30 Nostalgic Movies Everyone Should See At Least Once

Updated: 2021-11-05
Authors:
Maka Tevdorashvili
  

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Watching a nostalgic movie is a truly emotional journey. Naturally, we are longing for those days that are gone but seem like “good old days”.

Nostalgic movies remind us why we miss our past or allow us to perceive reality in a drastically different way. And such experience is especially crucial during desperate times.

In the following list, most movies are from the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s. But there are some pretty old classics too. Maybe you have seen all of them, or you will find some new gems in there. Either way, hopefully, this list will motivate you to go through your favorite nostalgic films and find some new ones.


Casablanca

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"Casablanca" is an ideal choice for those who crave romance and drama but also a certain historical context. Even though the plot and characters are particular to their time, they are also unique and universal. Therefore, "Casablanca" will always be on the list of movies that never get old.


Pretty Woman

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"Pretty woman" is a classic rom-com. Many aspects of the relationship between Vivian and Edward can be criticized nowadays, but we should not forget that "Pretty woman" was released in 1990. And when it comes to such classics, consideration of the context and time frame is more than necessary.


The Green Mile

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Since there are certain issues concerning injustice and racism in "The Green Mile", the film is not the easiest to watch. It is almost impossible to watch this movie and not to sympathize with Paul and Coffey. "The Green Mile" is one of those movies that can have a huge impact on one’s emotional being and way of thinking.


Forrest Gump

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"Forrest Gump" is the second movie starring Tom Hanks on this list. And his acting is definitely worth a shout-out. "Forrest Gump" is the movie that makes you laugh, cry, question, and reevaluate what is important in life. Probably that is why it has not stopped being relevant to this day.


Home Alone

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"Home Alone" is a stable must-watch Christmas movie for many people. The original plot, humor, and festivity of it warm people’s hearts. Brighten up a dull day, create a festive atmosphere and enjoy this great movie not only around Christmas but on any day of the year.


It’s A Wonderful Life

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If you are struggling to find what is important for you in life or how to understand what you want, there is a good chance that "It’s a wonderful life" will help. Also, it is a great Christmas holiday watch with a hint of fantasy.


Rear Window

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It should not be a surprise that Hitchcock’s film made to the list. "Rear window" is an excellent thriller that makes people question their habits and perceptions. Grace Kelly and James Stuart are simply brilliant, so watching "Rear Window" is just bliss.


Bridget Jones’s Diary

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New Year’s resolutions and self-improvement are two matters that do not lose relevance throughout the whole year. “Bridget Jone’s Diary" is an easy watch that makes you feel hopeful, motivated and helps you get back up and take care of yourself if you are going through a rough patch. 


Matilda

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"Matilda" is another simple watch that portrays the battle between good and evil. The unique character of Matilda and the difficulties that she goes through makes viewers feel various emotions, including sympathy. It is simply a wonderful movie and a no-doubt must-watch.


Heathers

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The 80's classic teen movie "Heathers" could be harshly criticized due to some old-fashioned perceptions of crucial topics that are stated throughout the whole movie. However, the black sense of humor is truly on point, and the satire makes this movie worth watching.


10 Things I Hate About You

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Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger’s acting have stolen many people’s hearts. They are one of those couples that have amazing chemistry and remind viewers that love still exists. It is worth mentioning that "10 Things I Hate About You" is a successful modernization of Shakespeare.


The Matrix

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"The Matrix" is a classic science fiction that is done so well that, probably, will never get old. Not only did this masterpiece predict the future, but also managed to become one of the greatest films of all time. Also, the fact that you will see Keanu Reeves in the hottest costume is not just a bonus.


Space Jam

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Whether you are a fan of basketball or not, seeing Michael Jordan in "Space Jam" can brighten up your day. "Space Jam" is another easy watch, a good film for those days when you need a little pick-me-up. The Looney Tunes characters will no doubt make you smile too.


The Mask Of Zorro

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Vengeance, love, and drama are combined in "The Mask of Zorro". The style of the rich, the everyday struggles of the poor, and the unexpected love found in the enemy’s family make watching this movie exciting and thrilling.


