Be Cool (2005)
Director: F. Gary Gray
Screenplay: Peter Steinfeld
Starring: John Travolta, Uma Thurman
Like any great Elmore Leonard novel adaptation, lots of funky characters will be introduced and not everything will be tied up neat and tidy. While Be Cool doesn’t win as much as its predecessor Get Shorty, it still has some fine performances, especially by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Bend It Like Beckham (2003)
Director: Gurinder Chadha
Screenplay: Paul Mayeda Berges, Guljit Bindra, Gurinder Chadha
Starring: Keira Knightly, Parminder Nagra
In this decidedly British dram-com, a young Indian girl desperately wants to play football (soccer) and in comes Keira Knightly to awkwardly help her do just that.
Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980)
Director: Michael Apted
Screenplay: Tom Rickman
Starring: Sissy Spacek, Tommy Lee Jones
The story of country music legend Loretta Lynn is brought to life in this heartbreaking melodrama starring the inimitable Sissy Spacek.
Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
Director: Bruce Beresford
Screenplay: Alfred Uhry
Starring: Morgan Freeman, Jessica Tandy
Driving Miss Daisy is often pointed at as, less a well put together meditation of racial prejudices in the American South, and more a movie that tries to purportedly “solve” problems by acknowledging that they don’t have to exist if we’re just nice to each other. Great thought but totally inapplicable in our modern lives.
Director: Gregory Hoblit
Screenplay: Toby Emmerich
Starring: Jim Caviezel, Dennis Quaid
Frequency is one of those movies that everybody’s dad has seen and probably loves. Seriously, go ask your dad if he’s seen this movie and he’ll probably respond with “Oh yeah, I love that movie.”
Get Smart (2008)
Director: Peter Segal
Screenplay: Tom J. Astle, Matt Ember
Starring: Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway
There’s always a need for movies that you can just kind of ignore while you fold laundry or do the dishes or whatever. Get Smart is the perfect movie for doing minor tasks.
Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay (2008)
Director: Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg
Screenplay: Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg
Starring: John Cho, Kal Penn
Maybe the world needs another Harold & Kumar movie. It just might be the right time in world history for some slightly subversive and very stupid stoner laughs by a couple of Asian guys.
The Birth of a Nation (2016)
Director: Nate Parker
Screenplay: Nate Parker
Starring: Nate Parker, Gabrielle Union
This film had a strange history out of the gate: a reimagining of the original The Birth of a Nation but with the slaves playing the heroes instead of the villains. Sounds good, right? That was until some disturbing revelations about Nate Parker’s actions in college. Critics eventually panned it and people stepped out of the way to let Parker self-destruct.
Director: Christopher Nolan
Screenplay: Hillary Seitz
Starring: Al Pacino, Robin Williams
Chris Nolan has made a slew of great flicks over the course of his career but most people tend to name check his Batman trilogy and Inception when they speak of it. Insomnia finds Al Pacino as a detective sent to Alaska on a missing persons case. He finds Robin Williams in a sinister turn as the man he’s got to hunt down.
Director: Herbert Ross
Screenplay: Nancy Meyers
Starring: Goldie Hawn, Chris Sarandon
After saving the life of an Arab emir, Goldie Hawn finds herself at the center of the world’s attention. And with the world’s attention, comes plenty of scandal!
Rush Hour 3 (2007)
Director: Brett Ratner
Screenplay: Jeff Nathanson
Starring: Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker
There’s plenty of debate over which of the Rush Hour films is the best in the series, but we don’t think there’s much to be said at all: it’s clear that third times are truly a charm.
Director: Peter Chelsom
Screenplay: Marc Klein
Starring: Kate Beckinsale, John Cusack
Before she was slaying werewolves on the reg, Kate Beckinsale was slaying our hearts with understated little romantic comedies like this one opposite John Cusack.
Director: John Singleton
Screenplay: John Singleton
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Christian Bale
Only one man can clean up the seedy underbelly of New York City and look good as hell doing it—SHAFT! (shut yo mouth).
Shakespeare in Love (1998)
Director: John Madden
Screenplay: Tom Stoppard, Marc Norman
Starring: Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes
This film won a ton of awards the year it came out but people will probably just find it annoying now.
Director: Jan de Bont
Screenplay: Graham Yost, Joss Whedon
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, Dennis Hopper
This is one of the best movies to ever take place on a bus. There aren’t a ton of movies that take place on a bus, but if there were, this one would still be the best.
The Bodyguard (1992)
Director: Mick Jackson
Screenplay: Lawrence Kasdan
Starring: Kevin Costner, Whitney Houston
It’s become a Twitter “woke” trope to hate on white savior movies but this one has to be one of the worst. Luckily, the two stars shine brightly being that their respective characters aren’t too far from their real life counterparts. But, then again, here we are making hot takes on a 25-year-old movie.
The Conjuring (2013)
Director: James Wan
Screenplay: Chad Hayes, Carey Hayes
Starring: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga
Horror movies get a bad rap because so many awful slasher flicks have come out over the course of cinema history but The Conjuring takes horror movies back for the people! It’s a more than serviceable haunted house film with plenty of great acting.
The Order (2003)
Director: Brian Helgeland
Screenplay: Brian Helgeland
Starring: Heath Ledger, Shannyn Sossamon
Devils and demons plague Heath Ledger (RIP) playing a priest of the old order hot on the trail of an arcane murder. He’ll have to get down with G-O-D if he wants to solve this one.
The Witches of Eastwick (1987)
Director: George Miller
Screenplay: Michael Cristofer
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Cher, Michelle Pfeiffer
Based on the novel of the same name by John Updike, The Witches of Eastwick finds Jack Nicholson as a charming bachelor who encourages the titular witches to grow their powers through seduction.
The Conjuring 2 (2016)
Director: James Wan
Screenplay: Chad Hayes, Carey Hayes, James Wan, David Leslie Johnson
Starring: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga
This sequel has the Warrens once again besieged by evil spirits. No less terrifying but another fine outing by genre specialist James Wan.