My Top Films

by tartanllama | created - 25 Aug 2011 | updated - 11 Nov 2015 | Public

My favourite films. In only a vague order.

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1. It's Such a Beautiful Day (2012)

Not Rated | 62 min | Animation, Comedy, Drama

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
90 Metascore

Bill struggles to put together his shattered psyche, in this new feature film version of Don Hertzfeldt's animated short film trilogy.

Votes: 7,765

An achingly profound and beautiful film about the ordinary and extraordinary. If you are a human being, you owe it to yourself to watch this film. If you are a robot, then you might enjoy it anyway.

2. Stalker (1979)

Not Rated | 162 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

8.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A guide leads two men through an area known as the Zone to find a room that grants wishes.

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky | Stars: Alisa Freyndlikh, Aleksandr Kaydanovskiy, Anatoliy Solonitsyn, Nikolay Grinko

Votes: 80,983 | Gross: $0.23M

The cinematography is near-perfect and the imagery is surreal and affecting. The amazing style is complemented by incredibly profound substance, exploring faith, art and science in a fragmented world.

3. Andrei Rublev (1966)

Not Rated | 205 min | Biography, Drama, History

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

The life, times and afflictions of the fifteenth-century Russian iconographer.

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky | Stars: Anatoliy Solonitsyn, Ivan Lapikov, Nikolay Grinko, Nikolay Sergeev

Votes: 29,025

Art and faith are explored very deeply with the most wonderful eye for beauty. The historical setting is perfectly realised and adds to the dark, oppressive nature of the film, which requires the wonder of art and faith to truly escape.

4. The House Is Black (1963)

20 min | Documentary, Short

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Set in a leper colony in the north of Iran, The House is Black juxtaposes "ugliness", of which there is much in the world as stated in the opening scenes, with religion and gratitude.

Director: Forugh Farrokhzad | Stars: Forugh Farrokhzad, Ebrahim Golestan, Hossein Mansouri

Votes: 3,101

This is poetry in film version. The disturbing images of a leper colony are offset by such an intense humanism and joy of life. At this length, it should be required viewing for anyone who says they enjoy art.

5. Come and See (1985)

Not Rated | 142 min | Drama, War

8.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

After finding an old rifle, a young boy joins the Soviet resistance movement against ruthless German forces and experiences the horrors of World War II.

Director: Elem Klimov | Stars: Aleksey Kravchenko, Olga Mironova, Liubomiras Laucevicius, Vladas Bagdonas

Votes: 33,054

A brutal, but totally engrossing journey which is the best war film I've seen. I will remember a number of the scenes for the rest of my life, but the masterful execution keeps me watching the film again and again. Hypnotic and disturbing.

6. Persona (1966)

Not Rated | 83 min | Drama, Thriller

8.1
Rate this
    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.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Margaretha Krook, Gunnar Björnstrand

Votes: 72,274

This is the film which really got me in to art cinema and it is still one of my favourites. The haunting imagery, fractured narrative, surrealistic tendencies and amazing cinematography go together to create a true masterpiece.

7. Out 1, noli me tangere (1971)

Not Rated | 729 min | Drama

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
87 Metascore

"Out 1" is a very precise picture of post May 1968 malaise - when Utopian dreams of a new society had crashed and burned, radical terrorism was starting to emerge in unlikely places and a ... See full summary »

Directors: Jacques Rivette, Suzanne Schiffman | Stars: Michèle Moretti, Hermine Karagheuz, Karen Puig, Pierre Baillot

Votes: 851 | Gross: $0.03M

Completely dispenses with the idea of efficiency in storytelling, resulting in a languid, sprawling masterpiece which will never have an analogue.

8. Angel's Egg (1985)

71 min | Animation, Drama, Fantasy

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A mysterious young girl wanders a desolate, otherworldly landscape, carrying a large egg.

Director: Mamoru Oshii | Stars: Mako Hyôdô, Jinpachi Nezu, Kei'ichi Noda

Votes: 4,067

9. Mother and Son (1997)

73 min | Drama

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A slow and poignant story of love and patience told via a dying mother nursed by her devoted son. The simple narrative is a thread woven among the deeply spiritual images of the countryside... See full summary »

Director: Aleksandr Sokurov | Stars: Aleksei Ananishnov, Gudrun Geyer

Votes: 3,152

The most beautiful film I've seen. The exploration of the relationship between mother and son is incredibly tender and poetic. The visual style is unique and very painterly, helping pile on the amazement.

