I'll start with probably my favourite film ever. Contact stars Jodie Foster as an astronomer in pursuit of scientific proof of alien life, and Matthew McConaughey does a serious turn as a man of the cloth (yes, really) in a film combining two fascinating subjects - science and theology. Love it, love it, love it.
Singin' in the Rain
This is one of the most uplifting films ever made, and it's very funny too, and if you can watch the famous Singin' in the Rain sequence without feeling uplifted then you, my friend, have no soul.
I've never been the biggest fan of Clint Eastwood as an actor (although he is brilliant in Gran Torino) but as a director he is genuinely brilliant. Mystic River is a dark drama about three childhood friends who are reunited after a brutal murder. One of the friends played by Kevin Bacon is the investigating police officer, Sean Penn is the father of the murdered girl and Tim Robbins plays the third friend who, damaged by a childhood experience, becomes a suspect in the murder. A brilliant and beautifully layered film.
The Sound of Music
Set in the world of TV news, three ambitious colleagues become entwined through work and romance. Holly Hunter is great as the feisty, driven news producer, William Hurt plays a handsome but slightly vacuous newsreader and Albert Brooks is the journalist with ambitions to become the anchorman.
Dead Poets' Society
Robin Williams giving a dramatic turn as an unconventional, but inspirational teacher. Who can forget the Carpe Diem scene? The still gives me tingles when I watch it, and the ending is just perfect. Fantastic film.
The American President
Yet another romcom, which I make no apologies for. Michael Douglas is the American President, a widower with a young daughter, and when he meets a political lobbyist played by Annette Bening (who is always good) he asks her out on a date. A really enjoyable film, and Douglas and Bening are really appealing in the lead roles.
It's the story of a single Jewish girl who's set up with a Jewish matchmaker by her grandma, or 'Bubbie'. Through the matchmaker she meets a down to earth, honest man but he sells pickles and she struggles to overcome her snobby attitude to his job and rejects him. But when her friend becomes interested in him she realises she may have missed her chance.
Diane Keaton is a successful 80s businesswoman, complete with power suits and shoulder pads, who inherits a baby. It's a very funny film and everytime I watch it I fall in love with Sam Shepherd all over again.
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
Spencer Tracy (this was his last film, completed shortly before he died) and the fabulous Katherine Hepburn star as liberal parents who are shocked by their daughter's decision to marry Sidney Poitier, a distinguished black doctor. It was made in 1967 but I think some of the prejudices portrayed in this film are still around today. And apart from that it's a cracking film with a fantastic cast.
Just missing out on my top ten are Gran Torino, White Christmas, Leon and You've Got Mail.
So there's my list, what would you have on yours?