Great movies? (with updated list)

I think art plays many important roles in living the good life. The good life, I think, should be marked by regular, refined pleasure, and good art often offers that to us. The good life is also not lived in a vacuum of ignorance about the world around it, but requires a sober judgment of its context, and art is often a very clear window into the depths of the world. The good life is also not self-centered, but is actively engaged in promoting goodness, truth, and beauty in the lives of others, and this affecting of the world toward some end requires that we be able to make critical judgments about the world, and art simultaneously gives us a piece of perspective on the world from which to consider it, and an artifact of the world to be judged.

Because of all that, I’ve decided that I’d like to start a good collection of popular art. Right now the two dominant forms are movies and music, and I’ve got a good,  constantly growing collection of the second form, so I thought that I ought to start investing in the first. I’ve begun a list of movies that I intend to eventually own (though I may never complete it at the one-movie-a-month rate I can currently afford), but I’m sure that I’ve forgotten many movies worth owning, and simply haven’t seen a lot of the really good movies out there. So, I thought I’d open a thread for suggestions here. If you think there’s a movie really worth owning, please throw the suggestion out. I think the resulting list would probably be helpful for everyone: It’s just undeniable that one’s life is somehow incomplete if it doesn’t involve hearing out the community you’re part of when it has something to say, and movies are largely where these things are being said. I mean, really, someone who hasn’t seen Fight Club, or Braveheart really is missing out on something real, right?

So, here is the criterion: The movie has to be worth watching for something other than its immediate entertainment value. That is, it has to be a movie you can really take something away from. This will likely disqualify every Will Ferrell movie, porn, the Saw movies, etc. There’s just nothing to take away from them; their value lies purely in what you experience while watching them. We’re looking here for flicks that deliver something real. That doesn’t mean they have to be existentially earth-shattering. They just have to be worth watching, re-watching, telling others about, etc.; they have to do more than tickle. This would also include movies that are important for some more extrinsic reason (for instance, Troll 2 is on my list not because it’s great, but because it’s widely considered the worst movie ever made, and so I think it’s worth owning, at least to have a good example of very bad art – that’s significant, I think).

So, here’s the list I’ve come up with so far. They don’t include movies I already own, but there aren’t many of those, so just add whatever you think is worth the watching. I look forward to the suggestions!

*Note: The list now includes movies I currently own and a few suggestions from the comments. I’ll periodically do this, as long as comments are coming, to keep the list updated. This should help avoid confusion, and also make the listing less about what I do or don’t have. Also, feel free to comment if you see a movie on the list which you think doesn’t deserve a place there. I’ve indicated movies I’m ambivalent on with a question mark after their title.

…………
Key:
? = Movies I’m on the fence about. Please voice your opinion (especially) on these, if you have one.
* = Movies whose value I think lie in something other than their being good art. Explanations will follow in parentheses.
( )= Movies I can’t recommend personally (b/c I haven’t seen them), but have been strongly recommended here or in conversation.
Bold = Movies I consider indisputably excellent. Disputations are welcomed.

