My Top 20 Favorite Films of All Time

Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca (1942)

by Luke N.

4/24/2020

Before we get into the top 20 list, I want to list some honorable mentions. These are films that have shaped the way I think about the art of film, and films that still do mean a lot to me. Nevertheless, the films in the top 20 just had to beat them. So, here are the honorable mentions.

Isle of Dogs (2018)

Goodfellas (1990)

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

The Dark Knight (2008)

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Jaws (1975)

Rocky (1976)

Shaun of the Dead (2004)

Die Hard (1988)

Okay, that’s it for the honorable mentions, so let’s get on to the top 20. These are the films that I think are near perfect, provide me with a sense of nostalgia, and are objectively fantastic films. Let’s get into it!

20. Taxi Driver (1976)

Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver

Director: Martin Scorsese

Cast: Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, and Harvey Keitel

Synopsis: Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) is a PTSD-suffering Vietnam veteran who works as a New York taxi driver. His already solitary and lonely life becomes more depressing as he starts to grow disgusted with the city’s crime-infested streets. When Travis meet a 12-year old hooker named Iris, he vows to help her and clear New York of scum, even if it means turning to violence.

Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver is a subtle and often quiet look at mental illness and crime. It’s by far my favorite film of his, as Scorsese expertly writes an increasingly desperate and saddening story about a man who’s grown sick of life. Scorsese creates a dreamy, hallucinogenic tone by using soft jazz music and swirling stoplights. He effectively takes us into the mind of mentally ill man by only using visual story-telling, and that’s something many directors can’t do.

19. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

The cast members and the characters they play in The Grand Budapest Hotel

Director: Wes Anderson

Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, Willem Dafoe, and Adrien Brody

Synopsis: A charismatic and perfectionist hotel keeper, M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes), and his lobby boy, Zero (Tony Revolori) look after the Grand Budapest Hotel and learn to form a tight bond. But when M. Gustave becomes the primary suspect in the murder of a rich, old woman who stayed at the hotel, Zero and Gustave must set out to clear his name.

To me, The Grand Budapest Hotel is Wes Anderson’s masterpiece. Anderson brilliantly brings to life a quaint, colorful, and quirky little world of toy cars and model hotels, but also fleshed out characters with satisfying relationships. This film is a true visual feast, sporting vivid reds, soft pinks and purples, and creamy yellows. The Grand Budapest Hotel is also, unlike other Anderson films, a film that I think everybody can thoroughly enjoy.

18. Die Hard (1988)

Bruce Willis in Die Hard

Director: John McTieran

Cast: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Reginald VelJohnson, Alexander Godunov, and Bonnie Bedelia

Synopsis: John McClane (Bruce Willis), a no-nonsense cop, returns home to visit his wife, Holly (Bonne Bedelia), at her workplace at Nakatomi Plaza, a massive skyscraper in Los Angeles. But everything goes south when a group of German terrorists (Alan Rickman, Alexander Godunov, and more) captures the tower and holds everybody in the building, except John, hostage. John must pick his way through the terrorists and fight for his life all on his own.

17. Ex Machina (2014)

Ava from Ex Machina

Director: Alex Garland

Cast: Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, and Oscar Isaac

Synopsis: Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson), a coder at a large tech corporation, wins a an online contest and is invited to the top-secret and hidden home of the billionaire founder of the company, Nathan (Oscar Isaac). But when Caleb arrives, he soon finds out that he is actually there to conduct a series of tests on a truly intelligent A.I. Nathan has been developing named Ava (Alicia Vikander). As Caleb interviews Ava, he slowly discovers that everything is not what it seems.

With Ex Machina, Alex Garland creates an introspective look at the themes of A.I., what it means to be human, and love. Garland illustrates a claustrophobic and futuristic setting through Nathan’s home/research facility, effectively creating a more modern feel of The Shining (1980). Oscar Isaac delivers a terrifyingly wonderful performance as the douchebag genius, Nathan, and Domhnall Gleeson and Alicia Vikander give equally good performances. But the main reason I adored this film so much was because of the relationship between Ava and Caleb, one that’s beautiful and universe-defying. If you’re a sci-fi fan, Ex Machina is a must watch.

16. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

The characters of Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Directors: Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones

Cast: John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Graham Chapman, and Michael Palin

Synopsis: King Arthur (Graham Chapman) and his knights (other members listed) run into all sorts of absurd problems on their quest to find Jesus’ Holy Grail.

In my opinion, and I know many would agree with me, the Pythons are the kings of comedy. Monty Python and the Holy Grail had an unprecedented impact on the comedy genre, becoming the king of absurd, outrageous, and oftentimes witty comedy. This film had me laughing from start to finish with its over-the-top characters, scenes, and lore, such as the Knights Who Say “Ni!”, the rude French guard, and, of course, the famous “‘Tis but a scratch!” scene. Monty Python and the Holy Grail is undoubtedly the funniest and most quotable film I’ve ever seen.

15. Roma (2018)

Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo, Marco Graf as Pepe, Carlos Peralta Jacobson as Paco, and Daniela Demesa as Sofi in Roma, written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón. Image by Alfonso Cuarón.

Director: Alfonso Cuarón

Cast: Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira, Diego Cortina Autrey, and Marco Graf

Synopsis: Roma follows Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), a maid and nanny working for a white Spanish family, as she navigates the hardships of poverty and life in Mexico.

All the films from here on out are masterpieces, and Roma is certainly no exception. This film established Alfonso Cuarón as one of the best working filmmakers today, as a Roma is objectively a near-perfect film. Cuarón created a film that he wanted to be closely related to his own childhood, and many of the characters, especially Cleo, are recreations of figures from his life. Roma felt as if I wasn’t watching a film, but rather life play out before my eyes. Cuarón uses a wide, long-shot to shows absolutely everything that’s happening around the characters, effectively recreating the feel of life. The film is shot in a crisp, stunningly beautiful black-and-white which makes the audience feel as if they are in the past, but reminds them they’re still watching a modern film. The performances from most of the actors, especially Yalitza Aparicio, felt raw and real, as if I were watching real people in real life on the screen. I also feel like anyone can identify with at least one aspect of the film. I’m nothing like Cleo: I’m not a woman, I’m not Latino, I don’t live in the seventies, I’m not poor, and I’m not a nanny. Yet for some unknown reason, I felt myself identifying with this character. Roma also stands as a very important film for our modern day and age. The main characters are women, and the film is feminine and representative without trying too hard to be. The film is not trying to be anything or necessarily make one point, it’s just honest.

14. Good Will Hunting (1997)

Matt Damon and Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting

Director: Gus Van Sant

Cast: Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Ben Affleck, Minnie Driver and Stellan Skarsgård

Synopsis: Good Will Hunting is the tale of a lost, troubled soul named Will (Matt Damon), a young man who is inexplicably genius yet hangs out gangsters and scum. However, when he’s working as a janitor at Harvard University, he solves a math equation no professor or student can solve, effectively landing him a scholarship at Harvard. Will navigates the rocky waters of love, friendship, and loyalty, and while he can solve any problem, he must get help from a professor named Sean (Robin Williams) to solve the only problem he can’t: himself.

Good Will Hunting is a feel-good film through and through, but it also teaches a valuable lesson: genius is not worth much if you are not happy. The film is riddled with lovable and conflicted characters, characters who try so hard to lead simple, happy lives that they only find themselves more unhappy. Both Matt Damon and Robin Williams give beautiful performances as their characters learn and grow from one another, each confronting their sorrows through their relationship.

13. Jurassic Park (1993)

Sam Neil in Jurassic Park

Director: Steven Spielberg

Cast: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, and Samuel L. Jackson

Synopsis: Dr. Grant (Sam Neill), a dinosaur researcher and expert, is invited to come take a first look at a dinosaur-themed amusement park by a brilliant entrepreneur (Richard Attenborough). He and the other researcher invited are astonished to discover that the main attractions of the park are real-life dinosaurs, but everything quickly goes south.

