1. Election (1999)
    A high school teacher goes head-to-head with a teenage girl when he tries to sabotage her campaign for student president. A good dark comedy. It's cynical, sharp, and entertaining.
  2. The Iron Giant (1999)
    A boy befriends a giant robot from outer space and tries to keep it hidden from the government. One of the best animated movies I've ever seen. It offers a lot to both kids and adults. It's fun and emotional. It's stunning and magical.
  3. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
    A thief, a private eye, and an actress get caught in a murder mystery. Another great dark comedy. I saw it in a film class and I could not believe I never heard of it before. It's witty, hilarious, and totally unexpected.
  4. Lars and the Real Girl (2007)
    A socially awkward man begins a relationship with a sex doll he's convinced is real and his family is encouraged to go along with it. Don't let the synopsis fool you! It's actually a really touching and original film about a man trying to work through his fear of intimacy.
  5. Away We Go (2009)
    A couple goes in search of a new place to live and raise their future child. I saw this in theaters and I fell in love with it. It's a really lovely movie with a nice soundtrack and an excellent cast.
  6. Jeff, Who Lives at Home (2011)
    Two brothers reconnect over a day full of surprises. It's one of those movies you should watch when you feel stuck. It's optimistic, funny, and moving.
  7. The Way, Way Back (2013)
    A shy teen goes on a summer vacation with his mom and her boyfriend. If you loved Little Miss Sunshine, you'll probably love this movie. It's a super endearing coming-of-age story with a brilliant cast.
  8. Ex Machina (2015)
    A programmer is selected by his reclusive boss to perform a Turing test. One of my favorite films of 2015. It's tense, compelling, and thought-provoking. Even if you're not a huge sci-fi fan, you should totally watch this movie. It's well written and the acting is superb.