Favorite Movies

by jmillerdp | created - 20 Oct 2011 | updated - 18 Dec 2012 | Public

These are my favorite movies of all time!

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1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

G | 149 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi

82 Metascore

Humanity finds a mysterious, obviously artificial object buried beneath the Lunar surface and, with the intelligent computer H.A.L. 9000, sets off on a quest.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester, Daniel Richter

Votes: 498,485 | Gross: $56.95M

The Best Film of all time, and the Best Science-Fiction Film of all time! Kubrick makes a film that takes film beyond the medium. More than any other film, this needs to be seen on the big screen! '2001' never ceases to amaze, viewing after viewing. Famously took the classical-music temporary soundtrack and made it the official soundtrack. The finale is beyond belief and a truly mind-bending experience! 'The Ultimate Trip?' Absolutely.

2. Days of Heaven (1978)

PG | 94 min | Drama, Romance

93 Metascore

A hot-tempered farm laborer convinces the woman he loves to marry their rich but dying boss so that they can have a claim to his fortune.

Director: Terrence Malick | Stars: Richard Gere, Brooke Adams, Sam Shepard, Linda Manz

Votes: 43,017

Terrence Malick's groundbreaking film that uses imagery to tell its story. Originally a traditional script, Malick cut most of the dialogue and let the cinematography tell the story. The result is a film that draws you in from beginning to end. Features the best cinematography of all time by Nestor Almendros!

3. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

PG | 216 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

100 Metascore

The story of T.E. Lawrence, the English officer who successfully united and led the diverse, often warring, Arab tribes during World War I in order to fight the Turks.

Director: David Lean | Stars: Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins

Votes: 224,636 | Gross: $44.82M

The best Epic Film ever made! David Lean's transcendent portrait of a real-life man who finds himself lost in Arabia as he seeks to become one of them. Cinematography and score are perfect and set a mood that set the standard for wide-screen epic filmmaking!

4. The Godfather (1972)

R | 175 min | Crime, Drama

100 Metascore

The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Diane Keaton

Votes: 1,328,274 | Gross: $134.97M

Coppola's superior portrait of a crime family that emphasizes family over crime. That is what sets this film apart from any other organized-crime saga, the fact that you are taken in by the characters. The crimes that they commit become secondary, which is impressive considering it's a Mafia film. Legendary cinematography by Gordon Willis, with a great score by Nino Rota!

5. All the President's Men (1976)

PG | 138 min | Biography, Drama, History

80 Metascore

"The Washington Post" reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncover the details of the Watergate scandal that leads to President Richard Nixon's resignation.

Director: Alan J. Pakula | Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Jack Warden, Martin Balsam

Votes: 85,134 | Gross: $70.60M

I am able to watch this film over and over! The best Docu-drama ever made! This real-life investigative journalism film brings you into the search for truth by Woodward and Berstein. The best film made by the talented Alan J. Pakula, with excellent cinematography by Gordon Willis!

6. Network (1976)

R | 121 min | Drama

88 Metascore

A television network cynically exploits a deranged former anchor's ravings and revelations about the news media for its own profit.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch, Robert Duvall

Votes: 122,281

Magnificently cynical satire of the network news business, it is just as cutting now as it was in 1976. I was super lucky to have seen this as my second R-rated film back then! It is on TCM on a regular basis, and it is almost impossible for me not to watch each and every time. This is one of those magic moments in filmmaking, where everything comes together at the same time. Director Sidney Lumet is perfect, so is the cast, cinematographer Owen Roizman and more!

7. The Shining (1980)

R | 146 min | Drama, Horror

63 Metascore

A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers

Votes: 714,836 | Gross: $44.02M

The greatest Horror Film ever made! Even after 30 years, it still hits you every time you see it. That in itself is an impressive achievement! Kubrick creates the perfect atmosphere of horror that completely envelops you. Little by little, he draws you in until you are a part of the events unfolding. Features the most impressive Steadicam work of all time, performed by the inventor himself, Garrett Brown!

8. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

PG | 95 min | Comedy, War

96 Metascore

An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a war room full of politicians and generals frantically tries to stop.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, Keenan Wynn

Votes: 390,452 | Gross: $0.28M

The greatest Satire ever made! All played with a straight face, this is a truly funny, deeply dark-humored movie. And, this is the film where Kubrick becomes Kubrick! His distinctive style is so readily apparent in this film. Great performances!

9. The Blues Brothers (1980)

R | 133 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

60 Metascore

Jake Blues, just out from prison, puts together his old band to save the Catholic home where he and brother Elwood were raised.

