40 Movies To Watch Before You Die

Guy Pearce in Memento

Summit Entertainment

Struggling to find something decent to watch? We’ve put together this ultimate list of Movies to Watch before you die. A mix of action movies, comedies, sci-fis, horrors and dramas, all of them will keep you gripped from start to finish! We’ve put the premise of each film below…

40) Scott Pilgrim vs The World

Based on Bryan O’Malley’s popular series of graphic novels, Edgar Wright delivered Scott Pilgrim vs The World to movie lovers in 2010. Colourful, fast-paced, hilarious and full to the rafters with video game references, it’s a breath of fresh air from start to finish. The film follows Scott – a wannabe musician – who falls for the new girl in town; Amazon delivery lady Ramona. But he soon discovers that to be with here, he’ll need to defeat her seven evil exes.

Runtime: 1h 52m

Stars: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Anna Kendrick, Chris Evans

Directed by: Edgar Wright

Explore the film: Scott Pilgrim vs the World: 10 Kickass Pieces of Trivia

39) The Babadook

If it’s in a word or it’s in a look, you can’t get rid of The Babadook! If you love horror movies, then this is definitely one film to stick on your to-watch list. After a young boy named Samuel finds a disturbing children’s pop-up book named The Babadook, in which a tall, sinister, dark figure in a top hat creeps into a young boy’s room at night, he becomes obsessed with the monster, and builds elaborate weapons and traps to try and kill it. All the while, his mother succumbs to a dark force that has made its way into the house.

Runtime: 1h 35m

Stars: Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman

Directed by: Jennifer Kent

Explore the film: The Babadook: 8 Surprising Facts About the Film

38) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Our favourite installment in the Harry Potter series, this is the only HP film we’re including in this list, although they are all worth a watch. There’s something about this third chapter that sets it apart from the rest. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s the only installment to veer away from Voldemort, or maybe it’s because it’s the first of the films to steer down the series’ eventual darker route, but it’s certainly the chapter that we can watch over and over again! Dementors, time travel and werewolves – what more could you want?

Runtime: 2h 22m

Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint

Explore the film: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: 14 Surprising Facts

Movies to watch before you die
Warner Bros.

37) Beetlejuice

Tim Burton delivered this classic comedy-horror in 1988. Shortly after moving into their dream home, newlywed couple Barbara and Adam die in a car accident. As ghosts, they return to their house to find it soon occupied by the Deetz family; the new owners. When the Deetz start redecorating, Barbara and Adam decide enough is enough, and hire bio-exorcist Beetlejuice – an energetic, peverse ghoul (played by Michael Keaton) – to scare them away.

Runtime: 1h 33m

Stars: Michael Keaton, Winona Ryder, Geena Davis, Alec Baldwin, Catherine O’Hara

Directed by: Tim Burton

Explore the film: Beetlejuice: 10 Ghoulish Facts About the Film

36) The Shining

Stanley Kubrick brought Stephen King’s bestselling novel to life in stunning detail with his 1980 horror, The Shining. Recovering alcoholic Jack Torrance (played by Jack Nicholson) takes a job as caretaker at a remote hotel out in the mountains of Colorado whilst it’s closed down for its winter season. His young son, Danny, has a psychic power that brings to life all kinds of dark entities from the hotel’s past.

Runtime: 2h 26m

Stars: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

Explore the film: The Shining: 13 Things You Didn’t Know

35) Antz

One of our favourite animated movies of all time, Antz hit cinemas in 1998, and showcased the vocal talents of Woody Allen, Christopher Walken, Sylvester Stallone, Jenifer Lopez, Dan Akroyd and more! It follows Z; a worker ant who is sick of his place. After a chance meeting with Princess Bala at a dance, he decides to swap places with a soldier ant to try to get closer to her at a royal parade. However, things quickly spiral out of control, and he ends up uncovering a plot to destroy the entire colony. Can he save his friends and his home?

Runtime: 1h 24m

Stars: Woody Allen, Christopher Walken, Sylvester Stallone, Jenifer Lopez, Dan Akroyd

Directed by: Eric Darnell, Tim Johnson

Explore the film: Antz: 9 Awesome Pieces of Trivia

34) Jaws

You’re gonna need a bigger boat. This 1975 thriller from Steven Spielberg focuses on Amity Island; a seaside resort gearing up for its busy summer season. However, a couple of shark attacks just off-shore send the town into a frenzy. The police chief, a marine biologist, and an old seafarer team up to hunt down the enormous great white.

