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Actors and Directors Name Their Top 5 Movies
July 9, 2012 6:23 AM   Subscribe

Rotten Tomatoes asks some of the biggest names in Hollywood: Name Your Five Favorite Films. Browse at the link or click on people of possible interest below the fold.

In Memoriam:
Ernest Borgnine


Comedians:
Patton Oswalt tastes aren’t as geeky as you’d think.
David Cross has serious tastes as well.
Cheech & Chong Remember them?
Russell Brand needs a shave.
Dane Cook
Craig Ferguson


Directors:
J.J. Abrams
Wes Anderson
Judd Apatow
Danny Boyle
Jerry Bruckheimer Why don’t you try to make movies like the ones you like?
Tim Burton really likes B movies
James Cameron likes the movies directors are supposed to like
Sofia Coppola
Roger Corman I expected your favorites to look more like Tim Burton’s
Warner Herzog
Peter Jackson His rise from B-movie gross-out king to Lord of the Rings super-director is one of the great mysteries of our time.
Bill Plympton is a national treasure. Mind Game and Baby Doll FTW.
Joel Schumacher Why don’t you try to make movies like the ones you like?
Morgan Spurlock knows the awesome secret that is A Face in the Crowd (1957).
Kevin Smith
Whit Stillman


Horror Mavens:
John Carpenter
Wes Craven
George Romero
Eli Roth
Guillermo del Toro


Musicians:
Elton John
Ice Cube Is Citizen Kane really a favorite, Mr. Cube?
Fred Durst In this category on a technicality.
Ludacris
Moby
Queen Latifah
Rob Zombie Here not be surprises.

Frogs:
Kermit has a… thing for Ned Beatty.

Actors:
Nicholas Cage
Michael Caine If you say “My Cocaine” you say his name in his own accent.
Aaron Eckhart
James Franco likes some Neo-Realism
Morgan Freeman
Jeff Goldblum
Woody Harrelson
John Malkovich
Edward Norton I’ve been meaning to watch that Ruggles movie, sir.
Gary Oldman really likes Francis Ford Coppola.
Ron Perlman
Joan Rivers has unusual tastes.
Mickey Rourke
Jason Statham likes some manly stuff.
Tilda Swinton
Danny Trejo
Betty White

Famous For Various Other Talents:
Sasha Grey is not boring has good taste Dammit... nigh impossible to avoid double entendres.
Stan Lee
Chuck Palahniuk Session 9 a top 5? Really? You couldn’t just say Fight Club?

Why So Famous?:
Paris Hilton
Billy Ray Cyrus I should link to a malware site just to punish your curiosity.
Megan Fox likes those kid’s movies.
Uwe Boll WHY DON’T YOU TRY TO MAKE M…. Ugh, I quit.

Bye.
posted by dgaicun (248 comments total) 96 users marked this as a favorite

 
To be fair to James Cameron (and I don't why the hell anyone would want to do that!) he didn't get any time to think about it.

As for the others, I didn't think I could respect Joan Rivers less, but mission accomplished!
posted by mazola at 6:32 AM on July 9, 2012


Cool.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:37 AM on July 9, 2012


If I had to narrow it down to five, they'd be these, I reckon:

Network
Barton Fink
The Hustler
Goodfellas
Dr. Strangelove

Morgan Freeman's list was an odd one...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:38 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm getting "Page not found" for the first link, on my iPhone.

Also, surprising (or not) how few women are included in this.
posted by MexicanYenta at 6:40 AM on July 9, 2012 [10 favorites]


There's nothing wrong with this exercise and there's nothing wrong with you FJ@M but really--people who have just 5 favorite anythings are usually kinda boring.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:40 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Love this. Thank you for posting it.

Malkovich's list is interesting.
posted by zarq at 6:42 AM on July 9, 2012


My list:

2001: A Space Odyssey
Apocalypse Now
Casino/Goodfellas
The Big Lebowski
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

Honorable mention to: The Blues Brothers and Shock Treatment
posted by mazola at 6:42 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you write a list in this thread you have to write a 3 sentence description of why you picked each one. SO SAYS I, THEE KING.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:43 AM on July 9, 2012 [8 favorites]


Try to be 1/4 as charming as Whit Stillman's review of The Shop Around the Corner

Ernst Lubitsch's profoundly moving and charming recreation of a microcosm of commerce-hunting humanity in an idealized, bygone Budapest. Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan are brilliant in their roles as the letterwriting non-lovers -- but it's Frank Morgan's plight as the lovelorn, betrayed shop owner which gives the film its heart and weight.

posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:44 AM on July 9, 2012


there's nothing wrong with you FJ@M but really--people who have just 5 favorite anythings are usually kinda boring.

No, Potomac Avenue, there's definitely something wrong with me.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:44 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I mean, obviously, since Strangelove is Kubricks worst movie, plus you got that spider living in your stomach.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:46 AM on July 9, 2012


Casino/Goodfellas

Cheater. Also, honorable mentions? Nuh-uh. Man up and go with five. Only five.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:46 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Strangelove is Kubricks worst movie

Pistols at dawn.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:48 AM on July 9, 2012 [15 favorites]


I'd like to congratulating Billy Ray Cyrus for seemingly feeling like he just has to include a David Lynch movie, but also picking Twilight, which he liked "even though it's about vampires."
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:48 AM on July 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Actually, Patton Oswalt's are just about as film-geeky as I would have expected. Although he's become associated with the whole geek-chic movement as embodied by the 2000s' film/TV/comics culture, he's always come across to me as somebody who's progressed from the coarser nerd-franchise fare to stuff that's a little more (for lack of a better word) "advanced."

I'm at work now, so I'll have to check out the rest later at home. Thanks for this post!
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:49 AM on July 9, 2012


Why did you list Dane Cook under comedians?
posted by inigo2 at 6:49 AM on July 9, 2012 [10 favorites]


If you write a list in this thread you have to write a 3 sentence description of why you picked each one.

I like musicals. I like musicals. I really like musicals.

Nashville
All That Jazz
Singing in the Rain
A Hard Day's Night
Goodfellas
posted by betweenthebars at 6:50 AM on July 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


I like musicals. I like musicals. I really like musicals.

Also guns.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:51 AM on July 9, 2012


Hunh. The first two I clicked on at random were John Cusack (who submitted five horror flicks) and Whit Stillman (whose most recent entry came out 54 years ago, when he was six).
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:54 AM on July 9, 2012


Oh, buddy, I always have this list at the ready!

Amadeus
The Color Purple
The Empire Strikes Back
Fight Club
Rushmore

posted by Edison Carter at 6:57 AM on July 9, 2012


So hard to limit this to just 5. Today it happens to be:

1. Chinatown
2. Lawrence of Arabia
3. Brazil
4. The first ten minutes of The Killers
5. This is Spinal Tap
posted by drinkcoffee at 6:58 AM on July 9, 2012


oh my god, Tilda Swinton lists I Know Where I'm Going! I feel ridiculously validated.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:59 AM on July 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


I really like musicals.

Nashville
All That Jazz
Singing in the Rain
A Hard Day's Night
Goodfellas


"As far back as I can remember, I've always wanted to be a song-and-dance man"
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:00 AM on July 9, 2012


Honey I Blew Up the Kid
Problem Child II
Navy Seals
Look Who's Talking Now
Citizen Kane
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 7:03 AM on July 9, 2012 [9 favorites]


Sasha Grey ... nigh impossible to avoid double entendres

Well, it was a double something!

ZILBNG!

This is a fascinating list I had no idea existed.
Thanks!
posted by Mezentian at 7:04 AM on July 9, 2012


Blood Orgy of the Leather Girls
A rumination on faith, lost youth, and the passage of time, as encapsulated by the brisk smell of old cum on a copper guitar wire. Castrati take note! Soundtrack contains Mummies.

Head
A symphony of thoughtful satire follows a group of enlightened teenagers as they navigate mysticism, fame, love, and the fourth wall. Nicholson still doesn't remember shooting the ending.

Death Watch
Tavernier's sci fi masterpiece predicting a disease-worshiping reality TV society has already come true which is why its out of print. This review is being generated by an AI Computer Model.

Un Coeur en Hiver
A sexy gore romp of topless vixens and rusty chainsaw dismemberings via motorcycle drive-by plays out ruthlessly behind the eyes of repressed French people in love wearing sweaters and breaking up or something.

Some Kind of Wonderful
Is being a teenager obviously better than being an adult, or should we pretend that it isn't?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:09 AM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Man, I watch too many movies to narrow this down. I'd have to come up with categories like Movies I Will Always Watch, Movies I Think Are Well Made Examples, Movies I Can Recite Verbatim, Movies That Do Strange Things To My Brain, Movies I Want To Crawl Inside And Live In, Movies That Fail In Spectacular Ways, Movies That Work Inspite Of Thier Best Efforts, and so on
posted by The Whelk at 7:09 AM on July 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Amadeus
The Color Purple
The Empire Strikes Back
Fight Club
Rushmore


C-
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:09 AM on July 9, 2012


[Okay, I think the first link should be working for mobile now ]
posted by taz at 7:10 AM on July 9, 2012


Honey I Blew Up the Kid
Problem Child II
Navy Seals
Look Who's Talking Now
Citizen Kane


Solid. A.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:10 AM on July 9, 2012


Nashville
All That Jazz
Singing in the Rain
A Hard Day's Night
Goodfellas


B+ (points off for the combo breaker not being A Bronx Tale).
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:11 AM on July 9, 2012


1. Chinatown
2. Lawrence of Arabia
3. Brazil
4. The first ten minutes of The Killers
5. This is Spinal Tap


B- (should have also included the last 10 minutes of Hardboiled in #4)
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:11 AM on July 9, 2012


2001: A Space Odyssey
Apocalypse Now
Casino/Goodfellas
The Big Lebowski
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World


D
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:12 AM on July 9, 2012


Here are some historical lists from Sight + Sound's poll of film critics. Here's my favorite film critic's top 10 (Robin Wood).
posted by mattbucher at 7:15 AM on July 9, 2012


Aliens (Director's Cut)
Big Lebowski
Fight Club
Ghostbusters
Grosse Point Blank
Royal Tenenbaums

Yeah, that's six. I can't help it.
posted by bpm140 at 7:16 AM on July 9, 2012


Network
Barton Fink
The Hustler
Goodfellas
Dr. Strangelove


C+ (we were looking for Raising Arizona, Raging Bull, and Clockwork Orange in those categories)
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:16 AM on July 9, 2012


Aliens (Director's Cut)
Big Lebowski
Fight Club
Ghostbusters
Grosse Point Blank
Royal Tenenbaums

F
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:18 AM on July 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm always in the mood to watch any of these films:

state and main
high fidelity
groundhog day
wonder boys
ferris buller's day off
posted by valdesm at 7:18 AM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


state and main
high fidelity
groundhog day
wonder boys
ferris buller's day off


Bumping this up to a C for internal consistency.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:21 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Potomac Avenue, your taking it upon yourself to grade everyone's submissions isn't embarrassingly self-important at all! Nuh-uh! Nor is it pompous, arrogant or in questionable taste or general bad form! No, not even a little bit!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:22 AM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Potomac Avenue, your taking it upon yourself to grade everyone's submissions isn't embarrassingly self-important at all! Nuh-uh! Nor is it pompous, arrogant or in questionable taste or general bad form! No, not even a little bit!

