40 Timeless, Twisted, Titles

by mcrosswade | created - 11 Dec 2011 | updated - 11 Dec 2011 | Public

Films from every genre and decade in this list, but the main criteria for each is that it stays with you into the night and spills over to the next day.

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1. All About Eve (1950)

Passed | 138 min | Drama

98 Metascore

An ingénue insinuates herself into the lives of an established but aging stage actress and her circle of theater friends.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz | Stars: Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, Celeste Holm

Votes: 111,074 | Gross: $0.01M

A creepy example of humanity, and the lengths one will go to in order to advance his/her own agenda.

2. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)

Not Rated | 131 min | Drama

75 Metascore

A bitter, aging couple, with the help of alcohol, use a young couple to fuel anguish and emotional pain towards each other.

Director: Mike Nichols | Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, George Segal, Sandy Dennis

Votes: 64,922

If this really is an example of how Richard Burton and Liz Taylor treated one another, as is claimed, I'm glad I wasn't their child. Oops! Did I mention a child?

3. Freaks (1932)

Not Rated | 64 min | Drama, Horror

80 Metascore

A circus' beautiful trapeze artist agrees to marry the leader of side-show performers, but his deformed friends discover she is only marrying him for his inheritance.

Director: Tod Browning | Stars: Wallace Ford, Leila Hyams, Olga Baclanova, Roscoe Ates

Votes: 38,848

The name says it all.

4. The Honeymoon Killers (1970)

R | 107 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

An obese, embittered nurse doesn't mind if her toupee-wearing boyfriend romances and fleeces other women, as long as he takes her along on his con jobs.

Directors: Leonard Kastle, Donald Volkman | Stars: Shirley Stoler, Tony Lo Bianco, Mary Jane Higby, Doris Roberts

Votes: 3,944

This film plays like a reality/documentary on a marriage made in hell.

5. Blue Velvet (1986)

R | 120 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

76 Metascore

The discovery of a severed human ear found in a field leads a young man on an investigation related to a beautiful, mysterious nightclub singer and a group of psychopathic criminals who have kidnapped her child.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Isabella Rossellini, Kyle MacLachlan, Dennis Hopper, Laura Dern

Votes: 165,181 | Gross: $8.55M

O.k., I know the obvious choice first up is "Eraserhead", but my skin crawls much more when I watch Dennis Hopper screaming, "Mommy!" while sucking down nitrous.

6. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)

R | 95 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

85 Metascore

A transgender punk-rock girl from East Berlin tours the U.S. with her band as she tells her life story and follows the former lover/band-mate who stole her songs.

Director: John Cameron Mitchell | Stars: John Cameron Mitchell, Miriam Shor, Stephen Trask, Theodore Liscinski

Votes: 29,994 | Gross: $3.03M

Best musical out there. Don't let that turn you off. This film makes Rocky Horror look like a day on the other side of the wall.

7. Prick Up Your Ears (1987)

R | 105 min | Biography, Drama

72 Metascore

This film is the story of the spectacular life and violent death of British playwright Joe Orton. In his teens, Orton is befriended by the older, more reserved Kenneth Halliwell, and while ... See full summary »

Director: Stephen Frears | Stars: Gary Oldman, Alfred Molina, Vanessa Redgrave, Wallace Shawn

Votes: 5,299 | Gross: $1.65M

Nothing like an abusive, homosexual, artist who was being groomed to write The Beatles' next film, until he met his untimely death. Based on a true story...gotta love that!

8. 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: 1,674,787 | Gross: $107.93M

Really, a description of what makes this twisted? O.k., well, the only thing to be can think of is, "Check out the big brain on..." what's his name?

9. My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

75 Metascore

An ambitious Pakistani Briton and his white boyfriend strive for success and hope when they open a glamorous laundromat.

Director: Stephen Frears | Stars: Saeed Jaffrey, Roshan Seth, Daniel Day-Lewis, Richard Graham

Votes: 13,115 | Gross: $2.45M

Is it a laundry, a disco? This ain't no foolin' around.

10. The Road (I) (2009)

R | 111 min | Drama

64 Metascore

In a dangerous post-apocalyptic world, an ailing father defends his son as they slowly travel to the sea.

Director: John Hillcoat | Stars: Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Robert Duvall

Votes: 210,029 | Gross: $0.06M

By far the best Post Apocolyptic film ever made. You'll want to take a long, hot shower and become a vegetarian after. Slow starter.

11. Spun (2002)

R | 101 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

41 Metascore

A drug dealer introduces one of his customers, a 'speed freak', to the man who runs the meth lab. A crazy three-day adventure ensues.

