Recently on Instagram, I posted a story asking whether or not you would be interested in a ‘Top 10’ list. Well, not a single one of you voted ‘NO’, so here we go. Here is my Top 10 movies of all time! These are all my favourite movies, some that I think are some of the greatest ever made and I look forward to seeing how people respond, and I am just as intrigued into hearing what you guys think. However, before we start, let’s take a look at some other notable mentions:
The Godfather: Part II
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
The Shawshank Redemption
The Silence of the Lambs
Now let’s put these aside and get to it. Again, these are all films in my personal opinion that are game-changers, cathartic releasers and just all-out incredible movies. There are so, so many to choose from and picking this list is perhaps one of the most challenging thought processes I’ve ever had to go through. I am not discrediting any that haven’t made the top 10 that I have also listed above, I just love these ones so much. Please sit back, relax and enjoy the ride…
10. Prisoners (2013)
‘Prisoners’ really is a magnificent film, and an extremely underrated one, too. It is, in fact, an incredible film that welcomes an outstanding cast and amazing storyline. However, I must admit that Hugh Jackman proves why he is one of the greatest actors of this generation, alongside Jake Gyllenhaal who some may argue as one of the best ever. Both show so much range in this picture and it’s not just these that shine. Performance from Terrence Howard, Viola Davis and Paul Dano really shine through a very dark, sinister plot. I am incredibly blessed to have seen this movie in my lifetime and it’s definitely one that went straight in my Top 10, even after only watching it for the first time in early 2020.
9. Nightcrawler (2014)
Gyllenhaal returns for his second spot in my Top 10 with ‘Nightcrawler’, a movie that I think surprised many when it was released. How can a movie about the news be intense, intriguing and full of thrill? I have no idea, but this is probably one of the best movies of the past decade. It really has everything and everything you wouldn’t expect, too. The film is carried by Jake Gyllenhaal for the most part, but with roles from Rene Russo and Riz Ahmed adding light to this incredibly dark movie, it is a modern masterpiece, and what I think is Gyllenhaal’s best performance ever. I have seen this movie several times now and every time, it gets so much better. I gave it an 8.7 initially, but I think after seeing it again since it has to move up to an 8.9.
8. Se7en (1995)
Bye-bye Jake, the almighty Brad Pitt enters the rankings alongside one of the greatest of all-time, Morgan Freeman. ‘Se7en’ is the perfect thriller, and I say that wholeheartedly. It is intense, it is mysterious, eerily creepy throughout and executed so, so well. The story is grim, dark, sinister, everything you would want from a modern police thriller. Those ideals are almost set by this Fincher classic. I think this is a movie that everyone should watch in their life, a film that really humanises the detectives, humanises the villain and makes the whole film seem plausible. I’m not saying this is what makes the movie good, but it’s an incredible aspect that doesn’t disappoint. I love ‘Se7en’, and I look forward to revisiting it in the future.
7. The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Here it is, one of the greatest movies ever made, one of the greatest twists to ever hit the silver screen, and one of the greatest moments in my childhood. ‘Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back’ is a masterpiece. It is also one of the only sci-fi movies to stand the test of time. We can watch some from back then that was considered great and are now considered laughable, but this is not one of them. This is the very best. ‘A New Hope’ was the perfect set up for this movie, and for the sequel to be better is always a hard task to achieve, but George Lucas and his crew made it happen, made millions of people gasp and made it being a nerd cool. If I could only ever watch one Star Wars movie for the rest of my life and disregard the rest (a relatively easy task, to be honest), this comes out the winner. It is not only the best Star Wars movie, but it is also the best sci-fi movie and one of the very best movies to have ever hit the screen.
6. Avengers: Endgame (2019)
This is perhaps the most controversial movie in this list as half of the world loves it and the other doesn’t. Personally, I think ‘Avengers: Endgame’ is amazing. I don’t just think that, I know that it is. I don’t care for people picking flaws out in this, they are watching it for the wrong thing. If people can’t understand the beauty of this movie, the incredible emotional rollercoaster it takes you on and perhaps the greatest fight scene ever, then I don’t know what to say, I just don’t. I love this movie, it provided me with the greatest cinematic experience I have ever had and I wish that I could relive that moment so many times. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me think and it made me proud to be a fan of the MCU. In a line; ‘Endgame’ knocks socks off of the rest of the MCU, and they really hit a home run with this one.
5. Inception (2010)
Well, well, well… ‘Inception’ is considered by many as the greatest movie ever made with DiCaprio’s best performance to date. I still don’t know how he didn’t win the Oscar for this, but here we are and he finally did win one eventually. Christopher Nolan broke people’s minds with this insanely complex movie, and it is even more intelligent than complex. The film tricks you into thinking even more about it, what are the true possibilities of the film’s story, the characters and what comes next. I even saw a theory that ‘TENET’ was the sequel (it’s not) and that would have been amazing. However, films like this need to be left alone and preserved. This is a once-in-a-generation movie and will more than likely never be touched by any sci-fi thriller. And once the credits are rolling, pinch yourself to make sure you’re not in there with them.
