101 Movies That I Love the Most – Part Three [50-26]

So lately I made a Youtube video, for the first time (I’ve made films before, and put them on Youtube, but I never made a video specifically to just say stuff on Youtube) in which I share my 101 Films That I Love the Most. You can see the video and read all about it here.

Raiders of the Lost Ark b

In addition to making this video, I thought I’d also share it in writing—for easy reference in case you or I don’t feel like listening to me talk about this over 40 minutes of real time.

To be clear, these aren’t necessarily the “best” movies. That’s very subjective and difficult to quantify. Rather, I’m calling it the movies that I love the most. Even that is pretty fluid—it’s based a lot on what I’ve seen recently or what I can remember.

I want to get this out pretty quickly so this will be a quick series of posts in which I won’t be saying much about each film, and mostly it’s what I said in the video.  But I will also be including links to other posts that I’ve written where I discuss the films in more detail.

This is Part 3.  Part 2 can be read here.

50

Unbreakable

2000 – Directed by M. Night Shyamalan

They called me Mr. Glass!

Unbreakable

I didn’t realize at first I was watching a deconstructed superhero movie, but when I did it only added to my enjoyment. Unbreakable is an origin story that implies some cool future drama, that got completely thrown away when they did the eventual follow up.

 49

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

2018 – Directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey & Rodney Rothman

Sometimes I let matches burn down to my fingertips just to feel something, anything.

Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse

This is the first movie since Toy Story that made me feel like I was watching something truly new in terms of animation style. It’s a great superhero film which works in spite of its deep dive into comic book minutia.

48

The Dark Knight

2008 – Directed by Christopher Nolan

Some men just want to watch the world burn.

The Dark Knight 1

Some men just want to watch the world burn.

47

Batman Begins

2005 – Directed by Christopher Nolan

– You’re just one man?
– Now we’re two.

Batman Begins

The last third of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy is okay but the first two parts are great. People usually cite The Dark Knight as the best and for good reason, but I’ve always preferred Batman Begins simply because it’s the only movie to really focus on Bruce Wayne as a character, and that’s what I’m here for. Christian Bale is my favorite movie Batman and these two films are the character’s cinematic high point.

46

Tremors

1990 – Directed by Ron Underwood

A few household chemicals in the proper proportions.

Valentine McKee Kevin Bacon

I love with a passion this film about giant subterranean worms, and I’m not afraid to say it. Apparently Kevin Bacon thought he was in a career low when he was filming it, but…he was wrong.

Read more about Tremors here.

45

Sleuth

1972 – Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz

You are a young man dressed as a clown about to be murdered.

Sleuth

This is one of the twistiest, turniest cat and mouse thrillers that I ever done saw, featuring great performances by Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine.

44

The Game

1997 – Directed by David Fincher

First, admit to yourself that it sounds intriguing…

The Game

This is a difficult and sometimes unpleasant puzzle of a movie that is worth sticking around because the journey does end in a very interesting place.

43

Frequency

2000 – Directed by Gregory Hoblit

You went down 30 years ago pal you just don’t know it yet.

Frequency

A police officer finds himself communicating by radio to his long-dead father, and things go from there. Dennis Quaid and Jim Caviezel are both good in this movie, a trippy but heartfelt science fiction thriller.

42

The Untouchables

1987 – Directed by Brian De Palma

Surprise is half the battle. Many things are half the battle. Losing is half the battle. Let’s think about what is all the battle.

Ennio Morricone - The Untouchables

A super-stylish highly fictionalized account of Al Capone being taken down by Federal agents. There are lots of cool sequences, but a slow motion yet quickly cut shootout at a train station (which I know is an homage to Eisenstein) is a standout.

41

Little Women

2019 – Directed by Greta Gerwig

I’ve made so many resolutions and written sad notes and cried over my sins but it doesn’t seem to help.

Little Women a

I’ve seen a bunch of versions of Little Women which all had merit, but this most recent one from last year is the only one on this list. It’s a beautiful film with good acting and a lovely sense of rhythm.

Read more comments about Little Women here.

40

War of the Worlds

2005 – Directed by Steven Spielberg

Can you think of a plan that *doesn’t* involve your 10-year-old sister joining the army?

Tom Cruise War of the Worlds

It’s maybe a little shocking this movie is so high.  Certainly it’s got a flawed plot, but it makes up for it with one outstanding sequence after another of almost unbelievable tension.

Read more about here.  Read about a great movie moment from War of the Worlds here.

39

The Lord of the Rings:  The Fellowship of the Ring

2001 – Directed by Peter Jackson

I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.

The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring

If it were one movie, maybe I’d choose the entirety of Lord of the Rings, but it’s not and I can’t quite bring myself to give it three spots on this list. This first one is the one I remember the best and has the most of my favorite scenes.

