What Are Your Top Three Movies of All Time?

The Godfather

The other day, my 17-year-old daughter texted a question on the family group chat. “Poll! What are your top three favorite movies?”

Naturally, when someone asks you a question that broad, you can’t think of a single movie you’ve ever seen in your life. One, for me, was obviously The Godfather, though, so I texted that first — followed by Annie Hall and a tie between Finding Nemo/The Incredibles. My husband texted The Godfather, Thin Red Line and Rushmore. Our other daughter, Abby, 15, had a hard time limiting herself to three and texted Get Out, Juno, Black Panther, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Up and Iron Man.

Get Out

Little Miss Sunshine

Fantastic Mr. Fox

My daughter Phoebe (whose favorites included No Country for Old Men, Unforgiven and Little Miss Sunshine) then told us that her film teacher at school had predicted The Godfather would be on most if not all the Top Three lists of an older generation. And look at that, her teacher was right!

The Godfather

Two years ago, I queued up The Godfather and The Godfather Part II back to back, and beforehand actually worried that maybe they weren’t going to hold up. But it was the opposite: they were better than I’d remembered and now it’s my goal to convince my kids to make room in their top three for either.

What about you? What’s in your top three?

P.S. Actors’ movie accents rated, and the best TV show of all time.

(Photos from top: The Godfather, Get Out, Little Miss Sunshine, Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Godfather.)

  1. Maria Anagnostopoulou says...

    1. Lawrence of Arabia
    2. The life of others
    3. Stella (an old greek film)

  2. Juliet says...

    Limiting it to 3 is impossible so:
    Blue Valentine
    Being There
    Breaking the Waves
    Mary Poppins
    About Time
    Star Wars
    What About Bob
    Dead Poets Society
    Stuart Saves His Family
    Isle of Dogs
    American Beauty
    Blair Witch Project

  3. Zuzana says...

    Roman holiday
    Thelma & Louise

  4. That changes depending on the mood I am in but today, I’d say

    – While you were sleeping
    – Mrs. Doubtfire
    – To Wong Foo (Thanks for everything, Julie Newmar)

  5. Lea M Sanders-Wilcox says...

    1. Amelie
    2. Old Boy (original)
    3. All of Me
    (For kicks) 4. City of God

  6. Melody Honeycutt says...

    In America
    The Big Chill
    Little Miss Sunshine

  7. Lord Slothrop says...

    The Shining
    There Will Be Blood
    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

  8. Jeannine Warner says...

    1. ANYTHING with Cary Grant (see what I did there? ?)
    2. ANYTHING with Doris Day
    3. About a Boy

    During this Covid sh…show (sorry) I’ve had a difficult time reading/watching anything that might tear at the heartstrings…just craving comfort food literature and media. Rewatching favorite episodes of Murder She Wrote/Magnum P.I., Durrells of Corfu…any fun movie with Paris or Italy as a character. Anyone else having this issue? I’ve decided to just give myself grace and go with it; however, with fall upon us, I think I need to challenge myself a bit more!

    • Paula says...

      I’ve been watching the same things! It gives me a lot of comfort too!

    • Sejal says...

      Yes!! About a Boy is such a great film – hilarious, heartbreaking, heartwarming – and not enough people know about it.

    • Nathalie says...

      Yes! I ADORE Cary Grant (and watch a lot of classic movies). I just made my 13-year-old son watch North by Northwest with me last night – such great storytelling…

  9. Lyn Ellen Burkett says...

    1. Double Indemnity
    2. Airplane
    3. Bringing Up Baby

  10. Merry says...

    1. Best in Show
    2. Rushmore and The Grand Budapest Hotel (actually anything directed by Wes Anderson!)
    3. The Graduate
    … and one more 4. Clueless! It will always be on my movie list.

  11. Babel

  12. True Campbell says...

    Jo Jo Rabbit is a must see and should have had more recognition.

    • Shauna Smith says...

      Yes! Definitely one of my favorites

  13. Bonnie says...

    Pride and Prejudice (Colin Firth)
    Anne of Green Gables (Megan Follows)
    Something’s Gotta Give
    You’ve Got Mail

    What are your favorites Joanna Goddard?

  14. Mik says...

    Ratatouille (Favorite cartoon)
    The Shape of Water (Favorite filmography)
    When Harry met Sally (Favorite romance)
    Mamma Mia (Favorite musical)
    Singing in the rain (Favorite childhood movie)
    Marley & Me (Favorite dog movie)
    The Intouchables (favorite tearjerker)
    1917 (newest fav)

  15. Mandi says...

    You got mail
    Because I said so
    Crazy stupid love
    Good will hunting

    • Mandi says...

      Also like the shape of water

    • Mandi says...

      And a little princess

      Too hard to narrow to three.

  16. Laurie Stewart says...

    One flew over the cukoos nest
    To Wong Foo (Thanks for everything, Julie Newmar)
    Forest Gump

  17. Claire says...

    *The Godfather
    *Pride & Prejudice (Colin Firth version)
    *Working Girl
    *Close Encounters
    *Star Wars (any or all)

  18. Theo Matta says...

    About Time
    Fried Green Tomatoes

    • Gabrielle says...

      Ugh, About Time! That is one of those that I would *not* think of off the top of my head if someone asked me this question but sure enough, whenever I see it streaming somewhere I think of how moving and life-changing it was for me. I’ve often thought of it during moments in life when I’ve been forced to consider both the permanence of my choices. I think it serves as a good reminder that there is, in a way, a lot of alternative versions of your life that could have been lived. Like what Cheryl Strayd called “the ghost ship that didn’t carry us.” That’s okay. Relish the life you’re in!

