7. “The Shawshank Redemption” (Now Streaming)
Snobs be damned, this heart-tugging, spirit-soaring prison drama remains intelligent entertainment nearly 30 years later. 1994 was a competitive year at the Oscars, with Robert Zemeckis’ sentimental but more technically flashy “Forrest Gump” beating out the likes of “Shawshank” and “Pulp Fiction” for Best Picture. But the latter films have endured well beyond that Academy gaffe, even if “Shawshank” remains mostly the kind of movie that Gen X parents foist onto their kids. Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman share a breezy, unmatched-by-many kind of chemistry as inmates who develop a deep and lasting friendship at the Shawshank State Prison in this adaptation of Stephen King’s “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption.” That title refers to a seeming red herring that turns out to be instrumental in animating the movie’s iconic and triumphant final passages. “Get busy livin’, or get busy dyin’.” I dare you not to shed a tear.