Favorite Movies of All Time: 170-161

Over the past few years I’ve made a concerted effort to watch lots of movies considered to be among the best of all time.  Now, for the first time, I’ve made my own list of favorite movies of all time.  Every other Wednesday throughout 2022, I will be revealing ten movies in my list of 250 Favorite Movies of All Time.

250-241 200-190
240-231 190-181
230-221 180-171


Title: Brave
Director: Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman
Cast: Kelly Macdonald, Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly, Julie Walters, Robbie Coltrane, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson
Year: 2012
When did I first watch this movie?: January 2019
Why is this one of my all time favorites?: Pixar Animation begins to blur the lines with Walt Disney Animation by doing a story about a princess.  In this case Pixar’s usual warmth and humor with amazing attention to detail in animation illustrates a story of the relationship between a mother and daughter which even as recently as ten years ago felt like something we’d not seen in animated features before.


Title: Nine to Five
Director: Colin Higgins
Cast: Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton, Dabney Coleman, Elizabeth Wilson, and Sterling Hayden
Year: 1980
When did I first watch this movie?: Sometime in the mid-80s
Why is this one of my all time favorites?: With the combined talents of Fonda, Tomlin, and Parton as the engine behind this office revenge fantasy, Nine to Five is also a statement of a real life movement for women in the workplace.  Over four decades later it remains hilarious and sadly relevant.


Title: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Director: Leonard Nimoy
Cast: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, Catherine Hicks
Year: 1986
When did I first watch this movie?: When it was released in the theaters in 1986
Why is this one of my all time favorites?: In Star Trek lore this is the “funny one,” a time travel caper in which the crew of the Enterprise (traveling in a stolen Klingon ship) are fish out of water in present day San Francisco.  But it also contains an important environmental message about saving other species on Earth if we want to save ourselves that remains sadly relevant today.


Title: Vertigo
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Cast: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes, Tom Helmore,  and Henry Jones
Year: 1958
When did I first watch this movie?: circa 1989 in a high school film studies class
Why is this one of my all time favorites?: Some lists place Vertigo as the best movie of all time, which I find a bit too much since I don’t even think it’s the best Hitchcock film.  Nevertheless it is a tense and compelling drama about obsession with stunning cinematography, a chilling score, and the most iconic San Francisco film of all time.


Title: Toy Story 3
Director: Lee Unkrich
Cast: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Don Rickles, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Estelle Harris, Ned Beatty, Michael Keaton, Jodi Benson, and John Morris
Year: 2010
When did I first watch this movie?: When it was released in the theaters in 2010
Why is this one of my all time favorites?: It’s a stunning feet to make a movie as perfect as Toy Story and then 15 years later make a sequel that’s almost as perfect.  This is a good movie to watch if you want a good cry.


Title: It Happened One Night
Director: Frank Capra
Cast: Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Walter Connolly, Roscoe Karns, Jameson Thomas, and Alan Hale
Year: 1934
When did I first watch this movie?: Mid-to-late 1980s
Why is this one of my all time favorites?: This movie is one of the earliest romantic comedies set on an interstate bus journey of an heiress seeking personal freedom and a journalist looking for a story.  Hijinks ensue on a series of improbable adventures.


Title: Good Will Hunting
Director: Gus Van Sant
Cast: Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Stellan Skarsgård, and Minnie Driver
Year: 1997
When did I first watch this movie?: 1998
Why is this one of my all time favorites?: Kicking off two decades of a “Boston Movies” fad in Hollywood, this movie avoids Irish mob cliches and instead focuses on town and gown issues through the story of a young prodigy from the poor part of town.  This movie kickstarted the careers of Damon and Affleck, and features one of Robin Williams most affecting performances.


Title: Psycho
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Cast: Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam, John McIntire, and Janet Leigh
Year: 1960
When did I first watch this movie?: Early 1980s when I was too young to be watching movies like this
Why is this one of my all time favorites?: Before the slasher film had even really been defined, Hitchcock upended the genre with a tawdry, low-budget movie that defied all audience expectations.


Title: The Crying Game
Director: Neil Jordan
Cast: Stephen Rea, Miranda Richardson, Jaye Davidson, and Forest Whitaker
Year: 1992
When did I first watch this movie?: When it was released in the theaters in 1992
Why is this one of my all time favorites?: Like Psycho, The Crying Game is known for an unexpected twist part way through the film, but also transcends mere plot mechanitations for a story of human kindness set against The Troubles of Northern Ireland.


Title: High Fidelity
Director: Stephen Frears
Cast: John Cusack, Jack Black, Lisa Bonet, Joelle Carter, Joan Cusack, Sara Gilbert, Iben Hjejle, Todd Louiso, Lili Taylor, and Natasha Gregson Wagner
Year: 2000
When did I first watch this movie?: When it was released in the theaters in 2000
Why is this one of my all time favorites?: This adaptation of a book by Nick Hornby transplants the story to the USA and features peak performances by Cusack and Black.  It’s a story of how a man can know a lot about music but be clueless about women and pulls no punches in allowing its protagonist to be a real jerk for much of the movie.


Documentary Movie Review: We Were Here (2011) #atozchallenge

Welcome to Panorama of the Mountains! My name is Liam and I enjoy watching documentary movies.  This month I will be reviewing 26 documentaries from A-to-Z!

Documentaries starting with the letter Documentaries starting with the letter W that I have previously reviewed include: 

Title: We Were Here
Release Date: September 2011
Director: David Weissman and Bill Weber
Production Company:  Weismann Projects

We Were There examines the HIV/AIDS epidemic in San Francisco in the 1980s and 1990s through interviews with five members of the community who lived through the plague. The subjects include a counselor to gay men, a nurse, and a florist who ended up providing flowers for many funerals.  They tell heart wrenching stories of the unfathomable numbers of deaths of friends, partners, and family members while at the same time facing stigmatization from a society that discriminates against queer people.  And yet, there’s a lot of hope in these stories too.  LGBTQ people often talk of their community as family, when their blood relatives may have shunned them.  The epidemic brought this family in San Francisco together to care for one another and inspired a generation of activists.  This is a very simple documentary in form but it contains a very powerful message.

Rating: ****