12 Years a Slave (2013)
In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Dir: Steve McQueen With: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael K. Williams, Michael Fassbender Biography | Drama | History 134 mins.
2. Argo (2012)
Acting under the cover of a Hollywood producer scouting a location for a science fiction film, a CIA agent launches a dangerous operation to rescue six Americans in Tehran during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1980. Dir: Ben Affleck With: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman Biography | Drama | History | Thriller 120 mins.
3. The Artist (2011)
A silent movie star meets a young dancer, but the arrival of talking pictures sends their careers in opposite directions. Dir: Michel Hazanavicius With: Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo, John Goodman Comedy | Drama | Romance 100 mins.
4. The King’s Speech (2010)
The story of King George VI of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, his impromptu ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch become worthy of it. Dir: Tom Hooper With: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter Biography | Drama | History 118 mins.
5. The Hurt Locker (2008)
During the Iraq War, a Sergeant recently assigned to an army bomb squad is put at at odds with his squad mates due to his maverick way of handling his work. Dir: Kathryn Bigelow With: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty Drama | Thriller | War 131 mins.
6. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
A Mumbai teen who grew up in the slums, becomes a contestant on the Indian version of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” He is arrested under suspicion of cheating, and while being interrogated, events from his life history are shown which explain why he knows the answers. Dir: Danny Boyle, Loveleen Tandan With: Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Saurabh Shukla Drama | Romance 120 mins.
7. No Country for Old Men (2007)
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. Dir: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen With: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin Crime | Drama | Thriller 122 mins.
8. The Departed (2006)
An undercover state cop who has infiltrated an Irish gang and a mole in the police force working for the same mob race to track down and identify each other before being exposed to the enemy, after both sides realize their outfit has a rat. Dir: Martin Scorsese With: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson Crime | Drama | Thriller 151 mins.
9. Million Dollar Baby (2004)
A determined woman works with a hardened boxing trainer to become a professional. Dir: Clint Eastwood With: Hilary Swank, Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman Drama | Sport 132 mins.
10. Crash (2004)
Los Angeles citizens with vastly separate lives collide in interweaving stories of race, loss and redemption. Dir: Paul Haggis With: Don Cheadle, Sandra Bullock, Thandie Newton Drama 112 mins.
11. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
Gandalf and Aragorn lead the World of Men against Sauron’s army to draw his gaze from Frodo and Sam as they approach Mount Doom with the One Ring. Dir: Peter Jackson With: Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen Action | Adventure | Fantasy 201 mins.
12. Chicago (2002)
Murderesses Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart find themselves on death row together and fight for the fame that will keep them from the gallows in 1920s Chicago. Dir: Rob Marshall With: Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere Comedy | Crime | Musical 113 mins.
13. A Beautiful Mind (2001)
After a brilliant but asocial mathematician accepts secret work in cryptography, his life takes a turn for the nightmarish. Dir: Ron Howard With: Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly Biography | Drama 135 mins.
14. Gladiator (2000)
When a Roman general is betrayed and his family murdered by an emperor’s corrupt son, he comes to Rome as a gladiator to seek revenge. Dir: Ridley Scott With: Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen Action | Drama 155 mins.
15. American Beauty (1999)
Lester Burnham, a depressed suburban father in a mid-life crisis, decides to turn his hectic life around after becoming infatuated with his daughter’s attractive friend. Dir: Sam Mendes With: Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch Drama 122 mins.
16. Shakespeare in Love (1998)
A young Shakespeare, out of ideas and short of cash, meets his ideal woman and is inspired to write one of his most famous plays. Dir: John Madden With: Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Geoffrey Rush Comedy | Drama | Romance 123 mins.
17. Titanic (1997)
A seventeen-year-old aristocrat, expecting to be married to a rich claimant by her mother, falls in love with a kind but poor artist aboard the luxurious, ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic. Dir: James Cameron With: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane Drama | Romance 194 mins.
18. The English Patient (1996)
At the close of WWII, a young nurse tends to a badly-burned plane crash victim. His past is shown in flashbacks, revealing an involvement in a fateful love affair. Dir: Anthony Minghella With: Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche, Willem Dafoe Drama | Romance | War 162 mins.
19. Braveheart (1995)
When his secret bride is executed for assaulting an English soldier who tried to rape her, a commoner begins a revolt and leads Scottish warriors against the cruel English tyrant who rules Scotland with an iron fist. Dir: Mel Gibson With: Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Patrick McGoohan Action | Biography | Drama | History | War 177 mins.
20. Forrest Gump (1994)
Forrest Gump, while not intelligent, has accidentally been present at many historic moments, but his true love, Jenny Curran, eludes him. Dir: Robert Zemeckis With: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise Drama | Romance 142 mins.
21. Schindler’s List (1993)
In Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazis. Dir: Steven Spielberg With: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley Biography | Drama | History 195 mins.
22. Unforgiven (1992)
Retired Old West gunslinger William Munny reluctantly takes on one last job, with the help of his old partner and a young man. Dir: Clint Eastwood With: Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman Western 131 mins.
23. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
A young F.B.I. cadet must confide in an incarcerated and manipulative killer to receive his help on catching another serial killer who skins his victims. Dir: Jonathan Demme With: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A. Bonney Crime | Drama | Thriller 118 mins.
24. Dances with Wolves (1990)
Lt. John Dunbar, exiled to a remote western Civil War outpost, befriends wolves and Indians, making him an intolerable aberration in the military. Dir: Kevin Costner With: Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene Adventure | Drama | Western 181 mins.
25. Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
An old Jewish woman and her African-American chauffeur in the American South have a relationship that grows and improves over the years. Dir: Bruce Beresford Wit