Top five ’80s, ’90s ‘bucket list’ films not to miss


The film industry is known for being grand and glamorous, but what happens when we look further into each individual movie? Films tell stories, explain our history, and have the potential to make a room full of grown men and women cry. We waste our time on reality TV or binge watching dramas, when instead there are so many better and more cultured options. Here are some of the greatest movies of all time that you need to add to your bucket list.

5. The Breakfast Club – 1985

When a nerd, a princess, a bad boy, an athlete, and an artistic social outcast are forced into a Saturday morning detention, they soon learn about the secrets that lie within each of them. Touching on the topics of social divisions, mental health, and parent-child relations, this film finds common ground with every viewer in a comedic way. The Breakfast Club never fails to impress with its sly humor and satisfying ending.

4. Good Will Hunting – 1997

Starring Matt Damon, Will Hunting is a young genius with an attitude. Will works at MIT, right where he belongs. Only he’s not a student, he’s a janitor. When prestigious math professor Lambeau writes a difficult math equation on the board, Will Hunting can’t help but solve it. When Lambeau discovers who solved the equation, he is determined to make Will into a math legend. However, this requires getting Will proper help and therapy – therapy Will is not interesting in having. Love, humor, vulnerability, and a power struggle between desire and the past, Good Will Hunting will not disappoint.

3. Schindler’s List – 1994

Based off true events, Schindler’s List will rip your heart out in three hours and fifteen minutes. World War II was a time of pain, strife, and prejudice. Not only does Schindler’s List portray the war in a detailed way but it adds so much dynamism to the characters that every member of the audience can observe the internal conflicts of everyone. Oskar Schindler is responsible for saving about 1,100 Jewish people from death in concentration camps by having them to work in his factory. Schindler is honored throughout this film and his name remains in every viewer’s heart. Schindler’s List is credited as being one of the most life-changing movies of all time.

2. Forrest Gump – 1994

Ever heard the phrase, “Life is like a box of chocolates”?

Forrest Gump is the creator of that famous simile. In 1981, Forrest Gump, played by the ever famous Tom Hanks, is sitting on a park bench, talking to a stranger next to him. He begins to tell his story, starting when he was a young boy. Young Forest is mentally impaired, wears leg braces, and is constantly bullied, but he is extraordinary intelligent and talented. Despite his braces, Forest is also an extremely fast runner, and soon earns himself a scholarship to University of Alabama, where he plays football. After college, Forest enlists in the army. There he meets his best friend, Bubba, who convinces him to join the shrimp industry. “Bubba-Gump Shrimp” sound familiar? Despite these iconic scenes, more happens from there on out.

In the first hour of the movie, the audience falls in love with Forest and his sweet nature. Tear-jerking and gut-wrenching, this description is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this two and a half-hour movie. A classic and a brilliant choice for a Saturday night in, Forrest Gump will leave you with a swelling heart and watering eyes.

1. La Vita è Bella (Life is Beautiful) – 1998

In comparison to its name, Life is Beautiful is one of the most intricately orchestrated films of all time. Taking place during World War II, Guido, a Jewish man living in Italy, possesses the rare traits of constant optimism and humor. He works as a waiter for his wealthy uncle’s restaurant and has no trouble cracking a few jokes here and there. That is, until he meets the lovely Dora, who happens to be engaged to another man. Swiftly, however, he sweeps her off her feet in breathtaking romance and the two fall in love. Years later, Guido and Dora are living happily with their young son. The family lives in innocence and bliss until the Nazis arrive in their town. Taking Guido and his son away on a train to the nearest concentration camp, Dora hops on board, refusing to let her family be taken away from her.  Although written and spoken in Italian, do not be deterred from putting on your English subtitles and enjoying this cinematic beauty.