7 Favorite Films
By: Connor Lenahan
The current Twitter hashtag de jour is listing off your seven favorite films. This is a deceptive task, as I have just learned. If you’re a film fan and like talking/debating movies you will invariably have five favorite films ready to back up who you are as a person. You likely have a few go to movies for when you meet new people and make new friends. But putting seven movies down is just enough of a stretch to have me think out three of the films outside of my unimpeachable top four.
I’ll have to explain why for a few of these, but isn’t that just part of the fun? In no particular order, here are my top seven favorite films.
The Shawshank Redemption
The above photo should have given the surprise away for my favorite movie of all time, but in the rare case that you’re unfamiliar, Frank Darabont’s 1994 masterpiece, The Shawshank Redemption, is one of the best movies ever recorded onto film. Headlined by two pitch perfect performances by Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins, Shawshank remains a favorite of film fans world wide, even remaining #1 on the IMDB Top 250 movies.
My love of this film is almost unexplainable without tears or watching the film beside me. I recently watched the film again and realized that it hits my criteria for immortalization in my mind – I consciously remember every scene. No, not that I’ve seen it before and remember the plot, but that every chapter of the film is standalone excellent. There is not a wasted moment, and Shawshank remains one of the only movies to make me physically cry while watching (“Brooks Was Here”).
The Dark Knight
Honest question: Is there anyone that keeps up with modern cinema that hasn’t seen The Dark Knight? While I’m typing this I’m trying to think of anyone I am friends with that hasn’t seen it and am coming up short. Extending this idea, I’m not sure I know anyone that doesn’t at the very least think this movie is good, and that’s the basement floor of opinion. The Dark Knight is far and away the golden standard for superhero movies, and likely will be for generations to come, while also laying claim to being one of the best films in the past 10 years.
Maybe it’s because I have midwestern blood – my Mom was born in Minneapolis, MN and lived in Fargo, ND for a while – that I love this film. Or perhaps it’s because it contains the single funniest scene of any non-comedy movie I’ve ever watched, which doubles as one that I quote no less than once a week and have for years.
These four minutes alone get Fargo on the list.
I’m going to hazard a guess that unless you’re my Dad, Mom, or one of my brothers, you likely haven’t seen The Game. That must change soon. It is no secret that I am ride or die with David Fincher – I had to stop myself from putting four of his films on this list, opting for two – and The Game is criminally underrated. Michael Douglas and Sean Penn in a twisty, psychological thriller that’s more grounded in reality than most films of the genre? One of the only movies that has had me physically shaking after watching it? You know what, I’m watching The Game tonight.
If you don’t already know how good Pulp Fiction is stop reading my stupid blog and go watch it. Right now. It’s on Netflix and everything.
Hear me out: This goofy Mike Meyers/Dana Carvey/Rob Lowe(!!!) movie is quite possibly the funniest film I have ever seen. It certainly is my favorite of a life time of comedy films, including strong entries like Anchorman and Dodgeball. But Wayne and Garth being idiots are seemingly perfect. I actually own a Stan Mikita Chicago Blackhawks jersey because of this movie. And you can be assured that I have giggled endlessly at both the “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Foxy Lady” scenes.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Okay so I’m going to cheat and toss on Ferris Bueller’s Day Off as well, only because it completely escaped my mind when I was coming up with my list but I don’t feel like bumping off any of the other films. This is the closest movie to Wayne’s World in hilarity, but also may have sparked my interest with skipping classes whenever possible. With that habit now fixed, I can now enjoy Ferris Bueller for the comedy brilliance it is, and continue quoting it incessantly.
The Social Network
I could likely watch The Social Network every day for a year and still want to watch it twice on New Year’s Day. This movie is basically crack to me. What I consider the “opening scene” is actually the first 25 minutes of the film. This doesn’t change the fact that The Social Network features career-defining turns from David Fincher, Aaron Sorkin, Trent Reznor, Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Rooney Mara, Brenda Song (quietly awesome), and the best case for Justin Timberlake as an actor ever. Every single person is on their A game here. Shawshank will always be my favorite movie, but I’m not sure there’s ever been a movie I’ve loved more – one that’s made me want to live a life revolving around movies and television – as The Social Network.