Best films turning 50 in 2023

Stacker gathered data on all movies turning 50 in 2023 and ranked the top 50 according to IMDb user ratings, with ties broken by votes.

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Ryan and Tatum Oneal in a scene from "Paper Moon."

Paramount Pictures // Getty Images

As 2022 draws to a close, many film enthusiasts are already looking ahead to their most anticipated releases of 2023. However, it's also never too soon to start appreciating film anniversaries in the new year, and 2023 is chock-full of them. In fact, many iconic films are turning 50, marking half a century since some of the most exciting cinematic debuts of the 1970s.

The year 1973 in film involved some highly notable events. The iconic and controversial possession classic "The Exorcist" pushed the limits of what a horror film could be and became the exceptional horror film to receive a Best Picture nomination. American auteurs like Martin Scorsese and Terrence Malick announced themselves as exciting cinematic storytellers with their breakout features "Mean Streets" and "Badlands," respectively. Elsewhere, the year proved notable for Asian voices in cinema—"Enter the Dragon" mainstreamed martial arts films in a new way, while "Lady Snowblood" laid out an unbeatable template for samurai-driven revenge films.

Still, you might be wondering, which films turning 50 in 2023 are the best?

To find out, Stacker gathered data on all movies turning 50 in 2023 and ranked the top 50 by IMDb user ratings, with ties broken by the number of votes. In order to qualify, each film had to have at least 1,000 user votes and be released theatrically in 1973. Metascores are provided for critical context when available.

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#50. The Way We Were

Barbra Streisand in a scene from "The Way We Were".

Columbia Pictures

- Director: Sydney Pollack
- IMDb user rating: 7.0
- Metascore: 61
- Runtime: 118 minutes

"The Way We Were" centers on the unlikely coupling of political activist Katie (Barbra Streisand) and WASP-y traditionalist Hubbell (Robert Redford). When the pair move to Hollywood after World War II so Hubbell can pursue screenwriting, he becomes worried that continued activism will threaten his career as the blacklist looms. While the film's politically opposed romance doesn't necessarily hold up today, it remains an interesting portrait of the House Un-American Activities Committee's impact on art and American freedom of expression, as the story is based on writer Arthur Laurents' own experiences with the committee.

#49. Soylent Green

Charlton Heston in a scene from "Soylent Green".

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

- Director: Richard Fleischer
- IMDb user rating: 7.0
- Metascore: 66
- Runtime: 97 minutes

"Soylent Green" presents a dystopian, ecologically ravaged vision of a futuristic New York City, in which police detective Robert (Charlton Heston) investigates an executive's murder at the mysterious Soylent Corporation. Loosely based on Harry Harrison's 1966 sci-fi novel "Make Room! Make Room!," the film's prescient vision of a world ravaged by climate change, capitalism, and poverty has aged better than some melodramas of its genre.

#48. The Spook Who Sat by the Door

A scene from "The Spook Who Sat by the Door".

Bokari

- Director: Ivan Dixon
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 102 minutes

Adapted from Sam Greenlee's groundbreaking book of the same name, "The Spook Who Sat by the Door" tells the story of the fictional Dan Freeman (Lawrence Cook), who becomes the CIA's token Black espionage employee, before becoming disillusioned with the agency and using his skills to train young freedom fighters in Chicago. The film was quickly removed from theaters due to its critical view of the CIA, and only became widely accessible again when it was rereleased on DVD in 2004.

#47. Turkish Delight

Rutger Hauer and Monique van de Ven in "Turkish Delight".

Verenigde Nederlandsche Filmcompagnie (VNF)

- Director: Paul Verhoeven
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 108 minutes

This popular, Academy Award-nominated Dutch film centers on a free-spirited young woman named Olga (Monique van de Ven), who becomes involved in a fraught romance with sculptor Eric (Rutger Hauer) after offering him a ride. The story soon turns into a sexploitation dark comedy and is one of the most successful films in the history of Dutch cinema.

#46. Theater of Blood

Vincent Price, Diana Rigg, and Harry Andrews in "Theater of Blood".

