Ian's Movie Reviews
Short Reviews of Movies, Board Games, and Other Stuff

My Top 100 Movies – Part 10: The Top Ten

Today’s post is my 500th post, and to celebrate that it seems fitting to wrap up my current Top 100 Movies list.  These ten films are the ones which I often consider my all-time favourites.  Many of them hold a lot of nostalgic value for me placing them so high up on the list as my personal favourites.  That being said, if there are films here you disagree with, don’t hesitate to argue them in the comments, and if there are choices you do agree with, feel free to show your support.  If you think something it too high or too low, let me know.  I’m not going to resort to the “well its my opinion” argument. Making this list has been a long process but its been a lot of fun to make it and share it with you.  Enjoy the top ten!
10. Apocalypse Now

After a lot of jostling with Platoon and Saving Private Ryan I came to accept Apoc Now as the greatest of all war films.  It feels very artistic without being pretentious.  The cinematography is outstanding and the production and sound design all gives this haunting, eerie atmosphere with is very unique to this movie alone.  Its full of great moments, great narration, and is an overall great exploration on the madness and absurdity of war.
9. Dr. Strangelove
Damn I love Dr. Strangelove.  Its hilarious, but hilarious in a way that’s all its own.  It has  dry humour that you can sit back and smirk at, but I’ll often also find myself laughing uproariously as well.  Pretty much all of Mandrake’s reactions to the bat crazy Ripper usually does that for me, as does George C. Scott’s over-the-top performance.  Of course there’s the classic phone call, bomb ride, and war room brawl.  and Dr. Strangelove’s speech at the end just unravels into this brilliantly absurd ending.
8. The Lord of the Ring: The Fellowship of the Ring
When I first saw Fellowship, as a fan of the books I was amazingly impressed to see Middle Earth spring to life.  There is so much to admire here; the sets and production felt real and grounded, despite being set in a mythical kingdom.  The characters had weight to them, and the themes of courage, duty, and loyalty which are so important to the books were strong.  There were amazing creatures and set pieces, like the Black Riders, the battle with the Balrog, and sailing past the Argonath statues.  Fellowship was filled with wonder and amazement, just like a film like this should.  Its an epic movie watching experience which will not soon be forgotten.
7. The Godfather
If there was to be one “perfect” movie it would be hard to argue against The Godfather being that movie.  There really isn’t a misstep here.  Direction, acting, story, dialogue, pacing, music, cinematography; its all of the highest quality.  Its just such an amazing film and so easy to get wrapped up in the lives of these characters.  There are some outstanding scenes here, like Micheal’s first kill.  But mostly its the family dynamics between the characters that I love the most.
6. Jaws
jaws movie_still
I really can’t describe why Jaws is so good.  It just is.  It feels like one of those movies with an indefinable quality, one which is entirely unique to itself and no other movie will ever look or feel quite the same.  Jaws is so insanely memorable that I will just think about random scenes, like Quint making is offer to kill the shark, and I instantly get the urge to watch it again.  I just love this movie.  It evolves and changes as the story goes on and by the end its felt like such a satisfying ride.
5. Casablanca
casablanca round up the usual suspects 1942 aph_15
Casablanca is about as classic as classic films get, but in this case its reputation as one of the greatest movies ever made it bang on.  Its just so enjoyable that I fell in love with it on my first viewing many years ago, and keep falling in love with it again every other time I see it.  The characters are so watchable and the locations feel very comfortable and welcoming, as though you yourself are a regular patron at Rick’s.  The story is engaging and the dialogue, well… I mean, this is far and away one of the most quotable movies ever.  Casablanca is true movie magic.
4. E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial
eliottsaygoodbye This is a movie going way back into my childhood, one which holds up brilliantly and still manages to maintain the wonder it had 30 years ago.  The relationship between Elliot and ET is the core of this story, culminating into one very emotional end scene.  Spielberg’s signature film has many scenes of comedy, majesty, and a hint of tragedy.  The scene where they find ET dying near the river wrecked me as a kid.  This movie has held a lot of power with me for the last thirty or so years, and I can’t imagine that power wearing off any time soon.
3. Jurassic Park
Jurassic Park feels like  it was made just for me.  Obviously that’s ludicrous but there’s probably a lot of people who feel the same way.  This was a massive movie event when it was released in 1993 and remains my most memorable theater-going experience when my dad first took me.  This movie really did feel like dinosaurs coming to life.  The T-rex scene still gives be chills.  I think that what really makes this movie great is that they don’t bypass the amazement of dinosaurs being brought to life for the action and suspense scenes.  The whole experience is there, and its a great one.
2. Star Wars
Yeah, I’m getting pretty geeky at the end of my list, but I did warn you all about that.  Anyways, I am a massive Star Wars fan and every time I rewatch this film I’m reminded of the power that this story has.  Its a classic, myth–like tale really, wrapped up in one of the most interesting universe’s the movies have ever developed.  Star Wars changed the movies forever and had a personal effect on the imagination of kids everywhere, myself definitely included.  I don’t really know what else to say.  I mean, its Star Wars. I will mention that I really struggled with my #1 and #2 and which should be where.  They really are interchangeable, but I am giving the slight edge to my number #1, a movie every closely related to Star Wars…
1. The Empire Strikes Back
Its easy to think of the Star Wars trilogy as my favourite films of all time, and they have always been associated as such.  But when I made this list, I revisited the question, okay but which one of those is my favourite.  After much debate I landed with Empire.  The first film has a lot of power in how complete of a story it feels and with how successfully it built the world.  Empire however really took it to a new level.  The stakes felt ore personal, the drama was deeper, and the overall look of the picture was much richer.  Not to mention that it contains tons of my favourite movie moments; the Hoth snow battle, almost any scene with Yoda, the Millennium Falcon in the asteroid field, and of course the final showdown between Luke and Vader.  Therefore, I am declaring The Empire Strikes Back as my favourite film.

