There are about a million reasons why one would want to watch that’s specifically not about love. Maybe you’re going through a breakup and need to NOT be totally triggered by the sight of two, happy people falling hopelessly in love. Maybe Valentine’s Day is around the corner and you’ve found yourself single and protesting even the idea of a romantic encounter. Or perhaps you’re just not into that lovey-dovey B.S. and think your time could be better spent watching a movie with a bit more ~substance.~
Whatever your reasons may be, we hear you. While a good romantic comedy can be sweet every now and again, there is such thing as too much love. Sadly, it’s pretty tough to find a good movie that’s totally devoid of romantic interests. That’s where we come in! Check out this list for 20 actually good movies that aren’t about love.
19. Moana (2016)
Disney has come a long way from making your typical princess movies. Moana has to be one of the most girl power-oriented movies to be directed at young girls — maybe ever. There is not a single love interest or hint at romance throughout the entire movie, just a princess and her desire to experience life to the fullest. No Disney movie would be complete without musical numbers, either. So if you’re looking for some great non-romantic musical numbers to get stuck in your head, Moana‘s the one.
18. Spotlight (2015)
This movie is based on a true story, which makes everything even wilder. The plot is focused on journalists at the Boston Globe who stumble across a major scandal in the Catholic churches in the area. To see how not only this scoop was found, but how it was swept under the rug for decades and decades is still shocking. The film will leave your mouth hanging open with the weight and magnitude of how much corruption was happening behind the scenes. Totally recommended for those who like cold case TV shows, Spotlight has that eerie vibe that will drag you in.
17. I, Robot (2004)
No romance in this movie, mostly because robots can’t feel love — duh. I, Robot poses a crucial question: can we trust our technology? Artifical intelligence used to be a thing of science fiction, but now with Siri, Alexa and other AI’s debuting all the time — we’re a lot closer to it than we might think. There may be actual, real robots among us in not too long. Did you see that artificial intelligence robot Sophia? Equal parts cool and scary. I, Robot delves deeper into this topic and stars Will Smith, so you know there’ll be some good thrills.
16. Into the Wild (2007)
Into the Wild is one of those films that can somehow rearrange how you see your own self and the world around you. One of the chilling facts about the movie is it was based on a real man and the journal found of his experiences. Renaming himself ‘Alexander Vandertramp’ and leaving him comfortable life behind, the main character travels across the country to the Alaskan wilderness, living off the land and the kindness of those he encounters. This movie makes you challenge the importance you put on your personal possessions, and helps you realize what is actually worth value, making it all the more important to watch for you lone wolves out there.
15. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Can you say, “iconic”? I am sure we have all seen this movie at least once growing up, and if you haven’t seen the magic of Judy Garland and black-and-white turning to color, boy are you missing out. If you haven’t watched (shame on you), then I’ll summarize: a young Dorothy visits the dreamland of Oz, meets some pals, messes with a wicked witch, and learns some life lessons along the way. There are even some cute musical numbers! No romance, unless you count beautiful friendships! If you haven’t seen The Wizard of Oz, please, do yourself a favor and watch this movie.
14. A Space Odyssey (1968)
A Space Odyssey is another one of those science fiction movies that predicted we would be waaayyy more advanced than we actually are nowadays. Set in the year 2001, this is a movie about the dangers of space travel, where the past and future meet in the present. There is no romance in the movie, since there is no time for silly relationships when you’re literally in space. The fight between man and machine continues with added pressure — this movie will keep you on the edge of your seat.
13. Inside Out (2015)
This might be a kids movie, but some full-grown adults were definitely crying in the movie theater when Inside Out premiered. There’s no romance included in the flick since it’s a children’s movie about the emotions inside the head of a young girl. Sadness anf Joy have to work together to save the day. Inside Out is not only wholesome, but also super relatable.
12. What Maisie Knew (2012)
If you’re looking for a movie that will break your heart and warm it all at the same time, look no further. This film follows a young girl, Maisie, and life through her eyes as her (successful and kinda rich) parents go through a messy divorce while using her as a pawn. It is an objective first account of a somewhat neglected child and the life she is thrown into. The only relationships in this film are extremely dysfunctional, so no mushy subplot is to be found! But bring a box of tissues, anyway.
11. Donnie Darko (2001)
Although a cult classic film, this movie does not get enough love for how genius it is. Donnie Darko features a young Jake Gyllenhaal as Donnie (major hottie even today tbh) and his real-life sister Maggie Gyllenhaal playing his on-screen sister. The script is packed with double meanings that make the audience stop and think, “wait, what the f%*k is going on?”