To be completely honest, the only reason I put Jurassic Park this high on the list is because, for me, it’s the most nostalgia-inducing film on this list. That’s mainly due to John Williams’ superb score, which I think is by far his most underrated. However, the performances actually aren’t that bad, and the film definitely has some quotable lines and memorable scenes. Steven Spielberg, as usual, does a fantastic job helming Jurassic Park, and the T-Rex scenes are very reminiscent of Spielberg’s other cult classic, Jaws. Overall, Jurassic Park is a really good time and probably one of the most rewatchable films on this list.

12. Creed (2015)

Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone in Creed

Director: Ryan Coogler

Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, and Tony Bellew

Synopsis: Adonis Johnson Creed (Michael B. Jordan) desperately tries to follow in his father’s, the late Apollo Creed (from the first Rocky), but he’s quickly written off as a spoiled Beverly Hills boy. Adonis flies out to Philadelphia and hunts down Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), his father’s old opponent and friend, and convinces him to train him. Adonis quickly climbs the ranks as a talented young boxer, but the only thing that will get people to see his worth is by fighting and defeating champion boxer Ricky Conlan (Tony Bellew). Fighting Ricky would be going against all the odds, and risking losing everything.

Here’s what I have to say about Creed: it is one of the few films that has ever made me tear up. Watching this film, you can’t help but care about each character, even though they all want different things. Michael B. Jordan delivers a heartfelt and passionate performance as Adonis Creed, a troubled young man who wants nothing but to prove that he can step into his father’s legendary shoes. Sylvester Stallone also gives probably one of the best performances of his career, a performance that made me wonder why he stuck to making crappy action movies all those years. Really, Creed feels like drama that just happens to have boxing in it, but that’s not to say the fights aren’t edge-of-your-seat intense. The fights are bloody, brutal, and agonizingly stressful, especially when since you know just how high the stakes really are. Furthermore, while Creed is part of the Rocky universe and even features many of the same characters, Ryan Coogler brilliantly directs a film that stands entirely on its own. The film even adopts a theme song that’s similar to the famous Rocky one, but doesn’t try and copy it. I could tell Ryan Coogler tried to create something that wasn’t just remake of Rocky, instead making a true gem that can be its own film.

11. Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)

Sam Neill and Julian Dennison in Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Director: Taika Waititi

Cast: Julian Dennison, Sam Neill, and Rachel House

Synopsis: Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison), a young, delinquent orphan, moves from the city to the countryside to move in with a couple, Hector (Sam Neill) and Bella (Rima Te Wiata), who adopted him. Ricky grows close to Bella but Hector takes a strong disliking towards him, so when Bella abruptly dies, Ricky decides to run off into the great New Zealand Bush (their word for forest). Hector hunts him down but both Ricky and Hector find out that the public now believes that Hector is a pervert who has kidnapped Ricky and taken him out into the Bush. Ricky and Hector must put their differences aside in order to escape the authorities.

Forget JoJo Rabbit (2019), Hunt for the Wilderpeople is by far Taika Waititi’s best film. Having New Zealand heritage in my blood, I naturally love it when a film from a New Zealand director gets some press here in the United States, so it was inevitable that I happened upon Hunt for the Wilderpeople. I was not disappointed. Waititi directs a charming, thoughtful, hilarious, and awesomely fun film, one that I think more people up here need to see. The relationship between Hector and Ricky is one of the best I’ve ever seen on-screen, and Sam Neill and Julian Dennison give equally charming performances. Hunt for the Wilderpeople follows Waititi’s typical style, one that is very Wes Anderson-like and combines comedy with darker subjects. This film is one of the funniest I’ve ever seen, but deals with the more perspective themes of parental love, loneliness, and loss. If you haven’t seen Hunt for the Wilderpeople, definitely add it to your list.

10. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

Zhang Ziyi in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Director: Ang Lee

Cast: Yun-Fat Chow, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi, Chang Chen, and Pei-Pei Cheng

Synopsis: In 19th Century Qing Dynasty China, a legendary warrior, Master Li Mu Bai (Yun-Fat Chow), gives his beyond powerful sword, Green Destiny, to his friend to deliver to safe keeping, but it is stolen by a governor’s daughter, Jen Yu (Zhang Ziyi). Li Mu Bai and his partner, Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh), must track down Jen Yu and the sword, all the while trying to deal with a murderous foe, Jade Fox (Pei-Pei Cheng)

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is one of the most beautiful films on this list. The cinematography is utterly stunning as Ang Lee uses gorgeous locations throughout China. The actors in this film deliver harrowing performances, performances that’ll be sure to make you cry. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a wonderful mix a intricately choreographed flying fight sequences that are almost like dances and a thematic, heart-wrenching plot. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is definitely one of the best foreign films of the past two decades.

