For some reason Terry Gilliam’s Time Bandits tends to get lost among the rest of his filmography. That’s a risk you take when you make classics like 12 Monkeys and Brazil, but it’s also a damn shame. As you would expect from a Gilliam joint, the story of an eleven-year-old boy who teams up with a group of time traveling dwarves to pillage valuable artifacts from historical figures is even stranger than the description makes it sound. Full of fantastic cameos—Sean Connery plays Agamemnon, Gilliam’s Monty Python brother John Cleese shows up as Robin Hood, among others—this is a lunatic ride from beginning to gleefully delirious end. If you haven’t watched this in a while, you owe it to yourself to pop it in the player or cue it up on your preferred streaming service. It’s a wild ride well worth taking again.
Flight of the Navigator
If you love mid-1980s adventure films where the kid is the real hero, like The Goonies, D.A.R.Y.L., and Explorers, then 1986’s Flight of the Navigator is right up your alley. And if you like seeing kids pilot their very own spaceship, even better. Young David Freeman has somehow lost eight years of his life, and the explanation involves alien abductions, star maps implanted in his brain, and blasting off in an awesome, retro future spaceship. The whole thing is way more complicated than that, but there are also some awesome practical puppet aliens, and who among us didn’t want to spend most of our childhoods zipping around in an awesome spacecraft and traveling light years from Earth?