Stories that engaged, humored or otherwise lingered more than usualby stupidus | created - 11 Nov 2013 | updated - 03 Aug 2016 | Public
From what I can remember (obviously).
The best ones reminded that life is worth living and/or inspired to be a better man (if only for couple of hours).
Obviously in no particular rank.
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- IMDb Rating
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1. Moon (2009)
R | 97 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
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.
Votes: 294,669 | Gross: $5.01M
A lot to love and nothing to really hate about.
Sam Rockwell's tour de force.
2. Central Station (1998)
R | 113 min | Drama
An emotive journey of a former school teacher, who writes letters for illiterate people, and a young boy, whose mother has just died, as they search for the father he never knew.
Votes: 31,195 | Gross: $5.60M
Made me cry.
3. The Visitor (I) (2007)
PG-13 | 104 min | Drama
A college professor travels to New York City to attend a conference and finds a young couple living in his apartment.
Votes: 39,338 | Gross: $9.42M
Conveys well what it wanted to convey (even if or when one doesn't agree with everything expressed or implied).
4. Kolya (1996)
PG-13 | 105 min | Comedy, Drama, Music
Franta Louka is a concert cellist in Soviet-occupied Czechoslovakia, a confirmed bachelor and a lady's man. Having lost his place in the state orchestra, he must make ends meet by playing ... See full summary »
Votes: 13,100 | Gross: $5.73M
5. Groundhog Day (1993)
PG | 101 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance
A weatherman finds himself inexplicably living the same day over and over again.
Votes: 507,880 | Gross: $70.91M
Apart from Andie McDowell everything is enjoyable and even she is more bearable than usual.
I am stunned however that a lot of - characteristically snobby? - critics suddenly started praising Murray's performance in Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation (2003), when Murray's been doing what he does best pretty much from day one. Tisk, risk.
6. Predator (1987)
R | 107 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
A team of commandos on a mission in a Central American jungle find themselves hunted by an extraterrestrial warrior.
Votes: 322,392 | Gross: $59.74M
Still love the core idea a lot.
If you can suspend belief when it comes to lugging around a mini gun (plus enough ammo to justify it's usability in the first place) for more than few paces without breaking every muscle in your body known to man, then you're in for a killer ride (pun intended).
7. One Hour Photo (2002)
R | 96 min | Drama, Thriller
A mentally unstable photo developer begins to attack a middle-class family after his obsession with them becomes more sick and disturbing than any of them could imagine.
Votes: 104,282 | Gross: $31.60M
Gotta love Robin Williams. Lesson to learn: don't take pictures you don't want just anyone to see.
8. Happiness (1998)
Unrated | 134 min | Comedy, Drama
The lives of several individuals intertwine as they go about their lives in their own unique ways, engaging in acts society as a whole might find disturbing in a desperate search for human connection.
Votes: 59,930 | Gross: $2.81M
If this leaves you cold, you are dead inside.
9. Darkman (1990)
R | 96 min | Action, Crime, Sci-Fi
A brilliant scientist left for dead returns to exact revenge on the people who burned him alive.
Votes: 51,824 | Gross: $33.88M
If you need an antidote to goody-goody superheroes saving mankind then Darkman has you covered.
10. He Was a Quiet Man (2007)
Not Rated | 95 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller
An office worker inadvertently becomes a hero after he saves a woman's life.
Not a great fan of Christian Slater but he gives a great performance in this delightfully quirky but somewhat uneven little gem. And as usual Elisha Cuthbert nails her role.
11. Sideways (2004)
R | 126 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Two men reaching middle age with not much to show but disappointment embark on a week-long road trip through California's wine country, just as one is about to take a trip down the aisle.
Votes: 162,790 | Gross: $71.50M
One word: bubbly
12. Point Break (1991)
R | 122 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
An F.B.I. Agent goes undercover to catch a gang of surfers who may be bank robbers.
Votes: 128,678 | Gross: $43.22M
Works on so many levels.
13. The Science of Sleep (2006)
R | 105 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
A man entranced by his dreams and imagination is love-struck with a French woman and feels he can show her his world.
