My Best Movies

Some of the best movies ive ever seen.
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The Godfather (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.2/10 X  
The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son. (175 mins.)
“ The best movie ever. Hands Down
I love this movie and all of the GF movies. I see something new every time I have seen it (countless, truly). The story of tragedy and (little) comedy that exists in this film is easily understood by people all over the world. This film has been called an American story however I have met others who have seen this movie in other languages and they seem to have the same love and appreciation for it that I do. I love the characters and all of the different personalities that they represent not just in families but in society itself. It seems like the entire cast is part of every other movie that I love as well. The sounds, music, color and light in the film are just as much a part of the film as the people. This could be attributed to the method in which it was filmed. At many parts of the film I can still find myself feeling the emotions conveyed in the film. I never tire of appreciating this film. I thank God that FFC is an American treasure. We are fortunate to have him. ” - cjbaker39
Tombstone (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A successful lawman's plans to retire anonymously in Tombstone, Arizona, are disrupted by the kind of outlaws he was famous for eliminating. (130 mins.)
“ One of the top 5 Westerns ever!!
First of all, I love the movie. Now some may say, "What a moron..." and others will undoubtedly agree with me. But I think it's great.
I've got to say that the movie was cast well. And the costumes were true to life - men liked to be colorful and unique in that time and place. The guns were accurate, as were the holsters (low slung and quick draw is a Hollywood invention). ” - cjbaker39
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.3/10 X  
Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency. (142 mins.)
Director: Frank Darabont
“ Classic!!
One of the finest films made in recent years. It's a poignant story about hope. Hope gets me. That's what makes a film like this more than a movie. It tells a lesson about life. Those are the films people talk about 50 or even 100 years from you. It's also a story for freedom. Freedom from isolation, from rule, from bigotry and hate. Freeman and Robbins are majestic in their performances. Each learns from the other. Their relationship is strong and you feel that from the first moment they make contact with one another. There is also a wonderful performance from legend James Whitmore as Brooks.

He shines when it is his time to go back into the world, only to find that the world grew up so fast he never even got a chance to blink. Stephen King's story is brought to the screen with great elegance and excitement. It is an extraordinary motion that people "will" be talking about in 50 or 100 years. ” - cjbaker39
The Godfather: Part II (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.0/10 X  
The early life and career of Vito Corleone in 1920s New York is portrayed while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on his crime syndicate stretching from Lake Tahoe, Nevada to pre-revolution 1958 Cuba. (202 mins.)
“ The Godfather Part Two is possibly the best film ever made, every part of this film is amazing, it is even better than the original, I was very surprised by this. The story is amazing, everything makes perfect sense. The Oscar winning screenplay is amazing, the dialogue is some of the most original, and realistic ever putt on screen, the characters are flawless, and it's in every way perfectly written. The acting is just as fantastic, I can't believe Al Pacino lost the Oscar, and for once Robert De Niro was even better, he was truly amazing, and interestingly he fails to say a single word in English. The direction is also amazing, Francis Ford Coppola even does a better job than he did in The Godfather, and Apocalypse Now. The visual effects are so much better than the amazing one's in the original Godfather. One of the best films ever, a must see. Flawless. ” - cjbaker39
Rio Bravo (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A small-town sheriff in the American West enlists the help of a cripple, a drunk, and a young gunfighter in his efforts to hold in jail the brother of the local bad guy. (141 mins.)
Director: Howard Hawks
“ One of my favorite John Wayne films
Rio Bavo is finally coming into its own as a masterpiece. One reason that it has been underrated is that,it does not seem a typical western for the fifties. Most of the great westerns of the period were darker and moodier.
Rio Bravo' is an action Western, which captures a legendary West that fits the legendary talents of Wayne and Hawks... But what makes the film so special is the relationship between the individual characters... It is a traditional, straightforward Western, good-humored and exciting, rich in original touches...

The best moment of the film when Martin and Nelson join each other for some singing and guitar picking, and Walter Brennan joins in with his harmonica and his scratchy voice... The film has a terrific score by one of the great film composers Dimitri Tiomkin... ” - cjbaker39
Sergeant York (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A hillbilly sharpshooter drafted in WW1 despite his claim to be a pacifist, who ends up becoming a war hero. (134 mins.)
Director: Howard Hawks
“ Gary Cooper turned in an incredible performance in this movie. Although I've been familiar with his name for as long as I can remember, I was a little unsure as to why he was so highly regarded as an actor. Now I know. Just watch his face throughout this movie - he's incredibly expressive in communicating York's confusion and emotions during the changes he goes through. ” - cjbaker39
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
After settling his differences with a Japanese PoW camp commander, a British colonel co-operates to oversee his men's construction of a railway bridge for their captors - while oblivious to a plan by the Allies to destroy it. (161 mins.)
Director: David Lean
“ One of my all time favorites
I have watched this movie several times and it is just getting better and better all the time. Why? Because this movie actually has a message built-in, this isn't a violent story, like "Saving Private Ryan" - also a good movie with a message - but it is still not a slow story.

When I last saw it, I realised that there was something in the movie that I had never understood, this isn't a movie about war, torture or how it was to be a prisoner of war; this is a movie about madness and pride. The pride shows both in Saiko and Colonel Nicholson, they are so full of it that it is almost impossible for them to come to a civil-conclusion with the problems they have with each other. The madness is shown in Colonel Nicholson and Holden's character - here they are, two prisoners of war and they don't want to help each other out, instead they try to reach separate goals, and they are both willing to die for it.

After you have watched this movie one is amazed by the performances made by Alec Guinness and William Holden and I must say that this is therefore one of the best War/Drama movies ever made My vote? 9 out of 10 naturally. ” - cjbaker39
El Dorado (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Cole Thornton, a gunfighter for hire, joins forces with an old friend, Sheriff J.P. Hara. Together with an old Indian fighter and a gambler, they help a rancher and his family fight a rival rancher that is trying to steal their water. (126 mins.)
Director: Howard Hawks
“ One of my Favorites
all the characters were played to perfection, even though anyone can play an alcoholic sheriff with a broken-heart Mitchum really made the role shine, of course John Wayne did wonderful as The Hired Gun, but my favorite role was that of Mississipi played by James Caan, in my opinion he did an astonishing job in this role and the scenes with him and Wayne were glorious.

Now some older ladies and gents may find it hard to follow the recommendation of a 16 year old but it is seriously one of my favorites of the ones me and my father have seen

in a lil side note the action scenes were done really well and there was also a slight editing issue during one of the scenes I'm sure you'll notice(but you must take into consideration the time when the movie was made)

thank you and you really must see this movie that could never be done today due to the fight between stars in leading roles. ” - cjbaker39
Patton (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The World War II phase of the career of the controversial American general, George S. Patton. (172 mins.)
“ Awesome
Not much can be said of this movie that already hasn't been said. It captures the war, the man, and the conflict of the two. I thought the movie was very nicely tied together and I thought the reflections of Patton on the past was very necessary. Patton believed in reincarnation so in looking back at historical battles you can see how Patton developed his strategy. He was a student of great leaders and commanders and the movie developed that thought really well. The movie presented the characters, the actual war history, and the Germans extremely well and it is no wonder this movie received the awards it did. After watching this movie over and over again, I'm convinced that no one could have played Patton any better than George C. Scott. You can tell from the movie that he put everything he had into the character. My father-in-law was an officer under Patton in the 3rd. Army and has said over and again how realistic the movie is. I would recommend this movie to anyone looking for an excellent re-telling of WWII history. ” - cjbaker39
Glory (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Robert Gould Shaw leads the US Civil War's first all-black volunteer company, fighting prejudices of both his own Union army and the Confederates. (122 mins.)
Director: Edward Zwick
“ Classic
I will put "Glory" into a few words--this is what every war movie strives to be and beyond. Glory tells the story of a Civil War colonel (Matthew Broderick) who leads the war's first all-black volunteer regimen into battles and discovers along the way he has to confront the moral question of racial prejudice within, and outside of, his regimen.
The final scenes in Glory are mesmerizing. No, more than that--utterly spectacular. The final battle scene at Fort Wagner is so amazingly shot you will think you're actually there fighting along with the black regimen. You're not in your seat watching the film--you feel like you're there! The final battle scene is so spectacular, it will easily remain one of the most memorable battle scenes I've ever witnessed in all of film. After watching Glory, you will find yourself truly moved in all ways possible. You will almost feel like a new person.

All of this paired with a beautiful score by James Horner, Glory is simply one of the best war movies of all-time. Anyone who misses this film is missing out one of the most powerful, moving, and memorable experiences a movie can bring you. ” - cjbaker39
Cold Mountain (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
In the waning days of the American Civil War, a wounded soldier embarks on a perilous journey back home to Cold Mountain, North Carolina to reunite with his sweetheart. (154 mins.)
“ Classic
Nothing but kudos for the casting. Nicole Kidman and Jude Law are in top form--with Law hiding his good looks most of the time under beard, stubble or mud. Renee Zellweger makes us understand why she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as the tough but tender-hearted Ruby. Cinematography and background score are tops.
anyone interested in the Civil War period will find this a meticulous work as far as costumes, settings and use of folk music is concerned. ” - cjbaker39
The Pride of the Yankees (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The story of the life and career of the famed baseball player, Lou Gehrig. (128 mins.)
Director: Sam Wood
“ Best Sports Movie Ever
A touching and emotional experience about the life of late-New York Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig (played brilliantly by the always excellent Gary Cooper, Oscar-nominated). By 1939 Gehrig was saying farewell to baseball prematurely due to a rare muscle disorder that today bears the hero's name. Shortly after Gehrig's famous speech, he would indeed pass away. "The Pride of the Yankees" (made less than three years after his death) is a moving tribute that is first-class in every way imaginable. We meet the character as a young boy whose strict mother wants him to be an engineer. As the years pass though he cannot deny his love of the grand old game. Sportswriter Walter Brennan (who was always outstanding as well) becomes the biggest supporter of Gehrig, even though Gehrig seems out-of-place in the big city at times and seems more concerned about baseball than anything else (which bothers some inside of the Yankees circle, mainly due to Babe Ruth's famous antics). As the years pass, championships come and a constant is always Gehrig who set a record with 2,130 consecutive games played (Cal Ripken, Jr. would later break that record in 1995). He finds love with a young woman from Chicago (Oscar-nominee Teresa Wright) and it appears that happiness is all that the couple will experience. Sadly that would not be the case though. Sam Wood's heart-felt direction and a focused screenplay (which is a bit sappy at times) just add an odd element of grace that endears the film to most all movie-goers. Babe Ruth does play himself here and is a surprisingly excellent performer who allows himself to be taken out of the spotlight to tell Gehrig's story. He ends up being a really solid supporting actor. I do admit that "The Pride of the Yankees" is slightly flawed. Some things seem a bit staged (most notably the young child in the hospital), but overall the film is right on target. Anyone who loves baseball, loves movies and has feelings (whether good, bad or indifferent) about the Yankees should definitely give "The Pride of the Yankees" an at-bat. It is a stunning experience that is suitable for the whole family and teaches the whole audience about love, friendship, compassion, life, death and heroism. 4.5 out of 5 stars. ” - cjbaker39
We Were Soldiers (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
The story of the first major battle of the American phase of the Vietnam War and the soldiers on both sides that fought it. (138 mins.)
Director: Randall Wallace
“ Classic
The acting is excellent. Mel Gibson offers the right combination of hard nosed officer and father figure (both to his children and his men). Gibson is steadfast and courageous without being harsh. His portrayal of Moore is so well played, so charismatic and heroic, that it is impossible to believe that such a person could actually exist.

Sam Elliot follows an outstanding performance in `The Contender' with this gem as Sergeant Major Plumley, the tough as nails warhorse who serves as Moore's non commissioned adjutant. Elliot plays the intransigent career soldier to the hilt, where nothing including life itself is more important than honor and discipline. Barry Pepper also turns in a fine performance as Joe Galloway, the photo journalist who hops on a helicopter to take pictures in the center of the battle and finds himself with a rifle in his hands fighting for his life.

This is among the best war films in recent memory and probably the best film on the Vietnam War film since `Full Metal Jacket'. I rated it a 10/10. This film is not for everyone. It contains graphic violence and disturbingly realistic battle scenes. It is a gripping and distressing film that should be required viewing for statesmen and generals alike. ” - cjbaker39
The Help (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis. (146 mins.)
Director: Tate Taylor
“ Love this movie Octavia Spencer awesome!!
Award Worthy: YES! Nominations for: Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Screenplay, Picture, Director Entertaining: Yes Summer Movie Grade: A+ Is it Worth the Price of a Movie ticket: Yes Would I watch It Again: Yes ” - cjbaker39
The Secret Life of Bees (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Set in South Carolina in 1964, this is the tale of Lily Owens, a 14 year-old girl who is haunted by the memory of her late mother... (114 mins.)
“ I loved it!!
Based on a novel by Sue Monk Kidd and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, The Secret Life of Bees is one powerful drama above love and the looking for love, as well as running along the theme of forgiveness and reconciliation. It's easy to dismiss this as a chick flick because of its predominantly female cast, but that would be a mistake to make in making it an excuse to miss this film altogether. For all its worth, it's chock full of extremely well delivered performances from veterans such as Fanning herself, together with Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson (proving that she's no flash in the pan), Sophie Okonedo, Paul Bettany and even Alicia Keys!

