Top 10 Films’ Ultimate List

The top 10 films on Top 10 Films. Two years of lists & over 100 individual top 10s. But what films have featured most often? See below for the ultimate list.

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One of my ideas when I first thought of setting up Top 10 Films was collating the number of top 10 lists a film appears on to aggregate the ultimate top 10. In other words, instead of struggling to think of my all-time best-of list, I’d let the top 10s I make over the years do the talking for me. So, as 2011 came to a close, and the site having passed its second birthday, I thought it would be interesting to look back at the films I’ve featured most in my top 10s. To make it more personal, I’ve only chosen films I’ve featured in my own lists as opposed to those written by the site’s contributors. I’ve also ignored some seasonal films such as Scrooged and Bad Santa which appear quite frequently thanks to several Christmas-themed lists.

So the following is a great overview of some of my favourite films. It is of course wholly informed by the themes, genres, actors, directors and time periods I’ve decided to throw into the top 10 mixer but looking at the films that appear most frequently I can safely say they are the films I have most affection for and would, without doubt, appear on an all-time list if I ever decided to tackle one.

The following list features the most talked about films on the site at the end of 2011. These films have featured on more top 10 lists than any others.

10. The Breakfast Club

breakfast club, top 10 top 10s,

An instant favourite, John Hughes’ seminal coming of age film from 1985 appears on three lists: No. 2 in American Coming of Age Films; No. 3 in Films Set in One Day; and No. 6 in Single Location Films

9. Wonder Boys

wonder boys, top 10 top 10s,

An underrated character study from director Curtis Hanson and starring Michael Douglas appears in three lists: No. 1 in Best Films of 2000; No. 6 in Best Film of the Decade (2000s); No. 9 in Male Adventures in Self Discovery

8. Withnail and I

richard e grant, withnail and I,

Undoubtedly one of my favourite comedies of all time, Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann are brilliant as the eponymous Withnail and I. The film has appeared in three lists so far: No. 1 in British Comedy since 1980; No. 2 in Best Buddy Films; and No. 5 in Male Adventures in Self Discovery

7. 12 Angry Men

12 angry men, sidney lumet,

Sidney Lumet directs one of the greatest films ever made. The film is even more impressive given the single location setting and the nuanced approach to a fantastic ensemble cast. The film has appeared in three lists so far: No. 1 in Single Location; No. 1 in films set in one day; and No. 4 in films to see before film school

6. Stand By Me

stand by me, stephen king,

Rob Reiner’s inspired tale of children on adventure is taken from Stephen King’s equally impressive novella. The film has so far appeared on four lists: No. 1 in American Coming of Age; No. 1 in 1980s Childhood Adventure Films; No. 2 in Stephen King Adaptations; and No. 2 in Films to make you happy

5. Sideways

sideways, paul giamatti,

Sideways is my favourite film of the last decade and as such appears all over the site: No. 1 in Best Film of the decade (2000s); No. 1 in Best Films of 2004; No. 6 in Male Adventures in Self Discovery; plus Most Memorable Moment (2000s); Funniest Moment (2000s); and No. 4 in Best Character 2000s

4. There Will Be Blood

there will be blood,

One of great films of the last few years, There Will Be Blood has rightly appeared many times on the site so far: No. 1 in Top Films of 2007; No. 2 in Best Film of the decade (2000s); No. 2 in Best First Ten Minutes (2000s); No. 2 Best Ending (2000s); and No. 2 and No. 4 Best Performance (2000s)

3. E.T.

e.t., steven spielberg,
One of Steven Spielberg’s best films appears several times on Top 10 Films: No. 1 Best Family Film; No. 3 Best 80s Family Sci-Fi; No. 3 in 1980s Childhood Adventure Films; No. 4 in Steven Spielberg films; and No. 4 in Films to make you happy

2. Alien

alien, top 10 top 10 films, ridley scott,

Easily in my top ten films ever made, Ridley Scott’s Alien is about to get a prequel in the highly anticipated Prometheus. Obviously, I can’t wait but in the meantime I’m happy to lavish praise on the fire-starter: No. 1 in Science-Fiction Horror; No. 4 in Best Horror 1967-1979; No. 4 in Ridley Scott Films; No. 5 in Scariest Movie Scenes; No. 6 in Gory Film scenes; as well as Films beginning with ‘A’; and Top10Films Analysis: Alien and Feminism. Also check out my review.

1. Jaws

top 10 films' top 10 films, Jaws
An unsurprising number one – Jaws has been a favourite of mine since childhood. A timeless thrill ride that has been loved for generations: No. 2 in Steven Spielberg films; No. 1 in Scariest Movie Scenes; No. 1 in High-Concept; No. 3 in Best Horror 1967-1979; and No. 4 in Richard Dreyfuss films

Written and compiled by Daniel Stephens.

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About the Author
Editor of Top 10 Films, Dan Stephens is usually found pondering his next list. An unhealthy love of 1980s Hollywood sees most of his top 10s involving a time-travelling DeLorean and an adventurous archaeologist going by the name Indiana.

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  1. Avatar
    le0pard13 Reply

    Impressive categories and list, Dan. I’ve not seen your #8 ‘Withnail and I’. I guess I should correct that ;-). Thanks.

  2. Avatar
    David Reply

    Interesting recap,The Breakfast Club & Withnail and I are the 2 I need to check out sooner than later.

  3. Avatar
    Pete Reply

    Cool idea! Only features 2 films that I haven’t seen and they are already high on my priorities, thanks probably in no small part to this site! So Wonder Boys and 12 Angry Men it is. The rest are all top quality! Great to see Breakfast Club up here with the bigger classics!

  4. Avatar
    Rodney Reply

    he he, I kinda saw #1 coming a mile away; this is probably because I’ve been around this site long enough to know how your brain works, Dan! LOL!!

    12 Angry Men is a film I’d list under “essential viewing” for anybody claiming to be a film fan.

    Nice work!

  5. Avatar
    Eric Reply

    Cool idea for a list! I, too, need to see Withnail and I. I just noticed it’s on Netflix Instant so I will have to check it out.

  6. Avatar
    Scott Lawlor Reply

    I knew Sideways would be on there Dan!!

    A great list of films that are pretty much in my top films ever too!

    Thanks for sharing.

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    Jaina Reply

    Great idea for a list! There’s a lot on here I haven’t checked out yet – 12 Angry Men, Withnail and I, Sideways… more. I really should.

    Be interesting to see how and if this list changes over time…

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    niels Reply

    I haven’t seen #8 or #9 on the list, but I will try to check them out now.
    The rest is just a great compendium of films, with the only exception of Sideways, which I did not enjoy as much as I’d have liked. I do think some of it had to do with the fact that I didn’t really watch it in its entirety in one sitting, I should probably revisit it.

    It should be interesting to see future updates on this list.

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    Evan Crean Reply

    I’m in a weird minority of people that just doesn’t get the appeal of There Will Be Blood. Yes Daniel Day Lewis plays a great a-hole, but the movie itself bores me to tears. I swear I’m one of the few people from 2007 who didn’t care for that or No Country for Old Men.

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    Fitz Reply

    An interesting assortment and ultimately filled with some of my favorite movies ever (Jaws, Alien, Sideways).

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    Alex Withrow Reply

    Whoa, awesome idea that makes for a very inventive list. I’ve spent the past hour or so looking at all the lists you linked. Love them!

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    3guys1movie Reply

    I guess I should watch Withnail and I and Sideways but I will probably just end up watching Jaws again 😉
    nice list

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    Andina Reply

    That reminds me I haven’t watch Sideways and Wonder Boys! In another words, these are your most favorites then? Nice selections, Dan 🙂

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    ruth Reply

    Great choices for your ultimate top 10, Dan. No surprise to see Jaws there, it’s still hard to top no matter how many are trying to copy it.

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    Chris Reply

    I also enjoyed most of those films, except Wonder Boys which I didn’t find memorable.
    I’d also be interested to find out what movie I have discussed the most on my blog, though it doesn’t necessarily equal being my favorite film. Could be I unknowingly wrote about a film I hate a lot, who knows ( :

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    kyngs Reply

    jaws,damn i luv dat film

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