Following Jimmy’s awesome list of Top 10 films from yesterday, I’ve compiled a list my very own favorite films with a few honorable mentions!
Just to be clear, I love all the films stated below dearly, just some a smidge more than others.
Honorable Mentions: Fight Club, On the Waterfront, Drive, Toy Story (Trilogy), The Social Network, The Shawshank Redemption, Memento, Se7en, Forrest Gump, Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Check out my top 10 films below!
After a crazy amount of consideration, I decided that I would start off my list with a good ol’ fashion cult classic.
One of the funniest films of all time, The Big Lebowski is a story of mistaken identity, but unlike you have ever seen it before. From the deranged minds of Joel and Ethan Coen, the film follows a man called “The Dude” (Jeff Bridges) and his two bowling buddies Walter (John Goodman) and Donny (Steve Buscemi) as they try to solve a case of apparent kidnapping.
If you’ve ever seen a dark comedy by the Coen brothers before, you know what kind of humor to expect, but you’ve never seen a film quite like this. With an outstanding script and exceptional performances, The Big Lebowski will leave your sides hurting long after the film has ended, and if you weren’t a Jeff Bridges fan before, you will be after.
These next two picks are tricky. I found them extremely hard to write about because they hold such dear places in my heart.
Though this may seem like an obvious pick, it’s surprising to see how many people may leave Star Wars out of their favorite films of all time. Though I know it’s not for everyone, Star Wars is one of those trilogies that I can watch over and over and never get bored of. Before we continue, however, I just want to make one thing clear, this is the original trilogy, and not the prequel trilogy that George Lucas felt the need to release about a decade ago. Got it?
Star Wars is a hero’s journey through and through, and though it doesn’t stray from the path at all from the normal conventions of a hero’s narrative, it’s uniqueness comes from its world as well as its characters.
Following a young man named Luke Skywalker (Mark Hammill), upon finding a message from a damsel in distress named Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), sets out on a rescue mission to save her with his mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness).
Though the performances are, at times, hit or miss, there is no denying the impact that Star Wars had on the world with its advanced special effects, making the films visual spectacles. The trilogy also put Harrison Ford’s career on the map with his portrayal of Han Solo, the most badass character in the trilogy, and possibly of all time.
The Lord of the Rings trilogy is a masterpiece, period. If you have anything to say otherwise, you don’t like good films, and I suggest leaving your computer and turning on Step Up because you probably won’t like any of the other films on my list.
Few fantasy movies have been able to capture the emotion that Peter Jackson’s epic trilogy has. The films follow young hobbit Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) as he makes his journey through Middle Earth to destroy a powerful ring that, in the wrong hands, would doom the entire world. This film is all about the journey, and not just the literal one. The hobbits leave the safety of The Shire in The Fellowship of the Ring, and by The Return of the King, they have all learned the horrors of war, and the sadness of losing companions.
The performances are all masterful, with notables being Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey and Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn, the rightful king of Gondor. From the outstanding special effects, to Howard Shore’s incredible musical score, just thinking about Peter Jackson’s trilogy makes me emotional. There are few films that display the amount of heart that The Lord of the Rings does, and if you can watch the last half hour of The Return of the King with dry eyes, you deserve a medal or at least a cuddle from somebody, not to mention a hot fire to melt that chunk of ice you call a heart.
By far my favorite film by Steven Spielberg, Jaws is the story of a small island community who’s summer is viciously interrupted by a giant man-eating great white shark. A film that I can re-watch over and over and never get bored, Jaws is iconic for its horror, comedy and great characters.
Notables include Roy Scheider as Chief Brody, Richard Dreyfuss as Hooper, and an outstanding performance by Robert Shaw as Quint, the badass revenge-seeking shark hunter. With a great score by John Williams, Jaws will forever be a classic. With so many great films, we’re gonna need a bigger list (ba dum psh).
