Empire Magazine's list of the best independent movies. Independent films are definitely one of a kind. For the full article and photo gallery go to: http://www.empireonline.com/features/50greatestindependent/50-41.asp
In the gritty world of Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs, a group of seasoned criminals, including Mr. White (Harvey Keitel) and Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi), find themselves embroiled in a high-stakes diamond heist gone awry. Directed with Tarantino's signature blend of dark humor and visceral violence, the movie unfolds primarily in a warehouse, where the men grapple with trust issues and the looming threat of police capture. The film weaves a complex narrative web through flashbacks, revealing more about each character's backstory while keeping audiences on edge. A critical success, it helped establish Tarantino as a force to be reckoned with in cinema.
In the eerie, yet fascinating movie Donnie Darko, Jake Gyllenhaal portrays the titular character; a troubled, sleepwalking teen who is plagued by visions of an apocalyptic future. Guided by Frank (James Duval), his prophetic and sinister bunny-costumed friend, Donnie grapples to understand the complex web of time travel and parallel universes that unfold before him. The film, masterfully directed by Richard Kelly, is a blend of psychological thriller and science fiction genres. It has won several awards for its innovative storytelling and compelling performances, making it a cult classic in contemporary cinema.
Brian O'Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Marilyn Ghigliotti
Directed by: Kevin Smith
In Clerks, Dante Hicks (Brian O'Halloran) is a convenience store employee, suddenly thrust into an unplanned double shift. His friend, Randal Graves (Jeff Anderson), works next door at a video rental shop. Both are disillusioned with their mundane lives in suburbia. Over the course of one day, they encounter a parade of colorful characters, discuss pop culture and life's absurdities, and confront personal dilemmas. This black-and-white indie film, directed by Kevin Smith, won the Filmmaker's Trophy at Sundance in 1994. It is a raw exploration of 90s slacker culture with comedic undertones and sharp dialogue.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn
Directed by: James Cameron
In the heart of the sci-fi action thriller The Terminator, a cyborg assassin known as The Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is sent back in time from 2029 to 1984. His mission? To execute Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), whose unborn son is destined to lead humanity in a war against machines. Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn), a soldier from the same post-apocalyptic future, is also hurled back in time with an assignment to protect Sarah. It's a race against time, technology, and destiny itself. This James Cameron-directed film won several awards for its groundbreaking special effects and gripping narrative.
In the film Swingers, Mike Peters (Jon Favreau) is an aspiring comedian, grappling with a recent break-up. His friend, Trent Walker (Vince Vaughn), a smooth-talking party animal, attempts to pull him out of his funk and into the lively Hollywood social scene. The movie, filled with humor and heartfelt moments, explores their friendship and the often-awkward dating world. Notable for its realistic dialogue and standout performances, Swingers has become a cult classic in the comedy genre. It's a story about finding one's stride after stumbling, set against the backdrop of LA's vibrant nightlife.
In the satirical comedy Life of Brian, we follow the misadventures of Brian Cohen (Graham Chapman), a hapless man mistaken for the Messiah in first-century Judea. The Monty Python troupe, including John Cleese and Terry Gilliam, weave an irreverent narrative packed with iconic sequences and biting humor. In a series of unfortunate events and misunderstandings, Brian gets entangled in political rebellion against the Romans, adding layers to this unconventional biblical tale. Despite its controversy, Life of Brian is celebrated for its bold commentary on religion and society. Winner of a BAFTA, it remains a classic in British cinema.