Some nights, there’s nothing better than kicking back with your boys and catching a movie. Your choice in film, however, can actually make or break your evening. To help you avoid watching Happy Gilmore for the fifteenth time, here are the top 10 movies every guy should watch with his crew.
A clear choice for the top 10 movies. Some people say you should be your own best friend…those people have never had a friend like Tyler Durden. Based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club follows a bored corporate drone as he falls in with a charismatic ne’er-do-well as they bond over the fact they’ve never been in a fight. To rectify the situation, they gather together a group of similarly disaffected men to beat the living tar out of each other. Nihilistic, hilarious, and brutal, it’s a bro-bonding movie infused with all the Gen X angst you can handle. Just don’t forget Rule #1.
Director: David Fincher
Starring: Ed Norton, Brad Pitt, Helena Bonham Carter
Guy Ritchie: Britain’s answer to Quentin Tarantino. Both favor colorful crooks, whiplash dialogue, and a bit of the old ultraviolence, but Ritchie adds British accents to the equation. Snatch is probably his most ambitious film to date, featuring an ensemble cast from both sides of the Atlantic as gangsters of varying stripes vie for a lost diamond. Keep an eye out for a pre-Transporter Jason Statham as a low-end boxing promoter and Brad Pitt as a Gypsy prize-fighter with an impenetrable accent.
Director: Guy Ritchie
Starring: Benecio Del Toro, Dennis Farina
“For as long as I can remember I always wanted to be a gangster. To me that was better than being president of the United States. To be a gangster was to own the world…” so begins the saga of Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), a member of the Lucchese crime family and one of the titular Goodfellas. Flanked by Jimmy “The Gent” Conway (Robert DeNiro) and Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci, a much more effective psychopath here than he was in Home Alone), the film follows the trio through three decades of ball busting, extortion and murder. With easy camaraderie coming from improved rehearsals, Jimmy, Tommy and Henry seem like the sort of friends you’d like to have…until Tommy loses it and some poor schmoe gets wacked.
Despite being widely regarded as one of the best directors of his generation (a generation that includes Francis Ford Coppala and Steven Spielberg mind you) Martin Scorcese didn’t win his first Best Director Oscar until 2006 with The Departed. Based on a Hong Kong actioner called Infernal Affairs, The Departed takes place in South Boston and follows a cop going undercover in the mob…not knowing his new gang has an infiltrator in the Boston PD. Starring Leonardo Dicaprio, Matt Damon, and the great Jack Nicholson as the head of the family, this movie is an intense nail-biter from the beginning to the blood-soaked finale.
Director: Martin Scorcese
Starring: Leonardo Dicaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson
Based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy, No Country For Old Men is a modern day Western following the chaos that erupts after a man (Josh Brolin) steals a suitcase full of money from the scene of a shoot-out. The real star of the show is Javier Bardem as the psychotic, laconic hitman known as Anton Chigurh, one of the most fearsome cinema baddies of the past twenty years…all the more so despite a bizarre haircut that makes him look like the fifth Beatle. With an arsenal ranging from a compressed-air pistol to a silenced shotgun, Chigurh’s greatest weapon is a menace that causes grown men to shit their pants.
Directors: Joel and Ethan Coen
Starring: Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin
Writing partners Will Ferrell and Adam McKay might be one of the most effective comedy duos since Laurel and Hardy. With Ferrell in front of the camera and McKay behind it, the two have created modern comedy classics like Step Brothers, The Other Guys and, of course, 2004’s Anchorman. Set in an off-kilter version of the ‘70s where dogs communicate with bears and newsmen settle their disputes with medieval weapons, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) of Channel 9 News is king of San Diego…until his team is forced to take on a feisty female reporter named Veronica Corningstone (Christine Applegate). What follows is a bizarre battle of the sexes as Ron and Veronica go from lovers to fighting over the fate of San Diego news.
Director: Adam McKay
Starring: Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate
Do people change? It’s the question at the heart of this revisionist Western directed by and starring Clint Eastwood as a retired outlaw trying to live a clean life after a career of booze-soaked violence. But when a young gun comes around offering a bounty on a man who’d disfigured a prostitute in a nearby town, he sets out on one more ride. Co-starring Morgan Freeman and Gene Hackman, Unforgiven takes every Western cliché and turns it on its head. Considering the dark subject matter, you can be sure not everyone rides into the sunset at the end.
Director: Clint Eastwood
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman
Feeling out of your element? This pothead noir will make you feel right at home. A masterpiece among the Coen brothers’ many masterpieces, The Big Lebowski follows The Dude (Jeff Bridges as he takes on nihilists, pornographers, and other assorted weirdos in his quest to replace his favorite carpet. Trippy, hilarious, and eminently quotable, you and your friends will be greeting each other with “The Dude abides,” long after the credits roll.
Directors: Joel and Ethan Coen
Starring: Jeff Bridges, John Goodman
Saving Private Ryan isn’t just a great flick to catch with your mates, its also our pick for the best war movie of all-time. Directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Robert Rodat, Saving Private Ryan is set during the invasion of Normandy in World War II. This film is noted for its graphic and brutally realistic portrayal of war. Its 27 minute opening, depicting the allied assault on Omaha Beach, is one of the most memorable scenes of the genre. The film stars Tom Hanks as Army Rangers Captain John H. Miller. Captain Miller and his team of soldiers played by Tom Sizemore, Barry Pepper, Edward Burns, Giovanni Ribisi, Adam Goldberg, Vin Diesel and Jeremy Davies, are entrusted with finding Private First Class James Francis Ryan, played by Matt Damon. Private Ryan is the last-surviving brother of four servicemen. The film is loosely based on the real-life case of the Niland brothers, four siblings who served in the US Army during World War II.
Saving Private Ryan received 11 Oscar nominations and won 5 awards including Best Director and Best Cinematography.
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore
This film is nothing short of lightning in a bottle. To begin with, it was written by Quentin Tarantino and directed by Tony Scott. That’s enough right there!
Now add a supporting cast which includes Dennis Hopper, Christopher Walken, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Rappaport, Val Kilmer, Gary Oldman and James Gandolfini and you’ve got a masterpiece.
A comic-book nerd and Elvis fanatic Clarence (Christian Slater) and a hooker named Alabama (Patricia Arquette) enjoy a one night stand, fall in love and marry within a matter of hours. Alabama’s pimp (Gary Oldman) doesn’t take the news particularly well and all hell breaks lose. While making his escape, Clarence manages to grab a suitcase he believes contains his wife’s clothes, only to find out its full of cocaine. The two hit the road for California hoping to sell the blow, but the mob is soon hot on their trail.
Director: Tony Scott
Starring: Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette