Steve’s 100

100 movies!  The best of all time?  That’ s too bold a claim.  These are the movies I find myself returning to again and again.  There are a number of “classic” movies that didn’t make my list.  Movies like Citizen Kane and The Godfather that top so many critics’ lists aren’t here.  In compiling my list, I checked out quite a few other top 100 lists.  I realized that there are many older films, such as those two, that I haven’t given a serious viewing in many years.  Maybe they would strike me in a more powerful way now.  I’ve never even watched 2001: A Space Odyssey all the way through!  Those lists helped me realize that there are movie gems out there that I still need to discover or discover again.  I hope this list will do that for you.

(500) Days of Summer (2009)

About a Boy (2002)

Adaptation (2002)

American Beauty (1999)

Angel Heart (1987)

Animal House (1978)

Apocalypse Now (1979)

The Apostle (1997)

Babel (2006)

Back to the Future (1985)

Being John Malkovich (1999)

Big Fish (2003)

The Big Lebowski (1998)

Black Swan (2010)

Blade Runner (1982)

Blood Simple (1984)

Blue Velvet (1986)

Brazil (1985)

Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension (1984)

Caddyshack (1980)

Casablanca (1942)

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

Chocolat (2000)

A Christmas Story (1983)

The Dark Knight (2008)

The Deer Hunter (1978)

The Departed (2006)

District 9 (2009)

Dogma (1999)

Duck Soup (1933)

The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Enchanted (2007)

Fargo (1996)

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

Field of Dreams (1989)

Fight Club (1999)

Finding Nemo (2003)

The Fisher King (1991)

Forrest Gump (1994)

Groundhog Day (1993)

Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)

A Hard Days Night (1964)

High Fidelity (2000)

Holes (2003)

The Hours (2002)

In America (2003)

In Bruges (2008)

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Iron Man (2008)

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Juno (2007)

Kill Bill (2003-4)

The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)

The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

Magnolia (1999)

The Maltese Falcon (1941)

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

Memento (2000)

Miller’s Crossing (1990)

Millions (2004)

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979)

The Mosquito Coast (1986)

Moulin Rouge (2001)

No Country for Old Men (2007)

O Brother, Where Art Thou (2000)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973)

Pirates of the Caribbean (2003)

Platoon (1986)

The Princess Bride (1987)

Pulp Fiction (1994)

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Raising Arizona (1987)

Rear Window (1954)

RENT (2005)

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

A River Runs Through It (1992)

Rocky (1976)

School of Rock (2003)

Shrek (2001)

Shutter Island (2010)

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

Sling Blade (1996)

Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

The Sound of Music (1965)

Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)

Synecdoche, New York (2008)

The Sting (1973)

Taxi Driver (1976)

There Will Be Blood (2007)

There’s Something About Mary (1998)

Toy Story (1995)

Twelve Monkeys (1995)

The Usual Suspects (1995)

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007)

Wizard of Oz (1939)

Young Frankenstein (1974)

Zombieland (2009)

* * * * * * * * * *

By Decade:

1930s – 2

1940s – 3

1950s – 1

1960s – 3

1970s – 12

1980s – 19

1990-1994 – 9

1995-1999 – 13

2000-2004 – 18

2005-2010 – 20

Directors with multiple movies:

Coen Brothers – 7

Quentin Tarantino – 4 (counting Kill Bill as 1)

Martin Scorsese – 4 (his earlier work may be “greater” but I find the newer stuff more enjoyable)

Terry Gilliam – 3

Paul Thomas Anderson – 2

Danny Boyle – 2

Tim Burton – 2

Spike Jonze – 2

Christopher Nolan – 2

Actors appearing in multiple films:

Steve Buscemi – 6

Harrison Ford – 6

Brad Pitt – 5

Robert De Niro – 4

Johnny Depp – 4

Harvey Keitel – 4

John Turturro – 4

Jack Black – 3

Jeff Bridges – 3

Willem Dafoe – 3

Cameron Diaz – 3

Robert Duvall – 3

Carrie Fisher – 3

John Goodman – 3

Tom Hanks – 3

Barbara Hershey – 3

Philip Seymour Hoffman – 3

Samuel L. Jackson – 3

James Earl Jones – 3

Christopher Lloyd – 3

Frances McDormand – 3

Julianne Moore – 3

Bill Murray – 3

John C. Riley – 3

Jimmy Stewart – 3

Meryl Streep – 3

A long list of actors appeared in 2 movies.


4 Responses

  1. Oh. I haven’t seen all of your list. Off the top of my head, here’s my list of 11 (in no particular order) : A Simple Plan, Out of Africa, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Deer Hunter, Wait Until Dark, Marathon Man, Cool Hand Luke, Seven, Mystic River, Silkwood, Ode to Billie Joe.

    • You haven’t seen all of them? Well, you have some work to do! Actually, I’ve only seen 5 of your 11, so I have work to do, too. Actually, it’s not work, but one of the greatest joys in life. I find your list to be quite interesting. You are obviously drawn to darker films just like I am. From your list I’ve seen Plan, Hunter, M Man, 7, and River. I liked them all. Hunter is in my 100 and Seven nearly made it. I tried to watch Out of Africa but couldn’t get into it. Maybe I’ll try again. To Kill a Mockingbird and Cool Hand Luke are on my Have to See list.

  2. You missed two good Hank’s film in Philidelphia Story and Saving Private Ryan, you could make room for one of them by dropping that incredibly depressing ‘There will be blood’, what you and my son see in this I will never know. If you’d been born a few years earlier you’ d add American Graffiti, otherwise, I’ll accept your selection even though ‘Its a wonderful Life’ was a no brained. One last swap, drop Mosquito Coast that was an odd duck movie and put in a good coming of age movie like Vision Quest.

    • Thanks for the comments, Garth. There are so many good movies! As I said in the intro, these may not be the best of all time, but they are the ones I return to. Philadelphia is certainly good and it includes Denzel Washington (one of my favorite actors) but it’s not one I return to. Have you seen The Hours? It deals with AIDS in quite an interesting way. Saving Private Ryan feels strangely disjointed to me, but it is quite good. It is remarkable the good taste your son shows! There Will Be Blood is certainly not uplifting, but I find the two main characters to be so intriguing. It did barely make my list, though. On the other hand, Mosquito Coast is high on my list. Yes, it is odd, but it’s one of my favorite Harrison Ford roles. I thought about American Graffiti, but it didn’t quite make it.

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