Normally, if you Google “Best films to look at,” you both get a flowery listing of mental Oscar-nominated movies no one has ever heard of or a bunch of “classic” films from the ’80s that everyone *pretends* to like, however no one really does (sorry, not sorry). This story will not be that. Full disclosure: I’m not a professional film critic, however I do love films of all genres and I’ve quite a lot of sturdy opinions on them.
So, for those who’re looking for some normal-person film recs to assist cross the time whereas social distancing, check out my private favorites that it’s best to stream as quickly as humanly potential (most of which can be found on Hulu, Netflix, Peacock, or Disney+, btw). These are the best comedies, chick flicks, horror films, romance movies, dramas, teen classics, biopics, and more to look at now.
After their untimely death, Barbara and Adam are having a little trouble moving on. When a new family moves into their house, they join forces with the evil ghost Beetlejuice, who reaps havoc on them all.
E.T. is an ’80s classic (no, really) that everyone should watch at least once in their life. Elliot meets an adorably squishy extra-terrestrial and an unlikely friendship blossoms. But when the government finds out he’s housing an alien, Elliot and his friends must help E.T. get back home.
Thanks to the help of their passionate teacher, a class of underprivileged teens becomes a family. Together, they beat all the odds and write a book in the process.
After spending all four years of high school focusing on their grades, best friends Molly and Amy set out to have one wild night before graduation. This feminist flick will have you crying from laughter.
An early 2000s classic that defined a generation. Napoleon Dynamite follows a mild-mannered teen and his small-town life. There’s really no explaining this one – you just have to watch it.
The Social Network
See the real story of how Facebook started in Mark Zuckerberg’s dorm room on the campus of Harvard. It isn’t a nice story, but the film is one of the best dramas you’ll ever see.
Remember The Titans
If you polled all your friends on their favorite movie, nine out of 10 would vote for Remember the Titans. It’s a moving film that follows a high school football team learning to work together after segregation is imposed.
If the world were ending and I could only save ONE movie, I would pick Titanic. Yep, it’s that good. Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet star in the most beautiful love story of our time – which takes place during one of the most devastating disasters of our time.
A group of daring kids go on the adventure of a lifetime, after they discover a secret pirate map that reveals hidden treasure.
A disconnected group of friends decides to go to a music festival, finding themselves in wild and hilarious situations. This movie will certainly make you laugh out loud, thanks to Tiffany Haddish’s epic breakout performance.
If you loved Spy Kids when you were young, you need to watch Angelina Jolie play a former Russian operative who fips on her agency to save the United States.
On the Basis of Sex
Nothing but respect for MY president, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Follow the famous Supreme Court judge on one of her first-ever cases. This is where her battle for equal rights truly began.
Alexa, play “Wannabe.” Starring Baby, Sporty, Posh, Scary, and Ginger Spice, this classic movie follows the most famous girl group of the ’90s.
His creator dies before finishing his hands, leaving Edward alone to fend for himself. Years later, a chance meeting with the local Avon lady leads Edward to an adopted family in the middle of idealistic suburbia.
If you’ve been holding out on Mean Girls thinking maybe it’s not worth the hype, I’m here to tell you: it absolutely is. Fresh from the planes of Africa, Katy attempts to fit in at an American high school. When she falls in with the popular crowd, she finds out just how mean teenage girls can be.
Parasite (English Subtitled)
When all four members of a family find themselves out of work and unable to pay rent, they come up with a scheme: lie and cheat to get jobs from the same rich family. With a brutal twist ending, this 2019 Academy Award for Best Picture winner is a must-watch for everyone.
The Princess Bride
When Wesley is separated from his one true love, he must battle mythical creatures and storm the castle to get her back from her evil husband. It’s a fairytale story like you’ve never seen.
Though it’s usually seen as a Christmas movie, this timeless romantic comedy is an uplifting watch year-round. Between the raunchy British humor and a truly epic cast (Liam Neeson, Keira Knightley, Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant), this beloved film is 100% worth the hype.
Back to the Future
When he’s projected back in time (enter, the DeLorean), Marty meets younger versions of his own parents. He has to make sure they fall in love, otherwise he will cease to exist.
Crazy Rich Asians
When Rachel meets her boyfriend’s family for the first time, she realizes that they’re crazy rich – like, billionaire rich. Watch as she tries to fit into the world of the super wealthy and impress Nick’s overbearing mother.
Mamma Mia! The Movie
Sophie invites three of her mother’s former lovers to her wedding, in hopes of meeting the father she’s never known.
Oh, you’re into serial killers? Meet the Tilikum, the murderous orca from SeaWorld. This shocking documentary shows how the inhumane imprisonment of killer whales has led them to do brutal, violent things.
The Hills Have Eyes
One unsuspecting family is hunted by a pack of mutant cannibals, when their car breaks down in the middle of the desert.
The Sixth Sense
Haley Joel Osment plays Cole, a young boy who struggles with his supernatural abilities. When he meets Malcolm, a child psychologist, Cole learns to better communicate with the dead who seek him out. It ends in a shocking twist you never could have predicted.
Now and Then
Now and Then is the ultimate coming-of-age film. Four friends look back on their childhood, reflecting on the 1970s summer that changed their lives forever.
If Jlo is on the cast list, I’m watching no matter what. In this hilarious (and annoyingly underrated) rom com, she feuds with Jane Fonda over her new and very attractive fiance.
After years apart, Noah and Ali come together to rekindle her powerful summer romance. But will Ali chose her first love? Or the loving fiancé she’s already agreed to marry?
After her brother dies, Debby Ocean takes his place as the con artist of the family. She leaves prison with a revenge plot that involves robbing the famous Met Gala. With an all-female team (that includes Rihanna, btw), she pulls off an unbelievably clever heist.
The people of Wakanda turn to war, when an outsider unexpectedly steals the king’s crown. Black Panther has all the action of your typical superhero movie, but with a superstar cast and a ton of humor.
When Peter and Judy find an ancient board game in their attic, all hell breaks loose. Crazed monkeys, poisonous bugs, and a man-hunting poacher all come out of the game, bringing with them a jungle man named Alan, who was sucked into the game as a child. They must team up to stop Jumanji from destroying their own.
Based on Stephen King’s terrifying novel, The Mist will chill you to your core. A group of people are trapped at their local grocery store, after a dense fog rolls into town concealing bloodthirsty monsters.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Charlie finally finds where he belongs, when he falls in with a group of theater kids at his high school. But can he overcome his traumatic past to find true acceptance?
Pride & Prejudice
Though they come from very different social classes, Elizabeth and Dr. Darcey find themselves unable to stay away from each other. Will love be enough, when social pressures are the most important thing?
This iconic early ’00s film is about a group of badass bar babes who dance on tables and just generally kick ass. Do I need to say more?
The Dark Knight
When the Joker takes over Gotham City, Batman must battle the evil villain to save his city. See Heath Ledger in his final role, playing the disturbed DC character.
The Greatest Showman
This recommendation is a two-for, because both the movie and the accompanying soundtrack are absolute magic. Following the unusual life of P.T. Barnum, this film celebrates his spectacular circus of misfits.
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
Zac Efron is somehow still hot as famous serial killer Ted Bundy. The film recreates actual video recordings from Ted Bundy’s well-publicized trial.
Water For Elephants
Think: Romeo & Juliet, but in the traveling circus. When the new elephant trainer falls in love with the ringmaster’s wife, both are put in danger. Can the couple (and their beloved elephant) survive this romance?
His daughter is abducted by sex trafficers while abroad in Paris. Retired CIA agent, Bryan Mills, uses his dangerous skills to hunt down the people who took her – every last one.
Based on a true story, this powerful film shows Oscar Grant’s life before he was killed by police officers. Michael B. Jordan brings Grant’s persona to the the big screen.
The Wizard of Oz
Dorothy takes a magical trip through the land of Oz with new friends Lion, Tin Man, Scarecrow, and her little dog Todo. The group must make it to the Emerald City to ask the mysterious Wizard of Oz to send Dorothy home to Kansas.
Yes, this is a Halloween movie. No, I don’t care. Hocus Pocus is a cult-favorite musical (kind of) that slaps 365 days a year. The Sanderson sisters come back from the dead and try to steal the souls of the children of Salem.
The US government infiltrates Pandora, lush extra terrestrial planet, in an attempt to steal their natural resources. A mutiny forms and the defectors join forces with the humanoid tribes protect the ancient, magical land.
After her son Walter is kidnapped, Christine gets the call of a lifetime: they’ve found him. But the boy she’s given is not her child. One mother must fight a crooked police force to try to get her son back, in this chilling true story.
Rachel McAdams is good in Mean Girls, but she’s great in Red Eye. The actress plays a hotel manager who is silently taken hostage by her handsome seatmate on a red eye flight to Miami.
Yes, the remake is amazing (Chris Pratt, need I say more?) but you cannot beat the original Jurassic Park. This movie is considered a ’90s classic for a reason: a thrilling plot line and super-realistic dinosaurs.
50 First Dates
Due to a head trauma, Lucy suffers from severe memory loss, forgetting her life every night when she goes to sleep. Henry plots a new way to meet her every day, in an attempt to win her heart.
