Sometimes, we have a long weekend ahead of us with no plans at all. Somedays, playing a long movie in the background while doing daily chores makes for the best course of action. We do understand that such movies can get really mundane sometimes, but then, on other days, some flicks also help us kill our time. There are some movies that may just have a runtime of 90 minutes but they’re so slow that it feels like an eternity. On the flip side, there are some movies that are so long that it’ll take you days to finish them even if you don’t take a break. One of them is ‘Modern Times Forever’ which is 240 hours long! Imagine a movie lasting for 10 days straight!
In recent times, the norm is usually to make movies that are close to two hours long. This duration does hit the sweet spot because it is enough to build a good storyline without bugging the viewers. But a few movies defy the rule to give the audience something truly exceptional. So we thought of making a list of such productions that may just be a little more time consuming but are surely worth watching. You can catch them on Netflix.
15. Zodiac (2007)
One of the most infamous true-crime cases to date is that of the unidentified Zodiac Killer. He terrorized the streets of San Francisco in the 60s and 70s and usually targeted young couples. In fact, his legend also reminds us of the most well-known serial killer to date, Jack The Ripper. The most fascinating thing about the case is the fact that the killer repeatedly sent cryptic messages to the authorities, and this plays a major role in the script. After all, in ‘Zodiac,’ investigators and reports both want to uncover the identity of this masked murderer in order to bring the victims some justice. It stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr., and Anthony Edwards, and makes for one good crime thriller.
14. Cloud Atlas (2012)
The movie is well-known for having one of the most unique narratives in recent years. After all, this science-fiction anthology focuses on the lives of individuals during 6 distinct eras in time that span over 5 centuries. Essentially, the plot explores how humans keep evolving in a world that is consistently changing as well. ‘Cloud Atlas’ is definitely one of a kind, and even the character development is spot on. Furthermore, it features a splendid cast that includes Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, and Jim Broadbent. You should watch this movie when you truly want to experience something out of this world.
13. Dangal (2016)
Starring Aamir Khan, ‘Dangal’ is a biopic that revolves around the lives of two sensational Indian female wrestlers, Geeta and Babita Phogat. It chronicles how their father’s influence led them to success in the Commonwealth Games of 2010. With a runtime of 2 hours 49 minutes, this Bollywood film is definitely quite engaging. The film will keep you interested throughout and the intense training scenes will surely inspire. ‘Dangal’ is one of the best sports films made in Bollywood and will remain with you long after you’re done watching it. It also empowers women in sports and gives us an insight into the family’s dynamic. This biopic proves that it does not matter who you are or where you come from. If you work hard under the guidance of a great mentor, anything is possible.
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12. Les Misérables (2012)
Inspired by what is considered to be one of the greatest novels of the 19th Century by Victor Hugo, ‘Les Misérables’ is a collection of various stories (with seemingly different themes) that come together as the script unfolds. Based primarily on Jean Valjean, an ex-convict, the film observes his rise to success and how his dark and clandestine past may just besmirch his present. Starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Eddie Redmayne, Amanda Seyfried, Helena Bonham Carter, and Sacha Baron Cohen, this musical is as gripping as it is emotional. We recommend watching it on a day where you want something more dramatic.
11. The Firm (1993)
Sydney Pollack has directed this flick that stars Tom Cruise as a young lawyer who joins a top firm only to find himself encompassed by the company’s dark secrets. Based on John Grisham’s novel of the same name, the film may be longer than other legal thrillers, but the story definitely keeps you hooked. In fact, ‘The Firm’ is regarded as a classic today, especially because of the amazing portrayals by Jeanne Tripplehorn, Gene Hackman, Ed Harris, Holly Hunter, Hal Holbrook, and David Strathairn. If you’re a fan of the genre, then we’d highly suggest watching the movie as soon as possible.
10. Troy (2004)
Directed by Wolfgang Petersen, ‘Troy’ loosely retells the epic story of the Trojan Wars from Homer’s ‘Iliad.’ When Paris, the prince of Troy, convinces his love, the Queen of Sparta, to leave her husband and go with him, war breaks out between two nations. The script includes the themes of love, jealousy, bravery, honor, and glory, and this epic battle has a star-studded cast of Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, and Diane Kruger. It is the 8th highest-grossing film of the year, and the attention to detail is evident in the cinematography. Interestingly, ‘Troy’ even received an Oscar nomination for Best Costume Design. Check it out for its amazing action sequences.
9. Django Unchained (2012)
It really isn’t surprising that Westerns have a longer duration than most films today. But we’re really not complaining. After all, the genre is an extremely unique one as far as cinematography and direction are concerned. When you add to this Quentin Tarantino’s penchant for storytelling, you better believe that the result is transcendent. ‘Django Unchained’ is set during the Antebellum period and is inspired by Spaghetti Westerns. It is the story of the freed slave, Django (Jamie Foxx) who works with a bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) to save his wife from a cruel but charming plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio). As with most Tarantino productions, you not only get beautiful performances, but also a gripping story. Be sure to check the film out if you haven’t already.