  19. Meagan says...

    I’ve always been somewhat ashamed of my taste in movies, thinking they weren’t cool enough but after reading this list, I realize I’m in good company! How to choose only three though…

    1. Pride and Prejudice (2005-seen at least 300 times)
    2. Practical Magic (I would just really love to be a talented witch with a botanical shop on a drizzly sort of island who lives in the most covetable home in movie history)
    3. Harry Potter: The Philosopher’s Stone, not because it’s overly good but because the discovery of a magical wizarding community and his true place in the world where people love him just makes me so happy and a little jealous! (I am 34 and still hope that magic is real, I’m not sure if it’s problematic from a mental health standpoint or me just being young at heart with a fabulous imagination ?)

    I could have also added The Holiday, Bridget Jones, Little Women, About Time, Moulin Rouge, The Notebook… gah, so many good ones!

  20. Katy Jones says...

    Breakfast at Tiffany’s
    Romeo and Juliet (Baz Luhrman)
    Victor, Victoria
    (….wait…oh please, not just three!)

    • Jssatx says...

      Katy- I thought of Luhrman’s R&J immediately when I saw the post! I wouldn’t have thought I’d Victor, Victoria but loved that movie!! We definitely are on a similar similar length.

  21. babs a brookfield says...

    The Quiet Man
    The Third Man
    Cinema Paradiso

  22. Annie says...

    I have NEVER heard anyone else say that their favorite movie is Baby Boom — except for me! It is THE BEST. Diane Keaton is my favorite actress, and forget The Godfather, this is her best work. It is the perfect film.

    • Claire Molyneaux says...

      Yes!! 1000% the BEST!

  23. Tammi Dower says...

    After the wedding
    Steel Magnolias

  24. Kim says...

    The Sound of Music
    The Birdcage
    Romancing the Stone
    English Patient

    • Sam says...

      all my fav too

    • Jssatx says...

      Romancing the Stone, hee hee. This is my tribe.

  25. K.D. says...

    Harold and Maude
    Blazing Saddles
    Hot Fuzz

    Can’t believe I didn’t see these here.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      harold and maude is in my top three for sure! love love love.

  26. Rabia says...

    Sabrina (the 1954 version)
    Persuasion (the 2007 version)

    honorable mentions:
    Harry Potter and the half blood prince
    An affair to remember
    Midnight in Paris

  27. Julia says...

    My top two are easy. I scrolled pretty far and I didn’t see anyone for The Princess Bride. I’m assuming I missed a bunch at the beginning of the comments? Because if not – guys! Princess Bride! #2 is You’ve Got Mail (actually kind of surprised to see how many others put this in their top 3!). #3 I’m gonna say Say Anything, although it could just as easily be Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally, The Sandlot, or Only You. I like this game!

    • Lucy says...

      Yes! Only you!!

  28. Molly says...

    Top 3:
    Pride and prejudice
    The princess bride

    Runners up:
    Love actually
    The holiday
    You’ve got mail
    When Harry met sally

    • Meaga says...

      I enjoy your taste in movies!

      I have Pride and Prejudice, The Holiday and Practical Magic on constant rotation and the others you mentioned (aside from Jaws *shudders*) are on often!

  29. Emily says...

    I love love but hate rom coms, so mine are:

    Singin’ In The Rain
    About Time

    • Meagan says...

      About Time!! What an incredible movie ?

  30. Nina says...

    The Godfather 2

  31. Katherine says...

    1. When Harry Met Sally
    2. Barefoot in the Park, 1967
    3. Runaway bride
    4. Pretty Woman
    5. Cast away
    6. Big
    7. You’ve got Mail
    8. The Shawshank Redemption
    9. Trading places
    10. Coming to America
    11. The war of the Roses
    12. Nine to five
    13. The Beverly Hillbillies
    14. Catch Me If You Can
    15. Mrs. Doubtfire
    16. What Women Want
    17. HouseSitter, 1992
    18. The Apartment, 1960
    19. Some like it hot
    20. The odd couple, 1967
    21. The Prisoner of Second Avenue, 1975
    22. Breakfast at Tiffany’s
    23. Desk set, 1957
    24. Funny farm, 1988
    25. City Lights, 1931
    And so many others!) I’m 27)) Hi from Ukraine!)

  32. Amy says...

    Has anyone ever seen “Return To Me”?! It is so precious and sweet and funny.
    So… (not in order necessarily)
    – Return to Me
    – Little Women (Winona version)
    – Gone, Baby Gone and The Visitor

    *3 is too hard!

    • Lucy says...

      Return to me is in my top 3!

    • Meagan says...

      Yessssss Little Women, so damn good!

  33. Siri says...

    1. Cinema Paradiso
    2. Forrest Gump
    3. Volver

    Random order and will beat myself in about 10 min when I will think of many more I could have chosen instead ❤️

  34. Elle says...

    When Harry America Sally
    Best in Show
    Fried Green Tomatoes
    Almost Famous

  35. Cathy says...

    Fight Club

  36. Lauren says...

    I have scrolled as far as my eyes will let me and I am SHOCKED that I have yet to see No Country for Old Men mentioned! My other honorees would be Garden State, Whiplash, Blue Valentine and basically any Jake Gyllenhaal film (Nightcrawler!)

    • Shauna Smith says...

      You and I have the same taste! I loved No Country, Whilash and Blue Valentine!! I haven’t seen Garden State, but I’m going to take your recommendation.

  37. Kate says...

    Love actually
    Schindler’s list
    Oceans 11

  38. Amelie
    The Royal Tenenbaums
    & The Godfather, obviously.

  39. Dana says...

    Would you please do a similar post asking:

    What are your top 3 favorite movies to watch as a family?? I would love more recommendations for ones to watch with kids for movie nights!

    Thanks so much!

    • Irmarie says...

      Schindlers list
      A beautiful life
      And I have to: saturday night feveeeerrrr!

    • Dana says...

      Depends on the age of the kids, but when I met my husband and his 11 year old son, we bonded hard over Blended (my stepson loves anything with Adam Sandler, and this is a legit cute movie) and Chef. Chef has a bit of language, but we’ve watched both movies dozens of times together. We also do “bad movie marathons” (Jaws 3, San Andreas, Sharknado, etc). Anything with the Rock is a good bet. :) But again it would depend on ages.

