After doing the Book post, I decided to do a movie post. So here’s what I’ve done. I took the American Film Institute’s Top 100 movies, and then their 2007 redux of that list. What I’ve seen is in bold. (No Italics, not finishing a movie doesn’t count for anything.) But the AFI list missed some great movies, so I compiled my own list (separated by a line of asterisks) that follows theirs.
The AFI list is in the order of the original list, with the 23 changes following the original 100 (the original list ends with Yankee Doodle Dandy). For my list, some of these are old favorites, some are recent and fresh in my mind. I don’t imply it to be a definitive “best of” list, just movies I liked and remembered. My additions are definitely NOT in any order.
On to the movies.
Great cinematography, but not the best movie of all time.
Fantastic. A truly great movie. Bergman is so beautiful and Bogart is the definition of cool. The best movie ever made.
This is a true classic. Great story, fabulous cast. The mob. What else is there?
Gone with the Wind
I don’t have any desire to see it. I know, it’s supposed to be great.
Lawrence of Arabia
I would like to watch this… I’ve rented it twice but I haven’t had time to watch the whole thing.
The Wizard of Oz
ehh… First movie ever made in color, I guess that counts for something.
ehh… very overrated.
On the Waterfront
ehh… it just doesn’t do it for me.
It’s very good. Ralph Fiennes is spectacular. It’s ending is contrived and over emotional, but by then the audience needs the catharsis. When I first saw this I watched it with a friend and her student, a little blond Jewish girl with round glasses. The red jacket in the wheelbarrow… it was tough to watch.
Singin’ in the Rain
It’s great. : D
It’s a Wonderful Life
I like it and I hate it. It’s economic message is awful but I love the way Jimmy Stewart refuses to help a naked Donna Reed.
The Bridge on the River Kwai
So, so, very great. Wrenching. But wow. Such great characters.
Some Like It Hot
Very, very funny. Very funny.
I was four. It was the greatest thing I’d ever seen. but Empire Strikes Back is better. Don’t talk to me about the others. They suck.
All About Eve
The African Queen
I actually don’t think the movie is so great, but the performances are magnificent.
This is great horror. Modern slasher films are pathetic.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Jack, Nurse Ratchet and a big Indian.
The Grapes of Wrath
2001: A Space Odyssey
The best space movie ever made.Yes, the ending is bizarre, but it’s a good movie.
The Maltese Falcon
Bogart is so, so cool
Joe Pesci’s greatest role. DeNiro is Jake Lamotta.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
oh so very, very treacly bad
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Peter Sellers, Peter Sellers, and Peter Sellers. Also the first toilet flush in cinema history.
Bonnie and Clyde
Not just bad, but Warren Beatty bad.
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
very very good. Treacly, but very good.
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Badges? We ain’t got no badges. We don’t need no badges! I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ badges!
Good, but not Woody Allen’s best, not by a long shot.
The Godfather II
Best. Sequel. Ever.
Gary Cooper rocks.
To Kill a Mockingbird
So, so great. Gregory Peck is just awe inspiring
It Happened One Night
The scene where the coconut falls out the window may be the saddest moment in film history.
The Best Years of Our Lives
just darn good movie making
So I finally rented this about a year ago. I put in the DVD and it starts on a train, and I’m watching, and I can’t figure out what’s supposed to hook me, and I don’t get the characters, and there’s no development, and I don’t care about anyone… turns out I put the second disc in first. Oy.
North by Northwest
just darn good movie making
West Side Story
ehh… Shakespeare is actually better. (Hard to believe, I know…)
Stewart’s only creepy role.
King Kong (1933)
Yeah, it’s OK. It doesn’t move me the way it moves other people. Although there is that topless Faye Wray scene…
The Birth of a Nation
talk about evil movies…
A Streetcar Named Desire
Vivien Leigh as Blanche. Brando as Kowalski. Greatest. Casting. Ever.
A Clockwork Orange
Freaky, freaky, freaky. But great.
DeNiro is so weirdly strange…. When he takes Cybill Shepherd to the movies… such a painful scene.
“I think we’re gonna need a bigger boat.”
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Yes, it’s good. But nostalgia aside, Pixar’s stuff is better.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
It’s really not a great movie. It’s ok, but not great.
The Philadelphia Story
Hepburn, Stewart, and Grant. It’s everything a romantic comedy should be.
