One of the most fun things a family can do at home is having a movie night. It’s a chance to bond over some movies, explore and get to know a different world, entrancing each other into whole different universes.
Our team made an effort to create a comprehensive Top 10 list of great movies that are suitable for a movie marathon – some are sci-fi, other are based in a fantasy world, basically there is something suitable for everyone.
Top 10 Movies that are marathon worthy
Spending quality time with family or friends, especially during the difficult 2020, has become the crutch for good mental health.
Having everyone you care about together, enjoying some good movies, in the comfort of your own home, is a wonderful way of revisiting some classics or even investing time into new universes.
1. Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Based on the fantasy novels of J.R.R Tolkien, the Lord of the Rings Trilogy explores a variety of topics. Based in a medieval setting, the movies display the intricate world-building abilities of the poet and literary genius many refer to as the Grandfather of Fantasy, and it’s exactly these intricate worlds that many of the Tolkien fans have come to love and expect.
There is a certain stigma surrounding movie adaptations of books, with the problem being the fidelity with which the story in the book is being portrayed on the movie screen. But fans of the books series rejoiced once the first movie came out in 2001, seeing that their beloved characters were honored with an attention to detail that is rarely seen in book to movie adaptations.
The movies themselves are a complex story of a journey and a battle between the forces of good and evil, with the forces of light coming together for a final show down at the gates, of what is imagined in this world, as hell on Earth.
With a total run time between all 3 movies of 11 hours and 36 minutes for the extended edition, movie viewers can immerse themselves into a whole different realm completely.
2. The Hobbit Trilogy
In regards to the timeline, the events of the Hobbit movies precede the events of the Lord Of The Rings, basically setting up the events that lead up to the Battle for Middle Earth. The movies depict a world found on the brink of an unknown darkness, stalking the land, disrupting the life of the denizens of the land, changing everything as they know it.
The main story follows the journey of Bilbo Baggins, a strange, adventurous hobbit, who joins the party of dwarfs, displaced from their homeland by an evil, powerful, gold hungry dragon. Much like the original Lord of The Rings trilogy, this trilogy is also based on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, again directed by Peter Jackson, the original director of the well-known and beloved saga.
With a total run time of 9 hours and 3 minutes, excluding credits, viewers can explore a much more different, darkening world, full of fantastical creatures, stories and adventures. If combined, the two trilogies of the Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit, viewers can expect a total run time of 20 hours and 23 minutes which is one of the longest marathons we have on our list.
3. Harry Potter movies
Harry Potter – The Boy Who Lived, or the Boy Wizard, is a captivating story adaptation of a long running books series by J.K. Rowling. This is one of the most influential and inspiring movie series, capturing the attention of an entire generation of children and adults alike.
When the books first came out, the world was taken by storm and because it for the first time so many children, all over world, read and followed with interest the life and story of a small wizard boy. So influential, in fact was it, that it spawned entire cultures and communities of fans of both the books and movies.
With 7 books and 8 movies in total, you and your family will live through the ups and downs of the life of Harry Potter, the main protagonist of a truly captivating, coming of age story based in the modern world but with a twist of magic and wizardry.
There is no doubt that there is no single person in this world who has not at least heard of Harry Potter, and if you have not you will be one of the lucky ones who are yet to enjoy the magical world of Hogwarts.
With a total run time of 19 hours and 40 minutes, this movie series is truly worthy for a marathon, both for people new to the story, and old viewers who would like to revisit the story of their favorite boy-wizard.
4. Jurassic Park & Jurassic World (1993 – 2019)
This movie franchise is well known for its innovations in motion capture and computer graphics, and it can be summarized as a mixture of the adventure and horror genres. The story of the movies revolves around the concept of revitalizing and reviving dinosaurs into the new age, introducing them into the world, whether for scientific purposes or for commercial by creating a zoo-like environment for the ancient beasts.
These are classic movies series, starting from 1993 with the first movie absolutely breaking all records for the weekend box office and why wouldn’t it? It’s a story about real life dinosaurs running around rampant on an island, hunting and eating humans.
If you are into adventure movies with sprinkled moments of suspense, then the Jurassic Park movies will be perfect for your movie night marathon.
It’s a motion picture full of suspense, with a lot of tough moments for the main characters and that model has been kept all throughout to 2019 when the last of the movies came out (called Jurassic World) with a mixed reception from the fans of the series.
There is a brand new movie scheduled to come out in 2022 to theaters and streaming services, making the total movie count to 7, with current movie count at 6.
