A DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO CINEMA

by jordy_evz | created - 11 Oct 2015 | updated - 2 weeks ago | Public

A list of every film I have watched that is worth checking out (in my opinion), ranging from b grade gems, art house, documentaries and animation. Not every film is an Academy Award Winner, but still enjoyable in some way.

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1. Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

R | 118 min | Drama, Fantasy, War

98 Metascore

In the Falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world.

Director: Guillermo del Toro | Stars: Ivana Baquero, Ariadna Gil, Sergi López, Maribel Verdú

Votes: 570,885 | Gross: $37.63M

2. L.A. Confidential (1997)

R | 138 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

90 Metascore

As corruption grows in 1950s Los Angeles, three policemen -- one strait-laced, one brutal, and one sleazy -- investigate a series of murders with their own brand of justice.

Director: Curtis Hanson | Stars: Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kim Basinger

Votes: 492,184 | Gross: $64.62M

3. A History of Violence (2005)

R | 96 min | Drama, Thriller

81 Metascore

A mild-mannered man becomes a local hero through an act of violence, which sets off repercussions that will shake his family to its very core.

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bello, Ed Harris, William Hurt

Votes: 210,547 | Gross: $31.49M

4. 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: 217,634 | Gross: $50.00M

5. The Last Seduction (1994)

R | 110 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

85 Metascore

A devious sexpot steals her husband's drug money and hides out in a small town where she meets the perfect dupe for her next scheme.

Director: John Dahl | Stars: Linda Fiorentino, Peter Berg, Bill Pullman, Michael Raysses

Votes: 18,954 | Gross: $6.14M

6. Boys Don't Cry (1999)

R | 118 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

86 Metascore

Female-born Teena Brandon adopts his male identity of Brandon Teena and attempts to find himself and love in Nebraska.

Director: Kimberly Peirce | Stars: Hilary Swank, Chloë Sevigny, Peter Sarsgaard, Brendan Sexton III

Votes: 86,981 | Gross: $11.53M

7. Marathon Man (1976)

R | 125 min | Crime, Thriller

64 Metascore

A graduate history student is unwittingly caught in the middle of an international conspiracy involving stolen diamonds, an exiled Nazi war criminal, and a rogue government agent.

Director: John Schlesinger | Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Laurence Olivier, Roy Scheider, William Devane

Votes: 52,424 | Gross: $21.71M

8. Before Sunrise (1995)

R | 101 min | Drama, Romance

77 Metascore

A young man and woman meet on a train in Europe, and wind up spending one evening together in Vienna. Unfortunately, both know that this will probably be their only night together.

Director: Richard Linklater | Stars: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Andrea Eckert, Hanno Pöschl

Votes: 237,402 | Gross: $5.54M

9. School Ties (1992)

PG-13 | 106 min | Drama

65 Metascore

Set in the 1950s, a star-quarterback is given an opportunity to attend an elite preparatory school but must conceal the fact that he is Jewish.

Director: Robert Mandel | Stars: Brendan Fraser, Matt Damon, Chris O'Donnell, Randall Batinkoff

Votes: 20,533 | Gross: $14.72M

10. Swimming with Sharks (1994)

R | 93 min | Comedy, Crime

66 Metascore

A young, naive Hollywood studio assistant finally turns the tables on his incredibly abusive producer boss.

Director: George Huang | Stars: Kevin Spacey, Frank Whaley, Michelle Forbes, Benicio Del Toro

Votes: 20,926 | Gross: $0.38M

11. Auto Focus (2002)

R | 105 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

66 Metascore

The life of TV star Bob Crane and his strange friendship with electronics expert John Henry Carpenter.

Director: Paul Schrader | Stars: Greg Kinnear, Willem Dafoe, Maria Bello, Rita Wilson

Votes: 12,421 | Gross: $2.06M

12. Red Rock West (1993)

R | 98 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

79 Metascore

Upon arriving to a small town, a drifter is mistaken for a hitman, but when the real hitman arrives, complications ensue.

Director: John Dahl | Stars: Nicolas Cage, Dennis Hopper, Lara Flynn Boyle, Craig Reay

Votes: 18,406 | Gross: $2.50M

13. Sexy Beast (2000)

R | 89 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

79 Metascore

Brutal gangster Don Logan recruits "retired" safecracker Gal for one last job, but it goes badly for both of them.

Director: Jonathan Glazer | Stars: Ray Winstone, Ben Kingsley, Ian McShane, Amanda Redman

Votes: 50,068 | Gross: $6.95M

14. I Saw the Devil (2010)

Not Rated | 142 min | Action, Crime, Drama

67 Metascore

A secret agent exacts revenge on a serial killer through a series of captures and releases.

