Movie Guide

Movie Guide

A friend asked if I would recommend my favorite movies of all time. In that, I went through my collection, looking for dear old favorites. Many made the top set of favorites. Some just fell short – I’ll include them too, further below.

The best….

Amelie – Simply put, the cutest movie ever made. Adorable.

Blade Runner – We’re talking director’s cut here. Mortality and morality, all in a grim futuristic setting.

The Blues Brothers – A car-crashing music video. I don’t even like R&B, but I do when I watch this. Still hate Illinois Nazis.

The Blue Max – One of my “Life Lesson” movies – a warning about vanity, pride, and shooting off your mouth.

Captains Courageous – The ultimate “brat learns to be a man” story; high-sea’s adventure.

Defending your Life – The best movie about living short of your potential. Most of the hero’s weaknesses I share.

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog – Catchy music as you root for the villain.

Dr. Strangelove – The ultimate parody of the unthinkable.

Fight Club – If you think you know what this is about, you don’t. Deviously clever!

The Flim Flam Man – Wonderful flick about a broken-down con artist.

The General – The finest Buster Keaton flick ever; live stunts and train action that is mind-boggling in execution.

The Great Waldo Pepper – An aviator’s movie. I just about passed out when I saw it as a kid. Watch Robert Redford do his own flying and stunts!

The Great Race – Just an all-around great movie; Jack Lemon at his best scowling at lapdogs.

High Noon – The ultimate movie about human abandonment and collective weaseling. I love the quaker unloading a gun into some thug’s back.

It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world – Just a madcap chase movie with cameos from just about everyone.

The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean – Another “Life Lesson” movie, this one about pride. The ending is sad yet beautiful.

Kelly’s Heroes – One of the finest war movies ever made. The tiger tanks were stunning!

Maltese Falcon – The best intra-personal drama made – watch Sam Spade navigate this swamp of deception.

The Three/Four Musketeers – 1973 – the best adaptation of a wonderful novel.

My Cousin Vinny – Brilliantly executed fish-out-of-water / courtroom drama.

The Princess Bride – Spoofs the fantasy storyline without being obvious. A wonderful story.

Run Lola Run – A metaphysical music video. One of my ultimate favs.

Safety Last – Watch Harold Lloyd climb a building and try not to pee in your pants.

Seven Samurai – One of the best movies ever, the thinking-man’s historical drama.

The Train – Great WW2 train movie, with great crash scenes and clever turn-abouts


And the rest…



Firefly (with Serenity) – Great aborted TV series and follow-up movie. Anyone who watches comes away a fan.



Cowboy Bebop – A great series about hard-luck bounty hunters in space. Fantastic music. Has one of the most bittersweet moments in anything I’ve ever watched.

Kiki’s Delivery Service – Beautiful story about a young girl growing up occulted. A little girl in the big city. Sweet.

Porco Rosso – Great flick about a flying ace who happens to be a pig. The only Disney movie where the hero smokes.

Sita Sings the Blues – Indian mythology told as a colorful, funny music video.

Iron Giant – Wonderful movie about growing up, sacrifice, and friendship. I go, you stay, no following.

The Triplets of Belleville – Great French flick with no dialog. Just caricatures and parodies and three aging divas…

How to Train your Dragon – Reminds me of leaning to fly my ultralight. And playing too much D&D.


Honorable mentions…

After Hours – Never have I laughed so hard in a theater. A “man” movie about the worst date possible.

Brazil – 1984 with style and stunning visuals.

Back to the Future – One of the more clever time-travel movies ever made.

Thief and the Cobbler – This animated movie was a labor-of-love that got taken over and hacked. Still, you can see its sad brilliance.

Kill Bill – A great “revenge” movie with fun action and classy execution.

Emperor of the North – This would have made it as my best train movie if some of the acting hadn’t been over the top. Still, a railroader’s movie.

Captain Blood – Captain Jack Sparrow? Feh! See the original gentleman pirate.

Galaxy Quest – A great Star Trek parody.

The Fifth Element – Shot with the same crispness I aim for in writing; so tight and right. Fun sci-fi.

Shaun of the Dead – The movie that made me a zombie fan. Very clever in execution and humor.

Twelve Angry Men – A movie that reminds me how I should be: thoughtful, impartial, and fair.

Troy – Great adaptation of the Iliad, other than the tacked-on Hollywood ending.

1941, Catch 22, Tora^3, Battle of Britain – Grouped because they are all good stories with great war footage.

Yellow Submarine – I’m soft on this because I loved it as a kid. Just one long music video.

The Road – One of the few after-the-end flicks that don’t leave me wishing (just a little bit) that I could survive the end of civilization.

The Russians are Coming^2 – Funny war-hysteria movie about a Russian sub that runs aground off a fishing village.