Five Favourite Films with J. J. Abrams

The Star Trek director takes the captain's chair and talks space, John Ford and classic cinema.

The blockbuster season is upon us and amongst the line-up is the highly anticipated reboot of Star Trek. RT spoke to the man in the captain's chair, J. J. Abrams, about his galactic re-imagining of the great Trek franchise as well as the films that have inspired him.

Abrams made his name creating ratings gold on the small screen in the form of Felicty, Alias and the mind-bending Lost. His feature directorial debut came in 2006 with Mission: Impossible III and in 2008 he produced the film marketer's dream, Cloverfield.

Today, J.J. Abrams talks to Rotten Tomatoes about the light and dark in the Star Trek universe and the challenges and freedoms provided by the scale of shooting in space.

We put him through the torture of selecting his top five favorite films right now. In doing so he produced a list that reveals a fan of great and classic cinema.

Check out the video interview or skip below for a pull-out of his five faves.

Jaws (1975, 100% Tomatometer)
JawsJaws is an undeniably great movie. Jaws is just one of the greatest movies ever. It's on TV all the time. It is never not on television. They should just have a Jaws Network where they just show Jaws all the time because I would subscribe like crazy. The movie is just wonderful and the characters are so great. I am just in awe of that movie. I think that movie is spectacular.

Philadelphia Story (1940, 100% Tomatometer)
Philadelphia StoryBrilliant dialogue and even better chemistry.

Star Wars (1977, 95% Tomatometer)
Star WarsI can't understand why that would not be on the list...

Tootsie (1982, 87% Tomatometer)
TootsieThings come to mind and this sounds nuts but Tootsie. It is as preposterous premise as they come and yet you completely believe it is real and happening.

Rear Window (1954, 100%)
Rear WindowAnd maybe that is just because when Grace Kelly goes to kiss Jimmy Stewart that first time it was just one of those things where it is the best special effect in the history of time

If you are as excited about the reboot as we are, and want to get your Trekkie credentials up to date, join Editor, Tim Ryan, for Trekking With Tim. He will boldly take you on his journey through time as he visits every Star Trek film in the franchise leading up to the reboot.


King Thor

Chris Kalmin

Where's the 5 favorite films? Hopefully its not in that 7 minute interview I don't wanna go through all that...

Apr 27 - 10:14 PM


Bob Ruff

hmm I'm gonna have to go with "fail" on the new 5 Favorite Film format (sorry for the alliteration).

Apr 27 - 10:21 PM

inactive user

Jared King

Why is that horrible poster in the backround?

"Why Jaws? Really?"

Great list, my hope is restored for "Star Trek", this guy knows his stuff.

Apr 27 - 10:21 PM

Accursed A.

AccursedArachnid !

Amazing that the same guy who wrote Gone Fishin' and Armageddon is now the savior of one of the biggest movie/tv/merchandise franchises ever. The guy has a mind like a steel trap.

Apr 27 - 10:26 PM


Joanna Cohen

Hi King Thor. Yep, it is in the video. He is such an entertaining man to watch that I left it in that format. But point taken. I will post a text version of the five films also and put them up in the usual format shortly.

Apr 27 - 11:19 PM


Kyle Pettingill

its funny how he says jaws. the original ending to joy ride (which he wrote)is exactly the same, just replace the shark with a semi-truck.

Apr 27 - 11:23 PM


Joanna Cohen

Now with pull-out quotes!

And ledawg, absolutely agree. It is a great list.

Apr 28 - 12:23 AM

Timothy M.

Timothy McLean

Great List JJ!!!!!

Apr 28 - 07:47 AM


Chad W

Jaws is the best movie on this list. I'm also still in awe of this movie. Movies are NOT shot this way anymore. It has one of the best character developments, and most of the sets are real standalone places that weren't constructed just for the movie. It just feels real. The whole thing.

The best actors are those who you watch and you think that they are just holding another conversation with their co-stars. This movie does that perfectly. And the cast was perfect as well. Quint, by far, is one of the best characters ever on film.

Apr 28 - 09:55 AM


Olivia Prongrer

Great list. Glad The Philadelphia Story got a mention. Love, love, love that film. Rather unconventional choices too, which is nice.

Apr 28 - 12:39 PM


Tyler D

Philadelphia Story and Tootsie... 2 films I DID NOT expect from him. Love his work though, so whatev...

Apr 28 - 01:36 PM


jack giroux

Cool list, seems like a chill guy. I like how even admits the short comings in MI:III, not a lot of filmmakers will say there are problems with there movies.

Apr 28 - 02:09 PM


Hector Moran

Cool list and seems like a cool guy. Now lets all hope Star Trek is as good as any of his top 5 films.

Apr 28 - 05:37 PM

Astro C.

Astro Creep

I think it's the first time I see SW on these lists.

This automatically wins my vote for JJ as Governor of California, if I was Californian or even American...

I hate Tootsie.

Does J.J. stand for Jay Jay?


Apr 29 - 10:15 AM


Patrick Francis

It stans for Jeffery Jacob.

Jul 27 - 01:16 AM


Patrick Francis

It stans for Jeffery Jacob.

Jul 27 - 01:16 AM

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