Set in the time of Summer in 1964 Southern USA where the Civil Rights Act was just signed and in effect, the sentiments amongst the racist bigots still run high in a charged environment still hanging onto their old segregated ways. Fanning's Lily Owens carries the weight of her guilt buried deep in her subconscious from a tragic event that happened when she was four, and ten years later, after receiving the last straw of punishment from her abusive dad (Bettany), runs away with her caretaker Rosaleen (Hudson).
Definitely recommended! ” - cjbaker39
Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
As Cecil Gaines serves eight presidents during his tenure as a butler at the White House, the civil rights movement, Vietnam, and other major events affect this man's life, family, and American society. (132 mins.)
Director: Lee Daniels
“ One of my favorites
the movie was excellent with excAfrican-American White House butler Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker) asks his boss, Mr. Warner, for equal pay for African American staff. They are paid less than white staff, he complains. The audience has been watching Cecil Gaines for a while now, and we know he is an admirable man. He certainly deserves equal pay. ” - cjbaker39
The Untouchables (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Federal Agent Eliot Ness sets out to stop Al Capone; because of rampant corruption, he assembles a small, hand-picked team. (119 mins.)
Director: Brian De Palma
“ As good a gangster movie that has ever been made as DePalma does justice to Mamet's electric script. The acting on show is right out of the top draw, the inevitable ease that DeNiro puts menace into Capone is quite impressive, whilst the fresh faced pugnacious tenacity of Andy Garcia's George Stone is something of a delightful experience. Yet that is not enough because we still need the central actors to carry the film if it is going to triumph. Connery is a given performance wise (accent aside of course, but then again who cares when the character portrayal is as sharp as it is here?) but it is Costner as Eliot Ness that shines like the star he was soon to become, it's a magic performance that manages to fuse genuine tenderness of family love with little trips to the dark side in pursuit of making good triumph over evil.

I love that the film is showing how violence and fear affects families, mother and child is a theme that is central to the film's heartbeat, notice how some of the more violent scenes are followed by tender scenes of Ness and his family. The set pieces here are attention grabbing entertainment, a roaring Canadian border rumpus and a smashing roof top pursuit and face off are top value, but it's DePalma gold watching a brilliant Battleship Potemkin homage at the Union train station that takes the cake as the film enters its last quarter. Surely historical facts does not matter when films are as sharp as this one is? It's frightening, touching, and even witty. So for me at least, the film is 10/10 in every department (and yes, even with Sean's accent). ” - cjbaker39
We Are Marshall (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
When a plane crash claims the lives of members of the Marshall University football team and some of its fans, the team's new coach and his surviving players try to keep the football program alive. (131 mins.)
Director: McG
“ Grab your tissue
I believe this film will move anyone with a soul and is Oscar worthy. But being someone who used to pretend to be Ted Shoebridge, listened to Gene Morehouse call the play by play of the East Carolina game, heard the sirens wail as the emergency vehicles streaked through Adams Ave., and had Reggie Oliver for a gym teacher in elementary school, I am hardly objective and will let others judge this films artistic merit or the level of interest of this story to the general public.

However, I can say that this film perfectly captures the time, place, and people. This film is not a documentary, but I was stunned (and quite shook up) by just how close the story correlated with reality. This story does not come from the imagination of Hollywood; it comes from the real life experiences of real people. The story telling and character portrayals of this true story are delivered with breathtaking accuracy, and this is what sets this movie apart and makes it a masterpiece. ” - cjbaker39
The Great Debaters (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A drama based on the true story of Melvin B. Tolson, a professor at Wiley College Texas. In 1935, he inspired students to form the school's first debate team, which went on to challenge Harvard in the national championship. (126 mins.)
“ Awesome Movie
Best things: the design of the film, the cinematography, the casting of the primary characters, and, most importantly, the inspirational theme of debating, of speaking well as a way out and up. I hope it inspires young people of all races to clean up their bad speech habits, speak up and be heard. As the Samantha character says at one point, in wonder, "I didn't need weapons, I had words!" ” - cjbaker39
Freedom Writers (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A young teacher inspires her class of at-risk students to learn tolerance, apply themselves, and pursue education beyond high school. (123 mins.)
“ One of my favorites
This film was terrific! Very good! The acting by everyone, especially by Hilary Swank, was great. If you are in the mood for an inspirational film than you should go see this film. It puts you in a really good mood and makes you feel great! 'Freedom Writers' was filled with drama, humor, and more. It was a really nice film and a must see. 'Freedom Writers', has something for everybody. It is a film that people will love no matter what and who they are. A++++++ **** Go see this great film! It will literally set you in a good mood. P.S. It will probably make you cry so bring that special tissue box used for whatever your tears need! ” - cjbaker39
A River Runs Through It (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
The story about two sons of a stern minister -- one reserved, one rebellious -- growing up in rural Montana while devoted to fly fishing. (123 mins.)
Director: Robert Redford
“ A Masterpiece
the movie is very inspiring with brilliant acting and a deep story about the fragile connections of loved ones. There is a lot of deep thinking in this film. The scenery is worth seeing alone and actually helps relieve tension. You should finish this film relaxed yet full of insights to your own life. It takes a compassionate, intelligent, and spiritual person to really grasp the meaning. If you don't understand the art of cinema and how a director achieves his goals through dialogue, tone, light, colour, scenery, camera angles/movement, etc. Then this film is probably not for the crowd that thinks "The Fast and the Furious" is the greatest film. Granted it was entertaining but shallow.

The bottom line: This film helps to realize that life is not about how much money you have or what things you posses. Rather it is about your relationships with family and friends and the experiences you share together. QUALITY NOT QAUNTITY ” - cjbaker39
Schindler's List (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
In German-occupied Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazi Germans. (195 mins.)
“ Wonderful Movie
Steven Spielberg makes one of (if not the one) his greatest movies of all time. Liam Neeson gives a great performance as Schindler and the whole film is just powerful, amazing and sad but it doesn't matter because the movie is so good. Ralph Fiennes makes an even better performance as Goeth, a man who made everyone stare into the screen with anger and sadness and that is just what a movie is supposed to do-make you feel sad, happy, angry or effect you in some way. I read that someone thought it was overrated and bad, but I think it's a classic and it'll never go away. So if you want to see one of the greatest historical films ever made, then go see Schindler's List. ” - cjbaker39
Hoosiers (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A coach with a checkered past and a local drunk train a small town high school basketball team to become a top contender for the championship. (114 mins.)
Director: David Anspaugh
“ One of the best sports movies of all time
This movie is authentic nostalgia for anyone who grew up in the mid-west in the 50's and 60's. It's what life looked like when I myself "came down to this planet" in the late 1940's and experienced my teens in the 60's.

The old school with high ceilings and gleaming wooden floors, the gyms with the gold-toned wall-tiles, even the hospital scene with the nurse in her starched white uniform -- all evoke a peculiar beauty that you no longer find today.

There is even a scene where a young teen girl yells "NO!" to an unjust referee call, and her pointy glasses and pony tail look so much like me back then, it feels like a glimpse into a parallel dimension.

I'd say this is a must-see experience for people my age -- although all ages can thoroughly enjoy the basketball action.

I'm glad for the social progress since then. But there is a "peculiar beauty" from those times that is starkly missing today. ” - cjbaker39
Das Boot (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
The claustrophobic world of a WWII German U-boat; boredom, filth, and sheer terror. (149 mins.)
“ One of my all time favorites
The first time I saw this film I could not take my eyes from it. I was mesmerized with the transition of a hearty young crew leaving port evolving as the sheer moments of terror (deep under water battles and personal struggles as well as the final scene) lead them all to rethink their actual cause, and their very own mortality (as well as our own in the perils of war!). I can't imagine another film actually displaying what it must have been like to be on one of Nazi Germany's U-boats - young nationalist boys being plucked from their mother's bosom and cast into the claustrophobic iron wolfs in the heat and height of the second world war, who begin to doubt the cause and victory of the fuhrer they've been taught to love and trust. Very colorful, contrasting characters and a script and plot thick with surprises and emotional drama/trauma. Top-notch direction, action, acting and sets. This is perhaps the greatest movie ever made in my opinion. Sorry I couldn't be more specific with the review, there is just too much to cover without spoiling anything for those yet to enjoy it, and thus I just highly recommend it to anybody, not just war movie buffs. I have seen both the regular version and the director's cut (which I own on DVD now) and I must say that the DC is superior. A masterpiece! ” - cjbaker39
Lincoln (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
As the Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves. (150 mins.)
“ Daniel Day Lewis Awesome
Steven Spielberg visuals are excellent in movies and this one is no exception. He does a wonderful job recreating the time period that Lincoln was a Daniel Day-Lewis is something of an unsung miracle; the man will come out of nowhere, select an unlikely role, knock it out of the park. ” - cjbaker39
The Blind Side (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
The story of Michael Oher, a homeless and traumatized boy who became an All American football player and first round NFL draft pick with the help of a caring woman and her family. (129 mins.)
“ Awesome movie. Tim McGraw was great.
This was a well made film, perfectly filmed,and great performances by everybody.

Leigh Ann Tuohy(Sandra Bullock), seems to have the life most women would envy, a wonderful supporting husband(Tim Mcgraw), and two great kids(Lily Collins and Jae Head). But one day while driving home, she sees, a larger then life teenager which everybody calls Big Mike(Quinton Aaron), when she tries to talk to him, he comes across as a little withdrawn, and is nearly homeless, she decides to take him in, with her supporting family behind her. Leigh finds out his name is Michael Oher, and tries to dig up things about his past, in hopes of helping him, but the question is will she?

I really liked this film, it manages to balance humor and drama perfectly. Sandra Bullock gave quite a strong performance, so Quinton Aaron, Lyn Collin, but Jae Head is quite the scene stealer. It also has a good football scene as well. And Kathy Bates is good in her supporting role also. I say see The Blind Side. ” - cjbaker39
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
Eight years after the Joker's reign of anarchy, the Dark Knight, with the help of the enigmatic Catwoman, is forced from his imposed exile to save Gotham City, now on the edge of total annihilation, from the brutal guerrilla terrorist Bane. (164 mins.)
“ Christian Bale is a great Bat-Man
The Batman series by Christopher Nolan was and is probably one of the best superhero series ever. In an industry where very few sequels have been that good, The Dark Knight, I believe was designed by Christopher Nolan to be head and shoulders above Batman Begins; and it was. The Dark Knight surpassed Batman Begins, end of story. Now that you have accomplished what very few have managed, how do you surpass this one. A daunting and mountainous task indeed. Only now, Nolan wasn't even trying to surpass it. He was merely trying to present a movie that would build on its predecessor.

The movie is set 8 years after the Joker incident so that anything related to the Joker need not be shown (RIP Heath Ledger). Nolan presents us a completely different Gotham. A different take on it. And how 8 years can change people. How the harvey dent and joker incident can affect people and batman himself. In a time of peace, it is quite easy to plan and attack even an entire city. Everything is taken into concern. And it all adds up to one seemingly invincible villain. The logic is never lost at any point of time. The screenplay is penned to allow the impact of what has happened to Gotham and its people in "The Dark Knight" and what could happen if something goes wrong now.

All things said, if you are expecting something better than The Dark Knight, you are mistaken. This was never going to compete or surpass that. This is a very good movie in its own right. As for the series, there cannot be a better conclusion and I really hope nobody else continues this series if Nolan decides not to.

TDKR needs to be appreciated for staying true to its roots and still giving us something good, exhilarating and unexpected. ” - cjbaker39
The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A down-and-out golfer attempts to recover his game and his life with help from a mystical caddy. (126 mins.)
Director: Robert Redford
“ Great Movie
Hats off to Robert Redford.

Has anybody noticed or is it just me... that this movie is based on the Hindu religious epic: the Bhagwad geeta.

Robert has even retained the same names... "bagger vans" pronounced "Bhagwans"... meaning God in Hinduism.... and in this case... specifically.. lord Krishna...

and the main character.... "Rannulph Junuh".. pronounced "Arjuna".. meaning The warrior Arjuna... in the geeta...

the Hindu mythology reads such: Arjuna does not have the will to fight his own brothers in a dispute over a kingdom.. though he is a supreme archer.. he has lost the will to fight....Krishna... advises him over i think 14 days the logic of war and why he has to fight and make things right..

the movie: rannulph has lost his swing or the will to play golf... though being highly talented... bager vans aka god... teaches rannulph the meaning of golf and helps him find his calling and rest as they say is history...

wow... never knew mr. redford was so influenced by Hinduism...

good movie.. very well shot...

and a southern movie to boot.. too good.

hallelujah. ” - cjbaker39
Red Tails (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
A crew of African American pilots in the Tuskegee training program, having faced segregation while kept mostly on the ground during World War II, are called into duty under the guidance of Col. A.J. Bullard. (125 mins.)
“ Great movie ” - cjbaker39
Scarface (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
In Miami in 1980, a determined Cuban immigrant takes over a drug cartel and succumbs to greed. (170 mins.)
Director: Brian De Palma
“ Classic Pacino!
How can you improve upon a classic? Ya don't. But you tell a tale that is brought up to date through the eyes of the "new immigrants" during the most greed ridden decade, the over indulgent 80's. DePalma, Stone and the gang present an ambitious, disturbing and darn right good film.
Al Pacino was fantastic to me as Tony Montana, the "little train that could". What an amazing way to have your lead character look at America: to fight, kill, steal. lie, cheat all to get -- "the money, the women and the power."
This is the quintessential 1980's film telling you a warped tale of how some misunderstand the American obsession. It's violent, bloody, overly so..but it drives the point disturbingly home. Not all Cubans thrown out of Cuba who landed in Florida in the 80's were anything like Tony Montana. Give me a break. But the showing of how miserable the 1980's were with its emphasis on greed and money as the only measures in the USA to "be somebody" and have power took its tool on these poor characters and their lives in America. ” - cjbaker39
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his children against prejudice. (129 mins.)
Director: Robert Mulligan
“ A Classic
"To Kill A Mockingbird" is truly a much loved and critically-acclaimed film. It is a perfect portrayal of childhood innocence, racial prejudice, moral tolerance and courage. No other words can describe this film except marvellous. The film is so wonderfully done that the audience actually feels as if they were in Alabama during the 1930s. This is a must see for anyone of any age. ” - cjbaker39
The Express (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A drama based on the life of college football hero Ernie Davis, the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy. (130 mins.)
Director: Gary Fleder
“ Great Movie Based on true story
Loosely based on the life of the first black football player to win the Heisman Trophy, this follows a chap named Ernie Davis -- a name most viewers are unlikely to be familiar with -- throughout his school years. When he reaches Syracuse College, he finds he is one of two black players on his team. His coach is played by Dennis Quaid. The period was just far enough back in time that there were very few black football players, and in some states, blacks could not stay in the same hotels or attend social functions with whites. All of this is dealt with in a forthright manner, although some facts have been slightly altered to punch home the drama of the era. Quaid's coach is a gruff old man with a heart of gold, a role Quaid likely will be playing more and more often as he ages. You may not recognize many of the actors in this, but they are uniformly excellent. Worth a watch, even if you dislike football. ” - cjbaker39
On Golden Pond (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Norman is a curmudgeon with an estranged relationship with his daughter Chelsea. At Golden Pond, he and his wife nevertheless agree to care for Billy, the son of Chelsea's new boyfriend, and a most unexpected relationship blooms. (109 mins.)
Director: Mark Rydell
“ Henry Fonda classic
I really enjoyed "On Golden Pond". I wanted to see it, because Henry Fonda won his only Best Actor Oscar for it. Since I'm a Henry Fonda fan, I thought I should watch the movie the Academy considered his best. When I watched it, I really enjoyed it! It makes you not want to take life for granted, in any way. For Norman, he learns not to take life for granted by enjoying it. He also learns not to be so crotchety, and not to dote on death. His daughter, Chelsea, learned to forget about her differences with her father, and to love him while she can.

