Whether you're delayed for a flight, in a hotel room or chilling out at home, these are our favourite movies of all time
In a year of lockdowns and social distancing, we’ve probably all had a marathon movie night or two. And while we love watching our favourite big screen stories in the comfort of our homes, we’re just as ready to enjoy them when we’re on-the-go. After all, what better way to fend off the boredom of dreaded delays or long-haul flights (remember those?) than re-watching a much-loved masterpiece? With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite movies of all-time. So, whether you’re getting cosy in front of the fireplace over the festive period, are hoping to take that much-anticipated bucket-list trip in 2021, or are back on the road for work, we hope this selection will inspire, move and entertain you as much as it has team 35 Thousand.
A comedic chronicle of an ugly duckling turned beautiful swan who pines for her childhood crush – a very wealthy, very engaged playboy. Misty Reich, founder of 35 Thousand loves the remake with Julia Ormond and Greg Kinnear. “It’s probably in my top 3 movies of all time. Romance, rags-to-riches, Kinnear and Harrison Ford are fab but Ormond is one of my faves! Also, if you have time watch the original with Audrey Hepburn,” she says.
High-flying Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock) attempts to avoid deportation to Canada by pretending to be engaged to her assistant Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds). Cue mishaps and hijinks, which make us laugh every time. Bullock and Reynolds are magic together. Plus, Misty adds, “It involves shenanigans with immigration and visas which hits close to home for me”.
Can men and women ever truly be platonic friends? It’s the old age question the movie’s title characters, Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) and Sally Albright (Meg Ryan) grapple with as their paths cross and re-cross. 35 Thousand’s Product Development Director Claire Bristow says, “The romantic in me can’t help believing that somewhere out there are always two souls destined to find each other, somehow, somewhere, in the end” Misty loves it too, “Probably the MOST classic Meg Ryan movie and early Billy Crystal is so great!” she says.
Businesswomen J.C. Wiatt (Diane Keaton) finds her life turned upside when she’s left to look after the baby daughter of a suddenly deceased relative. 80’s shoulder pads, corporate woman working hard to have it all, the laughter and tears of early motherhood and, of course, Diane Keaton – what’s not to love?
Competing bookstore owners Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) and Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) start an online romance, unaware of each other’s true identity. Misty says she “Could make a whole list of Meg Ryan movies, but this is so good. New York business rvalry turns to romance.”
Parisienne ingénue Amélie (Audrey Tatou) surreptitiously choreographs the love lives of people around her. This is a favourite of 35 Thousand contributing writer, Anna Loa-Kaim. She tells us, “I kid myself that I’m just keeping my French alive by watching this over and over again but it’s really the whimsical, magical joy of it, from Amélie’s micro-fringe to the mystery of her dad’s AWOL garden gnome touring the world with Amélie’s flight attendant friend because he can’t do so himself. There are so many moving touches, quirky asides and glorious, almost cartoon-like shots of Paris – it’s just delicious to watch.”
Unlucky in love Iris (Kate Winslet) and Amanda (Cameron Diaz) swap homes and soon find themselves wrapped up in transatlantic romances. Such a feel-good movie and always great to watch over the winter holiday season.
Perennial bridesmaid Jane Nichols (Katherine Heigl) has eyes only for her boss, George (Edward Burns); will Jane finally get the happily-ever-after she dreams of or will the arrival of her younger sister Tess (Malin Åckerman) throw a spanner in the works? For contributing 35 Thousand writer Aasiyah Dana, “There’s something endearing about awkward Jane. Her quirky charm makes me smile every time and, although predictable, 27 Dresses is still a whole lot of fun.”
The movie that won Matt Damon an Oscar. This is the story of janitor Will Hunting (Damon), whose genius-level IQ is accidentally discovered by Professor Gerald Lambeau (Stellan Skarsgard). Claire loves how this movie is “About the power to choose your path and change your life, the option of choosing optimism, love and possibility no matter what comes before”.
Southern girl Shelby (Julia Roberts) prepares to get married while dealing with health scares. “An oldie but a goody,” for Managing Director of Brandstand Communications Andrew Perera, “This has an amazing cast that’s not only funny but shows how friends can really support each other in difficult times.”
