The summer films are about to begin and as we stumble through this pre-summer dry period I thought I would share with you my favorite films.

It’s a good way for you to see where I’m coming from and is also a nice suggestion list for all those people out there who ask me, “there are no good movies out right now, what should I rent?”

So here are my 10 favorite films in descending order.

10. It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

The grandest and greatest comedy ever made at a whopping 3 hours in length and featuring almost every comic in the business at the time. Directed by Stanley Kramer, famous for big sweeping, epic dramas, he made this film when someone told him he couldn’t make a comedy. Boy did he show them. With stand-out performances by Sid Caesar, Milton Berle, Jonathon Winters and Ethel Merman this is a comedy that will please anyone of any age.

9. The Boat That Rocked

Directed by Richard Curtis, the man who brought us Love Actually, this film really caught me by surprise the first time I saw it and I ended up falling in love with it. The true story of a radio station on a ship off the coast of England in the sixties, when it was illegal to play rock music on legitimate radio stations, this film is basically a bunch of set pieces with a very loose connecting plot thread. Cast with some of the best British actors working today and Phillip Seymour Hoffman thrown in as an American, everyone in the cast seems to be having a great time and it shows. And if you’re a fan of the music of the 60’s you are in for quite a treat.

8. The Blues Brothers

As a huge fan of Blues music this one is a no brainer. Not to mention one of the funniest and most re-watchable movies I’ve ever seen. Based on the Saturday Night Live sketch created by and starring Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, this is the first and still by far the best SNL film to date. With cameos galore and some of the best music set-pieces on film this two and a half hour comedy musical is the best kind of comfort viewing.

7. V For Vendetta

Perhaps one of the best Graphic Novel adaptations ever made this vicious story of revolution in Great Britain is a veritable victory. Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman, Stephen Fry and Stephen Rea are all venerably cast in their respective roles. Vivacious music, vibrant cinematography and vivid writing make this living comic book a virtual masterpiece. Vast and valiant this is a valuable addition to this vagabond list.

6. Heat

Whether you are a fan of the good guys or the bad guys this is a film sure to please. One of the only films I can think of where equal time is given to the lives of the cops and the crooks. Not just that, but in this world both simply look upon what they are doing as a job like any other. Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro both give career best performances along with an all star supporting cast in this most epic and action packed of crime stories.

5. Pacific Rim

The newest film on the list this one grabbed my attention immediately and never let go. As a fan of old Godzilla movies this film is really a love letter to all of us who can appreciate watching a giant robot beat the hell out of a giant monster. As a bonus we also get unexpectedly well written human characters who we actually feel for and a nice simple story to wrap everything together. And let’s not forget the greatest monster battles ever put on film. Director Guillermo del Toro uses state of the art special effects to create some of the greatest spectacles I have ever experienced in a theater. A rush from start to finish.

4. Whatever Works

My favorite Woody Allen film (who, by the way, is my favorite director) this film starring Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Larry David has everything I love about Woody Allen films all in one movie. With an excellent story set in New York, amazing and hysterical performances and Allen’s beautiful writing and high-brow witticisms, this classic is also unusually accessible to mainstream audiences.

3. Hoffa

I love everything about this film. Jack Nicholson totally encompasses Jimmy Hoffa, so much so you actually forget after a while that your watching Jack Nicholson. Directed by Danny DeVito and co-starring DeVito and a string of the greatest character actors alive, this film is like going back in time and actually seeing history take place. Brutal and unforgiving in it’s violence and honesty, this is a film that will suck you into its world and not let you go till it’s done with you.

2. Murder on the Orient Express

Sidney Lumet’s masterpiece based on Agatha Christie’s most famous Poirot story is a film I have watched countless times. With an all star cast led by Albert Finney as world famous detective Hercule Poirot, this movie just might be perfect. Poiort is my all time favorite fictional character and this film has my all time favorite soundtrack. Even though it’s a murder mystery with a very famous twist ending, it doesn’t matter how many times you see it, it satisfies every time. Maybe it’s the wonderful cast, maybe it’s Finney’s crazy portrayal of Poirot, maybe it’s just that I like imagining I’m on that train for 2 hours every now and then.

1. Blade Runner

I could do a whole article on Blade Runner and maybe someday I will, but for now I will simply say that never has a more complete world been created for a motion picture. Everything is perfect and believable and when I watch it I only wish that for a short time that world actually existed and I wish I could visit it. From the music, to the sets, to the actors that were cast, everything compliments everything else so completely you don’t ever find yourself questioning that somewhere out there this world really does exist.

Notable mention: Quick Change, Disorganized Crime, Too Big To Fail, Recount, Die Hard, Batman, Dark City, Love Actually, Manhattan, Radio Days, Lady In The Water, Murder By Death, Strange Brew, Mulholland Drive, Cloud Atlas, Halloween, Needful Things, In The Loop, The Royal Tenenbaums.

I’m sure you will all let me know how right or wrong you think I am in the comments section below. Happy viewing!

What's your favorite film?

Image Credit, Image courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures


Max Tieman

About The Author

Maximilian Tieman is a lifelong Torrington resident and has been a film buff since his mother brought him to the movies as a child. He is a graphic designer and print specialist and manages the Franklin Print Shoppe in downtown Torrington.

Special thanks to Torrington's Digiplex Destinations.