From Here to Eternity
The stage play is better, but the movie is still good. Although I really, really wish they had kept Tim Curry as Mozart.
All Quiet on the Western Front
Damn good war film.
The Sound of Music
Yes, it really is very good.
Overrated. The TV show ended up being better.
The Third Man
The soundtrack is great. The movie is an irritating distraction.
Rebel Without a Cause
This didn’t speak to me the way it did to some people.
Raiders of the Lost Ark
From Han Solo to Indiana Jones. Wow. Making Archeology cool and sexy is no mean feat. Only Indiana Jones and George Bey can do it.
A truly remarkable performance.
Good. The Searchers is better.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Overrated. Although every time I have mashed potatoes I think of this movie.
The Silence of the Lambs
Hopkins is overrated — Foster’s was the real performance.
The Manchurian Candidate
A great, great movie. Who knew Frank could be such a good actor?
An American in Paris
It’s ok. There are much better Westerns.
The French Connection
Good, but not all-time great. Started the cop/buddy genre.
I’ve seen so many clips, I think I’ve actually seen the movie.
WOW. But renting it is wrong, unless you have at least a 15 foot television screen.
The Gold Rush
Dances with Wolves
A wrenchingly stupid movie.
Really, really great. Magical.
Whatever. Boomer nostalgia run amok. Lucas should stick to action.
It really is good. The sequels (except for the last) all stink, but the first is really very good.
The Deer Hunter
The Wild Bunch
They’re not good people. They’re really, really not.
It’s a very good movie.
One of the all-time greats? No.
I just don’t get it….
Mutiny on the Bounty
It’s OK. Bride of Frankenstein is the better movie.
Boomer narcissism at it’s nadir, apex, whatever
Good, but too far too long.
The Jazz Singer
The first movie with sound.
My Fair Lady
Oh so very good. So very good.
A Place in the Sun
Not Liotta’s, nor Pesci’s, nor DeNiro’s, nor Scorsese’s best.
Fun. : D
Morally ambiguous. Obsessive. Great movie.
Bringing Up Baby
Hepburn and Grant again. It’s a romp.
One of the best Western’s ever made. Truly great.
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
Oh, so amazingly fantastically wonderful.
Yankee Doodle Dandy
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
It’s really one long movie, and it should probably make the top 25, if not the top 10.
Saving Private Ryan
It’s really not that great a movie, but it has a great opening sequence.
The word is synonymous with expensive, spectacular, disaster. So is the movie. I know it made more money than the mint could print, but it’s a BAD movie.
The Sixth Sense
One of the greatest twists of all time.
Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?
The Shawshank Redemption
It’s so, so fabulously great. This is a wonderful, wonderful movie. I’ve never cared so much about a killer.
In the Heat of the Night
All the President’s Men
More Boomer narcissism
Homo-eroticism at it’s most refreshingly innocent.
A Night at the Opera
12 Angry Men
An acting tour-de-force.
To say this is a great performance is like saying the Nazis were bad.
The Last Picture Show
Do The Right Thing
It’s a very, very good movie.
Best Science Fiction movie ever made.
Good, but The Incredibles is better.
A Room With a View
Truth! Beauty! Love! Mr. Beebe, Lucy, George, Cecil…. I love it, I love it, I love it. I really, really love this movie. : D
It’s a great movie, if you haven’t seen it, rent it. Bill Murray and the worst day ever.
The Princess Bride
It’s one of the best adaptations ever made. Andre the Giant and Mandy Patinkin steal the show.
A Lion in Winter
Razor sharp dialog, Peter O’Toole in the performance of a lifetime alongside a riveting and amazing Hepburn. Plus Timothy Dalton when he must have been about 12 and Anthony Hopkins looking very, very young.
Such a good script.
So much fun. : D
I love this movie because the way Hugh Grant feels about Julia Roberts is the way I feel about my wife. : D
When Harry Met Sally
A sentimental favorite from High School. I still think it’s very funny.
The Long Kiss Goodnight
It’s a great thrill ride. If you haven’t seen it, you should.
Little Miss Sunshine
A recent fave. The metaphor of the bus is so apt.
Maybe the funniest movie ever (it’s in the running), it just could not be made today.
Worth watching just for the Puttin’ on the Ritz scene.
Hannah and Her Sisters
Woody Allen’s best movie.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
If the AFI can put shlock like Easy Rider on the list for the Boomers, then Gen X can have Ferris.
