One of the growing trends in the film and television industry is to evoke the old times and commemorate some of the greatest classics through modern productions. This can be seen both in the large number of remakes, reboots, and spin-offs that have emerged in the last few years, as well as in many new films set in bygone decades, creating a nostalgia that immediately captivates the audience. An obvious example of this is the Netflix series Stranger Things, set in the 1980s, that with its scenery, costumes, and references to the pop culture of the era managed to attract fans from all ages and brought several iconic elements of the time back into trend. While adults in the audience can relive their golden years one episode at a time, young people get to discover a fascinating era, quite different from the one they already know and live in.

The film industry has progressed greatly over the years, cementing its growth with classic productions that paved the way for the ones that were yet to come. Movies like Casablanca, Psycho and Jurassic Park are only a few out of hundreds of iconic productions that are still relevant to this day. And even though time has passed, and newer films have brought fresh elements to the table, there are still films premiering today that harken back to old-school Hollywood. From the setting and costumes to the way they are shot, many current productions look like something that could have been released decades ago. Here’s a look at some of these movies.


8/8 The Love Witch

The Love Witch honors Technicolor films and 1960s horror, and quite frankly, it really feels like it could have been made in that era. Anna Biller, who wrote, directed, and produced this film, certainly nailed the atmosphere, from the color palette choices to the sets and character costumes. The Love Witch is a comedy horror film centered on Elaine (Samantha Robinson), a modern witch who wants to be loved, and to achieve this, she casts magic spells. However, her results are far from what she expects: men end up losing their minds over her. Also starring Laura Waddel, Gian Keys, Jeffrey Vincent Parise and Jennifer Ingrum, among others.

Related: Best Modern Remakes of Classic Movies, Ranked

7/8 X

Mia Goth, Jenna Ortega, Brittany Snow, Martin Henderson, Owen Campbell, and Scott Mescudi star in this production, an homage to classic slasher films and directed by Ti West, who also served as writer and producer. Set in 1979, X follows a group of young movie-makers who stay at an elderly Texas couple’s farmhouse to film a porn movie. However, when an unexpected killer starts haunting them, the shoot turns into a struggle for survival. Some of the film classics that influenced this production were The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Psycho, and Boogie Nights.

6/8 The Artist

In the 2011 French film The Artist, director Michel Hazanavicius pays a highly acclaimed homage to silent films. Set in 1927 Hollywood, the movie introduces George Valentin (Jean Dujardin), a major silent film star whose career is in jeopardy with the emergence of talkies. Meanwhile, there is a rising young star threatening to steal the industry’s thunder, Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo), with whom Valentin falls hopelessly in love. The Artist was well received by critics and garnered, among several awards, five Oscars, making it the first French-produced film to win Best Picture.

5/8 Licorice Pizza

Given the outstanding performances of Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman as the stars of the 2021 film Licorice Pizza, one can hardly believe that this was their film debut. This movie ranks among Paul Thomas Anderson’s finest work, and in addition to directing, he also served as a writer. Set in the San Fernando Valley in 1973, Licorice Pizza narrates the relationship between Gary and Alana, a teenager and a young woman who, as soon as they meet, are attracted to each other. However, their age difference makes their connection evolve in unexpected ways. Joining Haim and Hoffman in the cast are Sean Penn, Tom Waits, Bradley Cooper, and Benny Safdie.

Related: Best Modern Movies Shot on Film

4/8 La La Land

The 2016 film La La Land marked the third co-starring performance by Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, a duo whose chemistry goes beyond the screen. This musical film, directed and written by Damien Chazelle, follows the love story of Mia, a young aspiring actress, and Sebastian, a struggling jazz pianist. Joining Stone and Gosling in the cast are John Legend, J. K. Simmons, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Finn Wittrock. La La Land became an absolute box-office and critical success, and won a slew of awards. At the 74th Golden Globes, the film shattered previous records by winning all seven categories in which it was nominated.

3/8 Last Night in Soho

Thomasin McKenzie and Anya Taylor-Joy star in Edgar Wright’s psychological thriller Last Night in Soho alongside Matt Smith, Rita Tushingham, Michael Ajao, Terence Stamp, and Diana Rigg. The film introduces Ellie (McKenzie), a young fashion design student who has recently moved to London. In her vivid dreams, Ellie steps into Sandie’s (Taylor-Joy) shoes, an aspiring singer from the 1960s willing to do whatever it takes to make it big. However, Sandie’s seemingly perfect life in this timeline is not what it seems, and trouble soon follows. This film was well-reviewed for its production, setting, and performances, but it failed at the box office.

2/8 Everybody Wants Some!!

Everybody Wants Some!!, directed and written by Richard Linklater, is considered to be the spiritual sequel to his 1993 film Dazed and Confused. This time, the production is set in Texas during the 1980s, and features a group of baseball players about to enter college, as they enjoy their final days of wildness before the responsibilities of adulthood come to haunt them. Everybody Wants Some!! features Blake Jenner, Zoey Deutch, Ryan Guzman, Tyler Hoechlin, Glen Powell, Will Brittain, and Wyatt Russell.

1/8 The Lighthouse

Starring two big household names of the film industry, it’s no wonder why the 2019 film The Lighthouse turned out to be such a highly acclaimed production. Set in the 1890s, The Lighthouse features Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson as Thomas Wake and Ephraim Winslow, two lighthouse keepers who start to lose their minds after a massive storm strands them on a remote New England island. This film was directed by Robert Eggers, with the screenplay co-written by him and his brother Max. It is heavily inspired by maritime-themed French cinema from the 1930s, and it was shot in black-and-white.

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