Movies to binge during quarantine

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As some of us near the end of our first or even second week of social distancing, it’s no doubt you’re reaching peak boredom. I’ve personally already read through the previously untouched stack of books on my nightstand, done multiple jigsaw puzzles, dug up old board games, cleaned my room twice and finished all the shows I wanted to catch up on. Sporting events and concerts have all been cancelled. But luckily it’s 2020, and we have a world of streaming services at our fingertips. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and Disney+ offer great options for your viewing pleasure. So grab a glass of wine and some popcorn because here are the best movies to watch during quarantine:

Dystopian Movies

Right now, many people are turning to apocalypse films or other dystopian movies that parallel the current sociopolitical climate we’re living in. Maybe you need to dig into the reality and fear in order to accept it, or maybe these movies will help you see it could perhaps be just a little worse out there. Some great options based on young adult novels that you might want to rewatch are “The Hunger Games,” “Divergent,” “The Maze Runner” or “The Giver.” Other classic dystopian movies include “1984,” “The Matrix,” “2012,” “Blade Runner” and “Terminator.” 

If you’re looking for pandemic-specific films, try “World War Z,” “Contagion,” “Outbreak” or “Carriers.” There’s also a lot of great foreign films that put a global perspective on outbreaks. “The Flu” is a South Korean film about a deadly strain of flu virus tearing through the city of Bundang (available on iTunes and Prime), and “Virus” is a 2019 Indian film based on the true events of the Nipah virus outbreak in Kerala and the local community’s mobilization effort to stop the spread (available on Prime).

For a more lighthearted take on the end of the world, check out animated family movies like “Wall-E” or more mature comedies like “The World’s End.” 

New Movies

In light of recent events, many streaming services are moving up release dates for newer films. A lot of production companies are also releasing projected blockbusters straight to TV or rental due to the closures of movie theaters and social distancing rules. Disney released “Frozen 2” on digital release a few months earlier than expected and made Pixar film “Onward” available for streaming on Disney+ after only a few short weeks in theaters. “The Rise of Skywalker” was also released early on digital services. It seems that, in such difficult times, companies like Disney see the value in family time and getting a few smiles out of a great movie. 

Other movies that have been or will be made available earlier than expected include titles like “The Invisible Man,” “Emma,” “The Hunt” and “Trolls World Tour.”

It’s important to note that the coronavirus pandemic has delayed a number of anticipated releases, such as “No Time to Die,” “A Quiet Place II,” “F9: Fast and Furious 9,” the live-action remake of “Mulan,” “The New Mutants,” “Black Widow,” “Wonder Woman 1984” and “In the Heights.” Some of these movies were unable to finish production and filming while others were merely impacted by the closure of theaters. The new release dates for those movies are still to be determined.

Comedy Movies

We can all use humor and laughter now more than ever. Everyone has their favorite comedies, but you might be looking for new options. Some of the best releases from the past year include “Booksmart” and “Dolemite is My Name,” featuring Eddie Murphy. For a more classic comedy experience, marathon Will Ferrell movies like “Stepbrothers,” “Anchorman” or “The Other Guys.” Another classic option is any movie starring dynamic duo Kevin Hart and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The Austin Powers trilogy was also recently released on Netflix. For subtler, more nuanced humor try “The Edge of Seventeen,” “Frances Ha,” “The Little Hours” or “Obvious Child.”

Romantic Movies 

These are the perfect go-to movies to cheer you up while social distancing. Whether you’re feeling lonely at home or quarantined with your boo, check out these movies for a healthy dose of romance. If you haven’t seen these movies yet, try tuning in to “To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You,” “Marriage Story” or “All the Bright Places.” Netflix just added plenty of favorites such as “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Failure to Launch,” “Dear John,” “The Ugly Truth” and “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” (aka a Bradley Cooper marathon in the making). Some of my personal favorites include British rom-coms, like “Love, Rosie,” “About Time” and “What If.” If you need a tearjerker or just something to remember what human connection felt like, romantic movies are definitely the best bet during times like these. 

Thumbnail photo courtesy of @myke_simon from Unsplash.com.


Julia Mancini is the life editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at Julia.mancini@uconn.edu.  

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