51 Must-See Movies That Everyone Should Watch At Least Once

Behold, a list of the best films ever made. Just kidding! There is no such thing as "best" in this case. Taste is subjective.

United Artists

Before you start reading and getting ready to share your opinion in the comments, a few disclaimers:

– These are all great movies, but I won’t call them “the best movies ever made.” Just movies that are crucial viewing for a ~varied and comprehensive~ film vocabulary. Who decided what was crucial and what wasn’t? Me, because I wrote the list. You are welcome to suggest additions.

– You’ll notice that this list does not contain a Harry Potter or Star Wars movie, and that’s because trying to pick one from either franchise would get me canceled on the internet.

– I did my best to keep it to one movie per director and per genre, but exceptions were made.

– This list will continue to grow! So, if your favorite movie isn't on here, it may be very soon!

1.The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Screenshot from "The Wizard of Oz"

A 16-year-old Judy Garland stars as Dorothy Gale, and trust me, when you hear her sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” you’ll understand why she’s such a legend. The Wizard of Oz might not be the most faithful adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s novel, but that won’t bother you as soon as Dorothy steps out of her black and white house into a world of color (literally). It might be more than 80 years old, but this movie is a classic for a reason.

MGM/Courtesy Everett Collection

2.Citizen Kane (1941)

Is Citizen Kane the best film ever made? I’m not going to answer that for you because taste is subjective and all that. But it’s certainly a great movie, and there’s a reason they make you watch it in every introductory film class. Orson Welles’s magnum opus (he co-wrote, directed, and starred in it) is the story of a man who wanted it all, got it all, then lost it all, and Charles Foster Kane is the original antihero. Plus, you know a movie is a big deal when a whole other movie is made about the behind-the-scenes drama.

Is Citizen Kane the best film ever made? I’m not going to answer that for you because taste is subjective and all that. But it’s certainly a great movie, and there’s a reason they make you watch it in every introductory film class. Orson Welles’s magnum opus (he co-wrote, directed, and starred in it) is the story of a man who wanted it all, got it all, then lost it all, and Charles Foster Kane is the original antihero. Plus, you know a movie is a big deal when a whole other movie is made about the behind-the-scenes drama.

RKO/Courtesy Everett Collection

3.Get Out (2017)

Screenshot from "Get Out"

When Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) visits his white girlfriend’s (Allison Williams) family for the weekend, he’s understandably worried about how he’ll be received as a Black man…and telling you anything else would be robbing you of an excellent plot twist, so I’ll stop there. Jordan Peele won an Oscar for his screenplay and established himself as a horror auteur with Get Out, a movie that more than lives up to the hype. You can watch it five times, and you still might not catch all of the details he crammed into every frame. Daniel Kaluuya leads an excellent cast that includes Allison Williams and LaKeith Stanfield, but the film’s secret weapon is Lil Rel Howery, whose scenes as Rod help you catch your breath amid all the tension.

Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

4.E.T. the Extraterrestrial (1982)

Screenshot from "E.T."

A boy finds an alien in his shed and becomes its friend. It’s a fairly simple premise, but in Steven Spielberg’s hands, it becomes one of the most beloved films of all time. Part sci-fi adventure, part coming-of-age story, E.T. is one of those movies that you’d watch over and over again if it didn’t make you cry so much. Plus, it features an adorable 7-year-old Drew Barrymore and practical effects that hold up pretty well even today.

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5.Casablanca (1942)

Screenshot from "Casablanca"

Casablanca is one of those movies that everyone knows about, even if they’ve never seen it. But everyone should! It’s got a little bit of everything, from action to suspense to comedy to romance. Humphrey Bogart delivers two of the most iconic lines in film history, and his chemistry with Ingrid Bergman is the kind of magic that people have been trying to recreate for 80 years.

Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection

6.Vertigo (1958)

Screenshot from "Vertigo"

Vertigo might be the most Hitchcock-y movie Alfred Hitchcock ever made. It’s got all of the filmmaker’s greatest hits: mounting suspense, a tortured police officer, a climactic plot twist, and of course, the archetypal Hitchcock blonde. If you’ve ever been curious about Hitchcock’s whole vibe, this is probably the best place to start.

Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection

7.Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

Screenshot from "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"

Looking to escape her arranged marriage, Jen Yu (Zhang Ziyi) steals a 400-year-old sword from Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun-fat) under the guidance of her resentful tutor Jade Fox (Cheng Pei-pei). It only gets more complicated from there when Mu Bai and his friend Yu Shu Lien (THE Michelle Yeoh) go after Jen and try to get her to return the sword. The movie touches on themes of revenge, redemption, and gender roles with three incredible female characters. The sword fight between Jen and Shu Lien is one of the best things you’ll ever see.

Sony/Courtesy Everett Collection

8.Singin' in the Rain (1952)

Screenshot from "Singin' in the Rain"

Look, musicals aren’t for everybody. But if you only watch one, it absolutely has to be Singin’ in the Rain. This musical romantic comedy starring Gene Kelly tells the story of a silent film star who needs to figure out his next move when films start incorporating sound in the 1920s. It’s funny, romantic, and practically impossible to recreate — sincerely, I hope Hollywood never tries. And if that’s not enough for you, it also features an absolutely luminous Debbie Reynolds in her breakout role.

MGM/Courtesy Everett Collection

9.The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

Screenshot from "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring"

The only reason Fellowship of the Ring is on this list over the other two movies in Peter Jackson's original LOTR series is that one does not simply start a trilogy in the middle.

New Line Cinema/Courtesy Everett Collection

10.12 Angry Men (1957)

Screenshot from "12 Angry Men"

Based on the title, 12 Angry Men might seem like the absolute worst way to spend 96 minutes. In reality, it’s a concise, compelling courtroom drama in which a jury has to decide whether or not a man will be convicted for murder. The film takes place almost entirely in the jury room, which really serves to show off the film’s screenplay and the performances of the cast. Sometimes, the simplest things are the most effective, and 12 Angry Men certainly proves that.

United Artists/Courtesy Everett Collection

11.Dolemite Is My Name (2019)

Screenshot from "Dolemite Is My Name"

It is simply a crime that Eddie Murphy didn't win every award under the sun for his performance as Rudy Ray Moore, aka Dolemite. This biopic saw one comedy legend pay homage to another.

Netflix / courtesy Everett Collection

12.Some Like It Hot (1959)

Screenshot from "Some Like it Hot"

Marilyn Monroe’s enduring popularity is due in large part to her tumultuous private life, but Some Like It Hot is a great reminder of her charisma and talent. In a Golden Globe-winning performance, she plays Sugar Kane, a singer who befriends two musicians who that are secretly dressed up as women because they are running away from the mafia after witnessing a crime. Iconic leading lady aside, it’s also just a near-perfect rom-com and considered one of the funniest movies ever made, which is made even more rare by the fact that it’s not super problematic 63 years later.

United Artists/Courtesy Everett Collection

13.When Harry Met Sally... (1989)

Screenshot from "When Harry Met Sally..."

Romantic comedy is a criminally underrated genre, which is really confusing when a movie like When Harry Met Sally... exists. It is quite possibly the best rom-com ever made, and proves how clever and funny and even philosophical they can be. Nora Ephron’s genius screenplay shines even brighter as delivered by Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal, whose chemistry is just *chef’s kiss*. They play two imperfect but charming friends who fight their attraction for years because of how much they mean to each other. It is the original friends to lovers story, and has the power to convince even the staunchest rom-com haters.

Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

14.Clueless (1995)

Cher in "Clueless"

Clueless is just one of many teen movie adaptations of classic literature — in this case, Jane Austen’s Emma. Cher (Alicia Silverstone, who was perfectly cast) is our '90s-era Emma Woodhouse who has to re-examine her selfish ways as her relationships become increasingly complicated. It’s sweet and satirical at the same time, and full of quotable lines and memorable outfits. The relationship between Cher and her former step-brother Josh (the ageless Paul Rudd) is totally not creepy when you remember that it’s based on Emma and Bingley.

Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection

15.Dirty Dancing (1987)

Screenshot from "Dirty Dancing"

This is probably one of your mom’s favorite movies, and for good reason TBH. Baby (Jennifer Grey) is staying at a fancy mountain resort with her family when she meets Johnny (Patrick Swayze), one of the resort’s dance instructors. When Johnny’s dance partner can’t perform with him, Baby offers to substitute for her, and you can guess where this is going. Though it’s not technically a musical (nobody sings), it does feature a lot of dance numbers, and let me tell you, it’s not called Dirty Dancing for nothing — lots of gyrating pelvises and heaving bosoms on display here. The final scene features perhaps the most iconic dance move of all time (that lift!).

Artisan Entertainment/Courtesy Everett Collection

16.Aliens (1986)

Alien screenshot

The rare sequel that blows its predecessor out of the water, Aliens is first and foremost a showcase for Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley. Ripley is 100% that bitch, and this movie makes sure you know that. The sole survivor of the previous movie’s alien attack, she’s now completely traumatized and anxious, but guess what? Those damn aliens won’t leave her alone, so she has to fight them again.

20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection

17.Pulp Fiction (1994)

It’s almost impossible to say anything about the multiple plot threads in Pulp Fiction without giving it all away, so all you really need to know is this: If you’ve ever been curious about Quentin Tarantino’s whole ~vibe~ as a filmmaker, Pulp Fiction is probably where you want to start.

It’s almost impossible to say anything about the multiple plot threads in Pulp Fiction without giving it all away, so all you really need to know is this: If you’ve ever been curious about Quentin Tarantino’s whole ~vibe~ as a filmmaker, Pulp Fiction is probably where you want to start.

Miramax/Courtesy Everett Collection

18.Before Sunrise (1995)

Jesse (Ethan Hawke) meets Céline (Julie Delpy) on a train in Europe, and they decide to get off on the same stop in Vienna and spend the night talking and walking around aimlessly. It’s a pretty simple setup that, thanks to the dialogue and performances, ends up being one of the most romantic movies ever made. As long as you suspend your disbelief regarding stranger danger, Jesse and Céline’s night in Vienna is the sort of adventure that we all wish we could have.

Jesse (Ethan Hawke) meets Céline (Julie Delpy) on a train in Europe, and they decide to get off on the same stop in Vienna and spend the night talking and walking around aimlessly. It’s a pretty simple setup that, thanks to the dialogue and performances, ends up being one of the most romantic movies ever made. As long as you suspend your disbelief regarding stranger danger, Jesse and Céline’s night in Vienna is the sort of adventure that we all wish we could have.

Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

19.The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

The Silence of the Lambs is the only horror film that has ever won Best Picture at the Oscars, and it’s not hard to see why. Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) and Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) build a mutually beneficial relationship throughout the movie, as much as that’s possible for an FBI agent and a cannibalistic serial killer. Their tense, creepy dynamic keeps the movie in the vein of psychological horror, but don’t you worry: The movie finds time for the occasional jump scare with a splash of blood and skin thrown in.

The Silence of the Lambs is the only horror film that has ever won Best Picture at the Oscars, and it’s not hard to see why. Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) and Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) build a mutually beneficial relationship throughout the movie, as much as that’s possible for an FBI agent and a cannibalistic serial killer. Their tense, creepy dynamic keeps the movie in the vein of psychological horror, but don’t you worry: The movie finds time for the occasional jump scare with a splash of blood and skin thrown in.

Orion Pictures Corp/Courtesy Everett Collection

20.The Lion King (1994)

Come on, it’s The Lion King. If you’ve somehow not seen it, fix that right now.

Come on, it’s The Lion King. If you’ve somehow not seen it, fix that right now.

Disney/Courtesy Everett Collection

21.Galaxy Quest (1999)

Galaxy Quest is about the cast (Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman) of an old TV show, also called Galaxy Quest, who resent that their careers have been whittled down to convention appearances. Everything suddenly changes when a group of aliens called Thermians ask them for help fighting an enemy warlord. See, the Thermians watched their show and think that it’s a historical document, and that the actors are real space travelers. The movie is ostensibly a Star Trek parody, but it’s such a loving parody that no Trekkie would be upset by it. In fact, several Star Trek cast members have spoken about how much they love it. Sigourney Weaver’s casting is also particularly genius, since she’s playing a woman who is once again beset by aliens but could not be more different from Ripley.

