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10 Movies You Must Watch if You Love ‘Manchester by the Sea’

June 20, 2018
8 min read

Manchester by the sea released in 2016 is an emotional drama directed by Kenneth Lonergan, starring Casey Affleck. The movie revolves around the life of a depressed man Lee Chandler played by Casey Affleck and his Nephew, Patrick. Dealing with the aftermath of a tragedy turns a once warm and ebullient family man into a solemn, withdrawn, and angry loner. The story is bittersweet and one of the best films of 2016. Here is a list of movies similar to Manchester by the Sea that are our recommendations. You can watch several of these movies like Manchester by the Sea on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.

10. I, Daniel Blake (2016)

This movie caught me by my heart. It is not a thriller, nor a film with twists. It shows the naked reality of our everyday lives with its great pains and humor at the same time. After having suffered a heart-attack, a 59-year-old carpenter, Daniel Blake (played by Dave Johns) must fight the bureaucratic forces of the system in order to receive Employment and Support Allowance. The film is all about fighting the system and the suffering of the working class. Film depicts the problems a person faces in daily life and how to tackle the hardship. For ‘Manchester by the sea’ lovers it is a must watch.

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9. 50/50 (2011)

The comedy, drama is starring one of the greatest actors Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Adam is inspired by a true story. Adam is a 27-year-old guy who is diagnosed with a rare form of spinal cancer. With the help of his best friend, mother and a young therapist at the cancer center, Adam learns importance of life and people around him. A satisfying, emotionally touching film will keep your eyes glued to the screens. This is an amazing movie that you cannot miss.

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8. Into the Wild (2007)

Based on a true story, a student named Christopher McCandless (played by Emile Hirsch) who is a top ranked student and an athlete, abandons his possessions, gives away his entire $24,000 savings to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in its natural beauty and wilderness. The story is about a young adult who is frustrated by his daily life and gives up on everything and escapes into the wilderness away from the urban cities to shape his life differently. The film is directed by Sean Penn and it does not fail to disappoint you. The film captures the essence of McCandless and his adventures aptly and is sensitive and poignant cinematic experience. ‘Manchester by the sea’ captures human emotions and life perfectly, so does ‘Into the wild’.

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7. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

Francer McDormand deservingly won an Oscar (best actress) for playing her character of Mildred, a depressed mother, whose daughter was brutally raped and murdered. In an effort to track down who raped and murdered her daughter, Mildred challenges the local authorities to find her daughter’s murderer. This is the journey of a mother, who hasn’t lost hope and wants justice for her daughter. The film has powerful characters which are phenomenally written and actors in the movie did a great job portraying them. The suffering and pain of a mother is well portrayed in the movie.

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6. The Tree of Life (2011)

A family drama, this film is about Texas family in the 1950s. The film follows the life journey of the eldest son, Jack, through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as he tries to make everything alright and reconcile a complicated relationship with his father (Brad Pitt). Jack (played as an adult by Sean Penn) seeks answers to the origins and meaning of life while questioning the existence of faith. This film is Terence Malick’s (Director) existential and experimental drama and is truly special. For those who liked ‘Manchester by the sea’ must watch this Brad Pitt and Sean Penn classic. It is about the loss of innocence and struggles in the parenthood. This movie is a beautiful watch, believe me.

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5. Mystic River (2003)

This film is about friendship and how one can cope up with tragedies and hardship of daily life. The film starts from the summer in 1975. It is about the lives of three men Dave, Jimmy and Sean who were childhood friends. Dave is abducted by two men and subjected to sexual abuse over a period of several days. As the movie goes on, their friendship and lives are shattered when one of them has a family tragedy i.e. the death of Jimmy’s daughter who is murdered. Mystic River is a well-acted and well-directed American classic. The acting of the three main lead actors- Sean Penn (Jimmy), Tim Robins (Dave) and Kevin Bacon (Sean Devine), is immaculate. The film is realistic and amazingly captures emotions. It is directed by one and only Clint Eastwood who beautifully captures how a person would react in a tragic situation. I will recommend to all those who loved ‘Manchester by the sea” to watch this masterpiece by Eastwood.

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4. The Pursuit of Happiness (2006)

A beautiful film and at the same time real, heavy and inspirational, ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’ is one of the most notable work of Gabriele Muccino. Based on a true story about a man named Christopher Gardner (played by Will Smith) who has heavily invested in a device known as a “bone density scanner”. He wants to sell these scanners but he fails to do so. Gardner along with his son Christopher played by Jaden Smith live a hard life where they are forced to live on the streets and Gardner trying to find a job in order to survive and help his kid. The movie is all about how to tackle the hardships one faces during their lifetime, making this film a bit similar to “Manchester by the sea”. I was moved by the father son relationship depicted in the movie and to what extent a father can go to protect his son. It is a brilliant movie with a strong star cast i.e. the real-life father and son Will Smith and Jaden Smith. It is a must watch.

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3. Lion (2016)

This magnificent film is a true story, based on the life of a man named Saroo Brierley who is an Indian boy (played by Dev Patel). When Saroo was five-year-old, he got lost in the streets of Kolkata (then Calcutta), thousands of kilometers away from home and his family. He is a survivor and a brave hearted boy. He faces many tragedies and difficulties until he was adopted by an Australian couple. 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family. This film will make you emotional and happy at the same time. It is a tremendous piece of work showing the power of love within a family.

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2. Boyhood (2014)

Richard Linklater is one of the greatest directors of all time who has given the audience some very popular attention-grabbing films. Boyhood is one of them. Linklater shot this movie for over 12 years giving it a realistic feel. It is a template for the life story we all have in our heads. The story is about a boy named Mason (played by Ellar Coltrane) and his life from early childhood to his arrival at college. The story of transition in his life is beautifully depicted by Linklater. The film is touching and spellbinding. I would highly recommend you to watch this movie if you loved ‘Manchester by the sea’ and like the ‘Drama’ genre.

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1. Good Will Hunting (1997)

Yet another beautiful film for those who loved ‘Manchester by the sea’, Good Will Hunting is a story about a young adult named Will Hunting (played by Matt Damon) who lives in a backward locality. He spends his nights at bars and batting cages with his best friends. However, he has an amazing talent in Mathematics. When Will is almost sent to jail, a professor at MIT decides to bail him out under the condition that he works with him for math every week and that he visits a therapist. Little does he know that the therapist, Sean (played by Robin Williams), will change his life in so many ways. Legendary actors – Robin Williams, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck make this film worth the watch. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are also the writers of this film. It is undoubtedly very well written and will make you dwell into it.

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