The medium of film is unlike any other. The viewer can be taken to incredible, new worlds that could never exist outside of the theater, and experience tales of wonder that stay with them for the rest of their lives. As cliched as it sounds, cinema really is magical, and given the fact that it was actually invented as a magic trick, I mean that literally and figuratively.
With this list I want to pay tribute to those extremely rare types of movies that give you a sense of amazement and offer you something you’ll never forget in a way that only movies can do. The criteria was incredibly simple: if a film wowed me when I first saw it and continues to give me a lasting sense of wonder, then it gets a spot. Because of this, not every entry on my list is about magic in particular but, as you read on, I’m sure you’ll agree with me that they’re all magical in their own way.
Who said a film has to be happy to be magical? Alien is the ultimate example of this because it features all of the wonders that sci-fi has to offer while also featuring a monster that you can’t help but be amazed by. The Xenomorph keeps you guessing all the way until Ripley launches it into space in the finale. It’s the perfect movie monster, since you can never fully understand it yet you’re completely enthralled by its constant evolution throughout the movie.
No one can claim that Alien didn’t make them think; whether they enjoyed it or not is arbitrary. The film does what all the best sci-fi does and presents a universe outside of Earth that’s just waiting to be explored, whether what you find is for better or worse. In Alien it just happens to be for the worst, but that doesn’t stop it from being a beautiful, bleak commentary on curiosity that’s filled with incredible symbolism.
This article was first posted on March 8, 2013