10 movie recommendations for quarantine


Here are two indisputable facts: I love movies, and I have way too much free time thanks to quarantine. So, I have been gifted with ample time to rewatch old favorites or enjoy movies I’ve never seen before. While I’ve probably watched many dozens by now, here are 10 movies I’ve consumed over quarantine, in no particular order, that I absolutely recommend.

1. Parasite (2019)

Directed by Bong Joon Ho

Where to watch: Stream on Hulu or rent on Amazon

What is there to say about Parasite that hasn’t already been said? The South Korean Best Picture winner has captivated nearly all audiences it has reached and has left its mark on Hollywood. The acting is fantastic, the message is timely, and the symbolism is worth studying. Choosing not to watch Parasite is truly a disservice to yourself. 

2. 12 Angry Men (1957)

Directed by Sidney Lumet 

Where to watch: Stream on Amazon Prime Video or rent on Amazon

Don’t let the black and white scare you off; this movie is undeniably timeless. Though over sixty years old, it is easily fresher and more innovative than many movies of the modern century. Based on the play of the same title, this legal drama follows a jury deciding whether or not to convict a boy of murder. Other than the very beginning and very end, the film takes place in one room, and none of the jurors are named. Thus, what follows is a masterclass in writing. My recent rewatch has confirmed this as one of my all-time favorites. 

3. Mamma Mia (2008) and Mamma Mia Here We Go Again (2018)

Directed by Phyliddia Llyod and Ol Parker

Where to watch: rent on Amazon 

I grouped these two into one because they are definitely better when consumed together. Mamma Mia was the first-ever PG13 movie I saw when I was much younger than 13 and too young to understand why it was inappropriate, and the blissfully beautiful ABBA songs have been the soundtrack to my life ever since. These are the ultimate guilty pleasure movies, and both are filled with catchy songs, 70’s fashion, loveable characters, and beautiful settings. A first time watch is filled with excitement, and a rewatch is a blissful bit of nostalgic comfort. 

4. Coco (2017)

Directed by Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina 

Where to watch: Rent on Amazon or stream on Disney+

This is hands down the best Pixar movie in my opinion. I’ve seen it three times and have sobbed every single time. While all Pixar movies expertly balance humor, lightheartedness, originality, and sadness, none do it better than this one. The story of Miguel and his ancestors is so deeply touching, and the jaw-dropping animation and catchy music only amplify the beautiful story. This movie is a joy for any age group. 

5. Clue (1985)

Directed by Jonathan Lynn

Where to watch: Stream on Amazon Prime or rent on Amazon

I am so upset that it took me eighteen years of life until I watched this movie. It’s so good. Based on the classic board game, this ensemble comedy follows six strangers at a dinner party, and when the host is killed, they must discover who among them is the killer. There are twists and turns, hilarious and developed characters, a spooky New England setting, and one of the funniest screenplays with insanely good quotes. The pacing is so good that the movie feels like a thirty-minute episode of television. Also, a fun fact is that when this movie was first shipped to theatres, three different endings were randomly distributed and, if you watch in on Amazon, you can see all three.

6. The Two Popes (2019)

Directed by Fernando Meirelles 

Where to watch: Stream on Netflix 

This is a beautiful movie. Centered on the brink of the transition of power between Pope Benedict and soon to be Pope Francis, this is a deeply moving story about the dichotomy between their interpretations of what the future of Catholicism should or could be. This movie has themes of faith, friendship, and forgiveness that don’t feel tacky or forced. The cinematography is gorgeous, and the writing is sharp and passionate. It’s also surprisingly full of moments that made me laugh out loud. I can’t recommend this enough to people on all spectrums of faith. (Not featured on this list but a great pairing to this movie that I’ve watched over quarantine is the documentary Pope Francis: A Man of His Word also found on Netflix).

7. Wonder Woman (2017)

Directed by Patty Jenkins

Where to watch: Rent on Amazon

In a prolific and competitive genre, allow me to say that this is my favorite superhero movie. It boasts beautiful scenery, an interesting time period, witty and emotive writing, interesting characters, and a killer score. It’s action-packed with a hero you can get behind. This is a perfect movie if you’re looking for an escape from reality. 

8. Dead Poets Society (1989)

Directed by Peter Weir

Where to watch: Rent on Amazon 

This is a movie that many have watched but still holds up when watched again. Its appreciation for art and language and English and poetry is a message worth hearing over and over again. I’m a sucker for any coming of age narrative, and this one feels so personal yet so universal that it’s hard not to fall in love. Not the first Academy Award-winning screenplay on this list, but it is absolutely deserving of it. 

9. Lost in Translation (2003) 

Directed by: Sofia Coppola

Where to watch: Stream on Hulu or rent on Amazon

Simple and almost understated yet filled with beauty and poignancy. The surprising but close friendship formed between the two leads serves as a vessel for commentary on life as we know it. Comedic and tender, this genre-fluid movie is slow-paced but absolutely fascinating. 

10. Titanic (1997) 

Directed by James Cameron 

Where to watch: Rent it on Amazon

While I’ve always been a fan of them, I do believe that this is the movie that made me love movies. I so vividly remember being thirteen and watching this for the first time while being glued to my seat. I’ve watched it a million times since and will likely watch it a million times more. Does it have cheesy writing? It sure does. But it is also such a technological juggernaut that pays close attention to fine details with commendable historical accuracy in the set and costume design. With each watch, I notice something new or gain a deeper appreciation for the story. It’s a romance, a thriller, a tragedy, a tale of class division, and much more. If you haven’t watched it, please do, and if you have, please do it again.