My Top 10 Films of All Time- Inspired by The Sight & Sound List

A couple of weeks back the latest version of The Sight and Sound List of the Best Movies of All Time came out. So I figured I’d give my Top 10 Best Films of All Time With some Honorable Mentions Ranked Up to 25. So in honor of the latest Sight and Sound List here are my Top 10 Films of All Time. The entire list is linked below.

Honorable Mentions:

25: 12 Years A Slave, 24:The Dark Kight, 23: Gladiator 22: Apocalypse Now, 21:Schindlers’ List, 20:The Graduate 19:Once A Upon A Time In the West, 18:Rocky17:The Deer Hunter 16:The Apartment, 15:Goodfellas, 14:The Bride of Frankenstein, 13:Psycho, 12: Taxi Driver,11: High Noon

10: Vertigo

8.3/10 IMDB 93% Rotten Tomatoes 100% Metacritic

An ex-police officer who suffers from an intense fear of heights is hired to prevent an old friend’s wife from committing suicide, but all is not as it seems. Hitchcock’s haunting, compelling masterpiece is uniquely revelatory about the director’s own predilections and hang-ups and is widely considered to be one of his masterworks.

In Vertigo, Alfred Hitchcock crafts the most ambitious film of his career. He turns the tables on the viewer so they have no clue what’s going on except what they see from the main character played brilliantly by Jimmy Stewart. His vertigo plays a huge part in the story so we are also disoriented watching. The cinematography is some of the best ever and this film looks gorgeous in Technicolor. Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novack are both great in their respective roles.

Release Date: May 9, 1958 (San Francisco)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

9: Slumdog Millionaire

8/10 IMDB 91% Rotten Tomatoes

As 18-year-old Jamal Malik (Dev Patel) answers questions on the Indian version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” flashbacks show how he got there. Part of a stable of young thieves after their mother dies, Jamal and his brother, Salim, survive on the streets of Mumbai. Salim finds the life of crime agreeable, but Jamal scrapes by with small jobs until landing a spot on the game show.

This film mixes three of my favorite things: trivia, everlasting love, and drama. The trivia is in the form of my favorite game show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? The everlasting love is between two characters, played by Dev Patel and Frinda Pinto, fighting to get back together after years apart. The drama is all throughout the film when the characters are kids and adults. There are bad men throughout the movie and how things get better is not very easy for anybody. It’s a great story from beginning to end, and Danny Boyle gets everything he can out of it in the film.

Release ate: November 12, 2008 (USA)

Director: Danny Boyle

8: ET The Exrta Terrestrial

7.9/10 IMDB 99% Rotten Tomatoes

After a gentle alien becomes stranded on Earth, the being is discovered and befriended by a young boy named Elliott (Henry Thomas). Bringing the extraterrestrial into his suburban California house, Elliott introduces E.T., as the alien is dubbed, to his brother and his little sister, Gertie (Drew Barrymore), and the children decide to keep its existence a secret. Soon, however, E.T. falls ill, resulting in government intervention and a dire situation for both Elliott and the alien

This film showed me what imagination could be. It’s about a boy who finds something that gives him hope and the message by Steven Spielberg about a single parent family isn’t lost on me while watching it the many times I have. The score by John Williams is one of the best ever. When I saw this as a kid the first time, it was a magical experience. The technical aspects regarding special effects and puppetry were amazing and they helped make this one of my best moviegoing experiences ever.

Release Date: June 11, 1982 (USA)

Director: Steven Spielberg

Music composed by: John Williams

7: 12 Angry Men

9/10 IMDB 100% Rotten Tomatoes 96% Metacritic

Following the closing arguments in a murder trial, the 12 members of the jury must deliberate, with a guilty verdict meaning death for the accused, an inner-city teen. As a dozen men try to reach a unanimous decision while sequestered in a room, one juror (Henry Fonda) casts considerable doubt on elements of the case. Personal issues soon rise to the surface, and conflict threatens to derail the delicate process that will decide one boy’s fate.

Sydney Lumet creates one of the best character studies ever in this mesmerizing tale of one man’s journey to find out if a boy is truly guilty or not. Henry Fonda gives one of the best performances ever in this movie. The rest of the cast, some of the best character actors ever, fill out this jury perfectly. All their motivations come to the forefront one by one. This is a masterclass in camera work and acting not like many films before or after it. It is clearly one of the greatest films ever.

Release date: April 1957 (USA)

Director: Sidney Lumet

Screenplay: Reginald Rose

6: Unforgiven

8.2/10 IMDB 96% Rotten Tomatoes 85% Metacritic

When prostitute Delilah Fitzgerald (Anna Thomson) is disfigured by a pair of cowboys in Big Whiskey, Wyoming, her fellow brothel workers post a reward for their murder, much to the displeasure of sheriff Little Bill Daggett (Gene Hackman), who doesn’t allow vigilantism in his town. Two groups of gunfighters, one led by aging former bandit William Munny (Clint Eastwood), and the other by the florid English Bob (Richard Harris), come to collect the reward, clashing with each other and the sheriff.

Clint Eastwood turns the tables on the definition of what we think of good and evil. The sheriff seems like a good guy until he shows his true colors in the way he treats English Bob (Richard Harris). Later, when William Money’s (Clint Eastwood) friend gets hanged from the saloon, he reverts back to when he killed women and children in his past. This is the ultimate turning of the tables that creates a terrific dichotomy. It’s one of — if not the best Western ever from a filmmaker and actor who made this genre his own.

