My Top 7 Most Life Changing Must-See Movies

-By Paul A. Philips

Must-see movies leave you well and truly astounded. Some leave you in wonderment, having more questions than answers, provide insight, or have you profoundly touched, seeing things in a totally different light…
-Having said all that, I’ll jump straight to it. Not an attempt at the most definitive list or in any order but here are my 7 most life changing must-see movies that have affected me in a number of ways.
The Matrix must see movies
  1. The Matrix

The Matrix is indeed an adeptly crafted movie with stunning action scenes and thought-provoking, mind-twisting philosophy. 


Main character Neo (played by Keanu Reeves) leaves the hum-drum existence of his daytime office job to become a computer hacker by night where he encounters Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) from the underworld.


Morpheus turns Neo’s perception of reality upside down when he reveals that the world we live in believed to be real is nothing more than a manipulated illusion while unknowingly imprisoning…


-In and amongst the complexity The Matrix has a simple loud and clear message: 

It’s one of those allegorical must-see movies. It’s our wakeup call: It symbolizes how, like Neo, we have been unknowingly imprisoned and enslaved in an illusory controlling matrix system. 


Like Neo, in our awakening, will the realization that we are powerful beings having creator-God like capabilities set ourselves free from the matrix enslavement? 

  1. They Live!

John Carpenter’s prescient 1980’s science fiction movie They Live has become a cult classic:


More and more people are waking up to the realisation that it can be used as a metaphorical reference to what’s going on in the world today. 

Basically, set against the backdrop of harsh Reaganomics, gross economic inequality, main character Nada (Spanish for nothing, played by recently deceased Roddy Piper) a half-homeless labourer stumbles on a pair of ‘special’ sunglasses.


Trying them on Nada discovers much to his dismay that the world has been infiltrated and taken over by aliens. 

He goes on to discover that the wealth and planetary resources are under the ownership and control of these aliens while they’ve bought off the human leaders to do their dirty work, keep the exploited masses unaware…


Through encountering Frank (David Keith), Nada is introduced into the resistance movement to fight against the alien overlords… 

-Those of us in the awakening process, finding out what’s really going on in a grossly deceptive manipulative world, will duly relate to the ‘They Live’ glasses.

This is how it works: 


  1. You must want to wear the glasses
  2. When worn there’s no going back. Following your heart, you cannot stop wearing them as more and more truth is revealed…
  3. You want others to try on the glasses but cannot make them.

    He goes on to discover that the wealth and planetary resources are under the ownership and control of these aliens while they’ve bought off the human leaders to do their dirty work, keep the exploited 

    1. Network

    In spite of its release as far back as 1976 Network still serves as a thought-provoking expose of the mainstream media. Those supporting the alternative/independent media will know only too well that the mainstream media with its cover-ups, lies, disinformation, filtering and biased reporting… all done under the controlling thumb of the corporations, banks and gofer politicians, is far from enlightening.


  1. Highly unstable self-proclaimed madman newscaster Howard Beale (brilliantly played by Peter Finch) declares “…I’m not going to take it anymore…” Live on air he calls upon viewers to take back their power by standing up for true democracy instead of having to answer to the corporate/banker sponsored dictates with their mass media manipulation… Yes, another one of those must-see movies.


    1. Into the Wild
  2. This one of the must-see movies is a beautiful well-made film directed by Sean Penn, bursting with humanity. Based on a true story the film centres on Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch). Much to the shock of his parents he gives away his $24,000 fund for law school to Oxfam. Not only abandoning law school, unsullied by consumerism/materialism, he forgoes all homely possessions and its creature comforts to become one with nature in the vast North Alaskan wilderness. 



    It was at the Alaska backwoods where he was discovered dead in 1992 in an old rundown bus he had used as shelter. The 24 year-old had accidently killed himself mistaking some poisonous berries he ate for harmless. 



    However, from the journals he kept we were able to see how ecstatically passionate he was about the North American natural world. His experiences in this wilderness were adapted into a best-selling book written by Jon Krakauer, and then came the movie scripted by Sean Penn.


    Besides the movie’s beautifully filmed backdrop and enriching account of life in the wilderness, wordless scenes so well segued in the character’s search for freedom… there are excellent cameo performances such as the 2 hippies played by Brian Dierker and Catherine Keener who our main character briefly encounters along the way… 



    But what made this movie such a hit was the fact that so many people identified with the main character. 


    Chris McCandless is regarded as a hero in that he’s somebody who escaped his comfort zone left the consumerist / materialist rat race behind and chose to do what he really wanted in his life. 



    Some people who’d been tied to a job they didn’t like doing got inspired enough by this film and like Chris changed their circumstances. They ended up doing what they really wanted to do with their lives in their own ways… 


    Proof of this can be found through Chris’s sister Carine and the letters she has received from enlightened readers of her published memoirs on her brother. 

must-see movies Donnie Darko
  1. Donnie Darko

This one of the must-see movies is a head-spinning classic turn of the new-millennia cult movie, touching on the ideas of alternative realities, multiple parallel universes, black holes and different timelines…


It centres on a disturbed, sleep walking, lonely and isolated teenager (Jake Gyllenhaal) having a need to challenge authorities.


While trying to reach out for companionship he gets the occasional visit from Frank a hideous human-sized rabbit with a penchant for playing perilous pranks to which he encourages Donnie’s involvement. 


-Richard Kelly’s movie is great to watch more than once and has been subject to a number of varying interpretations. 


It may be interesting for you to view this absolute must-see movie first (if you haven’t done so already) then find out if your interpretation matches other people’s views.

  1. Time Machine

The 1960 first movie adaptation of HG Wells’ science fiction novel ‘The Time Machine’ enthralled many audiences with escapism using time travel adventure. Another great collection of the must-see movies.



George (Rod Taylor) using his time machine invention travels into the future only to discover that in spite of the world growing and changing it is mostly consumed by war. Going further in time, some 800,000-odd years AD, he discovers that Earth’s inhabitants have been split into 2 races: 



The Eloi living on the surface, emotionless, apathetic and lacking curiosity, and the monstrous Morlocks, a race that survived and mutated into a hideous form from dwelling underground to survive a long-ago nuclear holocaust. 

Time Machine must-See Movie

Much to George’s horror he finds that during a siren call the Eloi hypnotically allow themselves to become entrapped and then led like livestock down into the subterranean caverns to be cannibalized by the Morlocks.


However, as the film goes on, George persuades, encourages and helps the Eloi to fight, leading to a triumphant uprising against the Morlocks… 


-HG Wells was well in with the world’s ruling elite. He was privy to insider information. Like other science fiction works the books or adapted movies serve as predictive programming pieces: Most people are unaware that the ruling elite want us subconsciously conditioned to the idea of underground bases where there are in fact those taken and led into the monstrous archontic maw to be devoured.


It’s a way of hiding the truth out in the open. Anyone who then claims that this is really happening will be ignored, invalidated or ridiculed, accused of outlandish fantasy getting the claim from a science fiction story.

  1. Her

Set in futuristic times. Having been separated from his wife middle-aged lonely and isolated Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) decides to buy the latest computer technology, operating system OS1. Theodore soon becomes romantically involved with the OS 1(charmingly and wittily voiced over by Scarlett Johansen). The romance progresses, taking the computer on dates, introducing the OS1 to friends… -What sounds on the surface like a ridiculous outlandish story is a well written, well made convincing science fiction film.


-This movie however, raises a number of issues/concerns about our technology-obsessed culture. Have we become the ‘Planet of the Apps’ where our fixation with laptops, tablets and cell phones are causing us to withdraw from reality and lose touch with real-life social interaction..?


That concludes my 7 must-see most life-changing movies. How about yours?