The Essential Films

by seagrave54 | created - 21 Nov 2012 | updated - 4 weeks ago | Public

When I first started to watch movies as more than just a casual fan I had a difficult time deciding what movies to watch. There are tons of top 10, 20, 50, 100, 250, 500, 1000 movie lists and I had no idea where to start. Having gone through a large number of said lists I have decided to make a list of the Essential 100 Films for anyone attempting to get deeper into film to use as a starting point. **Limit of two entries per director.

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1. A Trip to the Moon (1902)

TV-G | 13 min | Short, Adventure, Fantasy

8.2
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    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.

Director: Georges Méliès | Stars: Georges Méliès, Victor André, Bleuette Bernon, Brunnet

Votes: 34,056

Georges Méliès most famous film using a number of technical innovations.

2. Cabiria (1914)

Not Rated | 148 min | Adventure, Drama, History

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

Three centuries before Christus. Young Cabiria is kidnapped by some pirates during one eruption of the Etna. She is sold as a slave in Carthage, and as she is just going to be sacrificed to... See full summary »

Director: Giovanni Pastrone | Stars: Italia Almirante-Manzini, Lidia Quaranta, Bartolomeo Pagano, Carolina Catena

Votes: 2,464

This Italian epic is the first of its kind and heavily influenced D.W. Griffith's Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages.

3. Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages (1916)

Not Rated | 197 min | Drama, History

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The story of a poor young woman, separated by prejudice from her husband and baby, is interwoven with tales of intolerance from throughout history.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Lillian Gish, Robert Harron, Mae Marsh, F.A. Turner

Votes: 11,739

Intolerance, following the influence of Cabiria, evolved into a more epic story that uses parallel editing to move between stories from different points in history.

4. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

Unrated | 67 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

8.1
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Hypnotist Dr. Caligari uses a somnambulist, Cesare, to commit murders.

Director: Robert Wiene | Stars: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Friedrich Feher, Lil Dagover

Votes: 44,617

German expressionism in film via unique set design.

5. The Phantom Carriage (1921)

Not Rated | 100 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

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

On New Year's Eve, the driver of a ghostly carriage forces a drunken man to reflect on his selfish, wasted life.

Director: Victor Sjöström | Stars: Victor Sjöström, Hilda Borgström, Tore Svennberg, Astrid Holm

Votes: 7,656

From Sweden, This Phantom Carriage is an intimate story that uses non-linear storytelling along with parallel editing to create tension in this dark and influential film. Its influences include It's a Wonderful Life and The Shining.

6. Nosferatu (1922)

Unrated | 81 min | Fantasy, Horror

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Vampire Count Orlok expresses interest in a new residence and real estate agent Hutter's wife.

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: Max Schreck, Alexander Granach, Gustav von Wangenheim, Greta Schröder

Votes: 74,593

F.W. Murnau's version of Bram Stoker's Dracula is one of the earliest and most influential horror films.

7. La roue (1923)

273 min | Drama

7.6
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Sisif, a railwayman, and his son Elie fall in love with the beautiful Norma (who Sisif rescued from a train crash when a baby and raised as his daughter), with tragic results. Originally ... See full summary »

Director: Abel Gance | Stars: Séverin-Mars, Ivy Close, Gabriel de Gravone, Pierre Magnier

Votes: 1,367

Abel Gance revolutionizes editing with a number of sequences (most notably the cliffhanger sequence) that have been unmatched in this fairly taboo story that concludes with a hauntingly beautiful shot.

8. Battleship Potemkin (1925)

Unrated | 66 min | Drama, History

8.0
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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.

Director: Sergei M. Eisenstein | Stars: Aleksandr Antonov, Vladimir Barskiy, Grigoriy Aleksandrov, Ivan Bobrov

Votes: 44,262 | Gross: $0.05M

Potemkin was ahead of its time with rapid paced editing that gave the film a kinetic energy. The film also features the iconic scene of the massacre at the steps of Odessa.

9. The General (1926)

Not Rated | 67 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

8.2
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When Union spies steal an engineer's beloved locomotive, he pursues it single-handedly and straight through enemy lines.

Directors: Clyde Bruckman, Buster Keaton | Stars: Buster Keaton, Marion Mack, Glen Cavender, Jim Farley

Votes: 60,719

Buster Keaton's most famous film featuring his deadpan style of comedy uses a number of inventive physical gags.