One of those movies that doesn’t have a plot in the typical sense; American Honey invites us into the world of Star (Sasha Lane), as she joins Jake (Shia LaBeouf) and his friends selling door-to-door magazine subscriptions. The slow meandering of the narrative deftly mirrors the protagonist’s life on the road and offers a soulful glimpse into America’s poverty-stricken, marginalised teens. “Director Andrea Arnold masterfully blends a sense of youthful yearning with bleak reality,” says Aasiyah.
A screen adaption of Charles Dickens acclaimed novel, Great Expectations charts the life of orphan Pip (John Mills) and his childhood benefactor, the tragic Miss Havisham (Martita Hunt). Anna-Marie Solowij co-founder of Brandstand Communications always goes back to the original David Lean directed version. “It’s a great coming-of-age tale of wealth and poverty, love and rejection but it all comes good in the end.”
Fugitive husband and wife team Arthur (Judd Hirsch) and Annie (Christine Lahti) and their boys are always on the run from authorities, making teenage son Danny (River Phoenix) long for independence and stability. His dreams though, might mean leaving his family behind forever. Another of Claire’s favourites, she loves this for its “Slightly low-key, low budget charm. Beautifully shot and a heart wrenching exploration of what it really means to be a parent.”
Newlywed Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) and ageing movie star Bob (Bill Murray) strike up a surprising but touching friendship, as they navigate the bright lights of Tokyo. For Anna-Marie, “This is one of those movies where you wish you could re-write the ending. I’m constantly drawn back to it for that – the idea that it could be different, but perhaps it’s for the best that it isn’t. After all, they’re both married, CLEARLY to the WRONG people. I also find myself returning to it for the truly foreign nature (to westerners) of Japanese culture. The first time you go to Japan it feels EXACTLY as disorienting as it does in the movie.”
Charting the journey of friendship from childhood, Beaches follows the lives of New Yorker CC (Bette Midler) and Californian Hillary (Barbara Hershey). This one never fails to make Andrew cry!
Self-absorbed psychiatrist Dr. Leo Marvin (Richard Dreyfuss) has his holiday spoilt by patient Bob Wiley (Bill Murray). Misty admits “This tries too hard,” but she still keeps coming back to it. “Watching Murray get under Dreyfuss’ skin is just funny to me.”
Anna (Shelley Long) and Walter (Tom Hanks) are a young couple whose relationship is put to the test when they buy a country estate outside New York City for a too-good-to-be-true price. “I have lived this,” Misty reveals, “And Hanks and Long make a great team.”
Suave thief Danny Ocean (George Clooney) masterminds the ultimate casino raid in Sin City. Super slick and stylish, with such an amazing cast. It’s that movie we agree we can watch over and over again and love it even more each time. Mollie Payne, Senior Digital and Content Executive at Brandstand is “Always partial to a good heist movie, but this one’s definitely top of the list.”
Confirmed bachelors and divorce mediators Jeremy (Vince Vaughn) and John (Owen Wilson) gate-crash a high-profile wedding where John falls for bridesmaid Claire (Rachel McAdams). This is a guilty go-to for big laughs. The banter between Vaughn and Wilson is legendary.
Pirate DJ Quentin (Bill Nighy) and his friends are on a mission to help Quentin’s godson Carl (Tom Sturridge) lose his virginity. Senior Digital Marketing Executive at Brandstand Communications Tilly Doody-Henshaw loves the movie’s styling, aesthetic and music. “I find music really dictates how I’m feeling and the soundtrack to this always puts me in an amazing mood. It’s also very British in its sense of humour which makes me feel more at home!”
In 1984, London-based LGBTQ campaigners and striking Welsh miners join forces against a common enemy: Margaret Thatcher, the police and the press. Chosen by Tilly, she reveals: “I first watched this with my family over Christmas, so it reminds me of them. The music and aesthetic of this movie is brilliant. The storyline is also true and totally heart-warming; the final scene never fails to make me cry – in a happy way! Most of the movie is also set in South Wales, where my family are from, so their sense of humour reminds me of home.”