Runtime: 2h 10m

Stars: Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss, Robert Shaw

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Explore the film: Jaws: 11 Facts That’ll Leave You Needing A Bigger Boat

33) Home Alone

This is it, don’t get scared now! Released in 1990, Home Alone is a classic that most of us still watch each Christmas. In case you haven’t seen it, it’s about Kevin McCallister, an eight-year-old (played by Macaulay Culkin) who by some neglectful parenting ends up home alone whilst his family jets off for a holiday in Paris. Unlucky for Kevin, a couple of crooks who call themselves The Wet Bandits, have been planning to rob the house. Kevin must protect his home using a series of should-be-deadly-but-somehow-aren’t boobytraps.

Runtime: 1h 43m

Stars: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, Catherine O’Hara

Directed by: Chris Columbus

Explore the film: Home Alone: 11 Things You Didn’t Know

32) Edward Scissorhands

In Tim Burton’s first of many collaborations with Johnny Depp, we meet Edward – a shy being, with scissors for hands, who was created by an elderly inventor who passed away some years before; leaving Edward all alone in a creepy old mansion up on the hill. That is until friendly Avon lady Pegg brings him home to her family, and tries to integrate him into sunny suburban life. He must contend with water beds, desperate housewives, and the jealous, psychotic boyfriend of Pegg’s daughter Kim (Winona Ryder), who Edward quickly falls for.

Runtime: 1h 45m

Stars: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne West, Anthony Michael Hall

Directed by: Tim Burton

Explore the film: Edward Scissorhands: 12 Amazing Pieces of Trivia

31) E.T. The Extra Terrestrial

From Steven Spielberg comes this 1982 family classic about an alien that accidentally gets left behind by its family when a visit is quickly cut short. E.T. ends up in the care of young boy Elliot who, along with his family and friends (including a very young Drew Barrymore), fights to reunite the extra terrestrial with his own kind before government agents can take him away.

Runtime: 2h 1m

Stars: Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Dee Wallace

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Explore the film: E.T. The Extra Terrestrial: 12 Facts Worth Phoning Home About

30) Gremlins

This comedy-horror hit cinemas in 1984! It’s a fun ride filled with laughs and thrills, and an iconic piece of pop culture!

Based at Christmas time, it follows Billy as he’s given a new pet by his dad; a mysterious creature called a Mogwai. It comes with three strict rules, and when Billy breaks them, the town quickly becomes over-run by ghoulish monsters. Can Billy and his friends save the day?

Runtime: 1h 47m

Stars: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates Kline, Howie Mandel

Director: Joe Dante

Explore the film: Gremlins: 10 Things You Didn’t Know

29) The Silence of the Lambs

Released in 1991, The Silence of the Lambs remains one of the best psychological horrors in the genre. Hannibal Lecter (masterfully brought to life by Anthony Hopkins) quickly became one of the most widely-loved movie villains in history, launching Anthony Hopkins as a megastar, and leading to sequels and an origin series.

The film focuses on the hunt for Buffalo Bill; a serial killer who is at large in the states. To try to gain insight on the killer, the FBI send trainee agent Clarice Starling (played by Jodie Foster) to the cell of Hannibal Lecter, a genius psychiatrist who was incarcerated for serial murder and cannibalism. But to gain his insight, she must earn it.

Runtime: 2h 18m

Stars: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Ted Levine

Director: Jonathan Demme

Explore the film: The Silence of the Lambs: 13 Things You Didn’t Know

Empire strikes back Darth Vader and Luke fight
Lucasfilm / 20th Century Fox

28) The Empire Strikes Back

Of all the movies to come from that galaxy far, far away, we feel that The Empire Strikes Back is the strongest. It has it all – the stunning battle on Hoth, the betrayal on Cloud City, the bounty hunter Boba Fett, the most shocking relevation in cinematic history, and it introduces us to master Yoda!

Runtime: 2h 7m

Stars: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford

Director: Irvin Kershner

Explore the film: The Empire Strikes Back: 11 Little-Known Facts

27) The Goonies

Produced by none other than Steven Spielberg, 1985’s The Goonies is an action-packed family adventure that’ll have you glued to your seat. When one of their homes is about to be repossessed, a spirited gang of youths, who call themselves The Goonies, decide to follow a pirate’s treasure map to find the riches at the end of it. But they soon come up against Indiana Jones-styled booby traps, as well as a dangerous criminal family who also seek the treasure.

