Cool Movies: Benchmark

by Renegade_Blaze | created - 08 Sep 2012 | updated - 10 Sep 2012 | Public

Style! Be it a minimalist poker-face comedy, or a hardcore bad@ss gangster film. A sweaty Western, or a Samurai saga. Every film mentioned here kicks some 'Major@ss'. So be assured for a 'Groovy' ride. Because 'Coolness' was the only benchmark for this list

It was difficult to keep it at a bare minimum of 50. Had to exclude so many favorites, films that anyone would call "Cool". Maybe later, I'll increase the list to 100. What are your favorite cool movies? Don't forget to mention them.

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1. Le Samouraï (1967)

GP | 101 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

After Professional hitman Jef Costello is seen by witnesses his efforts to provide himself an alibi drive him further into a corner.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville | Stars: Alain Delon, François Périer, Nathalie Delon, Cathy Rosier

Votes: 36,296 | Gross: $0.04M

This is Cool defined. Period.

2. Yojimbo (1961)

Not Rated | 110 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

A crafty ronin comes to a town divided by two criminal gangs and decides to play them against each other to free the town.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Eijirô Tôno, Tatsuya Nakadai, Yôko Tsukasa

Votes: 89,186

There are great actors. And then there are the most gifted ones. But for me, there is no one with a bigger screen presence than Toshiro Mifune. Everything and everyone seems so minuscule in front of Mifune's presence. He is the ultimate samurai personified.

3. Pulp Fiction (1994)

R | 154 min | Crime, Drama

94 Metascore

The lives of two mob hitmen, 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: 1,518,771 | Gross: $107.93M

Jules Winnfield and his monologues. 'I'm a mushroom-cloud-layin' *beep* *beep* Wish I could write lines like those.

4. Taxi Driver (1976)

R | 114 min | Crime, Drama

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: 590,119 | Gross: $28.26M

Travis Bickle. Every teenager's idol. 'You talkin' to me?'

5. 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: 1,329,459 | Gross: $134.97M

Less is more, and less is cool. The Godfather proved it.

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

R | 178 min | Western

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: 576,843 | Gross: $6.10M

The absence of words is a very powerful way of creating intense drama.

7. Down by Law (1986)

R | 107 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

75 Metascore

Two innocent people are arrested. An interesting third person, with broken English, joins them in their cell. On his idea, they decide to escape from the prison. Their journey is the rest of the movie.

Director: Jim Jarmusch | Stars: Tom Waits, John Lurie, Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi

Votes: 40,852 | Gross: $1.44M

8. The Big Lebowski (1998)

R | 117 min | Comedy, Crime

69 Metascore

"The Dude" Lebowski, mistaken for a millionaire Lebowski, seeks restitution for his ruined rug and enlists his bowling buddies to help get it.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen | Stars: Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi

Votes: 618,789 | Gross: $17.50M

9. Chinatown (1974)

R | 130 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

86 Metascore

A private detective hired to expose an adulterer finds himself caught up in a web of deceit, corruption, and murder.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston, Perry Lopez

Votes: 249,289 | Gross: $29.20M

10. Ariel (1988)

Not Rated | 73 min | Comedy, Crime, Romance

A Finnish man goes to the city to find a job after the mine where he worked is closed and his father commits suicide.

Director: Aki Kaurismäki | Stars: Turo Pajala, Susanna Haavisto, Matti Pellonpää, Eetu Hilkamo

Votes: 4,920

11. Seven Samurai (1954)

Not Rated | 207 min | Adventure, Drama

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: 263,812 | Gross: $0.27M

12. Léon: The Professional (1994)

R | 110 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

64 Metascore

Mathilda, a 12-year-old girl, is reluctantly taken in by Léon, a professional assassin, after her family is murdered. Léon and Mathilda form an unusual relationship, as she becomes his protégée and learns the assassin's trade.

Director: Luc Besson | Stars: Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman, Danny Aiello

Votes: 848,468 | Gross: $19.50M

13. Dirty Harry (1971)

R | 102 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

When a mad man calling himself 'the Scorpio Killer' menaces the city, tough as nails San Francisco Police Inspector Harry Callahan is assigned to track down and ferret out the crazed psychopath.