10. Pastoral Hide and Seek (1974)

104 min | Drama, Fantasy

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A young boys' coming of age tale set in a strange, carnivalesque village becomes the recreation of a memory that the director has twenty years later.

Director: Shûji Terayama | Stars: Kaoru Yachigusa, Keiko Niitaka, Masumi Harukawa, Kan Mikami

Votes: 847

It's a crime that this film is not more readily available. It is a brutally honest study of film-making and viewing life through rose-tinted glasses of nostalgia. It is also delightfully strange and visually stunning.

11. The Hourglass Sanatorium (1973)

124 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Józef visits his dying father at a remote mental institution, where time itself doesn't seem to exist, and the line between dreams and memories becomes indistinguishable.

Director: Wojciech Has | Stars: Jan Nowicki, Tadeusz Kondrat, Irena Orska, Halina Kowalska

Votes: 2,334

The best depiction of a dream on film I have seen, easily. Not only that, it is also very funny, profound and contemplative. A totally singular experience.

12. Red Desert (1964)

Not Rated | 117 min | Drama

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In an industrial area, Giuliana, an unstable woman, attempts to cope with life by starting an affair with a co-worker at the plant her husband manages.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni | Stars: Monica Vitti, Richard Harris, Carlo Chionetti, Xenia Valderi

Votes: 10,503

Although most people prefer the films in his alienation trilogy, I believe this to be Antonioni's masterpiece. Colour is used in a very original way and the exploration of mental instability is subtle and deep. The seaside story is one of my favourite film scenes.

13. The Double Life of Veronique (1991)

R | 98 min | Drama, Fantasy, Music

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
86 Metascore

Two parallel stories about two identical women; one living in Poland, the other in France. They don't know each other, but their lives are nevertheless profoundly connected.

Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski | Stars: Irène Jacob, Wladyslaw Kowalski, Halina Gryglaszewska, Kalina Jedrusik

Votes: 32,350 | Gross: $2.00M

My favourite film score. Kieslowski was a master at using music and colour to their full potential and both are on magnificent display here. Add in some very interesting themes on identity and relational bonds and you have one of the best films ever made.

14. Last Year at Marienbad (1961)

Not Rated | 94 min | Drama, Mystery

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In a strange and isolated chateau, a man becomes acquainted with a woman and insists that they have met before.

Director: Alain Resnais | Stars: Delphine Seyrig, Giorgio Albertazzi, Sacha Pitoëff, Françoise Bertin

Votes: 16,023 | Gross: $0.14M

Sacha Vierny is undoubtedly one of the best cinematographers to live and this is not only his best work, but one of the best-shot films ever. The content is deliberately opaque, but if one lets oneself get carried away in the atmosphere, none of that matters.

15. Le soulier de satin (1985)

410 min | Drama

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

During the century of the Spanish Gold, Doña Prouhèze, wife of a nobleman, deeply loves Don Rodrigo, who is forced to leave Spain and go to America. Meanwhile Prouhèze is sent to Africa to ... See full summary »

Director: Manoel de Oliveira | Stars: Luís Miguel Cintra, Patricia Barzyk, Anne Consigny, Anne Gautier

Votes: 119

A 7-hour-long film has no business being this philosophically dense, but somehow it maintains an incredibly deep level of insight while telling a suitably epic story.

16. Institute Benjamenta, or This Dream That One Calls Human Life (1995)

105 min | Animation, Drama

7.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A young man goes to a school for servants run by a brother and sister. In the dreamlike and surreal world that he enters, how will his presence impact the people there and possibly even the school itself?

Directors: Stephen Quay, Timothy Quay | Stars: Mark Rylance, Alice Krige, Gottfried John, Daniel Smith

Votes: 1,447

An incredibly oneiric and immersive experience which defies categorisation. The imagery is unsettling, but strangely beautiful, and the material is incredibly dense and intelligent.

17. The Human Condition I: No Greater Love (I) (1959)

Not Rated | 208 min | Drama, War

8.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

A Japanese pacifist, unable to face the dire consequences of conscientious objection, is transformed by his attempts to compromise with the demands of war-time Japan.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Michiyo Aratama, Chikage Awashima, Ineko Arima

Votes: 4,420

Sweeping, beautiful, ugly and masterful. 10 hours of pure cinematic excellence and a vicious attack against war.

18. The Human Condition II: Road to Eternity (II) (1959)

Not Rated | 181 min | Drama, History, War

8.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

As a conscript in war-time Japan's military, a pacifist struggles to maintain his determination to keep his ideals.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Michiyo Aratama, Kokinji Katsura, Jun Tatara

Votes: 3,426

19. The Human Condition III: A Soldier's Prayer (1961)

Not Rated | 190 min | Drama, History, War

8.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

His ideals challenged by life as a conscript in war-time Japan's military, a pacifist faces ever greater tests in his fight for survival.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Michiyo Aratama, Tamao Nakamura, Yûsuke Kawazu

Votes: 3,382

20. Soy Cuba (1964)

108 min | Drama, Music, War

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Four vignettes about the lives of the Cuban people set during the pre-revolutionary era.

Director: Mikhail Kalatozov | Stars: Sergio Corrieri, Salvador Wood, José Gallardo, Raúl García

Votes: 6,590 | Gross: $0.16M

Although the cinematography in other films may be more beautiful, that in Soy Cuba is undoubtedly the most technically impressive I have seen by a long shot.

21. O-bi, O-ba - Koniec cywilizacji (1985)

88 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Set in an underground dungeon inhabited by bundled, ragged human beings, after the nuclear holocaust. The story follows the wanderings of a hero through the situations of survival. People ... See full summary »

Director: Piotr Szulkin | Stars: Jerzy Stuhr, Krystyna Janda, Kalina Jedrusik, Mariusz Dmochowski

Votes: 677

Gah, why don't more people know about this film? It's one of the best Science Fiction films I've seen, containing an incredibly believable vision of the future and great parallels about authority and human needs.

22. Solaris (1972)

PG | 167 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

8.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
90 Metascore

A psychologist is sent to a station orbiting a distant planet in order to discover what has caused the crew to go insane.

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky | Stars: Natalya Bondarchuk, Donatas Banionis, Jüri Järvet, Vladislav Dvorzhetskiy

Votes: 61,852

The best film I have seen about memory. It also carries all the Tarkovsky trademarks, such as the visual style, honesty and being one of the best films ever made.

23. Juliet of the Spirits (1965)

Not Rated | 137 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
81 Metascore

Visions, memories, and mysticism all help a 40-something woman to find the strength to leave her cheating husband.

Director: Federico Fellini | Stars: Giulietta Masina, Sandra Milo, Mario Pisu, Valentina Cortese

Votes: 9,425 | Gross: $0.08M

24. Fellini - Satyricon (1969)

R | 129 min | Drama, Fantasy, History

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A series of disjointed mythical tales set in first century Rome.

Director: Federico Fellini | Stars: Martin Potter, Hiram Keller, Max Born, Salvo Randone

Votes: 12,643

25. Ordet (1955)

Not Rated | 126 min | Drama, Fantasy

8.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Follows the lives of the Borgen family, as they deal with inner conflict, as well as religious conflict with each other, and the rest of the town.

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer | Stars: Henrik Malberg, Emil Hass Christensen, Preben Lerdorff Rye, Hanne Aagesen

Votes: 10,996

One of the most affecting explorations of faith I have seen. It is also deeply humanistic, beautifully composed and delicately paced.

26. Through a Glass Darkly (1961)

Not Rated | 89 min | Drama

8.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Recently released from a mental hospital; Karin rejoins her emotionally disconnected family and their island home, only to slip from reality as she begins to believe she is being visited by God.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Harriet Andersson, Gunnar Björnstrand, Max von Sydow, Lars Passgård

Votes: 17,243

I find this to be one of Bergman's most optimistic films. It is also one of his most accomplished, thematically and visually. The final scene is one which I recall frequently and is forever etched onto my memory.

27. Fireworks (1997)

103 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Nishi leaves the police in the face of harrowing personal and professional difficulties. Spiraling into depression, he makes questionable decisions.

Director: Takeshi Kitano | Stars: Takeshi Kitano, Kayoko Kishimoto, Ren Osugi, Susumu Terajima

Votes: 23,004 | Gross: $0.23M

One of my favourite film scores. The whole work just oozes with aching beauty, I almost forget how violent it is. The sense of distance and longing is, in my mind, unparalleled.