Director: John Landis | Stars: John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Cab Calloway, John Candy

Votes: 158,007 | Gross: $57.23M

Hilarious and incredibly entertaining musical comedy! Not only so very funny, but very entertaining. The musical sequences have an organic, earthy vibe that on other film has ever achieved!

10. The Asphalt Jungle (1950)

Not Rated | 112 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A major heist goes off as planned, until bad luck and double crosses cause everything to unravel.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Sterling Hayden, Louis Calhern, Jean Hagen, James Whitmore

Votes: 20,049

The greatest Film Noir ever made! This is the movie that set the standard for 'Heist Gone Wrong' movies, and can never be outdone. The characters are so beautifully drawn, and the ending is very poetic considering it's a crime film.

11. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

PG | 138 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

90 Metascore

After an accidental encounter with otherworldly vessels, an ordinary man follows a series of psychic clues to the first scheduled meeting between representatives of Earth and visitors from the cosmos.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Teri Garr, Melinda Dillon

Votes: 157,850 | Gross: $132.09M

Magnificent Steven Spielberg film that transports you to the magical world of flying saucers and extraterrestrials. This is the most magical of Spielberg's films, and an impressive follow-up to 'Jaws.'

12. Melancholia (2011)

R | 135 min | Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

80 Metascore

Two sisters find their already strained relationship challenged as a mysterious new planet threatens to collide with Earth.

Director: Lars von Trier | Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland, Alexander Skarsgård

Votes: 144,451 | Gross: $3.03M

Mind bending, transforming film about the end of the world! Does what film needs to do: transcend the medium and become something beyond an assemblage of script, director, cast, etc. Lars von Trier takes his own personal experience with depression and creates an experience unlike anything else I have ever seen! What's most fascinating is how spectacularly and relentlessly depressing the film is. But, the miracle of it is, it goes to the very bottom of depression, to the point that, at the end, it becomes euphoric!

13. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

PG | 115 min | Action, Adventure

85 Metascore

Archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, John Rhys-Davies

Votes: 754,058 | Gross: $248.16M

To me, this is Steven Spielberg's final great film. An instant classic, it is a great, exciting adventure film. Features what ties for the greatest action sequence of all time (with "Ben-Hur"s Chariot Race). Plus, an excellent film score from John Williams.

14. A Decade Under the Influence (2003)

R | 138 min | Documentary

67 Metascore

A documentary examining the decade of the 1970s as a turning point in American cinema. Some of today's best filmmakers interview the influential directors of that time.

Directors: Ted Demme, Richard LaGravenese | Stars: Francis Ford Coppola, William Friedkin, Robert Altman, John G. Avildsen

Votes: 2,337 | Gross: $0.03M

Great documentary about what I feel is the best decade ever in film: The 1970's! Lots of great interviews and great history about the decade when artists ran the show and made films that will always stand the test of time!

15. The Tree of Life (2011)

PG-13 | 139 min | Drama, Fantasy

85 Metascore

The story of a family in Waco, Texas in 1956. The eldest son witnesses the loss of innocence and struggles with his parents' conflicting teachings.

Director: Terrence Malick | Stars: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Hunter McCracken

Votes: 149,895 | Gross: $13.30M

Terrence Malick's challenging, polarizing meditation on life, family and the universe. Beautifully made, with perhaps the most transcendent 20 minutes ever on film! Follows '2001's use of having a classical-music soundtrack that completes the ethereal atmosphere.

16. Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

R | 125 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

86 Metascore

A man robs a bank to pay for his lover's operation; it turns into a hostage situation and a media circus.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Al Pacino, John Cazale, Penelope Allen, Sully Boyar

Votes: 207,906 | Gross: $50.00M

The all-time greatest true crime film!

17. Apocalypse Now (1979)

R | 147 min | Drama, War

94 Metascore

During the Vietnam War, Captain Willard is sent on a dangerous mission into Cambodia to assassinate a renegade Colonel who has set himself up as a god among a local tribe.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Frederic Forrest

Votes: 512,060 | Gross: $83.47M

Coppola's visionary amalgam of Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" and Vietnam.

18. Deliverance (1972)

R | 109 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

Intent on seeing the Cahulawassee River before it's turned into one huge lake, outdoor fanatic Lewis Medlock takes his friends on a river-rafting trip they'll never forget into the dangerous American back-country.

Director: John Boorman | Stars: Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox

Votes: 85,595

Nightmarish vision of a river trip gone horribly wrong!

