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I show you mine, you show me yours

“To each his own” is the most valuable motto in a world as diverse as ours. It allows me to peacefully coexist and be friends with others whose interests are far different than mine. It doesn’t matter that I like God and you don’t, or that you like the Red Sox and I hope you get hit by a train.

No matter what, your opinion is just as good as mine. And today is all about sharing opinions.

In a blog post last week, I published a list of the 77 movies that I consider to be the best of all time based on a formula that I devised in my childlike brain.

That list was alphabetical, nothing more than a catalog of films that score a 10 out of 10 on my ranking scale. Today, though, I’m giving you a rundown of The 10 Best Movies Ever.

Keep in mind that, to me and many other scientists, a list of “the best movies I’ve ever seen” is far different than “my favorite movies ever.” That’s because a film like “Schindler’s List” is undeniably great, but it’s not one I’d ever consider a favorite. Likewise, “Happy Gilmore” is a movie I could happily watch every day of my life, but I’m not dumb enough to think it’s among the best ever.

My Top 10 consists of the best movies I’ve ever seen, some of which also happen to be among my favorites of all time. (You can find the basic premise of the unsophisticated formula I use to rank films on the post I mentioned earlier.)

There’s one condition to me sharing my Top 10 with you: You must do the same by posting yours (or at least your Top 5) below.

And, yes, I agree that it’s difficult to judge movies across genres. But flying a plane is also difficult and people still do that every day, so we’re gonna do this, too.

Behold, all ye foul-smelling peasants! The 10 best movies I have ever seen:


1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

2. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

3. Good Will Hunting (1997)

4. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

5. The Usual Suspects (1995)

6. The Godfather (1972)

7. Love Actually (2003)

8. Life Is Beautiful (1997)

9. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

10. Do the Right Thing (1989)

The next five: As Good As It Gets (1997), Braveheart (1995), Pulp Fiction (1994), Saving Private Ryan (1998), Young Frankenstein (1974).

46 Comments Post a comment
  1. 1. The Wizard of Oz. 2. Casablanca. 3. West Side Story. 4. Mallrats (you heard me). 5. Finding Nemo (yep). 6. Breakfast at Tiffanys 7. Romeo and Juliet (60s) 8. Night of the Hunter. 9. Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte 10. Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

    That’s right. I put Mallrats on there. Yep.

    December 6, 2011
    • Finding Nemo is an outstanding movie. Mallrats? I love your honesty. I enjoyed that one. Casablanca is very near my Top 10-15. And I haven’t seen The Wizard of Oz since I was about 7, so I can’t properly judge it.

      December 6, 2011
  2. A harder list to make than you’d think. It ended up being a combination of movies I thought were really good, and movies I absolutely love.

    1. Shawshank Redemption (Is it lame to agree?)
    2. Braveheart
    3. Field of Dreams
    4. Silence of the Lambs
    5. The Kings Speech
    6. The Dark Knight
    7. Hotel Rwanda (A movie I loved, yet will probably only see once in my life. it’s that depressing.)
    8. Super Troopers (For the quotability alone)
    9. Lord of the Rings (if for no other reason than I thought I’d never like a “fantasy” movie, yet ended up seeing the second and third installments at midnight showings)
    10. Roman Holiday (Because Audrey Hepburn needs to be represented)

    By the way, love the blog. Glad your wife introduced me to it. Keep it up.

    December 6, 2011
    • Thanks! And it’s never lame to agree. I love every movie on your 10 except Hotel Rwanda, which I started but never finished. Helluva list.

      December 6, 2011
  3. 1. The Dark Knight
    2. Memento
    3. Fight Club
    4. The Rock
    5. Scream
    6. Shawshank Redemption
    7. Lion King
    8. Little Miss Sunshine
    9. The Orphanage
    10. Borat (never laughed so hard in my life)

    December 6, 2011
    • Wow, how could I have left Borat off my list of 75? That was easily one of the best comedies ever. And The Rock is one of my favorites ever, but not one I’d say is the best ever.

      December 6, 2011
  4. 1. It’s a Wonderful Life
    2. Stranger than Fiction
    3. When Harry Met Sally
    4. The Philadelphia Story
    5. Amelie
    6. Lars and the Real Girl
    7. Dan in Real Life
    8. Little Miss Sunshine
    9. Priceless
    10. It’s Kind of a Funny Story

    Man, do I have a type or what? I suppose I think the greatest movies are the ones that make you cry and happy simultaneously.

    December 6, 2011
    • Great list. Amelie is such a brilliant film. Wow, tough choices!

      December 6, 2011
    • Watching these 10 in one day would make that the best day ever.

