I pride myself on my illustrious DVD collection, spanning from childhood feel-good movies to the most recent releases. When I’m sick, have some down time, or simply just want to relax, there’s nothing better than putting on one of your favourite films and escaping for a few hours. Putting together a list was difficult, but I’ve handpicked the films that are my top fifteen favourites of all time. (… well, so far!)
The Shawshank Redemption
Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency. – from IMDb
Based on Stephen King’s short story Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, this film is a well loved classic. I challenge anyone who makes a list of their favourite films not to include this one, at least somewhere.
Romeo + Juliet
Shakespeare’s famous play is updated to the hip modern suburb of Verona still retaining its original dialogue. – from IMDb
This film got me through my English GCSE, and actually made me like the story of Romeo and Juliet. Baz Luhrmann is a genius, and it’s difficult to believe that this film was released almost twenty years ago. This classic is timeless.
The Sound of Music
A woman leaves an Austrian convent to become a governess to the children of a Naval officer widower. – from IMDb
One of Julie Andrews’ many classic films. I decided not to include Mary Poppins in this list as I had included it in the Disney Classic films list. Never the less, I could probably do a list entirely made up of Julie Andrews films, but this one is one of her best.
The Great Gatsby
A writer and wall street trader, Nick, finds himself drawn to the past and lifestyle of his millionaire neighbor, Jay Gatsby. – from IMDb
A classic book + Leonardo Dicaprio + Carey Mulligan + Baz Luhrmaan = an amazing film. Need I say more? Another of Baz Luhrmann’s gems.
Fledgling writer Briony Tallis, as a 13-year-old, irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister’s lover of a crime he did not commit. Based on the British romance novel by Ian McEwan. – from IMDb
Another one of my favourite directors is Joe Wright, and this is my favourite film of his that he’s done. Keira Knightly and James McAvoy are magic together, and this film still stands the test of time eight years later.
A wrongfully convicted boy is sent to a brutal desert detention camp where he joins the job of digging holes for some mysterious reason. – from IMDb
Shia LaBeouf’s break out role after Disney’s Even Stevens. This film has a star-studded cast including Jon Voight and Sigourney Weaver and tells the sweet success story of Stanley Yelnats. (And yes, his name is the same front and back.)
The Wizard of Oz
Dorothy Gale is swept away to a magical land in a tornado and embarks on a quest to see the Wizard who can help her return home. – from IMDb
The day this film isn’t included in the Christmas TV schedule will be a very sad day indeed. This film defines the word ‘classic’, and I’m sure everyone would agree that it lay the foundations for the term ‘family film’.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
A down-on-his-luck inventor turns a broken-down Grand Prix car into a fancy vehicle for his children, and then they go off on a magical fantasy adventure to save their grandfather in a far-off land. – from IMDb
Any children’s film with Dick Van Dyke in is a win for me. Or should I say Dick Van Dyke in a musical comedy being his wonderful bonkers self.
In a countryside town bordering on a magical land, a young man makes a promise to his beloved that he’ll retrieve a fallen star by venturing into the magical realm. – from IMDb
Based off of Neil Gaiman’s book of the same name, Stardust is a fantastically magical film that tells the story of Tristan Thorn and a beautiful star named Yvaine. Yes, it is as amazing as it sounds.
Angels and Demons
Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon works to solve a murder and prevent a terrorist act against the Vatican. – from IMDb
Although Angels and Demons serves as the first book in the Robert Langdon book series by Dan Brown, it became the second installment in the film adaptation. For me, this movie really stepped up the game in terms of mystery and thriller plot devices. Basically anything with Tom Hanks in is a win for me.
Which brings me into my top five movies:
Cady Heron is a hit with The Plastics, the A-list girl clique at her new school, until she makes the mistake of falling for Aaron Samuels, the ex-boyfriend of alpha Plastic Regina George. – from IMDb
The cult movie that changed the face of rom-coms. Even over ten years later, we’re still quoting and referencing this film, and using it as a template for our social interactions. Like many films on this list, it’s timeless.
Kill Your Darlings
A murder in 1944 draws together the great poets of the beat generation: Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs. – from IMDb
The murder of David Kammerer and the supposed involvement of the Beat Poets has always had an air of suspicion surrounding it. This film documents Allen Gisberg’s journey to college, friendship with the Beats and the complicated relationship he had with Lucien Carr.
Saving Mr Banks
Author P.L. Travers reflects on her childhood after reluctantly meeting with Walt Disney, who seeks to adapt her Mary Poppins books for the big screen. – from IMDb
PL Travers’ distaste of the Disney adaptation of her books is well documented. Despite the commercial success of Mary Poppins the film, not much is known about the woman who created Mary first. This film, also by Disney, somewhat sugar coats the experience of working with Travers, but none the less is a fabulous film in it’s own right.
Exceptional London cop Nicholas Angel is involuntarily transferred to a quaint English village and paired with a witless new partner. While on the beat, Nicholas suspects a sinister conspiracy is afoot with the residents. – from IMDb
The second installment in the unofficial “blood and ice cream” triology, or more commonly known as the “three Cornetto trilogy”, Hot Fuzz is one of the best films to come, not only from British cinema, but from cinema itself.
Which leads me onto my number one, all time, favourite film.
Toy Story 2
When Woody is stolen by a toy collector, Buzz and his friends vow to rescue him, but Woody finds the idea of immortality in a museum tempting. – from IMDb
Honourable mentions go to Toy Story and Toy Story 3 but in my opinion Toy Story 2 is the best in the trilogy. It steps up it’s game in terms of plot and characters, and strengthens the trilogy as a whole.
So that concludes my top fifteen films of all time. Are there any on this list that you like? Or did I leave any out that you would consider to be timeless? Let me know down in the comments.