10 Cult Movies To Watch

March 11, 2020

10 Cult Movies To Watch

Everyone has a top 10 film list and here's ours, with movies chosen for their global relevance, cult-factor, emotional appeal, cinematography and of course, aesthetics.

Casablanca1. Casablanca (1942)The quintessential ‘old movie’ that beautifully depicts one of the most conflict-ridden times in modern history. The writing is excellent and has spurred many memorable quotes such as “Here's looking at you, kid.”

Rough plot: Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), who owns a nightclub in Casablanca, discovers his old love Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) is in town with her husband, Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid). Laszlo is a famed rebel, and with Germans on his tail, Ilsa knows Rick can help them get out of the country.

Casablanca movieBest for: swooning at iconic gent Humphrey Bogart while learning a bit of history.

Ladri di Biciclette2. Ladri di Biciclette (1948) Italian cinema had a golden age that began just after the Second World War, and this film is a great place to start before you move on to the Fellinis. 

Rough plot: Unemployed Antonio Ricci (Lamberto Maggiorani) is elated when he finally finds work-hanging posters around war-torn Rome. However, disaster strikes when Antonio's bicycle is stolen, and his new job is doomed unless he can find the thief. With the help of his lively son, Bruno (Enzo Staiola), Antonio combs the city, growing increasingly desperate for justice.

Best for: Tugging at the heart-strings, keep tissues handy.


3. Sabrina(1954) Compared to the soft-cited Breakfast at Tiffany’s, this charming Audrey Hepburn movie launched Hubert de Givenchy’s career, and is seriously underrated.

Rough plot: Chauffeur's daughter Sabrina (Audrey Hepburn) returns home from two years in Paris a beautiful young woman, and immediately catches the attention of David (William Holden), the playboy son of her father's rich employers. However, their romance is threatened by David's serious older brother, Linus (Humphrey Bogart), who runs the family business and is relying on David to marry an heiress in order for a crucial merger to take place.

Best for: Any old time works, but especially good for Paris, Long Island, or general Audrey elegance inspiration. 

La Piscine4. La Piscine (1969) One of the best examples of classic French cinema showcasing vintage Courrèges, as well as the explosive chemistry between Schneider and Delon, who were a real-life couple.

Rough plot: When a journalist's (Romy Schneider) boyfriend (Alain Delon) allows her former lover (Maurice Ronet) to drown, the couple must answer questions from an inspector.

Best for: getting excited for summer.

Scarface5.Scarface (1983) A film that redefined the American dream, and also gave rise to an iconic Michelle Pfeiffer look in that slip dress, as well as lavish 80s extravagance.

Rough plot: Tony Montana (Al Pacino) stakes a claim on the drug trade in Miami, viciously murdering anyone who stands in his way. Increased pressure from the police, wars with Colombian drug cartels and his own drug-fueled paranoia serve to fuel the flames of his eventual downfall.

Best for: movie night at home with the significant other.

Between Two Women6. Between Two Women (1986)A moving, funny and realistic look at in-law relationships (and a look into why Farah Fawcett is a style icon).

Rough plot: When shy schoolteacher Val (Farrah Fawcett) and Harry (Michael Nouri), the son of an aged opera singer, get married, Val quickly discovers that Harry's mother, Barbara (Colleen Dewhurst), is not very happy with their relationship. In fact, Barbara tries to separate the couple, but when she suffers a debilitating stroke, Val's compassion and empathy mend the rift between two women, giving Barbara the will to survive.

Best for: Girls’ night in.

sleepless in Seattle7. Sleepless in Seattle (1993) The very best of classic 90s romantic comedy with the king and queen of the genre: Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan

Rough plot: After the death of his wife, Sam Baldwin (Tom Hanks) moves to Seattle with his son, Jonah (Ross Mallinger). When Jonah calls in to a talk-radio program to find a new wife for his father, Sam grudgingly gets on the line to discuss his feelings. Annie Reed (Meg Ryan), a reporter in Baltimore, hears Sam speak and falls for him, even though she is engaged. Unsure where it will lead, she writes Sam a letter asking him to meet her at the Empire State Building on Valentine's Day.

Best for: Cosy nights in. You’ll laugh, and you very well might cry.

American Beauty

8. American Beauty (1999)  Critically acclaimed, this film won Oscars for Best Screenplay, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Film. There’s also a visually compelling rose petals scene.

Rough plot: A telesales operative becomes disillusioned with his existence and begins to hunger for fresh excitement in his life. As he experiences a new awakening of the senses, his wife and daughter also undergo changes that also affect their family.

Best for: when in the mood for a dark, cynical, yet look at modern suburbia.

Mulholland Drive

9. Mulholland Drive (2001) Experience artful dream-like cinematography by David Lynch.

Rough plot: A dark-haired woman (Laura Elena Harring) is left amnesiac after a car crash. She wanders the streets of Los Angeles in a daze before taking refuge in an apartment. There she is discovered by Betty (Naomi Watts), a wholesome Midwestern blonde who has come to LA seeking fame as an actress. Together, the two attempt to solve the mystery of Rita's true identity.
Best for: its glimpse into the allure of Old Hollywood, and dizzying narrative twists.

10. Lost in Translation (2003) Shot almost entirely shot in Tokyo's most colourful districts, Shinjuku and Shibuya (not to mention those Park Hyatt views) the film is a visual feast. 

Rough plot: A lonely, ageing movie star named Bob Harris (Bill Murray) and a conflicted newlywed, Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson), meet in Tokyo. Bob is there to film a Japanese whiskey commercial; Charlotte is accompanying her celebrity-photographer husband. Strangers in a foreign land, the two find escape, distraction and understanding amidst the bright Tokyo lights after a chance meeting in the quiet lull of the hotel bar. They form a bond that is as unlikely as it is heartfelt and meaningful.

Best for: when feeling misunderstood, or for the Tokyo wanderlust.