1. It’s Complicated
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance.
Cast: Meryl Streep, Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin.
After being divorced and living apart for many years, an ex-couple find themselves attracted to each other at their son’s college graduation. Their personal lives and current relationships are disrupted after they find it hard to keep their hands off each other. The plot is not complicated and the presence of Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin on screen together is enough to give this movie the hype it deserves. While the scenario is complicated for both of the characters, it is a simple and refreshing recipe to wipe out boredom.
2. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Cast: Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara.
From director John Hughes (The Breakfast Club, Home Alone), this movie is an irresistible ode to youthful energy and hitting boredom in the face. A trio of the best-dressed kids from the 80s always find it hard to stick in high school for long and the principal is hell-bent on catching them red-handed on one of their usual bunking days; but this time, Ferris Bueller has planned something much grander for the three of them. After talking his friend Cameron into borrowing his dad’s Ferrari, the three of them head into Chicago for the day. It is impossible to be bored while watching this movie on your “day off”.
3. Raiders of the Lost Ark
Genre: Action, Adventure.
Cast: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman.
In 1936, an archaeology professor Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. Intelligence to find a biblical artifact called the Ark of the Covenant before it falls into the wrong hands. Armed by his intellect, wit and his crazy cool bullwhip, he roams around the world to find this artifact only to find that Hitler is looking for it as well to make his Stormtroopers invincible. With the fate of the World suddenly upon his shoulders, Indiana Jones partners with his ex-girlfriend and goes on a series of action-packed adventures in order to get a hold of the Ark. Not only is the movie fun to watch, but the action-packed scenes are also hands down the best ones to keep you entertained.
4. About Time
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy.
Cast: Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy.
After a disappointing New Year’s party, 212-year-old Tim finds out that he has the ability to time travel and change his past life. Using these powers to his advantage, he decides to get a girlfriend but soon realizes that despite being a time traveler, getting a girlfriend is not that easy. Offering a perfect combination of comedy and drama, the film keeps the viewer stuck to the screen. This movie makes you realize how wonderful the little things that we take for granted are, and will leave you feeling grateful for even the most boring moments.
5. Lost in Translation
Genre: Comedy, Drama.
Cast: Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Giovanni Ribisi.
This is the epitome of a film that is based on loneliness and existential crisis but still ends up leaving you feeling better about yourself. A faded movie star, Bob Harris, has passed the prime years of his career and is living an unsatisfying family life. When he is called to Japan for a commercial, he happens to cross paths with Charlotte, a twenty-something philosophy student whose husband is out of the city for his photography job. A fleeting connection develops between the two as they relate over different aspects of their life. What Coppola presents in this movie is something akin to a mindfulness session – the art of being present in the moment.
6. Spirited Away
Genre: Adventure, Family.
Cast: Daveigh Chase, Suzanne Pleshette, Miyu Irino.
With this magnificent animated movie, legendary director Hayao Miyazaki and Ghibli studios have set the mark too high to ever be surpassed by any other animated film. 10-year-old Chihiro and her family are on their way to move to their new house in the countryside when they detract and reach an amusement park. Chihiro soon finds out that the park is inhabited by gods, witches and spirits when her parents are converted into pigs and she is left to fend for herself. To save her parents from being cooked and eaten, she has to work tediously for long hours at “The Bath House”. Spirited away is a movie for all ages, and is a mix of the real and the surreal, enough to captivate the younger audiences and haunt the older ones.
7. 13 Going On 30
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance.
Cast: Jennifer Garner, Mark Ruffalo, Judy Greer.
This movie is a coming-of-age classic masterpiece that offers a pleasant getaway no matter how many times you watch it. After being humiliated on her thirteenth birthday party, Jenna makes a wish to turn thirty years old with her life figured out. Thanks to some wishing dust, Jenna wakes up the next day with everything she wished for. She’s a thirty-year-old living in her dream apartment, has a hot boyfriend and an amazing job. Although she has attained everything she wanted, she realizes that the most integral part of her life is missing: Happiness. It may look like an average rom-com, but the movie expresses how shallow and deceptive modern society can be, a powerful message that can only be seen through the lens of a 13-year-old girl. Moreover, the chemistry between Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo is great.
8. Pulp Fiction
Genre: Crime, Drama.
Cast: John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson.
Written and Directed by Quentin Tarantino, Pulp Fiction is one of the most influential films of the 1990s. Two mob hitmen, Jules Winnfield and Vincent Vega go out to retrieve a stolen suitcase for their employer, Wallace. Wallace’s wife Mia also gets involved in the story after Wallace asks Vincent to take her out when he is out of town. Moreover, Wallace pays an aging boxer named Butch Coolidge to lose in a fight, making him a part of the bigger picture as well. The lives of all these people intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption as a series of bizarre incidents starts happening. With a brilliant script and amazing direction, Tarantino set the records on fire with this masterpiece that is acknowledged to this day. If you have seen it before, watch it again!
9. The Matrix
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi.
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss.
Neo is an average computer programmer who does a little hacking at night. It is during this hacking business that he meets Morpheus, a hacker named as a terrorist by the government. Neo comes to know that his reality is an illusion and that he is one of the victims used in a massive artificial intelligence system rigged by sentient computer overlords. Neo is the only person who can confront and fight against the computer programs that will eventually result in mankind’s demise; so the physical and psychological freedom of the humans is in the hands of Neo, and he must do everything to ensure that it prevails. The movie took home 4 Oscars and 2 BAFTAs for the groundbreaking visual and special effects which still stand out in its genre after all these years.
10. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
Genre: Comedy, Romance.
Cast: Kate Hudson, Matthew McConaughey, Adam Goldberg.
Ben is an advertising executive who is looking for a girl so he can make her fall in love with him and win a bet he made with his competitors to win over a diamond account campaign. Meanwhile, Andie works for a magazine called Composure and she wishes to write more significant stories. After picking up the job to write a column on how to lose a guy in 10 days, she decides to demonstrate this practically by winning over and then losing a man in the mere span of 10 days. After meeting at a bar, the two choose each other for their own secret purpose without realizing it; with Benjamin trying his best to make Andie fall in love with him and Andie does everything in her power to make Ben leave her. This film is like the battle of the sexes, with many genuine laugh out loud moments and the chemistry between the lead actors is a great sight to behold.
11. The Big Lebowski
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Sport.
Cast: Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore.
This entertaining combination of comedy, mystery and cinematic trickery by the Coen brothers is the cure for a boring evening. Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski gets involved in an intriguing case of mistaken identity and deception after he is mistaken as the famous philanthropic Pasadena millionaire Jeffrey “The Big” Lebowski by two thugs who urinate on his rug to coerce him into paying a debt he knows nothing about. To seek restitution for his ruined rug, he enlists his bowling friend to help him. He accepts a one-time job with high pay off from his namesake but deception leads to more trouble as he gets caught up in trying to outmaneuver the schemes of players much smarter than him.
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi.
Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt.
The breakout film for both visionary director Ridley Scott and lead actress Sigourney Weaver, Alien is considered as one of the best science fiction horror movies ever made. What makes Alien great is its synchronization of sound, visuals, great attention to detail, and establishment of an unnerving atmosphere right from the beginning. The crew of a commercial spaceship Nostromo picks up a distress signal from a nearby planet on their way home. When they head out to investigate, they encounter a hive colony of some unknown extraterrestrial creatures with alien eggs lying everywhere. One of these creatures attacks a crew member called Kane. Against the advice of Ripley, a seemingly recovering Kane is brought back to the spaceship by the other crew members. Once inside the spaceship, an alien erupts from inside Kane’s stomach and starts to hunt them down one by one and they must deal with the consequences. After 40 years of its release, this sci-fi horror masterpiece still feels lethally contemporary.
Genre: Biography, Drama.
Cast: Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara.
Based on a real story, this movie follows the life of Saroo, a five-year-old Indian boy who belongs to a poor but happy rural family. On a trip with his brother, he gets lost on a train that takes him to Calcutta, thousands of kilometers away from home. Too young to identify his family or town, Saroo tries to survive on the streets and eventually ends up in an orphanage. Ultimately, he is adopted by an Australian couple and he grows up in a loving and prosperous family. 25 years later, Saroo finds himself haunted by a handful of past memories and a daunting need to look for his long lost family. After talking to his adoptive parents and girlfriend, he sets out in search of his birthplace and blood relatives. The deeply empathetic performance by Dev Patel offers an undeniably emotional winning edge to Lion.
14. Forrest Gump
Genre: Drama, Romance.
Cast: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise.
Tom Hanks delivers an Oscar-winning performance as Forrest Gump in this inspirational movie which should be seen by everyone. While waiting for a bus, he recalls all the incredible major moments in his life. Even with a subnormal IQ, Forrest met many celebrities in his life, including Elvis Presley, President Kennedy, President Nixon, President Johnson and John Lennon. As the remarkable parade of Gump’s life unfolds, we come to know that all he could think of is his childhood sweetheart, Jenny. The movie delivers many meaningful lessons for life: that life is not as difficult as it seems and that an innocent man can impact so many lives by being kind. This movie is not only about a man with a low IQ who just happens to be at the right places at the right time, but it is also one of the most motivational movies ever made. The story will inspire everyone from all ages to go the extra mile but never give up on their dreams.
15. The Big Sick
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance.
Cast: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter.
The Big Sick is an iconic real-life love story for all the millennials fighting to smash the chains of cultural challenges and patriarchy. Pakistan-born aspiring comedian Kumail Nanjiani is an Uber driver on the side and is looking for his big break when he crosses paths with Emily after one of his stand up acts. As he starts to catch feelings for Emily, his life becomes complicated because that is not what his Muslim parents expect from him. Meanwhile, Emily contracts a sudden illness forcing her to be put into a medically induced coma. Kumail is put into a dilemma when he has to confront Emily’s parents and his own feelings for Emily, against his family’s pressure to set him up with a spouse. It is not just a really amazing romantic comedy, but it also raises a voice against many socially important topics all while using light and witty humor.
16. The Princess Bride
Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy.
Cast: Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Robin Wright.
A grandfather reads this classic tale of action and romance to his grandson who is sick in bed. His story follows a farm boy-turned-pirate, Westley, who is reported to be killed by the Dread Pirate Roberts at sea while looking for a fortune. Buttercup is a former farm girl who was smitten by Westley and still loves him, but she has been chosen as the princess bride to evil Prince Humperdinck of Florian after Westley is presumed dead. Westley must do whatever it takes to be reunited with Buttercup before it is too late. The film is difficult to place in a single genre; action, adventure, romance, horror, drama, violence, fantasy, you name it, this movie has it!