Some excellent films and TV series I've appreciated. My wife and I are in some ways unusual as Americans (especially among our peers). One is that we've never owned a TV. Curiously, our daughter majored in Media Studies in college. 

I've read quite a few books on excellent films. When our town still had a Blockbuster store, the clerks there often called me "the guy with the book." (I'd often go there with a thick Richard Maltin book to help me find a movie worth watching.) I was thankful when Netflix emerged as I had a better chance of spending less time looking for a movie to watch (especially on DVD) than actually watching it.

Over the years, I discovered and kept bumping up against Netflix's limit on films in my Queue: 500. ;-)


13 Assassins

13th (excellent documentary, 2016)

1971 (documentary, 2014)

20 Feet From Stardom (2013)


51 Birch St.

9/11 (11 films by different directors, each 9 min., 11 sec. long, about 9/11)

39 Steps, The (directed by Hitchcock, 1935)

’71 (2015)

A Better Tomorrow (John Woo film, 1986)

A Better Tomorrow II (John Woo film)

Ace in the Hole (1951)

A Chef In Love

Accountant, The (2016)

Adam’s Rib

A Face In The Crowd

Afghan Star

African Queen

After Hours (comedy by Martin Scorsese)

A Hijacking (Danish, 2012)

All About Eve

All The King’s Men (1949)

All the President's Men

All The Real Girls

Almost Famous

A Man Escaped

Amazing Grace (with Aretha Franklin, 2018)


Amen. (2002)

American Graffiti

American Splendor (R for language)

American Sniper (2014)

Americans, The (TV series)

A Most Violent Year (2014)

Angel Face (1952)

An Honest Liar (documentary 2014)

A Night at the Opera

Anthropoid (2016)

An Unlikely Weapon: The Eddie Adams Story

Animal Kingdom

Annie Hall

Anthony Zimmer



Army of Crime

Army of Shadows

Armour of God II: Operation Condor (w/ Jackie Chan)

A Prophet (2009)

A Royal Affair (Danish, 2012)

A Separation

Assassination Tango

A Simple Plan

A Streetcar Called Desire

A Touch Of Sin (Chinese, 2013)

Audrie & Daisy

Au Revoir L'Enfants

A Woman in Berlin

Awful Truth, The

Babette's Feast

Baby Driver (2017)

Bambi Meets Godzilla

Bandits (note all the stars in it, 2001)

Barney’s Version (stunning, award-winning acting by Paul Giamatti; beware: language)

Battle for Haditha (2007)

Battle of Algiers, The 

Beasts of No Nation (2015)

Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (beware: it earned its R rating; very powerful)

Behind Enemy Lines

Being John Malkovich

Belle (2014)

Bend It Like Beckam

Best in Show

Best Offer, The (2013)

Best of Youth, The - excellent Italian mini-series movie (6 hrs.)

Best Years of Our Lives

Bethlehem (Israeli?, 2013)

Better Off Dead (very funny comedy)

Beyond Silence

Bicycle Thief, The

Big Heat, The (1953)

Birdman (quite bad language, 2014)

Blackhat (2015)

Blacklist, The (series, 2013)

Black Sea (2015)

Black Mirror (2011 - )

Blazing Saddles

Bletchley Circle, The (3 part series, 2012)

Blood (2012)

Blood Simple (1st film by the Coen brothers, including Frances McDormand in her 1st film with them)

Blood and Wine (1996, for the acting)

Blue Thunder  (for helicopter dog fight in city streets only)

Blue, White, and Red  (trilogy by Kieslowski (“White” is best, I think)

Bon Voyage (French, 2004)

Boot, Das (a.k.a. “The Boat”), director's cut is best, but 4 hrs. or so

Bosch (TV series)

Bourne Identity, The (2002)

Bourne Legacy, The

Bourne Supremacy, The

Bourne Ultimatum, The


Brazil  (one of the funniest comedies I've ever seen, watch for details)

Breach (one of the best films I've ever seen)

Brighton Rock (2010)

Bringing Up Baby  (crewball comedy at its best)

Broadcast News

Bronx Tale, A

Brothers (Danish film)

Bullitt (only for the car chase in San Francisco hills)

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Calvary (2014)

Candidate, The (w/ Robert Redford)

Captive, The (2014)


Cartel Land (2012)


Casino Royale (2006 version only with Daniel Craig!)