10. Metropolis (1927)

Not Rated | 153 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

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

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.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Gustav Fröhlich, Rudolf Klein-Rogge

Votes: 126,067 | Gross: $0.03M

The most influential sci-fi film of all time. Inspiring films from Star Wars to Blade Runner.

11. Sunrise (1927)

Not Rated | 94 min | Drama, Romance

8.2
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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.

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: George O'Brien, Janet Gaynor, Margaret Livingston, Bodil Rosing

Votes: 34,498

An intimate story that is incredibly well shot for its time.

12. Frankenstein (1931)

Not Rated | 70 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

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

An obsessed scientist assembles a living being from parts of exhumed corpses.

Director: James Whale | Stars: Colin Clive, Mae Clarke, Boris Karloff, John Boles

Votes: 53,733 | Gross: $12.00M

13. M (1931)

Not Rated | 99 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

8.4
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    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.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Peter Lorre, Ellen Widmann, Inge Landgut, Otto Wernicke

Votes: 111,594 | Gross: $0.03M

14. 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: 125,486 | Gross: $0.02M

15. The Public Enemy (1931)

Not Rated | 83 min | Crime, Drama

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

A young hoodlum rises up through the ranks of the Chicago underworld, even as a gangster's accidental death threatens to spark a bloody mob war.

Director: William A. Wellman | Stars: James Cagney, Jean Harlow, Edward Woods, Joan Blondell

Votes: 14,682

16. It Happened One Night (1934)

Not Rated | 105 min | Comedy, Romance

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

A spoiled heiress running away from her family is helped by a man who is actually a reporter in need of a story.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Walter Connolly, Roscoe Karns

Votes: 73,380

17. La Grande Illusion (1937)

Unrated | 113 min | Drama, War

8.1
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During the First World War, two French soldiers are captured and imprisoned in a German P.O.W. camp. Several escape attempts follow until they are sent to a seemingly impenetrable fortress which seems impossible to escape from.

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Jean Gabin, Dita Parlo, Pierre Fresnay, Erich von Stroheim

Votes: 28,987 | Gross: $0.17M

18. The Rules of the Game (1939)

Not Rated | 110 min | Comedy, Drama

8.1
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A bourgeois life in France at the onset of World War II, as the rich and their poor servants meet up at a French chateau.

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Marcel Dalio, Nora Gregor, Paulette Dubost, Mila Parély

Votes: 22,432

19. Gone with the Wind (1939)

G | 238 min | Drama, History, Romance

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

A manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Sam Wood | Stars: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Thomas Mitchell, Barbara O'Neil

Votes: 238,271 | Gross: $198.68M

20. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

PG | 102 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

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

Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with her new friends to see the Wizard who can help her return home in Kansas and help her friends as well.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Mervyn LeRoy, Norman Taurog, King Vidor | Stars: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr

Votes: 320,698 | Gross: $22.20M

21. The Great Dictator (1940)

G | 125 min | Comedy, Drama, War

8.5
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    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.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Jack Oakie, Reginald Gardiner

Votes: 157,536

22. Citizen Kane (1941)

PG | 119 min | Drama, Mystery

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

Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance.

Director: Orson Welles | Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore, Agnes Moorehead

Votes: 328,827 | Gross: $1.59M

23. Casablanca (1942)

PG | 102 min | Drama, Romance, War

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

In Casablanca in December 1941, a cynical American expatriate encounters a former lover, with unforeseen complications.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains

Votes: 429,436 | Gross: $1.02M

24. The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)

Not Rated | 75 min | Drama, Western

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

When a posse captures three men suspected of killing a local farmer, they become strongly divided over whether or not to lynch the men.

Director: William A. Wellman | Stars: Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Mary Beth Hughes, Anthony Quinn

Votes: 17,360

25. Laura (1944)

Approved | 88 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery

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

A police detective falls in love with the woman whose murder he is investigating.

Director: Otto Preminger | Stars: Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price

Votes: 35,153

26. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

Not Rated | 170 min | Drama, Romance, War

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

Three World War II veterans return home to small-town America to discover that they and their families have been irreparably changed.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Myrna Loy, Dana Andrews, Fredric March, Teresa Wright

Votes: 45,140 | Gross: $23.65M

27. The Big Sleep (1946)

Approved | 114 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by a rich family. Before the complex case is over, he's seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Ridgely, Martha Vickers

Votes: 69,039

28. Bicycle Thieves (1948)

Not Rated | 89 min | Drama

8.3
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    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.

