30 Cool Movies

June 9, 2008 | | 70 Comments 

Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Tim from CoolMaterial.com. If you’re looking for cool gadgets, be sure to check out his site.

Nothing says cool like a good guy movie. Especially ones with car chases, egg-eating contests, underground brawls, hit men, and foxy leading ladies. We’ve compiled a list of 30 cool movies that should be on every guy’s must-see list this summer.


The Professional - Leon

The Professional (Leon)

Leon is a hit man, who is content with his life. When a young girl comes home to find her family has been killed by a drug dealer, she seeks help by going to Leon. When the girl discovers he is a hit man, she asks him to teach her the skills to take her revenge. This is one of the best cool movies on this list.

Bullitt - Steve McQueen


A no nonsense cop named Frank Bullitt, and two other cops, are assigned to what seems like a normal case: to watch a witness for 48 hours before he goes to trial on Monday. When the officers and the witness are killed, Bullitt vows to catch the killer.

Apocalypse Now

Apocalypse Now

Set in 1969 Vietnam, during the ongoing war, Captain Willard is sent on a treacherous task into Cambodia to kill a renegade Green Beret who has set himself up as a God among a local tribe. . As Willard continues his journey he becomes more and more like the man he was sent to kill.

The Blues Brothers

The Blues Brothers

After the rise of popularity throughout several sketches on Saturday Night Live, and popular recordings, Chicago blues performer brothers Jake and Elwood (John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd), finally take their act to the big screen. In this hilarious, action packed hit from 1980, the two brothers try to save their childhood orphanage, while of course getting into plenty of trouble along the way.



As cool movies go, this is a great one. Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg play two young lovers on the run from the law after Belmondo kills a cop and steals a car. Soon they are on an adventure through the streets of Paris searching for money he is owed so that he and his American girlfriend can escape to Italy. This classic film is a mix between tragedy and Bonnie and Clyde type romance.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Butch and Sundance are the two leaders a small gang. Butch is all ideas and Sundance is filled with skill and action. The west is becoming sophisticated and when Butch and Sundance rob too many trains, a particular group begins following them everywhere they go. The two then decide to escape to Bolivia which leads to even more adventures.

Cool Hand Luke

Cool Hand Luke

Luke is sent to prison, and must deal with dangerous, intimidating gangs. The head of the gang hates him, and tries to break him by beating him up. All of this doesn’t work, and he eventually gains respect. He has some fun in jail doing things for the hell of it, after his mother dies the gang captures him in fear he might want to attend the funeral. He eventually escapes, and gets caught, and escapes again but nothing will break him. This is one of my all time favorite cool movies.

Die Hard

Die Hard

New York City Detective John McClane (Bruce Willis) has just arrived in Los Angeles to spend Christmas with his wife. Unfortunately, it winds up not being a Merry Christmas for everyone. A group of terrorists, led by Hans Gruber is holding everyone in the Nakatomi Plaza building hostage. It’s up to McClane to rescue everyone, and stop all the bad guys.

Easy Rider

Easy Rider

Wyatt and Billy are two motorcycle riders on their way to Mardis Gras. On the way, they have crazy encounters with different aspects of society. This box-office hit from 1969 leads the way of the American independent cinema movement, and represents the attitude of the 60’s hippy generation.

Enter the Dragon

Enter the Dragon

A martial arts specialist is recruited to sneak into a drug operation under the disguise of taking part in an invitational contest sponsored by a one handed crime boss. This film is filled with action and suspense, and it is Bruce Lee’s final film before his unfortunate death.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Before he became a filmmaker, Cameron Crowe was a reporter for Rolling Stone who went undercover for a year at a California high school and wrote a book about it. He wrote the script for this film, based on that book. Cameron Crowe creates one of the best cool movies for the silver screen. The story line is deals with the lives of different teens at Ridgemont High School, who get themselves into all sorts of situations with sex, drugs, and rock and roll. This will go down as one of the best teen movies ever created.

