My Favourite Movies

A list of films which I recommend to all readers. I hope I can help, in my own unwelcome way, those wishing to find something obscure and outre for an afternoon of streaming, or for a browse through DVD titles on sale. Check out these works from what I consider my own private (and ever growing) canon of cinema, let me know what you think of each, and, most importantly, let me know what I’ve left off and should add right away. There are many great short films that I have not included; the list only shows feature-length works.

12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen, 2013)

The 15:17 to Paris (Clint Eastwood, 2018)

The 40-Year-Old Virgin (Judd Apatow, 2005)

The 400 Blows (François Truffaut, 1959)

Ad Astra (James Gray, 2019)

All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950)

All That Heaven Allows (Douglas Sirk, 1955)

American Sniper (Clint Eastwood, 2015)

Annie Hall (Woody Allen, 1977)

Another Woman (Woody Allen, 1988)

The Apartment (Billy Wilder, 1960)

The Aviator (Martin Scorsese, 2004)

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Joel Cohen, Ethan Cohen, 2018)

Batman Returns (Tim Burton, 1992)

Beach Rats (Eliza Hittman, 2017)

Behind the Candelabra (Steven Soderbergh, 2013)

Bernie (Richard Linklater, 2012)

The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock, 1963)

The Birth of a Nation (D.W. Griffith, 1915)

Bitter Victory (Nicholas Ray, 1957)

Black Girl (Ousmane Sembène, 1966)

Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky, 2010)

BlacKkKlansman (Spike Lee, 2018)

The Bling Ring (Sofia Coppola, 2013)

Bonjour Tristesse (Otto Preminger, 1958)

The Break-Up (Peyton Reed, 2006)

Breathless (Jean-Luc Godard, 1960)

Bridesmaids (Paul Feig, 2011)

Bright Star (Jane Campion, 2009)

Bringing Up Baby (Howard Hawks, 1938)

By the Sea (Angelina Jolie, 2015)

Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Marielle Heller, 2018)

Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015)

Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942)

Casino (Martin Scorsese, 1995)

Cassandra’s Dream (Woody Allen, 2008)

Catfish (Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman, 2010)

Changeling (Clint Eastwood, 2008)

Chimes at Midnight (Orson Welles, 1965)

Chi-raq (Spike Lee, 2015)

The Circus (Charlie Chaplin, 1928)

Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941)

City Girl (F.W. Murnau, 1930)

Cleopatra (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1963)

Contagion (Steven Soderbergh, 2011)

A Countess from Hong Kong (Charlie Chaplin, 1967)

Creed (Ryan Coogler, 2015)

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (David Fincher, 2008)

Da Sweet Blood of Jesus (Spike Lee, 2014)

Daisy Kenyon (Otto Preminger, 1947)

Damsels in Distress (Whit Stillman, 2011)

The Darjeeling Limited (Wes Anderson, 2007)

Days of Heaven (Terrence Malick, 1978)

Distant Voices, Still Lives (Terence Davies, 1988)

Don Verdean (Jared Hess, 2015)

Down With Love (Peyton Reed, 2003)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004)

Everybody Wants Some!! (Richard Linklater, 2016)

Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick, 1999)

Fantastic Mr Fox (Wes Anderson, 2009)

Flags of Our Fathers (Clint Eastwood, 2006)

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (Nicholas Stoller, 2008)

Forty Guns (Samuel Fuller, 1957)

The Fugitive (John Ford, 1947)

Gentlemen Broncos (Jared Hess, 2009)

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Howard Hawks, 1953)

Get Him to the Greek (Nicholas Stoller, 2010)

Get Out (Jordan Peele, 2017)

The Ghost and Mrs Muir (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1947)

A Ghost Story (David Lowery, 2017)

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (David Fincher, 2011)

The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)

The Gold Rush (Charlie Chaplin, 1925)

Gone Girl (David Fincher, 2014)

GoodFellas (Martin Scorsese, 1990)

Good Time (Josh Safdie, Benny Safdie, 2017)

Gosford Park (Robert Altman, 2001)

Gran Torino (Clint Eastwood, 2008)

The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)

The Great Dictator (Charlie Chaplin, 1940)

Guys and Dolls (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1955)

Hail, Caesar! (Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, 2016)

Hannah and Her Sisters (Woody Allen, 1986)

