LaurenI 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 QuestThe 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 RockThis 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 trilogyEver 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.
SarahI 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 RimThis 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 AvengersThe 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. 😉