In honor of the upcoming film The Expendables, we’ve decided to take a look at ten of the best ‘guy’ movies. The Expendables, which stars a whole slew of big name action stars, looks to offer a testosterone fueled film with over the top action.
Behind the camera (and in front) is Sylvester Stallone who’s a bonafide action star himself and he has assembled quite the cast for this outing. Jason Statham, Jet Li, Steve Austin, Dolph Lundgren, Bruce Willis and more will make appearances here and The Expendables is sure to be the ‘guy’ movie of the summer.
With the film only a few days away from being released, we count down the ten best ‘guy’ films.
*I just want to clarify, that when I say ‘guy’ film, I don’t mean that these films aren’t for girls or girls shouldn’t watch them or girls can’t handle them, I’m just saying that due to the subject matter and content, for the most part, these films will find bigger audiences with males than with females.
Based on the graphic novel of the same name, 300 stars Gerard Butler and is directed by Zack Snyder. Blood, gore and murder have never looked so pretty. The film is an epic exercise in slaughter and killing. It tells the story of an army of Spartans, 300 strong, who go up against Xerxes and the Persian army which numbers in the millions.
Visually arresting is an understatement to describe this film. Filmed almost entirely on a green screen, the battles play out perfectly. Slow motion, CG shenanigans, extraordinary feats and more fill the screen. While it’s certainly not the best-written narrative with the best-developed characters, 300 is an awesome battle epic that never stops having fun.
The violence is over the top but it’s very stylized and it makes the film that much more enthralling. All the characters are hardened warriors, prepared to fight to the death and it makes for quite an epic movie.
While the blood and violence may be a bit too much for some, if you can handle it, 300 is a blast to watch.
The film’s tagline says it all. Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a starter home. Choose dental insurance, leisure wear and matching luggage. Choose your future. But why would anyone want to do a thing like that?
As Renton says in the film “I chose not to choose life. I chose somethin’ else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroin?”
Trainspotting is one of my favorite films and it is by far Danny Boyle’s best movie. It revolves around a group of heroin addicts in the late 1980’s. Starring Ewan McGregor in one of his first and still one of his best roles, this film is considered by many to be one of the greatest of the 20th century.
The gritty feel of the film, the inspired direction and a near flawless script make Trainspotting a must watch movie. It has developed a cult following and has had an immense impact on pop culture.
The film is quite hardcore and it takes a no holds barred look at the heroin scene. It isn’t afraid to show the horrors that go along with drug addiction. Powerful, provocative, edgy and smart, Trainspotting is truly an extraordinary achievement in filmmaking.
Are you not entertained? Is this not why you are here? As our hero Maximus (Russell Crowe) yells this to the crowd of people in the Colosseum, we can’t help but to feel inspired.
Ridley Scott directs Russell Crowe in this epic film about a Roman general who is betrayed by his country and forced to become a gladiator. The film won a handful of Academy Awards and is considered to be one of the best movies to come out in the past 10-20 years.
Violence and fighting are found in great abundance here but what else were you expecting? This is a guy film in the truest sense. Featuring several fantastic fights in the Colosseum, one of which has Crowe facing off against a tiger, this movie is most definitely one that you need to see.
Critics applauded Crowe’s flawless performance and they were impressed with the sheer entertainment value of it all. It’s an inspiring story and one that will never grow old. It’s another one of my favorite films and one that I can watch over and over again and not tire of it. Epic, inspiring and a thoroughly entertaining, Gladiator is one film you must see.
#4) Saving Private Ryan
Known for being one of the best war movies of all time, Saving Private Ryan is a monumental film. The realism of the film is astonishing and it captures war perfectly. Director Steven Spielberg directs one of his best films here and his work can be described as nothing less than exemplary.
The battles depicted here are astonishing to watch but absolutely relentless in the violence and carnage that they portray. This is war and this is as real as it gets. No punches are pulled as Spielberg offers a startling look at some of the battles that went on in WWII.
The breathtaking film tells the story of a group of paratroopers that go into enemy territory in order to rescue a paratrooper whose brother has been killed. Emotional and powerful, the film has redefined the war genre. There still hasn’t been a war movie as good as it and it’s been twelve years since it came out. Everything about this film is near perfect and if you haven’t seen it, your missing out.
This is a film that has had an immense effect on pop culture. It has influenced everything from music to television to film. It’s the ultimate gangster movie and an undeniable classic.
Set against the cocaine boom of the 1980’s, Scarface tells the story of Tony Montana (an iconic film character). Tony is a Cuban refugee who comes to America so he can live the American dream. He becomes a gangster and quickly rises through the ranks as he builds his criminal empire in Miami.
Aside from landing on numerous ‘greatest films’ lists, the film has gathered a cult following and is frequently quoted and referenced. It’s bloody, violent, full of swearing (the word ‘fuck’ is used 226 times) and it’s one of the greatest crime films ever made.
Al Pacino gives one of his best performances and the sheer impact that the film has had on pop culture should be enough to make it a must see. As Tony says “I’m Tony Montana! You fuck with me, you fuckin’ with the best.” It’s true, Tony Montana is one of the best characters in movie history and every guy owes it to themselves to see this film.
An inspiring epic, similar to Gladiator, but on a larger scale. Braveheart tells the true story of William Wallace, a Scottish warrior who unites the Scots and leads them into battle against King Edward I of England.
