Must See Movies
January 5, 2009 8:47 AM   Subscribe

What were the movies that made you go WOW?

I recently got a DVD player (yes, I finally joined the 21st century) and it's time to catch up on what I've been missing. Please help me find classic films, cerebral plot-twisters, mystery and science fiction, light-hearted romance and comedy... basically anything that when you walked out of the theater or saw them on TV, you said to yourself, "WOW!, I want to see that again!"
posted by netbros to Media & Arts (98 answers total) 88 users marked this as a favorite
There is only one answer to your query, and it is 2001.
posted by thejoshu at 8:49 AM on January 5, 2009

Star Wars/Empire Strikes Back/Return of the Jedi

Blade Runner

The Usual Suspects


Beverly Hills Cop


Iron Man
posted by arniec at 8:49 AM on January 5, 2009

Across the Universe.
posted by gursky at 8:51 AM on January 5, 2009

Life is Beautiful, I can't recommend it enough.
posted by Grither at 8:51 AM on January 5, 2009

Off the top of my head…

Solaris (Original)
Straw Dogs
Salò (visceral and creepy)
The Vanishing
The Boys in the Band
Le Cercle Rouge
Elevator to the Gallows
Through a Glass, Darkly
posted by vkxmai at 8:53 AM on January 5, 2009

No Way Out, with Kevin Costner.
posted by quinoa at 8:53 AM on January 5, 2009

Princess Mononoke
posted by Neonshock at 8:53 AM on January 5, 2009

Little Big Man
posted by buggzzee23 at 8:53 AM on January 5, 2009

"Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About his Father" but that's not on DVD for another 6-8 weeks. Keep your eyes open for it (it's also airing once in a while on MSNBC with ads).

nthing Seven, Iron Man and The Usual Suspects.
posted by getawaysticks at 8:54 AM on January 5, 2009

El Topo & Holy Mountain are visually stunning trips (and I mean "trip" in the acid-sense, here) through the psychedelic, psychological, and religious beliefs of completely brilliant and insane mystic Alejandro Jodorosky. I have seen these movies over and over, and they never stop being entertaining.

Everyone I show Holy Mountain to reacts the same way: "That was the most fucked up movie I have ever seen." It's also gorgeous.

Hero is breathtakingly pretty (and not just because of Zhang Ziyi, hurr hurr hurr).
posted by Juliet Banana at 9:07 AM on January 5, 2009

A Beautiful Mind
The Shawshank Redemption
posted by asras at 9:09 AM on January 5, 2009

The Rapture
Bulletproof Heart
Spirited Away
My Best Fiend
The Last Life in the Universe
posted by zia at 9:10 AM on January 5, 2009

V for Vendetta
Donnie Darko
The Princess Bride

Also, I suggest you jump on the tv-on-dvd bandwagon and check out:
Arrested Development
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Flight of the Conchords
30 Rock
posted by easy_being_green at 9:12 AM on January 5, 2009

The Departed
Little Miss Sunshine
V for Vendetta
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Love Actually
Casino Royale
posted by firei at 9:13 AM on January 5, 2009

The Year of Living Dangerously
Remains of the Day
Raising Arizona
Boys from Brazil
Babette's Feast
Trip to Bountiful
Streetcar Named Desire
The Princess Bride
Jeremiah Johnson
posted by mumstheword at 9:14 AM on January 5, 2009

posted by chihiro at 9:17 AM on January 5, 2009

You've heard of Netflix, right?
posted by ALongDecember at 9:17 AM on January 5, 2009

The Searchers
Lawrence of Arabia
Children of Men
Crimes and Misdemeanors
Once Upon A Time in America
Ride the High Country
Bed and Board (aka Domicile Conjugale)
Singin' In The Rain
New York, New York
Yi Yi
Burn After Reading
posted by kid_dynamite at 9:17 AM on January 5, 2009

I'd recommend the Deadwood miniseries... that's not a genre I care for much, so that's saying a lot. I was also amazed by the original Heimat series from 1984. As far as regular movies, I'd say I found these, in addition to the others mentioned above, kind of stuck with me: Sideways, Waiting, Sliding Doors, Pan's Labyrinth, No Country For Old Men, There Will Be Blood, The Lives of Others, and Moscow Does Not Believe In Tears.

