Great films from around the worldby vogonify | created - 05 Aug 2012 | updated - 10 Sep 2016 | Public
A list of great and invaluable films made over years of cinema's history, watching which should give you a fictional, but more relevant, degree of education.
Some of them are acclaimed classics, some not so. Some have been extremely popular, some may not have been. But all are interesting films.
Werner Herzog: 12 films Akira Kurosawa: 9 films Alfred Hitchcock: 8 films Takashi Miike: 7 films Martin Scorsese: 6 films Satyajit Ray, Ingmar Bergman, Andrei Tarkovskiy: 5 films each Wong Kar-Wai, Julio Medem, Singeetham Srinivasa Rao, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Pedro Almodovar, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Sergio Leone, Shion Sono, Francis Ford Coppola, David Fincher, Quentin Tarantino, Stanley Kubrick: 3 films each
Decades: '00s: 1 '20s: 3 '30s: 3 '40s: 11 '50s: 23 '60s: 42 '70s: 30 '80s: 30 '90s: 40 '00s: 55 '10s: 28
Earliest film: A Trip to the Moon (1902) Newest film: Sairat (2016)
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2. Psycho (1960)
R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A Phoenix secretary embezzles $40,000 from her employer's client, goes on the run, and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.
Votes: 476,002 | Gross: $32.00M
Hitchcock was also a master of setting a film's mood right. This is a great example. If he missed a step, this could've ended all wrong, like its remake.
3. El día de la bestia (1995)
R | 99 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
A Catholic priest teams up with a Black Metal aficionado and an Italian connoisseur of the occult to avert the birth of the beast, and with it, the end of the world.
Votes: 14,120 | Gross: $0.02M
Mad, mad caper where Satan gets involved.
4. Through a Glass Darkly (1961)
Not Rated | 89 min | Drama
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.
Of Bergman, god and spiders. An outstanding film.
5. High and Low (1963)
Not Rated | 143 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
An executive of a shoe company becomes a victim of extortion when his chauffeur's son is kidnapped and held for ransom.
My favourite Kurosawa film. It has all three of his primary actor-collaborators in Takashi Shimura, Toshiro Mifune and Tatsuya Nakadai, and is a police procedural, mystery and social comment. Even one of the former three makes a movie watchable and to do well even one of the latter three is difficult.
6. The Reflecting Skin (1990)
R | 96 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller
In the 1950's, a young boy living with his troublesome family in rural USA fantasizes that a neighboring widow is actually a vampire, responsible for a number of disappearances in the area.
A pleasant surprise. Very odd movie but one of the best.
7. Yojimbo (1961)
Not Rated | 110 min | Action, Drama, Thriller
A crafty ronin comes to a town divided by two criminal gangs and decides to play them against each other to free the town.
A cracking film which was so good, even the brilliant Fistful of Dollars comes a comfortable second.
8. Jalsaghar (1958)
Not Rated | 95 min | Drama, Music
Depicts the end days of a decadent zamindar (landlord) in Bengal, and his efforts to uphold his family prestige even when faced with economic adversity.
Votes: 4,013 | Gross: $0.09M
Satyajit Ray at his best. A story of a long and constant slide down in the echelons of erstwhile India.
9. Duck Soup (1933)
Passed | 68 min | Comedy, Musical, War
Rufus T. Firefly is named president/dictator of bankrupt Freedonia and declares war on neighboring Sylvania over the love of wealthy Mrs. Teasdale.
10. Taxi Driver (1976)
R | 113 min | Crime, Drama
A mentally unstable veteran works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York City, where the perceived decadence and sleaze fuels his urge for violent action, while attempting to liberate a twelve-year-old prostitute.
Votes: 570,629 | Gross: $28.26M
A great study of loneliness.
12. Mein liebster Feind - Klaus Kinski (1999)
Not Rated | 95 min | Documentary, Biography
In the 1950s, an adolescent Werner Herzog was transfixed by a film performance of the young Klaus Kinski. Years later, they would share an apartment where, in an unabated, forty-eight-hour ... See full summary »
Votes: 8,730 | Gross: $0.10M
13. Pushpak (1987)
125 min | Comedy, Romance
A silent movie about an unemployed young man.
