Submitted by hideandsink t3_11dm9w1 in movies

I have ADHD and I have struggled to make it through movies unless they grip me from the beginning (subjective, I know). I often have to watch them in “instalments” but this is disruptive (shock). I am slowly moving past this and I’d like to start watching more movies. Any genre. I just want to experience a good story. Or appreciate good cinematography.

If you had to choose one movie for someone who hasn’t watched any or many, which one would you pick?

I’ve already created a watch-list, but I just wanna make sure I haven’t missed any real good ones.



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cbbuntz t1_ja9qb27 wrote

I just mentioned uncut gems in another thread. You never get a breath the whole movie, so it kinda of keeps you from zoning out. Pretty stressful watch though


hideandsink OP t1_ja9r3qu wrote

I’ve been tempted to watch this so I will! Thank you


No_Cap_822 t1_ja9jfer wrote

Memento, Blade Runner 2049, Megamind, Spider-Man Into the Spiderverse, Arrival


VideoGuy1X t1_ja9jl4b wrote

Thief (1981)

Manhunter (1986)

The Lookout (2007)


FloridaFlamingoGirl t1_ja9jh5j wrote

Rear Window, Playtime, Cinema Paradiso, All The President's Men, Terminator 2


Small_Government2244 t1_ja9jlv7 wrote

The Truman Show, L.A. Confidential, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Miller’s Crossing, Casino


spiderinside t1_ja9l6me wrote

Die Hard

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Super Troopers

The Thing

The Shawshank Redemption


Fight Club

Edge of Tomorrow

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

First Blood

The Fifth Element

(Tried to think of classics that start strong and don’t let up, whether it’s action, drama, comedy, whatever).


hideandsink OP t1_ja9ohxl wrote

Thank you!! I appreciate the thought into your choices :)


-Morel t1_ja9m1yj wrote

Honestly I've had a great time just going down the Letterboxd Most Popular list, keeping in mind there will be a recency bias.

The first 12 movies you would see (assuming you've seen none) would be:


Knives Out

Everything Everywhere


The Batman

Fight Club

Pulp Fiction


Get Out




Which is just a solid list of very accessible bangers with one or two more contentious ones that nevertheless give a great starting point for enjoying films.


hideandsink OP t1_ja9orjl wrote

I’ve seen 7/12 of those and 5 already on my list! Just gotta add The Batman. Thank you! :)


ethanwnelson t1_ja9mie4 wrote

Check out Green Room (2015) it’s a gripping thriller from a great director, and, best of all, it’s only 95 minutes!


hideandsink OP t1_ja9oxb6 wrote

Thank you!! This is already on my list so I’ll move it up!


hifidood t1_ja9mpxo wrote

Remove distractions from the room (especially a phone) and watch a foreign film with subtitles (that way you HAVE to pay attention).


hideandsink OP t1_ja9pewk wrote

I try to not look at phone when I watch stuff, if I do I have to skip back. I may need to keep fidgets near me while I watch! I reeeaaalllyyy have to have the energy to watch foreign things with subtitles, it’s a massive commitment for me because it requires so much of my concentration. Saying that, one of my favourite movies is The Intouchables.


hifidood t1_ja9qkoi wrote

It's a tough endeavor, not going to lie. I don't even have ADHD but just like a lot of folks, the phone can be a really easy distraction and I have to battle myself to not get distracted by it too much. Hang in there!


misterfriend t1_ja9qmlu wrote

Grosse Pointe Blank might interest you, depending on your age.

Runners-up are The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, A Fish Called Wanda and Ghostbusters.

I have ADD (diagnosed in the 90s myself) and these are cross-genre movies I watch again and again. They're visually attractive without beating you over the head with it. The stories are well-paced as journeys and there's a certain amount of equality between all speaking characters. All relevant, all interesting people even if we focus on the protagonist.


hideandsink OP t1_ja9tq1b wrote

Ah thank you so much!!


misterfriend t1_ja9wezh wrote

I'm happy to, buddy. I have a few others, if you're curious. I may be a lot older than you, but I know the movies that keep me coming back, and I suspect they'll translate well for you. They keep your attention because you find yourself strangely invested in what happens next.

Big Trouble in Little China (give it a little time for lead-up into crazyland).

