Best Conservative Movies, In Which the National Review Satirizes Itself

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Though this list seems pretty transparently designed to draw traffic from people mocking its obvious absurdity, it’s hard not to enjoy the spectacle of conservatives making the case for the best movies in the past twenty five years. Enjoy the list for yourself, but I can’t help but comment on a few items.

The appearance of Red Dawn on this list isn’t surprising, but it’s telling. John Nolte reminds us that the movie is just like Ronald Reagan: “Released at the midpoint of Reagan’s presidential showdown with the Soviet Union, this story of what was at stake in the Cold War endures.” You know what? I loved Red Dawn too, when I was 12. It seems like too many of the Fighting Keyboardists of the right just never grew up past their adolescent, macho fantasy world. It’s too bad that they are willing to let other people die to feel like children again.

According to the list, Juno was a pro-life film about “a broken culture in which teen sex is dehumanizing.” Maybe I saw another film, but I saw too very human kids struggle with a difficult situation. For me, the characters played by Michael Cera and Ellen Page were humanized by their experience.

The hell with them for turning The Lord of the Rings into right wing propaganda. Somehow, I doubt that Professor Tolkien would have endorsed torture or Guantanamo.

As for The Dark Knight, the list is right to compare the film to President Bush. At the end of the film (his term), no one could stand the bastard. The difference is that one was falsely accused of heinous crimes.

At least they got one film right, 2007’s The Lives of Others. Of course, I can’t understand how the National Review can honestly spend half of the list decrying the liberal Hollywood establishment’s bias while noting that this “conservative” film was awarded an Oscar and received effusive praise. Ignore the National Review, and watch this movie if you haven’t—it’s an incredibly powerful story.

How seriously should anyone take this list? Well, any list that includes a Brendan Fraser comedy as a serious treatment on feminism or includes An American Carol anywhere near the top, pretty much invalidates itself. It’s certainly interesting to see what it reveals about the mind of the modern American conservative, though.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it’s a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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