Five Favorite Films

Mekhi Phifer's Five Favorite Films

The Star of Pandemic Tells RT about His Love for Aliens, My Cousin Vinny, and the Mobster Genre

by | April 8, 2016 | Comments

(Photo by Ethan Miller / Getty Images)


An actor of considerable range, Mekhi Phifer has turned in fine performances in hits like ER, Dawn of the Dead, 8 MileSoul Food, and Divergent. Starting on Apr. 5, he stars in the new sci-fi action film PandemicPhifer is also a completely charming guy who, after bonding with me about often mispronounced first names, enthusiastically talked about five of his favorite films (and then some). Do his favorites match with any of yours?


My Cousin Vinny (1992) 86%

My Cousin Vinny. No doubt about it. Classic movie, never have seen Joe Pesci or Marisa Tomei better. Everybody was great. The writing was great. It just goes to show you how character-driven movies are always the best, for me. I love character-driven, well-written, great storytelling types of films and I think that My Cousin Vinny just hit the nail on the head with everything. It’s one of those movies that, if I’m flipping through the channels, no matter what part it’s on, I can watch it. It’s just one of my favorites.

Wag the Dog (1997) 85%

Probably some people will go, “Huh?” But I love the film Wag the Dog with Robert De Niro, and Dustin Hoffman, and Anne Heche. It’s a really good movie — sort of political parody I think, that sort of played on what Clinton went through and how they have to sort of trouble shoot, and try to spin the story in order to get him, the president, re-elected and things like that. And even though it was a fictional story, to me it rang really true. And that’s another one that’s very character-driven. I loved every one of them, from Denis Leary to everyone, Willie Nelson… I just thought it was very well done.

A Soldier's Story (1984) 90%

Another one of my favorite movies in the whole world is A Soldier’s Story. It was originally a play but this one stars Denzel Washington and David Allen Grier and Howard E. Rollins. [It’s set] in World War II, it’s about the racial divide in the army, but it’s also about a murder mystery, but then it also dealt with the social class differences, and so that was another one that — [Norman] Jewison directed that; he really hit the nail on the head. Very well written, very well acted, another movie I could quote from top to bottom.

Aliens (1986) 97%

Number four I would have to say is the best one out of all of them: Aliens. That’s just one of those movies that I think was so well done. It was ahead of its time. [James Cameron] was just ahead of his time — it was so well written, so well acted. I loved the extended version of Aliens because it shows just a little bit more that you don’t see and what they always show on television.  The drones shooting aliens, a lot of things like that, which I thought was great. I just thought Ripley was never better — I thought Sigourney Weaver was never better — than [when] she was in Aliens. Now Alien kinda had a slow start; you kinda had to get into it. These guys weren’t really prepared for [the] alien — some kind of breakdown with the crew, [that] kind of like reminded me of a play. But Aliens just kinda jumped in feet first man, and just went for it, absolutely. And by there being so many of the aliens it just heightened the danger that they all faced. You sat on the edge of your seat, you know, scared to death. So, I really love that movie.

The Godfather, Part II (1974) 98%

This is hard — to choose five — because there are a few in this genre that I really like, so I don’t know which one to pick. This is sort of going to be [from] an underworld, mobster kind of [genre]. So it’s either The Godfather II, even though I like all The Godfathers — I even like Godfather III; it’s just a different type of movie. But it’s between Godfather II and then also, there’s a movie that I did, and it’s not just because I’m in it — I love it — but it’s a movie called Paid in Full which happened to be a true story about these three drug dealers in the eighties who really made it big, and all this downfall happens. So I would have to put a couple of those in the fifth category. I would say Paid in Full, Godfather II — when Michael [Al Pacino] really grabbed the reins — and Goodfellas. And Casino — I was going to pick two of them, but I’m not. I would say Casino to me — I hated how Sam Rothstein got manipulated by Sharon Stone’s character in Casino. I mean, I just hate how he gets manipulated; that just gets ridiculous to me. I know it’s historic, but I hated that. So those are the three that I would put in as my fifth, in the genre of the underworld.

The top of that list, I gotta go with Francis Coppola, Godfather II.  Just for the epicness of it. And usually sometimes movies are long for no reason, but it was long for the right reasons, which is very rare. Usually, you’re like, “You could cut out twenty minutes of that,” but for me it was all story. To me, if I had to choose, I’d go with the classic Godfather II.

Pandemic is now open in limited release and also available on VOD and iTunes.

