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The Best Movies About Art & Artists

Updated June 2, 2020 5.3k votes 1.4k voters 204.0k views69 items

List RulesMovies must feature art prominently.

A list of the best art movies. This is a list not of "art films" but of movies that feature art as a central theme. We tried to include all of the best ones here, but if you believe we missed one, please feel free to add it to the list yourself. All genres have been included. Movies about art can be fascinating and these are the best art films of that genre. The drama, adventure, and politics involved in the creation of famous art can be mind-boggling. And as far as artists go, let us not forget that, "There is no great genius without some touch of madness."

While we might not all enjoy going to the museum to view our favorite works of art, the art films on this list are incredibly accessible and can be enjoyed by almost anyone. If you don't see your favorite art film on this list of the best art films, make sure to add it so others can get a little bit of your good (art film) taste.

What are the best art movies? Take a look at this list and you'll see what are the top movies about artists.
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  • 1
    Basquiat
    209
    88

    Basquiat

    David Bowie, Courtney Love

    Released1996

    Directed byJulian Schnabel

    Basquiat is a 1996 biopic/drama film directed by Julian Schnabel based on the life of American... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 2
    Frida
    264
    137

    Frida

    Salma Hayek, Edward Norton

    Released2002

    Directed byJulie Taymor

    Frida is a 2002 Miramax/Ventanarosa biopic which depicts the professional and private life of... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 3
    Exit Through the Gift Shop
    "In the late 1990s, a hybrid form of graffiti began appearing in cities around the world.... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 4
    At Eternity's Gate
    104
    33

    At Eternity's Gate

    Willem Dafoe, Rupert Friend

    Released2018

    Directed byJulian Schnabel

    At Eternity's Gate is a 2018 American drama film directed by Julian Schnabel. Vincent van Gogh... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 5
    Pollock
    181
    92

    Pollock

    Jennifer Connelly, Val Kilmer

    Released2000

    Directed byEd Harris

    Pollock is a 2000 biography drama film written by Steven Naifeh, Gregory White Smith, Barbara... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 6
    Girl with a Pearl Earring
    150
    70

    Girl with a Pearl Earring

    Scarlett Johansson, Colin Firth

    Released2003

    Directed byPeter Webber

    Girl with a Pearl Earring is a 2003 drama film directed by Peter Webber. The screenplay was... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 7
    Lust for Life
    109
    54

    Lust for Life

    Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn

    Released1956

    Directed byVincente Minnelli, George Cukor

    Lust for Life is a MGM biographical film about the life of the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 8
    Big Eyes
    119
    70

    Big Eyes

    Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz

    Released2014

    Directed byTim Burton

    Big Eyes is a 2014 American biographical drama film directed by Tim Burton. Famous for drawing... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 9
    My Left Foot
    100
    57

    My Left Foot

    Daniel Day-Lewis, Fiona Shaw

    Released1989

    Directed byJim Sheridan

    My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown is a 1989 Irish drama film directed by Jim Sheridan... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 10
    The Agony and the Ecstasy
    75
    39

    The Agony and the Ecstasy

    Charlton Heston, Rex Harrison

    Released1965

    Directed byCarol Reed

    The Agony and the Ecstasy is a 1965 film directed by Carol Reed, starring Charlton Heston as... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 11
    Andrei Rublev
    57
    22

    Andrei Rublev

    Yuri Nikulin, Anatoly Solonitsyn

    Released1966

    Directed byAndrei Tarkovsky

    Andrei Rublev, also known as The Passion According to Andrei, is a 1966 Russian film directed... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 12
    The Pillow Book
    71
    36

    The Pillow Book

    Ewan McGregor, Vivian Wu

    Released1996

    Directed byPeter Greenaway

    The Pillow Book is a 1996 film by British director Peter Greenaway, which stars Vivian Wu as... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 13
    Camille Claudel
    69
    36

    Camille Claudel

    Gérard Depardieu, Isabelle Adjani

    Released1988

    Directed byBruno Nuytten

    Camille Claudel is a 1988 French film about the life of the 19th century female sculptor... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 14
    Mr. Turner
    72
    40

    Mr. Turner

    Timothy Spall, Ruth Sheen

    Released2014

    Directed byMike Leigh

    Mr. Turner is a 2014 British, French and German biographical drama film, written and directed... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 15
    Modigliani
    97
    67

    Modigliani

    Andy Garcia, Eva Herzigová

    Released2004

    Directed byMick Davis

    Modigliani is a 2004 American-French-German-Italian drama biographical film written and... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 16
    Velvet Buzzsaw
    73
    45

    Velvet Buzzsaw

    Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo

    Released2019

    Directed byDan Gilroy

    Velvet Buzzsaw is a 2019 American horror thriller film directed by Dan Gilroy. After a series... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 17
    Carrington
    60
    33

    Carrington

    Emma Thompson, Rufus Sewell

    Released1995

    Directed byChristopher Hampton

    Carrington is a 1995 British biographical film written and directed by Christopher Hampton... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 18
    Crumb
    62
    39

    Crumb

    Robert Crumb

    Released1994

    Directed byTerry Zwigoff

    Crumb is a 1994 documentary film about the noted underground cartoonist Robert Crumb and his... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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    #21 of 350 The Greatest Documentaries of All Time#23 of 41 The Best Documentaries About Cults

  • 19
    Vincent & Theo
    49
    26

    Vincent & Theo

    Tim Roth, Paul Rhys

    Released1990

    Directed byRobert Altman

    Vincent & Theo is a 1990 biographical drama film directed by Robert Altman, starring Tim Roth... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 20
    The Mill and the Cross
    43
    21

    The Mill and the Cross

    Charlotte Rampling, Rutger Hauer

    Released2011

    Directed byLech Majewski

    The Mill and the Cross is a 2011 drama film directed by Lech Majewski and starring Rutger... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 21
    Midnight in Paris
    70
    50

    Midnight in Paris

    Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard

    Released2011

    Directed byWoody Allen

    Midnight in Paris is an American 2011 romantic comedy fantasy film written and directed by... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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    #680 of 1,647 The Most Rewatchable Movies#803 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

  • 22
    Gelateria
    22
    1

    Gelateria

    Carrie Getman, Tomas Spencer

    Released2019

    Directed byArthur Patching, Christian Serritiello

    Gelateria is a 2019 German drama film directed by Arthur Patching and Christian Serritiello.Amazon buy button
  • 23
    Séraphine
    50
    36

    Séraphine

    Yolande Moreau, Ulrich Tukur

    Released2008

    Directed byMartin Provost

    Seraphine is a 2008 film directed by Martin Provost.Amazon buy button
  • 24
    Nightwatching
    31
    19

    Nightwatching

    Martin Freeman, Toby Jones

    Released2007

    Directed byPeter Greenaway

    Nightwatching is a 2007 film about the artist Rembrandt and the creation of his painting The... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 25
    Dirty Pictures
    31
    19

    Dirty Pictures

    James Woods, Craig T. Nelson

    Released2000

    Directed byFrank Pierson

    Amazon buy button