The 15 Greatest Arthouse Films of all Time

Arthouse is probably the most difficult genre to define. Each person sees it differently depending on various reasons. For this list I have chosen films which I consider to be 'arthouse' mainly due to the cinematography or near poetic nature.
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1.
The Tree of Life (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 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
“ Terrence Malicks Palme d'Or winner is by far the most beautifully captured story of life. Sean Penn plays a man wandering for something which takes him back to childhood in Waco, Texas during the 1950's. The contrast between his mother and father is captured magnificently with his mother captured in an almost angelic light. The film is filled with stunning imagery, including a the origin of the cosmos and shot almost through a child's eyes, whilst we are left to ponder the greatest questions on existence. ” - tom314
 
2.
Three Colors: Blue (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A woman struggles to find a way to live her life after the death of her husband and child. (98 mins.)
“ The Three Colours Trilogy is one the defining arthouse moments. Blue's artist style is the stand out of the three, due to its cinematography and a beautifully told story of a woman's depression along with that incredible soundtrack. ” - tom314
 
3.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
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. (149 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
 
4.
Melancholia (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Two sisters find their already strained relationship challenged as a mysterious new planet threatens to collide with Earth. (135 mins.)
Director: Lars von Trier
“ After my first viewing of this film I hated it, yet I also loved it. The films opening scene is shown in an extreme slow-motion and captured beautifully, from then on its hand held work, yet still just as incredible to look at with the ending scene being something truly magnificent! What I hated about it was just how empty and depressed I was left feeling. Despite that, it's Von Trier's most beautiful and heartbreaking masterpiece. ” - tom314
 
5.
Antichrist (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A grieving couple retreat to their cabin in the woods, hoping to repair their broken hearts and troubled marriage. But nature takes its course and things go from bad to worse. (108 mins.)
Director: Lars von Trier
“ Loved by some, detested by others. Similar to Roeg's Don't Look Now, Von Trier's story of a couple's grief is dark, depressing, twisted, bizarre and Freudien. The couple, known as 'he' and 'she', He, being a therapist, takes her to the woods, almost ironically named 'Eden', to repair her grief, whilst she is writting a thesis on gynocide. The film becomes darker and more depressing whilst offering sick or fascinating theories (depending on how you choose to look at it) on women and on reality. Sick, misogynistic or genius, regardless of what you think of it, it's certainly a brilliant arthouse film. ” - tom314
 
6.
The 400 Blows (1959)
    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. (99 mins.)
 
7.
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
 
8.
Stalker (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A guide leads two men through an area known as the Zone to find a room that grants wishes. (163 mins.)
 
9.
Andrei Rublev (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
The life, times and afflictions of the fifteenth-century Russian iconographer. (205 mins.)
 
10.
Breaking the Waves (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
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. (159 mins.)
Director: Lars Von Trier
 
11.
Requiem for a Dream (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
The drug-induced utopias of four Coney Island people are shattered when their addictions run deep. (102 mins.)
 
12.
Don't Look Now (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A married couple grieving the recent death of their young daughter are in Venice when they encounter two elderly sisters, one of whom is psychic and brings a warning from beyond. (110 mins.)
Director: Nicolas Roeg
 
13.
Three Colors: Red (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Final entry in a trilogy of films dealing with contemporary French society concerns a model who discovers her neighbour is keen on invading people's privacy. (99 mins.)
 
14.
Seven Samurai (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves. (207 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
 
15.
Rashomon (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A heinous crime and its aftermath are recalled from differing points of view. (88 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa