Personal Canon

As promised, here are my top 100 films. In an effort to respect my subjectivity and my love of different films for different reasons, there are six categories of films that make up this list. Only the top category is homogeneous whereas the others mix together.

  1. Master Class – My favourite 20 films.
  2. Objective Classics – Films that you often find on best of lists. There are fifteen films here that range from #21 to #53
  3. Academic Marvels – There are films that I’ve grown to love through study in the classroom. There are ten films here that range #22 to #74
  4. Modern Classics – These are films from the past 12 years that I think will stand the test of time. There are fifteen films here that range from #29 to #90
  5. Genre Classics – These are the films that are the best of their given genres. There are twenty films here that range from #30 to #93
  6. Nostalgic Favourites – These are films that hold personal value to me or my past in my love of film. There are twenty films here that range from #28 to #100

If you want a full ranking in proper order you can find it here on my letterboxd list. Below you will find them in their categories.


Nostalgic Favourites


eclerks2 edead poets efew good men ehighlander ehunchback

#100 Highlander (1986) dir. Russell Mulcahy

#99 National Treasure (2004) dir. Jon Turtletaub

#98 Parenthood (1989) dir. Ron Howard

#97 Trading Places (1983) dir. John Landis

#96 The American President (1995) dir. Rob Reiner

#95 The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) dir. Kirk Wise, Gary Trousdale

#94 A Few Good Men (1991) dir. Rob Reiner

#92 Dead Poets Society (1989) dir. Peter Weir

dlast crusade damadeus datlantis dazed and confused48 American Psycho

#91 Amadeus (1984) dir. Milos Forman

#89 The Sting (1973) dir. George Roy Hill

#87 Shawshank Redemption (1994) dir. Frank Darabont

#81 Atlantis the Lost Empire (2001) dir. Kirk Wise, Gary Trousdale

#77 The Prince of Egypt (1998) dir. Steve Hickner, Simon Wells, Brenda Chapman

#75 Dazed and Confused (1993) dir. Richard Linklater

#70 Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) dir. Robert Zemeckis

#68 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) dir. Steven Spielberg

#62 This Film is Not Yet Rated (2006) dir. Kirby Dick

#54 My Dinner With Andre (1981) dir. Louis Malle

#50 American Psycho (2000) dir. Mary Harmon

#28 Inglourious Basterds (2009) dir. Quentin Tarantino


 Genre Classics


cdie hard cgrease clicense to kill cmatrix cwest side story

#93 The Matrix (1999) dir. Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski

#88 License to Kill (1989) dir. John Glen

#86 The Dark Knight (2008) dir. Christopher Nolan

#84 The Shining (1980) dir. Stanley Kubrick

#80 Manhunter (1986) dir. Michael Mann

#79 Zodiac (2007) dir. David Fincher

#78 Die Hard (1988) dir. John McTiernan

blazing saddles bpacific rim bpride and prejudice brocky horro btexas chainsaw

#76 Pacific Rim (2013) dir. Guillermo Del Toro

#72 Blazing Saddles (1974) dir. Mel Brooks

#69 Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) dir. Jim Sharman

#67 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2003) dir. Alfonso Cuaron

#66 The Exorcist (1973) dir. William Friedkin

#65 Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) dir. Tobe Hooper

#60 The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) dir. Michael Curtiz, William Keighley

#59 Back to the Future (1985) dir. Robert Zemeckis

#57 Pride and Prejudice (2005) dir. Joe Wright

#42 Alien (1979) dir. Ridley Scott

#33 Beauty and the Beast (1991) dir. Kirk Wise, Gary Trousdale

#30 Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) dir. Peter Jackson


Modern Classics


alove and other drugs ascott pilgrim aup in the air ablue is the warmest color acatching fire

#90 Love And Other Drugs (2010) dir. Edward Zwick

#85 The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) dir. Francis Lawrence

#83 Scott Pilgrim vs The World (2010) dir. Edgar Wright

#82 Shame (2011) dir. Steve McQueen

#73 Hugo (2011) dir. Martin Scorsese

#64 Django Unchained (2012) dir. Quentin Tarantino

#61 Up in the Air (2009) dir. Jason Reitman

#58 Blue is the Warmest Colour (2013) dir. Abdellatif Kechiche

zero dark thirty 29 Her 30 Two Towers contagion Moonrise Kingdom

#55 Zero Dark Thirty (2012) dir. Kathryn Bigelow

#48 A Serious Man (2009) dir. Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

#45 Contagion (2011) dir. Steven Soderbergh

#39 Midnight in Paris (2011) dir. Woody Allen

#37 Moonrise Kingdom (2012) dir. Wes Anderson

#34 Munich (2005) dir. Stephen Spielberg

#29 Her (2013) dir. Spike Jonze


Academic Marvels 


35 Mulholland DriveCabaret1 22 - Rear Window  26 The Conversation 28 Do the Right Thing

#74 Chasing Amy (1997) dir. Kevin Smith

#63 Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) dir. Howard Hawks

#56 Blue Velvet (1986) dir. David Lynch

#44 The Incredibles (2004) dir. Brad Bird

#36 Mulholland Drive (2001) dir. David Lynch

#32 Cabaret (1972) dir. Bob Fosse

#27 Do The Right Thing (1989) dir. Spike Lee

#25 The Conversation (1974) dir. Francis Ford Coppola

#22 Rear Window (1954) dir. Alfred Hitchcock


Objective Classics


400blows1 2001 jaws sleeping_beauty_by_citron__vert-d68m80i sunset boulevard

 #53 Sunset Boulevard (1950 dir. Billy Wilder

#52 A Clockwork Orange (1971) dir. Stanley Kubrick

#51 MASH (1970) dir. Robert Altman

#49 The Princess Bride (1987) dir. Rob Reiner

#47 Jaws (1975) dir. Steven Spielberg

#43 Les Quatre-Cents Coups (1959) dir. Francois Truffaut

#41 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) dir. Stanley Kubrick

#40 Sleeping Beauty (1959) dir. Clyde Geronimi

27 bridge on the river kwai 31 - Close Encounters 21 23 - Empire Strikes Back 25 - Dr STrangelove

#38 Pulp Fiction (1994) dir. Quentin Tarantino

#35 Fantasia (1940) dir. Walt Disney

#31 Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) dir. Steven Spielberg

#26 Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) dir. David Lean

#24 Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) dir. Stanley Kubrick

#23 Star Wars V: Empire Strikes Back (1980) dir. Irvin Kershner

#21 The Godfather (1972) Francis Ford Coppola


Master Class 


14 - The Hunt for Red October 06 - Eyes Wide Shut 10 - Se7en  17 - Lost in Translation24 - All That Jazz

#20 Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) dir. Nicholas Meyer

#19 Blade Runner (1982) dir. Ridley Scott

#18 Lost in Translation (2003) dir. Sofia Coppola

#17 Fight Club (1999) dir. David Fincher

#16 Apocalypse Now (1979) dir. Francis Ford Coppola

#15 The Hunt for Red October (1990) dir. John McTiernan

#14 High Fidelity (2000) dir. Stephen Frears

#13 All That Jazz (1979) dir. Bob Fosse

#12 Ocean’s Eleven (2001) dir. Steven Soderbergh

#11 Se7en (1995) dir. David Fincher

01 Sideways 05 - Social Network 04 - Le Bonheur 03 - Before Sunrise Print

#10 Broadcast News (1987) dir. James L. Brooks

#09 Casablanca (1943) dir. Michael Curtiz

#08 Lethal Weapon (1987) Richard Donner

#07 Lone Star (1996) John Sayles

#06 Eyes Wide Shut (1999) dir. Stanley Kubrick

#05 The Social Network (2010) dir. David Fincher

#04 Le Bonheur (1966) dir. Agnes Varda

#03 Before Sunset (2004) dir. Richard Linklater

#02 The Departed (2006) dir. Martin Scorsese

#01 Sideways (2004) dir. Alexander Payne


 A Final Note


There are certain films that don’t appear where they might have because they are part of a series. Before Sunrise, Star Wars, Star Trek 6, Godfather Part 2, Fellowship of the Ring, Aliens, Deathly Hallows Part 1, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Clerks, From Russia With Love, and Casino Royale would all appear on the list but are represented by a single film from their series. At some point I’ll figure out exactly where those films would rank but I’m not willing to drop the bottom eleven films to make room for the other films in a number of series that I enjoy.

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