We witness great new movies every year and they amaze us. Nevertheless, some of those movies quickly disappear from our radars. And some of them last for decades, still taking our breaths away! These films are must see and will be equally respected in the future.
21. The Matrix (1999)
The modern SF classic made by the Wachowskis,is one of the most visually striking films in the past two decades complete with dodging bullets. Besides its impressive iconography, this film has vastly shaped the contemporary dystopian worldviews and bought its place in the pop cultural philosophy. An essential notion of The Matrix goes back to Plato’s works where the actual world is simply there in the event that you understand how to look. The red and the blue pills were eventually mixed up in the sequels, so they turned out to be less successful than the original.
20. The Big Blue (1988)
The Big Blue remains an underrated jewel. The atypical love story of this long movie is based on the life of Jacques Mayol, an eccentric diver, who was actually mad at Besson for not letting him play himself. Jean Marc-Barr, who portrayed Mayol, maybe did a better job than Mayol would, creating one of the most memorable characters in the world cinema. You will love it.
19. Metropolis (1927)
Emerging after the World War I, German expressionism became a distinctive film movement giving us the author such as Fritz Lang and masterpieces such as his dystopia Metropolis. It is world’s first movie featuring a robot, and much more – a nightmarish vision of the industrialized world, a high-quality narrative, and photography based on the shadowplay which will shape the future of the cinema.
18. Pulp Fiction (1994)
This film has established Tarantino’s distinguished style – blending crime, blood, vivid colors, memorable music, powerfully mad characters, blood, specific humor, and blood, of course. It is one of the most quotable movies ever written. Thus, the movie Pulp Fiction can be viewed as a group of multiple short stories that are funny, dark, disturbing and mildly strange on occasion. A story about low lifes. Watch it again to see what you missed.
17. Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)
Nowadays, when SW became the leading franchise, pop-cultural and cinematic phenomenon, it is difficult to even choose one SW movie as the best. This one was perhaps the biggest blast, bringing something completely fresh to the SF scene. Interestingly, George Lucas was the first one to doubt the film’s success. Today, it is considered to be one of the films with the finest narratives, way ahead of its time.
16. Fight Club (1999)
An action-packed drama questions the subjects of capitalism and masculinity at the end of the 20th century. Taking a shocking twist on Chick Palahniuk’s novel it’s based on, it tells the story of a revolution through the eyes of a mentally unstable office worker. Almost two decades after its release, the film hasn’t lost any of its charms and feels perhaps more relatable than ever. Do not talk about it.
15. Some Like It Hot (1959)
Billy Wilder’s popular screwball comedy starring Marilyn Monroe is anything but a light, superficial two hours of fun. Its screenplay is witty and complex, and appears to be subversive in so many ways. As two musicians in this film dress up as women to join an all-female band, this film hits a bold spot with this travesty, speaking a language which is way ahead of their time. And not to mention its feminist aspects!
14. Rebel Without A Cause (1955)
Starring in numerous TV shows and only three feature films, James Dean was what he played in this film – a symbol of rebellion. This film started a screen revolution, bringing something completely new at the time – the subject of troubled youth. Even after its release, the troubled youth was still shy to appear on the big screens for years. Its role of the pioneer in the subject wasn’t its only quality, of course. It was a comprehensive and precise zeitgeist piece, stylistically distinguished and emotionally striking.
13. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Through a pessimistic and futuristic narrative, based on a book by Anthony Burgess, Stanley Kubrick told a story which not only dabs the issue of violence but also questions the human nature and its instinctive relationship with violent behavior. This film took a long time to get recognized and accepted – when it was released, its artistic values were not enough; on the contrary, the film was accused of glorifying and promoting the gang violence.
12. Taxi Driver (1976)
The 1970s were prolific years in cinema, bringing us the New Hollywood and films such as Scorsese’s Taxi Driver. Portraying Travis Bickle, now an iconic film character, Robert De Niro reached the perfection in method acting, making us like him even though is a mad guy and an anti-hero. This film hasn’t won any Oscars it was nominated for but it remained a game-changer in the history of cinema.
11. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
Today we are free to say Hollywood is free of censorship. Once there was a little thing called the Hays Code, preventing filmmakers from creating sexually explicit or violent scenes. Arthur Penn’s take on the story of Bonnie and Clyde, two real-life lovebirds and criminals, was a turning point when it comes to film violence. Film historians frequently count the bullets in the famous ending scene to support this claim, and they often find it impossible to count them all.
10. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
The 21st century became glamorously for the epic fantasy audiences. This film has introduced the New Zealand cinema into the big league and Peter Jackson as one of the most talented directors working today. Not many hyped movies managed to justify the hype at such a high level but LOTR did it perfectly – with its hypnotizing story, a well-imagined world, splendid visuals and everything else working by the highest standards.
9. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
This film features one of the most complex characters you’ll ever see, Hannibal Lecter (A. Hopkins), a cannibal who is helping an FBI agent to catch another mad criminal. It questions anything we could ever know about the criminally insane, as well as about the mechanisms of justice. Jodi Foster is amazing.
8. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Spectacular biopic about a WWI officer leading the Arab tribes against the Turks deserved each of the seven Oscars it has eventually won. The color was still a new thing for the film art, and this film has certainly made a progress with it. Philosophically rich, this epic piece remained a perfect model for the movies that are yet to come.
7. Annie Hall (1977)
Of all Woody Allen’s films, this one contains perhaps the most of his cinematic obsessions. He depicts the New York intellectual milieu, which will become his trademark, he sends his characters to art shows, and he makes them discuss the most challenging existential subjects through specific, almost absurd humor. In its structure, it’s a love story. In its essence, it’s a philosophical essay. In its emotionality, it’s as poignant as it is funny.
6. Schindler’s List (1993)
Directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg, Schindler’s List reflects one of the most poignant cinematic views on the World War II. It tells the story of a German businessmen who risked his own life to save more than a thousand Jews during the Holocaust. It is one of those films guaranteed to make you cry, and, in terms of filmmaking, to teach you a lesson in photography and narratology. The film was heavily criticised for ignoring some facts about the real Schindler but remained valuable nevertheless.
5. Apocalypse Now (1979)
Francis Ford Coppola’s spectacular drama depicting the horrors of war is nowadays valued as one of the deepest takes against the phenomenon of war. Juxtaposing the protagonist’s war-related pathologies, it questions the entire American society and its involvement not only in the Vietnam war but also any other conflicts. Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse, the documentary on how the Apocalypse Now was made, became one of the most significant meta-films, both for the filmmakers and audience.
4. Titanic (1997)
You can love it, you can hate it but you cannot ignore it. James Cameron’s epic romance tells a universal love story of a poor man and rich lady, caught in the same life-threatening danger. With 11 Oscars won, it ranks as one of the movies with the most Academy Awards in the history. It’s an emotional roller-coaster which, despite being focused on a love story, has a serious social context, even questioning the American dream.
3. Citizen Kane (1941)
Orson Welles’ debut and best film he has made was released when he was only 25. The release of this film is often taken as the beginning of the modern film era. Besides non-conventional storytelling, this film has enriched the film art with some technological innovations which became a standard later. Among the numerous innovations, deep focus, which changed the way we perceive the film composition, is frequently regarded as the most important.
2 The Sheepshank Redemption (1994)
Frank Darabont’s drama based on Stephen King’s short story holds #1 on the IMDB Top 250 movies for years now, meaning that the audience loves it. The ending is amazing. This is a must see. The critics on the other hand frequently fail to mention it on the big lists of the best films ever. It hasn’t won any Oscars either. It is a splendid film, yet, it is a big question whether it should be among the absolute best movies of all time.
1. The Godfather: Part II (1974)
It’s really tight between The Godfather and The Godfather: Part II – they are both just perfect. It seems that the sequel has not only lived up to the original but also surpassed it in some aspects. The epic saga of a mafia family revolving not only around their criminal work but primarily around their personal issues has taught generations of future filmmakers working in this genre how to take a humanistic approach to their characters, even when they are a scum.