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5 Movies to Watch with Friends

Spend the last couple weeks of winter in the best way possible—by watching good movies with friends!

Spring is (hopefully!) just around the corner, but if you’ve lived in Chicagoland for more than a year you know there’s no guessing what next week’s weather is going to be like. If you’ve already organized and cleaned your entire apartment and are still fighting cabin fever, invite some friends over for a movie night! Order a couple pizzas, pop some popcorn, and cuddle up for a couple hours. What are some of your go-to movie night films? Find us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to let us know!

Labyrinth

You wouldn’t be able to tell now, but Labyrinth was a box office disappointment and Jim Henson’s son remembers the release as being one of the most difficult periods in Henson’s career. Though it was initially met with mixed reviews, it has since gained a large cult following, with both a four-volume comic sequel to the film and graphic novel prequel released in the late 2000s and early 2010s. The film follows 15-year-old Sarah on a quest to reach the center of an otherworldly maze to rescue her infant brother Toby from Jareth, the Goblin King (played by David Bowie).

Where to Stream:

Amazon Prime Video (from $2.99), Vudu (from $2.99), YouTube (from $3.99), iTunes (from $3.99), Google Play Movies and TV (from $3.99)

The Princess Bride

Adapted from a 1973 novel of the same name, The Princess Bride is another cult classic from the ’80s that has continued to touch the lives of children for years after. Unlike Labyrinth, however, The Princess Bride was well-received by critics at the time, though also had modest box office success. Thanks in part to the internet, since its release the film has gained momentum and was inducted into the National Film Registry in 2016 for being "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant". The film retains the novel’s narrative style and tells the tale of the farmhand Westley, his love, Buttercup, and the quest to bring the two together.

Where to Stream:

Amazon Prime Video (from $2.99), YouTube (from $14.99), iTunes (from $14.99), Google Play Movies and TV (from $14.99), Vudu ($14.99)

The Little Mermaid

One of the many Disney films based on a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, The Little Mermaid was released in 1989 as Disney’s 28th animated feature film and marked the start of the era known as the Disney Renaissance. The plot is now well known, following the journey of 16-year-old Ariel, mermaid and daughter of King Triton, as she makes a deal with the sea witch Ursula to give her legs in exchange for her voice in order to become human and fall in love with a human prince. The Little Mermaid was nominated for three Academy Awards in 1990 and won two. It also won at the Grammy’s and Golden Globes.

Where to Stream:

YouTube (from $17.99), Google Play Movies & TV (from $17.99), Vudu ($24.99)

Black Panther

Regardless of if you’ve been following the Marvel Cinematic Universe from the beginning or aren’t that into superhero films, Black Panther is one to add to your to-watch list. The film itself received numerous awards and nominations, including being the first superhero film to ever receive a Best Picture nomination. The film is set in Wakanda, an African nation that has hidden itself from the rest of the world to protect its knowledge and technology from falling into the wrong hands. Wakanda holds many secrets, one being the Black Panther, a warrior with superhuman abilities. Black Panther sits well within the other MCU films, or can easily be understood as a standalone film.

Where to Stream:

Netflix, YouTube (from $2.99), Google Play Movies & TV (from $2.99), Amazon Prime Video (from $2.99), Vudu (from $2.99)

Inside Out

With a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Inside Out currently remains the highest-rated animated film on the website. Critics seemed to agree with the Rotten Tomatoes reviewers, as the film earned 15 Best Picture, 21 Best Original Screenplay, and 40 Best Animated Feature nominations across more than 50 different organizations and associations, in addition to winning the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. The film explores the intricacies of emotions developing in 11-year-old Riley, personifying five basic emotions – Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, and Anger – as she learns to process her family’s move from her childhood home of Minnesota to San Francisco.

Where to Stream:

Starz, YouTube (from $2.99), iTunes (from $2.99), Amazon Prime Video (from $2.99), Google Play Movies & TV (from $2.99), Vudu (from $2.99)

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