Like all movie sites, we all might as well contribute our top 10 movies. Since Sight & Sound seems to have neglected every movie made while anyone who was alive today was making movies, we’re keeping ours in the post-70s.
Here is my personal best:
10. Airplane! (1980)
I can’t help but put this movie in any top ten list. I grew up on the TV version, and while the full version is a bit too risque at parts, there has never been a more successful true parody film. Even if I’ve never seen any of the airport disaster movies its a direct parody of, the gag-a-minute jokes get me every time. Admittedly, some of my favorite jokes are from the almost identical sequel (which featured William Shatner), but this movie is still the original and greatest.
9. Jurassic Park (1993)
I loved dinosaurs as a kid. Who didn’t? I was 9 years old when Jurassic Park came out, which was the perfect age for me. Steven Spielberg put in everything that I could want in a movie, mostly dinosaurs. Even watching it today, I find more and more to like about it. The humor, the (fake) science, the balance of characters, even the early CGI effects age better 20 years on than most movies in the last 10 years! But that’s a discussion for a future article…
8. Aliens (1986)
I am not a fan of scary movies, but I’ve always made an exception for this one (though to be fair, its more of an action/war movie). I think this movie hits all the marks, balancing the jump scares and general unease with explosions and humor. The artist designs are all great, and inspired countless space marines afterwards.
7. Inception (2010)
I was reluctant to put a movie from the current decade on this list, but I can’t help but think of this movie when considering my favorites. While each of Christopher Nolan’s movies are genius in their specific ways, this one manages to roll together the time-bending, mind-bending twists and turns he’s known for into an awesome action/heist movie that isn’t afraid to make you think.
6. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
When looking for awesome action heroes, you don’t need to look further than Indiana Jones. Lucas and Spielberg managed to create a truly great homage to the adventure serials of their youth, while making a movie that is truly timeless. The sequels don’t hold up as well, and the fourth is an abomination, but the original is still the original.
5. Ghostbusters (1984)
Like I said before, I’m not a fan of scary movies, but I’ve never considered this a scary movie. It’s a comedy, and its one of the best. Every scene is great, every line is a classic. The sequel is nothing to write home about, and the possibility of a third one upsets me greatly. Ghostbusters is so great, nothing should spoil it.
4. Back to the Future (1985)
I love science fiction, as you’ll see from this point on in the list, but this is a great adventure/comedy that happens to have science fiction elements in it. While a lot of movies try to have time travel, I believe this movie understands and uses it the best. It’s also laugh out loud funny, and full of awesome moments.
3. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
While I love (most of) the Star Trek movies, this one is definitely the best movie of the bunch. The acting, the drama, you don’t even need to have seen any Star Trek to appreciate it. It touches on growing old, staying young, and the futility of vengeance, while still having action and adventure to please the audience.
2. Jaws (1975)
I believe this to be the perfect example of a movie, worthy of study. Everything about this movie is great. While the shark effects don’t really hold up, the fact that they didn’t made a much more suspenseful movie than if they did. Each shot is beautiful, each actor is perfect, each scene manages to find that perfect beat needed at that moment in the film. It’s a great ride, from start to finish.
1. Star Wars (1977)
Surprise, surprise. I had to put this number one, it has defined so much of my life. Watching the original version recently really opened my eyes to how entertaining this movie can be on its own, which is why I didn’t put Empire on this list like my co-writers did. Empire may be a great dramatic movie, but the original is just such a great movie that I couldn’t not have it be number one. Star Wars will always be my favorite movie.