Aside from style icons and style blogs, what better way could one get style inspiration and be entertained at the same time, than by watching fashionable and stylish movies?
I may not be a cinephile, but I really loved watching movies when I was growing up. I watched all genres, you name it…Action Films like Commando, Romantic Drama like When Harry Met Sally, Ninja action like American Ninja, Mafia Crime like The Godfather trilogy, James Bond Movies – all James Bond Movies, all Jet Lee Movies, all Jackie Chan Movies and to top it any Horror Movie I could lay my hands on. I’m sure you do remember Hammer House of Horror series, Dracula, The Exorcist, The Omen etc. Forget It!!! The horror movie was my favorite …well…at least until October 2010 when I saw SAW 3D: The Final Chapter, which happened to also be my final chapter for horror movies. But before then….here is how much I loved horror movies and why I derive my own Style Inspiration from it.
While other kids screamed and covered their faces in fear, I found myself excited and laughing as I watched the Vampire roar in satisfaction just before he digs his fangs into the lady’s neck, taking the vein and pulling life force out of her with a mighty draw. The effect is similar if I’m watching Dracula as he plunges his hand into his victim’s chest, ripping off his heart, then taking a yummy bite out of it. Hmm 😕 …just thinking about it right now, maybe that’s how my love for Hard, Gothic & Extreme Metal Rock Music started, you know….the likes of Cradle of Filth, Metallica, Black Sabbath and Tristania.
But really, beyond the gory scenes in Horror movies, there was something classy about Vampires and Dracula to me back then…[maybe even now]…First, they are Bold, Fearless and always Stylish, isn’t that what a classy man should be? Their outfit is always on point –The tuxedo. The white pleated shirt with a wing collar. The Bow Tie. The cape. The medallion. The Signet Ring. These are the tropes that we associate with Count Dracula or Vampire Master. And in terms of personality, how about his charming and aristocratic demeanor, the symbol of authority and the power he commands, and the confidence he exudes. They are just the true definition of Alpha Males. No wonder they always say “keep your women away from the Vampiric Alpha male”
Anyway, today I’m not talking about only Horror Movies, I’m talking about any kind of movie that would inspire you and help you improve your style. Movies that would inspire you to dress well, do well and live well which is what the KOBI KOACHMAN brand is all about.
So check out these 22 fashionable and stylish movies that will inspire your wardrobe, lifestyle and everything else organized according to the year of release and starting with my number 1 horror movie 😉 Enjoy!
22 MOVIES EVERY STYLISH GENTLEMAN SHOULD SEE
#1. THE EXORCIST (1973)
Actors: Ellen Burstyn, Max Von Sydow, Linda Blair
Directed by: William Friedkin
Arguably the scariest motion picture ever made, William Friedkin’s THE EXORCIST was unleashed on an unsuspecting American public in 1973. The film quickly became a nationwide sensation, leading to religious boycotts, fainting, and a huge box office return. Oscar nominee Linda Blair beat out hundreds of other child actors to land the role of Regan MacNeil, a 12-year-old who is possessed by the devil. After exhausting all other practical options, Regan’s mother, Chris (Ellen Burstyn), acknowledges the supernatural nature of her daughter’s condition and recruits Father Damien Karras (Jason Miller) to stage an exorcism.
Aided by the mysterious Jesuit exorcist Father Merrin (Max von Sydow), Father Damien must confront not only the supernatural phenomena in front of him but also his own inadequate faith and displaced guilt over his mother’s recent death.
#2. THE GODFATHER PART II (1974)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Hollywood Tone, Period
Actors: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro
Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola
The sequel to THE GODFATHER tells the story of both a young Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro), newly arrived in America, and his son Michael (Al Pacino), forty years later, running the family empire. On the streets of Hell’s Kitchen in 1917 New York City, Vito is initiated into the ways of the local Cosa nostra by his friend Clemenza (Bruno Kirby). After killing the local mafioso in a towel-wrapped gun, Vito becomes the new man to be respected and feared. Meanwhile, a dour Michael Corleone negotiates with business partner Hyman Roth (legendary method actor Lee Strasberg in his first film role) in Cuba and testifies in front of a Washington Senate committee.
