According to Em – Top 10 Movies of All Time

I intended to post a few more times BEFORE my move, but about two weeks before I was supposed to be in Huntsville, my digestive system descended into the underworld and didn’t completely return until I had about three days to move. Those three days were POSSIBLY the most exhausting of my life, where I wasn’t so much of a person as I was an organic device for placing objects in cardboard cubes and transporting them down a flight of stairs.

I was going to write a post that was a little more in-depth, but I feel like I’m literally about to pass out in the next five minutes, so in the spirit of filling out this list of post ideas, I decided to tell you about my top ten favorite movies of all time.

10. The Fugitive











Harrison Ford on one side, Tommy Lee Jones on the other – what more could you want in an action flick? In addition to being one of the most quotable movies in history, The Fugitive was the first “grown up” movie I decided that I liked all on my own. Almost 17 years later, I’m still not tired of it.

9. Cinderella 2015 and Cinderella 1950

Cinderella was my favorite childhood movie (i.e. That Movie that every toddler wants to watch on repeat. Small people of today, this was my Frozen.) and when they released a live action version during the month of my birthday in 2015, I went to see it with my mom and loved it to itty bitty pieces. The fact that the live action uses one of my favorite songs (Lavender’s  Blue) and ninja’d-in my favorite actress (Hayley Atwell of Agent Carter fame) made it feel like the universe had given me a birthday present! Both of these movies are go-to comfort movies, guaranteed to make me feel better when I’m down.

8. Anastasia

Despite my perpetual obsession with the Romanov family, I didn’t manage to see this movie until I was in my late teens/early twenties. It is not accurate in any way, shape or form, but I have watched it dozens of times, maybe because it took an ugly, ugly real life tragedy and gave it a happy ending. This is ultimately a movie about hope.

7. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

I’ve come to terms with my identity as a hobbit.

Maybe it’s my shared love of music, food, and cider. Maybe it’s my curly hair, or my love of simple things like cooking, sewing, and stories. Or maybe it’s the fact that I would marry Samwise Gamgee tomorrow if he offered, but there’s little more that makes me feel at home than The Lord of the Rings. LotR is the ultimate movie marathon material; snuggly blankets, good food, and a nice hot cup of coffee or tea are absolutely required.

6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

I have a lot of warm fuzzies associated with the entire Harry Potter franchise, but the very first movie is probably my favorite one. Not only is it a pretty faithful adaptation, but it’s fun, mostly lighthearted, and my mom just gets so darn excited about it. She is an adorable human and also once stood in line with me for 9 hours to visit Harry Potter land on opening day, and would rather watch this movie than most other things

5.  The Greatest Showman

I knew about fifteen minutes into this movie, I was watching something that was going to be a favorite for the rest of my life. I can’t really quite describe how uplifting the music is, or how positive the message. Just…just go watch it. If you need to smile, if you need motivation to go out and live your dreams, this movie is the medicine you asked for.

4. Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

You know, most people quote The Empire Strikes Back as the perfect Star Wars movie. And it’s a superb movie, but for me, it’s always simply been the halfway point to Return of the Jedi for me. This movie has the final struggle, the ultimate redemption, the triumphant victory. This movie has all my favorite parts of a story, and I’ll always been willing to watch it again, and again, and again.

3. Captain America: The FIrst Avenger

I really struggled with not putting this movie at #1, and to be honest, the last three are really a three-way tie. I have lost track of the number of times I’ve watched it, either on my own or synced up over Skype as a way to spend time with my besties in Chicago and Georgia. This movie is like a textbook example of all the things I love: a hero who is determined to do good, the beautiful and slightly terrifying woman he loves, and the brother he’d do anything for. As long as I stop it about 15 minutes before it ends, it’s the perfect movie.

2. It’s A Wonderful Life (and the entire collected filmography of James Stewart, actual best actor who ever lived)

You may have picked up, by now, that a lot of my favorite movies are movies I saw with my mom. It’s A Wonderful Life is my mom’s favorite movie. We watch it every year on Christmas, sure – but we have also been known to partake when the Georgia summer sun was blazing overhead. One of the most brilliant, hopeful works from one of the world’s best actors, this movie never fails to make me cry – even after dozens of viewings, I still sniffle every time Clarence gets his wings.(Other runners up for this spot also include Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Rear Window.) 

1. The Princess Bride


Whenever people ask what my favorite movie is, I always say The Princess Bride. 

I was lucky enough to see it in theaters for the 30th anniversary (TPB came out the same year I did!) and even better, I got to see it with my dad. It must’ve been the millionth time I’d seen the movie, and yet, I still felt the sting of happy tears as the title card came up on the screen. I don’t think I can really explain how happy this movie makes me.

This is one of the only cases where you will hear me using a comparative word like best. (For other examples of this phenomenon, see James Stewart.) I usually find comparisons like good, better, best to be pointless; everyone has a different point of view and there’s no reason to argue about what’s the best when no one sees anything the same.

But The Princess Bride is objectively beautiful. It’s like the antibiotics of heartbreak, with a hopeful view of the world that’s good for what ails you and humor the likes of which is scarce here in 2018. The number of times it’s turned a bummer day into a happy one for me is unimaginable, and this is a rare case while I’ll absolutely argue that it is The Best Movie.

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