BFI list of the 50 films you should see by the age of 14

by shaq_5000 | created - 10 Dec 2016 | updated - 10 Dec 2016 | Public
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1. Bicycle Thieves (1948)

Not Rated | 89 min | Drama

In post-war Italy, a working-class man's bicycle is stolen. He and his son set out to find it.

Director: Vittorio De Sica | Stars: Lamberto Maggiorani, Enzo Staiola, Lianella Carell, Elena Altieri

Votes: 120,618 | Gross: $0.33M

2. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

PG | 115 min | Family, Sci-Fi

91 Metascore

A troubled child summons the courage to help a friendly alien escape Earth and return to his home world.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Peter Coyote, Dee Wallace

Votes: 326,435 | Gross: $435.11M

3. Kes (1969)

PG-13 | 111 min | Drama, Family

A young, English working-class boy spends his free time caring for and training his pet falcon.

Director: Ken Loach | Stars: David Bradley, Brian Glover, Freddie Fletcher, Lynne Perrie

Votes: 15,823

4. The Night of the Hunter (1955)

Passed | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

99 Metascore

A religious fanatic marries a gullible widow whose young children are reluctant to tell him where their real daddy hid $10,000 he'd stolen in a robbery.

Director: Charles Laughton | Stars: Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish, James Gleason

Votes: 73,342

5. The 400 Blows (1959)

Not Rated | 99 min | Crime, Drama

A young boy, left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime.

Director: François Truffaut | Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Albert Rémy, Claire Maurier, Guy Decomble

Votes: 88,851

6. Show Me Love (1998)

Not Rated | 89 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

73 Metascore

Two teenage girls in small-town Sweden. Elin is beautiful, popular, and bored with life. Agnes is friendless, sad, and secretly in love with Elin.

Director: Lukas Moodysson | Stars: Alexandra Dahlström, Rebecka Liljeberg, Erica Carlson, Mathias Rust

Votes: 46,409 | Gross: $0.17M

7. Spirited Away (2001)

PG | 125 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

96 Metascore

During her family's move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and spirits, and where humans are changed into beasts.

Directors: Hayao Miyazaki, Kirk Wise | Stars: Daveigh Chase, Suzanne Pleshette, Miyu Irino, Rumi Hiiragi

Votes: 530,854 | Gross: $10.06M

8. 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: 759,112 | Gross: $191.80M

9. Khane-ye doust kodjast? (1987)

83 min | Drama, Family

An 8 year old boy must return his friend's notebook he took by mistake, lest his friend be punished by expulsion from school.

Director: Abbas Kiarostami | Stars: Babek Ahmed Poor, Ahmed Ahmed Poor, Khodabakhsh Defaei, Iran Outari

Votes: 7,430

10. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

PG | 102 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

100 Metascore

Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with her new friends to see the Wizard who can help her return home to Kansas and help her friends as well.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Mervyn LeRoy, Norman Taurog, King Vidor | Stars: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr

Votes: 341,458 | Gross: $22.20M

11. The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

PG | 102 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

97 Metascore

When Prince John and the Norman Lords begin oppressing the Saxon masses in King Richard's absence, a Saxon lord fights back as the outlaw leader of a rebel guerrilla army.

Directors: Michael Curtiz, William Keighley | Stars: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone, Claude Rains

Votes: 42,899 | Gross: $3.98M

12. Au Revoir les Enfants (1987)

PG | 104 min | Drama, War

A French boarding school run by priests seems to be a haven from World War II until a new student arrives. He becomes the roommate of top student in his class. Rivals at first, the roommates form a bond and share a secret.

Director: Louis Malle | Stars: Gaspard Manesse, Raphael Fejtö, Francine Racette, Stanislas Carré de Malberg

Votes: 27,469 | Gross: $4.54M

13. Back to the Future (1985)

PG | 116 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

87 Metascore

Marty McFly, a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent thirty years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the maverick scientist Doc Brown.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover

Votes: 893,884 | Gross: $210.61M

14. 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: 21,686 | Gross: $0.30M

15. Beauty and the Beast (1991)

G | 84 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

95 Metascore

A selfish prince is cursed to become a monster for the rest of his life, unless he learns to fall in love with a beautiful young woman he keeps prisoner.

Directors: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise | Stars: Paige O'Hara, Robby Benson, Jesse Corti, Rex Everhart

Votes: 376,722 | Gross: $218.97M

16. Billy Elliot (2000)

R | 110 min | Drama, Music, Romance

74 Metascore

A talented young boy becomes torn between his unexpected love of dance and the disintegration of his family.

Director: Stephen Daldry | Stars: Jamie Bell, Julie Walters, Jean Heywood, Jamie Draven

Votes: 111,050 | Gross: $22.00M

17. A Day at the Races (1937)

Not Rated | 111 min | Comedy, Musical, Sport

A veterinarian posing as a doctor and a race-horse owner and his friends struggle to help keep a sanitarium open with the help of a misfit race-horse.

