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

by Brett & Kate McKay on July 13, 2009 · 698 comments

in Movies, Travel & Leisure

The Karate Kid


I am hard pressed to think of a saying with more philosophical depth and insight than “Wax on, Wax off.” It’s too bad that doing chores doesn’t really teach karate. I would be a grand master by now – but that’s beside the point. Daniel-san and Mr. Miyagi create one of the most memorable underdog stories as they take on the Kobra Kai at the All-Valley Karate Tournament. Plus, Daniel-san gets a car and the girl, Alli with an I. Will Smith’s ten year old son is slated to star in a remake of the Karate Kid, constituting the greatest sacrilege in film history.

Best line: “Wax on, wax off.”

The African Queen

Poster - African Queen, The_01

The things a man will do at the insistence of a woman. Poor Charlie Allnut (Humphrey Bogart) gets suckered into going after a German gunboat by the feisty Rose Sayer. When her brother is killed by the invading Germans in East Africa, she recruits Charlie, the captain of the African Queen, to take down the offenders. I guess Katherine Hepburn can be pretty persuasive because despite the craziness and certain death that awaits them, Charlie gives in. It works out pretty well for him because they get married and he gets to blow up the bad guys.

Best line: “Well, yeah, but I never tried shooting myself in the head neither.”

The Sting

A classic caper movie set in 1936 Chicago. Two Chicago con artists (Newman and Redford) set out to avenge the murder of a mutual friend, only to find themselves in a high-stakes game against the master of all cheating mobsters (Robert Shaw). The dialogue Between Newman and Redford is fresh and entertaining. Art of Manliness readers may appreciate the format of the film. The movie’s sections are divided by old-fashioned title cards with lettering and illustrations rendered in a style reminiscent of the Saturday Evening Post. The Sting also breathed new life in to “The Entertainer,” a piano rag written by Scott Joplin.

Best line: “Sorry I’m late. I was taking a crap.”

Chariots of Fire

chariotsHow much do you believe in yourself? And maybe more importantly, what are you willing to do to stand up for what you believe? Two men from the British track team vie for Olympic glory in 1924. Both run the 100 meters and both have extremely different reasons for running. One must overcome prejudice and Anti-Semitism, the other risks everything to stay true to his God.

Best line: “Then where does the power come from, to see the race to its end? From within.”

Mr. Deeds Goes to Town


If you inherit a bunch of money, and you want to be charitable and buy poor people farms so that they can work and provide for themselves, and your financial advisor calls you crazy, and they end up putting you on trial to judge your sanity – what do you do? Start punching people in the face, that’s what.

Best line: “People here are funny. They work so hard at living they forget how to live.”

Schindler’s List


One man’s eyes are opened to the brutality of the surroundings he once embraced. Though far from a perfect man, Oskar Schindler did all he could to preserve the lives of Jewish workers as the “Final Solution” threatened them all with extinction. Risking his life and using his personal wealth, he was able to save the lives of close to 1,100 people. Moving, brutal, and beautiful; it’s hard to watch but must be. A masterpiece.

Best line: “It’s Hebrew, it’s from the Talmud. It says, “Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire.”

All the President’s Men

all-the-presidents-men-posterWith newspapers fighting to survive, it’s great to watch a film about how essential good journalism really is. The film follows Woodward and Bernstein as they shed light on the break in at the Watergate Hotel and a trail of illegal activity that led to the White House. Talk about some gutsy reporters. Watchdogs, indeed. This movie has all the trimmings of the finest mystery thrillers – but it actually happened. I bet this movie makes Nixon wish he would have changed that whole “freedom of the press” business while he was in office.

Best line: “Listen… I’m tired of your chickens**t games! I don’t want hints… I need to know what you know.”


zuluThe Victoria Cross is awarded to any person under military command for “most conspicuous bravery, or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice.” It is the highest military decoration awarded by the British military, and the battle at Rourkes Drift saw eleven awarded – the most in a single engagement.

140 British soldiers guarding a supply dump faced an overwhelming Zulu army of 4,000. They defended themselves and nearly a third of their men that were sick in the infirmary from the onslaught. The movie is ominous as the stage is set for the battle and urgency takes over as the battle ensues. Although the movie takes liberties with the elements of the true battle, little is diminished in its inspiring effect.

Best line: “A prayer’s as good as bayonet on a day like this.”


patton_ver2What do you get when you cross a crazy man with a military genius? George S. Patton. Old Blood and Guts. Patton was an American tank commander who was a main factor in the Allies victories in North Africa and Italy during WWII. Patton isn’t so much about WWII than it is about this larger than life man. Even if you haven’t seen this film, you’ve probably seen the famous speech scene in front of the American flag at the beginning of the movie.

Best line: “Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.”

Lawrence of Arabia


It seems we hear about guerrilla warfare in the desert almost every day in the news. Maybe we should take some cues from our good buddy Larry of Arabia and turn this war around. The film follows T.E. Lawrence, an officer in the British army during WWI, as he rallies the Arab people in fighting the British enemies. Lawrence overcomes crazy odds and impresses the locals with his tenacity and skill.

Best line: “The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts.”

The Godfather (I and II)

godfather_ver1The Godfather is more than just a shoot em up mobster movie. It’s a cinematic masterpiece that touches on themes that are universal to the human condition: family, honor, the choice between good and evil, and revenge just to name a few. We get a first hand look at the inner-conflict that Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) faces as he chooses between leading a normal life or taking part in the family business.

