Steven – Goal Def. – Watch all AFI 100 Years 100 Movies

Goal Title

Watch all films on the American Film Institute’s 100 years, 100 movies.


The American Film Institute is an independent non-profit that was established in 1967.  They describe themselves with the sentence:

“AFI is a national institute providing leadership in the recognition and celebration of excellence in the art of film, television and digital media.”[1.]


Goal Breakdown

This goal is incredibly straightforward… to watch all of the films that were put on the “AFI 100 YEARS…100 MOVIES” list.


The rules for this goal are straightforward, but I am being strict about them.

  1. All films must be watched in one sitting (no stopping & starting or watching in chunks)
  2. All films must be watched in their original format (or as close to original format as I can possibly find).  This does not mean watching on film, but that colorized black & white films or George Lucas-esque updated films or recuts do not count.  This also means that films originally shown in widescreen must be watched in widescreen.
  3. Films that are or have been watched on television do not count as editing and formatting often take place for time, space, and content constraints.
  4. For a film to count I must have seen it within the last 10 years.  I know this one sounds odd, but 10 years ago I was only 15.  I definitely didn’t have the taste, eye, or for that matter ear for film critique that I have today so counting a film that I watched in my childhood just doesn’t seem right to me.
  5. I must watch all 100 films from the “AFI’s 100 YEARS…100 MOVIES
    10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION” as well as any films from the original “AFI’s 100 YEARS…100 MOVIES” that were stricken from the list for the anniversary update.  This brings the total film count to 122.


I consider every 5 films I am able to cross off the list to be a checkpoint for this goal.

Time Frame

I would really like to have this complete by the time that the wedding comes around.  This means that I have roughly a year to get this done.

Personal Significance

I thoroughly love films.  Ever since I was young I have enjoyed the moments that I can be sitting in a theater or in front of a TV and watching films.  For some (possibly most) these are moments of entertainment, a time for possibly turning your brain off and letting yourself be swept up in the story and images.  For me this has, for almost as far back as I can remember, been a love of the critical watching of films.  This may be because of my having studied and been involved with theater (and some film) in high school and college, or possibly for some other not yet known reason.  What I do know is that I love to read about, discuss, critique, and all around enjoy films, whether it’s from the directing, acting performances, editing, soundtracks… you name it.  Ever since I was shown this list by my brother when it first came out I have wanted to watch all of these films, the best of the best that Hollywood has to offer.

See Also

My AFI list with updated progress can be found here:

The 2007 “AFI 100 YEARS… 100 MOVIES” list can be found here:


  1. Elle says:

    Holy crap, all 100 films in their original format? That’s a huge feat. I’m working on watching all of the Oscar Best Picture winners and that’s taking some time. It’s taking me multiple days to get through some of the ones that are BORING.

    1. Although I feel the Oscars started with and for a long time had integrity for the art of cinema I really feel that (and I don’t know when it started) of recent years it has become more and more a game of politics and ratings.

      I chose the AFI list because I felt that it was possibly a more comprehensive list of the best films. It was voted on by industry leaders, professional film makers, actors, critics, and even some people from the public who are AFI members. The films are not just the best from a year but from all years.

      That being said, I just went back and looked at the list of best picture winners. (no surprise) There is a lot of overlap between the two lists. Who knows, maybe after I’m done with the AFI list I’ll also watch the rest from the Oscar list.

      What films have you had a hard time getting through?

  2. Steve says:

    This has been on my list for awhile too. I actually only have one movie left to watch from the first list, The Wild Bunch. I don’t know what’s been keeping me from watching it and finishing finally, but I really should get going on it. I know I have some movies from the updated one to do too.

    Although, if I go by your rules, than I still have to watch Giant. I just couldn’t make it through in one sitting. It’s way too slow and long to do that.

    1. I feel that rules are an effective part of goal setting, although (as with the rest of life) I don’t feel they must be concretely adhered to.

      I just recently had to watch Easy Rider in two sittings. Not because I didn’t enjoy the film, but the disc freaked out about 1/2 way through the film (right after they get out of jail), and I had to wait a few days to get a new one.

      Do you feel the watching of the greatest films of all time has had an impact on your view of film and cinema as a whole? Do you appreciate film in a different way than you did prior to accomplishing your task?

  3. Jeremy Benson says:

    I did not have strict rules other than the following:

    1. I watched every movie since I started in May 2012. So if I had seen it before, I re-watched it.
    2. I had to watch it in its entirety.
    3. I watched every movie on any AFI list that were list of movies. That made a total of 412 movies.

    I just finished watching all 412 on Dec. 29, 2014.

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