I’m not saying best because I’m just a guy who’s seen a couple of films; I don’t qualify as a cinephile or cineaste or whatever.
Favorite Science Fiction Movie: Blade Runner. (1982, dir. Ridley Scott) The problem with sci-fi is the ones that I’ve seen tend to be either/or: either they have good special effects story or they have an interesting concept. This is one of the few that had both and more impressively, it’s pre-CGI.
Runners-Up: 2001, The Terminator. The former is obvious I suppose but the latter may be a surprise. That being said, think about it. The story is simple but it works. The concept isn’t that crazy. The only things that the film suffers from are very dated special effects and bad 80s haircuts. I’m willing to overlook both of that.
Favorite Western Movie: Unforgiven. (1992, dir. Clint Eastwood) Good story, good acting and also, I’ve never seen Shane, The Searchers, How The West Was Won, or High Noon.
Favorite Action Movie: Road Warrior. (1981, dir. George Miller) All three of the Mad Max films are good. I actually like Thunderdome a little bit better but I don’t really think of that as an action film. I may not want Mel Gibson as a neighbor or as an explainer of Scottish or American Revolutionary history but he’s great as a post-apocalyptic anti-hero. Also, as long as there’d be a designated driver, I bet he’d be fun to grab a drink with.
Favorite Historical Movie: The Baader-Meinhof Complex. (2008, dir. Uli Edel) At best, a historical film is often only good at showing historic atmosphere in Technicolor. Usually the history is totally off or it doesn’t even bother trying to be anything than a costume drama to serve as a vehicle for some actor to get an Academy award. This one is different, and it wasn’t made by Ken Burns.
Favorite Ahistorical Movie: Amadeus. (1984, dir. Milos Forman) Nope. Mozart wasn’t indirectly killed by Salieri or buried in a mass grave (the last one makes no sense; he was the most famous musician in Europe!). Nonetheless, this film is very entertaining and has a great soundtrack. I like that one of the guys from Animal House got to play possibly the greatest musical talent in history.
Favorite Gangster Movie: Casino. (1995, dir. Martin Scorsese) No, this is not as good as The Godfather, Goodfellas, Godfather II, or whatever, but I like it better, because a) it moves faster than The Godfather, and b) the story is much more tightly told than Goodfellas. Also, I’m always interested in the intersection between legitimate and illegitimate business (“Behind every great fortune lies a great crime.” Honore de Balzac), which Casino has much more of than the other films.
Favorite Romance: Amélie. (2001, dir. Jean-Pierre Jeunet) I like the main character. I like the story. I like how she turns to water. I like a happy ending. Maybe Jonathan Richman was right when he asserted Paris was made for love.
Favorite Film About Teenagers: Dazed & Confused. (1993, dir. Richard Linklater) Most teenage films are vapid wastes of time. This one I like because all of the characters were to some extent believable. Also, it’s set in the South but there’s very little caricature. And it looks it was shot in the town I was a teenager in.
Honorable Mention: Wargames. (1983, dir. John Badham) my all-time nerdiest moment? I don't know if this qualifies but it's up there. Remember Wargames? I loved that movie as a child. Matthew Broderick's greatest role. Still relevant seeing as nukes are still being pointed at each other. Anyway, one day I watched it and I was totally fascinated by the different strategies listed in this scene: http://youtu.be/NHWjlCaIrQo
I wrote down as many of them as I could read for purposes of further research (which didn't happen, so I guess I never reached my apotheosis of nerdery.) I watched it again and decided some of them wouldn't be bad as a down-tempo or lounge fusion band or something like a cheap Thievery Corporation knock-off.
Possible candidates include:
Far East Strategy
English Thrust (also a possible swash-buckling themed porn title)