4 of my all-time favorite movies

I have a list of things that I want to share with my daughter as she comes of age and sharing my all-time favorite movies is something I am constantly trying to keep at because I have a lot of favorite movies.

Still, there are a few that outrank all the others because no matter how much time passes, they still remain thought provoking and with story telling that could only be called masterful. Be forewarned that each of the following recommendations also examine topics that are very complex...

What Dreams May Come

What Dreams May Come is one of my absolute all-time favorites that helped me think a lot more deeply about how love can and does exist in ways that transcends time, space, and depth. It uses visual art and design to illuminate ideas that I have yet to see done in any other movie or even in live theater. It specifically examines the gravity of mental illness and what can bring you in (or bring you out of) being completely debilitated by incredible loss and extreme trauma.

Life is Beautiful

This movie is subtitled because it's an award winning Italian film. Still, the Italian language is so beautiful to hear spoken that hearing it and then reading the translations (I think) makes it that much better. It's a movie that offers a perspective of the Holocaust and overlays it with the how tightly bounded a family can be. It also shows how far someone can be willing to go to protect and guard their loved ones despite the threat of death at any given time. The end of the movie has a serious "punch line" that you will never expect that is both joyful and sorrowful all at the same time. This movie is just such a work of art. 


This movie is one that examines the concept of black/white thinking (extremism, if you will) and juxtaposes it with what it's like if/when you open your mind to new and (literally) more colorful ideas. It challenges things like long held mindsets that a person might have and shows how destructive such a thing can be to an individual as much as to the world around them. It specifically raises questions about things that are easy to accept if/when they are never challenged and it also shows how stepping beyond your comfort zone can be rewarding beyond anything you might ever dream.

Big Fish

This is probably the most appropriate and "family friendly" one of all of the movies in this list. It's one of adventure, falling in love, overcoming insurmountable odds, coming of age, confronting difficulty and conflict, etc. Basically, it has everything you would want/need to have in a movie for it to be both entertaining and something to really learn from. If you like The Greatest Showman, this is the movie that (I think) The Greatest Showman is second best to.