You know how many movies the industry makes specifically about Thanksgiving?
Not very many, no. So there goes that idea … sort of.
Depending on when you read this top five movie list, I hope your Thanksgiving goes, is currently going well, and/or that no one left the dinner permanently scarred or covered in cranberry sauce (scratch that, I would love to be covered in food, I would always have a snack on me).
I’m sure we’ve all had a couple of interesting weeks on Facebook, post-election time, and now is the time to hash out differing opinions face-to-face to answer the big questions: is the stereotype of the “racist uncle” true for you or is a potentially moronic niece the real poisoned fruit in your basket? You could decide today, OR, instead, watch a totally awesome (I refuse to say “epic” since it has been overused so many times as an adjective that we have forgotten that the word was once a noun) movie of people coming together to fight for justice in the face of adversity.
I’m talking about superheroes.
That was also probably a bad joke, but I used up all of my good ones on my secret Twitter account while writing this, so we’re going to keep going.
One thing that my family can seem to agree on when we get together for the holidays is that we love a good action flick to watch together. Now, I’ve refrained from just doing a plain old top five or top 10 action movie list before because there are so many genres that fall into the action category and I’m not someone who handles suspenseful well (read: I shake my boyfriend’s arm every time something major happens and then I have to sit alone for the last hour of the movie if I don’t calm down).
However, I do have my personal favorites the fall into the categories of superhero, fantasy, science fiction, real-life-ish, stuff my dad got me into liking, and the honorable mention of why am I still watching this? Why can’t I look away?
So here are my top five action movies and other honorable mentions to watch with family, particularly over the holiday after your football team loses and you’re searching for conversation topics.
1) “Guardians of the Galaxy” (Rated PG-13, 2014)
I can’t say for sure if this is my favorite superhero movie (my FAVORITE would probably be “The Amazing Spider-Man” because he is my soulmate or “The Dark Knight Rises” because he is also my bad boy soulmate), but this is the superhero you should watch with your family. You can also watch the different “Avengers” movies or “Captain America” spin-offs, but everyone can get behind Chris Pratt’s humor.
Also, every time I watch this movie with my parents, one of them always comments on how much they like the soundtrack to this movie (I’m 26, so I will let you guess their ages and what their favorite period of music is).
BASICALLY, you should already know what this movie is all about since it’s a superhero movie, but here’s my little overview: there is an evil villain trying to get this one object that will allow him to destroy the world – and probably the universe as well – and an unlikely band of misfits tries to stop him. The villain lacks depth, but there is this guy with an arrow whom you will probably love to hate.
Other honorable mentions: “The Avengers,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” and “Captain America: Civil War.” These are probably the most awesome of all of the superhero movies, but “Guardians of the Galaxy” has a little more wit and comedic relief than these.
2) “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” (Rated PG-13, 2001)
For my fantasy category, I picked the most chill out of all of the “Lord of the Rings” movies, but I also recommend having a “Lord of the Rings” marathon of all three movies if you’re into that.
Basically, there is another dark object that a villain wants … and unlikely band of misfits is going to try and stop him. The villain is basically Satan, and his followers are very gross.
This band of misfits is made of unlikely heroes, including hobbits who try to keep themselves separate from the world, and unlikely friendships, like between elves and dwarfs. A hobbit takes up an unlikely burden to destroy an evil piece of jewelry, and his hobbit friends follow because that is what friends do: support each other in the face of soul-sucking, Middle Earth-destroying evil, even if it means giving up second breakfast.
3) “Star Trek Beyond” (Rated PG-13, 2016)
For my science-fiction action category, I picked one of the “Star Trek” remakes because I’m too lazy to go and watch the originals.
And again, there is some sort of dark object that the villain wants … and a somewhat likely band of misfits chosen by Starfleet Academy is going to try and stop him. The villain has an interesting twist, and I wish that the movie would have focused more on that rather than mostly glossing over it at the end.
It begins with the USS Enterprise on a mission in deep space, and it is beginning to wear on Captain James Kirk, even though it was a chance he fought for in the last two movies. Then, Captain Kirk tries to do something nice, embarking on a rescue mission, when it does not turn out as planned and crazy things start happening.
4) “RED” (Rated PG-13, 2010)
For my real-life-ish category, I have “RED” and “RED 2,” which are basically comedies masquerading as action movies. They’re hilarious and filled with action as well as Bruce Willis’ sass.
I get that they’re cliché and over the top and no one can shoot that well and no one can be both that mentally unstable and that loveable – except that this guy, and his stuffed pig, can, and I love these movies for all of those reasons.
In these movies, “RED” actually stands for “Retired and Extremely Dangerous” and it follows these ex-agents and ex-spies that people are trying to kill. And Bruce Willis actually gets a hot girlfriend, but he has to kidnap her at first (he does it to save her life, so it’s mostly okay), which is probably the only way he can get a hot girlfriend.
Bruce Willis’ character Frank Moses isn’t the guy with the stuffed pig, but he reaches out to that guy with the piggy (Marvin, played by John Malkovich) as well as other ex-spies played by Morgan Freeman and Helen Mirren in order to figure out why the American government wants to kill him and his new lady friend.
Most of these characters return in “RED 2” to help save the world and Frank Moses’ relationship with his lady friend, which needs a bit spicing up.
5) “Live Free or Die Hard” (Rated PG-13, 2007)
The “stuff my dad got me into” category was a toughie because there have been quite a few movies he got into ever since my brother and I grew up watching “The Terminator.” But for this category, I bring you even more Bruce Willis’ sass.
Remember those scenes from “Friends” where Joey, Chandler, and Ross would occasionally just yell, “Die Hard!” at each other? Like when they considered trying to go and climb Mount Everest, but instead, they decided to rent “Die Hard”? This would be the “Die Hard” movie that would get me yelling, “Die Hard!” Even though Joey and Chandler meant the original.
Bruce Willis’ character, John McClane, is a little more serious than the guy in “RED,” but he still not here to put up with anybody’s crap or their attempt to end the United States and steal a bunch of money. He also happens to need to save his daughter’s life in the process, so he’s got quite a bit of motivation.
Honorable mention: “Battle Los Angeles” (Rate PG-13, 2011)
For my “why can’t I look away?” category, I don’t really know if you should watch this with your family, but this is probably one of the most intense action movies there is. There is constant suspense – CONSTANT – as soldiers battle aliens. Somehow, I’ve managed to watch this movie more than once without it giving me a heart attack yet.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 451-3336