A silent movie in the true spirit of the old Chaplin, Keaton and Lloyd comedies. It is good that Kamal Hassan is a rightful heir to those three and Bangalore of the 80s was something else.
14. Gunda (1998)
129 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
When a coolie's family is murdered by a group of gangsters and politicians, he swears revenge on them.
Not just a C-movie, but an Indian C-movie. And yet, it remains memorable for its use of language and a joyously vulgar sense of rhythm.
PG | 95 min | Comedy, War
An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a war room full of politicians and generals frantically tries to stop.
Votes: 378,656 | Gross: $0.28M
16. Nayakan (1987)
Not Rated | 145 min | Crime, Drama
A common man's struggles against a corrupt police force put him on the wrong side of the law. He becomes a don, who is loved and respected by many, but his growing power and influence exact a heavy toll.
A Godfather-inspired Tamil gangster movie, it uses melodrama and towering lead performance to stand on its own two feet.
17. The Seventh Seal (1957)
Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Fantasy
A man seeks answers about life, death, and the existence of God as he plays chess against the Grim Reaper during the Black Plague.
18. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
G | 86 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy
When two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother, they have adventures with the wondrous forest spirits who live nearby.
20. Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983)
Not Rated | 132 min | Comedy, Drama
Two friends, attempting to start-up their own photo studio, come across shady dealings, corruption and murder, and must fight to bring the guilty to light.
22. Encounters at the End of the World (2007)
G | 99 min | Documentary
Film-maker Werner Herzog travels to the McMurdo Station in Antarctica, looking to capture the continent's beauty and investigate the characters living there.
Votes: 15,101 | Gross: $0.94M
25. Safety Last! (1923)
Not Rated | 70 min | Comedy, Thriller
When a store clerk organizes a publicity stunt, in which a friend climbs the outside of a tall building, circumstances force him to make the perilous climb himself.
Votes: 14,574 | Gross: $0.62M
26. Satya (1998)
Not Rated | 170 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
An innocent man is embroiled in underworld after being falsely charged and sets out to punish the perpetrators who subjected his life to misery.
27. Rear Window (1954)
PG | 112 min | Mystery, Thriller
A wheelchair-bound photographer spies on his neighbours from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder.
Votes: 354,987 | Gross: $36.76M
28. Taste of Cherry (1997)
Not Rated | 95 min | Drama
An Iranian man drives his truck in search of someone who will quietly bury him under a cherry tree after he commits suicide.
Votes: 16,872 | Gross: $0.31M
30. Chungking Express (1994)
PG-13 | 102 min | Crime, Drama, Romance
Two melancholy Hong Kong policemen fall in love: one with a mysterious female underworld figure, the other with a beautiful and ethereal server at a late-night restaurant he frequents.
Votes: 46,204 | Gross: $0.60M
32. Baron Prásil (1962)
83 min | Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
The outrageous Baron Munchausen tells of his many adventures, from meeting the Man in the Moon to defeating a Turkish army all by himself.
33. Tesis (1996)
R | 125 min | Mystery, Thriller
While doing a thesis about violence, Ángela finds a snuff video where a girl is tortured until death. Soon she discovers that the girl was a former student in her faculty...
34. Pulp Fiction (1994)
R | 154 min | Crime, Drama
The lives of two mob hitmen, a boxer, a gangster's wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption.
Votes: 1,475,301 | Gross: $107.93M
37. Synecdoche, New York (2008)
R | 124 min | Comedy, Drama
A theatre director struggles with his work, and the women in his life, as he creates a life-size replica of New York City inside a warehouse as part of his new play.
Votes: 64,426 | Gross: $3.08M
40. The Secret in Their Eyes (2009)
R | 129 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance
A retired legal counselor writes a novel hoping to find closure for one of his past unresolved homicide cases and for his unreciprocated love with his superior - both of which still haunt him decades later.
Votes: 152,144 | Gross: $20.17M
41. Raging Bull (1980)
R | 129 min | Biography, Drama, Sport
An emotionally self-destructive boxer's journey through life, as the violence and temper that leads him to the top in the ring destroys his life outside it.
