Five very different & very famous movies that I love

An explanation of this post’s title: I know all the movies on this list are famous, but I feel like they’re famous in different worlds: the documentary world, the Bollywood world, the classic high-school world, the general young public world, and the general older public world. There’s only one movie on here you’re probably guaranteed to know of, but my goal is to have at least one you’ve never heard of.

Hoop Dreams // sports documentary

Rating: PG-13
2h 55m
Rotten Tomatoes: 
Release Year: 1994

The people who created this documentary made it by following the lives of two high-schoolers for five years, like The Office but for real. The documentary is long, but I remember finishing it and not believing that three hours had passed. There isn’t fast action every two seconds—it’s quiet and filled with daily moments—but it’s absolutely dramatic. It’s because this movie is about so, so much more than basketball. It’s about two kids chasing after huge dreams with everything they’ve got even as life does its very best to stop them.

I can’t exactly describe the feeling I had after watching this. The best way I can put it is that my heart felt so full—not in a happiness sort of way, but just full. It made me want to be a documentarian (documentarist? documentarier?), it made me fall in love with Story for the thousandth time, and it made me want to change the world. None of that is an exaggeration.

Three Idiots // Bollywood, comedy & drama

I didn’t include the trailer for this one because I think it’s better to go into this movie blind.

Rating: PG-13
Length: 2h 50m
Rotten Tomatoes: 100/93
Release Year: 2009

This is my favorite movie of all time. I love this movie. If I was talking to you face-to-face, those two sentences would be so chock full of exclamations and all-caps. It would be like this: I LOVE THIS MOVIE!!!!! And probably accompanied by some excited hand-waving too.

The reason why it’s my unquestionable favorite is very simple: it’s the only movie that a) I’ve watched multiple times (at least three, maybe four) and b) has been just as good every time. I can’t think of another movie besides this one that I’ve wanted to rewatch. It’s so weird, so long, and SO GOOD. This movie has truly influenced my philosophy on life.

10 Things I Hate About You // romantic comedy

Rating: PG-13
Length: 1h 39m
Rotten Tomatoes: 68/69
Release Year: 1999

I watched this one two weeks ago and it was the inspiration for this post. This movie is a modern retelling of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, which I’ve never read, but I feel like you can’t talk about this movie without including that fact.

The movie has some sort of magical ingredient that I can’t name, but I know it’s there because theoretically, this movie should be terrible. It’s full of Extremely Unrealistic High School Scenes and Tropey Characters. But somehow—inexplicably, illogically (which I just learned is not a real word), unreasonably—it makes me so happy and I’m in love with it.

The Marvel movies // superheroes, sci-fi & action

If you want to watch the Marvel movies, but don’t know where to start, this is the order I watched them in.

If you asked me to choose my favorite Marvel movie, I would give you one (or more realistically five) after long internal debate, but I prefer to think of all the movies as one humongous movie.

I love the Marvel movies because they managed to created characters and a universe that I got so attached to that after watching Endgame (the final movie of the “first series”), I got stuck in a semi-faze for two or three days because a good part of me just wanted to return to the world.

And because so many other people love Marvel. There’s something awesome about being able to walk into any room of American kids and banking on the fact that most likely someone else also loves Marvel. In other words, I like being a part of a fandom even if I will never make it into the echelon of serious fans. I love Percy Jackson and Harry Potter was so good, but Marvel’s the only series that I have a Pinterest board for and that I’ve watched so many interviews of.

So to all the people who say the Marvel movies are just unoriginal and money-makers, my response is: Are you going to hate on restaurants for offering french fries because they know it makes money even if it doesn’t match their menu? (I don’t know if that’s a good analogy, but I just thought of it.)

But then I would continue to say: I see what you’re saying, but even if they’re “bad” movies, they’re good at making me watch them.

All the President’s Men // political & historical drama

Rating: PG
Length: 2h 18m
Rotten Tomatoes: 93/92
Release Year: 1976

I saw multiple websites describe this movie as a “political thriller”, but I think that’s misleading. Well, in the literal sense of the word “thriller,” I guess it’s true, but not really. I didn’t know this until today, but there’s actually specific differences between “thriller” and “horror”. Horror is unrealistic and scary, but thriller is realistic and not necessarily scary. Thriller just means there’s suspense. (Apparently some people say The Odyssey was the first true thriller? But this other post pushed back against the very idea that there should even be a separation, sooo.)

The movie is about journalists breaking Watergate, the biggest news story ever broken in US history, but the heart of this movie is still journalism. Actually, the entire movie is about journalism. Which means that 99% of the movie is two guys researching, scribbling notes, clacking on a typewriter, and talking to people who don’t want to talk to them.

If that sounds boring to you, don’t watch this movie. As for me, I thought Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein were as amazing as any of the Avengers. I didn’t love this movie in the same all-caps way that I loved the rest of this list, but I love it in a “ahhh journalism!!!” kind of way.

