111 Must-See Movies

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From cult classics to hidden gems, here’s 111 movies I believe everyone should see at least once in their lifetime, ranging from laugh-loud-comedies to gritty thrillers to animated family adventures and everything in between. They’re in no particular order, so pick and choose as you please!

INSIGHTFUL TRUE STORIES

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Year: 2010

Rating: R for language and some disturbing violence content/bloody images

Genre: Adventure, biography, drama

Summary: Mountain climber Aron Ralston becomes trapped while canyoneering alone in Utah, and must do whatever is necessary to stay alive.

Stars: James Franco, Kate Mara


b753614129940150151A BEAUTIFUL MIND

Year: 2001

Rating: PG-13 for intense thematic material, sexual content, and a scene of violence

Genre: Biography, drama

Summary: John Nash, a genius mathematician, goes on a painful journey of self-discovery.

Stars: Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly


635963645228423012-2126007886_league-of-their-own1A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN

Year: 1992

Rating: PG for language

Genre: Comedy, drama, sport

Summary: When baseball team owners decide to form teams with all women during World War II, two sisters join a team with a washed up former player as their coach.

Stars: Geena Davis, Lori Petty, Tom Hanks, Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell


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APOLLO 13

Year: 1995

Rating: PG for language and emotional intensity

Genre: Adventure, drama, history

Summary: A spacecraft suffers internal damage, putting the lives of the three astronauts on board in danger.

Stars: Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon, Gary Sinise


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GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM

Year: 1987

Rating: R for violence and language

Genre: Biography, comedy, drama

Summary: DJ Adrian Cronauer is shipped off to Vietnam to bring humor to the U.S. Armed Forces Radio.

Stars: Robin Williams, Forest Whitaker


invincible-2006-movie-free-download-hd-1080pINVINCIBLE

Year: 2006

Rating: PG for sports action and some mild language

Genre: Biography, drama, sport

Summary: Bartender Vince Papale (Mark Wahlberg) tries to live out his life-long dream of playing for the Philadelphia Eagles at 30 years old.

Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Greg Kinnear, Elizabeth Banks


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JOY

Year: 2015

Rating: PG-13 for brief strong language

Genre: Biography, drama

Summary: Inventor Joy tries to start launching her own products while trying to balance her personal life.

Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper


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MIRACLE

Year: 2004

Rating: PG for language and some rough sports action

Genre: Biography, drama, history, sport

Summary: Coach Herb Brooks does everything in his power to bring the 1980 U.S. Olympic Ice Hockey Team a gold medal, but they first must get past Russia.

Stars: Kurt Russell, Patricia Clarkson, Nathan West


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REMEMBER THE TITANS

Year: 2000

Rating: PG for thematic elements and some language

Genre: Biography, drama, sport

Summary: It’s football season, but the first one with a racially integrated team and African-American coach.

Stars: Denzel Washington, Will Patton, Wood Harris


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RUDY

Year: 1993

Rating: PG for mild language

Genre: Biography, drama, sport

Summary: Despite always being told he could never play college football, Rudy Ruettiger decides to try to beat the odds at Notre Dame.

Stars: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty


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SCHINDLER’S LIST

Year: 1993

Rating: R for language, some sexuality, and actuality violence

Genre: Biography, drama, history

Summary: In the midst of Poland circa World War II, businessman Oskar Schindler becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce.

Stars: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Caroline Goodall


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SECRETARIAT

Year: 2010

Rating: PG for brief mild language

Genre: Biography, drama, history, sport

Summary: Penny Chenery Tweedy takes a chance on her horse to compete in the Triple Crown.

Stars: Diane Lane, John Malkovich, Margo Martindale


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SELMA

Year: 2014

Rating: PG-13 for disturbing thematic material including violence, a suggestive moment, and brief strong language

Genre: Biography, drama, history

Summary: In an effort to secure African-American voting rights, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. coordinates a march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

Stars: David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tim Roth


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SOUL SURFER

Year: 2011

Rating: PG for an intense accident sequence and some thematic material

Genre: Biography, drama, sport

Summary: Surfer Bethany Hamilton must relearn to surf after a shark attack leaves her without a left arm.

Stars: AnnaSophia Robb, Helen Hunt, Dennis Quaid, Carrie Underwood


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THE BLIND SIDE

Year: 2009

Rating: PG-13 for one scene involving brief violence, drug and sexual references

Genre: Biography, drama, sport

Summary: The story of Michael Oher, a homeless and traumatized boy who had the help of a caring woman and her family to become a successful football player.

Stars: Quinton Aaron, Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Lily Collins, Jae Head, Kathy Bates


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THE KING’S SPEECH

Year: 2010

Rating: R for some language

Genre: Biography, drama

Summary: King George VI seeks a speech therapist in order to become a worthy ruler.

Stars: Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, Geoffrey Rush


BELOVED ANIMATED FEATURES

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ALADDIN

Year: 1992

Rating: G

Genre: Animation, adventure, comedy, musical

Summary: The impoverished Aladdin falls in love with Princess Jasmine of Agrabah and seeks the help of the mystical Genie to become a prince in order to marry her.

Stars: Robin Williams, Scott Weinger, Linda Larkin

Sequels: The Return of Jafar (1994); Aladdin and the King of Thieves (1996)

TV Show: Aladdin (1994-1995)


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BALTO

Year: 1995

Rating: G

Genre: Animation, adventure, drama

Summary: The outcast half-wolf must risk his life to retrieve medicine to cure the epidemic ravaging Alaska.

Stars: Kevin Bacon, Bob Hoskins, Bridget Fonda, Jim Cummings

Sequels: Balto II: Wolf Quest (2002); Balto III: Wings of Change (2004)


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BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Year: 1991

Rating: G

Genre: Animation, family, fantasy, musical

Summary: The estranged bookworm Belle offers herself in her father’s place of imprisonment in the castle of a hideous beast who’s under a spell.

Stars: Paige O’Hara, Robby Benson

Sequels: Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (1997); Beauty and the Beast: Belle’s Magical World (1998)

Live-Action: Beauty and the Beast coming March 17, 2017


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DESPICABLE ME

Year: 2010

Rating: PG for rude humor and mild action

Genre: Animation, adventure, comedy

Summary: The world’s greatest villain, Gru (Steve Carell), meets his greatest challenge yet when he adopts three young orphans, Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier), and Agnes (Elsie Fisher), for his grand scheme.

Stars: Steve Carell, Miranda Cosgrove, Russell Brand, Kristen Wiig

Sequels: Despicable Me 2 (2013); Despicable Me 3 (coming in summer 2017)

Prequel: Minions (2015)


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FINDING NEMO

Year: 2003

Rating: G

Genre: Animation, adventure, comedy

Summary: When Nemo is taken from the Great Barrier Reef, his father, Marlin, sets out to find him with his forgetful new friend, Dory.

Stars: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Alexander Gould

Sequel: Finding Dory (2016)


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FROZEN

Year: 2013

Rating: PG for some action and mild rude humor

Genre: Animation, adventure, comedy, musical

Summary: Princess Anna goes off to find her sister, Queen Elsa, with snowman Olaf and ice deliverer Kristoff when she accidentally curses her home into an eternal winter.

Stars: Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff

Sequels: Frozen Fever (2015); Frozen 2 (coming soon)


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HERCULES

Year: 1997

Rating: G

Genre: Animation, adventure, comedy, musical

Summary: When Hercules was taken from his parents, he was stripped of his immortality and now he must become a true hero to reclaim it.

Stars: Tate Donovan, Danny DeVito, James Woods, Susan Egan

Sequel: Hercules: Zero to Hero (1999)

TV Show: Hercules (1998-1999)


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HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON

Year: 2010

Rating: PG for sequences of intense action and some scary images, and brief mild language

Genre: Animation, action, comedy, fantasy

Summary: Instead of killing them like all the other Vikings, Hiccup thinks there’s more to dragons than what he is lead to believe when he accidentally befriends one.

Stars: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Bulter, America Ferrera

Sequels: How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014); How to Train Your Dragon 3 (coming in 2019)

TV Shows: Dragons: Riders of Berk (2012-2014); Dragons: Dawn of the Dragon Racers (2014); Dragons: Race to the Edge (2015-present)


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ICE AGE

Year: 2002

Rating: PG for mild peril

Genre: Animation, adventure, comedy

Summary: A mammoth , a saber-tooth tiger, and a sloth try to return an infant human baby back to its tribe.

Stars: Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo

Sequels: Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006); Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009); Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas (2011); Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012); Ice Age: Collision Course (2016)


INSIDE OUT

INSIDE OUT

Year: 2015

Rating: PG for mild thematic elements and some action

Genre: Animation, adventure, comedy, drama

Summary: When Riley moves, her emotions Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust must figure out how to adjust to a new house, city, and school.

Stars: Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Kaitlyn Dias


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LILO & STITCH

Year: 2002

Rating: PG for mild sci-fi action

Genre: Animation, comedy, drama, sci-fi

Summary: A strange little girl adopts a strange pet which is actually an extraterrestrial fleeing from the law.

Stars: Daveigh Chase, Chris Sanders, Tia Carrere, Ving Rhames

Sequels: Stitch! The Movie (2003); Lilo & Stitch: Stitch Has a Glitch (2005); Leroy & Stitch (2006)

TV Show: Lilo & Stitch: The Series (2003-2006)


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MONSTERS, INC.

Year: 2001

Rating: G

Genre: Animation, adventure, comedy, fantasy

Summary: Children’s screams are the only source of power of Monstropolis and are considered poisonous for monsters, but when one gets into the city, Sulley and Mike realize that it’s not what it seems.

Stars: John Goodman, Billy Crystal, Steve Buscemi

Prequel: Monsters University (2013)


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MULAN

Year: 1998

Rating: G

Genre: Animation, adventure, comedy, musical

Summary: A young woman impersonates a man to fight in the Chinese war against the Huns for her handicapped father.

