20 Films I love that my non-filmy friends don't know existby inspired-kiwi | created - 17 Oct 2010 | updated - 26 Dec 2010 | Public
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1. Life as a House (2001)
R | 125 min | Drama
When a man is diagnosed with terminal cancer, he takes custody of his misanthropic teenage son, for whom quality time means getting high, engaging in small-time prostitution, and avoiding his father.
Votes: 40,626 | Gross: $15.65M
A gaggle of fantastic performances (my favourite by HC) and a moving script.
2. Before Sunrise (1995)
R | 101 min | Drama, Romance
A young man and woman meet on a train in Europe, and wind up spending one evening together in Vienna. Unfortunately, both know that this will probably be their only night together.
Votes: 212,286 | Gross: $5.54M
Great interludes, great chemistry, lovely setting.
3. Before Sunset (2004)
R | 80 min | Drama, Romance
Nine years after Jesse and Celine first met, they encounter each other again on the French leg of Jesse's book tour.
Votes: 186,184 | Gross: $5.79M
Great interludes, great chiemistry, lovely setting AND 9 years of anticipation.
4. The United States of Leland (2003)
R | 108 min | Drama
A young man's experience in a juvenile detention center that touches on the tumultuous changes that befall his family and the community in which he lives.
Votes: 21,098 | Gross: $0.34M
Sad, beautiful, thought provoking - this film just got to me and it's never gone away.
5. Buffalo '66 (1998)
R | 110 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
After being released from prison, Billy is set to visit his parents with his wife, whom he does not actually have. This provokes Billy to act out, as he kidnaps a girl and forces her to act as his wife for the visit.
Votes: 39,993 | Gross: $2.38M
The interaction between characters haunted me. I found this film mesmerising.
6. The Lives of Others (2006)
R | 137 min | Drama, Thriller
In 1984 East Berlin, an agent of the secret police, conducting surveillance on a writer and his lover, finds himself becoming increasingly absorbed by their lives.
Votes: 291,935 | Gross: $11.29M
To try and say in a few words why I like this film would do it an injustice. So I'll just say I think it's wonderful.
7. Laurel Canyon (2002)
R | 103 min | Drama
When an uptight young man and his fiancee move into his libertine mother's house, the resulting clash of life attitudes shakes everyone up.
Votes: 13,787 | Gross: $3.66M
Amongst other highlights, the hottest non-touch love scene EVER!
8. Young@Heart (2007)
PG | 107 min | Documentary, Music
A documentary on a chorus of senior citizens from Massachusetts who cover songs by Jimi Hendrix, Coldplay, Sonic Youth, and other unexpected musicians.
Votes: 3,681 | Gross: $3.96M
I loved their passion and energy, I fell in love with them as people and then I mourned those who were lost.
9. Rain (III) (2001)
92 min | Drama, Romance
Whilst on a family vacation on the Mahurangi Peninsula in New Zealand, 13-year-old Janey begins to realize that her parents' marriage is on the rocks.
Votes: 1,477 | Gross: $0.45M
Emotive, atmospheric, and provoking.
10. The Dreamers (2003)
NC-17 | 115 min | Drama, Romance
A young American studying in Paris in 1968 strikes up a friendship with a French brother and sister. Set against the background of the '68 Paris student riots.
Votes: 91,668 | Gross: $2.53M
A guilty pleasure. Love the leads, love the film references, love the boundary pushing.
11. The Edukators (2004)
R | 127 min | Drama, Romance
Three activists cobble together a kidnapping plot after they encounter a businessman in his home.
Votes: 28,468 | Gross: $0.18M
Another great German film. Captivating and clever.
12. Thumbsucker (2005)
R | 96 min | Comedy, Drama
Justin throws himself and everyone around him into chaos when he attempts to break free from his addiction to his thumb.
Votes: 19,494 | Gross: $1.33M
Well written, I love the realtionships and the unusual situations that occur.
13. Man on Wire (2008)
PG-13 | 94 min | Documentary, Biography
A look at tightrope walker Philippe Petit's daring, but illegal, high-wire routine performed between New York City's World Trade Center's twin towers in 1974, what some consider, "the artistic crime of the century".
Votes: 45,946 | Gross: $2.96M
The guy has guts and that blows me away, and I also loved the human element of him processing personal issues.
14. In My Father's Den (2004)
R | 127 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller
A disillusioned war journalist's return home is blighted when he becomes implicated in the mysterious disappearance of a teenage girl he has befriended.
I love love love the relationship between Paul and Celia, the scenery is to die for, and the whole film is beautiful, sad and moving. What a shame Brad McGann has passed.
15. The Station Agent (2003)
R | 89 min | Comedy, Drama
When his only friend dies, a man born with dwarfism moves to rural New Jersey to live a life of solitude, only to meet a chatty hot dog vendor and a woman dealing with her own personal loss.
Votes: 61,580 | Gross: $5.74M
Just a beautiful little film with humour, heart and great performances.
16. L'auberge espagnole (2002)
R | 122 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A strait-laced French student moves into an apartment in Barcelona with a cast of six other characters from all over Europe. Together, they speak the international language of love and friendship.
Votes: 36,285 | Gross: $3.90M
I wanted to move in!
17. I Heart Huckabees (2004)
R | 107 min | Comedy
A husband-and-wife team play detective, but not in the traditional sense. Instead, the happy duo helps others solve their existential issues, the kind that keep you up at night, wondering what it all means.
Votes: 58,919 | Gross: $12.78M
Clever and so, so funny.
18. Live and Become (2005)
Unrated | 140 min | Drama
A Christian boy escapes to Israel from famine-stricken Ethiopia by pretending to be Jewish.
A mini epic with a great storyline about love, being family, belonging and self-definition.
19. Y Tu Mamá También (2001)
R | 106 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama
In Mexico, two teenage boys and an attractive older woman embark on a road trip and learn a thing or two about life, friendship, sex, and each other.
Votes: 98,925 | Gross: $13.62M
Hot, fun, a great journey, and lots of heart.
20. Donnie Darko (2001)
R | 113 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
A troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a man in a large rabbit suit who manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after he narrowly escapes a bizarre accident.
Votes: 647,588 | Gross: $0.19M
Challenging, mysterious, affecting, and a giant bunny!