Independent films have the ability to captivate everyone even though they are less appreciated. Get to know the top 15 indie films in the industry of all time.
Independent films, better known as ‘Indie Films’ are films that are created outside the major film studio system. These movies are usually made with less budget and do not get major theater releases all over the world. However, these off-bit movies often consist of the best stories that can tantalize your heart. Regardless of the categories, indie films have a special essence and texture that offers a wholesome experience of watching a good film. It is quite difficult to choose the best indie films as most of them are great. Here are the top 15 Indie Films that every cinephile will enjoy.
- ‘At Eternity’s Gate’ (2018)
There are many movies made by the iconic painter Vincent van Gogh. However, only a few of them have depicted the painter’s life of turmoil and ill mental health in an engaging way. Starring Willem Dafoe as Van Gogh, ‘At Eternity’s Gate’ explores emotions through colors. The director, Julian Schnabel did an incredible job focusing on the topics of mental health and social exclusion which painfully strikes the audience. It goes without saying that what makes the movie a masterpiece is Dafoe’s stunning acting and expressions which can make you feel the pain and chaos that Van Gogh went through.
- ‘Primer’ (2004)
There are different fanbases for sci-fi thrillers due to the mind-bending stories that make you think about the story as the credits roll. If you are looking for something compelling like that, ‘Primer’ is the best indie movie to watch. This incredible movie is one of the successful examples of filmmaking where the director executed the whole project with only seven grand. The story revolves around a dangerous machine, a time machine that puts humans in different timelines. Did they get successful? Watch and find out.
- ‘Lars and the Real Girl’ (2007)
Long before ‘Blade Runner 2049’ and ‘ Barbie’, Ryan Gosling fell in love with a doll in the movie ‘Lars and the Real Girl’. The story develops around a central character named Lars, a young man who greatly struggles to fit into society. With his issues of socializing, Lars suddenly declares one day that he has a girlfriend which makes his brother and sister-in-law very happy. However, soon his family and audience find out that his girlfriend is actually a life-size plastic woman. A lot of people might look for similarities with ‘Her’.
- ‘Victoria’ (2015)
Directed by Sebastian Schipper, ‘Victoria’ is one of the most compelling indie films which has been filmed in a single shot. Laia Costa plays the central character of a Spanish woman who moves to Berlin. While Flirting with a local guy, she comes across a dangerous secret revealed by his friends on their night out. This low-budget indie film will definitely blow your mind.
- ‘The Lobster’ (2015)
‘The Lobster’ is easily one of the most conceptually strong movies regardless of its ‘Indie’ feature. Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz played the central characters and their incredible acting skills added a layer of creativity to this bizarre film. Director Yorgos Lanthimos made this social satire that focuses on modern dating. The story takes place in a dystopian future where single people are taken to a Hotel to find their romantic partners within 45 days. In case they are unsuccessful; they will be turned into an animal of their choice which is as absurd as it sounds. However, you cannot miss this seat-gripping indie film.
- ‘Brick’ (2005)
Long before ‘Knives Out’, director Rian Johnson dropped a mystery thriller named ‘Brick’ that won the hearts of the audiences. Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt at the start of his career, the story revolves around the death of his ex-girlfriend. After the body is found, the man finds himself greatly indulged in the incident and he makes attempts to solve the mystery of her death all on his own. Watching Levitt in a high school story inspired by ’30s murders and gang crimes is truly a treat for the cinephiles.
- ‘Blue Ruin’ (2013)
‘Blue Ruin’ is a perfectly “worth to watch” movie where the central idea is based on revenge. Macon Blair has offered his best performance through this revenge thriller flick that stirred the deeper emotions of the audiences from the inside. In the movies, the protagonist goes back to his childhood place for revenge as his parents were killed. However, he faces twists of events there that keep the story going. Dark yet intriguing, this film is recommended for all.
8.‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’ (2015)
This movie is based on Jesse Andrews’ 2012 debut novel, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. It is an unconventional coming-age drama flick that is based on high school students and cancer. In the movies, Thomas Mann and RJ Cycler play the role of high school students who find out that their classmate is suffering from cancer, played by Olivia Cooke. Touching hearts on sensitive ground, the film shows how perceptions of life can change when someone is suffering from a disease that can take their life. This movie is a complete emotional roller-coaster.
- ‘Good Time’ (2017)
It goes without saying that Robert Pattinson is one of the most talented yet underrated actors in the industry who has made movie buffs fall in love with many characters. ‘Good Time’ is a gripping crime drama where Pattinson offered an incredible performance along with Benny Safdie, who played the character of his brother. Directed by the Safdie Brothers, the story is based on the chronicles of a bank robber who wants to get his brother out of prison at all costs.
- ‘The Last Black Man in San Francisco’ (2019)
‘The Last Black Man in San Francisco’ is a movie based on the life and story of a young man named Jimmie Fails who has also played his own character in the movie. Jonathan Majors played the character of his friend, Mont Allen, and Danny Glover starred as Mont’s grandfather. In the movie Fails spends his time exploring the town with his friend and his grandpa which offers plenty of immersive and emotional moments.
- ‘Green Room’ (2015)
‘Green Room’ is the kind of movie that makes grip your seat tighter as it proceeds. This anxiety-induced crime drama by Jeremy Saulnier revolves around a rock band who decides to fight back after witnessing a brutal murder where they were performing, at a neo-Nazi skinhead bar. The movie offers a compelling watch along with the most satisfying ending that audiences can crave.
- ‘Never Rarely Sometimes Always’ (2020)
Eliza Hittman’s dramatic feature ‘Never Rarely Sometimes Always’ is a thought-provoking indie film that revolves around two teenage girls from rural Pennsylvania who make a journey to New York for medical assistance. The characters are played by Sidney Flanigan and Talia Ryder, and both of them did their best. Dealing with pain, loneliness, and the struggles of an unplanned pregnancy for a teenage girl; the film sheds light on many sensitive areas.
- ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ (2006)
This is the summer family movie that you can enjoy with everyone. The story is based on the Hoover family which is comprised of a husband, his wife, an uncle, a son, and a little daughter. The whole family decides to go out on a road trip in a VW bus to support their daughter (Abigail Breslin) who has participated in the Little Miss Sunshine Contest. Steve Carell takes the special mention for his outstanding performance. However, what is more intriguing about this movie is its treatment of sensitive areas like body shaming, mental health, and the importance of a well-functioning family.
- ‘Columbus’ (2017)
This drama flick by Kogonada is based on a central character, of Korean descent stranded in Columbus, Indiana. His architect father is unconscious; however, there is a change in the air when he finds another woman in Colombus, helping her mother recover from addiction. When these two young persons meet each other and share their problems and unachieved goals; a stronger bond is formed between the two. Find out what happens next in Colombus but watching the movie.
- ‘Short Term 12’
Destin Daniel Cretton’s drama movie ‘Short Term 12’ is a small human story with a lot of heart in it. Masterfully crafted, Brie Larson can be found in the lead role looking for kids to pull them out of their worst situation. Grace, the central character connects with a new resident named Jayden a bond further grows. The director has maturely handled sensitive issues like self-harm and parental abuse in a quite moving way. It is surely one of the best indie films that deserves more appreciation.
No matter how many blockbuster commercial hits come; nothing can underestimate the power of an Independent Film that comes with honesty and creativity.