My Top 5: Movies

Because I want to have some sort of blogging consistency and many days feel like I have nothing to say, I’m going to try to start doing a top 5 list every week. My top 5 favorite somethings.

See, I have this friend from college named Lou. She was a freshman my Junior year, and in an attempt to torment entertain her and deepen our friendship, I would ask every time I saw her what her 5 favorites of anything that popped into my head were. Everything from movies to zoo animals to silly bands (meaning the awkward little rubber bands, not funny musicians.) It was entertaining.

So here are my top favorite movies.

Film has always fascinated me, and there are so many movies I love. My current obsession is every Marvel movie every made, but I’m not going to bog down this list with all of those.


5. Megamind.


This is the only animated movie on this list and one that never fails to make me happy. I just love the story of the bad guy who finds out he can be a hero.’

Favorite Quote: “Funny, I guess destiny is not the path given to us, but the path we choose for ourselves. I have to admit, being good has its perks.”


4. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close


This movie kills me. I cannot sit through it without bawling my eyes out. Why torture yourself, you ask? Because seeing Oskar struggle with his social quirks and the immense weight of losing his Father is absolutely beautiful. It speaks volumes about how tragedy is perceived through innocent eyes, about how it doesn’t always make sense, and to the importance of people’s stories. I am also very moved by Oskar’s relationship with the Renter. Overall, this is just an incredible movie (the book, of course, was better. But I was pleased with the movie version as well.) If you haven’t seen it, please do yourself a favor and watch it.

Favorite Quote: “I started with a simple problem… a key with no lock… and I designed a system I thought fit the problem. I broke everything down in the smallest parts… and tried to think of each person as a number… in a gigantic equation. But it wasn’t working… because people aren’t like numbers. They’re more like letters… and those letters want to become stories… and dad said that stories need to be shared.”


3. Blue Like Jazz


Okay okay okay. Elsewhere, I have ranted about Christian movies and how they are mostly terrible most all the time. Whether it’s the low budget, shoddy theology, or poor approach to storytelling (which is mostly upsetting because as a Christian, my role model is Jesus who specializes in storytelling.) I take back most of what I said in approaching this movie. While it’s not perfect by any means, it does have a beautiful message and, unlike most Christian films, it isn’t afraid of taking risks. The situations are loaded, it approaches college life in a mostly realistic way. Overall, the message shines through in Don’s pursuit of a life apart from the God he’d always been raised to believe in circling in on itself, in redemption and a powerful message of forgiveness. This movie isn’t preachy, and maybe it doesn’t go far enough, but I appreciate the sincerity and love seeing Christians actually make a good film for once.

Favorite Quote: “Sometimes you have to watch someone love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way.”


2. Good Will Hunting


This movie is awesome. Another one on my list that makes me cry without fail. Good Will Hunting was my older sister’s favorite movie growing up, and I was repelled for years because of the sometimes overwhelming bad language in the film. Being a little kid when I first saw it, it was definitely a shock. So I went without actually watching it until late high school/early college. Seeing the troubled teen, Will’s relationship with Sean really makes this stand out. Sean can speak to his situation because he thinks like him and the result is…I’m sobbing again. I did the Robin Williams park bench monologue for an acting class in college, so I spent hours memorizing the lines and really thinking through the character, which makes me appreciate Williams’ performance even more.

Favorite Quote: “You don’t know about real loss, ’cause that only occurs when you love something more than you love yourself. I doubt you’ve ever dared to love anybody that much.”


1. Dead Poet’s Society


So, if there’s one thing you need to know about me in relation to film, it’s that there hasn’t been a Robin Williams movie I haven’t liked. (I get a lot of weird looks when I show people “What Dreams May Come” but heck, it deserves to be on this list too.) Dead Poet’s Society is the movie I always cite as my favorite movie of all time. My all time favorite scene is the one where they rip up the poetry book. A coming of age story that pulls all the heartstrings and really makes you think about what it is to be human, to be brave, and to be overwhelmed with passion. It makes you think seriously about the tension between tradition and innovation, between love and the tediousness of shoving yourself into a tiny box. I could go on and on but I’d eventually just start repeating myself.

Favorite Quote: “We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”


I could go on an on with different movies I love. Some others probably belong on this list that aren’t, but I’d rather not second guess myself if I can help it. What are some of your favorite movies? 


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