Ah, spring. It’s right around the corner. The icy blackness and depression of winter is slowly thawing away into the hope and optimism of a brand-new season, one of warmer temperatures and warmer spirits.
Of course, along with those temperatures come those soft spring rainy days – the ones that are perfect for hanging out in the home and picking out a movie or two to watch. Try these 10 on the next inevitable downpour.
Apocalypse Now (REDUX EDITION) (2001)
Maybe this one isn’t so brightening, but after all, you have loads of time to kill during a rainy day. Why not really take the plunge and watch the extended version of the (already-long) Francis Ford Coppola masterpiece, which adds even more depth and some astonishing sequences to the already spectacular film. If you get the special-edition Complete Dossier DVD of the film (which has both versions), you can also pair Redux with the documentary Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse, detailing the insane circumstances that surrounded the making of the film.
A rainy day is also the perfect time to discover an overlooked masterpiece, and this 2012 comic-book adaptation of the famous Judge Dredd comics is a gem waiting for a wider audience to love. Dispensing with the cheesiness of the misbegotten Stallone 1990s misfire, this is a sleek, engaging adaptation written by Alex Garland (of Ex Machina fame) that pits Dredd (Karl Urban) against floors of evildoers in a dystopian high-rise. It’s just waiting out there for cult fame. Watch it and love it.
Wish yourself away from the rain and onto a beach with a beautiful woman in Blake Edwards’ surprisingly endearing sex farce. The movie made a star out of Bo Derek, the perfect “10” who enraptures middle-aged music producer George Webber (Dudley Moore), a man in the midst of a booze-soaked midlife crisis. The movie also stars Julie Andrews in a decidedly non-Maria Von Trapp role, as Webber’s long-suffering wife.
Major League (1989)
Spring means baseball is right around the corner, and while there are other baseball movies both heartfelt (Field of Dreams or the Natural) and funny (Bull Durham) to recommend, few are as entertaining as this 1989 hit. Following the misfits that make up a Cleveland Indians team (Charlie Sheen as an ex-con pitcher, Tom Berenger as a washed-up catcher, Wesley Snipes as a speedy outfielder), this is an adult comedy that serves as its sport’s Slapshot.
Mulholland Drive (2001)
Why not spend the rainy day trying to figure out what the hell this David Lynch mind-melter is all about? This LA-set, neo-noir mystery is a deliciously twisty, deliberately baffling motion picture – and may, or may not, be his best work. Try to figure it out for yourself. The movie also made a star out of Naomi Watts, after she had toiled away in Hollywood for years.
The Last Starfighter (1984)
How about a favorite from the 1980s to pass the rainy time? Honestly, how long has it been since you’ve watched this cult favorite, which sends young arcade gamer Alex into space – using his video-game skills to defend an alien race against their enemies. It’s dated, of course, but in a tremendously fun way. It’s a nice way to ramp up to Spielberg’s eventual Ready Player One film.
The Rescuers (1977)
Go back to your childhood on a rainy day, when you maybe you faked a stomach ache (badly), and your mom took pity on you and let you stay home from school, and you might dredge up memories of this Disney favorite. Completed between their “golden eras,” this shaggy-dog (or, well, shaggy-mice) adventure is one of the most endearing – and sadly overlooked – Disney movies ever made. The sequel, the Rescuers Down Under, is also worthy.
The Room (2003)
Because if you haven’t seen it, you absolutely must. It’s an absolute train wreck of a film, so stupefying in every aspect of the craft that you just have to admire it. It’s a modern Ed Wood project, really, so abject in its badness that it’s insanely memorable. Use the rainy day to watch it before the making-of pic, the Disaster Artist, hits.
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
What’s the antidote for rain? Sand. Lots and lots of sand. David Lean’s remarkable 1962 biopic (with an unforgettable Peter O’Toole in the title role) remains the very definition of the word “epic,” and is an immediate cure for the rainy-day blues. And what a cast, too – Alec Guinness, Omar Sharif, Claude Rains, Anthony Quinn.
On the other end of the spectrum – if you want a movie that reflects the bleak, damp landscape outside, you could do a lot worse than one of the most visceral and wrenching films ever made: David Fincher’s urban serial killer thriller Seven. It’s stylish, rain-drenched, brutal and relentless; if you want something to match the elements, you’ll find it here.
Do you have any other favorite movies to curl up with and watch the rain beat against your window? Give ’em some love in the comments below.