James Gunn challenges fans to come up with six perfect movies — and shares his own list

James Gunn
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James Gunn has set fans a tough challenge on social media — to name six movies they consider absolutely perfect. Obviously, perfection is something that’s very subjective when it comes to cinema, as one viewer may find a film to be flawless while someone else thinks it’s a waste of time. The movies that people are choosing for Gunn’s challenge, then, say a lot about their personal tastes.

Gunn’s own choices are especially intriguing, as they display his wide-ranging interest in classic cinema and yet are worlds away from the kind of films he’s known to make himself. “Off the top of your head, 6 movies you can watch anytime & consider as close to perfect as a film can be,” Gunn wrote before naming his six. They are 2004’s Kung Fu Hustle, 1973’s The Long Goodbye, 2004’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 2009’s Mother, 1974’s The Godfather Part II, and 1969’s Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice.

As for the replies, naturally, a lot of people mentioned Gunn’s own films. Guardians of the Galaxy came up in a bunch of lists, for one.

Meanwhile, those of a more DC persuasion plumped for The Suicide Squad.

Elsewhere, certain other directors appeared repeatedly on folks’ lists, including Quentin Tarantino, Steven Spielberg, Sam Raimi, and Christopher Nolan.

One of these is not like the others…

Finally, Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie is getting the recognition it deserves.

An interesting spin on the challenge — movies with perfect soundtracks.

But I think we can all agree that this is the definitive list.

While Gunn is known for his irreverent action-comedies, his perfect movies list comprises dramas, thrillers, noirs, as well as a couple of very different comedy films from his own. It’s interesting to get a glimpse at the eclectic melting pot of influences that goes into the director’s work. And, hey, if he can make a Godfather-inspired reboot of Howard the Duck for Marvel one day, we’d be up for that.

James Gunn has just finished production on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, hitting theaters in May 2023.