You might be wondering what makes a cult film. Some think of it as a religious horror film; strangely enough, it is not. Cult movies are films that public viewers excessively admire.
Although these cult movies come from all varieties, they have one thing in common: they are too strong for mainstream audiences, the comedies were ahead of time, and the indie films have influenced the direction of Hollywood.
Before we start things off: the movies are ranked based on their IMDB score. It’s time to binge-watch these movies that broke taboos.
1. Pulp Fiction (1994)
English, Spanish, French 2h 34m IMDb
Stars: John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson
“If it’s Tarantino, it’s a masterpiece.” Pulp Fiction is a good crime thriller to watch. The movie is like bits of pieces that you have to put together to make sense.
Tarantino proved that character development and dialogue are more important in creating a masterpiece. Every character is vividly written. Moreover, the artists gave justice with their best performances.
It has been over a decade, and people are endlessly trying to copy the movie and its technique, but no one has ever replicated it; that’s why people love to rewatch Pulp Fiction. Watch this movie and are put on the edge of your seats.
2. Fight Club (1999)
English 2h 19m IMDb
Stars: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Meat Loaf
“The first rule about Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club.” Well, it is hard not to talk about this masterpiece.
Everything is excellent in this movie, from its screenplay to the direction and the artists’ performance. The plot put up a fight as it explored sensitive themes, especially when the movie came out in the cinemas; these were taboo topics.
It did not cast any judgement; instead, it put personality disorders, class warfare, and emasculation into the light.
However, the movie is gory and disturbing, which may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But, if this does not bother you, you should add this movie to your watch list.
3. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
English, Japanese, French IMDb
Stars: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Daryl Hannah
Another Tarantino masterpiece on the list. Although the plot is a cliché revenge story without much depth, the Tarantino trademark elements and the outstanding performance of Uma Thurman have made the movie captivating.
What’s even more impressive about this martial arts film is how well the mayhem is choreographed and directed.
Kill Bill became an instant classic, but this movie is not for everyone. In this movie, you will witness insane scenes; gallons of blood splashed everywhere, severed limbs, and graphic violence. If a lot of blood does not faze you, this film is for you.
4. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
English 2h 23m IMDb
Stars: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom
You will not believe how a 3-hour film can still make you long for more. Pirates of the Caribbean is one of the best-released films in 2003. It is a swashbuckling adventure film with the right balance of action and drama.
Pirates of the Caribbean may have a basic and cliché romance-rescue plot, but the humour references and Johnny Depp’s improv performance in this movie worked like a charm.
This is the best pirate movie you can add to your watch list.
5. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
English 1h 16m IMDb
Stars: Danny ElfmanChris SarandonCatherine O’Hara
A highly re-watchable stop-motion animation movie; some might think this is a young children’s film, but this turned out to be a good movie for all ages. Nightmare Before Christmas is a straightforward film.
It tells the tale of what most children dream of, making it easy to follow for children. Meanwhile, it shows a different light to the adult viewers; its deft humor draws their attention to the dialogue.
Nightmare Before Christmas is a horror-musical film with comedy showing up at the right moments. Have a visual feat on one of the most memorable holiday classics.
6. The Breakfast Club (1985)
English 1h 37m IMDb
Stars: Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald
This movie is an eye-opener. Parents have never understood the youth, and the youth are not as clueless as some think. How the characters in this film are three-dimensional and relatable has made this film a classic.
If you have watched this movie way back, watching this again will bring you a sentimental kick, and the audience of today may not have the same beliefs back then. It has deliberately delivered the message of addressing how most teenagers deal with stereotypes, and this movie is probably the most realistic.
You can learn a lot from The Breakfast Club. Its well-thought-out and entertaining characters placed the movie on the cult list.
7. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
English, French, German, Italian 1h 40m IMDb
Stars: Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Peter Ostrum
What a timeless film. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory has skillfully shown how a movie can be entertaining yet serious when addressing and touching sensitive topics of morality. Besides, Gene Wilder has made the movie more unique and vibrant with his performance.