28. The Red Shoes (1948)

Not Rated | 134 min | Drama, Music, Romance

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A young ballet dancer is torn between the man she loves and her pursuit to become a prima ballerina.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger | Stars: Anton Walbrook, Marius Goring, Moira Shearer, Jean Short

Votes: 22,229 | Gross: $10.90M

Just thinking about the ballet scene in this makes me want to watch the film again. It's easily one of the most magical and visually stunning scenes I've seen. If that weren't enough, the rest of the film is also full of eye candy and intelligent musings on obsession.

29. Black Narcissus (1947)

Not Rated | 101 min | Drama

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

After opening a convent in the Himalayas, five nuns encounter conflict and tension - both with the natives and also within their own group - as they attempt to adapt to their remote, exotic surroundings.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger | Stars: Deborah Kerr, David Farrar, Flora Robson, Jenny Laird

Votes: 17,309

Powell & Pressburger and Jack Cardiff really work wonders together. The themes on nature, repression and temptation are very well explored and the technicolour images are simply beautiful. The "I couldn't hide the mountain" speech is one of my favourite in cinema history.

30. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

G | 149 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
86 Metascore

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.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester, Daniel Richter

Votes: 481,561 | Gross: $56.95M

Strauss, Space, Stanley and Supercomputers. Still one of the most visually impressive films ever made, with an interesting story and intelligent themes to boot.

31. The Holy Mountain (1973)

R | 114 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

7.9
Rate this
    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.

Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky | Stars: Alejandro Jodorowsky, Horacio Salinas, Zamira Saunders, Juan Ferrara

Votes: 27,309 | Gross: $0.06M

I believe this to be far superior to the intriguing, but fairly empty El Topo (I realise I'm in the minority here). The combination of the intense colour palate, great photography and plain craziness make this truly a one-of-a-kind film.

32. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

R | 136 min | Crime, Drama, Sci-Fi

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
78 Metascore

In the future, a sadistic gang leader is imprisoned and volunteers for a conduct-aversion experiment, but it doesn't go as planned.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates, Warren Clarke

Votes: 623,356

One of the films which was responsible for my delving further into cinema. Not much to be said that hasn't been already. Kubrick and McDowell are both phenomenal.

33. Samurai Rebellion (1967)

Not Rated | 128 min | Drama

8.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

The mother of a feudal lord's only heir is kidnapped away from her husband by the lord. The husband and his samurai father must decide whether to accept the unjust decision, or risk death to get her back.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Yôko Tsukasa, Gô Katô, Tatsuyoshi Ehara

Votes: 8,285

Kobayashi is one of the most underrated classical Japanese directors in my mind. I would go so far as to put him above Kurosawa, Ozu and Mizoguchi. Don't let the title put you off, instead of a generic Chanbara romp, this is an incredibly effective examination of family, love and authority. The ending is one of the best I've seen.

34. Kwaidan (1964)

Not Rated | 183 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A collection of four Japanese folk tales with supernatural themes.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi | Stars: Rentarô Mikuni, Michiyo Aratama, Misako Watanabe, Kenjirô Ishiyama

Votes: 11,443

More Kobayashi. This is the film which really got me into Japanese cinema and remains one of my favourites. The imagery and hand-drawn backdrops are stunningly beautiful. I love the slow pacing and atmospheric music, which help you drift along, caught up in the dreamlike nature of the film.

35. Nostalgia (1983)

Not Rated | 125 min | Drama

8.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A Russian poet and his interpreter travel to Italy to research the life of an 18th-century composer.

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky | Stars: Oleg Yankovskiy, Erland Josephson, Domiziana Giordano, Patrizia Terreno

Votes: 15,641 | Gross: $0.01M

Great performances and lots of thought-provoking musings on poetry, art, faith, belonging and more. Of course, this being a Tarkovsky film it also has some of the most achingly beautiful and meaningful images committed to film. The final shot in particular is one of the best I've seen.

36. Eraserhead (1977)

Not Rated | 89 min | Horror

7.4
Rate this
    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.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Jack Nance, Charlotte Stewart, Allen Joseph, Jeanne Bates

Votes: 80,606 | Gross: $7.00M

The combination of great sound design, unsettling imagery and plain Lynchian weirdness make this his best film IMHO. Creepy, funny and dreamlike.

