Good Night and Good Luck

10. Good Night and Good Luck

Following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, there were many films made that directly depicted and recalled the horrific events of that day which not only changed America, but the world. George Clooney‘s approach was more subtle, focusing on the fear mongering and false patriotism that followed the attacks. But he didn’t do this by chronicling these actual years. Instead, he wound back the clocks to the time when Senator Joseph McCarthy used fear to root out Communists in America in a haphazard and dangerous way.

Communism may have been perceived as a big threat to America, but it was no more threatening than losing our freedom from fear. This historical drama is an allegory for our then-present-day struggles of the mid-2000s, depicting fear and patriotism and how the two shamefully came to be in bed with each other thanks to the rise of political drama in the news, rather than the hard-hitting journalism of Edward R. Murrow — who I may add is played perfectly by David Strathairn.

My favorite line: “The actions of the junior senator from Wisconsin have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies abroad and given considerable comfort to our enemies. And whose fault is that? Not really his, he didn’t create this situation of fear, he merely exploited it, and rather successfully. Cassius was right. The fault dear Brutus is not in our stars, but in ourselves. Good night, and good luck.”

9. Annie Hall

Annie Hall

It’s no coincidence that Federico Fellini is my favorite foreign filmmaker when it’s his work that has influenced the many films of Woody Allen. If there’s an American equivalent to Fellini, it’s Woody Allen. He even goes so far as to reference the filmmaker director in one of the best scenes in Annie Hall, which is essentially Allen’s version of 8 1/2, albeit with the central character struggling more with love than with filmmaking. But is there really a difference between the two in the end? There was a time in my teen years before I was educated and appreciative of filmmaking as art that I hated Annie Hall (having never seen it) for beating Star Wars for Best Picture in 1977. Oh, how naive I was in my younger years. This is a masterpiece.

My favorite line: “I feel that life is divided into the horrible and the miserable. That’s the two categories. The horrible are like, I don’t know, terminal cases, you know, and blind people, crippled. I don’t know how they get through life. It’s amazing to me. And the miserable is everyone else. So you should be thankful that you’re miserable, because that’s very lucky, to be miserable.”

8. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

When I started this countdown, I said that not enough comedies got an all-time level of love from cinephiles, and this is my second straight-up comedy on the countdown. The script is flawless, the characters are real, and the story is simple. This can be said about every single John Hughes movie ever produced, and that’s what made his work so great to watch. But Ferris Bueller is a film I’ve been watching since grade school, and it shaped not only my love for Chicago but also (somewhat unbeknownst to me in my earlier years) for the value of life, or more specifically, just living your life. We should all have a day off like Ferris Bueller every now and then.

My favorite line: “I do have a test today, that wasn’t bullshit. It’s on European socialism. I mean, really, what’s the point? I’m not European. I don’t plan on being European. So who gives a crap if they’re socialists? They could be fascist anarchists, it still doesn’t change the fact that I don’t own a car.”

7. Rain Man

Rain Man

This is one of those movies that I stumbled upon at a surprisingly young age. Maybe it’s because my developing mind was fascinated by a grown man seemingly acting like a child. Or maybe it’s the fact that I also had an early affinity for Tom Cruise, thanks to a childhood love for Top Gun, mostly due to an obsession with jets. But Rain Man influenced by childhood so much that I would make my parents laugh and then slowly become annoyed by repeating “97X. Baaaaaaang. The future of rock and roll.” I also was obsessed with finding a pull-back toy car that looked like the Buick Roadmaster Charlie and Raymond Babbitt cruised around in.

Bu beyond this strange early appreciation for a very adult drama, my more grown-up tastes have come to love this movie for the dysfunctional family drama that it is. The relationship between Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman is so magnificently developed over a couple hours, and the improvised moment when Hoffman presses his head against Cruise’s towards the end of the film is completely earned and easily one of the most tender moments I’ve ever seen on film.

My favorite line: “What you have to understand is, four days ago he was only my brother in name. And this morning we had pancakes.”

6. Almost Famous

Almost Famous

After Jack Giroux delivered his all time favorite movies, which also included this Cameron Crowe film, someone in the comments asked whether it was mandatory that writers at /Film declare Almost Famous as one of their favorite films. I’m happy to carry on that tradition, because this is a movie about passion as much as it is about rock and roll.

The reason this movie seems to strike a chord with so many film bloggers and critics is that the professional path of William Miller (Patrick Fugit) isn’t too far removed from what we have experienced in this strange and surreal career. But beyond that obvious relationship some of us have with the film, it’s a prime coming-of-age tale that blends excellently with the evolution of rock and roll during the time depicted. Plus, the wisdom offered by Philip Seymour Hoffman as Lester Bangs is priceless.

My favorite line: “The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.”

Continue Reading Ethan Anderton’s Favorite Movies >>

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