Director: Jee-woon Kim | Stars: Byung-Hun Lee, Min-sik Choi, Joon-Hyuk Lee, In-seo Kim

Votes: 93,632 | Gross: $0.13M

15. La Haine (1995)

Not Rated | 98 min | Crime, Drama

24 hours in the lives of three young men in the French suburbs the day after a violent riot.

Director: Mathieu Kassovitz | Stars: Vincent Cassel, Hubert Koundé, Saïd Taghmaoui, Abdel Ahmed Ghili

Votes: 131,626 | Gross: $0.31M

16. State of Grace (1990)

R | 134 min | Action, Crime, Drama

60 Metascore

A New York cop is recruited to return to his hometown and infiltrate the mob ran by his best friend's brother.

Directors: Phil Joanou, Michael Lee Baron | Stars: Sean Penn, Ed Harris, Gary Oldman, Robin Wright

Votes: 19,326 | Gross: $1.91M

17. Mystic River (2003)

R | 138 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

84 Metascore

The lives of three men who were childhood friends are shattered when one of them has a family tragedy.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Emmy Rossum

Votes: 387,911 | Gross: $90.14M

18. Big Bad Wolves (2013)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

64 Metascore

A series of brutal murders puts the lives of three men on a collision course: The father of the latest victim now out for revenge, a vigilante police detective operating outside the ... See full summary »

Directors: Aharon Keshales, Navot Papushado | Stars: Lior Ashkenazi, Rotem Keinan, Tzahi Grad, Doval'e Glickman

Votes: 14,224 | Gross: $0.03M

19. 25th Hour (2002)

R | 135 min | Drama

67 Metascore

Cornered by the DEA, convicted New York drug dealer Montgomery Brogan reevaluates his life in the 24 remaining hours before facing a seven-year jail term.

Director: Spike Lee | Stars: Edward Norton, Barry Pepper, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rosario Dawson

Votes: 162,607 | Gross: $13.06M

20. Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky (1991)

R | 91 min | Action, Comedy, Thriller

A young man with superhuman strength is incarcerated at a prison run by corrupt officials and seeks to use his martial arts to clean up the system.

Director: Ngai Choi Lam | Stars: Siu-Wong Fan, Mei Sheng Fan, Ka-Kui Ho, Yukari Ôshima

Votes: 11,495

21. Donnie Brasco (1997)

R | 127 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

76 Metascore

An FBI undercover agent infiltrates the mob and finds himself identifying more with the mafia life, at the expense of his regular one.

Director: Mike Newell | Stars: Al Pacino, Johnny Depp, Michael Madsen, Bruno Kirby

Votes: 254,860 | Gross: $41.91M

22. Happiness (1998)

Unrated | 134 min | Comedy, Drama

81 Metascore

The lives of several individuals intertwine as they go about their lives in their own unique ways, engaging in acts society as a whole might find disturbing in a desperate search for human connection.

Director: Todd Solondz | Stars: Jane Adams, Jon Lovitz, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Dylan Baker

Votes: 62,507 | Gross: $2.81M

23. Sling Blade (1996)

R | 135 min | Drama

84 Metascore

Karl Childers, a simple man hospitalized since his childhood murder of his mother and her lover, is released to start a new life in a small town.

Director: Billy Bob Thornton | Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Dwight Yoakam, J.T. Walsh, John Ritter

Votes: 81,437 | Gross: $24.48M

24. Deep Red (1975)

R | 127 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

89 Metascore

A jazz pianist and a wisecracking journalist are pulled into a complex web of mystery after the former witnesses the brutal murder of a psychic.

Director: Dario Argento | Stars: David Hemmings, Daria Nicolodi, Gabriele Lavia, Macha Méril

Votes: 27,408

25. Scum (1979)

R | 98 min | Crime, Drama

An uncompromising story of life in a British juvenile offender institution in the 70's.