Votes: 64,469 | Gross: $4.66M
It relies heavily on fantastical dream elements but feels true to life and ends in a very sweet, human, note. Charlotte Gainsbourg is pretty mesmerizing - once again.
14. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
G | 86 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy
When two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother, they have adventures with the wondrous forest spirits who live nearby.
Quite possibly the greatest movie that ever got made - regardless of how old you might be or get.
Hayao Miyazaki FTW!
15. The Terminator (1984)
R | 107 min | Action, Sci-Fi
A seemingly indestructible Android is sent from 2029 to 1984 to assassinate a waitress, whose unborn son will lead humanity in a war against the machines, while a soldier from that war is sent to protect her at all cost
Votes: 684,114 | Gross: $38.40M
While Terminator 2 of course fared much better in the cinemas, looks decidedly cool, and obviously made a fortune, it can't honestly touch its predecessor, and frankly, there never even was a need for the whole Terminator franchise (but someone smelled money - like someone always will).
The Terminator is a solid story as it is and there is nothing far-fetched in it - barring time travel. The terminator isn't some god-like omnipresent phoenix super villain - or even villain per se - that would be damn nigh impossible to kill (or rather dismantle).
Of course it won't be a walk in the park to stop it but something that can definitely be done - provided that you don't get yourself killed in the process.
It's not like in the sequel where a second gen terminator is this pure liquid metal shapeshifting creature that can mysteriously and instantly take any reasonably sized form and automagically for example don a suit of its fancy by seemingly simply exerting will power… while never having to experience diminished capacity to function properly, no matter what.
Luckily The Terminator isn't one of "those" movies.
If you can suspend belief when it comes to time travel - and this much you must - then you will find that The Terminator is an action packed, yet relatable, human and even wise movie - possibly even prescient (though hopefully not!) - that shows us just what might happen if we fail to take the time to collectively sit down on the same table as a human race to consider - and to constantly reconsider! - how much we really want to allow technology to do for us from here on forward.
I'm personally all for Aristotle's notion of how better developed tech has the potential to ultimately set us free from daily drudgery in order to allow mankind to finally concentrate on the much finer things in life.
There really isn't a single bone in my body that would want to partake in a technological neo-luddites' favorite pastime.
It's just that I doubt a lot of people's judgment - my own including - and because of this the issue of automating most aspects of our life one step at a time needs to be pondered and achieved in a concerted fashion that is based on factual evidence and scientifically sound risk evaluations.
Because, as most of us know only too well, the road to hell tends to be paved with good intentions. And few films drive that message home better than The Terminator.
16. Shallow Grave (1994)
R | 89 min | Crime, Thriller
Three friends discover their new flatmate dead but loaded with cash.
Votes: 50,371 | Gross: $2.88M
Great story played by a great cast from a great director. Danny Boyle's least flashy and most profound work, no doubt about that.
17. Beautiful Girls (1996)
R | 112 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A piano player at a crossroads in his life returns home to his friends and their own problems with life and love.
Votes: 28,506 | Gross: $10.60M
Nat was a great child actress (see also Léon: The Professional (1994)), who has since mostly failed to impress me. Today she is more or less just another pretty faced actress with a couple of facial expressions who works hard and fails miserably at being natural.
When you watch Portman in Closer (2004) or in Black Swan (2010) - for which the movie establishment of course gave her an Oscar - starring alongside with folks who are actually/mostly plausible, it's painstakingly evident that this woman might be a lot of things but she ain't no stellar actress - and will likely never be one either.
Beautiful Girls is a lifelike and often more or less humorous drama irrespective of the viewer's own opinions about love, affection, lust and, yes, sex as well.
What ever happened to Timothy Hutton?
18. Cast Away (2000)
PG-13 | 143 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance
A FedEx executive must transform himself physically and emotionally to survive a crash landing on a deserted island.
Votes: 445,127 | Gross: $233.63M
19. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
R | 118 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama
An oddball journalist and his psychopathic lawyer travel to Las Vegas for a series of psychedelic escapades.
Votes: 231,697 | Gross: $10.68M
Benecio pretty much steals the show.
20. Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
R | 111 min | Drama, Romance
Ben Sanderson, a Hollywood screenwriter who lost everything because of his alcoholism, arrives in Las Vegas to drink himself to death. There, he meets and forms an uneasy friendship and non-interference pact with prostitute Sera.
Votes: 101,631 | Gross: $31.97M
Nicolas Cage's finest and will likely remain as such. Hope this isn't Elisabeth Shue's best effort, too. I believe Julian Sands was horribly miscast here.
Simple and solid story that has some truly memorable scenes.
21. The English Patient (1996)
R | 162 min | Drama, Romance, War
At the close of WWII, a young nurse tends to a badly-burned plane crash victim. His past is shown in flashbacks, revealing an involvement in a fateful love affair.
Votes: 157,666 | Gross: $78.65M
What a cast! The finale is one of the most powerful moments ever captured on-screen and shows Ralph Fiennes at his finest.
22. Little Children (2006)
R | 136 min | Drama, Romance
The lives of two lovelorn spouses from separate marriages, a registered sex offender, and a disgraced ex-police officer intersect as they struggle to resist their vulnerabilities and temptations in suburban Massachusetts.
Votes: 97,782 | Gross: $5.46M
" Maybe I just didn't understand it. "
23. Moscow on the Hudson (1984)
R | 115 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
When a Russian musician defects in Bloomingdale's department store in New York, he finds adjusting to American life more difficult than he imagined.
Votes: 9,585 | Gross: $25.10M
Even when Robin Williams isn't at his best form, he's still better than most actors can ever hope to be.
Some folks just love nothing better than to label movies like MOTH as promoting Reaganism (what ever the hell that's even supposed to mean), consumerism or basically whatever ism they personally tend to find deplorable.
I guess a lot of the same people tend to find it incredibly hard to accept facts of life.
Soviet did happen. And it wasn't all that rosy living for many Russians in the Soviet regime.
Unless I remember incorrectly MOTH didn't argue that everything was perfect in USA either.
But at least you were free(er) to speak your mind and work towards goals you yourself deemed valuable and worth pursuing.
24. Blade Runner (1982)
R | 117 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller
A blade runner must pursue and try to terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space and have returned to Earth to find their creator.
Votes: 580,910 | Gross: $27.00M
Another Philip K. Dick inspired story (only much better than the original). I love the general atmosphere they managed to create in Blade Runner. Timeless.
What ever happened to Sean Young? She was on her way of becoming a huge star but obviously something went terribly wrong. Tisk, tisk, such a rare beauty to go to waste.
25. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
R | 108 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi
When their relationship turns sour, a young couple undergoes a medical procedure to have each other erased from their memories.
Votes: 768,430 | Gross: $34.40M
I think the subplot was unnecessary and only dragged down otherwise brilliant story (I could care less about Frodo and Kirsten Dunst here).
Jim Carrey's most serious work and Kate Winslet is perfect as usual.
26. The Bridges of Madison County (1995)
PG-13 | 135 min | Drama, Romance
Photographer Robert Kincaid wanders into the life of housewife Francesca Johnson, for four days in the 1960s.
Votes: 61,252 | Gross: $71.52M
Clint is good but then again Clint is Clint. The real star is Meryl Streep (once again).
27. Once (2007)
R | 86 min | Drama, Music, Romance
A modern-day musical about a busker and an immigrant and their eventful week in Dublin, as they write, rehearse and record songs that tell their love story.
Votes: 101,340 | Gross: $9.44M
28. Arlington Road (1999)
R | 117 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A man begins to suspect his neighbors are not what they appear to be and their secrets could be deadly.
Votes: 74,446 | Gross: $24.36M
Few actors are as intense as Jeff Bridges. Very effective movie - and not just because *beep* like this could easily take place in real life too.
29. Jacob's Ladder (I) (1990)
R | 113 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
Mourning his dead child, a haunted Vietnam War veteran attempts to uncover his past while suffering from a severe case of dissociation. To do so, he must decipher reality and life from his own dreams, delusions, and perceptions of death.