  40. Kiley says...

    Too many to think of! Right off the top of my head:
    * Cool Hand Luke
    *Sense and Sensibility
    * Rocky Horror Picture Show

  41. Laura says...

    Little Women *Winona Ryder version
    You’ve Got Mail

    • Cassie M says...

      Bermuda depths !
      Cone heads
      Mars attacks
      Earth girls are easy
      Men in Black

  42. Sara says...

    The Life Aquatic and The Darjeeling Limited
    Moulin Rouge
    Big Fish

    • Megan says...

      Yes! Big fish. ❤️

  43. Tessa says...

    Pride and Prejudice (both the 1995 and the 2005 versions)
    The Breakfast Club (really anything with Molly Ringwald)
    The Sound of Music

    Love to rewatch:
    You’ve Got Mail
    Sleepless in Seattle
    The Godfather I + II
    Breakfast at Tiffany’s
    Bridget Jones’ Diary
    Notting Hill
    Rear Window

    • Lillia Bates says...

      I love your list! I would have to add Persuasion.

    • Irmarie says...

      Oh my, gotta do this:
      A few good men
      Pretty Woman!!!!!! I know must of the script by heart!

  44. Elham says...

    Joanna, you have to watch the last black man in San Francisco!

  45. Stacey says...

    This is an easy one:

    Fried Green Tomatoes
    Raiders of the Lost Ark
    Off the Map

  46. Emily says...

    Too many. I am a movie person so I have categories. I’ll do top 3 Old Movies:

    -Swiss Family Robinson
    -Operation Petticoat
    -Pillow Talk

    • Mary says...

      These are the best! I love the patina of these movies. Makes you wish for a different time (and I’m 28).

  47. Tshego says...

    Palm Trees in the Snow
    This is 40

    I could watch these every day for the rest of my life.

  48. Becky Puls says...

    You’ve Got Mail
    The Sandlot
    Mean Girls

    • Jen says...

      Yes!! All 3 in at least my Top 10. Great taste :)

  49. Gemma says...

    I can’t do 3. So I’m going collection instead!
    Harry Potter – the entire collection
    anything Sandra Bullock
    Armageddon – I cry every time!!!
    I am 36 and never watched the God Father. Thinking maybe I should

    • Barb says...

      Me, too! I’m 36 and have never seen it either!

  50. Mandy says...

    Anything with Jessica Lange. If I had to pick 3…
    Blue Sky
    Big Fish
    Everybody’s All American

    13 year old me will always think GREASE is the best movie ever.

  51. Ally says...

    Boys on the Side
    Breakfast Club
    One Week

    • Irmarie says...

      Ahhhh Breakfast Club! A lot of 80’s in this post. Rock on!

  52. Nadia says...

    Talk to her
    The cake maker

    • PAIGE says...

      Yes, Talk to Her!

  53. Anna Cohen says...

    our family favourites:
    – Sound of Music
    – What we did in our holiday
    – Lock Stock and 2 smoking barrels

  54. Linh says...

    Billy Elliot
    Never Been Kissed
    Bridget Jones’ Diary
    So many good movies but these are hands down my all time faves.

  55. Emma says...

    Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight (sneakily chucked them in together)
    Wild (probably because it came at just the right time for me)

    • Rita says...

      I’m with you Emma. My brain kind of had a tizz when I tried to think of any movies I love, but your movie choices are perfect :)

  56. Tracy says...

    Can we do this with books next?!

    • Judy says...


    • Elly says...

      I’m in!

  57. Jennifer C. says...

    True Romance
    The Bourne Identity

  58. Sooo many but without hesitation…
    The Matrix
    Spirited Away

    Gotta have a movie night soon!

  59. Sophie says...

    Too many to narrow down so here’s my long list, in no particular order:

    Jurassic Park
    You’ve Got Mail
    Father of the Bride 1 & 2
    Love Actually
    Harry Potter
    Emperor’s New Groove (my kids and I laugh hysterically through the whole thing!)

    • It’s a Wonderful Life
      About Time
      Singin’ In the Rain

      …and because I can’t choose just three….

      Life is Beautiful
      Roman Holiday
      Little Women (1994)

  60. Kristian says...

    Casablanca (though I do adore To Have and Have Not too)
    Howl’s Moving Castle (The animation where you first see the castle is amazing!)
    You’ve Got Mail (I realize that objectively, Ephron may have had better films but I love books, I love bouquets of pencils and Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks interacting)

    Runners up might include Beauty and the Beast, the Third Man, and It Happened One Night

    • sophie says...

      I LOVE You’ve Got Mail – it’s one of the few movies my daughters and I look forward to watching every fall (another being Little Women).

  61. Tracey V says...

    Oh this is agony! So thrilled that someone mentioned Stop Making Sense!! On the music theme, I have a die-hard love for Tommy. Big fan of Philadelphia, ANYTHING by the awesome Coen boys, The Piano, and also Beginners- an exquisite fulm with Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer and Goran Visnjic.

  62. Beverly Something says...

    Ahhh! This is so tough.

    1. This is an easy one… leaps and bounds ahead of all the others… BABY BOOM. I watch this every time I’m sick and any time I get a rainy day at home with nothing to do. I play it for all my coworkers when I have to work over the weekend and have co-opted the plot to tell to my nieces and nephew during bedtime stories. It is THE perfect movie to me and I will never get sick of it. I’m an expert in the 80’s Rom-Com featuring career women walking around NYC in their skirt suits and sneakers, and Baby Boom completely holds up. It contains a scene with enthusiastic consent! With the exception of the nanny interviews, there aren’t even any cringe-worthy scenes. And Sam Shepard as the hot vet? Swoon.

