There are some films that you always have to stop on and watch when endlessly scrolling through TV. Movies you pop in the DVD player so many times that your disc is about ready to crack in half. We all complain about how many times a certain movie is replayed again and again, but we all know we could watch them every day of the week and still sit through the entire thing like it’s our first time viewing.
Today we’ll be counting down the classic flicks that we never get tired of watching. These timeless gems can either be side-splitting comedies that never cease to make us smile, or compelling dramas that continuously enthral us. While there’s an endless amount to choose from, we’re focusing on films which can stand on their own without setting up a following story. That means as much as we love revisiting the Skywalker saga in Star Wars or Frodo’s journey in Lord of the Rings, you won’t see them on this list.
Here are the 20 Movies We Never Get Tired of Watching.
20. The Naked Gun
No matter how many times you watch The Naked Gun, you can always crack a smile at the foolish antics of Detective Frank Drebin. Whether it’s blowing up his own car, destroying a priceless aquarium or inciting a full on riot at a major league baseball game, it’s hard not to bust a gut at his clumsy and hilarious police work.
No one is to thank more for this sensational spinoff of Police Squad than the late, great Leslie Nielsen himself, who is the ultimate “straight man” in comedic history. Even when he’s performing the goofiest of acts, Nielsen somehow keeps his composure, which makes his bumbling actions all the more insane. It’s a movie with an endless supply of gags fired off so quickly that repeat viewings are almost a must due to the high chance you missed some.
The Naked Gun was so popular that it spawned two sequels, which in all honesty are just as funny as the original. They’re movies that, nearly 30 years later, are still just as much fun to watch as when they were released.
19. The Breakfast Club
In the world of teen dramadies, it’s almost impossible to forget about The Breakfast Club. John Hughes’ coming of age tale about five different high school students remains just as relevant today as when it was released back in 1985.
That timelessness is in large part due to Hughes’ fantastic writing. It’s easy to relate to at least one of the members of the Breakfast Club, if not all five. They all face problems and tribulations that most of us have had to deal with in that socially awkward time. Whether it’s Andrew’s pressure with grades, Claire’s determination to fit in, or Bender’s deterring persona of a criminal, the Breakfast Club break down each of their social walls during that fateful detention on a Saturday.
It’s a movie that’s still great on repeat viewing, perhaps because it makes us reminisce about what we might have done differently in high school. That’s what makes The Breakfast Club not only entertaining but, on some level, cathartic.
18. Mean Girls
Speaking of teen comedies, we’d be liars if we said the deplorable actions of Regina George and her “army of skanks” in 2004’s Mean Girls ever get tiring. Written by SNL superstar Tina Fey, this hilarious and surprisingly smart comedy tells the story of the new girl in school, Cady Heron (pronounced ‘Katie’), who has just moved back into the States from Africa. Growing up in a different continent throws poor Cady for a loop as she tries to fit in, and befriends the “Plastics”, the snobby privileged hotties that run the school.
Fey’s script is just as clever as it is funny. The plot may appear to be a generic teenager fish-out-of-water story, and it is, but the wonderful cast of players keeps the plot fresh and unique. Like Heathers, Mean Girls is a convincing and, for the most part, realistic look at high school and the desperation of trying to find a clique to fit into. Besides a few awkward moments, this is a fun and feel-good movie with a great lesson, which keeps the replay value on this teen comedy high, no matter what age you’re watching it at.
Who doesn’t love a good creature-feature?
Tremors tells the tale of a small isolated town in the middle of the desert being terrorized by giant underground creatures, dubbed by the local store owner as “Graboids”. These gigantic sandworms can sense vibrations in the dirt, popping up from underground and latching onto their victims with their snake-like tentacles.
The movie is a joyous mix of some great action and off-beat humor. The two leads, played by Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward, have undeniable chemistry as two buddy handymen who square off against the mutant sandworms. The fact that the film also stars Michael Gross as gun-loving paranoid survivalist, Burt Gummer, is just an added bonus. What the movie lacks in nuance, it more than makes up for with its charisma and charm. Tremors is a cult classic that doesn’t take itself too seriously, something that a lot of modern blockbusters could afford to try.