19. Die Hard (1988)

R | 132 min | Action, Thriller

70 Metascore

John McClane, officer of the NYPD, tries to save his wife Holly Gennaro and several others that were taken hostage by German terrorist Hans Gruber during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.

Director: John McTiernan | Stars: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson

Votes: 674,616 | Gross: $83.01M

The greatest Action Film of all time!

20. Airport (1970)

G | 137 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

42 Metascore

A bomber on board an airplane, an airport almost closed by snow, and various personal problems of the people involved.

Directors: George Seaton, Henry Hathaway | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Dean Martin, George Kennedy, Jean Seberg

Votes: 14,777 | Gross: $100.49M

The greatest Disaster Movie ever!

21. MASH (1970)

R | 116 min | Comedy, Drama, War

80 Metascore

The staff of a Korean War field hospital use humor and high jinks to keep their sanity in the face of the horror of war.

Director: Robert Altman | Stars: Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Tom Skerritt, Sally Kellerman

Votes: 60,557 | Gross: $81.60M

Wonderfully sharp satire on the insanity of war!

22. Five Easy Pieces (1970)

R | 98 min | Drama

A dropout from upper-class America picks up work along the way on oil rigs when his life isn't spent in a squalid succession of bars, motels, and other points of interest.

Director: Bob Rafelson | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Karen Black, Billy Green Bush, Fannie Flagg

Votes: 28,470

Dark, fearless character study that typifies the gutsiness of 1970's film.

23. The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

PG | 117 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

A group of passengers struggle to survive and escape when their ocean liner completely capsizes at sea.

Director: Ronald Neame | Stars: Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Shelley Winters, Red Buttons

Votes: 35,852 | Gross: $84.56M

The second greatest Disaster Movie of all time!

24. American Graffiti (1973)

PG | 110 min | Comedy, Drama

97 Metascore

A couple of high school grads spend one final night cruising the strip with their buddies before they go off to college.

Director: George Lucas | Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Charles Martin Smith

Votes: 70,478 | Gross: $115.00M

George Lucas' best film!

25. Magnum Force (1973)

R | 124 min | Action, Crime, Mystery

Dirty Harry is on the trail of vigilante cops who are not above going beyond the law to kill the city's undesirables.

Director: Ted Post | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Hal Holbrook, Mitchell Ryan, David Soul

Votes: 48,030

The best of the Dirty Harry movies!

26. Westworld (1973)

PG | 88 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

77 Metascore

A robot malfunction creates havoc and terror for unsuspecting vacationers at a futuristic, adult-themed amusement park.

Director: Michael Crichton | Stars: Yul Brynner, Richard Benjamin, James Brolin, Norman Bartold

Votes: 42,380

Savagely efficient Science-Fiction Thriller!

27. The Godfather: Part II (1974)

R | 202 min | Crime, Drama

85 Metascore

The early life and career of Vito Corleone in 1920s New York City is portrayed, while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on the family crime syndicate.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton

Votes: 918,421 | Gross: $57.30M

Coppola's challenging second chapter of the Corleone saga.

28. Young Frankenstein (1974)

PG | 106 min | Comedy

80 Metascore

An American grandson of the infamous scientist, struggling to prove that his grandfather was not as insane as people believe, is invited to Transylvania, where he discovers the process that reanimates a dead body.

Director: Mel Brooks | Stars: Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn, Marty Feldman, Peter Boyle

Votes: 126,998 | Gross: $86.30M

Mel Brooks' best film!

29. The Conversation (1974)

PG | 113 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

86 Metascore

A paranoid, secretive surveillance expert has a crisis of conscience when he suspects that a couple, on whom he is spying, will be murdered.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Allen Garfield, Frederic Forrest

Votes: 82,687 | Gross: $4.42M

A Coppola film that rivals his own "The Godfather!"

30. The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)

R | 104 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

68 Metascore

In New York, armed men hijack a subway car and demand a ransom for the passengers. Even if it's paid, how could they get away?

Director: Joseph Sargent | Stars: Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw, Martin Balsam, Hector Elizondo

Votes: 22,041

One of the all-time best Thrillers!

31. Jaws (1975)

PG | 124 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

87 Metascore

A local sheriff, a marine biologist and an old seafarer team up to hunt down a great white shark wrecking havoc in a beach resort.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary

Votes: 476,507 | Gross: $260.00M

Spielberg's instant classic!

32. Nashville (1975)

R | 160 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

Over the course of a few hectic days, numerous interrelated people prepare for a political convention as secrets and lies are surfaced and revealed.

Director: Robert Altman | Stars: Keith Carradine, Karen Black, Ronee Blakley, Shelley Duvall

Votes: 19,805 | Gross: $9.98M

The quintessential Robert Altman film!

