Movie projector

Best movies to watch right now

Here are the best movies to watch – and the movie reviews are only one word (perfect if you’re scanning what film to stream! And to come up with just one word for a movie review is a lot more challenging than you think.). We’re a movie family and had a home theater even before it was really a thing.

Updated 04.05.22

And Oscar night is one of our favorite family traditions. In fact, we’ve been doing a family Oscar pool for years where the loser buys dinner (even before my son was old enough to watch some of the movies). We’ll forget about the time I took him to see The Wolf of Wall Street because of his interest in investment banking. I thought it would be educational. Definitely not age-appropriate. However, it did not scar him as he graduated a semester early from UMD with a degree in Finance with an Economics minor.

The 2022 Oscar ceremony was quite memorable – and not in a good way. But I’ll leave that topic of discussion to the thousands of others who have opinions. This post will focus on the movies.

I digress.


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Contents
2 Best movies to watch right now
2.7 Running list of one-word movie reviews 2020 – 2022

One-word movie reviews of the best films

Here are the movies we’ve watched so far beginning in 2020 through April 5, 2022 – the must-see films as well as skip it. Our movie reviews are based on a 5* rating system and the first word that came to mind. Although more of the more recent movie reviews only include my ratings.



Most recent one-word movie reviews

popcorn movie

One-word movie reviews updated: April 5, 2022.


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You’d think I’d have watched 100 movies since the pandemic, but interestingly I’ve watched fewer than normal. However, I did watch all 10 of the Oscar movies nominated for best picture.

However, it’s not like I’m wasting away my time. So what have I been doing instead of watching movies right now? I’ve been hiking (have now hiked all 66 of Minnesota’s 66 state parks) and watching probably way too many streaming shows (Yellowstone, Succession, 1883, The Queen’s Gambit, etc.).

See my related posts: One-word reviews of the best shows streaming right now, 2021 Oscar best picture nominees ranked, the best Minnesota state parks and chasing fall colors in Minnesota.


One-word movie reviews for April 2022

The Lost Daughter one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

Beer and a bucket of popcorn at the movie theater

Unsettling 4* | Attica, Greece (Greek island)

One-word movie reviews for March 2022

The Adam Project one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

Mediocre 3* | Rainier, Washington and Vancouver

Belfast one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

Heartfelt 5* | Belfast, Ireland and England

Coda one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

Heartwarming 5* | Gloucester, Mass.

Drive My Car one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

Listless 2* | Hiroshima and Tokyo, Japan

Dune one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

Intense 5* | Wadi Rum (Valley of the Moon), Jordan; Abu Dhabi, UAE; Norway; Budapest

King Richard one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

Inspirational 5* | California

Licorice Pizza one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

Skip 2* | San Fernando Valley, California

Nightmare Alley one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

Meandering 3* | Buffalo, New York and Toronto

West Side Story one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

Classic 3* | Manhattan, New York

One-word movie reviews for February 2022

House of Gucci one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

Dramatic 3.5* | Italy and NYC

Nightmare Alley one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

DNF (did not finish – yet) | Toronto and Buffalo, NY

One-word movie reviews for January 2022

Here are the two movies I watched in January 2022 along with my one-word movie reviews and the filming location’s travel destination inspiration. My running list of one-word movie reviews follows this section.

I thought for sure I watched more than two movies in January. But I must say, Tick, Tick…Boom! was one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time. It’s brilliant! I’ll make up for my lack of movie-watching soon as I start on my Oscar best pic nomination marathon for 2022.

Don’t Look Up one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

Underwhelming 3* | Boston

Tick, Tick…Boom! one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

Brilliant 5* | Travel destination inspiration: New York City


Running list of one-word movie reviews 2020 – 2022

Here’s a running curated list of films I’ve watched beginning in 2020 along with one-word movie reviews and ratings (slf = my husband’s movie reviews; ssf = my son’s movie reviews). The newer reviews only reflect my ratings and one-word movie reviews. And for some travel destination inspiration, I’ve also included the setting of each movie to help answer those questions? Where was this movie filmed, Where’s the filming location for… or Where was this movie set?

The Adam Project one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Mediocre 3*

What was the filming location for The Adam Project? Vancouver. What was the setting for the movie The Adam Project? Rainier, Wash.

Amadeus one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration (1985 Oscar best picture winner)

kmf: Genius 4*
Where did the movie Amadeus take place? Vienna, Austria

Belfast one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Heartfelt 5*

Where did the movie Belfast take place / Where was Belfast filmed? Belfast, Ireland and England

The Best Years of our Lives one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration (1947 Oscar Best Picture winner)

kmf: PTSD 5*
Where did the movie The Best Years of our Lives take place? Cincinnati, Ohio

The Big Year one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Passion 4*

Where was the movie The Big Year filmed and/or take place? The planet earth! Tofino, British Columbia, Canada; Vancouver, the Yukon, Alaska, California, Maine, George, and more

Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (II) one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Bogus 0* Did not finish watching.
Where did Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (II) take place? San Dimas, California and back in time

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (I) one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Classic 5*
Where did the movie Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (I) take place? San Dimas, California and back in time

Bill & Ted’s Face the Music (III) one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Campy 3*
Where did the movie Bill & Ted’s Face the Music (III) take place? San Dimas, California and back in time

Blood Simple one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Intense 5*
Where did the movie Blood Simple take place? Small-town Texas (filmed in and near Austin, Texas)

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: One-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Tawdry 3*
Where did the movie Borat Subsequent Moviefilm take place? Kazakhstan, Romania, Georgia, Texas, Maryland, Oregon, New York City

The Buddy Holly Story one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Touching 5*

Where did the movie The Buddy Holly Story take place? Texas, California, Georgia, New York City, Iowa

Braveheart one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration (1996 Oscar best picture winner)

kmf: Freedom 5*
Where did the movie Braveheart take place? Scotland

Captain Fantastic one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Thought-provoking 4*

Where was the movie Captain Fantastic filmed and/or take place? The Pacific Northwest

Casablanca one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration (1944 Oscar Best Picture winner – my favorite movie of all time)

kmf: Classic 5*
Where did the movie Casablanca take place? Casablanca, Morocco and Paris, France

The Chef one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Heartwarming 4*

Where did the movie The Chef take place? Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, Austin

A Christmas Carol one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Hopeful 5*

Where was the movie A Christmas Carol filmed and/or take place? London

Coda one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration (2022 Oscar best picture winner)

kmf: Heartwarming 5*

Where was the movie Coda filmed and/or take place? Gloucester, Mass.

Don’t look up one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Underwhelming

Where was the movie Don’t look up filmed? Boston

Downhill one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Average 3*

Where did the movie Downhill take place? Austria

Drive My Car one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Listless 2*

Where was the movie Drive My Car filmed and/or take place? Hiroshima and Tokyo, Japan

Dune one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Intense 5*

Where was the movie Dune filmed and/or take place? Wadi Rum (Valley of the Moon), Jordan; Abu Dhabi, UAE; Norway; Budapest

Elf one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Heartwarming 5*

Where was the movie Elf filmed and/or take place? The North Pole and NYC

End of Watch one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Gripping 3.5*
Where did the movie End of Watch take place? Los Angeles, California

The Father one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Heartrending 5*

Where did the movie The Father take place? England

Ford v Ferrari one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Passion 3.5*
slf: Vroom 3.5*
ssf: Ego 3.5*
Where did the movie Ford v Ferrari take place? Loire Valley, France; Dearborn, Michigan; Maranello, Italy (fun fact: all filming took place in southern California)

The Forgotten Battle one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Intense 5*

Where was the movie The Forgotten Battle filmed and/or take place? Lithuania, the Netherlands, Belgium

Frosty one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Nostalgic 5*

Where did the Frosty animated film take place? The North Pole

Frozen one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Family 4*
Where did the movie Frozen take place? Norway

Frozen 2 one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Empowerment 5*
Where did the movie Frozen 2 take place? Iceland

Good Time one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Spiral 4.5*
Where did the movie Good Time take place? Rikers Island, New York City, New York

