In memory of the great film director Tony Scott, here are my five favorite films of his. All 5 are in my Top 100 Movies of all time. Mr. Scott is one of my Top 10 Directors of all time, a list which I’m still finalizing. But currently he’s #9 on it. He’ll be greatly missed, but his work will live on forever in the world of cinema, connecting, inspiring and entertaining people of all ages all around the world.
5. Beverly Hills Cop II (1987)
4. Crimson Tide (1995)
3. Enemy of the State (1998)
2. Days of Thunder (1990)
1. Top Gun (1986)
Growing up as a teenager in the 1980’s and early 1990’s, seeing director Tony Scott’s summer blockbuster movies were defining moments in my life and in film. We all fell in love with Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis as they did on screen in their steamy hot and feisty scenes at the Top Gun Naval Academy in San Diego. I think part of why Top Gun is my #1 is because it was the first Tony Scott film I ever saw. It permanently put every Tony Scott movie on my radar and my To Watch list. So every successor to Top Gun that Tony made is compared back to the original.
While I know there are MANY people who felt that Days of Thunder was simply Top Gun on a racetrack, I whole-heartedly disagree with the lack of love shown to this film. The depth in the performances of Cruise, Robert Duvall, and Nicole Kidman and the supporting cast are underrated to this day. But I constantly re-watch Days of Thunder over and over, year after year, because it’s simply a damn good story, even if it is “familiar”. Scott proved to me that not every movie has to be original. It just needs to tell a good story.
Enemy of the State took us into the scary world of “big brother” way before we were even aware of the impact the internet and digital technology would have on us. I watch Enemy of the State now in 2012 and I’m still blown away at the frenetic and instantaneous pace of the film and the world the film depicts. Great performances from Will Smith, Gene Hackman and an amazing supporting cast. Crimson Tide may have been the next submarine movie after The Hunt For Red October (1990), but it told it’s own unique story in a unique way, that holds up very well nearly 20 years later. One of my favorites to watch as Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman battle it out over their missile keys.
Finally, Beverly Hills Cop II was one of the rare sequels in a franchise that was as good or better than the original. For me, it’s a tiny bit better, mostly because we got to have a lot of fun with all these familiar characters from the first film. Scott gave us an incredible mix of hilarious comedy, tense action, and smart storytelling that Eddie Murphy has never been able to recapture in another role since this film.
I will greatly miss Tony Scott’s work, but thankfully there are so many great films of his to re-watch for the rest of my life. Some of my other favorites of his include Spy Game (2001), Deja Vu (2006), and Revenge (1990).