The best of magic realism

by guisreis | created - 11 Sep 2014 | updated - 1 day ago | Public

There are many good movies which tell a story in real world (neither in a fantasy one nor a straight sci-fi film) but that present enchanting fairy elements.

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1. Amélie (2001)

R | 122 min | Comedy, Romance

69 Metascore

Amélie is an innocent and naive girl in Paris with her own sense of justice. She decides to help those around her and, along the way, discovers love.

Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet | Stars: Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus, Lorella Cravotta

Votes: 683,423 | Gross: $33.23M

2. The Truman Show (1998)

PG | 103 min | Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi

90 Metascore

An insurance salesman discovers his whole life is actually a reality TV show.

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Jim Carrey, Ed Harris, Laura Linney, Noah Emmerich

Votes: 893,963 | Gross: $125.62M

3. Live Flesh (1997)

R | 103 min | Drama

69 Metascore

After leaving jail, Víctor is still in love with Elena, but she's married to the former cop -now basketball player- who became paralysed by a shot from Víctor's gun...

Director: Pedro Almodóvar | Stars: Liberto Rabal, Francesca Neri, Javier Bardem, Ángela Molina

Votes: 27,318 | Gross: $1.54M

4. Cinema, Aspirins and Vultures (2005)

99 min | Adventure, Drama

A road movie about a German man who went to the North East of Brazil in the 1942 to sell Aspirin.

Director: Marcelo Gomes | Stars: João Miguel, Peter Ketnath, Madalena Accioly, Jeane Alves

Votes: 2,384

5. Big Fish (2003)

PG-13 | 125 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

58 Metascore

A frustrated son tries to determine the fact from fiction in his dying father's life.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange

Votes: 404,347 | Gross: $66.26M

6. I Am Cuba (1964)

Not Rated | 141 min | Drama, History, War

Four vignettes about the lives of the Cuban people set during the pre-revolutionary era.

Director: Mikhail Kalatozov | Stars: Sergio Corrieri, Salvador Wood, José Gallardo, Raúl García

Votes: 7,765

7. Little Nicholas (2009)

Not Rated | 91 min | Comedy, Family

Nicholas has every reason to keep things in life unchanged; however, when he accidentally overhears mum and dad talking about a new baby brother, his world will turn upside down. Will they abandon him to make room for the little stranger?

Director: Laurent Tirard | Stars: Maxime Godart, Vincent Claude, Charles Vaillant, Victor Carles

Votes: 11,931

8. Mulholland Drive (2001)

R | 147 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

85 Metascore

After a car wreck on the winding Mulholland Drive renders a woman amnesiac, she and a perky Hollywood-hopeful search for clues and answers across Los Angeles in a twisting venture beyond dreams and reality.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Justin Theroux, Jeanne Bates

Votes: 307,397 | Gross: $7.22M

9. Gangs of New York (2002)

R | 167 min | Crime, Drama

72 Metascore

In 1862, Amsterdam Vallon returns to the Five Points area of New York City seeking revenge against Bill the Butcher, his father's killer.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jim Broadbent

Votes: 392,013 | Gross: $77.81M

10. Blancanieves (2012)

PG-13 | 104 min | Drama, Fantasy

82 Metascore

A twist on the Snow White fairy tale that is set in 1920s Seville and centered on a female bullfighter.

Director: Pablo Berger | Stars: Maribel Verdú, Emilio Gavira, Daniel Giménez Cacho, Ángela Molina

Votes: 10,153 | Gross: $0.28M

11. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

PG-13 | 165 min | Western

80 Metascore

A mysterious stranger with a harmonica joins forces with a notorious desperado to protect a beautiful widow from a ruthless assassin working for the railroad.

Director: Sergio Leone | Stars: Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, Claudia Cardinale, Jason Robards

Votes: 290,082 | Gross: $5.32M

12. Snatch (2000)

R | 102 min | Comedy, Crime

55 Metascore

Unscrupulous boxing promoters, violent bookmakers, a Russian gangster, incompetent amateur robbers and supposedly Jewish jewelers fight to track down a priceless stolen diamond.