Director: Vittorio De Sica | Stars: Lamberto Maggiorani, Enzo Staiola, Lianella Carell, Elena Altieri

Votes: 108,645 | Gross: $0.33M

29. Late Spring (1949)

Not Rated | 108 min | Drama

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

Noriko is twenty-seven years old and still living with her widowed father. Everybody tries to talk her into marrying, but Noriko wants to stay at home caring for her father.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Chishû Ryû, Setsuko Hara, Yumeji Tsukioka, Haruko Sugimura

Votes: 10,410

30. The Third Man (1949)

Not Rated | 93 min | Film-Noir, Mystery, Thriller

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

Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, Harry Lime.

Director: Carol Reed | Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Trevor Howard

Votes: 127,294 | Gross: $0.45M

31. Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

Approved | 106 min | Comedy, Crime

8.1
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A distant poor relative of the Duke of D'Ascoyne plots to inherit the title by murdering the eight other heirs who stand ahead of him in the line of succession.

Director: Robert Hamer | Stars: Dennis Price, Alec Guinness, Valerie Hobson, Joan Greenwood

Votes: 29,938

32. All About Eve (1950)

Not Rated | 138 min | Drama

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

An ingenue insinuates herself into the company of an established but aging stage actress and her circle of theater friends.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz | Stars: Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, Celeste Holm

Votes: 93,566 | Gross: $0.01M

33. Sunset Blvd. (1950)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Film-Noir

8.5
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    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.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim, Nancy Olson

Votes: 157,246

34. The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

Approved | 92 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

7.8
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An alien lands and tells the people of Earth that they must live peacefully or be destroyed as a danger to other planets.

Director: Robert Wise | Stars: Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Hugh Marlowe, Sam Jaffe

Votes: 68,415

35. Ikiru (1952)

Not Rated | 143 min | Drama

8.3
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    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.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Takashi Shimura, Nobuo Kaneko, Shin'ichi Himori, Haruo Tanaka

Votes: 48,469 | Gross: $0.06M

36. Singin' in the Rain (1952)

G | 103 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

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

A silent film production company and cast make a difficult transition to sound.

Directors: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly | Stars: Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Jean Hagen

Votes: 172,527 | Gross: $8.82M

37. High Noon (1952)

PG | 85 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

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

A town marshal, despite the disagreements of his newlywed bride and the townspeople around him, must face a gang of deadly killers alone at high noon when the gang leader, an outlaw he sent up years ago, arrives on the noon train.

Director: Fred Zinnemann | Stars: Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Thomas Mitchell, Lloyd Bridges

Votes: 85,192 | Gross: $9.45M

38. Tokyo Story (1953)

Not Rated | 136 min | Drama

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

An old couple visit their children and grandchildren in the city; but the children have little time for them.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Chishû Ryû, Chieko Higashiyama, Sô Yamamura, Setsuko Hara

Votes: 33,418

39. Seven Samurai (1954)

Not Rated | 207 min | Adventure, Drama

8.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
98 Metascore

A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Tsushima, Yukiko Shimazaki

Votes: 254,109 | Gross: $0.27M

40. Rear Window (1954)

PG | 112 min | Mystery, Thriller

8.5
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    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.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter

Votes: 354,952 | Gross: $36.76M

41. On the Waterfront (1954)

Not Rated | 108 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

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

An ex-prize fighter turned longshoreman struggles to stand up to his corrupt union bosses.

Director: Elia Kazan | Stars: Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger

Votes: 113,211 | Gross: $9.60M

42. Sansho the Bailiff (1954)

Not Rated | 124 min | Drama

8.4
Rate this
    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.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi | Stars: Kinuyo Tanaka, Yoshiaki Hanayagi, Kyôko Kagawa, Eitarô Shindô

Votes: 11,347

43. Rififi (1955)

Not Rated | 118 min | Crime, Thriller

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

Four men plan a technically perfect crime, but the human element intervenes...

Director: Jules Dassin | Stars: Jean Servais, Carl Möhner, Robert Manuel, Janine Darcey

Votes: 20,768 | Gross: $0.06M

44. Rebel Without a Cause (1955)

PG-13 | 111 min | Drama

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

A rebellious young man with a troubled past comes to a new town, finding friends and enemies.

Director: Nicholas Ray | Stars: James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo, Jim Backus

Votes: 69,893

45. Diabolique (1955)

Not Rated | 117 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

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

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.

Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot | Stars: Simone Signoret, Véra Clouzot, Paul Meurisse, Charles Vanel

Votes: 47,837

46. The Searchers (1956)

Approved | 119 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An American Civil War veteran embarks on a journey to rescue his niece from the Comanches.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Vera Miles, Ward Bond

Votes: 67,844

47. 12 Angry Men (1957)

Not Rated | 96 min | Crime, Drama

8.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
96 Metascore

A jury holdout attempts to prevent a miscarriage of justice by forcing his colleagues to reconsider the evidence.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Martin Balsam, John Fiedler

Votes: 517,519

48. 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: 125,631

49. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

PG | 161 min | Adventure, Drama, War

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

After settling his differences with a Japanese PoW camp commander, a British colonel co-operates to oversee his men's construction of a railway bridge for their captors - while oblivious to a plan by the Allies to destroy it.

Director: David Lean | Stars: William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, Sessue Hayakawa

Votes: 166,373 | Gross: $44.91M

50. Touch of Evil (1958)

PG-13 | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

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

A stark, perverse story of murder, kidnapping, and police corruption in a Mexican border town.

Director: Orson Welles | Stars: Charlton Heston, Orson Welles, Janet Leigh, Joseph Calleia

Votes: 80,705 | Gross: $2.24M

51. 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: 4,416

The Human Condition Trilogy

52. The 400 Blows (1959)

Not Rated | 99 min | Crime, Drama

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

Moving story of a young boy who, left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime.

Director: François Truffaut | Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Albert Rémy, Claire Maurier, Guy Decomble

Votes: 79,622

53. Some Like It Hot (1959)

Not Rated | 121 min | Comedy, Romance

8.3
Rate this
    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: 195,791 | Gross: $25.00M

54. Psycho (1960)

R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

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

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.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin

Votes: 475,937 | Gross: $32.00M

55. La Dolce Vita (1960)

Not Rated | 174 min | Comedy, Drama

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

A series of stories following a week in the life of a philandering paparazzo journalist living in Rome.

Director: Federico Fellini | Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Anita Ekberg, Anouk Aimée, Yvonne Furneaux

Votes: 53,944 | Gross: $19.52M

56. Breathless (1960)

Not Rated | 90 min | Crime, Drama

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

A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard | Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, Daniel Boulanger, Henri-Jacques Huet

Votes: 58,295 | Gross: $0.34M

57. Harakiri (1962)

Not Rated | 133 min | Action, Drama, History

8.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

An elder ronin samurai arrives at a feudal lord's home and requests an honorable place to commit suicide. But when the ronin inquires about a younger samurai who arrived before him things take an unexpected turn.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Ishihama, Shima Iwashita, Tetsurô Tanba

Votes: 21,620

58. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

PG | 216 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

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

The story of T.E. Lawrence, the English officer who successfully united and led the diverse, often warring, Arab tribes during World War I in order to fight the Turks.

Director: David Lean | Stars: Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins

Votes: 215,403 | Gross: $44.82M

59. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

Not Rated | 129 min | Crime, Drama

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

Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his children against prejudice.

Director: Robert Mulligan | Stars: Gregory Peck, John Megna, Frank Overton, Rosemary Murphy

Votes: 242,670

60. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

Approved | 134 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

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

A former child star torments her paraplegic sister in their decaying Hollywood mansion.

Director: Robert Aldrich | Stars: Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Victor Buono, Wesley Addy

Votes: 40,242

61. (1963)

Not Rated | 138 min | Drama

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

A harried movie director retreats into his memories and fantasies.

Director: Federico Fellini | Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Anouk Aimée, Claudia Cardinale, Sandra Milo

Votes: 87,937 | Gross: $0.05M

62. Contempt (1963)

Not Rated | 102 min | Drama

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

Screenwriter Paul Javal's marriage to his wife Camille disintegrates during movie production as she spends time with the producer. Layered conflicts between art and business ensue.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard | Stars: Brigitte Bardot, Jack Palance, Michel Piccoli, Giorgia Moll

Votes: 22,356 | Gross: $0.04M

63. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)

R | 178 min | Western

8.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
90 Metascore

A bounty hunting scam joins two men in an uneasy alliance against a third in a race to find a fortune in gold buried in a remote cemetery.

Director: Sergio Leone | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef, Aldo Giuffrè

Votes: 558,675 | Gross: $6.10M

The Dollars Trilogy

64. Cool Hand Luke (1967)

GP | 126 min | Crime, Drama

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

A laid back Southern man is sentenced to two years in a rural prison, but refuses to conform.

