Hello! My name is Paris, and I’m a freshman filmmaker at Huntington University. Since I’m a film major, I thought I’d write my first article about my top 10 favorite movies. Some of these are more “cinematic” than others, but I feel they have a good balance between entertaining story and good production. As a filmmaker, I also tend to focus on more aspects of the movie than just story and acting. For me, cinematography, sound, and editing (along with many other things) make a movie great. I’m a big fan of Sci-fi and action movies, and many of the movies on my list reflect those genres. Warning: may contain spoilers.

10. The Matrix

This is a fantastic Sci-Fi film that pushed visual effects to a new level. The cinematography is beautiful and dark and gripping, while the story is fun, entertaining, and visually focused. Also, I think it is fascinating that there are many cultic references in this movie. Everything from the green cinematography to the checkered floor has cultic, spiritual influence. Many movies actually have a deeper and more hidden meaning and this movie is an excellent example. It's all about escaping the "fake" material realm and becoming enlightened to reach the "true" spritual realm. (lots of Mystery Religions and Free Masonry influence) I think it's an excellent eye opener to the hidden meanigs behind some of our favorite films.

9. Hacksaw Ridge

I love this movie because it is a gripping, bloody movie about heroism, religious beliefs, and sacrifice. I also love this movie because it is light-hearted and humorous. The first half of the movie is hilarious, especially the parts with Vince Vaughn. Then, in the middle of the movie, it switches to a bloody, realistic war nightmare, though it still keeps a hopeful tone. Mel Gibson ties both parts of the movie together to flow into one beautiful, bloody, humorous, realistic movie in a way that most directors never attempt.

8. Edge of Tomorrow

This is my favorite “alien” movie. I love the mind-bending Sci-Fi twists that flow through the movie. The pacing and visuals are wonderful, and it’s just a fun ride. It’s also entertaining to watch Tom Cruise die over and over again. I appreciate that while being an intense action film, Edge of Tomorrow still manages to express deep emotion. Also, having a cool female character who is not portrayed in a demeaning or sexual way is a nice change of pace. This movie shows Tom Cruise's character living the same day over and over again, and the way it plays with time is to be applauded. If you haven't seen it, I'd highly recommend it.

7. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

I’m a huge Marvel fan, and especially a Captain America fan. I think Winter Soldier the best movie in the MCU. It’s the best for me personally because it has the highest rewatch value: when I watch it, I can enjoy it just as much as I did the first time. It’s just an amazing plot that blew me out of the water. I remember being stressed out in the theater. I was so worried and concerned for the characters, but at the same time, I enjoyed every second of it. And I still do. It has the best action sequences and hand-to-hand combat in the MCU, (that knife flip though) and the characters’ development and interaction with each other are wonderful to watch. (looking at you, Steve, Nat, and Sam) I have cried in two movies in the theater, and this was one of them. At the end of the film I just bawled. IT'S SO GOOD BUT SO SAD. Also, holy plot twists. (Hail Hydra) Never saw that one coming. Anyways, it's Marvel at its best.

6. Coraline

This is one of the creepiest movies I’ve ever seen. I don't care how many horror movies you've seen; this movie is absolutely freaky. And it is wonderful. I adore Laika Studios and applaud what they have accomplished through stop motion. They have used an underrated and complex medium in brilliant and quirky ways. I haven’t seen Paranorman yet, but Coraline, Kubo and the Two Strings, and The Boxtrolls are all well done, unique, complex films that excellently explore the fascinating style that stop-motion film making offers. Coraline is my favorite of all their work. It’s in a world and genre all of its own, and it’s gorgeous. I love the creativity that this project (and studio) use to make a fascinating and unnerving world using an underrated medium. And other mother is terrifying.

5. Inside Out

This is the other movie that made me cry in the theater. It's beautifully animated and has a wonderful story, definitely one of Pixar's most creative films. I love this movie so much, though I have more connection with it than most. After my freshman year of high school, My family moved out of the state of Minnesota. Inside Out follows Riley, a young girl whose family moves from Minnesota, and the emotions in her head as she adjusts to the changes around her. I connected so much to this movie, especially since it came out only a year after our move. I saw it with my younger brother, and I just convulsively sobbed through the ending. My brother mocked me for it later of course, but the movie just understood me and some of the struggles I'd been dealing with for the past year. I don't think I've ever connected with a movie as much as this one.

4. The Prestige

I don't know why people don't talk about this movie because it has the craziest plot twist I've ever seen. It's a movie about two competitive magicians played by Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale, and it's directed by Christopher Nolan. It is phenomenally mind-bending, but NOBODY HAS EVER SEEN IT. It's on Netflix and you should definitely go watch it right now.

3. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

11 Oscars. Enough said.

2. La La Land

If you don’t love this movie, I don’t know what to tell you. I feel bad for you. This Best Picture multiple Oscar winner, directed by Damion Chazelle, showcases the beauty that film has the potential to portray. It's gorgeous, original, and a musical. What more could you ask for?

1. Inception

THIS. MOVIE. IS. SO. INCREDIBLE. I cannot get over this movie. It’s just so brilliant. Christopher Nolan (my favorite director) uses time so masterfully and complexly in this film, but it’s still makes sense to the audience, which is incredibly difficult to accomplish. The effects and story and score and pacing and editing are just incredibly manipulated together to form one of the greatest Sci-Fi stories ever told. It’s one of the few films that use the concept of dreams in a unique and meaningful way. AND I JUST LOVE CHRISTOPHER NOLAN'S STYLE SO MUCH. This movie gives me chills every single time I watch it. It inspires me and makes me want to be a better filmmaker.