My all-time favorite movies...

Log in to copy items to your own lists.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Humanity finds a mysterious, obviously artificial object buried beneath the Lunar surface and, with the intelligent computer H.A.L. 9000, sets off on a quest. (149 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
The Shining (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil and spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future. (146 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Blade Runner (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A blade runner must pursue and try to terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space and have returned to Earth to find their creator. (117 mins.)
Director: Ridley Scott
Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
After the rebels have been brutally overpowered by the Empire on their newly established base, Luke Skywalker takes advanced Jedi training with Master Yoda, while his friends are pursued by Darth Vader as part of his plan to capture Luke. (124 mins.)
Director: Irvin Kershner
Ikiru (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A bureaucrat tries to find a meaning in his life after he discovers he has terminal cancer. (143 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
The Mosquito Coast (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
An eccentric and dogmatic inventor sells his house and takes his family to Central America to build a utopia in the middle of the jungle... (117 mins.)
Director: Peter Weir
Moon (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Astronaut Sam Bell has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet's power problems. (97 mins.)
Director: Duncan Jones
Kenji Miyazawa's Night on the Galactic Express (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Two kittens go on a metaphysical journey on a magical railroad train. (113 mins.)
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Robert Ford, who's idolized Jesse James since childhood, tries hard to join the reforming gang of the Missouri outlaw, but gradually becomes resentful of the bandit leader. (160 mins.)
Director: Andrew Dominik
Wings of Honneamise (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
In an alternative Earth, a young astronaut participates in a controversial fledgling space program. (121 mins.)
Director: Hiroyuki Yamaga
Fearless (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A man's personality is dramatically changed after surviving a major airline crash. (122 mins.)
Director: Peter Weir
The Razor's Edge (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
He had everything and wanted nothing. He learned that he had nothing and wanted everything. He saved the world and then it shattered. The path to enlightenment is as sharp and narrow as a razor's edge. (128 mins.)
Director: John Byrum
The Game (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Nicholas Van Orton is a very wealthy San Francisco banker, but he is an absolute loner, even spending his birthday alone... (129 mins.)
Director: David Fincher
Memento (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A man juggles searching for his wife's murderer and keeping his short-term memory loss from being an obstacle. (113 mins.)
Ran (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
In Medieval Japan, an elderly warlord retires, handing over his empire to his three sons. However, he vastly underestimates how the new-found power will corrupt them and cause them to turn on each other...and him. (162 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Adventurer/surgeon/rock musician Buckaroo Banzai and his band of men, the Hong Kong Cavaliers, take on evil alien invaders from the eighth dimension. (103 mins.)
Director: W.D. Richter
Empire of the Sun (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A young English boy struggles to survive under Japanese occupation during World War II. (153 mins.)
Jeremiah Johnson (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A mountain man who wishes to live the life of a hermit becomes the unwilling object of a long vendetta by Indians, and proves to be a match for their warriors in one-on-one combat on the early frontier. (108 mins.)
Director: Sydney Pollack
Jaws (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A giant great white shark arrives on the shores of a New England beach resort and wreaks havoc with bloody attacks on swimmers, until a part-time sheriff teams up with a marine biologist and an old seafarer to hunt the monster down. (124 mins.)
“ The story, writing, directing and editing in this movie is as lean and efficient as Peter Benchley's killing machine. The timing and rhythm is perfect.

Spielberg makes big movies with big ideas, big actors, big special effects, and this one is no different. But one of the great things about him is the realistic little bits of nuance he throws in which ground the movie a little, whether it's Chief Brody throwing junk at the window to get his deputy's attention, or the townspeople's reaction to Quint in the meeting at city hall, or the fisherman telling off Hooper on the pier. Having the less fancy stuff too is one of the strengths of Spielberg's style.