Director: Jonas Åkerlund | Stars: Jason Schwartzman, John Leguizamo, Patrick Fugit, Brittany Murphy

Votes: 35,516 | Gross: $0.41M

Not a bad film, just a bad subject. I grew up in a town that is in the urban dictionary for tweekers. This is a fairly good characterization...did you expect them to look like Jennifer Conolly?

12. House of Sand and Fog (2003)

R | 126 min | Crime, Drama

71 Metascore

An abandoned wife is evicted from her house and starts a tragic conflict with her house's new owners.

Director: Vadim Perelman | Stars: Jennifer Connelly, Ben Kingsley, Ron Eldard, Frances Fisher

Votes: 62,347 | Gross: $13.01M

There are no winners in this illustration of bureaucratic mishaps, struggle for survival, and racism, racism, racism.

13. American History X (1998)

R | 119 min | Drama

62 Metascore

A former neo-nazi skinhead tries to prevent his younger brother from going down the same wrong path that he did.

Director: Tony Kaye | Stars: Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly D'Angelo, Jennifer Lien

Votes: 964,442 | Gross: $6.72M

And speaking of racism...although in this film, there seems to be redemption; it just comes at a very high cost.

14. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)

PG-13 | 112 min | Action, Comedy, Fantasy

69 Metascore

Scott Pilgrim must defeat his new girlfriend's seven evil exes in order to win her heart.

Director: Edgar Wright | Stars: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin, Anna Kendrick

Votes: 344,376 | Gross: $31.49M

This is a great comedy that has its own reasons for being twisted. If there is a better example of combining the concepts of a video game with a film, PLEASE SUGGEST IT!

15. eXistenZ (1999)

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

68 Metascore

A game designer on the run from assassins must play her latest virtual reality creation with a marketing trainee to determine if the game has been damaged.

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: Jude Law, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Ian Holm, Willem Dafoe

Votes: 88,513 | Gross: $2.84M

The future is almost upon us in this example of a world where marketing managers are the nerds and techies are hip, slick, and rule!

16. Play Misty for Me (1971)

R | 102 min | Drama, Thriller

78 Metascore

A brief fling between a male disc jockey and an obsessed female fan takes a frightening, and perhaps even deadly turn when another woman enters the picture.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Jessica Walter, Donna Mills, John Larch

Votes: 23,534 | Gross: $10.60M

A much better "Fatal Attraction."

17. Memento (2000)

R | 113 min | Mystery, Thriller

80 Metascore

A man with short-term memory loss attempts to track down his wife's murderer.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, Mark Boone Junior

Votes: 1,043,931 | Gross: $25.54M

The first film that really threw me. Very hard to keep up with the twists, which is a great thing in a cookie cutter script of a world.

18. Fight Club (1999)

R | 139 min | Drama

66 Metascore

An insomniac office worker and a devil-may-care soapmaker form an underground fight club that evolves into something much, much more.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Meat Loaf, Zach Grenier

Votes: 1,706,081 | Gross: $37.03M

Could you live in that house!? What "Spun" did for tweekers, "Fight Club" did for fighting. Makes you feel invincible, if only for an hour or so.

19. Oldboy (2003)

R | 120 min | Action, Drama, Mystery

77 Metascore

After being kidnapped and imprisoned for fifteen years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in five days.

Director: Chan-wook Park | Stars: Min-sik Choi, Ji-tae Yu, Hye-jeong Kang, Dae-han Ji

Votes: 466,805 | Gross: $0.71M

What makes ths film twisted is just EVERYTHING! Not a taboo left unturned. Let's just say that one badass of a gangster makes a big oops when he lets others choose his lovers for him.

20. Splice (2009)

R | 104 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

66 Metascore

Genetic engineers Clive Nicoli and Elsa Kast hope to achieve fame by successfully splicing together the DNA of different animals to create new hybrid animals for medical use.

Director: Vincenzo Natali | Stars: Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley, Delphine Chanéac, Brandon McGibbon

Votes: 88,691 | Gross: $17.00M

A relatively new film for my list (just something about the classics I dig), this film stars two actresses for the title character; one was a young Asian Girl. The fact that the spliced creature is only part human in this futuristic sci-fi doesn't freak you out as much as the fact that there's a real girl, actress, wearing the make-up.

21. Monster's Ball (2001)

R | 111 min | Drama, Romance

69 Metascore

After a family tragedy, a racist prison guard reexamines his attitudes while falling in love with the African American wife of the last prisoner he executed.

