1. Spirited Away
Okay first off, anything by Studio Ghibli is worth watching. But Spirited Away is just that extra bit special. I first saw this movie in 2002, when I was 8 years old. It was so impressionable that a week later, I was still thinking about it. It scared me, made me laugh, tear up and left me with a few important lessons. It is also one of those films that the older you get, you understand it more and more and keep appreciating it 10 years later. Films like that are hard to do but magnificent when done properly. The character “NO FACE” for instance, as a kid, I took it to be just an added element of creepiness but as it turns out, like every Miyazaki film, it had a much deeper meaning. No Face is supposed to represent the impressionability of children. His behavior is a direct mirror of how people around him behave and how they treat him. Interesting, no?
2. Fight Club
I doubt I would have to spell out all that is good with this movie but I’ll name a few anyway. First off, this movie is pretty bad ass because it is basically holding a mirror up to society and saying that is what you project to the world and it is fucking ridiculous. It is relatable, shocking and the mind fuck at the end is just awesome. If anything, you will walk away from this movie with a goldmine of awesome quotes like “This is your life, and it’s ending one minute at a time” and a pretty good soundtrack to add to your phone.
3. The Breakfast Club
This movie should be mandatory viewing for all teenagers. I mean forget the fact that it was written and directed by the king of teen movies, John Hughes, and the fact that most of its cast was a member of the revered “Brat Pack”. It is a rare “high school movie” that deals with more than just the cliché. It delves a little deeper into the teen psyche and comes back with something substantial. It is in equal parts funny, warm, heartbreaking and entirely relatable. And it does leave us with the truth that while we all are desperate to figure out who we are, we hate labels.
4. Kill Bill Volume 1 & 2
Quentin Tarantino is a genius. Enough Said. This film is so over the top, which I normally hate, but done with Tarantino panache and style, well, you get a masterpiece in your hands. Add a killer soundtrack (no pun intended) along with a myriad of crazy characters, and it’s just heaven. I mean, who doesn’t remember O Ren Ishii tip toeing across a table wearing a kimono and promptly slicing off a man’s head? Side effects of watching this movie includes wanting to own a katana and prancing around with it while “Battle without Honor or Humanity” plays in the background.
5. Hot Fuzz
Of course. It would not be a complete list without at least one Edgar Wright movie showing up. Hot fuzz is the second of the “Cornetto Trilogy”. This movie is straight up honest, has no frills, good dialogue, funny action movie parody scenes all while taking place in a remote English village in the middle of nowhere. It was actually painfully funny to watch and I mean that literally.