Originally this post was supposed to be about my top ten all time favorite movies, then it became top 25 favorites, then at 30 I realized I wasn’t going to be able to rank and list my absolute favorite movies definitively (we’d be here for a ridiculously long time), thus I arrived at a list of thirty-three (because thirty just didn’t seem right, 31 didn’t look right, and 32 is an even number… yes, I am weird, I know) films that I absolutely love. This list is not exclusive, this list is in no particular order.
I guess I should preface this by saying that I have a very weird eclectic taste in movies, and I generally tend to disagree with how these films are received, rated and reviewed SO this list (and all the lists to come) may surprise you a bit. Feel free to chime in!
Warrior (2011); directed by Gavin O’Conner; Starring Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton, and Nick Nolte. I was sucked into this one within the first 3 minutes. And I defy anyone to make it through the last scene without shedding a few tears.
Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012); directed by Benh Zeitlin; Starring Quvenzhané Wallis, Dwight Henry, and Levy Easterly. Moving is a vast understatement when it comes to describing this film – it’s so absurd and cohesive, which is freaking beautiful.
Meet Joe Black (1998); Directed by Martin Brest; Starring Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins
, Claire Forlani, Marcia Gay Harden, Jeffrey Tambor and Jake Weber. Yes, it’s criminally long, it’s unapologetically romantic and seemingly moves in real time but God, I fucking love it. I love it so much that I based my actual wedding reception on the party scene at the end. And this movie makes me cry more than any other movie in the world – I mean, like… bawling uncontrollably. And yeah, ok, it doesn’t take a whole lot to make me cry but this is kind of ridiculous. Ahh, so good.
Lullaby (2014); Directed by Andrew Levitas; Starring Garrett Hedlund, Richard Jenkins, Anne Archer, Jessica Brown Findlay, Amy Adams, Jessica Barden, Terrence Howard and Jennifer Hudson (hell of a cast, right?!) – this is the best movie that you’ve never seen, with an ensemble of the most famous people in the freaking
Two Lovers & A Bear (2016); Directed by Kim Nguyen; Starring Dane DeHaan, Tatiana Maslany, and Gordon Pinsent (as the Bear). This is the best movie ever, go Canada. I may have a slightly unhealthy obsession with this movie.
Titanic (1997); Directed by James Cameron; Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane and a million other people. I love it, I’m not ashamed. I was 14 when this came out, it was a lifestyle. Seriously though, this movie is really good. It holds up over time, I watched it last year for the first time in easily a decade and it still works.
(And, if anyone who went on Mr McNulty and Ms AbouHana’s New York trip in 1998 and were among the people who gave me all that shit about spending $40 on a movie poster happens to be reading this, I would just like to say that a) $40 isn’t that much money, especially for a 2’x3′ poster, from a ridiculously popular film; b) that was twenty years ago and the poster still looks absolutely beautiful – probably largely due to the quality of paper and ink used – it’s framed and part of my decor; c) I stand by it. I’ve had something that I love for over twenty years now, and it only cost me $40. I win, bitches! Sorry, don’t mind me… a little residual private school bitterness, apparently it takes a very long time to wear off entirely… wow. Moving on…)
Marley & Me (2008); Directed by David Frankel; Starring Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston. I should be ashamed, but I’m not – this movie is amazing. And I must say, this movie is a hell of a lot more meaningful than you’d think it would be – beyond the realm of the man/dog thing. It’s weirdly relevant. I think it’s Jennifer Anniston’s best work, and I genuinely mean that.
Million Dollar Baby (2004); Directed by Clint Eastwood; Starring Hilary Swank, Clint Eastwood, and Morgan Freeman. And now we all know how they get the ice into water bottles.
The Family Man (2000); Directed by Brett Ratner; Starring Nicolas Cage, Téa Leoni, and Don Cheadle. Hell of a glimpse, hell of a film.
Interstellar (2014); Directed by Christopher Nolan; Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway, Ellen Burstyn, Mackenzie Foy, Wes Bentley, Michael Caine, David Gyosi, John Lithgow, Matt Damon, and Casey Affleck. Yeah, now there’s a cast for ya. This movie is 2 hours and 40-something minutes of WOW.
Inception (2010); Directed by Christopher Nolan; Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, Marion Cotillard, Pete Poslehwaite and Michael Caine. Once again, 2 hours and 40-something minutes of WOW… but a different WOW that’s almost the same.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011); Directed by David Fincher; Starring Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer and Stellan Skarsgård. This movie is absolutely beautiful, terrifying and moving as hell. I heart it muchly. Yes.
A Monster Calls (2016); Directed by J.A. Bayona; Starring Lewis MacDougall, Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones and Liam Neeson. The first time I saw this movie I hated it. I guess I was not in the right place at the right time, it made me actively angry. About six months later I saw it again and fell in love with it.
Fargo (1996); Directed by Joel Coen; Starring William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare, Kristin Rudrüd, Harve Presnell, Frances McDormand and John Carroll Lynch. How could anyone make a list of favorite movies and not include Fargo? It just wouldn’t be right.
The Siege (1998); Directed by Edward Zwick; Starring Denzel Washington, Bruce Willis, and Annette Bening. I can’t quite put my finger on why I love this one so much, but regardless of my personal reasons, it’s just a terrific film.
Dunkirk (2017); Directed by Christopher Nolan (sensing a theme here? lol); Starring Fionn Whitehead, Damien Bonnard, Aneurin Barnard, Barry Keoghan, Mark Rylance, Tom Glynn-Carney, Tom Hardy, Jack Lowden, Cillian Murphy, Kenneth Branagh, and Harry Styles. In my opinion, this is Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece – this film is incredible. Time dilation, war drama, brilliant cinematography… yes.
Gravity (2014); Directed by Alfonso Cuarón; Starring George Clooney, Sandra Bullock and Ed Harris. Yes, that’s right, Ed Harris is in this film. Epic.
Alrighty, that concludes part 1… stay tuned for part 2 of 33 Films that are just fucking fantastic. Part 2 is just as random as part 1. I’m excited.
You should be, too.*