A-
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:23 AM on July 9, 2012 [24 favorites]


Death Wish
Death Wish II
Death Wish III
Death Wish V
Sans Soleil
posted by theodolite at 7:24 AM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


My 5 Favorite Films as per Potomac Avenue's edict.

Street of Crocodiles: Not feature length, but this stop-motion dreamscape by the Brothers Quay is hands down my favorite film of all time. It might well be my favorite artwork in any medium. The sets, the direction, the animation, the cinematography, the music, the choreography all converge into something completely unlike anything that ever existed: a complex little world with its own bewitching logic and beauty.

Woman in the Dunes: Hiroshi Teshigahara's films are dense with poetry, sexuality, metaphor, atmosphere, and philosophy, and this masterpiece of 1960s existential cinema is the best synthesis of those elements.


The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover: Peter Greenaway is one of the greatest artists working in cinema. His visual and narrative style has no real imitators and no real peers. This is his most mainstream and narratively engaging film, which means it can better be appreciated as work of art as well as an interesting story.


The Saddest Music in the World: Guy Maddin is one of the greatest artists working in cinema. His visual and narrative style has no real imitators and no real peers. This is his most mainstream and narratively engaging film, which means it can better be appreciated as work of art as well as an interesting story. (ha)


Conspirators of Pleasure: Jan Svankmajer creates strange, beautiful little worlds like the Brothers Quay, but he is also the finest product of the Czech New Wave of the 1960s. His live-action/stop-motion filmmaking is sue generis, and this silent parody of life under totalitarianism/ode to tactile gratification is like no other movie.
posted by dgaicun at 7:25 AM on July 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


I hoped it was clear I wasn't serious bro! Just goofing around on the arbitrariness of arbitrary lists.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:25 AM on July 9, 2012


I hoped it was clear I wasn't serious bro! Just goofing around on the arbitrariness of arbitrary lists.

D+
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:26 AM on July 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Barton Fink
Ghostbusters
Blazing Saddles
Best in Show
Shoot 'em Up
posted by griphus at 7:26 AM on July 9, 2012


A
B
C
D
A+
posted by kmz at 7:26 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Actually, let's swap out Shoot 'em Up for Dr. Strangelove.
posted by griphus at 7:26 AM on July 9, 2012


Now that's a great fucking post.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:26 AM on July 9, 2012


If some people haven't seen Shoot Em Up consider this to be an Official Recomendation.


CARROT SEX.
posted by The Whelk at 7:27 AM on July 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Diva
I Know Where I'm Going (per above)
My Man Godfrey (1936)
61*
Kung Fu Hustle
posted by TWinbrook8 at 7:27 AM on July 9, 2012


Death Wish
Death Wish II
Death Wish III
Death Wish V
Sans Soleil


I'm retiring, you teach the class.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:28 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you write a list in this thread you have to write a 3 sentence description of why you picked each one. SO SAYS I, THEE KING.
...
Cheater. Also, honorable mentions? Nuh-uh. Man up and go with five. Only five.


My list (new and improved! updated to code!):

2001: A Space Odyssey -- I picked this to piss off Potomac Avenue. And because it's a good movie. But mainly to piss off Potomac Avenue.

Apocalypse Now -- Like 2001, I picked this to piss off Potomac Avenue. And because it's a good movie. But mainly to piss off Potomac Avenue.

Casino/Goodfellas -- I picked this to piss off Potomac Avenue. They're both great movies but if I had to pick one it would have to be Casino on the strength of James Woods makeup and costumes. But I'm picking it mainly to piss off Potomac Avenue.

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World / The Big Lebowski / Election -- I picked this to piss off Potomac Avenue. And because there should be a comedy on the list. But mainly to piss off Potomac Avenue.

Shock Treatment -- I picked this to piss off Potomac Avenue. It really shouldn't be on this list. So it's mainly to piss off Potomac Avenue.
posted by mazola at 7:29 AM on July 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Just off the top of my head (and in no particular order):

-Grave of the Fireflies
-Paris is Burning
-Crumb
-Dr. Strangelove OR 12 Angry Men
-The City of Lost Children

If my tween self were writing the list, it would be Indiana Jones Raiders/Last Crusade, Star Wars New Hope, Lord of the Rings I, and Dirty Dancing.
posted by semaphore at 7:29 AM on July 9, 2012


Why did you list Dane Cook under comedians?

because once you create the Unfunny Douchebags subsection it gets rapidly overcrowded
posted by elizardbits at 7:29 AM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, and adding to the tween list: Ghost World
posted by semaphore at 7:31 AM on July 9, 2012


Let's just do some recent movies. Of all time is too hard.

In no certain order:
Fight Club (81% fresh)
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (74% fresh)
Inglorious Bastards (88% fresh)
The Fifth Element (73% fresh)
Being John Malkovich (93% fresh)
posted by zephyr_words at 7:31 AM on July 9, 2012


Why did you list Dane Cook under comedians?

because once you create the Unfunny Douchebags subsection it gets rapidly overcrowded


Yeah, but his list is pretty good.
posted by Edison Carter at 7:32 AM on July 9, 2012


I was really hoping Rob Zombie's list topped off with, like, Steel Magnolias or Prince of Tides or something.
posted by griphus at 7:34 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, shit, we're doing the Tomatometer? Then here's mine:

Amadeus: 96%/94%
The Color Purple: 88%/93%
The Empire Strikes Back: 97%/94%
Fight Club: 81%/95%
Rushmore: 87%/91%
posted by Edison Carter at 7:35 AM on July 9, 2012


Tough one. Let's give it a go.

A Clockwork Orange
Eraserhead
Withnail and I
Delicatessen
Brazil
posted by Decani at 7:36 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Does anyone else pronounce it toe-MAH-toe-MAH-ter?
posted by griphus at 7:36 AM on July 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Nope.
posted by Edison Carter at 7:37 AM on July 9, 2012


Grrrr, I really dislike Dane Cook, but he was one of the few peole whose list I believed. I always get the feeling that some people are trying too hard with their lists. But, Cook? Yeah, I can believe that those are his favorite movies. Those are five fun movies.

Four Weddings and a Funeral - Although this should be remade to remove Andie McDowell completely. I want to live in that movie and be their friend.

Lord of the Rings Trilogy - Because it transported me to Middle Earth. Yes, it counts as just one movie. Shut up!

AfterLife - I've only seen it once, but I doubt I've gone more than a couple of weeks without thinking about it. What would I pick and what does that say about me?

Die Hard - Possibly the most perfect movie of its kind ever made. Mother fucker.

I'm going to leave the fifth spot open. I'd like to put a Coen brothers film in there, but I'm not sure that any one really qualifies as a favorite (and picking The Big Lebowski is just too easy). Perhaps A Fish Called Wanda? The Incredibles? I'd like another drama in there, but my favorite movies tend to be escapist fare.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 7:37 AM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Is Citizen Kane really a favorite, Mr. Cube?

Why wouldn't it be?
posted by kmz at 7:37 AM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Casino/Goodfellas -- I picked this to piss off Potomac Avenue. They're both great movies but if I had to pick one it would have to be Casino on the strength of James Woods makeup and costumes. But I'm picking it mainly to piss off Potomac Avenue.

Goodfellas is better - but maybe I'm just saying that because I have a student who reminds me of Joe Pesci in Goodfellas and no one knows what I'm talking about when I say that, so I think if Goodfellas appears on every movie list ever, then people will watch it and know why it's a bad thing to have a little Joe Pesci in the class. Also, it's a musical and I like musicals. It may not have flashy Reservoir Dogs-style dance numbers, but the soundtrack helps make the movie.
posted by betweenthebars at 7:37 AM on July 9, 2012


The Kevin Smith link is actually Seth Rogen's 5 favorites. This is the correct Kevin Smith link.
posted by AzraelBrown at 7:47 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Party Girl (well above everything else)
Brazil (Director's Cut)
The Breakfast Club (I'm an eighties kid, what do you want from me.)
Swingers
The Warriors (In my defense I saw it for the first time, on vacation, at an impressionable age. Also, the gangs are awesome! Especially the Baseball Furies. I mean, seriously, freaking cool as all get out.)

OK, so it's a list of favorite movies, not a list of best movies I've ever seen. The two lists are almost non-overlapping in my case (Brazil makes the cut both times).
posted by oddman at 7:47 AM on July 9, 2012


I always knew Whit Stillman and I were meant to be friends.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 7:49 AM on July 9, 2012


No wait, take out Swingers and replace it with The World According to Garp.
posted by oddman at 7:51 AM on July 9, 2012


Goodfellas - a movie for our times, most definitely.

Trainspotting - drugs are bad, m'kay?

Hard Core Logo - a personal favourite; not the greatest movie of our time, but certainly one of the best examinations of punk rock and its strengths/weaknesses as sub-culture.

South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut - if you don't like this movie, then sorry, I refuse to acknowledge your existence as a human being. Also, being Canadian, I love the subplot of Canada declaring war on the U.S.

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind - about as close to a romantic comedy as I would ever care to get. Also: "Is there any risk of brain damage?" "Well, technically speaking, the operation is brain damage, but it's on a par with a night of heavy drinking. Nothing you'll miss."
posted by spoobnooble II: electric bugaboo at 7:55 AM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Holy shit, Gary Oldman and I are taste soulmates. ;) He also happens to be my favorite actor.

Here's my list (it changes often):

The Shining
Badlands
The Vanishing
Blade Runner
The Tenant
posted by timsneezed at 7:57 AM on July 9, 2012


Right - My brain isn't good for anything else at work, so:

1. Lost In Translation - this really was a "love it or hate it" kind of film, wasn't it?...Roger Ebert said it best - it caught the Japanese concept of "Mono no aware," or finding the value in something that you know is going to be short-term, perfectly. And as someone who's had far too many of her relationships turn out to be "short but oh my god so lovely", this caught me right in the heart.