16. Fight Club
David Fincher’s stylized look at non-conformity, Fight Club is a modern day classic that audiences still can’t get enough of. In the film, based on the equally fantastic novel by Chuck Palahniuk, Edward Norton plays an insomniac office worker whose life is forever changed when he crosses paths with a traveling soap-salesman, Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt). To relieve some stress, the two form an underground fight club that quickly evolves into a dangerous cult that spirals out of control.
Featuring one of the most brilliant twists in all of cinema, it’s a blast to go back and re-watch Fight Club, looking for clues and hints at the impending doom. We won’t spoil the ending here, but it’s one that makes you want to revisit the film just to figure out what it all meant. It doesn’t hurt that it features stellar performances from Norton and Pitt, as well as fantastic supporting turns from rocker Meatloaf and the Joker himself, Jared Leto.
What really makes Fight Club so re-watchable are the open-ended discussions about individualism between the Narrator and Tyler Durden. The movie is full of philosophical conundrums that make us scratch our heads, and reach for our remotes every time we see it on.
15. Back to the Future
If you were to ask someone what their favorite movie from the ’80s is, chances are you would get a long string of answers, but we’re willing to bet that Back to the Future would pop up more often than not. Robert Zemeckis’ time traveling adventure/comedy is a film that is adored by old and new fans alike since its release more than thirty years ago.
What keeps us from getting tired of Back to the Future? Well, let’s start with that fantastic script by Zemeckis and Bob Gale, one that never misses a beat and has spawned more one liners than a Rocky movie. Let’s also throw in the electric chemistry between Michael J. Fox as Marty and Christopher Lloyd’s Doc Brown, powerful enough to generate 1.21 gigwatts. And last but not least, let’s take into account that it has the coolest time traveling machine in any movie ever: a super-charged DeLorean with all the bells and whistles, including a flux capacitor.
Add all of that up and you have an adventure that practically leaps off the screen. It seems that with every new viewing, we’re going back in time to watch this classic for the first time all over again.
14. The Blues Brothers
Most film buffs would say that The Blues Brothers, released in 1980, is still the best SNL movie based on a sketch, and we would have to agree.
The adventures of Jake and Elroy Blues, who are on a “mission from God” to put their old band back together, never seem to get old. They run over Nazis, get into high-speed pursuits with the cops, avoid assassination attempts from Jake’s former flame, and, between all that, manage to find the time to perform some fantastic blues music with everyone from Aretha Franklin to Ray Charles.
The quick pace and bouncy script is courtesy of Dan Aykroyd and director John Landis, while the funniest improv moments can be credited to none other than John Belushi. There are so many classic comedic scenes in this movie, we could stretch this entry out into entire pages (“How much for the women?”). Not just funny, The Blues Brothers also has some of the best choreographed car chases ever put to screen. A grand total of 103 cars were wrecked during filming, a world record at that time! Between the comedy, the action and the stellar soundtrack, there’s a little something for everyone to keep coming back to in The Blues Brothers.
13. The Wizard of Oz
There’s no place like home, and of course there’s no movie like The Wizard of Oz. The ultimate family/fantasy adventure, Oz is a movie that everyone has to watch at least once, and then a few times after.
After Dorothy’s house is swept up by a twister, the naïve farm girl, and the audience themselves, open the door to the wonderful land of Oz: a kaleidoscope of the strange, bizarre and fantastical. Along her journey to find a powerful wizard who could bring her back home, she meets the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion, characters that have cemented themselves in popular culture.
There’s no great mystery to see why audiences keep coming back to The Wizard of Oz since its release in 1939. The set designs and costumes are absolutely gorgeous, harkening back to the days of old Hollywood, with a story about being homesick that everyone can relate to. It is both nostalgic and entertaining revisiting this classic, which will no doubt still be remembered a hundred years down the yellow brick road.
12. The Shawshank Redemption
Who would have thought that a story about a group of common prison inmates would become one of the most inspirational movies of all time? Frank Darabont’s The Shawshank Redemption did just that, and although it initially wasn’t a breakout success, it has gone on to become one of the most revisited and beloved films in history.
Tim Robbins plays Andy Dufresne, an inmate wrongfully convicted of murdering his wife and her lover. During his time in prison he forms a lifelong friendship with his fellow inmate Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding, played by Morgan Freeman. Their bond is the glue that holds the movie together as the two attempt to find redemption and solace in a place that can so easily break a man’s spirit.
While The Shawshank Redemption is set in a prison, it’s one of the most uplifting tales ever told. It’s hard not to watch the final few minutes without a giant smile coming over your face. Perhaps it is because of its universal message of friendship, and the phenomenal performances from Robbins and Freeman, that Shawshank will remain a beloved classic generations from now.
11. Forrest Gump
Considered by many to be one of the most compelling films of all time, and containing one of Tom Hank’s best performances, Forrest Gump is a feel-good romp capable of not only entertaining, but lifting your spirits. If you’re feeling glum, there’s no better cure for the blues than popping in this movie and revisiting Forrest, Jenny, and of course, Lt. Dan.
Hanks plays the simple minded Forrest, who, while not intelligent, has the best intentions that end up placing him in the most significant events in U.S. history. As a hero, Forrest is instantly likable and what can be said that hasn’t been already of Hanks’ masterful performance? Everything, from his Southern drawl to his awkward expressions, makes Gump one of the most recognizable characters in all of cinema.
The movie went on to win six Academy Awards and, thanks to its undying message about forging one’s own destiny and true love, remains a staple among movie fans. Forrest Gump is a magical piece of film that we continually revisit because, unlike a box of chocolates, you always know what you’re going to get.
10. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Forrest Gump may put a sentimental smile on your face, but if you want to spend a couple hours laughing uncontrollably until snot shoots out your nose, look no further than Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, and Terry Gilliam are at the top of their game here as bumbling knights of the round table that are on endless quest to find the Holy Grail. Along the way they fight flesh-eating rabbits, recount the cowardly actions of Sir Robin, and eventually get themselves arrested by the police when accused of murder.
The film is endless collage of brilliant medieval skits that put it in the running for the most quoted movie of all time. Between the wacky subtitled opening credits, the Knights who say “Ni,” and the confounding Holy Hand Grenade, it’s a non-stop marathon of gags and laughs that keeps the viewer in stitches. It would be a hard task to find a film that’s considered sillier than The Holy Grail, or one that has an incredible sense of humor but is still intellectual at heart.
9. Jurassic Park
We could make a whole list of Steven Spielberg movies that we could never get tired of watching, but for the purpose of this collection, we decided to go with his 1993 effort Jurassic Park, which first made us believe that dinosaurs could exist in the real world.
The magic of seeing these prehistoric giants stomp across a television screen is just as powerful as when we first saw it in movie theaters 23 years ago. The effects have held up surprisingly well by seamlessly blending the use of practical models with digitalized computer animation. In addition to the breathtaking visuals, there’s the compelling band of characters, including Jeff Goldblum’s charismatic Dr. Malcolm and Bob Peck’s mysterious hunter Muldoon, who keep the viewer invested in the story.
No matter how many times we’ve seen Jurassic Park, it’s always thrilling watching a T-Rex furiously chase down a jeep or a gang of Velociraptors relentlessly stalk a pair of kids. You can tell that Spielberg and company spared no expense to create an exciting adventure that kept us on the edge of our seats from start to finish and that continues to amaze today.
No one loves Ridley Scott’s Alien more than us at Screen Rant, but if we had to pick a movie from the franchise that we could quote every word from, than we would have to go with James Cameron’s sequel, Aliens. The nonstop thrill ride has become a staple, not just for action junkies, but for anyone looking for a well-told story with memorable characters.
The film picks up some time after the events of the first movie– 57 years to be precise– with Ripley journeying back to LV-426 to combat the dangerous breed of Xenomorphs who have taken control of a human colony. This time she’s going back with superior fire power and a whole squad of Colonial Marines, although they are little compared to the race of acid-spewing aliens.
Upon revisiting Aliens you’ll notice that there isn’t as much action as you might remember. Rather, Cameron saves those moments by building up the characters so that, when the bullets start flying and the chestbursters start bursting, we care deeply about the outcome. Its focus on narrative is something that is sorely lacking in blockbusters today, and hopefully something that they might eventually come back to.
7. Die Hard
While Die Hard’s formula has been borrowed by everything from the likes of Cliffhanger to Olympus Has Fallen, at the end of the day, there is only one John McClane. When presented with overwhelming odds, this rugged NYPD cop kicks ass first and asks questions later. An unorthodox Christmas movie, McClane’s holiday vacation gets off to a bad start when his estranged wife’s business is overtaken by a gang of ruthless criminals, led by the devilish Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman).
Out of his element, but never out of the fight, McClane is the average action hero that viewers could have a beer with. Though Schwarzenegger and Stallone were the undisputed kings of shoot-‘em-ups, as much as they kicked ass, they always appeared to be invincible fighting machines (and sometimes, they were). McClane is a regular guy; wisecracking, but also vulnerable. That vulnerability paid off, making Die Hard one of the most re-watched action flicks of all time. With an endless number of stunts, explosions, shoot outs, and enough one-liners to fill ten movies, we’ll never get tired of watching John McClane “yippee ki-yay” into the sunset.
6. Pulp Fiction
In 1994, Quentin Tarantino had released his most experimental film yet, Pulp Fiction. A story presented in a non-linear fashion, it weaves the tale of two low-level hitmen, a gangster’s wife, a down-on-his-luck boxer, and a pair of bandits who have recently decided to exclusively rob diners. A tall order for any director, but in Tarantino’s hands Pulp Fiction went on to become a masterpiece of filmmaking; blending dark comedy, intense action, and endless pop culture references.
Pulp Fiction is a movie that somehow still seems brand new on each viewing. Thanks to its unorthodox storytelling, it’s fun to put the pieces together on your third, fourth, or even tenth go around. The performances by John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Tim Roth, and Bruce Willis, among others, are all fantastic, with dialogue as cool as the characters themselves. Tarantino is the master of witty, slick dialogue and it’s never more apparent than when Vincent and Jules get into debates about hamburgers and foot massages. Pulp Fiction is a movie that oozes cool and keeps you coming back, if only to endlessly ponder what was in that mysterious briefcase.
5. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
What kid didn’t want to be Ferris Bueller growing up? Everybody can dig Ferris’ vibe whether it’s the “sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wastoids, dweebies, dickheads – they all adore him. They think he’s a righteous dude.”
John Hughes’ 1986 classic stars Matthew Broderick as Ferris, a precocious high schooler who decides to play hooky one day. He invites, or rather forces, his best buddy Cameron to go along with him, and busts his high school sweetheart Sloan out of the class. Together, the three take Cameron’s father’s very choice Ferrari into the city of Chicago for a whole day of goofing off, while the dastardly Principle Rooney is hot on their trail.
Like almost all of Hughes’ films, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a laugh riot, but also accurately depicts the confusing time that is high school. Ferris may be on the ball, but most all the other characters have no clue how to live life and learn a thing or two from our titular hero. Ferris may be a slacker, but he’s a slacker with goals and aspirations, as warped as they may be. His positive outlook on life is both humorous and inspirational, as he sneaks his way into fancy restaurants and hijacks parade floats. We can’t imagine ever getting tired of this classic tale, which teaches us not to take life too seriously. Ferris Bueller, you’re our hero.