Fight Club

Fight Club

A lonely, remote thirty-something young professional seeks an escape from his ordinary life with the help of an underground fight club. In this club, boxing matches and harmless pranks soon lead to an out-of-control spiral towards oblivion. Based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club is one of those cool movies that takes the audience into a world that finds discomfort with consumerism and changes in the state of masculinity in American culture, and throws violence around as if it is the problem solver.

Get Shorty

Get Shorty

A mobster moves to Hollywood to gather a debt and has a life changing moment. That moment is finding out that his Mafioso skills lend themselves quite nicely to what he’s always really wanted to do which is producing movies.

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Clint Eastwood stars as Blondie (the Good), a man who searches for a collection of stolen gold against rivals the Bad played by Lee Van Cleef, who is a coldblooded bounty hunter named Angel eyes, and the Ugly played by Eli Wallach, who is a Mexican bandit named Tuco. This tale involves bloodshed, shoot-outs, double-crossing, and the ongoing search for treasure.

Gross Point Blank

Gross Pointe Blank

Professional assassin, Martin Blank is sent on a mission. He travels to small Detroit suburb, Grosse Pointe, and, by coincidence, his ten-year high school reunion party is taking place there at the same time



In this film, the lives of two men are focused on. They are on opposite sides of the law – one a detective; the other a thief. The thief considers getting out of the business after one last score, while the detective tries to put him behind bars. This is one of those shoot em up cool movies.

Lock Stock Smoking Barrels

Lock Stock Smoking Barrels

Four London working class stiffs gather their money to put one in a high stakes card game, but things go horribly wrong as they end up owing half a million pounds. Not only do they owe extreme cash, they only have one week to come up with it. This film is filled with style, class, dark humor, plot twists and turns.

The Magnificent Seven

The Magnificent Seven

They were seven – And they fought like seven
hundred! A bandit terrorizes a small Mexican farming village each
year. Several of the village elders send three of the farmers into the
United States to search for gunmen to defend them. They end up with 7,
each of whom comes for a different reason. They must prepare the town to
repulse an army of over 100 bandits who will arrive wanting food.

Ocean’s Eleven

Ocean’s Eleven

Danny Ocean, (George Clooney), gets together a gang of ten men including Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt) and Linus Caldwell (Matt Damon) along with others to pull off the biggest heist ever known. Their targets are set as The Mirage, the Bellagio and the MGM Grand casinos in Las Vegas. It’s not going to be easy, but the plan is made with hopes of secretly getting in and out, leaving $150 million richer. One of the most fun cool movies on this great list.

Once Upon a Time in America

Once Upon a Time in America

A gang of Jewish gangsters live in the rough neighborhood of New York’s Lower East Side in the 1920s, from childhood, through their glory years during prohibition, and meet again after being in hiding thirty five years later.

Pulp Fiction

Pulp Fiction

Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield are two dangerous hit men on the chase for a briefcase with stole goods that belong to their feared boss. Along the way, they run into a few unexpected and somewhat problematic detours.

Reservoir Dogs

Reservoir Dogs

A gang of thieves carry out an armed robbery on a Diamond warehouse. At first they are confident in their plan until they find out the police are after them. This leads them to believe that they suspect they have a rat in their company.

The Road Warrior

The Road Warrior

A former police officer played by Mel Gibson, becomes a wanderer
traveling alone through Australia after a nuclear war. His family is killed, and he soon finds himself the only hope of a small group of honest people running an isolated oil refinery and must protect them from the bike gang that is terrorizing them. He must cross the no man’s land several times to allow them to make a dash for freedom, pursued by the bandits in their vehicles



As cool movies go, Rounders gets points for just being about gambling. Set against the backdrop of New York’s seedy underground, uncertain poker world, Rounders is the tale of Mike McDermott (Matt Damon), a young man who is a reformed gambler who must return to playing big stakes poker to help a friend pay off loan sharks. Mcdermott wants to start his new life clean, but he winds up gambling on more than just money, and gambles the rest of his life.

