Both the film’s main creature-feature plot and its Gordy’s Home side story present interesting themes on surveillance and the nature of spectacle. 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. This is directed by Alex Garland, the same guy who did Ex Machina (another fascinating, freaky watch).
The summer of 2023 will forever be remembered for its spectacular displays of female power, between Beyoncé and Taylor Swift’s sold-out world tours and, of course, the blockbuster release of Barbie. Come for the nostalgia, the perfectly choreographed dance scenes, and Ryan Gosling’s goofy turn as Ken, stay for the expert skewering of the patriarchy, a celebration of womanhood, and that America Ferrera monologue. Kristen Wiig wrote and stars in Bridesmaids, a film about a bridal party’s hilarious activities leading up to the big day (which should be required viewing every wedding season). If you haven’t seen When Harry Met Sally, you probably know it from this famous “I’ll have what she’s having” scene.
George Lucas’ cocktail of fantasy, sci-fi, Western and World War II movie remains as culturally pervasive as ever. It’s so mythically potent, you sense in time it could become a bona-fide religion… Anyone who bangs on about all those endings is missing the many joys of Peter Jackson’s Academy Award-laden trilogy-closer. It has some of the most colossal and entertaining battle scenes ever mounted; it has an awesome giant spider; it has that fantastic dramatic-ironic twist when Gollum saves the day through his own treachery; and it has that bit where Eowyn says, “I am no man”. There may only be 12 years’ difference between Harrison Ford and Sean Connery, but it’s hard to imagine two better actors to play a bickering father and son, off on a globetrotting, Nazi-bashing, mythical mystery tour.
The sword fight between Jen and Shu Lien is one of the best things you’ll ever see. Movie musicals were all the rage during the ’30s, ’40s, and ’50s, but experienced a serious dip in popularity at the end of the millennium that made them all but disappear from the cinematic landscape. There were a few exceptions, but it wasn’t until Chicago that the genre would have a well-deserved resurgence. In fact, Chicago was the first musical since 1969 to win Best Picture at the Oscars, and no musical has done it since. – I did my best to keep it to one movie per director and per genre, but exceptions were made.
I’m worried that if you haven’t seen Godland—and chances are, you haven’t—because almost anything I mention about the film will make you less likely to want to see it. It’s starless, set in the late 19th century, and takes a nuanced look at colonialism, religion, and mortality. Hlynur Pálmason’s third feature is much less forbidding than the Icelandic elements he captures so breathtakingly in his third feature. This story of a young Danish priest’s harrowing journey to a remote region of Iceland is stunningly photographed, occasionally quite funny, and ultimately one of the few movies that actually warrants adjectives like “sublime” and “epic.” Herzog fans rejoice. Few award ceremony moments stick in the mind more than Parasite taking the Best Picture gong at the Oscars in 2020.
After all, you’ve got Spielberg/Lucas’ own version of James Bond… What sounded like a daft, novelty serial-killer thriller turned out to be a deeply rattling proper-shocker, which had the guts to throw down its biggest narrative twist halfway through, as warped murderer-moralist John Doe gives himself up. A twist made all the more effective thanks to Kevin Spacey’s insistence he wasn’t billed until the end credits. If Psycho was Hitchcock’s big shocker, then Vertigo is the one that gets properly under your skin.
Jesse (Ethan Hawke) meets Céline (Julie Delpy) on a train in Europe, and they decide to get off on the same stop in Vienna and spend the night talking and walking around aimlessly. It’s a pretty simple setup that, thanks to the dialogue and performances, ends up being one of the most romantic movies ever made. As long as you suspend your disbelief regarding stranger danger, Jesse and Céline’s night in Vienna is the sort of adventure that we all wish we could have. The only reason Fellowship of the Ring is on this list over the other two movies in Peter Jackson’s original LOTR series is that one does not simply start a trilogy in the middle. Quinci LeGardye is a Contributing Culture Editor who covers TV, movies, Korean entertainment, books, and pop culture.
If you liked the Steven Spielberg remake, be sure to also check out the original film adaptation of this Romeo-and-Juliet inspired musical, starring Rita Moreno and Natalie Wood. If you’ve ever wondered whether your life is just one big sitcom, The Truman Show illustrates what happens when one man, played by Jim Carrey, realizes that his entire life is scripted for television. While that premise seems pretty straightforward, there’s a lot of deeper messaging about narcissism, surveillance, media, and what it means to have free will.
