The best from the best

by Barbu Florin | created - 17 Dec 2010 | updated - 17 Sep 2013 | Public

Movies everyone should have seen.

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1. The Illusionist (2006)

PG-13 | 110 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

68 Metascore

In turn-of-the-century Vienna, a magician uses his abilities to secure the love of a woman far above his social standing.

Director: Neil Burger | Stars: Edward Norton, Jessica Biel, Paul Giamatti, Rufus Sewell

Votes: 325,537 | Gross: $39.87M

2. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

R | 142 min | Crime, Drama

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: 1,954,088 | Gross: $28.34M

3. Meet Joe Black (1998)

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

43 Metascore

Death, who takes the form of a young man, asks a media mogul to act as a guide to teach him about life on Earth, and in the process, he falls in love with his guide's daughter.

Director: Martin Brest | Stars: Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Claire Forlani, Jake Weber

Votes: 186,159 | Gross: $44.62M

4. I Am Sam (2001)

PG-13 | 132 min | Drama

28 Metascore

A mentally handicapped man fights for custody of his 7-year-old daughter, and in the process teaches his cold hearted lawyer the value of love and family.

Director: Jessie Nelson | Stars: Sean Penn, Michelle Pfeiffer, Dakota Fanning, Dianne Wiest

Votes: 131,686 | Gross: $40.31M

5. The Bucket List (2007)

PG-13 | 97 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

42 Metascore

Two terminally ill men escape from a cancer ward and head off on a road trip with a wish list of to-dos before they die.

Director: Rob Reiner | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman, Sean Hayes, Beverly Todd

Votes: 204,813 | Gross: $93.47M

6. The Godfather: Part II (1974)

R | 202 min | Crime, Drama

85 Metascore

The early life and career of Vito Corleone in 1920s New York City is portrayed, while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on the family crime syndicate.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton

Votes: 925,369 | Gross: $57.30M

7. A Beautiful Mind (2001)

PG-13 | 135 min | Biography, Drama

72 Metascore

After John Nash, a brilliant but asocial mathematician, accepts secret work in cryptography, his life takes a turn for the nightmarish.

Director: Ron Howard | Stars: Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, Christopher Plummer

Votes: 719,717 | Gross: $170.74M

8. Forrest Gump (1994)

PG-13 | 142 min | Drama, Romance

82 Metascore

The presidencies of Kennedy and Johnson, Vietnam, Watergate, and other history unfold through the perspective of an Alabama man with an IQ of 75.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Sally Field

Votes: 1,483,748 | Gross: $330.25M

9. Inglourious Basterds (2009)

R | 153 min | Adventure, Drama, War

69 Metascore

In Nazi-occupied France during World War II, a plan to assassinate Nazi leaders by a group of Jewish U.S. soldiers coincides with a theatre owner's vengeful plans for the same.

Directors: Quentin Tarantino, Eli Roth | Stars: Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Eli Roth, Mélanie Laurent

Votes: 1,042,325 | Gross: $120.54M

10. Ali (2001)

R | 157 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

65 Metascore

A biography of sports legend Muhammad Ali, focusing on his triumphs and controversies between 1964 and 1974.

Director: Michael Mann | Stars: Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, Jon Voight, Mario Van Peebles

Votes: 85,177 | Gross: $58.20M

11. Braveheart (1995)

R | 178 min | Biography, Drama, History

68 Metascore

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.

Director: Mel Gibson | Stars: Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Patrick McGoohan, Angus Macfadyen

Votes: 844,628 | Gross: $75.60M

12. Inception (2010)

PG-13 | 148 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

74 Metascore

A thief, who steals corporate secrets through the use of dream-sharing technology, is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of a CEO.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Ken Watanabe

Votes: 1,711,085 | Gross: $292.58M

13. Twelve Monkeys (1995)

R | 129 min | Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller

74 Metascore

In a future world devastated by disease, a convict is sent back in time to gather information about the man-made virus that wiped out most of the human population on the planet.

Director: Terry Gilliam | Stars: Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, Brad Pitt, Joseph Melito

Votes: 521,208 | Gross: $57.14M

14. Donnie Darko (2001)

R | 113 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

88 Metascore

A troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a man in a large rabbit suit who manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after he narrowly escapes a bizarre accident.

Director: Richard Kelly | Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Mary McDonnell, Holmes Osborne

Votes: 663,552 | Gross: $0.19M

15. Cinderella Man (2005)

PG-13 | 144 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

69 Metascore

The story of James Braddock, a supposedly washed-up boxer who came back to become a champion and an inspiration in the 1930s.

Director: Ron Howard | Stars: Russell Crowe, Renée Zellweger, Craig Bierko, Paul Giamatti

Votes: 160,694 | Gross: $61.65M

16. The Godfather (1972)

R | 175 min | Crime, Drama

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: 1,337,642 | Gross: $134.97M

17. Snatch (2000)

R | 102 min | Comedy, Crime

55 Metascore

Unscrupulous boxing promoters, violent bookmakers, a Russian gangster, incompetent amateur robbers, and supposedly Jewish jewelers fight to track down a priceless stolen diamond.

Director: Guy Ritchie | Stars: Jason Statham, Brad Pitt, Benicio Del Toro, Dennis Farina

Votes: 682,170 | Gross: $30.33M

18. Remember the Titans (2000)

PG | 113 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

48 Metascore

The true story of a newly appointed African-American coach and his high school team on their first season as a racially integrated unit.

Director: Boaz Yakin | Stars: Denzel Washington, Will Patton, Wood Harris, Ryan Hurst

Votes: 176,750 | Gross: $115.65M

19. RocknRolla (2008)

R | 114 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

53 Metascore

In London, a real-estate scam puts millions of pounds up for grabs, attracting some of the city's scrappiest tough guys and its more established underworld types, all of whom are looking to get rich quick. While the city's seasoned criminals vie for the cash, an unexpected player -- a drugged-out rock 'n' roller presumed to be dead but very much alive -- has a multi-million-dollar prize fall into... See full summary »

Director: Guy Ritchie | Stars: Gerard Butler, Tom Wilkinson, Idris Elba, Thandie Newton

Votes: 212,355 | Gross: $5.69M

20. The Pianist (2002)

R | 150 min | Biography, Drama, Music

85 Metascore

A Polish Jewish musician struggles to survive the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto of World War II.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Frank Finlay, Emilia Fox

Votes: 591,475 | Gross: $32.57M

21. John Q (2002)

PG-13 | 116 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

30 Metascore

John Quincy Archibald takes a hospital emergency room hostage when his insurance won't cover his son's heart transplant.

Director: Nick Cassavetes | Stars: Denzel Washington, Robert Duvall, Gabriela Oltean, Kimberly Elise

Votes: 109,737 | Gross: $71.76M

22. Man on Fire (2004)

R | 146 min | Action, Crime, Drama

47 Metascore

In Mexico City, a former assassin swears vengeance on those who committed an unspeakable act against the family he was hired to protect.

Director: Tony Scott | Stars: Denzel Washington, Christopher Walken, Dakota Fanning, Radha Mitchell

Votes: 292,952 | Gross: $77.91M

23. Edward Scissorhands (1990)

PG-13 | 105 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

74 Metascore

A gentle man, with scissors for hands, is brought into a new community after living in isolation.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest, Anthony Michael Hall

Votes: 396,173 | Gross: $56.36M

24. The Reader (2008)

R | 124 min | Drama, Romance

58 Metascore

Post-WWII Germany: Nearly a decade after his affair with an older woman came to a mysterious end, law student Michael Berg re-encounters his former lover as she defends herself in a war-crime trial.

Director: Stephen Daldry | Stars: Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, Bruno Ganz, Jeanette Hain

Votes: 209,032 | Gross: $34.19M

25. Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

R | 229 min | Crime, Drama

A former Prohibition-era Jewish gangster returns to the Lower East Side of Manhattan over thirty years later, where he once again must confront the ghosts and regrets of his old life.