Saturday Night Fever

Saturday Night Fever

In this 1977 hit, John Travolta plays Tony, a young guy from Brooklyn who feels his only chance to get somewhere is to be the king of the disco floor. When Tony falls in love with a woman he meets at a dance club, who strives for greater things in life, he realizes he has to put his own life into perspective.

The Big Lebowski

The Big Lebowski

Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski is the ultimate LA slacker, until one day his house is robbed and his rug is urinated on by two irritated gangsters who have mistaken him for Jeffrey Lebowski, the LA millionaire, whose wife owes a huge amount of cash. The Dude then becomes entwined in the plot when he goes to meet with the real Lebowski in order to get some payback for his soiled rug, and is recruited to be the connection between Lebowski and the captors of his now “kidnapped” wife.

The Godfather

The Godfather

Vito Corleone is the aging boss of the Corleone Mafia Family. His youngest son Michael has returned from WWII, and wants to live a normal life even though his entire family is involved in the mafia. Drama and violence ensues and Michael must control everything while the Corleone family is torn apart.

The Usual Suspects

The Usual Suspects

Five men are rushed into the New York police station because a crime was committed. They are the usual suspects. They all agree to do a job together for a little revenge. However, they are just puppets and someone mysterious is calling all the shots.

The Warriors

The Warriors

When a captivating New York gang leader is shot at a conclave in the Bronx, a group from Coney Island, called the Warriors, gets blamed and are forced to fight all the way back to their own turf. In this poetic portrayal of gang violence, the Warriors struggle for survival, to prove their innocence and redeem themselves. Out of all the cool movies on this list, The Warriors is one that captures a time setting perfectly. A must see.

True Romance

True Romance

Clarence and Alabama are newlyweds who get a hold of an unexpected wedding present. Little do they know, ruthless gangsters are on the happy couple’s tail, absolutely determined to get back their goods.


70 Responses to “30 Cool Movies”

  1. brozzi on June 9th, 2008 9:55 am

    Gross Point Blank: Not really the coolest movie, the villains were actually really corny and not took away from Martin Blanks coolness.

  2. jose on June 9th, 2008 10:33 am

    not saying its a bad choice or anything but just thought i should mention that magnificent seven is based on the story seven samurai by kurosawa not saying its a rip off or anything alot of movies have been based off of that even a bugs life was based off of it. so yeah id suggest watching seven samurai its really long but really good its like 3 and half hours long or so

  3. Gemini Pinai on June 9th, 2008 11:35 am

    I heart Leon the Hitman :)

  4. kram on June 9th, 2008 2:52 pm

    butch cassidy and the sundance kid. i concur with that one!

  5. matt on June 9th, 2008 4:01 pm

    Saturday night fever? Although its an ok list, this one movie invalidates the whole thing

  6. Cmon now on June 9th, 2008 4:57 pm


  7. Lonnie on June 9th, 2008 5:09 pm

    I think that you should add “Snatch” to the list.

  8. Bryan on June 9th, 2008 5:38 pm

    You forgot Snatch, 300, Monty Python and the holy grail, Blazing Saddles… theres a few others.

  9. Anonymous on June 9th, 2008 6:33 pm

    Le Samourai


    Jean-Pierre Melville

  10. tab1e on June 9th, 2008 6:35 pm

    lock stock is better than snatch. there’s no need for both. yes, 300 should be there, monty python and blazing saddles define comedy, not quite cool.
    now if we had to say the coolest character in any of these movies, i would vote keyser söze. tyler durden takes a close second.
    does anyone have another choice on the ‘coolest’ character of all?

  11. Dan on June 9th, 2008 6:39 pm

    People like to bitch – it’s an awesome list.

  12. EvilRoy on June 9th, 2008 6:40 pm

    What about Sin City? The dialogue alone is cooler than half the movies in this list.

  13. Jeff on June 9th, 2008 7:12 pm

    Great list, another classic one is “Diner”. suddenly, life was more than french fries, gravy and girls.

  14. joe on June 9th, 2008 8:48 pm

    fuck the magnificent seven. seven samurai was the shit. always go with the original man.

