In Catholic School World (the world I lived in for 17 years), you “graduate” from 8th grade. For me, that was 2002. This was a really fantastic year for movies so I had a tough time choosing. There were a lot of my all time “I watch this movie at least 4x a year” movies so here we go.
Whoa. Okay. Just diving in here. We loosely learned about The Holocaust when I was in 6th grade (through the book Number the Stars) but I don’t recall going over it in depth until 8th grade, when we read The Diary of Anne Frank. This movie is on this list because it was probably the first incredibly moving film that I ever watched. Adrien Brody did a fantastic job. I understood more about the Holocaust after watching this because I got to have a more adult perspective (instead of Anne’s more childlike outlook). My mom and I watched this and I remember feeling things I never felt before and the movie made me so uncomfortable but it also forced me to really start seeing that history isn’t kind. It’s not something I’d ever watch again but it’s definitely a required watch before you die.
Okay now that I’ve made you sad, let’s talk about an adorable love story. Tuck Everlasting was a book, but I preferred the movie because Jonathan Jackson was just soooooooo dreamy. If you haven’t heard of this great family friendly film, it’s about a young girl who meets a boy and falls in love. But he’s not any regular boy… He never ages (he’s not a vampire, this isn’t Twilight). Now Winnie has to make the choice. Will she do what it takes to stay with Tuck?
Is this movie great? No. It’s on this list because I distinctly remember seeing it in theaters and thinking about how awesome it was that JLo took control of her life and said “enough” to her abusive husband. I was pretty young and seeing this movie really did leave an impression. It’s about a woman who gets stuck in an abusive relationship and she gets herself out by being a complete badass. God I love JLo.
I love horror movies. Scratch that, I love pre-2010s horror movies cause wow does the horror genre suck now or what? I feel like The Ring gets a lot of hate, but it actually is a great horror movie. Mysterious deaths? Check. Creepy kid? Double check. Adheres to its own rules? Check (you heard me, It Follows). If you don’t know, this is a movie about a VHS tape (what’s that?) that, when you watch it, guarantees that you’ll die in 7 days. It actually had a good plot that “made sense” and a competent lead who did anything they could to figure it out. They had some good jump scares and I’m just, in general, sticking by my choice here. It’s solid.
Hahahaha wow was I way too young to watch this movie but I definitely saw it in theaters. My sister must have snuck me in. This also was a book (which I really enjoyed) and I think the movie did it justice. I randomly think about this movie several times a month, mostly due to the suitcase artwork that Astrid makes. This movie is about a narcissistic mother whose daughter is bounced around from foster home to foster home, trying to find herself. It’s a wild ride (probably one that’s relatable to a lot of foster kids) and very very sad. It’s a lot to take it, but definitely worth watching before you die.
This. Soundtrack. It’s GREAT. Ghost Ship is another horror movie that gets a lot of crap but is genuinely pretty good. I respect horror movies that adhere to their own rules (still looking at you, It Follows), have an appropriate amount of jump scares, has at least one creepy kid, and has a great cast. This movie fills it all. The whole plot is pretty much in the title. It’s a ghost ship that a salvage crew comes across. They try to take the gold they find off the ship but the ghosts of the ship have another plan. Idk why it only has 5/10 stars, y’all are haters.
I love Kirsten Stewart. I don’t care what you say about Twilight cause she’s a great actress and you can sit your butt down. Thanks. Anyway, she’s in Panic Room and I think she’s about 12. For those who somehow have not seen Panic Room, it’s about a mother (Jodie Foster) and daughter (KStew) who move into a new house that has a super creepy panic room. On the first night, 3 men break in (thinking it’s empty) because they believe there’s hidden treasure from the previous inhabitant. It’s EDGE OF YOUR SEAT fun. I think that I didn’t breathe for at least 20 minutes at one point. Also lol Dwight Yoakam is in this (if you don’t know who that is, you clearly don’t have a redneck dad).
Holy crap do I love this movie. Confession: I haven’t seen all of these movies but I would love to (hear that Netflix?). I’m sure you know about this but this movie is about a virus that spreads and make people basically zombies. The movie starts the whole infection down below the ground, in the Umbrella Corporation. Alice (our leading lady, Mila Jovovich) gets her memory taken away but is taken down to the lab to help figure out what’s going on. Hands down my favorite zombie like movie. I know it’s a video game and my nerd card can be taken away because I’ve never played any.
My big fat greek wedding
OBVIOUSLY. For those who don’t know, I’m Greek. When this movie came out, my aunt was able to secure tickets early because they were giving them out to Greek people. This was a theater full of Greek people and we LOVED it. Yes, this is how it is to be Greek (although, my family is not Greek Orthodox). It’s so hilariously accurate. I feel like everyone reading this has watched this movie and the whole plot is the title. It’s about a big fat Greek wedding. Also, hi Aiden I love you (you haven’t seen Sex in the City?).
The Count of monte cristo
This is one of my top 5 favorite movies of all time. I could probably watch this movie everyday for a year and still love it. It’s just so well done. I know this was also a book (… that I’ve tried to read at least 2 times). It’s so well cast and HELLO YOUNG HENRY CAVILL PLEASE MARRY ME! The original Dumbledore is in this, Jesus is in it, the guy from Momento, Luis Guzman… Bravo on the cast. Seriously, if you haven’t seen this one, you need to. Revenge, romance, sword fights, beautiful scenery, jealousy… It’s got it all.
Honorable Mentions: Sweet Home Alabama, 8 Mile, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Murder by Numbers, A Walk to Remember, New Guy
Which one of these was your favorite?