Watching movies has always been a favorite pastime for many. From films that make you laugh to those that make you cry, these are a perfect way to spend your free time and unwind after a long tiring day. With that, here are five wonderfully-made movies you need to add to your watchlist ASAP!
1. Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
Anderson, W. (Director). (2009). Fantastic Mr. Fox. 20th Century Fox.
Runtime: 1 hour and 28 minutes
Synopsis: An urbane fox cannot resist returning to his farm-raiding ways and then must help his community survive the farmers’ retaliation.
Starring George Clooney, Meryl Streep, and Bill Murray, this Wes Anderson film will fill your day with fun, foxes, and feelings! Anderson’s unmistakable cinematographic style of symmetrical, flat compositions and bright color palettes are apparent throughout the film; but it’s not just the aesthetics that make it worthwhile to see. Instead, the film’s charm, quirkiness, and witty humor have made it everyone’s favorite stop-motion movie.
As we follow Mr. Fox’s tumultuous journey after he steals from three wealthy farmers, Fantastic Mr. Fox teaches numerous lessons about greed, family, and identity. If you’re eager to learn more about Anderson’s meticulous craftsmanship in filmmaking, this movie is a great place to start.
2. Jojo Rabbit (2019)
Waititi, T. (Director). (2019). Jojo Rabbit. Fox Searchlight Pictures.
DISCLAIMER: This film contains sensitive themes such as war and death.
Runtime: 1 hour and 48 minutes
Synopsis: A young German boy in the Hitler Youth, whose hero and imaginary friend is the country’s dictator, is shocked to discover that his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their home.
Directed by Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit tells a story of self-discovery, blind nationalism, and empathy. This satirical comedy takes place during World War II through the lens of Jojo Betzler. As a ten-year-old fanatic of Adolf Hitler, his unwavering patriotism toward Nazi Germany is tested when his mother, Rosie (played by Scarlett Johansson), hides a Jewish girl in their home.
Although fictional, Jojo Rabbit still grounds the subject of anti-Semitism and fascism to reality, particularly the horrors of Nazi propaganda. It especially teaches lessons on empathy and how people can be motivated to hate under false pretenses. This film’s comical treatment of the Nazi regime is bound to make you laugh, cry, and smile all throughout.
3. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
Anderson, W. (Director). (2014). The Grand Budapest Hotel. Fox Searchlight Pictures.
Runtime: 1 hour and 40 minutes
Synopsis: A writer encounters the owner of an aging high-class hotel, who tells him of his early years serving as a lobby boy in the hotel’s glorious years under an exceptional concierge.
Yes, another Wes Anderson film is on this list! The Grand Budapest Hotel is an eccentric, hilarious film that emphasizes the art of storytelling. We follow the life of Zero Moustafa, (played by Tony Revolori and F. Murray Abraham) who once worked as a lobby boy in the hotel during its glory days. Zero recounts his memorable experiences working in the hotel, such as when he got wrapped up in a murder mystery case with his concierge, Monsieur Gustave, who is played by Ralph Fiennes.
The Grand Budapest Hotel is arguably a film like no other. From its lush color palette, storybook-like frames, and phenomenal acting from both Fiennes and Revolori, this movie is definitely a must-watch! And have I mentioned that the exceptional Edward Norton, Willem Dafoe, and Saoirse Ronan are in it as well?
4. Everything Everywhere All At Once (2022)
Kwan, D., & Scheinert, D. (Directors). (2022). Everything Everywhere All At Once. A24.
Runtime: 2 hours and 12 minutes
Synopsis: A middle-aged Chinese immigrant is swept up into an insane adventure in which she alone can save existence by exploring other universes and connecting with the lives she could have led.
“In another life, I would have really liked just doing laundry…and taxes with you.” If you’ve heard of this quote somewhere, it comes from this movie! Since its release last year, Everything Everywhere All At Once has taken the world by storm. Directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, this A24 film follows Evelyn Wang (played by the incredible Michelle Yeoh), a struggling laundromat owner who must save the world from an interdimensional rupture by hopping between universes.
While the film may sound strange, it is—quite frankly—one of the greatest to ever exist. EEAAO is a hilarious, wonderfully-crafted film that tackles existential discussions on the meaning of life and the damaging effects of generational trauma. Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, and Stephanie Hsu’s family dynamics captured the hearts of many and, hopefully, yours as well! I cannot stress enough how brilliant this film is.
Fun fact: EEAAO has the most Academy Award nominations this year (and deservedly so!) including Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Director.
5. Knives Out (2019)
Johnson, R. (Director). (2019). Knives Out. Lionsgate.
Runtime: 2 hours and 10 minutes
Synopsis: A detective investigates the death of the patriarch of an eccentric, combative family.
A whodunit film? Count me in! Knives Out is a Rian Johnson classic that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The story revolves around the sudden death of Harlan Thrombey, a famous crime novelist whose wildly dysfunctional family becomes a suspect. In the middle of it all is Marta, Harlan’s nurse (played by Ana de Armas), who has a peculiar medical condition of vomiting when she tells a lie.
With a will, a family’s web of lies, and a narcissistic grandson played by Chris Evans collectively driving the plot forward, Knives Out is a fun, nail-biting thriller full of mystery and mayhem. Daniel Craig also embodies the incredibly clever and flamboyant Benoit Blanc—a detective who speaks in metaphors with a strong Southern accent that is really the charm of this film.
If you want to see another of Rian Johnson’s works, “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” is a separate film still set in the Knives Out universe and was just recently released. Both films are available on Netflix if you’re interested!
Article and Feature Image by Ara O. (G11)
The views expressed in this article represent the personal views of the author and should not be taken to represent the views of Dragon’s Print and Cebu International School.
Everything Everywhere All at Once. (2022, April 8). IMDb. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6710474/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_2
Fantastic Mr. Fox. (2009, October 23). IMDb. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0432283/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0
Jojo Rabbit. (2019, November 8). IMDb. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2584384/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0
Knives Out. (2019, November 27). IMDb. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8946378/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
The Essential Explanation of EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE. (2022, June 26). Colossus. https://filmcolossus.com/everything-everywhere-explained-meaning
The Grand Budapest Hotel. (2014, February 26). IMDb. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2278388/
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