Nick’s Top 12 Favorite Films Of All Time

Hello my fellow movie goers from around the globe. Today’s editorial is about my personal favorite films of all time. I’ve never got a chance to discuss my picks on which specific films I consider them masterpieces and how they want me to become a film critic, inspire me to create my own stories, respect the art of cinema and reasons why they impacted me as a movie lover on specific genres. Anyway, here are my “Top 12 Favorite Films Of All Time.” Why 12? Because I don’t want an extra number causing any bad luck.

Top 12 Favorite Films Of All Time

12. Watchmen

Based on the DC Comics graphic novel of the same name written by Alan Moore, (V For Vendetta, Batman: The Killing Joke) Zack Snyder’s film adaptation is a different take on the superhero genre. This time what if superheroes alter historical events like Richard Nixon’s gaining a third term remaining as president, Vietnam becomes the 51st state and the Watergate Scandal never happened?

I wrote a non-spoiler review of Watchmen’s three hour plus Ultimate Cut. Feel free to check it out. If you haven’t seen or the graphic novel, I strongly recommend you to read the comics or watch the movie.

11. Independence Day

Marketing for Independence Day showed The White House blowing up by an alien ship. This encouraged many movies goers to see what the aliens look like. Independence Day received divisive reviews from critics including the late Gene Siskel & Roger Ebert while some praise it as a groundbreaking achievement like “Star Wars.” The biggest movie of 1996 broke box office records catapulting Will Smith as an action star alongside “Bad Boys.”

When I first saw it, I was mesmerized by the special effects, action sequences, relatable characters trying to survive at all costs, the stakes further escalate upon each act among a lot of things I wrote for my fully detailed non-spoiler review about Roland Emmerich’s misunderstood masterpiece. To this day, I’m baffled why most critics didn’t like Independence Day, I thought it was an instant classic yet it turned out to be one of my favorite movies of all time. Too bad a sequel 20 Years in the making failed my expectations. From my perspective, the first movie remains as a cornerstone.

10. Interstellar

An epic sci-fi adventure directed, co-written & co-produced by my idol and & all time favorite director, Christopher “Chris” Nolan. When I first saw it I was mystified by its vivid scope in terms of cinematography, practical effects, Hans Zimmer’s beautiful score and minimum C.G.I. Interstellar’s primary factors are arguably the performances by Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Casey Affleck, Mackenzie Foy, Timothée Chalamet, John Lithgow, Michael Caine, (Chris’ good luck charm) Bill Irwin & a mystery A-List actor (you’ll have to see who it is, I can’t tell you) all did an amazing job for roles.

I never got bored from start to finish, I was captivated by both emotional & physical stakes about a father & daughter relationship putting a strain on them when it comes to prevent humanity from dying. If you want to see my fully detailed non-spoiler review for Interstellar, go ahead & see my further thoughts on why I consider it was one of my favorite movies of all time. Such a shame it wasn’t nominated for “Best Picture” at “The Oscars.” I ranked Interstellar as my number one movie of 2014.

9. Inception

Another Chris Nolan masterpiece outranking one. Inception is an ambitious pet project Chris has been working on since he was starting his career. He decided to postpone Inception in order to gain experience on directing big budget films. Thanks to Insomnia, “The Dark Knight Trilogy & “The Prestige,” he has mastered the craft on making films for a mass audience.

Inception is an interesting unique high concept involving thieves who use a device to perform a heist within a person’s subconscious. Chris did a magnificent job polishing his script to the big screen putting final touches to keep the story intact. The Cast led by Leonardo DiCaprio all did an amazing job for their performances. Special Effect relied on Practical Effects with C.G.I. used sparingly. Hans Zimmer’s score is very memorable to listen to. Cinematography is jaw dropping. The Stakes were high both physically and emotionally for everybody involved in a mind-bending heist.

Inception is an instant classic. I had great memories seeing it on the big screen. If you want to see my further thoughts about Inception, go ahead and check out my non-spoiler review. Too bad “The King’s Speech” robbed Inception’s Best Picture Award.

8. Terminator 2: Judgement Day

Besides “Aliens,” James Cameron’s magnum opus is arguably Terminator 2: Judgement Day. When I first saw it, I was amazed on how a sequel like Aliens can do something different in terms of a cohesive storyline, putting characters in a brand new predicament without doing the same movie again.

Prior to its release, the audience was fooled this was gonna be just another copy of the first movie. Until the audience realize The Termiantor/T-800 is different from the last one sent to kill Sarah Conner. This time it’s a reprogrammed by John Connor’s team from the future with a job to protect John from the past. The actual villain sent by Skynet is T-1000, a shapeshifting cyborg who can regenerate. Thus putting the stakes at risk with Sarah, John & T-800 attempting to put a halt to Skynet’s prophecy from fulling.

