Top 5 Movies Everyone Should Love
By Bret Dorman
(As always, SPOILERS! may apply to the following 5 movies in their descriptions and/or clips.)
One of the best movies of all time, the movie I think that puts most movies to shame, that is perfect even in its flaws, that is a masterpiece on every level… is Taxi Driver. A cliche pick of sorts as a lot of people recognize its greatness, but not everyone recognizes it as THE GREATEST! And I’m sure you could make plenty of arguments as to why it is not the greatest.Which got me thinking the other day… I love a lot of movies. Some very popular movies (with the general population and/or the critic population) and some not so much. But I started wondering if such a movie exists that contains the right mixture of good things that people like and isn’t quirky enough for a specific audience. Case in point: Sin City is awesome. But it’s too testosterone filled and full of violence for some. The Fifth Element is sublime… for people who like ultra-crazy sci-fi action comedies. I think anything Quentin Tarantino does is perfect… but he is very polarizing among critics and film nerds.
So what movies are movies so good AND not bad at the same time that I honestly, as objectively as I possibly can, think everyone can and should love? Here we go!
5) PAPER MOON
Rotten Tomato Rating: 91%
Okay, so this one requires a tiny bit of work on the viewers’ part: You have to be okay with Black and White movies. But if you think a movie is flawed because of its lack of color, then chances are you’re just being difficult and antagonistic and this list isn’t for you. Putting that aside, this movie is fantastic.
For everyone to like a movie, it doesn’t hurt for the movie to be charming. Paper Moon stars Ryan and Tatum O’Neal, real life father and daughter with a real life history of problems. Unfortunately, their real life quarrels never got a happy ending, but the chemistry of two people who are related and both love/hate each other in only the way family could shines through magnificently on screen.
Tatum plays Addie Loggins with such depth its no wonder she was the youngest person to win an Oscar. For people who had a troubled childhood, they can emphasize with her desire to have a good father figure. For people who had a good childhood, we can sympathize with her to have what we had. Meanwhile, Ryan O’Neal plays Moses, a nomadic con man who tries to not have a heart but kind of secretly does.
Why Should You Love It? The chemistry of the two main characters is both charming and endearing. A depression era movie has never been more fun or uplifting, even if the two main characters are thieves.
Rotten Tomato Rating: 100%
Jaws is a masterpiece of both art and entertainment. Film lovers can gush over how perfect the movie is shot, literary scholars can gush over the ‘Man Vs Nature; White Whale’ aspect of the story, and any casual movie goer can gush over the horror of the shark and the excitement of the adventure to kill it.
For being a crazy shark hunt movie, Jaws is also surprisingly intimate at times, including a scene where Sheriff Brody quietly plays with his son at the dinner table and Quint’s famous U.S.S. Indianapolis speech which does the classic Spielberg “let’s have fun together” (comparing scars) and then quickly sucker punches you with a gripping scene/monologue.
Now that Jaws exists and is easily acceptable, there is no reason every kid shouldn’t watch this movie and be scarred for life. I still am a little scared swimming in a friends 10ft underground pool even though I KNOW there is no way a shark could be in there… Jaws is that good.
Why Should You Love It? Three men of varying heroicness, coolness, and badassness embark on a mission to hunt a shark. It’s an adventure you’ll be glad you never have to take, but will always love watching.
3) Toy Story
Rotten Tomato Rating: 100%
There had to be a Disney movie on here (this came out at the start of the the whole Disney-Pixar on-again-off-again relationship). Why not a more classic toon? Because Toy Story is faster paced and sharper witted. In today’s ADD culture, that kind of stuff matters.
Plus you’ve got a cowboy AND an astronaut! Double Whammy! AND a T-Rex! Triple Threat! Unlike some classic Disney movies, Toy Story is in this unique position to be grounded in our reality, but still be wildly creative and imaginative. Most of the movie even plays out as this wild chase/rescue mission with a pacing that puts most straight up action movies to shame.
At the heart of this movie though is a message about friendship. The idea of not judging a book by its cover (or a toy by its flashing lights?) is an idea that most kids should learn and most adults should abide by, even though they don’t. Also, this is the only way I could envision Tom Hanks (one of the most likable actors ever) as a cowboy.
Why You Should Love It? Because kids love having fun, so why not let your inner kid have some fun.
2) Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid
Rotten Tomato Rating: 89%
Okay, like Paper Moon, Butch/Sundance has a niche like quirk: It’s a Western. I admit, I was not a huge fan of Westerns growing up, but now I do like them a lot. I find it hard to categorize Butch/Sundance purely as a Western though, its just too funny. Its more of a Comedy than a Western.
Also like the three movies before it, chemistry plays a big part of the film’s charm. The way Newman and Redford interact and communicate with the fast paced quippy back-and-forth dialogue given to them makes it hard to not root for these ‘bad guys.’ Plus they never really do anything all that ‘bad.’
From the opening three lines to the banter during the extended chase to the final scene, the film is loaded with memorable lines and moments (too many to list here… although I did have a chunk typed out and ready to go…). The movie is constantly upping the stakes but never losing its wildy fantastic sense of humor.
Why You Should Love It? Paul Newman and Robert Redford. Together. Havin’ a blast. There’s a reason these two men are icons. This film isn’t just an adequate film for them to shine, its a film that elevates them from the opening scene to quite possibly the most famous final single frame of a movie ever.
1) The Princess Bride
Rotten Tomato Rating: 96%
Not only is The Princess Bride a movie that doesn’t contain anything bad, it also meets and exceeds all the good expectations. It has something for everyone: fantasy (in a wacky but digestible way), adventure, sword fights, Andre the Giant, love, betrayal, a weird henchman/villain, a cool death speech, pirates, romance, rats, a miracle, and a Princess and a bride… combined! Add in the whole meta-fairy-tale book element and you got yourself a winner.
We even tried to do a podcast review on this movie over at Cinema Smackdown. We failed. You can’t review it. The best way to describe its awesomeness is to just describe what happened, at which point you might as well pop in the movie and sit down and re-live the wonder.
The movie is broad enough to include many types of humor, adventure, and romantic elements while being specific enough to make it unique. It stands out from the rest of the crowd. In a way its almost spoof like, being satirical to the point of being over the top, but in a way, when it comes to having to have real charm and affection, its able to deliver on that as well.
Why You Should Love It? Because nothing this likable and charming will ever exist in Hollywood again. I would like to see all of Hollywood unite to find the best screenwrites to work on the best script and find the best directors to collaborate and use the best actors to try and together work on making a remake of this movie as likable. Because once they finish, the end product, as good as it could possibly be, won’t have one thing: Magic. The Princess Bride is truly a magical movie that somehow all the stars aligned to make it the most perfectly lovable movie I can objectively think of. To say otherwise is inconceivable!
So there you have it. Obviously there are tons of movies I WANT other people to like, but I genuinely can not think of any reasons people could hate on these films. They are all funny and charming (yes, even Jaws at times) to the point of instant likability.
Feel free to comment below on how much you love these movies. Don’t say anything bad about them, because I was as objective as possible, which means I can’t be wrong! (I keep using this word [objective], perhaps it does not mean what I think it means?)