Director: Sam Wood | Stars: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx, Allan Jones

Votes: 11,809

18. Edward Scissorhands (1990)

PG-13 | 105 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

74 Metascore

A gentle man, with scissors for hands, is brought into a new community after living in isolation.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest, Anthony Michael Hall

Votes: 404,516 | Gross: $56.36M

19. Finding Nemo (2003)

G | 100 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

90 Metascore

After his son is captured in the Great Barrier Reef and taken to Sydney, a timid clownfish sets out on a journey to bring him home.

Directors: Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich | Stars: Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, Willem Dafoe

Votes: 835,935 | Gross: $380.84M

20. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

PG | 130 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

89 Metascore

An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell

Votes: 338,822 | Gross: $7.27M

21. Jason and the Argonauts (1963)

G | 104 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

The legendary Greek hero leads a team of intrepid adventurers in a perilous quest for the legendary Golden Fleece.

Director: Don Chaffey | Stars: Todd Armstrong, Nancy Kovack, Gary Raymond, Laurence Naismith

Votes: 20,288

22. The Kid (1921)

Not Rated | 68 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

The Tramp cares for an abandoned child, but events put that relationship in jeopardy.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Jackie Coogan, Carl Miller

Votes: 91,170 | Gross: $5.45M

23. King Kong (1933)

Passed | 100 min | Adventure, Horror, Sci-Fi

90 Metascore

A film crew goes to a tropical island for an exotic location shoot and discovers a colossal ape who takes a shine to their female blonde star. He is then captured and brought back to New York City for public exhibition.

Directors: Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack | Stars: Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Bruce Cabot, Frank Reicher

Votes: 72,151 | Gross: $10.00M

24. Kirikou and the Sorceress (1998)

71 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

In a troubled African village, an unusual baby is born.

Directors: Michel Ocelot, Raymond Burlet | Stars: Doudou Gueye Thiaw, Maimouna N'Diaye, Awa Sene Sarr, Robert Liensol

Votes: 7,205

25. Monsieur Hulot's Holiday (1953)

Not Rated | 83 min | Comedy

Monsieur Hulot comes to a beachside hotel for a vacation, where he accidentally (but good-naturedly) causes havoc.

Director: Jacques Tati | Stars: Jacques Tati, Nathalie Pascaud, Micheline Rolla, Valentine Camax

Votes: 14,566

26. My Life as a Dog (1985)

Unrated | 101 min | Drama, Comedy

A boy and his brother don't get along well. In order to let their ill mother rest, they're separated and sent each one with their relatives.

Director: Lasse Hallström | Stars: Anton Glanzelius, Tomas von Brömssen, Anki Lidén, Melinda Kinnaman

Votes: 16,561 | Gross: $8.35M

27. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

G | 86 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

86 Metascore

When two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother, they have adventures with the wondrous forest spirits who live nearby.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki | Stars: Hitoshi Takagi, Noriko Hidaka, Chika Sakamoto, Shigesato Itoi

Votes: 226,918

28. Oliver Twist (1948)

Not Rated | 105 min | Drama

An orphan named Oliver Twist meets a pickpocket on the streets of London. From there, he joins a household of boys who are trained to steal for their master.

Director: David Lean | Stars: Robert Newton, Alec Guinness, Kay Walsh, John Howard Davies

Votes: 9,890

29. The Outsiders (1983)

PG | 91 min | Crime, Drama

41 Metascore

The rivalry between two gangs, the poor Greasers and the rich Socs, only heats up when one gang member kills a member of the other.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: C. Thomas Howell, Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Patrick Swayze

Votes: 65,962 | Gross: $25.60M

30. Pather Panchali (1955)

Not Rated | 125 min | Drama

Impoverished priest Harihar Ray, dreaming of a better life for himself and his family, leaves his rural Bengal village in search of work.

Director: Satyajit Ray | Stars: Kanu Bannerjee, Karuna Bannerjee, Subir Banerjee, Chunibala Devi

Votes: 18,255 | Gross: $0.54M

31. Playtime (1967)

Not Rated | 115 min | Comedy

Monsieur Hulot curiously wanders around a high-tech Paris, paralleling a trip with a group of American tourists. Meanwhile, a nightclub/restaurant prepares its opening night, but it's still under construction.

Director: Jacques Tati | Stars: Jacques Tati, Barbara Dennek, Rita Maiden, France Rumilly

Votes: 15,972

32. 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: 346,603 | Gross: $30.86M

33. Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002)

PG | 94 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

80 Metascore

In 1931, three aboriginal girls escape after being plucked from their homes to be trained as domestic staff and set off on a journey across the Outback.

Director: Phillip Noyce | Stars: Everlyn Sampi, Tianna Sansbury, Kenneth Branagh, Laura Monaghan

Votes: 25,520 | Gross: $6.17M

34. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

PG | 115 min | Action, Adventure

85 Metascore

In 1936, archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before Adolf Hitler's Nazis can obtain its awesome powers.

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

Votes: 780,889 | Gross: $248.16M

35. The Railway Children (1970)

G | 109 min | Family, Drama

After the enforced absence of their father, three children move with their mother to Yorkshire, where during their adventures they attempt to discover the reason for his disappearance.

Director: Lionel Jeffries | Stars: Dinah Sheridan, Bernard Cribbins, William Mervyn, Iain Cuthbertson

Votes: 3,353

36. The Red Balloon (1956)

Not Rated | 34 min | Short, Comedy, Drama

A red balloon with a life of its own follows a little boy around the streets of Paris.

Director: Albert Lamorisse | Stars: Pascal Lamorisse, Sabine Lamorisse, Georges Sellier, Vladimir Popov

Votes: 14,518

37. Romeo + Juliet (1996)

PG-13 | 120 min | Drama, Romance

60 Metascore

Shakespeare's famous play is updated to the hip modern suburb of Verona still retaining its original dialogue.

Director: Baz Luhrmann | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Claire Danes, John Leguizamo, Harold Perrineau

Votes: 190,052 | Gross: $46.35M

38. The Secret Garden (1993)

G | 101 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

A young, recently-orphaned girl is sent to England after living in India all her life. Once there, she begins to explore her new, seemingly-isolated surroundings -- and its secrets.

Director: Agnieszka Holland | Stars: Kate Maberly, Maggie Smith, Heydon Prowse, Andrew Knott

Votes: 32,477 | Gross: $31.18M

39. Singin' in the Rain (1952)

G | 103 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

99 Metascore

A silent film production company and cast make a difficult transition to sound.

Directors: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly | Stars: Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Jean Hagen

Votes: 188,252 | Gross: $8.82M

40. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

G | 83 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

95 Metascore

Exiled into the dangerous forest by her wicked stepmother, a princess is rescued by seven dwarf miners who make her part of their household.

Directors: William Cottrell, David Hand, Wilfred Jackson, Larry Morey, Perce Pearce, Ben Sharpsteen | Stars: Adriana Caselotti, Harry Stockwell, Lucille La Verne, Roy Atwell

Votes: 158,077 | Gross: $184.93M

41. Some Like It Hot (1959)

Not Rated | 121 min | Comedy, Romance

97 Metascore

When two male musicians witness a mob hit, they flee the state in an all-female band disguised as women, but further complications set in.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, George Raft

Votes: 211,715 | Gross: $25.00M

42. The Spirit of the Beehive (1973)

Not Rated | 98 min | Drama, Fantasy

87 Metascore

In 1940, after watching and being traumatized by the movie Frankenstein (1931), a sensitive seven year-old girl living in a small Spanish village drifts into her own fantasy world.

Director: Víctor Erice | Stars: Fernando Fernán Gómez, Teresa Gimpera, Ana Torrent, Isabel Tellería

Votes: 14,482

43. 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: 1,083,100 | Gross: $322.74M

44. To Be and to Have (2002)

Not Rated | 104 min | Documentary, Family

87 Metascore

A documentary portrait of a one-room school in rural France, where the students (ranging in age from 4 to 11) are educated by a single dedicated teacher.

Director: Nicolas Philibert | Stars: Georges Lopez, Alizé, Axel Thouvenin, Guillaume

Votes: 7,141 | Gross: $0.78M

45. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

Not Rated | 129 min | Crime, Drama

87 Metascore

Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his children against prejudice.

Director: Robert Mulligan | Stars: Gregory Peck, John Megna, Frank Overton, Rosemary Murphy

Votes: 262,595

46. A Trip to the Moon (1902)

TV-G | 13 min | Short, Adventure, Fantasy

A group of astronomers go on an expedition to the Moon.

Director: Georges Méliès | Stars: Georges Méliès, Victor André, Bleuette Bernon, Brunnet

Votes: 37,024

47. Walkabout (1971)

GP | 100 min | Adventure, Drama

Two young siblings are stranded in the Australian Outback and are forced to cope on their own. They meet an Australian boy on "walkabout": a ritual separation from his tribe.

Director: Nicolas Roeg | Stars: Jenny Agutter, David Gulpilil, Luc Roeg, John Meillon

Votes: 19,936

48. Whale Rider (2002)

PG-13 | 101 min | Drama, Family

80 Metascore

A contemporary story of love, rejection and triumph as a young Maori girl fights to fulfill a destiny her grandfather refuses to recognize.

Director: Niki Caro | Stars: Keisha Castle-Hughes, Rawiri Paratene, Vicky Haughton, Cliff Curtis

Votes: 37,048 | Gross: $20.78M