4. Midsommar (2019)
Is this one of the most interesting films of all-time? It certainly is. ‘Midsommar’ turned some heads in 2019 when it was released, and I completely get why. It’s really weird but it’s a good weird. In fact, I think it’s not that weird but it’s intelligent. It’s incredible. It’s powerful. I, as a fan of this movie, have seen this at least five times since it was released and still struggle to fully understand everything. I think that is perhaps the best thing about the movie, and I enjoy explaining aspects that others don’t quite understand. It has so many layers and I think the audiences often forget that this is a horror film. This is the birth of the modern horror genre, and it’s a sick and twisted plot disguised in the beautiful scenery and acting. Florence Pugh runs the show and provides my favourite performance of hers to date.
3. Arrival (2016)
For the bronze, the 2016 sci-fi thriller ‘Arrival’ clinches this spot. This is the most interesting movie I have ever seen. I say that as it really left me thinking for days after watching it. It pushes so many boundaries of thought and logic that allowed me to question whether or not we are right about how we understand our existence. This movie presents vital concepts to us and ones that I hope are taken seriously by those leading the lines for a breakthrough in the field of time and space. Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner provide hypnotic performances, ones that make you really empathise and fall in love with their story, with their characters and their existence. I absolutely adore this movie, I did from the moment I saw it and I know that a movie will never make think the way this one has. Denis Villeneuve (director) smashes it with this one and had the top 2 never been made, this would be my favourite movie of all time.
2. Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
Villeneuve’s final outing in the list really shines above the rest. ‘Blade Runner 2049’ is a beauty of cinema, with everything from the story, the acting, the cinematography, everything. This, for sure, is the most beautiful movie ever made. There, I said it. Nothing will ever come close. I have never seen a movie so full of such beautiful scenery as this, from start to finish, every frame is a piece of art. Not only does Ryan Gosling provide an amazing outing in this, but Harrison Ford’s emphatic return is done to perfection. Alongside stellar performances from Ana de Armas and Jared Leto, this movie is just perfect. I know a lot of people are still going to prefer the original, and I get that, that’s probably more common than not. However, I don’t see these films as if they are interlinked (see what I did there?) I just can’t sing enough praise for this film, and I have just never been so mesmerised by a film before. This provided the second best cinematic experience I have ever had, and I know that the gap between this and third is so big you land a plane there. All-in-all, I love ‘Blade Runner 2049’ and I will never stop.
1. The Dark Knight (2008)
Anyone who knows me also knows that I am obsessed with this film. ‘The Dark Knight’ is cinematic perfection and, to me, the greatest movie ever made. Christian bale really runs the show as Bruce Wayne and Batman, but the showstopper is Heath Ledger and his iteration of the infamous Joker character. This performance by the late great is my favourite performances ever in film history. I have never seen a more impactful and influential outing in my life and I know that I’ll never see one come close. It’s almost a shame that this performance detracts from the rest of the amazing outings by the rest of the cast with every character pulling their weight and having their own moments of excellence. Aaron Eckhart is magnificent, Gary Oldman is, well, Gary Oldman, whilst Michael Caine dons whilst playing Alfred as does Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox. Everyone involved with this movie deserves to be put into the Hollywood Hall of Fame because this changed the superhero movie dynamic forever. Nolan’s second feature on the list sees him land the top spot in my favourite directors and his attention to detail really wins me over every time. In this movie, the attention to detail is what really makes this film stand out. His landscaping of New York to make Gotham look like a great city, the incredible cinematic shots, the intense dialogue and well-weighted action. I love everything about this movie and I have seen it more times than I care to count. Actually now that I think about it, I need to watch it again soon. I just don’t get bored. I can’t wait to discuss this movie more in the future, it really does hold so much importance to me and is the sole reason why I have this website. ‘The Dark Knight’ made me love film, made me love cinema and I am so indebted to this movie it’s unreal. I have never seen a movie come close to this in terms of performance, in terms of influence and inspiration. The greats like ‘The Godfather’ and others just can’t compete with this. The classics were and still are great, more so for when they were released, but this transcends being a superhero movie, this is a movie for everyone. ‘The Dark Knight’ really is the best movie ever made and nobody can change my mind. I know I haven’t even scratched the surface on what can be said about this movie, and most importantly: Ledger’s performance. For potentially the first time, we can’t figure out whether or not the Joker is a villain or a necessary evil. Whatever he is, he is magnificent. He provides reasoning for answers, answers for questions and solutions for problems. Ledger changed how we view the Joker, changed our opinion on the characters surrounding him and really made us love the greatest villain of all time. Not enough can be said to describe how much I am obsessed with this performance, and this movie, but for now, I must say thank you. Without this film, I probably wouldn’t have such a connection with film I definitely wouldn’t be as interested in writing, either. Thank you, Nolan, thank you, Bale, and thank you, Ledger. You three are legends and we’ll never see anything like this ever again.