Cat Ballou (very funny Western, listed by AFI in top 10 Westerns ever)

Central Park Five, The (documentary from Ken Burns, 2012)

Central Station

Charlie Chaplin films (nearly anything by him)

Chasing Ice (excellent doc, 2012)

Children of Men (2006)

Children of Heaven (Iranian film)


Chop Shop

Cinema Paradiso (Italian, original, not new director's cut)

Cirque de Soleil: Dralion (best of all of theirs I've seen so far, simply amazing)


Citizen Kane

City Island

City Lights (by Charlie Chaplin, 1931)

City of Life and Death (you’ll need a strong stomach to watch this strong film...)

Civil War series (by Ken Burns for PBS)

Client 9: the Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer

Closed Circuit (2013)


Cold Mountain

Cold Souls

Comet (2014)

Commitment (2013)

Commitments, The (1991) lots of humor, but more cursing than almost any movie I’ve ever seen) :-(

Company You Keep, The (2012)

Constant Gardener, The

Control Room

Conversation, The (w/ Gene Hackman)

Counterfeiters, The


Crimes and Misdemeanors

Criss Cross (1949)

Cuckoo, The (Finnish)

Dancer Upstairs, The

Dangal (2016)

Dark Angel (series with Jessica Alba, very early in her career)

Day After Trinity, The

Day of the Condor

Day of the Jackal (original version only!)

Days of Glory

Day the Earth Stood Still, The (the original, classic, 1951)

Dear White People (incl. very funny extras on DVD)

Debt, The (2007, original from Israel)

Debt, The (remake, 2010)

Decalogue (ten 1 hr. films by Kieslowski, loosely based on the 10


Deceptive Practice


Defiant Ones, The

Denial (2016)

Descendants, The

Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame

Disorder (French, 2015)

Film Noir Collection: Detour (1945)

Dirty Dozen, The

Dirty Wars (2013)

Divided We Fall

Diving Bell and the Butterfly, The (very gripping, moving)

Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey (one of the best docs I’ve ever seen)

Double Indemnity

Downfall (one of the most powerful films I’ve ever seen)

Dr. Strangelove

Dr. Zhivago

Drop, The (2014)

Drug War (Du zhan," 2012)

Drunken Master (w/ Jackie Chan, 1974)

Drunken Master II (w/ Jackie Chan, probably his best film ever)

Eagle Eye (2008)

East, The (2013)

Earth Girls Are Easy (a number of stars got their start in this film)

Edge of Tomorrow a.k.a. Elevator to the Gallows

Elizabeth (1998)

Elite Squad (Brazil, 2007)

Escape From New York (1981)

Everlasting Moments

Evil (Swedish, 2003)

Ex Machina (2015)

Fall, The (superb, done without CGI in about 28 countries over several years, 2006)

Fall, The (British TV series, 2013)

Fahrenheit 491

Farewell (2009)

Far North (2007)

Fauda  (excellent Israeli TV series)

Fellowship of the Rings (part 1 of Lord of the Rings)


50 Dead Men Walking

Firefly (TV series, led to movie “Serenity”)

Firestorm (2013)

Five Came Back (3 part documentary series, U.S. directors film while in WWII)

Flame and Citron (Danish, 2008)

Fog of War, The

Footloose (just for the music)

Force Majeure

For My Father (2008)

Fort Bliss

Fosse/Verdon (TV mini-series with 8 parts, Michelle Williams earned an Emmy)

Four Little Girls

Free State of Jones

French Connection (for the chase scene in subway)


Fresh (lots of bad language, but an award-winning film, watch with subtitles)

From Here to Eternity

Frontera (2014)

Frozen River

Fruitvale Station

Fugitive, The

Gangster’s Paradise: Jerusalema

Garbo the Spy (2009)

Garry Winogrand: All Things Are Photographable


General, The (w/ Buster Keaton)

Generation War (TV series from German, excellent, very powerful, 2013)

George Lucas In Love

Ghost World

Gilda (a classic, 1946)

Girl In A Café, The

Girl on the Bridge, The

Girl With A Pearl Earring

Godfather I and II

Gods Must Be Crazy, The

Gomorrah (Italian TV series, 2014 - ?)

Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, The

Gosford Park

Graceland (TV series, 3 seasons)

Graduate, The

Gravity (see only in in 3D in a theater, not on DVD!, 2013)

Great Escape, The

Grosse Pointe Blank

Hacksaw Ridge

Hamlet (4 hr. version)

Hang 'Em High

Hanna (movie, 2011)

Hanna (TV series based on movie)

Hard Boiled (directed by John Woo)

Hard Day's Night, A (w/ the Beatles)

Hard Eight

Heart Machine, The (2014)

Heat (note: very graphic violence, but very gripping film)

Hell or High Water

Help! (w/ the Beatles)

Hero (the Chinese film, not the Dustin Hoffman one, which was merely o.k.)

Heroes of Telemark, The

Hidden Figures

Hidden Fortress, The (directed by Kurosawa, basis of "Star Wars")

High and Low (directed by Kurosawa, 1963)

High Fidelity

High Noon

Hitchcock films (nearly anything by him)

Holes (very funny, very clean, lots of extras on the DVD)

Home of the Brave (2006)

Homefront (2013)

Honorable Woman, The (2014)

Hope and Glory

Horsemen on the Roof

Hostage (2005)

Hotel Rwanda

Hour, The (excellent BBC mini-series, 2011)

House of Cards (U.S. TV series on Netflix only)

House of Sand and Fog

Hugo (2011)

Human Condition, The  (Japanese classic from 1959, about 9 hours long(!)

Hundred-Foot Journey, The

Hunger Games, The

Hunt, The (Danish, 2012)

Hustler, The

I Am A Fugitive From A Chain Gang (1932)

I Am Not Your Negro

Illusionist, The

Il Postino ("The Postman," Italian)

Imitation Game, The (2014)

Impossible, The (very intense!)

Imposters, The (very, very funny, 1998)

In A Better World

In A Lonely Place In America

In Bruges (very bad language, but it’s really worth watching, incl. the canal extra)



Inequality For All (2013)

Infernal Affairs

Inside Man

Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz, The


In the Heat of the Night

Intouchables, The (quite funny, 2011)

Ip Man 2

The Invention of Lying

Invisible War, The

I.O.U.S.A. (documentary, a real horror story about the U.S.’ national debt and how    we got it)

Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers (documentary)

It Happened One Night

James Bond movies (the early ones, especially, w/ Sean Connery, not the original Casino Royale!)

Jason Bourne

Jean de Florette/Manon of the Spring (two linked movies)

Jezebel (1938)

JFK (special edition, longer than theatrical version)

Johnny Stecchino (very funny Italian comedy)

Ju Dou

Justified (TV series)

Just Visiting (extremely funny!)

Kagemusha (directed by Kurosawa, 1980)

Ken Burns: The Vietnam War (2017)

Key Largo

Kidnapped (TV series)

Killing, The (early Kubrick)

Killing Fields, The

Kind Hearts and Coronets (Alec Guiness playing 8 different parts!)

King of Masks, The (Chinese)

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Kiss of Death (1947)

Kokora (2009)

L.A. Story

Labor Day

Ladron Que Roba a Ladron (2007, mostly Spanish caper/comedy)

Lady from Shanghai

Lady Vanishes

Lantana, The

Last Days, The (1998 documentary about Jews who survived the Holocaust)

Last Days In Vietnam (2014)

Last Waltz, The (classic concert footage, shot from a storyboard in live settting(!)

Last Emperor, The

Last of the Mohicans

Layer Cake (if you can get past the bad language; plus having the English subtitles on can help!)

