Another List


This is pretty fantastic.  Good idea, Andy.  If you haven’t done so already, be sure to check the comments to Andy’s post below for other lists/thoughts/comments.  Smart and interesting.

Here’s my shot

1.    Bottle Rocket
2.    Airplane
3.    To Kill a Mockingbird
4.    The Stoning of Soraya M
5.    The Godfather
6.    The Jerk
7.    Caddyshack
8.    Napoleon Dynamite
9.    Metropolitan
10.    I Confess
11.    Platoon
12.    Miller’s Crossing
13.    Rear Window
14.    The Pink Panther
15.    Dial M for Murder
16.    Memento
17.    American Movie
18.    Little Miss Sunshine
19.    Vernon, Florida
20.    Top Secret
21.    Schindler’s List
22.    Office Space
23.    Braveheart

There’s my Top 23.  A few comments on the entries that might need some explanation.

Bottle Rocket is phenomenal.  It doesn’t feel epic enough to be my favorite movie, but there it is. “She said you’re a failure?  What has she ever accomplished with her life?  Nothing.  Nothing.”  That is brilliant.  Or: “How’s an asshole like Bob get such a great kitchen.”

The Stoning of Soraya M is extraordinary.  It’s a film about Islamic law and women’s rights in modern Iran – based on a true story in a book of the same name.  It’s not out yet – I saw it at a small, private screening last fall.  I thought it was one of the most powerful and moving films – maybe the most powerful and moving film – I’ve ever seen.

I liked Napoleon Dynamite before it was cool to like Napoleon Dynamite.  I’ve probably seen it thirty times and it doesn’t get old.

Metropolitan – Whit Stillman’s best – a classic, and subtle, social commentary.

Yes, I’m a Hitchcock freak.  The three Hitchcock films on this list could have easily been three or four longer (Vertigo, North by Northwest, Rope).

How could a bunch of commentators with ties to Wisconsin omit “American Movie.”  For shame.

Vernon, Florida, is a fascinating documentary by Errol Morris (director who did, most famously, “The Fog of War.”)  Entertaining, sad and disturbing all at once.  Find it, watch it.

And I completely agree with Andy on The Shawshank Redemption.  Very overrated.  (So was The Usual Suspects back in the day.)

18 Responses to “Another List”

  1. awhayes Says:

    American Movie belongs on my list. I knew I was forgetting a good one. That movie is somehow both hilarious and pathetic at the same time – not too different in fact from the way you feel watching Vernon, Florida…also a very worthwhile watch.

    Bottle Rocket has some of the most natural acting I’ve seen in years by a then young Owen Wilson. Acting alongside his brothers, the film rolls along hilariously – especially if you listen for some of the possibly unscripted lines like “how does an asshole like Bob have such a nice kitchen”. But there is also somewhat of a plot weaved throughout that keeps you interested in watching.

  2. Aaron Says:

    I don’t understand the dissing of Shawshank, not one bit. Is it played out? Of course. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s a well made movie. It also moves people, which is hard to do with cinema these days.

    You want ‘very overrated’? Look no further than number 18 on your list.

  3. awhayes Says:

    Aaron – what are your other top movies?

    Hey everyone – what about Stripes or Swingers? Stripes was a lot funnier when I was younger, and less funny during a recent re-viewing. But Swingers was hilarious and really opened up comedy to a new style – with Vince Vaughn leading the way.

  4. TallTom Says:

    I don’t have 20 that stick in mind. More like 4-5. Here’s the three I can think of off hand:
    1)The Usual Suspects – one of the best who dunnits.
    2)12 Angry Men – black and white about the American jury system. Pretty powerful
    3)Inside Man –

  5. DreamPipe Says:

    THE BIG LEBOWSKI beats the pants off of the jerk, little miss sunshine, office space, and no one mentioned clockwork orange? maybe the best film evar! elements of slapstick comedy, musical theatre, psych thriller, and explores the greatest human question of all: is human nature malleable? Do we possess free will? Watch it again…

  6. joshywoshybigfatposhy Says:

    i couldn’t believe i had to read all the way to schaefer’s comment on andy’s post to get to lebowski. i recognized packer fans maybe isn’t the right demographic, but still. and in my skimming, i also didn’t notice old country for old men. i think the coen bros. are hit and miss, and it’s not exactly a party-time movie, but i thought it was quite the quality film.

    here’s a few i may have missed in the comments, maybe not…

    – city of god
    – trainspotting (really, i’m not as into drugs as it appears from my picks)
    – bill cosby – himself
    – stripes … yes i’m repeating, but i think i spent more time in the hayes’ basement from ages 5-12 watching stripes than i did outside building forts or playing kick the can.

    having a bit of a brain freeze, but there’s my 2.4 cents for now.