I agree that this thread is kind of chatfiltery and is likely to just construct a picture of what's in everyone's DVD case, but it seems most lists are based on the AFI 100 list, and it sucks. I recommend going to and looking at some of the highly-rated films there. I've gotten lots of ideas doing that.
posted by crapmatic at 9:17 AM on January 5, 2009

Unforgiven (w/ surround sound, the background noise really sets the scene)
Fistful of Dollars/few dollars more
the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

(yeah, all Eastwood. After growing up under the misapprehension that Clint was limited to the charicature of Dirty Harry, I finally watched all those old spaghetti westerns. They are beyond powerful.)

Also, the Godfather trilogy. Again, I read the MAD versions, saw snippets on SUnday afternoon movie fests. Finally got to see movies whole. The last one is weak sauce, but the other two are a kick in the nuts.
posted by notsnot at 9:18 AM on January 5, 2009

Blade Runner
Star Wars
Children of Men
Dark Knight
There Will Be Blood
Pulp Fiction
Pan's Labyrinth
posted by azarbayejani at 9:18 AM on January 5, 2009

One of my all time favorites is Before the Rain. It's story, structure and characters mesh perfectly with the theme with this quote : Life is a circle, but the circle is not round.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:20 AM on January 5, 2009 [2 favorites]

I might get kicked in the nuts for this one, but the first time I watched X-MEN I went wow. And then proceeded to watch it 6 more times in theaters.

On the less losery side:
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
The Color Purple
Run, Lola, Run
V for Vendetta
Strictly Ballroom
posted by gwenlister at 9:27 AM on January 5, 2009

WALK ON WATER. First absolute masterpiece of the 21st century.
posted by kittyprecious at 9:28 AM on January 5, 2009

Seconding, Run Lola Run, it's an excellent film that very neatly answers the question, "How can I use my superpowers to save my idiotic boyfriend?"
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:31 AM on January 5, 2009

Satyajit Ray's film Pather Panchali.
posted by R. Mutt at 9:33 AM on January 5, 2009

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
The Princess Bride
Dark Knight
The Firefly TV series (and after that the movie Serenity)
A Beautiful Mind
Boy Owl would kill me if I didn't suggest Super Troopers (and thereby anything else by Broken Lizard)
posted by Night_owl at 9:36 AM on January 5, 2009

In order:

Star Wars
The Purple Rose of Cairo
On Golden Pond
Philadelphia Story
Harold and Maude
Pulp Fiction
Iron Man
posted by DarlingBri at 9:37 AM on January 5, 2009

The New York Times has a top ten list of American movies. The comments section has even more ideas. -->

Great TV: Serials are wonderful for DVD. See: Band of Brothers (HBO), Rome (HBO), Traffic (BBC version), Yes Minister (BBC), The Office (BBC), Decalogue.

Movies: Europa Europa, Glengarry Glen Ross, 400 blows, 12 Angry Men, Dr. Strangelove, Fargo, L'Avventura, Lawrence of Arabia, Manhattan, My Dinner with Andre, Network, Strangers on a train, The Bicycle Thief.
posted by xammerboy at 9:39 AM on January 5, 2009

Once Upon a Time in the West
Blade Runner
Spirited Away
Down By Law (though I couldn't tell you why)
posted by small_ruminant at 9:41 AM on January 5, 2009

n'thing a few here

Shawshank Redemption
Driving Miss Daisy
Stand By Me
Never Ending Story
Children of Men
Sixth Sense
Blade Runner
Koyaanisqatsi (and the 2nd of the trilogy Powaanaqaatsi)
Raising Arizona
Fight Club
The Usual Suspects
posted by samsara at 9:42 AM on January 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

