Lists of Nine with Keyword "movies" (most recent at top)

South Pacific

Nine Not-So-Classic Classic Musicals

Ah, the movie musical. From The Jazz Singer to Les Misérables, the genre has seen a lot of changes over the years. But for this list, I'm focusing on the "Golden Age" of the Technicolor musical, from the 1940s through the 1960s. For a long time, I was rather uneducated about these films, so recently I took it upon myself… read more!

Purple People Eater

Nine Feature Films That Were Based on Songs

These days, movies are adapted from everything: books, stage plays, video games, comics, even trading cards (Mars Attacks!). But then there is this peculiar subgenre of adaptations, a sample of which pops here and there over the years: films that are based on songs. I'm not talking about movies that merely borrow the titles of hit records (e.g., Pretty Woman,… read more!

Jean-Luc Godard

Nine Great Directors Who Have Never Received a Single Oscar Nomination

As we curl up in the warm glow of Oscar season, you may find the occasional list that bemoans some famous filmmakers never winning an Academy Award (e.g., the oft-nominated Alfred Hitchcock). Then there are the oddballs who haven't won an Oscar for directing, but at least were nominated for something, like Terry Gilliam (best screenplay), Tim Burton (best animated… read more!

Cloud Atlas

Nine Overrated and Underrated Films of 2012

I confess that I'm continuing my trend of seeing fewer and fewer new movies with each passing year. This is not because I am growing older or less interested - on the contrary, I'm as passionate about film as ever - but because the output really has gotten stinkier. That said, even though I've seen fewer than fifty 2012 releases,… read more!

Strangers on a Train

My Nine Favorite Films

I cannot believe that I have been writing these Lists of 9 for almost fifteen years now - fifteen years! - and yet I have never written the simplest and most obvious list that a filmmaker could write. So I'm writing it now. My nine favorite feature films, more or less in order. (Which is to say, the order is… read more!

World War Z

Nine 2012 Movies That Are Now 2013 Movies

I've been slacking in the site updates this summer, thanks to my screenwriting course (taping has now been completed!) and various jobs and travels. So this is a quicky. In short: lately I have noticed a surprisingly large number of major Hollywood pictures having their release dates bumped back a year. Why? The given reasons are numerous, though usually… read more!

Live Evil

Nine Feature Film Titles That Are Palindromes

The most surprising thing about this list (which required far more research than you'd imagine) is that for all the goofy palindromes we grew up with - classics like "A man, a plan, a canal: Panama" and "Madam, I'm Adam" as well as more prosaic entries like "Dammit, I'm mad!" and "Dog doo? Good God!" - palindromes simply aren't used… read more!

Close Encounters at the Cinerama Dome

My Nine Favorite Moviegoing Experiences

It may not surprise you to learn that, since 1995, I have written down every film that I have gone to see in a theater. In retrospect, I probably should have logged where I saw each film and who I was with. But for now my memory is still strong enough to recall most of these details. Of course, over… read more!

Liar Liar

Nine Repetitive Movie Titles

This Friday, a comedic interpretation of the Snow White story will be released in theaters. It's called Mirror Mirror. Whenever I see a title like this, I think of the Goodfellas character Jimmy Two Times, who was gonna go get the papers, get the papers. Here are nine other examples, other examples. Win Win. Well-received 2011 indie starring Paul Giamatti… read more!

Brad Bird

Nine Animators Who Became Live Action Directors

This list is in honor of Pixar's Andrew Stanton, the latest animation director (Finding Nemo, WALL-E) to try his hand at live action (the heavily motion-captured sci fi epic John Carter, which opened this weekend to dismal box office). Now, I myself was trained as an animator. I got into it in high school; when I was accepted into CalArts'… read more!

Dancer in the Dark, a Lars von Trier musical

Nine Non-Musical Directors Who Directed a Musical

A funny thing happens whenever I tell someone I'm a filmmaker. Just about everybody asks me, "What kind of films do you make?" I think it's an odd question, as most directors tackle all kinds of genres. That said, there are filmmakers who strictly focus on one genre - especially in documentaries, horror movies, and porn. And once upon a… read more!

Introducing Michael Caine

Nine Major Movie Stars Who Were Once “Introduced”

A long-standing Hollywood tradition is the "And Introducing" credit. Such a credit is designed to showcase an actor in a key role who had never appeared in a movie before, as if to say, "Look at our brilliant discovery. When this person's an A-lister, he or she will have us to thank." Producers (and agents) interpret this rule rather liberally,… read more!

David Carradine in an Ingmar Bergman film

Nine Great Foreign Directors Whose English Language Films Flopped

Whether you hail from a small town in the Midwest or a small town in central China, the lure of Hollywood is always there for filmmakers who exhibit prowess and ambition. Some of the best directors in American cinema were immigrants: Alfred Hitchcock, Fritz Lang, Ang Lee and so forth. The following nine were not so lucky. Though note: the… read more!

Tobe Hooper

Nine Directors Who Wasted Their Great Potential

When you think about it, a feature film director is a very, very rare animal. Out of over 10 billion souls who have lived and died on this planet since the dawn of cinema, it's likely that no more than 100,000 of them have ever helmed a feature - and I'm including all those who made no-budget, unreleased indies that… read more!

Jackie Robinson as Jackie Robinson

Nine Non-Actors Who Starred As Themselves in Feature Films

Celebrities have appeared "as themselves" in feature films since the silent era, typically in brief, jokey cameos. But whereas real actors have been known to play themselves in leading roles – from autobiographical ego-fests (as Joan Rivers and Shirley Maclaine have done in TV movies) to intentionally fictionalized versions of their lives (John Malkovich in Being John Malkovich, Neil Patrick Harris… read more!

Stephen Hillenburg

Nine Friends of Mine Who Have Actually Directed Features

Although I've fraternized with dozens of would-be filmmakers over the last two decades, an astonishingly small number of them ever went on to actually direct a feature. Having done so twice myself, I can tell you that it's not that hard to do, if you really want it. So what I'm saying is that few aspiring directors really want it.… read more!

Going My Way

The Nine Most Modest Best Picture Oscar Winners

Most Best Picture winners are "typical" Oscar winners in some way: war movies (The Best Years of Our Lives, Platoon, Schindler's List), sweeping epics (Gone With the Wind, Lawrence of Arabia, Titanic), gritty suspensers (The French Connection, Silence of the Lambs, No Country for Old Men), "important" contemporary dramas (The Lost Weekend, Midnight Cowboy, American Beauty), glossy musicals (Gigi, Oliver!,… read more!

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me

Nine TV Shows That Became Theatrical Features

This list does not contain the countless - and usually lame - cinematic "re-imaginings" of classic TV programs (e.g., Bewitched, The Flintstones, The Brady Bunch, Starsky and Hutch). Nor does it include any of the various Saturday Night Live skits that were stretched out to feature length, as I already wrote a list about them years ago. Finally, it does… read more!

German title: “The Sky Over Berlin”

Nine Foreign Films That Were Given More Effective English Titles

One of the funnier aspects of foreign distribution is when distributors in one country change a movie's title in order to make it more appealing to the locals. An infamous example is the Jack Nicholson comedy As Good As It Gets, which was retitled Mr. Cat Poop for the Hong Kong market. There are times, however, when creative American marketing… read more!

The Brown Bunny

Nine Movies That Were Far More Discussed Than Actually Seen

Hype. Buzz. Controversy. Publicity. All things that make you think about a film, talk about a film, and - the distributors hope - eventually go out and see the film. Every once in a while, though, that last bit doesn't happen, and the world is left with a movie that everybody knows about but has no interest in watching. Such… read more!