The masterpiece list.

by testacorsa | created - 16 Jan 2012 | updated - 30 Sep 2013 | Public

This list is a collection of my personal favorite films, and films I consider to be masterpieces in their time and genre.

Like it is with everything that is art, it is impossible to reason why some speaks to you, and some doesn't. For one or the other reason these films spoke to me and stuck in my mind. As they (and I) get older, they almost become a part of me. When you once in a while enjoy them again, it's like a reunion of old friends you lost contact with, remembering the old days. I love films!

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1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

R | 142 min | Crime, Drama

9.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.3/10 X  
80 Metascore

Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency.

Director: Frank Darabont | Stars: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, William Sadler

Votes: 1,887,685 | Gross: $28.34M

Rated as the best movie in the world on Imdb - and who could disagree? A timeless classic, and a must see - again and again and again...

2. The Pianist (2002)

R | 150 min | Biography, Drama, Music

8.5
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85 Metascore

A Polish Jewish musician struggles to survive the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto of World War II.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Frank Finlay, Emilia Fox

Votes: 567,410 | Gross: $32.57M

A WW2 survival story without equal in film history. Brutal and beautiful, and in my view Polanski´s absolute best.

3. Back to the Future (1985)

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

8.5
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86 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 maverick scientist Doc Brown.

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

Votes: 829,218 | Gross: $210.61M

From my favorite director, my favorite coming of age film. So full of details, and brilliant actors. Written and directed to perfection, and almost overdone. The whole trilogi takes me right back to simpler, unworrying times.

4. The Celebration (1998)

R | 105 min | Drama

8.1
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82 Metascore

At Helge's 60th birthday party, some unpleasant family truths are revealed.

Director: Thomas Vinterberg | Stars: Ulrich Thomsen, Henning Moritzen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Paprika Steen

Votes: 69,926 | Gross: $1.65M

The peak of the low budget Danish Dogme manifesto movies. Sadly it doesn't ago so well, but for it's time it was new and fresh. While dealing with taboos, it capures moods so thick, that you can feel them running slowly down your neck. Again oustanding acting and wery caturing storytelling.

5. The Shining (1980)

R | 146 min | Drama, Horror

8.4
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63 Metascore

A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers

Votes: 691,672 | Gross: $44.02M

Timeless classic. Stephen King and Stanley Kubrick. For some a mismatch, but for me and many others a match made in heaven.

6. The Godfather (1972)

R | 175 min | Crime, Drama

9.2
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100 Metascore

The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Diane Keaton

Votes: 1,288,873 | Gross: $134.97M

7. Amadeus (1984)

R | 160 min | Biography, Drama, History

8.3
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93 Metascore

The incredible story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, told by his peer and secret rival Antonio Salieri - now confined to an insane asylum.

Director: Milos Forman | Stars: F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge, Roy Dotrice

Votes: 303,073 | Gross: $51.97M

8. This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

R | 82 min | Comedy, Music

8.0
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85 Metascore

Spinal Tap, one of England's loudest bands, is chronicled by film director Marty DiBergi on what proves to be a fateful tour.

Director: Rob Reiner | Stars: Rob Reiner, Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, Kimberly Stringer

Votes: 113,057 | Gross: $0.19M

9. Up (2009)

PG | 96 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

8.3
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88 Metascore

Seventy-eight year old Carl Fredricksen travels to Paradise Falls in his home equipped with balloons, inadvertently taking a young stowaway.

Directors: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson | Stars: Edward Asner, Jordan Nagai, John Ratzenberger, Christopher Plummer

Votes: 754,360 | Gross: $293.00M

Best story ever animated. Not your typical 3 x obstacles + 1 happy ending disney yap yap. This film offers adventure and food for thought, while being clever and witty. A MUST see for animation lovers!

10. The Station Agent (2003)

R | 89 min | Comedy, Drama

7.7
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81 Metascore

When his only friend dies, a man born with dwarfism moves to rural New Jersey to live a life of solitude, only to meet a chatty hot dog vendor and a woman dealing with her own personal loss.

Director: Tom McCarthy | Stars: Peter Dinklage, Patricia Clarkson, Bobby Cannavale, Paul Benjamin

Votes: 61,366 | Gross: $5.74M

Slow paced and querky story - I love it! It has very memorable characters, especially one, "joe", who´s easy going look on life is contageus both to the other characters in the film, and you as a viewer.

11. Pulp Fiction (1994)

R | 154 min | Crime, Drama

8.9
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94 Metascore

The lives of two mob hitmen, a boxer, a gangster's 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: 1,476,499 | Gross: $107.93M

First time I saw this I was 16. I left the theater disappointed and mad about the crappy ending and messed up continuity. I didn't get it, and certainly didn't get what all the fuzz was about. It took two years for me to give it a second chance, and I got it after the "royale with cheese" scene, and loved Tarantino's work ever since. Made absolutely timeless by him, because the style is so heavily retro - clever man!

12. Downfall (2004)

R | 156 min | Biography, Drama, History

8.2
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82 Metascore

Traudl Junge, the final secretary for Adolf Hitler, tells of the Nazi dictator's final days in his Berlin bunker at the end of WWII.

Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel | Stars: Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara, Ulrich Matthes, Juliane Köhler

Votes: 276,036 | Gross: $5.51M

13. Shutter Island (2010)

R | 138 min | Mystery, Thriller

8.1
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63 Metascore

In 1954, a U.S. Marshal investigates the disappearance of a murderer, who escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Emily Mortimer, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley

Votes: 897,967 | Gross: $128.01M

14. Flåklypa Grand Prix (1975)

G | 88 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

8.4
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Reodor Felgen decides that he will enter a car race to defeat his former friend who has stolen his plans for a car.

