Cinema has been one of the greatest artistic mediums of our time, with a long history of amazing films that have left an indelible impression. From cult classics to iconic masterpieces, there are many movies that should be seen by everyone. Here is a list of seventeen cinematic masterpieces that everyone should experience.
Citizen Kane (1941)
Directed by Orson Welles, this film is widely considered to be one of the greatest films ever made. It tells the story of Charles Foster Kane, an influential newspaper publisher who rises to power in the early 1900s and faces a tragic decline in his later years.
The Godfather (1972)
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, this epic crime drama follows the Corleone family as they gain power in New York City during the 1940s and 1950s and become embroiled in organized crime activities. It is widely praised for its realism, acting performances, and its sweeping visual style.
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, this iconic horror classic tells the story of Norman Bates and his mother’s dark past as they terrorize unsuspecting guests at their remote motel in rural Oregon. Its unexpected plot twists still shock audiences today and remain an example of perfect filmmaking craftsmanship.
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Directed by David Lean, this sweeping war epic follows British officer T.E Lawrence as he leads Arab forces against Turkish armies during World War One in Jordan and Syria. With stunning visuals and a powerful score, it has become one of the most memorable movies ever made about war and honor on both sides of conflict lines.
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Directed by Frank Darabont, this beloved classic tells the story of two prisoners- Andy Dufresne(Tim Robbins) and Ellis ‘Red’ Redding(Morgan Freeman)- at Shawshank State Penitentiary as they form a friendship despite their differences. Its remarkable ability to evoke empathy from viewers makes it a timeless classic about resilience through adversity.
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, this psychological thriller follows former police detective John “Scottie” Ferguson’s retirement after suffering from vertigo when pursuing a suspect on a rooftop chase. His descent into obsession over Madeleine Elster when attempting to solve her mysterious behavior remains an iconic example of psychological thrillers today.
Rear Window (1954)
Also directed by Alfred Hitchcock, this classic suspense movie stars Jimmy Stewart as L R Jefferies, a photographer who believes he has witnessed murder being committed from his window. He enrolls his girlfriend Lisa Fremont to help prove his suspicions as he finds himself up against heavy odds before eventually uncovering the truth.
Apocalypse Now (1979)
This critically acclaimed war epic set during Vietnam War and directed by Francis Ford Coppola follows US Army special operations captain Benjamin Willard sent on a mission across Cambodia to find rogue CIA agent Colonel Kurtz gone mad while leading his forces heavily armed Montagnards.
Mulholland Drive (2001)
Written & directed by David Lynch, this surrealist neo-noir film follows aspiring actress Betty Elms arriving in Los Angeles with dreams of stardom only to discover her path fraught with mystery & intrigue after meeting amnesiac Rita hides under the couch Betty’s aunt apartment.
Schindler’s List (1993)
Schindler’s List tells the story of businessman Oskar Schindler as he risks his life to save hundreds of Jews from concentration camps during World War II. It is widely considered an emotional and moving masterpiece, with compelling performances and cinematography that brings out the terror and tragedy of the Holocaust.
The Godfather Part II (1974)
The next film on our list is The Godfather Part II. This award-winning sequel follows Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) as he expands the family business into new ventures in Cuba and Nevada. While dealing with crime and power struggles within his own organization, Michael faces a threat from another mafia family who is trying to muscle its way into the Corleone empire.
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The Silence of The Lambs (1991)
Another classic on this list is The Silence of The Lambs. Directed by Jonathan Demme, this psychological crime thriller stars Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling, a rookie FBI agent who is tasked with interviewing one of the most terrifying killers ever known – Hannibal Lecter. With stellar performances from its stars, The Silence of The Lambs remains an iconic movie about manipulation, breaking down boundaries, and facing fear head-on.
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
From Steven Spielberg, we have E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. This beloved science fiction adventure follows a young boy Elliott as he befriends an alien stranded on Earth who has escaped from a government facility in search of a way home. Filled with emotion, friendship, and adventure, this movie embodies what great family films should strive to achieve.
Next up is On The Waterfront. Directed by Elia Kazan and starring Marlon Brando at his best, this classic drama tells the story of Terry Malloy; an ex-boxer working on the docks of New York City who comes across some troubling secrets after crossing paths with Johnny Friendly’s mob boss union control operations. Its powerful message about standing up for justice still resonates today as much as it did back when it was first released.
Killer Of Sheep(1977)
For our next selection, we have Killer Of Sheep. Written & directed by Charles Burnett, this independent film portrays the everyday lives of African American family Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles early 1970s poverty yet endearing moments which capture beauty and resilience in everyday life. It’s become recognized as classic modern cinema.
Continuing with timeless classics, Spartacus completes this list .directed by Stanley Kubrick, this epic historical drama is based true story ancient Roman slave rebellion against the Imperial Army of Rome. Its remarkable cast wide range of famous actors & stunning visuals make a memorable movie experience.
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
Lastly, we have Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Directed by Stanley Kubrick, this political satire follows a group of military officials as they frantically try to discover the truth behind an insane general’s plan to start a nuclear war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. It is a hilarious dark comedy full of remarkable performances and clever writing that still holds up today as one of the best comedies ever made.
These are just a few of many amazing films that everyone should watch in their lifetime. Each of these ten cinematic masterpieces has something special and unique about it, offering viewers a great opportunity to explore all kinds of stories, characters, ideas, and emotions. So get cozy on the couch, grab some popcorn and enjoy!