Great films I need to see

Growing up, it’d be hard to describe me as a cinephile. I went to the movies regularly – but not frequently, and rarely to see films targeted at adult audiences (as opposed to kids or the mass-market, wide-release movies). Similarly, at home we’d watch movies on TV or VHS (and later DVD) periodically, but not with any regularity. Books, and then computer games, interested me more.

As I got into the later years of high school and then into college, I started making more of an effort to see “art” movies, limited release dramas and foreign films, but again it was something I just sort of did as I went along, rather than something I pursued with any sort of passion.

As a result, when I think back on the movies I’ve seen, there’s all sorts of holes. I’m not talking merely about movies I haven’t seen, but great movies, classics – movies that, by dint of my not seeing them, I’m missing out on a significant part of the cultural zeitgeist. (Though, as you’ll see below, I’m not talking exclusively about the mass, popular cultural zeitgeist.) So I spent some time combing through “best movies of all time” lists to come up with the ones that I feel I should see. I’ve seen 28 of the 100 films on the American Film Institute’s Top 100 Films in 100 Years. I certainly don’t feel under any obligation to see all of them. But I do feel that some of them – and other great films that didn’t make that list – should definitely get crossed off my list in the months and years to come.

My preliminary list:

Hollywood films

Silent-era classics

Foreign Films


“Great” films I haven’t seen and see no need to

I’m sure I’ve left films off both lists – just as I’m sure there’s films I haven’t even heard of that I should absolutely see – but there’s no sense in belaboring this.