300
3:10 to Yuma
2001: A Space Odyssey
2010: The Year We Make Contact
Alice in Wonderland
Alien
Alien 3 (Originally included for being part of an otherwise good series, but the other two stand alone fine without it.)
Aliens
Amadeus
American Beauty
American Gangster?
American History X
American Psycho?
Apocalypto
Army of Darkness* (Perhaps the pinnacle of campy, cult classics; the third movie of the Evil Dead movies.)
Atonement
Australia?
Babel
Batman Begins
A Beautiful Mind
Beauty and the Beast
Best in Show
Big Fish?
(The Big Kahuna)
The Big Lebowski?
Birth
The Black Cauldron?
Black Snake Moan
The Bourne Identity
The Bourne Supremacy
The Bourne Ultimatum
Braveheart
Capote? (Difficult to appreciate without having read In Cold Blood, or being familiar with the story, imho.)
Cast Away
The Cell
Changeling?
Children of Men
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
The Color Purple
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind* (Largely for its claim to be non-fiction).
(Crash)
Cube?
Dances With Wolves
Dark City
(The Dark Crystal)?
The Dark Knight
Dead Poet’s Society
Donnie Darko
Evil Dead* (Army of Darkness is great in its own way, but these aren’t [though they’re good, and very interesting].)
Evil Dead 2*
The Exorcist
The Fall
Fantasia
(Fiddler on the Roof)
Fight Club? (Formerly bold, just rewatched it after several years, and I’m ashamed I ever thought it great; still worth a watch.)
Forrest Gump
The Fountain
Full Metal Jacket
Gladiator
The Godfather?
(Goodfellas)
Good Will Hunting
The Green Mile?
Groundhog Day
Hannibal
Harvey
Heavy Metal
(The Horse Wisperer)
I Am Legend?
Ichabod and Mr. Toad?
Inside Man (Best American heist movie)
Interview With a Vampire
Into the Wild
Iron Man?
It’s a Wonderful Life
Jurrasic Park?
Kill Bill Vol. 1
Kill Bill Vol. 2
Labyrinth
Lady and the Tramp
Lady in the Water
The Last Samurai
(Life is Beautiful)
Little Miss Sunshine
Little Shop of Horrors (1986)?
Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
(Magnolia)
The Manchurian Candidate?
The Matrix
The Matrix 2
The Matrix 3
Master and Commander of the Far Side of the World?
Memento
Michael Clayton?
Mirror Mask
Mission Impossible 3?
Moulin Rouge
(Munich)
The Never Ending Story
No Country for Old Men
Ocean’s Eleven
Ocean’s Thirteen? (Same case as Alien 3)
Ocean’s Twelve? (Same case as Ocean’s Thirteen)
Oh Brother, Where Art Thou
Once
Pan’s Labyrinth
Pulp Fiction
Primal Fear
The Princess Bride
Psycho
Rain Man
Rent
Requiem for a Dream
Saved?
Schindler’s List
Secondhand Lions
The Secret of Nimh
Se7en
(Serenity)
Session 9 (Imho, one of the best horror movies ever made, and gore-free at that.)
Shaun of the Dead?
The Shawshank Redemption
The Shining
Sweeny Todd?* (Excellent example of anti-hero)
Tombstone
Sideways
Signs?
Silence of the Lambs
The Sixth Sense
Sleepers?
Snatch
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (First animated movie ever made. [Thanks Josh P.])
Solaris
Star Wars: A New Hope?
Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back?
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi?
Stay
(Stranger than Fiction)
The Sword in the Stone
Syriana?
There Will Be Blood?
This is Spinal Tap
To Kill a Mockingbird
Troll 2* (Widely considered the worst movie ever made)
Unbreakable
Vanilla Sky
V for Vendetta
The Village
West Side Story
What Dreams May Come (bold?)
Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory
Young Frankenstein?

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  1. #1 by Taren on 2.7.09 - 12.20 am

    Sudie and Simpson.. It’s a 1990 made for TV movie but I have a copy of it on DVD you can borrow it sometime if you want.

    What was that movie we watched.. it was really good…. with the super cute little girl… The Fall! Oh… that’s already on there. 🙂

    Mirror Mask (do you have that?)

    My Girl (no.. seriously)

    I’m falling asleep.. I will think about this more…

  2. #2 by Corey Scogin on 2.7.09 - 11.59 am

    I certainly disagree with some of the ones you have listed as being good art…mainly sequels like Prince Caspian.

    Here’s my suggestion: Sunshine (2007). It is somewhat of a ripoff of Event Horizon but it has more interesting psychological/sociological situations. On top of that, it is an incredibly beautiful movie.

    Also…what the F…The Fountain is not in your list. Do you already have it?

    • #3 by Michael Glawson on 2.8.09 - 12.00 am

      Corey, I saw sunshine, and was super impressed with the visuals, but the plot twist with the former captain of the ship almost made my eyes roll out of my head, so I don’t know if I want to buy it (but I might, just for its stunning visual qualities).