Galaxy Quest is about the cast (Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman) of an old TV show, also called Galaxy Quest, who resent that their careers have been whittled down to convention appearances. Everything suddenly changes when a group of aliens called Thermians ask them for help fighting an enemy warlord. See, the Thermians watched their show and think that it’s a historical document, and that the actors are real space travelers. The movie is ostensibly a Star Trek parody, but it’s such a loving parody that no Trekkie would be upset by it. In fact, several Star Trek cast members have spoken about how much they love it. Sigourney Weaver’s casting is also particularly genius, since she’s playing a woman who is once again beset by aliens but could not be more different from Ripley.

DreamWorks/Courtesy Everett Collection

22.Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

Screenshot from "Pan's Labyrinth"

Guillermo del Toro’s knack for blending fantasy with just a little bit of horror is fully on display in Pan’s Labyrinth. Set in Spain during the early Francoist period, Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) and her mother Carmen (Ariadna Gil) move in with Carmen’s horrible new husband Captain Vidal (Sergi López), who not only sucks but also supports a dictator. He’s the worst. When a fairy comes to Ofelia and guides her through a labyrinth, she begins an adventure reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland that parallels the ongoing real-life rebellion her stepfather is fighting. It’s visually stunning, emotionally resonant, and yeah, also very violent.

Picturehouse/Courtesy Everett Collection

23.WALL-E (2008)

Screenshot from "Wall-E"

It was hard to pick just one Pixar movie, but WALL-E is the winner due to sheer originality. The first 20 minutes don't have any dialogue, and the hero doesn't speak a single word for the whole movie. Sweet, sweet WALL-E is the last remaining robot of his kind after the destruction of Earth until he meets EVE, another robot sent to search the planet for signs of sustainable life. Things really kick off when WALL-E, having bonded and basically fallen in love with EVE, follows her back to her ship. Amid their courtship, the movie tackles themes of consumerism, environmentalism, and nostalgia in a way that's understandable for kids and engaging for adults. A perfect film.

Pixar/Courtesy Everett Collection

24.The Dark Knight (2008)

Screenshot from "The Dark Knight"

If you only ever watch one comic book movie, it should be The Dark Knight. It changed the game for what a superhero movie could be, and nothing before or after it has come close. Heath Ledger’s turn as the Joker is obviously legendary, but Christian Bale makes a case for himself as the best onscreen Batman as well.

Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

25.Love & Basketball (2000)

In 1981, Monica and Quincy meet as children, and both want nothing more than to be professional basketball players. The movie follows them over many years as they go from rivals to friends to lovers, but tensions arise when they realize that Monica is going to have to work much harder than Quincy to achieve her dream. Monica is a particularly refreshing character because she’s a romantic lead who is every bit as ambitious and stubborn as her male counterpart. As the title implies, Love & Basketball is both a romance and a sports movie, and frankly, we don’t have enough of them.

In 1981, Monica and Quincy meet as children, and both want nothing more than to be professional basketball players. The movie follows them over many years as they go from rivals to friends to lovers, but tensions arise when they realize that Monica is going to have to work much harder than Quincy to achieve her dream. Monica is a particularly refreshing character because she’s a romantic lead who is every bit as ambitious and stubborn as her male counterpart. As the title implies, Love & Basketball is both a romance and a sports movie, and frankly, we don’t have enough of them.

New Line Cinema/Courtesy Everett Collection

26.No Country for Old Men (2007)

In 2007, the Coen Brothers made No Country for Old Men, and it would have been indisputably the best US film to come out that year if not for Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood. No Country ended up winning Best Picture that year at the Oscars, though both films got eight nominations. You can decide for yourself if that was the right call as you watch Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) try to outrun the hitman (Javier Bardem) coming after him.

In 2007, the Coen Brothers made No Country for Old Men, and it would have been indisputably the best US film to come out that year if not for Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood. No Country ended up winning Best Picture that year at the Oscars, though both films got eight nominations. You can decide for yourself if that was the right call as you watch Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) try to outrun the hitman (Javier Bardem) coming after him.

Miramax/Courtesy Everett Collection

27.There Will Be Blood (2007)

Screenshot from "There Will Be Blood"

There Will Be Blood is about Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis), a man whose ruthless greed takes him from penniless miner to oil tycoon over the course of 30 years. Plainview’s dismissal of religion will put him at odds with Eli Sunday (Paul Dano), a preacher who is just as ambitious as he is. For all of the comparisons made between There Will Be Blood and No Country for Old Men, the former actually has more in common with Citizen Kane. It’s much bloodier, though, so you might only be able to watch it once.

Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection

28.Spirited Away (2001)

Screenshot from "Spirited Away"

When her family moves to the suburbs, 10-year-old Chihiro finds herself in a magical realm where a witch turns her parents into pigs. She then must navigate an unknown world of gods, witches, and spirits to save her parents. Spirited Away is one of Hayao Miyazaki’s most beloved movies and makes the case that animation is not just for children. Its massive international success was also a huge win for Japanese animation, and many consider it the best animated film ever made.

Buena Vista Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

29.Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Screenshot from "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"

“Romantic drama” is a pretty saturated genre, but Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind stands out because of its unique premise. After a fight with his girlfriend Clementine, Joel learns that she has had all memories of their relationship erased through ~science~. When he decides to do the same, he’s forced to relive their entire relationship. Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey are practically unrecognizable in this movie, in her case because of a rotating collection of wigs and spot-on American accent. Jim Carrey looks like himself, but plays such an introverted, somber man that you’ll have a hard time accepting he’s the same man behind Ace Ventura.

Focus Films/Courtesy Everett Collection

30.Parasite (2019)

Screenshot from "Parasite"

When the near-destitute Kim family starts working in the home of the much wealthier and incredibly classist Park family, it’s only a matter of time before something terrible happens. The tension between both families builds unrelentingly for two hours, but it’s practically impossible to predict where Parasite will go. Bong Joon-ho won a million awards for writing and directing it, and it’s one of those movies that you can’t stop thinking about for days after watching it.

CJ Entertainment/Courtesy Everett Collection

31.Moonlight (2016)

Screenshot from "Moonlight"

Everyone remembers where they were when they announced the wrong winner for Best Picture at the Oscars in 2017. The movie that (rightfully) walked away with the trophy that night was Moonlight, a coming-of-age story about Chiron, who we follow from childhood (Alex Hibbert) to adolescence (Ashton Sanders) to adulthood (Trevante Rhodes). Chiron grapples with his masculinity, sexuality, and Blackness through his relationships with his father figure, his love interest, and his mother. It all leads to a final scene that’s devastating, hopeful, and romantic in equal measure.

Courtesy Everett Collection

32.Bridesmaids (2011)

Screenshot from "Bridesmaids"

One of the posters for Bridesmaids said “Chick flicks don’t have to suck!” and “These are smart, funny women” in big bold letters, as if those two statements are hard to believe. Potentially sexist marketing aside, Bridesmaids is, in fact, a female ensemble comedy that very much does not suck. Annie’s (Kristen Wiig) life isn’t going great — personally or professionally — but she has to put on a brave face when her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) gets engaged and asks her to be the maid of honor. Annie does her best to plan Lillian’s wedding events but is overshadowed at every turn by Helen (Rose Byrne), whose wealth and outward perfection make her seem like the better MOH. Things get ugly between them, and the movie doesn’t shy away from profanity, raunchiness, or toilet humor.

Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

33.Train to Busan (2016)

Screenshot from "Train to Busan"

Zombies! On film! What a concept. In all seriousness, you’ve probably seen at least one of the many, many zombie movies that are out in the world, but you haven’t seen one as smart and unique as Train to Busan. Taking place almost entirely on a zombie-infected train, Train to Busan has a cast of characters who represent the very best and very worst of humanity as they run out of time (and space!) to escape the zombies. Don Lee charmed the world as Gilgamesh in Eternals, and he brings the same heart to his breakout role here.

Next Entertainment World/Courtesy Everett Collection

34.Paddington 2 (2017)

Screenshot from "Paddington 2"

Yes, you must immediately watch Paddington 2, no need to watch the first one. Ostensibly a movie for children, it’s definitely a film you can enjoy at any age. It has everything, from an innocent man (bear) framed for theft to Hugh Grant in a truly dizzying assortment of costumes. If that’s not enough to entice you, consider this: Paddington 2 recently unseated Citizen Kane as the best-reviewed movie on Rotten Tomatoes.

