What Is The Most Visually Stunning Film You Know?

Everyone has a list of movies that satisfy a certain need. Like our food, most of the time we want something healthy and well-produced; sometimes, we crave some guilt-inducing junk food.

Many people have their guilty movie pleasure, and for some, that comes in the form of an awful rom-com, a shlocky horror, or a ridiculous muscle movie.

Meanwhile, there are many among us who crave things of beauty. I guess we could call these characters movie magpies, always on the hunt for the next visual spectacle.

A Redditor recently posted a new thread asking for any films that push the envelope in terms of their visual appeal. Posted in the Subreddit r/MovieSuggestions, the thread attracted a multitude of responses, ranging from the well-known to the outright obscure.

So, here are a few great titles for unleashing on the home cinema — with blankets and popcorn, of course.

1. Under The Skin (2013)

In this bizarre, beautiful, atmospheric movie by British director, Jonathan Glazer movie, Scarlett Johansson plays an alien with a difference. Her aim is to find as many human bodies as possible as an offering to her master entity.

The film's dark, minimalist cinematography of industrial, northern English townscapes along with its haunting soundtrack from Mica Levi, makes for an intense viewing experience. Seeing Scarlett working her gruesome way through a long list of men is something that is hard to forget.

2. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

Heralded as one of the late 20th century's greatest road movies, Johnny Depp is in fine form as Raoul Duke, a fictional character who may or may not be based on Hunter S. Thompson himself (spoiler alert: he is).

The greatest thing about this movie is director Terry Gilliam's scant disregard for visual norms. The viewer is catapulted into one of the all-time great hallucinogenic roller-coaster rides.

Depp's attorney, Dr. Gonzo (named after the very gonzo writing genre for which Thompson is famed) makes a great sidekick as the two vagabonds tear their way through the desert taking as many hallucinogens as they can on the way.

3. There Will Be Blood (2007)

Daniel Day-Lewis returns in a rare screen appearance for Paul Thomas Anderson's masterpiece set in the world of western Californian oil barons.

The greatest thing about this film is how smooth the scenes are. The shots are well-crafted, moving along long tracks and wide jibs, with the backdrop of the desert adding almost Biblical weight to the incredible story about an oil baron's descent into madness.

There Will be Blood is a treat for any set of eyes, and Johnny Greenwood's string-quartet original score gives intensity to the sweeping mise-en-scène.

4. Blue Velvet (1986)

This film needs to come with some form of visual warning, in addition to some post-viewing counseling for those of a shy disposition. David Lynch's darkly absurd, noirish psychological horror film has become a cult movie and it demonstrates David Lynch in all his weird glory.

Some of the set pieces require an instant rewatch if anything to try and decipher what just happened. If your idea of a good night is Dennis Hopper inhaling helium in a strange mother-son fetish act, Blue Velvet is a movie for you.

5. Apocalypto (2006)

Mel Gibson has had an incredible career as both an actor and director. His epic historical film about the Mayans is both shocking and mindblowing in its scale, with scenes that are staggering in their ambition.

Astonishingly, the budget for this large-scale arrows-and-moccasins epic (the cousin of the sword-and-sandals epic) was only $40 million, grossing three times that at the box office.

The sacrifice escape scene alone is worth the journey here, but a high-octane survival story set in the medieval Yucatán Peninsular? Yes, please.

6. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2011)

Of course, Wes Anderson had to make the cut in this list purely because his movies always look incredible. His surreal comedy-drama set in a 1930s hotel in the fictional eastern European country of Zubrowka is a thing of cartoonish beauty.

Some of the scenes are made to look like a macabre comic strip, though somehow they still look human. The tale of a dashing hotel concierge embarking on a mad-capped heist mission amid a backdrop of creeping fascism is nothing short of genius.

Wes Anderson is one of the few diehard auteurs still in complete control of their art, and nothing celebrates Anderson's talents more than The Grand Budapest Hotel.

7. Jacob's Ladder (1990)

Another film of utmost visual weirdness is Jacob's Ladder, starring Tim Robbins as a Vietnam veteran coming to terms with life outside the military.

Shot in dark, menacing, shadowy side streets in New York, the film still manages to radiate visual brilliance. Robbins is great as a tortured byproduct of war experiments, haunted by evil specters and daydreams that threaten to engulf his soul.

Albert Finney even makes an appearance as his confidant, giving birth to one of the coolest quotes ever, sampled in the Thom Yorke song, “Rabbit in Your Headlights”.

8. Blade Runner (1982)

There is something about those British directors, and Ridley Scott steals the show with Blade Runner, a movie some critics consider a visual masterpiece.

Cinematographer Jordan Cronenweth favored a classic noir style that juxtaposes a menacing overload of dizzying metropolitan dreamscapes, along with the internal shots looking like a '50s detective drama.

The result is cinematic quality of the highest order — the kind that should be filed alongside other such American greats like Citizen Kane and Casablanca.


This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.