The 10 best fantasy movies are difficult to call. There are many extraordinary works and some have affected our culture in profound ways. The power of fantasy cannot be overstated. The fantasy genre allows us to extricate knotted up issues within ourselves and better understand them at arm’s length. They speak to every archetype and heartbeat of the subconscious. Here are a few of the best fantasy movies.

  1. “The City of Lost Children” is a dystopian fantasy/drama that centers on a mad scientist kidnapping children to steal their dreams. to keep himself young by doing this. One boy, however, turns everything upside down when he descends into this strange world in order to rescue his little brother.

  2. “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is the Johnny Depp remake of the classic original with Gene Wilder. This version is one of the best fantasy movies and broadens the story concerning Willy Wonka and his family relationships. It is still filled, however, with the fantastical world and Oompa Loompas inside a mundane looking candy factory.

  3. “Journey to the Center of the Earth” is based on the novel by Jules Verne and is one of the best fantasy movies ever. A volcanologist, scientist and 13 year old boy go in search of the center of the earth based on accounts from the boy’s missing father. They discover an underground world complete with an ocean and all sorts of big toothed, scaly, prehistoric creatures.

  4. “Planet of the Apes” is one of the best fantasy movies, although some may categorize it as sci-fi. The original version with Charlton Heston is still the best, though the later remake came close. It deals with the issues humanity still faces: war, politics, bigotry and dogma. These messy subjects are neatly presented in a setting away from us, so we think.

  5. “Brazil” is directed by Terry Gilliam and centers on a man working a min- numbing job while beginning a search for a mysterious woman that keeps appearing in his dreams. This movie is set in a dystopian, totalitarian government, but couples this dark setting with comedy and satire.

  6. “Field of Dreams” is one of the best fantasy movies starring Kevin Costner. This film is a magical, soul-stirring delight. It’s based on faith and at the end of the day it returns us home for resolution. It’s a fantastical means to a very real and necessary end.

  7. “Pleasantville” is a profound look into bigotry and social repression of others and one’s self. A young man and his sister are transported into a seemingly perfect black and white TV world. All is not so perfect, however. Their presence ignites a consciousness shift in the TV community. Questions arise about freedom of expression. It’s one of the best fantasy movies because of the ingenious twist of showing a character’s mind opened by portraying them in color.

  8. “Pan’s Labyrinth” is a darker fantasy that runs reality and fantasy on two parallel tracks like runaway trains. There is a dark underworld created by a girl’s imagination. She must complete three tasks before being able to be queen of this world again. This girl’s world is hopeless, but her imagination saves the day.  We are never really sure, though, if it is all pretend and that’s what makes it one of the best fantasy movies.

  9. “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen” is one of the best fantasy movies directed by Terry Gilliam. It’s a romp from war torn Europe to the Moon and to beneath the earth to confronting a Turkish army. It’s a witty, fun adventure and the gentleman with the twinkle in his smile always wins the ladies’ hearts and the day. 

  10. “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” is guilty pleasure. It’s wrapped in fluff, however, because beneath the surface you have a complicated theory regarding the manipulation of the time/space continuum. And, of course, be excellent to each other.