Perfect American Movies

63dot

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jun 12, 2006
5,271
339
norcal
...or ones you would give a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10

there are many foreign movies i would rate as a 10, too many to list here, but very few american movies of late i put as a 10...

but among them are, imho:

"when harry met sally"
"annie hall"
"the family stone"
"forrest gump"

and a mini-series i put in that category:

"band of brothers"

and for a documentary:

"an inconvenient truth"
 

bartelby

macrumors Core
Jun 16, 2004
19,794
4
Off the top of my head:

Alien

Apocalypse Now

Blade Runner

Clerks / Clerks II

Dogma


EDIT:

You and Me and Everyone We Know

Gerry

Elephant

Last Days

Secretary

Crash (the JG Ballard one)

 

ErikCLDR

macrumors 68000
Jan 14, 2007
1,795
0
4 Words...

Snakes on a Plane

Obviously kidding, I've seen budget movies on the Sci-Fi channel that were more complex and better done
 

63dot

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jun 12, 2006
5,271
339
norcal
are you a chick?
yeah, like chicks like to watch "band of brothers" and the three hours of world war II commentaries that come with it...band of brothers makes private ryan, letters from iwo jima, flags of our fathers, and thin red line look like disney flicks :) :)

no, i am a guy, but not a war/gun fan per se, since i have had the unfortunate experience of having a lot of machine guns pointed at me in belfast when i was a missionary there, scoping out for a full time pastoral job/therapist job...my predecessor, an englishman and missionary of the anglican church, had his brains blown out by the british SAS since they thought he was IRA by accident...luckily i came out of there alive and it was during an especially hot-button time in that city

i am asian american so nobody would see me as an IRA man with a bomb in my backpack :)...my backpack my have had bible tracts in it though...both the protestant and catholic sides treated me nicely...but not the case with the ulster constables and their SAS partners who had become extremely battle hardened

when i came back to the states, a christian neutral belfast group called and asked my wife and i to work in falls road, belfast full time...but i chickened out and those guns and the freshly bombed out places scared me and made me a little shaky for years

i did a short stint with the us "intelligence community" against the soviets right after belfast and that did not help my nerves all that much

as you can see, i tend toward peaceful movies

but, he he, i loved pulp fiction :)
 

jczubach

macrumors 6502
May 15, 2007
385
0
northwest
yeah, like chicks like to watch "band of brothers" and the three hours of world war II commentaries that come with it...band of brothers makes private ryan, letters from iwo jima, flags of our fathers, and thin red line look like disney flicks :) :)

no, i am a guy, but not a war/gun fan per se, since i have had the unfortunate experience of having a lot of machine guns pointed at me in belfast when i was a missionary there, scoping out for a full time pastoral job/therapist job...my predecessor, an englishman and missionary of the anglican church, had his brains blown out by the british SAS since they thought he was IRA by accident...luckily i came out of there alive and it was during an especially hot-button time in that city

i am asian american so nobody would see me as an IRA man with a bomb in my backpack :)...my backpack my have had bible tracts in it though...both the protestant and catholic sides treated me nicely...but not the case with the ulster constables and their SAS partners who had become extremely battle hardened

when i came back to the states, a christian neutral belfast group called and asked my wife and i to work in falls road, belfast full time...but i chickened out and those guns and the freshly bombed out places scared me and made me a little shaky for years

i did a short stint with the us "intelligence community" against the soviets right after belfast and that did not help my nerves all that much

as you can see, i tend toward peaceful movies

but, he he, i loved pulp fiction :)
just funning you, that's all...
one of my all time favourites is "A Patch of Blue" cry like a little girl every time i see it. really, no offence intended and cannot argue with your choices, even the harry/sally one has it's moments, and i 'stress', moments
Reservoir Dogs was better IMHO.
 

rockthecasbah

macrumors 68020
Apr 12, 2005
2,395
2
Moorestown, NJ
4 Words...

Snakes on a Plane

Obviously kidding, I've seen budget movies on the Sci-Fi channel that were more complex and better done
I loved it for that reason! That was the appeal, it was just hilarious.

Off the top of my head:
...

You and Me and Everyone We Know

...
I agree! I thought it was very clever and not well known. I would classify it as an "adult" Napoleon Dynamite with less awkwardness and more flat out humor.