The Parent Trap
This movie will never not be cute. When Hallie and Annie meet at summer camp and realize they’re actually twins, they decide to trade places in an attempt to get their parents back together. Did I mention both girls are played by Lindsay Lohan? Bonus!
Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events
Three siblings are shunted from distant relative to distant relative after their parents mysteriously die in a fire that leveled their whole house. They soon find that their new guardian is plotting ways to steal their inheritance – and they might not survive his plan.
Out of all the classic Disney cartoons, Tarzan features my favorite soundtrack (shout out to Phil Collins). Watch the famous love story of Tarzan and Jane in this heartwarming film.
This OG scary movie is still terrifying, thirty years later. It’s a pre-social media slasher film, with a super creepy cast.
Straight Outta Compton
Y’all know I love a music industry biopic. Straight Otta Compton outlines the meteoric rise of one of hip-hop’s most influential groups N.W.A. Ice Cube’s character is even played by his own son, O’Shea Jackson Jr.
Haley leaves her elite gymnastics team, just before she’s set to compete at the world championship. Years later, she’s forced to return to the athletes she seemingly betrayed. Watch this hilarious movie once and you’re hooked.
Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened
In 2017, hundreds of people spent thousands on tickets to a luxury music festival in the Bahamas. They were promised catered meals, glamorous beach villas, private yachts, and some of the world’s hottest musical talent. What they got an industrial lot in a developing country and not a single performer in site. Watch in an extreme state of second-hand embarrassment as a team of scammers pull off the ultimate fail.
House of Wax
This movie is mostly known for that scene where Paris Hilton is killed. Apart from that, it’s actually a terrifying film with a totally unique plotline: a crazed killer fills an entire ghost town with his victims – disguised as wax figures.
A family suddenly finds themselves trying to prove their innocence, after their father is murdered and a detective comes in to solve the case.
Though the Owens sisters have never really been into magic, they come from a long line of witches. That all changes, when Gillian’s boyfriend dies and the two set out to resurrect him.
The Fault In Our Stars
Fair warning: this movie will DESTROY you. Hazel Grace and Augustus meet at a cancer support group and quickly fall in love. They try to make the best out of their time together, but sadly, this film does not have a happy ending.
Midnight in Paris
While on vacation in Paris, Gil is taken back in time with a group of strangers. He quickly falls in love with the golden era of the beautiful city.
Stuck in Love
After a heartbreaking divorce, one family tries to recover and understand the complexities of love.
A young girl learns to channel years of abuse and torment at the hands of her terrible family, into telekinetic powers. She soon meets a caring teacher that hopes to give her a new life.
Pokémon Detective Pikachu
After the death of his father, a young man teams up with a Pikachu to solve the crime.
Follow the inspiring and heartbreaking journey of Queen frontman, Freddie Mercury. This biopic follows his struggle with fame, drug use, and his sexuality.
The Boy In The Striped Pajamas
In the middle of a terrible war, the son of a Nazi general makes friends with the boy next door, who wears striped pajamas and lives on a “farm.” Their innocent friendship will truly warm your heart – and the ending will rip it in two.
Meg and her daughter Sarah become trapped in the panic room of their new apartment, when a group of burglars break in. Can they make it through the night?
Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
The remake is fantastic, but nothing beats the classic world of Willy Wonka. Enter his chocolate factory, where everything is edible and magic is real.
The Hunger Games
Katniss Everdeen is forced to fight to the death in a battle being broadcast on live television. The winner of this horrible game will have all the riches they could dream of, in a dystopian society where extreme poverty is the norm.
Ok, I just watched this for the first time and let me tell you, it f*cked me up. With a surprise twist ending to rival The Sixth Sense (also on this list), this creepy film will haunt you long after you finish watching. Fans of cults, horror, and chilling plots will love this one.
The Imitation Game
This WWII biopic follows the true life of Alan Turing, a mathematician who is credited with saving millions of lives through a machine that cracked Germany’s unbreakable code. Though his invention helped to end the war, Turing was still persecuted by law for being gay.
Across The Universe
Across the Universe is a love story set to the famous tunes of The Beatles. Jude and Lucy struggle to keep their romance alive, while the country tries to fight the Vietnam War.
Taking place in an all-female mental institution, Girl, Interrupted is a dark drama you’ll love. With a 1990s all-star cast (Winona Ryder, Angelina Jolie, Brittany Murphy) and a twisted – but somehow uplifting – plot, this movie is a must.
Bridesmaids is the best chick flick of all time – I will not be taking questions on this. You will literally cry laughing watching this hilarious group of comedians try to make it through a wedding without killing each other.
Crazy, Stupid, Love
With an A-list cast like Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, and Emma Stone, this romcom is a guaranteed winner. Cal enlists the help of womanizer Jacob to help him move on after separating from his high-school sweetheart. The surprise ending will leave you in tears (of laughter).
After being kidnapped and confined to one small room, Joy gives birth to a son. When the boy turns five years old, they begin plotting a way to escape their captor.
When her best friend gets engaged to her college crush, Rachel tries to ignore her feelings. But one drunken hookup leads to an affair that could ruin their friendship forever.
Easy A will forever stand as one of the best teen movies to come out of the early ’00s and, no, I will not be taking questions. Emma Stone plays a regular girl, skyrocketed into high school infamy when lies about her nonexistent sex life become the hottest gossip.
I learned more about US history from this movie than I did from all four years of high school. Ben Gates follows ancient clues in search of an ancient treasure left behind by the Knights Templar.
The Imitation Game
These mathematicians helped end WWII, when they created a machine to decode secret Nazi messages. But even ending the war won’t protect Alan, during a time when being a gay man is a prisonable offence.
Catch Me If You Can
Based on a true story, Catch Me If You Can follows famous bank robber Frank Abagnale. The 17-year-old lives a lavish lifestyle made possible by clever deception and fraudulent checks.
A dinner party with your ex-wife and her new husband is bound to be awkward. But when the couple begins sharing stories from their newfound cult, it becomes clear that every guest is in danger.
When Caleb wins a week-long trip on the CEO’s estate, he has no idea what to expect. He soon finds himself at the center of a top-secret plan to create a machine with human-like intelligence. He is intrigued by the beautiful robot and soon starts plotting to break her from her prison.
I love Frozen just as much as the next person, but Moana is the Disney film I find myself watching over and over again. The soundtrack, the plot, the characters – it’s truly the perfect feel-good movie.
School of Rock
After getting kicked out of his own band, a man pretends to be a school teacher in order to get a job. After discovering that the kids in his class are actually good musicians, he creates a new band to win the upcoming Battle of the Bands competition.
The Day After Tomorrow
Government climatologists are predicting a series of natural disasters so severe, they could end mankind for good. A group of teens become trapped in the New York Public Library and must fight to survive the storm.
Ellen Page plays a quirky teen who gets pregnant her first time having sex. Her search for an adoptive family doesn’t turn out like she plans, but still has a happy ending.
Interview With the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles
Before Twilight, there was Interview With the Vampire. Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt star as two immortal vampires living in 18th century New Orleans. Like Twilight, these vampires are painfully attractive.
This twisted film follows a Donnie Darko, a teen boy who begins sleepwalking and getting visits from a demonic bunny.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
After years of neglect and abuse at the hands of his aunt and uncle, Harry Potter finds out he’s secretly a wizard in line to attend Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. I dare you to watch Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and NOT get sucked into the famous series.
Living in a haunted inn for the winter, the Torrance family experiences strange occurrences and ghostly encounters. Soon, the father comes under the control of an evil force.
The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe
Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy find a secret, magical world hidden inside an ancient wardrobe. They are soon called upon to lead a war against Narnia’s evil queen, becoming kings and queens themselves.
A retired family of superheroes returns to action, when a big-haired villain threatens their city.
Love and Basketball
I’m pretty sure the “name a more iconic duo” meme was first said about Monica and Quincy. This famed love story is packed with romance, twists of fate, and, yes, plenty of basketball as the couple follows their dreams of becoming pro players.
There is one rule in the village: don’t go into the forest, where deadly creatures dwell.
One doting father goes undercover as an elderly English nanny, in order to spend time with his children after a messy custody battle. Robin Williams stars in this hilarious family comedy that will leave a smile on your face.
The Skeleton Key
Caroline moves in to take care of an elderly man, following a debilitating stroke. She quickly finds out that the house is full of black magic.
These are the Black women who made it possible for American to send a man into outer space. Watch as some of NASA’s most famous mathematicians Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) struggle against sexism and racism to make their mark on history.
When the townspeople of Sleepy Hollow start horrifically dying, folklore blames a headless ghost for their deaths. Dr. Ichabod Crane travels to the rural town in order to solve the mystery using science and reason – two things that aren’t much use against the supernatural.
A strange airborne virus is sweeping the globe, causing it’s victims to suddenly kill themselves in strange and unusual ways. One group of travelers attempts to escape with their lives.
Clueless beats out the “hot mean blonde girl” movie trope with Cher Horowitz, the rich popular girl, who is also really nice. She takes the new girl under her wing, giving her a makeover and teaching her all about the life of the social elite.
A midwestern family is forced to hunker down on their farm when the world comes under siege from an alien race. The classic M. Night Shyamalan film is a terrifying thriller you’ll want to watch over and over again.