5 Great Movies to See Before You Fly!

The writers for UsingMiles.com love travel movies and today we’d like to present a few of the classics as well as some obscure travel gems for you to check out!

1. Up In The Air (2009)-George Clooney,Vera Farmiga, Amy Morton
Some of us travel A LOT, earning hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions of frequent flyer miles. But what if all you ever did was travel and you had nowhere familiar to rest your head?

Up In The Air is a surprisingly entertaining movie about one man’s personal ambition to earn 10 million frequent flyer miles, a task that is well within his reach given his career as a “severance expert” (He is literally paid to fly around and fire people).

It is revealed that Ryan Bingham’s (George Clooney) personal philosophy is centered on “packing light and living light.” Bingham discovers, however, that embracing this philosophy is far more difficult than he envisioned.

2. Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)-Steve Martin, John Candy
If you haven’t seen this classic comedy, I suggest you stop whatever you’re doing and rent a copy right now. You may lose your job but it’s probably worth it. Well… perhaps keep your job, but at the very least put this movie on your next NetFlix order!

Steve Martin and John Candy are at their finest in this flick, playing opposites who are somehow stuck traveling across the country together trying to get home for thanksgiving.

On a side-note, this plot was rehashed recently by Robert Downy Jr. and Zach Galifianakis in a film called “Due Date,” which was good given the “Downy factor,” but a poor comparison to the vibrant original.

3. Three Colors: White (1994)-Directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski

Three Colors: White is the second in the Three Colors Trilogy though each film in the series has an independent plot line.

“White” is about a recently divorced barber who is down on his luck in France so he decides to ship himself (he actually hides in a suitcase and is thrown into a plane with the luggage!) back to his homeland of Poland. There, he sets out to redefine himself by using information he overhears to buy up valuable land.

This film captures the essence of loss and the regaining of confidence with a delicate sensibility and powerful symbolic imagery.

4. Close To Eden (1991)-Directed by Nikita Mikhalkov
If you can find a copy, Close to Eden is a must see for anyone who enjoys foreign films. It’s about a Mongolian shepherd and his unlikely new friendship with a Russian truck driver who begins to influence “Gombo” to modernize.

As Gombo goes into the city, a task he rarely endeavors because it takes several days on foot, he is astounded by its progress and begins to doubt the simplistic life of a shepherd living in inner Mongolia.

Close to Eden is as much about the constantly changing world as it is about discovering new cultures and identities. More importantly though, this is a sincere film about the common bonds that tie us all together.

5. First Descent (2005)-Featuring. Terje Haakonsen, Shawn Farmer
At first glance this one might go into some people’s “special interest movies” category, but First Descent is more than just a snowboard film. It’s a solid and highly entertaining documentary that follows 5 of the world’s best snowboarders as they travel into Alaska by helicopter to scope out untouched mountains to descend.
 There is also a rock climbing documentary called First Ascent (2006) that is equally entertaining and features climbers traveling all over the world to tackle the toughest climbs.

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