I found this old list from way back in 2011, before “Netflix and chill” was even a thing! (Talk about a blast from the past). It’s basically a diary of a movie marathon I did – a whole month of flicks!

We’re talking all genres, from laugh-out-loud comedies to epic adventures that’ll get your heart racing. There are even some movies that stick with you long after they’re over.

Alright, movie fans! Grab your snacks (and maybe some tissues, just in case) because we’re about to dig into a treasure trove of flicks. These could be movies you’ve never seen before, or maybe some old favorites you gotta revisit. So, ditch the phone, dim the lights, and get comfy. It’s movie marathon time!

10. 3 Idiots

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There’s a funny story behind this one. Neil picked this movie right before my flight back to Dubai, which made me wonder – was it just a random choice, or was he trying to keep things light for the goodbye? Bollywood is not usually my scene. But “3 Idiots” is hilarious! It’s a great story; it makes you laugh, cry, and think.

The plot? Two friends search for their missing buddy, which turns into a hilarious trip down memory lane. We see them flashback to college, where their friend (kind of a weirdo, but the best kind!) inspired them to ditch the boring path. Even if everyone called them “idiots,” this friend showed them the power of being different. It’s a heartwarming reminder of how friends can change your life, and how their influence sticks with you forever. It almost became my favorite movie, Bollywood quirks and all.

9. Love and Other Drugs

I’ve always wanted to defy Paulo Cuelho’s claim that all movies are about love stories, but who cares when it’s Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal rolling naked on the floor? This movie is utterly romantic, especially when you’re watching with a special someone close by.

Hathaway shines as Maggie, a fiercely independent soul battling Parkinson’s. Gyllenhaal’s smooth-talking salesman, Jamie, hides vulnerability beneath his charm. Their connection transcends physical attraction, forcing them to confront deeper desires and fears. The film explores love’s complexities alongside the pharmaceutical industry’s allure, making it a surprisingly thought-provoking watch. It’s also a good movie for guys who need instant pick-up lines and for gals who think they’re mature (or strong) enough to face the world’s burdens on their own(i.e. “I was afraid that I need you more than you need me.“).

8. Shaolin (2011)

Does it seem odd that I was fond of it more than the previous two? I shan’t convince you why. Shaolin (2011) might surprise you! Sure, there’s plenty of action, but the breathtaking mountain scenery and the powerful Buddhist teachings truly captivated me. Maybe I haven’t seen enough Chinese films, but the story felt fresh and the fight choreography was incredible.

This movie goes beyond just kicks and punches – it’s about redemption and finding inner peace. It’s worth checking out, especially if you’re a martial arts fan or enjoy a good comeback story.

7. There’s Something About Mary


Alright, alright, alright, settle down, everyone! Do you want cheesy, over-the-top laughs with a side of cringe? Then buckle up for There’s Something About Mary because, let me tell you, this movie is a rollercoaster ride of hilarious misfortune.

Sure, the plot might be a little “stalker-ish” by today’s standards, but back in the day, Ben Stiller’s epic journey to reconnect with his dream date, Mary (the ever-stunning Cameron Diaz), was pure comedy gold. We’re talking about a dude whose prom night gets derailed by, well, let’s just say a “personal malfunction.” Need I say more? From then on, Ted’s life becomes a hilarious trainwreck of bad luck and awkward encounters. Seriously, there’s not a single dull moment in this flick. It’s like the movie throws every comedic situation at the wall and just lets them all stick.

6. 13 Assassins

Brace yourselves, this movie starts off with a freakin’ seppuku (Japanese suicide) and let me tell you, it’s brutal. Not gonna lie; I squeezed my eyes shut tighter than a clam during that scene. But here’s the thing – this ain’t your typical “woe is me” suicide. This is about taking one for the team, a samurai’s ultimate sacrifice for the greater good.

13 badass assassins led by Shinzaemon Shimada are on a mission to take down the sadistic Lord Naritsugu. Expect meticulous planning, fortress building, and a bloody showdown that’ll have you cheering. This is your flick if you want samurai action with guts, glory, and vengeance!

5. The Road to Perdition

This movie gets me every time! I don’t usually rewatch movies, but I’ve seen The Road to Perdition three times and bawled like a baby each time. There’s this scene where the son hugs his dad after everything goes sideways, and it’s so powerful. Pure trust, no judgment, just raw emotion. Speaking of “everything goes sideways,” the movie is all about this mystery – “Perdition.” Turns out it means “hell,” which is pretty fitting considering the story.

The movie is based on a Japanese comic, Lone Wolf and Cub, but trust me, even if you’re not a manga fan, this movie is worth your time. Tom Hanks is phenomenal as Mike Sullivan, a mob enforcer in the Depression era. He’s got this close bond with his boss, John Rooney (played by the legendary Paul Newman), which makes things messy when Rooney’s jealous son, Connor gets involved. Witness protection? It’s more like witness elimination! Mike’s gotta hit the road with his son, Michael, on a quest for revenge and some serious soul-searching. So, if you’re looking for a gangster flick with a heart, The Road to Perdition delivers.

4. The Fellowship of the Rings

Confession time: I snuck three LOTR movies into this review, but you gotta see all of them for the full epic journey! Here’s the deal: Frodo, a hobbit, inherits a magic ring that could destroy the evil Sauron. Frodo and his eight companions, the Fellowship of the Ring, embark on a perilous quest to destroy the ring in the fires of Mount Doom.

The Fellowship of the Ring is the first film, and it’s a fantastic introduction to Tolkien’s massive world, Middle-earth. The movie is amazing, but trust me, reading the book or listening to the audiobook first will blow your mind. Even if you saw the movie when you were young, give it a rewatch as an adult for a whole new appreciation. Stunning visuals, an incredible cast, and an unforgettable adventure – this movie started it all! Whether you’re a Tolkien devotee or a newcomer, The Fellowship of the Ring is a timeless classic that deserves a spot on your watchlist.

3. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers


The Fellowship fractures in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers! Frodo and Sam push on towards Mordor with the creepy Gollum in tow, but their bond is tested as the Ring’s power grows. Meanwhile, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli face off against Saruman’s forces, who threaten the kingdom of Rohan. The battles are bigger, the stakes are higher, and the journey gets even more epic in this thrilling sequel.

Tolkien fan or newbie? While the movies are fantastic on their own, reading the books first adds another layer of depth. But fear not, first-timers! Director Peter Jackson captures the essence of Tolkien’s world, and this film is still an awesome adventure on its own.

2. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

The Return of the King delivers a truly epic finale to The Lord of the Ring trilogy! This movie has everything: breathtaking beauty, massive battles, and moments of incredible bravery. It’s hard to imagine anyone not being amazed by this conclusion, especially if you’ve followed the journey through the first two films.

But beware, this is a marathon, not a sprint! Set aside some serious time to truly appreciate the scope of this film. It’s best enjoyed fresh, so watch each part of the trilogy (The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King) during a long break, like Holy Week. Trust me, the payoff is worth it! The Return of the King is my personal favorite of the three. The way it ties up all the loose ends and delivers on the epic promises of the previous films is truly satisfying.

1. The Shawshank Redemption

They say hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies. The Shawshank Redemption, narrated by the unforgettable Morgan Freeman, proves it! This movie isn’t a vacation flick, but it is a masterpiece that will leave you feeling uplifted. Without spoiling anything, the story follows Andy Dufresne (played by the amazing Tim Robbins), a man wrongly convicted of murder and sentenced to life in Shawshank prison.

Freeman’s smooth, gravelly voice adds depth and mystery as he recounts the story of Andy’s journey within the harsh walls of Shawshank. What truly elevates this film is its portrayal of hope. Even in the darkest corners of prison, Andy perseveres and inspires those around him. It’s a testament to the human spirit’s resilience and the power of friendship. This is my all-time favorite movie, and I highly recommend you check it out for yourself. We all have different tastes, but there’s a reason The Shawshank Redemption is considered a classic. You might just be surprised by how much you love it!


By Issa

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