The Devil's Backbone
posted by brundlefly at 9:43 AM on January 5, 2009

Lone Star
posted by small_ruminant at 9:43 AM on January 5, 2009

Badlands (a young Martin Sheen; an amazing character study!)
Koyaanisqatsi (after you watch it the first time, pick your jaw up off the floor and watch it again)
Twelve Angry Men (the original, not the crappy remake)
Planet of the Apes (the original, not the crappy remake)
2001: A Space Odyssey
posted by camworld at 9:48 AM on January 5, 2009

Wong Kar-Wai - Ashes of Time, Fallen Angels, In the Mood for Love, really gorgeous..
Tarkovsky - Andrei Roublev

The Big Sleep IMHO best film noir ever.
Mildred Pierce - Joan Crawford, brilliant

also, uh.. Desperate Living. John Waters FTW
posted by citron at 9:57 AM on January 5, 2009

The Lives of Others
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Full Metal Jacket
Pan's Labyrinth
Grave of The Fireflies
There Will Be Blood
My Neighbor Totoro
City Of God
posted by ianK at 9:58 AM on January 5, 2009

Labyrinth and Pan's Labyrinth, to go with a theme.

You might be better off asking about directors or styles, since there are a million movies and everyone is going to like different ones for different reasons. Here's some directors that you could look out for, in different styles:

Miyazaki- stunningly beautiful Japanese animations
Akira Kurosawa- Japanese, visually fascinating plus emotionally devastating. Rashomon and The Seven Samurai are the best known
Stanley Kubrik- 2001 and all that
Luis Bunuel- Spanish and French films that mix emotional drama with surrealism in a way that somehow works. Belle de Jour may be the best known
Quintin Tarantino- some people love it and some don't. I think Kill Bill is wonderfully messy.
Jean Luc Goddard- classic French cinema. Some of the movies can seem dull in comparison to the bright colors and loud bangs of some more modern movies, but most of his movies are beautiful and devastating. Try Bande a Part and Pierrot le fou
Pedro Almodovar- modern Spanish cinema, gorgeous colors
Hitchcock- I'm sure you are familiar with some of them, but most of his movies are still scary and still captivating, more so than many modern horrors.
Charlie Chaplin- The Great Dictator made me laugh so hard that I fell out of a chair. The fact that it is a slapstick about Hitler makes it incredibly surreal. But everything he did is very very funny.

These are just the most obvious ones off the top of my head. I don't know what you like, but all of the directors above have made movies that stick in my craw for one reason or another. Classics are generally classics for a reason.
posted by ohio at 10:01 AM on January 5, 2009

Starship Troopers

Also, nothing has ever made me say "wow" more than Planet Earth. Though it will suffer greatly from being watched on a small screen, it is still so consistently mind-blowing that it's like eating the world's greatest chocolate but never getting full.

Someone earlier recommended Saló... I wouldn't watch that unless you have a very high tolerance for extremely disturbing, graphic material. Like, on many "top 10 disturbing movies ever made" sort of stuff. That said... it WILL make you go "wow" at some point between dry heaves.</smal
posted by ORthey at 10:02 AM on January 5, 2009

Apocalypse Now
posted by daksya at 10:03 AM on January 5, 2009

Nicely closed "small" there, too. Do I even need to do that?
posted by ORthey at 10:03 AM on January 5, 2009

L'Avventura or the remake- Lost in Translation

There Will Be Blood

posted by Zambrano at 10:03 AM on January 5, 2009

Easy Rider
Fanny and Alexander
Stranger Than Paradise
posted by JohnR at 10:04 AM on January 5, 2009

Ack! I can't believe I forgot Terrence Malick. See absolutely everything that he ever made. He does things with colors and light. They aren't the best movies ever made, but they will make you say wow.

