The journey of an adapted screenplay is a dance between loyalty to the original and the vision of a fresh perspective.

It’s about capturing the essence of established narratives and presenting them in a new, compelling light.

We’ll jump into the masterpieces that have accomplished this feat seamlessly, turning prose and plots into memorable cinematic experiences.

Join us as we explore the scripts that have not only paid homage to their origins but have also set benchmarks in the realm of film adaptation.

 

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

What Is An Adapted Screenplay Oscar?

The Adapted Screenplay Oscar is an award presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).

It recognizes the writers of the best screenplay adapted from previously established material. This material can include novels, plays, short stories, TV shows, or other literary works.

Unlike the Original Screenplay category, which honors scripts written directly for the screen without prior source material, the Adapted Screenplay category celebrates the craft of taking an existing narrative and transforming it into a screenplay fit for the cinematic medium.

This adaptation process involves capturing the essence of the original material while making changes to suit the visual and temporal constraints of film.

 

 

Best Adapted Screenplay Winners

The Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay honors the film industry’s finest adaptations of pre-existing source material.

Over the years, this award category has seen a myriad of talented writers and unforgettable films. 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Here are a selection of notable winners spanning different eras:

Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar Winners

1. The Departed (2006)

“The Departed” is a crime thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese and released in 2006.

The film features an ensemble cast, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, and Mark Wahlberg.

It is a remake of the Hong Kong film “Infernal Affairs” (2002) and follows the story of two men, one an undercover cop and the other a mole within the police department, who try to uncover each other’s identities.

The film is set in Boston, where Colin Sullivan, played by Matt Damon, is a mole for Irish mob boss Frank Costello, portrayed by Jack Nicholson, within the Massachusetts State Police.

At the same time, Billy Costigan, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, is an undercover cop who infiltrates Costello’s gang.

Both men find themselves trapped in a dangerous cat-and-mouse game as they attempt to maintain their covers while identifying the other’s true identity.

“The Departed” is known for its gripping and suspenseful storytelling, intense performances, and intricate plot twists. The film explores themes of loyalty, betrayal, identity, and the blurred lines between law enforcement and criminality.

It showcases Martin Scorsese’s masterful direction, with his signature visual style and use of music to heighten tension and create a gritty atmosphere.

The performances in “The Departed” are widely praised, with each actor delivering strong and memorable performances.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon shine in their respective roles as the conflicted undercover cop and the cunning mole, bringing depth and complexity to their characters.

Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of Frank Costello is captivating and menacing, adding an extra layer of intensity to the film.

The film received critical acclaim and was a commercial success, earning several accolades, including four Academy Awards. Martin Scorsese finally won his first Academy Award for Best Director, and the film also won Best Picture.

The film’s success cemented its place as one of Scorsese’s most acclaimed works and a modern crime film classic.

“The Departed” is praised for its taut screenplay, expertly crafted suspense, and gritty depiction of the criminal underworld.

It remains a favorite among fans of crime dramas for its intricate plot, strong performances, and the moral dilemmas faced by its characters.

Overall, “The Departed” is a riveting and well-crafted crime thriller that showcases Martin Scorsese’s directorial prowess and features standout performances from its ensemble cast.

Its complex narrative and exploration of themes make it a memorable and compelling film that continues to captivate audiences.

The Departed
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson (Actors)
  • Martin Scorsese (Director) - William Monahan (Writer) - Brad Pitt (Producer)
  • English (Playback Languages)
  • English (Subtitle)

2. Sideways (2004)

“Sideways” is a comedy-drama film released in 2004, directed by Alexander Payne.

The film follows the story of two friends, Miles Raymond, portrayed by Paul Giamatti, and Jack Cole, played by Thomas Haden Church, who embark on a wine-tasting trip in California’s Santa Ynez Valley.

Miles Raymond is a depressed and introverted writer and wine enthusiast, struggling with his career and a recent divorce. Jack Cole, on the other hand, is an outgoing and carefree actor about to get married.

As they journey through wine country, they encounter various adventures and encounters that challenge their friendship and personal lives.

The film delves into themes of mid-life crisis, friendship, love, and the pursuit of happiness. It explores the complexities of relationships and the flaws and vulnerabilities of its characters.

“Sideways” strikes a balance between comedic moments and poignant reflections on life’s disappointments and opportunities.

The performances in “Sideways” are widely praised, with Paul Giamatti receiving critical acclaim for his portrayal of Miles Raymond.

His nuanced and introspective performance earned him several accolades and nominations, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.

