10 Geeky Movie Marathons Everyone Should Try
Sometimes, you need to relax in front of the television and binge-watch the best film franchises. It’s an important part of geek culture and viewing movies in a marathon can be a badge of honor.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the geekiest movie marathons that you should watch at least once in your life.
We start with the easy options for beginners before progressing onto the ones that will tire out even the most experienced cinephiles.
NB: Movie marathon durations are generally rounded to the nearest hour.
1. The Matrix
Length: Seven hours.
Themes: Earth domination, robots, and a dystopian future.
There are probably very few blue pills nowadays who are not familiar with The Matrix universe. Everyone has either seen these movies or heard the references. Of course, the only right way to watch The Matrix is to marathon the whole trilogy in one go. Luckily, it’s not going to take more than 7 hours to do so, making it a perfect weekend watch.
Fans of The Matrix Trilogy should treat themselves to The Animatrix, which adds one hour, 42 minutes to the marathon. The Animatrix is a collection of nine short anime movies that provide a deeper insight into how the original conflict between humanity and the machines started and the way the Matrix itself was created.
2. Mad Max
Length: Seven hours.
Main themes: Future, war, societal breakdown, and the apocalypse.
This is another series of movies focused on the dystopian future and a society wrecked by war, this time within the human world. Our hero is Max Rockatansky, the hardest man to have ever walked Earth. He is the only hope the collapsing society has for a better future.
This franchise is an excellent watch for lovers of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, but the films are far from dull. They’re filled with incredible stunts including plenty of car flipping and smashing action!
Indeed, Mad Max 2 was voted the greatest action movie of all time by Rolling Stone magazine in 2015, and, in early 2020, Empire magazine named Fury Road the best film of the 21st Century.
3. The Dark Knight
Length: Eight hours.
Themes: Superheroes, chaos vs. order, and anarchy vs. law.
Movies: Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008), The Dark Knight Rises (2012) (Amazon.com).
Just under eight hours in length, this trilogy makes another good entry into the world of binge-watching. Director, Christopher Nolan, does such an excellent job linking the movies together that, without the opening credits, these three would feel like one really long film.
Each of the trio became a success, with The Dark Knight particularly heralded as a masterpiece. Of course, if you’re a fan of DC and comics in general, this is an absolute must-watch.
4. Jurassic Park
Length: 10 hours.
Main themes: Evolution, dinosaurs, and cyclical time.
Movies: Jurassic Park (1993), The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997), Jurassic Park III (2001), Jurassic World (2015), Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) (Amazon.com).
Watch people attempt to create a theme park of cloned dinosaurs and fail disastrously—numerous times. Although that is, in fact, a short summary of this franchise, there’s so much more to these award-winning movies.
After all, Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, and Fallen Kingdom all make it onto the list of the highest-grossing films of all time.
Be ready for plenty of action, and if the science behind it interest you, make sure you check out Michael Crichton’s brilliant original novels.
5. The Lord of the Rings
Length: Nine hours (Theatrical)/11 hours (Extended)/20 hours (including The Hobbit trilogy).
Themes: Magic, courage, the corruption of power, journey, and friendship.
Movies: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Two Towers (2002), The Return of the King (2003) (Amazon.com). Optional: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), The Desolation of Smaug (2013), The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) (Amazon.com).
Our next choice is the much-loved fantasy movie series that takes you from beginner to advanced level binge-watching.
The standard version of The Lord of the Rings takes just over nine hours. However, the ultimate Middle-Earth marathon of the trilogy’s extended versions and The Hobbit prequels will take you almost 20 hours.
Stock up on Lembas bread if you intend to embark on this epic adventure.
6. Planet of the Apes
Length: 16 hours.
Themes: Civilization and technology, social constructs, and humanity.
Movies: Planet of the Apes (1968), Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970), Escape From the Planet of the Apes (1971), Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972), Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973), Planet of the Apes (Remake) (2001), Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) (Amazon.com), War for the Planet of the Apes (2017).