To this day, Terminator 2: Judgement Day still holds up for a film that came out in 1991. Special Effects with T-1000’s liquid form resembling a silver Oscar statue aged well like fine wine. Performances by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong & Robert Patrick all did an awesome job. Action Sequences are drastically improved pushing the budget up as the first one had its limits for a low budget. Dialogue is very memorable. Besides John & Sarah, T-800 also earned Character Development. The structure is unique, not a retelling of the first film.

7. Fight Club

What’s the First Rule about Fight Club? You do not talk about Fight Club. Second Rule of Fight Club? You do not talk about Fight Club.

Fight Club is based on a novel by Chuck Palahniuk about a man who suffers from a lack of sleep, has an addiction to support groups, makes up fake names & hates his job. Then everything changes when he first meets Tyler Durden, a mysterious individual who guides the man on an odyssey to start a secret fighting underground. At the time of its release, Fight Club earned mixed reactions from critics due to its controversial theme involving anarchy back when The Columbine Massacre became a national tragedy. Overtime, Fight Club became a cult phenomenon later gaining critical acclaim.

David Fincher did a fantastic job taking full responsibility as a filmmaker visually translating the novel on the silver screen keeping the unnamed protagonist’s mental problems intact for the viewer/ to relate to him as he goes through both external & internal predicaments. Edward Norton (one of my favorite actors) & Brad Pitt both did an excellent job for their performances. Mortality, Mentality, Identity, Anarchy & Freedom all factor in as primary themes. Helena Bonham Carter, Jared Leto & Meat Loaf also did well for their performances. Especially Meat Loaf’s role as Robert Paulson. Not making this up, he also shares the same name as voice actor Rob Paulson. You know the voice of Yakko from “Animaniacs?”

If you haven’t seen the plot twist, you’re lucky I didn’t spoil it. Get off your butt and give this masterpiece a watch.

6. Toy Story 1-3

This was a difficult choice to choose which Toy Story entry deserves to be on The Top 12. I know it’s cheating, but I think the first three Toy Story films are instant classics. I have to give credit to the the first film as the first film I ever saw in a movie theater with my mom and grandma took me when I was two. As I’ve mentioned on my review for the first movie, Toy Story made an impact on me as a kid which made me fell in love with movies. Without it, I thing would be completely different.

Pixar at the time made a name for themselves as the first ever production company to make a fully computer animated film. Toy Story changed the animation field forever encouraged other animation studios to create their own computer animated films including “DreamWorks,” “Blue Sky Studios,” “Illumination,” “Sony Animation” just to name a few.

The Cast led by Tom Hanks & Tim Allen were amazing for their voiceover performances. Computer Animation still holds up for each installment. Animators worked their butts off to craft a movie with technology that was difficult to achieve yet they endure it with all their effort. Chemistry between Woody & Buzz serve as a primary factor for the entire films. Humor depicts visual humor as well as hilarious dialogue. Even though they can give you a chuckle, each movie can make some people cry. I on the other hand never did.

Out of all the movies, Toy Story 2 is my personal favorite. If you want more info about all three of my articles, feel free to read each one. I forgot to mention Toy Story 4 as another good entry. It was difficult to include the fourth film. As part of my Top 12. Not to worry I’ve listed it as an honorable mention.

5. Logan

As a lifelong fan of Marvel since “Fox Kids” was a thing in The 90’s, this was perhaps the first Marvel movie to take itself on a whole new level when it comes to building dramatic tension in a realistic take of the X-Men film series. The previous films were story driven with an ensemble cast, unlike them, Logan is a character driven arc about Wolverine’s one last mission to protect a girl named, Laura a clone of Wolverine who has an important connection to him. With the help of Professor X, they accept a mission to protect his daughter from a shady organization hunting down mutants.

Hugh Jackman did an excellent job for his role as Wolverine worth a last hurrah alongside Patrick Stewart & Dafnee Keen. James Mangold did a fantastic job directing the film. Action Sequences are bloodier than the other movies taking cues from “Deadpool.” The tone is somber as Wolverine becomes a former shelf of himself way past his prime due to his healing factor not working, causing him to age like a normal human being. James Mangold took liberties to make Wolverine’s swan song a hard R character driven installment.

