BraedenG33's Top 50 Favorite Films of All Time

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18. The Social Network

The Social Network is one of the best films of the decade so far. With one of the best scripts I've ever read (I read the script as well and it's a better read than many novels honestly), no doubt thanks to the talent of Aaron Sorkin, and as a result the film earned a much deserved oscar for best adapted screenplay. The performances are great as every member of the cast is on the top of their game. Visually, the film is very good too, the style of the film and the camera work is very impressive.

It's 'The Facebook Movie' and it follows the story of Mark Zuckerberg inventing facebook, from a dorm room at Harvard in 2003 to the biggest social media website in the world, and it tells the story in a very interesting way, using flashbacks told as accounts of the events in the depositions of two concurrent court cases, as Zuckerberg was being sued both by the Winklevoss twins,played by Armie Hammer, students at Harvard at the same time as him, for intellectual property theft, as well as his former friend and partner Eduardo Saverin, played by Andrew Garfield, who I think was the best part of the entire film.

The Social Network also has one of the most unique soundtracks of any film I've watched and it's a personal favorite of mine. I love to listen to film scores and this is a soundtrack I listen to all the time. The techno-y vibe fits very well with the subject matter tone and visuals of the film. Trent Reznor did a great job.

Overall, a fantastic film that was well directed, well written, well acted and well scored, and was a film that drew me in and got me hooked on the story thanks to a fantastic script.




17. Ratatouille

Another brilliant animated film directed by Brad Bird, Ratatouille is one of the absolute best Pixar films out there in my opinion, and it all starts with a really great concept. Take the conflict of trying to become a gourmet chef and apply it to literally the thing furthest from it, a rat. It's a stroke of genius like much of Pixar's body of work. Remy, the rat who is the protagonist of the film, wants more than anything to be a great chef, inspired by the words of a famous chef, "Anyone can cook."

Fortunately, he manages to find his way to the sewer right underneath one of the finest gourmet restaurants in Paris. What makes this concept so incredible is that it's the one of the best uses of the idea of an unlikely hero, someone who is so far from where he wants to go, it makes the conflict of the story just that much more incredible to watch because the character faces even longer odds to get there.

This is also in my opinion the best looking of all the pixar films, the animation in this film just has a beautiful quality to it unlike any of the other films (not to say that the other pixar films are in any way poorly animated, there's just something special about this particular one). Credit to the animation team for putting together this visual masterpiece.

I also appreciate the lesson that this film teaches. Every pixar film and most great children's movies in general have some overarching message for the film that's easy to grasp and very well articulated, something with substance that goes beyond just entertaining children to inspiring them. The lesson of this film is from my view that you should always go after your dreams and what inspires you even when it seems impossible. I mean anyone can cook right? So if a rat can make it as a chef, what can't you do? It's something that is especially meaningful for me as someone who wants to be a director one day since, y'know, it's not exactly a job that's known for ease of entry. It's one of the most difficult private sector jobs out there, but I'm going for it anyway despite the long odds because it's my dream.

Ratatouille is one of Pixar's finest films, and one that is especially powerful and meaningful for me.




16. Spirited Away

Another film that's inextricably linked to my childhood.

I am reasonably into anime, while not as much as some people or even a few of my friends, I do appreciate the medium and one of the first exposure I had to japanese animation was this film. I had it on DVD when I was very little and would watch it all the time on a DVD player I had when I would go on long drives or flights or when I was on a family vacation. The visuals of the film are forever imprinted in my head, and on the note of the visuals the animation in this film is magnificent.

I can't really say as much about this film as some others since I haven't seen it in a few years so it's not really fresh in my mind admittedly, but there was no way it could be any lower on this list simply on the memories I have of the film and how meaningful it is for me. The things I do remember about the film is that it always had a surreal magical quality to it. In my youth I was captivated by the film but never knew why, a few years later as I was able to better process what was going on in the film I still loved it.

The story itself is of a girl who gets lost in an enchanted bath house and encounters many supernatural beings in her journey to reunite with her parents. In the film there are a lot of naturalistic elements to it which go very well with the themes of preservation of nature and reverence toward the natural world and a disapproval of the advance of artificial society.

It's a film that I definitely need to rewatch soon, but one that I hold in very high regard. A masterpiece in animation for sure.




Honorable Mention - Goodfellas

My favorite Scorsese film (granted of only 3 films so far I need to see more Scorsese), Goodfellas is an awesome mob film with a great cast and a really compelling group of characters, it's a great film, plain and simple. Also Scorsese direction in the film is sublime.




