great movies

by rainbowflat | created - 16 Dec 2016 | updated - 03 Oct 2017 | Public

outstanding movies that I've seen since 2012.

Documentaries and tv series are in separate lists.

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1. Carrington (1995)

R | 121 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

The platonic relationship between artist Dora Carrington (Dame Emma Thompson) and writer Lytton Strachey (Jonathan Pryce) in the early twentieth century.

Director: Christopher Hampton | Stars: Emma Thompson, Jonathan Pryce, Steven Waddington, Samuel West

Votes: 5,600 | Gross: $3.24M

Based on.. well, 'a true story' doesn't sound right. Based on what happened. A beautiful story of a profound friendship (and a lot of Dora's relationships too.) I love this movie so much! Have seen it many times. About the life of art, the demands of the heart, Englishness, friendship, and living. And Dora and Lytton are I suppose unique, eccentric people, very good at what they do, and unstoppably determined to be themselves.

2. The Wednesday Play (1964–1970)
Episode: Cathy Come Home (1966)

75 min | Drama

A wedding. Happy and promising. A young couple, new to the ways of life. The joys of parenthood: A dream comes true. Then the first incident in a long, spiraling chain of events, and down ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Loach | Stars: Carol White, Ray Brooks, Winifred Dennis, Wally Patch

Votes: 1,113

3. Secrets & Lies (1996)

R | 136 min | Comedy, Drama

91 Metascore

Following the death of her adoptive parents, a successful young black optometrist establishes contact with her biological mother -- a lonely white factory worker living in poverty in East London.

Director: Mike Leigh | Stars: Timothy Spall, Brenda Blethyn, Phyllis Logan, Claire Rushbrook

Votes: 44,607 | Gross: $13.42M

Extremely gruelling and intense; hang in there for the (somehow) happy ending. Timothy Spall is maybe the best in a perfect cast, everything works. Somehow it seems better than the amazing Topsy-Turvy, maybe because this isn't theatre life, it's real life. (Per Fly's Performances has both.)

4. Topsy-Turvy (1999)

R | 160 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

90 Metascore

Set in the 1880s, the story of how, during a creative dry spell, the partnership of the legendary musical/theatrical writers Gilbert and Sullivan almost dissolves, before they turn it all around and write the Mikado.

Director: Mike Leigh | Stars: Jim Broadbent, Allan Corduner, Dexter Fletcher, Sukie Smith

Votes: 13,052 | Gross: $6.20M

Even non-Gilbert & Sullivan fans will love this. Astonishingly well-constructed. So full and rich. Perfection.

5. The Intouchables (2011)

R | 112 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

57 Metascore

After he becomes a quadriplegic from a paragliding accident, an aristocrat hires a young man from the projects to be his caregiver.

Directors: Olivier Nakache, Éric Toledano | Stars: François Cluzet, Omar Sy, Anne Le Ny, Audrey Fleurot

Votes: 873,436 | Gross: $13.18M

Kevin Costner is.. ah sorry wrong movie. This is funny, touching, uplifting. Can't go wrong.

6. My Dinner with Andre (1981)

PG | 110 min | Comedy, Drama

83 Metascore

Two old friends meet for dinner; as one tells anecdotes detailing his experiences, the other notices their differing worldviews.

Director: Louis Malle | Stars: Andre Gregory, Wallace Shawn, Jean Lenauer, Roy Butler

Votes: 23,064 | Gross: $5.25M

7. Vagabond (1985)

Not Rated | 105 min | Drama

A young woman's body is found frozen in a ditch. Through flashbacks and interviews, we see the events that led to her inevitable death.

Director: Agnès Varda | Stars: Sandrine Bonnaire, Macha Méril, Stéphane Freiss, Setti Ramdane

Votes: 12,214

Actual title: Sans toit ni loi

8. My Afternoons with Margueritte (2010)

Not Rated | 82 min | Comedy, Drama

59 Metascore

A semi-literate and lonely odd-job man bonds with a much older and well-read woman.

Director: Jean Becker | Stars: Gérard Depardieu, Gisèle Casadesus, Maurane, Sophie Guillemin

Votes: 7,426

Actual title: La Tête en Friche

9. It All Starts Today (1999)

Not Rated | 117 min | Drama

78 Metascore

A teacher from a small, depressed town is trying to do something useful.

Director: Bertrand Tavernier | Stars: Philippe Torreton, Maria Pitarresi, Nadia Kaci, Véronique Ataly

Votes: 2,804 | Gross: $0.01M

Ça commence aujourd’hui

10. The Green Planet (1996)

99 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi

On a distant planet, rural vegans master telepathy and mental power to travel interstellar etc. Mila is sent to Earth to report back. She lands in Paris - quite a cultural shock. Earthlings are strange.

