The Top 10 Best Dialogue Movies

There is something about a movie with delicious dialogue.  (See what I did there sports fans?  That’s called alliteration.  Its fancy stuff like that which makes a movie grace a fabulous list like this one.)  Great writing just isn’t celebrated enough in my humble opinion.  And in an attempt to write this moral wrong I figured I would pull out a list of the top 10 best dialogue movies of all time.  Is this arbitrary?  You bet.  That’s why I need to hear from on your particular favorites.  Not to mention that I can always use a good movie recommendation!

Regardless, there is really nothing compared to a well written and intriguing screen play.  Whether it be witty and fast paced dialogue or intense and foreboding the writing of a movie can really drive so much in the way of character development and action.  But forget “action” for a moment… what about putting 3 actors in a room and staying there for an hour and a half?  This is the kind of crazy intense writing that really makes you think and causes you to get caught up in the moment the director has placed you in.  Or, follow two characters on their winding path through Paris and listen in as they spar verbally trying to learn who this other person is they’ve encountered for the first time.  Well, so that you can commence with the filleting in the comment section – here are is The Top 10 Best Dialogue Movies –

Top 10 Best Dialogue Movies – #10

Top 10 Best Dialogue Movies - Before Sunset

[amazon template=iframe image&asin=B002PHN76K]This sequel to the brilliant “Before Sunrise” was released in 2005, written by Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke & Julie Delpy.   Two years after “Before Sunset” was released, this fabulous trifecta of talent began emailing script swatches back and forth conferring with one another about where the sequel might go.  Ten years after the initial release we were given “Before Sunset”.   Purchase this fantastic movie through the image to the right.

The two serendipitously reconnect at a book signing after many years have passed.  Here’s a great quote indicative of the frisson embedded throughout this extremely well collaborated movie:

Jesse: In the months leading up to my wedding, I was thinking about you all the time. I mean, even on my way there; I’m in the car, a buddy of mine is driving me downtown and I’m staring out the window, and I think I see you, not far from the church, right? Folding up an umbrella and walking into a deli on the corner of 13th and Broadway. And I thought I was going crazy, but now I think it probably was you.
Celine: I lived on 11th and Broadway.
Jesse: You see?

I definitely lose about 200 man points for even mentioning I’ve seen this movie, let alone enjoying it.  Bah.  I’ll buy a chainsaw and make up for it later this summer.  On to number nine!

Top 10 Best Dialogue Movies – #9

Top 10 Best Dialogue Movies - Matchpoint

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I actually had a hard time choosing a movie in this slot… basically you could have inserted anything in here by Woody Allen and I would have been just fine with that.  I selected Matchpoint only because it was one of his more recent movies and had a plot that was more accessible to a wider audience.  The plot here is absolutely brilliant – so much so it gave me nightmares for days afterward.  The reality of this script and the intensity of the acting here is just superb.  Definitely not for the emotionally light of heart.  This movie will stress you out before its all done.

Estate Agent: That’s your sofa, which also doubles up as a bed, which is great, you know, cause you can be watching some telly and you ain’t got to hassle having to get outta the bedroom, you can just open it up, get your kip. Kitchen just through there, all your amenities, fixtures, fittings, washer, dryer, all that stuff. Lovely view, not overlooked. So, ah, it’s all good.

Chris: This is two hundred and twenty five a week?

Estate Agent: Well it’s London, mate. Bang, mate. You know? You don’t like it, move to Leeds, do ya know what I mean? You got a wok? You got a wok? It’s one of those oriental, sort of conical pans? The geezer who was in here before, he left one in there. You’re welcome to it. I’ll throw that in.

Chris: I’ll take it.

Top 10 Best Dialogue Movies – #8

Top 10 Best Dialogue Movies - Glengarry Glen Ross

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When I first watched Glengarry I was more than a little confused.  I picked it up on a lark and thought I was watching a 50’s movie at first.  The abusive language pretty quickly disavowed me of this impression fairly early on.  But the caliber of the actors was extraordinary.  And even above the acting was the script.

Mainly staged in a single sales room – Glengarry spends its time with witty abuse spewed back and forth between the various characters.  And each of the characters was cut from really credible foundational stuff.  And it is from here that each of these guys moves from.  Its very very good dialogue – if a bit terse.  Here’s an example:

Dave: You – Moss. You’re such a hero, you’re so rich, how come you’re coming down here wasting your time with such a bunch of bums?
Blake: You see this watch? You see this watch?
Dave: Yeah.
Blake: That watch costs more than you car. I made $970,000 last year. How much’d you make? You see pal, that’s who I am, and you’re nothing.

Took me 10 minutes to find a quote sans expletive.  So, if you have a low swearing tolerance I’d say avoid this movie like the plague.  But otherwise, Its a very intriguing story with some really fantastic dialogue between fantastic characters.  This movie reminds me more of a play than a movie per se’. Which may be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your point of view…

Top 10 Best Dialogue Movies – #7

Top 10 Best Dialogue Movies - Dead Poet's Society

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Ok, so this is probably the cheesiest selection in this list.  But I couldn’t talk myself into passing it up.  Dead Poet’s is one of the seminal classics that is founded on great characters and fantastic dialogue.  Acting, not so much.  But I’m betting if forced to, you could probably quote more than a line or two from the movie on demand.  Its that good.

John Keating: They’re not that different from you, are they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones, just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they’re destined for great things, just like many of you, their eyes are full of hope, just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because, you see gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? – – Carpe – – hear it? – – Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.

Top 10 Best Dialogue Movies – #6

Top 10 Best Dialogue Movies - True Grit

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Oh how I loved this movie.  I loved everything about it.  The cast is amazing.  Bridges, Damon & Brolin?  Goodness.  But newcomer Hailee Steinfeld is the one that made this movie soar.  But it was the Coen Brother’s screenplay based on the original Portis novel is what really had my jaw on the floor of the movie theater.  It really must be seen to be believed.

LaBoeuf: You give out very little sugar with your pronouncements. While I sat there watchin’ I gave some thought to stealin’ a kiss… though you are very young, and sick… and unattractive to boot. But now I have a mind to give you five or six good licks with my belt.
Mattie Ross: One would be just as unpleasant as the other.


Rooster Cogburn: [LaBoeuf has been talking about malum prohibitum and malum in se] It astonishes me that Mr. LaBoeuf has been shot, trampled, and nearly bitten his tongue off, and yet not only does he continue to talk but he spills the banks of English.

Just really fantastic writing.  I have recently put the book on hold just to see how much of the dialogue was lifted from the book – and how much was made up on the spot by the Coen brothers.  I look forward to checking back in here once I’ve read the book with what I find.  If someone has already read it I would love to hear more on this particular point.

Top 10 Best Dialogue Movies – #5

Top 10 Best Dialogue Movies - Fargo

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Credit two for team Coen.  Looks like they are in the lead in this top ten best of list.  Its definitely difficult to beat a Coen brothers script in the dialogue department.  They just have a brilliant knack for witty wordplay and authentic dialogue.  They definitely haven’t slipped any in this department over the years.

Can I just say that this movie makes me laugh with just the mention of the name?  Its actually impossible to separate the movie from the fantastic Minnesota accent.  And yet the dialogue is so low-key witty that it has defined a whole genre of off-beat locale driven movies.  If you haven’t gone back and rewatched this one lately, do so and you’ll be surprised at just how good the dialogue here is.

Mr. Mohra: So, I’m tendin’ bar there at Ecklund and Swedlin’s last Tuesday, and this little guy’s drinkin’ and he says, “So where can a guy find some action? I’m goin’ crazy out there at the lake.” And I says, “What kinda action?” and he says, “Woman action, what do I look like?” And I says, “Well, what do I look like, I don’t arrange that kinda thing,” and he says, “But I’m goin’ crazy out there at the lake,” and I says, “Well, this ain’t that kinda place.”
Officer Olson: Uh-huh.
Mr. Mohra: So he angrily says, “Oh I get it, so you think I’m some kinda crazy jerk for askin’,” only he doesn’t use the word “jerk.”
Officer Olson: I understand.
Mr. Mohra: And then he calls me a jerk, and says that the last guy who thought he was a jerk is dead now. So I don’t say nothin’ and he says, “What do ya think about that?” So I says, “Well, that don’t sound like too good a deal for him, then.”
Officer Olson: [chuckles] Ya got that right.
Mr. Mohra: And he says, “Yah, that guy’s dead, and I don’t mean of old age.” And then he says, “Geez, I’m goin’ crazy out there at the lake.”
Officer Olson: White Bear Lake?
Mr. Mohra: Well… Ecklund & Swedlin’s, that’s closer ta Moose Lake, so I made that assumption.
Officer Olson: Oh sure.
Mr. Mohra: So, ya know, he’s drinkin’, so I don’t think a whole great deal of it, but Mrs. Mohra heard about the homicides down here last week and she thought I should call it in, so… I called it in. End o’ story.
Officer Olson: What’d this guy look like, anyway?
Mr. Mohra: Oh, he was a little guy… Kinda funny lookin’.
Officer Olson: Uh-huh. In what way?
Mr. Mohra: Oh, just in a general kinda way.

Top 10 Best Dialogue Movies – #4

Top 10 Best Dialogue Movies - The Social Network

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Sorkin.  Done.  One of the best dialogue writers of all time.  This list would be drift wood without something from Sorkin in it.  And it only seems reasonable that his latest masterpiece would be a fitting entry.  A pile of Emmys under his belt have now been joined by a Golden Globe win and an Oscar.  If you are unaware of Aaron’s genius then I’m sure you’d recognize a few of his notable highlights… like A Few Good Men or The West Wing.  He truly is one of the best writers today in the world of dialogue.

Sorkin’s dialogue is so dense and packed tight in everything he does that his scripts are 3 and 4 times longer than most.  Its his belief that we don’t need to speak down to the audience that I like so very much.  That a movie or a TV show doesn’t have to peddle or speak pedantically to an audience that is so enticing.

Mark Zuckerberg: As for any charges stemming from the breach of security, I believe I deserve some recognition from this board.
Chairwoman: I’m sorry?
Mark Zuckerberg: Yes?
Chairwoman: I don’t understand.
Mark Zuckerberg: Which part?

And with that example, the prosecution rests.

Top 10 Best Dialogue Movies – #3

Top 10 Best Dialogue Movies - Reality Bites

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What’s funny about this one is that its such an icon of the disenfranchised 90’s that it is a characterization of itself.  Regardless, chalk up another one for Ethan Hawke.  We now have a tie at two.  (If you aren’t keeping track that is two for team Coen and two for team Hawke.  (Really three for team Hawke with Before Sunrise and Before Sunset – but they are basically the same movie, so I’ll only count those once.  Kind of me, isn’t it?) It’s really too bad that Helen Childress hasn’t gone on to follow it up with anything else.  Anyone know why?

Lelaina Pierce: I’d like to somehow make a difference in people’s lives.
Troy Dyer: And I… I would like to buy them all a Coke.
Lelaina Pierce: And you wonder why we never got involved?

Top 10 Best Dialogue Movies – #2

Top 10 Best Dialogue Movies - American Beauty

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American Beauty gets me in more trouble than any other movie I know.  Often I wax eloquent about the beautiful script and amazing dialogue here within and its like I just killed their cat with a pick axe.  Seriously.  The looks I get.

REGARDLESS, I love the characters and the dialogue in this movie.  Its probably the first script I ever actively went and found immediately after watching the movie to enjoy it in its pure form.  I still remember Alan Ball’s acceptance speech at the Oscars about how he watched that bag floating around in circles and it inspired him to write the initial screenplay.  (Which was originally a stage play I do believe.  Anyone confirm, deny that?)

[Carolyn is introducing Lester to the Real Estate King]
Carolyn Burnham: My husband, Lester.
Buddy Kane: It’s a pleasure.
Lester Burnham: Oh, we’ve met before, actually. This thing last year, Christmas at the Sheraton…
Buddy Kane: [pretends to remember] Oh yeah, yes…
Lester Burnham: It’s OK, I wouldn’t remember me either.
Carolyn Burnham: [laughs nervously] Honey, don’t be weird.
Lester Burnham: OK honey, I won’t be weird. I’ll be whatever what you want me to be.
[Lester kisses Carolyn wildly, then looks at the Real Estate King]
Lester Burnham: We have a very healthy relationship.
Buddy Kane: I see.
Lester Burnham: Well, don’t know about you guys, but I need a drink.


[Lester has just caught Caroline cheating with the Real Estate King]
Carolyn Burnham: Uh, Buddy, this is my…
Lester Burnham: Her husband. We’ve met before, but something tells me you’re going to remember me this time.

Top 10 Best Dialogue Movies – #1

Top 10 Best Dialogue Movies - Pulp Fiction

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Come on.  This was a forgone conclusion.  No list disusing the best dialogue-based movies is complete without Quentin Tarantino.  Period.  I thought seriously about including Reservoir Dogs, Four Rooms or possibly Inglorious Basterds.  Each would be a contender on this list, that is for sure.  The great thing about Pulp Fiction is that the writing is so stinking good that the actors are all but hand puppets to be used by the great Tarantino.  Its all dialogue.  Every moment.  Sure, there’s the brain bits and the gimp in there somewhere.  But seriously.  Its really all dialogue, beginning to end.

The Wolf: You must be Jules, which would make you Vincent. Let’s get down to brass tacks, gentlemen. If I was informed correctly, the clock is ticking, is that right, Jimmie?
Jimmie: Uh, one hundred percent.
The Wolf: Your wife… Bonnie comes home at 9:30 in the AM, is that right?
Jimmie: Uh-huh.
The Wolf: I was led to believe that if she comes home and finds us here, she’d wouldn’t appreciate it none too much?
Jimmie: [laughing] She wouldn’t at that.
The Wolf: That gives us exactly… forty minutes to get the fuck out of Dodge. Which, if you do what I say when I say it, should be plenty. Now, you’ve got a corpse in a car, minus a head, in a garage. Take me to it.


And with that I close out my Top 10 Best Dialogue Movies of all time.  Sure – I’m wrong.  Sure, some of these you wouldn’t put on any list.  That is fair.  If I’m way off, give me your list below.  I’d love to hear what you think the best dialogue movies of all time are.  And don’t give me your favorite movies.  No Top Gun, no Star Wars, darnit.  Give us the movies with the best give and take.  The best dialogue.  Looking forward to hearing from you all!

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60 Responses

  1. billybuckner

    Here are a few that also deserve some consideration: The Shawshank Redemption, The Big Lebowski, Good Will Hunting, Heist (a sleeper pick. check it out, love Gene Hackman), Snatch.

  2. taylor

    Lebowski was in play for the list – but with True Grit and Fargo already on, I figured I probably needed to let other writers get some credit. But the Coen Brothers are epic writers. Brilliant every time they pick up a pen. So kudos there.

    Good Will Hunting is my favorite movie of all time and think Damon and Affleck were completely inspired writing that little jewel of a movie. And at the risk of making this response WAY too wordy – here is my favorite quote from said brilliant movie:

    Why shouldn’t I work for the N.S.A.? That’s a tough one, but I’ll take a shot. Say I’m working at N.S.A. Somebody puts a code on my desk, something nobody else can break. Maybe I take a shot at it and maybe I break it. And I’m real happy with myself, ’cause I did my job well. But maybe that code was the location of some rebel army in North Africa or the Middle East. Once they have that location, they bomb the village where the rebels were hiding and fifteen hundred people I never met, never had no problem with, get killed. Now the politicians are sayin’, “Oh, send in the Marines to secure the area” ’cause they don’t give a sh–. It won’t be their kid over there, gettin’ shot. Just like it wasn’t them when their number got called, ’cause they were pullin’ a tour in the National Guard. It’ll be some kid from Southie takin’ shrapnel in the ass. And he comes back to find that the plant he used to work at got exported to the country he just got back from. And the guy who put the shrapnel in his ass got his old job, ’cause he’ll work for fifteen cents a day and no bathroom breaks. Meanwhile, he realizes the only reason he was over there in the first place was so we could install a government that would sell us oil at a good price. And, of course, the oil companies used the skirmish over there to scare up domestic oil prices. A cute little ancillary benefit for them, but it ain’t helping my buddy at two-fifty a gallon. And they’re takin’ their sweet time bringin’ the oil back, of course, and maybe even took the liberty of hiring an alcoholic skipper who likes to drink martinis and f—–‘ play slalom with the icebergs, and it ain’t too long ’til he hits one, spills the oil and kills all the sea life in the North Atlantic. So now my buddy’s out of work and he can’t afford to drive, so he’s got to walk to the f—–‘ job interviews, which sucks ’cause the shrapnel in his ass is givin’ him chronic hemorrhoids. And meanwhile he’s starvin’, ’cause every time he tries to get a bite to eat, the only blue plate special they’re servin’ is North Atlantic scrod with Quaker State. So what did I think? I’m holdin’ out for somethin’ better. I figure f— it, while I’m at it why not just shoot my buddy, take his job, give it to his sworn enemy, hike up gas prices, bomb a village, club a baby seal, hit the hash pipe and join the National Guard? I could be elected president.

    Brilliance I tell you brilliance. I heard the two of them tried to out do the other writing that monologue and they mashed it all together at the end. Love it.

    As for Heist – it is a quick talking movie. Anything by Mamet is of course. The problem is in the delivery. I don’t understand his Directing style at all. If he could just write the movie and let someone else direct I think it would be a match made in heaven. But that’s just me. Regardless, the writing in that is very fast and very witty. Clever. And Snatch is just off the charts out of control. Makes me laugh just thinking about it.

    Great list of additions!! Thanks Mr. Buckner!

  3. Andy

    Spoliers follow — Another great Mamet… State and Main. Better Ritchie, IMHO… Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, although the ultimate scene of everyone converging on that little flat with “Zorba the Greek” is brilliantly dialogue-free. My favorite Coens… No Country for Old Men (Josh Brolin has come a long way since Goonies). Also really liked Clerks and Dogma, but not so much the rest of Smith’s work. Shawshank is my all time favorite. Knew nothing about the movie or story going in – I don’t think any movie moment will ever top the first time I saw/heard that little rock go through the poster. And I’m a big Magnolia fan, one of the few I guess.

  4. Timothy Nguyen

    I would also nominate “In Bruges.” Irish film, and the dialogue is some of the best dialogue I have heard in recent times (i.e. recent movies)

  5. Taylor

    In Bruges? Never heard of it. Oh wait – isn’t that the one with Fiennes? Yeah, I’ve definitely wanted to see that. Farrell too? Oh nice. That looks really good. I’m definitely queuing it up for soon. Thanks for the heads up Tim!

  6. Sainty

    This was a really great list. Personally I prefer the dialogue in lebowski to fargo but the coens are always great. I think one crucial omission was Network (1976). Fitting sorkin mentioned it when accepting his oscar. That screenplay is just mindbogglingly good.

  7. Timothy Nguyen

    Really hoped you enjoyed “In Bruges;” that movie was pretty good considering I had low expectations.

  8. Mr. November

    Just stumbled upon your best mind bending movies list while looking for good time travel movies and decided to check out this entry.

    Good list, especially Fargo. Given your love of the Coens, where do you stand on A Serious Man? I loved it to pieces, and would consider it one of (if not the) their best works.

    Also, check out In Bruges. Very good film.

    As for other suggestions, Withnail and I is brilliant, and its dialogue is easily the best part. And, I know this may seen out of left-field, I always thought the Mulholland Dr. was wonderfully written, especially the way its dialogue takes on new meaning after (possibly) unraveling the plot.

  9. Jack

    Not including All About Eve, or Hud, in this list, shows what a pedestrian and juvenile judge of movies you are. Maybe one day, you’ll put on your big-boy pants and venture beyond “Before Sunset”. Believe it or not, they actually made movies before 1994.

  10. Taylor

    Hey Jack,
    Maybe I should have said this outloud if I didn’t inside the post – but the goal of this post was to show that there are good dialogue movies coming out today and have come out recently. So yes, I intetionally skewed these entries to more recent movies. So my apologies good sir for the hyperbole of the SEO that yells “of all time.” Yeah, I wouldn’t even know where to begin to delve that deeply into the past.

    Yes, I am cognizant of many many of the greats, but that wasn’t my goal either. This post mainly was to show that We don’t have to settle today for the same old same old of modern movies and that we need to demand more out of our movie houses instead of just assuming that dialogue is dead today. But yeah, this post is at the top of many many dialogue centric searches… And with that comes expectations I guess. I’d be happy to add a better representative sampling of older movies if posters here tip me in that direction. All About Eve was fantastic. I am not familiar with Hub, but I can assure you I will track it down.

    So yeah, instead of tossing hand grenades, maybe you can help educate on movies that are brilliant dialogue driven movies. For instance, is there a Sorkin equivalent of the 50’s? Or maybe a Woody Allen? Doing a search for classic dialogue driven movies brings this post up but not a whole lot more. So yeah, I’m totally open to adding piles of great older movies, but that admittedly wasn’t my goal when initiating this post.

    And with that the floor is open for suggestions.

  11. Brandon

    Princess Bride. It’s a classic with great dialogue throughout. Very witty and funny.

  12. What Is the Purpose of Dialogue in Your Story? « Never Give Up by Joan Y. Edwards

    […] Taylor Holmes lists Top 10 Best Dialogue Movies:  Here are the first three: #1 Pulp Fiction #2  American Beauty, and #3 Reality Bites. Read her article for all 10 and dialogue excerpts, too. […]

  13. Malc

    Try “The Limey”. You might well rate it in your top 10.

    I agree with Pulp Fiction as #1. It was so good though that you couldn’t help thinking, even while watching that it was a deliberate attempt to produce “the film with the smartest dialogue”.

  14. Wendy Alanis

    Closer, with Natalie Portman, Clive Owen, Jude Law, and Julia Roberts. Incredibly addictive dialogue. Makes you keep rewinding to hear it again, not because its complicated, but because it is perfectly honest.

  15. Wendy Alanis

    Just read Closer was originally written as a play. Regardless, I recommend it.

    • Taylor Holmes

      Hey Wendy,
      Thanks for the recommendation (sorry for the delay – Amsterdam had me a bit distracted). I haven’t seen Closer, but I have heard a bit about it. I’ll be sure to check it out.

      I really do find that many plays upsize into movies really well. But I am a movie dialogue nut. The more dialogue and the more clever the writing the better!


  16. Jeremy

    Good list. Honorable mentions, perhaps…..If you haven’t already, maybe check out Tape….and then maybe score yet another for Ethan Hawke. I also have a soft spot for Swingers. And have to agree with the Magnolia fan (and add There Will Be Blood). Oh…and one more – Gangs of New York.

  17. Guy

    Two in the same year by Ethan Hawke — “Training day” and not so well known “The Tape”. Just watched “Before midnight” and want my kids to watch the trilogy and know what life and love are really about.. Linklaters “Bernie” .. “Interstate 60”.. “The Box”..”JCVD”.. “In the mouth of madness”.. “Videodrome”.. “There will be blood”.. “Twin Peaks” (!).. “Ace in the hole”.. just rumbling on, if you haven’t seen any of those check them put, might like them whoever you are.. I wished I remembered all those thta changed my life, put a grain of thought in my had, showed how to live, or more importantdly, how NOT to live.. thank God for movies and books..