Katharine Hepburn also gives a brilliant, Oscar-winning performance as Ethel Thayer, Norman's devoted wife. She helps him in more ways than the audience realizes, because she tries to make him feel young, which is what he needs.

"On Golden Pond" is a wonderful movie with a combination of drama and comedy that makes for an entertaining experience. I recommend this movie to everyone! ” - cjbaker39
A Time to Kill (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A young lawyer defends a black man accused of murdering two men who raped his 10-year-old daughter, sparking a rebirth of the K.K.K. (149 mins.)
Director: Joel Schumacher
“ Awwwesome
One of the best dramas I've seen.

Great performances from Samuel Jackson, Sandra Bullock and Matthew McConaughey.

I've seen this movie four times and each time I see it, his closing speech has made me cry loudly.

I highly recommend it. You won't regret it. ” - cjbaker39
Mr. Holland's Opus (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A frustrated composer finds fulfillment as a high school music teacher. (143 mins.)
Director: Stephen Herek
“ Richard Dreyfus was great
I recommend "Mr. Holland's Opus" for musicians, singers, music teachers, and really everyone. Enjoy the show! ” - cjbaker39
A Few Good Men (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Neo military lawyer Kaffee defends Marines accused of murder; they contend they were acting under orders. (138 mins.)
Director: Rob Reiner
“ This is one of the movies, I have watched many many times. First few times, Tom Cruise seemed to be giving an ordinary performance; probably my shortcoming that I was not able to understand his character. But, then I realized that he was playing exactly the character he was supposed to portray and he did it in a impeccable manner - wow!!!! He was just second to Jack Nicholson.

I could not imagine if anyone else could have replaced Jack Nicholson - his stellar performance (as always) and the intensity and ferocity with which he delivered his dialogues - man, even his facial expressions at times were worth a watch.

Story line and plot don't seem to be so strong and there will be many people who would not agree with its end and even with the message of the movie, which is although not so clear but definitely points towards some of the not so best practices being followed in any country's army (over discipline in the name of straightening the people and getting things in order or even avoiding any further chaos or things being run by certain people just to settle their personal scores and run in a way they think is the best, even disregarding other people's reasonable opinions). However, the other things apart, movie was a treat to watch. Director Rob Reiner and writer Aaron Sorkin didn't leave any stone unturned when it came to dialogues in the movie - in fact, the dialogues delivered by each and every character (not only Jack Nicholson) have been simply stunning. ” - cjbaker39
Gettysburg (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
In 1863, the Northern and Southern forces fight at Gettysburg in the decisive battle of the American Civil War. (271 mins.)
“ Classic Civil War Movie
Its over four hours long,but doesn't feel it. Any while its not gory you do get a sense of the hell of war.

What can I say that hasn't been said already?

The film works mostly because at its center its the story of Jeff Daniel's Joshua Chamberlain, a well educated man who goes off to do his duty even though he knows he may end up dead. Daniel's gives a performance that should have been noticed by the Oscars but wasn't. Its through Daniel's interaction with all the other characters that we come to understand what the war was about.

Even if the odd facial hair makes you crazy, its a great film. I can't recommend this film enough. ” - cjbaker39
The Color Purple (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A black Southern woman struggles to find her identity after suffering abuse from her father and others over four decades. (154 mins.)
“ Whoopi was Awesome
Alice Walker's epic novel is put on the big-screen by director Steven Spielberg and the results are excellent. The film deals with the maturity and independence of a mistreated black woman (Whoopi Goldberg in an Oscar-nominated role) from the years 1909 to 1947. The audience gets to experience all of her triumphs and tragedies through the film's running time. A very strong cast of supporting players make the film memorable as well. Danny Glover, Adolph Caesar, Rae Dawn Chong, Margaret Avery, and Oprah Winfrey (the last two Oscar-nominated) all shine with the great screenplay and Spielberg's subtle direction. Somewhat forgotten on Spielberg's list of credits, but still one of his very best films. 5 stars out of 5. ” - cjbaker39
Saving Mr. Banks (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Author P.L. Travers reflects on her childhood after reluctantly meeting with Walt Disney, who seeks to adapt her Mary Poppins books for the big screen. (125 mins.)
“ It's a beautiful, tender film that manages to be sad without being mawkish, funny without detracting from the emotion and with far greater depth than expected.

Unfolding the story of Walt Disney's attempt to persuade P.L. Travers to sell him the rights to her beloved Mary Poppins, Saving Mr. Banks is a delightful film that is deceptively emotional and flows smoothly enough to be entirely engaging.

Travers (Emma Thompson) thwarts Disney's (Tom Hanks) attempts to secure the rights for twenty years until a flatlining bank balance and a mildly panicking agent persuade her to at least consider Disney's proposition or lose her home with certainty. Whisking her to Hollywood and bombarding her with all things Disney, the master of the House of Mouse spares no expense or effort to woo Mrs Travers and persuade her to allow him to keep his promise to his daughters to film the books they loved so much. But nothing prepares him for the stubborn, exacting curmudgeon who challenges him at every twist and turn and demands and demeans in equal measures.
The casting is just one of the joys of Saving Mr. Banks, with Paul Giamatti chief amongst the supporting actors as Travers' driver, Ralph, a doleful puppy in human form that responds to every brush-off and verbal slap with another smile and encouraging word. In the studio Bradley Whitford as screenwriter Don DaGradi and B.J. Novak and Jason Schwartzman as the Sherman brothers bring more gentle humour as Travers' desperate, unwilling adversaries. There's no lazy leaning towards slapstick or cheap shots, rather Hancock steers their scenes gently allowing both the frostiness and the occasional sprinkles of sunlight to sparkle with sincerity. ” - cjbaker39
Fried Green Tomatoes (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A housewife who is unhappy with her life befriends an old lady in a nursing home and is enthralled by the tales she tells of people she used to know. (130 mins.)
Director: Jon Avnet
“ Great story told by Jessica Tandy
This is a film you are bound to fall in love with. All of its characters feel real, intense, reaching out to touch with their passion and the film's nostalgic feel.

It contains some of my favorite performances of all time: Masterson, Parker, Tandy, and Bates give their very best, bringing two life fictional women who feel real, strong, and powerful. The film is very emotional, never maudlin, never disrespecting any of its components or the audience. It allows us to feel we are part of a world that might not exist anymore. What I like most about the film is how it embraces a passion for living.

There is much to be admired about the technical aspects of the film as well. It travels back and forth in time, with a structure that is hard to describe but a joy to watch as it shows how the main relationships were born, developed, and eventually were transformed into something more spiritual. The music is haunting and quite suitable to the delicate relationships, and the photography makes everyone and everything lovely, dreamlike at times.

The film will live on and will eventually be regarded as a classic. It deserves it so. ” - cjbaker39
Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
An old Jewish woman and her African-American chauffeur in the American South have a relationship that grows and improves over the years. (99 mins.)
Director: Bruce Beresford
“ One of my Favorite Morgan Freeman Movies
Maybe 'the Shawshank Redemption' (1994) (qv) is a bigger, better, more brazen film, with far more pretensions, and is, of course, an excellent film: but I cannot avoid thinking that it is in 'Driving Miss Daisy' that Morgan Freeman develops his best rôle, playing so well opposite the unrepeatable Jessica Landry. I have not seen all of Freeman's films, nor do I wish to. Of those I have seen he is more or less 'O.K.' as you might say; What makes 'Driving Miss Daisy' work is the human and humane compassion and sympathy flowing between the two lead actors, with Dan Ackroyd, surprisingly, and Esther Rolle both lending a good hand.

One might argue that it is 'only' an oversweetened sentimental story; be that as it may, the film endeavours to portray the aging relationship between the white Jewish rich woman and her poor black chauffeur throughout 25 years. And Jessica Landry was over eighty years old when she made this film. In this aspect, evidently the film succeeds, as the story itself is really of secondary importance: it is the beautifully filmed scenes and the dialogues which build up to something greater than the story per se. In an age dominated by cinema stuffed with violence, sex, special effects and so on, here is an example without such measures, relying on pure acting and interpretative skills so as to tell a clean simple story.

You might well like to compare this film with Lindsay Anderson's 'The Whales of August' (1987) (qv), with an absolutely unrepeatable cast with Lillian Gish, Bette Davis, Vincent Price and Ann Sothern: a delicious retrospective piece.

'Driving Miss Daisy' was meticulously made, with all those cars of the 50's and 60's and the careful scene settings, brought out by excellent photography, and all backed up by what must be Hans Zimmer's most appropriate and touching score. His score was also good in that tremendous film 'Thelma and Louise' as well as in 'The House of the Spirits' and 'Beyond Rangoon' (1995) (qv).

'Driving Miss Daisy' is one of those videos in my collection which I am pleased to blow the dust off and watch yet again: it is still as charming as ever. ” - cjbaker39
Django Unchained (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
With the help of a German bounty hunter, a freed slave sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner. (165 mins.)
“ Very Good Movie
I rarely bother to give reviews after watching a movie. But holy crap this was a good movie. I'm pretty sure it is the best movie i've seen all year. and yes i saw dark knight rises, avengers, flight, Argo, hobbit, etc... Tarantino delivers and then some.. Every actor is on point. Awesome performances, great story, it will definitely take you on a ride full of surprises. I would recommend everyone to go watch this film, it is truly a great film.. unless you're a little kid.. don't go watch this movie if you're a little kid. I've seen all of Tarantinos movies and I have to say this has been my favorite. It is just awesome in every way. I'm usually very harsh on movies. I mean ill watch just about anything, but for me to think a movie was actually "good", takes a whole lot. DiCaprio was like i've never seen him before, and being one of my favorite actors, it was a little weird at first. But he does an outstanding job at selling his role within seconds of his first appearance. Waltz delivered as i knew he would. and Jaime Foxx, well he did not fall behind. Last but not least Jackson was hilarious and also did an amazing job... Go watch the movie, it is worth it. ” - cjbaker39
Invictus (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Nelson Mandela, in his first term as the South African President, initiates a unique venture to unite the apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup. (134 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
“ this is the perfect role for Morgan Freeman. I will note that his accent comes and goes throughout the film, but he nails the role down. He is not overly dramatic nor does he just read the script. He becomes the man. Morgan Freeman is easily one of my favorite actors because he never plays himself. He always makes himself into the character he's assigned to. He'll definitely receive the Best Actor nom, and hopefully, Morgan can finally win the Oscar he so desperately deserves.
Invictus" is an inspiring film. Some back-story could have been added to the characters and the first act could have been faster, but overall, I enjoyed this film. "Invictus" proves that it doesn't take special effects and big action sequences to make a great film. It is excellent to see one of our great old directors to recognize this, and display it so wonderfully without being preachy about it. ” - cjbaker39
Rosewood (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A dramatization of a 1923 horrific racist lynch mob attack on an African American community. (140 mins.)
Director: John Singleton
“ Really Liked This Movie
A small town in Florida in 1922, with a black and white population, breaks out in violence and bloodshed. The reason for the trouble came about when a white woman claimed to be raped by a black man. This infuriated the white populace into going on a murderous rampage leading to the deaths of many innocent people and the near total destruction of the black section of town. A very exciting program based on a true story. ” - cjbaker39
The Green Mile (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
The lives of guards on Death Row are affected by one of their charges: a black man accused of child murder and rape, yet who has a mysterious gift. (189 mins.)
Director: Frank Darabont
“ Great Movie

--The story to the film on the outside appears astoundingly simple, though once inside the film and into the plot, there is a lot more to the eye than what appears. Death Row in the olden days might sound like a boring setting for a film, but there are many intricate webs of storyline and a number of surprises and twists along the way, many which had me gasping aloud.

--"The Green Mile" is easily one of the most dramatic films I've ever seen. It's because we care so much for these characters (even a mouse!) that the events of the film are so affecting. I cared about everyone (who's not a bastard) so much and I was enthralled to see how the film would be resolved. Mix this with a number of absolutely tear-inducing scenes (the final 15 minutes especially) and you have what is nothing less than a masterfully constructed drama.

