Birthday List Update: Favorite Films from Each Decade I Live Through


Today I’m moving up the age bracket. I’m taking the day off because well, it’s my ME DAY and sleeping in is one of life’s greatest joys 😉 Well, four years ago I did this list of favorite movies from the past three [full] decades I’ve lived through, so basically from the 1980s to 2000s. Looking at the list, not much has changed from the 80s and 90s, but I did update my 2000s list, swapping out about 5 or so movies from my list as I’ve seen more films since 2011.

Again these are a personal FAVORITE list, not a Best Of list necessarily though I’d argue that some of these are excellent classics.

1980s (in order of release)


  1. The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980)
  2. Somewhere in Time (1980)
  3. Superman II (1981)
  4. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
  5. Some Kind of Wonderful (1987)
  6. The Living Daylights (1987)
  7. The Untouchables (1987)
  8. Cinema Paradiso (1988)
  9. Licence To Kill (1989)
  10. The Little Mermaid (1989)


1990s (in order of release)

  1. Beauty and The Beast (1991)
  2. Jurassic Park (1993)
  3. The Age of Innocence (1993)
  4. Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
  5. Speed (1994)
  6. Heat (1995)
  7. Sense & Sensibility (1995)
  8. L.A. Confidential (1997)
  9. Toy Story 2 (1999)
  10. The Matrix (1999)


2000s (in order of release) 

This decade is when I REALLY started watching more and more movies and saw them with different eyes, even though I didn’t start blogging until 2009. It’s agonizing to narrow them down to 25, let alone just 10, so I decided to just make it a Top 25. It’s interesting how my love for animated movies is quite persistent, as well as my taste in actors. There are three films starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale (including one with both of them together) and hey, two Gerard Butler movies still made my favorite list 😉 We’ll see if he’d ever do a worthy film to be included in my future list. I own 15 out of the 25 films listed below, most of them have been re-watched repeatedly.

Here they are in order of release:

  1. Chicken Run (2000)
  2. Gladiator (2000)
  3. Moulin Rouge (2001)
  4. Minority Report (2002)
  5. Finding Nemo (2003)
  6. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
  7. Love, Actually (2003)
  8. Master & Commander (2003)
  9. X-2: X-Men United (2003)
  10. Hotel Rwanda (2004)
  11. Phantom of the Opera (2004)
  12. Unbreakable (2004)
  13. Batman Begins (2005)
  14. Dear Frankie (2005)
  15. Casino Royale (2006)
  16. Children of Men (2006)
  17. The Painted Veil (2006)
  18. The Prestige (2006)
  19. Stranger than Fiction (2006)
  20. Atonement (2007)
  21. Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
  22. 3:10 to Yuma (2007)
  23. The Dark Knight (2008)
  24. Wall•E (2008)
  25. District 9 (2009)

2010 and beyond…

Now, we’re only about halfway through the decade, so I’m only comprising half of my top 20. I’m curious which of these will make my final 2010s list five years from now 😀

  1. How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
  2. Inception (2010)
  3. X-Men: First Class (2011)
  4. Midnight in Paris (2011)
  5. Brave (2012)
  6. Skyfall (2012)
  7. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
  8. Gravity (2013)
  9. Her (2013)
  10. Birdman (2014)
  11. Belle (2014)
  12. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
  13. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)


So folks, what do you think of my picks? What are some of your favorite movies in the past four decades?

73 thoughts on “Birthday List Update: Favorite Films from Each Decade I Live Through

  1. Happy big 4-0 Ruth! I’m just a couple of years away myself. Hope you and Ivan are doing something fun.

    I love most of the movies on your list there and I’d include them on my list too.

    Enjoy your special day!

    1. Thanks Ted! Oh we’re keeping it mellow, just dinner & a movie this Friday 🙂 It’s interesting that my faves from the 80s and 90s don’t change much at all.

