In a world where franchises and sagas dominate the big screen, shelling out movies over two hours, you might feel like taking a foot off the pedal and watching something less time-consuming. It’s a breath of fresh air to find the somewhat hidden gems that deliver big but in a fairly compact package. Here’s a list of 10 movies you can enjoy and still have some popcorn left by the end!
1. IT’S SUCH A BEAUTIFUL DAY (2012)
Here we meet Bill, a stick figure with a wild imagination and a habit of enjoying life’s absurdities. It’s Such A Beautiful Day is a journey of humor, heart, and whimsical adventures, or, shall I say, misadventures. From talking to seagulls to pondering on the nature of existence, the minimalist animation still dares to remind us that even on the gloomiest days, a little bit of silliness can make everything a little better.
2. FOLLOWING (1998)
In his directorial debut, Following, Christopher Nolan shows his signature style of non-linear storytelling, clever twists, and edge-of-the-seat suspense. The thriller takes you on a journey with a writer into the mysterious world of a serial burglar. Nolan’s signature style shines through the cinematography, plot reveal, and shattered timelines that slowly interweave themselves right up to the last moment.
3. THE INVISIBLE MAN (1933)
When a bumbling scientist accidentally concocts an invisibility serum, they become the undetectable town prankster, creating chaos and mayhem. The entire movie’s tone is so heartwarming that it’s hard to find any fault. From cheesily floating objects to dirty little pranks, you’ll giggle at every turn.
4. REC (2007)
There’s something so scary about handheld footage. If you like having your nerves toyed with, this 2007 Spanish film will satisfy your desire. A television reporter and her crew document a demonic possession inside an apartment building. The onslaught, jump scares, creaking doors, and air of claustrophobia will leave you gasping for breath.
5. COHERENCE (2013)
So you like puzzles? This one is quite the doozy. This sci-fi thriller plunges you into a mind-boggling chain of events. As a comet passes, time, sanity, and identity blur, leaving you to question what is reality and what isn’t. With a stellar cast, clever script, and expert tension, Coherence will leave you wondering if you are an illusion yourself.
6. FAULTS (2014)
It’s easy to think you’re in control of a situation, but sometimes, stop and ask yourself, who’s really on top of things? When a renowned cult expert is hired to deprogram a woman, he quickly realizes he’s caught in a web of lies, mind games, and psychological warfare. The line between captor and captive blurs, and you find yourself staring into the darkest corners of the human psyche.
7. WHIPLASH (2014)
An unstoppable force versus an immovable object has always been a theme that brings smiles to viewers’ hearts. Whiplash stays true to that theme. When an ambitious jazz drummer and an uncompromising instructor continually find themselves butting heads, their volatile relationship takes center stage. Set in the cutthroat world of music, you’ll immerse yourself in a whirlwind of passion, performances, and perfectionism. Would you like an encore?
8. BEFORE SUNRISE (1995)
Boy meets girl, and together, they take on the world with nothing but the power of love. In this heartthrob of a movie, Jessie and Celine meet on a train and decide to embark on a spontaneous and romantic exploration of the city, each captivated by the other. The genuinely poetic performances and silvery dialogue will leave you watching the world stand still to the power of love.
9. ROPE (1948)
Two friends commit a murder and host a dinner party with the victim’s body hidden in plain sight. As the night goes on, tensions rise, and the secret teeters on the edge of exposure. In classic Hitchcock fashion, the psychological thriller grips you from the very first frame.