My Top 50 Films

January 2019 Update: There wasn't much movement among my top 50 films in this latest update, with the only new addition being the superbly acted classic "Kramer vs. Kramer", a film which never fails to move me deeply.

Removed: The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)

Added: Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)

Honorable Mention: The Lion King (1994)
Essential Films

50. Atonement (2007)
Best Shot

49. The Prestige (2006)

48. The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)

47. Unforgiven (1992)

46. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
Best Shot

45. A Face in the Crowd (1957)

44. Let The Right One In (2008)

43. The French Connection (1971)

42. Raise the Red Lantern (1991)
Best Shot

41. Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

40. Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)

39. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

38. Casino Royale (2006)

37. Psycho (1960)

36. Blood Diamond (2006)

35. Sideways (2004)

34. Black Swan (2010)

33. The Kite Runner (2007)

32. Stalag 17 (1953)

31. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

30. The Evil Dead (1981)

29. On the Waterfront (1954)

28. 12 Years A Slave (2013)

27. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

26. In Bruges (2008)

25. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

24. Jurassic Park (1993)

23. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

22. Gravity (2013)

21. Life Is Beautiful (1997)

20. The Third Man (1949)
Oldie Goldies

19. Road to Perdition (2002)
Best Shot

18. Inception (2010)

17. Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
Best Shot

16. Singin' In The Rain (1952)

15. Million Dollar Baby (2004)

14. Roman Holiday (1953)

13. A Separation (2011)

12. The Social Network (2010)

11. The Dark Knight (2008)

10. 12 Angry Men (1957)

9. The Apartment (1960)

8. Titanic (1997)
Essential Films

7. City of God (2002)
Essential Films

6. To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)
Best ShotReview

5. Apocalypse Now (1979)

4. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

3. The Graduate (1967)

2. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

N.B. Look for the next update in January 2018.
I hope you enjoyed perusing my list. :)


  1. I can't argue much with this list and although there are a few I'd add and get rid of due to taste it seems pretty fair. There's nothing that made me think "Whhaaaat??". I'm a little surprised to see LOTR so high up but 2,3 and 5 are all incredible films and LOTR are certainly very, very good.

    1. I'm glad you like The Color Purple too. I was expecting a lot of people to balk at its inclusion.

    2. Being a white, middle class English man I wasn't expecting it to affect me too much but it really did. It's a superb but distressing film.

  2. Great list! None of your choices seem outrageous. I've only seen 12 of these films though - need to catch up!

    1. Thanks. If I remember correctly, you're pretty young(teenager) right? So it's understandable that you may have missed a lot of these. Keep watching! :)

  3. This is a really refreshing list. For me good cinema is first and foremost about enjoyment and entertainment which is clearly evident throughout your list. Too many people who create 'best of all time lists' seem to include films they think should be there, rather than ones they simple enjoyed the most. Sir, you may well have inspired me to have a go myself. Great stuff.

    1. I'm glad that you were able to get the feeling of my list. Also feel honored to have inspired you. :)

  4. Awesome list! I only watched The Graduate for the first time last week, geez what an amazing soundtrack. A lot from here I need to see, I think I'll start with Apocalypse now.

  5. Thanks. Yeh, The Graduate is really an amazing soundtrack. I can watch that film any time. Hope you enjoy Apocalypse Now!

  6. Good stuff man, fresh mix of old and new.

    I dig!

  7. You were right Shane. Lot of similarities in our lists. LOVE that you have LOTR so high up. Personally I find it hard to distinguish between the three movies but that's mainly because I was a HUGE fan of the book long before I saw movies. But that's fine.
    There are exactly 10 that I haven't seen yet. Soon enough. Great list Man! I approve. :D

    1. Thanks, I'm glad you approve. I also find it hard to distinguish between the LOTR films, but I definitely remember loving the last two.

  8. Excellent list! I loved reading it. I was glad to see The Color Purple and LOTR in your top ten. :-)

    1. Thanks! Glad you're a fan of The Color Purple too. That film doesn't get the respect it deserves.

  9. Oh, I just loved the list. Happy to see TITANIC on the list because not many love it. Over 90% of films could be in my top 50 also

  10. The biggest reaction I have here revolves around Arbitrage, which I've not seen. I've heard it's good, but to see some of what was removed in favor of it (and, fairly, others), is a bit shocking. Definitely has me more interested to see it. Nixing The Matrix stings a bit, especially when I see so many other BIG action/adventures on your list (someone loves LOTR perhaps a bit too much). ;)

    1. As I said in the write-up it really was heartbreaking removing some of those great films. Arbitrage has been on my mind a lot this year though and that's why I included it. Perhaps it's not the "best", but it's a film that I enjoyed a lot on pure entertainment value. I know many people will be appalled, but personal honesty is the way to go.

      It's possible that this list will be very different in the next update. These are simply the 50 films that are in the forefront of my mind right now.

  11. Really enjoyed this blogpost,very interesting, may doing something like that on my own blog if you wouldn't mind :)

  12. Great list of revered films. I need to see Oslo and A Separation. Interesting to have Road to Perdition as Sam Mendes' best film (I often agree).

    Great blog post. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Nice Top Ten! Love your blog. Such a great mix of interesting stuff.

  14. Love that A Separation is so high. Great film!

  15. I've seen most of these (in the neighborhood of 40). You've picked some great films. Really happy to see City of God, A Separation, and Evil Dead getting some love. I'll just pretend I didn't see Titanic, lol.

  16. I really like your Top 50 list. Of course, a big part of that is because I also consider the LOTR trilogy as my all-time favorites. But I'm glad to see films like Life Is Beautiful so high up as well.