Best line: “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.” And a hundred others.

12 Angry Men

twelve_angry_menA young disadvantaged boy is charged with murder, and the case against him seems overwhelming. While all the jurors are ready to convict the kid so they can get back to their lives, one man stands up for justice and gives the kid the fair trial that he deserves. Despite the social pressure to put in a guilty vote, juror #8 slowly persuades his fellow jurors that not enough evidence exists to convict the defendant.

Best line: “We may be trying to let a guilty man go free, I don’t know. Nobody really can. But we have a reasonable doubt, and that’s something that’s very valuable in our system. No jury can declare a man guilty unless it’s SURE.”

Lord of the Rings (The Series)


Sure, most of the characters are mythological creatures like hobbits and dwarfs, but that doesn’t mean we can’t gleam some lessons on manliness from them. In this action-packed and beautifully filmed trilogy we see examples of loyalty, duty, and bravery displayed by the characters. And the story’s main protagonist, Frodo Baggins, teaches us that we often don’t choose our calling in life, it chooses us. And when it does, give it all you got. The story is so good you can’t help but watch all three back to back in a 9 hour mega marathon.

Gangs of New York


Gangs of New York takes viewers back to the mean streets of 19th century New York City. It was time when waves of Irish immigrants poured into New York City every day and the city was rife with political corruption. Irish American Amsterdam Vallon (Leonardo Di Carprio) returns to his old New York neighborhood to avenge the death of his father at the hands of the murderous, knife wielding nativist, Bill the Butcher (Daniel Day Lewis). The costume design and art direction in this film are amazing and Daniel Day Lewis does an impeccable job in creating one of the most interesting, evil, and strangely sympathetic characters in all of movie history. He totally got robbed of the Best Actor Oscar.

Best line: “Thank God. I die a true American.”

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly


The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is the last in Sergio Leone’s trilogy of “spaghetti westerns.” Despite being the last, it has come to stand on its own. Even if you haven’t seen the film, you probably know something about it. Most likely you’ve heard the iconic theme song with it’s spooky “wha wha wha” shouts. And you’ve probably seen images and scenes of Clint Eastwood wearing a poncho and smoking a cigar. The film follows three cowboys during the Civil War who try to double cross each other in search of Confederate gold. There’s not much of a deep message in this film. It’s just a lot of fun to watch.

Best line: “When you have to shoot, shoot. Don’t talk.”

Dead Poets Society


To live deliberately. This idea is central to the awakening of a group of young preparatory school students inspired by their new English teacher. Robin Williams plays the role of John Keating, the brazen new teacher at a conservative all boys private school. He inspires them to view the world differently and suck the marrow out of their lives. The boys take on their teenage world armed with new perspectives and courage to live their lives with purpose. Sadly, their tightly controlled lives clash and their new insight is challenged. The movie is heartbreakingly inspiring and truly encourages one to seize the day, despite the overwhelming opposition.

Best line: “Carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.”

The Searchers


Directed by the legendary John Ford, John Wayne gives his most intense acting performance of his career as the dark and vengeful Ethan Edwards, who vows to kill the Comanche raiders that murdered his beloved sister-in-law, brother, and took captive two of their daughters. Wayne does a fantastic job in embodying a conflicted, complex man whose racism and desire for revenge sets up a situation far more morally ambiguous than Cowboys vs. Indians.

Best line: “That’ll be the day.”

Pride of the Yankees

yankeesThe Iron Horse’s talent and tenacity made him a legend. His courage in the face of a debilitating disease made him a hero. Lou Gehrig was one of the classiest baseball players America has ever had and who better to play him than Gary Cooper. If you’re not tearing up at the famous “Luckiest man” speech, you my friend, have no soul.

Best line: “Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”

Saving Private Ryan


Hailed as the greatest war movie ever made, Saving Private Ryan immerses the viewer in the horrors of the Allied invasion of Europe. While the battle scenes are great, the story and the underlying question it poses are even better. Tom Hanks plays an army captain who leads a small squadron to find and send home a soldier who lost all three of his brothers in war. Why risk the lives of several men, just to save one? That’s the question that we’re left asking ourselves during the movie. The answer? It’s just the decent thing to do. The end scene will leave you crying like a baby and with a new found respect for the brave men who sacrificed everything for our freedoms.

Best line: “James, earn this… earn it.”

American Beauty


Meet Lester Burnham; a man who feels like he’s completely dead inside. His wife and daughter despise him and don’t show him any respect. His big corporate job and the demands of modern life have emasculated him. But Lester starts waking up from his emotional comma after he meets his daughter’s good looking friend. Sadly, Lester’s awakening leads him down a path of immaturity that results in tragic consequences for him and his family. American Beauty is a beautifully filmed movie that sheds light on the dark side of the American Dream. We learn from the messed up characters in this movie that happiness can’t be bought and that the suburbs can kill your manhood if you let it. It’s the Death of a Salesman for the 1990s.

Best line: “Both my wife and daughter think I’m this gigantic loser and they’re right, I have lost something. I’m not exactly sure what it is but I know I didn’t always feel this… sedated. But you know what? It’s never too late to get it back.”

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{ 682 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

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