15 Most Visually Striking Movies

by jcmcclurg | created - 05 Mar 2011 | updated - 05 Mar 2011 | Public

These are movies that I love to watch because they are so beautiful/interesting to *look at.* Totally by coincidence, the plot and acting seems to have been exceptional as well. The movies are listed in approximate order of most stunning first, but there are several that I wish I could have listed side-by-side.

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1. What Dreams May Come (1998)

PG-13 | 113 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

7.0
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44 Metascore

After he dies in a car crash, a man searches heaven and hell for his beloved wife.

Director: Vincent Ward | Stars: Robin Williams, Cuba Gooding Jr., Annabella Sciorra, Max von Sydow

Votes: 89,878 | Gross: $55.49M

I could watch this movie every day, just for the purple willow tree painting scene. Also, the "true love is forever" theme always gets to the hopeless romantic in me.

2. The Fall (2006)

R | 117 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

7.9
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64 Metascore

In a hospital on the outskirts of 1920s Los Angeles, an injured stuntman begins to tell a fellow patient, a little girl with a broken arm, a fantastic story of five mythical heroes. Thanks to his fractured state of mind and her vivid imagination, the line between fiction and reality blurs as the tale advances.

Director: Tarsem Singh | Stars: Lee Pace, Catinca Untaru, Justine Waddell, Kim Uylenbroek

Votes: 96,300 | Gross: $2.28M

My favorite part of this movie (aside from the incredible sets, costumes, and scenery) is how it contrasts a lighthearted fantasy with the more serious sides of real life -- and then somehow melds the two back together.

3. The Fountain (2006)

PG-13 | 96 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
51 Metascore

As a modern-day scientist, Tommy is struggling with mortality, desperately searching for the medical breakthrough that will save the life of his cancer-stricken wife, Izzi.

Director: Darren Aronofsky | Stars: Hugh Jackman, Rachel Weisz, Sean Patrick Thomas, Ellen Burstyn

Votes: 206,329 | Gross: $10.14M

Pay close attention to the little details during this movie, or you'll miss out on the beauty of the subtle and mind-bending ending.

4. Ink (I) (2009)

Not Rated | 107 min | Action, Drama, Fantasy

7.0
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A mysterious creature, known as Ink, steals a child's soul in hopes of using it as a bargaining chip to join the Incubi - the group of supernatural beings responsible for creating nightmares.

Director: Jamin Winans | Stars: Christopher Soren Kelly, Quinn Hunchar, Jessica Duffy, Jennifer Batter

Votes: 19,547

A little-known film that starts out with an interesting premise, then spirals into the spectacular. The message is excellent too.

5. Red Cliff (2008)

R | 148 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

7.4
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73 Metascore

The first chapter of a two-part story centered on a battle fought in China's Three Kingdoms period (220-280 A.D.).

Director: John Woo | Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Fengyi Zhang, Chen Chang

Votes: 39,561 | Gross: $0.63M

Most amazing battle movie I have ever seen. From the golden shields to the man-maze, to the art of tea, this movie leaves you wanting to re-watch it again in slow motion -- just to savor each scene.

6. Chi bi: Jue zhan tian xia (2009)

142 min | Action, Drama, History

7.6
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In this sequel to Red Cliff, Chancellor Cao Cao convinces Emperor Xian of the Han to initiate a battle against the two Kingdoms of Shu and Wu, who have become allied forces, against all ... See full summary »

Director: John Woo | Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Fengyi Zhang, Chen Chang

Votes: 20,575 | Gross: $0.63M

If you watch part I, you will be unable to resist watching part II.

7. Amélie (2001)

R | 122 min | Comedy, Romance

8.3
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69 Metascore

Amélie is an innocent and naive girl in Paris with her own sense of justice. She decides to help those around her and, along the way, discovers love.

Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet | Stars: Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus, Lorella Cravotta

Votes: 598,568 | Gross: $33.23M

Amelie is the ultimate experience in simple pleasures. Sight, sound, and feeling are presented such freshness and joy, that I want to give the whole world a great big hug.

8. Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006)

R | 88 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

7.3
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62 Metascore

A film set in a strange afterlife way station that has been reserved for people who have committed suicide.

Director: Goran Dukic | Stars: Patrick Fugit, Shea Whigham, Tom Waits, Shannyn Sossamon

Votes: 49,129 | Gross: $0.32M

This movie is difficult to describe. On the surface, it is a bittersweet and brooding modern epic. Underneath, it is a heartwarming story of love and hope.

9. Dune (1984)

PG-13 | 137 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

6.6
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A Duke's son leads desert warriors against the galactic emperor and his father's evil nemesis when they assassinate his father and free their desert world from the emperor's rule.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Kyle MacLachlan, Virginia Madsen, Francesca Annis, Leonardo Cimino

Votes: 104,853 | Gross: $30.93M

This one is definitely over-the-top in every way -- the epic theme, the horrifyingly degenerate Harkonnen, the enthralling beauty of Dune. Sting.

10. Dark City (1998)

R | 100 min | Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller

7.7
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66 Metascore

A man struggles with memories of his past, including a wife he cannot remember, in a nightmarish world with no sun.

Director: Alex Proyas | Stars: Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly, William Hurt

Votes: 169,013 | Gross: $14.38M

It's more than a dark city. I won't tell you what, though. You'll have to watch it to find out.

11. Edward Scissorhands (1990)

PG-13 | 105 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

7.9
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74 Metascore

A gentle man, with scissors for hands, is brought into a new community after living in isolation.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest, Anthony Michael Hall

Votes: 390,473 | Gross: $56.36M

There's too much that I love about this movie to even begin to describe. Johnny Depp brings some soul to the suburbs.

12. San wa (2005)

PG-13 | 122 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

6.2
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Archeologist Jack keeps having reoccurring dreams of a past life, where he is the great General Meng Yi, whom is sworn to protect a Korean Princess named OK-soo. Jack decides to go investigate everything with his friend William.

Director: Stanley Tong | Stars: Bing Shao, Jackie Chan, Weixing Yao, Jianzhong Zhang

Votes: 12,576

I couldn't make this list without Jackie Chan's masterful San Wa. Sci fi meets fantasy meets history.

13. Neverwas (2005)

PG-13 | 103 min | Drama, Fantasy, Mystery

6.7
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A well-educated psychiatrist leaves an academic career to work at an institution where his father, a novelist, lived before writing a renowned children's book. Acclimating to his position, ... See full summary »

Director: Joshua Michael Stern | Stars: Aaron Eckhart, Ian McKellen, Brittany Murphy, Nick Nolte

Votes: 6,046

This old dude has an amazing imagination -- but is that all he has?

14. Big Fish (2003)

PG-13 | 125 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

8.0
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58 Metascore

A frustrated son tries to determine the fact from fiction in his dying father's life.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange

Votes: 373,503 | Gross: $66.26M

A man tells tall tales. His son thinks they are lies. We get to experience all of it.

15. Tank Girl (1995)

R | 104 min | Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi

5.3
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A girl is among the few survivors of a dystopian Earth. Riding a war tank, she fights against the tyranny of a mega-corporation that dominates the remaining potable water supply of the planet.

Director: Rachel Talalay | Stars: Lori Petty, Ice-T, Naomi Watts, Don Harvey

Votes: 26,587 | Gross: $4.06M

Ok, folks. I have to admit, this one probably shouldn't be on here. But, being a child of the 90s, I just couldn't help falling in love with overpowering punk look-and-feel of the whole film. :-)