37. The Seventh Seal (1957)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Fantasy

8.2
Rate this
    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.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Max von Sydow, Gunnar Björnstrand, Bengt Ekerot, Nils Poppe

Votes: 125,740

Classic Bergman. Near flawless acting, direction, cinematography, emotion and meaning. I find it not quite as impactful as some of his other films, however.

38. Diamonds of the Night (1964)

63 min | Drama, War

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Diamonds in the night is the tense, brutal story of two Jewish boys who escape from a train transporting them from one concentration camp to another. Ultimately, they are hunted down by a ... See full summary »

Director: Jan Nemec | Stars: Ladislav Jánsky, Antonín Kumbera, Ilse Bischofova, Ivan Asic

Votes: 1,182

Contains some of the best editing work I have seen. One of the rare films which instead of telling a story, expresses the fears, hopes, thoughts and anguishes of the characters in a raw, direct fashion.

39. Spalovac mrtvol (1969)

95 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

8.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Set in World War II, a demented cremator believes cremation relieves earthly suffering and sets out to save the world.

Director: Juraj Herz | Stars: Rudolf Hrusínský, Vlasta Chramostová, Jana Stehnová, Milos Vognic

Votes: 5,001

One of the best films in the wonderful output of Czech(oslovak) cinema. It manages to be both very funny and deeply chilling without sacrificing impact on either side. The central performance is pitch-perfect and the cinematography is a joy to watch.

40. The Sacrifice (1986)

PG | 149 min | Drama

8.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

At the dawn of World War III, a man searches for a way to restore peace to the world and finds he must give something in return.

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky | Stars: Erland Josephson, Susan Fleetwood, Allan Edwall, Guðrún Gísladóttir

Votes: 16,923 | Gross: $0.30M

Can't go wrong with Tarkovsky. As usual, it's a stunningly shot examination of faith and humanity. The scene where Alexander tells about his mother's garden is one of the most perfect I have seen.

41. Happy End (1967)

71 min | Comedy, Crime

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A dark comedy about a murder and its consequences presented in a backwards manner, where death is actually a rebirth. The film starts with an "execution" of the main protagonist and goes ... See full summary »

Director: Oldrich Lipský | Stars: Vladimír Mensík, Jaroslava Obermaierová, Josef Abrhám, Bohus Záhorský

Votes: 757

It's a crime that this film isn't better known; it's undoubtedly one of the most clever and funniest comedies around. The whole film is played backwards with a narration over it which pretends this is how things happened.

42. Amer (2009)

Not Rated | 90 min | Horror, Thriller

6.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
72 Metascore

As a young girl Ana was a rebellious child. She was also tormented by images of death and a shadowy, ominous figure in black. Now an adult, she is once again tormented by shadowy, other-worldly forms.

Directors: Hélène Cattet, Bruno Forzani | Stars: Cassandra Forêt, Charlotte Eugène Guibeaud, Marie Bos, Biancamaria D'Amato

Votes: 4,701

43. The Ascent (1977)

111 min | Drama, War

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In a freezing cold World War II winter, two pro-Soviet partisans - Sotnikov and Rybak - head off to find food for themselves and their compatriots. They find a goat at the home of a German ... See full summary »

Director: Larisa Shepitko | Stars: Boris Plotnikov, Vladimir Gostyukhin, Sergey Yakovlev, Lyudmila Polyakova

Votes: 4,441

War film by the wife of Elem Klimov of Idi I Smotri fame. This one is almost as good; it is a very detailed, harrowing, but beautiful study of brotherhood, honour and war.

44. Woman in the Dunes (1964)

Not Rated | 123 min | Drama, Thriller

8.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

An entomologist on vacation is trapped by local villagers into living with a woman whose life task is shoveling sand for them.

Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara | Stars: Eiji Okada, Kyôko Kishida, Hiroko Itô, Kôji Mitsui

Votes: 13,095

One of the most visually beautiful films around. It is also a wonderfully enigmatic, surreal and sensual view into existence and the human condition.

45. Brand Upon the Brain! A Remembrance in 12 Chapters (2006)

Not Rated | 95 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
79 Metascore

Returned home to his long-estranged mother upon a request from her deathbed, a man raised by his parents in an orphanage has to confront the childhood memories that have long haunted him.

