Thursday, May 04, 2006

My 50 Favorite Movies

This list is mostly for my own benefit. I started it a few weeks ago, and have decided to put it online for easy access. When new movies make the list, I'll edit accordingly.

I did not include my favorite anime, documentaries, or TV shows. As you can see, my tastes are kind of geeky and/or sentimental. [More interesting than what's on the list, perhaps, is what I've left off.]

My top 50 movies are divided into three tiers. I had a top 10 (the first tier), a second tier of 10, and a third tier of 30. Within each tier, the movies are not ranked against each other (but are listed in alphabetical order, instead). The short comments are the same as my Netflix "Two Cents" reviews.

Tier 1 (10 movies):

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension
A quirky cult classic with colorful characters and a unique sense of style

Cult sci-fi. I grew up watching the extended version on TV

Faraway, So Close!
Poetic, beautiful, and moving. The source of "Raphaela"

One of the most perfect movies ever made

Some Kind of Wonderful
The perfect 80's teen movie

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Sergio Leone's direction plus Clint Eastwood's performance plus a great supporting cast = greatness

The Great Escape
Action adventure with memorable characters, brilliantly performed

The Right Stuff
An American classic

Extremely ambitious and visionary, with a great story to boot

They don't make technothrillers like this anymore

Tier 2 (10 movies):

Battle Royale
A story of youth rebellion against a society that fears, torments, and uses them as an example

Enter the Dragon
The quintessential Bruce Lee movie, filmed at the height of his physical condition and ability

Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone
"It has all the magic and wonder of the original", because it is the original! (yes, I saw the movie first)

Mr. and Mrs. Smith
A surprisingly nuanced and funny romance, enhanced by excellent action sequences and gunplay

On the Edge

Taut, well-written sci-fi on a budget

Red Dawn
You don't have to be a right-winger to be moved by this beautiful vision of near-future dystopia made in the 80's

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
My favorite Trek movie; the soundtrack by James Horner is magnificent

The Hunt for Red October
The first Jack Ryan movie is my favorite by far

What many critics miss about Tomorrowland: it's less about nostalgia for old visions of the future, and more about a revival of the spirit

Tier 3 (30 movies):

A Better Tomorrow II

A Knight's Tale

All the President's Men



Battlestar Galactica

Breaking Away

Cinema Paradiso

Conan the Barbarian



Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Gabbar is Back


Great Balls of Fire

Love Actually

Margin Call

Music and Lyrics

Ocean's Twelve

Once Upon a Time in America

Once Upon a Time in China 3



Searching for Bobby Fischer

Speed Racer

Spider-Man 2

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

The Andromeda Strain

The Rock

Until the End of the World

Honorable mentions (recently bumped out of the top 50):

Blade Runner

Cool Hand Luke

Crimson Tide


Kate & Leopold

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider



Taxi Driver

The American President

The Longest Day

The Outlaw Josey Wales

The School of Rock

The Transformers: The Movie