8. A Bridge Too Far (1977)
The screenplay of this war drama was adapted from a book of the same name by Cornelius Ryan. It chronicles the story of the failed Operation Market Garden, a military mission by the Allies during the Second World War in the Netherlands. The plan is to basically capture bridges strategically around Germany in an effort to reign supreme in the war. Almost 3 hours long, the film is an excellent one. It features an ensemble cast of Dirk Bogarde, James Caan, Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Elliott Gould, Gene Hackman, and Anthony Hopkins. When you’re in the mood for something classic, ‘A Bridge Too Far’ will hit the spot.
7. Lagaan (2001)
People usually tend to associate Bollywood with flashy dance numbers and extremely cheesy dialogues. While we can’t really protest this perception, we do think it is imperative to note that there are many movies that are more… conventionally cinematic. ‘Lagaan’ is a story of love, brotherhood, oppression, and freedom, all under the guise of a cricket match.. Bhuvan is a farmer who accepts a challenge put forth to the villager by Captain Andrew Russell. Essentially, if the colonized Indians are able to emerge victoriously, they will not have to pay taxes for the next 3 years. Intriguing premise, right? Aamir Khan plays the lead role, and he really has established himself as a visionary in the Indian entertainment industry. This movie was also India’s submission to the 2002 Oscars.
6. The Hateful Eight (2015)
It really shouldn’t come as a surprise that another Tarantino production has made it on this list. After all, even though his movies are usually on the longer side, the plot and character development are not hindered. In fact, we think that this actually adds to his unparalleled style. Most of his work, including ‘Pulp Fiction’ and ‘Inglorious Bastards,’ unweave a cinematic masterpiece over the course of a few hours. ‘The Hateful Eight’ is also another welcomed addition to his repertoire. Set against the backdrop of the American Civil War, it is the story of 8 men that are sheltering themselves from a blizzard, only to face various twisted situations. It has a delightful cast that comprises Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demián Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, and Bruce Dern.
5. 22 July (2018)
The devastating bombings that took place in Norway in 2011 have been dramatized in the Netflix movie ’22 July.’ It is based on a book by the journalist, Åsne Seierstad, called ‘One of Us: The Story of a Massacre in Norway — and Its Aftermath.’ When teenagers arrive at a summer camp organized by a youth party, they expect to have some fun in the sun. But when the culprit of a previous bombing shows up on-site, the children must do whatever they can to save themselves. The movie paints the poignant reality about the bloodshed prevalent in society today. Plus, when you think about a country like America where gun violence makes the headlines daily, ’22 July’ really does make for a compelling watch.
4. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)
The Coen Brothers are back once again, and this time, they explore the Western genre with ‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.’ Essentially, it is an anthology of 6 different stories that follow diverse themes. The film kicks off on a funny note, but by the end, you will have felt a plethora of emotions. It is definitely one of their best movies to date. Starring James Franco, Brendan Gleeson, Zoe Kazan, Liam Neeson, Tim Blake Nelson, and many others, the film garnered three Oscar nominations, including one for Best Adapted Screenplay. With an enriching plot, stellar performances, and amazing cinematography, it is one movie you should add to your list.
3. Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (2018)
‘Black Mirror: Bandersnatch‘ has an actual runtime of 1 hour 30 minutes but that’s only if you select the most ideal option in this “choose your own adventure” Netflix release. But on average, if you put yourself through almost all the choices presented, it can take you up to 5 hours and 2 minutes to complete the entire film. That’s a really long runtime and goes way beyond the 2-hour norm! But is the time investment worth it? You can judge this for yourself after watching it.
The film is about a young boy who starts designing a game based on a book known as Bandersnatch. The text presents the reader with various choices, and with each selection the reader makes, it leads him/her to a new alternate reality. The boy aims to do the same with his game and even gets the approval of a famous gaming company. But as the ball starts to roll a little further, we as viewers are allowed to make decisions on behalf of the protagonist while he acts confused about how he is being controlled by a third party.
2. Da 5 Bloods (2020)
Spike Lee is easily one of the most recognized names in Hollywood today, and this can be attributed to his amazing storytelling skills. Be it ‘Do The Right Thing’ or ‘BlacKkKlansman,’ the man has highlighted some rather relevant issues of the black community. Now, he is back with ‘Da 5 Bloods,’ a movie that takes us on a journey with four Vietnam War veterans who have returned to the former warzone. But what are they looking for? Well, for one, the remains of their fallen squad leader. However, they had also buried treasure there in the past. Be ready, because this film is quite cogent and socially relevant. Plus, Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors, Clarke Peters, Johnny Trí Nguyễn, Norm Lewis, and Isiah Whitlock Jr. really have delivered some powerful performances.
1. The Irishman (2019)
The crime epic is directed and produced by Martin Scorsese and stars Robert De Niro as Frank Sheeran, a truck driver who eventually finds himself in the employ of the mobster, Russell Bufalino. This film offers a gritty look at a life of crime and has been accoladed globally for its script. Furthermore, with an ensemble cast of Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Ray Romano, Bobby Cannavale, Anna Paquin, Stephen Graham, and Harvey Keitel, it is no surprise that the performances got rave reviews as well. This Netflix original is considered to be one of the best movies of the decade for a reason, so check it out at your earliest convenience.
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