HENRY V (1989)

The debut film for actor/director Kenneth Branagh, whose new, autobiographical movie “Belfast” is in theaters this weekend, ushered in a new era of Shakespeare on screen.

FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953)

A big romantic melodrama among army guys and ladies on Hawaii, with the impending doom of Pearl Harbor hanging over everything.

THE BIRTH OF A NATION (1915)

It’s the very first blockbuster, but unfortunately I can’t emphasize enough how racist it is. However racist you think it is, it is way more racist than that.

DOCTOR ZHIVAGO (1965)

An epic of Russian history that’s more interested in its central love dodecahedron than it is in Russian history, a fact that leaves me wondering what the point of it all is.

PLATOON (1986)

A very violent, dark Vietnam movie written and directed by an actual Vietnam veteran, so I would say it’s high quality but your mileage may vary.

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP (1943)

A truly amazing movie that takes a negative stereotype and helps us understand him, in beautiful technicolor, with some of the most interesting performances I’ve seen, all made in England during the Blitz.

THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI (1957)

A famous war drama that is actually about something more interesting, told on a grand scale by David Lean and bunch of great actors.

ROMA CITTÁ APERTA (1945)

Perhaps the definitive “neorealist” film, shot in the rubble of Occupied Rome just after the Nazis had left.

THE ASCENT (1977)

An extremely depressing Soviet World War II movie that is also probably a great work of art.