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These days, most people are banking some serious alone time during this era of self-quarantining. With the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak going strong, social distancing is the new normal. But solo time doesn’t have to be a drag. In fact, some of the most epic films are all about solitary characters.

Whether they’re creating a cure, thwarting thieves, looking for answers, or just trying to get home, these lone wolves have become some of our most beloved big-screen idols. With that in mind, here’s a list of the five best movies about solo heroes to watch while you’re hunkered down at home.

‘The Martian’ | Source: 20th Century Fox

5. Home Alone (1990)

Home Alone is a classic Christmas film that revolves around a precocious tween named Kevin, played by Macaulay Culkin. When his family inadvertently leaves town without him, the unaccompanied minor savors the sweet taste of independence — which, based on the film, probably tastes a lot like ice cream sundaes and Pepsi Cola.

Kev’s me-time is going swimmingly at first as he shops for groceries, does laundry, and even pampers himself with aftershave. But things go awry when two burglars target his home, believing it to be empty. Once Kevin realizes what the crooks are up to, he sets a series of booby traps. As to be expected, hijinks and hilarity ensue, which make Home Alone a great movie to revisit for a healthy dose of humor.

4. I Am Legend (2007)

Will Smith’s post-apocalyptic sci-fi film, I Am Legend, showcases the actor’s ability to evoke emotion even without the benefit of a scene partner for most of the movie. In the story, a plague has transformed many humans into a new race of flesh-eating beings that thrive in the darkness.

In this world, most of humanity has been wiped out, but Smith’s character, Robert Neville, survives alone in a deserted New York City. Neville is on a mission to find a cure, search for other survivors, and save the world. I Am Legend delivers some decent scares, raw feelings, and Smith’s one of a kind brand of Hollywood swagger. It is an entertaining popcorn flick and a welcome escape into an alternate reality.

3. Searching (2018)

Searching is a unique thriller that is set entirely on the screens of smart devices and computers. The audience follows David Kim, played by John Cho, as he uncovers clues about his 16-year-old daughter’s sudden disappearance. In an attempt to pick up the trail, David uses various technology platforms, including video chats, text messages, and live streams.

Cho commands attention in his performance as a father who is desperate for the truth. Critics and fans alike praise Searching for the stellar acting, directing, writing, and the ability to tell a compelling story despite the set boundaries of device screens. Searching is a shining example of how far a person can reach, even from the confines of home.

2. Cast Away (2000)

Cast Away tells the story of Chuck Noland, the sole survivor of a plane crash. Chuck, portrayed by Tom Hanks, washes up on an uninhabited island in the South Pacific and realizes that he has little chance of being rescued.

Over the course of four years on the island, Chuck becomes an expert at making fires, fishing for sustenance, and other survival techniques. But with his only friend on the island, Wilson, a volleyball that had also washed up on shore, Chuck is nearly driven into madness.

Eventually, he rallies the fortitude to build a raft and set sail in search of civilization. Cast Away is a remarkable film that emphasizes the value of perseverance and hope despite isolation and fear.

1. The Martian (2015)

For a winning combination of sci-fi movie magic and Matt Damon’s movie-star-next-door appeal, The Martian earns the top spot on the list of must-see movies featuring solo adventurers. And based on the film’s Fresh Rating on Rotten Tomatoes with 91% on the Tomatometer and an audience score of 91%, it seems that critics and fans agree that this movie is worth a gander.

Damon stars as astronaut and botany whiz Mark Watney in The Martian. Like Kevin in Home Alone, Mark is accidentally left behind by his crew. But unlike the Christmas comedy romp, The Martian, which is set on Mars, takes a much more dramatic turn.

In the film, Mark devises a plan to survive alone on the Red Planet with the hope of living long enough to one day be rescued by his fellow spacemen. Damon’s performance is endearing, powerful, and occasionally funny. He is one actor who has the uncanny ability to inject levity in a scene while still maintaining the proper level of emotional gravity — pun intended.

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