Movies Everyone Should Watch At Least Once

by pennylaynee | created - 27 Jul 2014 | updated - 10 Oct 2017 | Public
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1. 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: 1,077,934 | Gross: $322.74M

2. Requiem for a Dream (2000)

R | 102 min | Drama

68 Metascore

The drug-induced utopias of four Coney Island people are shattered when their addictions run deep.

Director: Darren Aronofsky | Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Marlon Wayans

Votes: 675,002 | Gross: $3.64M

3. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

R | 136 min | Crime, Drama, Sci-Fi

80 Metascore

In the future, a sadistic gang leader is imprisoned and volunteers for a conduct-aversion experiment, but it doesn't go as planned.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates, Warren Clarke

Votes: 661,109

4. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

R | 133 min | Drama

80 Metascore

A criminal pleads insanity after getting into trouble again and once in the mental institution rebels against the oppressive nurse and rallies up the scared patients.

Director: Milos Forman | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Will Sampson, Michael Berryman

Votes: 796,998 | Gross: $112.00M

5. Gone with the Wind (1939)

Passed | 238 min | Drama, History, Romance

97 Metascore

A manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Sam Wood | Stars: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Thomas Mitchell, Barbara O'Neil

Votes: 254,914 | Gross: $198.68M

6. Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)

Not Rated | 115 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

76 Metascore

A young New York socialite becomes interested in a young man who has moved into her apartment building, but her past threatens to get in the way.

Director: Blake Edwards | Stars: Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Patricia Neal, Buddy Ebsen

Votes: 146,206

7. Casablanca (1942)

PG | 102 min | Drama, Romance, War

100 Metascore

A cynical nightclub owner protects an old flame and her husband from Nazis in Morocco.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains

Votes: 457,371 | Gross: $1.02M

8. 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: 336,910 | Gross: $7.27M

9. Pulp Fiction (1994)

R | 154 min | Crime, Drama

94 Metascore

The lives of two mob hitmen, a boxer, a gangster's wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption.

Director: Quentin Tarantino | Stars: John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis

Votes: 1,565,865 | Gross: $107.93M

10. Fight Club (1999)

R | 139 min | Drama

66 Metascore

An insomniac office worker and a devil-may-care soapmaker form an underground fight club that evolves into something much, much more.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Meat Loaf, Zach Grenier

Votes: 1,605,123 | Gross: $37.03M

11. American Beauty (1999)

R | 122 min | Drama

86 Metascore

A sexually frustrated suburban father has a mid-life crisis after becoming infatuated with his daughter's best friend.

Director: Sam Mendes | Stars: Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch, Wes Bentley

Votes: 957,778 | Gross: $130.10M

12. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

R | 118 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

85 Metascore

A young FBI cadet must receive the help of an incarcerated and manipulative cannibal killer to help catch another serial killer, a madman who skins his victims.

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A. Bonney, Kasi Lemmons

Votes: 1,075,420 | Gross: $130.74M

13. The Lion King (1994)

G | 88 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama

83 Metascore

A Lion cub crown prince is tricked by a treacherous uncle into thinking he caused his father's death and flees into exile in despair, only to learn in adulthood his identity and his responsibilities.

Directors: Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff | Stars: Matthew Broderick, Jeremy Irons, James Earl Jones, Whoopi Goldberg

Votes: 789,837 | Gross: $312.90M

14. V for Vendetta (2005)

R | 132 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

62 Metascore

In a future British tyranny, a shadowy freedom fighter, known only by the alias of "V", plots to overthrow it with the help of a young woman.

Director: James McTeigue | Stars: Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman, Rupert Graves, Stephen Rea

Votes: 922,153 | Gross: $70.51M

15. The Godfather (1972)

R | 175 min | Crime, Drama

100 Metascore

The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Diane Keaton

Votes: 1,374,297 | Gross: $134.97M

16. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

R | 142 min | 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: 2,005,899 | Gross: $28.34M

17. The Breakfast Club (1985)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Drama

62 Metascore

Five high school students meet in Saturday detention and discover how they have a lot more in common than they thought.

