Several films have reported on Movies About Self Discovery. We wrote about 25 of the top ones.
From Sidney Lumet, starring Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Martin Balsam, John Fiedler
12 Angry Men is a 1957 American courtroom drama film directed by Sidney Lumet. The film follows a jury of twelve men as they deliberate the conviction or acquittal of a defendant on the basis of reasonable doubt. The defendant is accused of murdering his father, and the jury is initially almost certain of his guilt. Yet, as the deliberations progress, one juror casts doubt on the evidence and soon the other jurors start to consider the possibility of reasonable doubt. As each juror examines their own preconceptions about the trial, their biases and experiences come to light. Through the course of the film, the jurors are forced to reassess their values and the guilt or innocence of the accused comes into question. Ultimately, the jury reaches a unanimous verdict of not guilty.
From David Fincher, starring Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Meat Loaf, Zach Grenier
Fight Club is a 1999 cult classic film directed by David Fincher based on the 1996 novel of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk. The film stars Edward Norton as a depressed insomniac, who, seeking an escape from his mundane life, meets a mysterious, charismatic soap salesman named Tyler Durden, played by Brad Pitt. Durden introduces Norton to the underground world of fight clubs, where men can engage in bare-knuckle brawls. As the two men’s relationship deepens, Durden reveals his extreme radical beliefs and ambitions, leading them to establish an organization called Project Mayhem. The organization’s mission is to challenge and disrupt the status quo, which leads to violent clashes with a powerful corporate oppressive force. The film follows Norton’s character as he navigates his way through this chaos and attempts to reconcile his newfound identity with his former life.
From Christopher Nolan, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Elliot Page, Ken Watanabe
Inception is a science fiction action thriller that follows Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his team of experts as they use dream-sharing technology to pull off the ultimate heist - to implant an idea into the mind of a target. As they traverse dreamscapes of the subconscious, they must battle the power of their own dark secrets and fight to stay one step ahead of their adversaries. As the stakes rise, they must all fight to keep their grip on reality and ultimately complete their mission before time runs out. Inception is an exploration into the power of the mind and the possibilities of alternate realities.
Lilly Wachowski, starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving
The Matrix is a science fiction action film released in 1999. It follows Thomas Anderson, a computer programmer who is living a double life as a hacker known as Neo. He discovers a dark secret about reality, that his world is actually a computer-generated simulation, the Matrix, created by a group of intelligent machines who are trying to enslave humanity. With the help of Morpheus and Trinity, Neo must fight to free his mind and those of others from the grips of the machines. Along the way, Neo discovers he is the "One" who will save humanity, and must battle the powerful Agents of the Matrix to save the day.
From Frank Capra, starring James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell
It's a Wonderful Life tells the story of George Bailey, a small-town man from Bedford Falls whose dreams of traveling the world are repeatedly dashed. After a series of financial misfortunes, George is on the brink of suicide on Christmas Eve when his guardian angel, Clarence, intervenes. Through a series of flashbacks, George is shown what life would have been like if he had never been born. In the end, George discovers the importance of being alive and the beauty of the lives he has touched. He finds that life is indeed "wonderful" and learns to appreciate the little things.
From Tony Kaye, starring Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly D'Angelo, Jennifer Lien
American History X is a 1998 crime drama film directed by Tony Kaye and written by David McKenna. The film stars Edward Norton as Derek Vinyard, a former neo-Nazi skinhead who has been released from prison after serving three years for voluntary manslaughter. Upon his release, Derek is determined to prevent his younger brother, Danny (Edward Furlong), from following in his footsteps. Derek confronts Danny's friends, who are members of a white supremacist gang, and attempts to steer Danny away from a life of crime and hate. As Derek attempts to make amends for his past, he discovers that his old beliefs are still deeply entrenched within him. The film follows Derek through his struggle to overcome his past and to reconcile with his estranged family.
From Francis Ford Coppola, starring Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Frederic Forrest
Apocalypse Now is a Vietnam War epic set in the 1970s during the height of US involvement in the conflict. It follows US Army Captain Willard, a troubled and confused individual, on a journey up a river in Cambodia to assassinate a renegade American colonel named Kurtz who has gone insane and believes himself a god. Along the way, Willard encounters a variety of characters, both American and Vietnamese, who challenge his morality and humanity. He ultimately reaches Kurtz and kills him, but not before being confronted with the atrocities of war. The movie is a reflection on the horrors and costs of war, as well as a commentary on the futility of conflict.
