30 Movies Every Man Must See

30 Movies Every Gentleman Must See

Hollywood has long been a staple in our homes and on the big screen with thousands of films in various genres. They excite us, torment us, thrill us and relax us. Most people love films for one reason or another and they serve as one of the most popular forms of entertainment the world over.
Therefore, it’s only natural that we come up with our own list of the top 30 Movies Every Gentleman Must See. Focusing on films that matter to men, this is my personal list of some of my favorite films and your’s might look different. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Also, take a look at my list of 30 books you should read.

The Godfather

The quintessential gangster flick, this movie has become the encyclopedia of how to be a man. The Godfather is the I-ching. The sum of all wisdom. It is, in effect, a movie that teaches men how to be men. The way Ferris Bueller taught you how to skip school, the Godfather gives you the answer to any questions. What should I take on vacation? “Leave the gun, take the cannoli”. If you haven’t seen it, watch it.

The Shawshank Redemption

Brilliant and well acted, this film focuses on a prominent banker who becomes unjustly convicted of murder and spends many years in the Shawshank prison. The movie focuses on the frightening realities of prison life and offers some unique twists and turns that makes this movie an edge of your seat, nail biting experience. It doesn’t hurt that it stars an all-star cast including Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins at the helm. Watch it here.

American Psycho

This movie has long held a spot in my top five favorite films of all time. Christian Bale stars as in this elegant thriller as a young, wealthy investment bank executive who feverishly works to hide his psychopathic alter-ego from his colleagues and friends as he escalates deeper into his deeply psychotic behavior. Check it out here.

Citizen Kane

Often cited as the greatest movie ever made, Citizen Kane is also one of my favorite films of all time. This classic from 1941 stars Orson Welles and Joseph Cotten in a realistic portrayal of the news reporters of the forties who scramble to unearth the meaning behind the final words of a publishing tycoon. It is one of the most brilliant and well produced films ever made and absolutely deserves a spot on your DVD rack. Don’t miss out and watch it here.

Raging Bull

When you pair Martin Scorsese and Robert Di Niro together you get results that are worthy of awards. Raging Bull follows the life of an emotionally self-destructive boxer as his violence and temper take him to the top in the ring but destroy his life outside it. A must watch! Get it here.


A Hitchcock classic, this horror film focuses on the life of a young secretary who steals $40,000 from the client of her employer. As she runs from the law, she checks into a remote motel run by a psychotic young man under the domination of his mother. It defines the word “creepy” and stars Anthony Perkins in what can only be described as an eerily poignant performance that’s so realistic it will disturb you to your core. See it here.


1958 was a good year for Alfred Hitchcock and actor James Stewart who starred in this portrayal of a retired San Francisco detective suffering from acrophobia. As he investigates the unusual activities of an old friend’s wife, he becomes more and more obsessed with her. Watch it here.

The Silence of the Lambs

Starring Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter and Jodie Foster as Agent Clarice Starling, this disturbingly chilling film focuses on the life of a young FBI cadet who is tasked with interviewing a manipulative and brilliant psychopath in an effort to catch another serial killer who skins his victims. Foster’s portrayal of Starling is incredible but it’s Hopkins who shines as the sinister Dr. Lecter giving you chills throughout this remarkably well acted film. If you haven’t seen it, watch it here.


Al Pacino has a way of starring as a brutal gangster that makes you wonder whether he was one in a past life. The year is 1980 and Pacino stars as a young, greedy immigrant from Cuba who, over the course of many years, becomes one of the most feared drug cartel leaders in Miami. Get a copy here.

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

Arguably, the best film in the franchise, this particular installation focuses on the young Indiana Jones who is hired by the US government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis have a chance to get their hands on it. An edge of your seat adventure, the film catapulted the franchise into popularity leading to Disney theme park rides and shows, an entire series of film and is today, one of the most popular and well received film series ever made. Check it out here.


Anyone who says Sylvester Stallone is a B-list actor obviously hasn’t seen Rocky. In the first of this series, Stallone portrays Rocky Balboa, a small-time boxer who is given the rare opportunity to fight the heavy-weight champion, Apollo Creed. Knowing his is the underdog, Rocky goes the distance in his gritty film that shows one mans desire for respect. If you want to watch it, check it here.


In this Steven Spielberg classic, a small island community is ravaged by a menacing great white shark. Roy Schneider, Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss star in this nail biting thriller focusing on a police chief, a marine scientist and rough-and-tumble fisherman who set out to hunt the shark and save the lives of the the people in this small summer town. A classic you need to see, watch it here.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

A Clint Eastwood classic, the film portrays two men in an uncomfortable alliance against a competitor in a race to find gold that’s buried in a remote cemetery. The ultimate “guy’s guy” movie, it has gone down as a classic that every man needs to watch. Check here to watch now.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Paul Newman and Robert Redford are two Hollywood legends that, when paired together create something sublimely perfect. This film focuses on two Western bank/train robbers who flee to Bolivia when the law gets too close. If you have not seen it, watch it here.


Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta and Joe Pesci star as three friends working through the hierarchy of the Italian Mafia in an attempt to get to the top. In one of my favorite mobster movies, it focuses on a small-time gangster named Henry Hill who takes part in a robbery with Jimmy Conway and Tommy De Vito who kill off everyone else involved in the crime. As they begin to climb the ladder of the mob, Henry must make the decision whether to help arrange the downfall of Jimmy and Tommy, or whether to keep quiet and stay safe. Note the lawyer at the end is Ed Hayes. If you want to see it, watch it here.

The Exorcist

My favorite horror movie of all time, and often called the scariest movie ever made, The Exorcist is the story of a mother who seeks the help of two priests in an effort to rid her young daughter who is seemingly possessed by the devil. It’s well acted, creepy beyond comprehension and is sure to be a go-to every Halloween as it is in my home. Get it here.

Pulp Fiction

The Quentin Tarantino classic, this film stars John Travolta, Uma Thurman and Samuel L Jackson. The film focuses on the lives of two mob hit men, a boxer, a gangster’s wife and a pair of diner bandits whose lives intertwine in four separate stories about violence and redemption. Don’t let it pass and watch it here.

Taxi Driver

Another Robert Di Niro and Martin Scorsese partnership, this is the story of a mentally unstable veteran who makes his living as a taxi driver in the heart of New York City. As he witnesses the sleaze of the city at night, it fuels his desire for violent action in a deranged attempt to save a preadolescent prostitute he feels responsible for. Check it out here.

North by Northwest

Cary Grant shines as a hapless advertising executive who is tirelessly pursued across the country by foreign spies who mistake him for a government agent. Check here to watch the film.


Star Wars Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back

There’s a reason that the Star Wars treasury is so popular and films like The Empire Strikes Back are ones that make it deserving of your praise. My favorite Star Wars film, this entity focuses on Luke Skywalker as he advances in his Jedi training with Master Yoda as his friends are pursued by Darth Vader after the rebels have been brutally overpowered by the Empire on their newly established base. This film is probably the most famous of all the Star Wars films and really documents everything that is favorable in the series. If you haven’t yet seen the Star Wars movies this is a great one to start with, despite it not being the first. Don’t wait and watch it here.

The Shining

Stanley Kubrick takes this Stephen King classic to new heights of creepiness as a family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter. The hotel has an evil and spiritual presence that influences violence in the father as his psychic son sees horrific visions from the past and into the future. It is bar-none, one of the greatest horror movies ever made and certainly worthy of your praise. You can watch it now, check this.

Full Metal Jacket

Another Stanley Kubrick masterpiece, there aren’t many films that start off so brutally heated. The film follows the bootcamp training and career of a young, pragmatic Marine who observes the dehumanizing effect of the Vietnam War. Have you seen it? Check it here.

Die Hard

No list of movies for men is complete without the addition of the first Die Hard movie. A Christmas classic for the guy’s guy, the film follows the very unlucky NYPD officer John McClane, who tries to save his wife and her colleagues who have been taken hostage by terrorists during their work Christmas party in Los Angeles. If you want to watch it, grab a copy here.


Wall Street

Another of my top five favorite movies of all time, this film follows the life of a young and impatient stock broker willing to do anything for wealth. When he is given the account of a ruthlessly greedy baron, he begins illegal trading under the arm of the corporate raider who takes the young broker under his wing. Watch it here.

12 Angry Men

Starring Henry Fonda, this classic courtroom drama focuses on a challenging juror who slowly convinces the others that the murder case isn’t as clear as it seems. Brilliantly acted and well produced, this film should be one that you see. Check it out here.

Dirty Harry

One of my favorite cop movies ever made, Clint Eastwood portrays the gritty San Francisco cop Harry Callahan who is tracking a crazed psychopath called ‘the Scorpio Killer’ through the city as he kills citizen after citizen in a game of cat and mouse with the men in blue responsible for protecting them. If you want a copy, get it here.

Dr. No

Arguably the best James Bond movie ever made, Dr. No follows Sean Connery as he plays 007 in an attempt to find answers on a missing colleague’s disappearance and the disruption of the American space program. If you’re going to watch one Bond movie, I urge you to make it this one. There is a reason it’s made this list of the top thirty movies of all time. No need to look further, you can watch it here.


Steve McQueen, one of the greatest action stars to grace the screen, plays an all-guts, no glory San Francisco cop hellbent on finding the kingpin that killed the witness under his protection. The is the quintessential action movie. Watch it. You can get a copy here.


Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds and Ned Beatty star as three friends intent on paddling the Cahulawassee River before it’s turned into a manmade lake. Outdoorsman Lewis Medlock takes his friends on what is supposed to be a river-rafting trip of a lifetime but turns into a dangerous game of cat and mouse with inbred hillbillies in the deep American backcountry. If you want a copy, get it here.

The Godfather Part II

Most sequels don’t compare to their originals but many critics agree The Godfather Part II even out-shined the first. Al Pacino, Robert Di Niro and Robert Duvall star in this 1920s story of mob boss Vito Corleone as his son Michael tightens the family’s grip on the mob scene from Lake Tahoe to pre-revolution Cuba. If you want to see this movie, get it here.


I hope you’ve enjoyed our list of the top films ever made. Of course, what makes a movie great isn’t something that we don’t all agree on and therefore this list isn’t intended as the end-all and be-all guide to great cinematography. Instead, we hope it helps introduce you to some films you perhaps haven’t seen. We’ve covered a wide range of genres from action to horror and we hope you find at least one or two that you’ll enjoy as much as I did.

30 Movies Every Gentleman Must See
Article Name
30 Movies Every Gentleman Must See
List of Top 30 movies Ever Made for Men including classics like The Godfather, Wall Street & Pulp Fiction! Take a look, and get the full picture
83 replies
      • Edgard Lefret says:

        But how would you distinguish between rank 97 and rank 29? I can’t, unlike rotten tomato. Although I would never argue on most of the movies on that list being a great one, I find it’s a very hard risky task, and an impossible concesus(even if I feel the aim was to get into some sort of blockbuster/classic concensus), to come to a list of movies, especially without clear criteria’s but an absolute all-timer for proper gentlemen. So many big names are missing too… Charlie Chaplin, Cohen bro, Jim Jarmush, Woody Allen, Terrence Malick, David Lynch, let alone all European and Asian movie maker.

        I believe gentlemen can and should excel in many respects of life, and must put priorities and quantify preferences in these matters. But when it comes to sheer emotion, one cannot quantify and decide what’s ultimately best. If not for you, certainly never for others.

  1. Michaël Hanna says:

    Instead of Scarface, I would opt for a ww2 movie such as Das Boot, The Longest Day or a Bridge too Far. Moreover I would include The Public Enemy (1931) for its cultural impact. But a nice list anyways.

    • Gregory Barros says:

      “Scarface” (Original), “The Public Enemy,” “Das Boot,” “The Longest Day,” “A Bridge Too Far” are on my long list.

    • Lesley says:

      Another vote for Das Boot.

      I’d also have gone for Heat and Death Race 2000. Heat inspired many shows, series, films and videogames. Those quotes turn up everywhere there is a robbery.

      Almost forgot Pups, also a solid watch.

  2. Rune says:

    It seems that you like good gangster-movies? 🙂
    If you haven’t already, then you should check out Public Enemies starring Johnny Depp as John Dillinger.

    I think that you have made a great list! But I would like to see some ww2 onit somewhere 😉
    Maybe Saving Private Ryan could be squeezed in somewhere?

    • Gregory Barros says:

      While I haven’t seen “Public Enemies,” “Dillinger” featuring Warren Oates is on my long list, as are: “Public Enemy” with James Cagney, “Scarface” (original), “Babyface Nelson” with Mickey Rooney, “Capone” with Rod Steiger, “Lepke” with Tony Curtis and “Murder Incorporated” with Peter Falk and Stuart Whitman.

  3. Ross Campbell says:

    Very good and varied list, wouldn’t argue with many other than Star Wars, never understood the appeal even when younger. Swap that for The Great Beauty and try and squeeze in Midnight Run and we’re in business!

  4. Mark Knox says:

    i tend to agree on Apocalypse Now and might have included The Deer Hunter but good solid list, man. Enjoyed revisiting some of these and found two I still need to see!

  5. Allen says:

    Surprised you left out titles like Casablanca, Gone With The Wind, and The Day of the Jackal (1973). Bond film-wise, I’d probably have gone with Goldfinger if I could have only one, but Dr. No was the one that started it all. There are a number of excellent war films, as previously mentioned, Das Boot, The Longest Day and a Bridge too Far. I’d add Battle of Britain, Saving Private Ryan and the recent release, Fury.And then or course,

    I also found it interesting you did not include one of the Gatsby films, since that title leads you book list, but then 30 is such a limiting number… 😉

    • rbcasson says:

      Casablanca is it. Ingrid Bergman and the clothes she wears are what every man wants a woman to look like.

    • Gregory Barros says:

      “Gone With The Wind,” “Casablanca,” “Day Of The Jackal” (Original), “Das Boot,” “The Longest Day,” “The Battle Of Britain,” “A Bridge Too Far,” “Saving Private Ryan” and “Sink The Bismarck” are nmy long list.

  6. Mark Beeghley says:

    No John Wayne? My favorite is Quiet Man. I agree with the comment of over emphasis on gangster movies. But, your list has no bad movies.

  7. Mark Beeghley says:

    No John Wayne? My favorite is Quiet Man. I agree that you over emphasize gangster movies. But, your list has no bad movies.

    • Gregory Barros says:

      “The Quiet Man” is on my long list as are: “Red River,” The Searchers,” “The Horse Soldiers,” “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence,” “The Cowboys” and “The Train Robbers.”

  8. Bob Strippy says:

    I certainly can’t quarrel with any list that includes Citizen Kane, The Godfather, and Star Wars. I only wish you had included The Fountainhead, which explains what’s wrong with the modern world, and In Harm’s Way and Tora Tora Tora, two of the greatest war movies ever. But your list is an excellent starting point.

    • Joe says:

      “The Fountainhead” is very stylized, not at all natural. People just don’t have the conversations with the frank, unvarnished candidness that some of the dialog showed here. It’s very hard to listen to people speak those lines because they are almost laughable, like the ramblings of a petulant teenager. Having seen quite a few King Vidor movies, I think I saw less of his direction and more of Ayn Rand’s. Apparently Mr. Vidor went to Ms. Rand quite a bit to get guidance on how to play the scenes.

      The Max Steiner score seemed a bit limited to the main theme, the dialog seemed to be stuff you’ve never heard real people actually speak, the way concepts had to be expressed by dialog rather than an expression or other cinematic device. It feels stiff and very much like a book on film to me. It you were a fan of the book or author, that’s probably a big plus! I can’t agree with Ms. Rand’s ideology either, as I feel compromise is a part of life. My way or the highway is one way to live it, but I don’t think I would enjoy such a life. Yet here, people would rather die than compromise one inch on anything. Rand didn’t live by her own ‘philosophy’ either! She gladly accepted charity, pensions and so forth when it suited her; rationalizing after the fact.