Goodfellas and Casino are movies that woo you with the glamour of the crime world and then carefully explain why it's a trap in the second act. Boogie Nights has similar themes.

Not only do I believe these movies will captivate you, but they might help you to "train yourself" to enjoy other movies as well. Developing an appreciation for something for ADD/ADHD people often requires for you to know what to look for in a good movie. When it just seems like a diarrhea of spectacle or a dry nothingburger, you have no anchor to accept why others might watch it, but it's there. I hope for anyone to love cinema, because it's always been my comforting escape.


hideandsink OP t1_ja9yg8f wrote

Goodfellas and Casino are already on my list, and I’ll add the others! Thank you, again.

I totally agree. I feel as though I know what to look for now in a good movie. I often find that I don’t remember whether I’ve seen movies or not because I lose so much of the plot due to not being able to pay attention all the way through. So when I remember a movie I know it’s good lol. I’m just trying to find good movies and appreciate them. I’ve found value in good storytelling and also the art of cinema so I’m quite keen to get into some good ones!

I do find that a lot of movies are just made for one to be made. I think I get somewhat frustrated because those seem to saturate the movie market for me. I get a little impatient because I feel like I’ve wasted my time if I’ve invested it in a movie that’s just not good.


misterfriend t1_jaa0xzt wrote

I don't like modern movies because they at some point switched both the format and the formula. They're hard for me to sit through, much less enjoy, and I admit that if it's made after 2012, they largely become background noise while I do housecleaning. They totally fail to pull me in, and if that goes beyond ten minutes, I'm pulling my hair out.

They just don't engage me as a person because they rely on me to automatically assume to know the characters without any exposition. A little heads-up to understand what they're all about really helps me to have any concern for them in the film's events. Instead, there is this idea that I am going to follow these vague people for an hour before some important revelation is given very late in the story. Not going to happen, sorry. Maybe that makes them more "real" to the audience, but reality is what I am trying to get away from when I watch movies. I'll enjoy an hour of character development if that makes the stakes in the action more palpable.

And you're definitely onto something with "memorable = good." John Williams' music is the secret weapon for both Spielberg and Lucas, because his themes are so recognizable and play in your head for days after. Movies scored by Jerry Goldsmith have a similar quality, but most people would agree that Williams is king. Pick up as many of their soundtracks as you can. When I was younger, just listening to them with my eyes closed was like watching a different movie every time.


hideandsink OP t1_jaa7047 wrote

Yeah I definitely think that’s my issue with modern movies. I’m 25 so I feel like I kinda grew up with those throwaway movies. So I do wanna get into the classics.

I feel that’s probably why I tend to prefer tv series to movies. I get to know the characters and kind of bond with them. I’m hoping to relate more to stories in movies, too. Which is why I’m seeking out more relatable stuff.

A good soundtrack is EVERYTHING. I’m very into music so if a movie has a good soundtrack, I’m definitely more likely to engage with and remember it. I’ll have a look into their stuff. Thank you so much!!


misterfriend t1_jaa9nzb wrote

I'm 48, and I remember when going to the movies didn't promise anything other than a bit of fun, and that was what I was in for. Otherwise, what I gained from them was a sense of structure, ideas that opened up my own imagination and on the odd occasion, a bit of education. Even a screwball comedy like Porky's is dumb fun, even if it's offensive and sometimes lame.

TV and gaming has virtually replaced cinema as entertainment, though I'll argue that cinema is superior because one can take years to produce a really good movie. The quality shows through when done right.

I prefer episodic tidbits on TV, which is also done away with, but making a comeback in the better shows. The Last of Us seems to be getting this right. By "episodic," I mean that there might be one overarcing plot, but you can distinguish one episode from the other because of events that happen and the characters that get focus. Very dialogue-heavy, and the motivations would be made clear through this method. You used to know Star Trek episodes by their name.

I mean, I could go on forever on the topic, and give you my top 100, but it looks like others are pouring it on. If you ever are looking for a specific subgenre film, or have a favourite, come and talk to me. I can always steer you towards more material of similar substance.


hideandsink OP t1_jaac3mt wrote

I do understand that some movies are just for a bit of fun. But it still takes the other qualities to build it and make it good. So many now just lack on all fronts.

