Recently, Tim Champlin tweeted me and asked if I could do a list of my ten favorite movies. I thought it sounded like a great idea, so I jumped at the opportunity to do it. Before I get into this list, I want to set a few ground rules. First, these are my favorite movies. I don’t know how to quantify “favorite,” but I do know that it is not the same as a list of the ten best movies. Some of these movies may not be great, but they are movies I could sit and watch again and again, for the most part. Also, you can’t argue someone’s favorite movies. You just can’t. Another rule I set for myself was limiting myself to one movie per series. Otherwise, this list would be nothing but Star Trek, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings. That would be boring. So, in no particular order, here is my list.
Back to the Future
This is a classic. This show got me hooked on the whole idea of time travel. Also, I always wanted to have a DeLorean. There is just something iconic about this cast of characters, and it only gets better with age. I spent many hours with my friends Marty and Doc. The rest of the trilogy is pretty solid, but they will never top the original film.
One of the things my wife doesn’t really understand about me is how much I love Tim Burton films. I have yet to see one that I didn’t like. This, however, is my all time favorite. I think it’s so well written. The way the stories are represented and the look and the feel of the film and the characters. It all seems just bigger than life, but real at the same time, which fits with the character telling the stories. This is a great love story, a great father/son story, a great life and death story. If you have never seen this film, please go check it out.
The Princess Bride
Trying to choose the right picture to represent this film was nearly impossible. There are so many classic moments, so many iconic scenes. I watched this movie more growing up than any other film. It was pretty much on a constant, repeating loop at our house for about ten years. I still love sitting down and watching this movie. I remember wanting to be The Man in Black. Not Westley, because I felt like he kind of became a wimp when he took the mask off. As an additional note to this movie, if you haven’t read the book, you need to. It is incredible as well.
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
I grew up feeling like this was the most perfect Star Wars film ever made. It felt like the most serious out of the original three. It felt more high scale than Star Wars, but not as campy as Return of the Jedi. I know, story wise, that A new Hope may be better, tighter, but I still feel like nothing tops Empire. Plus, Luke finding out Vader is his dad is one of the most iconic moments in the history of movies.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Marvel is typically light and fun and colorful. Winter Soldier changed all of that. For the first time, we saw the MCU tell a darker, more serious story. It was amazing. Winter Soldier is my favorite MCU film, hands down. I could watch it over and over. It is everything a superhero film should be, without completely disrespecting the source material. Winter Soldier illustrates that you can be true to the source material and make a fantastic, serious movie. I don’t know if Marvel will ever top this film.
Star Trek: First Contact
Trying to choose my favorite Star Trek film is like trying to choose my favorite child. I love all of them for very different reasons. Push coming to shove, if I have to pick a favorite, it is First Contact. I think Wrath of Khan is probably the best all around Star Trek movie, followed by Undiscovered Country. This is my list of best movies, though. These are my favorite movies. I love TNG, I love the Borg, and I love the Enterprise-E, and this is the first time we get to see my favorite Enterprise. There is so much I love about this movie, and it is my go to when I want to watch a Trek movie. This is my favorite.
The Return of the King
I love The Lord of the Rings. I can’t emphasize that statement enough. I love the books, and I love the films. These are probably my favorite films of all time. I love everything about them. I had to pick just one, though, and it was tough. I picked Return of the King because it is the end of the story. All the hope and hard work finally pays off after what feels like a really long journey. There is just something great about going through all the darkness and the challenges and obstacles and coming out the better for it. Love this story. And yes, I love Sam. He is my favorite character in all of literature.
Yes, by today’s standards, this movie is campy. I know that, but this was my favorite Superman movie growing up, and Superman has always been my favorite superhero. A big part of that might be this film. I think Christopher Reeve was the ultimate Superman. At least in my mind. No one played Clark Kent and Superman better than Reeve. I still watch this dated film, and I make my kids watch it. I am not ashamed.
Raiders of the Lost Ark
You know who made History cool? Indiana Jones. At least for me. Watching Indy be Indy made me want to learn more about the stories he was hunting down. It made me want to be him, and it made me fall in love with the idea of learning about the past. He was also the reason I was tempted to go into education. He is the reason I love wearing my brown leather coat. This is the best of all the Indiana Jones, or at least my favorite, followed very closely by The Last Crusade. Both of these movies follow the best Indiana Jones story formula: Indy searching for religious relics fighting against Nazis. There is nothing better.
This is not a film for everyone, and I recognize that. This is weird and quirky and often just strange. But, I still love it. Maybe it hit at just the right time for me. I was a 20 something, single guy and this movie resonated with me. Maybe that makes me weird, but that’s ok. <y wife doesn’t appreciate this film as much as I do, but I am glad she occasionally tolerates it for my sake.
There you have it. My list of ten favorite movies. It’s not a perfect list, maybe, and I doubt anyone will agree with it 100 per cent, but it’s mine. What movies would make your list? Let me know in the comments or send me feedback directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you know someone who is looking for something great to watch, feel free to share this list.