  2. Happy Birthday. This is a nice idea for a way to celebrate. I’ve done a couple posts like this myself. I did notice however that while you gave some credit to the last half decade of your life, you neglected the first half decade. My math says you were born in one of the greatest years for film since the 1930s, no love for those childhood films or the ones you caught up on from the early years of your life? Still, I count at least 4 James Bond movies on your lists (Timothy Dalton Yeah!), Russel Crowe three times, that’s fine but where is Denzel? He needs to be here somewhere. 3:10 to Yuma is great and gets you both Bale and Crowe, I like the double dip. 2003 and 2006 seem to have left a mark, five films from each year there. I can’t fault the animated movies at all, love your choices even if they are not all the same as mine. 40 times around the sun is a good point to mark on the calendar. Congratulations.

    1. Thanks Richard! It’s always fun to walk down memory lane so to speak. That’s a great idea about doing a post on classic films I saw over the years. I just might do that in the future, though I still need to catch up w/ more of them. I like Denzel but for some reason there are other films I like more than his for one reason or another. Crowe & Bale have consistently churned out great stuff over the years.

  3. HAPPY BIRTHDAY and welcome to the 40s! They really aren’t that bad. Goodness there are SOOOOO many movies I love on your lists. Watching movies through those decades has been pretty incredible the advances through the years are pretty mind boggling. Many have been good chances, others not so much.

    1. Thanks Keith, glad to be joining the 40s club 😉 Glad to hear we share many favorites here. Yeah I think the technological advances have been amazing, though they still can’t replace a good story *cough* Jupiter Ascending *cough*

  4. HAPPY BIRTHDAY RUTH! Many, many happy returns! What a fab, fun, filmic way to celebrate your birthday 😀 I was amused to see The Gods Must Be Crazy up in the 80s list! Man that was a fun film. The 2000’s are definitely a hard decade to choose from – so many awesome films. Not sure I could narrow it down as well as you’ve done.

    Happy birthday again 🙂

    1. Thank you Jaina! I was raking my brain as to what to do for my big day and I came across this old list so I figure I should update ’em. I saw The Gods Must Be Crazy w/ my whole family and we all loved it, so there’s that nostalgia factor there. I could probably make a top 50 from 2000s, it was tough to do but I think I’m pretty happy w/ that list 😀

  5. Happy Birthday Ruth. I’m nearing a new age bracket myself, this is an interesting post. I am ashamed to say I have not seen many of the movies you listed!

    If I was to name some films from the decades I have lived through, off the top of my head….

    80’s: Brazil, The Last Temptation of Christ, Raging Bull, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, Time Bandits
    90’s: Fight Club, Sling Blade, The Game, Officespace, Millers Crossing, 12 Monkeys, plus The Rock and Con Air (my guilty pleasures ;P)
    00’s: No Country For Old Men, There Will Be Blood, Punch Drunk Love,

    1. Hi Jordan! Hey, I like The Rock and Con Air, too, those are definitely fun guilty pleasures. I have not seen some on your list either, that’s the thing with films, there are such a huge variety of genres that it’s impossible to cover them all. Btw, I featured The Game on one of my B’day posts, it’s quite an underrated one from Fincher.

      1. I’ll have to find that review, The Game has always been one of my favourite movies, for as long as I can remember – hell, I was 11 when it came out! It is so surreal and mind-bending, not to mention extremely unsettling.

  6. …woops, to quickly finish my list (everyone loves a list!)

    00’s: The Artist, Control
    10’s: The Master, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Venus In Fur, The Wolf Of Wall Street, could name a whole bunch from this year since I started blogging in June but I’ll leave it there!

    Great post Ruth, enjoy your ME day eh? 🙂

  7. Happy Birthday! Can’t complain about your list. You have exquisite taste ;). I have a decade on you, so, I remember a lot of the ‘classics’ from the 70s as a child. The biggest influence was Planet of the Apes and Stars Wars: IV. I saw it 14 times over the summer of my freshman year of high school. I spent all my money from babysitting and working at Tastee-Freeze to watch it over and over. Then followed Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I bought the album of the scores and listened to them when I wasn’t sitting in the cinema. Thus began my love for films.

