My Top 10 Favourite Movies Ever (Revisited)

Everyone has their favourite movies, here are most of mine – these are my top 10 favourite movies ever.

My Top 10 Favourite Movies Ever... for now
Source: New Line Cinema

Now here’s a topic I haven’t revisited in over 5 years. On Sunday night, a bunch of friends and I were running through a lot of our favourite movies. Some people cited the old classics, whilst others favour modern films. It reminded me that it’s high time to revisit that list and see how things have changed over the years.

While we all come from different backgrounds and life experiences, it seems every single person from the introvert to the world leader gets passionate about the films they’ve enjoyed the most.

Movies are a form of universal lanugage. While we may be divided by dialect or class or location or even how we’re feeling today, movies, TV shows, games and books can break the divide between us. The best movies reflect the truest elements of our commonality and desires as people – our dreams, goals, challenges, and experiences – and allow us to share very quickly some quite profound realities about ourselves.

And whether it’s a crazy superhero blockbuster like Avengers: Endgame, a classic from the 40s like Citizen Kane, or an arthouse-y masterpiece of a look at the human psyche, films have and will continue to resonate with people at the core of their being.

So revisiting this list for me, it’s interesting to see how I’ve resonated differently or the same with some of my favourite movies. In truth a lot of the same movies are still here all these years later, with a few variations.

Here are my 10 favourite movies ever.

Honourable mentions

Something I didn’t do last time but I definitely should have is to list a bunch of honourable mentions. There’s a whole heap of more specialised categories that I do have lists for so to mention some of those and some favourites that missed this list of 10:

  • The Last Samurai – beautifully shot, great soundtrack, and a fantastic look at the modernisation of Japanese culture. It still holds up
  • The One – Jet Li vs. Jet Li, with fantastic choreography and peak millenium rock vibes. Always a lot of fun when you want to turn your brain off
  • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – the Ben Stiller remake. I’m a sucker for great cinematography and this is a really nice story of a man finally moving on from the death of this father and finding his voice. Plus a lot of good comedy bits in the middle of the gorgeous scenery
  • Little Shop of Horrors – my favourite musical, it features all the great comedians of the 80s in one place, and is about two people overcoming obscurity in an unconventional but entertaining way
  • The Rocky Series – in particular, Rocky 3, 4, and Creed 2 are peak Rocky for me. That said, you kind of need all of them to enjoy the story
  • Moana/Mulan – to this day still the best Disney movies ever made. Moana is Awesome and a surprisingly powerful look at the restoration of the heart, and Mulan is another win in the crown of Ming-Na Wen’s stellar career. And somehow she’s still going and being a total boss decades later
  • The Amazing Spiderman 2 – still my favourite comic book movie, and thanks to No Way Home’s references to it, it’s finally getting the true appreciation it’s always deserved. More of my thoughts on it here.

Now that all of those are out of the way… let’s go!

All films and images property of their respective owners, not mine.

#10: I Know That Voice

Starting off with my favourite documentary, I Know That Voice is a fascinating and super entertaining look into the world of voice acting, featuring almost every major voice actor of the last 50 years.

Usually documentaries you can only really watch once but this one I find myself coming back to time and time again. A real deep dive into what the industry is like, all the various projects requiring voice actors nowadays, and a lot of personal stories from your favourite actors. Plus hearing all the famous actors doing all their most famous characters is entertaining as anything. Great stuff.

Position change since last review: Down from #9 to #10

Where to watch: Here

#9: Liar Liar

One of the best and one of my favourite movies ever

My favourite comedy ever made, Liar Liar is peak Jim Carrey toned down a bit for the masses. Like the premise of most movies set in the 90s, this is about an absentee father who needs to learn to put his family first. Fletcher Reed is a divorced lawyer who misses his son’s birthday. His son gets super upset about it and wishes for 24 hours that his father cannot tell a lie. Fletcher wakes up the next morning unable to say anything except for the truth.

Given most movie lawyers build their whole career of stretching the truth, absolute hilarity insues. Very quotable and also with a nice lesson on the importance of prioritising your family. Good job. Nothing can stop the CLAW!

Position change since last review: Down from #7 to #9

Where to watch: Here

#8: The Miracle Maker

Now here’s one that could be considered off the beaten track. The Miracle Maker was and still is my favourite adaption of the life of Christ in movie form. Whilst many shows like The Chosen, the Time Life series, the Passion of the Christ, or even more modern films like Risen and Paul try to capture one of the most polarising figures in history, none do it for me anywhere near as well as this stop-motion retelling of his life.

I dunno, I guess for me most depictions of Jesus have him floating above everyone and floating through life in general. But in this story, even though it’s in an animated style, Jesus is more down to earth than in any other rendition, which is how I read of Jesus through all the accounts we have about his life.

