Star Trek (2009)
The Movie: J.J. Abrams’ reboot of the classic decades-spanning sci-fi saga is, for once, an actual reboot, as history is rewritten for Kirk and Co.
Why It Was Loved: By chucking out the baggage, Abrams gave a new audience a reason to engage with the Enterprise’s serio-comic shenanigans… and even the Trekkies had grudging respect for the fact he left them their universe.
Typical Online Review: “I’m not a trekkie, but I sure want to be now. This movie takes the series and makes it cool for once, I never enjoyed the old show but this movie makes us feel awesome for seeing a nerd movie.” Dream Extractor, Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab)
The Great Escape (1963)
The Movie: McQueen, Garner, Attenborough, Bronson, Coburn and every other Tom, Dick and Harry show the Nazis the dangers of putting all their eggs in one basket.
Why It Was Loved: A perennial Bank Holiday treat, it’s the kind of all-star smorgasbord you can watch with your dad without either of you getting bored.
Typical Online Review: “What a magnificent piece of classic cinema! Everything from the acting to the music is just pure artistic gold.” Mike S, Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab)
The Hunger Games (2012)
The Movie: A controversial entry for the list (considering the film has only just hit cinemas), but that record-breaking opening weekend has shown that The Hunger Games has fans in droves, demolishing even the biggest-ever Twilight movie’s box-office take.
Why It Was Loved: The success of the books meant the films came pre-loaded with a rabid fanbase, but The Hunger Games finest trick was convincing the guys in the audience that this was worth a ticket (something that Twilight struggles to do). And don’t underestimate THG ’s secret weapon Jennifer Lawrence, who gives a performance that’s far richer than we’ve come to expect from teen-orientated blockbusters.
Typical Online Review: “There are no words to describe the feeling that has inhabited my chest. I am not entirely sure I can process what was shown before my very eyes. Was it the horrific terror that chilled my spine and paralyzed me to my seat? Was it the breathtakingly beautiful romantics? I’m not entirely sure, but I know my cheeks are still sticky from the constant run of tears.” Sarah Ribeiro, IMDb
Spider-man 2 (2004)
The Movie: Sam Raimi’s second stab at Spidey upped the ante, as Peter Parker’s desire for normality is compromised by rampaging Doc Octopus.
Why It Was Loved: A benchmark in the recent development of the Marvel superhero, as Raimi nails the tricky balance of emo romance and breath-taking action – and smuggles in some Evil Dead -style crazy-cam.
Typical Online Review: “Spider-Man 2 is not a movie! It is a piece of super-heroic art to own for a lifetime that should be cherished upon, and never given up! I do not see why anyone in their right mind would not like this film!” KJP, Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab)
Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
The Movie: Arnie returns as a good guy to save John Connor from the new threat of sarcastic shape-shifter Robert Patrick.
Why It Was Loved: The first Terminator was a grungy tech-noir cult flick. The sequel was all-out BLOCKBUSTER, driven by the still-startling FX innovations of the T-1000.
Typical Online Review: “Absolute classic. I’ve watched this film for years and it never gets old, boring or dull. I love it everytime. MUST SEE.” Skitzomultiple, Lovefilm (opens in new tab)
My Neighbour Totoro (1988)
The Movie: Hayao Miyazaki’s love letter to the countryside, as two girls discover a friendly wood-sprite living in the tree next door.
Why It Was Loved: Studio Ghibli has made bigger, more obvious assaults on our hearts, but it’s because Totoro is such a warm, small-scale experience that it’s the one people prefer to cuddle.
Typical Online Review: “The film has great direction, beautiful backgrounds and a mystical, pleasant aura throughout. There’s nothing like this, I promise you. It’s idyllic and simple.” opus0, IMDb (opens in new tab)
The Movie: If the first X-Men movie was a slightly reticent affair, Bryan Singer’s second stab piled on the action set-pieces and dovetailed them with sharp character arcs.
Why It Was Loved: By taking a complex (and fan favourite) storyline from the comics, Singer proved that the modern superhero movie was more than just FX and spandex.
Typical Online Review: “It has become rarer and rarer to find a film that has the ability to grab your senses and lock your attention so firmly, not ever letting up until the credits role, such as this film does. One might only be able to count a handful of films where a sequel takes all of the good elements form it’s predecessor, completely eliminates the things that didn’t work or fit in the original, then goes on to not only exceed the expectations and hype surrounding it, but completely redefines and elevates it’s genre.” Logansneo, IMDb (opens in new tab)
The Movie: Christopher Nolan enters our dreams via Escher-aping reality shifts, 007-esque ski battles and woozy revolving corridors.
Why It Was Loved: That rare thing – a blockbuster you need to watch twice, as Nolan’s mind-scrambling indie sensibility got a mega-budget makeover.
Typical Online Review: “I love the clothes, I love the acting, I love the fact that it only has two funny moments, I love the fact that it’s as thought provoking as it is entertaining, I love the music, the post and the headfuck.” Ben, ben-kay.com (opens in new tab)
Shaun Of The Dead (2004)
The Movie: What Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg began in Spaced is perfected in a none-more-British zom-rom-com.
Why It Was Loved: A scary/funny love letter to being young and into games and movies, this was a clarion call for the blogger generation.
Typical Online Review: “The night we rented this, or should I say, the night my husband rented this, I was not happy about it. I didn’t want to see some bloody zombie movie. Oh, was I wrong….this movie is a classic. A modern day classic. My words will not do this movie justice. So, I’m not even going to try.” CuriosityKitten, Experience Project (opens in new tab)
Toy Story Trilogy (1995-2010)
The Movies: Hard to pick just one, but Pixar’s flagship franchise continues to milk laughter and tears from mere children’s playthings.
Why It Was Loved: The original dazzled through the kind of craft and charm nobody thought possible from a computer-assembled kids’ film. And then the sequels outstripped its brilliance.
Typical Online Review: “The original is a masterpiece that changed animation forever, and the sequel is among the best in the history of film (I mean that). The first two Toy Story films are among the best movies of all-time and to this day entire animation studios have failed to duplicate an ounce of the magic contained in Toy Story. Could part 3 even come close to the original two? My friends, I am very happy to say, the answer is a resounding yes.” diac228, IMDb (opens in new tab)