Five by Friday: Top Five Rewatched Movies

Today, we’re talking about movies we can watch over and over again. It turns out all three of us are fond of rewatching our favorites, and so we all have a lot of movies we could list off immediately. But we opted to go not for our most rewatched films of all time (because we might have all lost our minds trying to think back to our childhoods to ensure we were counting things we rewatched as kids), but for the films we currently tend to rewatch most often. What movies do we find ourselves returning to these days? What films keep us coming back again and again? Keep reading to find out where we landed.
Five by Friday
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I have loved movies my entire life, and in the days before Netflix and OnDemand viewing gave us access to pretty much anything we want at a moment’s notice, I used to wear out VHS tapes with how often I’d watch them. As a kid, classics like the Back to the Future trilogy, both Ghostbusters films, the original Star Wars trilogy, and The Princess Bride were on constant rotation at my house, along with some slightly more random fare such as Romancing the Stone, Adventures in Babysitting, Dick Tracy, Dead Poets Society, and Father of the Bride. Every time I had a sick day from school, my mom would go to our local Blockbuster and rent me Disney’s The Three Musketeers. And for a solid six weeks in the sixth grade, I watched Hook literally every single day after school. In recent years, when I want to put on something familiar and comfortable, I’ve gravitated more toward the movies I first discovered during high school and college, but I still have a soft spot for the films I loved as a kid, and ever since my own kids were little, I’ve been making an effort to slowly but surely introduce them to many of my favorites. 

5. Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park is my husband’s favorite film of all time (and one of mine as well), which means it’s constantly on heavy rotation around here. (My husband’s go-to response to “What do you want to do tonight?” is “Jurassic Park?”) The original novel by Michael Crichton is the first hard sci-fi book I ever read, opening my eyes to a whole new world of storytelling possibilities I’d never previously considered. While Steven Spielberg’s film adaptation changes practically everything about Crichton’s plot and even most of his characters, somehow it still managed to perfectly embody how it felt to read that book. The wonder of the dinosaurs, the eerie plausibility of the science, the vivid characters, and the sky-high tension (especially during the initial T-rex attack, and again during the raptors-in-the-kitchen scene) were all fully, wonderfully realized. And Spielberg’s decision to rely almost entirely on practical effects and cunning camerawork means that, unlike the CGI-heavy sequels, this film has withstood the passage of time stunningly well, with visuals that remain breathtaking to this day. 

4. Throw Momma From the Train

I watched this movie so often as a kid that it was kind of shocking to me when I eventually realized that, unlike many of the other films I grew up watching on repeat, this was not a film that most people had memorized? For some reason, my mother adored this darkly comedic take on a classic Hitchcockian plot (which is kind of out of character, if you know my mom), which is how I — along with the rest of my family — wound up repeatedly watching a film about a struggling writer who finds himself unwittingly tied up in a bumbling plot to murder both his ex-wife and his student’s cantankerous mother. Throw Momma From the Train was honestly pretty formative to my sense of humor, and to this day, remains one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen, with an abundance of quotable lines that, despite literal dozens of rewatches, still crack me up every time I hear them. While many of the other movies from my childhood have faded from my regular movie rotation, this one remains, and gets popped into the DVD player every time I need a laugh.

3. Galaxy Quest

  The first time I saw Galaxy Quest in theaters, I felt like it was made just for me. As an avid fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation, this lovingly comedic take on the sci-fi franchise and its fans managed to poke fun at many of the more ridiculous tropes of the genre while simultaneously functioning as a love letter to the people who adore it. I love absolutely everything about this movie, from its pitch-perfect casting and dynamite score, to its self-aware skewering of sexist tropes, to its sincere messages about the power of teamwork and our ability to transcend roles in which we feel trapped. Whenever I tell people that Galaxy Quest is my favorite movie, it sounds like a joke answer, but it’s the honest truth. It’s one of the few movies I am literally always in the mood to watch, and I do, all the time. 

2. The Rock

  This one wasn’t previously high on my list of rewatches, but for whatever reason, it’s gotten a second wind in our house in recent years. While I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed this film — which features a Peak Nic Cage performance, Sean Connery playing an easily headcanoned older James Bond, and Ed Harris as one of the most sympathetic antagonists of the ’90s — I rarely rewatched it until a couple years ago, and then suddenly, boom, I was rewatching it every couple months. And honestly? This movie just gets better the more times you watch it. Everything from the over-the-top action sequences (Bayhem at its finest), to Nic Cage’s perfectly delivered cheesy dialogue and Sean Connery’s dry wit, to the absolutely killer score, brings me complete and uncomplicated joy. I can’t pin down what triggered this Rockaissance, but I’m thoroughly enjoying it.

1. The Lord of the Rings trilogy 

  Ever since the extended editions of Peter Jackson’s marvelous The Lord of the Rings trilogy released on DVD, they’ve been in constant regular rotation at our house. I’m including them all as one spot on this list because the truth is, I never just watch one of these films without the others. It’s just one epic 12-hour long movie as far as I’m concerned. I adore these films and their themes of friendship, bravery, perseverance, loyalty, and good triumphing over evil. Even though I’ve seen this trilogy countless times, these movies still make me laugh at the lighthearted moments, hold my breath during the tense ones, and cry at every instance of sacrifice, loss, and rousing courage. I fall in love with these characters and their beautiful stories each and every time I watch them take this journey together, and it’s one I’ve seen them embark on many, many times. 


I have always been a heavy movie re-watcher, if I love something I will watch it over and over and over again without getting tired of it. As a kid I drove my parents insane with my insistence on watching the same movie on repeat for weeks and refusing any attempts to distract me with something new. The fives movies that made it onto my list of most rewatched films are all ones that I could watch on mute and recite all of the dialogue word for word. And while some other movies that I rewatched over and over again as kid, teen, or college student also fall into this category (looking at you Beauty and the Beast, Hook, The Fifth Element, and Star Wars), they’ve fallen out of heavy rotation in recent years for a number of different reasons. It’s not to say that I haven’t watched every single one of those movies at least a handful of times in the last decade, it’s just not nearly as constant as the five movies that made the cut.

5. Fast Five

  I love the Fast and Furious movies with my whole heart and I’m not even ashamed of who knows it. But if I had to pick a favorite, there’s no question that it’s Fast Five. This is the movie where the franchise pivots, embracing the ridiculous and divorcing themselves from any need to be too concerned about reality (or physics). I’m not sure if it’s the bromance between Dom and Brian, the appearance of The Rock, the next level heist, or the final chase scene where they pull a safe through the streets of Brazil, but there’s something about this movie that begs for repeated viewings. In fact, Lauren reminded me that I watch this movie so much that she had seen the final chase scene at my house at least four different times before I finally convinced her to watch the full series.

4. Pacific Rim

  This is one of the movies that’s behind the inspiration for our website (it’s what we named our Jaeger) so it’s probably not a surprise that this movie makes my list. I have never fallen in love with a movie as quickly as I did with this science fiction/dystopian future where people step into giant robots in order fight giant aliens that come out of the sea. It’s a ridiculous premise which, on its own, would amuse me for a few viewings, but it’s the complexity and depth of the characters and The Drift that have me returning to this movie over and over again. I love the concept that drift compatibility extends beyond romantic or even family love, and that to be compatible, two people must be innately attuned to one another. This close, intimate connection provides a fascinating spin on what would otherwise be just another big budget kaju disaster movie, and keeps me hooked for watch after watch.

3. The Avengers

  The other movie that contributes to our site’s name comes in just a bit higher on my list of rewatched movies. While Avengers is not my favorite MCU film (that honor goes to Captain America: The Winter Soldier), or even in my top three (that’s rounded out with Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther), it does end up being the one that I reach for most often. It’s also the movie that I saw the movie times in the theater (I think I was up to five viewings at last count). It’s the movie I want to throw on in the background while I clean house and do laundry, the one I use as a mindless distraction from a bad day, and a movie I fall back on when I just want to feel happy. It’s a feel-good team-up movie where the heroes save the day, the city is saved, and everything is right in the world.

Of course, there’s also Hawkeye. 😉

2. The Princess Bride

  Is there anyone in the world that doesn’t love this movie? (If there is, don’t tell me; I don’t think I can bear it). This is a movie that I first watched as a kid and fell in love with the magic of a fairy tale that included giants, a beautiful princess, swashbuckling pirates, and a daring rescue. But it’s also a movie that I can watch as an adult and love just as much, if not more. I’m now able to truly appreciate the steadfastness of Buttercup, the drive of Wesley, the loyalty of Fezzik, and the need for Revenge that drives Inigo. It’s a movie that can both comfort me and inspire me, make me feel safe and give me a sense of adventure, but most of all, it’s a movie that reminds me that love can conquer all. It’s one that I will never tire of watching, no matter how many times I’ve seen it before.

1. Robin Hood

  Anyone that knows me knows I consider this movie to be my very favorite, so it’s hardly a surprise that it is my most watched movie of all time. As a small child in the video store, it was the only movie I ever wanted to rent, and Robin Hood was the first Halloween costume I asked my mom to make for me. I wore out two different VHS tapes of this movie before I was finally able to get a copy on DVD (and then again on Blu-Ray, and yet again on Digital…) While Disney movies were a hallmark of my childhood, this one has withstood the test of time, becoming one that I have reached for consistently over a period of more than thirty years. It’s still the movie I put on when I’m sad or sick, happy or nostalgic. But most importantly, it’s a movie I put on when I want to escape into a happy fairy tale world for a short time and remind myself that the heroes of my childhood are still there if I look close enough.


I’m someone who can go through a phase where all I want to watch for weeks is one movie. There have been many in my lifetime. There was a period in graduate school where I had Pride & Prejudice (2005) playing on a loop in my room for probably a solid month, and when I was a child I definitely played the original Star Wars trilogy on such a loop in my parents’ basement that I had whole chunks of it memorized. So it’s no surprise that I’ve got a shortlist for movies that are easy go-tos. Here are the five that I’m most likely to reach for these days. It turns out that what I’m in the mood for these days is adventure and romance.

5) Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

  This truly is the best of the Pirates films, and I think it’s because each of the films that followed it just tried to recreate what made the first one so great. This introduces Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth Swann and Orlando Bloom’s Will Turner, whose relationship winds up being the beating heart of the franchise (the films without them are infinitely weaker than the ones that have them). And it also introduces Jack Sparrow, who ultimately becomes the anchor that weighs down the rest of the franchise, because for the rest of the movies the writers write “Johnny Depp’s weird behavior” as Jack’s entire character, rather than writing a pirate and letting Johnny Depp act the way he wants to with the plot they gave him. You know, like he did in Curse of the Black Pearl, the best of these movies. This movie is so great in part because they didn’t know he would do that when they wrote it, and so the character of Jack Sparrow is as solidly written as he ever gets, and his tendency to be on whichever side benefits him best is still an unexpected surprise, rather than an overused twist. 

4) Thor: Ragnarok

  Thor’s my favorite MCU Avenger (uh, well, for another week), and this is my favorite of his films. Taika Waititi created an honest-to-god masterpiece when he made Ragnarok. Allowing Chris Hemsworth to show off his comedy chops was great, and introducing Jeff Goldblum as the Grandmaster was a stroke of genius, but what this film really does best is Loki. Taika Waititi finally showed us a Loki that wasn’t just there to be the antagonist to his glorious heroic brother, but a Loki who is the God of Mischief. He’s not inherently evil or constantly scheming to destroy his brother — he loves his brother; he’s just also really fond of messing with him. When Thor finally unlocks his God of Thunder powers (a thoroughly compelling sequence), Loki’s reaction is a proud smirk. And Taika Waititi didn’t even stop there; he also gave us the extremely-quotable, lovable Korg, and Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie, whose fun-buddies relationship with Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk was a total delight.

3) The Mummy

  Peak. Brendan. Fraser. I am so, so fond of this film. It’s a goofy adventure-comedy with a really solid cast. It plays with ancient Egyptian mythology, which has always fascinated me. The best parts of the movie are honestly Arnold Vosloo completely, shamelessly contorting his face repeatedly to breathe locusts and plague at everyone and John Hannah as the bumbling and overexcitable Jonathan, who has a knack for doing exactly the wrong thing every time. But honestly what makes this movie so thoroughly rewatchable is Rachel Weisz’s Evie Carnahan, a classic Rowena Ravenclaw if we ever saw one, and her chemistry with Brendan Fraser’s swaggering and sarcastic Rick O’Connell. 

2) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

  This is the best Indiana Jones movie, and I will hear no arguments. The quest for the Holy Grail is a classic storyline, first of all, and adding Sean Connery to the mix was just pure genius. The film score, a John Williams classic, also has one of the greatest musical themes of all time (the holy grail theme). The movie just takes all of the things that make a great adventure movie and amplify them. The puzzles he has to solve to find the grail are great (I’m fond of the ‘X in the library floor’ sequence particularly) and it’s truly some of Harrison Ford’s finest work when he ultimately faces temptation and death as the grail is lost. And who doesn’t love the banter between the two Jones men when they wind up in predicament after predicament and always jump immediately to blaming each other?

1) When Harry Met Sally

  This is my favorite movie of all time. Nora Ephron’s writing is timeless. She pits Billy Crystal’s cynical, negative Harry against Meg Ryan’s uptight, neurotic Sally and just lets their chemistry drive the car. The time jumps narrated by real-life long-term couples just add color to what is already a film full of character, and one cannot overstate just how perfect Carrie Fisher and Bruno Kirby are as their best friends, Marie and Jess, either. It’s just a perfect package of romantic comedy in which people may be scripted, but they’re scripted by someone who clearly understood the way people actually talk. It’s beautiful. It’s my gold standard. 

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