Director: Stuart Rosenberg | Stars: Paul Newman, George Kennedy, Strother Martin, J.D. Cannon

Votes: 132,177

65. Belle de Jour (1967)

R | 100 min | Drama

7.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A frigid young housewife decides to spend her midweek afternoons as a prostitute.

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Jean Sorel, Michel Piccoli, Geneviève Page

Votes: 32,415

66. 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: 481,067 | Gross: $56.95M

67. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

PG-13 | 164 min | Western

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

A mysterious stranger with a harmonica joins forces with a notorious desperado to protect a beautiful widow from a ruthless assassin working for the railroad.

Director: Sergio Leone | Stars: Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, Claudia Cardinale, Jason Robards

Votes: 242,426 | Gross: $5.32M

68. Hell in the Pacific (1968)

G | 103 min | Adventure, War

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

During World War II, an American pilot and a marooned Japanese navy captain are deserted on a small uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean. There, they must cease their hostility and cooperate if they want to survive, but will they?

Director: John Boorman | Stars: Lee Marvin, Toshirô Mifune

Votes: 6,486

69. 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: 622,816

70. The Godfather (1972)

R | 175 min | Crime, Drama

9.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.2/10 X  
100 Metascore

The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Diane Keaton

Votes: 1,287,592 | Gross: $134.97M

and part II

71. Badlands (1973)

PG | 94 min | Crime, Drama

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

An impressionable teenage girl from a dead-end town and her older greaser boyfriend embark on a killing spree in the South Dakota badlands.

Director: Terrence Malick | Stars: Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek, Warren Oates, Ramon Bieri

Votes: 52,965

72. Taxi Driver (1976)

R | 113 min | Crime, Drama

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

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.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Albert Brooks

Votes: 570,579 | Gross: $28.26M

73. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)

PG | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

8.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
92 Metascore

Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a Wookiee and two droids to save the galaxy from the Empire's world-destroying battle-station while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the evil Darth Vader.

Director: George Lucas | Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness

Votes: 1,013,690 | Gross: $322.74M

Star Wars Original Trilogy

74. Apocalypse Now (1979)

R | 147 min | Drama, War

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

During the Vietnam War, Captain Willard is sent on a dangerous mission into Cambodia to assassinate a renegade Colonel who has set himself up as a god among a local tribe.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Frederic Forrest

Votes: 497,006 | Gross: $83.47M

75. Alien (1979)

R | 117 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

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

After a space merchant vessel perceives an unknown transmission as a distress call, its landing on the source moon finds one of the crew attacked by a mysterious lifeform, and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt, Veronica Cartwright

Votes: 642,221 | Gross: $78.90M

76. Das Boot (1981)

R | 149 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

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

The claustrophobic world of a WWII German U-boat; boredom, filth, and sheer terror.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen | Stars: Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Klaus Wennemann, Hubertus Bengsch

Votes: 186,918 | Gross: $11.49M

77. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

PG | 115 min | Action, Adventure

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

Archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, John Rhys-Davies

Votes: 731,989 | Gross: $248.16M

78. Blade Runner (1982)

R | 117 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller

8.2
Rate this
    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: 548,002 | Gross: $27.00M

79. Goodfellas (1990)

R | 146 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

8.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
89 Metascore

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.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco

Votes: 812,604 | Gross: $46.84M

80. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

R | 118 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

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

A young F.B.I. cadet must receive the help of an incarcerated and manipulative cannibal killer to help catch another serial killer, a madman who skins his victims.

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A. Bonney, Kasi Lemmons

Votes: 1,004,258 | Gross: $130.74M

81. Pulp Fiction (1994)

R | 154 min | Crime, Drama

8.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
94 Metascore

The lives of two mob hit men, a boxer, a gangster's wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption.

Director: Quentin Tarantino | Stars: John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis

Votes: 1,475,120 | Gross: $107.93M

82. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

R | 142 min | Crime, Drama

9.3
Rate this
    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: 1,885,863 | Gross: $28.34M

83. Toy Story (1995)

G | 81 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

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

A cowboy doll is profoundly threatened and jealous when a new spaceman figure supplants him as top toy in a boy's room.

