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Brief Movie Comments

Movies and One-Phrase Descriptions

The best movies are timeless, have deep meaning, produce a strong emotional responses, or radically change our perspective on something. In my mind, the following films fall into that category:

ALIEN

In space, no one can hear you scream.

ALIENS

Military action against Aliens, and Mother-Love.

AMERICAN BEAUTY

My heart can’t hold it all.

THE APOSTLE

The opening scene, unheard of in a Hollywood movie, tells you all you need to believe to be saved before you die.

AS GOOD AS IT GETS

Love conquers all.

BEFORE SUNRISE

Romance documented.

BEFORE SUNSET

Romance documented, part two.

BLADE RUNNER

What makes you human?

BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA

A vampire dream. Fact: there are more movies about vampires than about any other subject.

BRAZIL

Another world.

THE BREAKFAST CLUB

Kind of what it was like in high school in the ’80s.

THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY

Romance or commitment?

CASABLANCA

Sacrifice.

THE CIDER HOUSE RULES

You princes of Maine. Father figure.

CITIZEN KANE

Camera angles and an old man’s childhood memory.

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND

“I can’t believe it’s real.”

COCOON

What if old people regained their youth?

CODE 46

The greatest movie ever made, bar none: cinematic beauty, great music, love, empathy, compassion, friendship, great dialogue, and endless layers of story.

THE COLOR OF MONEY

“I’m back!”

COLLATERAL

People die every day, and this guy cares about this one person?

CONTACT

God. Science. Life and death. Romance. Faith. Aliens.

THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO

Great adaptation.

THE CROW

Revenge, or justice?

DEAD MAN WALKING

Justice and mercy.

DEAD POETS SOCIETY

“Never forget this.”

DEEP IMPACT

“Ellie.”

DELIVERANCE

Literature, filmed.

THE ELEPHANT MAN

Humanity.

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

“Luke, I am your…” // “I love you.” “I know.”

EAGLE VS. SHARK

“Welcome to Meaty Boy, may I help you?”

ENDLESS LOVE

Youthful love obsession.

E.T.

Christian allegory.

ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND

Would you do it all again?

42 UP (The UP Documentaries)

The greatest documentary of all time: life, every seven years. Real people.

FRAILTY

What are people really like?

FRANKENSTEIN

…and The Monster.

GATTACA

The spirit trumps biology.

GOOD WILL HUNTING

Hidden potential.

THE GOSPEL OF JOHN

Word for word.

GROUNDHOG DAY

Sparkling comedy that never ages about learning some great lessons of life.

HAMLET

Awesome Zeffirelli version of Shakespeare’s best play. Flows like magic…

HELLRAISER

Witty, sadistic, pinheaded demons…

HOLY SMOKE

Great message about thinking for yourself.

HOUSE OF GAMES

What is really going on here?

HOWARD’S END

Class and caring.

IN AMERICA

Struggle and heart.

JAPANESE STORY

“Miramitsu!”

JAWS

The first 45 minutes are completely seamless. The rest are an historical event.

KOYAANISQATSI

Life, viewed world-wide, and sped up.

LADYHAWKE

Love and Honour.

 

LET THE RIGHT ONE IN

Vampire creepiness in the snowy cold.

LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE

Only love matters.

LOST IN TRANSLATION

It’s not romance, it’s… (whisper)

MICHAEL CLAYTON

Corporate justice.

MIDNIGHT EXPRESS

Guy gets nailed for drugs in Turkey. One of the scariest movies I have ever seen.

MIND THE GAP

Life. Disappointment. Goals. Death. Love. Forgiveness. Beauty.

MONSTER’S BALL

“Dad, do you love me?”

MY COUSIN VINNY

Joe Pesci as a clueless lawyer, with Marisa Tomei as his girl. The scene with him being repeatedly awakened at night is hysterical.

MY DINNER WITH ANDRE

The most unique movie ever made. How can you make a two-hour movie with nothing but two guys talking at a dinner table, and have it not be boring, but very interesting? That is why this movie is on this list.

OFF THE BLACK

Family members are not always related.

OFF THE MAP

Cinematic poetry that can change your outlook on life.

PAPILLON

Prison, friendship and escape.

THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST

What He went through for you.

PLANES, TRAINS, AND AUTOMOBILES

Friendship and love.

POINT BREAK

Bodhi.

THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE

The greatest Christian allegory.

THE PRESTIGE

How far would they go to make a really great illusion?

PULP FICTION

“What?! Say “what” one more time! I dare you!”

RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK

Love and burning at the stake.

REAR WINDOW

Tenement detective.

REMAINS OF THE DAY

Class and love.

RESERVOIR DOGS

You didn’t tell him your name, did you?

SCHINDLER’S LIST

Selfishness or sacrifice?

THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS

“Clarice….”

SEVEN

“What’s in the box?” // 7 deadly sins.

SHADOWLANDS

C.S. Lewis, the greatest prose author and the greatest Christian apologist of all time, falls in love.

THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION

Prison. Friendship. Triumph. Loyalty.

A SIMPLE PLAN

What would you do if you found millions of dollars?

STAR WARS (1977)

My childhood, recorded forever. The Force will be with you… ~always~.

SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE

“Can you read my mind?”

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

“Let my people go.”

TERMS OF ENDEARMENT

Saddest scene in any movie, ever.

THE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE

Black and white brilliance.

THE MIST

Struggling against evil, and each other.

THE ROAD

Father and son’s love for each other in a cannibalistic post-apocalyptic wasteland.

TITANIC

“Make it count.”

TOMMY BOY

“~That’s~ gonna leave a mark.”

TOP GUN

“I feel the need, the need for speed.”

TROUBLE IN MIND

Kristofferson’s best.

WITNESS

Love, Amish-style.

THE WIZARD OF OZ

“We’re off…”

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SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD

Just watched SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD on Netflix, for the second time (Steve Carell and Keira Knightley.) Really like that movie. Simple. A little bit of emotion at the end. End of the world movies always make the characters sort out what is most important, and also the people watching them do the same. ARMAGEDDON,┬áDEEP IMPACT, even TITANIC. Love ’em all.

Curtis Smale

 

 

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