Everyone has that one movie they insist every human being should watch, or at least every Radio-TV-Film student does. Those classic films touch the heart and soul and impact popular culture.
“Citizen Kane,” “Saving Private Ryan” and “The Godfather” are some of the most commonly named films everyone should see in their lifetime. The summer before starting at Northwestern, my co-workers regularly teased me for not watching movies they thought were critical to have seen. This resulted in the creation of a list of 50 movies that I needed to see before college started.
I’m still working my way through that list because some of the movies are hard to find, and time is limited. Recently on Netflix, I’ve begun to see quite a few amazing movies come up as suggestions, and I’ve been surprised by how many of my favorite movies are on the website. With midterm season, and consequently procrastination, in full force, what better way to waste time than watching some of cinema’s best movies on your laptop.
Here are my five must-watch films available on Netflix:
1. “Forrest Gump”
Starring the illustrious Chet Haze’s father: Tom Hanks! Without actually watching the movie, most people can still quote it because the movie is so ingrained in popular culture. This movie is why whenever people see you run, they yell “Run, Forrest! Run!” Thanks to Sally Field’s character, we now have an excellent way to describe life: “Life was like a box of chocolates.” This movie pretty flawlessly depicts the life of Forrest Gump, a simple man from Alabama who manages to take part in many historically important events in the 1960s and 1970s, including the Watergate scandal. Viewers will laugh, cry and realize how brilliant Hanks is.
Fans of “Mean Girls” and almost any other movie related to teenage cliques and angst owe a debt of gratitude to this movie for the way it has impacted the teen genre. It’s dark, intense and thought provoking. Christian Slater is brilliant as the sociopathic J.D., and Winona Ryder is equally good as Veronica, a high school junior who is moving in the hierarchy of high school by joining the Heathers, a group of three girls named, you guessed it, Heather, that rule the school. When Veronica gets fed up with their cruelty and controlling nature, she and love-interest J.D. begin enacting revenge. It’s an unflinching look at suicide culture and the harsh realities of cruel teenagers.
3. “The Breakfast Club”
When “Pitch Perfect” came out, views of “The Breakfast Club” increased because of the movie’s use of the song “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” and that is great because the movie is a hallmark film that, like “Heathers,” is a great look at high school culture. This movie is fun and fantastic. You owe it to yourself to see it.
4. “Fight Club”
The first rule of “Fight Club” is you don’t talk about it, so I won’t. All I will say is if you haven’t seen this movie yet, shame on you.
5. “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”
This movie has a special place in the hearts of Chicago residents. It gives a great look at the city and will give you an immense desire to skip class. It’s light, fun and has a great Charlie Sheen cameo.
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