The Shawshank Redemption
As many movie fans know, this pick is a timeless classic about a banker who is sentenced to life in the Shawshank State Penitentiary. What some may not know is that this film is actually based on a 1982 Stephen King novella titled "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption." Thie film is a story of hope and perserverence no matter what circumstances you've been given, and it's an apt choice nowadays.
Our next pick is of a similar nature about a woman who is abducted, taken advantage of, and held captive for 7 years. The new mother and her now 5-year-old son might have a chance at escaping this "room" which until now her son has believed to be the entire world as he's known nothing else. It's a very emotional film, it's a great one and it's based on the book "Room" written by Emma Donoghue (she also wrote the movie).
A different type of hardship is having the whole world to explore, but not feeling like you're able to fit in. That's the exact kind of burden this film covers as it follows a boy with Treacher Collins syndrome who has had 27 surgeries and as a result displays severe scars and disfigurements on his face. It's based on a book by the same name, "Wonder," written by R.J. Palacio.
This film adaptation of Charles Portis' 1968 "True Grit" is the story of a 14 year-old farm girl who hires a drunk, wildcard officer to hunt down a notorious outlaw that has murdered her father. It features an all-star cast, and there was also a previous film adaptation in 1969 that had a noteworthy cast as well. If you're looking for a gritty western film, then this is the pick for you.
Amazon Prime Video (included with Prime):
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
You've probably been wondering, "Where is my Harry Potter pick?" Don't worry, we wouldn't leave something this iconic off our list. Though you should just have a binge-a-thon and watch all 7 of these films, we found you the pick that you don't have to pay for if you have Amazon Prime. J. K. Rowling's 2003 novel obviously came first, but both the book and the film are something that everyone should experience.
To Kill a Mockingbird
The final pick on our list is probably more well-known as a book (from English class), but the film -- told through the eyes of young Scout about her father Atticus Finch's defense of a black man wrongly accused of rape - is just as memorable and effective. Set in the deep south, this story of stereotypes and racism still rings true today, and its message of empathy and compassion and justice is an important reminder, maybe even more so as we're all self-reflecting in our spaces.
Jesse is a writer and content manager for Noovie. When he's not working, he's on the beach playing volleyball.