3 Movies Like I Capture the Castle (2003)

Staff & contributors

Chasing the feel of watching I Capture the Castle ? Here are the movies we recommend you watch right after.

Set in the 1930's English Countryside, the story of the eccentric Mortmain family is told from the daughter Cassandra's point of view. Her father, a once acclaimed and famous writer has written nothing in years, leading the family into bankruptcy. Themes such as first love and financial troubles are explored from Cassandra's comic and intelligent point of view. A classic and a must-see.

Dorky kid Greg Gaines (played by the brilliant and unlikely named Thomas Mann) has severe issues with closeness (he calls his best friend a “co-worker”) and is instructed by his mother to befriend Rachel (Olivia Cooke), a girl recently diagnosed with cancer. Far from being an indie tear-jerker, though, “this isn't a touching romantic story”, as Greg's narration reminds us. This is not least to the quirky nature of the film and the third titular character Earl, Greg's closest co-worker, who acts as the moral glue between Greg and Rachel.

In addition to hilarious writing and amazing performances, the film is laced with pop-cultural references by way of the movies that Greg and his Earl shoot in their spare time – spoofy takes on cult movies with titles like Sockwork Orange. Moving without being melodramatic, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a charmingly off-kilter fish-out-of-water plot about making friends, dealing with death, and enjoying life best as one can.

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Actor: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, Bobb'e J. Thompson, Chelsea Zhang, Connie Britton, Etta Cox, Hugh Jackman, Jeremy Long, Joe Fishel, Jon Bernthal, Katherine Hughes, Masam Holden, Matt Bennett, Molly Shannon, Nick Offerman, Olivia Cooke, RJ Cyler, Thomas Mann

Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

Rating: PG-13

While writing the classic novel Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens was also writing Nicholas Nickleby, with volumes released every month. His third novel was adapted in 2002 in a film adaptation that smooths out Dickens’ elaborate plot, with beautiful sets and costumes, and the classic good vs evil themes the classic novelist is known for. There’s a bit of a mismatch with Charlie Hunnam as the titular protagonist, but the rest of the cast slips into their characters well, most notably Christopher Plummer as the incredibly stingy uncle Ralph, and Jamie Bell, whose rendition of Smike makes his dynamic with Nickleby compelling. Nicholas Nickleby isn’t the most transformative adaptation, but it’s one that still works, especially for young viewers wanting a simplified plot for their book reports.

Genre: Adventure, Drama

Actor: Alan Cumming, Andrew Havill, Angela Curran, Angus Wright, Anne Hathaway, Barry Humphries, Bruce Cook, Charlie Hunnam, Christopher Plummer, Daisy Haggard, David Bradley, Edward Fox, Edward Hogg, Eileen Walsh, Gerard Horan, Hugh Mitchell, Jamie Bell, Jim Broadbent, Juliet Stevenson, Kevin McKidd, Lucy Davis, Mark Wells, Nathan Lane, Nicholas Rowe, Phil Davis, Roger Ashton-Griffiths, Romola Garai, Sophie Thompson, Stella Gonet, Timothy Spall, Tom Courtenay, William Ash

Director: Douglas McGrath

Rating: PG

This is a fun genre mashup B-movie, in the vein of old John Carpenter films or those movies you used to run across on late-night cable in the 80s and early 90s. Dan Stevens (that handsome chap from Downton Abbey) gives a knock-out performance as the titular guest (David), who in the movie’s beginning has just shown up on the doorstep of the Peterson family. He says he’s there to pay his respects to the family -- he served with their son, who died in action -- but there is something just a little bit off about him. Everyone in the family is charmed by David except for daughter Anna (Maika Monroe), who approaches him with extreme caution even though she’s clearly impressed by his six-pack abs. The films starts at a slow burn before devolving into nutty, violent chaos, but maintains a dark cheeky sense of humor throughout. The goth pop soundtrack is also killer.

Genre: Action, Mystery, Thriller

Actor: Adam Wingard, AJ Bowen, Alex Knight, Brendan Meyer, Brenden Wedner, Candice Patton, Chase Williamson, Chris Ellis, Dan Stevens, Darlene Kellum, Ethan Embry, Frank Bond, J. Nathan Simmons, Jesse Luken, Joel David Moore, Justin Yu, Katie Anne Mitchell, Kelsey Leos Montoya, Lance Reddick, Leland Orser, Lonnie Lane, Maika Monroe, Matthew Page, Mike Miller, Nancy Jeris, Sheila Kelley, Steven John Brown, Tabatha Shaun, Tina Borek

Director: Adam Wingard

Rating: R