Five Ways to Pick the Best Rainy-Day Movies

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David Fincher directs this 2011 thriller inspired by the late author Stieg Larsson's successful trilogy of books. Daniel Craig stars as discredited journalist Mikael Blomkvist while Rooney Mara stars as computer hacker Lisbeth Salander. Together they set out to solve a 40-year-old mystery in taking on the case of Harriet Vanger. In the beginning of the film, the two are briefed by victim's uncle, who suspects she may have been killed by a member of their own family.
Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures
May 21st, 2012

There are many rainy-day movie lists available wherever movies are sold, rented and reviewed. Each list contains the writer's picks, but these may not be the same movies that pique your interests. In truth, movie selection is a matter of taste. No one can pick a better rainy-day movie list than you can. To help you with the process, you should follow a similar formula or set of rules for choosing movies that list writers use. Here are some of those rules and some movie suggestions to help get you started.

Pick Movies Like Morse Code
Rainy-day movie lists always include a combination of long and short movies. The choice of the combination is yours and usually matches the types of movies you like. Whatever you choose, think of Morse code when putting your movie list together. A long-short-long list could include action choices with drama and a comedy. "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is a good action choice, while "Titanic" could suffice for drama and "Get Him to the Greek" for comedy. Some people may go for the short-long-short in a list that includes "Bridesmaids" for comedy, "American Gangster" for action and "Letters to Juliet" for a dramatic choice.

Of course, these movie lists are mismatched, but you get the picture. The Morse code method ensures that you get a movie selection that matches your time allotment and attention span. It also ensures that you properly fill your rainy day.

Add a Pick-me-up to Break the Monotony
The Morse code method breaks up the time for movie watching but does little for the mood. This is especially true for people who choose only drama or only action movies for their rainy-day movie. One genre could get old and quickly lead to boredom. Boredom is agony on a rainy day. To avoid it, all rainy-day movie lists have an oddball selection to break up the genre binge. For example, a list that is action packed needs an adrenalin negative movie to break up the list. Add movies like "House of Sand and Fog" or "Color Purple" that have a little action to help segue you into these dramatic tear-jerkers. After these films, return back to your action-packed list with a new appreciation for the adrenalin rush.

This formula works with rainy-day chick-flick binges and comedies lists as well. Your monotony breaker should be a movie that has elements of the other movies in it. For example, there is some comedy in "Steel Magnolias." It is just enough to help transition you from your comedy list to this very dramatic film. Have tissues ready.

Don't Forget Your Go-to Favorite
All rainy-day lists have writers' all-time favorites included. A rainy day is probably the only time you will have to sit down and watch your favorite movie from start to finish. Although you may know all the lines and can predict every step, nothing is better than slipping an old favorite into the list. This includes guilty favorites. Admit it, "Overboard" is not one of Goldie Hawn's most shining moments in the movies. However, seeing her struggle to love and care for a herd of bratty boys and their rude father is quite funny. You always find yourself rooting for her alongside with the butler at the end.

Consider a Brain Teaser
Lists full of mindless comedies, screamer movies and other similar choices may fog the brain from lack of activity. Throw in a brain teaser to help you feel like you've accomplished something on the rainy day. Try to break the codes and find the killer with Tom Hanks in "Angels and Demons." Work alongside Robert Redford and against the clock in "Blood Work." Find out why Matthew McConaughey is a defense attorney afraid of his client in "Lincoln Lawyer." Let your brain work a little on this rainy day and you won't feel so hungover from mindless films once the day is done.

Get a Throwback Film or Two
Never underestimate the entertainment value of an old favorite. This is another common addition to the major rainy-day movie lists. The writers always include an older film. "Apocalypse Now" is a favorite amongst the lists because of its length and so is "2001: A Space Odyssey." You don't have to jump into such deep old movies with both feet. Start easy, with an original of a modern remake. For example, did you know that Adam Sandler's "Mr. Deeds" was a remake of the 1936 movie "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town." You know the Sandler version, so the original will be easier to watch for people who are not used to older films.

Another great throwback is the funny Lucille Ball version of "Yours, Mine and Ours." The movie parallels Rene Russo's go at the role but with a different type of humor that only Lucille Ball can deliver. You can also make comparisons between the movies and the time periods they were produced in. For example, both broods in Ball's version were biological kids of the parents, while Russo's bunch were a mix of bio-kids and adopted siblings.

No list of rainy-day movies can compare to the one you create for yourself. Use these suggestions to make the most of the cinematic downtime. Don't rely on someone else's judgment to make the decision. Thanks to online streaming, mail delivery and kiosk rentals, the entire catalog of every movie made since talkies is yours for viewing.