Votes: 84,535 | Gross: $26.12M
I'm not much of fan of Tim Robbins to be honest but JL is pretty damn compelling thriller and will likely be remembered as Robbins' best effort as an actor.
30. A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
R | 108 min | Comedy, Crime
In London, four very different people team up to commit armed robbery, then try to doublecross each other for the loot.
Votes: 116,921 | Gross: $63.49M
Great crew in this slapstick comedy. Kevin Kline is a hit and miss kinda actor but in AFCW he's in top shape.
31. Witness (1985)
R | 112 min | Crime, Drama, Romance
A young Amish boy is sole witness to a murder; policeman John Book goes into hiding in Amish country to protect him until the trial.
Votes: 73,726 | Gross: $68.71M
Love the Amish backdrop. And hey, there's young Viggo Mortensen, too. ;)
Harrison Ford is usually a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand he can be very one-note kinda actor, yet he can be incredibly visceral, too.
A little bit of an enigma, really. I personally believe that Ford just isn't this most self-assured guy around although he certainly has gotten more than his share of those kinds of roles to play not least because of his good looks and boyish charm.
But in my view Ford is far more interesting when he's doing low-keyish roles à la Blade Runner and Frantic - and Witness, of course.
32. Dancer in the Dark (2000)
R | 140 min | Crime, Drama, Musical
An east European girl goes to America with her young son, expecting it to be like a Hollywood film.
Votes: 88,155 | Gross: $4.18M
Made me cry.
33. Thank You for Smoking (2005)
R | 92 min | Comedy, Drama
Satirical comedy follows the machinations of Big Tobacco's chief spokesman, Nick Naylor, who spins on behalf of cigarettes while trying to remain a role model for his twelve-year-old son.
Votes: 201,349 | Gross: $24.79M
Delightful quotes abound. Here be some of my favorites:
" My job requires a certain... moral flexibility. "
" That's the beauty of argument, if you argue correctly, you're never wrong. "
" Dad, why is the American government the best government? " " Because of our endless appeals system. "
34. L'auberge espagnole (2002)
R | 122 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A strait-laced French student moves into an apartment in Barcelona with a cast of six other characters from all over Europe. Together, they speak the international language of love and friendship.
Votes: 36,603 | Gross: $3.90M
Surprisingly lifelike, funny and touching.
35. Falling Down (1993)
R | 113 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
An unemployed defense worker frustrated with the various flaws he sees in society, begins to psychotically and violently lash out against them.
Votes: 147,755 | Gross: $40.90M
We all know this feeling, don't we?
36. Elling (2001)
R | 89 min | Comedy, Drama
When his mother, who has sheltered him his entire 40 years, dies, Elling, a sensitive, would-be poet, is sent to live in a state institution. There he meets Kjell Bjarne, a gentle giant and... See full summary »
Votes: 13,082 | Gross: $0.31M
38. The Poseidon Adventure (1972)
PG | 117 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
A group of passengers struggle to survive and escape when their ocean liner completely capsizes at sea.
Votes: 35,875 | Gross: $84.56M
This might possible explain why I learned to swim half-decent only at a ripe age of 29. I still wouldn't do that dive, though.
39. Under Suspicion (1991)
R | 99 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
In Brighton in 1959, disgraced cop turned private detective Tony Aaron works largely on falsifying adulteries for use as evidence in divorce cases. He involves his wife as the fictional ... See full summary »
Votes: 2,881 | Gross: $0.22M
A little gem.
Liam has the rare capacity to turn otherwise pretty damn awful movies into at least watchable ones. Obviously this guy doesn't discriminate between doing movies in this genre or that genre.
Neeson's got an working man's attitude towards work in general and that is incredibly rare in Hollywood. In other words he doesn't cherry-pick, he seems to be taking on whatever projects come his way if he just has the hours to do it.
And I for one respect Neeson for doing just that. And I'm guessing that isn't a minor detail why he has managed to become such a strong actor in the first place.
40. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
PG | 138 min | Drama, Sci-Fi
After an accidental encounter with otherworldly vessels, an ordinary man follows a series of psychic clues to the first scheduled meeting between representatives of Earth and visitors from the cosmos.
