Have you ever watched a film so powerful that it caused you to reevaluate your life? You’ve got company. Someone recently asked an online entertainment community for examples of these movies. Here are their honest confessions.
1. Treasure Planet (2002)
One commenter details, “I was separated, had just gotten fired from my job, and wrecked my car in an accident. My ex had a new guy and decided they were taking my kids on a holiday over my weekend, leaving me alone and pretty desperate. Everything was looking bleak.”
They continued with, “I decided I would have a few drinks and watch random stuff on TV, and ended up putting on Treasure Planet. I got to the scene where Jim is chasing after his dad and just misses him as he gets on a ship. I burst into tears and spend a good hour on the floor, an absolute blubbering mess. That night I resolved to be there for my kids and be the best darn dad they ever had. Treasure Planet saved my life!”
2. Django Unchained (2012)
Another admits, “Django. It helped me be a lot less racist. I used to think black people were overreacting to white people saying the n-word, but this movie showed me that it’s much more than just the Spanish word for black with a Southern twang. It’s a description of property and an implication that one is less than human.”
3. Donnie Darko (2001)
“What really messed me up was when he was talking to his therapist about fear, and it got me thinking about things I fear,” a critic confides. “I was literally thinking to myself, the only thing I REALLY fear is oblivion. The next on-screen chapter title comes up about a minute later: ‘Oblivion.’ Had to pause it for a spell.”
4. Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)
Several movie enthusiasts shared, “What a boring example, but truly, Everything Everywhere All At Once got me out of a super low, self-harmful point in life. And it was at a time when I had a fight with my mom, too; what a cliché. But it legit turned my mindset around!”
5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
“Eternal Sunshine is a perfect encapsulation of a breakup. And it really helped me through mine,” one breaker upper depicts. “The concept, where at first you only remember the worst stuff that happened, and then, a few weeks later, you can only remember the really special parts, and you miss them enough that you think you could give it another go. Obviously, you shouldn’t, but you get tempted.”
6. The Matrix (1999)
“Definitely, The Matrix made me look at the world in a larger picture. At the time I watched it, it made me question religion, then the government. By the time I was able to get employed, it made me question all these big corporations. That and Rage Against the Machine,” one cinephile writes.
7. Alien (1979)
“Watching Alien on the big screen in 1979, as soon as Scott slowly revealed the Space Jockey, I sat there in stunned silence, and for the first time, I experienced existential awe; we know nothing. I said to myself, a feeling that has stayed with me my whole life,” one Alien lover explained.
8. American History X (1998)
“Not because of any Neo-Nazi ideology or racist beliefs,” another film lover differentiates. “But the quote Principal Sweeney says to Derek. ‘Has anything you’ve done made your life better?’ And the genuine answer was no. It made me re-evaluate how I saw myself and what I was doing. Got sober, got a new job, and started fixing my life.”
9. Okja (2017)
“Watching Okja made me go vegan. Watching Okja was a truly transformative experience for me,” a proud vegan remarks. “From the very first scene, I was captivated by the heartfelt story of Mija and her extraordinary friendship with Okja, the genetically modified super pig. As I immersed myself in the film’s narrative, I couldn’t help but be deeply moved by the powerful bond between these two characters.”
10. Ex Machina (2014)
“Ex Machina, I sat there, hands pressed together over my mouth, not knowing what to do,” one elaborates. “I got up and walked around the block twice. Didn’t watch a movie for like two months after that. That movie had me thinking about everything!”
11. The Road (2009)
“I watched The Road 13 years ago as I was rocking my newborn son to sleep at three am, according to one parent. “It scared me more than anything else, the idea of humanity collapsing. Still not truly over it, but I live in the moment more!”
12. Joker (2019)
“The success of the movie, even to the dismay of some people calling it “horrifying” or “disgusting” was beyond life-changing for me. Mental health is not always invisible, but when it is visible, many people turn their heads in the other direction. Joker showed this not only within the movie but with crowd reactions as well. Absolutely brilliant,” annotated a mental health advocate.
13. Cool Hand Luke (1967)
“I was struck by the self-righteous, almost casual cruelty of those in power over other men. It would be maybe 15-20 years before I’d learn of Mengele or the Stanford or Tuskegee experiments.
I was just a kid and had no idea how easily people will begin to treat a powerless ‘undesirable’ as subhuman or the cruelty that seems to flow so naturally in that dynamic.” Another critic finished with, “It permanently affected my view of authority figures and authority in general.”
14. Persona (1966)
“Persona will always be my lightbulb moment, not just with film but with art in general. The movie is, in my opinion, primarily concerned with différance, the limits of representation, and what it means to be fully aware of those limits.”
Many cineasts respond, “Communication can only ever approach the truth, be it verbal (as in Alma’s discourse) or visual (as in Bergman’s movie). Persona is about the tension this limit creates within us, about making peace with the ‘little lies’ we are forced to tell in order to engage with other people.”
15. Paris, Texas (1984)
“Paris, Texas, after I’d fled an abusive relationship literally in the middle of the night, moved out of state and didn’t look back. Seeing this roughly 1-1.5 years removed from that in my mid-20s forced me to acknowledge the good times but also forced me to see a version of where my life could have gone instead,” one domestic abuse survivor expresses.
“I cried so hard from one particular scene I had to pause it twice, and I’d never cried because of a movie before that. When it was over, I’d never felt more free!”
16. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
“So I am much older than the average person on here, and I saw To Kill a Mockingbird when I was 12,” an older person recollects. “I lived in a segregated society but never noticed that the African Americans in my life were never at a restaurant, movie, church, etc. with me. I felt ashamed that I had been so blind, and I believe that movie affected my behavior for the rest of my life.”
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