Ranking your ‘favorite’ anything is hard; and I should know because it seems as though I make a Top Ten list about every other week. Instead of using this Tuesday to post my usual top ten list, I am listing over 100 movies in alphabetical order to save putting them in some sort of ‘favorites’ order. My wife has been wanting to watch movies that she has never seen and has been asking me to suggest movies for her to watch. It has been fun because we can discuss all the new movies that she has seen. Some of the movies that I am suggesting might not be your normal cup of tea; but if you’re a cinephile (like me) then you’ll want to at least cross them off your metaphorical list. So go pop some popcorn and start watching some movies!
47 Ronin – A fictionalized account of the true story of 47 mastersless samurai (aka ronin) in 18th-century Japan who seek revenge for the death of their lord.
300 – The historical fantasy piece based on a graphic novel by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley, is a fictionalized retelling of the Battle of Thermopylae (a part of the Persian Wars), where King Leonidas leads 300 Spartan soldiers into battle against the Persian “God-King” Xerxes and an army of more than 300,000 soldiers.
2001: A Space Odyssey – This Stanley Kubrick movie is based on the short story “The Sentinel” by Arthur C. Clarke. The story centers around astronauts on a voyage to Jupiter while being piloted by a sentient computer named Hal. The movie delves into many controversial topics like artificial intelligence, extraterrestrial life, human evolution, and existentialism.
American Beauty – Kevin Spacey stars as a middle class family man, who in the midst of his midlife crisis, that becomes disillusioned with his life. He yearns for something more to his existence, his wife and daughter also have things that come into their lives that alter the family as a whole.
American Graffiti – The movie which the Library of Congress deemed ‘culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant’ (and was subsequently added to the National Film Registry) was a coming-of-age comedy set in the early post-World War II 60s. The movie showcases the adventures of a group of teenagers over the course of one night and eloquently shows not only the rock ‘n’ roll culture of the age but the ‘cruising’ shows just how pivotal that the automobile is to American culture.
American History X – A story of two brothers from Los Angeles who get involved in the neo-Nazi movement and while the older brother changes his lifestyle after ending up in jail; he must now fight for his brother to not follow the path which led to his destruction.
Apocalypse Now – The movie’s central plot follows a seasoned American Army Colonel has a secret mission to assassinate a renegade officer; but the journey down the river through South Vietnam into Cambodia is literally a visceral and literal descent into the ‘heart of darkness’.
Arrival – The world is teetering on global war and expecting the all out destruction of the planet, a linguistics professor leads a team of investigators who are trying to communicate with the extraterrestrials who have touched down all across the planet.
Avengers – To truly understand and appreciate the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you must watch them all. If you want to circumvent this and just enjoy one movie, then I suggest that that movie is the 2012 superhero film The Avengers. The Avengers is the sixth film in the MCU and features the ensemble cast that has appeared in previous MCU films. To truly appreciate the movie and the MCU, I suggest that you have a mini movie marathon and watch them all: Iron Man (2008) -> The Incredible Hulk (2008) -> Iron Man 2 (2010) -> Thor (2011) -> Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) -> The Avengers (2012) -> Iron Man 3 (2013) -> Thor: The Dark World (2013) -> Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) -> Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) -> Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) -> Ant-Man (2015) -> Captain America: Civil War (2016) -> Doctor Strange (2016) -> Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (2017) -> Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) -> Thor: Ragnarok (2017) -> Black Panther (2018) -> Avengers: Infinity War (2018) -> Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018). Then prepare to go to the movies and watch Captain Marvel, Avengers: End Game, and Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Baby Driver – A talented getaway driver tries to leave his life of crime but when things go bad, he keeps getting pulled back in.
Back to the Future – The Back to the Future movie franchise (comprising of 3 movies) follows the adventures and sometimes misadventures of Marty McFly and his eccentric scientist friend Doc Brown as they travel through time in their DeLorean.
Batman – Though Batman had existed in the comics for close to 50 years and on TV for many decades as well; it wasn’t until the 1989 release of Tim Burton’s Batman movie starring Michael Keaton which brought the Dark Knight to a much greater audience.
Batman Begins – In 2005, the Batman franchise was rebooted and Christopher Nolan directed a trilogy of Batman movies (now known as The Dark Knight Trilogy). The movies which have been said to have restored popularity to the comic book superhero genre and the second film in the trilogy, The Dark Knight, is rightfully considered to be the greatest superhero movie of all-time. It is also one of my favorite movies of all time. The movie brings the Batman characters away from the mystical and makes the characters feel more realistic.
A Beautiful Mind – A movie (which is loosely based on the life of an esteemed American mathematician and Nobel Laureate in Economics) follows John Nash who develops paranoid schizophrenia and must deal with the delusions that his debilitating condition is causing on his family and friends.
Beowulf – Though the story of Beowulf is literally one of the oldest stories every told and has been done on the big screen many times; the 2007 3D computer-animated version of the fantastic tale of the warrior Beowulf and the epic battles with the demon Grendel and ultimately must deal with the wrath of his more powerful mother.
Big Fish – Though this is another Tim Burton fantasy movie, this movie centers around a former traveling salesman who despite being on his deathbed tries to mend his broken relationship with his son. The stories the man tells his son seem to be tall tales but in the end even the son is brought to tears by the truth behind his lifetime of words.
The Big Lebowski – “The Dude” (a slacker and avid bowler from Los Angeles) is mistaken for a millionaire and is assaulted. The Dude goes to see the man who was supposed to receive the beating in the first place (who just so happens to share his name “Jeffrey Lebowski”), learns that the Millionaire Lebowski’s wife had been kidnapped and is subsequently hired to deliver the ransom money to the kidnappers. The plan falls apart when The Dude’s friend schemes a way to keep the ransom money. Like American Graffiti, The Big Lebowski was selected for preservation through the Library of Congress.
Black Hawk Down – A movie based on the non-fiction book by journalist Mark Bowden about an embedded journalist who was covered the 1993 raid in Mogadishu. The movie shows the US Military as they tried to capture faction leader Mohamed Farrah Aidid in what is now historically called the Battle of Mogadishu.
Black Panther – I know that I mentioned that you should watch Black Panther earlier in the list of MCU movies to complete the Avengers timeline; Black Panther as a stand alone movie is also amazing. Director Ryan Coogler did an amazing job at combing the sci-fi aspects of the superhero genre while being unapologetically political. The movie introduces us to the secretive technologically advanced world of the African nation of Wakanda and gives us a deeper look into the Black Panther character that was introduced in Captain America: Civil War. Black Panther gives viewers a moving look into the cultural and literal impact of colonization and the African diaspora.
