Movies You Need To Watch Before You Die

I believe it is really important for people like me, who love watching movies, to have a list of favorite films you definitely need to watch before you die. I have made this list of 25 movies you really need to watch because they are life changing. Of course, the list is totally subjective, made entirely by me.

But it would be great if you were able to watch each one of them. From Academy Award-winning movies to independent ones and great blockbusters. This is my list and I hope you enjoy taking a look at it.



Schindler’s List, 1993


The film relates a period in the life of Oskar Schindler, a Sudeten German businessman, during which he saved the lives of more than a thousand Polish-Jewish refugees from the Holocaust by employing them in his factories during World War II.

Epic historical period drama film


Directed by Steven Spielberg, it stars Liam Neeson as Schindler, Ralph Fiennes as SS officer Amon Göth, and Ben Kingsley as Schindler's Jewish accountant Itzhak Stern. The film was shot in black and white as a documentary.

Forrest Gump, 1994


The story describes several decades in the life of Forrest, a kind-hearted man from Alabama. Gump witnesses, and in some cases influences, some of the defining events of the latter half of the 20th century in the United States.

Drama film


The film was directed by Robert Zemeckis and stars Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Mykelti Williamson, and Sally Field. The film became a commercial success as the top-grossing film in North America released that year.

Dead Poets Society, 1989


Set in 1959 at the fictional elite conservative Vermont boarding school Welton Academy, it tells the story of an English teacher who inspires his students through his teaching of poetry.

Drama film


It was directed by Peter Weir, written by Tom Schulman, and starring Robin Williams. The film received critical acclaim and was a box office success! Definitely, you need to add it to the list!

Trainspotting, 1996


It tells the story of a group of heroin addicts in an economically depressed area of Edinburgh and their passage through life. Beyond drug addiction, another theme in the film is the exploration of the urban poverty. A sequel was released in January 2017. Go watch them!

British black comedy film


The film was directed by Danny Boyle and starring Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Kevin McKidd, Robert Carlyle, and Kelly Macdonald and it had been ranked 10th in the list of Top 100 British films of the 20th century!

Almost Famous, 2000


It tells the story of a teenage journalist writing for Rolling Stone in the 1970s while covering the rock band Stillwater, and his efforts to get his first cover story published. The film is semi-autobiographical, as Crowe himself was a teenage writer for Rolling Stone.

Comedy drama film


The film was directed by Cameron Crowe, and starring Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, and Patrick Fugit. Although it wasn't a big success, the film received widespread acclaim from critics and received four Oscar nominations!

Requiem for a Dream, 2000


The film describes four different forms of drug addiction, which lead to the characters' imprisonment in a world of delusion and desperation that is overtaken by reality, leaving them as hollow shells of their former selves. I swear watching it will change your life.

Psychological drama film


The film was directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, and Marlon Wayans and received positive reviews from critics upon its release.

The Breakfast Club, 1985


It tells the story of five teenagers, each member of different high school groups, who spend a Saturday in detention together and realize that they are all more than their stereotypes, all this while facing the headmaster.

Coming-of-age comedy drama film


The film was written, produced, and directed by John Hughes, starring Emilio Estevez, Paul Gleason, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy. Critics consider it one of the greatest high school films of all time so you better watch it!

Life is Beautiful, 1997


The film tells the story of Guido Orefice, a Jewish Italian bookshop owner, who uses his imagination to shield his son from the horrors of the Nazi concentration camp they are sent to. The film was inspired by a book and also by Benigni's father, who spent two years in a German labor camp during World War II.

Italian comedy-drama film


It was directed by and starring Roberto Benigni, who co-wrote the film too! The film was a success, despite criticisms of using the subject matter for comedic purposes. Really lovely movie you should not miss!

The Truman Show, 1998


The film tells the story of Truman Burbank, adopted and raised by a corporation inside a simulated television show revolving around his life until he discovers it and decides to escape. It has been analyzed as a thesis on Christianity, metaphilosophy, simulated reality, existentialism and reality television. Go watch it!

Satirical science fiction film


It was directed by Peter Weir, produced by Scott Rudin and Andrew Niccol and written by Niccol and stars Jim Carrey. It was a financial success and earned numerous nominations at the Academy Awards!

The Pursuit of Happiness, 2006


The film was based on Chris Gardner's nearly one-year struggle being homeless. The unusual spelling of the film's title comes from a mural that Gardner sees on the wall outside the daycare facility his son attends.

Biographical drama film


Directed by Gabriele Muccino, starring Will Smith and his son Jaden Smith, making his film debut. For his performance, Smith was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Actor. You can't miss this one.

Titanic, 1997


Probably you have already watched this classic. But it is my intention for you to watch it, again and again, cause this is one of the best love stories ever, together with the real story of the RMS Titanic. Enjoy it while you can!

Epic romance-disaster film


The film was directed, written, co-produced and co-edited by James Cameron. It stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet and achieved critical and commercial success. It was nominated for 14 Academy Awards and won 11.

I am Sam, 2001


This is the story of a mentally handicapped man who fights for custody of his 7-year-old daughter, and in the process teaches his cold-hearted lawyer the value of love and family. Better watch it if you are in the mood to cry.

Drama film


The film was written and directed by Jessie Nelson, and starring Sean Penn, Dakota Fanning, and Michelle Pfeiffer. For his role as Sam, Penn was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor and Dakota Fanning, who was seven years old became the youngest actress to be nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award.

K-Pax, 2001


The film is about a psychiatric patient who claims to be an alien from the planet K-PAX. During his treatment, the patient inspires his fellow patients and especially his psychiatrist. A very nice story you need to watch at least once.

Science fiction mystery film


The film was directed by Iain Softley, starring Kevin Spacey, Jeff Bridges, Mary McCormack, and Alfre Woodard. Although it wasn't a big success, I highly recommend you to watch this movie, you will not regret it!

