Best Movies You Forgot About

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Best Movies You Forgot About

Several directors have explored Best Movies You Forgot About. Here are 25 of our favorites.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
★★★★
★★★★
3.5 out of 4 stars

From Sergio Leone, starring Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef, Aldo Giuffrè
Rated R

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a Western film directed by Sergio Leone, released in 1966. It follows the journey of three cowboys – "The Good" (Clint Eastwood), "The Bad" (Lee Van Cleef) and "The Ugly" (Eli Wallach) – as they search for a buried Confederate treasure. Along the way, they must contend with the Civil War, bandits, and Mexican revolutionaries. The film is known for its iconic score by Ennio Morricone, stunning cinematography, and thrilling gun fights. It is also a classic example of Western storytelling, weaving together themes of honor, loyalty, greed, and revenge. In the end, the three men must face off in a climactic shootout as they race for the treasure.

Goodfellas (1990)

Goodfellas
★★★★
★★★★
3.5 out of 4 stars

From Martin Scorsese, starring Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco
Rated R

Goodfellas (1990) is a classic gangster film set in New York City, directed by Martin Scorsese. It follows the rise and fall of Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), a small-time criminal who works his way up the ranks of the Italian-American mob. Along with his friends Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci) and Jimmy Conway (Robert De Niro), Henry finds success in the criminal underworld. He enjoys the money, power, and respect that comes with his newfound status, but also finds himself in increasingly dangerous situations as he is pursued by law enforcement, rival gangs, and eventually the mob itself. As the film draws to a conclusion, the consequences of Henry's actions come to a head in a violent, tragic finale.

Se7en (1995)

Se7en
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From David Fincher, starring Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey, Andrew Kevin Walker
Rated R

Se7en is a 1995 psychological thriller directed by David Fincher and starring Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, and Kevin Spacey. The film follows detectives William Somerset (Freeman) and David Mills (Pitt) as they investigate a series of brutal, ritualistic murders that appear to be tied to the seven deadly sins. As the detectives uncover the horrifying truth behind the killings, they must confront their own inner demons and race against time to catch the mysterious killer before he strikes again. A gripping and intense thriller, Se7en is a classic in the genre.

Léon: The Professional (1994)

Léon: The Professional
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Luc Besson, starring Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman, Danny Aiello
Rated R

Léon: The Professional is a 1994 action-thriller film written and directed by Luc Besson. The film follows the story of an emotionless hitman, Léon, who takes in a young girl, Mathilda, after her family is brutally murdered by a corrupt DEA agent. Mathilda decides to learn the hitman’s trade, and the two form an intense bond as they work to bring down the corrupt agent responsible for her family’s death. The film stars Jean Reno as Léon, and Natalie Portman as Mathilda. With its intense action sequences and memorable performances from Reno and Portman, Léon: The Professional has become a beloved cult classic.

Alien (1979)

Alien
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Ridley Scott, starring Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt, Veronica Cartwright
Rated R

Alien is a 1979 science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott, starring Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt and Ian Holm. The story follows the crew of the commercial space tug Nostromo, who are on their way back to Earth when they are diverted to investigate a mysterious transmission from a moon in the Zeta II Reticuli star system. They find the source of the signal coming from a derelict alien spacecraft, where they come across a hive of alien eggs. When one of the crew members is attacked by a facehugger and brought back to the Nostromo, a deadly creature—known as the Xenomorph—is unleashed, and the crew must find a way to stop it before it kills them all.