--Death Row is the setting for this film, and death row is not a place where bunnies dance around singing happy-happy joy-joy. Darabont knows the audience is aware of this, and makes the old death row set gritty and atmospheric, dripping with dread just as it should. The execution sequences are not taken lightly either, in fact many will find them extremely hard to watch, as they are very graphic.

--Characterisations and performances are a definite good point of this film, a lot of the time the performances are what drives the story. Tom Hanks is terrific as usual, injecting a lot of emotion into the character. I especially liked the way he played his character's silent suffering with God's judgement of his life. David Morse was very underrated for his performance here, personally I thought he was extremely effective and added a little something to many scenes. Patricia Clarkson was moving, Bonnie Hunt was lovely, James Cromwell was good as always.but there's no secret that the real revelation here is within Michael Clarke Duncan's absolutely fascinating performance as John Coffey (like the drink, only not spelt the same). His child-like manners are so touching to watch, the character is so sweet, but Duncan makes him so much more memorable. He does more than just cry in the film, he transfixes you with every glance as the gentle giant John. Damn, if it weren't for Haley Joel, Duncan would easily be my favourite supporting actor performance of 1999.

--This movie just proves how much director Frank Darabont can do with such little setting. For example, how many neat camera angles and cinematography techniques can you think of for the setting of death row? Not many.but Darabont utilises his setting and pulls off some truly wonderful cinematography that catches the sometimes magical and at others truly horrific feeling of the green mile. The performances by the cast also show how much effect a great director can project on a performance, or several.


--At just over 3 hours, "The Green Mile" is a little over-long, and you get the feeling a few scenes could've been cut down to make the film run a little smoother pace-wise.


9/10 - Frank Darabont's second outing is a profoundly moving film experience.


Forrest Gump (10/10) Frailty (9/10) The Hurricane (9/10) Monster's Ball (9/10) The Shawshank Redemption (10/10) ” - cjbaker39
The Patriot (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Peaceful farmer Benjamin Martin is driven to lead the Colonial Militia during the American Revolution when a sadistic British officer murders his son. (165 mins.)
Director: Roland Emmerich
“ Solid Movie
The casting of "The Patriot" was brilliant! Mel Gibson once again gives us a moving performance as Ben Martin, a passionate man that is trying desperately to keep his family together after the death of his wife. Perhaps one of the more surprisingly superb performances is that of Heath Ledger (10 Things I Hate about You) as Gabriel Martin, the stubborn oldest son of the Martin family. These two stars lead the cast in teaching such lessons as what it means to be a patriot and a hero, the cost of freedom, and the value of family.

"The Patriot" is a well written story that is guaranteed to give you goosebumps. After seeing this movie, Independence Day will take on a new meaning for everyone. ” - cjbaker39
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
Following the Normandy Landings, a group of U.S. soldiers go behind enemy lines to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action. (169 mins.)
“ Good War Movie
The opening beach assault sequences were the most violent, realistic, and upsetting filming I've ever seen; looked as though the thing was actual combat footage. The shushing noises of rounds cutting through the air was the most chilling part of all. Perfect portrayal of the insane stupidity of war and the anguish of all who enter this most foolish of enterprises. A must see. ” - cjbaker39
Braveheart (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
When his secret bride is executed for assaulting an English soldier who tried to rape her, William Wallace begins a revolt against King Edward I of England. (178 mins.)
Director: Mel Gibson
“ Freedom!!!!!
This has to be one of the best movies I have ever seen. I recently purchased it and have watched it at least five times since then, and each time i pick up on things I did not see the other times. The fight scenes are great, the plot is both interesting and thought provoking, there is romance and comedy. This is a movie that any person can appreciate at some level.

True, the historical content may have been distorted, but even though, this movie is meant for entertainment. It is not a history lesson caught on video.

The acting is absolutely superb, this movie is guaranteed to have you on the edge of your seat for the entire three hours. ” - cjbaker39
Band of Brothers (2001 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.5/10 X  
The story of Easy Company of the US Army 101st Airborne division and their mission in WWII Europe from Operation Overlord through V-J Day. (594 mins.)
“ Doesnt get any better
"Band of Brothers" in a word is awesome. I couldn't wait to see each episode. Co-Executive Produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, it has the realism, look and feel of Spielberg's "Saving Private Ryan" (1998) but with more insight into the characters. Hanks even directed one episode himself.

Told over ten gut wrenching episodes, the story centers on a company of soldiers in the 101st American Airborne Division in WWII from their initial basic training to their landing in France on D-Day to their many battles and ordeals through to the liberation of a concentration camp and finally through to the end of the war.

The soldiers are ordinary people thrust into horrific situations and shows how each is able (or not able) to deal with the situations. The battle scenes are realistic and convincing and the special effects are breath taking. While the series depicts the trials and tribulations of the company, it isn't afraid to show how the war affects seemingly sane and rational men. For example there is a scene where the nominal hero of the story, Winters (Damien Lewis) shoots an unarmed German soldier out of frustration. There is also a scene where a group of German prisoners are cut down by an American officer after he had given them cigarettes. Even after the German surrender there are instances of out and out murder of Germans. This is very rare for an American war story.

The cast is of largely unknown actors, which makes for a more effective telling of the story. There is no John Wayne leading the troops to victory kind of thing. Damien Lewis is very good as Winters who rises through the ranks to lead the company. Ron Livingston plays his friend and second in command, Nixon. Others include David Schwimmer, excellent as the training officer, Scott Grimes as Malarkey the grizzled sergeant and ex New Boys on the Block member Donnie Wahlberg effective as Corporal Lipton.

"Band of Brothers" is a story that could only be told in a mini-series. It clearly shows that war really is hell. ” - cjbaker39
Fury (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A grizzled tank commander makes tough decisions as he and his crew fight their way across Germany in April, 1945. (134 mins.)
Director: David Ayer
“ Loved it
April, 1945. As the Allies make their final push in the European Theatre, a battle-hardened Army sergeant named Wardaddy (Brad Pitt) commands a Sherman tank and his five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Outnumbered, and out-gunned, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany. ” - cjbaker39
The Judge (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Big-city lawyer Hank Palmer returns to his childhood home where his father, the town's judge, is suspected of murder. Hank sets out to discover the truth and, along the way, reconnects with his estranged family. (141 mins.)
Director: David Dobkin
“ Robert Downey Jr Awesome
Another excellent performance by Robert Downey Jr.! By far one of the better movies this year. I have never wrote a movie review but felt compelled as I feel the film critics have not been so fair. Although the premise of the movie is to unique in it's entirety - anyone having family drama could relate and appreciate this story. The Judge is a deeply moving film that showcases the acting powerhouse that is Robert Duvall and the undeniable versatility and magnetic screen presence of Robert Downey Jr. Don't listen to the critics, they clearly don't know everything! Go see this movie and be prepared for a few good laughs, bring a box of tissue for the tear jerking moments! Well worth it ” - cjbaker39
The Italian Job (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
After being betrayed and left for dead in Italy, Charlie Croker and his team plan an elaborate gold heist against their former ally. (111 mins.)
Director: F. Gary Gray
“ Solid
I went to see THE ITALIAN JOB with mixed reviews in my head. I was pleasantly surprised with an entertaining close to 2 hours. I thought the cast was just great and so were the special effects, with the safe and truck just dropping out of sight. If you like fast paced action movies, this is the one to see. ” - cjbaker39
O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
In the deep south during the 1930s, three escaped convicts search for hidden treasure while a relentless lawman pursues them. (107 mins.)
Director: Joel Coen
“ George Clooney was a Hoot
It's one of those rare movies these days - it's witty, intelligent and vastly entertaining. I left the cinema with a warmth in my heart. Of course, there's lot of Cohen stuff in there - odd characters and peculiar gadgets, well-developed plot and magic camerawork. But no Cohen film is resembling any other Cohen film, if you overlook the general quality of them, of course.

The big surprise for me was that Clooney is so good. But the true master performance in this movie comes from Tim Blake-Nelson. But the rest of the cast is superb too.

A film that is lightweight comedy with a musical touch that evolve it's story round rednecks and old time country music - dripping with wit and intelligence. Thats a very unlikely combination. But it's exactly what this picture is. ” - cjbaker39
Platoon (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A young recruit in Vietnam faces a moral crisis when confronted with the horrors of war and the duality of man. (120 mins.)
Director: Oliver Stone
“ One of my favorite War Films
Why I think Platoon is probably the best war movie Hollywood ever made? Because it's very humane. I mean it. The director sees all his characters as victims of war rather than heroes or villains. Have a closer look at 'em.

Taylor has no power inside himself and is torn between the two fathers; he ends up with a physical act of revenge. This is not what one father taught him - and the other father is actually murdered by him.

Sgt. Barnes would never fit the postwar life and knew it damn too well himself; after all, he is not a fool although might seem a senseless killing machine at first sight. Vietnamese bullets could not kill him, his talent for survival being his enemy. So, he attempts kinda suicide twice (at least) begging others to kill him and thus end the pain tearing him from inside: first, in the potheads' bunker scene after Taylor's accusations; then, when Taylor finds him in the final scene.

Sgt. Elias was far too good to survive the Nam and maybe even challenged and annoyed lifers on purpose, waiting for some bob barnes to hit back :) It's a pity Stone excluded the stars' scene monologue which explains pretty much about Elias' ways and view of the future. In fact, for himself he sees no future. Not in this world that is all about betrayal and killing.

Bunny and Junior, one the embodiment of somewhat sadistic bravery and the other of cowardice. Their deaths are partly a morality, partly to show that it does not matter if you're black or white, brave or cowardly, war makes no difference wiping off everyone it can.

King, Big Harold, Francis are survivors yet victims, too. What is awaiting them in the "real" world where nobody understands and nobody respects anything? They are dreaming of a comeback to music, girlfriends, fun time - but reality bites, and who knows, will they find their spot under the sun or will be forced to use the skills obtained in the Nam and get engaged in crime and drug abuse?

Red O'Neill talking about his ability to predict if a guy is gonna make it or not. A reflection of his own fears: shall I stay alive and get out of here or not. The odds are that he is not, and Stone nails him to the place with Captain's order to take over what was once the Platoon... Bye Patsy.

The idea that Stone has been trying to bring forward to us is NOT (to my mind) a story of struggle between the good and the bad for the possession of Taylor's soul (remember, the boy became a murderer in the end), but: where is war there can be no escape. Leave hope everyone who enters.

Highest rate ever for that. ” - cjbaker39
Mississippi Burning (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Two FBI agents with wildly different styles arrive in Mississippi to investigate the disappearance of some civil rights activists. (128 mins.)
Director: Alan Parker
“ Great Movie
This film is a good,though not flawless representative of the turbulent 1960's south.The character representation is good,though taken to a bit of an extreme in places.Gene Hackman gives another knockout performance here,as he does always as does Willem Dafoe.The cast is great,though Gailard Sartain was a surprising choice as Sheriff Stuckey, given his penchant for appearing in the worst of films.It is based on a true story,and as we all know,true stories are never presented to perfection.It is,however,presented as well as it can be.This is a very gripping,edge of your seat film,and very well done. ” - cjbaker39
Appaloosa (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Two friends hired to police a small town that is suffering under the rule of a rancher find their job complicated by the arrival of a young widow. (115 mins.)
Director: Ed Harris
“ Great Western
I suppose this film is as vulnerable to deep analysis as the next one, but, why bother? This is entertainment the way I like it, straight up without a lot of foolish over the top action. The real west must have been fraught with similar dilemmas as that confronting the town of Appaloosa: What to do with a lawless band of men determined to live as they please by preying on timid town dwellers? I doubt there were many men like Virgil Cole or his partner Everett Hitch in the real west having lived among their great, great grandchildren (I've no idea what the real genealogy is) for a time, but men have often tried to live like they do with the result that they lived undeservedly short lives. Still, guys like me can't get enough of their stories and Ed Harris apparently feels the same way. Only Clint Eastwood in my memory has attempted to tap into this same wellspring of folklore as in The Unforgiven. Though we all love Clint, I'd have to say Ed outdoes him here. He's got a wonderful sense of what a real gunfight might have been like. And though he's trimmed off the cries of pain and the gore, it still has the ring of truth. ” - cjbaker39
Die Hard (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
John McClane, officer of the NYPD, tries to save his wife Holly Gennaro and several others that were taken hostage by German terrorist Hans Gruber during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles. (131 mins.)
Director: John McTiernan
“ The Best in the Series
Prepare yourselves for one of the most action packed thrill rides starring one of the best action stars in Hollywood. Bruce Willis is stirring up trouble for the bad guys in "Die Hard." In the first of three awesome films, he stars as Lt. John McClane, a New York police officer, who has been invited to the wrong Christmas party.

This is an action film for future actors and directors to watch and use as a model because it describes what an action film should contain. I have seen many action films in my life, but this ranks at the top of my list because it has all the right components. Action packed sequences, explosions, special effects and most of all superb performances with excellent dialogue.

"Die Hard" is a movie I will not soon forget because the story is so well crafted. Though there are no twists or curves thrown at the audience, the audience can be assured they will be treated to two hours of non-stop action from beginning to end.

"Die Hard" did not only produce great action and explosions but future stars as well. I am talking about Clarence Gilyard Jr. who now stars in Walker, Texas Ranger and Reginald VelJohnson who starred in the series Family Matters. These two actors were pivotal to this film in their respective roles.