Stars: Ming-Na Wen, Eddie Murphy, BD Wong

Sequel: Mulan II (2004)

Remake: Mulan (coming in 2018)


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OLIVER & COMPANY

Year: 1998

Rating: G

Genre: Animation, adventure, comedy, musical

Summary:  A homeless kitten is taken in by a group of dogs that steal from others, but when they meet a little girl, his world will never be the same.

Stars: Joey Lawrence, Billy Joel, Cheech Marin


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ROBOTS

Year: 2005

Rating: PG for some brief language and suggestive humor

Genre: Animation, adventure, comedy, sci-fi

Summary: Young inventor travels to the big city to work for his idol, only to find that someone new has taken over behind the scenes.

Stars: Ewan McGregor, Robin Williams, Halle Berry, Amanda Bynes, Drew Carey, Mel Brooks, Jennifer Coolidge


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SHREK

Year: 2001

Rating: PG for mild language and some crude humor

Genre: Animation, adventure, comedy, fantasy

Summary: In order to get his swamp rid of fairy tale creatures, Shrek must go on a rescue mission to save Princess Fiona so she can be wed to villainous Lord Farquaad.

Stars: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz

Sequels: Shrek 2 (2004); Shrek the Third (2007); Shrek Forever After (2010)

Spin-Off: Puss in Boots (2011)


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TANGLED

Year: 2010

Rating: PG for brief mild violence

Genre: Animation, comedy, musical, romance

Summary: Rapunzel longs to leave her tower and when bandit Flynn Rider climbs up it, she may have a chance to live out her dream.

Stars: Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy


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THE ARISTOCATS

Year: 1970

Rating: G

Genre: Animation, adventure, comedy

Summary: A family of cats try to make it back to their home with the help of a tomcat after their butler kidnaps them.

Stars: Phil Harris, Eva Gabor, Sterling Holloway


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THE INCREDIBLES

Year: 2004

Rating: PG for action violence

Genre: Animation, action, adventure

Summary: A family of undercover superheroes, while trying to live the quiet suburban life, are forced into action to save the world.

Stars: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunt, Samuel L. Jackson

Sequel: The Incredibles 2 (2018)


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THE LION KING

Year: 1994

Rating: G

Genre: Animation, adventure, drama, musical

Summary: Simba, the rightful King of the Pridelands, tries to take them back amidst his self-doubt and guilt.

Stars: Matthew Broderick, James Earl Jones, Jeremy Irons, Moira Kelly, Nathan Lane, Ernie Sabella, Whoopi Goldberg, Jim Cummings

Sequels: The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride (1998); The Lion King 1½ (2004)

TV Show: The Lion Guard (2016-present)


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TOY STORY

Year: 1995

Rating: G

Genre: Animation, adventure, comedy, fantasy

Summary: In a world where all toys come to life with no humans around, a beloved cowboy toy becomes jealous of a new space toy.

Stars: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles

Sequels: Toy Story 2 (1999); Toy Story 3 (2010); Toy Story 4 (coming in 2019)

TV Show: Toy Story Treats (1996); Buzz Lightyear of Star Command (2000-2001)


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TROLLS

Year: 2016

Rating: PG for some mild rude humor

Genre: Animation, adventure, comedy, fantasy, musical

Summary: After the Bergens invade Troll Village, Poppy, the happiest Troll ever born, and the surly Branch set off on a journey to rescue her friends.

Stars: Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooey Deschanel, Christine Baranski, Russell Brand, Gwen Stefani, James Corden


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UP

Year: 2009

Rating: PG for some peril and action

Genre: Animation, adventure, comedy

Summary: Seventy-eight year old Carl Fredricksen travels to Paradise Falls in his home equipped with balloons, inadvertently taking a young stowaway.

Stars: Edward Asner, Christopher Plummer, Jordan Nagai, Bob Peterson


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ZOOTOPIA

Year: 2016

Rating: PG for some thematic elements, rude humor and action

Genre: Animation, comedy, crime, mystery

Summary: Judy Hops, a rookie police officer, has one shot to become the cop of her dreams, but must confide in a scamming fox for help to crack the case.

Stars: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba


QUOTABLE COMEDIES

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ANIMAL HOUSE

Year: 1978

Rating: R for nudity throughout, sexual content, language, some drug use and drinking

Genre: Comedy

Summary: The college dean is determined to expelled the entire Delta Tau Chi Fraternity, but they have other plans.

Stars: John Belushi, Karen Allen, Tom Hulce


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AUSTIN POWERS: INTERNATIONAL MAN OF MYSTERY

Year: 1997

Rating: PG-13 for nudity, sex-related dialogue and humor

Genre: Comedy, crime

Summary: 60’s spy Austin Powers is cryogenically frozen and put into the 90’s to defeat Dr. Evil with the help of Vanessa Kensington.

Stars: Mike Myers, Elizabeth Hurley, Seth Greene, Will Ferrell

Sequels: Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999); Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)


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BEVERLY HILLS COP

Year: 1984

Rating: R for adult situations/language and violence

Genre: Action, comedy, crime

Summary: A Detroit cop is sent on vacation to Beverly Hills after his friend is murdered, and decides to conduct his own investigation.

Stars: Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, John Aston

Sequels: Beverly Hills Cop II (1987); Beverly Hills Cop III (1994)


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BULL DURHAM

Year: 1988

Rating: R for adult situations/language and nudity

Genre: Comedy, romance, sport

Summary: Crash is to mentor a younger, immature pitcher all the while they get involved with the same fan, Annie.

Stars: Kevin Costner, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon


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CADDYSHACK

Year: 1980

Rating: R for adult situations/language and nudity

Genre: Comedy, sport

Summary: At an exclusive golf course, many happenings go about including a caddy dealing with the eccentric members and the assistant greenskeeper pursuing a devious dancing gopher.

Stars: Chevy Chase, Robert Dangerfield, Bill Murray


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FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH

Year: 1982

Rating: R for adult situations/language, nudity, drug use, and sexual content

Genre: Comedy, drama

Summary: High school students explore sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll.

Stars: Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold


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FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF 

Year: 1986

Rating: PG-13 for adult situations/language

Genre: Comedy

Summary: High school student Ferris Bueller skips a day of school for a day of spontaneous adventure with his best friend and girlfriend, despite the determination of the principal to catch him.

Stars: Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, Jeffrey Jones


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GHOSTBUSTERS 

Year: 1984

Rating: PG for mild language and sci-fi violence

Genre: Action, comedy, sci-fi

Summary: Three recently terminated professors decide to renovate an old fire station to start a business for catching the paranormal.

Stars: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, Rick Moranis

Sequel: Ghostbusters II (1989)

Remake: Ghostbusters (2016) with a female cast


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MRS. DOUBTFIRE

Year: 1993

Rating: PG-13 for some sexual references

Genre: Comedy, drama

Summary: A man dresses himself up as a housekeeper in order to see his children after a messy divorce.

Stars: Robin Williams, Sally Field, Pierce Bronsan


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MY COUSIN VINNY

Year: 1992

Rating: R for language

Genre: Comedy, crime

Summary: Two New Yorkers are accused of murder in Alabama, so they call their cousin, an inexperienced lawyer.

Stars: Joe Pesci, Marisa Tomei, Ralph Macchio


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SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT

Year: 1977

Rating: PG

Genre: Action, comedy

Summary: The Bandit is hired on to run a tractor trailer full of beer over county lines in hot pursuit by a pesky sheriff.

Stars: Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jerry Reed

Sequels: Smokey and the Bandit II (1980); Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 (1983)


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THE HEAT

Year: 2013

Rating: R for pervasive language, strong crude content and some violence

Genre: Action, comedy, crime

Summary: An uptight FBI Special Agent is paired with a foul-mouthed Boston cop to take down a ruthless drug lord.

Stars: Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy, Marlon Wayans, Michael McDonald


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THE PRINCESS BRIDE 

Year: 1987

Rating: PG for adult situations/language

Genre: Adventure, comedy, fantasy, romance

Summary: A grandfather reads his grandson the adventurous, comedic love story of Princess Buttercup and her farmhand, Westley.

Stars: Peter Falk, Fred Savage, Robin Wright, Cary Ewles, Mandy Patinkin, Andre the Giant


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WHITE CHICKS

Year: 2004

Rating: PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, language and some drug content

Genre: Comedy, crime

Summary: Two disgraced FBI agents go way undercover in an effort to protect hotel heiresses the Wilson Sisters from a kidnapping plot.

Stars: Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Busy Phillips, Jennifer Carpenter, Terry Crews, Jessica Cauffiel


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YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN

Year: 1974

Rating: PG

Genre: Comedy

Summary: An American grandson of the infamous scientist, struggling to prove that he is not as insane as people believe, is invited to Transylvania, where he discovers the process that reanimates a dead body.

Stars: Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn, Marty Feldman


TENDER ROMANCES

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CASABLANCA

Year: 1942

Rating: PG for mild violence

Genre: Drama, romance

Summary: A cynical American man meets a former romantic flame in Morocco that causes complications.

Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman


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CHARLIE ST. CLOUD

Year: 2010

Rating: PG-13 for language including some sexual references, an intense accident scene, and some sensuality

Genre: Drama, fantasy, romance

Summary: Charlie has a promise with his younger brother who died tragically that he may have to break in order to ultimately be with the girl he loves.

Stars: Zac Efron, Charlie Tahan, Amanda Crew


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GONE WITH THE WIND

Year: 1939

Rating: G

Genre: Drama, history, romance

Summary: Southern belle Scarlett O’Hara is well-loved by men but she only has her eye on one during the American Civil War.

Stars: Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, Thomas Mitchell


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LEGALLY BLONDE

Year: 2001

Rating: PG-13 for language and sexual references

Genre: Comedy, romance

Summary: When sorority president Elle Woods gets dumped by her boyfriend, she decides to follow him to Harvard Law School.

Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Matthew Davis, Luke Wilson, Jennifer Coolidge, Selma Blair

Sequels: Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde (2003); Legally Blondes (2009)


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LOVE ACTUALLY

Year: 2003

Rating: R for sexuality, nudity, and language

Genre: Comedy, drama, romance

Summary: Eight intertwined love stories all blossom leading up to sentimental moments on Christmas Eve.

Stars: Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Bill Nighy,  Andrew Lincoln, Kiera Knightley


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ROMEO & JULIET

Year: 2013

Rating: PG-13 for some violence and thematic elements

Genre: Drama, romance

Summary: Two people from feuding families fall in love, ensuing a fateful chain of events.

Stars: Haliee Steinfield, Douglass Booth, Damian Lewis, Ed Westwick, Paul Giamatti

Other Well-Known Versions: Romeo and Juliet (1968); Romeo + Juliet (1996); Romeo and Juliet (2014)


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THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER

Year: 2012

Rating: PG-13 on appeal for mature thematic material, drug and alcohol use, sexual content including references, and a fight – all involving teens

Genre: Drama, romance

Summary: An introverted freshman is taken under the wings of two seniors who welcome him to the real world.

Stars: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Nina Dobrev, Kate Walsh, Dylan McDermott


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TITANIC

Year: 1997

Rating: PG-13 for disaster related peril and violence, nudity, sensuality and brief language

Genre: Drama, romance

Summary: A seventeen-year-old aristocrat falls in love with a kind but poor artist aboard the luxurious R.M.S. Titanic.

Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates


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WHEN HARRY MET SALLY…

Year: 1989

Rating: R for language and sexual content

Genre: Comedy, drama, romance

Summary: Harry and Sally have known each other for years, and are very good friends, but they fear sex would ruin the friendship.

Stars: Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan, Carrie Fisher, Bruno Kirby


CHARISMATIC MUSICALS

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GREASE

Year: 1978

Rating: PG-13 for sexual content including references, teen smoking and drinking, and language

Genre: Musical, romance

Summary: After a summer romance, good girl Sandy and greaser Danny go back to school and try to rekindle their relationship.

Stars: Olivia Newton-John, John Travolta, Stockard Channing

Sequel: Grease 2 (1982) but not with the original cast

Remake: Grease Live! (2016)


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HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL

Year: 2006

Rating: TV-G

Genre: Comedy, drama, musical, romance

Summary: Despite their love for music, book smart Gabriella Montez and star athlete Troy Bolton must keep it a secret in order to not be ridiculed by their friends.

Stars: Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Corbin Bleu

Sequels: High School Musical 2 (2007); High School Musical 3: Senior Year (2008)

Spin-Off: Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure (2011)


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MAMMA MIA!

Year: 2008

Rating: PG-13 for some sex-related comments

Genre: Comedy, musical, romance

Summary: A bride-to-be invites three of her possible fathers to her wedding and tries to keep it hidden from her mother.

Stars: Amanda Seyfried, Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, Christine Baranski, Julie Walters


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PITCH PERFECT

Year: 2012

Rating: PG-13 for sexual material, language, and drug references

Genre: Comedy, music, romance

Summary: The all-girls a capella group will have to break from their old ways in order to beat their rivals.

Stars: Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp, Skylar Austin

Sequels: Pitch Perfect 2 (2015), Pitch Perfect 3 (coming in December 2017)


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SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER

Year: 1977

Rating: R for strong language, sexuality/nudity, and some drug content

Genre: Drama, music

Summary: A teenager uses disco dancing as an outlet to forget his bleak life.

Stars: John Travolta, Karen Lynn Gorney, Barry Miller

Sequel: Staying Alive (1983)


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THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

Year: 2004

Rating: PG-13 for brief violent images

Genre: Drama, musical, romance

Summary: A young soprano becomes the obsession of a disfigured musical genius who lives beneath the Paris Opéra House.

Stars: Gerard Butler, Emmy Rossum, Patrick Wilson, Minnie Driver


Sound of Music (1965) Julie Andrews Credit: 20th Century Fox/Courtesy Neal Peters Collection.

THE SOUND OF MUSIC

Year: 1965

Rating: G

Genre: Drama, musical, romance

Summary: A woman leaves an Austrian convent to become a governess to the children of a Naval officer widower.

Stars: Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker


wizard-of-oz-original1

THE WIZARD OF OZ

Year: 1939

Rating: G

Genre: Adventure, fantasy, musical

Summary: Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz and must find the Wizard in order to get back home.

Stars: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger

Sequel: Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)


CHARMING FAMILY FLICKS

back-to-the-future-movie-review

BACK TO THE FUTURE

Year: 1985

Rating: PG for mild language and violence

Genre: Adventure, comedy, sci-fi

Summary: When scientist Doc Brown creates a successful time machine, high school student Marty McFly accidentally goes back in time 30 years.

Stars: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson

Sequels: Back to the Future Part II (1989); Back to the Future Part III (1990)


enchanted

ENCHANTED

Year: 2007

Rating: PG for some scary images and mild innuendo

Genre: Comedy, fantasy, musical, romance

Summary: Princess Giselle is sent through a magic portal to New York City where she meets a divorce lawyer who shows her the way of the real world.

Stars: Amy Adams, Susan Sarandon, Patrick Dempsey, Idina Menzel, James Marsden, Timothy Spall


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E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL

Year: 1982

Rating: PG for language and mild thematic elements

Genre: Drama, sci-fi

Summary: An alien tries to get back to his home land with the help of a troubled little boy.