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.
The movie follows them over many years as they go from rivals to friends to lovers, but tensions arise when they realize that Monica is going to have to work much harder than Quincy to achieve her dream. Monica is a particularly refreshing character because she’s a romantic lead who is every bit as ambitious and stubborn as her male counterpart. As the title implies, Love & Basketball is both a romance and a sports movie, and frankly, we don’t have enough of them.
Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s tribute to big American cop movies isn’t just a great fish-out-of-water comedy, sending high-achieving London policeman Nick Angel (Pegg) to the most boring place in the UK (or so it seems). It also manages to wring every last drip of funny out of executing spot-on bombastic, Bayhem-style action in a sleepy English small-town setting. Ang Lee adapts Annie Proulx’s short story (with Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana on script duty) with sensitivity, grace, and differing scope – the intimacy of the relationship between Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger’s shepherds backed by beautiful mountain landscapes.
As you get older, you start to clock the smaller jokes that were sprinkled in to keep the adults interested, making you love it in an entirely new way. I’m not going to answer that for you because taste is subjective and all that. But it’s certainly a great movie, and there’s a reason they make you watch it in every introductory film class. Orson Welles’s magnum opus (he co-wrote, directed, and starred in it) is the story of a man who wanted it all, got it all, then lost it all, and Charles Foster Kane is the original antihero. Plus, you know a movie is a big deal when a whole other movie is made about the behind-the-scenes drama. This rah-rah sports drama has been so thoroughly embedded into popular culture, it’s easy to forget that it was once as much of a scrappy underdog as its hero, a New Jersey teenager who moves to California and stumbles into the cross-hairs of a gang of local bullies.
Will Ferrell was at the height of his comedic powers in Talladega Nights, which is the funniest sports movie ever made. Equal parts parody and loving homage to NASCAR culture, it’ll have you fully invested in the story of Ricky Bobby (Ferrell), an absolute fool who learns the value of family over winning. Without spoiling too much, the scene where Ricky stabs himself in the leg is quite possibly the funniest thing Will Ferrell has ever done. There are many, many excellent sports movies out there, so why should you watch A League of Their Own? Because it’s the most fun (with one possible exception, see below). Geena Davis, Rosie O’Donnell, and Madonna play the plucky members of the Rockford Peaches, and Tom Hanks plays their grumpy, fallen idol-type coach.
A new year and a new COVID variant are in full swing, so now might be a good time to exercise restraint even if there are bigger budget offerings hitting the big screen. Kelsey is Seventeen.com’s fashion expert and resident Harry Potter nerd. At the office, she spends her day writing about style, beauty, and literally every move Kylie Jenner makes. On the weekends, you can find her sifting through vintage shops and hunting for the perfect burger. This recommendation is a two-for, because both the movie and the accompanying soundtrack are absolute magic.
Take a simple concept (don’t make a sound, or aliens will get you), a stellar cast (Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe) and a director with a laser-sharp vision (John Krasinski) and what do you get? As it turns out, one of the most innovative, refreshing, unbearably tense horror movies of the 21st century. From the second it starts, the imposed silence of A Quiet Place makes it a revelatory cinematic experience – as the Abbott family pad gently around their home, the store, the woods, you feel in your bones that one wrong step equals disaster. The (loudly) ticking time bomb of imminent childbirth sets the scene for a stellar scary finale, but it’s the deeply endearing family dynamic that sets this apart. We movie lovers at Marie Claire know how time-consuming picking a great movie can be, so we did the work for you.
But it’s worth seeing in full to relive Nora Ephron’s groundbreaking screenwriting, plus the easy banter between America’s sweetheart Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal (it kind of set the stage for modern rom-coms as we know them). As the cinematic offerings slowly return to the big screen compared to the streaming services and various digital rental retailers, we’re here to sort out what’s actually the best free movie sites bang for your buck at the box office. Based on a true story, this powerful film shows Oscar Grant’s life before he was killed by police officers in 2008. Reelgood is the most extensive streaming guide in the US and UK, with every TV show and movie available online. Browse through every TV series and movie and sort by title, release year, genre, IMDB rating, and, most important— see where to watch it.