Best Movies You Must Watch Before You Die

by triheadwar1996-1 | created - 15 Nov 2012 | updated - 23 Jul 2014 | Public
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1. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

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

92 Metascore

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.

Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom, Sean Bean

Votes: 1,413,705 | Gross: $315.54M

2. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

PG-13 | 179 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

87 Metascore

While Frodo and Sam edge closer to Mordor with the help of the shifty Gollum, the divided fellowship makes a stand against Sauron's new ally, Saruman, and his hordes of Isengard.

Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom

Votes: 1,262,710 | Gross: $342.55M

3. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

PG-13 | 201 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

94 Metascore

Gandalf and Aragorn lead the World of Men against Sauron's army to draw his gaze from Frodo and Sam as they approach Mount Doom with the One Ring.

Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom

Votes: 1,396,113 | Gross: $377.85M

4. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)

PG | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

90 Metascore

Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a Wookiee and two droids to save the galaxy from the Empire's world-destroying battle-station, while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the evil Darth Vader.

Director: George Lucas | Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness

Votes: 1,055,511 | Gross: $322.74M

5. 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: 1,030,857 | Gross: $216.54M

6. Black Hawk Down (2001)

R | 144 min | Drama, History, War

74 Metascore

160 elite U.S. soldiers drop into Somalia to capture two top lieutenants of a renegade warlord and find themselves in a desperate battle with a large force of heavily-armed Somalis.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Tom Sizemore, Eric Bana

Votes: 323,825 | Gross: $108.64M

7. 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: 1,132,706 | Gross: $187.71M

8. Moon (2009)

R | 97 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

67 Metascore

Astronaut Sam Bell has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet's power problems.

Director: Duncan Jones | Stars: Sam Rockwell, Kevin Spacey, Dominique McElligott, Rosie Shaw

Votes: 295,956 | Gross: $5.01M

9. 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: 508,340 | Gross: $57.60M

10. The Thin Red Line (1998)

R | 170 min | Drama, War

78 Metascore

Adaptation of James Jones' autobiographical 1962 novel, focusing on the conflict at Guadalcanal during the second World War.

Director: Terrence Malick | Stars: Jim Caviezel, Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, Kirk Acevedo

Votes: 153,754 | Gross: $36.40M

11. Jurassic Park (1993)

PG-13 | 127 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller

68 Metascore

During a preview tour, a theme park suffers a major power breakdown that allows its cloned dinosaur exhibits to run amok.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough

Votes: 723,942 | Gross: $402.45M

12. 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: 1,008,777 | Gross: $96.07M

13. 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: 591,931 | Gross: $32.57M

14. The Green Mile (1999)

R | 189 min | Crime, Drama, Fantasy

61 Metascore

The lives of guards on Death Row are affected by one of their charges: a black man accused of child murder and rape, yet who has a mysterious gift.

Director: Frank Darabont | Stars: Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan, David Morse, Bonnie Hunt

Votes: 932,223 | Gross: $136.80M

15. 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: 1,955,504 | Gross: $28.34M

16. The Last of the Mohicans (1992)

R | 112 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

76 Metascore

Three trappers protect a British Colonel's daughters in the midst of the French and Indian War.

Director: Michael Mann | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Russell Means, Eric Schweig

Votes: 128,700 | Gross: $75.51M

17. 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: 1,485,015 | Gross: $330.25M

18. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)

PG-13 | 146 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi

65 Metascore

A highly advanced robotic boy longs to become "real" so that he can regain the love of his human mother.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law, Frances O'Connor, Sam Robards

Votes: 264,309 | Gross: $78.62M

19. 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: 568,911 | Gross: $46.36M

20. Platoon (1986)

R | 120 min | Drama, War

92 Metascore

A young soldier in Vietnam faces a moral crisis when confronted with the horrors of war and the duality of man.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Keith David

Votes: 333,598 | Gross: $138.53M

21. 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: 845,155 | Gross: $75.60M

22. King Kong (2005)

PG-13 | 187 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

81 Metascore

In 1933 New York, an overly ambitious movie producer coerces his cast and hired ship crew to travel to the mysterious Skull Island, where they encounter Kong, a giant ape who is immediately smitten with leading lady Ann Darrow.

Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann

Votes: 350,287 | Gross: $218.08M

23. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

PG | 115 min | Action, Adventure

85 Metascore

Archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, John Rhys-Davies

Votes: 759,060 | Gross: $248.16M

24. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

PG | 118 min | Action, Adventure

57 Metascore

After arriving in India, Indiana Jones is asked by a desperate village to find a mystical stone. He agrees, and stumbles upon a secret cult plotting a terrible plan in the catacombs of an ancient palace.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Jonathan Ke Quan, Amrish Puri

Votes: 378,166 | Gross: $179.87M

25. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

PG-13 | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

65 Metascore

When Dr. Henry Jones, Sr. suddenly goes missing while pursuing the Holy Grail, eminent archaeologist Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr. must follow in his father's footsteps to stop the Nazis from getting their hands on the Holy Grail first.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Alison Doody, Denholm Elliott

Votes: 595,155 | Gross: $197.17M

26. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

PG-13 | 122 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

65 Metascore

Famed archaeologist and adventurer Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr. is called back into action, when he becomes entangled in a Soviet plot to uncover the secret behind mysterious artifacts known as the Crystal Skulls.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, Shia LaBeouf, Karen Allen

Votes: 371,048 | Gross: $317.10M

27. The Untouchables (1987)

R | 119 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

79 Metascore

Federal Agent Eliot Ness sets out to stop Al Capone; because of rampant corruption, he assembles a small, hand-picked team.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Robert De Niro, Charles Martin Smith

Votes: 241,747 | Gross: $76.27M

28. Gangs of New York (2002)

R | 167 min | Crime, Drama

72 Metascore

In 1863, Amsterdam Vallon returns to the Five Points area of New York City seeking revenge against Bill the Butcher, his father's killer.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jim Broadbent

Votes: 353,321 | Gross: $77.81M

29. The Departed (2006)

R | 151 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

85 Metascore

An undercover cop and a mole in the police attempt to identify each other while infiltrating an Irish gang in South Boston.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg

Votes: 1,007,332 | Gross: $132.38M

30. Atonement (2007)

R | 123 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

85 Metascore

Fledgling writer Briony Tallis, as a thirteen-year-old, irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister's lover of a crime he did not commit.

