Classic Movies to Bring Into the New Year

A poster for the release of the 1957 film 12 Angry Men.

(Illustrator unknown; "Copyright 1957 United Artists Corp.")

A poster for the release of the 1957 film 12 Angry Men.

With the new year comes the possibility of new films making cinematic history. However, looking back at the classic and iconic films that made the cinema what it is today is just as important. Here are ten classic movies to add to your “must watch” list for 2022. 

  1. From Russia With Love (1963)

Bond movies are always a go-to action movie and fun for everyone in your family. One of the bests (and my personal favorite) is the 1963 classic starring Sean Connery, From Russia With Love. 007 is up against a secret crime organization known as SPECTRE. Throughout the movie, Bond faces deadly encounters, hand-to-hand combat, and much more. Not only do I love this because it is one of the classic Bonds, but it starts off the incredible saga that we know and love today. 

  1. 12 Angry Men (1957)

12 Angry Men stars one of America’s most prominent actors in America’s cinematic history, Henry Fonda. Fonda plays a juror on a court case that will decide the fate of a young facing the death penalty. Throughout the movie, the other eleven men consider problems with the evidence. Courtroom movies are some of my favorites to watch, and this film specifically does an excellent job of keeping you engaged and questioning. This movie keeps you at the edge of your seat asking yourself, “what will they decide?” 

  1. The Sting (1973)

The Sting stars two iconic actors, Robert Redford and Paul Newman. When one of their friends is shot, they decide to get revenge on the killer and ruthless crime boss, Doyle Lonnegan. They create an elaborate scheme to outwit Lonnegan. This movie is filled with action, humor, and the duo continually surprises you with the tricks they have up their sleeve. This is great for an exciting movie night, with family or friends. These are some of my favorite actors, and they always leave you loving the film. 

  1. The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

Frank Sinatra stars in The Manchurian Candidate, one of the most gripping movies that I have ever seen. After the Korean War, the beloved and famous Sergeant Raymond Shaw and his platoon come home. Sinatra plays Ben Marco, a commander in the platoon. He is plagued with a repeated nightmare. While investigating why he continuously has this nightmare, he uncovers a terrible plot. Throughout the movie, Marco unravels the evil behind this devious plan and discovers truths almost too great to bear. This will lure you into a captivating world of mystery, mayhem, and lies. I loved this movie. It is confusing, and you think there is no way to solve it but it all comes together perfectly in the end. 

  1. Night of The Hunter (1955)

Night of the Hunter is one of the lesser-known noir thrillers, but definitely not one to miss. Robert Mitchum (who goes on to star in the famous Cape Fear) plays a religious fanatic and serial killer. Mitchum stumbles upon a family hiding thousands of dollars, and he is determined to find it. As the family finds out who this man really is, they scramble to survive, specifically to save the two young children who need to outrun this maniac before it is too late. As much as I loved this movie, after watching it, you will probably want to keep a light on when you sleep at night… 

  1. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

One of the most iconic movie musicals, Singin in the Rain, is a great movie for your whole family to enjoy. It is filled with incredible dancing, singing, and comedy. Gene Kelly stars as Don Lockwood, an actor famous for his silent movies. However, when the transition to “talkies” comes, Don and his longtime acting partner, Lina, must find a way to adapt. But Lina has a horrible voice, so they bring in Kathy, a vibrant young actress who records over her voice. The musical genius in this movie will not let you down, and the dancing will without a doubt take your breath away. Do not be surprised if you find yourself humming the iconic song, Singing In The Rain, after watching it. 

  1. Psycho (1960)

Halloween has been over for months, but Alfred Hitchcock’s famous thriller, Psycho, starring Janet Leigh, is one that you will still want to watch. Marion Crane steals money from her employer and then flees her hometown to meet her boyfriend, but runs into some trouble when she stops at the Bates Motel to spend the night. She meets Norman Bates, the owner of the hotel. You will have to watch to see what happens next! 

  1. Casablanca (1942)

The 1942 classic, Casablanca, starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, is a “must watch”. With three Oscars, this romantic film takes you through the beautiful story of Rick Blaine, a nightclub owner, and his old flame, Ilsa Lund. Set during World War II, Ilsa comes to his nightclub after years of no contact, knowing that Rick can help her and her famed rebel husband get out of the country, as Nazis are after them. Rick must decide if he will join the war and leave his love behind. Romances are not necessarily my favorite movie genre, but I could not help but fall in love with the characters and their gripping backstories. 

  1. Rear Window (1954)

Another one of Alfred Hitchcock’s classics, Rear Window, is a gripping and exciting mystery starring Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly. When a news photographer who is confined to his wheelchair due to two broken legs believes he witnessed a murder in his apartment window, he must convince others that there is a murderer living among them before it is too late. As a huge fan of mystery movies, I quickly fell in love with this one. This film is my favorite Hitchcock masterpiece, and one of my favorite mystery movies of all time. 

  1. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

At the very top of the list is a Christman Classic, It’s a Wonderful Life. Although Christmas is over, it does not hurt to bring the holiday cheer into the new year. Jimmy Stewart stars as George Bailey, who has too many problems to count and soon, contemplates suicide. When he goes to a bridge, prepared to jump and end his life, miraculously, he meets his guardian angel. The angel shows him what the world would be like without him. This movie will bring you joy, make you cry, and definitely, without a doubt, get you into the holiday spirit for Christmas 2022. 

These movies are truly worth every minute and are a great way to start your new year. No matter if you love thrillers, mysteries, romances, or dramas, there is a classic for you to enjoy. So, what are you waiting for? Start watching!