Gran Torino (2008)

PowerfulHeartbreakingDramaticThought provoking

Widower Walt Kowalski is a grumpy, prejudiced, tough-minded, unhappy, old, Korean War veteran who can't get along with either his kids or his neighbours. His prize possession is a 1972 Gran Torino he keeps in mint condition. When his neighbour, Thao—a young Hmong ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Clint Eastwood
Life Is Beautiful (1997)

PowerfulBeautifulDramaticFunny

A touching story of an Italian book seller of Jewish ancestry who lives in his own little fairy tale. His creative and happy life would come to an abrupt halt when his entire family is deported to a concentration camp during World War II. While locked up he tries ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Roberto Benigni
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

ClassicPowerfulDramaticEpic

The classic story of English POWs in Burma forced to build a bridge to aid the war effort of their Japanese captors. British and American intelligence officers conspire to blow up the structure, but Col. Nicholson , the commander who supervised the bridge's ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lean
CAST:  William Holden  •  Alec Guinness  •  Jack Hawkins  •  Sessue Hayakawa
Warrior (2011)

EmotionalDramaticPowerfulGripping

The youngest son of an alcoholic former boxer returns home, where he's trained by his father for competition in a mixed martial arts tournament – a path that puts the fighter on a collision course with his estranged, older brother.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Gavin O'Connor
CAST:  Tom Hardy  •  Jennifer Morrison  •  Nick Nolte  •  Joel Edgerton
Collateral (2004)

ThrillingPowerfulBeautifulIntense

Cab driver Max picks up a man who offers him $600 to drive him around. But the promise of easy money sours when Max realizes his fare is an assassin.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Mann
CAST:  Tom Cruise  •  Jamie Foxx  •  Jada Pinkett Smith  •  Mark Ruffalo
The Great Escape (1963)

PowerfulEpicIntenseInsightful

The Nazis, exasperated at the number of escapes from their prison camps by a relatively small number of Allied prisoners, relocate them to a high-security 'escape-proof' camp to sit out the remainder of the war. Undaunted, the prisoners plan one of the most ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Sturges
The Wrestler (2008)

EmotionalPowerfulGrippingReal

Aging wrestler Randy "The Ram" Robinson is long past his prime but still ready and rarin' to go on the pro-wrestling circuit. After a particularly brutal beating, however, Randy hangs up his tights, pursues a serious relationship with a long-in-the-tooth stripper, ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Darren Aronofsky
CAST:  Mickey Rourke  •  Marisa Tomei  •  Evan Rachel Wood  •  Ajay Naidu
The Fighter (2010)

RealEmotionalPowerfulInspiring

The Fighter, is a drama about boxer "Irish" Micky Ward's unlikely road to the world light welterweight title. His Rocky-like rise was shepherded by half-brother Dicky, a boxer-turned-trainer who rebounded in life after nearly being KO'd by drugs and crime.  (more)

DIRECTION:  David O. Russell
CAST:  Mark Wahlberg  •  Christian Bale  •  Amy Adams  •  Melissa Leo
Disconnect (2012)

PowerfulGrippingDepressingIntense

Disconnect interweaves multiple storylines about people searching for human connection in today’s wired world. Through poignant turns that are both harrowing and touching, the stories intersect with surprising twists that expose a shocking reality into our daily ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Henry Alex Rubin
CAST:  Jason Bateman  •  Hope Davis  •  Frank Grillo  •  Paula Patton
Fruitvale Station (2013)

GrippingHeartbreakingPowerfulReal

Oakland, California. Young Afro-American Oscar Grant crosses paths with family members, friends, enemies and strangers before facing his fate on the platform at Fruitvale Station, in the early morning hours of New Year's Day 2009…  (more)

DIRECTION:  Ryan Coogler
Hard Candy (2005)

DisturbingMind blowingPowerfulDark

Hayley’s a smart, charming teenage girl. Jeff’s a handsome, smooth fashion photographer. An Internet chat, a coffee shop meet-up, an impromptu fashion shoot back at Jeff’s place. Jeff thinks it’s his lucky night. He’s in for a surprise.  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Slade
CAST:  Patrick Wilson  •  Ellen Page  •  Sandra Oh  •  Odessa Rae
The Theory of Everything (2014)

PowerfulInspiringDramaticEmotional

The Theory of Everything is the extraordinary story of one of the world’s greatest living minds, the renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, who falls deeply in love with fellow Cambridge student Jane Wilde.  (more)

DIRECTION:  James Marsh
CAST:  Felicity Jones  •  Emily Watson  •  Harry Lloyd  •  David Thewlis
The Hunt (2012)

DisturbingIntenseDarkPowerful

A teacher lives a lonely life, all the while struggling over his son’s custody. His life slowly gets better as he finds love and receives good news from his son, but his new luck is about to be brutally shattered by an innocent little lie.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Thomas Vinterberg
Fiddler on the Roof (1971)

DramaticPowerfulClassicReal

This lavishly produced and critically acclaimed screen adaptation of the international stage sensation tells the life-affirming story of Tevye (Topol), a poor milkman whose love, pride and faith help him face the oppression of turn-of-the-century Czarist Russia. ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Norman Jewison
CAST:  Norma Crane  •  Leonard Frey  •  Molly Picon  •  Chaim Topol
Maleficent (2014)

FantasticalBeautifulOriginalPowerful

A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until one day when an invading army threatens the harmony of the land. Maleficent rises to be the land's fiercest protector, but she ultimately suffers ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Stromberg
CAST:  Angelina Jolie  •  Elle Fanning  •  Juno Temple  •  Sharlto Copley
The Bourne Supremacy (2004)

Fast pacedAction-packedSmartPowerful

When a CIA operation to purchase classified Russian documents is blown by a rival agent, who then shows up in the sleepy seaside village where Bourne and Marie have been living. The pair run for their lives and Bourne, who promised retaliation should anyone from ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Paul Greengrass
CAST:  Matt Damon  •  Brian Cox  •  Julia Stiles  •  Joan Allen
Mysterious Skin (2004)

DisturbingThought provokingIntensePowerful

A teenage hustler and a young man obsessed with alien abductions cross paths, together discovering a horrible, liberating truth.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Gregg Araki
The Book Thief (2013)

DramaticPowerfulThought provokingIntense

While subjected to the horrors of WWII Germany, young Liesel finds solace by stealing books and sharing them with others. Under the stairs in her home, a Jewish refugee is being sheltered by her adoptive parents.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Brian Percival
CAST:  Roger Allam  •  Sophie Nélisse  •  Geoffrey Rush  •  Emily Watson
The Wave (2008)

Thought provokingBrilliantPowerfulGripping

A school teacher discusses types of government with his class. His students find it too boring to repeatedly go over national socialism and believe that dictatorship cannot be established in modern Germany. He starts an experiment to show how easily the masses can ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Dennis Gansel
CAST:  Jürgen Vogel  •  Frederick Lau  •  Max Riemelt  •  Jennifer Ulrich
Gladiator (2000)

EpicAction-packedPowerfulDramatic

In the year 180, the death of emperor Marcus Aurelius throws the Roman Empire into chaos. Maximus is one of the Roman army's most capable and trusted generals and a key advisor to the emperor. As Marcus' devious son Commodus ascends to the throne, Maximus is set ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Ridley Scott
CAST:  Russell Crowe  •  Joaquin Phoenix  •  Connie Nielsen  •  Oliver Reed