5. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
The movie: The first of Peter Jackson’s SIX movies set in Middle-Earth is a jaw-dropping piece of cinema. It remains even now, nearly two decades after its initial release, a captivating tale. The story of an unlikely hero, the young Hobbit Frodo, as he bands together a fellowship to journey across the world to save all of Middle-Earth is… well, it’s about as cookie-cutter as you can get. But there’s nothing common about Jackson’s fantastical retelling of the Tolkien classic.
Why it’s worth watching: Bold, exciting filmmaking that weaves character, action, plot, heart, and some mightily ambitious world-building? That’s what you’re getting with the first chapter of the Rings trilogy. It’s a reminder that despite The Hobbit trilogy’s misfire, Fellowship is the real deal.
4. The Sixth Sense (1999)
The film: "I see dead people." That's the line everyone remembers from The Sixth Sense, and, that one iconic line kinda sums up the film. Cole (Haley Joel Osment) is a sensitive kid who indeed does see ghosts. His mom (Toni Collette) sends him to see a therapist Malcolm (Bruce Willis) to help with his visions and social anxieties, all the while his experiences with the dead continue to grow more violent...
Why it's worth watching: This is the reason everyone pays attention when Shyamalan releases a new movie. The Sixth Sense set the standard high and I'm not even talking about the twist. It packs in a raft of creepy moments, making it one of the most chilling flicks ever made, and somehow also manages to be a massive tearjerker at the same time. Toni Collette's last scene? Try not to blub.
3. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
The film: The unthinkable happens to Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. No, no-one major has died (yet), but The Avengers are split into two factions when the government pokes its nose into all their city-destroying fun. When the superhero registration act is introduced, Cap rebels against authority - very un-Cap of him - and Tony sides with the suits. Watching the team whose witty banter and sly digs have always been playful, turn against one another? It’s hard going. Never has Marvel's big screen action been so thrilling, or emotional.
Why it's worth watching: This ain't your typical MCU flick. The stakes are raised, lives are on the line, and there's one revelatory moment that leads to the best fight scene so far in the entire Marvel cinematic universe. Oh yeah, and Spider-Man's entrance? Will give you all the chills.
2. As Good As It Gets (1997)
The film: Jack Nicholson stars as obsessive-compulsive novelist Melvin Udall, a man so consumed by his compulsions, he alienates everyone around him. After his neighbour is terrorised and robbed, Melvin is strong-armed into caring for the man's dog, and in doing so, develops an begrudging love for it… and the people around him.
Why it's worth watching: Look, I'm not particularly into romantic comedies either, but As Good as it Gets is as close to perfect as a Feel Good movie can get, with Oscar-winning performances by both Nicholson and co-star Helen Hunt, as well as stunning performances from Cuba Gooding Jr and Greg Kinnear. It remains the last film on record to receive Academy Awards for both Best Actor and Best Actress.
1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Region: UK, US
The film: Still one of the best Stephen King adaptations ever made, it's hard to believe Frank Darabont's film was a flop in cinemas. Luckily, this modern classic found its audience on home entertainment, with audiences lapping up this tale of Andy Dufresne, a banker wrongly charged with double homicide. His ambitious goal to break out of prison serves as the main driving force, but as fans will attest, this is more than a mere 'prison break' movie.
Why it's worth watching: Tim Robbins delivers a career-best performance and Morgan Freeman sets himself up as the voiceover artist in every movie made since. If those two leading turns aren’t enough to satiate your movie needs, then what of the film’s central lesson, “Get busy livin’, or get busy dyin’”? What's not to love about this movie?