Movies that blew me away

by yude201119 | created - 13 Dec 2011 | updated - 14 Dec 2011 | Public

No matter how many times I have watched these movies, they still grab me. Compelling stories, great performances. Old and new movies. Serious or hilarious. Drama or comedy. By release year.

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1. J. Edgar (2011)

R | 137 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
59 Metascore

J. Edgar Hoover, powerful head of the F.B.I. for nearly 50 years, looks back on his professional and personal life.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Armie Hammer, Naomi Watts, Josh Hamilton

Votes: 109,773 | Gross: $37.31M

2. The Ides of March (2011)

R | 101 min | Drama, Thriller

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

An idealistic staffer for a new presidential candidate gets a crash course on dirty politics during his stint on the campaign trail.

Director: George Clooney | Stars: Paul Giamatti, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ryan Gosling

Votes: 199,846 | Gross: $40.96M

3. Machine Gun Preacher (2011)

R | 129 min | Action, Biography, Crime

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
43 Metascore

Sam Childers is a former drug-dealing biker tough guy who found God and became a crusader for hundreds of Sudanese children who've been forced to become soldiers.

Director: Marc Forster | Stars: Gerard Butler, Michelle Monaghan, Michael Shannon, Kathy Baker

Votes: 57,056 | Gross: $0.54M

4. Shutter Island (2010)

R | 138 min | Mystery, Thriller

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

In 1954, a U.S. Marshal investigates the disappearance of a murderer, who escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Emily Mortimer, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley

Votes: 896,944 | Gross: $128.01M

5. Law Abiding Citizen (2009)

R | 109 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
34 Metascore

A frustrated man decides to take justice into his own hands after a plea bargain sets one of his family's killers free. He targets not only the killer but also the district attorney and others involved in the deal.

Director: F. Gary Gray | Stars: Gerard Butler, Jamie Foxx, Leslie Bibb, Colm Meaney

Votes: 234,533 | Gross: $73.34M

6. Invictus (2009)

PG-13 | 134 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
74 Metascore

Nelson Mandela, in his first term as the South African President, initiates a unique venture to unite the apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, Tony Kgoroge, Patrick Mofokeng

Votes: 133,388 | Gross: $37.49M

7. The Ugly Truth (2009)

R | 96 min | Comedy, Romance

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
28 Metascore

A romantically challenged morning show producer is reluctantly embroiled in a series of outrageous tests by her chauvinistic correspondent to prove his theories on relationships and help ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Luketic | Stars: Katherine Heigl, Gerard Butler, Bree Turner, Eric Winter

Votes: 177,678 | Gross: $88.92M

8. Changeling (2008)

R | 141 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
63 Metascore

A grief-stricken mother takes on the LAPD to her own detriment when it tries to pass off an obvious impostor as her missing child.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Angelina Jolie, Colm Feore, Amy Ryan, Gattlin Griffith

Votes: 211,402 | Gross: $35.74M

9. Frost/Nixon (2008)

R | 122 min | Biography, Drama

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

A dramatic retelling of the post-Watergate television interviews between British talk-show host David Frost and former president Richard Nixon.

Director: Ron Howard | Stars: Frank Langella, Michael Sheen, Kevin Bacon, Sam Rockwell

Votes: 92,771 | Gross: $18.59M

10. August Rush (2007)

PG | 114 min | Drama, Music

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

A drama with fairy tale elements, where an orphaned musical prodigy uses his gift as a clue to finding his birth parents.

Director: Kirsten Sheridan | Stars: Freddie Highmore, Keri Russell, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Terrence Howard

Votes: 93,756 | Gross: $31.66M

11. The Bucket List (2007)

PG-13 | 97 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
42 Metascore

Two terminally ill men escape from a cancer ward and head off on a road trip with a wish list of to-dos before they die.

Director: Rob Reiner | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman, Sean Hayes, Beverly Todd

Votes: 200,546 | Gross: $93.47M

12. Blood Diamond (2006)

R | 143 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

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

A fisherman, a smuggler, and a syndicate of businessmen match wits over the possession of a priceless diamond.

Director: Edward Zwick | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou, Jennifer Connelly, Kagiso Kuypers

Votes: 434,094 | Gross: $57.37M

13. The Departed (2006)

R | 151 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

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

An undercover cop and a mole in the police attempt to identify each other while infiltrating an Irish gang in South Boston.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg

Votes: 973,935 | Gross: $132.38M

14. Infamous (2006)

R | 110 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

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

While researching his novel "In Cold Blood", Truman Capote develops a close relationship with convicted murderers Dick Hickock and Perry Smith.

