40 must-watch movies to consider yourself a film buff

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A Clockwork Orange (1971)

It’s said that the Manson family ushered in the death of the flower child in 1969 when they murdered actress Sharon Tate along with several other people in a two-day killing spree in California. By the time the ‘70s rolled around, already starting off with the Vietnam War in full swing, movies were responding in kind.

Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of the Anthony Burgess novel was haunting, frightening, and pushed the boundaries of what could be seen on-screen. The film’s violence and frank images of rape were enough to get it banned with many wondering if it was too explicit to be seen by average audiences. A Clockwork Orange has aged well over the subsequent decades, but it’s still a hard sit.

The story of an aggressive street gang led by a black bowler-hatted man named Alex (Malcolm McDowall) is filled with symbolism and unique imagery, but much of it focuses on the role of the young man and his struggles to adapt to a changing depiction of masculinity. Kubrick’s patented brand of satire and dark humor runs rampant, particularly in the rape scene wherein Alex sings “Singin’ in the Rain” during the assault — you might want to watch that film before this one.

When Alex is forced to endure his crimes himself, the film segues to questioning government-imposed justice and where the boundaries lie there. It’s a dark, twisted, cerebral film charting a cinematic landscape where movies now wanted to make audiences think.

Where to Watch It: Rent it on Amazon, Apple, Google Play, PlayStation, YouTube, and Vudu.