Director: Guy Ritchie | Stars: Jason Statham, Brad Pitt, Benicio Del Toro, Dennis Farina

Votes: 757,818 | Gross: $30.33M

13. Mary Poppins (1964)

G | 139 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

88 Metascore

In turn of the century London, a magical nanny employs music and adventure to help two neglected children become closer to their father.

Director: Robert Stevenson | Stars: Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson, Glynis Johns

Votes: 152,342 | Gross: $102.27M

More fantasy than magic realism, but not pure fantasy either.

14. The Zero Theorem (2013)

R | 107 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

50 Metascore

A hugely talented but socially isolated computer operator is tasked by Management to prove the Zero Theorem: that the universe ends as nothing, rendering life meaningless. But meaning is what he already craves.

Director: Terry Gilliam | Stars: Christoph Waltz, Lucas Hedges, Mélanie Thierry, David Thewlis

Votes: 44,189 | Gross: $0.22M

15. Hotel Chevalier (2007)

R | 13 min | Short, Drama, Romance

A prologue of one heart-breaking history of love and the prologue of the travel told in The Darjeeling Limited (2007).

Director: Wes Anderson | Stars: Jason Schwartzman, Natalie Portman, Waris Ahluwalia, Michel Castejon

Votes: 29,965

16. Behind the Sun (2001)

PG-13 | 105 min | Drama

73 Metascore

When ordered by his father to avenge the death of his older brother, a young man questions the tradition of violence between two rival families.

Director: Walter Salles | Stars: José Dumont, Rodrigo Santoro, Rita Assemany, Luiz Carlos Vasconcelos

Votes: 6,618 | Gross: $0.06M

17. Barry Lyndon (1975)

PG | 185 min | Adventure, Drama, History

89 Metascore

An Irish rogue wins the heart of a rich widow and assumes her dead husband's aristocratic position in 18th-century England.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Ryan O'Neal, Marisa Berenson, Patrick Magee, Hardy Krüger

Votes: 142,475

18. Beauties of the Night (1952)

Approved | 87 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Music

A young composer has vivid dreams of the past that reflect, yet conflict with his waking life.

Director: René Clair | Stars: Gérard Philipe, Martine Carol, Gina Lollobrigida, Magali Vendeuil

Votes: 559

19. Popeye (1980)

PG | 114 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

64 Metascore

The adventures of the famous sailor man and his friends in the seaside town of Sweethaven.

Director: Robert Altman | Stars: Robin Williams, Shelley Duvall, Ray Walston, Paul Dooley

Votes: 28,502 | Gross: $49.82M

20. Hugo (2011)

PG | 126 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

83 Metascore

In 1931 Paris, an orphan living in the walls of a train station gets wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz, Christopher Lee, Ben Kingsley

Votes: 296,503 | Gross: $73.86M

21. El Crimen Perfecto (The Perfect Crime) (2004)

Not Rated | 105 min | Comedy, Crime, Thriller

68 Metascore

An ambitious salesman will do anything for that big promotion he's been chasing, but inevitably, he will learn that there is no such thing as the perfect crime.

Director: Álex de la Iglesia | Stars: Guillermo Toledo, Mónica Cervera, Enrique Villén, Luis Varela

Votes: 11,153

22. Lisbela and the Prisoner (2003)

106 min | Comedy, Romance

Lisbela is a young woman who loves going to the movies. Leléu is a con man, going from town to town selling all sort of things and performing as master of ceremonies for some cheesy numbers... See full summary »

Director: Guel Arraes | Stars: André Mattos, Aramis Trindade, Bruno Garcia, Carlos Casagrande

Votes: 5,458

23. Nicholas on Holiday (2014)

G | 97 min | Comedy, Family

The summer holidays begin, Nicolas and his family travel to the seaside where a whole new series of adventures await them.

Director: Laurent Tirard | Stars: Valérie Lemercier, Kad Merad, Dominique Lavanant, Bouli Lanners

Votes: 2,447

24. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

R | 99 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

88 Metascore

A writer encounters the owner of an aging high-class hotel, who tells him of his early years serving as a lobby boy in the hotel's glorious years under an exceptional concierge.