  15. h-dog on June 9th, 2008 9:32 pm

    yea we gotta keep in mind that its gotta be cool. not just funny or popular or bad ass. cool really takes all three and makes it smooth
    so nay to 300, monty python, and blazing sadles (amazing movies but not quite the definition)

    we ARE forgetting Sin City, FERRIS BUELER is probly one of the coolest characters ever, and Tombstone – the re-make with kurt russel and val kilmer

    great list tho

  16. Andrew on June 9th, 2008 9:39 pm

    The Great Escape. Steve Mcqueen AND a young Charles bronson AND James Coburn?!?!! CHECK YOUR LIST NEWBIE, It would beat Saturdaynight fever and make it cry mommie…

    Lets not forget Lawrence of arabia!

  17. cmoser on June 10th, 2008 5:43 am

    Great list. I’ve seen most but I want to see the warriors.

  18. brozzi on June 11th, 2008 6:49 am

    Eh, i didn’t like warriors.

  19. msmarc on June 11th, 2008 11:39 am

    I can’t believe you guys are all wanting 300 on the list. That movie sucked so hard, why would that ever be the definition of cool? Gladiator would work better but 300 was a retarded gorefest with no interesting characters and a sub-par story. A complete waste of time.

  20. Mickey on June 11th, 2008 12:07 pm

    Seven Samurai, based on a true story happened in medieval Japan. That’s the shit, man! The 5th Element is not on the list? Such a shame!

  21. Daniel on June 11th, 2008 1:46 pm

    I think that the original “Get Carter” should have been added to this list because Michael Caine in it is the definition of bad ass. Other than that good list.

  22. Chantix on June 12th, 2008 7:18 am

    True Romance, The Godfather and Saturday Night Fever are my favorite movies of all time. Christian Slater was such a stud in True Romance, I cannot get enough of that movie and Heathers. I am a bit upset to not see Goodfellas on this list.

  23. Learman on June 12th, 2008 12:47 pm

    Tombstone anyone??? “I’m your huckleberry”.

  24. Kevin on June 13th, 2008 11:02 am

    wheres lucky number slevin i mean come on that movie is the definition of cool

  25. JM on June 14th, 2008 7:56 am

    No “Drugstore Cowboy”, check the poster out

  26. tar on June 14th, 2008 4:12 pm

    @andrew: Lawrence of Arabia? Seriously? That doesn’t really define “cool.” Maybe for hardcore cinema geeks, since I will say the movie is an amazing visual experience, but LoA, in terms of…everything that the non-cinema geek can appreciate, doesn’t exactly come to mind when one thinks “cool movies.”

  27. Captain Dangle on June 15th, 2008 12:51 pm

    Sin City, Fifth Element, Matrix (only the first mind), Bound, Escape from New York, Ong Bak (Tony Jaa has the potential to be so cool you could use him as a refrigerator).
    The list could (and must) go on.
    I don’t think list list is cool enough, but it is better than tepid.

  28. funny videos on June 15th, 2008 11:48 pm

    I like the list alot. All are must have videos.

  29. Kaiser on June 16th, 2008 7:22 am

    I can’t believe the Matrix isn’t on this list!!

  30. Almostcool on June 16th, 2008 7:47 pm

    Where the hell is Boondock Saints….???

    The list was all good until Saturday night fever made the list and the Saints didn’t….

    Like it says, almost cool.

  31. Kyl on June 17th, 2008 1:11 pm

    what about tombstone?

  32. Milander on June 18th, 2008 2:04 am

    It’s not called “the road warrior”, the film is “Mad Max”….

  33. SY on June 18th, 2008 6:05 am

    300? please not! most of the list is “ok”, scarface is totally missing!!!!!! BIG mistake there! thumbsup for heat. i’d kick some of the movies without any regret though….

  34. BDS on June 18th, 2008 9:28 am

    I’m with Almost Cool there. Some great pics.. But come on.. Saturday Night Fever? Why not throw in grease while you’re at it.

    And for real. Where is Boondock Saints. You can’t have a list of “cool movies” without Boondock Saints.

    But I guess it’s your call when it comes down to it. I just can’t believe you wouldn’t throw in Boondock saints.

