Growing up, I was entranced by movies. As a pudgy little child and semi socially awkward, they were my refuge into fantastic adventures, being part of a group of friends, and taking part in so many stories that I would have otherwise never experienced.
We didn’t vacation a lot of places outside of a forty-mile radius, so all my culture came from the hundreds of movies I’d absorb. Barring the Star Wars Trilogy (I consider them to consist as one segmented movie), here are my top 10 as of today.
#10 – Young Frankenstein
Growing up, this movie was a rubric for comedy, all other funny movies were held up to this standard. From the slapstick (which I understood at a young age) to the nuance and the sheer timing and precision, this was a masterpiece.
#9 – Dances with Wolves
Perhaps it’s the roots of South Dakota where it was filmed or the narrative of trying to understand a way of reshaping perspective, this film always highlighted the nature of people both good and bad and overcoming adversity.
#8 – Spider-man: Homecoming
A movie that ties in multiple other fields in the same scope, it has a way of over-looking the origin and getting right to it. The best parts of this movie are watching the flip side of the villain and seeing some perspective there. It builds with action, humor and some deep revere.
#7 – Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Anyone who knows me, knows my love of heist movies. Even the bad ones are good, but this one is great. With multiple plot angles, humor and an insane circumstance that leads to just more and more. Plus, with all the accents and phrasing, it took me three watches to truly fall in love.
#6 – The Passion of the Christ
I have yet to watch this movie and not feel utter emotions. Perhaps it is a deep level of empathy or the way the scenes are devised. I am no scholar or devout in the sense of knowing the bible, but the way this movie was delivered makes me still want to be a better human and that is a true testament to cinema.
#5 – Natural Born Killers
I know, how did we go from #6 to here, right? Well, combining the writing of Tarantino and the direction of Stone will aid in that. It’s a psychedelic horror show through the mind of two serial killers (technically mass murderers) and somehow a love story with subtle nods toward primal tendencies and the destruction of all purity until what’s left is the purest of all in finality.
#4 – Pulp Ficiton
A rockabilly pop culture vibe splitting off into different story lines that converge throughout in an action-packed, mind melting experience that is complex as it is simplistic. I loved this movie from the first go and instantly became a QT fan. Its poster adorned my wall, I bought it outright on VHS, then DVD and now Bluray and, one day, maybe even 4K (for no reason at all). It has cool dialogue and such immersive characters and a way of unfolding that is so unique.
#3 – The Breakfast Club
From the music to the dialogue, this is one of my all-time favs. You have all of your classic diatribes of an 80’s high school, mixing in all of the backgrounds and hardships teens find outside in their own personal lives. The struggle with not being the people their parents want them to be, trying to be seen, trying to be something more than they see you as.
#2 – Leon: The Professional
I love the dual revenge / love story that takes a different angle. The girl who only knew love in the shape of her younger brother, the hitman who has only known work and possibly forgotten what love is. Having them come together in such a way that they know a new kind of sacrificial and familial love.
#1 – Clue
There is literally no reason for this being my favorite of all time. It’s humorous, quirky, spooky, goofy, mysterious, slapstick-y, and just all-around fun. I’ve never tired of it and I’ve seen it well over a hundred times. No exaggeration. We all have a kind of comfort, whether in food, a book, a blanket, a song… mine is this movie.