Thursday Movie Picks: Cults/Secret Societies

Welcome to Thursday Movie Picks, a weekly series hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves where each Thursday you have to pick three films to match the week's topic.

This week's picks have to involve cults or secret societies. Cool, isn't it? Cults are a bit dark, bad thing happening, and great films I've already picked, so I decided to focus on secret societies. And it didn't even have me thinking a lot because these 3 films popped into my mind immediately.

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

The owner of the Grand Budapest Hotel tells a writer the tale of how he took ownership of the hotel and why he doesn't want to close it. Even though it doesn't scream "secret society" there's one involved, and it's the Society of Golden Keys and pretty much the reason the hotel works so well. Oh, and the movie is a colorful masterpiece starring a brilliant Ralph Fiennes that was robbed of an Oscar nomination.

Fight Club (1999)

An insomniac office worker crosses paths with a man that is exactly who he wants to be and with his new friend he creates a fight club. I should have never picked this film because I'm breaking the first and second rule, do not talk about fight club, but this film is too good to not be picked. This movie is simply perfect.

Men in Black (1997)

Agent K and Agent J, two members of an organization that keeps track of extraterrestrial aliens on Earth, investigate a newcomer who isn't bringing good news. This is probably the coolest secret society ever. They deal with aliens and are armed with spectacular technology, impossible to top that. Sure, it's not a serious film, but it's fun. 


  1. I love that you went with Secret Societies, my mind went to cults right away. But I'm always gravitating towards the dark stuff. I like all three of your picks.

  2. Like Brittani I went straight to cults haha. Seen all your picks, Men in Black is an inspired pick

  3. Nice varied choices. While I didn't love any of the three I liked them all to different degrees. Grand Budapest is a visual knockout with good performances and Men in Black surprisingly amusing for something so odd. Fight Club is my least favorite of the three even though it probably has the most interesting concept but both leads do very good work.

    I did a mix of both secret societies and cults. My first also stars Brad Pitt in an outlandish performance, I had expected to see it turn up more.

    12 Monkeys (1995)-In the future a deadly virus has wiped out most of mankind forcing those who remain to formulate a society underground while animals roam free on the desolate surface. James Cole (Bruce Willis), one of the workers in the underground world, has been selected by the ruling body to travel back in time and try to stop the secret society of the Twelve Monkeys who are believed to have instigated the plague. After a few misplacements in time he arrives in the present day and tries to find answers all the time pursued by people who think he’s insane. Potent, grim and fascinating with a completely unhinged performance by Brad Pitt that landed him an Oscar nomination.

    Ticket to Heaven (1981)-Reeling at the end of a long-time relationship with his girlfriend a young man (Nick Mancuso) seeking a change unwittingly falls in with a cult and is soon brainwashed and isolated. His best friend goes to great lengths to rescue him from their clutches and assist in his deprogramming but the cult does not let go easily. Intense, brutal low budget Canadian drama is loaded with now familiar faces including Kim Cattrall, Meg Foster and Saul Rubinek.

    The Brotherhood of the Bell (1970)-For the last 20 plus years a successful college professor (Glenn Ford) has belonged to a secret Ivy League society, The Brotherhood of the Bell, without being asked to actively participate in its inner workings. At the latest initiation a request is made of him with which he is leery to comply but does so against his better judgment leading to tragedy. Disgusted he attempts to exit the group but only as his life is systemically destroyed does he come to realize how insidious and far reaching the power of The Bell is. Premiered on television in the US but shown theatrically abroad.

  4. Great list! I need to give Fight Club a rewatch, I haven't seen it since the first time I saw it. I don't remember much of it now.

  5. I have seen all 3 and they are great picks. I love Grand Budapest and agree Fiennes was robbed. Fight Club was so good yet so seedy and I enjoy Men in Black-I can watch that again and again

  6. Your picks were a welcome change! I'm fascinated by cults so instinctively went for those but your picks were really different and I love it. I should probably watch Grand Budapest Hotel because everyone raves about it!

  7. You win this week. These are clearly the most creative choices. Like Joel, I wouldn't say I'm a huge fan of any, they're all good films. Great job.

  8. Oh The Grand Budapest Hotel is such a good choice! Damn, I should have gone with that one too. :D

  9. The Cross Keys Society!! Love it! These seem like more upbeat picks, maybe not Fight club but still awesome.

  10. OK, I can't believe Fight Club didn't cross my mind at all as I put my list together.