12 Spellbinding Movies That Aren’t Riddled With Terrible Cliches

Let's face it, modern movies' ability to spellbind their audience depends heavily on CGI, shock tactics, and loud sound editing. Comic book reboot after juggernaut franchise, the film-loving movie theater-going public has been forced to lower its standards. Part of this problem is using cliché, tired tropes, or tone-deaf messaging.

However, a rare gold nugget occasionally slips through the net and can sit with other gleaming examples of authentic, non-clichéd movies.

An online post shares examples of great movies without boring clichés. Here are some choices.

12 Angry Men (1957)

12 angry men
Image Credit: MGM.

This classic cinema features an award-winning Henry Fonda performance as the one member of a jury with a conscience. This film was remade by The Exorcist director, William Friedkin, in 1997, but nothing will beat this simple showcase for world-class acting.

Rosemary's Baby (1968)

Rosemary's Baby Mia Farrow
Image Credit Paramount Pictures.

Expectant mothers were warned not to watch this psychological horror about a pregnant woman who suspects her neighbors and husband are secretly plotting to turn her newborn child over to the devil.

Don't Look Now (1973)

Dont Look Now 1973 e1676838760787
Photo Credit: British Lion Films.

Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie's on-screen romance is so realistic in this movie, but the film's cold, forbidding atmosphere is the main selling point. The beginning sets the film up for one of the greatest endings in the horror genre.

Blue Velvet (1986)

Blue Velvet
Photo Credit: MGM.

Nobody could accuse David Lynch's films of being clichéd in any way, shape, or form. Blue Velvet is one of Lynch's more bizarre offerings about a young man who finds a severed ear on his walk home and unveils a huge criminal underworld. However, you could flick to any scene in the movie and still have no idea what it is about.

Barton Fink (1991)

Barton Fink
Image Credit: Circle Films.

The Coen brothers spent a long writing Miller's Crossing, then during a bout of writer's block, they wrote Barton Fink — a film about writer's block. John Turturro excels alongside a menacing John Goodman as a famous New York playwright summoned to Tinseltown. It is almost impossible to guess what comes next in this dark comedy noir.

City of God (2002)

City of God
Photo Credit: Miramax.

Fernando Meirelles and Katia Lúnd's masterpiece charts the bloody feud in Rio de Janeiro‘s slums during the '70s. This thriller is bordering on horror, so gruesome and realistic is the violence. Casting real-life favela gangs in the film must have helped set this tone.

The Squid and The Whale (2005)

The Squid and the Whale (2005)
Image Credit: Sony Pictures.

Noah Baumbach would likely balk at any suggestion of cliché in his films. This clever movie is based on his childhood growing up in leafy New York suburbs after his parents divorced, with a brilliant supporting role from Jeff Daniels as his beleaguered father.

Across The Universe (2007)

Across the Universe
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Musicals are usually not my cup of tea. The razzmatazz, the happiness, and the jazz hands of most clichéd musicals are too much for this cynical Englishman. However, this tribute to the Beatles is an intertextual take on growing up as a young person in the '60s. Each Beatles song works as all the subplots' soundtrack.

Once (2007)

Once (2007)
Image Credit: Summit Entertainment.

Once is a powerful musical with a difference. There are no theatrical set pieces, grand statements, or pin-point choreography. Instead, you have a simple tale of music, romance, and a vacuum cleaner salesman down on his luck.

The Equalizer (2014)

The Equalizer (2014)
Image Credit: Sony Pictures.

This Denzil Washington film is a remake of the famous Edward Woodward television series from the '80s about a man with a murky past who helps people in a fix. The Equalizer goes hard with its action, leaving little room for small talk and throwaway one-liners.

1917 (2019)

1917 Benedict Cumberbatch
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

The greatest aspect of this stunning World War One film isn't Sam Mendes' faultless direction or Roger Deakins' flawless cinematography. A huge plot twist throws the movie into existential chaos, making the tension almost unbearable.

Captain Fantastic (2018)

Captain Fantastic (2016)
Image Credit: Electric City Entertainment.

Viggo Mortensen shocked the world when he appeared in Captain Fantastic, which follows a widower and his kids living remotely in the Appalachian Mountains, having withdrawn from modern life. The movie also arguably has the most beautiful funeral scene ever made.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.