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51 essential movies for movie buffs

Jim Emerson recently compiled a list of 102 Movies You Must See. As always, these lists are very personal and by nature never written in an objective fashion. Since he had the guts to include Mad Max 2, I felt compelled to write my own list. I also felt that 102 movies are a bit too much to see in one weekend, so it cut that number in half.

Note that it’s not a list of “my favorites”, “best movies ever” or even “best adaptations“, but rather a list of the ones that you ought to see at least once in a lifetime. They may be special, important, ground-breaking or simply really great movies.

So here it is, Reine’s recommended viewing list for aspiring movie buffs, without any internal order.

  1. Alien (1979)
  2. Lost in Translation (2003)
  3. The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)
  4. Der Himmel über Berlin (1987)
  5. Shichinin No Samurai (1954)
  6. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
  7. Taxi Driver (1976)
  8. The Godfather (1972)
  9. Wild Strawberries (1959)
  10. Nausicaä (1984)
  11. Donnie Darko (2001)
  12. Before the Rain (1994)
  13. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
  14. Pulp Fiction (1994)
  15. Casablanca (1942)
  16. La Dolce Vita (1960)
  17. Le Fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain (2001)
  18. Memento (2000)
  19. Dr. Strangelove (1964)
  20. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
  21. The Shining (1980)
  22. Star Wars (1977)
  23. Underground (1995)
  24. Apocalypse Now (1979)
  25. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
  26. Koyaanisqatsi (1983)
  27. Blade Runner (1982)
  28. Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
  29. Rashomon (1950)
  30. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966)
  31. Citizen Kane (1941)
  32. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
  33. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000)
  34. The Usual Suspects (1995)
  35. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
  36. Twelve Monkeys (1995)
  37. The Seventh Seal (1957)
  38. Moulin Rouge (2001)
  39. Schindler’s List (1993)
  40. Gone With the Wind (1939)
  41. Se7en (1995)
  42. Metropolis (1926)
  43. North by Northwest (1959)
  44. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
  45. Fight Club (1999)
  46. Brazil (1985)
  47. Der Untergang (2004)
  48. Watchmen (2009)
  49. Jaws (1975)
  50. Amadeus (1984)
  51. Reservoir Dogs (1992)

I’m pleased to see that no films with neither Mel Gibson or Tom Cruise made it to the list. Hey, not even any Steven Seagal movies!


  • avatar
    29 May, 2006

    But what about Pearl Harbour? And 40 days 40 nights?
    Don’t you love me anymore?

  • avatar
    29 May, 2006

    They unfortunately ended up at place 32427 and 32483 on my list. Quite beyond the scope, I’m afraid.

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