    1. Thanks my friend! That’s so cool when we love movies THAT much, I was that way with Superman: The Movie, I think I could still quote that movie now, ahah. I also love movie soundtracks, in fact that’s the music genre I listen to the most besides classical music. I’m glad you decided to do a movie blog!

      1. Thanks. In the last few years I have found I don’t rush out to see them any more–I wait and buy my favorite three from the year. I like to hear all about them from the movie buffs and then put my two cents in later. Actually, I find I’m looking to the past and watching far more classics these days. Poor documentaries and foreign language films–I just can’t seem to find the time to watch them. Your, post, though, I admire your enthusiasm to stay on top of things and your prolific postings, you are a bright spot in my day. 🙂

        1. Hi again Cindy! I barely buy things anymore, I just listen to stuff on youtube 😉 I have my Classical Radio on most of the time in the car. Yeah I watch a lot more classics these days thanks to the Blindspot series. Awwww thank you for your kind words, I LOVE chatting about movies w/ you and I’m thrilled we’re finally collaborating, yay!!

  8. I’ve got a decade on you, for what it’s worth. I’ve seen all of those movies except Somewhere in Time, Dear Frankie, and Belle. I agree with some of your choices. My suggestions for others, if you have not already seen them (in chronological order).

    For the 1980s: Das Boot, Back to the Future, The Princess Bride, A Fish Called Wanda, and Field of Dreams.

    For the 1990s: The Silence of the Lambs, Schindler’s List, The Wrong Trousers, Once Were Warriors, Hoop Dreams, Contact, Shakespeare in Love, and The Iron Giant.

    For the 2000s: Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Amelie, City of God, Whale Rider, Hero, Serenity, Pride & Prejudice, The Lives of Others, Over the Hedge, Death at a Funeral (2007), Man from Earth, Slumdog Millionaire, Up, The Way We Get By, Up in the Air, and 3 Idiots.

    For the 2010s: Toy Story 3, The Artist, Hugo, and The Avengers.

    1. Hi Chip! Hey, we are only as old/young as we feel 🙂

      Thanks for your recommendations! There are a few I haven’t seen from your 2000s list but I have seen a lot from the other three decades. Glad you have Pride & Prejudice on here, that’d make my Top 30 for sure, but from Austen, it’s hard to beat Sense & Sensibility for me.

  9. Happy Birthday! Hope you had a wonderful day. 🙂 Great movies on your list and some I need to check out one of these days like Sense & Sensibility and Belle, not the usual films I’d rush out to see but I like to try ‘new for me’ stuff every now and again.

    1. Thank you! I took a day off from work so yeah it was wonderful! I hope you’ll give Sense & Sensibility and Belle a shot even though period dramas aren’t your forte. Both of them are the best of the genre IMHO.

  10. Happy 40th Birthday Ruth! Great idea to share your personal favorites from the four decades you’ve lived through.
    The only one I’ve not heard of is Somewhere in Time (1980). Glad to see 3:10 to Yuma (2007) on there, I think it’s among the best recent westerns.

    1. Thank you Chris! Oh my, you haven’t heard of Somewhere in Time? I hope you’ll check it out at some point, it’s got one of the most beautiful soundtrack ever by John Barry. In fact, hope you’ll stop by on V-day for a special collaboration post as I mentioned that movie too. Yes I love 3:10 To Yuma even though I’m not a fan of westerns generally.

    1. Thanks Natalie!! Glad to hear you love The Little Mermaid and Jurassic Park too, I’m even looking forward to Jurassic World though I was initially skeptical about it.

