20) No Country for Old Men (2007)
This has brilliant acting, a terrifying villain, and it has unbelievable levels of suspense which I haven't had in any other film I can think of. Also, its ending is brilliant, and it changes how you view the film entirely. The best Coen film to date.
19) Moon (2009)
This seems like a simple sci-fi movie at first, but several plot points show that something far more sinister is happening. Also, this movie has the tendency to surprise you with its multiple reveals. This is definitely a film which flew under the radar.
18) Sunshine (2007)
I like every bit of it. I love the action scenes, the music, and the characters. Every death scene is handled with care. I don't know why, but I am very addicted to this movie. There was once a time when I watched this every day for 2 weeks. It also has an amazing soundtrack with some fantastic songs. I sometimes have a hard time explaining why I love it so much.
17) Russian Ark (2002)
This movie may be boring to some (which is understandable) but I was enthralled throughout the whole movie. I love history and art so this movie immersed me from beginning to end. It has a great, poignant ending and its ambition makes it an impressive feat. It's one of the most impressive movies I can think of. It's a very unique and enjoyable film.
16) 12 Angry Men (1957)
One of the most engaging and tense movies I've seen in a long time. It is very tense seeing the jurors constantly go back and forth at each other with hostility, increasingly growing more and more bitter. Also, one of the jurors acts like a sadist and his character gives the movie more tension. I haven't been this engaged in a film in a long time.
15) Twelve Monkeys (1995)
This is never too overly-complicated, but complicated enough for you to enjoy it much more on future viewings once you know how it ends. It also contains great production design and great acting from Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, and especially Brad Pitt who stole the show. In my opinion, it is one of the best films of the 90's. Also, I did not see the ending coming at all.
14) Johnny Got His Gun (1971)
This was an amazing movie which was terrifying and engaging. It worked very well at terrifying me with the hopelessness of its plot, and the flashbacks and hallucinations in it were all very good and creative. Its ending is really exceptional as well, and it is a perfect way to end the film. One of the darkest endings ever to any film I watched before. No scene went on for too little or too long. It's one of the best anti-war films ever made.
13) Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
This masterpiece hits numerous layers of comedy that can sometimes be pretty deep. Its comedy evokes Kubrick's talent of making simple, yet grand stories. The acting is really good as well, especially coming from Sellers who played 3 roles exceptionally and stole the show. Many other actors did great jobs in this film as well. Finally, the ending is really memorable. The film keeps getting better as it goes on. One of the best comedies of all time.
12) Pi (1998)
I really liked weird films. They aren't for everyone as some people like to relax when they watch films. However, I love these kinds of films. I love the sprightly feelings that they evoke from the viewer. The conflicts the character faces is great, the effects are great, and its ambiguous ending is a nice and satisfying way to end the film. It always impresses me just as much, if not, more on future viewings. It also looked very good, despite its low budget.
11) Saving Private Ryan (1998)
This has many unforgettable scenes like the beginning which is now very iconic. Many more of its fighting scenes also have great buildup and execution. Steven Spielberg did a great job making the environment look as realistic as possible. Speaking of realism, it also shows a very realistic depiction of war. It also has a great cast of characters who gave great performances on all parts. Plus, this film has a superb and powerful ending.
10) The Thing (1982)
This movie has grotesque practical effects which are disturbing and well-done. They still looks gross today despite being over 30 years old. It also has many memorable scenes like the defibrilator one which is now iconic. It also keeps you pointing fingers at who you think may be infected. Every time a character is revealed to be infected, it's a surprising twist. Also, the setting is very claustrophobic. It is a fantastic work of horror.
9) In a Lonely Place (1950)
My lack of insight on this film helped me to enjoy it more. It was unclear whether Dixon was guilty or not. Based on his fights, it seemed highly likely that he was guilty. However, there's still the thought that they were put in the film to throw the viewer off. Its ending can be viewed many ways. One could see it as heartbreaking and one could see it as a relief. It had some great suspenseful scenes which were reminiscent of Hitchcock.
8) Man With a Movie Camera (1929)
This documentary is most famous for pioneering many camera techniques. It impressed me with each one of them, and its editing was equally as impressive as well. Also, the great and fitting orchestra soundtrack was well-done, and it engaged me more with the movie. I also really enjoyed its ending sequence as it was very engaging. Its ending is a strong contender for my favorite movie ending of all time. It's a great movie to relax to.
7) The Tree of Life (2011)
I'm glad that this film is slowly starting to gain the popularity it deserves in "Best Films Ever" lists. It's always great to see a clever work of ambiguity. It leaves you thinking about it long afterwards. Also, there are some scenes which are so complex that they can puzzle you for years. Also, its visuals are amazing. It is a pretty strong contender for "Best Cinematography Ever". This is a great film which must be experienced by everyone.
6) The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
This is an unforgettable and thrilling emotional ride. It has outstanding performances on all ends. The movie contains great characters and it developed them expertly. There are actually a ton of plot points in this movie and it has a very huge plot in terms of how much happens in it. I could see this being turned into a TV show someday. Its #1 ranking on IMDb's top 250 is completely well deserved and justified in every way. In conclusion, it is the best story driven movie I've ever seen.
5) Come and See (1985)
In my opinion, this is the most horrifying non-horror movie ever made. It can also get incredibly powerful because of some of its scenes. Examples of its most effective scenes include the church burning scene and its ending. It contains several techniques for providing horror and all of them lingered with me long after viewing it. I don't think that many films besides a few exploitation films are as horrifying as this one is. To be blunt: This is the greatest and the most effective anti-war film ever made.
4) One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
Topped by fantastic performances from Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher, this is a perfect movie which is both uplifting and disheartening. The onscreen battles by McMurphy and Nurse Ratched are unforgettable and iconic. I liked how McMurphy felt powerless to her. The movie also has many well-developed characters that I cared for. Finally, the movie's ending is both very heartbreaking and powerful. Its ending is a personal favorite of mine. I have not been able to sit though the ending once without getting chills.
3) Stalker (1979)
I like to think of Tarkovsky as the Russian Kubrick. Like Kubrick, he would often tell simple, yet grand stories. This movie is a story of immense consequences. While the film mainly focused on the meaning of life and both knowing and feeling too much, it was quite obvious at times that some of the dialogue in the movie were thoughts of Tarkovsky himself. At some points in the movie, it would talk about the 'unselfishness' of art and the shallowness of technology which claimed it to be no more than an 'artificial limb'.
2) Eraserhead (1977)
This is, by far, the weirdest movie I've ever seen. Besides just being weird, however, it contains some nice ambiguity that makes for some interesting interpretations. Every time I watch it, I feel like I pick up on another detail which could possibly mean something else, and I also think of other interpretations to set pieces which I didn't think of before. It provides something new each time I watch it. Also, the effects are very disturbing and well-done. It's an outstanding debut film. So far, it's my favorite Lynch film.
1) 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
If you dislike slow-paced movies then this isn't for you. However, if you don't mind them, this is a must-see. I was enthralled throughout the whole experience. The movie offers some great ambiguity which makes the movie even more amazing and re-watchable. There were many memorable scenes which blew me away. The music perfectly fits the movie. Also, in my opinion, it has the most beautiful cinematography out of all the movies I've seen. Everyone should watch this at least once. Sure, some scenes were drawn out, but it didn't bother me at all and I was entertained throughout the entire movie. Since the visuals were so good, I didn't mind the longer scenes.
If your favorite movie isn't on here then tell me its title in the comments and I'll make sure to watch it. As I watch other movies, this list will be updated.