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Here Are the Movies That Shaped My Childhood

by Brandon Russell | September 1, 2018September 1, 2018 8:30 am EDT

I watched a lot of movies growing up, often multiple times. I can still recall watching Back to the Future over and over when I was merely a toddler, puffy red vest and skateboard by my side. I loved being transported to different worlds and allowing myself to be immersed in the adventure and drama.

Movies have incredible power, whether they’re re-telling an important moment in history or telling a story about an archeologist in search of a historic relic. Thinking back on my childhood, there are a handful of movies that I never stopped watching—and I still love them to this day.

We all have a soft spot for movies we saw growing up. These are the films that had a huge impact on my life, from the original Star Wars trilogy to The Goonies, which is my favorite movie of all time.

The Goonies

As I said, The Goonies is my favorite movie of all time. It tells the story about a young group of kids who go in search of pirate treasure in the Pacific Northwest. They encounter a family of crooks along the way, while discovering the meaning of true friendship and numerous boobytraps. What kid didn’t dream of going on the same adventure?

Plus, it features Josh Brolin, who plays Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, in one of his very first roles. I have a theory that the events in The Goonies leads to Brolin becoming Thanos.

Bonus fact: This was Sean Astin’s first movie. Many people today know Astin for playing Samwise Gamgee in The Lord of the Rings and Bob Newby in Stranger Things.

The Wizard

Essentially a giant advertisement for Nintendo, The Wizard is a road-trip movie about a young gaming prodigy who travels to participate in a competition at Universal Studios Hollywood. On the way, they encounter a kid who owns a Power Glove and, eventually, they play Super Mario Bros. 3. The Wizard featured esports before esports was cool.

Memorable quote: I love the Power Glove… it’s so bad.

Gleaming the Cube

It’s a coincidence that I have two movies on here featuring Christian Slater. Or is it? Gleaming the Cube captured my fascination with skateboarding and added an element of danger. It features some incredibly intricate skating from Rodney Mullen and a pretty hilarious cameo from Tony Hawk.

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

Quite possibly the best adventure movie ever made, Indiana Jones is an iconic achievement. Which is no surprise, because it was made by the minds behind Star Wars. It also further cemented Harrison Ford as a leading man. Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of those movies that can be watched over and over without ever getting boring.

Back to the Future

After seeing Marty McFly travel back in time, I wanted to be him. I wore the same red puffy vest and skateboarded everywhere. My mom has the pictures somewhere to prove it. While my wardrobe has changed since I was three, my love for Back to the Future is undying. The only problem is I can’t figure out if I love the first movie or third movie more.

Memorable quote: Great Scott!


Ghostbusters was a groundbreaking movie because it beautifully mixed sci-fi and comedy. But the real reason I loved it was because of the proton packs. And who can forget the short cameo from Slimer? I’ll never look at the stay puft marshmallow man ever again.

Memorable line: Are you the Keymaster?

Star Wars (original trilogy)

It’s hard to pick one movie from the original Star Wars trilogy, so I’ll pick them all. I remember watching the original trilogy on a laserdisc player my parents had, putting in the discs and flipping them over when they ran out of space. Watching these movies as a kid is a big reason why the early part of Return of the Jedi is still my favorite in the entire franchise.

Memorable scene: Luke, I am your father!

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Brandon Russell

Brandon’s first memory of geek culture is watching Back to the Future over and over and over. From there he fell in love with Star Wars, video