Director: Ivo Caprino | Stars: Wenche Foss, Per Theodor Haugen, Harald Heide-Steen Jr., Leif Juster

Votes: 11,037

A cute tale of a Norwegan bycicle repairman, who goes up against the racing elite. Brilliant entertainment for family and kids, and those who are childish (like me). Stop motion perfection.

15. Who Killed the Electric Car? (2006)

PG | 92 min | Documentary

7.7
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70 Metascore

A documentary that investigates the birth and death of the electric car, as well as the role of renewable energy and sustainable living in the future.

Director: Chris Paine | Stars: Martin Sheen, Tom Hanks, Mel Gibson, Reverend Gadget

Votes: 11,606 | Gross: $1.68M

Not only a documentary about the electric car from General Motors, but a very good underlining of what is fundamentally wrong in modern society. Everything is about money, no matter what the cost.

16. Den du frygter (2008)

95 min | Drama, Thriller

6.4
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A man signs up for a test trial of a new anti-depressant as a way to change his life. When the trial is called off, he continues taking the medication with violent results.

Director: Kristian Levring | Stars: Ulrich Thomsen, Paprika Steen, Emma Sehested Høeg, Lars Brygmann

Votes: 1,399

17. Das Boot (1981)

R | 149 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
86 Metascore

The claustrophobic world of a WWII German U-boat; boredom, filth, and sheer terror.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen | Stars: Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Klaus Wennemann, Hubertus Bengsch

Votes: 187,103 | Gross: $11.49M

18. The Lives of Others (2006)

R | 137 min | Drama, Thriller

8.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
89 Metascore

In 1984 East Berlin, an agent of the secret police, conducting surveillance on a writer and his lover, finds himself becoming increasingly absorbed by their lives.

Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck | Stars: Ulrich Mühe, Martina Gedeck, Sebastian Koch, Ulrich Tukur

Votes: 290,029 | Gross: $11.29M

19. 3:10 to Yuma (2007)

R | 122 min | Adventure, Crime, Drama

7.7
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76 Metascore

A small-time rancher agrees to hold a captured outlaw who's awaiting a train to go to court in Yuma. A battle of wills ensues as the outlaw tries to psych out the rancher.

Director: James Mangold | Stars: Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, Ben Foster, Logan Lerman

Votes: 254,516 | Gross: $53.61M

20. Welcome (I) (2009)

110 min | Drama

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
61 Metascore

Bilal is 17 years old, a Kurdish boy from Iraq. He sets off on an adventure-filled journey across Europe. He wants to get to England to see his love who lives there. Bilal finally reaches ... See full summary »

Director: Philippe Lioret | Stars: Vincent Lindon, Firat Ayverdi, Audrey Dana, Derya Ayverdi

Votes: 6,398 | Gross: $0.01M

21. Catfish (2010)

PG-13 | 87 min | Documentary

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
65 Metascore

Young filmmakers document their colleague's budding online friendship with a young woman and her family which leads to an unexpected series of discoveries.

Directors: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman | Stars: Yaniv Schulman, Ariel Schulman, Henry Joost, Angela Wesselman-Pierce

Votes: 37,240 | Gross: $3.23M

22. Kurt & Courtney (1998)

R | 95 min | Documentary, Crime, Music

6.2
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A documentary on the life of Kurt Cobain and his relationship with Courtney Love.

Director: Nick Broomfield | Stars: Courtney Love, Nick Broomfield, Kurt Cobain, Mari Earle

Votes: 6,110 | Gross: $0.44M

23. The Anniversary Party (2001)

R | 115 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

6.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
56 Metascore

Love is complex and relationships deteriorate.

Directors: Alan Cumming, Jennifer Jason Leigh | Stars: Alan Cumming, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Phoebe Cates, Kevin Kline

Votes: 7,629 | Gross: $4.01M

24. Anvil: The Story of Anvil (2008)

Unrated | 80 min | Documentary, Biography, Drama

8.0
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82 Metascore

Since 1978, Anvil has become one of heavy metal's most influential yet commercially unsuccessful acts. In 2006, after a fledging European tour Anvil sets out to record their thirteenth album and continue to follow their dreams.

Director: Sacha Gervasi | Stars: Robb Reiner, Steve 'Lips' Kudlow, Tiziana Arrigoni, Scott Ian

Votes: 14,100 | Gross: $0.67M

25. Sleuth (2007)

R | 88 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
49 Metascore

On his sprawling country estate, an aging writer matches wits with the struggling actor who has stolen his wife's heart.

Director: Kenneth Branagh | Stars: Michael Caine, Jude Law, Harold Pinter, Kenneth Branagh

Votes: 27,568 | Gross: $0.34M

26. Kundskabens træ (1981)

101 min | Drama

7.3
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As a group of Danish children pass into adolescence, gradually the most popular girl becomes an outcast, for trivial reasons that she never understands.

Director: Nils Malmros | Stars: Eva Gram Schjoldager, Jan Johansen, Line Arlien-Søborg, Marian Wendelbo

Votes: 1,224

27. The Departed (2006)

R | 151 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

8.5
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85 Metascore

An undercover cop and a mole in the police attempt to identify each other while infiltrating an Irish gang in South Boston.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg

Votes: 974,885 | Gross: $132.38M

28. No Country for Old Men (2007)

R | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
91 Metascore

Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong and more than two million dollars in cash near the Rio Grande.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen | Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson

Votes: 689,262 | Gross: $74.28M

29. This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

R | 82 min | Comedy, Music

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/11 X  
85 Metascore

Spinal Tap, one of England's loudest bands, is chronicled by film director Marty DiBergi on what proves to be a fateful tour.

Director: Rob Reiner | Stars: Rob Reiner, Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, Kimberly Stringer

Votes: 113,057 | Gross: $0.19M