Director: Don Siegel | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Andrew Robinson, Harry Guardino, Reni Santoni

Votes: 125,297

14. Breathless (1960)

Not Rated | 90 min | Crime, Drama

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: 59,944 | Gross: $0.34M

15. Blow-Up (1966)

Not Rated | 111 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

A mod London photographer finds something very suspicious in the shots he has taken of a mysterious beauty in a desolate park.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni | Stars: David Hemmings, Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Miles, John Castle

Votes: 47,350

16. The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Not Rated | 100 min | Film-Noir, Mystery

96 Metascore

A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Gladys George, Peter Lorre

Votes: 132,066

17. Bob le Flambeur (1956)

PG | 98 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

80 Metascore

After losing big, an aging gambler decides to assemble a team to rob a casino.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville | Stars: Roger Duchesne, Isabelle Corey, Daniel Cauchy, Guy Decomble

Votes: 8,643 | Gross: $0.02M

18. Rififi (1955)

Not Rated | 118 min | Crime, Thriller

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: 21,253 | Gross: $0.06M

19. Harakiri (1962)

Not Rated | 133 min | Action, Drama, History

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: 22,232

20. Leningrad Cowboys Go America (1989)

PG-13 | 78 min | Comedy, Music

Siberian rock band Leningrad Cowboys go to the USA in pursuit of fame.

Director: Aki Kaurismäki | Stars: Matti Pellonpää, Kari Väänänen, Sakke Järvenpää, Heikki Keskinen

Votes: 5,822

21. Oldeuboi (2003)

R | 120 min | Action, Drama, Mystery

74 Metascore

After being kidnapped and imprisoned for fifteen years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in five days.

Director: Chan-wook Park | Stars: Min-sik Choi, Ji-tae Yu, Hye-jeong Kang, Dae-han Ji

Votes: 422,895 | Gross: $0.71M

22. Reservoir Dogs (1992)

R | 99 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

79 Metascore

After a simple jewelry heist goes terribly wrong, the surviving criminals begin to suspect that one of them is a police informant.

Director: Quentin Tarantino | Stars: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn

Votes: 768,442 | Gross: $2.83M

23. Mean Streets (1973)

R | 112 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A small-time hood aspires to work his way up the ranks of a local mob.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, David Proval, Amy Robinson

Votes: 78,198 | Gross: $0.03M

24. Le Cercle Rouge (1970)

Not Rated | 140 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

91 Metascore

After leaving prison, master thief Corey crosses paths with a notorious escapee and an alcoholic former policeman. The trio proceed to plot an elaborate heist.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville | Stars: Alain Delon, Bourvil, Gian Maria Volontè, Yves Montand

Votes: 17,744 | Gross: $0.37M

25. The Killing (1956)

Not Rated | 85 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Crooks plan and execute a daring race-track robbery.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards, Jay C. Flippen

Votes: 69,191

26. Samurai Rebellion (1967)

Not Rated | 128 min | Drama

The mother of a feudal lord's only heir is kidnapped away from her husband by the lord. The husband and his samurai father must decide whether to accept the unjust decision, or risk death to get her back.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Yôko Tsukasa, Gô Katô, Tatsuyoshi Ehara

Votes: 8,494

27. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)

R | 107 min | Comedy, Crime

66 Metascore

A botched card game in London triggers four friends, thugs, weed-growers, hard gangsters, loan sharks and debt collectors to collide with each other in a series of unexpected events, all for the sake of weed, cash and two antique shotguns.

Director: Guy Ritchie | Stars: Jason Flemyng, Dexter Fletcher, Nick Moran, Jason Statham

Votes: 467,909 | Gross: $3.90M

28. Thelma & Louise (1991)

R | 130 min | Adventure, Crime, Drama

88 Metascore

Two best friends set out on an adventure, but it soon turns around to a terrifying escape from being hunted by the police, as these two girls escape for the crimes they committed.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen

Votes: 114,181 | Gross: $45.36M

29. Easy Rider (1969)

R | 95 min | Adventure, Drama

86 Metascore

Two counterculture bikers travel from Los Angeles to New Orleans in search of America.

Director: Dennis Hopper | Stars: Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson, Antonio Mendoza

Votes: 83,292 | Gross: $41.73M

30. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

PG | 110 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

58 Metascore

Wyoming, early 1900s. Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid are the leaders of a band of outlaws. After a train robbery goes wrong they find themselves on the run with a posse hard on their heals. Their solution - escape to Bolivia.

Director: George Roy Hill | Stars: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross, Strother Martin

Votes: 175,744 | Gross: $102.31M

31. 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: 838,733 | Gross: $46.84M

32. 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: 554,846 | Gross: $16.50M

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

PG-13 | 164 min | Western

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: 252,567 | Gross: $5.32M

34. Infernal Affairs (2002)

R | 101 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

75 Metascore

A story between a mole in the police department and an undercover cop. Their objectives are the same: to find out who is the mole, and who is the cop.