Votes: 259,807 | Gross: $23.38M
42. In the Mood for Love (2000)
PG | 98 min | Drama, Romance
Two neighbors, a woman and a man, form a strong bond after both suspect extramarital activities of their spouses. However, they agree to keep their bond platonic so as not to commit similar wrongs.
Votes: 88,784 | Gross: $2.73M
43. Vertigo (1958)
PG | 128 min | Mystery, Romance, Thriller
A San Francisco detective suffering from acrophobia investigates the strange activities of an old friend's wife, all the while becoming dangerously obsessed with her.
Votes: 282,441 | Gross: $3.20M
44. Senna (2010)
PG-13 | 106 min | Documentary, Biography, Sport
A documentary on Brazilian Formula One racing driver Ayrton Senna, who won the F1 world championship three times before his death at age 34.
Votes: 50,069 | Gross: $1.61M
48. Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (1962)
TV-PG | 28 min | Short, Adventure, Drama
In 1862, during the American Civil War, a Southern civilian is about to be hanged for attempting to sabotage a railway bridge. When the execution takes place from the bridge, the rope breaks and he begins his escape toward home.
50. Burden of Dreams (1982)
Not Rated | 95 min | Documentary
A documentary on the chaotic production of Werner Herzog's epic Fitzcarraldo (1982), showing how the film managed to get made despite problems that would have floored a less obsessively ... See full summary »
52. What Have I Done to Deserve This? (1984)
Not Rated | 101 min | Comedy, Drama
In Madrid, the housewife Gloria lives in a tiny apartment with her husband, the taxi driver and forger Antonio; her lunatic mother-in-law, who is addicted in bottled water and cupcakes; and... See full summary »
54. The Birds (1963)
PG-13 | 119 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
A wealthy San Francisco socialite pursues a potential boyfriend to a small Northern California town that slowly takes a turn for the bizarre when birds of all kinds suddenly begin to attack people.
Votes: 142,421 | Gross: $11.40M
59. La piel que habito (2011)
R | 120 min | Drama, Thriller
A brilliant plastic surgeon, haunted by past tragedies, creates a type of synthetic skin that withstands any kind of damage. His guinea pig: a mysterious and volatile woman who holds the key to his obsession.
Votes: 113,611 | Gross: $3.19M
60. The Great Silence (1968)
Not Rated | 105 min | Western
A mute gunfighter defends a young widow and a group of outlaws against a gang of bounty killers in the winter of 1898, and a grim, tense struggle unfolds.
61. Kontroll (2003)
R | 105 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
A tale about a strange young man, Bulcsú, the fellow inspectors on his team, all without exception likeable characters, a rival ticket inspection team, and racing along the tracks... And a tale about love.
Votes: 21,343 | Gross: $0.24M
62. Accident (1985)
Young man kills people sleeping on the footpath while driving under influence. Young man's influential father struggles to silence the police investigation and media coverage.
64. Onibaba (1964)
Unrated | 103 min | Drama, Horror
Two women kill samurai and sell their belongings for a living. While one of them is having an affair with their neighbor, the other woman meets a mysterious samurai wearing a bizarre mask.
66. The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974)
Not Rated | 110 min | Biography, Drama, History
Herzog's film is based upon the true and mysterious story of Kaspar Hauser, a young man who suddenly appeared in Nuremberg in 1828, barely able to talk or walk, and bearing a strange note.
67. L'Avventura (1960)
Not Rated | 143 min | Drama, Mystery
A woman disappears during a Mediterranean boating trip. During the search, her lover and her best friend become attracted to each other.
68. Sex and Lucia (2001)
R | 128 min | Drama, Romance
Various lives converge on an isolated island, all connected by an author whose novel has become inextricably entwined with his own life.
Votes: 31,364 | Gross: $1.49M
69. Breaking the Waves (1996)
R | 159 min | Drama, Romance
Oilman Jan is paralyzed in an accident. His wife, who prayed for his return, feels guilty; even more, when Jan urges her to have sex with another.
Votes: 52,905 | Gross: $4.04M
70. Charulata (1964)
Not Rated | 117 min | Drama, Romance
The lonely wife of a newspaper editor falls in love with her visiting cousin-in-law, who shares her love for literature.
Votes: 3,765 | Gross: $0.08M
71. The Method (2005)
115 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
During IMF & World Bank Summit and demonstrations which upset Madrid, like other capitals, major corporation Dekia holds interviews to recruit a top executive from seven applicants. Their ... See full summary »
Votes: 8,793 | Gross: $0.01M
72. Diabolique (1955)
Not Rated | 117 min | Crime, Drama, Horror
The wife and mistress of a cruel headmaster conspire to kill him; after the murder is committed, his corpse disappears, and strange events begin to plague the two women.
73. Khandhar (1984)
106 min | Drama
Subhash is a photographer from the city, who has come to take pictures of some old temples and ruins in a village. Ruins fascinate him. While in the village, he gets acquainted with a young... See full summary »
74. Snatch (2000)
R | 102 min | Comedy, Crime
Unscrupulous boxing promoters, violent bookmakers, a Russian gangster, incompetent amateur robbers, and supposedly Jewish jewelers fight to track down a priceless stolen diamond.
Votes: 662,035 | Gross: $30.33M
76. The Social Network (2010)
PG-13 | 120 min | Biography, Drama
Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg creates the social networking site that would become known as Facebook, but is later sued by two brothers who claimed he stole their idea, and the co-founder who was later squeezed out of the business.
Votes: 527,922 | Gross: $96.96M
77. The Lady Vanishes (1938)
Not Rated | 96 min | Mystery, Thriller
While traveling in continental Europe, a rich young playgirl realizes that an elderly lady seems to have disappeared from the train.
80. Spirited Away (2001)
PG | 125 min | Animation, Adventure, Family
During her family's move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and spirits, and where humans are changed into beasts.
Votes: 484,743 | Gross: $10.06M
81. Children of Heaven (1997)
PG | 89 min | Drama, Family
After a boy loses his sister's pair of shoes, he goes on a series of adventures in order to find them. When he can't, he tries a new way to "win" a new pair.
Votes: 38,869 | Gross: $0.93M
83. Gangs of Wasseypur (2012)
321 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A clash between Sultan and Shahid Khan leads to the expulsion of Khan from Wasseypur, and ignites a deadly blood feud spanning three generations.
84. The Ballad of Narayama (1958)
Not Rated | 98 min | Drama
A kabuki theatre-inflected story about a poor village whose people have to be carried to a nearby mountain to die once they get old.
86. Shakhmatnaya goryachka (1925)
Not Rated | 28 min | Comedy, Short
With an international chess tournament in progress, a young man becomes completely obsessed with the game. His fiancée has no interest in it, and becomes frustrated and depressed by his ... See full summary »
88. Sanjuro (1962)
Not Rated | 96 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A crafty samurai helps a young man and his fellow clansmen save his uncle, who has been framed and imprisoned by a corrupt superintendent.
90. Goodfellas (1990)
R | 146 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
The story of Henry Hill and his life in the mob, covering his relationship with his wife Karen Hill and his Mob partners Jimmy Conway and Tommy DeVito in the Italian-American crime syndicate.
Votes: 812,701 | Gross: $46.84M
92. Curse of the Demon (1957)
Approved | 95 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
American professor John Holden arrives in London for a parapsychology conference, only to find himself investigating the mysterious actions of Devil-worshiper Julian Karswell.
94. La ardilla roja (1993)
114 min | Comedy, Drama, Music
Jota is about to commit suicide. As he fighting against himself, trying to jump off a bridge, a girl riding a motorcycle falls off the bridge. He runs to help her, and goes with her to the ... See full summary »
96. Y Tu Mamá También (2001)
R | 106 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama
In Mexico, two teenage boys and an attractive older woman embark on a road trip and learn a thing or two about life, friendship, sex, and each other.
Votes: 98,470 | Gross: $13.62M
98. The Hidden Face (2011)
R | 97 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Shattered by the unexpected news, an aspiring orchestra conductor is puzzled by his girlfriend's mysterious and seemingly inexplicable case of disappearance.
100. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Not Rated | 100 min | Film-Noir, Mystery
A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette.