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Welcome to our updated guide to the Essential Movies To Watch Now, which features incredible must-watch movies from the s to today! You may remember from years past that this guide was capped at movies. The list is sorted by alphabetically.
The popcorn's been popped, the sweatpants are on, and the evening is your oyster. Your next challenge: Figuring out exactly which of the great movies available to you is the one you're going to commit to tonight.
No matter what you're looking for— romancedramacomedy —there are plenty of classics to watch in your spare time. After all, if the past year-and-a-half cooped up in our homes has taught us anything, it's that there's nothing better than a movie to take us to a place that's far, far away from our current one. These are modern classics, the best of the best, the essential movies that millions of people are probably jealous that you're getting to see for the first time.
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There are a few that might be outside your comfort zone, and a couple that'll introduce you to cultures and environments you know nothing about. This list may be long, but FOMO is eternal. Here are the essential films absolutely everyone should Anyone want to watch a movie and and if you've seen them, ones to watch again and again.
Ryan Gosling. Rachel McAdams. An on-screen kiss that's impossible to forget. The Notebookbased on Nicholas Sparks's novel, is a must-watch for all of the hopeless romantics out there who believe they'll eventually find their way back to their one true love.
It still isn't over! Amandla Stenberg gives a masterful performance in The Hate U Give —an equally heartbreaking and eye-opening film about main character Starr Stenberg who's stuck navigating between two worlds: the prep school she attends that reeks of white privilege and the mostly Black neighborhood where she lives that's harmed by police brutality. It's based on Angie Thomas's novel. The longest-running Hindi film of all time going on 25 years now! Every kid in high school dreamed of having a day off like Ferris Bueller's and, frankly, I still aspire to have one like his as an adult.
Come for each character's hilarious antics, stay for the inevitable comparisons between Alan Ruck's character, Cameron Frye, and his current character on SuccessionConnor Roy. An unemployed family of four slips into the lives of the crazy wealthy Park family. Need we say more? If you haven't watched Titanic yet please don't admit this out louddo yourself a favor and stream it on Hulu immediately. Set in the early years of World War II in Casablanca, Rick Blaine's Humphrey Bogart nightclub is an oasis for refugees despite the warnings he gets from local authorities.
But things get rocky when an ex-lover and her boyfriend show up, bringing with them a challenge that Rick has to face. One of the most famous old Hollywood films of all time, Casablanca is a love story you won't forget.
If you were alive inyou most definitely heard about Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga's on- and off-screen chemistry thanks to their roles in the hit adaptation of A Star Is Born.
2. "do the right thing" ()
The movie centers on rockstar Jackson Maine Cooper and struggling artist Ally Gaga who fall in love while Maine pushes Ally into the spotlight and confronts his own demons. Make sure to have a pack of tissues handy. In her Golden Globe-winning role, Awkwafina plays Billi, a woman on a trip to China for a "family wedding" that's actually a final goodbye to her grandmother. While there, Billi struggles to find a deeper connection to the country and tries to understand her family's decision to keep her grandmother's sickness a secret from her.
Quick history lesson: Daughters of the Dust was the first feature film directed by a Black woman distributed in theaters in the U. It tells the story of three generations of Gullah women in pre-Civil War times living on Saint Helena Island who are stuck on deciding whether to stay or migrate north for a better life. The film's scenery is stunning, but the real beauty of the film is its complex characters.
Two words for you: James! The old Hollywood icon's second to last film, as teenager Jim Stark, before his untimely death in ended up being one of his most celebrated. The unlikely bond shared on-screen between him, John "Plato" Crawford Sal Mineoand Judy Natalie Wood gave American youths at the time a movie where they could finally see themselves on the screen. This underrated musical set at an all-Black army camp follows Carmen Dorothy Dandridgewho, despite being sought after by every man at the base, has her sights set on the super married Joe Harry Belafonte. Dandridge's performance as Carmen Jones got her nominated for an Oscar, making history as the first African American actress in a leading role to be nominated.
This very dark comedy juxtaposes one woman's insatiable quest to avenge her best friend's tragic assault in front of a backdrop of all things frilly, pink, and sweet. That stark contrast only makes the movie's incredibly intense climax that much more shocking. Robert Redford!
Paul Newman! Really strong facial hair game!
1. "the godfather" ()
What could go wrong? Well, actually, a train robbery does go wrong, leaving outlaws Butch Cassidy Newman and The Sundance Kid Redford on the run from a seriously dangerous posse as they try to leave rural Wyoming for Bolivia. It's a Western film you can't miss.
A movie about the Holocaust is almost guaranteed to be poignant, but under Stephen Spielberg's expert direction, this one surprises with its restraint. That's deliberate—the sadness and symbolism build throughout the film so that you have a full sense of what happened, who did it, and why it matters so, so much. The movie's in black and white, with the smallest pop of color to offer a moment of hope and then devastatingly all possible heartbreak in one unforgettable image.
Jack Nicholson is on this list a few times, but this is probably his most well-known role. Then, the hotel begins to come alive with a terrible, terrifying evil. Stephen King famously hated this adaptation, because Stanley Kubrick takes out all the empathy from the patriarch Nicholson, playing crazy like he was born to do it.
But it makes the story even more powerful. Viewed through today's lens, it's also a haunting look at the effects of domestic violence. Based very, very loosely on the book of the same name, Natalie Portman is a scientist who goes in search of her husband. She enters Area X, a mutated, trippy landscape that's been expanding ever since it was hit by a meteorite. And shit just keeps getting weirder and scarier. This is directed by Alex Garland, the same guy who did Ex Machina another fascinating, freaky watch. Honestly, he's becoming the next big sci-fi director, and this proves it.
You'll never think of coconuts the same way after watching this silly British slapstick comedy set in the time of King Arthur and the fabled Round Table. God sends a group of knights on a quest to find the Holy Grail, where they encounter several nonsensical obstacles along the way.
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While this Italian film is about the horrors of the Holocaust, it has plenty of comic moments as well—and it works. Roberto Benigni gives a breathtaking performance as a family man who, as a Jew, is sent with his family to a concentration camp in northern Italy, but uses his imaginative powers to convince his young son that it's all a game.
Set at a New England private school inthis movie follows an English teacher, played by Robin Anyone want to watch a movie and, and his relationship with his students as he teaches them to live a little more through poetry. The movie gave Williams his second Oscar nominee, and Ethan Hawke said that working on this movie inspired him to continue to be an actor. It's a little hard to believe that the Schindler's List director also came up with this dino adventure movie, but what's even more impressive is that the two films came out mere months apart.
This could not be more different, but if you're looking for a film about these prehistoric creatures, stick to the classic. There's so much loving attention paid to the dinosaurs' look—there isn't a ton of CGI, with a greater reliance on practical effects—but more importantly, the human characters are just as interesting. Samuel L. Jackson, in the best cameo of all time. It's set in Lombardy, Italy, in and follows Hammer and Chalamet's life-affirming summer of love. Fair warning: Bring lots of tissues. This second movie in the Batman trilogy is arguably the best of the bunch.
Heath Ledger sets the standard what it takes to play the Joker, as he won an Oscar for his performance. Some say it's the best superhero film ever made and we have to agree. A semi-autobiographical take on director Lee Isaac Chung's own upbringing, Minari tells the story of a family of South Korean immigrants who move to rural Arkansas in pursuit of the "American dream" in the s.
It's a must-see depiction of the immigrant experience in America, and was rightfully nominated for six awards at the Oscars, including Best Picture. Breakfast at Tiffany's is terrific, of course, but Audrey Hepburn won the Academy Award for her turn as a princess who ditches her schedule and her entourage in favor of exploring Rome, only to fall asleep on a bench and get rescued by a hunky American reporter played by Gregory Peck. A classic romance film. In this swooningly romantic movie from Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke play a pair of travelers—she French, he American—who have a chance meeting in Vienna and decide to spend the evening before his departing flight walking around the city and talking to one another.
Inthe sequel Before Sunset continues the story, and then in the trilogy is wrapped up with Before Midnight. All of them are worth watching over and over. Carey Grant and Rosalind Russell play a formerly married couple—he an editor, she an investigative reporter—who have to team up for one last asment.
Of course, the fact that he hired her only after finding out she was engaged to someone new might have something to do with it, but Russell is hilarious and their chemistry is bananas in this romance. Sissy Spacek is the one true Carrie—a bullied young woman who develops telekinetic abilities just in time for a prank prom invite to turn into a full-fledged bloodbath.
I know we shouldn't condone violence, but it's hard not to root for poor Carrie after her classmates dump pigs' blood on her in her prom dress, right? Considered one of the best British films of all time, Trainspotting follows a group of heroin addicts in Edinburgh, Scotland who try and fail to integrate themselves into "normal" society. It's dark, sure, but it's also an ode to youth and economic insecurity that you won't be able to stop thinking about.
Scout Finch tells the story of how her father, Atticus, a small town lawyer in the rural South, defended a wrongfully accused black man in this adaptation of Harper Lee's beloved novel. Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch is how most people who've seen this movie think of the character, and you will too when you see it. Heard of the bend and snap?