Sorry for not posting anything yesterday I was out all day getting things ready, I'm going on a 3 week trip to New York for a pre-college film program and I leave on sunday. I'm going to try to get a few more done today and then wrap up the list tomorrow. Thanks again everyone for the positive responses it's been great going through the list with all of you!



Ratatouille is one of my top ten favorite films ever, so big thumbs up there. Goodfellas is solid, but it's never been a favorite. Didn't care for Spirited Away (or any other Miyazaki, for that matter).



15. The Incredibles

Pixar makes yet another appearance on the list with the best fantastic four film that isn't. The Incredibles is probably Pixar's most purely entertaining film and one of it's best as well. Taking place in the 1960s(ish?), in a post-superhero world. Years before, Superheros (known as supers) defended the public from evil, however when it became clear that they were no longer really needed and in fact caused more harm than good sometimes (to the point that there was a big lawsuit against the supers) they eventually faded out of the public eye and back into normal society.

Years later, Bob and Helen Parr (Parr being a being a play on the word par, meaning average), formerly Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl, are now married with a family and trying to live a normal life (with the exception of Bob taking taking a few late night vigilante outings with his friend, the former hero Frozone) when Mr. Incredible is pulled back into the superheroing business in secret, and from there the film unfolds.

It's an incredibly well-written movie, paced very well and all the dialogue is believable. It strikes a perfect tone for a superhero film of being intense but still having levity. Syndrome is one of the best villains Pixar has had (which admittedly isn't saying a ton since most of their films don't have defined antagonists and even fewer of those antagonists are actually evil). He's conniving, intelligent, and just a bit crazy, varying between moments of being incredibly (hehe) effective and also completely inept, showing he is still out of his depth but is compensating for that with his intellect.

The main theme of the film is normalcy vs. the exceptional. it's exemplified in a line spoken both by Syndrome and by Dash, the middle child of the Parr family. "When everyone's super, no one is." This conflict sets up the crux of the film in the fight between Syndrome (a normal human and the once-wannabe sidekick of Mr. Incredible who was cast aside for being ordinary and getting in the way) and Mr. Incredible (a super, an exceptional person) as well as in the differences in how Dash and Violet (the oldest child) approach every day lives in the normal world. Violet wants more than anything to fit in and be normal, not just to act normal. Dash on the other hand wants to excel and feels held back by having to hide his powers. Dash loves being exceptional and wants to use that while Violet rejects it and wishes she could just be like everybody else.

While this film may not be Pixar's most original or innovative film (treading on the familiar ground of superheroism and using many of those tropes, albeit using them very well), it is still a fantastic (or perhaps one would say, incredible) film and one of their best.




14. The Martian

The Martian is a cinematic masterpiece and a return to form for one of my favorite directors, Ridley Scott (in fact this is actually the highest ranked film of his on the list, though I would say his best film is either Alien or Blade Runner). Based on the novel of the same name by Andy Weir, the film follows the story of Mark Watney, a botanist who is left stranded on Mars after being presumed dead as a result of a Martian storm, and his attempt to survive long enough to make contact with NASA and return home.

This is the film I felt deserved the Oscar for best picture this year (followed narrowly by Mad Max: Fury Road, Ex Machina, and The Revenant, in that order), I believe this is one of the best science fiction films to come out in a very long time. Part of what makes the film so great is that it stays very grounded and believable. It feels like it could have been based on a true story (I imagine this is in part because it adapts a very good meticulously crafted novel), even though it obviously is not.

Interestingly enough in many ways this film is basically the same premise as the Revenant but approaches it in the completely opposite way. Both are survival films based on a man presumed dead forced to survive on his own in a harsh environment. The Revenant takes this premise and focuses on the hardship of isolation and of survival and the wrath of nature. The Martian takes a more optimistic approach, focusing on the power of cooperation and human ingenuity to overcome and achieve in the face of overwhelming challenges. Both work to great success however the Martian's approach appealed to me more and I feel like they executed just a bit better (narratively The Martian is far better paced and cohesive than the slow building, somewhat over-long Revenant).

The film is also incredibly fun and entertaining without ever feeling too light for the context of the situation. I've watched the film 4 times now since it's release and it never gets old. The camera work is brilliant and really brings the Red Planet to life like we've never seen before on screen. The performances are also great, featuring standout performances from a star studded cast including Matt Damon, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sebastian Stan, Kate Mara, and Jessica Chastain. However it was Donald Glover's small role that stole the film for me.