Two other names to keep in mind while thinking of key performers are Bonnie Bedelia and Alan Rickman. I was blown away when I saw the impact they had on this film. It is as if they came in and said 'Okay boys, watch out I'm taking over." They certainly did that; however, nobody could have done better than the impact performer himself Bruce Willis. ” - cjbaker39
Hotel Rwanda (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Paul Rusesabagina was a hotel manager who housed over a thousand Tutsi refugees during their struggle against the Hutu militia in Rwanda. (121 mins.)
Director: Terry George
“ Don Cheadle one of my favorite actors
Rwanda 1994. The genocide of the Hutus and the Tutsis sadly commenced. The Hutu militia broke the peace of the country as they started killing any Tutsis in their sight as they called them "cockroaches". This all goes back to when Belgium took the country and sorted out the Rwandan people by shades of colour, nose size and more as it is briefly explained at the beginning of the film.

Hotel Rwanda however does not focus on the graphicness of the wars or the humanity that occurred. It focuses on the true-life story of Paul Rusesabagina and his amazing, heroic struggle. Don Cheadle plays Paul Rusesabagina magnificently as a hotel manager who housed over 1000 Tutsis in the Hotel Des Milles Collines. When all hell broke loose on Rwandan soil, he was there to shelter people in need.

Hotel Rwanda is not only an amazingly done drama but is also educational. It shows the real life events with all the details showing how France, England, Canada, and the U.N helped during the disaster. Nick Nolte plays Colonel Oliver, a Canadian soldier from the U.N who is there at the beginning of the film to help with the peace agreement. Later on, him and other Canadian soldiers are relied to help Paul and the rest of the people during the wars. His character is roughly based on the Canadian war hero Romeo Dallaire who wrote his award winning book, Shaking Hands with the Devil. Nick Nolte's performance is fabulous as he brings Colonel Oliver to life.

Sophie Okonedo superbly plays Tatiana, Paul's wife as she gives a stunning performance. She truly did a magnificent job with her stellar, dramatic talent revealed from this film. Joaquin Phoenix gives a gratifying, exceptional performance as an American cameraman there to visually capture the wars on film.

The real story here is Don Cheadle. With his absolutely extraordinary role, he carries the film on his shoulders. Definitely an astonishing, breathtaking performance, which is one of the best of the year. Don Cheadle's performance is so moving, emotional and so remarkable that he is at his absolute best ever.

The film's flaws are hardly noticed. During the intro, it has the documentary feel and seems hard to get into but after only 5 minutes, you get inside Rwanda and live the strong story of survival and heroic, epic events. Also, from a film like this, I expected more inspirational speeches from Paul Rusesabagina, but his actions and his emotions displayed are more than enough to compensate.

The film's cinematography and editing are well down. The direction Terry George brings to the screen is a calm but strong feel that sternly keeps you in the film as there is no place in the film without a small slight of suspense or tension. Even at some parts of this film, the constant, building tension is relieved with some nice jokes that fit right in. Terry George and his partner Keir Pearson cleverly do this as they beautifully bring their screenplay to life. One thing I loved about this film was during the most emotional times, the songs with the African children singers added to an already perfect atmosphere of sadness or emotional struggle. It was truly beautiful when these songs played as we watched the actions of Paul and his wife at the same time.
Overall, Hotel Rwanda is a truly moving, stunning and inspirational masterpiece. The acting is some of the best this year and Terry George does a superb direction job. As for Oscars, Don Cheadle got a nomination for this role and I'm truly proud for saying that. Even more so for Sophie Okonedo as she truly did a magnificent job for a supporting role. This year, I hope either Don Cheadle or Jamie Foxx (for his absolutely extraordinary role for Ray) win Best Actor and I hope Sophie Okonedo takes the Best Supporting Actress statue. As for Best Original Screenplay, Hotel Rwanda can easily take it if it can beat Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. On a closing note, I must say that I strongly recommend that all should view this masterpiece as it educates everyone on the disasters that occurred back in '94. If you truly believe and have faith, the extraordinary can be accomplished and Paul Rusesabagina proved this to us. ” - cjbaker39
The Guns of Navarone (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A British team is sent to cross occupied Greek territory and destroy the massive German gun emplacement that commands a key sea channel. (158 mins.)
Director: J. Lee Thompson
“ A Great Solid Movie
The Greek part of the Mediterranean Theater of World War II was strictly a British show. They fought a pitched seesaw battle with the Germans until almost the end of the war. A great deal of debate about the feasibility of the whole operation has raged with military historians. The reason that the British Army and forces from their Commonwealth countries was to keep Turkey in the position of benevolent neutrality. At least this was one of Winston Churchill's stated aims and The Guns of Navarone makes the case for it.
But specifically this film deals with a pair of menacing looking naval guns embedded in a cliff with a big rock overhang. The RAF can't get at the thing to destroy from air, so a commando team is put together under the charge of Anthony Quayle. A couple of native Greeks are along, Anthony Quinn and James Darren, an explosives man, David Niven, a tough anti-fascist resistance man whose service dates back to the Spanish Civil War, Stanley Baker, and a mountain climber, Gregory Peck.

Peck has to get the team to climb a forbidding cliff which is the only area of the beach the Nazis don't guard because they think nobody can land over there. Peck gets the job done, but Quayle becomes injured and Peck gets the responsibility for the whole mission.

The Guns of Navarone is filled with tension as the men keep getting into and out of one situation after another. The film crackles with excitement and really should be seen on the big screen, it's the only way you can appreciate the special effects which got The Guns of Navarone its Oscar.

The film marked a screen partnership of Gregory Peck and director J. Lee Thompson, they did four films together. Thompson specialized in these action adventure films. Later on Thompson partnered with Charles Bronson in some of his best films of the seventies and eighties. ” - cjbaker39
Dead Poets Society (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
English teacher John Keating inspires his students to look at poetry with a different perspective of authentic knowledge and feelings. (128 mins.)
Director: Peter Weir
“ Robin Williams best
Dead Poets Society is a thoroughly moving, and inspiring film from Peter Weir, who is definitely one of the most under rated directors around. This movie is in the same vein as "A Separate Peace", in the sense of setting, and in the general coming of age story line. The basic message is to "suck the marrow out of life", as the passage for the society reads, or to live every moment to the fullest. It is inspiring and uplifting for the first hour and 15 minutes or so, before changing stride altogether to a somewhat depressing but remarkable conclusion. This is a must see. ” - cjbaker39
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
A bounty hunting scam joins two men in an uneasy alliance against a third in a race to find a fortune in gold buried in a remote cemetery. (161 mins.)
Director: Sergio Leone
“ Eli Wallach was awesome
A sprawling Western epic that follows the adventures of three gunfighters looking for $200,000 in stolen gold, Sergio Leone's `The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly' is a masterpiece, one that continues to get better and better with each viewing. In a way, it's a morality play, weighing the consequences of good and evil, but it does so in a realistic manner. Sometimes, crime does pay, at least in the short term, and sometimes good does go unrewarded. This film probably signaled the death knell of the traditional John Wayne `White Hat/Black Hat' Western.

The three main characters make the film. Lee Van Cleef (`The Bad') is evil personified. Totally ruthless, he'll do whatever it takes to get what he wants. Clint Eastwood (`The Good') is the Man With No Name, not really `good' in a traditional sense . . . but he has a certain sense of honor and tries to do the right thing. (Watch the scene when he gives a dying Confederate soldier a puff of his cigar - powerful, and it sums up everything that the Man With No Name is all about, without saying a single word.) Eli Wallach (`The Ugly') is Tuco, and he's easily the most complex - if not the best - character in the film. All impulse and rage, Tuco spins wildly throughout the movie, stealing, lying, pretending to be Clint Eastwood's best friend in one scene, trying to kill him in another - Tuco truly represents `the ugly' side of people.

The movie is long, but there's not a wasted scene in the film. Each one slowly lets the film unfold with a certain style and grace, revealing more about each character and what's going on. The pacing is incredible, as is the direction - Sergio Leone manages to build a lot of uncomfortable tension in the film, keeping the film from ever getting predictable. Any typical Western cliché that you can possibly think of is either given a unique twist or utterly destroyed by Leone's masterful storytelling. Of special mention is Ennio Morricone's score, which is absolutely perfect. Two scenes - one in a Union prison camp, one in the climatic gunfight in the cemetery at the end of the film - are amazing on their own, but they become absolutely astonishing with combined with Morricone's powerful score.

This movie is absolutely brilliant. If you haven't seen it yet, I strongly urge to do so. Immediately. (And then, go watch `Unforgiven' . . . in a way, I think that `Unforgiven' is the sequel to `The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly - it's the story of what eventually happened to the Man With No Name.) `The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly' is easily one of the best Westerns ever made. A++ ” - cjbaker39
Enemy at the Gates (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A Russian and a German sniper play a game of cat-and-mouse during the Battle of Stalingrad. (131 mins.)
“ Awesome Movie
I really loved this film. It is one of the best movies about war - what it is like, and what causes it. I know some people find the love story hard to take, but it is there to illustrate how jealousy and envy can lead to irrational acts, hate, and even war.

At a time when the world is racing toward armed conflict yet again, this film is a timely reminder of the ultimate futility of war. The opening sequence is one of the most horrific I have ever seen - comparable to that incredible opening scene in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. But unlike "Ryan", this film does not become a flag-waving one-sided analysis of war. Instead we get an in depth, and very moving, look at the reality of being human in a war situation - whether male or female, German or Russian. And Jude Law, Joseph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz and Ed Harris all give superb performances. I was a bit hard-pressed, though, to believe Bob Hoskins as Krushchev.

Jean-Jacques Annaud is a remarkable director, with a strong visual style, and deserves to be recognised as one of the contemporary masters of cinema. Ten out of Ten. ” - cjbaker39
Ladder 49 (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Under the watchful eye of his mentor Captain Mike Kennedy, probationary firefighter Jack Morrison matures... (115 mins.)
Director: Jay Russell
“ Great Movie
John Travolta shines in a supporting role as the commander of the firemen. Joaquin Phoenix is very appealing as firemen Jack Morrison, whose story is the picture.

While trapped in a burning building, flashbacks are well used to show his life from the time of his joining the fire department, his meeting with his future wife, his marriage and his heroic deeds.

The stalwart ending of the perseverance of firemen, in the face of tragedy, makes this a heartily recommended film. ” - cjbaker39
Unforgiven (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Retired Old West gunslinger William Munny reluctantly takes on one last job, with the help of his old partner and a young man. (131 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
“ Eastwood at his Best
William Munny (Clint Eastwood taking the lead and directing the piece) is an old and retired gunman who's past misdemeanours would make the devil himself seem tame. Widowed and struggling to raise his two children on a paltry farm, he's tempted out of retirement for one last pay dirt job, the consequence of which provides violence: both physically and of the soul.
Eastwood is greatly served by the actors around him here, Morgan Freeman, Gene Hackman (winning the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for a script he turned down many years before!), Rubinek, Frances Fisher, Anna Thomson, Jaimz Woolvett and an incredible cameo from Richard Harris. Along with Hackman's win for his brutally tough portrayal of Sheriff "Little Bill" Daggett, Unforgiven also won Oscars for Eastwood for his clinically tight direction, Best Picture, Best Editing and was nominated for in another five categories. One of those nominations was for Jack Green's cinematography, which now, in this age of High Definition enhanced cinema, can be seen in all its wonderful glory. The Alberta location is magically transformed into the western frontier, with the orange and brown hues a real treat for the eyes. Ultimately, tho, Unforgiven is a lesson in brilliant film making, across the board it works so well, why? Well because the man at the helm knows this genre so well, having been its sole flag bearer for practically 25 years, and learning from his peers, Eastwood has crafted a thematically complex piece that for all its violence, debunking and melancholy pulse beats, is a film that is as beautiful as it is most assuredly stark, an incredible and true highlight of modern day cinema. 10/10 ” - cjbaker39
Hondo (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Army despatch rider Hondo Lane discovers a woman and her son living in the midst of warring Apaches, and he becomes their protector. (83 mins.)
Director: John Farrow
“ Loved it
A hard, tight little film that John Wayne dominates. He was especially good at playing repressed, closed off heroes. In Hondo, he is the title character, a white who was raised by Indians and discriminated against by them because he's not indian, but distrusted by the whites also because of his Indian sympathies.

This was the only John Wayne movie filmed in 3D; it's been shown several times on network TV that way. It's a great film no matter how you watch it. One of the important Wayne films, simply because he's so good in it. ” - cjbaker39
Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A dramatization of the Japanese attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor and the series of American blunders that allowed it to happen. (144 mins.)
“ A Great Film
This is one of my favorite war films. What makes it so great is that just like "The Longest Day" this film looks at the events that led up to and during one of the most momentous moments in the history of not only this country, but Japan as well. I also loved the acting in it. Martin Balsam and Jason Robards should have been nominated for their performances as Admiral Kimmel and General Short, respectively. Also, I wonder how much different it would have been if Akira Kurosawa had directed the Japanese scenes as he originally was supposed to. I also wonder if the fact that it dealt with one of the darker chapters in American history had something to to with its poor box office showing on this side of the Pacific (ironically, it was a box office smash in Japan). However, it is still a great film and I especially loved it at the end when Yamamoto made his famous comment "I fear we have awakened a sleeping giant and filled him with terrible resolve." How right he was. ” - cjbaker39
Fort Apache (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
At Fort Apache, an honorable and veteran war captain finds conflict when his regime is placed under the command of a young, glory hungry lieutenant colonel with no respect for the local Indian tribe. (125 mins.)
Director: John Ford
“ Great Cast
One Of My Favorite Wayne Classics
I think that a list of John Wayne's five best pictures has to include Fort Apache. It's the first and best of the cavalry trilogy that he did with John Ford. Oddly enough he has less screen time here than in the other two, due to the fact that he was co-starring with another big Hollywood name in Henry Fonda.

It's first and foremost the story of a clash between two men who see the United States Army in very different terms. Fonda is a former general who's seen glory in the Civil War, but has been shunted aside. He wants to get back on top in the worst way. He's exiled to Fort Apache in the Arizona territory while the big headlines concerning the Indian wars are going to the campaign against the plains Indians which was true enough.

