So, you’ve been quarantined at home for about a month now, eh?
Chances are you’ve already made a puzzle or two, baked banana bread, redecorated your room, cleaned literally everything, binged Tiger King and did a full investigation on the disappearance of Carole Baskin’s husband.
With so many streaming services, the amount of content to consume can be overwhelming.
Well, lucky for you, I’m here to help out.
Here are a variety of recommendations to watch on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and Disney+ to make staying at home a little more entertaining.
Monty Python & the Holy Grail: In unprecedented times such as these, we all need a laugh. Full of music, mayhem and medieval mischief, this timeless cult classic is hysterically funny. If you haven’t witnessed one of the greatest comedies of all time, now is your chance — now go away and watch or I will taunt you a second time.
The Social Network: Tired of scrolling through Facebook? Learn about how this social media platform got its start in the Academy Award-winning drama, The Social Network. With razor-sharp writing, ambitious directing and brilliant performances, David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin have created a smart and engaging must-see.
Inception: Try dreaming a little bigger and expand your imagination with Christopher Nolan’s smash hit, Inception. This innovative and spectacular sci-fi adventure will twist your mind and keep you on your toes. It is intelligent, suspenseful and superb filmmaking, with jaw-dropping visual effects. I highly recommend watching this one on the biggest screen you have.
The Florida Project: Sean Baker’s raw and emotional film, The Florida Project, shares the realities of impoverished areas in Orlando, all through the eyes of a nine-year-old girl. Although this drama may not be the most uplifting of films to watch during your quarantine, it surely is one of the most moving.
Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse: You and your family may be racing to check out the latest live-action superhero movie on demand, however, one of the best superhero stories is actually animated. Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse is an innovative marvel, meshing a variety of creative, artistic styles to create something fresh, exciting and new. One of my favorite films of 2018, this Acadamy award-winning motion picture is unbelievable.
Julie & Julia: Many of us have been cooking into a frenzy while being forced to stay at home. So what better way to inspire your inner chef than by indulging in the utterly charming, Julie & Julia. Based on a true story, discover the joy of cooking through the eyes renowned chef, Julia Child intertwined with the story of a New York blogger, Julie Powell, who made a vow to prepare all 524 of Child’s recipes. With amazing performances by both Meryl Streep and Amy Adams, this is one sweet treat you won’t be able to resist.
Pan’s Labyrinth: Guillermo del Toro’s fantastical Pan’s Labyrinth is a dark and complex fable of a young girl’s strange journey in an underground kingdom set during the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War. So basically, this isn’t your Grandma’s Alice in Wonderland. A visionary masterpiece, this film may not be for everyone, however, it will certainly challenge you as a viewer, if you’re up for going down the rabbit hole.
Set It Up: Although Netflix has released a plethora of romantic comedies, Set It Up has continued to be my favorite. The joyful story of two overworked assistants who decide to set their bosses up with each other is cheesy, predictable, and humorous. It’s nothing revolutionary, however, it’s the sort of chick flick you need in a crisis situation.
The First Wives Club: Diane Keaton, Bette Midler and Goldie Hawn team up to get revenge on their ex-husbands in the ultimate saga to sisterhood, The First Wives Club. To be honest, this is not the best film out there. It’s kind of clunky at times, but it is still a joy to watch these three comedic powerhouses at work — and the sing along to “You Don’t Own Me” makes it all worth it.
Indiana Jones Franchise: With ample time on your hands, I highly recommend digging into some film franchises. The epic adventures of the brave archaeologist, Indiana Jones, are action-packed, wickedly entertaining and never get old. Lucky for you, all four Indiana Jones films are on Netflix — although you may want to skip out of the final film, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Trust me, you won’t be missing anything there…
Parasite: I know, I must seem like a broken record. However, if there is one thing you MUST watch during quarantine, it is Bong Joon-Ho’s Academy Award-winning masterpiece, Parasite. With the combination of its masterful storytelling, well-crafted filming and poignant performances, I cannot stress enough how perfect this film is. Parasite is was not only my #1 film of 2019, but it is certainly in my list of all-time favorites. So now is your chance to become part of the Bonghive and see what everyone is raving about.
Booksmart: As I’ve mentioned before, we could all use a good laugh these days, and Booksmart will certainly help you with that. Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut is hilarious, progressive and the most fun I had in theatres during 2019. It’s cheeky. It’s rebellious. It has the modern spirit you need to put a smile on your face.
Good Will Hunting: If you haven’t seen the emotionally gripping tale of Will Hunting, now is the time. The Academy Award-winning film follows a working-class genius who is forced to come to terms with his inner demons with the help of a psychology professor (an incredible and Academy Award-winning performance by Robin Williams). The film is perfectly crafted and worth a watch if you haven’t seen it before.
Fighting with My Family: If you’re looking for a film that will have you cheering, Fighting with My Family is a surprising delight. Whether you like wrestling or not, this true story will have you smiling from start to finish thanks to a witty script and engaging characters. You can also watch Fighting with My Family on Amazon Prime.
Free Solo: Want to get your adrenaline pumping while sitting on your couch? National Geographic’s award-winning documentary, Free Solo is a captivating look at Alex Honnold, a free soloist climber, as he embarks on climbing the 3,000 f.t El Capitan in Yosemite National Park without a rope. No joke, you will be on the edge of your seat for the entire breathtaking climb. Free Solo is also available on Disney+.
Zombieland: If you like to laugh and don’t mind a little bit of gore, then Zombieland is for you. This comedic look at the zombie apocalypse is a side-splitting good time (pun intended) with sharp writing and entertaining performances. I don’t usually like “zombie movies” but Zombieland is the ultimate exception to the rule.
Mission Impossible: Fallout: Cue the music and get ready for the franchise’s best installment, Mission Impossible: Fallout. With nonstop, pulse-pounding action, death-defying stunt work, and one of the more compelling stories of the franchise, this is one mission you need to accomplish. Mission Impossible: Fallout is also available on Amazon Prime.
Ingrid Goes West: Are you #obsessed with Instagram and getting the right filter? So is Ingrid. This cutting satire featuring Aubrey Plaza and Elizabeth Olsen is funny, emotional, savage and so relatable for today’s social media-obsessed generation.
Missing Link: Although this may seem like another corny children’s movie, this underrated visual marvel is far more sophisticated than it looks. Missing Link is beautifully crafted, full of heart, action and humor. It’s a great watch if you have young ones.
Blazing Saddles: Another comedy classic that you need to watch if you haven’t. Noticing a pattern here? Comedy is the way to go during this quarantine, and Mel Brooks’s wild laugh-out-loud funny, western romp is a staple of the genre. It’s outrageous. It’s brilliant. it’s a must-see — and even a must-rewatch.
Midsommar: Chances are, if you’ve reached out to me in the last month for movie recommendations, I have certainly ranked Ari Aster’s Midsommar at the top of the list. One of my favorite films of recent years, Midsommar is a visceral, shocking, intoxicating and unforgettable journey. If you are squeamish, this one may not be for you, but trust me, there is NOTHING like Midsommar.
Bridget Jones’s Diary: Say what you will, but one of my favorite feel-good romantic comedies of all is Bridget Jones’s Diary. There’s something so charming, silly and relatable about Bridget Jones, that I find her story utterly irresistible. This is one of my go-to movies whenever I’m not feeling well or having a rough day, so hoping it will help cheer you up as well.
Lady Bird: Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird is one of the greatest coming of ages stories of recent times with stellar performances by Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf. Lady Bird is beautiful. It’s awkward. It’s tragic. It’s all the things we remember about growing up — and ladies, it will certainly make you want to hug your mother or give her a call.
Up in the Air: If you are into fantastic performances and miss the art of travel, Up in the Air is for you. George Clooney stars in this sharp yet sentimental film that manages to add a little humor to a depressing circumstance. Making it sort of fitting for our current climate. Up in the Air is also available on Hulu.
Roman Holiday: I don’t know about you, but in times like these, I love turning to some of the old fashioned classics to enjoy the “simpler times”. Watching Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn’s picturesque journey around Rome in Roman Holiday is the definition of sheer joy. It’s a lovely film that played a key role in setting the bar for the modern romantic comedy. You can also watch Roman Holiday on Netflix.
The Lighthouse: If there is any film more relatable to being stuck inside for way too long, it’s The Lighthouse. This claustrophobic and fascinating film is a masterclass in acting with astounding performances by Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson (who were severely overlooked during last year’s awards season). Keep in mind, this film is not for the faint of heart, but hey, it is it nice to see that we’re all not at their level of cabin fever.
The Disaster Artist: Have you heard of The Room? Well in case you have been living under a rock, The Room is considered the Citizen Kane of bad movies. How did it get made? The Disaster Artist is here to share the unbelievable story about how this film came to be, thanks to the power of friendship. If you’re a fan of The Room, this is a definite must-see.
Paddington: Paddington Bear has his big-screen debut in the lovable self-titled film for all ages to enjoy. His quirky misadventures around London are whimsical, wonderous and sweeter than orange marmalade. It’s 95 minutes of pure joy. And if you love Paddington and feel like spending a little extra to rent the sequel, I highly recommend it.
Moonstruck: One of the most clever and lovable comedies, Moonstruck boasts an unforgettable ensemble and an iconic award-winning performance by Cher. If you need a little magic, laughter, and romance to get you through quarantine, this will do this trick.
007 Franchise: James Bond is one of the most iconic characters of all time. With nifty gadgets, cool cars, despicable villains, and beautiful ladies, the 007 franchise has become the most famous spy series of all time. There is no need to watch them in order, but you don’t want to miss classics such Goldfinger, From Russia With Love, The Spy Who Loved Me or GoldenEye. Although these films are also available on Hulu, neither platform currently offers the Daniel Craig’s Bond films to stream at this time (which is a huge bummer because Skyfall and Casino Royale are my favorites). Other than that, this a perfect way to prepare for the upcoming release of No Time to Die in November.
Black Panther: In 2018, the superhero genre was brought to new heights with the Academy Award-nominated, Black Panther. Ryan Coogler’s immersive origin story of T’Challa and the nation of Wakanda is beautifully crafted, remarkable, action-packed and revolutionary. It continues to be revered as one of Marvel’s best films to date.
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl: Since 2003, if there has ever been one movie to cheer me up, it’s Gore Verbinski’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Inspired by the theme park attraction, this entertaining, engrossing and exciting adventure is surely a swashbuckling good time. There are other films to follow this tale, however, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is without a doubt, the best treasure in the franchise.
The Reluctant Dragon: During my time in quarantine, I decided to watch all of Disney’s animated films in chronological order, which introduced me to one of Walt’s earlier pieces, The Reluctant Dragon. The film follows comedian, Robert Benchley, around the Walt Disney Studios, getting an inside look at how animated cartoons come together through sound, color and drawing. Not only is it a delight to watch, but it’s fascinating to learn more about the animation process. This is a definite must-see for film lovers and Disney fans.
Beauty & the Beast: In times of turmoil, I always like going back to my childhood. So of course, I am going to recommend my favorite Disney animated movie of all time: Beauty & the Beast. It’s a timeless classic of love, understanding, and acceptance — plus it has some incredible music. And if Beauty & the Beast isn’t your favorite animated movie, I urge you to take the time to rewatch your childhood favorite. It will make you smile, reminisce and you deserve that.
Avengers: Endgame: The historic chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is nothing short of epic, and if you haven’t seen the thrilling and extraordinary Avengers: Endgame, by now, it is time you do. And if you’ve seen it already, what are you waiting for? Watch it again. You know you’ll still get goosebumps watching the famous “portals” scene.
The Muppets: If there is one group of characters that will always spark joy for me, it is the Muppets. Although there are several Muppet movies, the one I specifically recommend is from 2011, starring Jason Segall and Amy Adams. It has all the humor, heart, wit and charm we love about the Muppets movies, plus some killer tunes.
Hocus Pocus: It’s never too early to celebrate Halloween. So why not enjoy some spooktacular entertainment and a little Hocus Pocus. Starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy, this beloved cult classic is silly, entertaining and will simply put a spell on you.
The Parent Trap: The Parent Trap is a childhood favorite of mine. When a pair of identical twins who have been separated at birth fortuitously meet at summer camp, they decide to hatch a plan to switch places to get their parents back together. Starring Lindsey Lohan in her break out role, this super cute, touching, and quirky remake is one of those rare films you can watch over and over again. And if you’re interested, the 1961 original starring Hayley Mills is also available on Disney+.
Mary Poppins: Let’s face it. We could all use a jolly holiday. So why not take a stroll down memory lane to visit Mary Poppins. With an unforgettable soundtrack, joyous animated sequences and practically perfect performances from the incomparable Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, this musical will certainly transport you into your happy place. Bonus, if you feel like doing a double feature, Mary Poppins Returns is also available on Disney+.
The Star Wars Saga: AH-HA. You didn’t think you were getting through this list without seeing Star Wars, now did you? Of course I am going to recommend my favorite movie franchise. The Star Wars saga has a little of something for everyone, so now is the perfect opportunity to watch them with your family — introduce icons such as Yoda and Princess Leia into your child’s life. Or even take the chance to rewatch them all together to watch the story unfold chronologically (or you know, you can always skip the prequels. I won’t judge you on that). Please note that the most recent addition to the Star Wars saga is not available on Disney+ (yet).
Well there you have it.
I am hoping one of these recommendations makes you smile, makes you laugh, makes you think and helps you escape life for a little while.
I know things are difficult right now. Remember to take some time for you. And we will get through it. We’re all in this together.