Harbour Productions Limited

- Director: Douglas Hickox
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Metascore: 81
- Runtime: 104 minutes

Horror icon Vincent Price gives arguably one of his best performances as jaded Shakespearean actor Edward Lionheart in "Theater of Blood." After he is saved from suicide, the failed actor begins to kill off his critics using methods reminiscent of murder scenes in Shakespeare's plays, right after quoting their negative reviews of his work.

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#45. La Grande Bouffe

Andréa Ferréol and Philippe Noiret in "La Grande Bouffe".

Mara Films

- Director: Marco Ferreri
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 130 minutes

Italian provocateur Marco Ferreri reached new heights of cult controversy with "La Grande Bouffe," which follows four wealthy men who decide to gorge themselves to death on fine dining, in between trysts with sex workers. The black comedy's lewd criticisms of the bourgeoise took aim at the consumerist tendencies of the era's wealthy.

#44. The Three Musketeers

Simon Ward in a scene from "The Three Musketeers".

Este Films

- Director: Richard Lester
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Metascore: 77
- Runtime: 106 minutes

This '70s adaptation of "The Three Musketeers" injects plenty of swashbuckling comedy into author Alexandre Dumas' classic tale of chivalry. Director Richard Lester originally conceived the adaptation as a project for the Beatles, with whom he had already made "A Hard Day's Night" and Help!" A sequel, "The Four Musketeers," was released in 1974.

#43. Sleeper

Woody Allen in a scene from "Sleeper".

Jack Rollins & Charles H. Joffe Productions

- Director: Woody Allen
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Metascore: 77
- Runtime: 89 minutes

Taking inspiration from classic comedians like Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, this sci-fi comedy stars Woody Allen as Miles, an ordinary man who's cryogenically frozen and awakens two centuries later. Finding himself amid a rebellion against a dystopian regime, Miles joins the rebellion and falls in love with local woman Luna (Diane Keaton). Allen's films have been viewed in a new, negative light following more recent accusations of molestation and sexual abuse against the director.

#42. The Iceman Cometh

Lee Marvin, Juno Dawson, and Tom Pedi in "The Iceman Cometh".

The American Film Theatre

- Director: John Frankenheimer
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Metascore: 76
- Runtime: 239 minutes

Dubbed "one of the single richest cinematic re-imaginings of any American play" by Kanopy, "The Iceman Cometh" is, indeed, based on Eugene O'Neill's acclaimed play of the same name. Lee Marvin stars as Theodore "Hickey" Hickman, who encourages his fellow alcoholics to give up their lofty dreams of better lives, as dark secrets from his own past surface.

#41. Emperor of the North

Charles Tyner in "Emperor of the North".

Twentieth Century Fox

- Director: Robert Aldrich
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 118 minutes

Originally titled "Emperor of the North Pole," this film centers on Great Depression-era hobo A No. 1 (Lee Marvin), whose street smarts are challenged when he teams up with younger hobo Cigaret (Keith Carradine) to face off against strict, anti-stowaway railroad conductor Shack (Ernest Borgnine). Many of the film's events are based on Jack London's 1907 travel memoir "The Road."

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#40. The Last of Sheila

Raquel Welch in "The Last of Sheila".

Warner Bros.

- Director: Herbert Ross
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 120 minutes

One of the primary inspirations for Rian Johnson's whodunit films "Knives Out" and "Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery," this movie follows Hollywood producer Clinton (James Coburn), who attempts to identify his wife's murderer by hosting six suspects aboard his yacht. The script was written by acclaimed composer Stephen Sondheim and "Psycho" star Anthony Perkins.

#39. The Paper Chase

Timothy Bottoms in "The Paper Chase".

Twentieth Century Fox

- Director: James Bridges
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Metascore: 65
- Runtime: 113 minutes

In "The Paper Chase," first-year Harvard law student James (Timothy Bottoms) gets an unpleasant surprise when he discovers that his girlfriend Susan's (Lindsay Wagner) father is the school's harshest law professor, Charles (John Houseman). Houseman later reprised his role in a TV show of the same name, which told the story of James' subsequent three years of law school.

