What’s up with Airplane Movies?!

There is something exciting about getting on a long flight and looking through the movie selection to find a film to occupy your time. This is the best part of long flights in my opinion. It’s usually things I’ve been wanting to watch but just haven't found the time, or a movie low enough on my priority list that I probably forgot about it. Sometimes it's a classic that I’ve seen several times before and just can’t stay away from, or other times it’s something entertaining enough to pass the time but not good enough for me to rave about once it's over. Other times it’s a theme loosely connected by an actor in the films (I may have watched all available films featuring Taylor Swift, but that’s just how I cope with not getting Eras Tour tickets.)

For me, this movie selection is the only thing keeping me from losing my sanity, and it certainly is the only way I made it to and from Germany in what could be considered one piece (you don’t just get off a 10 hour flight without feeling a little bit out of it). But I made it on and off the plane and I got some decent entertainment out of it all. Here are some of the movies I watched and enjoyed that you don’t have to be on a plane to get a kick out of. 

Dungeons & Dragons

Starting off strong on the flight out I watched the Dungeons and Dragons movie and it was a lot of fun! For the dnd players out there it feels like a real campaign someone could have played with lots of little moments where you can just tell the DM was either fed up with the parties antics or players rolled horribly low. For those unfamiliar with DND it’s still a fun entertaining watch set in a fantasy world. 10/10 highly recommended for home watching as well as in flight. 

Valentine's Day

Look, I won’t say this movie is good, because it’s not. It's trying so hard to be Love Actually and just misses the mark at every turn, and yet I love this movie. I think it's equal parts nostalgia and heavily influenced by the killer cast. And absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I’m a major Swifite, not at all related to that…


Speaking of Taylor Swift, I watched this movie because she has a small part in it, and well let’s just say don’t get too attached to her character.The rest of the cast is fantastic and primarily why you watch this movie, Margot Robbie, Christian Bale, John David Washington, Anya Taylor Joy, and Rami Malek. While not a great movie it was entertaining and held my attention for the full two hours so I can’t say I’m upset I watched it.

Kubo and the Two Strings

Wow! What a movie, Kubo had absolutely no right to be as good as it is. The stop motion animation is absolutely gorgeous and the story will really pull on your heart strings. Be sure to stick around for the end credits because they feature a fantastic cover of the Beatles While my Guitar Gently Weeps by Regina Spektor. 

The Iron Giant

I was obsessed with this movie as a kid and I hadn’t actually seen it since then. Clocking in at around 90 minutes this was such a good choice! The movie aged spectacularly well and is one of the times when you watch a movie you loved as a kid and don’t actually feel disappointed after. I even cried a little, but it’s hard to tell if I was just delirious from being on a plane for over 10 hours.

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

I watched this movie a lot as a kid but watching it as an adult I realized I don’t think I ever watched it all in one interrupted sitting. It was on ABC Family a lot and there were just some scenes I had zero memory of. The absolute best part of this movie is Gene Wilder’s performance as Willy Wonka, fantastic and just absolutely unhinged.

There were so many movies I noticed other people watching a lot or movies I just couldn't watch for one reason or another. So here are some honorable mentions that may pique your interest. 


So many people watched this movie, I was not one of them.

Top Gun

I’ve never actually seen the first Top Gun so I didn’t feel like I could watch this, but lots of other people did.

The Lord of the Rings

I know they're long movies but only having the Fellowship to watch on a 10 hour flight is a crime.

Puss in Boots

I only did not watch this one because I’d recently seen it, so good!

The Lorax

I did watch this one but I took a nap in the middle so I missed a lot of it.


Very popular on the longer flights because, well, it is a three hour movie.

Scream VI

I actually really wanted to watch this but with no Scream 5 I didn’t want to get into it.

Whether you watch one of these on your next flight or you watch from the comfort of your own home I hope the movie brings you a little bit of joy to help you get through the day. 

-Mary Gomer is a Cataloging Assistant at Lawrence Public Library.