People often ask me which of the movies I like most. It’s a hard question to answer because there are so many great movies out there!

However, if I had to choose just one it would be Dances with Wolves. For years I always said that it was my favorite movie. But then I saw The Notebook and it shifted a little in my head. Since then I’ve been having a hard time deciding what my favorite movie is. So, to help out, I’ve decided to make a list of my top five favorite films and see which one is your favorite too. Let’s begin.

#1 Dances with Wolves

I don’t need to explain why this is number one on my list because it’s a very popular choice. A lot of people consider it to be one of the greatest American films of all time. And I can’t argue with them. The depth of the characters and their stories will keep you engrossed from start to finish.

The story follows the adventures of John Fitzgerald, a young man born and raised in the North who comes of age during the height of the Indian Wars. When the story opens, John has just graduated from the university and is ready to begin his career as a hunter. The bulk of the story centers on his first year of employment working for a trading post in Minnesota, where he meets a young Sioux woman named Victoria. From the very beginning, John exhibits a strong sense of protectiveness and a keen awareness of the dangers surrounding them as they venture into the wilderness. Soon after their meeting, however, John is captured by a group of Native Americans and taken prisoner. He remains in captivity for the rest of the story.

It’s a compelling story, one that examines the often-tense relationship that develops between Native Americans and Europeans during that period in American history. For centuries, Native Americans have lived in relative peace with miners, missionaries, and military personnel traveling through their lands. But all that changes with the development of the railroads and the coming of the settlers. As the story progresses, so does the tension between the two groups. In the end, though, everyone comes together for one last dance. And it’s a wonderful, hopeful conclusion to the story. One that makes you feel glad to be alive during these times and in this place. If you haven’t seen this one yet, you must!

#2 The Notebook

Moving on to my number two choice, The Notebook. I feel like this one also has a special place in my heart. It’s the story of a novelist named R. C. Simmons and his quest to capture the loves and heartache of a group of individuals during the Jazz Age. The setting of the film is New York City in the 1920s and it follows the loves, heartache, and adventures of several main characters, including Andy Wilson, an aspiring young writer, and Anna Beck, a socialite who has recently broken off an engagement with an older man named Julian March. Along with this comes a parade of colorful characters that make this story so much fun to watch. It’s incredibly romantic and inspiring too. Which is what drew me to it in the first place.

One of the things I love most about this film is that it presents a wide range of characters and their stories. You’ll meet a variety of people all trying to make their way through the bustling city of New York. And while many of the stories have an optimistic ending, there are definitely some dark plot twists that will keep you on the edge of your seat. If you’ve never seen this one, what are you waiting for? Go out and rent it now!

#3 Singularity

Singularity is the story of a lonely, guilt-ridden college student named Will who witnesses a murder and then tries to solve the mystery of the person’s identity. The bulk of the story takes place over the course of a single night and it follows Will as he investigates the crime and tries to piece together the clues. During this time he encounters another young man named Tom, who he eventually convinces to help him try and solve the murder. This is another example of a story that centers on a single night and how the people and events that transpire shape the future of the two friends.

Singularity is based on a short story by Richard Matheson and it was directed by Andrew Wagner. Like many of the other films on this list, it’s got incredible depth of character and interesting settings. But what makes this one so special is how the entire story is told from Will’s perspective. You’ll get to see what is clearly a pivotal moment in the friendship between Tom and Will unfold from their unique perspectives. As Will begins to unravel the mystery of who killed the man he saw that night, what begins as a fairly standard crime thriller transforms into something much more interesting.

#4 Unforgettable

Unforgettable is yet another crime thriller directed by Scott McGee and it stars Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson. The movie follows a professional kidnapper named Dolores who begins to feel a strong connection to the person she is about to kidnap. So much so that she can’t seem to stop thinking about him and wondering what he might be like. Meanwhile, a retired cop named Miles is haunted by a case that went unsolved and he investigates when a young woman is killed during a botched heist. He is aided by an associate named Lucy who specializes in recovering stolen goods and she ends up becoming involved in the investigation too. As they get closer to solving the case, both women realize that they are each other’s biggest threat. But can they bring themselves to kill the person they love the most?

I love this movie because it’s just so well-acted and well-written. Dolores is such a compelling character because she’s a force of nature. There’s not really anything that can stop her from doing what she wants. However, she’s incredibly complex too. She has a split personality named Shelby and she sees herself as someone who helps people discover the perfect person they were born to be with. Which is why she’s kidnapping people and forcing them to fall in love. It’s an interesting theory and one that makes her motivations very understandable. It also makes for some compelling theater. One of the things I like most about this film is that it explores the darker sides of human nature and how easily we can be manipulated into believing something that isn’t true. But it also shows how much we can accomplish if we put our minds to it. And, in the end, Dolores does find the man she was born to be with and she manages to save his life as well. So, in a sense, she does succeed in her quest. Just not in the way she wanted to.

#5 The Lady From Shanghai

Shanghai is one of my favorite films of all time and it is arguably one of the greatest movies ever made. It’s the story of two people who meet in a nightclub in Shanghai during the height of the Great Depression. One is named Bill and the other is named Jack and together they concoct a scheme to import Chinese women as prostitutes so that Jack can pay off his gambling debts. Shanghai is such an interesting movie because it examines the lengths to which people will go to for money. It’s a compelling look at the desperation that grips the world during that time period and how easily people will engage in harmful activity simply to make ends meet. It also features one of the most unforgettable performances from Barbara Hutton as Jack’s mother-in-law. If you’ve never seen this one, you must!

#6 The Gold Diggers

The Gold Diggers is a 1949 film noir directed by Jean Negulesco and it tells the story of a young woman named Joan who rents a house in Palm Springs, California, for the winter. While there, she befriends a group of single women who eventually join forces to solve the mystery of a lifetime: How to crack the code of an apparently perfect family? The movie is known for its twist ending and it’s one of Negulesco’s earlier films. But what really drew me to this one was the depth of character and the realistic portrayal of the California lifestyle in the 1940s.

One of the things I love about the Gold Diggers is how it portrays the California lifestyle of the era. It shows a glimpse of the glamorous Hollywood parties and the celebrity that surrounded them. But it also presents the more traditional side of California living too. The way the women work together to solve the mystery and support each other through the trials and tribulations of life. And Joan too, who rents the cottage for the winter and becomes entangled in the plot. It’s a charming and heart-warming story that will make you feel like you’re there even if you’ve never been to California. If you’ve never seen this one, go out and rent it now!