  11. PrairieGirl

    Hey Flixy, hope your birthday day off was great. You know, I have to say Phantom of the Opera is my very fav on your list, if not for all time. I’ve seen it at least a dozen times and never tire of it. Even though I have the DVD, AND the live performance DVD of the 25th anniversary of the Broadway play, and have seen it in the theater three times, I just can’t get enough. I was channel-surfing a few weeks ago and even watched it on cable… the whole thing… again! And huge thank you to you for introducing me to it. Everything is great at 40, Enjoy!

    1. Thanks Becky. Yes Phantom is definitely one of my faves, and there’s something about its unrequited love that is so heart-wrenching and mesmerizing. I should rewatch it again soon but I did rewatched it twice last year! You’re right, it never got old.

    1. Thanks so much Sati! Awwwww you made my day!!! I mean that’s quite a compliment coming from a youngster such as yourself 😛 Love your new red hair btw, I was wondering if you got ’em done yourself or at the salon. I know some people can do that on their own but I’d butcher it in a second and it’ll probably come out purple or something, ahah.

      1. Youngster? I look like shit, the high time is when they ask me for ID when I buy cigs 🙂 I got them done at salon, I’d never dye my hair myself, I’d end up looking like a carrot 😛

        1. You are way too hard on yourself, I mean you look fab and you have a great sense of style too! At my age, I’m ecstatic whenever they card me when I go to a place that serves alcohol, ahah.

          Yeah I admire people who can somehow do their own hair coloring. I leave it to the professional as if I did it myself it’ll end up costing me more 😛

  12. Happy Birthday miss thang! How does 40 feel so far? I just turned 35 last month, a couple more years and I will be there.Oh my goodness what a great list. I just kept nodding my head with all of your selections. Some kind of Wonderful is one my fave 80s movies and from the 90s LA Confidential is still one of my fave movies today. This is a really neat idea of racking up all your favorites. Did you see any particular movie on your bday or did you go movie free for a day? 🙂

    1. Thanks dahling Mel! Ahah well it’s only been a day but there’s really nothing different. I don’t feel old and I’m glad people are still surprised I’m 40, unless they’re being polite, ahah.

      It’s funny how my taste in films haven’t changed much. You might not believe this but I used to be more daring in my 20s actually, I’d watch risque films I wouldn’t even touch nowadays. But I’ve never been able to tolerate violent stuff, I think LA Confidential has some violent moments but it wasn’t gory so I’m still ok w/ that. Hey you should do the same, I’m curious what you’d pick from each decade, esp the 90s and 2000s.

      I actually didn’t see a single movie yesterday! I was disappointed I didn’t get to go to Kingsman screening because of the darn snowstorm, but I’m going on Friday, yay!

  13. Some really big belated birthday wishes to my fellow Aquarius! This is a lovely post with some lovely choices and Minority Report is actually a really great sci-fi flick, nice to see it in your list!

    1. Happy belated Birthday to you too Getter! LOVE your post, I always like the idea of highlighting your fave scenes. Glad to hear you love Minority Report too!

  14. Happy Birthday Ruth! Such a creative way to celebrate your special day and movies. I picked a favorite from each decade; Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Batman Returns, anyone of the Harry Potters, and Inception. 🙂

  15. Lovely post! Getting older is great. My wife hates it, but I really love what each knew year brings. I hope you had a wonderful ‘Me Day’!

    And I love your lists. It’s so nice to look back and see what we loved then, what we love now and what how our tastes have grown.

    And you can’t go wrong with Russell Crowe movies!

    1. Thanks Drew! Yeah I don’t fret about getting older, in fact I hardly think about it and I don’t feel 40 (some say I don’t look it either, thank God, ahah) It was a wonderful ‘Me Day’ and skipping work would always do the trick, ha..ha..

      I think my taste is pretty consistent, I still love all of these movies and yeah I do love Crowe’s work 😀

    1. Hey thanks Eric! As it turns out I didn’t end up seeing anything that day but that’s ok, I finally saw Nightcrawler this weekend so it’s all good! 🙂

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