My Top 25 Favourite Films Of All Time

Al Pacino sits in a chair in a scene from the film ‘The Godfather: Part II’, 1974. (Photo by Paramount/Getty Images)

I’ve done my favourite TV shows and videogames, so next up on the agenda has to be films. As usual, it’s one per franchise (and I’m bound to have forgotten a few – more so than normal!)

Before we start, here are a few honourable mentions that very nearly made the cut:

  • Spider-Man 2
  • Baby Driver
  • Joker
  • Saving Private Ryan
  • Die Hard
  • Memento

And here are some of my related blog posts:

25 – The Godfather: Part II

The original film is obviously iconic, but I could never really connect with it. It’s the sequel that I was much more engaged with – even though it’s longer than the first part!

Al Pacino gives one of the best acting performances I’ve ever seen, so I’m amazed he didn’t win an Oscar. It’s the Robert de Niro parts that I especially love – flicking back between present-day Michael and past Vito kept me invested in “The Godfather: Part II” throughout.

24 – Gladiator

I’m not usually one for historical films, but Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator” has such a massive scope that it’s impossible to look away.

Maximus Decimus Meridius is such a compelling protagonist, and all of his arena battles both provide blood-pumping action and move him closer to his ultimate goal. Also, Joaquin Phoenix gives one of the best villain performances in movie history.

23 – Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse

The best animated film of all time, “Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse” blew all of my expectations out of the water.

It was a bold move to focus on Miles rather than Peter, but it paid off in the best way possible. The animation is stunning, and the characters are all so memorable and entertaining.

22 – Hot Fuzz

All of Edgar Wright’s films are amazing fun with fantastic editing, and my favourite of them all has to be “Hot Fuzz”.

It has some really clever writing with hilarious call-backs, and it even has some great action scenes near the end as well.

21 – Monty Python and the Holy Grail

I have fond memories of watching this film as a kid with my family, so a lot of my humour was shaped by Monty Python.

Almost every scene and gag in it is hilarious, and so much of it has become insanely quotable in British pop culture.

20 – The Dark Knight

A film defined by its villain’s performance, Heath Ledger’s Joker will go down as one of the best pieces of acting of all time.

His interactions with Batman are great, and the action is superbly directed by Christopher Nolan.

19 – Inside

I’m not sure if “Inside” counts as a proper film (as it’s more of a Netflix comedy special), but it made such an impact on me that I had to include it.

Bo Burnham is sensational from start to finish, and both his funny songs and heart-wrenching acting really affected me. It’s the definitive lockdown piece, and Burnham’s magnum opus.

18 – Moonage Daydream

The most recent entry on this list, I only saw “Moonage Daydream” a few weeks ago and yet I knew it had to make my list of favourite films.

Brett Morgen managed to create a Bowie experience rather than a documentary, and the music and visuals combine in ways that I didn’t think was possible. Bowie fan or not, you have to see this to believe it.

17 – Back to the Future

Everyone’s feel-good movie, “Back to the Future” is some of the most fun you can have on film.

It’s pure 80’s cheese, and the ending with the guitar solo at prom and the lightning on the clocktower are two of cinema’s most iconic scenes. The sequels are pretty decent, too.

16 – The Shawshank Redemption

I just had to check out the highest rated film on IMDb, and I can see what all the hype was about.

“The Shawshank Redemption” is the definitive prison drama, with one of the most euphoric and satisfying endings I’ve ever seen.

15 – John Wick: Chapter 2

Most people point to the original as being the greatest, but I’ve always maintained that “John Wick: Chapter 2” is the best.

It has the best action and visuals out of any of them, and that’s pretty much the two main things I want to see. It’s the role Keanu Reeves was born to play.

14 – The Thing

My favourite pure horror film, “The Thing” relies less on jump-scares and more on freaky visuals and themes.

The whole untrusting atmosphere makes for intense viewing, and the practical effects still haven’t been topped forty years later.

13 – Terminator 2: Judgement Day

We used to have “Terminator 2: Judgement Day” on repeat in my house – it has the kind of bombastic action that works for all occasions.

After watching the original and the many sequels, I can appreciate this one more for balancing the thrills with the futuristic themes.

12 – The Silence of the Lambs

Anthony Hopkins gives my favourite acting performance ever as Hannibal Lecter, and the rest of “The Silence of the Lambs” is excellent too.

Jodie Foster excels in the lead, and her pursuit of Buffalo Bill is never boring. The scene where Hannibal escapes by wearing a cop’s face is one of the most chilling scenes I’ve ever watched.

11 – Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Consider this a placement for entire Harry Potter franchise – all of them are charming in their own way, and the wizarding world has some of the best worldbuilding and visuals of any fantasy film I’ve seen.

My favourite of the series has to be the finale, “The Deathly Hallows: Part 2”. I couldn’t have asked for a better send-off, and the Harry / Voldemort showdown delivers on all fronts.

10 – Raiders of the Lost Ark

The Indiana Jones franchise is fairly fun across the board, but it’s really only “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “The Last Crusade” that I truly love.

The original is still the best, with dozens of scenes and moments that have been copied and parodied since. This is Action / Adventure at its very best.

9 – Anchorman

My favourite comedy film, there are about a hundred lines from “Anchorman” that I can quote in a heartbeat.

Will Ferrell’s Ron Burgundy is a comedic force of nature, and the rest of the supporting players are phenomenal too. That news anchor showdown in the back alley will always tickle me.

8 – Casino Royale

I absolutely love the James Bond franchise, and quite a few of its entries could have made this list – “Goldeneye” is so cool, “Goldfinger” is iconic, “Skyfall” has exceptional action, but “Casino Royale” is the best of all three.

Daniel Craig excels as a grittier, tougher Bond, and the decision to reboot the franchise with an origin story ended up paying dividends. The best thing this film ever did was make a bunch of guys playing poker both cool and enthralling.

7 – Avengers: Infinity War

The MCU is probably my favourite cinematic universe (at least, up until the Infinity Saga ended), and the crowning achievement is “Avengers: Infinity War”.

It was the crossover event of the century, and I’ll never forget my cinematic experience – my whole theatre was laughing along to every joke and quip, and was stunned into silence by the ending.

6 – The Matrix

“The Matrix” was another one of those films that we always had on in our household, but it’s only after re-watching it as an adult that I realise how clever the premise is.

It’s an amazing action film, but it also proposes theological and philosophical themes in such a nuanced way that complements the viewing experience. The sequels all sucked, but the first one really nailed the fight scenes and grand ideas.

5 – The Empire Strikes Back

The Star Wars franchise is a force of nature, filled to the brim with fascinating storylines and stunning visuals. My favourite film, however, was never in doubt.

“The Empire Strikes Back” is a perfect Sci-Fi / Adventure film, with amazing action sequences and insanely quotable dialogue. That ending with Luke and Vader fighting (and the “I am your father!” reveal) is one of my favourite scenes in cinema history.

4 – The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

Due to my one-per-franchise rule I could only put “Return of the King”, but consider this the placement of the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Peter Jackson’s magnum opus is cinema at its very best, with flawless characters, worldbuilding and fantasy elements. The battles are spectacular, the interpersonal conflicts are justified, and the final confrontation on Mount Doom is an all-time great moment in film.

3 – Jurassic Park

I watched this film when I was waaaay too young and had nightmares for years, but when I came back to it at eight years old I immediately fell in love with “Jurassic Park”.

Spielberg is the master of tension in storytelling, and the visual effects of the dinosaurs still mostly hold up thirty years later. Some of the sequels are decent, but it’s the original that always gives me goosebumps.

2 – Inception

I have a huge respect for Christopher Nolan’s style of storytelling, and nowhere has he done it better than “Inception”.

It has some of the most mind-bending action and visuals – the hallway fight in particular is probably my favourite action scene ever. On top of all that, the ambiguous ending gives way to almost infinite re-watchability.

1 – Pulp Fiction

Right from the very first time I saw Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction”, I knew it was my favourite film of all time.

The layered dialogue gives way to some explosive action scenes, and the anthological nature of the plot means it moves at break-neck pace. Other films on this list may be more technical or more jaw-dropping, but “Pulp Fiction” is the one that stands out most to me.

Aaaand that’s my list! You can check out some of my latest blog posts below:

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