Must Watch Films for College Students

Movies are not all about entertainment. While the vast majority of people who view a movie will never consider the underlining plot or goal of the film, few will notice that many films are there to change public opinion. Some films can be very thought-provoking and because of their underlining messages, make an exceptional watch.

Thankfully, as a college student, you are the most open-minded you will ever be which can be great for viewing opinions objectively. What follows are ten must watch films for college students. Many of them date back to your parents or even grandparents, but the messages are timeless.

13: American Beauty

Not exactly your true to life inspirational story, and not exactly one of those films that will leave you inspired to “go do likewise,” but definitely thought-provoking in its exploration of the American lifestyle, love, adultery and family. Unfortunately, the themes in American Beauty rings true for so many American families, at least half, and really makes you wonder how many of the “perfect families” you know are truly perfect.

12: The Conscientious Objector

Not a movie, but rather a documentary about Desmond T. Doss, an American soldier during World War II who refused to carry a gun for religious reasons but saved the lives of over 60 men in one day, all without ever picking up a gun during basic training or during war where he served as a medic in the Pacific Island Allied front.

While the idea of not carrying a weapon might not be popular among most, the underlining message about being able to complete your job under the most dire circumstances without selling out or giving up, rings true for everyone. Desmond T. Doss was given the highest medal of honor for his valor and has met every President since Roosevelt until his death in 2006.

11: The Social Network

If you haven’t watched it yet, do so. The Social Network is not only a great watch, entertainment wise, it also poses some timeless questions and lessons involving money, betrayal and how fame and fortune can tear friends apart. More likely than not, you have a Facebook and while everything about The Social Network are completely accurate, many of the portrayals of Mark Zuckerberg, it is an interesting watch that sheds some life on one of the most powerful companies of our time, one that is changing the way the world thinks and shares information.

10: Good Will Hunting

Based on the story about a genius who would rather work in construction than research, Good Will Hunting is a thought provoking film that that explores the subjects of love, work and personal demons. The single most important reason why the film is so riviting is it causes you to take a second look at people we are so quick to write off as unimportant or stupid.

9: The Godfather

Not exactly your best role model, and definitely not the type of person you want to grow up to be, but The Godfather Trilogy poses some interesting questions both on ethics as well as family not to mention business smarts. Probably my favorite quote from the series “keep your friends close, but your enemies even closer,” sings so true throughout life whether business or personal.

8: The Pursuit of Happyness

Based on the true story about a single father, Chris Gardner, who struggled with homelessness while trying to raise his toddler during the 70′s, The Pursuit of Happiness is one of the most inspirational films that shows it is possible to rise from the lowest of lows and claim a spot among world leaders both political and financial.

7: Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story

The name might not sound familiar, but Ben Carson is currently the worlds most foremost neurosurgeon. He is the first doctor to successfully seperate siamese twins. What makes his story so remarkable is he was raised in one of the worst neighborhoods in the United States, Detroit MI, and eventually moved up from the bottom of his class to the top, all while living in the ghetto and being supported by a single mother who couldn’t read.

6: Wall Street

Probably the single most chilling film about the price of greed and what it can do to humans. Wall Street paints a picture that not only rings true for the Wall Street district of New York, but regular American lifestyle as well. It makes you stop and question yourself as how far you would go in order to become rich.

The sequel, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, staring Shia LaBeouf, further explores the original concept and once again brings the thought-provoking question to mind, what are you willing to do in order to get to the top?

5: V for Vendetta

While many might miss the underlining message of V for Vendetta, the film ask the all important question about liberty and freedom of conscience. Unfortunately, with world governments trying to control their citizens more than ever before, the world of V for Vendetta is becoming all too chillingly real. And just like in times past, it shows that the citizenry is willing to trade freedom for protection.

4: The Blind Side

Another true story, this one about Michael Oher, defensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens, and his struggle through poverty and his eventual rise to the top draft picks among both college and professional football. The story is not only inspiring but thought-provoking in the fact that it teaches lessons about the proverbial “judging a book by its cover.” The Blind Side is not only a must watch for college students because of its focus on giving back to the community, but taking time out to help out the less fortunate as well.

3: Chariots of Fire

What would you do if you had to break your religious or moral conviction in order to achieve your ultimate goal in life? It’s a question you will most likely have to answer more than once throughout your lifetime. Based on the true story about an Olympic runner during the 1924 summer games who refused to run on Sunday due to his religious convictions. The film received four Academy Awards including one Best Picture and Best Original Music Score.

2: 12 Angry Men

You’re stuck in a jury debating the fate of a boy who is accused of murdering his father. All the evidence presented in the court room seems to point to the delinquent as the murderer. This looks like a clear-cut case, 30 minutes of deliberation at most and hand in the guilty sentence, that is until an old man begins to raise questions about the prosecutions arguments and one by one the other jurors begin to second guess their original guilty verdicts.

What 12 Angry Men successfully does is show that we cannot always base our opinions on what we hear, but have to read between the lines or rather look at what is not being said. One of the best films on the subject of court, murder and assumptions.

1: Schindler’s List

A true story about a wealthy German businessman who saved the lives of more than 1,000 mostly Polish Jews during World War 2, Schindler’s List is one of the most thought-provoking films ever and really puts meaning to the words “money isn’t everything.” Schindler eventually becomes poor as he bribes Nazi soldiers to look the other way as he carries Jews by the hundreds to freedom or safe territories as Hitler tries to exterminate their race.

If there is one film that brings life back into perspective, it is Schindler’s List. They say “money isn’t everything,” and this film highlights that exact point.

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