James Franco took a break from playing smiley stoners to try his hand at portraying a smiley health nut Aron Ralston in Danny Boyle’s 2010 film, based on a true incident in which Ralston gets his hand crushed by a boulder while hiking and spends (you guessed it) 127 hours stuck in a canyon, with only a water bottle full of questionable liquid, a camera with a dying battery, and his thoughts to keep him company.
'The Book of Eli'
Oh, Denzel Washington, is there any role you can't play? In this 2010 sci-fi flick directed by the Hughes brothers, Washington plays the titular character, who wanders around a postapocalyptic wasteland all by his lonesome while carrying around the last known copy of the Bible. See, all books have been banned, especially the Bible, but Eli has (excuse the pun) faith that he'll eventually find a suitably safe place to leave said Bible. Despite being a generally dusty flick with lofty concepts, Mila Kunis does eventually add some joy to Eli's ascetic existence.
Basically, if you're not a member of the Ryan Reynolds fan club, you might want to skip this film -- because you'll be stuck in a coffin with him for the next 90 minutes or so! Thankfully, it's a very subdued Reynolds is this underappreciated 2010 thriller where he plays truck driver Paul Conroy, who's in Iraq for a job when he gets mysteriously kidnapped and buried alive with only a lighter and a phone to aid in his escape. Oh, wait. Along with Ryan Reynolds haters, maybe claustrophobics should skip this one, too.
This 2000 film features an emaciated and bushy-bearded Tom Hanks playing the role of Chuck Noland, a Fed-Ex employee who is marooned on a deserted island in the South Pacific after his plane goes down. Stranded for four years, all Noland does on this island is attempt to successfully cook a crab and hang out with his friend Wilson, who is nothing more than a bloody handprint on a volleyball. That being said, we still cried when Wilson is lost at sea. Didn’t we? "WILSONNNNNN!!!!!"
'Evil Dead 2'
Although the last half of this cult classic features an array of quirky characters, the first half is all about Ash. Sam Raimi's 1987 horror masterpiece has a legion of fans and has even been made into a musical, mostly due to the eccentricity of his main character -- the reluctant hero, Ash. The scene in which Ash (played by the brilliant Bruce Campbell) has a hearty, post-possession laugh with the inanimate objects in his living room is undoubtedly the outcome being alone with your demonic thoughts for too long. The textbook definition of "cabin fever."
Is there anything more frighteningly frustrating than tumbling head-over-heels into the vast emptiness of space with nothing to grab onto, no way to stop and no end in sight? And this scene occurs within the first 15 minutes or so of Gravity -- just imagine what happens the rest of the way. Beautiful to behold and painful to watch, this space-set stunner is perhaps the only film to combine the concepts of loneliness and suffocation successfully into one cosmic package.
'I Am Legend'
The original novel by the recently deceased Richard Matheson has inspired a number of cinematic adaptations, interpretations and reinterpretations. In the latest version, released in 2007, Will Smith plays Robert Neville, a former scientist and also the last man left alive in New York City (well, kind of) after a nasty plague unexpectedly thins out the world's population. He's also accompanied by his faithful canine companion -- as well as several hundred thousand ridiculously strong zombies … but that's neither here nor there.
'Into the Wild'
Based on a true story, this 2007 drama follows the adventures of college student Chris McCandless, who turns a case of ants-in-the-pants into a hitchhiking journey across America. Emile Hirsch gives a breakout performance as McCandless, who (by definition) is not "alone," per se, as he meets countless people during his pilgrimage to the Alaskan wilderness. However, his inability to relate to other people slowly causes his feelings of isolation to intensify -- and then he finds this bus …
Written and directed by Duncan Jones (slated to helm the upcoming and anticipated Warcraft movie) and starring Sam Rockwell in a career-defining role, it tells the story of Sam Bell, the sole member of Lunar Industries Helium-3 harvesting team, who's nearing the end of a three-year work cycle with only his robot companion GERTY (voiced by Kevin Spacey) to pal around with. Any more information regarding this mind-bending science fiction opus would officially be in the "spoiler" category -- so watch it and see for yourself.
As you probably know, this 2003 South Korean movie by celebrated director Park Chan-wook will get the remake treatment this fall with Spike Lee at the helm and Josh Brolin playing the titular role. In this deliciously twisted film, a man is kidnapped one night for seemingly no reason, is held captive in a small cell for seemingly no reason, and is released 15 years later for seemingly no reason. He then has five days to find out that reason.
It's everybody's favorite Waste Allocation Load Lifter - Earth-class! You might know him better as the cute little hoarding robot that's stationed on Earth after the planet becomes uninhabitable. Proving even machines can feel, he befriends a cockroach and falls head-over-wheels for a sleek "female" robot named EVE (aka: Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator) -- going to the ends of the galaxy to follow her.