Opinion: My 100 Favourite Films of All Time

11:45 am EST, March 10, 2012

Last week, I decided it was time to make a list of all my favourite films. I started with my top 10, which I have always had in my head, in no particular order. I then thought of all the films I watch on an annual basis, and these are the top 40.

The next 60 are films that I really love and enjoy watching every time, but that I choose to watch on a less regular basis for one reason or another.

Two of the films in my top 10 are directed by Alfred Hitchcock, the ‘master of suspense’, so as you can probably guess, he is my favourite director of all time. Overall, four of his films appear on my list. Eight films starring Adam Sandler, six starring James Stewart and three starring Cary Grant appear. These are my favourite actors, along with Robert Downey Jr and Joseph Gordon Levitt, who unfortunately have not made as many good films as they should have, and so only appear twice and once on this list respectively.

There are 4 films from 2011 on this list, which means that as 2012 progresses, this list could dramatically change, with the likes of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, ‘The Avengers’ and ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid 3’ at the top of my ‘Most Anticipated List’.

I hope you enjoy reading, and feel free to comment underneath with your opinions!

1. North by Northwest (1959)

Cary Grant, Eve Marie Saint, James Mason, Martin Landau. A cast list that makes any fan of 50s/60s cinema cry with excitement and joy… and this film deserves that kind of reaction. It is the inspiration for almost every fast-paced action movie made today, including ‘The Bourne Identity’ and ‘National Treasure’ franchises. Grant stars as a business-man, enjoying a fairly average day of meetings, who raises his hand at the wrong time and is pulled into a world of suspense and danger, which involves him being chased by a plane in the legendary ‘crop-duster’ sequence, chased over Mount Rushmore and chased across the United Nations. A must-see for any fans of the ‘action-mystery’ genre.

2. The Incredibles (2004)

Considered by many to be Pixar’s greatest non-Toy Story film, if this were live-action it would most certainly be directed by Christopher Nolan. It has all the makings of a great superhero film, a villian turned evil because of rejection, a mad fashionista based on Edith Head, a midget boss who gets all his bones broken, a giant robot gone rogue, and a demented super-baby. Hollywood were so impressed with director Brad Bird’s skill at making an animated film seem so real that they hired him to direct ‘Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol’, which has gone on to be a huge hit with critics and audiences alike. In my opinion, one of the greatest animated, and overall, films of all time.

3. National Treasure (2004)

Nicholas Cage has had a lot of ups-and-downs in his career, but in my opinion, this is one of his high-points. It’s basically a cross between The Bourne Identity, The Da Vinci Code and Indiana Jones, but with a PG certificate and just enough violence to be suitable for all the family..and the whole family will love it! I have never met a person under the age of 45 who saw this film and din’t enjoy it! Although some of the plot may be slightly historically inaccurate, the twists and turns of the mystery are exciting, and the acting by Cage, Jon Voight (Mission: Impossible), Justin Bartha (The Hangover) and Sean Bean (Game of Thrones) is superb. Also, this is the first major film for Diane Kruger who has gone on to star in ‘Inglorious Basterds’ and is set to be Tarantino’s new female lead.

4. Bednobs and Broomsticks (1971)

Made 7 years after the more beloved Mary Poppins, this seriously underrated Disney family musical stars Angela Landsbury (Murder, She Wrote) as an apprentice witch who is forced to take 3 orphans under her wing during WWII. One of several links to ‘Poppins’ is David Tomlinson (Mr Banks in MP) who plays a failed street magician living in a run down abandoned London townhouse, with an unexploded bomb in the front garden. The fantastic songs were written by Richard Sherman and his brother Robert, who passed away last week at the age of 86. Perhaps the film’s best known sequence is when, Poppins style, the live-action characters are transported to a world of hand-drawn animated creatures, under the sea and on the island of Nabooboo (no, that isn’t a location from the ‘Star Wars’ prequels). The technology used is quite impressive, and shows how passionate Disney was about making these films perfect, so children and adults alike could enjoy them for decades to come.

