A friend inspired me to pick one good movie to watch from each year of my life.
Making my list was harder (and took longer) than I expected. I guess that’s what happens when you have been alive for almost fifty years.
For some years, it was hard to choose just one good movie. Hello, 1993! How do I pick between Jurassic Park AND Dazed and Confused?
Then there were years where I struggled to find a film I liked. Hollywood! What happened in 1997?
WARNING: If you keep reading you will encounter spoilers, bad language, and maybe some adult content. After all, some of these movies are rated PG-13, or R. One was even the only X-rated movie to win Best Picture.
Click on the picture below each movie to rent/purchase the movie on Amazon. If will receive a small commission for each purchase made.
Good Movies to Watch for Each Year of My Life
2016 – Moana
Moana immemdiately captured my heart and is my favorite Disney film after the Toy Story franchise. A strong female lead, The Rock, and music by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Moana is the total package. And toddler Moana is just about the cutest thing I have ever seen.
2015 – Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Before the release I wrote Why First Gen Star Wars Fans are Counting on The Force Awakens. I’m happy to say that The Force Awakens saved the Star Wars franchise after the disappointment of the “first” three films.
2014 – Muppets Most Wanted
“I am Kierrrrmit the Frog.” Constantine is a wonderful addition to the Muppet family.
2013 – Monsters University
Not driving until seatbelts are fastened. Taking scrapbook pictures at inappropriate times. Rocking out to my tunes in the car. I am Mrs. Squibbles. And it was super cool to watch Monsterns Inc. University at Disney Social Media Moms a month before the general release.
2012 – The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games is one of those movies I will watch whenever it is on TV. I might have an inappropriate cougar-crush on Josh Hutcherson.
2011 – Bridesmaids
Melissa McCarthy pooping in a sink was everything. Yes world. Women can be raunchy too.
2010 – Toy Story 3
I cry. Every. Single. Time. My son is my Andy, and we are fastly approaching the “Toy Story 3” stage of life.
2009 – Star Trek
The Star Trek reboot made me fall in love with Karl Urban. His Dr. McCoy was spot on.
2008 – WALL-E
WALL-E is one of those movies that gets better each time I watch it. The message gets more on point every year as our lives are consumed by technology.
2007 – Nothing – I Got Nothing
The best I could come up with Enchanted, but it is a stretch to say that I liked it enough to watch it again.
2006 – Little Miss Sunshine
I don’t know which was more hysterical. The brother’s complete meltdown when he finds out he is colorblind, or Abigail Breslin’s completely inappropriate beauty pageant dance. But the best part was when the family dances along with her.
2005 – Serenity
While not as good as the Firefly television series, I will take any chance I can to see Captain Tightpants. But Wash. Why, oh why!
2004 – The Incredibles
I always forget how much I enjoy this movie. I love Violet’s transformation, and Kari the babysitter just kills me.
2003 – Finding Nemo
Finding Nemo was my son’s first movie in the theater. Despite a few hiccups, (“Mommy, where did Nemo’s mommy and brothers and sisters go?”) it remains one of my favorite Disney movies.
2002 – Chicago
Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renée Zellweger not only act, but they can also sing and dance! Who knew? But the showstopper was the impressive Cell Block Tango choreography.
2001 – Monsters Inc.
Pixar upped the bar with Monsters Inc. The individual motions of the hairs on Sulley’s fur were incredible. And who can’t love little Boo. “Mike Wazowski!”
2000 – Bring it On
I don’t know why I like Bring it On, but I will watch it anytime it is on TV. Eliza Dushku’s audition cheer was priceless.
1999 – Toy Story 2
“Woodie Jessie” was one of my son’s two favorite movies that he watched every single day when he was a preschooler. Can you guess what his first one was?
1998 – Pleasantville
My husband still walks in the door from work and says “Honey I’m home! Where’s my dinner.”
1997 – LA Confidential
This movie introduced me to Kevin Spacey. I was awed by his performance in his death scene. You could see the light drain from his eyes.
1996 – Independence Day
1996 wasn’t one of my favorite years for movies, but Independence Day is still a good movie to watch whenever it is on television. I laugh every time Will Smith is chewing out the alien as he drags it across the desert.
1995 – Toy Story
1994 – Swimming with Sharks
Swimming with Sharks is the movie that cemented my love affair with Kevin Spacey. He shined as he tortured his young assistant. “Sweet-N-Low is pink. See, Equal blue, Sweet-N-Low pink.”
1993 – Dazed and Confused
“Alright, alright, alright!” It was hard to choose between Dazed and Confused and Jurrasic Park for 1993. Dazed won due to the familiar landmarks from filming in my hometown Austin, Texas. And it has one of my favorite movie lines, spoken by Mathew McConaughey. “That’s what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older; they stay the same age.”
1992 – Noises Off
I haven’t seen this movie in YEARS. But I remember laughing so hard through the entire movie that I might have peed in my pants.
1991 – Fried Green Tomatoes
I love everything about this movie. A middle-aged woman struggles to figure out her place in the world. Two women develop a fiercely loyal, life-long friendship before it is acceptable to have a romantic relationship.