Director: John Hughes | Stars: Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy

Votes: 305,766 | Gross: $45.88M

18. The Shining (1980)

R | 146 min | Drama, Horror

63 Metascore

A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers

Votes: 741,975 | Gross: $44.02M

19. Psycho (1960)

R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

97 Metascore

A Phoenix secretary embezzles $40,000 from her employer's client, goes on the run, and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin

Votes: 511,164 | Gross: $32.00M

20. To Have and Have Not (1944)

Not Rated | 100 min | Adventure, Comedy, Romance

During World War II, American expatriate Harry Morgan helps transport a French Resistance leader and his beautiful wife to Martinique while romancing a sensuous lounge singer.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Walter Brennan, Dolores Moran

Votes: 26,948

21. Ordinary People (1980)

R | 124 min | Drama

87 Metascore

The accidental death of the older son of an affluent family deeply strains the relationships among the bitter mother, the good-natured father, and the guilt-ridden younger son.

Director: Robert Redford | Stars: Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Judd Hirsch, Timothy Hutton

Votes: 40,640 | Gross: $54.80M

22. American History X (1998)

R | 119 min | Crime, Drama

62 Metascore

A former neo-nazi skinhead tries to prevent his younger brother from going down the same wrong path that he did.

Director: Tony Kaye | Stars: Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly D'Angelo, Jennifer Lien

Votes: 915,095 | Gross: $6.72M

23. 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: 324,465 | Gross: $435.11M

24. Hercules (1997)

G | 93 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

74 Metascore

The son of the Greek Gods Zeus and Hera is stripped of his immortality as an infant and must become a true hero in order to reclaim it.

Directors: Ron Clements, John Musker | Stars: Tate Donovan, Susan Egan, James Woods, Josh Keaton

Votes: 173,188 | Gross: $99.05M

25. The Devil's Advocate (1997)

R | 144 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

60 Metascore

An exceptionally adept Florida lawyer is offered a job at a high-end New York City law firm with a high-end boss - the biggest opportunity of his career to date.

Director: Taylor Hackford | Stars: Keanu Reeves, Al Pacino, Charlize Theron, Jeffrey Jones

Votes: 292,917 | Gross: $60.98M

26. The Exorcist (1973)

R | 122 min | Horror

82 Metascore

When a teenage girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.

Director: William Friedkin | Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair, Lee J. Cobb

Votes: 319,906 | Gross: $232.91M

27. Alice in Wonderland (1951)

G | 75 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

Alice stumbles into the world of Wonderland. Will she get home? Not if the Queen of Hearts has her way.

Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske | Stars: Kathryn Beaumont, Ed Wynn, Richard Haydn, Sterling Holloway

Votes: 111,469

28. The Big Sleep (1946)

Not Rated | 114 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by a rich family. Before the complex case is over, he's seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Ridgely, Martha Vickers

Votes: 71,750

29. Vertigo (1958)

PG | 128 min | Mystery, Romance, Thriller

100 Metascore

A former police detective juggles wrestling with his personal demons and becoming obsessed with a hauntingly beautiful woman.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes, Tom Helmore

Votes: 305,580 | Gross: $3.20M

30. Dead Poets Society (1989)

PG | 128 min | Comedy, Drama

79 Metascore

English teacher John Keating inspires his students to look at poetry with a different perspective of authentic knowledge and feelings.

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke, Josh Charles

Votes: 347,069 | Gross: $95.86M

31. Life Is Beautiful (1997)

PG-13 | 116 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

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: 523,598 | Gross: $57.60M

32. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Not Rated | 89 min | Animation, Drama, War

A young boy and his little sister struggle to survive in Japan during World War II.

Director: Isao Takahata | Stars: Tsutomu Tatsumi, Ayano Shiraishi, Akemi Yamaguchi, Yoshiko Shinohara

Votes: 183,828

33. 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: 527,047 | Gross: $10.06M

34. Léon: The Professional (1994)

R | 110 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

64 Metascore

Mathilda, a 12-year-old girl, is reluctantly taken in by Léon, a professional assassin, after her family is murdered. Léon and Mathilda form an unusual relationship, as she becomes his protégée and learns the assassin's trade.

