My Top 10 Favorite Movies
Continuing on from my ten favorite video games, it is now time for me to reflect and share my ten favorite films. Many movies have impressed me with striking visuals and great plots, but the following have all been superb in nearly every regard. Few films really stand apart from the crowd and leave you awe-struck when leaving the theater. All of these films have done that for me, and I’m sure they will all do the same for you. Enjoy the following list, and if you haven’t seen one of these films, please do – I believe you won’t be disappointed. That being said, here are my ten favorite films:
10. The Artist
Beginning the discussion is the most recent film on the list, “The Artist”. Though being a “silent” film, “The Artist” mesmerizes its audience with excellence all-around, from its soundtrack, to acting, to costume/set design. The plot itself may be somewhat clichéd, but considered as homage to the films of old combined with some interesting modern touches, the story shines through as a battle between the days of old and the evolution of modern cinema. The cast perfectly capture the feel of the setting, and accomplish the task of returning the audience to the classical “silent film” settings. I remember seeing this film in an old-fashioned cinema and the experience was amazing. “The Artist” was certainly well-deserving of all of its awards and accolades.
9. Another Earth
“Another Earth” is a lesson in how science fiction can become less about the extraterrestrial and massive scopes, and more about how guilt and tragedy affect us. Check out my full review here for a more detailed look.
8. Little Miss Sunshine
Here we have the best comedy movie I have had the pleasure of seeing. With many recent comedies revolving around slapstick humor and crude jokes, “Little Miss Sunshine” was a breath of fresh air. The plot itself is a great setting for a black comedy, but it’s the characters that really shine. Each performer brings a uniqueness to their role, with some great work from Steve Carell, Paul Dano, and the young Abigail Breslin – alongside some comedic gold by Alan Arkin. The writing is great and the humor is fitting for the story of the Hoover family. Take the time and enjoy a hilarious comedy trip that rises high above the standard comedy formula.
Christopher Nolan is one of my favorite directors. From “Memento” to “The Dark Knight”, Nolan continues to put forth some of the highest-quality work in the film industry (even his first short, “Following”, is quite interesting). “Inception”, however, remains his best work (in my opinion). For anyone who enjoys mind-bending stories, this film is a ride you will not forget. The plot itself is so intricately crafted, and the characters brought to life by a very talented cast. This is also not to mention that “Inception” features some extremely deft camera work and cinematography, including some altered gravity scenes that you need to see to believe.
6. Donnie Darko
Speaking of mind-bending plots, we come to “Donnie Darko”, a complex story about a teen who luckily survives an airplane engine crashing into his house and becomes entangled in a plot involving time travel, quirky characters, and rabbit suits. The plot itself is outstanding, with many twists and turns along the way as Donnie seems to be unsure if he is on the verge of madness or clarity. Full of an all-star cast, Richard Kelly makes his film so compelling by making the viewer feel a part of Donnie’s mind, longing to figure out the mystery. There is a great blend of comedy, psychological drama, and sci-fi into its story. Do yourself a favor and check out the companion website after you’ve seen the film to further enhance your viewing experience.
5. Black Swan
As I’ve already mentioned in my review of “The Fountain”, I am a big fan of Darren Aronofsky. “Black Swan” is a masterful film that takes you into the fragile mind of a dedicated ballerina. Natalie Portman delivers a brilliant performance Nina, a performance wholly deserving of the Oscar she won for it. The plot itself is absorbing, as the viewer is slowly drawn into a world that we are unsure whether it is real or psychological. To add to the drama, an incredible soundtrack brings the film to new heights. The combination of acting, plot, cinematography, and soundtrack come together to create a tragically beautiful ending scene, and the best psycological drama I’ve ever seen.
4. Children of Men
I have mentioned in a few reviews that certain films have these incredible scenes that leave the viewer speechless that I like to call “Children of Men” moments. Seeing this film, you will know why. This is a perfect example of sci-fi done right. There are many scenes that are so powerful, with one in particular being the origin of my label. Its plot is creative and constantly moving, with the conflict arising from various factions vying for the last hope for humanity creating high tension that the viewer feels a part of. The lack of hope for humaity seems all too real and from the soundtrack to the cinematography to the acting, the film excels on all levels. If you are at all a fan of science-fiction, you need to see “Children of Men”.
“Ink” is a brilliantly conceived plot about two opposing force fighting for our souls within our dreams. There is an even deeper plot involving a father and his daughter which is set within this backdrop. Together, these stories are incredible and represent one of the best plots I’ve experienced in any form of media. The world is enhanced by some great visuals and effects (nothing high-budget, but yet the perfect effects to fit the story) that give each faction and character their own uniqueness. I must also mention the great soundtrack that evokes even more emotion out of each scene. In particular, two scenes stand out with perfect integration of soundtrack and cinematography. One involves a hospital, and another a music box. The latter remains one of my favorite scenes ever, and is a perfect example of a “Children of Men” moment.
2. Pan’s Labyrinth
“Pan’s Labyrinth” is perfect. There’s nothing else that really needs to be said. Guillermo del Toro crafted a masterpiece – an adult fairy tale set in post-Civil War Spain, full of great character/monster designs, wonderful storytelling, and a beautiful soundtrack. The film itself produces an emotional tie between the audience and the characters in the story, something every movie strives to accomplish and few actually do. This tie, however, is about as heartfelt as can be (a bond that I have very rarely experienced in a film), so much so that the ending becomes so much more powerful. Though I may praise “The Fountain” as my favorite film of all time, “Pan’s Labyrinth” is just slightly behind it. If anyone has any doubt as to film as an art form, they have yet to see this film.
1. The Fountain
I cannot say anything more than “The Fountain” is the most amazing film I have ever seen. For a detailed description as to why this is the case, read through my “favorite movie” post on the movie.
So there you have the list of my favorite movies I’ve ever seen. I highly encourage anyone fond of cinema to see any of these films that they have yet to experience. Each film features an intriguing plot and fully absorbs the viewer into its experience. Few films truly stick with you after you’ve seen them, leaving you thinking and/or wanting to see them again, never once becoming boring. These films fall into that class, and I look forward to experiencing each of them again, whether it be for the second, third, or tenth time.