1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die (2012 Edition)

by garyhoare18 | created - 07 Oct 2012 | updated - 28 Apr 2013 | Public

The list of movies which comprise the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die (2012 Edition) by Steven Jay Schneider.

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1. La Jetée (1962)

Not Rated | 28 min | Short, Drama, Romance

The story of a man forced to explore his memories in the wake of World War III's devastation, told through still images.

Director: Chris Marker | Stars: Étienne Becker, Jean Négroni, Hélène Chatelain, Davos Hanich

Votes: 24,501

2. Full Metal Jacket (1987)

R | 116 min | Drama, War

76 Metascore

A pragmatic U.S. Marine observes the dehumanizing effects the Vietnam War has on his fellow recruits from their brutal boot camp training to the bloody street fighting in Hue.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Matthew Modine, R. Lee Ermey, Vincent D'Onofrio, Adam Baldwin

Votes: 568,527 | Gross: $46.36M

3. The Princess Bride (1987)

PG | 98 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

77 Metascore

While home sick in bed, a young boy's grandfather reads him a story called The Princess Bride.

Director: Rob Reiner | Stars: Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Robin Wright, Chris Sarandon

Votes: 337,338 | Gross: $30.86M

4. The Thin Blue Line (1988)

Not Rated | 101 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama

79 Metascore

A film that successfully argued that a man was wrongly convicted for murder by a corrupt justice system in Dallas County, Texas.

Director: Errol Morris | Stars: Randall Adams, David Harris, Gus Rose, Jackie Johnson

Votes: 18,588 | Gross: $1.21M

5. Cinema Paradiso (1988)

R | 155 min | Drama

80 Metascore

A filmmaker recalls his childhood when falling in love with the pictures at the cinema of his home village and forms a deep friendship with the cinema's projectionist.

Director: Giuseppe Tornatore | Stars: Philippe Noiret, Enzo Cannavale, Antonella Attili, Isa Danieli

Votes: 184,923 | Gross: $11.99M

6. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Not Rated | 89 min | Animation, Drama, War

A young boy and his little sister struggle to survive in Japan during World War II.

Director: Isao Takahata | Stars: Tsutomu Tatsumi, Ayano Shiraishi, Akemi Yamaguchi, Yoshiko Shinohara

Votes: 176,314

7. Dekalog (1989–1990)
Episode: Dekalog, jeden (1989)

TV-MA | 55 min | Drama

"I am the Lord thy God; thou shalt have no other God but me." Ten-year-old Pawel and his father Krzysztof run their lives on their beloved home computer, while Pawel's aunt worries that his... See full summary »

Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski | Stars: Henryk Baranowski, Wojciech Klata, Maja Komorowska, Artur Barcis

Votes: 4,876

8. Die Hard (1988)

R | 132 min | Action, Thriller

70 Metascore

John McClane, officer of the NYPD, tries to save his wife Holly Gennaro and several others that were taken hostage by German terrorist Hans Gruber during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.

Director: John McTiernan | Stars: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson

Votes: 677,987 | Gross: $83.01M

9. Dom za vesanje (1988)

R | 142 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

In this luminous tale set in the area around Sarajevo and in Italy, Perhan, an engaging young Romany (gypsy) with telekinetic powers, is seduced by the quick-cash world of petty crime, which threatens to destroy him and those he loves.

Director: Emir Kusturica | Stars: Davor Dujmovic, Bora Todorovic, Ljubica Adzovic, Husnija Hasimovic

Votes: 20,913 | Gross: $0.28M

Dom za vesanje (original title)

10. 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: 843,622 | Gross: $46.84M

11. 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: 23,655 | Gross: $2.60M

12. 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: 850,990 | Gross: $204.84M

13. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

R | 118 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

85 Metascore

A young F.B.I. cadet must receive the help of an incarcerated and manipulative cannibal killer to help catch another serial killer, a madman who skins his victims.

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A. Bonney, Kasi Lemmons

Votes: 1,045,596 | Gross: $130.74M

14. Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991)

R | 96 min | Documentary

Documentary that chronicles how Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now (1979) was plagued by extraordinary script, shooting, budget, and casting problems--nearly destroying the life and career of the celebrated director.

Directors: Fax Bahr, George Hickenlooper, Eleanor Coppola | Stars: Dennis Hopper, Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, George Lucas

Votes: 15,826 | Gross: $1.32M

15. 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: 772,720 | Gross: $2.83M

16. Unforgiven (1992)

R | 130 min | Drama, Western

85 Metascore

Retired Old West gunslinger William Munny reluctantly takes on one last job, with the help of his old partner and a young man.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, Richard Harris

Votes: 320,680 | Gross: $101.16M

17. Groundhog Day (1993)

PG | 101 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

72 Metascore

A weatherman finds himself inexplicably living the same day over and over again.

Director: Harold Ramis | Stars: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott, Stephen Tobolowsky

Votes: 510,338 | Gross: $70.91M

18. Schindler's List (1993)

R | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History

93 Metascore

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.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Caroline Goodall

Votes: 1,008,129 | Gross: $96.07M

19. Hoop Dreams (1994)

PG-13 | 170 min | Documentary, Drama, Sport

98 Metascore

A film following the lives of two inner-city Chicago boys who struggle to become college basketball players on the road to going professional.

