OK folks. This was a very very hard list to make up. In fact it’s been sitting as a draft for nearly a month now. I always come back to it because trying to determine your favorite ten movies of all time is a virtual impossibility. In fact I will argue that this list will be different in as little as a week from now.
But I decided to give it a try. When I thought of this list I tried to come up with movies that in some way influenced me. That in some way stuck with me. That had the characteristics of something I could watch again and again. Of something that “meant” something to me or affected my life (even if it were a dumb movie).
Anyway, this article was really just to get this list off my chest. Again, these are my favorite ten movies at the moment. Enjoy
10. When Harry Met Sally
I have a soft spot for this one because I truly agree with the premise. Guys and girls just can’t be friends. At least they can’t be when one of them is attractive. It’s simply impossible. And I love how “real” this movie is. Supporting cast is great and I just love the film every single time I see it. You can’t mess with this movie.
9. The Breakfast Club
I had to pick a John Hughes film here. It was either Ferris Bueller, 16 Candles, or this one. Eh, maybe Weird Science but come on guys. Nothing hits home more than The Breakfast Club. I can only hope that generations to come will watch this movie. Every single time it’s on TV I leave it on. It pains me to know that some people in college right now have never heard of this movie.
8. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
Bet you didn’t think I’d put a “dumb” movie in here. Well I think when you have a list of favorite movies it has to include something that’s influenced you or really stuck with you in some way. I can’t remember a comedy that did this more than Ace Ventura. It was the start of Jim Carrey’s owning of comedy in the mid 90s. Sure he sucks now but nothing compared to those days and Ace Ventura exemplifies all that I loved about comedy as a teen.
7. American Beauty
This is a movie that might be higher on the list had I not seen it over 10 times. I think the first time I saw this movie was so blown away at how good it was that I probably should have left it alone. But I, like most of you had to see it again. The more I saw it the more I kind of grew tired of it. Not that it’s bad it’s just that it didn’t have the staying power I was hoping for. Still though, I’ll never forget how much I enjoyed it the first time I saw it.
I was really debating whether to go with this one, Rocky III or Rocky IV. I think the other two are much “cooler” movies but come on. This one won best picture and when you see it as an adult you can really appreciate the actual story here. And Stallone really does a fantastic job in this one. The later Rocky movies are more aesthetic and clearly less “meaningful” if you will. Rocky was and will always be one of the best sports movies of all time.
5. Vision Quest
I love absolutely everything about this movie. Sure it’s “just” a wrestling movie but I’ll always have a soft spot for it because I saw it as an adolescent and I remember at that time in my life how I was thinking “what am I going to do with my life? what am I going to prove to the world?” The movies brings together all of these elements not to mention the immature mind of a young person in love but not really knowing what love is. Plus the music is intense. The movie is fantastic.
4. The Natural
Talk about awesome. Look, I can’t deny how handsome Robert Redford is in the movie and it helps a lot. But come on. This story is nearly perfect. My only beef with this movie is Glenn Close. I mean come on. Redford is WAY too good looking for her. At least Nicole Basinger is in the film to void it out a bit. But the story of a middle aged rookie up against the owner of a crappy baseball team trying to get the pennant when all the odds are against him? I think I love this movie just because of how low key and “secretive” the character of Roy Hobbs is. It’s something I’d never seen before.
Gene Hackman’s performance. Enough said. I don’t think it’s even close that this is the best portrayal of a coach ever. Basketball happens to be my sport so perhaps I’m a little biased. Still though, small town team makes big with help of estranged kid who allows himself to be coached even though he’s “uncoachable.” Plus you have Dennis Hopper as a crazy alcoholic who loves the game. You get to see how a small town loves the game of basketball and holds it higher than anything else. The movie truly brings the game of basketball past the point of being a game. It’s more than that and the movie demonstrates it to a tee.
No, I’m not a huge fan of The Godfather though I did love the sequel. As far as gangster movies go, Goodfellas is my choice. Every single character in this movie was fantastic. From the crazy Joe Pesci to the trying to be even keeled Ray Liotta to badass Robert De Niro you really can’t mess with Goodfellas. Not one moment went by in the movie where I wasn’t interested. I can’t say enough about this movie. Hell it shows on channel 9 sometimes with bleeped curses and I still watch it.
1. Shawshank Redemption
Honestly. I can’t even explain. I mean I can but it would take days. All I know is that every single time someone asks me what my favorite movie is, I never hesitate in saying “Shawshank Redemption.” Get busy living, or get busy dying. That’s goddamn right.
*Also honorable mention to A River Runs Through It which I just saw recently.