My wife is Korean, but we're currently living in America. It's not uncommon for people to reference popular culture in everyday conversation. This isn't a problem for Americans talking to Americans, but it is for my wife. Being Korean, she hasn't been exposed to a lot of American culture because, well, Korea has it's own very strong cultural identity.
I want to watch the most popular recent American movies with my wife to help her get any cultural references her future friends and acquaintances might make, so I've been looking for lists of the best recent movies. Unfortunately, these lists are typically very different from the lists that I'd make; they take into account things like which movies won awards and how much money they earned. I'm looking for movies that have made a lasting cultural impact and that are still relevant today.
Realizing that The Pirate Bay mostly returns movies if you search for just a year, like "2015", I decided to do just that. I searched for the years 1987 through 2017 on TPB and listed the top movies that come up below. I figured that the movies that have the highest activity on TPB are also the movies that people are still downloading and watching. That means these movies probably have had a high cultural impact.
As a personal reference, I've bolded the ones that I remember watching with my wife already. As you can see, we've got a lot of catching up to do!
|Year||1st Movie Result||2nd||3rd|
|2017||Justice League||Kingsman: The Golden Circle||Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri|
|2015||Star Wars: The Force Awakens||Fifty Shades of Grey||Mad Max: Fury Road|
|2014||Guardians of the Galaxy||The Flash||The Maze Runner|
|2013||The Wolf of Wall Street||Thor: The Dark World||Frozen|
|2012||The Avengers||The Dark Knight Rises||The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey|
|2011||Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2||Rise of the Planet of the Apes||The Hangover Part II|
|2010||Inception||Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1||Shutter Island|
|2009||Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince||Avatar||The Hangover|
|2007||Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix||Ratatouille||The Mist|
|2006||The Prestige||Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest||The Devil Wears Prada|
|2005||Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire||Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith||Batman Begins|
|2004||The Notebook||Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind||Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban|
|2003||The Room||Elf||Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl|
|2002||Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets||Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones||The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers|
|2001||Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone||The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring||A Beautiful Mind|
|2000||Memento||How the Grinch Stole Christmas||Snatch|
|1999||The Matrix||Fight Club||Toy Story 2|
|1998||Rush Hour||The Lion King 2 Simba's Pride||Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas|
|1997||Titanic||Princess Mononoke||Good Will Hunting|
|1996||Fargo||Primal Fear||Jerry Maguire|
|1994||The Lion King||The Shawshank Redemption||Pulp Fiction|
|1993||Schindler's List||Groundhog Day||Philadelphia|
|1992||Home Alone 2 Lost in New York||Aladdin||Reservoir Dogs|
|1991||The Silence Of The Lambs||Terminator 2: Judgment Day||JFK|
|1990||Stephen King's It||Goodfellas||Home.Alone|
|1989||The Little Mermaid||Dead Poets Society||Christmas Vacation|
|1988||Die Hard||Scrooged||My Neighbor Totoro|
|1987||Dirty Dancing||The Untouchables||Spaceballs|
Are there any movies on this list that surprise you or any movies that you're surprised aren't on this list? Let me know in the comments!
Photo by Peter Lewicki