100+ Lockdown Movie Adventures.

Like lots of people, film and TV have always played a big part in our lives. We have a fabulous Picture House cinema nearby and, pre-lockdown – we would go nearly every weekend; a family ritual. My son is something of a film expert- on his Letterboxd film app, he’s recorded over 1200 movies that he’s watched. That takes some commitment!

When lockdown happened, we hunkered down with Netflix, Amazon Prime and all the other channels and made the most of it. I started to record what we’d watched … the list, in order, is below. The Best 10 films are at the bottom alongside my favourite three TV shows.

A big part of the experience has been the ritual of ‘the Mug’. After a few days we initiated a new process. Each of the three of us wrote out five films we’d like to watch on bits of paper and placed them in a mug. Each night we would take turns to pick out one of the choices. The rules were simple: respect the mug! No arguments and, during the film, no phones – cinema style. We included a ‘two episodes’ rule for some classic TV series like The Wire and The Sopranos – We’ve watched them before so this just just to get a nice reminder of the taste of them.

After a while we started scouring film review lists to find films none of us had seen. Our family touchstone for movie sense is Mark Kermode – his lists were influential. It’s been quite a journey. The early choices are quite standard but increasingly we went off into foreign language territory – where, actually, most of the gems were found. We also caught up on some older classics like 8 1/2, The Seventh Seal, Blow Up, Sunset Boulevard and Kes (a personal favourite.) In fact this might be my favourite film scene of all time:

We also watched some fabulous factual competition series, included here because they played their part. I especially enjoyed the Portrait Artist of the Year – but Glow Up did also capture our attention!

Here’s the full list in order of viewing: 

  1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  2. Ex Machina
  3. Anchorman 1
  4. Anchorman 2
  5. The Player
  6. World War Z
  7. Solaris (Clooney)
  8. The Master (Hoffman Phoenix)
  9. The Great Beauty / la grande bellezza
  10. 8 1/2 (Fellini)
  11. Terminator 2
  12. Ocean’s 11
  13. Argo
  14. The Souvenir
  15. Witness
  16. Barry Season 1
  17. Barry Season 2
  18. High Life (R Pats)
  19. Batman. Dark Night Rises
  20. The Morning Show Season 1
  21. The Seventh Seal
  22. Portrait Artist of the Year 2020
  23. Leave No Trace
  24. The Tiger King
  25. The Bigger Splash (Swinton/Fiennes)
  26. Twin (with Kristofer Hivju)
  27. Landscape Artist of the Year 2020
  28. Unorthodox (4 episodes)
  29. Ocean’s 13
  30. Cloud Atlas
  31. Goodfellas
  32. Enemy (Jake G)
  33. Quiz
  34. Bob Roberts
  35. Disturbia (tag Shia LB)
  36. Godzilla
  37. Run
  38. Ozark Season 2
  39. Ozark Season 3
  40. Honeyboy (Shia LB)
  41. What If (Daniel R)
  42. The Platform (Spanish)
  43. The Vanishing (original Dutch/French)
  44. The Act of Killing (Indo documentary)
  45. Sopranos. Eps 1&2
  46. Under the Skin (Scarlett J)
  47. The Imitation Game
  48. The Wire Eps 1&2
  49. After Life
  50. BlackKklansman
  51. Citizen Kane
  52. Normal People TV
  53. Paterson
  54. Brokeback Mountain
  55. Blue Velvet
  56. Bait
  57. Burning (Korean)
  58. Marvin’s Room
  59. JoJoRabbit
  60. Capricorn One
  61. Symptoms 
  62. Being John Malcovich
  63. Assault on Precinct 13 (original)
  64. Gangs of London
  65. Waves
  66. Cleo 5 to 7 (French)
  67. Se7en
  68. The Witch
  69. Poetry (Korean)
  70. In the Mood for Love (HK)
  71. Mother (Bong Joon Ho)
  72. Sunset Boulevard
  73. Devs
  74. Team America: World Police
  75. Badlands (Sheen)
  76. Blow Up
  77. Archipelago
  78. Bombshell
  79. Ford vs Ferrari
  80. Dog Day Afternoon
  81. Mirror
  82. Heat
  83. Deliverance
  84. Whiplash
  85. Kes
  86. My Left Foot
  87. Handmaiden (Korean)
  88. Persona (Swedish)
  89. Da 5 Bloods
  90. Five Years; Last Five Years
  91. Dog Tooth (Greek)
  92. Mystic River
  93. Gladiator
  94. Embrace of the Serpent (Colombian)
  95. Eyes Wide Shut
  96. Touch of Sin (China)
  97. The Maid (Chile)
  98. Little Joe
  99. Casino Royale
  100. Vanilla Sky
  101. Fight Club
  102. Glow Up 2020
  103. Eurovision Song Contest
  104. Before Sunrise
  105. Before Sunset
  106. Before Midnight
  107. Battle Royale
  108. Raging Bull


These series are magnificent – not quite as gripping or involving as Succession or Game of Thrones perhaps, but highly entertaining in their own way. I don’t think I’ve ever cried as often watching TV as I did during After Life.

  1. The Morning Show Season 1
  2. Ozark Season 3
  3. After Life Season 2

Top 10 Films

My Top 10 films is chosen based on their lasting impact, not including films I’d seen before (like Kes, Eternal Sunshine, Se7en, Gladiator). Each one either has a special quirkiness, a touching central figure, a shocking/surprising turn of events or just felt great to watch as a whole package. We talked about Burning for weeks afterwards. In no particular order of merit, here’s the list:

  1. Paterson
  2. Bait
  3. Burning (Korean)
  4. Ford vs Ferrari
  5. Dog Tooth (Greek)
  6. Embrace of the Serpent (Colombian)
  7. The Maid (Chilean)
  8. The Act of Killing (Indonesian documentary)
  9. Handmaiden (Korean)
  10. Mother (Korean)


  1. Love this post. A few I’ll need to catch up with here. What role, if any, do you think schools have to play in building cultural capital around film and TV, outside of Film or Media studies in KS4 and 5? Is this something schools could be thinking about during lockdown?


  2. movie provides lots of entertainment and fun facts but what is a great movie without an adventure. I love movies that inspire wanderlust in me, movies that make me want to tour the world. I have learnt from movies that traveling and going on an adventure can actually be fun and one of the best things that you can do with your free time or also as a form of escapism. I also love movies that involve seeking lost treasures or answers to questions that has been posted for a long time. I love the list a lot. please use this link to visit my site for articles as interesting as this one. thank you.


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