Classic: The Godfather (Amazon)
I’m nervous just writing this description because I know it will not do this classic justice. From the incredible characters and cast to the unforgettable soundtrack and cinematography, this film changed cinema as we know it. If you haven’t seen it in a while or even if you have, re-live the story of the infamous Corleone New York crime family. I promise you’ll get something new out of it. And remember, always, always take the cannoli.
Comedy: Guess Who (Netflix)
You know what this movie was? A cultural reset. A remake of the 1967 classic Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, this gender swapped version is still relevant 15 years later. Bernie Mac and Ashton Kutcher are at war from the second he steps out of the taxi with Zoe Saldana, which makes their heart to heart at the end all the more endearing. They do a great job of acknowledging racial tensions and building bridges as well as making you laugh the entire time. With immense respect, Bernie is also part of the reason I’m terrified of bringing white men home to meet my parents.
Romance: The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Netflix)
I’d forgotten how much I loved this film (and book!) until Netflix dropped it last week. This coming-of-age story is timeless, heartfelt, and sincere; tackling some serious issues (TW: depression, suicide, abuse) without becoming preachy or lachrymose. The cast is incredible: Paul Rudd! Mae Whitman! Cousin Greg?!? And plus, is there anything more iconic than Sam, Patrick, and Charlie dancing to “Come On Eileen” at the homecoming dance? Stephen Chbosky, both the author and writer/director, managed an impossible feat: a successful film adaptation of a beloved book.
Animation: Onward (Disney+)
Because it’s Pixar, I obviously go along for the ride but by the end of the movie I realize I’ve been crying for the last 15 minutes. Frozen’s fine, but I have an older brother so this movie hits deep for me. Tom Holland voices a boy who’s never met his father. On his birthday, his mother gifts him with magic powers left for him by his dad, who died of cancer when his brother, voiced by Chris Pratt, was much younger. Chris and Tom go on a quest to bring their dad back to life for a day so Tom can finally meet him. When his chance is ruined, he realizes his older brother’s the best father figure he could’ve grown up with instead.