Showing posts with label favorite crime movies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label favorite crime movies. Show all posts

25 May 2013

Hit List

by John M. Floyd

I like to hear about favorites, of any kind: novels, stories, authors, movies, TV shows, restaurants, cities, vacation spots. Discussions like that can not only tell you a bit about the person naming the favorites, they can also provide recommendations for your later enjoyment. One of our best family trips--two weeks in DC, with stops at Mount Vernon, Williamsburg, Jamestown, etc.--happened because we had talked with a neighbor who'd been there and done that and said it was her favorite vacation.

That certainly applies to reading material. I like to find out what books my friends have enjoyed the most. That's the way I discovered Harlan Coben's Tell No One, Grisham's A Time to Kill, Follett's Eye of the Needle. And one of the guys in our writing group made what I thought was an interesting observation the other day: he said that your favorite books--not always, but often--are those you occasionally like to re-read. That's especially easy to do with favorite short stories (because, well, they're short).

The same can be true of movies. I have hundreds of DVDs stacked up in my little home office--I absolutely LOVE movies--and there are some that I find myself plugging in every now and then and watching again. I suppose those qualify as my favorites.

Given the theme of this blog (we're all mystery lovers), and the fact that I needed to come up with a topic for today's column, and the fact that my film preferences seem to have a history of violence, I decided to make a list of my most-often-watched mystery/crime/suspense movies. On the off chance that anyone might be remotely interested, here are thirty of them, in no particular order:

Double Indemnity -- film noir at its best

Body Heat -- neo-noir at its best

The Silence of the Lambs -- rookie FBI agent vs. serial killer

Die Hard -- New York cop vs. L.A. bad guys

The Thomas Crown Affair (1968 version) -- Boston bank heist

Crash -- different stories that converge and "teach a lesson"

No Country for Old Men -- best villain since Lecter (maybe best villain ever)

Dirty Harry -- did he shoot six guys, or only five?

Bullitt -- best car chase, best McQueen role

Once Upon a Time in America -- Sergio's gangster epic

Blood Simple -- the first Coen Brothers film

In Bruge -- brooding bad boys in Belgium

Reservoir Dogs -- colorful characters: Mr. Pink, Mr. Brown, etc.

Death Wish -- the only really good vigilante movie

Witness -- a Philly cop among the Amish

Psycho -- don't take a shower if the desk clerk's named Norman

Pulp Fiction -- overblown and complex, but great fun

To Kill a Mockingbird -- the education of Scout Finch

Wait Until Dark -- blind lady vs. drug smugglers

L.A. Confidential -- LAPD in the 30s

Rear Window -- a peeping Jimmy in the neighborhood

The Spanish Prisoner -- great puzzle, with Steve Martin as a bad guy

Fargo -- kidnapping and woodchipping in the Far North

The Godfather -- this is business, not personal

Out of Sight -- best Elmore Leonard adaptation

The Shawshank Redemption -- best Stephen King adaptation

A History of Violence -- Viggo without Frodo (the first hour is especially good)

Twelve Angry Men -- best courtroom (actually jury room) movie ever

Lethal Weapon -- the Mel man goes postal

The Usual Suspects -- great ending, another great villain

Remember, these are personal favorites; they are not necessarily the best of the best. Titles like ChinatownThe Big SleepMystic RiverThe French ConnectionNorth By NorthwestThe Maltese FalconGoodfellasThe Untouchables, etc., belong on every list of "best" crime/suspense films, and I liked them too. But what can I say?--this is an opinion column, and the thirty movies listed above are the ones I most enjoy watching again and again.

At least for now. Last year my list might've been different, and next year it probably will be different.

Isn't that part of the fun?