Top Ten Movies of all Time (Personal List)

Listing my all time favorite movies.

My Top 10 Movies of all Time

In this article, I am going to share with you a list of my top ten movies of all time. It might seem like an easy task to compile such a list, but it is not! Especially for someone who has watched the number of movies that I did watch, it is not an easy task at all. This article highlights what I consider the top ten movies of all time, there are definitely more great movies that I have seen and should be part of this list, but I wanted to limit this list to the top 10. These are the kind of movies that I could watch over and over again whenever I randomly see it on TV or sometimes play it on Netflix or from my own movies library.

Spoiler Alert: the descriptions paragraph under each movie title of my list of top ten movies of all time may reveal important plot points. So if you haven’t yet viewed any of these movies, you may want to proceed with caution. So, here it is, you’ve been warned.

#1 The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Shawshank Redemption Poster - top movies of all time
The Shawshank Redemption

This one might seem an easy pick, because it’s IMDB’s top-rated movie of all time.  But it sincerely tops my list as well. The plot tells the story of two imprisoned men Andy Dufresne (played by Tim Robbins) and Red impersonated by Morgan Freeman who is also the narrator in the movie, surprise surprise :).

The movie starts with Andy, a formerly successful banker, getting into prison where he meets Red and the two men bond over the years to finally find their redemption.

One might find the movie events to be slow at the beginning, but in the end you will realize that it is worth every minute of its 142, ya that’s two hours and 22 minutes (2 h 22 min) long.

This masterpiece was produced in 1994 based on Stephen King‘s short story “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption” and directed by Frank Darabont, and up to this day, I still wonder how it didn’t win an Oscar!

Favorite Quote

Get busy living, or get busy dying. Andy



#2 The Green Mile (1999)

The green mile movie Poster - top movies of all time
The Green Mile

My second entry on the list of top ten movies of all time is “The Green Mile”. In this three hours and 9 mins movie (3h 9min) crime and fantasy prison drama, Tom Hanks plays Paul Edgecomb, a senior guard on death row in the 1930s that his life is about to change forever when he meets John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan) a gifted black man facing the death penalty after being accused of murdering and raping two little girls.

What I love the most about this movie is that it used just the right balance between fantasy and ordinary life events. And the cast is spectacular, each actor is perfectly suited to his role.

The Green Mile movie was released in 1999, and it is another great movie by the same director of my #1 movie on my top 10 movies of all time list (The Shawshank Redemption), Frank Darabont. And both movies are also based on novels by Stephen King.

Favorite Quote

I guess sometimes the past just catches up with you, whether you want it to or not. Old Paul Edgecomb



#3 The Godfather Parts 1 and 2 (1972 & 1974)


Top_movies_of_all_time-The Godfather
The Godfather

At some point in my life I used to watch The Godfather movie at least once a month! The movie won three Oscars. For many, it is considered the best movie of all time. And it is probably the most famous movie of all time. For me it is the best gangster crime drama ever made.

In the first part, Marlon Brando as Don Vito Corleone, is the head of the Corleone family, a highly-respected family and the most powerful mafia clan in New York. Don Vito is an interesting character, he is kind to his family and friends and ruthless to anyone that disrespects him or his family. The main plot point is the transfer of power from the aging Don Vito to his son Michael Corleone (Al Pacino). Michael is a world war II veteran and does not seem to be interested in the family business, but he will have to make difficult choices.

The drama continues in part 2 of the movie where Micheal proves himself as the new head of the family and the early life of Don Vito is revealed.

Both parts of the movie were written by Mario Puzo and directed by Francis Ford Coppola The first part of the movie was produced in 1972, and since then Don Vito Corleone became an icon and so did the movie’s theme song.

It is worth mentioning that The Godfather is a trilogy. A third part was released in 1990 where Michael Corleone tries to legitimize his business in New York. It is my least favorite of the three, and although it is worth watching, it would not make it to the list of top ten movies of all time.

Favorite Quote

My father taught me many things here – he taught me in this room. He taught me: keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.
Michael Corleone




#4 Inception (2010)


In this two hours and twenty-eight minutes (2h 28min) Sci-Fi, dream-sharing technology is used to plant an idea in the mind of a major enterprise CEO.  The idea of using dream-sharing technology by itself is amazing, and so is the cast, the storyline and every other element in the movie.

The movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Dominick Cobb, who is a highly-skilled thief that steals secrets by sharing dreams with his victims and diving deep into their subconscious mind. But this time, he will be hired by Saito (Ken Watanabe) to do a reverse job. Instead of stealing ideas he will have to plant one in  Robert Fischer‘s (Cillian Murphy) mind aiming to destroy the legacy of his father. Dominick assembles a team of professionals to do this impossible and extraordinary job.

The movie was released in 2010, written and directed by Christopher Nolan.

Favorite Quote

What is the most resilient parasite? Bacteria? A virus? An intestinal worm? An idea. Resilient… highly contagious.
Dominick Cobb


#5 The Imitation Game (2014)

Top_movies_of_all_time-The imitation game
The Imitation Game

This movie is a two hours (1h 54 mins) biography drama about the story of English mathematician genius, cryptanalyst and father of computer science Alan Turing. The movie focuses on Turing’s work during world war II to break the German Enigma coding machine.

Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance as Alan Turing in the movie is outstanding, and so is the performance of Keira Knightley as Joan Clarke, and pretty much all the cast.

The Imitation Game movie highlighted two main historical events: 1- How the British had broken Enigma during world war II and 2- Invention of the central concept of the modern computer (aka Turing Machine, aka Christopher (only in the movie), aka “Bombe” and later “Victory”)

The movie was released in 2014, co-written by Graham Moore, and directed by Morten Tyldum. The movie was nominated for 8 Oscars but won only 1 for best writing.

Favorite Quote

Sometimes it’s the very people who no one imagines anything of who do the things no one can imagine.
Alan Turing


#6 A Beautiful Mind (2001)

A beautiful mind Poster - top movies of all time
A Beautiful Mind

A two hours and fifteen minutes (2h 15min) biography drama about the life of the brilliant mathematician and paranoid schizophrenic John Nash.

Aside from being a beautifully written, acted and crafted movie, I believe that this the best movie ever played by Russell Crowe (starring as John Nash), even better than his Oscar-winning role in “Gladiator” in the previous year.

The movie was released in 2001, co-written by Akiva Goldsman, and directed by Ron Howard. The movie was nominated for 8 Oscars, and won 4: best picture, best actress (Jennifer Connelly), best director and best screenplay.

Favorite Quote

Classes will dull your mind, destroy the potential for authentic creativity.
John Nash





#7 Catch me if you Can (2002)

Top_movies_of_all_time-Catch me if you canCatch me if you can
Catch me if you can

This is another great biography drama, two hours and twenty-one minutes  (2h 21min) in length, telling the true story of Frank Abagnale Jr. played by Leonardo DiCaprio who had forged checks worth millions of dollars before his 19th birthday. He did it by pretending to be a PAN AM pilot, a doctor, and a lawyer.

In addition to DiCaprio’s outstanding performance, a main contributor to the movie’s success is Tom Hanks‘s performance as Carl Hanratty the lead FBI agent who kept pursuing Frank Abagnale Jr. for years.

The movie was released in 2002, written by Jeff Nathanson based on Frank Abagnale Jr.’s auto-biography.  A masterpiece directed by Steven Spielberg.

Favorite Quote

Two little mice fell in a bucket of cream. The first mouse quickly gave up and drowned. The second mouse, wouldn’t quit. He struggled so hard that eventually he churned that cream into butter and crawled out. Gentlemen, as of this moment, I am that second mouse.
Frank Abagnale Sr.




#8 The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

Top_movies_of_all_time-The Pursuit of happyness
The Pursuit of Happyness

Happyness” is not misspelled, it is written like that on purpose, and you have to watch the movie to know why it is spelled like this.

I can’t recall a movie that gave me motivation as much as this one. This two hours (1h 57 min) movie shows how persistence can lead you to reach your goals in life. It is a biographical drama that beautifully tells the story of  Chris Gardner during his struggle to become a full-time stockbroker at Dean Witter Reynolds and reach, you said right: “Happiness”.


The movie is directed by Gabriele Muccino, starring Will Smith, Thandie Newton and Jaden Smith (Will Smith’s son in real life and the movie).

Favorite Quote

 You gotta protect it. People can’t do somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want somethin’, go get it. Period.
Chris Gardner


#9 Pulp Fiction

Top_movies_of_all_time-Pulp Fiction
Pulp Fiction

A Tarantino trademark and masterpiece of four different tales that intertwine together around the life of Marcellus Wallace (Ving Rhames) and his wife Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman), in a story of violence and redemption.

I was a kid when the movie was first released, but I watched it 10 or 15 years later, and it blew me away! The dialogue is so Tarantino that there is no single line wasted. And the cast is one of the best ever assembled.

The movie was released in 1994, written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. It was nominated for 7 Oscars and won 1 Oscar for best writing.

Favorite Quote

If my answers frighten you then you should cease asking scary questions.
Jules Winnfield



#10 Enemy at the Gates (2001)

Top_movies_of_all_time-Enemy at the gates
Enemy at the Gates

This two hours and eleven minutes (2h 11min) is the last in my list of top ten movies of all time and probably the first in my list of war movies. What I love the most about this movie is that it has the right balance between entertainment and what is supposed to be historical facts. The movie is set in 1942  during the Battle of Stalingrad between Germany and the Soviet Union in world war II. But soon we come to learn that the actual battle is between two snipers Jude Law (as Vassili Zaitsev the Russian sniper) and Ed Harris (as Major Erwin König, the German sniper).

The movie wasn’t lucky enough to get an Oscar nomination but it is definitely worth a watch.

Favorite Quote

Vodka is a luxury we have. Caviar is a luxury we have. Time is not.
Nikita Khrushchev




What are your personal top ten movies of all time?

Was your all-time favorite movie in my list? Please let me know in the comments below.


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Nizar Hakeem

Technologist, computer and communications engineering graduate, certified in the governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT), AWS Cloud, and ITIL with 12+ years of solid experience in information technology systems infrastructure and a unique mix of both technical and business skills. Blogging about technology, movies, travel, and food!

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