Last year I did a series of videos listing my top 100 favorite movies of all time. There’s an important thing to note in the title of that series: I said “favorite,” not “best.”
I’m aware that what I enjoy doesn’t necessarily qualify as the greatest movies ever made, and so this week I thought I’d sit down and list for you what I believe are the 25 greatest movies of all time. As always this is just opinion, and I’m aware others will disagree. However, if you haven’t seen any of these movies I highly recommend you check them out, as they are all classics.

25 – Magnolia

This one may divide everyone the most. Paul Thomas Anderson’s 1999 follow-up to his critically acclaimed Boogie Nights is, in my opinion, his best movie. Packed from top to bottom with great actors, many of whom give career best performances, Magnolia is an emotional roller coaster of a movie. Taking place over the course of a single day, it shows the turbulent lives of a lot of very screwed up, damaged people as they intersect and change each others destinies. Accompanied by the music of the wonderful Aimee Mann, Magnolia isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m hard pressed to think of a more raw, emotionally honest film.

24 – The Day The Earth Stood Still

No, not the shitty 2008 remake. The original 1951 film, directed by Robert Wise, is one of the seminal science fiction movies. The story of an alien ambassador named Klaatu and his robot enforcer, Gort, come to earth to deliver a warning from the rest of the galaxy, this brilliant film shows what only sci-fi can do. Delivering a timeless warning about the folly of war while at the same time entertaining young and old alike with a thrilling story, The Day The Earth Stood Still is as important a piece of moviemaking today as it was 62 years ago.

23 – Cabaret
It’s hard to call Cabaret the greatest musical of all time, considering how good Singin’ in the Rain is (a movie that missed this list by only a hair). However, every time I watch Cabaret I am shocked by it. Bob Fosse’s 1972 critical darling not only has some of the best music found in any movie, not only has one of the best performances of the 1970s by Liza Minnelli, but is without a doubt the most harrowing look at the rise of fascism found in any movie. The plot, about the seedy romance of a young British writer and the floozy cabaret singer he takes up with, is just window dressing. While the characters are preoccupied by their shallow lives, the Nazi’s are seizing power all around them. The movie makes the point that decadence leads to passivity, which is all fascism needs to rise.

22 – Rear Window

While Vertigo is regularly placed atop lists of the greatest movies ever made, I’ve always felt that this Alfred Hitchock / James Stewart film is the better of the two. At once the most nail biting thriller ever made and a fun piece of popcorn entertainment, Rear Window shows the Master of Suspense at the height of his cinematic powers. The story of a laid up photographer passing the time by spying on his neighbors and coming to suspect one of murder, Rear Window is not your average paranoid thriller. The term “edge of your seat” may have been coined to describe this movie, as it is, without a doubt, the most suspenseful film ever made.

21 – The Trial

Orson Welles was a master of his craft, and The Trial shows him at the peak of his powers. Based on the novel by Franz Kafka and starring a post Psycho Anthony Perkins, The Trial is the closest thing I’ve seen to a film that feels like a nightmare. Perkins plays a man accused of a crime. He’s never told what crime he’s committed, and as an oppressive government regime breaths down his neck he seeks help from anyone who might have some answers. No one does. No movie I’ve ever seen has come closer to capturing the landscape of our darkest dreams. A scene of Perkins in a claustrophobic artists loft, surrounded on all sides by giggling girls starring through the cracks in the walls, is more terrifying that all the slasher movies put together.

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