In this age of digital distraction, streaming services have given us easy access to thousands of films from across the last century. I never need to rewatch a movie again! And yet here I am, queuing up Back to the Future for the nth time.

Because sometimes, you just want a known quantity, and some movies seem designed to be watched again and again. Others simply go down so agreeably that you can’t help but find them comforting. The pop culture critic Sarah D. Bunting has a name for these endlessly rewatchable flicks: poppy fields movies. Like the enchanted flowers outside the palace in The Wiard of Oz (see below), you can’t help but fall into them every time they’re on TV. (There’s also an entire podcast dedicated to them, called The Rewatchables, naturally.)

The criteria for a rewatchable film varies, but there are some common themes: Memorable set pieces, quotable dialogue, particularly colorful characters you love spending time with, and, most critically, a truly satisfying ending. It’s also matter of taste—I’ll rewatch Citizen Kane as readily as I’ll rewatch Charlie’s Angels—and nostalgia never hurts. Here are 40 films worth seeing more than once. Or twice. Or…

Back to the Future (1985)

What makes it rewatchable: Goofy, but heartfelt, and with just enough raunch (incest with mom? Oh my!) enough to give it a little edge, Back to the Future blends a perfect script with a breezy tone and indelible lead performances from Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd. It’s a comfort watch, but the obsessive level of detail (Twin Pines Mall becomes Lone Pine Mall) rewards multiple viewings.

Where to stream: Digital rental

Groundhog Day (1993)

What makes it rewatchable: The time loop has become a wee bit of a trope, but it’s never been done with as much charm as in this, one of its earliest and most iconic incarnations. Andie MacDowell is great, and Bill Murray is at his curmudgeonly best as he slowly comes to accept that moving forward in his life (both metaphorically and literally) might require changing everything about himself.

Where to stream: Digital rental

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

What makes it rewatchable: Everything I said about the satisfying time loop in Groundhog Day, but grafted onto an endlessly creative sci-fi action flick. Watching Tom Cruise get repeatedly slaughtered by aliens in increasingly hilarious ways never gets old. See also: Emily Blunt in power armor.

Where to stream: Digital rental

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

What makes it rewatchable: A feel-good prison story that incorporates elements of murder, corruption, and money-laundering, Shawshank is bittersweet (the title’s promised redemption arrives more-or-less on schedule) but never cloying. Happy endings are easy, but this one offers something harder won, and a bit more satisfying, making this Stephen King adaptation more than simple comfort food. The movie also has the résumé to back up its rep: it was a cable-TV mainstay for decades, creating a sense of familiarity fed by its ubiquity.

Where to stream: AMC+, digital rental

Soul Food (1997)

What makes it rewatchable: It’s a movie about family and the power of community, big-hearted without being treacly. It’s also the kind of thing that gets played at many a holiday gathering.

Where to stream: Digital rental

Black Panther (2018)

What makes it rewatchable: There are plenty of rewatchable movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (I’m no snob), including the very first one, Iron Man. But Black Panther, even with its ties to the broader superhero landscape, is one of the few that feels like a standalone movie in its own right—complete and satisfying on its own. Chadwick Boseman leads a stellar cast in a film that blends solid action and drama with some deeper themes. And points for general quality: It took 18 movies before a Marvel Studios movie was lead by a Black lead and director, and the only one to receive a Best Picture Oscar nomination.

Where to stream: Disney+, digital rental

A Christmas Story (1983)

What makes it rewatchable: After years of back-to-back holiday marathons and merchandising, A Christmas Story became very much a victim of its own slow-building success (it did OK at the box office, but not well enough to warrant its afterlife). So, in one sense, A Christmas Story is rewatchable because we’ve had no other choice. That oversaturation, though, hasn’t completely dulled the film’s charms, nor lessened its innovations: it’s cynical about the holiday season, serving as a bit of counter-programming that’s often genuinely funny, but it’s not so dark that the whole family can’t watch. It’s sort of like curling up with a good memoir.

Where to stream: Digital rental

Die Hard (1988)

What makes it rewatchable: A great action movie needs a great protagonist, and benefits tremendously from a great setting. This one has both—Bruce Willis is doing all the stuff we like about Bruce Willis, and the Nakatomi Plaza setting is brilliantly utilized—we understand the space and therefore always know where John McClane is in relation to the terrorists. It’s all very carefully constructed.