The Usual Suspects (1995)

The Usual Suspects
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Bryan Singer, starring Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne, Chazz Palminteri, Stephen Baldwin
Rated R

The Usual Suspects is a 1995 crime drama film directed by Bryan Singer and written by Christopher McQuarrie. It follows a mysterious criminal mastermind known as Keyser Söze who is responsible for a massacre at a police station. Five criminals arrive at a planning session to execute a mysterious criminal job. They are Roger "Verbal" Kint, a con artist with cerebral palsy; Dean Keaton, a former corrupt police officer; McManus, an Irish terrorist; Hockney, a professional thief; and Fenster, an expert card player. As the film progresses, it is revealed that the group is a pawn in a much larger and more sinister plan orchestrated by Keyser Söze. As they come to terms with this realization, they become determined to outwit their would-be captor and escape their situation. Ultimately, they discover the true identity of Keyser Söze and the job they have become embroiled in, which leads to a dramatic climax.

The Prestige (2006)

The Prestige
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Christopher Nolan, starring Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson, Michael Caine
Rated PG-13

The Prestige is a 2006 psychological thriller directed by Christopher Nolan, starring Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale. It follows two rival magicians, Alfred Borden (Bale) and Robert Angier (Jackman), in a dangerous, obsessive competition to create the ultimate illusion. When Robert’s best trick is stolen by Alfred, the rivalry between them turns deadly. As the two men battle for supremacy, they are forced to confront the secrets behind the art of illusion, and the stakes become life and death. With a twist ending, The Prestige is a thrilling exploration of the dark side of ambition and obsession.

The Shining (1980)

The Shining
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Stanley Kubrick, starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers
Rated R

The Shining is a 1980 psychological horror film directed by Stanley Kubrick and based on the 1977 novel of the same name by Stephen King. The film follows Jack Torrance (played by Jack Nicholson), a writer and recovering alcoholic who accepts a job as the off-season caretaker of the isolated Overlook Hotel in the Colorado Rockies. Along with his wife Wendy (played by Shelley Duvall) and their young son Danny (played by Danny Lloyd), Jack moves into the hotel, where Danny possesses psychic abilities known as "the shining". As Jack's descent into madness starts to accelerate, Danny is haunted by apparitions, and the hotel's dark secrets begin to unravel. With the help of Dick Hallorann, the hotel's kindly cook, Danny and Wendy must battle the supernatural forces that threaten them and prevent Jack from fulfilling his sinister plans. The Shining is considered one of the greatest horror films of all time.

Aliens (1986)

Aliens
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From James Cameron, starring Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn, Paul Reiser
Rated R

Aliens is a science-fiction/action movie directed by James Cameron and released in 1986. Set 57 years after the events of the 1979 hit Alien, the film follows Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) as she returns to the planet where she first encountered the hostile extraterrestrial species. This time, however, she is not alone; a team of space marines accompanies her on a mission to the planet to eradicate the aliens. After discovering that the aliens have overrun the colony and destroyed its inhabitants, the marines soon find themselves in a desperate battle for survival against the aliens and their queen. With Ripley's help, they must fight against the odds to escape with their lives and destroy the aliens before they can reach Earth.

Heat (1995)

Heat
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Michael Mann, starring Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Jon Voight
Rated R

Heat is a 1995 American heist crime film written, produced, and directed by Michael Mann. It stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Val Kilmer, Jon Voight, Tom Sizemore, Diane Venora, Amy Brenneman, Ashley Judd, and Natalie Portman in her feature film debut. The film follows Lt. Vincent Hanna (De Niro), a veteran LAPD robbery-homicide detective tracking a notorious crew of armed robbers led by master thief Neil McCauley (Pacino). As Hanna and McCauley become increasingly intertwined, both are forced to confront their own personal code of ethics while they struggle to remain one step ahead of the law. Heat is a gripping crime drama, focusing on the flawed morality of both sides of the law in the pursuit of justice. It is a film of grand set pieces, visual style, and remarkable performances, and remains one of the most acclaimed heist films of all time.