5. Finian’s Rainbow (1968)

This is Fred Astaire’s last major musical, where he travels to my home country of Ireland in search of leprechauns and gold. It is directed by Francis Ford Coppola, and has been almost forgotten due to the release in 1972 of a little film called ‘The Godfather’. Petula Clark and Tommy Steele co-star as Astaire’s daughter and favourite leprechaun, respectively, and there are great plot-lines about a racist millionaire (Keenan Wynn) turning black by magic, and a deaf-and-dumb girl getting her lost senses back, after falling in love with the leprechaun. It also features wonderful songs about homesickness and the nostalgia associated with visiting Ireland, a trip I would recommend you all to make!

6. Funny People (2009)

As you can probably tell from reading this list, I am a big fan of Adam Sandler’s films. To be honest, I even found ‘Jack and Jill’ slightly funny, although I do admit his earliest work was his best. This is not one of his ‘Happy Madison’ films, and it was directed by raunchy comedy supremo Judd Apatow. It is over 2 and a half hours long, and when it finishes, you feel much closer to the characters played by the brilliant ensemble cast (including Seth Rogen, Leslie Mann, Jason Schwartzman, Jonah Hill, Aziz Ansari, Eric Bana…need I go on?) than you do in most shorter comedies. Sandler plays a succesful stand-up and film star comedian, who has been diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia, and believes he has only a few months to live. About halfway through the film, he is cured, but then he must get back into the flow of his life, and reconnect with his friends and family. At points it is hilarious and at points it will make you cry, but it is a must-see for fans of any sort of comedy or stand-up comedians.

7. The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)

Although it is absolutely nothing like ‘North by Northwest’, this is the second Hitchcock film on this list. Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day star as the parents of Ben, who is abducted in Morocco and taken to London, where they must track him to a rural church and uncover a plot to murder an important political figure. Bernard Herrmann, in my opinion the greatest film composer of all time, appears on screen as himself, performing in the Royal Albert Hall, and conducting the orchestra when the cymbals clash and the gun is shot. Fast-paced, well scripted and featuring some of Doris Day’s most beautiful songs, this is a truly magnificent piece of filmmaking.

8. The April Fools (1969)

One of many great Jack Lemmon comedies that could have filled this spot, this co-stars Catherine Deneuve and Peter Lawford, and features songs by Burt Bacharach. Lemmon and Deneuve meet at a party and go on a mad all-nighter, visiting a jungle-themed club, a privately-owned castle occupied by a fencing champion, and more! Over the next few days, Deneuve starts to pull apart from her husband (Lawford) and eventually, her and Lemmon are reunited in the film’s climactic scene at JFK Airport. An example of how a good rom-com should be made.

9. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

Any of the Potter films apart from ‘Order of the Phoenix’, which I dislike very much, could have filled this slot, but I chose this one because, at the helm of director Mike Newell, it really feels like a separate film which can be watched outside of the series. ‘Prisoner’ is the most artfully directed, but this is the real ‘blockbuster’ of the sires, pulling out all the stops with dragons, sea creatures, dancing, romance, mild swearing and of course, THE MAZE! Robert Pattinson also contributes largely to the film, in his first major role as Cedric Diggory.

10. A Series of Unfortunate Events (2005)

The adaptation of the Daniel Handler novels was overlooked by many when it was released, but in my opinion, Jim Carrey’s performance as Count Olaf, the demented actor who tries and fails several times to kill the Baudelaire children and steal their inheritance, by dressing up as numerous wacky characters, was deserving of an Academy Award. Another wonderful thing about this film is the fact that almost every character shares a name with a great writer, such as Mr Poe, Esmé Squalor, Uncle Monty, Edgar Guest, Ish, the Baudelaire children and many more. It does have a PG, but young children may find it scary. Other actors that appear include Meryl Streep, Timothy Spall, Billy Connolly, Jude Law and Craig Ferguson.

11. Brigadoon         

12. The Sound of Music

13. Mary Poppins

14. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

15. The Polar Express (2004)

16. The Wizard of Oz

17. Inception (2010)

18. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

19. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory 

20. Doctor Doolittle (1967)

21. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

22. Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003)

23. Bell, Book and Candle

24. The Cat in the Hat (2004)

25. Batman Begins (2005)

26. Spider-Man 2 (2004)

27. Click (2006)

28. The Spongebob Squarepants Movie (2005)

29. Mr Deeds (2002)

30. Twilight (2008)

31. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

32. Star Wars: Episode II- Attack of the Clones

33. The Maltese Falcon

34. Rear Window

35. Pinnochio

36. State Fair (1945)

37. Toy Story 3

38. Vertigo

39. Enchanted (2007)

40. Wall.E

41. The Third Man

42. To Kill A Mockingbird

43. Lili (1953)

44. Gigi

45. The Help (2011)

46. Singin’ in the Rain

47. The Apartment

48. Star Wars: Episode IV- A New Hope

49. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

50. Sunrise (1927)

51. Grown Ups (2010)

52. Groundhog Day (1993)

53. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

54. Ratatouille (2007)

55. Big Daddy (1999)

56. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (2011)

57. Shrek the Third (2007)

58. Barefoot in the Park

59. The Birds

60. Hugo (2011)

61. The Shop Around the Corner

62. It’s A Wonderful Life

63. Goodbye Mr. Chips (1969)

64. The Nightmare Before Christmas

65. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

66. The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

67. Paul (2011)

68. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

69. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)

70. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

71. Spider-Man 3 (2007)

72. The Dark Knight (2008)

73. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)

74. Odd Man Out

75. Easy A (2010)

76. Billy Madison

77. The Devil & Miss Jones (1941)

78. 2001: A Space Odyssey

79. The Thin Red Line

80. Sherlock Holmes (2009)

81. The Quiet Man

82. Alice in Wonderland (1951)

83. The Santa Clause

84. Breakfast at Tiffanys

85. The Royal Tennenbuams

86. Batman Forever

87. Spider-Man (2002)

88. 23 Steps to Baker Street

89. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

90. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- Part 1

91. Laurel and Hardy’s Way Out West (1937)

92. Batman: The Movie

93. The Railway Children (1970)

94. Forrest Gump

95. Happy Gilmore

96. Anger Management

97. The Ghost and Mrs Muir

98. Laurel and Hardy’s Swiss Miss (1938)

99. Iron Man (2008)

100. The African Queen

Quiz: How well do you remember the 2007 Oscars?

3:32 pm EST, January 18, 2017

As the 89th Academy Awards approach, we take a trip back to 2007 to see how memorable the ceremony really was 10 years ago.

Ah, the Oscars. What a night. Glitz and glamour, lots of rich and beautiful people crying and thanking each other. What’s not to like?

Related: 2016 Oscars: Leo finally wins, Mad Max: Fury Road cleans up

Read full article

As the 89th Academy Awards approach, we take a trip back to 2007 to see how memorable the ceremony really was 10 years ago.

Ah, the Oscars. What a night. Glitz and glamour, lots of rich and beautiful people crying and thanking each other. What’s not to like?

Related: 2016 Oscars: Leo finally wins, Mad Max: Fury Road cleans up

In 10 years, will we look back at the 2017 Oscars and remember every detail of Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling awkwardly accepting award after award for La La Land while the other nominees politely clap and try not to grit their teeth? Or will the event fade into distant memory?

Maybe we can get an answer to that question by dialling back the clock to 2007 and see just how clearly we remember the 79th Academy Awards.

How did you do? Tell us how well you remember the 79th Academy Awards in the comments!

The nominations for the 89th Academy Awards will be unveiled Tuesday, January 24.

You may know that one of those dogs-are-so-great-and-warm-our-hearts movies, A Dog’s Purpose, is hitting theaters very soon. Unfortunately, it’s now embroiled in controversy.

TMZ has released a video from the film’s Canadian set depicting a German Shepherd being forced into a fast-moving stream of water. As you can tell, the dog clearly does not want to go in it.

The most upsetting part of the video comes at the very end when we see the dog finally in the fake river but having trouble staying above water. The crew calls cut to rescue him/her.

Read full article

You may know that one of those dogs-are-so-great-and-warm-our-hearts movies, A Dog’s Purpose, is hitting theaters very soon. Unfortunately, it’s now embroiled in controversy.

TMZ has released a video from the film’s Canadian set depicting a German Shepherd being forced into a fast-moving stream of water. As you can tell, the dog clearly does not want to go in it.

