The Best Movies of All Time

(In my rarely-if-ever-humble opinion)

Not too long ago, in a galaxy not too far away, I started creating a list of movies. Movies that everybody loved. Movies that got the critics and box offices gushing and begging for more. What made this list so special?

It was that I actively despised every single movie on the list.

Then, I decided to make a new list. This one was more daunting. This was a list of every single movie I’d ever seen in my life. You read that correctly. Every. Single. Movie.

Why, you ask?

Well, I figured sharing a list of every movie I’ve ever hated would just be putting out negative energy into the universe. SO, I decided to create a list of every movie that I LOVED in order to share with the world. After all, what good is Art if you can’t share it with any one?

After doing some serious digging, I calculated that I’ve seen in my whole life, start to finish, somewhere in the ballpark of 700 movies.

Now, whether that number seems large or small to you, the point is-I certainly have not enjoyed 700 movies. Only a fraction of that number have made an impact on my life and made my tiny world just a bit brighter.

Alright, enough prologue. Sit back, relax, and please, silence all cellular devices for the duration of this article. Enjoy!

Favorite Overall: School of Rock

The cast of School of Rock, starring Jack Black.

Probably haven’t seen any movie more times than this one. Never gets old, never fails to put a smile on my face. If you haven’t seen this one…it’s been almost 20 years, you really have no excuse!

Best Overall: Defiance

Daniel Craig and Liev Schrieber in Defiance.
Daniel Craig and Liev Schrieber in Defiance.

What is the difference between “Favorite” and “Best”? I can recognize that my personal favorite may not truly be the most well-made film. Just like I can recognize that Dwyane Wade is my favorite basketball player of all time, even if LeBron James is the better player overall. That being said, Defiance doesn’t just make me proud to be a Jew-it makes me proud to be a Human Being. And at the end of the day, why create Art if not to remind us what it means to be Human?

Best Comedy: Dodgeball

The cast of Dodgeball celebrating a remarkable comeback victory!
The cast of Dodgeball celebrating a remarkable comeback victory!

Quotable. Jaw-dropping. Laugh-out-loud funny. Feel-good. Everything a comedy should be.

Best Rom-Com: Love Actually

The cast of Love Actually.
The cast of Love Actually.

One of those movies where every scene is a must-watch. Showing the many different, beautiful shapes and sizes of Love!

Most Laughs-per-Minute in a Comedy: Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

Some of the cast of Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
Some of the cast of Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

Granted: I had been a big Andy Samberg/Lonely Island fan for years before watching this movie, and I did watch it in a full movie theatre sitting next to 10 or so of my closest bros. So, it would’ve been fair to assume that I laughed so much at this movie (literally so much that my stomach hurt afterwards because I really hadn’t stopped laughing for it’s entire hour an a half run time), because I was just prone to have a really good time that night. But that just isn’t so-as I’ve rewatched it and listened to the album a few times since, and it’s still just as brilliantly funny as the first time.

Best Comedy Sequel: Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

Austin Powers, Dr. Evil, and Felicity Shagwell
Austin Powers, Dr. Evil, and Felicity Shagwell

The entire Austin Powers Trilogy may all be the same movie recycled over and over. But it really is the perfect example of not fixing it if it ain’t broke!

Best Dramedy: The Wolf of Wall Street

Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street.
Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street.

Ah, “Dramedy”. That lovely word for when a movie isn’t just one type of movie. The “Spork” of the movie genres. Anyway, this movie puts gratuitousness to beautiful use, and is one of the few times I actually found that nudity enhanced the film (rather than just providing a distraction for the teenage boys in the audience like 99% of films with unnecessary nudity). It’s also fair to say this is the Best “Long” Movie, making every shot enjoyable in it’s 3-hour entirety.

Best Drama: Forrest Gump

Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump.
Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump.

I’ll tell you what you’re gonna get with this box of chocolates: a once-in-a-generation movie, helping solidify Tom Hanks as one of the greatest actors of all time!

Best Overall Sequel: The Godfather Part II

Al Pacino and John Cazale in The Godfather Part II
Al Pacino and John Cazale in The Godfather Part II

When it’s hard to decide whether the first movie is better than it’s sequel, you know you’ve got something special. Al Pacino is great at making bad scripts seem better, so give him a terrific script like this one and you’ve got the makings of a truly exceptional film!

