Amazing Films Throughout History

A list of films that I personally find to be amazing through the history of cinema that I highly recommend. There are still, however, many great films that I am yet to see. My To-See List is lengthy. I welcome recommendations. Enjoy.
View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
A Trip to the Moon (1902 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A group of astronomers go on an expedition to the Moon. (13 mins.)
 
2.
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Hypnotist Dr. Caligari uses a somnambulist, Cesare, to commit murders. (76 mins.)
Director: Robert Wiene
 
3.
Battleship Potemkin (1925)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
In the midst of the Russian Revolution of 1905, the crew of the battleship Potemkin mutiny against the brutal, tyrannical regime of the vessel's officers. The resulting street demonstration in Odessa brings on a police massacre. (75 mins.)
Director: S.M. Eisenstein
 
4.
Metropolis (1927)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences. (153 mins.)
Director: Fritz Lang
 
5.
Sunrise (1927)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
An allegorical tale about a man fighting the good and evil within him. Both sides are made flesh - one a sophisticated woman he is attracted to and the other his wife. (94 mins.)
Director: F.W. Murnau
 
6.
The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A chronicle of the trial of Jeanne d'Arc on charges of heresy, and the efforts of her ecclesiastical jurists to force Jeanne to recant her claims of holy visions. (110 mins.)
Director: Carl Th. Dreyer
 
7.
M (1931)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
When the police in a German city are unable to catch a child-murderer, other criminals join in the manhunt. (117 mins.)
Director: Fritz Lang
 
8.
Modern Times (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
The Tramp struggles to live in modern industrial society with the help of a young homeless woman. (87 mins.)
Director: Charlie Chaplin
 
9.
The Great Dictator (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
Dictator Adenoid Hynkel tries to expand his empire while a poor Jewish barber tries to avoid persecution from Hynkel's regime. (125 mins.)
Director: Charles Chaplin
 
10.
Bicycle Thieves (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
In post-war Italy, a working-class man's bicycle is stolen. He and his son set out to find it. (89 mins.)
 
11.
Sunset Blvd. (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A screenwriter is hired to rework a faded silent film star's script only to find himself developing a dangerous relationship. (110 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
 
12.
Ikiru (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A bureaucrat tries to find a meaning in his life after he discovers he has terminal cancer. (143 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
 
13.
Rear Window (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A wheelchair-bound photographer spies on his neighbours from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder. (112 mins.)
 
14.
Sansho the Bailiff (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
In medieval Japan, a compassionate governor is sent into exile. His wife and children try to join him, but are separated, and the children grow up amid suffering and oppression. (124 mins.)
Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
 
15.
Lust for Life (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
The life of brilliant but tortured artist Vincent van Gogh. (122 mins.)
 
16.
The Seventh Seal (1957)
    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. (96 mins.)
Director: Ingmar Bergman
 
17.
Wild Strawberries (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
After living a life marked by coldness, an aging professor is forced to confront the emptiness of his existence. (91 mins.)
Director: Ingmar Bergman
 
18.
Doctor Zhivago (1965)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The life of a Russian physician and poet who, although married to another, falls in love with a political activist's wife and experiences hardship during the First World War and then the October Revolution. (197 mins.)
Director: David Lean
 
19.
Persona (1966)
    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. (85 mins.)
Director: Ingmar Bergman
 
20.
Fantastic Planet (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
This futuristic story takes place on a faraway planet where blue giants rule, and oppressed humanoids rebel against the machine-like leaders. (72 mins.)
Director: René Laloux
 
21.
Sybil (1976 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A young woman whose childhood was so harrowing to her that she developed sixteen different personalities is treated by a doctor. (198 mins.)
 
22.
Eraserhead (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Henry Spencer tries to survive his industrial environment, his angry girlfriend, and the unbearable screams of his newly born mutant child. (89 mins.)
Director: David Lynch
 
23.
The Elephant Man (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man who is mistreated while scraping a living as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous facade, there is revealed a person of intelligence and sensitivity. (124 mins.)
Director: David Lynch
 
24.
The Shining (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil and spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future. (146 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
 
25.
Somewhere in Time (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A Chicago playwright uses self-hypnosis to travel back in time and meet the actress whose vintage portrait hangs in a grand hotel. (103 mins.)
Director: Jeannot Szwarc
 
26.
Fanny and Alexander (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Two young Swedish children experience the many comedies and tragedies of their family, the Ekdahls. (188 mins.)
Director: Ingmar Bergman
 
27.
A Passage to India (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Cultural mistrust and false accusations doom a friendship in British colonial India between an Indian doctor, an Englishwoman engaged to marry a city magistrate, and an English educator. (164 mins.)
Director: David Lean
 
28.
Beetlejuice (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
When a recently-deceased ghost couple find their now-vacant home invaded by an obnoxious family, they hire a sleazy ghost who gets rid of humans to help them. (92 mins.)
Director: Tim Burton
 
29.
Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A young boy and his little sister struggle to survive in Japan during World War II. (89 mins.)
Director: Isao Takahata
 