#38. Scarecrow

Al Pacino and Gene Hackman in "Scarecrow".

Warner Bros.

- Director: Jerry Schatzberg
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Metascore: 72
- Runtime: 112 minutes

"Scarecrow" stars Gene Hackman and Al Pacino as an ex-con and a former sailor, respectively, who become unlikely friends as they travel from California in hopes of starting a business in Pittsburgh. Although the film received the prestigious Grand Prix du Festival award at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival, it was a box-office bomb upon its initial release.

#37. Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid

Jack Elam and Kris Kristofferson in "Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid".

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

- Director: Sam Peckinpah
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Metascore: 53
- Runtime: 122 minutes

In this Western, aging Sheriff Pat Garrett (James Coburn) is hired by a group of wealthy New Mexico barons to go after his former friend, the outlaw Billy the Kid (Kris Kristofferson). The film was heavily re-edited due to conflicts between director Sam Peckinpah and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, causing it to receive lackluster reviews upon its initial release. However, the original edit was eventually released in the 1980s, leading to a critical reevaluation of "Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid" as one of the director's best films.

#36. Don't Look Now

Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie in "Don

Eldorado Films

- Director: Nicolas Roeg
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Metascore: 95
- Runtime: 110 minutes

Based on a short story by Daphne du Maurier, "Don't Look Now" centers on couple John (Donald Sutherland) and Laura (Julie Christie), who travel to Venice to restore a church while grieving the recent death of their young daughter, Christine (Sharon Williams). Soon, Laura meets two sisters (Hilary Mason and Clelia Matania) who claim to be able to communicate with Christine from beyond the grave. Apart from being known as a hallmark of slow-burn horror, "Don't Look Now" is remembered for the controversy that followed the film's sex scene, which was considered explicit by the era's standards.

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#35. Magnum Force

Clint Eastwood in a scene from "Magnum Force".

Warner Bros.

- Director: Ted Post
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Metascore: 58
- Runtime: 124 minutes

The longest of the Dirty Harry films, "Magnum Force" once again follows San Francisco policeman "Dirty Harry" Callahan (Clint Eastwood), who investigates a local vigilante group who have started executing criminals who escaped punishment based on technicalities. Callahan's primary suspect? His ex-partner, Charlie (Mitchell Ryan). "Magnum Force" received controversy in 1974, when real-life killers used a drain cleaner murder scene in the infamous Hi-Fi murders.

#34. Mean Streets

Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, and Lenny Scaletta in "Mean Streets".

Warner Bros.

- Director: Martin Scorsese
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Metascore: 96
- Runtime: 112 minutes

Legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese established himself as an exciting voice in American cinema with "Mean Streets." The semi-autobiographical film follows two friends (Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro) rising within the ranks of a Little Italy mob in Manhattan.

#33. Belladonna of Sadness

Screengrab of a scene from "Belladonna of Sadness".

Mushi Productions

- Director: Eiichi Yamamoto
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Metascore: 70
- Runtime: 86 minutes

In this underseen Japanese animated film, an innocent peasant woman named Jeanne (Aiko Nagayama) is violently sexually assaulted by local nobility on her wedding night. Seeking revenge, she makes a Faustian bargain with the devil and transforms into a vengeful, erotic sprite. Never officially released in the U.S., "Belladonna of Sadness" has been praised for its striking watercolor animation and psych-rock soundtrack from Masahiko Satō. However, some modern critics—such as the Los Angeles Times' Charles Solomon—have dubbed the film misogynistic by today's standards.

#32. Jesus Christ Superstar

Ted Neeley in a scene from "Jesus Christ Superstar".

Universal Studios

- Director: Norman Jewison
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Metascore: 64
- Runtime: 106 minutes

"Jesus Christ Superstar" is a film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's famous Broadway rock opera of the same name, which follows the last weeks of Jesus Christ's (Ted Neeley) life before he is ultimately betrayed by his disciple Judas (Carl Anderson). Although the film received mixed reviews from critics, its score was massively popular, and Neeley, Anderson, and Yvonne Elliman (who played Mary Magdalene) received Golden Globe nominations.

