Top 5 Movies of All Time
From epic action sequences to heartfelt dramas to gut-busting comedies, these five movies will entertain and inspire. Grab a bowl of popcorn and sit back to enjoy these iconic favorites.
A divisive film series about vampires and werewolves, this Kate Beckinsale franchise is a little silly but also fun.
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1984)
After Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indy has settled down to a tenured college teaching job. His son Mutt (Shia LaBeouf in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) has died off screen, and his marriage with Marion Ravenwood is over.
This prequel takes place in 1935, a year before the events of Raiders. It follows Indy and his sidekick Short Round as they escape from Chinese gangsters and rescue the children of a Punjabi village. Belloq and the Nazis also try to kidnap them, but Indy and Sallah rescue them.
The sequel to Raiders plant flags in the future with a flashback prologue set in 1912. Indy, his pops Henry, and Sallah hunt for the Holy Grail, which is wanted by both the Nazis—who believe it has mystical powers—and Soviet agents led by Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett). The film then jumps to 1938, where Indiana and Marcus Brody (Denholm Elliott) pursue the Archimedes’ Dial.
The Godfather (1972)
In the era of television’s meteoric rise, it was getting harder and harder to entice audiences into theaters. The Godfather was one of the films that got people back in, and it’s been part of our culture ever since. It’s a larger-than-life story that somehow feels humanistic and even intimate. And it has characters like Michael Corleone, the family’s poor idiot brother Fredo, and the Corleones’ trusted consigliere Tom Hagen (a brilliant performance by Robert Duvall) that feel like they could exist outside of the movie.
Real-life Mafia trials in the 1960s stoked public interest in mobster subculture, and Mario Puzo’s 1969 novel fed that fire. Francis Ford Coppola’s Academy Award-winning film starred Marlon Brando as Don Vito Corleone, with James Caan and Al Pacino as his hotheaded sons, Sonny and Michael. Nino Rota’s score and the movie’s dialogue became familiar and iconic, and the film revitalized the career of Brando.
This iconic gangster movie features amazing performances and a masterful vision from Martin Scorsese. While the film can be a bit full and overwhelming to first time viewers it will definitely benefit from multiple viewings. It deals with sensitive subjects but the story will stay with you forever.
Based on Nicholas Pileggi’s book Wiseguy, Goodfellas presents the moral runts of the Brooklyn mob (and it gives a riotous lift to Henry Hill’s flat-toned narration). Unlike Francis Coppola’s two Godfather movies, which are full of noble despair and sentiment, Scorsese treats his characters with a jolly, festive attitude.
Michael Ballhaus’s camera prowls the dark alleys and corridors of mob power with seamy glamour, and Scorsese lingers on nothing. As a result, the shifts from gruesome business to perverse pleasure occur almost instantly.
The Dark Knight (2008)
Following up on Batman Begins, director Christopher Nolan delivers the first truly sophisticated and ambitious superhero movie in a long time. With a script and cast that would be the envy of many prestige pictures, the film isn’t just about action sequences or instances of derring-do. It also has a tragic subtext, exploring themes of power and impotence, sanity and madness, image and reality.
Nolan’s Gotham is less garish and more bleak than Tim Burton’s, but it retains the oppressive atmosphere of a city that can be overrun by evil and violence at any time. And whereas in most comics, there’s usually the sense that no matter how much adversity a hero faces, things will always turn out alright in the end, Nolan turns this on its head, demonstrating that even a hero isn’t beyond redemption.
Mission: Impossible (2007)
With 27 (!) films and counting, one might expect the Mission: Impossible franchise to have run out of new ideas by now. But, in a genre that has a tendency to overdo it on the action sequences, director and star Tom Cruise continues to pull off thrilling setpieces that make audiences jump out of their seats.
This time around, he’s up against a formidable foe in the form of an insidious AI known as The Entity. And while the movie has plenty of brainy dialogue, it also explores Hunt’s struggle to balance his professional life with his personal ones.
Series regulars Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames return, along with Hayley Atwell, Rebecca Ferguson, Esai Morales, Vanessa Kirby, and Pom Klementieff. And, as a bonus, this is the only M:I film that features a cameo from the show’s original creator, JJ Abrams.