Fort Apache is a grand ensemble film and you will not be bored for one second in watching it. ” - cjbaker39
Reign Over Me (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A man who lost his family in the September 11 attack on New York City runs into his old college roommate. Rekindling the friendship is the one thing that appears able to help the man recover from his grief. (124 mins.)
Director: Mike Binder
“ Very Surprising. Sandler and Cheadle Awesome
This is a breakout role for Adam Sandler. While he has begun to transition to more dramatic roles with Punch-Drunk Love and Spanglish, this role is a significant step forward for him as a dramatic actor. He deserves an Oscar nomination as he continues down to transition to more dramatic roles as Tom Hanks did and Jim Carrey is also doing. In this role, he seemed to be trying to channel Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man. Although playing an autistic man is certainly very different than Sandler's traumatized character, both characters for different reasons are trapped in their own worlds of child-like isolation and confusion.

Don Cheadle's performance is less surprising, but just as good. After Hotel Rwanda and Crash, we've come to expect remarkable nuanced performances from Cheadle. He has the qualities of sincerity and honesty that comes through in this role. But he, too, is also broken and struggling if not in the such profound ways as Sandler's character. Cheadle is struggling with difficulties in both his marriage and in his professional life as a dentist. Together the characters played by Cheadle and Sandler struggle to heal each other in the way that true friends often do (in a way that reminds me of Matt Damon and Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting). They are both searching for that part of the themselves that they have lost and trying to find again.

Reign over Me is one of the best major studio films to be released this year. The soundtrack, which is almost another character in the plot is wonderful. The filming in the streets of New York - a city that suffered a great tragedy and has also had to heal itself - is also quite beautiful. The supporting roles by Jada Pinkett Smith, Liv Tyler, Saffron Burrows (in a very odd role), Donald Sutherland, and Mike Binder himself are all quite good.

Writer/Director Mike Binder has really delivered a story that so many will be able to connect with on numerous levels. This is a story about grief, family, healing, male friendship, mental health, and the meaning of love. Reign over Me does not disappoint. The film is almost hypnotic as it draws you into the lives of its characters. Hollywood would have a much better reputation if it made more character-driven charming films like Reign over Me. ” - cjbaker39
Sands of Iwo Jima (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A dramatization of the World War II Battle of Iwo Jima. (100 mins.)
Director: Allan Dwan
“ Great War Movie
Sgt John M. Stryker is a battle hardened Marine who's job it is to prepare his new charges for the realities of war. With no care for making friends, Stryker does what ever it takes to make these men tough and ready for the Pacific conflicts to come.

Sands Of Iwo Jima is unashamedly proud in its jingoistic fervour, and rightly so. Iwo Jima, and the now immortal portrait of weary American soldiers hoisting the flag atop Mt. Suribachi, has become a bastion of bravery, a beacon of triumph if you will. So it's no surprise to find Allan Dwan's film has no intention if deviating from boasting its colours, and hooray to that. Here as Stryker we find John Wayne giving a bit more to his character portrayal than merely some beefcake winning the war. Wayne puts depth and sincerity into Stryker, an air of believability shines through as he shows vulnerability, we believe he can win this war with his men, but we also see tenderness and it lifts Sands higher than your average war picture.

Wise old director Dwan (432 directing credits to his name), weaves the picture together with admirable restraint. Fusing actual newsreel footage with his own tightly handled action sequences, Sands plays out as the tribute and rally call that it has every right to be, even finding place in the film for three of the soldiers who hoisted that now famous flag. Ira Hayes, Rene Gagnon and John Bradley are the three gentlemen to look out for. The rest of the cast don't really have to do much outside of respond to Wayne's two fold performance, but keep an eye out for a fresh faced Richard Jaeckel as Pfc. Frank Flynn, while I personally enjoyed the brief, but important contribution from Julie Bishop as Mary.

Wayne received a nomination for Best Actor at the Academy Awards (too bad for him that 49 contained brilliant shows from the winner Broderick Crawford & a blunderbuss turn from Gregory Peck), with other nominations going to the Best Story, Editing and Sound categories. Ironically it was a role Wayne didn't fancy doing, but some encouragements from war veterans humbled him into starring.

Lock and load and saddle up for a top entry in the WWII pantheon. 8/10 ” - cjbaker39
The Queen (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
After the death of Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth II struggles with her reaction to a sequence of events nobody could have predicted. (103 mins.)
Director: Stephen Frears
“ Helen Mirren Enough Said
The film is a surprising, unpretentious masterpiece and I haven't mention Helen Mirren yet. Apart from the fact that it's a film perfectly suited to be seen in your own living room or like me, in bed, it's also cinema with capital letters. The illusion created by Helen Mirren's portrayal is total and I mean total, eerily so. There were moments in which I was seeing the real thing or the "royal" thing I should say. When Elizabeth II bows to pressure and returns to London and views first hand the overwhelming show of affection for Diana, something happens to her, we will never know what exactly, but something. That in itself is Helen Mirren's mastery. To tell us exactly that without revealing anything. Needless to say I'm buying the DVD. I know I will see this one many times. ” - cjbaker39
A Bridge Too Far (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Operation Market Garden, September 1944: The Allies attempt to capture several strategically important bridges in the Netherlands in the hope of breaking the German lines. However, mismanagement and poor planning result in its failure. (175 mins.)
“ Good and Long with a Awesome Cast
The film is based upon Operation Market Garden, an Allied plot hatched towards the end of 1944 with the intention of ending the war in Europe. The concept behind the plan was to drop 35,000 soldiers into Holland approximately 60 miles beyond the German lines, to seize six vital bridges, and to reinforce the paratroopers by sending in thousands of ground troops. However, various mishaps jeopardised the mission and eventually the Allies were cut off and had to withdraw, suffering severe losses.

As stellar casts go, A Bridge Too Far still takes some rivalling. Among the many famous actors involved, these are just a few: Sean Connery, Robert Redford, Laurence Olivier, Dirk Bogarde, James Caan, Ryan O'Neal, Gene Hackman, Michael Caine, Anthony Hopkins and Elliott Gould. It seems pointless for some of the actors to be cast in these roles - true enough, Connery, Bogarde and Hopkins get decent roles and a fair bit of screen time, but was it really worth paying Redford $2,000,000 for his ten minute heroics? Could a decent actor have not handled the role for a fraction of that amount? Is Gene Hackman really the correct choice for Polish officer Major General Stanislaw Sosabowski? Should a light comic actor like Elliott Gould be doing his cigar-chomping "fun" turn in a movie as serious as this?
Richard Attenborough's elephantine recreation of the battle for several strategically valuable Dutch bridges in the winter of 1944 is a star-studded, lengthy and exhausting film (and many critics at the time seemed to be of the opinion that it collapsed beneath its own weight) ” - cjbaker39
MacArthur (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
The story of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Allied Commander during World War II and United Nations Commander for the Korean War... (130 mins.)
Director: Joseph Sargent
“ Wonderful Movie
Gregory Peck's brilliant portrayal of Douglas MacArthur from the Battle of Corregidor in the Philippines at the start of the Pacific War largely through to his removal as UN Commander during the Korean War offers reason to believe all three of the above possibilities. Certainly the most controversial American General of the Second World War (and possibly ever) MacArthur is presented here as a man of massive contradictions. He claims that soldiers above all yearn for peace, yet he obviously glories in war; he consistently denies any political ambitions, yet almost everything he does is deliberately used to boost himself as a presidential candidate; he obviously believes that soldiers under his command have to follow his orders to the letter, yet he himself deliberately defies orders from the President of the United States; he shows great respect for other cultures (particularly in the Philippines and Japan) and yet is completely out of touch with his own country. All these things are held in balance throughout this movie, and in the end the viewer is left to draw his or her own conclusions about the man, although one is left with no doubt that MacArthur sincerely and passionately loved his country, and especially the Army he devoted his life to.

Peck's performance was, as I said, brilliant - to the point, actually, of overshadowing virtually everyone else in the film (which is perhaps appropriate, given who he was portraying!) with the possible exception of Ed Flanders. I though he offered a compelling look at Harry Truman and his attitude to MacArthur: sarcastic (repeatedly referring to MacArthur as "His Majesty,") angry, frustrated and finally completely fed up with this General who simply won't respect his authority as President. Marj Dusay was also intriguing as MacArthur's wife Jean, devoted to her husband (whom she herself referred to as "General," although their relationship seems to have been a happy enough one.) I very much enjoyed this movie, although perhaps would have liked to have learned a little more about MacArthur's early life. I have always chuckled at MacArthur's reaction to Eisenhower being elected President ("He'll make a fine President - he was the best damn clerk I ever had"

which seems to sum up what MacArthur thought the role of the

President should be, especially to his military commanders during wartime.) Well worth watching. 8/10 ” - cjbaker39
The King's Speech (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The story of King George VI of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, his impromptu ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch become worthy of it. (118 mins.)
Director: Tom Hooper
“ A very well told story
It was bound to be good with Colin Firth playing the Duke of York who went on to become George VI, and he didn't let the audience down. Let's not forget also the other main characters, Lionel Logue played by Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter as the Duchess of York, Michael Gambon as George V and Timothy Spall as Winston Churchill - all absolutely perfect for their respective roles. Whilst the dates in the film might not have been completely accurate, the film tells the story perfectly, sometimes humorously and and certainly sensitively, and I would like to think in such a way that doesn't cause any embarrassment to any surviving members of our Royal Family or indeed people who suffer from what must be a very difficult condition to live with. Certainly a film I would recommend to my friends. ” - cjbaker39
High Noon (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A marshall, personally compelled to face a returning deadly enemy, finds that his own town refuses to help him. (85 mins.)
Director: Fred Zinnemann
“ Great Western
Gary Cooper's greatest role, at 50, as the newly-married sheriff, Will Kane, left to fend for himself against his returning enemies, abandoned by the town he remains loyal to, and played out in real time through its 90 minute running time.

Ably supported by Grace Kelly as his pacifist Quaker wife, who discovers love and right triumphs over long-held preconceptions; Katy Jurado as Kane's former mistress, a fiery Latino type; and Lloyd Bridges as the feisty deputy; Cooper runs away with the acting honours. The theme tune by Tex Ritter is also worthy of note.

‘High Noon' works because of its tightly written script, its cracking pace and crackling tension. I've seen the film many times and always see something different to notice and admire; still, I'd love to see it again for the first time and not know the twists and turns, not know how it ends. A fabulous film – one of the best. ” - cjbaker39
Field of Dreams (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
An Iowa corn farmer, hearing voices, interprets them as a command to build a baseball diamond in his fields; he does, and the Chicago White Sox come. (107 mins.)
“ A True Classic
It has everything1 excellent acting from Costner,Earl Jones and the great late Burt Lancaster in one of his last film roles which is definably one of his finest.Ray Liotta also was amazing for one of his first roles as Shoeless Joe Jackson which i felt could not of gone to anyone else but Liotta.The storyline is dazzling as well as the acting and the dialogue.This movie is an incredible and a times comical experience.Every actor in this film should feel more than proud they were in this amazing feel good movie which has never deserved a bad review. This for me is definitely a 10 out of 10 picture which i might watch again tonight actually even though i only saw it yesterday. ” - cjbaker39
Million Dollar Baby (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A determined woman works with a hardened boxing trainer to become a professional. (132 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
“ Gritty Movie
It would be difficult to imagine a more perfect trio of performers the likes of Hilary Swank, Clint Eastwood, and Morgan Freeman in their respective roles in the emotionally-charged "Million Dollar Baby."

My favorite scenes were the early sequences in which Maggie (Swank) visits the dowdy boxing gym and co-opts Eastwood's crusty boxing trainer Frankie into becoming her mentor. Along with the veteran, retired boxer Eddie, played by Freeman, the performances were as electric as the Ali shuffle.

In the overall arc of the story of "Million Dollar Baby," there were three extraneous subplots: (1) Frankie's visits to church and his talks with the priest; (2) the story of the mentally-challenged young man named Danger, who appears in the gym and is taunted by the boxers; and (3) Maggie's family members introduced in two scenes filled with such vulgarity that much of the film's hard-earned credibility was lost. Not only would the film have worked effectively without the subplots, it would have been a much better film without them.

While Eastwood's direction was superb, much credit should also go to the designers, especially the stylish work with lighting. I cannot recall a film as dimly lit as this one, and the subdued lighting contributed substantially to the characters and mood evoked in this sensitive film. The three main performances were standouts. But this film was also a very successful team effort. ” - cjbaker39
The Dirty Dozen (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
During World War II, a rebellious U.S. Army Major is assigned a dozen convicted murderers to train and lead them into a mass assassination mission of German officers. (150 mins.)
Director: Robert Aldrich
“ Lee Marvin was Great
Acclaimed director Robert Aldrich (also famous to war film buffs for his rule-breaking drama, "Attack") twists the familiar 'unit picture' into a famous story of unexpected heroism in the midst of World War II. Instead of making his heroes clean-cut, American draftees, we're looking at the dirtiest convicts the Armed Forces has got to offer.