38

Arthur Christmas

2011 – Directed by Sarah Smith

I’ve got a phobia of being beheaded – and heights, and speed, and reindeer, and buttons.

Arthur Christmas

A very cute animated Christmas film that comes in a lot higher than I’d have guessed a cute animated Christmas film would come, but whatever, it’s a good, sweet and funny movie.

Read about a great movie moment from War of the Worlds here.

37

The Prince of Egypt

1998 – Directed by Brenda Chapman, Steve Hickner & Simon Wells

With one word, Pharaoh can take away your very lives. But there is one thing he cannot take away from you: your faith.

The Prince of Egypt

This is a pretty unique movie—a biblical, historical, musical animated epic. It’s legitimately inspirational, and got some good performances.

36

The Miracle Worker

1962 – Directed by Arthur Penn

Mrs. Keller, I don’t think Helen’s greatest handicap is deafness or blindness. I think it’s your love and pity.

The Miracle Worker

Patty Duke and Anne Bancroft are outstanding in this movie, based on the real story about blind, deaf and mute Helen Keller and her teacher. The ending is one of the most heart-warming things I’ve ever seen, and there’s an “eating breakfast” scene in the middle which is so intense, it has to be seen to be believed.

Read about a great movie moment from The Miracle Worker here.

35

Once

2007 – Directed by John Carney

I play these song at night or I wouldn’t make any money.

Once

Once is a small scale Irish folk-musical about the relationship between two broken characters who connect over their music. It’s really sweet and features an Oscar-winning song, Falling Slowly.

Read more here.

34

Twelve Angry Men

1957 – Directed by Sidney Lumet

Listen to me. Listen. / I have. Now sit down and don’t open your mouth again.

Twelve Angry Men

A nearly one-room play featuring a great cast playing a jury debating a murder. Some of the legal processes are a little bit fanciful, but the drama is top notch.

Read about a great movie moment from Twelve Angry Men here.

33

Emma

1996 – Directed by Douglas McGrath

I hope John advises him against it. After all we know nothing about her parents. They could be pirates!

Emma

An artful and well-mannered adaptation of Jane Austen’s second most famous novel. It’s genuinely funny and features a very good cast, with a special shout out to Sophie Thompson as Miss Bates.

Read about a great movie moment from Emma here.

32

Shadowlands

1993 – Directed by Richard Attenborough

We can’t have the happiness of yesterday without the pain of today. That’s the deal.

Shadowlands

Shadowlands is the story of CS Lewis’ marriage to American Joy Gresham. It’s sad and moving, and features great performances from Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger.

31

Catch Me If You Can

2002 – Directed by Steven Spielberg

Frank, look.  Nobody’s chasing you.

Catch Me If You Can

The second of five Steven Spielberg movies on this list, none of which include dinosaurs. It’s a highly satisfying and ultimately uplifting historical crime caper movie, with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks.

30

Shall We Dance?

1996 – Directed by Masayuki Suo

A weak first step transmits nothing.

Shall We Dance?

There’s an American remake of this movie which I’ve only seen part of, and seemed pretty good, but this is the original Japanese film about a repressed businessman finding joy and self- expression in the somewhat taboo world of ballroom dancing.

29

Bridge of Spies

2015 – Directed by Steven Spielberg

I have a mandate to serve you. Nobody else does. Quite frankly, everybody else has an interest in sending you to the electric chair.

Bridge of Spies

I’ve only seen this movie once, but I really like it. It’s an historical drama about espionage and cold-war politics which has one of those quiet but effective performances from Tom Hanks, and also some really good work by Mark Rylance.

Read more here.

28

Tootsie

1982 – Directed by Sidney Pollack

For I am not Emily Kimberly, the daughter of Dwayne and Alma Kimberly. No, I’m not. I’m Edward Kimberly, the recluse brother of my sister Anthea.

Tootsie

Wow, is this a funny, funny film, which has a really well developed script and an outstanding performance from Dustin Hoffman as a struggling actor who gets regular work on a soap opera by pretending to be a woman.

Read about a great movie moment from Tootsie here.

27

Dunkirk

2017 – Directed by Christopher Nolan

Men my age dictate this war. Why should we be allowed to send our children to fight it?

Dunkirk

At the moment, this is my favorite Christopher Nolan movie—a look at . a significant moment in World War II, told from three different perspectives over three different time periods, which all come together at the climax. It’s a good piece of work.

26

Raiders of the Lost Ark

1981 – Directed by Steven Spielberg

Asps… very dangerous. You go first.

Raiders of the Lost Ark

One of the greatest adventure movies, featuring one of the greatest adventure characters of all time. It represents a bit of a perfect storm of the talents of Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Harrison Ford and others…it feels like the sort of thing that will never be repeated.

Read about a great movie moment from Raiders of the Lost Ark here.

Read Part One [101-76]
Read Part Two [75-51]
Read Part Four [25-01]
Brief Analysis

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