I feel as though it does just play to ADHD well for me. The shorter watch time is one of them. And I enjoy familiarity, but that’s something I’m actively trying to combat. (I get waaay too comfortable in my comfort shows).

Ah, yes. I’m with you. I think that’s why I enjoyed Black Mirror so much. I still need to watch The Last of Us.

I’d really appreciate that! Thank you so much, Mister Friend


misterfriend t1_jaafh97 wrote

Yeah, all I meant by that comment was that the fun seems to have been taken out of it from some time, like they've somehow forgotten to include that aspect in movie making. Even dramas can have some element of ridiculousness, as Goodfellas and Casino do. Cartoonish, but vivid characters and events are what I pay money for. "Story" feels more like "content" to me without it.


hideandsink OP t1_jaago3g wrote

Sometimes ridiculous is good! It makes it more relatable because life isn’t serious 100% of the time. I’m with you on that!


Alan_Stanwyk t1_ja9rfyt wrote




Resevoir Dogs

Enter the Dragon



SoftPois0n t1_ja9rltt wrote

Understandable, my brother also has the same problem, I kinda force him to watch movies completely.

It kinda depends on what genres you enjoy the past or you like.

This my suggestion to you.


  1. The Dark Knight 2008
  2. Inception 2010
  3. Interstellar 2014
  4. Alien 1979
  5. Parasite 2019
  6. Avengers: Endgame 2019
  7. Avengers: Infinity War 2018
  8. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2018
  9. Coco 2017
  10. Joker 2019
  11. Toy Story 1995
  12. Inside Out 2015
  13. A Beautiful Mind 2001
  14. Jurassic Park 1993
  15. Monsters, Inc. 2001
  16. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 2011
  17. How to Train Your Dragon 2010
  18. Catch Me If You Can 2002
  19. Into the Wild 2007

Also, I use SIMKL for my Movies Tracking & watch list, you should use it as well, Might Help :)


hideandsink OP t1_ja9tyl2 wrote

Yeah I’m trying to force myself too lol. I do enjoy them, they’re just somewhat of a commitment for me.

I’ve already seen some of those that I love! I’ll add the rest and I’ll look into that, thank you so much :)


Alarming_Molasses_59 t1_ja9sajk wrote

Here’s a bunch of random suggestions, these are all high on my essentials list but I don’t think they are mentioned often enough:

Arrival (top of the list!)

Captain Fantastic

The Red Shoes

High and Low


Grand Budapest Hotel

The Witch

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

John Wick (all of them)


The Thing

Village of the Damned (1960)





hideandsink OP t1_ja9u5nm wrote

I’ve seen Grand Budapest Hotel and enjoyed that! The Incendies and Amelie are on my list already and I’ll have a look at the others! Thank you :)

ETA: I’ve also seen Taken cos I just love Liam Neeson.


zoethebitch t1_ja9vufi wrote

Days of Heaven (1978)

There isn't a lot of dialogue. The plot is slow moving so it's easy to follow.

The hook to keep watching is that it is one of the most beautiful movies ever made. It won the Academy Award that year for Cinematography and was nominated for three other Oscars. You can let the images wash over you like a warm waterfall.


hideandsink OP t1_ja9xdm9 wrote

This sounds incredibly peaceful! Thank you so much


Different_Beach_4590 t1_jaa8qn8 wrote

  • Nightcrawler

  • Prisoners

  • Don't breathe

  • This is the End

  • The Invisible Man

  • 10 Cloverfield Lane

  • Inception

  • Mad Max: Fury Road


josephcrios t1_ja9gpo8 wrote

Ad Astra, Life, Europa Report, Moon, Prestige, LOTR series.


antonimbus t1_ja9k1lw wrote

Marvel movies from the last 10 years are tailor-made for people with ADHD. The pacing of those movies are pretty consistent, for the most part they stick to the "A" plot, and the action is easy to follow.

For a movie that is less exploding colors, and more thoughtful, I think Memento will hold your attention. Each scene in Memento is like a mini-story that leaves you curious to see where it leads next, and into the next, and into the next. It has a manageable runtime and I think your astuteness will be rewarding.


hideandsink OP t1_ja9oca0 wrote

I get kinda overwhelmed with Marvel films. Memento is already on list so I’m move that up! Thank you :)