If you like action movies and special effects, ignore this post except for no.18.
I like originality, so perhaps a better name is the top 20 most original movies after 1950. (As far as I can judge).
1. Delicatessen (1991)
Trivia: In his last interview just before he was killed, Dutch movie director Theo van Gogh wore a T-shirt with the logo of this French film-noir absurdist post-apocalyptic movie
2. Ugly, Dirty and Bad (1976)
Chaos in a poor and anti-social family in Rome after the main character wins a prize in the lottery. A movie like only Italians are able to create
3. Amélie (2001)
Unconventional movie made by one of the directors of Delicatessen with some of the same actors.
4. Underground (1995)
In a big basement in former Yugoslavia partisans are making weapons for WWII, but they are never told war is over, finally they go out to discover the war (another one) is still going on.
5. Life of Brian (1979)
The main storyline is probably more near to the truth than the original gospel, according to Paul Verhoeven director of Basic Instict, Total Recall and other movies, but also member of the Jesus Seminar – a group of scholars in theology, philosophy, linguistics, and biblical history.
Brian: I am NOT the Messiah!
Arthur: I say you are Lord, and I should know. I’ve followed a few..
6. The New Guinea Trilogy
Documentary covering the live of one man and his tribe from 1982-1992 in parts 2 and 3 and original footage from 1930 in part 1. Very hard to get but some fragments are on Youtube
7. Bombón: El Perro (2004)
Amazing performances by a full amateur cast, from Patagonia. Despite his hardships, the main character, a poor man, looking for a job, is able to keep his inner-calm and remain his dignity.
9. Don’t Look Now (1973)
Excellent story and acting, innovative camera-work, but poor sound quality
10. Being There (1979)
Last movie of Peter Sellers, privately co-funded by himself
11. La Strada (1954)
A classic from Fellini, excellent casting with his wife Giulietta Masina and Anthony Quinn.
12. Raise the Red Lantern (1991)
An impressive movie from Yimou Zhang starring Li Gong who acted in eight of his movies
13. Life Is Beautiful (1997)
The main character played by Roberto Benigni, is Jewish and is being deported to a concentration-camp in WWII allong with his wife and son. He loves his son too much to tell him the truth, so he makes it look like a special holiday camp.
14. The Story of Qiu Ju (1992)
A very original movie from Yimou Zhang starring Li Gong, about a woman fighting against Chinese authorities and the law.
15. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
A classic starring Jack Nickolson about the maltreatments in a lunatic asylum, which he is temporarily able to give a different twist.
16. The Shining (1997)
The author Stephen King didn’t like the original and had it remade into a 4 hrs and 33 min. movie, which exactly follows the novel and was broadcasted on TV as a mini-serie
17. Il Postino: The Postman (1994)
A touching movie, loosely based around the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, who remained in Italy in exile for some years.
He meets up with a simple postman who’d like the to impress the most beautiful woman on the island with poetry, which he is eager to learn from Neruda.
18. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Based on a short story from Stephen King: If you haven’t seen it, it’s no.1 in the IMDb op 250 since 10 years or so, should I say more.
19. Inception (2010)
Don’t watch this movie, especially not in 3D if you’re epileptic or manic depressive, so a friend in Chiang Mai told me. Since it’s like taking hallucinating drugs. So some will need to remain in their chair for a while to recover at the end .The author Christopher Nolan is also the director and that’s a good thing, since how to write down what you see and how to make a movie that good from a complicated novel with four (virtual) reality levels.
20. Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975)
Last movie of Pasolini before he was killed in the same year, despite it’s disgusting and cruel scenes, it taught me how some people lacking any empathy can act in real live, therefore I regard this as a true horror movie, unlike any other