And Bill Murray was absolutely fucking robbed at the Oscars for this. Period.

2. O Brother, Where Art Thou? - It just plain makes me happy. Back when it was still in theaters, I was having a rotten day and decided to call a friend and ask them to see it with me after work (the second time seeing it for my part), and the mere act of scheduling a screening, simply knowing that I would be seeing it later that evening, cheered me up. It's got the weirdness of the Coen brothers with...heart.

3. Monty Python And The Holy Grail - do I really need to justify this one? (Okay, I will -- for a weird girl in rural-suburban Connecticut, this was a portal into realizing "no, you're not the only one who's skewed like that.")

4. Do The Right Thing - Spike Lee flat-out nailed it with this one. It has an agenda, yeah, but it still managed to portray just about everyone with some degree of sympathy. People were people rather than mouthpieces.

5. ....This was tough - I wanted something to stand in for all of the cult/weird/b-grade/MST3K/so-bad-it's-good stuff. Because there's something I love about that - the sheer unadulterated earnestness of the filmmaker, who believes down to their socks that they've done the BEST THING EVER even though it's perfectly hideous. That sort of naked enthusiasm sort of touches you even if you're cringing at something that has a ridiculous plot, hacks for actors, and looks like it was made on a budget of twelve cents and some pocket lint. The movies aren't good, but the people who make them believe in movies, and that in itself is charming. And the best of all such films I've ever found - something too weird for MST3K (or too rare for them to ever show) was something called Blood Freak.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:59 AM on July 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


The list changes all the time, but today?

Casablanca
Lawrence of Arabia
Casino
Stardust Memories
A Night at the Opera.

I make no apologies, except to the makers of Airplane II: The Sequel.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:01 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Do your worst, Potomac Avenue.

In the Company of Men
Touching the Void
Diva
State and Main
Sword of Doom
posted by alzi at 8:02 AM on July 9, 2012


Some of these (Limp Bizkit? Really??) seem to be "there are the movies I'm expected to like," more than anything.

Streetcar Named Desire
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Diva
Under the Volcano
Apocalypse Now

As a member of hoi polloi, my list kinda looks the same, though.

The Shining, High Plains Drifter, The Big Lebowski & Blade Runner should be on that list, but 5 is too few.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:03 AM on July 9, 2012


Some interesting surprises in this list. It's a really comprehensive feature!
posted by UKgroundcare at 8:08 AM on July 9, 2012


Do your worst, Potomac Avenue.

In the Company of Men
Touching the Void
Diva
State and Main
Sword of Doom


菩+
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:08 AM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


As a member of hoi polloi

Do you see what you have wrought, you ridiculous silly nitpickers?!?!
posted by villanelles at dawn at 8:11 AM on July 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Few minutes ago:

Departures
Enchanted April
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Leaving Normal
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Few seconds ago:

Badlands
Defending Your Life
Elisa Vida Mia
The Draughtsman's Contract
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring

Just now:

Blade Runner
Cría cuervos
Dune (I know, I know - for deco-inspired art direction and my love of Francesca Annis)
Fargo
True Stories

And yes, I am totally cheating.
posted by likeso at 8:12 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Withnail and I
posted by Decani


Oh God, Withnail is so fucking brilliant. The first time I saw that was at a meetup with about 15 internet freaks in Boston -- We had a Scouser fly over for the event and he brought that with him. Put the whole damn room on the floor. We played Danny's little monologue at the beginning about 5 times before we could move on.

Then later:

"The older order changeth, yielding place to new. God fulfills himself in many ways. And soon, I suppose, I shall be swept away by some vulgar little tumour. Oh, my boys, my boys, we're at the end of an age. We live in a land of weather forcasts and breakfasts that set in. Shat on by Tories, shovelled up by Labour. And here we are, we three, perhaps the last island of beauty in the world."

Sigh... so true, Monty.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:14 AM on July 9, 2012


In no particular order:

Werckmeister Harmonies
Stalker
Wings of Desire
Le Samourai
Serpico
posted by Wemmick at 8:16 AM on July 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


In no particular order:

2001: A Space Odessey
Barry Lyndon
Chinatown
L.A. Confidential
The Godfather

How anyone can be expected to narrow things down to just 5 is beyond me.
posted by hwestiii at 8:16 AM on July 9, 2012


Oh, shit, we're doing the Tomatometer?

Here's the Top 10 from Rotten Tomatoes "Best Reviewed Movies Of All Time":

A Hard Day's Night (1964)
The Third Man (1949)
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Modern Times (1936)
The Godfather (1972)
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
King Kong (1933)
Metropolis (1927)
All About Eve (1950)
Singin' in the Rain (1952)

Time ended exactly 30 years ago, according to the critics.
posted by rh at 8:16 AM on July 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


The Adventures of Pluto Nash
The Adventures of Pluto Nash 2: Beyond the Stars
Pluto Nash 3: The Plutonian Conspiracy
N4sh
P.N. Rebirth
posted by griphus at 8:17 AM on July 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Here's another Tomatometer Top 100. All got 100% positive critic reviews, but the sort order doesn't match the underlying ratings. They need to fix that.
posted by rh at 8:19 AM on July 9, 2012


At this time:

Big Trouble In Little China
Glory
Almost Famous
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Born On The Fourth of July

posted by mightygodking at 8:20 AM on July 9, 2012


How anyone can be expected to narrow things down to just 5 is beyond me.

All Top Five Favorites are temporary, man. No pressure. Just pick your faves of the moment.

My wife freaks out every time I ask her things like this. She's even admitted it's because she thinks that she has to pick things that will be set in stone. The point of me asking isn't to record her picks for posterity; it's to start a conversation. Look at it like that, and you'll be fine.
posted by Edison Carter at 8:20 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Time ended exactly 30 years ago, according to the critics.

1972 was 40 years ago, bro.
posted by mattbucher at 8:24 AM on July 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


It's definitely hard to come up with just 5, but here are some that have really stuck with me:

Survive Style 5+ - A hyperactive absurdist Japanese comedy that's much more beautifully shot than it needs to be.

The Wicker Man (1973) - Brilliant at taking conventions from various genres and transplanting them into a horror film in order to surprise and freak you out. Plus it's got the best soundtrack ever.

Solaris (1972) - I don't think any film has ever blown my mind as much as this one did. Perfect deep science fiction.

Tribulation 99: Alien Anomalies Under America - This is the greatest found footage film I've ever seen. It's influenced my own filmmaking more than any other single film. And it's absolutely hilarious.

Alice - My favorite of Jan Svankmajer's features. It's so full of delightful set pieces. It's amazing how Svankmajer is able to keep capitol-S-Surrealism relevant even today.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 8:25 AM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


In no order:
Godfather II
Blade Runner
Brazil
Both clubs (Fight and Breakfast)

All for obvious reasons.
posted by eyeballkid at 8:27 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Patton Oswalt was supposed to come out to Ebertfest this year (he had to bail at the last minute because of a filming delay, but posted a wonderful apology). They'd invited him for the screening of Big Fan, but then he asked if he could introduce one of his own favorite movies and do a discussion -- which would have taken place on campus, not at the downtown Virginia Theatre like everything else.

His pick for discussion was the very subtle but ridiculous Kind Hearts and Coronets.

My own favorites... geez. I have such a hard time with this because there are so many moods. Movies that make me feel good, movies that are hilarious, movies that are great but I would never watch them again...

Sound of Music (84%/86%) -- okay, and My Fair Lady (94%/87%). I am a little obsessed with Julie Andrews, and My Fair Lady is up there too even though Audrey doesn't sing. Just gorgeous, gorgeous movies, and they make me so giddily happy.

By the way, did you know that Roger Ebert has NEVER SEEN Sound of Music? omg srsly.

This Is Spinal Tap (95%/91%)/Princess Bride (96%/92%)/When Harry Met Sally (91%/83%): dang, Rob Reiner had an incredible run there.

Big Lebowski (80%/93%), which took me I think four tries to watch all the way through because I kept falling asleep, but there's always something more to find.

Charade (91%/91%): Cary and Audrey at their most perfectly fabulous.

Rushmore (87%/91%): my brother and I rarely connected on things back then, but somehow this did it.
posted by Madamina at 8:29 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Trouble in Paradise

Gaston Monescu: Madame Colet, if I were your father, I would give you a good spanking.
Mariette Colet: What would you do if you were my secretary?
Gaston Monescu: The same thing.
Mariette Colet: You're hired.

One, Two, Three (Because I've seen Some Like It Hot a hundred times)
Notorious (Because I've seen Rear Window a hundred times)
Duck Soup (Because I've only seen it 99 times)
Jean de Florette/Manon of the Spring (Because I'm a softie)
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:33 AM on July 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


1. The Godfather.

There are other mob epics that have great scripts and superb acting, but none have the visual puch of this one. That rose on Vito Corleone's lapel in that first scene alone is enough to make me wistful. I could watch The Godfather with the sound off and no subtitles and still be enthralled. I can't say that about Casino or Goodfellas.

2. Blazing Saddles.

This movie slides a knife between the ribs of one of the most beloved American genres, and it does it while grinning at you and you grinning back at it. And then it loses its goddamn mind in the best way possible. And then it gives the knife a quick little twist before flipping the bird and literally riding off into the sunset. "Punk as Fuck" is how I'd describe this film.

3. Trouble in Paradise.

They could have stopped making romantic comedies after this one and the world would be no different. Hell, it might be better.

4. In Bruges

This is a future Christmas film classic, mark my words. There isn't a bad performance anywhere, and the photography is criminally underrated. Two old friends swearing at each other beneath the beautiful lantern light of an old European city? The Coens made a decent go of this idea in *Miller's Crossing* but this one managed it much better.

5. Wild Zero.

Seriously. It's an amazing rock and roll film, a great zombie flick, and a transgender rights manifesto all rolled into one. And Guitar Wolf is in it. Fucking Guitar Wolf!
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 8:33 AM on July 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Sneeches, I didn't preview but you've got a Terrorist Fist Jab coming your way.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 8:35 AM on July 9, 2012


1. The Godfather.

There are other mob epics that have great scripts and superb acting, but none have the visual puch of this one. That rose on Vito Corleone's lapel in that first scene alone is enough to make me wistful. I could watch The Godfather with the sound off and no subtitles and still be enthralled. I can't say that about Casino or Goodfellas.


The Godfather is the Beatles. Goodfellas is the Rolling Stones. You can have a preference towards one or the other, but you gotta acknowledge they're both great.
posted by Edison Carter at 8:36 AM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


And again I see The Searchers come up in these kinds of lists.