Blade Runner – Harrison Ford is a hard-nosed ‘blade runner’ in a futuristic world largely made up of replicants. The replicants are robots designed to look like humans. The blade runners job is to hunt down the escaped replicants and he is good at his job, until he falls for a beautiful replicant named Rachel. This movie is now a cultural icon that was way ahead of its time in regards to sci-fi movies.
Blazing Saddles – The American Western is one of the most recognizable film genres in the world but this satirical Western by Mel Brooks is by far one of the greatest films of all time. The movie satires racism, is full of deliberate anachronisms, and the diverse cast breaks contemporary molds. The storyline is a quintessential Western story but with a diverse twist. The story centers around a black railroad worker who about to hung for assaulting a white foreman but is instead chosen to become Sheriff of an almost all white town. This is done by a conniving politicians who want the townspeople to leave the town, so they can make money from the railroad that wants to run through the town. The only way that they succeed is by coming together as a community; which includes the white townspeople joining forces with the black, Chinese and Irish railroad workers.
The Blues Brothers – Saturday Night Live alum John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd bring their “Blues Brothers” SNL characters to the big screen in this musical comedy. The movie centers around two brothers who set out ‘on a mission from God’ to save the Catholic orphanage they grew up in. They set out to reunite their band and earn enough money to pay the orphanage’s property tax bill while being chased by a myriad of sources who seek to stop them at any cost.
The Book of Eli – Okay. Denzel Washington in a post-apocalyptic world. Do I need to say more? Well the story revolves around Eli, who is a nomad in this post apocalyptic world. He seeks to deliver a copy of a mysterious book to a sanctuary on the West Coast.
The Boondock Saints – I promise that I won’t delve too deeply into this movie because it is one of my absolute favorite movies. The movie centers around two fraternal twins, who become vigilantes for justice. After receiving a divine epiphany, the two (along with their friend who just so happens to be a Russian Mafia package-boy) set out to cleanse their city of filth. One bad guy at a time.
Braveheart – A fictionalized epic war movie retelling the story of late 13th-century Scottish warrior William Wallace and how he led the Scots in the First War of Scottish Independence against King Edward I.
The Breakfast Club – Yet another film chosen to be placed in the National Film Registery by the Library of Congress, this film centers around five teens from different cliques are forced to spend their Saturday in detention. The hard-nosed principle assigns them a ‘who you think you are’ thousand-word essay; and over the course of their day in detention they find out that even though they are different, they all face very similar problems.
Casablanca – Casblanca is now an iconic movie and even if you’re not interesting in watching a black-and-white film, this movie is known as one of the greatest films of all time and is worth seeing at least one time. The romantic wartime drama centers around a popular nightclub owner who must help his former love and her husband flee from the Germans.
Cast Away – A FedEx employee whose plan crashes and he is thusly marooned on a deserted island; we witness him try to survive using the packages from and parts of the plane.
Clerks – A somewhat simple black comedy ( dark as in subject matter not race) shows a day in the life of store clerks. To pass the time and try to forget about the series of negative events that have happened on this day; convenience store clerk Dante converses with and interacts with a variety of interesting characters. Including RST video store clerk Randal, Dante’s ex-girlfriend, his current girlfriend, slacker-drug dealers, and a reluctant succession of bothersome customers.
A Clockwork Orange – This film chronicles the horrific crime spree of Alex and his gang of Droogs. Alex is finally caught and sent to prison. He is chosen to participate in a psychological conditioning experiment composed by the Minister of the Interior and is ultimately released early. The question is is he truly ready to join society and is the society he left behind ready for him to rejoin. The movie is riddled with graphic images
The Color Purple – Based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Alice Walker, Steven Spielberg’s film The Color Purple depicts the story of a young African American girl and showcases the problems that many African American women faced during the early 20th century.
Cool Hand Luke – A discharged Army vet is imprisoned in a Florida prison camp but he refuses to follow the rules.
The Cowboy Way – New Mexico champion rodeo stars and lifelong friends seek answers to the disappearance of their friend Nacho who went to New York to pay for his daughter’s journey out of Cuba. When he does not return they must cowboy up and travel to New York and find out what happened to their friend.
Crash – Crash shows the way that the lives of many characters are unknowingly woven together. The film highlights racial and social tension in the United States (specifically the story’s setting of Los Angeles).
Crossroads – The movie Crossroads was inspired by a faustian like legend of blues musician Robert Johnson. The story itself centers around a guitar prodigy named Eugene Martone (played by the Karate Kid himself Ralph Macchio) who may study classical guitar at the Juilliard School for Performing Arts in New York but he has an obsession with the Blues. He breaks convicted felon and a friend of blues legend Robert Johnson out of a minimum security prison in exchange for learning Johnson’s ‘missing song’. ‘The one and only’ Willie Brown yearns to travel to Mississippi to take care of his ‘unfinished business’; but along the way Eugene experiences the blues firsthand. He grows as person and the classical guitarist finally gets ‘the blues’.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon – In what is not your usual Wuxia (which in Chinese means ‘martial heroes’ and is a specific genre of Chinese fiction telling the adventures of martial artists in ancient China); the award winning, critically acclaimed film is praised as one of the greatest martial arts films of all time. The story takes place in 19th century Qing Dynasty China, and centers around a warrior who seeks to give up his sword to his long lost love to keep safe for him. The sword is stolen and they set out a journey to get his sword, the Green Destiny, back before it has spilled anymore blood.
The Crow – The Crow, another one of my favorite movies, revolves around Eric Draven who comes back from the grave on the anniversary of he and his fiancee’s murder. The now supernaturally powered man, assumes the mantle of ‘the Crow’ and seeks to avenge his love. Oh did I mention that the star of the movie is Bruce Lee’s son Brandon? Oh yeah. I forgot to mention that part.
Dances with Wolves – As a Civil War soldier yearns to leave his military life behind him for the simpler life of the Lakota Indians whom he has befriended; he is welcomed as a member of the tribe and ultimately falls in love with a white woman who was raised by the tribe. The happy story is abruptly thrown into chaos when Union soldiers come with different plans.
Dead Poets Society – Robin Williams stars as English teacher at an elite conservative boarding school, John Keating, in a brutally honest coming-of-age tale. He inspires his students to look at not only poetry with a different perspective but life itself.
Deadpool – Deadpool is ultimately a love story. A love story with a gratuitous sex scene, bad language, and a lot (and I do mean A LOT) of violence. Deadpool is a former Special Forces operative who now works as a ‘good guy mercenary’ but gets cancer; and the only way out of it is to receive an experimental treatment. He leaves the woman he loves in the middle of the night to get the experimental treatment; but the treatment leaves him with a mutated super accelerated healing power…but the cancer is not truly gone as it manifests itself and disfigures him all over his skin. With help from some X-Men, Deadpool tracks down the scientist who destroyed his life and hopes to fix his skin so he can get the love of his life back.