Not an easy watch but this gut-wrenching true story is one Aasiyah returns to time and again. Hillary Swank won an Oscar for her role as trans-man Brandon Teena, whose search for acceptance in small town Nebraska ends in tragedy. “Swank’s performance will forever live in my memory, as will the poignant soundtrack,” she says.
Transporting us to 1930s Austria, The Sound of Music is classic film based on the real life of governess Maria (Julie Andrew) widower Captain von Trapp and his seven children. Uplifted by the pure joy of song, this is an absolute must-watch.
Nanny Mary Poppins (Julie Andrews) delights the young children in her care with enchanting adventures. A sing-along classic which Misty watched all the time as a child and still loves today.
The story of young lovers who must overcome separation and the evils of Florin, a mythical land, in order to be together. Cult classic, funny and SO quotable.
Love Actually vibes, with time travel but minus the festive setting. Domhnall Gleeson plays Tim Lake, a man who can travel through time but soon discovers that his unique gift can’t help him escape everyday problems. A favourite of Anna Lao-Kaim, she says “About Time presents love, grief, living in the moment and so-called success in a beautiful, poignant and funny way. Although it’s full-on Richard Curtis fuzziness, my husband and I love it and chose a Bill Nighy quote from the movie as a reading during our wedding ceremony: “I’d only give one piece of advice to anyone marrying. We’re all quite similar in the end. We all get old and tell the same tales too many times but try to marry someone kind.”
Nearing his 65th birthday, Bill Parish (Anthony Hopkins) is paid a visit by Death, in the human form of Joe Black (Brad Pitt). Bill and Joe come to an agreement, but complications arise when Joe falls for Bill’s daughter. Mollie loves this film for its “Unique plot; it’s the perfect combination of romance, drama and comedy. The coffee shop scene at the beginning is definitely one of my favourite movie scenes ever. It’s a long one, and quite emotional, so definitely set aside for a long-haul flight and have a pack of tissues handy!”
Pregnant teen Juno MacGuff (Elliot Paige) finds herself getting a little too involved with her baby’s adoptive parents. “The characters are so good” says Misty and she especially loves Jason Bateman, “Who has a bit of a twisted role” as dad-to-be Mark Loring.
“Another coming-of-age, novel-based movie with all the excitement and heartbreak of a first love lost.” Set in Italy, the movie follows the budding relationship of Elio (Timothee Chalamet) and Oliver (Armie Hammer) over the course of a sun-drenched summer. With an excellent cast and soundtrack – Love my Way by The Psychedelic Furs, Erik Satie and Ryuichi Sakamoto – Anna-Marie asks, “What’s not to love”?
As she approaches her 16th birthday, Samantha (Molly Ringwald) longs for popular older boy Jake (Michael Schoeffling), while spurning the affections of school nerd Ted (Anthony Michael Hall). Cringe-worthy flashback of the highs and lows of those awkward teen years. Jake leaning on the Porsche at the end is one of Misty’s most swoon worthy moments on screen (forget you read that if you haven’t seen movie yet!).
Backpackers Richard (Leonardo DiCaprio), Etienne (Guillaume Canet) and Francois (Virginie Ledoyen) head to Thailand in search of adventure and paradise – but not all is as it seems. “This movie makes me want to go travelling and never come back,” shares Mollie. “Such a great soundtrack, All Saint’s Pure Shores is one of my all-time favourite songs and the backdrop for the scene where this song is played is just so beautiful. If you’re looking for an adventure movie with beautiful scenery and a bit of a dark twist, all topped with a little romance, then you’ll love it.”
Bob and Helen Parr hide a secret – they’re actually married superheroes Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Hunter) and Elastigirl (Holly Hunter). When a crazy robot threatens trouble, Mr. Incredible must come to his family’s rescue. Misty’s favourite animated movie; “I love the notes of adult humour but it’s still kid-friendly” she says.
If you ever wondered how factory workers Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) and James P. Sullivan (James Goodman) met, then this is the movie for you. Witty and, according to Aasiyah, “One of the few prequels which is as good as (or maybe even better!) than the original”.
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