My Personal Movie Recommendationsby EllaMentree | created - 10 Jun 2012 | updated - 08 Apr 2018 | Public
A list of personal recommendations in no particular order. Every movie on this list is something I believe every person should watch at least one time in their life.
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1. Minority Report (2002)
PG-13 | 145 min | Action, Crime, Mystery
In a future where a special police unit is able to arrest murderers before they commit their crimes, an officer from that unit is himself accused of a future murder.
Votes: 484,126 | Gross: $132.07M
A plot-heavy action film (though the action is still great) about the implications of "thought police" preventing future murders using espers.
Tom Cruise's character is one of the best in the future crime police, but when he becomes a suspect of a crime, he has to go on the run.
A movie that's deeper upon watching it than the trailers and synopsis would lead you to believe. It brings into question the judicial system as well as fate of all things.
I'm not saying it's a deep and philosophical movie, but it has some very interesting themes and asks some very heavy questions.
2. Nightcrawler (2014)
R | 117 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
When Louis Bloom, a con man desperate for work, muscles into the world of L.A. crime journalism, he blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story.
Votes: 428,322 | Gross: $32.38M
A movie about a very successful sociopath who isn't a murderer (though he doesn't exactly stop them from happening, either)
Dark, gritty, and extremely intense. Not for the faint of heart.
Jake Gyllenhaal's performance is fantastic. He blinks a grand total of four times throughout the film, and he stares right into your very soul.
3. Collateral (2004)
R | 120 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A cab driver finds himself the hostage of an engaging contract killer as he makes his rounds from hit to hit during one night in Los Angeles.
Votes: 343,951 | Gross: $101.01M
One might call this a "Tom Cruise movie for people who don't like Tom Cruise movies."
I have to admit this movie had me feeling a little stockholm syndrome-y.
Despite Tom Cruise's role as an assassin, he still comes off as a charming (sociopath) and a kind-hearted (if existential or even nihilistic) individual who's just trying to get his job done.
He plays the "bad guy" though describes himself as "indifferent," and yet his relationship with the main character (Jamie Foxx) shows compassion and even respect, which is far from indifference.
Collateral is a great film, it asks a lot of questions and so it leaves the viewer asking those same questions as well.
Are you going to see over-the-top choreographed action like in Mission: Impossible? No. But what you will see is a genuinely enjoyable thriller that will constantly have you guessing, wondering, asking questions, and REALLY wishing Tom Cruise didn't have to be the bad guy all the way through to the end.
I highly recommend this film to both people who are and are not fans of Tom Cruise, and it's a great film both for "veterans" of the Thriller genre and for newcomers alike.
4. Training Day (2001)
R | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
On his first day on the job as a Los Angeles narcotics officer, a rookie cop goes beyond a full work day in training within the narcotics division of the L.A.P.D. with a rogue detective who isn't what he appears to be.
Votes: 368,627 | Gross: $76.63M
One would think it goes without saying that this film is a must-see, but more and more I'm meeting people who have never seen it and I just don't understand it.
Denzel Washington's performance is beyond amazing and the film itself is something that all good Crime/Action Thrillers today pull from. It's a genre-defining film, in my opinion, and it set the bar for this kind of crime-based thriller.
5. Open Grave (2013)
R | 102 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A man wakes up in the wilderness, in a pit full of dead bodies, with no memory and must determine if the murderer is one of the strangers who rescued him, or if he himself is the killer.
The trailer and synopsis are inaccurate. Don't see this movie if you want horror or terror.
Watch this movie if you want suspense, tension, and mystery.
It's hard to say much about the film without spoiling it because of the nature of the film, but it's an intelligent and nuanced film that's well worth your time.
6. Seven Psychopaths (2012)
R | 110 min | Comedy, Crime
A struggling screenwriter inadvertently becomes entangled in the Los Angeles criminal underworld after his oddball friends kidnap a gangster's beloved Shih Tzu.
Votes: 230,339 | Gross: $15.02M
A movie that's not afraid to let the viewer down, and so never justifiably lets the viewer down.
It's an incredibly self-aware film, and the chemistry between the main characters is amazing.
It's something absolutely everyone needs to watch.
7. Dredd (2012)
R | 95 min | Action, Crime, Sci-Fi
In a violent, futuristic city where the police have the authority to act as judge, jury and executioner, a cop teams with a trainee to take down a gang that deals the reality-altering drug, SLO-MO.
