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5 Five-Star Movies I’ve Watched Recently

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

TW: abuse & substance abuse

With my life getting busier since classes started, I’ve had less time to watch movies. When I do get the chance to sit down for a few hours and put one on, I want to be sure it’ll be worth while. It might have to do with my critical eye and conscientiousness whenever I have to pick a movie — or maybe it’s just luck — but the past five movies I’ve watched have all blown me away. Most lists that include these movies also highly recommend them, but in case you need another voice telling you to go watch them, here it is.

Everything Everywhere all at once

With a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s no surprise that A24’s newest film made this list. Incredibly intriguing, I had so many thoughts while watching this movie that I had to take notes so I could talk about it later. I’m not usually a fan of sci-fi movies, but Everything Everywhere All at Once’s perfect incorporation of multiverse travel into real life — while ensuring the important themes of generational trauma and difficult parent-child relationships remained relevant — made me appreciate the genre.


This heartfelt, family film won Best Picture in 2021, and for good reason. Although I’m biased having grown up close enough to Gloucester to recognize the scenery of the movie, the seaside setting provided for a visually pleasing film. The movie title, an acronym for “child of deaf adults,” is named for the main character, who struggles to get her deaf parents to understand her passion for music. The storyline includes romance, friendship, sibling rivalry, and reconciliation, and is even complete with tear-inducing moments between children and their parents. Recommended to my parents by my grandparents and to me by my parents, this movie is important for everyone to watch.

sunset beach in Cape Cod
Alyssa Mahoney

TW: abuse

I have no idea how this 2014 award-winning film wasn’t on my radar until my friend recommended it to me last week. Thought-provoking and enthralling, this movie piqued my interest in drumming in jazz music — a world I had never thought about prior to watching Miles Teller and J.K Simmons’s fervent performances. The pressures and abuse experienced by Teller’s character are all-too-common for a teacher/coach and student relationship, and it can be hard to watch his struggle for the approval of Simmons’s character.


Like many other A24 films, this coming-of-age story is funny, relatable, uncomfortable, shocking, and beautiful. The 13-year-old main character’s newfound passion for skateboarding is reminiscent of a first love — both in its awkwardness and its excitement. It’s a short movie with various filming styles, which tie into the storyline as one of the protagonist’s new friends pursues his dream of being a director. This underrated film is perfect for a movie night with the roommates.

The Spectacular Now

TW: substance abuse

This film is a classic I have seen several times and will watch several more. The raw depiction of having a crush and falling in love is the most realistic portrayal I have seen in a movie. The classic “What am I meant to do after high school?” question is discussed in a difficult and real way. The movie progresses so that as the main characters, played by Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller (I’m a big fan), get to know each other, you also get to know them — until you feel like you know too much and are too involved in their lives not to care.

If you haven’t yet seen these fantastic films, I hope you get the chance to watch them!

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Lily Krivopal

U Mass Amherst '24

Lily is a senior management and Spanish double major who is passionate about community service. You can always find her in the pool or outside running, hiking, or reading in a hammock.