Best Cinematography Watchlist-1980s-present

View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
Days of Heaven (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A hot-tempered farm laborer convinces the woman he loves to marry their rich but dying boss so that they can have a claim to his fortune. (94 mins.)
Director: Terrence Malick
 
2.
Apocalypse Now (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
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. (147 mins.)
Director: Francis Coppola
 
3.
Tess (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A strong-willed young peasant girl becomes the affection of two men. (186 mins.)
Director: Roman Polanski
 
4.
Reds (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A radical American journalist becomes involved with the Communist revolution in Russia and hopes to bring its spirit and idealism to the United States. (195 mins.)
Director: Warren Beatty
 
5.
Gandhi (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Gandhi's character is fully explained as a man of nonviolence. Through his patience, he is able to drive the British out of the subcontinent. And the stubborn nature of Jinnah and his commitment towards Pakistan is portrayed. (191 mins.)
 
6.
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
 
7.
The Killing Fields (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A journalist is trapped in Cambodia during tyrant Pol Pot's bloody "Year Zero" cleansing campaign, which claimed the lives of two million "undesirable" civilians. (141 mins.)
Director: Roland Joffé
 
8.
Out of Africa (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
In 20th-century colonial Kenya, a Danish baroness/plantation owner has a passionate love affair with a free-spirited big-game hunter. (161 mins.)
Director: Sydney Pollack
 
9.
The Mission (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
18th century Spanish Jesuits try to protect a remote South American Indian tribe in danger of falling under the rule of pro-slavery Portugal. (125 mins.)
Director: Roland Joffé
 
10.
The Last Emperor (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The story of the final Emperor of China. (163 mins.)
 
11.
Mississippi Burning (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Two F.B.I. Agents, with wildly different styles, arrive in Mississippi to investigate the disappearance of some civil rights activists. (128 mins.)
Director: Alan Parker
 
12.
Glory (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Robert Gould Shaw leads the U.S. Civil War's first all-black volunteer company, fighting prejudices from both his own Union Army, and the Confederates. (122 mins.)
Director: Edward Zwick
 
13.
Dances with Wolves (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Lt. John Dunbar, exiled to a remote western Civil War outpost, befriends wolves and Indians, making him an intolerable aberration in the military. (181 mins.)
Director: Kevin Costner
 
14.
JFK (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison discovers there's more to the Kennedy assassination than the official story. (189 mins.)
Director: Oliver Stone
 
15.
A River Runs Through It (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
The story about two sons of a stern minister -- one reserved, one rebellious -- growing up in rural Montana while devoted to fly fishing. (123 mins.)
Director: Robert Redford
 
16.
Schindler's List (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
In German-occupied Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazi Germans. (195 mins.)
 
17.
Legends of the Fall (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
In the 1900s, three brothers and their father living in the remote wilderness of Montana are affected by betrayal, history, love, nature, and war. (133 mins.)
Director: Edward Zwick
 
18.
Braveheart (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
When his secret bride is executed for assaulting an English soldier who tried to rape her, Sir William Wallace begins a revolt against King Edward I of England. (178 mins.)
Director: Mel Gibson
 
19.
The English Patient (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
At the close of WWII, a young nurse tends to a badly-burned plane crash victim. His past is shown in flashbacks, revealing an involvement in a fateful love affair. (162 mins.)
 
20.
Titanic (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A seventeen-year-old aristocrat falls in love with a kind but poor artist aboard the luxurious, ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic. (194 mins.)
Director: James Cameron
 
21.
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
Following the Normandy Landings, a group of U.S. soldiers go behind enemy lines to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action. (169 mins.)
 
22.
American Beauty (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A sexually frustrated suburban father has a mid-life crisis after becoming infatuated with his daughter's best friend. (122 mins.)
Director: Sam Mendes
 
23.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A young Chinese warrior steals a sword from a famed swordsman and then escapes into a world of romantic adventure with a mysterious man in the frontier of the nation. (120 mins.)
Director: Ang Lee
 
24.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
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. (178 mins.)
Director: Peter Jackson
 
25.
Road to Perdition (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Bonds of loyalty are put to the test when a hitman's son witnesses what his father does for a living. (117 mins.)
Director: Sam Mendes
 
26.
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
During the Napoleonic Wars, a brash British captain pushes his ship and crew to their limits in pursuit of a formidable French war vessel around South America. (138 mins.)
Director: Peter Weir
 
27.
The Aviator (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A biopic depicting the early years of legendary director and aviator Howard Hughes' career from the late 1920s to the mid-1940s. (170 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
 
28.
Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Nitta Sayuri reveals how she transcended her fishing-village roots and became one of Japan's most celebrated geisha. (145 mins.)
Director: Rob Marshall
 
29.
Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
In the falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world. (118 mins.)
 
30.
There Will Be Blood (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A story of family, religion, hatred, oil and madness, focusing on a turn-of-the-century prospector in the early days of the business. (158 mins.)
 
31.
Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A Mumbai teen reflects on his upbringing in the slums when he is accused of cheating on the Indian Version of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" (120 mins.)
 
32.
Avatar (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A paraplegic marine dispatched to the moon Pandora on a unique mission becomes torn between following his orders and protecting the world he feels is his home. (162 mins.)
Director: James Cameron
 
33.
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.)
 
34.
Hugo (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
In Paris in 1931, an orphan named Hugo Cabret who lives in the walls of a train station is wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton. (126 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
 
35.
Life of Pi (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A young man who survives a disaster at sea is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor: a fearsome Bengal tiger. (127 mins.)
Director: Ang Lee
 
36.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley is forced from semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet agent within MI6. (122 mins.)
Director: Tomas Alfredson
 
37.
The Hurt Locker (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
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. (131 mins.)
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
 
38.
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Robert Ford, who's idolized Jesse James since childhood, tries hard to join the reforming gang of the Missouri outlaw, but gradually becomes resentful of the bandit leader. (160 mins.)
Director: Andrew Dominik
 
39.
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The true story of Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby who suffers a stroke and has to live with an almost totally paralyzed body; only his left eye isn't paralyzed. (112 mins.)
Director: Julian Schnabel
 
40.
The Illusionist (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
In turn-of-the-century Vienna, a magician uses his abilities to secure the love of a woman far above his social standing. (110 mins.)
Director: Neil Burger
 
41.
Children of Men (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
In 2027, in a chaotic world in which women have become somehow infertile, a former activist agrees to help transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary at sea. (109 mins.)
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
 
42.
The Good Shepherd (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
The tumultuous early history of the Central Intelligence Agency is viewed through the prism of one man's life. (167 mins.)
Director: Robert De Niro
 
43.
Apocalypto (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
As the Mayan kingdom faces its decline, the rulers insist the key to prosperity is to build more temples and offer human sacrifices. Jaguar Paw, a young man captured for sacrifice, flees to avoid his fate. (139 mins.)
Director: Mel Gibson