30 Days Of Film: Day 1

Question: What is the one movie everyone must see – and why?

We asked and you answered. Here are a selection of your must see films and why…

Avatar (2009)


The future. Paraplegic war hero, Jake, is taken against his will to the planet of Pandora – a world inhabited by a race of humanoids called The Na’vi. Forced to exploit the valuable resources of the local population, Jake decides to turn against his human companions, and join the planet’s people in an epic fight for survival.

It brings reality and truth to light regarding our treatment of our planet. It relays in a disturbing way how we are damaging and portrays a very important message to the younger generation. – Hayley Brown

Watch Avatar


Belle (2013)

 Gugu Mbatha-Raw in BELLE

Inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), the illegitimate mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral. Raised by her aristocratic great-uncle Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) and his wife (Emily Watson), Belle’s lineage affords her certain privileges, yet the colour of her skin prevents her from fully participating in the traditions of her social standing. Left to wonder if she will ever find love, Belle falls for an idealistic young vicar’s son bent on change who, with her help, shapes Lord Mansfield’s role as Lord Chief Justice to end slavery in England.

[It’s about] being in an odd position. Having a privileged, wealthy status due to her father, yet even this does not save her from the discrimination towards her due to her race. – Georgina Pendrey

Watch Belle


The Boy In The Striped Pajamas (2008)


Berlin, 1942. Eight-year-old Bruno knows nothing of the Final Solution and the Holocaust. He is oblivious to the appalling cruelties being inflicted on the people of Europe by his country. All he knows is that his father was promoted and he has been moved from a comfortable home in Berlin to a house in a desolate area where there is nothing to do and no-one to play with. Then he meets Shmuel, a boy who lives a strange parallel existence on the other side of the adjoining wire fence and who, like the other people there, wears a uniform of striped pajamas. Bruno’s friendship with Shmuel will take him from innocence to revelation, as their secret meetings result in a friendship that has startling and devastating consequences.

It’s a perfect, moving drama but more than that it portrays a very important part of human history which everyone should know about as it depicts how dark humanity has gone in the past so can be seen as a message that don’t ever want to get to this ever again. There are certainly deeper, more complex and some would say. better, films about the holocaust but because this version of events is told through the innocent eyes of children it cannot fail to be understood by all. And perfect for a film that all people SHOULD watch, it can be watched from a young age which will lead to discussion on this important subject. – Andy Craik

Watch The Boy In The Striped Pajamas


The Breakfast Club (1985)


Five mismatched teenagers are stuck with each other for the day when they are forced to spend Saturday at school on detention. Gradually, though, unlikely friendships form.

An American film set in the 80s at a high school where five teenagers, from completely different economic and social backgrounds, are made to spend time together during a Saturday detention. They each have their own story to tell and open up to each other and find ways to get along, even though under everyday circumstances they wouldn’t dream of speaking to each other.  Everyone can relate to one of the five characters, a film that not only makes you feel good, with a lot of laughs, but also reminds you that everyone has their issues to deal with no matter what class, and being a teenager can be hard!
– Lindsey Hills

One of my favourite 80’s movie. This is a John Hughes classic stereotypes teen film, paves the way for all other Teen movies like “Clueless”, ” Mean Girls” to name a few, timeless – a must see. – Marie-Danielle Allet

Watch The Breakfast Club


The Bridge On The River Kwai (1957)

Alec Guinness leads the way in THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI

When British POWs build a vital railway bridge in enemy-occupied Burma, Allied commandos are assigned to destroy it in David Lean’s epic World War II adventure THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI. Spectacularly produced, THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI captured the imagination of the public and won seven 1957 Academy Awards(r), including Best Picture, Best Actor (Alec Guinness), and Best Director. Even it’s theme song, an old WWII whistling tune, the Colonel Bogey March, became a massive hit. THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI continues today as one of the most memorable cinematic experiences of all time.