Director: Joe Wright | Stars: Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, Brenda Blethyn, Saoirse Ronan

Votes: 216,384 | Gross: $50.93M

31. No Country for Old Men (2007)

R | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

91 Metascore

Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong and more than two million dollars in cash near the Rio Grande.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen | Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson

Votes: 716,089 | Gross: $74.28M

32. There Will Be Blood (2007)

R | 158 min | Drama

93 Metascore

A story of family, religion, hatred, oil and madness, focusing on a turn-of-the-century prospector in the early days of the business.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Ciarán Hinds, Martin Stringer

Votes: 435,972 | Gross: $40.22M

33. The Mission (1986)

PG | 125 min | Adventure, Drama, History

Eighteenth century Spanish Jesuits try to protect a remote South American tribe in danger of falling under the rule of pro-slavery Portugal.

Director: Roland Joffé | Stars: Robert De Niro, Jeremy Irons, Ray McAnally, Aidan Quinn

Votes: 49,227 | Gross: $17.22M

34. Blood Diamond (2006)

R | 143 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

64 Metascore

A fisherman, a smuggler, and a syndicate of businessmen match wits over the possession of a priceless diamond.

Director: Edward Zwick | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou, Jennifer Connelly, Kagiso Kuypers

Votes: 443,427 | Gross: $57.37M

35. Men in Black (1997)

PG-13 | 98 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

71 Metascore

A police officer joins a secret organization that polices and monitors extraterrestrial interactions on Earth.

Director: Barry Sonnenfeld | Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Linda Fiorentino, Vincent D'Onofrio

Votes: 450,917 | Gross: $250.69M

36. Apocalypse Now (1979)

R | 147 min | Drama, War

94 Metascore

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.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Frederic Forrest

Votes: 515,852 | Gross: $83.47M

37. The Artist (I) (2011)

PG-13 | 100 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

89 Metascore

A silent movie star meets a young dancer, but the arrival of talking pictures sends their careers in opposite directions.

Director: Michel Hazanavicius | Stars: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell

Votes: 209,269 | Gross: $44.67M

38. The Hurt Locker (2008)

R | 131 min | Drama, History, Thriller

94 Metascore

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.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow | Stars: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Guy Pearce

Votes: 373,096 | Gross: $17.02M

39. 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: 852,066 | Gross: $23.34M

40. The Last King of Scotland (2006)

R | 123 min | Biography, Drama, History

74 Metascore

Based on the events of the brutal Ugandan dictator Idi Amin's regime as seen by his personal physician during the 1970's.

Director: Kevin Macdonald | Stars: James McAvoy, Forest Whitaker, Gillian Anderson, Kerry Washington

Votes: 159,421 | Gross: $17.61M

41. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)

PG-13 | 138 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

81 Metascore

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.

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany, Billy Boyd, James D'Arcy

Votes: 183,281 | Gross: $93.93M

42. Batman (1989)

PG-13 | 126 min | Action, Adventure

69 Metascore

The Dark Knight of Gotham City begins his war on crime with his first major enemy being the clownishly homicidal Joker.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl

Votes: 298,464 | Gross: $251.19M

43. Batman Begins (2005)

PG-13 | 140 min | Action, Adventure

70 Metascore

After training with his mentor, Batman begins his fight to free crime-ridden Gotham City from the corruption that Scarecrow and the League of Shadows have cast upon it.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Ken Watanabe, Liam Neeson

Votes: 1,123,837 | Gross: $206.85M

44. The Dark Knight (2008)

PG-13 | 152 min | Action, Crime, Drama

82 Metascore

When the menace known as the Joker emerges from his mysterious past, he wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham. The Dark Knight must accept one of the greatest psychological and physical tests of his ability to fight injustice.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine

Votes: 1,927,789 | Gross: $534.86M

45. 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: 1,712,403 | Gross: $292.58M

46. Flags of our Fathers (2006)

R | 135 min | Drama, History, War

79 Metascore

The life stories of the six men who raised the flag at the Battle of Iwo Jima, a turning point in World War II.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Ryan Phillippe, Barry Pepper, Joseph Cross, Jesse Bradford

Votes: 108,498 | Gross: $33.60M

47. Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)

R | 141 min | Drama, History, War

89 Metascore

The story of the battle of Iwo Jima between the United States and Imperial Japan during World War II, as told from the perspective of the Japanese who fought it.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Ken Watanabe, Kazunari Ninomiya, Tsuyoshi Ihara, Ryo Kase

Votes: 142,062 | Gross: $13.76M

48. Gran Torino (2008)

R | 116 min | Drama

72 Metascore

Disgruntled Korean War veteran Walt Kowalski sets out to reform his neighbor, a Hmong teenager who tried to steal Kowalski's prized possession: a 1972 Gran Torino.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Bee Vang, Christopher Carley, Ahney Her

Votes: 637,101 | Gross: $148.10M

49. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)

R | 160 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

68 Metascore

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.

Director: Andrew Dominik | Stars: