These are what I'd consider to be my favourite films. If I had to choose my favourite film of all time, it would have to be 2001: A Space Odyssey, directed by Stanley Kubrick , probably with Schindler's List in second place. Contains spoilers.
2001: A Space Odyssey
The epic themes of extraterrestrial life and human evolution. The look and style of the sets. The music and extraordinary special effects. HAL 9000 ('Open the pod bay doors, HAL.'). The monolith. Dave Bowman tripping through the Star Gate to... where? What does it all mean? The slow pace and lack of dialogue all add up to make a film that is completely unique.
A Beautiful Mind
Based on a true story, Russell Crowe plays John Nash, an oddball genius mathematician who achieves greatness but is cursed by paranoid schizophrenia; people around him turn out to be in his own head. Exciting, dazzling, Crowe is at the top of his game. Also featuring Jennifer Connelly, who won an Oscar!
A Clockwork Orange
Stanley Kubrick's 1971 film of the book by Anthony Burgess has all the hallmarks of Kubrick's genius. Withdrawn for some 27 years, it's really pretty tame by today's standards. It follows the criminal adventures of Alex (Malcolm McDowell) and his 'droogs' and Alex's subsequent incarceration and treatment via psychological conditioning. Fantastic music, great acting and glorious 1970s kitsch.
The iconic sci-fi/horror movie from the late seventies. May seem a bit slow paced to modern eyes but this just builds the tension and lets you soak up the atmosphere. The special effects stand up well, H. R. Giger's sets and alien design are as creepy and disturbing as ever, and as a bonus it has one of my favourite actors in - Ian Holm. It's like being inside a nightmare. It's sequel, Aliens was a fantastic film as well, more action-y.
Depicting the legendary 1972 Uruguayan Air Force plane crash in the Andes, where the survivors of a Uruguayan rugby team were stuck for over two months in the inhospitable, freezing mountains with no food. A great tale of human endurance and courage. Some people don't seem to like this film but I have a real soft spot for it.
Houston, we have a problem! If you like anything to do with space, NASA or the Apollo missions this one's a no-brainer. Astronauts Jim Lovell & crew battle to get back to earth after their spacecraft is crippled en route to the moon. Competently acted by amongst others Tom Hanks and Kevin Bacon, and directed by Ron Howard. All the more amazing because it truly happened.
Based on the book by Carl Sagan, this is the story of Dr Eleanor Arroway, a SETI scientist who discovers radio signals originating from outer space indicating intelligent alien life 'out there'. Interesting speculations on the possible nature of extraterrestrial life and humanity's response to discovering they're not alone in the universe. Jodie Foster and John Hurt star.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
One Day in September
The Black Hole
The Company of Wolves
The Lord of the Rings (animated)
Withnail and I