In my opinion, the best film of 2015, the Martian was a sci-fi masterpiece and a sign that Ridley Scott is back on his game again, which is great for everyone.




Ratatouille is one of my top ten favorite films ever, so big thumbs up there. Goodfellas is solid, but it's never been a favorite. Didn't care for Spirited Away (or any other Miyazaki, for that matter).
The hell? Always thought you hated Goodfellas?



The hell? Always thought you hated Goodfellas?
No, I'd probably rate it
. Maybe you're thinking of The Godfather? That movie bored the crap out of me.



I know i've heard you say you hate Goodfellas.[/color]
But then you were also sure I loved Letters from Iwo Jima, which I haven't even seen.

I've just searched my posts and all I'm finding are me saying that it was solid but not a favorite. I tabbed it back in 2014 and rated it 4/5.



and rated it 4/5.
You also rated Cinderella 3/5 after basically calling it an a-hole .

Nah, fair enough i must have just thought you wouldn't like it and then just assumed you had said so before.



You also rated Cinderella 3/5 after basically calling it an a-hole .
It is an a-hole, but it's pretty and the mice are cute. A rating of 3/5 just means I didn't hate it.

Back to the list: I don't have any interest in The Martian. The Incredibles is a solid film, but there are several Pixar films that I'd rate higher.



13. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

**SPOILERS FOR TFA**

**also warning, lot's a fanboying below**

Yet another film that people seem to be a bit divided on. I know a lot of people found this film to be derivative, too similar to episode 4, or whatever there gripes are and I get that, it's not a perfect film, it certainly wasn't the best film made last year, but it was my favorite for personal reasons. I am a huge Star Wars fan, have been my entire life (or at least since I was old enough to watch movies and actually understand what was going on). Seeing this film in theaters gave me a feeling I hadn't felt since I was 8 years old. I had never seen a good star wars film in theaters (I saw 3 and the Clone Wars movie in theaters as well but those weren't particularly good). The film was everything I wanted it to be and it was and probably always will be the best theater experience I have ever had (having seen it 4 times all in theaters). Honestly the film only had to be solid for me to love it, but this film was, in my opinion, a hell of a lot better than solid.

The story definitely does feel reminiscent of A New Hope, I'll admit that, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing and it definitely didn't bother me. It's not what the movies is about that matters so much as how it's about it, and the movie executed it's plot very well. Also, most of the similarities to me are more superficial aesthetic similarities than significant ones. Yeah, they blow up a big planet destroying ball in space at the end like they did in A New Hope and Return of the Jedi, so what? That wasn't the point of the narrative that was part of the narrative.

To me, this story was brilliantly paced and executed. From the first sentence of the opening crawl the dramatic premise is established. Luke Skywalker is missing. This film is about searching for Luke. The film begins with telling us he's missing and ends immediately once he's found. Every key plot point in between serves the purpose of finding Luke, ultimately. The film also acts as the first act of a larger narrative that will be the story of the trilogy as a whole, presumably. That larger narrative is the hero(ine)'s journey of Rey.

Let's talk about Rey actually. A lot of controversy has surrounded her character and whether or not she's a 'mary sue' or whatever. I don't believe she is in fact I'd say all of her capabilities in the film are extremely obviously well explained. Why is she a capable fighter? Well she's survived on her own since childhood on a scrapyard planet with no help from anyone, she had to learn to fend for herself otherwise she'd have been toast. Why is she so good with ships? She's a scavenger, she's almost certainly familiarized herself with hundreds upon hundreds of various parts over the years so she could get rations for them. Why is she capable of using the force? Well it's obvious she has a strong connection to the force based on her connection to Luke's saber, and it seems like she's barely controlling it and just beginning to figure out how to tap into the latent gifts she has (and this will likely get even more context when her parentage is ultimately revealed).

Why can she take on Kylo Ren, a guy with much more experience than her, in a lightsaber duel? Well for one thing, Kylo is not at 100%, he took a direct shot from Chewies gun and managed to just take a knee and walk it off which is d*mn impressive for one thing since that weapon has taken out multiple stormtroopers in one shot just in the vicinity of them, so he's mortally wounded and also he's emotionally unstable after killing Han. She's hopped up on a connection to the force while he's at maybe half rate and he's also still not fully trained. Not to mention, Kylo has the distinct advantage in the fight all the way until the end when she taps into the force at which point she overtakes him. These are all things that are relatively easy to understand based on what's communicated in the film and I don't see how people see her as a Mary Sue simply because she's strong. Her strength is completely reasonable in the context of the story. I loved Rey and am so excited to see where her story leads her.

Back to the Han Solo death scene. This scene definitely takes some inspiration from the emperor's throne room scene in Return of the Jedi. The split lighting technique I discussed in my Jedi review is used again in this film, to great effect, as Kylo Ren, Ben Solo, is facing the conflict of light and dark and facing conflict with his father as Luke faced before him with Vader. However, where Luke succeeded in resisting the dark side and sparing his father, Ben fails, succumbing to the dark side, his face shrouded in red as the last bit of light from the Star is absorbed by the starkiller base, as he stabs his father with his lightsaber ending his life.

I also really loved the dynamic of Finn and Poe as they established more onscreen chemistry as a brotherly friendship in 10 minutes than Obi-Wan and Anakin did in 3 movies in the prequels. I absolutely can't wait to see more of those characters in the future films. There are rumors that they could potentially be made into the first main character gay relationship in the entire franchise, and it's a move I would totally be for. I don't think there was any romance in The Force Awakens (except for the already established Han and Leia), so really they have the freedom to go with any pairing of characters they choose, however to me Oscar Isaac's Poe and John Boyega's Finn had the most on screen chemistry of any characters so I don't see any reason they shouldn't go for a romantic subplot for them, so long as it's well written I don't care what the sexualities of the characters are.

Anyway, with all the controversy around the film addressed, the film itself is really incredibly well made. I would say that the cinematography in this film is the best the series has had except for maybe Empire Strikes Back (and that's a toss up) and the acting is most definitely the best in the series. The effects look great, using practical as much as they can and cgi when needed. The score is great (Rey's theme and Kylo Ren's theme are both instant classics for me).

I've said before the JJ Abrams style of filmmaking really speaks to me and it's on full display here as well. This film, like I said, brought out a feeling in me that I haven't felt in a theater in a long time, and that feeling is why I want to be a filmmaker. Movies have shaped so much of my life through that feeling (really that feeling applies to most every film on this list to some extent or another). I think that's the point of filmmaking. It's not about the music, or the acting, or the camerawork. It's not about the technical prowess of the movie, it's not even about the story. At the end of the day, the goal of a film and the goal of any work of art is to make the audience feel something. This movie made me feel a way I haven't felt since I was a little kid, and was a d*mn good too, if not completely narratively and technically perfect (though was still very good on both fronts in my opinion), so on it's most fundamental premise as a film, it was an absolute success.

And also, I feel like the film fits so well within the lore of star wars. As part of that universe it's a success too. The eternal struggle of light and dark, of good and evil, is a central motif in the mythos of Star Wars, and in fiction at large. It's core to the universe of Star Wars, so it seems only natural that Darkness rose again. And as a natural response to the revival of the darkness, the light continues to fight to keep it at bay, this time in the form of the resistance. And this time, the light side reawakens as well, in the form of Rey (conveniently named, ahem, 'ray of light'), and that's the point of the entire story. The continuation of the eternal battle of light and dark, as history repeats itself and we see yet again that someone will rise to face this darkness, a reluctant yet brave heroine (Rey) taken from her former life aided by courageous allies (The resistance, specifically Finn) and a wise mentor (presumably Luke in the sequels) and thrust to the forefront of this battle where she will ultimately triumph and grow as a result of this journey. It's storytelling, it's the hero's journey, that is the point of all this. That is Star Wars.

I love this movie so much. You're allowed to not like it but that's how I felt (sorry that this turned really long and rambly and preachy and incoherent, I just have a lot of thoughts about this film, in fact I just wrote 1500+ words on it and I could probably write another 15000 if I wanted to).

(some of the stuff I wrote I also pulled from some of the earlier posts I've made about TFA in the spoilers thread since I was making the same points)




This is the film I felt deserved the Oscar for best picture this year (followed narrowly by Mad Max: Fury Road, Ex Machina, and The Revenant, in that order), I believe this is one of the best science fiction films to come out in a very long time.
The Martian and Mad Max: Fury Road were two of the best big pictures of last year. Other two were Sicario and Mission Impossible: Rouge Nation.



13. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
I read the synopsis last summer, knew how much of a rehash it was, spent 5 months grovelling about it, and still ended up enjoying it. (even though I can't disagree with the majority of the complaints about it)

Rogue One looks like it's going to be fantastic from a visual/production standpoint - I just hope they don't drop the ball with the characters/story.



The Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Super Bowl 55 Champs!
Ratatouille is my favorite animated movie, and The Incredibles is up there too.

Hopefully that makes up for me not caring for Spirited Away.