Brighter visions

by cliffiko | created - 21 Nov 2011 | updated - 23 Nov 2011 | Public

A personal list of films that have influenced me over the years. Films where the emotions, story or images have stayed with me long after 1st watching the film. Reducing a much larger list and then putting them in order took forever & ultimately I think misses the point - its a collection that reflects upon all our frailties, inconsistencies, passions, humor & hopes. From the sweet, to bittersweet and sometimes a darker view to the human condition, these are the films that made me watch films. C

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1. Amélie (2001)

R | 122 min | Comedy, Romance

69 Metascore

Amélie is an innocent and naive girl in Paris with her own sense of justice. She decides to help those around her and, along the way, discovers love.

Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet | Stars: Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus, Lorella Cravotta

Votes: 629,056 | Gross: $33.23M

2. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

R | 108 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi

89 Metascore

When their relationship turns sour, a couple undergoes a medical procedure to have each other erased from their memories.

Director: Michel Gondry | Stars: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Tom Wilkinson, Gerry Robert Byrne

Votes: 791,520 | Gross: $34.40M

3. Lost in Translation (2003)

R | 102 min | Drama

89 Metascore

A faded movie star and a neglected young woman form an unlikely bond after crossing paths in Tokyo.

Director: Sofia Coppola | Stars: Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Giovanni Ribisi, Anna Faris

Votes: 363,387 | Gross: $44.59M

4. Spirited Away (2001)

PG | 125 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

96 Metascore

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.

Directors: Hayao Miyazaki, Kirk Wise | Stars: Daveigh Chase, Suzanne Pleshette, Miyu Irino, Rumi Hiiragi

Votes: 526,953 | Gross: $10.06M

5. Broken Flowers (2005)

R | 106 min | Comedy, Drama, Mystery

79 Metascore

As the extremely withdrawn Don Johnston is dumped by his latest woman, he receives an anonymous letter from a former lover informing him that he has a son who may be looking for him. A freelance sleuth neighbor moves Don to embark on a cross-country search for his old flames in search of answers.

Director: Jim Jarmusch | Stars: Bill Murray, Jessica Lange, Sharon Stone, Julie Delpy

Votes: 89,986 | Gross: $13.74M

6. Il y a longtemps que je t'aime (2008)

PG-13 | 117 min | Drama

79 Metascore

A woman struggles to interact with her family and find her place in society after spending fifteen years in prison.

Director: Philippe Claudel | Stars: Kristin Scott Thomas, Elsa Zylberstein, Serge Hazanavicius, Laurent Grévill

Votes: 18,837 | Gross: $3.17M

7. Good Bye Lenin! (2003)

R | 121 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

68 Metascore

In 1990, to protect his fragile mother from a fatal shock after a long coma, a young man must keep her from learning that her beloved nation of East Germany as she knew it has disappeared.

Director: Wolfgang Becker | Stars: Daniel Brühl, Katrin Saß, Chulpan Khamatova, Florian Lukas

Votes: 126,398 | Gross: $4.06M

8. The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)

R | 126 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

75 Metascore

The dramatization of a motorcycle road trip Che Guevara went on in his youth that showed him his life's calling.

Director: Walter Salles | Stars: Gael García Bernal, Rodrigo De la Serna, Mía Maestro, Mercedes Morán

Votes: 90,032 | Gross: $16.76M

9. Paprika (2006)

R | 90 min | Animation, Adventure, Crime

81 Metascore

When a machine that allows therapists to enter their patients' dreams is stolen, all Hell breaks loose. Only a young female therapist, Paprika, can stop it.

Director: Satoshi Kon | Stars: Megumi Hayashibara, Tôru Emori, Katsunosuke Hori, Tôru Furuya

Votes: 57,624 | Gross: $0.88M

10. Raise the Red Lantern (1991)

PG | 125 min | Drama, History, Romance

A young woman becomes the fourth wife of a wealthy lord, and must learn to live with the strict rules and tensions within the household.

