A Break from the Marvel Craze: My Favorite Movies
For those of you who aren’t huge fans of the Marvel franchise, these past few weeks have probably been absolute hell for you. All anyone seems to talk about anymore is Infinity War (2018) and how great it’s going to be and who’s going to die and blah, blah, blah.
I sympathize with you — I used to be exactly like that. I still remember having to hear all about Marvel movies when I couldn’t care less (obviously, my feelings towards the franchise have thawed).
So, for those of you who just need a break from everyone talking about Marvel, I present to you a top 10 list of movies to watch instead! In other words, here are my top 10 favorite movies!
The Help (2011)
Bringing Up Baby (1938)
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
While You Were Sleeping (1995)
#10: Hacksaw Ridge (2016)
One thing you need to know about me is that I love war movies. I haven’t enjoyed a lot of the war movies that have come out as of late (at least, compared to classics like Saving Private Ryan ), but this one pleasantly surprised me. Andrew Garfield was amazing as conscientious objector Desmond Doss who enlists in the army as a medic. The thing I appreciated the most from this movie was the lack of F bombs — not even one — though it did include a colorful list of other swear words. The primary reason for the R-rating is the violence, which I can excuse as it is a war movie. I highly recommend this movie to anyone with a love for war movies, like me.
#9: Million Dollar Baby (2004)
This is one of the very few movies that have ever made me cry (the other ones are also on this list, in case you’re wondering). First of all, this movie is directed by and starring veteran actor Clint Eastwood, so it was obviously going to be a real gritty film. And, it’s a boxing movie, and something about boxing movies always gets me; they’re just so inspirational. Hilary Swank stars as Maggie Fitzgerald, a determined young woman who works everyday to become a better boxer and impress trainer Frankie Dunn (Eastwood) enough to take her on. Despite her rough upbringing and a deadbeat mother, she overcomes it all to live her dream and become who she always wanted to be. It’s a heartwarming and heartbreaking story that always gets me.
#8: Vertigo (1958)
I am still not over this movie. I’ve seen it so many times and I still notice something new with every viewing. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Alfred Hitchcock is the Master of Suspense. Starring James Stewart and Kim Novak, the twists and turns this movie takes you through will leave you spinning by the time the credits roll. The most iconic scene of this movie — Stewart’s psychedelic dream — still leaves me feeling high every time I watch it. And it’s so strange to see Stewart playing a more psychotic, almost sinister role compared to his more family-friendly roles. If you’re feeling the need to be significantly confused and intrigued, I would suggest taking Vertigo for a spin.
#7: Gone With The Wind (1939)
Though this movie has a runtime that could give even the most lengthy attention spans a run for their money, it’s definitely worth a watch (maybe in two parts). Based on the best-selling novel by Margaret Mitchell, this movie still holds the record for highest-grossing movie (adjusted for inflation, of course). It stars some of the greatest actors and actresses of the time, including Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, and Olivia de Havilland. Though it takes a more racist view of the Civil War, it also shows the resilience of Americans and shows us that we can overcome anything life throws at us. The only downside about this movie is that Scarlett O’Hara is a real brat throughout the whole movie, but I think we can all relate to her at some points.
#6: Cinderella Man (2005)
What a surprise — I enjoy a movie with a Thomas Newman score; but this movie is so much more than that. Something that I really appreciate about it is that it’s not your typical sports story. It doesn’t focus on a name that everyone will recognize. It isn’t about some young, hotheaded athlete trying to prove himself in the sports world. Cinderella Man is inspirational to me because it’s about a man who had everything, lost it all, and then tries his hardest to regain what he lost for his family and for himself. Russell Crowe’s portrayal of Joe Braddock, the Cinderella Man, is a testament to us all that no matter how old we are, we can still achieve our dreams.
#5: Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
Nothing puts me in a better mood than watching Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, and Debbie Reynolds dance across my screen. This movie is just such a feel-good piece of cinema. It has great set design that’s full of vibrant colors. The actors are all wonderful dancers and each set is perfectly choreographed. The soundtrack always put me in a good mood and I find myself singing along more often than not. And it has some great one-liners that always make me laugh-out-loud, especially from Jean Hagen’s character, starlet Lina Lamont. Singin’ in the Rain is my go-to movie when I’m sick, in a bad mood, or just want to watch a well-made film.
#4: The Green Mile (1999)
This is another one of the few movies to ever make me cry, and for good reason. I love Tom Hanks and Thomas Newman scores, so I knew I was already going to love this film. But I wasn’t prepared for the emotional rollercoaster I would go on. From the very first moment we meet John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan), we feel a strange pull toward him and we begin to suspect that he is more than he appears to be. And then when we get to know him, we love him even more. It’s this connection that eventually ends up being our demise as we find ourselves crying into our popcorn. The Green Mile is a darkish Stephen King adaptation that will rip your heart out and stomp on it.
#3: The Fugitive (1993)
Something you’ve probably figured out about me (especially if you’ve read some of my other articles), if a movie has a good score, I most likely will adore it. I know, that was really surprising for you to read. The Fugitive is no exception — the score is so mysterious yet mournful that it magnifies the mood of the film tenfold. There’s really nothing not to love about this movie. Tommy Lee Jones as the U.S. Marshal and Harrison Ford as Dr. Richard Kimble, the fugitive, are both very convincing in their roles. The banter between the officers is also pretty funny to listen to. It’s suspenseful, thrilling, and an overall great watch for a movie night. The only thing I do not appreciate about this movie is the fact that for the first twenty minutes of the movie Harrison Ford has a beard that makes him look like my high school English teacher.
(cough Harrison Ford lookin’ good cough)
#2: The Sound of Music (1965)
Fun fact: despite not being Catholic, I was born in a Catholic hospital; my mother likes to tell me that that’s the reason why I love The Sound of Music and the singing nuns so much. Yes, I do love some good nun humor, but this movie is so much more than that. Julie Andrews is so lovable and makes the whole movie a delightfully fun experience. The child actors aren’t too annoying (like the child actor in The Jungle Book ) and they actually sing quite well (yes, I know their voices were enhanced). And the music always takes me back to simpler times living in Austria in the 1930s. Okay, so I wasn’t alive back then and I’ve never been out of the country, but the music just makes me nostalgic. And classic songs like “Edelweiss” will always bring a tear to my eye.
#1: Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
I have a soft spot for Cary Grant. I don’t know exactly what it is: his voice, his looks, his humor. Whatever it is, I absolutely love him in this movie. Not only is his hammy acting hilarious, his costars Josephine Hull and Jean Adair play such laughably innocent old ladies that I just giggle through the whole movie. This is what I watch every Halloween instead of horror movies because it has just enough of a scare factor to be spooky but it’s funny enough that you won’t be clutching your stuffed bunny through the night either. All of the kooky antics and rapid quips will transport you back to the Golden Age of Hollywood when you didn’t have to rely on vulgarity to be funny.
Thanks for reading! What are your thoughts on my top 10 movies? What are your favorite movies? Comment down below!
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