Votes: 157,955 | Gross: $132.09M
41. La tigre e la neve (2005)
110 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A love-struck Italian poet is stuck in Iraq at the onset of an American invasion.
Votes: 12,404 | Gross: $0.01M
Here I can whole heartedly appreciate Roberto Benigni's comedy. Jean Reno is good too, but then again, he always is.
42. The Celebration (1998)
R | 105 min | Drama
At Helge's 60th birthday party, some unpleasant family truths are revealed.
Votes: 70,826 | Gross: $1.65M
There's never a good reason to have a family get-together...
43. Capricorn One (1977)
PG | 123 min | Action, Thriller
A NASA Mars mission won't work, and its funding is endangered, so they decide to fake it just this once. But then they have to keep the secret.
C1 has stuck in my mind since I first saw it as a kid. It might have single-handedly destroyed a child's illusion about government being this omniscient and benign presence that is always looking out for our best interest and helping us when help is warranted.
44. Hallam Foe (2007)
R | 95 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance
Hallam's talent for spying on people reveals his darkest fears-and his most peculiar desires. Driven to expose the true cause of his mother's death, he instead finds himself searching the rooftops of the city for love.
Votes: 11,526 | Gross: $0.06M
Edinburgh has possible never looked as intriguing - and few women as beautiful and open as Sophia Myles in HF.
Wake up directors and give this woman something decent - no, make that exceptional - to work with!
45. The Children's Hour (1961)
Not Rated | 108 min | Drama, Romance
A troublemaking student at a girls' school accuses two teachers of being lesbians.
Never much cared for Audrey but she's so good in TCH.
46. Jane Eyre (1996)
PG | 112 min | Drama, Romance
Jane Eyre is an orphan cast out as a young girl by her aunt, Mrs. Reed, and sent to be raised in a harsh charity school for girls. There she learns to become a teacher and eventually seeks ... See full summary »
Votes: 8,153 | Gross: $5.20M
I could watch Charlotte Gainsbourg all day doing nothing at all. She's just mesmerizing.
47. Les Misérables (1998)
PG-13 | 134 min | Crime, Drama, History
Valjean, a former criminal, has atoned for his past and now finds himself in the midst of the French Revolution, avoiding a law-obsessed policeman hell-bent on capturing him.
Votes: 34,665 | Gross: $14.10M
One word: Liam.
48. The Girl Next Door (2004)
R | 109 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A teenager's dreams come true when a former porn star moves in next door and they fall in love.
Votes: 183,733 | Gross: $14.59M
"It's a little funny" would be an understatement.
Despite the fantastical elements this little love story unfolds emotionally as very true to life indeed. Make no mistake: this is what falling in love pretty much feels like. And if you don't instantly recognize this you are either dead inside or you've just never been in love - for real, that is.
It's damn near impossible to be cute, sweet, funny, bold and sexy seemingly all at once, but apparently for folks like Elisha Cuthbert such a combo comes more or less naturally. Gotta love that giggle.
I don't care if you are a guy or a gal, unless you are blind or sexually repressed, you simply must admit Elisha is smoking hot in TGND.
TGND isn't one bit coy about showing the female figure - nor showing male lust for those figures. No doubt some will inevitably find that degrading and sexist in the same vein as they tend to have a hard time accepting pretty much anything as "normal".
Or let's just all be thankful for the fact that the mighty Almodovar for example isn't guilty of objectifying the female body - let alone doing light comedy. ;)
In a girl power kinda sense I see some similarities with "Whipped" (2000) which by the way also suffers from unfair grading here in IMDb (and likely everywhere else too). But that goes without saying. Tisk, risk.
Don't take TGND - or life in general - too seriously. We're all gonna die anyways so we might as well enjoy the ride while we are here.
To cap, a heartwarming and uplifting little offbeat gem with a great cast and particularly convincing on-screen chemistry between the two leads that miraculously offers little to no preachiness - or coyness - while reminding us about all those little things in life that truly, genuinely matter.
Hollywood, you ignorant *beep* We could all be enjoying actresses like Cuthbert but instead we are forced to watch one-note automatons like Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson.
49. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969)
PG | 116 min | Drama, Romance