The film’s screenplay, written by Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, is celebrated for its sharp and witty dialogue, capturing the complexities of human relationships and the nuances of wine culture.

The cinematography beautifully captures the scenic landscapes of the Santa Ynez Valley, adding to the film’s overall atmosphere.

“Sideways” was a commercial and critical success, receiving numerous accolades and nominations, including five Academy Award nominations and a win for Best Adapted Screenplay.

The film resonated with audiences for its relatable characters, engaging story, and its exploration of the human condition.

Over time, “Sideways” has gained a reputation as a modern classic, known for its humor, authenticity, and its ability to touch upon universal themes.

It remains a beloved film in the comedy-drama genre, showcasing the talents of its cast and the storytelling prowess of its director, Alexander Payne.

Sideways (Widescreen Edition)
  • SIDEWAYS (WIDESCREEN EDITION) MOVIE
  • Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen (Actors)
  • Alexander Payne (Director)
  • English, Spanish, French (Subtitles)
  • English (Publication Language)

3. A Beautiful Mind (2001)

In the film “A Beautiful Mind” (2001), Russell Crowe delivers a powerful and transformative performance as the renowned mathematician John Nash. Crowe’s portrayal of Nash, who struggles with schizophrenia, earned him critical acclaim and an Academy Award for Best Actor.

Crowe fully immerses himself in the role, capturing Nash’s brilliance, vulnerability, and internal battles with great authenticity.

He portrays the character’s intelligence and passion for mathematics, as well as the isolating effects of his mental illness.

Crowe skillfully showcases Nash’s emotional journey, from moments of triumph and clarity to periods of confusion and torment.

One of the notable aspects of Crowe’s performance is his physical transformation to portray Nash’s decline due to schizophrenia.

He convincingly portrays the character’s physical and mental deterioration, from his disheveled appearance to his erratic behavior and paranoid delusions.

Crowe’s ability to convey Nash’s internal struggles and the impact of his illness on his relationships is truly remarkable.

He navigates the complexities of Nash’s mind, showing the audience the distorted reality he experiences while maintaining a sense of empathy and humanity.

The depth and complexity that Crowe brings to the character of John Nash make his performance in “A Beautiful Mind” truly captivating.

He skillfully captures the nuances of the character, making Nash relatable and sympathetic despite his challenges. Crowe’s portrayal is a testament to his talent as an actor, and his performance remains one of the highlights of the film.

A Beautiful Mind
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris (Actors)
  • Ron Howard (Director) - Akiva Goldsman (Writer) - Brian Grazer (Producer)
  • Audience Rating: PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)

4. The Social Network (2010)

“The Social Network” is a 2010 biographical drama film directed by David Fincher and written by Aaron Sorkin. The film depicts the early years of the social media giant Facebook and the legal controversies surrounding its founding.

“The Social Network” focuses on the story of Mark Zuckerberg, played by Jesse Eisenberg, and his creation of Facebook while he was a student at Harvard University.

The film explores the rise of Facebook and the conflicts that arise between Zuckerberg and his former friends and co-founders, including Eduardo Saverin (played by Andrew Garfield) and the Winklevoss twins (played by Armie Hammer).

It delves into themes of ambition, friendship, betrayal, and the complex relationships that develop in the competitive world of technology entrepreneurship.

The film received critical acclaim for its screenplay, direction, and performances. Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg was highly praised for capturing the character’s intelligence, ambition, and social awkwardness.

Aaron Sorkin’s sharp and fast-paced dialogue earned him an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, and the film was also nominated for several other awards, including Best Picture.

“The Social Network” is not a documentary, and while it was inspired by real events, some aspects of the story and characters were fictionalized for dramatic purposes.

Nonetheless, the film offers a captivating and dramatic interpretation of the founding of Facebook and provides insights into the dynamics of ambition, innovation, and the consequences of success.

“The Social Network” remains relevant as it explores the impact of social media on society and raises questions about the price of success in the digital age.

It is recognized as a modern classic and a compelling examination of the intersection of technology, entrepreneurship, and personal relationships.

The Social Network
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Jesse Eisenberg, Rooney Mara, Andrew Garfield (Actors)
  • David Fincher (Director) - Aaron Sorkin (Writer) - Scott Rudin (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

5. The Big Short (2015)

“The Big Short” is a biographical comedy-drama film released in 2015, directed by Adam McKay. The film is based on the book of the same name by Michael Lewis and explores the events leading up to the 2008 financial crisis.

“The Big Short” follows a group of financial experts and investors who predicted the housing market collapse and subsequent financial crisis in the mid-2000s.