5. Spider-Man – Original Trilogy (2002 – 2007)
There are many adaptations to the story of the beloved reporter turned super hero – Spider Man, but none are as remembered as the first trilogy starring Toby McGuire, a lovable, adorable actor who was the most well know Spider Man for the longest time. All three movies contain events depicted in the original comic books, with quite a lot of fidelity, despite what the original expectations were.
Thanks to its action packed nature, full of plenty of CGI, explosions and acrobatics, this movie series has become a home special favorite, either for its light nature or for making fun of. Granted, with the years, the movies have not aged well, at least in the eyes of many and some people view them just for turning their minds off and enjoying some well shot and choreographed scenes.
Regardless of what some think, the movies themselves set an entirely different tone to the Spider Man universe, being one of the first and most popular super hero movies in the early 00’s.
Their spunk and the performance of Toby McGuire has made them one of the most entertaining movie trilogies out there, worthy of a home movie marathon night.
6. Star Wars Movies – Old and New
With the recent developments in the Star Wars universe, what with the new movies coming out, it’s quite normal for a person to want to revisit the old, original trilogy.
When Star Wars: A New Hope came out in 1977, it was a revolutionary piece of art, not only for depicting a story as that of Luke Skywalker, but also for the special and practical effects efforts from the Lukas Art Film Studio which originally produced the movies.
George Lukas and Star Wars are one of the most well-known names in the entire world, barred the names of the characters themselves. With a total of 12 movies since 1977, the movie series have become one of the most viewed and sought-after viewer experiences in the entire world, racking more than 10 billion dollars in the USA alone.
There are 3 distinct trilogies, starting with the original trilogy of New Hope (Episode IV) – 1977, The Empire Strikes Back (Episode V) – 1980 and Return of the Jedi (Episode VI) – 1983.
The second trilogy, in terms of chronological order are The Phantom Menace (Episode I) – 1999, Attack of The Clones (Episode II) – 2002 and Revenge of the Sith (Episode III) – 2005, with the last, and most recent trilogy of The Force Awakens (Episode VII) – 2015, The Last Jedi (Episode VIII) – 2017 and The Rise of Skywalker (Episode IX) – 2019.
There are several ways of which you can start your marathon, either start by chronological order from 1977 to 2019 or start with the Phantom Menace and end with the Rise of Skywalker.
There are, however, 3 more movies that came out that are a part of the Star Wars universe, which are supplementary to the story, like Rogue One which is the story of how the Resistance got the plans for the Death Star which blew up the Death Star in the iconic Mark Hamill scene in A New Hope (1977).
Either way, you will be hard pressed to watch all of the movies in one sitting so pick and choose, but remember – „No, Try Not! Do or Do Not, There is No Try“.
7. Indiana Jones
The movies following the adventures of the archeologist, turned Nazi remover, Indiana Jones are one of the most iconic and well-known franchises in movie history. With the first movie „Raiders Of The Lost Ark“ being released in 1981 with George Lukas at the helm, it quickly became one of the highest grossing movies of the decade.
Running on the fame of Harrison Ford, the Indiana Jones movies quickly became a household name, with additional releases in 1984 (Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom), and 1989 (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade) being the final movie of the original trilogy.
Later, in 2008 a fourth Indiana Jones movie was released named Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
The theme of exploration of lost artifacts, hidden knowledge and history, uncovering deeply buried mysteries and adventures that follow, has made this movie series quite a well known and enjoyed target for a movie night marathon at home.
The total run time of all 4 movies combined is 9 hours and 57 minutes so they are quite suitable for a well-deserved break.
8. James Bond
Who doesn’t know of James Bond? The womanizing, gun slinging, sacred MI6 agent who has a license to kill, and kill he does. With more than 25 movies and still counting this is one of the most prolific movie franchises in cinema history – take you through the journeys, battles and sexual endeavors of the classic persona of the smooth character of James Bond.
Strangely enough, the name of the character was inspired by a gardener, with the original writer of the books which were the basis for the movies, claiming that it was his idea to create a smooth sounding name, but simply found it in that of his personal gardener. What makes these movies great are the actors who play agent 007, with the wonderful Sean Connery acting in 6 of the 25 movies.
With actors like Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig (the most recent Bond), you could easily feel getting swept away in the action packed, almost thriller like sensations of the world of the most dangerous man alive.
Gadgets, super fast cars, beautiful women and plenty of action are what make these movies great, but their greatest attribute is the elegant yet deadly persona of Bond himself.
Whether you choose to go for the newer movies starring Daniel Craig, or you are a fan of Sean Connery, just remember to take your popcorn shaken, not stirred.