There are lots of other good ideas in this thread too. Maybe someone else can help you organize by genre or style?
posted by ohio at 10:06 AM on January 5, 2009

The Usual Suspects
The Triplets of Belleville
The Princess Bride
Little Man Tate
Spanglish (but that's probably just my culinary obsession speaking)
Raising Arizona
Ocean's 11, 12, 13 (I love 'buddy movies')
posted by cooker girl at 10:08 AM on January 5, 2009

The Searchers
Apocalypse Now (don't waste your time on the extended version)
Saving Private Ryan
posted by Gungho at 10:09 AM on January 5, 2009

I just finally saw the Dark Knight last night, and, damn, Heath Ledger was so amazing it is totally worth seeing three or more more times.
posted by General Malaise at 10:11 AM on January 5, 2009

Some lesser known flicks perhaps;

They Might Be Giants

Point Blank (the original that the remake with Mel Gibson "Payback" is loosely based from).

Tideland (another Terry Gilliam film - very disturbing but a visual feast).
posted by elendil71 at 10:12 AM on January 5, 2009

There are a handful of really excellent movies listed above, and there are many more that, well, just aren't. V for Vendetta made someone go WOW? Really? Starship Troopers? Really? Etc. (Sorry to individual posters if I picked on something you wrote.)

This list of movies is like a mirror image of the AFI top 100, with just as many problems only in the opposite direction.

THAT SAID, only a few of the movies are real stinkers.

As for my recommendation, if you want to see a movie that will make you go WOW, get your hands on a copy of The Criterion Collection's release of The Passion of Joan of Arc. If you don't have netflix, you can interlibrary loan it for a few bucks at your local library. If this movie does not stun you, then you have no soul. Period.

It's in the public domain, but don't bother watching it on YouTube or Google Video. The hit in quality is criminal.
posted by Number Used Once at 10:15 AM on January 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

No Country for Old Men
American Beauty
Iron Man
posted by Nattie at 10:17 AM on January 5, 2009

City of God
Band of Brothers
posted by spatula at 10:21 AM on January 5, 2009

Synecdoche New York
posted by solipsophistocracy at 10:22 AM on January 5, 2009

Anything by Hayao Miyazaki
posted by specialagentwebb at 10:37 AM on January 5, 2009

The two greatest movies of all time:

1) Harold & Maude

2) Shortbus
posted by hworth at 10:37 AM on January 5, 2009

The Mission

Close seconds:
City of God
Shawshank Redemption
posted by distrakted at 10:41 AM on January 5, 2009

Fight Club
posted by mmascolino at 10:42 AM on January 5, 2009

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
posted by qsysopr at 10:46 AM on January 5, 2009

The Brown Bunny for entirely different reasons.
posted by phrakture at 10:49 AM on January 5, 2009

Oh, and Bicycle Thief / Bicycle Thieves
posted by phrakture at 10:50 AM on January 5, 2009

There are three movies from the last five (or so) years that you simply can't afford to miss, if you ask me. They are Brick, Oldboy, and Children of Men.

They're all pretty dark, but they're all also examples of gutsy, brilliant filmmaking.
posted by regicide is good for you at 10:52 AM on January 5, 2009

Oh yeah, Ridley Scott's "Legend" is lovely pseudo adult fairy tale. You have to watch the director's cut and not the one with the wildly inappropriate soundtrack by Tangerine Dream.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:58 AM on January 5, 2009

12 Monkeys.
posted by peep at 11:01 AM on January 5, 2009

For films that have a wow ending:
Another vote for OldBoy
Get Carter
Wicker Man
For the last two make sure that you go with the original British versions -- the US remakes are crap.
posted by beatnik808 at 11:07 AM on January 5, 2009

Yes to many that have already been mentioned:

The Usual Suspects
City of God
The Dark Knight
No Country For Old Men

A few others:
The Deer Hunter
Big Fish
(warning: bleak)
posted by triggerfinger at 11:24 AM on January 5, 2009

I've seen a lot of movies in my time, from barely known to mega-blockbusters, and I recently saw 2001: A Space Odyssey for the first time.