Votes: 241,013 | Gross: $13.41M
This is legitimately the best movie of 2012 hands down and quite possibly the best comic book adaptation of all time in my opinion.
It was good enough that I went to see it a second time.
I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who hasn't watched it, and I also look down upon you for missing it.
8. Pitch Black (2000)
R | 109 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
A commercial transport ship and its crew are marooned on a planet full of bloodthirsty creatures that only come out to feast at night. But then, they learn that a month-long eclipse is about to occur.
Votes: 218,418 | Gross: $39.24M
I think it goes without saying that you NEED to see Pitch Black. The sequels are also very enjoyable, but Pitch Black is by far the highest point of the series.
It's labeled as a horror movie and sold as one too, but it's an action movie at heart and Vin Diesel portrays the character of Riddick as a badass antihero really well.
You NEED to see this movie, period. No exceptions. You just need to.
9. The Purge: Anarchy (2014)
R | 103 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
Three groups of people intertwine and are left stranded in the streets on Purge Night, trying to survive the chaos and violence that occurs.
Votes: 130,445 | Gross: $71.96M
DO NOT WATCH "THE PURGE" (2013)
This film is a movie of its own and a damn good one, too. It's a film about a not-too-distant future where all crime is legal for 12 hours on one night, and the story of a few unfortunate souls that get stuck outside on said night (and one man who is out there for a reason) and how they struggle to survive.
I HIGHLY recommend this film.
10. Thin Ice (2011)
R | 93 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
A dishonest insurance salesman's life quickly disintegrates during a Wisconsin winter when he teams up with a psychopath to steal a rare violin at the home of a reclusive farmer.
Votes: 4,517 | Gross: $0.79M
Most people will compare it to Fargo, but the only massive similarity is the setting. Thin Ice is a movie that went through a lot to get where it is, including some awful butchering of the soundtrack and alteration of the story and direction of the movie.
Despite all the issues it has, however, it's a very tense and interesting movie and something very much worth watching. When watching, I felt a connection to the main character -- a down on his luck salesman that ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time and quickly becomes the center of a rapidly escalating crime debacle.
If you can look past its flaws, it is certainly a diamond in the rough.
11. Detachment (2011)
Not Rated | 98 min | Drama
A substitute teacher who drifts from classroom to classroom finds a connection to the students and teachers during his latest assignment.
Votes: 72,114 | Gross: $0.07M
A film that takes a certain palate to enjoy. A disillusioned teacher struggles with his personal life and it shows in his career.
There are some arguably objectionable romantic themes in this film, so don't watch unless you're in the mood for something that may unsettle you.
12. Armored (2009)
PG-13 | 88 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
A newbie guard for an armored truck company is coerced by his veteran coworkers to steal a truck containing $42 million. But a wrinkle in their supposedly foolproof plan divides the group, leading to a potentially deadly resolution.
Votes: 29,081 | Gross: $15.99M
AMAZING performance by Columbus Short and Matt Dillon.
A great thriller, one of the better ones I've seen for sure.
It legitimately keeps you on edge and it pulls you in emotionally.
This is one of those films I accidentally caught on TV and just couldn't pull myself away from it, and very few films manage that.
13. Employee of the Month (2004)
R | 97 min | Comedy, Drama
It just isn't David's day. First he gets fired at the bank, then his fiancee breaks up and throws him out of the house. The bank gets robbed and he gets shot. Twists follow.
Don't confuse this for the Dane Cook 'movie.'
This is an interesting deconstruction of the crime/-drama genre and a solid dark comedy film.
It's a bit weird in places, and it definitely feels like it could use more work, but given what it is and what it's going for I give it a passing grade.
14. The Entitled (2011)
R | 91 min | Crime, Thriller
A young man, broke and jobless, abducts three rich college kids to try and get money from their fathers.
A fairly unknown movie with a lot of fairly unknown (as of 2011) actors, but a great movie regardless of that.
The acting is fantastic, and the movie feels very well made. There's plenty of twists and turns and it keeps you guessing, and for once this movie has a very solid ending that ties up many loose knots and left me pretty satisfied.
15. Super (I) (2010)
R | 96 min | Action, Comedy, Drama
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.
Votes: 72,362 | Gross: $0.32M
There's not much to say about this movie other than it's really twisted.
