Here’s a list of some great films that you should watch when you need a break from school.
The Truman Show (1998) Rated PG
If You Like: Drama, Thought Provoking, Emotional, Satire
Despite featuring Jim Carrey, this movie is not a goofy comedy. This movie centers around Truman Burbank, a man unaware that his entire life was broadcasted as a reality TV show. All of his friends are actors, his town is a humongous studio, and he is not allowed to leave. We see him discover the oddities of his surroundings as he begins to question reality. Just like the viewers of the show in the film, you are constantly hoping for Truman to find out the secret of his reality and to escape. Jim Carrey delivers an outstanding performance, bringing childlike wonder and mature emotions into the character of Truman. This movie will leave you in awe, as it has possibly one of the best endings I’ve ever seen in a movie.
Blade Runner (1982) Rated R
If You Like: Sci-Fi, Drama, Mystery
The Blade Runner series is one of the best, yet often overlooked, sci-fi series. The story is set in a future where replicants (androids) of model Nexus 6 are hunted down by Blade Runners due to them killing humans. Nexus 6 replicants have a lifespan of 4 years to prevent them from developing human emotions, which is why Blade Runners run emotional tests on their suspects to see if they’re replicants. We follow Blade Runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) as he hunts down the remaining replicants, and perhaps even uncovers a terrible truth. Before continuing, I must say address which version of the film to watch. There have been many different releases, but the one that most people believe is the best is the Final Cut. This is one of the most atmospheric films ever made. The visuals, the soundtrack, and the cinematography all create an outstanding gloomy mood that fits the setting of the film perfectly. The first film has influenced countless of science fiction movies, many copying various elements of it.
Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989) Rated G
If You Like: Magic, Comedy, Fantasy, Coming-of-Age
I can’t stress how much people need to start hopping on the Studio Ghibli train. They make incredible movies, and this one is one of my favorites. The story follows Kiki, a young witch who leaves her home, as part of a tradition among witches, in order to live by herself. She established her own delivery service, supplying people with goods throughout Koriko, her new home town. This film is extremely heartwarming and funny, mostly due to the dialogue between Kiki and her talking cat Jiji. The film also has incredible animation, not even Disney could animate this well in 1989. If you liked Harry Potter, then you will most likely enjoy this movie a lot. It is a great family film as well, so don’t shy away from seeing it with yours.
Stardust (2007) Rated PG-13
If You Like: Fantasy, Romance, Comedy, Fairy Tales, Adventure
Based off a book by Neil Gaiman, Stardust is the story about Tristan Thorn, a young man who attempts to find a fallen star in order to impress his crush. He ventures beyond the wall of his town into a fantasy world full of witches, magical creatures, airship pirates, and about every other fantasy trope you can imagine, to find this star. Once Tristen find the star, he discovers that it takes the shape of a beautiful woman who wears a very peculiar gem in her necklace. A group of witches are also searching for the star, whose heart will grant them rejuvenating abilities, and two princes are also searching for it because whoever finds the gem that the star wears will be granted kingship. There is so much more to the plot, but I want to keep it as brief as possible because I could talk about this film for hours. What I love the most about this film is how it is a perfect love letter to the fantasy genre, particularly from the fairy tale subgenre. It has about every trope that you would expect, but they are so well implemented that they don’t feel like they’re cliche. The movie has a star studded cast, pun intended, including the likes of Matthew Cox, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert Deniro, Claire Danes, Henry Cavill, and even Ricky Gervais. You honestly can’t go wrong with this movie. It is extremely funny, feel-good, heartwarming, and entertaining.
Casablanca (1942) Rated PG
If You Like: Drama, Romance, Historical
Many people of our generation have not seen this film, which is often regarded as one of the best films of all time. Truth be told, I saw this film for the first time a few months ago, so I’m not shaming anybody. This film is set during World War II, and it’s the story about Rick Blaine, a nightclub owner who attempts to help his past lover, Ilsa, escape from Casablanca with her husband, as they are both being persecuted by the Nazi’s. This film has surprisingly aged really well. It’s not boring, slow, or dull. I was actually surprised by how funny it was. A lot of old-timey jokes don’t make modern audiences laugh, but the comedy in this movie is spot on. The acting is incredible, the music is timeless, and the story is very gripping. I recommend anyone to see this film. You don’t have to be a history buff or a romance freak to enjoy it.
-Written by Franco Grimoldi Calo