Everybody has that one movie that they've watched so many times, “knowing it by heart” doesn't even begin to describe the relationship.
It's the film that you drop everything to watch when it comes on TV, or that you bought and wore out the VHS copy, and then the DVD and the Blu-Ray… and you're still happy to watch it again on Netflix. Maybe it all started with what your family liked to watch (or what they hated) or what ended up in your stocking at holiday time, or what you fell in love with at the theater.
Below, the HitFix editorial staff shares its most-watched movies of all time. What is yours? Tell us in the comments!
Donna Dickens “Titanic”
I was that fourteen year old girl. The one that saw “Titanic” in theaters multiple times (my personal tally was seven.) I bought the VHS two-pack. I recorded the MST3K Oscar special specifically for the segment that mocked my new obsession. I listened to “My Heart Will Go On” until my mother thought she would lose her damn mind. James Cameron is the horse whisperer or teenage girls and he had me right by the ovaries.
As an adult, the story of an entitled rich girl rebelling against her life by jumping into bed with a glorified one night stand normally causes me to scoff. But “Titanic” will forever be insulated from my grown-up cynicism by a cocoon of sentiment. Yes, this movie is basically Mary Sue fanfic couched in history. But it”s the glamorous, arrogant history of oil barons and steel tycoons. When nouveau riche plundered the Baroque aesthetic to prove how cultured they were, putting a sophisticated mask over the seething inequality and suffocating class structure beneath. Pretty to look at, but not to live in.
Chris Eggertsen “Aliens”
I first watched “Aliens” on network television in the middle of the afternoon, and I loved it so much that I taped it and watched it dozens more times. It was the most amazing thing I had ever seen. A lot has been said about Sigourney Weaver's indelible (Oscar-nominated!) performance as Ellen Ripley, and James Cameron's muscular direction, and of course Stan Winston's iconic work bringing the Alien Queen to life. But let's not overlook the essential contribution of James Horner's music, which builds to such gripping crescendoes during the film's double climaxes that it may go down as the greatest action score of all time. (Fun fact: the famed, endlessly-recycled final cue was written virtually overnight.)
“Aliens” flawlessly combines horror, action and sci-fi. It has a character named Newt. It is immensely, endlessly watchable. My heart bursts.
Gregory Ellwood “Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan”
“The Dark Knight,” “The Matrix” or any “Lord of the Rings” films are excellent examples of wallpaper movies that you find flicking around cable television that pop up because at some point they seemed to be programmed every hour on the hour. Then there are other films that you've continually chosen to watch over the years simply because they are too good not to keep returning to. Nicholas Meyer's “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” is that movie for me.