The 50 Greatest Independent Films

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1.
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
After a simple jewelry heist goes terribly wrong, the surviving criminals begin to suspect that one of them is a police informant. (99 mins.)
 
2.
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
 
3.
The Terminator (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A seemingly indestructible humanoid cyborg is sent from 2029 to 1984 to assassinate a waitress, whose unborn son will lead humanity in a war against the machines, while a soldier from that war is sent to protect her at all costs. (107 mins.)
Director: James Cameron
 
4.
Clerks (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A day in the lives of two convenience clerks named Dante and Randal as they annoy customers, discuss movies, and play hockey on the store roof. (92 mins.)
Director: Kevin Smith
 
5.
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
 
6.
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
There is panic throughout the nation as the dead suddenly come back to life. The film follows a group of characters who barricade themselves in an old farmhouse in an attempt to remain safe from these flesh eating monsters. (96 mins.)
 
7.
Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A sexually repressed woman's husband is having an affair with her sister. The arrival of a visitor with a rather unusual fetish changes everything. (100 mins.)
 
8.
The Usual Suspects (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
A sole survivor tells of the twisty events leading up to a horrific gun battle on a boat, which begin when five criminals meet at a seemingly random police lineup. (106 mins.)
Director: Bryan Singer
 
9.
Sideways (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Two men reaching middle age with not much to show but disappointment embark on a week-long road trip through California's wine country, just as one is about to take a trip down the aisle. (126 mins.)
Director: Alexander Payne
 
10.
Mean Streets (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A small-time hood aspires to work his way up the ranks of a local mob. (112 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
 
11.
Bad Taste (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
The population of a small town disappears and is replaced by aliens that chase human flesh for their intergalactic fast-food chain. (91 mins.)
Director: Peter Jackson
 
12.
Eraserhead (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Henry Spencer tries to survive his industrial environment, his angry girlfriend, and the unbearable screams of his newly born mutant child. (89 mins.)
Director: David Lynch
 
13.
Memento (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A man juggles searching for his wife's murderer and keeping his short-term memory loss from being an obstacle. (113 mins.)
 
14.
Stranger Than Paradise (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A self-styled New York hipster is paid a surprise visit by his younger cousin from Budapest. From initial... (89 mins.)
Director: Jim Jarmusch
 
15.
Blood Simple. (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A rich but jealous man hires a private investigator to kill his cheating wife and her new man. But, when blood is involved, nothing is simple. (99 mins.)
Director: Joel Coen
 
16.
She's Gotta Have It (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Story of a woman and her three lovers. (84 mins.)
Director: Spike Lee
 
17.
City of God (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
Two boys growing up in a violent neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro take different paths: one becomes a photographer, the other a drug dealer. (130 mins.)
 
18.
Withnail & I (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
London, 1969 - two 'resting' (unemployed and unemployable) actors, Withnail and Marwood, fed up with damp... (107 mins.)
Director: Bruce Robinson
 
19.
Lone Star (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
When the skeleton of his murdered predecessor is found, Sheriff Sam Deeds unearths many other long-buried secrets in his Texas border town. (135 mins.)
Director: John Sayles
 
20.
Slacker (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A day in the life of Austin, Texas as the camera roams from place to place and provides a brief look at the overeducated, the social misfits, the outcasts and the oddballs. (97 mins.)
 
21.
Roger & Me (1989 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Director Michael Moore pursues GM CEO Roger Smith to confront him about the harm he did to Flint, Michigan with his massive downsizing. (91 mins.)
Director: Michael Moore
 
22.
Nosferatu (1922)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Vampire Count Orlok expresses interest in a new residence and real estate agent Hutter's wife. (94 mins.)
Director: F.W. Murnau
 
23.
The Evil Dead (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons. (85 mins.)
Director: Sam Raimi
 
24.
Happiness (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The lives of several individuals intertwine as they go about their lives in their own unique ways, engaging in acts society as a whole might find disturbing in a desperate search for human connection. (134 mins.)
Director: Todd Solondz
 
25.
Drugstore Cowboy (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A pharmacy-robbing dope fiend and his crew pop pills and evade the law. (102 mins.)
 
26.
Lost in Translation (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A faded movie star and a neglected young woman form an unlikely bond after crossing paths in Tokyo. (101 mins.)
Director: Sofia Coppola
 
27.
Dark Star (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
In the far reaches of space, a small crew, 20 years into their solitary mission, find things beginning to go hilariously wrong. (83 mins.)
Director: John Carpenter
 
28.
In the Company of Men (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Two business executives--one an avowed misogynist, the other recently emotionally wounded by his love interest--set out to exact revenge on the female gender by seeking out the most innocent, uncorrupted girl they can find and ruining her life. (97 mins.)
Director: Neil Labute
 
29.
Bad Lieutenant (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
While investigating a young nun's rape, a corrupt New York City police detective, with a serious drug and gambling addiction, tries to change his ways and find forgiveness. (96 mins.)
Director: Abel Ferrara
 
30.
Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
After saving a Black Panther from some racist cops, a black male prostitute goes on the run from "the man" with the help of the ghetto community and some disillusioned Hells Angels. (97 mins.)
 
31.
Pink Flamingos (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Notorious Baltimore criminal and underground figure Divine goes up against a sleazy married couple who make a passionate attempt to humiliate her and seize her tabloid-given title as "The Filthiest Person Alive". (93 mins.)
Director: John Waters
 
32.
Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A story of two men drag-racing across the U.S. in a primer grey '55 Chevy. Dennis Wilson is the mechanic, James Taylor is the driver. (102 mins.)
Director: Monte Hellman
 
33.
Shallow Grave (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Three friends discover their new flatmate dead but loaded with cash. (89 mins.)
Director: Danny Boyle
 
34.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Three film students vanish after traveling into a Maryland forest to film a documentary on the local Blair Witch legend, leaving only their footage behind. (81 mins.)
 
35.
THX 1138 (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Set in the 25th century, the story centers around a man and a woman who rebel against their rigidly controlled society. (86 mins.)
Director: George Lucas
 
36.
Buffalo '66 (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
After being released from prison, Billy is set to visit his parents with his wife, who 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. (110 mins.)
Director: Vincent Gallo
 
37.
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
 
38.
Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Martin Blank is a professional assassin. He is sent on a mission to a small Detroit suburb, Grosse Pointe, and, by coincidence, his ten-year high school reunion party is taking place there at the same time. (107 mins.)
Director: George Armitage
 
39.
The Passion of the Christ (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Depicts the final twelve hours in the life of Jesus of Nazareth, on the day of his crucifixion in Jerusalem. (127 mins.)
Director: Mel Gibson
 
40.
The Descent (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A caving expedition goes horribly wrong, as the explorers become trapped and ultimately pursued by a strange breed of predators. (99 mins.)
Director: Neil Marshall
 
41.
Dead Man's Shoes (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A disaffected soldier returns to his hometown to get even with the thugs who brutalized his mentally-challenged brother years ago. (90 mins.)
Director: Shane Meadows
 
42.
Swingers (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Wannabe actors become regulars in the stylish neo-lounge scene; Trent teaches his friend Mike the unwritten rules of the scene. (96 mins.)
Director: Doug Liman
 
43.
Shadows (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Cassavetes' jazz-scored improvisational film explores interracial friendships and relationships in Beat-Era (1950s) New York City. (81 mins.)
Director: John Cassavetes
 
44.
Amores Perros (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A horrific car accident connects three stories, each involving characters dealing with loss, regret, and life's harsh realities, all in the name of love. (154 mins.)
 
45.
Mad Max (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
In a self-destructing world, a vengeful Australian policeman sets out to stop a violent motorcycle gang. (88 mins.)
Director: George Miller
 
46.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Two siblings visit their grandfather's grave in Texas along with three of their friends and are attacked by a family of cannibalistic psychopaths. (83 mins.)
Director: Tobe Hooper
 
47.
Blood Feast (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.0/10 X  
An Egyptian caterer kills various women in suburban Miami to use their body parts to bring to life a dormant Egyptian goddess, while an inept police detective tries to track him down. (67 mins.)
 
48.
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
 
49.
Run Lola Run (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
After a botched money delivery, Lola has 20 minutes to come up with 100,000 Deutschmarks. (81 mins.)
Director: Tom Tykwer
 
50.
El Mariachi (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A traveling mariachi is mistaken for a murderous criminal and must hide from a gang bent on killing him. (81 mins.)