My Humble List Of Ten Overall Must-See Movies

When it comes to movies, everybody is a critic. Here is a list of my top ten must-see movies.

Let me preface this by saying that absolutely everybody has their own personal list of the top ten movies of all time. For somebody a little older, they may include "Casablanca" or "Gone With the Wind." Somebody a little younger may say "The Lizzie McGuire Movie." Who knows? I am not one to judge. My top ten movies have gone through rigorous criterion including the following: 1) Rewatchability. Can I watch this movie more than once, or will it sit on my shelf collecting dust for all eternity? 2) Lessons learned. Did I leave this movie a better person or a more inspired person than when I first walked into the theater? 3) Strong personal emotion. Did I go into this movie without prejudging, without reading forty different reviews that may have colored my own perception of the movie and without listening to the critiques of others? The answer to these criterion? A resounding "yes," of course.

Amelie

Talk about an inspiring movie.This French movie follows the life of a young girl named Amelie Poulain, who, upon discovering an old rusted children's treasure box in her restroom, decides to take it upon herself to find its owner and return it. She makes a deal with herself that if the man who it belonged to as a child is appreciative, she will spend the rest of her life doing good deeds for others. The cinematography, the lush colors and the original concept all make for a brilliant movie.

Rushmore

This is one of those movies that doesn't claim to be a masterpiece, nor does it boast a cast of A-list actors. And yet it somehow manages to get under the viewer's skin with its subtle humor and apparent humility. It tells the story of a troubled, yet intelligent, high school student who falls in love with a teacher and gets himself mixed up in a love triangle with her and his adult benefactor, played flawlessly by Bill Murray.

What's Eating Gilbert Grape

Although this movie came out of nowhere and did not create any major cinematic waves, the noteworthy performances by Leonardo DiCaprio as a mentally challenged boy and Johnny Depp as his gentle older brother create a touching story.

To Kill A Mockingbird

This classic movie about a lawyer father single-handedly raising his stubborn young son and his wild tomboy daughter during a time of racial disharmony teaches so many lessons its hard to list them all, but, trust me when I say that everybody who watches this will wish they had Atticus Finch as a father and Scout Finch as a younger sister.

Godfather & GodfatherII

Many people will argue that "Godfather" and "Godfather II" should have been released as one single movie, so I will treat them as such on this list. Just for the mere fact that we get so many great lines from this movie like, "Leave the gun, take the cannoli" or "I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse" should guarantee its space on this top ten list. What makes it brilliant, however, is that while its plot centers on the gangster underworld, it is still able to teach us about the strength of love, loss and family.

Annie Hall

You either love Woody Allen or you hate him, but few can argue that "Annie Hall" was not a great classic romance. As we travel with Alvy Singer (played by Woody), our neurotic tour guide, through the evolution of his romance with Annie Hall (played by Diane Keaton), we see love at both its finest and its rawest.

Pulp Fiction

This movie was so spectacular and flawless in its complex plot, that I had to see it over 15 times at the theater to appreciate the work that was put into it. Not only did this movie single-handedly thrust John Travolta back into the celebrity A-list, it inspired movies to use flashbacks and plot twists without abandon, creating a new genre of film that has taken off in recent years.

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

To date, this is one of Jack Nicholson's finest performances as a swaggering, cocky convict who pleads insanity for the sake of not having to spend another night in jail. Nicholson's portrayal of McMurphy is exceptional. Originally a book by Ken Kesey, this movie is one of the very few movies that does not shame itself when transferred to the big screen.

Braveheart

Mel Gibson stars as William Wallace, a Scotsman who heads an uprising against English rule in the 13th century. Maybe it's the gruesome and realistic fight scenes. Maybe it's the underlying love story. Maybe's it's the fact that, once again, the underdogs fight and win. There's something about this movie that will make even the most macho man shed a tear of pride.

Shawshank Redemption

Very rarely does Stephen King get it right, but this time, he hits the nail on the head. This is a movie about two unlikely friends in a prison who, in their own way, escape both their personal and physical prisons.

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