When I was putting this list together I was a little surprised to see The Truman Show continuing to creep its way higher and higher up the ranks. Then I watched The Truman Show again and I immediately remembered why – this movie is god damn amazing.
Even if you’ve never seen the movie before, you must know the premise since people have spent the last 15 years making references such as “you ever think your life is The Truman Show” . The idea of your life secretly being an elaborate TV show is brilliant and it’s as well executed here as you could hope for. You also have some of Jim Carrey’s best dramatic work at a time where nobody could picture him doing anything aside from comedy. If like me you haven’t seen this one in a while, go back and revisit it because it is still incredible.
When I first got my VHS copy of Jurassic Park I watched it damn near every day for weeks. I must have completely burned myself out on it because it was years before I watched it again. We bought the blu ray set a couple of years back and holy shit what do you know, Jurassic Park is still just as fantastic as I remember it being.
You got your ground breaking special effects that are still as impressive today, a host of great characters and memorable dialogue, and a final half that is so ridiculously suspenseful I’m surprised younger me could even handle it. Plus you have the T-Rex’s introduction sequence, probably one of my favourite 10 minute chunks of film in history. Also dinosaurs are awesome, so there’s that.
I watched The Shining for the first time at a sleepover when I was about 11 years old. When it got to the part where the old lady emerges from the bathtub and refuses to stop cackling, I wanted to go home and I believe even made an effort to do so. That moment remains one of my most feared sequences in film, and The Shining is full of shit like that.
I can see why some would find this movie slow but I find the atmosphere and deliberate pace to be one of the movie’s biggest strengths. The whole thing is just so god damn eerie and full of incredibly unsettling scenes and moments. It really gets in there and just completely messes with you on just about every level.
So yeah…it’s good.
Alright, alright, alright.
Before finalizing this list, I had this one in the “maybe” pile and decided I should give it another watch since I hadn’t seen it in years. Yep there was no need to worry, shit is still fantastic.
Dazed and Confused has a virtually non-existent plot, following a group of teens in the 70’s on their last day of school. We follow them over the course of about 24 hours as they party, drink, smoke pot and have sex. It works thanks to the great characters and fantastic script. Plus it’s one of those movies where apparently everyone on the planet jumped in before they hit it big. You got Ben Affleck, Milla Jovovich, and of course Matthew McConaghey in what still may be his best role. Throw in an amazing soundtrack on top of the mix and you have yourself an easy candidate for my top list.
This is another movie I have seen enough times that I have completely lost count. It’s that movie where if I’m flipping channels and stumble upon it, I’m completely stuck there until it’s done. This is great stuff right here. It’s a razor thin plot but it’s full of great characters, smart dialogue and a completely unnecessary but amazing dance sequence in the middle. Sure the idea of a man cramming 80 hours worth of activities into a single afternoon is insane, but it’s so much god damn fun that it doesn’t matter.
So yes, Ferris Bueller is absolutely a classic, and while I know most of us would be tempted to say that Godzilla or the remake of the Stepford Wives is Matthew Broderick’s best work, but I have to be controversial and say it’s actually this movie.
If you consider it cheating to have three movies take up a single list entry than just pretend that heading actually reads The Empire Strikes Back and we can all move forward happily.
I don’t think I really need to explain why these movies are here. If you grew up with them you completely understand it. They’re about as iconic as movies can get, full to the brim with characters, moments and references that are prevalent in our culture today. Watching all six movies on blu ray recently reinforced that these movies are undeniable classics that absolutely need to be on my list. It also reinforced that the new trilogy need never be discussed ever again. Ever.
Man you guys…Seven is a fucked up movie. I mean really, have you seen this shit? Shit’s fucked up man.
The idea of a serial killer using the seven deadly sins as the basis for his murders sounds like some hokey Criminal Minds shit, but wow do they ever make it work here. It manages to be ridiculously disturbing without actually showing you any of the grisly acts in process. You only ever see the aftermath but your imagination fills in the gruesome blanks. If you’ve seen the movie, you also already know why the ending is memorable. What’s in the fucking box indeed sir. The whole thing is a god damn masterpiece and really shows why director David Fincher has the reputation he does.
When I was originally making this list and trying to make sure I hadn’t missed any obvious choices, a couple of people mentioned Saving Private Ryan as it’s “the best war movie ever made.” Alas I knew I already had that idea covered because in my eyes, Full Metal Jacket is in fact the best war movie ever made.
The first half is of course the best, showing the soldiers going through training with Gunnery Sergeant Hartman played spectacularly by R.Lee Ermey. This character throws out so many amazing insults so quickly it’s hard to keep up. While the second half of the movie, where they are actually in Vietnam, can’t hold a candle to the first hour, it’s still loaded with great moments and performances. Ridiculously funny but also harshly disturbing, Full Metal Jacket is my pick for best war movie. Unless I’m allowed to count In the Army Now. Then it would be close.
As a lover of both action movies and the 80’s, I of course am a huge fan of 80’s action movies (along with early to mid-90’s ones as well). Commando is basically the ultimate 80’s action movie and may in fact be one of the most fun movie watching experiences of all time.
It’s definitely the ultimate Schwarzenegger movie (pretty sure I just spelled his name right on my first try with no reference so I’m feeling pretty good right now) with 90% of his dialogue just being pure one-liner, each one of them absolute cheesy greatness. Combine that with a ridiculous villain, almost non-stop crazy action and a death count that must approach 1000 people, and you have yourself unfiltered awesome in movie form.
I don’t know if it’s because like Kevin Smith there was a time (and it still somewhat holds true) where I really wanted to make movies, or because I can really relate to the shitty people you have to deal with when working at a movie rental store, but I really dig Clerks. I guess it could also be that it’s really funny and good. Yeah it’s probably mostly that last thing.
Kevin Smith doesn’t always make it easy to like him but his debut is a classic in my eyes (and I have quite an affinity for Mallrats as well for the record). It has a great script at the centre that was incredibly easy for me to relate to and while my position in life is very different now, I can still appreciate it. The characters are memorable and the movie isn’t afraid to go to some pretty fucked up places. I still go back to this one every couple of years and it always delivers. BERZERKER!