The Great Movie Adventure
March 5, 2020 Comments Off on The Great Movie Adventure Living Well, Male Spirit, Self-Mastery Tom Burden

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?

Time Left

Movies Left


Each one will be linked after it has been reviewed.

4212 Angry Men12 Years a Slave 500 Days of Summer
A Beautiful Mind A Fantastic Woman A Few Good MenA Raisin in the Sun
A River Runs Through ItA Time to KillAliAll Quiet on the Western Front
All the President’s MenAmerican BeautyAmerican History XAmerican Hustle
Apollo 13Bad BoysBad Boys IIBig Fish
Black Hawk DownBlue VelvetBoyhoodBoyz N The Hood
BraveheartBull DurhamBullittChinatown
Cinderella ManCoach CarterCocktailCool Hand Luke
Crazy, Stupid, LoveDead Poet’s SocietyDefianceDr. No
Dr. ZhivagoEasy RiderEnter the DragonEquilibrium
Europa EuropaField of DreamsFight ClubFinding Forrester
Finding NemoFirst BloodForest GumpFrom Here to Eternity
Full Metal JacketFuryGandhiGangs of New York
Gentlemen’s AgreementGladiatorGloryGood Will Hunting
Gran TorinoGroundhog DayHalf a LifetimeHeartbreak Ridge
HeatHigh NoonHitchHoosiers
Hunt for the WildrepeopleI Am LegendIn the Heat of the NightIndiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark
Indiana Jones: The Temple of DoomIndiana Jones: The Last CrusadeInto the WildJacob the Liar
Jeremiah JohnsonJerry MaguireLast of the MohicansLawrence of Arabia
Lean on MeLeaving Las VegasLegends of the FallLeon: The Professional
Liar, LiarLincolnLone SurvivorLotR: Fellowship of the Ring
LotR: The Two TowersLotR: The Return of the KingMad Max: Fury RoadMalcolm X
McLintock!Memphis BelleMillion Dollar BabyMississippi Burning
MoneyballMrs. DoubtfireNewnessOne Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Only the BravePatton PlatoonRed Dawn
Remember the TitansRio BravoRoadhouseRob Roy
RockyRomeo + JulietRunaway TrainRush
Saving Private RyanSchindler’s ListSchool TiesSecondhand Lions
Seven SamuraiShaneSilver Linings PlaybookSource Code
StalkerStand and DeliverStand By MeStar Trek: The Wrath of Khan
Star Wars: A New HopeStar Wars: The Empire Strikes BackStar Wars: The Return of the JediSwingers
The African QueenThe ApartmentThe Best Years of Our LivesThe Big Lewbowski
The Bucket ListThe Dark CrystalThe DuelistsThe Emperor’s Club
The French ConnectionThe Great EscapeThe Green MileThe Hunt for Red October
The HustlerThe ImpossibleThe Iron GiantThe Karate Kid
The Kings of SummerThe King’s SpeechThe Last SamuraiThe Last Time I Committed Suicide
The Life and Death of Colonel BlimpThe Longest DayThe Manchurian CandidateThe Mission
The NaturalThe Outlaw Josie WellsThe OutsidersThe Patriot
The Pelican BriefThe PianistThe Pursuit of HappynessThe Quiet Man
The RoadThe SearchersThe Shawshank RedemptionThe Shootist
The StingThe Thin Red LineThe Third ManThe Tuskegee Airmen
The UntouchablesTombstoneTop GunTrue Grit
Ugetsu MonogatariUnforgivenUpWallstreet
WarriorWe Were SoldiersZuluA Girl Walks Home Alone in the Dark
After Winter, FallCluelessDestroyerFish Tank
Fried Green TomatoesHidden FiguresIrreversibleLabyrinth
Legally BlondeLittle WomenMorvern CallarP.S. I Love You
PersuasionPride & PrejudiceSaving Mr. BanksSisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Steel MagnoliasTeethThe HandmaidenThe Notebook
The Ugly TruthUnder the Tuscan SunWinter’s Bone
About The Author
Tom Burden Tom Burden is a father & husband, martial artist, author, sexual advocate, male advocate and female advocate, and a trained conservation biologist. He is the founder of Reclaimed Masculinity, and co-founder of Central Aikido and Seishinkan Iaido Warrensburg, as well as other business enterprises. He is a longtime student of somatic and embodiment practices, with deep study into the mind, the human body, spirituality, and the environment. He currently resides in Missouri with his wife and daughter.