Pulp Fiction (1994, Quentin Tarantino)
Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction hit the moviegoing public like a lightning bolt in 1994. It's unashamed use of violence and creatively foul language offended a good deal of the people who went to see it (there were actually a number of boos from the audience when it took home the Palme D'or, the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival). It also hit me like a lightning bolt when I first saw it at about the age of 12 or so. It was the first movie I'd remembered seeing told out of order (no, I hadn't seen Citizen Kane by 12, nor had I seen Tarantino's debut, Reservoir Dogs) and the stunning dialog really lodged a place in my young brain. Tarantino's skills as director also had quite an impact on me, building tension in some scenes, hilarious comedy in others, and his use of music struck a significant chord with me back in those days of not knowing just how much he was stealing from Scorsese (in style and approach more than content).
Watching it again recently, I was amazed at how much I still liked it. So many movies that hit you at a young age simply don't continue having the same sort of impact as you get older. Pulp Fiction, though, still thrilled me and made me laugh (it's one of the great dark comedies at its core), nearly as much as when I was 12. It's 16 years later, and I'm much more versed in the ways of cinema now, so it doesn't have the new feeling it once had, but it's still a great movie, and my #10 of all time.
I will say, however, that outside of my #1 slot, none of these movies are in definite order. Pulp Fiction could just as easily be #5 as it is #10. Still, the collection of 10 is what's important, not their specific places.