So if you couldn't tell by my blog, I am a huge film fanatic. Movies just hold such a special place in my heart. My dad got me started on watching movies at an early age, by showing me and my siblings a bunch classics, and his personal favorites (please keep in mind that my dad has a thing for musicals and they turned out to be some of my favorites as well, so there will be a few musical movies in this list.)

This article is just going to be a growing list of my favorite movies. In each caption of a movie, I'll include a little review/reason of recommendation and a rating out of 5 stars. If anyone would like to see my full film library feel free to check out or follow my letterboxd account! I don't do full reviews on letterboxd but i do rate them and it might give you an idea of the kind of movies that I like.

letterboxd: boxd.it/iK5N

This list is in no particular order and as I said before, it is a growing list. I'll be adding to it as I watch more movies and whenever I have time to post so be sure to like this article if you want to stay updated, I hope you enjoy the list and maybe find a new favorite movie!

1. Moonlight (2016, dir. Barry Jenkins)

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5/5 stars /// Okay, this movie made me tear up the whole way through for no reason other than how beautiful the entire thing was. To start, the damn cinematography was so beautiful. The editing was great and so many of the shots were so beautifully done. The story was such a good story and not one that we've seen in cinema. A black gay man is just completely unheard of in Hollywood, until now. This is the kind of representation that the black members of the LGBT+ community have been wanting and it's something that the LGBT+ genre of film really needed. Telling the story in 3 parts of Chiron's life was a great idea, it really shows the major character development that Chiron goes through. And what really hit the nail on the head was the cast, what a beautiful bunch of people. They are all such wonderful actors and played their parts so well. In summary, this movie was deserving of every award it that it won.

2. Stand By Me (1986, dir. Rob Reiner)

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4.5/5 stars /// This movie is so near and dear to me, I just find a little bit of myself in each one of the characters and it's such a wonderful little coming of age story. This movie really shows that you'll never have times, or friends like the ones you have when you're a kid. Childhood is such a special, cherished time to me and this film just gives me a while to reflect on my younger years. So many of the scenes in this are so iconic, watching this is a must! I believe that everyone can find some of themselves and even their friends in the characters of this movie. Needless to say it's an excellent coming of age film and River Phoenix and Wil Wheaton really give amazing performances for them to have been so young; and it truly is one of Stephen King's best stories.

3. Dead Poets Society (1989, dir. Peter Weir)

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4.5/5 stars /// Before you sit down to watch this movie, please make sure you have tissues with you, because this Peter Weir film will make you cry before you finish it. This film is very near and dear to my heart, the characters and the story is so important to me. "Dead Poets Society" is a drama film about a group of teenage boys who attend an all-boys preparatory school who face an enormous pressure from their parents. When the school year starts off they are introduced to their new English teacher, Mr. Keating, who tries to reach out to the boys and tries to gets them to think for themselves more through use of unorthodox methods. The boys eventually find out about a club Mr. Keating used to be president of called "Dead Poets Society" and they revive the club meetings and find a new interest for poetry. Although this film is a drama, it really has a coming of age feel to it. Everyone can relate to one or more of the characters in some way. This film really showcases the sensitivity of adolescence, and shows that even teenage boys are sensitive. The cast really brought each one of the characters to life, and did an amazing job at it. On top of the wonderful performances is the cinematography, while not the most visually striking, it is still nicely done. So many of the shots are very special in their own way, and really capture the tone of this film. While at times this movie can seem a little pretentious, it is one of my favorites and I would definitely recommend watching this at some point in one's life, as it is somewhat of a classic.