Just like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off made everyone want to play hooky, Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas made everyone want to be a gangster. This authentic look at the mob life, seen through the eyes of outsider Henry Hill, makes the criminal life seem so appealing that we wish we were part of it. You know, except for the cop busts, the brutal violence, and the various killings.
What makes this wise-guy flick so appealing? It’s largely due to the lightning-fast pace set up by Scorsese. The seasoned director creates one enthralling scene after another, including Joe Pesci’s tension inducing rant on why he’s so funny, and Henry Hill’s sporadic coke-fueled nightmare in the third act. All of the characters, especially Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, and Pesci, are so convincing in their roles you forget you’re watching a movie and start to believe it’s a real life depiction of gangsters simply doing their thing.
Like Hill says, it all becomes routine to the point where it seems normal. And that’s Goodfellas biggest advantage: it’s an inside look at the mob like never before. It’s a secret glance into the life we all wish we had, and at the same time, thank God that we don’t.
When Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson got together to strap on their proton packs for 1984’s Ghostbusters, a type of movie magic struck that only comes around once every few years. Rarely does a film get this kind of cast with so much chemistry and deliver a movie we will never get sick of.
The dynamic between the four Ghostbusters is really the glue that keeps the movie together. It’s a blast to watch Murray’s cynical Dr. Venkman sarcastically insult Ramis’ Egon, or Ayroyd’s Dr. Stantz try and explain scientific theories to the team using a Twinkie. Sigourney Weaver plays a convincing part as Dana Barrette, and Rick Moranis is an absolute scene stealer as her doofus neighbor Louis Tully.
While everyone in the cast is phenomenal, they are working from a brilliant script written by Aykroyd and Ramis themselves. The movie somehow finds that perfect balance between a supernatural adventure, and an off-beat comedy as our heroes fight giant marshmallow men while constantly cracking jokes. Though the recent reboot was enjoyable, there will always be a special place in our hearts for the original Ghostbusting team.
2. The Big Lebowski
Some would complain that The Big Lebowski tells a story that doesn’t exactly go anywhere. While that might be true, it’s exactly the reason why we love it so much. The Coen Brothers’ quirky film about Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski is filled with irregular humor and unusual scenarios that are totally unique and outrageous.
It’s a chain of events that are set off when the Dude’s rug is urinated on by a couple thugs who mistake him for a millionaire. That catalyst sends our stoner hero on a bizarre adventure. The Dude brings his buddies Walter and Donnie along for the ride as they attempt to solve a mystery that, well, isn’t really a mystery. If you’re looking for a straightforward plot that resolves itself by the third act, you might want to look elsewhere. But those who enjoy the surreal comedy and fantastic performances (especially from John Goodman as Walter) will keep pulling this cult classic off their shelf to re-watch until the end of time.
1. Dazed and Confused
“Alright, alright, alright.” With so many classics up for nomination, this was a tough call, but in the end we just had to go with Richard Linklater’s seminal coming-of-age tale set in the ’70s, Dazed and Confused. A love letter to the far-out decade, it has replay value through the roof for the simple fact that it’s not just a movie: it’s hanging out with a bunch of old friends.
From the opening shot of an orange GTO riding around a high school parking lot set to Aerosmith’s “Sweet Emotion”, Linklater’s film transports you back to the ’70s on the last day of school. High school kids are hazing freshmen, getting wasted, getting high, and just cruising around to see what’s going on. It perfectly recreates the high school experience so vividly that it’s like you’re actually there. That nostalgia is brought to life by a fantastic cast of characters like Jason London’s easy-going Pink, Ben Affleck’s hotheaded O’Banion, and, of course, the star of the show, Matthew McConaughey’s slacker Wooderson, who is just coasting through life.
For a film that recollects not just the ’70s experience, but a state of mind, Dazed and Confused will always remain timeless, no matter how many times you wish to revisit it. In the words of the great Wooderson himself, that’s what we love about Dazed and Confused, man: we get older and it stays the same age.
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