As for my own list:

Harold and Maude
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
I Am Sam
Garden State
What's Eating Gilbert Grape
Office Space
Billy Elliot
Stranger Than Fiction
(more of just an odd emotional connection than thinking the movie itself is actually amazing :) )
 

1020

macrumors regular
Mar 9, 2006
104
1
Wonderland
Off the top of my head:

The Godfather
Goodfellas
Carlito's Way
Taxi Driver
Dog Day Afternoon
Silence of the Lambs
Schindler's List
The Boondock Saints
Pulp Fiction
American History X
Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid
High Noon
Star Wars

There are also some comedies that I would rate 10/10, but I can't think of any right now.
 

0098386

Suspended
Jan 18, 2005
21,552
2,886
Transformers. The new one. Fantastic.
I thought that was possibly one of the best American films I've seen, but I'd still only give it an 8/9 out of 10 (¨are you ebay user...¨ and other bits of dialogue made me cringe.)

I'd give the 1955 War of the Worlds and Donnie Darko a 9/10. I don't find Hollywood (or American film or TV in general) can do comedy but they're good for action/adventure.
 

TheAnswer

macrumors 68030
Jan 25, 2002
2,531
1
Orange County, CA
Here's the English language films on my watch and rewatch list, I don't know that any of them are 100% flawless, though:

The Searchers (Ford, 56)
Stagecoach (Ford, 39)
Citizen Kane (Welles, 41)
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence (Ford, 62)
Casablanca (Curtiz, 42)
His Girl Friday (Hawks, 40)
Double Indemnity (Wilder, 44)
The Big Sleep (Hawks, 46)
Rear Window (Hitchcock, 54)
Vertigo (Hitchcock, 58)
North by Northwest (Hitchcock, 59)
Psycho (Hitchcock, 60)
Bringing Up Baby (Hawks, 38)
The Lady Eve (Sturges, 41)
Sunset Blvd. (Wilder, 50)
C'era una volta il West (Leone, 68)
Bonnie and Clyde (Penn, 67)
Chinatown (Polanski, 74)
The Conversation (Coppola, 74)
Mean Streets (Scorsese, 73)
The Godfather (Coppola, 72)
Goodfellas (Scorsese, 90)
Jaws (Spielberg, 75)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Spielberg, 77)
E.T. (Spielberg, 82)
Die Hard (McTiernan, 88)
Star Wars: Episode IV (Lucas, 77)
Little Miss Sunshine (Dayton/Faris, 06)
Black Hawk Down (Scott, 01)
Se7en (Fincher, 95)
Léon: The Professional (Besson, 94)
The Usual Suspects (Singer, 95)
Trainspotting (Boyle, 96)
Lock, Stock.... (Ritchie, 99)
L.A. Confidential (Hanson, 97)
Pulp Fiction (Tarantino, 94)
The Matrix (Wachowski, 99)
American Beauty (Mendes, 99)
The Sixth Sense (Shyamalan, 99)

A caveat: this is just from the movies I have watched this year (when I started tracking stuff like this).
 

Henri Gaudier

macrumors 6502a
May 4, 2005
529
0
France
Just American ones eh? A bit of an odd limitation but .. here goes. I share the odd film with other people so I wont repeat them but a few not mentioned so far are:-

Magnolia
The Straight Story
Dark Passage

What constitutes an American film anyway? The money or the talent? Lock Stock is wholly Brit crap surely?:p Or something I do like - Bladerunner has an English director with a fantastic Dutchman. Without either of these two it would be an entirely different film.
 

it5five

macrumors 65816
May 31, 2006
1,220
1
New York
Here's the English language films on my watch and rewatch list, I don't know that any of them are 100% flawless, though:

