There’s a lot of time that needs to be filled in the average week, and this selection of good movies to watch when bored is designed to help pass the rainy nights, weekends, and sick days. And even if you’re on the go 24/7, these high-quality films still deserve a bit of your time. Whether you’re into sci-fi or foreign films, this list should have a little something for everyone.
The Matrix (1999) – Larry and Andy Wachowski hit paydirt with this existential mash-up of action, kung-fu, and sci-fi films. Keanu Reeves stars as Thomas Anderson, a corporate drone by day who spends his evenings as a computer hacker named “Neo.” When a trio of government agents come looking for him, Anderson is rescued by Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) and offered a chance to see the world for what it truly is. He agrees, and Neo soon learns that most of the human race is plugged into a virtual reality world while intelligent machines use their body heat and bioelectrical energy as a source of power. Teaming up with Morpheus, Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), and the rest of the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar, Neo learns skills ranging from firearms to kung-fu in no time at all. Morpheus believes Neo may be “the One,” a figure prophesized as the potential savior of the human race. Meanwhile, our heroes must go back inside the virtual world to perform various missions, dealing with betrayal and unstoppable enemy agents along the way. The most notable is Agent Smith, played with robotic precision by Hugo Weaving.
Aliens (1986) – While the first film in the franchise was more of a horror movie, director James Cameron came on board for the sequel and turned it into an action-packed running battle between lethal alien creatures and gun-toting space marines. Sigourney Weaver secured her place in movie history as the capable Ellen Ripley, and the supporting cast included Cameron favorites such as Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen, and Michael Biehn.
Battle Royale (2000) – A highly controversial Japanese film, Battle Royale features an entire class of schoolchildren getting abducted by the government and transported to an isolated island. There, they must fight to the death until only one of them remains. To ensure their cooperation, each student is fitted with an explosive collar. If you’ve ever wanted to see Japanese teens kill each other with guns, explosives, and knives, be sure to give this one a look.
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) – Quentin Tarantino directed this revenge flick that was broken up into two parts. In the first installment, Uma Thurman plays The Bride, a woman who comes out of a lengthy coma to track down the fellow assassins who killed her unborn child and left her for dead. The fight sequences are superb, especially the massive showdown between The Bride and the Japanese crime gang known as The Crazy 88s. Co-starring David Carradine, Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox, and Daryl Hannah.
Kung Fu Hustle (2004) – Stephen Chow wrote, directed, produced, and starred in this comical kung-fu tale of a loser who gets mixed up with a crime syndicate. While taking his lumps, he learns to stand up for what’s right, even if it means taking on the world’s most dangerous assassin. The fight sequences combine a mixture of martial arts action and cartoon silliness, making Kung Fu Hustle a truly unique viewing experience. Both kids and adults will get a kick out of it.