I am no expert film critic and I haven’t seen all the “greatest films in history” but what I am is a movie lover who grew up watching both the classics and modern-day movies. I believe movies have the power to shape and change us and these are just a few examples of cinema that have helped turn me into the person I am today. Hope you see some of your favorites and maybe pick up a few new ones. Enjoy!
10. Shawshank Redemption (1994)
I have to remind myself that some birds aren’t meant to be caged.
The best redemption movie ever made, in my opinion. I mean, it’s in the very title. With a strong and determined man as the main character, I had no doubt that he would get his redemption. The only question left was “How?”. That’s the story you get. How? How can he make his escape? How will he get everything he needs? And how will this end? Because I knew/hoped for a happy ending. But would I get it? I didn’t truly know until the end. And I think that’s great story telling right there. With characters you’ll get attached to and a story full of heart, Shawshank Redemption definitely earns its place among the best movies of all time.
9. Mulan (1998)
The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.
Okay, for sure I had to include a Disney movie on this list because I am one hell of a Disney kid. This wasn’t the first one I ever watched but it was the first time I wanted to be an actual princess. Yes I know, she isn’t technically a Disney princess but that’s a lie and we all know it. She is the best one of them all (fight me). I mean, c’mon! She saved aaaaallll of China for Pete’s sake! If you aren’t drawn to it yet because of its story the songs will definitely have you hooked. Give it a try! You won’t regret it.
8. X-Men (2000)
Mankind is not evil, just… uninformed.
My first super-hero movie ever! X-Men is the very reason I fell in love with movies like these. Yup, this is definitely not The Avengers. But this certainly helped propel super-hero flicks to the new era. Full of action and mutant-y awesomeness, X-Men made me a lover of all things Marvel. It introduced me to Stan Lee and to the very concept of action films. This will always have a special place in my heart because without it I wouldn’t be racing to the theaters every time a new Marvel movie came out.
7. The Shining (1980)
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
I honestly believe that this is the best horror movie of all frickin’ time! Full of drama and fear and ghosts terrifying the hotel’s current guardians. The Shining is a masterpiece of iconic scenes and quotes. Who hasn’t heard “Here’s Johnny!” and “Redrum”? Again filled with amazing acting all the way from Jack Nicholson (duh) to the kid who plays Danny. If the twins don’t scare you, Jack Nicholson certainly will.
6. How To Train Your Dragon (2010)
Everything we know about them, is wrong.
Dragons! Vikings! Training of said dragons! No? Not buying what I’m selling just yet? Alright, let me break it down for you even more: It is perfect. I can watch this every day and never get tired of it. Safe to say, there are personal reasons as to why I love it (Toothless reminds me of my kitty baby Binx) but this is really something any one of any age can appreciate. Toothless is the star of the movie with his cat-like qualities, but his trainer Hiccup is one funny dude, guys. And watching their relationship grow and watching them learn to trust each other definitely left me very emotional. If you’re in the mood for animation that isn’t Minions centric, this is the one for you.
5. My Fair Lady (1964)
Come on Dover, move your bloomin’ arse!
Watch it because it is an Audrey Hepburn movie and she is queen. Another first for me and I watched it with my parents at a very young age and it certainly set the standard for movie musicals for me. A great film full of beautiful costumes, great music, and great acting, My Fair Lady is something everyone should watch at least once in their lifetime. Plus, the ending always leaves me a little teary eyed.
4. Back To The Future (1985)
Your future hasn’t been written yet. No one’s has. Your future is whatever you make it. So make it a good one.
Ah, nostalgia. Is there anything more powerful than that? I wasn’t even born and yet I’m longing for these times. The quintessential 80’s movie, Back To The Future makes time travel seem so exciting. Michael J. Fox is perfect in this movie. It’s amazing to know that he wasn’t even the first person cast as Marty McFly when they started filming. I think we should all thank the heavens he was recast for this. The opening sequence has you hooked immediately because of its iconic theme “The Power Of Love” and the cool skateboarding. Even though we are already in the actual future, I’m still holding on to the hope that we’ll get hoverboards and self-lacing shoes.
3. Iron Man (2008)
Tony Stark was able to build this in a cave! With a box of scraps!
Speaking of Marvel movies that have left a big impact on my life: Iron Man was the first film in the MCU and it’s pretty common knowledge that without it there wouldn’t be an MCU. Imagine the world we would be living in if this bombed. There would be no Infinity War or Black Panther. It would be a dark and desolate place. Plus the fact that watching this for the first time kind of helped me handle my depression. I know it’s just a movie but this and each subsequent one definitely left me excited about the future. Because that’s where all the Marvel movies are.
2. The Godfather/ The Godfather II (1972/1974)
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
Okay, where do I even start with these? If you haven’t seen them yet, stop reading this and go watch it. Right now. If you have seen them, you’ll understand when I say that these are the greatest films ever created. Both films are a tie for me because how can I possibly choose one over the other for this list? It gave us the talents of both Pacino and De Niro, ‘nuff said. Full of blood, betrayal, gunnings, and oranges. This one is something I‘ve watched over and over again and every time I am still picking up something new. Watch it. Then watch it again and again and again.
1. Silence Of The Lambs (1991)
Whenever feasible, one should always try to eat the rude.
The best way I can describe this art form of a film is that after watching it once, it lingers with you. I can’t forget it even if I tried. It both horrified and thrilled me. Outstanding acting from both Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins. The latter sent chills down my spine and kept my eyes glued to the screen. Easily one of my favorite movies of all time!
I hope you picked up a few new ones for your next marathon!