It’s surprisingly well acted and also framed by some outstanding performances from some brilliant British actors such as Ralph Fiennes (Jesus), Ian Holm (Pilate), Miranda Richardson (Mary Magdalene), William Hurt, Richard E. Grant, Alfred Molina, and many more.

Plus the technology of the Russian puppetry involved here is very unique and actually conveys the emotion very effectively.

Position change since last review: Unchanged

Where to watch: Here

#7: We Bought A Zoo

Why? Why not?
We Bought A Zoo is one of my favourite movies ever

Ah man. This is a beautiful story.

Matt Damon stars as Benjamin Mee, a widower with two kids who is trying to find a new life for himself and his family 6 months after the loss of his wife. They pull a card from Escape to the Country and buy a zoo out of town.

This one is just really nice. In life I love to see people have the light return to their lives after a dark time, and this is a wonderful depiction of it. ScarJo is also great as the head zookeeper and Thomas Haden Church as Ben’s brother. There is not a better feel good movie than this one, and you’ll be smile-crying for the ending.

Position change since last review: Down from #5 to #7

Where to watch: Here

#6: Star Wars Episode………….. 3

The Senate is one of my favourite movies ever

I feel like this isn’t as controversial as it used to be following the general consensus that the Sequel Trilogy (Episodes 7-9) aren’t as good as the rest of the movies, but it’s still not the choice most people consider the “right” answer when it comes to grading the Star Wars movies. Nevertheless, even after all the new content courtesy of Disney’s LucasFilm, this is still my favourite.

I just love Star Wars in general – all the movies, including the Sequel Trilogy, Clone Wars (2D and 3D), Rebels, Mandalorian, Bad Batch, Book of Boba Fett, Force Unleashed, Knights of the Old Republic I & II, all the games… you get it, I’m a Star Wars nerd.

But to me, Episode 3 always did and still does represent the capstone of the franchise. Lucas had a very pointed message to make about how democracy gives way to dictatorship through history, and this is just a blockbuster space adventure version of that reality. People complain about the taxation of trade routes and the Senate and the politics and the Jar Jar and the blah blah blah, but I reckon that’s what makes it fairly relatable for as fantastical as everything is.

The fall and rise of heroes, love against the odds, the betrayal of friends, the set up for hope to return, outstanding action, and easily the best soundtrack in the whole series, this is the full package. More in 13 Reasons I Prefer The Star Wars Prequels (and that’s still true today).

What’s Star Wars, you ask? Well… you might have some catching up to do on this piece of Western mythology.

Position change since last review: Down from #3 to #6

Where to watch: Here

#5: Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind

I have always loved this movie, but it has only gotten better with time. I feel like this is probably the best movie about the realities of longterm relationships, and the more years of marriage that go on only make me appreciate it even more.

Mr Carrey is back on this list as Joel, a shy introvert who is brought emphatically out of his shell by Kate Winslet’s offbeat Clementine.

It’s an arthouse project with a Hollywood budget, with Mark Ruffalo, Elijah Wood and Kirsten Dunst in tow as a powerful supporting cast.

The movie starts at the end of their multi-year relationship. However, Clementine has decided to go one step further and undergo a medical procedure to completely remove the memory of Joel from her mind. When Joel finds out about this, he decides to get the procedure for himself. The movie follows what goes on in his brain as his inner psyche struggles to let go of a woman he actually realises he loves far more than otherwise.

It’s a very strange but super realistic look at the anatomy of a longterm relationship, the changes in feelings and how the things they used to love about each other become the reasons they’ve become angry. It really is a masterpiece, especially watching how seamlessly the dream version of Joel moves between his memories. I’ve only just picked up the Bluray for this one (had to order it into the country as Australia has no copies anywhere) and the special features reveal almost all of these amazing special effects are very low budget (besides one of a car falling out of the sky).

If you’re in a longterm relationship of any kind, this is one of the best movies for helping you appreciate it instead of throwing it away.

Position change since last review: Up from #10 to #5

Where to watch: Here

#4: Everything from Christopher Nolan (except Momento and Dunkirk)

The Prestige is one of my favourite movies ever

Nolan is a genius. With the exception of Momento and Dunkirk, I could have just filled this list with his movies. I dunno, I just don’t enjoy those two movies as much.

But you’re looking at some of the best films ever made in this portfolio of work. I feel like the pack is lead by The Prestige, a period drama about two warring illusionists with an amazing sci-fi twist. Hugh and Christian are perfect.

Then I would say the second hand in the one-two punch is Tenet, a masterful piece of Hollywood genius, exploring people being able to move both forwards and backwards through time. It would have made over $1 billion if not for releasing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Denzel’s son John is truly talented and Robert Pattinson was a true surprise with just how good he is in this movie.

