Without question, we live in an era of media over-saturation. Even post-COVID (lol), the industry is still pumping out new movies and new streaming services to host them on at an alarming rate—and those same services mean we also have easy access to thousands of films from the last century. I never need to rewatch a film again! And yet still, here I am, rewatching Back to the Future.
Because sometimes, you just want a known quantity, and some movies seem designed to be rewatched again and again. The criteria for a rewatchable film varies, but there are some common themes: They tend to have multiple memorable set pieces—scenes that stand out, and that draw our attention, even when the movie’s just playing in the background, whether a musical number, an action sequence, or even a strong emotional beat. They also need to build to a satisfying conclusion—it helps if it’s uplifting, though that’s not a requirement; a worthwhile catharsis will do (think of the ending of The Shawshank Redemption).
It’s also matter of taste, of course (I’ll rewatch Citizen Kane as readily as I’ll rewatch Charlie’s Angels), and nostalgia never hurts. Do we rewatch films because they’re great? Or do we enjoy them because they hit at just the right point in our lives? In spite of that personal variability, the following films are certainly worth seeing more than once. Or twice. Or…
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