Director: Yimou Zhang | Stars: Li Gong, Jingwu Ma, Saifei He, Cuifen Cao

Votes: 24,242 | Gross: $2.60M

11. Tekkonkinkreet (2006)

R | 111 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

65 Metascore

In Treasure Town, life can be both peaceful and violent. This is never truer than for our heroes, Black and White - two street kids who claim to traverse the urban city as if it were their ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Arias | Stars: Kazunari Ninomiya, Yû Aoi, Yûsuke Iseya, Kankurô Kudô

Votes: 11,045

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: 1,754,905 | Gross: $292.58M

13. Being John Malkovich (1999)

R | 113 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

90 Metascore

A puppeteer discovers a portal that leads literally into the head of movie star John Malkovich.

Director: Spike Jonze | Stars: John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener, John Malkovich

Votes: 281,719 | Gross: $22.86M

14. Delicatessen (1991)

R | 99 min | Comedy, Crime

66 Metascore

Post-apocalyptic surrealist black comedy about the landlord of an apartment building who occasionally prepares a delicacy for his odd tenants.

Directors: Marc Caro, Jean-Pierre Jeunet | Stars: Marie-Laure Dougnac, Dominique Pinon, Pascal Benezech, Jean-Claude Dreyfus

Votes: 73,353 | Gross: $1.79M

15. Beauty and the Beast (1946)

Not Rated | 93 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

92 Metascore

A beautiful young woman takes her father's place as the prisoner of a mysterious beast, who wishes to marry her.

Directors: Jean Cocteau, René Clément | Stars: Jean Marais, Josette Day, Mila Parély, Nane Germon

Votes: 21,598 | Gross: $0.30M

16. Love Me If You Dare (2003)

R | 93 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

45 Metascore

As adults, best friends Julien and Sophie continue the odd game they started as children -- a fearless competition to outdo one another with daring and outrageous stunts. While they often act out to relieve one another's pain, their game might be a way to avoid the fact that they are truly meant for one another.

Director: Yann Samuell | Stars: Guillaume Canet, Marion Cotillard, Thibault Verhaeghe, Joséphine Lebas-Joly

Votes: 62,166 | Gross: $0.55M

17. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

G | 149 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi

82 Metascore

A space-opera spanning the dawn of man to humanity reaching the stars, 2001: A Space Odyssey tells the story of the Black Monolith, humanity's evolution and the rise of A.I.'s ultimate supercomputer HAL 9000.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester, Daniel Richter

Votes: 517,714 | Gross: $56.95M

18. Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

R | 118 min | Drama, Fantasy, War

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: 551,726 | Gross: $37.63M

19. Performance (1970)

R | 105 min | Crime, Drama

A violent gangster seeks refuge from the mob in the Bohemian home of a former rock star.

Directors: Donald Cammell, Nicolas Roeg | Stars: James Fox, Mick Jagger, Anita Pallenberg, Michèle Breton

Votes: 7,852

20. Life Is Beautiful (1997)

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

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: 523,507 | Gross: $57.60M

21. The Sweet Hereafter (1997)

R | 112 min | Drama

90 Metascore

A bus crash in a small town brings a lawyer to the town to defend the families, but he discovers that everything is not what it seems.

Director: Atom Egoyan | Stars: Ian Holm, Sarah Polley, Caerthan Banks, Tom McCamus

Votes: 29,400 | Gross: $3.25M

22. The Triplets of Belleville (2003)

PG-13 | 78 min | Animation, Comedy, Drama

91 Metascore

When her grandson is kidnapped during the Tour de France, Madame Souza and her beloved pooch Bruno team up with the Belleville Sisters--an aged song-and-dance team from the days of Fred Astaire--to rescue him.

Director: Sylvain Chomet | Stars: Michèle Caucheteux, Jean-Claude Donda, Michel Robin, Monica Viegas

Votes: 46,668 | Gross: $7.00M

23. Drive (I) (2011)

R | 100 min | Crime, Drama

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: 503,397 | Gross: $35.06M

24. A Dangerous Method (2011)

R | 99 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

76 Metascore

A look at how the intense relationship between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud gives birth to psychoanalysis.

