The Great Movie Adventure
Over the next year I’m embarking on a great adventure into masculine cinema. I’ve culled through numerous online lists of “movies men must watch”, as well as taking recommendations of movies from Facebook. I’ve compiled it all into a list of manly movies that I will be watching, some with my wife and/or daughter, and some by myself. The goal: to view all of them within the next 356 days. The list comprises 200 movies, 175 movies that many consider to speak to the male experience. And, to balance it out, 25 movies that would be considered “chick flicks”.
While you can find other such lists on various sites, I’ve long gotten the distinct impression that many of the movies on the list are there simply because someone thought it would make them look better. Further, I have a notion some of the movies on such lists were never actually watched by the creator. For example, on many lists of movies every man should watch is Citizen Cane. Why? Because it was a landmark film that changed the course of movies… you know the spiel. Not that it has anything to do with the male experience, but it was important to the industry. Other than the issue that it frankly doesn’t fit the intent of such a list, I know of no one that’s actually seen the movie. I’m becoming more and more convinced that the only people my age or younger that have seen it are film students.
I have intentionally removed a few movies that are on multiple lists, but you won’t find on mine. An example is The Godfather I & II, and Goodfellas. Are these good movies? Yes. Do they speak to the male experience? No. When all is said and done, all the main characters are morally bankrupt individuals who have no remorse for the lives they’ve lived. I’m not doing this to glorify that lifestyle. As I said, they are good movies, but they are not in the scope of this project. There are plenty of such movies.
All that said, there are other movies on this list that were recommended which I have not seen, or don’t remember well enough, that probably should be excluded before beginning. It’s part of the process.
For each movie I will be doing a short critique. You’ll be able to follow along by checking the list below, or following the manly movies (look for the tag below this article). As I process through each movie the list will grow. When this project concludes on March 12th, 2021, I’ll compose a complete list of the movies every man should watch, why they should watch it, and with more detailed info on each movie.
You may be asking, if there are already such lists, why not just refer to one of them? In part because many such lists, as discussed above, have movies on them that really don’t belong, and several I feel are on there because they are old, “classic” films, and serve more to make the creator look cultured, instead of standing on their own merit.
Some of the movies on the list I’ve seen before. I even own a few. One of them I literally watched less than a week ago. Regardless, I’ll be watching every single one over the course of the year.
Follow along on the journey.
How many have you seen?
Each one will be linked after it has been reviewed.
|42||12 Angry Men||12 Years a Slave||500 Days of Summer|
|A Beautiful Mind||A Fantastic Woman||A Few Good Men||A Raisin in the Sun|
|A River Runs Through It||A Time to Kill||Ali||All Quiet on the Western Front|
|All the President’s Men||American Beauty||American History X||American Hustle|
|Apollo 13||Bad Boys||Bad Boys II||Big Fish|
|Black Hawk Down||Blue Velvet||Boyhood||Boyz N The Hood|
|Cinderella Man||Coach Carter||Cocktail||Cool Hand Luke|
|Crazy, Stupid, Love||Dead Poet’s Society||Defiance||Dr. No|
|Dr. Zhivago||Easy Rider||Enter the Dragon||Equilibrium|
|Europa Europa||Field of Dreams||Fight Club||Finding Forrester|
|Finding Nemo||First Blood||Forest Gump||From Here to Eternity|
|Full Metal Jacket||Fury||Gandhi||Gangs of New York|
|Gentlemen’s Agreement||Gladiator||Glory||Good Will Hunting|
|Gran Torino||Groundhog Day||Half a Lifetime||Heartbreak Ridge|
|Hunt for the Wildrepeople||I Am Legend||In the Heat of the Night||Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark|
|Indiana Jones: The Temple of Doom||Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade||Into the Wild||Jacob the Liar|
|Jeremiah Johnson||Jerry Maguire||Last of the Mohicans||Lawrence of Arabia|
|Lean on Me||Leaving Las Vegas||Legends of the Fall||Leon: The Professional|
|Liar, Liar||Lincoln||Lone Survivor||LotR: Fellowship of the Ring|
|LotR: The Two Towers||LotR: The Return of the King||Mad Max: Fury Road||Malcolm X|
|McLintock!||Memphis Belle||Million Dollar Baby||Mississippi Burning|
|Moneyball||Mrs. Doubtfire||Newness||One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest|
|Only the Brave||Patton||Platoon||Red Dawn|
|Remember the Titans||Rio Bravo||Roadhouse||Rob Roy|
|Rocky||Romeo + Juliet||Runaway Train||Rush|
|Saving Private Ryan||Schindler’s List||School Ties||Secondhand Lions|
|Seven Samurai||Shane||Silver Linings Playbook||Source Code|
|Stalker||Stand and Deliver||Stand By Me||Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan|
|Star Wars: A New Hope||Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back||Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi||Swingers|
|The African Queen||The Apartment||The Best Years of Our Lives||The Big Lewbowski|
|The Bucket List||The Dark Crystal||The Duelists||The Emperor’s Club|
|The French Connection||The Great Escape||The Green Mile||The Hunt for Red October|
|The Hustler||The Impossible||The Iron Giant||The Karate Kid|
|The Kings of Summer||The King’s Speech||The Last Samurai||The Last Time I Committed Suicide|
|The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp||The Longest Day||The Manchurian Candidate||The Mission|
|The Natural||The Outlaw Josie Wells||The Outsiders||The Patriot|
|The Pelican Brief||The Pianist||The Pursuit of Happyness||The Quiet Man|
|The Road||The Searchers||The Shawshank Redemption||The Shootist|
|The Sting||The Thin Red Line||The Third Man||The Tuskegee Airmen|
|The Untouchables||Tombstone||Top Gun||True Grit|
|Warrior||We Were Soldiers||Zulu||A Girl Walks Home Alone in the Dark|
|After Winter, Fall||Clueless||Destroyer||Fish Tank|
|Fried Green Tomatoes||Hidden Figures||Irreversible||Labyrinth|
|Legally Blonde||Little Women||Morvern Callar||P.S. I Love You|
|Persuasion||Pride & Prejudice||Saving Mr. Banks||Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants|
|Steel Magnolias||Teeth||The Handmaiden||The Notebook|
|The Ugly Truth||Under the Tuscan Sun||Winter’s Bone|