Favorite Movies of My Lifetime

by GaelicLass | created - 26 Mar 2011 | updated - 12 Feb 2013 | Public

These are the best of the best movies I have seen, but not in particular order because I can't get the reorder feature to work. The first few are correctly ordered, but not all of them on the rest of the list. I have an eclectic assortment spanning many decades, yet am having a hard time finding any in the last 5 years that I would consider my favorites. A few have been made but will they stand the test of time for me remains to be seen, except for "The King's Speech".

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1. Doctor Zhivago (1965)

PG-13 | 197 min | Drama, Romance, War

69 Metascore

The life of a Russian physician and poet who, although married to another, falls in love with a political activist's wife and experiences hardship during the First World War and then the October Revolution.

Director: David Lean | Stars: Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, Geraldine Chaplin, Rod Steiger

Votes: 61,373 | Gross: $111.72M

Epic tearjerker set against the Russian Revolution. Julie Christie and Omar Shariff play lovers set against many odds to be together. It has and still is my favorite all time movie. The score, the cinematography and the acting were phenomenal. It was groundbreaking at the time it was fimed.

2. Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)

R | 117 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

81 Metascore

Over the course of five social occasions, a committed bachelor must consider the notion that he may have discovered love.

Director: Mike Newell | Stars: Hugh Grant, Andie MacDowell, James Fleet, Simon Callow

Votes: 119,503 | Gross: $52.70M

The best of witty comedy and drama make for an unusual love story. Hugh Grant was like a young Cary Grant in it and all the other actors just complemented each other so well. The story was unique and not told before. Andie Mcdowell did a great job of representing a southern beauty and had loads of chemistry with Grant. I haven't seen anything as unique since...a real orginal with well written dialogue...I love great wit, not slapstick humor.

3. Casablanca (1942)

PG | 102 min | Drama, Romance, War

100 Metascore

A cynical nightclub owner protects an old flame and her husband from Nazis in Morocco.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains

Votes: 447,597 | Gross: $1.02M

Romance set against the intrigue and despair of WWII. A real classic!

4. The King's Speech (2010)

R | 118 min | Biography, Drama, History

88 Metascore

The story of King George VI of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, his impromptu ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch become worthy of it.

Director: Tom Hooper | Stars: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Derek Jacobi

Votes: 563,845 | Gross: $138.80M

Although new, this movie moved me in such a way that I will never forget it and will watch it multiple times, a sign of a favorite for me since I rarely rewatch any movies.

5. Broadcast News (1987)

R | 133 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

84 Metascore

Take two rival television reporters: one handsome, one talented, both male. Add one Producer, female. Mix well, and watch the sparks fly.

Director: James L. Brooks | Stars: William Hurt, Albert Brooks, Holly Hunter, Robert Prosky

Votes: 23,514 | Gross: $51.25M

A perfect blend of great talents to describe a world of what journalism was and still should be, but sadly isn't, done in a comedic way. The direction and editing were superb to make this a multi award winner in it's time..another classic!

6. Thirteen Days (2000)

PG-13 | 145 min | Drama, History, Thriller

67 Metascore

In October 1962, the Kennedy administration struggles to contain the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Director: Roger Donaldson | Stars: Kevin Costner, Bruce Greenwood, Shawn Driscoll, Drake Cook

Votes: 48,869 | Gross: $34.59M

This movie unexpectedly left an indelible mark on me, not only for great performances and pitch perfect direction, but for the story it told that is still fairly unkown. It shows how a great president acts in times of world crisis..not to be missed, a first rate edge of your seat real life thriller.

7. Cool Hand Luke (1967)

GP | 126 min | Crime, Drama

91 Metascore

A laid back Southern man is sentenced to two years in a rural prison, but refuses to conform.

Director: Stuart Rosenberg | Stars: Paul Newman, George Kennedy, Strother Martin, J.D. Cannon

Votes: 139,731

The best prison movie I have ever seen and starring the wonderful Paul Newman in a movie few who have seen it will ever forget. It blended some comedy in with the tragedy that befell men in an unfair situation that was supposed to be "justice". The egg scene is memorable.

8. Charade (1963)

Not Rated | 113 min | Comedy, Mystery, Romance

Romance and suspense ensue in Paris as a woman is pursued by several men who want a fortune her murdered husband had stolen. Whom can she trust?