  35. stergeron on June 18th, 2008 9:49 am

    Thanks for all the great comments from all of you. This list was submitted by our friend Tim over at http://www.coolmaterial.com. Because of your many comments, we are going to follow up with another list to this. Now is the time to let us know what we’ve missed or should take out. Thanks to those that have already suggested their picks.

    …a couple comments:

    @ Milander – no really, it is called the Road Warrior. We’re talking about the original film, not the MadMax big budget one done later.

    @ To those who hate Saturday Night Fever – this is definitely a generational thing. My guess is that you hate it because you hate Travolta/scientologist… But if you are a bit older, you know that this really was a cool movie in it’s time. My 2 cents.

    @ Sy – yah the list is missing Scarface

    @ Brozzi – You didn’t like the Warriors? C’mon this is a classic!

    @ Tab1e – sorry we are not 300 to the list. Maybe if it were “300″ Movies that Define Cool, but sorry it doesn’t cut it.

    Ok, Email me (anthem123 @ yahoo dot com) any and all of your Top Movies that Define Cool. Be sure to include a short description as well. We’ll give you a shout out on the site if we use your picks. Or if you want to put together your own list, feel free to join the Ploomy Writing Challenge. Look on the frontpage of Ploomy for more details.

  36. RG on June 21st, 2008 3:23 pm

    Running Scared and Scarface should be added

  37. knaggs89 on June 26th, 2008 3:44 am

    like the list especially resevoir dogs, but sin city and gladiator should be in there i agree
    but wat about some of michael caines finest e.g. italian job (the original not the crap amercainised one which wasnt even set in italy) and zulu (i watch this every xmas its a classic and cool)
    wat about 51st state with samuel l. jackson now if he isnt cool and dont know wat is

  38. philonoist on July 4th, 2008 12:42 pm

    What? No “Breakfast Club”? No “Varsity Blues”? Hmmm… seems like a this-’n'-that arbitrary list to me. I’d've liked to known the criteria for defining “cool” instead of plot summaries.

  39. Neo on July 6th, 2008 1:02 pm

    You missed the Matrix. That should also be on the list. The W Brothers created one of the most original movies of all time and Neo was the epitome of cool.

  40. tp on July 6th, 2008 2:16 pm

    performance. coolest film ever. even if that makes me uncool.

  41. G on July 9th, 2008 12:41 pm

    Sin City is a must. You also forgot Goodfellas and Hard Boiled.

  42. jeff on July 20th, 2008 12:25 am

    missing: raiders of the lost ark, full metal jacket, the outlaw josey wales, children of men, a clockwork orange, no country for old men, sin city, the matrix, escape from ney york, aliens, shawshank redemption, definately though the wild bunch. la haine a french flick and the killer or old boy….cool

  43. 30 Movies that Define Cool » Zustandsforschung on July 29th, 2008 11:22 am

    [...] 30 Movies that Define Cool [...]

  44. EB Coacher on July 31st, 2008 4:01 pm

    ok a couple were missed. The hustler w/ paul newman, obviously the great escape. but what about fletch? original james bond(s)?

  45. EB Coacher on July 31st, 2008 4:02 pm

    also, bourne identity and/or Ronin

  46. Another 15 Songs to Get You Pumped Up : ploomy - what men need to know on August 14th, 2008 9:31 am

    [...] D released this song on the Matrix Soundtrack. Although the Matrix wasn’t on our list of 30 Movies that Define Cool, it was a ground-breaking film that developed and popularized the “bullet time” special [...]

  47. francois on August 24th, 2008 6:24 pm

    where is “Donnie Darko”

  48. Paul on August 26th, 2008 6:23 am

    I like the list, but what about the Outsiders, Heartbreak Ridge, and Shaft (the original).

  49. seané on August 31st, 2008 7:22 am

    ferris buellers day off perhaps?

  50. stergeron on August 31st, 2008 8:46 am

    @ Seane, you might have a point there as that was a cool movie.

