Make Your Picks

The 75 best looking films ever made


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.
I saw this movie when I was like 12 years old and it may have been the first time I ever really noticed and understood how good-looking a movie was.

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'Manhattan' (1979)
Director: Woody Allen
DoP.: Gordon Willis

Gordon Willis' work on this film is outstanding. The lines of buildings, bridges and people makes the location a character in its' own right. If anyone ever says "Why does a film need to be black and white these days when we have the best technology?" - then all you have to do is show them this film. It simply wouldn't have worked in colour. I just can't imagine the famous bridge shot above being shot in colour. It may not be Allen's greatest film but it has to be the best looking.

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'November' (2017)
Director: Rainer Sarnet
DoP.: Mart Taniel

This small Estonian film went well under the radar of most people but it is worth checking out. I'd say it's easily in the top 5 best looking films of the decade. Some of the images are simply jaw dropping. Mart Tniel's use of light in dark barns, forests and other gloomy locations is gorgeous and only heightens the black and white photography.

This shot in particular is an example of how amazing this film looks, and is as beautiful as it is inventive:

Anyone who loves mysterious, odd folklore with beautiful images should seek this film out.