Top 10 films that change the way you look at things

Top 10 films that change the way you look at things – Have you ever wondered what movie you choose and why you watch it? A 2019 study by VTsIOM showed that people more often choose comedies – they account for, on average, up to 80% of audience choice, a little less often the choice falls on war films – up to 77%, followed by fairy tale films and cartoons. Oddly enough, melodramas and action films were outsiders – 38% and 48%, respectively [ VTsIOM, 2019 ].

A much more interesting question is: why do we watch movies? Films help the brain of a person whose life has little free time to stop the train of thought and “unload” from everyday life and routine for an hour or two and plunge into a fictional world.

The genre of the chosen film controls the emotional background of the viewer – if you want to feel sad, it is optimal to choose a drama; relax and not think about anything serious – a comedy or horror movie without a serious meaning; get the drive – thriller or action. While watching a movie, we sympathize with the characters and worry, often experiencing an emotional range that is lacking in real life. This compensates for the lack of feelings, experience, diversity, support, etc., and develops emotional intelligence.

You can choose one movie from the top 10 best films leading world ratings and be disappointed in the “empty” plot, or you can watch a comedy that failed at the box office, but received good ratings from critics and viewers, and be so inspired by the plot that you reconsider your view of things , events, people and their actions. A good movie can change your life for the better and lead you to awareness and reflection. We have presented our top 10 films that are worth watching, and we will tell you why.

We suggest watching the films proposed in the review impartially, taking the position of attentive observers and not becoming attached to the characters with our subjective perception of their actions. Reasonableness and critical thinking help you avoid being manipulated by film and advertising directors, marketers and other “target” experts.

By the way, we invite you to improve this skill in the online program “ Critical Thinking ”, as well as in the “ Cognitive Science ” program, where you will master new thinking techniques that will help you evaluate current situations and people’s actions.

Fight Club (1999)

The action film “Fight Club” is a truly unique film, which is included in many ratings and the top 10 worthwhile films on various topics. The movie was a symbolic slap in the face to consumerism, which flourished at the turn of 1990-2000 and continues to this day.

According to the plot, an insurance company employee, on whose behalf the story is told, suffers from insomnia. He wants to escape from the gray everyday life, which has become a real “Groundhog Day”. The hero finds a way to distract himself – to see that it can be worse, looking at the pain and decline of men suffering from cancer. On one of his business trips, the narrator meets Tyler Durden, a soap salesman whose philosophy is based on self-destruction and “fighting the system” with unique provocative methods – he is sure that people engaged in self-development are wasting their time.

The main character and his new friend, after a fight in the parking lot, found a wrestling club, which develops into a network and transforms into the “Devastation” project, its participants commit acts of vandalism under the slogan of fighting against a society of zombifying consumer philosophy.

Why it’s worth watching: The film “Fight Club,” starring Edward Norton and Brad Pitt, is based on the book of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk, for whom the project became “a monument to the end of the 20th century.” Cinema helps to look at consumer culture and see the problem on the scale of society, not an individual family.

The author and director’s condemnation of consumerism, superficial values ​​and the lack of meaning in life is deliberately shown, but few people argue with them. The New York Times magazine named the film the best glamorous commercial for anti-globalism [ New York Times, 2009 ].

The presented problem has become especially relevant these days, when advertising literally controls the new “disenfranchised” generation, whose behavior is modeled by marketers: from the formation of deficits and needs, models of actions to compulsion to purchase and spend.

Boyhood (2014)

Richard Linklater’s drama Boyhood couldn’t help but be included in the top 10 films worth watching. Filming took place over 12 years. This is a chronicle of a boy from the USA growing up. It’s interesting that the main actors change naturally throughout the film, simply by getting older. The film’s script was adjusted from year to year, the director adapted the plot to the changing reality.

The story of the boy Mason begins in 2002, when he is only 6 years old. Over the next 12 years, his parents divorce, his mother’s personal life develops, his older sister grows up, and the history of the United States changes politically and culturally. The film shows the view of a boy growing up at every moment on the events happening around him in each episode. The story of the hero himself is also shown: he grows up, looks at “adult” magazines for the first time, becomes acquainted with drinking and light illegal substances, meets a girl, and graduates from high school.

Why it’s worth watching: the director managed to convey the experiences of a person at different stages of life, which became the red line of subtext: what will happen next? Life seems to be developing in a gray and monotonous manner, according to a “plan,” but for millennials, the life scenario developed by their parents in the new global environment is no longer so realistic and everything is not going so smoothly [ Huffpost, 2014 ]. The movie is useful to watch for people of generation Y (born 1981-1996), who found themselves at the same transitional century and historical turn as Mason.

The film “Boyhood” received more than 200 reviews in the year of release and topped all possible ratings in 2014, became an award nominee and winner of many awards.

The newest testament / Le tout nouveau testament (2015)

A Belgian fantasy comedy about God, who actually lives not in the clouds and castles in the air, but in modern Brussels. Sometimes he locks himself in his office and performs his duties through a computer, without which he has no special magical powers. The God from the film looks completely different from how the artists depict him. The film should be viewed precisely as the director’s artistic idea on the verge of sarcasm and self-irony.

The story is told by a daughter of God named Eya. Having heard the instructions of Jesus, she decides to run away from her father, having first deprived God of the main tool for controlling people – she sent out messages to everyone about the time they had left before death. She meets a homeless man, with whom she writes a new Gospel; for him she is looking for six apostles, who will become ordinary people who know when they will die.

Awareness of the remaining time in life frees people’s hands: they finally decide to do what they have been putting off for so long, what they did not dare to do.

Why it’s worth watching: the comedy is not included in the ratings of the top 10 best films due to the specificity of the director’s view. But if you don’t get hung up on this , you can see a well-made picture in which biblical stories are played out in a new way, sometimes with sarcasm, but without evil.

The main message, to which the director does not deliberately or intentionally direct the viewer, is to think about how each of us lives life, the resource of which is organic – these thoughts are highly likely to captivate you for a long time. If you don’t cling to the meanings, “The New Testament” is a good way to while away the evening for lovers of unconventional sarcastic humor and arthouse cinema.

The Other Side of Progress / Surviving Progress (2011)

A documentary about what will happen to the planet if people do not stop abusing consumerism – “The Other Side of Progress” from Canadian directors
Matthew Roy and Harold Crooks.

In recent decades, progress has made great strides, but perhaps this is the path to the collapse of humanity, and not to prosperity. The filmmakers conducted a unique research work in which they presented the “traps of progress” that destroyed ancient civilizations. According to the authors, technologies and belief systems that are relevant at the moment are a loan from the planet that will have to be repaid in the future. Experts are thinking about whether humanity will be able to avoid a global catastrophe and not fall into oblivion if progress does not stop development.

Why it’s worth watching: the documentary shows the global problem of humanity’s desire for comfort, sometimes imposed by marketers and corporations, for whom the goal of progress is profit, and not the well-being of people and the environment. An individual will be interested in learning how human consumerism harms the planet; perhaps the viewer will reconsider his approach to purchasing and disposing of things.

By the way, the problem of consumption inevitably entails a huge amount of garbage. Conscious consumption is one of the ways for each of us to make the world around us cleaner and better.

Life is beautiful / La vita è bella (1997)

If you watch the top 10 films about love and friendship, joy and zest for life, you cannot ignore this movie. And one would hardly think that the dramatic comedy “Life is Beautiful” is the story of one family during the Second World War.

The Jew Guido arrives in the village of Arezzo, where he falls in love with a local Italian. Soon he will find out that the girl is getting married. Devoted to his feelings, Guido does everything to win the favor of his beloved, through imagination, care and kind expressions. After some time, he gets what he deserves, gets married, and the young couple has a child who grows up in an atmosphere of love, happiness, and play. Five years later, the idyll is disrupted by war: a father and his little son are sent to a concentration camp, and their Italian wife voluntarily goes after them.

To prevent the horrors of the concentration camp from injuring the child, the father imagines what is happening in the form of a game. Guido assures: the best boys who manage to avoid being seen by the guards, never cry or complain, or ask for food, will receive a tank as a prize. The child, seeing death, pain and tears, believes his father and perceives what is happening playfully.

