5 Movies To See Before You Die

If you are thinking about the best movies to watch this festive season, consider those a little outside the box. Everyone knows about the classic festive films like Elf, Scrooged, and The Nightmare Before Christmas, but what about those indie classics that slip under the radar. There’s no better time than the festive season to watch some alternative pieces of cinematic history. These are the movies that you have to see before you die.

Lost In Translation

If you are a big fan of actor Bill Murray and his gentle, screwball, and harmless humor, you might want to take a punt on Lost in Translation. Playing a washed out, c-list celebrity (often spotted on the red carpet premierescene) who is summoned to Japan to take part in a lucratively paid advert for Santory whiskey, Bill Murray’s character is going through a life change. He is worried about a looming mid-life crisis and is struggling with life back in the USA. His wife is estranged and he struggles to communicate with her when he calls her from Tokyo. Along comes Scarlett Johanson’s character, a newly married young woman who is lost. She has no career, no purpose, and lacks a mojo. Throwing these two tragic character together is a masterclass in cinematography by Sophia Coppola. 

Lost in Translation is a work of art in terms on cityscapes, showing off Tokyo and all it has to offer, and as an exploration into surreal and meaningful relationships. Without giving the plot away, you will enjoy a gentle alternative comedy that explores the meaning of life and how people can get the most out of their journey through their own existence.

I, Tonya

For another off the wall comedy, you can’t beat I, Tonya. An odd, weird and wonderful mock documentary of Tonya Harding, the real-life ice skater at the center of controversy with the stabbing of her rival for an Olympic place. I, Tonya is a difficult watch in parts. You begin to feel sorry for her as she verges from her overbearing and uncaring mother to an abusive partner. All the while, she is a ridiculously talented ice skater struggling to catch a break. 

Many movies take an in-depth look at the most famous sports trophies around the world. Who can forget the banal Wimbledon film and the long drawn out Rush? This is a sports movie that focuses more on the person behind the sport. There are plenty of great ice skating scenes but it is the other relationship focused moments that really pack a punch.

Jurassic Park

Unless you have lived under a rock all your life, you can’t fail to have noticed the Jurassic Park movie franchise. With more recent Jurassic World movies being released, a new generation has been exposed to the original Steven Spielberg classic. Jeff Goldblum plays Ian Malcolm, the achingly cool and cynical scientist who is less than pleased with the regeneration of dinosaurs. Sam Neill and Laura Dern made their names in this classic. Add to the great romp of a film exploring a dinosaur park on Costa Rica, the finest robotronics ever to be seen on screen, and Jurassic Park was a forward thinking adventure movie. Spielberg shunned the allure of CGI for masterful puppetry. This was a great plan as the dinosaurs such as the poorly triceratops and the mammoth tyrannosaurus rex looked more real for the viewer. If you haven’t seen this movie, put it on your list for the holiday season.


If you fancy a movie that is less hard to define by genre and you are a big fan of Keanu Reeves, then you could do far worse than Constantine. This supernatural movie wasn’t a massive hit when released in theaters, but now it is a cult classic. Keanu Reeves plays a man who can see demons and exorcise them from human beings. He is flawed as he tried to take his own life when he was young, meaning that he is damned to hell. Couple this with the fact he now has lung cancer, he is waiting to die while doing God’s work on Earth.

Racehl Weisz meets Reeves’s character as her sister dies in mysterious circumstances. Finding out that she shares his gift, they embark on a supernatural thriller meeting the devil, demons, and the angel Gabriel along the way. The film is awesome on special effects and is fun to watch. It has a great cyberpunk sort of feel and remains dark throughout. If youare into The Exorcist or The Exorcism of Emily Rose, you will enjoy Constantine.

Spirited Away

For those people who enjoy the world of Studi Ghibli, Spirited Away is a classic and the film that brought Japanese anime to the masses. Telling the story of a young girl who wanders into a mythical world, she encounters a whole host of spirits, evil old ladies, giant babies, blots of ink, and spider like old men. It is a surreal world and you never know what you are going to see on screen.

Haku is a central character to the animation being the river spirit after meeting Chihiro, the young female protagonist. They are both good hearted individuals and share a unique bond although neither of them knows why. The giant baby which turns into a tiny mouse accompanies Chihiro on her journey. Odd, bizarre, and crazy, it is a joy to watch the story unfold. By watching this movie, you join them on their quest to help Chihiro get home, rescue her parents from the grip of the evil natured old grandma, and escape from the spirit world. 

The animation isn’t computer generated and has a classic Japanese feel. The colors are bold and the soundtrack is wonderful. Emotive, heartfelt and accessible to all ages, Spirited Away is a tear jerker as well as a lesson in following your own path through life.

If you are eager to watch some awesome movies this Christmas but you don’t fancy the usual offerings, follow this guide and watch these incredible movies this festive season.

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Mark Meets
Mark Meets
MarkMeets Media is British-based online news magazine covering showbiz, music, tv and movies
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