There have been several films throughout cinematic history that are obviously designed to appeal to male sensibilities. Many have action and violence to primarily appeal to the guys, while others have love stories and relationship drama that primarily appeals to women. Well, films like Wonder Woman successfully blur those lines and give both sexes various elements they can relate to. If you are sick of sitting through explosions, fist fighting, and misogyny just to make him happy, here is PlanetHopperTV’s list of the top 10 guys flicks you won’t just tolerate, you’ll both love because they have various elements you can appreciate. Enjoy!
- Swingers (1996) – Directed by Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Edge of Tomorrow) based on an exceptional script from actor/writer/director Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Chef) who also stars alongside a young and magnetic Vince Vaughn in his first major film role that launched his career. This is very much a guy movie, but there is more than enough for women to appreciate. It’s loosely based on Favreau’s real life experiences when he moved to Los Angeles and broke up with a long-term girlfriend. He relied on his friends Vince Vaughn and Ron Livingston to help him recover and navigate the social scene. Vince and Ron play themselves in the film. The meager $200,000 budget was raised independently because Liman sent the script to studios, who were interested, but when Liman insisted that Favreau and his friends be cast in the film, they turned it down. They also wanted to take out all the mentions of “money”, “baby”, and “honey” which help give the film its distinctive voice. Vince Vaughn’s masculinity is perfectly complimented by Favreau’s sensitive, doe-eyed character who is sure to illicit plenty of aaaaw’s from ladies.
Why chicks will appreciate it: Vaughn’s bravado might make you cringe at times, but it’s Favreau’s Mike that gives the film its heart as he is rejected when projecting his newly learned bravado and doesn’t find love until he embraces both his vulnerability and his strengths. Plus, there is a phenomenal and touching dance scene between Favreau and Heather Graham in a small, but memorable role that brings the film full circle.
Why guys will appreciate it: Guys will love Vaughn’s Trent character as he tells Mike that he’s the bear and the ladies are bunnies that he must devour. Not to mention the male bonding in Vegas, more male bonding while party-hopping the LA neo-lounge scene, and a confrontation with thugs that turns out to be a testosterone-laden video game session.
- Desperado (1995) – Written and directed by the great Robert Rodriguez; Desperado is a bigger budget sequel to his magnificently violent first independent film El Mariachi (1992), but mirrors many of its plot points and elements and reimagines them in a decidedly more stylistic and polished way. It stars Antonio Banderas as musician / gunslinger El Mariachi in a bloody war with a local drug runner. The incomparable Salma Hayek plays his fiery and capable love interest Carolina. It also features great performances from Steve Buscemi and Cheech Marin. It’s extremely violent with a death toll of almost 70, but it’s also extremely sexy in its style and the chemistry between Banderas and Hayek who have a steamy sex scene. It features over the top action complete with explosions and creative gunplay, but it’s the sensual and often beautiful style of the film that makes it a joy for both men and women.
Why chicks will appreciate it: The smoldering Latin sexiness of Antonio Banderas makes it a must see for chicks and Salma Hayek is a force to be reckoned with. It’s also a beautiful movie to look at from beginning to end and features a steaming hot love affair between El Mariachi and Carolina.
Why guys will appreciate it: The smoldering Latin sexiness of Salma Hayek makes it a must see for guys and Antonio Banderas is the epitome of machismo coolness with his guitar case full of guns. It’s just as violent as it is beautiful with slo-mo action done right and a wealth of gun blasts and cool explosions.
- The Nice Guys (2016) – Written and directed by Shane Black in only his 3rd feature film as a director; Black manages to deliver a modern neo noir buddy action comedy that is just as instantly iconic as his earlier writing credits Lethal Weapon, Monster Squad, and The Last Boy Scout, showing that he’s not going away any time soon. The film is set in 1977 Los Angeles and stars Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling as polar-opposite private investigators who get mixed up in a murder mystery involving a missing girl and a dead porn star in a story chock full of comedy, eccentric characters, and outrageous situations. I can’t express enough how much of a joy it is to see Gosling and Crowe trade quips, making you hope that they return for tons of sequels. It’s a convincing period piece that feels like the 70’s and the mystery and action are just as fun as the comedy. A smile is not likely to leave your face the duration of its runtime.
Why chicks will appreciate it: This is the first of 2 appearances on the list by Ryan Gosling who is a huge hit with the ladies. He’s cuter and cuddlier here and seems like a completely different person from some of his suave performances, but you will love seeing his goofy side as he shows what a gifted comedic performer he is. Plus, the sub-plot with him and his daughter is nothing short of darling.
