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By Your Culture Scout

Reading news in the morning and then political or financial commentaries in the afternoon can effectively keep you depressed all day long. So, to cheer everyone up for the holidays, we are offering a list of movies to check out whenever you really feel down, and need a couple of hours of distraction.

The first requirement was some sort of a happy ending — The aliens get chased away, the village is saved, the diamonds are found, the president gets impeached. You get the drift. These are the films to make you feel good, no matter the story. Pure escapism.

The second requirement was artistic quality – A perfect script, smart jokes, and superb acting, stunts and choreography. We chose mostly older movies, since they are more likely to have been forgotten by now. Many titles on this list are the best films of their decade: sometimes foreign, often award-winners, and mostly directed by filmmakers who are considered masters. Low-brow comedies and violent gore were excluded, no matter how successful they were.

This is the Food for the Soul section, and we are going for upscale entertainment here, folks. This list is different from what a typical fan-list would be, but we are reaching for a bit of intellectual snobbery here, while still having all the fun.


Will Smith wakes up to an alien ship the size of a mountain range landing behind his house in Los Angeles. Things go wild from there. Jeff Goldblum has to get to the White House in time to tell the President how to disable an alien ship, Area 51 turns out to be everything we thought it was, and Smith says “Welcome to Earth” after slugging a slimy ET. This is how disaster movies should be made, and usually aren’t. An absolute masterpiece, and a guaranteed distraction.

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