What is your criteria of re-watchable movies? It has to have characters you love and which will keep you engaged and relatable, like revisiting old friends. It has to have dialogue and one liners which you can quote all the time, even when it’s not appropriate or the place to say. Most importantly it has to be a movie that is, front-to-back, delightful in a way that only those group of actors and filmmakers at the time could have delivered. These may not be the best movies of all-time, but you can’t change the channel or not stop working and start watching them again.
We want you to let us know in the comments section below, which movies are the most re-watchable for you?
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
Shane Black subverted the detective movie tropes he loves with a liberal dose of his trademark quippy humor in his directorial debut Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. The chemistry between Val Kilmer playing as a snappy gay private eye and Robert Downey Jr. as a thief who gets caught up in a murder case is joyous, and its evident why this movie served as a career accelerator pad for Downey.
Christopher Nolan built on the gritty foundation he laid in Batman Begins for this sequel that took the conventions of the superhero genre and turned them on its head. Bruce Wayne whose methods are suspect if not borderline fascist and a Joker whose anarchistic point of view held a certain degree of truth. It ends not with a slugfest or a beam shot into the sky but with a psychological test of wills. The Dark Knight will be not the same without the Heath Ledger’s Oscar-winning turn as Batman’s arch villain.
The Big Lebowski (1998)
The Coen Brothers’ LA neo noir screwball comedy casts Jeff Bridges in the role he was born to play: A laid-back pothead thrust into the center of a mystery involving a kidnapped girl, some missing money and a stolen rug.
Cast includes Julianne Moore, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, John Turturro, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Sam Elliot and the f-word-laden dialogue is about as quotable as anything ever made. Although not a hit on release, its gone on to inspire a cult that includes the annual Lebowskifest. Goodman’s bittersweet final moment with the dude for the scattering of Donny’s ashes still gets us every time.
Martin Scorsese’s fast-paced mob epic spans decades but is told with such wit and precision that the 2+ hours practically feels like a 30-second commercial. Joe Pesci’s violent-but-funny turn as well as Robert De Niro’s subtle performance were both rightly praised, but the glue holding it all together is Ray Liotta, whose brilliantly-detached/sardonic narration keeps even the most brutal, painful moments in cosmic perspective.
Withnail & I (1987)
Bruce Robinson’s autobiographical film is known as one of the most compulsively rewatched films in the UK, there’s even a documentary about its cult appeal on the Criterion edition DVD. It concerns two part-time actors and full-time alcoholics who head out for a holiday retreat to the countryside. Richard E. Grant’s Withnail is an astounding manic performance of great depth, and the plotless nature of the story contributes to its rewatchability.
Back to the Future (1985)
Back to the Future is a seemingly terrible idea but it is executed so flawlessly that it boggles the mind. Christopher Lloyd’s iconic turn as wacky inventor Doc Brown is brilliant character building, and his friendship with Michael J. Fox’s Marty is the beating heart at the center of the entire trilogy.
Between Bill Murray’s lunatic groundskeeper, Chevy Chase’s deadpan playboy and Rodney Dangerfield’s endless zingers, it’s no wonder that Caddyshack has become less a film than a comedy institution over the years. Essentially a revolving door series of skits played out against the backdrop of a country club golf course, Harold Ramis managed to wrangle the talent involved enough to form a shambolic film that’s uproariously funny.
The Shining (1980)
Stanley Kubrick’s take on Stephen King’s beloved novel is a masterpiece and a movie for generations. The obsession is valid, as the movie’s puzzlebox nature constantly rewards new details and ideas upon each successive viewing, and whether its a cartoon on a TV that’s not plugged in or Jack Nicholson staring into a mirror every time he talks to a ghost, these details make The Shining scarier upon each successive viewing.
There’s very little left to be said about George Lucas’s sci-fi fantasy masterpiece, except that the movie (and its subsequent sequels) pretty much invented double-digit in-theater viewings for the baby boomer generation and beyond. The effects still hold up pretty good, but its the Joseph Campbell-style mythmaking that’s at the heart of Star Wars’ durability.
Joe Jackson’s quote is my favorite quote for describing the movie, “the giant rubber shark really made a mark,” but it was the chemistry and the acting of lead Richard Dreyfus and the late Robert Shaw and Roy Scheider that gave the movie its bite. Steven Spielberg proved himself not only a master of suspense and spectacle but also at character building and story telling.