The most upsetting part of the video comes at the very end when we see the dog finally in the fake river but having trouble staying above water. The crew calls cut to rescue him/her.

“Sources connected to production tell us eight outboard motors were used to churn the water and recreate a rushing river,” says TMZ. “The dog eventually got in the water — or was forced in — but was quickly submerged.”

At 1:28 in the below trailer you can see a scene that looks similar to what was being filmed in TMZ’s video:

Universal and their partners at Amblin told TMZ in a statement, “Fostering a safe environment and ensuring the ethical treatment of our animal actors was of the utmost importance to those involved in making this film and we will look into the circumstances surrounding this video.”

A Dog’s Purpose stars Dennis Quaid and Britt Robertson. It opens next Friday, January 27.

Update: Josh Gad, who voices a dog in the movie, issued the following statement on Instagram. He speaks highly of the film but says he finds the leaked video “disturbing.”

“While I do not know all of the details and cannot speak to the level of care and caution that went into this moment (as I was never on set for the marking of this film), I am shaken and sad to see any animal put in a situation against its will.”

Since apparently some of you did not see the statement I issued last night, here it is again.

A photo posted by Josh Gad (@joshgad) on

We’re suddenly way less interested in seeing this.

Moviegoers may be getting the Spidey we’ve all been hoping for! A new report reveals that Sony’s animated Spider-Man movie, set to hit theaters in 2018, will focus on the Miles Morales Spidey.

Update (January 18, 2017): Sony Animation confirmed on Wednesday, January 18 that their animated Spider-Man movie will star Miles Morales!

Read full article

Moviegoers may be getting the Spidey we’ve all been hoping for! A new report reveals that Sony’s animated Spider-Man movie, set to hit theaters in 2018, will focus on the Miles Morales Spidey.

Update (January 18, 2017): Sony Animation confirmed on Wednesday, January 18 that their animated Spider-Man movie will star Miles Morales!

Original story (May 2016): Heroic Hollywood, who has a good record of breaking superhero news, is the source behind the exciting development. As was previously announced, the animated Spider-Man movie will be produced by LEGO Movie helmers Phil Lord and Chris Miller. The duo are also set to direct the Star Wars Han Solo spinoff for Lucasfilm.

Who is Miles Morales? As we wrote in a lengthy tell-all about the character last year:

Miles Morales is the current Spider-Man in Marvel’s Ultimate Comics series. Introduced in 2011, Miles is a black-hispanic young man who, like Peter Parker, is a talented scientist and self-proclaimed nerd. However, unlike his predecessor, Morales steps into the superhero’s shoes at the surprisingly young age of 13.

Raised in Brooklyn, Miles was born into a family plagued by criminal activity. Before settling down with his wife Rio, Miles’s father Jefferson used to be crime partners with his brother Aaron (Miles’s uncle). However, where Jefferson tried to shrink away from the lifestyle, Aaron continues to embrace it — assuming the role of classic Marvel villain the Prowler. After pulling off a heist on Oscorp, Aaron unknowingly takes a genetically modified spider home with him. It is at Aaron’s house that Miles is bit by the spider and starts the transformation into Spider-Man.

Where Peter Parker relished the opportunity to become spidey, Miles is reluctant to enter the world of vigilantism. What’s more, his family’s criminal history causes him to question whether or not he can ever be a hero, or if evil is hardwired into him.

Oh, and one other cool thing about him: The guy is immortal, unlike the Peter Parker version of Spider-Man.

Related: Who is Miles Morales? We explain everything

The rumor mill was alive with chatter about the MCU’s Spidey being the Miles Morales version last year, but obviously those reports never panned out. The Peter Parker version of Spider-Man was introduced in Captain America: Civil War, played by Tom Holland. He’s getting his own spinoff film, Spider-Man: Homecoming, next year.

Telling the Miles Morales story on screen may be just the thing the animated Spider-Man movie needs in order for it to draw people into the theaters in December 2018. We’ve had enough Peter Parker stories!

2018 will be a great year for super hero diversity: Marvel’s Black Panther starring Chadwick Boseman will be released a few months earlier.