9. The Matrix Movies
The Matrix movies are where Keanu Reeves made his mark in the annals of movie history, starring in the lead role as Neo – the chosen one. This movie franchises is one of the best depictions of serious philosophical questions regarding the truthfulness of our reality and our understanding of what is actual, and what is a construct of our imagination.
So much so, that the movie is being references as one of the beginnings of a strong „matrix“ based reality in which even cognitive and neurological scientists are taking an interest in. When you watch these movies you find yourself entertained by the carefully and dramatically choreographed fight scenes, with both kung-fu and bullets, and yet leaving your seat pondering the mysteries of existence itself.
Whatever your opinion is of the last of the movies (Matrix: Revolutions) it manages to wrap up some of the most important storylines explored in earlier movies, mainly the identity of the „Chosen One“ and the peace between the robots and humanity – finding a middle grown in said Chosen One.
And who can forget that the Matrix was the movie that popularized the well known, and now clichéd slow mo fight scenes.
10. Marvel Cinematic Universe
This is the biggest chunk of movie history to this day, with the series spanning more than 23 movies including all of the origin stories of your favorite super heroes like Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, and even, most recently, Ant-Man.
There is so much to this, in terms of timelines and stories, some of the most recent movies, after 2010, have started incorporating many of the facts of other movies, creating an entire universe where characters from one movie, interact with those of the others.
And since there is so much to watch, there are several ways for you to do so – you can either go by super hero, meaning Iron Man I through III, Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor movies, etc.
Or you can go for the Avengers movies, which recently became the highest grossing movie franchise in movie history, with the Avengers: End Game movie grossing more than 2,7 billion dollars at the box office, denouncing Avatar as the highest grossing movie in history.
These are the ultimate „turn your brain off and relax“ movies which don’t require you to do a lot of thinking, but rather take you on an action packed journey. Our recommendation would be to follow the story of the Iron Man movies, them being the start of an entire saga of films surrounding, more or less, the character of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.).
Just remember that it’s all about the journey and not the final destination, so don’t get too pent up about finishing them all, it would take you more than 3000 minutes or 2 full days and 2 hours of total watch time.
This is by far our most impressive selection of movies and trilogies, combined into some of the most amazing cinematic scenes, a great choice for our TOP 10 Movie night Marathon Ideas.
It won’t be a Top 10 list without some honorable mentions, while these movies did not make the cut, there is some merit to mentioning them in our list, as they might provide quite a lot of entertainment. There are some Marvel movies, some action flicks and some classic stories with which you can sit back and relax.
John Wick Trilogy
With the recent love that Keanu Reeves has been getting, it’s no wonder that the John Wick movies have been so successful and popular. While the films are action packed, with gory, well crafted fight scenes, the underlying tone is the fight for freedom from a life than no longer has any merit.
In the trilogy you follow the life of one of the most feared and infamous rent-a-killers (or assassins, as people like to call them) on Earth, exploring the inner workings of the underworld, discovering the secret societies of the assassins.
Cool shots, well crafted scenes and choreography and quite a lot of gun play, you can’t help but get mesmerized by the acting skills of Keanu Reeves and the actual training he has gone through to bring to life his most recent character.
Spider Man – Tom Holland Movies
„Not another Spider Man movie“ was the initial reaction of Spider-Man fans, but the interesting, youthful portrayal of the well known character has made quite a difference.
Tom Holland took the world by storm and has replaced the old trilogy and definitely overshadowed McGuire’s performance. Both „Home Coming“ and „Far From Home“ movies brought a breath of fresh air into the mix, landing a spot for the franchise into the marvel universe – even if it was just for 1 year.
Mission Impossible Trilogy
When thinking about an action flick classic, in the back of your mind you probably already know that Mission Impossible might be the best candidate for the title. These are some of the movies that solidified Tom Cruise’s spot as well-known and respected superstar, with impressive athletic and stunt coordination skills.
All three movies follow Ethan Hunt, the wronged CIA agent, who tries to escape the powers to be at the cost of a lot of property damage. These movies are well known for their action packed scenes and the unmistakable sound track – the acting, all of the action and well created scenarios are make these movies great.
While there are 6 movies in total, the original trilogy seems to encompass the overall zeitgeist of the era during which they came out.
Rivaling the Pierce Brosnan’s James Bond adaptations, Mission Impossible 1-3 have left a serious mark on the psyche of modern society and made them into an action classic.
Regardless if you like action packed films, or you want to find yourself into a mystery world, full of wonder and adventure, you are into darker stories or you simply want to sit back and relax, we are certain that here you can find something that befitting a proper Movie Night Marathon.
Just one tip from a cinephile – make sure to stay hydrated, walk for at least 5 minutes in between movies or your body will forget how to walk – and most importantly – remember to have fun.