Why 103? Because there were some movies (three) I couldn't just ignore.
So let's continue with the countdown:
29: The Hunt for Red October
on the Tom Clancy book, this movie is a suspenseful epic. If you like military
and CIA stuff, you'll love this flick. The one downside, Alex Baldwin stars.
But he's young, so it's easier to ignore. A Soviet submarine captain wants to
defect with his high-technology nuclear missile boat. But will the Americans
understand and let him? Sean Connery plays the Soviet with a bit of a Scottish
accent. Still an intense movie. Available on Philo.
28: Jurassic Park (1993)
One of the first movies to
use CGI extensively (after Terminator 2). But watching it, you don't care. This
movie is scary, intense, and fast-paced. Directed by Steven Spielberg with
amazing results, the tension builds and builds as carnivorous dinosaurs stalk
humans. Based on the book by Michael Crichton. Jeff Goldblum plays a cynical
mathematician who is not happy to be right. Available on Amazon Prime Video.
27: E.T. The Extraterrestrial
We have a few Steven Spielberg
movies in a row. E.T. was a blockbuster when it came out. Everyone wanted to
know about the little alien botanist. There's plenty of humor and pathos and
kids riding bikes to escape government agents, which was just fun. Featuring a
very young Drew Barrymore and other young actors who do a very good job.
Suburbia was never this enjoyable. Available on YouTube, Apple TV, and Amazon
Prime Video (all paid).
26: Indiana Jones and the Last
The chemistry between
Harrison Ford and Sean Connery is amazing. Why didn't these two men make more
movies together? Ford, of course, plays Indiana Jones and Connery, his father
(with a slight Scottish accent). While the climax is a bit dull (after the tank
chase), the adventure getting there is amazing. Directed by Steven Spielberg. I
remember seeing this in the theater with a very pregnant wife after waiting in
line for two hours in the California sun. Available on Paramount+ and Disney+
(When I revise this list, this is where Oppenheimer will go.)
25: Raiders of the Lost Ark
The movie that introduced us
to Indiana Jones and of course it was directed by Steven Spielberg. The whole
premise (an archeologist hunting for rare artifacts in the 1930) plus evil
Nazis, plus a love interest plus an evil French archeologist, all adds up to
some of the most fun on film. Ignore the (many) bloopers and plot holes and
just hang on for the ride. Available on Paramount+ and Disney+
24: The Matrix (1999)
Ignore that this movie makes
no sense from a thermodynamic point of view. Written and directed by the Wachowski
brothers, err, sisters, this is basically a live-action anime with violence and
a smart storyline. Evil computers enslave humanity and keep them
"entertained" in a matrix that looks like late 20th century real
world. Again, don't think about it too much. Good fighting and shootout
sequences. Available on Max and Amazon Prime Video.
23: Schindler’s List (1993)
Back to Steven Spielberg.
This true story about the Holocaust is brutal and hard to watch at times.
Spielberg won an Oscar for this and deservedly so. Schindler is a German who
tries to save as many Jews as he can with a list of concentration camp inmates that
he wants to work in his war factory. Shot in black and white (mostly), it's a
powerful movie that'll make you say "Never again." Available on Apple
TV and Amazon Prime Video (both paid).
22: Close Encounters of the Third
Steven Spielberg's follow up
to Jaws was this science fiction movie about aliens visiting Earth. At times
mysterious and other times funny, it shows extra-terrestrials to be benign.
Well, except for kidnapping humans. Richard Dreyfuss is a man who, after an
encounter with a UFO, starts acting strange and building a model of a mountain
in his house. It all ends Wyoming with a light show. The special effects are
very good for this era. Doesn't seem to be available on streaming.
21: Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Probably one of the most
realistic war movies ever made. Director Steven Spielberg doesn't flinch from
the violence and brutality of combat. The first minutes of this film are near
horrific as the Allies land on the beach on D-Day. And it goes on from there.
Tom Hanks stars and Vin Diesel has a small role. This isn't a feel-good movie,
but it's one that you can't stop watching. Available on Paramount+
20: The Right Stuff (1983)
"They all wanna see Buck
Rogers, and that's us." Okay, this movie is a little long, I admit. It
could have used a good edit. Like cut out the Australian sequences completely.
But if you like planes and space exploration (and I do), this is a great movie
about the beginning of the space race. Based on the Tom Wolfe book (which I
read before the movie came out) there is humor (some of it bathroom humor),
excitement, and history in this flick. Available on YouTube, Apple TV, and
Amazon Prime Video (all paid).
That's it for this ten. What do you think of my list? Let me know in the comments below.