Best Action: 1917

George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman in the trenches in 1917.
George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman in the trenches in 1917.

Not many movies have knocked me away the way this movie did. A true masterpiece, and also the Best Atmospheric Film (when Schofield was in the icy river-I actually felt cold in the movie theater!)

Best Psychological Thriller: The Silence of the Lambs

Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs.
Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs.

Ah, Psychological Thriller. What Dramedy is to Comedy and Drama, I find Psych Thriller is to Drama and Horror. Too scary to just be a Drama, but too story-driven to just be labeled a Horror. And too good of a film to not make this list!

Best Horror: The Shining

Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall and Danny Lloyd in The Shining.
Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall and Danny Lloyd in The Shining.

I actually have not seen too many horror movies. Sure, I’ve seen a lot of movies with scary parts in them, but not so many where the primary goal was to Scare. Watching this movie alone in my house in the afternoon was an interesting experience, because while I wasn’t too scared at the time-it was the kind of creeps your mind and body give you later on that night when you really sit and think about what you saw! Also the Best Atmospheric Horror film (boy do you feel like you are IN THERE with them!), and the Best Overall Sound Design for a film.

Favorite Comic Book Movie: Deadpool

Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson in Deadpool.
Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson in Deadpool.

This movie didn’t need to be as good as it is. But the action, pacing, script, and casting (Ryan Reynolds is perfect as Wade Wilson) make this movie stand out among its Comic Book Movie siblings.

Best Comic Book Movie: The Dark Knight

Heath Ledger as The Joker in The Dark Knight.
Heath Ledger as The Joker in The Dark Knight.

Heath Ledger. ‘Nough said. But also the Best Opening Scene in a movie, and an overall film that truly captures the grit and darkness of the Caped Crusader.

Best non-teamup Marvel: Black Panther

Michael B. Jordan and the late Chadwick Boseman in The Black Panther.
Michael B. Jordan and the late Chadwick Boseman in The Black Panther.

(By “non-teamup” I mean a Marvel film featuring only 1 main Hero).

I’m not a huge fan of the MCU, and I find that most of the films blend together in my mind. But not this one. Wakanda Forever!

Most re-watchable Overall: Avengers: Infinity War

The (exceptionally large) ensemble of Avengers: Infinity War.
The (exceptionally large) ensemble of Avengers: Infinity War.

When this one first came out, I remember my friends telling me they had seen it 3 or 4 times in the movie theater. And I thought, “I’ve seen some great movies, but not too many that I saw 3 or 4 times in its first month”. Then I saw the movie, and I understood why people kept coming back. While certainly not the Best Movie Overall by a long shot (with some gaping plot holes that simply cannot be ignored), it is the Best-Paced movie I have ever seen, rarely giving the viewer time to get bored.

Best Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Darth Vader standing ominously in The Empire Strikes Back.
Darth Vader standing ominously in The Empire Strikes Back.

Star Wars, like Shakespeare, is really its own genre. But Star Wars is a bit funky. For the most successful movie franchise of all time, it really only has 2 movies that are fairly universal in how well they are received by audiences and critics alike. While each one has a special place in my heart, really none compare to Empire in terms of its maturity and gravity (pun intended). This picture of the Dark Lord of the Sith is still one of my favorite shots not just in the Star Wars canon, but in all of cinema.

Favorite Movie Musical: Rent

The cast of Rent.
The cast of Rent.

This movie gets a lot of flack. And I genuinely do not understand why. Not only is this a beautiful adaptation of the stage musical; it is simply a beautiful movie. And, dare I say it, I would take the movie over the stage musical ANY day.

Best Movie Musical: West Side Story

The Jets and the Sharks in the famous high school dance sequence from West Side Story.
The Jets and the Sharks in the famous high school dance sequence from West Side Story.

At the risk of having too many basketball metaphors in one movie article, West Side Story is the “Michael Jordan” of musicals: It may not be your personal Favorite, but you have to recognize that it is the Best.

Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy: Donnie Darko

Jake Gyllenhaal as the title character in Donnie Darko.
Jake Gyllenhaal as the title character in Donnie Darko.

I am usually not a big fan of anything remotely “weird”. And yet, this movie is so weird. And so good. I can’t explain it. That’s how weird it is.

Best Live-Action Prequel: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

The cast of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
The cast of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

A thoroughly flawed movie, but pretty fair to say it’s the best Star Wars film to come out in the last 6 years. And that’s largely due to the weight it gives the original trilogy. This movie isn’t just telling a story for the sake of selling tickets. It’s telling a story to enhance it’s predecessor and finally put to rest that nagging plot hole in the original Star Wars film.

Most Faithful Adaptation: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”

Not necessarily the best-quality adaptation of another work, and it certainly makes a few changes from the novel that I wasn’t a fan of. But the casting, acting, scenery, and score all bring Stieg Larsson’s stellar novel to life in just two and a half hours (no small feat given how complex and detailed the 644-page book is), and truly “pick up” what Larsson was “putting down.”

Best Foreign Film: Life is Beautiful

The family in “Life is Beautiful”.
The family in “Life is Beautiful”.

Roberto Benigni’s Italian masterpiece looks at the nightmare of the Holocaust through the most unique lens I’ve ever seen. With its haunting, beautiful story and score, this film is a must-see that transcends both language and nationality barriers.

Best Overall Animated: The Prince of Egypt

Moses and Ramses racing in The Prince of Egypt.
Moses and Ramses racing in The Prince of Egypt.

Make no mistake: Just because this movie isn’t listed near the “top” of this article does not mean it isn’t arguably the greatest movie ever made (animated or otherwise). 10/10. 100/100. A perfect movie, and one every other movie should strive to be.

Best Animated Comedy: The Emperor’s New Groove

Kronk with his shoulder Angel and Devil in The Emperor’s New Groove.
Kronk with his shoulder Angel and Devil in The Emperor’s New Groove.

Arguably the most quotable movie of all time, filled to the brim with brilliant zingers and creative scenarios. Real out-of-the-box, and really special to watch.

Favorite Animated Disney 2D: Mulan

Mulan, bringing honor to us all!
Mulan, bringing honor to us all!

This movie is such a treat. Great songs, animation, story, characters. You name it, this movie has got it!

Best Animated Disney 2D: Beauty and the Beast

Belle trying to avoid Gaston’s advances in Beauty and the Beast.
Belle trying to avoid Gaston’s advances in Beauty and the Beast.

I never want to see this movie again. I’ve seen it a thousand times, seen the remake, seen the Disney World live-action show, seen the stage musical a hundred times, been in the musical once or twice, seen individual numbers performed. But there’s a reason this piece is so frequently-produced: it’s hard to match in terms of quality!

Favorite Animated 3D Series: Shrek

Shrek and Donkey in shock at what they’ve just seen.
Shrek and Donkey in shock at what they’ve just seen.

Not the only Mike Myers-led series on this list, and for good reason. A terrific blend of adult and family-friendly humor, allowing it to only get riper with age.

Best Animated 3D Series: Toy Story

Woody laughing at Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story.
Woody laughing at Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story.

Is this a series I ever really need to see again? Probably not. But is it revolutionary in its storytelling? Undoubtably.

Best Animated Prequel: Monsters University

The ensemble of Monsters University.
The ensemble of Monsters University.

Almost as good as the original. And we all know how good the original is.

Best Overall Animated Comic Book: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Peter Parker and Miles Morales in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Peter Parker and Miles Morales in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

A truly extraordinary film that redefines storytelling in ways that future animators would be wise to study like a textbook!

Best Animated Comic Book Comedy: Teen Titans Go! To the Movies

The Teen Titans in Teen Titans Go to the Movies!
The Teen Titans in Teen Titans Go to the Movies!

If you loved the original Teen Titans show, then you’ll equally love Teen Titans Go! It’s a parody of the original show…made by the original production team. So they’re literally making fun of themselves. And the movie is no different.

The Rest of the Pack

These beauties may not be the best in any specific way within their given genres, but they are still some of the best movies of all time (in not too particular of an order):

Comedy:

1. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

2. Austin Powers in Goldmember

3. Superbad

4. Wayne’s World

5. Wayne’s World 2

6. Ted

7. Ted 2

8. 17 Again

9. This is the End

10. Blazing Saddles

11. The Big Sick

12. Tommy Boy

13. Joe Dirt

14. Kindergarten Cop

15. The Sitter

16. Young Frankenstein

17. Spacejam

18. Grandma’s Boy

19. Legally Blonde

20. Get Hard

21. Kicking and Screaming

22. Daddy’s Home

23. Coming to America

24. Zoolander

25. She’s the Man

26. The Odd Couple

27. Bruce Almighty

28. 21 Jump Street

29. 22 Jump Street

30. Neighbors

31. Knocked Up

32. The 40-Year-Old Virgin

33. The Game Plan

34. Accepted

35. Daddy Day Care

36. Due Date

37. Music and Lyrics

38. Mean Girls

39. Old School

40. 50/50

41. Shallow Hal

42. I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry

43. John Tucker Must Die

44. Hitch

45. The Holiday

46. Death Becomes Her

47. The Producers (1967)

48. Meet the Parents

49. Billy Madison

50. Happy Gilmore

51. Rebound

52. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure

53. Between Two Ferns: The Movie

Dramedy/Other:

1. Entourage- The Movie

2. The Lizzie McGuire Movie

3 The Princess Diaries

4. The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement

5. Hocus Pocus

6. Ocean’s Eleven

7. Like Mike

8. Adventureland

Drama:

1. The Shawshank Redemption

2. The Godfather

3. Cast Away

4. Just Mercy

5. The Revenant

6. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape

7. Thelma and Louise

8. Can’t Buy Me Love

9. A Bronx Tale

10. The King of Comedy

11. District 9

12. Goodfellas

13. Stand by Me

14. 12 Angry Men

15. Kramer vs. Kramer

16. The Pursuit of Happyness

17. El Camino

18. The Truman Show

19. And the Band Played On

20. Dallas Buyers Club

21. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

22. The Basketball Diaries

23. Brothers

24. 8 Mile

25. Murder on the Orient Express

26. Good Will Hunting

27. The Green Mile

28. To Sir, With Love

29. (500) Days of Summer

Action:

1. Scarface

2. Troy

3. The Terminator

4. Terminator 2: Judgement Day

5. Rise of the Planet of the Apes

6. Planet of the Apes

7. A Quiet Place

8. A Quiet Place Part II

9. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

10. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

11. Zombieland

12. Die Hard

13. The Matrix

14. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Arc

15. Elysium

16. Independence Day

Horror/Psychological Thriller:

  1. Psycho
  2. The Sixth Sense

Comic Book Movie:

1. X-Men: Days of Future Past

2. X-Men: First Class

3. Sky High

4. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

5. Batman Begins

6. The Dark Knight Rises

7. Deadpool 2

8. Spider-Man

9. Spider-Man 2

10. Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker

11. Ant-Man

12. Ant-Man and the Wasp

13. The Incredible Hulk

Movie Musical:

1. Fiddler on the Roof

2. The Sound of Music

3. Enchanted

4. Little Shop of Horrors

5. Mary Poppins

6. Singin’ in the Rain

7. Rocketman

8. Hairspray

9. Dreamgirls

10. Mamma Mia!

11. Grease

12. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

13. High School Musical

14. High School Musical 2

15. Annie

16. The Producers (2005)

2D Animated:

1. Tarzan

2. Aladdin

3. Pocahontas

4. An Extremely Goofy Movie

5. The Iron Giant

6. Rugrats in Paris: The Movie

7. Joseph King of Dreams

8. A Goofy Movie

9. The Road to El Dorado

10. The Simpsons Movie

11. Hercules

12. One Small Step

13. Pangu

3D Animated:

  1. Monsters Inc.
  2. The Incredibles
  3. The Incredibles 2
  4. Inside Out
  5. Bee Movie
  6. Finding Nemo
  7. Kung Fu Panda
  8. Kung Fu Panda 2
  9. The Croods
  10. Shark Tale
  11. Wreck-It Ralph
  12. Ralph Breaks the Internet

Datz all folks!

What are you thoughts? What did I miss? What did I get just right? Let me know! And if you liked this, check out my “Best Plays/Playwrights of All Time” list!

And for more things Datz, check out eddiedatz.com!

Note: This is an ongoing list that will continue to be edited as I see more movies and find new favorites!

Actor. Comedian. Writer. Director. For all things Datz, check out eddiedatz.com