Entertainment The Best Dark Films of All Time  

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List Rules At the very least, the film must have dark or bleak undertones. This list is more than just a "goth" list, or a "horror" list, or a "film noir" list.

This list is for any movie that makes you feel terrible after seeing it or makes you feel good about feeling terrible after seeing it. Or lastly, makes you feel just plain weird.

This list focuses on dark, bleak, tragic, gritty, weird, disturbing and/or sinister subject matters. thillers, horror, suspense, action, drama, sci-fi, docu-drama, gothic, mystery, crime, mob, drug, psychological, and even some comedy films are considered here. This might be the most complete list of multi-genre dark films ever created. So vote on your favorite or find a new one to watch. Also, let me know your suggestions for any others to add to the list in the comments section. Thanks for checking out my list.

Go easy with the Tim Burton stuff. A little goes a long way. The only way Tim can surprise us anymore is to make a feel good romantic comedy.

Notable writers and directors: Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Stephen King, Tim Burton, Martin Scorsese, Sam Raimi, M Night Shyamalan, Joel Cohen, Ridley Scott, Oliver Stone, Roman Polanski, George A Romero, John Carpenter, Orson Welles, and Wes Craven.

1
315 84
The Silence of the Lambs is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Dark Films of All Time
Jonathan Demme
The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American thriller film that blends elements of the crime and horror genres. Directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, and Scott ...more

2
338 95
Seven is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Dark Films of All Time
David Fincher
Seven is a 1995 American psychological thriller film directed by David Fincher. The film stars Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, with Gwyneth Paltrow, R. Lee Ermey, John C. McGinley, and Kevin ...more

3
288 82
Donnie Darko is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Dark Films of All Time
Richard Kelly
Donnie Darko is a 2001 American supernatural drama film written and directed by Richard Kelly and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Drew Barrymore, Patrick Swayze, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Noah Wyle, Jena ...more

4
250 74
Requiem for a Dream is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Dark Films of All Time
Darren Aronofsky
Requiem for a Dream is a 2000 American psychological drama film directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, and Marlon Wayans. The film is based on ...more

5
221 65
A Clockwork Orange is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Dark Films of All Time
Stanley Kubrick
A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 dystopian crime film adapted, produced, and directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on Anthony Burgess's 1962 novella A Clockwork Orange. It employs disturbing, violent ...more

6
221 72
The Shining is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Dark Films of All Time
Stanley Kubrick
The Shining is a 1980 British-American psychological horror film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, co-written with novelist Diane Johnson, and starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, ...more

7
255 91
Fight Club is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Dark Films of All Time
David Fincher
Fight Club is a 1999 film based on the 1996 novel of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk. The film was directed by David Fincher, and stars Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter. Norton ...more

8
189 60
No Country for Old Men is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Dark Films of All Time
Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
No Country for Old Men is a 2007 American neo-western neo-noir thriller film directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy. Mayhem ensue after a hunter (Josh Brolin) ...more

9
122 36
Pan's Labyrinth is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Dark Films of All Time
Guillermo del Toro
Pan's Labyrinth, originally known in Spanish as El laberinto del fauno, is a 2006 Spanish-Mexican dark fantasy film written and directed by Mexican Guillermo del Toro. It was produced and ...more

10
169 61
American History X is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Dark Films of All Time
Tony Kaye
American History X is a 1998 American drama film directed by Tony Kaye and written by David McKenna. It stars Edward Norton and Edward Furlong, and co-stars Fairuza Balk, Stacy Keach, Elliott ...more

11
161 59
Black Swan is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Dark Films of All Time
Darren Aronofsky
Black Swan is a 2010 American psychological thriller-horror film directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, and Mila Kunis. The plot revolves around a production ...more

12
272 120
The Dark Knight is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Dark Films of All Time
Christopher Nolan
The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, based on the DC Comics character, Batman. Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), Police Lieutenant James Gordon (Gary Oldman) and ...more

13
162 61
American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Dark Films of All Time
Mary Harron
American Psycho is a 2000 American psychological thriller comedy film co-written and directed by Mary Harron, based on Bret Easton Ellis's 1991 novel of the same name. It stars Christian Bale, ...more

14
155 58
Shutter Island is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Dark Films of All Time
Martin Scorsese
Shutter Island is a 2010 American psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese. The film is based on Dennis Lehane's 2003 novel of the same name. Production started in March 2008. ...more

15
95 29
Zodiac is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Dark Films of All Time
David Fincher
Zodiac is a 2007 American mystery-thriller film directed by David Fincher and based on Robert Graysmith's non-fiction book of the same name. Zodiac tells the story of the manhunt for a person ...more

16
121 44
Taxi Driver is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Dark Films of All Time
Martin Scorsese
Taxi Driver is a 1976 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Paul Schrader. Set in New York City soon after the end of the Vietnam War, the film ...more

17
129 53
The Exorcist is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Dark Films of All Time
William Friedkin
The Exorcist is a 1973 American supernatural horror film directed by William Friedkin, adapted by William Peter Blatty from his 1971 novel of the same name. The book, inspired by the 1949 ...more

18
105 39
Oldboy is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Dark Films of All Time
Park Chan-wook
Oldboy is a 2003 South Korean mystery thriller neo-noir film directed by Park Chan-wook. It is based on the Japanese manga of the same name written by Nobuaki Minegishi and Garon Tsuchiya. ...more

19
64 16
Memento is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Dark Films of All Time
Christopher Nolan
Memento is a 2000 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Christopher Nolan. The screenplay was written by Nolan based on his younger brother Jonathan Nolan's short story ...more

20
107 45
Fargo is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Dark Films of All Time
Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Fargo is a 1996 American neo-noir dark comedy crime film written, produced, edited, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It stars Frances McDormand as a pregnant Minnesota police chief who ...more

21
88 33
Psycho is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Dark Films of All Time
Alfred Hitchcock
Psycho is a 1960 American horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The film centers on an encounter between a secretary, Marion Crane, who ends up at a secluded motel after taking money from ...more

22
71 23
Misery is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Dark Films of All Time
Rob Reiner
Misery is a 1990 American psychological thriller film based on Stephen King's 1987 novel of the same name and starring James Caan, Kathy Bates, Lauren Bacall, Richard Farnsworth, and Frances ...more

23
66 20
Prisoners is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Dark Films of All Time
Denis Villeneuve
Prisoners is a 2013 drama thriller film written by Aaron Guzikowski and directed by Denis Villeneuve.

24
117 54
Alien is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Dark Films of All Time
Ridley Scott
Alien is a 1979 science-fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott, and starring Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm and Yaphet Kotto. ...more

25
80 32
American Beauty is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Dark Films of All Time
Sam Mendes
American Beauty is a 1999 American drama film, directed by Sam Mendes and written by Alan Ball. Kevin Spacey stars as Lester Burnham, an office worker who has a midlife crisis when he becomes ...more