The Best Stories In Film

These are the best stories put on film. Listed in no particular order. I tend to have no interest in art-house, 3rd world, subtitle filled, indie films. You will not find the latest Korean mystery in my list. I also give no points for graphics, stunts, or action. It's not to say I don't like those movies, but for me, the story matters most. I hope you enjoy my list and find something new to watch.
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1.
A River Runs Through It (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
The story about two sons of a stern minister -- one reserved, one rebellious -- growing up in rural Montana while devoted to fly fishing. (123 mins.)
Director: Robert Redford
“ I rate this a 10. ” - themadride
 
2.
House of Sand and Fog (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
An abandoned wife is evicted from her house and starts a tragic conflict with her home's new owners. (126 mins.)
Director: Vadim Perelman
“ I rate this a 10 ” - themadride
 
3.
A Simple Plan (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
When three blue collar acquaintances come across millions of dollars in lost cash they make a plan to keep their find from the authorities but find complications and mistrust weaving its way into their plan. (121 mins.)
Director: Sam Raimi
“ I rate this a 8.0 ” - themadride
 
4.
Dances with Wolves (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Lt. John Dunbar, exiled to a remote western Civil War outpost, befriends wolves and Indians, making him an intolerable aberration in the military. (181 mins.)
Director: Kevin Costner
“ I rate this a 10. ” - themadride
 
5.
The Good Thief (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
An aging gambler on a losing streak attempts to rob a casino in Monte Carlo. But someone's already tipped off the cops before he even makes a move. (109 mins.)
Director: Neil Jordan
“ I rate this a 8.5 ” - themadride
 
6.
Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Ben Sanderson, a Hollywood screenwriter who lost everything because of his alcoholism, arrives in Las Vegas to drink himself to death. There, he meets and forms an uneasy friendship and non-interference pact with prostitute Sera. (111 mins.)
Director: Mike Figgis
“ I rate this a 8.5 ” - themadride
 
7.
Gattaca (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A genetically inferior man assumes the identity of a superior one in order to pursue his lifelong dream of space travel. (106 mins.)
Director: Andrew Niccol
“ I rate this a 7.5 ” - themadride
 
8.
Smilla's Sense of Snow (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Based on Peter Hoeg's bestseller, this film is set in snowy Copenhagen where a small boy is found dead after he fell off a roof... (121 mins.)
Director: Bille August
“ I rate this a 7.0 ” - themadride
 
9.
In the Bedroom (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A New England couple's college-aged son dates an older woman who has two small children and an unwelcome ex-husband. (130 mins.)
Director: Todd Field
“ I rate this a 8.5 ” - themadride
 
10.
The Cooler (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
In an old school Las Vegas casino, its top gambling jinx breaks his curse when he falls in love, much to his boss' consternation. (101 mins.)
Director: Wayne Kramer
“ I rate this a 9.0 ” - themadride
 
11.
Unforgiven (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Retired Old West gunslinger William Munny reluctantly takes on one last job, with the help of his old partner and a young man. (131 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
“ I rate this a 9.5 ” - themadride
 
12.
Last Chance Harvey (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
In London for his daughter's wedding, a rumpled man finds his romantic spirits lifted by a new woman in his life. (93 mins.)
Director: Joel Hopkins
“ I rate this a 8.0

- 1 of 2 comedies on my list ” - themadride
 
13.
The Lookout (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Chris is a once promising high school athlete whose life is turned upside down following a tragic accident. As he tries to maintain a normal life, he takes a job as a janitor at a bank, where he ultimately finds himself caught up in a planned heist. (99 mins.)
Director: Scott Frank
“ I rate this a 7.0 ” - themadride
 
14.
L.A. Confidential (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
As corruption grows in 1950s LA, three policemen - one strait-laced, one brutal, and one sleazy - investigate a series of murders with their own brand of justice. (138 mins.)
Director: Curtis Hanson
“ I rate this a 8.0 ” - themadride
 
15.
Legends of the Fall (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
In the 1900s, three brothers and their father living in the remote wilderness of Montana are affected by betrayal, history, love, nature, and war. (133 mins.)
Director: Edward Zwick
“ I rate this a 10. ” - themadride
 
16.
The Painted Veil (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A British medical doctor fights a cholera epidemic in a small Chinese village, while being trapped at home in a loveless marriage to an unfaithful wife. (125 mins.)
Director: John Curran
“ I rate this a 10. ” - themadride
 
17.
The Last Samurai (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
An American military advisor embraces the Samurai culture he was hired to destroy after he is captured in battle. (154 mins.)
Director: Edward Zwick
“ I rate this a 7.0 ” - themadride
 
18.
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
When two brothers organize the robbery of their parents' jewelry store the job goes horribly wrong, triggering a series of events that sends them, their father and one brother's wife hurtling towards a shattering climax. (117 mins.)
Director: Sidney Lumet
“ I rate this a 8.0 ” - themadride
 
19.
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.3/10 X  
Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency. (142 mins.)
Director: Frank Darabont
“ I rate this a 10. ” - themadride
 
20.
Dead Poets Society (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
English teacher John Keating inspires his students to look at poetry with a different perspective of authentic knowledge and feelings. (128 mins.)
Director: Peter Weir
“ I rate this a 8.5 ” - themadride
 
21.
Crazy Heart (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A faded country music musician is forced to reassess his dysfunctional life during a doomed romance that also inspires him. (112 mins.)
Director: Scott Cooper
“ I rate this a 8.0 ” - themadride
 
22.
The Prestige (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
Two stage magicians engage in competitive one-upmanship in an attempt to create the ultimate stage illusion. (130 mins.)
“ I rate this a 9.5 ” - themadride
 
23.
The Man Who Would Be King (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Two British soldiers in India decide to resign from the Army and set themselves up as deities in Kafiristan--a land where no white man has set foot since Alexander. (129 mins.)
Director: John Huston
“ I rate this a 7.5 ” - themadride
 
24.
Elegy (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Cultural critic David Kepesh finds his life -- which he indicates is a state of "emancipated manhood" -- thrown into tragic disarray by Consuela Castillo, a well-mannered student who awakens a sense of sexual possessiveness in her teacher. (112 mins.)
Director: Isabel Coixet
“ I rate this a 7.5 ” - themadride
 
25.
The Pledge (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A retiring police chief pledges to catch the killer of a young child. (124 mins.)
Director: Sean Penn
“ I rate this a 8.0 ” - themadride
 
26.
The Wrestler (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A faded professional wrestler must retire, but finds his quest for a new life outside the ring a dispiriting struggle. (109 mins.)
“ I rate this a 8.5 ” - themadride
 
27.
White Squall (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Teenage boys discover discipline and camaraderie on an ill-fated sailing voyage. (129 mins.)
Director: Ridley Scott
“ I rate this a 7.5 ” - themadride
 
28.
The Terminal (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
An eastern immigrant finds himself stranded in JFK airport, and must take up temporary residence there. (128 mins.)
“ I rate this a 7.0

2nd of 2 comedies on my list. ” - themadride