Director: Stanley Donen | Stars: Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Walter Matthau, James Coburn

Votes: 56,260 | Gross: $13.47M

A fun romp starring my two favorite actors, Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn, who no one can compete with now or ever. It had many stars of the time in a fun crime caper set in Paris. another one that almost made the list was "To Catch a Thief". Cary was good in everything he did, as was Audrey..very versatile talents.

9. My Fair Lady (1964)

G | 170 min | Drama, Family, Musical

A snobbish phonetics professor agrees to a wager that he can take a flower girl and make her presentable in high society.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Stanley Holloway, Wilfrid Hyde-White

Votes: 75,505 | Gross: $72.00M

A wonderful production of the stage play, albeit without Audrey's lovely voice, but her irresistble charm made up for the singing and her chemistry with Rex Harrison was undeniable.

10. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

PG | 110 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

66 Metascore

Wyoming, early 1900s. Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid are the leaders of a band of outlaws. After a train robbery goes wrong they find themselves on the run with a posse hard on their heals. Their solution - escape to Bolivia.

Director: George Roy Hill | Stars: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross, Strother Martin

Votes: 176,984 | Gross: $102.31M

Some fun from two men that had more charisma together than any two make friendship movies I have every seen..another classic not to be missed...part western, part comedy.

11. Gandhi (1982)

PG | 191 min | Biography, Drama, History

79 Metascore

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.

Director: Richard Attenborough | Stars: Ben Kingsley, John Gielgud, Candice Bergen, Edward Fox

Votes: 197,972 | Gross: $52.77M

What can be said about this classic...a true story brought perfectly to film and a real history lesson in the telling. Ben Kingsley can do no wrong in his parts and he is at his best here.

12. Chinatown (1974)

R | 130 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

86 Metascore

A private detective hired to expose an adulterer finds himself caught up in a web of deceit, corruption, and murder.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston, Perry Lopez

Votes: 250,491 | Gross: $29.20M

A tale of some illegal doings that were going on in Los Angeles in the 40's that were uncovered during a murder investigation. Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunnaway do a fabulous job with their characters and the movie moves at a perfect pitch through the different story lines. Don't miss out on John Huston. Roman Polanski is at his best with this movie.

13. Gangs of New York (2002)

R | 167 min | Crime, Drama

72 Metascore

In 1863, Amsterdam Vallon returns to the Five Points area of New York City seeking revenge against Bill the Butcher, his father's killer.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jim Broadbent

Votes: 353,396 | Gross: $77.81M

Although it is very violent for my tastes, I was mesmerized by the story of the Irish immigrants who came to the US to avoid the famine spreading through Ireland only to be treated like animals when they got there. Daniel day Lewis is always good and is at his best with this part.

14. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)

PG | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

90 Metascore

Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a Wookiee and two droids to save the galaxy from the Empire's world-destroying battle-station, while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the evil Darth Vader.

Director: George Lucas | Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness

Votes: 1,055,780 | Gross: $322.74M

Only the first trilogy and not the many prequels and sequels made since. This was an innovative movie when it came out and with a low budget it proved that something unforgettable can be made without all the cgi needed today. I don't like all the others that came later trying to copy the original magic...which, imo, couldn't be done. Just don't compare it to the OTT stuff they put out now where less is spent on the story and characters and more on the "spectacular" special effects.

15. The Song of Bernadette (1943)

Approved | 156 min | Biography, Drama

In 1858 France, Bernadette, an adolescent peasant girl, has a vision of "a beautiful lady" in the city dump. She never claims it to be anything other than this, but the townspeople all ... See full summary »

Director: Henry King | Stars: Jennifer Jones, Charles Bickford, William Eythe, Vincent Price

Votes: 5,171

This movie is not very well known now, but when it came out it was well loved. It tells the story of a young girl who believes she has been contacted by the Holy Mother. A young Jennifer Jones played her splendidly and you get a warm feeling all over while watching it. I saw it more than 20 years after it was released and it was still very well known back then. A timeless piece of humanity and humility is told here..just don't compare it to things today, or nit pick it apart. Watch it with an open mind and heart and just feel good.

16. A Few Good Men (1992)

R | 138 min | Drama, Thriller

62 Metascore

Military lawyer Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee defends Marines accused of murder. They contend they were acting under orders.

Director: Rob Reiner | Stars: Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon

Votes: 203,020 | Gross: $141.34M

Best performances for Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise..they are a pleasure to watch in action..real class actors (Cruise has changed since, unfortunately).

17. Forrest Gump (1994)

PG-13 | 142 min | Drama, Romance

82 Metascore

The presidencies of Kennedy and Johnson, Vietnam, Watergate, and other history unfold through the perspective of an Alabama man with an IQ of 75.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Sally Field

Votes: 1,485,352 | Gross: $330.25M

Wonderful feel good movie about a lovable character who will stay with you all your life. Tom Hanks was at his best.

18. The Green Mile (1999)

R | 189 min | Crime, Drama, Fantasy

61 Metascore

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 | Stars: Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan, David Morse, Bonnie Hunt

Votes: 932,444 | Gross: $136.80M

An unusual tale about a gentle giant of a man that touches your heart and leaves it's mark. All performances were spot on..but the 90's were more about character driven movies and not action packed cgi filled or ridiculous comedies that use words I don't really care to hear.

19. Reds (1981)

PG | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History

76 Metascore

A radical American journalist becomes involved with the Communist revolution in Russia, and hopes to bring its spirit and idealism to the United States.

Director: Warren Beatty | Stars: Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Edward Herrmann, Jerzy Kosinski

Votes: 18,244 | Gross: $40.38M

This is an epic movie about the cold war in it's beginnings revolving around several characters and how it touches their lives. Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton are fabulous in it. Such talent we rarely see these days.

20. An Affair to Remember (1957)

Not Rated | 115 min | Drama, Romance

A couple falls in love and agrees to meet in six months at the Empire State Building - but will it happen?

Director: Leo McCarey | Stars: Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr, Richard Denning, Neva Patterson

Votes: 24,452

Again, my fav Cary Grant in an immortal love story that although it has been retold using different titles, none lives up to the original. A real tear jerker that are hard to find these days.

21. Closer (I) (2004)

R | 104 min | Drama, Romance

65 Metascore

The relationships of two couples become complicated and deceitful when the man from one couple meets the woman of the other.

Director: Mike Nichols | Stars: Natalie Portman, Jude Law, Clive Owen, Julia Roberts

Votes: 182,894 | Gross: $33.99M

Mike Nichols at his best with witty dialogue galore. Wonderful actors keeping the twists and turns of this bed hopping movie moving along at a nice clip..a hard thing to do for many actors. This is definitely a character driven movie with the best writing I have seen in years.

22. Immortal Beloved (1994)

R | 121 min | Biography, Drama, Music

The life and death of the legendary Ludwig van Beethoven. Besides all the work he is known for, the composer once wrote a famous love letter to a nameless beloved, and the movie tries to ... See full summary »

Director: Bernard Rose | Stars: Gary Oldman, Jeroen Krabbé, Isabella Rossellini, Johanna ter Steege

Votes: 20,823 | Gross: $9.91M

I loved this for the music alone...Beethoven at his best. this story tries to answer the still unanswered question of who Beethoven's famous love was. "Amadeus" was also a candidate but I didn't want a huge burdensome list, just he best of the best.

23. Schindler's List (1993)

R | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History

93 Metascore

In German-occupied Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazi Germans.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Caroline Goodall

Votes: 1,009,012 | Gross: $96.07M

This is storytelling at it's finest. Spielberg hasn't made anything since this to compare. It is his finest hour with this movie and tells a story that might have never made the history books...and in a touching, emotion packed way that tears your heart out at the cruelty of what men can do to others..and the few that give hope to the rest of us.

24. The Big Chill (1983)

R | 105 min | Comedy, Drama

62 Metascore

A group of seven former college friends gather for a weekend reunion at a South Carolina winter house after the funeral of one of their friends.

Director: Lawrence Kasdan | Stars: Tom Berenger, Glenn Close, Jeff Goldblum, William Hurt

Votes: 28,435 | Gross: $56.20M

I love this movie for the wonderful music in it, blending so well with the story. All the great 60's to early 70's classics. I have the sound track and it is well worn. It is a character driven movie with the best of the best actors around back then who play friends who come together for a funeral and relive their past in one weekend..a very memorable one.

25. The Quiet American (2002)

R | 101 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

84 Metascore

An older British reporter vies with a young U.S. doctor for the affections of a beautiful Vietnamese woman.

Director: Phillip Noyce | Stars: Michael Caine, Brendan Fraser, Thi Hai Yen Do, Rade Serbedzija

Votes: 25,312 | Gross: $12.99M

A steamy love story set in early 1950's Viet Nam as the French are leaving Viet Nam. The underlying story of the CiA coming in and undermining the exisitng government of So Viet Nam for their own purposes is cynicism at it's best. It shows the untold story of what happened in those early years. Don't miss the special features that include the timeline of Nam's history and our huge part in it towards the end. Not a pretty picture of US involvement there.

26. La Vie en Rose (2007)

PG-13 | 140 min | Biography, Drama, Music

66 Metascore

Biopic of the iconic French singer Édith Piaf. Raised by her grandmother in a brothel, she was discovered while singing on a street corner at the age of 19. Despite her success, Piaf's life was filled with tragedy.

Director: Olivier Dahan | Stars: Marion Cotillard, Sylvie Testud, Pascal Greggory, Emmanuelle Seigner

Votes: 74,048 | Gross: $10.30M

Unbelievable portrayal of Edith Piaf by the incomparable Marion Cotillard. it is in French and Cotillard does all the singing. It is a touching story of Edith's life and her rise to fame from famine.

27. Funny Lady (1975)

PG | 136 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

Story of singer Fanny Brice's stormy relationship with showman Billy Rose.

Director: Herbert Ross | Stars: Barbra Streisand, James Caan, Omar Sharif, Roddy McDowall

Votes: 4,197 | Gross: $40.06M

Love Barbra Striesand in anything she does, but especially this movie..she is unforgetable as Fanny Brice, a real person who played the stage starting at a very young age. Streisand sings some great songs in it, too; an added bonus. Omar Shariff is steamy as ever in it.

28. Mrs Brown (1997)

PG | 101 min | Biography, Drama, History

71 Metascore

When Queen Victoria's husband dies, she finds solace in her trusted servant, Mr. Brown, but their relationship also brings scandal and turmoil.

Director: John Madden | Stars: Judi Dench, Billy Connolly, Geoffrey Palmer, Antony Sher

Votes: 12,109 | Gross: $9.22M

Released as Mrs Brown in the US.

I love British films, that this particular one is an all time favorite. Judy Dench plays Queen Victoria after she looses her dear husband and becomes tight friends with her husbands horse man..Mr Brown. Billy Connelly and Judi are a delight to watch together.

29. Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

Not Rated | 118 min | Comedy, Crime, Thriller

A drama critic learns on his wedding day that his beloved maiden aunts are homicidal maniacs, and that insanity runs in his family.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: Cary Grant, Priscilla Lane, Raymond Massey, Jack Carson

Votes: 59,169

More Cary Grant and this time with two old aunts who seem to have a knack for dispensing with their guests rather quickly. A funny, warm comedy for anyone to enjoy.

30. A Man for All Seasons (1966)

G | 120 min | Biography, Drama, History

The story of Thomas More, who stood up to King Henry VIII when the King rejected the Roman Catholic Church to obtain a divorce and remarriage.

Director: Fred Zinnemann | Stars: Paul Scofield, Wendy Hiller, Robert Shaw, Leo McKern

Votes: 26,449 | Gross: $28.35M

British history in a fine movie. A look at Thomas More as Henry VIII unfairly turns against him. An intellectual look at the time with Paul Scofield at his finest hour. Robert Shaw (known more for Jaws) is the best Henry VIII I have every seen in movies. A must see if you love history told so well..much better than JRM in the Tudors on Showtime.

31. When Harry Met Sally... (1989)

R | 96 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

76 Metascore

Harry and Sally have known each other for years, and are very good friends, but they fear sex would ruin the friendship.

Director: Rob Reiner | Stars: Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan, Carrie Fisher, Bruno Kirby

Votes: 167,768 | Gross: $92.82M

Probably my second favorite Rom Com (next to Four Weddings and a Funeral) I have ever seen. It is hilarious and Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan have the chemistry to pull it off...not to be missed is the woman in the deli's favorite line "Ill have what she is having" (paraphrasing). Everyone should see this once.