      I hear what you’re saying about Caspian, but I think that it makes it on the list for me by virtue of being one part of a larger story that I think, even for its less interesting moments, I’ll appreciate enough to own. What others do you think don’t deserve their place?

  3. #4 by Taren on 2.7.09 - 5.46 pm

    No worries Corey… He do….

    And for those of you out there in the interwebs…. Requiem For A Dream is pretty amazing. I admit there are some parts that are a bit intense but are needed to fully illustrate what’s going down. It is one of those movies that is just so intense you want to die after watching it.

    And The Village… but I know you already have that, too.

    Closer is another great movie.

    Donnie Darko…

    I know you said you weren’t listening movies you had but I didn’t want anyone to miss out on these.

    • #5 by Michael Glawson on 2.8.09 - 12.02 am

      Taren,
      Yeah, The Fall is worth the $$ and time, especially with the cute little french girl. (I seem to not have my copy of the Fountain somehow though 😦 )
      Now that the list is revised, Donnie Darko is on there.

  4. #6 by Josh P on 2.8.09 - 2.46 am

    NOW you’ve done it. You’ve asked for my opinion ON EVERY MOVIE EVER MADE!!!! Hahaha. Let me begin with some things you’ve said:

    I’m not sure whether you clarified the intrinsic value of owning a movie over recognizing a great piece of art. You say it’s important to hear the voice of the community you live in, but how does owning a movie elevate your awareness? Would I be correct in assuming it’s the ability to revisit the movie thereby allowing you a deeper understanding of it and its place in culture? Basically, the re-watchability and further deconstruction of it? I acknowledge this as a good tool, but articles on the movies themselves have proved just as valuable to the movies I don’t own as the ones I do. But I understand how this can also elevate your re-watching of movies.

    “…good collection of popular art…” – Must one own a movie to be relevant? I am aware of a vast number of movies that I do not own. I do not feel I need to own them. I feel it is more important that I have seen them. Perhaps this is a fundamental issue about differing movie purchasing philosophies. I’ve decided to only buy movies that I am compelled to revisit an inordinate amount of times. I own “Anchorman” because it always gives me a good laugh, but I do not own “Kill Bill” (a better movie) because, though I like it a great deal, I’m not really in the mood to watch it *that* much. I appreciate “Kill Bill” more and recognize it for the art it is, but, alas, how do I cure my aching funny bone? But also, how do I curb my mind into good art? (I will discuss this further later).

    You use the term “…what you take away…” I find this to be very telling criteria. It is the very reason why Taren will recommend “My Girl” and I won’t. She takes away a lot more from that movie than I do. It is also the reason why I would recommend Wes Anderson’s “Rushmore” to myself and not to you. Because what I believe you will be more benefited by any film recommended to you is what you, Michael, will take away. It is the very fundamental principle in recommending movies and the very reason why being a movie critic can be hard: Everybody is different. The movies on your list are “good” because, as I’ve known you for so many years, I can see how you like, even love, these movies. I know why “Labyrinth” and “The Fountain” are on your list. And I know why Weird Al’s “UHF” is not. Perhaps it’s like setting someone up on a blind date. Some people are hard to dislike, but there are also people that are more suited for others. However, if you are asking for recommendations for the Truly Great Masterpieces of Cinema, I’m afraid very few on your list will be included.

    I think there are different academics to cinema. If you look at AFI’s Top 100 list, you will find a much-agreed upon list of movies that are Greats. You know the ones: “Gone With the Wind,” “Lawrence of Arabia,” “Citizen Kane,” “The Godfather.” I couldn’t recommend these any higher, except I don’t believe you will take away as much from these as you would from “The Village.” What is a movie-snob to do? And if you’d like to be so bold, I hereby invoke the name Criterion. It is the strictest distribution company with the smartest people involved (a movie distributer like Warner Bros. will have tens [or maybe hundreds] of thousands of titles to sell; Criterion has roughly 500+ and assigns each title a number). These are not the titles you see at the movieplexes or hear stories about budgets and grosses. These are the True Works of Cinema. And believe me, every single one of them is too smart for me. They kick my butt! I can understand the current trends of cinema and of decades before, but what about the French New Wave movement, the Auteur Theory and Dogme 95? These are the artists of cinema (and America is represented as much as, say, Sweden or Japan). These are all completely stripped of commercialism. They blow my friggin mind and truly humble me. Every working director (no matter if you’re Ed Wood or Steven Spielberg) is complimented to be picked by them. This is the cinema where you are demanded to not walk away unless you have learned something the way one walks away from a Pollack or Picasso. “You are not here to enjoy… you are hear to learn and grow; your learning and growth ARE your entertainment,” they demand of you. And if you don’t “get it,” then it is *your* fault, the same way I don’t “get” Picasso but know that it is my own fault for that… not Picasso’s.

