80. The Searchers (1956)
Logline: A Civil War veteran searches for his kidnapped niece: first to rescue her, then to kill her.
Memorable Moments: Ethan Edwards (John Wayne) is one intense dude with plenty of prejudices toward Native Americans. When he discovers his niece has been kidnapped by them, he initially wants to take her home. But as the years pass, and she becomes more acclimated to there way of life, he’d just as soon kill her. Luckily, Martin Pawley (Jeffrey Hunter) tags along as the moral conscience. He cares more about saving her, and as the movie draws to a close, this conflict plays itself out in exciting fashion.
Why Guys Dig It: The Duke—meaner and tougher than ever!
79. Cinderella Man (2005)
Logline: True story of a washed up boxer, who fights his way back from poverty and injury for a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship.
Memorable Moments: Unfortunately, this film is marred by the unfair treatment that it gives to its antagonist. Yes, Max Baer killed two men during his career as a fighter, but he wasn’t so flippant about it. Nevertheless, if you can look past this manipulation, what you get is a film about pride, courage, and determination. James J. Braddock (Russell Crowe) is a man at the end of his rope. His boxing license has been removed. His power is shut off. He is forced to sign up for welfare. But when he gets one more opportunity, he makes the most of it and turns everything around. It’s an inspiring film with inspired performances.
Why Guys Dig It: Boxing movies done right are hard to resist. This one is.
78. Braveheart (1995)
Logline: The true story of William Wallace.
Memorable Moments: “They’ll never take our freedom!” In the 13th Century, a common man drew the Scots together against English rule. He was a fierce man, played with as much passion by Mel Gibson in this Best Picture winner that challenges us to decide what is really important to us, as well as what it means to truly live. Wallace faced insurmountable odds and would have rather left a legacy of freedom than lived a full life under tyranny. His courage is unforgettable.
Why Guys Dig It: Bravery is something that we equate with masculinity, and seeing it play out so unflinchingly resonates with us.
77. Star Trek (2009)
Logline: The original crew of the Starship Enterprise is back to take on a time traveling planet killer.
Memorable Moments: Most people agree that this movie was a refreshing bit of filmmaking that not only indulged the sense of nostalgia, but also set up a dead franchise with new life. The credit goes to the casting. Chris Pine as Kirk brings the right amount of arrogance and humor to the character. Zachary Quinto is a dead ringer for Spock in looks and mannerisms. Karl Urban’s Bones McCoy is like DeForest Kelley has risen from the grave in a younger body. And there’s enough action to wrestle the cool away from the new Star Wars films, making this reboot the sci-fi franchise of choice.
Why Guys Dig It: Action, humor, and Zoe Saldana!!
76. The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
Logline: A Missouri farmer teams with a band of Confederate soldiers to get vengeance on the Union soldiers who slaughtered his family.
Memorable Moments: Chief Dan George’s performance nearly steals the show, if not for Clint Eastwood being at the top of his game in this action-packed western. Great lines abound, including, “Are you gonna pull those pistols or whistle Dixie,” “To hell with them fellas. Buzzards gotta eat, same as worms,” and “Dyin’ ain’t much of a livin’, boy.”
Why Guys Dig It: It’s a sick and twisted fantasy that nevertheless compels us toward revenge movies. Maybe it’s because we somehow associate capacity for violence with masculinity.
75. There Will Be Blood (2007)
Logline: An oil prospector in turn of the century America throws away all of his humanity and personal relationships for the sake of money and power.
Memorable Moments: The opening scene may be the longest ever filmed without a word of dialogue spoken, but the way Paul Thomas Anderson uses the camera, you never get bored. Daniel Day Lewis turns in one of the best performances of his career as Daniel Plainview, a man who’s not above forsaking his own son for the almighty dollar. The final confrontation between him and an egotistical preacher (played by Paul Dano) is a strong and captivating piece of work.
Why Guys Dig It: We’re deeper than you think. The moral dilemmas and faith-based questions that the film tackles are the kind that keeps us up late at night as we grow older.
