My top 50 movies

by
Jun 11, 2009 (Updated May 25, 2011)


Popular Products in Movies
HASH(0xbc6a89c)  Reviews
From $15
HASH(0xb359414)  Reviews
From $6
The Bottom Line My top ten favorite movies plus 40 more for good measure. 

This is my top 50 movie reviews I have written on Epinions, this includes my top ten of course, hence the placement. I have been actively reviewing my top DVD's over the last year and this list is pretty close to completion with some minor exceptions that I’ll get around to….sometime.

I want to make clear that I reviewed these movies that way I would want them to be reviewed for me.  I resisted stating much about the plot in many of them.  Basically I did it my way on my terms (even though I got flack for it.)  But overall I am proud of the way I did it.  I hope you get all the information you need without reading any spoilers.

There are three major criteria that I look for in my scale; entertaining the whole way through (good pacing), has an underlying message, and has a good/well told story. Other minor things I look at is how well does the movie flow, uniqueness, acting, appropriate character building, and lastly do I have an emotional attachment to this movie. Some of these movies are on this list because of the strong emotion they have imparted upon me. So keep that in mind, which is part of the reason I wanted to do the top 50 movies instead of the top 10 movies so that many of the movies I cherish can be displayed proudly among those movies that are just universally great.

Many movies rely on monologs and speeches. I'm not into that. If the only way they can progress a movie forward is by an obvious piece of dialog or listening to a narrator, then I am unimpressed. You see that less and less in modern films but you see it in a lot of older classics that you will not find on this list. That and the slow tempo of many classics are the reason they are not on this list. Ultimately character and story development should be done by action in my opinion and some of these movies exemplify that.


1) Ghost in the Shell
Director: Mamoru Oshii
Genre: Anime
Rating: R
Year released: 1995
Do I recommend it for children?: no
My score: 4.97
Summary: Like the Matrix, I will watch this at the drop of a hat. I love this movie. At the superficial level you have a great movie with plenty of action to keep any action fanatic happy. Pacing is also well done but it also resulted in a shorter film. Cyborgs fight, heads get blown up, you got it all. There are two primary reasons this movie is first on my list. The first is the pacing of this movie is perfect. The movie just goes from beginning to end and leave boredom behind. The second is the sub story of “humanity”. The movie explores the soul and what life is. This is questioned to the point that the lead character actually questions that her own life is real. This is the story within the story that captivates me so. It is this sub story that pushed it beyond just being a great action film.

2) Akira
Director: Katsuhiro Otomo
Genre: Anime
Rating: R
Year released: 1988
Do I recommend it for children?: No, there is brief nudity, blood, and lots of violence.
My score: 4.97
Summary: This is considered by many to be the greatest Anime movie ever, and rightfully so. It is a true work of art. It is also one of the most unique on this list (actually it is considered unique in any list). This uniqueness crosses many lines and is praised by Anime fanatics everywhere. Definitely a movie worth owning. It is this easily understood uniqueness that carries it above all other anime.
But beyond uniqueness there is also a well told story that moves quickly, keeps the audience engaged, and pulls on your emotions (both good and bad). It is story telling done well. I would have to say that the story told is what also puts it above the rest. This is not a movie that you can casually watch and be disengaged from. The movie forces you to be engaged and to develop an opinion on what is going on. Definitely not your average bird.

3) Serenity
Director: Joss Whedon
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: PG-13
Year released: 2005
Do I recommend it for children?: no
My score: 4.84
Summary: This is one of the top science fictions movies to ever come out.  Also without question one of the more unique Science Fiction movies to come out of Hollywood, thanks to the Whedon-verse. It is a continuation of a series that fox ran for one season, never advertised for, then cancelled. One of the greatest crimes Fox has ever done. Well thankfully this movie was made and Joss Whedon was not afraid to think outside the box. He made a great movie, one of the greatest Science Fiction movies out there. It has every element that you could want in a film from great writing, great character development, a good story, and a few twists and turns. Not your average film.

4) Matrix
Director: The Wachowski Brothers
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: R
Year released: 1999
Do I recommend it for children?: no
My score: 4.96
Summary: This is a movie that both inspired the imagination and set a new standard for films in the genre. It had a good story, lots of twists, and plenty of emotion for being a Sci-Fi film. I can watch this movie at the drop of a hat and I love every minute of it. Needless to say, the pacing was perfect. It is packed with action from beginning to end. And each action scene was unique. It also had some emotionally charged dialog that made you care for the characters in a way most Sci-Fi’s miss. This movie is a true gem.

