In honor of this film challenge, I decided it would be fun to list and rank my personal all time favorite movies. This was fun, but it was much harder than I thought.
I want you to first understand that this is MY All Time Favorite List! This means that you will probably not agree with some, any or all of it.
If it was the same as your films, it would be called Our All Time Favorite List.
The thing about a personal list is that you need a personal connection. It doesn’t necessarily mean they are the all time greatest movies ever. But that for some reason – Fun, Inspiration, Funny, Great Performance, or whatever the case may be – they really stayed with me.
There are a lot of movies made per year and only a few that even get nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. That does not mean that the other films not nominated were not good films or liked by many.
So don’t take the inevitable exclusion of YOUR favorite movies personal.
So here we go….my personal list. We’ll start with #30 – #21:
#30 – The Fugitive (1993)
A well balanced battle between an intelligent doctor accused of murdering his wife, and the relentless deputy that will stop at nothing to bring him in. Played to perfection that smart alleck that is Tommy Lee Jones (I’m fan of smarty pants’) this one grabs you from the beginning and never lets go. I have watched this movie more times than I can count and I still never get tired of it.
#29 – Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
With an all star cast so big you wonder how they were able to afford to make this film, Ocean’s Eleven just works. I wasn’t sure if it would as I’m not a big fan of George Clooney (I still think he plays every part the same). But it does. From the chemistry of all of the crew to the perfect blend of smug and power of Andy Garcia as the “villain” (how could he be the villain when he simply doesn’t want anyone robbing his casino), the film feels right. Sure it glamorizes breaking the law, but we’re the ones who find ourselves cheering for the thieves. Add to that the amazing feel of being in Vegas and I love this movie as much as I love Vegas. Now if only they had stopped here and not bothered with the dismal two sequels we’d be happy. But still I won’t take away from how good this one was.
#28 – Speed
Yes I know. Keanu Reeves can’t act to save his life. But you still can’t deny the excitement you felt when you watched this film. What exactly was going to happen with the bus? How were they going to get out of this? Were they going to get out of this? It was a pure adrenaline rush that launched the long career of Sandra Bullock. Don’t pretend you didn’t love it.
#27 – Jerry Maguire
I will say about this movie what has been said about it a million times before, it had a lot of heart. Memorable characters (I recently saw an online article about the kid in this movie as an adult now. He hasn’t done anything, he just grew up. That’s how popular he was in this movie), some of the most popular quotes of the past 15 years (Show me the money, You complete me, etc), and a warm hearted story all make this a modern day classic. And am I the only one who wanted to punch Bob Sugar in the mouth?
#26 – Remember The Titans
Apparently keeping the theme of football here, this is the first film on my list based on a true story. Racial tension alleviated through sports competition seems a little farfetched. I suppose that’s why the first line of the narrative in the film states that in Virginia, Football is the biggest thing. A warning perhaps? Either way, this was a captivating story full of memorable characters and performances. Some of the actors who played the football players in this film went on to have a solid career….including a then relatively unknown Ryan Gosling.
#25 – Philadelphia
I absolutely love court room films and tv shows. If I had it to do all over again I would have become a lawyer. My strength is arguing because I believe anything can be argued. But there are rules to arguing in court. You must make people think without breaking court room rules. What better subject to make people think than Aids and Homosexuality? Played perfectly by both leads, Tom Hanks was convincing of a frustrated, dying man in pain fighting for what’s right. His Oscar was well deserved. However Denzel Washington should also have received a win in my opinion. He had a harder job. His job was to play the face of all ignorant, but scared men in those days. Then it was to defend the unpopular defense. Bold, honest, brilliant, wildly entertaining….this film belongs on everyone’s list.
#24 – The Hurricane
The second straight entry starring Denzel Washington, this one deserved an Oscar more than Philadelphia. Rumors were that, a) this performance was too close to that of his performance in Malcolm X (I disagree), and b) the Academy was not a big fan of films portraying another person’s life. Apparently just five short years later, that entire thought process changed with Jamie Foxx winning the Oscar for his portrayal of Ray Charles. But whatever the case may be, this entire film was carried by Washington’s performance as the star boxer falsely accused of murder. If that wasn’t one of the best performances ever, what are you looking for in an actor?
#23 – Forrest Gump
While I think that Tom Hanks played the role of Forrest Gump to perfection, I think this is one of those films where the film is just as good as the performance. Sometimes that’s not the case. A lot of times an awesome performance tends to steal the show. Not the case here. Undeniably original this film is fun to watch anytime or any decade you watch it. Perhaps a shorter running time would have made it rank higher on my list. But in the meantime I gotta go….”I gotta find Buuuubbbaaaaa”
#22 – Ray
How many times do you find yourself forgetting that you’re watching an actor while watching the life story of a public figure? That’s exactly what happens about 15 minutes in to this film. Played so well by Jamie Foxx that even the family of Ray Charles said they forgot they were watching an actor play him while watching the film. Aside from that, the film itself was very good too. I remember seeing it in the theater and listening to everyone outside the theater talk about it. A sure fire sign of a good movie.
#21 – Malcolm X
Perhaps because of the reputation of Malcolm X regarding his views on whites at one point, this movie wasn’t as big as it should have been. An interesting life Malcolm X led and Denzel Washington brought it to life with perfection. I will even say this was easily Spike Lee’s best film of his career. It was undeniably long but that three hours and 20 minutes went by faster than I ever would have imagined. Agree with his views or disagree, you can’t deny that this was an entertaining biopic that should be required watching in classrooms across America. But of course, that would never happen.
Which of these films would make your list?
My top 20 – 11 coming soon. Stay tuned. Thanks for reading…..
- Ocean’s Eleven voted best movie remake, says Empire magazine poll (mirror.co.uk)
- Quiz: Movie Compatibility (imamovienerd.wordpress.com)
- Keanu Reeves Confirms The Script Is Ready For The New ‘Bill & Ted’ Sequel (pinkisthenewblog.com)
- Melancholia (intheperputualruins.com)
- Top 10 Favorite Best Picture Oscar Winning Movies (geektyrant.com)