Some great american movies
Hollywood is an industry, it's designed to maximize profits. Similar to top 40 music, it's designed to appeal (no matter how shallowly) to the most people in order to bring in the most revenue.
Originally Posted by cycletourist
But it's not foreign vs. Hollywood. There are some american films that are truly great. I like well-paced ("slow paced" to people used to Hollywood movies), subtle, dialog driven dramas or comedies (often with little or no plot). Some of my favorites from recent years:
You Can Count on Me
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
I'm a huge fan of Whit Stillman films. Barcelona being the best, IMO.
Bottle Rocket is a brilliant comedy, a gem that too many people have never heard of.
The Coen Brothers have some classics (Raising Arizona, The Big Lebowski, many more)
Jon Favreu's "Swingers" and "Made" were both excellent comedies.
"In the Company of Men" is brilliant, if you have the stomach for it.
Let's see, what else. A lot of low budget flicks that were almost great (or at least acheive greatness at points), like "Jesus' Son" and "The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys".
And then there's indy documentaries like Buena Vista Social Club, Brother's Keeper, ...