It’s fun to try to predict the future. It’s why time capsules have never gone out of style, and ancients like Nostradamus still have entire shows dedicated to them. And even though it may be a few decades before we’ll be able to vet any of these predictions, here are 15 movies that are already considered “modern classics” and might be even more special in the future.
“The movie “Her” also captures a really specific sense of alienation from the modern world (and finding comfort in the company of a machine) that no other movie has gotten quite right.”
#14. A Nightmare Before Christmas
“Nightmare Before Christmas. What an art style.”
#13. Toy Story
“Toy Story will be held as the turning point for animation, when 3D digital animation became mainstream and 2D animation began to diminish. It launched Pixar as one of the most successful studios in the world.
ETA: This is of course from a Western viewpoint as many have pointed out in the replies; Japanese animation studios are still producing high budget, high quality 2D animation. That being said, this doesn’t detract from the impact Toy Story had on modern cinema.”
#12. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Wish this movie was more popular. It does what a good movie should which is keep you thinking about it after you’ve seen it. It genuinely impacts you.”
“Shrek. Not counting just the memes behind it, it was one of the first CGI movies, had a strong message about being accepted, and had humor for all ages (while having a few less-than-kid-friendly jokes scattered about).
It also has the memes that have been going around for at least 5 years, ancient compared to the lifespan of most memes.”
#10. My Cousin Vinny
“My Cousin Vinny.
Law school students study it. It is still cited in the courts today.
Called one of, if not the most realistic portrayals of the practice of law on film.”
#9. American Psycho
“Do you like American Psycho?
Christian Bale’s early work was a little too new wave for my tastes, but when American Psycho came out in 2000, I think he really came into his own, commercially and artistically. The whole movie has a clear, crisp look, and a new sheen of consummate professionalism that really gives the movie a big boost. His Bruce Wayne been compared to Michael Keaton’s, but I think Christian has a far more bitter, cynical sense of humor.”
#8. The Truman Show
“The Truman Show. Way ahead of its time. This was a movie that really stuck with me. My favorite bit is when the show finally ends, and these people that have been watching for literally decades just go “hmmm, what else is on?” So subtle, yet poignant.”
#7. Oh Brother Where Art Thou
“Oh Brother Where Art Thou, and I’d like to think The Thin Red Line and True Romance will get greater recognition one day. People who are into films know them but a lot of people don’t.”
#6. The Dark Knight
“The Dark Knight revolutionized not just Batman but superhero movies in general.”
#5. The Iron Giant
“The Iron Giant. By and far one of animations greatest tragedies but even after its tepid box office turnout this films significance & accomplishments are not wholly lost. The acting is on point, the animation superb and its message isn’t hackneyed or cookie cutter while also managing to explore the hysteria and anxiety of Cold War America in a manner palatable for children but cognizant enough that older viewers don’t feel talked down to.
I’d highly recommend Why The Iron Giant Is A Tragedy Of Animation it goes into great detail on WB animation, development of the film and the hand its marketing played in its box-office turnout.”
“Wall-E definitely. Not only is it a gorgeous film, with the first half being a stellar ‘silent’ film but it carries messages of environmentalism and anti-consumerism which we are now starting to see fully the repercussions of in our own environment.”
#3. Spirited Away
“Spirited Away or Princess Mononoke. Spirited away is the only traditionally animated film to win a non technical Oscar, the only non Western animated film to win an Oscar. It was the highest grossing film in Japan of all time for a long while, and is consistently ranked on the top 10 greatest movies of the 21st century, and top 100 of all time. With the exception of maybe a handful it won every award it was nominated for. And I can’t stress enough that it’s traditionally animated in a world where 99% of animated films are CGI, and the line between CGI and live action is more and more Blurred, a film like spirited away becomes more important as it is not only an opus of its medium, but also because the medium is dying or dead to most audiences. Spirited Away is also approachable by and easily enjoyed by anyone. It reflects positive themes of empowerment, respect, and Justice. Spirited also manages to repersent love between a male and a female that’s not romantic, but platonic and built on respect and admiration for one another.
Princess Mononoke is a better movie, in my opinion, but is probably less important to and for mainstream attention and study because it didn’t have the impact or approachability.”
#2. Groundhog Day
“Comedies are hard to predict, but I think that The Big Lebowski and Groundhog Day will still be watched a long time from now.”
#1. The Prestige
“The Prestige. It was overlooked I feel. And if Criterion is still a thing in 20 years, I think it’ll be one of their titles.”
A pretty solid list to be sure, but we’ll just have to wait and see!