I’ve never been very good at picking a favorite movie of all time, or even listing my top 5 movies of the year. In my opinion, there’s too many genres, and too many different styles of movies to ever really compare or rank all of them.
However, I can look back on the films I’ve watched over the years and note which ones have stood out the most, stuck with me the longest, evoked the biggest emotional response, have the most rewatchability, or was the first of it’s kind that I hadn’t seen before.
Even though I consider this to be a work in progress, and could change day-to-day, the films listed below are some of the most important that I’ve seen in my lifetime. So far.
Lord of the Rings
While I consider The Fellowship of the Ring to be the best of the three films, I couldn’t just list one of them here.
The Lord of the Rings films were my first real introduction to fantasy films, and eventually novels. Between the scale of the sets, the near perfect cast, and beautifully told story, these three movies that I’ll be watching for the rest of my life.
There Will Be Blood
Not only was this my first introduction to Paul Thomas Anderson, but it was also the first time I watched a Daniel Day-Lewis performance.
Watching There Will Be Blood was the first time I started to understand how a film and an acting performance could be a form of art.
While this wasn’t the first Christopher Nolan movie I ever saw, the experience of seeing this movie for the first time is what will set Interstellar above all other Nolan films for me.
I took the day off from work to see it in IMAX. I was one of maybe six people in the theater. I cried. The emotions I experienced from the movie lingered on me for weeks afterwards.
The science behind the movie is what lead to my eventual hobby for space and interstellar travel.
The Royal Tenenbaums
As I watched the tracking shot through the Tenenbaum house with The Beatles playing for the first time, I knew I was hooked.
Even though The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissouis actually my favorite movie by Wed Anderson, The Royal Tenenbaums was my introduction to his films, and I instantly fell in love with his distinctive visuals and narrative writing styles.
For me, his style of directing was the first of its kind and it totally took me by surprise. I immediately felt a sense of urgency to see everything he’s ever directed.
Fun fact – I discovered what The Criterion Collection was because of The Royal Tenenbaums, and it was the first Criterion DVD I ever owned.