    So if I were to recommend the Greatest And Most Influential movies, I’d say AFI’s Top 100. If I were to recommend Works of Art cinema, I’d say any Criterion title. If I were to recommend movies you were to like the most, well, the list you have there is pretty spot-on.

    If you are considering the best of Bad Cinema, then please allow me to say this: “Troll 2” may be “The Godfather” of bad movies, but “Plan 9 From Outer Space” is the “Citizen Kane.”

    Classic Disney: I have to make special note of this due to my animation forte. I see “Lady & the Tramp” but I don’t see “Aladdin.” I see “Sword In the Stone” but not “Dumbo.” There are roughly 20 Disney animated movies that I would consider must-owns. But as I believe this list caters more to your taste, may I at least narrow my suggestion to one: “Robin Hood” (a Classic Disney I find consistently loved by those of us in our age range). On a Work of Art note, I’d like to add that I believe “Fantasia” is the most monumental and groundbreaking animated movie of all-time. For example, the sound system that was built for it has not changed to this day. And this was 1940. Disney had on board the most imaginative people in the entire world (literally; people came from all countries to animate for him) and had them animate alongside the greatest music ever composed. What resulted was “Fantasia.” It was also the only animated movie with a runtime of 2hrs until “The Incredibles” (2005).

    And where the f*** is Pixar!?!? No Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc., Incredibles or Wall*E?????? These may be some of the greatest movies in the past decade and a half!!!

    If Mission Impossible 3 is for Philip Seymour Hoffman’s performance, you *must* check out “Punch-Drunk Love.” It’s a far better movie (directed by the same auteur as “Magnolia”) where Hoffman plays essentially the same character… and it’s a movie I think you’d really get: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdzxA5OE6yE
    Btw, it’s the least Adam Sandler-type movie he’s done. Think like how Jim Carrey isn’t his typical self in “The Truman Show” or “Man On the Moon.”

    “Secondhand Lions” is trinkle. A common-denominator sugar cookie.

    “Closer,” “A Few Good Men” and “American Beauty” are my 3 favorite screenplays. I might include “JFK” in there but that movie is phenomenal in every regard. It’s one of my Top 3 favorites of all time. Unquestionably the greatest edited movie of all time. The Academy Awards created a special recognition award for editing that year just because it deserved special recognition.

    And WHERE is “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington” and “Harvey”!?!?!

    Sorry this was so long but ask a loaded question………

  5. #7 by Gary on 2.8.09 - 4.59 pm

    Michael,
    Here are a few that I have found both enjoyable and provocative:

    FIDDLER ON THE ROOF: One of my absolute favorites, about Jewish people whose lives are being disrupted in multiple ways during the Russian Revolution. Topol (portraying the central protagonist) is fabulous in this role.

    LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL: A story about the resilient human spirit and the exuberance of life in the midst of the horrific inhumanity of the holocaust.

    A BEAUTIFUL MIND: You already know this one. I know its omission is a mere oversight.

    STRANGER THAN FICTION: Here is one exception to your comment about Will Ferrel movies. This one is entertaining but also raises all kinds of thoughts and questions about sovereignty and free will, while having some fun with literary motifs as well. Dustin Hoffman (whose performances never disappoint me) plays an interesting and fun professor of literature (maybe I have a prejudice here). You’ll enjoy this one.