I have a John Wayne aversion in that I can't watch him in anything without him feeling like a totally separate piece apart from everything else. The "John Wayne" piece.
Sort of like Mr. T, he's just too much his own thing, but I probably just need to get past that and finally watch this thing since the universe seems to keep telling me that I need to.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 8:45 AM on July 9, 2012


Bleh, these lists always make me feel crappy about myself. I just graduated from what was technically a film major and grew to resent the young scrappy idiots below me who'd apparently watched three films a night for their entire lives. But they have nothing on meta-lists like this, where a bunch of highly tasteful people bombard me with their knowledge.

I suck at asking people to watch movies with me, so I feel like I'll never get to all these potentially wonderful films and judge them for myself. Meanwhile, all the movies I do enjoy feel like amateur choices, far too basic for me to even be declaring favorites. That said, here's my spectrum of favorites:

Mulholland Drive
For me there's a difference between a perfectly-made film and a simply perfect film; Mulholland Drive is the latter. It does everything a film ought to do – murder mystery, conspiracies, romance, horror, comedy, music, the banal, the surreal – and it offers a commentary on the illusions of Hollywood, cinema, and art that simultaneously reveals the falseness and revels in it. The lushness is the horror, yet the horror is a part of the lushness, and the fact that the horror is so lush is the fundamental paradox. Not just of cinema, but of romance and life. I don't know another film that captures this so well without sacrificing the pure satisfying joy of classic Hollywood cinema. Although Hugo came close, in its own way; I saw it four times in theaters and was utterly enchanted by it.

Groundhog Day/The Princess Bride
Other films that play perfectly with the rules of cinema – romantic comedy in both cases, here – and use them to simultaneously entertain and illuminate. In the one case, it's cynicism and an adult weariness, whereas in the other it's the opposite, it's being young and ignorant and caring more about the fun of the story than about the moral; but in both cases, the film indulges in what makes that sort of film so fun, then uses that indulgence to make a wiser, deeper point.

Ocean's Thirteen/Zoolander/Hot Fuzz
Movies about the joy of movies. Films where everybody involved is out to have as much fun as possible, and the writing, direction, acting is all top-of-its-game. Films where every little detail shines with playfulness. Thirteen> is the only Ocean's film without superfluous drama or unnecessary characterization; Zoolander is a glamorous lampoon of glamorousness; Hot Fuzz is utter fucking perfection. Nuff said.

Heathers/The Big Lebowski/Scott Pilgrim/Wizard People, Dear Readers
Films that are tonally confusing yet completely enrapturing. They're too off-balance for me to watch often, but there's something untouchable about each. Wizard People is to Harry Potter as alcohol is to an enjoyably listless day: it reveals hidden contours and dissatisfactions and beauties within a seemingly imperturbable surface, and suddenly what seemed pretty and ordinary is a context for profundity and revelation. Heathers is so surreal that I'm still not certain I've watched it; I recently saw it with friends and we concluded that it might not actually exist. The other two films explain themselves pretty well.

Kung Pow: Enter the Fist
I can't explain this film. I can't look at it critically. I saw it at twelve; I saw it the night Obama was elected four years ago; I recently bonded with my girlfriend's brother over this film. It's not an examination of the wordless truth, but rather emerges from its madness: to look at it closely is to understand that even everything is made up mostly of nothing, and that what's more, this is fundamentally okay and even hilarious. WE'RE CHILDREN WE'RE CHILDREN WE'RE CHILDREN! THAT'S A LOT OF NUTS! And a wordless throat-whine that marks the greatest of all the great magicians.
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:46 AM on July 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


Of the moment:

Forbidden Zone
All About Eve
The Killer
Combat Shock
Casablanca
posted by Snyder at 8:48 AM on July 9, 2012


Like others, there are way to many great films to make a top 5. It would change from day to day, mood to mood, etc. Each film has another film or 10 that are just as good.

8 1/2 (97/92)
This movie is heavily meta.

Roman Holiday (98/92)
A classic stepping out of roles story to allow people who could never be together to come together.

Sunrise (98/92)
A masterpiece of the silent era.

In the Mood for Love (88/94)
I have not seen a more beautifully shot film and more perfect music. Beautifully acted as well.

The Matrix (87/81)
Sure it may be derivative but the best art often is. This film was brilliant to me.
posted by juiceCake at 8:48 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


And already I'm thinking of all the films I missed. Sorry, In Bruges and Synecdoche, NY and Happy-Go-Lucky and Spirited Away and, and, and...!
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:49 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just graduated from what was technically a film major and grew to resent the young scrappy idiots below me who'd apparently watched three films a night for their entire lives.

I had a roommate who watched movies the way other people breathed. During the summer-- when work was slower -- his 8-at-a-time Netflix subscription wasn't enough and he signed up at Blockbuster for one of their grasping-at-straws programs where you just treated the place like a public library. He's currently about halfway through that Dark Shadows box set that was recently released. Any time I think I should watch more movies because other people watch more movies, I just remember this guy and just set my own pace.
posted by griphus at 8:49 AM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Some Like It Hot
Apocalypse Now
Gladiator
Alien
The Fifth Element


and an unashamed honorable mention for Bad Boys II

because of reasons
posted by elizardbits at 8:50 AM on July 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


elizardbits, I think you and I should throw a meetup for the NYC action film connoisseur. I'm not in college anymore and there's no longer a built-in audience I can harrangue with my theories of how xXx is the culmination of the 1990s action zeitgeist with a straight-line trajectory into the grittier stuff brought on by the Bourne films I can keep going I swear to god
posted by griphus at 8:53 AM on July 9, 2012


Rory, I thought about Kung Pow for a long time. So did a lot of us, and not a one has said What's New Pussycat?

Your shit is alright.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 8:54 AM on July 9, 2012


Today's top 5 list begins with the letter S:

Sherlock Jr
Shop Around The Corner, The
Stalker
Stunt Man, The
Sullivan's Travels
posted by Rashomon at 8:56 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


only if we can very seriously discuss the magnificence of The Rock's oeuvre
posted by elizardbits at 8:59 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


In thinking about my list I discovered that two films I was considering were directed by the same person: Ted Kotcheff. He directed both Weekend at Bernies and First Blood (Rambo 1). I think I know who's back catalog I'll be watching this summer.

Three other faves that come to mind:

Hardware
Who's afraid of Virginia Wolf
The Stuff
posted by coolxcool=rad at 9:00 AM on July 9, 2012


The Big Lebowski - A comedy that's actually funny all the way through.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles - Ditto, plus Kevin Bacon's finest performance.
The Godfather Trilogy - As Artie Lange says; this is the perfect DVD box set for a party: You watch I and II, and do coke off of III.
Casablanca - Of all the classic movies I *should* like, this is one of the few I actually do.
Good Will Hunting - I know...not the best movie ever made, but I like it. Maybe it's the Elliott Smith soundtrack?

But just like Capt Renault said earlier...if I make this list next week it'll be five different films.
posted by rocket88 at 9:01 AM on July 9, 2012


only if we can very seriously discuss the magnificence of The Rock's oeuvre

Wait until Face/Off 2 finishing filming. It is The Rock vs Statham.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:02 AM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


ok, here's my list:

Mujeres al bordo de un ataque de nervios
it was the "Clueless" to my generation of latin american & spaniard women. if i really wanted to wow you, i'd say Almodovar's MATADOR is the better film, but this one, seriously, has a soft spot in my heart. can't believe it's been more than 25 years since it came out!

The Incredibles
am a HUGE Pixar fan (i remember seeing Tin Toy at the Stan & Mike animation festival here in the East Village in the 80s) so i dont say this lightly but this is the perfect Pixar movie. from a former post-modernist scholar POV, there's so much in this one that i've seen it more than a dozen times and am still finding little gems of recycled and/or mashed up pop culture in it; all the while enjoying the core stories.

Lord of the Rings
(treating the trilogy as one movie). i love these from both the nerd (story) and geek (tech) aspects of the movie. and then there's Viggo :D

The Age Of Innocence
i love the book and was pleasantly surprised by how beautiful a Scorsese movie could be. Daniel Day Lewis was a dream but its Michelle Pfeiffer who ran away with this movie.


Do The Right Thing
just for that scene, where Mookie picks up the money. that is all.



honorable mentions
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Hot Fuzz
Wallace & Gromit's The Wrong Trousers
Creature Comforts
La Historia Oficial
Pixote
Maldeamores
Roger & Me
Hoop Dreams
Do The Right Thing
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Strictly Ballroom
A History Of Violence
Batman Returns
Inception


and am not even gonna lie: i loved loved love THE AVENGERS

:)
posted by liza at 9:03 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


only if we can very seriously discuss the magnificence of The Rock's oeuvre

Dwayne Johnson is up there along with Mickey Rourke, Leonardo Dicaprio, Vin Diesel, Mark Wahlberg, et. al., of actors with a range so miniscule you need an electron microscope to find it, and yet, within that range, they sit atop Mt. Olympus.
posted by griphus at 9:04 AM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


I look forward to his eventual gubernatorial nomination.
posted by elizardbits at 9:05 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


5. Dog Star Man - i'm a pretentious art type
4. Synecdoche, New York - i'm a sad bastard
3. Holy Mountain - i'm into drugs and mysticism
2. Fanny and Alexander (7 hour version) - i like interminably long scandinavian things
1. Possession (1981) - i like speaking tongues and having epic panic attacks
posted by naju at 9:06 AM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


If I had to narrow it down to five, they'd be these, I reckon:

I believe it was Timothy Leary who, when asked about pranks, said that his favorite was asking someone what their favorite five movies were. Because no other simple question can get a person to reveal more of themselves to you.
posted by philip-random at 9:07 AM on July 9, 2012


gah! i repeated DTRT twice :D
posted by liza at 9:12 AM on July 9, 2012


1. The Blues Brothers

Because the car chase scene in a mall. That needs to be in a museum somewhere. And because of Aretha Franklin singing in a diner. And because of Dan Akroyd and Jim Belushi. And...well, just the everything. How is this not everyone's favourite movie??

2. Serenity

Yes, I'm a browncoat, but truly one of the best action movies out there. Nathan Fillion might have been born to read dialogue written by Joss Whedon.

3. Lost in Translation

Having come back to it at a few different stages in my life, it's always resonated with me. Damn Bill Murray can act.

4. Network

Not the easiest film to watch, but I've said it before and I'll say it again...the prescience of this movie is breathtaking.