  51. manco on September 2nd, 2008 6:42 pm

    this list got me thinking: a list of books that define cool might be even better

  52. burrell on September 12th, 2008 11:17 pm

    no mention of Kill Bill by anyone. I would consider it COOL… yeah?

  53. Steve on September 15th, 2008 2:42 pm

    Any votes for 1979 — Quadrophenia — ?

    Sting shines in his first movie, as the Bell Boy.

  54. Rick on October 19th, 2008 2:24 pm

    Add Sin City and Natural Born Killers.

  55. David on November 9th, 2008 9:25 pm

    um, this area of defining ‘cool movies’ is not my bailiwick, but, what about:

    “Blade Runner” !?

    With one of Harrison’s Ford’s coolest, sci-fi, futuristic roles?

    Not insisting at all, please feel free to tell me why it would not fit this list, or if you think it might.


  56. Ken on November 22nd, 2008 10:38 pm

    Great list. Matrix was left off, but I will forgive you. Still a great list nonetheless.

  57. dcV on November 28th, 2008 4:36 pm

    Cool list…would like to add – Full Metal Jacket, and V for Vendetta!

    ALSO, to stergeron on June 18th, 2008- For your info, ‘Mad Max’ is the original, made in Australia and named in Australia. …it was renamed “Road Warrior’ for US audience. Not only did the yanks re-name it, theres also a version with US dialogue over dubbed, because the US audience couldnt understand Aussie lingo. Phunny stoof!

  58. Just K on December 31st, 2008 2:58 am

    These are all cool films but I would add these (coolest character’s in brackets):

    One flew over the cuckoo’s nest (MacMurphy)
    Withnail and I (Danny the dealer)
    Jacob’s Ladder (Jacob)
    The Wicker Man-1973 original- (Lord Summerisle)
    Casino Royale-remake- (Bond, of course)

  59. Patrick on March 30th, 2009 3:35 pm

    That’s a pretty cool list but I would also add Scarface, Casino and The Mechanic.

  60. Joe on June 5th, 2009 10:01 pm

    has anyone not seen equilibrium that movie is pretty sick, and i agree boondock saints is a must on any top 30 list

  61. B on December 22nd, 2009 7:40 pm

    Great list. I believe you have a firm grasp of cool movies.

  62. avni on April 2nd, 2010 2:04 pm

    ADD DISTRICT-B13 ITS A SICK MOVIE.,.although its in french with subtitles you will all love the action and the story to that movie its sick1=@!!!

  63. Steve on May 2nd, 2010 12:44 am

    Cool list. Cool movies. Stoked with True Romance and Cool Hand Luke.

  64. Jake on June 25th, 2010 11:36 am

    Hey, any one seen “Brothers Bloom” 2 con men… i thought that was cool… its not so much about the cons like Oceans ect but a lot other things. And its not one genre too like mentioned earlier. Its Brainy witty, funny at times, got some action, drama (not soppy but the characters arnt mindless dull nobodies) A bit of suspense too. Both characters make this film great. Look im not promising you’ll love it but i sure did. Its definately worth watching. I always searching for films and end up bored because you’ve got 1hr action scene ect Please watch this film

  65. Jake on June 25th, 2010 11:40 am

    Also, this list is this guys opinion please respect it and keep posting great films down here. If we work togethor maybe we can get some good films to watch. And all you saying this should be on here… Guess what? Youl never believe? By posting the film in the comments it is LOL…

  66. Jake on June 26th, 2010 1:07 am

    Hey, thanks for posting The Boondock Saints watched last night 5/5 Would be funny if it was based on a true story lol?

  67. Matt on July 30th, 2010 9:59 pm

    Love True Romance and The Professional! Would add either Gladiator or Troy though…

  68. john j. dacunto on May 22nd, 2011 9:17 am

    i totally agree with “the big lebowski”. wonderful entertainment!

  69. jb on July 19th, 2011 7:14 pm

    Clockwork Orange

  70. Bishop on May 26th, 2012 5:30 am

    Scarface, the Original version. The Hustler (Sport movie). Le Cercle Rouge (French movie). Clerks.

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