Director: Wes Anderson | Stars: Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody

Votes: 677,038 | Gross: $59.10M

25. Irma Vap: O Retorno (2006)

80 min | Comedy

After many flops, theatrical producer decides to stage a former hit, "O Mistério de Irma Vap". But he is going to face many problems to find the right actors and get the necessary permissions.

Director: Carla Camurati | Stars: Marco Nanini, Ney Latorraca, Luisa Arraes, Paulo Betti

Votes: 200

26. Frida (2002)

R | 123 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

61 Metascore

A biography of artist Frida Kahlo, who channeled the pain of a crippling injury and her tempestuous marriage into her work.

Director: Julie Taymor | Stars: Salma Hayek, Alfred Molina, Geoffrey Rush, Mía Maestro

Votes: 78,382 | Gross: $25.89M

Indeed, the film reminds Mexican murals.

27. Bacurau (2019)

131 min | Adventure, Mystery, Sci-Fi

82 Metascore

After the death of her grandmother, Teresa comes home to her matriarchal village in a near-future Brazil to find a succession of sinister events that mobilizes all of its residents.

Directors: Juliano Dornelles, Kleber Mendonça Filho | Stars: Bárbara Colen, Thomas Aquino, Silvero Pereira, Thardelly Lima

Votes: 13,163

28. Underground (1995)

Not Rated | 167 min | Comedy, Drama, War

A group of Serbian socialists prepares for the war in a surreal underground filled by parties, tragedies, love and hate.

Director: Emir Kusturica | Stars: Predrag 'Miki' Manojlovic, Lazar Ristovski, Mirjana Jokovic, Slavko Stimac

Votes: 53,533 | Gross: $0.17M

29. Rumba (2008)

77 min | Comedy

Teachers in a rural school, happy couple Fiona and Dom have a common passion: Latin Dancing. One night, after a glorious dance competition, they have a car accident and see their lives turn... See full summary »

Directors: Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon, Bruno Romy | Stars: Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon, Philippe Martz, Bruno Romy

Votes: 1,569

30. Dick Tracy (1990)

PG | 105 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

68 Metascore

The comic strip detective finds his life vastly complicated when Breathless Mahoney makes advances towards him while he is trying to battle Big Boy Caprice's united mob.

Director: Warren Beatty | Stars: Warren Beatty, Madonna, Al Pacino, Charlie Korsmo

Votes: 55,813 | Gross: $103.74M

31. Chatô - The King of Brazil (2015)

102 min | Biography, Drama

The film tells the facts of life of the mogul of communications, Assis Chateaubriand (Marco Ricca), one of those responsible for bringing TV to Brazil. The screenplay based on the ... See full summary »

Director: Guilherme Fontes | Stars: Marco Ricca, Andrea Beltrão, Paulo Betti, Letícia Sabatella

Votes: 617

32. The Seven Year Itch (1955)

Not Rated | 105 min | Comedy, Romance

When his family goes away for the summer, a hitherto faithful husband with an overactive imagination is tempted by a beautiful neighbor.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Marilyn Monroe, Tom Ewell, Evelyn Keyes, Sonny Tufts

Votes: 32,699 | Gross: $12.00M

33. Dumbo (2019)

PG | 112 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

51 Metascore

A young elephant, whose oversized ears enable him to fly, helps save a struggling circus, but when the circus plans a new venture, Dumbo and his friends discover dark secrets beneath its shiny veneer.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Eva Green

Votes: 60,174 | Gross: $114.77M

The film is in the border between what I consider fantasy and what I refer to magic realism.

34. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)

R | 133 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

79 Metascore

Six tales of life and violence in the Old West, following a singing gunslinger, a bank robber, a traveling impresario, an elderly prospector, a wagon train, and a perverse pair of bounty hunters.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen | Stars: Tim Blake Nelson, Willie Watson, Clancy Brown, Danny McCarthy

Votes: 110,253

35. Castello Cavalcanti (2013)

Not Rated | 8 min | Short, Comedy, Drama

Italy, September 1955. A Formula One driver crashes his car during a race, leaving him stuck in a small village but good surprises will come his way.