There Will Be Blood (2007)

There Will Be Blood
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Paul Thomas Anderson, starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Ciarán Hinds, Martin Stringer
Rated R

"There Will Be Blood" (2007) is an epic drama about a ruthless oil prospector, Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis), and his obsession with wealth and power. Set in the early 20th century, the film follows Plainview's ambitious rise as a self-made oilman in the Southern California oil fields and his ruthless pursuit of success. Along the way, Plainview clashes with a charismatic young preacher, Eli Sunday (Paul Dano) whose beliefs conflict with Plainview's own. The film culminates in a dramatic showdown between the two men as they battle for control of the oil-rich land. With its sweeping cinematography, gripping performances, and intense score, "There Will Be Blood" is a classic drama of greed and ambition that remains one of the 21st century's most acclaimed films.

No Country for Old Men (2007)

No Country for Old Men
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, starring Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson
Rated R

No Country for Old Men is an American crime thriller film directed and written by Joel and Ethan Coen, based on the novel of the same name by Cormac McCarthy. The story follows a Texan hunter, Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) who discovers a drug deal gone wrong and a bag full of money. Not wanting to leave the money for the criminals, Llewelyn takes it and sets off into the desert. This leads him down a dark and dangerous path, as the ruthless criminal Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) is determined to get the money back by any means necessary. Meanwhile, Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) is on the hunt for both men and is trying to figure out where the line between good and evil lies and whether or not he will be able to protect the innocent. As Llewelyn and Anton's paths intertwine, a deadly game of cat and mouse ensues, leading to a dramatic and shocking conclusion.

The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

The Bridge on the River Kwai
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From David Lean, starring William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, Sessue Hayakawa
Rated PG

The Bridge on the River Kwai is a 1957 British-American war film set in World War II, directed by David Lean and based on the novel of the same name by Pierre Boulle. The film follows a British POW officer Colonel Nicholson (Alec Guinness) and his battle of wills with the Japanese camp commander, Colonel Saito (Sessue Hayakawa). Nicholson’s efforts to protect his men from the harsh treatment of the Japanese leads him to build a bridge over the River Kwai for the Japanese war effort, despite the objections of his fellow prisoners. As the bridge progresses, Nicholson becomes increasingly obsessed with making it “the best”, in spite of its purpose. Meanwhile, the Allies launch a mission to destroy the bridge before it can be used by the Japanese. In the end, the bridge is destroyed, but Nicholson and his men have gained a deep respect for their enemy. The film won seven Academy Awards in 1958, including Best Picture.

A Beautiful Mind (2001)

A Beautiful Mind
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Ron Howard, starring Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, Christopher Plummer
Rated PG-13

A Beautiful Mind is a 2001 American biographical drama film based on the life of the Nobel Prize-winning economist and mathematician John Nash. Directed by Ron Howard and written by Akiva Goldsman, the film stars Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, Paul Bettany, Adam Goldberg, Judd Hirsch, and Christopher Plummer. The film follows the story of Nobel Laureate John Nash and his struggles with schizophrenia and his eventual triumph over the illness. It begins with Nash's arrival at Princeton University, where he is an economics graduate student. From there, his increasingly paranoid delusions cause him to break off contact with his friends and family, and he finds himself alone in a world of paranoia and fear. With the help of his wife Alicia, Nash slowly recovers from his illness and eventually wins the Nobel Prize. The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Jennifer Connelly won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Nash's wife. A Beautiful Mind was also well-received critically, scoring an 81% on Rotten Tomatoes.

The Great Escape (1963)

The Great Escape
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From John Sturges, starring Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson
Rated Approved

The Great Escape is a 1963 American epic war film directed by John Sturges and starring Steve McQueen, James Garner and Richard Attenborough. Based on an escape by British Commonwealth prisoners of war (POWs) from a German POW camp during World War II, the film is a work of fiction, but it is based on a real-life mass escape attempt. It follows a group of Allied POWs who plan a daring escape from the German prison camp, Stalag Luft III. Led by RAF Squadron Leader Roger Bartlett (Attenborough), the POWs must use their wits, courage, and determination to break out of the camp and evade the Nazi forces that are sent to recapture them. In addition to being a thrilling adventure story, The Great Escape serves as a testament to human resilience in the face of adversity, and the courage and ingenuity of those who refuse to accept defeat.

