Because you're still waiting for your Hogwarts letter, and you wouldn't mind having a nice little house in The Shire.
When you watch a movie, there are two kinds of enjoyment happening simultaneously. The first is the physical kind, where you enjoy the act of taking a break from what you’re doing, sitting down, getting comfortable, and relaxing for about an hour and a half as you watch the movie. The second has more to do with how a movie can stimulate your mind, drawing you out of your world and into its world, making you believe in characters and stories that don’t exist. This is what poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge called “suspension of disbelief,” a phenomenon that allows us to escape our reality and live in a different, more exciting one even if it’s only for a little while.
In my opinion, the best movies are the ones that achieve that suspension of disbelief the most. With this in mind, here’s a list of 10 movies that not only are good escapes, but also provide us with incredible worlds that we would all love to see and even live in.
Harry Potter (2001)
Of course, I had to start with the world of Harry Potter, the story of the young, orphan wizard who turned an entire generation into avid readers. We met him through J.K. Rowling’s books, but it was the movies that really made us dream we could live in his world, and experience magic in everyday life.
Black Panther (2018)
The first black superhero not only has super strength and agility, but he’s also the king of Wakanda, a fictional African nation that is the most technologically advanced in the universe. Here, black people are equals, happy and thriving, in a country that was built for them and by them thanks to a wonderful mineral called vibranium and the centuries of leadership that decided to keep Wakanda isolated from the rest of the world.
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
It’s no secret that anything by Wes Anderson is a dreamy, surreal, and beautifully photographed work of art, but of all of his movies, The Grand Budapest Hotel is the one where I’d like to live the most. The fading, pastel-colored hotel alone would make it worth it, but there’s also the series of quirky and eccentric characters, and all the magic of pre-war Europe.
The Princess and the Frog (2009)
This new Disney classic is a love letter to New Orleans and the bayous of Louisiana, and that alone earns it a spot on this list. While real-life southern Louisiana is no fairy tale, the one in this movie captures the essence of its culture, music, food, and legends. And of course, who doesn’t love a story about a princess who finds her true love?
What do you get when you mix in glorious cooking scenes, beautiful shots of Paris, and an adorable rat that dreams of becoming a world-class chef? One of the best animated movies in recent years, and one of my favorite animated movie universes.
Midnight in Paris (2011)
The movie’s protagonist is a writer who says that the one time he’d like to travel back to is the Paris of the twenties, and he gets his wish one night, when he ends up at a party with F. Scott Fitzgerald and all the other writers and artists who moved to Paris at the time. It’s the perfect movie for book lovers and anyone who gets carried away by nostalgia.
A Room With A View (1985)
In this Merchant Ivory classic, a young Helena Bonham-Carter travels to Florence with her aunt at the end of turn of the century. The city is everything her native England isn’t, and she’s soaking it all in, when she meets George, a handsome yet annoying young man who shows her a different way to live.
Lost in Translation (2003)
With all its lights and colors, Tokyo is one of the most exciting and beautiful cities ever to appear on film, and Sofia Coppola’s movie captures it perfectly. The movie tells the story of a young woman and older man who meet at their hotel and become friends over late-night conversations and some sightseeing. Both of them are lost, as the title implies, in a big city where everyone seems to know what they’re doing except for them.
The Mummy (1999)
Who wouldn’t like to see with their own eyes the wonder of Ancient Egypt? In this movie, a team of explorers and archaeologists come face to face with a cursed priest from thousands of years ago, surrounded by the beauty of the desert and the pyramids.
The Lord of the Rings (2001)
This trilogy is the reason why so many people have put New Zealand at the top of their travel bucket list. The story, based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s books, follows a journey that crosses Middle Earth in order to destroy a powerful ring. Both the medieval ambience and the breathtaking scenery will make you want to visit this far-flung island.
These movies are perfect for pajama parties, weeknight staying-in dates, and solo binge-watching marathons. Which one would you add to the list?