It’s been a few weeks since we heard the terrible news of Ray Liotta‘s died unsuspecting at 67. For most people, the sad announcement conjured up ideas of ‘best laugh’, ‘best gangster movie’, ‘best sports movie’ or even ‘time Martin Scorsese was cheated out of Best Director and forced to settle for a far inferior film in The missing.“
My thought? Freedmen is one of the best narrated movies of all time! If you saw Goodfellas, you know the movie’s silver bullet is Ray Liotta’s narration. His narration was so fluid and full of oratorical genius. Moviegoers and critics forgot that his screenplay was adapted from a book called Wise. They probably figured he was the one flying it in front of a mic while sipping a Southside Fizz (Capone’s favorite) and blazing a Stogie.
More on this dynamic masterpiece later, because it will undoubtedly be on this Top 10 list, but that seems to be the one aspect of Liotta’s career that critics have overlooked the most. Let’s stop this trend now. People need to investigate the storytellers behind the story. We need to hear the voice that guides us through the vision. And if you don’t think Ray Liotta didn’t provide us with one of the best movie laughs in Goodfellas, we can’t be friends.
These are the 10 best commented movies of all time.
Listing these movies was a much harder decision than it should have been, or so I thought when pen first touched paper. Or, fingers hit the keyboard. For example, I am not a prehistoric Cro-Magnum.
If you start making this list, you’re forgetting the golden characters whose storytelling made your past moviessuch as Adaptation, Trainspotting, The Big Lebowski, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Casino, or Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece A Clockwork Orange.
The key to this top 10 list is: Can you imagine this movie without the narration? And if this narrator was not this character, would that have ruined the film? This list is not about the greatness of the movie itself. We’re talking about narrated films, so the spotlight is on the narrator. You have to take the character’s path, a wonderful story in the main story.
Ready? Lights. Camera. Stock!
HM. support me (1986)
Richard Dreyfuss has a soothing voice and, as Gordie LaChance (the adult version), his tone was essential to the film. The autobiographical moment of Stephen King is the story of four boys and a corpse. And Rob Reiner directed it, so it’s easy to believe it was an instant classic when it came out.
The boys-Wil Wheaton (the young Stephen King directed), Phoenix River (yes, Joaquin’s deceased brother), Jerry O’Connell (so he had a glow), Corey Feldman (outspokenness) – begins a trek in 1959 on a rural railroad to find the supposed body of a dead teenager. This film transcends the idea of the now overused “coming of age” story and shows the path a person must take to realize the heart of their character.
Take the elder Gordie’s (Dreyfuss/Wheaton/King) entire movie recap quote: “I never had friends later on like the ones I had when I was 12. Jesus, somebody does he do it?” The answer is “no”, and this magical journey is the reason.
ten. Taxi driver (1976)
Can you imagine this film without Travis Bickle’s verbal meanderings and Lincoln Log building (robert deniro)? That’s what this list means! Taxi driver is an all-time classic. Now watch it in mute mode. You can still hear his endless monologues of desperation discussing the rain washing the scum off the streets. It’s the brooding power of his words. I wonder if that’s where we get the word “bickery”. It would make sense.
9. The princess to be married (1987)
Yes, it’s a fairy tale, but the sweet note is that Rob Reiner do not deviate from this fact. This book of an overflowing imagination captivates a grandson (Fred Savage) read to him by his comforting and loving grandfather (Pierre Salk). It’s a fascinating journey, and we’re honored to listen all the way. It’s beautiful, and like most fairy tales, it’s ageless, ready to be heard anytime you want.
8. Revelation now (1979)
“Saigon”. When Captain Williard (Martin Sheen) hisses that hoarse word conveying a myriad of emotions, we know the film will be a visceral nightmare driven by a narrator’s gruesome dream. The most misunderstood military conflict in American history seems to make sense through the sane, haunting words Williard lends us all. He leads the way through the eerie jungle, the darker psyche of his platoon, and the “horror” of it all with zeal and passion in the last place you would expect both.
seven. American psycho (2000)
Most of these storytelling films use their storytelling skills to shed light on our journey and guide us through the maze of what is about to unfold. And then there’s Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale). His voiceover work is just as sleazy and self-absorbed as his characterization before he went completely insane. If the grim humor and endless diatribes about Huey Lewis and the News didn’t exist, Mr. Bateman would have been just another serial killer in movies. Fortunately, that didn’t happen at all.
6 the wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Do Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola play poker, smoke Ferio Tegos and dare to do a one-up in the movies? They are two of the most respected directors of all time and, easily, the authors of cinematic storytelling. In this incredibly well-made biopic was blood-sucking vulture Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio). The film is three hours worth of shock. Still, Belfort’s narration in laid-back Northeastern “eff off” is the soothing storm amidst this profane, hilarious, and evocative storm of learning how to make your bank account look like your phone number.
5. The usual suspects (1995)
Yes, Kevin Spacey was canceled for good reasons. However, let’s take off the rose-coloured glasses here: he was fascinating as a gang mouse named “Verbal” in this David Fincher stunning classic, until the oh-hells-no-he-did-not ending. (Still, one of the only endings better than The sixth sense.) And the narration of this film acts almost like the seat belt, so you don’t fall off the screen thinking you know how to solve the mystery of the film. Trust that you don’t, and the brilliant storytelling creates the fake boss that proves it.
4. fight club (1999)
We shared Coppola and Scorsese as masters of narrative film, but David Fincher is no slouch – he’s the force behind two of these movies, and they’re both wonderful with a frontal lobotomy ending. Edward Norton is so adept and skilled at storytelling and taking us on a high-octane journey that you miss every subtle clue his character drops about his special relationship with Tyler Durden (brad pitt). The more he talks, the less you understand. Then when the bottom falls on the (hard) story, you realize that the narrator has been honest with you the entire time.
3. A Christmas Story (1983)
Few films stir the wholesome thrills of this iconic Yuletide film. The adult voice of Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) was a whirlwind of genius of biting sarcasm, educated witticisms and tumultuous groans from a 50-year-old through the wide eyes of a 12-year-old boy – who is about to turn 50. It’s a masterpiece, so you know the two best narrated movies have to be legendary (and they are).
Fun fact: The film was adapted from a book by John Berger entitled In God We Trust: Everyone else pays cash. The script was so captivating that Shepherd narrates the whole movie – and he was perfect. Not for nothing, but seeing Santa Claus up there at Higbee? It’s John Berger.
2. Freedmen (1990)
Please scroll up and read all. For now Ray Liotta shares his iconic first words/thoughts, “As far back as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a gangster,” we knew it would be a different movie. Ray’s character, Henry Hill, walked us through the life journey of the real “Wiseguy,” and he was the best. Can you imagine this movie without Ray’s voice? It would have sucked. And then, when Ray/Henry breaks the fourth wall in court? This movie was one of the best narrated movies and many other moviegoers list.
1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Maybe it was Morgan FREEMAN‘s sweet tones. The reason for this may have been the eloquent storyline that took of them Stephen King books to create. And it might even have been the all-star cast. While it’s hard to say the main reason, there’s no denying that this gorgeous film tops the list of best-told movies. The evocative way in which “Red” shares his most intimate thoughts about his journey in prison, his ideas about life and how he grew up with his friend, Andy Dufresne (Tim Robin), is some of the most compelling speeches you’ll hear in a long time at the cinema. Among the narrated films, there is none better.