Movies geared towards men often consist of a formula that appeals to their basic instincts: a love for all things violence, explosions, and sex. Not that a film must consist of all of these qualities, but generally speaking, men like movies with visually engaging scenes and stunts. It’s not surprising then, that deciding on a movie both you and your guy will enjoy can be a struggle — WWIII may break out in your living room. But don’t stress; below are eleven “manly” movies that girls will love too. Trust us — suggest one of the films below at your next movie night, and you and your guy will happily call a truce.
1. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (above)
Okay, so this is not the most “manly” movie per-se, but it has to be one of our favorite movies of all time. Harrison Ford plays Henry Walton, “Indiana” Jones Jr., a professor of archaeology, who at the chance to collect artifacts channels an adventurer persona. I think just as many women as men enjoyed this movie partly because Indiana was a real hero, not one with superpowers. Indiana Jones’ charm was also attributed to his duality of being both a romantic and a cynic. Oh, not to mention that Harrison Ford’s physique in this movie was also at its prime.
2. Old School
Old School was an early introduction to the comedies infused with slapstick and raunchy humor that later became its own genre, mainly helmed by Vince Vaughn and Will Ferrell. Not that Old School consists of much violence or explosions, but it does revolve around sex– lots of it. One cannot deny the addictive combination of Ferrell’s wisecracks and Vaughn’s fast-talking slapstick humor, but many women found themselves rooting for the underdogs in this movie — the genuinely nice guys who were just trying to reconnect with the boys they used to be.
3. Bourne Identity
Bourne Identity also has to be one of our favorite movies due in part to Matt Damon’s personification of an emotionless, psychogenic amnesiac striving to discover his true identity while simultaneously trying to avoid the conspiracy of the CIA’s attempt to kill him. We know, it’s complicated. We usually don’t think of Damon as a ruthless, cunning assassin, but it somehow works well for the actor, and ups his hotness factor.
4. Fight Club
To say that Fight Club features violence is an understatement — the film is rooted in violence (just read the title), but it also serves as a metaphor for Edward Norton’s discontentment with the world. Guys obviously related to Norton’s character as an “everyday” man who’s unhappy with his job and life, so much so that he creates an alter-ego and starts a fight club in order to “feel” something. Yes, the violence is graphic and jarring, but we think women related to this movie on a deeper level just as men did. It sends the message: be the real adult you want to be and not just the adult society has pre-programmed and conditioned you to become.
“Say hello to my little friend,” is the infamous line uttered by Al Pacino’s character in Scarface, and it’s probably one of the most recognized pop-culture references of the past three decades. This movie has it all — violence, corruption, and drug dealing gangsters, all set against the glamour and excess of 1980s Miami. What woman didn’t secretly find Pacino’s portrayal of a macho, powerful, egocentric thug exciting? He was both sleazy and slick, selfish yet protective. Alas, while we women got caught up in the allure of the glitzy world of 1980s organized crime, portrayed in part by Michelle Pfeiffer, it was ultimately Pacino’s intricate character that had us hooked.
6. Inglourious Basterds
The latest film in the Quentin Tarantino franchise, Inglourious Basterds successfully lives up to the cult-following appeal of Tarantino’s bizarre, jarringly violent, and art-house style of filmmaking. This time around, Tarantino produces a WWII film, focused around a Nazi-killing group called the “Basterds” whose trademark is scalping their victims. An inherently violent film, but one with an overall smart and witty storyline. There are also two strong female roles with which women can identify, and Brad Pitt offers audiences comical relief as a buff, vengeance-driven outlaw with a thick accent and skewed charm.
7. Casino Royale
There are twenty-two films total thus far in the James Bond franchise, however Casino Royale‘s portrayal of Bond is that of a more rugged character as opposed to his typically handsome and suave predecessors. This portrayal of Bond by actor Daniel Craig was not the typical tall, dark, handsome, and well-groomed rebel type that we’re used to, but rather a ruthless agent with an ability to injure both body and mind. But for women, this plus his British charm, is all part of the appeal.
8. The Italian Job
Heist genre movies are nothing new, and in this case, The Italian Job is a remake of the 1969 original. Still, there is something entertaining about offbeat criminals trying to devise a plan. Women loved this film just as much as men did; the odd group of criminals, smart humor — and who could forget that awesome Mini Cooper car chase sequence through the streets of Los Angeles? Plus, Mark Wahlberg’s tough guy persona makes even the nicest girl swoon.
9. Kill Bill Vol. I & II
Yet another Quentin Tarantino film makes the list, and for good reason. The sensationalism of violence, as well as the remorseless way in which Uma Thurman’s character assassinated her victims obviously appealed not only to men, but to women as well. Thurman’s character in this film is unlike many heroines previously portrayed; she remains stoic while pursuing a vengeful crusade against all the people who wronged her, and she does so in a merciless manner. Simply put, this movie is about woman power and kicking some serious ass.
For many women, and those particularly interested in classical studies (and, er, Russell Crowe), Gladiator was a grandiose film, filled with extravagant sets, costumes, and cinematography. The film also featured a solid and engaging story line filled with scenes of a shirtless Crowe — and we guess his acting skills made the movie worth the watch, too.