74. Gladiator (2000)
Logline: A Roman soldier becomes the sensation of Rome within the bloody walls of the Coliseum.
Memorable Moments: Fighting beasts and people and Emperors, all under the watchful eye of Ridley Scott, Russell Crowe turns in one of his most heroic performances that falls just short of Bud White from L.A. Confidential. The action scenes are thrilling and Joaquin Phoenix finally gets out from the shadow of his brother with a scene-stealing performance of pure evil.
Why Guys Dig It: Lots of testosterone in this one, what with the fighting and the vengeance and all. It’s not anything new, but it sure does what it does well.
73. Spider-Man (2002)
Logline: A picked-on high school student receives superpowers when he is bitten by a genetically enhanced spider.
Memorable Moments: Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) pines for Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) in a one-sided love affair that involves him fighting school bullies and saving her from the evil Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe). Director Sam Raimi’s sense of fun is infectious. That, along with top-notch special effects, delivers the goods in this summer blockbuster sensation.
Why Guys Dig It: If we weren’t digging on Batman, we were fascinated by this Marvel Comics counterpart. Thrilling to see him brought to life with such competent cast, crew, and effects.
72. Midnight Run (1988)
Logline: An accountant and a bounty hunter go on the run from the mob, the FBI, and other bounty hunters.
Memorable Moments: Jonathan “The Duke” Mardukas’ (Charles Grodin) fear of flying creates some comedy while his constant picking at the highly strung Jack Walsh (Robert De Niro) creates the rest. The fast-paced and explosive chase scenes culminate in a satisfying and somewhat touching conclusion. The Rundown stole a lot from this classic, which is now rumored to be set for a sequel with De Niro and Grodin returning to their roles.
Why Guys Dig It: Buddy movies are hard to beat, especially when the chemistry between the two stars is clicking like it does here.
71. Cool Hand Luke (1967)
Logline: A lifetime non-conformist chooses his own past while fighting the rural prison system.
Memorable Moments: Luke’s (Paul Newman) fight with Dragline (George Kennedy) is a shining example of what it means to never give up. The hard-boiled egg scene and the legendary line, “What we have here is failure to communicate!” all originated from this Oscar-winning film. Also stars Strother Martin and Dennis Hopper.
Why Guys Dig It: Every man gets tired of the bull. Every man dreams of cutting his own path in life. Luke teaches us the ultimate lesson in existentialism.
70. Seven (1995)
Logline: Two cops hunt a serial killer, who chooses his victims based on the Seven Deadly Sins.
Memorable Moments: The killings, as repugnant as they are, are no match for the slam-bang ending that poses another one of those deep moral questions that challenge what it means to be a man. Kevin Spacey’s performance as the killer is star-making, while Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman elevate one another to legendary status with their work.
Why Guys Dig It: It’s just a suspenseful gem of a movie with a great finish and even better performances.
69. Last of the Mohicans (1992)
Logline: Three Native American trappers guard a British Colonel’s girls during the French and Indian War.
Memorable Moments: Michael Mann’s battle scenes are shot and edited through the eyes of a genius. This is arguably his best movie, and it ends on a somber, exciting, and surprising note of bloodiness and intensity. Wes Studi also turns in a chilling performance as Magua, the lead antagonist.
Why Guys Dig It: Great hand-to-hand combat sequences and a gripping finale make this one of the better historical war films. Just make sure you avoid the boring novel on which it is based!
68. Glory (1989)
Logline: A man fights prejudice from both sides of the Civil War as he leads the first all-black volunteer company into battle against the Confederates.
Memorable Moments: The opening battle scenes are as grotesque and bloody as anything you will see in Saving Private Ryan. The rest of the film settles into a fascinating look at what life was like for black soldiers during the Civil War.
Why Guys Dig It: There is a long debate that rages inside of us. Is it better to die a hero or live a coward? This film addresses it. Also, how can you go wrong with Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington in the same movie?
67. The Crow (1994)
Logline: A murdered musician returns from the grave to avenge the death of his lover.
