Paul’s Picks: my top movies of all time


What does a screenwriter watch for fun (and to study his craft)?

Here is an alphabetical list of the movies I rate in excess of 85/100. It’s an evolving list, because I re-watch and re-rate my top movies at regular intervals, and of course add others. Will you be able to spot the changes?

In the future I’ll be publishing books explaining in detail what makes my movie picks great, so follow me on Twitter and Facebook to make sure you don’t miss my updates on this project (and others).

Full disclosure: on this page, all links to movies are affiliate links. That means whenever you click on one, you’ll be taken to the relevant book page on Amazon. If you buy or rent the movie, I receive a small commission.

A Night to Remember (1958)  (watch with (buy from

A Room with a View (1986)  (stream from (buy from

About a Boy (2002)  (watch with (buy from

Amadeus (1984)  (watch with (buy from

American Beauty (1999)  (watch with (buy from

An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)  (stream from (buy from /

Annie Hall (1977)  (stream from (buy from /

As Good as It Gets (1997)  (watch with  (buy from

Babe (1995)  (watch with (buy from

Babette’s Feast (1987)  (watch with (buy from

Bagdad Café (1987)  (watch with (buy from

Before Sunrise (1995)  (watch with (buy from

Born Yesterday (1950)  (watch with (buy from

Braveheart (1995)  (watch with (buy from

Breaking Away (1979)  (watch with (buy from

Brief Encounter (1946)  (watch with (buy from

Brokeback Mountain (2006)  (watch with (buy from

Casablanca (1942)  (watch with (buy from

Casino (1995)  (watch with (buy from

Chinatown (1974)  (watch with (buy from

Clueless (1995)  (watch with (buy from

Counsellor at Law (1933)  (buy from /

Dances with Wolves (1990)  (watch with (buy from

Dead Poets Society (1989)  (watch with (buy from

Deliverance (1972)  (watch with (buy from

Driving Miss Daisy (1989)  (watch with (buy from

Emma (1996)  (stream from (buy from

Fatal Attraction (1987)  (watch with (buy from

Finding Nemo (2003)  (watch with (buy on Blu-ray from

Forrest Gump (1994)  (watch with (buy from

Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)  (watch with (buy from

French Kiss (1995)  (buy from /

Ghost (1990)  (watch with (buy from

Goodfellas (1990)  (buy from (buy on Blu-ray from

High Noon (1952)  (watch with (buy on Blu-ray with

Hope and Glory (1987)  (buy from /

Howards End (1992)  (stream from (buy from /

It Happened One Night (1934)  (stream from (buy from

It’s a Wonderful Life (1947)  (stream from (buy from /

JFK (1991)  (watch with (buy from

Love with the Proper Stranger (1963)  (watch with (buy from

Million Dollar Baby (2004)  (watch with (buy from

Moonstruck (1987)  (watch with (buy from

On the Waterfront (1954)  (watch with (buy from

One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)  (watch with

Out of Africa (1985)  (watch with (buy from

Rain Man (1988)  (watch with (buy from

Sense and Sensibility (1995)  (watch with (buy from

Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989)  (watch with (buy from

Shadowlands (1993)  (watch with (buy from

Shakespeare in Love (1998)  (watch with (buy from

Shirley Valentine (1989)  (buy from /

Sleepless in Seattle (1993)  (watch with (buy from

Stand by Me (1986)  (watch with (buy from

Sunset Boulevard (1950)  (watch with (buy from

Tender Mercies (1983)  (watch with (buy from

The Apartment (1960)  (watch with (buy from

The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)  (stream from Netflix) (buy from /

The Bridges of Madison County (1995)  (watch with (buy from

The Commitments (1991)  (stream from (buy from /

The Godfather (1972)  (watch with (buy from

The Graduate (1967)  (stream from (buy from /

The Incredibles (2004)  (watch with (buy from

The Last Waltz (1978)  (stream from (buy from

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)  (watch with (buy from

The Pianist (2002)  (watch with (buy from

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)  (watch with (buy from

The Sting (1973)  (watch with (buy from

The Verdict (1982)  (watch with (buy on Blu-ray from

The Wizard of Oz (1939)  (watch with (buy from

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)  (watch with (buy from

Tootsie (1982)  (watch with (buy from

Toy Story (1995)  (watch with (buy from

Toy Story 3 (2010)  (watch with (buy from

Unforgiven (1992)  (stream from (buy from /

When Harry Met Sally (1989)  (watch with (buy from

Witness (1985)  (watch with (buy from

Working Girl (1988)  (watch with (buy from