Robert Duvall (Tom Hagen), Diane Keaton (Kay Corleone), Talia Shire (Connie Corleone), and John Cazale (Fredo Corleone), reprising their roles from THE GODFATHER, are outstanding as the people forced to watch the new godfather’s moral destruction. Robert De Niro, speaking in Italian, captures the mannerisms of Marlon Brando’s Vito Corleone from the first film brilliantly. THE GODFATHER PART II is one of the only major sequels ever made that might just surpass the original
#3. AMERICAN GIGOLO (1980)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Actors: Richard Gere, Lauren Hutton
Directed by: Paul Schrader
Richard Gere is Julian Kay, a slick emotionally and spiritually deprived L.A. hustler in AMERICAN GIGOLO. While servicing an upscale clientele in the Hollywood area, he becomes involved with a rich senator’s wife (Lauren Hutton), their relationship extending beyond Julian’s normal encounters. Little does he know he is about to be framed for murder, forcing him to rely on alibis from Madame Anne (Nina Van Pallandt), a crooked pimp (Bill Duke), or the senator’s wife herself. A stylishly sleazy look at moral decay and redemption, director Paul Schrader combines a European cinematic sensibility with his usual themes of moral drift and emotional alienation in this vivid portrait of early 1980s chic Hollywood decadence.
#4. SCARFACE (1983)
Genre: Action, Crime
Actors: Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Robert Loggia
Directed by: Brian De Palma
Brian De Palma’s blood-and-sun-drenched saga of a Cuban deportee’s rise to the top of Miami’s cocaine business has become something of a popular classic since its release; it’s been referenced in rap songs and subsequent gangster movies and quoted the world over. Despite this lovefest with the dialogue, the film’s brutal violence and lack of positive characters still make it controversial and disliked by certain critics. Al Pacino stars as Tony Montana, whose intelligence, guts and ambition help him skyrocket from dishwasher to the top of a criminal empire but whose eventual paranoia and incestuous desire for his kid sister (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) prove his undoing. Michelle Pfeiffer plays Tony’s neglected coke-addicted trophy wife, and Steven Bauer is his concerned friend.
F. Murray Abraham, Robert Loggia, and Paul Shenar are some of Tony’s sleazy business partners and potential killers. Oliver Stone wrote the expletive-packed screenplay, based on Howard Hawks’s 1932 version–which was ostensibly about Al Capone and starred Paul Muni and George Raft. The synth-heavy Giorgio Moroder score expertly evokes the drug-fueled decadence of 1980s Miami, and De Palma provides several of his elaborate set pieces, including a horrific showstopper in a motel room with a chainsaw.
#5. THE UNTOUCHABLES (1987)
Genre: Action, Crime, Historical, Hollywood Tone, Period, Thriller
Actors: Robert De Niro, Kevin Costner, Sean Connery
Directed by: Brian De Palma
Kevin Costner is idealistic federal agent Eliot Ness, whose assignment to clean up Prohibition-era Chicago leads to violence and manly questions about upholding the law. Initially powerless to stop the flow of booze into the city (the police force is corrupt and everyone in town seems to be on the mob’s payroll), Ness finds guidance from an older streetwise cop (Sean Connery, who won an Academy Award for this role) who convinces him he’ll need to break some rules if he wants to bring down head mobster Al Capone (Robert De Niro). Andy Garcia and Charles Martin Smith play Ness’s other recruits, who together must stand tall against a city full of assassins.