  18. Taylor Holmes

    Hey there Guy,
    Tape made it to my best mind bending movies list ( but yes, it could definitely (should have actually) made it here instead. Training Day was off the hook as well. Of the list you have here the one I love the most is definitely There Will Be Blood… which was so good as to be almost incomprehensible. hehe.

    Thanks for adding a few to the list here. I have been planning to pull together these suggestions and adding them back in to the blog at some point. So it is greatly appreciated.

  19. Gil Meyer

    I have done numerous films and TV commercials..I am looking for a good dialogue writer for a movie treatment that I am fairly sure will sell. I can send the treatment. It is copyrighted and registered with the WGA; however, I have been out of the loop for about 10 years and would like to find a prolific writer to do it justice.

  20. Hominis Ignotus

    12 Angry Men has always been a favorite of mine, both the original 1957 film and the later 1997 TV remake. The whole thing more or less takes place in a single room, so the script and the actors really make the movie.

    • Taylor Holmes

      Yes, I enjoyed both movies as well. Add high quality actors and a fantastic script, stuff them in a single room and you are bound to end up with a great dialog movie.

  21. Lolu

    I suggest “Carnage”. The play was adapted into a movie, directed by Roman Polanski. Just 4 people in an apartment in New York. Impeccable dialogue. Oh, two of the people happen to be Christoph Waltz and Jodie Foster. You can’t go wrong.

  22. Taylor

    Ohhh – that looks so so good. Was wondering what I was going to do tonight! Thanks a ton Lolu!! Brilliantly played.

  23. Taylor Holmes

    I watched that with my wife last night. Started to watch it while she was out, and decided to wait for her to watch as well. Watching movies like Carnage totally reminds me of why I love great dialogue movies. About the only thing that annoyed me was the fact that they kept acting like they were going to leave the apartment when we all knew full well they weren’t leaving until the movie was over.

    Thanks a ton for the suggestion!

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  25. Dungeness

    Think back…way, way back to 1968. to the “The Lion in Winter” with Hepburn, O’Toole, and Anthony Hopkins. I mean if you were out of your diapers that is…Now there was dialogue! Repartee so fast and good, it’d leave bleeding in the aisle if you were nodding, slurping a Big Gulp, feeling somebody up instead of listening…

  26. Taylor Holmes

    Dungeness – just like that I’ve added The Lion in Winter to my queue. Sweet. Can’t wait to watch it. Love love love sharp dialogue. Can’t wait to watch it. I’ll report back after I get a chance to sit down and experience it! Thanks again.

  27. Steve Harvey

    Taylor, and everyone who is commenting, has no sense of history. There isn’t a movie from earlier than about 1980 on the list. Your most egregious omission — and arguably the movie with the greatest dialog ever — is Casablanca.

    • AdamW

      I don’t like many movies pre-1970, I admit it – but Casablanca is legit tremendous.

  28. AdamW

    Great list. Don’t be ashamed of anything on it – that’s just silly. I think you missed a few, but I won’t quibble. Loved all of the “Before” movies. … I’ve now gone through and read a lot of your posts (got here because of “The One I Love”) and you do a great job. But if you ever spelled “it’s” correctly, I think I’d pass out.


    • Taylor Holmes

      If you are wandering around the blog looking for stuff more like “The One I Love”, then I recommend watching the movies and reading the posts for; Coherence, Primer, The Prestige, Inception, Timecrimes, Upstream Color, The Signal, Memento… etc etc.

      Its really hard to spell IT’S correctly. And I’m sorry but I doubt ITS ever going to get spelled correctly. heheh.

      • AdamW

        C’mon bro, you can do it! … I did read, and have seen, most of those. Memento is one of the best movies of all time.

  29. Tom Huff

    This list is the worst list I have ever seen. These movies are crap.
    The greatest dialog film ever is Casablanca.

    • Taylor

      Tom, I guarantee you this isn’t the worst list ever, because I personally have created worst lists than this one. But hey, let’s hear it for open internet “debate” in the form of “abuse”.

