Unfortunately, everyone has to think about school shootings. One way to faciliate this thought process is to watch movies on the topic. If this sounds like something you would like to do the next time you have a free evening, consider watching one of these movies. Here are three school shooting movies that will make you think.

"Elephant" Gus Van Sant's riff on the Columbine tragedy is probably the best movie ever made about a school shooting. Interestingly, the vast majority of the movie does not cover the shooting, but instead follows several students at the school about their normal school days, before their lives were changed (and in some cases ended) forever. Van Sant uses long, fluid tracking shots through the school that capture the high school experience perfectly. The movie also follows the shooters themselves as they plot out their plan, play some violent video games and (of course) shower together. This is a Van Sant movie, after all.

"Bowling for Columbine" The Columbine tragedy had a lot of implications for Americans, and no movie, documentary or otherwise, explores them as well as Michael Moore's documentary "Bowling for Columbine." Moore sets out to ask the question of how something as horrible as a school shooting can be possible, and unlike some of his later movies, he does not come up with any easy answers. Common suspects such as violent video games, heavy metal music, and even gun enthusiasm are eliminated, and the more likely answer seems to lie somewhere in America's troubling relationship with violence. Like all of Moore's films, "Bowling for Columbine" is highly controversial. But, unlike most of them, it is unlikely that anyone, no matter his or her politics, would not find something to think about in it.

"If..." Probably the first film to deal with the subject of school shootings, three decades before Columbine, "If..." is a highly controversial portrait of an angry young man's eventual descent into violent chaos in the form of a school shooting. It came out in that revolutionary year of 1968, The school shooting in the film is a product of that environment, showing Mick Travis (played by Malcolm McDowell) staging an uprising against the establishment of his school. It may have been made in a completely different climate than the Columbine tragedy, but it still provides lots to think about for open-minded viewers.