I agree with movies.
Another very general way to look at organic reactions is in terms of polarity.
It has been calculated that the vast majority of organic reactions are based on a positive charge / negative charge interactions (exceptions are electrocyclic concerted reaction, like Diels-Alder, many rearrangements...).
If you learn to think of any reagent as a 'synthon', i.e. the formal charged intermediate it is equivalent to, you can see a wider order in the huge number of individual reactions you study.
Alkyl iodides R-CH2-I are acceptor (positive) synthons because they are equivalent to R-CH2+.
Sodium alkoxides R'-ONa are donor (negative) synthons because they are equivalent to R'-O-.
These two synthons react to give the ether RCH2OR'.
Amines, thiols and in general all compounds having an available electron pair on a heteroatom are of course donors.
The carbonyl C=O can be regarded as an acceptor because the oxygen polarizes the bond as if it were C+-O-.
But note that a ketone (as a whole) can be both an acceptor (with respect to the carbonyl) and a donor (with respect to the alpha carbon, which can bear a negative charge: the enolate).
In such cases the behaviour depends on what reaction partner you provide and on the reaction conditions. If you add a strong donor (e.g. CN-) you get addition to the carbonyl. If you add a non-nucleophilic base and a strong acceptor (e.g. an aromatic aldehyde) you get addition of the ketone enolate to the acceptor.
The synthon approach is even more powerful in that it helps you with the retrosynthesis of compounds. If you number synthons in terms of distance of the reactive center from the heteroatom which imparts its reactivity, you have a very straightforward system of predicting what reagents you need to generate a specific arrangement of functionalities. E.g., a d2 synthon plus an a1 synthon gives a 1,3-difunctional compound (because 2+1 = 3). An example could be the aldol reaction, where d2 is the ketone enolate, and a1 is an aldehyde or a ketone. The product is a 3-hydroxyaldehyde, which is precisely 1,3-difuctional.
But this is probably too advanced for a beginner.
Having said that, it's clear that the study of organic chemistry requires a lot of time and much exercise, because thermodynamic and kinetic effects must be thorougly understood. The variations and combinations of individual 'pieces' of mechanism are endless.