The Top 10 Greatest Descriptive Movie Titles

Which movie titles manage to spur the imagination just by the title alone? Here’s my Top Ten:

  • #10 – Ocean’s 11 — for some reason, the title gets me in the mood of a ’60-style caper, and the movie delivers.
  • #9 – The Magnificent Seven — I have never seen this movie. I am looking at the title in my Comcast On Demand listings, and I just don’t have the heart to click it on. It’s got Yul Brynner, it’s a remake of The Seven Samurai, and it’s got that great title. I have a feeling nothing will match my great expectations for the combined.
  • #8 – The Flight of the Phoenix — The first time I heard of this was in an ad on AMC for the Jimmy Stewart movie. I did catch the recent film with Giovanni Ribisi and Miranda Otto. The title sold me on an old time adventure film. It did not disappoint.
  • #7 – Independence Day — The movie wasn’t that great. But the title…. A movie about an alien invasion named after an American national holiday? Good stuff!
  • #6 – The Empire Strikes Back — Wraps up a 1980’s blockbuster in a bombastic movie serial title. Perhaps the best-named Star Wars movie; the others are either too sedate (Revenge of the Sith) or too ridiculous (Attack of the Clones?)
  • #5 – From Russia With Love — James Bond movies were always great a suave sounding titles. This one blends both the noirish feel of a spy novel, international appeal, and the extra flourish of a love letter. I held off seeing this movie for the same reason I didn’t want to see the Magnificent Seven: the title is too good for the hype. Yet, when I did finally see the movie, I was pleasantly surprised that it was one of the best Bond offerings.
  • #4 – Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure — It’s a great teen movie title for a crazy movie about time travel. I guess I love how the movie title sounds silly at first, but makes absolute sense after you’ve seen the movie.
  • #3 – Big Trouble in Little China — Another fairly recent movie (I’m showing my age when the 80’s are fairly recent) that harkens back to titles that were common in the ’50’s and ’60’s. It has an awfully Raymond Chandler-sounding title for a movie about mystical wizards of Asia.
  • #2 – Fight Club — The title only describes a third of what the movie was actually about. I guess that’s what put a lot of people off when the movie was first released. No one figured out it was really a dark comedy. Still, I like the title’s simplicity. It’s hard hitting and a bit cheesy (if it were proper gramatically, shouldn’ it be The Fighters’ Club or The Fighting Club?), just like the movie.
  • And finally, my favorite all time movie title…

  • #1 – Live Free or Die Hard — I’ve heard that this is called “Die Hard 4.0” in places outside the US because the producers didn’t think anyone else would understand that the name comes from the Vermont State Motto. Well, I had no idea that it came from a State motto and I still thought it was a great movie name! It’s just so bombastic and so patriotic that it fits a movie about unbelievable action sequences and lots and lots of explosions. I did see the movie and I loved it, but I imagine that the action scenes conjured up in my mind from the name alone were much, much better.
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7 thoughts on “The Top 10 Greatest Descriptive Movie Titles

  1. where’s Snakes On A Plane?

    That movie title is way too descriptive actually. That’s basically what the movie is- there were snakes, on, a , plane and then everybody freaks out.

  2. Live Free or Die… NH’s state motto… on our license plates…in the hearts of many of her citizens… ignored & misunderstood by this generation, & current and recent former politicians.

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