From Sam Mendes, starring Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch, Wes Bentley
American Beauty is a 1999 American drama film directed by Sam Mendes, starring Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch, Mena Suvari, and Chris Cooper. The film tells the story of Lester Burnham, a middle-aged suburban father who is trapped in a loveless marriage and is struggling to find a way to truly express himself. After he becomes infatuated with his teenage daughter's friend, he begins to reevaluate his life and starts to make drastic changes in order to find happiness. The film explores themes of midlife crisis, suburban malaise, and beauty through its story of Lester's transformation. It was a box office success and won several awards, including five Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Cinematography.
From Ron Fricke, starring Balinese Tari Legong Dancers, Ni Made Megahadi Pratiwi, Puti Sri Candra Dewi, Putu Dinda Pratika
Samsara is a 2011 non-narrative documentary film directed by Ron Fricke. The film focuses on the exploration of the wonders of the world, from the contemporary to the ancient, from the materialistic to the spiritual. Shot in 25 countries across all continents, the film captures the essence of the human experience. It features a collection of spectacularly-shot scenes, from sweeping vistas to intimate closeups of people and places around the world. Accompanied by a score of diverse musical styles, the film offers a timeless, deeply moving meditation on the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth.
Juliano Ribeiro Salgado,
Wim Wenders, starring Sebastião Salgado, Wim Wenders, Lélia Wanick Salgado, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado
The Salt of the Earth is a 2014 French-Brazilian-Italian documentary film co-directed by Juliano Ribeiro Salgado and Wim Wenders. It follows the life of photographer Sebastião Salgado, who has spent decades working in the most remote corners of the world. The film takes viewers on a journey through Sebastião's life, as he captures stunning and powerful images of people and places impacted by war, famine, poverty, and natural disasters. It also examines the impact that Sebastião's work has had on his personal life, including his struggles with depression. Through a combination of Salgado's extraordinary photography and personal reflections from the people he has encountered, The Salt of the Earth celebrates the enduring power of human spirit and the beauty of the natural world.
From Park Chan-wook, starring Choi Min-sik, Yoo Ji-tae, Kang Hye-jeong, Kim Byeong-Ok
Oldboy is a 2003 South Korean mystery thriller film directed by Park Chan-wook. It tells the story of Oh Dae-su, a man who is inexplicably imprisoned for 15 years and released without explanation. He embarks on a mission to find out why he was imprisoned and get his revenge. Along the way, he discovers that his captor is an old acquaintance with a vendetta against him. Oldboy is a revenge tale full of twists and turns, with themes of identity, guilt, and destiny. The film was highly acclaimed and won numerous awards, including the Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.
From Akira Kurosawa, starring Takashi Shimura, Nobuo Kaneko, Shin'ichi Himori, Haruo Tanaka
Rated Not Rated
Ikiru is a Japanese drama film directed by Akira Kurosawa in 1952. It follows the story of a middle-aged bureaucrat, Watanabe, who has spent his entire life working in a menial job in a Tokyo city office. After being diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer, Watanabe decides to search for a greater purpose in life and embarks on a journey to find true meaning in the last few months of his life. Through his interactions with various people, Watanabe discovers the importance of living life to the fullest and the joy of helping others. The film is a profound meditation on life, death, and the importance of making a lasting impact on the world.
From Gus Van Sant, starring Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Stellan Skarsgård
Good Will Hunting is a 1997 American drama film starring Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Ben Affleck, Minnie Driver, and Stellan Skarsgård. Written by Affleck and Damon, the film follows 20-year-old Will Hunting (Damon), an unrecognized genius who, as part of a deferred prosecution agreement after assaulting a police officer, becomes a client of a therapist (Williams) and studies advanced mathematics with a renowned professor (Skarsgård). Through his therapy sessions, Will re-evaluates his relationships with his best friend (Affleck), his girlfriend (Driver) and himself, facing the significant task of confronting his past and thinking about his future. The film was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including the Academy Award for Best Picture, and won two: Best Original Screenplay for Affleck and Damon, and Best Supporting Actor for Williams. It also won awards from the British Academy, the Golden Globes, and the Screen Actors Guild, among others.
