“Enjoy the magic of the movies.”
You have no idea how difficult it was to make this list. I adore movies. And there are so many good movies out there. These are my top 10 favorite movies. Of all time. Which is to say that this list may be completely different from your own, the IMDb Top 10, or a list of Oscar winner. Some of these films are a little older, think early 90s, but to me, it’s the tried and true best movies of all time. You’ve definitely heard of them, probably know the general story line, and may have even seen them yourself. So I’m not breaking down the plot. I’m not trying to convince you to watch them. I’m just here providing my favorite quote from the film and the reason I love it so much.
Honorable Mention: Fried Green Tomatoes – “A heart can be broken but it still keeps a beating.” This is a story within a story. And I’m a sucker for those type of movies (think The Princess Bride, Forest Gump, or Life of Pi). But you really get to see how the story of Ruth and Idgie affects Evelyn and her life. It’s a great film, a great book, and the score is by Thomas Newman (who is absolutely fantastic). The best track of the film is obviously The Whistle Stop Cafe, which basically sums up how the whole film will make you feel.
10. Under the Tuscan Sun – “Life offers you a thousand chances… all you have to do is take one.” I think the thing about this movie is that the plot is really just one woman’s life. It’s a story of courage and it takes place in Italy. So win win. Something about it just makes you feel good, like you can tackle any challenge. And that’s why I love it. Plus the scenery is just beautiful.
9. Jumanji – “Jumanji. A game for those who seek to find a way to leave their world behind. You roll the dice to move your token. Doubles gets another turn. And the first player to reach the end wins.” I realize this is based off of a children’s picture book. But it’s Robin Williams’ best work, if you ask me. The story is fun and full of action. With a happy ending. Plus, tell me you didn’t secretly wish Jumanji was a real game that you could play!
8. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – “I’m one with the Force. The Force is with me.” So this is BIG IMPACT here. It’s the newest movie, by far, in my top ten. And the only Star Wars movie (FIGHT ME. They’re good but not in my top ten). But this movie, the characters felt real. The stakes felt real. And SPOILER – they all die. Which was sad, but again, it gave the movie actual stakes. It was gritty and it showed a real rebellion. But it also was full of hope. Seriously, I could go on and on with how much I loved it.
7. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring – “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” Where the books seemed overly long and drawn out, the cinematic start of Frodo Baggins journey is just the right amount of detail and exposition. Well actually, watch the extended edition. It’s perfect. And 208 minutes doesn’t even feel too long! I can’t think of any other series that sets themselves up so perfectly for the long journey to follow. (You should obviously follow this movie up with the next two. But really the first one is the best.) And I’d be remiss not to mention the score for this film is amazing. Concerning Hobbits is my favorite song and perfect for reading or working or just enjoying the sunshine.
6. The Shawshank Redemption – “Get busy living or get busy dying.” What started as a short story by Stephen King became one of the best movies of all time. And even though part of the story was sad and depressing, the end was full of hope. Casting really made this movie perfect though. Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins nailed their roles.
5. Mulan – “The flower that blooms in adversity… is the most rare and beautiful of them all.” Greatest Disney movie of all time? Hands down, YES. I can 100% quote the entire movie. And I love the songs. Plus Mushu is hilarious. But what I like the most is the fact that a girl can save her family, her country, and herself. This was revolutionary for Disney at time. But I can verify that I watched this last week, and really is a timeless tale.
4. Independence Day – “Mankind. That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can’t be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it’s fate that today is the Fourth of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom… Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution… but from annihilation. We are fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day the world declared in one voice: We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!” GREATEST CINEMATIC PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH OF ALL TIME. This movie forever changed the Fourth of July. (I know you’ve seen the Will Smith memes.) But it’s also a classic; strong plot, great casting, perfect acting. And as long as we never mention Part 2, this movie deserves it’s place in my top ten forever. Plus, it’s the perfect combination of Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum.
3. Armageddon – “Miss Stamper? Colonel Willie Sharp, United States Airforce, ma’am. Requesting permission to shake the hand of the daughter of the bravest man I’ve ever met.” I dare you not to be laughing when this movie starts, cheering in the middle, and crying by the end. I swear I cry just hearing “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith. It’s a great plot with fantastic acting (seriously, it surprises me every time how much great talent there is in this movie). They just don’t make space movies like they used to. *Sigh*
2. Jurassic Park – “Life, uh, finds a way.” Steven Spielberg took a good book and made it truly great. Clearly the best part is DINOSAURS. But more than that, the story really works (some of the book elements were a little all over the place and the movie fixed that). Sure, the science wasn’t all there, but who really cares? IT WAS SO GOOD. (Jurassic World profited on that nostalgia alone.) I always wanted John Hammond’s park to be real. Even though, if clearly didn’t turn out so great and I’d prefer NOT to be eaten. And also, that theme song. DAMN. Is there anything more iconic?
1. Remember the Titans – “I don’t want them to gain another yard. YOU BLITZ ALL NIGHT!! If they cross the line of scrimmage, I’m gonna take every last one of you out! You make sure they remember, FOREVER, the night they played the Titans!” There is never a time when I don’t want to watch this movie. It’s inspirational. It’s a football movie. And it’s got Denzel Washington. There’s not much more for me to say to express my love for this movie, but it’s been my favorite for as long as I can remember. And nothing has overtaken its spot so far!
So agree? Disagree? Any movie that you just think I’ve completely overlooked it’s greatness? Feel free to leave them in the comments. And if I haven’t seen it, I’m certainly willing to watch it and see what I think!