Megan’s Must-See Movies

Megan Spielbauer, Author

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The last few years I have been watching selections from the American Film Institute’s Top 100 Movies list. I decided that I should make my own list of Top 10 Films, so here it is:

 

  1. Gone With the Wind is about the South during the Civil War and Reconstruction. It focuses on Scarlett O’Hara, daughter of a local landowner, who uses her looks and charm to manipulate those around her to get what she wants. The complexity of the characters within this wartime situation is at the heart of epic film. In their struggle for personal survival, the characters are revealed as complex people, often with unsavory traits, who are willing to do whatever it takes to survive the war.
  2. Philadelphia was a revolutionary movie in the 1990s as it focuses on the struggles of gay men and HIV in a homophobic society. Also, Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington are the two main actors, need I say more?
  3. Full Metal Jacket is a Vietnam War film that shows the lives of soldiers at bootcamp and in Vietnam. It’s historical without being boring as there are plenty of jokes to keep the plot moving.
  4. Cool Hand Luke is about a WW2 vet who commits a petty crime and ends up in jail. It has comedic elements, but the message it sends about individual freedom and the pressure to submit to the establishment is undeniably well produced.
  5. Godfather and Godfather 2 is arguably the greatest film duo ever. A viewer gets an inside look into the Italian mafia. They contain the perfect amount of violence and family conflict to make the six hours of watching worth it.
  6. Big Lebowski portrays a few “losers” who don’t really do anything other than bowl, until one day their bowling is interrupted by the destruction of a rug. A simple rug brings them on journey into the underworld of Los Angeles. It’s a lighthearted film that you can’t help but quote.
  7. Goodfellas is another film about the Italian mafia, but it does have comedic elements. It is about a man’s journey through the ranks and his ultimate demise.
  8. Dead Poet Society is about an inspiring teacher who pushes his students to live life to its fullest potential and to make their own choices independently of their parents.
  9. Tootsie is outrageously funny as it is about a male actor impersonating a female in order to get roles in TV shows and movies. Dustin Hoffman is absolutely brilliant in this film. While the film is mostly comedic, it does send an important message about equality and respect for women in the workplace.
  10. Reservoir Dogs features a group of thieves, who have never met each other, but come together in order to steal a diamond. It is full of violence and deceit as the men try to figure out why cops are on their tail. Like many Tarantino films, there’s comedy in the violence as you’ll find yourself laughing and horrified all from the same scene.

 

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