The National Review recently released their list of top 25 conservative movies of the last 25 years. I have read through the list, I have seen a few of the movies, and I would like to comment on a few of them. You can find the list here:
Click here to view National Review's list.
#2 - The Incredibles I never thought of it as a conservative film, but my daughter and I enjoyed it immensely. I remember her running around the house like a crazy girl and when asked "what are you doing", would reply: "Being Dash!" However, the NR's review of this movies does hold true. Nuclear family, holding together through turmoil, and join together to combat evil. That had to upset liberals!
#4 - Forrest Gump This movie did have conservative elements, but also liberal elements as well. It took kind of a good and bad view of the Vietnam war. I have always enjoyed Forrest beating the tar out of the anti-war boyfriend of his beloved Jenny. But have always wondered what he said on stage, in uniform, at the peace rally. The audience isn't made privy to his comments but they seem well received by the anti-war hippies. I am not so sure #4 is the right place for this film on this list.
#5 - 300 Tried to watch this but didn't like it. I know, not right for a Spartan fan, eh? But the cinematography and the fantastical nature of the film made it annoying. I see where the NR was going with this movie though, the fact that they knew they were going to die for their cause, but went willingly anyway, is definitely more conservative than liberal!
#6 - Groundhog Day The message of this film is clear: being a selfish, egotistical jerk will get you no where. (Can you hear that Hollywood?) Definitely a conservative theme. Good morals and ethics will get you where you want to go. The right way. And this is a pretty funny movie on top of it!
#7 - The Pursuit of Happyness This film should have been #1. This is a movie that EVERY American should see, especially now in these troubling economic times. The message: Nothing is a substitute for hard work. Chris Gardner could have given up, hung his head, and lived off the government milk. But instead he allowed adversity to motivate him to something better. Not being told he couldn't do something because he wasn't smart enough, white enough, rich enough, or any other thing enough, he put his mind to where his goal was and went for it. A lesson to all Americans. You can either sit back and cry "woe is me". Or you can get to work doing what you need to do, whether that is work harder, improve your education, etc. Where there is a will there is a way. Chris Gardner, both the Wil Smith character and the real life guy, are inspirations to that message.
#9 - Blast From The Past I have loved this movie from the first time I saw it. I could never really understand why I was so drawn to it, but its inclusion on this list makes it clear. This IS a conservative movie. The message to me is that innocence and holding to ideals is a good thing. Even in a modern world. I also now acknowledge the anti-feminist angle of this movie. Women today are free to go after happiness, but in the end what makes most of them happy is the simpler, old-fashioned way of things. You get the impression that Eve (Alicia Silverstone) is going to live a happy life as Adam's wife. (Got to love the names!!) I am sure Alicia isn't to thrilled looking back at this movie, since she is a raging lib.
#10 - Ghostbusters Okay. I don't see it.
#13 - Braveheart I actually have always enjoyed The Patriot, Gibson's American Revolution version of Braveheart, better. For obvious reasons. How that movie didn't make the list is beyond me. But both films still move me to tears at the end. Why? Because it shows that people motivated by good ideals (freedom, morals, etc) will not be denied. Even in death William Wallace inspired his men to fight on. FREEDOM!!
#15 - Red Dawn This would have been my choice for #2, right behind The Pursuit Of Happyness. This movie is endearing if only because liberals hate it. They hated it in 1984 when it was released, and they still hate it today. Why? Because it shows that love of country, home, and freedom will move people to fight for those ideals. And that even against enemy invaders you can't crush the American spirit. I have always said the other reason liberals hate this film is because it is true. If we were invaded you'd see civilians taking up their legally owned firearms to defend their homeland in droves. Liberals hate that. If we aren't capitulating to the forces of evil they get all riled up. Red Dawn was in no way allegorical, it was truthful.
#18 - The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe I have always loved this story, and you have to love C.S. Lewis. This movie was so good because it stayed true to the story (though I am going off my memory of reading this book when I was about 8!). The feeling you get when Aslan finally dispenses with The White Witch is similar to the feeling I got that cold December Sunday morning in 2003 when I heard we had captured Saddam Hussein. Defeating evil always feels good. Liberals don't get that which leads me to believe that either a) they love evil, or b) are evil themselves.
#19 - We Were Soldiers A few movies over the years have caused me to tear up. It started when Benji got kicked in the movie Benji when I was 5 years-old. Only two have left me sobbing uncontrollably. One was One True Thing, because Meryl Streep dying of cancer reminded me so much of my grandmother that succumbed to the disease in 1992. This movie is the other. This movie is intense, you are on the edge of your seat the entire movie, and the relief you get when Lt. Col. Moore (played by Mel Gibson) steps off the Vietnamese terrain and into a Huey to come home is palpable. It was too much for me and I sat in the theatre, with my wife consoling me, sobbing like a child. The guys in Vietnam, and in every war this nation has fought, went through so much. How people can't understand their sacrifice and what they were fighting for is beyond me.
#23 - United 93 and #25 - Gran Torino These are the only two movies on the list that haven't seen that I feel the need to comment on. I have never been ready to watch United 93. I know it is going to be difficult to watch, and I know it will evoke a reaction similar to We Were Soldiers from me. One day I plan on watching this movie, but I am just not ready. The events of 9/11 are still to fresh in my mind, and the emotions I feel related to that day are still to intense. Gran Torino is a movie I have to see. I could tell from the previews I was going to like the message. I have heard the language is not very good, and that is unfortunate. But the good vs. evil struggle this movie is about needs to be seen.
Overall, this list has some head-scratchers, but then it has some good choices. I was surprised not to see The Passion Of The Christ and The Patriot on this list. I would like to hear the reasons movies like those were left off since they have such a strong conservative theme. While movies like Groundhog Day and Forrest Gump, whose conservative messages are so much more subtle, made the list.