A Trip to the MoonThe Toronto International Film Festival recently released its list of 100 Essential Movies, which ranges from Salo and Kenneth Anger's Scorpio Rising to standards like 8 1/2 and Vertigo. There are some more recent films on there, as well, like Pulp Fiction and Oldboy, but many are Film School 101. That said, I'm still going through it, crossing off the ones I haven't seen and making sure to add them to my Netflix queue.

The thing is, there are so many "essential movie lists" out there. AFI has scads of them; you can choose from The 100 Greatest Movies of All Time, the 10 Top 10, which is split up into categories like animation, sports, and courtroom dramas, or even Greatest Movie Musicals. Plenty of other film magazines and websites offer their own take on the classics, like The Guardian's list of 100 Films to See Before You Die (a pretty daunting title) and The New Classics according to Entertainment Weekly. There's even 100 Must-See Movies for Men, courtesy of The Art of Manliness. And, of course, some hardy souls try and see every Best Picture Oscar winner.

I like lists like these a lot, but after a while, they all begin to blur together, especially since there's usually a great deal of crossover. Unless you're going out of your way to see a specific critic's "Best Of" list, like Roger Ebert's Great Movies or keep a copy of Pauline Kael's 5001 Nights at the Movies as a reference guide, things start getting redundant, or even arbitrary. And, of course, there are those publications that just enjoy a good listicle (nothing wrong with listicles, as long as they're not pop-ups -- just sayin').

So now you know my fascination with crossing things off lists, especially when it comes to movies. Do you keep track of any of these, or put stock in them? If so, which are your favorites?