And for a movie about a giant, man eating shark, there's tons of interesting character development. You're not just waiting for the action, because the back and forth between the characters alone is so much fun to hear. You just love listening to them try to cope with the situation and each other. ” - johnnysokko
Rocky (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Rocky Balboa, a small-time boxer, gets a supremely rare chance to fight heavy-weight champion Apollo Creed in a bout in which he strives to go the distance for his self-respect. (120 mins.)
Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
An examination of the machinations behind the scenes at a real estate office. (100 mins.)
Director: James Foley
Until the End of the World (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
In 1999, Claire's life is forever changed after she survives a car crash. She rescues Sam and starts traveling around the world with him. Writer Eugene follows them and writes their story, as a way of recording dreams is being invented. (158 mins.)
Director: Wim Wenders
Goodfellas (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
Henry Hill and his friends work their way up through the mob hierarchy. (146 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
Smoke (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A Brooklyn smoke shop is the center of neighborhood activity, and the stories of its customers. (112 mins.)
Director: Wayne Wang
Apocalypse Now (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
During the Vietnam War, Captain Willard is sent on a dangerous mission into Cambodia to assassinate a renegade colonel who has set himself up as a god among a local tribe. (153 mins.)
Director: Francis Coppola
Paris, Texas (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Travis Henderson, an aimless drifter who has been missing for four years, wanders out of the desert and must reconnect with society, himself, his life, and his family. (147 mins.)
Director: Wim Wenders
Sling Blade (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Karl Childers, a simple man hospitalized since his childhood murder of his mother and her lover, is released to start a new life in a small town. (135 mins.)
Unbreakable (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A man learns something extraordinary about himself after a devastating accident. (106 mins.)
“ I happen to think this is M. Night Shyamalan's best film, better than The Sixth Sense. The concept is even more original. The boy in this one acts like a real boy, not a really good boy actor. The overall tone is very low-key.

There are so many poignant moments I can't reveal without giving too many spoilers. Lots of great details too, like Mr.Glass' purple theme showing up throughout the movie and throughout his life. Casting Samuel L. Jackson completely against type, as one of the physically weakest characters ever, was a terrific idea. Yet we still get to see him go off on a Pulp Fiction-like rant against an ignorant customer in his store. And an ending that is incredibly sad yet satisfying.

We see both characters, David and Elijah, sacrificing something enormous at some point in their life for something they need. In David's case, it's love. In Elijah's case, it's knowing what his place in the world is.

One of the most underrated movies. ” - johnnysokko
Rescue Dawn (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A U.S. fighter pilot's epic struggle of survival after being shot down on a mission over Laos during the Vietnam War. (120 mins.)
Director: Werner Herzog
Training Day (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
On his first day on the job as a Los Angeles narcotics officer, a rookie cop goes on a 24-hour training course with a rogue detective who isn't what he appears. (122 mins.)
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Wings of Desire (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
An angel tires of overseeing human activity and wishes to become human when he falls in love with a mortal. (128 mins.)
Director: Wim Wenders
Blood Simple. (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A rich but jealous man hires a private investigator to kill his cheating wife and her new man. But, when blood is involved, nothing is simple. (99 mins.)
Director: Joel Coen
Barton Fink (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A renowned New York playwright is enticed to California to write for the movies and discovers the hellish truth of Hollywood. (116 mins.)
Director: Joel Coen
The French Connection (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection. (104 mins.)
Fight Club (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
An insomniac office worker, looking for a way to change his life, crosses paths with a devil-may-care soap maker, forming an underground fight club that evolves into something much, much more. (139 mins.)
Director: David Fincher
Planet of the Apes (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An astronaut crew crash-lands on a planet in the distant future where intelligent talking apes are the dominant species, and humans are the oppressed and enslaved. (112 mins.)
Ravenous (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
In a remote military outpost in the 19th Century, Captain John Boyd and his regiment embark on a rescue mission which takes a dark turn when they are ambushed by a sadistic cannibal. (101 mins.)
Director: Antonia Bird
The Black Stallion (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
While traveling with his father, young Alec becomes fascinated by a mysterious Arabian stallion who... (118 mins.)
Director: Carroll Ballard
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
The story of T.E. Lawrence, the English officer who successfully united and led the diverse, often warring, Arab tribes during World War I in order to fight the Turks. (216 mins.)
Director: David Lean
The Road Warrior (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
In the post-apocalyptic Australian wasteland, a cynical drifter agrees to help a small, gasoline rich, community escape a band of bandits. (95 mins.)
Director: George Miller
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
After being exiled from the most advanced town in post apocalyptic Australia, a drifter travels with a group of abandoned children to rebel against the town's queen. (107 mins.)
Shutter Island (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
In 1954, a U.S. marshal investigates the disappearance of a murderess who escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane. (138 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The life of Jesus Christ, his journey through life as he faces the struggles all humans do, and his final temptation on the cross. (164 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
“ I wasnt sure what to expect from this movie, but modern Hollywood being what it is, I thought it would at least be a slight to Christians. While it does depict some unbiblical scenes which Christians could understandably be miffed about, I found most of it largely sympathetic towards Jesus and the immense amount of pressure on him.

The beginning of the film quotes the author and his reasoning behind the story, mostly as a work of therapy for himself, not suggesting this alternative story as truth.

In any case, as a movie by itself, it's a fascinating look at Christ, expertly directed by Martin Scorsese with an amazing cast. Willem Dafoe plays the toutured and tormented Son of God convincingly. But many of the smaller characters steal the scenes when they're on the screen, in particular, Andre Gregory as the intensely philosophical John The Baptist, and Harry Dean Stanton as Saul/Paul.

The score by Peter Gabriel brilliantly mixes a middle eastern sound with touches of his own unique contemporary style. Thankfully, it avoids the cliches most period dramas resort to.

What's most enjoyable about the film, though, is the debate over the need for and way of inspiring people. Saul so convincingly explains to an angry Jesus, long after Jesus has escaped the cross, that it doesn't matter if what he, Paul, preaches is untrue or not. What's most important is what people need to hear. Yet at the end of the movie, it's obvious the real sacrifice is necessary and more powerful. That's my interpretation of it anyway. Of course I've only read a small fraction of the mountains of literature of debate over the film, so I could be missing the point. ” - johnnysokko
Session 9 (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Tensions rise within an asbestos cleaning crew as they work in an abandoned mental hospital with a horrific past that seems to be coming back. (100 mins.)
Director: Brad Anderson
“ Session 9 isn't that scary. It's just creepy as hell.

An asbestos clean-up crew gets a job to work on an old insane assylum before it gets renovated. Desperate to get the contract, the boss of the crew, Gordon, offers a very quick completion date, putting lots of pressure on an already stressed situation. He's tired, has the responsibility of a new baby, and is in danger of losing his company. We also find out he cracked recently and is plagued with enormous guilt over it.

As his stress builds, one of his more curious employees discovers some old audio reels of a psychiatric session with one of the schizophrenic patients. The movie runs these two stories parallel as the patient's multiple personalities get revealed along side the boss' unraveling and building tension within the crew.

One of the first things one notices are the many similarities between Session 9 and one of the most famous horror movies of all time, The Shining. Both films are located in a large, isolated building. At the beginning of each story there's a tour of the place, telling of the disturbing history. Both movies mark time with day titles. The main characters slowly succumb to complete madness. Yet Session 9 is not a knock off. The cast, directing, and overall vibe are different enough to be its own movie. Still, if you're in the mood for a film with these stats, either one'll work.

I should mention the excellent soundtrack too which is sparse and minimalist at times, but disturbing. Brings a lot of eerieness to the story

The tapes are fascinating to listen to as we wait for the final, dominant personality to emerge and for Gordon to completely become unhinged.

There's a bit of debate about the ending and about whether a spirit is involved with the trouble or if it's just psychological. I'm in the psychological camp, based on the facts shown throughout the film and that it's simply more interesting that way. If one subscribes to that theory, it makes the ending narration all the more profound. ” - johnnysokko
Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
An All-American trucker gets dragged into a centuries-old mystical battle in Chinatown. (99 mins.)
Director: John Carpenter
“ This movie doesn't flinch from being absolutely ridiculous. In fact, it steers into the skid unapologetically and succeeds totally.

Kurt Russell owns the role of Jack Burton, a truck driver with more bravado and swagger than John Wayne, but who's constantly out of his depth, surviving by luck, help, and occasionally quick reflexes. I think these, mostly glaring but charming, character deficiencies deftly handled by Russell, is what makes the movie really stand apart from other action comedies. It also embraces cliches but turns them on their head in some hilarious ways.

