We start the Top 7. You finish the Top 10.
With M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender (click here for review) opening on July 1 it got me thinking. Movie studios love the word "last." Can't get enough. Just this year there's Miley Cyrus' The Last Song. The Last Station just came out on DVD. There's classic bombs like Arnold Schwarzenegger's The Last Action Hero, and perhaps the worst of the bunch, The Last Holiday starring Queen Latifah.
Now, let's talk about the best of the bunch. These are the "TOP 7 Movies with the word 'Last' in the Title." As always, I had to make some tough cuts, so those simply make it into the comments section below.
7. The Last Boy Scout (1991)
Recap: A detective (Bruce Willis) and ex-quarterback Jimmy Dix (Damon Wayans) are thrown together to attempt to solve a murder. Reason: Writer Shane Black and director Tony Scott finally have the gumption to put a loaded gun on the football field and in the hands of a star running back. It's over-the-top insane. But not nearly as insane as the ex-quarterback joining forces with a rouge cop to save the day. "Touch me again and I'll kill you," still remains a line I love to break out whenever possible. Though, I rarely follow it up with smashing a guy's nose into his brain. Rarely. This film hit me at my Bruce Willis high. Not even dancing a jig could slow down the fun I had with this flick.
6. The Last Samurai (2003)
Recap: An American (Tom Cruise), who has spent years defending this country, begins to understand the ways of Japan around the time of the American Civil War. Reason: Yes, there's a formula at work here. Yes, it feels like Dances With Wolves or the number __ movie on this list. Yes, it didn't make my recent TOP 7 Tom Cruise Movies. But can you stop being so negative for one second with this film? It's good. Just never great. Once again Cruise pours himself into a role, and throws his body around whenever possible. Having Ken Watanabe and Billy Connolly around is just good thinking.
5. The Last King of Scotland (2006)
Recap: Based on true events of the brutal Ugandan dictator Idi Amin (Forest Whitaker). We get an inside look at his regime through the eyes of Dr. Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy). Reason: It's a very intimidating performance by Whitaker, and it gave him the Academy Award for best actor. This is the part where I once again rant that McAvoy is the lead of this film, and Whitaker is the supporting actor. After all, McAvoy is in every scene! More importantly the movie balanced violence and charm with such a fine line that you'll be begging for more Idi Amin.
4. The Last Emperor (1987)
Recap: Pu Yi (John Lone) was born to be the absolute ruler of China. But when the world changes, he is forced to move beyond the tradition and be the last emperor his nation will know. Reason: This sprawling epic gives us a glimpse into another world, which is simply mind blowing. It's only 100 years ago and the spectacle that is the emperor's life is entrancing. It hops around a little too much to be any higher on the list, with the best moments of the film always involving the great Peter O'Toole. One more thing, for a PG-13 rating, this pushes some sexual boundaries.
3. About Last Night ... (1986)
Recap: A man (Rod Lowe) and woman (Demi Moore) have an affair even though their friends are trying to stop them. Reason: David Mamet wrote the play that this film is based on. Simply knowing that makes you realize it isn't a no-brain sex comedy. Edward Zwick gets two films on this list. He also directed The Last Samurai. Elizabeth Perkins and James Belushi are the best friend sidekicks and nail the role. has shown rare moments of acting, this is one of them. Plus, Chicago is given a starring role. There's a Cubs game before the rooftops became popular and 16-inch softball. Lowe pulls off the pretty, simple man. Moore actually is the one in charge. This film came out three years before When Harry Met Sally but rarely gets the credit for pushing adult romantic comedies to the next level.
2. The Last of the Mohicans (1992)
Recap: A dying tribe of Mohawk Indians is in the middle of battles between the British and French troops. Hawkeye aka Nathaniel Poe (Daniel Day Lewis) has been adopted by the tribe, and now protects Cora (Madeleine Stowe) and her sister. Reason: Michael Mann makes you care. Day Lewis makes you really care. For all those ladies swooning over Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner, take note of the perfect job Day Lewis does. This film is a great example of putting you in a big picture, but honing it down to just a few characters. Avatar doesn't exist if this movie (yes, a remake from a novel) is never made. It's also one of the best musical score's ever from a film.
1. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
Recap: Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is back in the third installment of the series. This time he needs his father (Sean Connery) to help track down the holy grail, before it falls into the hands of Hitler and Nazi Germany. Reason: The first may be the best. This one, however, is the most fun of the series. The banter between Ford and Connery is perfect for any father/son to appreciate. The action sequences on foot, motorcycle and airplane keep us on the edge of our seats. And at the end ... we ride of into the sunset, never to see Ford put on the classic hat again. Wait a minute, what about Indy Part 4? No, no, no. We ride off into the sunset! This I command! And as for the number one pick on this list, I chose ... wisely.