I tried my best to withhold comment on National Review's list of the 25 Best Conservative Movies of all time, but without success. Among the gems:
Forget the travesty this soaring action film makes of the historical record. Braveheart raised its hero, medieval Scottish warrior William Wallace, to the level of myth and won five Oscars, including best director for Mel Gibson, who played Wallace as he led a spirited revolt against English tyranny. Braveheart taught that freedom is not just worth dying for, but also worth killing for, in defense of hearth and homeland. Six years later, amid the ruins of the Twin Towers, Gibson’s message resonated with a generation of American youth who signed up to fight terrorists, instead of inviting them to join a “constructive dialogue.” Liberals have never forgiven Gibson since.
For the conservative, the moral of the tale is that redemption and meaning are derived not from indulging your “authentic” instincts and drives, but from striving to live up to external and timeless ideals. Murray begins the film as an irony-soaked narcissist, contemptuous of beauty, art, and commitment. His journey of self-discovery leads him to understand that the fads of modernity are no substitute for the permanent things.
So the film was about the "fads of modernity"? Gran Torino makes the cut, although Andrew Breitbart, who summarizes the story, seems to have left before the last twenty minutes of the movie. The strangest inclusion is The Edge, a 1997 drama starring Alec Baldwin and Anthony Hopkins, and written by David Mamet. The movie is said to exhibit a "few truths rarely seen in movies: Knowledge has its limits, fortitude is a weapon against hardship, and honor can motivate even the shallowest man to great sacrifice." In fact, "knowledge" saves the film's hero, and the shallowest man reveals himself to be a philanderer and attempted murderer (even after the ordeal of a traumatic plane crash). No matter: "Some have interpreted the film as a Cold War allegory because it features a menacing bear." Okay then.
Still, any list that gets people to rent The Lives of Others (ranked #1) cannot be all bad.