The young audience will be in awe of how colorful and magical the Chocolate Factory is. Still, the adults who have watched the movie again will have great realizations about how wondrous the dark comedy is in this movie. You can find several messages in the film that will change your perception of life.
8. The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980)
English, Afrikaans, Ungwatsi 1h 49m IMDb
Stars: N!xau, Marius Weyers, Sandra Prinsloo
This movie is really crazy. The plot may be confusing in the beginning, but once you have a grasp, you can see the film in Chaplin-shorts; the comedy acts are in great timing.
Although the film caught controversies, it is awfully misconceived as a racist film. But, if you look closely into it, the movie unfolds how crazy it is that some places on Earth are still fresh and away from civilization.
Do not be disappointed by the talk of poor production and lousy dubbing in this movie; not even a renowned artist is in this movie. Yet, try watching this, and you will see how unique the plot and concept are.
9. Gone Girl (2014)
English 2h 29m IMDb
Stars: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris
A mind-boggling crime thriller, as it should be. Gone Girl could be controversial and exploitative to some viewers, but the story tapped into the psyche of the viewers regarding the ideology of marriage and infidelity.
Gone Girl unfolds the distorted perception of modern relationships. If you are someone who doubts everything, then this movie is not for you. It could unhinge your mind; the details of this intriguing story are pretty realistic and somehow the truth of today’s relationships.
Moreover, let’s not forget to talk about the stunning cinematography of the movie that gave justice to its visual storytelling. You will soon realize that the world is a stage where everyone is a great pretender. Gone Girl will keep you guessing until the end.
10. Drive (2011)
English, Spanish 1h 40m IMDb
Nicolas Winding Refn
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston
Some might compare Drive to any Tarantino film. But it is not; Drive is unique on its own. A slow-paced movie that you will never find boring. Every minute of the movie keeps you interested, and Ryan Gosling poured his heart into this film.
There is much to expect in this movie regarding cinematography and editing. Its dialogue and short bursts of graphic violence make it impossible not to get immersed in the movie.
11. Nightcrawler (2014)
English 1h 57m IMDb
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton
Nightcrawler is a hard movie to watch, but also a hard movie to keep unfinished. Jake Gyllenhaal puts much effort into bringing justice to the character he is playing, and his method acting is pretty challenging because his character is a manipulative sociopath.
This film is not a crowd-pleaser. It explores a corrupted facet of capitalism and society; an excellent analysis, actually. If you want a darkly comedic movie that opens your eyes to the nature of humans, this film is right for you.
12. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
English 1h 40m IMDb
Stars: Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick
Every movie enthusiast knows The Rocky Horror Picture Show is an ultimate cult classic. It is one of the best horror-musical films. Apart from its excellent soundtrack list, the movie has several other references to other horror films.
More and more people appreciate this movie because it encourages the youth to celebrate their sexuality. All the hype around The Rocky Horror Picture Show holds a tremendous appeal, and you should not miss it.
13. Idiocracy (2006)
English 1h 24m IMDb
Stars: Luke Wilson, Maya Rudolph, Dax Shepard
When you least expect it, that’s when greatness comes. Idiocracy was only marketed in a few cities, yet people were flocking to watch this epic movie after its eventual release. It is funny until you realize that this may be a strong warning of what our feature is becoming.
Watching this movie will leave you dumbfounded. Would we really be in a dystopic future? This movie deserves to be on the cult list, and it greatly appeals to audiences that can see the madness happening today. No matter what your political stance is, watch Idiocracy.
Are you familiar with some of the mentioned cult movies? I bet you have seen a few of them. You can check these movies on some streaming platforms.
Although these platforms are slow to spawn these cult classics in their algorithm, movie geeks are still thankful that these movies are not hushed and remain recognized as a movie staple for generations.