A prominent figure in the post-New Hollywood era, James Cameron is known for creating masterpieces. Whether it’s 2009’s epic science fiction Avatar — which, by the way, is also the highest-grossing movie of all time — or 1997’s extraordinary romance Titanic, Cameron is the creative brain behind them. His recent feat includes the freshly released Avatar sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water, which turned out to be another blockbuster, securing the third spot on the highest grosser of all time. Well, that’s the level Cameron likes to work at. All of his films hold a knock-out experience for the viewers with its unimaginable plot, uber quality VFX, and un-umpteenth user experience.
Throughout his career of directing and designing features, Cameron has given the world an unforgettable love story with Titanic, unique science fictions like Avatar, action films such as Terminator and True Lies, and much more. However, ever wondered what kind of films the famed director enjoys? Fortunately, on various occasions, the director has listed down his top picks, which everyone should watch for a luxurious cinema experience. Here are James Cameron’s favorite movies you must see.
The 2006 comedy, Borat, may be a surprising addition to a list of Cameron’s favorites. Following Sacha Baron Cohen in the titular role, the film follows a Kazakh resident who visits America to make a documentary on the country. However, he ends up finding similarities between his country and the USA. In an interview with Empire, Cameron revealed that, after watching the film thrice, he has still not watched a scene due to tears in his eyes.
Inception deserved more — this is what Cameron thinks of the film. The Avatar creator highly enjoyed Christopher Nolan’s science saga, which featured Leonardo DiCaprio in the leading role. While speaking to The Hollywood Reporter in 2011, Cameron shared that Inception was the most astounding film, creation- and direction-wise, from the year 2010.
The film follows Cobb (DiCaprio), a skilled thief who steals information from his targets by entering their dreams. Saito (Ken Watanabe), in exchange for wiping off Cobb’s criminal history, wants him to perform an inception on his sick competitor’s son. The film offers a never-seen experience with its top-notch art direction and mind-blowing cast. No wonder it’s on the list of Cameron’s favorite movies.
6 Dr. Strangelove
Cameron’s personal Pandora box has another favorite: Dr. Strangelove, a black-and-white 1964 masterpiece by Stanley Kubrick. Peter Sellers shines throughout the political satire film ,with his spellbinding performance that will keep you hooked till the very end. The movie follows an American Brigadier, who puts the world on the verge of nuclear disaster after stationing a B-52 on Russians, and doesn’t inform his superiors. With its classic appeal and unusual plot, Dr. Strangelove remains one of the greatest films ever made, and probably one of the finest comedies of all time too.
5 The Wizard of Oz
The classic children’s fantasy book turned into a technically-brilliant creation, The Wizard of Oz is another fantastic cinematic masterpiece placed on the list of Cameron’s favorite movies.
In a Q&A with Empire in 2022, Cameron shared that his favorite film is The Wizard of Oz. According to the acclaimed filmmaker, the classic movie has been with him throughout his life, and still makes him feel some kind of way. He adores how Dorothy’s life, in the film, transitions from a black-and-white setting to the Technicolor and magical world of Oz as she opens a door and moves out. A true charmer, The Wizard of Ozreflects that your understanding and care for other people will help you overcome all hardships. Undoubtedly, the film is a must-watch for all age groups.
A Steven Spielberg creation based on the novel of the same name is also a James Cameron favorite, however, as per his confession, he loves Jaws as a fan and not as a filmmaker. During a conversation with Spielberg himself, Cameron revealed his adoration for the film
Undeniably, Jaws is one of the greatest movies of all time, recognized and praised by various film critics for its special horror touch and effects. Jaws follows a marine scientist and a fisherman, who must take action after a white shark creates chaos and terrorizes the residents of a quiet island, Amity. Spielberg delivers a tense and exciting cinema experience through Jaws, making it one of the most influential films of all time.
3 2001: A Space Odyssey
2001: A Space Odyssey is another Kubrick film that makes the list. The model example of fine science fiction is kept at forefront by Kubrick once again as he delves into artificial intelligence versus humankind brilliantly through the movie. Also known for its mind-blowing visual effects, 2001: A Space Odyssey follows Discovery One and its supercomputer who together must find the origins of a mysterious monolith found on the lunar surface.
2 Taxi Driver
Martin Scorsese’s Palme d’Or and four-time Academy Award recipient Taxi Driver is one of James Cameron’s favorite films like many others. The movie is undoubtedly one of the most important, historically speaking, representing the true side of New York City. The dark and twisted drama carefully focuses on two storylines — the chaotic city and its lead antihero — and, when mingled together, provides a hard hitting power shock to the viewers. Although unsettling, Taxi Driver is cleverly presented to the audience through its script and direction. Also, it gave us the iconic, “You talkin’ to me?,” which was masterfully improvised by Robert De Niro.
1 The Godfather
Francis Ford Coppola’s crime drama, The Godfather, is another spellbinding cinematic experience Cameron enjoys. Even though the plot is slow-paced and unfolds later on in the film, every scene and dialogue in the movie is important and necessary to grasp. Therefore, it is very hard for the viewers to predict what the next scene might bring to them. Carrying the intensity till the very end, The Godfather keeps watchers on their toes while simultaneously dispatching top-notch performances from the cast as well as the crew.
The Godfather’s contribution to the movie industry is celebrated to this day and will continue to do so because of its true and raw depiction of the mafia world and one’s love for their family. Evidently, owing to its astounding plot, characters, direction, and screenplay, the 1972 film is also a winner of three Academy Awards, including Best Picture.