Saturday, 26 March 2016

15 Movies You Have to Watch More than Once to Really Appreciate

There are some movies out there that you just have to watch more than once. Some films are just too weird to comprehend after watching them one time. Other, more straightforward films also occasionally warrant a re-watching because there is so much going on in them that it's impossible to absorb all of the content in one viewing. Whatever the case may be, there are quite a few of these types of movies out there. Here are 15 of them.

1. Memento

The theatrical release poster for Memento. It depicts Guy Pearce and Carrie-Anne Moss in a series of photographs that become increasingly smaller using an infinity mirror effect.
Memento was the first Christopher Nolan film to receive widespread recognition from viewers and critics alike. It's also, in my opinion, one of his best works. The main character in the movie is Leonard Shelby, a man who suffers from amnesia. I don't want to say too much more about the plot at the risk of spoiling the movie for you. What I will say though is that the way in which the plot is revealed is nothing short of brilliant. You probably won't understand what is really going on until near the end of the film, and even then, it is worth watching again once you know exactly what is going on. You'll appreciate the film (and the way it is put together) much more the second time through.

2. The Matrix

The theatrical release poster for The Matrix. It depicts the four main characters (from left to right: Cypher, Morpheus, Neo and Trinity).
I've seen The Matrix several times and I'm still discovering new things about it all the time. The first film (and the whole series actually) has so many layers to it that I can't see how anyone would notice all of them in one viewing. The topics explored in the film are varied with philosophy, religion and the humanity's destiny being just three. While the film can be appreciated purely as an action movie, it's a lot deeper than that and it definitely merits multiple viewings.

3. Mulholland Drive

The theatrical release poster for Mulholland Drive. It is divided into two panels. The top panel shows a darkened photograph of the Hollywood Sign obscured by a palm tree. The bottom panel depicts Laura Harring looking nervously to her right.
If you don't know who David Lynch is, then check out this film. It's weird and interesting at the same time, just like Lynch's films tend to be. On your first viewing, Mulholland Drive may seem to be filled with lots of random events that don't make much sense at all. But if you watch it again and try to analyze it, you'll realize that the story is a lot more coherent than you originally thought.

4. Pulp Fiction

The theatrical release poster for Pulp Fiction. It is designed to look like an old pulp magazine cover and it depicts Uma Thurman lying on a bed with a cigarette in her hand.
One of Quentin Tarantino's best films, Pulp Fiction is definitely one to see at least twice. The film isn't organized in a strictly linear fashion, so it's likely that you'll miss things if you watch it only once. Additionally, the writing is really good in this movie. A lot of the dialogue has meaning to it that might not be apparent the first time you hear it.

5. Donnie Darko

The theatrical release poster for Donnie Darko. It depicts a terrifying blue rabbit's head on a black background. The rabbit's head is actually a collage created by combining various characters' faces and other stills from the film.
Donnie Darko is one of those films that people are split on. Some people love the film and some people hate it. What can't be denied about Donnie Darko, however, is that you'll want to watch it more than once to understand what's going on. The movie has a lot of depth to it and your understanding of what it's all about will most likely change after you watch it again.

6. 12 Monkeys

The theatrical release poster for 12 Monkeys. It is a black and white photomontage of three of the main characters' faces. From left to right: Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe and Brad Pitt are shown. Willis is the most prominent of the three and his eyes are covered by shadows. The only colour in the image is a glowing red monkey symbol where Willis' right eye would be.
12 Monkeys is probably one of the best time travel movies of the 1990s, if not of all-time. The film is based on a short film by Chris Marker called La Jetée. The acting in this movie is stellar and you should definitely watch it if you haven't yet. While you might be able to understand this movie in just one sitting, there are a lot of details in it that you need to keep track of. As a result, a second viewing usually reveals some things that you might have missed the first time around.

7. Fight Club

The theatrical release poster for Fight Club. From left to right it depicts a smiling Brad Pitt and a serious Edward Norton separated into two panels. The movie's tagline reads: Mischief. Mayhem. Soap. A photograph of a pink bar of soap is depicted in the top-right of the image with the title of the movie printed over top of it.
What can you say about Fight Club? Great acting, great directing, an intelligent story. This movie is simply one of the best films in the past 20 years. It's also incredibly multi-layered with elements that you'll only notice after watching it again. And I'm not just talking about story elements here. Little easter eggs, physical objects and other miscellaneous details are scattered throughout the movie. Watch this movie if you haven't and watch it again if you have.

8. 2001: A Space Odyssey

The theatrical release poster for 2001: A Space Odyssey. It depicts a painting on a white page. The tagline of the movie is shown on the white part of the page above the painting. It reads: An epic drama of adventure and exploration. The painting shows four astronauts on the moon. The two in the foreground are looking at a computer tablet. The two in the background stare in different directions as a couple of round spacecraft launch from the lunar face.
Many of you probably know who Stanley Kubrick is. If you don't, let me tell you that the man was a genius behind the camera. He helped pioneer several different film techniques and his movies are some of the most innovative and influential that have ever been made. 2001: A Space Odyssey is no exception. The film's meaning is ambiguous and can be interpreted in a variety of different ways. You're initial analysis of what it's all about can change on a second viewing. Consequently, it's definitely worth watching more than once.

9. Inception

The theatrical release poster for Inception. It depicts 6 of the main characters standing in the middle of a city street. In the background, the street bends upwards as though it were in the process of being folded over top of the characters.
Inception is the second Nolan film on this list and if you've ever seen it you'll understand why. Without giving too much of the plot away, the movie plays with the idea of dreams and how they work. There are a lot of nuances surrounding this idea and it's hard to catch all of them after watching Inception only once.

10. Synecdoche, New York

The theatrical release poster for Synecdoche, New York. It is a photograph of a city street, taken from the middle of the street. Tall buildings dominate the foreground of the image. A zeppelin is prominent in the background with curved metal beams enveloping the entire scene and blocking out the skyline.
Synecdoche, New York represents Charlie Kaufman's directorial debut. Kaufman is the writer behind Being John Malkovich and Adaptation, two very thought-provoking films. This film continues in the same vein, serving as a highly existential piece of cinema, with many facets to it that you'll only notice after multiple viewings.

11. Primer

The theatrical release poster for Primer. It shows a metal box illuminated by a spotlight in a dark room. There are wires running from the box and some of the wires have been cut and arranged into the word "Primer".
Primer is an astonishing movie not only because of the level of detail that it contains, but also due to the fact that it was made on a $7,000 budget. Not too many people know about this film because of the low production values, but it's highly worth watching. Like 12 Monkeys, it's a time travel film, but there are so many other things going on that you're going to want to watch it again to understand it all.

12. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

The theatrical release poster for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The image is a photomontage of two photographs. The main photograph (which covers the entire poster) depicts the two main characters lying on a frozen sheet of ice in the top-right corner. In the bottom-left corner the face of Jim Carrey (who plays one of the main characters) is overlayed and he is looking towards the top-right corner of the image.
Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet star in this romantic drama written by Charlie Kaufman. Like Synecdoche, New York, Eternal Sunshine is very well-written. Both Carrey and Winslet are excellent and Carrey is especially notable due to the fact that he breaks his own mould by taking on a role that is quite different from his prior work. The film is wonderfully thought-provoking and even if you're not a fan of romances you'll still want to watch this one at least a couple of times to grasp the messages that it presents you with.

13. The Prestige

The theatrical release poster for The Prestige. It depicts the faces of three of the stars. From left to right: Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson and Christian Bale are shown. Jackman and Bale are both shown in black and white, while Johansson is partially obscured by a blueish-gray, translucent smoke.
The third (and final) Nolan film on this list is The Prestige. It is another non-linear story that revolves around magic. The film is an enthralling experience as the plot takes several twists and turns before the end. A second viewing of this one will definitely give you a better appreciation for how the story was crafted.

14. The Tree of Life

The theatrical release poster for The Tree of Life. The poster is composed of 70 separate panels. Within each panel is a still frame from the movie. Within the two center panels, the title of the film is shown over top of the images.
Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life is another film on this list that people either love or hate. I personally think it's fantastic. In this movie, the focus is the visuals. For the most part, there isn't any dialogue and the story is told through imagery alone. This is why repeated viewings are important to really understand it. You'll see things the second time that you didn't see the first time.

15. Pi

The theatrical release poster for Pi. It depicts a black and white close-up shot of a man's face. A red pi symbol is overlayed in the center of the poster.
No list like this would be complete without a Darren Aronofsky film. I wasn't sure which one of his to pick, but I figured Pi was a good choice. It's Aronofsky's first feature film and it's packed with a lot of different ideas which makes the film quite complex. The movie deals with a variety of esoteric concepts like number theory and Jewish mysticism which might cause the main themes of the story to go over your head the first time. Watching it a second time will allow you to see them more clearly.

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