The film that could. Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight is something that no Batman fan had ever thought possible, which was make an extremely effective crime drama that any casual film goer could enjoy, as well as make the most badass Batman film of all time. Yes, the film’s predecessor Batman Begins was all kinds of awesome, but The Dark Knight is special in many different ways.
Taking place in Gotham City, the film follows the caped crusader as he continues to clean up the streets, but when a psychotic makeup clad anarchist solely named The Joker hits the scene, all hell breaks loose. The highlight of the film is without a doubt Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker. The actor depicted the character brilliantly, giving him the crazy, scary and funny justice that The Joker deserves, earning Ledger an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
With tremendous action sequences and incredible performances all around, The Dark Knight is a spectacle of a film that was wholly deserved of a Best Picture nomination, if not the win (I believe the correct word for this situation is “snubbed”).
Martin Scorsese is a master of crime drama, and 2006’s The Departed is a prime example why. Set in Boston, Massachusetts, The Departed surrounds the Boston Police Department as they try to take down infamous Irish mob boss, Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson).
A complex plot featuring undercover cops, informants and rats, the film is a masterfully written and powerfully acted, with notables including Leonardo DiCaprio, Vera Farmiga, Mark Wahlberg and Alec Baldwin. The film also sees the return of Matt Damon to all his Bean Town glory. Action and drama mixed with great dialogue and the dropped Rs of the Boston accent make The Departed a wicked awesome film (not to mention the F-word is said over 230 times throughout!).
There are very few films released today that display the kind of emotion, action, originality and intelligence that is clearly encompassed within Christopher Nolan’s Inception. Based on an original script by Nolan himself, Inception follows a team of skilled “extractors” as they invade the dreams of a young heir to a business empire.
This film works on so many different levels (no pun intended), from its heart stopping action sequences (notables include an amazing anti-gravity fight in a hotel hallway) and the dramatic elements such as the story of a man just trying to get back to his children.
With an all-star cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page and Tom Hardy, and an amazing musical score by Hans Zimmer, Inception left me speechless and my mind racing for days after the credits rolled.
The film that should have won Leonardo DiCaprio an Academy Award, (that’s strange, the best actor currently in Hollywood doesn’t have a little golden statue), The Aviator is a biopic of film director, producer and (you guessed it) aviator Howard Hughes as he slowly deteriorates into extreme obsessive compulsive behavior.
From Martin Scorsese’s expert directing to his astounding eye for recreating time periods, The Aviator is a spectacle that everyone can enjoy. A scene to look out for is an astounding plane crash that will leave you breathless as you watch through your fingers. Everything about the film is superb, and come on, who doesn’t get the chills when Leo can’t stop himself from saying “the way of the future” over and over in the final scene.
Few filmmakers are as well versed in writing cool, funny and effective dialogue as Quentin Tarantino, in fact some may even say he’s the best in the Biz. Pulp Fiction is 3 non-linear stories expertly woven into one involving gangsters, drugs, Los Angeles, and a gimp (if you’ve seen the film, you know what I’m talking about).
The acting and dialogue are both top notch, with notables such as Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis and Uma Thurman giving outstanding performances. The film also reinvented John Travolta’s career, it’s just too bad he ruined it again soon after (you only get one, John).
Yes, him again, but what can I say, his films are just too damn good. Tarantino’s masterpiece (seriously, it’s even stated in the final shot of the film), Inglourious Basterds is the story of a band of Jewish-American soldiers known as “The Basterds” who move through Nazi-occupied France brutalizing every German soldier unfortunate enough to cross their path.
Led by Tarantino’s jaw dropping dialogue, and stellar performances all around (notables include Brad Pitt in his best role yet and Christoph Waltz in a breakthrough, intense performance), Inglourious Basterds is breathtaking down to every last detail, which in this case is the intentionally misspelled title.
There you have it, folks, my top 10 favorite films of all time! Make sure to check back tomorrow to see Jeremy’s picks, and to learn more about our big announcement!