While most of us are in self-isolation, what better way to take our minds off things than to watch some planes fly on our screens? Here are our top 5 all-time aviation classics.

Top Gun

Pete Mitchell (Tom Cruise), nicknamed Maverick, has forged over the years a solid reputation as an outstanding pilot which allowed him and his co-pilot Nick Bradshaw to enter the prestigious Fighter Weapons School in California.

With the sequel Top Gun Maverick coming to the silver screens later this year, it is time to take another ride into the danger zone and remember every little detail to make sure you will catch all the coming references and Easter eggs.

Imdb score: 6.9

Where to watch: Netflix or Google Play

Hot Shots!

It’s hard to talk about Top Gun without mentioning the hilarious parody of fighter pilot movies: Hot Shots. Sean Harley, alias Topper Harley, is pursued by a fault committed by his father twenty years earlier that costed the life of its co-pilot. Withdrawn from the world in an Indian village, Topper is recruited for a delicate mission in the Middle East.

This absurd movie might not be the most accurate and flattering depiction of military aviation, but its countless references and gags, carried by the hilarious Charlie Sheen, are a great way to unwind while we are stuck on the ground.

Imdb score: 6,8

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

 

Sully

The date January 15, 2009, will stay in the history of commercial aviation forever. After suffering a bird strike, a US Airways Airbus A320-200 had to carry out an emergency landing. With no time to divert to an airport, its captain, Chesley  "Sully" Sullenberger, decided to do the impossible: land on the icy waters of the Hudson River, off Manhattan.

Clint Eastwood mastered the art of adapting true stories into movies, with each new biopic offering a different vision of America. And who better than Tom Hanks to embody this man who became a hero in spite of himself?

Imdb score: 7.4

Where to watch: Google Play

Flight

Whip Whitaker, an experienced airline pilot, miraculously succeeds in landing his plane, saving most passengers from certain death. However, the investigation that follows brings many questions, and the hero of one day suddenly sees his whole life exposed to the public. 

This drama, loosely based on a true story, reaches further than the world of aviation and questions the whole concept of public heroes.

Imdb rating: 7.3

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

 

The Aviator

The Antonov An-225 Mriya is often referred to as “the biggest aircraft in the world”. Yet an even larger behemoth once took to the skies: the eight-engine H4 Hercules, a wooden flying boat with a wingspan of 98 meters. That feat of engineering was the vision of a legendary pilot, Howard Hugues.

Two years after Gangs of New York, Leonardo di Caprio and Martin Scorsese collaborate again to pay homage to a billionaire obsessed with his reach for grandeur.

Imdb score: 7.5

Where to watch: Netflix, Hulu

Porco Rosso

In Italy, an outstanding fighter ace is the victim of a spell that turns him into a pig. The pilot becomes a bounty hunter known as "Porco Rosso" (Italian for "Red Pig") and makes a living fending off air pirates from a deserted island in the Adriatic. The story is based on three small comics published by Miyazaki in a model magazine.

The movie was originally supposed to be a short in-flight film for Japan Airlines.  But touched by the gravity of the ongoing war in former Yugoslavia, the legendary Japanese animator decided to turn it into a feature film. A declaration of love for aviation.

Imdb score: 7.7

Where to watch: Netflix