Hamilton one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Must-watch! 5*
Where did the play and film Hamilton take place? New York City, New York; Morristown and Weehawken, New Jersey; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Harriet one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Courage 5*
Where did the movie Harriet take place? Maryland; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Auburn, New York

Hillbilly Elegy one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Heavy 5*

Where did the book and movie Hillbilly Elegy take place? Kentucky, Ohio, Connecticut


The Holiday one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Rom-com 5*

Where was the movie The Holiday filmed and/or take place? Los Angeles and Cotswolds, England

Honey Boy one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Healing 3*
slf: Hope 4*
ssf: Honest 4*
Where did the movie Honey Boy take place? Los Angeles, California

House of Gucci one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Dramatic

Where did the movie House of Gucci filmed / take place? Italy and NYC

I Love You Man one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Bromantic 3*

Where did the movie I Love You Many take place: Venice Beach, California


The Irishman one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Long 3*
slf: Curious 3½*
ssf: Innovative 3½*
Where did the movie The Irishman take place? Philadelphia, Pennsylvania



It Happened One Night one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration (1934 Oscar Best Picture winner)

kmf: Rom-com 4*
Where did the movie It Happened One Night take place? The East Coast on a bus and car from Florida to New York (filmed in California)

It’s a Wonderful Life one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Classic 5*

Where was the movie It’s a Wonderful Life filmed and/or take place? Seneca Falls, New York

Jojo Rabbit one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration


kmf: Innocence 5*
slf: Witness 5*
ssf: Unique 5*
Where did the movie Jojo Rabbit take place? Germany



Joker one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration


kmf: Societal 5*
slf: Society 4½*
ssf: Anger 4½*
Where did the movie Joker take place? Gotham, New York and New Jersey

Judas and the Black Messiah

kmf: Gripping 5*

Where did the movie Judas and the Black Messiah take place? Chicago (filmed in Cleveland, Ohio)

Judy one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration


kmf: Tragic 5* 
slf: Waste 4½* 
ssf: Tragic 4* 
Where did the movie Judy take place? London, England

Jurassic Park

kmf: Classic 5*

Where did the movie Jurassic Park take place? Hawaii – primarily Kauai (We went on a filming location tour in Kauai – and is one of my son’s favorite family vacations; stood where the gates of Jurassic Park were in the film.)

The King of Staten Island one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration


kmf: Dramedy 3*
Where did the movie The King of Staten Island take place? Staten Island, New York

King Richard

kmf: Inspirational 5*

Where did the movie King Richard take place? Where was the movie filmed? California

Licorice Pizza

kmf: Skip 2*

Where did the movie Licorice Pizza take place? Where was the movie filmed? San Fernando Valley, California

Lighthouse one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration


kmf: Disturbing 3*
slf: Dark 3½*
ssf: Eerie 3* 
Where did the movie Lighthouse take place? New England island

The Little Things: One-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Suspenseful 4*

Where was the movie The Little Things filmed and/or take place? Los Angeles and Santa Clarita, California

Little Women one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration


kmf: Love 4*
slf: Family 3½*  
ssf: Inspiring 4*
Where did the movie Little Women take place? Concord, Massachusetts

The Lost Daughter one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Unsettling 5*

Where was the movie The Lost Daughter filmed and/or take place? Attica, Greece (Greek island)

Love Actually one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Love 5*

Where was the movie Love Actually filmed and/or take place? London; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Marseille, France; Portugal

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom: One-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Short 4*

Where did the movie Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom take place? Set in Chicago and filmed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Mank: One-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Disappointing 3*

Where did the movie Mank take place? Hollywood (also filmed in Kemper Campbell Ranch in California)

Marriage Story: One-word movie review and travel destination inspiration


kmf: Poignant 4*
slf: Sad 4*
ssf: Heart-wrenching 4*
Where did the movie Marriage Story take place? New York City, New York and Los Angeles, California

Minari: One-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Endearing 5*

Where did the movie Minari take place? Arkansas (filmed in Oklahoma)

News of the World: One-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Touching 4*
Where did the movie News of the World take place? Filmed in Sante Fe, New Mexico and set in Texas

Nightmare Alley: One-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Meandering

Where was the movie Nightmare Alley filmed / set? Toronto and Buffalo, NY

1917 one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration


kmf: Courageous 5*
slf: Loss 4½*
ssf: Immersive 5*
Where did the movie 1917 take place? Northern France

Nomadland: One-word movie review and travel destination

kmf: Moving 5*

Where did the movie Nomadland take place: Nevada, South Dakota, Nebraska, Arizona, California

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration


kmf: Brilliant 5*
slf: Cool 5*
ssf: Fantastic 5*
Where did the movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood take place? Hollywood, California and Barker Ranch, California (inside Death Valley National Park).

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration (1976 Oscar best picture winner)


kmf: Dignity 5*
Where did the movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Next take place? Salem, Oregon

One Night in Miami one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Introspective 3*

Where did One Night in Miami take place? Miami (filmed in New Orleans, Louisiana)

Onward one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Tender 5*

Where did the animated film Onward take place? Suburban fantasy world

Our Friend one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Profound 5*

Where was the movie Elf filmed and/or take place? Alabama, Grand Canyon National Park, Moab National Park in Utah

Outlaw King one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration


kmf: Honor 4.5*
Where did the movie Outlaw King take place? Scotland

The Outside Story one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Tender 4*

Where did the move The Outside Story take place? Brooklyn, New York

Parasite one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration (2020 Oscar best picture winner)


kmf: Affecting 5*
slf: Shocking 4*
ssf: Speechless 5*
Where did the movie Parasite take place? Seoul, South Korea

The Patriot one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration


kmf: Rebellion 4*
Where did the movie The Patriot take place? South Carolina

Pieces of a Woman one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Heartbreaking 4*

Where did the movie Pieces of a Woman take place? Boston (filmed in Montreal)

Planes, Trains and Automobiles one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration


kmf: Hilarious 5*
Where did the movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles take place? New York City, Wichita, Kansas, St. Louis, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois (and several places in between)

Power of the Dog one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Intriguing 4*

Where was the movie Power of the Dog filmed and/or take place? Montana and New Zealand

Promising Young Woman one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Suspenseful 3*

Where did Promising Young Woman take place? Ohio (filmed in Los Angeles, California)

A Quiet Place Part II one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Suspenseful 5*

Where did the movie A Quiet Place II take place? Western New York

Ratatouille one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration


kmf: Passion 5*
Where did the movie Ratatouille take place? Paris, France

Richard Jewell one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration


kmf: 5* Truth
Where did the movie Richard Jewell take place? Atlanta, Georgia

The Roommate one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration


kmf: Predictable 3*
Where did the movie The Roommate take place? Los Angeles, California

The Skeleton Twins one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

Poignant 5*
Where did the film The Skeleton Twins take place. Primarily Upstate New York

Soul: One-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Purpose 5*
Where did the animated film Soul take place? New York City and Heaven (and somewhere in between)

Sound of Metal: One-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Affecting 5*

Where did the movie Sound of Metal take place? Missouri (filmed in Massachusetts)

Sound of Music one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration (1966 Oscar best picture winner)


kmf: Timeless 5*
Where did the movie Sound of Music take place? Austria

Stillwater one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Suspenseful 4*

Where was the movie Stillwater filmed and/or take place? Oklahoma and Marseille, France

This is Where I Leave You one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration


kmf: Complicated 3*
Where did the movie This is Where I Leave You take place? Munsey Park, New York (suburb of New York City)

Tick, Tick…Boom! one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Brilliant 5*

Where did the movie Tick Tick Boom take place? New York City

The Trial of the Chicago 7 one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Engrossing 5*

Where did the movie The Trial of the Chicago 7 take place? Chicago (also filmed in New Jersey)

21 one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration


kmf: Greed 3*
Where did the movie 21 take place? Cambridge, Massachusetts and Las Vegas, Nevada

Uncut Gems one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration


kmf: Frenetic 3*
slf: Ride 3* 
ssf: Exhausting 4* 
Where did the movie Uncut Gems take place? New York City, New York

The United States vs. Billie Holiday one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Revealing 5*

Where did the movie The United States vs. Billie Holiday take place? New York City (filmed in Montreal)

Waiting for the Barbarians one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration


kmf: Colonialism 3*
Where did the movie Waiting for the Barbarians take place? Central Asia

West Side Story one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration

kmf: Classic 3*

Where was the movie West Side Story filmed and/or take place? Manhattan, New York

When Harry Met Sally one-word movie review and travel destination inspiration


kmf: Heartwarming 5*
Where did the movie When Harry Met Sally take place? Chicago, Illinois and New York City, New York


Watch for future one-word movie reviews. Any good movies we’ve missed? Any streaming series you recommend? Let us know in the comments as well as your reviews and ratings (no spoilers, please).


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One word movie reviews, director's chair, movie star chairs, red background




Author

Twin Cities-based blogger sharing memorable emptynester, solo, family and girlfriend-getaway adventures, as well as my day hiking adventures (including all 66 Minnesota state parks), latest book reviews, and updates on my quest for the best adult mac and cheese. Also two WIPs: historical fiction and psychological thriller

30 comments

    1. Thank you so much! It’s actually really hard to come up with just one word…but I thought I lot of people don’t like to read so thought it’d be a fun alternative (and challenge) to provide a one-word movie review for all the movies we watched in 2020.

  1. I love movie reviews and especially suggestions of movies to watch at Christmas time. Right now Elf is my favorite Christmas movie but I need to check out some of your suggestions.

  2. I love your one word reviews and ratings. I don’t watch many movies, but I have seen all but three of the Christmas movies you have listed. I now need to add Christmas with the Kranks, Love Actually, and The Holiday to my movie list.

    1. Thank you! The Holiday is such a chick flick, but I love it (and love the English countryside!). And Love Actually is one that our entire family has watched several times. I like the large ensemble cast and how their lives intersect with each other. We watch Christmas with the Kranks every year because it’s my niece’s favorite.

    1. Me too! We watched Rudolph earlier this week so need to start watching all my favorite Christmas movies and maybe try some new holiday flicks.

  3. How fun! I’m a big movie fan too and this year has been difficult. I miss going to the theater. I’ve enjoyed the movies you did a one word review of. And I’ve watched a lot of films and series on Prime and Netflix this year. I’m so curious to see what they do for the Oscars.

    1. Thanks! We really miss the movie-going experience also. Our local theater has kept its concessions open so we do stop in every now and then to get our popcorn fix, but not quite the same. It’ll be interesting to see what they do for the Oscars.

  4. I love this idea. So good, like a lightning round gut reaction to movies. I also do an Oscars pool every year. I’m the only one that diligently watches all the movies, knows what they’re all about and downs the night trying to keep everyone interested. And I always lose! I love your Best Picture challenge though. What a great idea

    1. Thanks so much! I used to win the Oscar challenge nearly every year. My two guys are now tough competition! I’m way behind on the Best Picture challenge, but now that the colder months are coming up, I’m sure I’ll get a few more in.

  5. I love the idea of traveling through movies! What a good idea to feel like you are still exploring the world. You made me want to rewatch Casablanca! 😀

    p.s. Woooah you are halfway through visiting all of Minnesota’s state parks! That’s impressive and must have been great fun!

    1. Thanks! Love Casablanca – rewatched it recently! I’m loving my day hikes at the Minnesota state parks. It’s going to be sunny and in the 40s tomorrow so I may check out another state park (40 is warm for Minnesota right now).

  6. Thanks for all the reviews. I actually have watched very few new movies in the last while. Just don’t have as much time with the kids home ALWAYS. Now at least this list will help me decide which are actually worth the little time I have!

    1. Thank you and my pleasure. I hope you get the opportunity to watch some of the best movies and that my one-word reviews help.

  7. I love that I’ve actually seen some of these movies! 🙂 I loved Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Braveheart, Ratatouille, Planes Trains & Automobiles, and When Harry Met Sally!

    1. Those are some of my favorite classic movies that I’ve rewatched over the past year or so. More one-word movie reviews coming!

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