Here are what movies to watch during your break


Lloyd Sage, Fim Critic

With online instruction at least until mid-January, Thanksgiving break in effect and Christmas break just around the corner, students ought to have some extra time on their hands but with limited options of how to occupy themselves. As a means to help with the monotony of quarantine, here is a list of nine enjoyable movies you may not be familiar with.


“That Thing You Do” (1996)

When their drummer breaks his arm and jazz drummer Guy Patterson replaces him, small town band the Wonders become a national sensation with their Beatles-like hit “That Thing You Do.” With a brilliant and quirky cast and a song so catchy that it will be stuck in your head for a week, Tom Hanks’ directorial debut hits the mark with this hilarious homage to the pop music of the ‘60s.

“Better Off Dead” (1985)

John Cusack stars as Lane Meyer, a high schooler with severe attachment to his girlfriend, Beth. When Beth breaks up with him for the best skier in town, Lane makes several misguided attempts at suicide before challenging his ex’s new boyfriend to a race down the mountain. Along for the journey are Lane’s oddball best friend and his across-the-street neighbor’s French exchange student, all who try to help Lane realize there’s more to life than Beth. This movie is hilarious and reminiscent of the John Hughes movies of the ‘80s, but the way director Savage Steve Holland incorporates his background in cartoons and animation makes this a unique film to watch.

 “Snatch” (2000)

Always funny and entertaining, this Guy Ritchie movie revolves around illegal boxing promoter Turkish (Jason Statham) and his problems with Irish gypsy boxer Mickey (Brad Pitt). When Mickey doesn’t take a dive in a fight, Turkish gets in over his head with gangster Brick Top, all while everyone chases after a stolen diamond that has come to town. Guy Ritchie’s unique humor and the uproariously funny performance by Pitt make this movie a classic to watch over and over.

 “The Way Way Back” (2013)

Written and directed by Jim Rash of “Community” fame, this coming of age story focuses on Duncan, a teenager who goes to spend the summer with his mom and her boyfriend at his beach house. Feeling annoyed and alone, Duncan finds friendship in Owen, the manager of the local water park, who inspires him to take control in his life. Sam Rockwell’s performance as Owen is heartwarming and side-splittingly funny. Whereas Steve Carrell’s performance as Duncan’s mother’s boyfriend will astound you with the knowledge that Michael Scott could be so callous. Well written and acted, at least some part of this movie will be sure to resonate with everyone.


“The Prestige” (2006)

Perhaps the most underrated film by Christopher Nolan, “The Prestige” is set in Edwardian London and follows the feud between two magicians, played by Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman, that occurs after the death of one of their wives during a show. When one seems to have the ability to teleport at will, the other is driven to experimental sciences and a complete disregard for the lives of others in order to achieve the same level of success. Though you may not know where the story is going throughout the film, Nolan wraps it up spectacularly by providing an unforeseen conclusion that will leave you in awe for several moments after.

“Looper” (2012)

Joe works as a hitman for the mob of the future. When the mob wants someone killed they send them back in time to be killed by Joe along with several bars of silver. One day, Joe’s future self is sent back in time to be killed. When Joe hesitates, his future self escapes and the entire mob is now after both of them. Directed by Rian Johnson, this time travel epic explores how the choices we make in the present can affect the world of the future.

“Finding Forrester” (2000)

Jamal is a gifted scholar and basketball player, but he downplays his intelligence to his friends. When he is dared to go into the apartment of a man who watches them play basketball, he meets reclusive author William Forrester. When Forrester discovers that Jamal is a gifted writer, he takes Jamal under his wing to help him improve his skills. The two learn about each other and themselves as the story progresses, and an unexpected friendship is formed between them. Excellent dialogue and a stellar performance by Sean Connery make this a thought provoking and gripping film to watch.

 “Viral” sensations

“12 Monkeys” (1995)

Though directed by former Monty Python actor Terry Gilliam, “12 Monkeys” is anything but funny. In a dystopian future where a vast majority of the population has been killed off by a deadly plague, prisoner James Cole, played by Bruce Willis, is sent back in time to gather information in order to try and prevent the epidemic from happening. Constantly riveting and featuring a truly “insane” performance from Brad Pitt, this film will be sure to surprise from start to finish.

“Contagion” (2011)

Directed by Steven Soderberg, this movie is more relevant today than when it came out nine years ago. Revolving around the lives of doctors, the general public, and people looking to profit off of mass chaos, “Contagion” presents the “hypothetical” situation of an out of control virus that is transmitted rapidly and is exceedingly deadly. The performances by Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Lawrence Fishburne and so many others as well as the scientific research done to make the film as accurate as possible make the movie feel as real as the coronavirus pandemic has. Though an exaggeration of the current pandemic, the ending provides much needed hope and sunny outlook for our current situation.