Director: Guy Maddin | Stars: Gretchen Krich, Sullivan Brown, Maya Lawson, Katherine E. Scharhon

Votes: 3,014 | Gross: $0.23M

A perfect combination of style and substance. Maddin's wildly experimental and silent-film-influenced signature is perfected alongside some very interesting ideas on childhood, repression and memory.

46. Tanin no kao (1966)

Not Rated | 124 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A businessman with a disfigured face obtains a lifelike mask from his doctor, but the mask starts altering his personality.

Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Mikijirô Hira, Kyôko Kishida, Miki Irie

Votes: 5,205

A phenomenal exploration of identity with masterful cinematography, direction and music.

47. La ville des pirates (1983)

Not Rated | 111 min | Drama, Fantasy

7.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A surreal odyssey in which a melancholic maidservant crosses paths with a homicidal little boy, travels to a tiny island of pirates and encounters a man with multiple personalities.

Director: Raoul Ruiz | Stars: Hugues Quester, Anne Alvaro, Melvil Poupaud, André Engel

Votes: 553

48. 3-Iron (2004)

R | 88 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
72 Metascore

A transient young man breaks into empty homes to partake of the vacationing residents' lives for a few days.

Director: Ki-duk Kim | Stars: Seung-yeon Lee, Hee Jae, Hyuk-ho Kwon, Jeong-ho Choi

Votes: 42,083 | Gross: $0.24M

49. Blade Runner (1982)

R | 117 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
89 Metascore

A blade runner must pursue and try to terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space and have returned to Earth to find their creator.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos

Votes: 548,804 | Gross: $27.00M

One of the more standard films on my list, but that doesn't make it any less amazing. The exploration of existentialist themes is up there with Teshigahara in terms of effectiveness and the world is incredibly well thought out. Also, the Tears in Rain monologue is still unsurpassed in my book.

50. The Color of Pomegranates (1969)

Not Rated | 79 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A super-stylized, surreal biography of Armenian troubadour Sayat Nova, whose life is depicted through non-narrative amalgamations of poetic images.

Director: Sergei Parajanov | Stars: Sofiko Chiaureli, Melkon Alekyan, Vilen Galstyan, Gogi Gegechkori

Votes: 6,032

I can't pretend to understand most of it, but it's easily one of the most beautiful films I've seen. The mise en scène and compositions are striking, unique and masterful.

51. Sherlock Jr. (1924)

Unrated | 45 min | Action, Comedy, Romance

8.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A film projectionist longs to be a detective, and puts his meagre skills to work when he is framed by a rival for stealing his girlfriend's father's pocketwatch.

Director: Buster Keaton | Stars: Buster Keaton, Kathryn McGuire, Joe Keaton, Erwin Connelly

Votes: 24,456

I'm not sure I've laughed as hard during a film as when Keaton jumps through that window. The stunts are incredible and everything is designed with startling imagination.

52. Nuit noire (2005)

90 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Add a Plot

Director: Olivier Smolders | Stars: Fabrice Rodriguez, Yves-Marie Gnahoua, Philippe Corbisier, Iris De Busschere

Votes: 459

Like a modern day Eraserhead; incredibly strange, but somehow hypnotic and extremely unnerving.

53. Mother Joan of the Angels (1961)

110 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A priest is sent to a small parish in the Polish countryside which is believed to be under demonic possession and there he finds his own temptations awaiting.

Director: Jerzy Kawalerowicz | Stars: Lucyna Winnicka, Mieczyslaw Voit, Anna Ciepielewska, Maria Chwalibóg

Votes: 2,106

A sadly overlooked masterpiece which is wonderfully shot, dark and has some very profound ideas on love and religion.

54. Satantango (1994)

450 min | Drama

8.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Plotting on a payment they are about to receive, residents of a collapsing collective farm see their plans turn into desolation when they discover that Irimiás, a former co-worker who they thought was dead, is coming back to the village.

Director: Béla Tarr | Stars: Mihály Vig, Putyi Horváth, László feLugossy, Éva Almássy Albert

Votes: 7,014

Incredibly atmospheric, well shot and immersive. The fact that it can hold one's attention for 7 hours with barely anything happening is a feat in itself.

55. Ai no mukidashi (2008)

Unrated | 237 min | Action, Comedy, Drama

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
78 Metascore

A bizarre love triangle forms between a young Catholic upskirt photographer, a misandric girl and a manipulative cultist.