The Departed – A cop goes undercover in the mob and a mobster infiltrates the police department; both organizations are searching to find the mole amongst them. Both men must figure out who the mole is to protect not only their identities but both of their lives.
Dirty Dancing – “Nobody puts baby in the corner,” because when Baby (played by Jennifer Grey) ends up stuck at an old fashion resort in the Catskills with her parents she makes the best of it when she falls in love with a handsome bad boy dance instructor.
Driver – A young stunt driver and criminal-for-hire getaway car driver, tries to become legit. He tries to help the wrong people and is drug back into the life to save a beautiful young woman he has befriended.
Edward Scissorhands – Another film by Tim Burton, this dark yet romantic fantasy movie centers around an unfinished animated human being who was brought to life by a scientist. The scientist died before he could finish Edward and left him with giant scissor blades instead of hands. He is taken in by a sweet suburbanite and subsequently falls in love with her teenage daughter; but his scissorhands are just too much for some people to accept.
Enter the Dragon – Bruce Lee. Need more explanation? Well Bruce Lee is a martial arts expert who is hired by the government to enter a kung fu competition on a mysterious island (ran by a narcotics dealer and all around bad guy); but his ultimate goal is to try to find out what happened to his sister.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – Breaking up is tough. So to try to completely forget about their hurt that she had, Clementine (played by Kate Winslet) has a questionable procedure done which completely erases any memory of her former boyfriend Joel from even the deepest portions of her memory. Joel (played by Jim Carrey) undergoes the same procedure and in the deepest portions of their mind, they realize their mistakes and try to cling to one another before they completely lose one another.
The Expendables – Imagine the list of stars that would be in a movie trilogy that had almost every action movie star that you can imagine from the 80s until today in it…I’ll wait. Now that movie trilogy already exists and it is The Expendables. Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chuck Norris, Jason Statham, Bruce Willis, Jet Li, Harrison Ford, Wesley Snipes, Mel Gibson, Jean-Claude Van Damme…I mean. I could continue but I don’t think I have to. The movie centers around a team of elite mercenaries who are essentially the group that is called in when the government needs something done but the blood can’t be on their hands.
Fallen – Denzel Washington is a truly amazing actor. His movie Fallen is no exception. The movie follows a Philadelphia detective investigating a series of murders committed by a copycat killer after the original serial killer had been put to death. The murderer is later revealed to be an extremely unlikely source and Detective Hobbes must go to great lengths to try and defeat this ‘fallen’ foe.
The Fast and the Furious – Tough guys, illegal street racing, big heists, beautiful women, dangerous situations, and easy to spot bad guys are exactly what you can come to expect from the bevy of movies in the Fast and the Furious universe. So far there are 8 major motion pictures, 2 short films and one in current production. The storylines are pretty much the same but the movies are enjoyable just the same.
Field of Dreams – “If you build it, they will come” is a saying that has become a part of our lexicon. The movie centers around an Iowa corn farmer who is told by a higher power (or just voices in his head) to build a baseball diamond in the middle of his corn field. When it is completed, the 1919 Chicago White Sox come and play on the field. Trust me, its worth the watch.
The Fifth Element – When Bruce Willis takes the lead in a movie, the fate of the world usually lands on his shoulders. This time, retired soldier Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis) is a 23rd century New York City cab driver and he quite literally has the savior of the world fall into his lap. A universe full of characters rely on Dallas, the priest of a lost religion and an extremely eccentric radio DJ Ruby Rhod (Chris Tucker) to save the universe from a world eating evil entity.
Fight Club – A man suffering from depression and insomnia meets a mysterious soap salesman and they form an underground fight club with other men who are tired of their boring, mundane lives.
A Fistful of Dollars – People don’t realize that some of Clint Eastwood’s most famous westerns were actually a trilogy of movies with the same character. Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Westerns A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly actually centers around the same protagonist and can be watched independently and not in any specific order. The protagonist in the story is just simply called The Man with No Name. Clint Eastwood’s performance in these three movies embody all aspects of the Spaghetti Western genre.
Forrest Gump – Forrest Gump is ‘not what you call a smart man’ but both the audience and his momma knows that he is special. Forrest’s mom (played by Sally Field) was always supportive and this led to his indomitable spirit which allowed him to do amazing thing in his life. Whether a streak of fantastic luck, being in the right place at the right time, or whatever it may be; Forrest lives his life only caring about one special woman.
From Here to Eternity – Sadly From Here to Eternity is known more for controversy than for the movie itself. The ‘kiss scene’ between a small swimsuit clad Burt Lancaster and a ‘very small for that time period’ bathing suit Deborah Kerr was quite the controversy. The movie itself is worth the watch to see this relatively demure (by our current sexually charged society) scene. The movie itself takes place in the pre-Pearl Harbor Army barracks in Hawaii. We find a rebel soldier/boxing champion “Prew who refuses to listen to his hard-hearted Captain. While Prew is being punished for his insubordination; the Captain’s mistreated wife (Deborah Kerr) is having a lusty affair with Army Sgt Warden (Burt Lancaster).
Ghostbusters – “Who ya gonna call?” You’re going to call the paranormal researchers called the Ghostbusters. 1984’s Ghostbusters and its 1989 sequel Ghostbusters II show the ragtag ghost-catching team protect New York City from the supernatural.
Gladiator – “Are you not entertained?” Well you will be once you’ve seen Russell Crowe in Gladiator. This epic historical drama starts in 180 AD; and we find General Maximus Decimus Meridius (Russell Crowe) wanting to return to his farm, home and family after leading the Roman Army to hundreds of victories but Emporer Marcus Aurelius has other plans. He asks Maximus to take over as Emperor instead of his unfit to rule son Commodus (played by Joaquin Phoenix). Commodus murders his father when he finds this out and when Maximus denies his allegiance to Commodus, he orders him to be executed. He escapes and almost makes it back to his wife and son before they are murdered. He is found almost dead and is sold into slavery and subsequently trained as a gladiator to ‘die’ in the arena. When he doesn’t, he gets his chance to see Commodus once more and gain some glimpse of revenge.
The Godfather – This mob drama is widely regarded as one of the greatest movies of all time. The movie trilogy showcases the inside and out of what you can imagine the Italian-American crime families are like.
Goodfellas – Coincidentally, this mob/crime drama falls directly after The Godfather and shows another side of the mob story. The Martin Scorsese film centers around a man that grows up in the mob and despite the luxuries that the affluence can bring; he is oblivious to the destruction that he is causing around him.
Good Will Hunting – Before Matt Damon and Ben Affleck were big movie stars, they had small but increasingly impressive roles for many years. It wasn’t until a script that they had started as an assignment in an English class at Harvard was sold and turned into a major motion picture. Of course they wrote and starred in the award winning movie Good Will Hunting and the rest was a literal gradual releasing of the proverbial floodgates of fame. The movie itself centers around a genius-level man with a hard-nose attitude who works as a janitor at MIT. He answers a Masters degree level math problem on the board of one of the classrooms but it takes a caring Professor and an understanding therapist (played by Robin Williams) to reach the misguided youth to see his amazing potential.
The Goonies – Nothing better than a movie about a group of rebellious kids who go on a life-changing adventure. The Goonies centers around a group of kids who live in the Goon Docks neighborhood of Astoria, Oregon; and after finding out that a development company plans on destroying their home to build a bigger country club, they must take action. When they find an old pirate map from notorious pirate One-Eyed Willy; they set out to find his lost treasure in hopes to save their town.
Gone in 60 Seconds – Retired car thief, played by Nicholas Cage, must put together his old crew to find and steal 50 luxury cars in one night to keep his brother from being murdered at the hands of a dangerous criminal. If you’re a car-enthusiast like me, just the cars alone is enough motivation to watch this movie.
Grease – “You’re the one that I want.” And you will want to watch Grease. Sure there are lots of dance and musical numbers; but the story blends comedy and drama beautifully.
The Green Mile – Death row corrections officer Paul Edgecomb (played by Tom Hanks) begins to question whether convicted criminal John Coffey ( played by Michael Clarke Duncan) would be the brutal rapist and killer that he is accused of being. This especially becomes evident when John uses his ability to supernaturally pull pain and death from living creatures and expel it from his body.
Gremlins – Sometimes a gift that is too good to be true is just that. After a traveling salesman finds an interesting animal in a shop in Chinatown, he decides that it would be the perfect Christmas gift for his son. The shop owner gifts him rules to follow because the animal needs special care but mistakes happen. The mistake leads to an 80s horror movie with enough comedy to not scare the kids. Well maybe it won’t scare them too much.
Guardians of the Galaxy – Another one of my favorite movies of all time, falls into the category of ‘superhero movie’. This time we follow a space adventurer named Star Lord aka Peter Quill (played by Chris Pratt) who is arrested and must team up with a cybernetically modified raccoon-like creature Rocket, his tree-like humanoid partner Groot, a revenge seeking convict Drax the Destroyer, and the assassin adopted daughter of the mad titan Thanos to save the universe from the clutches of Ronan the Accuser.
Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone – The Harry Potter movies revolve around a young wizard named Harry Potter and his friends who are students at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The original Harry Potter series (as there are prequels that have been produced that go in a different direction) tell of Harry’s fight against a dark wizard who not only must kill Harry in order to be immortal; but he also wants to overthrow the wizarding and non-magical world.
High Plains Drifter – Clint Eastwood again stars in a Western as a man with no name. This time he appears as the Stranger. A mysterious drifter who is baited to help rid the town of the band of criminals that have been terrorizing the town; but the drifter had his own motives as to why he wanted to be in that town.
Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy – One of my top 10 favorite movies of all time, tells the story of Arthur Dent (Martin Freeman) who tries to keep his home from being bulldozed down to make way for a new highway; but coincidentally his real home aka Earth is about to be demolished to make for a new intergalactic highway. His friend (who turns out to be an alien) Ford Prefect (played by Mos Def) hitches a ride on a passing alien ship to get them off the planet. As he tries to gain some semblance of life knowing that his home planet has just been destroyed; he realizes that he isn’t the last human alive because he finds a beautiful woman that he has just fallen for at a party days before on a space ship on which he and Ford hitchhiked.
Home Alone – We sometimes forget that Kevin McCallister was an 8 year old brat. Sure it was an unfortunate mistake that he got left at home alone; but he got what he wanted. He had wished that he had no family and it came true. But his happy dreams without them soon turn to nightmares when he realizes that two con men are trying to break in and rob his house. He arms himself, the best way he knows how, and protects his home.
Hunger Games – The Hunger Games is a science fiction adventure that showcases the dystopian future of North America where the government maintains an unjust stronghold on the citizens and divides them into extremely different economic demographics. The citizens must choose two child contestants (one male one female) from each district to battle to the death.
I am Legend – Will Smith stars as a brilliant scientist who seems to be the sole survivor of a man-made plague that has turned humanity into mindless vampire-like mutants. He survives by himself in an abandoned New York City while trying to find a cure for the plague using his immune blood; but all the odds are against him.
Inception – Corporate espionage becomes a lot more interesting when you can enter into someones dreams and steal their secrets from their subconscious minds. Dom Cobb (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) and his team are some of the best in the world; despite the illegal ramifications of his job they are proud of what they do. When he’s asked to plant a thought inside a mind, instead of steal it; their worlds are quite literally turned upside down.
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark – With four Indiana Jones films already produced in the film franchise and a fifth scheduled to be released in 2021, the Steven Spielberg films are definitely a must see. The George Lucas written franchise centers around an adventure seeking archaeologist who battles everyone from the Nazis to Chinese gangsters to find treasures and sometimes keep those treasures from the wrong hands.
Inglourious Basterds – A war film by Quentin Tarantino? Oh yes. Inglourious Basterds tells the story of a group of American Jewish soldiers who plan to assassinate a group of Nazi leaders.
Interstellar – In what could be Earth’s foreseeable future; the world’s inhabitants realize that the Earth will soon be uninhabitable. So when a brilliant NASA physicist, Professor Brand (played by Michael Caine), they need someone to fly the researchers through a wormhole to find which of three new planets will be our new home. The fate of mankind lies on their shoulders but the mission itself takes former NASA pilot Cooper (played by Matthew McConaughey) away from everything that he holds dear.
Into the Wild – I read Jon Krakauer’s nonfiction book Into the Wild in college and it was completely eye opening; so I was excited to find out that they were producing a film adaptation in 2007. The film adaptation tells of the Christopher McCandless and his travels across North America and into the Alaskan Wilderness in the early 1990s. The book and the movie are based on true events that Christopher detailed in his journal where he keeps a diary of his thoughts.
It’s a Wonderful Life – I’m merely suggesting this because of the cultural importance of this movie and because it is a Christmas ‘must-see’. It isn’t one of my favorites; but think of it as one of those rights of passage. That is all. 😉
James Bond – The fictional character of James Bond created by Ian Fleming in 1953 has been the protagonist of countless movies, novels, comic books, and video games. While I have always been a James Bond fan; the most recent James Bond films are some of my favorite James Bond movies (there have been 26 bond related films between 1962 and 2015 starring countless different actors portraying Bond) are some of my favorites movies all around. Sean Connery will be one of my favorite Bonds; the James Bond film series that started in 2005 are by far my favorite. What was the 6th actor to portray Bond, the blond haired-blue eyed Daniel Craig was literally a vast contrast from traditional Bond actors. Casino Royale was the first film to start the Daniel Craig series (and coincidentally was also the first Bond film back in 1954); but so far the four movies with Craig as Bond; are all amazing and I suggest them.
Kill Bill – When an assassin sneaks away and wants to leave her employer (who just so happens to be her extremely jealous lover) and associates (who are also assassins) due to her finding out that she is pregnant; the assassins attempt to murder her. She does not die but her baby apparently did; so sets out a revenge ridden rampage and attempts to take out everyone who helped or had a hand in the loss of her baby.
Labyrinth – A young girl must rescue her baby brother from the maleficent goblin king. Despite granting her wish and taking her baby brother away; she realizes that she doesn’t want her brother dead; and now along with her new friends has 13 hours to solve a labyrinth and save her brother.
Logan – Logan is tied with Tombstone as my favorite movie. Logan takes place in 2029 and explores what happens in an alternative future X-Men MCU timeline where Wolverine is taking care of an ailing Professor X; Wolverine is forced to take care of a young mutant from the evil forces that want to capture and kill her.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings – The Lord of the Rings trilogy and subsequent Hobbit films are truly epic. The fantasy adventure films are based on the novels by J.R.R. Tolkien and are directed by Peter Jackson. The movies follow the inhabitants of the fictional world of Middle-Earth. From hobbits and elves to wizards and dragons, the stories are compelling and well deserve the Academy Awards and other accolades they have amassed over the years.
Lost in Translation – Bill Murray stars as, Bob Harris, an aging movie star filming a Japanese whiskey commercial meets a beautiful young married woman in the hotel bar. They form an unlikely bond and they explore Tokyo together while growing in an understanding for one another.
The Martian – Based on the novel by Andy Weir, The Martian centers around a group of astronauts that must blast off from the surface of Mars during a fierce storm. One of the astronauts is struck by flying debris and is presumed dead. They leave him on the planet and when he awakens the next day; he is stranded on the planet all alone. While he is just doing his best to stay alive, he and NASA must do their best to try and bring him home.
Mary Poppins – The children of a wealthy couple are reluctant when they are introduced to their nanny; but are more than pleased with the adventures that they go on which helps the children have fun…but more importantly become better children.
The Matrix – Neo (played by Keanu Reeves) finds out the truth of the Matrix and must lead the battle of man against the alien race that has inhabited and enslaved the human race. Neo must find out exactly who he is and figure out whether he is the one to save the world or not.
Maze Runner – In a dystopian post-apocalyptic future, The Maze Runner trilogy shows reluctant participants who must work together to escape a ‘maze’.
Meet Joe Black – I was reluctantly forced to watch Meet Joe Black with my cousin back when it first came out in 1998. The movie centers around Bill Parrish (played by Anthony Hopkins) who is about to turn 65; but before his birthday, he is visited by Death (played by Brad Pitt). Death strikes a deal with Bill that he can live a few more days which will give Death a few days to experience what human life is like. Everything seems to be happy with the arrangement until Joe falls in love with Bill’s beautiful daughter.
Memento – An amnesia ridden man (who can only remember what happened fifteen minutes ago but has no problem remembering what happened before his accident) searches for the man who raped and murdered his wife. He leaves clues to himself in the form of new tattoos, photographs and notes left for him to see when he wakes up.
Metropolis – The 1927 silent film that takes place in a super stylized futuristic utopian city with most of its inhabitants only existing as overworked, mistreated workers. As an example of one of the earliest examples of science fiction, this story shows a youth who sees the dirty underbelly of the city and works to try to help them.
Moonlight – Moonlight is a coming-of-age drama that depicts the life of a young man and we see the three stages of his early life: youth, adolescence and early adulthood. We see the trials and tribulations (a drug using-selling mother, receiving verbal and physical abuse, bullying, etc) of his growing up as not only a poor black male but as a homosexual male from a broken home.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail – The version of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round table that you never knew you needed to see. The comedy is sometimes ridiculous but it is truly memorable.
Nacho Libre – A comical story about a real life Mexican priest who longs to feel the glory of being a luchador.
Napoleon Dynamite – The story of an interesting young man who isn’t dancing to the beat of a different drum, he’s dancing to a completely original instrument. He is trying to navigate high school life like everyone else.
National Lampoon’s Animal House – Animal House follows two incoming freshmen at college, the socially awkward youths get snubbed by the higher socially fraternity so they settle to pledge for the rough and rowdy Delta Tau Chi House. Frat parties and adolescent hijinks galore.
National Lampoon’s Vacation- In a series of hilarious and memorable comedies, We find the exploits of Clark Griswold and his family. Whether they are global trekkers, driving across the country or just enjoying the holidays; we love watching what can go wrong in someone else’s life. Mostly because it’s something we can all see happening to us.
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind – Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind has been my favorite animated film since I first saw it as a child. The film was directed and written by famous Japanese animator, filmmaker, screenwriter, cartoonist, author, and manga artist Hayao Miyazaki. The master storyteller is regarded worldwide as one of the greatest animation filmmakers of all time and this one is definitely an example of why he is. Nausicaa is a young princess in a future post-apocalyptic world. It has been a thousand years since the apocalyptic war they called the Seven Days of Fire and and the poisonous forests infested with giant mutated insects called the Ohms. When a neighboring kingdom tries to bring to life the last remaining embryo of the Giant Warrior that caused the apocalyptic war; Nausicaa must try to calm the kingdoms to prevent a devastation that will do more than just burn the Toxic Jungle. The film speaks volumes to our real world problems of war, poverty, and pollution.
The Neverending Story – A bullied and shy young boy being raised by his widowed father skips school and sneaks into an attic to read a magical book about a young warrior who tries to stop a devouring malevolent force called “The Nothing” by finding the cure for a mysterious illness that has affected the magical world’s sick Empress.
No Country for Old Men – In the crime thriller No Country for Old Men we find hunter Llewelyn Moss (played by Josh Brolin) taking cash that he finds at the scene of a drug deal gone bad. A merciless killer is chasing after him and the old man sheriff (Tommy Lee Jones) must track him down before the killer does.
