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The Best Movies to Watch and How to Decide: A Guide

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Different people have different strokes when it comes to the movies they watch. There are days when people are in the mood for a movie, but they don’t know how to decide what to watch. Some days, the case is different. They know how to decide what to watch but they don’t know what to watch. Have you experienced this problem? Worry no more. In this article, we’ve listed the best movies to watch and how to decide.


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Deciding what to watch seems a little broad, but it’s easier than most people think. There are some factors to note when deciding what to watch.


Deciding what movie to watch



A film’s reputation is one thing to consider when deciding what to watch. Some movies have stood the test of time. They remain relevant for a long time even after its release.



This one is for the moviegoers who want to immerse themselves in a different world. Some movies are set in the past, while some are set in the future. There are also movies set in the present. If you’re the immersive viewer, the setting is something to note if you’re the nostalgic type or the futurist type.


People involved

Some people have a good track record when it comes to making movies. One such case is that of an established director. Directors who have a good track record when making movies have a great impact on the film industry as a whole. As such, some directors gain a large following. This works hand-in-hand with the reputation deciding factor as well.



This factor usually applies to new releases. The hype that a movie generates is partly based on the trailer for a movie. It has to generate enough buzz for people to talk about it. If a trailer is successful when generating hype, people will line up to see the movie in theaters.



A moviegoer will watch a movie as long as the cast is good. To catch audiences, the cast would have to have a good track record of previous performances as well. It can also be as simple as a movie having an actor/actress you like.


Critical acclaim

Some movies compete in film competitions. While some don’t win in their respective categories, a nomination alone is enough. If a movie is nominated for an award, it’s more than likely to be good.


With the deciding factors out of the way, here are the best movies to watch. It all depends on your mood.


The Best Movies to Watch

These movies are critically acclaimed, and for good reason. Not only are there great characters or plot, but cinematography and editing as well. If you want to maximize the way you watch these movies, you can use a smartphone projector. It’s a great way to bond with family and set the tone for a great movie.


At least once in your life


Citizen Kane (1941)

Citizen Kane, released in 1941.
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Director/s: Orson Welles

Synopsis: Citizen Kane tells the story of Charles Foster Kane and the details of his death. A reporter is tasked to know more about Kane’s final words. He then finds out more about a man who went from absolute obscurity to distant heights.


The Wizard of Oz (1939)

The Wizard of Oz, released in 1939.
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Director/s: Victor Fleming and King Vidor

Synopsis: It’s adapted from L. Frank Baum’s novel, titled “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”. It tells the story of Dorothy Gale who is swept from Kansas to a land called “Oz”, and the journey takes to return home.


Schindler’s List (1993)

Schindler’s List, released in 1993.
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Director/s: Steven Spielberg

Synopsis: It tells the story of Oskar Schindler. With his wife Emilie, they save a lot of Polish-Jewish refugees from the Holocaust. The refugees were spared because Schindler hired them to work at his factory during World War II.


West Side Story (1961)

West Side Story, released in 1961.
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Director/s: Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins

Synopsis: Inspired by William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, it tells the story of Maria and Tony. They fall in love despite being members of gangs that are engaged in a bitter rivalry.


The Godfather (1972)

The Godfather, released in 1972.
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Director/s: Francis Ford Coppola

Synopsis: It tells the story of the Corleone family. Don Vito, the family’s head, passes the entire Corleone empire to his reluctant son, Michael. Along the way, other families fight for territory and the claim to be the top crime family in New York City.


Taxi Driver (1976)

Taxi Driver, released in 1976.
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Director/s: Martin Scorsese

Synopsis: Taxi Driver tells the story of Travis Bickle and his slow descent to insanity. He plots to kill the presidential candidate, whom the woman he likes is working for. He also plots to kill the pimp of an underaged prostitute he befriends.


Movies to watch when you’re bored


Kung-Fu Panda (2008)

Kung Fu Panda, released in 2008.
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Director/s: John Stevenson and Mark Osborne

Synopsis: The “Dragon Warrior” is to save China from the evil Tai Lung. However, the mantle of “Dragon Warrior” is bestowed upon Po, who does not know martial arts at all. He is given limited time to master all the necessary skills to face Tai Lung.


Shark Tale (2004)

Shark Tale, released in 2004.
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Director/s: Vicky Jenson, Bibo Bergeron, and Rob Letterman

Synopsis: When the son of a gangster shark boss dies, a fish named Oscar makes a false claim that he did the job. As such, he adopts the title of “Sharkslayer”. He befriends a vegetarian shark named Lenny, who is the brother of the shark who died. They work together to keep the facade.


Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005)

Mr. and Mrs. Smith, released in 2005.
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Director/s: Doug Liman

Synopsis: A married couple finds out that they are assassins. They also both work for opposing agencies. They are tasked to kill each other but they refuse. The situation leads them to fight for their marriage as they are targeted by both of their agencies.


Shaun of the Dead (2009)

Shaun of the Dead, released in 2004.
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Director/s: Edgar Wright

Synopsis: A man’s mundane life is disrupted by a zombie apocalypse in London. Best friends Shaun and Ed fight for refuge in a pub with their loved ones.


Paul (2011)

Paul, released in 2011.
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Director/s: Greg Mottola

Synopsis: It’s an out-of-this-world story where two best friends meet an alien with an attitude. Together, they help the alien evade capture from the FBI so that he can go back to his homeworld.


Movies that will mess your mind


Fight Club (1999)

Fight Club, released in 1999.
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Director/s: David Fincher

Synopsis: It tells the story of an unnamed man who isn’t content with his job. He then forms a “fight club” with Tyler Durden, who is a soap salesman. He also becomes involved with a woman named Marla Singer.


Black Swan (2010)

Black Swan
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Director/s: Darren Aronofsky

Synopsis: The story tells of an adaptation of the Swan Lake ballet by the New York City Ballet company. For the lead role, Nina is a perfect fit. Nina is then put into pressure when she finds herself competing for the part against her rival, Lily.


Inception (2010)

Inception, released in 2010.
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Director/s: Christopher Nolan

Synopsis: Dom Cobb is a professional thief. What he does is he commits information espionage by infiltrating his targets’ subconscious. He accepts an offer where his criminal history can be erased. The catch is that he must plant another person’s idea into a target’s subconscious.


Memento (2000)

Memento, released in 2000.
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Director/s: Christopher Nolan

Synopsis: Leonard Shelby has anterograde amnesia. It’s a case of amnesia where short-term memory loss kicks in every 15 minutes. He tracks down his attackers who also killed his wife by using Polaroids to follow leads.


Donnie Darko (2001)

Donnie Darko, released in 2001.
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Director/s: Richard Kelly

Synopsis: A man seeks to find the meaning behind his doomsday related visions.


The Skin I Live In (2011)

The Skin I Live In, released in 2011.
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Director/s: Pedro Almodóvar

Synopsis: Dr. Robert Ledgard’s wife got burned in an automobile accident. He is a skilled plastic surgeon who aims to develop a new type of skin that can save the lives of burn victims. Later on, he succeeds. With the help of his housekeeper, he tests his creation on a woman named Vera whom he keeps prisoner in his mansion.


Movies to watch when you’re sad


Marley and Me (2008)

Marley and Me, released in 2008.
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Director/s: David Frankel

Synopsis: The film tells the story of a couple who adopts a Labrador Retriever named Marley. As time goes on, they grow into a family with Marley being at their center.


The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008)

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, released in 2008.
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Director/s: Mark Herman

Synopsis: The horrors of the Jewish holocaust are told from the perspective of two little boys. One is the son of the Nazi concentration camp, Bruno. The other is Shmuel, a Jewish inmate. The two boys become friends, despite having a barbed wire to separate them.


The Pianist (2002)

The Pianist, released in 2002.
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Director/s: Roman Polanski

Synopsis: It tells the story of a Polish-Jewish pianist who struggled during World War II.


The Vow (2012)

The Vow, released in 2012.
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Director/s: Michael Sucsy

Synopsis: Newlyweds Paige and Leo’s lives are turned around when they get in a terrible accident. While Leo turns out fine after the accident, Paige loses her memories and gets amnesia. Leo is determined to help his wife regain her memories and rebuild their marriage.


The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

The Pursuit of Happyness, released in 2006.
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Director/s: Gabriele Muccino

Synopsis: A father’s life goes to pieces when he endures being homeless for a year.


Room (2015)

Room, released in 2015.
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Director/s: Lenny Abrahamson

Synopsis: A mother has been held captive for 7 years in a room. Her 5-year old son was also born in captivity. As they escape the room they were held captive in, they struggle in the outside world.


Best romantic movies to watch


Before Sunrise (1995)

Before Sunrise, released in 1995.
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Director/s: Richard Linklater

Synopsis: A man and a woman meet on a train going to Vienna. When they get off, they spend the night walking around the city, getting to know each other and falling in love.


Casablanca (1942)

Casablanca, released in 1942.
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Director/s: Michael Curtiz

Synopsis: The film is set in World War II. A man must choose for his love for a married woman and helping her and her husband escape the city of Casablanca. If he does this, his fight against the Germans continues.


