1. Conan the Barbarian (1982): This movie is brilliant. It's a solid action film that has an amazing Zen to it. The film flows like the sound of one hand clapping and then driving a sword through you. It is a deep film, packed with philosophy, drama and the things that ignite characters on film: an orphaned warrior lost in the world, friendship, love, a father's love for his daughter, a King who is helpless to act against a more popular foe, a villain who seems to have grown as a person to the point of near enlightenment only to discover that he grew crooked and his villainy is many times worse, etc. It is a film you can watch when you want some rousing action. It is a film you can watch when you want a thoughtful film. It is a film you can watch when you want to explore by proxy the relationships in your life. It is amazingly beautifully shot. And it has the best soundtrack of any film... ever. In fact, you can close your eyes and just listen to the score and fall in love with this film. Awesome. It’s clear how this made Arnold into a star. The sequel and Red Sonya are entertaining too, though they are very different.
2. Army of Darkness (1992): What can I say? This film is awesome. A great story, a great actor and fantastically quotable dialog!
3. Dragonslayer (1981): A darker version of fantasy films, this story of an apprentice magician who kills a dragon is interesting and complex, and unlike many fantasy films, it involves an actual plot.
4. Krull (1983): This movie has an amazing cast before they were famous and a great story as it mixes science fiction with fantasy.
5. The Lord of the Rings (1978): This quasi-animated film which covers only the first of the three books was an incredible adaptation of the books. This version is so much better than Jackson’s version in a great many ways.
6. The Lord of the Rings (2001-2003): While I am not a fan of these films from a lost-potential perspective, they are well done, if lifeless, fantasy.
7. Harry Potter (2001, 2002, 2005): The first two films (and kind of the fourth) really captured the spirit of Harry Potter perfectly. A mix of wonder, exploration and good verses evil, these are great films. The others are dull and dark and monotone.
8. The Hobbit (1977): I don’t think I’ve ever seen a better adaptation of a book than this, and this is the gold standard for The Hobbit on film. Not only does this stay true to the books, but it captures the spirit, the feel, and the images the book presents. The new Peter Jackson version is crap.
9. Dragonheart (1986): Who knew you could come up with a sort of heist film involving a dragon? This is a good one.
10. Dungeons and Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God (2005): Yes, a made-for-television movie makes my list. Why? Because this film really captured the feel of what Dungeons and Dragons is about, unlike all the big budget efforts preceding it, which all failed so miserably.
I don’t know if The Mummy or Labyrinth are fantasy or not, but they should probably be on the list. I would also add Jet Li’s Hero, though people probably don’t connect that with fantasy, which is normally European-based.
A couple of omissions though: I used to love The Dark Crystal, but it hasn’t stood up over time, Willow wore on me fast too, and I found the Narnia series to be workmanlike and dull.