The Notebook – The Notebook is a romantic drama and what would be considered a ‘chick flick’; but the movie is more than a story of a poor mill worker falling in love with a rich girl. Well maybe that the basis of the movie’s storyline but the story is beautifully told and their eternal love is a beautiful thing to see unfold.
O Brother, Where Art Though? – A satire loosely based on Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey; this film follows three convicts who, after leaving a chain gang, must find some buried treasure to begin their new life outside of prison.
Office Space – Cubicle life isn’t all its cracked up to be and we see it quite literally crush Peter Gibbons. After a botched round of hypnotherapy, he is left in a blissful state and he and his friends hatch a plan to bring down the soul-sucking software company they work for.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Mental illness is no laughing matter. This is especially true Randle (played by Jack Nicholson) gets sent from prison to a mental institution. While Randle is expecting a life of ease, he finds that the psychiatric wards is actually ran by an iron-fisted nurse. His battle against her authority causes the Oregon psychiatric hospital to be turned upside down.
The Passion of the Christ – The Passion of the Christ tells of the final 12 hours of the live of Jesus Christ. We witness the brutality of his betrayal, condemnation, crucifixion and ultimate resurrection. Mel Gibson does a painfully honest job of portraying the violence of the events leading up to his crucifixion while showing the beauty and grace that Jesus shared on the world.
Patch Adams – Based on the true story of real life physician Hunter “Patch” Adams, Robin Williams portrays a man who after suffering from depression in a mental hospital, decides that he wants to become a doctor so that he can help people.
Percy Jackson & the Olympians – Despite more books in existence, 2 of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson books have been brought to life thus far. The movies showcases the adventures of half-blood (half god) Percy Jackson and the kids from Camp Half-Blood. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters bring Greek mythology to life by showing the interaction between the children of the gods and the gods themselves.
Planet of the Apes – From the original Planet of the Apes series from the late 60s through the 70s to a failed reboot in the early 2000s to the somewhat successful reboot in the 2010s; there has been plenty of times for us to see those ‘dam* dirty apes’ in action. The movies center around an astronaut crew crash-landing on a strange planet in a future time. The planet is inhabited by an ape-like creature with human-like speech and intelligence. The humans on the planet are mute creatures and are reminiscent of the descriptions of early cavemen on Earth.
Pirates of the Caribbean – Disney went out of their way and made pirate life beautiful. We cruise our way into the life of lovable yet seemingly cursed pirate Captain Jack Sparrow (portrayed by Johnny Depp) and a cast of characters in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series.
The Princess Bride – This romantic comedy is a full blown fairy tale adventure that can be appreciated by kids and adults. We find a man and woman who fall madly in love; but after their separation for many years, he searches for his lost love and must fight to be reunited with her.
Psycho – The psychological horror movie Psycho centers around a secretary who ends up hiding out at a secluded motel after stealing money from her former employer; but it isn’t the law that she needs to look out for.
Pulp Fiction – The movie Quentin Tarantino crime film shows an interwoven story of a bevy of interesting characters. Everything from a duo of hitmen to a couple of armed robbers who are quite literally a couple. If you can stand the cursing, then you’ll definitely be entertained.
Pumping Iron – While you never know how much of the docudrama was scripted or what parts were not; what does appear on screen is the a depiction of the lives and training of the competitors in the golden age of bodybuilding. Before the glitz, glamour and million dollar prize purses of modern day bodybuilding; we see greats like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno, and Franco Columbo in the highlight of their careers. Among the baby oil covered exteriors, you find the heart of these athletes and find out why they do what they do. Besides bulging biceps, the story is presented in a comical yet believable manner.
Rain Man – Money and greed cause you to do ridiculous things. Like taking your special-needs brother from a mental institution after your estranged father has died because you want the inheritance money. Thankfully for Charlie Babbit, the journey back home with his brother changes both of their lives.
Rambo: First Blood – After the outstanding success of the first two Rocky movies, why not brand out and start another franchise? Sylvester Stallone starred in the movie First Blood (which was based on a novel by David Morrell) in 1982 and showcased a former Green Beret who has a run-in with a prejudice sheriff and his deputies. He is forced into the mountains, utilizing his combat skills to survive.
Rebel Without a Cause – Cultural icon James Dean is a rebel without a cause when he stars as Jim Stark. A teen who movies to a new town but when he falls for the neighborhood tough guy’s girl; a whole new world of trouble starts.
Reservoir Dogs – Six criminals are all hired to do a robbery but when they are ambushed by police; all hell breaks lose when they start putting together the pieces of who the traitor actually was.
Road House – Dalton (Patrick Swayze) is the best cooler around even though he doesn’t look like it. He’s the guy that you call when your bar or club needs to be cleaned up. His cool demeanor and fighting ability gets put to the test when his love interest and changing the way things are done puts him in the crosshairs of a ruthless big shot who thinks he owns the town. What on the surface is the quintessential testosterone ridden 80s flick; this movie truly is one of my favorites of all time.
Rocky – I mentioned Sylvester Stallone’s franchise characters a while back; and this is what started it all. Sylvester Stallone’s original character won him awards and cast him directly into the limelight. The sports drama centers around a working-class small-time boxer from Philadelphia. Through a crazy happenstance, he is chosen to take on the heavyweight champion of the world, Apollo Creed (played by Carl Weathers). Between trying to woo a reluctant, shy friend of his sister; he intensely trains for the fight.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show – I mean. There is no way to truly describe a cult classic like The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The movie centers around an innocently sweet couple, Brad and Janet; and after they get a flat tire during a storm, they discover the mansion of a transvestite scientist. There is singing, dancing, and an all around creepy yet still whimsical feel.
The Sandlot – Despite not being athletic at all, the new kid in the neighborhood works his way into a group of friends obsessed with baseball. They play at the sandlot and along with hitting his stepdad’s prized baseball over the fence of the mean old neighbor, the series of adventures are sometimes hilarious but they are something we all can find ourselves in.
Saving Private Ryan – The epic war drama centers around Captain John Miller (played by Tom Hanks) who must take his men behind enemy lines during the Invasion of Normandy during World War II to find Private James Ryan. Unbeknownst to Ryan, his three brothers have all been killed in combat and while they are knee deep in the realities of war, they all find something in themselves to help bring Private Ryan home.
Scarface – I’m sure that there aren’t many people who haven’t heard “say hello to my little friend” but not everyone has seen Scarface. Tony Montana (played by Al Pacino) murders his way to the top of the Miami drug trade; but being on top isn’t everything its cracked up to be.