5) Star Trek II
Director: Nicholas Meyer
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: PG
Year released: 1982
Do I recommend it for children?: older children
My score: 4.95
Summary: This is one of my favorite movies that I can watch again and again. It is also one of my emotionally influenced movies. It was the first time I saw a movie done in this fashion and done this well. If it was not for this movie and Nicholas Meyer at the helm, the Star Trek franchise would have been over with. He single handedly revived this franchise and influenced the movies and television shows that came afterward. It also had an emotional element to it which no other Star Trek film was able to duplicate. Why is it the best out of the eleven movies? Great pacing, great character development through action, casting of Kirstie Alley and Ricardo was brilliant, easy movie for the masses to relate to, well written, superbly directed, great special effects for the day, and it tugs at your emotions to boot.

6) T2: Judgment day
Director: James Cameron
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: R
Year released: 1991
Do I recommend it for children?: no
My score: 4.95
Summary: Yes this is another movie that looks into what life is and explores why life is important. It is also an action movie. But it is the only action movie I have cried to (unless you consider UP to be action/adventure, I consider it fantasy).
They develop all the characters beautifully to the point that you really know them as an audience. And through that development you acquire a strong emotional attachment to the characters. It is also in the writing that sets this movie apart from the other three and writing that I don’t think will be duplicated in the future (at least if this last movie is any indication of where the franchise is going.)

7) The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
Director: Mamoru Hosoda
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: NR
Year released: 2006
Do I recommend it for children?: yes
My score: 4.93
Summary: I have so fallen in love with this movie. This is at the top because it is just good story telling. Not a lot of “action” in the traditional sense, but this is not a normal story either. It is unique and captivating. It is also a movie you want to see over and over again because it is so well told. Think of it as Groundhog day with true emotion. You genuinely feel for these characters and because of that you are emotionally torn apart in parts of the film. It holds you, grabs you, and does not let go.

8) Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark
Director: Steven Spielberg
Genre: Action
Rating: PG
Year released: 1981
Do I recommend it for children?: older children
My score: 4.93
Summary: Definitely the best adventure movie on this list. The key to this movie is three parts. The first is the pacing, the movie just keeps going and going. The second is the action scenes are unique, they don’t repeat the same action over and over again. And third it is engaging, you really get into this movie. It is movie making done right.

9) Monty Python and the Search For the Holy Grail
Director: Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones
Genre: Comedy
Rating: PG
Year released: 1975
Do I recommend it for children?: sure why not, but I doubt they would be interested or engaged until they are much older (like in college).
My score: 4.93
Summary: This is my favorite comedy. Even though it is my favorite I still have trouble describing why it is so great. The lines are well written so the banter between the two actors is captivating and funny at the same time. There is a story, it’s about King Arthur. But that is only to give the movie a little nudge. Once it gets going you do not need a reason for the story and their actions (even though it is given) because it is just funny. You expect it to get weirder and funnier as the movie goes along, and it delivers just that``.

10) UP by Pixar
Director:
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: PG
Year released: 1990
Do I recommend it for children?: Non-sheltered children
My score: 4.92
Summary: This is a wonderful fantasy movie that is good for middle aged children and adults alike. I had to fight the tears because the message is so powerful and the story is that touching. For me it torn at my very essence and reminds me why life is worth living. It is an absolute must for your Blu-Ray collection. This is Pixar’s finest work.
The key to this movie is the story telling. It is done both through dialog and action, both are done harmoniously. They start off the film showing you what is important, then they keep referring back to it in various ways until the end you realize what was truly important to begin with.

11) Edward Scissorhands
Director: Tim Burton
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: PG-13
Year released: 1990
Do I recommend it for children?: older children
My score: 4.90
Summary: I shed a tear every time I see this movie, it is that powerful. Partly because of the character but also because it is a story I can related to in my own life. I know what Edward is feeling, both through his actions and my projected emotions. It is an emotional story. But it is also a story about a creative artist that is misunderstood by the world (I’m definitely not an artist, but misunderstood?). And that story is played out very well in a simple step by step motion. The audience can easily understand what is going on in Edwards head with no dialog being spoken. This is one of Johnny Deep’s finest films. Between the directing, writing, and acting of this film; it really is one of the best Fantasy movies out there.

12) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Director: Steven Spielberg
Genre: Action
Rating: PG-13
Year released: 1989
Do I recommend it for children?: older children
My score: 4.90
Summary: This movie, while not quite as good as the first movie, is a great adventure movie. It is just fun, and sometimes movies need to be fun. If fun was the factor, then this would be at the top of the list. That “fun factor” is half the reason I ranked it so high, the other being this was a favorite of mine since it first came out. It also has the human element of a man becoming a man in the eyes of his father, and a son forgiving his father. So that is an emotional and human aspect brought to this movie and made this movie great.

13) Spirited Away
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Genre: Anime
Rating: PG
Year released: 2002
Do I recommend it for children?: yes
My score: 4.88
Summary: This is definitely one of the most creative films on this list, possibly the most creative depending on how you look at it. I also feel this is one movie every child should own. It is fun, it has adventure, it has magic, and it has a message. All of this done in a wonderful world that will amaze you the first time you see it. I personally think this is Miyazaki’s greatest work.
If you are sitting there reading this and don’t know who Miyazaki is, then you need to add some of his films to your queue. His films are fanciful and beautiful to watch, as well as having a story. He is possibly the best “story teller” on this list.

14) Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
Director:
Genre: Anime
Rating:
Year released: 2001
Do I recommend it for children?: older children
My score: 4.85
Summary: I’ve scored this higher than most people for a number of reasons. First the animation is spectacular for its time. But it also has a well told story that does not get in the way of the action sequences. So between the dialog and action, I feel it is a well paced movie.
I also place it high because of the emotional factor. While I normally don’t cry to this movie, I do develop a heavy heart by what happens. It still has a grip on me every time I watch it.

15) Steamboy
Director: Hironobu Sakaguchi
Genre: Anime
Rating: PG-13
Year released: 2005
Do I recommend it for children?: older children
My score: 4.85
Summary: This movie has gotten a bad rap. Partially because many anime fans feel it is not creative enough and does not reach the same level as Akira. Now I do rate it lower than Akira but it still makes my top 20. It is a story of 3 generations of inventors and the emotional struggles each one faces. In that respect it is superior to Akira. But what I felt it lacked was true uniqueness. Yes it was original but not unique. Had it been able to jump that hurdle then it would have been at the top of my list because everything else is done perfectly. From the voice acting, to the beautiful animation, to the story told; it is done nearly perfectly.

16) Brazil
Director: Terry Gilliam
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: R
Year released: 1985
Do I recommend it for children?: no
My score: 4.85
Summary: This gets high marks because it is a unique movie. This is the dream of a man and it is bizarre. It is far more bizarre than the rest of the trilogy and therefore I think the second best Gilliam has done. It isn’t a movie I can just sit down and watch, you have to be in “the mood” to see this. You also have to concentrate to truly appreciate it. It is that aspect of activity that the audience must engage in that makes it rank so high and keeps it from being a truly great film (like a tug-o-war.

17) Blade runner
Director: Ridley Scott
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: R
Year released: 1982
Do I recommend it for children?: Older children, but they would probably find the movie boring
My score: 4.97
Summary: This is the slowest movie in my top twenty but it deserves its position because of the story. The story is beautifully told through well written dialog, diverse acting, and action oriented character development. This is not an easy movie to just sit there and enjoy casually. You need to be in “the right mood”. It is a movie that makes you think and ponder. It also challenges you to view was life and relate it to humanity in general. A great movie because of the beautiful story telling.
The other reason I recommend this is because it raises the question of what life is and why is life important. You can even get down to the statement “why is life worth living.” This movie doesn’t answer that question, but it does ask it.

18) Lord of the rings Trilogy:Fellowship of the ring,The Two Towers, The Return of the King
Director: Peter Jackson
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: PG-13
Year released: 2001, 2002, 2003
Do I recommend it for children?: The movies are a little scary in parts and you do have some violence, but nothing graphic. Disturbing? Ya. But if your older children have a fair grasp on reality then I wouldn’t have a problem with them watching it.
My score: 4.82
Summary: The only real thing I can say for this group of movies is…This is the greatest trilogy ever made. It has everything you need to make a good movie without alienating the fans of the books. The only real complaint I have is they sacrificed pacing for story. I would have edited the movie down and had more action but thankfully I’m not in charge and a medium to slow movie is produced in all its glory.

