Classic movies get that title for good reason: they’re timeless stories that stand the test of time. These modern classics from the last 25 years aren’t considered classic yet, but they definitely look like they’ll be enjoyed by generations to come.
These aren’t just great movies that have come out in the past quarter centruy. These modern classics were revered by critics and regular movie-goers alike, a strong sign that they’ll hold up over the years.
Do you agree?
No Country for Old Men
When it came out No Country for Old Men won 76 different awards from various organizations, including Best Picture at the academy awards. Directed by the Coen brothers (who also made The Big Lebowski ) and adapted from the book of the same name, No Country for Old Men is one of the best films of the past decade and a definite modern classic.
Directed by the legendary Poman Polanski, The Pianist tells the true story of how the Polish-Jewish pianist Władysław Szpilman survived the Holocaust.
This might be the most obvious pick on this list given how The Matrix has already gone down as a classic in most peoples’ books. While some critics at the time disliked the film, most film critics and organizations agree (at least now) that The Matrix is a masterpiece.
There Will Be Blood
Set in the early 1900s oil boom, There Will Be Blood is a masterclass in cinematography. Often considered to be one of the greatest films of the 21st century (so far), the only reason There Will Be Blood didn’t win all eight of the Oscars it was nominated for was that it lost to No Country for Old Men that came out the same year.
The Lord of the Rings
Can we count a trilogy as a modern classic? Even if we can’t, it’s hard not to acknowledge the worldwide success that the final film, Return of the King, garnered when it was released. The Lord of the Rings trilogy remains one of the highest grossing movie series of all times, and received a combined 17 academy awards for the 3 films.
This one snuck up on people (pun intended?) – first at Cannes, where it was the first Korean film to win The Palme d’Or, then at the Oscars when it was the first non-English language film to win an Academy Award.
Amélie is a delightful French-made romantic comedy that’s sometimes serious, but mostly fun an whimsical. Unlike other modern classics on this list that are blockbusters or intense dramas, Amélia is that pleasant breath of fresh air that we need from movies every now and then.
Children of Men
It’s a shame that Children of Men has largely been forgotten about because as far as movies are concerned it’s certainly up there. Despite not being well advertised or marketed to the Oscars, it was still nominated for three academy awards.
If for no other reason, Cast Away is a modern classic because it’s just so iconic. At the time of release you’d be hard pressed to find someone who hadn’t seen the film or, at the very least, wasn’t familiar with it. Given that we’re still talking about it over 20 years later, it’s safe to say that Cast Away is a movie that stays with you.
No, this isn’t just a reference to The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent or the fact that Nicholas Cage actually does love Padding 2 in real life, this truly is a perfect movie.
Currently sitting at a 99% fresh Tomatometer (critic average reviews) on Rotten Tomatoes and featuring a star-studded cast, Paddington 2 is already considered to be one of the greatest movies of all time.
You might not expect it, but Borat was extremely well received by both regular audience members and critics. There’s just something so funny, and so important, about this movie’s shockumentary style.
Momento has so much going for it that I won’t spoil the film if you haven’t checked it out. Directed by Christopher Nolan (who has made so many iconic modern classics at this point it’s hard to pick just one), Memento is so significant that the US Library of Congress added it to the National Film Registry.
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