Nic’s Flicks (Pt. 1)

Nic Baggetto, Editor-in-chief

50. “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” (2003)

This list begins very similarly to how it ends, with a movie that impacted me growing up. I can’t claim that the “Pirates” movies are masterpieces, especially not three through five, but the first film in the franchise captured the imagination of six-year-old me and began to define who I am as a moviegoer. The first “Pirates” film is fun, but it’s also incredibly smart, a quality that elevates it to greatness.

49. “The Sixth Sense” (1999)

Spoiler alert: if you don’t know the ending of this movie, you aren’t a film lover. “The Sixth Sense” is the type of movie that I can still rewatch and get something new out of it. This was this film that positioned M. Night Shyamalan to be the next Martin Scorsese, before he tanked his career, and with good reason. “Sense” is a masterclass in suspense and has one of the greatest plot twists of all time.

48. “Apollo 13” (1995)

Nothing says the mid ‘90s like Tom Hanks in a great movie. This real-life story of astronauts in peril works just as well today as when it was released and makes the list because of the strength of its characters. In a story where the antagonist is the situation, rather than another person, it is often difficult to associate feeling for the protagonist, but “Apollo 13” sidesteps this issue and has some of the most endearing characters and a heartfelt ending.

47. “Good Will Hunting” (1997)

Sweet, touching and insightful, “Good Will Hunting” was the breakout film that skyrocketed the careers of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. To this day, I hold that it is Robin Williams’ most sincere performance and is a genuinely emotional ride. I have seen this film fewer times than some of the others on this list, but there are lines of dialogue that have lingered on my mind.

46. “Rebecca” (1940)

Likely one of the oldest films on this list, but certainly not the only Alfred Hitchcock movie, “Rebecca” is staple of classic cinema. The premise is simple, and the pace is slow, but it builds to the type of reveal that has been copied time and time again in film. Winner of the 1940 Best Picture academy award, “Rebecca” has stood the test of time.

45. “E.T. the Extra Terrestrial” (1982)

I considered leaving “E.T.” off this list, but after experiencing the wonder of it in theaters over the summer, there’s no doubt that “E.T.” is one of the best films ever made about growing up. Following “Jaws” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” Steven Spielberg proved himself to be the master of genres with a movie that touched the hearts (literally) of kids and adults alike.

44. “Memento” (2000)

The beauty of it is that it respects the audience’s intelligence enough to make the connections themselves without spoon-feeding anything to them. Each scene plays out as a new event that the viewer has to work backwards to understand. The structure forces the audience to experience the events in just as confused a state as the protagonist who has short-term memory loss. Christopher Nolan’s “Memento” is a film told partially backwards.