30.
My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
When two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother, they have adventures with the wondrous forest spirits who live nearby. (86 mins.)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
 
31.
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A gentle man, with scissors for hands, is brought into a new community after living in isolation. (105 mins.)
Director: Tim Burton
 
32.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but his attempts to bring Christmas to his home cause confusion. (76 mins.)
Director: Henry Selick
 
33.
Heavenly Creatures (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Two girls have an intense fantasy life; their parents, concerned the fantasy is too intense, separate them, and the girls take revenge. (99 mins.)
Director: Peter Jackson
 
34.
Princess Mononoke (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
On a journey to find the cure for a Tatarigami's curse, Ashitaka finds himself in the middle of a war between the forest gods and Tatara, a mining colony. In this quest he also meets San, the Mononoke Hime. (134 mins.)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
 
35.
But I'm a Cheerleader (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A naive teenager is sent to rehab camp when her straitlaced parents and friends suspect her of being a lesbian. (85 mins.)
Director: Jamie Babbit
 
36.
Fight Club (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
An insomniac office worker, looking for a way to change his life, crosses paths with a devil-may-care soap maker, forming an underground fight club that evolves into something much, much more. (139 mins.)
Director: David Fincher
 
37.
Mulholland Dr. (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
After a car wreck on the winding Mulholland Drive renders a woman amnesiac, she and a perky Hollywood-hopeful search for clues and answers across Los Angeles in a twisting venture beyond dreams and reality. (147 mins.)
Director: David Lynch
 
38.
Spirited Away (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
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. (125 mins.)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
 
39.
Big Fish (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A frustrated son tries to determine the fact from fiction in his dying father's life. (125 mins.)
Director: Tim Burton
 
40.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
When their relationship turns sour, a couple undergoes a procedure to have each other erased from their memories. But it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with. (108 mins.)
Director: Michel Gondry
 
41.
Mysterious Skin (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A teenage hustler and a young man obsessed with alien abductions cross paths, together discovering a horrible, liberating truth. (105 mins.)
Director: Gregg Araki
 
42.
Brokeback Mountain (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
The story of a forbidden and secretive relationship between two cowboys, and their lives over the years. (134 mins.)
Director: Ang Lee
 
43.
Hard Candy (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A teenage girl raids a man's home in order to expose him under suspicion that he is a sex offender with pedophilia. (104 mins.)
Director: David Slade
 
44.
Pride & Prejudice (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Sparks fly when spirited Elizabeth Bennet meets single, rich, and proud Mr. Darcy. But Mr. Darcy reluctantly finds himself falling in love with a woman beneath his class. Can each overcome their own pride and prejudice? (129 mins.)
Director: Joe Wright
 
45.
The Painted Veil (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A British medical doctor fights a cholera epidemic in a small Chinese village, while being trapped at home in a loveless marriage to an unfaithful wife. (125 mins.)
Director: John Curran
 
46.
The Savages (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A sister and brother face the realities of familial responsibility as they begin to care for their ailing father. (114 mins.)
Director: Tamara Jenkins
 
47.
Milk (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The story of Harvey Milk, and his struggles as an American gay activist who fought for gay rights and became California's first openly gay elected official. (128 mins.)
Director: Gus Van Sant
 
48.
WALL·E (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
In the distant future, a small waste-collecting robot inadvertently embarks on a space journey that will ultimately decide the fate of mankind. (98 mins.)
Director: Andrew Stanton
 
49.
A Single Man (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
An English professor, one year after the sudden death of his boyfriend, is unable to cope with his typical days in 1960s Los Angeles. (99 mins.)
Director: Tom Ford
 
50.
Mary and Max (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A tale of friendship between two unlikely pen pals: Mary, a lonely, eight-year-old girl living in the suburbs of Melbourne, and Max, a forty-four-year old, severely obese man living in New York. (92 mins.)
Director: Adam Elliot
 
51.
Up (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Seventy-eight year old Carl Fredricksen travels to Paradise Falls in his home equipped with balloons, inadvertently taking a young stowaway. (96 mins.)
 
52.
Inception (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
A thief, who steals corporate secrets through use of dream-sharing technology, is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of a CEO. (148 mins.)
 
53.
The Artist (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A silent movie star meets a young dancer, but the arrival of talking pictures sends their careers in opposite directions. (100 mins.)
 
54.
Pariah (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A Brooklyn teenager juggles conflicting identities and risks friendship, heartbreak, and family in a desperate search for sexual expression. (86 mins.)
Director: Dee Rees
 
55.
The Tree of Life (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
The story of a family in Waco, Texas in 1956. The eldest son witnesses the loss of innocence and struggles with his parents' conflicting teachings. (139 mins.)
Director: Terrence Malick
 
56.
We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Kevin's mother struggles to love her strange child, despite the increasingly vicious things he says and does as he grows up. But Kevin is just getting started, and his final act will be beyond anything anyone imagined. (112 mins.)
Director: Lynne Ramsay