The 75 best looking films ever made

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No.56
'Sunset Boulevard' (1950)
Director: Billy Wilder
DoP,: John F. Seitz



What can you say about this film that hasn't been said by many already? Not much. As with the best noir films it's the black and white lighting and shades that make it what it is. There is not much in the way of ingenious camerawork or clever trickery / zooms / pans that make it such a great film to look at. It's more the shot composition in combination with the direction that make it so good:

An example:


That just brings a whole load of atmosphere to the scene and how the character's mindset is. Just from the image alone.





It's a great film with great cinematography. Could have been higher in this list to be honest, but here it is.



Such a great movie and I feel like the cinematography is not talked about enough.
I mean, when I think of the best American films I always think of Sunset Blvd. on that list.



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Such a great movie and I feel like the cinematography is not talked about enough.
I mean, when I think of the best American films I always think of Sunset Blvd. on that list.
Totally. It would be high up. Other Directors and DoPs perhaps wouldn't have bothered to put the camera under the swimming pool corpse, but they did, and I personally cannot think of this film without my brain zooming to this shot of the bright flash photography in the background and the motion of the water wobbling the characters as if to signify the murky underbelly of the film.



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No. 55
'Embrace of the Serpent' (2015)
Director: Ciro Guerra
DoP.: David Gallego



David Gallego's cinematography in this film is simply mesmerizing. From butterflies whizzing around the tribesman's head to shots of burning trees and wild Jaguars. It's essential viewing for any fans of that monochrome look, and the film is just as good as the visuals. Guerra paints this spiritual path to enlightenment for the main characters and by the end the viewer is transfixed on the images.

My avatar probably hints at how much I enjoyed this one. Every time I stumble across a clip I can't help but watch it to the end.



Evita is worth an honourable mention, got some award nominations for this. Great sepia tones.



What about the Wolf Of The Wall Street?



Welcome to the human race...
As good as The Wolf of Wall Street is, it's not an overly good-looking film, especially not within Scorsese's filmography (it didn't even get a nomination for Best Cinematography at the Oscars).
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No. 54
'Kwaidan' (1964)
Director: Masaki Kobayashi
DoP.: Yoshio Miyajima


Yoshio Miyajima's photography in this film is just awash with colours. The phrase 'assault on the senses' is apt here. The images are so memorable and they help realise the fantastical nature of the ghost stories being told. But he owes alot to the set designer and the production values, as without those ideas, it wouldn't be half as good.

Stunning looking film.



A system of cells interlinked
Dang, I got behind in this thread.

Love Sunset Blvd. Some people complain about the posthumous narration, but think it adds to the strange vibe of the film. Probably my favorite Wilder that I have seen.
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No. 53
'The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford' (2007)
Director: Andrew Dominik
DoP.: Roger Deakins



Roger Deakins' work in this film is outstanding. Using the wilderness of Alberta Canada to deputise for Missouri was a stroke of genius and the results re beautiful. Deakins has aid that the shot in the top left ^ here is the high point of his career, and who can argue. It is one of the most stunning scenes in 21st century cinema.

It's not just the camerawork and lighting though, the attention to detail in this film is impressive. For example, Brad Pitt's finger is digitally erased in every single scene as the real Jesse James shot his own finger tip off while cleaning his gun.


Easily one of the best looking films this century.



The truth is out there
Nosferatu
Sunset Boulevard
Embrace of the Serpent
Kwaidan
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford


Yay, I've seen all the latest five - all nice choices in terms of aesthetics
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Mumble is awful!



No. 53
'The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford' (2007)
Director: Andrew Dominik
DoP.: Roger Deakins



Roger Deakins' work in this film is outstanding. Using the wilderness of Alberta Canada to deputise for Missouri was a stroke of genius and the results re beautiful. Deakins has aid that the shot in the top left ^ here is the high point of his career, and who can argue. It is one of the most stunning scenes in 21st century cinema.

It's not just the camerawork and lighting though, the attention to detail in this film is impressive. For example, Brad Pitt's finger is digitally erased in every single scene as the real Jesse James shot his own finger tip off while cleaning his gun.


Easily one of the best looking films this century.
Yeah, I loved the look of that film.



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No.52
'Raging Bull' (1980)
Director: Martin Scorsese
DoP.: Michael Chapman



This is my favorite de Niro performance. But also it's the visuals that stand out. Right from the sharp title sequence, you know you're in for a treat.


The angles, zooms and close ups of the boxing ring show real imagination. Slow motion punches and the flashes of camera bulbs in the background really help to create a tense atmosphere. Cinematographer Michael Chapman had a big Hollywood career, shooting films like Lost Boys, The Fugitive, Primal Fear. He also shot Scorsese's 'Taxi Driver', which is arguably a better film than Raging Bull. But it's that moody black and white aesthetic that for me is captured so well.



The truth is out there
Not seen Raging Bull for some years but I remember the b&w imagery being quite striking, I don't think it would have worked anywhere near as well in colour.



No. 53
'The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford' (2007)
Director: Andrew Dominik
DoP.: Roger Deakins



Roger Deakins' work in this film is outstanding. Using the wilderness of Alberta Canada to deputise for Missouri was a stroke of genius and the results re beautiful. Deakins has aid that the shot in the top left ^ here is the high point of his career, and who can argue. It is one of the most stunning scenes in 21st century cinema.

It's not just the camerawork and lighting though, the attention to detail in this film is impressive. For example, Brad Pitt's finger is digitally erased in every single scene as the real Jesse James shot his own finger tip off while cleaning his gun.


Easily one of the best looking films this century.
Very pleased to see this one on your list...absolutely gorgeous film



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No. 51
'Thief' (1981)
Director: Michael Mann
DoP.: Donald Thorin



Donald Thorin was the DoP on quite a few Hollywod action films (Tango and Cash, Midnight Run, The Golden Child, Mickey Blue Eyes) but none were as striking as Thief. Together with James Caan's brooding badass 'Frank', Thief is an extremely rewatchable film.

Mann seems to shoot night scenes as good as anyone in the business and some of the best examples are to be found in Thief. Fairy lights twinkling in the foreground, the city neons bouncing off a car hood or two friends chatting, silhouetted on the shore - it's all here.