Lights, Camera, Cozy: A Beacon guide to a movie night in

By The Beacon | October 12, 2022 5:00pm
The Beacon gives some movie recommendations for the perfect movie night.
Media Credit: Emma Sells / The Beacon

As the weather slowly gets cooler and the leaves start to change color, staying bundled up inside becomes not only more acceptable but also much cozier. 

Fall is a great time to stay in and watch some movies with some friends. Choosing what movie to watch however can be difficult especially when in a larger group. The Beacon has compiled a list of movies to get you started on your perfect movie night.

“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”

Recommended by Brie Haro, Editor-in-Chief

Life for photo developer Walter Mitty seems monotonous. After working for 16 years as the manager of the negative assets sector for Life Magazine, he gets stuck in the routine of working day in and day out. However, his life was turned upside down after he and his colleagues were let go while their publication was going all digital. This sends Mitty on a spiral about what his life has been centered around for the past decade. He goes in and out of daydreams about what his life could look like but ultimately focuses on his career and subconsciously lives his life through the photos he develops. At the end of the day, he does his job and does it well, but after finding out he is missing the quintessential cover photo for the last print edition, it sends him on a journey chasing the photographer who took the photo, making him live the life he has always dreamed of. 

Getting in the school and work groove can get repetitive and I often catch myself daydreaming about a more adventurous life. It’s safe to say that this is a very cathartic watch. You feel the same emotions as Ben Stiller’s character, Walter Mitty, and are whisked away on adventure after adventure giving you a refreshed perspective on what it means to live. Spoiler alert, it’s about doing. Every time I watch this movie it makes me want to quit my longing for a more adventurous life and just start making the changes to start seeing it that way. Whether it’s switching up which coffee shop you study at or finally going on that hike you’ve been talking about, just do it, and do it for yourself. 


Recommended by Kate Cuadrado, News & Managing Editor

Ari Aster’s first feature film depicts a family in grief after the death of the family matriarch. Her daughter Annie, played by Toni Collette, grapples with strange happenings following her mother’s death and witnesses how her own two children begin to change for the worse. 

If there is one thing I love more than watching horror movies during the fall, it's watching horror movies during the fall that star Toni Collette. “Hereditary” is visually terrifying as well as wholly unsettling, exactly what I look for in the perfect horror movie. Even though I know the twist ending now, I still watch this movie every season since it came out four years ago because it's just that good. This movie isn't for the faint of heart, but if you’re a horror movie fan or just someone looking for a good fright during the spooky season, “Hereditary” is the movie for you. 

“Fantastic Mr. Fox”

Recommended by Lulu Heffernan, Living Section Editor

Mr. Fox works as a columnist and lives with his family in a hole and wants a better place to live. He finds a tree that seems like the perfect fit but is close to three different farmers — making it a danger zone. Wanting to relive his glory days of being a thief, Mr. Fox begins to steal from the farmers and a battle between the animals and the farmers ensues. 

This is such a cozy and nostalgic movie, especially since Wes Anderson makes his movies feel like story books in motion. It’s a great choice for the fall when wanting to feel cozy and snuggled up inside. To make it better, you and your friends could dress up as the characters and drink apple cider and pretend you stole it from an angry farmer. 

“Fargo (1996)”

Recommended by Wilder Isom, Sports Editor

Set in Minnesota, “Fargo” follows Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy) a car salesman who’s so deeply in debt that he comes up with a plan — kidnap his wife in order to get her ransom money. He hires two thugs to do the job, Carl Showalter and Gaear Grimsrud (played by Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare). However, things go awry when three killings occur and a peppy pregnant police officer (Francis McDormand) takes the case. 

This movie sounds like a cut-and-dry mystery but ends up being so funny and unexpected. There are never movies set in Minnesota so hearing a police officer do her work with a heavy accent is very entertaining. It’s also a very cold-looking movie so it’s a great excuse for hot apple cider or hot cocoa. If you’re over 21 it’s a great opportunity for a hot toddy or a wassail — a hot cider-inspired drink from the midwest. Additionally, Buscemi as a subpar thug is very fun to watch as is McDormand as a happy-go-lucky cop.  

“The Princess Bride”

Recommended by Emma Sells, Multimedia Editor

Based on the thrilling novel by William Goldman, this fantasy film follows Princess Buttercup as she encounters evil princes, dangerous journeys, true love, and adventure throughout the kingdoms of Florin and Guilder. Along the way, we meet several characters each with their own intense and mysterious backstories, watching as they all come together to save Buttercup and reunite two long lost lovers.

The “Princess Bride” starring Cary Elwes and Robin Wright is a perfect blend of action, romance, adventure, and comedy. The film earned an impressive 97% on Rotten Tomatoes and is well-loved and critically acclaimed across the world (aka, this movie slaps). “The Princess Bride” is perfect for movie night because it has something for everyone. Whether you’re a fan of comedic films, love to see adventure on the big screen, or enjoy romantic movies, “The Princess Bride” fulfills your wishes for a movie. 

“Ex Machina”

Recommended by Michael Lang, Opinion & Faith Editor

The movie is about a young programmer named Caleb who spends a week with a billionaire named Nathan to perform tests with Nathan's new female A.I. robot, Eva. However, as the movie progresses, Nathan begins to constantly doubt whether he should trust Nathan or Eva given the relationships he quickly develops between the two, calling into question the empathy within humans vs. A.I.

This sci-fi movie would be good for a movie night because the doubt within Caleb is transposed to the audience. It also gives a look into our digital future and how scary the progression of technology can become with the possibility of A.I. manipulating us.

“Your Name”

Recommended by Janea Melido, Copy Editor

This movie follows the life of two people whose paths will seemingly never cross– Mitsuha, a teenage girl living in the countryside of Japan and Taki, a boy living in the heart of Tokyo. After both experience dreams where they are living the life of another person, they quickly realize that they’re swapping bodies and have to make adjustments to their lives and somehow communicate with each other. 

The animation is beautiful, the soundtrack is a blessing and the plot will make you reconsider what identity and love entails. “Your Name” touches the heart and leaves you wanting more of the characters, even after the movie is over. With a celestial element being heavily significant in the plot of this fantasy/romance, setting up a dim room with colored lights — LED or projector — will have you and your friends fully immersed in the movie, taking you on the journey that Mitsuha and Taki endure. 


Recommended by Chiara Profenna, DEI Editor

“Midsommar” follows the relationship of Dani and Christian as they take their rocky relationship overseas to experience the midsummer festival in a small Swedish village. Traveling with friends, the group immerses themselves in the culture and picks up the norms, experiencing the peace and quiet of their idyllic life. Things slowly start to unravel as the bizarre and disturbing festival rituals point to a more sinister celebration.

“Midsommar” is a folk horror movie masterpiece. Uncomfortable, spooky and disturbing, you truly cannot go wrong with it for the perfect Halloween movie night. The cinematography is beautiful, the plot is nuanced and complex, and Florence Pugh puts on an exceptional performance. Pair your watch party with a Midsommar-inspired may queen lemonade and some cozy blankets to hide under when things get hairy.

“Midnight in Paris”

Recommended by Kimberly Cortez, Community Engagement Editor

While vacationing in Paris with his fiance, aspiring novelist Gil Pender has a strange encounter late one night while walking the streets of the city of love. He somehow travels back in time to the 1920s to meet some of the most prominent figures of the Lost Generation. Through various nights of traveling back in time, Gil is forced to confront his flaws and the things in his life that are holding him back. 

This movie is for my writers out there. Not only do we get to see some of the most prolific writers and artists imagined on screen, the plot is also easy to follow along and resonates. Rom-coms tend to have a bad reputation, but this movie goes beyond romantic funny mishaps. It explores the creativity of the imagination and really allows the audience to be fully immersed in the 1920s aesthetic. Get cozy, have a glass of wine, a nice pasta dinner, and this movie will complete a good night. 

“Blair Witch Project”

Recommended by Tiffany Marquez-Escobar, Reporter

A group of friends go into the woods of a small town to film a documentary about the local legend called the Blair Witch. They lose their map and get trapped in the middle of the woods while they get tormented by an unknown entity. 

It’s finally the perfect time to start watching scary movies. This was one of the most unique horror movies I have ever seen because it’s filmed like a documentary. You only see the perspective of the main characters, which makes it scarier. I watched this movie with my roommates one night for the fun of it and although we did end up getting pretty freaked out, I think we all enjoyed watching it together. 

“Captain Fantastic”

Recommended by Riley Martinez

In order to protect their children from what they see as the ills of modern society, two parents raise their family in the forest away from the rest of the population. Under their parent’s devoted guidance, the children grow up to be exceptionally fit, intelligent and well-adapted to living off the grid. But when the family must re-enter society when the mother dies, the resulting culture shock is so profound that it causes conflict amongst them, compelling everyone to question their distinct way of living.  

“Captain Fantastic” makes a good movie night for a few reasons. For one, it’s funny—lots of irony and pointed humor throughout. At the same time, the movie employs that humor to underscore its targeted themes and ideas. It touches on politics, ideology, social norms, behavior, child development, parenting, and so much more. Not only will you and your friends have a good laugh, but you’ll also have plenty of wildly interesting things to talk about when the credits roll. And personally, I think this movie is great for watching outside on a projector screen, so get to it before the rain comes this fall.

“Nacho Libre”

Recommended by Sophia Truempi, Reporter

The main character Ignácio (Jack Black) is an orphan who has had a dream of becoming the best freestyle wrestler (luchador) in the world since he was a child. When he becomes an adult, he is still living at the monastery working as a cook for the monks and orphans, yet his dream is still the same. While wandering about one day, he comes across the great wrestler, Ramses, and he hears about a tournament for new wrestlers. In no time, he makes a wrestling uniform out of random items and enters the tournament dubbing the nickname “Nacho.” The rest is history, including him falling in love with a nun in the orphanage.

If you want to laugh until you are basically peeing your pants you should watch this. The movie takes you through the whole life of Ignácio where you get to live through his dreams and big, tender heart. It is fast-paced, incredibly hilarious and extremely quotable. Aside from the fact that you will be laughing the whole time at the goofy style humor, this movie also relates to those who feel they are trapped doing something they don’t love and are longing to follow their dreams. Watch this feel-good story with your friends and you will not regret it.

“Everything Everywhere All At Once”

Recommended by Carlos Moreno-Vega, Reporter

Evelyn, an aging Chinese American immigrant, is facing a multitude of financial and familial problems– IRS auditing, a struggling laundromat and an increasingly distant daughter. She’s lived through many failures that make her dissatisfied with her current life. One day, Evelyn gains the power to jump across different universes’ versions of herself as an interdimensional rift opens and all of existence becomes threatened. Using her newfound multiversal powers, Evelyn must stop the destruction of the universe while managing her own personal struggles.

If the title alone doesn’t give it away, this film is extremely overwhelming and intense in the best way possible. It makes the MCU’s current handling of the multiverse concept embarrassing. Besides its themes touching on nihilism, family and Asian American identity, the film is extremely funny and filled with amazing action choreography. Given the overwhelming nature of the film, it is extremely absurdist and finds the perfect balance between presenting serious topics in a comedic way. While it might be too intense for some people to follow, if you love action movies with layers of meaning, I can’t recommend it enough. A huge theme in the movie is the importance of the love and connection between friends and family, so it’s absolutely perfect to watch while hanging out with the people closest to you.


Recommended by Netty Jurriaans, Reporter

Judy Hopps — a bunny with aspirations to become a cop — leaves the safety of Bunnyburrow and heads towards her new career on the police force in the big city, Zootopia. Hopps takes on a missing otter case to find Emmitt Otterton and befriends Nick Wilde, a sly fox who ends up lending a helping hand along the way. Hopps is led to new discoveries about the heart of Zooptopia and how the animals are truly being treated. A heartwarming story turns into a captivating adventure where viewers will find that a “dumb” bunny and a “sly” fox can come together to make Zootopia a better place.

Now I know what you may be thinking — “Zooptopia” is a children's movie, but I am here to tell you that it is actually one of the most thought provoking movies you will ever see. Themes of xenophobia, steroptying and racism are represented by the “prey” and the “predators”. The control that the prey have and the fear they have of the predators is a parallel to our current society. This movie doesn't just make you think, it also makes you laugh, cry, dance, scream … all the most necessary things for a movie night. You won't be able to take your eyes off the screen. The sound track is phenomenal and it is truly just a top tier movie, and it's perfect for all age groups. 

“Monty Python and the Holy Grail”

Recommended by Charlie Rogers, Reporter

King Arthur and his incredibly stupid, oblivious humor embark on a journey around England in search of Knights of the Round table. He encounters challenge after challenge during his quest, including facing the Knights who say “Ni!” (which I guess is a dangerously powerful word? If someone wanted to fill me in on why they say ‘ni’ that would be great) and also attempt a Trojan Rabbit but forget the main part of the Trojan Horse-inspired attack; being inside the Rabbit when the enemy opens it. Written and starred by John Cleese and the rest of the Pythons, Monty Python shows its great impact in witty feature films and breaking the fourth wall in comedy as a whole. 

