Movies you need to see in your Lifetime

by pearsonj-89635 | created - 11 Apr 2018 | updated - 2 months ago | Public

Television might be on an upswing, but nothing will ever replace movies. In the past century that they've been around, they've given us unforgettable stories and characters.

Personally, there would be a few more additions to this list, but these movies are from the professional list. These are some movies I recommend you should watch.

Here are some movies, out of 100, everyone should watch in their lifetimes. They're a mix of movies to see when you're growing up, recent hits, stone-cold classics that'll broaden your horizons, and pop culture touchstones everyone should be familiar with.

Take some time to add these to your queue.

*These are from the professional list. These are just the ones I liked.

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1. Boyhood (I) (2014)

R | 165 min | Drama

100 Metascore

The life of Mason, from early childhood to his arrival at college.

Director: Richard Linklater | Stars: Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Elijah Smith

Votes: 317,709 | Gross: $25.38M

"Boyhood" was filmed over a period of 12 years to capture the life of a character growing up.

2. Toy Story (1995)

G | 81 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

95 Metascore

A cowboy doll is profoundly threatened and jealous when a new spaceman figure supplants him as top toy in a boy's room.

Director: John Lasseter | Stars: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, Jim Varney

Votes: 809,501 | Gross: $191.80M

Of all the Pixar films, "Toy Story" is still the most essential. It's a moving tale that changed animation forever. While you're at it, watch its sequels as well.

3. Psycho (1960)

R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

97 Metascore

A Phoenix secretary embezzles forty thousand dollars from her employer's client, goes on the run, and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin

Votes: 545,828 | Gross: $32.00M

Alfred Hitchcock was the master of suspense, and "Psycho" is one of his best works.

4. Singin' in the Rain (1952)

G | 103 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

99 Metascore

A silent film production company and cast make a difficult transition to sound.

Directors: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly | Stars: Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Jean Hagen

Votes: 199,870 | Gross: $8.82M

"Singin' in the Rain" is more than a sprightly musical comedy - it doubles as a history lesson for how movies evolved from silent to sound.

5. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

PG | 115 min | Family, Sci-Fi

91 Metascore

A troubled child summons the courage to help a friendly alien escape Earth and return to his home world.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Peter Coyote, Dee Wallace

Votes: 340,764 | Gross: $435.11M

For kids, "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" is a sweet story as well as a valuable lesson about being skeptical of authority.

6. Jaws (1975)

PG | 124 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

87 Metascore

When a killer shark unleashes chaos on a beach community, it's up to a local sheriff, a marine biologist, and an old seafarer to hunt the beast down.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary

Votes: 516,024 | Gross: $260.00M

Every kid remembers the first movie that terrorizes them. To make it a good one, watch Spielberg's "Jurassic Park" or "Jaws."

7. Groundhog Day (1993)

PG | 101 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

72 Metascore

A weatherman finds himself inexplicably living the same day over and over again.

Director: Harold Ramis | Stars: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott, Stephen Tobolowsky

Votes: 546,608 | Gross: $70.91M

"Groundhog Day" is a classic not just because it's horrifying good at capturing the repetitive nature of adult life, but because it knows how to shake you out of accepting it.

8. The Shining (1980)

R | 146 min | Drama, Horror

66 Metascore

A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where a sinister presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from both past and future.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers

Votes: 793,517 | Gross: $44.02M

"Red Rum. Red Rum." Before today's horror thrillers, there was nothing scarier than the adaptation of Stephen King's 1977 novel about a couple staying at a hotel as the husband grows more and more delusional and violent while trying to write a book of his own. It's one of Jack Nicholson's best and most terrifying performances.

9. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

R | 142 min | Drama

80 Metascore

Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency.

Director: Frank Darabont | Stars: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, William Sadler

Votes: 2,125,499 | Gross: $28.34M

"The Shawshank Redemption" was somewhat overlooked upon its release in 1994, but it's since cemented itself as a universal favorite - and it's guaranteed to make you cry.

10. Die Hard (1988)

R | 132 min | Action, Thriller

72 Metascore

An NYPD officer tries to save his wife and several others taken hostage by German terrorists during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.

