Gene Siskel Top 10 Favorite Movies

Gene Siskel was an esteemed American film critic, best known for his work alongside Roger Ebert on the television show “Siskel & Ebert.” Siskel was an influential figure in the world of film criticism, renowned for his insightful analysis and passionate love for the medium. Throughout his extensive career, Siskel watched countless movies, and while he reviewed them all, there were some that stood out as his all-time favorites. In this blog post, we will explore Gene Siskel’s top 10 favorite movies, providing a glimpse into his personal taste and showcasing the films that left a lasting impact on him.

1. “Citizen Kane” (1941) – Orson Welles’ directorial debut, “Citizen Kane,” is often considered one of the greatest movies ever made, and Siskel shared this sentiment. The film explores the life of Charles Foster Kane, a newspaper tycoon, in a groundbreaking narrative style that revolutionized filmmaking. Siskel admired the innovative storytelling and the depth of the characters, making it one of his top picks.

2. “The Godfather” (1972) – Francis Ford Coppola’s iconic crime drama captivated audiences and critics alike, including Gene Siskel. “The Godfather” delves into the Corleone crime family and their struggles for power and control. Siskel praised the film’s performances, storytelling, and the way it painted a vivid picture of the American criminal underworld.

3. “Raging Bull” (1980) – Martin Scorsese’s biographical sports drama, “Raging Bull,” starring Robert De Niro, showcases the life of boxing champion Jake LaMotta. Siskel was captivated by De Niro’s mesmerizing performance and the film’s raw depiction of LaMotta’s struggles inside and outside the boxing ring.

4. “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968) – Stanley Kubrick’s sci-fi masterpiece, “2001: A Space Odyssey,” left a profound impact on Siskel. The film takes viewers on a visually stunning journey through time and space, exploring the mysteries of human existence. Siskel admired Kubrick’s visionary direction and the film’s ambitious exploration of profound philosophical themes.

5. “Gone with the Wind” (1939) – This epic historical romance film set against the backdrop of the American Civil War captured Siskel’s attention with its grand scale and unforgettable performances. “Gone with the Wind” is a sweeping saga that tells the story of Scarlett O’Hara and her passionate love affair with Rhett Butler.

6. “Casablanca” (1942) – “Casablanca” remains one of the most beloved films of all time and also found a place among Siskel’s favorite movies. The classic romantic drama set during World War II follows Rick Blaine, a cynical expatriate, and his complicated love triangle with Ilsa Lund and Victor Laszlo.

7. “The Shawshank Redemption” (1994) – Based on Stephen King’s novella, “The Shawshank Redemption” is a powerful tale of hope and resilience in the face of adversity. Siskel praised the film’s exceptional performances and its ability to move and inspire viewers.

8. “Apocalypse Now” (1979) – Francis Ford Coppola’s Vietnam War epic left a lasting impression on Siskel. “Apocalypse Now” explores the horrors of war through the journey of Captain Willard as he searches for the infamous Colonel Kurtz, played by Marlon Brando.

9. “Singin’ in the Rain” (1952) – This timeless musical comedy, starring Gene Kelly, tells the story of the transition from silent films to talking pictures in Hollywood’s Golden Age. Siskel appreciated the film’s catchy songs, charming performances, and its celebration of the magic of cinema.

10. “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” (1982) – Steven Spielberg’s beloved family-friendly adventure film about a young boy and his extraterrestrial friend struck a chord with Siskel. He commended the film for its heartwarming story, exceptional special effects, and its ability to resonate with audiences of all ages.


1. Did Gene Siskel only focus on mainstream films in his reviews?
No, Gene Siskel was known for his wide-ranging taste in movies and reviewed films from various genres, including independent and foreign films.

2. Did Gene Siskel have any disagreements with Roger Ebert about their favorite movies?
Yes, Siskel and Ebert often had differing opinions on movies, which led to engaging discussions and debates on their television show.

3. Did Gene Siskel review any non-English language films?
Yes, Siskel recognized the importance and quality of non-English language films and frequently reviewed and celebrated foreign cinema.

4. Were Gene Siskel’s top 10 favorite movies ever-changing?
As with any personal favorites list, it’s possible that Siskel’s top 10 favorite movies could change over time based on new releases and revisiting old classics.

5. How did Gene Siskel approach reviewing movies?
Gene Siskel approached reviewing movies with a mixture of critical analysis and personal passion. He not only evaluated the technical aspects of a film but also connected emotionally with the story and its characters.

6. Did Gene Siskel review movies from all eras?
Yes, Siskel reviewed movies from various eras, recognizing the artistic and cultural significance of films from different time periods. He believed that great movies could be found in any era.

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