Godfather I and II. Ocean's Eleven. Shawshank.
Several years ago, I wrote about these and other movies that I call “Surfer Stoppers” – movies that compel you to stop surfing the television and watch them to the end.
Here are more movies on that list:
-- Goodfellas: “What do you mean funny, funny how? How am I funny?” Joe Pesci and Martin Scorcese in their prime. The third-best mafia movie ever made, behind Godfather I and II.
-- The Sting: Gritty and slick at the same time. Newman and Redford at their best. The twist at the end remains one of the greatest endings in movie history.
-- North by Northwest: Perfectly cast Cary Grant doesn’t know what he’s up against, thanks to director Alfred Hitchcock. Love the late-1950s automobiles, rail cars, clothes and furniture. (In 2006, GQ named the gray suit worn by Grant during the film as the best suit in movie history.)
-- The Apartment: Satire from 1960 about the corporate world and requisite romantic liaisons. Jack Lemmon was on point and Shirley MacLaine even better in portraying innocence and naivete as the mistress of a married executive.
-- Serendipity: Underrated chick flick with an interesting premise and sweet ending. Starring John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale with a solid supporting performance by Jeremy Piven.
-- Blazing Saddles: “Mongo only pawn in game of life.” Mel Brooks’ finest. Saw this on campus in college and several of us literally fell out of our chairs, laughing.
-- Groundhog Day: Sentimental yet not sappy. Bill Murray’s best performance – and yet he made it look easy. Someday, he will win an Oscar.
-- Caddyshack: Best-ever sports comedy. Bill Murray and Rodney Dangerfield in their respective comedic wheelhouses – and that includes plenty of ad-libbing. “So I got that goin’ for me, which is nice.”