List of Artsy Films

Deep, Artistic, Philosophical, and occasionally Cerebral. These are the list of movies that are not for sheer entertainment but a critical and reflective approach of either representing or conversing with the human condition.
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1.
The Fountain (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
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. (96 mins.)
“ Probably the most underrated film of all times, but understandably so. Afforensky did a brilliant job in creating a complicated film with profound themes of mortality vs immortality, and overcome the anxiety of death. For me it was very existential because it was about a man searching to reunite with his long-dead wife, but in the process he was fighting against death as if it was an alienating force that took something from him. In the end the protagonist realize something that compelled him to accept death, as a symbolic way to reunite with his wife.

Unfortunately this is a very complex film that can be interpreted in so many ways, yet with similar conclusions. Because of the cerebral and interpretive complexity of the film, there was difficulty in conveying what it was trying to tell the audience. Because of this it was not entirely successful with it's audience, but nonetheless I think it was worth watching. ” - philonous09
 
2.
Pi (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A paranoid mathematician searches for a key number that will unlock the universal patterns found in nature. (84 mins.)
“ A deep psychological examination of the mind of a brilliant mathematician who suffers from paranoia and migraines. In the process he tries to understand reality itself through mathematics, but encounters various problems in his life. ” - philonous09
 
3.
Requiem for a Dream (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
The drug-induced utopias of four Coney Island people are shattered when their addictions run deep. (102 mins.)
 
4.
Black Swan (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A committed dancer wins the lead role in a production of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" only to find herself struggling to maintain her sanity. (108 mins.)
“ A brilliant narrative of metamorphosis of a woman becoming from a white-swan to the black-swan (in the metaphorical sense). It seems to resemble Nietzsche's metamorphosis. ” - philonous09
 
5.
The Holy Mountain (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
In a corrupt, greed-fueled world, a powerful alchemist leads a Christ-like character and seven materialistic figures to the Holy Mountain, where they hope to achieve enlightenment. (114 mins.)
“ The most eccentric and psychedelic film with religious symbolisms. While it is arguably surreal, it does have an underlying narrative of people searching for immortality through an asceitc life. The irony is that the whole time the film was emphasizing not just the "journey" but living life here and now rather than anticipating a remote life that is merely an illusion. ” - philonous09
 
6.
El Topo (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A mysterious black-clad gunfighter wanders a mystical Western landscape encountering multiple bizarre characters. (125 mins.)
“ The director of the holy mountain makes another eccentric film with similar religious symbolisms, but the narrative here seems very two-face and ambiguous that it's hard to decipher it. ” - philonous09
 
7.
The Man Who Sleeps (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A 25-year-old male student in Paris becomes indifferent to the world around him, and subsequently feels a strong sense of alienation and hopelessness. (77 mins.)
“ A very decent existential movie...I honestly think it is the most existential movie of all existential movies, because it included themes that many existential movies didn't seem to empasize: Angst, Apathy, Loneliness, and Emptiness. ” - philonous09
 
8.
The Seventh Seal (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A man seeks answers about life, death, and the existence of God as he plays chess against the Grim Reaper during the Black Plague. (96 mins.)
Director: Ingmar Bergman
 
9.
I Heart Huckabees (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
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. (107 mins.)
 
10.
Fight Club (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
An insomniac office worker, looking for a way to change his life, crosses paths with a devil-may-care soap maker, forming an underground fight club that evolves into something much, much more. (139 mins.)
Director: David Fincher
 
11.
Crash (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Los Angeles citizens with vastly separate lives collide in interweaving stories of race, loss and redemption. (112 mins.)
Director: Paul Haggis
 
12.
Dark City (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A man struggles with memories of his past, including a wife he cannot remember, in a nightmarish world with no sun. (100 mins.)
Director: Alex Proyas
 
13.
Ikiru (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A bureaucrat tries to find a meaning in his life after he discovers he has terminal cancer. (143 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
 
