You may have seen the hashtag on Twitter in recent days – where people have been listing their top seven films of all time. Well, today we’re reviving Top List Thursday by bringing #Fave7Films to TheMovies.coza. Below, you can read the team’s individual choices in no particular order. Just please note that this is favourite movies as opposed to best movies, which may explain some more unusual picks. *cough* Kervyn *cough*
Have a read, and then share your own list.
- Kervyn Cloete:
Planet of the Apes (1968 original)
I watched this as recently as last year, and it still holds up as amazingly in real life as it does in my nostalgia-tinted memories. Filled with big ideas, plenty of socio-political allegory and iconic visuals and themes that would influence countless movies to come. Unfortunately one of them would be That-Tim-Burton-Remake-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named. Oh, wait. I guess I already named it. Bugger.
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Raiders of the Lost Ark is about as perfect an adventure movie as there has ever been made – from directing, to casting, to score, it’s just sublime (it even boasts my favourite “female love interest” in any movie ever). When I was a kid, and went to the video store but couldn’t find anything new to rent, I would just take out Raiders again. And again. And again…
Star Wars: A New Hope
Do I really need to explain my inclusion of Star Wars: A New Hope? If I have to, then you’ve clearly never spent longer than 10 minutes in my company. Which is usually the maximum length of time I can go in my life without talking about Star Wars.
Drunken Master II
I watched a lot – A LOT! – of Kung Fu movies growing up. But there were none I loved more than Jackie Chan movies, for its masterful blend of action and comedy. And as I’ve already explained in the past, Drunken Master II has in my opinion one of the greatest fights ever caught on film – a 10-minute scene that took FOUR MONTHS to shoot due to its complexity and insane choreography.
More a horror movie in space than a sci-fi tale, Ridley Scott’s Alien is a master class in suspense and tension. As a young man watching it for the first time, it truly had my heart in my throat like few other movies before or since. And no, that’s not just because Sigorney Weaver wears the smallest panties known to man in one scene (Seriously, that thing is basically a polyester eye-patch around her waist)
2001: A Space Odyssey
The greatest sci-fi movie ever made. Period. And we all know that adding “Period” after something makes it twice as true. Its pre-CG zero-g scenes are still marvels of filmmaking, its scope is gigantic, and its third act is trippy as balls. And I love every second of it.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Choosing your favourite Steven Spielberg movie is almost an impossible task. My choice would probably change on an hourly basis. It just so happens that I recently watched this masterpiece though, which its why its still on my mind. C’mon, now. All together: Doo-dee-doo-dom-duuuuuuh!
- James Francis:
It should have been a straight-up action B-movie. Even the name is terrible. And yet it’s a masterpiece and a near-perfect example of what makes a movie great. I’ll buy that for a dollar.
Pretty much the best comedy made in the 80s. All it’s missing is John Belushi.
I think Francis Ford Coppola is a tremendously tedious filmmaker. But that slow-burn broodiness works perfectly in this surreal treatment of war. It may just be the greatest war movie ever.
Too many films try to explain genius and the pursuit of perfection, but end up becoming condescending, pretentious or patronising. Not Whiplash. It’s a true force of nature.
It says something when a movie can underplay its tension and still be relentless about it. This may be the greatest horror ever made.
Story of Ricky
If you are going to faithfully adapt a notoriously violent manga, and won’t let such pithy things as budget or acting stop you, may you achieve even just a sliver of this insane film.
Gone in 60 Seconds
The remake made the mistake of trying to add substance. This classic is basically a bad movie built around an epic car chase. It never pretends to be anything else. I want to fistbump this film.
- Noelle Adams:
It is the perfect superhero family/squad film. The Incredibles never fails to thrill, move and entertain me, no matter how many times I see it. And boy, do many of those quotes stick in your head.
“Stay back! Or the ginger-nut gets it!” Perhaps not the most obvious pick, but who would have thought a mash-up of explosive Michael Bay cop actioners and Midsomer Murders would be so hilarious? Again, super quotable and rewatchable.
Kill Bill Vol. 1
I didn’t like Vol. 2 at all, but Kill Bill Vol. 1 is the ultimate “hyper-violence as art” movie, complete with anime interlude. Brutal, supremely stylish, and so imitated ever since. Not a popular opinion, I’m sure, but it’s is my favourite Quentin Tarantino movie.
I’m a Classical Civilisation buff, so this sword-and-sandals epic won my heart – even if it sadly didn’t usher in a new era of similarly successful Ancient World movies. Everyone involved, from stars Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix, to director Ridley Scott and composer Hans Zimmer, are on top form here. And that ending… tears every time.
Two words: Michelle Pfeiffer. Her latex-clad, mentally unhinged, Batman-licking Catwoman was unlike anything seen in a superhero movie at the time, and I’m pretty sure it still is. I was already a Tim Burton fan in 1992, but Batman Returns ushered in a decade of pfandom for me.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
This is the first movie I ever saw. Apparently I was a terror in the cinema until the film started; then I sat captivated by the non-stop action, adventure and gore for two straight hours. Afterwards, I wouldn’t stop talking about it. I know Spielberg and co. are always embarrassed when talking about Temple of Doom (well, till Crystal Skull came along), but because of it, this movie geek was born.