32. Double Jeopardy (1999)

R | 105 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

40 Metascore

A woman framed for her husband's murder suspects he is still alive; as she has already been tried for the crime, she can't be re-prosecuted if she finds and kills him.

Director: Bruce Beresford | Stars: Ashley Judd, Tommy Lee Jones, Bruce Greenwood, Benjamin Weir

Votes: 62,184 | Gross: $116.74M

I love a good murder mystery and this is one of my favorites. Lots of plot twists and turns and starring the wonderful Tommy Lee Jones and the underrated Ashley Judd who should still be making good movies imo. Another underrated actor is Bruce Greenwood who did an excellent job in "Thirteen Days".

33. Who Is Cletis Tout? (2001)

R | 92 min | Comedy, Crime

36 Metascore

Cletis Tout is a comedy about mistaken identities, a hit man who sees everything in terms of the movies and a twenty year old diamond heist.

Director: Chris Ver Wiel | Stars: Christian Slater, Tim Allen, Portia de Rossi, Richard Dreyfuss

Votes: 3,643 | Gross: $0.25M

I ran across this movie by surprise looking for dark humor stuff and boy was I pleased I rented it. It had a cleverly written charm to it that is rare and it is very original. It is somewhat fantastical and unrealistic but who cares..I laughed just the same, but you must be the type who likes to see what isn't plainly shown in front if you. It's about confused identities and a man who sees everyhthing in terms of movies (don't a lot of us already) haha. Christian Slater was great and Tim Allen, a hitman, was nothing like you have seen him before. I could watch it over and over again but I never see it playing on cable. It is a undiscovered charm if you like dark comedies. Can't be taken at face value, you must look underneath to find the humor....an intelligent comedy for those that love them. Not good if you like slapstick, potty humor flicks.

34. Lilies of the Field (1963)

Unrated | 94 min | Drama

A traveling handyman becomes the answer to the prayers of nuns who wish to build a chapel in the desert.

Director: Ralph Nelson | Stars: Sidney Poitier, Lilia Skala, Lisa Mann, Isa Crino

Votes: 7,500

A fabulous movie about love and kindness staring the wonderful Sydney Poitier. This is a warm heart felt story about a man who needs help and can provide help to others that need it. It was such a feel good movie everyone should see it. You will feel good too after it.

35. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)

Not Rated | 108 min | Comedy, Drama

63 Metascore

A couple's attitudes are challenged when their daughter introduces them to her African American fiancé.

Director: Stanley Kramer | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier, Katharine Hepburn, Katharine Houghton

Votes: 33,138 | Gross: $56.70M

Great comedy about what was a very sensitive topic in the days of segration. Groundbreaking territory it upset many people and was loved by many others. Katherine Helpburn and Spencer Tracy were lovers in real life and played husband and wife on here. Sydney Poitier did a lot to change people's outlook on what blacks were really like. It was history making and should be seen by any movie buff.

36. The Usual Suspects (1995)

R | 106 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

77 Metascore

A sole survivor tells of the twisty events leading up to a horrific gun battle on a boat, which began when five criminals met at a seemingly random police lineup.

Director: Bryan Singer | Stars: Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne, Chazz Palminteri, Stephen Baldwin

Votes: 852,201 | Gross: $23.34M

This should be close to the top of the list and I don't know how I missed it, but it embodies everything I love about dark humor, suspense and mystery with unique characters and a woderful cast. I went to the theater and picked this off the marquee without knowing anything about it...boy was I surprised..clearly belongs about #3 on my list. I was trying to keep it down to less because I wanted the really good ones only.

37. The Name of the Rose (1986)

R | 130 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

An intellectually nonconformist friar investigates a series of mysterious deaths in an isolated abbey.

Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud | Stars: Sean Connery, Christian Slater, Helmut Qualtinger, Elya Baskin

Votes: 90,081 | Gross: $7.15M

This movie is based on a book (also read) about some very unusual murders going on in a medievil abbey in Italy. Sean Connery and a young Christian Slater are extremely good in their respective parts as monk detectives trying to find the suspect. The movie is filmed in part at an ancient abbey still standing in Umbria and a eery feeling comes over you just watching the scenes unfold. A medievil precurser to Angels and Demons in a tiny way.

38. Lincoln (2012)

PG-13 | 150 min | Biography, Drama, History

86 Metascore

As the War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Votes: 219,112 | Gross: $182.21M