This was when John Carpenter was still at the top of his game. It's fun, clever, and surprisingly witty.

Jack Burton: That is not water.
Egg Shen: Black blood of the earth.
Jack Burton: Do you mean oil?
Egg Shen: I mean black blood of the earth. ” - johnnysokko
Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
When eccentric man-child Pee-Wee Herman gets his beloved bike stolen in broad daylight, he sets out across the U.S. on the adventure of his life. (91 mins.)
Director: Tim Burton
“ Pee-wee Herman and Tim Burton, at their peaks, are an insanely perfect match. This is one of the funniest movies I've ever seen.

Man-child Pee-wee gets his bike stolen by his jealous, man-child neighbor Francis. Pee-wee eventually turns to a palm reader, to help him find his bike, who tells him, in an improvised moment of fakery, his bike is in...the basement of ...The Alamo. So he begins his journey to Texas.

The gags and Pee-wee's delivery are hilarious, stupid, and sometimes brilliant. Mix that up with heavy doses of Burton bizzarness and you get something original, weird and fun. ” - johnnysokko
Motorama (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A ten year-old boy runs away from his abusive parents, steals a Mustang, and rides off playing a surreal video game. (90 mins.)
Director: Barry Shils
“ A 10 year old boy, Gus, leaves his abusive home, steals a Mustang and drives across the American south west in a surreal quest to win Motorama, a game sponsored by a gas station chain with a grand prize of 500 million dollars - Motorama-world dollars, that is. He drives through an alternate reality America with different money and fictional states. Did the writers name him "Gus" because the whole film is him buying gas as often as possible? Seems likely.

Gus is pretty mature for his age and shrugs off most of the trouble that comes his way. He may be a little kid, but what makes this movie kind of unique is that it refuses to let the adults pull any punches. They treat him like any other grown up. He makes plenty of gas stops and meets lots of people, but it's a lonely story, thanks to the vast, empty landscape and the solitary journey.

The directing is nothing special, and frankly, the soundtrack is terrible, but Jordan Christopher Michael makes the movie. His portrayal of Gus is unnaturally confident, single minded, and just a lot of fun to watch. Yet, his character is not over the top. That's a tough balance to reach, and one most movies would not even care about.

Motorama is a real hidden gem of a road trip movie. ” - johnnysokko
Miracle Mile (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A young man hears a chance phone call telling him that a nuclear war has started and missiles will hit his city in 70 minutes. (87 mins.)
“ I think the best way to watch this movie for the first time is to not know much about it. That's how I happened to experience it, and it blew me away.

If you like a little quirkiness and weirdness and don't mind the unexpected, check it out.

Anthony Edwards and Mare Winningham are perfectly cast as a couple just starting out when fate throws in a major curve ball. The story has a great arc that comes full circle in a horrifying yet beautiful way. The Tangerine Dream soundtrack adds a terrific undercurrent of intensity when things get weird. ” - johnnysokko
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Terence McDonagh is a drug- and gambling-addled detective in post-Katrina New Orleans investigating the killing of five Senegalese immigrants. (122 mins.)
Director: Werner Herzog
“ To understand Bad Lieutenant better it's helpful to be familiar with Werner Herzog. After years of fashionably dark and hip crime movies saturated Hollywood and European cinema, Herzog comes along and flips the axis, I think, just to mess with people. While one of the most compelling and thoughtful modern directors, he's always seemed to distance himself from artistic snobbery, and this movie comes across like a playful jab at a genre that is a little too concerned with being cool.

I don't know if the main role of Terence McDonagh was written for Nicolas Cage's style of acting or whether he made it his own, but despite diluting his brand by taking just about any part, regardless of quality, Cage nails this. Yes, a hunched over, gambler, junkie police detective seems like a perfect fit.

Herzog peppers the film with scenes of truly bizarre, drug-induced breakdowns, but also includes beautifully poignant moments as well, along with Herzog's trademark lingering shots. This might not work so well in the hands of another director, but he really has the knack for making these disparate elements feel like they belong in the same story and the same world. ” - johnnysokko
Memories (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
"Memories" is made up of three separate science-fiction stories. In the first, "Magnetic Rose," four... (113 mins.)