Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Let's Do It Again: My 100 Favorite Films of All Time #10 - #1

Finally we have arrived at the top 10 of my 100 favorite films of all time list. I think my favorite thing to do on this site is compiling and publishing lists, and I am very much looking forward to my usual 50 favorite films of the year list, although unlike many professional critics I can't help but fall behind on seeing every movie I want to so expect that list out in February, and also my 20 favorite television series of the year list as well.

For right now, here we go, my 10 favorites, the films that hit a certain sweet spot for me that only the absolute best can.

10. Paris, Texas

The image above is my Twitter avatar simply because it is a shot that is so hauntingly beautiful that it stuck with me the first time I watched Paris, Texas and I've never been able to shake it. A simple shot but it is filled with so much pain and loneliness, it's just a tiny example of the perfection displayed by director Wim Wenders throughout this masterpiece from 1984. 

9. The Big Lebowski

Back in 1998 the Coen brothers released what is, in my opinion, the greatest comedy to ever grace the screen. The Big Lebowski is endlessly quotable and one of the finest written films ever, with performances to deliver those lines perfectly littered throughout the film from the starring roles of Jeff Bridges and John Goodman to the supporting work from Steve Buscemi, Julianne Moore, John Turturro and the late great Philip Seymour Hoffman, and many others. I can't tell you how many times I have watched The Big Lebowski and I hope I can watch it like 30 or so more times.

8. Se7en

I am a David Fincher superfan and my love for his work can be unquestionably traced back to Se7en, his sophomore directorial effort after the much maligned (yet I truly really enjoy it) Alien 3. A cold, calculated, brilliant thriller about a serial killer (played perfectly by Kevin Spacey, boy do I miss the time not long ago when I could watch his work and appreciate it without feeling the undercurrent of sadness for his victims) and the cops out to catch him (Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman), I have probably realistically watched Se7en 20 or so times by now. It never gets old.

7. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope

Two days away from seeing The Last Jedi, one thing this top 100 list has proven is that I really, really love Star Wars, considering 4 of the 8 films from the franchise up until this point made the cut. Here's to hoping that the next time I do one of these lists The Last Jedi is included as well. Anyways, of course the original had to be in my top ten, it's an iconic piece of science fiction fantasy filmmaking that I spent just as much if not more time with as a child then I did friends. 

6. Vertigo

Hitchcock was a genius and Vertigo was his masterpiece. Does anything else really need to be said? This film is perfect and if by some chance you haven't seen it, do so soon.

5. The Social Network

I was just raving about David Fincher a few films up, and now we have arrived at his greatest achievement, The Social Network, a film that in an alternate more just universe would have won Best Picture and Best Director over The King's Speech and that film's director Tom Hooper (I still can't believe it. I'm not upset. I just can't believe it). Every single second that I watch every single frame of this beauty is a blessing.

4. Singin' in the Rain

Speaking of blessings, checking in at #4 is easily the most joyous and intoxicating cinematic experience ever created, the classic musical Singin' in the Rain. I watch this film whenever I want to smile and feel good and it literally works 100 percent of the time. Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor and the late, great Debbie Reynolds, this is a sublime work that gets better and better with age.

3. The Silence of the Lambs

What numbers 3 and 8 on this list demonstrate is that I am a sucker for a serial killer focused film done right, and The Silence of the Lambs is done really, really, really right, a tremendous work from director Jonathan Demme whom we unfortunately lost earlier this year way too soon. 

2. The Tree of Life

A work of arresting, stunning beauty by director Terrence Malick, a film that funny enough I turned off halfway through the first time I tried watching it and announced that I hated it. I will forever be grateful that I gave it a second chance. The words "life-affirming" are overused in criticism of art in my opinion, just seems like something people say a lot to try to prove how powerful a work is. Well The Tree of Life is life-affirming, as I found a part of myself I didn't know existed upon revisiting it: a belief in something more. I am not religious and I likely never will be, but what Malick accomplished here is a holy experience for me, a declaration of the beauty we can find in this world and the randomness that lead to the miracle of our existence, something that is difficult to chalk up to mere coincidence.

1. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

As you can see, it is going to take an awful lot for The Last Jedi to become my favorite Star Wars film...because it would have to dethrone my favorite movie ever made. For a while I had The Tree of Life in this spot because of what it meant to me personally and emotionally now, as an adult, but after a lot of thought and consideration the movie that was the greatest thing I had ever seen when I was a kid and somehow, inexplicably, is even BETTER when watching as an adult, has to be my all time favorite because it just is. There is something about the way I feel watching Empire that is difficult to put into words, like I can still connect with my inner child yet bask in the aspects of cinema I love as an adult as well, like the phenomenal pacing that somehow allows every memorable piece of storytelling that exists in this one movie to move with perfect fluidity during a mere two hour run time. Nothing is rushed, nothing drags, and everything is just so damn excellent.


  1. Hm, was not expecting this to be your top 10, however, they are good picks. Only one I can't agree with is Vertigo. I've seen it 3 times, and I hate it. Don't care for it. Don't understand why it's a classic.

    1. not bothered at all by your Vertigo hate, but I am fascinated by it haha. Such a beloved film that ranking it so high actually feels sort of cliche, like saying Citizen Kane is the greatest film of all time.