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Groundhog Day: 14 of the most rewatchable films of all time

Our team of movie aficionados brings you the best films to watch over and over again.

Published: Wednesday, 2nd February 2022 at 10:22 am
14 items

It's Groundhog Day – again. While it may feel like just yesterday our thoughts were turning once again to Bill Murray's infinitely enjoyable rom-com, it has in fact been one whole year.

To celebrate the time loop joy of Harold Ramis and Danny Rubin's hit movie, which sees Murray's weatherman character find himself living the same day over and over, the RadioTimes.com team has put together a list of the most rewatchable films of all time – and why you should be watching them again...

Showing items 1 to 14 of 14

  • Groundhog Day

    • Comedy
    • Fantasy
    • 1993
    • Harold Ramis
    • 96 mins
    • PG

    Summary:

    Comedy fantasy starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell. Cynical TV weatherman Phil Connors is sent to cover the annual Groundhog Day festival at a small town in Pennsylvania. Stranded by a snowstorm, which he failed to predict, Phil wakes up the following morning to discover that it's still the day before, and it slowly dawns on the world-weary forecaster that he'll never have to worry about tomorrow.

    Why it's rewatchable:

    It makes perfect sense that the list should begin with the most obvious pick: Groundhog Day itself. The films centres on weatherman Phil Connors, who finds himself inexplicably forced to relive the same day over and over again while covering the titular holiday in the small Pennsylvanian town of Punxsutawney.

    Whilst in this predicament, Phil goes through various stages from frustration to hedonism to nihilism to acceptance to realisation and each one of these stages is thrilling to watch again and again, with the jokes coming thick and fast throughout. Bill Murray, who is generally a pretty rewatchable presence in whichever film he's starring in, is typically hilarious in the lead role, while Andie MacDowell is a delight as his colleague and love interest Rita Hanson.

    Several time loop comedies have been released in the years since Harold Ramis' masterpiece first arrived in 1993, and while some of them – including recent gem Palm Springs – have been very successful, none have ever topped the magnificence of this bonafide comedy classic. It's a doozy!

    Patrick Cremona, Writer

    How to watch
  • Mamma Mia!

    • Comedy
    • Musical
    • 2008
    • Phyllida Lloyd
    • 104 mins
    • PG

    Summary:

    Musical romantic comedy featuring the music of Abba, and starring Meryl Streep, Colin Firth and Pierce Brosnan. On an idyllic Greek island, young Sophie Sheridan prepares to marry the man of her dreams. But a problem looks set to blight the big day as the bride doesn't know who her father is. So Sophie sends out invitations to three men who might fit the bill, hoping to solve the riddle once her guests arrive.

    Why it's rewatchable:

    Feel-good film of the century Mamma Mia! has all the makings of a rewatchable film. Set on a glorious fictional Greek island, loveable Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is getting married and dreams of inviting her dad to the wedding – only problem is, she doesn’t know who he is. She stumbles upon former wild-child mum Donna’s (Meryl Streep) diary and learns there are three possible contenders. So she does what any reasonable person would do and invites them all.

    Chaos ensues when Sam (Pierce Brosnan), Harry (Colin Firth) and Bill (Stellan Skarsgård) all hope they are Sophie’s dad - but the paternity almost doesn’t matter. It’s all about the journey. And the journey is packed to the brim with ABBA classics. Benny and Bjorn had a say in the soundtrack, and it shows. ABBA are known for their ear-worms and that’s very much showcased in Mamma Mia! where the songs take on a part of the story, too. We simply defy you not to tap your toe to this one, and we guarantee you’ll be reaching for the remote to play it over and over again.

    – Helen Daly, Associate Editor

    How to watch
  • Back to the Future

    • Action
    • Comedy
    • 1985
    • Robert Zemeckis
    • 111 mins
    • PG

    Summary:

    Sci-fi comedy adventure starring Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd. High-school student Marty McFly thinks his future is ahead of him, until the day he tries out Dr Emmett Brown's modified DeLorean car and travels back in time. Stranded in 1955, Marty meets his parents and unwittingly changes their destiny. Can he put things right and return to the future before it's too late?

    Why it's rewatchable:

    Great Scott! The ‘80s brought about a huge number of infinitely rewatchable family blockbusters, but for my money Robert Zemeckis’ time travel comedy is the pick of the bunch.

    The first entry in a hugely entertaining trilogy, the film follows events after Marty McFly (Michael J Fox) finds himself transported back thirty years in time to 1955. While in the past, he inadvertently strikes up a slightly troubling relationship with a younger version of his own mother and is forced to ensure that his parents fall in love such that he can safely return to the present.

    Fox and co-star Christopher Lloyd – who plays mad scientist Doc Emmett Brown – are both incredibly likeable screen presences, and watching them attempt to complete the mission is endlessly enjoyable, with several of their catchphrases and running jokes having passed into cinema legend.

    Throw in some brilliant gags, an excellent villain in the shape of Donald Trump-inspired Biff Tannen and some fantastic use of music – including an extremely memorable rendition of Chuck Berry’s Johnny B Goode – and this is pretty much pure entertainment. The sequels were both great as well, but the original remains the best.

    Patrick Cremona, Writer

    How to watch
  • The School of Rock

    • Comedy
    • Drama
    • 2003
    • Richard Linklater
    • 104 mins
    • PG

    Summary:

    Musical comedy starring Jack Black as Dewey Finn, an out-of-work heavy metal guitarist who cons his way into a job teaching at an expensive private school. Introducing the uptight students to the joys of rock music, Finn sets about grooming them for a battle-of-the-bands contest.

    Why it's rewatchable:

    Jack Black classic School of Rock is almost 20 years old which might make you feel incredibly old but will it stop you from watching it every year without fail? Probably not – and that’s because it is a comedy that’s as evergreen as Dewey Finn’s hatred for The Man. While it’s hard to believe that this Golden Globe-winning family-friendly hit was written by Mike White of The White Lotus fame, School of Rock is a feel-good staple of so many childhoods (I was eight years old when I watched this comedy for the very first time on a portable DVD player whilst camping in rainy South Wales).

    The 2003 flick stars a crowd-surfing, guitar-shredding Jack Black as Dewey Finn, a 30-something wannabe rock star who takes a teaching job pretending to be his roommate Ned Schneebly (Mike White) to pay his overdue rent bill. While initially planning on putting as little effort into the job as possible, when Dewey realises that his class of private school children are extremely talented musicians, he enters them in the upcoming Battle of the Bands competition.

    Hilarious and uplifting with a fantastic soundtrack and an even better cast (Joan Cusack, Sarah Silverman, Miranda Cosgrove), School of Rock is a film that’s still worth multiple watches two decades on.

    – Lauren Morris, Writer

    How to watch
  • ET the Extra-Terrestrial

    • Family
    • Fantasy
    • 1982
    • Steven Spielberg
    • 109 mins
    • U

    Summary:

    Steven Spielberg's classic sci-fi adventure, starring Henry Thomas and Dee Wallace, and featuring Drew Barrymore. Ten-year-old Elliott has a new friend, but he's from another planet and nobody must know he's here.

    Why it's rewatchable:

    Childhood wonder is a theme that repeats over and over again in Steven Spielberg’s movies, but few films have captured the magic of being a child quite like his 1982 masterpiece, ET: The Extra-Terrestrial.

    Telling the story of a lonely boy and his unlikely friend – an alien from outer space – ET is an incredible film that isn’t really about aliens – it’s about family, friends, and connection.

    Child actor Henry Thomas’ performance as Elliott manages to span the whole range of boyhood emotion, with Spielberg not only conveying the experience of a youngster, but also transporting viewers of all ages back to their own childhoods.

    It’s this tackling of childhood experience in such depth that makes ET one of cinema’s most rewatchable stories. And of course, we’ll never tire of that magical shot of ET flying in front of the moon in Elliott’s bicycle basket, which remains one of the most iconic movie scenes ever.

    – Molly Moss, Trends Writer

    How to watch
  • Mean Girls

    • Comedy
    • Drama
    • 2004
    • Mark Waters (1)
    • 92 mins
    • 12A

    Summary:

    Comedy starring Lindsay Lohan. A teenager who has been educated at home in Africa by her anthropologist parents is sent to an American high school for the first time, where she soon learns about the "survival of the fittest".

    Why it's rewatchable:

    I always think I’ve seen Mean Girls enough times, and I’m always wrong. There’s just something about Tina Fey’s classic 2004 high-school movie that resists the ravages of time and changing comedy tastes, remaining just as funny on a rewatch as it was the very first time I saw it.

    In fact, it might even get funnier with the foreknowledge of what’s coming up – the classic lines (Glenn Coco! ESPN! Regular mom!), weird moments, surprise “oh yeah THAT actor’s in this” epiphanies.

    Sure, parts of the plot – which sees Lindsay Lohan’s school newcomer scheme to unseat Rachel McAdams’ Queen Bee – might seem a little dated or even inappropriate now, and the less said about the vague ‘Africa’ references the better. But if it comes on the TV, I’d challenge anyone to do anything but enjoy a film now old enough to graduate high school itself.

    Shame that fetch never really “happened”, though.

    – Huw Fullerton, Sci-Fi and Fantasy Editor

    How to watch
  • Twister

    • Thriller
    • Drama
    • 1996
    • Jan De Bont
    • 108 mins
    • PG

    Summary:

    Action adventure starring Bill Paxton, Helen Hunt and Cary Elwes. When one of the planet's most deadly natural phenomena blows into town, a feuding team of professional tornado-chasing meteorologists tracks the trail of destruction.

    Why it's rewatchable:

    There are few disaster films as well cast or as entertaining as Twister. Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton star as an estranged married couple of tornado chasers named Jo and Bill, respectively, that are reunited for the sake of scientific research to find ways to offer early warnings of approaching tornado storms. Naturally, as the pair's research team pursue these monstrous weather systems, they all find themselves in grave danger.

    Amid this epic adventure, we also explore why their marriage ended in the first place and why Jo especially is so obsessed with tornadoes (which won't come as a surprise to anyone). With terrifying destruction realistically depicted by incredible special effects, a charismatic ensemble - including the likes of Jami Gertz as Bill's out-of-place new girlfriend, the late Philip Seymour Hoffman and Succession star Alan Ruck - and a winning romance at its centre, Twister is a wonderfully entertaining blockbuster that can excite you again and again - but also boasts heart too.

    – Lewis Knight, Trends Editor

    How to watch
  • GoldenEye

    • Action
    • Drama
    • 1995
    • Martin Campbell
    • 124 mins
    • 12

    Summary:

    Spy adventure starring Pierce Brosnan and Sean Bean. When a Russian general and his beautiful accomplice steal a deadly weapon called the GoldenEye from a base in Siberia, secret agent James Bond sets out to apprehend the villains before their lethal acquisition is put to use.

    What is it exactly that makes GoldenEye so rewatchable, trotted out time and again by ITV and yet always a welcome addition to the TV schedules? It's not the best Bond film – though it is very good indeed – but what it might just be is the quintessential 007 movie, the entry in the franchise you could show to a total novice that'd bring them up to speed on everything Bond, and everything fans love about Bond, in a little over two hours.

    Coming off a lengthy hiatus, the franchise had something to prove with Pierce Brosnan's first outing and so goes hard on every single element that we've come to expect: there had been devious villain who in some way reflected Bond's dark side before but Sean Bean's Alec Trevelyan, a rogue ex-00 agent, was the most blatant example there'd yet been, while the moniker afforded Famke Janssen's henchwoman Xenia Onatopp is among the most outrageous in the series' long history.

    There are wild stunts (that opening dam jump), car chases, a scene where Bond bests an opponent in a casino, and dozens of knowing nods to the franchise's well-worn but beloved tropes. If you want a 007 film that simply ticks all the boxes, GoldenEye is the one to watch (and watch, and watch).

    – Morgan Jeffery, Executive Editor

    How to watch
  • Around the World with Timon & Pumbaa

    • 70 mins

    Summary:

    Collection of Lion King spin-off shorts

    Why it's rewatchable:

    There aren't that many films that actively instruct the viewer to rewind back to the beginning and restart the story instead of watching the final credits roll. One film that does just that is Around the World with Timon and Pumbaa, a feature-length VHS that compiled a number of Lion King spinoff shorts under a loose overarching narrative back in 1996.

    Around the World with Timon and Pumbaa centres on unreliable narrator Timon regaling an amnesiac Pumbaa with stories from their shared past, which range from strangely heartwarming (Pumbaa adopts a crocodile after an egg-based mix-up) to outright ridiculous (Timon attempts to become the benevolent leader of a small island nation and nearly gets thrown in a volcano by his unimpressed subjects).

    The tables turn at the film's close, however, with Timon getting struck by lightning and losing his own memory - shortly after he'd restored Pumbaa's memories. The solution to the problem? Pumbaa urges the kids at home to watch the film again to help Timon remember. And if you're as gullible as this writer, you might've got stuck in that loop for quite some time.

    – Rob Leane, Gaming Editor

    How to watch
  • Bridget Jones's Diary

    • Comedy
    • Romance
    • 2001
    • Sharon Maguire
    • 93 mins
    • 15

    Summary:

    Romantic comedy adapted from the bestselling novel by Helen Fielding, starring Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant. Weight-obsessed 30-something Bridget Jones is busy lamenting her lack of a good man when two come along at once: her flirtatious boss Daniel Cleaver and uptight childhood friend Mark Darcy. Unfortunately, in typical world-of-Bridget style, the two men have met before, and she finds herself thrust from being a wallflower to the centre of a bizarre love triangle.

    Why it's rewatchable:

    When it comes to timeless rom-coms, Bridget Jones’s Diary is a hard film to beat. Starring Renée Zellweger as the titular British icon, this 2001 movie follows single 30-year-old Londoner Bridget as she tries to turn her life around after overhearing family friend Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) describe her as a “verbally incontinent spinster”.

    While Bridget doesn’t manage to change a huge amount about herself over the course of the next year – which is just as well as there really isn’t anything wrong with her – she does find herself juggling the affections of her outrageously flirty boss Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) and the quiet, initially judgemental but dependable human right lawyer Mark.

    Packed with hilarious moments and magnificent performances from its star-studded cast, Bridget Jones’s Diary is a film that never gets old (unless we’re talking about the script’s regular references to the publishing-assistant-turned-TV-presenter’s weight) and a romcom we’ll always tune into when it’s playing yet again on ITV2 because – let’s face it – most of us have wanted to be Bridget Jones at some point in our lives.

    – Lauren Morris, Writer

    How to watch
  • The Mask of Zorro

    • Action
    • Drama
    • 1998
    • Martin Campbell
    • 131 mins
    • PG

    Summary:

    Swashbuckling action adventure starring Antonio Banderas and Anthony Hopkins. Twenty years after his last appearance, legendary hero Zorro returns to battle Don Rafael Montero, now the self-styled ruler of mid-19th-century California. But is this the original "Robin Hood of Mexico" or a younger incarnation who now defends the rights of peasants?

    Why it's rewatchable:

    Early 20th-century pulp hero Zorro got a 90s revamp in this exciting, romantic adventure that made stars out of Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones and reintroduced the character to a new generation. I could honestly watch this film forever (though the less said about the inferior 2005 sequel, the better).

    Full of clashing rapiers, whip-smart dialogue and smart-whip action, it’s a film that can genuinely be revisited over and over again. Its reliance on practical effects means that it’s far less dated than other blockbusters released around the same time (see 2000’s X-Men), and even if you know the story inside out it’s an easy film to dip in and out of on a lazy Sunday or bank holiday.

    It’s good fun, basically, and not enough films are just good fun. Why don’t we have more movies with handsome swordfighters, cool costumes and horse chases? We could pretend they’re set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe if that makes it any easier to sell to Hollywood…

    – Huw Fullerton, Sci-Fi and Fantasy Editor

    How to watch
  • Bridesmaids

    • Comedy
    • Drama
    • 2011
    • Paul Feig
    • 119 mins
    • 15

    Summary:

    Comedy starring Kristen Wiig and Rose Byrne. After Lillian announces her engagement, she asks her lifelong pal Annie to be her maid of honour. However, Annie's life is in a mess, and she finds herself losing control over the bachelorette party to Lillian's seemingly perfect new friend Helen.