Where to stream: Hulu, digital rental

The Thin Man (1934)

What makes it rewatchable: The boozy chemistry between all-time greats Myrna Loy and William Powell gives The Thin Man the kind of loose energy that makes it not only easy to rewatch, but a joy, whether or not you’re paying any attention to the central murder mystery. The other Thin Man movies are good, but none is quite as good (nor nearly as endlessly rewatchable) as the original.

Where to stream: Digital rental

The Princess Bride (1987)

What makes it rewatchable: Endlessly quotable, The Princess Bride is a masterwork of tone, mixing in disparate elements in just the right measures. It’s a parody and a farce, a fairy tale, a fantasy, and a genuinely satisfying love story that adds in pirates for good measure. It’s weird, but not so much as to be off-putting, and always returns to the central character relationships whenever things are getting too silly. It movies from memorable scene to memorable scene effortlessly, which ensures that it’s nearly as enjoyable in bits and pieces as it is from beginning to end.

Where to stream: Disney+, digital rental

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

What makes it rewatchable: Unlike many beloved classics, The Wizard of Ozwasn’t the slow build its reputation sometimes suggests: The movie actually did very well in theaters initially, and only built its popularity through theatrical re-releases and then endless TV airings. It has hardly lost any steam over the past eight decades. And why would it? It’s a fun all-ages fantasy and a singable musical with a career-making lead performance, with themes around childhood anxieties that still more-or-less hold up.

Where to stream: Max, digital rental

Mean Girls (2004)

What makes it rewatchable: Written by Tina Fey (shortly before she became a household name), the script balances super sharp comedy with an incisive understanding of high school politics and a worthwhile message about the hollowness of the drive to be the best and prettiest.

Where to stream: Paramount+, digital rental

Bring It On (2000)

What makes it rewatchable: Another endlessly repeatable teen comedy…but Bring It On is also a secret sports movie and a stealth musical (if you consider elaborate dance sequences set to music in the same light as characters bursting into song), two genres with comforting formulas that stand up to repeated viewings. As much fun as it is to witness the literal gymnastics on display, it’s also a kick to watch a very young Kirsten Dunst and Gabrielle Union snipe at one another.

Where to stream: Starz, digital rental

Friday (1995)

What makes it rewatchable: It doesn’t all hold up perfectly (the women here are mostly the objects of the jokes), but there’s still a reason Friday became a cult classic. At a time when white America was particularly worked up about rap and hood culture, it dared to have a little fun. And when it’s funny, it’s really funny.

Where to stream: Digital rental

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

What makes it rewatchable: A triumph of imagination in a sea of…well, a lot of same-y superhero movies (plenty of them spider-related). The animation is gloriously energetic and innovative, and in service to a twisty, multi-layered story that’s thrilling, uplifting, and genuinely poignant, in the best Spider-tradition.

Where to stream: Digital rental

Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

What makes it rewatchable: In many ways, this rom-com feels like a throwback in the best possible way: economics professor Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) has no idea that her New York boyfriend Nick (Henry Golding) is heir to a real estate empire as part of an extravagantly wealthy Singapore family. The fish-out-of-water comedic elements never get so silly that we’re not very focused on the core relationship, and Michelle Yeoh as Nick’s mother makes for a brilliantly vicious, but also very human, foil. All that, plus an exploration of a place and a culture we don’t often visit in Western movies.

Where to stream: Digital rental

Aliens (1986)

What makes it rewatchable: The Ridley Scott original is a brilliantly tense haunted spaceship flick, but the James Cameron-helmed sequel is quite simply one of the most efficient blends of action and horror in the history of either genre. The ’80s produced a lot of action stars, but it’s hard to argue that Sigourney Weaver doesn’t run rings around all of them in her fight to escape the alien queen.

Where to stream: Max, Digital rental

Titanic (1997)

What makes it rewatchable: There’s a reason James Cameron is one of our most financially successful directors: He knows how to serve up a satisfying movie, even when what’s on offer is tragic melodrama. This is epic storytelling on a truly grand level—the kind of movie they don’t make anymore, and didn’t in 1997, either. It was much rewatched even before it left theaters during its initial run, with people returning multiple times to goggle at the spectacle and weep into their popcorn (I am people, in this scenario).

Where to stream: Paramount+, Prime Video

All About Eve (1950)

What makes it rewatchable: Pound for bitchy pound, I’m not sure that you’ll find a better screenplay than writer/director Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s for All About Eve, buoyed by the most memorable performance in the extremely memorable career of Bette Davis. A smart, sassy delight from start to finish.

Where to stream: Digital rental

Charlie’s Angels (2000)

What makes it rewatchable: Deeply goofy in all the right ways, the action-comedy take on the venerable franchise soars in its campy sense of style, while also delivering some truly impressive, larger-than-life action sequences. Leads Lucy Liu, Cameron Diaz, and Drew Barrymore look like they’re having a ton of fun, and the vibe is infectious.

Where to stream: Digital rental

Steel Magnolias (1989)

What makes it rewatchable: Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be gay to have seen Steel Magnolias dozens of times…though it doesn’t hurt. Throw Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine, Daryl Hannah, Olympia Dukakis, and Julia Roberts into a movie that rather flawlessly blends melodrama with quotably bitchy comebacks, and we’re in for good laughs, alongside a few good cries.

Where to stream: Digital rental

RRR (2022)

What makes it rewatchable: The jury’s still out on whether India-made RRR will remain a popular favorite over time, but I’m here to make the case that it ought to. It’s long, sure, but in the course of its runtime we get musical numbers, romantic drama, buddy comedy (by “buddy” I mean they should kiss), and action sequences that put modern Hollywood blockbusters to shame. The much-memed sequence in which a truck full of wild animals is set loose in the compound of white colonial administrators during the era of the British Raj is a masterclass in rewatchable movie moments all on its own.

Where to stream: Netflix

Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

What makes it rewatchable: We love a heist, and this one is cleverly constructed in the ways in which it goes right, and then wrong, and the setup and execution are slippery enough that you kind of forget how it all goes down between viewings. The all-star cast adds panache.

Where to stream: Digital rental

Rogue One (2016)

What makes it rewatchable: It’s Ocean’s Eleven in a galaxy far, far away, but with much higher stakes and a lot of pew-pew laser battles. I defy anyone to turn it off once the Battle of Scariff sequence kicks in.

Where to stream: Disney+, digital rental

The Fugitive (1993)

What makes it rewatchable: Aside from the innumerable charms of early ’90s Harrison Ford and a breakout performance from Tommy Lee Jones, this cat-and-mouse thriller is excels at “the process-y bits,” showing you every step in dueling investigations: unjustly accused murderer Richard Kimble’s (Ford) efforts to find out who killed his wife and framed him for the crime, and a U.S. Marshall’s (Jones) attempts to track him down and put him back in the slammer. And who could forget that waterfall scene?

Where to stream: Digital rental

The Color Purple (1985)

What makes it rewatchable: Though this is a Black story told by a largely white team behind the camera, it’s Steven Spielberg at his most humane. The multigenerational story includes some of the best actors of their generations playing some of their most memorable characters. While not everyone gets a happy ending, the conclusion is about as satisfying as they come.

Where to stream: Tubi, digital rental

Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

What makes it rewatchable: It’s just tremendous fun, with jokes that remain funny and gravity-defying dance numbers that all look effortless, even when it’s clear that the incredibly talented cast must’ve been working their asses off in order to make things look so easy.

Where to stream: Max, digital rental

North by Northwest (1959)

What makes it rewatchable: Another one that works whether you’re paying attention or not, Hitchcock knew that the singular charms of his heroes and villains were more than enough to carry a picture, provided that the action set pieces offered suitable thrills. I’m not even sure what the baddies are after here, but I’ve never turned it off.

Where to stream: Tubi, digital rental

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

What makes it rewatchable: Raiders of the Lost Ark remains the best of the series, but a good case can be made that Last Crusade is the more rewatchable entry (I’m sure I’m not alone in having seen both of them plenty of times). Crusade is a bit lighter than its predecessor, a little bit looser and more fun, with great chemistry between Harrison Ford and Sean Connery.

