Riley's Great Films

by RileyOnFilm | created - 09 Feb 2017 | updated - 4 months ago | Public

I put some of my absolute favorite films on this list. They are in no particular order. Furthermore, this list is incomplete, I update it when I can. I stand behind each and every one of these films. They are all GREAT!

I hope you enjoy!

I'm a blog film critic and podcaster.

rileyonfilm.com

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1. Man on Wire (2008)

PG-13 | 94 min | Documentary, Biography, History

89 Metascore

A look at tightrope walker Philippe Petit's daring, but illegal, high-wire routine performed between New York City's World Trade Center's twin towers in 1974, what some consider, "the artistic crime of the century".

Director: James Marsh | Stars: Philippe Petit, Jean François Heckel, Jean-Louis Blondeau, Annie Allix

Votes: 51,590 | Gross: $2.96M

2. Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010)

G | 90 min | Documentary, History

86 Metascore

Werner Herzog gains exclusive access to film inside the Chauvet caves of Southern France and captures the oldest known pictorial creations of humanity.

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Werner Herzog, Jean Clottes, Julien Monney, Jean-Michel Geneste

Votes: 14,764 | Gross: $5.23M

3. Chimpanzee (2012)

G | 78 min | Documentary, Family

57 Metascore

Meet adorable young chimp Oscar and his fellow mayhem-creating buddies, who see the world as their playground. Full of curiosity, joy and a love for mimicking others, these are some of the most extraordinary personalities in the jungle.

Directors: Alastair Fothergill, Mark Linfield | Star: Tim Allen

Votes: 5,793 | Gross: $28.97M

4. Peggy Sue Got Married (1986)

PG-13 | 103 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

74 Metascore

Peggy Sue faints at a high school reunion. When she wakes up, she finds herself in her own past, just before she finished school.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Kathleen Turner, Nicolas Cage, Barry Miller, Catherine Hicks

Votes: 31,840 | Gross: $41.38M

5. Harvey (1950)

Approved | 104 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

Due to his insistence that he has an invisible six foot-tall rabbit for a best friend, a whimsical middle-aged man is thought by his family to be insane - but he may be wiser than anyone knows.

Director: Henry Koster | Stars: James Stewart, Wallace Ford, William H. Lynn, Victoria Horne

Votes: 51,657

6. Nacho Libre (2006)

PG | 92 min | Comedy, Family, Sport

52 Metascore

Berated all his life by those around him, a monk follows his dream and dons a mask to moonlight as a Luchador (Mexican wrestler).

Director: Jared Hess | Stars: Jack Black, Ana de la Reguera, Héctor Jiménez, Darius Rose

Votes: 79,644 | Gross: $80.20M

7. Chariots of Fire (1981)

PG | 125 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

78 Metascore

Two British track athletes, one a determined Jew, and the other a devout Christian, compete in the 1924 Olympics.

Director: Hugh Hudson | Stars: Ben Cross, Ian Charleson, Nicholas Farrell, Nigel Havers

Votes: 52,896 | Gross: $58.97M

8. The Jerk (1979)

R | 94 min | Comedy

61 Metascore

A simpleminded, sheltered country boy suddenly decides to leave his family home to experience life in the big city, where his naivete is both his best friend and his worst enemy.

Director: Carl Reiner | Stars: Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters, Catlin Adams, Mabel King

Votes: 51,684 | Gross: $73.69M

9. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

R | 133 min | Drama

83 Metascore

A criminal pleads insanity and is admitted to a mental institution, where he rebels against the oppressive nurse and rallies up the scared patients.

Director: Milos Forman | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Will Sampson, Michael Berryman

Votes: 884,461 | Gross: $112.00M

10. 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 mysterious Darth Vader.

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

Votes: 1,196,697 | Gross: $322.74M

11. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

Passed | 130 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

89 Metascore

An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell

Votes: 385,201

12. Back to the Future (1985)

PG | 116 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

87 Metascore

Marty McFly, a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent thirty years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the eccentric scientist Doc Brown.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover

Votes: 1,013,889 | Gross: $210.61M

13. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

R | 137 min | Action, Sci-Fi

75 Metascore

A cyborg, identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor, must now protect her teenage son, John Connor, from a more advanced and powerful cyborg.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick

Votes: 968,092 | Gross: $204.84M

14. Alien (1979)

R | 117 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

89 Metascore

After a space merchant vessel receives an unknown transmission as a distress call, one of the crew is attacked by a mysterious life form and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.