#6. GOOD FELLAS (1990)
Genre: Crime & Drama
Actors: Ray Liotta, Lorraine Bracco, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Paul Sorvino
Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Based on Nicholas Pileggi’s book WISEGUY, Martin Scorsese’s GOODFELLAS is a wry, violent, and exhilarating film about the life of Henry Hill, an aspiring criminal who ends up in the FBI’s witness protection program after testifying against his former partners. As a poor Irish-Italian growing up in 1950s New York City, Hill (Ray Liotta) rises through the ranks of his Brooklyn neighborhood’s organized crime branch, and with money from the mob he begins living the good life, complete with a beautiful bride, Karen (Lorraine Bracco), a fancy house, and the best seats at the most exclusive restaurants.
A botched robbery lands Henry in prison for a brief period of time, and when he gets released, his reckless infidelities and drug abuse damage his association with his adopted family.
#7. CASINO (1995)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Period , produced in 1995 USA, France
Actors: Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Sharon Stone, James Woods
Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese, one of America’s most influential filmmakers, returns to the world of mobsters, greed, and excess that he explored so compellingly in 1990’s GOODFELLAS. Set in the 1970s and reveling in the minute details of how Las Vegas casinos operate, the film chronicles the rise and fall of casino manager Ace Rothstein (Robert De Niro). As the king of his domain, Ace efficiently runs the business and regularly sends lots of cold cash to his bosses. Helping him keep the casino’s employees and customers honest is his best friend, Nicky (Joe Pesci), a violent sociopath.
Although Ace aims to run a relatively respectable casino, the volatile Nicky wants to take over the entire gambling mecca, and when Ginger McKenna (Sharon Stone), a seasoned Vegas hustler, enters the picture, Ace and Nicky’s friendship is complicated even further.
As drugs and alcohol become a bigger part of Ginger’s life, all three are eventually brought down by their own greed and blind ambition. CASINO shares many similarities with GOODFELLAS, beginning with a script that was co-written by Scorsese and Nicholas Pileggi. Regulars De Niro and Pesci are first rates once again as the dissimilar companions, but it is Stone who steals the show with her grueling, intense performance.
#8. HOODLUM (1997)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Period , produced in 1997 USA
Actors: Laurence Fishburne, Andy Garcia, Tim Roth
Directed by: Bill Duke
HOODLUM stars Laurence Fishburne in a powerful performance as Ellsworth “Bumpy” Johnson, the notorious Harlem gangster of the 1930s. Director Bill Duke mixes a sumptuous visual style with a message of black empowerment. Bumpy gets out of prison and goes to work for the Harlem numbers powerhouse known as Madam Queen (Cicely Tyson), bringing him into conflict with the psychopathic Dutch Schultz (Tim Roth), who is trying to take over the numbers racket in Harlem. As the blood flows through Harlem streets, those around Bumpy begin to question his methods– and his morals.
#9.AMERICAN PSYCHO (2000)
Genre: Horror, Independent, Postmodernism, Thriller , produced in 2000 USA, Canada
Actors: Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Jared Leto, Reese Witherspoon, Samantha Mathis, Chloë Sevigny, Joshua Lucas
Directed by: Mary Harron
A cunning indictment of the materialism of the 1980s, AMERICAN PSYCHO is Mary Harron’s (I SHOT ANDY WARHOL) and Guinevere Turner’s (GO FISH) deft interpretation of the dark and violent Brett Easton Ellis novel of the same name. Christian Bale (VELVET GOLDMINE) plays Patrick Bateman, the personification of the “me” culture of Ronald Reagan’s 1980s. Imprisoned in an inane corporate existence fueled by status symbols, small talk, and gossip, Bateman begins a bloody reign of terror on nearly all that cross his path.
The film’s gray and navy mise-en-scene is filled with chilly, vacant streets, hard-edged skyscrapers and cold interiors flecked with the latest technological gadgets and designer flourishes. Mary Harron’s camera glides through these spaces with the undisturbed detachment of a shark. Bale is a razor sharp Bateman whose cool, predatory grace is only matched by the equally indifferent corporate world in which he lives.