Directors: Wai-Keung Lau, Alan Mak | Stars: Andy Lau, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Anthony Chau-Sang Wong, Eric Tsang

Votes: 107,003 | Gross: $0.17M

35. The Matrix (1999)

R | 136 min | Action, Sci-Fi

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: 1,396,276 | Gross: $171.48M

36. Bullitt (1968)

M/PG | 114 min | Action, Crime, Mystery

83 Metascore

An all guts, no glory San Francisco cop becomes determined to find the underworld kingpin that killed the witness in his protection.

Director: Peter Yates | Stars: Steve McQueen, Jacqueline Bisset, Robert Vaughn, Don Gordon

Votes: 51,856 | Gross: $42.30M

37. Jûsan-nin no shikaku (2010)

R | 141 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

84 Metascore

A group of assassins come together for a suicide mission to kill an evil lord.

Director: Takashi Miike | Stars: Kôji Yakusho, Takayuki Yamada, Yûsuke Iseya, Ikki Sawamura

Votes: 55,871 | Gross: $0.80M

38. 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: 1,556,665 | Gross: $37.03M

39. La Femme Nikita (1990)

R | 117 min | Action, Thriller

56 Metascore

Convicted felon Nikita, instead of going to jail, is given a new identity and trained, stylishly, as a top secret spy/assassin.

Director: Luc Besson | Stars: Anne Parillaud, Marc Duret, Patrick Fontana, Alain Lathière

Votes: 60,098 | Gross: $5.02M

40. Natural Born Killers (1994)

R | 118 min | Crime, Drama

74 Metascore

Two victims of traumatized childhoods become lovers and psychopathic serial murderers irresponsibly glorified by the mass media.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore, Rodney Dangerfield

Votes: 190,820 | Gross: $50.28M

41. Dead Man (1995)

R | 121 min | Drama, Fantasy, Western

62 Metascore

On the run after murdering a man, accountant William Blake encounters a strange North American man named Nobody who prepares him for his journey into the spiritual world.

Director: Jim Jarmusch | Stars: Johnny Depp, Gary Farmer, Crispin Glover, Lance Henriksen

Votes: 79,603 | Gross: $1.04M

42. Heat (1995)

R | 170 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

76 Metascore

A group of professional bank robbers start to feel the heat from police when they unknowingly leave a clue at their latest heist, while both sides attempt to find balance between their personal and professional lives.

Director: Michael Mann | Stars: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Jon Voight

Votes: 491,122 | Gross: $67.44M

43. The Day of the Jackal (1973)

PG | 143 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

80 Metascore

A professional assassin codenamed "Jackal" plots to kill Charles de Gaulle, the President of France.

Director: Fred Zinnemann | Stars: Edward Fox, Terence Alexander, Michel Auclair, Alan Badel

Votes: 32,516 | Gross: $16.06M

44. Vanishing Point (1971)

R | 99 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

During the 1970s, car delivery driver Kowalski delivers hot rods in record time but always runs into trouble with the highway cops.

Director: Richard C. Sarafian | Stars: Barry Newman, Cleavon Little, Dean Jagger, Victoria Medlin

Votes: 23,564

45. I Stand Alone (1998)

Not Rated | 93 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A horse meat butcher's life and mind begins to breakdown as he lashes out against various factions of society while attempting to reconnect with his estranged daughter.

Director: Gaspar Noé | Stars: Philippe Nahon, Blandine Lenoir, Frankie Pain, Martine Audrain

Votes: 16,112 | Gross: $0.05M

46. The Blues Brothers (1980)

R | 133 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

60 Metascore

Jake Blues, just out from prison, puts together his old band to save the Catholic home where he and brother Elwood were raised.

Director: John Landis | Stars: John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Cab Calloway, John Candy

Votes: 158,123 | Gross: $57.23M

47. Buffalo '66 (1998)

R | 110 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

68 Metascore

After being released from prison, Billy is set to visit his parents with his wife, whom he does not actually have. This provokes Billy to act out, as he kidnaps a girl and forces her to act as his wife for the visit.

Director: Vincent Gallo | Stars: Vincent Gallo, Christina Ricci, Ben Gazzara, Mickey Rourke

Votes: 40,568 | Gross: $2.38M

48. This Is England (2006)

Not Rated | 101 min | Crime, Drama

86 Metascore

A young boy becomes friends with a gang of skinheads. Friends soon become like family, and relationships will be pushed to the very limit.

Director: Shane Meadows | Stars: Thomas Turgoose, Stephen Graham, Jo Hartley, Andrew Shim

Votes: 106,303 | Gross: $0.33M

49. Terminator 2 (1991)

R | 137 min | Action, Sci-Fi

75 Metascore

A cyborg, identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor, must now protect her teenage son, John Connor, from a more advanced and powerful cyborg.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick

Votes: 846,815 | Gross: $204.84M