Some really great indie movies to check out

Here are some of my favorite indie movies. Based on this list, if you have any recommendations, I would love to hear them. These are by no means my favorite movies. My top favorites are Seven, Fight Club, Memento, The Usual Suspects, Eternal Sunshine for the Spotless Mind, The Departed, and The Shawshank Redemption. I've just been really into "coming of age" movies lately, so I decided to make this list of some of my favorite indies in general. Feel free to comment or recommend some more!
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A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints (2006)
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The movie is a coming-of-age drama about a boy growing up in Astoria, New York during the 1980s. As his friends end up dead, on drugs, or in prison. He comes to believe he has been saved from their fates by various so-called saints. (100 mins.)
Director: Dito Montiel
“ This movie is not for everyone. It's slow and sometimes hard to watch but it's a true story, so it carries merit. The emotion is what draws me to it mostly. ” - GardenStatement
Away We Go (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A couple who is expecting their first child travel around the U.S. in order to find a perfect place to start their family. Along the way, they have misadventures and find fresh connections with an assortment of relatives and old friends who just might help them discover "home" on their own terms for the first time. (98 mins.)
Director: Sam Mendes
“ Great soundtrack composed by Alexi Murdoch mostly. Really heartfelt and some great dialogue. ” - GardenStatement
Beautiful Girls (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A piano player at a crossroads in his life returns home to his friends and their own problems with life and love. (112 mins.)
Director: Ted Demme
“ Coming of age movie that shows deals with how getting old is tough and about coming back to the hometown. I think a lot of us can relate to that. Also, great subplot about having a fine relationship by anyone else's standards but somehow believing there is more or someone better. ” - GardenStatement
Brick (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A teenage loner pushes his way into the underworld of a high school crime ring to investigate the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend. (110 mins.)
Director: Rian Johnson
“ See this movie. Just a slick, cool film with JGL who is one of my favorites. They created almost a new language with some of the code words they use so if you need to keep the subtitles on, you woulnd't have been the first. ” - GardenStatement
Chaos Theory (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
The story of an obsessively organized efficiency expert whose life unravels in unexpected ways when fate forces him to explore the serendipitous nature of love and forgiveness. (87 mins.)
Director: Marcos Siega
“ Really just a nice enjoyable film. Ryan Reynolds was perfectly cast. ” - GardenStatement
Conversations with Other Women (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
When a man and woman flirt with each other at a wedding reception, the sexual tension seems spontaneous. As they break from the party to a hotel room, the flirtation turns into a night filled with passion and remorse. (84 mins.)
Director: Hans Canosa
“ A divorced couple reconnects for one night, both having completely new lives. The acting is really excellent here and the unique double-camera technique takes some getting used to but ultimately adds, not detracts, from the film. Again, this film is about being happy, which sometimes can be hard. ” - GardenStatement
Defendor (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Arthur Poppington, a regular man who adopts a superhero persona, known as 'Defendor', combs the city streets at night, in search of his arch-enemy, Captain Industry. (101 mins.)
Director: Peter Stebbings
“ It's funny and it's got heart. Woody Harrelson is spot on for the role. ” - GardenStatement
Garden State (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A quietly troubled young man returns home for his mother's funeral after being estranged from his family for a decade. (102 mins.)
Director: Zach Braff
“ So well known that its hard to include on the list, but its one of my favorites. If you haven't seen it yet, chances are you won't but you should. ” - GardenStatement
Happythankyoumoreplease (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Captures a generational moment - young people on the cusp of truly growing up, tiring of their reflexive cynicism, each in their own ways struggling to connect and define what it means to love and be loved. (100 mins.)
Director: Josh Radnor
“ This film probably wouldn't make my top 75, but I really appreciate Josh Radnor for trying to make a sentimental indie. It's flawed but it has some really great elements too. It can be cliche at times but the relationships that develop make it into a completely fine movie. ” - GardenStatement
Kicking and Screaming (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
After college graduation, Grover's girlfriend Jane tells him she's moving to Prague to study writing... (96 mins.)
Director: Noah Baumbach
“ Boy, did I find this gem at the right time in my life. It's about getting out of college and not quite knowing what to do next. It's funny. It's serious. It's got elements of romance. I love this movie. ” - GardenStatement
King of California (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
An unstable dad who after getting out of a mental institution tries to convince his daughter that there's Spanish gold buried somewhere under suburbia. (93 mins.)
Director: Mike Cahill
“ Not one of my absolute favorites on the list but still enjoyable. The acting is top notch and the storyline is pretty unique and engrossing. ” - GardenStatement
Lars and the Real Girl (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A delusional young man strikes up an unconventional relationship with a doll he finds on the Internet. (106 mins.)
Director: Craig Gillespie
“ I love this movie as well. Very funny. Ryan Gosling has proven time and again he brings it with every movie. Great premise and heartfelt. Really can get invested in the characters and the welcoming community. ” - GardenStatement
Lymelife (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A family unit begins to bow under the pressure of a failing marriage. (95 mins.)
Director: Derick Martini
“ This is another gem of a movie. Deals with a disfunctional family but not in an annoying way. I liked this better than City Island, which has some similarites. Great ending too. ” - GardenStatement
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
High school student Nick O'Leary, member of the Queercore band The Jerk Offs, meets college-bound Norah Silverberg when she asks him to be her boyfriend for five minutes. (90 mins.)
Director: Peter Sollett
“ Just a little enjoyable flick that I've seen way too many times, mostly because it's easy to watch and it's short. The score is good and Michael Cera isn't over the top. ” - GardenStatement
Paper Man (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A washed-up writer forms an unlikely friendship with a teenager from Long Island. (110 mins.)
“ Very good acting in this one. I think the story is well told and though it is a bit uneasy to watch Jeff Daniels with Emma Stone as you wonder where the relationship is going, I found that the movie as a whole was good enough that it didn't deter me from enjoying it. ” - GardenStatement
The Air I Breathe (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A drama based on an ancient Chinese proverb that breaks life down into four emotional cornerstones: happiness, pleasure, sorrow and love. A businessman bets his life on a horse race; a gangster sees the future; a pop star falls prey to a crime boss; a doctor must save the love of his life. (95 mins.)
Director: Jieho Lee
“ Interlocking stories that are interesting in themselves. Great Acting. ” - GardenStatement
The Darjeeling Limited (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A year after their father's funeral, three brothers travel across India by train in an attempt to bond with each other. (91 mins.)
Director: Wes Anderson
“ Rushmore is one of my favorite comedies and Wes Anderson makes another nice little movie here with 3 likeable brothers in Wilson, Brody, and Schwartzman ” - GardenStatement
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
“ The mood here is well-set and the story is strong. JGL delivers again. ” - GardenStatement
The Jacket (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A Gulf war veteran is wrongly sent to a mental institution for insane criminals, where he becomes the object of a Doctor's experiments, and his life is completely affected by them. (103 mins.)
Director: John Maybury
“ Unique plot and good acting. One of the most interesting movies throughout. ” - GardenStatement
The Promotion (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
Two assistant managers of a corporate grocery store vie for a coveted promotion. (86 mins.)
Director: Steven Conrad
“ Some may not like this movie as much as I did but I really believe that the IMDB rating is too low. I would give it around a 6.5. It doesn't take itself too seriously and has some really awkwardly funny moments. It's very dry so if that's not your thing, then maybe skip it. But I find it hilarious. ” - GardenStatement
The Rules of Attraction (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
The incredibly spoiled and overprivileged students of Camden College are a backdrop for an unusual love triangle between a drug dealer, a virgin and a bisexual classmate. (110 mins.)
Director: Roger Avary
“ This is one messed up movie. Again, not for everyone. It's very sexual and the stories are depressing, but it's entertaining and a wild ride. Good ending too ” - GardenStatement
The Salton Sea (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
After a tragic incident, a man drifts into a world populated by thugs and speed junkies. (103 mins.)
Director: D.J. Caruso
“ One, if not the favorite movie on this list. The mood is set from the very beginning and doesn't let up. Story is tight and Val Kilmer is at his best. He's been down for a few years so don't be deterred. ” - GardenStatement
The Vicious Kind (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A man tries to warn his brother away from the new girlfriend he brings home during Thanksgiving, but ends up becoming infatuated with her in the process. (92 mins.)
“ So much emotion packed into one movie. Adam Scott has made some very good movies and tv (Party Down was a great show). Here, he shows off some of his acting chops and his angst, depression, sarcasm, restlessness, and regret come across to make one unique character. The movie itself is pretty darn good too. ” - GardenStatement
The Virgin Suicides (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A group of male friends become obsessed with five mysterious sisters who are sheltered by their strict, religious parents in suburban Detroit in the mid-1970s. (97 mins.)
Director: Sofia Coppola
“ I've really like the tone of this movie for a long time. It really shows off the strict religious household and the effects that repression can have on children growing up. This movie is a bit mysterious and that mystique is made well aware by the narrator and his friends, as well as the overall tone. ” - GardenStatement
Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A film set in a strange afterlife way station that has been reserved for people who have committed suicide. (88 mins.)
Director: Goran Dukic
“ The third movie I'll call a gem. Unique premise and storytelling, great mood, funny. After I saw this movie, I was singing the guy's band's song for weeks. Don't be deterred by the name. ” - GardenStatement
TiMER (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
If a clock could count down to the moment you meet your soul mate, would you want to know? (99 mins.)
Director: Jac Schaeffer
“ I really was just enthralled with the premise of this movie about having a clock that counts down until you meet your soul mate. When I watched it, I was waiting for it to turn cheesy or into a bad movie and it never did. I found myself wanting to see it again even. ” - GardenStatement
One Week (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Chronicles the motorcycle trip of Ben Tyler as he rides from Toronto to Tofino, British Columbia. Ben stops at landmarks that are both iconic and idiosyncratic on his quest to find meaning in his life. (94 mins.)
Director: Michael McGowan
“ Canada! This was really the kind of movie I was looking for. A guy that is forced to find out who he really is and what he really wants with his life, as he is diagnosed with cancer. The music is fantastic and I'm surprised it's not more highly heralded. ” - GardenStatement
(500) Days of Summer (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
An offbeat romantic comedy about a woman who doesn't believe true love exists, and the young man who falls for her. (95 mins.)
Director: Marc Webb
“ Saw this movie in the theater and knew instantly that I was going to love it. And an hour and a half later, it was true. I just think this movie is so unique. Good soundtrack, good acting, good story, non-linear story-telling. ” - GardenStatement
Beginners (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A young man is rocked by two announcements from his elderly father: that he has terminal cancer, and that he has a young male lover. (105 mins.)
Director: Mike Mills
“ Just so many unique aspects that make this movie highly enjoyable. Examines a surprising father-son relationship in its dying days, while showing the road to recovery and finding out how to love after a loss. Really enjoyed it. ” - GardenStatement
Another Earth (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
On the night of the discovery of a duplicate Earth in the Solar system, an ambitious young student and an accomplished composer cross paths in a tragic accident. (92 mins.)
Director: Mike Cahill
“ Don't go into this movie thinking it's going to be a great sci-fi movie. The sci-fi is merely background to drive the plot a bit. Really, it's about a girl trying to clear her conscience after an accident and really struggling with life after jail. Super intriguing, very emotional, and clever. I loved it. ” - GardenStatement
Midnight in Paris (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
While on a trip to Paris with his fiancée's family, a nostalgic screenwriter finds himself mysteriously going back to the 1920s everyday at midnight. (94 mins.)
Director: Woody Allen
“ Where to begin with this movie? The scenery and acting are wonderful, the concept is genius, it's funny, it's charming, it's endearing, etc. etc. It's the highest grossing Woody Allen movie for a reason (no slight to any of his other movies). ” - GardenStatement
Before Sunset (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Nine years after Jesse and Celine first met, they encounter each other again on the French leg of Jesse's book tour. (80 mins.)
“ You definitely need to check out Before Sunrise before watching this movie otherwise it won't be as meaningful, but chances are you will find this one the better of the 2. Strictly dialogue that drives this movie and a lot of it is improvised but the chemistry is undeniable. ” - GardenStatement
Stuck Between Stations (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Former high school classmates reunite by chance during a chaotic party-filled evening. (85 mins.)
Director: Brady Kiernan
“ Great little indie flick with the great Minneapolis backdrop. Kind of bizarre choice for the last 15 minutes or so but great dialogue and scenery. ” - GardenStatement
Daydream Nation (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A city girl who moves to a small town and becomes entangled in a love triangle between her high school teacher and a stoner classmate. (98 mins.)
“ Intriguing as the plot builds. So many different aspects that really make you stick with it as it delves deeper into the lives of the people that occupy this f'd up small town. I really found myself just mesmerized with the various plot lines, enough so to include it on my list. ” - GardenStatement
Ceremony (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
Two friends are off on a weekend outing. Marshall thinks the trip is to re-establish their friendship, but Sam has ulterior motives in mind as he crashes the wedding of a woman he still loves. (89 mins.)
Director: Max Winkler
“ Takes some getting used to but in the end, it'll stick with you. At first, I wanted to punch the main character, but as the story evolves, you see the little things that make him tick and how this particular situation means the world to him. It's quirky and heartfelt, which will usually hook me in. ” - GardenStatement
Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Haunted by painful memories and increasing paranoia, a damaged woman struggles to re-assimilate with her family after fleeing an abusive cult. (102 mins.)
Director: Sean Durkin
“ Haunting and draws you in and keeps you glued to the screen all throughout. ” - GardenStatement
I'm Reed Fish (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
Reed Fish's life turns into chaos when a high school crush returns to Mud Meadows on the eve of his marriage to the small town's sweetheart. (93 mins.)
Director: Zackary Adler
“ Unique plot line and down to earth acting make this one to watch. I, for one, like Jay Baruchel, so if you don't like him, I woudn't bother. However, I think that the story really connects and makes this movie interesting enough to add to the list. ” - GardenStatement
Like Crazy (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A British college student falls for an American student, only to be separated from him when she's banned from the U.S. after overstaying her visa. (86 mins.)
Director: Drake Doremus
“ The cinematography is great here. The plot is great. The acting is great. It just hits you hard, especially the ending. You root for two characters that you may feel a connection for more than they do themselves. ” - GardenStatement
Submarine (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
15-year-old Oliver Tate has two objectives: To lose his virginity before his next birthday, and to extinguish the flame between his mother and an ex-lover who has resurfaced in her life. (97 mins.)
Director: Richard Ayoade
“ A quirky, little British film that makes you laugh, while also grabbing your heart and making you feel for the main character. Interesting story that breaks up its focus and leaves you locked in to what is happening at all times. ” - GardenStatement
Take Me Home (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Soon after Thom starts operating as an illegal taxi driver in New York City, Claire hires him to drive her to California after her estranged father suffers a heart attack. (97 mins.)
Director: Sam Jaeger
“ Nice little road movie; simple and understated. Good start to Sam Jaeger's writing/directing career. Hope he decides to write and direct more. ” - GardenStatement
Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Three magazine employees head out on an assignment to interview a guy who placed a classified advertisement seeking a companion for time travel. (86 mins.)
Director: Colin Trevorrow
“ Grabbed this one on blu-ray because it was one of, if not my favorite, movie from 2012. Funny with heart and a great premise. I really dig the actors cast for this film and they really just make it an easy watch that is really enjoyable. ” - GardenStatement
Celeste & Jesse Forever (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A divorcing couple tries to maintain their friendship while they both pursue other people. (92 mins.)
“ Pretty funny and interesting throughout. A good story of growing up, getting over your past when you have to, and moving on. ” - GardenStatement
Straight A's (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
Pressured by his deceased mother's ghost to return home to the family he abandoned, a former addict grabs a bag of pills and a sack of marijuana and hits the road to Louisiana. (91 mins.)
Director: James Cox
Liberal Arts (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
When 30-something Jesse returns to his alma mater for a professor's retirement party, he falls for Zibby, a college student, and is faced with a powerful attraction that springs up between them. (97 mins.)
Director: Josh Radnor
“ Another Josh Radnor flick. I liked this one a bit better than HappyThankYouMorePlease. A mid-life crisis movie with humor and some sensibility. Just great scenes of dialogue that drive the movie's plot along. ” - GardenStatement