Tag Cloud

cats book DirecTV natural history The Arrangement Nat Geo critics theme song Action Columbia Pictures YouTube Premium VH1 crime drama boxoffice Television Academy Year in Review Sneak Peek social media streaming WarnerMedia FXX Film rotten movies we love Adult Swim crime elevated horror San Diego Comic-Con 2015 Rocky TLC OneApp 2016 Photos Epix Reality Pride Month Brie Larson facebook Infographic Holidays Comedy 71st Emmy Awards SundanceTV Pirates politics toy story Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Heroines all-time Trivia kids Sundance TV parents spy thriller cartoon Amazon Prime Trophy Talk Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt documentary President YA indiana jones Food Network renewed TV shows versus space Sci-Fi 2018 YouTube Musical PlayStation Fox News Funimation SXSW tv talk APB HBO Max Disney First Reviews Box Office BBC One reboot RT History science fiction IFC BAFTA Awards CW Seed Amazon X-Men finale Martial Arts Chernobyl strong female leads police drama Elton John harry potter true crime The Witch Tomatazos medical drama thriller award winner E3 Disney Channel Animation transformers comedies Disney streaming service hist Oscars Lifetime Christmas movies unscripted cancelled television VOD cults Film Festival cops Pop TV TIFF cancelled TV shows Sundance Now Spring TV Women's History Month series DC Comics spain FX on Hulu The CW nature directors Thanksgiving BBC America Apple TV+ Rom-Com Britbox Biopics spider-man New York Comic Con ghosts witnail Cannes criterion VICE FOX Calendar 2019 Reality Competition Extras RT21 Hallmark Christmas movies Valentine's Day Song of Ice and Fire BET zero dark thirty Christmas TV TCM Peacock canceled TV shows halloween reviews satire Hulu robots game of thrones Nominations Bravo universal monsters NYCC comics Lionsgate singing competition justice league 21st Century Fox cancelled concert Pop dragons Marvel Walt Disney Pictures spinoff composers ITV DGA documentaries Best and Worst Black History Month slashers Paramount independent DC Universe FX Hear Us Out quibi Kids & Family spanish language Disney+ Disney Plus Starz Anna Paquin USA Network WGN teaser Country HBO Go Sony Pictures Amazon Studios films CBS All Access Netflix Christmas movies Ghostbusters romantic comedy Warner Bros. 4/20 Rock canceled A&E Mary Poppins Returns talk show Watching Series video on demand Avengers TNT Trailer Academy Awards TV Land CNN Opinion mission: impossible BBC GoT Marathons Super Bowl Tarantino TCA Winter 2020 sequel Marvel Television chucky dc Musicals child's play die hard revenge Mary poppins Endgame ABC Family richard e. Grant dogs Showtime First Look screen actors guild dramedy The Purge TV renewals 45 Universal casting ABC zombie Superheroe Comedy Central 2017 supernatural stoner dceu Toys MCU Binge Guide Western MTV 007 Mary Tyler Moore free movies Quiz LGBT historical drama blockbuster anime Fantasy aliens Certified Fresh YouTube Red Election HBO travel Ovation Star Trek cars DC streaming service movies twilight sports Grammys GIFs crossover docudrama asian-american Acorn TV Winter TV Pet Sematary foreign Spike OWN television war Mindy Kaling Logo sag awards BET Awards romance political drama Horror MSNBC Arrowverse National Geographic biography Masterpiece ratings Emmys zombies Freeform stand-up comedy A24 psycho golden globes TCA 2017 TruTV Premiere Dates disaster Crackle cancelled TV series breaking bad discovery Baby Yoda children's TV Family cooking IFC Films Netflix CMT Cosplay Video Games movie 2020 comic Writers Guild of America screenings Emmy Nominations Creative Arts Emmys Amazon Prime Video batman Countdown miniseries AMC cinemax blaxploitation dark LGBTQ Paramount Network TCA jamie lee curtis Classic Film Awards Tour anthology Marvel Studios name the review scary movies period drama christmas movies Hallmark Pixar Character Guide Interview latino El Rey GLAAD Black Mirror SDCC Crunchyroll franchise 20th Century Fox news south america See It Skip It Holiday The Walking Dead Discovery Channel joker Teen Disney Plus Drama Lifetime mutant sitcom History Podcast Stephen King Esquire game show video Lucasfilm PBS festivals animated Schedule American Society of Cinematographers TBS 24 frames werewolf Music doctor who a nightmare on elm street binge Rocketman Set visit Vudu Mystery what to watch Apple Summer Sundance serial killer CBS PaleyFest Superheroes E! Tumblr best adventure Captain marvel adaptation based on movie diversity green book Comic Book Star Wars NBC Travel Channel Nickelodeon Turner Syfy Shudder Ellie Kemper indie Turner Classic Movies Tubi Comics on TV Polls and Games USA Spectrum Originals Cartoon Network Dark Horse Comics ESPN psychological thriller comiccon vampires mockumentary Shondaland Red Carpet hispanic Mudbound Fall TV Apple TV Plus technology crime thriller Winners