These individuals, played by an ensemble cast including Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt, recognized the flaws and risks within the housing market and decided to bet against it, ultimately profiting from the crisis.

The film delves into the complexities of the financial industry, utilizing innovative techniques such as breaking the fourth wall, employing celebrity cameos to explain complex financial concepts, and using humor to navigate the serious subject matter.

It sheds light on the greed, corruption, and lack of oversight that contributed to the financial crisis, as well as the few who foresaw the impending disaster.

“The Big Short” received critical acclaim for its engaging storytelling, sharp writing, and strong performances. The film won several awards, including the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

The ensemble cast delivered outstanding performances, with Christian Bale earning an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of eccentric hedge fund manager Michael Burry.

The film effectively captured the tension, urgency, and moral dilemmas faced by these individuals who profited from a crisis that devastated many.

“The Big Short” stands as a thought-provoking and entertaining film that sheds light on the financial complexities and ethical dilemmas surrounding the 2008 financial crisis.

By combining comedy with a serious subject matter, the film engages audiences and prompts reflection on the consequences of unchecked greed and the need for financial reform.

The film’s success not only entertained audiences but also contributed to a wider understanding of the financial crisis and the systemic issues within the banking and housing industries.

“The Big Short” serves as a reminder of the importance of financial literacy, accountability, and the need to learn from past mistakes.

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6. The Descendants (2011)

“The Descendants” is a 2011 film directed by Alexander Payne and starring George Clooney in the lead role.

The film is based on the novel of the same name by Kaui Hart Hemmings and tells the story of Matt King, a wealthy landowner in Hawaii who is forced to reevaluate his life and relationships after his wife suffers a boating accident and falls into a coma.

In “The Descendants,” George Clooney delivers a compelling performance as Matt King, showcasing his versatility as an actor.

Clooney portrays Matt as a complex and multi-layered character, balancing moments of vulnerability, anger, and introspection with a touch of dry humor.

As the film’s protagonist, Clooney carries the weight of the story, depicting Matt’s struggle to navigate his personal life while also dealing with the complexities of his family’s land inheritance.

He captures the internal conflicts of a man grappling with the imminent loss of his wife, his role as a father to his two daughters, and the challenges of being a responsible steward of the land.

Clooney’s performance in “The Descendants” is marked by his ability to convey a range of emotions with subtlety and authenticity.

He brings a sense of relatability and humanity to the character, making the audience empathize with Matt’s journey of self-discovery and growth.

“The Descendants” explores themes of family, forgiveness, and the impact of loss on one’s life. Clooney’s performance effectively captures the emotional weight of these themes, creating a compelling portrayal of a man grappling with his own shortcomings and trying to find a sense of closure and redemption.

Clooney’s performance in “The Descendants” garnered critical acclaim and earned him several award nominations, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.

His nuanced portrayal contributes significantly to the film’s overall impact, helping to elevate it into a poignant and heartfelt exploration of love, loss, and the complexities of family dynamics.

Overall, George Clooney’s performance in “The Descendants” showcases his skill as an actor and his ability to bring depth and humanity to his characters. His portrayal of Matt King adds emotional depth and nuance to the film, making it a standout in his filmography.

The Descendants
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Beau Bridges (Actors)
  • Alexander Payne (Director) - Alexander Payne (Writer) - Alexander Payne (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

7. Traffic (2000)

“Traffic” is a 2000 crime drama film directed by Steven Soderbergh. The film weaves together multiple storylines to explore the complexities and consequences of the illegal drug trade in the United States and its impact on various individuals and institutions.

The film features an ensemble cast, including Michael Douglas, Benicio Del Toro, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Don Cheadle, among others.

Each storyline focuses on different aspects of the drug trade, from the perspectives of law enforcement officials, drug traffickers, addicts, and politicians.

“Traffic” delves into themes of addiction, corruption, and the futile “war on drugs.” It highlights the interconnectedness of the characters’ lives and the moral ambiguities they face as they navigate the drug trade and its consequences.

The film’s unique visual style, utilizing different color palettes to differentiate the various storylines, adds to its distinctive and immersive atmosphere. Soderbergh’s direction, combined with a gripping screenplay and strong performances, contributes to the film’s impact and critical acclaim.

“Traffic” received widespread acclaim upon its release and won four Academy Awards, including Best Director for Steven Soderbergh.

The film’s honest portrayal of the drug trade, its exploration of social and political issues, and its skillful storytelling have solidified its status as a thought-provoking and influential film.

“Traffic” remains relevant in its depiction of the complexities surrounding drug addiction and the failed policies aimed at addressing the issue.

