There is a music album meme circulating blogs where people cite the best album for every year they were born. I took a different tack and did movies. Some of it is an exercise is citing the obscure which bloggers love to do, but I think a big part its popularity is for pure nostalgia.
The list is pretty random, spanning high brow and low brow and just about everything in between. The selection process combination of movies that influenced me when they came out and great movies I saw years later. One big factor is if I rewatch a movie, and more importantly, how often I reference in general conversation. This sort of explains why Logan’s Run (1976) which I refer to all the time, beats out Taxi Driver and All the President’s Men (I’m sure to most cinemaphiles’ horror.)
In any event, this list is something you can tweak endlessly. I was really sad not to be able to include Bring It On because I really love teen competition movies. The 80s and 90s were particularly hard to narrow down. High school, college, post college are influential years in someone’s life in general. Ideas are discovered for the first time and tastes are refined. Some years were particularly loaded with great films. 1985 saw the release of the Goonies, Tampopo, and The Breakfast Club, but Brazil won out because I still reference that movie the most. The current decade is, I’ll admit, a little uneven. Honestly, I don’t see many movies these days, so it takes a while for to catch up and also to see which films maintain their relevance.
Please enjoy and write up your own. Also final note, the release date is a bit subjective, because it used to over a year for some international film to get distribution in the US. Nevertheless, I used to the domestic release date given by imdb, which continually has been one of my favorite and most used websites since I found it in 1995.