30 Must Watch Movies for Every 20-Something

     You haven't seen ________? You don't get that reference? What have you seen? Maybe you get asked questions like these when you're out with friends. Maybe you don't catch allusions to popular media when you're browsing the newest memes. If you are constantly experiencing movie fomo, this is the perfect starter list for you. With the help of my dad (who has the best taste in movies ever... seriously, this guy has shown me almost all of my faves), I compiled 30 of the most commonly referenced, metamorphic movies that you MUST see in your 20's!


Chick Flicks

1. Princess Bride: A fairytale story about a beautiful woman finding her one true love. It is action-packed and filled with plenty of hilarious scenes. This one is perfect if you're looking for a blend of romance and comedy!

2. Scent of a Woman: A kid looking to make more money begins work as an assistant to the bitter, blind, and retired army lieutenant. The movie explore the growing friendship between the two and is filled with important lessons and themes beneficial to anyone watching.

3. Mean Girls: If you haven't seen Mean Girls, you're so NOT fetch! Watch it asap for your fill of high school drama and blonde bully galore.

4. Steel Magnolias: This one will take you through all of your emotions. It's a story about friendship, heartache, life, and death. Dolly Parton, Sally Fields, and Julia Roberts are just a few of the familiar faces you can find in this southern comedy-drama.

5. Almost Famous: A true coming-of-age flick that will keep you glued to the screen. Almost Famous follows 15-year-old William as he navigates life with a band, love, and writing for Rolling Stone. 


Action Packed

6. Fight Club: Fight Club is full of action, a shirtless Brad Pitt (yum), and one of the best plot twists of all time. This movie is one of my top five favorites, and I find myself wow'ed every time I watch!

7. Goodfellas: If you have ever wondered what life in the mob is like, this is the movie for you. It takes you through the main character, Henry's, life of organized crime, drugs, and climbing to the top. This film will keep you glued to your screen!

8. Pulp Fiction: One of the most referenced movies ever, Pulp Fiction is another one full of drugs and crime. It's Neo-Noir style is both aesthetically pleasing and fun to watch. 

9. The Matrix: Red Pill or Blue Pill? The Matrix illustrates a world where life as we know it is fake, like a cgi computer program. It offers cool graphics, Keanu Reeves, high fashion and all the rebellious vibes one could dream of. 

10. Jackie Brown: Jackie is one powerful female character, and this film shows the journey of the ATF and a flight attendant taking down a huge drug runner. If you have been searching for a movie with both a badass lead and organized crime, this is the one for you!

11. Mad Max Fury Road: Civilization has crumbled, Charlize Theron rocks a buzz cut, and a revolt is on the rise. Enough said. Mad Max Fury Road is one you won't forget.

12. The Godfather: The original gangster movie. This film shows plenty of mob violence and the journey of a black sheep to a great mafia boss.

13. Jurassic Park: Hold on to your butts, there's dinosaurs in this one!


Edge-of-Your-Seat Thrillers

14. Get Out: Get Out is some of Jordan Peele's best work. While it is, at face value, a horror flick, the overall theme has never been more relevant than now. This movie explores racism, slavery, and betrayal in a never-before-seen light. 

15. Jaws: Get out of the way baby shark, Jaws was the original scary shark. The theme song will stick in your head and the giant fake shark will be permanently imprinted in your mind.

16. Psycho: This one is commonly referenced in other media, so it is automatically a must see. An iconic knife-in-the-shower scene will intrigue you and a crazy oedipus twist will keep you glued to your screen.

17. Silence of the Lambs: An FBI trainee teams up with a prolific psychopath to catch a vile murderer before he kills his next victim. A true thriller.

18. The Craft: These girls aren't like your typical high school students, they are angsty, powerful, and witchy. The Craft is one of my favorite spooky movies, but it holds up all year long. 


Musical Masterpieces

19. Rocky Horror Picture Show: This one is a love it or leave it for most people. The songs are catchy, the costumes are iconic, and the story line is equal parts intriguing and confusing.

20. Singin' in the Rain: This one is a fun take on the historical move from silent films to 'talkies.' It's an in-depth, and musical, look at the struggle actors (who were also lovers) experienced in the time. 

21. My Fair Lady: Audrey Hepburn could do it all, and this film shows it! Her cockney accent and over-the-top personality make the movie!


Comedy Gold

22. Monty Python and the Holy Grail: This movie is referenced SO MUCH. Beyond that, though, it is gut-busting comedy gold. If you're needing a laugh and haven't seen it- this one will bring an immediate smile to your face!

23. The Big Lebowski: Dude, you have to see this film. It has sweet bowling scenes, weed appreciation, and accidental mistaken identity. If you love Jeff Bridges and John Goodman, The Big Lebowski is the one for you.

24. Zoolander: Have you ever wondered what goes through a male model's head? Maybe you want ot know about the corruption within the fashion industry. Zoolander is the funny take on life in the modeling world. Ben Stiller's 'Blue Steel' will have you rolling on the floor laughing.

25. Office Space: Do you like Napoleon Dynamite? If the answer is yes, you HAVE to watch Office Space. It is a goofy comedy that hits a little too close to the office-worker's reality. 


Movies with a Message

26. It's a Wonderful Life: It's a Wonderful Life is a classic holiday film that will leave you feeling grateful for the life you have.

27. The Royal Tenenbaums: This film looks at redemption and familial love. While everyone loves to laugh at a dysfunctional family, this movie offers important themes and ideas. 

28. Boyhood: This is the first movie to be filmed continuously over 12 years. It follows the protagonist, Mason, from the ages of 7 to 18. This is a raw look at the ups and downs of childhood.

29. Moonlight: Another film that explores the life of the main character, Moonlight showcases the struggles and triumphs of a young black man as he navigates identity, sexuality, and community. 

30. Thirteen: Nikki Reed wrote, produced, and starred in this semi-autobiographical film about her life. We see the struggles of girlhood and growing up. Thirteen is completely unrestrained in its depiction of young girls coming into their sexuality, peer pressure, and inner turmoil.


     Good movies are easy to find, but great movies, that stand the test of time, are truly special. This list is short, and not all encompassing, but it is a great start to culturing you in great movies! So, if you find yourself in a film-binge, check out some of these. I promise you won't regret it!