5. The Dark Knight

I think of all the scenes and actors that make this movie a treat, but it really comes down to two words: Heath. Ledger.
posted by dry white toast at 9:12 AM on July 9, 2012


ACK! and by having repeated DTRT twice i omitted the must see 21 GRAMS. i've never cared much for Sean Penn, but this movie still haunts me thanks to Benicio del Toro's performance. amazing.
posted by liza at 9:14 AM on July 9, 2012


1. The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension
2. (tie) Das Boot
2. (tie) The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension
3. The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension
4. Seven Samurai
5. (tie)The Wages of Fear
5. (tie) The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension
posted by Shepherd at 9:17 AM on July 9, 2012 [9 favorites]


This is fun and all, but I'm very curious as to the editorializing of Ice Cube's selection of Citizen Kane. Why is that so odd?
posted by ndfine at 9:17 AM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


I am trying really hard not to kneejerk assume it is prompted by racism, whether conscious or unconscious.
posted by elizardbits at 9:21 AM on July 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


1. Casablanca
2. Duck Soup
3. Mujeres al Borde de un Ataque de Nervios
4. The Big Lebowski
5. The Straight Story
posted by kinnakeet at 9:21 AM on July 9, 2012


Shepherd, I was thisclose to listing buckaroo Banzai. Can I claim one of your 4 mentions as a co-listing?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:21 AM on July 9, 2012


It's Never Lurgi: Four Weddings and a Funeral - Although this should be remade to remove Andie McDowell completely.

Mrs. VTX HATES Andie McDowell for no rational reason that she can name (as a result she has never seen Groundhog Day and refused to watch it. I happened to mention this to some random customers a couple of years ago and it turns out that Ms. McDowell had broken a fancy stain glass window they had on their house. She promised to pay for it just after it happened but then refused later when it was time to collect. They ended having to take her to court for it and I guess she was generally horrible about the whole thing. So..uh..I guess Andie McDowell should be removed from most things.

As for my list, I just can't do it. There are too many movies that I love to be able to pick just five and say, "These are the best."

I know Die Hard would be on that list. I just watch it again recently and doesn't really seem very dated to me at all (a few hair styles and fashion choices aside). If some asked me what an "action movie" was, I'd just show them that movie. It defines the genre for me.

Fight Club would probably make it. It's great that it's a totally different movie when you watch it the first time. I didn't care for Marla the first time but I really pitied her on the second viewing. It always makes me a little sad that I can't watch it again for the first time. Once you know the big twist, it's a totally different movie.

That's about as many as I can name right now. I could put together a big group of contenders but I'd have a really hard time narrowing it down to just three more.
posted by VTX at 9:25 AM on July 9, 2012


And because of Dan Akroyd and Jim Belushi. And...well, just the everything. How is this not everyone's favourite movie??

Well, having never seen it would be as good a reason as any. I have seen a couple of Akroyd movies, Trading Places and Doctor Detroit. Used to love Doctor Detroit as young lad. I have my doubts now.
posted by juiceCake at 9:27 AM on July 9, 2012


IT WAS A STONE GROOVE, MY MAN
posted by elizardbits at 9:29 AM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


I decided to go full-out genre-based, but it's still hard. Mostly stuff I watched on Saturday afternoons and late-night weekend reruns as a little kid. Because of them, theremins still scare the shit out of me...

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) I'm still hoping Klaatu shows up to make us get our shit together. It's looking like our best chance at this point.

The Thing from Another World (1951) The prototype alien that takes over bodies--claustrophic arctic base version. This one's vegetative: when full grown, looks like a human cabbage. Untrustworthy effete scientist vs. bomber-jacket-wearing real man trope.

War of the Worlds (1953) Still good FX; fantastic floating tripods. The prototypical "they can't be stopped with A-bombs" scene. I still get chills when I see the commander looking through binoculars at the mushroom cloud and, as the smoke clears...

This Island Earth (1955) Tractor beams, alien creatures with big exposed brains, and my favorite ridiculous studly egghead: he's a rocket scientist who can fly jets the "boys at Lockheed" give him for the weekend!

Forbidden Planet (1956) "Monsters from the id!" One of the best ever, holds up really well to this day. And that's what space ships (and robots) are supposed to look like! You gotta love the class structure of the crew.

Honorable mention: Mars Attacks! (1996) Possibly my favorite TB movie, because it's a loving and brilliant send-up of cheezy sci fi.

And just because I know Potomac Avenue is very busy:

Z
posted by mondo dentro at 9:32 AM on July 9, 2012


Pulp Fiction, High and Low (or pretty much anything else by Kurosawa), Scarface, Apocalypse Now, Casablanca
posted by ambient2 at 9:39 AM on July 9, 2012


Potomac Avenue, please come back and help these souls shouting their lists into the void. Help them be a part of something. Help them make art. Letter grade list art.
posted by Kwine at 9:40 AM on July 9, 2012


We played Danny's little monologue at the beginning about 5 times before we could move on.


posted by Devils Rancher at 4:14 PM on July 9


I have few talents. One of those few is the ability to do a pretty damned good impression of Danny. I am unreasonably proud of this. No need to insult me, man.

Also, that person who mentioned "The Stunt Man" up there... nice one. A contender for most underrated and unjustly forgotten films of all time.
posted by Decani at 9:42 AM on July 9, 2012


The Muppet Movie
The Empire Strikes Back
Lost in Translation
Stranger than Fiction
Casablanca
posted by JARED!!! at 9:55 AM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


This Island Earth

OH I SEE NO LOVE FOR THE MU-TANT
posted by The Whelk at 9:59 AM on July 9, 2012


I'd rather hear people talk about their dreams or even their fantasy baseball team than their five favorite movies.

It's a nice icebreaker for college frosh, but ...

1, Repo Man
2. Dead Man
3. Man on a Wire
4. Dead Man Walking
5. She's the Man
posted by mrgrimm at 9:59 AM on July 9, 2012


Godfather
Chinatown

Then so many others...
posted by Trochanter at 10:01 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I didn't think I could respect Joan Rivers less, but mission accomplished!

Oddly, I ordinarily loathe Joan Rivers, but that list made me loathe her just a little less. I'm a little sorry not to see Michael Bay on that list.

Coming up with my top 5 movies is as futile as trying to name my top 5 books, but for kicks all of the following blew my mind in different ways the first time I saw them and I could watch any of them over and over:

Blade Runner
Until The End Of The World
The Seventh Seal
Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown
Ju Dou
posted by octobersurprise at 10:02 AM on July 9, 2012


I'd rather hear people talk about their dreams or even their fantasy baseball team than their five favorite movies.

It's a nice icebreaker for college frosh, but ...


Then, gee, we're all so excited you could be here.
posted by Edison Carter at 10:03 AM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Kwine: if you've got Readrboard, you can log in and see the rest of my grades.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:04 AM on July 9, 2012


Since I spent my cinematic formative years having absolutely zero interest in ” quality ” film, it should come add no surprise that only two of my favorites are on the AFI 100 list:
(in chronological order)

The Philadelphia Story.
Singing in the Rain
(Teen movie slot. Today, its either Clueless or the woefully unappreciated Josie and the Pussycats.)
Fight Club
Ocean's 11

Some of my favorites, like Shawshank or Ghostbusters, I've seen so many times that I actually can replay them in my head without losing much of the experience.
Also, my list of top 5 favorite ”good” movies would look a bit different.
posted by ApathyGirl at 10:05 AM on July 9, 2012


I'd like to point out that any item in my list can be replaced by The Wizard of Oz.
posted by eyeballkid at 10:20 AM on July 9, 2012


Similarly, any item on my list can be replaced by the Emperor's New Groove.
posted by elizardbits at 10:24 AM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


How Wes Craven Got His Groove Back
posted by griphus at 10:28 AM on July 9, 2012


Also, my intense love of Ski School is a secret between myself and my maker.
posted by eyeballkid at 10:31 AM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sorry, I meant "Maker's"
posted by eyeballkid at 10:33 AM on July 9, 2012


mrgrimm forgot Dead Man on Campus.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 10:35 AM on July 9, 2012


Final Destination
Final Destination 2
Final Destination 3
Final Destination 4
Final Destination 5
posted by fzx101 at 10:39 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Blade Runner (Director's Cut)
Chinatown
Raising Arizona
Rushmore
The Incredibles
posted by mcstayinskool at 10:43 AM on July 9, 2012


Which one's the final one?
posted by Edison Carter at 10:43 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I dunno, off the top of my head. Ask me tomorrow for a different list.

Raiders of the Lost Ark
Casablanca
Blade Runner
Dr Strangelove
Repo Man
posted by Aznable at 10:44 AM on July 9, 2012


John Carpenter's The Thing
Videodrome
The Third Man
Night of the Living Dead
Blade Runner

[obligatory disclaimer that my list varies]
posted by brundlefly at 10:46 AM on July 9, 2012


fzx101: "Final Destination
Final Destination 2
Final Destination 3
Final Destination 4
Final Destination 5
"

There was a Facebook meme going around a little while back where people were posting their 10 favorite albums. Everyone was trying to out-hip each other, and I'm a grump who doesn't like Facebook memes, so I posted:

"Now That's What I Call Music! 13"
"Now That's What I Call Music! 41"
"Now That's What I Call Music! 17"

etc.
posted by brundlefly at 10:50 AM on July 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


Having read all these famous top 5 films lists, here are the top 5 films that these famous listmakers have prompted me to watch in the near future solely through the power of implied recommendation that courses through the plump veins of a top 5 film listing:

I. David Cross: Matewan (1987)

II. Edward Norton: Ruggles of Red Gap (1935)

III. Eli Roth: Who Can Kill a Child? (1976), which apparently takes a stab at that perennial MeFi question: how many five year olds could you take in a fight?

IV. Bill Plympton: Pillow Talk (1959). Did I mention this man is a national treasure?

V. Mickey Rourke: Lonely Are the Brave (1962). I'm watching this because Mickey Rourke says Kirk Douglas said it was his favorite, not because Mickey Rourke says its one of his own favorites.

Damn, I totally just stuck it to Mickey Rourke. Wrestler with that one, bitch.
posted by dgaicun at 10:56 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


City of God
In Bruges
Dr. Strangelove
Jurassic Park
Alien
posted by VoteBrian at 10:56 AM on July 9, 2012


"Now That's What I Call Music! 13"
"Now That's What I Call Music! 41"
"Now That's What I Call Music! 17"


5.2
6.5
9.4
posted by griphus at 11:00 AM on July 9, 2012


In alphabetical order:
  1. Casablanca
  2. Die Hard
  3. The Godfather
  4. L.A. Confidential
  5. Millers Crossing
posted by kirkaracha at 11:12 AM on July 9, 2012


Is Citizen Kane really a favorite, Mr. Cube?