  9. Per Marquard Otzen says:

    Ever heard of Europe, Sven Raphael? François Truffaut, Luchino Visconti, Fritz Lang, Carl Th. Dreyer, Federico Fellini, Ingmar Bergman, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Roman Polanski, Vittorio de Sica, Werner Herzog, Michel Hazanavicus, Claude Chabrol, Lars von Trier, Florian Henkel von Donnersmarck, Louis Malle, Richard Attenborough, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Sergio Leone, Michael Haneke etc. etc. etc.

  10. Elliot Nesterman says:

    This list seems rather heavy on the bloody machismo and rather lacking in the “refined gentleman” department.
    Also, nothing from the 20s or 30s? No flim noir? Not one screwball comedy?
    Also, I’d definitely go for “From Russia with Love” over “Dr. No.” Albert Broccoli said it was his favorite. I like it best because of all the Bond films it is closest to the novel.

    • Gregory Barros says:

      “From Russia With Love” is on my long list as are “Goldfinger,” “Thunderball” and “on Her Majesty’s Secret Service.”

  11. E. matos says:

    What about Reservoir Dogs? And to keep up with the theme, maybe even Lock, Stock and two smoking barrels and Fight Club?

    • Historyfanatic says:

      What a half-sighted list! All the films are American (even Dr. No is an American production). What about The Third Man? One of the most brilliant films ever made. Or Brighton Rock? And what about some of the Chinese films that have been made over the last few years?

      A very insular list and so biased towards Hollywood. You purport to offer an objective guide to films. You do not.

      • Gregory Barros says:

        “The Third Man” is on my long list as are “From “Russia With Love,” “Goldfinger,” “Thunderball” and “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.”

  12. Joe says:

    There are a TON of movies missing from this list, but then again, it is only a list of 30 and such a limited list is, by definition, limited. My first stop on any movie list would be at the Film Noir genre. And speaking of mixing movies with an interest in clothes, there are hardly any Noir-ish films I can think of that don’t have fabulous men’s and women’s clothes in them along with stylish cars from the streamline era. Someone mentioned gangster films but I don’t see the classics with Edward G Robinson, Jimmy Cagney, Barton MacLane, and yes, Bogey. Films from the ’30s and ’40s are wonderful for sartorial inspiration. Want to know how to fold a pocket square? Watch 1944’s “Laura” and see actor Clifton Webb deftly do it without a thought as he is conversing with actor Dana Andrews. A few seconds after that, he snaps off the stem of a carnation and makes a quick boutonniere of it. You want style guides? These movies are perfect.

    • Gregory Barros says:

      “Laura” is on my long list as are “The Big Sleep,” “Detour,” “Rope” and the such neo-noir films as “Body Heat” and “Blood Simple.”

  13. ajb240 says:

    All good choices. Another Redford & Newman flick is my all-time favorite – The Sting. Superbly acted, funny, dramatic with a fantastic surprise ending.

  14. Attila Karpati says:

    I miss classic European movies. For me this list is a little bit imdb tasted. There aren’t french films in it?

  15. Mark Hewitt says:

    Dear Raphael ;
    You have a good list here ; different strokes for different folks . A lot of films contain way too much violence for me .
    May I suggest a few alternatives ;
    In the Heat of the Night
    Lawrence of Arabia
    Paths of Glory
    Barry Lyndon
    La Dolce Vita
    Dersu Uzala
    Best Years of our Lives
    Cinema Paradiso
    A Bad Day at Black Rock
    Slueth ( Laurence Olivier – Michael Caine )
    All about Eve
    Toy Story 3

    Just a few alternatives out of thousands . Good films for a man that likes to do a bit of work on himself .

    • Gregory Barros says:

      Though I’ve not seen “Toy Story 3,” “Toy Story” is on my long list as are all your other offerings.

  16. Federico La Manna says:

    I would say an overall fairly good Just one comment – I would rather include the good the bad and the ugly as a Sergio Leone classic rather than a Clint Eastwood’s one. Ciao

  17. Lucien Lafayette says:

    A reasonably good list. One that I always recommend to young men, and women for that matter, is “Fahrenheit 451” based on the Ray Bradbury novel and created in 1966 by François Truffaut. I consider it to be one of the most subversive films ever made.

    And of course the fact that it co-stars Julie Christie doesn’t hurt either.


  18. Philip says:

    Great. But I think Bridge on the River Kwai and A Clockwork Orange should’ve been up there, definitely The Lord of the Rings.

  19. Gernot_Freiherr_von_Donnerbalken says:

    I must contradict to the objections that the given list was bad only because exclusively American movies have been listed. Yes, it may be a list that is not complete, but is there one single movie in it not worth being seen ?
    And what if Americans simply knew how to make movies ? And yes, they do. A lot of specialists on this behalf ( Fritz Lang, Marlene Dietrich, Ernst Lubitsch etc come to my mind….) fled to America when so culturally high Europe was occupied by a force I do not need to mention and that was certainly not known for promoting the progress of cinematographic art; that’s how a lot of know-how made it’s way to America, and the consequences are still there, and even commercial productions that would not make their way into our list testify for that. I beg to take that into behalf.

  20. Attila Karpati says:

    There are only American films on this list. It is not true.
    The good, the Bad… – real italian western, although with American actors.
    Stanley Kubrick was English, was not he?
    But there are too much American and mafia movies. I respect it, only the title of the writing is wrong. It would be “My 30 Favourite Movies”, rather then “30 Movies every Gentlemen Must See”.

  21. Leo Dogan says:

    Such a great topic, everybody has something to say.

    Here are my favourites that should have made it to the list;

    1- Cool Hand Luke
    2- One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
    3- Casablanca
    4- Life is Beautiful
    5- Old School (I think the list is missing a comedy movie)

    • Gregory Barros says:

      “Casablanca,” Cool Hand Luke,” “Life Is Beautiful,” and “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” are on my long list.

  22. Mickey G says:

    Perhaps a more defined list like the subject being ‘gentleman’ or ‘action men’ or films to watch by yourself or with a mate. Besides this, Sven has given us his opinion and I don’t see anything wrong with his selection. Yes he has missed some great movies, but it is his list. Saying that Apocalypse Now should of been on the list. I would replace Godfather II as no film with a title with 2 in it should be in anybodies list.

  23. Gregory Barros says:

    These lists are fun, especially when community members add their contributions.
    I’ve enjoyed our fellow travelers’ offerings
    A subset of my list of favorites follows, arranged chronologically:
    “Double Indemnity”
    “Cat People” (Original)
    “To Kill A Mockingbird”
    “The Great Escape”
    “The Professionals”
    “Midnight Cowboy”
    “Hard Times”
    “American Gigolo”
    “Blade Runner”

  24. Cris says:

    I don’t quite agree. Of the 30 I’d recommend just North by Northwest & may be Wall St. The others are too violent &/or gore. Most men don’t need an extra stimulation to be vilolent

  25. JimyD says:

    A good list but I would add the following that haven’t been mentioned yet in the replies (with added reasons):

    1) Serpico (doing the right thing regardless of the odds and threats)
    2) Body Heat (letting lust and greed cloud your vision)
    3) Kelly’s Heroes (a great war buddies movie that’s also funny)
    4) Some Like it Hot (when it’s okay to go in drag)
    5) Michael Clayton (how to be a fixer)

  26. Louis says:

    An impossible list to create. Kudos for even trying. That being said, I have to comment. JAMES BOND. Because this list is about men being men, there are a few characters that come to mind. You think of Indiana, Eastwood, Wayne and BOND. Most notably Sean and the early films but any of them are about being a guy. Growing up, these were the films I loved, it was everything I cared about. Pretty women, guns and the DB5. Oooooh that DB5….

  27. Michael Williams says:

    Not a single comedy on the list? Gentlemen don’t have a sense of humour? I would replace Bullitt with The Thomas Crown Affair. Also swap out Dr. No for Goldfinger. Best Bond Song, Best Bond Girl Name (Pussy Galore), Best Villian (Auric Goldfinger), Best Henchman (Oddjob), Best Car (Asston Marton DB5). Also Best Plot Twist; Pussy Galore alludes to the fact that she is a lesbian, but at Goldfinger’s horse farm Bond takes her to a farm and “flips” her, first physically then sexually. Finally, you have a Bogart movie. He invented the gentleman-tough guy. Make it Casablanca, where he commits the ultimate act of chivalry in the end (no spoilers here).

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