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Editor at Large

Meet the Surfer Stoppers: The movies you are compelled to watch on TV

- Last modified: March 21, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Support your local movie theater and patronize your local restaurants, taverns and shops.

But sometimes, you just want to sink into the couch, grab the remote control and enjoy an evening of channel surfing on the TV and all of its offerings.

Typically, it will mean a night of starts and stops as you try to settle on one program or movie that will capture your attention all evening.

Usually, though, you don't settle on just one, instead continuously banging the clicker, from network to network and channel to channel and show to show.

That is, until you meet a "Surfer Stopper" – a movie that compels you to chuck the remote and give full attention to the TV. And it does not matter at what part of the movie you happen upon it – beginning, middle, near the end – you're hooked.

There are lots of these movies out there, and these are not necessarily all-time great movies or Oscar winners. But they grab your attention and never let go.

Herewith, then, is my first installment of "Surfer Stoppers" – the movies that stop our remote in its tracks:

Roadhouse: The late, great Patrick Swayze was a soft-spoken but effective bouncer. "Opinions vary," he says when someone tells him that he doesn't look that tough.

Shawshank Redemption: Tremendous premise for a movie. Love the look on the prison warden when he realizes that Tim Robbins' character has duped him.

Any James Bond movie starring Sean Connery: Goldfinger, of course, is the best.

Godfather I and Godfather II: No explanation necessary.

Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail: Not afraid to admit that the ending of both movies brings tears.

Animal House and Blues Brothers: John Belushi. Enough said.

Ocean's Eleven: This includes both the 2001 remake because of its sophistication and the 1960 original because it stars Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Angie Dickinson and, of course, the suave Cesar Romero.

A Few Good Men: You'll watch all night just to get to the Jack Nicholson-Tom Cruise courtroom showdown.

The Sound of Music: Julie Andrews in her prime.

And, of course, Pulp Fiction: Squarely in the wheelhouse of Quentin Tarantino, John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Ving Rhames and the great Samuel L. Jackson, who delivers this riveting monologue: " And I'm the righteous man. And Mr. 9mm here ... he's the shepherd protecting my righteous [butt] in the valley of darkness. Or it could mean you're the righteous man and I'm the shepherd and it's the world that's evil and selfish. And I'd like that. But that … ain't the truth. The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be the shepherd."

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