    2. Now and Then – My childhood best friend and i spent many a summer riding our bikes all around town while singing “Knock Three Times”, contemplating water vs. pudding balloons, and daydreaming about Devon Sawa’s butt – all thanks to this movie.

    3. Can’t Hardly Wait – probably the most underrated teen movie. And Ethan Embry. Again, swoon.

    Honorable mentions that really all could have been #3: Waiting To Exhale, That Thing You Do, Sabrina (w/ Audrey Hepburn), Pride and Prejudice (w/ Keira), Father of the Bride, Dirty Dancing, any Nora Ephron movie (but especially When Harry Met Sally)

  63. Emily says...

    Titanic came out when I was in 8th grade (making me the perfect age to develop a HUGE crush on Leonardo) and I saw that movie EIGHT TIMES in the theater. For real. The best part is it that I haven’t watched it since. Anyway, my perennial favorites are as follows:
    1. Pride and Prejudice (Kiera’s version)
    2. Jurassic Park (not sure why, but I love this movie)
    3. Ocean’s 11 (this movie is nearly perfect and amazingly, there’s no sex, violence or swearing!)

  64. D M Smith says...

    The Third Man
    The Lady Eve
    The Searchers

  65. Laurie says...

    All time favorite
    Return To Me-bring on the Kleenex
    Anything with Sandra Bullock or Reese Witherspoon
    National Treasure 1 and 2

  66. lili says...

    Can I controversially suggest a top three bad movies poll? Movies you know aren’t the peak of the art form (or have been generally panned) but hold a very special place in your heart?
    Oceans 12
    Beauty Shop (W/ Queen Latifah)

  67. Andrea says...

    Moulin Rouge
    O Brother Where Art Thou?
    Minority Report
    Sixteen Candles
    Lilo & Sitch

    • thrift says...

      Love your top 3!!!

  68. Lynn says...

    So hard to pick 3 and I feel like my favorites change all the time as I see new movies through the years. I feel like this question gets asked and I immediately forget movies I have watched and loved, so I started keeping a list on my phone.

    True Stories
    Working Girl
    The Graduate

  69. Bella says...

    Too many favorites:
    The Godfather
    Miller’s Crossing (by the incomparable Cohen Brothers)
    High Society (the remake of the Philadelphia Story)
    Harry Potter –all of them
    All the Doris Day movies (sing, act and gorgeous!)
    All the Audrey Hepburn movies
    Pan’s Labrinth
    The Party (Peter Sellars at his best)
    All of Cary Grant’s movies
    One movie that I don’t nderstand the love is –The Big Lebowski (only movie that I can remember walking out)

    • Kristian says...

      Random, question but since you like Cary Grant films and high Society, do you also like the Philadelphia Story? Love your list! Also- I’ve only seen a few Doris Day films. What would you recommend as your top three from her?

  70. Janan says...

    Too many favorites. I could never just pick 3:)
    Meryl: Out of Africa, Bridges of Madison County, Devil Wears Prada, Julie & Julia
    Brit: English Patient, 2005 Pride & Prejudice, Far From the Madding Crowd, Much Ado About Nothing
    Time Travel-ish: About Time, Age of Adeline, Inception, Midnight in Paris
    Christmas: Elf, Love Actually, the Holiday, Family Stone, Step Mom, White Christmas
    Just Life: Dan in Real Life, Crazy Stupid Love, Secret Life of Walter Mitty, We Bought a Zoo, Aloha, Chef, Dear Frankie
    Spy/Heist(new versions): Man From Uncle, Oceans…,Thomas Crown Affair, Italian Job
    Oldies: Court Jester, Bringing up Baby, West Side Story, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
    And there’s many more favorites! I’ve never wanted to see any of the Godfather movies, but think I will try one out now:)

    • Cassie says...

      Great list! Love the categories!

  71. autopsy of jane doe , 300 and 3rd is golden eye 007 are my favourites movies

  72. Gris says...

    1. Amelie
    2. Volver (w/Penelope Cruz)
    3. Royal Tenenbaums/Darjeeling Limited

  73. Grace says...

    Groundhog Day! Best movie ever!

    • Vanessa says...


  74. Emily says...

    The Darjeeling Limited, Annie Hall, Love Actually, everything else by Richard Curtis, Something’s Gotta Give, and so many more, but it really depends what genre we’re talking about! Also of course just absolutely love When Harry Met Sally and everything written by Nora Ephron, who speaks directly to my heart.

  75. Erin says...

    Labyrinth (because David Bowie, duh!)
    Contact (it always fills me with wonder and awe)
    Sense and Sensibility
    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
    Lord of the Rings trilogy
    Howl’s Moving Castle (seriously, such a sweet story)

    I have a soft spot for late 60’s/early 70’s films, whether spooky like Stepford Wives and Rosemary’s Baby (Get Out totally reminded me of that era), or dramas like The Graduate, Harold and Maud, and Taxi Driver. Such great filmmaking back then!

  76. Anna says...

    Call me by your name!

    • CJ says...

      Yes yes yes! All day long :)

  77. Susan Y. says...

    1. To Sir, With Love (love all things Sidney Portier)
    2. All About Eve (anything Bette Davis)
    3. Dial M for Murder (Hitchcock rules!)

    I love the classics.

    • Renee says...

      To Sir With Love, now that’s a movie! No special effects or gimmicks just excellent writing and acting. They don’t even make movies like this anymore.

  78. 1. Napoleon Dynamite
    2. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
    3. The Big Lebowski

    Napoleon Dynamite is the only movie I will always sit down and watch from beginning to end, without moving. No getting up, no snacks. No phone, no scrolling. I’m glued to the screen through THE WHOLE THING. I don’t know what it is. Every time I watch it, there’s something new for my eyes to see. So many people hate Napoleon Dynamite, but it’s the perfect movie for me!

