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) 97%

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

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