Essential Movies to Watch before 20


ESSENTIAL MOVIES TO WATCH BEFORE 20 post.pngMedia is an essential part of all our lives. It has, arguably, shaped our current thoughts and opinions about politics, life, love, and everything else. I find that there has been a handful of movies that have really changed the way I think about things and that I think are important for every young person to watch. The following 7 movies deal with a wide range of issues that we may face every day, with characters we can actually relate to and empathize with.

Essential Movies to Watch #1: Juno

Synopsis: Juno is a loveable, misguided teenager who undergoes an unplanned pregnancy in high school. The movie follows her journey as she must deal with adult issues while still being a child herself.

Importance: Juno shows a strong and independent woman lead who has to deal with the terrifying reality of a baby and all the planning that goes into this bump in the road. She struggles with issues such as abortion, adoption, parental pressures, and the horrible reality of being a high schooler. But, after all these problems, Juno remains true to herself and shows us that as long as you stay strong, you can get through anything.

Essential Movies to Watch #2: The Hunting Ground

Synopsis: The Hunting Ground is a documentary on the pressing issue of rape on college campuses and the way in which college administrators have been dealing with it. The film follows the true stories of students who have dealt with sexual assault and the subsequent treatment they received from their university’s academic bureau.

Importance: This documentary addresses a serious issue in North America; the suppression of rape cases for the purpose of reputation. The film takes a look at sorority and frat society and the cold reality of coming forward and not being believed. Every young woman needs to be educated on this matter as, whether or not we want to talk about it, it is a common occurrence.

Essential Movies to Watch #3: Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging

Synopsis: Georgia Nicholson, a 14 year-old girl, deals with the ups and downs of growing up. She plans to get close to Robbie, an older boy that she has a crush on, while simultaneously struggling with her annoying family and insecurities.

Importance: The film is a comedy and coming of age film which portrays the pains of going through puberty and all the awkwardness that comes with it. It sends a positive message about being confident in yourself and not worrying about what other people think of you.

Essential Movies to Watch #4: Easy A

Synopsis: After Olive accidentally spreads a rumour about herself losing her virginity to an older boy, she is quickly labeled a ‘slut’ around her high school. The movie follows her journey as she deals with her newfound reputation and all the drama that comes with it.

Importance: Easy A shows you how to react to rumours and deal with bullies. It shows a strong female lead who fights rumours with grace and resilience. Olive uses her wit to stand up for herself and, in the end, proves to the watcher that, regardless of what people think about you, you have to stay true to yourself.

Essential Movies to Watch #5: Hairspray

Synopsis: In 1960s bigoted Baltimore, Tracy Turnblad manages to become a local television star against all odds. She manoeuvres blatant racism and open bullying to become the star of the Corny Collins show.

Importance: Hairspray touches upon issues of racism, body shaming, and bullying in a fun and positive way. Obviously, it is not a hard hitting film on the horrendous events that went down in the early-mid 20th century America, but it does send a message of standing up for what you believe in, no matter what.

Essential Movies to Watch #6: Celeste & Jesse Forever

Synopsis: The film follows a young married couple who is facing the realities of love and heartbreak. The two protagonists have to deal with wanting to stay together while also needing to go on separate paths.

Importance: Instead of painting young love as idealistic, Celeste & Jesse Forever show the hardships of marrying young and drifting apart. The film is strikingly real and penetrates the hearts of viewers. It is a great lesson in love and heartbreak as it shows how the two deal with the breakup while remaining friends and still caring for one another.

Essential Movies to Watch #7: Ladybird

Synopsis: Ladybird is a young girl on the verge of graduating high school and going to college. She is at odds with her mom who wants her to stay, while she yearns to get out of her small hometown. Ladybird is another coming of age tale that focuses on the tensions that may arise between a mother and daughter as the daughter prepares to fly the nest.

Importance: This is another heartbreakingly realistic story of a girl who is preparing to leave all that she knows in order to grow. For any kid who has left their parents’ home, the relatable tension between mother and child hits close to home. It sends the message that it is okay to not have everything figured out and that, at the end of the day, your parents are always there for you.


Comment: what are your must-watch movies?