100 Must See Movies: The Essential Men’s Movie Library

by Brett & Kate McKay on July 13, 2009 · 700 comments

in Movies, Travel & Leisure

Cinderella Man


A validation of self-worth can be a powerful element to sustain a man. After an injury caused James Braddock to plummet from the top of the boxing world, he struggled to survive and provide for his family through the Great Depression. At nearly the breaking point, he gets a chance to fight again. Everyone expected him to be an easy opponent, but a desperate and hungry man can be extremely dangerous. He wins the fight and continues to win, leading him to fight in the heavyweight championship. Braddock’s true story is about more than boxing; his rise, fall, and dream of redemption mirrored the whole nation’s hopes.

Best line: “I have to believe that when things are bad I can change them.”

The Right Stuff

right_stuff_ver1From the breaking of the sound barrier by Chuck Yeager to the space flights of the Mercury 7 astronauts, the movie provides an inside look at the American side of the space race. The flaws and reality of the program are exposed along with those of the astronauts. They were human – which makes them all the more heroic.

Best line: “What Gus is saying is that we’re missing the point. What Gus is saying is that we all heard the rumors that they want to send a monkey up first. Well, none of us wants to think that they’re gonna send a monkey up to do a man’s work. But what Gus is saying is that what they’re trying to do to us is send a man up to do a monkey’s work. Us, a bunch of college-trained chimpanzees!”

True Grit

True Grit Poster 2

As westerns go, is there any greater than those starring John Wayne – and here the eye patch only makes him more hardcore. Hired by a young girl to track down the man that killed her father, Wayne takes on the role of Rooster Cogburn, the marshal with “grit” enough to bring the man to justice. Despite his failing health, John Wayne played the ailing law man to an Oscar-winning performance.

Best line: “Well, a gun that’s unloaded and cocked ain’t good for nothin’.”

A Streetcar Named Desire

Poster - A Streetcar Named Desire_03

Sometimes people are just barely hanging on to their sanity. Those around them can either talk them off the ledge, or push them over it. Case in point: Blanche Dubois. Now this chick may have been a few cards short of a deck to start with, but at least she was holding on. Stanley may be the perfect example of how a man should never treat a woman. If the man had any ounce of sympathetic understanding to replace his uber-brutish machismo, Blanche may have turned the corner into the land of the functional. Instead he humiliates her, rapes her, and then has her committed.

Best line: “Stella!”



Hailed as one of the greatest movies of all time, the film captures a man’s descent from sanity as the effects of his acrophobia prevent him from saving the woman he came to love. Of course, the movie wouldn’t be a Hitchcock classic if there weren’t some crazy twists thrown in there. The character played by Jimmy Stewart suffers from an intense fear of heights and strange events continue to unfold as a result. Mix in some shadowy women, a little murder and you’ve got one of the greatest mystery films ever made. Moral of the story: get over your fear of heights before people start dying.

Best line: “You shouldn’t keep souvenirs of a killing. You shouldn’t have been that sentimental.”

All Quiet on the Western Front

all_quiet_on_the_western_frontAll Quiet on the Western Front is the godfather of modern war movies. Almost all pay homage in their execution or effect. The film is from the eyes of German soldiers fresh to the front lines in WWI. The story follows Paul as he and his buddies question the politics of war and other atrocities they face. As those in the group continue to die, even when they are supposed to be out of harm’s way, the futility of war becomes ever more apparent. A glimpse into the mind of those that fight, the film was groundbreaking in its intense portrayal of the frontlines.

Best line: “You still think it’s beautiful to die for your country. The first bombardment taught us better. When it comes to dying for country, it’s better not to die at all.”

The Shawshank Redemption


Several themes run deep in this adaptation of Stephen King’s novella. Not to get too philosophical on you, but I could spend days digging through all the elements this movies presents. Andy, a banker, (Tim Robbins) is falsely imprisoned for the murder of his wife and her boyfriend. In prison he develops a friendship with Red (Morgan Freeman), and they do whatever it takes to survive. In the morally bankrupt world of the prison, Andy maintains his integrity and relies on his unfounded hope in the world. I guess I probably shouldn’t use the word “redemption” to describe the movie because it’s actually in the title, but it’s how this redemption is achieved that makes the story shine. Hands down, a movie for the ages.

Best line: “Get busy living or get busy dying.”

Cool Hand Luke

cool_hand_lukeAt first glance, this movie seems like just another slacker anti-establishment movie, and maybe it is, but what makes this movie great is the layers of interpretation that can be applied to it. Luke (Paul Newman) is sent to prison camp for vandalizing parking meters and faithfully resists whatever authority is thrown at him. Though gaining the admiration of his peers with his non-conformist attitude and escape attempts, the prison officials brutally punish Luke to break his spirit. Eventually they do and Luke is abandoned by his admirers. One last escape attempt leads Luke to a final confrontation. Take whatever path of interpretation you want, religious to existential to just about anything – Cool Hand Luke speaks to the rebel in all of us. R.I.P. Paul Newman. Thanks for all the manly times.

Best line: “What we have here is a failure to communicate.”


spartacusGladiator/Slave revolts – does it get any more inspiring? You’re forced to fight some dude for no reason, they take the woman you love, the crap just keeps piling up and there’s really no other choice – let’s take on the most powerful empire on the planet. Sounds crazy, but Spartacus almost pulled it off. Rallying the oppressed around him, he led one of the largest revolts of all time. In one of the most memorable scenes in movie history, while facing certain death, his men stand up and proclaim “I am Spartacus” to preserve their leader from crucifixion. That’s some serious loyalty, gentlemen.

Best line: “I am Spartacus.”

Mississippi Burning


Based loosely on the true story of the murder of 3 civil rights workers in 1964, Mississippi Burning follows the FBI’s attempts to bring the perpetrators of that crime to justice. The film centers on two of the Bureau’s agents, Alan Ward (William Dafoe) and Rupert Anderson (Gene Hackman). Ward wants to conduct the investigation by the book, while Anderson, who is from Mississippi, understands that using more, let’s say loosely legal tactics, is the way to go. Like threatening the deputy sheriff with a deadly straight razor shave. Nice.

Best line: “With an old man who was just so full of hate that he didn’t know that being poor was what was killing him.”



Who would have thought stealing water would lead to such craziness? Nicholson is at his hardcore finest as a private eye that sheds light on a huge scandal involving real estate, dams, water, some unsuspecting senior citizens, and even incest. That’s a really random list, but it clearly worked for a lot of people – it was nominated for 11 Academy Awards.

Best line: “Forget it, Jake, it’s Chinatown.”

Remember the Titans


Nothing brings people together like football and desegregation. In the early 1970’s, two schools in Virginia (One of black students and one of white students) are forced to combine in order to comply with federally mandated desegregation. Herman Boone (Denzel Washington) is selected as the head coach of the football team over the current successful white coach. The town goes crazy. The team goes crazy. The coaches go crazy. But the team comes together and they play a dream season for their new coach. I love this movie. I forget how much I love it until it comes on TV, and I can’t change the channel. I seriously wish Denzel Washington was my football coach. I would have destroyed everyone.

Best line: “This is where they fought the battle of Gettysburg. Fifty thousand men died right here on this field, fighting the same fight that we are still fighting among ourselves today. This green field right here, painted red, bubblin’ with the blood of young boys. Smoke and hot lead pouring right through their bodies. Listen to their souls, men. I killed my brother with malice in my heart. Hatred destroyed my family. You listen, and you take a lesson from the dead. If we don’t come together right now on this hallowed ground, we too will be destroyed, just like they were. I don’t care if you like each other of not, but you will respect each other. And maybe… I don’t know, maybe we’ll learn to play this game like men.”



Mistake #1: Primae Noctis? Are you crazy, Long Shanks?

Mistake #2: Slicing up William Wallace’s woman? Are you asking to get your fort burned down? Never hack off a Scotsman.

Mel Gibson’s portrayal of the battle painted warrior poet William Wallace is easily one of the greatest heroes in all of movie history. I refrain from commenting on historical accuracies, but The Battle of Stirling is one of, if not the best battle scene of all time. I can say no more.

Best line: “Every man dies, not every man really lives.”

Citizen Kane

citizen_kaneCitizen Kane is not only a classic film frequently ranked as the very best of all time, it’s also a handy primer on how not to be a man. Don’t let power corrupt your soul; don’t let pride crush your relationships; don’t push everyone away until you die alone, an arrogant jerk with his just desserts. And don’t get so hung up on childhood memories that you can never build a life for yourself.

Best line: “Maybe Rosebud was something he couldn’t get, or something he lost. Anyway, it wouldn’t have explained anything… I don’t think any word can explain a man’s life. No, I guess Rosebud is just a… piece in a jigsaw puzzle… a missing piece.”

On the Waterfront


It’s the story of longshoreman and ex-boxer Terry Malloy (Marlin Brando) who is blackballed and savagely beaten for informing against the mobsters who have taken over his union and sold it out to the bosses. During the film we see Malloy become aware of his personal power to fight and eliminate the corruption that surrounds him. It’s a classic story of one man defying insurmountable odds to fight for what’s right.

Best line: “You don’t understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could’ve been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am.”

The Bourne Identity (The Series)


I truly believe, that deep in our hearts, all men want to be assassins. I don’t know if it is the mystique, the weapons, the fact that you are a killing machine, or whatever; assassins may very well be the top of the food chain. But what makes the Bourne movies so watchable, is that they don’t rely solely on Jason Bourne kicking the crap out of people. Of course that element is present, but Matt Damon is able to bring the character to the forefront. It is the relationships that Bourne builds with himself and others that keep the films from crossing over into the cliché. That and killing guys with pens and/or magazines.

Best line: “I can tell you the license plate numbers of all six cars outside. I can tell you that our waitress is left-handed and the guy sitting up at the counter weighs two hundred fifteen pounds and knows how to handle himself. I know the best place to look for a gun is the cab of the gray truck outside, and at this altitude, I can run flat out for a half mile before my hands start shaking. Now why would I know that? How can I know that and not know who I am?”



I love a good underdog story, and Rocky is the king of them all. The movie poster’s tag line sums up the movie pretty well: “His whole life was a million-to-one shot.” Sylvester Stallone plays Rocky Balboa, a two bit working class boxer from Philadelphia who gets the chance to fight the world heavyweight champion of the world. The training montage with Rocky running up the stairs of the library at the end is a cultural icon and still inspires men to get off their butt and start exercising. Cue “Eye of the Tiger.”

Best line: “I just want to say hi to my girlfriend, OK? Yo, Adrian! It’s me, Rocky.”

Apollo 13


I don’t think you could dream up a worse situation: stuck in a tin can, floating around in outer space with no power and running out of oxygen. The now famous line “Houston, we have a problem,” is definitely an understatement. Three guys trapped in a disabled shuttle after a trip to the moon goes horribly wrong, and all they have to save them are some of the greatest minds on the planet. Using some killer brain power and whatever junk they can find around the ship, NASA tries to bring these boys back home.

Best line: “With all due respect, sir, I believe this is gonna be our finest hour.”



Overcoming prejudice, the men of the 54th Massachusetts become one of the first units in the US Army to be made of up African American volunteers. In the face of a decree claiming that any black man caught fighting for the Federal Army would be hanged and any white officer leading those men would also be executed, the group fights to prove themselves to their own Union Army as well as the enemy Confederates. Lead by Col. Robert Gould Shaw, the unit makes a valiant but unsuccessful attempt to take Ft. Wagner – losing half their men in the process, but gaining respect and admiration for their bravery.

Best line: “Give ‘em Hell ’54!”

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest


In an Oscar-winning performance, Jack Nicholson plays the part of criminal who pretends (or is he?) to be crazy in order to placed in a mental hospital instead of prison. The patients there are under the oppressive, icy watch of Nurse Ratched. R.P McMurphy (Nicholson) sets out to give the patients some optimism, happiness, and freedom, while also driving Nurse Ratched crazy. There’s no big action scenes or special effects, almost the entire movie is set in the hospital, and yet the characters and McMurphy’s rebellion against the soul-sucking nature of the institution makes for a story that will stick with you for a long time to come.

Best line: “But I tried, didn’t I? Goddamnit, at least I did that.”

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{ 684 comments… read them below or add one }

601 Sebastian October 21, 2013 at 3:24 pm

For me a must see movie is Fight Club. I just love the deep meaning of the film and the actors are great. Don’t we all have a hidden Tyler Durden inside of us? ;-)

602 Tom October 24, 2013 at 12:43 pm

I didn’t see Caddyshack on the list!