19) Princess Mononoke
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Genre: Anime
Rating: PG-13
Year released: 1997
Do I recommend it for children?: older children. Heads come off and a few other scary surprises.
My score: 4.84
Summary: I have come across several people that feel this is Miyazaki’s finest work. While I think Spirited Away is better, this is still a movie that should be in any movie fanatic’s library. It is a very well told story with great character development. Character development is done by both dialog and action, blended beautifully. And it has a lot of action interspersed throughout the film.
So why is it great? It is a story told well and it has an eco-friendly theme to it. Miyazaki has put eco-friendly and anti-war sentiments in many of his films but this one is at the top of bringing the “save the planet” message across the best. It is clear, easily understood, and entertaining throughout.

20) Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence
Director: Mamoru Oshii
Genre: Anime
Rating: PG-13
Year released: 2004
Do I recommend it for children?: no, teenagers only.
My score: 4.84
Summary: If you thought the first film was unique, wait until you see this film. It will take you further down the rabbit hole, possible more than you want. I do not recommend this film to the casual personality, it really is a film for diehards because of how it flows. Pacing is in spurts, so that is one reason it isn’t higher. It also is a bit difficult to grasp when watching it for the first time because so much is going on in some scenes. But it does tell a story and tells it well. In addition to that it is a unique movie; more so than it’s predecessor.
It is the first Blu-Ray I have bought, so that should say volumes.

21) Star Wars V
Director: Irvin Kershner
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: PG
Year released: 1980
Do I recommend it for children?: yes
My score: 4.84
Summary: This movie, 6, and the animated ones were not directed by lucas.  But this had a special director that other movies did not have, Irvin Kershner.  I certainly give Kershner a lot of credit for making this the best of the series.  It didn't have the same feeling as the others and the acting was much better too.  One co-worker said she didn’t like it because it really went no where. I actually agree with her but I think that is why it is so great, because it could go anywhere it wanted to, and did just that. You don’t have the constraints on it that #6 and #3 had. And the acting was actually better and more emotional in this film than the others.

22) Bourne Identity, Bourne Supremacy, and Bourne Ultimatum
Director: Doug Liman for 1, Paul Greengrass for 2 & 3.
Genre: Action/ Mystery
Rating: PG-13
Year released: 2002, 2004, 2007
Do I recommend it for children?: No, while not blatantly graphic, it does have some violent scenes I wouldn’t let my kids watch.
My score: 4.84
Summary: I view this as one long movie and not 3 individual ones. They are all made at a high level and are beautiful to watch. Just like the books, I cannot separate them because it is one whole story that needs to be told together, otherwise you miss out. Bourne Identify set my heart on fire. I love it from the word go. And each movie is like part of a puzzle that is slowly being pieced together. You, the audience, are following Jason Bourne throughout his ordeals, successes, and pain. For an action/mystery movie I can think of none greater.

23) Fifth Element
Director: Luc Besson
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: PG-13
Year released: 1997
Do I recommend it for children?: no
My score: 4.82
Summary: I have not seen a movie that is so universally hated and loved at the same time (well maybe Borat, but that’s a different reason). It is just a fun Sci-Fi that is well done. No it doesn’t make complete sense nor is the writing perfect. But the rest is well done and it also has an emotional attachment to the film that just works.
In short, it is a fun movie with great 5.1 sound.

24) The Fugitive
Director: Andrew Davis
Genre: Action/mystery
Rating: PG-13
Year released: 1993
Do I recommend it for children?: No to the younger children. It’s ok for teens.
My score: 4.80
Summary: This is one of those beautifully told three act movies. While not unique as a story itself, it is told uniquely. You will not say “oh, I’ve seen that scene done that way a million times”. And the first time you see it you will be sitting there wondering why he is risking all he has, why he chooses the path he chooses. And in addition to that you develop a strong emotional attachment to the lead character. It is this attachment that is so well scripted out and beautifully played by Harrison. If you like cheering for the underdog then you’ll love this movie.

