I was trying to think of some catchy phrase, like “30 Before You’re 20” but I just couldn’t do it. But, per our conversation this morning, and other occasions when I’ve referenced some pop culture icon, and you all haven’t had a clue, I decided to throw together a quick list of movies that you should watch for a number of reasons. The only criteria was that the movies be PG-13 or less, and they have to entertain, inform, or persuade you one way or another — or just ease your heart for awhile. And it’s always fun to watch a Tom Cruise movie before he went crazy. And anything with John Cusak is a good time. There are a lot of great movies out there that are rated R, but they just can’t be listed here.
If you want to know more why I put these ones on here, or challenge my choices, by all means, post a comment, and we’ll discuss it!
This list is far from complete, but it’s a good start. I think you should develop a ‘visual and cultural vocabulary,’ and understanding the different genres of films without special effects, or the R rating may help you just focus on the story, the epic, or just have fun. Please note: the documentaries are not because I agree or disagree with the message. Documentaries are facts with bias. You do need to know what all the hullabaloo is about when it comes the current issues of the day.
I have put a * by the movies that are made for a rainy day and some popcorn.
- Princess Mononoke: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119698/
- Spirited Away: http://www.imdb.com/find?s=all&q=Spirited+Away
- Wizard of Oz: http://www.imdb.com/find?s=all&q=Wizard+of+Oz
- *Lord of the Rings trilogy: http://www.imdb.com/find?s=all&q=Lord+of+the+Rings
- *Harry Potter: http://www.imdb.com/find?s=all&q=Harry+Potter (but read the books first!)
- *Star Wars – the first three http://www.imdb.com/find?s=all&q=Star+Wars
- *Raiders of the Lost Ark series – the first three, not the 2008 version: http://www.imdb.com/find?s=all&q=raiders+of+the+lost+ark
- *One very old Disney movie: Snow White, Cinderella, Fantasia, Bambi: http://www.imdb.com/find?s=all&q=snow+white
- *Princess Bride: http://www.imdb.com/find?s=all&q=Princess+Bride
- Say Anything: http://www.imdb.com/find?s=all&q=Princess+Bride
- The Breakfast Club: http://www.imdb.com/find?s=all&q=breakfast+club
- Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091042/
- Based on great writers: Shakespeare: Ten Things I Hate About You: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0147800/
- Based on great writers: Jane Austen: Clueless: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112697/
- 400 Blows (Les quatre cents coup) – or one “foreign art” film
- Napolean Dynamite: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0374900/
- Who Killed the Electric Car?: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0489037/
- An Inconvenient Truth: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0497116/
- To Kill A Mockingbird: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056592/
- *Something, anything by Alfred Hitchcock: Psycho, North by Northwest, or Rear Window: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000033/
- Big 1960s Production Movies: Cleopatra/Ben-Hur/Spartacus/The Ten Commandments: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0054331/
- Some Like It Hot: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053291/
- *One old-fashioned horror movie, such as Dracula, Frankenstein, the original Mummy, The Blob, etc.
- *The Fifth Element: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119116/
- *Far and Away: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104231/
- Forest Gump: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109830/
- Beetlejuice: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094721/
- What’s Eating Gilbert Grape: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0108550/
- Edward Scissorhands: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099487/
- Nightmare Before Christmas: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107688/
- Addendum: A Christmas Story
- Akeelah and the Bee
- The original Grinch Who Stole Christmas
- A Charlie Brown Christmas
- The original Clash of the Titans