My Top 10 Favorite Movies


I am known among my friends as “the movie guy.” I work at a movie theater and spend a lot of my time watching movies, reviewing movies, and writing about movies. Because of the epithet, people seem to want to know what my favorite movies are. In light of that, I have compiled a list of my favorites, why you should watch them, and little things to look for as you watch. Most of these are rated R so tread lightly if you can’t handle language or blood. 

Kingsman: The Secret Service

2hrs. 10min. Rated R

 Why you should watch: This is a fantastic spin on the “gentleman spy” movie as it follows a rough kid who is taken and trained in a secret spy organization. Some of the best action scenes I have ever seen are in this movie, and I couldn’t take my eyes off the villain played by Samuel L. Jackson. Taron Egerton is such a fun protagonist, and this really sold me on spy movies. 

What to look for: Smart satire of the Bond films as well as the amazing one-shot fight scene.

Swiss Army Man

1hr. 37min. Rated R

Why you should watch: This is the weirdest movie I’ve ever seen, and I love it. Paul Dano co-stars as a man who is stranded on an island and is about to kill himself until a corpse washes up onshore. They soon find out the corpse, played by Daniel Radcliffe, has bizarre powers and the ability to talk but not move. As Dano carries him around, Radcliffe asks him everything about life and how things work in the real world. In Dano’s explanation of how the world works, we see a deconstruction of society. Mature concepts are explored from an innocent, almost childlike, perspective, allowing the actors to talk about these concepts in a completely different way than is normally acceptable. This is a hilarious, inspiring, and wholly unique movie that has something to say. 

What to look for: The commentary on how we live our lives and societal norms, Daniel Radcliffe’s best performance (move over Harry Potter), and the incredible soundtrack.


2hrs. Rated R

Why you should watch: This is a creepy and interesting piece of weird sci-fi. Natalie Portman stars as a woman who goes into an area known as “the shimmer,” a place where everything is being changed and mutated by a mysterious object that crashed into a lighthouse from space. This is a very thematic movie, and the whole story is built to examine its characters. While being entertaining, it will also leave you thinking after the credits roll.

What to look for: Themes of self-destruction, mutation, and duplication as well as a great soundtrack and final act.

Django: Unchained

2hrs. 45 min. Rated R

Why you should watch: Tarantino at his finest. Jamie Foxx plays a slave who is taken in by a bounty hunter played by Christoph Waltz. They hunt wanted criminals and eventually go on a mission to liberate Foxx’s wife, who is owned by a despicable slave owner played by Leonardo DiCaprio. This movie is awesome. Foxx is amazing as a slave with a vendetta, and his character is compelling from an emotional level. He is one of the toughest characters I have ever seen.

What to look for: Imagery of DiCaprio as the devil and the commentary on slavery and class with Waltz being much more dignified and “civilized” than any of the slave owners despite them believing themselves to be the civilized ones.


2hrs. 41 min. Rated R

Why you should watch: While we are talking about famous directors, Martin Scorsese hit gold with Silence. Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver play Jesuit priests during the seventeenth century. This is a deeply emotional and disturbing deconstruction of religion, examining the essence of virtue, God, and, above all, faith. Religious and non-religious people alike will take something from this masterpiece that earns its 2 hours and 40 minutes run time.

What to look for: Biblical symbolism and parallels, the pride of the main character, and tough questions asked about ethics and faith.

Mad Max: Fury Road

2 hrs. Rated R

Why you should watch: This movie has the best action and practical effects I have ever seen. It’s a post-apocalyptic non-stop chase scene with massive armored trucks and explosions with a surprisingly engaging plot behind it. It’s like the makers of this movie just brainstormed the coolest things they could do and put them on the screen.

What to watch for: The fact that most of the action is real, not special effects. There is also a truck with a guy on bungee cords playing the electric guitar over a bunch of massive speakers. 

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

1 hr. 56 min. Rated PG

Why you should watch: Don’t look down on this movie because it’s technically a kid’s movie; this is the best Spider-Man movie. It is also one of the best superhero movies of all time. Taking Miles Morales— a relatively unknown Spider-Man— and making him the main character broke the monotony of Spider-Man origin stories while also allowing for the introduction of the rest of the Spider gang. Masterfully animated and full of heart, this movie will amaze.

What to look for: Words popping up on the screen similar to comic books and hilarious voice acting from John Mulaney as Spider-Ham.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

1 hr. 52 min. Rated PG-13

Why you should watch: The transitions, the humor, and the visual effects all give this movie amazing energy as it blasts through its hilarious and ridiculous plot. Michael Cera is relentlessly funny as Scott Pilgrim, a man who must battle seven evil exes if he wants to keep dating a girl played by Mary Elizabeth Winestead. This is Edgar Wright at his very best with awkward humor punctuated by well-directed action in possibly my favorite movie of all time.

What to look for: Video game references galore as well as comic book visuals similar to Into the Spider-Verse. Transitions between scenes are used in ways I haven’t seen with any other director, and the music from the band in the movie is also surprisingly good.

V for Vendetta

2 hrs. 13 min. Rated R

Why you should watch: How do you give so much personality to someone in a mask? Hugo Weaving is amazing as a cultured vigilante who enlists Natalie Portman to help him overthrow their totalitarian British government. This movie has some great action, but the soul of it lives in the performance of Hugo Weaving, who lends weight to what could have been a ridiculous role. This movie is so entertaining to watch and has moments of deep suspense and huge twists that will boggle your mind. 

What to watch for: The big twist and the knowledge that this movie stirred up a major controversy by using what is basically a terrorist as its main character. 

Good Will Hunting

2 hrs. 6 min. Rated R

Why you should watch: If you haven’t seen this movie already, what are you doing? This is an emotional movie about a genius kid who must work out his inner problems to reach his massive potential. This movie moved me, balancing being both entertaining and touching. Matt Damon is amazing as Will, and Robin Williams gives the role of Will’s therapist massive depth. This movie is a must-see.

What to watch for: Nuanced performances from Matt Damon and Robin Williams and the emotional scene near the end.