Whenever I mention to people that I write and review films, I always get asked what my top ten films are or my favourite film of all time, which after much deliberation and changing my mind a few different times I have finally put together my top 10.
Bear in mind that these films aren’t necessarily films I would class as the best ever made or deserving of an Oscar, instead, these are the films that I find the most enjoyable to watch over and over again.
These won’t be full reviews as some I have already written about and the rest I will look to do in the future.
10. A Night To Remeber
The fantastic story of the sinking of the Titanic based on the book by Walter Lord.
Plot: On its maiden voyage in April 1912, the supposedly unsinkable RMS Titanic hits an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean.
Director: Roy Ward Baker
Starring: Kenneth More, Ronald Allen, Robert Ayres
Genre: Historical, Drama
Released: July 1958
James Cameron’s 1997 retelling of the events leading up the sinking of the Titanic might be the most famous and have a nice love story, but it’s Bakers version that I find truly captures those harrowing events in a poignant and memorable fashion.
Read my full review here.
9. Jurassic Park
Life finds a way.
Plot: A pragmatic Paleontologist visiting an almost complete theme park is tasked with protecting a couple of kids after a power failure causes the park’s cloned dinosaurs to run loose.
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum.
Released: July 1993
I can vividly remember the first time I saw dinosaurs appear on-screen when watching Jurrasic Park and being utterly in awe of the great creatures I was seeing before my eyes, but it wouldn’t be until years later that I could truly appreciate the skill and craft Spielberg had put into making the film in the same year that he produced the equally excellent Schindlers List.
8. Lake Mungo
In 2008, Alice Palmer Died… Her nightmare didn’t
Plot: Strange things start happening after a girl is found drowned in a lake.
Director: Joel Anderson
Starring: Talia Zucker, Rosie Traynor, David Pledger, Martin Sharpe
Release Date: June 2008
I love a slow burn supernatural film when done right and the same can be said for mockumentaries, Anderson managed on a limited budget to combine both aspects and produce a unique film that’s excellent on both counts.
Read my full review here
Have You Seen Him?
Plot: Washed-up true-crime writer Ellison Oswalt finds a box of super 8 home movies that suggest the murder he is currently researching is the work of a serial killer whose work dates back to the 1960s.
Director: Scott Derrickson
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, James Ransone
Released: October 2012
This dark and foreboding film contains possibly the scariest and tension-filled scenes involving a lawnmower in cinema history and made me avoid Super 8 film ever since.
Read my full review here.
6. The Truman Show
On the air, unaware
Plot: An insurance salesman discovers his whole life is actually a reality TV show.
Director: Peter Weir
Starring: Jim Carrey, Ed Harris, Laura Linney
Released: October 1998
He may well be famous for his comedic roles, but on the rare occasions when Carrey takes a crack at more serious work he usually smashes out of the park, when it comes to The Truman Show his comic timing and dramatic talents are clear to see and make the character feel more realistic and human in a role that given the growth of reality TV is no longer such a strange idea to watch a person’s life through TV screens.
5. Big Fish
An adventure as big as life itself.
Plot: A frustrated son tries to determine the fact from fiction in his dying father’s life.
Director: Tim Burton
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange, Helena Bonham Carter
Released: January 2004
While Burton is an imaginative director and the cast all do a great job to produce a moving and wonderfully entertaining film, the reason I love Big Fish so much is down to the subject matter. A son trying to move past the differences with his father and find a way to connect before he loses him, making me reflect on when I lost my father at a young age
4. The Thing
Man is The Warmest Place to Hide.
Plot: A research team in Antarctica is hunted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of its victims.
Director: John Carpenter
Released: August 1982
This was the first 18 rated VHS I ever watched and for that reason John Carpenter’s sci-fi horror masterpiece about a shapeshifting alien The Thing will always have a special place in my heart and multiple viewings I no longer find it frightening but that hasn’t affected the quality of this tense and suspenseful classic.
Read the full review here.
A true underdog story.
Plot: A group of misfits enter a Las Vegas dodgeball tournament in order to save their cherished local gym from the onslaught of a corporate health fitness chain.
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Starring: Ben Stiller, Christine Taylor, Vince Vaughn
Released: August 2004
This is the films that I watch when I’m in need of cheering up, when I’m sick or just when I’m bored, it’s cheesy, silly, I find it incredibly funny and anyone that’s seen it will know at least 5 quotes from the film.
2. A Time To Kill
A lawyer and his assistant fighting to save a father on trial for murder. A time to question what they believe. A time to doubt what they trust. And no time for mistakes.
Plot: In Canton, Mississippi, a fearless young lawyer and his assistant defend a black man accused of murdering two white men who raped his ten-year-old daughter, inciting violent retribution and revenge from the Ku Klux Klan.
Director: Joel Schumacher
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Samuel L. Jackson
Released: September 1996
So many John Grisham books have been turned into films that it’s hard to keep track, but for me, this is the best of the bunch for many reasons, but it’s McConaughey’s closing statement in the courtroom that not only packs a punch but proved to me that he is a better actor than I had given him credit for.
1. The Green Mile
Paul Edgecomb didn’t believe in miracles. Until the day he met one.
Plot: The lives of guards on Death Row are affected by one of their charges: a black man accused of child murder and rape, yet who has a mysterious gift.
Director: Frank Darabont
Starring: Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan, David Morse
Released: March 2000
Here it is, my #1 film of all time and has been since I first watched it back when it came out, in my opinion eclipsing all other Stephen King adaptations including The Shawshank Redemption in terms of emotion and quality.