I am going to preface this article by saying, I don’t actually like movies that much. If I could choose any form of entertainment or method of relaxing it would not be watching something on T.V. However, most of my friends and family members don’t share my disinterest in film media. So I have seen a lot of movies, and I’ve actually enjoyed a few. In this article I will discuss my favorite movies of all time, as someone who doesn’t like movies.
#10 Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
So surprisingly, this one was not a childhood classic for me. Rather, it was a movie my friend made me watch when she found out I had never seen it, and I loved it. The Disney animated film follows a disfigured man named Quasimodo, who is hidden away in a bell tower by his cruel guardian Claude Frollo. One day he escapes for one day of freedom, where he meets Esmeralda. She catches the attention of his guardian, and now Quasimodo must keep her out of Claude Frollo’s clutches. I thought the animation was beautiful, the themes were heavy and meaningful, and it had a clear purpose. Also, the music is incredible. Honestly, I wish it was a film I had grown up with because I think it’s such a beautiful story.
Director: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise
#9 Clue (1985)
Now this actually was a childhood classic. It’s a funny film for both adults and children, performed by a hilarious ensemble cast. Each cast member plays a larger-than-life character, and when these characters meet at a dinner party it is soon revealed that each of them has a dark secret. When their host—the only man who knew each of their secrets— winds up dead, all the guests are suspects, and they have to work together to find out who the killer is. With good slapstick elements, an intriguing mystery, and sarcastic tropes, it’s a great feel-good movie for when you need a laugh. Also Madeline Khan and Tim Curry are in it. Need I say more?
Director: Jonathan Lynn
#8 Steel Magnolias (1989)*
The first time I watched this movie, I ugly cried. After being cast as Truvy in a mini-production of this show at a theatre camp, my mom made me watch the original version of this movie. I don’t think I lived up to Dolly Parton’s performance, but then again, could anyone live up to Dolly Parton’s performance?
Steel Magnolias follows six southern women through a period of their lives, showing joy, loss, tragedy, and recovery. Revealing how the ups and downs of life make people grow stronger and closer.
Director: Herbert Ross
#7 New Year’s Eve (2011)*
This movie is very reminiscent of Love Actually, except I like these storylines and characters better. The plot intertwines stories of people all over New York City on New Year’s Eve. There is a mother daughter duo trying to find love, an old woman trying to find something to live for, a dying man and the nurse trying to keep him alive so he can see the ball drop one more time, a rock star and his ex who clash at an elite party, and a singer late for a New Year’s gig and stuck in an elevator with a killjoy. This is another film my mom made me watch, and we sang along to Auld Lang Syne at the end even though it was not New Year’s Eve.
Director: Gary Marshall
#6 P.S. I Love You (2007)*
Not to be confused with the hit 2020 Netflix Original that follows the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy. The 2007 film P.S. I Love You is a beautiful story about grief and love with comedic one-liners from Lisa Kudrow and Harry Connick Jr. When Holly Kennedy’s husband dies, he knows that Holly will struggle with his death. So he plans ahead, writing her letters that she will begin receiving on her 30th birthday that will ease her grief and help her get back on her feet. It’s a good film if you ever need a good cry session, so make sure to have tissues.
Director: Richard LaGravenese
#5 Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
After his wife dies, Sam Baldwin moves to Seattle with his son, Jonah. Jonah, who is worried about his father, calls in to a radio show called Sleepless in Seattle to find his dad a new wife. With encouragement from the host, Sam begrudgingly gets on the line to talk about his feelings. Annie Reed, an engaged reporter from Baltimore, hears Sam speak and begins to fall in love with him. Unsure of her future, Annie writes Sam a letter and asks him to meet her at the top of the Empire State Building on Valentine’s Day.
This movie has one of the most perfect endings I’ve ever seen, and has a very natural flow when it comes to the romances in the film. Nothing is rushed, which helps make this one of the best Rom-Coms I have ever seen.
Director: Nora Ephron
#4 Blair Witch Project (1999)*
I’m fairly new to horror movies. I don’t consider myself to be a horror movie enthusiast, and I’d probably take a murder mystery over a supernatural thriller any day. However, this movie is so well-executed it deserves to be in my top-five. Aside from having an intriguing story, it perfectly utilizes anticipation as a horror element and uses creepy sounds over creepy visual effects that make this horror movie scarier than any modern one. It has layer after layer you can analyze, which leads me to my favorite thing about the movie: the scariest thing about the movie isn’t the Blair Witch.
This movie follows three college students who are making a documentary about the Blair Witch. When they hike into the woods to investigate, they’re never seen again. The students’ “found footage” is what presents the entire movie. This movie not only revolutionized film by creating a whole new style of filmmaking, but left thousands thinking that what they watched was real.
Director: Edaurdo Sánchez, Daniel Myrick
#3 Blinded by the Light (2019)*
I genuinely could talk about how incredible this movie is for hours. Finding Individual Freedom + The Immigrant Experience + Throwback Fashion + Academic Vibe + Bruce Springsteen = A Perfect Film.
Javed lives in the intolerant community of Luton, England. He comes from a family of Pakistani immigrants experiencing economic and racial turmoil. He writes poetry and essays to escape the pains of his everyday life, and dreads the future that his parents have planned out for him. That is until his classmate introduces him to the music of Bruce Springsteen, allowing him to find freedom in his own dreams and pride in where he came from.
This movie is so beautiful because while it has so much heartbreak and sadness, it holds such a hopeful tone and still has scenes that are so fun and just bring a smile to your face. Since the movie is based on Bruce Springsteen’s music, the soundtrack is awesome. This movie is not only visually stunning, but has one of the best climaxes I’ve ever seen and is based on a true story.
Director: Gurinder Chadha
#2 Good Will Hunting (1997)*
This is one of my dad’s favorite movies. He introduced it to me, and it then became one of my favorite movies. I love movies that criticize things in a non-satirical way, and Good Will Hunting does this excellently. It calls out the pretentiousness of America’s education system and the unattainability of higher education. It demonstrates how our government leaves even the smartest students behind in favor of the affluent and lucky. Also it just has some great themes: intelligence cannot be assumed and there are more important things than success.
It follows the story of Will Hunting, a genius who chooses to work as an MIT janitor. Professor Gerald Lambeau discovers Will’s talents when he solves a graduate level math-problem. Lambeau wants to help Will reach his potential, despite Will’s disdain for academia. When Will gets arrested, Lambeau promises to get Will out of trouble if he will allow Lambeau to mentor him and get help from therapist Sean Maguire.
Director: Gus Van Sant
#1 Dead Poets Society (1989 )*
If you read my Top 10 Fall Movies List, then you would know that Dead Poets Society is my favorite movie of all time. Dead Poets Society takes place at a prestigious, and highly traditional all-boys preparatory school. When a new English teacher, John Keating, joins the school’s staff, his unorthodox teaching methods challenge students who are faced with tremendous pressure from their parents. He teaches them to pursue their dreams, and “seize the day.” It has a beautiful story, gorgeous cinematography, and an ending that always makes me cry no matter how many times I’ve seen it. It’s known as one of the best movies of all time for a reason. I could not recommend this movie enough.
Director: Peter Weir
Age Rating: PG-13
Films with * by the title, are flagged for parental guidance by their R or PG-13 ratings. Younger viewers should ask their parents before they watch any of these movies.
Check out more movie reviews by GirlSpring contributors!