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen, Vincent Cassel

Votes: 90,775 | Gross: $5.70M

25. Up in the Air (I) (2009)

R | 109 min | Drama, Romance

83 Metascore

Ryan Bingham enjoys living out of a suitcase for his job, travelling around the country firing people, but finds that lifestyle threatened by the presence of a potential love interest, and a new hire.

Director: Jason Reitman | Stars: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, Jason Bateman

Votes: 294,590 | Gross: $83.82M

26. Somewhere (2010)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Drama

67 Metascore

After withdrawing to the Chateau Marmont, a passionless Hollywood actor reexamines his life when his eleven-year-old daughter surprises him with a visit.

Director: Sofia Coppola | Stars: Stephen Dorff, Elle Fanning, Chris Pontius, Erin Wasson

Votes: 39,408 | Gross: $1.77M

27. The City of Lost Children (1995)

R | 112 min | Fantasy, Sci-Fi

73 Metascore

A scientist in a surrealist society kidnaps children to steal their dreams, hoping that they slow his aging process.

Directors: Marc Caro, Jean-Pierre Jeunet | Stars: Ron Perlman, Daniel Emilfork, Judith Vittet, Dominique Pinon

Votes: 60,447 | Gross: $1.51M

28. The Red Violin (1998)

R | 130 min | Drama, Music, Mystery

57 Metascore

A perfect red-colored violin inspires passion, making its way through three centuries over several owners and countries, eventually ending up at an auction where it may find a new owner.

Director: François Girard | Stars: Carlo Cecchi, Jean-Luc Bideau, Christoph Koncz, Jason Flemyng

Votes: 29,211 | Gross: $9.47M

29. 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: 1,068,984 | Gross: $120.54M

30. Caché (2005)

R | 117 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

83 Metascore

A married couple is terrorized by a series of surveillance videotapes left on their front porch.

Director: Michael Haneke | Stars: Daniel Auteuil, Juliette Binoche, Maurice Bénichou, Annie Girardot

Votes: 64,193 | Gross: $3.63M

31. Naked (1993)

Not Rated | 132 min | Comedy, Drama

84 Metascore

Parallel tales of two sexually obsessed men, one hurting and annoying women physically and mentally, one wandering around the city talking to strangers and experiencing dimensions of life.

Director: Mike Leigh | Stars: David Thewlis, Lesley Sharp, Katrin Cartlidge, Greg Cruttwell

Votes: 28,660 | Gross: $1.77M

32. Stealing Beauty (1996)

R | 118 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

60 Metascore

After her mother commits suicide, a young woman travels to Italy in search of love, truth and a deeper connection with herself.

Director: Bernardo Bertolucci | Stars: Jeremy Irons, Liv Tyler, Carlo Cecchi, Sinéad Cusack

Votes: 22,917 | Gross: $4.57M

33. The Pillow Book (1996)

Not Rated | 126 min | Drama

64 Metascore

A woman with a body writing fetish seeks to find a combined lover and calligrapher.

Director: Peter Greenaway | Stars: Vivian Wu, Ewan McGregor, Yoshi Oida, Ken Ogata

Votes: 11,499 | Gross: $2.29M

34. Fargo (1996)

R | 98 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

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: 540,262 | Gross: $24.61M

35. Volver (I) (2006)

R | 121 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

84 Metascore

After her death, a mother returns to her home town in order to fix the situations she couldn't resolve during her life.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar | Stars: Penélope Cruz, Carmen Maura, Lola Dueñas, Blanca Portillo

Votes: 85,653 | Gross: $12.90M

36. The Ice Storm (1997)

R | 112 min | Drama

72 Metascore

In suburban New Canaan, Connecticut, 1973, middle class families experimenting with casual sex and substance abuse find their lives beyond their control.

Director: Ang Lee | Stars: Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Henry Czerny

Votes: 49,927 | Gross: $7.84M

37. A Simple Plan (1998)

R | 121 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

82 Metascore

When three blue collar acquaintances come across millions of dollars in lost cash they make a plan to keep their find from the authorities but find complications and mistrust weaving its way into their plan.