Schindler’s List – Based on the novel by Australian novelist Thomas Keneally, the epic historical drama shows the life of a German businessman in 1939 Krakow set to make his fortune. He joins the Nazi party to be in good graces but after the SS starts exterminating the Jews in the Krakow ghetto, he uses his factory as a means to keep the Jewish workers alive. As long as they are alive, he keeps his business afloat; and as long as his business is afloat, the Jews working there stay alive.
Sherlock Holmes – The characters of Sherlock Holmes and his assistant Dr. Watson created by British author Sir Arthur Doyle have been in many forms of media. They have been the stars of countless books, radio shows, TV shows, and movies. Despite my love for Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in the BBC TV series Sherlock; two of my favorite movies all around is Sherlock Holmes and its sequel Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows starring Robert Downey Jr. as Detective Sherlock Holmes and Jude Law as Dr. Watson. Director Guy Ritchie does a fantastic job of mixing humor along with the detective and analytical skills of the masterful mind of Sherlock Holmes.
The Silence of the Lambs – While the psychological horror-thriller has spawned prequels and sequels on both the big screen and TV; the 1991 original The Silence of the Lambs film is just as creepy as it is hypnotizing. The depictions of murder and the actions of serial killers is a lot for some but the movie showcases a young FBI trainee who wants to interview a brilliant yet sadistic psychiatrist who could shed some light on a case. Starling’s youth and beauty is supposed to be the bait to draw the answers from Dr. Hannibal Lecter; the violent psychopath won’t give in that easy.
Silver Linings Playbook – Bradley Cooper stars as a man is released into the custody of his dad after being released from a psychiatric hospital after dealing with bipolar disorder. He sets out on a course to win his wife back (as she has slapped a restraining order on him after he beat a man she was having a physical relationship with). He meets a recently widowed Tiffany (played by Jennifer Lawrence) and she offers to help him win back his wife if he enters a dance competition with her.
Singin’ in the Rain – “I’m singing in the rain” because this 1952 musical-romantic comedy starring Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds is a must watch. The movie has been a part of our pop culture world for almost 70 years and is voted as one of the greatest musicals of all time. Coincidentally the movie is about the transitional time where actors are going from silent films to ‘talkies’. Gene Kelly stars as an actor who can make the cut as a singer in a remake of their latest silent movie but his acting partner just doesn’t have the chops for it.
The Shawshank Redemption – An unlikely friendship develops between long time prisoner Red (played by Morgan Freeman) and wrongly convicted Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins). While the two live through prison hell; Andy breaks out of prison while Red tries to get used to living outside of the prison walls when he is ultimately released.
Smokey and the Bandit – What do you do when you’re wealthy Texan Big Enos Burdette and you’re thirsty for ice cold Coors beer in 1977 but aren’t in a location where it is sold? Well you hire a famous truck driver Bo “Bandit” Darville to pick up the beer in Texarkana, Texas and drive it across state lines into Georgia without a permit (which at that time it was illegal to sell Coors beer east of the Mississippi River without a permit) to have at the celebration party of the race car driver that you sponsor. All was going fine as the Bandit was running blocker for his partner Cledus “Snowman” Snow in a beautiful black Pontiac Trans Am; until he picked up a beautiful young runaway bride hitchhiker who just happen to have been followed by the Texas County Mounty Sheriff Bufort T. Justice (whose son she was supposed to marry). Snowman treks on to Atlanta where they will meet Big Enos; but Bandit evades Sheriff Justice all along the way.
The Sound of Music – “The hills are alive, with the sound of music,” and they have been alive since the movie premiered in 1965. The musical is based on the real life story of the Von Trapp family and Julie Andrews stars as a would be nun at an Austrian abbey. She becomes a governess in the house of a widowed naval captain who needs help with seven children. She is met with much trepidation but she ultimately brings happiness back into the lives of all of the family.
Spirited Away – This animated fantasy film by the same esteemed Japanese filmmaker and artist Hayao Miyazaki that wrote and directed Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. The film tells the story of a family who accidently enter the spirit world of the Japanese Shinto-Buddhist folklore when they take a wrong turn traveling to their new home. She finds her parents being turned into pigs by a witch, she must work in the witch’s bathhouse to find a way to free her parents and herself from this spirit world. The Academy Award winning film grossed more than Titanic in Japan and much like Nausicaa and the Valley of the Wind it is also ranked the world over as one of the greatest animated films ever made.
Stand By Me – The film adaptation of Steven King’s novella The Body, Stand by Me is a coming-of-age movie that showcases four Oregon friends want to go see the body of a dead stranger. The four boys set out on a literal journey that they are not prepared for; they also embark on an emotional journey where they learn more than they thought they would about one another…and themselves.
Star Trek – Star Trek started as a science fiction TV series by Gene Roddenberry and is now a multi-media franchise that has branched out into comic books, novels, an animated series, a growing movie franchise, and five Spin-off TV shows. The original show (now dubbed Star Trek: The Original Series) starred William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk but it was the 1987 sequel television series Star Trek: The Next Generation (dubbed TNG) that truly drew my attention in. The TNG storyline took place a century after the events of the Original Series; but the final TNG movie titled Star Trek: Nemesis is the first Star Trek title that I am suggesting you to watch. The movie is fourth and last movie for the TNG crew and shows the Enterprise crew dealing with a threat to not only their ship but to the universe as a whole. The second Star Trek movie that I am suggesting is not just one movie but the rebooted Star Trek film series as a whole. The film series that started in 2009 with the simply titled film Star Trek has a cast of heavy hitters and has Chris Pine as Captain Kirk. The events of The Original Series have been altered by a ship traveling back in time in hopes to destroy the United Federation of Planets. The film and its 2 sequels showcase the way that despite things being different now, they are somehow working out. Leonard Nimoy (an actor from The Original Series) shows up to show homage to the original storyline but the usage of time travel and the alternative timeline allow the franchise to be freed from any continuity constraints while there being a semblance of the original story’s elements.
Star Wars – Star Wars is in a universe all to its own. As a child of the early 80s, I was born into a time when the pop culture phenomenon was at its zenith. By the time the third sequels had been released in the early 80s, I had just been born and was destined to fall in love with the lore of the epic space opera franchise. The original Star Wars trilogy were in rotation in my VHS player and as I grew, my love never faltered. In 1999, while I was a senior in high school; the prequel trilogy was released. The prequel trilogy showed the events that led up to the original Star Wars trilogy. Confusing? Yes. It was for us as well. In 2015 another trilogy was started with 3 additional sequels (one has yet to be released). The movie franchise has spawned many comic books titles, countless books and TV/movie spin-offs; that continue to weave the lore behind the Star Wars universe. Since I did mention Star Wars is a pop culture phenomenon, the world isn’t done with this franchise yet.