Stars: Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Pete Coyote


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HOME ALONE

Year: 1990

Rating: PG for moderate slapstick violence, threats, and mild language

Genre: Comedy

Summary: When Kevin is left alone after his family goes on holiday, he must protect his house from being robbed by two burglars.

Stars: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, Catherine O’Hara

Sequels: Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992); Home Alone 3 (1997) not with the original cast as the first two


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NATIONAL TREASURE

Year: 2004

Rating: PG for action violence and some scary images

Genre: Action, adventure, thriller

Summary: A historian races to find the legendary Templar Treasure before a team of mercenaries.

Stars: Nicholas Cage, Diane Kruger, Justin Bartha, Sean Bean

Sequels: National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007); National Treasure 3 (in the works)


NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM

Year: 2006

Rating: PG for mild action, mild language, and brief rude humor

Genre: Adventure, comedy, fantasy

Summary: A divorced man takes at job as a night guard at the Natural History Museum, soon realizing that all the exhibits come alive at night.

Stars: Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Steeve Coogan

Sequels: Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009); Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014)


the-sandlot

THE SANDLOT

Year: 1993

Rating: PG for some language and kids chewing tobacco

Genre: Comedy, drama, sport

Summary: A new kid in town is taken under the wing of a young baseball prodigy and his team where together they get themselves into many adventures involving rival teams, lifeguards, and a vicious dog.

Stars: Tom Guiry, Mike Vitar, Art LaFleur

Sequel: The Sandlot 2 (2005); The Sandlot: Heading Home (2007)


willy-wonka-chocolate-factory-cast-1971

WILLY WONKA & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY

Year: 1971

Rating: G

Genre: Fantasy, musical

Summary: When poverty-ridden Charlie receives a golden ticket for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to a candy factory, he soon realizes there’s more than just candy in story for him.

Stars: Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Peter Ostrum

Remake: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)


RIVETING THRILLERS

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AIR FORCE ONE

Year: 1997

Rating: R for violence

Genre: Action, adventure, drama, thriller

Summary: Hijackers seize the plane that holds the President of the United States and his family. Little do the hijackers know, the President is a former decorated soldier.

Stars: Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Glenn Close


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DIE HARD

Year: 1988

Rating: R for adult situations/language, nudity, and violence

Genre: Action, thriller

Summary: NYPD officer John McClane does whatever it takes to save his wife and other hostages from German terrorist Hans Gruber.

Stars: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia

Sequels: Die Hard 2 (1990); Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995); Live Free or Die Hard (2007); A Good Day to Die Hard (2013); Die Hard Year One (coming soon)


joe-pesci-goodfellas

GOODFELLAS

Year: 1990

Rating: R for strong language and bloody violence, drug use and some sexual content

Genre: Crime, drama, thriller

Summary: Henry Hill is a small time gangster, but he has bigger plans of moving up the mob hierarchy.

Stars: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci


reservoir-dogs

RESERVOIR DOGS

Year: 1992

Rating: R for strong violence and language

Genre: Crime, drama, thriller

Summary: After a jewelry heist goes wrong, the group members believe one is a police informant.

Stars: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi


thedavincicodepic

THE DA VINCI CODE

Year: 2006

Rating: PG-13 for disturbing images, violence, some nudity, thematic material, brief drug references and sexual content

Genre: Mystery, thriller

Summary: A murder inside the Louvre and clues in Da Vinci paintings lead to the discovery of a religious mystery protected by a secret society for two thousand years.

Stars: Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Jean Reno


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THE ROCK

Year: 1996

Rating: R for strong violence, language and a sex scene

Genre: Action, adventure, thriller

Summary: A chemist and an ex-con must save the tourists in Alcatraz prison from a group of rogue soldiers with chemical weapons.

Stars: Nicholas Cage, Sean Connery, Ed Harris


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THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS

Year: 1991

Rating: R for intense horror content, strong violence, some sexual references and language

Genre: Crime, drama, thriller

Summary: A young F.B.I. cadet must get help from in an incarcerated killer to catch another serial killer who skins his victims.

Stars: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A. Bonney

Sequels: Hannibal (2001); Red Dragon (2002); Hannibal Rising (2007)

TV Show: Hannibal (2013-2015)


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TRUE LIES

Year: 1994

Rating: R for a lot of action/violence and some language

Genre: Action, comedy, thriller

Summary: A fearless secret agent has his life turned upside down when he discovers his wife might be having an affair with a used car salesman posing as a spy.

Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis, Bill Paxton, Tom Arnold


INTRIGUING DRAMAS

few-good-men

A FEW GOOD MEN

Year: 1992

Rating: R for language

Genre: Drama, thriller 

Summary: After a private is killed by two marines, Lt. Commander JoAnne Galloway and Lt. Daniel Kaffee take the case into the courtroom when they suspect there’s something more to the seemingly clear-cut case.

Stars: Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, Jack Nicholson


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BRAVEHEART

Year: 1995

Rating: R for brutal medieval warfare

Genre: Biography, drama, history

Summary: Sir William Wallace decides to revolt against the cruel King Edward I of England after his secret bride is executed.

