Sunday, January 29, 2012

Top 20 Movies

On the long drive to/from Viterbo three weeks ago my sons and I had a very enlightening discussion of our top 20 movies of all time.  I realized how much the list is affected by your age and the impact movies had on you at certain times in your life.  For instance, Star Wars easily makes my top ten simply because it was released when I was ten years old and trust me when I say this...there had NEVER been anything like it before.  The technology used for the special effects was ground breaking and quite simply mind blowing to a ten year old.  It was the single coolest thing I had ever experienced.   I went down to the River Hills theater downtown that sat on the site where Wells Fargo Arena is now (man I miss that place) and watched it at least ten different times. 

My kids on the other hand like Star Wars, but it didn't even crack their top 20 because there were other movies that impacted them as kids that were more important like The Sandlot.  A fine movie, but definitely not in my top 20.

I love movies.  I watch a lot of them.  I didn't realize how many until I decided one day that I was going to try to watch all of the Best Picture Oscar winners. I looked up the list online and discovered that I had seen like 45 of the winners since 1950.  That was shockingly high to me.

Anyway...all of that was to make this one point: this list was really hard for me to compile.  I didn't have a hard time selecting the movies, but more so putting them in an order that I can defend.  Here goes in reverse order:

20. Mr. Holland's Opus
19. Wall-E
18. The Sixth Sense
17. Little Miss Sunshine
16. O Brother, Where Art Thou?
15. The Shawshank Redemption
14. Rocky
13. I Am Sam
12. The Matrix
11. Gladiator
10. Schindler's List
9. Billy Madison
8. The Usual Suspects
7. Moulin Rouge
6. The Silence of the Lambs
5. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
4. Fight Club
3. Saving Private Ryan
2. The Godfather Parts I & II (I know it's two movies...sue me)
1. Braveheart

I'll make a series of follow up posts detailing why I selected these movies.


  1. Lots of good choices here, though I'd have placed some of your lower-ranking choices (O Brother, Shawshank) higher on my personal list.

    Re: Star Wars, my dad take me to see it the first time. I asked him what he thought of it and, in his inimitable way, shrugged and said "eh - a cowboy movie, in space."

    Just one of many, many wise things my dad said whose wisdom I did not at the time appreciate.

  2. Wait a minute. How is that I didn't know you had a blog? You hiding shit from me? ;)

  3. I wasn't really hiding it, but wasn't really promoting it either. I just started doing this because I wanted to sort of document one of the years of the choir that I work with.

    To be honest I'm kind of horrified that people actually found it.

    I'll post a link to a Youtube video of our group. To the uninitiated it will look like Glee type stuff, but the kids are performing at a really high level for high schoolers. Trust me when I say that what our kids do is way more difficult than what the kids on Glee are doing. I'm the only adult that is in any way participating in the music in the video. I am accompanying them on keyboard, so any piano type sounds you hear are definitely me along with some of the strings. All of the other instrumentalists and singers are high school kids.