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

Votes: 762,355 | Gross: $78.90M

15. Psycho (1960)

R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

97 Metascore

A Phoenix secretary embezzles forty thousand dollars from her employer's client, goes on the run, and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin

Votes: 580,592 | Gross: $32.00M

16. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

PG | 115 min | Action, Adventure

85 Metascore

In 1936, archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before Adolf Hitler's Nazis can obtain its awesome powers.

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

Votes: 859,100 | Gross: $248.16M

17. Apocalypse Now (1979)

R | 147 min | Drama, Mystery, War

94 Metascore

A U.S. Army officer serving in Vietnam is tasked with assassinating a renegade Special Forces Colonel who sees himself as a god.

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

Votes: 585,651 | Gross: $83.47M

18. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

Approved | 129 min | Crime, Drama

88 Metascore

Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his children against prejudice.

Director: Robert Mulligan | Stars: Gregory Peck, John Megna, Frank Overton, Rosemary Murphy

Votes: 286,977

As of 9/3/2018 was streaming on Netflix

19. Cool Hand Luke (1967)

GP | 127 min | Crime, Drama

92 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: 157,176 | Gross: $16.22M

20. Blade Runner (1982)

R | 117 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

84 Metascore

A blade runner must pursue and terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space, and have returned to Earth to find their creator.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos

Votes: 672,780 | Gross: $32.87M

21. Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

R | 118 min | Drama, Fantasy, War

98 Metascore

In the Falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world.

Director: Guillermo del Toro | Stars: Ivana Baquero, Ariadna Gil, Sergi López, Maribel Verdú

Votes: 603,030 | Gross: $37.63M

22. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

Passed | 129 min | Drama, History

96 Metascore

A poor Midwest family is forced off their land. They travel to California, suffering the misfortunes of the homeless in the Great Depression.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell, John Carradine, Charley Grapewin

Votes: 84,198 | Gross: $0.06M

23. The Princess Bride (1987)

PG | 98 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

77 Metascore

While home sick in bed, a young boy's grandfather reads him the story of a farmboy-turned-pirate who encounters numerous obstacles, enemies and allies in his quest to be reunited with his true love.

Director: Rob Reiner | Stars: Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Robin Wright, Chris Sarandon

Votes: 381,829 | Gross: $30.86M

24. Fargo (1996)

R | 98 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

85 Metascore

Jerry Lundegaard's inept crime falls apart due to his and his henchmen's bungling and the persistent police work of the quite pregnant Marge Gunderson.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen | Stars: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare

Votes: 596,328 | Gross: $24.61M

25. District 9 (2009)

R | 112 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

81 Metascore

Violence ensues after an extraterrestrial race forced to live in slum-like conditions on Earth finds a kindred spirit in a government agent exposed to their biotechnology.

Director: Neill Blomkamp | Stars: Sharlto Copley, David James, Jason Cope, Nathalie Boltt

Votes: 627,536 | Gross: $115.65M

26. Jaws (1975)

PG | 124 min | Adventure, Thriller

87 Metascore

When a killer shark unleashes chaos on a beach community, it's up to a local sheriff, a marine biologist, and an old seafarer to hunt the beast down.

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

Votes: 531,645 | Gross: $260.00M

As of 9/3/2018 was streaming on Prime Video

27. Big Fish (2003)

PG-13 | 125 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

58 Metascore

A frustrated son tries to determine the fact from fiction in his dying father's life.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange

Votes: 405,899 | Gross: $66.26M

28. A Christmas Story (1983)

PG | 94 min | Comedy, Family

77 Metascore

In the 1940s, a young boy named Ralphie attempts to convince his parents, his teacher and Santa that a Red Ryder BB gun really is the perfect Christmas gift.

Director: Bob Clark | Stars: Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin, Scott Schwartz

Votes: 127,374 | Gross: $20.61M

29. Sing Street (2016)

PG-13 | 106 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

79 Metascore

A boy growing up in Dublin during the 1980s escapes his strained family life by starting a band to impress the mysterious girl he likes.