Director: Luc Besson | Stars: Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman, Danny Aiello

Votes: 879,112 | Gross: $19.50M

35. Whiplash (2014)

R | 106 min | Drama, Music

88 Metascore

A promising young drummer enrolls at a cut-throat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are mentored by an instructor who will stop at nothing to realize a student's potential.

Director: Damien Chazelle | Stars: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist, Paul Reiser

Votes: 574,119 | Gross: $13.09M

36. Metropolis (1927)

Not Rated | 153 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

98 Metascore

In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Gustav Fröhlich, Rudolf Klein-Rogge

Votes: 136,754 | Gross: $0.03M

37. Amores Perros (2000)

R | 154 min | Drama, Thriller

83 Metascore

A horrific car accident connects three stories, each involving characters dealing with loss, regret, and life's harsh realities, all in the name of love.

Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu | Stars: Emilio Echevarría, Gael García Bernal, Goya Toledo, Álvaro Guerrero

Votes: 201,344 | Gross: $5.38M

38. Dracula (1992)

R | 128 min | Horror

57 Metascore

The centuries old vampire Count Dracula comes to England to seduce his barrister Jonathan Harker's fiancée Mina Murray and inflict havoc in the foreign land.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves

Votes: 166,413 | Gross: $82.52M

39. Lost Highway (1997)

R | 134 min | Mystery, Thriller

52 Metascore

After a bizarre encounter at a party, a jazz saxophonist is framed for the murder of his wife and sent to prison, where he inexplicably morphs into a young mechanic and begins leading a new life.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette, John Roselius, Louis Eppolito

Votes: 114,222 | Gross: $3.80M

40. Howl's Moving Castle (2004)

PG | 119 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

80 Metascore

When an unconfident young woman is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent yet insecure young wizard and his companions in his legged, walking castle.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki | Stars: Chieko Baishô, Takuya Kimura, Tatsuya Gashûin, Akihiro Miwa

Votes: 268,726 | Gross: $4.71M

41. City Lights (1931)

G | 87 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

With the aid of a wealthy erratic tippler, a dewy-eyed tramp who has fallen in love with a sightless flower girl accumulates money to be able to help her medically.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Virginia Cherrill, Florence Lee, Harry Myers

Votes: 138,441 | Gross: $0.02M

42. 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: 340,028 | Gross: $22.20M

43. Relatos salvajes (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: 140,854 | Gross: $3.11M

44. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

PG | 76 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

82 Metascore

Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but his attempts to bring Christmas to his home causes confusion.

Director: Henry Selick | Stars: Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara, William Hickey

Votes: 257,706 | Gross: $75.08M

45. The Truman Show (1998)

PG | 103 min | Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi

90 Metascore

An insurance salesman/adjuster discovers his entire life is actually a television show.

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Jim Carrey, Ed Harris, Laura Linney, Noah Emmerich

Votes: 801,531 | Gross: $125.62M

46. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

R | 108 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi

89 Metascore

When their relationship turns sour, a couple undergoes a medical procedure to have each other erased from their memories.

Director: Michel Gondry | Stars: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Tom Wilkinson, Gerry Robert Byrne

Votes: 791,620 | Gross: $34.40M

47. Almost Famous (2000)

R | 122 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

90 Metascore

A high-school boy is given the chance to write a story for Rolling Stone Magazine about an up-and-coming rock band as he accompanies them on their concert tour.

Director: Cameron Crowe | Stars: Billy Crudup, Patrick Fugit, Kate Hudson, Frances McDormand

Votes: 229,528 | Gross: $32.53M

48. Citizen Kane (1941)

PG | 119 min | Drama, Mystery

100 Metascore

Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance.

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

Votes: 350,582 | Gross: $1.59M

49. Wild Strawberries (1957)

Not Rated | 91 min | Drama, Romance

After living a life marked by coldness, an aging professor is forced to confront the emptiness of his existence.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Victor Sjöström, Bibi Andersson, Ingrid Thulin, Gunnar Björnstrand

Votes: 79,837