Top 25 Countdown — No. 1

Today the countdown finally comes to an end with my favorite movie of all time.

No. 1 — A Time to Kill (1996)
Starring: Matthew McCounaghey, Samuel L. Jackson, Sandra Bullock, Kevin Spacey, Donald Sutherland, Kiefer Sutherland, Oliver Platt, and Ashley Judd
Director: Joel Schumacher
Quote: "And until we can see each other as equals, justice is never going to be even-handed. It will remain nothing more than a reflection of our own prejudices." — Jake Brigance
About: This might seem like an unusual choice for my favorite movie of all time. It wasn't always No. 1, but it's always been on the list. And as I've gotten older, I've been drawn to the film more and more. I think the themes and story here are moving and as vital to our cultural discussion in 2016 as they were twenty years ago when the film was released. This film, based on the novel from John Grisham, is the story of a tough trial in the South. It has an all star cast and a very difficult story. It's also one of those movies where I 100 percent disagree with the outcome of the trial at the end, but still am passionately drawn to this film. I remember the first time I saw McCounaghey deliver the closing summation. I was brought to tears. I am every time I see the film. That is the power of the storytelling, acting, and writing. This is also one of those movies for me that I feel compelled to watch. If I stumble across it on cable, I will get sucked into it yet again. I watch it at least once every year and I find it challenging, moving, and beautiful every time. It dares to ask a lot of hard questions about race, justice, marriage, and parenthood. No one comes away clean, which feels like a reflection of reality to me. If you haven't seen it, give this beautiful story a try.
Rating: R for violence and some graphic language

Top 25 Countdown:
2. The Dark Knight (2008)
3. No Country For Old Men (2007)
4. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
5. Simon Birch (1998)
6. The Godfather (1972)
7. Jurassic Park (1993)
8. Jaws (1975)
9. Gettysburg (1993)
10. Up In The Air (2009)
11. Die Hard (1988)
12. Doubt (2008)
13. Way of the Gun (2000)
14. Heat (1995)
15. The Paper (1994)
16. Watchmen (2009)
17. LA Confidential (1997)
18. Serenity (2005)
19. Children of Men (2006)
20. Miller's Crossing (1990)
21. About Schmidt (2002)
22. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
23. The Matrix (1999)
24. Independence Day (1996)
25. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)


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