Release date: August 7, 1992 (USA)

Director: Clint Eastwood

5: Raging Bull

8.2/10 IMDB 93% Rotten Tomatoes 89% Metacritic

The story of a middleweight boxer as he rises through ranks to earn his first shot at the middleweight crown. He falls in love with a gorgeous girl from the Bronx. The inability to express his feelings enters into the ring and eventually takes over his life. He eventually is sent into a downward spiral that costs him everything.

Martin Scoresese wasn’t a big sports fan before Robert De Niro came to him with this story about a man who was an absolute killer in a boxing ring but couldn’t figure out how to live a proper life outside the ring. He ruined everybody’s life he came in contact with including his own. De Niro gives a raw and violent performance as this very flawed human being. Pain was the only thing he truly knew. “You never got me down, Ray, you never got me down,” is a quote so indicative of what this man thought in his damaged head. He reminded me of my father in a lot of ways.

Release date: December 19, 1980 (USA)

Director: Martin Scorsese

Cinematography: Michael Chapman

4: The Empire Strikes Back

8.7/10 IMDB 94% Rotten Tomatoes 82% Metacritic

The adventure continues in this “Star Wars” sequel. Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) face attack by the Imperial forces and its AT-AT walkers on the ice planet Hoth. While Han and Leia escape in the Millennium Falcon, Luke travels to Dagobah in search of Yoda. Only with the Jedi master’s help will Luke survive when the dark side of the Force beckons him into the ultimate duel with Darth Vader (David Prowse).

George Lucas created a franchise that became one of the greatest merchandising properties in the history of the world,but it wasn’t until he wrote the story for the second film in the franchise that he truly had a cinematic experience on his hands. There were scenes of Darth Vader in the first film Star Wars but nothing like what he did with the character in The Empire Strikes Back. The score by John Williams was menacing and scary. The twist at the end is one of the best in film history and how my favorite character of Han Solo (Harrison Ford) was treated was downright awful in the best way possible. This is a sci-fi epic like none before or ever since. 

Release date: May 21, 1980 (USA)

Director: Irvin Kershner

Story by: George Lucas

3: The Godfather Pt 2

9/10 IMDB 96% Rotten Tomatoes 4.5/5 Letterboxd

The compelling sequel to “The Godfather,” contrasting the life of Corleone father and son. Traces the problems of Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) in 1958 and that of a young immigrant Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro) in 1917’s Hell’s Kitchen. Michael survives many misfortunes and Vito is introduced to a life of crime.

Francis Ford Coppola never expected to make a sequel to The Godfather, but with its success, he didn’t have a choice. The story of Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) wasn’t finished but no one thought we’d get the story of Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro) before The Godfather. That story helped show audiences and myself where this man came from and what he’d become. And Michael’s story was very interesting as well. How these two characters rose and fell to different levels was fascinating. Coppola gave these people life in different perspectives which almost makes this film as good if not better than the original film

Release date: December 20, 1974 (USA)

Director: Francis Ford Coppola

2: The Godfather

9.2/10 IMDB 97% Rotten Tomatoes 4.5/5 Letterboxd

Widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time, this mob drama, based on Mario Puzo’s novel of the same name, focuses on the powerful Italian-American crime family of Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando). When the don’s youngest son, Michael (Al Pacino), reluctantly joins the Mafia, he becomes involved in the inevitable cycle of violence and betrayal. Although Michael tries to maintain a normal relationship with his wife, Kay (Diane Keaton), he is drawn deeper into the family business.

The drama behind the scenes of getting this film made equals the achievement in what actually was made in the end. Francis Ford Coppola crafted a film about a family where Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) was the matriarch and he had it all in a criminal underworld. Except what one has another wants and greed and power is all consuming. The cinematography by Gordon Willis was amazing. The grain and the browns and blacks were brilliantly filmed and they give them a great period look. The cast including Janes Caan, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton and John Cazalle are absolutely incredible. Al Pacino as Michael Corleone is one of the greatest characters in movie history. The score by Nino Rota is haunting and beautiful. This film is a masterpiece by any definition.

Release date: March 24, 1972 (USA)

Director: Francis Ford Coppola

Adapted from: The Godfather by Mario Puzo

Cinematography: Gordon Willis

1: Casablanca

Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), who owns a nightclub in Casablanca, discovers his old flame Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) is in town with her husband, Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid). Laszlo is a famed rebel, and with Germans on his tail, Ilsa knows Rick can help them get out of the country.

This is the greatest film ever because it has it all and when it came out it had a lot of drama behind the scenes. Michael Curtiz wasn’t the first choice as director and there were various casting problems. What ended up being released was a cinematic masterpiece. The film has many memorable quotes and a main character that is one of the best in movie history, and maybe even my favorite of all time. Romance, comedy, and patriotism are all throughout this film set during WWII. Filmmakers and critics alike have been inspired by this film ever since it came out back in 1942. It has a story for the ages and themes anybody could get behind. Humphrey Bogart showed the world why he was a leading man and one of the best actors of all time.

Release date: January 23, 1943 (USA)

Director: Michael Curtiz

Music composed by: Max Steiner

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: