Some movies are so powerful that they stay with you for days or even weeks after watching them. Some movies permanently change the way you look at the world. Here are some movies we have chosen that we think are must-see films:


1. “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” Oftentimes, you can judge a movie by how it makes you feel after it ends. Typical romantic comedies, for example, always end the movie on an upbeat, happy note as some superfluous pop song that has little to do with the plot plays blithely over the credits in an attempt to fool you into thinking that you felt something. “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” is different. It follows the life of protagonist Gilbert Grape, played by Johnny Depp, and his ordinary/extraordinary life. Leonardo DiCaprio, only 19-years-old at the time, received his first Oscar nomination for his outstanding performance in his supporting role as Arnie Grape, Gilbert’s mentally handicapped younger brother. Moving performances from an amazing cast and the brutal honesty of this film make it something completely unique and powerful.


This movie leaves the viewer not knowing exactly how to feel, which can be a beautiful and liberating thing. The movie “is what it is” without sugar-coating anything or pretending to be something that it’s not. It makes you feel happy, a bit sad, a bit tragic, and a bit beautiful all at once. It’s very rare that you find a movie that ends up sticking with you for so long after watching it, and that resonates with you on such a meaningful level. “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” is a deeply moving film about life that everyone should see.


"Silver Linings Playbook" movie poster (

“Silver Linings Playbook” movie poster (

2. “Silver Linings Playbook” This fresh 2012 David O. Russell masterpiece has the potential to change your whole outlook on life. The movie is a story about two lost souls who find each other through the madness of life and help each other cope with their own problems. It tackles issues such as the social stigma of “mental illness,” as the two leading roles both have some form of emotional disorder, and challenges the way we think about love and family. The gorgeous Jennifer Lawrence won the 2013 Academy Award for “Best Actress” for her role as female lead, Tiffany, the grieving widow who suffers from bouts of extreme depression. The equally beautiful Bradley Cooper plays opposite Lawrence as the struggling manic-depressive lead man, Pat Solitano. This heartfelt and sincere movie depicts the couple’s journey through life in such a raw, yet relatable and approachable way that you cannot help but feel a sort of deeper connection as you experience life through their eyes.


"Up" movie poster. (

“Up” movie poster. (

3. “Up” This classic Pixar animated film encapsulates more emotion and passion than many of the more serious films out there. Within the first 10 minutes of the movie, they succeeded in telling a better love story, without words mind you, than most movies can claim in 100+ minutes. Carl and Ellie were soulmates. They completed each other; they were meant to be together from the start and as long as they were together, their lives were complete. All of this is conveyed in approximately 4 minutes and 30 seconds. What is unique about this film, besides the fact that it brings you to tears about 10 minutes into the movie, is that it follows Carl after the love story has ended. The man-turned-old-miser decides to embark on the journey that he and his wife always dreamed of, overcoming obstacles along the way that he never could have imagined in his and Ellie’s wildest childhood fantasies. The adventure, masterfully told, is not one that you want to miss; there is something special about a movie whose message is so powerful that it can be appreciated regardless of age.


What are your thoughts on these movies? Tell me what you think by posting in the comments below or shoot me a tweet @JenksUOhMeASoda