#10. BLOW (2001)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Period
Actors: Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz
Directed by: Ted Demme
George Jung (Johnny Depp) doesn’t want to live like his father (Ray Liotta)–always short of money and constantly berated by his mother (Rachel Griffiths). So he sets off for California to live on the beach, where he finds he can make a living selling drugs. Soon George’s drug dealing business expands into shipping drugs across the country. Needing a bigger supply of drugs, he travels to Columbia and meets Pablo Escobar (Cliff Curtis). Before long, George becomes the biggest trafficker of cocaine in the United States. In BLOW, director Ted Demme and scriptwriters Nick Cassevetes and David McKenna chart George’s strange course into a world of girls and sun, drugs and fun. It’s all so easy until events change George’s life forever.
#11. OCEAN’S ELEVEN (2001)
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Hollywood Tone
Actors: George Clooney, Brad Pitt
Directed by: Steven Soderbergh
Loosely based on the 1960 Rat Pack film of the same name, OCEAN’S 11 is a hi-tech crime comedy that features a top-notch cast. Con man Danny Ocean (George Clooney) has just been released from a four-year jail term and decides that his first order of business is robbing three Las Vegas casinos owned by the slimy Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia). To pull off this nearly impossible task, he quickly assembles an eclectic crew–including a card shark (Brad Pitt), a pickpocket (Matt Damon), an explosives expert (Don Cheadle), and an aging gambler (Carl Reiner)–and seeks financial backing from a freewheeling casino mogul (Elliott Gould) who holds a grudge against Benedict.
However, it soon becomes apparent that Ocean has more at stake than money and his newly found freedom–his ex-wife, Tess (Julia Roberts), just happens to be Benedict’s new girlfriend. Can Ocean steal back Tess’s heart and more than a hundred million dollars at the same time?
#12. ALFIE (2004)
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Actors: Jude Law, Marisa Tomei, Susan Sarandon, Sienna Miller
Directed by: Charles Shyer
Jude Law stars in this trenchant dramatic-comedy, a remake of the 1966 British counterculture classic that launched the career of Michael Caine. This version is set in New York City and is pumped up with giddy, cleverly experimental editing. The story has Alfie (Law), a Don Juan-esque limo driver, speaking directly to the camera as he seduces the lovely ladies of the city. Eventually, he’s forced to take stock of the damage he’s caused, and acknowledge the emptiness at the core of his chosen lifestyle.
Playing the role of Alfie requires a fine balancing act from Law–he must be so charming that he seduces both the audience and himself, while also conveying the self-delusion and sadness at the character’s core–and Law is up for the challenge, expertly conveying glimpses of the unfathomed depth beneath his polished shallowness. Equally good are his array of conquests, including Marisa Tomei as a single mom, Sienna Miller as a mood-swinging party girl, and Susan Sarandon as a rich older woman.
A soundtrack by Mick Jagger and David Stewart (Eurythmics) adds liberal dollops of self-aware rock & roll melancholy. Dick Latessa is great as an old man who offers Alfie some sage advice, and Omar Epps plays the screwed-over limo driving buddy.
#13. THE BUSINESS (2005)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Actors: Danny Dyer, Tamer Hassan
Directed by: Nick Love
Frankie decides enough is enough with his life as a street thug living on a South London estate, and jets off to Spain where he meets big time businessman Charlie who’s currently running the hottest bars in the land and also a South London bank robber and drug kingpin, from here on in Frankie signs up to a lifetime of crime women and drugs and works his way from the bottom to the top of the Spanish cocaine empire with Charlie and Fellow bank robber and drug kingpin Sammy who does’not give Frankie the best reception.
#14. QUANTUM OF SOLACE (2008)
Genre: Action, Hollywood Tone, Thriller
Actors: Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Mathieu Amalric
Directed by: Marc Forster
Following the death of Vesper Lynd, James Bond (Daniel Craig) makes his next mission personal. The hunt for those who blackmailed his lover leads him to ruthless businessman Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric), a key player in the organization which coerced Vesper. Bond learns that Greene is plotting to gain total control of a vital natural resource, and he must navigate a minefield of danger and treachery to foil the plan.
