Tuesday, August 24, 2021

10 Movies I Should've Had on My Top 10 List

 by Adam Riske

This is gonna be fun.

I’ve been making top 10 lists for F This Movie! since 2013. Over that time, I’ve made a few picks I’d like to take back and a few others where I would reshuffle the order. But even more I would include some movies that have stuck with me over the past eight years that I regret not representing on my favorite movies of the year lists. Here are 10 of them.

Annabelle Comes Home (2019)

Why I Would Put It on The List Now: It’s not often I describe a horror movie as sweet, but damn if Annabelle Comes Home isn’t heartfelt. This would be a great sleepover/gateway horror movie for older kids and teens. It’s creepy but fun and not too mean-spirited.

Why I Didn’t Put It on My List Then: It took a Scary Movie Month re-watch to convince me that my initial feelings were correct. Plus, 2019 was a great year for movies, so replacing one from my original list was a tough decision.

What It Would Replace: Triple Frontier

Draft Day (2014)

Why I Would Put It on The List Now: I mean, c’mon! My thoughts on this magnificent motion picture are best captured on the Draft Day episode. It’s also become one of the movies I’m most personally associated with at F This Movie!, giving it a special place in my heart. One new observation about Draft Day’s greatness, though, is I think the movie acts as a metaphor for the awesomeness of Kevin Costner. At first, he’s an easy target but then (given time) he’s everything you could ever want in a movie star. The ending doubles as a victory lap for the actor just as much as his onscreen character.

Why I Didn’t Put It on My List Then: I liked it, but my intuition hadn’t kicked in yet that I loved it.

What It Would Replace:
Begin Again

Gotti (2018)

Why I Would Put It on The List Now: What can I say? I’m often in the mood to watch Gotti more than many much better mob movies. It’s not a “good” movie, it just hits me in a way I find enjoyable. The thesis of the film is “Well actually, John Gotti was awesome” and I find that hysterical.

Why I Didn’t Put It on My List Then: Can you imagine how much shit I would have gotten putting Gotti on my top 10? And this coming from the guy who put Wish Upon, Birth of the Dragon, Hell Fest, Little Italy, and Love, Lights, Hanukkah on other top 10s.

What It Would Replace: Tully
Ingrid Goes West (2017)

Why I Would Put It on The List Now: It’s such a smart satire of social media with amazing performances by Aubrey Plaza, Elizabeth Olsen, and O’Shea Jackson Jr. Plus, the movie champions Batman Forever as much as I do! I felt seen is what I’m trying to say.

Why I Didn’t Put It on My List Then: I re-watched it at the end of the year in a rush to see where it would rank on my top 10 list. I think that hurt its positioning because I was burnt out cramming movies before year-end in 2017.

What It Would Replace: Lady Bird

The Intern (2015)

Why I Would Put It on The List Now: I can’t say enough good things about The Intern. Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway are giving such swaggering, confident movie star performances here and the film is so upbeat it makes working 50 hours a week in an office look like a total blast. I also think Hathaway’s character is pretty heroic in a very real way in the movie. She’s a sympathetic career woman who worked her ass off to start her own business while also raising a family. Being a female executive is hard. I’ll take that representation over a Wonder Woman or Captain Marvel any day of the week.

Why I Didn’t Put It on My List Then: It hadn’t hit me yet how much I loved this movie.

What It Would Replace: Sicario
Last Flag Flying (2017)

Why I Would Put It on The List Now: It’s an underseen and very effective Richard Linklater drama that works as a standalone movie and as a sequel to The Last Detail (a movie I adore) in the same way Doctor Sleep does for The Shining.

Why I Didn’t Put It on My List Then: I felt like I was the only person who liked it as much as I did and I didn’t have time to re-watch it before making my 2017 favorites list, where it was a runner-up.