Director: Douglas McGrath | Stars: Toby Jones, Daniel Craig, Sandra Bullock, Sigourney Weaver

Votes: 14,931 | Gross: $1.15M

15. The Phantom of the Opera (2004)

PG-13 | 143 min | Drama, Musical, Romance

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

A young soprano becomes the obsession of a disfigured musical genius who lives beneath the Paris Opéra House. He kidnaps the soprano and forces the owners of the play to keep her as the lead role of the play.

Director: Joel Schumacher | Stars: Gerard Butler, Emmy Rossum, Patrick Wilson, Miranda Richardson

Votes: 103,164 | Gross: $51.27M

16. Dear Frankie (2004)

PG-13 | 105 min | Drama, Romance

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
63 Metascore

After having responded to her son's numerous letters in the guise of his father, a woman hires a stranger to pose as his dad when meeting him.

Director: Shona Auerbach | Stars: Emily Mortimer, Jack McElhone, Gerard Butler, Mary Riggans

Votes: 19,670 | Gross: $1.34M

17. Mystic River (2003)

R | 138 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

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

With a childhood tragedy that overshadowed their lives, three men are reunited by circumstance when one has a family tragedy.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Emmy Rossum

Votes: 364,751 | Gross: $90.14M

18. Life as a House (2001)

R | 125 min | Drama

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

When a man is diagnosed with terminal cancer, he takes custody of his misanthropic teenage son, for whom quality time means getting high, engaging in small-time prostitution, and avoiding his father.

Director: Irwin Winkler | Stars: Hayden Christensen, Kevin Kline, Kristin Scott Thomas, Jena Malone

Votes: 40,496 | Gross: $15.65M

19. Arlington Road (1999)

R | 117 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
65 Metascore

A man begins to suspect his neighbors are not what they appear to be and their secrets could be deadly.

Director: Mark Pellington | Stars: Jeff Bridges, Tim Robbins, Joan Cusack, Hope Davis

Votes: 73,613 | Gross: $24.36M

20. Instinct (1999)

R | 126 min | Drama, Thriller

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
43 Metascore

When a noted anthropologist who left society to live in the jungle is imprisoned for murder, it's up to a young psychiatrist to get through to him.

Director: Jon Turteltaub | Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Cuba Gooding Jr., Donald Sutherland, Maura Tierney

Votes: 28,914 | Gross: $34.10M

21. American History X (1998)

R | 119 min | Crime, Drama

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

A former neo-nazi skinhead tries to prevent his younger brother from going down the same wrong path that he did.

Director: Tony Kaye | Stars: Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly D'Angelo, Jennifer Lien

Votes: 867,749 | Gross: $6.72M

22. Patch Adams (1998)

PG-13 | 115 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

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

The true story of a heroic man, Hunter Patch Adams, determined to become a medical doctor because he enjoys helping people. He ventured where no doctor had ventured before, using humour and pathos.

Director: Tom Shadyac | Stars: Robin Williams, Daniel London, Monica Potter, Philip Seymour Hoffman

Votes: 87,667 | Gross: $135.03M

23. Life Is Beautiful (1997)

PG-13 | 116 min | Comedy, Drama, War

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

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.

Director: Roberto Benigni | Stars: Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi, Giorgio Cantarini, Giustino Durano

Votes: 483,908 | Gross: $57.60M

24. Absolute Power (1997)

R | 121 min | Action, Crime, Drama

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

A career thief witnesses a horrific crime involving the U.S. President.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Ed Harris, Laura Linney

Votes: 42,822 | Gross: $50.01M

25. Good Will Hunting (1997)

R | 126 min | Drama

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

Will Hunting, a janitor at M.I.T., has a gift for mathematics, but needs help from a psychologist to find direction in his life.

Director: Gus Van Sant | Stars: Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Stellan Skarsgård

Votes: 685,752 | Gross: $138.43M

26. Nothing to Lose (1997)

R | 98 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

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

When a man (Robbins) believes he has discovered that his wife is having an affair with his boss, it sets off a chain reaction of events. First he wanders into a ghetto where a robber (... See full summary »

Director: Steve Oedekerk | Stars: Martin Lawrence, Tim Robbins, John C. McGinley, Giancarlo Esposito

Votes: 38,408 | Gross: $44.46M

27. Primal Fear (1996)

R | 129 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

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

An altar boy is accused of murdering a priest, and the truth is buried several layers deep.

