Top 25 Countdown, a Recap

Over the past 25 weeks I counted down my personal top 25 films from 25 all the way to 1. I'm sure there were some surprises, and I hope there were some movies that got you thinking. I want to recap the complete list again:

Top 25 Countdown:
1. A Time to Kill (1996)
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)

I like to go through the process of looking at my Top 25 every couple of years because it can be a way to see how my taste and appreciation of films changes. It's also a way to evaluate the next generation of films to see what might end up on the list.

If you recall when I started this, I laid out the rules I was following. "To make the list, a movie has to resonate with me, has to be one I've seen many times, and has to be at least five years old. Why the five year requirement? Sometimes movies strike a chord with you right away but fade after a matter of months. If a movie stayed with you at least five years, then you know it's one that will stick. I try to re-evaluate this list every few years, so I'm sure it will change over time. This list is a big change from the last time I did this in 2010."

With that in mind, there are some movies I've loved that haven't hit that five year threshold. Here's a look at a couple more recent films that might be in consideration in the future:

The Hunger Games (2012)
About: I wasn't a fan of the way the series ended. I thought it left me a little unsatisfied. That being said, I loved the original film. It's one that has big themes that resonate with me and kept me thinking long after I left the theater. In fact, I've probably seen the movie about a dozen times since. I think with time we'll see even more how this is making a commentary on the direction of our culture.

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
About: This dramedy from David O. Russell spoke to me in a way I didn't expect. I loved the humor. I loved the characters. I loved the way this film was put together. I was heart-broken it didn't win Best Picture. It's one I've returned to time and again the past few years.

Whiplash (2014)
About: This is a film that's certainly not for everyone. But I was moved by the fantastic performances from Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons, who won the Oscar. It was a beautiful portrait of intensity and drive that really resonated with me.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
About: To me, this is the best of the Marvel Cinematic Universe entries. This is a movie that has great humor, action and characters. It's not deep, but it's a lot of fun.

Spotlight (2015)
About: This was by far my favorite film of 2015, and it was justly named the Best Picture winner. There's an incredible power in this narrative, and it's a film that I think will continue to grow in importance and cultural relevance as time passes.


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