  79. Lindsay says...

    I try to follow instructions but I simply cannot be limited to 3 movies!
    While You Were Sleeping (Mr Joe Fusco Junior)
    You’ve Got Mail
    Sabrina (The remake with Harrison Ford and Greg Kinnear)
    That Thing You Do (A guy in a really nice trailer wants to put our song on the raido!)
    Remember the Titans (Can recite the whole movie, drives my husband crazy)
    Father of the Bride (Part 1 and 2! Someone else said it but Frahnk can’t be beat)

    • Lindsay says...

      Also Singing in the Rain and The Fugitive. Runaway Bride ranks pretty high too.

  80. Kim says...

    1. Dirty Dancing
    2. The Bridges of Madison County
    3. Good Will Hunting/Dead Poet’s Society/Breakfast Club

  81. Jenn says...

    Jaws, Children of Paradise, Stranger than Fiction

    • Jenn says...

      Forgot It’s a Wonderful Life. You’ve Got Mail is also up there <3

  82. Lindsay says...

    Sense and Sensibility
    Best in Show
    The Graduate

    (Rushmore, The Big Lebowski, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Eat Drink Man Woman, Man on Wire, When Harry Met Sally, A Serious Man, Grand Budapest Hotel, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Royal Tenenbaums, Coming to America, and not a movie, but BBC’s Pride & Prejudice)

    Whew. Okay, so those are my 3, ha!

  83. Kara says...

    You Can Count on Me – I saw this four times in the movie theatre so I could sit next to different friends as they experienced it. Great writing, acting, and stays with you for days, months, years…

    Hoosiers – the best in the genre of “sports movies” (second place – Breaking Away)

    Hannah and Her Sisters – Woody Allen, so bit tough to add to this list, but such a beautiful, funny, and nuanced movie

  84. Johanna says...

    Crazy Rich Asians
    Dead Poets Society
    Cinema Paradiso

    But I love so many of the other movies too (amelie, juno, nick and nora’s infinite playlist…)

  85. emily yelencich says...

    ooooo I was just thinking about this!
    1. Cabin in the Woods
    2. Interstellar
    3. The Royal Tenenbaums v. The Life Aquatic v. Rushmore
    runner up: 4. Best in Show

    • Caroline says...

      Just had to look up Cabin in the Woods (which I’d never heard of) based on the amazingness of the rest of your list.

    • Andrea says...

      Great choices!! I was OBSESSED with Cabin in the Woods and told everyone I knew about it that week I saw it. Also recently re-watched Interstellar and I think about it constantly. It amazes me how it does NOT feel like 3 hours long. Tars!

  86. In the Mood for Love
    The Jerk
    The English Patient

    • SARAH. A few weeks ago I was listening to an NPR story that made me remember a romance movie I loved in an Asian cinema class in college. I couldn’t believe I had forgotten about it, and tried googling “Chinese,” “Love” and “Movie” in as many combinations as I could think of to no avail. And then I click on this post and yours is the first response I read. I can finally watch it again! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Gillian says...

      In the mood for love is my favorite, too. Just so beautiful. And i love that your list led to Vittoria solving her mystery!

  87. Chelsea says...

    – Father of the Bride
    – Tommy Boy
    – Steel Magnolias
    Runners-up: Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, A League of Their Own, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Crazy Stupid Love

  88. Marie M says...

    The notebook
    4 weddings and a funeral
    Mon oncle (My uncle – Tati)
    North by northwest

    Love this topic! So many good movies listed (and many new ones to see)

  89. 1. The Bridges of Madison County
    2. Lost Boys
    3. Pretty Woman
    1. Because it makes me cry – and there’s something about Clint Eastwood in it (!), 2. reminds me of growing up in the 1980s, and 3. I watched over and over with my beautiful mum, who sadly passed away four years ago ♡

  90. Jenna says...

    Back to the Future
    Garden State
    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

    Plus hundreds of close runners-up!

    • Garden State over here, too! That soundtrack…

      Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, too!


      Never Been Kissed
      Catch & Release
      You’ve Got Mail
      Something’s Gotta Give

  91. Grace says...

    1) Big Fish (really spoke to me after my dad passed away).
    2) The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (bring on all the nostalgia!) It came out in middle school and my best friend and I were obsessed.
    3) Roman Holiday (started my obsession with old movies and romantic movies in general. Gregory Peck 4ever!)

  92. Abby says...

    My favourite dramas
    1. Broken Circle Breakdown – didn’t win the Oscar for foreign movie that year but I watched it with a film club. While usually we would have a round of questions and discussion about the movie after the finish, we (men and women) actually sat there crying in silence for at least 5 minutes (an eternity basically) before doing that. Highly recommend if you are into drama!
    2. Kite Runner – amazing book, great Adaption (if you are into foreign films depicting the less fortunate lifes in other countries, you will also like Capernaum)
    3. Dead Poets Society – Reading & Robin Williams do I need to say more?

    • Marine says...

      I LOVE Broken Circle Breakdown – so beautiful, so moving, ended up a puddle of tears

  93. Megan Rogerson says...

    Agree with so many of these, but so far no one has said
    “My Cousin Vinny”?!?!?!

    • Julie says...

      It’s one of my favorites for sure! I think I saw one other person mention it? Every time I watch it, I marvel at just how pitch-perfect the script is and how well Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei play off each other.

    • Bonq says...

      Yes! My fave movie. My biological clock is tickin’!!! Hahah

  94. Laurel says...

    How has no one listed Star Wars? Return of the Jedi for sure ?
    Also, Blade Runner and A Star Is Born

  95. Marie says...

    Romantic comedy- What’s Your Number or This Means War
    Ocean’s 11 or 13
    Hell or High Water (to borrow from a comment above, can’t watch it again, but can’t forget it either. Don’t Google it. Just watch it.)

  96. Paige says...

    1 – The Fall
    2 – Whale Rider
    3 – Spirited Away

    • Kathy says...

      Love Whale Rider so much!

  97. Kate says...

    How has ‘What About Bob?’ not been mentioned? Absolute film classic! And ‘Midnight in Paris’ is so absolutely lovely!

    • Theresa says...

      These are two of my absolute favorites!!

    • Kristen Solecki says...

      So true, definitely in my top list! Grew up watching What About Bob,and my family quotes it all the time!

    • Meghan says...

      We went to the premier of Midnight in Paris years back when we lived in LA… we accidentally got sat right next to Owen Wilson (gah!) and, as he watched he turned to us (gahhh!) and said “I can’t usually stand watching myself at these things, but I actually like this one.” He casually turned back to the screen, watched until right about at the end, and got up to leave early. Night made and neat to watch him watch himself!

    • Joanna Goddard says...


  98. Jamie T says...

    3 is nearly impossible, but at this given moment I’d say;
    1. Almost Famous
    2. Shirley Valentine (earliest indication maybe a life of travel and non-traditional was the direction I should follow)
    3. Harold and Maude

    There’s many more but those stand out in my mind. It also depends on my mood sometimes you just need a Harry Potter day or Jason Borne fix!

  99. Steph says...

    Fiddler on the Roof, anyone???

  100. Barbara Schauer says...

    The Fall
    Wonder Woman
    The Sorrow and the Pity

    • Cait says...

      The Fall!! Not many people talk about that movie.

  101. Jenna says...

    The ones that come to mind first are

    2) 13 Going on 30
    3) Bourne Identity

  102. Sophie says...

    1. Moonstruck, forever and always (Cher! Olympia Dukakis! Martinis! Moonlight! Glam red heels! Nic Cage! La Boheme!)
    2. Meet Me in St. Louis (Judy Garland in a ravishing red dress, singing Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas)
    3. Signs (Kind of out of character for me, but I love the acting ((Mel Gibson is subtle but great)), the script, the soundtrack, and it’s just scary enough for me!)
    Also, LITERALLY ANYTHING that Nancy Meyer waves her wand over (Parent Trap, Father of the Bride movies, The Holiday)

    • Lamah says...

      I Love “Meet me in St Louis” :)

  103. Ellie says...

    1. Bridesmaids (always makes me feel better and crack up)
    2. About Time (like another reader said it makes me feel alive)
    3. Swingers (classic)

    • Abby says...

      About Time is so good!
      Watched it copious times since it hit Netflix!

    • Sara says...

      This is the EPITOME of random but i sat next to Elaine Chao (secretary of transportation and wifE of Mitch McConnell—I’m a politics nerd) on a flight and watched About Time… she watched half of it over my shoulder and commented later that it is one of her all-time favorite movies! Haha SO random, I’m sorry. I’ll retreat back to my weird cave now…

    • Kate says...

      Love About Time! I walked down the aisle to The Luckiest in part because of how beautifully it was used at the end of that movie!

    • Lamah says...

      Kate! That’s so sweet!! When I was in college, I used to listen to “The Luckiest” on repeat and cry because of how beautiful it is. This was years before I met my current husband or the movie came out.
      Fast forward years, I got married and I am watching About Time for the first time (it is now my all time favorite along with Arrival) and I don’t notice the beginning of the song at the beginning of movie, and then the part with the lyrics comes at the very end of the movie, and I start balling. Of course my life is definitely not the same since, in the best way, thanks God :)

    • Lamah says...


  104. Elizabeth says...

    1) Almost Famous
    2) True Romance
    3) The Big Lebowski

  105. Ser says...

    -The (original) Parent Trap
    -The Hangover
    -Blue Velvet

  106. Avril says...

    Room with a view
    Philadelphia Story
    The Sting
    (And Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,
    Days of Heaven, Field of Dreams, Greencard, Heartburn, Sea of Love, The Apartment, Ofd Couple, Pink Panther…so many!)

  107. Sarah says...

    If we are really going to make me choose 3 (sigh!) then mine are:

    1. Romeo and Juliet (Baz Lurhmann)
    2. Edward Scissorhands
    3. Back to the Future/Point Break

  108. First of all, I adore the fact that you have a family group text. That is so sweet. Secondly, only THREE?! I’m a sucker for kid’s movies and often turn to them to cheer myself up, but the three movies I watch the most are probably Yes Man (as it inspired me to try new things), Legally Blonde (as it taught me that I can be girly, smart, AND strong all at once), and Charlie’s Angels (because I love a woman who can kick some butt)!

  109. Patty says...

    After an entire day of careful thought, I’ve decided on:

    1. Clueless
    2. Groundhog’s Day
    3. You’ve Got Mail
    (4. My Fair Lady 5. Forrest Gump)

    Ugh, this is so hard!

    Once, during a job interview, I was asked “What is your favorite movie?” and I couldn’t think of any! I said, “I don’t like Wes Anderson movies.” That was my response!! I’m convinced it’s the reason I didn’t get the job. After that, I pretty much convinced myself I’m not a movie person.

    Yet today, doing this exercise, I easily listed 50. They range from childhood favorites (Now and Then, Sister Act II) to cult classics (Empire Records, Labyrinth) to box office classics (Thor Ragnarok, Pulp Fiction) to classic classics (Forrest Gump, Good Will Hunting) to cheesy romcoms (Sweet Home Alabama, Miss Congeniality). I’m proud of my taste in movies and I can’t wait to spend the summer watching all the movies I can’t believe I haven’t seen by now (Rocky, The Godfather… yikes.)

  110. imelda says...

    You’ve Got Mail
    Working Girl
    The Lord of The Rings
    Plus: About Time, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Guardian of Galaxy 1

  111. Jennifer says...

    Jaws, Alien, and Mulan

  112. Marki says...

    Sense and Sensibility
    Inglorious Basterds

  113. Kaitlin says...

    The Princess Bride
    Say Anything
    Bull Durham, which I watched in the early stages of labour and on my daughter’s first birthday.

