Updated: Jan 16, 2022
Ever since I was little, I've loved movies. Superhero movies, action movies, comedies, animated movies, all of the above, you name it. While the top of my list may change from time to time, there are ten or so films that always manage to reach my pantheon of classics. In this post, I will be listing each of my top ten favorites and writing up a quick explanation as to why they're up there.
10. Elf (2003)
This has always been my favorite Christmas movie, only contested by the likes of The Polar Express and Die Hard. While plenty of new Christmas movies will come along over the years that I'll love so much I need to add them into my holiday watch list and I'll love all those movies very much, in my opinion, none of them can ever hold a candle to this Will Ferrell fish-out-of-water story of family and belonging, which gives me the warm fuzzies when I re-watch it every December.
You can watch this movie a million times, and you'll still die laughing at all the jokes, stay interested in the fast moving plot and sympathize with the main character. Buddy has a great character arc in this movie, and he isn't the only one. Like Terminator 2, basically everybody has a character arc. Walter learns something about himself, Jovie learns a few things about confidence and even Michael, Papa Elf and Santa Claus all learn something by the end of this masterpiece so it is, has always and always will be in my top ten.
9. The Angry Birds Movie (2016)
Ever since I first saw this movie over 5 years ago now, I've absolutely been in love with it. Don't let anyone tell you this is a bad, stupid movie. It is by far the all time greatest video game-to-movie adaptation and one of the most underrated animated movies in history, at certain points reaching the same emotional extreme of a lot of the Pixar films and I'm about to explain why.
I think I love it so much because I really relate to Red, both his arc and personality. I have anger issues and massive eyebrows, and most of the times I feel somewhat introverted and I don't feel like I have friends I can open up to. This perfectly describes both Red and myself, so you could basically say Red is my spirit animal.
Since I relate to this character a bunch, I really love and relate to this movie. I love all the world building with Bird Island and Piggy Island, I love all the characters and voice cast as well as the epic score and I even cry at the ending when they welcome Red back into the village. I can understand exactly how that character feels at that moment and getting that feeling of long wanted acceptance makes me bawl out happy tears, so The Angry Birds Movie is definitely in my top ten.
8. The Muppets (2011)
I will stand by the argument that 2011 and 2012 were the two best years in history, and this is one of the main reasons why. The Muppets is my favorite musical, as well as my favorite installment on the Muppets franchise for a number of reasons. Not only is the soundtrack total fire with songs like Life's a Happy Song, Pictures In My Head and of course Man Or Muppet, but the story and characters make me feel so much emotion.
As a big brother, I relate to the importance of Gary and Walter's friendship so that already has me hooked, and I love all the themes it deals with of what the Muppets mean to so many people and the joy they bring to the world. After ten years now I can still crack up at Muppet man and Hobo Joe and get goosebumps when Kermit sings about his old gang or when Gary and Walter find themselves, so its always been an all time fave and always will be.
7. The LEGO Batman Movie (2017)
Everything I have with The Angry Birds Movie, I have with this movie, just on a bigger level. When I was in the third grade The LEGO Batman Movie was...well, it was my everything. Not only was it the only Batman movie I was allowed to see, but I related to it a bunch and still do now. As I mentioned earlier I'm a bit of an introvert, so I relate to Batman's arc in this movie where he learns that other people complete you. Plus he's pretty immature too and he likes angry rock music, so Will Arnett's my all time favorite Batman actor because I relate to his version of the character so much.
I really love the symbolism with Man in the Mirror and how its relevant to Batman's character arc, and I also really like how well they nail Batman and Joker's relationship. This movie perfectly gets into how the Joker and Batman are more than just arch-enemies, that they're pretty much best friends and one would be lost without the other. It also does something perfect with Batman's relationship with Alfred and Robin that had never been done in the movies before, so its easily my favorite Batman movie as well as favorite DC movie.
6. Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)
Behold, another example of 2011 kicking ass. I don't even know where to begin with why this masterpiece is up here. Lord Chen is by far the most complex and interesting villain in the Kung Fu Panda trilogy and Po's relationship with Chen is chill-worthy, and by far one of the best hero/villain relationships in animation history. Po's arc of letting the past go and moving on to the future is amazing enough as is, and even better when its relevant to the man who killed Po's family is motivated to do evil actions because of the things of the past.
I get the chills so much whenever I re-watch this and Po's mastering inner peace in the rain, or redirecting Lord Chen's fireballs to the awesome Hans Zimmer and John Powell score, and the fight scenes are so epic and kick so much butt. I also relate to Jack Black's character Po a bunch, and with his pathetic personality, hatred of stairs and love of food he's essentially my spirit animal just as much as Red is. This movie is truly a cinematic, emotional adventure, and if you haven't seen this I couldn't recommend it enough because its amazing.
5. Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)
Though over time it may trade places with The Empire Strikes Back every once in a while, The Force Awakens in my opinion has always been one of the best Star Wars movies, and for sure my favorite in the franchise. At a lot of points its a perfect example of the Hero's Journey, like when Rey refuses the call to adventure or the seizing of the sword being the literal seizing of a sword. This movie introduced a lot of new, interesting, likable characters to the Star Wars universe (Rey, Poe, Finn, Kylo Ren and BB-8 to name a few) who all have interesting back grounds with room for such potential (if their follow ups didn't make a mess).
I also love all the space battles, light saber fights and that chase scene where Finn and Rey are running from the First Order, plus all the Stormtroopers (namely TR8R) are more bad ass than the ones in the original trilogy and while I get that he's no Darth Vader, Kylo Ren is one heck of a bad ass if I've ever seen one. The fast paced, never ending fun of this movie is so fantastic and this is by far my favorite John Williams score of all time, and that's saying a lot considering that the man is a freaking musical genius. I get that as a whole the sequel trilogy may have its flaws, but on its own, The Force Awakens is a fantastic movie.
4. The LEGO Movie (2014)
While its probably inner changeable with The Force Awakens since I love both films equally, The LEGO Movie is still one of the greatest movies ever made and by far the best film in its franchise of four. First of all, Christopher Miller and Phil Lord are some of my all time favorite filmmakers, and this is the primary reason why. For starters, the animation is so insanely creative in this movie, like how it blends stop motion with CGI to tell amazing stories and show incredible visuals, which is something I remember nobody thought would work at the time before it was done.
The story and characters are amazing as well. Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Charlie Day, Morgan Freeman and countless others all did fantastic jobs playing their original characters, and as I've mentioned earlier I'm a massive fan of Will Arnett's Batman so the cast is stacked, and the characters in the movie are just fantastic. I love Emmet's character arc and seeing an ordinary guy like him save the world inspires me that I can do anything, and he teaches the beautiful message of everybody being special, by delivering this awesome quote:
"You don't have to be the bad guy. You are the most talented, most interesting, and most extraordinary person in the universe. And you are capable of amazing things. Because you are the Special. And so am I. And so is everyone. The prophecy is made up, but it's also true. It's about all of us. Right now, it's about you. And you still can change everything."
I choke up every time he says that and hugs Lord Business in unison of the little boy hugging his father, because this is one of the most important lessons I have ever learned and I value it so much. I was also blown away by that awesome plot twist where they revealed the whole premise was something entirely different than what you thought it was, so The LEGO Movie is a masterpiece on so many levels and easily in my top five.
3. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
I know, I know, I'm crazy for liking it better than the first film but I have my reasons. Not only is the soundtrack stacked with awesome songs by Cat Stevens, Electric Light Orchestra, Looking Glass and more but the cinematography, fight scenes and character arcs is the stuff of legend.
Ego is a far more interesting villain than Ronan the Accuser, not just because Kurt Russel did an awesome job filling the role but because his father-son relationship with Chris Pratt's Star-Lord was so complex, and I like the whole realization in the end that the perfect father, Yondu, was always there for him all along and c'mon, who doesn't cry at the funeral when they roll out Cat Stevens' Father and Son.
I like it better than the first film because the team's already assembled and brought together, so they're all ready to go on an awesome adventure and make new friends along the way. The thrills and action are just non-stop, the humor and amazing chemistry is consistently perfect and even though it came out over four years ago now I still can't get enough of this movie and its soundtrack, so this is for sure my favorite MCU movie and without a doubt one of my all time favorites period.
2. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
2018 was one of the greatest years in the history of superhero movies. We had Black Panther, Infinity War and Venom, but most notably, we got the greatest superhero movie of all time: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. This film is basically perfect and comes in with the silver medal for a number of reasons. The first of which, being the animation.
As I mentioned earlier, Christopher Miller and Phil Lord are geniuses and it's no surprise that the guys behind bringing LEGOs to life could play a massive part in bringing comic books to life. The animation is like a moving comic book, with half tone patterns, Kirby Krackle and comic-style action that makes the the first true comic book movie, that can succeed at putting a comic book on the screen without overwhelming the audience like Ang Lee's Hulk.
Second of all, the characters and story is relatable and delivers powerful messages. Miles Morales, Gwen Stacy and Peter B. Parker are all 3-dimensional relatable characters and Spider-Ham, Penni Parker and Spider-Man Noir all say things that make you die laughing. The way the movie teaches the audience that anyone can be a hero is something I look up to and relate to a bunch, same deal with always getting up no matter how hard you get hit and being ready to take a leap of faith. This movie's essentially one fortune cookie after another!
This also includes my all time favorite Stan Lee cameo as well, when Miles buys a Spider-Man costume from Stan and Stan says "I'm really gonna miss the old fella. He and I were close, y'know". This always chokes me up a little, because this movie came out shortly after Stan's unfortunate death so every time I've seen it I just think I miss YOU, Stan and the way they dedicated the movie to Stan Lee in the credits, with the fantastic quote "That person who helps others simply because it should or must be done, and because it is the right thing to do, is indeed a real superhero." which inspires me to this day was beautiful and did a far better job honoring Stan Lee's memory than Captain Marvel and even Avengers: Endgame did.
The soundtrack has some good songs as well, with awesome tracks like Elevate, Hide and What's Up Danger as well as the killer score from Daniel Pemberton that gives me the chills every time I hear it, so for countless reasons, Into the Spider-Verse is for sure my favorite superhero movie, and easily my second favorite movie ever made.
Now, the moment you've all been waiting for! My all time favorite movie in the history of the universe is none other than (pause for effect)...
Wreck-It Ralph (2012)
When I was four years old, this was my all time favorite movie. I used to watch it on a regular basis to the point where I knew this movie like the back of my hand. If I told you things have changed, than that would be the biggest lie ever, because I now know this movie by heart and love it 101%, and I think higher of it every time I watch it. In every way, this movie is the closest you're gonna get to a perfect, flawless masterpiece.
The concept itself is creative enough. The idea of video game characters having lives outside of the video games they're in is a very high concept, and its an even better concept once they develop the way this world of video games works and the fact that the main character of this film is a classic arcade villain who's tired of being the bad guy and wants to be the good guy. Whoever came up with the idea of making Ralph the protagonist is a genius!
The plot is so fast paced and fun that you can just follow it and get stuck in it so easily, and the four main characters with the arcs they go on are fantastic and well written. John C. Riley's character, Ralph, learns that what he thinks is his greatest weakness is actually his greatest strength when he goes on a big, life-changing journey to find the perfect job, when the perfect job was right in front of him the whole time and he learns that there is nothing wrong with being yourself.
I cry at so many points in this movie. That scene when Ralph destroys Vanellope's Go-Kart because he thinks it's the right thing to do, and she says "You really are a bad guy" breaks me every time I watch this and its one of those moments that never loses its power. I also feel so much emotion when he delivers the iconic line, "I'm bad, and that's good. I will never be good, and that's not bad. There's no one I would rather be, than me" since this is probably my favorite line in any movie ever, and I'll either be using this or that Stan Lee quote from earlier for my yearbook quote when I graduate.
All the characters and games created for this movie were well portrayed, interesting and creative, and the soundtrack with awesome songs by Owl City, Buckner & Garcia and more as well as that nice, fantastic Henry Jackman score which is very awesome. I've always related to and enjoyed this movie so much, so it is, always has been and always will be my all time favorite movie for countless reasons.
So those are my top ten favorite movies! Thank you for reading everybody and I hope you all have a good rest of your day!!