#31. My Name Is Nobody

Terence Hill in a scene from "My Name is Nobody".

Rafran Cinematografica

- Director: Tonino Valerii
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Metascore: 68
- Runtime: 116 minutes

As this offbeat Italian Western opens, aging gunfighter Jack Beauregard (Henry Fonda) has plans of catching a boat to Europe and enjoying a peaceful retirement. However, he's recruited by one of his biggest fans, a young gunman named Nobody (Terence Hill), who seeks his help fighting a gang of outlaws.

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#30. The Friends of Eddie Coyle

Robert Mitchum in a scene from "The Friends of Eddie Coyle".

Paramount PIctures

- Director: Peter Yates
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Metascore: 84
- Runtime: 102 minutes

In one of the most memorable performances of his career, Robert Mitchum portrays aging Boston gunrunner Eddie Coyle, who's forced to consider betraying his criminal colleagues when he's threatened with substantial jail time. Although the film was critically acclaimed and later received a Criterion release, it was a box-office bomb at the time.

#29. High Plains Drifter

Robert Donner in a scene from "High Plains Drifter".

The Malpaso Company

- Director: Clint Eastwood
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Metascore: 69
- Runtime: 105 minutes

"High Plains Drifter" was the first of many Clint Eastwood-directed Westerns. He also stars in the film playing a man known as "The Stranger," who is recruited to protect a small town from three dangerous outlaws. Eastwood drew plenty of inspiration from directors and former collaborators Sergio Leone and Don Siegel, although famous Western star John Wayne famously hated the film.

#28. American Graffiti

Charles Martin Smith and Candy Clark in a scene from "American Graffiti".

Universal Pictures

- Director: George Lucas
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Metascore: 97
- Runtime: 110 minutes

A far cry from his dystopian sci-fi debut feature "THX 1138," "American Graffiti" is a coming-of-age story following four teenagers enjoying their last carefree night before high school graduation. The film was nominated for Best Picture at the 1974 Oscars, and its resounding success cleared the way for Lucas to change the filmmaking game with "Star Wars" four years later.

#27. Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in the Land of Demons

Tomisaburô Wakayama in Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in the Land of Demons".

Toho Company

- Director: Kenji Misumi
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 89 minutes

The fifth of six Lone Wolf and Cub films, "Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in the Land of Demons" sees protagonist Ogami Itto (Tomisaburō Wakayama) hired to assassinate a tattooed woman who has been killing her enemies and cutting off their top knots. Meanwhile, his young son, Daigoro (Akihiro Tomikawa), becomes lost when he follows a pair of street performers out of town.

#26. The Hourglass Sanatorium

A scene from "The Hourglass Sanatorium".

Zespól Filmowy "Silesia"

- Director: Wojciech Has
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 124 minutes

This Cannes Film Festival Jury Award-winning film tells the story of a young Jewish man named Joseph (Jan Nowicki), who visits his aging father at a sanatorium—only to find that time in the place doesn't unfold normally, and each room is full of whole psychedelic worlds haunted by memories and the prospect of death. Adapted from author Bruno Schulz's work of the same name, "The Hourglass Sanitorium" also serves as an allegory for the collective trauma of the Holocaust.

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#25. Ludwig

Helmut Berger, Romy Schneider, and Helmut Griem in a scene from "Ludwig".

Mega Film

- Director: Luchino Visconti
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 238 minutes

This film from acclaimed Italian auteur Luchino Visconti tells the story of the life and death of King Ludwig II of Bavaria (played by a magnetic Helmut Berger). An opulent study of power and madness, "Ludwig" was one of the most expensive European films ever made at the time.

#24. Charley Varrick

Walter Matthau, Rudy Diaz, and Andrew Robinson in a scene from "Charley Varrick".

Universal Pictures

- Director: Don Siegel
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 111 minutes

In "Charley Varrick," the titular criminal's (Walter Matthau) small-town bank robbery doesn't go according to plan. In fact, when he and fellow survivor Harman Sullivan (Andy Robinson) discover the money they stole belongs to the mob, the small-time crooks find themselves contending with a whole new set of foes.

#23. The Last Detail

Jack Nicholson, Randy Quaid, and Otis Young in a scene from "The Last Detail".

Columbia Pictures

- Director: Hal Ashby
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Metascore: 89
- Runtime: 104 minutes

Often cited as one of Jack Nicholson's best performances ever, "The Last Detail" centers on two Navy men (Nicholson and Otis Young) who take pity on the young sailor they are escorting to prison and set out to show him a good time before he's put away. The film was notable at its time for its profanity, which included a number of F-word utterances that had rarely been seen before in cinema.

#22. The Wicker Man

Gerry Cowper in a scene from "The Wicker Man".

British Lion Film Corporation

- Director: Robin Hardy
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Metascore: 87
- Runtime: 88 minutes

"The Wicker Man" has become such a staple of the folk horror genre that Ari Aster had to actively avoid remaking it while directing 2019's "Midsommar." Not to be confused with the critically panned remake starring Nicolas Cage, Robin Hardy's film follows a police officer (Edward Woodward) investigating a disappearance in a remote Scottish village where bizarre pagan rituals take place each year.

#21. Robin Hood

Brian Bedford and Phil Harris in a scene from "Robin Hood".

Walt Disney Animation Studios

- Directors: Wolfgang Reitherman, David Hand
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Metascore: 57
- Runtime: 83 minutes

One of the first Walt Disney Productions animated films produced after Walt Disney's death, "Robin Hood" tells the musical story of its titular fox (Brian Bedford) as he steals from the wealthy Prince John (Peter Ustinov) to help ordinary creatures in his home of Sherwood Forest. A Disney+ live-action remake is currently in the works.

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#20. The Castle of Purity

Arturo Beristáin, Gladys Bermejo, Diana Bracho, Claudio Brook, and Rita Macedo in a scene from "The Castle of Purity".

Estudios Churubusco Azteca S.A.

- Director: Arturo Ripstein
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 110 minutes

In this Mexican drama, patriarch and rat poison salesman Gabriel (Claudio Brook) insists on "protecting" his wife (Rita Macedo) and children from the evils of the world by locking them inside their home for 18 years, and while in isolation, they help with the sinister family business. Inspired by a real-life 1959 criminal case in Mexico City which also inspired Yorgos Lanthimos' film "Dogtooth," "The Castle of Purity" remains a darkly comedic send-up of the nuclear family.

#19. O Lucky Man!

Malcolm McDowell and Helen Mirren in a scene from "O Lucky Man!".

Memorial Enterprises

- Director: Lindsay Anderson
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 178 minutes

This lengthy surrealist musical stars Malcolm McDowell as Mick, an ambitious young British coffee salesman who dreams of success. Through a series of bizarre turns, he is kidnapped by the military and ends up working for the sinister executive Sir James Burgess (Ralph Richardson), while falling for his daughter, Patricia (Helen Mirren).

#18. Lady Snowblood

Meiko Kaji and Noboru Nakaya in a scene from "Lady Snowblood".

Toho Film (Eiga) Co. Ltd.

- Director: Toshiya Fujita
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Metascore: 80
- Runtime: 97 minutes

Based on the manga series of the same name, "Lady Snowblood" stars Meiko Kaji as Yuki, a young woman trained from childhood to seek revenge upon the people who sexually assaulted her mother and killed her father and brother. The film was a major inspiration for Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill films years later.

#17. The Long Goodbye

Elliott Gould and Sybil Scotford in a scene from "The Long Goodbye".

Lion's Gate Films

- Director: Robert Altman
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Metascore: 87
- Runtime: 112 minutes

In this playful satire of film noir, Elliott Gould plays private detective Philip Marlowe, who provides a favor for his old buddy Terry (Jim Bouton), only to learn that Terry's wife has recently been murdered. Around the same time, he becomes involved in another case involving Terry's former paramour Eileen (Nina van Pallandt).

#16. Enter the Dragon

Bruce Lee in a scene from "Enter the Dragon".

Warner Bros.