You’ve probably already heard about the twist at the end of Planet of the Apes. Fortunately, this “surprise” opened up a lot of avenues to explore the nature of humanity and our relationship with nature. At times, it’s a brutal saga, but also powerful and thought-provoking.
The latest trilogy has stunning special effects too, which is a good job, as bad CGI can ruin movies .
7. Harry Potter
Level: Advanced/ Expert.
Length: 20 hours/24 hours 30 minutes (with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them)
Themes: Magic, good vs. evil, friendship, and love.
Movies: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011), Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) (Amazon.com), Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018).
Harry Potter is the perfect movie series for taking a break from your everyday routine. You can forget about your jobs, studies, and bills, and focus on why you still haven’t received your invitation to Hogwarts.
The franchise is a chronicle of the main characters growing up, both in age and maturity. The atmosphere changes together with the focus of the movies, turning from a somewhat simple and naive story into a colossal battle between good and evil. Add in the prequel series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, if you’re not ready for the adventure to end.
8. Star Wars
Length: 25 hours.
Themes: Nature vs. technology, good vs. evil, and destiny.
Movies: Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999), Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002), Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005), Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977), Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983) (Amazon.com), Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens (2015), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi (2017), Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018), Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker (2019).
Naturally, our list wouldn’t be complete without the Star Wars series. With more and more new movies being released, as well as books and video games, it’s hard to stay on track.
There’s a constant debate going on about the best way to watch Star Wars. There’s the release order, the denial order, the machete order, and a few other different variations. But not to worry, young Padawan, we figured out the best order in which to watch Star Wars .
9. Star Trek
Length: 25 hours.
Themes: Space exploration, technology, humans and aliens, politics, equal society.
Movies: Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984), Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986), Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989), Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991), Star Trek Generations (1994), Star Trek: First Contact (1996), Star Trek: Insurrection (1998), Star Trek: Nemesis (2002) (Amazon.com), Star Trek (2009), Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), Star Trek Beyond (2016) (Amazon.com).
With so much to see, Star Trek can be intimidating. Where do you start?! If you’re new to the series, our beginner’s guide to the Star Trek franchise will prepare you for this marathon.
If watching all of the Star Trek films together sounds like too great a task, you can split the series into three convenient blocks: The Original Series (the first six films), The Next Generation (Generations to Nemesis), and the J.J. Abrams era (2009 to present). Plan your watching sessions and breaks accordingly and you should succeed at beating this no-win scenario.
10. James Bond
Level: The Ultimate Expert.
Length: 53 hours.
Themes: Espionage, politics, and power struggle.
Movies: Dr. No (1962), From Russia With Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), Diamonds Are Forever (1971), Live and Let Die (1973), The Man With the Golden Gun (1974), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983), Never Say Never Again (1983), A View to a Kill (1985), The Living Daylights (1987), Licence to Kill (1989), GoldenEye (1995), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), The World Is Not Enough (1999), Die Another Day (2002), Casino Royale (2006), Quantum Of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012), Spectre (2015), (Amazon.com) No Time to Die (2020).
Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you the crown jewel, the most unbelievably geeky movie marathon of all: James Bond.
For the sake of your own sanity, we recommend a more relaxed approach, perhaps based around the six official actors who have played the role: Sean Connery (Dr. No to You Only Live Twice, plus Diamonds Are Forever), George Lazenby (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service), Roger Moore (Live and Let Die to A View to a Kill), Timothy Dalton (The Living Daylights and License to Kill), Pierce Brosnan (GoldenEye to Die Another Day), and Daniel Craig (Casino Royale to No Time to Die). This is 007 Heaven.
Sit Down and Binge
Here’s Anya Zhukova running through our movie marathon picks…
There’s something here for everyone, but a movie marathon doesn’t necessarily mean sticking to one franchise. How about binge-watching superhero movies from Marvel and DC? Or rewatching some childhood favorites? You can even marathon classic films on Disney+ , the streaming service from the media mega-giant.
Image Credit: Marcos Mesa Sam Wordley/Shutterstock