Hmmm, the seventh slot was the hardest to fill. When it came to a Christopher Nolan film, it was between this and The Dark Knight. Today The Prestige wins for its great cast, and unusual premise. Plus, I’m a sucker for an intense rivalry tale that spans decades.
- Trevor Davies:
A simple revenge tale with genuine emotion, an excellent main character, the bleak aesthetic of the movie, and one of the best movie soundtracks ever.
I’m a massive sci-fi fan and ‘Dune’ is the grand daddy of sci-fi literature which I grew up reading. For all its liberties and corniness, it just makes me happy to watch it.
One of my favourite actors in Christian Bale, Sean Bean’s poetic death, it’s sci-fi, and Gun Kata is so damn cool.
Full Metal Jacket
Everybody can quote R. Lee Ermey’s Gunnery Sergeant Hartman. Everybody.
The movie is great overall, but what seals this is the final scene where all the skyscrapers collapse to the tune of my favourite song: The Pixies – Where is My Mind?
I’ve enjoyed many superhero movies, but Deadpool gets the nod because of one serious, and totally unexpected, line: “The worst part about cancer isn’t what it does to you, but what it does to everyone else in your life.” The most meaningful statement to come out of any superhero movie to date.
There are a number of great spoofs – Top Secret, Spaceballs, Naked Gun – but this one (and its sequel!) perfectly skewers all the action movies I grew up on.
- Tracy Benson
Mad Max: Fury Road
Who knew so much story and world building could happen in a movie that’s essentially about a two hour car chase that happens when a truck driver turns left? Furiosa is my spirit animal.
No other movie has haunted me as much as this one. It stuck in my mind for days and kept me questioning my existence. Although it made me deeply uncomfortable, no other movie has made me think as much as this one.
Captain America: Winter Soldier
Of the Marvel movies, I’ve always enjoyed the Captain America movies the most. With The Winter Soldier, they basically said “what would happen if you made a Robert Ludlum spy thriller, and chucked a superhero into it?” The answer is: one of the best movies of all time.
If you don’t love this movie, then you can’t be my friend.
Giant robots fighting giant monsters? What more could you want?! My inner thirteen-year-old has never been happier. Oh, they also thrown in one of the most kick-ass soundtracks of any movie.
The big screen adaptation of the book from one of my favourite authors, Neil Gaiman, is fantasy escapism at its best. It’s The Princess Bride for a new generation, with humour and action and amazing storytelling.
The most immensely quotable movies of all time, Hot Fuzz was the Cornetto Trilogy at its peak. I could watch this movie another twenty times and still love it.
- Craig Risi:
Star Wars: A New Hope
The ultimate space western. Epic characters, great storytelling, galactic space battles and space magic. What’s not to like. And unlike what Kervyn mistakenly said earlier – this is the greatest sci-fi of all time.
This is a movie that truly blew my mind as an 18-year old. The story line really made you question your reality, while the action scenes redefined the sci-fi genre.
Picking the best movie out of Christopher Nolan’s exceptional work is difficult, but this one in my opinion is his best. Its filled with such depth and thought provoking moments, that you just have to watch it again and again to truly appreciate it.
Saving Private Ryan
Like Nolan above, Spielberg has an exceptional body of work. Saving Private Ryan though sees him at the top of his game. Never has a war movie made me feel like I was actually in the battle. The film is a well portrayed, unrelenting realization of how brutal war really is.
The Shawshank Redemption
A story of incredible perseverance and hope when life doesn’t seem to go as planned. Its a film that really makes you feel for its characters, in their highs and lows. It also features perhaps the best prison escape ever.
The ultimate mob film. I loved The Godfather movies, but this is the film that made me you want to be a mobster at first and then glad you weren’t by the end. No film portrays this dark period of crime better.
This is a film which also blew my mind the first time I watched it. The dark atmosphere and cinematography of the film is incredible and the way the whole story comes together at the end, leaves you wanting to re-watch it all over again
- Nick Reay:
I love my science fiction. It removes me from this hectic earth and places me in a zone that allows me to forget stuff and totally imagine things not here on earth – which is exactly what you get with ‘multipass’ Fifth Element.
The Crow was a huge influence on me when I was younger during my goth/I hate my parents stage and I think I’ve seen the movie about 25 times. I often just listen to the movie’s album to bring back those memories. Also some of the best lines ever!
Full Metal Jacket
M I. C. K. E .Y. M. O.U. S. E., Mickey Mouse! What a movie. Directing wise, visually, damn, the whole thing is near perfect. I was going to choose Apocalypse Now but I always found it less accessible than going through the stages of training then being dropped off in a place that really, really hates you.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Chris Pratt. Nuff said.
One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest
This movie, the acting in particular, made me want to study films, which is why I have a degree in the subject. So much feels at the end…
Man, what a movie. Excellent cast, brilliant pacing, and an ending that will mess with your mind.
Kill Bill Vol.1 (*sigh, or Pulp Fiction)
Man, oh man. I love the action, the music, but more so, the kick ass lead is a woman. I thought of Alien, but that role was written with no gender in particular and was later changed with the casting. It was a close call though. Pulp Fiction deserves a huge mention though, so close!
Last Updated: August 25, 2016