Whenever a friend turns forty, I send them the clip of Kathy Bates in the grocery store parking lot. It is the epitome of being a woman in your forties. We “are older and have more insurance.”
1990 – Total Recall
Arnold Schwarzenegger in Total Recall is one of my guilty pleasures.
1989 – Dead Poets Society
It was tough to choose between Dead Poets Society and The Little Mermaid. Super tough. Dead Poets has “Captian, my Captain” and Robin Williams best dramatic role. But Ariel saved Disney animation and has Part of Your World, Kiss the Girl, and Under the Sea. I still can’t decide.
1988 – Heathers
Heathers is deliciously evil, and I love it. By the way. My college roommate was named Heather.
1987 – The Princess Bride
The Princess Bride is in my Top 5 Favorite movies. Thirty years old (EEK!) and I still quote this movie ALL THE TIME. “As you wish” “Have fun storming the castle” “Inconceivable” “Never get involved in a land war in Asia” “Wuv, tru wuv” “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
And my favorite. “I do not think it means what you think it means”
1986 – Aliens
“Get away from her you bitch!” Aliens is the rare sequel that is better than the original. Scariest movie ever.
1985 – Breakfast Club
I was a junior in high school when Breakfast Club debuted. The stereotypes – the geek, the jock, the princess, the criminal and the basketcase – were a little different from my high school experience. But the movie spoke to my heart. And it has one of my favorite theme songs – Don’t You Forget About Me.
1984 – Sixteen Candles
I remember my mom picking up my friend Kellie and me early from school to take us toSixteen Candles. Like every girl my age, I was in love with Jake Ryan, and I identified with Molly Ringwald. I LOVED her hair, and she is part of the reason I dye my hair red. (And you thought this was my natural color, didn’t you?)
My favorite line: “They fucking forgot my birthday!”
1983 – Return of the Jedi
My friends had a tradition of going to a movie after finals on the last day of the school year. Return of the Jedi was our movie after our freshman year of high school. And I have a confession. I love Ewoks.
1982 – E.T. The Extraterrestrial
I still own my button that says “I saw E.T.” IN fact, I saw it seven times. Keep in mind that this was back in the dark ages without Netflix, DVDs, and VHS tapes cost over $50. So that seven times was in the movie theater. I loved this movie as a young teen.
1981 – Raiders of the Lost Ark
My parents saw Raiders of the Lost Ark at the first showing on the first day of release. The theater was empty. By the next day, word was out, and people packed the theaters at each showing.
How can you not love Harrison Ford’s cheeky performance as the snake-fearing Indiana Jones?
1980 – The Empire Strikes Back
The Empire Strikes Back is the BEST movie of the Star Wars franchise, and it is one of my top 5 movies. Most people remember the “I love you. I know.” scene between Han and Luke. But my favorite scene between them was the one inside the asteroid. SWOON!
1979 – The Muppet Movie
“Why are there, so many, songs about rainbows?” I was a huge Muppets fan before The Muppet Movie
1978 – Grease
Oh! the controversy Grease caused. My parents didn’t allow me to see the movie because Sandy the “good girl” turns bad at the end of the movie. To be fair, I don’t think most kids my age (I was 10) were allowed to see the movie. But I did get the soundtrack! I think it took me about five years before I realized the word “shit” was in Greased Lightning.
1977 – Star Wars
I feel fortunate that I am old enough to remember when Star Wars premiered. I left the theater wanting to fly!
1976 – Freaky Friday
What kid hasn’t wished they could be an adult and do anything they want? And what mom hasn’t wished they could go back to being a child without responsibility? Jodi Foster is awesome to watch as a child actor.
1975 – Jaws
“We’re going to need a bigger boat.” Drops Mic.
1974 – Benji
I was six, and I loved cute puppy dogs. I don’t remember much about the movie, except that Benji was cute and I wanted a dog of my own.
1973 – Charlotte’s Web
The movie was exactly how I had pictured things in mind when I read the book. Just thinking about the story makes me tear up a little. As an adult, I had the experience of seeing a mass of spiderlings leave their web just like Charlotte’s babies. It was AWESOME!
1972 – Snoopy, Come Home
I don’t remember many details from this movie, but periodically the refrain “Come home Snoopy, come home. Come home. Come home.” pops into my head.
1971 – Bednobs and Broomsticks
I still have the scarf I used as a child to act out Bednobs and Broomsticks along with the record story album. “Bobbing along, singing along, on the bottom of the beautiful briny sea.”
1970 – MASH
I saw the MASH movie long after I invested in the television show. I worried that it would be weird to see different actors in the iconic roles, but the film performances are perfect.
1969 – Midnight Cowboy
Midnight Cowboy is the rated-X movie mentioned in the intro. (It has now been downgraded to an R rating.) This movie introduced me to a world I didn’t know existed – male prostitution. It also opened my eyes to what people do just to survive. Jon Voight’s and Dustin Hoffman’s performances are stellar.
1968 – The Love Bug
Herbie! For as long as I can remember, my dream car has been a Volkswagen Bug. I attribute that to Herbie and fond high school memories of tootling around town in my best friend’s Bug.
What are the movies of YOUR life?
So tell me! Which good movies do you watch every time they are on? Has a movie made a big impact on your life? What movies are on your Top 5 list?