What It Would Replace: Baby Driver

The Lords of Salem (2013)

Why I Would Put It on The List Now: I have a few favorite Rob Zombie movies (a director I champion) but on any given day The Lords of Salem might be what I choose as my favorite. It works as tragedy just as much as it does horror and features strong dramatic performances by Sheri Moon Zombie and Jeff Daniel Phillips. In terms of mood and atmosphere, this is Rob Zombie at his peak.

Why I Didn’t Put It on My List Then: I had it on my list of runners-up but had bigger movie crushes at the time on films like American Hustle, Mud, A Band Called Death, and You’re Next.

What It Would Replace: American Hustle
Richard Jewell (2019)

Why I Would Put It on The List Now: Richard Jewell is a movie that hit me really hard both times I saw it in large part due to the magnificent performances of the three leads – Paul Walter Hauser, Kathy Bates and Sam Rockwell. It reminds me of The Master in that way where the acting is so strong it overshadows any complaints I have about the movie.

Why I Didn’t Put It on My List Then: There’s things you have to ignore to unanimously love Richard Jewell, like the entire Olivia Wilde character and Clint Eastwood’s vitriol towards law enforcement and journalism. This is an angry movie and I’m aware of the flaws. For that reason, I had it as a runner-up on my top 10 list in 2019.

What It Would Replace:
Long Shot

Riddick (2013)

Why I Would Put It on The List Now: When I revisited Riddick for the Heavy Action All Stars Vol. 2 episode, everything about it worked from the purposely cheesy special effects to the game performances by an impressive supporting cast to my boy Vin Diesel totally in his element as the character that should be his signature role but isn’t.

Why I Didn’t Put It on My List Then: When I first started making top 10 lists, I was more precious about the movies on the list needing to feel “important.” Riddick was a popcorn flick and felt too slight. I also didn’t like it as much as I do in 2021 in 2013.

What It Would Replace: Blue Jasmine

Turbo Kid (2015)

Why I Would Put It on The List Now: It’s one of my favorite movie romances of the 2010s and a rare case of a movie breaking through being an homage and becoming something better than many of its influences. I saw this right after my first (and only) viewing of Cannibal Holocaust, making it the textbook example of a “palette cleanser.” Also, Laurence Leboeuf as Apple!

Why I Didn’t Put It on My List Then: Another movie on my runner-up list. 2015 was a strong year and choosing a top 10 is just as difficult now as it was then.

What It Would Replace: Mad Max: Fury Road


  1. This is a fun article! I was expecting it to be movies you saw after you'd made your lists, but the fact that it's about movies you've settled in with now that the moment has passed--that makes it better. Certain movies have that staying power and longevity that you can't know until later, when the flash and marketing and critical reception have all faded.

    I haven't seen all of the ones you listed but I am happy to see love for Ingrid Goes West, even though that movie lost me a little toward the end. It had some really charming scenes and felt confidently original in a way that's rarely pulled off these days.

  2. NICE! Great read and fun idea indeed. I LOVE Annabelle Comes Home. It's a very Fall feeling movie. Halloween feel of course, but more specifically Fall. Like, It's mid-September, get you ready for October kind of movie. And then watch it again in actual October too. Lords of Salem great call too, and seconded Ingrid Goes West. Great picks.

  3. It seems like we have similar taste, Sir, and while I agree with th 'Turbo Kid' inclusion, why knock off 'Fury Road'?

    1. I know it's sacrilege but I admire that movie more than I love it

    2. I admire your choice to drop Fury Road more than I love it.

  4. Love to see Annabelle Come Home getting praise. I agree with everything you said, especially about how sweetly it treat's the characters and their relationships. I also enjoy that the director allows the ghosts/specters/whatevers to stick around a little longer than James Wan. My one nitpick would be the inclusion of the werewolf. When they first tease it with the book on the mantle my heart jumped because I love werewolf horror and we don't get enough, but I think that creature doesn't really work in the more-scary-than-violent Conjuring universe.

    Totally unrelated drop/add week just ended and one class that I was considering taking was "Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States" and the only film on the syllabus was Boogie. I felt you needed to know this