Why guys will appreciate it: Guys will eat up the wild action, violence, sexuality, nudity, and fun plot twists. Not to mention the bromance between Crowe and Gosling that seems fresh and lively despite being a somewhat overused comedy element in recent years.
- The Town (2010) – Directed, co-written, and starring Ben Affleck and costarring Rebecca Hall and Jeremy Renner who got an Oscar and Golden Globe nomination for best supporting actor for his role as Affleck’s best friend and bank robbing partner James. Jon Hamm also appears as the FBI agent hot on the trail of the crew that accept the challenge of robbing banks in the Charlestown neighborhood of Boston where armed robbery is a way of life. When a robbery almost goes wrong, they are forced to take a hostage (Hall). After releasing her, Affleck’s character trails her to ensure that she doesn’t tip off the cops and ends up falling in love with her, causing friction between him and his friend James. Renner steals the show as a hothead criminal who has love for his friend, but disdain for the law, and the love story between Hall and Affleck gives the film an emotional core that many heist films don’t even attempt.
Why chicks will appreciate it: Even without the exciting heist scenes; the love story is prominent and imperative and adds an exciting element to the relationship between the 2 friends, as well as, the sub-plot involving Hamm’s FBI agent and Hall’s victim of circumstance. Plus, Affleck, Hamm, and Renner are all super-hot!
Why guys will appreciate it: The love story might be a distraction from the heists and crime action for some guys, but the element of danger that it adds makes the film even more exhilarating overall.
- Kill Bill (2003) – Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, the iconic master of violence and sharply unique dialogue; this is one of the many balls-out masterpieces of his illustrious career. This one being the most colorful and ultra-violent. Uma Thurman stars as The Bride in the most exemplary role of her career. She shares the screen with a cast of colorful and extraordinary characters played by actors like Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox, Daryl Hannah, David Carradine, Michael Madsen, and the late great Michael Parks. The Bride awakens from a coma after 4 years and realizes her baby is gone from her womb and the team of assassins she was once a part of betrayed her and left her for dead. The rest of the film is an orchestra of violent revenge where The Bride battles professional killers and scores of poor saps who stand in her way. This heavily female cast delivers one of the most violent films of our generation and some excellent drama, dialogue, and fight scenes that are beautiful and bloody.
Why chicks will appreciate it: This film is girl power at its bloody best with The Bride being more of a threat than most men. When Tarantino creates strong female characters in his films, they are bad asses.
Why guys will appreciate it: The death toll in the film is almost 100 and buckets of blood soak most of the scenes. The fighting is top notch and the battle between The Bride and a Meteor Hammer-yielding young Asian girl in a school girl’s uniform is just as hot as it is savage.
- Fight Club (1999) – Directed by the unparalleled David Fincher (Seven, Gone Girl) and written by first time screenwriter Jim Uhls, based on the wildly original novel by Chuck Palahniuk. This strange and kinetic drama thriller stars Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, and Helena Bonham Carter. Norton’s awkward insomniac office worker is in a life crisis and crosses paths with Pitt’s enigmatic soap maker Tyler Durden. Together they form an underground fight club that turns out to be something much bigger and much more dangerous. The allure of the film is less about the violence, twists, incredible visuals, and large-scale anarchy than it is about the mixture of all of them. It’s a joy to watch on many levels and Bonham Carter is fascinating as she plays off Pitt and Norton in a way that only she can.
Why chicks will appreciate it: A sweaty and ripped Brad Pitt fights with his shirt off and so does Jared Leto. Plus, the strong female presence of Helena Bonham Carter somehow comes off equally formidable and vulnerable among the insanity that Pitt and Norton create around her forming one of the most atypical love stories you will ever see.
Why guys will appreciate it: This might be obvious but guys love the bare-fisted underground fights and worship Tyler Durden for his confidence, coolness, and take-charge attitude and often relate to either him or Norton or both.
- Logan (2017) – The newest film on the list is also the most surprisingly touching, especially since it’s a story about comic book hero Wolverine. Directed by James Mangold (Girl, Interrupted, Identity, 3:10 to Yuma) who came up with the story and co-wrote it with Scott Frank and Michael Green; this might just be the most compelling and emotional superhero film ever made. Helping get the balance of action and drama just right are co-stars Sir Patrick Stewart, as the aging Professor X, and Dafne Keen in a star-making performance as Logan’s daughter Laura and 11-year old wrecking machine in her feature film debut. The story follows Logan in the near future as he cares for Professor X who is mentally and physically ill after a tragedy has forced them into hiding. Meanwhile, Logan’s health is failing as well. In his final adventure, he fights to save his daughter from the clutches of men who want to exploit her powers and the powers of a group of young mutants who the world believes are extinct. It’s equally sad, graphically violent, profound, and wonderfully intriguing.
