Full Disclosure: I am terrible at watching movies. It’s not that I don’t want to by any means, it’s just that I forget to watch things I need to. When I don’t know what to watch, I tend to resort to an old TV show I’ve rewatched 100 times rather than something new. So, to combat this, I’ve created a list. A couple of these are movies I’ve added myself, most are movies others have told me I need to watch. I’ve also included a couple of my top picks for others to add to their own lists (I’ll include a * next to those films).
1. The Black Phone
Admittedly, when this trailer first came out, I was stoked about it. I’m a horror film fanatic and thought it looked super interesting. I love Ethan Hawke in everything he’s been in and I had never seen him in a film like this before. His performance as Arthur Harrow in Moonknight was killer, so I figured this must be yet another outstanding performance.
From my understanding, the film follows Finney (Mason Thames), a 13-year-old navigating an escape after being abducted by a serial killer. He soon discovers that a black phone positioned in the basement he is being held in can connect him to the spirits of the murderer’s previous victims.
2. Once Upon A Time in Hollywood
Okay, I have seen this film before, however, it was a huge contender on the list when it was made. I love Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio but seeing them together in a movie? Come on, it was a must-watch. The story portrays two Hollywood Actors, a TV show actor (Dicaprio) and his stunt double (Pitt) in their everyday lives working on set. The story shifts between them and the life of a newly famous Shannon Tate prior to her murder. Margot Robbie’s portrayal of Tate is beautifully human, sticking to who she was as a person/actress instead of a victim of the Manson Murders. I assure you, the twist ending in this movie is killer.
One thing about this film that I found so interesting is that Shannon Tate actually grew up and attended high school in my hometown!
3. Brigsby Bear
Before my boyfriend told me about this movie, I had never heard of it. However, the plot seems highly entertaining. Starring Kyle Mooney, Mark Hamill, Andy Samberg, Claire Danes and many more, Brigsby Bear follows the life of James Pope (Mooney). James was kidnapped as a child by Ted Mitchum (Hamill) and raised in a bunker. His only form of entertainment over the course of his life is a TV Show made by his abductor called Brigsby Bear. When he is finally rescued, all he knows is that he wants to watch this TV show, no matter how hard the outside world wants him to adapt back to regular life.
I am really interested in watching a Comedy like this, it seems like something I’ve really never watched before. With a cast like this, it’s destined to be a great film.
Okay, so this movie left me with a whirlwind of emotions upon the first watch. I love Horror/Psychological movies and this film did not disappoint. Starring Keke Palmer, Daniel Kaluuya and Steven Yeun, Nope tells the story of two young business owners being tormented by a mysterious force. Jordan Peele does a wonderful job of creating movies that feel real enough to scare anyone, no matter how wild the antagonist is.
I struggled to write a synopsis of this film because I still have no idea what the main message was (don’t worry this is a good thing). When the trailer came out, like many other viewers, I was left with so many questions. The story sends you on so many highs and lows no one can see coming from miles away. I love films that can leave you with so many questions and still make sense, it’s a crazy feat to accomplish, but Nope does it flawlessly. The plot leaves so much for audience interpretation and it’s so fun debriefing with friends after watching.
5. West Side Story (2022)*
I thought I should probably include a non-horror film in here for a change.
Okay, so I love Musical Theater. In fact, the first large production I acted on stage in was West Side Story when I was fourteen. Ever since I’ve been obsessed with this show. So you can imagine my excitement when they announced that they were adapting it to film again. There was a stage-to-film adaptation that came out in the early 60s starring Natalie Wood and Rita Moreno, however, I favor the recent remake over the original.
I will make one thing VERY clear: I do not support Ansel Elgort, so I will refrain from praising him here. However, Rachel Ziegler (Maria) deserves all the hype in the world. New to the big screen, the 20-year-old actress perfectly embodied Maria. I loved that the casting team chose to go with actors/actresses that had previous stage experience (Mike Faist, Ariana DeBose and many more). The film was so beautifully made and definitely exceeded my expectations.
Admittedly, if you had told me the title of this movie before researching it, I wouldn’t have known what you were talking about. However, I have definitely seen clips of this movie on Instagram and YouTube. Now that I have connected the two, I’m really excited to finally see it.
Another Leo DiCaprio movie on my list (there are literally three-plus of his movies on this list, couldn’t tell you why), Inception stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy and Elliot Page. The film is about Dom Cobb (DiCaprio) who can enter people’s dreams and steal their secrets. I can recall one clip from this movie that got me hooked that portrays a world bending and folding over DiCaprio and Page’s characters. The cinematography clearly is showstopping and I cannot wait to dive into this movie.
Honestly, my movie list is far too long to elaborate on every movie. Additionally, I don’t think I know enough about each one yet to properly describe the plot. The movies I’ve listed are at the top of my list and I am ecstatic to start watching these instead of Vampire Diaries and Friends for the millionth time.
Not that those are bad shows, I just need to venture out a bit. I encourage you to as well!