4. Dunkirk (2017, dir. Christopher Nolan)

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5/5 stars /// This masterpiece is one of the best things to come out of 2017. It's difficult to put my feelings and thoughts on this movie into words, it truly left me speechless. I'll start by saying that I am definitely not one to pick a war film to watch on the weekend at home, much less in the movie theater. But I did happen to go see this with my friends when it first came out earlier this year, they wanted to go for Harry Styles and Cillian Murphy, I wanted to go to see yet another Christopher Nolan film. The actors and Christopher Nolan did not let down anyone though. I myself was shocked that Harry Styles could actually act, he is such a charming Brit in real life, that seeing him as a much more intense British soldier was something I could've never seen him doing in his career. While Harry did a good performance, all of the other actors did an excellent job as well. However, throughout the movie it felt like the dialogue was really lost, the actors really had to carry the story line with little dialogue which was impressive. I know that Mr. Nolan probably purposely did this as to focus more on the actual story and characters but for me personally, I find it hard to focus on a movie with no dialogue or a movie with too much dialogue. But the performances made up for the dialogue nevertheless. In this film, they hardly ever show an actual Nazi, which is obviously saying a lot for a WWII film. This movie puts more focus on the heroism side of this piece of the war and how ordinary people pulled together to help the soldiers in distress. This movie feels like so much more than a war movie, it truly invokes feelings of horror and an on edge feeling, while also making you feel like crying all the same time. I think the on edge feeling can mostly be credited to Hans Zimmer's work on the score of the film. There's no denying that this has been one of the most talked about scores of 2017. Hans Zimmer is truly a master of his craft and outdone himself with the music for "Dunkirk". The familiar tick-tock of his music really makes your heart speed up and it builds the anxiety of the horrific ordeals that the soldier encounter. If you're curious more about Zimmer's score in this film please watch this video I linked, it is really interesting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVWTQcZbLgY To finish this review up I have to end it on the amazing cinematography. It is such a beautifully filmed movie, I can never get enough of the stunning shots in any Christopher Nolan film. Each shot really captures the tone for this movie and is something special all in it's own. I know this has been a painfully long review so let me conclude. All in all, "Dunkirk" is a must see film even if you hate war movies, like I normally do. The wave of emotions that you experience while watching this movie is something that no ordinary war movie could do, and I'd be lying if i said I didn't leave the movie theater in tears from the master design of this movie. "Dunkirk" is simply one of the best movies of this decade and a war movie that is unlike any other.

5. Call Me by Your Name (2017, dir. Luca Guadagnino)

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5/5 stars /// As I’m writing this I’m listening to the Sufjan Stevens angelic voice sing “Visions of Gideon” and tearing up just listening to the song that plays during the last scene of Call Me By Your Name. It seems that no film has ever drawn such a strong reaction out of me before. The film perfectly captures every emotion I felt while reading the book. If you read the novel before watching the movie, you truly have enjoyed a special experience, seeing Timothee bring to life Elio was so beautiful in every way possible. The movie has a nostalgic summer romance/longing theme to it but also pulls in playful elements keeping it pretty lighthearted for much of the beginning half of the film. The cinematography captures the theme of the movie very well. On top of that, is the emotional aspect. While reading the book you really delve deep into Elio’s mind and thoughts, which is a deep, personal experience and you get to feel the things that he feels, it’s hard to get that feeling on film. But throughout the film, it stays pretty consistent at making you feel like you get to see everything from Elio’s perspective still. Luca never never lets us see Oliver alone, you see Oliver only when Elio is with him, or pining from afar. Another piece of the movie that was perfect is the soundtrack. The music ties in such an ethereal summer vibe that is key to the theme of the movie. Sufjan Stevens lyrics molding together with the raw emotion of the all of the acting and the story itself really brings everything into place. The last scene really sold me on the soundtrack, that was my first time listening to “Visions of Gideon” and I honestly won’t ever forget that scene ever and the sadness that I felt. You would really expect some huge dramatic film but all in all, the film feels really raw and realistic. After seeing it, I truly felt as if I had just lived through a summer in Italy and experienced this captivating love story unfold. Luca really did an excellent job and his directorial vision is perfectly executed I believe. I definitely would recommend reading the novel before seeing the book just so you can explore the characters a little deeper, especially Elio because he has such a complex personality that I think one should understand before watching the film. Understanding Elio is the key to receiving Timothee’s performance.

6. Mulan (1998, dir. Tony Bancroft + Barry Cook)

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