  7. bucky Says:

    I’m pretty sure someone did mention A Clockwork Orange.

  8. Aaron Says:

    1. The Thin Red Line
    2. The Empire Strikes Back
    3. The Shawshank Redemption
    4. Blade Runner
    5. Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship of the Ring
    6. JFK
    7. Barton Fink
    8. Millers Crossing
    9. Master & Commander
    10. Dead Poets Society
    11. The Conversation
    12. Se7en
    13. Magnolia
    14. There Will Be Blood
    15. Ghostbusters
    16. His Girl Friday
    17. Road to Perdition
    18. Reservoir Dogs
    19. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
    20. Raiders of the Lost Ark

  9. Schaefer Says:

    diff’t strokes/diff’t folks for sure, but how people leave off Casablanca, I just don’t know. I could see younger people who haven’t taken the time to watch any classics, but it is probably the best written movie ever and it still holds up when viewing today. just watch it again and you’ll see how great it is.

    every other movie (besides The Godfather) I can understand as debatable, but really everyone, no Casablanca… (and Aaron, Road to Perdition & Miller’s Crossing over The Godfather)


  10. Aaron Says:

    Love me some Godfather – but love Road and Miller’s more. What can I say? At least I’m honest… 🙂

  11. Aaron Says:

    Oh, and as to your Casablanca point – Maltese Falcon was close for inclusion on my list, though I admit I quote Rick and the Captain much more.

  12. Schaefer Says:

    cool and true…honesty is a good thing

  13. Rich Says:

    Yah and how could you possibly leave off Eraserhead?

  14. Aaron Says:

    See, this is why I hate doing this from work – I am SICK, I mean physically ill that I didn’t include one single Michael Mann movie on my list. Would def have to add Heat and The Insider.

  15. 56Coop Says:

    Looked back at my list, on the original thread. Left off Casablanca. Heat & Insider were actually ythe first two mentionoed on the first post. Obviously only doing top 10 or 20 & most of us thinking off the top of our heads I’m sure lots of good ones were left out. Clockwork Orange is without doubdt a classic (and it was in someone;s list) Trainspotting is very good. I had forgotten all aouot Road to Perdition–Excellent movie. The name escapes me at the moment (Castaway–maybe) where Tom Hanks did most of the acting as a one man show because he was in a Fed Ex plane wreck & was on an island alone most of the time — hard to pull off a movie almost alone.

    Anyoone ever noticed that Helen Hunt usually has a scene in about every movie she does where she’s caught out in the rain in a wet shirt?

  16. Phil Says:

    Good call Aaron! 🙂 Nice to have a fellow M. Mann fan out there. As a journalism major in college, I loved “The Insider” a ton. In regards to “Heat” I’ve always been curious to see the tv movie done by Mann that was the basis/start for the film, called “L.A. Takedown”. It’s never been for sale here in the States, but apparently you can buy it in the UK.

  17. sfhayes Says:

    And how could I forget “Slapshot?” What a horrendous oversight. Top 15 for me.

  18. Ace Says:

    Forgot a few and was reminded of a few.
    East of Eden-James Dean-he was phenomonal.

    In the Heat of the Night–Rod Steiger-Sidney Poitier version please
    agree with Schaef–Casablanca
    repeating myself–Sleuth
    12 angry men-jack lemmon verson
    braveheart and its contemporary also shot in Scotland–Rob Roy with Liam Neesom
    On the Waterfront-brando version

    Interesting how many picked To Kill a Mockingbird—great book and equally great movie-rare combination.

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