Movies that perform well with audiences and online critics satisfy the majority of viewers and carve out a place for themselves.
These films generally have a few basic characteristics in common: a strong and cohesive storyline; richly drawn and well-acted characters; good cinematography and (if applicable) special effects; and a satisfying ending.
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These films cross the history of cinema from 1924 to the present day. Many feature famous performers from the past and present, and some of the most acclaimed directors in the film world have worked tirelessly to produce these classics and they have become iconic productions.
All of these films are worth rediscovering just to see the brilliance of perception exercised by every member of the unit involved in the production of these extraordinary films. Seeing them again is indeed a pleasure.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
The Milos Forman-directed drama about a criminal who encourages rebellion against
an oppressive nurse in a psychiatric hospital did exceptionally well at the 1976 Academy
Awards, winning Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor and Best Actress.
Seventeen years later, the film has been deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the United States Library of Congress and added to the National Film Registry.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
Sergio Leone’s 161-minute epic “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” is perhaps the most iconic Western of all time.
Filled with long shots and memorable close-ups, the film’s story is told more with pictures than words – a decision made in part because of how easy it is to shoot a movie with little sound.
The Dark Knight (2008)
“Dark, complex and unforgettable” was the cumulative verdict from critics and this sequel to “Batman Begins” pits Batman against his nemesis, the Joker, played here by the late Heath Ledger, whose performance won him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
It’s been mentioned that it’s probably the smartest, most stylish action movie since “Matrix,” and that comment still stands.
“Here I’m looking at you, kid,” is one of Hollywood’s most famous lines. Its source – the war melodrama “Casablanca” – is equally iconic.
The film set a standard of romance and atmosphere that everything released after strove to match.
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
“The Shawshank Redemption” tells the story of banker Andy Dufresne who is sentenced to two life sentences for murder in the oppressive Shawshank State Penitentiary.
The film was nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture, in 1995, but ironically failed to win a bad reflection on the Academy itself. However, it is a crowd favorite and currently has an outstanding 9.3 out of 10 rating with over 2.2 million user votes.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
‘Pulp Fiction’, Quentin Tarantino’s sequel to ‘Reservoir Dogs’, is among the most definitive films of the 1990s. A wildly inventive mix of crime, film noir and comedy, the film won the Palme d’Or at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival.
Its reputation has held up well over the past 25 years, with 96% of viewers giving the film a positive rating.
The Godfather (1972)
Francis Ford Coppola’s gangster epic “The Godfather” breathed new life into the American film industry when it was released in 1972.
The film won Best Picture at the Oscars and continues to entertain moviegoers to this day. The film currently has 98% positive ratings from critics and audiences. Critics Consensus on the site describes the film as one of Hollywood’s biggest critical and commercial successes and credits it with setting new benchmarks for American cinema.