Director: Coline Serreau | Stars: Coline Serreau, Vincent Lindon, James Thierrée, Samuel Tasinaje

Votes: 5,195

The Beautiful Green

11. Holy Motors (2012)

Not Rated | 115 min | Drama, Fantasy

84 Metascore

A man boards a limousine to be driven to his day's work: nine mysterious "appointments."

Director: Leos Carax | Stars: Denis Lavant, Edith Scob, Eva Mendes, Kylie Minogue

Votes: 47,292

12. Blue Is the Warmest Colour (2013)

NC-17 | 180 min | Drama, Romance

90 Metascore

Adèle's life is changed when she meets Emma, a young woman with blue hair, who will allow her to discover desire and to assert herself as a woman and as an adult. In front of others, Adèle grows, seeks herself, loses herself, and ultimately finds herself through love and loss.

Director: Abdellatif Kechiche | Stars: Léa Seydoux, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Salim Kechiouche, Aurélien Recoing

Votes: 155,983 | Gross: $2.20M

La vie d'Adele

13. Tell No One (2006)

Not Rated | 131 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

82 Metascore

An accidental discovery near a doctor's estate stirs up some painful memories eight years after his wife's hideous murder, and now, things are bound to take a turn for the unexpected. Does the good doctor know more than he's letting on?

Director: Guillaume Canet | Stars: François Cluzet, Marie-Josée Croze, André Dussollier, Kristin Scott Thomas

Votes: 56,036 | Gross: $6.18M

A great thriller - exciting, touching, intelligent, full of twists.

14. Little White Lies (2010)

Not Rated | 154 min | Comedy, Drama

50 Metascore

A near-fatal accident leaves one friend in the hospital while the rest go on their annual vacation. But their secrets and personal grief threaten to drive them apart.

Director: Guillaume Canet | Stars: François Cluzet, Marion Cotillard, Benoît Magimel, Jean Dujardin

Votes: 26,015 | Gross: $0.21M

15. The Artist (I) (2011)

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

89 Metascore

An egomaniacal film star develops a relationship with a young dancer against the backdrop of Hollywood's silent era.

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

Votes: 244,044 | Gross: $44.67M

A masterpiece. Wonderfully entertaining, makes you wish more movies are silent and in black and white.

16. A Prophet (2009)

R | 155 min | Crime, Drama

90 Metascore

A young Algerian man is sent to a French prison.

Director: Jacques Audiard | Stars: Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup, Adel Bencherif, Reda Kateb

Votes: 99,831 | Gross: $2.08M

17. Rust and Bone (2012)

R | 120 min | Drama, Romance

73 Metascore

Put in charge of his young son, Alain leaves Belgium for Antibes to live with his sister and her husband as a family. Alain's bond with Stephanie, a killer whale trainer, grows deeper after Stephanie suffers a horrible accident.

Director: Jacques Audiard | Stars: Marion Cotillard, Matthias Schoenaerts, Armand Verdure, Céline Sallette

Votes: 68,595 | Gross: $2.06M

18. Jonah Who Will Be 25 in the Year 2000 (1976)

116 min | Drama

The European equivalent of "The Return of the Secaucus 7," this Swiss film looks at the lives of several men and women in their 30s as they confront the slim gains of the "revolutionary" ... See full summary »

Director: Alain Tanner | Stars: Myriam Boyer, Jean-Luc Bideau, Miou-Miou, Jacques Denis

Votes: 1,138

Jonah who will be 25 in the year 2000

Script by John Berger of "Ways of Seeing" fame. Intelligent, profound, subtle, at-times-funny human drama of a group of friends of the French 'generation of 1968' finding lives for themselves. A great movie.

19. The Son (2002)

99 min | Drama, Mystery

86 Metascore

A joinery instructor at a rehab center refuses to take a new teen as his apprentice, but then begins to follow the boy through the hallways and streets.

Directors: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne | Stars: Olivier Gourmet, Morgan Marinne, Isabella Soupart, Nassim Hassaïni

Votes: 9,809 | Gross: $0.07M

Le fils. Uyy this is claustrophobic and intense. Uniquely filmed and told; it feels like a brutally honest documentary; 'nothing happens' but everyday life, for long stretches. The main character is the sort of character that is never the main character in movies! Hard to describe - I remember Roger Ebert got it, and did a very good review of this. I have to see more Dardenne brothers films! So far only "Two days, one night" which was also very intense and moving.

20. 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: 19,247

Silence, countryside, beauty, Frankenstein... Erice's unfinished El Sur is also amazing.

21. Open Your Eyes (1997)

R | 119 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

A very handsome man finds the love of his life, but he suffers an accident and needs to have his face rebuilt by surgery after it is severely disfigured.

Director: Alejandro Amenábar | Stars: Eduardo Noriega, Penélope Cruz, Chete Lera, Fele Martínez

Votes: 70,763 | Gross: $0.37M

Vanilla Sky (2001) is a remake of this. (Both starring Penélope Cruz)

It seems every one of Amenábar's movies are excellent. And usually he does the music too as well as the writing and directing.

22. The Sea Inside (I) (2004)

PG-13 | 126 min | Biography, Drama

74 Metascore

The factual story of Spaniard Ramon Sampedro, who fought a 28-year campaign in favor of euthanasia and his own right to die.

Director: Alejandro Amenábar | Stars: Javier Bardem, Belén Rueda, Lola Dueñas, Mabel Rivera

Votes: 83,044 | Gross: $2.09M

23. The Dark Side of the Heart (1992)

R | 127 min | Comedy, Romance, Drama

Oliveiro is a young poet living in Buenos Aires where sometimes he has to sell his ideas to an advertising agency to make a living or exchange his poems for a steak. In Montevideo, he meets... See full summary »

Director: Eliseo Subiela | Stars: Darío Grandinetti, Sandra Ballesteros, Nacha Guevara, André Melançon

Votes: 3,926

Subiela is one of my very favourite directors. His movies have a lot of heart, and soul, and warmth. They exist somehow on a spiritual plane, even when 'about' love or art.

From Oliverio Girondo's 'Scarecrow': I couldn't care less if women have breasts like fresh magnolias or withered figs, skin smooth as a peach or rough as sandpaper. I accord it an importance equal to zero whether they wake up with the breath of an aphrodisiac or the breath of an insecticide. I am perfectly capable of enduring a nose on them that could take first prize in a carrot exposition. But here's the thing!—and in this I am inflexible—I do not pardon them, under any pretext, if they don't know how to fly.

24. Man Facing Southeast (1986)

R | 105 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

A patient in a mental hospital claims to be an extraterrestial. Could he be right?

Director: Eliseo Subiela | Stars: Lorenzo Quinteros, Hugo Soto, Inés Vernengo, Cristina Scaramuzza

Votes: 4,335 | Gross: $0.73M

The guy who wrote K-PAX claimed not to have seen this beforehand. Could he be right? Subiela sued him. Then the guy wrote a book about that. Well, the first time I saw Total Recall, in the cinema when it came out, I'd had a dream the night before that was almost exactly the same as that movie. (On Mars, the atmosphere popping the eyes out etc etc everything.) It was unbelievable. Yet I had no memory of hearing anything about it at all beforehand. But I must have..right?

25. Don't Die Without Telling Me Where You're Going (1995)

PG | 120 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

It is the fantastic story of a couple that has the chance to live for centuries loving one another because of various reincarnations.

Director: Eliseo Subiela | Stars: Darío Grandinetti, Mariana Arias, Oscar Martínez, Mónica Galán

Votes: 853

26. Last Images of the Shipwreck (1989)

R | 131 min | Drama

Roberto is an insurance salesman who dreams of writing his own novel. When he meets Estela, a young woman about to commit suicide, it serves him as material to make this work.

Director: Eliseo Subiela | Stars: Lorenzo Quinteros, Noemí Frenkel, Hugo Soto, Pablo Brichta

Votes: 412

Last images of the shipwreck.

The same two main actors as Man Facing Southeast, so it could be seen as some kind of bizarro-sequel I guess. Apparently Subiela was very happy with this movie and thought it would be very commercially successful, but it wasn't, and he was advised to make happier movies in future. Argentinians were already depressed enough then, I guess. Anyway, it's very good, much better than I'd expected from reviews.

27. The Secret in Their Eyes (2009)

R | 129 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

80 Metascore

A retired legal counselor writes a novel hoping to find closure for one of his past unresolved homicide cases and for his unreciprocated love with his superior - both of which still haunt him decades later.