From Orson Welles, starring Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore, Agnes Moorehead
"Citizen Kane" is a 1941 classic drama directed and co-written by Orson Welles. The film follows the life of Charles Foster Kane, a powerful newspaper tycoon, from his death at the beginning of the movie to his childhood, and examines the mysterious circumstances of his final word, "Rosebud". Through a series of flashbacks, the movie explores his life story, the relationships of those closest to him and his rise and fall as a powerful businessman. Along the way, the movie touches on themes of ambition, loneliness, love, and betrayal. At the time of its release, the movie was hailed as a masterpiece, and has since become one of the most revered films of all time.
From Michel Gondry, starring Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Tom Wilkinson, Gerry Robert Byrne
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a 2004 romantic science fiction drama directed by Michel Gondry. The film stars Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet as Joel and Clementine, a couple who have recently broken up. After learning of a medical procedure that can erase any memory of a person from one's mind, Joel decides to undergo the procedure to forget about Clementine. Throughout the film, Joel experiences a surreal journey through his memories of Clementine, and is ultimately forced to confront his feelings for her. As the memories are removed from his mind, he begins to realize how much he truly loves and misses her. In the end, Joel decides against the procedure and chooses to keep his memories of Clementine, despite the pain they may bring.
From Godfrey Reggio, starring Edward Asner, Pat Benatar, Jerry Brown, Johnny Carson
Rated Not Rated
Koyaanisqatsi is a 1982 experimental film directed by Godfrey Reggio and featuring music composed by Philip Glass. The film is presented without dialogue and focuses on the negative effects of humanity's disconnection from nature, as well as modern society's reliance on technology. Through images of landscapes, cities, and various forms of technology, the film explores the idea that technology has taken over our lives and has created a world of chaos and destruction. The film features haunting music and visuals to express its themes, as well as its title, which is a Hopi phrase meaning “life out of balance”. The film is a powerful exploration of human life in the modern world, and its underlying messages still resonate today.
From James McTeigue, starring Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman, Rupert Graves, Stephen Rea
V for Vendetta is a 2005 dystopian political thriller film directed by James McTeigue and written by The Wachowskis, based on the 1988 DC/Vertigo Comics limited series of the same name by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. The film stars Natalie Portman as Evey Hammond, a young woman caught up in a revolution against a totalitarian government in a futuristic London. The film follows V (played by Hugo Weaving), an anarchist and masked freedom fighter who attempts to start a revolution through elaborate terrorist acts. He is assisted by Evey, whom he rescues from a politically motivated imprisonment. Together they seek to bring down the oppressive government and restore freedom to the oppressed citizens of London. The film features a strong performance by Hugo Weaving and a beautiful art direction and cinematography that capture the propaganda-filled dystopian setting.
From Christopher Nolan, starring Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Ken Watanabe, Liam Neeson
Batman Begins is a 2005 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan. It is a reboot of the Batman film series, and stars Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman, alongside Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman, Cillian Murphy, Tom Wilkinson, Rutger Hauer, Ken Watanabe, and Morgan Freeman. The film follows Bruce Wayne's journey of transformation from a troubled young man to the Gotham City's Dark Knight. After witnessing the murder of his parents, Bruce is taken in by the mysterious League of Shadows and trained by Ra's al Ghul to become a powerful warrior. Bruce eventually returns to Gotham and begins a one-man crusade against organized crime and corruption, wearing a costume based on a bat to strike fear in the hearts of criminals. Along his journey, Bruce meets allies such as Alfred Pennyworth, Lucius Fox, and Rachel Dawes, and must confront his ultimate nemesis, the Joker. The film is widely acclaimed by critics and audiences alike, and is credited with revitalizing the Batman film franchise. It was followed by The Dark Knight in 2008 and The Dark Knight Rises in 2012, completing Nolan's Batman trilogy.
From Ron Howard, starring Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, Christopher Plummer
A Beautiful Mind is an award-winning biographical drama film directed by Ron Howard. The story follows the life of John Nash, a genius mathematician who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. The film follows Nash's journey from his days as a graduate student at Princeton University to his eventual acceptance of the Nobel Prize in Economics. Along the way, he struggles with his mental illness, which causes him to experience hallucinations and paranoia. Despite his condition, Nash is able to persevere and make a major contribution to mathematics and economics. Ultimately, the film is a story of resilience and hope, showing that even in the darkest of times, it's possible to overcome personal obstacles and achieve great things.