    • Stefanie says...

      My mom watched Bull Durham in the hospital as she was laboring with my brother!

  114. Courtney says...

    Top three(ish):
    (1) The Third Man
    (2) True Romance
    (3) North by Northwest

    Honorable Mentions: The Iron Giant, Moonrise Kingdom, The Fifth Element, The Last Picture Show

  115. Kristen says...

    Good Will Hunting
    Notting Hill
    Lord of the Rings

    Bonus…my five-year-old daughter and I have watched Moana countless times together. Every single time Moana returns the heart to Te Ka we snuggle tight in anticipation of Te Fiti’s transformation. I feel empowered by Moana’s gentle kindness and badass courage…I think my little one feels the same wave. Definitely a bonus favorite movie!

  116. LLH says...

    Call me by your name
    When Harry Met sally

    I’m a sucker for a great love story.

  117. Charlotte says...

    Being Julia (Annette Bening is perfection)
    Gosford Park (Maggie Smith is my idol in this and Downton Abbey)
    Beauty and the Beast – the animated version

    • Anne says...

      Oh, I love Gosford Park. Almost forgot about that one… such a well put together movie.

      must have watched it about 50 times back when I had 3 channels and 4 DVDs (Gosford Park, the 2 Kill Bills, and Swimming Pool with Charlotte Rampling).

  118. Steph says...

    Bagdad Cafe
    Stop Making Sense
    When Harry Met Sally
    (And Despicable Me….)

  119. Victoria Speirs says...

    My Best Friends Wedding
    Notting Hill
    Harry Potter
    Empire Records

  120. Sarah Faye says...

    My favourite movies are about groups of rambunctious, dysfunctional men! Why?!

    Good Fellas
    The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

  121. TS says...

    The Thomas Crown Affair (what IS it about Pierce Brosnan!)
    Under the Tuscan Sun
    Love Actually
    Bridget Jones’ Diary

    Clearly…. i like romantic movies. At this point, i’m leaning in!

  122. Meg says...

    OK, these aren’t necessarily my *favorite* but they are my absolute most-watched and always-watchable, comfort food of movies:

    1) Willy Wonky & the Chocolate Factory
    2) Father of the Bride (Franck! The Naahvy blue tux-ah-do!)
    3) Bridget Jones (ok, I’d watch Colin Firth doing anything)
    4) Elf (son of a nutcracker!)

    I’m 40 and have never seen the Godfather(s) so it’s going on my weekend watch list. :)

  123. Sara (again) says...

    Oh! I already commented above but then I remembered The Emperor’s New Groove! My whole family can quote it in its entirety!

    • Abby says...

      Agreed. Hilarious movie!

  124. A Lusk says...

    Blue is the Warmest Color
    The Breakfast Club

  125. Sara says...

    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    Romeo & Juliet (Baz Luhrman version)
    Titanic/My Best Friend’s Wedding/Anchorman/Princess Bride…

    I can’t decide on third place! Anyway, such great votes in these comments!

    • Jen says...

      Eternal Sunshine and Titanic are definitely in my Top 3, too! Think Means Girls would take the 3rd spot for me. So hard!

  126. Meagan says...

    Father of the Bride (watched it more times than I can count)
    You’ve Got Mail (glad to see I’m in good company with this one!)
    Good Will Hunting OR The Fugitive OR Ocean’s 11 (this is difficult)

    • Emma says...

      Father of the Bride 2
      Grumpy Old Men
      The Wedding Date

  127. Ismah says...

    1. Before sunrise
    2. The graduate
    3. The Godfather (I and II)…..feeling old now

  128. Alicia says...

    I love “That Thing You Do”!!
    My husband I also super love “School of Rock”!
    This is really hard, I have more than 3….
    Here are a few more:
    Devil Wears Prada- “Please move a glacial speed, you know how that thrills me..” Ha!
    Tombstone – The only western I could get into, well…Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer!
    Remember the Titans – My husband is a football coach and we saw this together, special place in my heart.
    But there’s so many more and all different…Godfather, Superbad, Anchorman, Wedding Crashers, Brooklyn…. :)

    • Meagan says...

      That Thing You Do is one our family staples, but it’s rare to find someone else who loves it! My jazz playlist on Spotify is called The Blue Spot. :)

    • A Martin says...

      Yes!! That thing you do!! “I quit! I quit! I quit…”. Ah Liv Tyler ?

    • Julie says...

      That Thing You Do! is a perfect movie. “A man in a really nice camper wants to put our song on the radio! You’re signing, I’m signing, we’re all signing!”

    • Lindsay says...

      “Oh I’m not here with these fellas. I got a pig in the livestock competition and I am gonna win that blue ribbon!”

  129. jill says...

    Out of Africa
    The English Patient

    • Marki says...

      Good ones! I forgot how much I loved Out of Africa, I think I’ll watch that tonight!

    • Jennifer says...

      “The English Patient is the most perfect movie I have ever seen” I sighed as I left the theater around Christmas, 1996. I still think that.

  130. Charity says...

    Oh god! How to choose just 3?
    Some of my faves:
    The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly
    Shawshank Redemption

    • Laura says...

      Love Shawshank Redemption… “get busy living or get busy dying”

  131. Gem says...

    Dazed And Confused
    Mallrats (don’t @ me)
    Sixteen Candles

    Also the Before Sunrise/Sunset/Midnight trilogy. And Everybody Wants Some.

  132. Tori says...

    Can’t choose 3. But:
    Lord of the rings
    About time
    Pride and prejudice

    Notting hill
    Far from the maddening crowd
    Crazy heart
    Lost in a translation
    Only lovers left alive
    Dan in real life
    Legends of the fall

  133. Hali says...

    Darjeeling Limited (Wes Anderson anything really)
    Secret of Roan Inish

    I have anxiety about seeing films in the theater. I hate the idea that I’m sat there for well over an hour with little control over my emotions surrounded by a lot of noise. Does anyone else feel this way? Relatedly, I’m also one of those people that looks up the plot before watching anything which annoys everyone I know but I never spoil anything for anyone else!