14.
American Beauty (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A sexually frustrated suburban father has a mid-life crisis after becoming infatuated with his daughter's best friend. (122 mins.)
Director: Sam Mendes
 
15.
Being John Malkovich (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A puppeteer discovers a portal that leads literally into the head of movie star John Malkovich. (112 mins.)
Director: Spike Jonze
 
16.
Twelve Monkeys (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
In a future world devastated by disease, a convict is sent back in time to gather information about the man-made virus that wiped out most of the human population on the planet. (129 mins.)
Director: Terry Gilliam
 
17.
The Truman Show (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
An insurance salesman/adjuster discovers his entire life is actually a television show. (103 mins.)
Director: Peter Weir
 
18.
Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A vampire tells his epic life story: love, betrayal, loneliness, and hunger. (123 mins.)
Director: Neil Jordan
 
19.
American History X (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
A former neo-nazi skinhead tries to prevent his younger brother from going down the same wrong path that he did. (119 mins.)
Director: Tony Kaye
 
20.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
When their relationship turns sour, a couple undergoes a procedure to have each other erased from their memories. But it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with. (108 mins.)
Director: Michel Gondry
 
21.
The Meaning of Life (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The comedy team takes a look at life in all its stages in their own uniquely silly way. (107 mins.)
 
22.
The Matrix (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers. (136 mins.)
“ Probably the most overrated and widely used example to introduce Philosophy. While I am fond of the movie, and I do think that there are some explicit philosophical implications, I feel that it's so popularly used that I cannot ignore it from the list. ” - philonous09
 
23.
Taxi Driver (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A mentally unstable Vietnam War veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process. (113 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
 
24.
Donnie Darko (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
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. (113 mins.)
Director: Richard Kelly
 
25.
Tetsuo, the Iron Man (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A businessman accidentally kills The Metal Fetishist, who gets his revenge by slowly turning the man into a grotesque hybrid of flesh and rusty metal. (67 mins.)
 
26.
Blue Velvet (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The discovery of a severed human ear found in a field leads a young man on an investigation related to a beautiful, mysterious nightclub singer and a group of psychopathic criminals who have kidnapped her child. (120 mins.)
Director: David Lynch
 
27.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Humanity finds a mysterious, obviously artificial object buried beneath the Lunar surface and, with the intelligent computer H.A.L. 9000, sets off on a quest. (149 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
“ A very puzzling, surreal, yet philosophical film. All I can say is that it has some allusions to Nietzsche's notion of Will To Power, and it seems to be a sci-fi version of the man searching for enlightenment. ” - philonous09
 
28.
Harvard Man (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  
A basketball player strikes a deal with the mob to fix a basketball game. (99 mins.)
Director: James Toback
“ I think this movie is probably the most underrated films when it comes to having philosophical themes. While the plot seems understandably unrealistic, the dialogue and conversations are very philosophical. The "lecture" you would listen in the movie is also very deep. While it is not the best film to watch, I don't think anyone looking for philosophical movie should easily pass this one. ” - philonous09
 
29.
A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A highly advanced robotic boy longs to become "real" so that he can regain the love of his human mother. (146 mins.)
 
30.
Dogville (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A woman on the run from the mob is reluctantly accepted in a small Colorado town. In exchange, she agrees to work for them. As a search visits town, she finds out that their support has a price. Yet her dangerous secret is never far away... (178 mins.)
Director: Lars Von Trier
 
31.
The Thirteenth Floor (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Computer scientist Hannon Fuller has discovered something extremely important. He's about to tell the discovery to his colleague... (100 mins.)
Director: Josef Rusnak
 
32.
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 enjoyed this film, but I felt as if it sensationalized genetic engineering to the point of even misrepresenting it. While it is true that it was trying to conceive how genetic engineering can influence society in the future, I personally think that it leads viewers to misunderstand the application of Genetic Engineering. It depicted Genetic Engineering as a form of human eugenics when in actuality Genetic Engineering has virtually countless productive applications. Nonetheless, It's an interesting film to watch. ” - philonous09
 
33.
Baraka (1992 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
A collection of expertly photographed scenes of human life and religion. (96 mins.)
Director: Ron Fricke
 
34.
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
In future Britain, Alex DeLarge, a charismatic and psycopath delinquent, who likes to practice crimes and ultra-violence with his gang, is jailed and volunteers for an experimental aversion therapy developed by the government in an effort to solve society's crime problem - but not all goes according to plan. (136 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
“ One of the least favorite movies on my list, but it does convey an important message as a literary critique of Behaviorism. ” - philonous09
 
35.
Waking Life (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A man shuffles through a dream meeting various people and discussing the meanings and purposes of the universe. (99 mins.)
 
36.
Kafka (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Writer Franz Kafka works during the day at an insurance company where events lead him to discover a mysterious underground society with strange suppressive goals. (98 mins.)
 
37.
Wittgenstein (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A dramatization, in modern theatrical style, of the life and thought of the Viennese-born, Cambridge-educated... (72 mins.)
Director: Derek Jarman
“ I have to warn viewers that this isn't a very accurate biographical depiction of Wittgenstein, and while some of the depictions of his personality maybe true they are often exaggerated. However I praise the film despite this flaw for trying to depict the philosopher Wittgenstein as an eccentric man (and a homosexual) for his search for truth. Unfortunately, one can only appreciate the artistic settings of the film rather than learn anything fundamental about Wittgenstein. The director was able to conduct the whole film with a black background with objects and actors, and somehow it is able to influence the viewers to see the movie "differently". ” - philonous09
 
38.
Kinsey (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A look at the life of Alfred Kinsey, a pioneer in the area of human sexuality research, whose 1948 publication "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male" was one of the first recorded works that saw science address sexual behavior. (118 mins.)
Director: Bill Condon
“ Many would not consider this to be artistic, philosophical, or deep, but I may have to disagree with the consensus here. I think this film is a tribute to a man of science who strongly believes that even science must explore into the aspect of human life that is considered to be a taboo. Instead of demonizing sex, Kinsey explored it with a rational and curious approach that is considered radical by many, but as a result he found out so many facts that debunked traditional norms of sexual "morality" to the point of making look like a superstition. However Kinsey himself was a man trying to free himself from the sexual repression imposed by his family upbringing, and he does this through science as the means to emancipate humanity from repressive conventional superstition. ” - philonous09
 
39.
Socrates (1971 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
(120 mins.)
“ I'm surprise that the most classical philosophical films of all films is never mentioned in any website. This is a film about Socrates, an ancient greek philosopher who is the epitome of the philosopher. His relentless search for truth through dialectic or dialogue is admirable and fascinating, but what deserves praise about this film is that it was able to extract many dialogues from Plato's Socratic Dialogue. What is even more amazing is that the director was able to summarize each of those dialgoue to their essential core. The director seems to be so familiar with Socrates that he even included the Apology into the movie. For me, this is the best philosophical film ever. ” - philonous09
 
40.
Persona (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A nurse is put in charge of a mute actress and finds that their personas are melding together. (85 mins.)
Director: Ingmar Bergman
“ A deep freudian psychoanalytic film; in a very ironic way, the film is very psychoanalytic in that while the protagonist talks about her psychological life to the listener (who seems to act like a therapist) the radical kind of transference occurs. The listener appears to adopt the persona of the protagonist, and here you have a problem of identity. ” - philonous09
 
41.
Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A New York City doctor, who is married to an art curator, pushes himself on a harrowing and dangerous night-long odyssey of sexual and moral discovery after his wife admits that she once almost cheated on him. (159 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
 
42.
Life Is Beautiful (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
When an open-minded Jewish librarian and his son become victims of the Holocaust, he uses a perfect mixture of will, humor and imagination to protect his son from the dangers around their camp. (116 mins.)
Director: Roberto Benigni
 
43.
Agora (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A historical drama set in Roman Egypt, concerning a slave who turns to the rising tide of Christianity in the hope of pursuing freedom while falling in love with his mistress, the famous philosophy and mathematics professor Hypatia of Alexandria. (127 mins.)
 
44.
Into the Wild (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters that shape his life. (148 mins.)
Director: Sean Penn
 
45.
Cube (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Six complete strangers of widely varying personality characteristics are involuntarily placed in an endless kafkaesque maze containing deadly traps. (90 mins.)
Director: Vincenzo Natali
 
46.
Antichrist (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A grieving couple retreat to their cabin in the woods, hoping to repair their broken hearts and troubled marriage. But nature takes its course and things go from bad to worse. (108 mins.)
Director: Lars von Trier
 
47.
Psycho (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A Phoenix secretary embezzles $40,000 from her employer's client, goes on the run, and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother. (109 mins.)
 
48.
Vertigo (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A San Francisco detective suffering from acrophobia investigates the strange activities of an old friend's wife, all the while becoming dangerously obsessed with her. (128 mins.)
 
49.
Rope (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Two young men strangle their "inferior" classmate, hide his body in their apartment, and invite his friends and family to a dinner party as a means to challenge the "perfection" of their crime. (80 mins.)
 
50.
Amadeus (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
The incredible story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, told by his peer and secret rival Antonio Salieri - now confined to an insane asylum. (160 mins.)
Director: Milos Forman
 
51.
Vanilla Sky (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A self-indulgent and vain publishing magnate finds his privileged life upended after a vehicular accident with a resentful lover. (136 mins.)
Director: Cameron Crowe
 
52.
Open Your Eyes (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A very handsome man finds the love of his life, but he suffers an accident and needs to have his face rebuilt by surgery after it is severely disfigured. (117 mins.)
 
53.
Immortal Beloved (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
The life and death of the legendary Ludwig van Beethoven. Beside all the work he is known for, the composer... (121 mins.)
Director: Bernard Rose
 
54.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
A young F.B.I. cadet must confide in an incarcerated and manipulative killer to receive his help on catching another serial killer who skins his victims. (118 mins.)
Director: Jonathan Demme
 
55.
Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan: Tsuioku Hen (1999 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
In the era of Japan's Meiji Restoration, an assassin regains his humanity. (120 mins.)
 
56.
Solaris (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A troubled psychologist is sent to investigate the crew of an isolated research station orbiting a bizarre planet. (99 mins.)
 
57.
Moon (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Astronaut Sam Bell has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet's power problems. (97 mins.)
Director: Duncan Jones
 
58.
The Dark Knight (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.0/10 X  
When the menace known as the Joker wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham, the caped crusader must come to terms with one of the greatest psychological tests of his ability to fight injustice. (152 mins.)
 
59.
Network (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A television network cynically exploits a deranged former anchor's ravings and revelations about the news media for its own profit. (121 mins.)
Director: Sidney Lumet
 
60.
The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The life of Jesus Christ, his journey through life as he faces the struggles all humans do, and his final temptation on the cross. (164 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
 
61.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
A criminal pleads insanity after getting into trouble again and once in the mental institution rebels against the oppressive nurse and rallies up the scared patients. (133 mins.)
Director: Milos Forman
 
62.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
King Arthur and his knights embark on a low-budget search for the Grail, encountering many, very silly obstacles. (91 mins.)
 
63.
Life of Brian (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Brian is born on the original Christmas, in the stable next door. He spends his life being mistaken for a messiah. (94 mins.)
Director: Terry Jones
 
64.
Flight from Death: The Quest for Immortality (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Flight from Death is the first film to investigate the psychological The effects of death anxiety are embedded within everything we do across Flight from Death is the culmination of many years of research and (90 mins.)
Director: Patrick Shen
 
65.
A Beautiful Mind (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
After John Nash, a brilliant but asocial mathematician, accepts secret work in cryptography, his life takes a turn for the nightmarish. (135 mins.)
Director: Ron Howard