Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Top Ten Deep Movies

"Top Ten" is my code phrase for favorites. That is, someone might ask me what my favorite movie is, and I'll counter with an offer for my top ten. Then give a list with way more than ten entries. 'Cause that's how I roll.

Top Ten Favorite "Deep" Movies
American Beauty
This used to be on my "guilty pleasures" list because of all the naked high school girls, but someone pointed out that the movie is about more than that. The plastic bag scene! The dream sequences!

Apocalypse Now
"The horror! The horror!" Vietnam movie adaptation of Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" Storytelling, characters, cinematography... This movie has it all. Watch for the guy who gets a single line in the movie: "With -extreme- prejudice."

Bob Roberts
A fake documentary featuring Tim Robbins as a right-wing, folk-singing political candidate. Not-so-stealth lefty movie that delivers it's message with a subtle, non-strident touch.

Chasing Amy
Possibly Kevin Smith's best movie. Amazing writer of dialog. And I'm a huge fan of Jason Lee, even if I never watch "My Name is Earl." And it's a Criterion edition. If I remember correctly, the director's commentary is great.

Not quite a caper movie. Not quite a gambling movie. Amazing storytelling. And it features Clive Owen, one of my favorite actors.

Donnie Darko
RyanH assures me that the directors cut is not the one to get. Jake Gyllenhaal is terrific. Watch for "Head Over Heels," the song by Tears for Fears. And the Gary Jules version of "Mad World." Now that I think of it, the songs used in the movie are amazing, though they're not all on the soundtrack.

"Searching for Bobbie Fischer.... In the Hood!" That the "essence in a quote" based on the trailer, but doesn't actually have anything to do with the movie. A boy involved the drug trade for two different gangs has to work his way out of a crisis using the lessons which some of his absent father taught him. Sam Jackson made a good choice to be the supporting role of the father. This is a "With An H" top 5 selection.

Fight Club
Ed Norton's character has a life crisis. Tyler Durden: Now, a question of etiquette - as I pass, do I give you the ass or the crotch?"

Fog of War
Robert McNamara was Kennedy's Secretary of Defense. It combines the lessons he learned about war with an autobiographical narrative. Topical in that his lessons were selected before the current Gulf conflict, but seem to have been un-learned.

Glengarry Glen Ross
Best use of the word "fuck." (previously)

L.A. Confidential
An amazing adaptation of an amazing book. The book spans years, while the movie spans weeks, but it's so tightly written, so well acted, so masterful. A "With-An-H" Top 5 selection

Lost in Translation
Sofia Coppola is an amazing film-maker, specializing in mood. A terrific role for Bill Murray. And Scarlett Johansson is in it.

How can one describe this movie? More than three plot lines. A move where Tom Cruise is a supporting actor. A movie where there are two of everything: wiz-kids, fathers dying of cancer, etc.

I don't really remember this movie.

Miller's Crossing
With-An-H Top 5 selection. Irish vs. Italian organized crime during the prohibition era. Gabriel Byrne at his best. My bro says he finally watched this movie and loved it. Suck-up. :-)

Open Your Eyes
The ending is a little sci-fi, but it's so ... moody!

Reservoir Dogs
I hated it the first time I saw it. The second time, after seeing Pulp Fiction, I loved it. Some of the best dialog in film has sprung from the mind of Tarantino.

Requiem for a Dream
Best heroin movie? Nah, best addiction movie ever!

The Royal Tenenbaums
Criterion Collection! Wes Anderson!

Seven Samurai
Criterion Collection! See it instead of The Magnificent Seven.

Silence of the Lambs
"Hello Clarice...." Best police procedural, serial killer, super-villain movie ever!

Taxi Driver
After the first time I saw it, I remember thinking, "It would take a real weirdo to love that movie." I wasn't wrong.

"Choose life." Best heroin movie ever?

So what did I forget?


  1. one you missed:

    absolutely fantastic.

  2. Added to my netflix queue, position 157.

  3. So how does this list differ from, say, you're favorite movies in general? And what constitutes "deep"?

  4. Chasing Amy was deep. Clerks wasn't.

    I have a "guilty pleasures" list coming up.

  5. The kite runner... really deep

  6. i don't know if you check these comments but watch Tsotsi, City of God, Amores Perros, Paradise Now, and a documentary called Promises.

    I promise you that you will rethink what you consider deep even though i do like a few on the list above.

  7. I really liked both Tsotsi and City of God. Both deserved to be on this list.

    Amores Perros I liked not as much. Especially the length. I think the end dragged and dragged, though the structure was interesting and the story telling was good early on.

    I haven't seen the either Paradise Now or Promises, though looking at their plots, I recognize hearing about them.

  8. 21 Grams is also a very good one.

  9. American History X?
    Hotel Rwanda?

  10. Didn't see either Crash, but both American History X and Hotel Rwanda should be on my list. Good call.

  11. "the kovak box" is really good, it kind of makes you wonder about things, and you're left with a deep feeling. it's absolutely one of my favourite films

  12. If you still check your comments...
    Though I'm sure you've seen these with the broad range of good movies it appears you have watched, The Fountain and Waking Life are two on my top list.

  13. The Darren Aronovsky "The Fountain"? Cool movie. But not top 10 for me. On the verge. Very interesting, non-traditional story-telling.

    "Waking Life" I'd never heard of. Have to check it out.

  14. What about " into the wild" i

  15. Into the wild is a deep movie. I just watched it recently. Its even better if you watch it stoned. I got more out of it that way, haha.