Director: Marc Forster | Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Halle Berry, Taylor Simpson, Gabrielle Witcher

Votes: 79,215 | Gross: $31.25M

Abusive parents, death row inmates, and more racism. Another film with enough to keep you busy. Not to mention you get to find out what Billy Bob Thorton looks like having sex, instead of just hearing about it from his Red Carpet faux pas.

22. Quills (2000)

R | 124 min | Biography, Drama

70 Metascore

In a Napoleonic era insane asylum, an inmate, the irrepressible Marquis De Sade, fights a battle of wills against a tyrannically prudish doctor.

Director: Philip Kaufman | Stars: Geoffrey Rush, Kate Winslet, Joaquin Phoenix, Michael Caine

Votes: 49,362 | Gross: $7.06M

While probably not the true story of the Marquis De Sade, it's fun enough to imagine that his days spent in the asylum torturing a young (and hot) Joaquin Phoenix were just like this.

23. Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit (1989– )

165 min | Drama

Jessica's extraordinarily strong will and heart enables her to rebel against her fanatical, cult-like upbringing. From seven to seventeen Jess is brainwashed to be one of the 'saved', to ... See full summary »

Stars: Geraldine McEwan, Elizabeth Spriggs, Freda Dowie, Peter Gordon

Votes: 872

I didn't realize this was a mini-series, but it's available nontheless. Not really creepy, just uncomfortable at times. Don't all girls try to kiss their friends?

24. Fargo (1996)

R | 98 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

85 Metascore

Jerry Lundegaard's inept crime falls apart due to his and his henchmen's bungling and the persistent police work of the quite pregnant Marge Gunderson.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen | Stars: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare

Votes: 569,341 | Gross: $24.61M

Good clean fun. A scheme goes awry leading to a large body count, oopsy!

25. They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969)

M/PG | 129 min | Drama

72 Metascore

The lives of a disparate group of contestants intertwine in an inhumanely grueling dance marathon.

Director: Sydney Pollack | Stars: Jane Fonda, Michael Sarrazin, Susannah York, Gig Young

Votes: 14,944

A perfect illustration that this is in no particular order. If it were, this would be closer to number one. I don't think I'm alone in being ignorant to this method of earning money during the depression. You really do have to wait until the end for the big payoff, but the long dance marathon that leads up to it has plenty to chew on in the meantime.

26. The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia (2009)

TV-MA | 86 min | Documentary

A year in the life of the White family, well known for Jesco White, the star of the "Dancing Outlaw" documentary.

Director: Julien Nitzberg | Stars: J. Parker Bazzle II, Big & Rich, Ponty's Camper, Derek Wayne Castle

Votes: 3,316

While wild, not so much wonderful. West Virginia's most beloved outlaws. They sure love their oxycontin. The matriarch is convinced that snorting it is the traditional, doctor prescribed method of taking this opiate. Hmmm. Excuse the fact that it's a documentary. If that were the only criteria, the list would be complete, but I'll reserve it for two in particular.

27. There's Something Wrong with Aunt Diane (2011 TV Movie)

TV-MA | 101 min | Documentary

This documentary explores the depth behind the case of a woman whose vehicle collision killed numerous people, including herself. Was she really the reckless drunk, or the perfect suburban mother?

Director: Liz Garbus | Stars: Jesse Temple, Brad Katinas, Diane Schuler, Jay Schuler

Votes: 3,646

O.k., why not? I said there'd only be two, and here's the other. I will tell you that if you ever try to defend Aunt Diane on any forum, you won't make friends. This documentary chronicles the Taconic Parkway tragedy. Pictures and all!

28. Funny Games (2007)

R | 111 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

44 Metascore

Two psychopathic young men take a family hostage in their cabin.

Director: Michael Haneke | Stars: Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Michael Pitt, Brady Corbet

Votes: 84,618 | Gross: $1.29M

A better "Strangers". It just plays better. Long, uncomfortable scenes with Michael Pitt at the center are sufficient for this film to make the list. He turns borrowing eggs from a neighbor into a nightmarish event.

29. Junebug (2005)

R | 106 min | Comedy, Drama

80 Metascore

A dealer in "outsider" art travels from Chicago to North Carolina to meet her new in-laws, challenging the equilibrium of this middle class Southern home.

Director: Phil Morrison | Stars: Embeth Davidtz, Alessandro Nivola, David Kuhn, Alicia Van Couvering

Votes: 21,387 | Gross: $2.68M

Isn't Amy Adams just as cute as a button? Well, not in this family drama. She's the squeaky clean little sister you never wanted. Well acted, but a little slow at times.