      Did you search for “best dialogue movies” and then find that I was the only one out there talking about this topic, and horror of all horrors, I’m not a huge fan of Casablanca, mainly because I’m younger than you and can’t identify with the puffery and stilted production values? Which then in turn caused you to get mad at me because there really is such a thing as generational gaps, which just reminded you that we are ever getting older? You probably didn’t even read the part where I said I admit that these movies are newer, and that that is my bias, you most likely didn’t even read the post. You scanned the list for your favorite dialogue movie and then decided to blow this “popsicle stand”.

      If you don’t like this that’s fair, but maybe you should explain to us all why Casablanca is the epitome of good dialogue, and then maybe I’ll see it from your vantage, as opposed to dropping an atom bomb and then leaving? Ever heard of constructive criticism? There’s a lot of it here in the comment section where helpful visitors have shown me how my list is deficient in positive ways, whereupon I saw it from their viewpoint and then added their comments into the blog itself. But with your strafing run, I’m now LESS likely to add Casablanca to the this than I ever was before.

      Sorry… But flame and run comments are fairly annoying. Should have just deleted it as opposed to responding. But it is what it is. Have a great day Tom!

  30. Steve

    Are people still talking about this? I think it’s a pretty good list (thank you for making it), but Reservoir Dogs and Casablanca probably should have earned spots on it. What about The Godfather? Parts I and II are almost nothing but dialog.

    • Taylor Holmes

      Hey Steve,
      they may not be, but I am always ready and willing to. Reservoir Dogs, obviously. Didn’t I talk about Quintin in here somewhere? I don’t remember, wrote it a while ago. So yeah. The hard part is how do you decide which ones to include, or exclude?

      As for the Godfathers, yeah. I buy that. I need to go back and watch them again. As for Casablanca… I have to admit, I just wasn’t a fan the first time I watched it. But so many people continue to go on and on about it that I probably need to go back and rewatch it all over again with a clean slate. Thanks for keeping the conversation going. And when I get off my butt and watch, I’ll swing back through.

      • Steve

        Yes, you specifically mentioned Reservoir Dogs; I just thought it should have made the list. I understand you don’t care for Casablanca, but it is dialog-driven and (I think) and very good movie.

        Also, I meant to mention The Sunset Limited before. It’s Samuel L Jackson and Tommy Lee Jones sitting around a kitchen table talking for 90 minutes. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s nothing but dialog.

        What got me thinking about this was QT’s Hateful Eight. In my opinion, he’s the only director currently making dialog-driven movies. And, of course, an assertion like that inspires some debate.

  31. Tony

    Casablanca is the ultimate in dialogue. Miller’s Crossing is also fantastic. And of course, Warren Beatty killed it in Bugsy.

    • Taylor Holmes

      Well played picks. I had a miller’s crossing poster in my bedroom through high school. And Bugsy? I had a standee of him for upwards of 15 years before it got obliterated in a move… and I thought my heart had been ripped from my chest.

      And Casablanca goes absolutely without saying.

  32. Majikthise

    Thanks for the list. I’ve seen and admire all those films, and many others people mentioned. My list would be similar, but upon reflecting about dialogue, and bringing together various interpretations of what “best” might mean, “Life of Brian” would be inserted at number 1.

  33. Cndelo

    Tombstone screenplay by Kevin Jarre is probably my number one, Silence of the Lambs by Ted Tally with the dialogue between Starling and Lecter, completely agree with True Grit and American Beauty! Shawshank Redemption, V For Vendetta, Forest Gump, Room.

  34. April Kelly

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    and waited an extra 30 minutes. The 2 masseuses that did my
    girlfriend and I were on there phones while doing our massages.
    They were TERRIBLE!!! We’ve had bad ones before but this tops all of them.
    I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS PLACE. There are better ones in the area.

    ***They need to replace those 2 masseuses***

    BEWARE!!! There is a mandatory gratuity for which type of massage you get.


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