn’t do it. I do have a list of my top ten favorite films in this post, but I decided instead to post my Top 25 favorite movies of all time. Its a list that was practically impossible to make and might change as the years go on (I will edit the post if needed), but here we go. My Top 25 favorite films are…
25. The Departed
The Departed is Martin Scorsese’s gift to the world, a truly brilliant film on all accounts. Martin Scorsese has created so many amazing movies, but none have come close to The Departed. The Departed is a poetic look into the lives of cops, criminals and the different ways they intertwine. It’s almost unbearable how truly entertaining each viewing of The Departed is. Every actor puts every bit of talent into their roles as does the rest of the crew. The result of all this hard work is a full-fledged masterpiece filled with drama, brutality and grit.
24. The Shining
Stanley Kubrick’s greatest film is also the most beautiful, flawlessly crafted horror film I’ve ever seen. We walk through the doors of The Overlook Hotel and we witness evil. It’s an evil place and the tragedy that takes place there in is one I willingly experience over and over again. I’m drawn in and blown away by the mastery every single time. Stanley Kubrick was a man who was meant to make masterpieces, with The Shining you’ll find my favorite one of those masterpieces.
23. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is undoubtedly one of the greatest achievements in the art of the cinema. Its an essential journey that needs to be taken if you have a love for film. We are brought along on a beautiful adventure through the gritty west with three incredibly memorable and iconic characters. It’s one of the most and greatest times you could ever ask for at the movies. This is director Sergio Leone’s masterpiece and this list wouldn’t be complete with out it.
22. Kill Bill
Vengeance has been used as the plot and driving force of a movie almost as long as movies have existed, but no one was able to do it quite as well as Tarantino did with Kill Bill. The plot is simple, but the ride to get to the inevitable is a glourious one. One that I have and would be willing to take many times for many years to come. Kill Bill is the greatest tale of revenge there is. From the greatest opening scene of any movie ever, to the point when the deed is done, there is never a dull moment. Kill Bill is a blood-soaked masterpiece.
Akira Kurosawa creates pure cinematic poetry with Rashomon. Kurosawa may be the most influential director to ever make a film and in terms of craft, Rashomon is arguably one of, if not, the most influential of his films. Rashomon not only shows just how much can be done with the art of film, it also tells one of the most powerful stories ever told about stories, human nature and the enigma that lies there in.
20. Punch-Drunk Love
Punch-Drunk Love is a very unique film that offers completely mundane and realistic drama while telling the greatest love story film has ever had to offer. Even the music is perfect in this movie, it’s sporadic until the main character is happy, than it becomes completely harmonious. It’s the perfect story of love because it’s not only a story about falling in love with another, it’s also a story of loving who you are. Adam Sandler gives the best performance of his career as Barry Egan. There is no greater thing than love and I’ve never seen a greater and more satisfying movie on the subject.
Inception is a brilliant brush stroke in originality that looks into the idea of reality. It’s a movie filled with fantastic actors under the direction of a genius in one of the most engrossing stories ever. Inception is so utterly fantastic. The complex, yet easily traceable plot, the brilliant dialogue and performances, the inspiring originality of it, the ambiguity all make the film truly extraordinary. There is no film like it and it is absolutely breathtaking from one moment to the next. In Inception, a world and story is created where anything happens, but everything manages to be flawless and completely enjoyable.
18. Pulp Fiction
Never did I truly understand the term “Movie Magic” until I saw Pulp Fiction for the first time. Pulp Fiction is a convoluted puzzle of a story filled with memorable low lives. Pulp Fiction is unlike any other movie by showing a few days in the lives of nobodies, criminals. It’s a tale that seems irreverent, and actually kind of is, but because of its perfect execution on all accounts, it makes for one of the greatest films ever made. I love every single second of the brilliant masterpiece that is Pulp Fiction and no matter how many times I see it, I always will.
Trainspotting is a masterfully told film about herione-addicted misfits and friends in Scotland. Though disturbing and twisted throughout, Trainspotting still manages to stay unarguably beautiful, while entertaining from beginning to end. With Trainspotting, what you get is a pitch-perfect portrait of the very ideas of life in general, flawed and fun. Trainspotting is a true masterpiece of a film that makes you love, hate, laugh, cry and enjoy, among others.
16. Fight Club
I know what you’re thinking, the first rule is I’m not supposed to talk about it, but I’d like to talk a little about one of the greatest films ever made, Fight Club. Fight Club can best be described as fascinating look into a generation, a generation whose bored with the monotony of it all and “very, very pissed off”. Fight Club is also both beautiful and brilliant just for the fact that it centers around a story of love. What Fight Club is, is a film of memorable themes, a film of brutal emotion, a film most of all filled with honesty. Fight Club is cinematic poetry that will have minds boggled and heads scratched for many, many years to come. Fight is a grim tale filled with blood and grit, but it isn’t without a sense of fun. Fight Club is one of a kind and a masterpiece.
15. Django Unchained
Christoph Waltz as a wise, moustache twirling good guy, Leonardo DiCaprio as a cruel and sadistic plantation, Jamie Foxx as the titular and freed badass and Quentin Tarantino at the helm, need I say more? This isn’t a western, it’s a southern and it’s a blood-splattered spectacle through the brutal south before the civil war. It depicts a dark, dark time, and does have some very tense moments and powerful undertones. It holds no punches. With Django, Jamie Foxx and Quentin Tarantino have created nothing short of one of the greatest heroes in film. Django Unchained is one wild ride of movie, it never ceases to captivate.
Ran is an epic tragedy of gargantuan proportions. At 75-years-old Akira Kurosawa still knew exactly how to make a film and not just any film, but a monumental achievement as only a truly magnificent artist could have envisioned and realized. From the first frame to the last I am swept away to this vast world. Ran is on a whole other level of filmmaking. It defies and tramples over any expectation you could have in a film and simply astounds with every passing second. Discussing it here could never do it justice. Like all true masterpieces, Ran is a film one must experience for themselves.
13. Apocalypse Now
Apocalypse Now is Francis Ford Coppola’s flawless masterpiece. Coppola gets endless praise for his brilliant work, The Godfather, but its Apocalypse Now that he should be remembered for. Apocalypse Now is and forever will be a truly epic war film that brings you on an amazing journey deep into the heart of darkness. The film builds and builds almost to the point of promising you one of the greatest climaxes in film and gives you just that. Apocalypse Now is a philosophical and violent masterpiece.
Unlike Kill Bill or The Dark Knight Legend, Yojimbo/Sanjuro doesn’t tell one fluid story and in fact you could watch either of the flawless masterpieces first and all would make sense, for you’d still be watching just one of two viewable portraits of the life and times of a masterless and wandering samurai. Toshiro Mifune’s nameless samurai is the heart and hero of Yojimbo/Sanjuro and he makes for one of the coolest characters in film. Akira Kurosawa is a master of the craft and can accomplish realism with ease, but with Yojimbo/Sanjuro he presents one of the most fun and fantastically captivating adventures in film.
11. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is undoubtedly one of the greatest feats in Cinematic history. One Flew is a beautiful and inspiring tale of the life and times of Randall Patrick McMurphy in a mental hospital. Jack Nicholson gives the performance of his illustrious career. Through the friends he meets, the schemes he pulls and most of all the enemy he makes, we get a story filled with brilliant morals and themes. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is an incredibly entertaining film. Most of all though, it is an inspirational masterpiece.
10. The Master
In The Master there is not a single beautiful shot or brilliant line of dialogue out of place. Paul Thomas Anderson has a way of getting the best performance out of at least one of his actors and in this case Joaquin Phoenix gives the best performance of his career, which is saying a lot because Joaquin Phoenix is an incredible actor. Some could even make an argument for Philip Seymour Hoffman in this masterpiece. The film is a magnificent and dark enigma. Paul Thomas Anderson just knows how to make a movie and he proves that with his sixth film, The Master, a gorgeous film about choice, obedience, control and freedom.
Clint Eastwood has had an incredibly illustrious career. He’s acted in classics that will forever pass the test of time and directed so many incredible films. His greatest performance and greatest directing feat can be found in the gritty western, Unforgiven. There’s a palpable and unflinching realism brought about in the west that Unforgiven creates. The film delves into the darkness and morality that makes up the west and the genre and the result is a literary driven work of gorgeous art. Unforgiven is unquestionably the greatest western ever made and as a and subsequently one of the greatest films. The movie is best encapsulated in the brilliant line, “We all have it comin’ kid”. It’s the western masterpiece.
Skyfall is a flawlessly made film made by people and for people who appreciate film for the beautiful art form that it is. It was one of those films that, while watching, it was hard not to realize that it was one of the greatest films that I have ever seen. A great villain almost always makes for a great movie. Raoul Silva, the perfect Bond villain, makes for the most formidable villain James Bond will ever face. He is a betrayer of MI6 whereas 007 is entirely driven by his dedication to country and to M, who he is protecting. Skyfall is an epic about the ways of the old and the new, but most of all it’s about James Bond, a character who has never and will never be as perfectly examined as in Skyfall.
7. Inglourious Basterds
Inglourious Basterds is a crash course in exactly what a movie can be. And a what movie can be is whatever a filmmaker wants it to be. That’s the beauty of it, that a filmmaker can tell the exact story he/she wants to tell. Inglourious Basterds is the tale of a handful of incredibly memorable characters intertwining in the most interesting period history’s ever had to offered, World War II. Tarantino put every bit of blood, sweat and tears into the creation of one of the greatest cinematic tales ever told. Inglourious Basterds is pure and beautiful filmmaking. It’s exhilarating, enjoyable and absolutely beautiful. It’s truly a masterpiece.
Anyone who enjoys the occasional movie owes it to themselves to bask in the glory and perfection that is Harakiri. It begins simply enough, a samurai walks into the house of the Iyi clan and asks to commit Harakiri (the ritual suicide of a samurai). Harakiri offers one of the most engrossing movie experiences ever and on top of that it’s one of the most important. Harakiri tells its compelling story that captivates from start to finish and long after once you begin pondering about all the film has to say, not exclusively bringing into question the meaning of honor. Harakiri tells a powerful story which by the end proves the be one of the greatest ever told.
5. The Lord of the Rings
Just like Kill Bill, with its two volumes, is one movie; The Lord of the Rings is unquestionably one movie. The Lord of the Rings is an epic in every sense of the word. That’s truly the best way it can be described. The Lord of the Rings has in it just about everything you could ever want in a movie; love, drama, adventure, friendship, a huge cast of memorable characters, a beautiful beginning, a magnificent middle, an epic ending and much, much more. The Lord of Rings is that kind of movie that other movies should aspire to be. It’s a movie that makes you realize why we love movies in the first place. The Lord of the Rings is a masterpiece on all accounts.
4. Seven Samurai
Seven Samurai tells a simple story about a village, some bandits and seven samurai. Akira Kurosawa tells his tale and fills it to the brim with as much profound substance and beauty as he could. The film could not have been made any other way. No detail could have been changed. Every character and sequence amounts to the glorious epic at hand. I am wholly invested in every second of the film. It dramatically capitalizes on all the potent emotion you could ever ask for in a single film. It’s funny, it’s sad, it’s overwhelming in its scope, it’s a visionary work of art and magic, it’s one of the most epic stories ever told and it’s one the most worthy movies of being called a masterpiece ever made.
3. There Will Be Blood
There Will Be Blood is tremendous in the way that it tells a story through through the eyes of a single man and examines not the dream, but the american nightmare. It’s the greatest character study ever made and without a perfect portrayal of this antihero it wouldn’t be the flawless film it is. Daniel Day-Lewis gives one of the greatest performances I’ve ever seen as Daniel Plainview, a depraved oil man whose mask slides off revealing a complete lack of humanity. The drama and rivalry that ensues once Plainview begins drilling makes for one of the most monumental and gorgeous pieces of art I’ll ever bare witness to. There Will Be Blood is unique, real, but at the same time larger than life and monumentally powerful. There Will Be Blood is a beautifully-woven masterpiece.
2. No Country for Old Men
No Country for Old Men may be the most brilliantly directed films of all time. The Coen Brother’s are, unquestionably, two of the greatest filmmakers of all time and this is their greatest feat. No Country is a beautifully violent film filled with moralistic power. It’s a blood-soaked tale told magnificently through subtleties, a film that is truly perfect in every way imaginable.
No Country for Old Men tells, what seems to be on the surface, a simplistic tale of cat and mouse. A chess game, if you will, between an average joe who happens upon a suitcase full of drug money and a ruthlessly intelligent killer who has no empathy what so ever. The powerful tale that is realized with No Country for Old Men is one of violence, malevolence and art. No Country for Old Men is a masterpiece in every single sense of the word.
1. The Dark Knight Legend
Batman Begins is nothing short of the perfect hero’s journey. We are brought on the wondrous, yet arduous journey of one man as he becomes the greatest hero of all time, Batman. It is a story that asks and answers the question, what makes a hero? And it does so flawlessly and without once being anything, but completely enjoyable. It is monumental, there is an eloquence to it, it is a masterpiece and it was only the beginning.
The Dark Knight is unlike any other story or film ever created in the way that is a pure, spectacular and perfect examination of good and evil. The Dark Knight takes the symbol for good established in Batman Begins and brings him to the darkest corners of existence when he goes toe-to-toe with a symbol for evil and the greatest villain in history, The Joker. The Joker is evil for the sake of being evil, while Batman is good for the sake of being good. To see this poetically constant battle unfold between the two is to see nothing short of the greatest cinema of all time.
The Dark Knight Rises is a sweeping epic that defines the story that has been being told and offers the greatest end in the history of film. While Batman Begins was about Batman and The Dark Knight was about Batman and The Joker, The Dark Knight Rises is about the beating heart of Gotham and the people who are willing to fight to keep it beating. It could almost be looked at as Batman’s final trial into the status of a legend. It is an extraordinary masterpiece that ends a story that far surpasses any other story ever told.
The Dark Knight Legend (or The Dark Knight Trilogy) is my favorite movie through and through. I care about this story and these characters and the events that transpire. As if it were poetry or Shakespearean this story actually has alot to say and it says alot to me personally. Whether it be The Joker, Bane, Batman, Catwoman, Jim Gordon, Alfred, Ra’s Al Ghul, Talia Al Ghul, Scarecrow or any of the other magnificent characters in this story on the screen I am hooked. I’m involved and engrossed because I care about these characters and what they add to the majesty of it all. I love this story and if beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder than I can say without a doubt that it is the greatest movie ever made and the greatest story ever told.