Jaws (1975)

Jaws
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Steven Spielberg, starring Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary
Rated PG

Jaws is a 1975 American thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg. It is based on Peter Benchley's novel of the same name. The film follows a police chief, a marine biologist and a grizzled fisherman as they hunt for a giant great white shark that has been preying on swimmers of a New England summer resort town. As they hunt the shark, they must battle the town's fears and prejudices, as well as the danger posed by the predator itself. Ultimately, the three-man team succeed in destroying the shark, but not before it has taken a heavy toll on the town's residents and visitors. The film became the highest-grossing film of all time and is widely regarded as the original summer blockbuster.

Stand by Me (1986)

Stand by Me
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Rob Reiner, starring Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O'Connell
Rated R

Stand by Me is a coming-of-age drama film directed by Rob Reiner and based on the novella "The Body" by Stephen King. The story follows four young boys in a small town in Oregon in 1959 who set out on a journey to find the dead body of a missing boy. Along the way, they confront the harsh realities of life, and discover the meaning of friendship and loyalty. During their journey, they experience joy and heartache, laughter and tears, and ultimately, learn what it means to stand by each other no matter what. The film stars Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, and Kiefer Sutherland.

In the Name of the Father (1993)

In the Name of the Father
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Jim Sheridan, starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Pete Postlethwaite, Alison Crosbie, Philip King
Rated R

In the Name of the Father is a 1993 Oscar-nominated biographical drama directed by Jim Sheridan and starring Daniel Day-Lewis as Gerry Conlon, a young British man falsely convicted of the 1974 Guildford pub bombings along with his father Guiseppe (played by Pete Postlethwaite). With the help of an idealistic lawyer (Emma Thompson), Gerry fights for justice amidst a climate of prejudice and mistrust. The film covers the story of Gerry's wrongful conviction and his ongoing fight to prove his innocence, as well as his close relationship with his father. Ultimately, Gerry is successful in proving his innocence, and the film serves as a powerful reminder of the injustice of the British legal system.

Platoon (1986)

Platoon
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Oliver Stone, starring Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Keith David
Rated R

Platoon is a 1986 American war drama film written and directed by Academy Award winning director Oliver Stone. It stars Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Forest Whitaker, and Johnny Depp. The film follows a young soldier named Chris Taylor (Sheen) as he is deployed to fight in the Vietnam War. He soon finds himself caught between two sergeants, the compassionate and experienced Sergeant Elias (Berenger) and the ruthless, power-hungry Sergeant Barnes (Dafoe). The story follows the platoon's daily struggles as they fight for survival and attempt to complete their missions in a war-torn landscape. Platoon is an emotionally charged and powerful examination of the devastating effects of war on its participants.

Mystic River (2003)

Mystic River
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Clint Eastwood, starring Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Emmy Rossum
Rated R

Mystic River is a 2003 drama directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, and Kevin Bacon. The movie follows the lives of three childhood friends, Dave Boyle, Jimmy Markum, and Sean Devine, who were separated in their teenage years when Dave was abducted and abused. When their lives cross again as adults, their shared history leads to tragedy. The movie follows the unfolding of the mystery surrounding the death of Jimmy's daughter, and how it affects each of the three men. Along the way, the audience is confronted with questions about friendship, loyalty, revenge, and redemption.

Blood In, Blood Out (1993)

Blood In, Blood Out
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Taylor Hackford, starring Damian Chapa, Jesse Borrego, Benjamin Bratt, Enrique Castillo
Rated R

Blood In, Blood Out is an intense and powerful crime drama directed by Taylor Hackford. The story takes place in East Los Angeles and follows the lives of three Chicano brothers. The eldest brother, Paco (Damian Chapa), is a member of a street gang and is determined to make something of himself. The middle brother, Cruz (Jesse Borrego), is a dreamer who is tempted by gang life, while the youngest brother, Miklo (Benjamin Bratt), is an artist who is also tempted by gang life. The three brothers are deeply devoted to each other and as pressure increases in their lives, their bond is put to the test. Paco is sent to prison for a crime he didn't commit, leading Cruz and Miklo to turn to the gang for support. Cruz is ultimately killed in a gang fight, forcing the two remaining brothers to choose between the life of crime and the promise of a better future. The film is a gritty, yet compassionate exploration of the consequences of gang life as it affects the lives of three devoted brothers. Featuring an all-star cast and powerful direction from Hackford, Blood In, Blood Out is a gripping and unforgettable look at life in the inner city.

Once Were Warriors (1994)

Once Were Warriors
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Lee Tamahori, starring Rena Owen, Temuera Morrison, Mamaengaroa Kerr-Bell, Julian Arahanga
Rated R

Once Were Warriors is a 1994 New Zealand drama film directed by Lee Tamahori. The film follows the Hekes, a Māori family living in urban Auckland. The father, Jake, is an unemployed alcoholic, while the mother, Beth, is a strong-willed woman trying to keep the family together despite their difficult circumstances. The family is rocked by violence and tragedy, especially when Jake's alcoholism causes him to spiral out of control. As the family struggles to remain together, Beth must face the consequences of her husband's actions and decide if the family has a future. Through their difficult journey, the Hekes discover the strength of their love for one another and the meaning of family.

American Gangster (2007)

American Gangster
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Ridley Scott, starring Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Josh Brolin
Rated R

American Gangster is a 2007 American biographical crime film directed by Ridley Scott and written by Steven Zaillian. The film stars Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe and is based on the criminal career of Frank Lucas, a drug kingpin in Harlem during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The film follows Lucas (Washington) as he rises from a small-time hoodlum to one of the most powerful criminals in the country, controlling a heroin empire that spans several cities. Meanwhile, detective Richie Roberts (Crowe) is tasked with bringing Lucas down. The two eventually meet and Roberts offers Lucas a chance to turn himself in and avoid a life in prison. As Lucas struggles with the decision to take Roberts up on his offer or continue his criminal lifestyle, a power struggle emerges between him and an Italian-American gangster named Nicky Barnes (Josh Brolin). Roberts and Lucas eventually join forces to bring Barnes and his organization down. American Gangster is a gritty, violent crime drama that explores the dark side of ambition, loyalty, and greed. It is a story about morality and the consequences of choices.

Empire of the Sun (1987)

Empire of the Sun
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Steven Spielberg, starring Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson, Nigel Havers
Rated PG

Empire of the Sun is a 1987 American coming-of-age war film directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Tom Stoppard, based on J. G. Ballard's semi-autobiographical novel of the same name. The story is set in Shanghai, China, during World War II, and follows the life of a wealthy English boy, Jim Graham (Christian Bale), as he is separated from his parents and eventually interned in a Japanese concentration camp. Jim must use his wits and determination to survive the harsh conditions of the camp and the war around him. Meanwhile, his parents desperately search for any information about him, unaware of his whereabouts. Through Jim's journey, the film seeks to explore the depths of human suffering and find the beauty in the darkest of times.

Deliverance (1972)

Deliverance
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From John Boorman, starring Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox
Rated R

Deliverance is a 1972 American thriller drama film directed by John Boorman and adapted from the 1970 novel of the same name by James Dickey. It follows four Atlanta businessmen as they take a weekend canoeing trip through the Georgia backwoods. As they venture further down the river, they are confronted by local mountain men who threaten to rape and kill them. The four must fight for their survival and find a way to escape the hostile environment. The film stars Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, and Ronny Cox. Deliverance is widely considered one of the greatest films of all time and was nominated for three Academy Awards.

 



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