A couple of things make my mind really happy: books and movies. I love reading (going to do a post on books next week) and I love movies. So I decided to write a short post on great movies, especially movies that men should watch. These movies have lessons peculiar to men, that address the man in each of us men. I’d like to add a caveat though. Although most of them are action based, I think the following list covers a few genres. Here are 10 movies every man should watch.
One of my personal, all-time favorite basketball movies, Hoosiers is a story about coach Norman Dale (played by the great Gene Hackman) and the 1952 Indiana Hoosiers. Rudimentary basketball. Tempers. Sins. Regrets. Backstabbing townspeople. A great soundtrack. What else could you ask for?!
Last of the Mohicans (1992)
Daniel Day-Lewis, one of my favorite actors, plays Hawkeye, a man balancing between Native American and anglo worlds in 1757. After staying uninvolved in the conflict caused by the French and Indian war, crossing paths with a damsel in destress changes this, and his aim quickly becomes saving people who he cares for deeply. This movie is full of history, action, suspense, and drama. The excellent soundtrack is composed partly by Trevor Jones, who died while composing it.
A River Runs Through It (1992)
The story of a family with 2 sons, growing up near the Blackfoot River in Missoula, Montana, takes the sons form childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, observing and considering their lessons and mistakes along the way. As a smooth addition, it’s directed and narrated by Robert Redford. Interestingly, the original story was penned by author Norman Maclean and is semi-autobiographical (published 1976).
Men of Honor (2000)
“The Navy Diver is not a fighting man, he is a salvage expert.” In a time when segregation is still firmly implanted in the hearts and minds of men, a black student (Carl Brashear) sits under a hard, merciless white teacher (Master Chief Billy Sunday) to learn how to become a Navy salvage diver, against obstacles like prejudice, ego, and physical tragedy.
Band of Brother (HBO series; 2001)
Based upon events that took place during WWII–particularly with Easy Company, 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, U.S. Army–Band of Brothers follows men from the US to Berlin, detailing a plethora of events from conflicts to battles to sicknesses to strife and finally an allied victory. It’s great for the patriot in each of us.
Like Cinderella Man, this equestrian story is centered around a variety of issues and mix of characters, who, through a series of events (providence?), all find their way to each other and begin making their way toward the Triple Crown, the most notable award in horse racing. This movie stars the great Jeff Bridges as Charles Howard.
Cinderella Man (2005)
James J. Braddock was an average boxer with a nice life: then our country fell into a crisis that is known around the world as the Great Depression. A based-on-a-true story film, Cinderella Man recounts Braddock’s story of highs, lows, and in-betweens. It’s full of one-liners and lessons for those of us who have forgotten the tougher times our country has experienced.
The King’s Speech (2010)
Staring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, and Helen Bonham Carter, this biopic is not only star-studded but is also an in-depth look at one man’s effort to overcome his own shortcomings. Who can’t identify with that? With a woman behind him, and a friend beside him, one man aims at conquering his fears for the good of those counting on him in a dire time.
Most men need to punch something every now and again. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong: I’m just stating a fact. In the movie Warrior, there’s lots of punching and lost of reasons for it! Family breakdown, financial struggles, and unhealed emotions lead to a tremendous closure. Definitely worth the watch. Two-time Oscar nominee Nick Nolte is incredible in this film. (And who doesn’t like Tom Hardy?)
Personally, I think Daniel Craig has made a great James Bond. As 007, he’s just the right amount of brawn and brains. I’ve chosen Skyfall in particular for this list because of the theme that permeates the movie–the tension between younger energy and older will. In my opinion, it’s a must-watch. It has plenty of action and a constant recurrence of the above mentioned theme popping up everywhere.
I can almost hear you now: “What about this movie? Or that movie?” There’s no way any list could be exhaustive. But what movie would you add?