Widely known as one of the best psychological thrillers Hollywood’s got to offer, this film will definitely have you thinking long after the final scene.
10. Stand By Me (1988)
Stand By Me is a perfect representation of friendship, super heartwarming, and will likely bring back some childhood nostalgia. It’s centered around a group of boys growing up in the 1950s, and all the crazy antics they find themselves in. The story is timeless, and only platonic love is to be found in this film. Again, a box of tissues are recommended… even if there isn’t any romantic love found in the flick.
9. Harry Potter (movies 1-3)
As many people are aware, the Harry Potter fandom has a lot of romantic love… found both in the book/movie franchise and the plethora of fan fiction found in all corners of the net. However, in the first couple of movies, there is a lack of lovey-dovey content between characters because, well, they are still a tad bit too young for that kind of storyline.
8. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
An action-thriller movie with feminist undertones? Sign us up! Even the trailer promises something like a movie-magic visual effects overload (and we mean that in a good way). This movie takes place in the middle of a post-civilization desert wasteland, complete with ruthless rulers that have to be defeated. It’s something out of a dystopian novel, but without the love-triangle that always seems to pop up in those kind of films! In Mad Max, they are a bit tied up trying not to die to be worried about who’s with who.
7. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
To be quite honest, the Oompa Loompas are creepy as hell, but the movie is worth watching though you will almost certainly cringe whenever the identical orange men are on screen. The tale follows a poor boy named Charlie who gets the chance of a lifetime to tour around a chocolate factory. He ends up winning the prize with other children who are basically spoiled brats, which just highlights the fact that Charlie is a complete sweetheart. It’s a bit of a trippy movie, even though it is marketed for kids. You’re gonna want to buy out your local candy store before you start watching.
6. Brave (2012)
One of the best princess movies to ever come out of Disney-Pixar is Brave. It follows a young princess as she struggles to balance her individuality and her duties to her family. The greatest thing is when there is an entire scene where suitors are fighting for her hand in marriage — and she just ignores them! It’s such a tiny part of the movie that you will hardly remember what the suitors’ names were in the first place. It isn’t their story, and they barely made much screen time. This movie is bad ass female empowerment — and majorly wholesome.
5. Before I Disappear (2014)
This is one of the darker films on this list, mainly because the plot is surrounding a drug addict and his generally messed-up life. When the main character Richie is at his lowest point, his niece Sophia comes back into his life and forces him to make MAJOR life changes. Even if you don’t generally cry during movies, you will most likely need tissues for this one. Just a warning. There is absolutely no romance, but it is heartbreaking in pretty much every other way it could be.
4. Monsters Inc. (2001)
Throwback, amiright? If you don’t think Mike Wazowski was an iconic Pixar character, take a second look at this movie. At the heart of the movie, Monsters Inc. is about not taking someone else’s opinion at face value and building bridges between people who might be different. That’s an important lesson to learn! Also, this movie is just hilarious. No romance in sight in this children’s animated movie, but it sure does get mushy towards the end (in the best way).
Here we go, grab those tissues again! Tallulah is a Netflix original movie starring Ellen Page that will give you faith in society and crush your faith in people all at once. The movie is about a young woman with no direction in life, scamming her way ungracefully just to barely make it. One day a baby is placed in her lap. It’s a roller coaster of emotions and will definitely make you question the blurry line between right and wrong.
2. The Virgin Suicides (1999)
This movie is artistically filmed in a way that even shots with no dialogue have you feelings things you didn’t think you could. It’s centered around a family and their beautiful daughters, but when the youngest commits suicide, it changes everything. The perspective of the movie is from the girls’ neighbor and his friends, who only share a couple scenes of contact with the girls. The movie is meant to capture just how hard and sometimes contradictory being a teen girl can be. (Which, yes, is a bit ironic considering the narrator is a guy.) No actual romance here, just some hard-learned life lessons.
1. Matilda (1996)
A childhood classic about a young girl from a bad home, who, with the power of books, is able to give herself superpowers..? We’re not going to question it too much. Matilda is a movie about challenging authority and trusting in yourself (and also, a reminder that reading is important). Matilda is nostalgia at it’s best. So beloved it’s become a musical,
this movie will quell your aching heart… just not by showing you some mushy romantic plot.