Welcome to Only Good Movies
By Shane Rivers
Welcome to Only Good Movies, your one-stop destination for all the cinematic goodness–both good and bad–that the world of filmmaking has to offer. We specialize in discussing and recommending good movies from various genres, as well as individual performers and directors, but there’s never any telling what we’ll throw into the mix along the way. We’ve been in operation for several years now, and the amount of content we’ve generated is truly staggering. No matter what your celluloid needs, there’s a strong chance that we have it.
My name is Shane Rivers, and I’ll be your host during this tour of the world of motion pictures. A graduate of the University of North Texas with a degree in Radio/TV/Film, I’ve been a passionate fan of movies ever since the days of 20-pound VCRs and single-screen cinemas. But whether you’re a fan of Akira Kurosawa or Michael Bay, I’ll make a sincere attempt to steer you in the direction of movies which appeal to your specific interests.
If this is your first visit to OGM, here’s what you can expect to find:
- Blog Posts – This is where OGM does most of its damage, and you can expect our blog to be updated several times per week. We cover a wide range of topics there, including movie recommendations, movie analysis, movie news, interviews with professional critics and the casual viewer, Amazon deals, movie quotes, movie coupons, and so much more. If it has anything to do with cinema, it’ll probably turn up at some point.
- Feature Articles – A wide range of specialized articles, ranging from “12 Things I Learned from Watching Road House” to “11 Great Morgan Freeman Moments.”
- Online Movie Rental Information – It can be difficult to determine which online movie rental service is best, as Netflix, Blockbuster Online, GreenCine, Redbox, and others have surged in popularity in recent years. Thanks to a number of our articles on the subject, your task should be much easier.
There’s lots more at OGM, of course, but the above items tend to dominate the landscape. Feel free to explore the archives, and you may be surprised by all the offbeat content that we’ve put out over the years.
The Importance of Movies
Movies provide us with an escape from the real world, but they can also help us to better understand it in the process. Not surprisingly, a number of great cinematic minds have commented on the importance of movies over the years, and here are a few of my favorites:
- “Although for some people cinema means something superficial and glamorous, it is something else. I think it is the mirror of the world.” – Jeanne Moreau
- “Anybody who comes to the cinema is bringing they’re whole sexual history, their literary history, their movie literacy, their culture, their language, their religion, whatever they’ve got. I can’t possibly manipulate all of that, nor do I want to.” – David Cronenberg
- “Now more than ever we need to talk to each other, to listen to each other and understand how we see the world, and cinema is the best medium for doing this.” – Martin Scorsese
- “Cinema is an old whore, like circus and variety, who knows how to give many kinds of pleasure. Besides, you can’t teach old fleas new dogs.” – Federico Fellini
- “Photography is truth. The cinema is truth twenty-four times per second.” – Jean-Luc Godard
- “Cinema should make you forget you are sitting in a theater.” – Roman Polanski
- “For me, the cinema is not a slice of life, but a piece of cake.” – Alfred Hitchcock
- “Cinema is the most beautiful fraud in the world.” – Jean-Luc Godard
What Makes a Good Movie?
This is a question that’s open to debate, as most passionate movie fans are going to value certain qualities higher than others based on their own wants and needs. But, in general, here are some of the items that help a movie to sink or swim, both critically and commercially:
- Screenplay – The underpinning of any movie, a screenplay can make or break a production (and subsequently, anyone involved with the project).
- Acting - While there’s always a market for bad movies, most viewers are drawn to films with strong and nuanced performances. Then again, some audience members enjoy picking a movie based strictly on their physical attraction to the cast.
- Direction – Some directors are content to sit back and shoot their projects in the most basic of styles, while popular filmmakers such as Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, and Park Chan-wook fill the screen with visual delights equivalent to watching an Olympic-level gymnast at work.
- Cinematography – The cinematographer is the individual responsible for the look of each shot, be it the overall palette of colors or the spatial relation between characters. While some directors serve in a dual capacity, the cinematographer is often a separate individual whose efforts routinely go unsung.