It is the best movie ever made.
posted by god particle at 11:29 AM on January 5, 2009

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
The Shining
City of God
Citizen Kane
One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest
Lawrence of Arabia
Three Colours Trilogy
Shawshank Redemption
There Will be Blood
Godfather I and II
Apocalypse Now
Schindler's List
It's a Wonderful Life
Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Pan's Labyrinth
Usual Suspects
Fight Club
Mosquito Coast

that should keep you out of trouble for a while...
posted by gonzo_ID at 11:31 AM on January 5, 2009

Being There
A Fish Called Wanda
Muriel's Wedding
posted by applemeat at 11:45 AM on January 5, 2009

The Spanish Prisoner
The 400 Blows (transl from the French)
Welcome to the Dollhouse
The Royal Tannenbaums
posted by dreamphone at 11:54 AM on January 5, 2009


Throne of Blood (I love pretty much all the Kurasawa I've ever seen -- Rashomon, Seven Samurai, and Ikiru have all been ones I've enjoyed again most recently, and I unreservedly recommend them all -- but Throne of Blood BLOWS MY MIND EVERY TIME.)
The Third Man
Citizen Kane (even if you've seen it before; get the 2-DVD set with extras!)
Grand Illusion (and The Rules of the Game)
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Nights of Cabiria
Sunset Blvd.
Andrei Rublev
Wild Strawberries

Contemporary(ish) films:

The Lives of Others (one of the best films of the decade, IMO)
Burnt by the Sun
Three Colors trilogy (and The Decalogue)
Seven Up (and the rest of the Up series; there's currently 7 installations)
All About My Mother (and plenty of other Almodovar!)
No Country for Old Men (other favorite Coen Bros.: Fargo and Raising Arizona)
Gosford Park
Grizzly Man (and plenty of other Herzog, both fiction and documentary)
Heavenly Creatures
House of Games
L.A. Confidential (notoriously robbed by Titanic for Best Picture)
Pulp Fiction (and Reservoir Dogs)
Raging Bull (and Goodfellas)
Apocalypse Now (and its related documentary, Hearts of Darkness)
Withnail and I (one of the funniest films of all time)
Silence of the Lambs (not one of the funniest films of all time)
Capturing the Friedmans
The Nomi Song (for the subject matter)
posted by scody at 11:59 AM on January 5, 2009 [3 favorites]

Pretty good list already, but I just wanted to add American History X. Also, The Game was a good thrilling movie I enjoyed.

I still remember how I felt after watching American History X as I left the theater... one of very few I can say that about.
posted by jeversol at 12:21 PM on January 5, 2009

Songs from the second floor.
posted by freya_lamb at 12:30 PM on January 5, 2009

posted by twistedmetal at 12:33 PM on January 5, 2009

Requiem for a Dream
The Ice Storm
Dog Day Afternoon
The Conversation
The Man Who Wasn't There
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
posted by emelenjr at 12:54 PM on January 5, 2009

Seeing the restored Lawrence of Arabia on the huge screen at the Ziegfeld in New York City remains the greatest experience of my movie-going life.

Ingmar Bergman's Shame hit me so hard it hurt. Requiem for a Dream not far behind.

But in terms of "I've gotta see that again!": Memento, for reasons that will become apparent to you after you see it.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:03 PM on January 5, 2009

In no particular order (and all simply in my opinion):
Repo Man (seriously!)
True Stories
The Big Lebowski
The Seven Samurai
The Conversation
Dog Day Afternoon
Bubba Hotep (also, seriously!)
North by Northwest
The Manchurian Candidate (the one with Frank Sinatra)
Dr. Strangelove
Dark City
Animal Crackers
Being John Malkovich
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 1:29 PM on January 5, 2009

