Much like you probably haven’t read Moby Dick, there’s a good chance that know just enough about Casablanca to fake your way through a conversation. While faking it until you make it is a valid life choice, 2018 is the year to finally scratch a few of those Oscar classics you’ve never seen off of your list.
No one is going to force you to sit through Crash, so don’t run away just yet. The 10 movies on this list are legitimately amazing films that deserve their place in the pantheon and in your film-loving heart. So settle in with these 10 Oscar winners that everyone should see at least once!
1. Casablanca — Amazon/Google Play/Vudu ($2.99)
Rick and Ilsa have one of the greatest love stories in cinema history, but the real draw here is the spirit of hope and rebellion that keeps Rick’s bar alive. Casablanca is a WWII film that was actually released during the war, and you can feel the history in every frame. This truly is one of the best films ever made.
2. Marty — Tribeca Short list
Movies are for beautiful people. At least that’s how it feels sometimes, but Marty is the story of two average humans falling in love. There’s nothing exceptional about their story aside from how rare it is to see Hollywood allow people like them to take center stage.
3. The Apartment — FilmStruck/Tribeca Short List
Few movies can destroy you in one scene and leave you howling with laughter in the next, but The Apartment is one of those movies. Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine are sublime in a story about sexism, corporate ladder climbing, and the cost of retaining your humanity.
4. Lawrence of Arabia — Starz
Yes, Lawrence of Arabia is long. But it’s also visually stunning, and its depiction of the ways war can twist a man remain chilling to this day. Clear an afternoon and settle in with David Lean’s epic, because this movie is a must-see.
5. In the Heat of the Night — Starz
In 1967, there’s no denying that In the Heat of the Night was a groundbreaking film. Sidney Poitier’s Virgil Tibbs is sent to a backwards town in Mississippi to solve a murder, and his frustration and anger at the ignorance and racism surrounding him is palpable. Poitier’s performance is legendary for a reason, because audiences had seen nothing like it before.
6. The Godfather — Netflix
If you’ve been putting off watching The Godfather, do yourself a favor and watch this masterpiece already. It actually is as good as your dad says it is.
7. Amadeus — Amazon/Google Play/Vudu ($2.99)
The rivalry between Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri is an intense portrait of jealousy set to the most amazing soundtrack you can possibly imagine.
8. The Silence of the Lambs — Hulu/Epix/Tribeca Short List
There’s no getting around the fact that The Silence of the Lambs is wet your pants terrifying. However, it’s also an exquisite game of cat and mouse played by two incredibly gifted actors, and they make every scare worth it.
9. Schindler’s List — Netflix
Sometimes, you just have to let a movie break your heart. And if you’re going to allow yourself to go on that journey, it might as well be with a movie as well-crafted as Schindler’s List.
10. The English Patient — Cinemax
Forget everything that Seinfeld told you — The English Patient is an achingly romantic, sweeping epic, and one of the last of its kind at that.
Go ahead and scratch these movies off your cinematic bucket list — trust me, you’ll feel so much better when you know why they leave the gun and take the cannoli.