Director: Steve James | Stars: William Gates, Arthur Agee, Emma Gates, Curtis Gates

Votes: 21,342 | Gross: $7.83M

20. 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: 1,483,991 | Gross: $330.25M

21. The Lion King (1994)

G | 88 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama

83 Metascore

A Lion cub crown prince is tricked by a treacherous uncle into thinking he caused his father's death and flees into exile in despair, only to learn in adulthood his identity and his responsibilities.

Directors: Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff | Stars: Matthew Broderick, Jeremy Irons, James Earl Jones, Whoopi Goldberg

Votes: 766,749 | Gross: $312.90M

22. 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: 1,528,578 | Gross: $107.93M

23. 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: 1,954,297 | Gross: $28.34M

24. Satantango (1994)

450 min | Drama

Plotting on a payment they are about to receive, residents of a collapsing collective farm see their plans turn into desolation when they discover that Irimiás, a former co-worker who they thought was dead, is coming back to the village.

Director: Béla Tarr | Stars: Mihály Vig, Putyi Horváth, László feLugossy, Éva Almássy Albert

Votes: 7,228

25. Riget (1994–1997)

TV-MA | 279 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

Doctors at an ultramodern hospital in Denmark become convinced, by way of weird, inexplicable happenings, that the place is haunted.

Stars: Ernst-Hugo Järegård, Kirsten Rolffes, Ghita Nørby, Holger Juul Hansen

Votes: 15,556 | Gross: $0.09M

26. 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: 844,702 | Gross: $75.60M

27. Toy Story (1995)

G | 81 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

95 Metascore

A cowboy doll is profoundly threatened and jealous when a new spaceman figure supplants him as top toy in a boy's room.

Director: John Lasseter | Stars: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, Jim Varney

Votes: 734,232 | Gross: $191.80M

28. Casino (1995)

R | 178 min | Crime, Drama

73 Metascore

A tale of greed, deception, money, power, and murder occur between two best friends: a mafia enforcer and a casino executive, compete against each other over a gambling empire, and over a fast living and fast loving socialite.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci, James Woods

Votes: 388,233 | Gross: $42.44M

29. 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: 493,680 | Gross: $67.44M

30. 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: 1,193,458 | Gross: $100.13M

31. Underground (1995)

Not Rated | 167 min | Comedy, Drama, War

A group of serbian socialists prepares for the war in a surreal underground filled by parties, tragedies, love and hate.

Director: Emir Kusturica | Stars: Predrag 'Miki' Manojlovic, Lazar Ristovski, Mirjana Jokovic, Slavko Stimac

Votes: 48,959

32. The Usual Suspects (1995)

R | 106 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

77 Metascore

A sole survivor tells of the twisty events leading up to a horrific gun battle on a boat, which began when five criminals met at a seemingly random police lineup.

Director: Bryan Singer | Stars: Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne, Chazz Palminteri, Stephen Baldwin

Votes: 851,651 | Gross: $23.34M

33. 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: 528,252 | Gross: $24.61M

34. 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: 557,355 | Gross: $16.50M

35. Princess Mononoke (1997)

PG-13 | 134 min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy

76 Metascore

On a journey to find the cure for a Tatarigami's curse, Ashitaka finds himself in the middle of a war between the forest gods and Tatara, a mining colony. In this quest he also meets San, the Mononoke Hime.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki | Stars: Yôji Matsuda, Yuriko Ishida, Yûko Tanaka, Billy Crudup

Votes: 271,000 | Gross: $2.38M

36. L.A. Confidential (1997)

R | 138 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

90 Metascore

As corruption grows in 1950s LA, three policemen - one strait-laced, one brutal, and one sleazy - investigate a series of murders with their own brand of justice.

Director: Curtis Hanson | Stars: Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kim Basinger

Votes: 468,323 | Gross: $64.62M

37. The Celebration (1998)

R | 105 min | Drama

82 Metascore

At Helge's 60th birthday party, some unpleasant family truths are revealed.

Director: Thomas Vinterberg | Stars: Ulrich Thomsen, Henning Moritzen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Paprika Steen

Votes: 71,011 | Gross: $1.65M

38. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

R | 169 min | Drama, War

90 Metascore

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.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns

Votes: 1,030,204 | Gross: $216.54M

39. 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: 1,566,994 | Gross: $37.03M

40. American Beauty (1999)

R | 122 min | Drama

86 Metascore

A sexually frustrated suburban father has a mid-life crisis after becoming infatuated with his daughter's best friend.

Director: Sam Mendes | Stars: Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch, Wes Bentley

Votes: 939,407 | Gross: $130.10M

41. 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: 1,404,887 | Gross: $171.48M

42. The Sixth Sense (1999)

PG-13 | 107 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

64 Metascore

A boy who communicates with spirits seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan | Stars: Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette, Olivia Williams

Votes: 799,314 | Gross: $293.51M

43. Gladiator (2000)

R | 155 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

67 Metascore

When a Roman General is betrayed, and his family murdered by an emperor's corrupt son, he comes to Rome as a gladiator to seek revenge.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Oliver Reed

Votes: 1,132,080 | Gross: $187.71M

44. In the Mood for Love (2000)

PG | 98 min | Drama, Romance

85 Metascore

Two neighbors, a woman and a man, form a strong bond after both suspect extramarital activities of their spouses. However, they agree to keep their bond platonic so as not to commit similar wrongs.

Director: Kar-Wai Wong | Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Maggie Cheung, Ping Lam Siu, Tung Cho 'Joe' Cheung

Votes: 96,257 | Gross: $2.73M

45.