ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT (1930)

Perhaps the ultimate anti-War movie, its battle scenes represented a quantum leap for movies. Some of the smaller things may not hold up, but the message does.

THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965)

You know almost every song, but wow is this not actually a good movie. This is probably Christopher Plummer’s most famous role, but he also hated it.

IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934)

Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert predictably fall for each other in this gleefully larger-than-life early road trip romantic comedy

CASABLANCA (1942)

Maybe the classic Old Hollywood movie, made at the height of World War II and maybe one big metaphor for the war itself.

GLADIATOR (2000)

A big old sword and sandals epic that revived the genre and became a personal favorite of mine.

MIDNIGHT COWBOY (1969)

It earned an X-rating for its “homosexual frame of reference,” but I mostly found unrelentingly depressing.

BEN-HUR (1959)

The biggest hit of its day has a supreme technical achievement slung over a story that feels to me like middling Bible fanfic.

ANNIE HALL (1977)

My favorite romantic comedy of all time, it uses new tricks in every scene to get inside the neurotic heads of its characters.

THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971)

The car chase is justly famous, but these days its cops with a “shoot first ask questions later” attitude are extremely hard to root for.

SCHINDLER’S LIST (1993)

Maybe the definitive movie about one of the worst events in human history.