603 Jason October 25, 2013 at 9:53 am

We were soldiers is also a very good example of leadership and the fatherly role a military leader has to take on during battle

604 Dusty October 25, 2013 at 10:59 am

I agree with Jason, We Were Soldiers would be a great addition, as well as The Patriot, and Red Dawn.

605 Ronnie October 27, 2013 at 7:30 am

I have to disagree with the best line from The Maltese Falcon. In my opinion it was Humphrey Bogart to Peter Lorre: “When you’re slapped you’ll take it and like it!”

606 Kevin October 28, 2013 at 1:44 pm

How about “The Great Santini”?

607 Mark November 1, 2013 at 2:27 pm

The Quiet Man; Hatari; Donavon’s Reef; Gallipoli;

608 The Reverend November 2, 2013 at 7:09 am

The Ox-Bo Incident

609 Brandon November 3, 2013 at 12:37 am

I don’t know how, but I think Apocolypse Now would be a good one. Quote of the movie: “A spear?”

610 Joshua Jordan November 3, 2013 at 8:24 pm

Greetings Brother:

Please excuse the email change, I’m having trouble with joshua.jordan@gmx.com right now. I was going through your site because I wanted to print that statesman article for my son so he could know what to look for in other men. It’s part of a series of articles, mostly written by me and a handful by others, for my son on leadership.

I came across your top 100 films and I believe you may be in error, Brother. It is my duty, according to our charge, to correct you. Since this is a matter of opinion, I will not hold it against you if you disagree. =)

I will not attempt to tell you what place it should occupy or what film it should displace from the list but you seem to have left out two of the most important films of all time:

The first, I believe, is important to any young boy with a good heart, but especially to Masons and those who go deeper into the esoteric arts and sciences. This film is truly epic; it’s the most important film nobody has ever seen. It is the 1981 version of Excalibur; this trailer is only two minutes but if you don’t want to see it after seeing this then nothing will convince you to see it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOqlV4Le9Tk

The second film is also an epic tragedy, but it is epic only within the lives of the participants of the game. This film must be seen in the original Sweedish. The 1958 version of the Seventh Seal https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtkFei4wRjE I realize that you have to be a bit “artistic” to “get this”, but — through your writing — I’m confident in your sophistication and I believe you’ll grasp the substance of this film.

Beyond this, I have a couple asides that are not questions about the list, but general banter about film that I believe you may find interesting or useful.

I’m a bit puzzled about Gone with the Wind. Clark Gable played a man the way I believe a man should be in that film. He was cool, calm, and collected even as the artillery came raining in and he knew how to handle men and women; he did not choose an unsuitable mate in the end. But, every man respects different men for different things and so I understand your decision to not place it on the list.

Also, as a Mason, a traveler, and a person somewhat trained in the craft of intelligence I have to say The Man Who Would be King is a great accomplishment as a film, but likely not worthy of the list, because it speaks to those aspects of myself in the film with great majesty. Still, I think you’d like it. =)

611 kevin November 10, 2013 at 6:14 pm

Warrior with Tom Hardy should definitely be on this

612 Donna November 12, 2013 at 11:28 pm

I guess these aren’t just for men since I’ve seen 92 out of 100.

613 Ray Hill November 15, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Love the list. I agree totally with all of these as worthy of top movies list. I’m always on the lookout for good movies and found one recently that falls right in line with the nature of this blog. I’m referring to the Russian-made “The Admiral” based in part on true story during the Bolshevik revolution. I’ve never heard of it but stumbled upon it one day and was quite impressed by the film. Though subtitled, it is sure not to disappoint.

614 JP November 16, 2013 at 12:19 am

Thanks for the list. Looks like I have some more to add to my watch list. I would agree with Dusty to add The Patriot. There’s a few others I would add to my list of essentials, Sergeant York, Saints and Soldiers, To End All Wars, The Sacketts, High Noon, The Book of Eli, Defiance, Spartan, Luther, Amazing Grace, The Fugitive, The Notebook, Radio, Life is Beautiful, Finding Forrester, The Hades Factor, The Mission, Invictus, Skyfall, Jesus of Nazareth, Up, Captain America: The First Avenger, The Pursuit of Happyness and Bella. I may add The Bucket List and Moneyball after viewing them, as they also come so highly recommended.

