One main characteristic of cinephiles is that their favorite movies are incredibly rewatchable. Sometimes, these rewatchable movies are a bit odd and esoteric. This author will watch random films like The Ninth Gate and Starship Troopers until he knows them by heart. Rewatchability is one of the best qualities a movie can have. It is great to go back and watch Inception again to try and discover a few more nuggets of information as to what is going on. People love watching Titanic over and over. That film tugs at the heartstrings, is gorgeous to look at, and gets the adrenaline pumping. There are some wonderful movies that you may never see again. Who wants to sit through the emotionally exhausting Mother! again? That is not to say it isn’t solid art, but it is bad business.
However, movie lovers aren’t the only ones who find their favorite films rewatchable. Each one of us often finds ourselves sitting on the couch on a Saturday morning, looking for something to watch with their morning coffee. This list contains those movies you find impossible to click past with your remote. Usually, people know these films by heart. Watching them again is like visiting an old friend. It doesn’t matter is the film is half-over. You just have to watch it. Here are the 10 incredibly rewatchable movies.
Goodfellas (1990) & Casino (1995)
Both of Martin Scorsese’s mafia epics are infinitely rewatchable. Goodfellas being 146 minutes and Casino being 178 minutes, either film can comfortably fill up your afternoon. The pair are cinematic siblings. They both involve a flawed protagonist, a strong female lead, an insane Joe Pesci, and Scorsese’s brilliant direction. The reason the films are so rewatchable because of their length and episodic nature. Both films follow a large amount of time and have sharp, focused vignettes that tell the story rather than a single flowing narrative. If you see Goodfellas is on, you watch it because the How am I funny? scene or the Tommy/Spider interaction is coming up. If Casino is on, you watch because the next scene is Ace confronting Lester Diamond or Ace wanting an equal amount of blueberries in each muffin.
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Grease is always on. Because there is something so infinitely rewatchable about the 1978 musical. The 50s style, the iconic music, Travolta and Newton-John’s chemistry, the wacky supporting characters; it is all just a pleasantly fun time. Even though the film takes place in the 50s, it is a high school film that provides the audience with all the best parts of it. We all have pleasant, nostalgic memories of high school. That is because we choose to not remember the embarrassing, stressful memories. We remember the girls, the guys, the dances, the teachers, and the rivalries. Grease gives us a perfect concoction of all of that, and set it all to some of the catchiest music ever.
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A Christmas Story (1983)
This one is a bit of a cheat, but A Christmas Story is that movie you have to leave on your TV all day on Christmas. The film is a darkly hilarious tale about Ralphie and his experiences leading up to Christmas. All he wants is a Red Ryder BB Gun but all anyone keeps telling him is that he’ll “shoot his eye out”. Peter Billingsley is as cute as a button, and his story is the most perfect exhibition of almost everyone’s childhood. The way he sees his parents, the way he deals with bullies, the way he feels about the magic surrounding the holiday; it all rings true and is relatable.
Around the Christmas season, many people have their film traditions. Some watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Others watch Home Alone or A Muppet Christmas Carol. However, they are all a bit silly and gimmicky. No film puts you in the holiday spirit quite like A Christmas Story. It is the reason you will put it on Christmas Morning, or when you are wrapping presents, or even mid-July sometimes.
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Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)
Kingsman: The Secret Service is the most recent film on the list. There wasn’t much buzz surrounding the film when Matthew Vaughn released it in 2014. However, once it was out, moviegoers fell in love and became quite obsessed with it. The film is so rewatchable. The relationship between Eggsy and Harry is great. Samuel L. Jackson is chewing more scenery than he ever has. Sophia Boutella is pretty hardcore as Gazelle. However, the real key to this film being rewatchable is its many brilliant action sequences. No matter when you enter the film, one of these scenes is imminent. Early on you have Gazelle’s assault on the cabin and Harry’s fight in the bar. In the middle, you have the church assault, arguably the best action sequence in years. Later on, Eggsy is encroaching on Valentine’s lair. If Kingsman is on, any moment, Matthew Vaughn is going to wow the viewer in a way few directors have the ability to.
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Dumb & Dumber (1994)
This movie is just that, dumb, and it makes it stupidly rewatchable. Another film that seems to always be on, Dumb and Dumber just makes the viewer feel better about themselves. Laughing at idiots is one of the most classic forms of comedy. From way back in the Buster Keaton/Charlie Chaplin days and the Three Stooges era, fools have always entertained. Even the circus employs clowns to make the audience laugh in between them being awestruck. Well, are there two bigger idiots, two bigger fools, or two more ridiculous cinematic clowns than Harry and Lloyd? Like Goodfellas and Casino mentioned earlier, Dumb & Dumber is episodic in nature. As they cross the country, they have increasingly absurd interactions. When you see that the film is on, it is worth it to keep watching. Any moment, something epically stupid is going to happen and make you feel better about yourself.
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The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003)
People who are fans of Peter Jackson’s epic trilogy will, and have, watched them over and over. When Peter Jackson set out to adapt Tolkien’s tomes, it was an enormous undertaking that could have been a disaster. What he pulled off was cinematic perfection at a level we may never see again in our lifetimes. Every set, every costume, and every effect is flawless and to watch the films makes us believe that Middle Earth exists. The trilogy is essentially a single 570-minute opus, and nearly every second of it is pure magic. Movie lovers just can’t get enough of Ian McKellan’s Gandalf. Visiting the Mines of Moria is always breathtaking and heartbreaking. Being a part of the Battle if Helms Deep gets the blood pumping and the spirit singing. Therefore, The Lord of the Rings trilogy is one of the most rewatchable collection of films of all time.
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Blazing Saddles (1974)
Just as we may well never see cinematic perfection like The Lord of the Rings again in our lifetime, we may never see cinematic bravery like Blazing Saddles ever again. The audacity that Mel Brooks had making his classic comedy western is shocking and refreshing, and it makes it totally rewatchable. In the 44 years since it’s release, has racial humor every been so honest, daring, and shocking? What about the drunk humor? How about the sexual humor? The jokes come effortlessly and copiously. If you are surfing the channels and see Blazing Saddles pop up, something very specific happens. You feel that twinge of discomfort and excitement. Invariably, when this masterpiece is in the conversation, someone will say they can’t make this movie today!
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My Cousin Vinny (1992)
My Cousin Vinny being rewatchable stems primarily from its simplicity. Brooklyn lawyer heads to Beechum County, Alabama to defend his cousin from a murder charge. Simple enough. However, Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei are so incredibly hilarious that no matter where you are in the film, you are seconds from a pee-in-your-pants-level joke. Even though lovers of this film probably can recite it through rote memorization, it never makes it less funny. The way Fred Gwynne’s Judge Heller so perfectly chastises Pesci’s inexperienced Vinny is always a riot. Also, Tomei’s over-the-top performance as Mona Lisa Vito could have been Fran Drescher-level annoying. However, she is so pitch-perfect that you can’t get enough of her. It isn’t just the main characters though. Austin Pendleton’s opening statement and first cross-examination are worth the price of admission.
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Tommy Boy (1995)
We all miss Chris Farley. He was taken from us way too early. Tommy Boy is his legacy and any comedy fan HAS to watch the film if they find it on cable. It is one of the best road trip movies and rarely has there been a better comic pairing than Farley and David Spade. Farley is the lovable doofus. Spade is a cynical jerk forced to essentially babysit him. Their antics are so hilarious that no matter how many times you see them, they make you laugh. Just try not to laugh during the “other guy’s brake pads” scene played out on a man’s desk. From all accounts, Chris Farley was a frenetic man with a huge heart. Tommy Callahan is exactly that. Tommy Boy is so rewatchable because not only is it effortlessly hilariously, but it is great to spend time with Farley and remember how great he was.
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The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
This Frank Darabont/Stephen King masterpiece is the king of rewatchable movies. When The Shawshank Redemption came out in 1994, it was critically acclaimed. It garnered 7 Academy Award nominations that year but was totally shut out by Forrest Gump and Pulp Fiction. However, it went on to become the most rented film of 1995 and one of the biggest selling releases of all time. What’s more, TNT acquired the rights for extremely cheap and played it incessantly. The film’s popularity catapulted it atop IMDB’s Top 250 list. Admit it. If you are channel surfing and you see Shawshank, usually on TNT, you stop. Andy and Red’s story is just so perfectly told. If you tune in early on, you get the pleasure of Andy and Red’s friendship blooming. If you tune in later, you may catch the brilliant prison break. Whatever it is, even if it is for 10 minutes, you are going to get a delicious morsel of pleasure from one of the greatest films of all time.
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