There’s no better way to while away a rainy afternoon or evening than curling up in front of a classic movie in your Riddle Village apartment. Whether you’re in the mood for a sweeping World War II epic, a sci-fi adventure or a romantic comedy, you’re sure to find a classic film on this list to suit you. Here’s a definitive list of the most influential classic films to add to your watch list.

Your Perfect Rainy Day Movies

1. Dead Poets Society

Dead Poets Society tells the touching story of an inspirational teacher who nurtures a love of poetry in his students. Together, they reform the Dead Poets Society and explore great poetic works while learning to live according to their own rules. The film boasts stellar performances from Robin Williams as teacher John Keating and Ethan Hawke as Todd Anderson. This classic film took home the Academy Award for the Best Original Screenplay in 1990 and could be the best film to watch if you’re in the mood for a real tearjerker crammed with affecting moments.

2. Boogie Nights

Boogie Nights is a groundbreaking film depicting the life story of the adult movie star Eddie Adams, also known by his screen name Dirk Diggler. It follows his journey from young boy to global success as he struggles with his ever-growing ego and drug addiction. This bold and sometimes surprising 1997 drama film achieved an astonishing 93% approval rate on Rotten Tomatoes and netted Burt Reynolds a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor.

3. The Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption was released in 1994 and was initially somewhat of a flop, although the film later earned a reputation as one of the best classic movies of all time. The adapted screenplay is based on Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King and features stellar performances from Tom Hanks and Morgan Freeman. The film follows the story of prisoner Andy Dufresne (Tom Hanks) as he builds relationships with other inmates and finds hope in a seemingly desperate situation.

Classic movies - The Shawshank Redemption cover


4. Roman Holiday

Roman Holiday frequently features at the top of the best classic movies lists, and for good reason. This 1953 classic film from Paramount Pictures features the iconic stars Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn, and Hepburn’s performance secured her the title of Best Actress at the Academy Awards. The movie was also nominated for Best Picture. The film follows the exploits of crown princess Ann and Joe, an American journalist, as they enjoy a series of romantic and often hilarious exploits in Rome.

5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

The cool and quirky film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind innovatively bridges the genres of romantic comedy and science fiction. It tells the story of a troubled couple played by Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet as they attempt to free themselves of their relationship by having their memories of each other erased. The film is widely regarded as one of the great pop culture touchstones and netted the Best Original Screenplay award at the Academy Awards.

6. The Grand Budapest Hotel

The 2014 film The Grand Budapest Hotel quickly earned its place as one of the best modern classic movies of all time. It tells the dramatic and often amusing story of a framed murder suspect and his friend as they embark on a quest to locate a work of art at a 20th-century resort. The entire film features breathtaking mountain scenery and boasts a star-studded cast, including Ralph Fiennes and Tilda Swinton.

7. The Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club is a cult teenage comedy drama film made in 1985 and is one of the best movies for enjoying a bit of 80s nostalgia. It follows five very different high school students as they spend a weekend detention together and cleverly skewers social stereotypes to a wonderfully retro soundtrack. This memorable film features some of the most recognizable teen stars of the period, including Molly Ringwald and Emilio Estevez.

classic films - The Breakfast Club cover


8. Star Wars

The original Star Wars film is one of the most iconic pop culture touchstones, and the first film is considered to be one of the most influential films of the space-drama genre. Star Wars tells the story of Luke Skywalker, a young man who finds himself playing a crucial role in the resistance against an oppressive force called The Empire. The Star Wars franchise has released 11 films to date, collectively taking home seven Academy Awards and a Saturn Award for Best Actor (Mark Hamill) in 1981.

9. Schindler’s List

The 1993 Universal Pictures film Schindler’s List is one of the best films cataloguing the events of World War II and was directed by Steven Spielberg. The film was based on Thomas Keneally’s novel Schindler’s Ark, taking home Academy Awards for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture. The story follows the efforts of Oskar Schindler, a Nazi party member, and his employee Itzhak Stern to prevent the transportation of Jewish people to concentration camps. This shocking world war epic is profoundly affecting and remains preserved in the National Film Registry for its historical relevance.

10. When Harry Met Sally

When Harry Met Sally is a 1989 romantic comedy film that follows the story of the titular pair as they travel from Chicago to New York City and subsequently meet unexpectedly over many years. It handles the topic of the plausibility of friendships between men and women and features outstanding performances from Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal. The film received significant critical acclaim and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

rainy day movies - When Harry Met Sally cover


11. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is a classic 1969 Western film starring Robert Redford and Paul Newman. It follows Butch Cassidy and his associate “The Sundance Kid” as they pursue a life of crime in Bolivia after fleeing America. The film earned Robert Redford the Best Actor award at the British Academy Film Awards and served as inspiration for a television series and a comedy parody.

12. 2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey is a classic science fiction film and tells the story of a voyage to Jupiter. It’s regarded as one of the most scientifically accurate movies in film history, and the film earned recognition from the United States Library of Congress for its significance. The film received both positive and negative reviews at the time of release but earned nominations for several major Academy Awards. It’s now considered one of the best sci-fi films of all time.