This year I’m looking at my Top 50 films of All Time. Periodically throughout the year I’ll be sharing this countdown in blocks of 10 films at a time. If you’d like to take this journey week-by-week, feel free to visit here on Fridays. For now, here’s a look at the next 10 films on my list, going from 10-1.
This list is very personal. Those who follow me on Letterboxd or weekly reviews know that I am cautious with my grades. In fact, I don’t even have 50 films that I’ve given Five Stars. But all those I have reviewed as Five Stars will be in this countdown. So, enjoy my Top 50 of All Time, a list I worked hard to curate.
10. Up in the Air (2009)
About: I read the Walter Kirn novel and I would not have expected it to translate into what Jason Reitman did with this film. George Clooney, Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick are perfect. I loved the writing and the story here. It never fails to entertain and move me. It has worked it’s way up my list over the years, now landing in my Top 10.
9. The Paper (1994)
About: This film from Ron Howard was what first drew out my passion for journalism. I love Michael Keaton in the lead role and the way this story plays out. I’ve seen it dozens of times and there are classic moments that get me every time.
8. Die Hard (1988)
About: First off, it’s a Christmas movie. Second, it’s also an incredible film. I love Bruce Willis in the lead role and the humor throughout the script. It’s also a credit to Alan Rickman, and his iconic villain Hans Gruber. I love Die Hard, which to me is a perfect action film.
7. The Godfather (1972)
About: This year we got The Offer, a series about the making of The Godfather. If possible, it made me love the film even more. I remember first watching this film with my dad. I’ve seen it many times since and I appreciate the depth of the storytelling and the craft that went into making this iconic classic.
6. Jaws (1975)
About: I don’t remember precisely when it started, but it wouldn’t be The Fourth of July without a screening of Jaws. What Steven Spielberg did with this film is masterful. Watching the making of made me love it even more for all the obstacles it had to overcome to make an iconic classic film.
5. Jurassic Park (1993)
About: Spielberg strikes again. There are films that you remember for the experience of seeing them and how they made you feel. That’s the case for me with Jurassic Park. I remember the wonder of seeing it on the big screen. All these years later, I still feel that wonder. I love the story. I love the film. And I love the memory of it.
4. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
About: It’s been more than 30 years since this film was released, and more than 30 years since I saw it for the first time. Needless to say, the film made an impression. I’ve seen it many times since and I am always taken with the story and the way it’s told. Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster are incredible in the lead roles.
3. No Country For Old Men (2007)
About: My appreciation for the Coen Brothers began in college. It was in 2007 that my appreciation piqued with this adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s book. Tommy Lee Jones is stellar, as is Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin. It’s a brilliantly crafted story and beautifully put together. It remains one of my all-time favorites.
2. The Dark Knight (2008)
About: Batman has always been my favorite superhero. With this second film in his three-film series, Christopher Nolan delivered a masterpiece. I love the action and pacing here, but for me it’s a very emotional journey. I’ve probably seen this film 100 times since it was released and it gets me every time.
1. A Time to Kill (1996)
About: How do you pick a favorite film? For some, it’s probably easy. There are so many films I love in a lifetime of film appreciation. But I have long come back to this film, based on a John Grisham novel, since I first saw it in high school. The rich performances and the production stand out to me, but it’s about the ideas. The ideas about justice and morality always move me and challenge me. That’s why it’s my favorite film of all time.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.