Year Released: 1973
This 1970’s crime drama stars Sissy Spacek and Martin Sheen as a young couple on the run from the law for murder. It’s often referred to as one of the best and most powerful films in history. The movie is rated 98% “Certified Fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes. Film critic Vincent Canby called it a “most important and exciting film.”
Sissy Spacek later said that shooting the film changed the entire way she thought about filmmaking in general. “The artist rules,” she said of the work. “Nothing else matters.” Her co-star, Sheen, says that Badlands is still, to this the day, the best script he’s ever read.
Year Released: 1944
Laura is hailed as being one of the best film noirs of the 1940s. Full of mystery, the film follows a New York City Police Detective who investigates a woman’s murder, and as he does, winds up falling in love with her.
The film won three Oscars, including Best Cinematography for a Black-and-White Film, Best Actor in a Supporting Role and Best Director, and was nominated for two more, including Best Writing in a Screenplay.
In a Lonely Place
Year Released: 1950
Film star legend Humphrey Bogart stars in this film noir as an unstable screenwriter named Dixon Steele who is suspected of murder. It’s made several “best of all time” lists, including Time’s, “All-Time 100’s,” and Slant’s “100 Essential Films.”
Directed by Nicholas Ray, the movie was selected for preservation by the Library of Congress in 2007. Two years later, Roger Ebert added it to his own list of great movies.
Strangers on a Train
Year Released: 1951
This Alfred Hitchcock film, Strangers on a Train has a near perfect rating on every major review platform, with a 4/4 on Roger Ebert and a 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. The film follows two men who meet on a train and hatch a deadly plan to murder someone in each of their lives.
Aside from the suspense that Hitchcock is famous for, the film is also full of his unique camera angles. The film’s cinematographer, Robert Burks, was nominated for the Oscar for Best Cinematography, while Hitchcock was nominated for an award from the Directors Guild of America and the National Board of Review.
Year Released: 1992
Clint Eastwood stars in this 1992 film that he also produces and directs. He ended up winning the Academy Award for Best Director and being nominated for Best Actor. Aside from Eastwood, the cast was full of big names including Morgan Freeman and Gene Hackman.
The film saw four Academy Award wins in total, including Best Picture and Best Film Editing. It was the third Western to ever win the Oscar for Best Picture and spent three weeks as the Number one film in North America upon its release.