    THE BIG KAHUNA: Most of this one involves three men in a motel room…talking. Danny DeVito and Kevin Spacey are excellent. The film raises important issues, especially for Christians, concerning vocation, professional responsibility, and human relations.

    THE HORSE WHISPERER: I was not attracted to this movie by its title or trailers. I watched it on recommendation of a friend. It was much better than I anticipated. It raises important questions about the complexities of human relationships.

    That’s it for now. I’ll think further and keep you posted.

  6. #8 by Michael Glawson on 2.9.09 - 12.08 pm

    Josh – Three things to respond to:
    1. Why own movies at all? Well, I don’t really think it’s necessary to own them. This could just as easily be a list of movies really worth seeing and I really don’t think it would make a difference in what gets listed. I, personally, gravitate toward purchasing art I like for a few reasons though: first, ownership is just the norm in most cases. If you like it and you want it, in most cases that means wanting to own it. Also, purchasing art isn’t just an act of self-fulfillment. It’s supporting the artist you appreciate, and the larger artistic community as a whole. If no one paid for art there simply wouldn’t be very much of it. Also, if anything’s worth owning, if anything is a good product, it’s art (almost by definition). I’ll drop ten bucks on a mediocre meal like it’s nothing, so why hesitate to do the same on a movie or album I’ll appreciate for many years?

    2. The subjective nature of making lists like these. Well let’s delineate two levels of subjectivity: personal and cultural. A piece of art can be valuable to me in a merely personal, sentimental way (e.g. I love Berenstain Bears books because they were fun to read as a kid), without having met any artistic criteria whatsoever (I don’t know if Berenstain Bears books have any depth to them at all, since I haven’t read one in years, but I still love them regardless). Things can also be valuable, not because of my mere personal experiences, but because of my larger experience as a member of a certain culture – a group of people with whom I share a significantly common existence. This commonality is the basis of my recommendation that someone would see a certain movie, or listen to a certain album. I wouldn’t just recommend to everyone that they read Berenstain Bears books (except to have a taste of my childhood pleasantries), because they wouldn’t appreciate them in any special way the way I do. I might recommend them to a child, though, who was living a similar childhood to mine. Likewise, I wouldn’t just recommend to everyone that they watch Requiem for a Dream. But I would recommend it to everyone in my culture, who shares my common situation. It’s an important movie for us. So, in making the list, it should be comprised of movies that everyone in our position really should watch for some good reason. So, if there’s a movie on there that it seems I’ve only included because it’s sentimental for me, it shouldn’t be there, but if there’s a movie that has something to say, or is somehow significant for our group (however broadly we define that), then it deserves a place.

    3. Why some Disney movies and not others? You mentioned tha Lady and the Tramp is on there, but not Alladdin or Little Mermaid. It’s not arbitrary or merely sentimental. In my opinion (which you should feel really free to contest), Disney has certain movies that are absolute gold, and others that are more like…well..pyrite (fools gold). Lady and the Tramp is golden. It’s a warm-hearted, hopeful-but-serious picture of love’s power to transcend barriers between people. And it’s done beautifully. Telling the story through animals provides a level of abstraction and distance, as well as attraction to the characters (by simple virtue of their dogginess) that makes people listen and see the story more clearly than if it were staunchly realistic. Well, isn’t Alladdin just as good? No. Not nearly. Alladdin is sugar-coated lady and the tramp. It’s the same story, structurally: high-culture, beautiful female and low-culture male fall in love and struggle (successfully) to overcome the cultural divide and love one another. So, same story. Why both of them then? Because Disney, at some point, succumbed to the temptation to tickle kids instead of telling them good stories. They started going for cheap (and now, at times, vulgar) humor (think Shrek’s eddie murphey character, and the cross-dressing pinnochio), cheap thrills (action-packed carpet rides in Alladdin, and even a video game made off of the movie), and merely took stories they’d done before and dressed them up with all that. That’s why there’s a Lady and the Tramp and an Alladdin, and a Little Mermaid, and a Pochahontas (though that one may not be all that bad…it’s been a while), and why not all Disney movies should be watched.

