Who doesn’t love a good top 10 list? Best Dressed? Ummm…David Bowie, later period (as in not Ziggy Stardust or Thin White Duke era). Most Beautiful? Duh. Ava Gardner. Best Guitar Player? Jimi Hendrix, hands down. (Yes, it’s the obvious answer for a reason.) Best Singer? Billie Holiday, of course. Most Handsome? I gotta go with Paul Newman but it’s wonderfully close between him and about six other guys.

See what I mean? It’s fun. And a little contentious, but that’s just part of the livliness.

So anyway, without further ado and blather, here are my top 10 favorite movies of all time with the obligatory (and totally necessary for my peace of mind) runners-up:

10.  Magnolia (1999) – Director, Paul Thomas Anderson (Audacious. Kind. Inspiring. Tom Cruise smiling and posing–and it’s a good thing. Oh, yeah, the cast breaking out into Amiee Mann songs. Yes!)

9. Rififi (1955) – Director, Jules Dassin (Best heist movie ever.)

8. The Conversation (1974) – Director, Francis Ford Coppola (Oh my gosh, the ending. Heartbreaking.)

7. Badlands (1973) – Director, Terrence Malick (A strange and beautiful movie about a mass murderer/serial killer and his girlfriend. Chilling.)

6. There Will Be Blood (2007) – Director, Paul Thomas Anderson (Daniel Plainview…I pity the misanthrope.)

5. The Last Picture Show (1971) – Director, Peter Bogdanovich ( Maybe the most poignant performance ever depicted on screen. Cloris Leachman; genius.)

4. Sunset Boulevard (1950) – Director, Billy Wilder (Gloria Swanson and William Holden as a couple. It doesn’t get any better than that.)

3. Night of the Hunter (1955) – Director, Charles Laughton (Terrifying. Brutal. Life affirming. Beautiful. Only Charles Laughton could have pulled all of the above together for absolutely breathtaking cinema.)

2. Nights of Cabiria (1957) – Director, Frederico Fellini (See number 8 and add hope to the mix.)

1. McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971) – Director, Robert Altman (It is what it is. Original. Truthful. Spectacular.)


  • Fargo (1996) – Director, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) – Director, Robert Mulligan
  • Days of Heaven (1978) – Director, Terrence Malick
  • Bonnie and Clyde (1967) – Director, Arthur Penn
  • Drive (2011) – Director, Nicolas Winding Refn

(Oh what the heck. Two more: Jaws (1975) – Director, Steven Spielberg; Touch of Evil (1958) – Director, Orson Welles)

So what are some of your favorite movies? Let’s unpack it–if you want to…