Halftime Leisure

The completely objective, undeniable list of the top 10 films of all time

April 1, 2023

Since the dawn of cinema, critics have time and again tried and failed (miserably) to come to a consensus on what truly makes a brilliant film. From timeless storytelling to stunning visuals, there is seemingly no consensus on the metrics one should use to measure a film’s worth.

For some, this nigh-insurmountable task leads them to believe that film is a subjective art form; that the “best” is a title left for each viewer to ascribe to a film based on their own individual standards. But me? I rebuke this naive outlook on cinema. 

I know that there is, without a doubt, a handful of films that truly deserve the title of “best” due to their undeniable mastery of every cinematic aspect imaginable. And today, I am here to crown said best film alongside nine of its peers that still manage to twinkle in the shadow of the greatest film’s dazzling light. 

Now, without further ado, I present to you the definitive list of the top 10 greatest films of all time. 


  1. The Room (2003)

Tommy Wiseau’s The Room is a near indescribable experience. Every second of this movie is filled with phenomenal cast performances and gut-wrenching comedy. The film is so intentionally hilarious, yet balances itself out with genuinely moving dialogue from an incredibly talented cast. Wiseau’s performance as main-character Johnny is especially evocative, with his tear-jerking sincerity and powerful delivery of moving lines like “It’s bullshit, I did not hit her. I did nooot.…oh, hi Mark!”

  1. Shrek 3 (2007)

The legacy of the Shrek franchise is undeniable. Spanning four films—with a potential fifth in the works—and several (surprisingly well-received) spin-off franchises, Shrek has cemented itself as a well-loved staple of early 2000s cinema. Among the films of this cultural juggernaut sits one of the most influential and well-produced films of all time.

That’s right.

Shrek 3.

It honestly goes without saying just how amazing this film was. Shrek 3 took all of the beloved aspects of the Shrek franchise and enhanced them to near-unrecognizable levels. Its charming cast, studded with gems like Justin Timberlake’s Arthur Pendragon, is able to keep the audience fully invested in the story without ever coming off as insufferable or unlikeable. Shrek 3 was truly a peak for the franchise—something I think we can all unanimously agree upon.

  1. 50 Shades of Grey (2015)

From its humble beginnings as Twilight fanfiction, 50 Shades of Grey was able to blossom into something truly special. E.L. James—the genius behind this incredible franchise—was able to capitalize on the already brilliant themes of the Twilight series, and ground them in an even more realistic and relatable setting: the world of BDSM. 50 Shades treats its explorations of relationships, sexual exploration, and liberation with great tact and depicts a truly healthy representation of modern BDSM movements. To me, 50 Shades redefined cinematic expressions of romance and is what we should all strive for.

  1. Dragonball Evolution (2009)

Director James Wong had a vision—and a brilliant one at that. Dragonball Evolution took all the most beloved parts of the Dragonball franchise—its heart, whimsy, and thrilling action—and told them to take a hike. Instead, what we got was a gross amalgamation of what western fans think anime is and honestly, we are all the better for it. 

This film also set a precedent for all live-action anime adaptations to come, all of which have certainly been phenomenal ventures into adaptive cinema, and for that, we must be truly grateful.

  1. The Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (2013)

Although the film adaptations of the early-2000s literary juggernaut, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, were clipped of their wings before they could truly soar, fans can rest easy knowing that they were blessed with this absolute gem of a film before the inevitable end. Aside from blessing the world with more Logan Lerman, the film was able to capture the true charm of the beloved Percy Jackson series. What’s more, the film, in all its brilliance, was able to completely rewrite canon and give audiences a truly captivating and narratively sound cinematic experience. While the film was unable to reproduce its own version of the infamous Lotus Casino scene from its predecessor, it was able to more than make up for that with its astute understanding of its source material and its frankly long-overdue reimagination of the franchise. Hopefully the upcoming Disney+ series can live up to even half of the narrative gold that this film left us with.

  1. The Kissing Booth (2018)

The new standard for modern romance, The Kissing Booth is the creme de la creme of Netflix originals. This film is one of the few since the peak of cinema in 2017 (context soon, I promise) that has even come close to being truly great. 

The Kissing Booth is a sincere and extremely original exploration of tender, high school romance. This film goes above and beyond in rewriting the romcom game and succeeds unequivocally in redefining the genre. The Kissing Booth is able to channel pure love in its core characters’ relationship without relying on a single cliche, and really cements itself in the cultural consciousness as an instance of purely phenomenal cinema.

Move over Pride and Prejudice, the new standard for love is here and, as of right now, she isn’t going anywhere.

  1. Happy Feet 2 (2011)

There are no words to describe how much of a full-body experience it is to watch the Happy Feet duology. Believe me when I say this film completely rewrote my brain chemistry at the ripe old age of 9 years old. I love it with all my heart and if you say even one bad thing about it I WILL cry.

In all seriousness, this film is really something special. As the sequel to the already heartwarming Happy Feet (2006), Happy Feet 2 was able to accomplish something truly special. Not only did this film perfectly capture the (albeit slightly unnerving) whimsy of its predecessor, but it also managed to further build upon its tender message of self-discovery and acceptance. Beyond the fact that many fans tout these films as a beautiful allegory for the queer experience (it’s me, I’m fans), this franchise, especially this sequel, is able to do something that many films aren’t: it makes you happy. In the least cheesy way possible, this film doesn’t just entertain you with its silly little penguins, it keeps you genuinely hooked with its devastatingly good covers of pop hits and even more so with its incredibly charming cast of characters. This film is imbued from start to end with pure, unabashed joy, and that’s something that should be appreciated more.

I swear, I’m being so serious right now and if you all don’t give this movie more love I’ll *muffled rambling*

  1. Minions (2015)

The minions were the best part of Despicable Me (2010), so why wouldn’t this film be phenomenal???

  1. Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997)

In a similar realm to its beautiful younger sibling, Dragonball Evolution, the original Mortal Kombat movie is an astonishingly amazing cross-media adaptation. Frankly, more films should explore this avenue.

But back to the point. This film perfectly captures the high-impact action of the Mortal Kombat games and adds an additional dimension of truly engrossing narrative and thematic excellence

  1. The Emoji Movie (2017)

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again—The Emoji Movie is a cinematic masterpiece that has, for far too long, gone underappreciated by critics and casual viewers alike. This film has it all. A charming and loveable cast? Check. An interesting premise and thrilling storyline? Double Check. Incomparable sincerity in its core themes and messages? You know it. The Emoji Movie has all there is to want in a cinematic experience and more, and it’s about time that we as a society finally appreciate this movie for what it really is: the greatest film of all time. 

Also, notice how there hasn’t been a truly amazing movie since this film’s release? I’m just saying…

In Summary…

If you don’t like this list, just remember the wise words of Eugene Lee Yang.

I’m right.

You’re wrong.

Shut up.

Ajani Jones
Ajani is a junior in the college majoring in linguistics. He is the Editor-in-Chief. He is also really, REALLY excited for the Percy Jackson TV show and will not shut up about it (still won't).

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As an avid film enthusiast, I must say that creating a definitive list of the top 10 films of all time is an incredibly challenging task. The subjectivity of taste and personal preferences plays a significant role in how we perceive and appreciate films. However, I understand the allure of attempting to compile such a list. It can spark engaging discussions and introduce us to noteworthy films we may have overlooked. I believe that while opinions may differ, it is essential to acknowledge the influence of diverse cultures and languages in cinema. Translation allows us to experience the brilliance of international films, breaking down barriers and expanding our cinematic horizons. From this list my favorite movie – 50 Shades of Grey.

Last edited 1 year ago by Susy