25) The Princess Bride
Director: Rob Reiner
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: PG
Year released: 1987
Do I recommend it for children?: yes
My score: 4.80
Summary: This is just a very well told children’s fantasy. Storytelling at its finest. Although it lacks a big name actor, and the characters are superficial; it still is able to capture your heart and entertain you at the same time. It is not easy to develop an emotional attachment in a movie but this is another example of how it can be done. I think the real credit goes to Rob Reiner in directing this film. I feel he put all of the pieces in place and made it flow just right.

26) Groundhog Day
Director: Harold Ramis.
Genre: Comedy
Rating: PG
Year released: 1993
Do I recommend it for children?: children would find it boring
My score: 4.79
Summary: You would normally think that a movie that repeats the same story over and over again would be boring. Well, that is exactly what it does and it is a very engaging movie. Bill Murray does a fabulous with the role and just seemed, as an actor, to have had a great time with this movie. He acted in scene after scene yet he is different each time we see him. Not only that but he is entertaining each time we see him act differently…in the same scene. I believe that Harold Ramis did a great job directing but it really is Bill Murray that carries this movie on his back and makes it truly a great comedic film.

27) Star Wars IV
Director: George Lucas
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: PG
Year released: 1977
Do I recommend it for children?: yes
My score: 4.78
Summary: ILM, a major player in the special effects industry. That reason alone makes it deserving of being on a top list. But this movie had more than that. It was an adventure movie. An adventure movie set in space with a lot of mythological themes. The mythological themes are so evident that Joseph Campbell praised George Lucas for his works. I view this as my second favorite Star Wars film because it did so much in such a small unit of time. It is engaging, great character development, great special effects that still work to this day, and an emotional aspect few films can surpass.

28) Shrek
Director: Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson
Genre: Childrens
Rating: PG
Year released: 2001
Do I recommend it for children?: yes
My score: 4.77
Summary: This is definitely the best children’s comedy on this list. It is a treat for both adults and children and one I never mind watching. It has spawned 2 more films and quite possibly 2 more after that. Not many movies can get beyond the trilogy glass ceiling and this might just do that.
It is also eye candy. A treat for the visual senses. It is a foreshadowing of what may be possible in future CG motion pictures.
But what sets it apart is it is an engaging and fun story told very well. It is told both by witty dialog and action. The two aspects blend very well together in this film.

29) Star Wars II: Attach of the Clones
Director: George Lucas
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: PG-13
Year released: 2002
Do I recommend it for children?: yes
My score: 4.78
Summary: The main reason I think this movie was so good was because there were no hurdles that George needed to go over. It was just a story about how Darth Vader came into being (and it did a better job at that then movie 3, when Vader made his physical appearance.) It also has great special effects with a good story that went no where in particular. It is character driven instead of story driven. As the characters learned new things, new doorways opened up.

30) Star Trek 8: First Contact
Director: Jonathan Franks
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: PG-13
Year released: 1996
Do I recommend it for children?: older children, Borg are scary
My score: 4.77
Summary: Without question, the best Next Generation movie. It is great for a number of reasons. First is the character building and development of both Cochran and Picard. They are both the stars of the film, which would normally be a negative. But in this film they develop both in different directions but with the same amount of time and the same amount of detail. Kind of two parallel movies shown at the same time. It just worked.
In addition, this has some of the best acting from any Star Trek film. I would have to say it is the acting that created the emotion that sold me on this movie as my second favorite out of the 11.

31) Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
Director: Gore Verbinski
Genre: action
Rating: PG-13
Year released: 2003
Do I recommend it for children?: no
My score: 4.76
Summary: Definitely the best out of the three and this movie is the only one I recommend buying. Just rent the other two, they’re not worth owning.
This is a well told story that developed the characters by action, not words. In fact I think this is the best example on this list that demonstrates this style of character development.
The other reason it is on this list is it is a complete story, told well, and told in an entertaining way. It is one of those movies I have no problem watching because it is just so entertaining and fun. Now does it have a message? A small one. I’d have to say that is the reason it is placed this high is because there isn’t a strong sentimental message or a lesson to be learned that can be applied to real life. It’s just fun with no real message.

32) Hunt for Red October
Director: John McTiernan
Genre: Action
Rating: PG
Year released: 1990
Do I recommend it for children?: sure
My score: 4.76
Summary: Like Pirates, this is a well told story that is well paced and well told. Much of the character development is done through action. It is also a fun film to watch. But it lacks that strong emotion or an underlying message you can easily take home. Yes I know you can infer a message and there is one, but it is poorly expressed. What this movie does is take you into another world. One that very few people have experienced or can truly appreciate. It takes you away… that is the reason to see it.

