defining movies

by leshashk | created - 5 months ago | updated - 2 weeks ago | Public

influential, must watch, quite original, ahead of time, etc

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1. The Terminator (1984)

R | 107 min | Action, Sci-Fi

84 Metascore

A human soldier is sent from 2029 to 1984 to stop an almost indestructible cyborg killing machine, sent from the same year, which has been programmed to execute a young woman whose unborn son is the key to humanity's future salvation.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn, Paul Winfield

Votes: 806,492 | Gross: $38.40M

2. RoboCop (1987)

R | 102 min | Action, Crime, Sci-Fi

67 Metascore

In a dystopic and crime-ridden Detroit, a terminally wounded cop returns to the force as a powerful cyborg haunted by submerged memories.

Director: Paul Verhoeven | Stars: Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Dan O'Herlihy, Ronny Cox

Votes: 236,838 | Gross: $53.42M

3. Blade Runner (1982)

R | 117 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

84 Metascore

A blade runner must pursue and terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space, and have returned to Earth to find their creator.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos

Votes: 704,310 | Gross: $32.87M

4. Alien (1979)

R | 117 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

89 Metascore

After a space merchant vessel receives an unknown transmission as a distress call, one of the crew is attacked by a mysterious life form and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt, Veronica Cartwright

Votes: 801,595 | Gross: $78.90M

5. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

R | 118 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

85 Metascore

A young F.B.I. cadet must receive the help of an incarcerated and manipulative cannibal killer to help catch another serial killer, a madman who skins his victims.

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A. Bonney, Kasi Lemmons

Votes: 1,296,077 | Gross: $130.74M

6. Predator (1987)

R | 107 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

45 Metascore

A team of commandos on a mission in a Central American jungle find themselves hunted by an extraterrestrial warrior.

Director: John McTiernan | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Kevin Peter Hall, Elpidia Carrillo

Votes: 377,021 | Gross: $59.74M

7. First Blood (1982)

R | 93 min | Action, Adventure

61 Metascore

A veteran Green Beret is forced by a cruel Sheriff and his deputies to flee into the mountains and wage an escalating one-man war against his pursuers.

Director: Ted Kotcheff | Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, Richard Crenna, Bill McKinney

Votes: 231,270 | Gross: $47.21M

8. Halloween (1978)

R | 91 min | Horror, Thriller

87 Metascore

Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield, Illinois to kill again.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tony Moran, Nancy Kyes

Votes: 236,303 | Gross: $47.00M

9. Twin Peaks (1990–1991)

TV-MA | 47 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

An idiosyncratic FBI agent investigates the murder of a young woman in the even more idiosyncratic town of Twin Peaks.

Stars: Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Ontkean, Mädchen Amick, Dana Ashbrook

Votes: 178,927

10. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

R | 91 min | Horror

76 Metascore

The monstrous spirit of a slain child murderer seeks revenge by invading the dreams of teenagers whose parents were responsible for his untimely death.

Director: Wes Craven | Stars: Heather Langenkamp, Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, John Saxon

Votes: 210,193 | Gross: $25.50M

11. Spartacus (1960)

PG-13 | 197 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

87 Metascore

The slave Spartacus leads a violent revolt against the decadent Roman Republic.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons, Charles Laughton

Votes: 125,877 | Gross: $30.00M

12. Apocalypse Now (1979)

R | 147 min | Drama, Mystery, War

94 Metascore

A U.S. Army officer serving in Vietnam is tasked with assassinating a renegade Special Forces Colonel who sees himself as a god.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Frederic Forrest

Votes: 616,349 | Gross: $83.47M

13. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)

PG | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

90 Metascore

Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a Wookiee and two droids to save the galaxy from the Empire's world-destroying battle station, while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the mysterious Darth Vader.

Director: George Lucas | Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness

Votes: 1,249,185 | Gross: $322.74M

14. The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Passed | 100 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

96 Metascore

A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Gladys George, Peter Lorre

Votes: 150,466 | Gross: $2.11M

15. Gone with the Wind (1939)

Passed | 238 min | Drama, History, Romance

97 Metascore

A manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Sam Wood | Stars: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Thomas Mitchell, Barbara O'Neil

Votes: 294,177 | Gross: $198.68M

16. Back to the Future (1985)

PG | 116 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

87 Metascore

Marty McFly, a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent thirty years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the eccentric scientist Doc Brown.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover

Votes: 1,079,601 | Gross: $210.61M

17. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

PG | 130 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

89 Metascore

An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell

Votes: 411,887

18. Batman (1989)

PG-13 | 126 min | Action, Adventure

69 Metascore

The Dark Knight of Gotham City begins his war on crime with his first major enemy being Jack Napier, a criminal who becomes the clownishly homicidal Joker.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl

Votes: 343,022 | Gross: $251.19M

19. Batman Returns (1992)

PG-13 | 126 min | Action, Crime, Fantasy

68 Metascore

While Batman deals with a deformed man calling himself the Penguin wreaking havoc across Gotham with the help of a cruel businessman, a female employee of the latter becomes the Catwoman with her own vendetta.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken

Votes: 278,228 | Gross: $162.83M

20. Ghostbusters (1984)

PG | 105 min | Action, Comedy, Fantasy

71 Metascore

Three former parapsychology professors set up shop as a unique ghost removal service.

Director: Ivan Reitman | Stars: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis

Votes: 360,986 | Gross: $238.63M

21. Jaws (1975)

PG | 124 min | Adventure, Thriller

87 Metascore

When a killer shark unleashes chaos on a beach community, it's up to a local sheriff, a marine biologist, and an old seafarer to hunt the beast down.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary

Votes: 549,231 | Gross: $260.00M

22. The Deer Hunter (1978)

R | 183 min | Drama, War

86 Metascore

An in-depth examination of the ways in which the U.S. Vietnam War impacts and disrupts the lives of people in a small industrial town in Pennsylvania.

Director: Michael Cimino | Stars: Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Cazale, John Savage

Votes: 316,273 | Gross: $48.98M

23. Carrie (1976)

R | 98 min | Horror

85 Metascore

Carrie White, a shy, friendless teenage girl who is sheltered by her domineering, religious mother, unleashes her telekinetic powers after being humiliated by her classmates at her senior prom.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving, John Travolta

Votes: 170,577 | Gross: $33.80M

24. Duel (1971 TV Movie)

PG | 90 min | Action, Thriller

A business commuter is pursued and terrorized by the malevolent driver of a massive tractor-trailer.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Dennis Weaver, Jacqueline Scott, Eddie Firestone, Lou Frizzell

Votes: 64,139

25. Léon: The Professional (1994)

R | 110 min | Action, Crime, Drama

64 Metascore

Mathilda, a 12-year-old girl, is reluctantly taken in by Léon, a professional assassin, after her family is murdered. An unusual relationship forms as she becomes his protégée and learns the assassin's trade.

Director: Luc Besson | Stars: Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman, Danny Aiello

Votes: 1,054,479 | Gross: $19.50M

26. Pulp Fiction (1994)

R | 154 min | Crime, Drama

94 Metascore

The lives of two mob hitmen, a boxer, a gangster and his wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption.

Director: Quentin Tarantino | Stars: John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis

Votes: 1,859,471 | Gross: $107.93M

27. Scream (1996)

R | 111 min | Horror, Mystery

65 Metascore

A year after the murder of her mother, a teenage girl is terrorized by a new killer, who targets the girl and her friends by using horror films as part of a deadly game.

Director: Wes Craven | Stars: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Skeet Ulrich

Votes: 291,731 | Gross: $103.05M

28. The Matrix (1999)

R | 136 min | Action, Sci-Fi

73 Metascore

When a beautiful stranger leads computer hacker Neo to a forbidding underworld, he discovers the shocking truth--the life he knows is the elaborate deception of an evil cyber-intelligence.

Directors: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski | Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving

Votes: 1,707,372 | Gross: $171.48M

29. The NeverEnding Story (1984)

PG | 102 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

46 Metascore

A troubled boy dives into a wondrous fantasy world through the pages of a mysterious book.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen | Stars: Noah Hathaway, Barret Oliver, Tami Stronach, Gerald McRaney

Votes: 134,339 | Gross: $20.16M

30. Titanic (1997)

PG-13 | 194 min | Drama, Romance

75 Metascore

A seventeen-year-old aristocrat falls in love with a kind but poor artist aboard the luxurious, ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates

Votes: 1,065,174 | Gross: $659.33M

31. The Birds (1963)

PG-13 | 119 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

90 Metascore

A wealthy San Francisco socialite pursues a potential boyfriend to a small Northern California town that slowly takes a turn for the bizarre when birds of all kinds suddenly begin to attack people.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren, Jessica Tandy, Suzanne Pleshette

Votes: 174,237 | Gross: $11.40M

32. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Not Rated | 96 min | Horror, Thriller

89 Metascore

A ragtag group of Pennsylvanians barricade themselves in an old farmhouse to remain safe from a horde of flesh-eating ghouls that are ravaging the East Coast of the United States.