Where to stream: Disney+, Paramount+, digital rental

Ghostbusters (1984)

What makes it rewatchable: Making wacky comedies that were also kind of art was a particular skillset that ‘80s filmmakers seemed to possess, and there’s a meticulousness to the film’s construction that belies the cynical-but-easygoing vibe that Bill Murray personifies. It’s goofy, but it all holds together. (The 2016 remake lacks the solid construction that made this one a classic, but is also thoroughly rewatchable for its similarly talented cast; a hill I shall die on).

Where to stream: Peacock, digital rental

Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993)

What makes it rewatchable: The first Sister Act is a better movie, a highlight of the era when we were moving away from R-rated sex comedies into more family-friendly fare (for better and worse). But the second Sister Act is both more real with its characters’ move into the inner city, but also campier and weirder in its efforts to blend the Lean on Me-style school drama with a singing nuns/mistaken-identity farce. Nineties kids instantly recognize the jams, mom jeans, and spontaneous break-dancing as signifiers of the era. It also builds to a genuinely joyful finale, even if you’re a bit embarrassed for the white boy rapping in overalls.

Where to stream: Disney+, Tubi, digital rental

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

What makes it rewatchable: In these days of manufactured camp, there’s more value than ever in something that’s simply the product of queer weirdos putting their heads together. Most frequently experienced as a communal event, and demanding very little beyond a willingness to sing along and maybe pull on some fishnets, it’s the kind of movie that, I suspect, very few people have seen just once.

Where to stream: Digital rental

Coming to America (1988)

What makes it rewatchable: There’s a great supporting cast here, but this is Eddie Murphy at his ‘80s best—wildly funny, and just profane enough. It’s just scene after memorable scene.

Where to stream: Digital rental

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

What makes it rewatchable: It is, by far, the most standalone of the many Star Trek movies, working on its own as a sci-fi cat-and-mouse movie with a wildly memorable protagonist. [Editor’s note: Star Trek VI though?]

Where to stream: Max, digital rental

New Jack City (1991)

What makes it rewatchable: It’s several things at once, and does them all well. New Jack City is a serious, thoughtful crime crime drama; it’s an impressively thrilling action movie; and it’s a time capsule of ‘90s cool, as epitomized by Wesley Snipes.

Where to stream: Tubi, digital rental

Casablanca (1942)

What makes it rewatchable: The iconic movie of Hollywood’s golden age, you know the lines (and the ending) even if you’ve never seen it. If you have seen it, it’s unlikely you’ve seen it only once.

Where to stream: Max, digital rental

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors (1980)

What makes it rewatchable: Slasher fans are loyal (putting my hand up), so a list of rewatchable movies could easily be overrun with Freddys, Jasons, Michaels, and Ghostfaces. So, though this choice is slightly arbitrary, Dream Warriors is Freddy at his height, still scary in the era just prior to his wise-cracking huckster phase. Every scene/kill here is memorable on its own, and there’s an almost Avengers-like quality to the anti-Freddy team that assembles to bring him down.

Where to stream: Netflix, digital rental

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

What makes it rewatchable: Ferris is the coolest kid in school, somehow managing that without being insufferable (mostly). There are elements to his laid-back attitude and concern for his friends that most of us could stand to learn from. This is another that goes from memorable scene to memorable scene.

Where to stream: Paramount+, Hulu, digital rental

Attack the Block (2011)

What makes it rewatchable: A band of outsiders teams up to stop an alien invasion on a council estate. It’s energetic and action-packed, with memorable characters and even more memorable aliens. Plus, it’s the movie that teamed up a future Star Wars lead (John Boyega) with a future Doctor Who (Jodie Whitaker).

Where to stream: Digital rental

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)

What makes it rewatchable: Ripped from the pages of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s heavily manga-influenced graphic novel series, this 2010 Edgar Wright underperformer seemed designed to play better on a second (of fifth) viewing. The humor is incredibly dense, every shot peppered with background gags and onscreen graphics, and the episodic plot—with goofy loser “hero” Scott going up against his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriends in cartoonish one-on-one showdowns—recreate the experiences of moving from level to level in a video game you just can’t put down.

Where to stream: Max, Digital rental