Movie references are a part of every college student’s life. There are some movies that are such a large part of pop culture and referenced so heavily that they should be required viewing in high school and/or college.
Unfortunately, although we all have to spend countless hours reading, analyzing, and writing about must-read books, schools don’t have required film curriculums. Of course, why would they, when everyone’s seen the movies and knows the references?
For those poor, uneducated souls who don’t know to leave the gun and take the cannoli; what the high of Pineapple Express is like; why pink is for Wednesdays; here is a must-see movie cheat sheet so you can say you understood that reference.
(Editor’s note: This list was compiled from suggestions from the Daily Egyptian staff. The movies shown were picked from personal favorites and obnoxious film snobs, like Gus.)
1. Pineapple Express (2008)
Stoner Dale and his dealer Saul are on the run after Dale witnesses a murder by a cop and a drug lord.
I’m surprised Gus actually let this one onto the list; he hates anything that even carries a whiff of marijuana.
If I suddenly stop writing articles for the DE, now you know why.
2. Pulp Fiction (1994)
Two hitmen, a gangster’s wife, and a boxer’s lives are woven together in this classic film about violence, consequences and redemption.
Gus says if you haven’t seen “Pulp Fiction,” you don’t know what a movie is. Gus has also been a college student for 50 years, so his opinions should probably be taken with a grain of salt.
3. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
(Editor’s note: Two Tarantino films but not ONE from Nolan or Kubrick? The Daily Egyptian is seriously garbage. What is this, an opinion list?)
A crime boss hires six criminals for a diamond heist, but when the police show up and two of the team members are killed, the remaining members suspect a police informant.
If you want to see a heist go right, watch “Ocean’s Eleven.” If you want to see one go wrong, watch “The Killing.”
If you want to be entertained by a bunch of guys with color-coded names seeing who can swear more and louder per minute than each other while trying to uncover a snitch who ruined their heist, this is the movie for you.
4. The Godfather (1972)
Vito Corleone, aging patriarch of the Corleone crime family, transfers control of the family to his reluctant son, Michael.
If you’ve ever aspired to be a crime lord or a mobster, this movie is the definitive guide on how to do so. Definitely no one dies.
You’ll learn how to deliver Sicilian messages, not to discuss business at the table and how to make someone an offer they can’t refuse.
Also, you’ll understand every reference in “You’ve Got Mail,” another outdated goodie.
5. Mulholland Drive (2001)
A woman loses her memory after a car wreck on Mulholland Drive. Afterwards, she and an aspiring actress search for clues and answers across dreams and reality.
This is one of those films that people say is a masterpiece, yet no one understands. So if you want to be thoroughly confused but entertained for about two hours, here you go.
6. Superbad (2007)
Inseparable high school friends Seth and Evan try to obtain enough alcohol for a party where both hope to lose their virginity to the girls of their dreams.
What college student doesn’t identify with at least one of the struggles Seth and Evan face? Obtaining alcohol, trying to attract members of the opposite sex, obsessively talking/drawing/thinking about penises… there’s something here for everyone!
7. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
A couple gets a flat tire and ends up at the house of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a transvestite scientist from the planet Transsexual, who is holding a party to unveil his latest creation.
Why would anyone want to miss out on a rock musical with men in drag that parodies science fiction and is filled to the brim with sexual innuendos, as well as blatant sex?
If nothing else, you’ll at least get to experience the movie your parents watched during their rebellious stage.
8. Accepted (2006)
Bartleby Gaines was rejected from every university he applied to, so he decided to start his own university with his friends in order to fool their parents.
This movie is especially relevant with college kids because we all know we’d rather be at a fake university than a real one. Fake colleges don’t have professors, homework, or overwhelming tuition costs.
(Editor’s note: They also don’t have frustrating newspaper jobs.)
9. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)
Gilbert Grape must take care of his mentally disabled brother and obese mother after the death of his father. Nothing exciting ever happens in his small town until Becky and her grandmother arrive.
A young Johnny Depp and a young Leonardo DiCaprio in the same film— why would anyone not want to watch it?
Plus, there’s a good storyline, good acting, and wonderful filmmaking, but that’s nothing compared to the big name stars in it!
(Editor’s note: We all know Leo should have gotten his Oscar for this one, but no, they had to wait 23 years to give him one.)
10. Mean Girls (2004)
Homeschooler Cady Heron attends high school for the first time and joins the most popular clique in the school, the Plastics. Everything is going fine until Cady makes the mistake of falling for queen bee Regina’s ex.
If you’re a millennial or generation Z and you’ve never seen this movie, you’re living your life wrong. You might as well be living in a cave with no friends if you don’t know why Gretchen’s hair is so big, or what “fetch” is or why Regina can’t go to Taco Bell.
This is important stuff, people. You may have an A in your Linear Algebra class, but if you haven’t seen “Mean Girls,” you don’t know a thing.
Managing Editor Rana Schenke can be reached at email@example.com.
Staff film snob isn’t really into film right now, TV is actually innovating. (…[email protected])
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