Gone with the Wind (1939)

Gone With the Wind, released in 1939.
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Director/s: Victor Fleming

Synopsis: It’s set during the American Civil War. It follows the romantic pursuits of a woman named Scarlett O’Hara to a man named Ashley Wilkes. Wilkes is married to his cousin Melanie Hamilton Wilkes. Later on, Scarlett marries a man named Rhett Butler.


Titanic (1997)

Titanic, released in 1997.
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Director/s: James Cameron

Synopsis: It tells the story of Jack and Rose, two people from opposite sides of the social ladder who fall in love. It’s also a recounting of events based on accounts of the sinking of the RMS Titanic.


Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Brokeback Mountain, released in 2005.
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Director/s: Ang Lee

Synopsis: It tells the story of a gay couple whose relationship spanned 20 years.


Blue is the Warmest Color (2013)

Blue is the Warmest Color, released in 2013.
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Director/s: Abdellatif Kechiche

Synopsis: A teenager named Adèle has her world turned when she meets a woman named Emma. The film tells the story of their relationship from her high school years to her career as a school teacher.


Best superhero films to watch


The Dark Knight (2008)

Blue is the Warmest Color, released in 2013.
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Director/s: Christopher Nolan

Synopsis: Batman, Commissioner Gordon, and DA Harvey Dent team up to combat crime in Gotham. Their efforts turn useless when they are terrorized by a new enemy, the Joker. The Joker seeks to cause chaos and anarchy in Gotham City.


Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Spider-Man 2, released in 2004.
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Director/s: Sam Raimi

Synopsis: In the film, Peter Parker struggles in his personal life. As Spider-Man, he faces a new enemy named Otto Octavius a.k.a. Doctor Octopus.


Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Captain America: The Winter Soldier, released in 2014.
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Director/s: Joe and Anthony Russo

Synopsis: Captain America teams up with Black Widow and Nick Fury to uncover a conspiracy. It happens to be deep within S.H.I.E.L.D. Along the way, new enemies are made.


Superman (1978)

Superman, released in 1978.
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Director/s: Richard Donner

Synopsis: An origin story of the beloved character that has stood the test of time. Superman’s life is told from his childhood to his adventures as a superhero. He finds himself juggling the balance between his work as a journalist and a superhero. He faces an enemy in the form of the evil Lex Luthor.


Watchmen (2009)

Watchmen, released in 2009.
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Director/s: Zack Snyder

Synopsis: It’s set during the Cold War. A group of retired superheroes investigate the murder of one of their own. Along the way, they uncover a conspiracy that will change the world forever.


The Incredibles (2004)

The Incredibles, released in 2004.
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Director/s: Brad Bird

Synopsis: Bob and Helen Parr are ex-superheroes. In their world, superheroes are illegal. Since retirement, they were able to raise a family of 3 children who also have superpowers of their own. The family must team up to take down the villain named Syndrome, who seeks to end superheroism once and for all.


Best action movies to watch


The Matrix (1999)

The Matrix, released in 1999.
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Director/s: Lana and Lilly Wachowski

Synopsis: Without them knowing, humans are in a simulated reality, dubbed “The Matrix”. When a hacker named Neo discovers the truth, he becomes involved in a rebellion. Joining him are other people freed from the Matrix.


Die Hard (1988)

Die Hard, released in 1988.
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Director/s: John McTiernan

Synopsis: John McClane, an NYC cop, is celebrating Christmas with family in a building. All goes well until a group of terrorists invade and takes over the building. With no one else to turn to, McClane himself goes on a mission to save the hostages.


Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

Kill Bill: Vol. , released in 2003.
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Director/s: Quentin Tarantino

Synopsis: Beatrix “The Bride” Kiddo goes on a quest to hunt down those who wronged her and left her to die by headshot.


Oldboy (2003)

Oldboy, released in 2003.
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Director/s: Park Chan-wook

Synopsis: Oh Dae-su has been imprisoned in a cell that looks like a hotel room for 15 years. Once released, he sets out on a quest to find his captor and their motives. His quest for vengeance gets him tangled in a series of conspiracies and violence.


The Raid (2011)

The Raid, released in 2011.
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Director/s: Gareth Evans

Synopsis: Rama, a rookie member of an elite squad, is told to sit his squad’s mission out. The team’s mission involves infiltrating and killing a drug lord named Tama. The team’s cover is blown and Tama is willing to give refuge to every criminal living in his building. This does not come without a cost as Tama asks for the elite squad’s heads. Rama is then tasked to command and lead the rest of his team to survive and get them out of the building.


John Wick (2014)

John Wick, released in 2014.
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Director/s: Chad Stahelski

Synopsis: An ex-hitman comes out of retirement when a group of people disrupts his quiet life.


Best horror movies to watch


The Shining (1980)

The Shining, released in 1980.
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Director/s: Stanley Kubrick

Synopsis: Jack Torrance is a writer. He takes a job as a caretaker of the Overlook Hotel during the off-season. He brings over his family, including his wife Wendy and son Danny. Danny possesses supernatural abilities that allow him to see the hotel’s past. Jack’s sanity deteriorates because of the supernatural forces that inhabit the hotel.


Psycho (1960)

Psycho, released in 1960.
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Director/s: Alfred Hitchcock

Synopsis: A woman named Marion Crane is on the run after stealing $40,000 from her employer. To avoid the police, she hides in the Bates Motel where she meets the enigmatic owner, Norman Bates.


Night of The Living Dead (1968)

Night of the Living Dead, released in 1968.
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Director/s: George Romero

Synopsis: It tells the story of seven people who are stuck in a farmhouse that is overrun by living corpses.


The Exorcist (1973)

The Exorcist, released in 1973.
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Director/s: William Friedkin

Synopsis: When a teenage girl displays odd acts, a mother asks for aid to no avail. A priest suspects that the girl may be possessed by the devil, and offers help.


Best new releases


Parasite (2019)

Parasite, released in 2019.
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Director/s: Bong Joon-ho

Synopsis: A family lives off the luxury of their employers. As workers for the family, they pose as individuals who are not related to each other.


Knives Out (2019)

Knives Out, released in 2019.
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Director/s: Rian Johnson

Synopsis: When a famous author dies of suspicious means, a detective is put to the task of solving the case. The culprit happens to be a family member of the author.


The Irishman (2019)

The Irishman, released in 2019.
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Director/s: Martin Scorsese

Synopsis: The film chronicles the life of hitman Frank Sheeran. Sheeran has ties in the mob by working for prominent mob boss Russell Bufalino. He also has ties with prominent labor union leader Jimmy Hoffa.


Joker (2019)

Joker, released in 2019.
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Director/s: Todd Phillips

Synopsis: Arthur Fleck is a social outcast. He descends into madness because of the people around him.


Jojo Rabbit (2019)

Jojo Rabbit, released in 2019.
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Director/s: Taika Waititi

Synopsis: A little boy who’s a member of the Hitler Youth finds out that his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their home. He questions his beliefs while dealing with his imaginary friend. His imaginary friend is a comedic version of Hitler.


Where to watch the best movies



The official logo of Netflix.
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Netflix is a prominent online streaming service. Netflix’s enormous content library includes TV series and movies. There’s also original programming. Netflix is a paid service, and users can choose from different subscription deals. While Netflix movies and shows vary from country to country, you can opt to watch Netflix movies with a VPN as well.


Amazon Prime Video

The official logo of Amazon Prime Video.
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Amazon Prime Video is a streaming service that’s owned and operated by Amazon. Like Netflix, it also has TV shows and movies, along with its original programming. What differs from Prime Video is that it’s a simple subscription and there are no other deals to choose from.



The official logo of Hulu.
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Hulu also offers shows, movies, and original content. What does stand out with Hulu is that it has Live TV. With it, subscribers can watch live televised content, such as sports events and news. Hulu has basic and premium versions, and also a plan with Live TV which costs more.



The official logo of Disney+.
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As the name implies, Disney+ is a streaming service owned and operated by Disney. Disney+’s content library is made of old and new content, along with original programming. Users can choose to subscribe to the basic version or the bundle version. Everything Disney is in this streaming service, so any child or child at heart will enjoy the service.

Aside from the above streaming services, there are also free streaming apps that you can watch movies from.


Final thoughts about the best movies to watch and how to decide

There’s always a movie for every occasion. Whether you’re feeling giddy, down, or bored, all you have to do is to find a movie that suits your feelings. Not only that, but you can also challenge yourself to watch a movie that’s not in the mold of what you usually watch. To add satisfaction to your movie viewing experience, its better if you have a good display to watch from. If you’re watching on your laptop or PC, the best media players will help you experience these movies in the way it’s intended.

This guide has covered the best movies to watch and how to decide. While the above movies are listed for reference, the movie that you want is up to you. What matters while watching is that you understand whatever you watch. Not only that, but we should also be able to reflect on what we saw. We should also understand the message and underlying themes of the movies we watch. Enjoy your movies, and happy viewing!

The Best Movies to Watch and How to Decide: A Guide

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