Movies to watch during a pandemic or anytime

When people get bored during a pandemic they turn to social media. And recently, they’ve started posting their top 10 albums and top 10 movies. I figured that would make two good columns. So, here are my top 10 movies, just for fun …
1. Star Wars. Released in 1977, George Lucas’ space opera defines my childhood. As an adult, it is classic escapism. It takes me back to my childhood. I can leave all my troubles behind and return to a simpler time when I go to a galaxy far, far away.
Favorite line — C-3PO: “We seem to be made to suffer. It's our lot in life.”
2. Gladiator. Released in 2000, a Roman general is forced to become a slave and defies an emperor as a gladiator. I love history. I love action. Acting and music are perfect.
Favorite line — Maximus: "My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, Commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next."
3. Gods & Generals. Released in 2003, Ronald F. Maxwell shows us the early years of the Civil War. History was my favorite subject in school and the Civil War was my favorite period in history. Stephen Lang’s depiction of General Thomas Stonewall Jackson is one of the best performances ever. Faith in God is at the forefront in this film.
Favorite line — Jackson: “[My] religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to be always ready, no matter when it may overtake me. That is the way all men should live, and then all would be equally brave.”
4. 300. Released in 2006, 300 was first a Frank Miller graphic novel and depicts the Battle of Thermopylae of the Persian Wars. As a graduate of USC Upstate, I proudly proclaim: “This is Sparta!”
Favorite lines— Persian: “A thousand nations of the Persian Empire will descend upon you. Our arrows will blot out the sun!” Stelios : “Then we will fight in the shade.”
5. Unforgiven. Released in 1992, Unforgiven is one of the best westerns of all time and Clint Eastwood is at his best. Eastwood’s character, Bill Munny, is not the good guy, but does enact justice.
Favorite line — Bill Munny: “I've killed women and children. I've killed everything that walks or crawls at one time or another. And I'm here to kill you, Little Bill, for what you done to Ned.”
6. Falling Down. Released in 1993, Michael Douglas plays Bill Foster. The movie shows what happens when the everyday world pushes an ordinary guy just a little too far. At some point in our lives, we’ve all been close to going Bill Foster on the world.
Favorite line — Bill Foster: “I’m the bad guy? … How did that happen?”
7. Die Hard. Released in 1988, Die Hard is the best action movie of all time. Bruce Willis plays John McClane. When terrorists take hostages, he makes them pay.
Favorite line — John McClane: “Yippee-ki-yay, #$@&%*!”
8. Tombstone. Released in 1993, one of the best westerns ever, depicting the Shootout at the O.K. Corral. Val Kilmer’s Doc Holiday is classic.
Favorite lines — Jack Johnson: “Doc, you ought to be in bed, what the hell you doin' this for anyway?” Doc: “Because, Wyatt Earp is my friend.” Jack Johnson: “Hell, I've got lots of friends.” Doc: “I don't.”
9. Office Space. Released in 1999, this Mike Judge comedy declares “work sucks.” Peter Gibbons hates his job and after being hypnotized just stops working and gets a promotion for his lack of work.
Favorite line — Tom Smykowski, after getting a settlement for nearly being killed in an auto accident: “Just remember, if you hang in there long enough, good things can happen in this world. I mean, look at me.” 
10. It’s a Wonderful Life. Released in 1946, James Stewart plays George Bailey, who gets to see what life would have been like without him and finds out that one life makes quite an impact.
Favorite line — Clarence: “One man's life touches so many others, when he's not there it leaves an awfully big hole.”
Next time around, we’ll look at my top 10 albums.
Brian Whitmore is the publisher of The Chronicle. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Chronicle. Whitmore can be reached at

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