Classic Movies That Everyone Should Watch

In the past century, Hollywood has given us unforgettable classic movies with different ranges in genre and critical acclaim. Whether you are a classic movie buff or perhaps a novice who just wants to get a taste of the film industry—here is a list of movies everyone should watch at least once in their lifetime. Think of this list as a primer in film history ranging from 1946 to 2010.

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

It’s a Wonderful Life is considered one of the most inspirational movies and has become synonymous with Christmas. The film starts with George Baily played by James Stewart who has given up on his dream to help other people in his community, and to whom an Angel helps him what life should have been like if he had never existed. It’s a wonderful life still holds up over the years as one of the ageless movies.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey deals with technology, artificial intelligence, extraterrestrial life, and the abstract theme of mystery and science fiction. The story follows a voyage to Jupiter with Hal a sentient computer when a large monolith affecting human evolution is found beneath the surface of the moon.

The Godfather (1972)

The Godfather is Francis Ford Cappola’s magnum opus of the Mafia genre. Godfather is the adaptation of Mario Puzo’s novel by the same name, follow’s the story of a powerful immigrant Corleone family, where Vito Corleone passes the mantel to this son, Michael. Godfather’s great story, casting, and direction all work together to create one of the greatest films of all time.

Blade Runner (1982)

Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner with its dystopian future with a noir-inspired aesthetic and a score by Vangelis makes Blade Runner an era-defining classic.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (1966)

Sergio Leone’s The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly follows two men in a bounty hunting scam in an alliance with a third to a remote cemetery in order to unearth a fortune in gold.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

This movie is a comedic setup of the grim realities of the middle ages told through the story of King Arthur. We follow King Arthur accompanied by his trusty servant Patsy as they set on a quest for the Holy Grail, during their Journey they face many horrors, including a persistent Black Knight, a three-headed giant, and many others.

Schindler’s List (1993)

Steven Spielberg’s story of Oskar Schindler, a German industrialist who gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by Nazis is a powerful and heartbreaking story.

Jaws (1975)

Steven Spielberg’s Jaws is one of the most suspenseful movies of all time. It’s a story of a killer shark who unleashes chaos on the beach community of Long Island. This movie’s excellent creature design and cinematography took the popular thriller to another level.

Alien (1979)

Ridley Scott’s Alien is a masterpiece with its subversive gender politics, with HR Giger’s creature design creating a nightmarish vision of hostility and one of cinema’s most unforgettable pieces of art.

The Matrix (1999)

Wachowski’s sci-fi adventure starring Keanu Reeves depicts a dystopian future in which humanity is trapped inside a simulated reality. We follow a computer hacker by the name of Neo who discovers the alarm truth that the life he knows is an elaborate deception created by a super evil cyber-intelligence.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

This movie has cemented itself as a universal favorite. It tells the story of banker Andy Dufresne, who is sentenced to life in Shawshank for the murder of his befriends a fixer Red, these two imprisoned men eventually find redemption through acts of common decency.

Pulp Fiction (1994)

Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction changed the movies by putting dozens of references and genres and turning them into something different.

Inception (2010)

Inception may not be an old movie but it’s a classic, no question asked. Inception is revolutionary for the way it is beautifully shot, expertly crafted, and memorable set pieces that create wonder and awe on the big screen.

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