33. Marathon Man (1976)

R | 125 min | Crime, Thriller

64 Metascore

A graduate history student is unwittingly caught in the middle of an international conspiracy involving stolen diamonds, an exiled Nazi war criminal, and a rogue government agent.

Director: John Schlesinger | Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Laurence Olivier, Roy Scheider, William Devane

Votes: 49,673 | Gross: $21.71M

Chilling, harrowing thriller with Dustin Hoffman perfect as the pursued, and a frightening turn by Laurence Olivier as the pursuer.

34. 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: 1,048,576 | Gross: $322.74M

The classic first film of the series, and the only one that is actually fun!

35. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

PG | 138 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

90 Metascore

After an accidental encounter with otherworldly vessels, an ordinary man follows a series of psychic clues to the first scheduled meeting between representatives of Earth and visitors from the cosmos.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Teri Garr, Melinda Dillon

Votes: 157,850 | Gross: $132.09M

One of Spielberg's best films, and the best-ever film dealing with the wonder of extraterrestrial visitation!

36. Smokey and the Bandit (1977)

PG | 96 min | Action, Comedy

51 Metascore

The Bandit is hired on to run a tractor trailer full of beer over state lines, in hot pursuit by a pesky sheriff.

Director: Hal Needham | Stars: Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jerry Reed, Mike Henry

Votes: 36,236 | Gross: $126.74M

Hilarious, stunt-filled entertainment with Burt Reynolds giving his best comedy performance!

37. Capricorn One (1977)

PG | 123 min | Action, Thriller

A NASA Mars mission won't work, and its funding is endangered, so they decide to fake it just this once. But then they have to keep the secret.

Director: Peter Hyams | Stars: Elliott Gould, James Brolin, Brenda Vaccaro, Sam Waterston

Votes: 17,527

While admittedly straight popcorn, a great thriller that makes great use of the conspiracy paranoia of the 1970's!

38. Superman (1978)

PG | 143 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

86 Metascore

An alien orphan is sent from his dying planet to Earth, where he grows up to become his adoptive home's first and greatest superhero.

Director: Richard Donner | Stars: Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, Gene Hackman, Marlon Brando

Votes: 140,032 | Gross: $134.22M

Easily the greatest Superhero Movie ever!

39. Interiors (1978)

PG | 92 min | Drama

67 Metascore

Three sisters find their lives spinning out of control in the wake of their parents' sudden, unexpected divorce.

Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Diane Keaton, Geraldine Page, Kristin Griffith, Mary Beth Hurt

Votes: 15,817

Excellent, stark Woody Allen drama that echoes the work of Ingmar Bergman.

40. Alien (1979)

R | 116 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

83 Metascore

After a space merchant vessel perceives an unknown transmission as a distress call, its landing on the source moon finds one of the crew attacked by a mysterious lifeform, and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt, Veronica Cartwright

Votes: 663,507 | Gross: $78.90M

Classic Haunted House Movie in Space!

41. Manhattan (1979)

R | 96 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

83 Metascore

The life of a divorced television writer dating a teenage girl is further complicated when he falls in love with his best friend's mistress.

Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Mariel Hemingway, Michael Murphy

Votes: 116,280 | Gross: $45.70M

Woody Allen's best film that combines comedy and drama to great effect!

42. Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

G | 132 min | Adventure, Mystery, Sci-Fi

48 Metascore

When an alien spacecraft of enormous power is spotted approaching Earth, Admiral James T. Kirk resumes command of the overhauled USS Enterprise in order to intercept it.

Director: Robert Wise | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan

Votes: 70,677 | Gross: $82.26M

The original film adventure of the the Enterprise crew, taking inspiration from the original series, and from "2001."

43. Being There (1979)

PG | 130 min | Comedy, Drama

A simple, sheltered gardener becomes an unlikely trusted advisor to a powerful businessman and an insider in Washington politics.

Director: Hal Ashby | Stars: Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine, Melvyn Douglas, Jack Warden

Votes: 57,329 | Gross: $30.18M

Excellent, deft Satire that drops a simple man into the high-powered world of politics to humorous and insightful effect.

44. In the Mouth of Madness (1994)

R | 95 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

53 Metascore

An insurance investigator begins discovering that the impact a horror writer's books have on his fans is more than inspirational.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Sam Neill, Jürgen Prochnow, Julie Carmen, David Warner

Votes: 49,283 | Gross: $8.95M

One of the all-time greatest Horror Films! John Carpenter's seriously unhinged take on a Stephen King-like book come terrifyingly to life.