If you're not a fan of dark comedy, don't watch it. This movie goes to some pretty dark places, and it does so shamelessly and with a grin.
It's also an interesting deconstruction of cape comics AND comic book movies. Not the best one out there, but I didn't watch it for that anyway so I'm not recommending it based off of that.
16. Apartment 143 (2011)
R | 80 min | Horror, Thriller
A team of parapsychologists try to figure out a strange phenomenon occurring in an apartment building.
Votes: 10,733 | Gross: $0.00M
After seeing Blair Witch, Cloverfield, Paranormal Activity, etc. the "Found Footage" subgenre of Horror can no longer appeal to me just on the grounds that it seems more real or intense because of the "Amateur" nature of it.
That being said, this movie does some cool things and I can see how it would creep someone out who's less jaded than I am.
Horror fan or not, consider seeing this film.
17. Some Guy Who Kills People (2011)
R | 97 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
Ken Boyd, a lonely man fresh out of the loony bin, who sets out to kill those he deems responsible for his miserable life.
With such an inconspicuous title and synopsis, I would normally pass this movie up, but fate had it otherwise.
This movie is just amazing. The acting is fantastic all the way through. It's a movie that keeps you guessing, but it doesn't use many cheap tricks to hide plot points from you like other movies of the nature do. There's no forced drama or romance, everything flows naturally and the comedy doesn't seem out of place despite the serious tone of the film.
Really an amazing movie all around and I highly recommend it.
18. Law Abiding Citizen (2009)
R | 109 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A frustrated man decides to take justice into his own hands after a plea bargain sets one of his family's killers free.
Votes: 260,257 | Gross: $73.34M
I'm not going to say anything about the message of the movie because it's nothing new or interesting, just another "the world is corrupt and it's all YOUR fault" lecture.
But the movie itself is very fun to watch.
It's like watching a pythagoras switch machine, or a crazy domino pattern falling. It's just entertaining to see how each scene leads to the next and how the main character (or antagonist depending on your point of view) keeps control of everything even from within his prison cell.
19. Looper (2012)
R | 113 min | Action, Crime, Drama
In 2074, when the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is sent into the past, where a hired gun awaits - someone like Joe - who one day learns the mob wants to 'close the loop' by sending back Joe's future self for assassination.
Votes: 514,626 | Gross: $66.49M
What I honestly believe to be a Time Travel story done right.
Much more than what I expected it to be, and I think it'll be the same for you.
Go in without any expectations and you'll enjoy this movie immensely.
20. Pitch Perfect (2012)
PG-13 | 112 min | Comedy, Music, Romance
Beca, a freshman at Barden University, is cajoled into joining The Bellas, her school's all-girls singing group. Injecting some much needed energy into their repertoire, The Bellas take on their male rivals in a campus competition.
Votes: 264,497 | Gross: $65.00M
Acapella musical comedy, what more could you ask for?
Just watch the trailer and tell me you're not interested.
21. Robot & Frank (2012)
PG-13 | 89 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
In the near future, an ex-jewel thief receives a gift from his son: a robot butler programmed to look after him. But soon the two companions try their luck as a heist team.
Votes: 60,258 | Gross: $3.33M
A really amazing movie. It's a bittersweet drama comedy that's definitely worth a watch.
22. The Tunnel (I) (2011)
Not Rated | 90 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
An investigation into a government cover-up leads to a network of abandoned train tunnels deep beneath the heart of Sydney. As a journalist and her crew hunt for the story it quickly becomes clear the story is hunting them.
An amazing Found Footage film. If you're a fan of the genre in any way or think you COULD be a fan of the Found Footage genre, give it a go.
Being Found Footage, there's not much more I can say about it without spoiling a lot of it.
23. Pandorum (2009)
R | 108 min | Action, Horror, Mystery
Two crew members of a spaceship wake up from hypersleep to discover that all their colleagues are missing. Despite this, it appears that they are not alone.
Votes: 139,535 | Gross: $10.33M
Get past the initial Amnesia plot and stomach a few sci-fi horror movie tropes and you will be in for a really great movie.
No, it's not the most original movie in the world... but there are several scenes that MORE than make up for what it may lack in originality.
It has thrills, chills, action, and tension of all kinds and if you don't watch it you are simply missing out.
24. Flypaper (2011)
Not Rated | 87 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery
A man caught in the middle of two simultaneous robberies at the same bank desperately tries to protect the teller with whom he's secretly in love.