When I saw it in the theater, I was invested in Wolverine, Professor X & Laura/X-23’s interactions as they embark on a road trip to find shelter. While” X-Men Origins: Wolverine” was bad, “The Wolverine” sets a comeback for the character, then Logan solidified it as a masterpiece showing us a real Wolverine movie refusing to apologize and not letting kids see a somber yet brutal superhero movie deconstructing the genre into a western drama. Think of it as a cross between “Unforgiven” & Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “Biutiful.”

For more info, I wrote a non-spoiler review for Logan. I also ranked it in both my “Top 12 Movies Of 2017” & “Top 12 Movies Of The 2010’s.” Feel free to check out my further thoughts.

4. Pulp Fiction

Quentin Tarantino became a household name for his works as either a director or writer in The 90’s including “Reservoir Dogs,” “True Romance,” “Natural Born Killers,” “From Dusk Til’ Dawn” & “Jackie Brown.” One film that catapulted him into fame is none other than Pulp Fiction. As a fan of Quentin’s work, it was very difficult for me to pick which one is his magnum opus, I had to pick Pulp Fiction as it’s arguably his crowning achievement. It was a risky decision to cast John Travolta, due to appearing in critical flops. In a twist of fate, the film propelled him back as an A-Lister. Until Battlefield Earth imploded his career as a leading man. Samuel L. Jackson became a household name for his loudmouth performance who’s now often typecasted as an over-the-top foul mouth character with no in-door voice. He’s Quentin’s lucky charm.

Other Cast Members including Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman, Vig Rhames, Tim Roth, Eric Stoltz, Harvey Keitel & Christopher Walken all did a great job on their roles as part of an ensemble cast of memorable characters. The film is dialogue written with so many pop culture references, lines are so quotable you can’t forget a single one or two. Pulp Fiction is told in a non-linear/out-of-order sequence. Humor contain dark moments played for laughs.

For more information about my further thoughts on Pulp Fiction, I’ve written an article about it. Feel free to read it.

3. The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King

Peter Jackson’s Best Picture winning film still holds up alongside the first two movies in The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy. I still have great memories going to the theater witness all three movies without going to the bathroom. It was a challenge for me to hold my bladder fearing I would miss something important. The Cast were excellent. Action Sequences kept me invested as I want to see which character should make it out alive. Environmental Locations felt unique bringing specific areas to life. Music orchestrated by Howard Shore is memorable to listen upon watching. Peter Jackson worked his butt off on all three films translating the books on the big screen.

To this day, I consider The Return Of The King as a masterpiece in modern cinema. I strongly recommend extended cuts on all three films. That’ll keep you invested. Make sure to pause if you need to use the toilet. I can talk about The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy all day as an award winning game changer.

2. The Empire Strikes Back

I know what you’re thinking, any Star Wars fan ranks The Empire Strikes Back as the best in the series, as a fan of Star Wars, I can’t help but to appreciate a darker take with a new direction on what the characters have to overcome The Empire & Darth Vader.

I was a kid, when I saw non-altered versions of The Original Trilogy on VHS. Like some born in The 90’s, I was one of them introduced by my parents passing a fond memory of nostalgia to another spanning future generations. Before Google or social media, memes online, I was lucky to witness Darth Vader’s “I am your father” scene. It shocked me at a young age.

I’ll keep my thoughts short on this because many countless fans like me mention The Empire Strikes Back as probably the best installment of the franchise. For more info on my thoughts on The Empire Strikes Back, I wrote a review about it.

1. The Dark Knight

Christopher Nolan’s magnum opus as well as my favorite movie of all time is none other than The Dark Knight. It is arguably considered to be “The Godfather” of comic book movies pushing the superhero genre to the limit. As both a fan of Chris & Batman, this felt like an adaptation of Bruce Timm’s animated series, which is my favorite cartoon growing up. The Cast led by Christian Bale all did a tremendous job for their performances. Practical Effects were heavily used while C.G.I. was used sparingly. Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack is catchy. Action Sequences felt realistic. I can talk about the film’s strengths all day. I even wrote a fully detailed review about The Dark Knight. So feel free to check it out.

Thanks to Heath Ledger’s Oscar winning portrayal as Joker, The Dark Knight alongside “Batman Begins” & “The Dark Knight Rises” inspired many filmmakers to reboot a franchise into a darker and grittier take such as “Casino Royale,” “Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes,” “Dredd,” “Man Of Steel,” “Joker,” “Star Trek,” “Godzilla 2014,” “The Amazing Spider-Man” among many others.

I’m ashamed my favorite movie has never earned a Best Picture nomination. It felt like the perfect movie of 2008. Too bad The Academy selected Slumdog Millionaire as the wrong winner.

Well that’s it for my Top 12 Movies Of All Time. What are your favorite movies? Please leave a comment.

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