Its ensemble cast delivers compelling performances, with Benicio Del Toro winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Javier Rodriguez, a Mexican police officer caught in the middle of the drug war.

Overall, “Traffic” is recognized for its insightful and hard-hitting examination of the drug trade and its impact on individuals and society.

It remains a powerful and memorable film that continues to resonate with audiences, shedding light on the ongoing challenges and consequences associated with drug trafficking and addiction.

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Traffic [DVD]
  • Factory sealed DVD
  • Benicio Del Toro, Don Cheadle, Catherine Zeta-Jones (Actors)
  • Steven Soderbergh (Director) - Stephen Gaghan (Writer) - Edward Zwick (Producer)
  • English, French, Spanish (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)

8. The Imitation Game (2014)

“The Imitation Game” is a historical drama film released in 2014, directed by Morten Tyldum. The film tells the story of British mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing and his crucial role in breaking the German Enigma code during World War II.

It is based on the biography “Alan Turing: The Enigma” by Andrew Hodges.

Benedict Cumberbatch portrays the brilliant and socially awkward Alan Turing in a standout performance.

The film explores Turing’s work as part of a team of codebreakers at Bletchley Park, where they strive to decrypt the Enigma machine’s coded messages, which were thought to be unbreakable.

“The Imitation Game” weaves together three timelines, depicting Turing’s wartime efforts, his experiences as a teenager in boarding school, and his post-war life.

The film delves into Turing’s personal struggles, including his homosexuality, which was criminalized at the time. It sheds light on the injustice and discrimination he faced, leading to his tragic downfall.

The film also explores Turing’s relationship with Joan Clarke, played by Keira Knightley, a fellow codebreaker who becomes a close confidante and friend.

Their bond provides emotional depth and serves as a contrast to Turing’s complex and isolated personality.

“The Imitation Game” received critical acclaim for its compelling storytelling, strong performances, and its exploration of Turing’s remarkable achievements and personal struggles.

It sheds light on the importance of Turing’s work in breaking the Enigma code and its significant impact on the outcome of the war.

The film received numerous accolades, including an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor for Benedict Cumberbatch.

Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Alan Turing is widely praised for its sensitivity and depth, capturing the nuances of Turing’s genius and vulnerability.

“The Imitation Game” is a poignant and thought-provoking film that celebrates Turing’s remarkable contributions to the field of computer science and cryptography.

It highlights the importance of his work and raises awareness about his unjust treatment as a result of societal prejudice.

Overall, “The Imitation Game” is a powerful and engaging film that combines historical events with compelling storytelling. It pays tribute to the remarkable achievements of Alan Turing while shedding light on the personal and societal challenges he faced.

The Imitation Game
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode (Actors)
  • Morten Tyldum (Director) - Graham Moore (Writer) - Nora Grossman (Producer)
  • Audience Rating: PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)

9. No Country for Old Men (2007)

“No Country for Old Men” is a neo-Western crime thriller film released in 2007, directed by Joel and Ethan Coen.

The film is based on the novel of the same name by Cormac McCarthy and follows the story of three main characters whose lives intersect in the desolate landscapes of West Texas.

The central character is Llewelyn Moss, portrayed by Josh Brolin, a hunter who stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong and finds a suitcase filled with money.

As Moss attempts to evade a ruthless hitman named Anton Chigurh, played by Javier Bardem, he becomes caught in a violent and suspenseful chase.

The film also focuses on Sheriff Ed Tom Bell, portrayed by Tommy Lee Jones, a seasoned lawman who finds himself grappling with the violence and moral decay he encounters while investigating the case.

“No Country for Old Men” explores themes of fate, morality, and the inherent darkness within humanity. It is characterized by its intense atmosphere, sparse dialogue, and gripping suspense.

The Coen brothers’ masterful direction and the film’s striking cinematography create a sense of unease and tension throughout.

Javier Bardem’s performance as Anton Chigurh is particularly notable, earning him critical acclaim and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. His portrayal of the enigmatic and remorseless hitman is chilling and unforgettable.

The film received widespread critical acclaim and was a commercial success. It won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for the Coen brothers, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

“No Country for Old Men” is often praised for its craftsmanship, compelling performances, and its exploration of the darker aspects of human nature.

The film’s legacy has endured, solidifying its place as a modern classic in the crime thriller genre. It remains a testament to the Coen brothers’ unique storytelling style and their ability to create gripping and thought-provoking cinema.