Haywire (Steven Soderbergh, 2011)

The Heartbreak Kid (Elaine May, 1972)

High Flying Bird (Steven Soderbergh, 2019)

The Honey Pot (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1967)

Husbands and Wives (Woody Allen, 1992)

If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins, 2018)

Imitation of Life (Douglas Sirk, 1959)

The Immigrant (James Gray, 2014)

Irma La Douce (Billy Wilder, 1963)

Irrational Man (Woody Allen, 2015)

Isle of Dogs (Wes Anderson, 2018)

Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Chantal Akerman, 1975)

Joy (David O. Russell, 2015)

The Kid (Charlie Chaplin, 1921)

Kill Bill: Volume 1 (Quentin Tarantino, 2003)

Kill Bill: Volume 2 (Quentin Tarantino, 2004)

A King in New York (Charlie Chaplin, 1957)

Knight of Cups (Terrence Malick, 2016)

Knocked Up (Judd Apatow, 2007)

Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

The Lady from Shanghai (Orson Welles, 1947)

The Last Days of Disco (Whit Stillman, 1998)

The Last Temptation of Christ (Martin Scorsese, 1988)

A Letter to Three Wives (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1949)

Letters from Iwo Jima (Clint Eastwood, 2006)

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (Wes Anderson, 2004)

Limelight (Charlie Chaplin, 1952)

Little Sister (Zack Clark, 2016)

Logan Lucky (Steven Soderbergh, 2017)

The Long Day Closes (Terence Davies, 1992)

The Lost City of Z (James Gray, 2017)

Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola, 2003)

Love & Friendship (Whit Stillman, 2016)

Macbeth (Orson Welles, 1948)

Macbeth (Roman Polanski, 1971)

The Magic Flute (Ingmar Bergman, 1975)

Magic in the Moonlight (Woody Allen, 2014)

Manchester by the Sea (Kenneth Lonergan, 2016)

Manhattan (Woody Allen, 1979)

Margaret (Kenneth Lonergan, 2011)

Marie Antoinette (Sofia Coppola, 2006)

Marnie (Alfred Hitchcock, 1964)

Mean Streets (Martin Scorsese, 1973)

Metropolitan (Whit Stillman, 1990)

Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen, 2011)

Modern Times (Charlie Chaplin, 1936)

Moi, un noir (Jean Rouch, 1958)

Monsieur Verdoux (Charlie Chaplin, 1947)

Mooladé (Ousmane Sembène, 2004)

Moonlight (Barry Jenkins, 2016)

Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson, 2012)

Mother (Albert Brooks, 1996)

The Mule (Clint Eastwood, 2018)

My Own Private Idaho (Gus van Sant, 1991)

Nacho Libre (Jared Hess, 2006)

Napoleon Dynamite (Jared Hess, 2004)

A New Leaf (Elaine May, 1971)

New York, New York (Martin Scorsese, 1977)

Nosferatu (F.W. Murnau, 1922)

Of Time and the City (Terence Davies, 2008)

The Old Man and the Gun (David Lowery, 2018)

Othello (Orson Welles, 1951)

An Oversimplification of Her Beauty (Terence Nance, 2012)

The Perfect Catch (Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly, 2005)

Phantom Thread (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2017)

Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)

Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994)

A Quiet Passion (Terence Davies, 2016)

Raging Bull (Martin Scorsese, 1980)

Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954)

Rebel Without a Cause (Nicholas Ray, 1955)

The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson, 2001)

Rushmore (Wes Anderson, 1998)

Saint Joan (Otto Preminger, 1957)

Scott Pilgrim vs the World (Edgar Wright, 2010)

Selma (Ava duVernay, 2014)

The Seven Year Itch (Billy Wilder, 1955)

Shirkers (Sandi Tan, 2018)

Shirley (Josephine Decker, 2020)

Shutter Island (Martin Scorsese, 2010)

Silence (Martin Scorsese, 2016)

Singin’ in the Rain (Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly, 1952)

The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)

Some Like it Hot (Billy Wilder, 1959)

Song to Song (Terrence Malick, 2017)

Strangers on a Train (Alfred Hitchcock, 1951)

Strong Island (Yance Ford, 2017)

Sully (Clint Eastwood, 2016)

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (F.W. Murnau, 1927)

Sunset Song (Terence Davies, 2015)

Superbad (Greg Mottola, 2007)

Support the Girls (Andrew Bujalski, 2018)

Tartuffe (F.W. Murnau, 1926)

Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

This is 40 (Judd Apatow, 2012)

To Rome With Love (Woody Allen, 2012)

To the Wonder (Terrence Malick, 2013)

Trainwreck (Judd Apatow, 2015)

The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011)

The True Story of Jesse James (Nicholas Ray, 1957)

Uncut Gems (Josh Safdie, Benny Safdie, 2019)

Underworld (Josef von Sternberg, 1927)

Unsane (Steven Soderbergh, 2018)

Us (Jordan Peele, 2019)

Venus in Fur (Roman Polanski, 2013)

Voyage of Time (Terrence Malick, 2016)

We Have a Pope (Nanni Moretti, 2011)

While We’re Young (Noah Baumbach, 2015)

Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (Frank Tashlin, 1957)

Within Our Gates (Oscar Micheaux, 1920)

The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese, 2013)

A Woman of Paris (Charlie Chaplin, 1923)

The Women (George Cukor, 1939)

The Yards (James Gray, 2000)

Yeelen (Souleyman Cissé, 1987)

You Only Live Once (Fritz Lang, 1937)

Zodiac (David Fincher, 2007)


  1. I believe my quick scroll of your photo picks indicated that you included only one non-American film, "Rust and Bone" --a good choice. You might want to broaden your viewing. One suggestion would be "Separation," the Iranian film.

    1. Thanks for your suggestion. There are actually a few more films here that come from other countries, like "Amelie," "Bright Star," "Mr Turner," "We Have a Pope," "Waltz With Bashir," "Venus in Fur," "A Passage to India," and "Necktie Youth" (Do movies like "Bagdad Cafe," "A Bigger Splash," "Lawrence of Arabia," and "The Dreamers" count as totally non-American, or only partly?); as well as a few films made by foreign emigres working in America, like "12 Years a Slave," "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," "You Only Live Once," "Scott Pilgrim vs the World," and "River of No Return".

      I have already seen "A Separation," which I enjoyed somewhat, but was not enthusiastic enough about to include here. I definitely do want to broaden my viewing (I can't remember if I said as much in a recent blog post or if it's one I'm still working on), and what I'd particularly like to focus on is the European cinema of the 20th century (the great art-house classics that many directors today speak of being inspired by) and the cinema -- throughout their histories -- of Asia and Africa. I have only one film from each on my list ("Waltz With Bashir" and "Necktie Youth") and I'd very much like to expand that basis. I'd especially like to get to know African cinema, through all its facets, and take from it what I can to learn about my place in it and among its people. So far, the African directors I've checked out that I've heard great things about include Ousmane Sembene, Abderrahmane Sissako, Souleymane Cisse, Mahamat Saleh Haroun, Gadalla Gubara, Oumarou Ganda, Med Hondo, and Djibril Diop Mambety; do you have any further suggestions for me, as to what I can look out for? Also, I can't find any of their works in the usual places that I look (like and Google Play); I'd be happy to let everyone know where they can find these works once I've found out.

  2. Been checking out the movies suggested here... really great list... I felt lukewarm on some of them but they're all movies I don't regret watching.

    These are some that I think should've definitely made the list:
    1. The Truman Show (this above most other movies, is golden entertainment... I don't know a lot of movies that have such thought-provoking settings and yet ability to wrap things up and not ruin it with a sequel.
    2. Idiocracy (Funny, reflective, funny)

    now, here are some of the movies I like which might or might not be worth adding;
    3. Snowpiercer
    4. Law Abiding Citizen
    5. Unbroken
    6. District 9 (Neil Blomkamp)
    7. Fight Club (yes, I'm a fan of the cult film)

    and, here are some movies I've enjoyed with company:
    8. The Adjustment Bureaucracy
    9. Enemy of State
    10. Jet Li's Fearless
    11. The Best of Me

    and finally
    12. Project Almanac (This one is a seriously great movie, shoud be my favourite but Idiocracy holds that position firmly)

    1. Thanks so much for your comment! I'm very pleased to hear you're checking out some of the movies that I think are the greatest around. Thank you also for your suggestions; I'll have a look at all of these that I haven't seen yet.

      Let me know about other movies you see, or others on my list that you watch and have a particularly strong reaction to.


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