But everything else is stellar as well – The Dark Knight Trilogy, Interstellar, Inception. There’s a reason all his films attract an ensemble cast each and every time (and often the same actors multiple times)

Do yourself a favour. Switch your brain on and give some of these a watch. It’s not exactly popcorn viewing but for the viewer who is willing to devote concentration to what they’re watching, these are incredibly rewarding films.

Position change since last review: Up from #6 to #4

Where to watch: Here

#3: Something Borrowed/Love, Rosie

Here we go. Into the personal upper echelon for me now.

Something Borrowed is probably one of the best movies about love. Not because it’s a super romantic movie or that any of the characters are in any way role models or examples worth following. In fact I was furious the first time I watched it. It’s the best because of how real it is.

The nuance of it, the small things that get in the way, the insecurities and influences from other people and the waiting and the hesitating and the back and forth. This one is about two friends who loved each other for a long time but never did the right things about it. It’s sweet, sad, and very confronting, and I’d encourage anyone who is looking for a reality check on how they appraoch their relationships to give it a watch. More in 7 Reasons I Love The Movie Something Borrowed.

And I must say, the more I’ve watched it over time, the more I think the movie Love, Rosie belongs in a similar position. This one is a little similar in that its about two friends who take 10-15 years to eventually find each other. They had always been in each other’s lives but the timing had always been off. An unplanned pregnancy from a high school prom date sets Rosie’s life on completely the opposite path to what she had planned out, and yet what’s great about this movie and about life is that it can still work out to be great.

Another confronting look at the things we allow to get in the way but also just a realistic portrayal in that you want your life and love life to look a certain way, but sometimes it looks very different from how you would imagine it. Over the years I’ve really grown to love Love, Rosie just as much as Something Borrowed, which is a huge call for me, but I think I’m ready to make it. Both of these take the third spot for my favourite movies ever.

Position change since last review: Unchanged, but added Love, Rosie to the same position

Where to watch: Here

#2: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – if there was a movie I could watch every day of my life and not get tired of it, it would be Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.

Ultimately, this is a story about a girl who needed someone to not give up on her after she and so many others had given up on herself. If you watch it with this in mind, I hope you will see a movie and a story as brilliant and moving as I feel like it is.

Beyond that, it’s an over the top laugh out loud action flick fusing video game culture, anime, comic books, and action movie tropes in a blender of flashing lights, bright sound effects, zany villains, and a rocking soundtrack. Plus looking back on it, many of the cast have now played the top superheroes, including Superman, Captain America, and Captain Marvel.

The big bad Gideon swallowing his gum whilst fighting Scott with a Sepiroth-esque sword is still one of the funniest things in a movie ever, in addition to Chris Evans’ action hero boyfriend persona. It’s not my absolute favourite, but it’s the most rewatchable of my favourite movies ever.

Position change since last review: Unchanged

Where to watch: Here

#1: Return of the King (Extended)

The return of the king GIF on GIFER - by Marin

The best movie ever made. Fortunately unlike many of the other entries on this list, this one isn’t in contention so much given how many awards were won and best-of lists this movie makes every year. If you didn’t agree with any of my other picks, chances are you’ll at least give me credit on this one.

The conclusion of Tolkien’s Lord of The Rings trilogy, Return of the King is ultimately about a man becoming who he was born to be. All of us run from or struggle to come to terms with the greatness we are called to, and across the backdrop of a great war against the unrelenting forces of evil, Aragorn puts aside the ranger and becomes who he was born to be. Not only that, but after all his decades of serving others, he gets to be with the one he loves.

It’s a challenge to me and to all of us to lay aside who we think we should be and become who we know we should be.

More than that – to surround ourselves with the right advice and friends, to recognize the seasons, to hold true to our word, to face all things with bravery, to cut off the voice of our enemy, to always be moving forward… it’s a treasure trove for the analogy lover like myself.

Plus every other character is great and interesting, the action is fantastic, the cast is essentially perfect, the score is unforgettable (Into The West, wow), and the sense of accomplishment conveyed by the end of the film is unmatched. Oh and amazing special features too, almost as long as the movie is.

Surprisingly some people haven’t seen the Lord of the Rings trilogy yet. If you haven’t and you’re struggling with the first two, I would implore you to perservere because the last one is just so good.

The king of my favourite movies ever.

Position change since last review: Unchanged

Where to watch: Here

There you have it – my top 10 favourite movies ever, more or less. If you didn’t see it in the honourable mentions or in the main list, it might be in one of my others:

John and Statsi Eldredge wrote in the book Love and War that the movies and stories we resonate with reveal much about who we are and what we’re called to do. If you know me and my other writing you’ll know how much I love to write about the bigger issues of life. Maybe in seeing my favourite movies you’ll see a bit more of my heart in what I’m writing as well.

How about you? Are any of these your favourites too?

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