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168 voters

The Best Movies for Artists to Watch

Updated March 19, 2021 746 votes 168 voters 9.4k views67 items

List RulesVote up the films every artist must see.

If there's one thing any artist will tell you, it's that they could always use some inspiration. Over the years, Hollywood and many independent filmmakers have put together hundreds of amazing movies about artists and their works. Aspiring artists have used such films for years as their own personal muses.

Movies artists should watch range in style, tone, and theme. Whether a film is an artist biopic, a documentary about a style of artwork, or is made in a visually inspiring fashion, it can be used to help get the creative juices flowing. Every artist has their own unique style they are accustomed to, so not every film on this list will appeal to everyone. But odds are, at least one of these movies for artists will inspire you. Whether you're following the life of fabulous painters like Frida Kahlo and Jackson Pollock or learning the story of Mark Hogancamp's fascinating sculpture project, browse this list to find the best film for you! 

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    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

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    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
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    36
    15

    Loving Vincent

    Robert Gulaczyk, Douglas Booth

    Released2017

    Directed byDorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman

    Loving Vincent is a 2017 animated biographical drama film directed by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh...  more

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    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

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    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
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    Exit Through the Gift Shop

    Banksy, Mr. Brainwash

    Released2010

    Directed byBanksy

    In the late 1990s, a hybrid form of graffiti began appearing in cities around the world....  more
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    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
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    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
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    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

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    Factory Girl

    Sienna Miller, Jimmy Fallon

    Released2006

    Directed byGeorge Hickenlooper

    Factory Girl is a 2006 American biographical film based on the life of 1960s underground film...  more
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    New York Stories

    Kirsten Dunst, Woody Allen

    Released1989

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola, Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese

    New York Stories is a 1989 anthology film; it consists of three shorts with the central theme...  more
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    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
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    Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child

    Julian Schnabel, Fab Five Freddy

    Released2010

    Directed byTamra Davis

    "In his short career, Jean-Michel Basquiat was a phenomenon. He became notorious for his...  more
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    Seven Servants

    Anthony Quinn, Audra McDonald

    Released1996

    Directed byDaryush Shokof

    Seven Servants is a USA — Germany co-production 1996 German drama — comedy film directed by...  more
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    Art of Conflict

    Art of Conflict is a documentary film directed by Valeri Vaughn....
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    The Mystery of Picasso is a 1956 French documentary film about the painter Pablo Picasso,...  more
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    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
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    American Splendor

    Paul Giamatti, Josh Hutchersonm

    Released2003

    Directed byRobert Pulcini, Shari Springer Berman

    American Splendor is a 2003 American biographical comedy-drama film about Harvey Pekar, the...  more

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    Carrington

    Emma Thompson, Rufus Sewell

    Released1995

    Directed byChristopher Hampton

    Carrington is a 1995 British biographical film written and directed by Christopher Hampton...  more

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    Waste Land

    Vik Muniz

    Released2010

    Directed byLucy Walker, Karen Harley, João Jardim

    Waste Land is a feature documentary film that premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and...  more
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    An Unmarried Woman

    Jill Clayburgh, Alan Bates

    Released1978

    Directed byPaul Mazursky

    An Unmarried Woman is a 1978 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Paul Mazursky,...  more

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    What Dreams May Come

    Robin Williams, Cuba Gooding Jr.

    Released1998

    Directed byVincent Ward

    What Dreams May Come is a 1998 American fantasy drama film, starring Robin Williams, Cuba...  more

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    I Shot Andy Warhol

    Justin Theroux, Jill Hennessy

    Released1996

    Directed byMary Harron

    I Shot Andy Warhol is a 1996 independent film about the life of Valerie Solanas and her...  more

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    Woman Walks Ahead

    Jessica Chastain, Michael Greyeyes

    Released2018

    Directed bySusanna White

    Woman Walks Ahead is a 2017 American biographical drama film directed by Susanna White....  more
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    Art School Confidential

    John Malkovich, Steve Buscemi

    Released2006

    Directed byTerry Zwigoff

    Art School Confidential is a 2006 comedy-drama film directed by Terry Zwigoff, loosely based...  more

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