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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Honorable Mentions (In Each Year)
Before I reveal my all time favorite movie, here are a bunch of movies from a specific year. As a frequent movie goer, here’s a lot of movies I like spanning five decades.
1970 – Patton
1971 – A Clockwork Orange, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
1972 – The Godfather, Cabaret
1973 – Enter The Dragon, Robin Hood
1974 -The Godfather Part II, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein
1975 – Dog Day Afternoon, Jaws
1976 – Rocky
1977 – A New Hope
1978 – Halloween, Grease, Superman
1979 – Apocalypse Now, All That Jazz, Alien, The Muppets Movie
1980 – Raging Bull, The Shining, Airplane, The Blues Brothers, Caddyshack
1981 – Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Mad Max: The Road Warrior, An American Werewolf In London, Escape From New York, Time Bandits, Stripes, The Evil Dead, Superman II
1982 – Blade Runner, John Carpenter’s The Thing, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan, Rocky III, Conan The Barbarian, Tron, The Dark Crystal, Fast Times At Ridgemont High, Airplane II: The Sequel, Annie, Poltergiest
1983 – Scarface, The Right Stuff, The King Of Comedy, Star Wars: The Return Of The Jedi, Vacation
1984 – Ghostbusters, The Terminator, Beverly Hills Cop, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Gremlins, The Karate Kid
1985 – Back To To The Future, The Goonies, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Mad Max: Beyond The Thunderdome, Rocky IV, Rambo II
1986 – Aliens, The Fly, Stand By Me, Big Trouble In Little China, Transformers: The Movie, Top Gun, Platoon, Little Shop Of Horrors, An American Tail, Three Amigos, The Color Of Money, Ferris Buller’s Day Off
1987 – Spaceballs, Predator, RoboCop, Evil Dead 2, Full Metal Jacket, Lethal Weapon, The Lost Boys, The Princess Bride, The Chipmunk Adventure, Good Morning Vietnam, The Running Man, Innerspace
1988 – Die Hard, Akira, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Big, Beetlejuice
1989 – Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Back To The Future Part II, Born On The 4th Of July, Do The Right Thing, Honey I Shrunk The Kids, Christmas Vacation, Lethal Weapon 2, The Abyss, The Little Mermaid, Batman, Ghostbusters II
1990 – Goodfellas, Total Recall, Back To The Future Part III, Die Hard II, The Hunt For Red October, Days Of Thunder, Misery, Ducktales The Movie, Edward Scissorhands, The Rescuers Down Under, Darkman, Home Alone
1991 – Beauty & The Beast, The Silence Of The Lambs, Point Break, Cape Fear, Thelma & Louise, JFK, Boys N The Hood, Hot Shots, City Slickers, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, The Addams Family, Barton Fink
1992 – Reservoir Dogs, Aladdin, Unforgiven, Wayne’s World, Malcolm X, Patriot Games, A Few Good Men, The Player, The Mighty Ducks, A League Of Their Own, Candyman, Batman Returns
1993 – Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm, The Firm, True Romance, Tombstone, Carlito’s Way, Last Action Hero, Addams Family Values, Hot Shots Part Deux, Mrs. Doubtfire
1994 – The Lion King, Forrest Gump, The Shawshank Redemption, True Lies, Speed, Natural Born Killers, The Crow, Dumb & Dumber, The Mask, Airheads, Interview With A Vampire, Stargate
1995 – Heat, Seven, Braveheart, Now & Then, Goldeneye, Casino, Jumanji, Tommy Boy, Die Hard With A Vengeance, Bad Boys, Mallrats, A Goofy Movie
1996 -Mission Impossible, Fargo, Beavis & Butthead Do America, The Nutty Professor, Matilda, The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, From Dusk Til’ Dawn, Jingle All The Way, 12 Monkeys, The Cable Guy, Star Trek: First Contact, The Rock, Space Jam
1997 – Boogie Nights, Men In Black, Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery, Jackie Brown, Starship Troopers, The Fifth Element, Con Air, Face/Off, Cats Don’t Dance, George Of The Jungle, Titanic, Hercules
1998 – Saving Private Ryan, Rush Hour, The Big Lebowski, Mulan, The Mask Of Zorro, The Thin Red Line, Being John Malkovich, Mighty Joe Young, A Bug’s Life, The Prince Of Egypt, Enemy Of The State, Small Soldiers, Blade
1999 – South Park Bigger, Longer & Uncut, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, The Matrix, Being John Malkovich, Magnolia, The Iron Giant, Boys Don’t Cry, The Green Mile, Galaxy Quest, American Pie, Girl Interrupted, Tarzan
2000 – Gladiator, Unbreakable, Requiem For A Dream, American Psycho, Memento, Almost Famous, Remember The Titans, Meet The Parents, The Emperor’s New Groove, Chicken Run, The Road To El Dorado, Mission Impossible II
2001 – Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Shrek, Ocean’s 11, The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring, Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone, Training Day, Monster’s Inc. Zoolander, Rush Hour 2, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Rat Race, Spy Kids
