Staff Picks: Movies You Have to Watch in Your Lifetime


Warner Bros. / Focus Features / Universal Pictures / Paramount Pictures / MGM / 20th Century Fox studios / Lionsgate /

Exploring films across different genres, eras, and regions, here are some of The Raider Voice staff’s top picks for movies one needs to watch in their lifetime.

Paulino Mercenari, Editor-in-Chief

With the Oscars fast approaching, we as The Raider Voice staff got together and came up with a list of the top movies we would recommend you watch in your lifetime. These are some of our personal favorites, and one’s we feel just about everyone should watch. Enjoy!

Paulino – The Truman Show

Starring Jim Carrey in a beautiful blend of a thought-provoking drama about identity and a satirical comedy about reality television. The Truman Show is centered around the life of Truman Burbank, a man raised inside of a simulated television show where he’s the main (and blissfuly unaware) star. After beginning to suspect that something is off about the life he’s lived for 29 years, he begins to peek through the cracks and question everything to its core. The movie shakes you with an endearing performance from Carrey, showcasing him in a new light after years of doing slapstick comedy.

Sara – La La Land

From the dynamic duo of director Damien Chazelle and composer Justin Hurwitz, La La Land is a film that brings out a beautiful relationship between two people trying to make it in Hollywood. Any musical lover is bound to love this movie in one way or another whether it’s because of Hurwitz’s genius jazz composition or Mandy Moore’s expressive choreography: there’s something for everyone.

Tommy – City of God

“City of God” is a powerful film that takes place in Rio. Follows the lives of several characters, including a young man named Rocket, as they navigate the violent and complex world of organized crime. The movie provides a realistic glimpse into a world that is often ignored or misrepresented in mainstream media. The acting is superb, the cinematography is stunning, and the story is both heart-wrenching and thought-provoking. Overall, “City of God” is a must-see film that will leave you deeply moved and profoundly affected.

Eduardo – The Harry Potter series
Harry Potter’s universe is filled with magic and enchantment, with a rich and fascinating history, unusual animals, and imaginative places. The series offers a diverse cast of memorable and well-developed characters, from the three major characters – Harry, Ron, and Hermione – to the supporting cast of wizards and witches. The series takes on essential themes such as the necessity of love and loyalty, and the bravery and sacrifices required to achieve what is right. The Harry Potter series has become a cultural phenomenon with a loyal fanbase. The novels and films significantly influenced popular culture, inspiring a new generation of fans.

Jade – Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind & Dead Poets Society
This unusual and fantastical love story examines the difficulties of relationships and the influence our memories on them. Along with Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet as the main roles, the movie also includes Kirsten Dunst and Elijah Wood in supporting roles. This mix of a science fiction, drama, and romance is recognized for its creative narrative and challenging themes. “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” is unquestionably worth seeing if you enjoy unusual and intensely-moving movies.

In this drama film, Robin Williams plays an unusual English teacher named John Keating who encourages his students at an all-boys prep school to think outside the box and follow their passions. The movie, which is set in the 1950s, examines issues like individualism, rejection of conformity, and the value of carving one’s own course in life. Josh Charles, Ethan Hawke, and Robert Sean Leonard are among the film’s skilled cast of characters. The timeless masterpiece “Dead Poets Society” continues to move and inspire viewers with its theme of self-discovery and the quest of perfection.

Anya – 2 Hearts
This movie is based on the true story of Christopher Gregory and Jorge Bacardi. The movie centers around on young man whose organs are donated to several people after he passes away. The plot later shifts to the recipient of one of these organs, whose life was saved by this transplant. This romance is one which makes viewers appreciate life and what human connection can really mean.

Diego – Remember the Titans

“Remember the Titans” follows the story of a black and white football team in Virginia during the early 1970s. The team’s coach, Herman Boone played by Denzel Washington, works to bring the team together despite their differences. This movie has a great message in showing the ways the team persevered to be the best. It is an inspiring story about overcoming racial divides and celebrating diversity.

Miranda – The Shining

The Shining: the cinematography in this movie amazes me each time I watch it, not just the movie itself but what it took to make it, from actors being isolated to prepare for their role and having Shelly Duvall in a state of actual terror in the iconic scene of “Here’s Johnny!” with genuine screams. In retrospect, Duvall states she was actually not prepared when Jack Nicholson ran down the door with an axe and was terrified.

Otto – Twelve Angry Men
Absolute classic of a film as it really set itself apart from the other films of its time. It raises enduring questions and portrays the concept of truth, and how valuable reason and logic can be within the American legal system. My favorite thing about this film is that each decision made from a character in the movie is based on their past life experiences and how it relates to them.

Sami – Mamma Mia!
You cannot live without watching the first and second Mamma Mia films. These two classics are happy, uplifting and could put anyone in a good mood. They have love, family, and a happy ending. What’s not to enjoy?

Ainsley – The Sound of Music
The Sound of Music is a must watch for anyone. It’s musical numbers and plot brilliantly merge the true tale of the Von Trapps in pre-WWII Europe with a whimsical family-friendly tale of a singing family troupe and the arrival of a new nanny. The movie, while meant for children, is a great watch and deals with complex topics of loyalty, family, and love. The musical features Julie Andrews as Maria Von Trapp, belting high notes across the beautiful Austrian alps. This musical is bound to cheer you and have you singing along to timeless musical classics.

Daniel – 1917

As someone who is into cinematography, the tricks that they used to make the movie seem like it was done in two different cuts make it a cinematographic masterpiece. Moreover, the plot of the movie is incredibly interesting; with the carried intensity of a soldier who has to deliver a message through front lines at the last minute.