Ashley Mallinson’s Top 5 Movies of All Time

Ashley Mallinson

As summer approaches, all the writers of the Roaring Gazette have published their final articles of the 2018 – 2019 school year. As for me, this will be my official last article, not only of the year, but for good. I’ve been writing movie reviews and lists for the school newspaper since my Freshman year, and I feel the best way to end my years as a Roaring Gazette writer and editor would be with a movie list. So here are my top 5 movies of all time:

5. Band of Outsiders (Jean-Luc Godard, 1964)
“Band of Outsiders”, a French new wave film introduced to me by Mr. Denvir through his Global Media Analysis class, is a great film. Its engaging and overall just a very enjoyable watch. The story itself is intriguing and obviously a big aspect that goes into why I love the movie. However, the main factor that brings the film to the top 5 list is the way the movie creates a conversation with the audience. It uses artifice and breaks the fourth wall in a way that engages the viewer unlike any other films. This movie made me realize just how unique film is, and truly enhanced my love for film as an art form. The movie is truly a work of art. It never takes itself too seriously and it recognizes itself as what it is: a film.

4. Mid90s (Jonah Hill, 2018)
I’ve written a full review on “Mid90s” before for the school newspaper, so I won’t elaborate too much on this one. Although I wouldn’t regard this film to super high standard in terms of cinema and art, it’s one of my favorites due to the nostalgic factor and emotional connection that I have to it. I also find the authenticity to be a huge aspect that really enhances the film. This is a wonderful coming-of-age movie and I don’t think I’d ever get tired of rewatching it.

3. Oldboy (Park Chan-Wook, 2003)
“Oldboy” is a Korean film that is by far the best action movie I’ve ever seen. If I were to recommend any foreign film to someone who usually doesn’t watch them (reading subtitles really isn’t that bad, I promise) it would be “Oldboy”. It’s hard to say much about it without spoiling anything, but the story follows a man who gets kidnapped and locked in a cell for 15 years with no contact to the outside world. Everything about this movie is exceptional. From the plot to the acting to the cinematography, it is definitely worth the watch.

2. Synecdoche, New York (Charlie Kaufman, 2008)
“Synecdoche, New York” is a film directed by one of my favorite screenwriters, Charlie Kaufman. It’s probably one of the most detailed, and frankly most depressing, movies I’ve ever seen. When I first watched this movie it was stuck in my head for days afterwards. At its core, this film is about morality. The way it depicts time, relationships, life, and death is phenomenal. The detail that was put in to the movie is extremely impressive and unlike that of any other movies I’ve seen.

1. American Beauty (Sam Mendes, 1999)
This film is kind of an obvious one that’s talked about a lot among common film-lovers. It may not be the very best movie on this list, but it’s one that I hold very near and dear to my heart. This is the movie that really got me into film and inspired me to want to become a filmmaker in the future. Every time I watch it it brings back the same feelings of inspiration and drive to do something big with my life. It’s been my number one movie for years and I can’t think of any other film that would take its place.

This list was definitely one of the harder ones for me to make, as film plays a huge role in my life. There are tons of great movies out there, but these five are ones that I truly appreciate and that have had a big impact on me. I encourage everyone to watch these if you haven’t seen them, and to just watch more movies in general.

Film is a unique art form, and it has a lot to offer to everyone as an individual. No other art form could do for me what film does. From childhood to now, and for certain into the future, movies have been a big part of my life. Taking this love for film and being able to write movie reviews for the newspaper has been an amazing experience. It gave me the chance to share my views on film and to learn how to critique and analyze art in a new way.

Writing these reviews for the school newspaper was one of the highlights of my high school experience, and, even if not many people read them, it meant a lot to me.