- Director: Robert Clouse
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Metascore: 83
- Runtime: 102 minutes

"Enter the Dragon" stars Bruce Lee as a martial arts pro who enters a kung fu competition as a means of confronting the drug dealer who was responsible for his sister's death. The film played a major role in the mainstreaming of martial arts films and is one of the first major martial arts movies to also incorporate elements of the blaxploitation genre.

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#15. Love & Anarchy

Giancarlo Giannini, Mariangela Melato, and Lina Polito in a scene from "Love & Anarchy".

Euro International Films

- Director: Lina Wertmüller
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 120 minutes

This Italian tragicomedy explores Mussolini's fascist Italy through the lens of Giancarlo Giannini's Tunin, a young farmboy who sets out to kill the dictator with sex workers Salome (Mariangela Melato) and Tripolina (Lina Polito). The black comedy won Giannini the Best Actor prize at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival.

#14. Fantastic Planet

Screengrab of a scene from "Fantastic Planet".

Argos Films

- Director: René Laloux
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Metascore: 73
- Runtime: 72 minutes

This animated counter-cultural classic takes place on the fictional planet of Ygam, where large, blue-skinned aliens known as the Draags oppress small, illiterate humanoids called the Oms. However, when a young Om becomes educated, the stage is set for a revolution. A co-production between France and what was then known as Czechoslovakia, "Fantastic Planet" contains a strong political allegory for the Soviets' control of Czechoslovakia after the 1968 Warsaw Pact occupation.

#13. Badlands

Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek in a scene from "Badlands".

Warner Bros.

- Director: Terrence Malick
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Metascore: 93
- Runtime: 94 minutes

Terrence Malick established himself as a major American film talent with "Badlands," the story of young lovers Holly (Sissy Spacek) and Kit (Martin Sheen), who go on a killing spree in the Badlands of Nebraska and Wyoming. Inspired by the real-life murders committed by Charles Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate in 1958, "Badlands" established many of Malick's well-known directorial elements, from its blend of violence and natural beauty to its unique voice-overs.

#12. Serpico

Al Pacino and Cornelia Sharpe in a scene from "Serpico".

Artists Entertainment Complex

- Director: Sidney Lumet
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Metascore: 81
- Runtime: 130 minutes

Al Pacino won a Golden Globe for his "Serpico" role as New York City cop Frank, who becomes a whistleblower within his corrupt NYPD force and is targeted by crooks as a result. The movie is based on a real-life cop of the same name.

#11. The Mother and the Whore

Jean-Pierre Léaud in a scene from "The Mother and the Whore".

Elite Films

- Director: Jean Eustache
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 210 minutes

Drawing heavily from the French New Wave, "The Mother and the Whore" centers on a love triangle between aimless young man Alexandre (Jean-Pierre Léaud), his girlfriend Marie (Bernadette Lafont), and his other lover Veronika (Françoise Lebrun). Considered controversial for its subject material and sensuality upon its Cannes Film Festival premiere, the film stands as a frank analysis of the sexual politics of the time.

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#10. The Spirit of the Beehive

Teresa Gimpera and Ana Torrent in a scene from "The Spirit of the Beehive".

Elías Querejeta Producciones Cinematográficas

- Director: Víctor Erice
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Metascore: 87
- Runtime: 98 minutes

"The Spirit of the Beehive" takes place in the wake of the Spanish Civil War, as a young girl in rural Spain becomes obsessed with 1931's "Frankenstein" and uses it to process the strife of her current reality. The movie has since been compared to Guillermo del Toro's contemporary films "The Devil's Backbone" and "Pan's Labyrinth," which also blend horror and history and are set during the Franco regime.

#9. The Day of the Jackal

Edward Fox and Cyril Cusack in a scene from "The Day of the Jackal".

John Woolf Productions

- Director: Fred Zinnemann
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Metascore: 80
- Runtime: 143 minutes

In "The Day of the Jackal," a French paramilitary group desperate to assassinate President Charles de Gaulle (Adrien Cayla-Legrand) resorts to hiring a professional assassin known as "The Jackal" (Edward Fox). The film is based on Frederick Forsyth's 1971 novel of the same name.

#8. The Holy Mountain

Valerie Jodorowsky in a scene from "The Holy Mountain".

