My top 22 favorite movies

As the title says. I would recommend any of these movies to anyone who needs something to do.

First change as of 1/27/11: "Forrest Gump" has been replaced with "Gandhi."
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1.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
Gandalf and Aragorn lead the World of Men against Sauron's army to draw his gaze from Frodo and Sam as they approach Mount Doom with the One Ring. (201 mins.)
Director: Peter Jackson
“ Epic... epic, epic, epic, *beep* epic!
My favorite movie ever.
This movie is amazing. That is all I can say. It's no surprise to me that this is the only fantasy film to ever win Best Picture. Peter Jackson takes J.R.R. Tolkein's third and final work in the timeless trilogy and transforms it into the coolest damn thing I have ever seen in my life. It's an ENIGMA of epicness, complete with breath-taking action scenes, strongly-built development between characters, a test of strength and endurance, and the greatest cast since the cast of The Godfather. ” - mikelarson479
 
2.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
A meek Hobbit and eight companions set out on a journey to destroy the One Ring and the Dark Lord Sauron. (178 mins.)
Director: Peter Jackson
“ Every epic tale has a beginning. This is the beginning to the greatest trilogy ever made. I even have proof that it's the greatest: It's the only trilogy that has all three films in the top 30 on this site's top 250 list. Even the Godfather trilogy and the original Star Wars triology cannot make that claim! It is here that the tale begins with Frodo Baggins and his eight valiant companions, who journey in an effort to save Middle Earth. ” - mikelarson479
 
3.
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
While Frodo and Sam edge closer to Mordor with the help of the shifty Gollum, the divided fellowship makes a stand against Sauron's new ally, Saruman, and his hordes of Isengard. (179 mins.)
Director: Peter Jackson
“ Some say that the second movie of a trilogy can come close to surpassing the first. This movie is a clear example. The continuation of the best trilogy to ever make it into the film world brings this wonder to life once again. Even the dialogue is awesome, even if it is merely battle plans or plans for the future. But I'm certain that they said this back in 2002: "The best is yet to come!" And indeed, one year later, it did. ” - mikelarson479
 
4.
12 Angry Men (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
A jury holdout attempts to prevent a miscarriage of justice by forcing his colleagues to reconsider the evidence. (96 mins.)
Director: Sidney Lumet
“ If someone asked you if you wanted to see a movie that involved twelve men sitting at a table and talking for an hour and a-half, how would you respond? After seeing this film, I would respond "I'm freakin' in!" This courtroom film is flawless. Literally flawless. I can think of a couple of minor flaws in every other film on this list (even the previous three), but as for this movie, it is perfection. As hard as I try, I cannot think of anything wrong with it. It is just 12 outstanding actors playing 12 indentifiable jurors with 12 believable personalities in 1 astoundingly amazing film. This just proves to you that a film does not always require explosions, violence, sex, or heavy profanity to qualify as entertainment. ” - mikelarson479
 
5.
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.3/10 X  
Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency. (142 mins.)
Director: Frank Darabont
“ Never before have I seen friendship play such a huge part in a film. This movie is #1 on this site's top 250 list for a reason: it's so powerful, so rich, and so precious. It is definitely one of three films that I believe should at least go on everyone's top 25 list, if not their top 10 list. Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman give exemplary performances. Without a doubt, the best prison movie ever made. And I believe I'm not alone when I say that this movie should have won Best Picture? ” - mikelarson479
 
6.
The Godfather (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.2/10 X  
The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son. (175 mins.)
“ I suppose I don't have to tell you why this one is so good? After all, it's already received recognition by many sources - including Empire Magazine - as the greatest movie of all time. This gangster movie is another of the three films I believe deserves a spot on everybody's top 10, or at least their top 25. Marlon Brando gives the greatest performance I have ever seen in my life, and he is supported by a fantastic cast composed of Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duval, and others. This film always is, always was, and always will be, a classic. ” - mikelarson479
 
7.
Great Performances (1971 TV Series)
Episode: Cats (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
"Jellicle" cats join for a Jellicle ball where they rejoice with their leader, Old Deuteronomy. One cat will be chosen to go to the "Heavyside Layer" and be reborn. The cats introduce themselves.
“ Despite the fact that it says "episode" above, this is an actual movie. This is the video version of the world's most beloved musical, Andrew Lloyd Webber's CATS. If ever there was a more majestic musical, I don't know what it was. It's such an inspirational piece of wonder. Despite having little to no plot, you are capable of beoming engrossed in this movie very quickly. If you have not seen it, I would recommend you do a little research about it first; it will help you understand the plot. Then you'll be able to enjoy it much more. ” - mikelarson479
 
8.
The Matrix (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers. (136 mins.)
“ This movie makes you question the fundamentals of life. But that's not what makes it so good. What makes it so good is its tense atmosphere, its riveting visuals, and its enthralling plotline. One could even argue that this movie is a modern-day telling of Buddhism. After all, it's a movie about a man destined to be a savior who has been hidden from reality's secrets for all his life until a few distinct individuals turn him the right way. In my mind, that is one of the many definitions of the word "awesome." ” - mikelarson479
 
9.
9 (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A rag doll that awakens in a postapocalyptic future holds the key to humanity's salvation. (79 mins.)
Director: Shane Acker
“ No, I did not put this one at number 9 on purpose; that's just a coincidence. Anyway, in my mind, this is perhaps the most underrated film on my list. It's an animated film that is dark, tragic, and terrifying, but all the same, adventurous, thrilling, and courageous. An apocalypse film that carries what could be interpreted as a strong anti-war message alongside it. It's 9 sentient rag dolls versus an army of murderous machines. The most epic animated film I ever saw in my life. ” - mikelarson479
 
10.
Schindler's List (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
In Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazis. (195 mins.)
“ Arguably the saddest, most depressing movie ever made. This is the last of the three films that I think deserve a spot on everybody's top 25 list, if not their top 10 list. The incredible true story of how one man made a difference during World War II. First, this man starts out as a power-hungry factory manager. He keeps his businesses in order as the Holocaust begins. But overtime, he comes to the conclusion that he cannot just let Poland's entire Jewish population be eradicated. Eventually, he is responsible for saving the lives of more than 1,100 Jews. Touching in its very nature. ” - mikelarson479
 
11.
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Belle, whose father is imprisoned by the Beast, offers herself instead, unaware her captor to be an enchanted prince. (84 mins.)
“ My favorite Disney film. This movie used to disturb me when I was very young, but now, I adore it for what it is: a masterpiece of animation. This dark, dramatic tale tells the story of a cursed prince that must try to win the heart of a young woman who has sworn her life to him in return for her father's freedom. Unlike several of Disney's preceding films, this romance between the male and female leads develops slowly and easily, addressing several parts of a relationship along the way. It even comes to the point where both the title characters realize that love has no limit. Above all, the message it leaves for children is magnificent: "True beauty is found within." ” - mikelarson479
 
12.
Alien (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
After a space merchant vessel perceives an unknown transmission as distress call, their landing on the source planet finds one of the crew attacked by a mysterious lifeform. Continuing their journey back to Earth with the attacked crew having recovered and the critter deceased, they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun. (117 mins.)
Director: Ridley Scott
“ The movie that officially launched Sigourney Weaver's career. This classic horror flick deftly combines suspense with very convincing graphics in a way most monster movies cannot. At any one point, something can happen, and when you watch this movie the first time, you'll almost certainly be sweating all throughout. ” - mikelarson479
 
13.
Amadeus (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
The incredible story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, told by his peer and secret rival Antonio Salieri - now confined to an insane asylum. (160 mins.)
Director: Milos Forman
“ The mostly-true tale of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. This is one of those movies that, for the most part, is jovial and lighthearted all-throughout, but at certain moments, it can become dark and tragic. Yet it manages this in a way that deeply satisfies the audience. While the portrayal of Mozart and Antonio Salieri may not be historically accurate in its entirety, it is still a remarkable biographical film of one of the greatest classical music composers that ever lived. ” - mikelarson479
 
14.
The Incredibles (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A family of undercover superheroes, while trying to live the quiet suburban life, are forced into action to save the world. (115 mins.)
Director: Brad Bird
“ My favorite Pixar film. I would say that this is the corporation's most powerful movie to date. A superhero who struggles between his past life as an authorized vigilante and his current life as a father and husband. The choices for the voice-acting are excellent; brilliant, in fact. What's not to like? Family and commitment to society have never been so well portrayed in an animated film. ” - mikelarson479
 
15.
Amélie (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
Amélie is an innocent and naive girl in Paris with her own sense of justice. She decides to help those around her and, along the way, discovers love. (122 mins.)
“ This French romantic-comedy is just adorable. This is one film that manages to win you over with its charm while simultaneously, the ingenue-like main character works to help better the lives of others. Few American romantic-comedies can live up to this one. The topic of sex plays a big role in this movie, but the movie does not indulge us in nudity too much; it manages to satisfy us with the engaging plot. Also, in my opinion, Audrey Tautou has the most seductive smile in the word. Just look at that poster! ” - mikelarson479
 
