You wanted the list, you got the list. Continuing my countdown of 100 movies I want my kids to see as they head into adulthood we have a few heavy hitters from the Oscars and a few cult classics. You’ll pretty much see my train of thought as I brain stormed this and compiled suggestions in this offering. Rest assured I will return with more soon.
50) Philadelphia (1993), one of the first films to tackle the AIDS epidemic, this powerhouse stood up for employment law, gay rights and actual facts about AIDS. Oh yeah it also showed us what Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington could do as actors.
49) Legend (1985), this movie takes it’s share of lumps but it really is a wonderful adventure story and Tim Curry steals the show as Darkness.
48) Metallica: Some Kind of Monster (2004), the biggest rock band in the world starts to crumble before our eyes. Rehab, miscommunication, losing a bassist, self doubt…therapy? This is a lesson in sorting your shit out before you ruin a good thing.
47) Good Morning Vietnam (1987), Robin Williams at his finest. His rapid fire personality gets suddenly mixed with his capability for touching drama as the movie goes on. He rocked it from the delta to the DMZ
46) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), the most recent movie on the list and you are probably expecting 6 more like it, not so much. The true beauty of Rogue One is that it tells the story of why there is a giant plot hole in a movie that revolutionized film and fandom right before turning the end of Empire strikes back into the second saddest ending in the series.
45) Star Trek 2: Wrath of Khan (1982), the best of the Star Trek films from the original cast. The second best space based franchise (shots fired!) hit a peak here. Legitimate passion below’s forth from Kirk when he finally hits his breaking point. KHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!
44) Scarface (1983), the American dream summed up in 160 minutes. Ambition, hard work, ruthless pursuit of your dreams DOES pay off. Ok minutes 161-170 are not the desired result and the methods are more that questionable but for me this is THE gangster movie.
43) Scent of A Woman (1992), if I were to sum this movie up in two words “fuck it” Lt. Col. Frank Slade is done and this is his “fuck it” tour de force including standing up and defending a guilty man, successfully not because he was wrongly accused but because of principal and respect earned. Hoo Wa!
42) Heat (1995), cops and robbers gassed to the gills. Pacino fest portion of the list here but the two sided telling of this tale as we see the personal lives of the protagonist and antagonist and a few supporting characters. From the first scene this one throws down and make no apologies.
41) Legends of the Fall (1994), Brad Pitt was still just a beefcake with a few lucky roles under his belt in 1994. Time has proven he is a very very good actor and his abs opened the door for his skills to set up shop. Family is messed up and this Montana brood go through the grind in the early 1900’s complete with WW1, prohibition, death, heartbreak, health problems and bears.
40) Mr & Mrs Smith (2005), Hmm I may have gotten off on a Pitt tangent with the Pacino, anywho…don’t lie, if your troubled marriage could be saved would you prefer the months of combative therapy or a night where you and your spouse beat the shit out of each other, fire off a few rounds and degenerate into super angry sex that makes you realize how much you love them.
39) Oceans Eleven (2001), not all crime films are guns and blood. Comedic heists with a cast that nails their roles with out argument are hard to come by, the sequels couldn’t completely recreate this but the chemistry and silky smooth flow here just work. Clooney, Pitt (again), Damon, and Roberts may sit on the top of the marquee but everyone earns their star.
38) Good Will Hunting (1997), I didn’t see this coming. I watched it very early in it’s theatrical run and was shocked. I hadn’t heard of Matt Damon or Ben Affleck and it wasn’t until after that I saw they wrote it and I won’t lie it inspired me. Robin Williams was more dramatic that comedic but he hit a blend that was perfect for the role. Circumstance does not indicate intelligence, never quit learning.
37) Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), all our favourite cartoon classics in one place and a solid mystery to boot. The live action/animation blend still holds up. The kids today may not get the impact of the Daffy/Donald piano duel but this was the first viable step towards CGI blending with live action.
36) 40 Year Old Virgin (2005), this ensemble sex comedy made rocketed the core cast to new heights and introduced us to Jonah Hill, Kat Dennings and Elizabeth Banks. The cameos and minor characters thrown in pull the whole thing together.
35) The Kingdom (2007), not the typical story of the conflict between the Middle East and the Western powers. More of a detective story for a good portion with elements of learning to understand each other capped off with a high speed gun fight and a powerful dialog capper just before credits.
34) The Game (1997), This is a movie about a game. That is all I can say except that Michael Douglas and Sean Penn do a fantastic job and it is worth every minute.
33) Fight Club (1999), I won’t break the rules here but I will say that this movie MUST be watched twice to see it properly and the self indulgent calamity on modern life takes a beating.
32) Pulp Fiction (1994), Quentin Tarantino shocked the world with this. Resurrecting the career of John Travolta and turning Samuel L. Jackson into a household name. The rest of the cast reads like a seating chart for the Academy Awards. If you get a disc copy try to piece it together in chronological order, it takes a little thought to get it right.
31) Predator (1987), Arnold at his peak. The sci-fi action of the 80’s was at best rife with tripe and a few gems. This is a relatively simple plot done well and loaded with one liners.
30) From Russia With Love (1963), My favourite Bond film. Before the gadgets became the focal point and stunts feats of impossibility the second installment in the 007 franchise hit all the right spots.
29) Casino Royale (2006), The reboot I dreaded and the Bond I like most after seeing it. They grounded the franchise again and went back to a more basic style, plus is really the start of a multiple film arc which had not been done in the franchise.
28) Golden Eye (1995), The Bond franchise had taken a beating over the previous two decades, campy scenes, over the top gadgetry, far fetched plots and a few try to hard to be trendy endeavours took their slow toll. The man who should have taken the reigns years earlier finally got is chance and Goldeneye put 007 back in his rightful place.
27) Highlander (1986), The best of the film franchise and one of the biggest tragedies in the Hollywood cash grab. Several poor sequels and a worse TV spinoff later the original concept is beaten to a pulp. The 1992 TV series had a good intention and followed through pretty well thankfully. This original story should have been left alone and still holds up.
26) Top Gun (1986), by far Tom Cruise’s most iconic role. Slick, cocky 80’s action and lust at Mach 2. Has anyone not said “Talk to me Goose.” If you look at the concept and plot there is no reason for this to be a viable classic but everyone hit the mark, though I’m still not sure why fighter aces play volleyball so much.