Director: Juan José Campanella | Stars: Ricardo Darín, Soledad Villamil, Pablo Rago, Carla Quevedo

Votes: 212,708 | Gross: $6.39M

Perfection. If you liked this, there's a kind of prequel, well, with the same 2 leads, El mismo amor, la misma lluvia (The same love, the same rain, 1999). Luna de Avellaneda and La hijo de la novia (these all star Darin) also are very good, but none work so well as "Secret". And what a lovely ending :-)

28. Nine Queens (2000)

R | 114 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

80 Metascore

Two con artists try to swindle a stamp collector by selling him a sheet of counterfeit rare stamps (the "nine queens").

Director: Fabián Bielinsky | Stars: Ricardo Darín, Gastón Pauls, Graciela Tenenbaum, María Mercedes Villagra

Votes: 54,366 | Gross: $1.22M

Bielinsky only had time to make this and the also excellent (but not at all funny) El Aura, about an epileptic taxidermist caught up in a heist, before he died.

29. Wild Tales (2014)

R | 122 min | Comedy, Drama, Thriller

77 Metascore

Six short stories that explore the extremities of human behavior involving people in distress.

Director: Damián Szifron | Stars: Darío Grandinetti, María Marull, Mónica Villa, Diego Starosta

Votes: 203,122 | Gross: $3.11M

30. Embrace of the Serpent (2015)

Not Rated | 125 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

82 Metascore

The story of the relationship between Karamakate, an Amazonian shaman and last survivor of his people, and two scientists who work together over the course of forty years to search the Amazon for a sacred healing plant.

Director: Ciro Guerra | Stars: Nilbio Torres, Jan Bijvoet, Antonio Bolívar, Brionne Davis

Votes: 23,490 | Gross: $1.33M

31. The Lives of Others (2006)

R | 137 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

89 Metascore

In 1984 East Berlin, an agent of the secret police, conducting surveillance on a writer and his lover, finds himself becoming increasingly absorbed by their lives.

Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck | Stars: Ulrich Mühe, Martina Gedeck, Sebastian Koch, Ulrich Tukur

Votes: 394,247 | Gross: $11.29M

32. Barefoot (2005)

118 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Hedonistic bachelor Nick falls for an escaped mental patient.

Director: Til Schweiger | Stars: Til Schweiger, Johanna Wokalek, Nadja Tiller, Michael Mendl

Votes: 10,940

Very romantic and unusual story, with strong social comment. Also very funny. Love it.

33. The Wall (2012)

Not Rated | 108 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

67 Metascore

A woman inexplicably finds herself cut off from all human contact when an invisible, unyielding wall suddenly surrounds the countryside. Accompanied by her loyal dog Lynx, she becomes ... See full summary »

Director: Julian Pölsler | Stars: Martina Gedeck, Luchs von Kyffhäuserbach, Karlheinz Hackl, Ulrike Beimpold

Votes: 6,599 | Gross: $0.04M

Amazingly good. One of the greatest movies I've ever seen. The most profound and philosophically interesting screenplay of any movie I've seen. The main character (virtually the only human in the movie) is brought, by long isolation and seeing life through the eyes of her dog, cat, cow, a visiting bird etc, to see for the first time the way humans (or, say, Indo-europeans) have chosen to face nature, and other animal species. In a similar way that through LSD or spiritual practises, one can see these basic things, these ancestral paths - that were too close to see before, because they are us. I find the negative reviews of this fascinating. I have to quote from bluesshred's classic contribution: "Movies are art, some good & some bad. This abstract movie is bad art in my opinion & it's more like a Yoko Ono, Jackson Pollock, or poop on a canvas as opposed to a John Lennon, Salvador Dalí, or art done with some skill." Bad art, like poop on a canvas. hehe. I just find that astounding, that someone can see this movie and think such a thing. Well, I don't feel the story/movie is trying to be art (although it's visually very beautiful) - but is an exploration, a journey, en experiment, stripping everything away - customs, social facades, society, traditions - to be able to see (and judge) the essential, the less ephemeral, the raw/original human nature..

34. The Sea That Thinks (2000)

100 min | Adventure, Biography, Comedy

Incredible optical illusions in a story in a story in a story helps the surprised viewer finally to find out that he has been watching himself all along.

Director: Gert de Graaff | Stars: Bart Klever, Devika Strooker, Rick de Leeuw, Don Duyns

Votes: 548

Amazingly good. Nothing like any movie I've seen. Uses multiple layers of paradox, optical illusion, self-reference, story within story etc to explore mind, consciousness, 'reality'. Not religious but explores the same ground as many mystics and spiritual writers - e.g. Ramana Maharshi went into a cave and asked "Who Am I?" over and over. This is the movie version. Funny, profound, very well- and painstakingly-constructed.

35. Truly Human (2001)

95 min | Drama

A 7-year-old girl's (Line Kruse) imaginary friend (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) comes to life, but adults misunderstand his kindness toward children.

