Sometimes it’s hard to know what mood you’re in when picking a film to watch; you go to your collection and aren’t quite sure which to pick. Maybe that’s because your DVD collection is missing some vital titles… With this in mind we’ve taken it upon ourselves (with the help of our Twitter followers – follow us @RooblaOfficial) to put together a list of 50 must-have DVD’s that would complement any collection. We’re sure you’ll find some glaring omissions but hope that it will inspire some additions to your DVD shelves… if you’ve got them all, we applaud you!
What’s more, we’ve teamed up with FindAnyFilm.com to help you pinpoint the films in our list! Find Any Film is a UK company funded and supported by the BFI who look to help film fans find films they love.
The films are in no particular order and the list isn’t necessarily a list of the best films ever made – just the ones we deem essential to add to your DVD collection!
How does your collection compare to our list? Have we missed out your favourite film of all time? Let us know in the comments feed below!
50. Fight Club
David Fincher’s 1990’s intelligent mind-bender Fight Club teamed Edward Norton up with Brad Pitt. Featuring countless memorable scenes, the film proved it packed a lot more of a punch than even its title suggested.
Why is it here? An intelligent thriller, Fight Club proved David Fincher’s worth.
Find Fight Club on Find Any Film
49. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Before he was attempting to thwart Godzilla, Matthew Broderick was trying something much more difficult – he was trying to beat the high school Principle. Starring as the titular Ferris Bueller, Broderick kick-started his career in this John Hughes classic.
Why is it here? Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a prime example of 80’s comedy at its best.
Find Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on Find Any Film
48. Casino Royale
Proving to be a particularly Marmite actor, Daniel Craig was catapulted into the limelight in 2006’s Casino Royale. Taking Bond back to basics, the film found the much-loved spy appearing in Ian Fleming’s first Bond story. Though it was criticised for taking away the fun of Bond, Casino Royale kicked Bond’s sleek style up a gear.
Why is it here? Casino Royale revitalised a sagging franchise.
Find Casino Royale on Find Any Film
47. Home Alone
Macaulay Culkin will perhaps be best remembered for his stint in Home Alone. Finding himself alone in his house after his parents forget to take him on a family trip, he soon finds his situation has its perks. Featuring a great performance from the late John Candy, Home Alone explores what we’d all do in an empty house…
46. Harry Potter saga – notably The Philosopher’s Stone
It’s hard to think that once upon a time there was a world without Harry Potter and his school friends. A literary and cinematic sensation in its own right, the Harry Potter saga caused hysteria during its peak years. Even now fans are queueing to visit the studios in which the movies were filmed – all because a lady (a very talented lady called J.K. Rowling) wrote a book about a boy wizard. Impressive!
Why is it here? We chose Philosopher’s Stone as the example piece as it epitomises the spell-binding magic of the films… for our favourite Harry Potter see Prisoner of Azkaban.
Read our review
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45. Team America: World Police
Proving that tastelessness has no bounds, Matt Parker and Trey Stone created a political satire that would be quoted for years to come when they made Team America. Not only that, they managed this using puppets.
Why is it here? Political satire comes in many forms… puppets having sex is one of them.
Find Team America on Find Any Film
44. Kick Ass
Aaron Johnston appeared alongside fellow Hollywood newcomer Chloe Grace Moretz in Kick Ass back in 2010. It was a surprise hit and found itself a cult following, thanks largely to the foul language issued from Moretz’s character Hit Girl.
43. Toy Story
Cinemas are saturated with animated releases but, back in 1995, Toy Story was an absolute game-changer. Featuring the vocal talents of Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, Toy Story perfectly captured the promise of Disney Pixar whilst providing a knock-out story that would be loved by adults and kids alike.
Why is it here? The first feature length computer animated movie, Toy Story has quickly become a classic.
Find Toy Story on Find Any Film
42. The Shawshank Redemption
Ask anyone what their top ten films are and more often than not The Shawshank Redemption will appear in their answer. A slow-burner, the film is a thoughtful and well-orchestrated piece that utilises the talents of Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman.
Why is it here? It’s number one on IMDb… millions of movie fans can’t be wrong.
Find The Shawshank Redemption on Find Any Film
41. Some Like It Hot
Some may raise an eyebrow at the idea of Marilyn Monroe appearing alongside a couple of cross-dressing men, but the film works even decades on from its original release.
Why is it here? Classic comedy has to make an appearance and we can’t think of a better example!
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After the tragic loss of Leslie Nielson in 2011 the likes of Airplane and The Naked Gun experienced somewhat of a resurgence. Featuring some comedic one-liners that are as funny today as they were on the film’s first release, Airplane perfectly balances slapstick humour with witty dialogue.
Why is it here? Silly humour, when done well, can crack a smile on the most sullen of faces. We salute you, Leslie Nielson.
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Will Ferrell gained cult status thanks to his portrayal of fictional newscaster Ron Burgundy. Parodying the 1970’s, Anchorman provided audiences with memorable quotes as well as featuring some hilarious set pieces that are still referred to today.
The second David Fincher movie to feature on our list, Se7en is a psychological thriller that pits a rookie and a veteran cop (Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman respectively) against a murderer who bases his crimes on the seven deadly sins.
Why is it here? From a glut of comedic entries to a harrowing thriller done extremely well.
Read our review
Find Se7en on Find Any Film
37. Die Hard
Bruce Willis didn’t have a great Christmas back in 1988. His character John McClane found himself trapped inside a building with a group of terrorists headed by the brilliant Alan Rickman. Luckily for us his antics provided for a great alternative festive caper… it also gave us the immortal ‘yipee-kay-yay’ line.
36. Rambo: First Blood
He may be expendable but he was still proving this was the case back in 1982 when he first appeared as Rambo. 38 Rambo sequels later (give or take) and Sylvester Stallone is still the go-to man for action movies.
Why is it here? See the reasoning for Die Hard.
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Taken managed to obtain cult status in the space of a few months. Proving Liam Neeson’s action prowess, the film saw him fighting to regain his daughter after a brutal kidnapping.
Why is it here? Cheesy cult classics have got to work their way into this list somehow!
Find Taken on Find Any Film
Starring Jean Reno, Gary Oldman and a very young Natalie Portman, Leon is widely considered to be an exemplary thriller where an assassin saves a young girl.
Why is it here? Featuring a stellar cast and a knock-out story, Leon is a must-have addition to any collection.
Find Leon on Find Any Film
33. Pan’s Labyrinth
Many foreign films deserve a mention on this list, but perhaps none more so than Pan’s Labyrinth. Directed by Guillermo del Toro, the film follows a young girl as she travels to an creepy fantasy world.
Why is it here? The tantalising mix of visuals and history make for an impressive effort from the director.
Find Pan’s Labyrinth on Find Any Film
32. The Nightmare Before Christmas
The Nightmare Before Christmas perhaps best epitomises all that is great with Tim Burton’s work. Featuring his iconic style, the film is a firm favourite with Burton fans thanks to its simple story and beautifully crafted set pieces.
Why is it here? Tim Burton has had a massive impact on movies and, though he did not direct this piece, it manages to capture his style perfectly.
Read our review
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31. The Shining
Perhaps the best received Stephen King movie adaptation, The Shining managed to capture the tension King wove into his book as well featuring one of the scariest performances in cinema history. Jack Nicholson’s Jack terrorises his family after being driven insane by the Overlook Hotel.
Why is it here? Horror, when done well, can live with the viewer for a lifetime.
Find The Shining on Find Any Film
30. Pulp Fiction
Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta star in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. Mixing the stories of different characters, the film incorporates violence into a majestically woven story.
Why is it here? Tarantino at his finest.
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29. The Exorcist
We’ve all heard someone reference the money shot in The Exorcist and this alone confirms the need for its presence in this list.
Why is it here? You’ll never think of exorcism in the same way again.
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28. The Evil Dead
Flesh possessing demons harass a group of friends in the original The Evil Dead. Featuring some classic 80’s effects, the film went on to spawn countless sequels.
Why is it here? Horror parodies had to have something to base themselves on and this is one of many.
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Perhaps one of the oldest films to feature in our list, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho still manages to shock over forty years on since its release. Featuring memorable performances as well as some iconic scenes, Psycho taught us all to beware of strangers.
26. Forrest Gump
Tom Hanks has had an illustrious and varied career. He’s made us laugh, he’s made us cry and often at the same time. Forrest Gump is a great example of this. Following the titular character as he recounts the moments of his life that lead him to be sitting on a bus stop bench, we soon learn there’s more to Gump than we first thought.
There has been an endless barrage of superhero movies in recent years. From Superman to Spider-man, Iron Man to the Incredible Hulk, we’ve watched as they’ve battled to save the Earth. Watchmen stands apart from its contemporaries in that it focuses on an intelligent dystopia created by Alan Moore whilst incorporating some glorious visual effects.
Why is it here? If our description hasn’t sold it to you then this might not be the film for you.
Find Watchmen on Find Any Film
Russell Crowe teamed up with Ridley Scott in 2000 to create Gladiator. Widely lauded as being a glorious epic, the film revitalised both men’s careers and is amongst many people’s favourite films.
Why is it here? Featuring classic lines and detailed sets, Gladiator allows us to travel back to the Roman era without leaving the sofa.
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Christopher Nolan has made a name for himself as a director who likes to play with his audience’s minds. This was first fully achieved back in 2000 when he directed Memento. Starring Guy Pearce, the film largely plays out back to front and we discover the film’s truths as Pearce’s character slowly loses his memory of events.
22. The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
Clint Eastwood has had a career that has withstood the test of time. Back in 1966 he appeared in a little film called The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and, in doing so, won a legion of fans.
Why is it here? Gunslingers. Eastwood. It’s got the lot.
Find The Good, The Bad and The Ugly on Find Any Film
21. Batman: The Dark Knight
Batman is a strange character. He can come in any guise (he can be camp, he can be spooky and he can be mean) and can win over fans no matter what he does. The Dark Knight is perhaps his biggest hit to date thanks to Christopher Nolan’s direction and Heath Ledger’s stint as nemesis The Joker. Receiving a posthumous nod at the Oscars for his performance, Ledger nails the Joker’s mental instability.
Why is it here? Much like Watchmen, The Dark Knight is a great example of when comic books are adapted well at the cinema.
Find Batman: The Dark Knight on Find Any Film
20. The Godfather
An adaptation of Mario Puzo’s novel of the same name, The Godfather expertly transposed Puzo’s mafia world to the cinema screen.
Why is it here? If you’re interested in mafia stories you’d do well to start here.
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19. Lord of the Rings, notably Return of the King
Peter Jackson created a cinematic sensation when he presented J.R.R. Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy to cinemas across the world. Achieving the rarest of things, Jackson appeased fans with his epic work.
Why is it here? A DVD collection would be left bereft if this saga was omitted, particularly Return of the King.
Find Return of the King on Find Any Film
18. The Matrix
Before its confusing sequels, The Matrix was a stand-alone work of art. Fusing an intelligent dystopian premise with some impressive effects, directors The Wachowski Brothers created memorable characters, scenes and lines.
Why is it here? It deserves a place here if only to remind us all of the first time we watched the film and wondered if we were all hooked up to the grid…
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Today the unison of horror and sci-fi seems almost obvious but back in 1979 Ridley Scott paired the two in a way that hadn’t been achieved before. Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley may seem like a cinema staple now, but in 1979 she was impressing audiences the world over for the first time.
Why is it here? Worth buying for the chest-burster scene alone.
Find Alien on Find Any Film
16. Star Wars collection, notably The Empire Strikes Back
Similarly, George Lucas created a phenomenon back in 1977 with the release of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Suggesting the idea of space being a bit grotty, he created an entire universe. Moments later a legion of fans followed.
15. Indiana Jones Collection, notably Raiders of the Lost Ark
Harrison Ford is perhaps best known for his work in the 1980’s. As well as being Han Solo, he was also lecturer-turned-tomb raider Indiana Jones. Inspiring a generation to don their hats and set off on an adventure, the Indiana Jones series never took itself too seriously and was much more fun for it.
