Julian’s Top 5 Retro Movies to Check Out

The Guardian staff reporter runs down his five favorite “retro” movies of all time.

Julian Koonce, Staff Reporter

Let’s preface this list with a couple of disclaimers: First, this is entirely my opinion and may not reflect everyone else’s list. Also, these are not the *best* retro films of all time. They’re just some movies I think you should check out, conveniently formatted in a “Top 5” list.

5) “The Terminator” — “The Terminator” stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as an unstoppable death-bot sent from the future to terminate a young Sarah Connor because her unborn baby will eventually lead the fight against Skynet. Sent to protect Sarah is Kyle Reese, a soldier from the future.

Aside from some dated visual effects, there’s not much wrong with this movie. It sits at an exceptional 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. “The Terminator” does exactly what you want it to do and then some. It becomes an action-thriller of sorts and I think it does it really well.  

4) The adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Body,” “Stand By Me” — “Stand by Me” follows four young boys during a summer journey to see a dead body killed near the small Oregon town during the summer.

“Stand By Me” is one of those movies that takes you back to those days when you’re 11 years old and the days are filled with endless possibilities and adventure. The coming-of-age story is a classic, and one that I think will always resonate with a young audience.

3) John Hughes’ “The Breakfast Club” — The 1980s classic sees five very different high school students try to coexist while serving a Saturday detention, supervised by their uptight principal.

“The Breakfast Club” is a high school movie stands out, as it doesn’t deal with drama during school or after. The entire movie takes place during their Saturday detention. It’s a blast to watch these completely different personalities who would never talk to each other in school try to find a way to make the detention exciting, all while giving their principal a heap of trouble.

2) “The Shining,” directed by Stanley Kubrick — The frightening and critically-acclaimed classic “The Shining” follows Jack Torrence and his slow descent into madness as he becomes the caretaker of a hotel for a winter with his family.

The King adaptation is one of cinema’s most haunting and mysterious movies that can never be duplicated again. The fact that nothing is ever explained and we’re forced to theorize about what the film means and decipher hidden messages is brilliant. Kubrick’s excellent direction and the chilling score gives us no time to breathe as we’re forced to watch an average joe family-man transform into a monster.

1) “Back to the Future” — Lastly comes a Robert Zemeckis treat produced by Steven Spielberg. Back to the Future follows teenager Marty McFly, portrayed by Michael J. Fox, on a journey to get back to his future — 1985 — after accidentally time-traveling to 1955 in a DeLorean-turned-time machine.

The film is a timeless tale thanks to its references some viewers aren’t able to grasp. It takes it to a consumer-driven time in America, the 1950s. Marty’s interactions with his parents in the past are unforgettable and, by themselves, worth watching.