With the winter break fast-approaching, you may find yourself on a plane on the way to Europe, the Caribbean or in search of the warm sun of Miami, Florida. Whatever place you go to, getting on a plane for multiple hours is required and can be pretty awful. When the child behind you starts crying and the person next to you has to keep getting up, the best escape ultimately is to plug the headphones in and watch a movie. Here is a list of the best movies to watch on a plane to provide that escape into your world.
“Shrek 2” (2004)
“Shrek 2” is one of the best sequels of all time through its clever referential humor and expansion of the charming world established in its predecessor. This sequel is also great since it’s not offensive to any children sitting near you and has a pace that never lets up. “Shrek 2” is never boring and 90 minutes of your flight will fly by, no pun intended.
“The Lord of the Rings” trilogy (2001-2003)
Imagine your flight may be almost 10 hours — the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy is your best bet to get through that flight quickly. As one of the best trilogies to exist in cinema, Peter Jackson’s adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s books is a near masterpiece of epic and endearing filmmaking. There are a lot of movies to keep your flight from becoming a bore, and if you get tired, the movies can serve as a nice lullaby as well.
“2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968)
Speaking of lullabies, “2001: A Space Odyssey” is the perfect option to lull yourself to sleep on a flight. This may be Stanley Kubrick’s magnum opus, but it also is a film that takes its time without much actually happening throughout its two-hour and 20-minute runtime. It is undoubtedly one of the deepest and thought-provoking movies ever made with insane visuals that hold up today, and an effective form of sleep medication for a flight.
“Malcolm X” (1992)
Spike Lee’s writing of Malcolm X, played by the iconic Denzel Washington, is one of the best films ever made about the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s and in the history of cinema in general. You will benefit from it being over three hours long, but each minute is a vital aspect of African American history and about one of the most important men of the 20th century. This is not a sleeper but a stirring history lesson that you can share with people when you get off the flight.
“Whiplash” is a movie on another level, somehow being extremely engaging every second while never feeling like the pacing is going too fast. J.K. Simmons delivers the performance of his career as a brutal music instructor who pushes his students to the max even if it causes long-lasting damage. The music scenes will be thrilling and also make you reconsider if jazz is actually fun to listen to or not.
David Fincher’s “Zodiac” is a thrilling investigation into the Zodiac Killer, which spans many years. Fincher’s examination of how obsession alters peoples’ lives and oscillates throughout a never-ending search for clues is an extremely entrancing experience. “Zodiac” also benefits from having some of the best living actors, including Robert Downey Jr, Mark Ruffalo and Jake Gyllenhaal. At almost three hours, this mystery thriller will be worth the watch.
Those are my recommendations, but if you’re not feeling these, trust your gut and pick something that you love watching. A movie you love can dash away the idiosyncratic annoyances that you can rely on a plane flight.