Watchworthy

The Best Surrealist Films 

Ranker Film
Updated April 17, 2020 2k votes 280 voters 5.4k views 58 items

List Rules Vote up your which surrealist films you think are the best.

 

What are the best surrealist films? This list includes great surrealist movies such as Being John Malkovich, The Holy Mountain, and Wild Strawberries. Surrealist movies have origins from France in the 1920s. It is a modernist approach to film that uses shocking imagery, juxtaposition, and draws on the subconscious. The telling of evocative stories and mind-bending stories is something that draws in a curious and cutting-edge audience. Being able to tell new stories through cutting edge imagery is the reason film was invented as a medium. Often these movies can be shocking, chilling, and contemplative, they can help us understand a period we lived through, and they can make us question life and all that we know to be true. Surrealist films can be the most powerful medium, eclipsing even history books, due to the power of visual storytelling.

The best surrealist films can impart their message in a short amount of time, as some of the earliest ones were short films, rather than feature length. Vote up which surrealist film is your favorite, and if you don't see your favorite film, be sure to add it to the list.

 

 

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
list ordered by
1
Ranker Video
Ali Reza Shokoufandeh added Anthony Quinn, Audra McDonald, David Warner

Released: 1996

Directed by: Daryush Shokof

Seven Servants is a USA — Germany co-production 1996 German drama — comedy film directed by Daryush Shokof. The movie is about a man named Archie, portrayed by Anthony Quinn, who wishes to unite ...more
2
Ranker Video
Ali Reza Shokoufandeh added Daryush Shokof, Marie selva, Arash Kalani

Released: 2012

Directed by: Daryush Shokof

Strange Stranger is a USA, Horror - Surreal feature film produced,written and directed by Daryush Shokof. the film is a mystic journey into the world of people obsessed with sex,their outrageous ...more
3
Ranker Video
Ali Reza Shokoufandeh added Daryush Shokof, Ulrike Schirm, Taies Farzan

Released: 2007

Directed by: Daryush Shokof

Breathful is a 2007 gangster-comedy film directed by Daryush Shokof. Featuring an all-female cast, Breathful is meant to promote gender equality and women's rights, particularly the rights of ...more
4
Ranker Video
Ali Reza Shokoufandeh added Yangzom Brauen, Joachim Paul Assböck, Araba Walton

Released: 2006

Directed by: Daryush Shokof

Asudem is an American horror film written and directed by Daryush Shokof. Asudem is the reverse writing of medusa indicates a surreal story of a woman Yangzom Brauen in the woods, where she ...more
5
Ranker Video
Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, Luis Buñuel, Simone Mareuil

Released: 1929

Directed by: Luis Buñuel

UN CHIEN ANDALOU consists of sixteen minutes of bizarre and surreal images that may or may not mean anything. In a dream-like sequence, a woman's eye is slit open, juxtaposed with a cloud ...more

More An Andalusian Dog 

#66 of 100 The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces #159 of 334 The Greatest Movies in World Cinema Historylisted on List of Silent Movies

6
Ranker Video
Jack Nance, Jeanne Bates, Jack Fisk

Released: 1977

Directed by: David Lynch

Eraserhead is a 1977 American experimental body horror film directed by David Lynch. Henry Spencer (Jack Nance) tries to survive his industrial environment, his angry girlfriend (Charlotte ...more

More Eraserhead 

The Most Memorable 'Eraserhead' Quotes #165 of 239 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #368 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

7
Ranker Video
but chickens double d added Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter, Ed Bishop

Released: 1968

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 epic science fiction film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay was written by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, and was partially inspired by ...more

More 2001: A Space Odyssey 

#80 of 239 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #42 of 358 The Best Movies Based On Bookslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

8
Ranker Video
but chickens double d added Malcolm McDowell, Warren Clarke, Steven Berkoff

Released: 1971

Directed by: 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

More A Clockwork Orange 

Kubrick And Codpieces: Behind The Scenes Of 'A Clockwork Orange' #43 of 358 The Best Movies Based On Books #149 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guys

9
Ranker Video
Michel Piccoli, Fernando Rey, Jean-Pierre Cassel

Released: 1972

Directed by: Luis Buñuel

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie is a 1972 surrealist film directed by Luis Buñuel and written by Jean-Claude Carrière in collaboration with the director. The film was made in ...more

More The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie 

#317 of 554 The Best '70s Movies #420 of 675 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Starslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

10
Ranker Video
Naomi Watts, Billy Ray Cyrus, Melissa George

Released: 2001

Directed by: David Lynch

Mulholland Drive is a 2001 American neo-noir mystery film written and directed by David Lynch and starring Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, and Justin Theroux. It tells the story of an aspiring ...more

More Mulholland Drive 

#64 of 239 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #424 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #623 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

11
Ranker Video
Kylie Minogue, Michel Piccoli, Denis Lavant

Released: 2012

Directed by: Leos Carax

Holy Motors is a 2012 Franco-German fantasy drama film directed by Leos Carax. Dennis Lavant stars as a man whose job is to perform various roles in the same way an actor would, only he doesn't ...more
12
Ranker Video
Alejandro Jodorowsky, Juan Ferrara, Letícia Robles