Director: John Carney | Stars: Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Aidan Gillen, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Jack Reynor

Votes: 81,880 | Gross: $3.24M

30. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Not Rated | 96 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

88 Metascore

When a nice old man who claims to be Santa Claus is institutionalized as insane, a young lawyer decides to defend him by arguing in court that he is the real thing.

Director: George Seaton | Stars: Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O'Hara, John Payne, Gene Lockhart

Votes: 38,884 | Gross: $2.65M

31. Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

PG-13 | 113 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

71 Metascore

A soldier fighting aliens gets to relive the same day over and over again, the day restarting every time he dies.

Director: Doug Liman | Stars: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson

Votes: 581,620 | Gross: $100.21M

32. Halloween (1978)

R | 91 min | Horror, Thriller

87 Metascore

Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield, Illinois to kill again.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tony Moran, Nancy Kyes

Votes: 220,613 | Gross: $47.00M

33. Moonlight (I) (2016)

R | 111 min | Drama

99 Metascore

A young African-American man grapples with his identity and sexuality while experiencing the everyday struggles of childhood, adolescence, and burgeoning adulthood.

Director: Barry Jenkins | Stars: Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Trevante Rhodes, Alex R. Hibbert

Votes: 259,786 | Gross: $27.85M

As of 9/3/2018 was streaming on Prime

34. Airplane! (1980)

PG | 88 min | Comedy

78 Metascore

A man afraid to fly must ensure that a plane lands safely after the pilots become sick.

Directors: Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker | Stars: Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Leslie Nielsen, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Votes: 205,044 | Gross: $83.40M

35. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

G | 100 min | Family, Fantasy, Musical

67 Metascore

A poor but hopeful boy seeks one of the five coveted golden tickets that will send him on a tour of Willy Wonka's mysterious chocolate factory.

Director: Mel Stuart | Stars: Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Peter Ostrum, Roy Kinnear

Votes: 172,465 | Gross: $4.00M

36. The Fugitive (1993)

PG-13 | 130 min | Action, Crime, Drama

87 Metascore

Dr. Richard Kimble, unjustly accused of murdering his wife, must find the real killer while being the target of a nationwide manhunt led by a seasoned U.S. Marshal.

Director: Andrew Davis | Stars: Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones, Sela Ward, Julianne Moore

Votes: 259,887 | Gross: $183.88M

37. Animal House (1978)

R | 109 min | Comedy

79 Metascore

At a 1962 college, Dean Vernon Wormer is determined to expel the entire Delta Tau Chi Fraternity, but those troublemakers have other plans for him.

Director: John Landis | Stars: John Belushi, Karen Allen, Tom Hulce, Stephen Furst

Votes: 109,258 | Gross: $0.20M

38. Robin Hood (1973)

G | 83 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

57 Metascore

The story of the legendary outlaw is portrayed with the characters as humanoid animals.

Directors: Wolfgang Reitherman, David Hand | Stars: Brian Bedford, Phil Harris, Roger Miller, Peter Ustinov

Votes: 111,819 | Gross: $32.06M

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

R | 95 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: 188,925 | Gross: $92.82M

40. The Big Blue (1988)

PG | 168 min | Adventure, Drama, Sport

35 Metascore

The rivalry between Enzo and Jacques, two childhood friends and now world-renowned free divers, becomes a beautiful and perilous journey into oneself and the unknown.

Director: Luc Besson | Stars: Jean-Marc Barr, Jean Reno, Rosanna Arquette, Paul Shenar

Votes: 46,979 | Gross: $3.50M

41. Take Shelter (2011)

R | 120 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

85 Metascore

Plagued by a series of apocalyptic visions, a young husband and father questions whether to shelter his family from a coming storm, or from himself.

Director: Jeff Nichols | Stars: Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain, Shea Whigham, Tova Stewart

Votes: 88,621 | Gross: $1.73M

42. Stand by Me (1986)

R | 89 min | Adventure, Drama

75 Metascore

After the death of one of his friends, a writer recounts a childhood journey with his friends to find the body of a missing boy.

Director: Rob Reiner | Stars: Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O'Connell

Votes: 352,379 | Gross: $52.29M

Was streaming on Starz 9/3/2018

43. 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: 1,557,856 | Gross: $134.97M

44. Schindler's List (1993)

R | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History

94 Metascore

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

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

Votes: 1,172,629 | Gross: $96.90M

45. Braveheart (1995)

R | 178 min | Biography, Drama, History