Michael Angelo Covino and Kyle Marvin are best friends—so their new bromance comedy, The Climb, is about a subject they know well. The two wrote the script together and Michael directed. In the film, Michael stars as the volatile Mike, Kyle as the softer Kyle. It’s now available in select theaters.
When we first started putting this list together, we realized that it was going to be next to impossible to try and put down the near endless number of films we love about friendship and analytically whittle them down to the five best. So instead, we procrastinated and then went with gut-instinct spitballing, which is how most of our work gets done. So here you go, and if your favorite friendship film isn’t on here, we don’t mind if you go and watch that one right now instead.
I saw this for the first time when I was 15, at Arizona State while visiting my best friend’s cousin at college. They turned it on in the background at the house while everyone was partying and I was transfixed. I bought the DVD when I got home and would watch it over and over in the coming years. That subtlety and layers to the dialogue, performances and overall humor changed the way I thought about films. It portrays friendship in this beautiful obligatory way where it’s never explained why any of them put up with each other, but you implicitly understand why they do. —MC
I love films that ratchet up the emotions and pitch of characters until they are right on the razor’s edge of being absurd. It gives us a chance to laugh at something that feels true and yet isn’t too close to home. There are scenes between Donny, Walter and the Dude that portray the dynamics of friends that I think all of us can spot from our own lives. —KM
From the opening shot of this film, it surprises you. It takes you to places you don’t expect. The cinematography, production design and dynamics between these three characters all work seamlessly to create an experience as a viewer where you’re completely immersed and lost in the world. It’s a film I go back to often to study. —MC
This film holds a strange magic for me. It feels like a raw and intimate peek into young lives in the performances and yet every frame has such a level of care and cinematic presence. It’s a movie that I can’t look away from every time it starts. A true testament to [Alfonso] Cuarón’s genius and a movie that liquifies the rules of friendship and love. —KM
I remember just sitting on the couch, not wanting to move as the credits rolled the first time I saw this film. There are certain films that take you on such a surprising emotional roller coaster that the experience of seeing them becomes an important event in your memory. This was that for me. —MC
This movie makes me love New York City and the people trying to live in it more than almost any film has. It’s really just a love story that happens to be between two men; filled with sex, just never between the two of them. What Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight accomplish in this film is incredible and I think the writer Waldo Salt put down a masterpiece on this one. —KM
The Farrelly brothers really defined comedy for me in my teen years. Their mix of slapstick, absurdity and emotion probably influenced me to pursue making films more than anything else. Dumb and Dumber is unapologetically funny and one of the best films I can think of by a first-time director. —MC
This is a film that defined my childhood in terms of comedy. It’s not just one of the greatest films on friendship, I would argue it’s one of the greatest road trip movies and one of the greatest comedies of all time. They reinvented physical comedy for my generation. —KM
I dare you not to cry until your body shakes when watching this movie. It’s a rollercoaster ride filled with some of the greatest pet one-liners ever captured on film and the best animal stunt work you’ll ever see. It’s a man’s best friend (plus a cat) friendship movie that is always good for a rewatch, especially if you haven’t watched it since the mid-’90s. —KM
I honestly don’t remember it that well, even though I probably saw it 30 times before the age of 10. Kyle was very adamant about including it on this list, so it’s here. —MC