These movies have such a strong grip on our psyche they keep popping up on movie lists of reviewers everywhere. Prepare to nod.
Whether to interpret their meaning or to contemplate on aspects of their cinematography we can’t help but keep coming back to these films. Links of total 76 movie lists we picked from just one movie website, Taste of Cinema, are included. And keep in mind that ten is just a nice round number.
Denis Villeneuve’s film has become a favorite head-scratcher among interpreters. Is it an allegory for dictatorships and totalitarian society? It ranked among the best doppelganger films and, even though it is based on Jose Saramago’s novel, it has been also seen as one of the best movies influenced by Dostoyevsky. A movie reviewer ranked it among 15 complex movies from this century that were too smart for mainstream audiences. Another saw it as one of 10 best Kubrickian films not by Stanley Kubrick. Enemy certainly belongs on the list of Jake Gyllenhaal best movies so far. Evidently, this movie keeps stirring emotions and minds and a it is a good guess that it will continue to do so. One of cinema’s most stunning finales just adds to the contemplative flare.
Another movie where the ending entices deciphering. Alejandro Iñárritu’s best picture Oscar winner ranks high on a list of the 15 best movies about the creative process. It found its place as one of the 10 best movies about mid-life crisis. People also talk about its long-take shooting technique and place it on a list of the longest unbroken shots in cinema history. A reviewer ranked it among the 30 best movies about theater. It can be seen as one of 10 worthy surreal comedy films or as one of 15 most philosophical comedy movies of all time, just as easily. How about this: with its full name, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), the film found itself on a list of 10 movies with overly long titles that are worth your time. Also, how well did it rank with that original score? There are so many ways to look at this unique take on our need to matter. Not to forget, it is also listed among 10 best Michael Keaton movie performances, the 10 best Edward Norton movie performances, and the 10 best Naomi Watts movies you need to watch.
Under the Skin
To say the least, Under the Skin is among 10 great minimalist films that are worth your time. It also ranks as one of the 10 most unconventional horror movies of all time. Reviewers that took the sci-fi horror path delved into specifics and listed Jonathan Glazer’s film among the 20 best body horror films in cinema history, or as one of 12 weirdest movies about alien visitations. Visually provocative as it is, Under the Skin shocks in silence. No wonder it can be found on this list of the 25 best movies about voyeurism and high on this list of 20 great movies with very little dialog. A reviewer described it as abstract and sensorial and placed it among 15 great movies that are emotionally demanding.
“Now, where was I?” Consequences precede causes in this innovative narrative that earned Christopher Nolan’s Memento a cult status. Makers of movie lists can‘t get enough of this film. It ranks as one of the best movies with a nonlinear story line, among the best movies that use reverse chronology as well as one of the 20 best movies about alternate reality. You will find its opening scene among 20 greatest in film history and its closing line among the 30 greatest in cinema history. It ranks on this list of 10 great philosophical movies that question free will as well. Also check it out on this list of 15 best movies about neuropsychology as well as one of 10 best movies about human mind and memory.
At moments it really looks as if we need to burden our favorite films with more meaning than they actually have. And it seems that these movies can take it. Perhaps this is what makes them so great – they offer powerful and, yet, a kind of open-ended symbolism that can absorb our own worldviews. So, it is no surprise Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner is among these 10 famous movies with mind-blowing hidden meanings. Or in the company of Solaris, Stalker and 2001: A Space Odyssey in the collection of 10 most philosophical sci-fi movies of all time. An atmospheric masterpiece of what will later be called neo-noir science-fiction, it tops this ranking of 20 great dystopian films that are worth your time. And who did not envision those C-beams replicant Roy Batty was talking about? Called the most moving death soliloquy in cinematic history, it made this ranking of best movie scenes of the 1980’s. Further on, Blade Runner is probably the most famous of films that collided the artistic with the corporate. That is why it is on this list of 15 great films that were butchered in their original release and then on this list of 15 director’s cuts of famous movies way better than the theatrical versions. The list of lists Blade Runner is on simply goes on.