Director: Sam Raimi | Stars: Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thornton, Bridget Fonda, Brent Briscoe

Votes: 56,496 | Gross: $16.31M

38. Biutiful (2010)

R | 148 min | Drama, Romance

58 Metascore

This is the story of Uxbal, a man living in this world, but able to see his death, which guides his every move.

Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu | Stars: Javier Bardem, Maricel Álvarez, Hanaa Bouchaib, Guillermo Estrella

Votes: 78,253 | Gross: $5.10M

39. Trainspotting (1996)

R | 94 min | Drama

83 Metascore

Renton, deeply immersed in the Edinburgh drug scene, tries to clean up and get out, despite the allure of the drugs and influence of friends.

Director: Danny Boyle | Stars: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Kevin McKidd

Votes: 569,327 | Gross: $16.50M

40. My Left Foot (1989)

R | 103 min | Biography, Drama

97 Metascore

Christy Brown, born with cerebral palsy, learns to paint and write with his only controllable limb - his left foot.

Director: Jim Sheridan | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Brenda Fricker, Alison Whelan, Kirsten Sheridan

Votes: 58,905 | Gross: $14.74M

41. Waltz with Bashir (2008)

R | 90 min | Animation, Biography, Drama

91 Metascore

An Israeli film director interviews fellow veterans of the 1982 invasion of Lebanon to reconstruct his own memories of his term of service in that conflict.

Director: Ari Folman | Stars: Ari Folman, Ron Ben-Yishai, Ronny Dayag, Ori Sivan

Votes: 51,148 | Gross: $2.28M

42. Night on Earth (1991)

R | 129 min | Comedy, Drama

68 Metascore

An anthology of 5 different cab drivers in 5 American and European cities and their remarkable fares on the same eventful night.

Director: Jim Jarmusch | Stars: Winona Ryder, Gena Rowlands, Lisanne Falk, Alan Randolph Scott

Votes: 47,974 | Gross: $2.02M

43. Sik san (1996)

95 min | Action, Comedy, Fantasy

The most renowned and feared chef in the world loses his title of God of Cookery because of his pompous attitude. Humbled, he sets out to reclaim his title.

Directors: Stephen Chow, Lik-Chi Lee | Stars: Stephen Chow, Karen Mok, Nancy Sit, Man-Tat Ng

Votes: 7,193

44. Blade Runner (1982)

R | 117 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller

89 Metascore

A blade runner must pursue and 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: 602,026 | Gross: $27.00M

45. Akira (1988)

R | 124 min | Animation, Action, Drama

A secret military project endangers Neo-Tokyo when it turns a biker gang member into a rampaging psychic psychopath that only two teenagers and a group of psychics can stop.

Director: Katsuhiro Ôtomo | Stars: Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama, Tesshô Genda

Votes: 131,428 | Gross: $0.55M

46. Secrets & Lies (1996)

R | 136 min | Drama

91 Metascore

A successful black woman discovers that her birth mother is a underprivileged white woman, but the woman denies it. As emotions run high, everyone's secrets are exposed.

Director: Mike Leigh | Stars: Timothy Spall, Brenda Blethyn, Phyllis Logan, Claire Rushbrook

Votes: 32,630 | Gross: $13.42M

47. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

R | 133 min | Drama

80 Metascore

A criminal pleads insanity after getting into trouble again and once in the mental institution rebels against the oppressive nurse and rallies up the scared patients.

Director: Milos Forman | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Will Sampson, Michael Berryman

Votes: 796,897 | Gross: $112.00M

48. Memento (2000)

R | 113 min | Mystery, Thriller

80 Metascore

A man with short-term memory loss attempts to track down his wife's murderer.

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

Votes: 994,525 | Gross: $25.54M

49. Drowning by Numbers (1988)

R | 118 min | Comedy, Drama

Three generations of women all share the same problem: marriage woes, and they want to put an end to it.

Director: Peter Greenaway | Stars: Bernard Hill, Joan Plowright, Juliet Stevenson, Joely Richardson

Votes: 7,090 | Gross: $0.42M

50. Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989)

R | 100 min | Drama