16.
The Rock (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A mild-mannered chemist and an ex-con must lead the counterstrike when a rogue group of military men, led by a renegade general, threaten a nerve gas attack from Alcatraz against San Francisco. (136 mins.)
Director: Michael Bay
“ This is probably the only good thing that Michael Bay has ever created. A group of renegade US veteran Marines seize control of Alcatraz, take hostages, and threaten to decimate San Francisco's population. When SEALs fail, who do we turn to? James Bond, of course! No, but seriously, Sean Connery is badass in this role. Nicholas Cage - meh, he's alright, but still, this movie is freaking awesome! To me, it seems like films involving infiltration frequently succeed in becoming engaging. On a side note, I actually toured Alcatraz, and believe me, it's perhaps the most inhabitable part of San Francisco, what with all the city's frigid weather, rough terrain, and incompetent drivers that would make Spongebob look like a professional at driving. The city is alright, but the idea of living there all the time is not very appealing. ” - mikelarson479
 
17.
Princess Mononoke (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
On a journey to find the cure for a Tatarigami's curse, Ashitaka finds himself in the middle of a war between the forest gods and Tatara, a mining colony. In this quest he also meets San, the Mononoke Hime. (134 mins.)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
“ Most people say Spirited Away (2001) is Hayao Miyazaki's greatest film. I do acknowledge that it is one of the best animated movies ever made, but in my opinion, this one is slightly better. This Japanese animated film has a lot of appealing things you won't find in most American animated films, such as heavy violence, tragedy, suspense, and a romance that is NOT contrived. In a way, it even has an enviornmentalist message that is SUBTLE. What more could you ask for, besides the involvement of supernatural spirits (which this has)? ” - mikelarson479
 
18.
Downfall (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Traudl Junge, the final secretary for Adolf Hitler, tells of the Nazi dictator's final days in his Berlin bunker at the end of WWII. (156 mins.)
“ Almost everyone recognizes Adolf Hitler as a tyrant, a murderer, and a symbol of everything humanity should not stand for. Truthfully, that is my opinion of him, as well. But watching this movie made me understand him and his motivations more. This German film graphically depicts Hitler's last ten days alive and beyond through the viewpoint of Traudl Junge, his youngest secretary. Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara, and the rest of the cast are capable of making you believe that you are watching a video documentation instead of a movie. That is how convincing their performances are. ” - mikelarson479
 
19.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
A criminal pleads insanity after getting into trouble again and once in the mental institution rebels against the oppressive nurse and rallies up the scared patients. (133 mins.)
Director: Milos Forman
“ One of only three films to win all of the top five Academy awards (the other two being It Happened One Night (1934) and The Silence of the Lambs (1991)). They are all good movies, but this one is - in my opinion - the best of the three. Jack Nicholson's character McMurphy is in some ways a sign of the rebel in all of us, and that is one thing you must admire. Before I saw this movie, I had only known Louise Fletcher for her appearances on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. But now I see why this is the role she is famous for; she is amazing in how she constantly plays the role of Nurse Ratched with such rigidness. A landmark accomplishment, no doubt. ” - mikelarson479
 
20.
Taken (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A retired CIA agent travels across Europe and relies on his old skills to save his estranged daughter, who has been kidnapped while on a trip to Paris. (93 mins.)
Director: Pierre Morel
“ Liam Neeson kicks ass in this movie. Not only in his role, but in his performance as well. His character's motivation is admirable as well; it shows you just how far a father will go to save his child. It represents the determination in us all. ” - mikelarson479
 
21.
And Then There Were None (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Ten people are invited to an isolated island, only to find that an unseen person is killing them one by one. Could one of them be the killer? (97 mins.)
Director: Rene Clair
“ One of the earliest mystery films, based on the world-renowned novel by Agatha Christie. This movie captures all the emotion of the book while sparing almost no detail. While it may deviate from the book in some respects, you can tell that the filmmakers were determined to stay as true to it as possible. ” - mikelarson479
 
22.
Gandhi (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Gandhi's character is fully explained as a man of nonviolence. Through his patience, he is able to drive the British out of the subcontinent. And the stubborn nature of Jinnah and his commitment towards Pakistan is portrayed. (191 mins.)
“ One of the last grand-scale epics to feature gigantic crowds of real people before the usage of CGI animation, this movie captured my interest very quickly. It tells the remarkable story of the famous Indian man who went to incredible lengths and made numerous sacrifices to liberate his people from oppression. Say what you will about Ben Kingsley; he virtually "becomes" his character in this film. ” - mikelarson479