Director: Sion Sono | Stars: Takahiro Nishijima, Hikari Mitsushima, Sakura Andô, Yutaka Shimizu

Votes: 8,737

Mixes comedy, drama, poingancy, kung-fu up-skirt photography, cultists with budgies and much more in a way that somehow comes off as effortless.

56. Mistérios de Lisboa (2010)

Not Rated | 272 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
82 Metascore

Follows a jealous countess, a wealthy businessman, and a young orphaned boy across Portugal, France, Italy and Brazil where they connect with a variety of mysterious individuals.

Director: Raoul Ruiz | Stars: Adriano Luz, Maria João Bastos, Ricardo Pereira, Clotilde Hesme

Votes: 2,734 | Gross: $0.11M

57. Manoel dans l'île des merveilles (1984– )

130 min | Drama, Fantasy

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Manuel's fantasy travel through Time goes from Long Ago (Episode 1 - O jardim proibido / Le Jardin interdit) through Now (Episode 2 - O pique-nique dos sonhos / Le Pique-nique des rêves), ... See full summary »

Stars: Ruben de Freitas, Teresa Madruga, Fernando Heitor, Marco Paulo de Freitas

Votes: 114

58. Un homme qui dort (1974)

77 min | Drama

8.2
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    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.

Director: Bernard Queysanne | Stars: Jacques Spiesser, Ludmila Mikaël

Votes: 1,786

59. Faces (I) (1968)

R | 130 min | Drama

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A middle-aged man leaves his wife for a younger woman. Shortly after, his ex-wife also begins a relationship with a younger partner. The film follows their struggles to find love amongst each other.

Director: John Cassavetes | Stars: John Marley, Gena Rowlands, Lynn Carlin, Seymour Cassel

Votes: 7,594

60. Scenes from a Marriage (1973)

TV-PG | 283 min | Drama

8.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Ten years of Marianne and Johan's relationship are presented. We first meet them ten years into their marriage. He is a college professor, she a divorce lawyer. They say that they are ... See full summary »

Stars: Liv Ullmann, Erland Josephson, Bibi Andersson, Gunnel Lindblom

Votes: 12,729

Very dense and depressing, but contains moments of real beauty and an incredibly deep insight into relationships. I think that the ending is one of Bergman's best and most optimistic.

61. On the Silver Globe (1988)

Unrated | 166 min | Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

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

A small group of cosmic explorers, including a woman, leaves Earth to find freedom and start a new civilization. They do not realize that within themselves they carry the end of their own ... See full summary »

Director: Andrzej Zulawski | Stars: Andrzej Seweryn, Jerzy Trela, Grazyna Dylag, Waldemar Kownacki

Votes: 1,407

Equal doses of insanity, existentialism, philosophy, beauty and incomprehensibility. The visuals in themselves are worth the 2.5 hour runtime.

62. Farewell to the Summer Light (1968)

96 min | Drama, Romance

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A spontaneous romance blooms between Kawamura, a professor touring Europe, and Naoko, a married woman living in Paris, scarred by the Nagasaki atomic bombings. The two protagonists travel around Europe trying to find themselves.

Director: Yoshishige Yoshida | Stars: Mariko Okada, Tadashi Yokouchi, Paul Beauvais, Hélène Soubielle

Votes: 152

Some of the best colour photography I have seen coupled with a huge thematic range and scope. Yoshida is Japan's most criminally underseen director for my money.

63. Sånger från andra våningen (2000)

Not Rated | 98 min | Comedy, Drama

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
76 Metascore

Where are we humans going? A film poem inspired by the Peruvian poet César Vallejo. We meet people in the city. People trying to communicate, searching compassion and get the connection of small and large things.

Director: Roy Andersson | Stars: Lars Nordh, Stefan Larsson, Bengt C.W. Carlsson, Torbjörn Fahlström

Votes: 14,230 | Gross: $0.00M

Cuts right to the core of the human condition. Amazing image composition and attention to detail. Manages to be quite funny despite the incredibly sterile environments and characters.

64. Mimi wo sumaseba (1995)

G | 111 min | Animation, Drama, Family

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A love story between a girl who loves reading books, and the boy who has previously checked out all of the library books she chooses.

