These are my personal favorite movies of all time, this list is compiled of a variety of categories and release dates. They are films I’ve re-watched dozens of times and would consider my top recommendations of what to watch tonight.
Categories: Drama, Coming of age
This is not just another World War II movie, its about a young English boy, Jamie (played by Christian Bale), living in China when the Japanese invade. Its about the daily life and dynamics at the Japanese prison camp he’s sent to, not the usual story depicted from WWII. The music, the coming of age story, I believe this to be Steven Spielberg’s best film.
Categories: Emotional drama, Independent film
I would consider this a perfect film. Short Term 12 is the harrowing story of a short term facility for children in between foster homes or aging out of the system. It centers around one day in the lives of the staff and foster kids. The acting is tremendous, you will feel many emotions but I urge you to see it, it is so important.
Categories: Dark comedy
If you liked Juno and Young Adult, you’ll love, what I consider to be, Diablo Cody’s best film yet. Its about a mother, Marlo (played by Charlize Theron), who, after having her third child, is struggling to balance her life and hold on to who she use to be. The ending is shocking and thrilling and makes the very real depiction of motherhood that much better.
One of the sweetest movies I’ve ever seen, In America is about an Irish family who’s moved to New York to pursue their dreams. The story is unique and heart-wrenching at times, but you’ll fall in love with the Sullivan’s and root for them the entire way.
Categories: Crime, Psychological drama
Huge trigger warning, there is a very upsetting rape scene that happens in this movie. This a fictional story that addresses the real-life issue of indigenous women in the U.S. disappearing. A wildlife officer and an FBI agent team up to solve the mystery of a young girl’s death from a Wyoming Native American Reservation. Its an excellent mystery that will chill your bones more than the snowy Wyoming backdrop.
Categories: Quirky independent, Comedy
Hulu, Prime (free), HBO Max
It would be wrong to not have a full out comedy on this list. This movie is about the niche world of voice-over work. A rising vocal coach (played by Lake Bell) faces family drama and sexism as she carves out a spot for herself in the dated industry. I knew nothing about voice over work watching the film for the first time, but it proves to be fascinating and left me wanting more content on the subject.
Categories: Feel good
I’m not a Disney/Pixar fanatic, I usually think their movies are funny and cute but only reach the surface. Inside Out feels like a movie made for a more mature audience than any of the others. It’s about our emotions and what happens when we experience traumatic moments or an imbalance. If you can only tolerate to watch one animated movie in your lifetime, make it this one.
This isn’t my usual genre and initially I thought this movie seemed a little cheesy, but if you liked other Baz Luhrmann movies like Moulin Rouge, you’ll love this. It’s the over the top story of a British aristocrat and her ranch hand navigating the land and cattle she inherits in the beautiful setting of northern Australia. There’s love, adventure, and humor, its an epic tale.