The Breakfast Club
Judd Nelson’s flaring nostrils, Molly Ringwald’s pouty lips, Emilio Esteves’s blank stare and Anthony Michael Hall as… The Geek. It’s a bad movie, but it’s OUR bad movie.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles
John Candy’s best performance.
A Christmas Story
Who doesn’t love this movie?
Sabrina (both versions)
Lifestyles of the Rich and Beautiful… both are very good romantic movies.
A Fish Called Wanda
I don’t really like Jamie Lee Curtis, but Michael Palin, Kevin Kline, and John Cleese are outstanding.
This is Spinal Tap
On a scale of one to ten, this one goes to eleven.
Nicolas Cage’s best role.
A classic. Belushi is just grand.
Tom Hanks does a wonderful job. It’s a great fairy tale.
Harold and Maude
Sex between a teenage boy and a very old lady. It’s a fantastic, beautiful, wonderful, joyous movie. It really, really is.
Beverly Hills Cop
Eddie Murphy when he was funny.
What’s the greatest movie ever made? Caddyshack. What’s the worst movie ever made? Caddyshack 2.
Mary Poppins shows her boobs and everyone is gay. But it’s a great movie.
Funniest training camp movie ever. A blast. Incredible. Turn it off after they leave basic training. Seriously. Turn it off.
Michael Keaton is so brilliantly over the top.
Also in the running for funniest movie ever made. All I need is this chair. That’s all I need.
Well, I believe in the soul, the cock, the pussy, the small of a woman’s back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.
Hunt For Red October
Jack Ryan and Sean Connery. Under water. Classic cold-war thriller.
It’s a great and it’s true.
It’s even greater and it’s still true.
The Color Purple
Whoopi Goldberg in one of the greatest performances of all time.
Barbarians at The Gate
Gotta Love Big Tobacco! : D
Thank You For Smoking!
No, really. Big Tobacco rocks.
A Raisin in the Sun
What happens to a dream deferred?
Searching for Bobby Fischer
Makes chess and obsessive parenting thrilling.
A gritty Amish cop drama, a barn raising, and Kelly McGillis. Now that’s good movie-making!
A taut suspense-filled drama. Harrison Ford does a great job.
A throwback movie — it’s an homage to tinsel town, and it’s very, very good.
Scary. Very, very scary.
Lawrence Olivier as the penultimate dentist. I hate dentists.
Little Shop of Horrors
Speaking of dentists… Steve Martin is grand, and it’s a riot of a movie.
Very creepy. A great psychological thriller.
John Galt is named Cash McCall. James Garner was a stud.
Gibson’s Epic. It’s moving and bloody and funny and very, very well done.
Full Metal Jacket
The best Jane Austen movie ever made.
Pirates of the Caribbean
Johnny Depp in the role of a lifetime.
As Good as it Gets
Nicholson in a romantic comedy. And it works.
The Remains of the Day
It’s painful, it’s slow, it’s wrenching and it’s depressing. But it’s also very good.
Ted Danson and Isabella Rosselini in a wonderful romantic comedy.
Four Weddings and a Funeral
Andie McDowell is bad, terrifyingly awful. It’s still a very, very good movie.
An odd little movie, it’s quirky and great.
The English Patient
A spectacular movie with a moral: Don’t leave the woman you love to die alone in a cave.
Wings of Desire
A beautiful film. Transcendent.
City of Angels
It’s a kind of a remake of Wings of Desire. Very, very good in it’s own way.
Life is Beautiful
Beautiful. Just beautiful.
Shakespeare in Love
I think Stoppard’s screenplay is delightful.
I’m a sap when it comes to romantic comedies with a British flair. But I think this one is very good.
Cyrano De Bergerac
The new one. Bond the way he should be. Best Bond movie ever.
Brad Pitt is the best double fictional character ever.
Stranger Than Fiction
Will Farrell in an absolutely lovely movie. Maggie Gyllenhall is great.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
…saved from almost certain temptation.
Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life
Every sperm is sacred.
Stand By Me
Based on The Body by Stephen King, it’s a great coming of age movie.
Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels
An absolute riot.
A Man for All Seasons
Integrity. Integrity. Integrity.
Terry Gilliam’s best work. Magnificent.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Quirky, wierd… refreshing and riveting.
Henry V (Branagh)
A great movie. A great play.