615 Florin November 17, 2013 at 3:42 pm

“Burnt by the Sun”, by Nikita Mikhalkov would fit nice in the list too. Just seen “The Great Escape”, a nice example of manliness :)

616 Tobey November 25, 2013 at 3:56 am

How about “Rain Man” starring Dustin Hoffmann?

617 Brandon R. November 26, 2013 at 2:25 pm

I am so glad you included Top Gun on this list! Everybody picks on me for loving that film because of its homoerotic imagery, but damn it, I learned so much about being a man from that movie.

Some recent entries I would tack on:
Pacific Rim (for obvious reasons)
The Dark Knight Trilogy (you don’t get much manlier than Batman, and the scene where he crawls out of the pit in The Dark Knight Rises get me every time)
The new 3:10 to Yuma (so many manly lessons, from both the outlaw and the rancher; best line: “Even bad men love their mamas.”)
The Rock (Ed Harris as the honorable villain makes the movie, but Sean Connery basically reprising his role of James Bond doesn’t hurt).

618 Florin November 29, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Brandon, thanks for “3:10 to Yuma” hint. Great film.

619 Les December 2, 2013 at 9:16 pm

I would argue that the best line in the Bourne Series is the following, spoken by the operative Jason kills in the first movie (played by Clive Owen) and then by Jason to the operative about to shoot him on the rooftop in “Ultimatum”:

“Look at us. Look at what they make you give.”

620 Jeff December 5, 2013 at 4:47 pm

I was glad to see that Patton made the list. I knew a gentleman who was a dentist in the 3rd Army. General Patton came to him and said he had a tooth that was bothering him. Doc examined him and found he had a cavity that needed filling. He prepared to give the general a shot to numb him and the general asked “Do you do that for all my boys?” To which the doctor said “No sir.” The general said “If you don’t do it for my boys, you won’t do it for me.” He said that Patton sat in the chair and didn’t so much as wince as he was drilled.

621 Robert Anderson December 7, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Patton’s dentist should said “Suck it up, slacker” and then ranted about all the suffering, dying boys out there, and here’s
the general whining about a toothache!

622 skinny December 7, 2013 at 8:18 pm

“Hustle and Flow”. From its very first line, “Man ain’t like a dog”, it’s an extended meditation on a male becoming a man.

623 Chris December 11, 2013 at 10:52 am

Legends of the Fall

624 Don December 12, 2013 at 9:51 am

Jack Nicholson in “The Last Detail” EPIC Guy movie!
I joined the Navy because of this movie!

625 Jordan Crowder December 13, 2013 at 6:11 am

I would have to add Barry Levinson’s “Diner” to this list.

626 Doug Mott December 14, 2013 at 4:10 pm

Do not forget the Outlaw Josey Whales.
And Mel Gidbson The Patriot.

627 Paul Capone December 16, 2013 at 2:17 am

Four movies to add:

1. Angels with Dirty Faces
Public Enemy or White Heat
-Three of the Original Ganster movies, starring Hollywood’s Original Ganster, James Cagney

2. The Dirty Dozen
-I am Shocked you missed this one

3. The Fighting Sullivans (1944)
-Brothers Stick together. Brotherly love

4. Mister Roberts (1955)
-James Cagney, Henry Fonda, Jack Lemmon, William Powell!
This is an every Man movie. how to act with a boss that is less than par and how to be a Leader. It shows the growing of men.

These are essential in every Man’s movie list!

628 gene December 16, 2013 at 9:42 am

how is THE WARRIORS not on here?!?!?!?

629 GrocerMan December 17, 2013 at 7:08 pm

Without a doubt, Glenngarry Glenn Ross needs to be on this list. Watching it will make you a better man.

630 Lee December 19, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Good list … you didn’t included Redford’s The Candidate … another I’d include is Good Will Hunting …

631 Austin December 20, 2013 at 1:46 am

I run my own movie review blog and I used this list to create my own list of 10 movies for every guy to see. Check it out here: http://austinsmoviereviews37.blogspot.com/2013/12/10-movies-every-guy-should-see.html

632 RW December 20, 2013 at 1:22 pm

One of the greatest manly movies in my opinion is “Touch of Evil,” by Orson Wells. Charleston Heston’s role as the tough, honest detective is one of his best, in my opinion, while Wells’ corrupt lawman is his perfect foil.

633 Ozzy December 26, 2013 at 12:54 pm

Brandon(nov 3,’13)…how about “I love the smell of napalm in the morning” (Robert Duvall)

634 Homa December 27, 2013 at 12:32 am

“The Quiet Man” – Classic tale of manhood. Love, marriage, money, drinking, fighting, John Wayne. Would also throw in Charlton Heston in “The Ten Commandments” and original “Planet of the Apes”, unless I missed them on the list.

635 GrocerMan December 29, 2013 at 9:05 am

And the quote for Glenngarry Glenn Ross, at least in my book would be: “What are you going to do about it? What are you going to do about it, Asshole?”

@Ozzy: I’m the Brandon who posted that about Apocolypse Now. I just changed my name since there were a ton of Brandons on here. What you suggest is the obvious answer, it was just too obvious for me though so I went with something different. That scene was pretty fantastic, but it just kinda drives me crazy how people will (mis)quote it to death though.

636 HENRY MOSSBERG December 30, 2013 at 6:05 pm

Like the list BUT,

Where is:
John Wayne’s “The Cowboys”,
either “3:10 to Yuma”,
Bronson/Robards “Once Upon a Time in the West”??

637 Wayne December 30, 2013 at 10:35 pm

Any thought for the following:
1) The Godfather-Brando,Pacino,Caan
2) Barfly-Micky Rourke(Pre plastic surgery)
3) Vacation-Chevy Chase,D Angelo, Brinkly
4) The Good The Bad and the Ugly-Clint

638 Glenn January 1, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Movies that should have made the list
Once were warriors
Good will Hunting
Man on Fire
Falling Down
Lock stock and two smoking barrels
Pulp Fiction

639 george January 2, 2014 at 3:08 am

best line (3 lines) of ghostbusters:

“Everything was fine until dickless here cut off the power grid!”
mayor- “Is this true?”
Bill Murray – “Yes, your honor, this man has no dick.”

640 Buster Douglas January 2, 2014 at 10:37 am

Moneyball is a special film. The best line is “..I hate losing, i hate losing more than I like winning.”

641 A.T. Post January 4, 2014 at 6:28 am

No love for “The Wild Bunch”? A group of aging outlaws watch the West disappear all around them, try their hand at one last big score, watch it go to hell, wind up with their backs against the wall and decide to end it on their terms? Sounds pretty manly to me.

642 Chris January 6, 2014 at 10:56 pm


Not exactly a stellar start, but that’s counting the Star Wars, Bourne, Indiana Jones and entire Bond series as one each… and I’m only 17. Give me a couple more years…

643 Steven D January 6, 2014 at 11:54 pm

This is an excellent list of films, and I’m glad to see that the films on this list go beyond, for the most part, the ‘cars, women, war, guns’ thing; in other words, the films here have more substance and serve a purpose greater than merely entertaining men with all the cliché things guys supposedly like. I’m shocked, however, that Gone With The Wind did not make the list. It would have been my first choice. Clark Gable? Hell, every young man today should hang a poster of Clark Gable above his bed, especially in his role as Rhett Butler. (I just happen to believe that Clark Gable was a gentleman on and off the screen.) In GWTW, Gable played a man who was confident, decisive, a healthy bit of arrogant, but also empathetic, emotional, a gentleman, albeit at times a conflicted one. I think it’s something that every man should aspire to be more like, and something that every man can probably, in some way, relate to — especially in so much as having regrets, acting foolishly but only by following one’s heart, and so on… so dare I say that this is a great list indeed, but incomplete. Gone With the Wind is essential.

644 Donald January 13, 2014 at 2:41 pm

Agree with the mention of Snatch, one of my al-time faves.

Great list. I’d add:
The Thin Man
L.A. Confidential
Lost Horizon
The Prisoner of Zenda
Tarzan of the Apes
The Day the Earth Stood Still
Hard Times
Gran Torino
The Blue Dahlia
Judgment at Nuremberg
The Big Lebowski
O Brother Where Art Thou
Sullivan’s Travels
Requiem for a Heavyweight
The Departed

Glad to see American Beauty on the list. My favorite line: “You…don’t get to tell me what to do…ever…again.”

645 Adrian Raul January 15, 2014 at 2:35 am

This list is awesome and so is this site..

646 Fred January 15, 2014 at 2:46 pm

The Holy Grail

647 James gayaldo January 15, 2014 at 5:12 pm

I have to recomend rollerball. Not the new one, the old one.

648 Denise Palmer January 16, 2014 at 11:26 am

Thrilled to see this list. I have seen many of the films but have to set to work to see many more. I am very excited to have found this website. Never heard of it before today.

649 Sander Ligtenberg January 20, 2014 at 2:03 pm

Just recently I saw “Lone Survivor” I had trouble sleepling that night but it made me think back of my time in the army. For a man who owns a dog i would like to mention ” A dog named duke” and ” red dog”

The first one is at times a bit cheesy but it made me choke. Red dog is just something else, I really enjoyed this. Hopefully you will go and see one of these movies.

The Netherlands

650 Sander Ligtenberg January 20, 2014 at 2:17 pm

I would also like to add the italian movie Caos Calmo (quiet chaos)

651 Joe January 20, 2014 at 3:45 pm

American Beauty? Nothing manlier than a bunch of middle class whiners.

Full Metal Jacket

652 Billyo January 22, 2014 at 3:13 pm

How about Gran Tarino, Clint Eastwood as a grumpy war veteran who sacrifices his life (once he knows he will die soon) for the sake of the family he disliked at the start. It shows compassion behind independent strength and the ability to act ethically without chattering.

653 skinnylegsandall January 22, 2014 at 3:29 pm

Three Days of the Condor
Slaughter House Five
Watch them twice you have to pay attention.

654 Nathan January 29, 2014 at 11:22 am

Secondhand Lions

655 Tory January 30, 2014 at 7:21 am

Love the list, but I can’t believe that “Road to Perdition” is not on it.

656 Kent January 30, 2014 at 9:30 pm

An exceptionally diverse list of menly movies. Thank you for playing more than one note. And thank you to many comments for expanding the list, a few titles at a time.

657 Bastiaan January 31, 2014 at 4:08 pm

Pity that The Last Samurai isn’t on the list, or V for Vendetta. Good to see Gladiator and Fight Club though! Also, I would recommendThe Pianist, Troy and The River Why.

Katsumoto: The Emperor could not hear my words. His army will come. For nine hundred years, my ancestors have protected our people. Now… I have failed them.
Algren: So you will take your own life? In shame? Shame for a life of service? Discipline? Compassion?
Katsumoto: The way of the Samurai is not necessary anymore.
Algren: Necessary? What could be more necessary?

[Katsumoto hands a samurai sword to Algren, it has a message written on it]
Algren: What does it say?
Katsumoto: “I belong to the warrior in whom the old ways have joined the new.”

658 Larisa February 4, 2014 at 4:40 am

Do not know much English, sorry. Stumbled on your site and are interested in becoming your opinions of men. As a woman, I would highly advise men see Russian TV series “The Penal Battalion”. Here is a true example of courage! I think that regardless of race, nationality or country of residence has oschie values ​​for all mankind, and they are indisputable.

659 Ironbob February 8, 2014 at 2:48 am


660 Ty February 11, 2014 at 1:03 am

No Christopher Nolan movies. I mean whats manlier than Batman. No Tarantino movies either. If you could I would’ve said put all the great Hitchcock movies on there. Great list. All great movies.

661 Garrison February 12, 2014 at 8:11 am

I can’t believe you have movies like The Karate Kid, Top Gun , Rudy (I’m a ND fan but c’mon) and Lord Of The Rings on this list as must see movies. Where are
Godfather II – Apocalypse Now – Deer Hunter – Caddy Shack – The Big Labowski – American Graffiti – The Last Detail – MASH – The Conversation – Little Big Man – Fargo – No Country For Old Men – Psycho – Raging Bull – Boogie Nights – Taxi Driver – Animal House – Pulp Fiction – Good Fellas – Seven – Dr. Strangelove – Full Metal Jacket – Blazing Saddles – She Wore A Yellow Ribbon etc etc etc…

662 gardening tools for children australia February 15, 2014 at 2:02 pm

What a data of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious familiarity regarding
unexpected feelings.

663 Gino February 16, 2014 at 11:46 pm

Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, Scarface (1983), The Public Enemy, Once Upon A Time In America, Goodfellas, Casino, The Departed, Cinema Paradiso, La Vita E Bella, The Pianist, Forrest Gump

664 Michael February 20, 2014 at 9:55 am

Hunt for Red October…Sean Connery as the most manly boat captain ever.

665 Roger Wilson February 23, 2014 at 9:06 pm

Check out “The Lives of Others”. It’s kind of artsy, but I can’t think of a better example of two men doing the right thing in the face of adversity.

666 Dejan Davchevski February 25, 2014 at 12:18 pm

The Movie Saga that made me become a MAN was Rocky. In the first parts Rocky 1, 2, 3, 4, I heard Stallone’s Coach and his famous speech but it didn’t had as much impact on me as in the last movie – Rocky Balboa – when Stallone tells the same speech to his son.

I guess because of his acting or maybe because it was an epic closure to the whole saga but that speech made me cry. Listening to that speech was like listening to my own father giving me the best advice about life anyone can ever give.

I wrote a whole article about that speech on my website – http://www.lifecoachcode.com/how-winning-is-done/ – It would be an honor if you check it out!

667 Ken February 25, 2014 at 2:26 pm

I looked for Thunderbolt and Lightfoot. It ought to be on the list.

668 A.T. Post February 26, 2014 at 2:22 am

I thought long and hard about this, because I thought the list that was posted was dang near impeccable, but there’s one vital addition I think deserves mention:

“The World’s Fastest Indian” (2005).

669 Jim Watkins March 4, 2014 at 6:54 am

I don’t know how any movie list extolling manly virtues could exclude Billy Budd. Watch it, you’ll see….

670 Jackie March 5, 2014 at 7:54 pm

Four Feathers is a personal favorite. Abou Fatma is an inspirational character

671 Dan March 12, 2014 at 8:09 am

I agree with the list, mostly! :) I think Red Dawn (old or new) is also a great flick that delves into the duties of men and boys becoming men. Just my opinion!

672 Old Hickory March 12, 2014 at 1:10 pm

Hmm, Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day made it, but not Tombstone? Possibly the best modern made western.

673 Derrick Lehman March 20, 2014 at 1:11 am

After page four I was getting worried that It’s a Wonderful Life wasn’t going to make the list. That movie shaped my childhood and I’m only 20! I love those classic movies.

674 Samir Rahaman March 23, 2014 at 8:58 am

What about all of the James Bond movies? Dr. No isn’t enough. What about the movie Jaws.

675 Justin Wasson March 24, 2014 at 8:40 am

Love this list, I’ve watched so many great movies I probably wouldn’t have watched otherwise.

Two movies I’d add to the list;
All is Lost (2013) great movie about a man and survival
Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011) this movie might be considered by some a “chick flick” but if you really watch it, you learn how to dress like a man and be cool like Ryan Gosling

676 doug roach March 25, 2014 at 8:04 am

When my 2 boys were old enough, I had a list of movies for them to watch. All of them are here except 2. Aliens, which I suppose is not a manly movie, But Deliverance definitely belongs in this list. I have to say that I also had them watch Death Wish. Not sure if that was a good move or not.

677 Omar Omar March 28, 2014 at 10:32 am

300,troy,warrior,<——-Manliest Movies

678 Barnun March 29, 2014 at 9:55 am

add to your list (IQ} Meg Ryan
Left Hand of God- Bogart
Long Hot Summer – Paul Newman
Mr. Lincoln -Henry Fonda
Lonesome Dove

679 RJS II March 30, 2014 at 12:28 am

Dirty Dancing, and Road House Patrick Swayze’s the man

680 Mike Abrahams April 8, 2014 at 5:02 am

Man…you’ve got to include ‘The Soldier’ (Kurt Russell) with the totally awesome line: “I’m going to kill them all, Sir!” and in response to her offer of help…”No, soldiers deserve soldiers, Sir!”

681 Jimmy Brown April 9, 2014 at 11:10 pm

The Incredibles

I believe every man must see this movie before he marries and once a year afterwards. At it’s heart, it is the choice every married man must make.

682 Rob April 10, 2014 at 2:15 pm

The Quiet Man
Master & Commander
A Beautiful Mind
The 13th Warrior
Animal House
Kelly’s Heros

683 Keith April 21, 2014 at 8:29 pm

Every movie directed by Howard Hawks and John Ford and starring Humphrey Bogart or Burt Lancaster.

684 Keith April 21, 2014 at 8:41 pm

Every movie directed by Howard Hawks and John Ford or starring Humphrey Bogart or Burt Lancaster.

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