5 Brilliant Movies I Never Want to Watch Again

Some movies you could watch over and over again. I have seen Jurassic Park, Apollo 13, Inglorious Basterds, or Mad Max: Fury Road more times than I dare admit, and could rewatch them again right now (I just might!).

For others, however, one viewing is enough. It’s not that they are bad, au contraire. The movies on this list are all brilliant, masterful pieces of art, prime examples of moviemaking at its best. One viewing is enough because these 5 movies (and I know there are more out there I haven’t watched yet) will make you feel things you’ve never felt before. Four of these movies hurt me and took a part of my soul never to give it back. One was just too emotional to handle.

If you’re ready for some heavy, poignant, thought-provoking, and life-changing movie experience, watch one of these. But be forewarned, you need to be prepared mentally and physically.

1. The Road (2009)

Adapted from Cormac McCarthy’s masterful novel, the movie stars Viggo Mortensen as the “Man” and Kodi Smit-McPhee as his son, the “Boy.” Together, they struggle to survive in a bleak, violent, anthropophagic, black-and-white, post-apocalyptic America. We’re not told what happened; we must accept the new reality and learn its codes as we progress, just like the protagonists.

The Man hopes to reach the sea. What he aspires to find there, we don’t know. There are two basement scenes in the movie. One you might call “happy”, the other will leave you scarred.

The Road is a powerful film. It doesn’t do justice to the book if it is even possible with McCarthy, but it creates a striking vision of a doomed world and tells a compelling, albeit never endearing, story.

2. Come and See (1985)

One of the greatest war movies ever made, perhaps one of the greatest movies ever, this 1985 Soviet movie tells the story of a young Belarussian lad, Florya, who wants to join the resistance and fight the German invaders. His journey into adulthood rips away his innocence, his hopes, but fails to strip him of his soul and humanity.

The war on the Eastern front was not a gentlemanly affair. The nazi considered Slavic people as Untermensche that they needed to eradicate. It was a war of annihilation. Come and See captures this violence like no other film ever has. It holds no punches and never censors itself.

A movie will never be able to truly capture the horror and intensity of war, but if one ever came close, this must be it.

3. Threads (1984)

Threads is a 1984 made-for-TV movie produced by the BBC that depicts, with documentarian coldness, what a total nuclear war would look like. It does not take the usual war movie approach: there is no heroism, no real main character, no feat to be celebrated. We follow regular citizens of Sheffield, an industrial city in Northern England, amid the turmoil of the British 80s and the growing threat of nuclear doom. The movie portrays the prelude (mostly through text cards that inform us of global events), the attack itself, and then the days, weeks, and years following with sharp realism and brilliant minimalism.

That we know so little about the characters but care so much about their fate is a testament to the script's brilliance and the attention to details. It helps if you are familiar with British dialects, but not understanding everything doesn’t take away from the story.

I have never seen anything like it. Threads is the scariest movie ever produced, perhaps the most powerful piece of art ever made. It left me hopeless, depressed, and in need of a hug for weeks. It scarred me for life. I mean it when I tell you not to watch it if you’re going through clinical depression. You need mental and physical strength to sit through it.

4. Blue is the Warmest Colour (2013)

This movie might seem like an odd one on such a list. There is no violence in it, no gore, no horror. It tells the love story of two women, how they meet, get to know each other, love each other. It is a three-hour-long romantic epic, a whirlwind of emotions that leaves you breathless. It is a masterpiece of storytelling, and the actresses deliver extraordinary performances.

I was shaken for weeks after seeing this film. It was just too many emotions to handle for me. You’ll rethink your life, your relationships, the love you’ve felt or thought you did. It will move you as only the best movies can.

5. 127 Hours (2010)

The movie is based on a true story. It is so famous that you probably know it even you haven’t seen the film. Aaron Ralston goes on a hike in a lonely canyon, taking an old, rusty knife, a little bit of food and water, and no cell phone. He ends up in quite of a bind, and the way he gets out of it is… well, let’s say the last of the 127 hours are not the most comfortable of his life.

It’s no spoiler to say that the movie has a happy ending, but at what a cost does it come! What makes this film so powerful, the reason it hurts you is that Ralston’s situation is one that, even if it is unlikely, could happen to all of us. We could all end up in a similar situation, faced with an equivalent choice. It conjures up primal survival instincts. It plays on our deep-rooted fear of death, and more importantly perhaps, our fear of dying alone, forgotten.

I remember coming home after watching it in the theatre, taking a warm shower in the hope that it’d make me feel any better. I don’t remember if it worked, but I remember being shaken for days and having nightmares for weeks.

Thanks to your comments and the great discussion, I extended the list with 5 more movies I never want to watch again:

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