Each time I watch “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” I pick up on things in the movie that I had never caught before. The opening credits immediately sets the broken-fourth-wall-tone of the movie by adding a fake Swedish translation (for no obvious reason), something that I had never picked up on before. If you’re in the mood for a witty comedy movie with so much dad-humor you’re sure to laugh and also feel a little uncomfortable at the same time, have a laugh with the pals and watch Monty Python.

“10 Things I Hate About You”

Recommended by Ellie Black, Reporter

Kat and Bianca Stratford are the very antithesis of each other. Butting heads over social life, prom, and all other stereotypically high school topics, their lives are in constant conflict. Bianca is idealized by many suitors, but is not able to go out with any of them due to her father’s rule that Kat must date before her. A relationship is the last thing on Kat’s mind, but she gets pulled into the drama of the high school dating scene due to the manipulation of her sister’s love interests. A rom-com based on the Shakespearean classic The Taming of the Shrew, 10 Things I Hate About You touches on a lot of relatable themes of navigating social pressures, family drama and being vulnerable while maintaining your independence. 

Run, don’t walk to watch “10 Things I Hate About You.” This movie is not only quick moving and witty, but has an absolutely killer soundtrack (que F.N.T) and an engaging storyline that has something to offer everyone. It is a film near and dear to my heart, made much better with the pairing of hot apple cider and the drizzle of rain in the background. 

“What We Do in the Shadows”

Recommended by Sydney Gannon, Reporter 

A crew of New Zealand documentary filmmakers investigate the lives of a group of vampire flatmates living in Wellington. Despite their secretive nature, these vampires are no Cullens. Blood-sucking immortals Viago, Vladislav, Deacon and Petyr spend their nights out on the town looking for their next victims, clashing with werewolves and showing off their fashionable attire (which they stole from previous victims). Their crazy lives are made even more chaotic when new vampire Nick and his human best friend Stu join their group and try teaching them how to live in the modern world. As the Unholy Masquerade approaches, the vampires are forced to confront the tensions that come from living with the same people for a few centuries. 

As we get into spooky season, “What We Do in the Shadows” is a perfect break from the gruesome horror films that dominate this time of year. From Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement, this film will never fail to make you laugh. It’s full of quotable moments that you and your friends will be repeating for weeks to come. If you’ve finished the film and want more goofy vampires, check out FX’s What We Do in the Shadows series, which is set in the same universe and created by Clement himself.


Recommended by Shruthi Vijukumar, Photographer

Former NASA pilot Cooper works as a farmer and faces blight that has affected food stock around the world. His daughter finds strange coordinates in the dust of her bookshelf which leads the pair to a secret NASA facility. Here, Dr. Brand explains to Cooper that Earth is nearly uninhabitable. Humanity’s only chance at survival is to venture into outer space and find a new home. Cooper captains a team that must explore the viability of planets to be the new Earth. He faces many challenges that follow themes of time-dilation, love, betrayal and hope. 

“Interstellar” makes for a nerdy, space-themed movie night. Science-fiction lovers will appreciate the ideas this movie explores which are rooted in reality. These include time-dilation, gravity, multiple dimensions and more. It also has award-winning visuals accompanied by a brilliant soundtrack by Hanz Zimmer. 


Recommended by Gavin Britton, Photographer

A world renowned race car, Lightning McQueen, gets lost in the desert and accidentally gets himself into trouble with the law. Because of his mistakes McQueen needs to work off the debt he owes while also learning some valuable lessons about racing. This movie is a classic as it is nostalgic and leaves you feeling inspired and joyful. The best scene of any Pixar movie is also showcased, when a group of 4 super rad looking cars bump some music and drive past McQueen. 

This movie is good for movie night because it is not super complex so you don’t need to have your eyes glued to the screen. It also has some funny moments and should bring a smile to everyone who agreed to watch it. This is a must watch especially if you love music and love classic Pixar movies. 

“Napoleon Dynamite”

Recommended by Andrew Gotshall, Photographer

Young Napoleon has trouble fitting in with his high school classmates. His situation gets worse when his grandmother injures herself and his oddly nostalgic uncle Rico shows up. Napoleon befriends Pedro, the new kid on the block, and together they launch an epic campaign to get him elected as president. 

“Napoleon Dynamite” is a great movie for its easy laughs. This is one of those movies that you will reference for the rest of your life because it’s just that good. 

This list was compiled by The Beacon staff. You can reach us at