Why chicks will appreciate it: To say that the story of Logan, Professor X, and Laura is touching is an understatement. You are likely to shed tears just as many times as you gasp at the intense and hard-hitting action.
Why guys will appreciate it: To say the action is hard-hitting is an understatement. Thanks to the R rating, this is the most graphic violence we have ever seen from the Wolverine character. The fights and chase scenes are realistic and pulse-pounding with tons of blood, guns, and severed limbs.
- Drive (2011) – Directed by otherworldly auteur and true original, Nicolas Winding Refn; this moody and stylistic thriller stars Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, and Albert Brooks. Gosling sizzles as a mysterious and enigmatic stuntman and mechanic who moonlights as a getaway driver and what a driver he is. He falls for his beautiful and troubled neighbor (Mulligan) and things get irreversibly complicated when he meets her husband. Refn creates such a unique and thick atmosphere that the element of danger hangs over the film like a cloud full of lightning.
Why chicks will appreciate it: The 2nd appearance of Ryan Gosling on the list is a much sexier character. A mysterious and quiet cool bad boy with a past. When he plants a kiss on Mulligan in that elevator before a particularly brutal explosion of violence; it makes for a poetic, sexy, and shocking scene that will stay with you long after watching it.
Why guys will appreciate it: Strong, brutal, bloody violence, nudity, fast cars, and gangsters. Enough said.
- Pulp Fiction (1994) – The second film on the list written and directed by Quentin Tarantino and one of the most original and exhilarating cinematic experiences in the last 50 years. It won the Oscar for best writing and was nominated for 6 others including Best Picture and Best Director. It’s one of the most iconic films of our generation for a reason. Four compulsory stories weave together and collide before your eyes in a way that jars your senses and stimulates your imagination with an ensemble cast made up of John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, Tim Roth, Ving Rhames, Christopher Walken, and Harvey Keitel. Virtually every scene is beloved and exemplary among casual fans and cinephiles alike.
Why chicks will appreciate it: In a film with unbelievable star power, Uma Thurman graces the poster. Her character of Mia Wallace is instantly recognizable and the embodiment of the ultimate retro chick. The dance scene between her and Travolta is sexy cool and a permanent fixture in cinema history.
Why guys will appreciate it: It has strong graphic violence with scenes like hitmen Vincent and Jules (Travolta and Jackson) pontificating about McDonald’s burgers in Paris on their way to a job, a fierce battle between Butch and Marsellus (Willis and Rhames) that takes a shocking turn, and The Wolf (Keitel) helping Vincent and Jules clean blood and chunks of brain out of their back seat. This barely scratches the surface.
- True Romance (1993) –Directed by the late Tony Scott (Top Gun, The Last Boy Scout, Enemy of the State); this gem is based on another script by Quentin Tarantino featuring a bad ass chick, Alabama, portrayed to perfection by Patricia Arquette. Another example of Tarantino’s writing drawing star power with enduring performances from Christian Slater, Dennis Hopper, Gary Oldman, Christopher Walken, Brad Pitt, and James Gandolfini. As the title suggests; Clarence and Alabama (Slater and Arquette) are swept up in a whirlwind romance that erupts in violence when Clarence inadvertently steals a suitcase of cocaine from Alabama’s pimp (Oldman). This sends them on a dynamic adventure full of romance, guns, drugs, pimps, cops, gangsters, and a Mexican stand-off. The romance is just as sweet and touching as the violence is graphic and explosive. The unblemished frenzy of excitement is off the charts and in your face and the love birds make you root for them gleefully as they fight tooth and nail for their happy ending.
Why chicks will appreciate it: The violence has a heart and Slater and Arquette are a convincing couple to the point that you can’t imagine anyone else playing Clarence and Alabama. Alabama is a tough chick who knows what she wants and the fight between her and a ruthless gangster, played by Gandolfini, will leave you breathless and brimming with pride that she didn’t need a man to save her.
Why guys will appreciate it: Strong violence and sexuality throughout with exhilarating characters like Drexl the pimp (Oldman) and a riveting scene between gangster Vincenzo (Walken) and Clarence’s father Cliff (Hopper). The scene where Clarence faces off against Drexl and his henchman alone will have your heart beating out of your chest.