33) Alien, Aliens, and Alien Resurrection
Genre: Science Fiction/ Horror
Rating: R
Year released:1979, 1986, and 1997
Do I recommend it for children?: Not in the least.
My score: 4.75
Summary: Ya I know I cheated and put all three together. Too bad. But for the same reason as Bourne, this is a continuous story kept together by Sigourney Weaver’s character. It also shows her character development along the way in all four movies. She remains the same person, but she is forced to grow up fast. Too fast for a normal human, hence her many breakdowns in movies 1-3. Then I view movie four as a metaphor for how she finally grew up and who she had become after her fateful decision in movie 3.
But why are they on this list? First is they are all well done movies (with the exception of 3). They tell a story about a person in a very stressful situation and shows how despite being the underdog, one can be successful if they just keep on plugging along. Character development is done by action primarily which is another plus. It is a well done story of survival that is easily received by the general public. And it is just a fun set of movies I enjoy watching over and over.
The other reason is these are B movies that are elevated to A status by the tools of Hollywood. It really shows that any movie can be successful if given the chance.

34) Transformers
Director: Michael Bay
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: PG-13
Year released: 2007
Do I recommend it for children?: sure if they have a good grasp on reality
My score: 4.73
Summary: It really was a good movie but it definitely jumped up a few places due to me being such a fan. Seeing Optimus Prime in 3-D is awesome, making a childhood dream come true. I am a die hard Transformers fan and one of the few fanatics that really liked this movie. I appreciate how Michael Bay put these robots to life and the story he told. But don’t get me wrong, you do not go to see this movie because of the story; you see it for the action. That action, well incorporated into the story sold me. But believe me if story was the only factor I am not looking for this movie would be scored a 2. But on a personal level I love the action and adventure Michael Bay took us on. It is just fun, but not a movie for everyone.

35) Die Hard
Director: John McTiernan
Genre: Action
Rating: R
Year released: 1988
Do I recommend it for children?: No
My score: 4.72
Summary: My favorite Christmas story by far. Ya I know they don’t actually do Christmas related things, but then again I am not a big fan of the stress involved with the holiday. So consider this a holiday stress reliever.
Just plain and simple, this is an awesome action flick. It does it for several reasons. The first is each action scene is unique and enjoyable to watch. Nothing is really duplicated or boring. Our hero gets into impossible situations, yet is able get out of these situations in a realistic fashion. And underdog stories are cool.

36) Ninja Scroll
Director: Yoshiaki Kawajiri
Genre: Anime
Rating: R
Year released: 1993
Do I recommend it for children?: NO WAY. It has an anime girl being raped, an anime sex scene, and blood galore.
My score: 4.72
Summary: This is one bloody movie and a bit over the top at times. My moral side doesn’t even think this movie should be on any list, but my human/carnal side of me loves how this movie was put together and told. They did an excellent job with this movie. Out of all of the movies on this list, I second guess my score of this film the most. Meaning, I wonder if it should be rated higher.
What makes it great is primarily because of two things. First the action scenes are each unique and engaging. They are all very well done. You don’t see the same kicking and slashing over and over again. Each of the super-villains are unique. Secondly it does have a pretty cool story to it with good voice acting to boot.

37) Men in Black
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld, Eric Brevig
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: PG-13
Year released: 1997
Do I recommend it for children?: Older children. A big CG bug could give the little ones nightmares.
My score: 4.71
Summary: I consider this my favorite Sci-Fi comedy movie. It really is a Sci-fi but the comedic events are so well done. You have the typical straight man/ funny man stars that just play against each other so well. Both actors are great actors and without them the movie would have flopped because they carry it.
Now the special effects are top notch. The story is entertaining and well written. And the world truly comes alive in this movie. And there are times I question my placement of this movie on this list. Maybe I should have put it higher. But I think the real reason this great movie is this low is because it just misses the emotional factor so many of the movie above it have.

38) Castle in the Sky
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Genre: Anime
Rating: NR
Year released: 1986
Do I recommend it for children?: yes
My score: 4.71
Summary: I have had someone say to me that this is Miyazaki’s greatest work. So between this and the other two, you have a perfect sampling of what Miyazaki will be known for centuries after his death. This is a good film and fun to watch. I feel that the reason it is this low is the animation is not done quite as well as the others. But on the flip side, you truly get emotionally attached to these characters. Some would say more than in any other film done by Miyazaki.

39) Secret of Nimh
Director: Don Bluth
Genre: Children’s
Rating: G
Year released: 1982
Do I recommend it for children?: Yes, this is a children’s movie
My score: 4.70
Summary: I consider this Don Bluth’s greatest work. He’s done other things but none of it compares to the sheer beauty and uniqueness of this film. Yes it is based on a book, but that never affected any of my scores. I give three main reason why this is a movie worth owning; it is beautiful animation, the story flows very well, each act of the movie is unique. There is always something new to see in each set of scenes.
There is also some sentimentality because this was one of my favorite children movies when I was a child. I also believe that it would have won best animated film had there been a category back then.

40) Nausica of the Valley of the Wind
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Genre: Anime
Rating: PG
Year released:1984
Do I recommend it for children?: yes
My score: 4.70
Summary: Another great children’s movie by Miyazaki. The animation is old school and the story has a tendency to be a little loose. But if we excuse these issues then we have a good children’s story. I love the action in this film, which is one of its strengths. It is engaging and fun at the same time. Yes you worry a little but you know everything is ultimately going to be ok because Nausica is on the job. She certainly is not your usual princess. The other good aspects of this film is in it creativity. They created a totally new world with brand new and ingenious creatures being created. That alone is worth taking a little trip.

41) Rambo 1: First Blood
Director: Ted Kotcheff
Genre: Action
Rating: R
Year released: 1982
Do I recommend it for children?: no
My score: 4.70
Summary: This is definitely an underappreciated action film. And I even think Sylvester Stallone is under appreciated. He does a marvelous job of changing his character throughout the film and I feel his performance is believable. And a little bit of an emotional attachment is created. And for anyone that didn’t grow up in the Vietnam era, this is a fitting depiction of how some Vietnam veterans were treated. While not historical, it is realistic.
What I also find interesting in this movie is there are no good guys. Everybody is a bad guy. So no matter who you cheer for you’re always cheering for the bad guy.

42) Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
Director: Nicholas Meyer
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: PG
Year released: 1991
Do I recommend it for children?: yes but there is some killing and Klingon blood.
My score: 4.69
Summary: This is directed by Nicholas Meyer, the one person all Star Trek fans must thank for keeping this little dream alive. He refused to direct movie 3 because he wanted nothing to do with Spock resurrection. But by the time this one rolled around he was over that time line weirdness and felt he could direct again. He even had a jab at Spock’s death in one scene.
The reason I think this is great is because of balance. Whereas Kirk was the all powerful star of movie 2, Kirk was seriously controlled in this film. His character wasn’t allowed to run loose and ruin the film like in 5. So the time in front of the camera was shared by a number of people and it just felt right to edit it that way. Also Nicholas brought back in Shakespeare into the film in a way that just felt good.

<a>43) Star Trek XI: Star Trek 2.0
Director:
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: PG
Year released:
Do I recommend it for children?: yes but there is some killing
My score: 4.69
Summary: A new take on Star Trek.

44) Undercover Brother
Director: Malcolm D. Lee
Genre: Comedy
Rating: PG-13
Year released: 2002
Do I recommend it for children?: No, there are adult topics but I think it’s ok for some teens.
My score: 4.66
Summary: If you had told me Malcolm Lee directed this I wouldn’t have believed you. But he did and he is probably the only person that could pull it off. In some of the extra material it is attributed to Lee that he said we need to make the racial stereotypes as outlandish and obvious as possible. He wasn’t going to play a conservative game, it just wouldn’t have worked.
The reason I recommend seeing this is because I feel it is one of the better comedies out there. It came out at the right time and it still applies to the world today. Yes we have a black (half black?) president and that cuts away at this movie. But so many people still feel like being racist in this country so the attitude it makes fun of is still applicable today, just in a slightly different way.
And any movie that makes fun of the excessive usage of mayo has to be good.

45) Rush Hour
Director: Brett Ratner, Terry Leonard
Genre: Comedy
Rating: PG-13
Year released: 1998
Do I recommend it for children?: I’d recommend parents previewing it first
My score: 4.66
Summary: I love this movie. This and Rush Hour II are must see comedies done very well. Staring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, they make this movie entertaining. I think the script and the direction carry this movie and is why it is such a success on paper. So Jackie and Chris have a lot to work with thanks to the script, and I couldn’t imagine putting anyone else in those roles.