Runtime: 1h 55m

Stars: Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Corey Feldman

Director: Richard Donner

Explore the film: The Goonies: 10 Things You Didn’t Know

26) Memento 

Christopher Nolan delivers one of the smartest and most gripping films we’ve ever seen. Memento follows Lenny (Guy Pierce) – a retired insurance claims investigator who suffered a brain injury during a home invasion in which his wife was murdered. Now, he has no short term memory as he tries to hunt down her killer with murderous intent.

The film is shown backwards in short clips so that we, the viewers, don’t know what happened chronologically, just like Lenny doesn’t. It works its way up to one hell of a beginning. 

Runtime: 1h 54m

Stars: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano

Director: Christopher Nolan

Explore the film: Memento: 10 Interesting Facts Worth Remembering

25) Goodfellas

Like many a Martin Scorsese movie, Goodfellas is based on true events, and follows a young Brooklyn kid named Henry Hill who gets involved in the criminal underworld and rises to become a respected wiseguy. We see his close friendship with gangsters Jimmy Conway (Robert De Niro) and the hot-heated Tommy DeVito (played to terrifying effect by Joe Pesci). 

Runtime: 2h 28m

Stars: Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci

Director: Martin Scorsese

Explore the film: Goodfellas: 10 Facts Worth Getting Your Shinebox For

24) Hot Fuzz

Out of the Cornetto Trilogy, which is also home to Shaun of the Dead and The World’s End, we enjoy Hot Fuzz the most. It’s clever, layered, fast paced, hilarious, ultra violent, and you can’t look away. 

Nicolas Angel (Simon Pegg)  is London’s top cop with records and awards galore. His superiors, who realise that he’s making the rest of the police force look bad, decide to send him away to the ‘sleepy’ village of Sandford, out in the country. Whilst the village initially seems very dreary and ordinary, a string of violent ‘accidental’ deaths makes Angel suspicious, and with help from the village’s dim but lovable police constable Danny Butterman (Nick Frost), he starts to uncover a sinister conspiracy. 

Runtime: 2h 1m

Stars: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Timothy Dalton, Olivia Colman, Jim Broadbent

Director: Edgar Wright

Explore the film: Hot Fuzz: 9 Little-Known Facts

23) The Dark Knight

Christopher Nolan was the first to bring Batman back to live action cinema since 1997’s critically slain Batman and Robin. And whilst Batman Begins was a decent introduction to the trilogy, The Dark Knight was certainly the masterpiece of the three films, with Heath Ledger delivering a masterful and highly memorable take on the Joker. 

Runtime: 2h 32m

Stars: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman

Director: Christopher Nolan

Explore the film: The Dark Knight: 8 Awesome Facts About the Film

Leon: Les Films du Dauphin, Gaumont Buena Vista International

22) Leon: The Professional

Jean Reno’s Leon is a grizzled but highly talented hitman who, after her father is murdered by a ruthless drug dealer, takes a young girl (played by Natalie Portman) from his apartment block under his wing. He teaches her the ways of the assassin, and in return she slowly warms his heart. Gary Oldman delivers one of the best movie villains of all time. 

Runtime: 1h 50m

Stars: Jean Reno, Natalie Portman, Gary Oldman

Director: Luc Besson

Explore the film: Leon The Professional: 11 Little Pieces of Trivia

21) Batman Returns

Whilst Christopher Nolan delivered three thrilling, gritty and somewhat realistic installments into the Batman universe with his Dark Knight trilogy, we are just enchanted by the Tim Burton-esque charm of the Michael Keaton movies. Batman Returns is our favourite, though. The villains are excellent, the sets are stunning, and the chemistry between Catwoman and Batman is incredible. 

Runtime: 2h 6m

Stars: Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfieffer, Christopher Waltz

Director: Tim Burton

Explore the film: Batman Returns: Things You Didn’t Know 

20) Skyfall

Daniel Craig’s run of Bond movies offered a revised sophistication, realism and dignity for the character, which was well-needed after the far-fetched silliness of Die Another Day. Of Craig’s 007 films, Skyfall was the best installment, on account of its emotive storyline, entrancing villain and stunning cinematography. 

After Bond suffers a near miss from a friendly bullet, he is presumed dead for some time. He comes out of the shadows, however, when a dangerous new adversary named Silva (Javier Bardem) blows up MI5. It becomes clear that he’s hell-bent on acting vengeance on M, and Bond will stop at nothing to protect her. 

