My top 5 is in constant flux. In no particular order:
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Every time I watch it I feel transported to another time and place, inside a British ship from the early 19th century. It’s not just the location, it’s the crew. You get to know what life was like for them back in such a setting, both the sailors and the officers. Not just their hardships, but the moments of joy and camaraderie as well. An uncompromising epic from Peter Weir, the kind that just never gets made anymore. Probably the last of its kind.
Lawrence of Arabia
A masterpiece. The masterpiece. The quickest four-hour cinema experience you can have, time flies by as you’re glued to the screen by Peter O’Toole’s endless charm in his portrayal of T.E. Lawrence. Forever great.
One of the most visually innovative films of the 21st century, the Wachowskis go unreservedly all in and make no apologies for it. But underneath its flashy veneer lies real, true heart. May not be for you, but thankfully, this is for me.
A.I. Artificial Intelligence
A life-long project from Stanley Kubrick, he collaborated with Steven Spielberg on it for several years. After he passed away, Spielberg thought it was his duty to make it, since he figured if he didn’t, nobody else would. Masterfully directed by ‘Berg, great care has been put to execute Kubrick’s original material as intended. Incredible child performance by Haley Joel Osment. A Pinocchio story for modern times, David may be a robot, but his love is real.
2001: A Space Odyssey
What can be said about this film that hasn’t been said before? Fifty years later and it’s still the boldest and probably most intelligent science fiction film ever made. The Stargate sequence still gives me the chills.