Roman Holiday
posted by mdonley at 1:33 PM on January 5, 2009

I'm taking a different approach. Instead of various films, I think you should have a David Lynch film festival. Choose any or all of the following:

The Elephant Man
Blue Velvet
Wild at Heart
The Straight Story
Lost Highway
Mulholland Dr
Inland Empire
Twin Peaks(the series)
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
The Short Films of David Lynch
posted by owtytrof at 1:41 PM on January 5, 2009

If you're at all into Bob Dylan, I'm Not There was pretty great for a number of reasons. Todd Haynes has only made five feature films in about twenty years as a director, but i'll be damned if all of them aren't very good --
Poison (1991)
Safe (1995)
Velvet Goldmine (1998)
Far From Heaven (2002)
I'm Not There (2007)

You could also pretty much not go wrong with a Coen Brothers Marathon. -- Fargo, No Country For Old Men, Raising Arizona, Miller's Crossing, Barton Fink, The Big Lebowski, O Brother Where Art Thou. Any and/or all.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 2:12 PM on January 5, 2009

Dr. Strangelove
The Conversation (WOW and WOW again!)
North by Northwest
The Birds
One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest
The Swimmer (Burt Lancaster is awesome)
Lifeguard (Sam Elliott is amazing)
Vanishing Point (1971, Barry Newman and Cleavon Little)
Blazing Saddles (Cleavon Little -- too cool)
Deliverance (saw it once, will never watch again)
Silence of the Lambs
Alien (but not the sequels)
The Triplets of Belleville
The Incredibles
Like Water for Chocolate
posted by Smalltown Girl at 2:50 PM on January 5, 2009

Fight Club and The Dark Knight are probably the two biggest ones, for me.
posted by Gotham at 4:06 PM on January 5, 2009

You wouldn't want to miss the Redford/Newman classics, either: The Sting and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kind.
posted by regicide is good for you at 4:34 PM on January 5, 2009

wings of desire
posted by rmd1023 at 4:56 PM on January 5, 2009

I love these movie threads. As much as I like drama, my list is heavy on action films because those are the ones I tend to want to see again.

* Touching the Void
* Baraka
* Planet Earth
* The Dark Knight
* Memento
* The Matrix
* Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
* The Exorcist
* Hero
* House of Flying Daggers
* King Kong (2005)
* Amelie
* 300
* Casino Royale (2006)
* The Bourne films
posted by cnc at 5:14 PM on January 5, 2009

Feh! ANY Alien movie without predators. Starship troopers definitely, the Matrix, Animatrix, the Thing with Kurt Russell, Suspiria if you can find it, Kill Bills, Weird Al's UHF, Big, .... Remember If You Like It, It Is Good
posted by Redhush at 5:32 PM on January 5, 2009

My Life as a Dog
The Milagro Beanfield War
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
Eat Drink Man Woman
Spirited Away
Monsoon Wedding
Bride and Prejudice
Dances With Wolves
Solaris (original Russian)
Aguirre The Wrath of God
8 1/2
The Ship Sails On

and yes.....Titanic
posted by pushing paper and bottoming chairs at 7:56 PM on January 5, 2009

"The Apartment" fits the light-hearted romance/comedy bill (although it's also quite a downer in some ways). "The Incredibles" and "Iron Giant" for modern animation. "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" looked like the kind of retro sci-fi movie I'd like to make.

Definitely the '90s mind-%$* foursome of Seven, Usual Suspects, Memento, and Fight Club. I guess Pulp Fiction would be in there too for a lot of people, but it didn't do anything for me.

I didn't get to see the original Star Wars trilogy when I was old enough to really appreciate it, but I caught Temple of Doom on VHS as a teen and was blown away. Then I saw the superior Raiders of the Lost Ark and was even more blown away.

But as a lifelong Star Wars fan, I have to admit that no movie-going experience quite got me as excited walking out of the theater as Revenge of the Sith did, even if it doesn't quite hold up on repeat viewings.

