The phenomenon of cinema has brought people together for unforgettable experiences in the wonders of film. Movies not only provide entertainment but profound insights into different eras, cultures and struggles of humankind. The following films are widely praised by fans and critics and have all stood the test of time. These films were made with universal themes and are relatable to audiences of various backgrounds and beliefs. Not all the classic movies are represented in this list. The following represent groundbreaking movies in their genres.
Plot: During the onslaught of World War II, a German manufacturer hides over a thousand Jews from being sent to the death camps. Although the film was made in the 90s, it was shot in black in white.
Why it’s a classic: Oskar Schindler was a man who engaged in many hedonistic activities until he sees the plight of the Jews. His decision to shelter refugees from the imminent genocide reflects an unexpected change of heart. The scenes portraying Nazi brutality leave a devastating impact on the audience. For a few moments, the viewers get to see through the eyes of Schindler and feel his dilemma. Schindler possesses the good within every man to do the right thing. Few directors can create movies so powerful and moving, where the film takes the audience to a time and place and invites them into their struggles.
Plot: A mentally challenged man narrates the events of his life through his innocent mind. Throughout his life he faces many obstacles but overcomes them with his determination to make the most of himself.
Why it’s a classic: Forrest Gump may seem to be a simple man, but he makes all the right decisions in his life. Even with mental limitations, he manages to live his life to the fullest and never give up on his friends. What he lacked in intelligence, he made up with his immaculate nature. He is unintentionally funny during certain scenes with his childish demeanor making him easily-likeable. For many viewers, Gump represented the strength and kindness of humanity in its purest form.
Plot: A small time boxer gets the opportunity of his lifetime to fight the world champion and prove himself to the world.
Why it’s a classic: Rocky represents an all American hero, the underdog looking to make a name for himself. Very few people can watch Rocky and not be inspired to get up and do something with their lives. Rocky popularized the sports training montage in movies, and became one of the most recognizable characters in American cinema.
Plot: An aging patriarch looks to pass down his power to his heir after spending many years as a mafia crime lord. When his son finally takes the torch, he leads the crime family down a new path.
Why it’s a classic: The acting, characters, and the story was as phenomenal in 1972 as it is today. Gangsters have the reputation as being very brutal and blunt in their motives, but the Godfather shows a different side to gangster life. Dedication and loyalty to family are essential to the life of a gangster. Michael Corleone the new family leader, is cold and manipulative. His character is the catalyst for the story. Every character is well-developed and each scene is masterfully done. The Godfather is known as one of the greatest movies of all time and is rightfully so.
Plot: In a fictional near future, machines have turned on their human creators and are now hunting them down to extinction. Deadly and relentless assassin robots known as terminators have traveled to the past to murder their greatest enemy before he is even born.
Why it’s a classic: Few action movies are as engaging and exhilarating as the Terminator. Flashbacks reveal the chaos and death of what will happen to the earth. The desperation and melancholiness of the future only made their conflict in the present more climatic. Memorable one-liners and extraordinary actions scenes made this movie fun from start to finish.
Plot: A Scottish warrior rises to the challenge of retaliating against the English invaders and to reunite his country.
Why it’s a classic: The timeless themes of war, freedom and sacrifice remain relevant today. William Wallace, the protagonist, symbolizes Scotland’s resolve to fight against English tyranny. The cinematography brings out the beauty of Scotland and makes the movie much more immersive. The pacing of the movie is slow, but the audience can get to appreciate the scenery and atmosphere of the overall movie.
Each one of these movies brought something new to the table. These timeless classics have touched the hearts of generations and will hold a special place in cinema.