30. Super (I) (2010)

R | 96 min | Action, Comedy, Drama

50 Metascore

After his wife falls under the influence of a drug dealer, an everyday guy transforms himself into Crimson Bolt, a superhero with the best intentions, but lacking in heroic skills.

Director: James Gunn | Stars: Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler, Kevin Bacon

Votes: 71,342 | Gross: $0.32M

A man or a mouse, this odd film tries to be a blockbuster. Halfway through is when things get weird, but when the protagonist does vere away from his New Born Christian ideals, he quickly gets back on track. It's the getting there that'll make you cringe.

31. The Exorcist (1973)

R | 122 min | Horror

81 Metascore

When a teenage girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.

Director: William Friedkin | Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair, Lee J. Cobb

Votes: 338,669 | Gross: $232.91M

If you haven't seen this, do. In the original screenings, audience members fainted. Fainted!

32. Requiem for a Dream (2000)

R | 102 min | Drama

68 Metascore

The drug-induced utopias of four Coney Island people are shattered when their addictions run deep.

Director: Darren Aronofsky | Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Marlon Wayans

Votes: 710,124 | Gross: $3.64M

Another Ode to Meth Addicts, Arronofsky's film does a great job building the drama. You feel like a snowball rolling slowly down a hill, collecting tension on the way.

33. Bright Young Things (2003)

R | 102 min | Comedy, Drama, War

64 Metascore

An adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's novel "Vile Bodies", is a look into the lives of a young novelist, his would-be lover, and a host of young people who beautified London in the 1930s.

Director: Stephen Fry | Stars: Stephen Campbell Moore, Emily Mortimer, Dan Aykroyd, Simon McBurney

Votes: 4,875 | Gross: $0.93M

This film stars many actors who, at the time, had not been discovered by Red Carpet regulars. Brilliantly British, it follows the social set of a time when everything seemed to be going right for everyone. Until it doesn't.

34. The Salton Sea (2002)

R | 103 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

41 Metascore

After a tragic incident, a man drifts into a world populated by thugs and speed junkies.

Director: D.J. Caruso | Stars: Val Kilmer, Vincent D'Onofrio, Adam Goldberg, Luis Guzmán

Votes: 28,699 | Gross: $0.76M

Vincent D'nofrio was robbed of an Oscar! Portraying a meth cook, he overshadows the star, Val Kilmer, as a man who's dipped his nose into the cookie jar so often, that he now sports a prosthetic. A suspense filled drama that doesn't pull any punches.

35. The Town (2010)

R | 125 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

74 Metascore

As he plans his next job, a longtime thief tries to balance his feelings for a bank manager connected to one of his earlier heists, as well as the F.B.I. Agent looking to bring him and his crew down.

Director: Ben Affleck | Stars: Ben Affleck, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner

Votes: 326,436 | Gross: $92.19M

Not a fantastic film, but quite good. The craziest thing were the quotes at the beginning about the fact that a statistically measurable number of Bostonians considered robbery an occupation in the 90's. Wonder what they're doing today?

36. Sybil (1976)

198 min | Biography, Drama

A young woman whose childhood was so harrowing to her that she developed sixteen different personalities is treated by a doctor.

Stars: Joanne Woodward, Sally Field, Brad Davis, Martine Bartlett

Votes: 6,077

Sally Fields earned her cred for this film about a victime of what used to be called Multiple Personality Disorder. It is supposedly one of the earliest recorded cases by a psychiatrist. How she got that way is the real story.

37. 8MM (1999)

R | 123 min | Mystery, Thriller

19 Metascore

A private investigator is hired to discover if a "snuff film" is authentic or not.

Director: Joel Schumacher | Stars: Nicolas Cage, Joaquin Phoenix, James Gandolfini, Peter Stormare

Votes: 116,807 | Gross: $36.66M

About the search for a snuff film. Is that enough for you?

38. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)

PG-13 | 112 min | Biography, Drama

92 Metascore

The true story of Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby who suffers a stroke and has to live with an almost totally paralyzed body; only his left eye isn't paralyzed.

Director: Julian Schnabel | Stars: Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Seigner, Marie-Josée Croze, Anne Consigny

Votes: 99,104 | Gross: $5.99M

Based on a true story, it makes you happy that you aren't paralyzed. At least you aren't like this!

39. Gone Baby Gone (2007)

R | 114 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

72 Metascore

Two Boston area detectives investigate a little girl's kidnapping, which ultimately turns into a crisis both professionally and personally.

Director: Ben Affleck | Stars: Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan

Votes: 236,621 | Gross: $20.30M

O.k., o.k., there are a few repetitive themes here, but doesn't child molestation make everyone's list for creepy? A few twists as well. Extremely well acted by a few locals.



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