Released: 1973

Directed by: Alejandro Jodorowsky

La montaña sagrada is a 1973 Mexican-American surreal fantasy film directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky, who also participated as an actor, composer, set designer and costume designer on the ...more
13
Ranker Video
Cameron Diaz, Brad Pitt, Charlie Sheen

Released: 1999

Directed by: Spike Jonze

Being John Malkovich is a 1999 American fantasy comedy film written by Charlie Kaufman and directed by Spike Jonze. It stars John Cusack, Cameron Diaz and Catherine Keener, with John Malkovich ...more

More Being John Malkovich 

#455 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #399 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #877 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

14
Ranker Video
Carole Bouquet, Michel Piccoli, Fernando Rey

Released: 1977

Directed by: Luis Buñuel

That Obscure Object of Desire, released in 1977, was the final film directed by Luis Buñuel. Set in Spain and France against the backdrop of a terrorist insurgency, the film tells the ...more

More That Obscure Object of Desire 

#525 of 675 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars #65 of 100 The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces #24 of 139 The Best Surrealism Movies

15
Ranker Video
but chickens double d added Robert De Niro, Bob Hoskins, Ian Holm

Released: 1985

Directed by: Terry Gilliam

Brazil is a 1985 British film directed by Terry Gilliam and written by Gilliam, Charles McKeown, and Tom Stoppard. British National Cinema by Sarah Street describes the film as a ...more

More Brazil 

#144 of 239 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #371 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #764 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

16
Ranker Video
Ian Holm, Roy Scheider, Julian Sands

Released: 1991

Directed by: David Cronenberg

Naked Lunch is a 1991 science fiction drama film written and directed by David Cronenberg and starring Peter Weller, Judy Davis, Ian Holm, and Roy Scheider. It is a film adaptation of William S. ...more

More Naked Lunch 

#25 of 127 The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made #47 of 203 The Best Drug Movies of All Time #57 of 81 The Best Movies About Writers

17
Ranker Video
Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Carrey

Released: 2004

Directed by: Michel Gondry

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a 2004 American romantic science-fiction comedy-drama film about an estranged couple who have each other erased from their memories, written by Charlie ...more

More Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 

The Most Memorable 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' Quotes #51 of 239 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

18
Ranker Video
Naomi Watts, Jeremy Irons, Laura Dern

Released: 2006

Directed by: David Lynch

Inland Empire is a 2006 mystery film written and directed by David Lynch and was his first feature film since 2001's Mulholland Drive. The feature took two-and-a-half years to complete, and was ...more
19
Ranker Video
Silvia Pinal, Claudio Brook, Antonio Bravo

Released: 1965

Directed by: Luis Buñuel

Simon of the Desert is a 1965 film directed by Luis Buñuel. It is loosely based on the story of the ascetic 5th-century Syrian saint Simeon Stylites, who lived for 39 years on top of a ...more
20
Ranker Video
but chickens double d added Drew Barrymore, Ashley Tisdale, Jake Gyllenhaal

Released: 2001

Directed by: 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

More Donnie Darko 

Travel Through Time With The Best 'Donnie Darko' Quotes #206 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guys #612 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

21
Fear and Loathing in Las... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Surrealist Films
but chickens double d added Johnny Depp, Cameron Diaz, Christina Ricci

Released: 1998

Directed by: Terry Gilliam

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a 1998 American dark comedy film co-written and directed by Terry Gilliam, starring Johnny Depp as Raoul Duke and Benicio del Toro as Dr. Gonzo. It was adapted ...more

More Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas 

The True Story Behind 'Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas' #116 of 358 The Best Movies Based On Books #471 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

22
Ranker Video
David Silva, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Alfonso Arau

Released: 1970

Directed by: Alejandro Jodorowsky

El Topo is a 1970 American-Mexican western film written and directed by and starring Alejandro Jodorowsky. Characterized by its bizarre characters and occurrences, use of maimed and dwarf ...more
23
Ranker Video
but chickens double d added John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle

Released: 1975

Directed by: Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones

Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a 1975 British comedy film written and performed by the comedy group of Monty Python, and directed by Gilliam and Jones. It was conceived during the hiatus ...more

More Monty Python and the Holy Grail 

'Monty Python and the Holy Grail' Was An On-Set Nightmare That Everyone Hated Filming #126 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guys #74 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

24
Ranker Video
John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Frances McDormand

Released: 1991

Directed by: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Barton Fink is a 1991 American period film written, produced, directed and edited by the Coen brothers. Set in 1941, it stars John Turturro in the title role as a young New York City playwright ...more

More Barton Fink 

The Most Memorable Quotes From 'Barton Fink' #559 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #961 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

25
Ranker Video
Max von Sydow, Bibi Andersson, Ingrid Thulin

Released: 1957

Directed by: Ingmar Bergman

Wild Strawberries is a 1957 Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman about an old man recalling his past. The original Swedish title is Smultronstället, which literally means ...more