fifty flicks before fifty

April 6, 2016

erin is on a quest to watch fifty films before her fiftieth birthday.

fuck. i laughed when i typed fiftieth. like hahah... you're gonna be old then. and then i remembered... my birthday's before hers. it's not so funny, anymore...

anyway. she asked me to make a list of fifty films i feel are worthy of the attention. i know she's seen at least one i would recommend, dedication, so for yall, i say if you've not seen that movie yet, you should totally do so. it's about a children's author and his illustrator, and it starts in a porn theater. good stuff -- wholly and completely irreverent and wonderfully original. also amy sedaris has a cameo.

anyway. fifty... and i'm omitting things like the lord of the rings, the notebook, star wars, schindler's list, shawshank redemption, silence of the lambs and when harry met sally because honestly... who hasn't seen those? if it's you, ESPECIALLY YOU, ERIN, well... then... that's just lame as shit, and you should WATCH THOSE, dammit.

about time
apollo thirteen
a beautiful mind
charlotte gray
cinderella man
the client
the count of monte cristo
dead poets society

donnie brasco
eternal sunshine of the spotless mind
the family stone
a few good men
(five hundred) days of summer
for love of the game
fried green tomatoes
gangster squad
the great raid
good will hunting

the help
the hundred foot journey
life as a house
lone survivor
memoirs of a geisha
mr. magorium's wonder emporium
murder in the first

the painted veil
people like us
playing by heart
pump up the volume
a river runs through it
saving private ryan
the secret life of walter mitty

spy game
star trek
steel magnolias
a time to kill
the way way back
we are marshall
you're not you

so... my challenge to you, dear readers, is to make me a list of films to watch before i reach that damned milestone. what's your must-see movie list made of?


  1. Should I gear the list toward women or just make my own list of 50?

  2. I'm reading Memoirs of a Geisha right now, so the movie is getting added to the list. Also added: About Time, Cinderella Man, Creation, Life as a House, The Painted Veil, The Way Way Back plus The Hundred-Foot Journey (because I remember you sharing that it was really good). More to come. Thanks for this!!

  3. Good luck with your goal.

  4. I love so many of these movies! The one mandatory film I don't see on your list is The Princess Bride.

  5. This would have been easier if you hadn't seen so many from my original list.

    Anyway, the complicated decision-making process is impossible to recall accurately. So let's get to it.

    51 because one of them might not be for you.

    The Maltese Falcon (1941): The noir that raised the bar.
    Casablanca (1942): Bogey and Bergman.

    Vertigo (1958): Hitchcock.

    From Russia with Love (1963): Classic Bond. James Bond.
    8 1/2 (1963): Fellini.
    Bonnie and Clyde (1967): Bank-robbing lovers.
    Where Eagles Dare (1968): Eastwood meets Burton.
    True Grit (1969): Best Actor Oscar for John Wayne.

    Godfather (1972): Widely considered the best Mafia movie.
    The Getaway (1972): Ali MacGraw for the men; Steve McQueen for the ladies.
    Serpico (1973): Pacino as Frank Serpico, NYPD whistle blower.
    Godfather 2 (1974): De Niro as young Vito Corleone.
    Lenny (1974): Dustin Hoffman as Lenny Bruce.
    Nashville (1975): Robert Altman.
    Three Days of the Condor (1975): A good one for cynics.
    Annie Hall (1977): Woody Allen's best.
    Apocalypse Now (1979): War's a b***h.

    The Killing Fields (1984): Cambodia, Pol Pot, etc.
    Platoon (1986): Another 'Nam flick.
    The Last Emperor (1987): The last emperor of China.
    Stand and Deliver (1988): Los Angelinos en la casa.
    Mississippi Burning (1988): Nasty stuff. Gene Hackman.
    Batman (1989): Keaton as Bruce Wayne. Nicholson as The Joker.
    Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989): My favorite of Woody's more serious films.

    Goodfellas (1990): De Niro, Pesci, Liotta.
    Dances with Wolves (1990): A different kind of Western.
    The Commitments (1991): An Irish band of misfits.
    In the Name of the Father (1993): The Guildford Four.
    Disclosure (1994): Fun at the office.
    Pulp Fiction (1994): Tarantino.
    Casino (1995): The good 'ol days in Vegas.
    Leaving Las Vegas (1995): You might pass on this one. But it's good.
    Fargo (1996): Get your accent on.
    Scream (1996): Horror spoof.
    Abre los Ojos (1997): Spanish film with Penelope Cruz.
    B. Monkey (1998): Asia Argento. I also like the book.
    Run Lola Run (1998): Another foreign film.
    Blair Witch Project (1999): Horror flick.
    The End of the Affair (1999): Another book to screen. Julianne Moore.

    Traffic (2000): Drug smuggling and using. Del Toro.
    Malena (2000): Italy during WW2. Monica Bellucci.
    Requiem for a Dream (2000): Drug addiction. Jennifer Connelly.
    Ghost World (2001): Young women after high school.
    Mulholland Drive (2001): David Lynch.
    Secretary (2002): Maggie Gyllenhaal.
    Unfaithful (2002): Diane Lane.
    The Lives of Others (2006): East Germany during the Cold War.
    Casino Royale (2006): My favorite Bond flick from the modern era.

    The American (2010): Clooney not being Clooney.
    Inception (2010): Weird shiz.

    Gone Girl (2014): Women are scary.