Top 5 Movies You Must See Before You Die
Some films are a must-see because of the part they play in our collective cultural conversation. Watching them unlocks a world of references, pub trivia answers, metaphors, and dinner party icebreakers. But other films are required viewing because of what they can teach us about love, hope, despair, faith, family, and even warm and fuzzy alert ourselves.
Here are the top 5 movies you need to see before you die. Before that, if you’re new to the blog make sure to subscribe and share it so that you won’t miss an update. So, let’s get started.
1. Blood Diamond
Blood Diamond is a 2006 political war thriller film co-produced and directed by Edward Zwick, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Connelly, and Djimon Hounsou. The title refers to blood diamonds, which are diamonds mined in war zones and sold to finance conflicts, and thereby profit warlords and diamond companies across the world.
Set during the Sierra Leone Civil War in 1991–2002, the film depicts a country torn apart by the struggle between government loyalists and insurgent forces. It also portrays many of the atrocities of that war, including the rebels’ amputation of people’s hands to discourage them from voting in upcoming elections.
The film’s ending, in which a conference is held concerning blood diamonds, refers to a historic meeting that took place in Kimberley, South Africa, in 2000. It led to development of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, which sought to certify the origin of rough diamonds in order to curb the trade in conflict diamonds, but has since been mostly abandoned as ineffective.
The film received mixed but generally favourable reviews, with praise for the performances of DiCaprio and Hounsou.
The film received five Oscar nominations, including Best Actor for DiCaprio and Best Supporting Actor for Hounsou.
2. Shutter Island
Shutter Island is a 2010 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Laeta Kalogridis, based on Dennis Lehane’s 2003 novel of the same name.
Leonardo DiCaprio stars as U.S. Marshal Edward “Teddy” Daniels who is investigating a psychiatric facility on Shutter Island after one of the patients goes missing. Mark Ruffalo plays his partner officer, Ben Kingsley is the facility’s lead psychiatrist, Max von Sydow is a German doctor and Michelle Williams is Daniels’s wife.
Released on February 19, 2010, the film received mostly positive reviews from critics, was chosen by National Board of Review as one of the top ten films of 2010 and grossed over $294 million worldwide.
The film is also noteworthy for its soundtrack using classical (Gustav Mahler) and mainly modern classical music by composers such as Krzysztof Penderecki, György Ligeti, John Cage, Ingram Marshall, Max Richter, and others.
3. Forrest Gump
Forrest Gump is a 1994 American comedy-drama film directed by Robert Zemeckis and written by Eric Roth. It is based on the 1986 novel by Winston Groom, and stars Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Mykelti Williamson, and Sally Field. The story depicts several decades in the life of Forrest Gump (Hanks), a slow-witted but kind-hearted man from Alabama who witnesses and unwittingly influences several defining historical events in the 20th century United States. The film differs substantially from the novel.
The film was an enormous success at the box office, it became the top-grossing film in America released that year and earned over US$677 million worldwide during its theatrical run, making it the second highest-grossing film of 1994.
The soundtrack sold over 12 million copies. Forrest Gump won the Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor for Hanks, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Visual Effects, and Best Film Editing. It won many other awards and nominations, including Golden Globes, People’s Choice Awards, and Young Artist Awards.
4. The Shawshank Redemption
The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont, based on the 1982 Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. It tells the story of banker Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), who is sentenced to life in Shawshank State Penitentiary for the murders of his wife and her lover, despite his claims of innocence. Over the following two decades, he befriends a fellow prisoner, contraband smuggler Ellis “Red” Redding (Morgan Freeman), and becomes instrumental in a money-laundering operation led by the prison warden Samuel Norton (Bob Gunton). William Sadler, Clancy Brown, Gil Bellows, and James Whitmore appear in supporting roles.
While The Shawshank Redemption received positive reviews on its release, particularly for its story and the performances of Robbins and Freeman, it was a box-office disappointment, earning only $16 million during its initial theatrical run.
Many reasons were cited for its failure at the time, including competition from films such as Pulp Fiction and Forrest Gump, to the general unpopularity of prison films, lack of female characters, and even the title, which was considered to be confusing for audiences. Even so, it went on to receive multiple award nominations, including seven Academy Award nominations, and a theatrical re-release that, combined with international takings, increased the film’s box-office gross to $58.3 million.
Over 320,000 VHS copies were shipped throughout the United States, and based on its award nominations and word of mouth, it became one of the top rented films of 1995. The broadcast rights were acquired following the purchase of Castle Rock by Turner Broadcasting System, and it was shown regularly on the TNT network starting in 1997, further increasing its popularity. It is now considered by many to be one of the greatest films of the 1990s.
5. Catch Me If You Can
Catch Me If You Can is a 2002 American biographical crime film directed and produced by Steven Spielberg from a screenplay by Jeff Nathanson. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks, with Christopher Walken, Martin Sheen, and Nathalie Baye in supporting roles. The film is based on the life of Frank Abagnale, who, before his 19th birthday, successfully performed cons worth millions of dollars by posing as a Pan American World Airways pilot, a Georgia doctor, and a Louisiana parish prosecutor. His primary crime was check fraud; he became so experienced that the FBI eventually turned to him for help in catching other check forgers.
Development for the film started in 1980 but did not progress until 1997 when Spielberg’s DreamWorks bought the film rights to Abagnale’s book. David Fincher, Gore Verbinski, Lasse Hallström, Miloš Forman, and Cameron Crowe had all been possible candidates for the director before Spielberg decided to direct it himself. Filming took place from February to May 2002.
The film opened on December 25, 2002, to critical and commercial success. At the 75th Academy Awards, Christopher Walken and John Williams were nominated for Best Supporting Actor and Best Original Score.
Note: So that’s it, these movies are listed from my perspective so do not get confused. If you think this movie should be #1 then let me know in the comment section. Do comment your list too 🙂 & Share it with your friends if you like the list.