A classic Hollywood film with an engaging narrative, legendary cast and evokes such a sense of despair at the terminus when the bridge comes down- even though it becomes an inevitability – the film is so immersive that the viewer still feels shaken when it happens. It demonstrates how classic Hollywood cinema could use the medium to tell a great story in an effective way that appealed to a wide audience. This is my favourite example of the power of film!
– Rebecca Pate

Watch The Bridge On The River Kwai


Clerks (2006)

A scene from CLERKS

Before Kevin Smith became a Hollywood darling with Chasing Amy, a film he wrote and directed, he made this $27,000 comedy about real-life experiences working for chump change at a New Jersey convenience store. A rude, foul-mouthed collection of anecdotes about the responsibilities that go with being on the wrong side of the till, the film is also a relationship story that takes some hilarious turns once the lovers start revealing their sexual histories to one another. In the best tradition of first-time, ultra-low budget independent films, Smith uses Clerks as an audition piece, demonstrating that he not only can handle two-character comedy but also has an eye for action – as proven in a smoothly handled rooftop hockey scene. Smith himself appears as a silent figure who hangs out on the fringes of the store’s property.

That is easy, Clerks, hands down. Completely changed the way I viewed the minimum wage job I had when I first saw this film. Made me not take it so seriously all the time. Anyone who has ever, or even currently works a min wage gig needs to see this film. It’s also some of Kevin Smiths greatest work, kick starting his entire career with its huge cult following. Also, the very first appearance of the greatest bromance in the history of cinema. Laydeez, laydeez, laydeez, Jay and Silent Bob are in the hizzouse!!! – Simon Atherton

Watch Clerks


Fight Club (1999)

Brad Pitt in FIGHT CLUB

Adapted from Chuck Palahniuk’s novel, David Fincher’s controversial drama explores themes of masculinity and violence in contemporary society. Edward Norton stars as Jack, a bored insomniac, determined to inject some excitement into his life. He meets Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), a charismatic soap salesman who believes that the only way to escape the banality of modern existence is through violence. To these ends, Jack and Tyler set up ‘Fight Clubs’, where men can engage in brutal bare-knuckle fights. However, friction develops between the two men when they become rivals for the attentions of Marla (Helena Bonham-Carter).

Watching it you realize we all feel the need to rebel, to leave the comfort, to be honest and stop pretending, but we are too afraid to do so until we are woken up by our own inner selves. – Krisztina Radi

It’s full of brilliant one liners.  If you’ve never seen it you must. It’s not what you expect and you will want to watch it again for that very reason.
– Sarina Taggart

Watch Fight Club


The Goonies (1985)

The Goonies (1985)

The Goonies are a bunch of misfit kids who take on some greedy property developers and try to save their neighbourbood by finding the lost treasure map of a 17th century pirate.

To me a flawless movie, it’s my go to movie for all occasions. More than just a ‘kids’ movie, it’s about friendship, hope and determination. It teaches us that no matter who you are, what you know, or where you’re from, you can succeed and overcome the odds, if you have the right people with you along the way.
– Janine Jordan

The goonies! Cause once you’ve seen it you’re a goonie for life!! – Neena Patel

Simply because of the truffle shuffle. If we all truffle shuffled the world would be a better place. – Barry Warren

Watch The Goonies


Groundhog Day (1993)

Bill Murray in GROUNDHOG DAY

Bill Murray is at his wry, wisecracking best in this riotous romantic comedy about a weatherman caught in a personal time warp on the worst day of his life. Teamed with a relentlessly cheerful producer (Andie MacDowell) and a smart-aleck cameraman (Chris Elliott), TV weatherman Phil Connors (Bill Murray) is sent to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to cover the annual Groundhog Day festivities. But on his way out of town, Phil is caught in a giant blizzard, which he failed to predict, and finds himself stuck in small-town hell. Just when things couldn’t get any worse, they do. Phil wakes the next morning to find it’s Groundhog Day all over again… and again… and again.

It’s a brilliant tale about how about self-involvement can influence our futures, about how our efforts to please one person are to the detriment of our own personality, but also how by becoming a better person for them can cause us to grow in unimaginable ways. Ultimately it’s about redemption & while other films are about secretly good guys redeeming themselves through actions, this the only one where actions maketh the man. We see Phil become a good man, and see that this is a path we can also follow. Also, and I’m a real stickler for this when it comes to ‘important films’, it is hugely entertaining.
– Julia Smith

Watch Groundhog Day

Life Is Beautiful (La Vita e Bella) (1997)


Guido, a charming but bumbling waiter whose gifted with a colourful imagination and an irresistible sense of humour, has won the heart of the woman he loves and created a beautiful life for his young family. But then, that life is threatened by World War II and Guido must rely on those very same strengths to save his beloved wife and son from an unthinkable fate.

Very sad and very funny all at the same time. A very emotionally draining but ultimately uplifting film. I defy anyone to not collapse with laughter and breakdown in tears whilst watching it. A definite “must-see” – Linda Adams

Watch Life Is Beautiful


The Matrix (1999)

The Matrix (1999)

A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers.

Changed the way Sci fi action films were made. I didn’t know anything about it when I went to see it at the cinema and it blew my mind. Think I saw it 6 times in the end. Great story, fight scenes, effects, love story, script. Everything. – Sophia Walker

Watch The Matrix


One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)


Milos Forman’s acclaimed adaptation of the Ken Kesey novel. After being imprisoned for statutory rape, an unrepentant Randle Patrick McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) is transferred to a state mental hospital. Here he sets about leading his fellow inmates (including Brad Dourif, Danny DeVito and Christopher Lloyd) in a revolt against the cold and inflexible Nurse Ratchet (Louise Fletcher) and the hospital’s systematic oppression of its patients. The film won five Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Nicholson, Best Actress for Louise Fletcher, Best Director for Milos Forman, and Best Adapted Screenplay for Lawrence Hauben.

Best film ever made. Simple as that. Nicholson’s finest performance, Brad Dourif (as Billy) will break your heart and Nietzsche’s score remains unsurpassed. What are you waiting for? Go and watch it now…  – Craig Johnson

Superb acting, great story … Very moving … Simply the best film – Colin Coyne

Excellently acted and tells a bittersweet story that you will never forget – Jo Lynch

Watch One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest


Pay It Forward (2000)

Haley Joel Osment in PAY IT FORWARD

School teacher Eugene Simonet (Kevin Spacey) sets his class an assignment: they must each think up a way to make the world a better place. This prompts eleven-year-old Trevor McKinney (Haley Joel Osment) to develop the idea that instead of paying back good deeds, one should instead pay them forward. Putting his idea into practice, Trevor performs an act of kindness for three different people, requiring each of those three to perform three further kindnesses themselves. In doing so he starts a chain reaction which does indeed make the world a better place.

Because “the realm of possibility exists… in each of you”, just start small. This film shows how imaginative and limitless young minds can be before age, experience and cynicism kicks in or jades a person, it’s positive and inspiring but more than that it gets you thinking about maybe what you could do to pay it forward, big or small, in reality. It’s a sentiment that stays with you well after the film is over. – Ouynhnhu Nguyen

Watch Pay It Forward


Raising Arizona (1987)

Nicolas Cage in RAISING ARIZONA (1987)

When a childless couple of an ex-con (Nicolas Cage) and an ex-cop (Holly Hunter) decide to help themselves to one of another family’s quintupelets, their lives get more complicated than they anticipated.

The Coen Brothers at their best, with some of the most perfect scenes of comic mayhem committed to celluloid.  A quintessential Nic Cage performance when his brand of insane quirkyness wasn’t wasted on forgettable thrillers and the finest pre-credits sequence ever. Endlessly quotable – “These blow up into funny shapes and all?” “Well no… unless round is funny” – it never gets old. – Kevin Knapman

Watch Raising Arizona


Requiem For A Dream (2000)

Jared Leto & Jennifer Connolly in REQUIEM FOR A DREAM

Emotional drama set in Coney Island, New York about the lives and aspirations of four people compromised by drug abuse. Stars Oscar-winner Ellen Burstyn and Jared Leto as mother and son.

For its blunt, terrifying and heartbreaking portrayal of the dangers of drugs, outstanding acting and an amazing soundtrack! If you haven’t seen it then you need to! – Jammy Evans

Watch Requiem For A Dream


Seven Brides For Seven Brothers (1954)

A scene from the musical film SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS

Based extremely loosely on the Stephen Vincent Benet story Sobbin’ Women, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is one of the best MGM musicals of the 1950s. Most of the story takes place on an Oregon ranch, maintained by Adam Pontabee (Howard Keel) and his six brothers, played by Jeff Richards, Russ Tamblyn, Tommy Rall, Mark Platt, Matt Mattox, and Jacques d’Amboise.

One of my all time favourite musicals. I must’ve been about 9 when I first watched it. Love the dresses and how colourful the film is – Sharlene Harding

Watch Seven Brides For Seven Brothers

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