40. Shoplifters (2018) Dir. Hirokazu Kore-eda, 121 mins.
It is about a non-biological family that relies on shoplifting to cope with a life of poverty.
39. World of Tomorrow (2015) Dir. Don Hertzfeldt, 17 mins.
A little girl is taken on a mind-bending tour of her distant future.
38. Let the Fire Burn (2013) Dir. Jason Osder, 95 mins.
The film is about the events leading up to and surrounding a 1985 stand-off between the black liberation group MOVE and the Philadelphia Police Department.
37. Inception (2010) Dir. Christopher Nolan, 148 mins.
The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a professional thief who steals information by infiltrating the subconscious and is offered a chance to have his criminal history erased as payment for the implantation of another person’s idea into a target’s subconscious. DiCaprio holds the piece together even if Nolan does get frustratingly repetitive with the effects in his dream structures. Watch
36. A Bread Factory, Part One (2018) Dir. Patrick Wang, 122 mins.
A small theater in a small town turns out to be a great setting for thinking about many big themes: art, globalization, gentrification, changing social institutions and new technology.
35. Ernest & Celestine (2012) Dir. Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar, Benjamin Renner, 80 mins.
This hand-drawn comedy follows the unlikely, and forbidden, friendship between a young mouse named Celestine and a lovable bear named Ernest.
34. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) Dir. George Miller, 120 mins.
The film is set in a post apocalyptic desert wasteland where gasoline and water are scarce commodities. It follows Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy), who joins forces with Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) to flee from cult leader Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) and his army in an armoured tanker truck, which leads to a lengthy road battle. Watch
33. Roma (2018) Dir. Alfonso Cuarón, 135 mins.
Set in 1970 and 1971, Roma, which is a semi-autobiographical take on Cuarón’s upbringing in the Colonia Roma neighborhood of Mexico City, stars Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira and follows the life of a live-in housekeeper of a middle-class family.
32. Happy Hour (2015) Dir. Ryūsuke Hamaguchi, 317 mins.
The film follows the lives and loves of four middle-class women in their thirties who are friends and who live in Kobe. When one reveals she is undergoing divorce proceedings, the others begin to rethink their relationships.
31. One Cut of the Dead (2017) Dir. Shin’ichirô Ueda, 97 mins.
Things go badly for a hack director and film crew shooting a low budget zombie film in an abandoned WWII Japanese facility when they are attacked by real zombies.
30. The Florida Project (2017) Dir. Sean Baker, 111 mins.
The plot follows a six-year-old girl living with her rebellious mother in a motel in Kissimmee, Florida as they try to stay out of trouble and make ends meet, so they may keep one step ahead of impending homelessness. Watch
29. Senna (2010) Dir. Asif Kapadia, 106 mins.
The film’s narrative focuses on Senna’s racing career in Formula One, from his debut in the 1984 Brazilian Grand Prix to his death in an accident at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, with particular emphasis on his rivalry with fellow driver Alain Prost.
28. Dawson City: Frozen Time (2016) Dir. Bill Morrison, 120 mins.
First screened in the Orizzonti competition section at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival, the film details the history of remote Yukon town Dawson City, from the Klondike Gold Rush to the 1978 Dawson Film Find, a discovery of 533 nitrate reels containing numerous lost films.
27. Drive (2011) Dir. Nicolas Winding Refn, 95 mins.
The film stars Ryan Gosling as an unnamed Hollywood stunt driver moonlighting as a getaway driver. He quickly grows fond of his neighbour, Irene (Carey Mulligan) and her young son, Benicio. Her debt-ridden husband, Standard (Oscar Isaac), is released from prison, and hires him to take part in what turns out to be a botched million-dollar heist that endangers their lives.
26. The Wolf House (2018) Dir. Joaquin Cociña, Cristóbal León, 75 mins.
A young woman takes refuge in a strange house in the woods after escaping from a German colony in southern Chile.
25. Embrace of the Serpent (2015) Embrace of the Serpent (2015) Dir. Ciro Guerra, 125 mins.
Embrace of the Serpent features the encounter, apparent betrayal and finally life-affirming friendship between an Amazonian shaman (the last survivor of his people) and two foreign scientists. Strikingly original, Guerra’s gripping film is a brilliantly poetic fable that’s often breathtaking to behold. Watch
24. Burning (2018) Dir. Lee Chang-dong, 148 mins.
The movie depicts a young deliveryman, Jong-su (Yoo Ah-in), who runs into his childhood friend, Hae-mi (Jeon Jong-seo). She asks if he would look after her cat while she is away on a trip to Africa. On her return, she introduces to Jong-su an enigmatic young man named Ben (Steven Yeun), who she met during her trip. One day, Ben tells Jong-su about an unusual hobby of his.
23. The Hunt (2012) Dir. Thomas Vinterberg, 106 mins.
The story is set in a small Danish village around Christmas, and follows a man who becomes the target of mass hysteria after being wrongly accused of sexually abusing a child in his kindergarten class.
22. Pain and Glory (2019) Dir. Pedro Almodóvar, 113 mins.
A film director reflects on the choices he’s made in life as the past and present come crashing down around him.
21. Ida (2013) Dir. Paweł Pawlikowski, 82 mins.
Set in Poland in 1962, the film is about a young woman who was orphaned as an infant during the German occupation of World War II. On the verge of taking vows as a Catholic nun, she must first meet her aunt. The former Communist state prosecutor and only surviving relative tells her that her parents were Jewish and the two women embark on a road trip into the Polish countryside to learn the fate of their family. Watch