Chariots of Fire
They run. It’s still great.
Heroin is not cool.
Lost in Translation
Bill Murray in a quiet, subtle, wonderful film.
Oh so wonderful–a joyous movie.
A Japanese Western with a Japanese John Wayne and the quest for the perfect bowl of noodles. : D
Lyrical, magical, wonderful, moving, touching… it’s a delight.
The Full Monty
Laugh out loud funny, a classic “feel-good” movie
Irish Soul. Great Soundtrack — a great music movie.
My Left Foot
Daniel Day Lewis in a performance that defies description. Unbelievable — and inspirational too.
It’s not often a movie can successfully dramatize the joy of learning… this one does.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Steve Martin and Michael Caine in a romp.
The Sum of Us
A very young Russell Crowe as a gay man with an adoring father. A great movie about finding the joy in life.
Les Enfants Du Paradise
Made in secret during the Nazi occupation of Paris, this movie is breathtakingly beautiful.
Jean De Florette
A movie about property rights… and a French one at that!
Red, Blue, White
Krzysztof Kieslowski’s trilogy (the colors of the French flag) Each movie is excellent.
Holly Hunter in the role in of her life.
A brilliantly funny and charming coming of age movie, this is fantastic.
Like Water for Chocolate
A great example of magical realism, this movie will make you hungry.
An absolute classic, this is one of the best Australian movies ever made.
Shall We Dance (Japan)
Inspired by Strictly Ballroom, it’s very Japanese, and very tender.
What a summer….
Very funny. Pixar is very good.
I know. It’s awful bad. But it’s so cheesy… I love it.
Austin Powers, Man of Mystery
Surprisingly funny and witty, Mike Meyers does a great job. Dr. Evil is an inspired character.
The Elephant Man
Tough to watch, but a good good movie.
The World According to Garp
So much was cut from the book, but it’s still a fine movie.
So much better than the original…. it’s so much fun.
The Last Temptation of Christ
I never quite understood the religious objections to this tender and very loving portrayal of Jesus on the cross.
Driving Miss Daisy
Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy are both great actors. They’re so good, they got Dan Akroyd an Oscar nomination.
One of the best comic-book adaptations. Hugh Jackman as Wolverine was perfect.
Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker… it’s a fun movie.
Walk the Line
The Man in Black. Cash. Great music, great movie. Reese Witherspoon is outstanding.
Tom Hanks and a bloody volleyball. It’s still a good movie.
Johnny Depp and Juliet Binoche… what else do you need?
Kate Hudson is very, very attractive.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
The special effects are breathtaking. The ending is very Chinese, and very irritating.
Very, very funny.
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Russel Crowe as Captain Jack Aubrey. It’s a good adaptation. I wish they’d make more.
It was oversold when it premiered, but it stands up well over time. It’s really a coming of age story.
Another Russell Crowe movie. He’s the next Mel Gibson. A great feel-good movie.
The Simpsons Movie
It’s a two-hour long episode. Well done.
Snooty brits destroy love. Lavish and well done, it’s Forster’s counter-point to A Room with a View.
A Few Good Men
We all know the quote…. But for me, the real joy is watching Demi Moore and Tom Cruise on screen together. At times you can’t tell which is which.
The Harry Potter Movies
They’ve all been good. If you love the books, you’ll love the movies.
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape
A breakthrough performance by Leonardo Di Caprio, but Johnny Depp steals the show.
Good Will Hunting
Affleck and Damon deserved the Oscar for an excellent script. Van Sandt deserved an Oscar for getting that performance out of Affleck.
Joe vs. The Volcano
It’s the Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan movie you haven’t seen. A lovely fairy tale.
You’ve Got Mail
Predictable, formulaic, obvious, and utterly charming.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Delightful and original. A real pleasure.
The Addams Family
Raul Julia as Gomez Addams… it’s a truly great movie. Great.
The Truman Show
Jim Carey in his first serious role. Peter Weir directed… it’s a good movie.
Surprisingly tender and serious. A very good little movie.
Johnny Depp in a fantastical fairy tale. Anthony Michael Hall as… the stud?????
Uncut, the movie is long, but Blenheim Palace is so gorgeous and the acting so exact, this is great Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliet (The DiCaprio version)
Zefferelli’s version is good, but it lacks bite and style, which the play clearly has. Despite its shortcomings, this is the better Shakespeare.