Director: Åke Sandgren | Stars: Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Peter Mygind, Susan Olsen, Troels II Munk

Votes: 975

A beautiful and unique movie. A very funny and touching look at modern life from a naïve outsider's perspective. Maybe Nikolaj's best.

36. Clash of Egos (2006)

Not Rated | 90 min | Comedy, Drama

Tony (Ulrich Thomsen) is angry and wants his money back after watching world-famous director, Claus Volter's (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) new film. Tony just got out of prison for violent behavior.

Director: Tomas Villum Jensen | Stars: Ulrich Thomsen, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Mille Dinesen, Line Kruse

Votes: 2,592

Thought-provoking, bitingly satirical (mainly of Lars von Trier, self-important pseudo-profound art movies and their fawning critics), great cast - and extremely funny.

37. Mifune (1999)

R | 98 min | Romance, Comedy, Drama

57 Metascore

Kresten's dad dies and he returns to the farm on Lolland to take care of things, including his developmentaly-challenged brother. He employs a hooker as maid. He loses his wife and job due to lies. The maid's kid brother moves in and they're a family of 4.

Director: Søren Kragh-Jacobsen | Stars: Iben Hjejle, Anders W. Berthelsen, Jesper Asholt, Emil Tarding

Votes: 7,934 | Gross: $0.59M

Mifune's Last Song

38. The Idiots (1998)

R | 117 min | Comedy, Drama

47 Metascore

The group of people gather at the house in Copenhagen suburb to break all the limitations and to bring out the "inner idiot" in themselves.

Director: Lars von Trier | Stars: Bodil Jørgensen, Jens Albinus, Anne Louise Hassing, Troels Lyby

Votes: 32,537 | Gross: $0.01M

NEI! This has a strange reputation as shocking, controversial, excessive bad taste etc. I found it had much less of these qualities than any of von Trier's other movies that I'd seen, and may be his only movie with a gentle, good-natured, warm, realistic vibe. No women tortured, killed, abused, as far as I remember - unique also in that way? It's about a group of people living together, trying (not too successfully) to find meaningful lives. There's even a positive and hopeful ending. The shocking thing about it is how it was censored - with black rectangles onscreen! - for delicate U.S. and international audiences, who can handle movies of non-stop gun murder but apparently must be spared the horrors of.. a human body on screen. OMG. Grow up. (well, "violent death=good, common life=bad" is also very reminiscent of U.S. foreign policy the last 120 years, maybe that's no coincidence.)

39. In a Better World (2010)

R | 118 min | Drama, Romance

65 Metascore

The lives of two Danish families cross each other, and an extraordinary but risky friendship comes into bud. But loneliness, frailty and sorrow lie in wait.

Director: Susanne Bier | Stars: Mikael Persbrandt, Trine Dyrholm, Markus Rygaard, Wil Johnson

Votes: 40,674 | Gross: $1.01M

Most of Susanne Bier's films are pretty great, e.g. After The Wedding, Things We Lost in the Fire, A Second Chance etc

40. Worlds Apart (2008)

116 min | Drama

The daughter of a Jehovah's Witness is forced to choose between religion and love when she falls for someone outside her faith.

Director: Niels Arden Oplev | Stars: Rosalinde Mynster, Pilou Asbæk, Jens Jørn Spottag, Sarah Boberg

Votes: 3,346

What happens when your girlfriend is a Danish Jehovah's witness.

41. Adam's Apples (2005)

R | 94 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

51 Metascore

A neo-Nazi sentenced to community service at a church clashes with the blindly devoted minister.

Director: Anders Thomas Jensen | Stars: Ulrich Thomsen, Mads Mikkelsen, Nicolas Bro, Paprika Steen

Votes: 52,068 | Gross: $0.00M

Ulrich (neo-Nazi) and Mads (priest) especially are great in this farcical, violent, over-the-top yet ultimately touching and profound story of redemption from the prolific pen of Anders Thomas Jensen.

42. The Green Butchers (2003)

R | 100 min | Comedy, Drama

54 Metascore

Two Danish friends are tired of their employer and open their own butcher shop. An electrician accidentally dies in the freezer and he's sold as marinated chicken and business picks up. What happens when they run out of "chicken"?

Director: Anders Thomas Jensen | Stars: Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Mads Mikkelsen, Line Kruse, Ole Thestrup

Votes: 23,035 | Gross: $0.00M

43. Men & Chicken (2015)

Not Rated | 104 min | Comedy, Drama, Mystery