Director: George A. Romero | Stars: Duane Jones, Judith O'Dea, Karl Hardman, Marilyn Eastman

Votes: 118,252 | Gross: $0.09M

33. Cure (1997)

Not Rated | 111 min | Crime, Horror, Mystery

70 Metascore

A frustrated detective deals with the case of several gruesome murders committed by people who have no recollection of what they've done.

Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa | Stars: Masato Hagiwara, Kôji Yakusho, Tsuyoshi Ujiki, Anna Nakagawa

Votes: 11,826 | Gross: $0.09M

34. Tremors (1990)

PG-13 | 96 min | Comedy, Horror

65 Metascore

Natives of a small isolated town defend themselves against strange underground creatures which are killing them one by one.

Director: Ron Underwood | Stars: Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, Finn Carter, Michael Gross

Votes: 122,446 | Gross: $16.67M

35. The Hidden (1987)

R | 97 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

69 Metascore

A cop and an FBI agent race for answers after law abiding people suddenly become violent criminals.

Director: Jack Sholder | Stars: Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Nouri, Claudia Christian, Clarence Felder

Votes: 17,647 | Gross: $9.75M

36. Pitch Black (2000)

R | 109 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi

49 Metascore

A commercial transport ship and its crew are marooned on a planet full of bloodthirsty creatures that only come out to feast at night. But then, they learn that a month-long eclipse is about to occur.

Director: David Twohy | Stars: Radha Mitchell, Cole Hauser, Vin Diesel, Keith David

Votes: 227,270 | Gross: $39.24M

37. Aliens (1986)

R | 137 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

84 Metascore

Fifty-seven years after surviving an apocalyptic attack aboard her space vessel by merciless space creatures, Officer Ripley awakens from hyper-sleep and tries to warn anyone who will listen about the predators.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn, Paul Reiser

Votes: 661,910 | Gross: $85.16M

38. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

PG | 124 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

82 Metascore

After the Rebels are brutally overpowered by the Empire on the ice planet Hoth, Luke Skywalker begins Jedi training with Yoda, while his friends are pursued by Darth Vader and a bounty hunter named Boba Fett all over the galaxy.

Director: Irvin Kershner | Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams

Votes: 1,177,070 | Gross: $290.48M

39. Basic Instinct (1992)

R | 127 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

41 Metascore

A violent police detective investigates a brutal murder that might involve a manipulative and seductive novelist.

Director: Paul Verhoeven | Stars: Michael Douglas, Sharon Stone, George Dzundza, Jeanne Tripplehorn

Votes: 182,610 | Gross: $117.73M

40. Lost Highway (1997)

R | 134 min | Mystery, Thriller

52 Metascore

Anonymous videotapes presage a musician's murder conviction, and a gangster's girlfriend leads a mechanic astray.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette, John Roselius, Louis Eppolito

Votes: 133,233 | Gross: $3.80M

41. Hellraiser (1987)

R | 94 min | Horror, Thriller

57 Metascore

A woman discovers the newly resurrected, partially formed, body of her brother-in-law. She starts killing for him to revitalize his body so he can escape the demonic beings that are pursuing him after he escaped their sadistic underworld.

Director: Clive Barker | Stars: Andrew Robinson, Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence, Sean Chapman

Votes: 106,165 | Gross: $14.56M

42. Phantasm II (1988)

R | 97 min | Action, Fantasy, Horror

42 Metascore

Mike, now released from a psychiatric hospital, meets with Reggie, and discover his dreams ( the events of the original film) are real, and they both journey to find and stop the evil Tall Man from his grim work.

Director: Don Coscarelli | Stars: James Le Gros, Reggie Bannister, Angus Scrimm, Paula Irvine

Votes: 13,599 | Gross: $7.28M

43. Phantasm (1979)

R | 89 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

72 Metascore

A teenage boy and his friends face off against a mysterious grave robber, known only as the Tall Man, who employs a lethal arsenal of unearthly weapons.

Director: Don Coscarelli | Stars: A. Michael Baldwin, Bill Thornbury, Reggie Bannister, Kathy Lester

Votes: 32,970 | Gross: $11.99M

44. The Evil Dead (1981)

NC-17 | 85 min | Horror

71 Metascore

Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons.

Director: Sam Raimi | Stars: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor, Betsy Baker

Votes: 189,821 | Gross: $2.40M