Valentine's Day is overrated. How about this year, we store away our Nicholas Sparks and our #romcoms and bust out some kick-ass films to help us forget about all of that? Maybe you're single and have no desire to see anything mushy this week, or maybe just once, you and your significant other want to watch something that doesn't end with a passionate embrace in the rain. Either way, this is the list for you. Here are eight awesome films without any trace of the lovey dovey.
8. 'The Martian'
If you end up lonely this holiday season, take comfort in knowing that you'll be no lonelier than Mark Watney, an American astronaut who finds himself stranded on Mars after his entire crew flees the planet during a sandstorm, leaving him for dead. Thankfully, Matt Damon's upbeat portrayal brings enough humor and hope to this fascinating film so that it feels exciting and uplifting from start to finish. Being alone isn't always fun, but it gets a lot better when you can "science the shit out of it."
7. 'Hot Fuzz'
What better way to slog through one of the most pointless holidays of the year than with a little humor? #HotFuzz is often considered Edgar Wright's masterpiece, poking fun at the action cop drama with some of the smartest visual gags you'll find in a movie. Instead of chasing after some girl, protagonist Nicholas Angel ends up finding the most meaningful friendship in his fellow officer (and friend) Danny Butterman. It's rarely heartwarming, but always hilarious.
This one's a bit of a thinker, but it's well worth your time. #Primer is an indie science fiction film that explores what happens when two scientists (friends Abe and Aaron) accidentally discover time travel. Written and acted very realistically, the film is a somewhat muted, in-depth exploration of a head-spinning concept. You may need charts and diagrams (perhaps even a second viewing) to understand everything that happens — a great way to pass the time and forget about flowers and chocolates.
5. 'Reservoir Dogs'
Nothing gets your mind off the February season like a good heist movie. Reservoir Dogs takes a few detours when it comes to the regular heist formula — most notably for not showing a heist at all — but we're left with something perhaps even more engaging: a bunch of guys yelling at each other and getting hurt. Awesome. Not only is there no heist to be seen, but there's also not any romance either, so this is a great movie to press play and let the mayhem ensue. Even if you've already seen this debut work by Quentin Tarantino, you'll definitely catch something new that warrants another viewing.
4. 'Mad Max: Fury Road'
Audiences were surprised but delighted to find that Mad Max: Fury Road did not feature a romance between Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron. Instead, they both portray awesome, badass heroes who seemingly have no interest in each other romantically. With that expectation out of the way, our heroes can get down to business with one of the most exciting, well-shot films to hit the silver screen in years. An evil overlord, an oppressed society, and lots and lots of car chases — this movie is pure, unfiltered fun.
Chris Evans may charm hoards of audiences for his portrayal of Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it's his more powerful performance in #Snowpiercer that will distract you from romance entirely. Set in a bleak, mysterious apocalypse aboard a train of desperate survivors, this movie is dark, violent, and probably the least romantic thing you could watch on February 14th. If you never managed to catch this underground gem from 2013, you should absolutely give it a chance. It will mesmerize, depress, and excite you — just what the doctor ordered.
2. 'Twelve Angry Men'
If you're looking to go a bit old school this Valentine's season, there's no better place than 12 Angry Men. Set entirely in one location, the film follows the heated deliberation of 12 jurors while reaching a verdict on a complicated murder trial. While the mystery itself is great to uncover, the film really shines with its characters. You'll get to see 12 complex personalities duke it out for their desired outcomes, and even better — none of them fall in love.
1. 'The Silence Of The Lambs'
One of the greatest police officers in film history, Jodie Foster portrays detective Clarice Starling as she hunts down the notorious serial killer Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs. She also seeks advice from the infamous cannibal Hannibal Lecter (portrayed by #AnthonyHopkins), a role so mesmerizing that it will make you forget all about fancy dinners and hand-holding. Be warned, however, this movie is not for the faint of heart. Seek this one out if you're really looking for a thrill.
Whatever your reasons, there's no shame in rejecting a waste of time like Valentine's Day and sitting back with a great movie instead. While most screenwriters feel the need to tack on a subplot that tugs at your heartstrings, we thankfully have some awesome exceptions. Pop some popcorn, find yourself a nice Blu-ray copy or a reliable streaming service, and fall in love with one of these awesome films.