46) The Dark Crystal
Director: Jim Henson & Frank Oz
Genre: Children's
Rating: PG
Year released: 1982
Do I recommend it for children?: yes
My score: 4.65
Summary: This is the muppets transformed into real life. The same thing Frank Oz did with Yoda but for the entire movie. It feels mystical, raw, and real. Some even consider this the best children’s movie out there. I’m partial toward Miyazaki but I understand the sentiment they express. It is definitely one of the best children’s movies out there and still hold up well to today’s CG and special effects. I feel this movie will stand the test of time in one form or another. It’s too bad Jim Henson died so young, who knows what else he would have put out.

47) Ponyo
Director: Miyazaki
Genre: Anime
Rating: G
Year released:
Do I recommend it for children?: yes
My score: 4.64
Summary:

48) Blade II
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Genre: Action
Rating: R
Year released: 2002
Do I recommend it for children?: no
My score: 4.63
Summary: This is on the list mainly because of sheer entertainment value. It is an exciting and fast paced action/monster movie. It picks up from Blade I and continues on with the killing of vampires until a new threat is discovered. It becomes a three sided story and the audience develops emotions for each side. Not just one. Because of this it is a fairly complex story, yet the audience does not get lost. Nor does the complexity get in the way of sitting back and enjoying it for the action elements alone.

49) Batman The Dark Knight
Director: Christopher Nolan
Genre: Action
Rating: PG-13
Year released: 2008
Do I recommend it for children?: no
My score: 4.63
Summary: This movie got a lot of attention and rightfully so. It had a great story and great acting. In addition it did not disappoint in the action department. What it did is show more about who Batman really was, how different Bruce was to Batman, and the scar that Batman must carry for the city. It is a very well done sequel and worth owning.

50) Batman Begins
Director: Christopher Nolan
Genre: Action
Rating: PG-13
Year released: 2005
Do I recommend it for children?: no
My score: 4.63
Summary: After seeing so many disappointing Super Hero movies I was burnt too many times and didn’t care if they released another marvel/DC movie again. Well this came along and changed my view on Superhero movies. You have it sectioned off into three acts; the ascent to manhood by Bruce, the creation of Batman, and the final act of Batman saving Gotham. Normally when you get to a creation story I like to see a movie just on the creation, then a movie just on the mission. But the script was able to weave all three acts together into one story with links between all 3 acts that make them inseparable. The other reason this movie is great is because the story telling is clear and engaging, and the character development relies on action over dialog. This leads the audience to develop an emotional attachment to both Bruce and the city itself. Ultimately it is a well told engaging story.

51) The Chronicles of Narnia
Director: Andrew Adamson
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: PG
Year released: 2006
Do I recommend it for children?: yes
My score: 4.63
Summary: This is another awesome children’s movie that both parent and child will enjoy. While the beginning get off to a slow start, once the pacing does pick up it is engaging to the very end. Once again it is a well told story first and foremost. Secondly, it is a beautiful movie in both landscape and CG. And thirdly it has plenty of action to keep all engaged in this film.

52) Dr. Seuss: Horton Hears a Who
Director: Jimmy Hayward & Steve Martino
Genre: Children's
Rating: G
Year released: 2008
Do I recommend it for children?: yes
My score: 4.63
Summary: I usually am not impressed with G movies because they are entirely too childish and don’t tell a good story. Or at least do not get deep into any issues. Well this is an exception, and a marvelous movie at that. It tells a story and tells it well. There are times that it could have been confusing but that is not the case, you know where you are and what world you are looking at. I am amazed they were able to do this with the jumping back and forth between the two different worlds. They also made this movie in dedication to Dr. Seuss and it does the Seuss universe proud.


Other top ten movie lists.
My top ten Anime movies
My top ten Science Fiction (Sci-Fi) movies
My top ten children’s movies
My top ten comedies

Read all comments (32)

About the Author

Epinions.com ID:
Member: Alan Lake
Location: Riverside, California
Reviews written: 703
Trusted by: 265 members
About Me: "If we all_reacted the same_way we'd be_predictable, and there's_always more_than one way to_view a_situation."