    Also, after thinking, you’re right – Second Hand Lions is unworthy. I thought it was worth it for it’s inventive story-telling (and also because I wish Sir Michael Kane was my grandfather), but even then, it’s entirely superfluous when there is both The Fall and Big Fish. And thanks for the Pixar suggestion. Could you suggest a list of Pixar flicks? I’m not real certain about Toy Story though. I’m going to have to think it over.

    (Also, post a link to your movie blog here if you don’t mind.)

  7. #9 by Josh P on 2.9.09 - 10.43 pm

    1. I see your point and consider it valid. I guess when you can rent unlimited movies for $10 a month, you tend to forget the value of ownership. 😉

    2. You answered my biggest question thoroughly with “…somehow significant for our group…” This makes complete sense to me and I know where you’re coming from now.

    3. Let me begin here with the cardinal sin you’ve committed in animation: Do not confuse Disney with its competitor Dreamworks Animation. “Shrek” was Dreamworks’ first animated feature (it’s a very new company and the first ever sensible rival Disney has ever had in its nearly century old company). If “Shrek” were Disney, the Pinocchio, Cinderella, Three Little Pigs characters would be the actual likenesses; not knock-offs. The Disneyland parody was a scathing satire on the theme park. The evil Lord Farquaad’s image was made in the likeness of Disney CEO Michael Eisner who had a public, bitter falling-out with co-producer Jeffrey Katzenberg (the “K” in Dreamworks SKG [Spielberg, Katzenberg, Geffen]). The short jokes all stemmed from Eisner’s much publicized quote on Katzenberg, “I think I hate the little midget.” That’s when Dreamworks was invented (and Spielberg left Universal). Disney has yet to be cheap and vulgar and they barely (if ever) make the pop-culture jokes that Dreamworks does. Disney’s “Enchanted” is what “Shrek” was supposed to be: A laugh at all the sugary cliches yet uplifting and joyful at the same time. Dreamworks was pure resentment.

    I wondered what you would say about “Aladdin,” but what I really wanted to know was more about “The Lion King.” “Aladdin,” agreed, is a lot more of a thrill-ride (and sometimes, that’s all you want), much like Robin Williams is a great stand-up, not because he’s being so profound as so much as he’s just a lot of fun. I should’ve mentioned “The Lion King” before. It is the animated “Hamelt” (did you know that?). Your thoughts on its exclusion (if intentional)?

    What can I say about Pixar that hasn’t already been said? It has the best track record of any movie company ever, that’s for sure. For some context, here is a ranking of where each of their movies has placed in their corresponding year:
    Toy Story (1995) #1
    Bug’s Life (1998) #17
    Toy Story 2 (1999) #1
    Monster’s Inc (2001) #9
    Finding Nemo (2003) #3
    The Incredibles (2004) #5
    Cars (2006) [no placing]
    Wall-E (2008) #15

    I was quite surprised about the ranking of “Wall-E” until I realized that its 224 reviews are competing with movies that only have 44 reviews (a lot of them *I* haven’t even heard of!). As this new year moves on and more reviews come in, “Wall-E” will hold strongly in the top, most likely coming in within the Top 5. “Toy Story 2” is also RT’s 2nd highest reviewed movie of all time. It was ousted just in the past few months by 2008’s documentary “Man On Wire.” Again, this is a matter of time where more reviews will knock it a few pegs and “Toy Story 2” will claim its #1 spot again. So that’s the Critical Numbers version. I never really regarded RottenTomatoes as a reliable source… until Ebert kept mentioning it a lot. The same goes for IMDb (turns out he was smart to use that back when that started too!). As far as common regard that I’ve gathered, here is how I say people generally stack up Pixar’s movies:
    1. The Incredibles
    2. Toy Story 2
    3. Toy Story
    4. Wall-E
    5. Monster’s Inc
    6. Finding Nemo
    7. A Bug’s Life
    8. Cars

    It’s funny how subjective these things are, because as lowly ranked as “Cars” usually is, it’s my third personal fave (behind Toy Story and Wall-E) and I will stand behind its merits. Also, “A Bug’s Life” is my sis-in-law’s fave of that list (you’ll have to ask her why). From what you’ve said to me about “Heavy Metal,” I think “The Incredibles” should be high on your must-see list. It’s both Pixar’s and Disney’s most adult movie in decades and it never compromises its integrity for it.

