This list could also be called "The Best Movies You've Never Seen" as all of them were probably considered box office bombs. But there are hundreds of "Best Movies That Did Shitty Opening Weekend" lists. There are very few "Perfect Movie" lists.
What do I mean by "Perfect Movies" you ask? Well, I mean several things. A perfect movie fully satisfies all the desires that lie buried within the human psyche. They execute situations of love, action, suspense, hate, and melancholy with flawless precision, animated wit, and supreme genuineness.
Watching a perfect movie is a sublime encounter. You feel like a better person for partaking in a perfect movie. The movie adds to your bank of experience. It gives more than it could possibly take. The time spent watching a perfect movie is productive time. Just by watching a perfect movie, you feel like you've molded the movie around your own personality. You leave the experience and step back, much like an artist stepping back from a canvas to reflect on her work. The perfect movie becomes your own art.
Here is my short list. There are definetly more than what is on this list.
1) Wonder Boys- Sometimes it is difficult to distill the essence of a movie, because it lives in the mind. Not really, that previous sentence was a quote from the film. This movie is about a writer, Grady Tripp, who is suffering from the opposite of writer's block. Though he has no problem getting words on to the page, his anti-writer's block is just as imposing. His neverending opus is impedeing on his success as a writer, being that it is preventing him from publishing his followup novel. During the course of a weekend, his wife leaves him, his editor shows up asking about the book, his on-the-side girlfriend drops a metaphorical bomb on him, and in the meantime, one of his troubled students has been following him on this wild ride of a weekend. It's sentimental and witty without sapiness or self-indulgence. The movie is about self-discovery, love, lust, drugs, passion, drugs, alcohol, writing, booze, pills, and dead dogs. What more could anyone want?
2) Joe Versus The Volcano- Not many people seem to like this film. But I have a theory about this. You know how sometimes you will have very fond memories of a certain movie or tv show, and when you revisited it later in life, you realized how stupid it really was? I think the opposite is going on here. This movie came out when most of my contemporaries were in grade school, so a lot of the complexities of this detailed cinematic manifesto may have been lost on them. The same thing happened to me when I saw The Big Lebowski the first time. I thought it was stupid, raunchy and juvenile. Now it is one of my favorite films. This movie is more literary than it appears upon first glance. There are several underlying themes and subtle nuances that weave this story into an amazingly epic tapestry of a film. If you ever rent this movie, plan this fun little drinking game:
Take a drink everytime you see the "lightning" symbol. You will find yourself more than tipsy by the end of the film. Bonus drinking if you hear a reference to the symbol.
3) Donnie Darko- Everyone should have seen this movie by now. If you haven't, crawl out from under your rock and Netflix it.
4) The Big Lebowski- See above. I have only one thing to say about this film. A lot of people have said that this is a purely masculine film. Anyone who says that has clearly overlooked the hard feminity of the female lead, Maude Lebowski. She is womanly but strong. A perfect ideal of a woman.