On the program: drama, whether historical, prison or committed, a so-called perfect superhero film, an unleashed western, an acclaimed peplum, science fiction at the top, a psychological thriller and a monument of cinema.
Please note: this ranking is based on the ratings of AlloCiné internet users. Only films with at least 500 votes were taken into account in this top.
1 – Schindler’s List
Directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley and Ralph Fiennes
As World War II rages on, Oskar Schindler, a German industrialist, tries to protect as many Jews as possible by putting them to work in his factory. This is the film adaptation of the true story of this hero who, in 1944, will save 800 men and 300 women from the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp. Authentic, poignant and important, Schindler’s List is based on a novel by Thomas Keneally and directed by Steven Spielberg. A moving tale of the Holocaust, the historical drama won universal critical acclaim for its tone, acting – that of the perfect trio of Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes and Ben Kingsley –, atmosphere and direction.
Nominated for 12 Oscars, he won 7, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Score, by John Williams please. Ranked 8th on its list of the 100 greatest American films of all time by the American Film Institute, the feature film was also designated as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress, in addition to have been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. This is a film ranked in the Pantheon of the best of all time that everyone must watch for its moving tribute to this sad page in history.
2 – The Green Line
Directed by Frank Darabont, with Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan, David Morse
Paul Edgecomb was once the head warden of the dark Cold Mountain penitentiary, the one we nicknamed “the green line”, the one from which the residents never come out… As he writes his memoirs, he remembers of the case that touched him the most: that of the sensitive and strange John Coffey, a giant black prisoner with the soul of a child condemned to death for the rape and murder of two little girls.
Adapted from a novel by Stephen King – the tone is set – and directed by Frank Darabont (The Walking Dead), The Green Line is a raw and sinister drama terribly touching, bordering on the fantastic, which engages on several fronts . It is indeed a disguised plea against the death penalty and a virulent criticism of the treatment of black prisoners in prison. And at the heart of the feature film, a magical duo formed by Tom Hanks and Michael Clarke Duncan who will not soon be forgotten. The Green Line is an experience from which, like its protagonists, you will not emerge unscathed.
3 – The Escapees
Directed by Frank Darabont, with Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman and Bob Gunton
Before The green Linethere was Les Évadés: the first feature film by Frank Darabonthis first adaptation of a novel by Stephen King and another equally heartbreaking and engaging critique of the inhumane treatment of prisoners. Here, Andy Dufresne is a young banker who sees his life turn upside down when he is sentenced to life for the murder of his wife and her lover, a crime of which he claims to be innocent. He is then sent to the ruthless Shawshank, a prison of great severity, where he however strives to raise the morale of his companions in misfortune.
It is “Red”, a black inmate imprisoned for 20 years and having lost all hope, who tells Andy’s story and portrays their beautiful friendship within this merciless world. A striking contrast that makes Les Évadés a touching thriller enhanced, moreover, by the superb performances of Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. Considered one of the best films of all time, this monument should not be missed.
4 – The Dark Knight
Directed by Christopher Nolan, with Christian Bale, Heath Ledger and Aaron Eckhart
In the hands of the brilliant Christopher Nolan, Batman could only reinvent itself…and only be a success! The second installment in a visually and story-wisely epic trilogy, The Dark Knight can lay claim to being one of the most adored and acclaimed superhero films, one that has reconciled critics and audiences thanks to its dark and reality and its larger-than-life, self-doubting, self-criticized Batman.
Heavy atmosphere, tormented political context and questions of life or death are at the heart of this masterpiece with breathless suspense and frantic action scenes. But who says masked hero, says sworn enemy, and here we are dealing with the craziest, the most deranged and the most “perfect” of them: the mythical joker awarded at the Oscars by Heath Ledger, the one who stole the show at the protagonist embodied by Christian Bale and the one who made The Dark Knight, the film, the legend that it is today.
5 – Django Unchained
Directed by Quentin Tarantino, starring Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz and Leonardo DiCaprio
Dr. King Schultz is a German bounty hunter on a mission to track down and punish the murderous Brittle brothers. To do this, he needs the help of Django, a slave he soon acquires and to whom he promises freedom once the task is completed. Django is looking for his wife, also a victim of the slave trade…
Wild and brutal, powerful and bloody, Django Unchained is pure Quentin Tarantino with its rich, scathing dialogue and vibrant visuals. But the exalted and offbeat western is also based on the performances of its prestigious cast: Christoph Waltz, Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson and Kerry Washington indeed carry the film with expertise and sincerity. Perfectly mixed humor and violence are on the program in this film which won two well-deserved Oscars: Best Screenplay for Tarantino and Best Supporting Actor for Christoph Waltz.
6 – Gran Torino
Directed by Clint Eastwood, starring Clint Eastwood, Bee Vang and Ahney Her
Walt Kowalski is a recently widowed Korean War veteran, isolated from his family and angry with the world. His young neighbor, Thao Vang Lor, is tricked by his cousin into attempting to steal his prized 1972 Ford Torino for his gang initiation. Walt thwarts the theft: cThis is the beginning of an unexpected friendship between him and the teenager who will change the course of their lives.
The first mainstream American feature film to feature Hmong Americans, Gran Torino is a sweeping, awe-inspiring, humanistic, and humble work. Clint Eastwoodboth in front of and behind the camera, does not disappoint: the film is one of the best of the director as of the actor. A real family affair, it also features one of Eastwood’s youngest sons, Scott, while his eldest son, Kyle, signs the soundtrack. At the same time tragic, comical and elegant, Gran Torino is a film of great intensity where laughter and tears come together and which will mark you.
Directed by Ridley Scott, with Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix and Connie Nielsen
When the Emperor Marcus Aurelius is assassinated by his cruel son Commodus, the Roman general Maximus – who was to succeed him – sees his life turned upside down. He indeed escapes this attack but loses his family and his freedom. Enslaved and forced to become a gladiator to survive, he now has only one goal: revenge.
If you haven’t seen this unparalleled peplum, then it’s time to fix it. Ridley Scott’s cult film, at the same time moving, daring and epic, marked the Seventh Art by its realism and its richness, both scriptwriting and visual. True emblem of the 2000s, Gladiator was both acclaimed by the public and critics and enjoyed great commercial success before being awarded 5 Oscars. Among them, that of the best actor for the unforgettable Russell Crowe who sees himself consecrated there, facing a simply breathtaking Joaquin Phoenix in his role of tyrant. Another of his Oscars, that of the best film: everything is said.
8 – Interstellar
Directed by Christopher Nolan, with Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway and Michael Caine
Humanity’s last hope, inhabiting a doomed Earth, rests with a handful of astronauts stepping into a newly discovered space-time rift. Their goal: to find a new habitable planet for the endangered human species.
It must be admitted, if this premise seems rather easy to understand, the rest of the film, it is not simple and everything is complicated: and you will love it! Original, inventive and complex, the cult feature film by Christopher Nolan can also boast of its stunning visuals and its acting carried by a stunning cast. Both intelligent and moving, Interstellar is a touching and desperate race against time, a powerful film that will never cease to question its viewer. So don’t miss this audacious epic that will take you on a journey to the confines of space and through time: it’s quite simply spectacular.
9- Fight Club
Directed by David Fincher, with Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter
A soap maker lives, works, eats and sleeps alone: it is the dull and repetitive daily life of this anonymous and solitary narrator that we follow here. But all that will quickly change when the latter joins an underground fight club, chaired by a philosophical anarchist.
David Fincher’s classic is a dark and provocative psychological thriller, a true critique of consumer society still relevant today. Sordid and absurd, Fight Club shocks and makes you think through its ingenious writing, its impeccable direction and its acting which has fascinated for more than two decades already: we are of course talking about the headliners Edward Norton and Brad Pitt, more real – and inhabited – than ever. If you know, the crazy experience is to try again, and if you don’t know, a viewing is essential: you will come out of it amazed and amazed.
10 – Freedmen
Directed by Martin Scorsese, with Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci
Henry Hill’s dream? Become a gangster and shine in the Italian-American Mafia of New York. Les Affranchis is the story of his life, between glory and failure, and his relationship with his two accomplices, Jimmy Conway and Tommy DeVito, as well as his wife Karen. But Goodfellas is also a true story, adapted from the biography of the real Henry Hill written by Nicholas Pileggi.
Dark, funny and intense thriller, the 90s classic stars Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta and Joe Pesci in front of the expert camera of Martin Scorsese, who notably co-wrote the screenplay. Nominated 6 times for the Oscars – including that of best actor in a supporting role which was won by Joe Pesci –, Goodfellas is quite simply a masterpiece of cinema, an essential feature film, to see or see again. We are not more cult, nor bigger.
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