2. The Godfather (1972)

 The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty in postwar New York City transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant youngest son. It is crystal clear why The Godfather is so high up on the AFI list. It’s the “be all, end all” of movies for many. It’s a masterclass on filmmaking, honestly. And there’s so many components that director Francis Ford Coppola … Continue reading 2. The Godfather (1972)

5. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

A silent film star falls for a chorus girl just as he and his delusionally jealous screen partner are trying to make the difficult transition to talking pictures in 1920s Hollywood. I firmly believe that this film has stood the test of time and remains on this list because it is a near perfect look and commentary on what happened during the transition from silent … Continue reading 5. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

8. Schindler’s List (1993)

In German-occupied Poland during World War II, industrialist Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazis. Schindler’s List is, arguably, the defining Holocaust film. I remember having to get a waiver signed when I was in the eighth grade, so we could watch the film once we finished our Holocaust unit. (Yes. We had a Holocaust unit.) … Continue reading 8. Schindler’s List (1993)

11. City Lights (1931)

With the aid of a wealthy erratic tippler, a dewy-eyed tramp who has fallen in love with a sightless flower girl accumulates money to be able to help her medically. Okay. I’m going to be completely honest: I have not been able to figure out why this particular Charlie Chaplin film is this high on the list. The reason can’t merely be that Chaplin decided … Continue reading 11. City Lights (1931)

14. Psycho (1960)

A Phoenix secretary embezzles $40,000 from her employer’s client, goes on the run, and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother. One of the few true horror films on AFI’s 100 Greatest Films list is this Alfred Hitchcock classic. Released in theaters in 1960, I remember reading somewhere that, once the film began, you wouldn’t be … Continue reading 14. Psycho (1960)

17. The Graduate (1967)

A disillusioned college graduate finds himself torn between his older lover and her daughter. I find it very fitting that, as I sit down to write this post, it looks as if it may rain outside. I have only ever watched Mike Nichols’ The Graduate twice in my life: once as I was ending high school, going into college and the other in my junior year of … Continue reading 17. The Graduate (1967)

49. Intolerance (1916)

I have made the decision to not watch this film. I understand why it is on this list, however I cannot bring myself to watch it. And that’s not just because it’s a three hour and seventeen-minute silent film. Intolerance was DW Griffith’s response to the backlash he received about his film Birth of a Nation, a film that is terribly racist and needs to … Continue reading 49. Intolerance (1916)

50. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

A meek Hobbit from the Shire and eight companions set out on a journey to destroy the powerful One Ring and save Middle-earth from the Dark Lord Sauron. The truth? I’ve never seen this film all the way through. I’ve caught parts here and there. I even went to see this film in the theater when it came out in 2001. My grandparents thought it … Continue reading 50. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)