9. Interstellar (2014)

The ship from Interstellar

Director: Christopher Nolan

Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, and Bill Irwin

Synopsis: In a not-so-distant future the world is dying from pollution and global warming. When, Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), accidentally happens upon a top-secret space facility, he suddenly finds himself setting out on a mission to find a new home for humanity. But, in order to do so, he could risk losing everything.

Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, is the most mind-bending space film since 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). The visuals, cinematography, and special effects are unprecedented and create the terrifyingly vast reality of space. Matthew McConaughey gives a truly heart-breaking performance as Cooper, a man who has made the seemingly impossible choice to leave his family, especially his daughter, Murph (Jessica Chastain, Mackenzie Foy, and Ellen Burstyn). Christopher and Jonathan Nolan masterfully write an introspective and twisty space tale that will definitely one day be a classic. This film was the one that made me first become interested in film. I remember finishing and thinking, “Wow, I really wish that one day I could write and direct like Nolan.”

8. Casablanca (1942)

The final scene of Casablanca

Director: Michael Curtiz

Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, and Claude Rains

Synopsis: An American expatriate, Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), owns the hottest nightclub in Nazi-occupied Casablanca, Africa during World War II. Rick acts like a tough, reserved, and unforgiving man who “sticks his neck out for no one”, but really, on the inside, he’s a softy. One night, an old flame of Rick’s, Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman), walks into the nightclub with her husband, a resistance leader named Victor Lazslo (Paul Henreid). Rick and Ilsa’s reunion sparks up old flames once again, but Victor wants help escaping Casablanca. Rick must have to make a difficult decision, defy everything he’s said he is and help Lazslo and lose Ilsa, or stick his neck out for no one.

The two films listed before this one gorgeously shot films, and Casablanca fits right in. Michael Curtiz skillfully uses light to show the stark contrast between light and dark and good and evil, helpful when dealing with themes such Nazi ideology, respression, heartbreak, and loneliness. Casablanca is filled to the brim with quotable lines and references, such as “Play it again, Sam” (which is actually not the line in the film and acts as an interesting little Mandela Effect). The film is superbly acted, thanks to Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart, wonderfully scored (have to love “As Time Goes By), and masterfully directed. There’s really not much to say here that hasn’t already been said.

7. Parasite (2019)

Kang-ho Song, Choi Woo-shik, Jang Hye-jin, and Ji-hye Lee in Parasite

Director: Bong Joon-ho

Cast: Kang-ho Song, Choi Woo-shik, Jang Hye-jin, Ji-hye Lee, Jeong-eun Lee, and Jo Yeo-jeong

Synopsis: A poor Korean family (Kang-ho Song, Choi Woo-shik, Jang Hye-jin, and Ji-hye Lee) live in a basement with hardly any money. But the son, Ki Woo, fakes being an English major and lands an English tutoring job with a rich family. The poor family quickly creates an elaborate scheme to get every single one of their family working for the in the rich household, but they soon find out that they are not alone in their scheme.

I have to say it: Parasite is a perfect film. It’s one of those rare films that’s just too good to be true, a film that anyone can enjoy and appreciate the vast talent it takes to make something that good. This film deserved every level of hype it received because even having watched the film long after it came out, everything that happened in it was still so amazing to me. Parasite is cunningly hilarious and equally as dark and bloody. All of the performances given are superb and freshly realistic. This film very easily could have been unbelievable and over-the-top, but Bong Joon-ho levels out everything perfectly. The set design is flawless, the dialogue is cunning and intelligent, the music fits wonderfully with the dark comedy tone of the film, the plot twists are beautifully executed, and the direction is incredible. Joon-ho also explores some much deeper themes, such as the stark contrast between rich and poor. The poor family is prepared to do anything to make a little money, even shed blood, but you can’t help but love their determination and cunning intelligence. Parasite is also ground-breaking. It’s the first foreign film that white Americans have paid this much attention to, and it’s the first foreign film to be so successful at the Academy Awards. I could watch Parasite a million times over.