Director: Gregory Hoblit | Stars: Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Edward Norton, John Mahoney

Votes: 146,735 | Gross: $56.12M

28. Se7en (1995)

R | 127 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

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

Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his motives.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey, Andrew Kevin Walker

Votes: 1,149,965 | Gross: $100.13M

29. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

R | 142 min | Crime, Drama

9.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.3/10 X  
80 Metascore

Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency.

Director: Frank Darabont | Stars: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, William Sadler

Votes: 1,885,645 | Gross: $28.34M

30. Forrest Gump (1994)

PG-13 | 142 min | Drama, Romance

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

JFK, LBJ, Vietnam, Watergate, and other history unfold through the perspective of an Alabama man with an IQ of 75.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Sally Field

Votes: 1,422,986 | Gross: $330.25M

31. Philadelphia (1993)

PG-13 | 125 min | Drama

7.7
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66 Metascore

When a man with HIV is fired by his law firm because of his condition, he hires a homophobic small time lawyer as the only willing advocate for a wrongful dismissal suit.

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Roberta Maxwell, Buzz Kilman

Votes: 193,134 | Gross: $77.32M

32. Scent of a Woman (1992)

R | 156 min | Drama

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

A prep school student needing money agrees to "babysit" a blind man, but the job is not at all what he anticipated.

Director: Martin Brest | Stars: Al Pacino, Chris O'Donnell, James Rebhorn, Gabrielle Anwar

Votes: 212,346 | Gross: $63.90M

33. JFK (1991)

R | 189 min | Drama, History, Thriller

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

New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison discovers there's more to the Kennedy assassination than the official story.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau

Votes: 122,798 | Gross: $70.41M

34. Guilty by Suspicion (1991)

PG-13 | 105 min | Drama

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
64 Metascore

David Merrill (Robert De Niro), a fictitious 1950s Hollywood Director, returns from filming abroad in France to find that his loyalty has been called into question by the House Committee on... See full summary »

Director: Irwin Winkler | Stars: Robert De Niro, Annette Bening, George Wendt, Patricia Wettig

Votes: 6,663 | Gross: $9.48M

35. Dances with Wolves (1990)

PG-13 | 181 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

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

Lieutenant John Dunbar, assigned to a remote western Civil War outpost, befriends wolves and Indians, making him an intolerable aberration in the military.

Director: Kevin Costner | Stars: Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene, Rodney A. Grant

Votes: 203,102 | Gross: $184.21M

36. Cry Freedom (1987)

PG | 157 min | Biography, Drama, History

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

South African journalist Donald Woods is forced to flee the country, after attempting to investigate the death in custody of his friend, the black activist Steve Biko.

Director: Richard Attenborough | Stars: Denzel Washington, Kevin Kline, Josette Simon, Wabei Siyolwe

Votes: 10,781 | Gross: $5.90M

37. The Untouchables (1987)

R | 119 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

7.9
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79 Metascore

Federal Agent Eliot Ness sets out to stop Al Capone; because of rampant corruption, he assembles a small, hand-picked team.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Robert De Niro, Charles Martin Smith

Votes: 236,510 | Gross: $76.27M

38. Children of a Lesser God (1986)

R | 119 min | Drama, Romance

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

A new speech teacher at a school for the deaf falls in love with the janitor, a deaf woman speechless by choice.

Director: Randa Haines | Stars: William Hurt, Marlee Matlin, Piper Laurie, Philip Bosco

Votes: 12,647 | Gross: $31.85M

39. Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985)

R | 120 min | Drama

7.4
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80 Metascore

A gay man and a political prisoner are together in a prison. The gay man narrates the stories of two fake movies and his own life.

Director: Hector Babenco | Stars: William Hurt, Raul Julia, Sonia Braga, José Lewgoy

Votes: 11,935 | Gross: $17.04M

40. The Color Purple (1985)

PG-13 | 154 min | Drama

7.8
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78 Metascore

A black Southern woman struggles to find her identity after suffering abuse from her father and others over four decades.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, Margaret Avery

Votes: 66,051 | Gross: $98.47M

41. Silent Movie (1976)

PG | 87 min | Comedy

6.7
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A film director and his strange friends struggle to produce the first major silent feature film in forty years.

Director: Mel Brooks | Stars: Mel Brooks, Marty Feldman, Dom DeLuise, Sid Caesar

Votes: 13,746 | Gross: $36.15M

42. Young Frankenstein (1974)

PG | 106 min | Comedy

8.0
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80 Metascore

An American grandson of the infamous scientist, struggling to prove that he is not as insane as people believe, is invited to Transylvania, where he discovers the process that reanimates a dead body.

Director: Mel Brooks | Stars: Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn, Marty Feldman, Peter Boyle

Votes: 124,971 | Gross: $86.30M