Top 100 Movies of All Time

My 100 favorite movies – not necessarily ones I would pick as the “best” of all time. This was precipitated by a group vote on the Blu-ray.com Forum – results were posted on Oct. 29, 2017. I have underlined the titles that made the top 100 on Blu-ray.com and placed a mark at the end of the entries in superscript.e.g. 50. Four from my list made the top ten, marked in green. 50 runner-up results have also been posted on the forum. The discussion thread was a great online community experience.

This list is also available on Letterboxd.

(Image courtesy of Esteban2)

  1. Cloud Atlas (2012) – Connects the human experience across the entire globe in six different eras (from 1849 to 2321). The use of yellowface is a problem for some viewers, but otherwise, I consider this to be the Wachowskis’ masterpiece.(122)
  2. Rain Man (1988) – One of those movies I grew up watching repeatedly on VHS. This made autism relatable to the world with Dustin Hoffman in the titular role and Tom Cruise as his brother. This was Hans Zimmer’s first Oscar-nominated score. Directed by Barry Levinson (Good Morning, Vietnam; Sleepers; The Natural).
  3. The Princess Bride (1987) – Written by William Goldman and adapted from his hilarious and bizarre book. Rob Reiner made it even more popular on the big screen. Every element of this film is fantastic – it remains my family’s favorite.100
  4. Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980) – The second film in George Lucas’s epic, this one directed by Irvin Kershner. It’s hard to pick a favorite in the Star Wars saga, but I’ll go with this, the fan favorite. Look for the “Despecialized Edition.”1
  5. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) – Stanley Kubrick’s outer space special effects still hold up. Check out the 1996 version of the soundtrack, too, with the proper versions of both Strauss’s (unrelated) Also Sprach Zarathustra and The Blue Danube.12
  6. Rocky IV (1985) – At the top of my guilty pleasure list, this was the most financially successful entry in Sylvester Stallone’s series. Features Dolph Lundgren as Ivan Drago, the steroid-pumping, undefeated Soviet boxer.
  7. There Will Be Blood (2007) – Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, starring Daniel Day-Lewis, music by Jonny Greenwood (of Radiohead). Need I say more?17
  8. A Trip to the Moon (1902) – The most well known movie from the innovative French film-maker Georges Méliès. There is no official score for the film, but I recommend the version recorded by Air in the 2011 restored release.
  9. Alien (1979) – Ridley Scott makes consistently top-knotch films, like Thelma & Louise, Gladiator, and Blade Runner to name a few, but none match the frightening saga of Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) vs. the H.R. Giger-designed alien world.5
  10. The Babadook (2014) – All the pieces fit together to make this creepy children’s book character come to life. From Australian first-time director, Jennifer Kent.

Read more Top 100 Movies of All Time

Best Albums of 2014

My third annual list. This is mostly personal preference, but with an ear to recommend both popular and obscure (mostly alt-rock and electronic) albums to other music lovers. On this list, albums get either a 1 (best) or 2 (rest); within those two groups, most have equal ground. This may seem like a boring list with no explanations, but pick one of your favorite genres and zero in on just one album. Let loose and enjoy your SELF!

best-albums-2014 Read more Best Albums of 2014

A few album ratings – Spring 2014

********* 9
The War on Drugs – Lost in the Dream (March 2014, neo-psychedelia)

********* 9
Rosanne Cash – The River & the Thread (January 2014, Americana)

********* 9
Nils Frahm – Spaces (November 2013, ambient)

********* 9
Bonobo – LateNightTales (November 2013, electric)

********* 9
Warren Haynes – Live at Bonnaroo [June 15, 2003] (June 2004, acoustic rock)

********* 9
Dada – American Highway Flower (September 1994, alt rock)

******** 8
Tycho – Awake (March 2014, ambient pop)

******** 8
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals – The Lion the Beast and the Beat (June 2012, rock)

******** 8
Ali Farka Touré & Toumani Diabaté – Ali and Toumani (February 2010, Mande folk/Songhai)

******* 7
Beacon – The Way We Separate (April 2013, indietronica)

******* 7
Katharina Franck – Zeitlupenkino (2002, singer/songwriter)
Read more A few album ratings – Spring 2014

Favorite films seen in 2013

Gravity, Philomena, Metropolis, A Room With a View…. These are a few films and TV shows from my list of 2013 films (released in Louisville) or the list of older films that I had never seen before (14 of which are streaming on Netflix). Last year, I summarized my IMDb films of 2012. This year, in October, I created my own custom spreadsheet of movies.

Films I've seen, released in 2013

TitleTypeMyAvg.#Ratings
42Feat.107.640140
47 RoninFeat.86.620906
A Good Day to Die HardFeat.85.4117907
American Hustle *Feat.87.784115
Amour *Feat.107.848394
Bettie Page Reveals AllDocu.87124
Birdemic 2: The ResurrectionFeat.42.4733
Blue Is the Warmest Color *Feat.98.119519
Blue Jasmine *Feat.77.545292
Charles Bradley: Soul of AmericaFeat.107.6260
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (S2)Series88.3840
¡Cuatro!Docu.88.855
Craig Ferguson: I'm Here to HelpFeat.87.1163
Drinking BuddiesFeat.86.222027
ElysiumFeat.76.7172790
EpicFeat.76.748706
Frances Ha *Feat.97.616883
Fruitvale StationFeat.97.619434
Gravity *Feat.108.3252724
History of the Eagles Part OneDocu.97.8485
Louis C.K.: Oh My God TV Special78.2002284
Much Ado About NothingFeat.77.48153
MudFeat.77.560915
Only God ForgivesFeat.85.849964
Oz the Great and PowerfulFeat.86.5130601
Phil Spector TV Movie86.33016
Philomena *Feat.107.98090
Picasso Baby: A Performance Art FilmDocu.97.740
Prisoners Feat.78.1147084
QuartetFeat.96.89748
Red Bull Stratos - Mission to the Edge of SpaceDocu.8n/an/a
Room 237Docu.76.49200
Secret Project RevolutionShort98.344
Side by SideDocu.97.77346
Star Trek Into DarknessFeat.97.9253676
The ConjuringFeat.107.6151753
The Grandmaster Feat.76.613019
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Feat.88.2199498
The Hunt *Feat.98.365737
The Impossible *Feat.97.6100341
The Last Ice MerchantDoc. Short87.525
The Place Beyond the PinesFeat.87.4115809
This Is the EndFeat.96.9172296
Top of the Lake *Series97.67068
TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay Away from KeyboardDocu.97.78516
Upstream ColorFeat.76.9010284
We're the MillersFeat.87.1150504
Whatever This Is.Series88.625
World War ZFeat.97.1261490
Zero Dark Thirty *Feat.87.5153985
Films released in the Louisville area in 2013 that I've seen. IMDb ratings ("Avg." column) based on Jan. 27, 2014 numbers. * Nominated for Golden Globe
Nominated for Academy Award
Nominated for Emmy Award

Films I’ve seen, pre-2013 release

Of the older films I’ve seen this year, here are the highlights. I’ve notated the ones that are streaming (at time of publication) on Netflix. I was motivated to watch a lot of these after reviewing the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, particularly if they passed the Bechdel Test.

  • 49 Up (2005, docu., Netflix)
  • A Room with a View (1985, Netflix)
  • A Trip to the Moon (Watched both the original 1902 b&w version, and newly restored 2012 Blu-ray hand-colored version with Air soundtrack)
  • Amreeka (2009)
  • Blue (2012, new YouTube series)
  • Breaking the Waves (1996)
  • Carrington (1995)
  • Children of Paradise (1945)
  • Chimpanzee (2012, docu.)
  • Coldplay Live 2012 (Netflix)
  • Control Room (2004, docu., Netflix)
  • Cosmic Voyage (1996)
  • Crumb (1994, docu.)
  • Dancer in the Dark (2000)
  • Electric Shadows (2004, Netflix)
  • Enter the Void (2009, Netflix)
  • Forks Over Knives (2011, docu., Netflix)
  • Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
  • Kick-Ass (2010)
  • Leonie (2010)
  • M (1931)
  • Man With a Movie Camera (1929, docu., Netflix)
  • Metropolis (1927, purchased 2010 “complete” Blu-ray with newly found footage; also streaming Netflix)
  • Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears (1980)
  • My Brilliant Career (1979, Netflix)
  • My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
  • Night and Fog (1955, docu.)
  • Nostalgia for the Light (2010, docu.)
  • Pearl Jam Twenty (2011, docu., Netflix)
  • Porco Rosso (1992)
  • Princess Mononoke (1997)
  • Senna (2010, docu., Netflix)
  • Seven Chances (1925, Netflix)
  • The General (1926, Netflix)
  • The Holy Mountain (1973)
  • The House Is Black (1963, docu.)
  • The Killer (1989)
  • The Pixar Story (2007, docu.)