Steel Magnolias – I won’t deny that I initially watched this movie back in 1989 because of my childhood crush on Dolly Parton. The movie is a comedy-drama but it is truly an emotional roller coaster. Despite many extremely funny scenes; the film truly shows how women in a small Southern town can come together during good times and bad.
A Streetcar named Desire – A 1951 film adaptation of Tennessee William’s Pulitzer Prize winning play. The play and film tell the story of a former schoolteacher who leaves her small-town in Mississippi to move in with her sister and her hubsand in New Orleans. The problem is that her flirtatious nature causes even more trouble in her sister and brother-in-law’s already volatile household.
Suicide Squad – What better way to fight fire than with fire? Suicide Squad is a Batman spin-off that centers around a group of supervillains in the DC Cinematic Universe who are assembled by a US intelligence officer who views them as truly expendable. They must learn to work together to battle and defeat a powerful supernatural force. All the while, we see the volatile romance between DC Comics characters Harley Quinn and the Joker.
Taxi Driver – “You talking to me?” A New York City cabbie dreams of taking the filth off the streets of his city. As veteran Travis Bickle (played by Robert De Niro) is suffering from insomnia, he becomes more and more unstable; and slowly becomes completely obsessed with ‘saving the world’, we witness his descent into true madness. Martin Scorsese directs a truly unsettling movie that showcases the sadness of madness but how easy it is for man to fall into madness.
The Terminator – Human cyborg assassin aka the Terminator (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger) travels back through time to try and kill Sarah Connor. Sarah Connor must be killed because her unborn child will lead the resistance against the robots that will bring about the nuclear holocaust.
Tombstone – For me, this is one of my top 5 favorite movies. Tombstone is based on the events that took place in Tombstone, Arizona in the late 1800s. During this time of lawmen and outlaws, the most famous of which was Wyatt Earp and his brothers, Doc Holliday, and their dealings with the infamous Cowboys gang. Tombstone shows the events leading to, the now infamous Gunfight at the OK Corral and the inevitable Vendetta Ride.
Tommy Boy – Comedy legend Chris Farley stars as simpleton heir Tommy Callahan who must try and keep his father’s almost bankrupt automobile parts factory from going under. He heads out across the country to get the clients that they need to save the business.
Top Gun – A hotshot fighter pilot, codename Maverick, is invited to the Top Gun Naval Fighter Weapons School to train with the best of the best; he finds true competition and love.
The Truman Show – Imagine if you were the star of the most popular live TV show in the world…but didn’t know it. What you think is your real life, is in all actuality a well executed and controlled environment where everyone is an actor except for you. Jim Carrey stars as Truman Burbank and his journey to find out the truth leads him to a door that he himself must decide to open.
Twilight – Okay. Before you jump to conclusions and tell that I am crazy for suggesting a teeny-bopper romantic fantasy as a must watch….hear me out. The movie centers around a high school student named Bella Swan who falls madly in love with a mysterious boy. Turns out that all the myths that she thought were just that are actually real. Edward is a vampire and her new best friend turns out to be a werewolf. People fall in love and it seems that everyone must fight (literally and metaphorically) for the ones that they love.
Upgrade – A man’s wife is murdered and he is left for dead. The man is visited by a brilliant inventor who offers him a cure for his being paralyzed; he heads out to seek revenge on the thugs who destroyed his life and realizes that the cure for his paralysis has given him superhuman strength, agility and help from the artificial intelligence that lie inside the chip that caused the cure.
The Usual Suspects – The neo-noir crime film centers around a con man with a lose tongue who convinces a group of suspects to pull a heist. Though that heist is successful, the next one is an epic failure which ends with them having to agree to a new heist given to them from a notorious crime boss.
Venom – I admit that the first time I saw Venom on the big screen; I was quite disappointed. That was of course because the first on screen appearance of Venom was in Spider-Man 3 back in 2007. The movie series was and is a major disappointment for many Spider-Man fans and I think that we all were somewhat satisfied with the stand-alone Venom movie. While portraying Venom in the anti-hero role, we movie centers around an alien creature who merges with a hard-nose reporter Eddie Brock (played by Tom Hardy). The two run from the notoriously bad rich guy villain and must stop the evil symbiotes (Venom’s alien brethren) from coming to and destroying Earth.
V for Vendetta – After a fascist government puts London under a police state following a World War; a man named V seeks to open the eyes of the people while fighting England’s oppressors.
What Dreams May Come – Robin Williams stars in what, in my opinion, is one of the greatest movies of all time. Robin William’s character, Chris Nielsen, dies in a car accident leaving his wife and children to mourn for him. His spirit goes to Heaven, which is a beautiful world where he can create whatever Chris wants; but he must leave his Heaven when his wife commits suicide and her spirit is sent to Hell. Reminiscent of Dante’s Inferno from his epic poem Divine Comedy, he ventures into Hell to rescue his wife’s spirit.
Wizard of Oz – There aren’t many people who have not seen The Wizard of Oz; but if you’ve never seen what is arguably one of the greatest films of all time (and I’m not the only one who thinks that), then you need to as soon as possible. Let’s just say that if you have not, the story revolves around a young girl named Dorothy who gets whisked away in a tornado with her little dog Toto. They are whisked away to a new land and follow a Yellow Brick Road to meet the Wizard who is told can help her and her little pup get back home. She meets an interesting roster of characters along the way…as well as the evil evil evil witch whose sister Dorothy’s house landed on and killed when she first landed in the land of Oz.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor – In one of the most beautiful documentaries that I have ever had the pleasure of seeing, filmmaker Morgan Neville showcases and examines the life of the beloved children’s television host Fred Rogers. Rogers hosted the immensely popular TV show Mister Roger’s Neighborhood; and this documentary is not only a tribute to the man that he was but shows the philosophy that led a minister, puppeteer, writer, musician, and producer to become one of the most pivotal influencers in our nation. So make sure that you take the trolley right on down to watch this documentary. And make sure you bring tissues. If you are anything like me, you will cry.
The Wrestler – When I saw that they were making a sports drama about the behind the scenes life of wrestlers, I was extremely excited. I was not however expecting to become so emotional while watching the movie. The movie centers around an aging professional wrestler who is no longer in the big leagues and is now touring on the small time independent circuit. When he is a participant of an extremely brutal match which leaves him wanting to hang up his tights, he must get used to his life outside of the ring. Despite his new relationship, medical issues and a somewhat renewed relationship with his estranged daughter; Randy “The Ram “Robinson (played by Mickey Rourke) decides to lace up his boots once more.
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