- Action – Not all action movies are good. In fact, many are downright awful. But no matter what the quality, many fans love to see grown men and women leap from helicopters, drive fast in the wrong lane, and beat each other silly with fists and feet.
- Effects – Special effects have become increasingly prevalent in the cinema, with almost every summer blockbuster employing 3D or liberal doses of CGI. While it’s an important ingredient for the popcorn crowd, cinematic purists often prefer movies with a distinct lack of visual trickery.
- The Ending - Whether the ending is happy or sad, it needs to make sense within the context of the on-screen world. While a twist ending can generate positive word of mouth, an ending that falls flat can achieve just the opposite.
There are, of course, additional elements to making a good movie, but the list above includes some of the most frequently commented upon items by both critics and the general public. The next time you undertake the process of picking out a good movie to watch, ask yourself which of these elements you hold in the highest regard.
The Best Movies Ever Made
Critics love to debate about the best movies ever made, and the following lists should demonstrate just how much personal opinion factors into such arguments.
Internet Movie Database Top 10
Voted on by readers and constantly updated, it tends to include more American films and recent releases.
- The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
- The Godfather (1972)
- The Godfather: Part II (1974)
- The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
- Pulp Fiction (1994)
- Schindler’s List (1993)
- 12 Angry Men (1957)
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
- Inception (2010)
- The Dark Knight (2008)
Roger Ebert’s All-Time Top 10
While he normally disdains top 10 lists, Ebert put this one together in 1991. He’s promised to reexamine and possibly update it in the coming years.
- Citizen Kane
- Floating Weeds
- Gates of Heaven
- La Dolce Vita
- Raging Bull
- The Third Man
- 28 Up
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
Sight & Sound Top 10 Movies of All Time
An influential British cinema monthly that polls film professionals every decade to determine the best films of all time. Described by Roger Ebert as “the most respected of the countless polls of great movies–the only one most serious movie people take seriously.”
- Citizen Kane
- La Règle du jeu (The Rules of the Game)
- The Godfather and The Godfather Part II
- Tokyo Story
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- The Battleship Potemkin
- Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
- Singin’ in the Rain
Quentin Tarantino’s Top 10 Movies
The eccentric filmmaker is fond of listing his favorite films, and this selection came from his voting for the 2002 Sight & Sound poll.
- The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
- Rio Bravo (1959)
- Taxi Driver (1976)
- His Girl Friday (1940)
- Rolling Thunder (1977)
- They All Laughed (1981)
- The Great Escape (1963)
- Carrie (1976)
- Coffy (1973)
- Dazed and Confused (1993)
The Worst Movies Ever Made
Now that we’ve looked at some of the best movies ever made, let’s switch gears and take a look at those cinematic stinkers which will forever live in infamy. I’m talking, of course, about the worst movies ever made, although you’ll quickly find that this list is also the subject of much debate.
IMDB Bottom 10
- Dream Well (2009)
- Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 (2004)
- Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966)
- Daniel the Wizard (2004)
- Monster a-Go Go (1965)
- Night Train to Mundo Fine (1966)
- Ben & Arthur (2002)
- Pocket Ninjas (1997)
- The Skydivers (1963)
- The Starfighters (1964)
Roger Ebert’s Most Hated Movies
While he’s never ranked them, critic Roger Ebert has provided a massive list of movies he can’t stand. Here’s are just a few of the titles, listed in no particular order.
- Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo
- Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever
- Staying Alive
- The Usual Suspects
- Swing Kids
- Battlefield Earth
Movie Review Query Engine’s Worst Ranked Movies of All Time
- Disaster Movie (2008)
- Redline (2007)
- Universal Soldier: The Return (1999)
- Alone in the Dark (2005)
- House of the Dead (2003)
- Who’s Your Caddy? (2007)
- Epic Movie (2007)
- Meet the Spartans (2008)
- Baby Geniuses (1999)
- On Deadly Ground (1994)
Worst Reviewed Films on Metacritic
- The Singing Forest
- Two of a Kind
- Dirty Cop No Donut
- National Lampoon’s Gold Diggers
- Baby Geniuses
- The Hottie & the Nottie
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