All The Classic Movies You Have To See Before You Turn 30

If you’d rather spend your Friday night enjoying the comfort of a glass of vino at home versus dishing out hard-earned cash for overpriced drinks at a crowded bar, join the club. After all, there’s no better way to end a hectic work week than to sit back and relax in front of the telly. However, instead of scrolling Netflix to find a movie you haven’t already exhausted ten times over (guilty as charged), why not knock off a few of those bucket-list films you said you’d watch years ago but glazed over because you were simply too young and too hip to sit through historical dramas or black-and-white life-lesson-centric movies? Well, there’s no better moment than the present to take a trip down memory lane with what are arguably the best classic films to ever hit the big screen. From the ever-romantic Casablanca to the more poignant Gone with the Wind, these throwback movies will not only bring to mind the history of American cinema, but also introduce you to some of the most glamorous icons of the mid-1900s (think Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe). Heck, these films could even serve as your pre-foray into official adulthood (OK, that may be a stretch).

Here, a compilation of the must-watch essentials you should check out before hit the big 3-0.

20th Century Fox

All About Eve (1950)

This Hollywood masterpiece proves that you're not quite the drama queen/scheming B you think—that title goes to Anne Baxter's Eve Harrington, whose duplicitous ways will have you throwing all the shade.


Breakfast At Tiffany's (1961)

We admittedly still get our fashion inspiration from the inimitable Holly Golightly, an icon whose LBD and cat-eye sunglasses remain relevant today—and who manages to make tiaras feel street-style appropriate.

Warner Bros.

Casablanca (1942)

Arguably the best romantic drama ever made, this highly entertaining tale of an American expat torn between love and duty will make even the ever-single lady (a.k.a. this editor) fall head over heels.

Mercury Productions

Citizen Kane (1941)

With the signature utterance "rosebud," Orson Welles' newspaper magnate Charles Foster Kane fronted this work of genius that's mysterious, poignant and straight-up masterful.


Gone With The Wind (1939)

Depicting the South circa Civil-War era, the film draws parallels to today's racial unrest, including police treatment of African-Americans—portraying a culturally significant and monumental cinematic period.

Lawrence Turman

The Graduate (1967)

There exist quite a number of reasons to pop in this delight of a movie: young (and shirtless) Dennis Hoffman, the generational seduction between Benjamin and Mrs. Robinson and, of course, the outstanding Simon & Garfunkel soundtrack.

Liberty Films

It's A Wonderful Life (1946)

This is the part where you'll want to grab some tissues, as this holiday favorite tells the heartwarming story of a frustrated man who gets a glimpse of what the world would've been like if he had never existed.

Shamley Productions

Psycho (1960)

Chances are you've once referred to Marion Leigh's murder in the movie as "that shower scene in the Hitchcock film." We know it as one of the best-known horror clips of all time. We recommend watching this one through spread fingers.

Paramount Pictures

Roman Holiday (1953)

Oh, another Audrey Hepburn film in the roundup? We've got three words for you: royal fairytale romance. The classic tale of stifled Princess Ann meeting (and falling for) a regular Joe, this timeless classic of forbidden love will trigger all the feels as well as your wanderlust.

Paramount Pictures

Sunset Boulevard (1950)

We have yet to catch the Broadway version starring the award-winning Glenn Close, but the original film noir gives us a peek into behind-the-scenes Hollywood, with a tragic ending that speaks to the industry's corrupt ways.

Universal International Pictures

To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)

You've already read the book, but catch the Oscar-winning adaptation of Harper Lee's bestselling novel on Netflix for a refresher on America's historical racial injustices—a lesson that can give us better understanding of today's climate.

Orion-Nova Productions

12 Angry Men (1957)

Judge Judy fan, anyone? This courtroom drama centered on the jury of a homicide trial will literally have you at the edge of your seat—from the single "not guilty" preliminary vote to the unanimous show of hands at the film's end.