12 Favorite Movies from a Film Major

12 Favorite Movies from a Film Major

Favorite Movies

I studied film production in college. Actually, it was film production and criminal justice (for documentary purposes), but for now I’m going to focus on the film part. While I’ve seen a lot of movies, many of them aren’t the “popular” movies that everybody loves (I haven’t seen The Godfather, but I have seen a film called Gummo. Ever heard of it? Probably not.).

I’ve compiled a list of 12 movies that I love in no particular order – except for the first two. The first two are my all time favorite movies. And the movies are:

1. Harold and Maude

Harold and Maude

Just thinking of Harold and Maude makes me happy. It is a dark comedy and the whole soundtrack is Cat Stevens music. A large portion of why I chose to have daisies on my blog is because of this film.

Maude: What flower would you like to be?
Harold: I don’t know. One of these, maybe.
Maude: Why do you say that?
Harold: Because they’re all alike.
Maude: Oh, but they’re *not*. Look. See, some are smaller, some are fatter, some grow to the left, some to the right, some even have lost some petals. All *kinds* of observable differences.

2. Pee Wee’s Big Aventure

Pee Wee's Big Adventure
Now you may laugh at this, but tied with Harold and Maude for my favorite film ever is Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. It’s the first full-length film that Tim Burton directed and it features his signature bright colors and feel. PLUS so many quotable lines.

3. Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills

Paradise Lost

Remember when I said I majored in criminal justice as well? This film encompasses my love for documentary and my love for learning about crime. Originally supposed to just be one film, HBO quickly turned this into a three-part series filmed over the course of 18 years as three teenagers were wrongfully imprisoned for murder. It’s not necessarily easy to watch, but it’s important.

4. Rocky Horror Picture Show

Rocky Horror Picture Show

A cult classic. And I love cult classics. Halloween is my favorite holiday and this is a must during that time of year – and honestly any other month of the year. Tim Curry does a beautiful job in his role and the soundtrack is amazing.

5. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

The Cabinet of Dr Caligari

This film has a special place in my heart. German Expressionism is one of my favorite film genres and this is my favorite from that genre (I love so many others that I could have included on this list, but decided to just stick to one). Although it’s a silent film, there is a lot of tension and twists. And the sets! And that MAKEUP. I love it!

6. Psycho

Continuing on the darker genres of films, I’m going to add Psycho. I mean, does this need an explanation? It’s Psycho. One of Alfred Hitchcock’s finest works.

P.S. Have any of you seen Bates Motel? That show is gold. Shout out to Carlton Cuse.

7. Matilda


One of my childhood favorites, Matilda was all I aspired to be. Well, mostly the magical powers. This film gives me all of the emotions, though. It’s got fear and causes you to be upset, but it’s so heartwarming as well. I’m ‘awwwing’ just thinking about it.

8. Holes


Dig it uh oh oh, dig it. I dig this film. (I’m hilarious). Early Shia LaBeouf digging holes and ending his family curse. Honestly I love the story of this film and the story is the main reason that this made it to my list. Also nobody has a cooler name than Stanley Yelnats.

9. The Labyrinth


My mother will be happy to see this on my list. It’s a classic. I tried showing this to my friends when I was a child and they were like “What even is this?”. I mean, legitimate reaction, but I think it’s the good kind of weird. It combines the greatness of Jim Henson and David Bowie and becomes a magical masterpiece.

10. Alice


I love any version of Alice in Wonderland/Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass. I’m going to highlight my favorite version, which is the SyFy mini-series version of it. It takes the classic story and puts all kinds of cool twists into it. Also sci-fi is totally my favorite genre, so this drew me right in. Also The White Knight is hands down the best character in this version. If you’ve got 3 hours to sit down and watch the whole thing, I highly recommend it.

11. Beasts of the Southern Wild

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Beasts of the Southern Wild has beautiful cinematography. In telling its story, it also tells of the important issues surrounding the environment and those who live in less fortunate areas. The family is optimistic in dire situations and it creates a wonderful story.

12. Howl’s Moving Castle

Howl's Moving Castle

I couldn’t end this list without discussing a Studio Ghibli film. My favorite of all Studio Ghibli films is Howl’s Moving Castle. Howl’s flowy hair is a reason to draw you into the film. Then all of the great characters and adventure come along, with a sweet ending as well. There are so many layers to this film and its underlying meanings and metaphors. Definitely one to watch.


That wraps up my list of 12 Favorite Movies from a Film Major. Definitely not all of my favorite movies – I love too many. My two favorite films of all time, however, are Harold and Maude and Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. If you haven’t seen either of those, go watch them right now.

Comment below and let me know if you’ve seen any of these films, plus let me know what your favorites are. I’m excited to read about them!

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  1. Wow so many of them! So far I have watched just a few and looking forward to watching more of them.

  2. Author

    What.? That’s crazy!
    Also you NEED to see Rocky Horror. Then go to a live show! I bet you’d love it!!

  3. Love this list! Matilda and Labrynth are both amazing. Can you believe I recently bought a used DVD box set that was supported to include Matilda-just FOR Matilda-and it was missing??! Have you read the book??
    I’m queer and I haven’t seen Rocky Horror-blasphemy!
    I’ll have to check the Howl Castle movie out…and rewatch PeeWee now that I know it’s Tim Burton, crazy!

  4. Author

    That’s so cool! I’d love to visit Studio Ghibli!

  5. The dig joke was cute. 😉 I bet my kids would like to see that one!

  6. I’m not a fan of horror so I’d skip all the scary ones. I’ve seen many of the others and since my kids were film majors too, I saw the classics and everything Studio Ghibli made; we even visited Studio Ghibli when we went to Japan and spent all day there. I have bookmarked Beasts of the Southern Wild as I’d love to see it.

  7. This is a great selection of movies. Matilda and Holes are really my favorites.

  8. I used to love Matilda as a kid and Holes was also really great. I watch Rocky Horror every year on Halloween!

  9. I love Howl’s Moving Castle. And I remember when I was little that Matilda was on TV every year, maybe even more often. I loved that movie back than. I should see it again.

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