6. Inception (2010)

The Inception Spinner

Director: Christopher Nolan

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, and Marion Cotillard

Synopsis: Dominic Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a skilled thief, and one of the best at the art of extraction: steeling valuable secrets from within the subconscious during a dream, when someone’s mind is at its most vulnerable. Dominic and his team can build dream worlds that look identical to real life in order to extract information from targets. But extraction is incredibly dangerous, as there are multiple layers to the dream world, and if one goes to far down, they could lose their sanity and ability to determine whether they are in a dream state or real life. Dom and his team are given one more dangerous mission, inception, the concept of planting an idea, not taking it. But a looming foe threatens to ruin the entire mission, and it is a foe only Dom could have seen coming.

Okay, let’s be honest, Christopher Nolan is the king of mind-bending films, and Inception is a testament to that. Nobody has been able to forget Inception because of its mind-bending traits and its impossibly intricate plot. Inception did the same thing for me that Interstellar did, made me think, “Wow, that was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen and I wish that one day I could direct like Christopher Nolan.” Inception really isn’t a film, its an experience. It is probably the most mind-bending, crazy film you’ll ever see, which makes it all the more unforgettable.

Alright, now it’s time for the top five. Before we get into this I want to say that the top three are really in no particular order, as they are all very different films and I couldn’t possibly rank them.

5. City of God (2002)

The gangsters from City of God

Directors: Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund

Cast: Alexandre Rodrigues, Leandro Firmino, Jonathan Haagensen, and Seu Jorge

Synopsis: City of God chronicles the upbringing of aspiring photographer Rocket (Alexandre Rodrigues), as he tries to stay out of trouble on the violent, crime-ridden streets of 1960s City of God, Brazil.

City of God is by far the most intense, adrenaline rush of a film I’ve seen. Lund and Meirelles direct a fast, choppy, and jumpy in order to create the overwhelming, disorientating, and brutally bloody tone for the film. It is certainly not for the faint of heart, as it is unapologetically brutal and bloody. But it has to be, as it is telling the true story of the horrible gang violence that ensued in 1960s City of God. Leandro Firmino, who has disappeared from the spotlight since the film’s release, delivers a gut-wrenchingly terrifying performance as Li’l Zé, a psychotic, bloodthirsty murderer who also happens to be a drug dealer and gangster. Watching the film, you can’t help but feel terrible for Rocket as he tries is best to not be murdered and to stay out of trouble, but also achieve his dreams of becoming a news photographer. I highly recommend City of God to anyone to can stomach violence, as it is a truly eye-opening film that shines light on the violent slums of City of God.

4. Pulp Fiction (1994) and Reservoir Dogs (1992)

John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction
A film still from Reservoir Dogs by Quentin Tarantino, an official selection of the From the Collection program at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Cast of Pulp Fiction: John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, Ving Rhames, Quentin Tarantino, Tim Roth, and Harvey Keitel

Synopsis of Pulp Fiction: Pulp Fiction tells three different intertwined stories of a duo of assassins (John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson), a boxer (Bruce Willis) escaping his violent boss (Ving Rhames), and one of the assassins (John Travolta) and the boxer’s boss’ wife (Uma Thurman) going on a night-out, all in unchronological order.

Cast of Reservoir Dogs: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi, Chris Penn, Michael Madsen, Lawrence Tierney, and Quentin Tarantino

Synopsis of Reservoir Dogs: A group of criminals desperately try and figure out who in their group is the undercover cop who gave away their diamond heist.