No Country for Old Men
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin (Actors)
  • Joel Coen (Director) - Joel Coen (Writer) - Scott Rudin (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

10. 12 Years a Slave (2013)

In the film “12 Years a Slave” (2013), Chiwetel Ejiofor delivers a profoundly impactful and emotionally charged performance as Solomon Northup, a free African-American man who is kidnapped and sold into slavery.

Ejiofor’s portrayal of Northup earned him critical acclaim and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.

Ejiofor’s performance in “12 Years a Slave” is marked by its intensity, vulnerability, and authenticity.

He brilliantly captures the complex emotions and struggles that Northup endures throughout his harrowing journey. Ejiofor brings a sense of quiet strength to the character, displaying Northup’s resilience and determination to survive and regain his freedom.

One of the most compelling aspects of Ejiofor’s performance is his ability to convey Northup’s internal turmoil.

He skillfully portrays the conflicting emotions that Northup experiences, from moments of anger, fear, and despair to glimpses of hope and moments of connection with other enslaved individuals.

Ejiofor’s expressive face and nuanced delivery of dialogue allow the audience to empathize with Northup’s plight and the profound impact of his experiences.

Ejiofor’s physicality and transformation for the role are also noteworthy. He fully inhabits the character, depicting the physical hardships and degradation that Northup endures as a slave.

Ejiofor’s commitment to the role and attention to detail further enhance the authenticity of his portrayal.

Overall, Chiwetel Ejiofor’s performance in “12 Years a Slave” is a tour de force. He brings a depth of emotion and humanity to the character of Solomon Northup, shedding light on the brutal realities of slavery while honoring the resilience and courage of those who endured it.

Ejiofor’s performance is a testament to his exceptional talent and his ability to bring powerful stories to life on the screen.

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11. Precious (2009)

“Precious,” also known as “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire,” is a 2009 drama film directed by Lee Daniels.

The film is an adaptation of the novel “Push” by Sapphire and tells the story of Claireece “Precious” Jones, a young African-American girl living in Harlem, New York, in the late 1980s.

The film follows Precious, portrayed by Gabourey Sidibe, as she faces a multitude of challenges in her life, including physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, as well as illiteracy and poverty.

Despite her difficult circumstances, Precious discovers hope and resilience through the support of a dedicated teacher, played by Paula Patton, and a literacy program.

“Precious” delves into heavy themes such as abuse, poverty, and self-empowerment, and it offers a stark portrayal of the obstacles faced by the film’s protagonist. The film explores the power of education, the importance of support networks, and the strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

The performances in “Precious” received widespread acclaim, particularly Gabourey Sidibe’s portrayal of the titular character.

Her raw and emotionally charged performance garnered critical praise and earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

The film also features notable performances from Mo’Nique as Precious’ abusive mother, Mariah Carey as a social worker, and Lenny Kravitz as a nurse.

“Precious” received numerous awards and nominations, including two Academy Awards, for Best Supporting Actress (Mo’Nique) and Best Adapted Screenplay. The film’s gritty and uncompromising portrayal of difficult subject matter sparked discussions about the importance of empathy, understanding, and breaking cycles of abuse.

“Precious” is a powerful and thought-provoking film that sheds light on the experiences of an underrepresented protagonist and addresses societal issues with sensitivity and realism

. It remains an important work in exploring the resilience of individuals in the face of hardship and the transformative power of education and support.

Precious
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Gabourey Sidibe, Mo'Nique, Mariah Carey (Actors)
  • Lee Daniels (Director) - Geoffrey Fletcher (Writer) - Lee Daniels (Producer)
  • (Playback Languages)
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)

12. Call Me by Your Name (2017)

“Call Me by Your Name” is a romantic coming-of-age film released in 2017, directed by Luca Guadagnino. The film is based on the novel of the same name by André Aciman and takes place in the summer of 1983 in northern Italy.

“Call Me by Your Name” tells the story of Elio Perlman, a 17-year-old American-Italian boy, and Oliver, a 24-year-old American scholar who visits Elio’s family home for an academic internship.

As the summer unfolds, Elio and Oliver form a deep and transformative connection, exploring their desires, emotions, and sexuality in the idyllic backdrop of the Italian countryside.

The film delicately portrays the development of Elio and Oliver’s relationship, capturing the nuances of first love, desire, and self-discovery. It explores themes of identity, intimacy, and the complexities of navigating a same-sex relationship within a particular time and place.

“Call Me by Your Name” received widespread critical acclaim for its beautiful cinematography, evocative storytelling, and strong performances.

Timothée Chalamet, who played Elio Perlman, and Armie Hammer, who played Oliver, garnered particular praise for their nuanced and captivating performances, infusing their characters with vulnerability and authenticity.

The film’s depiction of Elio’s journey of self-discovery, his exploration of his sexual and emotional desires, and the bittersweet nature of first love resonated with audiences around the world. It became a cultural phenomenon and an important contribution to LGBTQ+ cinema.

“Call Me by Your Name” celebrates the intensity and transformative power of love, while also acknowledging the transient nature of summer romances and the complexities of navigating one’s sexuality.

The film’s poignant portrayal of longing, desire, and the pain of letting go leaves a lasting impact on viewers.

With its beautiful cinematography, rich storytelling, and heartfelt performances, “Call Me by Your Name” stands as a timeless and poignant exploration of love, desire, and the complexities of human connection.

Call Me By Your Name
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg (Actors)
  • Luca Guadagnino (Director) - James Ivory (Writer) - James Ivory (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

13. Argo (2012)

“Argo” is a 2012 historical drama film directed by Ben Affleck, who also stars in the lead role.

The film is based on the true events of the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, specifically focusing on the covert operation to rescue six American diplomats who found refuge in the Canadian embassy in Tehran.

In “Argo,” Ben Affleck portrays Tony Mendez, a CIA exfiltration specialist tasked with devising an audacious plan to rescue the American diplomats.

Affleck’s performance as Mendez is measured and understated, capturing the character’s professionalism, resourcefulness, and determination.

As the film’s director and lead actor, Affleck effectively balances the intensity of the situation with moments of quiet introspection.

He portrays Mendez as a skilled strategist and quick thinker, navigating the complexities of the mission while also humanizing him as a devoted father and husband.

Affleck’s portrayal in “Argo” showcases his ability to convey subtle emotions and convey the weight of the high-stakes situation.

He brings a sense of authenticity to the character, allowing the audience to connect with Mendez’s journey and the moral dilemmas he faces throughout the operation.

“Argo” received critical acclaim for its tense storytelling, ensemble cast, and Affleck’s direction. The film went on to win several awards, including the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Affleck’s performance as Tony Mendez contributes to the film’s overall success, providing a grounded and compelling portrayal of a real-life hero.

Additionally, Affleck skillfully captures the atmosphere of the late 1970s, immersing the audience in the political tensions and chaos of the time. His performance helps to create a sense of urgency and suspense, drawing viewers into the gripping narrative and the high-stakes rescue mission.

Overall, Ben Affleck’s performance as Tony Mendez in “Argo” demonstrates his talent as both an actor and director. His nuanced portrayal brings depth and humanity to the character, adding an extra layer of authenticity to the film.

Affleck’s contribution to “Argo” helps to make it a captivating and memorable cinematic experience.

Argo (2012)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin (Actors)
  • Ben Affleck (Director) - Chris Terrio (Writer) - Grant Heslov (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

14. The Pianist (2002)

“The Pianist” is a 2002 historical drama film directed by Roman Polanski. The film is based on the memoir of the same name by Władysław Szpilman, a Polish-Jewish pianist and composer. It tells the harrowing true story of Szpilman’s survival during the Holocaust in Warsaw, Poland.

Adrien Brody delivers a remarkable performance as Władysław Szpilman, capturing the vulnerability, resilience, and strength of the character.

The film portrays Szpilman’s experiences as he witnesses the Nazi occupation of Warsaw, endures the horrors of the Warsaw Ghetto, and struggles to survive in hiding.

“The Pianist” offers a deeply personal and intimate portrayal of the Holocaust, focusing on one individual’s journey against the backdrop of war and genocide.

The film depicts the hardships, fear, and dehumanization faced by Szpilman, as well as the acts of kindness and courage from individuals who risked their lives to help him.

Polanski’s direction brings a sense of authenticity and emotional depth to the film, depicting the historical events with sensitivity and realism.

The cinematography, production design, and music contribute to the film’s immersive atmosphere, enhancing the emotional impact of Szpilman’s story.

“The Pianist” received critical acclaim and won numerous awards, including three Academy Awards, including Best Director for Roman Polanski and Best Actor for Adrien Brody.

The film’s portrayal of the human spirit, the atrocities of war, and the power of music to provide solace and hope resonated with audiences worldwide.

Beyond its artistic achievements, “The Pianist” serves as a poignant reminder of the Holocaust and the indomitable spirit of those who endured unimaginable suffering.

It honors the memory of the millions who lost their lives during that dark period in history and pays tribute to the resilience and strength of the human spirit.

“The Pianist” stands as a testament to the power of cinema to shed light on historical events, provoke empathy and reflection, and commemorate the triumph of the human spirit in the face of unimaginable adversity.

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15. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

“Slumdog Millionaire” is a drama film released in 2008, directed by Danny Boyle and co-directed by Loveleen Tandan.

The film is based on the novel “Q & A” by Vikas Swarup. Set in Mumbai, India, it follows the journey of Jamal Malik, a young man from the slums, as he participates in the Indian version of the game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”

Dev Patel portrays the main character, Jamal Malik, who surprises everyone when he answers question after question correctly on the show.

As Jamal progresses, the film reveals the events and experiences from his poverty-stricken upbringing that have provided him with the knowledge to answer the questions.

The film alternates between Jamal’s game show appearances and flashbacks to significant moments in his life.

“Slumdog Millionaire” explores themes of destiny, love, poverty, and the resilience of the human spirit. It provides a vivid depiction of the stark contrasts between the slums and the glamorous world of the game show.

The film captures the vibrant energy of Mumbai and presents a compelling narrative that keeps viewers engaged.

The film received widespread critical acclaim and garnered numerous awards, including eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for Danny Boyle, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

It was praised for its captivating storytelling, engaging performances, and the powerful portrayal of the characters’ struggles and triumphs.

“Slumdog Millionaire” not only provides an entertaining and emotional cinematic experience but also sheds light on the social and economic disparities present in Indian society.

It offers a glimpse into the lives of individuals living in poverty and explores the universal desire for hope and a better life.

The film’s success helped launch the careers of its actors, including Dev Patel, and brought attention to the talents of the director Danny Boyle.

Its memorable soundtrack, composed by A.R. Rahman, also received critical acclaim and won several awards, including an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Overall, “Slumdog Millionaire” is a powerful and moving film that combines elements of drama, romance, and coming-of-age storytelling. It resonated with audiences worldwide, highlighting the importance of determination and the pursuit of dreams amidst challenging circumstances.

Slumdog Millionaire
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Madhur Mittal (Actors)
  • Danny Boyle (Director) - Christian Colson (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

16. BlacKkKlansman (2018)

“BlacKkKlansman” is a biographical crime drama film released in 2018, directed by Spike Lee. The film is based on the memoir “Black Klansman” by Ron Stallworth and tells the true story of Stallworth’s infiltration of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s.

The film follows Ron Stallworth, played by John David Washington, an African American detective in the Colorado Springs Police Department. Stallworth devises a daring plan to infiltrate the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan by posing as a white supremacist on the phone, while his Jewish colleague, Flip Zimmerman, played by Adam Driver, poses as him during face-to-face meetings.

As Stallworth becomes more deeply involved with the Klan, he uncovers a dangerous and far-reaching plot that threatens the lives of many people. The film explores themes of racism, identity, and the power of collective action.

“BlacKkKlansman” skillfully blends elements of drama, humor, and social commentary. Spike Lee’s direction infuses the film with his signature style, using a mix of satire and stark realism to convey its powerful message.

The film examines both the absurdity and the deeply rooted systemic racism that persists in American society.

The performances in “BlacKkKlansman” are widely praised, with John David Washington and Adam Driver delivering compelling performances in their respective roles.

The film also features notable performances from Topher Grace as David Duke, the national leader of the Ku Klux Klan, and Laura Harrier as Patrice Dumas, a student activist whom Stallworth becomes romantically involved with.

“BlacKkKlansman” received critical acclaim and was a commercial success. It won the Grand Prix at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival and received six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director for Spike Lee.

The film’s timely themes and its exploration of America’s troubled racial history resonated with audiences and critics alike.

“BlacKkKlansman” stands as a powerful and thought-provoking film that sheds light on the ongoing struggle against racism and hate in society.

It serves as a reminder of the importance of confronting and challenging systemic injustice and serves as a call to action for a more inclusive and equitable future.

BlacKkKlansman (2018) (Blu-ray)
  • John David Washington, Adam Driver, Laura Harrier (Actors)
  • Spike Lee (Director)
  • French (Subtitle)
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)

17. Moonlight (2016)

In the film “Moonlight” (2016), Mahershala Ali delivers a captivating and nuanced performance as Juan, a compassionate drug dealer who becomes a mentor figure to the film’s protagonist, Chiron. Ali’s portrayal earned him critical acclaim and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Ali’s performance in “Moonlight” is characterized by his quiet yet commanding presence. He brings a sense of empathy and complexity to the character of Juan, who serves as a source of guidance and support for Chiron in the midst of his troubled environment.

Ali portrays Juan with a sense of depth and humanity, subtly conveying the character’s inner conflicts and struggles.

One of the standout aspects of Ali’s performance is his ability to convey Juan’s conflicting roles as both a father figure and a drug dealer.

He skillfully navigates the duality of the character, showing both Juan’s tenderness and his involvement in a harsh and destructive world.

Ali’s performance brings a layer of complexity and empathy to Juan, challenging the audience’s preconceived notions and highlighting the humanity that exists even in seemingly flawed individuals.

Ali’s portrayal is marked by his restraint and subtlety.

He conveys a wealth of emotions through his expressive eyes and measured delivery of dialogue, making every word and gesture count. Ali’s performance resonates with authenticity and empathy, leaving a lasting impact on the audience.

Overall, Mahershala Ali’s performance in “Moonlight” is a standout in the film. His embodiment of Juan is layered, compassionate, and profoundly moving.

Ali’s ability to bring depth and complexity to the character elevates the film and contributes to its powerful exploration of identity, love, and self-discovery.

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18. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003)

“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is a 2003 epic fantasy film directed by Peter Jackson. It is the third and final installment in the film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

The film continues the story from the previous two films, following the journey of Frodo Baggins (played by Elijah Wood) and the Fellowship of the Ring as they make their way towards Mount Doom to destroy the One Ring and defeat the dark lord Sauron.

Meanwhile, the other characters, including Aragorn (played by Viggo Mortensen), Gandalf (played by Ian McKellen), and Legolas (played by Orlando Bloom), prepare for the final battle against the forces of evil.

“The Return of the King” is renowned for its grand scale, stunning visual effects, and epic battle sequences.

The film features a richly woven narrative that explores themes of heroism, friendship, sacrifice, and the struggle between good and evil. It delves into the characters’ internal conflicts and showcases their growth and resilience throughout their perilous journey.

The film received widespread critical acclaim and became a commercial success, earning over a billion dollars worldwide. It won 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for Peter Jackson, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

The film’s success cemented its place as one of the most celebrated and influential fantasy films of all time.

“The Return of the King” is praised for its meticulous attention to detail, breathtaking visuals, and emotional storytelling.

It successfully concludes the epic saga of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, providing a satisfying and emotionally resonant climax to the story. The film’s enduring popularity has solidified its status as a classic in the fantasy genre.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Brad Dourif, Viggo Mortensen, Christopher Lee (Actors)
  • Peter Jackson (Director) - Peter Jackson (Writer) - Barrie M. Osborne (Producer)
  • English, Swedish, Danish, Spanish, Portuguese (Playback Languages)
  • English, Swedish, Danish, Spanish, Portuguese (Subtitles)

19. Brokeback Mountain (2005)

“Brokeback Mountain” is a romantic drama film released in 2005, directed by Ang Lee. The film is based on the short story of the same name by Annie Proulx and explores the forbidden love affair between two cowboys in the American West.

“Brokeback Mountain” tells the story of Ennis Del Mar, played by Heath Ledger, and Jack Twist, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, who meet while herding sheep on the titular mountain during the summer of 1963.

Over the years, they form a deep emotional and sexual connection, struggling to reconcile their feelings within the conservative and homophobic society they live in.

The film explores themes of love, repression, and societal expectations. It depicts the challenges faced by Ennis and Jack as they navigate their complex relationship, including their marriages to women and the secrecy they must maintain to protect their true selves.

“Brokeback Mountain” received widespread critical acclaim for its powerful storytelling, sensitive direction, and the outstanding performances of its lead actors.

Both Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal garnered critical acclaim for their portrayal of Ennis and Jack, respectively, with Ledger earning an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.

The film is celebrated for its honest and poignant depiction of same-sex love and the internal struggles faced by the characters.

It resonated with audiences around the world, sparking important conversations about love, identity, and the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals in repressive societies.

“Brokeback Mountain” stands as a landmark film in LGBTQ+ cinema, breaking barriers and challenging societal norms. It not only explored the universal themes of love and longing but also brought visibility and compassion to the experiences of queer individuals.

With its powerful performances, beautiful cinematography, and its examination of the complexities of human relationships, “Brokeback Mountain” remains an influential and moving portrayal of love and self-discovery.

It continues to be recognized as a significant film that helped pave the way for greater representation and understanding of LGBTQ+ stories in mainstream cinema.

Brokeback Mountain
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Jake Gyllenhaal, Heath Ledger, Michelle Williams (Actors)
  • Ang Lee (Director) - Scott Rudin (Producer)
  • English, Spanish (Playback Language)
  • English, Spanish (Subtitles)