Director: Alan Clarke | Stars: Ray Winstone, Mick Ford, Julian Firth, John Blundell

Votes: 8,974

26. Natural Born Killers (1994)

R | 118 min | Crime, Drama

74 Metascore

Two victims of traumatized childhoods become lovers and psychopathic serial murderers irresponsibly glorified by the mass media.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore, Rodney Dangerfield

Votes: 199,650 | Gross: $50.28M

27. Magnolia (1999)

R | 188 min | Drama

77 Metascore

An epic mosaic of interrelated characters in search of love, forgiveness, and meaning in the San Fernando Valley.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson | Stars: Tom Cruise, Jason Robards, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman

Votes: 269,571 | Gross: $22.46M

28. Burn After Reading (2008)

R | 96 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

63 Metascore

A disk containing mysterious information from a CIA agent ends up in the hands of two unscrupulous and daft gym employees who attempt to sell it.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen | Stars: Brad Pitt, Frances McDormand, George Clooney, John Malkovich

Votes: 287,100 | Gross: $60.36M

29. What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)

PG-13 | 118 min | Drama

73 Metascore

After his father's death, Gilbert has to care for his mentally-disabled brother, Arnie, and his morbidly obese mother. This situation is suddenly challenged though, when love unexpectedly walks into his life.

Director: Lasse Hallström | Stars: Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Juliette Lewis, Mary Steenburgen

Votes: 196,962 | Gross: $9.17M

30. Heavenly Creatures (1994)

R | 99 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

Two teenage girls share a unique bond; their parents, concerned that the friendship is too intense, separate them, and the girls take revenge.

Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Melanie Lynskey, Kate Winslet, Sarah Peirse, Diana Kent

Votes: 55,936 | Gross: $3.05M

31. Bound (1996)

R | 109 min | Crime, Romance, Thriller

61 Metascore

Corky, a tough female ex con and her lover Violet concoct a scheme to steal millions of stashed mob money and pin the blame on Violet's crooked boyfriend Caesar.

Directors: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski | Stars: Jennifer Tilly, Gina Gershon, Joe Pantoliano, John P. Ryan

Votes: 46,984 | Gross: $3.80M

32. Tape (2001)

R | 86 min | Drama

71 Metascore

Three old high school friends meet in a Michigan motel room to dissect painful memories from their past.

Director: Richard Linklater | Stars: Ethan Hawke, Robert Sean Leonard, Uma Thurman

Votes: 17,641 | Gross: $0.49M

33. King of New York (1990)

R | 103 min | Crime, Thriller

A drug kingpin is released from prison and seeks to take total control of the criminal underworld in order to give back to the community.

Director: Abel Ferrara | Stars: Christopher Walken, David Caruso, Laurence Fishburne, Victor Argo

Votes: 27,618 | Gross: $2.55M

34. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

R | 118 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

85 Metascore

A young F.B.I. cadet (Jodie Foster) must receive the help of an incarcerated and manipulative cannibal killer (Sir Anthony Hopkins) to help catch another serial killer (Ted Levine), a madman who skins his victims.

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

Votes: 1,129,479 | Gross: $130.74M

35. Get Shorty (1995)

R | 105 min | Comedy, Crime, Thriller

82 Metascore

A mobster travels to Hollywood to collect a debt, and discovers that the movie business is much the same as his current job.

Director: Barry Sonnenfeld | Stars: Gene Hackman, Rene Russo, Danny DeVito, John Travolta

Votes: 71,002 | Gross: $72.08M

36. Identity (2003)

R | 90 min | Mystery, Thriller

64 Metascore

Stranded at a desolate Nevada motel during a nasty rain-storm, ten strangers become acquainted with each other when they realize that they're being killed off one by one.

Director: James Mangold | Stars: John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, John Hawkes

Votes: 209,015 | Gross: $52.16M

37. Jacob's Ladder (I) (1990)

R | 113 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

62 Metascore

Mourning his dead child, a haunted Vietnam War veteran attempts to uncover his past while suffering from a severe case of dissociation. To do so, he must decipher reality and life from his own dreams, delusions, and perceptions of death.

Director: Adrian Lyne | Stars: Tim Robbins, Elizabeth Peña, Danny Aiello, Matt Craven

Votes: 90,156 | Gross: $26.12M

38. Crash (I) (2004)

R | 112 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

69 Metascore

Los Angeles citizens with vastly separate lives collide in interweaving stories of race, loss and redemption.

Director: Paul Haggis | Stars: Don Cheadle, Sandra Bullock, Thandie Newton, Karina Arroyave

Votes: 400,226 | Gross: $54.58M

39. Spun (2002)

R | 101 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

41 Metascore

A drug dealer introduces one of his customers, a 'speed freak', to the man who runs the meth lab. A crazy three-day adventure ensues.

Director: Jonas Åkerlund | Stars: Jason Schwartzman, John Leguizamo, Patrick Fugit, Brittany Murphy

Votes: 35,226 | Gross: $0.41M

40. Road to Perdition (2002)

R | 117 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller