I had originally intended this to be a Best 10 in the Last 10 motif. The only problem is that I really could not come up with ten movies in the last ten years that I’ve seen that I would classify as “best.” So, I decided to expand my top 5 all time to a top 10 of all time.
I try to adhere to the rules that I set up in my previous “10” lists (theatrical release, had to have seen it, etc). Also keep in mind that the list is subjective. Some of my Top 10 will undoubtedly be on other people’s Worst 10 or Guilty 10. As I mentioned, this is my top 10.
Now, my Top 10 of all Time (as always, in no particular order)
Phantom of the Opera 1925 – Probably the earliest of the movies I include on this list, but a true cinematic treasure to watch, especially if you manage to get your hands on a good DVD copy. This version is probably the closest to the original novel’s story, down to the appearance of Erik (brilliantly played by Lon Chaney).
Henry V 1989 – This is the Branagh version of the Shakespearean history. This is a brutal version of the play, leaving in much of the negative scenes that the earlier Olivier version left out. Unapologetic in its tone, it celebrates Shakespeare with a stellar cast of British acting.
Goldfinger 1964 – the first of the movies on my list that some may debate the merits of, but this film remains the quintessential James Bond movie
Evil Dead 2 1987 – Definitely a guilty pleasure, but one of the horror movies I enjoy watching over and over again. A lot of Sam Raimi’s style that he uses in his later mainstream movies shows up in this film, and cements Bruce Campbell as a B-movie hero
Captain Blood 1935 – The swashbuckling adventure of Peter Blood, physician turned slave turned pirate captain, this is one of Errol Flynn’s best roles.
The Great Escape 1963 – One of the best war movies, telling a tweaked version of the true story of the escape from Stalog Luft 3.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail 1974– An irreverent look at the legend of King Arthur, with all the hilarious mocking that Monty Python is known for. You would be hard pressed to find anyone who does not know as least one line from this classic.
Batman Begins 2005 – Probably the best Batman movie to be release since the 1989 Tim Burton Batman, this version reboots the franchise, forgoing classic villains for the Scarecrow and Ra’s Al Ghul (though both are classic comic villains), creating a Bruce Wayne/Batman seeking direction until he finds himself.
Brotherhood of the Wolf 2001 – Admittedly, this is the only foreign language movie on my list, this movie retells the legend of the Beast of Gevaudan, twisting and turning its way through a tale that is one part “werewolf” movie, one part adventure, and one part conspiracy movie.
Psycho 1960– Simply Hitchcock at his best.