Votes: 30,876 | Gross: $0.00M
A heist film where absolutely everything goes wrong in the most hilarious of ways.
Good cast of characters, good acting, and a compelling enough plot to keep your attention.
25. The Descent (2005)
R | 99 min | Adventure, Horror, Thriller
A caving expedition goes horribly wrong, as the explorers become trapped and ultimately pursued by a strange breed of predators.
Votes: 191,082 | Gross: $26.02M
It starts off as a good drama/survival film but then quickly and awkwardly transitions into a horror/action film with a very unsatisfying ending.
It's a bumpy ride but it's an interesting film nevertheless. You'll take something away from it if you watch it, I promise.
26. Escape Plan (2013)
R | 115 min | Action, Thriller
When a structural-security authority finds himself set up and incarcerated in the world's most secret and secure prison, he has to use his skills to escape with help from the inside.
Votes: 218,794 | Gross: $25.13M
Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger in the same movie together.
They're both main characters. Neither plays a bit part, and they have almost the same amount of screen time and as many lines.
That alone is enough to recommend this film, even if the idea of a professional jailbreaker being put in a prison of (technically) his own design doesn't intrigue you even a tiny bit.
27. Identity (2003)
R | 90 min | Mystery, Thriller
Stranded at a desolate Nevada motel during a nasty rain-storm, ten strangers become acquainted with each other when they realize that they're being killed off one by one.
Votes: 216,100 | Gross: $52.16M
A very good starting point for Psychological Horror.
Not the be-all end-all horror of the year film that it's made out to be, but it introduces you to some common themes and tropes of the Psychological Horror genre (recursion, mental instability, unclear who/what the danger is if there is any) while turning a few others on their head (and listing them here would be spoilers, so I'll save that)
It's a good introductory film for the Psychological Thriller genre. If you haven't seen it and you're a fan of the genre, watch it anyway. It may surprise you.
28. The Bag Man (I) (2014)
R | 108 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A criminal bides his time at a seedy motel, waiting for his boss after killing several men and making away with a mystery bag.
Votes: 15,834 | Gross: $0.05M
Its original title, "The Bag of Allegiance" makes the movie make a lot more sense, and is even namedropped within the film.
A film that has you genuinely curious about what's so damn important about what's in that bag, and will legitimately keep you guessing and double guessing yourself.
A very unique film, and as always a great performance by John Cusack. Give it a watch.
29. Lucky Number Slevin (2006)
R | 110 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
A case of mistaken identity lands Slevin into the middle of a war being plotted by two of the city's most rival crime bosses: The Rabbi and The Boss. Slevin is under constant surveillance by relentless Detective Brikowski as well as the infamous assassin Goodkat and finds himself having to hatch his own ingenious plot to get them before they get him.
Votes: 292,605 | Gross: $22.49M
A deceptively good film about deception. A film that doesn't seem to make much sense at the beginning, but the pieces fall into place well.
It's a movie that makes itself easy to understand and it's definitely enjoyable to watch the events unfold. There's a surprise around every corner that keeps you watching.
30. Dread (2008)
R | 98 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller
Three college students set out to document what other people dread the most. However, one of the three turns out to secretly be a sadistic psychopath who uses this knowledge to gruesomely torture the subjects.
This film is certainly not for everyone. It's very twisted and very dark. You have been warned.
It explores the very real fears that plague us in our every day lives, and what happens when we're confronted with them.
It explores the darkest thoughts of humans in general, but it will certainly explore your dark thoughts as well. It brings the audience very real fear and terror.
It's slow to start, but the buildup is not for nothing.
31. Date Night (2010)
PG-13 | 88 min | Comedy, Crime, Romance
In New York City, a case of mistaken identity turns a bored married couple's attempt at a glamorous and romantic evening into something more thrilling and dangerous.
Votes: 147,719 | Gross: $98.71M
Just enjoy it. It's a great comedy film that had me literally laughing out loud BOTH times I watched it.
I honestly don't know what else I can say about that. If you don't agree with my taste on this one, don't look at any other comedy films I recommend because we obviously just have different tastes.
Comedy movies are hard to recommend.
32. Jack Reacher (2012)
PG-13 | 130 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
A homicide investigator digs deeper into a case involving a trained military sniper who shot five random victims.
Votes: 293,770 | Gross: $80.07M
There are a lot of Action/Crime/Mystery movies out there.
There are also a lot of Tom Cruise films.
Do you like either or both of these things? Then you'll like Jack Reacher.
It's not the BEST movie in the world, but it's damn good and it's worth a watch. I highly recommend it.
33. A Few Good Men (1992)
R | 138 min | Drama, Thriller
Military lawyer Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee defends Marines accused of murder. They contend they were acting under orders.
Votes: 222,053 | Gross: $141.34M
A movie about corruption and judgment with a star studded cast.
Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Kevin Bacon... what more do you want!?
34. Krampus (I) (2015)
PG-13 | 98 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
A boy who has a bad Christmas accidentally summons a festive demon to his family home.
Votes: 58,980 | Gross: $42.59M
Don't get me wrong, it's not much better than any other comedy movie, but this film just gets a lot of things right where other movies go incredibly wrong.
Puppets, animatronics, costumes and make-up are used instead of the horrible CGI we see rampant in modern horror films, and it adds a lot of charm to the film. And as a horror/comedy, it adds just that much more to it as well. It's like a bit of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation mixed in with a bit of Gremlins and a tiny slice of Poltergeist, and I think it will age well throughout the years.
35. The Mummy (1999)
PG-13 | 124 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
At an archaeological dig in the ancient city of Hamunaptra, an American serving in the French Foreign Legion accidentally awakens a mummy who begins to wreck havoc as he searches for the reincarnation of his long-lost love.
Votes: 375,882 | Gross: $155.25M
Perhaps not the best version of this story, and it certainly doesn't hold up as well to the test of time as other films of its era, but it's still a very worthwhile movie to watch and Brendan Fraser at his best.
It's top tier Fraser-core, so if you even moderately like the guy you should watch this film.
36. Hardcore Henry (2015)
R | 96 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Henry is resurrected from death with no memory, and he must save his wife from a telekinetic warlord with a plan to bio-engineer soldiers.
Votes: 81,760 | Gross: $9.25M
A movie shot from the main character's perspective, who happens to be a killing machine (quite literally). Lots of first person parkour and fight scenes.
Fun to watch.
37. The Visit (I) (2015)
PG-13 | 94 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Two siblings become increasingly frightened by their grandparents' disturbing behavior while visiting them on vacation.
Votes: 106,878 | Gross: $65.21M
M Night Shyamalan's secret movie, and one that many critics say is a "return to form."
If you've grown displeased with his work following The Village but liked movies he's made before that, this is a good movie for you.
The famous shammylammy tweest you can easily see coming within the first few minutes, but that doesn't make the ride unenjoyable.
38. The Devil's Advocate (1997)
R | 144 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller
An exceptionally adept Florida lawyer is offered a job at a high-end New York City law firm with a high-end boss - the biggest opportunity of his career to date.
Votes: 312,251 | Gross: $60.98M
An interesting courtroom drama with a unique twist. If you like Reeves or DeNiro that's reason enough to watch this.
39. 1408 (2007)
PG-13 | 104 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
A man who specialises in debunking paranormal occurrences checks into the fabled room 1408 in the Dolphin Hotel. Soon after settling in, he confronts genuine terror.
Votes: 247,470 | Gross: $71.99M
A solid entry into the horror/thriller genre that manages to keep things fresh and interesting throughout the movie without relying on typical horror tropes and jump scares.
40. The Nice Guys (2016)
R | 116 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
In 1970s Los Angeles, a mismatched pair of private eyes investigate a missing girl and the mysterious death of a porn star.
Votes: 255,381 | Gross: $36.26M
Genuinely funny take on the "buddy cop" genre, decent action, hilarious situations and the drama doesn't feel out of place or forced.
41. Baby Driver (2017)
R | 113 min | Action, Crime, Drama
After being coerced into working for a crime boss, a young getaway driver finds himself taking part in a heist doomed to fail.
Votes: 397,876 | Gross: $107.83M
The first good movie to come out of 2017, and it's a pretty damn good movie. Amazing action shots and the movie literally never misses a beat with its playlist of 44 songs. It's honestly a delight to watch and I recommend it for absolutely all audiences.
42. A Quiet Place (2018)
PG-13 | 90 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
In a post-apocalyptic world, a family is forced to live in silence while hiding from monsters with ultra-sensitive hearing.
Votes: 353,780 | Gross: $188.02M