OSS Major Reisman (Lee Marvin, "Hell in the Pacific") is an insubordinate Army officer who's facing a court-martial, when he's given one last chance for a reprieve: select twelve Army prisoners from a maximum-security detention center, train them for a top-secret mission behind the German lines, and then lead them into battle. If they succeed in the mission, they'll be released. For Reisman, it's a tough call, but it's his only chance to save his career.
War is a really a dirty business – this isn't a movie about men playing by the rules. It's about breaking every rule in the book to get a job done, and if a few innocent bystanders get in the way, they're simply collateral damage. On a higher level, Aldrich's film reflects culture attitudes of the late 60s. Moviegoers wanted a film which encouraged breaking the rules, which showed the higher levels of the American military as deeply flawed, and made the dregs of society into the heroes of the piece. It's a cynical representation of the time it was made in, but holds up flawlessly 40 years later, in a culture which has probably been shaped by the attitudes the film reflects in every frame. ” - cjbaker39
Bridge of Spies (2015)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
During the Cold War, an American lawyer is recruited to defend an arrested Soviet spy in court, and then help the CIA facilitate an exchange of the spy for the Soviet captured American U2 spy plane pilot, Francis Gary Powers. (142 mins.)
“ Bridge Of Spies is a historical drama film starring Tom Hanks, co-written by the Coen brothers, and directed by Steven Spielberg. Even though its subject matter of the Cold War is something I know very little about, I thoroughly enjoyed it and I am now more interested than ever to learn more about it. I rank it among the best of Spielberg's most recent movies.

In 1957, tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War are at their peak. Spies from both the American CIA and Soviet KGB are a major threat to the security of both world powers and each side often resorts to hasty measures to stop any classified information from being leaked. In Brooklyn, New York, Rudolf Abel is arrested under the suspicion of being a spy. James B. Donovan (Tom Hanks) is assigned as Abel's defence lawyer. However the idea of defending a potential Soviet spy proves to be an unpopular and difficult task for Donovan. Meanwhile, over in the Soviet Union, an American spy plane pilot Francis Gary Powers is shot down and captured by the KGB. As a means to ease tension between the two warring countries, Donovan proposes a swap between the two prisoners of war, Abel for Powers.

Despite containing barely any action scenes and being almost entirely made up of talking, the film never feels boring or slow paced. This is most likely due to the Coen brothers' clever screenplay and Steven Spielberg's creative direction. There were many suspenseful moments where it felt like the prisoner negotiations would go horribly wrong and that kept me on the edge of my seat. Tom Hanks also gives another memorable performance as James B. Donovan, once again proving his versatility as an actor. ” - cjbaker39
The Temptations (1998 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
Biography of the singers who formed the hit Motown musical act, The Temptations. (175 mins.)
Director: Allan Arkush
“ Awesome
the story is surprisingly very strong, the characters fascinating, the performances energetic, and the music is very well presented. The sense of the historical change of context surrounding the characters is also accurate and convincing, although played quietly (actually works better that way).

The first half especially is a treat. A strong effort to do the group, its music, and its history justice.
"The Temptations" mini-series was an excellent film!! Terron Brooks(Eddie Kendricks), DB Woodside(Melvin Franklin), Charles Malik Whitfield(Otis Williams), Christian Payton(Paul Williams), and Leon(David Ruffin) do a fantastic job of portraying the fabulous five! This movie is based on Otis Williams' book and the storyline is incredible. Once I saw it for the first time, I was definitely hooked on it. Now I watch it at least once a week. I can't get the songs out of my head, and I am now an even bigger fan of The Temptations. The cool thing about it is that Brooks, Payton, and Woodside are actually singing the parts! I would recommend this movie to any music lover!! ” - cjbaker39
Apollo 13 (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
NASA must devise a strategy to return Apollo 13 to Earth safely after the spacecraft undergoes massive internal damage putting the lives of the three astronauts on board in jeopardy. (140 mins.)
Director: Ron Howard
“ Classic Tom Hanks
It has every element that makes a movie a classic. It is suspenseful, thrilling, and touching. It has drama, comedy, suspense, and even a little romance. I read the book "The Lost Moon" written by Jim Lovell and was the basis of the movie. The writers, producers, director, and actors did a marvelous job of portraying the events of the perilous flight of Apollo 13. The actors (Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon, Ed Harris, Kathleen Quinland, and Gary Sinise) did a wonderful job as their character. I absolutely love movies where everyone comes together to fight and work toward a certain, unified goal, and I cannot think of a better example of this than what is shown in Apollo 13. ” - cjbaker39
12 Years a Slave (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. (134 mins.)
Director: Steve McQueen
“ Great movie
then the movie was excellent at being literal, but that's not enough. ” - cjbaker39
In the Heat of the Night (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An African American police detective is asked to investigate a murder in a racially hostile southern town. (109 mins.)
Director: Norman Jewison
“ Loved This Movie
1967 was a turbulent year in the U S. Civil rights marches and demonstrations, anti-war rallies, the summer of love,psychedelic music and backlash against the previously noted, 1967 had it all. And this great movie came out, about a small Mississippi town embroiled in a steaming hot summer and a sizzling murder case. The movie diverges from the book on many aspects, mostly for the better. This is a serious look at a nation and a community in turmoil. The acting is first rate, from Sidney Poitier (one of the greatest American actors of this generation, regardless of race), Rod Steiger, Lee Grant, Warren Oates and the whole passel of townsfolk. The plot has been well outlined in previous posts, so I won't belabor it. My favorite scene is when Virgil examines the deceased, looking for clues in discoloration, type of wound, etc., while the sheriff looks on with his jaw practically on the floor in amazement. You can plainly see that he wanted to pin the crime on a hitch-hiker or one of the town's less desirable inhabitants. While some may see the film as preachy or presenting Virgil as a superior to the hicks, seen in the context of its time, it really tells a lot about race relations of the time. The movie is well filmed with lots of atmospheric detail of the time and region (even though it was filmed in Illinois, some areas of Illinois and Indiana were very Southern in their feel and outlook). Great acting, a good mystery, fine cinematography and an important theme make this a must-see movie. 10 stars. ” - cjbaker39
Skyfall (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Bond's loyalty to M is tested when her past comes back to haunt her. Whilst MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost. (143 mins.)
Director: Sam Mendes
“ My Favorite Bond Movie
It's the Bond film we've all been waiting for. After the stunning reinvention of Casino Royale and the misstep that followed with Quantum of Solace, Skyfall feels like a true resurrection of the character and the Bond universe, and an incredible addition to the storied franchise. From its spectacular opening scene in Istanbul to its sensational climax in the Scottish Highlands, the film grabs hold of the audience and never lets go.

With the great Sam Mendes at the helm, Skyfall is propelled by a veritable narrative purpose. Mendes values story and character over anything, and he gets Bond. His action sequences are thrilling, artfully directed, and a joy to watch. He directs with finesse and nuance the powerful character-driven scenes. He understands the soul and essence of Bond and respects the spirit of the franchise but also breaks new ground with the treatment of the story.

Speaking of which, the script tells a moving, thematically resonant and intelligent story, and features superbly written scenes. It is more focused than Quantum of Solace, which felt oddly disjointed at times. Writers Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and John Logan elegantly balance humorous moments with truly dramatic ones while never straying from the emotional heart of the film. Best of all, they further develop Casino Royale's brilliant idea of delving into Bond's vulnerability and the result is a fascinating and flawed character. The human and moral stakes are high and much more personal this time around. The audience feels emotionally invested in the story. In the end, the film is a reflection on aging and on not only why the world needs Bond but also why he must and will endure.

Visually, Skyfall is a true wonder. Roger Deakins' cinematography is aesthetically magnificent and serves the story well. Deakins shoots Istanbul, London, Macau, Shanghai and the Scottish Highlands in a tasteful, artistic and original manner. It is by far the most beautifully shot Bond I have ever seen. Thomas Newman's score is terrific and rich, cleverly using the classic Bond theme in new and interesting ways and incorporating Adele's already-classic theme to create a memorable piece of music.

Finally, the cast all deliver fine performances. Daniel Craig gives a thoughtful, moving and nuanced performance, which constitutes his strongest interpretation of the character to date. Judi Dench offers a much more intimate and personal take on M. Ralph Fiennes, Albert Finney, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris and Berenice Marlohe are memorable. And what to say of Javier Bardem, who steals every scene he appears in? He is funny, unpredictable, frightening and most interestingly, tragic. A fantastic Bond villain.

If you had any reservation about seeing this film after the lacklustre Quantum of Solace, fear no more. Skyfall redeems faults of the past and is one of the best films of the year. It hits all the right notes. Sam Mendes has infused Bond with a deft sense of fun, pathos and class.

It's a great time at the movies. ” - cjbaker39
Invincible (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Based on the story of Vince Papale, a 30-year-old bartender from South Philadelphia who overcame long odds to play for the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles in 1976. (105 mins.)
Director: Ericson Core
“ Very Surprising at how Good Film Was
ReaNot just for Philadelphia Eagles fans, but for all sports fans who love a great underdog story. Watching this film, I was transported back to the gritty streets of South Philly in 1976, watching the impossible dream unfold for a guy down on his luck, but determined to change his life with his love for football -- and for his favorite team, the Eagles. Mark Wahlberg did an excellent job playing the improbable hero Vince Papale. The supporting cast is also very good, with a great turn by Elizabeth Banks, who believes in Vince's dream of making it in the NFL. It shows that with hard work and determination, anything is possible. A film for the whole family to enjoy!lly enjoyed this film. ” - cjbaker39
Remember the Titans (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The true story of a newly appointed African-American coach and his high school team on their first season as a racially integrated unit. (113 mins.)
Director: Boaz Yakin
“ Great Sports Movie
Denzel Washington leads a cast that is young, fresh, talented and determined to make this movie a success. "Remember The Titans" is laced with strong performances from Will Patton, Ryan Hurst, Wood Harris, Donald Faison and Greg Alan Williams.

Based on a true story "Remember The Titans" follows the 1971 T.C. Williams High School Titans football team and their struggles with integration. Washington is Herman Boone, who has run up against racism after he has been brought in to coach the Titans. Patton is Bill Yoast, the man Boone replaced as head coach.

Washington and Patton are just two pieces of the puzzle, which makes "Remember The Titans" a real gem. However, the strength and real beauty of "Remember The Titans" does not come from Washington or Patton, but the Titan football players because they are the ones who give the strongest performances in the film.

I must say that the best performance of the whole movie other than Washington and Patton is the young actress who portrayed Bill Yoast's daughter, Hayden Panitierre. In "Remember The Titans" this young actress single handidly made it worth watching this film. Her talent shines through and her presence on screen is as fresh as the daily air; furthermore, every time she is on screen she sparkles. It is so pleasurable to see talent like this being discovered. ” - cjbaker39
War Horse (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Young Albert enlists to serve in World War I after his beloved horse is sold to the cavalry. Albert's hopeful journey takes him out of England and to the front lines as the war rages on. (146 mins.)
“ Solid Film
Based on the book by Michael Morpurgo, War Horsedepicts the story of Albert Narracott, played by Jeremy Irvine, and his treasured horse Joey in Britain where World War I is about to begin. Joey is sold to the cavalry by Albert's alcoholic father and finds himself trapped in the devastating fields of war while Albert is trying to find him.

Spielberg finds a balance between heartfelt emotion, especially from seeing the war through Joey's eyes and the people he meets along the way, and the tragic problems the main characters face, for example the separation between Joey and Albert after we have watched them bond and connect in the first part of the film. It is those emotional contrasts that Spielberg translates onto the screen well, perhaps the best one being the contrast between the overall setting of the devastation and trauma of World War I and the love between the main character and his horse portrayed throughout the film.

Although some of the cast are newcomers to cinema, they put on a stellar performance. Jeremy Irvine perfectly portrays on screen the character's determination and devotion to find his horse. Practically unknown before this film, his performance in War Horse has now made him one to watch. The rest of the cast include Emily Watson, Peter Mullan, Tom Hiddleston, and Niels Arestrup.

War Horse is the perfect film to settle down with the family for Christmas. It is a touching, beautiful depiction of the relationship between a boy and his horse, and of life in the countryside during World War I. The usual bloodbath and gory murder scenes are ditched in favour of a genuine story that manages to provoke passion and deep emotion in the audience, and overall this fits into the beauty of the narrative. ” - cjbaker39
Pulp Fiction (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
The lives of two mob hit men, a boxer, a gangster's wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption. (154 mins.)
“ Awesome
Dialogue drives Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction,'' dialogue of such high quality it deserves comparison with other masters of spare, hard-boiled prose, from Raymond Chandler to Elmore Leonard. Like them, QT finds a way to make the words humorous without ever seeming to ask for a laugh. Like them, he combines utilitarian prose with flights of rough poetry and wicked fancy. ” - cjbaker39
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
“ Great Film
If there was one word that I could use to describe Martin Scorsese's "Goodfellas": it'd be priceless.

A surreal and deeply fascinating take on life of Henry Hill who was involved in the Mob for three decades and his rise throughout the time span (and Nicholas Pileggi's book "Wiseguy").

There isn't a single moment in the movie where it doesn't miss a beat, you could only tell by the atmosphere of the time period and it seems so real.

The performances in this film simply make it even more memorable and how the characters are portrayed here especially by Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci (who won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor), and Paul Sorvino are believable and easy to understand that they were a family, very close and tightly knit to the core. Also, how director Martin Scorsese lets the movie pace itself and keeps the viewer off guard in what happens deserves a lot of credit. ” - cjbaker39
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Lawman Wyatt Earp and outlaw Doc Holliday form an unlikely alliance which culminates in their participation in the legendary Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. (122 mins.)
Director: John Sturges
“ Kirk Douglas was Great
Who really cares if this film is historically accurate? This is the re-telling, no matter how grandiose and overblown, of a gunfight that has gained in reputation over the years and has become legendary, deserved or un-deserved. The result is one jim-dandy of a western with a little bit of love, a little bit of drama and a whole lot of violence as the Earps and the Clantons go head to head.

And who better to be the bigger than life heroes than those two bigger than life stars, Lancaster and Douglas. Talk about perfect casting...... Lancaster as Wyatt Earp moves through this film like a ballet dancer and Douglas as Doc Holliday squares that famous chin and gets tough while hacking up his lungs to tuberculosis. Who can forget Lancaster running and diving across the corral with a shotgun. His former career as an acrobat and trapeze artist is on display here.

