What makes a movie rewatchable?

As films have evolved over time and the medium has become more state of the art, the quality that distinguishes many movies as some of the greats of all time is the desire to revisit them. In a recent poll, fivethirtyeight.com revealed a list of the most rewatchable films ever, which included the Star Wars franchise, The Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music, and Gone With The Wind.

So, what makes films like these hold up to multiple viewings over the course of time? Here are some factors:

Pure entertainment

Many popular film franchises like Star Wars, Indiana Jones, The Lord of the Rings, and Back to the Future have drawn huge DVD and Blu-ray sales for the simple fact that they are endlessly entertaining films that share a magical and timeless quality. Other successful franchises like The Avengers and Harry Potter are driven by the joy of the communal experience. You want to see these movies in the company of others, over and over again.

Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe in a scene Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.

One isn't enough

Many films also require multiple viewings simply to absorb the story. Films with major plot twists or developments, like The Usual Suspects, The Sixth Sense, and Inception are worth revisiting to grasp what happened and view them with a different perspectives. Similarly, some rewatch like Memento or Donnie Darko, which are intricate in construction and lack clear answers, to formulate theories and answers (or more questions).

The Usual Suspects

Savoring the classics

Some film scholars have taken movies like The Godfather or Citizen Kane and examined them shot by shot to explore the the vision and detail with which Francis Ford Coppola and Orson Welles crafted their respective masterpieces. Of course, you don't have to be a film scholar to appreciate the classics. The experience of a great movie should resonate with the audience long after its initial viewing, and continued watching may solidify the impact of a film.

Orson Welles in Citizen Kane

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