I'm just gonna refer you to lkc's great Ice Cube comment.
posted by EmGeeJay at 11:14 AM on July 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


The Jerk
Team America: World Police
Boogie Nights


Couldn't even think of two more...
posted by MikeyObviously at 11:16 AM on July 9, 2012


M
Z
9
X
R
posted by bigendian at 11:20 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes
The Third Man
24-Hour Party People
Touch of Evil
2001
posted by Man-Thing at 11:22 AM on July 9, 2012


1. The Conversation
2. Vertigo
3. What's up Doc
4. High Noon
5. Spirited Away

Honorable mention: Blue Velvet, Stalker, The Stunt Man, Do the Right Thing, Lost in Translation, Groundhog Day, Godfather I & II. And about a million others I could mention.
posted by Mcable at 11:23 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Can I just say I fucking hate all Wes Anderson movies, but especially Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums?


No? Ah well.
posted by Decani at 11:24 AM on July 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


I will burn you.
posted by Edison Carter at 11:25 AM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


JOHN Belushi...JOHN Belushi...

JIM Belushi is the person that everyone on Earth (Jim included) would sacrifice to get JOHN Belushi back again...
posted by Billiken at 11:26 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


1. The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension 2. (tie) Das Boot 2. (tie) The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension 3. The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension 4. Seven Samurai 5. (tie)The Wages of Fear 5. (tie) The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension

No matter where you go, there I am. <3
posted by adamdschneider at 11:27 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Iron Giant
Wonderful, heartbreaking kids' movie about trying to become something better than what you were made to be.

Unforgiven
Same theme, but for adults. Also, it covers the biggest thing I love about Westerns: the desperate human attempt to overlay meaning onto chaotic bleakness. See also Blood Meridian and Deadwood.

Pootie Tang
Honestly, I have a soft spot for comedy that's so off-puttingly opaque that it gets almost Brechtian. Plus, it's such an aggressively wholesome movie, which I find refreshing. Plus, Biggie Shorty is one of my favorite movie characters of all time.

Southland Tales
A meaningless, fluttering fever-dream about media during the Bush years, like staring into a wall of TV screens, all tuned in to cable news. Also, it turns out The Rock actually has a really good sense of comedic timing.

And then there's like a million things all vying for number five.

I'm gonna go with Cast Away, narrowly beating out the Ocean's movies, Alien, The War Game, La Jetee, Werckmeister Harmonies, Man With A Movie Camera, etc, etc, world without end, amen.

Look, here's the deal there: the beginning and end of Cast Away are pretty much awful, but the bleak loneliness of the middle section, and the relationship with Wilson, is maybe the most comforting piece of cinema I've ever seen. I've watched it maybe 20 times, almost always when I'm wracked by depression. It's a real shame about the bread on that particular sandwich.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:28 AM on July 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


No. 6: Dark Star.
posted by Decani at 11:29 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Once Upon a Time in the West- the arena rock of Westerns. Amazing tracking shot, gritty close-ups, swelling soundtrack, and evil Henry Fonda being evil. So perfectly of its time.

The Petrified Forest- noir before noir was a thing. This film made Humphrey Bogart. A bit stagebound, but such an American movie, made for American moviegoers trying to escape the realities of the Depression.

Get Carter- tense, uncomfortable, grimy. Petty criminals existing in the period when industrialism was declining and carparks were the next big thing. No wonder everyone is unhappy.

A Hard Day's Night- the scene spoofing trend-setting Shows For Teenagers is perfect in every way. So is the rest of it. The rare convergence of charismatic and funny Beatles before they became too stoned and insufferable and some very clever writers, director and cinematographer. Often imitated, never duplicated. So good on a big screen.

The Incredibles- East Bay represent! Pixar's best film.


Honorable mentions:
Gimme Shelter- the Pruitt-Igoe of music documentaries.

Man on Wire- this is a beautiful film with real people who seem like they were scripted and a tense and cinematic story.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:30 AM on July 9, 2012


These threads are always worth it for the handful of beautiful people who mention Southland Tales.
posted by naju at 11:31 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ooh, The Conversation. A great film with a slightly annoying ending. Definitely an honorable mention.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:31 AM on July 9, 2012


I share a lot of "common favorites" that have been listed, but these are my uncommon ones:

North by Northwest
Once Upon a Time in the West
posted by achrise at 11:36 AM on July 9, 2012


I saw Southland Tales during one of the rare times I've been stoned in the past ten years and thought it was fucking brilliant. I subsequently bought it but haven't rewatched it out of fear of being let down.
posted by brundlefly at 11:39 AM on July 9, 2012


list:
The Wild Bunch
The Shinning
The Rebel Without a Cause
The Music Man
Space Jams.
posted by a shrill fucking shitstripe at 12:00 PM on July 9, 2012


Speaking of soft spots, I have a big one for Bram Stoker's Dracula. The best review I've ever heard of it stated something along the lines of it playing out as if it were directed by the most gifted film student of all time. Also, it is the only movie that I have recommended with the caveats that both the plot and acting are uniformly terrible.
posted by griphus at 12:09 PM on July 9, 2012


But the IDEA is pretty good.
posted by Edison Carter at 12:18 PM on July 9, 2012


There are so many more, but these are up there.

Blood Simple
Mr. Smith goes to Washington
Casablanca
Rio Bravo
Easy Rider
posted by freakazoid at 12:27 PM on July 9, 2012


Children of Paradise
Ikiru
Barry Lyndon
California Split
The 49th Parallel

(subject to revision)
posted by the bricabrac man at 12:34 PM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Towering Inferno - the rescue scene at the end transfixes me every time.
Fight Club - so powerful. And I love HBC in this one.
The Lives of Others
Juno - quirky-cute. Romantic. The Moldy Peaches.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang - I love this movie so much I actually made my mom watch it. Of course I had to cringe at every "fuck" on her behalf, and there are a ton of them.

Honorable mention: Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, Mommie Dearest, Brazil, The Incredibles, Toy Story, Drowning by Numbers, True Romance
posted by bendy at 12:36 PM on July 9, 2012


Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

For some reason, this reminded me of when I was living with my mom (I was 20 or 21) and we just got Netflix. I rented Baise Moi, which she managed to watch first. Her only comment was that if I was going to be renting pornography, I should just rent pornography and not pornography masquerading as French cinema.
posted by griphus at 12:54 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Lord of the Rings - (extended versions of course)(of course I'm a giant NERD)
The Godfather I/II (the third film was never made)
Raising Arizona (we're childless, the ending is a tearjerker)
Young Frankenstein (better story than Blazing Saddles but just as relentless)
So hard to pick a Bill Murray film but I have to go with Lost in Translation but his work in the Wes Anderson films strikes me in the core as well.

I hate lists of 5. Hate 'em, hate 'em, hate 'em. It's top ten that gets the job done. Top ten allows for nuance and breadth. With five you have to make cruel choices that leaves no one happy. This is the one thing that High Fidelity did not get right. When I worked in a music store we did lists of ten, muthafuckers. And how can a nerd leave off Empire, Serenity, and Blade Runner, this is cruel. CRUEL.
posted by Ber at 12:55 PM on July 9, 2012


Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang is one of the funniest movies I have ever seen, and probably the funniest non-Bill Murray.
posted by adamdschneider at 12:57 PM on July 9, 2012


I hate lists of 5. Hate 'em, hate 'em, hate 'em. It's top ten that gets the job done. Top ten allows for nuance and breadth. With five you have to make cruel choices that leaves no one happy. This is the one thing that High Fidelity did not get right. When I worked in a music store we did lists of ten, muthafuckers. And how can a nerd leave off Empire, Serenity, and Blade Runner, this is cruel. CRUEL.

But - and I'm only saying this because I care - there are a lot of decaffeinated brands on the market today that are just as tasty as the real thing.
posted by Edison Carter at 12:58 PM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


1. Primer
2. Dr. Strangelove
3. In the Valley of Elah
4. The Fantastic Mr. Fox
5. The Royal Tenenbaums

No explanations will be given, to royalty or anyone else.
posted by doyouknowwhoIam? at 1:12 PM on July 9, 2012


A little more detail.

Blood Simple
Twists! turns! camera-angles! The Coen Brothers start out with a bang. Unlike anything I had seen before.

Mr. Smith goes to Washington
A sweet little corny, hokey David and Goliath story that makes me just about cry every time.

Casablanca
Brilliant cast, amazing script. One of the most classic classics of all.

Rio Bravo
Funny, goofy, rat-pack meets the wild west with a lot of humor and a few thousand cliches thrown in, but it all works out just fine as the western genre is getting close to the end of the trail.

Easy Rider
The counter-culture arrives and goes on a wild, crazy trip for a while. We knew it was doomed from the start, but it was a great ride while it lasted.
posted by freakazoid at 1:14 PM on July 9, 2012


Can I just say I fucking hate all Wes Anderson movies, but especially Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums?


No? Ah well.


No. No, you may fucking not say that.
posted by doyouknowwhoIam? at 1:17 PM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Tilda Swinton, thank you! I. Am. Justified!

We have a stupid white board in the kitchen at work where once in a while a random question is posted. After Nora Ephron died the question was, What it the most soul-matey of soul mate movies. Of course You've Got Mail got like 6 +s. My two? Nothing. What were they, you ask? Brief Encounter and I Know Where I'm Going. The first the most tearjerking movie ever and the second just the sweetest goddamn most-gloriously romantic story ever put on film.

Silly youngsters I work with have no taste (or maybe just no film knowledge).
posted by old_growler at 1:41 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Only one mention of The Shawshank Redemption? It's perhaps not a great movie but I'm surprised it's not on more lists of favorite movies.
posted by quid pro quo at 1:42 PM on July 9, 2012


"If you write a list in this thread you have to write a 3 sentence description of why you picked each one. SO SAYS I, THEE KING.

AMEN, Potomac Avenue! I've long held that lists without reasons are meaningless, and a waste of my time.
posted by old_growler at 1:43 PM on July 9, 2012


I've long held that lists without reasons are meaningless, and a waste of my time.

Well, then I guess it's good you haven't stuck around this thread for long. Because you wouldn't want to waste your time.
posted by Edison Carter at 1:48 PM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Smart aleck! Some people gave reasons!
posted by old_growler at 1:52 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Smart aleck! Some people gave reasons!
posted by old_growler at 4:52 PM on July 9 [+] [!]


