Renegade Staff Picks: Best Clint Eastwood Movies

Clint Eastwood movies
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Best Clint Eastwood Movies

 

Clint Eastwood movies

Trouble with the Curve

Derek Ciapala: I know, I know, how could I pass up on other movies? Well, it’s simple: I love baseball, and I love watching Eastwood play someone who is vulnerable and struggling with his own physical issues.

 

Clint Eastwood movies

The Beguiled (1971)

Ruby Le Rouge: Clint Eastwood plays a wounded union soldier that hides out in a confederate girls boarding school. Poor guy realizes that he may have been better off taking his chances on the battlefield than in the line of fire between a bunch of crazy, hard up chicks. I saw this flick when I was 9 or 10, and elements of it have always stuck with me. (Though I also wonder if it was as nearly as good as I remember it to be having seen it so long ago.)

 

Clint Eastwood movies

Gran Torino

Caleb Masters: Gran Tarino is my favorite Clint Eastwood movie that captures the generational gap in our country while touching on racism, gang violence, and family. Eastwood delivers the funniest and most touching iteration of his grumpy old man routine and developed some really powerful chemistry with his semi-adopted neighborhood kid, Thoa. It’s not Eastwood’s most iconic turn on the big screen, but it’s undeniably one of his best

Tamica Phipps: I have seen several of his movies but there are so many I have not seen. I’ll go with Gran Tarino. It was clever, offensive, emotional, and entertaining. It was slow at times, but the journeys and perhaps transformations of the main characters were quite rewarding.

 

Clint Eastwood movies

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Bethany Lewis: I’m going to go with The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. This movie is amazing for so many reasons – the distinctive theme song, the close ups, the moral ambiguity, the performances – but mostly I just love Clint Eastwood in this movie. His subtle but expressive acting and physical grace pretty much sums up why he’s so good as the man of few words man with no name. My favorite line in the entire movie is Eastwood’s response of a simple “Yeah.” to the statement that he and Tuco are going to be “taken special care of”. His character is shrewd enough to know what that means and sums up his doubts and exasperation in one simple word that expresses a multitude of loaded meanings.

Derek Johns: The Good , the Bad and the Ugly- There is so much to like about this film. Music so good that it continues to parodied even today, the greatest Mexican stand-off to ever be put on film, the suspenseful story, one of my all time favorite villain performances from Lee Van Cleef as the ruthless Angel Eyes and of course Clint Eastwood. All in all a perfect ending to the Man with No Name Trilogy.

 

Clint Eastwood movies

Unforgiven

Jesse Blume: Not only is this Eastwood’s single greatest film in my opinion, but it is also one of the finest Western films ever made at all. No other foray into the genre addresses the mythic qualities so realistically or so successfully.

Eastwood plays a widowed outlaw who has been retired so long it seems impossible to believe he was once an infamous and merciless killer. He just lives on his pig farm with his two small children, isolated from the world and his own bloody legend. It’s only when news of a horrible crime and a hefty bounty reaches his ears that he decides to pick up his guns again.

If anything, the film is an anti-Western. It makes a point of showing the viewer again and again that the dime novel heroes never existed. There was little honor and less heroism in the world of the Old West, and killing a man never held any glory.

It could be argued that Clint Eastwood is most famous for the many Western films that he made, among them Sergio Leone’s “Dollars Trilogy,” “Hang ‘Em High,” “The Outlaw Josey Wales,” “High Plains Drifter,” and many others. Consider this, then: this was the very last western that he made. It’s almost as if he knew he had at last said everything that he could on the subject. Thus, he retires his classic “Man with No Name” character. You could not ask for a more fitting farewell.

Shawn S. Lealos: There is no better choice to send the westerns into the sunset than Clint Eastwood, the man who was the last great western action hero. While he directed a number of movies before Unforgiven, including a handful of westerns, he really proved to be one of the best directors in the world with Unforgiven. Eastwood played an outlaw towards the end of the Wild West. He wanted to retire and then he wanted to die after losing his wife. When a young hotshot bandit comes along wanting to be trained, he ends up drawn out and sees a target on his chest from a sheriff played perfectly by Gene Hackman. Honestly, this has everything that makes western movies great while at the same time being a perfect send off to the once great genre.

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About the Author

John "D-Rock" Dotson
is a film critic and film-maker from Dallas, Texas. He attended Midwestern State University where he received a Bachelor's in Business Administration in the field of Marketing. He's a huge lover of all things cinema... except The Last Airbender. Follow him on Twitter @DRockDot
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