Director: John McTiernan | Stars: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson

Votes: 727,350 | Gross: $83.01M

John McClane (Bruce Willis) is just an off-duty cop trying to save a bunch of hostages from a terrorist named Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) at a Christmas party. Once you view it, you too will be able to weigh in on one of the hottest debates in pop culture: Whether or not "Die Hard" is a Christmas movie.

11. The Lion King (1994)

G | 88 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama

88 Metascore

A Lion cub crown prince is tricked by a treacherous uncle into thinking he caused his father's death and flees into exile in despair, only to learn in adulthood his identity and his responsibilities.

Directors: Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff | Stars: Matthew Broderick, Jeremy Irons, James Earl Jones, Whoopi Goldberg

Votes: 856,025 | Gross: $422.78M

Adapting "Hamlet" as a musical would be hard, but "The Lion King" succeeds wonderfully by turning all the characters into animals.

12. The Dark Knight (2008)

PG-13 | 152 min | Action, Crime, Drama

84 Metascore

When the menace known as The Joker emerges from his mysterious past, he wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham. The Dark Knight must accept one of the greatest psychological and physical tests of his ability to fight injustice.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine

Votes: 2,090,420 | Gross: $534.86M

Christopher Nolan's second Batman film elevated the genre to new, darker heights and made it worth taking seriously. Heath Ledger gave the performance of a lifetime as the iconic Joker villain, earning an Oscar posthumously.

13. Titanic (1997)

PG-13 | 194 min | Drama, Romance

75 Metascore

A seventeen-year-old aristocrat falls in love with a kind but poor artist aboard the luxurious, ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates

Votes: 967,621 | Gross: $659.33M

You can't go your entire life without seeing one of the highest-grossing movies of all time. The story of two ill-fated lovers meeting on a doomed ship set to sink is a classic romance spoiled by the buoyancy of a floating door.

14. Forrest Gump (1994)

PG-13 | 142 min | Drama, Romance

82 Metascore

The presidencies of Kennedy and Johnson, the events of Vietnam, Watergate, and other history unfold through the perspective of an Alabama man with an IQ of 75.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Sally Field

Votes: 1,634,713 | Gross: $330.25M

Robert Zemeckis' endearing story of a young man (Tom Hanks) with a low IQ, but a big heart. If you don't know the line about life being like a box of chocolates, you should watch this stat.

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

PG | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

90 Metascore

Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a Wookiee and two droids to save the galaxy from the Empire's world-destroying battle station, while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the mysterious Darth Vader.

Director: George Lucas | Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness

Votes: 1,133,272 | Gross: $322.74M

Unless you plan to be a pop culture luddite for the rest of your life, you need to watch the original "Star Wars."

16. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

R | 133 min | Drama

83 Metascore

A criminal pleads insanity after getting into trouble again and once in the mental institution rebels against the oppressive nurse and rallies up the scared patients.

Director: Milos Forman | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Will Sampson, Michael Berryman

Votes: 841,232 | Gross: $112.00M

Miloš Forman's adaptation of the 1962 novel starring Jack Nicholson won all five major Academy Awards for best picture, lead actors, director, & screenplay.

17. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

PG | 102 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

100 Metascore

Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with her new friends to see the Wizard who can help her return home to Kansas and help her friends as well.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Mervyn LeRoy, Norman Taurog, Richard Thorpe, King Vidor | Stars: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr

Votes: 355,042 | Gross: $2.08M

Victor Fleming managed to direct two of the most important movies of all time that were released in 1939. But between "The Wizard of Oz" & "Gone With the Wind", most people agree that it's "Oz" which has aged better.

18. Casablanca (1942)

PG | 102 min | Drama, Romance, War

100 Metascore

A cynical American expatriate struggles to decide whether or not he should help his former lover and her fugitive husband escape French Morocco.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains

Votes: 481,995 | Gross: $1.02M

"Casablanca" - with its star turns from Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman - is emblematic of the best of classical Hollywood cinema.

19. Schindler's List (1993)

R | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History

93 Metascore

In German-occupied Poland during World War II, industrialist Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazis.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Caroline Goodall

Votes: 1,103,011 | Gross: $96.90M

Steven Spielberg's story of Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), a German businessman who saved the lives of hundreds of Polish-Jewish refugees during the Holocaust is both powerful and heartbreaking. It won seven Oscars including best picture.

20. Dead Poets Society (1989)

PG | 128 min | Comedy, Drama

79 Metascore

English teacher John Keating inspires his students to look at poetry with a different perspective of authentic knowledge and feelings.

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke, Josh Charles

Votes: 376,008 | Gross: $95.86M

Robin Williams' English teacher John Keating will leave you wanting to seize the day and live your life to the fullest. Carpe diem, indeed.

21. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

PG | 179 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

87 Metascore

While Frodo and Sam edge closer to Mordor with the help of the shifty Gollum, the divided fellowship makes a stand against Sauron's new ally, Saruman, and his hordes of Isengard.

Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom

Votes: 1,367,614 | Gross: $342.55M

It's tough to pick just one "Lord of the Rings" movie to watch. You should really invest in the entire trilogy about the young hobbit embarking on a perilous journey to destroy an all-powerful ring. If you only have time to watch one, go with the second movie that won two Oscars and is the best-reviewed of the trilogy.

22. An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991)

G | 75 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

A family of Emigre mice decide to move out to the west, unaware that they are falling into a trap perpetrated by a smooth talking cat.

Directors: Phil Nibbelink, Simon Wells | Stars: James Stewart, John Cleese, Amy Irving, Phillip Glasser

Votes: 21,637 | Gross: $22.17M

So, you've watched the Disney classics? Why not switch things up with the story of a different mouse leaving NYC for the west with his family. Still not convinced? It was produced by Steven Spielberg, the voice debut of John Cleese, film legend James Stewart's last film, & has a beautiful rendition of the song "Dreams to Dream" by Cathy Cavadini. * You'd need to watch the 1st "American Tail" from 1986, which I also recommend.

23. Selena (1997)

PG | 127 min | Biography, Drama, Music

67 Metascore

The true story of Selena Quintanilla-Perez, a Texas-born Tejano singer who rose from cult status to performing at the Astrodome, as well as having chart topping albums on the Latin music charts.

Director: Gregory Nava | Stars: Jennifer Lopez, Edward James Olmos, Jon Seda, Jackie Guerra

Votes: 22,594 | Gross: $35.42M

Before she was J. Lo, Jennifer Lopez's break-out role was as the up-and-coming Mexican singer Selena Quintanilla-Pérez who was murdered at the age of 23 by the president of her fan club.

24. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

PG | 104 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

83 Metascore

A toon-hating detective is a cartoon rabbit's only hope to prove his innocence when he is accused of murder.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Bob Hoskins, Christopher Lloyd, Joanna Cassidy, Charles Fleischer

Votes: 170,206 | Gross: $156.45M

There aren't too many movies which combine live-action and animation seamlessly like the 1988 murder-mystery. It's probably the only movie where you'll see Disney characters like Mickey and Donald Duck alongside Warner Bros.' beloved Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig.

25. Coco (I) (2017)

PG | 105 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

81 Metascore

Aspiring musician Miguel, confronted with his family's ancestral ban on music, enters the Land of the Dead to find his great-great-grandfather, a legendary singer.

Directors: Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina | Stars: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach

Votes: 290,023 | Gross: $209.73M

"Coco" follows a young boy, Miguel, who wants to be a musician even though it goes against his family's wishes. He winds up in search of his great-great-grandfather who he believes to be a famous guitar player in a stunningly vibrant-colored Land of the Dead.

*This is a ripoff of "The Book of Life" (2014).

26. The Matrix (1999)

R | 136 min | Action, Sci-Fi

73 Metascore

A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers.

Directors: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski | Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving

Votes: 1,529,161 | Gross: $171.48M

If you don't know about Neo and the search for "The One", you have to watch the Wackowski's sci-fi adventure starring Keanu Reeves for its visuals alone. The film received four Oscars.

27. John Wick (2014)

R | 101 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

68 Metascore

An ex-hit-man comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that killed his dog and took everything from him.

Directors: Chad Stahelski, David Leitch | Stars: Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Willem Dafoe

Votes: 469,328 | Gross: $43.04M

Not done with your Keanu Reeves fix? Me neither. The unexpected Lionsgate hit is a nonstop 101-minute rush of adrenaline of Reeves taking names as he seeks revenge on the men who killed his puppy. You read that right.

28. Sweet Home Alabama (2002)

PG-13 | 108 min | Comedy, Romance

45 Metascore

A young woman who's reinvented herself as a New York City socialite must return home to Alabama to obtain a divorce from her husband, after seven years of separation.

Director: Andy Tennant | Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Patrick Dempsey, Josh Lucas, Candice Bergen

Votes: 96,290 | Gross: $127.22M

If you're looking for a good rom-com, look no further. Melanie Carmichael (Reese Witherspoon) is set to marry Andrew (Patrick Dempsey), the son of the New York City mayor. There's just one catch - she has to get a divorce from her high school sweetheart in Alabama finalized first. It's a bit easier said than done when she starts falling for him again.

29. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

G | 100 min | Family, Fantasy, Musical

67 Metascore

A poor but hopeful boy seeks one of the five coveted golden tickets that will send him on a tour of Willy Wonka's mysterious chocolate factory.

Director: Mel Stuart | Stars: Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Peter Ostrum, Roy Kinnear

Votes: 163,416 | Gross: $4.00M

Gene Wilder made every child want to win a golden ticket to visit a magical candy factory and ride down a chocolate river.

30. The Notebook (2004)

PG-13 | 123 min | Drama, Romance

53 Metascore

A poor yet passionate young man falls in love with a rich young woman, giving her a sense of freedom, but they are soon separated because of their social differences.

Director: Nick Cassavetes | Stars: Gena Rowlands, James Garner, Rachel McAdams, Ryan Gosling

Votes: 480,777 | Gross: $81.00M

"If I'm a bird, you're a bird".

If you haven't seen Nicholas Spark's love story starring Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling as soulmates, then set this one aside for date night.

31. Get Out (I) (2017)

R | 104 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

84 Metascore

A young African-American visits his white girlfriend's parents for the weekend, where his simmering uneasiness about their reception of him eventually reaches a boiling point.

Director: Jordan Peele | Stars: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener

Votes: 415,012 | Gross: $176.04M

No movie stormed America's consciousness in 2017 like "Get Out." A perfectly crafted horror movie and provocative racial parable, it immediately cemented comedian Jordan Peele as a major director and launched a bevy of memes. Welcome to the sunken place.

32. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

Not Rated | 129 min | Crime, Drama

88 Metascore

Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his children against prejudice.

Director: Robert Mulligan | Stars: Gregory Peck, John Megna, Frank Overton, Rosemary Murphy

Votes: 275,329

A close adaptation of Harper Lee's seminal novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird" is a clear-eyed movie about race and justice in Alabama, and how adults teach us about the moral values that make up our lives.

33. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

R | 118 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

85 Metascore

A young F.B.I. cadet must receive the help of an incarcerated and manipulative cannibal killer to help catch another serial killer, a madman who skins his victims.

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A. Bonney, Kasi Lemmons

Votes: 1,150,491 | Gross: $130.74M

A cultural touchstone since its release, "The Silence of the Lambs" is about an FBI agent who teams up with a manipulative cannibal killer to understand and help catch a serial killer.

34. Black Panther (2018)

PG-13 | 134 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

88 Metascore

T'Challa, heir to the hidden but advanced kingdom of Wakanda, must step forward to lead his people into a new future and must confront a challenger from his country's past.

Director: Ryan Coogler | Stars: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira

Votes: 534,280 | Gross: $700.06M

This represents the pinnacle of superhero movies. Its hero has an impossible moral quandary. But most importantly, the movie creates a vision of an African nation untouched by colonialism, grappling with its own history instead of the problems other countries foisted upon it. It's a clear-eyed, fully fledged world that you could only see at the movies.

*While you're at, you might as well watch all of the MCU movies, but watch this one after the 16 other movies.

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