Why it’s worth watching: the first part of the film is comedic-romantic, the second is tragic. The viewer has the opportunity to experience a wide range of feelings that the story of a family caught in the epicenter of a terrible catastrophe of the 20th century will evoke. Roberto Benigni, the director of the film and the leading actor, showed how in the most difficult situations people are able to maintain control and good spirits, even if death is breathing at their backs. This will help the viewer reconsider some life situations and, perhaps, cope with emotional difficulties following the example of the main character.

Time / In Time (2011)

The science fiction thriller “Time” has become a modern variation of the view on the possible acquisition of immortality.

In the post-cyberpunk world, people are programmed in such a way that they stop aging at the age of 25, and how long they live depends on their ability to manage the remaining time, which acts as a universal currency – they are paid in stores, they receive a salary.

The main character, Will Salas, never learned to manage money wisely, and his loved ones paid for it. One day, his friend Henry Hamilton, who does not want to live, gives the hero all his time – 116 hours, after which he dies. After some time at the casino, Will wins another 1100 years, where he is visited by guards who monitor law and order and the balance of time in the new world. Salas takes his new acquaintance Sylvia Vile, the daughter of a very rich father, hostage and goes on the run.

Why you should watch: the thriller contains an important message to the viewer – how do you manage your time? It’s no wonder that the film’s slogan, “Live Forever or Die Trying,” is a call to choose how to use the time allotted to each person. There is also reason to think: are the main characters the new Robin Hoods or infantile, irresponsible people? Interestingly, critics’ ratings for the film were low, but audiences all over the world liked the film. Perhaps many saw themselves in the heroes.

Interstellar (2014)

The top 10 films with a high rating of 8.6 included Interstellar, which in Russia took 8th place out of the TOP 250 according to Kinopoisk .

Joseph Cooper, a former NASA pilot, has been farming since the death of his wife, growing corn, which has become the last crop that can thrive in conditions of drought and dust storms. One day, in the room of Murph, Cooper’s daughter, strange shadows are discovered on the floor, in which coordinates are read. In addition, the girl began to regularly encounter a “ghost” who scatters books.

Joseph goes to the coordinates of the “ghost”, where he finds a secret NASA base. He is being prepared to fly in search of a new planet to resettle people from the drying up Earth. He doesn’t yet know that the salvation of humanity will be connected with the mysterious creatures from Murph’s closet.

Why it’s worth watching: The film was intended to be a science-fiction film, and included actual visualizations of research by astronaut scientists. Viewers are explained what a Black Hole is and how “exotic events in the Universe accessible to humanity” work. The movie runs for 169 minutes (2 hours 49 minutes), and during this time many interesting facts are assembled that do not immediately fit in the head.

The cognitive abilities of the brain will be especially strained towards the end of the film, where the solution to the “ghost” in Murph’s room is located. After watching Interstellar, you can deepen your view of the world: it is not flat or even three-dimensional, as many people think. The relationships and emotional states of the characters were not left behind the scenes – many viewers empathize with Cooper, understand Murph and are angry with Dr. Mann.

The Butterfly Effect (2003)

Chaos theory and the butterfly effect are played out in the science-fiction thriller “The Butterfly Effect” by Eric Bress in the story of the boy Avon.

The main character inherited the disease from his psychopathic father – he does not remember those episodes of his life in which something truly strange or terrible happened. Things that caused trauma to the psyche: being forced into child pornography, violence from his father and his death at the hands of security guards, the murder of Lenny’s mother and the burning of Avon’s dog alive.

To cope with memory gaps, the doctor recommends little Evon write diaries. Having entered college, the young man returns to his manuscripts and falls into a series of memories, where he changes the future. He has to reckon with a new reality every time he returns from his “journey.”

Why it’s worth watching: the viewer is invited to look at his own life from the point of view of making decisions , making choices at every second, and realizing the need to take responsibility for this, to be aware of the consequences. Avon will have to see himself either as a college student, or as a prisoner for the murder of Tommy’s friend (the one who burned the dog), or as a disabled person without arms in a wheelchair. All these roles are alternative consequences of actions taken and decisions made at each moment in time. The hero understands that attempts to correct mistakes will inevitably lead to consequences from which he himself or his loved ones, one way or another, will still suffer. Accordingly, in order to shape the future, we must live in the present.

The Man Who Changed Everything / Moneyball (2011)

The unique sports drama “The Man Who Changed Everything” is recommended for viewing by those who do not believe in themselves and the possibility of their own achievements. The film is based on the book by Michael Lewis “MoneyBall. How Mathematics Changed the World’s Most Popular Sports League.”

The Oakland Athletics baseball team suffers one set of failures in the American League Division Series, after which key players leave the group. General manager Billy Beane wants to reassemble a strong team, completely changing its composition, but the team does not have money for good players.

He turns to Peter Brand, a graduate of Yale University, who proposes to look for baseball players using a scheme for calculating the usefulness of players based on mathematical calculations of personal indicators. So the team ended up with, at first glance, unpromising players, which current scouts oppose. The newcomers are unable to get involved in the game due to the resistance of the Athletics head coach. However, it will soon turn out that everyone took advantage of the chance, and the scheme proposed by Brand works.

Why it’s worth watching: As the story of Billy Beane showed, even a series of serious failures can be found through persistence and creativity. And for those who have not yet achieved success , the film gives a little faith in a chance that they need to take advantage of. The film received high marks from film critics; it has excellent ratings in global aggregators, including in Russia. The film can be seen in the ratings of the top 10 films worth watching.

Donnie Darko (2001)

The film “Donnie Darko” deserves to be included in the top 10 horror films. This is a mystical thriller, a science-fiction film by Richard Kelly that has become a cult classic. Judging by the reviews, the film evokes a wide range of feelings, emotions and stirs up what is hidden in the subconscious.

High school student Donnie Darko is an ordinary teenager, he lives with his mother and two sisters in the American town of Middlesex County. One day, a man named Frank in a rabbit costume mentally orders the hero to leave the house at night where they meet. From a stranger, Donnie learns that in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds, the world will end. The boy woke up in the morning on a golf course, and upon returning discovered that an airplane engine had fallen onto his house, right into his room, and investigators do not know where it could have come from.

From Friend, Donnie learns about time travel, and he begins to have strange visions. One night he ends up at a school, where he cuts water pipes, then sets fire to the house of a local speaker, where the police later find a collection of illegal videos. On Halloween Eve, Donnie and his sister are left alone at home, the day the world is supposed to end. Further events develop in such a way that it becomes unclear whether this actually happened, as time shifts in different directions into the past, present and future. It contains the answer to all the strange events that occurred during the development of the plot.

Why it’s worth watching: the film is full of the experiences of the characters that are close to the viewer. The red line through the plot runs through loneliness and misunderstanding of loved ones, first love, lack of warmth. For everyone there may be a different end of the world, it is not necessarily the death of civilization. Viewers will find in “Donnie Darko” a reflection of their own experiences and, at the same time, support from the director. Sometimes the understanding that your problem is being heard is enough to change your own attitude towards it.

The rating does not include films from the top 10 films of 2020-2022 : many of them are designed for good box office, but do not carry a high-quality emotional load with an “aftertaste”. This problem exists both in Russia and abroad – in Hollywood, for some reason, the audience doesn’t like new ideas, so remakes and franchises flourish, which bore the public [ Forbes, 2021 ].

We may not have had time to watch them all, but there are some worthy ones among them – write in the comments which films you recommend the 4brain editors and our readers pay attention to.

Developed critical thinking helps you watch movies impartially, enjoying it from the perspective of an observer. The ability to separate manipulations and provocations protects against rash actions and blind faith in what is happening around, and therefore helps to maintain internal balance and calm. Improve this skill in a matter of weeks with the online Critical Thinking program . And if you want to watch smart movies, understand them, be able to generally analyze words, actions, events and be a more effective person and specialist, welcome to the online program “ Critical Thinking


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