Eeeeeponysterical.
posted by Edison Carter at 1:54 PM on July 9, 2012


Orlando
Until the End of the World
Wings of Desire
The Chronicles of Riddick
The Man Who Fell to Earth
posted by vers at 2:20 PM on July 9, 2012


The Muppet Movie (1979) -- Kermit, does this film have socially redeeming value?
The Great Muppet Caper (1981) -- What color are their hands now?
The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984) -- No doubt about it; you've got amnesia.
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) -- Light the lamp, not the rat! Light the lamp, not the rat!
Muppet Treasure Island (1996) -- One leg, Jim, count 'em, one.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 2:26 PM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also, was Ebert just in a really bad mood when he reviewed Fight Club?
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 2:44 PM on July 9, 2012


1. Double Indemnity - Suspense masterpiece.
2. In Bruges - Perfect mix of comedy and pathos.
3. The Set-Up - Under-rated boxing noir with a killer ending.
4. Pan's Labyrinth - Scariest monster ever... and I'm not talking about the Pale Man.
5. Vertigo - Mainly for the music.
posted by afx237vi at 2:48 PM on July 9, 2012


1. The Usual Suspects – this has been my #1 for almost 15 years now. At least I'm consistent and unwavering.
2. Memento
3. The Prestige
4. La Femme Nikita (original, french)
5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Nobody has mentioned 4 of my top 5 yet. I'm all alone withe my strange preferences. :(
posted by iamkimiam at 2:50 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


My Favorite Year
Princess Bride
Glenngarry Glen Ross
The Cooler
The Grifters
posted by HappyHippo at 3:05 PM on July 9, 2012


I Know Where I'm Going (yes, another vote for this)
Poetry
The City of Lost Children
Swept Away
Amarcord
posted by jokeefe at 3:08 PM on July 9, 2012


Note: Swept Away by Miyazaki, not Wertmuller. Though Seven Beauties should be on the list, too.
posted by jokeefe at 3:09 PM on July 9, 2012


In no particular order:

1. Children of Men - The perfect combination of despair and hope in my post-apocalyptic media. I loved the depth of detail in the children-less world.
2. The Lord of the Rings, Extended Editions, shut up this totally counts as all one movie - I can absolutely sink into these movies for the entire run time. Pure escapism and beautiful scenery (of the human and nature kind).
3. The Princess Bride - Still quotable, and I never get tired of watching it.
4. Dirty Dancing - Okay, first off, I love dance movies. Basically all of them, no matter how terrible. But I will go to the mats about how Dirty Dancing is legitimately a good movie and what a great coming of age story it is.
5. Dil Se - So maybe I love the music more than the movie, but I do love how moody and atmospheric it is for a Bollywood movie. So many scenes and shots have stuck with me over the years, while most of the other Bollywood movies I've seen kind of blend in to a generic mass of song-and-dance and attractive people crying attractively. Also, prime nostalgia era Shahrukh Khan!
posted by yasaman at 3:12 PM on July 9, 2012


Here is the official list of top five movies:

(1) The Cutting Edge

Here is the official list of top five masterclasses in how to wear a houndstooth top coat whilst drinking coffee alone in an Albertville cafe:

(1) The Cutting Edge
posted by samofidelis at 3:17 PM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


TOE PICK
posted by elizardbits at 3:23 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I AM NOT JOKING OK I HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS ABOUT THIS
posted by samofidelis at 3:30 PM on July 9, 2012


Citizen Ruth
Brazil
Eternal Sunshine
Dr. Strangelove
Ratatoulle

Twenty years ago my list would have been Brazil and four zombie movies. I do still love zombie movies. But not quite as much any more, I guess.
posted by damehex at 3:32 PM on July 9, 2012


In no particular order:

The Princess Bride
Glory
Oh Brother Where Art Thou
Aliens
Finding Nemo*

Also Amadeus, Dune ('84), Battleship Potemkin, Hunt for Red October, Ronin and many, many others. All movies that I'll watch again and again.

* I far prefer Nemo to The Incredibles, which I felt wasn't particularly deep. Nemo's actually a rather sad, poignant movie -- a father searching desperately to find his lost son -- the only child he has left. A son trying to become his own person and gain a father who believes in him. Dori, who needs a family to keep her grounded and sane, even though she doesn't realize it.

Plus it has some of the most quotable dialogue of any Pixar movie. "Yes, I'm a natural blue." And after you watch it, you'll never hear a seagull's cry quite the same again. :)
posted by zarq at 3:32 PM on July 9, 2012


Dr. Strangelove
Adaptation
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Emperor's New Groove
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

Honorable mentions: Wall-E, Man on a Wire, koyaanisqatsi, A Night at the Roxbury
posted by Lutoslawski at 3:40 PM on July 9, 2012


Does anyone else pronounce it toe-MAH-toe-MAH-ter?

TOE muh TOMmuh der.

Can I just say I fucking hate all Wes Anderson movies, but especially Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums?

Rushmore was filmed at my high school. I've seen the movie, but the weird double vision between Rushmore Geometry and Actual Geometry has driven most of it out of my memory. Like, the school is a day school in real life, so the room that was presented as his dorm room was actually my Latin teacher's office.
posted by KathrynT at 4:09 PM on July 9, 2012


1. Delicatessen (Perfect in every single regard
2. Magnolia (Try to watch it once a year and I get something new each time)
3. Toy Story 1 & 2 (they count as one)
4. Synechdoche New York (such hard going, but again - I get something new every time)
5. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (Just Wodnerful)
posted by AzzaMcKazza at 4:16 PM on July 9, 2012


Whoever does movie programming for HBO is on the ball. For any and all frustrated by Prometheus, the original Alien is running this month.
posted by Ber at 4:22 PM on July 9, 2012


Okay, I'm going to get back to reading all of this. I was a film major in undergrad, and at a pretty prestigious program as well, but none of my choices are going to reach too far into either the obscure or foreign or classic "greats." They're simply the five I am most likely to give on any given day (and I've been asked this question a lot over the years.

1. L.A. Story: I've said on this site many times my theory that "cynicism is where optimism meets frustration." Well, this is Steve Martin at his most optimistic, playing through a deeply frustrated cynicism and coming out free and joyful again on the other side. And it's funny as hell. I don't know how well it would play to someone seeing it today for the first time, as a hell of a lot of the humor comes from lampooning early nineties L.A. "culture," but it is gorgeous. Along with Field of Dreams, this was a Hollywood project backed by a major star taking risks with magical realism at a time when it was far from certain that those risks would pay off. And it even makes me like Enya.

Bonus Points: If you end your film with the deafening roar of "Amazing Grace" on bagpipes and have done even the slightest thing to earn that moment, I'm going to walk away happy.

2. Manhattan: From the opposite coast (and closer to my heart, locale-wise), this will always be Woody Allen's greatest masterpiece, to me. I know Annie Hall is more commonly the choice there, and it's great and more audacious and groundbreaking, but this one is just sublime. A movie which would never get made today, due to its central storyline, it is nonetheless about the most romantic thing ever filmed, in many different ways.

Bonus Points: The "Tracy's face" monologue, leading into a wonderfully ambiguous ending.

3. The Princess Bride: Because I've got a shocking level of rom-com at the top of my list, which veers much more action-drama as it goes down. One of the only movies everyone can agree on, because there's nothing not to like and everything to like. That much inventiveness in once place simply shouldn't be allowed.

Bonus Points: The "To the Pain" monologue, which to me is the spiritual fore-runner to Jules' bit in the last act of Pulp Fiction.

4. Ferris Bueller's Day Off: Not a movie that couldn't be made today, but rather one that simply wouldn't be. Thinking about this, at least three of John Hughes' most notable "teenager" movies were set in more or less a single day. I think this is the way to best handle teen-focused stories on film (and Dazed and Confused adds further support) instead of doing the Hero's Journey around getting into the best school or losing your virginity or some other such bullshit. Additionally, this movie has a type of humor that's pretty rare for me to find but like a gilded truffle when I do, and that's when a sequence is genuinely tesne and compelling on every other level, and then they throw in some out-of-left-field humor into it that does nothing to slacken the pacing. (see: the "race" scene at the end of the movie, with bits like "Hey, how you doing, Ferris Bueller," and "I think we should shoot her," fitting in there so perfectly that the humor seems to add to the tension rather than relieve it.

Bonus Points: The "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want" sequence, which after more than twenty years still gets better to me every time I see it.

5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: Not much to be said about it that hasn't been said a thousand times already. Jim Carrey will probably never be able to pull off a performance this inert and vulnerable and touching again (if for no other reason than that's not what he gets paid to do.) Visually genius, heartbreaking, funny, with a ton of well-handled subplots running through it also showcasing the themes of love and memory. The beachhouse scene near the end is one of my favorites in all of cinema.

Bonus Points: A score that has remained stuck in my head for the past 8 years or so.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:32 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Tangentially related:

I realized from watching a number of 'bonus features' that I enjoy Steven Spielberg talking about movies far more than I like Steven Spielberg movies.
posted by mazola at 4:41 PM on July 9, 2012


Madamina, I didn't realize that Patton Oswalt didn't make it to Ebertfest! Maybe now I will stop beating myself up for not making it to the screening of "Big Fan." (Went to "Take Shelter" though- that was awesome.)
posted by rebel_rebel at 4:54 PM on July 9, 2012


My wife and I looked over everyone's lists, and mutually agreed that if anything bad happens to either one of us, the survivor will marry Casper Van Dien.
posted by KHAAAN! at 4:59 PM on July 9, 2012


Johnny Guitar (1954)
Gidget (1959)
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
Apocalypse Now (1979)
The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989)
To Live (1994)
The Aviator (2004)

I like post-noir movies about people trying to escape the film itself.
posted by Brian B. at 5:19 PM on July 9, 2012


picking 5 films is too hard :(

in no particular order

three color trilogy - a love story but not done in a cheesy hollywood way

anything by gasper noe - if you like graphic, intense realism

hidden (cache) - very suspenseful (monotone for some)

perfume the story of a murderer + The Prestige (despite being big hollywood movies, both of these are excellent thriller)

boy - 'kid' movie that even i found hilarious

taxi driver - nuff said

documentaries ( dark days, crumb, ... )


just off the top of my head..
posted by philllip at 6:04 PM on July 9, 2012


ApathyGirl: "woefully unappreciated Josie and the Pussycats"

here here.
posted by Bonzai at 6:11 PM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Gandhi
the Last Temptation of Christ
American History X
Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Dances with Wolves

Bonus: Super Troopers, because "shenanigans" that's why.
posted by vozworth at 6:20 PM on July 9, 2012


Die Harder. Or Die Hard II( the one in the airport) because the action scenes are beautifully choreographed and there's explosions

LOTR: The Two Towers: because it's got Ents, taters, hobbits smoking, Helm's Deep, it's awesome.