      December 6, 2011
  5. Okay, here goes…
    1) Shadowlands
    2) Good Will Hunting
    3) Saving Private Ryan
    4) Pulp Fiction
    5) The Big Lebowski (quotability alone earns the rank)
    6) High Fidelity
    7) Star Wars Episode 6, Return of the Jedi
    8) When Harry Met Sally
    9) Love Actually
    10) An Affair to Remember

    This is so tough because Nemo is excellent, possibly the best animated film ever made. Great picks by everyone so far.

    December 6, 2011
    • What is this Shadowlands you speak of? Actually, I’ve heard of it but never saw it. I will add it to the Netflix queue immediately. High Fidelity is probably where I got my love for lists. And I should probably have Pulp Fiction in my Top 15.

      December 6, 2011
  6. 1. Braveheart
    2. Roman Holiday
    3. Love Actually
    4. Fellowship of the Ring
    5. Casablanca
    6. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
    7. Field of Dreams
    8. 10 things I hate about you
    9. Return of the Jedi
    10. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
    **The Lion King and Tangled are the best animated movies ever.

    December 6, 2011
    • The only one I’ll argue with is 10 Things. I like watching that one, but it’s not a 10. Not for me or anyone. You are an idiot.

      December 6, 2011
  7. Andy Jacobs #

    In no particular order

    Shawshank Redemption
    Super Troopers
    For Love of the Game
    Slumdog Millionare
    Pulp Fiction
    Million Dollar Baby
    Forrest Gump

    An eclectic list to say the least…

    December 6, 2011
    • That’s a really good list. Slumdog was the best movie of the last five years, maybe even the last 10. And Up might be the best animated movie ever. Never saw Million Dollar Baby (my brother ruined it for me), and For Love of the Game is the most overrated baseball movie ever!! I can’t stand that movie.

      December 6, 2011
      • Andy Jacobs #

        For Love of the Game has it’s flaws but you have to love the story of Billy Chapel throwing a perfect game in his last start in Yankee Stadium, or is that why you don’t like it???

        December 6, 2011
        • I liked the baseball element a lot but the love story portion was awful.

          December 6, 2011
  8. Rebecca #

    1. Shawshank Redemption
    2. Reservoir Dogs
    3. Gone With the Wind
    4. Terminator 2 (the one example where the sequel destroys the original)
    5. When Harry Met Sally
    6. Top Gun (the greatest date movie of all time)
    7. Harry Potter (all of them)
    8. Sabrina (the original, none of that Harrison Ford remake crap)
    9. Kill Bill volume 1
    10. The Program (I’ve never seen it, but I’ve been assured by my husband that it is a great football movie and that I will be a better person if I would just watch it. I’m holding out just to annoy him)

    December 6, 2011
    • I still haven’t seen Gone with the Wind but it’s in our Netflix queue. I agree that the original Sabrina is infinitely better than the remake. T-2 almost made my top-75 list. And The Program is really good, much better than crappy Any Given Sunday.

      December 6, 2011
  9. Chip #

    Since my favorite movies are mainly obscure ones I felt a personal connection to, it was hard to weed through and find a few that could legitimately go on a best movies list. Since there’s a five minimum:

    The Princess Bride
    Little Miss Sunshine
    Brokeback Mountain

    December 6, 2011
    • Heathers is one of Ashley’s favorites, too, and it’s good. At least we agree on one of them. I thought Brokeback was good, too, but it was a little sleepy.

      December 6, 2011
  10. 1. Braveheart
    2. Memories ’88
    3. Shawshank Redemption
    4. Endless Summer
    5. Fellowship of the Ring
    6. Game of Thrones(Season 1) yeah, that just happened.
    7. Band of Brothers(complete set)
    8. Friday Night Lights(movie)
    9. Last of the Mohicans
    11.Cinderella Man
    12.Gladiator(Braveheart for filthy Itis)
    13.The Natural
    14. Master and Commander
    15. Hoosiers
    -Couldn’t keep it to 10, hard to keep it at 15…

    December 6, 2011
    • Memories ’88 is the best movie ever, hands down. Everything else is piss.

      December 6, 2011
  11. I hate making film lists. Especially when I know that there are hundreds of great movies I have yet to watch.
    1. American Beauty
    2. Memento
    3. 21 Grams
    4. Fight Club
    5. The Shawshank Redemption
    6. The Shining
    7. Pulp Fiction
    8. No Country for Old Men
    9. City of God
    10. Leon: The Professional

    Honorable mentions: Seven, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Donnie Darko, The Graduate, Taxi Driver and Eternal sunshine of the Spotless Mind.


    December 6, 2011
    • City of God is one of the five best movies of the last decade. That’s one helluva list, Mr. King. I actually need to amend my Top 10 somehow to include Seven.

      December 6, 2011
  12. Bridget #

    You always ask for these definitive lists – tough order for those of us who prefer the undefined. Nonetheless in the spirit of sharing, the movies that I will watch many times over because they are just awesome!

    1) Gone With the Wind (enjoying intermission is a must)
    2) Goodwill Hunting
    3) Pulp Fiction
    4) A River Runs Through It
    5) Oceans 11
    6) Silence of the Lambs
    7) A Christmas Story
    8) Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
    9) Empire of the Sun
    10) Shawshank Redemption

    December 6, 2011
    • Empire of the Sun! Great movie! And is that the original Ocean’s 11 or the recent version? I really like the newer one.

      December 6, 2011
      • Bridget #

        Newer. They brought back sophisticated, subtle comedy with that one.

        December 7, 2011
  13. How has no one included Tombstone???!!!!
    I hate you all.

    December 6, 2011
    • I blame you.

      December 6, 2011
      • Bridget #

        I was trying to think of the “best western” I could add to this list but it was difficult. Tombstone is good but I find the series Deadwood more compelling. John Wayne wins my heart but not the best films. The more recent film with Kevin Costnet and Annette Benning is really good but the sappy love story totally ruins it. Any good westerns come to mind?

        December 7, 2011
        • Open Range was really good, but I rank Tombstone as the best ever. Dances with Wolves isn’t a John Wayne-style Western, but I still include it in the category and put it at No. 2. I never saw all of Unforgiven, but that’s gotta be pretty good, right?

          December 7, 2011
  14. matt randle #

    Stranger than fiction
    Karate kid (original)
    Major league
    Full metal jacket
    Stand by me

    December 8, 2011
    • Glory is my favorite war movie, Matt. Have you seen the new Karate Kid? I refuse. Mr. Miyagi would kick Jackie Chan’s ass.

      December 8, 2011
  15. Britto #

    If you don’t stop putting It’s a Wonderful Life on these lists Nonnie will shank you

    December 9, 2011
    • Nonnie can kiss my grits if she doesn’t like it. Same goes for you.

      December 14, 2011
  16. All right, you asked for it:

    10. The Apartment
    9. The Best Years of Our Lives
    8. The Great Dictator
    7. Modern Times
    6. Psycho
    5. A Hard Day’s Night
    4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    3. Citizen Kane
    2. Pulp Fiction
    1. Some Like it Hot

    December 9, 2011
    • Interesting pick for No. 1. I saw it and liked it, and I know it’s widely regarded as one of the best comedies ever. I wasn’t as high on it as others are, but it’s definitely a good movie. I also really liked Eternal Sunshine, and I’m tempted to add it to my list of 10s.

      December 14, 2011
  17. I think there needs to be an alternate “Worst Movies Ever” list. Only criteria is that it can’t be a movie that didn’t even try to be good (think any spoof movie or SyFy/Lifetime original). Here’s my top 5 worst movies:

    1. Car 54 Where are You?
    2. Little Black Book
    3. Happy Feet
    4. Speed 2
    5. Hardball

    December 15, 2011
    • I remember seeing the trailers for Car 54 back in the ’90s and knew then (at an age where I enjoyed some really bad movies) that it would be horrendous. Happy Feet I was OK with, but I didn’t see any need to make the sequel that just came out.

      My list:

      From Justin to Kelly
      Drop Dead Fred
      Year One
      The Sweetest Thing

      December 17, 2011
  18. Shannon #

    Tyler, I will spot you numbers 1, 4, 7, and 9 (though Love Actually would only make my list if I were compiling it in the months of November or December). But good heavens, where is E.T., the best movie of all time?

    December 21, 2011
  19. Y’know, I saw E.T. a few times as a young kid, but it’s been probably 25 years since I watched it. It’s never been on TV, and I don’t know a soul who owns it. That’s pretty weird for a movie that’s widely regarded as one of the best ever. I’ll add it to the Netflix queue nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnow.

    December 21, 2011
  20. S #

    hard to pick my best of as I like so many for various reasons having agreed to your 1,2,6.
    My top 25 would definitely include several trying to hit slightly different categories with each.
    Dirty Dozen
    Monty Pythons Holy Grail
    Sound of Music
    City Slickers
    Rear Window
    Top Gun

    April 25, 2012
    • That’s quite a diverse list, and it’s got a lot of movies I love. Confession: I’ve never seen “Sound of Music.” Does that make me a bad person?

      April 26, 2012

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