    Why it's rewatchable:

    How many movies can say they are as quotable as Paul Feig’s Bridesmaids? Scripted to perfection by star Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, Bridesmaids tracks the long-running friendship between bride-to-be Lillian (a down-to-earth Maya Rudolph) and her rather hopeless pal Annie (a top-form Wiig).

    As the wedding approaches, Annie finds their friendship facing multiple issues, not least the presence of Lillian’s competitive new friend, Helen (an incomparable Rose Byrne). Standout moments include competing speeches between Annie and Helen at an engagement party, an extended drunken aeroplane sequence, and a rather explosive visit to a bridal shop which takes gross-out humour to the extreme.

    There is cringe comedy galore, a cast stacked with excellent supporting turns (not least the Oscar-nominated Melissa McCarthy as Megan), and a moving meditation on the enduring power of friendship. A film to make you laugh (and maybe even cry) on endless occasions with the personal and relatable struggle of its protagonist and the antics of her fellow bridesmaids.

    – Lewis Knight, Trends Editor

    How to watch
  • Mary Poppins

    • Fantasy
    • Musical
    • 1964
    • Robert Stevenson
    • 133 mins
    • U

    Summary:

    Disney musical comedy starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. London banker George Banks's search for a no-nonsense nanny to take care of his two naughty and unhappy children comes unstuck when the practically perfect Mary Poppins and her magic umbrella glide into their lives. Featuring the classic songs Chim Chim Cheree, A Spoonful of Sugarand Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

    Why it's rewatchable:

    Few films are more rewatchable than those that have held a special place in our hearts since childhood – and Mary Poppins unquestionably fits that bill. Originally released in 1964, the family musical retains every bit of its magic to this day, even if author PL Travers was initially unimpressed with Disney’s adaptation of her novel.

    From the striking animated funfair sequence – featuring tap dancing penguins, no less – to the irresistible 10-minute-long rooftop chimney sweep dance number, just about every scene in this film has the ability to bring about instant wonder and delight.

    Child actors Karen Dotrice and Matthew Garber are very impressive as Jane and Michael Banks, but it’s the tremendous chemistry and charisma of Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke as Mary and Bert that really make this film such a triumph – so much so that the latter’s dreadful cockney accent is charming rather than irritating.

    And of course, virtually every song in the musical – from Spoonful of Sugar and Chim Chim Cher-ee to Feed the Birds and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious – is utterly timeless. Who possibly wouldn’t want to hear them again?

    – Patrick Cremona, Writer

    How to watch
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark

    • Action
    • Drama
    • 1981
    • Steven Spielberg
    • 110 mins
    • PG

    Summary:

    Action adventure starring Harrison Ford and Karen Allen. Indiana Jones's outrageous exploits take him around the world in search of the legendary Ark of the Covenant, a religious artefact of unspeakable power wanted by the Nazis. With the help of an old flame, Indy takes on his enemies in a terrifying and death-defying battle to the finish.

    Why it's rewatchable:

    If a broadcaster is ever looking to fill a two-hour gap in its schedules across the festive season, on a Bank Holiday, or even just on a Sunday afternoon, Raiders of the Lost Ark is always on the list of go-tos. Family friendly(-ish) but with just a hint of darkness, it's an adventure romp that feels daringly grown-up when you're a kid and yet like a gloriously nostalgic throwback when you're an adult.

    Though the first time you watch the debut instalment in the Indiana Jones franchise is an experience that can never quite be replicated, there's an appeal too in knowing what's coming: the film is packed full of standout scenes, all-time classic cinematic moments from the opening jaunt in the booby-trapped Peruvian temple to the gruesome demise of the film's arrogant antagonists at the movie's climax, that make it supremely rewatchable. Knowing what's coming just makes it even more fun.

    – Morgan Jeffery, Executive Editor

    How to watch
See more Groundhog Day: 14 of the most rewatchable films of all time
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