The Essentials

by morgan-goldin | created - 18 May 2016 | updated - 2 days ago | Public
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1. Citizen Kane (1941)

PG | 119 min | Drama, Mystery

100 Metascore

Following the death of publishing tycoon, Charles Foster Kane, reporters scramble to uncover the meaning of his final utterance; 'Rosebud'.

Director: Orson Welles | Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore, Agnes Moorehead

Votes: 364,686 | Gross: $1.59M

2. 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: 64,692 | Gross: $0.34M

3. Band of Outsiders (1964)

Not Rated | 95 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

88 Metascore

Two crooks with a fondness for old Hollywood B-movies convince a languages student to help them commit a robbery.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard | Stars: Anna Karina, Claude Brasseur, Danièle Girard, Louisa Colpeyn

Votes: 20,140 | Gross: $0.04M

4. Alphaville (1965)

Not Rated | 99 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

A U.S. secret agent is sent to the distant space city of Alphaville where he must find a missing person and free the city from its tyrannical ruler.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard | Stars: Eddie Constantine, Anna Karina, Akim Tamiroff, Valérie Boisgel

Votes: 20,421 | Gross: $0.05M

5. Chungking Express (1994)

PG-13 | 102 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

77 Metascore

Two melancholy Hong Kong policemen fall in love: one with a mysterious female underworld figure, the other with a beautiful and ethereal server at a late-night restaurant he frequents.

Director: Kar-Wai Wong | Stars: Brigitte Lin, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Faye Wong

Votes: 53,138 | Gross: $0.60M

6. All About My Mother (1999)

R | 101 min | Drama

87 Metascore

Young Esteban wants to become a writer and also to discover the identity of his second mother, a trans woman, carefully concealed by his mother Manuela.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar | Stars: Cecilia Roth, Marisa Paredes, Candela Peña, Antonia San Juan

Votes: 80,887 | Gross: $8.26M

7. Boogie Nights (1997)

R | 155 min | Drama

85 Metascore

The story of a young man's adventures in the California pornography industry of the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson | Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, Burt Reynolds, Luis Guzmán

Votes: 219,980 | Gross: $26.40M

8. Apocalypse Now (1979)

R | 147 min | Drama, War

94 Metascore

A U.S. Army officer serving in Vietnam is tasked with assassinating a renegade Special Forces Colonel who sees himself as a god.

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

Votes: 550,220 | Gross: $83.47M

9. 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: 414,755 | Gross: $42.44M

10. Bringing Out the Dead (1999)

R | 121 min | Drama, Thriller

70 Metascore

Haunted by the patients he failed to save, an extremely burned-out Manhattan ambulance paramedic fights to maintain his sanity over three fraught and turbulent nights.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Nicolas Cage, Patricia Arquette, John Goodman, Ving Rhames

Votes: 58,978 | Gross: $16.64M

11. 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: 289,018 | Gross: $22.86M

12. Adaptation. (2002)

R | 115 min | Comedy, Drama

83 Metascore

A lovelorn screenwriter becomes desperate as he tries and fails to adapt 'The Orchid Thief' by Susan Orlean for the screen.

Director: Spike Jonze | Stars: Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper, Tilda Swinton

Votes: 165,286 | Gross: $22.25M

13. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002)

R | 113 min | Biography, Comedy, Crime

67 Metascore

An adaptation of the cult memoir of game show impresario Chuck Barris, in which he purports to have been a CIA hitman.

Director: George Clooney | Stars: Sam Rockwell, Drew Barrymore, George Clooney, Julia Roberts

Votes: 79,099 | Gross: $16.00M

14. Blue Velvet (1986)

R | 120 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

76 Metascore

The discovery of a severed human ear found in a field leads a young man on an investigation related to a beautiful, mysterious nightclub singer and a group of psychopathic criminals who have kidnapped her child.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Isabella Rossellini, Kyle MacLachlan, Dennis Hopper, Laura Dern

Votes: 162,983 | Gross: $8.55M

15. 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: 75,171 | Gross: $1.79M

16. 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: 653,271 | Gross: $33.23M

17. Belle de Jour (1967)

R | 100 min | Drama

A frigid young housewife decides to spend her midweek afternoons as a prostitute.

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Jean Sorel, Michel Piccoli, Geneviève Page

Votes: 35,907 | Gross: $0.03M

18. 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: 22,304 | Gross: $0.30M

19. Black Orpheus (1959)

PG | 100 min | Drama, Fantasy, Music

81 Metascore

A retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, set during the time of the Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro.

Director: Marcel Camus | Stars: Breno Mello, Marpessa Dawn, Lourdes de Oliveira, Léa Garcia

Votes: 8,692

20. Beetlejuice (1988)

PG | 92 min | Comedy, Fantasy

70 Metascore

The spirits of a deceased couple are harassed by an unbearable family that has moved into their home, and hire a malicious spirit to drive them out.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Michael Keaton, Annie McEnroe

Votes: 231,950 | Gross: $73.71M

21. 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: 313,284 | Gross: $251.19M

22. Batman Returns (1992)

PG-13 | 126 min | Action, Crime, Fantasy

68 Metascore

When a corrupt businessman and the grotesque Penguin plot to take control of Gotham City, only Batman can stop them, while the Catwoman has her own agenda.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken

Votes: 253,292 | Gross: $162.83M

23. Big Fish (2003)

PG-13 | 125 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

58 Metascore

A frustrated son tries to determine the fact from fiction in his dying father's life.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange

Votes: 390,250 | Gross: $66.26M

24. Battleship Potemkin (1925)

Not Rated | 66 min | Drama, History

In the midst of the Russian Revolution of 1905, the crew of the battleship Potemkin mutiny against the brutal, tyrannical regime of the vessel's officers. The resulting street demonstration in Odessa brings on a police massacre.

Director: Sergei M. Eisenstein | Stars: Aleksandr Antonov, Vladimir Barskiy, Grigoriy Aleksandrov, Ivan Bobrov

Votes: 48,256 | Gross: $0.05M

25. Andrei Rublev (1966)

R | 205 min | Biography, Drama, History

The life, times and afflictions of the fifteenth-century Russian iconographer.

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky | Stars: Anatoliy Solonitsyn, Ivan Lapikov, Nikolay Grinko, Nikolay Sergeev

Votes: 38,971 | Gross: $0.10M

26. Dreams (1990)

PG | 119 min | Drama, Fantasy

A collection of tales based upon the actual dreams of director Akira Kurosawa.

Directors: Akira Kurosawa, Ishirô Honda | Stars: Akira Terao, Mitsuko Baishô, Toshie Negishi, Mieko Harada

Votes: 21,626 | Gross: $1.96M

27. (1963)

Not Rated | 138 min | Drama

A harried movie director retreats into his memories and fantasies.

Director: Federico Fellini | Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Anouk Aimée, Claudia Cardinale, Sandra Milo

Votes: 99,474 | Gross: $0.05M

28. Bottle Rocket (1996)

R | 91 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

66 Metascore

Three friends plan to pull off a simple robbery and go on the run.

Director: Wes Anderson | Stars: Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson, Ned Dowd, Shea Fowler

Votes: 64,277 | Gross: $0.56M

29. 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: 42,932 | Gross: $2.38M

30. A Midnight Clear (1992)

R | 108 min | Drama, War

This WW2 psychological drama plays out at Christmas. US GIs hold an isolated cabin in the Ardennes against a handful of Germans cut off from their main force. Combat-weary and short of rations, both sides are determined to survive.

Director: Keith Gordon | Stars: Peter Berg, Kevin Dillon, Arye Gross, Ethan Hawke

Votes: 7,805 | Gross: $1.53M

31. Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

R | 125 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

86 Metascore

A man robs a bank to pay for his lover's operation, which turns into a hostage situation and a media circus.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Al Pacino, John Cazale, Penelope Allen, Sully Boyar

Votes: 218,261 | Gross: $50.00M

32. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

R | 111 min | Action, Biography, Crime

86 Metascore

Bonnie Parker, a bored waitress falls in love with an ex-con named Clyde Barrow and together they start a violent crime spree through the country, stealing cars and robbing banks.

Director: Arthur Penn | Stars: Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Michael J. Pollard, Gene Hackman

Votes: 94,258

33. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

G | 149 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi

82 Metascore

After discovering a mysterious artifact buried beneath the Lunar surface, mankind sets off on a quest to find its origins with help from intelligent supercomputer H.A.L. 9000.

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

Votes: 544,050 | Gross: $56.95M

34. A Life Less Ordinary (1997)

R | 103 min | Comedy, Crime, Fantasy

35 Metascore

A desperate guy kidnaps a daughter of his former boss who recently fired him. Two angels are sent to Earth for checking if love is possible in this case.

Director: Danny Boyle | Stars: Cameron Diaz, Ewan McGregor, Holly Hunter, Delroy Lindo

Votes: 32,957 | Gross: $4.27M

35. 28 Days Later... (2002)

R | 113 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

73 Metascore

Four weeks after a mysterious, incurable virus spreads throughout the UK, a handful of survivors try to find sanctuary.

Director: Danny Boyle | Stars: Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Christopher Eccleston, Alex Palmer

Votes: 345,905 | Gross: $45.06M

36. Breaking the Waves (1996)

R | 159 min | Drama

76 Metascore

Oilman Jan is paralyzed in an accident. His wife, who prayed for his return, feels guilty; even more, when Jan urges her to have sex with another.

Director: Lars von Trier | Stars: Emily Watson, Stellan Skarsgård, Katrin Cartlidge, Jean-Marc Barr

Votes: 57,349 | Gross: $4.04M

37. Dancer in the Dark (2000)

R | 140 min | Crime, Drama, Musical

61 Metascore

An east European girl goes to America with her young son, expecting it to be like a Hollywood film.

Director: Lars von Trier | Stars: Björk, Catherine Deneuve, David Morse, Peter Stormare

Votes: 93,814 | Gross: $4.18M

38. Amateur (1994)

R | 105 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

53 Metascore

Isabelle is an ex-nun waiting for her special mission from God. In the meantime, she is making a living writing pornography. She meets Thomas, a sweet, confused amnesiac who cannot remember... See full summary »

Director: Hal Hartley | Stars: Isabelle Huppert, Martin Donovan, Elina Löwensohn, Damian Young

Votes: 5,151 | Gross: $0.86M

39. Dead Man (1995)

R | 121 min | Drama, Fantasy, Western

62 Metascore

On the run after murdering a man, accountant William Blake encounters a strange Native 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: 83,771 | Gross: $1.04M

40. Annie Hall (1977)

PG | 93 min | Comedy, Romance