Winner of multiple Academy Awards, Braveheart is a big screen epic in the truest sense. Director Mel Gibson drew inspiration from such films like Kubrick’s Spartacus and William Wyler’s The Big Country.
Riveting action and moving music enhance the film and the epic battle scenes make this a true masterpiece. Every battle scene is staged perfectly and not many films can rival what we see here. In addition to all this, the film also offers a compelling story and well written characters.
Braveheart is another film that has had an impact on pop culture. William Wallace’s ‘Freedom’ speech has become legendary and the film has shed a huge spotlight on Scotland and the history of the country.
If you’ve seen Passion of the Christ you’ll know Gibson isn’t afraid to hold back on the violence and Braveheart is no different. The film is relentless in its portrayal of violence and gore. It never feels gratuitous though as it plays into the realism of the situation. This stuff really happened and it was just as violent as shown here.
While some of Gibson’s recent actions have certainly been questionable, there is one thing you can’t deny. Braveheart is one of the best films ever made and is a film every guy will surely enjoy.
#7) Fight Club
A film about guys who fight in a secret underground fight club. What more can you ask for in a guy film? Starring Brad Pitt and Ed Norton, the film spawned a huge following. After seeing the film, millions of men wanted to change their name to Tyler Durden and couldn’t wait to start their own fight club.
This movie is raw and is full of swearing, sex and violence. There are a ton of fight scenes and although no weapons are involved, the fights get pretty brutal. The film sparked a lot of controversy and discussion when it was released. It introduced a lot of themes and issues that got people talking. Fight Club was also praised on the filmmaking front as it introduced new developments in filmmaking technology.
After its release, it spawned a number of real life fight clubs and the movie instantly ingrained itself into pop culture. It’s wildly quotable and the character of Tyler Durden is one of the best in film history. A lot of guys will find something to relate to in the film and not only is this a movie every guy should see, it’s a film that every guy must see.
#8) Die Hard (All of them)
Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker. If you don’t know where that quote is from you should be ashamed and if you don’t consider Hans Gruber as one of the all time best movie villains you can’t even call yourself a movie fan.
The Die Hard films helped turn Bruce Willis into a bonafide action star and the original Die Hard spawned a whole slew of sequels and wannabes. It was one of the defining action films of the 1980’s and to this day it is still considered a classic. While the second, third and fourth films never reached the level that the original one did, they are all still great thrill rides and are definitely worth seeing.
Bruce Willis stars as John McClane, a character who has appeared on numerous lists regarding top movie heroes/characters. In each film McClane, a NYPD cop, finds himself in a different predicament. No matter what the situation is, you can count on the Die Hard films to offer a roller coaster ride of a movie.
The plots are all fairly generic but the action and Bruce Willis’ performance make the films. The first film worked so well because McClane never wanted to be a hero. He’s forced into the role and the odds are stacked heavily against him. The film came complete with a smart script and non stop suspense. Even though the sequels weren’t as good, they are still above average action films and are films that demand your attention.
#9) Rambo (All of them)
I wanted to go with Rocky but my gut told me to go with Rambo. While both are guy movies in the purest sense, I think Rambo is a bit more manlier. Sure Rocky is a more inspiring character, but Rambo kicks way more ass, and when it comes down to it, that’s what you want to see in a guy film.
Although the first film was pretty light on the killing, it spawned three sequels that were an orgy of bloody carnage. Relentless in his goal, Rambo is a killing machine and Stallone plays the part perfectly. Stallone created one of the most iconic action heroes of all time and to this day, very few action film characters rival Rambo. It is one of Stallone’s best known roles and along with the role of Rocky, it is what really launched him into the spotlight.
Rambo is the very definition of a one man army. He literally leaves a path of destruction behind him. Aside from the first Rambo film, the body counts are always high and there’s more than enough blood and violence. It does border on unrealistic at parts, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t fun to watch.
Stallone has quite a list of films on his resume and the majority can be defined as guy films. Pure testosterone driven films that are low on plot but heavy on the action. He’s one of the best action stars out there and he almost always delivers. I’m a big fan of his work (especially Rocky and Rambo) and I think they are both films that can be classified as essential viewing.
Despite the fact that I’ll probably be crucified for choosing Goodfellas over The Godfather, I’m sticking by my choice. Featuring three incredible performances (Ray Liotta, Robert de Niro and Joe Pesci) and an extremely talented director (Martin Scorsese), Goodfellas is one of the best mafia movies around.
Boasting 300 uses of the word ‘fuck’ and an abundant amount of mafia style violence, this film has received an enormous amount of praise and acclaim. It was nominated for six Academy Awards and is #92 on the American Film Institutes’s 100 Years, 100 Movies list. Many rank it alongside The Godfather as being one of the best mafia films of all time and in 2000, the United States Library of Congress classified the film as culturally significant and and chose it to be preserved in the National Film Registry.
As with so many other films that I’ve mentioned in this article, Goodfellas is a film that has been on countless ‘greatest films of all time’ lists. It’s an absolutely phenomenal film on every front and its mafia setting, excessive swearing and brutal violence make it a classic guy film.
Well there you have it, ten great ‘guy’ films. Of course there are many more that didn’t make the list (Predator, The Matrix, Rocky, Seven etc) but the ten listed here are all great choices.
What do you think? Agree or disagree? What are your favorite ‘guy’ films?