Everyone loves a good movie, and nowadays there are many genres to keep all demographics satisfied. The romcom? Check. The drama with Meryl Streep? Check. The action movie with explosions and hot women? Check. The franchise with customised cars and hot women? Okay, you get the message.
Still, many movies stay in the collective conscious long after they're released. So, If you're waiting for a life-affirming movie to come and whisk you off your feet, then rest assured! We have ten movies that will do just that.
Here are ten movies that will change your life.
Fight Club (1999)
"The things you own, they end up owning you."
Brilliantly adapted from Chuck Palahniuk's bestselling novel, David Fincher's masterpiece is, for many at least, one of the greatest films of all time. Merging the novel's key themes of materialism and lost youth, Fincher captures the mundanity of modern-day living in spectacular fashion, making the explicit fight scenes, ever more compelling. And with witty dialogue, superb acting and marvellous direction, Fight Club, though a black-comedy, is a film that will leave you asking questions about what it means to be alive in a world of rules and social conventions.
Good Will Hunting (1997)
“We get to choose who we let into our weird worlds.”
In the wake of Robin Williams death, The Hollywood Reporter placed Good Will Hunting at 53 on it's 100 greatest films list, and that's not hard to dispute. Ingenious in its message of hope and love, and original in its sharp and witty dialogue, this movie; about an intellectual working-class janitor (Damon) and his relationship with a community college teacher (Williams), teaches us about life's frailties and complexities in a way few others have. Ultimately, the film is, however, a coming-of-age story and one which makes young people assess where their life is going at such a young and pivotal stage in their development.
The Pursuit Of Happiness (2006)
"The happiest people don't have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything.”
Like all movies associated with the American Dream, many can be predictable and cliched. However, Smith's turn playing homeless single father Chris Gardner is one of his better performances, and as he juggles taking care of his young son, played by real-life son Jaden Smith, we soon realise the adversity he's faced with. Indeed, the scenes are bleak as we follow Gardner's emotional and tough journey, which will have you rooting for him early on as he takes on an unpaid internship while residing in a homeless shelter. Most importantly, the film teaches us the value and importance of persistence and never giving up on your dreams, even when life shows its ugly claws.
“I don't have delusions of grandeur. I have an actual recipe for grandeur.”
Everyone has their limitations. But, what if your only limit was yourself? Heard that one before right? Except, with one pill, that really can be the case.
Of course, a pill that sets your brain alight with mathematical formulas doesn't quite exist yet. However, the transcended pill is almost a metaphor for attainment in general. We're all scared and afraid, but If we can go against the tide, then anything is possible.
Life Is Beautiful (1997)
“What kind of place is this? It's beautiful: Pigeons fly, women fall from the sky! I'm moving here!”
Probably the most heart-wrenching story of any on the list, the famed Italian classic is a lesson in the beauty of the imagination. And though set within the horrors of a concentration camp, happy-go-lucky father Guido's (Roberto Benigni) loving trickery towards his son's confusion by telling him it is simply a game of behaving well will be sure to open your floodgates. A lesson in resilience and hope, Life Is Beautiful inspires us to celebrate love and laughter, even in the darkest of times.
The Truman Show (1998)
“We accept the reality of the world in which we are presented. It's as simple as that.”
Set in the fictional seaside town of 'Seahaven', the producers of a hit reality show entitled 'The Truman Show' have been recording the life of Truman Burbank every minute since his birth. However, unbeknown to him, Burbank (Carrey) leads, what he thinks is an entirely regular life. But when his one true love is removed from his life from the TV's producer, he starts to realise that his quaint hometown isn't as idyllic as it once seemed. What makes this film so unique is not just its plot, but also what it stands for in an age of reality television. Like it or not, we as viewers are part of a cycle which watches entertainment at the expense of others. A thought-provoking film, The Truman Show will make you question what's real and what's fabricated for the sake of 'entertainment'.
500 Days of Summer (2009)
"There's no such thing as love. It's a fantasy."
The disclaimer at the beginning tells us: 'This is NOT a love story.' However, this somewhat unromantic approach makes for a thought provoking and original movie. And when hopeless romantic Tom Hansen (Gordon-Levit) breaks up with his girlfriend Summer (Deschanel) of, you guessed it... 500 days, he reflects that your perfect soul mate isn't necessarily the one who likes the same things as you. Of course, the preconceived notions of the 'one' are more conventional, something the movie tries to tackle. For instance, we meet someone new, and they get us, which in itself, is pretty amazing. The looks, the conversation, the laughter, the mutual admiration for pigeons. Still, that still isn't enough to sustain a relationship the film tells us. An extremely modern take on the romantic comedy, 500 days of summer has as much emotional clout as any other film on this list.
Dead Poets Society (1989)
"Seize the day. Because, believe it or not, each and every one of us in this room is one day going to stop breathing, turn cold and die."
Another Robin Williams film, Dead Poets Society was almost a one-man movie, such was his prominence in the picture. Playing unorthodox English teacher John Keating, he is tasked with being put in charge of a privileged bunch of students, all of whom are under immense pressure from their wealthy parents to succeed. However, thanks to his guidance and unusual methods of teaching, his students learn to make the most of every opportunity, and ultimately follow their dreams and “seize the day.” Inspiring and funny, DPS teaches us to think outside the box and not be afraid to disappoint others in the pursuit of happiness.
American History X (1998)
"Hate is baggage. Life's too short to be pissed off all the time. It's just not worth it."
American History X is one of the starkest and honest depictions of racism in modern-day America. Powerfully told, and magnificently performed by leading man Edward Norton, playing Derek; the leader of a neo-Nazi movement in Los Angeles, AHX will leave you in a state of uncontrollable sobbing as the end credits roll. Brilliantly shot with a great protagonist in the form of Derek's kid brother, it's little wonder the film has gone on to become a cult classic.
"The more you hit, the harder you fight."
The list wouldn't be complete without a good old-fashioned boxing movie. In this case, however, Southpaw is the youngest film on the list, yet it's themes of perseverance and bravery in the face of tragedy transcends throughout life. Executed superbly by Jake Gyllenhall playing world champion 'Billy Hope', his life of decadence and fame is changed forever when his wife Maureen (Rachel McAdams) is fatally shot. Yet, the story starts once Hope is at his worse and loses everything, which is what makes Southpaw, and others like it so compelling and relatable. Sure, we may not be up against the heavyweight champion of the world, but sadly we all, at one stage in our life's, experience tragedy and separation.