    • NN says...

      Hello there, Hali. I’ve finally found someone just like me!
      I’m not so anxious per se in a theatre, but I cannot unsee anything and remember it too vividly for my own good. So I cannot watch anything before looking it up in case I see something that is too shocking for my system.
      You are the only other person I’ve found who acknowledges this! Hi5!

    • sania says...

      I must google the plot before I go otherwise I can’t see it. I feel like I need to gird myself before entering an emotional battle if you will :)
      Also the Darjeeling Limited is my all time fave, I have too too many to fit it into three but that movie will always be up there :)

    • Johanna says...

      I don’t have anxiety about seeing movies in the theater, per se, but I also just don’t enjoy it very much – I do feel like I’m being held captive, I can’t control the temperature, I don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for a bottle of water and snack. Movies at home though? Love it. I can sprawl across the sofa, wear my PJs, pause for a bathroom break, etc.

  134. Alli says...

    1) Forest Gump (The soundtrack alone makes this my #1!)
    2) Pulp Fiction (My partner and I bonded over our mutual love of this one on our first date, and now I’ll never not include it in my top movies of all time. Plus Uma Thurman is my forever girl crush)
    3) O Brother Where Art Thou? (Another amazing soundtrack and seriously hilarious, while also being a witty telling of the Odyssey.)

    I could watch those three over and over again!

  135. Maywyn says...

    Shindler’s List, not easy to watch, but with life changing impact

    Harry Potter

    Out of Africa

    • Abby says...

      Should’ve probably also admitted to Harry Potter. It’s by far my most watched movie (series). Potterhead over here.

  136. Mona says...

    The Seventh Seal (yes I’m from Sweden)
    Breakfast at Tiffany’s

    Oh and anything Emma Thompson…

  137. Michelle says...

    Joe versus the Volcano (anyone??)
    Sabrina (Humphrey Bogart or Harrison Ford version)
    Love Actually

    • Courtney says...

      Yes! Most people have never even heard of Joe vs the Volcano and man are they missing out. So quirky and so good!!!!

      Random quotes from this movie pop into my head all the time…. “I have no response to that.” “I’m not arguing that with you”

  138. Amy says...

    Love this! My husband and I have a running list of top 10 desert island shows. If you ONLY had ten shows to watch the rest of your life forever. I had to recently bump one to add Fleabag (!)

    • Gerda van der Goot says...

      Out of Africa, The way we were, English Patient and Silence of the lambs (kept me out of my sleep for 4 nights). Best wishes from The Netherlands

  139. Elizabeth says...

    There’s enough comments on this post but I’ll give my .02 because fun.
    1. When Harry Met Sally
    (The soundtrack! Walks through Central Park in the fall! Cableknit sweaters!)
    2. Pride and Prejudice (2005- I was in high school when my mom bought this movie on a whim at Target. I watched it and was instantly sucked into the dreamy scenery and the love story between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. I remember waking up before school on mornings when there was a 2 hour delay and popping the DVD in so I could cozy up with some hot cocoa and watch it).
    3. Harry Potter- the entire series (either you get it or you don’t there is no in between I’m sorry).

    P.S. These are the only films I own on DVD thus their immediate placement in my top 3.

  140. Michelle says...

    Midnight in Paris
    The Hundred Foot Journey
    Wedding Singer – Adam sandler’s best movie

    Honorable mention for Coming to America.

    • Meagan says...

      The Hundred Foot Journey is so underrated! Moving and sweet and fun and beautiful.

    • Lindsay says...

      Love the Hundred Foot Journey!

  141. Jenny says...

    #1 Titanic, #2 a battle between (Cinderella man and Southpaw), #3 Life is beautiful.
    Now I am tempted to spend the weekend, re-watching all these for the hundredth time!
    I just recently got introducted to COJ, and am an instant fan. Lovely blog and even more lovely readers/comment. hugs to everyone xo

  142. Tari says...

    1) Rear Window
    2) Legends of the Fall
    3) Sixteen Candles

  143. Rosa says...

    Shawshank redemption
    The royal tenenbaums

    + special mention for little women (the one with winona), I rewatched it last as and it’s still A+

  144. Kath says...

    In no particular order:
    – Sarah’s Key
    – Brooklyn
    – Logan
    – Shrek

    But there are so many close ones too! Toy Story, Ratatouille, Glory, etc.

  145. Sarah Dunnington says...

    Love how the youngest kid’s top three are the most diverse.

  146. Y says...

    To all you Pride and Prejudice peeps, give Sense and Sensibility a try. Emma Thompson’s screenplay and her acting are both stunning.

    Stealing Beauty
    Dances with Wolves
    High Fidelity ( for the 30 seconds of Bruce Springsteen)

  147. Bethany says...

    That Thing You Do (the people who know this movie LOVE THIS MOVIE, and the extended directors cut is so good)
    Draft Day (not a “good” movie by any means, but I don’t follow the NFL at all and now I watch it every year around the NFL draft and it gets me every time. not to mention, chadwick boseman pre-black panther!)
    Remember the Titans (cheesy and predictable but oh so good)

    Honorary mentions
    Shawshank (I can’t watch it again but can’t forget it either)
    Parent Trap (Lindsay Lohan)
    Oceans 11 (introduced me to heist movies and perfected the art of the “motley crew” coming together… and seriously, george clooney + matt damon + brad pitt + julia, how can anyone resist???)

    • Laura C says...

      Ocean’s 11 is one of my favorites too! So glad to see it made someone else’s list!

    • Meagan says...

      It’s true, I can almost quote That Thing You Do verbatim! My whole family loves it SO MUCH.

    • Lindsay says...

      That Thing You Do is my family’s most quoted movie!! Great list