Yep, I pulled a Quentin Tarantino and said two films count as one. There’s just no way I could possibly rank one higher than the other, as, to me, they are equally good films. There’s really not much to say about these films that hasn’t been said already. They both introduce Quentin Tarantino as the stylistically unique auteur that he is now so well-known as today, and both films established Tarantino as one of the best writers working in Hollywood. The dialogue is fast, quippy, and smart, and created a whole new precedent for dialogue in film. Tarantino’s directing style is wonderfully choppy, quick-paced, and violently gritty and aesthetic, which has since become his recognizable style. Both films also feature awesome music, as Quentin Tarantino is not only film expert, but a music one too. But the absolute best part of both films are the characters; how they interact, how they view the world, and what they do for livings. Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs are both cult classics, and I’ve come to join the following.

3. Spirited Away (2001)

Spirited Away

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Cast: Rumi Hiiragi, Miyu Irino, Mari Natsuki, and Daveigh Chase

Synopsis: A young girl named Chihiro (Rumi Hiiragi) and her parents stumble across a seemingly abandoned amusement park. After eating food at the amusement park, Chihiro’s parents are turned into giant pigs, and, when she runs away, Chihiro stumbles upon a magical palace for spirits and supernatural beings. There, she runs into Haku (Miyu Irino), who explains to her that in order to free her parents, she must work at the palace.

I have never been more entranced in a magical world than when I first saw Spirited Away. To illustrate for you just how good the film really is, the first and only time I watched it I couldn’t hear anything that was happening because I was in a room filled with screaming seventh graders, but I was still blown away by it. Spirited Away is the most imaginative other-worldly film I’ve seen, and Hayao Miyazaki creates a beautiful yet whimsical environment through the mysterious and mystical palace for spirits. To be completely honest, I can’t put into words how wonderful this film truly is, so you’ll have to see it for yourself. Spirited Away is a whole other level of imagination and magical whim, and helped to shape Miyazaki into the legendary creator that he is today.

2. The Shining (1980)

Jack Nicholson in The Shining
Danny Lloyd and Shelley Duvall in The Shining

Director: Stanley Kubrick

Cast: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, and Scatman Crothers

Synopsis: Family man Jack Torrence (Jack Nicholson) and his wife and young son (Shelley Duvall and Danny Lloyd) go to look after the massive, isolated Overlook Hotel during the winter when no visitors come by. However, strange, dark thing begin occurring at the Overlook, and Jack starts to slowly lose his mind.

What can I say? The Shining is a horror masterpiece. Though the Overlook Hotel is massive, Kubrick, in all his legendary glory, manages to create an eerily claustrophobic feel to the isolated vacation outing. Kubrick uses masterful cinematography and superb editing to create a film that never seems to age, scaring audiences year after year. Kubrick understood something about horror that many directors don’t: it’s not about jump scares and strange noises, it’s about disturbingly memorable visuals and terrifying concepts. But Kubrick isn’t the only one who carries this film to glory, as Jack Nicholson gives one of the most haunting performances to ever hit the screen. As his character, Torrence, slowly loses his mind, Nicholson’s facial expressions, voice, and body language become subtly more twisted and demented (see first picture). Every scene is executed brilliantly, either with looming foreboding for maniac terror. The Shining is truly a masterpiece.

  1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman in The Shawshank Redemption

Director: Frank Darabont

Cast: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, and William Sadler

Synopsis: Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), a successful banker, is wrongly accused of murdering his wife and given a life-long jail sentence. Dufresne uses his banking and negotiation skills, as well as his friendly, kind attitude to quickly make friends among his prison mates, particularly with Ellis Boyd ‘Red’ Redding (Morgan Freeman). As Dufresne becomes more accustomed to life in prison, he soon discovers that the warden, Warden Norton (Bob Gunton), is extremely corrupt.

The Shawshank Redemption is a truly beautiful film from start to finish. The story is wonderfully woven by both Stephen King and Frank Darabont, and takes the audience through Andy’s years at the Shawshank Prison. Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman give fantastic performances as two friends with deep, tight bond that slowly manifests as the film progresses. The Shawshank Redemption also has a lot to say about prison life, the corruption, and violence. It is possibly the most thought-out, beautiful film I have ever seen in my life, which is definitely saying something. I could watch The Shawshank Redemption and the flourishing relationships and themes it chronicles a million time over.

Thank you all so much for reading! Please feel free to comment down below what your top 20 or top 10 films are or agree/disagree with me about any point I’ve made. Also, please remember to like this post. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: