Movies everyone should see in their lifetime


Three years ago, I began, in the study hall of my middle school cafeteria, to draft a list. I titled it “Movies EVERYONE Should See In Their Lifetime.” I wanted everyone to fall in love with the movies I had, so I began to add all of my favorite movies to this small, half-a-google doc list. I started taking suggestions, and looking at today’s list, I could still tell which movies were suggested by whom. This list became somewhat of my legacy. My friends quiz me on my claims that I know quotes from “every movie on the list” (which is only somewhat true), people I’ve barely even met already know about my list, and my Instagram polls get pretty heated when I claim Ethan Hunt is way better than James Bond. The natural next step was to share it with everyone, right? Every week, I go through a different movie that managed to make a list that now strains to stay one one page. What I liked, what I didn’t, where you can watch: you have found the movie you’ve been looking for, and it won’t take you a lifetime to see it.

Year: 2010
Genre: Drama/Sci-fi
Rating: PG-13
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

What movie combines Leonardo DiCaprio, wild special effects, existential crises, loose theoretical relationships with reality, espionage, action, four Academy Awards, AND is available for free with a Netflix subscription? Christopher Nolan’s Inception. This film operates on the basis that dreams are not solitary, that highly trained thieves called “extractors” can enter your thoughts while you are sleeping and steal information from your subconscious. But can the opposite occur? Can these extractors add information to a subject’s mind, but do it so subtly that the subject thinks he came up with the idea himself? That’s the question Di Caprio’s character Dominick Cobb hopes to answer in this unsettling, thought-provoking drama.

What I liked: The cinematography of this movie is colossal and extraordinary. It brings the viewer into an entirely different world. It also brings in deep emotional themes enhanced by the production, rewarding close attention. There are just so. many. layers. It weaves in and out of conscious reality, secondary reality, dream landscapes of different characters, and every possible interpretation of stimuli in between. It is adrenaline rush in a movie, keeping viewers on the edge of our seats until the very end, and remaining with us long after the final credits.

What I didn’t like: At some point, Inception loses the carefully crafted filmmaking it so easily embraced and enters freefall. The story gets a little lost in vast snowy mountains and upside-down hotel rooms, amazing as they are. It really could have reached a stopping point, or at least explained why there were a million flashbacks that could have been explained in one expositional sequence.

Conclusion: Normally, I have pretty mixed feelings about this movie. It can’t really ever be a film you just “turn on,” you really have to focus. However, at this point, time is all we have. That is why Inception is absolutely perfect for quarantine. It’s interesting anytime, anywhere, completely picking viewers up off their couches and depositing them in a world completely new. It may get a little confusing, but it’s a really well-made film, and available for free with a Netflix subscription.

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