It’s always an important accomplishment when surrealism makes it to Hollywood, even if it is done with a little help from the lipstick lesbian trope. With layers of meaning and a deeply perplexing story this film already has lists dedicated solely to it. Check out 8 reasons why Mulholland Drive is a masterpiece of American cinema. Never clearly drawing the line between dream and reality (and parallel reality?) it is a must-have on this list of the 20 best movies about character’s delusion. It is number one on this list of 10 enigmatic movies that benefit from repeated viewings. And second on this list of 20 weirdest movies of the 21st century. It is among these 20 best movies with a nonlinear storyline. A reviewer took notion of David Lynch’s use of classical Hollywood imagery and named it one of 10 best movies inspired by the Hollywood Golden Age. We could go just go on with this. As a multitude of film reviewers and list creators will.
There Will Be Blood
Movie reviewers call Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood a modern classic of American cinema. Here you can explore 10 reasons why. It is a powerful cinematic experience that rightfully belongs among 20 movies with the best cinematic composition and tops this list of 10 most visually stunning movies shot by Robert Elswit. Who would imagine that a punch-line that goes “I drink your milkshake” will be part of the most triumphant anti-hero monologue and among the best in a movie ever. A reviewer placed There Will Be Blood among 12 movies that can teach you everything you need to know about character contradiction. Another reviewer ranked it on this movie list of 25 best revisionist westerns of all time. Of course, it is one of 12 best Daniel Day-Lewis movies you need to watch as well as one of 10 best Paul Dano films.
Another favorite of many film lovers and reviewers, Donnie Darko has been ranked among the 10 best movies that question man’s importance in the universe, on this list of 15 insane movie head-trips you won’t regret taking, among 30 most confusing movies in cinema history as well as on a list of 30 great movies that make you rethink reality. This genre-defying film represents so much for so many! You can find it on this list of 20 great magical realism movies and on this one it is one of 25 best movies about high school. It has also been ranked among 10 movies based on the butterfly effect theory as well as among the 15 best suburban gothic films. And you can not have a large bunny rabbit in a film and not rank it number one on a list of 10 David Lynch-like movies not by David Lynch.
If you would like to be introduced to avant-garde cinema Eraserhead is among 20 esential films to offer exactly that. It is a film David Lynch dedicated 5 years of his life to and the result is a surreal masterpiece that rightfully tops this list of 10 great surreal independent horror films. Made with just $20 thousand Lynch gathered from relatives and friends and then turned into $7 million, Eraserhead is one of the best 15 low-budget movies with unexpected box office success. You can find this crafted nightmare among 15 great dreamlike movies and as one of 15 great horror movies that tap into existential fears. Is Eraserhead about the absurd? This reviewer thinks so and has ranked it on a list of 15 best movies influenced by the philosophy of Albert Camus. There are many ways this brilliant film can be interpreted which is probably why it is one of the 10 best movies made by artists.
2001: A Space Odyssey
Nothing was the same in the cinematic world after Stanley Kubrick’s Odyssey. It elevated and then transcended the sci-fi genre into the realm of the metaphysical. Not it is only frequently ranked on best movies lists, lists are spawned solely from the watching experience of this film. It is maybe the most epic of films leaving plenty of room for interpretation and pondering. Here are 5 different ways you can do that. Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke made a masterpiece that has been and remains a major influence among filmmakers and here are 14 sci-fi movies to prove it. This reviewer sees 2001: A Space Odyssey as the number one of 15 great movies that the critics got wrong. Here it is on a list of 15 thought-provoking sci-fi films. It is also not a hard guess who (or what) dominates this list of 20 greatest non-human movie characters of all time.
Maelzel’s Chess Player
– a fraudulent automaton from the 19th century that watches movies to fill the void.