Why is it here? We think it’s safe to say everybody under the age of 30 grew up with Indiana Jones on the telly.
Find Raiders of the Lost Ark on Find Any Film
14. The Lion King
Disney is a powerhouse in the cinematic world. Churning out hit after hit, the animation company created one of their best-loved titles back in 1994. Featuring great performances, vibrant animation and killer songs, The Lion King epitomises the studio’s ethic.
13. 2001: A Space Odyssey
The second Kubrick film to feature in our list, 2001: A Space Odyssey has had a lasting effect on popular media. Widely parodied, the original movie shocked audiences and still absorbs them to this day.
Why is it here? You could do a lot worse when looking for a sci-fi classic.
Find 2001: A Space Odyssey on Find Any Film
12. Blade Runner
Affirming the importance of Harrison Ford, Blade Runner’s inclusion in this list is far from surprising. An adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sleep, the film ponders the existence of artificial awareness.
Why is it here? Though it may have aged a little more than other titles in this list, Blade Runner offers an interesting example of the 80’s vision of the future.
Find Blade Runner on Find Any Film
11. Shaun of the Dead
There seems a distinct lack of British movies in this list. Thankfully Shaun of the Dead is here to counter this problem and manages to mix humour, romance and zombies in its 99 minute run-time. Furthering a fanbase already formed thanks to TV series Spaced for Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, Shaun of the Dead’s humour is still spot-on.
The third Nolan film to appear in the list, Inception mixes the director’s penchant for mind-trickery with his creative use of special effects, resulting in one of 2010’s most memorable movies.
9. Back to the Future
Robert Zemeckis created an institution when he directed Back to the Future. Marty McFly and the Doc must try and return to the 1980’s after the Flux Capacitor launches Marty back to the past… where he finds himself the source of his mother’s affections.
Why is it here? The soundtrack alone justifies its inclusion.
Read our review here
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8. Jurassic Park
Steven Spielberg catapulted dinosaurs onto cinema screens nationwide in 1993 with Jurassic Park. Adapted from Michael Crichton’s novel of the same name, the film made us scared to enter our kitchens for weeks, afraid that velociraptors may break in at any moment.
7. E.T. : The Extra Terrestrial
A decade before Jurassic Park, Spielberg was enchanting audiences with E.T.. After being abandoned by his ship the titular alien befriends a young boy, making for one of the most tear-jerking endings of all time.
Why is it here? John William’s soundtrack perfectly compliments the film’s story. Stick it in the DVD player and dabble in nostalgia.
Find E.T. on Find Any Film
6. Star Trek
Proving that the new millennium could do sci-fi just as well as the previous one, Star Trek mixed an old favourite with the talents of Lost writer J.J. Abrams.
5. The Bourne Identity
Much like Star Trek, The Bourne Identity proved action films still have a place in cinemas. Pitting Matt Damon against the unknown forces who are linked with wiping his memory, the film mixes intelligent scripting with some well-choreographed action scenes.
Why is it here? Bourne is the new Bond… there. We said it.
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French flick Amelie provides a light-hearted and innocent look at life. We follow Audrey Tautou as the titular Amelie as she encounters the world.
Why is it here? Everyone needs a little pick me up sometimes – Amelie is the film to stick on when you’re feeling blue.
Find Amelie on Find Any Film
3. Top Gun
It would be criminal to omit Tom Cruise from this list. Dabbling in almost every genre the star was catapulted to the limelight with Top Gun, a favourite amongst many.
Why is it here? The power ballads!
Find Top Gun on Find Any Film
2. Apocalypse Now
Apocalypse Now has a lot of history; making the film was notoriously difficult. Starring Marlon Brando and Martin Sheen, the film was directed by the masterful Francis Ford Coppola and is an essential addition to any DVD collection.
James Cameron’s Avatar redefined cinema upon its release in 2009. Pioneering the use of motion capture (previously used for bit parts in Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings), the film created a new world that was complemented by its 3D release. Still just as impressive on DVD, Avatar needs to be in your collection.