ABKCO Films

- Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Metascore: 76
- Runtime: 114 minutes

This trippy film centers on a Mexican master (director Alejandro Jodorowsky), a Jesus-like figure (Horacio Salinas), and several disciples as they climb a mystical mountain and experience grotesque, bizarre hallucinations from gods who secretly rule the universe. "The Holy Mountain" was produced by Beatles manager Allen Klein, since John Lennon and George Harrison were fans of his previous film, "El Topo."

#7. I Remember

Bruno Lenzi, Bruno Scagnetti, Alvaro Vitali, Francesco Vona, and Bruno Zanin in a scene from  "I Remember".

F.C. Produzioni

- Director: Federico Fellini
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 123 minutes

"I Remember" unfolds through a series of vignettes, following a young boy named Titta (standing in as one of director Federico Fellini's childhood friends) as he grows up in fascist Italy during the 1930s. The movie won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and is described by the Criterion Collection as "a circus of social rituals, adolescent desires, male fantasies, and political subterfuge."

#6. Distant Thunder

Soumitra Chatterjee and Bobita in a scene from "Distant Thunder".

Balaka Movies

- Director: Satyajit Ray
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 101 minutes

"Distant Thunder" is set in a village in India's province of Bengal during World War II and examines the impact of the Bengal famine of 1943 through the perspective of young doctor Gangacharan (Soumitra Chatterjee) and his wife, Angana (Bobita). Although the film starts off leisurely, it departs from this pacing as the effects of starvation affect ordinary village life.

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#5. Day for Night

Jacqueline Bisset and Jean-Pierre Léaud in a scene from "Day for Night".

Les Films du Carrosse

- Director: François Truffaut
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 116 minutes

Heralded as one of the great films about the nature of moviemaking, "Day for Night" stars director François Truffaut, who attempts to make his latest film amid a deluge of offscreen drama among his stars. The ensemble cast includes an aging Italian diva (Valentina Cortese), a domineering actor (Jean-Pierre Léaud), and a British ingenue (Jacqueline Bisset) embroiled in a private scandal.

#4. Papillon

Dustin Hoffman, Steve McQueen, and Woodrow Parfrey in "Papillon".

Les Films Corona

- Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Metascore: 58
- Runtime: 151 minutes

Adapted from Henri Charrière's semi-autobiographical novel of the same name, "Papillon" stars Steve McQueen as a prisoner framed for murder and sentenced to work in a French Guiana penal colony for life. He forms a bond with forger Louis (Dustin Hoffman), as the two fantasize about their escape. Although some viewers have doubted the authenticity of Charriere's tale, he stood by his account until his death in 1973.

#3. Paper Moon

Tatum O

Paramount Pictures // Getty Images

- Director: Peter Bogdanovich
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Metascore: 77
- Runtime: 102 minutes

"Paper Moon" takes place during the Great Depression, as a con man (Ryan O'Neal) reluctantly bonds with his partner in crime, a young girl (O'Neal's real-life daughter, Tatum O'Neal) who may or may not be his daughter. At the following Oscars, 10-year-old Tatum made Academy Awards history as the youngest performer to win Best Supporting Actress.

#2. The Exorcist

Linda Blair, Max von Sydow, and Jason Miller in a scene from "The Exorcist".

Warner Bros.

- Director: William Friedkin
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Metascore: 81
- Runtime: 122 minutes

Loosely based on the account of Roland Doe's supposed possession, "The Exorcist" follows two priests (Jason Miller and Max von Sydow) who try to help a young girl (Linda Blair) possessed by the devil. The film is remembered for its extreme impact on audiences, with theaters reporting that the film led some viewers to have heart attacks and even a miscarriage.

#1. The Sting

Zanuck/Brown Productions

- Director: George Roy Hill
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Metascore: 83
- Runtime: 129 minutes

Based on the real-life adventures of brothers Fred and Charley Gondorff, "The Sting" follows two con men (Paul Newman and Robert Redford) who set out to take down a gangster who recently murdered their friend. "The Sting" is one of the rare comedy films to ever be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.

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