if you haven't seen these movies, you should.
in no particular order:
why: steven spielberg in his prime. roy scheider in his prime. dryfuss in his prime. QUINT. it's intense, it's scary, and sharks fucking rule.
2. texas chainsaw massacre
why: the scariest movie of all time. has some of the most disturbing things you'll ever see in your life. this movie invented the modern horror movie.
3. the jerk
why: have you seen "cheaper by the dozen 2"? no? me either. but i can say with confidence that if you took all the unfunny parts in that movie, and made them funny, you'd have the jerk. any movie that starts with a white guy saying "i was born a poor black child" is bound to be comedy gold.
4. star wars
why: well, it's probably mostly nostalgia. but let's be honest, flaws aside, this movie fucking rules. it's exciting, it's fun, it was groundbreaking, it IS legendary. it set the bar and influenced cinema forever.
5. slap shot
why: funniest sports movie of all time. second funniest movie of the 70's. newman in his prime. and i mean, the hanson brothers, come on. best trio of characters ever.
6. godfather 1 & 2
why: eh, what hasn't been said about these movies? everyone likes to talk about deniro in 2, but for me it's all about pacino. remember when he was good? yeah, this is when that was happening.
7. close encounters of the third kind
why: again, spielberg and dryfuss in their prime. this is a classic. if you don't feel all warm and fuzzy at the end of this movie, then you are fucking dead. or at least dead to me.
8. taxi driver
why: i catch shit for it, but i really don't like deniro. i think he's pretty low on the acting talent scale. however, this is one of the only movies where he actually IS acting, and he is AMAZING. patient, deliberate pacing make the internal boiling that much more intense. scorsese at his absolute best.
9. conquest of the planet of the apes
why: this is the 4th movie in the planet of the apes series (out of 5), and it fucking RULES. it's dark, it's politically charged, it's actually well acted. it's the dark knight of the planet of the apes series. after a strong start and 2 mediocre follow ups, this movie took the series by the balls and said "fuck you, i'm taking over", too bad movie 5 dropped the ball so hard.
10. dawn of the dead
why: seriously? you have to ask? the best zombie movie of all time. duh. more than anything, this movie has brains. pun intended.