Conclusion So there it is,  my top 100 movie list.  I know it gets really geeky at the top, but that’s because that is me.  I feel that my top ten is a very good indicator of the type of movie fan I am, from my past to my present. I am ending this list on my 500th post, which is  nice round number.  As such, I am letting you all know that I feel this is a good place for me to take a break from my blog for a while.  Life gets busier and busier and while I love writing for the blog, the payoff of doing so has felt like its diminished.  I have been lacking the time and energy to participate in the blogging community as much as I once did, as much a I would like to.  I am not gong to say that I am finished with the blog.  I am still open to the possibility of coming back to it if I miss it too much or really feel like I have something to say.  But for now, I am certainly taking a hiatus.  And so for now, thank you to all my readers and take care!

16 Responses to “My Top 100 Movies – Part 10: The Top Ten”

  1. Cant hate on any of these choices. Feel slightly embarrassed to admit I haven’t watched all of Casablanca…

  2. This is a quality top 10. I’ve enjoyed reading your 100 movies list over the past few weeks. So many good choices! It had to have been tough, I don’t know where I would even begin.

  3. Great list, friend. Can’r really argue with your top ten, though I must admit I owe Apocalypse Now a rewatch (I’ve only seen the redux).

    Sad to see you taking a break. This is one of the few blogs I make the effort to keep an eye out for. I suppose I’ll still see you on the forum though. Speaking of which, do you plan on sharing the list there?

  4. Great list. I’m embarassed to say that I have only watched about half of your top ten in their entirety. I’ll have to remedy that soon.

  5. What a great collection of films. I agree with the majority of your choices. Though for me, Jurassic Park would be number 1! I did a top 5 films a few months ago, but hadn’t thought about expanding it on a larger scale – a cracking idea and your writing is excellent.

  6. This is a beautiful top 10! E.T. and Jurassic Park rank pretty high for me as well. I completely understand the need for a blogging break, enjoy it!

  7. Great list and solid choices throughout. You’ve inspired me… Might have to do my own! Big task though!

  8. Hey Ian – I know you’re taking a break, but I have an idea I want to run past you. Is there any way to contact you outside of commenting here? If you don’t want to give out an address or anything, you can just go to my blog and use the Contact Me link. Feel free to delete this comment.

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