The supporting cast is about as good as it gets. From Lyle Bettger to John Ireland as the bad Jo VanFleet as Doc's Dennis Hopper as the confused youngest Clanton. Rhonda Fleming is beautiful and is only part of the sub-plot used to flesh out the running time but I'm not complaining.

You don't have to be a fan of westerns to get involved in this epic tale......and I haven't even mentioned Frankie Lane's title song. It's a heroic tale of family honor and violent consequences when honor is challenged. Accuracy be's a great film. ” - cjbaker39
Men of Honor (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
The story of Carl Brashear, the first African American, then also the first amputee, US Navy Diver and the man who trained him. (129 mins.)
“ Awesome
Men of honor" - true story about a proud and persistent black navy diver (fabulous Cuba Gooding Jr.) is definitely a great movie that both touches and entertains and it's part of the absolute cream of the new millennium cinema. Wonderful acting is the main reason to make this movie something truly special and pretty enjoyable, splendid experience. Charismatic Robert De Niro is marvelous as rough, fierce and pitiless chief Billy Sunday - role is practically written for him. This film alongside with fantastic "15 minutes" (2001) are two of the latest proofs that he's still one of the very finest actors of our time. On the other hand "Men of honor" includes a fine performance from Cuba Gooding Jr. who has been one of the most promising young black actors since "Boyz n the hood". "Men of honor" goes straight into the company of "Jerry Maguire", "As good as it gets" and "Instinct". Cuba Gooding Jr. is a skillful and fantastic actor and I'm prepared to get lots of more terrific movies from him. "Men of honor" has also quite an excellent story-line and probably the most exciting diving sequences of the movie history. This is a great, fascinating movie and I can only recommend it. ” - cjbaker39
The Dark Knight (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.0/10 X  
When the menace known as the Joker wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham, the caped crusader must come to terms with one of the greatest psychological tests of his ability to fight injustice. (152 mins.)
“ Great Movie
Christopher Nolan's second bundle of joy "The Dark Knight" EXCEEDED all of my expectations!!! With the success of 2005's reboot of the Batman franchise, they took what was already established and expanded it, amped it up, and gave a deeper, darker and brooding story that is more gripping and the suspense is likely to catch you of guard several times throughout. Christian Bale delves more deeper into Batman, sworn to fight evil and injustice, though also quite reluctant and uncertain if his crusade can ever end and cleanse his inner turmoil from his fractured soul due to the murder of his beloved parents. But with the help of his trusted butler/ally Alfred (played superbly by Michael Cane) grounds him, gives him moral support, and keeps him in check. But the real star of the show is Heath Ledger as Batman's most deadly enemy, The Joker. I can HONESTLY tell you that: as good as Jack Nicholson was in Batman'89 he is CHILD'S PLAY compared to this Joker. He is sadistic, psychotic, and downright SCARIER and PSYCHOLOGICALLY disturbing than the previous incarnation of The Clown Prince of Crime and Ledger gives it his all to do him justice. Along with the original cast comes some fresh faces such as Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal and more. I must say though I liked Katie Holmes, Gyllenhaal gives a much better performance and is a far cry from the "damsel-in-distress" stereotype (though there's a little of it, THANKFULLY) that's common in films. Bale and Gyllenhall have MUCH better chemistry this time around more so than Holmes. Even better, the fight sequences are vastly improved and feature more brutal and bone crushing combat than "Begins" in addition to new technology at Batman's disposal.

Also worth mentioning is screenwriter Jonathan Nolan, who gives the film an added frosting to an already delicious cake.

Simply put, The Dark Knight is totally more bad ass than "Begins." The action is great, and the plot is more deeper and engrossing. I applaud Christopher Nolan, Christian Bale, and especially Heath Ledger (who sadly passed away earlier this year) and all those aboard for believing in Mr. Nolan's talents for this second installment. Although some may feel a bit of melancholy over Ledger's death, but as a final note I will say this sincerely from my heart: Remember Heath Ledger and honor him in your minds and hearts not only for his performances, but as a human being and father to his daughter Matilda Ledger. May we issue him best wishes for his family and friends and his daughter for years to come. Remember . . . Honor him not only for this role and past roles, but as an incredible individual and talented actor.

Rest in peace. Heath Ledger: 4/4/1979-1/22/2008. ” - cjbaker39
Chinatown (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A private detective hired to expose an adulterer finds himself caught up in a web of deceit, corruption and murder. (130 mins.)
Director: Roman Polanski
“ One of my Favorites
There is a word, impossible to spell, that describes the alignment of solar bodies like the planets when they all fall into place together. A similar word would describe this film. Everything about it is right. Polanski never directed a better movie. The performers, down to the lowest atmosphere person, are superb. The editing, the score, the sound, the decor, the dialog, all are just about flawless. The photography is peerless. The white garden apartments, the terra cotta roof tiles, the palms and desert sand are all painted with a faint gold, faintly ripe with false promise, like the oranges that bounce from Gittes' desperately speeding car in the northwest Valley.

Polanski deserves much of the credit. When Gittes surprises Evelyn Mulwray in her car, after he follows her to her daughter's house, her face slumps forward and beeps the horn briefly. Then, so faintly, we hear a few dogs bark in the background. Not only is the scene itself exquisitely done but it prefigures the ending, as does Gittes' remark earlier to Evelyn that she has a flaw in her iris. The movie is too good to deserve much dissecting. It stands repeated watching. If there is anything wrong with it, it is the serious and tragic ending that Polanski always insists on tacking on. Robert Towne was right and Polanski wrong in this case. Everything came together on this film. It's not only the best detective movie ever made; it's one of the best movies ever made -- period. A marvelous job by everyone concerned.

I have to add (6/27/05) that the word I mentioned in the first sentence is spelled "syzygy." Man, did I get enlightening email on that. I might as well add two other impressive features of this movie. (1) Polanksi takes his time. Example: Gittes sneaks into Hollis Mulwray's office and begins to go through the drawers of his old-fashioned wooden desk. As he slides each drawer out, Polanksi gives us a shot of their humdrum contents (checkbooks, magnifying glass, and so forth) and we can almost smell the heat and the odor of shellac and sawdust emanating from the wooden containers. The contents reveal nothing of importance in this case. But (2) sometimes irrelevant information crops up that resonates later in the film with its own echo. The detail might be just a word ("applecore") or an ordinary object (a pair of spectacles found in a pond, immediately after Gittes imitates the Japanese gardener's remark that the water is bad for the "glass.") Some of the references may be so consistent as to constitute a theme (water). None of this hits you over the head with its significance. It's all very neatly stitched together. ” - cjbaker39
The Pianist (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A Polish Jewish musician struggles to survive the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto of World War II. (150 mins.)
Director: Roman Polanski
“ I believe this movie to be one of the most excellent movies of our times. It has several aspects that make it especially great. Firstly, the music, the most important feature of this movie, in my opinion. Chopin nocturnes and polonaises are perfectly chosen and arrayed to create an unforgettable atmosphere. In one scene, they even take time to play the whole piece of music, without interfering. Secondly, the actors in the movie: none of them are/were really well known, but WOW! (for lack of a better word). Thirdly, it's one of the few movies, where you can actually watch the credits (forever) and wish the movie wouldn't end.

Personally, I think it's a perfect 10/10. ” - cjbaker39
Lawless (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Set in Depression-era Franklin County, Virginia, a trio of bootlegging brothers are threatened by a new special deputy and other authorities angling for a cut of their profits. (116 mins.)
Director: John Hillcoat
“ Tom Hardy was Awesome
The acting is really strong; Tom Hardy's performance is probably his best so far. His voice is so different to his normal voice which really highlights how he has worked hard on his performance. I was really surprised by Shia LaBeouf's performance.
The violence was not really an issue; I don't think it diverted the film away from anything which is good. It contained the right amount of violence for the film and shouldn't put anyone off from watching this. ” - cjbaker39
My All-American (2015)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Freddie Steinmark, an underdog on the gridiron, faces the toughest challenge of his life after leading his team to a championship season. (118 mins.)
Director: Angelo Pizzo
“ This is quite simply an amazing film.

For starters, the acting performance by Aaron Eckhart as legendary head coach Darrell Royal is spot on. He got his mannerisms, speech patterns and facial expressions down-pat, and in doing all of that he got the spirit of Coach Royal almost perfectly portrayed.

Secondly, Finn Wittrock makes the character of Freddie Steinmark very believable. He portrayed him as a flawed, fallible human being with a desire to prove himself and willing to do whatever it took to overcome any challenge...even when that challenge was his life.

Finally, the incredible attention to detail to even the finest points. I have a copy of the 1969 Texas game vs. Arkansas in my home video library: let me assure you when they replicated the football action in that game, they did so with EXTREME accuracy....even down to a shot of a Longhorn Band member cheering on the team just before a big play in the game! Add in the charming performance of Juston Street as his father James Street, and the beautiful Sarah Bolger, and you've got a wonderful film. Freddie himself would be humbled and touched.

This film explores themes of courage and overcoming adversity that should inspire anyone even if you're not a football fan. ” - cjbaker39
Spotlight (2015)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
The true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core. (128 mins.)
Director: Tom McCarthy
“ Everything about this movie is outstanding -- the performances, the way the true events are handled, the cinematography. In this day of digital news, this movie makes us stand back and realize what we may lose in the way of investigative journalism as we slowly kill off print media.

The lengths the directors go to to achieve a sense of authenticity is remarkable. We are there in Boston in 2001-2002. We get to know enough about each character to make him or her real, but not enough to create side dramas. The focus remains the child abuse scandal in the archdiocese in Boston. That reflects the conflict the characters face and deal with when events make them rethink the focus of their article.

The movie is riveting, though we know the outcome. ” - cjbaker39
The Bridge at Remagen (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
As the Allied armies close in, the Nazis decide to blow up the last Rhine bridge, trapping their own men on the wrong side. But will it happen? (115 mins.)
Director: John Guillermin
“ Nice War Movie
This is a no-nonsense, gritty, thoroughly well made war film. As a recreation of war it is quite convincing, I couldn't spot anything wrong with the military equipment. The battle scenes are exciting and give a good, clear picture of the fighting instead of just chaotic shots of shooting and explosions. However, the people are never lost among the warfare. These are complex, solid characters, and the actors are good throughout. There is nothing superhuman, just individuals, very low on humanity or manners. Tired and ill-motivated Americans, desperate and scared Germans. Nothing glorious or patriotic: there is even a scene with American planes bombing refugees and Germans trying to protect them! This is not an adventure, more a depiction of an interesting situation and the people in it. However, the story flows on and there isn't a dull moment. Why this film hasn't acquired more recognition is beyond me. As a war film I think it is better than most of it's contemporaries, like "The Battle of the Bulge" or "Anzio". ” - cjbaker39
Frost/Nixon (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A dramatic retelling of the post-Watergate television interviews between British talk-show host David Frost and former president Richard Nixon. (122 mins.)
Director: Ron Howard
“ Nice Film
"Frost/Nixon" is an entertaining, exciting film, around as populist as I expected but in a very different way. This is the sort of writing we don't see enough of, particularly not in today's films. It's vaguely reminiscent of a particularly good BBC television drama. The cast is certainly good enough for that. Langella and Michael Sheen are outstanding, both manage to accurately portray the real-life men they are portraying while still adding some characterization and mannerisms of their own. Langella's Tony-award winning performance might be up for Oscar consideration soon, but Sheen's Frost almost upstages him at times. No heavy-handedness, no political 'messages', just a fun, clever script and a great cast in a well-made film. ” - cjbaker39
Ghosts of Mississippi (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A Mississippi district attorney and the widow of Medgar Evers struggle to finally bring a white racist to justice for the 1963 murder of the civil rights leader. (130 mins.)
Director: Rob Reiner
“ Whoopi was Awesome
In June 1963, Medgar Evers, a Mississippi NAACP leader, was shotdead while standing in his driveway. A man named Byron De La Beckwith wascharged with the crime, but went free after two all-white juries reacheddeadlocks.
AlthoughDe La Beckwith was clearly the killer, at that time and place he was impossibleto convict; there is an obvious parallel with the O.J. Simpson verdict. Sopoisoned was the atmosphere in the Mississippi courtroom that at one point thestate's governor, Ross Barnett, actually walked up to De La Beckwith and shookhis hand. ” - cjbaker39
A Soldier's Story (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
An African American officer investigates a murder in a racially charged situation in World War II. (101 mins.)
Director: Norman Jewison
“ Great Movie
This was one of the most powerful films that came out in 1984. Director Norman Jewison(In The Heat Of The Night)adaptation of the Puliitzer Prize-winning play(by Charles Fuller) and numerous NAACP awards for best achievement in African-American literature,tells about the ramificiations of racism and loyalty through the prism of blacks in the military,revealed through a mystery set in the 1940's deep South. Howard E. Rollins(Ragtime,and from the TV series In The Heat Of The Night)plays a military investigator,Captain Davenport,who is assigned to the murder of a drill instructor,Sergeant Waters,played by Adolph Caesar(The Color Purple),who was in charge of a black platoon during World War II. Under pressure from his superiors to wrap his investigation up quickly,Rollins instead delves deeply into the relationships between the despised drill instructor and his men,uncovering lies and animousity,and confronting the question of what it means to be black in a white man's world. Rollins delivers a riveting,stoic,emotional lead into the role of Captain Davenport while Caesar gives an electrifying performance as the Sergeant. A lot of fresh faces gives brilliant performances throughout the film including one from a youthful Denzel Washington,who makes an early appearance as a soldier with a deep grudge against the drill instructor and a deep mistrust of Rollins' investigator. Look for appearances by Larry Riley, David Alan Grier,Robert Townsend,and Patti LaBelle. A powerfully written story that makes the most of its large and impressive ensemble cast which still is enthralling--some 20th after its release. ” - cjbaker39