2002 – Insomnia, The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers, Spider-Man, Harry Potter & The Chamber Of Secrets, Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy Nights, The Bourne Identity, Minority Report, Road To Perdition, 8 Mile, Treasure Planet, Catch Me If You Can, Gangs Of New York
2003-2004 – Kill Bill
2003 – Finding Nemo, X2: X-Men United, Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl, Old School, Bad Santa, Elf, The School Of Rock, Mystic River, Finding Nemo, Bruce Almighty, The Last Samurai, Peter Pan
2004 – The Incredibles, Spider-Man 2, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, Shrek 2, Collateral, Anchorman, Shaun Of The Dead, The Aviator, Team America: World Police, Hellboy, Dawn Of The Dead, Troy, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
2005 – Batman Begins, V For Vendetta, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Wererabbit, Madagascar, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Corpse Bride, Harry Potter & The Goblet Of Fire, Star Wars: Revenge Of The Sith, King Kong, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Wedding Crashers, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory
2006 – The Departed, Casino Royale, Borat, The Prestige, Over The Hedge, Ricky Bobby, Unaccompanied Minors, Rocky Balboa, The Pursuit Of Happyness, Jackass Number Two, Click, Babel, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Larry The Cable Guy: Health Inspector
2007 – Hot Fuzz, The Simpsons Movie, American Gangster, Superbad, Ratatouille, There Will Be Blood, 300, Sweeney Tood, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, 3:10 To Yuma, Zodiac, Ocean’s 13, Enchanted, Delta Farce
2008 – Iron Man, Tropic Thunder, Kung Fu Panda, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, Wall-E, The Incredible Hulk, Step Brothers, Pineapple Express, Hancock, Get Smart, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Cloverfield
2009 – Inglorious Basterds, The Hangover, Coraline, District 9, Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, Sherlock Holmes, Brüno, Zombieland, I Love You Man, Sherlock Holmes, Public Enemies, Up
2010-2011 – Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows
2010 – Shutter Island, True Grit, Tangled, Megamind, Despicable Me, The Fighter, Kick-Ass, The Other Guys, Jackass 3-D, Black Swan, Scott Pilgrim VS. The World, The Runaways
2011 – Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Drive, Contagion, Rango, X-Men: First Class, Fast Five, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Captain America: The First Avenger, The Muppets, Bridesmaids, Kung Fu Panda 2, New Year’s Eve
2012 – The Avengers, Skyfall, Django Unchained, The Dark Knight Rises, Dredd, Argo, Wreck-It-Ralph, The Master, Lincoln, Ted, 21 Jump Street, Brave
2013 – The Wolf Of Wall Street, This Is The End, Anchorman 2, Pacific Rim, Fast & Furious 6, Frozen, Iron Man 3, The Wolverine, Bad Grandpa, Dragon Ball Z: Battle Of Gods, Despicable Me 2, Monster University
2014 – Guardians Of The Galaxy, Edge Of Tomorrow, The Lego Movie, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, John Wick, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Big Hero 6, 22 Jump Street, Birdman, American Sniper, Gone Girl, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Inherent Vice
2015 – Mad Max: Fury Road, The Hateful Eight, Mission Impossible: Rouge Nation, The Revenant, Inside Out, Furious 7, The Martian, Creed, Straight Outta Compton, Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F, Ant-Man, Spectre
2016 – Deadpool, La La Land, Hacksaw Ridge, Sausage Party, Finding Dory, The Nice Guys, Star Wars: Rouge One, Captain America: Civil War, Zootopia, Dr. Strange, The Secret Life Of Pets, Fantastic Beasts
2017 – Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2, Dunkirk, The Lego Batman Movie, Wonder Woman, Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle, Baby Driver, It: Chapter 1, John Wick: Chapter 2, The Fate Of The Furious, Kong: Skull Island, Thor: Ragnarok, I Tonya
2018 – Avengers: Infinity War, Mission Impossible: Fallout, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, Deadpool 2, Incredibles 2, A Quiet Place, A Star Is Born, Ready Player One, Black Panther, Ralph Breaks The Internet, Annihilation, Bohemian Rhapsody, Crazy Rich Asians
2019 – Joker, Avengers: Endgame, Rocketman, El Camino, Dolemite Is My Name, Toy Story 4, Shazam, The Irishman, Godzilla: King Of The Monsters, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, Dragon Ball Super: Broly, John Wick: Chapter 3
2020 – Tenet, Onward
2021 – The Suicide Squad, Zack Snyder’s Justice League, Godzilla VS. Kong
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.