    Now that I’ve responded to your points, allow me to review your list once again according to what you’ve said in your clarified third point:
    “2010” – This is good… but is it really GREAT? I know you like it a lot, but I can’t call it a GREAT movie.
    “Alien” – Wholeheartedly agree; it sets the gold standard for suspense; little to no action nor dialogue, yet heart-poundingly tense for the majority of the time.
    “Aliens” – The opposite tone of what Alien 1 was: An action-blow’d-em-up-real-good flick with the most cliche cast of characters imaginable. “Game over, maaan!”
    “Alien 3” – Never saw it but the director hated it after making it so much that he swore to never make movies again. Good thing he did because he went on to make “Fight Club,” “Se7en” and “Benjamin Button.”
    “American Gangster” – *might* be average; still contemplating this one; I’ve read a lot of 4 star reviews but I can’t help but think this story has been told many times before.
    “American Psycho” – Very good and aesthetically unique; maybe not Great
    It’s “Changeling”… not “The Changeling” (sorry to be such a stickler about that)
    “Cube” – Great, high-concept indie; mediocre when it comes to the “Big Leagues”
    Full Metal Jacket – 2001 – The Shining: All Stanley Kubrick. His greatest is 2001. His 2nd greatest: Dr. Strangelove. It’s a must-see if you’re gonna have the other two on here. You also might want to check out A Clockwork Orange too (also Kubrick’s; just stay away from Eyes Wide Shut… ugh).
    “Groundhog Day” should be in bold (the opening line here points out the common oversight): http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050130/REVIEWS08/501300301/1023
    “The Last Samurai” – The definition of pretension in so much as to say it esteems to depths it never reaches. The best review I read of this summed it up perfectly: “It makes Joe Moviegoer feel like he sat through an art house movie when it’s still all a buncha Hollywood.” The last scene is only included because of the Tom Cruise clause (further discussion revoked for spoiler material) and it’s a much lesser movie for it (esp depending on how knowledgable of Japanese cinema you are; note: the movie is a Hollywood nod to Japanese cinema with little respect for it).
    “There Will Be Blood” – “…MILKSHAKE!”

  8. #10 by Josh P on 2.9.09 - 10.44 pm

    Oh! And here’s my movie review site: http://mrcinemasmoviereviews.blogspot.com/
    I’ll try to be better about updating it. Thanks for your interest in it.

  9. #11 by Alex Marshall on 2.11.09 - 7.34 pm

    I’m not sure all of these really qualify, though I think they are all good movies. But here are some you might consider adding:

    Munich
    The Manchurian Candidate
    Master and Commander of the Far Side of the World
    Serenity

  10. #12 by Bridgette on 2.18.09 - 12.55 pm

    Hey pal,

    I’m buying Crash for you. It’s pretty phenomenal and you should own it. It’s like Babel only a lot better and less global in scope. But then again, I don’t know if you’ve seen Babel.

    And you have seen Serenity…it’s the one we watched at Lynn’s house that one day.

  11. #13 by Michael Glawson on 2.18.09 - 2.01 pm

    Aw, I just bought Crash a few days ago (but I haven’t seen it still)! 🙂

    Oh yeah….serenity….somehow I didn’t like that movie. Though I loved Babel.

  12. #14 by Taren on 2.19.09 - 9.29 pm

    Hey Sir.. do you own Once? I have an extra copy. It was on sale at Blockbuster for $3.99 and I love that movie so much I couldn’t just leave it there.

  13. #15 by Michael Glawson on 2.19.09 - 11.00 pm

    Taren,
    I don’t own Once, but I would gladly trade you a pb&j, or a pile of toenail clippings, or something of even greater value for it!

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