Memorable Moments: While the film itself has many classic action scenes that include a dark, dirty, and deadly shootout between the hero and a roomful of hoods, the most memorable thing was also the most tragic. While shooting, star Brandon Lee, the son of Bruce Lee, was accidentally killed by a faulty handgun.
Why Guys Dig It: Dark, moody, and horrific, The Crow combines the best elements of horror, action, and revenge drama.
66. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Logline: Seven strangers plan the perfect heist, but when things go haywire, they begin to suspect one of them is a cop.
Memorable Moments: Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen) steals the show as a sick, twisted, and vile criminal with a hatred for cops and a penchant for sadism. He takes his time with a captive police officer, sawing off the young man’s ear with a straight razor to the tune of Stealers Wheel’s “Stuck in the Middle with You,” a scene that results in one of the most glorious movie deaths of all time.
Why Guys Dig It: Madsen, Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi, and the late great Lawrence Tierney in a violent bloodbath of twists, turns, and double crosses, written and directed by Tarantino. ‘Nuff said!
65. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Logline: Eight U.S. soldiers are sent into harm’s way to bring home one man, whose brothers have all perished in World War II.
Memorable Moments: The opening segment is as violent, disgusting and haunting as anything you’ll see, made even more so because it really happened. Spielberg’s use of violence renders the harsh reality of war that so many veterans long to forget. We owe it to them to understand what they went through.
Why Guys Dig It: Most of us share a sense of duty to our country. Answering the moral question that this movie presents is infectious.
64. Iron Man (2008)
Logline: A billionaire weapons manufacturer has a change of heart and develops a new super-suit to stop terrorism and injustice.
Memorable Moments: Robert Downey, Jr. chews the scenery and offers up many comical one-liners. The special effects are fantastic. Iron Man’s suit looks even cooler brought to life than it ever did in the comics. And the relationship between Tony Stark (Downey) and Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) feels warm and authentic.
Why Guys Dig It: A guy owns all kinds of cool stuff, gets any girl he wants without commitment, fights the bad guys in a kickin’ suit, and gets to fly around as a rocket man. Good luck finding a guy who doesn’t like this flick!
63. Kill Bill (2003)
Logline: A female assassin looks to even the score with her lover/boss, who shot her, took her baby, and left her for dead.
Memorable Moments: In Volume 1, it is the fight between The Bride (Uma Thurman) and Vernita Green (Viveca A. Fox). In Volume 2, it is the battle between The Bride and Elle Driver (Daryl Hannah). There is also the glorious anime sequence, and The Bride’s over the top handling of the Crazy 8’s in Volume 1. And the extended wedding sequence in Volume 2.
Why Guys Dig It: Chicks kicking butt. Graphic violence. Homage to the Kung Fu, Exploitation, and Spaghetti Western genres.
62. Leon: The Professional (1994)
Logline: A hit man takes in a 12-year old girl orphaned by a corrupt gang of DEA agents.
Memorable Moments: The slaughter of Matilda’s family sticks with you, as does Natalie Portman’s performance in the heat of the tragedy. Jean Reno plays dangerous killer, reluctant father, and uneducated child with the right amount of vulnerability that you can’t help pulling for the guy, even if he does catch himself in some pretty compromising, but never line crossing, positions with a 12-year old.
Why Guys Dig It: The hard-hitting action scenes. The depth of the characters. The pulse-pounding shootout at the end of the film. And the appeal this film has to our fatherly instincts.
61. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
Logline: Dr. Jones goes after mystical stones and a child slavery ring.
Memorable Moments: The freight car chase sequence and the adventures in eating monkey brains, bugs, baby snakes, and eyeball soup made this one stand out, as did the fire pit and a heart yanked, still beating, from a man’s chest. While the bridge sequence was ripped off from the pirate film Nate and Hayes, it’s pretty exciting, too.
Why Guys Dig It: Are you kidding? Our childhood hero delving into impossibly ridiculous stunts with the beautiful Kate Capshaw and gadget expert Short-Round at his side! How could we not?