5. The Dark Knight – Now two years ago, this summer blockbuster blazed onto the screen with a fury that had not ever been seen in a comic book movie, or in any movie in the last ten years. What made The Dark Knight such a success was its style, and its promise to never make Batman campy, simply badass. This time, The Dark Knight was paired with the darkest and most insane of his foes, The Joker, and with Heath Ledger’s enduring performance, it will go down as one of the greatest villains in film history. The Dark Knight is the reason we had ten nominees this year, and there is a reason there was such an uproar over its exclusion. This is because The Dark Knight wasn’t simply a comic book movie. It was a crime-drama for the ages that transcended genres and created complete movie magic.
4. The Empire Strikes Back – A New Hope may have transformed movies forever, but The Empire Strikes Back cemented George Lucas’s and Star Wars’ legacy forever. This dark sequel wasn’t exactly the happiest of the movies, but its powerful message of love, loss, and family is something that simply made it stick out like no other movie in film history. It was much better written than the first, it was dark, but still an entertaining ride, and it made us realize that the Star Wars universe wasn’t so different from our own. For Star Wars fans, no other movie since this has even come close to matching it, and it is today considered the greatest sci-fi movie of all time, at least in my opinion…oh except for one.
3. E.T: The Extra-Terrestrial – Before we get to that one, it is worthy to mention this film classic which has become cemented in our pop culture, and made us laugh, cry, scream, and simply smile as this magical adventure unfolded before our eyes. Spielberg is always a kid at heart, and for the thousands of young kids who look up at the sky and wonder, their suspicions were confirmed when the lovable E.T. appeared. E.T. was a cultural marker that defined a generation, and with a lot of effects, some screams, some love, and a whole lot of magic, E.T. became the movie of the time.
2. 2001: A Space Odyssey – Like I said, one of the top two, and it is because of this incredible movie. Only Kubrick could pull this off. A movie that is literally a set of montages, with very little dialogue, and a curious pretense that discusses the threat of technology, and the products of evolution; only Kubrick could have made this work. For generations to come, people would point to this movie, and it’s ever famous line, “Open the pod bay doors Hal”, and the creepiness, yet realistic message it sent home. No one has been able to top it since, and plenty have tried.