StudioCanal/Courtesy Everett Collection

35.Black Panther (2018)

Screenshot from "Black Panther"

There are a few reasons why Black Panther is the only Marvel movie on this list. Firstly, it’s visually stunning in a way that a lot of MCU movies just aren’t (sorry). Secondly, you can watch it without having seen all of the movies that came before — it’s not technically an origin story, but it might as well be. Thirdly, it has a believable, understandable villain in Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) and connects to real-world issues.

Walt Disney Co./courtesy. Everett Collection

36.Giant (1956)

Screenshot from "Giant"

Giant stars three Hollywood legends: Rock Hudson, Liz Taylor, and James Dean, so you should watch it even if it's for no other reason than to understand why they were so popular. It's about the Benedicts (Hudson and Taylor), a couple trying to raise a family and a cattle ranch in Texas despite Jett's (Dean) many attempts to interfere in their lives. It's surprisingly progressive for a film made in the 1950s, bucking against period-typical racism, sexism, and segregation. This is one of James Dean's only three credited film appearances, and he was so good in it that he earned a posthumous Oscar nomination.

Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection

37.The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)

Screenshot from "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is an enormously popular "Spaghetti Western," thusly called because it is a Western made by an Italian filmmaker and was filmed in Italy. Yes, that is true. Spaghetti Westerns also tended to be more dark than regular Westerns, featuring characters with murkier motivations and more bloodlust. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is also widely remembered for its iconic score by Ennio Morricone.

Produzioni Europee Associate/Courtesy Everett Collection

38.The Godfather Part II (1974)

Screenshot from "The Godfather Part II"

This is technically cheating because The Godfather Part II is a sequel that you can't really watch without seeing its predecessor. You could, but you shouldn't. But once you do see the first part, you can sit down to continue enjoying (or being disturbed by) the criminal activities of the Corleone family. Part II is both a sequel and a prequel, since it follows two timelines: it splits its runtime between Al Pacino's Michael in the present day and Robert De Niro's Vito (Michael's father) in the past.

Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection

39.Goodfellas (1990)

Screenshot from "Goodfellas"

Martin Scorsese is an indisputably amazing filmmaker, but his favorite subjects seem to be genuinely awful men — see: Wolf of Wall Street, Raging Bull, and Goodfellas. Goodfellas is not just one of his best movies, but it's also one that features almost all of his directorial trademarks including main character narration, violence (so much), and classic rock songs in the soundtrack.

P.S. Please don't yell at me; I know he's made plenty of movies about other things.

Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

40.Psycho (1960)

Screenshot from "Psycho"

Hitchcock is known for the suspense in his films, and Psycho has that in spades, but don’t get it twisted: This movie is straight up horror, complete with jump scares. The shower scene alone will have you looking twice every time you step into your bathroom. You’ll spend the first half of the film getting to know Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) and trying to shake off the feeling that something bad is about to happen to her. Without spoiling anything, Marion’s money problems will seem pretty insignificant before long. Psycho might be light on gore, but it’s a slasher film through and through.

Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection

41.Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Screenshot from "Saving Private Ryan"

Saving Private Ryan follows a pretty typical story exalting the values and bravery of the American military: A group of US soldiers led by Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) go behind enemy lines to rescue Private James Ryan (Matt Damon). What really makes this movie worth watching is the realism of the battle scenes, which contain as much carnage as any horror movie. Fair warning, though, there is no shortage of explicit human suffering on display in this movie. If you're somewhat queasy, it might not be for you.

DreamWorks/Courtesy Everett Collection

42.A League of Their Own (1992)

Screenshot from "A League of Their Own"

There are many, many excellent sports movies out there, so why should you watch A League of Their Own? Because it's the most fun (with one possible exception, see below). Geena Davis, Rosie O’Donnell, and Madonna play the plucky members of the Rockford Peaches, and Tom Hanks plays their grumpy, fallen idol-type coach. It's also where the line “There’s no crying in baseball!” comes from.

Columbia/Courtesy Everett Collection

43.Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)

Will Ferrell was at the height of his comedic powers in Talladega Nights, which is the funniest sports movie ever made. Equal parts parody and loving homage to NASCAR culture, it'll have you fully invested in the story of Ricky Bobby (Ferrell), an absolute fool who learns the value of family over winning. Without spoiling too much, the scene where Ricky stabs himself in the leg is quite possibly the funniest thing Will Ferrell has ever done.

Will Ferrell was at the height of his comedic powers in Talladega Nights, which is the funniest sports movie ever made. Equal parts parody and loving homage to NASCAR culture, it'll have you fully invested in the story of Ricky Bobby (Ferrell), an absolute fool who learns the value of family over winning. Without spoiling too much, the scene where Ricky stabs himself in the leg is quite possibly the funniest thing Will Ferrell has ever done.

Sony Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

44.Thelma & Louise (1991)

Screenshot from "Thelma & Louise"

Thelma & Louise is an unapologetically, explicitly feminist movie, which was kind of rare for the time period (the '90s, lol). Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon play a pair of ride or die besties who are sick and tired of being mistreated and essentially say "fuck it" to their mounting problems.

MGM/Courtesy Everett Collection

45.The Truman Show (1998)

Screenshot from "The Truman Show"

The plot of The Truman Show is pretty simple to describe. An insurance salesman (Jim Carrey) slowly discovers that his entire life has been a reality TV show controlled by a television network. If you couldn't tell, this is a science fiction movie with a healthy helping of meta-commentary on our obsessive media consumption. You could read a lot into The Truman Show, so the real fun lies in over-analyzing it once you've seen it.

Paramount/The Everett Collection

46.2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Screenshot from "2001: A Space Odyssey"

A crew, consisting of two astronauts and a robot named HAL 9000, is sent to Jupiter to investigate a mysterious artifact. It's technically not a horror movie, but the ending to 2001 may be the most unsettling one on this list. Thank you, Stanley Kubrick. In his hands, HAL isn't just an evil robot, it's THE evil robot.

MGM/Courtesy Everett Collection

47.Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

Screenshot from "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"

At the risk of sounding like a millennial in the year 2022 — boo me, I dare you — The Breakfast Club hasn't aged terribly well, and frankly, it's kind of depressing. That's why it is not the John Hughes movie you should watch despite it being his most well-known film. The one you should watch instead is Ferris Bueller's Day Off. It's much funnier, more re-watchable, and has the more memorable characters. But if you really need that dose of teen angst, don't worry: Ferris's best friend Cameron (Alan Ruck) is alarmingly depressed for much of the movie, and the heart of the film lies in watching Ferris try to help his friend realize he has a lot to live for.

Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection

48.Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Screenshot from "Raiders of the Lost Ark"

Harrison Ford is still playing Indiana Jones (but he could not wait for Han Solo to die), so it's worth investigating why he likes this character so much. In his first outing as the character, he shows off all the charisma that turned him into a movie star.

Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection

49.It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

Screenshot from "It's a Wonderful Life"

You might think that the beginning of this movie, which sees the protagonist contemplate suicide, is a bit dark for a Christmas movie. But George Bailey’s (Jimmy Stewart) journey to appreciate his own life is straight out of A Christmas Carol, so it’s worth a shot if you’re in the mood for some inspirational holiday viewing.

RKO/Courtesy Everett Collection

50.Casino Royale (2006)

Screenshot from "Casino Royale"

Your choice of James Bond movie probably depends on who your favorite Bond is. If it's Daniel Craig, then you can do no better than Casino Royale. Even if he's not your favorite Bond, it's hard to argue with a movie that provides the closest thing to an origin story for 007.

Sony Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

51.And finally, Jurassic Park (1993)

Screenshot from "Jurassic Park"

The five sequels to Jurassic Park have had seriously diminishing returns, but nothing can take away how cool that damn T-Rex looks in the OG movie from 1993.

Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection
Fall graphic

Get your heart pumping with Fall, a new thriller that will take you to terrifying heights. Watch it on demand right now, and on DVD/Blu-ray on October 18.

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