Le Cercle Rouge

Le Doulos

La La Land (2016)

Le Miserables (French, starring Jean Paul Belmondo in 3 different roles, directed  by C.LeLouche, a superb movie, 1995)

Le Samourai

Last Sentence, The (Swedish, 2012)

Le Trou (1960)

Let The Fire Burn (2013)

Letters from Iwo Jima

Life, Above All

Lifeboat Lifeline (short film, 2016)

Lincoln Lawyer, The

Live Die Repeat (a.k.a. “Edge of Tomorrow," 2014)

Live Free or Die Hard (for the dialogue and stunts)

Lives of Others, The

Little Big Man

Locke (2014)

Lone Survivor (2013)

Longest Day, The

Look Both Ways

Lookout, The

Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

Los Angeles Plays Itself

Lost in Translation

Lovely and Amazing

Luther (very intense BBC detective series, starring Idris Elba)

M (w / Peter Lorre, directed by Fritz Lang)

Mad Max

Magnificent Seven, The

Malena (2000)

Maltese Falcon, The

Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom

Making A Murderer (TV series, 1st season)

Man From Nowhere, The (2010)

Man From Reno (2014)

Man In The High Castle, The  (1st season, series from Amazon)

Man Push Cart

Man Who Knew Too Much

Man Who Wasn't There

Man Who Would Be King, The (very cross-cultural!)

Manchurian Candidate, The (original from the '60s)

March of the Penguins

Margin Call (beware: some very bad language)

Marseille (TV series, 1st season, 2016)

Marvel’s Jessica Jones (TV series)

Marvel’s Luke Cage (TV series)



Maxed Out

Max Manus

Medium Cool

'Meet The Patels (documentary, 2014)


Men In Black

Memory of a Killer (Belgian made, in Flemish)

Men With Guns (and nearly every other film directed by John Sayles :-)

Miami Vice

Michael Clayton

Middle of Nowhere (2012)

Mill and the Cross, The


Miller's Crossing

Miracle of Morgan's Creek (be sure to watch the extras on DVD to understand its importance)

Missing (from the director of “Z”)

Modern Times

Monsieur Hire

Monsters (2010)

Monterey Pop

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Moon (2009)

More The Merrier, The (excellent ’40’s screwball romantic comedy)

Most Dangerous Man in America, The (one of best documentaries I’ve ever seen)

Most Hated Woman in America, The (documentary, 2017)

Mother (Korean)

Mother and Child (2009)

Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project (documentary, 2007)

Mud (2012)


Music Man, The

My Best Friend (2007)

My Fair Lady

My Man Godfrey

Mystery Science Theater 3000 ("MST3K" series, especially "Gunslinger")

Narco Cultura (documentary)

Narcos (series from Netflix, started 2015)

nearly anything w/ Buster Keaton

Nebraska (very sly, dark humor)

Never Look Away (German)

New World, The (very good on cross-cultural issues, see "making of..." extra)

Next Stop Wonderland (1998)

Night Crossing

Night Moves

Nine Queens (excellent Argentinian mystery, superior to David Mamet's "House of Games")

Nine Lives (each segment filmed all in one take, no editing)

Nobel (Norwegian TV series, 1 season, 2016)

No End In Sight

No Man's Land

North by Northwest

Notorious (directed by Hitchcock)

Nowhere in Africa (cross-cultural!)

O.J.: Made In America (series from ESPN)

Omar (2013)

Once Once Upon A Time in America (excellent, but it really earned its R rating)

Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored

Once Were Warriors  (beware: extreme violence, esp. domestic violence, and language)

On the Basis of Sex (re. Ruth Bader Ginsburg)

Open Your Eyes (Spanish film from which the "Vanilla Sky" was remade; beware sexual content)

Oranges and Sunshine

Orphan Black (British TV series, one actress playing many roles)


Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism (documentary)

Outlaw Josey Wales, The (1976)

Outside the Law (2010)


Overlord (1975)

Pablo Escobar, el patron del mal (TV series from S. American makers with many episodes, 2012)

Painted Veil, The (2006)

Panic (w/ William Macy, many other stars)

Panic in the Streets (1950)

Paradise Now

Parallax View, The

Paranoia (2013)

Paris Je T’aime

Passenger, The (with Jack Nicholson, directed by Antonioni, 1975)

Paths of Glory (one of the most powerful films I've ever seen)

Patriots Day (2016)


Pianist, The

ickup On South Street

Pink Panther series (all, but the last one they cobbled together after Sellers died (!)

Pitch Perfect (for the music and dancing)

Planet Earth (BBC series, only get version with David Attenborough narrating; the best filming of nature I've ever seen)

Play It Again, Sam

Point Blank (2010)

Police Squad (TV series that was the basis for the “Naked Gun” movies)

Poverty, Inc. (documentary, 2014)

Premium Rush

Prestige, The

Prime Suspect (British TV series starring Helen Mirren)

Prisoner, the (British TV series from the '60s, way ahead of its time for filming)

Prisoners of War (Israeli TV series, 2 seasons, 2009)

Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio

Producers, The (original only!)

Professional, The

Professionals, The (1966)

Prohibition (documentary series by Ken Burns)

Purple Rose of Cairo, The

Queen of the South, The  (TV series)

Quiet American, The

Rabbit-Proof Fence

Rage (2009)

Raise the Red Lantern

Ran (directed by Kurosawa, 1985)

Rashomon (directed by Kurosawa, 1950)

Rat Race

Read My Lips

Rear Window

Rectify (TV series. 2013)

Red Cliff (by John Woo with 100,000 extras, “International” version with subtitles only, 6 hrs. long?, not dubbed, when filmed was the most expensive Chinese movie)

Redemption (2013)

Red Riding trilogy (very well done set of 3 made-for-TV BBC movies, but also very brutal and depressing)

Remember (2015)

Restrepo (one of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen)

Return of the Secaucus 7 (from John Sayles)

Richard III (set in England in the '30's)

Riverdance (I've only seen the first one, but am told the 2nd version of this is even better w/o Michael Flatley)

Road Games (French, 2016)

Robber, The (2010)

Robin Hood (1991 version with Uma Thurman, not with Kevin Costner)

Rogue One (2016)

Rolling Thunder Revue

Rome Open City (only the Criterion-restored version, though!)

Rumble in the Bronx (w/ Jackie Chan, just for the stunts, filmed in Canada)

Run Lola Run

Saboteur (by Hitchcock)

Saints and Soldiers (2003)

Salaam Bombay

Salesman, The (Iranian, 2016)

Santana: Supernatural Live (some great music in a concert film)

Scandal (U.S. TV series)

Scarface (original version)

Schindler's List

Sea of Love


Secret In Their Eyes, The (excellent, but note bad language, very brief nudity)

Secret Lives of Dentists, The

Selma (2014)



Serpico (superb acting by Al Pacino, but lots of bad language)

Seven Chances (with Buster Keaton. 1925)

Seven Samurai (directed by Kurosawa, 1954)

Seventy Five, The (documentary, 2014)

Shadow Dancer (2012)

Shaft (original only, for the music and dialog)

Shakespeare in Love

Shall We Dance? (Japanese, 1996, not the American remake with Richard Gere!)

Shock and Awe (documentary)

Short Term

Siege, The  (very timely)

Silent Running

Silver LInings Playbook

Simpsons Movie, The

Sng Street (2016)

Sin Nombre


Sleepless Night (2011)


Small Change (by Francois Truffaut)

Snowden (2016)

Social Network, The

Some Like It Hot

Sometimes in April (one of the most powerful films I've ever seen)

Sophie Scholl: The Final Days

Sorcerer (actually the faded name painted on a truck, no CGI action film)

Source Code

Spanish Prisoner, The

Spiral (French TV series)

Square, The (2008, Australian)



Standing in the Shadows of Motown (documentary, superb music)

State and Main

State of Play (BBC 6 hr. mini-series. Superbly done TV)

Station Agent, The

Step Up 3 (it’s in 3D, but I saw it in 2D on Netflix) 


Stormy Monday

Stranger Than Fiction

Strictly Ballroom

Sullivan's Travels

Sunset Boulevard

Super Cop (w/ Jackie Chan, for the stunts)

Super-Size Me (documentary)

Suspect, The (2013)

Suspicion (1941)

Sweet Hereafter, The

Sweet Smell of Success, The (1957)

Swept From The Sea (1997)

Swing Time

Taal (some of the best Bollywood, especially the music)

Take Shelter (2011)

Taking of Pelham One Two Three, The (original, not remake, 1974)

Tales By Light (excellent documentary series about photographers)

Taxi To The Dark Side (2007)

Ten Little Indians

Terribly Happy (Danish film)

(T)error (documentary, 2015)

Terrorist, The (top award-winning Indian film)

The Beatles: Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years

Theory of Everything, The (2014)

Thin Blue Line, The (one of the most powerful documentaries I’ve ever seen)

Thin Man, The (1949)

Third Man, The

Thirteen Conversations About One Thing

Thomas Crowne Affair, The (original version only!)

Three Ages, The (w/ Buster Keaton)

Three Musketeers, The (only the version w/ Raquel Welch, Faye Dunaway)

Throne of Blood (directed by Kurosawa, 1957)

Through A Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People (documentary)

THX 1138 (George Lucas's first film)

Timbuktu (2015)

To Have and Have Not

Tokyo Story (1953)

To Sir With Love


Top Secret!


Torchwood: Children of the Earth (BBC mini-series)

To The Wonder (2012)

Touching the Void

Town, The (language, violence - but very good film)

Tracks (2014)

Traffik (British original,1989, later remade in U.S.)

Transporter, The (great stunts done by the lead guy!)

Treasure of Sierra Madre

Tree of LIfe, The  (I found it very valuable to watch with closed captioning on! )

Trials of Muhammad Ali, The (documentary, 2013)

Triumph of the Will (possibly the strongest propaganda film ever made; by the Hitler's photographer, Leni Riefenstahl)

Trouble in Paradise (a classic, 1932)

Troubled Water (Norwegian, 2008)

Trust (2010, with Clive Owen)


Tunnel, The, (one of the most gripping films I’ve ever seen, 2001)

Tunnel, The  (TV series, 2013, two seasons?)

Tuskegee Airmen

Two Women (Iranian film)

UHF (w/ Weird Al Yankovic, esp. on DVD with lots of extras)

Under Fire (with Nick Nolte, 1983)

Undivided (documentary)

United 93


Usual Suspects, The


Vanya on 42nd Street



Vice  (about Vice President Dick Cheny)

Victory at Sea (whole series)

Vikings (TV series)

W.C. Fields (nearly anything he was in)

Wages of Fear, The

Walkabout (Australian)


Wallendar (Swedish series, 2005-2012, the version starring Krister Henriksson)

Walmart: The High Cost of Low Prices (documentary)


Wartime in Winter

War Witch (2012)

Way Back, The

West Side Story

We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks (documenary)

Westworld  (TV series, 1st season, 2016)

Whale Rider

What Happened, Miss Simone? (documentary, 2015)

What’s Cooking (4 families’ Thanksgiving, very cross-cultural)

When the Levees Broke  (documentary)

Whiplash (bad language, 2014)

Whistleblower, The (2010)

White Heat

White Helmets (documentary)

Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger (excellent documentary)

Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Why We Fight (documentary, 2005)

Wild Tales (2014, Argentinian)

Wings of Desire

Winged Migration (excellent nature documentary)

Winter’s Bone (I’d advise turning on captioning to follow the dialogue)

Witness, The (documentary, 2015)

Witness (1985)

Woman in the Window, The (1944)

Woodstock (music documentary)

Woody Allen: A Documentary

Wrecking Crew, The (documentary, 2015)

Wrong Man, The (1956)

Yard, The (2000)


You Kill Me

Z (1969, a classic)

Z for Zachariah