Pay it Forward, 2000


It is set in Las Vegas and it tells the story of 12-year-old Trevor McKinney's launch of a goodwill movement known as 'pay it forward'. An incredible heartbreaking story that teaches us the importance of good doing.

Drama romance film


It was directed by Mimi Leder and written by Leslie Dixon. It stars Haley Joel Osment, Helen Hunt, and Kevin Spacey. It had mixed reviews, with most critics praising the acting, writing, music, and cinematography but criticizing the story and accusing it of excessive emotional manipulation, particularly in its ending. So be prepared to cry… a lot.

Coherence, 2013


Strange things begin to happen when a group of friends gathers for a dinner party on an evening when a comet is passing overhead. It will leave you thinking for days and you will definitely watch it more than once!

Science fiction thriller film


It was directed by James Ward Byrkit and stars Emily Baldoni. Critical reception for Coherence has been mostly positive and the film currently holds a rating of 88% on Rotten Tomatoes! it is a must see...

American Beauty, 1999


It portrays the story of Lester Burnham, a 42-year-old advertising executive who has a midlife crisis when he becomes attracted to his teenage daughter's best friend, Angela. The film is described as a satire of American middle-class notions of beauty and personal satisfaction. Need to watch it ASAP if you haven't yet!

Drama film


The film was directed by Sam Mendes and written by Alan Ball. It starred Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch, Allison Janney, Mena Suvari and Wes Bentley. The film won all 5 Oscars for which it was nominated, a real success!

Into the Wild, 2007


The film is based on the travels of Christopher McCandless across North America and his experiences in the Alaskan wilderness in the early 1990s. It is truly captivating and if you haven't already, you must watch it now.

Biographical survival film


The film was written, co-produced, and directed by Sean Penn. It stars Emile Hirsch, Marcia Gay Harden, and William Hurt and features Jena Malone, Catherine Keener, Vince Vaughn, Kristen Stewart, and Hal Holbrook.

The Pianist, 2002


The film tells the story of a Polish Jewish musician that struggles to survive the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto of World War II. It is an unforgettable movie everyone needs to watch at least once.

Biographical drama film


The film was co-produced and directed by Roman Polanski, scripted by Ronald Harwood, and starring Adrien Brody. It had great critics and received multiple awards and nominations. It was included in BBC's 100 Greatest Films of the 21st Century.

The Sixth Sense, 1999


The film tells the story of Cole Sear, a troubled, isolated boy who is able to see and talk to the dead, and an equally troubled child psychologist named Malcolm Crowe who tries to help him. This is a classic thriller and if you haven't watched it you better do soon, and be prepared for the ending!

Supernatural horror film


The film was written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. It stars, Haley Joel Osment, Bruce Willis, and Toni Collette. It had great critics and it was nominated for six Academy Awards.

The Shawshank Redemption, 1994


It tells the story of banker Andy Dufresne, who is sentenced to life in Shawshank State Penitentiary for the murder 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. A must-watch film!

Drama film


It was written and directed by Frank Darabont, It stars Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman and Bob Gunton and William Sadler, Clancy Brown, Gil Bellows, and James Whitmore appear in supporting roles. Even though it wasn't a box office success, it received 7 Academy Awards nomination!

Silver, Linings Playbook, 2012


The movie tells the story of Patrizio "Pat" Solitano, Jr., a man with bipolar disorder who is released from a psychiatric hospital and moves back in with his parents. Determined to win back his wife, Pat meets recently widowed Tiffany Maxwell, who offers to help him get his wife back if he enters a dance competition with her. A funny and lovable story everybody needs to watch!

Romantic comedy-drama film


The film was written and directed by David O. Russell and it stars Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, Chris Tucker, Anupam Kher, and Julia Stiles. It was nominated for the Big Five Oscars!

Shutter Island, 2004


The film tells the story of U.S. Marshal Edward "Teddy" Daniels who is investigating a psychiatric facility on Shutter Island after one of the patients goes missing. Really captivating with a shocking ending, you wouldn't want to miss it!

Psychological thriller


The film was directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Laeta Kalogridis. It stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley and Michelle Williams. The film received great reviews from critics.

Donnie Darko, 2001


A troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a man in a large rabbit suit who manipulates him to commit a series of crimes after he narrowly escapes a bizarre accident. It is one of my all-time favorite movies, do me a favor and go watch it if you haven't!

Science fiction film


It was written and directed by Richard Kelly. It stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Drew Barrymore, Mary McDonnell, Katharine Ross, Patrick Swayze, Noah Wyle, and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Despite the fact that it wasn't a commercial success, the film received great critics!

A Clockwork Orange, 1971


Alex is a charismatic, antisocial delinquent whose interests include classical music, rape, and ultra-violence and he leads a small gang of criminals. The film narrates the horrific crimes of his gang, his capture and attempted rehabilitation via a controversial psychological technique.

Dystopian crime film


The movie was adapted, produced, and directed by Stanley Kubrick. It starred Malcolm McDowell, Michael Tarn, James Marcus, and Warren Clarke. It is a classic, tough, but a must-watch film you need to add to your list if you haven't watched it yet.

The Shining, 1980


The movie tells the story of Jack Torrance, an aspiring writer and recovering alcoholic, who accepts a position as the off-season caretaker of a hotel in the Colorado Rockies. Together with Jack is his wife Wendy Torrance and young son Danny Torrance, who possesses "the shining", some psychic abilities that allow Danny to see the hotel's horrific past. If you haven't seen this classic, run to watch it now!

Horror film


The film was produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick and it is based on Stephen King's novel. It starred Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers and Barry Nelson. It is now regarded as one of the greatest horror films ever made!