Favorite Movies, Categorized

I like making lists, but it feels odd to just say, for example, that both Lawrence of Arabia and Duck Soup are favorite films, because I have to be in the right frame of mind for each. And it would be absurd to try and rank them. Lawrence is a great film, but it doesn’t work very well if you’re in the mood for a musical comedy, and Duck Soup fails as an exploration of a complex individual’s psychology. So, I’ve tried to categorize these films not by genre so much as by what “vibe” I need to want in order to watch them.

To be eligible for the list, I have to have seen a film at least twice, and be willing to watch it a third time. There are plenty of films I’ve enjoyed on seeing once and might watch again, but those don’t make the cut for now.

Just Fun

  • Thor
  • The Mummy (1999)
  • Bandidas
  • Ghost in the Shell 
  • Jurassic Park
  • Last Action Hero

When I Want To Think

  • Lawrence of Arabia
  • The English Patient

I Want It Darker

  • Chinatown

Scare Me

  • The Omen (1976)
  • The Terminator
  • The Haunting (1963)
  • The Mothman Prophecies

Musical Comedy

  • Duck Soup
  • Muppet Treasure Island

Movies That Are Terrible But I Enjoy Them Anyway

  • Captain Corelli’s Mandolin
  • Diamonds Are Forever

Star Wars Movies (Possibly some should be in the preceding category.)

  • All the original 6 Star Wars movies, but not the Disney ones.

I Only Like Medieval/Fantasy Movies That Are Funny

  • The Lion in Winter
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  • The Princess Bride

My Favorite Movie

  • Jane Got a Gun


  1. Great idea to sort them this way – viewing vibes are important! I’ve only seen a couple of the ones on your list (Monty Python and Diamonds Are Forever) but I agree about their greatness!

    1. I’m guessing Monty Python is the most widely-seen one on the list. And it is indeed a classic.

  2. I like the vibe approach to categorizing. With streaming, I can choose what to watch based on my mood, not what’s only available. I’ve watched a quite a few on your list. When my mood is mixed (wanting something funny but also thoughtful), I usually turn to Dr. Strangelove. It is (sadly) a movie for our times. Young Frankenstein is at the top for pure comic relief and Blade Runner (Director’s Cut) for when I’m feeling dark.

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