Have you watched any of these before?
What are your favorite movies?
Do you have different but famous movies to recommend?

Last movie you saw?

37 thoughts on “Five very different & very famous movies that I love”

        1. Ohh, I watched Knives out! I really liked it too. It was strange seeing Chris Evans as a character that wasn’t as nice as Captain America though… Ahhh, I still need to watch Star Wars! Did you watch the whole series? Aha, I just looked up In the Tall Grass but I don’t think I will be watching that one–I cannot watch horror.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. wow reading this made me so happy. i’ve never seen anybody outside of the indian community talk about 3 idiots, but it’s honestly such an iconic movie within the industry. i’ve grown up with this movie constantly playing in my house and the comedy, drama, the relationships and friendships and the overall message just…*chefs kiss*. i’m so glad you loved it.
    i also loved 10 things i hate about you with my whole heart!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AH YAY. Okay, I guess that just means I need to keep talking about it then :)) I’m planning on watching it with two of my friends this weekend so hopefully they’ll realize the genius of it too. Do you have any recommendations of other iconic movies in the industry?
      I know!!! Ahh so good.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ahhhh i hope your friends liked it!!
        ok so these movies are a must watch:
        – zindagi na milegi dobara
        – om shanti om
        – bhag milkha bhag
        – taare zameen par
        some of my faves (some of them are more on the comedy//romance ish side):
        – chachi 420
        – jab we met
        – dilwale dhulania le jayenge
        – hichki
        – PK
        i really hope you enjoy at least one of them!!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ahaha, I am very sorry to say that they only liked it okay and didn’t love it as much as I do. I think the singing surprised them? I always seemed to forget there’s musical numbers.
          AH THANK YOU FOR THIS LIST. Are the must watch ones your favorites?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. HAHA honestly i can see how it can be a little overwhelming but honestly the random musical breakouts can be such bops!!!! you just gotta find the good ones.

            i’d say the must watch ones are more of the bollywood staples – they’re some of the most popular movies within the industry. but tbh all of the movies i mentioned are my faves. if you’re trying to figure out which one to watch first, i think based off of your post, i’d narrow it down to

            – zindagi na milegi dobara (a coming of age movie about a group of friends who take a trip to spain and go through a bunch of different life experiences like conquering their fears)
            -bhag milkha bhag (this translates to “run milkha run” and is a sports biography depicting the life of one of india’s most iconic atheletes)
            -taare zameen par (a story of a young boy who gets sent away to a boarding school by his parents because they aren’t able to identify that his struggles with academics are a result of his dislexia)
            – i completely forgot to mention this one but kesari is such a good one!! it’s a historical war movie about the “Battle of Saragarhi” in which 21 sikh soldiers from a sikh regiment of the british indian army fought against 10,000 pashtun tribesmen. it was so good i sat there and cried in the movie theatre.
            but yes, i’d definitely say do a little research, watch some trailers and watch whatever appeals to you most!!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Okay okay, I have updates.
              I watched zindagi na milegi dobara and kesari.
              – zindagi na milegi: Aha, this was an insane bachelor’s trip. I think in the families I’ve grown up with, people don’t really do bachelor’s trips?? But this movie made me kind of want to jump out of a plane because what they did literally looks like flying—I had no idea that you could spread out in that way so you don’t keep diving down! I really loved how distinct all of them were and their friendships. Is there one musketeer that tends to be the most popular, or is that not even something people talk about? Ohh, and also the tomato fight??? That’s insane!
              – kesari: Whoa, I was not expecting the action shots of him fighting in this one, but wow, the choreagraphy was cool. I had no idea about the Battle of Saragarhi before watching this, so it was very interesting to learn more about the history. Oh my goodness, the moment at the end when he writes his own name on the wall–that made my eyes tear up.
              Thank you so, so much for the recommendatiosn!!!


  2. I haven’t seen any of these but I definitely need to check some of them out, I’d heard of ten things I hate about you before but haven’t watched it… yet. I love political thrillers, yes there is definitely a difference between horror and thriller haha and I think you summed it up pretty well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AH, please tell me what you think if you watch it! Ohh, what are you favorite political thrillers? I think the only other one I’ve watched is Argo, which I liked too. Ahah, thank youu :))

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a great list!! There are two movies on here I’ve seen, and then 3 I haven’t…if you count me seeing “Marvel” since I’ve only seen a little over half (?) by now. I didn’t ever thinking of them as being french fries of movies, to me they’re that rare tiramisu dessert that you really weren’t sure you were going to like but you ended up ordering it anyway and it was phenomenal. But I can see why they could be categorized into your typical action movies- but like!!! The characters!! The way the stories weave together!! The emotional investment is real with Marvel, and that’s why I feel like they’re so amazing.

    I’ve also seen 10 Things I Hate About You! I watched it at a birthday party in late January, and I did like it. I feel like it’s the last movie I watched in a group of people before quarantine, so that makes it stick out too. I love a good rom com and it was no exception…I agree, despite the tropes and typical high school scenes, it somehow hit differently.

    You now have me interested in 3 Idiots! I don’t know if comedy is necessarily the first genre of movie I would turn to (unless it is a rom com), but your description has me intrigued anyway. I’m very curious about how it changed your philosophy on life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank youuu. Aha, you’re more than half now! You’ve been moving so fast on the movies. Ohh, I like that comparison too. Now that I think about it, I’m surprised that I went into the movies expecting that I would like them. I’ve never been that interested by actions movies or other superhero movies like Batman and Spider-man. Maybe it was because I knew so many people who did? YES I KNOW. I completely agree.

      Ahhh! Whoa, that’s interesting. I have no idea when that will be a possibility again. I think watching this was the first step in me realizing that I realy like rom-coms. What are your favorites?? Yes, I know! In my opinion, they figured out the magic formula.

      Hahah, yesss success!!! Okay, if I look it up, it actually says its a Comedy/Romance, so I guess Google is saying it’s a rom-com. Sooo does that help?? Aha, but for real though, I think rom-com is not a good descriptor for this movie because it misses so, so much. Ohhh, I’m sorry to say that I’ll have to not elaborate on that for now ;)))

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ahh, I know! It turns out it takes a pandemic to get me to watch movies. That’s so interesting! I’ve never been into action movies either, but yes, I think it’s something about Marvel movies just being so iconic and well-known.

        Hmm, some of my favorites are You’ve Got Mail, Sweet Home Alabama, Sleepless in Seattle, and The Devil Wears Prada. :)) For some reason I really love rom coms from the early 2000s/late 90s…

        Haha, that helps! I like how Google says comedy/romance instead of rom-com, I don’t know, it just seems so formal, lol. Well, I look forward to someday hearing the philosophy elaboration!!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. AHH, okay it makes me excited that I’ve watched several of those.
          (wait, the last great american dynasty–are people shortening that into an acronym yet?–has “maddest woman in it”, I just wanted to mention it, I thought it was interesting she also has a song with a similar title)
          I’ve seen You’ve Got Mail, Sweet Home Alabama, and The Devil Wears Prada. How did you feel about the love triangles in The Devil Wears Prada and Sweet Home Alabama??

          AHahah, I agree. Oh darn it, that was my sly attempt to try and say that you should watch it so I can talk to you about it, but I really don’t think that came through—but then after watching it with my friends the other weekend, I realized that it would probably not make sense even if you did see it, so let me explain: I think this movie is one of the biggest things that cemented my philosophy that if at all possible, you should do what you love simply because you love it, to learn for the sake of learning, not for the money or success. And if you’re not sure what you love, to live without fear as you’re trying to figure it out.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Oh, I noticed that too about The Last Great American Dynasty (lol, it should be TLGAD by now). I love song-to-song connections- I wonder if it was on purpose, or if a theme in this album is just mad women.
            Agh, I love those movies so much! (Sleepless in Seattle actually has the same two actors, Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks I think, playing the love interests as in You’ve Got Mail, which I think is really cool.) Hmm, I’m trying to remember the love triangle in The Devil Wears Prada- is the love triangle kind of between her job and her boyfriend?
            For Sweet Home Alabama, I feel like the first time I watched it I felt so bad for the dude she was engaged to (I forgot his name but he’s super famous now from Grey’s Anatomy- oh right, Andrew) but I do feel like she belongs with the guy she was married to. What do you think? Also, my mom and I think the engagement scene at the beginning of the movie is like the most iconic engagement scene ever- just all the lights flickering on in Tiffany’s and he just says, “pick one.”

            HAHA, oh wait, I did see your sly attempt- I also meant to have a sly attempt but saying that I would hear your elaboration someday if I ever watched the movie, but I think it didn’t come across. Haha our sly attempt failures is making me laugh!! Ahh, that philosophy is amazing. I love that movies can make you think something like that!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Ohh, I hope she explains which one it was at some point. Has she done any song explaining yet?
              Dang, you’re completely right about the work/boyfriend love triange. But I was talking about the un-analytical one between her boyfriend and the super successful guy she meets through work who–I don’t really know how to explain–I guess he does do love at first sight? Or not love, more like interest. He’s blond, and in my head, he’s wearing one of those super posh sweaters.
              He’s from Grey’s Anatomy?? I didn’t know that! Yes, I agree. Ahaha, you and your mom are so right. Why have a proposal on knee scene like every other movie when you can offer an entire Tiffany store’s worth of rings?

              AHAHA AHHH this made me laugh. And I know!!!

              Liked by 1 person

              1. I don’t think so!
                Haha, for some reason as much as I like this movie I am completely forgetting who the other dude is. OH, I just googled it and now I remember him…honestly, I think my head was just saying “NO” during that entire plotline. What did you think?
                Yeah!! He plays Derek Shephard. I only know this information because my sister is Grey’s Anatomy obsessed.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Okay, if I think about it, it does feel like another unnecessary plot addition (oh no, I’m saying another entire character is unnecessary again), but while I was watching, I was torn between the two—this is more evidence that most of the time love triangles make me feel as conflicted as the protagonist does.
                  My friend (um, the one who had the Subway Surfers high score) loves Grey’s Anatomy so much too. Instead of listening to music or something like that while doing homework, he puts on Grey’s.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. I can see why you would be torn because her original boyfriend was kind of unsupportive of her career at times, which makes me less appealing maybe?
                    HAHA, I love that your friend is characterized in my head as being the Subway-Surfers-and-Grey’s-Anatomy person now. I have a lot of friends that do that with shows- one of my friends has to have The Office playing or else she has trouble falling asleep.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. Hm yes, I think that was part of it, and then maybe another part of it was that the other guy seemed to really like her? Ohh, and maybe a little bit how the mom said something about how the relationship wouldn’t work. Writing this made me realize that choosing in love triangles might be hard for me because the other person seems like they’re always going to be so hurt? So as soon as the other person, like in this instance, shows that they’re going to be okay, it’s not hard anymore.
                      Hahaha! That’s so good. Does this mean we need another acronym?? SSGA. Whoa wait, what is she going to do after it gets taken off Netflix?

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. I know, I can always see both sides for the love triangles and it makes it so difficult.
                      SSGA is now an official Olivia and Annie acronym, it’s locked in. ;)) I know right? I’ve been thinking about that lately because I keep hearing it’s getting taken off at the end of the year…I don’t know, I need to ask her how she’ll carry on without The Office.

                      Liked by 1 person

  4. first of all can i just say i am SO happy to see a bollywood movie on this list????? 3 idiots is a CLASSIC that never gets old. did you see it w/ subtitles or do you speak Hindi??? i wonder how the humor was translated.
    so i’m not usually interested in sport documentaries but this one sounds so creative and interesting??? like,,, to actually follow the boys for 5 years (as well as The Office style lol)- i’ve never heard of anything like it.
    AAA as a mass comm & journalism major, i am thirsting to watch ATPM, thank u for bringing these movies on my radar, you’re doing god’s work

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AHHH. Oh my, I wish I would be able to watch it without subtitles! You give me way too much credit by even asking that. Nope, I definitely watched it with subtitles. Ohh that’s interesting–I think it translated very well, but probably so much still fell through. What are your favorite Bollywood movies?
      It’s so, so good. It doesn’t even feel like a sports documentary. Just a life documentary. Umm, which I guess all documentaries are. Aha wait, I think my description of The Office style is misleading. Basically the only way it’s similar is that it’s about regular people and their daily lives?
      NO WAY, you’re a comm & journalism major??? Oh my goodness, I have so many questions. Okay, my first one will be: what are your favorites magazines/podcasts/websites?
      And thank you, thank you :))


  5. For a while I had sort of an attitude about the Marvel movies. I liked them ok, but I was still sort of like, “Oh, those money-making superhero movies all about people smashing stuff.” But now…I’m kind of in awe? Sure, they have their flaws, but it’s really kind of incredible how they managed to create this huge franchise with so many different characters/character arcs and storylines.
    I’ve actually seen several new movies this year that I really like. I think the most recent one was 1917. It’s a WWI film done as one continuous shot and the direction and cinematography is INSANE. It’s sooooo good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh YAY, I’m so glad you also think it’s awesome how the Marvel movies build characters. The smashing part is probably my least favorite part of the movies–I get kind of bored during the action scenes. Aha, usually the thought always crosses my mind of nooo you’re destroying so many things! What about that car! And that building! And all those other cars and buildings!
      Yes, I watched the first half of 1917! Hahah yes, I just kept thinking about the one shot. Ohh my dad’s take on it was that he didn’t really like it because he thought the two soldiers kept doing unreasonable things.
      What other new movies have you really liked this year??

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know! My eyes tend to sort of glaze over during all the smashing. If someone asked me what actually happens in any given battle in a Marvel movie, the chances are I would have no idea (except I would be able to confidently say that lots of destruction happens). Haha, I guess I don’t really know much about what is or isn’t reasonable for soldiers to be doing XD Other new movies: I really love Onward! Oh, and Ford Vs. Ferrari! I really had no idea what that movie was about going into it, but I was surprised by how much I liked it. Knives Out wasn’t a new favorite or anything, but it was pretty fun (the detective guy was really great and funny). Also, it’s not a new release, but I watched A Quiet Place for the first time about a month ago and it was really good.


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