Stars: Mel Gibson, Patrick McGoohan, Sophie Marceau


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FORREST GUMP

Year: 1994

Rating: PG-13 for drug content, some sensuality, and war content

Genre: Comedy, drama

Summary: The very simple Forrest Gump goes through a great life, but everything he accomplishes doesn’t mean as much as his childhood sweetheart, Jenny Curran, means to him.

Stars: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Sally Field, Gary Sinise


good-will-hunting

GOOD WILL HUNTING

Year: 1997

Rating: R for strong language including some sex-related dialogue

Genre: Comedy, drama, romance

Summary: Will Hunting (Matt Damon), a troubled young man with a gift in mathematics, stumbles upon the help of a psychologist (Robin Williams) to find his way.

Stars: Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Robin Williams, Stellan Skarsgård, Minnie Driver


philadelphia-1PHILADELPHIA

Year: 1993

Rating: PG-13 for some graphic language and thematic material

Genre: Drama

Summary: A gay, HIV positive lawyer, Andrew Beckett, is fired from his firm in fear of contracting the disease, so he decides to sue them with the help of a homophobic lawyer.

Stars: Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Roberta Maxwell


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PULP FICTION

Year: 1994

Rating: R for strong graphic violence and drug use, pervasive strong language, and some sexuality

Genre: Crime, drama

Summary: The lives of two mob hit men, a boxer, a gangster’s wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption.

Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, Ving Rhames, Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer, Quentin Tarantino


rh

ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES

Year: 1991

Rating: PG-13 for sequences of strong medieval violence, drinking, language, and adult content

Genre: Action, adventure, drama, romance

Summary: Robin fights as an outlaw against the Sheriff of Nottingham when he returns to England.

Stars: Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman, Alan Rickman, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Christian Slater


stand_intro

STAND BY ME

Year: 1986

Rating: R for language

Genre: Adventure, drama

Summary: After the death of a friend, a writer recounts a boyhood journey to find the body of a missing boy.

Stars: Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O’Connell


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THE COLOR PURPLE

Year: 1985

Rating: PG-13 for intense thematic material, sexual material, brief nude images, and some disturbing content

Genre: Drama

Summary: A black Southern woman struggles to find her identity after suffering abuse from her father and others over four decades.

Stars: Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, Margaret Avery


brando-godfather-e1441810531302

THE GODFATHER

Year: 1972

Rating: R for bloody violence, some sexual content and brief nudity

Genre: Crime, drama

Summary: The aging leader of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his empire to his reluctant son.

Stars: Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, James Caan

Sequels: The Godfather: Part II (1974); The Godfather: Part III (1990)


martian-gallery3-gallery-image

THE MARTIAN

Year: 2015

Rating: PG-13 for some strong language, injury images, and brief nudity

Genre: Adventure, drama, sci-fi

Summary: An astronaut is presumed dead by his team, and must do whatever it takes to survive until he can be rescued.

Stars: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, Sean Bean, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan


shawshank-redemption-1

THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION

Year: 1994

Rating:  R for language and prison violence

Genre: Crime, drama

Summary: Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency.

Stars: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton


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TOP GUN

Year: 1986

Rating: PG for intense war violence, a scene of sensuality, language throughout and drinking

Genre: Action, drama, romance

Summary: As students at the United States Navy’s elite fighter weapons school compete to be best in the class, one daring young pilot learns a few things from a civilian instructor that are not taught in the classroom.

Stars: Tom Cruise, Anthony Edwards, Kelly McGillis, Tim Robbins


POPULAR FRANCHISES

harry-potter-and-the-sorcerers-stone

HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE

Year: 2001

Rating: PG for some scary moments and mild language

Genre: Adventure, fantasy

Summary: After finding out he’s a wizard, Harry Potter finds new friends and adventure at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Alan Rickman, Tom Felton, Richard Harris

Sequels: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002); Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004); Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005); Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007); Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009); Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010); Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)

Prequel: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016); Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2 (coming in 2018)


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INDIANA JONES: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK

Year: 1981

Rating: PG for moderate violence and mild language

Genre: Action, adventure

Summary: Archaeologist Indiana Jones must find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis.

Stars: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman

Sequels: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984); Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989); Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

TV Show Spin-Off: The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (1992-1993)


jaws

JAWS

Year: 1975

Rating: PG for intense sequences of disturbing violence, brief sensuality, some nudity, and drug content

Genre: Adventure, drama, thriller

Summary: A monster-sized great white shark terrorizes the beaches of a New England town and it’s up to the sheriff, a marine biologist, and a former seaman to hunt it down.

Stars: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss

Sequels: Jaws 2 (1978); Jaws 3-D (1983); Jaws: The Revenge (1987)


jurassic-7

JURASSIC PARK

Year: 1993

Rating: PG-13 for intense sci-fi terror

Genre: Adventure, sci-fi, thriller

Summary: A dinosaur park has a breakdown, causing the dinosaurs to run around free and terrorize the visitors.

Stars: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum

Sequels: The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997); Jurassic Park III (2001); Jurassic World (2015); Jurassic World 2 (coming in 2018)


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MEN IN BLACK

Year: 1997

Rating: PG-13 for language and sci-fi violence

Genre: Adventure, comedy, sci-fi

Summary: A police officer joins a secret government organization that deals with extraterrestrials.

Stars: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Linda Fiorentino, Vincent D’Onofrio

Sequels: Men in Black II (2002); Men in Black 3 (2012)

TV Show: Men in Black: The Series (1997-2001)


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PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL

Year: 2003

Rating: PG-13 for action/adventure violence

Genre: Action, adventure, fantasy

Summary: Captain Jack Sparrow and blacksmith Will Turner go on a quest to save the governor’s daughter from cursed pirates.

Stars: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Kiera Knightley, Geoffrey Rush

Sequels: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006); Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007); Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011); Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (coming May 26, 2017); Pirates of the Caribbean 6 (in production)


rocky-stallone-weathers

ROCKY

Year: 1976

Rating: PG

Genre: Drama, sport

Summary: A small-time boxer gets a one-time shot at fighting in a heavy-weight championship.

Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Taila Shire, Burt Young

Sequels: Rocky II (1979); Rocky III (1982); Rocky IV (1985); Rocky V (1995); Rocky Balboa (2006); Creed (2015)


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STAR WARS: EPISODE IV – A NEW HOPE

Year: 1977

Rating: PG for sci-fi violence and brief mild language

Genre: Action, adventure, sci-fi

Summary: Luke Skywalker goes on a mission to save Princess Leia and destroy the Empire’s deadly weapon with the help of a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, two droids, and a wookie.

Stars: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Alec Guinness,

Sequels: Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980); Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983); Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999); Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002); Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005); Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015)

Spin-Off: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

In the Works: Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi in December 2017; Han Solo Prequel in 2018; Star Wars: Episode IX in 2019


avengers-movie-theme-song-5

THE AVENGERS

Year: 2012

Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action throughout, and a mild drug reference

Genre: Action, sci-fi

Summary: Earth’s mightiest heroes must come together and learn to fight as a team if they are to stop the mischievous Loki and his alien army from enslaving humanity.

Stars: Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleson

Sequels: Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015); Avengers: Infinity War (coming in 2018); Avengers Movie (coming in 2019)

TV Show Spin-Off: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013-present)


hunger_games1

THE HUNGER GAMES

Year: 2012

Rating: PG-13 for intense violent thematic material and disturbing images – all involving teens

Genre: Action, sci-fi, thriller

Summary: Katniss Everdeen takes her sister’s place in a televised fight to the death known as The Hunger Games.

Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci

Sequels: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013); The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014); The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (2015)


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You made it through this incredibly long post! Good job. Now here’s a picture of my cat trying to “help” me take the feature picture.

Also, keep in mind that the modern-day system of G, PG (originally M), R, and NC-17 (originally X) wasn’t introduced until 1968 and the PG-13 rating wasn’t introduced until 1984 (FilmRatings.com).

What’s on your list of must-sees? Let me know in the comments!

Happy watching!

xx, Hannah

All information gathered from IMDb.com and RottenTomatoes.com. The first and last pictures of the scattered DVDs are mine. The movie screenshots are not mine.
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19 thoughts on “111 Must-See Movies

  1. Hey! I saw your comment on First Friday! We’re based out of Maryland, so its nice to see someone from (kinda) our neighborhood.

    Love your blogs format, and you’re definitely getting the most out of your widgets!

    My only thought was on the length of the article. 111 movies is a LOT to get through, and you had them grouped so perfectly that I almost felt like each category could have been its own post. Other than that, love your blog! Best of luck!

    -John

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It seems like our styles aren’t quite the same but some of the titles in my, “Have you seen…” that I will try my best to force on anyone sticking around at length are as follows: American Beauty. I Heart Huckabees. A Scanner Darkly. Fight Club. Sasquatch Gang. Princess Mononoke. My Neighbor Totoro. All Lord of the Rings (but the Hobbit movies can go stuff themselves). Knights of Badassdom. Mama. The Babadook. El Orfanato. Amelie. MicMacs. Lucky Number Slevin. Seven.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been wanting to see American Beauty, Fight Club, and the Lord of the Rings movies. I’ll definitely have to check out the other ones though, especially Mama, The Babadook, and Amelie.

      Like

      1. Doooo iiiit! And tell me what you think. American Beauty is an absolute number one. It’s not the only number one…lol but it’s amazing! And you really can’t beat Lord of the Rings. Honestly, Warcraft was equally impressive, but I think that was partly because I expected it to be silly. (I’ve seen a looooooot of movies.) Amelie is goshdarn adorable!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Loved flicking through this post although -gasp- no Lord Of The Rings? Also, I am not ashamed to say National Treasure + sequel are up there on my list of favourite films ….. are they really making a third one because I keep hearing this rumour and am constantly disappointed!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been meaning to see the Lord of the Rings for so long! And when I researched it said that they were working on a script for the 3rd movie, but I guess they could still pull out of it. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

      Liked by 1 person

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