#15. A SINGLE MAN (2009)
Genre: Drama, Period
Actors: Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Nicholas Hoult, Matthew Goode
Directed by: Tom Ford
Tom Ford’s historical importance (to date) rests in part on his unique collaborations with the late twentieth century’s great commercial photographers: Richard Avedon, Steven Meisel, Helmut Newton, Herb Ritts and so on. With them, he championed the idea that style could govern our memories, without an appeal to straightforward nostalgia. Evidence of this same balance of past and present can also be found in the clothes he famously created at Gucci. Ford drew from the past in ways that clearly distinguish tribute from innovation, evoking both technological change and the timeless truths of the human form.
In his first feature film, Ford continues along this rich and aesthetically complex pathway, using the recent history of the photographic image to tell a story both historical and bracingly contemporary.The setting is Southern California and our moment in time is officially the early sixties. We meet George Falconer (Colin Firth), a gay college professor, as he learns that his lover Jim (Matthew Goode) has died in a car wreck. Grief overwhelms him, and his “invisible status” in society begins to close in again. Suicide seems the best way out. But a mad night with Charley (Julianne Moore), his best girlfriend from England, and the unexpected attentions of an angora-sweater-clad young man make George think twice.
#16. INCEPTION (2010)
Genre: Action, Futuristic, Hollywood Tone, Postmodernism, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
A contemporary science fiction thriller about a corporation that has developed a technology that can enter dreams and extract information from the human mind.
#17. WALL STREET : MONEY NEVER SLEEPS (2010)
Genre: Drama, Thriller , produced in 2010 USA
Actors: Shia LaBeouf, Charlie Sheen, Carey Mulligan, Susan Sarandon
Directed by: Oliver Stone
20-plus years after he introduced us to the phrase “greed is good,” controversial filmmaker Oliver Stone (W., World Trade Center) returns to the world of high finance, unfettered capitalism, and white-collar crime. Michael Douglas reprises his Oscar-winning role as Gordon Gekko, the deliciously diabolical money magnate who never passes up a chance to make a buck. Shia LaBeouf also stars as a young trader embroiled in a puzzling murder.
#18. CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE (2011)
Genre: Comedy, Romance , produced in 2011 USA
Actors: Emma Stone, Julianne Moore, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling
Directed by: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Cal (Steve Carell) and Emily (Julianne Moore) have the perfect life together living the American dream… until Emily asks for a divorce. Now Cal, Mr Husband, has to navigate the single scene with a little help from his professional bachelor friend Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling). Make that a lot of help
#19. SKYFALL (2012)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller
Actors: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Naomie Harris
Directed by: Sam Mendes
Bond’s loyalty to M is tested when her past comes back to haunt her. Whilst MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.
#20. THE GREAT GATSBY (2013)
Genre: Drama, Romance
Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton
Director: Baz Luhrmann
A Midwestern war veteran finds himself drawn to the past and lifestyle of his millionaire neighbor.
#21. THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (2013)
Genre: Biography, Comedy, Crime
Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
Director: Martin Scorsese
Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, from his rise to a wealthy stock-broker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government.
#22. KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE (2014/2015)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Actors: Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Samuel L. Jackson
Director: Matthew Vaughn
A spy organization recruits an unrefined, but promising street kid into the agency’s ultra-competitive training program, just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius.BONUS
#23. THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. (2015)
Genre: Action, Comedy
Director: Guy Ritchie
Writers: Guy Ritchie (screenplay), Lionel Wigram (screenplay)
Stars: Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander
In the early 1960s, CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin participate in a joint mission against a mysterious criminal organization, which is working to proliferate nuclear weapons.
I hope you enjoyed my list of Top Movies you stylish gents should see. I’ve watched each and every one of them at least twice and would say from firsthand experience that they are all both entertaining and inspiring as far as dressing well is concerned.
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Until next time gentlemen – Sayonara!
Yours in Style,
Kobi O. Mbagwu (Mr. Kobi)
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