I should add, though, that where you watch a movie can affect how you feel about it emotionally. Compare watching something in a raucous, packed house, vs watching it at a half-empty matinee or at home.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 9:42 PM on January 5, 2009

Dark Knight/Batman Begins/Batman/Batman Returns
The Incredibles
The Iron Giant (anything by Brad Bird, really)
Spirited Away (Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi)
Shuri (Korean assasin drama)
Matrix (made me say whoa)
Matrix Reloaded and Revolution (pretty, and has giant robot suits!)
28 Days Later
Dark City
The Big Lebowski
Blackhawk Down (best review I read of it said you would leave the theater feeling beet up and bruised)
Strange Days
LA Confidential
Big Fish

And, just because you've made the jump to DVD: Be Kind, Rewind
posted by Ghidorah at 10:05 PM on January 5, 2009

It looks like you have plenty of movies to get you started, but you may also want to take a look at the Great Movies essays by Roger Ebert for inspiration.
posted by jennyesq at 11:17 PM on January 5, 2009

It just came out, but Slumdog Millionaire is really great in my opinion. Tons of wow moments.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:47 AM on January 6, 2009

nthing Memento : It's the only dvd ever that I watched a second time immediately after seeing it for the first time.

also: The Prestige (another Chris Nolan film)
posted by theDrizzle at 10:20 AM on January 6, 2009

* The Sixth Sense
* The Color Purple
* Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
* The Usual Suspects
* The Pursuit of Happyness
* Shawshank Redemption
* City of God
* 28 Days Later
* 28 Weeks Later
* Silence of the Lambs
* Glory
* Gladiator
* Forrest Gump
* The Matrix
* The Incredibles
* Finding Nemo
* Cry Freedom (have never seen but it's supposed to be excellent)
* The English Patient
* Ray
* The Bourne Trilogy
* Seven Samurai
* When Harry Met Sally
posted by luckyveronica at 10:26 AM on January 6, 2009

I forgot-Raising Victor Vargas was great too! And for fun, fluffy laughs, Legally Blonde, Bridget Jones' Diary, and Four Weddings and a Funeral.
posted by luckyveronica at 1:08 PM on January 6, 2009

Damn. How could we forget...

The Wizard of Oz!
posted by qsysopr at 1:51 PM on January 6, 2009

Linkletter's Slacker blew my mind in 1991. At that time it was different from anything I'd ever seen. And it's always fun to look at Austin at that time. Quakenbush's why did you close down?!
posted by dog food sugar at 5:43 PM on January 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks to everyone for the comprehensive list. I should have plenty to keep me busy for a long time to come.
posted by netbros at 5:58 AM on January 7, 2009

Last Year at Marienbad is a film that made me feel the confused passion and trepidation of the characters. Not sympathetic, but actually nauseated, frustrated, and totally captivated.

Don't Look Now is a supernatural thriller that doesn't actually make sense as a narrative, but only as an exchange between visual and aural motifs. Seriously beautiful and confounding.

In A Lonely Place, especially when they cut the grapefruit. Almost a love story.

Robocop. Seriously: Robocop. One of the best American films.
posted by goldfinches at 10:51 AM on January 7, 2009

The Conformist

Wings of Desire
posted by coizero at 5:46 AM on January 13, 2009

Talk to Her


To Have and Have Not
posted by exceptinsects at 12:47 AM on January 17, 2009

Nthing The Matrix. It is the movie that really sold a lot of DVD players.
- Diva (stylish earlier film by the Amelie crew)
- Pather Panchali, mentioned earlier, is part of a trilogy with Aparajito and Apur Sansar
- Inside Man. I watched it a second time just to pick up all the hints.
- Pink Floyd - The Wall
- Jésus de Montréal
- Stalker and other films by Tarkovsky. I'm glad I went to see them, but I wouldn't want to sit through them a second time.
- Day of the Jackal. Very good adaptation of a very suspenseful book.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 10:25 PM on July 12, 2009

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