These are 13 of my favorite non-sports movies. Make your own list.
Remember, these are my favorite movies, not the movies that are necessarily the best. Of the 50 movies USA Today listed as the best ever, I’ve seen two of them. Seriously.
13) Runaway Jury— I’m a big fan of the John Grisham books; this was my favorite of the ones that were turned into movies. Gene Hackman plays a jury consultant whose client is a gun manufacturer; John Cusack is on the jury to manipulate the verdict.
T12) Moon Over Parador— Richard Dreyfuss is an actor who is hired to stand in for the dictator of a Latin American country who suddenly dies. Jonathan Winters is a weird CIA agent whose wife is Polly Holliday, who played Flo in the old TV series Alice.
T12) Dave— Made five years after Moon Over Parador, this is basically the same movie, just set in Washington, DC.
Guy who looks just the President runs a temp service in Washington; when the real president has a stroke while screwing around with his mistress, the guy (Kevin Kline) is hired as the stand-in president. Sigourney Weaver is the First Lady.
11) The Verdict— Paul Newman is a struggling lawyer who is handed a winning case, but winning it is easier said than done. His friend is played by Jack Warden, one of my all-time favorites.
10) The Gambler— Remake of a James Caan movie from the mid-70’s. College professor (Mark Wahlberg) seems to have an excellent life, but he has a huge gambling problem which drags him down. John Goodman plays one of the people he owes money to; he is very good in this.
9) The Bodyguard— Whitney Houston is a famous singer with a contract on her head; Kevin Costner is the ex-Secret Service hired to protect her.
8) A Few Good Men— The last scene, with Jack Nicholson on the witness stand, is tremendous. Kevin Bacon, Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Pollak, JT Walsh as supporting actors is pretty strong.
7) Leap of Faith— Steve Martin plays a traveling preacher whose bus breaks down, stranding his crew in a drought-stricken Kansas town. Miracles ensue. Liam Neeson, Debra Winger, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Meat Loaf all have supporting roles.
6) Molly’s Game— Young woman runs high stakes poker games for celebrities/rich guys, but when members of the Russian mob enter the game, things get complicated. This is a true story, and as we’re learning nowadays, real life is often stranger than fiction.
5) Lost In Translation— Bill Murray plays a washed-up actor who is in Tokyo getting paid $2M to do a whiskey commercial. He meets Scarlett Johansson in the hotel bar and they become friends.
4) Begin Again— Down-and-out music executive stumbles into a Manhattan bar and discovers a young singer who can resurrect his career.
3) Good Will Hunting— Janitor at MIT can do complicated math problems better than the professors can, but he also has a criminal record, and has to get counseling for that. Robin Williams is great as the counselor.
2) Last Vegas— Four old friends get together in Las Vegas for the bachelor party of the one bachelor in group (Michael Douglas) who is marrying a woman 40 years younger than him. It is Douglas, Robert Deniro, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline.
1) Rounders— Law student decides he’d rather play high stakes poker. The scenes with Matt Damon and his law professor (Martin Landau) are excellent. Same guys who wrote this write the great Showtime series Billions now.