Director: John Lasseter | Stars: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, Jim Varney

Votes: 703,749 | Gross: $191.80M

84. Fargo (1996)

R | 98 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

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

Jerry Lundegaard's inept crime falls apart due to his and his henchmen's bungling and the persistent police work of the quite pregnant Marge Gunderson.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen | Stars: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare

Votes: 507,114 | Gross: $24.61M

85. The Thin Red Line (1998)

R | 170 min | Drama, War

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

Adaptation of James Jones' autobiographical 1962 novel, focusing on the conflict at Guadalcanal during the second World War.

Director: Terrence Malick | Stars: Jim Caviezel, Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, Elias Koteas

Votes: 150,262 | Gross: $36.40M

86. Fight Club (1999)

R | 139 min | Drama

8.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
66 Metascore

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.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Meat Loaf, Zach Grenier

Votes: 1,511,482 | Gross: $37.03M

87. The Matrix (1999)

R | 136 min | Action, Sci-Fi

8.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
73 Metascore

A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers.

Directors: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski | Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving

Votes: 1,356,590 | Gross: $171.48M

88. Memento (2000)

R | 113 min | Mystery, Thriller

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

A man juggles searching for his wife's murderer and keeping his short-term memory loss from being an obstacle.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, Mark Boone Junior

Votes: 940,978 | Gross: $25.54M

89. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

PG-13 | 178 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

8.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
92 Metascore

A meek Hobbit from the Shire and eight companions set out on a journey to destroy the powerful One Ring and save Middle Earth from the Dark Lord Sauron.

Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom, Sean Bean

Votes: 1,367,780 | Gross: $315.54M

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

90. City of God (2002)

R | 130 min | Crime, Drama

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

Two boys growing up in a violent neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro take different paths: one becomes a photographer, the other a drug dealer.

Directors: Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund | Stars: Alexandre Rodrigues, Leandro Firmino, Matheus Nachtergaele, Phellipe Haagensen

Votes: 586,990 | Gross: $7.56M

91. Ying xiong (2002)

PG-13 | 107 min | Action, Adventure, History

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

A defense officer, Nameless, was summoned by the King of Qin regarding his success of terminating three warriors.

Director: Yimou Zhang | Stars: Jet Li, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Maggie Cheung, Ziyi Zhang

Votes: 158,430 | Gross: $53.71M

92. The Dark Knight (2008)

PG-13 | 152 min | Action, Crime, Drama

9.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  
82 Metascore

When the menace known as the Joker emerges from his mysterious past, he wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham, the Dark Knight must accept one of the greatest psychological and physical tests of his ability to fight injustice.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine

Votes: 1,861,717 | Gross: $534.86M

The Dark Knight Trilogy

93. Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

R | 118 min | Drama, Fantasy, War

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

In the falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world.

Director: Guillermo del Toro | Stars: Ivana Baquero, Ariadna Gil, Sergi López, Maribel Verdú

Votes: 518,424 | Gross: $37.63M

94. Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)

R | 141 min | Drama, History, War

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

The story of the battle of Iwo Jima between the United States and Imperial Japan during World War II, as told from the perspective of the Japanese who fought it.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Ken Watanabe, Kazunari Ninomiya, Tsuyoshi Ihara, Ryo Kase

Votes: 139,882 | Gross: $13.76M

95. No Country for Old Men (2007)

R | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

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

Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong and more than two million dollars in cash near the Rio Grande.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen | Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson

Votes: 688,562 | Gross: $74.28M

96. There Will Be Blood (2007)

R | 158 min | Drama, History

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

A story of family, religion, hatred, oil and madness, focusing on a turn-of-the-century prospector in the early days of the business.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Ciarán Hinds, Martin Stringer

Votes: 418,055 | Gross: $40.22M

97. The Hurt Locker (2008)

R | 131 min | Drama, History, Thriller

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

During the Iraq War, a Sergeant recently assigned to an army bomb squad is put at odds with his squad mates due to his maverick way of handling his work.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow | Stars: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Guy Pearce

Votes: 362,989 | Gross: $17.02M

98. Drive (I) (2011)

R | 100 min | Crime, Drama

7.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
78 Metascore

A mysterious Hollywood stuntman and mechanic moonlights as a getaway driver and finds himself in trouble when he helps out his neighbor.

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn | Stars: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks

Votes: 479,671 | Gross: $35.06M

99. The Tree of Life (2011)

PG-13 | 139 min | Drama, Fantasy

6.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
85 Metascore

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.

Director: Terrence Malick | Stars: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Hunter McCracken

Votes: 147,536 | Gross: $13.30M