Dirty Dancing

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The iconic lift towards the end of the movie is probably an unforgettable scene. However, "Dirty Dancing" is much more than just a love story between Baby and Johnny. Baby’s feminine awakening and the significance of treating people with respect are simple but crucial aspects of the movie too.


The Breakfast Club

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"The Breakfast Club" is about bullying, stigma, mental illness, and relationships. Even though this is a movie about teenagers, it is not a teenage movie. "The Breakfast Club" tries to make people see that we should not be ashamed of who we are and not judge a book by its cover.


Flashdance

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Not only is "Flashdance" a spectacular movie due to the dancing aspect, but it is also motivational and inspirational. Watching the struggles that Alex goes through to become a ballerina makes us hopeful and motivated. Even if you are not the biggest fan of dancing/dance movies, the romance, drama, and the whole of Alex’s journey make it worth giving a try.


Say Anything

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This teenage love story provokes many thoughts and questions. There are so many emotions to feel. The movie is done so nicely that it is hard not to fall in love with it. "Say Anything" is almost drastically different from modern teenage movies, and watching it just for comparison is interesting too.


Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead

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"Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead" is a comedy that realistically portrays each character’s life. The journey of how Sue Ellen becomes more mature and responsible, younger kids spend money lavishly, and all the struggles that they go through make this movie interesting.


Back To The Future

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"Back to the future" is a hopeful movie. It emphasizes that you can create a better future whenever you wish. If you are craving watching something positive and hopeful and would like to think about the significance of friendship, "Back to the future" will not disappoint you.


Fried Green Tomatoes

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"Fried Green Tomatoes" is a comedy-drama where the lifestyle of a housewife may be different from a modern housewife’s day-to-day life, but the struggles still are quite similar. This is a heartwarming story and is an ideal watch for a rainy afternoon.


Mad Max

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"Mad Max" portrays an anarchic world and how dehumanization changes everything. It shows why it is worth trying to avoid creating such an environment and allows us to see the importance of caring. Even though the world in "Mad Max" is dystopian and seems a bit farfetched, it leaves viewers with certain questions and some food for thought.


Jumanji

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"Jumanji" is a favorite fantasy adventure film for a lot of 90’s kids. The movie has simple but crucial messages both for kids and adults, including understanding the value of friendship and staying true to ourselves no matter what.


Erin Brokovich

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"Erin Brockovich" is a dramatized story of Erin Brockovich’s life, who fought against the energy corporation (PG&E). As you can imagine fighting against a huge corporation was not a cakewalk. This legal drama is worth watching not only for motivation and positive vibes but also to enjoy Julia Roberts’ great acting.


Legally Blonde

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"Legally Blonde" is the ultimate inspirational movie for those times when it seems hard not to give up. The contagious positive energy and persistence of Elle Woods make viewers feel like everything is possible. And also makes them believe that everything pink rocks.


Barbershop

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"Barbershop" shows the importance of community and friendship, how people can unite and act when they truly care about something. There are quite a few moments when you will find yourself laughing out loud at some jokes too. So if you have not seen "Barbershop", you are in for a treat.


Love Actually

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"Love Actually" is a Christmas-themed rom-com. There are many storylines, but they are intertwined so beautifully that it does not feel like connecting with the characters is hard. If "Love Actually" is not on your holiday movies list, give it a go, and it will become a must-watch.


The Notebook

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Watching "The Notebook" and not feeling emotional is almost impossible. This unique love story is so beautiful and pure that it can melt any cold heart. Moreover, "The Notebook" Will make you believe in the power of love and that everything is possible.


Little Miss Sunshine

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"Little Miss Sunshine" is an amazing mixture of dark and light, an excellent image of real life. This movie objectively criticizes children’s beauty pageants and shows how winning is not the ultimate goal in each and every case.


The Devil Wears Prada

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"The Devil Wears Prada" is an interesting movie not only due to the original plot but also because of how the fashion industry is presented. Viewers can get an important lesson about sacrifice and choice from Andy’s journey.


See Also, Top 30 Comedies That Will Make Your Day.


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