50. The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Logline: Luke Skywalker and Rebel Forces fend off a relentless onslaught from Darth Vader and the evil Galactic Empire.
Memorable Moments: “Luke…I am your Father.” The opening battle sequence on Hoth, Luke’s training and the stunning asteroid belt chase, are among the highlights of this follow-up to 1977’s Star Wars. Easily the best in the series!
Why Guys Dig It: Great lightsaber action, Darth Vader at the top of his game, the original cast kicking so much butt, and the big twist, which virtually everyone now knows.
49. The Dark Knight (2008)
Logline: Batman vs. Joker in Christopher Nolan’s vision of Gotham City.
Memorable Moments: The opening bank heist and every scene that involves Heath Ledger’s Joker are beyond amazing. The chase through the streets of Gotham that culminates in Joker’s capture? Cheer inducing. Everything that comes after it? Slows down the movie. The Dark Knight is a film deified based on the strength of Ledger’s performance. While it is not as good of a film overall as 2005’s Batman Begins, it is a strong action film that crosses over from comic book movie to crime drama with relative ease.
Why Guys Dig It: The best depiction of the Joker ever put on film. Period.
48. The Wrestler (2008)
Logline: A washed up wrestler struggles to hold his relationships together in the face of deteriorating health and one last chance at superstardom.
Memorable Moments: Mickey Rourke carries this film on his broad shoulders. He is the ultimate depiction of the loveable loser. From his heartbreaking “relationship” with his daughter to his hardcore wrestling matches (barbed wire anyone?), he is one of the most well-drawn and expertly played characters of all time.
Why Guys Dig It: The older we get, the more we can relate to the idea of controlling our own destiny and having one last shot at glory.
47. The Goonies (1985)
Logline: A group of kids seek a mythical treasure from the map resting in the attic of one of the group member’s foreclosed home.
Memorable Moments: “Hey, you guyyyyyyys!!!!” Sloth and Chunk’s friendship provides many of the laughs and heart in this relic from childhood. Anne Ramsey also packs enough nasty as Mama Fratelli to give you nightmares.
Why Guys Dig It: The caves hiding the secret of a long forgotten treasure whisk any youngster’s imagination into the kind of daydream that we all used to have as youngsters (while we were supposed to be listening to the teacher, of course).
46. Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Logline: Four unlikely partners stranded in a shopping mall must do battle with zombies.
Memorable Moments: For all the head-shooting, flesh-tearing and disemboweling that goes on in this movie, it sure does have a lot of heart. All social commentary aside, George Romero’s sequel to Night of the Living Dead is a full-blooded horror film and the best of its kind. The machete to the skull, exploding head, and calf chewing are utilized to great effect.
Why Guys Dig It: Most of us like zombies and action, and there is plenty to go around in this film.
45. The Untouchables (1987)
Logline: An FBI agent amasses a team of fearless crime fighters to do battle with Al Capone in Prohibition-Era Chicago.
Memorable Moments: The escalator shootout, shades of Battleship Potemkin, adds a personal and human layer to the struggle of the innocence in 1930’s Chicago. Elliot Ness (Kevin Costner) and his relentless pursuit of Capone (Robert De Niro) culminate in some unforgettable scenes. The baseball bat beat down at the dinner table, the rooftop pursuit of Capone’s henchman, and a tour de force performance by Sean Connery as one of the untouchables create a gangster classic.
Why Guys Dig It: Costner and De Niro are two of the coolest male actors to grace the Silver Screen. Watching them, along with Connery—who can possibly resist?
44. Die Hard (1988)
Logline: A lone cop is the only line of defense between terrorists and a Christmas party.
Memorable Moments: The bare feet across the broken glass scene and the dispatch of the Japanese businessman serve to exalt the power of our bad guys, but in the end they’re no match for John McClane (Bruce Willis) and his cowboy tendencies. “Yippy ki-yea…” You know the rest.
Why Guys Dig It: Bare-knuckled action, explosions, tension, violence, and unbelievable stunt work, make this an action classic that still is able to thrill and inspire.
43. Mad Max (1979)
Logline: A cop in a post-apocalyptic wasteland seeks revenge for the deaths of his wife and child.
Memorable Moments: The death scene of Max’s family sets a tone for the rest of the film that adds a lot of depth and dramatic punch to the final showdown. Great automobile mayhem throughout, and Mel Gibson delivers as intense of a performance as you’ll see in a revenge drama.
Why Guys Dig It: Lots of guys dream about what it would be like to live in a lawless land where any aggression could be acted upon without fear of consequences. Meet the world of Mad Max!
42. Old School (2003)
Logline: Three buddies burned out by life start their own fraternity just off campus at a nearby university.
Memorable Moments: “You’re my boy, Blue!” Will Ferrell’s descent into alcohol-fueled madness is hilarious to watch as is the oil wrestling match that puts poor senior citizen Blue six feet under. Lots of great laughs and a charming Vince Vaughn elevate this raunchy romp above others of its ilk.
Why Guys Dig It: Watching the main stars relive college fantasies long after they’re supposed to be “grown up” appeals to our sense of wanting to go back to a simpler time.
41. Armageddon (1998)
Logline: A team of roughneck oil drillers are recruited by the U.S. government to destroy a world-ending asteroid hurtling towards earth.
Memorable Moments: Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, and Liv Tyler provide most of the non-action-based scenes that stand out. Willis is the grumpy father struggling with letting go of his little girl. Affleck is the brash young hotshot in love with his daughter who has, begrudgingly, become like a son to him. In the final moments of the film, there are two heart tugging moments that you don’t see very often in big budget action blockbusters. Steve Buscemi also offers heavy support as the comic relief.
Why Guys Dig It: It touches on fatherhood, letting go, and the feeling we sometimes have that the weight of the world is on our shoulders.