From Clint Eastwood, starring Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, Richard Harris
Unforgiven is a 1992 Western film directed by Clint Eastwood and written by David Webb Peoples. The film stars Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Gene Hackman, and Richard Harris. The story revolves around William Munny (Eastwood), a retired gunslinger-turned-farmer, who takes on one last job to collect a bounty placed on the heads of two cowboys who brutalized a prostitute. Along the way, he is joined by a young gunslinger, The Schofield Kid (Jaimz Woolvett), and an old acquaintance, Ned Logan (Morgan Freeman). As they journey through the harsh terrain of the West, they are pursued by a relentless marshal (Hackman) who is determined to bring them to justice. Unforgiven is a powerful and uncompromising look at the Western genre, exploring themes of morality, justice, and redemption. The film was a critical and commercial success, winning four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (Hackman), and Best Editing.
From Peter Weir, starring Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke, Josh Charles
Dead Poets Society is a 1989 American drama film directed by Peter Weir, written by Tom Schulman, and starring Robin Williams. Set in 1959 at the fictional elite conservative Vermont boarding school Welton Academy, it tells the story of an English teacher who inspires his students through his teaching of poetry. The film follows the story of seven boys, Neil Perry, Todd Anderson, Charlie Dalton, Knox Overstreet, Richard Cameron, Steven Meeks, and Gerard Pitts, as they discover the power of words and their own personal passions. Through the teachings of their teacher John Keating, the boys learn the value of self-expression, friendship, and standing up for what they believe in. The film also touches on issues of conformity, suicide, and coming of age.
From Nuri Bilge Ceylan, starring Haluk Bilginer, Melisa Sözen, Demet Akbag, Ayberk Pekcan
Rated Not Rated
Winter Sleep is an award-winning drama film written and directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan. Set in a remote mountain village in Anatolia, Turkey, the film follows the story of Aydin, a former actor turned wealthy hotel owner who's struggling to find meaning in his life. He spends his days managing the family business, indulging in philosophical conversations and engaging in power struggles with those around him. Aydin's oppressive behavior towards his young wife and his sister's increasingly desperate financial situation are sources of tension within the family. As the weather turns colder, the conflicts in the household reach a boiling point, revealing the human fragility beneath Aydin's gruff exterior.
From Steve McQueen, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Kenneth Williams, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt
12 Years a Slave is a critically acclaimed, Academy Award winning British-American historical drama film based on the 1853 autobiographical memoir of the same name by Solomon Northup. Directed by Steve McQueen, the film stars Chiwetel Ejiofor as Northup, a free African-American man from New York who is kidnapped in Washington D.C. and sold into slavery. Northup is forced to work on plantations in the state of Louisiana for 12 years before being released. The film follows his struggle to stay alive, remain true to himself, and eventually gain his freedom. Along the way, he experiences the cruelty of the slave trade and is faced with moral dilemmas. The film also stars Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, Lupita Nyong'o, and Sarah Paulson.
From Ingmar Bergman, starring Max von Sydow, Gunnar Björnstrand, Bengt Ekerot, Nils Poppe
Rated Not Rated
The Seventh Seal follows Antonius Block, a knight who returns home from the Crusades to Sweden, where he finds a country in the grip of the Black Death. He meets Death, personified as a hooded figure, who challenges Block to a game of chess in order to determine his fate. While they play, Block attempts to grapple with his own mortality and the fate of his fellow man in the face of the plague. Through dialogues with various people he meets on his journey, Block attempts to gain some insight into his own mortality, as well as the contradictory nature of life, death, and faith. In the end, Block must come to terms with his own mortality and the inevitability of death.
From Ingmar Bergman, starring Victor Sjöström, Bibi Andersson, Ingrid Thulin, Gunnar Björnstrand
Rated Not Rated
Wild Strawberries is a 1957 Swedish drama film directed by Ingmar Bergman. The film stars Victor Sjöström as Isak Borg, a 78-year-old professor who is forced to face his past while traveling to receive an honorary degree. As he reflects on his life during his journey, Isak is visited by visions of his past which tell him that he has led a life of emotional detachment, alienation, and sadness. Along the way, he meets a young couple and takes them under his wing, ultimately leading to a reconciliation with his estranged daughter-in-law and a newfound appreciation for life. The film is widely regarded as a masterpiece and is considered an important work in Bergman's career.
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