#10 Greatest Movie of All Time

Here we are–with #10 of our Top 10 Movies of All Time countdown! If you missed last week’s braintrust introduction and honorable mentions, here they are. We come with different tastes in movies and I’m sure it’ll show to some degree. We’re very excited to kick off this countdown. We love collaborative projects where people can showcase what they love and reveal what it means to them. Enough talking…now introducing, the #10 picks!

Kai – “500 Days of Summer”

500 Days of Summer stands out on my list, being the only romantic comedy. I’m not a huge romcom fan (other than Knocked Up), but I really love this movie. It tells us from the very beginning that “there will be no happy ending”. Zoey Deschanel is her best manic pixie self, one of the few films that her character feels like a real person and not a cardboard cutout love interest. Joseph Gordon-Levitt does a fantastic job playing the emotional range of that first real love, believably going from maniacally happy to deep existential sadness.

The movie plays out non-linearly, taking time to fill in all the different shades a serious relationship has. There are bright, cheery musical numbers and drab, depressing post-break up scenes. It’s almost too bubbly, but is held together by JGL’s strong acting and willingness to dig in to the character’s pain. I also love that it’s shot almost entirely in Downtown Los Angeles (as LA and not made up as some other city), giving it a unique look. I’d recommend this movie to anyone who’s recovering from a break up. It may not make you feel better, but it’ll make you feel less alone.

Andrew – “The Five Year Engagement”

Just a great comedy about compromise and overcoming adversity.

Sophie – “Now and Then”

A coming of age tale about four girls in the summer of 1970’s exploring the bonds of friendship, first love and the inevitable pain of growing up. With a star-studded cast and amazing soundtrack, it is a must watch for any 11-year-old girls.

Po – “Spirited Away”

It’s beautiful. Loneliness gets a face (or perhaps no face), and there are many unexpected layers at work. Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki need to be experienced as much as Disney, and while this may be one of their darkest films, it’s forever worthy of a watch.

Randy – “Moonlight”

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This film is innovative – I wanted to be sure you see it. It’s the only movie released in 2016 on my list. Moonlight shows us the life of Chiron, a gay black man growing up poor in Miami and it’s structured in a unique way — 3 actors play Chiron and 3 actors play Kevin, Chiron’s friend over the years. Each character’s 3 actors are a little boy, a teenager and a grown man. This innovation would be empty without the commitment of the actors who bring depth and different colors of life to their parts. I was moved so much by the honesty of the portrayals of Chiron, and by the performance (almost just his presence) of the man who Chiron meets as a boy — Mahershala Ali’s drug dealer character who recognizes how lost this little boy is and steps up to give him some guidance, if only for a little while. The writer Tarell McCraney & director Barry Jenkins (who also wrote the screenplay) took a big risk making this picture and it paid off, big time. If you haven’t seen Moonlight, take an evening, sit down with someone you love and watch it.

Scott – “Life Aquatic”

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Most comedy movies are of a time; not Life Aquatic, that is why I have selected as my 10th favorite movie of all time. While it doesn’t have as many quotable lines as other comedies, or knee-slapping jokes, the more subtle nature proves the test of time. A cast of comedy gold; Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Jeff Goldblum, Willem Dafoe, Cate Blanchett, and many others allow the actors to play off each other for many a viewer smile. This comedy trusts the viewer to “get it” rather than it being shoved down their throats is accented by beautiful visuals and a soundtrack of Portuguese David Bowie covers.  So when you are not smiling, your eyes are soaking in the beautiful colors of the jaguar shark and fluorescent snapper.  The characters grow and change allowing a heart-wrenching ending to accent the comedy,  the proverbial sweet with the sour, that make each other better.

Hungry – “The Last of the Mohicans”

I’m a sucker for tragic heroes and epic original soundtracks. This movie captures both of those perfectly, and fuses them into a single scene at the end of the movie with the song “Promentory” playing. This song has become a staple on any music player that I’ve had over the years as it gives me the power to push through in any situation. 

Now, add the fact that this film is set in the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York, which hosts my favorite vacation retreat in the world, and you have my perfect monster. Since I was really introduced to this movie later (Jr year of high school) than others on the list, it only falls at number 10.

It’s amazing how it’s such a simple tale that could have very well happened in 1757, yet it’s told in such a captivating way with the masterful performance of Daniel Day Lewis. When Chinachgook fights Magua at the end… you can’t beat that feeling.

Fit – “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”

A side-splitting, knee-slapping, roaring-laughing satire of a movie, I couldn’t not put the Holy Grail on my list. It makes fun of the serious epic journeys you may see in other movies, books, and stories. It pokes fun at British chivalry and monarchy, French uppitiness, and heroic deeds. It takes the tale of King Arthur and spins it into a comical mess of a quest. There are so many stand-out moments and quotable lines that bring silliness to what would otherwise be a looming quest of doom. Monty Python, with their impeccable timing, spot-on writing, and delivering of lines, make this movie what it is.

This movie laid serious groundwork for my sense of humor today. I can still be found quoting it and one time, I even cut up a coconut in half to knock them together like they do in the movie. This movie doesn’t fade with time and it’s easy to re-watch over and over again. If you’re ever feeling down, watch this movie and I dare you not to laugh. It’s especially enjoyable with other loved ones and hear the decibel of laughter rise. 

Are any of these on your top ten list? What would be your #10? Tell us in the comments below! Look out for next week’s #9 coming to you next Sunday, can’t wait to see what everyone has! And as always, stay hungry and fit!

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