Fifteen Films College Students Should See

by Meghan Dellinger

Thousands of movies are created every year by film producers. But with so many different films available to watch, it would be impossible for one person to watch them all. And with the limited amount of free time that college students have, how should one choose which movies to watch?

Based on other Whitworth students’ opinions, popular movie lists, and personal choice, I have compiled a list of some of the movies that every college student should see.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World – Junior Daniel Rogalsky said students should see this movie. “It’s freaking awesome,” he said. “It’s just one of those movies that only our generation can appreciate.” The movie is funny only if one understands the various references made about pop culture, of which most are about older video games and comic books.

10 Things I Hate About You – Released in 1999, “10 Things I Hate About You” is a romantic comedy adaptation of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew.” Sophomore Nicole Lomax said, “It is really fun; it never gets old every time you watch it. It has something everyone can watch.”

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – Having just watched this movie recently for the first time, I have to say that I enjoyed it for the storyline and concepts. The plot’s twists and turns kept the story interesting, and Jim Carrey’s role in this film was actually enjoyable.

Fight Club – If you’ve ever been hanging out with someone and randomly they emphatically said, “The first rule about Fight Club is you don’t talk about Fight Club,” and you didn’t get the reference, that means you haven’t seen “Fight Club.” And that’s a problem. Underground brawls, soap, insomnia and Helena Bonham Carter are all a part of this dark psychological cult film based on Chuck Palahniuk’s even grungier novel of the same name.   

Mean Girls – Lomax said that “Mean Girls” was one of her favorite movies because it is very quotable. “It’s like the worst of society,” she said. “They’re so evil that it’s funny.” And everyone knows we love to hate certain characters in movies, in this case Regina George and her cronies.

The Harry Potter series – The Harry Potter movies, although sometimes criticized by fans of the books for not including everything, are well done. Lomax said these movies help distract her during difficult times. “You just get really into it,” she said. “It’s a good way to forget about school, to just say, ‘I want to be a wizard.’”

Inception – This movie gets you thinking in a similar fashion to “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” with dreams within a dream within a dream. Leonardo DiCaprio also does a great job as the main protagonist in the film (as he always does).

Les Miserables – Another new movie, but the film provides a discussion about social justice and redemption, which is valuable to the audience, and the actors’ singing is surprisingly powerful. Junior Alli Mack said she would suggest watching the earlier version of “Les Miserables” with Liam Neeson in the main role because “it has more of the story in it.”

Shawshank Redemption – Another great plotline and interesting story concept. Highly recommended for everyone to watch at least once. This film is about an inspiring prison break from a man who is arrested for killing his wife, although he claims to be innocent.

Disney movies (Mulan, Toy Story, The Lion King, etc.) – An obvious choice. Most students from our generation grew up watching Disney movies, so if you haven’t seen a Disney movie, you definitely should.

The Breakfast Club – Honestly one of the best older films out there, “The Breakfast Club” is about five different high school students who are given detention on the same Saturday. During their experience together, the teenagers bond and become friends, putting aside their differences in social status. Junior Samantha Nix said she definitely recommends the movie. “It’s just one of my favorite movies and it’s just really great,” she said. No matter how much time passes, “The Breakfast Club” will always be humorous and always leave the audience walking away content.

The Star Wars movies – Whether you enjoy the prequels or the originals more, “Star Wars” is something that everyone should be able to relate to. Not only are these movies something that will come up in conversation at least once in your lifetime, but watching people swing lightsabers around is pretty sweet as well.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy (as well as the new Hobbit movie) – I will confess to be a bit biased on this one because I basically live for J.R.R. Tolkien’s created world. However, the special effects, the acting (by most characters), and the world that film director Peter Jackson found in the natural New Zealand landscape all add up to create a work of art.

Back To The Future – Another old but excellent movie. This one is probably more suited for your parents’ generation, but it is still one of the best time-traveling adventure films created. The movie was innovative for 1985, and still retains some of that innovation today.

Jurassic Park – Recently released in theaters again in 3-D, this was another film considered innovative for its time. With life-like animatronics and great special effects, “Jurassic Park” still entertains people, using a terror and wonder at the unique situation of being on an island with dinosaurs.

Contact Meghan Dellinger at mdellinger15@my.whitworth.edu


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