Director: Yoshifumi Kondô | Stars: Yoko Honna, Issei Takahashi, Takashi Tachibana, Shigeru Muroi

Votes: 35,050

Very poetic and touching with a ton of complex themes about childhood, growing up and confusion in a strange world.

65. Magnolia (1999)

R | 188 min | Drama

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
77 Metascore

An epic mosaic of interrelated characters in search of love, forgiveness, and meaning in the San Fernando Valley.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson | Stars: Tom Cruise, Jason Robards, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman

Votes: 255,764 | Gross: $22.46M

Gets straight to the core of the human condition in a way which few films manage. The direction and acting performances are both stellar.

66. Upstream Color (2013)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
81 Metascore

A man and woman are drawn together, entangled in the life cycle of an ageless organism. Identity becomes an illusion as they struggle to assemble the loose fragments of wrecked lives.

Director: Shane Carruth | Stars: Amy Seimetz, Frank Mosley, Shane Carruth, Andrew Sensenig

Votes: 26,178 | Gross: $0.44M

67. Holy Motors (2012)

Not Rated | 115 min | Drama, Fantasy

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
84 Metascore

From dawn to dusk, a few hours in the shadowy life of a mystic man named Monsieur Oscar.

Director: Leos Carax | Stars: Denis Lavant, Edith Scob, Eva Mendes, Kylie Minogue

Votes: 33,519

68. The Princess Bride (1987)

PG | 98 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
77 Metascore

While home sick in bed, a young boy's grandfather reads him a story called The Princess Bride.

Director: Rob Reiner | Stars: Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Robin Wright, Chris Sarandon

Votes: 325,318 | Gross: $30.86M

69. Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999)

R | 116 min | Action, Crime, Drama

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
67 Metascore

An African American mafia hit man who models himself after the samurai of old finds himself targeted for death by the mob.

Director: Jim Jarmusch | Stars: Forest Whitaker, Henry Silva, John Tormey, Cliff Gorman

Votes: 75,435 | Gross: $3.31M

70. The Big Lebowski (1998)

R | 117 min | Comedy, Crime

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
69 Metascore

"The Dude" Lebowski, mistaken for a millionaire Lebowski, seeks restitution for his ruined rug and enlists his bowling buddies to help get it.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen | Stars: Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi

Votes: 600,771 | Gross: $17.45M

71. The Duke of Burgundy (2014)

Unrated | 104 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

6.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
87 Metascore

A woman who studies butterflies and moths tests the limits of her relationship with her lesbian lover.

Director: Peter Strickland | Stars: Sidse Babett Knudsen, Monica Swinn, Chiara D'Anna, Kata Bartsch

Votes: 9,162 | Gross: $0.03M

72. The Strange Color of Your Body's Tears (2013)

Not Rated | 102 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

6.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  
53 Metascore

Following the disappearance of his wife, a man finds himself on a dark and twisted trail of discovery through the labyrinthine halls of his apartment building. Led on a wild goose chase by ... See full summary »

Directors: Hélène Cattet, Bruno Forzani | Stars: Klaus Tange, Ursula Bedena, Joe Koener, Birgit Yew

Votes: 2,720 | Gross: $0.01M

73. Silent Light (2007)

136 min | Drama, Romance

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

In a Mennonite community in Mexico, a father's faith is tested when he falls in love with a new woman.

Director: Carlos Reygadas | Stars: Cornelio Wall, Miriam Toews, Maria Pankratz, Peter Wall

Votes: 4,889 | Gross: $0.05M

Incredibly real emotions with a meditative and metaphysical atmosphere. Loved the references to Ordet. The cinematography is standard Reygadas, i.e. out of this world.

74. City Lights (1931)

G | 87 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

8.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

With the aid of a wealthy erratic tippler, a dewy-eyed tramp who has fallen in love with a sightless flower girl accumulates money to be able to help her medically.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Virginia Cherrill, Florence Lee, Harry Myers

Votes: 125,651 | Gross: $0.02M

It may be somewhat overly sentimental, but it's a touching story and the comedic elements are near-perfect.

75. Some Like It Hot (1959)

Not Rated | 121 min | Comedy, Romance

8.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
97 Metascore

When two male musicians witness a mob hit, they flee the state in an all-female band disguised as women, but further complications set in.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, George Raft

Votes: 195,982 | Gross: $25.00M

It's just so damn funny. The ending especially is one of the best comedic moments in film history.