Five Movie Series to Keep You Busy During Quarantine

The COVID-19 journey has been a long one, and it’s only the beginning. In mid-March, colleges across the country suspended in-person classes and sent students back to their homes. On March 30, President Trump extended social distancing guidelines through April 30, after many states had already enacted stay at home orders, many of which have also been extended through at least the end of April.

With this sudden abundance of free time (aside from schoolwork and those daily quarantine walks, of course) I’ve decided to devote myself to watching the really popular movie series I always meant to see but just never got around to. What better time, right?

I’ve made a top-five list (plus a few honorable mentions), complete with viewing orders and release years for easy reference, to keep me on track and inspire your next movie binge.

 

1. Pirates of the Caribbean

I started with Pirates of the Caribbean because it’s a relatively shorter series and I wanted something fun and action-packed. I remember catching some scenes on TV as a kid, but I never quite understood what was happening and so I never saw the whole series. I’m three movies in now, and I’ve got to say, I was definitely missing out.

These movies are exactly the kind of action I was looking for — dramatic but still fun, with notes of humor and romance. Not to mention a killer soundtrack (thank you, Hans Zimmer).

Also, Orlando Bloom. That is all.

 

Viewing order:

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006)

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017)

The first three Pirates of the Caribbean movies are streaming on Disney+.

 

2. Star Wars

I know, it’s practically a sin that I haven’t seen all of these movies yet. But that’s exactly why I’m doing this, okay? 

I watched the prequels with my brother when I was young, and I remember liking them. For some reason, though, I was never inspired to continue with the saga. I saw Episodes VII and VIII when they came out in theaters and really liked them, but I knew my appreciation would be so much deeper once I had seen all the movies, so I’m excited to start from the beginning.

Now, there is a lot of debate on the viewing order of these movies, since the original trilogy became Episodes IV, V and VI once the prequels were released in the 2000s. Traditionalists say you have to watch the original trilogy first, followed by the prequels and then the new trilogy. But I’m a big fan of chronology, and that’s what creator George Lucas supports, so that’s what I’m going to do and no one can stop me.

I’m also throwing in the spinoff movies that were recently released because we’ve certainly got the time to include those, too.

 

Viewing order:

  • Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999)

  • Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002)

  • Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005)

  • Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

  • Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)

  • Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

  • Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983)

  • Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)

  • Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017)

  • Star Wars: Epsiode IX - The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

Star Wars: Episodes I-VIII and Rogue One are streaming on Disney+. Solo is streaming on Netflix.

Star Wars stormtroopers

3. The Marvel Cinematic Universe

I think this series is the one I’m most excited for, even though it’s also the one that I’ve already seen the most of. I was a big fan of all of the Iron Man movies when they came out; I remember seeing them with my family in the theaters and excitedly discussing them all the way home. I never really got into Captain America or Thor, but I adored the first Avengers movie. 

I always meant to go back and watch the movies I skipped, but Marvel just kept cranking movies out so fast it got hard to keep up. Between 2016 and 2019, Marvel released 11 movies. I tried to catch as many as I could — I saw Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant Man, Black Panther, Infinity War and Endgame — but I tend to avoid movie theaters because of their outrageous prices and the movies weren’t always available to stream.

Well, now they are, and I’m going to watch them, darn it. The viewing order of these is also pretty debated, though not nearly as much as the Star Wars saga. After a few list comparisons and discussions with the other Marvel fans in my life, this is the order I’ve decided on, and I’m sticking to it.

 

Viewing order:

  • Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

  • Captain Marvel (2019)

  • Iron Man (2008)

  • Iron Man 2 (2010)

  • The Incredible Hulk (2008)

  • Thor (2011)

  • The Avengers (2012)

  • Iron Man 3 (2013)

  • Thor: The Dark World (2013)

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

  • Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 (2017)

  • Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

  • Ant-Man (2015)

  • Captain America: Civil War (2016)

  • Black Panther (2018)

  • Spiderman: Homecoming (2017)

  • Doctor Strange (2016)

  • Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

  • Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

  • Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

  • Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Select Marvel movies are streaming on Netflix and Disney+.

person watching Marvel on TV

4. Indiana Jones

I have a very distinct childhood memory of going to the DVD rental store (remember those?) by our house to rent the first Indiana Jones movie for a family pizza and movie night. I know we eventually watched all the films together, but I was far too young to really understand what was going on and fully appreciate the stories. 

I’m the ripe, old age of 19 now, so I think I’m far overdue for a rewatch of these cult-classics.

Also, Harrison Ford. That is all.

 

Viewing order:

  • Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

All Indiana Jones movies are currently streaming on Netflix.

 

5. Jurassic Park

Despite my somewhat odd and completely unreasonable fear of dinosaurs, I’m going to watch these movies one day, I swear it. 

Another cult-classic series with a great score, these movies have been referenced so many other films and television series. I’d just like to catch one and immediately understand the reference.

And the new Jurassic World series (with another film coming in 2021) starring Chris Pratt just gives me all the more reason to dive in.

Unfortunately, these movies aren’t streaming anywhere, so I’m not sure when I’ll get to them.

 

Viewing Order:

  • Jurassic Park (1993)

  • The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)

  • Jurassic Park III (2001)

  • Jurassic World (2015)

  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

 

Honorable Mentions:

Fast & Furious

I’d really like to get to this series eventually, but there are nine movies and one spinoff, with more on the way. And they’re all about cars. I’m sorry, I just can’t. If that’s your thing, though, these would be great to pass some time!

 

Lord of the Rings

I’d like to read the books first, but who knows when that will be. I have a lot of time, but not that much time.

 

X-Men

Oh, you mean off-brand Avengers? Maybe I’ll get to these movies someday (for Hugh Jackman and Hugh Jackman only), but they’re just not a priority for me. These were also based on Marvel comics by Stan Lee, so if you’re really dedicated to those then, by all means, go for it.

I should also note that I did not include some amazing series on this list simply because I’ve seen them multiple times (I’m looking at you, Harry Potter). (Seriously, if you haven’t seen Harry Potter, please make those number one on your list.)  

Sure, the world is strange right now. But we’ll get through it, one way or another. I’m choosing to do it with a good movie on the TV and a bowl of popcorn in hand.