Runtime: 2h 24m

Stars: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Judi Dench

Director: Sam Mendes

Explore the film: Skyfall: 10 Surprising Facts

19) Avengers: Infinity War

The culmination of ten years of fantastic storytelling, across 18 standalone movies, Avengers: Infinity War showed us all our favourite heroes fighting side-by-side to stop one of the greatest cinematic villains we have ever seen; Thanos. Thrilling from start to end, the film certainly delivered and lived up to the hype. We love that it wasn’t afraid to break the norm by ending on a low note; serving up one of the biggest cliffhangers in film history. It’s certainly our favourite entry into the MCU so far, and Endgame served as the perfect closing chapter. 

Runtime: 2h 40m

Stars: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Holland, Scarlett Johansson

Director: Joe Russo, Anthony Russo

Explore the film: Infinity War: 9 Gauntlet-Snapping Facts About the Film

Knives Out - 100 Movies To Watch Before You Die
Knives Out: Lionsgate

18) Knives Out

Not just another murder mystery, Knives Out offers a refreshing twist on the age-old genre. This star-studded comedy-mystery comes from Looper director Rian Johnson.

Daniel Craig plays a celebrated Southern detective who is hired to investigate the death of a famous crime writer. But all is not as it seems, and you’re left on the edge of your seat as the film unfolds its twists and turns. We’re thrilled a sequel is in the works, with Craig returning in the lead. 

Runtime: 2h 10m

Stars: Ana De Armas, Daniel Craig, Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curtis

Directed by: Rian Johnson

Explore the film: Knives Out: 9 Little Pieces of Trivia

17) Reservoir Dogs

Quentin Tarantino released his first major film, Reservoir Dogs, in 1991. A clever and violent heist movie, it launched the director into stardom; thanks to its incredible dialogue, excellent plot, and strong cast (featuring the likes of Steve Buscemi, Michael Madsen and Harvey Keitel).

The film focuses on a cop named Freddy, played by Tim Roth, who goes undercover among a gang of criminals who have been assembled to pull off a heist. As you might expect, things go drastically wrong with very bloody consequences.

Runtime: 1h 40m

Stars: Tim Roth, Harvey Keitel, Steve Buscemi, Michael Madsen

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

Explore the film: Reservoir Dogs: 11 Awesome Facts About This Tarantino Classic

16) The Shawshank Redemption 

Bestselling author Stephen King sold the rights to his novella, Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, to a young up-and-coming director named Frank Darabont for just one dollar. In doing so, he allowed Darabont to create a cinematic masterpiece that went on to be nominated for 7 Oscars and 2 Golden Globes. It’s also the number one rated film on IMDB. 

It tells the story of banker Andy Dufresne who claims he’s been framed for the murder of his wife and her lover. He’s sent to Shawshank prison where he befriends a gaggle of inmates, including wise acquirer-of-anything Red. But Dufresne soon comes up against violent rapists, the cruel guard captain, and the corrupt warden. So, he hatches a plan. 

Runtime: 2h 22m

Stars: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton

Directed by: Frank Darabont

Explore the film: The Shawshank Redemption: 11 Surprising Facts

15) Back to the Future 

Time travel has been done time and time again in movies; but never as brilliantly as in Back to the Future. 

Following a shoot out, Marty McFly (Michael J Fox) is blasted into the past in a time machine built into a Delores by his eccentric inventor friend Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd). In 1955, he accidentally interrupts the romantic event that brought his mum and dad together, and soon realised that he will cease to exist if he doesn’t get his parents together.

Runtime: 1h 56m

Stars: Michael J Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

Explore the film: Back to the Future: 11 Facts That’ll Make You Shout ‘Great Scot’

14) From Russia With Love

Sean Connery’s second outing as James Bond is our favourite entry in the 007 series. Bond is tasked to meet a young Russian woman and return to England with a Soviet encryption device she has stolen, and knowingly steps into a S.P.E.C.T.R.E. assassination plot as he does. There’s no excessive gadgetry or cartoonish henchman – it’s just a clean, well-paced, gripping spy thriller. 

Runtime: 1h 58m

Stars: Sean Connery, Daniela Bianchi, Robert Shaw

Directed by: Terence Young

Related: From Russia With Love: 10 Things You Didn’t Know

13) Ghostbusters

We’re ready to believe you! From Dan Akroyd’s very real belief and fascination with all things supernatural came the screenplay for this 1984 comedy! It focuses around three scientists who decide to set up shop eliminating paranormal entities from New York city.

But they find they’ve bitten off more than they can chew when a client (played by the one and only Sigourney Weaver) becomes possessed by a powerful ancient deity. Bill Murray’s motor-mouthed Peter Venkman is one of our favourite movie characters of all time. 

Runtime: 1h 47m

Stars: Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, Dan Akroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis

Directed by: Ivan Reitman

Explore the film: Ghostbusters: 9 Things You Didn’t Know

Movies to Watch: Alan Grant lure T-Rex with a flare in Jurassic Park

12) Jurassic Park

Spielberg brought dinosaurs to life with frightening realism in this 1993 thrill-ride adaptation of Michael Chrichton’s bestselling novel! 

Dr Alan Grant and some other guests are invited to test out a zoological island that homes prehistoric creatures, to disastrous consequences. No matter how many sequels are released, the original installment still stands the strongest. 

Runtime: 2h 8m

Stars: Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Richard Attenborough

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Explore the film: Jurassic Park: 10 Things You Didn’t Know 

11) Fight Club

Released in 1999, Fight Club became an instant classic. Directed by David Fincher, it stars Edward Norton as an unnamed insomniac office worker, who comes under the influence of Brad Pitt’s charismatic soap salesmen Tyler Durden. The two men start an underground fight club, but things soon take a sinister turn when their loyal base of downtrodden working men becomes a dangerous army.

Runtime: 2h 31m

Stars: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Helena Bonham Carter, Jared Leto

Directed by: David Fincher

Explore the film: Fight Club: 10 Cool Facts You Do NOT Talk About

10) Raiders of the Lost Ark

Another Spielberg-directed entry into our list of the movies to watch before you die, 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark introduced us to every kid’s favourite explorer; Indiana Jones! Played masterfully by Harrison Ford, Dr Jones has to race against Nazis to find the Arc of the Covenant; an artefact with devastating unnatural powers. 

Runtime: 1h 55m

Stars: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, John Rhys-Davis, Paul Freeman

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Explore the film: Raiders of the Lost Ark: 10 Things You Didn’t Know 

9) Fargo

In the Coen Brothers film that inspired the TV series, Jerry Lundegaard (William H Macy) desperately needs some money, so he hatches a plan. His father in law is incredibly wealthy, but would never lend Jerry a dime. So, Jerry hires two crooks (Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare) to kidnap his own wife and hold her for ransom, so that her father can cough up the money. 

When Jerry gets the money he needs through another channel, he tries to call off the kidnapping, but he can’t reach the crooks, and it goes ahead anyway. But the crooks are more violent and dangerous than Jerry could have ever imagined, so things quickly spiral out of control and the bodies pile up.

In the performance that won her that year’s Best Actress Oscar, Frances McDormand plays Marge Gunderson; the remarkably perceptive and heavily pregnant police chief who has to piece it all together. 

Runtime: 1h 38m

Stars: Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, William H Macy, Peter Stomare

Directed by: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Explore the film: Fargo: 9 Darn-Tootin Facts About the Film

JoJo Rabbit 100 Movies To Watch Before You Die
JoJo Rabbit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

8) JoJo Rabbit

We didn’t know what to expect from a WW2 film about a young German boy who has Adolf Hitler as his imaginary friend, but we should have trusted in the sheer brilliance of director Taika Waititi. JoJo, a devoted Hitler Youth, discovers his mother (Scarlet Johanson) is hiding a Jewish girl in the attic. Though he’s afraid of her at first, the two strike up an unlikely friendship. Whilst the film is hilarious, it certainly packs some killer gut punches, and reminds us of the devastating consequences of the war.

Runtime: 1h 48m

Stars: Taika Waititi, Scarlett Johansson, Roman Griffin Davis, Sam Rockwell

Directed by: Taika Waititi

Explore the film: JoJo Rabbit: 9 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

7) The Godfather

There are so many masterful performances from incredible actors in this movie, it’s hard to count. Released in 1972, Francis Ford Coppola’s epic adaptation of Mario Puzo’s novel remains one of the most adored and critically renowned movies in history. 

The film largely follows Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) as he steps into the shoes of his father Vito (Marlon Brando) as Don of a well established crime family; chronicling every murder, sit-down, wedding, baptism and betrayal.

Runtime: 2h 58m

Stars: Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Diane Keaton, James Caan

Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola

Explore the film: The Godfather: 11 Surprising Facts You Can’t Refuse

6) Terminator 2

In this thrilling sequel, which is one of the greatest sci-fi movies ever made, a T-800 (played by Arnold Schwartzenegger) is sent from the future to protect a teenage John Connor, who will go on to lead the resistance after machines take over the world. Who’s he protecting him from? The T-1000 (played by Robert Patrick)  – an incredibly cool liquid metal terminator, who can shapeshift into anyone he touches, and can produce all kinds of knives and stabbing weapons. 

Linda Hamilton returned to play Sarah Connor, who spent the last decade preparing for the terminator’s return, and became a badass hardened survivalist with a huge arsenal of guns stashed away. It’s the perfect recipe for an unforgettable action film, and that’s exactly what Cameron cooked up with this movie. 

Runtime: 2h 36m

Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick

Directed by: James Cameron

Explore the film: Terminator 2 Judgment Day: 10 Things You Didn’t Know

5) Pulp Fiction

A thrilling spider web of dark criminal stories that all interconnect and cross over, Pulp Fiction scored Tarantino the 1994 Oscar for Original Screenplay. Littered with huge stars such as Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman, Samuel L Jackson, John Travolta, Harvey Keitel, Ving Rhymes, and Christopher Walken, this violent crime caper is alive with sharp dialogue and stunning cinematography.

Run time: 2h 33m

Stars: Bruce Willis, John Travolta, Samuel L Jackson, Uma Thurman

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

Explore the film: Pulp Fiction: 9 Things You Didn’t Know

4) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Our favourite of the four Indiana Jones films, The Last Crusade is a masterpiece; from its thrilling opening sequence with River Phoenix, through to its epic climax with the room of cups. The warmth and comedy that comes from the film’s father-son relationship adds something extra special that was absent in the other films. 

Indiana Jones is told that his father, Henry Jones Sr (played by Sean Connery), has gone missing whilst on the hunt for the Holy Grail; an artefact rumoured to grant everlasting life. Indy discovers that his father has mailed him his grail diary; his life’s work, which details every clue for finding the famous cup of Christ. Indy promptly heads off to Italy to pick up the trail and find his father, but soon discovers that the Nazis are also on the hunt for the grail. 

Run time: 2h 8m

Stars: Harrison Ford, Sean Connery

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Explore the film: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: 10 Things You Didn’t Know 

3) Die Hard

Bruce Willis secured his status as an action star with this 1988 classic! It’s one of the greatest action movies ever made and, debatably, one the best Christmas movies too, with it’s gripping plot, incredible one-liners, explosive visuals, and iconic villain. 

It joins New York cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) as he travels to California on Christmas Eve to attend the work party of his wife, Holly, who has been living apart from him for a number of months. His plans to patch up the marriage are blown out of the water when the party goers at the Nakatomi skyscraper are taken hostage by a gang of highly trained and well funded thieves, led by Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman). Fortunately, McClane manages to evade capture, and is able to slink around the skyscraper, picking off the bad guys one by one. But will he be able to save the day? 

Runtime: 2h 12m

Stars: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman

Directed by: John McTiernan

Explore the film: Die Hard: 11 Surprising Facts

2) Falling Down 

The pressures of working life get to us all, every now and then. At the start Joel Schumacher’s incredible 1993 thriller Falling Down, William Foster (Michael Douglas) gets caught up in a traffic jam, and decides to abandon his car and make his way across the city to his ex-wife’s house so that he can see his daughter on her birthday; not off-put by the fact there’s a restraining order against him.

He’s a man on the edge, and if everyone just stayed out of his way, everything would be fine. But things seldom run smoothly, and he comes up against over-priced shop keepers, ignorant golfers, violent gangsters, and neo nazis. It’s an incredible watch that will have you on the edge of your seat. 

Runtime: 1h 53m

Stars: Michael Douglas, Robert Duvall

Directed by: Joel Schumacher

Explore the film: Falling Down: 9 Things You Didn’t Know

Movies to Watch: Planes, Trains and Automobiles
Paramount Pictures

1) Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Topping our list of movies to watch before you die is this John Hughes road trip classic. A hilarious comedy that’s filled with heart, Planes, Trains and Automobiles sees no-nonsense marketing executive Neal Page (Steve Martin) thrown together with loud, jolly, easy-going shower curtain ring salesman Del Griffith (John Candy) as they try to get from New York to Chicago. Following a flight cancellation, the two embark on the road trip from hell, and slowly overcome their differences. 

Runtime: 1h 33m

Stars: John Candy, Steve Martin

Directed by: John Hughes

Explore the film: Planes Trains and Automobiles

There you have it – our list of movies to watch before you die? How many have you seen, and which are your favourites?