Movies are such a huge part of my life, being a film major. I have learned to appreciate every single detail & aspect of work that goes into a movie, & that makes them so magical for me. Movies are something that most people enjoy, bond over, & relate to. They are such an important part of our lives & our society today. We have come such a long way in the film world since the first every movie, The Sneeze, and the days of Cecil B. Demille. There is nothing wrong with those movies & that era of film, they are the basis of everything we know, but the movie magic available to us today is incomparable. Everyone has their favorite movies, but those aren’t always the movies you need to see. Sometimes you need to see movies that make you uncomfortable, challenge your ideology, & inspire you. Here is a list of movies that I love & learn from every time I watch them, I think you should watch them too.
1. The Green Mile (1999).
I know, I started off with a heavy one, I’m sorry. This movie is so incredible. I remember watching it for the first time with my mom & crying my eyes out the whole time. Sometimes the tears were from sadness, sometimes sweetness, but always because the movie had deeply moved me. The Green Mile is based on a Stephen King novel & stars Tom Hanks. Don’t be turned off by the fact that it was written by Stephen King, I know he can be a bit much for some people, but this is one of his milder works. In this movie we follow Paul Edgecomb, a police officer, more specifically a death row corrections officer, during the Great Depression. He gets to know an Inmate John Coffey, & everything changes. Without giving too much away, this movie is set in flashback format, & tells a story of humanity, kindness, evil, magic, & just overall an emotional story between people who would never interact outside of their circumstance. It teaches us not to judge a book by its’ cover. There is so much to learn from one another. Watch the trailer here .
2. The Beauty & The Beast (2017).
A tale as old as time. This is one of my favorite movies of all time, I love the original but Emma Watson & cast bring something so relatable & so captivating to the new version. The new soundtrack features new songs with orchestras in the back ground that totally incapsulate you while you’re watching. The story is changed up a bit, & we get to learn more about those surrounding Belle & the Beast. This movie teaches the life lessons of never judge someone from their looks, be kind to all, women can be strong & independent, & family is everything. Le foo & Gaston bring great comic relief as well as conflict & belle’s dad shows that art is still such an important thing in this world. I recommend this version over the original 100%. Watch the trailer here.
3. The Harry Potter Series.
Everyone has had to have seen these already right? Well, watch them again. There is nothing more lovely than a Harry Potter marathon, if I’m being honest. JK Rowling did such an amazing job with the books, bringing Hogwarts to life from the pages. David Yates & Co do the same on the big screen. Lose yourself as you follow Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint), & Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) as they navigate growing up & learning everything there is to learn in the wizarding world. These movies are so iconic & filled with information that I can’t even begin to describe them fully, but trust me, & watch them.
4. Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol. 1 & Vol. 2).
If you know me at all, you know that these movies are my actual favorite movies of all time. James Gunn combines a kick ass cast with an even more kick ass soundtrack for both of the movies , there is nothing not to like. The characters are diverse, each one is unique, personable, & has so much substance to who they are. The story line is easy to follow, as well as hilarious. Through out the movies we meet Star-Lord (Peter Quill played by Chris Pratt), leader of the guardians. He’s an outlaw, & a human who lost his mother when he was young, being taken in by Yondu (Michael Rooker), a ravenger. Peter meets Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), Groot (Vin Diesel), & Drax (David Bautista) in the first movie & the rest is history. The soundtrack for both movies is honestly what really makes these movies great. James Gunn sat down & single handedly picked out what song goes with what scenes after it was finished, & that made all of the difference. The soundtrack is 70’s & early 80’s based. It makes whatever is happening in a certain scene feel 100% more impactful when you watch it. I love this movie so much that I can tell you what songs play at exactly what scenes in both movies, so I would recommend watching it, like right now.
5. Singin’ in the rain (1952).
This is a classic movie that, for anyone who loves musicals, is a must see. It’s a musical-romantic comedy choreographed & directed by Gene Kelly & Stanley Donen. This movie stars Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, & Donald O’conner, all iconic names of the golden age of film. This is a light-hearted film about people navigating their way through Hollywood & the film world at the height of film production. It is a great family film & I definitely recommend for your next rainy day, or just when you need a pick me up.
6. Hercules (1997).
Hercules is such an underrated Disney film. It has such dynamic characters, such as Megra, a heroine that is independent & learn from her mistakes. Not to mention the most relatable & personable villain in all of Disney, Hades. Hades is scary but adds a level of comic relief that you don’t usually see in other Disney movies. Hercules is special, after being born he was taken from his family, he grows up normally before finding out his father is Zeus. The only way for him to be able to live on Mt. Olympus is to be seen as a hero. We meet so many characters & watch their development as we embark with Hercules on his journey. This is a great family friendly film.
7. Back to the future (1985).
This one is for all the parents out there. My mom actually suggested that this movie needed to be on here & I could not agree more. It is an iconic movie with iconic characters like Doc & Marty Mcfly. For all of the Rick & Morty fans out there, this movie is for you. It started the classic time travel dilemma we see in most Sci-Fi movies today. Don’t touch anything or you will mess up the future, right? Marty has to make sure his parents fall in love in their own teenage time so he won’t cease to exist. Can he do it?
8. Wonder Woman (2017).
The major selling point for this movie wasn’t the amazing directing (which was done by a woman btw) or the stunning visuals, but the story behind the wonder woman herself, Gal Gadot. Not only did Gal do all of her own stunts, she did most of them heavily pregnant. She had a green screen on her stomach which was later edited to make her look flat during the movie. She is also a veteran, having served for her home country of Israel for two years. This background of her made me genuinely appreciate all that Wonder Woman is, how beautiful & authentic this movie is. I suggest this for all people of all ages, but show your daughters ASAP. I was so inspired by this adaptation, I wear my Wonder Women Alex & Ani ring every day to remind me how strong I am.
9. Steel Magnolias (1989).
Talk a bout a sad coming of age film. I watched this movie for the first time when I was around 12 with my mom. I cried the whole time. This movie is filled with lessons about family, friendship, death, & just how to go through life. It taught me what friends are supposed to be like, how death can change everything, nothing is forever, & your mom is your best friend. This movie sticks with me a lot & I think about ti often. It is very sad, but very well written & filmed. It is worth the watch if you’re ever in the mood for a good cry.
10. Christopher Robin (2018).
This movie is on here solely for the purpose of how beautiful it is. The CGI in this movie is amazing. It is truly inspiring. The story line involves Christopher Robin (Ewan Mcgregor) finding Winnie The Pooh after all of these years & helping Pooh find his friends again. All of the character are so sweet & innocent & just bring you back to your childhood. It will make you cry, but in a good way. The story line is lovely & interesting & nostalgic but honestly, the cinematography of this movie is really what sets it above other movies I’ve seen recently. My favorite scene is Pooh walking amongst foliage in the forest, it is honestly my favorite shot from any movie this year. Check the trailer out here.