----
These are Tier 2:
I <3 Huckabees: Marky Mark on a bike, meow

The Twilight Samurai: watched on mute and it was still good

Four Brothers: Marky Mark and violence
posted by the young rope-rider at 6:39 PM on July 9, 2012


Uncle Buck
Planes, Trains and Automobiles
Cool Runnings
Who's Harry Crumb?
Wagons East!

(I am joking. Except for Uncle Buck.)
posted by Len at 8:14 PM on July 9, 2012


Brazil
Bladerunner (director's cut)
The Omega Man
Kelly's Heroes
Mad Max
posted by pompomtom at 8:31 PM on July 9, 2012


Argh, most re-watched:

Kurosawa's Dreams
Withnail & I
Polanski's Macbeth
Zardoz
Starship Troopers
Jaws

We also like:
Most cited by 20th century critics in Sight & Sound Magazine Critics Polls:

Citizen Kane
Bicycle Thieves
Battleship Potemkin
The Rules of The Game
Passion of Joan of Arc
Vertigo

posted by ovvl at 8:33 PM on July 9, 2012


Reflecting on this, I think better top fives lists are better when they are built around a theme, concept or scene, something like that. Makes it more interesting:

For this, I'll do films that involve self-sacrfice, fatal or otherwise, that get me a bit teary.

5. Terminator 2
It's a great action movie, but the whole lowering scene at the end, even if it might be corny, get's the waterworks going. Maybe even moreso if, like me, you didn't really have a relationship with your dad growing up.

4. The Killer
Not the final scene, but when Jeffery's friend Sidney attempts to get the money that Jeffery is owed. Not only risking his life and limb, but willing to subject himself to humiliation and self abasement to redeem himself for a friend.

3. Children of Men
When Jasper euthanisze his wife, then goes to face the Fishes and his certain death, and he maintains his dignity, composure, hope and joyful attitude in the face off their brutality for the sake of his friend Theo it is so goddamned beautiful it hurts.

2. The Iron Giant

When the giant not only overcomes his warlike programming but takes it upon himself to not only save the ones he loves but those who would have harmed him, it is especially touching, I think, for many men with anger issues like myself, or anyone who sometimes feel like an uncontrolable destructive creature trying to be a person of nobility and gentle strength.

1. Star Trek 2
For me, the ultimate in sacrifice; no hesitation, no fear, no regret, no emotion, just knowledge of what needs to be done and doing it. Capstoned by Spock's straightening of his tunic, to be presentable and dignified for his captain and closest friend, one last time.
posted by Snyder at 8:48 PM on July 9, 2012


1) The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (because I will fight you)

2) Shower (because the ending is as devastating as it is beautiful)

3) Step Brothers (because no I’m not kidding)

4) Lawrence of Arabia (because “epic” isn’t strong enough of a word)

5) Cool Hand Luke (because there's always something I miss)
posted by bardic at 9:10 PM on July 9, 2012


[Fixed the Kevin Smith link. ]
posted by taz at 9:31 PM on July 9, 2012


Wow. Tilda Swinton loves Bruno as much as I do.

Didn't think my crush on her could get any bigger.
posted by bardic at 10:04 PM on July 9, 2012


The funny thing about the Top Five I listed earlier is that I only own one of them in any format, and the one I do (Eternal Sunshine) is not anything i watch often (though part of that is that I only own it in fullscreen.)

The movie I watch most often is probably V for Vendetta, which won't earn me any points from anyone but I love it and can watch it whenever. Generally I have DVDs of television on in the background these days, though.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:14 PM on July 9, 2012


Five films that leave me breathless; I thought this was due to the visuals, but obviously it is more than that ...
Diva
Orlando
Wings of Desire
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
My Dinner With Andre

... and then, there are so many more; it's complicated ...

True Stories
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
Pulp Fiction
Inside John Malcovich
Swept Away (Wertmuller)
The English Patient
Burden of Dreams
posted by Surfurrus at 10:32 PM on July 9, 2012


Picking five is just too darn hard. It would be easier to pick a top 500. Also, for reasons I don't understand it's also easier to pick just a number one favorite.

A few years ago, I would have gone with Apocalypse Now, but I think maybe I've watched it too many times.

I rewatched Dog Day Afternoon a few years ago for the first time in over 20-30 years, and was blown away at how great it is. It's my current number one film.

I have to admit I was surprised that D.D.A. wasn't listed on any of the lists that I looked at, nor did I see it mentioned anywhere in this thread so far. I'm curious as to why this is? Has this film not aged well in the eyes of current movie viewers? Pacino's intensity grabs my attention and won't let go, but is it too much for modern tastes?
posted by marsha56 at 10:44 PM on July 9, 2012


Bardic is right.
Step Brothers is the funniest, most multi-layered film comedy since Caddyshack.
And manages to steep its real world in the kind of silly anarchy those kinds of films always gesture toward but rarely dive headfirst into so spiritedly.
Even Jenkins and Steenburgen totally commit.


It's going to be around a while.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 10:52 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Glad to know one of you fuckers has some good taste.

Also Children of Men, The Sting, Mishima The Great Escape, Pelle The Conqueror, Kelly's Heroes, Let The Right One In (I love you Tilda-baby, but the original is superior), Matewan, Mifune, and Crash (the Cronenberg one).
posted by bardic at 11:01 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ya Mishima (RT 95%) was on my short list. But bumped by The Blues Brothers (RT 85%). Which was bumped by It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (RT 79%).

And don't get me started on how Blade Runner (RT 92%) got bumped by Shock Treatment (RT 40%).
posted by mazola at 11:23 PM on July 9, 2012


Mazola, Im a die hard Rocky fan, but I adore ST and often think its the superior film.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:34 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Citizen Kane
2001
Dead Man
Rear Window
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (Gilliam)

I guess it's not that different from many people's lists, but I had a hard time with this, because I'd like to include:

Godzilla (the original)
Seven Samurai

and maybe even:

Dark Star
posted by krinklyfig at 11:34 PM on July 9, 2012


I rewatched Dog Day Afternoon a few years ago for the first time in over 20-30 years, and was blown away at how great it is. It's my current number one film.

Oh yeah, that's one that could easily go in my top 5.
posted by krinklyfig at 11:36 PM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yay! Love for Buckaroo Banzai!

Also on my deeply goofy list:
Newsies
The Muppets
Cyrano de Bergerac
Star Wars
posted by ocherdraco at 12:43 AM on July 10, 2012


I'd like to see a compilation of celebrities' top 5 lists of unfunny douchebags. Except for the guys who would be on my own top 5. Unless they all listed each other, which would be kind of gratifying.

And if Kevin Smith and Seth Rogen ever found out they were confused for one another, the amount of ensuing self-deprecating fat jokes would be off the charts.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 1:25 AM on July 10, 2012


Oh, and to illustrate the subjectivity of humor, I bet one's list of top 5 comedies would be more likely to spark negative reactions than one's list of non-comedies.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 2:57 AM on July 10, 2012


Empire Strikes Back
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
The Princess Bride
Singing in the Rain
Jackie Brown
posted by MartinWisse at 3:53 AM on July 10, 2012


The Silence of the Lambs
Before Sunset
In the Mood for Love
Back to the Future
North by Northwest
posted by crossoverman at 4:27 AM on July 10, 2012


In my mind today:

Le Samourai
Hannah and her Sisters
Jules and Jim
Sansho the Bailiff
Stalker
posted by rahulrg at 6:07 AM on July 10, 2012


A ton of great movies have been mentioned in this thread. That's great, and it's why I can't make a top five.

One that popped into mind yesterday, that I don't think has come up in this thread, at least, is Galaxy Quest.

And the three Verhoevens. Robocop, Total Recall, and Starship Troopers.
posted by Trochanter at 6:40 AM on July 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wow, I forgot Kelly's Heroes. Other than the minefield scene which totally is against the tone of the movie, it is the perfect B-movie caper film. It also is more about Vietnam than it is about WWII.
posted by Ber at 6:52 AM on July 10, 2012


Also Clint Eastwood is super hot in that movie.
posted by elizardbits at 6:58 AM on July 10, 2012


I rewatched Dog Day Afternoon a few years ago for the first time in over 20-30 years, and was blown away at how great it is. It's my current number one film.

Oh yeah, that's one that could easily go in my top 5.


Yup, mine too. But Network edged it out.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:15 AM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


My Man Godfrey 100% - It was a toss up between this and The Thin Man. I may harbour a teeny crush on William Powell.
Brazil 98% - Just 'cause.
Rear Window 100% - (most any Hitchcock will do here)
Before Sunset 95% - Better watched as a double feature with Before Sunrise, but still very charming on its own.
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly 93% - Absolutely haunting and I needed something released in this century, didn't I?
posted by peppermind at 8:34 AM on July 10, 2012


Before Sunset 95% - Better watched as a double feature with Before Sunrise, but still very charming on its own.

No, the best way is to watch Before Sunrise and then wait 9 years.
posted by crossoverman at 8:39 PM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


No, the best way is to watch Before Sunrise and then wait 9 years.

Absolutely. This way, it involves you in their question of whether they had sex or not in the original. You can't remember with any certainty just as they can't.

Watching them sequentially gives away the answer, which reveals much about the characters and their motivations (so there is something to be said for that, but it's not as much fun).

Good thing they're sorta working on a third, we can play more of these games.
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:43 AM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, buddy, I always have this list at the ready!

Amadeus
The Color Purple
The Empire Strikes Back
Fight Club
Rushmore
posted by Edison Carter at 9:57 AM on July 9 [+] [!]

I was sure you were going to say Hudsucker Proxy.
posted by zoinks at 6:44 AM on July 12, 2012


This way, it involves you in their question of whether they had sex or not in the original. You can't remember with any certainty just as they can't.

I'm sorry, but who wouldn't remember if they had had sex with a 25 year old Julie Delpy 9 years after the fact? Talk about a plot point that requires a willing suspension of disbelief.
posted by Rashomon at 11:02 AM on July 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


One of the things I miss about the Rotten Tomatoes show on Current is the 5 Favorite Films segment. I remember being happy for John Woo that he put one of his own movies, Face/Off, into his list -- he'd gotten to do exactly what he wanted with no studio interference! And I remember thinking, huh, Ed Norton is pretty interesting -- he thinks like me! He sees an offhand reference to an old movie within another movie and is driven to seek it out!

And then there was some dude whose top favorite film, in his list, was the film he had just starred in and was on Rotten Tomatoes to promote. Don't remember who.
posted by brainwane at 4:25 AM on July 14, 2012


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