• Mon. Dec 6th, 2021

What Are Matthew Vaughn’s Favorite Movies Of All Time?

Christopher Nolan is praised for changing the superhero movie landscape for his dark and gritty Batman reboot. The Russo Brothers are worshipped for safely bringing home the Infinity Saga without a hitch. Matthew Vaughn has had as much of an impact on superhero movies as those directors, but he doesn’t get half the amount of credit.

RELATED: Denis Villeneuve’s 9 Favorite Movies Of The 21st Century, Ranked According To IMDb

Vaughn made Kick-Ass, an R-rated satire, long before Deadpool was in production, and he made X-Men great again with First Class. But all of that talent didn’t come from anywhere, as he was influenced by some classic movies. Vaughn submitted his list of 10 favorite movies in a Sight & Sound poll, reported by Collider. Surprisingly, the list of movies is fairly generic, and his personal favorites aren’t all that different from most “greatest of all time” lists.


10 Rocky III (1982) – 6.8

Rocky fighting Clubber Lang in Rocky III

Rocky is oft considered the best sports movie of all time, never mind the best boxing movie, and its success led to not just several sequels, but a whole franchise containing eight films. And even though it remained mostly brilliant all the way up to the sixth film of the main series, Rocky III is generally considered one of the worst. It’s an interesting choice for Vaughn, as the first one is a cinematic masterpiece that would be any other director’s pick for the best of the series.

But it makes sense, as Vaughn is known for his rollicking movies full of fun and gratuitous violence, so Rocky III is more in his wheelhouse. The third movie is a lot more fun than its predecessors, as it’s nothing more than Mr. T, former wrestler Hulk Hogan, and Rocky beating the living daylights out of each other. And as Vaughn has a penchant for using radio hits in his action movies, he could very well have been inspired by Rocky III’s use of “Eye of the Tiger.”

9 Being There (1979) – 8.0

Peter Sellers in Being There (1979)

Being There is one of the most fascinating satires ever made, as it follows a gardener of a wealthy employer who had never left the premises of a townhouse in his life. It’s only when his boss dies that he sees what real life is like, and all he knows is what he has seen in movies and TV. The movie has become famous for having one of the most debated and philosophical endings in cinema history, but it’s the humor that comes from Chance being a fish out of water that clearly had an influence on Vaughn.

It’s easy to see that Being There likely had an impact on Vaughn in many of his films. The way the filmmaker depicted the young version of Professor Xavier in X-Men: First Class was similar in the way Xavier was hilariously awkward in social situations. And Harry’s look in the Kingsman series is almost identical to Chance, even down to the way they both carry an umbrella everywhere they go.

8 The Deer Hunter (1977) – 8.1

Robert De Niro in The Deer Hunter

The Deer Hunter couldn’t be any more different from Vaughn’s films. The movie takes an emotional toll on the audience, as it shows all the terrible ways in which the Vietnam War affected Americans. From the very beginning, the movie shows a group of factory workers getting drafted into the war, being forced to play Russian roulette in captivity, and suffering from PTSD after barely surviving.

Vaughn, on the other hand, directs movies that make light of horrific murders, and it’s hard to find many parallels between the two. However, as his next movie, The King’s Man, is set during World War I, it could take some influences from the 1977 war movie.

7 Reservoir Dogs (1992) – 8.3

Mr. White pointing a gun at Mr. Orange in Reservoir Dogs.

Almost every director working today has a Quentin Tarantino movie on their list of favorites, as he has changed the cinema landscape several times over the past 30 years. However, where most filmmakers have Pulp Fiction as their favorite, Vaughn cites Reservoir Dogs as the best. Reservoir Dogs established Tarantino’s style in a lot of ways, and many of those trademarks have been adopted by Vaughn too.

RELATED: The Conjuring – Quentin Tarantino’s 10 Favorite Movies Of 2013

The graphic violence, catchy soundtrack, and even undercover characters are all tropes that Vaughn’s movies share with the 1992 movie. Vaughn’s directorial debut was much more in the style of Reservoir Dogs than the colorful superhero movies he became known for too. Layer Cake was a gritty crime drama, and it proudly wore its influences on its sleeve.

6 Scarface (1983) – 8.3

It couldn’t be any less surprising that Scarface is one of Matthew Vaughn’s favorite movies, as the 1983 film is one of the bloodiest movies ever made. There are licks of Scarface influences throughout his whole career, from the realistic Layer Cake and the over-the-top Kick-Ass to the creatively vulgar Kingsman series.

There is a Scarface remake in development and it’s surprising that Vaughn wasn’t considered for the director by the studio. He would have been able to deliver on the shock value and bring a refreshing tone to the remake.

5 Lawrence Of Arabia (1962) – 8.3

Lawrence of Arabia is one of the best World War 1 movies of all time and in many ways, it’s a perfect film. It has epic shots of Greater Syria and follows T.E. Lawrence’s struggles with war. It’s one of Vaughn’s favorite movies, but it’s hard to find where the film’s influence lies in his filmography.

However, the way the filmmaker directs drama and conflicts between characters could be subconsciously inspired by the unrivaled scenes from Lawrence of Arabia and that is no clearer than in The King’s Man. According to Cinema Blend, the director has even said that the upcoming movie will be a love letter to movies he loved growing up, which includes the 1962 epic.

4 Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981) – 8.4

Indiana Jones grabbing treasure in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Raiders of the Lost Ark is mandatory watching for any action-adventure obsessive and it’s one of the pillars of films that Vaughn’s movies are built on. Raiders laid down the blueprint for not only Vaughn’s action movies, but essentially every adventure movie that has been released since.

It’s isn’t just Raiders, but Steven Spielberg and his entire body of work have clearly acted as somewhat of a spiritual guide for Vaughn. The British filmmaker has directed everything from crime dramas to fantasy movies.

3 Back To The Future (1985) – 8.5

Doc Brown and Marty McFly in Back to the Future

Back to the Future is a classic ’80s movie and one of the most inventive movies about time travel. What made it so popular was that other time travel movies were less about the relationships and more about the science behind the plot.

RELATED: David O’Russell’s 10 Favorite Movies Of All Time, Ranked According To IMDb

The 1985 movie is completely character-driven, and that’s why it’s a classic. There are many similarities between Back to the Future in so many Vaughn-directed movies. For example, the student-mentor relationship of Doc and Marty is replicated with Eggsy and Harry in the Kingsman movies.

2 Star Wars (1977) – 8.6

Though fans would change the special effects in Star Wars if they could change anything, the movie was way ahead of its time, and it inspired any kid with the ambition of becoming a filmmaker. This goes for Vaughn too, and the movie’s influences can be seen in most of Vaughn’s films.

At one point, as reported by SyFy, it was rumored that Vaughn was on board to direct Star Wars: Episode VII, which would have been exciting. But with so many upcoming movies and TV shows planned for the space saga, it’d be great to see Vaughn involved in something, even if it’s just an episode of The Mandalorian.

1 The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly (1966) – 8.8

The Ugly holds Blondie at gunpoint

It’s fascinating that Vaughn has so many vast epics with long runtimes in his list of favorite movies since his movies are generally fast-paced and over in a flash. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly represents everything that Vaughn’s movies aren’t. There are grand panoramic vistas, long solitary moments without any dialogue, and a sweeping original score.

Vaughn’s movies are full of huge action setpieces set to radio hits, not to mention that the filmmaker hasn’t made anything that even vaguely resembles a Western. Regardless, whether he’s influenced by it or not, many feel that The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is one of the greatest movies of all time, and Vaughn agrees.

NEXT: Kingsman – 5 Things The Golden Circle Got Right (& 5 It Got Horribly Wrong)

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