The Official Movie List

Cameron Lee Cowan
2 min readMay 13, 2024

Are you looking for the most essential movies to watch? Let’s face it, movies have played an outsized role in driving culture forward. Their ability to tell stories is only rivaled by books (on which many films have been based). From its earliest days, film (motion pictures) have been a sensation. This only increased when motion pictures included sound. We’ve gone through the stark realism of silent pictures to the splashy musicals of the 40s and 50s and into the larger-than-life epics. From the American West to a galaxy far, far away, motion pictures have transformed how we see the world.

In this list, I have selected my favorite films and those which I think are most important. Some of them are Academy Award Nominees and many of them are simply excellent films. If you are looking for documentaries please see the Official Documentary List for what documentaries I think I really worth watching.

Here is my Official Movie List:

Apocalypse Now: Director’s Cut

Your Loving Vincent


Birth of a Nation


The French Connection

Coffee and Cigarettes

Waking Life

Gone with the Wind


Fried Green Tomatoes

Mildred Pierce

Sunset Boulevard

Mulholland Drive

What Happened to Baby Jane?

The Godfather Part II

The Breakfast Club

St. Elmo’s Fire

Rocky Horror Picture Show

The Women

The Searchers


White Christmas

The King’s Speech

The English Patient

The French Lieutenant’s Wife


Schindler’s List

Grey Gardens

The Italian Job

Citizen Kane

Rebel Without a Cause



Some Like it Hot

The Grapes of Wrath

North by Northwest

Annie Hall


Dr. Strangelove or how I stopped worrying and learned to love the bomb

A Clockwork Orange

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

It’s A Wonderful Life


Pulp Fiction

Spirited Away

The Lovely Bones

The Killing Fields

The Shawshank Redemption


Beauty and the Beast

Hotel Rwanda

The Great Dictator

Das Boot

The Apartment


L.A. Confidential

Green Book

There Will Be Blood

No Country for Old Men

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

The Bridge on the River Kwai

12 Years a Slave

The Big Lebowski

The Handmaiden

In the Mood for Love



Cameron Lee Cowan

Creative Director of The Cameron Journal. Culture, political commentary, and much more!