10 Films To Beat the Exam Blues

Ahhh here we are again, new year, same stresses; tis truly the season of questionable library outfits, copious amounts of carbs and late night cramming sessions. In an ideal world my down time would consist of regular exercise and meditation. However, in reality, it usually always consists of me watching a film whilst being comfortingly smothered by my duvet. In no particular order, here are my ten of my favourite exam season films.

About Time

Richard Curtis is undoubtedly the king of the perfect romantic comedy and this film is no exception. Its wonderful quality to be both warming and heartfelt without once veering into unbearable corniness is the reason why I fall in love with the characters and story with every re-watch. This ultimate British feel good number will pull on your heartstrings and remind you that life truly can be wonderful.

Killing Eve (Season 1)

Not exactly a film but roll with it people. The fight scenes cathartically release all anger towards selfish desk hoggers or unresponsive tutors. The belly-ache inducing humour is guaranteed to relax and rejuvenate. And if exam season is a time for reflecting about how impractical your degree actually is (I’m looking at you cultural and media kids), Villanelle’s character is an inspiration for all those following unconventional career paths. 

Good Will Hunting

This film emphasises the sad but inescapable truth that dropping 9k on an education you could so have easily purchased for pittance at Waterstones is a very bad investment. Also baby Matt Damon is too dreamy for words.

High School Musical (1, 2, or 3)

If the stress of exams wasn’t enough, this is a reminder to all those who peaked at sixth form that the best days of your life are well and truly over.  

G.I. Jane

Demi Moore surviving SEAL training genuinely provides more motivation than a Kanye song. Flung head first into a challenge everybody wants to see her fail, Lt. Jordan O’Neil doesn’t buckle in the face of adversity. Through gruelling physical endurance she carries on with unwavering determination and gumption and is a true inspiration for us all. 


Quite possibly the most boring film I have ever seen in my life. Struggling from stress induced insomnia? This is your ticket to a fully rested night sleep.

The Silence of the Lambs

This is the perfect cocktail of psychological thriller and straight up gruesome horror. The seductively terrifying Hannibal Lector will ensure that you stop sleeping all together for at least a week – perfect for some late night cramming.

The Theory of Everything

Is it just me, or does watching a film about a genius automatically make you question whether you are secretly a genius yourself? It’s a similar feeling to watching the Olympics in your pyjamas and thinking it really can’t be that hard to swan dive from a 10 metre board. This film’s placebo like effect will fill you with the self-confidence needed to smash those exams.

War Horse

When life gets rough, as it quite often does, sometimes you just need a good cry. An ugly, full body experience where your nose runs and your eyes puff. Anyone who manages to stay composed during this heart-wrenching tale should be locked in a lab because this is a true tearjerker.

Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again

To hell with winter, Summer is coming baby and nothing feels a more appropriate way to celebrate than with ABBA and Meryl Streep’s love child. The exams are but a mere bump in the road on the way to a fabulous summer (thank you global warming). Good luck in your exams kids and be ready to tropic like it’s hot when they’re over. 

Images Courtesy of Disney Channel/17 Magazine and the University of Leeds