The Searchers (Ford, 56)
Stagecoach (Ford, 39)
Citizen Kane (Welles, 41)
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence (Ford, 62)
Casablanca (Curtiz, 42)
His Girl Friday (Hawks, 40)
Double Indemnity (Wilder, 44)
The Big Sleep (Hawks, 46)
Rear Window (Hitchcock, 54)
Vertigo (Hitchcock, 58)
North by Northwest (Hitchcock, 59)
Psycho (Hitchcock, 60)
Bringing Up Baby (Hawks, 38)
The Lady Eve (Sturges, 41)
Sunset Blvd. (Wilder, 50)
Once Upon A Time In The West (Leone, 68)
Bonnie and Clyde (Penn, 67)
Chinatown (Polanski, 74)
The Conversation (Coppola, 74)
Mean Streets (Scorsese, 73)
The Godfather (Coppola, 72)
Goodfellas (Scorsese, 90)
Jaws (Spielberg, 75)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Spielberg, 77)
E.T. (Spielberg, 82)
Die Hard (McTiernan, 88)
Star Wars: Episode IV (Lucas, 77)
Little Miss Sunshine (Dayton/Faris, 06)
Black Hawk Down (Scott, 01)
Se7en (Fincher, 95)
Léon: The Professional (Besson, 94)
The Usual Suspects (Singer, 95)
Trainspotting (Boyle, 96)
Lock, Stock.... (Ritchie, 99)
L.A. Confidential (Hanson, 97)
Pulp Fiction (Tarantino, 94)
The Matrix (Wachowski, 99)
American Beauty (Mendes, 99)
The Sixth Sense (Shyamalan, 99)

A caveat: this is just from the movies I have watched this year (when I started tracking stuff like this).
Add Annie Hall and take off a few of the movies and we have almost identical lists.
 

TheAnswer

macrumors 68030
Jan 25, 2002
2,531
1
Orange County, CA
What constitutes an American film anyway? The money or the talent? Lock Stock is wholly Brit crap surely?:p Or something I do like - Bladerunner has an English director with a fantastic Dutchman. Without either of these two it would be an entirely different film.
That's why I went with English-language for my list...much easier that way. After all "Léon" is directed by a frenchman with a french main star (playing an italian) and an american supporting cast. I don't know if it was originally filmed in English or not.

"C'era una volta il West" had a french actress, an italian director, writers and crew, predominantly american cast, filmed in Spain. Normally, it would be considered an Italian movie, but because of the italian tradition of shooting silent and dubbing dialogue and adding all sound in post-production, the lines become significantly blurred.

Add Annie Hall and take off a few of the movies and we have almost identical lists.
"Annie Hall" actually is one of my favorites, I just haven't seen it yet this year. I took the easy way out in creating my list because there are films on my watch and rewatch list that are there for limited reasons, for example "Black Hawk Down" is on there mainly for camerawork and sound editing, not because it's perfect. Same for "Diehard", which is on there for the prototypical hero characterization and it's strict adherence to classical Hollywood script formula.
 

Mistershark

macrumors regular
Apr 28, 2007
202
0
Bourne Ultimatum
Best in Show
For Your Consideration
Rear Window
Secret Window
Stranger Than Fiction
School of Rock
The Good Shepherd
X-Men 3
Vertigo
Dial M for Murder
Back to the Future 1,2,3

EDIT: I almost forgot.
Dead Poet's Society
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
I agree that it's too hard to keep US, Canadian, and British movies separate....

Lots of good ones on the list so far. I'll add a couple random ones of mine that are at least fairly close to my notion of a 10:

Big Fish
Antwone Fisher

And these are obviously limited in that they're not dramas, but they're pretty perfect comedies as far as I'm concerned:

Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny
Zoolander

I think there are plenty of American films that give me as good or better visceral satisfaction as the best movies from anywhere else in the world do, but I guess you have to look harder. I mean, you have to bear in mind that 95% of the movies that the rest of the world makes are crap also.

If you're in the US, you hear about, what, the four or five best movies that get made in France every year, if you pay avid attention? And the four or five best in the last decade if you're a casual watcher? But you hear about most of the lousy movies that are A-released in your own country.

63dot said:
but, he he, i loved pulp fiction
And actually, although I don't care to see many movies like that one, it is pretty much spot-on perfect at what it tried to be. Definitely Tarantino at his best from what I've seen.
 

mpw

Guest
Jun 18, 2004
6,364
1
Nothing gets a 10/10, but here are some of my favourites.

Goodfellas
A Wonderful Life
Boyz in da Hood
Reservoir Dogs
Shawshank Redemption
Finding Nemo
St Elmo's Fire
 

®îçhå®?

macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2006
1,828
2
TOP GUN
Best. Film. Ever (Seriously, i have watched it over 20 times)

Apart from that:
Gone In 60 Seconds
Band Of Brothers
Shawshank Redemption
Saving Private Ryan

British Films:
The Italian Job
Hot Fuzz
Billy Elliot (note to post high above, it is British)
Mean Machine