Director: Wes Anderson | Stars: Jason Schwartzman, Giada Colagrande, Giorgio Zancolla, Paolo Coluccio

Votes: 6,262

https://youtu.be/b87B7zyucgI

36. The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2018)

Not Rated | 132 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

58 Metascore

Toby, a disillusioned film director, is pulled into a world of time-jumping fantasy when a Spanish cobbler believes him to be Sancho Panza. He gradually becomes unable to tell dreams from reality.

Director: Terry Gilliam | Stars: José Luis Ferrer, Ismael Fritschi, Juan López-Tagle, Adam Driver

Votes: 13,715 | Gross: $0.39M

37. Bury Me Behind the Baseboard (2009)

PG-13 | 117 min | Drama

A small child is trapped in a tug-of-war battle between his frivolous, but loving mother and an emotionally abusive neurotic grandmother, who wants to "shelter" her beloved grandson at all cost.

Director: Sergey Snezhkin | Stars: Svetlana Kryuchkova, Aleksey Petrenko, Mariya Shukshina, Konstantin Vorobyov

Votes: 1,033

38. Polar (I) (2019)

TV-MA | 118 min | Action, Crime, Drama

19 Metascore

A retiring assassin suddenly finds himself on the receiving end of a hit, contracted by none other than his own employer seeking to cash in on the pensions of aging employees.

Director: Jonas Åkerlund | Stars: Mads Mikkelsen, Vanessa Hudgens, Katheryn Winnick, Fei Ren

Votes: 68,410

39. Treason (1998)

104 min | Drama

Three short stories adapted from Nelson Rodrigues works and all revolving around infidelity, some with humored moments and others with more tragic results. "Traição" ("Betrayal") presents ... See full summary »

Directors: José Henrique Fonseca, Arthur Fontes, Cláudio Torres | Stars: Tuca Andrada, Alexandre Borges, Pedro Cardoso, Francisco Cuoco

Votes: 195

40. Kings & Rats (2012)

110 min | Comedy, Drama

Estado do Rio de Janeiro, 1963. O coreto da praça principal de Bacaxá explode no momento de abertura da gincana de primavera da pequena cidade. O alvo do atentando é Amélia Castanho, ... See full synopsis »

Director: Mauro Lima | Stars: Selton Mello, Otávio Müller, Rafaela Mandelli, Cauã Reymond

Votes: 259

41. Life of Pi (2012)

PG | 127 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

79 Metascore

A young man who survives a disaster at sea is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor: a fearsome Bengal tiger.

Director: Ang Lee | Stars: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Adil Hussain, Tabu

Votes: 564,096 | Gross: $124.99M

42. The Shape of Water (2017)

R | 123 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

87 Metascore

At a top secret research facility in the 1960s, a lonely janitor forms a unique relationship with an amphibious creature that is being held in captivity.

Director: Guillermo del Toro | Stars: Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon, Doug Jones

Votes: 350,297 | Gross: $63.86M

The film is in the border between what I consider fantasy and what I refer to magic realism.

43. Aventuras com Tio Maneco (1971)

95 min | Comedy, Family

An uncle travels with his three nephews once a year, during the holidays, looking for adventure.

Director: Flávio Migliaccio | Stars: Flávio Migliaccio, Odete Lara, Walter Forster, Rodolfo Arena

Votes: 37

44. New York Stories (1989)

PG | 124 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A middle-aged artist obsessed with his pretty young assistant, a precocious 12 year old living in a hotel, and a neurotic lawyer with a possessive mother make up three Gotham tales.

Directors: Woody Allen, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese | Stars: Woody Allen, Nick Nolte, Rosanna Arquette, Marvin Chatinover

Votes: 16,486 | Gross: $10.76M

45. The Glorious Acceptance of Nicolas Chauvin (2018)

G | 26 min | Short, War

During his acceptance speech for a lifetime achievement award, Nicolas Chauvin - farmer-soldier, veteran of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, and father of chauvinism - embarks on a grand monologue, sending him back in time and space.

Director: Benjamin Crotty | Stars: Alexis Manenti, Antoine Cholet, Pauline Jacquard, Caroline Deruas-Garrel

Votes: 121

46. Micmacs (2009)

R | 105 min | Action, Comedy, Crime