Six Films Every Person Should See in Their Lifetime


Photo By Sarah Janito

A collection of films from all genres continues to grow. As new films are released, many forget the classics that defined cinema.

   Movie buff or not, almost every person has their own list of favorites, including professional critics and sites such as iMDB and the American Film Institute (AFI.) Most lists have shared films, like Citizen Kane, Schindler’s List, The Godfather and many more, calling them the greatest movies of all time. Certain individuals may disagree with some lists, but films like these six are not worth passing up in a person’s lifetime.


Whiplash (2014)


       Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash introduces audiences to a new type of crazy in his psychological thriller. Following the life of a young teenager, Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller,) this film takes him to the edge of insanity as he works himself to J.K. Simmons’ Terence Fletcher, an abusive instructor’s standards. As Neiman works towards perfection, he slowly loses his mind with every passing second. As he goes crazier, the movie gets better. As Simmons’ character pushes Neiman to the edge of his ability and moves him up and down in his college’s jazz band, filling then draining him of hope, his eagerness to achieve perfection quickly turns into an obsession as Fletcher continues to terrify him with his teaching methods. It is a compelling story about mental health, flawlessness and the need to impress, and it has impressed audiences everywhere since 2014.


Wizard of Oz  (1939)


       The Wizard of Oz is widely acclaimed as one of the greatest films ever made, and that is due to its use of color. Set in sepia tone at first, then switching to full color and using plenty of hues to further advance the plot, this film has remained very popular and entertaining over the years.

       For being made in 1939, it is extremely well-made and still holds up over 80 years later. Many classics like this one have been remade over the years and have been successful, but any remakes of this film never seem to last and are regarded nowhere near the original, and that is what makes it so much more of a classic than others. In fact, this is one of the films with the most references made to it in others along with Gone With the Wind and the Star Wars franchise. It continues to stand the test of time cinematically, casting-wise and through its influence on society.


Marvel’s The Avengers (2012)


       After successfully reinventing Marvel and Robert Downey Jr. at the same time in 2008, Jon Favreau was unstoppable. Since Iron Man (2008) was such a hit, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been expanding ever since. In 2012, the first ever team-up between the original six Avengers- Hulk, Black Widow, Captain America, Iron Man, Hawkeye and Thor- made history for both film and comic enthusiasts. It set the tone for not just future Marvel movies, but for all superhero flicks. Sure, it is a little dated, but the camera panning over all the superheroes together for the first time is an unforgettable experience, theater or not.


Parasite (2019)


       Making history as the first foreign language film to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards, Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite delivers every emotion, twist and heart-racing element you can think of. In this film, a poor family weasels their way into several jobs, such as a driver, tutor and housekeeper working for a rich family. The family strategically plans their way into fortune, but things take a turn when the former housekeeper reveals she has been keeping her husband in a hidden basement within the house. It never stops taking sharp turns and having surprising components to it. The movie is very well-written and never has a dull moment. It is truly a one-of-a-kind experience, not only for it being in a different language, but for its compelling plot as well.


Psycho (1960)


       Perhaps one of, if not the most popular of Alfred Hitchcock’s films, Psycho breaks mainstream film rules in many ways, such as killing a seemingly-main character off halfway through and breaking through violence boundaries set by Hollywood. Hitchcock’s visions were never short of amazing and interesting. After Janet Leigh’s Marion Crane embezzles $40,000 from her job and speeds off to a new town, she meets the ever-creepy Norman Bates, played by Anthony Perkins, and stays in his hotel, where the infamous shower scene takes place. After that encounter, we see the film more from Norman’s point-of-view as Marion’s sister gets the police involved in the case of a missing Marion. As the police draw closer to Bates, he slowly goes more and more insane and gets locked up. The twist at the end and Perkins’ unsettling smile has scared audiences for over five decades and continues to do so, despite it not meeting the ‘modern horror’ standards of today’s films, like It and Saw


Back to the Future (1985)


       Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale directed a sci-fi film that goes down in history with the Back to the Future trilogy. Telling the story of a young boy who travels back to 1955 with a friend of his and accidentally altering his parents’ meeting, Michael J. Fox’s Marty McFly has to figure out how to get his parents to fall in love all over again so he is not erased in the future. This was at first seen as a controversial movie by Disney, due to McFly’s mother having a crush on him when she coincidentally meets him. Eventually, they let up, and the movie turned out to be a big hit. This way of telling a tale of time travel altered sci-fi for the better, and future films were introduced to a whole new approach of making these types of movies.