Certain movies have such important messages that they can actually change the way people think, act, or view others, and some can actually help effect change in society, hopefully for the better. There are some movies that I feel everyone should see at some point in their lives.
Movies are such a personal thing that to say one is better than another is usually just opinion. Movies can be judged on their technical merits such as writing, directing, cinematography, choreography, sound, or acting, and when judged on these criteria, any one film can be compared to another, but the one thing that cannot be judged is the personal experience and feeling that one movie can give a viewer. Movies are personal and private as far as how they make an individual feel, and that is why people love the cinema. That said, here are my top five movies that I think everyone should see before they die.
1. Citizen Kane
Widely considered one of the finest works of cinema ever made. The method of storytelling in this film is engrossing and really pulls the viewer into the world and life of Charles Foster Kane. A study in power, love, and what is really important in life. The film has a message to deliver and does so with great acting, terrific writing, and absolutely beautiful cinematography.
Amelie is visually, one of the most beautiful films ever shot. The colors and costumes are perfectly scripted and displayed throughout the entire film that the scenery really seems to transport to the viewer to a new world…Amelie’s world. The direction is sublime, as most Jean-Pierre Jeunet films are, but the story, the words in the story are as beautiful as any ever constructed. The intoxicating Audrey Tautou is amazing in the lead role and her performance gouged a little niche in my heart forever. OK, I have a little thing for her. This movie can help people appreciate the beauty in their everyday lives and create beauty in others.
The most recent of all the films on my list, Crash is a study in racism and all its forms in the modern world. The writing is terrific, the acting tremendous, and the result is a superb film dealing with a major problem in modern society. Beautifully shot, Crash crosses some lines that many aren’t willing to cross and the viewer only benefits. A powerful film with powerful subject matter, a must see.
4. Glen Garry Glen Ross
This Film makes the list for the amazing writing of David Mamet. Probably the finest screenwriter alive today, Mamet’s words are dizzying but the viewer has no problem following them. The actors deliver the lines with comedic timing and dramatic poise that makes the script come alive. Some of the finest performances ever reside in this film including Alec Baldwin’s, Jack Lemmon’s, and who can forget Kevin Spacey and Al Pacino’s contributions. Anyone that loves words and manipulation needs to see this film.
5. TIE…Cool Hand Luke and When We were Kings
Cool Hand Luke – Possibly the coolest character to ever grace the silver screen, Lucas Jackson embodies the never-say-die American spirit, and is the toughest S.O.B. ever to come out of Hollywood. Touching story about one man’s epic struggle to find his place in the world in which he resides. A Natural Born World Shaker.
When We were Kings – The most enjoyable documentary I have ever seen. Brings the emotion and excitement that was Ali to life. Ten Times the film “ALI” is, and more true to life, obviously, as “Kings” is a documentary and “ALI” is a feature film. If you don’t know about Ali, you need to see this film, and if you already love him, this will only strengthen the love you already have.