There are people who like lists and people who don’t. I think lists serve a purpose but I also believe that there are some who assume lists are the be all and end all to their personal opinions; like there’s no room for movement. But the truth is, things change. We get older and we form different opinions. We have kids and priorities change. There’s a trickle-down effect from everything that happens to us on a daily basis and it will either significantly or insignificantly alter how we feel about things. Life happens. Don’t get stuck on lists.
That being said, I’ve always carried my favorite movie list around in metaphorical back pocket. I mean, you never know when someone’s going to ask, “What’s your favorite movie?” It’s a common question. And I don’t want to be that smug guy who wants to fight convention with a “I’m-better-than-you-because-I-don’t-actually-have-an-opinion” attitude. I hate that guy.
A Top-5 list is all it takes. A Top-50 list of films all in order or preference is excessive and simply obnoxious. I can confidently supply you with a Top-6. Let me state though, these are not the films that I consider “THE BEST MOVIES EVER!”, these are simply the ones that I can watch over and over again and be entertained and inspired every time.
(500) Days of Summer  If Joseph Gordan Levitt wasn’t so wide ranging in his acting chops and was type-cast into only doing roles like this one I actually wouldn’t complain at all. He’s just so dang perfect in this! The script is smart, witty and brings a lot of unique storytelling methods to the screen. A joy to watch every time.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind  An understated masterpiece! Screenwriter Charlie Kaufman is definitely a unique talent, having written scripts for this, Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, and Synecdoche, New York. Eternal Sunshine is my favorite and one I can easily watch over and over again. It’s got some laughs, some science fiction, and a whole lot of heartache; a good recipe.
Forrest Gump  Well deserving of all the praise and awards it garnered. Tom Hanks is simply brilliant in this film. One of only a handful of films that can guarantee some tears from me.
High Fidelity  John Cusack is at his best here (my apologies to Say Anything) and Jack Black is actually not annoying, which is an incredible feat in itself. It’s a comedy. It’s a drama. It’s relationships in the way people actually are: we’re stupid and selfish and easily broken. Mandatory viewing for anyone in their twenties.
The Hottest State  Written and directed by Ethan Hawke, adapted from his own novel of the same name. This is obviously a project very close to Hawke’s heart and it shows in the end result. Actor Mark Webber (who I’d never heard of and still have yet to see in anything else) is fantastic in his role. The two scenes that always get me are when William talks with his father (Hawke himself of course) and when William talks with his mother (Laura Linney). Both incredibly powerful ans well-written moments in the film.
Rocket Science  A real under-the-radar hit. I rented (yes, RENTED) this on a whim from my local independent video store because it sounded like it might not suck. I was blown away by how much I enjoyed it! Reece Thompson is fantastic in the lead role and Anna Kendrick (then unknown to me) was also memorable in a role that is meant to be hated. The soundtrack is very unique too, with Eef Barzelay giving us music perfectly suited to the movie’s awkwardness. I recommend this coming of age film to nearly everyone I know.
Sidewalks of New York  Ed Burns quietly delivered a very solid film when he made Sidewalks of New York. Filmed in a documentary style (though all fictional) the movie looks into the lives of six adults – three couples – all of whom are involved with members of other couples. Stanley Tucci is one of my favorite actors and he gives a great performance as the lying, cheating and frankly despicable dentist. The soundtrack by Cake is also a nice touch. Burns followed this up with Purple Violets, another film that definitely did not get the attention it deserved. Check ’em both out!
Sideways  An acclaimed hit, and one well-worth the praise. A buddy film, where Paul Giamatti takes his soon-to-be-married best friend (Thomas Hayden Church) on a road trip through California wine country. What proceeds is many laughs, hijinks, uncomfortable moments, some filthy humor (while not going into American Pie/Road Trip territory), and a whole lot of tenderness. It’s a shame Giamatti was not even nominated for an Oscar for his performance here.
The Spongebob Squarepants Movie  A great, goofy good time! I dismissed this movie almost immediately, thinking it was just animated schlock for kids and pot-heads. Well, it IS that, but it’s actually so much more. If you want nothing more than some silly humor, good belly laughs and to feel like a kid again for an hour and a half there’s not many options better than the Spongebob Squarepants Movie. Seriously. I’m a goofy goober!
You know, as I compiled the above list I kept thinking of more movies I could have included. There’s just so many films out there that can move and inspire me. I hope you’ll check these out if you haven’t already.
But enough foreplay! Let’s get to the main event. Below, you will find the link to my Top-6 Favorite Films. Enjoy!
And HERE is a list of one hundred movies (in chronological order…I’m not insane) that might consider my favorites.