IJR Recommends: Must-Watch Films

ijr-recommends

The Collection was a recurring opinion piece, which highlights a handful of movies, a trilogy, or the like that I consider to be a must watch film or franchise. It has since been replaced with IJR Recommends. This collection functions as a seal of quality or the like. Whereas The Collection would get updates via posts on the blog, IJR Recommends is just updated here once in a while.


  • Rear Window (1954) – Directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
  • Lawrence of Arabia (1962) – Directed by David Lean.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) – Directed by Robert Mulligan.
  • The Godfather (1972) – Directed by Francis Ford Coppola.
  • The Exorcist (1973) – Directed by William Friedkin.
  • Jaws (1975) – Directed by Steven Spielberg.
  • All The President’s Men (1976) – Directed by Alan J. Pakula.
  • Taxi Driver (1976) – Directed by Martin Scorsese.
  • Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) – Directed by George Lucas.
  • Alien (1979) – Directed by Ridley Scott.
  • Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980) – Directed by Irvin Kershner.
  • The Shining (1980) – Directed by Stanley Kubrick.
  • E. T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) – Directed by Steven Spielberg.
  • Poltergeist (1982) – Directed by Tobe Hooper.
  • Star Wars: Episode VI – The Return of the Jedi (1983) – Directed by Richard Marquand.
  • Ghostbusters (1984) – Directed by Ivan Reitman.
  • The Terminator (1984) – Directed by James Cameron.
  • Back to the Future (1985) – Directed by Robert Zemeckis.
  • The Breakfast Club (1985) – Directed by John Hughes.
  • Aliens (1986) – Directed by James Cameron.
  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) – Directed by John Hughes.
  • Lethal Weapon (1987) – Directed by Richard Donner.
  • Dead Poets Society (1989) – Directed by Peter Weir.
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) – Directed by Steven Spielberg.
  • Goodfellas (1990) – Directed by Martin Scorsese.
  • Beauty and the Beast (1991) – Directed by Gary Trousdale & Kirk Wise.
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) – Directed by James Cameron.
  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991) – Directed by Jonathan Demme.
  • Aladdin (1992) – Directed by Ron Clements & John Musker.
  • Reservoir Dogs (1992) – Directed by Quentin Tarantino.
  • Groundhog Day (1993) – Directed by Harold Ramis.
  • Jurassic Park (1993) – Directed by Steven Spielberg.
  • Schindler’s List (1993) – Directed by Steven Spielberg.
  • The Lion King (1994) – Directed by Roger Allers & Rob Minkoff.
  • The Usual Suspects (1995) – Directed by Bryan Singer.
  • Toy Story (1995) – Directed by John Lasseter.
  • Scream (1996) – Directed by Wes Craven.
  • Good Will Hunting (1997) – Directed by Gus Van Sant.
  • Saving Private Ryan (1998) – Directed by Steven Spielberg.
  • American Beauty (1999) – Directed by Sam Mendes.
  • The Green Mile (1999) – Directed by Frank Darabont.
  • Toy Story 2 (1999) – Directed by John Lasseter.
  • Memento (2000) – Directed by Christopher Nolan.
  • Requiem for a Dream (2000) – Directed by Darren Aronofsky.
  • Monsters, Inc. (2001) – Directed by Pete Docter, David Silverman & Lee Unkrich.
  • The Pianist (2002) – Directed by Roman Polanski.
  • Lost in Translation (2003) – Directed by Sofia Coppola.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) – Directed by Peter Jackson.
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) – Directed by Alfonso Cuarón.
  • Spider-Man 2 (2004) – Directed by Sam Raimi.
  • The Aviator (2004) – Directed by Martin Scorsese.
  • Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005) – Directed by Shane Black.
  • Casino Royale (2006) – Directed by Martin Campbell.
  • The Departed (2006) – Directed by Martin Scorsese.
  • The Prestige (2006) – Directed by Christopher Nolan.
  • No Country for Old Men (2007) – Directed by Joel & Ethan Coen.
  • Zodiac (2007) – Directed by David Fincher.
  • The Dark Knight (2008) – Directed by Christopher Nolan.
  • Tropic Thunder (2008) – Directed by Ben Stiller.
  • (500) Days of Summer (2009) – Directed by Marc Webb.
  • Inglourious Basterds (2009) – Directed by Quentin Tarantino.
  • Incendies (2010) – Directed by Denis Villeneuve.
  • Inception (2010) – Directed by Christopher Nolan.
  • The Social Network (2010) – Directed by David Fincher.
  • Toy Story 3 (2010) – Directed by Lee Unkrich.
  • 50/50 (2011) – Directed by Jonathan Levine.
  • Midnight in Paris (2011) – Directed by Woody Allen.
  • Warrior (2011) – Directed by Gavin O’Connor.
  • X-Men: First Class (2011) – Directed by Matthew Vaughn.
  • Jagten (2012) – Directed by Thomas Vinterberg.
  • Life of Pi (2012) – Directed by Ang Lee.
  • The Avengers (2012) – Directed by Joss Whedon.
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) – Directed by Stephen Chbosky.
  • 12 Years A Slave (2013) – Directed by Steve McQueen.
  • Gravity (2013) – Directed by Alfonso Cuarón.
  • Her (2013) – Directed by Spike Jonze.
  • Prisoners (2013) – Directed by Denis Villeneuve.
  • The Conjuring (2013) – Directed by James Wan.
  • The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) – Directed by Martin Scorsese.
  • Boyhood (2014) – Directed by Richard Linklater.
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) – Directed by Anthony & Joe Russo.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) – Directed by James Gunn.
  • Whiplash (2014) – Directed by Damien Chazelle.
  • Creed (2015) – Directed by Ryan Coogler.
  • EX_MACHINA (2015) – Directed by Alex Garland.
  • Inside Out (2015) – Directed by Pete Docter & Ronaldo Del Carmen.
  • Spotlight (2015) – Directed by Tom McCarthy.
  • Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015) – Directed by J. J. Abrams.

– Jeffrey Rex

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