Nothing moves a person like a good film. A viewer might be a cinephile/cinemaholic or he/she may be a completely casual moviegoer. But a good film is the one that impresses both of these categories of film-lovers alike.
Over the years, with the advent of streaming services like Amazon, the rewatchability of movies has gone up tremendously but what remains to be explored is the kind of movies that can be watched again and again without ever feeling the need to stop with boredom or disappointment.
In our humble opinion, one of the most important things that cements the “rewatchable” status of a movie is the way in which it transcends time and gaps in generations, ingraining itself in collective conscience and thereby cementing its status as a cultural landmark.
So, we’ve put a list together of some of the best movies that can be watched and savored again and again.
Here it goes!
Martin Scorsese made Goodfellas by taking a deep dive in his Italian roots. His framing of the shots harkens back to an old-world of charm where gangsters ruled the roost and were revered and feared often in the same sentence by the larger society. The result is a roller-coaster ride of events and scenarios in the life of a street chap-turned-thug-turned-informer that never lets up on the entertainment quotient and ends up becoming one of the best gangster movies Hollywood has ever produced.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a phenomenon. Coming from the fertile mind of John Hughes, who previously had given teen-moie gems like Sixteen Candles and the inimitable The Breakfast Club, the movie revolved around – you guessed it right, a teen – who skips school with two of his friends to chill and have fun. The movie is surprisingly layered in terms of putting together themes like teen angst, family troubles and romantic liaisons but it was and remains an instant classic that’s worthy of re-watches.
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
The immense quotability of the lines in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, is proof enough for its rewatchability. The movie – part comedy, part weirdness – is crazy enough to do things other movies of its genre, i.e. spoofs, have never tried. The direction of Adam McKay and the titular character portrayal by Will Ferell is on-point and so is the illuminating supporting cast.
A person who calls himself a fan of Christopher Nolan should be able to quote Memento line-by-line, mostly because it has sparse dialogue. The first collaboration between Nolan and his brother Jonathan, the movie is a smart, thought-provoking but more importantly gripping piece of cinema that lays the foundation for the kind of intelligent movies Nolan has gone on to make.
Shaun of the Dead
The team of Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost tried to spin the dead-in-the-waters zombie genre on its head with Shaun of the Dead. They not only succeeded in giving the genre a new life but also introduced the world to their immense talent with a movie that’s smart, emotional, exploitative in the best way possible, as well as filled to the T with gore. What else could you ask for in a zombie movie that also happens to be a comedy?
The Social Network
The Social Network is perhaps one of the most important movies of the last decade. Not only did it unite wordsmith Aaron Sorkin and director-extraordinaire David Fincher, it told the story of an individual – warts and all – who created a revolutionary social media empire out of spite and heartbreak. Jesse Eisenberg’s work as Mark Zuckerberg – the founder of Facebook – is at once heart-breaking and loath-invoking and it speaks a lot about the technical team’s talent when you take both of these into account.
Like many of Hayao Miyazaki’s works, Spirited Away is a very different take on a classic fairy tale (this one takes on Alice in Wonderland) This one however delves deeply into the themes of growing up and taking on the world and is a profound statement on the trials and tribulations of childhood transitions.
The Shawshank Redemption
One of the most-quoted movies of all time comes (surprisingly) from one of the best-known authors of horror to have ever walked the earth. Stephen King himself said that not even he could invoke the kind of emotions with his words as Frank Darabont was able to conjure with images with this movie. Both Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins inhabit the characters they play and the tense and gripping moments of the movie are no less owed to Darabont’s expert direction.
Grosse Pointe Blank
John Cusack‘s quirky charm is exploited to the tee in this romantic comedy/action hybrid that stars Cusack as a hit man in the midst of a life crisis when a job brings him back to his hometown on the eve of his high school reunion. Teenage love beckons to him again and before he knows, his life starts changing in many unexpected ways. It’s a sweet movie, filled with tender moments of love and pain, that collectively go on to make it an instant classic with immense rewatchability.
It’s Jurassic Park. Period!
One of Steven Spielberg‘s best, the movie is an unparalleled cinematic wonder that continues to resonate with viewers today the same way it did more than 20 years ago. The effects – mostly practical but also including then state of the art CGI – continue to look gorgeous and the thrills are still as chilling as ever!
One of the rare Christmas movies that are as warm and Christmas-y as they are silly, Elf is a delight through-and-through. Jon Favreau (who later directed Iron Man and The Jungle Book) knows how to push the buttons that make people sit up and take notice. The same is true of Will Ferell’s oddball charm that borders on the goofy side of logic but is immensely enjoyable.
A Few Good Men
There are perhaps a few movies with the kind of quotability as A Few Good Men. “You Can’t Handle the Truth!!” is as chilling as it was the first time the movie premiered and if one wants to curl up watching a tout court-room procedural, Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise can sure give any other movie a run for its money.
Right after Shaun of the Dead, there was clamoring for more of Edgar Wright and his crazy brand of cinema. In came Hot Fuzz with the same kind of self-aware seriousness and goofy on-the-nose smartness that’s simply irresistible but is a sure-fire way to a gala time whenever you want to have it.
Back to the Future
A time-travel movie filled with pop-culture references of the 1980s? Sign us up for that! Director Robert Zemeckis made the time-travelling trope cool long before it was recognized as so in the modern times. The movie spawned two much-loved sequels and together, they make for one of the best trilogies of all time!
The Matrix is what is known as an instant classic. The premise – involving an ordinary guy realizing that there’s more to life than he can actually see – has been done-to-death a million times. But the Wachowski siblings put such a mind-bending spin on it that it instantly catapulted to the pantheons of the greatest sci-fi movies of all time where it still sits.
You can’t have a list of rewatchable movies without including this classic. A man re-lives the day of his death again and again in a cycle that ultimately allows him to discover that there’s more to his life. Clever writing and a stupendous performance by Bill Murray makes it one of the best movies ever!
Magic Mike XXL
From the moment Channing Tatum starts gyrating to “Pony”, it is clear that Magic Mike XXL will be completely different from its predecessor in more ways than one. While that movie was an exploration of a person’s desire as well as his place in the larger scheme of things in the world, this one is content with expanding the world established in the first one and pumping up the volume a bit more. We’re quite happy too, you know!
The Fifth Element
The Fifth Element, arguably Luc Besson’s best directorial effort to date, earns laurels based on that metric alone. Set in a fictional future, the movie blends in complex thematic elements with seamless CGI to create a world so rich and diverse that it is just not enough to watch it once. You can watch it again and again and discover something new every time!
The Big Lebowski
The Big Lebowski was a box-office dud upon release. However, it has become a classic with the passage of time with its endlessly quotable dialogue and people’s ability to identify with its colorful and drab characters alike. Jeff Bridges as The Dude is uninhibited and the movie is crazy enough to give the viewer a gala time.
The film is a Christmas classic, but it is also one of the most rewatchable movies ever made. The humor is best suited for a particular breed of people but it the lines, originating from a John Hughes’ script are endlessly quotable. Jeremiah Chechik’s direction and the comedic performances by Chevy Chase and Randy Quaid make the rewatches an utter delight.
Mean Girls is hilarious and insightful at the same time. The script by Tina Fey – an acclaimed comic writer and actress in her own accord – is fearless and the written material finds justice in the performances of the lead cast, particularly in the one by Rachel McAdams.
Possibly Quentin Tarantino’s best directorial effort to date, the movie is not an easy watch but it is an immensely rewarding one. Spanning almost three hours and covering four separate story-lines, the crime-thriller’s formula of success has been imitated by many other subsequent movies but rarely has any other film attracted the kind of cinematic reverence that is bestowed on Pulp Fiction.
The Princess Bride
One of the best movies in the oft-ignored romantic-fantasy genre, the movie directed by Rob Reiner continues to be a classic as well as a superbly quotable piece of art that resonates even after almost 30 years of its release.
You might just have to rewatch Snatch a few times to figure out what Brad Pitt is saying, but there’s a lot more to it than the garbled speech. Guy Ritchie – arguably the most stylish director of his generation – crafted this blood-and-sweat thriller with a lot of panache and all of it and more shows on-screen in the layered narrative.
Harry Potter (Franchise)
You can’t just quote a single Harry Potter movie as quotable because it won’t be the sum of all parts. For the narrative to become the sprawling epic tale of a boy who goes to a wizard school and confronts his destiny, the whole eight-chapter saga has to be re-watched endlessly. The quality of the movies makes sure that the viewers can.
Lord of the Rings (Franchise)
Just like the Harry Potter saga, The Lord of Rings movies are filled to the brim with moments that are endlessly re-watchable and quotable. The awe-inducing production design and visual effects complement the sprawling scope of the saga as it unfolds over the course of three movies that are not just cultural milestones but also important pieces of art.
So, what are some of your favorite movies that you end up watching again and again?
Let us know in the comments below!