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24 Movies You Absolutely Must Watch Before You Turn 30

Films you should have seen by now and those with important life lessons.

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1. The Breakfast Club (1985)

Universal Pictures

"It's a classic! Even if you are well past your high school years, the angst and struggles expressed in the film still resonate with you. It reminds me that everyone has their own struggles, no matter how perfect or put together they may seem. As the athlete Andrew Clark puts it: 'We're all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it, that's all.'"

Submitted by Rikki Reese, Facebook

"(It's) filled with so many relatable quotes such as 'you ought to spend a little less time trying to impress people' and 'screws fall out all the time, the world is an imperfect place,' not to mention the soundtrack!"

Submitted by giiules

2. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Orion Pictures

"The Silence of the Lambs taught me that I, as a woman, am just as capable, smart and strong as men. And if Starling can feel that way then I should too. It also taught me not to believe everything is what it seems to be, that humans are weird and frightening and that trust is not something you should throw at anybody."

Submitted by Erika Drewke, Facebook

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4. Dead Poets Society (1989)

Touchstone Pictures

"Firstly, for the beloved Robin Williams, and again for its story - a journey of change, adaptation and passion. 'You must strive to find your own voice, because the longer you wait to begin, the less likely you are to find it at all.'"

Submitted by giiules

"Dead Poets Society taught me that I need to stand up for myself and to question parents, teachers, adults who had a different point of view, instead of just obeying."

Submitted by Erika Drewke, Facebook

7. Once (2007)

Irish Film Board

"Amazing story of love through music. The stars also wrote all of the music! (And there is also a musical, of the same name which is equally amazing.)"

Submitted by Sarah Ann Martin, Facebook

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10. Now and Then (1995)

New Line Cinema

"Now and Then, especially if you are a woman, it's one of those movies you need to watch in your early teens and again when you're an adult."

Submitted by Kristin Johnston, Facebook

12. Harry Potter (2001–2011)

Warner Bros.

"Harry Potter taught me that we can survive abuse and come out stronger than ever, Hermione taught me knowledge is power and Luna taught me that being different is okay and that you can go your own way instead of following someone else's. Being bullied for 13 years for being an introverted, autistic bookworm I really needed that."

Submitted by Erika Drewke, Facebook

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13. Girl, Interrupted (1999)

Columbia Pictures Corporation

"A rare film that really focuses on the mental health of women. There's something in the melancholy of this film that actually leaves you feeling hopeful, I've found it comforting at various points of my life. The book by Susanna Kaysen is also brilliant."

Submitted by Cate Sevilla, BuzzFeed

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18. G.I. Jane (1997)

Caravan Pictures

"G.I Jane taught me to be strong and confident and stand up for what I believe and that I should never, ever give up on myself."

Submitted by Erika Drewke, Facebook

21. Good Will Hunting (1997)

Miramax

"It's heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time, but really highlights the importance of realising your own potential, and working through your emotional shit as young as you can, so it doesn't lead you down the wrong path."

Submitted by Cate Sevilla, Facebook

22. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)

Summit Entertainment

"It's one of the best coming-of-age stories that I think everyone in their 20s should watch. Plus it's just such a great film with all the feels. I'd highly recommend the book, too."

Submitted by Kimberley Dadds, BuzzFeed

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23. Love Story (1970)

Paramount Pictures

"Because it is actually devastating and Ali MacGraw's outfits are 💅 🔥. I think it's super important to watch a lot of good classic films early in life because they really help develop you as a person in so many ways and as you get older I feel like you have less time for things like that."

Submitted by Natalya Lobanova, Facebook.

Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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