Director: Sergio Leone | Stars: Robert De Niro, James Woods, Elizabeth McGovern, Treat Williams

Votes: 258,714 | Gross: $5.32M

26. The Family Man (2000)

PG-13 | 125 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

42 Metascore

A fast-lane investment broker, offered the opportunity to see how the other half lives, wakes up to find that his sports car and girlfriend have become a mini-van and wife.

Director: Brett Ratner | Stars: Nicolas Cage, Téa Leoni, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Piven

Votes: 93,358 | Gross: $75.79M

27. Matchstick Men (2003)

PG-13 | 116 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

61 Metascore

A phobic con artist and his protégé are on the verge of pulling off a lucrative swindle when the former's teenage daughter arrives unexpectedly.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Nicolas Cage, Alison Lohman, Sam Rockwell, Bruce Altman

Votes: 114,430 | Gross: $36.91M

28. Next (2007)

PG-13 | 96 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

42 Metascore

A Las Vegas magician who can see into the future is pursued by FBI agents seeking to use his abilities to prevent a nuclear terrorist attack.

Director: Lee Tamahori | Stars: Nicolas Cage, Julianne Moore, Jessica Biel, Thomas Kretschmann

Votes: 134,998 | Gross: $18.21M

29. Ocean's Eleven (2001)

PG-13 | 116 min | Crime, Thriller

74 Metascore

Danny Ocean and his eleven accomplices plan to rob three Las Vegas casinos simultaneously.

Director: Steven Soderbergh | Stars: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon

Votes: 449,072 | Gross: $183.42M

30. National Treasure (2004)

PG | 131 min | Action, Adventure, Family

39 Metascore

A historian races to find the legendary Templar Treasure before a team of mercenaries.

Director: Jon Turteltaub | Stars: Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, Justin Bartha, Sean Bean

Votes: 275,158 | Gross: $173.01M

31. Scent of a Woman (1992)

R | 156 min | Drama

59 Metascore

A prep school student needing money agrees to "babysit" a blind man, but the job is not at all what he anticipated.

Director: Martin Brest | Stars: Al Pacino, Chris O'Donnell, James Rebhorn, Gabrielle Anwar

Votes: 218,726 | Gross: $63.90M

32. National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007)

PG | 124 min | Action, Adventure, Family

48 Metascore

Benjamin Gates must follow a clue left in John Wilkes Booth's diary to prove his ancestor's innocence in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

Director: Jon Turteltaub | Stars: Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, Justin Bartha, Jon Voight

Votes: 198,080 | Gross: $219.96M

33. Ray (I) (2004)

PG-13 | 152 min | Biography, Drama, Music

73 Metascore

The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s.

Director: Taylor Hackford | Stars: Jamie Foxx, Regina King, Kerry Washington, Clifton Powell

Votes: 121,930 | Gross: $75.33M

34. Ocean's Twelve (2004)

PG-13 | 125 min | Crime, Thriller

58 Metascore

Daniel Ocean recruits one more team member so he can pull off three major European heists in this sequel to Ocean's 11.

Director: Steven Soderbergh | Stars: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Catherine Zeta-Jones

Votes: 315,008 | Gross: $125.54M

35. Deja Vu (2006)

PG-13 | 126 min | Action, Crime, Sci-Fi

59 Metascore

After a ferry is bombed in New Orleans, an A.T.F. agent joins a unique investigation using experimental surveillance technology to find the bomber, but soon finds himself becoming obsessed with one of the victims.

Director: Tony Scott | Stars: Denzel Washington, Paula Patton, Jim Caviezel, Val Kilmer

Votes: 264,755 | Gross: $64.04M

36. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006)

R | 147 min | Crime, Drama, Fantasy

56 Metascore

Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, born with a superior olfactory sense, creates the world's finest perfume. His work, however, takes a dark turn as he searches for the ultimate scent.

Director: Tom Tykwer | Stars: Ben Whishaw, Dustin Hoffman, Alan Rickman, Francesc Albiol

Votes: 209,420 | Gross: $2.22M

37. Se7en (1995)

R | 127 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

65 Metascore

Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his motives.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey, Andrew Kevin Walker

Votes: 1,193,317 | Gross: $100.13M

38. Memento (2000)

R | 113 min | Mystery, Thriller

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: 972,460 | Gross: $25.54M

39. Zodiac (2007)

R | 157 min | Crime, Drama, History

78 Metascore

In the late 1960s/early 1970s, a San Francisco cartoonist becomes an amateur detective obsessed with tracking down the Zodiac Killer, an unidentified individual who terrorizes Northern California with a killing spree.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Edwards

Votes: 362,192 | Gross: $33.08M

40. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

PG-13 | 143 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

63 Metascore

Blacksmith Will Turner teams up with eccentric pirate "Captain" Jack Sparrow to save his love, the governor's daughter, from Jack's former pirate allies, who are now undead.

Director: Gore Verbinski | Stars: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley

Votes: 916,820 | Gross: $305.41M

41. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)

PG-13 | 151 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

53 Metascore

Jack Sparrow races to recover the heart of Davy Jones to avoid enslaving his soul to Jones' service, as other friends and foes seek the heart for their own agenda as well.

Director: Gore Verbinski | Stars: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Jack Davenport

Votes: 584,553 | Gross: $423.32M

42. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007)

PG-13 | 169 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

50 Metascore

Captain Barbossa, Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann must sail off the edge of the map, navigate treachery and betrayal, find Jack Sparrow, and make their final alliances for one last decisive battle.

Director: Gore Verbinski | Stars: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Geoffrey Rush

Votes: 530,039 | Gross: $309.42M

43. Life Is Beautiful (1997)

PG-13 | 116 min | Comedy, Drama, War

59 Metascore

When an open-minded Jewish librarian and his son become victims of the Holocaust, he uses a perfect mixture of will, humor, and imagination to protect his son from the dangers around their camp.

Director: Roberto Benigni | Stars: Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi, Giorgio Cantarini, Giustino Durano

Votes: 507,936 | Gross: $57.60M

44. Blow (2001)

R | 124 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

52 Metascore

The story of George Jung, along with the Medellín Cartel, headed by Pablo Escobar established the American cocaine market in the 1970s in the United States.

Director: Ted Demme | Stars: Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Franka Potente, Rachel Griffiths

Votes: 216,001 | Gross: $52.99M

45. Benny & Joon (1993)

PG | 98 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

57 Metascore

A mentally ill young woman finds her love in an eccentric man who models himself after Buster Keaton.

Director: Jeremiah S. Chechik | Stars: Johnny Depp, Mary Stuart Masterson, Aidan Quinn, Julianne Moore

Votes: 49,816 | Gross: $23.20M

46. Fight Club (1999)

R | 139 min | Drama

66 Metascore

An insomniac office worker, looking for a way to change his life, crosses paths with a devil-may-care soapmaker, 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: 1,566,771 | Gross: $37.03M

47. Goodfellas (1990)

R | 146 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

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: 843,519 | Gross: $46.84M

48. The Italian Job (2003)

PG-13 | 111 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

68 Metascore

After being betrayed and left for dead in Italy, Charlie Croker and his team plan an elaborate gold heist against their former ally.

Director: F. Gary Gray | Stars: Donald Sutherland, Mark Wahlberg, Edward Norton, Charlize Theron

Votes: 310,079 | Gross: $106.13M

49. The Prestige (2006)

PG-13 | 130 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

66 Metascore

After a tragic accident two stage magicians engage in a battle to create the ultimate illusion whilst sacrificing everything they have to outwit the other.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson, Michael Caine

Votes: 993,791 | Gross: $53.09M

50. Valkyrie (2008)

PG-13 | 121 min | Drama, History, Thriller

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